Bernardino Ochino of Siena: A contribution towards the history of the Reformation






Duncan Grant and Company, Printers, Edinburgh

(PDF of hardcopy book available here)

Table of Contents


When the work of Dr. Benrath first came into my hands, before completing the reading of it, I said — This is a book that will make its way into our language and into others, and in each new language it will make its way to the favour of many readers. Already it has made its way into English. It is sure to do so into other tongues, and that simply by its force of interest. In the interest of the book, the central force, ever present and ever sensible, is that of an original and picturesque personality; a personality now gleaming like a meteor among summits, now cast out as the filth and offscouring of the earth, leading us through changing emotions of admiration and compassion, constantly keeping alive curiosity, often awakening surprise. Around this central interest revolve other interests, emerging turn by turn, each with its attraction for different classes of readers, — a literary interest and a historical one, a polemical and a religious.

The first notice of the book I saw in print was from Professor Giuseppe de Leva, of the University of Padua. The Italian scholar, though a Catholic, cordially thanked the German one for presenting Italy with this recovered portrait of one of her shining orators and purest ecclesiastics, whose features had for centuries been hidden under the blot with which the Inquisition covers all heresy. The world thought that those features had been effaced, and that they could never be traced again. In the portrait gallery of Italian worthies hung a frame which had evidently held a canvass, once esteemed of rare price. But the hand of the Holy Office had smeared over the whole figure, till all that could be traced was a frock and sandals. Men timidly whispered the name of Frà Bernardino, or the surname Ochino,[1] and dropped hints about a prodigy of eloquence, and a saint in life, till the virus of the Reformation disordered his spirit. The lives of the notables of his own century contained many allusions to him, all of which gave a strong impression that the figure which had disappeared was bright and commanding. Bembo, writing to Victoria Colonna, said, “He is literally adored here (Venice). There is no one who does not praise him to the skies.” Graziani, Bishop of Amelia, wrote, “Everything about Ochino contributed to make the admiration of the multitude overstep all human bounds.” Yet though this fame continued augmenting for a long tract of years, and though it was enhanced by the repute of many writings, the dishonouring blot of heresy had covered all distinct tracings of the man from the public even of his own country.

The defaced portrait needed a skilled restorer. A patient German hand was found, impelled by the literary love of a scholar, and the religious love of a true son of the Reformation, guided, moreover, by local knowledge, due to long residence in Rome, and lighted by the disciplined imagination of the historian. After lengthened, silent toil, this workman at last says, My work is done, and lo, the figure of Ochino is before us! The Protestants of Italy, now counted by thousands, at once hailed it as men hail the recovery of a lost family gem.

I have spoken of the disciplined imagination of the historian. That indicates the difference between the service rendered by imagination in history and in fiction. In fiction, the author being in possession of real lights and shades, colours, postures, and movements, has to fit them to unreal persons and events. In history, that is, the history of past times, the author, having in possession real persons and events, has to surround them with the lights and shadows which he never witnessed, to give them the colours of life, and to show them in actual postures and movements. What is legitimate in fiction is the invention of persons and events, which, though not real, might, under the circumstances, have been so. What is legitimate in history is the presentation of the accessories which, though not seen by the writer, were, nevertheless, there. The writer of fiction invents; the writer of history, if he knows how to do it, reproduces. For the latter purpose the requisites are, knowledge of things as they appeared, and the faculty of presenting clearly to one’s own mind objects not present to the senses. This faculty carries with it that of “making others see” the things seen by the writer.

As in fiction, illegitimate invention creates persons and events which could not have been real, so in history illegitimate imagination creates accessories which were not present. The bare bones of events, whether those of a nation’s life, a Church’s life, or the life of a man, are the most unreal of all things. Bare bones of a skeleton are not a man, but they are, nevertheless, real, for skeletons as such do exist. But naked events, without colour or action, never do occur. They are as unreal as profiles in black, which in nature never were seen, and never could be. Yet some think that when history begins to be life-like, it is turning to fiction. So long as men think so, fiction will be the stronger, for the living, however slender, are stronger than the dead, however solid.

It required plodding for a long time to set clearly before the mind the facts of a life so long buried as that of Ochino, and it equally required the faculty of seeing the forms and hues of the past to give us those glimpses of his surroundings every now and then, which keep us in living company all the way.

Henceforth it is the lot of Ochino to be known. Germany has his likeness, and is criticising even minute details as to this and that point of authorship, or this and that shade of opinion. We, too, shall be able to subject him to a similar process. Italy will, on one side, execrate, on another side adopt him, but she cannot bury him any more. Italian periodicals already begin to discuss questions as to his extraction. In his company the untravelled will catch a glimpse of Siena, perhaps nearly as distinct, if they have a skilled imagination, as some people get by a passing visit. Many will refresh and define their impressions of some of the Italian Reformers, of conventual life in the City of Rome, and of the strange power of pulpit oratory in those days when it was rare, and when this one great preacher was a prize for city councils to contend about from Venice to Naples.

Ochino’s rapid rise to fame and to the head of his own order, his slowly dawning heresy, his suspected years, his journey from the banks of the Adige as far as those of the Arno on his way to Rome to face the Inquisition, his interview with the dying Cardinal Contarini, just returned from Ratisbon (as we persist in calling Regensburg), after the vain attempt to find common ground for Rome and for the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone, his flight, the speech put by the historian of the order into the mouth of the heretic general as he stood on the last peak of the Alps whence his well-beloved Italy could be viewed, and his sketch of life in Geneva as he found that city under the regime of Calvin would, if nothing followed, be interest enough for one book.

Perhaps, however, for the ordinary English reader, the liveliest interest will begin when the converted general of the Capuchins, in company with Peter Martyr, crosses the Channel with a fortune of between three and four pounds in books, and in a suit of clothes that cost, at Strasburg, well on to eighteen shillings, and is received by Cranmer into Lambeth Palace. Then he becomes a Prebend of Canterbury, preacher to the Italians in London, and living on a salary of one hundred marks from the privy purse of Edward VI., performs large literary labours. The Tragedy, which work will now again be heard of, was written in our murky air, and was dedicated to our gentle young Tudor. Its author discussed predestination with the Princess Elizabeth. But soon Cardinal Pole, who in Italy at one time had fallen under suspicion of the same tendencies as Ochino, appears no longer as his friend but at the side of Queen Mary, and England is now no ground for a heretic general of a monkish order.

The six years passed by Ochino in England would seem to have been his happiest. His return to Germany, his brief blink of settled life at Augsburg, forthwith succeeded by the appearance of Charles V. before the walls, by the demand for the surrender of the heretic among the first articles of capitulation, and by his furtive parting from the city, appear to be the beginning of sorrows. His differences with the reformers of Zurich, and the doubts cast on his orthodoxy, deepen the shadows. As to those doubts Dr. Benrath gives us all the light he can procure, which, on the whole, is favourable to the supposition that Ochino had not fallen into the error of which he was accused, without being perfectly decisive. Banished from Zurich, next comes the old man’s wandering in Poland. In that distant realm the vengeful form of the Curia once more rises up in the path of the white-headed refugee. Banished again at seventy-seven, on his weary road the plague meets him and carries away from his side three of his children, leaving him with a single surviving child to struggle on in the depth of winter towards some goal to us unknown. We watch him, around whom Italian princes, bishops, and literati in the sunny fatherland had reverently thronged, and whom English magnates had honoured, tottering on with his lone child in friendless paths through snow. All at once, somewhere among the rolling hills of Moravia, ere we can see, the hunted hare falls, and the hounds are called off at last.

Some historical facts might be culled from the incidental marks attached to this book. The preface is dated in Rome. This is a token of a state of things unheard of in the “Ages of Faith.” A German Protestant writing the life of a revolted monk, within a few minutes’ walk of the churches which used to overflow whenever he was to preach, and employing materials gathered in the sacred city! This at least indicates to any critic, into whose hands this book may in after ages fall, that in 1875 Rome was not under her old regime. The Inquisition was not in force, the Papal power was not supreme, and what that power decks with the fair name of “Catholic Unity,” was no longer the law of Rome. Then the book is dedicated to Count Piero Guicciardini, and he is alluded to in the preface as having been a martyr to evangelical principles. This connects one of the historical families of Italy with a Protestant movement in the nineteenth century. “While the fact that the prison and the exile are of the past, and that now Count Guicciardini is enriching the great library of Florence with a collection of books on the movements of the Reformation in Italy, tells that there has been some great change in Tuscany, and that what was bound is bound no more, and what was banished finds itself at home, and what was compelled to hide in dens and dungeons can now lift its head in places of honour and of light.

I shall be disappointed if this book does not become a favourite with many in the United Kingdom; and also if the pen, to which we owe it, does not enrich our literature with other contributions, tending to feed the faith of men in the word of God, and to revive the Spirit which, in the ages that produced Frà Bernardino, reinstated in their due place the commandments of God, and made void the traditions of men whenever and in whatsoever they did violence to those commandments.

Wm. Arthur.

Clapham Common,

20th November 1876.


“If I were still young,” Giacomo Manzoni wrote to me a year ago, “I would trace the development of the general philosophical and theological ideas, which the reformatory movement caused in my country during the sixteenth century. I should try to write the history of the doctrine of divine grace, of free will, of justification, and other chief dogmas held during that period.” I am as fully convinced as the gifted editor of the “Lawsuit concerning Pietro Carnesecchi,” of the importance and scope of this idea. We can only understand a deeply-seated movement, when we consider its inmost impelling ideas, when we carefully trace its roots, growth, extent, and the peculiar conditions under which it has developed. That must be the final goal of all historical research, and consequently, also, of research in the domain of the History of the Reformation in Italy. But, as yet, on this domain, an essential condition is only in part fulfilled; we still want more exact knowledge concerning the life of some of the most distinguished representatives of that moment.

It is to supply this need that the present work was undertaken. It presents to the sympathy of the German public, and also to that of Italy — who saw the reform gaining shape in a succession of her worthiest sons, and yet continued to crush it by fire and sword — a faithful portrait of a man who, in his own country, was raised to the highest pinnacle of admiration, only to be dragged down into the dust by the hatred of his opponents, and to be overwhelmed by calumnies of every description. A curious circumstance attaches to the power of the Roman Inquisition; its sentence not only condemned the living, but, like the most terrible of all tribunals, it has also power to strike the dead. The Inquisition has branded the names of those men who unfurled the banner of the Reformation in Italy; she has effaced or calumniated their memory, and has endeavoured, but too successfully, to hinder the diffusion of their writings. The consequences of this are still felt by those who seek a closer acquaintance with the history of Italian reformers. Preparatory works by native scholars, such as we find in all other departments of history; and, though often composed with little critical power, yet furnishing valuable materials, are wholly wanting here. Only since the latest political changes in Italy has the name “heretic” begun to lose some of its terror in more liberal circles.

I have, therefore, been forced to collect the materials for this life of Ochino by independent research in Italian libraries and archives. Whoever knows the peculiar difficulty of such labour, on an uncultivated ground, will more readily excuse the inevitable gaps that remain. Among existing treatises, the oldest is that of Zaccaria Boverio, in the Chronicles of the Capuchin Order (published about 1630). Unhappily, its accuracy is in inverse proportion to its age. And yet this work has remained the chief Italian source for all futurity; and wherever we meet an occasional scant mention of Ochino in a later work, it is easy to trace it back to this troubled fountain. It is only lately that Cesare Cantù has treated the Italian portion of Ochino’s life in a book, whose title (Gli Eretici d’ Italia, 3 vols., Turin, 1805-67) sufficiently reveals the standpoint from which he writes. He treats his subject with aversion, but still with order and exact sifting of material. For obvious reasons, he does not occupy himself with the inner development of Ochino, nor with the solution of the psychological problem, and consideration of the motives that drove him to break with the Romish Church and fly from Italy. For the facts of his life, Cantù could make use of the short treatise which Bayle’s keen intellect has carefully sifted in the “Dictionnaire Historique et Critique” also the valuable collection which the excellent librarian of Memmingen, J. G. Schelhorn, has incorporated in the third volume of his “Ergötzlichkeiten”. The labours of Nicéron, in the “Mémoires pour servir à l’historie des hommes illustres”, those of Struve in the “Observationes Selectae”, the newer writings of M’Crie, in the history of the Italian Reformation; Jules Bonnet’s “Aonio Paleario“; Mrs. Young’s “Life and Times of Aonio Paleario“, offer very little that is new. For his last years which Ochino spent in Switzerland, and especially for the account of his expulsion from Zurich, we have an independent and trustworthy account in Ferdinand Meyer’s “Lokarnergermeinde“. For the final development of Ochino’s theological opinions, Trechsel’s “Lelio Sozini“, and Alexander Schweizer’s “Centraldogmen“, vol. i., may be compared.

A difficulty, encountered in all study of the Italian Reformation, is especially increased in our subject, the extreme rarity of contemporary writings relating to it. “We occasionally find in England, Switzerland, and Germany, a tolerably complete collection of Ochino’s own works, written at a later period of his life. One of the richest, of such collections, is that which, together with the Library of Celio Secondo Curione, has passed over to the ducal library at Wolfenbüttel. On the other hand, among all the great Italian libraries, which otherwise possess the advantage of containing all the literary apparatus for contemporary history, there is not one which can offer a collection of Ochino’s writings even approaching completeness. The richest collection is probably that of Count Piero Guicciardini at Florence, the same who has permitted me to place his name at the head of this book. A martyr to his evangelical opinions; driven from his country when last the re-action broke out in Tuscany, this worthy descendant of one of the noblest Florentine families, has employed the period of his exile in laying the foundation for a collection of books, which will, it is to be hoped, contribute to a renewed study of the Italian Reformation in the sixteenth century. With a splendid liberality he has now given this whole collection of several thousand volumes, chiefly treating of that movement, the fruit of twenty years’ labour, to the national library of his native city, for general use, and has thus at length formed a nucleus for a more exact study of that time. I have also to thank him for most useful literary assistance in this work. An awakening of interest in these studies, such as Guicciardini has paved the way for, must be of real practical importance in the present state of affairs in Italy. The longing of noble spirits of old has been fulfilled. Ochino’s heart-rending cry, “Italy, that the word of truth and of the gospel might be freely taught in thee,” has been most marvellously realised by the late changes of fortune in that country. After a dominion of centuries, the Inquisition has lost her power, she can no longer retard the religious development of Italy. But after the happily accomplished political changes in Italy, the need of a new religious revival is the more deeply felt. And therefore we should labour in the religious domain with the same earnestness that prevailed in that period, and marked the commencement of a new era in all regions of intellectual life, whose fundamental ideas and impulses still dominate our western culture, regarding not only art and science, but also the recognition and representation of the beautiful and the true. It is the mission of our special branch of historical research to prove, with the richer means now offered by the state archives, that in the sixteenth century Italy can show a religious movement which may be worthily ranked with the humanistic and artistic development of that time, both on account of the distinguished importance of its representatives, and on account of the originality and depth of the ideas involved. What has once been born from midst of a people’s own being, and taken shape among the best of the land, bears within itself an indestructible fructifying germ of life. Like to those grains of corn which have kept the power of growth for thousands of years, so may the seed of a religious revival in Italy, sown in blood and tears, shoot forth once more to a new life!

Karl Beneath.

Rome, June 1875.


Siena, its Situation — Historical Development — Internal Condition — Ochino’s Name and Ancestry — He enters a Monastery — He joins the Capuchins — State of the Order in 1534 — Relations to Vittoria Colonna — Preachings in Venice — Impression made by these — Ochino’s Appearance and Mode of Life — Bembo’s Judgment— Aretino’s Praise — Ochino’s Relations to the Inhabitants — The Election of 1533 — His Work as Vicar- General of the Order — Increasing Success of his Preaching — Naples, Modena, Lucca, Perugia, Siena — Correspondence with the Council of Siena — Ochino elected Vicar-General a second Time.

The wanderer who treads the ancient highroad that leads from Florence to Rome, traversing the Tuscan hills, soon descries from afar a city with its walls, churches, and campaniles overtopped by a slender aspiring watch-tower, that seems to soar into the clouds. The surrounding country is undulating, the hills are of varied forms; the nearer he approaches the more fruitful becomes the soil, the more diversified the foliage. Lovely valleys spread their fragrant beauty at the feet of the proud city, enthroned queen-like on the crest of hills. This is Siena, the old and mighty republic, the fairest among Tuscan towns, richly endowed by nature and situation, more richly still by the memories of its changeful past, where splendour and misery, civic patriotism and selfish ambition blend in a wondrous tissue. It is not the only Italian city that turns the thoughtful beholder’s mind back upon the story of bygone days. Venice, with her palaces, transports him, as by magic, amidst the pomp and power of yore, when such wonders of art arose in such abundance from the refractory soil. But this pomp can only fill the heart with sorrow when the eye simultaneously realizes the pitiable decay that has befallen the city under the careless hands of a degenerate posterity. Not such is the impression made by Siena. The traveller enters by the Porta Camollia.

“Cor magis tibi Sena pandit,”

is the friendly welcome inscribed over the gate of the hospitable city. Pursuing the long winding street he reaches the heart of Siena, the ancient “Campo,” spoken of by Dante, whence radiate the quarters of the city overspreading the bordering hills. To his right and left stand the palaces of the nobles, attesting the solid and refined taste of the Sienese patricians of old. On the shell-shaped Campo the proud and handsome Townhall rears its Gothic front, while higher yet aspires the Watch-tower beheld from afar by the wanderer. It soars eagle-like high above the city for which it has watched so often in troublous times. It commands a wide prospect over a fruitful cultivated country; at its foot nestles the cupola of the marble Duomo, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic, and, as a treasury of painting, the most enduring monument to Sienese genius for art. The cathedral is the glory of the city. But it is also a speaking witness against the townspeople: justly accused by Italy’s greatest poet of vanity and arrogance.[2]

For, according to the plan subsequently abandoned, this spacious building was destined to be merely the transept of a gigantic cathedral; to this day there remains an incomplete aisle, a splendid disconnected fragment, testifying to the lofty spirit of the burghers, to which only the impossible could set bounds.

At the time of Dante Siena had attained the height of her power. She was acknowledged an independent republic in 1186. Henry VI. had accorded her the right of coinage, and the free choice of her consuls and Podestà, as well as the right of jurisdiction over the whole district. The nobles ruled during the first decades subsequent to this emancipation. Divided into Guelphs and Ghibellines, each faction strove to attach the people to itself. Soon, however, as the “popolari” gained strength the continued discord of the nobles awoke in them the desire, and afforded the opportunity, of acquiring influence in the government. In 1277 they attained their end, the magistracy of the Nine was introduced, a species of popular tribunate, admission into whose body was refused to all members of aristocratic families, doctors and notaries, by a fundamental law. At that time the Ghibelline element predominated. In the year 1260 the Sienese, in concert with the Ghibelline fugitives from Florence, had totally defeated the Florentine Guelphs at Montaperto. Nine hundred German Landsknechte, auxiliaries sent from Naples by King Manfred, had contributed to this victory. After the Ghibelline party was thus re-installed in Florence, the two cities formed an alliance. From this time, favoured by circumstances, the prosperity of Florence continued to increase, but while she was rising, her neighbour Siena declined. In the fourteenth century the latter’s annals tell of distress and disturbance; the terrible famine of 1329, the ravages of the “Black Death,” which in 1348 swept away nearly 70,000 victims in the Sienese territory, arrested the prosecution of public buildings such as the Duomo, but not the strife of parties for the supremacy and constitution of the city. In 1355 the Council of Nine was overthrown, its members were banished, and an aristocratically constituted council of fifteen (Gentiluomini) substituted. Still Siena was able, sword in hand, to extort new rights and privileges from the German Emperor, Charles IV. (1368). Freedom was certainly understood in a peculiar sense in those days, for we read that after this victory Siena still acknowledged the Emperor as her “Lord.” In common with most other Italian republics, she was disturbed during the latter portion of the Middle Ages by an incessant succession of internal strife, only suspended by occasional wars with her neighbours. But here as elsewhere experience proved that a stringent rule, even the tyranny of an individual, was more favourable to the development of general prosperity, and thus, when the supremacy was usurped by Pandolfo Petrucci he met with no resistance. This happened at the same time when the Medici had come to power in Florence, and were already casting envious eyes on the territory of the neighbouring republic. Siena was no longer a match for Medicean Florence. After three centuries Cosimo de’ Medici avenged the defeat at Montaperto, when he induced Philip of Spain, under whose protection the enervated Sienese had taken refuge, to cede the town, and in 1555 after a desperate resistance, heroically shared by the women, finally united it to his own dominions. This year closes the history of Siena. Her gifted sons have descended from the state of rulers to that of private citizens, but they have faithfully preserved the character of their city, stamped upon her by past centuries of glory.

In 1530 when Aonio Paleario paid his first visit to Siena, where he was destined later to labour long and successfully, he wrote to his friends at home in terms of ecstasy and yet of depression: “Siena is situated on charming hills, the surrounding country is fruitful and produces all things in plenty. But discord arrays its burghers in arms against each other, and all their strength is exhausted in party strife. The nobility, elsewhere the patrons of learning, here live dispersed over the country in their manors and citadels. You need not wonder, therefore, that the muses have fled this town, and that neither poets, philosophers, nor orators are to be found. Yet the intellect of the Sienese is as keen and active as that of the Tuscans generally. The women are of extraordinary beauty. The numerous academies are the cause of the special attention bestowed on the cultivation of their mother tongue from their youth up. But there is a disadvantage in this, connected with the singular flexibility of the Tuscan; it draws away their minds from the study of ancient languages which require greater labour. For this reason but few people here are thoroughly conversant with ancient literature.”[3]

Thus the excellent Humanist regarding the Siena of his day. His description is still applicable, only that the political dissensions have lost their purpose. The people are vivacious and active, polite and friendly even down to the lowest grades, though not without self-consciousness. They proudly recall a list of famous names that have issued from Siena and her neighbourhood, in the course of centuries, six popes, fifty cardinals, a goodly number of saints and beatified personages, then men who have made an honoured mark in their country’s literature, artists who may vie for richness of thought and delicacy of execution with the masters of any school. Industry and commerce also flourished during the independence of the city, and to this day their vestiges may be discerned in its numerous cloth and silk factories, tanneries, dyeworks, wood carvings, which still enjoy a fair reputation. But formerly Siena’s manufactures and the varied products of her art industry, influenced the European markets; they were despatched by the highways leading north and south, and even were exported from the harbours of the Maremma. Yet no other town in Italy evinced such universal literary interest as Siena. The first traces of the academies mentioned by Paleario may, it is asserted, be found in the first half of the fourteenth century. In 1502, a certain Claudio Tolomei founded the “Great Academy,” and the name of his family has remained attached to the educational establishment that was united to the foundation in the seventeenth century. Twenty-seven other academies were gradually founded in Siena, and have mostly disappeared, though some few have survived. The University dates from the thirteenth century. Even at the end of the sixteenth century, German students frequented Siena, as proved by tombstones in various churches. Together with this literary activity was developed a popular life of a most varied character. Countless holidays and feast-days in honour of the saints and the Virgin, always held protectress of the city,[4] offered welcome opportunities for all manner of public recreations. The “Rozzi,” a permanent carnival society, instituted 1531, enacted comedies, wrote and published lyric and satiric poems in the people’s dialect. They had their touching customs too. On St. Joseph’s day it was customary for the wealthy to invite “a holy family” to dinner, — some poor old man, a woman and a child, who were entertained as honoured guests. But the popular life of Siena attained then, as now, its climax in the horse races, held twice a year in the “Campo.” These races originated in the middle ages, the costumes still employed point to the fifteenth century, as also the division of the city into seventeen “contrade,”represented in the procession by their banners and escutcheons.

On such days the extensive “Campo” is beautifully decorated, and filled by thousands who have flocked thither from far and near. No window in the neighbouring palaces is unoccupied; there is not a vacant place on the Tribunes. Siena’s lovely daughters, with their delicately cut features already painted by Duccio, their almost northern fair complexion, and intelligent vivacious eyes, watch the gay-coloured spectacle with intense interest, encouraging by their cheers the able rider who helps his “Contrada” to victory.

When Paleario wrote his description of Siena’s land and people, the independence of the city was rapidly nearing its close, amid the general disturbances that agitated all Italy. But “Siena still believed in her freedom, because she was in the midst of excitement.” The government was in the hands of the great council. The “Contrade” were represented by their “Capitani.” Executive power rested with a committee of three Priors, whom the council elected out of their number.

Such was the state of affairs in which Bernardino Ochino, one of the most gifted sons of the Republic, grew up. When Paleario first came to Siena, Ochino had already reached the years of manhood, but he was unknown. It is vain to search for his name among the rich correspondence of the first three decades of that century. Soon, however, his talents and his personality were to throw the whole of Italy into a ferment of admiration.

At the threshold of his career, an old controversy encounters his name. It has been proved that his father’s name was Domenico Tommasini;[5] but, according to the custom of the time, neither he nor his son were thus known. The nickname Ochino took its place. The question, whence this nickname? is of interest. At first sight it might pass as a diminutive of occhio (eye), and the circumstance that we sometimes meet with Occhino, as well as the Latin form Ocellus,[6] lend colour to this hypothesis. It has been assumed[7] from this that Ochino had unusually small eyes, but this was not the case. On the other hand, Fontanini, in his Biblioteca dell’ Eloquenza Italiana (ii., p. 445), had already pointed out that the name Ochino probably originated from the designation of that “Contrada” inhabited by the family, known as the quarter of the geese (Oca😉 and in fact this name still distinguishes the inhabitants of that “Contrada.” The question cannot be definitely decided. Be this as it may, the more usual spelling of Ochino agrees with this derivation, and is also found on those of his writings published under his own supervision. The district of the “Oca” extended on one side to the threshold of the deserted church of St. Domenico, which looks down sombre and silent into the valley beneath, while, on the other side, it dipped down to the copious Fonte Branda of Dante. From the same quarter sprang one of the most remarkable personages of any age, Catherine, the daughter of the fuller Benincasa, exalted by grateful popes to a place among the saints of heaven, in return for her career of sanctity and self-denial upon earth. The boy grew up within sight of the little house and church that bears her name, and under the influence of the many traditions concerning St. Catherine, that have been specially cherished in the parish, where, to this day, the mother commends her child, and the girl her lover, to the protection of their local saint. It is not known whether Ochino’s relations belonged to the more considerable higher families. In the chronicles of Siena, Tommaso Tommasini is mentioned, who, in 1413, went as ambassador to the Emperor Sigismund. According to an insufficiently authenticated notice in Mancini’s History of Siena,[8] Bernardino is said to have been the son of a barber, and page to Pandolfo Petrucci. Another rumour that he was illegitimate is doubted by Mancini on chronological grounds, although he is by no means favourable to Ochino. The annalist of the Capuchins suggests a different conclusion regarding the civic position of Ochino’s family, when he exclaims, indignantly, “He has proved himself unworthy his name.”[9] He may have been thinking not of Ochino’s family, but of his namesake, San Bernardino, who also sprung from Siena, and ever proved himself ready, not only to surrender his own wishes in the service of his neighbour, but even to renounce his own will and better conviction for the purposes of the Roman hierarchy.

We possess no other particulars of Ochino’s youth. Even the archives of the Sienese library contain nothing beyond the above isolated references. The year of his birth is only ascertainable by a casual remark.[10] It was in the year 1487.

In what measure the affairs of the time, whose revolutions more nearly affect the citizen of a small state, influenced the paternal home and himself, the nature of his education, the effect of surrounding circumstances upon him, all this we can only infer by conjectural deductions from his subsequent career. We first encounter him as an individual when the boy has merged into the youth, when the grave question already agitates him, “What must I do to be saved?”

Savonarola’s discourses in Florence fell in with the time of his early youth. The preacher’s thundering words re-echoed through the whole land, until the state silenced them. They had inflamed thoughtful minds the more, because they expressed the universal despondency induced by the disorganisation of public affairs. Such times are favourable to individual introspection, as well as to the development of monastic life, the form in which Catholicism essays to satisfy this tendency. The disorder of Italian politics grew worse as the sixteenth century advanced; it is consequently not accidental that this period, marked on the one hand by such a mundane colouring, should show on the other a new and unexpected revival of monasticism. By a self-seeking distortion of the scriptural sentence that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the children, many were sent to monasteries in tender youth.

More serious natures entered the cloister of their own accord. The young Ochino was of their number; he joined the Osservanza, two miles outside the gates, — a convent especially favoured and richly endowed by Pandolfo Petrucci. He took this step with the acknowledged intention of gaining heaven by austerity and self-denial. “When I was a young man,” he said in later life, “I was under the delusion, which still prevails among those who are under the impious sway of Antichrist, that we could earn our salvation by our own works. I thought that it was our duty, and within our power, to expiate our sins by fasting, prayer, continence, vigils, and such-like, and thus gain Paradise for ourselves, though not without the assistance of God’s grace. Impelled by the desire to save my soul, I went about pondering what path I should choose. The religious orders appeared holy to me, for were they not sanctioned by the Romish Church, which I deemed infallible? But among them all, the rule of the friars of St. Francis, named the Observants, seemed to me the strictest, severest, and most harsh. Hence I concluded that it must best represent the teachings of Christ, and I entered this order. But I did not find what I had expected. Still, as no better way offered itself to my blinded understanding, I remained in the order until the Capuchins arose. When I beheld the severity of their life, I put on their garb, yet not without a severe struggle with my carnal wisdom and my sensuousness. I now deemed to have found what I sought; and I well remember that I turned to Christ with ‘Lord, if I do not now save my soul, I know not what more I can do.’ Was I not a very Pharisee? I may say with St, Paul,[11] ‘I profited in the Jew’s religion above many mine equals in mine own nation.’”

His residence within the convent-walls thus prepared Ochino for his later religious development, and for this and other reasons he never deemed it pernicious. His retired life preserved him from many temptations. At seventy years of age he could say: “To this day I do not regret having spent a part of my life in a monastery, for there I was preserved from sins into which I should probably have fallen as a layman. Besides, granted that errors are prevalent in the scholastic teaching, and that the pupils waste much time in things that do not lead to salvation, yet many seeds of truth are planted, which may serve to open their minds to a right understanding of the Holy Scriptures.” He adds: “I should scarcely have been initiated into contemplative theology, had I not in the convent been forced to occupy myself seriously with this study.”[12]

The chronicler of the Capuchin order[13] relates that Ochino quitted the Observants at times “for several years,” before his final departure from that order. He went to Perugia, to study medicine, and there he became intimately connected with Giulio de’ Medici, afterwards Pope Clement VII. After some years he returned to his order. On both occasions we are left in the dark as to his motives for these proceedings.

This is the only record which Boverio gives regarding Ochino’s youth; and he clearly gives it with the intention of representing him as an unstable and vacillating character. Such a temporary exit from the cloister was an habitual abuse in those days — bitterly deplored by zealous friends of the Church, and not abolished until the latter half of the century. Ochino’s contemporary and avowed enemy, Girolamo Muzio,[14] however, nowhere mentions this circumstance, and Ochino’s own words do not confirm the statement. There is nothing to prove that he ever pursued medical studies, or was on terms of friendship with Clement VII. Giulio de’ Medici was born in 1478 — nine years before Ochino thus they could hardly have met as students in Perugia. In 1510, Giulio was nominated Bishop of Embrun, where he did not reside; in 1513, he was made Archbishop of Florence. As Boverio fixes the time of his relations with Ochino before Giulio had attained ecclesiastical preferment, this meeting — if Boverio’s account is at all trustworthy — must have taken place before 1510. Neither can Ochino’s name be found in the matriculation list of the University of Perugia.

Ochino had already attained the dignity of general among the Observants, after he had, in 1524, filled the post of provincial in the Sienese convent. But, in spite of his conscientious observance of all rules, he had not found the peace and assurance of salvation, sought with such anxiety. This led him to resign his office. He ascribed this step to the relaxed discipline of the order, and desired to pass into the Capuchin order — the most austere of all religious bodies — as a simple friar. The Pope gave a hesitating consent, while the Capuchins welcomed the eminent recruit with open arms. This was in 1534,[15] six years after the new order had been recognised by the Pope, which proves that the current opinion that Ochino founded the Capuchin order is incorrect. This distinction rather belongs to Fra Matteo Bassi.

Here the chronicler reappears with a significant remark. Before, he desired to prove Ochino unstable and vacillating; here he accuses him of having left the Observants from excessive ambition. “When the general of the Observants died, Ochino could in no wise compass the honour of his post,” writes Boverio. “He hastened to the Pope, with whom he was on good terms, revealed his great desire, and implored his assistance. The Pope was angered, sent him away, and forbade the electors of the order to name him general. When Bernardino saw that all was lost — the prospect of increased dignity and the favour of the Pope, — he resolved, as a means of regaining both, to enter the Capuchin order.” Ochino’s life and character themselves supply the refutation of this web of accusations and improbabilities. We may expect still worse things from a partisan, who, like Boverio, saw in Ochino “a new Satan and son of darkness,” whom God, as a chastisement, had permitted to enter the order for a season.

At the time of Ochino’s entrance into the new order, it was undergoing a dangerous crisis. It endeavoured to revive the soul of St. Francis; and it had aroused a dispute with the more indolent body, especially the Conventuals and Observants. Neither did the hierarchy regard the new order with favour, dreading the revival in it of the fanatic tendencies of certain branches of the large Franciscan family, which, in the preceding century, had led to evident heresy among the Fraticelli. The Capuchins ventured on a master stroke. During the Lent of 1534, Ochino had preached in San Lorenzo in Damaso, attracting general attention to himself and his order. In the same year all its members were summoned to Rome. They only numbered 150. At daybreak, barefooted, they all visited the seven churches sacred to pilgrims, but this demonstration had no effect upon their superiors. The general of the Observants had gained the interest of a large number of cardinals, and had caused letters to be written from a distance in which complaints were made against the Capuchins. Be contrived that all these should reach the Pope on the same day. He ended his own letter with the words: “Rather dissolve the little order, than permit it to undermine the great one.” The enmity of the Observants against the Capuchins had lately been increased by numerous secessions, such as Ochino’s.

Clement VII., nevertheless, was reluctant to hastily dissolve the order he had himself confirmed. He hesitated a long time; at length he resolved to expel it from Rome. On 25th April, St. Mark’s Day, he commanded “that the Capuchins, one and all, shall leave the city this day before the taper that we now kindle shall have burnt down.” This unexpected message found the monks assembled at a frugal meal in the Convent of St. Euphemia. They instantly rose, taking nothing with them but their breviaries. Two by two they walked in long procession, preceded by their large wooden cross. They wound their way through the Porta San Lorenzo to the neighbouring church, near to the present cemetery, then owned by the Chapter of the Lateran. Here they were harboured for a time. This step excited astonishment and disapprobation in the city. The empty convent had been searched, and nothing had been found save the scanty fare in the dishes, and hard pallets and scourges in the cells. The cellars were guiltless of wine. This clearly proved the calumny of their opponents, and all the common people sided with the Capuchins. They formed processions, and paraded the streets for three days; at their head walked a hermit with a long white beard. “Woe for thee,” he cried, vehemently, “woe unto thee, O Rome! Thou lovest to harbour harlots and drunkards, thou nourishest dogs — and thou wouldest banish the Capuchins.” The order also found influential advocacy. Vittoria Colonna hastened to Rome from Marino, her birthplace, among the Alban hills; here she resided alternately with Rome and Ischia. Catherine Cibo, Duchess of Camerino, also sped to Rome. Both had been favourable to the order since its foundation. They saw in it a healthful reaction from the worldliness of the other religious bodies. Zeal in the cause of the Capuchins extinguished hereditary family feuds; an Orsini was seen to unite himself with a Colonna. The Pope relented, asserting besides he had only designed to banish the order from Rome for a time. But the Capuchins were not permitted to return in procession, only singly and gradually. This was one of the last acts of Clement VII.; he died on September 26th of the same year.

Meanwhile dissensions had arisen within the order. Fra Lodovico of Fossombrone had governed it since 1529, after he had obtained the bull of concession. He was not without merit, and maintained an iron discipline, but he was an obstinate and imperious man. He did not convene the prescribed chapter meetings of the brethren, and he would not consent to hold the general chapter due for several years. On this occasion Vittoria Colonna again interfered; it is here, for the first time, we see her in personal relation with Ochino. Perhaps the circle of friends already existed, which held its meetings in S. Silvestro on the Quirinal in 1538 under her patronage, as related by Francesco d’ Ollanda.[16] Ochino applied to her in the name of all the brothers, with a petition that she would urge Frà Lodovico to hold this general chapter. Vittoria consented, but Frà Lodovico evaded her, though she repeatedly invited him to Marino on this account. At length she obtained a direct command from the Pope, and the general chapter was convened in November 1535. “What Lodovico had dreaded, came to pass. The brothers elected not himself, but Bernard of Asti, as Vicar-General. They did not even give him the post of General. Among the four Generals was Bernardino Ochino. Though he had only joined since a year, he surpassed[17] all the others in education and theological erudition. We have the testimony of an opponent that his preaching enjoyed the highest approbation, even in the Holy College.[18]

Early in 1538, Ochino visited Venice for the first time to preach there during Lent. At that time his order had no establishment in that city. A former Minorite, Fra Bonaventura, offered to present the Capuchins with a church and dwelling-house, fitted for a convent. As the Vicar-General consented, and the Senate of the Republic accorded the permission, which they had reserved the right to withhold in the case of new establishments of monastic orders, Ochino founded the first Capuchin convent in Venice. S. Maria degli Angeli was the fifth in order of time in the Venetian province; the others were in Verona, Padua, Mantua and Schio.

It was important for the young order thus to gain a footing in the mighty Republic, and its chronicler lauds the “splendid city, the spectacle of the world, the mart of the whole earth, the Queen of the Adriatic.” Neither had the city cause to repent; in the course of the same year the Capuchins rendered excellent service during a pestilential epidemic.

It was through Bembo’s mediation that Ochino visited Venice in the following year. He had already written to Vittoria Colonna in April 1538. It was necessary to apply early, so that other cities might not be beforehand, since Ochino was in universal request for Lenten preaching. Bembo writes, “At the wish of several citizens of this city, I appeal to your kindness to induce our worthy Frà Bernardino Ochino of Siena to come here in the Lent of next year to preach at the Apostles’ Church. All the citizens desire to hear him. I myself should count it as great happiness to listen to that man and make his acquaintance.”[19] Bembo’s anticipations were not disappointed. This is evident from his letter to Vittoria Colonna of March 15th, 1539: “I am not speaking as candidly to you as I did to the venerable Pater, Frà Bernardino, this morning. I opened my heart and mind to him, just as I should have done in the presence of Jesus Christ, to whom also, as I think, that worthy man must needs be dear. It seemed to me I had never discoursed with a person of greater sanctity. I shall not miss a single one of his beautiful, solemn, and edifying discourses, and although my presence is now required in Padua, I have yet resolved to remain here as long as he does.”

Equally profound was the impression made by Ochino’s preaching upon the multitude. A letter of Bembo’s, written from Venice to Vittoria Colonna on the 4th April 1539, testifies to this: “Our Frà Bernardino — from this time I shall call him my own in conversation with you — is literally adored here. There is no one who does not praise him to the skies. How deeply his words penetrate, how elevating and comfortable his discourses! I will pray to God to order his life in such manner, that it may endure longer for the edification of his fellowmen. For the manner in which he lives will prevent it lasting much longer.” A short time previously Bembo had expressed the same fear to the rector of the S. S. Apostoli in Rome: “I beg you to persuade the venerable Frà Bernardino to eat meat, not for the gratification of the carnal appetite, but rather for our comfort, in order that he may remain able to preach the gospel to the glory of the Saviour. He cannot otherwise sustain his labours, not even during Lent, if he does not relax the severe abstinence which, as experience has shown, always causes him disorder of the stomach.” Throughout his life Ochino suffered from this infirmity. At this time he was 51 years old, and nevertheless he lived another twenty five years.

A powerful and characteristic portrait of the celebrated Capuchin at this period, prefixed to his “Nine Sermons,”[20] has been preserved to us. The head is bent, the gaze upturned. The hair is shaved, according to the rules of his order, and only a fringe remains. The eye is sunk deep under the brow, the nose is aquiline, the mouth half-open, with an almost painful expression. His beard hangs from the furrowed cheek down to his breast.

We possess another description of him at the same period of his life, from the pen of Antonio Maria Graziani, secretary to Cardinal Commendone, and afterwards Bishop of Amelia.[21] “Everything about Ochino contributed to make the admiration of the multitude overstep all human bounds, — the fame of his eloquence; his prepossessing, ingratiating manner; his advancing years; his mode of life; the rough Capuchin garb; the long beard reaching to his breast; the grey hair; the pale, thin face; the artificially induced (?) aspect of bodily weakness; finally, the reputation of a holy life. Wherever he was to speak the citizens might be seen in crowds; no church was large enough to contain the multitude of listeners. Men flocked as numerously as women. When he went elsewhere, the crowd followed after to hear him. Ochino was honoured not only by the common people, but by princes and kings. Wherever he came, he was offered hospitality; he was met at his arrival, and escorted at his departure, by the dignitaries of the place. He himself knew how to increase the desire to hear him and the reverence shown him. Obedient to the rule of his order, he only travelled on foot — he was never seen to ride, although his health was delicate and his age advanced. Even when Ochino was the guest of nobles — an honour he could not always refuse, — he could never be induced, by the splendour of palaces, dress, and ornament, to forsake his mode of life. When invited to table, he eat of only one very simple dish, and he drank little wine; if a soft bed had been prepared for him, he begged permission to rest on a more comfortable pallet, spread his cloak on the ground, and laid down to rest. These practices gain him incredible honour throughout all Italy.” And this description does not proceed from a friend of Ochino’s, but rather from a decided opponent.

Before Ochino had ended his Lenten preaching in Venice, Bembo had expressed his own opinion, and that of all, in a letter to Vittoria Colonna. On the 23d February 1539, he wrote: “I send you an enclosure from our worthy Frà Bernardino, whom I have heard all through Lent with such pleasure that I cannot praise him enough. I must confess I have never heard more useful and edifying sermons than his; and I no longer wonder that you esteem him so much. He expresses himself quite differently, and in a far more Christian manner, than any others who nowadays occupy the pulpit; he speaks with much more real sympathy and love, and utters far more soothing and elevating things. Every one is delighted with him. I think that when he leaves us he will carry all hearts with him. For all this we have to thank you, for it is you who have caused him to come here; as for me, I shall ever be grateful to you.”

Ochino’s words were not without effect on persons of a very different mode of thinking. Even Pietro Aretino, from whose mouth praise has usually a doubtful meaning, joins in the universal enthusiasm, and poses himself as converted by Ochino’s preaching. He writes from Venice, April 21, 1539, to Paul III.: “Bembo has won a thousand souls for Paradise by bringing to this goodly ecclesiastical town Frà Bernardino, whose modesty is equal to his virtue.” He adds: “I have myself begun to believe in the exhortations trumpeted forth from the mouth of this apostolic monk; and they are the cause that I send this letter, instead of throwing myself in person at the feet of your Holiness, to beg forgiveness for the unwarranted attacks against the Court of Rome contained in my foolish writings, although everything that I said, by word or writing, was ordained by Heaven itself, that your Holiness might boast of the conversion of an Aretino.” This conversion did not last long.[22]

Ever since Ochino delivered his first course of sermons in Venice, he felt a preference for this city, and he soon entered into intimacy with its inhabitants. In his first Lenten sermon, in the year 1539, lie addresses it: “Thou, my city, alas! thou remainest ever as thou wast; and yet I will say this for myself — who have exhorted thee to salvation with such ardour and love, with so much devotion, so many vigils, and all, perhaps, without the smallest result — I am persuaded that, had I spoken so much in Germany or in England, or even among Turks and heathens, I should have found more fruit than here, as may plainly be seen; and yet I do not renounce the hope of some day seeing good and sincere Christians among ye.” Two days later, he says, in his second sermon: “I am grieved, my city, because thou wilt not depart from thy wicked ways. Weeping I implore Christ for your sake, because I love you with my whole heart.” When Ochino set up Germany and England as examples to his hearers, the thought was very far from him that in a few years he would be compelled, as a homeless fugitive, to seek shelter and protection in those very countries.

At that time, Ochino was still at the height of his activity in his own land. He had been appointed apostolic missionary by the Pope — an office filled contemporaneously by the gifted Varaglia, who was burned twenty years later at Turin for his belief. He wandered as a preacher from place to place; while his order increased with marvellous rapidity — a fact largely due to the fame of the great orator. The Vicar-General Bernard of Asti, whom the General Chapter of 1536 had re-elected, also laboured indefatigably. He was conscientious and zealous, yet, in contrast to his predecessor, Frà Lodovico, he evinced great mildness. He said: “If, at the last judgment, God should accuse me of being too stern and pitiless, I should have nothing to answer Him; but if he should charge me with too great leniency and pity, I can always say, ‘I have learnt mercy from Him whose mercies are infinite.’” Bernard of Asti visited all the convents, staff in hand. In the middle of the year 1538, when he was visiting the Convent of Elijah at Fano, he was seized with serious illness, and thought himself dying. Although his three years of office were unexpired, he convened the General Chapter at Florence in September—”so as not to leave the little ship, threatened by storms, without a helmsman.” Ochino had then been four years in the order, during which time he had so distinguished himself on all sides, that his election seemed a matter of course. “Bernardino,” writes the chronicler of the order, “was a wise, prudent, and experienced man. Gifted and magnanimous, he was undeterred by the most difficult undertakings. His appearance and his pure life lent credence to his saintly reputation. As he was also an eloquent and impressive orator, no wonder that, at the election, nearly all votes were for him.” Ochino was thus placed for three years at the head of his order. His manner of life, and the way in which he filled his office, augmented the admiration entertained for him by the brethren — he governed the order with such discrimination and wisdom, and zeal for the rules; in all matters he himself set so good an example, “that it seemed as if nothing were wanting to make him a perfect General.” The Capuchins congratulated themselves on this election. Ochino visited the convents zealously, settling all disputes in an amicable manner. He says in his Dialogues: “Strive to enlighten thy own people, to lead them to Christ; aid them; censure and amend them, if they are wanting. Try to influence them by word and example, by thy life and thy prayers.”[23]

For the conscientious observance of rules, he strove especially to maintain the injunction of poverty. “Walk in the footprints of the saints, and strive to imitate them.” His words impressed in the chapter-house as in the church, for his personality and his example gave them an irresistible weight. Under his conduct the order reached unprecedented eminence, and was extending beyond the boundary of Italy. It was probably owing to this, that Ochino, as he mentions in one of his sermons in the year 1539,[24] crossed the frontier and visited the shrine of Baume, near Marseilles. He sent Frà Mariano to Corsica, and others to Piedmont, to found new settlements, and in his own province, near Siena, in Foligno, and other towns, he caused new Capuchin convents to be fitted up or built.

Besides all this, Ochino devoted himself untiringly, and with ever-increasing success, to preaching, the principal duty of his order. During Lent, he not unfrequently preached daily. The desire of the Italian cities to gain him as preacher for this season was so great, that at length, to prevent disputes, the Pope reserved to himself the right of decision. The chronicler of the order states that no church was large enough to contain the number of his listeners. Scaffoldings were erected in the churches, it even came to pass that the tiles were lifted from the roof of the neighbouring houses, that his words might gain access. At Naples, when appealing, as was customary, for a benevolent purpose, five thousand zecchins were collected at the door, an incredibly large sum. The Emperor, Charles V., was at that time in Naples; in later years he remembered the Capuchin. An eye-witness exclaims, with emotion, “Ochino preaches with great power, he can move stones to tears.”[25] Since Savonarola, Italy had had no preacher to equal him.

In 1536, Ochino preached for the first time at Naples, in S. Giovanni Maggiore; a second time in 1539,[26] then again in 1540. Providence there brought him into contact with the man whose society was destined to be of momentous importance to his whole later development, namely, Juan Valdez. At Naples, Ochino came forward so successfully, that even an ardent opponent like Tommaso Costo[27] is forced to praise the warmth and spirit of his preaching, from which wordy scholastic disputes, which others bring into the pulpit, were entirely absent.

At Modena and Lucca he was also active; he preached in the Duomo of Modena on the 28th February 1541. The invitation from the Academy to remain during the whole of Lent, he was forced to refuse. Giovanni Guidiccione, the elegant writer and Bishop of Fossombrone, says, in a letter to Annibale Caro, dated 1538: “A few days ago I heard Frà Bernardino of Siena, truly a man of the rarest gifts. He pleased me so much, that I have addressed two sonnets to him, one of which I enclose, the other I will send in my next.”[28]

Ochino preached in Perugia during Advent 1539, as Giustiniano Nelli, at that time provisional Professor of Medicine at that University, writes to Aretino. “Last Advent we had our Frà Bernardino here; we often met and spoke of you. He is now preaching at Naples, and I do not yet know whether we shall succeed in persuading him to visit Siena in the course of the year.”[29] In 1540, Ochino again preached at Perugia. He succeeded, by the power of his eloquence, in appeasing the old disputes between the inhabitants, though only, it must be added, for a short time. They soon broke out again, till the heavy hand of Pope Paul III. put a stop to them and to the freedom of the city for ever.

This letter of Giustiniano Nelli, who, having been born in Siena, proudly names the celebrated Capuchin “ours,” dates from 28th February 1540,[30] and in fact the Council of Siena had endeavoured in the previous year, when Ochino stopped at his native city en route for Rome, to persuade him to remain longer and preach again. “The whole city beheld him with admiration and pride, not only because he was a Sienese, but also because he was a man of such exalted learning and culture.”[31] The council sent four of the most distinguished citizens as deputies, to beg him to defer his departure. In that case they would themselves write his excuses to the Pope. Ochino would seem, therefore, to have been on his way to Rome from Venice, where he had preached on St. Mary Magdalene’s Day, April 8th. The resolution of the council, dated June 21st, states that “it would be well and profitable for the salvation of souls, if the aforesaid Frà Bernardino, who this morning preached a salutary discourse in the large council chamber before all the people, might remain a few days and preach in the Duomo or in the Town Hall.” Ochino did indeed preach several times in the Duomo. In the following year, they again tried to win him for the Lenten sermons, but he was obliged to tell them that the Pope had reserved to himself the right of decision in this matter. He nevertheless acceded to their wishes in the Advent of 1540. Two letters concerning this matter, addressed by Ochino to the council of his native city, are still preserved in the original, in the rich archives of Siena. The first is dated Rome, 5th September 1540, and reads: “I am sure you will readily believe that I would gladly preach in my own Siena during the coming Lent, which I see from your letter to be your own desire. There is only one hindrance in the way, namely, that he who disposes of me must agree to it. You can refer to me, and say that I should very gladly come to Siena, should His Holiness have no objection. I have told the very Reverend Monsignor Ghinucci the same thing, and as His Holiness leaves me free to act for every other season, your Eminences may name the time in case you should wish me to come before Lent. In this case I may accept for certain, but I will not desist from making the attempt for Lent, perhaps I may succeed, as I happen to be here. If I can help you in any other way, pray dispose of me. In consideration of the especial affection I feel for you, everything will be easy to me in Christ, for whom I live and hope to die. May He in His grace increase all good things to you. Frater Bernardinus Senensis.”[32]

The second letter was also from Rome, 27th September, accepting for Advent 1540, “I was not able to answer sooner, because the decision of His Holiness had not yet reached me. To-day he has declared himself willing that I should come for Advent, and so I shall try to reach Siena about All Saints’ Day. Let us pray to the Lord that my coming may not be in vain. In all else your Eminences may dispose of me, as far as is within my power; nothing will be so difficult that affection could not make it easy. May the Lord protect you, and increase you in His grace.”[33]

Before his arrival in Siena, Ochino had written to the Dominican brotherhood, counselling the forty hours’ prayer, and urging them to send some of their number, alternately, to tend the sick in the City Hospital.

“For these sick men are only waited on by hirelings, without self-denying love, and without admonition, that their soul is often more sick than their bodies.” The letters which Ochino wrote to Siena, in this matter, are preserved among the archives of the confraternity.[34]

Ochino writes in September 1540, to the confraternity, “By your Christian brotherly love, I beseech you to show yourselves willing to perform two works of piety and sanctity, the one is, that ye should encourage one another to sincere penitence, to true confession, to complete satisfaction, with spiritual and bodily almsgiving, to real fasting and ardent prayer. Let each of you consider those things that qualify our souls for the well beloved Christ, throw yourselves humbly at His feet, help your souls to put on the holy virtues of Faith, Charity, and Hope. You may then be sure, that on the great day of judgment, you will find yourselves among the saints in heaven. But because prayer requires a collected mind, so that it may ascend to heaven, to the feet of the Holy Trinity, prepare yourselves worthily in the above manner, and observe the following rules. Then you will set a good example to those who do not know what prayer means, and there are many such.” This is followed by directions for the forty hours’ prayer, and the proposal to conclude the whole solemnity with a general procession.

It may seem remarkable that Ochino should recommend so urgently, an institution which too easily hides the real moaning of prayer, and causes it to degenerate into an outward mechanical observance. Personally, he does not overestimate the worth of this institution, for he says in the same letter, “The best manner to prepare for prayer, has not yet been found.” This trait is characteristic of his standpoint at the time. It was his position as Vicar-General of the Capuchins, that forced him to act thus, for his order believed itself to have effected remarkable results, by this institution, established by Fra Giuseppe of Ferno, and therefore continued to urge its diffusion[35] as extensively as possible.

In a letter dated October, 1540, Ochino again refers to his second request. “The crown is destined, not to him who begins, but to him who perseveres; this is the teaching of experience. The tree that once bears good fruit, and never again, or that bears sometimes good, and sometimes bad, is cut down and thrown into the fire. As you have granted my first and greatest request, you must not refuse the second. Visit the poor sick, or rather the Lord Jesus Christ himself, in the hospital of S. Maria; and do it in such wise as may be easiest to each, and in a fixed succession.”

Ochino’s labours in his native city had borne good fruit. The council was encouraged to take steps to gain him for another course of sermons in the following year. They applied to Rome, to secure Ochino for Lent, in 1542. Among the letters of the Balie, I found no less than seven, all dated June 5th, 1541, relating to this circumstance. The first is in Latin, and addressed to Pope Paul III., petitioning him to send Ochino, at the above named time, to Siena. The others were addressed to persons from whose influence at the Roman Court, effectual intercession was hoped; to the cardinals, San Jaconis, and Santa Croce, to Monsignor Ghinucci, to the Marchese of Aghilera (Angoulême), to Messer Antonio Franci (Ambassador of the Republic at the Papal Court), and to an “illustrissima et eccellentissima Madama,”probably Margaret of Austria, who had always befriended Siena, and had celebrated her marriage with the grandson of Pope Paul III., in this city. But the Pope was not to be persuaded, he had already promised this Lent of 1542, to the Venetians; and thus the answers preserved in the archives, only confirm the refusal of the Pope.

The council thon endeavoured to gain Ochino at least for the Advent of that year. On the 6th November, 1541, they wrote, “The great inclination and sincere affection which our town has always felt, and still feels, for your Reverence on account of your admirable and excelling virtues, impels us strongly to address this letter to you, and to tell you how greatly the whole city desires to hear you. No other happiness, however much desired, could give us the same satisfaction as would be afforded us by your presence. Therefore we beg you earnestly and heartily, for the love of Christ, if ever you wished to perform something at once for the weal of our city, and for the glory of God, put all other matters aside at present, even though it may be difficult to you, and come here to preach before Christmas. For all the citizens are firmly convinced, that your preaching will be of great effect, that by your sermons the glory of God will be greatly increased in this city, and that you will thus reap rich gains by the universal welfare and the salvation of souls. We hope, nay, we are firmly convinced, that your reverence, counting the glory of God above everything, and desiring with your whole heart, the good of your native city, as you have always shown us that you willingly accede to our wishes, will allow nothing to prevent you from coming to us. Therefore we say to you only this, as far as in our power lies, we are at your service. The grace of God be with you.”

In spite of this pressing invitation, Ochino was again forced to refuse. He was lying sick, and could not leave the Capuchin convent near Florence. On 22d November, 1541, he wrote,[36] “To the most noble gentlemen, priors, governors, and captains, — I am sorry, on account of the deep respect and sincere affection which I feel for your Eminences, and my native city, that I cannot do that which I feel is my duty, and which is also your wish. I would not have waited until I received your formal request to preach there, nay, rather I would have come at the first suggestion, but I have been suffering for some time from such severe lumbago, and other ailments, that even if I could arise and travel, it would be quite impossible to me to preach. I have been obliged to refuse the same thing to many others, and I must remain here and discharge my writing work,[37] while I am being treated for my infirmity. I must beg your Eminences to excuse me on account of this hindrance. It is God who has willed this weakness. But I retain my good will towards all, and I shall be grateful to you if you will preserve to me your protection, to which I commend myself, with my whole heart.”

The years since 1538 had been evil for Siena. The disorders and insecurity of the city and district had so much increased, that the couriers who carried the post to Rome preferred making a longer round, to passing by Siena. Discontent and dissatisfaction were still further augmented by the outbreak of a famine in the following year, which necessitated severe precautionary measures. A lively religious craving awoke. “Throughout all Italy,” writes a chronicler of Siena, “a religious movement arose. No city remained untouched by it. In Rome, the Pope commanded processions and issued indulgences. In Siena, too, public prayers were offered up incessantly, the image of the Madonna, ‘ the intercessor of the Sienese,’ was borne through the streets, and all the religious orders in the city implored, in various manners, the divine mercy. At night, the confraternity of the Flagellants paraded about, and scourged themselves publicly. Many adverse circumstances,” he adds, “were united at that time; first, the internal dissensions, which daily grew worse; then the dread of the Turkish fleet, especially as the fleet of the Emperor and the Venetians had evaded it in no very dignified manner, and Barbarossa was again threatening the coasts of Calabria and Tuscany; finally, the great dearth, in consequence of which, even in August, corn could scarcely be had for large sums of money.”

It was in such a season that Ochino preached in Siena. It is natural that his native city should have longed to hear its son, who knew how to speak so solemnly and effectively, and yet so cheeringly and nobly. All traces of Ochino’s labours in Siena are however lost, excepting the few notices contained in the above documents. But it can scarcely be doubted that here also a circle of earnest men assembled around him. One, Aonio Paleario, has already been named. Perhaps he owed to Ochino those religious convictions that led him, in the evening of his life, to the stake of the Inquisition. Lattantio Pagnone may be regarded as a second like-minded friend of Ochino’s at Siena; we shall soon meet him again at Naples.

Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1541, the Vicar-General’s three years of office were drawing to a close. Ochino had already convened the fourth General Chapter at Naples at Whitsuntide, to make a new election. The choice could only lie between himself and Bernard of Asti, whose sickness had not proved fatal. Bernard of Asti stated beforehand, that on account of bodily weakness, he could not accept office. Ochino was, therefore, a second time unanimously elected Vicar-General, and confirmed in Rome. This is trustworthy evidence that, up to this time, no suspicion whatever was harboured against him in high places. Even Boverio says: “Many contend that Ochino had already swerved in his heart from the doctrines of the church. However that may be, so much is certain, that he had not yet shown the slightest token of heresy, either by word of mouth or writing.”

Some writers have named Ochino as Father Confessor to Paul III.[38] Boverio knows nothing of this, and Ochino himself makes no mention of it. It is scarcely likely that the Pope, even if he were prepared to brave the enmity of all the other orders, would choose a father confessor whose office kept him away from Rome for so large a portion of the year. For, so long as Ochino filled his post as preacher and general of his order, he was obliged to lead a restless, wandering life. Thus we find him in Lent 1536 at Naples, 1538 at Venice, in September of the same year at the General Chapter in Florence, in Lent 1539 he preached at Venice, at Siena in June, and he then journeyed to Rome and Naples. He spent Advent of the following year at Siena; on 28th February 1541, he preached at Modena, on his way to Milan, and at Whitsuntide of the same year he took part in the General Chapter at Naples. In November 1541 he lay sick at the Capuchin convent at Florence. He spent Lent of 1542 at Venice, and the following month in the monastery at Verona.

Besides all this, his activity increased when he a second time entered upon the office of General. All came to him for advice, even concerning matters outside the order. To procure him more leisure, the Pope excused him from the regular observance of the canonical hours. His opponents afterwards brought forward his use of this indulgence as a premonitory symptom of his change of opinions. A brother is said to have remarked: “If you would rule the order without praying, you are like one who rides without stirrups. Take heed that you do not fall.” Ochino replied: “To do good, is to pray. Who does not cease from doing good, does not cease from prayer.” So at least a tradition ran afterwards among the Capuchins.


State of the Italian Theology at the time of the Renaissance — Pagan ideas prevalent in Rome — Reaction upon the homiletical art — Current styles of preaching — Ochino as a preacher — His nine sermons of the year 1539 — Arrangement, matter, and form — 1. Knowledge of oneself and remorse — 2. How Christ was made man — 3. Of the necessity for His crucifixion — 4. How the believer should act with regard to Christ’s crucifixion — 5. The Last Supper— 6. Law and obedience — 7. Homily concerning the disciples’ narrative at Emmaus — 8. Sermon on the day of Mary Magdalene — 9. To the scholars of the College at Perugia.

The condition of Italian theology at the time of the Renaissance, forms a remarkable contrast to the development in other intellectual provinces at the same period.[39] Scholasticism, into which only such men as Anselm of Canterbury, Peter the Lombard, and Thomas Aquinas, in whom it had become in a manner personified, could breathe a transitory life, had degenerated in the course of the fourteenth, and still more in the fifteenth century, into a cold, fruitless system of subtleties, rude in expression, rich in formulas, but wanting in ideas. It is characteristic of the whole period, that among the fierce controversies of the rival schools (the Dominican Thomists and the Franciscan Scotists), one single doctrine, that of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, should have attained a further development. It is no less characteristic of the most recent phase of Catholicism, that this very doctrine should have been the last to be promulgated as an obligatory article of faith, before the declaration of the Papal infallibility.

Together with this, a series of questions were eagerly discussed as unimportant as those considered at the time of Alexander of Hales, such as, whether the angels possessed a higher degree of intelligence early in the morning or late in the evening? In 1462, the Minorite Jacopo delle Marche in Brescia contended that the blood of Christ shed at his scourging and crucifixion had no part in his divine nature, and was, therefore, not to be adored. The Dominicans of Brescia furiously assailed the propounder of so heretical an assertion. The matter seemed of importance from the ecclesiastical point of view. Pius II. had it discussed in his presence by celebrated theologians. But at the debate the reasons brought forward by both sides seemed so excellent, that the Pope was forced to command the strife to be abandoned. The question remained undecided. This shows plainly how much the essential part of Christianity had been neglected for such dogmatic subtleties.

Gifted men like Paolo Cortese had laboured vainly to bring back theology to its old dignity, and, at the same time, to give it that form which the newer development necessitated. Cortese, for whom Tuscany and Modena dispute, was a true son of his humanistic age. He was born just at that time when Greek scholars were emigrating in large numbers to Italy, and kindling zeal for antiquity with youthful vigour in all minds. He was a friend of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Angelo Poliziano, and, like them, a Ciceronian, as is proved by his great theological work, the Sentences, in four books. The work is not a mere reproduction of the Sentences of Petrus Lombardus, but a tolerably independent text-book of comparative dogmatic theology, combining the opinions of the Fathers concerning the chief doctrines of the Church; occasionally adding the author’s own opinions and reasons for holding these, but usually leaving the decision to the reader. In form opposed to the scholastic syllogisms, distinctions, objections, and all the other customary ballast of a distorted logic, its contents cling to traditional ecclesiastical doctrine, and are so far from fundamentally opposing these, that the book could be dedicated to the Pope himself, Julius II. Thirty years after the premature death of the author, the work was re-issued at Basle by Beatus Rhenanus.

But Cortese remained alone in the path he had struck out. It was not possible to reconquer for theology the place of honour as leader of the general intellectual movement, held by her and her votaries in former centuries. This ill success, but too well grounded in external circumstances, was doubly grave at a time when the sky was already traversed by gleams, announcing the rapid and irresistible approach of an unanticipated and overwhelming convulsion in the domain of thought.

While the general life of the people, spite of all outward confusion and trouble, was reaching that period of glory to which Italy is indebted for the perfection of her language, the zenith of her art and literature, theology alone withdrew coyly and sullenly behind convent-walls, vaunting a treasure long become fruitless and lifeless in her hands. It was but a natural reaction that the educated of the nation should at last requite with like disdain the disesteem ostentatiously opposed by theology to the whole new development. Still more striking was the contrast when, towards the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries, the humanistic movement found favour and patronage at the Roman court itself, and the representatives of the hierarchy — to the very Popes — protected arts and sciences with liberal and intelligent partiality. The enthusiasm for the newly-found treasures of antiquity, and the fascination of the newly-revealed beauty, may have been at work, and other motives may have contributed; but, just in those very circles in which the knowledge of classical antiquity was rejuvenated, not only scholastic theology, but all religious thought and the fundamental elements of the Christian view of life, fell into disesteem. The dismay of the innocent German monk in Rome, at hearing blasphemous words from the officiating priest during holy mass, is only a drastic illustration of what Pier Antonio Bandini expresses more smoothly: “No one was then considered in Rome a gentleman or a good courtier who did not hold, besides the clerical doctrines, his own little private heresy.”[40]

But when theology, regardless of the favour and disfavour of the higher classes, retired angrily from participation in the intellectual life of the nation, in one particular, at least— that of preaching, she could not do this without perceptible harm to the Church. To this, a particular consideration further contributed. The Catholic cultus had long completed its formal development. In comparison with its symbolical elements, preaching was, of its own accord, retiring into the background. It was a natural consequence that it should sink lower and lower in the estimation of those even to whom it was entrusted. It was an old complaint that the higher clergy, and after them the lower, had neglected it more and more. Councils and individual Popes had vainly tried to impress the necessity of employing sermons as a means of instructing the mass. As a reaction from this neglect, the preaching confraternities of the thirteenth century arose; and the marvellous influence they attained proves clearly what power dwells in the Word, as long as the instruction of the people in Christian teaching is chiefly dependent on oral influence. These orders, however, were the very least disposed to accomplish the mediation between the new intellectual life and the old formalism in the whole domain of theology, or even in the domain of preaching alone; although, along with the ecclesiastic and conservative feeling, we may trace among them a more liberal and reformatory tendency.

The deficiencies that mark the general condition of theology at the time of the Renaissance were thus specially perceptible in the homiletic branch. It is true that, compared with lay oratory — confined to academic eulogies, laudations, and occasional speeches (all held in Latin) — pulpit eloquence still occupied a favourable position, owing to its theme and the disposition of its hearers. For is not religions thought like to the magnet which, when hid or covered, still retains its power! We hear of not a few preachers of the fifteenth century having exercised an unbounded influence on the minds of their listeners. Yet when we nowadays take up the sermons of S. Bernardino of Siena, Frà Roberto of Lecce, Frà Alberto of Sarziano, Frà Michele of Carcano, or Savonarola’s much-praised Florentine rival, Frà Mariano of Genazzano, it seems incomprehensible how they should have produced any considerable impression. The taste, susceptibility, and requirements of those times must have been very different from our own. Tiraboschi says of one of the most popular preachers — the Dominican Barletta: “He gained such a reputation by his mode of preaching, that the proverb originated: ‘Who does not know how to barlettise — does not know how to preach.’ But woe to the preachers of our time,” continues Tiraboschi, “if they wish to form themselves by his example — so foolish and ludicrous are the sermons printed under his name. They can excite to laughter, but can in no way convince the hearer, or speak to his conscience.”[41] The preachers owed a great part of their influence to the fame of sanctity which preceded them. There is not one among them who has not this reputation. By a saintly life was understood, at that time, the severest monastic asceticism and the mortification of the flesh. The people venerated the man who spoke to them from beneath a cowl encircling a pale, emaciated face of renunciation, and gleaming eyes of enthusiasm, and bowed before him as a heaven-sent prophet.

This subjective consideration can no longer be fully recognised by those who regard these sermons with critical eyes. That time had only one pre-eminence, sacrificed by our all-equalising present — an astonishing variety, rather indeed in the form and detail than in the religious substance of the sermons. On the one hand, in the second half of the fifteenth century, the Servite, Ambrogio Spiera of Treviso, pronounced his famous orations, which are mere theological treatises in scholastic form, with an accumulation of quotations from the Bible and the Fathers. Others combined with texts quotations from classical authors, and from Dante and Petrarch. This earned them praise from the educated, but was of little use for their real work. “They resemble,” said Savonarola, “the singers and pipers in the house of the ruler of the synagogue, who sang and piped songs of mourning, but could not wake the dead maiden. Thus they stand about the dead souls, and try to wake them with their subtle explanations, with beautiful parables or quotations from Aristotle, Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, or with the odes of Petrarch and Dante; but they make such a music of mourning, that not only they cannot revive the dead souls — they even kill the living ones.”[42] Other preachers besides Barletta descended to colloquialisms, and disdained no means, however coarse and vulgar, of exciting attention and gaining a concourse of hearers. Concerning these, Lorenzo Valla said, referring to their manner of delivery: “We have come to this, that preaching is only screaming and shouting, instead of living action, and that the best ranter is held the most effective preacher.”[43] Stimulated by the surrounding circumstances, and by the example of Savonarola, arose yet another class of political preachers — some for the Medici, some for the Pope, some for the emperor.

All this suggests a question which must be at least touched upon. Did the preachers of that time study the Bible, which they quoted? Was it the source or the test of their religious opinions? We shall hardly err in returning a negative answer. Dogmatic teaching was certainly not sought in the Bible, but rather in the sentences of Petrus Lombardus. And for the necessary apparatus for biblical quotations, a work such as the Biblical Repertory of Antonio Rampegolo sufficed; a work so incorrect and faulty, that a Pope in later times even placed it on the index of forbidden books, “until it should be improved.” But the great circulation which this book, entitled, “Aurea Biblia,” also “Figurae Bibliorum” possessed through a whole century, shows how much independent study of the Bible was neglected by the preachers of that time. Scholasticism and its mode of philosophising had stepped into its place; it was for them to distribute the discourse according to a conventional scheme. Regarding this, Bembo has well observed: “what am I to do at sermons? One hears nothing else than the doctor subtilis inveigh against the doctor angelicus, and then Aristotle comes in as a third, and put an end to the dispute.”[44] At that time certainly Bembo was not a Cardinal, and he made these remarks in confidence. But he indicated the more freely his own position, and that of all educated men towards the preaching of his age.

Yet, spite of all its weak points, preaching still retained a very remarkable influence in the sixteenth century. We have seen the magistrates of the Italian cities vieing for the presence of celebrated orators, trying to gain them for a course of sermons, especially during Lent. And though this may have been more a matter of emulation than one of conviction, still the fact is characteristic. The order of St. Francis retained its reputation in spite of all internal strife, of possessing the most efficient Lenten preachers, and their youngest branch, the Capuchins, vied with the rest.

Even before the “great sea”[45] of privileges was accorded to the order, its right of preaching had been most fully recognised. The parish priests were enjoined to resign their pulpit at any time to a Franciscan monk, and as they evinced little opposition to this command, and as this order was greatly extended all over Italy, and abroad, the exercise of preaching rested chiefly in their hands.

Such was the state of affairs amidst which Ochino was placed. Belonging to the holy Franciscan family, he laboured for thirty years in the Italian pulpit. But only a collection of nine sermons[46] of one of the later years, held 1539, in Venice, has come down to us. These sermons furnish an important source for the knowledge of the state of his religious opinions at that time. It must, however, be borne in mind that they are sermons, in which the intention of moral effect preponderates over the intellectual, and that probably even then circumstances did not permit him to give the full expression of his convictions from the pulpit.

In arrangement, Ochino’s sermons differ but little from others of that time. Only they avoid the scholastic form, they are not always founded on a biblical text; from the first, his theme is clearly emphasised, and then treated from a practical point of view. We find a pause here and there; a custom which still holds among Italian preachers.[47] We often find in the midst, a charitable appeal, now for the modest poor, now for a work of public benevolence, now for poor monks or nuns,[48] for whom he begs alms. Ochino is liberal of biblical quotations. He gives them first in the Latin translation of the Vulgate, and then literally translated or paraphrased into Italian. In this he also follows the usual custom.

Ochino’s sermons are not free from the faults of his time. Still this did not influence his success, which proves, on the other hand, that Ochino must have possessed the advantages of his contemporaries as regards delivery in no ordinary degree. There is always a great difference between his sermons and the dreary orations with a philosophic colouring, or those of theatrical Capuchins. Bembo himself says of him, “How solemn and edifying, how elevating and comforting his preaching! “His style is popular, but never vulgar, sometimes full of passionate warmth, but always rich in thoughts and images, and far removed from affected pathos. It has the fault, also manifest in his later writings, of a want of conciseness and completeness; the throng of his thoughts leads him on to parentheses and periods of excessive length. The acute Poggio Bracciolini’s censure of Bernardino of Siena, is merited by Ochino also. We shall have occasion to refer to this again, in discussing the third sermon of this collection. We must represent to ourselves the whole weight of Ochino’s personality as an active factor, to appreciate the impression made by his sermons.

The first of the nine sermons of the year 1539, delivered two Sundays before Easter, deals with confession of sins and penitence. Ochino is here opposed to the ecclesiastical institution of confession, whose faults and abuses he fully recognises. He does not inveigh against confession as such, but only against the abuse committed by treating it mechanically. He explains the idea which originated it, an idea which he strangely enough deduces from, and confirms by, the authority of Plato.

“The Apostle Paul,” begins Ochino, “distinguishes between two kinds of men in his epistles, a carnal and a spiritual; an earthly and a heavenly; a natural and a godly. The one is exactly opposed to the other. The carnal man, says Paul, does not comprehend what is godly; the spiritual man does not value or rejoice in the things of this world, but only in those that are godly and heavenly. He abhors and hates the things of this world, in so far as they are not means to the honour and glory of God. And thus the two men are opposed to one another, inasmuch the one ever strives towards the things that are above him, and the other to the things that are below, and an angry strife is waged betwixt flesh and spirit, as Paul has likewise said: ‘But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin.’ When the soul is inflamed with Divine love, and would be one with God, the material body revolts, and would remain on earth with its wishes and inclinations. The soul sees Christ naked, and therefore esteems riches of no account; it sees Him scourged, and therefore stands aloof from the pleasures of this world; it sees Him despised and mocked, and therefore it does not regard or care for mortal glory and honour; it seems Him abased, and therefore does not strive to be elevated itself; it only desires one thing, that in all things, and above all, honour be rendered to God. But the false Christians have made to themselves a God after their fashion, a worldly, rich, and pomp-loving God, and do not wish that He should hang on a cross. And therefore it must be shown what we should flee and what we should learn, in order that we may love Christ, and ever warm and inflame ourselves in love towards Him. But now let us pause a little moment.”

So far the introduction. Following the biblical word, it develops in plain and clear thoughts a thoroughly original spirit. In the following first division, Ochino refers to the necessity, and the most effectual method of the confession of sins.

“And now, I pray, give me some attention. We would convert this carnal man, and therefore thou must first confess thy sins. The beginning of penance is the acknowledgment of sin. If thou hast never acknowledged thy sins, thou canst feel no grief concerning them, and therefore canst not regret them. For if thou dost not know that thou hast fallen out of favour with such or such a master, how then canst thou wish to be restored to favour, how shouldst thou seek ways and means to retrieve that thou hast lost? But such self-knowledge is not sought by those who only go to confession and communion from habit, or to be held good Christians who do as others do, without the spirit of the God and the perception of His presence, without the love to God, that feels pain at having pained Him.”

“Then there is another sort, who in these latter days (before Easter) would wish to recall their sins more exactly, if only for appearance sake. They take a confession-book and read it through carefully several times, to remind themselves in this wise of their sins. Another wishes to do better still, and learns the list of sins by heart, so that when he comes before his Father Confessor, he can show himself a good Christian by repeating his sins in succession, with certain humble expressions, that make him appear a man that truly fears God. Thus a certain nun, who desired to prove herself a true disciple of Christ, and began, ‘Oh, Father Confessor, I acknowledge that of all others in the convent I am the most haughty, the most careless, and most ungodly,’ and so forth, in expressions of exaggerated humility, so that the wise and experienced father saw through her, and answered, ‘My daughter, I knew that before; they have told me that thou wast the haughtiest, most careless, ungodly of all in the convent, and therefore surely thou art not worthy to bear the dress of thy order.’ Oh, how the nun flew at him. ‘Father, you are too credulous, it is not so bad.’ And yet she had just told him the same thing in her confession. That was wrong, for we should tell the truth, neither more nor less. Not that I would utterly condemn the confessional books, but I cannot approve them. For oftentimes they make thee acquainted with matters that before were hidden to thee. Thou hast a book of thine own. If thou lookest through that and studiest it when thou readest it again and again, it will enlighten thee and teach thee, and tell thee what is good and bad; I mean thine own conscience. Act like unto the woman that lost a penny and sought through the whole house until she found it. If thou dost ransack thy conscience well, so wilt thou find all therein that accuses thee, and that do thou acknowledge humbly, firmly convinced, and avowing that whatsoever is good in thee is a gift from God, and does not spring from thine own strength. That is not pleasing to God, who resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.”

“All good cometh from God, and therefore the proud deceive themselves, as God himself has shown us in Exodus. He bade Moses stretch forth his hand, white and smooth as it was; then He commanded him to put his hand into his bosom, and then draw it forth again, and behold, it was leprous. From this we learn that even good works, if they only proceed from ourselves, become defiled and leprous by reason of our sins.”

“Yet another man relies upon himself and thinks: I know that my actions are right, and that I could not will anything that is against God’s will. For this, also, Moses sets us an example. He held a dry rod in his hand, cast it to earth, and it became a serpent. Therefore consider, that under circumstances, thy good actions may turn to serpents, because of thy pride, and all thy other sins. Thirdly, God led Moses to a river that was clear and clean, and bade him take of its water and sprinkle it upon the land, and it became as blood. So it may seem to thee that thy riches are honestly earned, but if thou examine carefully whence thy property and all in thine house proceeds, thou mayst perchance discover that it comes from the blood of the poor, and belongs to others, to whom thou must restore it.”

“And yet another recounts his sins of pomp, vanity, and lust in the confessional, with a glib tongue, and almost does as though he prided himself thereon. The other sins that weigh on his heart he says quite softly, so that the confessor can scarcely hear them. That must not be. If confession is to bear fruit, and be worthy a Christian, thou must search thy conscience carefully, and probe thyself in deep humility. But because we live in such darkness and uncertainty, we can scarcely recognise our misery, and because ‘opposita inter se posita magis elucescunt,’ the exactest and deepest avowal of sin consists in this, that we regard Christ crucified for us in the mirror of pure faith and ardent love. If thou beholdest thy image in Him, thou wilt recognise thy darkness by His light, thy pride by His humility, thy iniquity by His innocence, thy avarice by His generosity, thy presumption by His meekness, thy ingratitude by His countless benefits; in brief, all virtues and all goodness shine forth in Christ, so filled with love, all misery and sins are recognisable in thyself. Thus thou wilt arrive at a true and exact knowledge of thy faults, and seek in thyself the guilt, since they proceed from thee. To repent yet more sincerely, take a scale and lay on the one side God’s constant benefits to thee, on the other thy ingratitude; on the one side His great mercy, that pardons thee so many and so many sins, on the other side thy insensibility; on the one side His willingness to accord thee His grace; on the other side thy stubbornness to continue in sin. Those are the scales that will conduct thee to heaven. But the false Christians do not reflect themselves in the crucified Christ; they desire a Christ after their manner, rich, proud, and magnificent. But now let us pause a little moment.”

This brings Ochino to the close of his first head. He has emphasised the need for careful self-investigation, and named the contemplation of the crucified, and the comparison of our own being with that of Christ, as the proper means towards this end. It is characteristic that he uses a Latin scholastic formula, and that his exposition of the passages he adduces from the Old Testament is in conformity with the then prevalent allegoric manner. But the whole process of thought is peculiar to himself; and just for the reason that he draws from his own personal Christian experience, and speaks with warmth and fire of that he has himself lived through, his speech overcomes the conventional formalism and becomes awakening and animated.

The second division of the sermon treats of repentance, called forth by the self-consciousness of sin. Ochino draws a sharp distinction between true remorse and the false, that is only rooted in external things.

“There are some who bewail their sins in confession, not for God’s sake, not because they have offended Christ, but because they think, ‘I have committed this or that sin, therefore God sends me this visitation,’ and that pains them, and they weep because of it. Alas, my beloved, that is not remorse, that is selflove. Or again, another has been guilty of some sin that has put him to public shame, and has lost his good name and position on account of it; that pains him, and he is ashamed, because he is no longer honoured as before, and therefore he regrets his sins. But that too is not true lamentation, and does not suffice; for he is only lamenting his loss of reputation. A woman loves her husband so boundlessly that she is deeply grieved for the shame she has brought on him, and would do anything to undo her sin. Alas, neither is that true repentance; that is not a true, but a mere sensual pain. Another grieves for fear of hell; another fears to lose paradise; yet another, lest he be punished in this world. All these are not the pangs of penitence, but those of self-love.”

“No, thou must feel pain because thou hast offended Christ, who loved thee so dearly that He shed His own blood for thee, and who would return yet a million times to redeem thee and wash thee of thy sins. But of this thou dost not think. What more could He do for thee than He has done? for thee who hast so often offended Him, and offendest Him still by pride, sacrilege, and unchastity, by drinking and gambling, by so many grievous sins that cry to heaven — so many sins, that truly I know not how it will be possible that this poor Italy should not perish utterly! Truly it is needful that thou shouldst feel this pain for Christ’s sake, because thou hast offended all the goodness and love He has shown to us, while we are so ungrateful for His benefits; it is needful that thou shouldst ever regard that living mirror, even Christ, of which we spoke anon. If thou regardest that with the living eye of the soul, thou wilt put off thy goods and chattels and thy pride, and say with Paul, ‘I do count all things but dung, that I may win Christ.’ If thine eye is thus clear thou wilt echo with Solomon, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!’ Thy works will not make thee proud, for thou wilt acknowledge that if God’s grace did not sustain us we should do that which is evil by our own strength. And therefore thou wilt say with the Prophet Daniel, ‘All have transgressed Thy law.’ Thou wilt not vaunt thine own virtues, but rather acknowledge with Isaiah, ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ And take one who has all virtues, if they are not rooted in charity, they are worth nothing, as Paul says, ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,’ &c. If we had all virtues, yet without charity, they would be false, and, therefore, St. John says, ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ Thus we are all full of sin and unrighteous.’”

The development of the leading idea of this portion is involved towards the end by the accumulation of biblical quotations. But the definition of sincere repentance is conceived in a deeply Christian spirit, as grief for the interruption of the inner personal relation of the individual to Christ, a grief that regards nothing external, and causes sin to be abhorred, not because of its tangible consequences, but because it is itself a disturbing and distracting power. Following the psychological development, the third and fourth divisions deal with resolves for amendment, and trust in God’s boundless mercy. The division that follows these and deals with good works is of a special interest in estimating Ochino.

“It seems to me,” he there says, “that in the darkness a small candle in my hand gives more light then a large lamp behind me; and I also think that a little penny which thou thyself givest for thy soul, is more efficient than if thou wert to leave all thou hast for that purpose after thy death. And for this reason, if thou art in Paradise, thou dost not need it; if thou art in hell, no alms will redeem thee from thence. Thou wilt say, but they can avail in purgatory. Be it so; but if thou bestowest them during thy lifetime in love and with a living faith, they will even efface thy deadly sins and restore to thee the lost grace of God, and that is the greatest good and the greatest benefit which thou canst attain. Therefore, I recommend to you, as I have been entreated to do, to give plentiful alms to the poor of this city, who are ashamed to beg. That is a good deed, what you give will be justly distributed, and better than you yourselves could have done it.

“But now I desire to preach to you about confession, but I deemed this preparation very needful. However, we will add a few words concerning confession — the remainder another time.”

“I will not first prove to thee whether confession is a divine or human institution; I do not think that necessary, as I suppose all who are here in the church are ready and resolved to confess and obey the church. I say only one thing, St. Augustine testifies that many years before the Lateran Council confession already existed, as we find in the chapter ‘Omnis,’[49] where we are bidden to confess our sins at least once a-year. And I am of opinion that it is a divine institution, and one of the divinest, for without it how could the sinner judge himself.”

“I will also tell you Plato’s opinion. He holds that every man should have a true and confidential friend to whom he should reveal all his secrets, so that the friend when he sees a fault in him, may reprove him and lead him to amend. From this alone we may see that confession is absolutely necessary.”

The above division is of very obvious importance for the recognition of Ochino’s religious opinions at that time. The standpoint of the traditional ecclesiastical doctrine is already beginning to be at variance with the convictions which had been caused and confirmed in him by his own religious experiences, and by the study of Scripture. At the commencement of his sermon he pointed out the crucified Christ as the only mirror for the recognition of our own weakness; the submission to the ecclesiastical command of confession, which he here requires, does not necessarily exclude the foregoing; but the addition, “how could the sinner judge himself without confession?” is at variance. We must also notice what reasons Ochino gives for the institution of confession. Besides the quotation from St. Augustine (unaccompanied by any reference), he strangely enough supports it by a dictum of a Greek philosopher, which, carefully considered, entirely removes the ecclesiastical and hierarchical character of confession. At the same time he avoids all polemics against the ecclesiastical institution as such. It is therefore a perfectly consistent development, when we find Ochino representing three years later, relying on this saying of Plato’s, that the origin of confession in the ancient Christian Church, as a most natural one, but its subsequent extension as a product of egotism and priestly ambition.[50] But although, in the year 1539, we already find in Ochino the foundations of an opinion, which, unless he yielded himself blindly captive to the traditional system, must necessarily lead him in time to break with this system, yet in this sermon, and still more in a following one of the same period, he takes his stand on the side of the Catholic doctrine.

The sermon properly closes with the foregoing, but there still follows a detailed explanation of St. John 8:46-59, the lesson for the day. He draws the following characteristic conclusion from the last verse, “But Jesus hid himself and went out of the Temple.”

“What means it that Christ veils and hides Himself? I think He does it, and rightly so, that He may not see the abominations of false Christians. To-day, when there are only fourteen days until the Passion of our Lord, there is, as yet, no amendment to be seen in you. It is your vanity, your pride, which forces Christ to hide Himself; it is your taverns where all sins find foot and shelter. Oh, how must they have seemed in the Carnival? It was for this that Christ hid Himself, and left the Temple. Now, go to Rome, to the Chancery and the Penitentiary, and there thou wilt also find that Christ hid Himself, and left the Temple. Go to the dwellings of loose women in that town, — perhaps ten or twelve thousand in number, — even so many hells, where souls are robbed, murdered, and deprived of God’s grace; there thou wilt find that Christ hid Himself, and left the Temple. Go throughout poor Italy, and thou wilt find how many have perished in thirty or forty years in “battle, for no fault of their own; how many poor widows and orphans are left; how many cities have been destroyed; how many castles levelled to the ground; how many souls plunged into the pit of hell, which have never once thought of Christ; therefore hath Christ hid Himself, and left the Temple.”

“But thou, Venice, my city, I speak not of myself, but of so many other preachers in this city, who do not, as formerly, preach philosophy and fables, but rather the Word of God, the living and true Christ, salvation and amendment; yet thou still remainest as thou wast; and, for myself, I have striven to lead thee to salvation with such sincerity, devotion, and love, with so many pains and vigils, perhaps without the slightest result. Yet I still hope to see good and sincere Christians, and firmly believe that you will revive to a better life of goodness and sincerity. But if you will not reform, I tell you this beforehand, and declare it, that on the day of the last judgment, I will be the one to testify to Christ against you. And all the souls on the left hand, who have not had the opportunity which you have had to reform, will do the same, and therefore I exhort you, and beg you, in the name of Christ, that you endeavour, during these last days, to lead a less luxurious life, and do penance in quickening love, and in the firm resolve to offend Christ no more, as far as in you lies, and though it might cost your life a thousand times.

Reform your old life, and lead a new one, for I testify to you, if you will not be Nineveh, you will be Sodom; and therefore prepare yourselves and strive to amend. May God grant you His grace. Amen.”

These are the words of a prophet who denounces his people for their sins, but, at the same time, raises and comforts them. Where entreaties and fatherly admonitions are of no avail, he shows anger and indignation. A fervent man can only speak thus, when he is not merely impressed by the sanctity of his mission, but is also convinced of the full confidence of his auditors, and the decisive influence which his personality has upon them.

The second sermon of the year 1539 was held on 25th March, the day of the Annunciation. It treats of the incarnation of Christ, its meaning and necessity. Of Christ as the fulfiller of the ancient covenant, he says, “He did not come to save eight souls in the ark, but to redeem mankind. He came, not to free us from Pharaoh’s bondage, but Satan’s; not to deliver us out of Egypt, but out of the hands of Lucifer. He came, not to overwhelm our enemies in the Red Sea, but to drown our sins in His blood. He came, not to precede us in a pillar of fire, but to lead us in His own person. He came, not to strike water from the rock, but to open the hearts of men by the fulness of His love. He came, not to lead us to a distant promised land, but to shelter us at His own bosom. He came, not to build for us a Jerusalem, but to make us heirs of heavenly glory. And, therefore, beloved soul, let us acknowledge and rest assured that the greatest benefit and gift God could confer upon us is the incarnation of Christ.”

In this exposition, with its accumulated antitheses, the allegoric interpretation, bound up for centuries with the exposition of Scripture, finds expression.

The third sermon endeavours to prove the necessity for Christ’s crucifixion, and its saving power. Concerning the special cause for Christ’s death, the persecutions of the pharisaical party, who attained their purpose by His crucifixion, it cannot be overlooked that Ochino allots a disproportionate space in his sermon to the development of the antagonistic opinion. He speaks of it in great detail, and seeks to find its reason before he proceeds to confute it. Such passages remind us of Poggio Bracciolini’s judgment of a fellow-countryman: “he blames errors in such a manner that it appears as though he would defend and propagate them.” It is a way of treating vexed questions that we shall encounter again later in Ochino. In the evening of life this habit, handled in an exaggerated spirit, brought much sorrow upon him, by causing and provoking misunderstandings. With a keen dialectic faculty, and endowed with unusual capability of following foreign trains of thought and opinions, Ochino does not immediately present the finished conclusion, but lets his auditors take part in its development. Thus, in the present instance, he seems to defend the maxim of the Pharisees: “It is better that one man die than that a whole people perish;” and refers it to the crucifixion in such a manner, that it needs the whole weight of the following opposing chain of reasoning to prove the falsity of this maxim, and efface its impression from the minds of his auditors.

In the same sermon (F. 23, b.), delivered a few days after the first, he once more addresses the inhabitants of Venice. “It grieves me, my city, that thou wilt not quit thy evil ways. I implore Christ for thee with tears, because I love thee from my heart. But I see myself forced to tell you this, that, if you do not mend, I do not truly know what is to come of it. I must depart after Easter, perhaps on the last day of Easter week, and if evil befalls you, it will grieve my heart. For it seems to me you are the model for all Italy. If I look about me, I see no town, no city in Italy not engulphed in confusion and strife. Your city alone stands upright, and therefore it would grieve me deeply if it should go ill with you. It seems to me as if thou, Venice, representest my native city, ay, all Italy.”

Ochino is far removed from being a political preacher, but as here, so on other occasions, his patriotic grief over the sad confusion of public affairs in Italy finds vent.

On the following day Ochino again entered the pulpit. In continuation of his last sermon, he spoke of the position every individual had to take with regard to Christ’s crucifixion. It is not only a false position to regard Christ’s death as a folly or a stumbling-block, but also to view it merely as an historical fact, whose details are perused with curiosity, without finding comfort and strength in the contemplation. Neither is it right to degrade it to superstitious uses, as some do, who carry an amulet inscribed with the history of Christ’s sufferings and death, and think that will procure them salvation. “We only assume the right attitude towards Christ’s death,” he continues, “when we regard Him in His sufferings as an example, ever remembering that we are partakers in the guilt because of our sins.”

The fifth sermon treats of the Lord’s Supper. After recounting the history of its institution in detail, he remarks emphatically that partaking of the sacrament from mere habit, or compliance with the precepts of the Church is a practice not only destitute of moral value, but actually dangerous. It should be received in thankful consciousness, that the holy meal is a token of remembrance of Christ’s death, as well as a pledge of our salvation, and that careful preparation should precede it.

On this occasion Ochino also touches on the doctrine of transubstantiation. In the passage in question, a long exposition in the following sermon is of eminent importance with regard to Ochino’s position, at the time, towards certain capital dogmas and institutions of the Catholic Church.

“It might,” he says, “be objected, How can you prove that the body of Christ is concealed under this shape? How could I prove it! And if I could prove it a thousand times, yet I could not prove it to you, since we are compelled to believe it, whether we wish or no. Crede et manducasti, believe and thou shalt eat. Whosoever has not faith, it avails him little, and he sins in partaking. And, further, know ye not, ‘fides non habet meritum, ubi humana ratio praebet experimentum,’ ‘faith is without merit, when human reason can furnish the proof.’”

In the same manner as Ochino here speaks of transubstantiation, he deals, in his sixth sermon, with confession, fasting, papal authority, good works, and purgatory. He points out the gradual evolution that evinced itself in the natural law as condemnation, in the Mosaic as preparation, and in the covenant of the New Testament as fulfilment, and he then, for the first time in his nine sermons, addresses himself directly and pointedly to the “heretics.”

“There are so many heretics who say we need not obey the commandments of the Church. Very well — they say next we need not confess. But if I ask them, does that person do ill, who, filled with sorrow for his sin, and craving to rid himself thereof, confesses to another, they are forced to reply, No. It is therefore safer to confess, than not to confess, even if it were not an imposed duty. Furthermore, they say: We do not need to fast. But if I ask them, does he do ill who fasts in order to subdue his body that it may not resist the soul, longing to repent of its sins, they are forced to reply, No. It is therefore safer and better to fast. Then they say: it is not needful to obey the Pope. Even were this not the case, we should have to follow him when he pronounces Christian, wholesome, and good laws, as we should every government, so long as their ordinances are not contrary to God and our salvation. In the same manner we obey the Pope, whom Christ has instituted as His vicar on earth, only not when in sin. Others say, we need do no good works, because faith alone, and not works, bring us to salvation. In any case it is safer to do good works. Finally they say: There is no purgatory, because no reference to it can be found in Holy Scripture; I say, reference can be found, even if it is not distinctly stated. Many things are not distinctly stated in Scripture, that yet do exist; and in any case our opponents should prove by Scripture that purgatory does not exist (!) They say a thousand other follies, that only proceed from the pride, arrogance, and selfishness of their hearts.”

These deductions draw a sharp boundary line between Ochino and the “heretics,” regarding the most important Church doctrines. And yet it is just on these points that the editor of Mambrin’s Compendium of Neapolitan history,[51] accuses Ochino of heresy in his sermons preached at Naples, in the years 1536 and 1539. He says: “His sermons, and more especially those of 1539, were of that kind, that they were filled with double meanings and hidden heresy, to the great hurt and offence of his listeners, even of the simplest, and instilled doubts and scruple in the power of the Pope, and concerning faith and purgatory, and other important doctrines.” If this impression was made, it was certainly not due to Ochino’s intention, but rather lay in the very constitution of these traditional doctrines and customs, for which no biblical proof can be adduced. When Ochino saw himself confronted with such teachings, he placed himself on the standpoint of tradition. He even goes further, and demands obedience to their dictates. Indeed, he is so far removed from the wish to uproot them, that he rather brings to prominent light the just and Christian purposes that underlie them, and warns against superstition, misuse, and self-deception in their observance. The charge brought against him by Tommaso Casto, has been extolled by many, and repeated by others. Ochino’s subsequent secession from the Romish Church, was too important and grave an event, that endeavours should not have been made to seek evidences of heresy in past events, even at the expense of truth.

The seventh sermon, delivered at Venice, on Easter Monday, deals with the lesson for the day, the narrative of the disciples at Emmaus, and furnishes curious examples of the current allegoric form of exposition. Ochino sees in the two disciples wandering towards Emmaus, the prototype of those “who have lost Christ, and are now leaving the holy city to seek any little village in the world.” In the circumstance that Christ “broke the bread,” he sees a warning that we should not rest satisfied with a superficial contemplation of nature, of the study of the Word, of meditation concerning Christ’s mission, but should “break the bread,” i.e., penetrate into the depths of almighty goodness and grace.

The eighth sermon fell on the day of Mary Magdalene, and does not therefore belong to the series of Passion sermons. It furnishes a detailed account of the evangelical history of the fair sinner, and deduces the thought that true contentment does not spring from the gratification of sensual desires, nor from the abundance of knowledge, nor from religious revival and emotion, perchance but transitory, but solely from grateful, unconditional surrender to the pardoning mercy of God.

The last of the Venetian sermons is of a curious character. It was addressed to the pupils of an ecclesiastical college, and fell on the day of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of the scholars. It is headed with the words of St. Paul (1 Cor. ii. 2).

Ochino begins by speaking of the innate desire that urges men to learn and investigate, proving its power partly by the precepts, partly by the examples of the philosophers of antiquity. He briefly sketches Aristotle’s doctrine of perception, and Plato’s ideal theories, and deduces thence the conclusion, that human wisdom and perception are nothing, if they are without Christ. He continues the same argument, speaking of human jurisprudence and human theology. This exhausts the trivium of mediaeval education. Of “human theology,” Ochino says that it has invented so many distinctions, so many evidences, so many questions, so many tropes, so much confusion, and so many fallacies, that it darkens truth; and the theology of Christ, the sole spring of true knowledge, has been abandoned. They haughtily reject the bread of Christ, the gospel has to submit to juxtaposition with the metaphysic of Scotus. One follows Egidius, the other Ockham, and ever so many other theologians, who, with all their learning, cannot bring you to the only truth without Christ. Speaking of the cultus of Aristotle, in the philosophic schools of his time, Ochino says: “His commentator, Averroes, writes, there never was one like to him on earth, no one ever strove like he to scrutinise the human soul. And yet he was unable to proceed by natural light, and to discover the end of the soul, not even whether it was mortal or immortal. Nevertheless, men have more faith nowadays in him, than in Christ. Modern wisdom has become imbued with Aristotle, and treads Christ beneath its feet. In like manner,” continues Ochino, “the liberal arts of the quadrivium are without value, without living power, as mere shadows, lacking Christ. The only book that makes us rich in true wisdom, is Christ. But you must concentrate your soul upon it earnestly, ardently, to find this precious pearl; you must incline your head humbly, and cast off all pride, all confidence in your own strength. If the disciples of Pythagoras had to be constant, firm, and sincere, in order to attain the knowledge of their master, in what a higher degree must the disciples of Christ be faithful and constant, sincere and earnest, to receive the doctrine of His love.’ ‘Christ, the way, will lead you to all truth.’ If you would learn peace of soul from this book, reflect yourselves in Christ; then it will be again evident to you, that He had to die for your sins — and no science can teach that. Through Christ you enter the infallible gate, you recognise the wisdom, might, and justice of God, but also His mercy, longsuffering and love. In the Temple you see Christ disputing, and learn all knowledge from him; you hear Him speak, and become a good orator yourself; you see Him in humble goodness abasing Himself to wash the feet of His disciples, even the betrayer’s, and all hate and ill-will falls off from you. If but the princes of this world would read in this book, they would abandon all tyranny and robbery, and if you would but do the same, you would put aside all sinful lusts, all detestable failings, and labour in pursuit of every virtue.”


Attempts at Reform -within the Catholic Church — The oratory of Divine love at Rome — The Circle at Naples — Valdez; Vermigli; the other members — The Doctrine of Justification — Influences without the Circle — Valdez’ influence on Ochino — First denunciation and interdiction to preach, 1536 — The Theatines denounce Ochino, 1539 — The Seven Dialogues — Boverio concerning Ochino’s “Apostasy”— Ochino’s own views with regard to his change of opinions — “Three truths.”

When Ochino was re-elected Vicar-General of his order, at Naples, in 1541, he hesitated in accepting the dignity. He escaped from the Chapter-house, and for a long while his friends urged him in vain to acquiesce. At length Bernard of Asti, who came to him with the Definitors, succeeded in gaining his assent. No objections to the election were raised in Rome, but Ochino himself may have felt that the further development of his religious opinions, on the one hand, and a reaction, which began to show itself in the bosom of the Romish Church, on the other, would not permit him to retain this office for any length of time. Up to the last ten years, there had been sufficient foundation for the hope of an inner and outer reform of the Catholic Church, in the evangelical sense. The attempts made in this direction by order of the stern Pope Hadrian VI., and even of the vacillating Clement VII., had certainly been vain. But Paul III., soon after his accession (1536), had gathered round him a number of excellent prelates, distinguished by their culture and decision of character, and expressly commissioned them to prepare the way for fundamental reforms in the Church. Such men as Contarini, Caraffa, Sadoleto, and Pole, had subscribed the report of 1537.[52] It is said to have been drawn up by Caraffa.[53] This would have been a decisive turning point, possibly for the whole future, if Paul III. himself had been in earnest in his reforms. He excused himself towards the reform commission, which he himself had instituted, alleging the difficulty of reforming the Curia. The reform commissioners had made this the first condition of reform, and the Pope pointed to the cry of triumph that would be raised by the Protestants, who, through an indiscretion, had become acquainted with the report as early as 1537. These were the same tactics as he had observed towards the Emperor, alleging the confused state of politics, when pressed to assemble the council that had been so often announced. It is not surprising that Caraffa now entirely altered his plans and his position. A mind of such indomitable strength of purpose, defiant, astute, wedded to the sole aspiration of reconquering for the Church her ancient authority, knows how to find the way. If the desired reform had failed, a violent reaction still remained as a final resource, but before Caraffa had helped it to victory, an event occurred which might have been of decisive importance in the reform of the Church and her relations to the Protestants. This was the diet of Ratisbon. If this report of the nine dignitaries was the last official attempt at an internal reform of the Church, before the Council of Trent, the conference of Ratisbon (1541) was the last attempt at a pacific understanding with the Protestants. The report was suffered to moulder among the Roman archives, and Caraffa and his now all-powerful party, no longer sought any result from the conference. The noble Contarini had been sent to Ratisbon, in order to remove him from Rome; but in spite of the extensive power vested in him, the Curia rejected all the Legate’s arrangements in dread lest the Emperor’s hands should be dangerously strengthened by a reconciliation with the Protestants. The Legate was pursued at Rome by shameful calumnies. It was said he had been bribed, and had sold himself to the Lutherans. His opponents, especially the cardinals of S. Marcello and Caraffa laboured successfully to make his return to Rome impossible. All these machinations took place in Rome at the same time as the Capuchins at Naples were offering for a second time the dignity of Vicar-General to their great orator.

Various reasons have been assigned for Ochino’s hesitation to accept the office. Some see in it a desire to hide his ambition. It is to this day a favourite piece of ecclesiastical tactics, to attribute a change of opinion to the base motive of unsatisfied ambition. But Ochino had reached the highest dignity of the order, and surely his mode of life at this time must have shown the groundlessness of this accusation. Others, and to these the annalist of the order seems to belong, consider his hesitation “as a residue of shame in the soul of a man, already tainted with the poison of heresy, and in whom this great honour causes no satisfaction, but rather disgust.” Such a judgment plainly is in so far correct, as it acknowledges that the change was already working, that absolutely forced Ochino to pursue another road than that which was consistent with the position of General. We are not without the means of tracing this change in Ochino. In order to consider this in connection with the spiritual movement of the time, it is advisable to turn our attention to a number of attempts at reform within the Catholic Church in Italy, during the first half of the sixteenth century.

The demand for reform was not new, “it is as old as the Church,” certainly as old as the temporal power of the Church; although often suppressed by force, it has always revived, and through whole centuries we see the noblest men joining in the aspiration of St. Bernard, “Oh that I might, before my death, see the Church of Christ as it was of old.”[54] The councils, especially those of Basle and Constance, had proved themselves incapable of accomplishing this reform. At length it forced its way in Germany, and almost at the same time a number of endeavours at peaceful reform arose within the Church itself in Italy. Attempts of private individuals, indeed, but in the right place in so far as they strove to realize Caraffa’s motto, “to let judgment begin at home.” None of these attempts has so well founded a claim on our sympathy, as that of a circle of fifty or sixty pious men, who met in Rome under Leo X., as the “Oratory of Divine Love.” Among these were representatives of the spiritual and temporal classes, distinguished by learning and virtue; a Contarini, Giberti, Sadoleto, Bonafazio de Colle, Paolo Consigliero, Latinio Giovenale, Luigi Lippomano, Giuliano Dati, and also Caraffa. They founded their union on the idea that the amendment of the Church must be built upon the amendment and religious renovation of the individual, as also of the members of the spiritual order. They were ready to do as much as lay in their power. It was natural that the members of this oratory, most of whom were servants of the Catholic Church, should strive after a religious renewal in the recognised expressions of religious feeling in their communion. They pledged themselves to visit the churches more diligently, to pray more frequently at sacred spots, to celebrate mass more regularly, in short, to all actions by which Catholicism seeks to awaken and foster the religious sentiment. This “oratory of divine love” was founded in 1523 in Dati’s rectory, near to the little church of S. Dorotea in Trastevere, on the incline of the Janiculum, not far from the spot where pious tradition places the martyrdom of St. Peter.[55] It found imitators in other cities of Italy, even as far north as Verona, and gained unsought the public approbation of Hadrian VI.

The Oratory of Divine Love, established as a reaction against the pagan and worldly ideas and mode of life that were gaining the upper hand in Rome, did not survive the storms of the capture and sack of the city in 1527. Some of the dispersed members of the Roman community re-appear some time after in Venice; a city which, unaffected by the storms of the war, offered almost the only place of refuge in Italy. We are not informed whether Caraffa, Contarini, Priuli, Pole, or the Florentine fugitives, among whom was Antonio Brucioli, the translator of the Bible, joined in a similar manner to re-institute an oratory like that of Rome. Yet during Caraffa’s Venetian sojourn, new doctrines, if not attempts at reform, developed in that city and in the towns of its dominions. A letter written to Clement VII. in 1532, and the Compendium of the Inquisitors, consulted by the biographer of Caraffa, furnish information concerning the movement.[56] Indeed this part of Italy has lately been able to boast that the foundation of the whole reformatory movement, the doctrine of justification, was set forth by one of its countrymen, Pietro Citadella, in a thoroughly Protestant sense, five years before Luther nailed his theses on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg.[57]

A community with similar endeavours to the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, actuated by the same fundamental ideas, with the same goal before their eyes, existed about 1535 at Naples, but there was a marked difference between them. In Rome it was the priests and spiritual dignitaries who stamped it with their unmistakeable seal; they were far from seeking to investigate the doctrines and institutions of their Church, much less to examine their authority. In Naples it was the same earnest spirit seeking absorption in the Christian life; but a purer perception of Christian truths, founded on Holy Scripture, was also sought by the like-minded men of all classes, and, to the surprise of their contemporaries, even by noble ladies.

More recent Catholic historians have assumed that Protestant doctrines were first brought into the kingdom of Naples by the German “Landsknechte,” who crowded to the south after the sack of Rome in 1527, to raise the siege of Naples, then hard pressed by Lautrec. The assumption is scarcely credible. Whoever only evinces his Protestantism by mocking the institutions of the Catholic Church, like those wild hordes in Rome by misusing its votaries and profaning its most sacred rites, will make no religious propaganda, even if, which is hardly probable, he should be master of the language. The only thing this unfortunate country could learn from the “Landsknechte” was a contempt for ecclesiastical things, and that it did not need to learn. Whether there is any foundation for this allegation, or whether it was only invented to bring the anti-catholic movement in Naples into discredit by tracing it to such a questionable source, it is certain that the first vestiges of evangelical opinions are not found till ten years later. On February 4th, 1536, Charles V., who was staying for a short time at Naples on his Tunisian expedition, published an edict strictly forbidding intercourse with “heretics,” under pain of death and confiscation of goods.

At that time there was in Naples a Spanish nobleman from Cuença in Castille, whose activity, during many years in the Reformatory movement, proved of the greatest importance throughout Italy. This was Juan Valdez. It is uncertain whether he was a lawyer, as has been stated, and secretary in the service of the viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo. This much is certain, that he never occupied any spiritual office. A contemporary has well depicted him as “a noble knight by the grace of Caesar, but a more noble knight by the grace of Christ.”[58] Everything united in him to insure him an irresistible personal influence; his pale, delicately-cut countenance, “in which was reflected the invisible world, in the contemplation of which he was immersed”; his frail body, that seemed only to live at the behest of his potent spirit; his courtly bearing; the charm of his speech; and the spotless purity of his life in a dissolute age. Curione says “he seemed appointed by God as a teacher of noble and distinguished men, although he was so good that he served even the humblest and least cultivated with his endowments, and was all things to all men, to gain all for Christ.”

The above-named community of like-minded men soon gathered round him. Intellectual, highly-gifted women belonged to it. Among them Vittoria Colonna, who came over from Ischia, her sister-in-law, Julia Gonzaga, Duchess of Trajetto, the most lovely woman of her time, Costanza d’ Avalos, Duchess of Amalfi, and Isabella Manriquez, who, although the sister of a cardinal, afterwards fled across the Alps for her religion’s sake. With these was associated an elect band of men, distinguished by adversity of gifts and variety of social position, differing in inclination and character; but all impelled by the one desire to attain a purer conception of Christianity, and a more perfect representation of it in their own lives.

Along with Valdez, Vermigli formed the centre of this circle. Pietro Martire Vermigli, a Florentine of noble family, was born in 1500. He was a youth of serious thoughtful nature, who early sought the retirement of the cloister. His father was so strongly opposed to this step, that he threatened to disinherit his only son. In spite of this Pietro entered the Augustinian convent at Fiesole in 1516, and only quitted it to complete his learned education at Padua. The preaching of the young monk attracted as much attention in exterior circles as his extensive knowledge within the order itself. Before his thirtieth year, he was made Abbot of Spoleto, and Reformator of the Order, and in the exercise of this difficult office he distinguished himself by energetic action, and keen insight, as much as by his classic and theological learning.[59] Vermigli seemed destined for the highest honours. After filling the office at Spoleto for three years, the chiefs of the order named him Prior of the great Convent of S. Pietro ad Arum at Naples. There he remained until, by the death of Valdez, the community of evangelicals lost their moving spirit.

In that community at Naples, there were other men who occupied a place in the history of Italian reformation. Giovanni Mollio, a Minorite from Montalcino, who had been expelled from Bologna, although there was no direct proof that he had taught any heresy, was at that time lector and preacher at S. Lorenzo in Naples. He was afterwards imprisoned and executed by the Inquisition. Benedetto F. Gusano, a Paduan fellow student of Vermigli’s, who came to Naples before his friend, and introduced him to that community. Lattantio Bagnone, Ochino’s countrymen who shared his views. Don Benedetto da Mantova, the author of the excellent tractate “Of the Benefits of Christ’s Death.”[60] The papal Protonotary, Pietro Carnesecchi, another noble Florentine, destined to be a martyr for the evangelicals before the Inquisition. He had been acquainted with Valdez in Rome during Clement the Seventh’s reign. “It was at Naples, however, that I learnt to know him as a theologian,” he said, when examined by the Inquisition.

“Our fleshly friendship grew into a spiritual bond, for all his thoughts and deeds were merged in the study of Holy Scripture and a Christian life. But what attracted me to him, and won my whole confidence, was the circumstance that Bernardino Ochino, who was at that time preaching to admiring crowds, held him in such high esteem.”[61] Besides the above named there were of the community Giulio da Milano, whom we shall soon meet again in Venice, Giacopo Bonfadio, and Marco Antonio Flaminio, the thoughtful friend of Paleario and Carnesecchi, a gentle poetic nature, not unlike the rich youth in the Gospel, who offers to sacrifice all in his enthusiasm and yet shrinks from the decisive deed. Flaminio was the representative of a whole class; the large majority of his noble countrymen recognised the necessity for a thorough ecclesiastical reform in life and doctrine, but allowed themselves to be diverted by numerous personal considerations from openly assuming a clear and decided place in the religious movement. All looked for a leader, but none appeared. Valdez was least of all inclined to promulgate the movement without. The fruit was not yet ripe. Ere it could mature, the bloody hand of the Inquisition had plucked it. Ochino entered into this Neapolitan community. He belonged to it till 1541; although often called away by the duties of his profession, he always gladly returned to their meetings, which were sometimes held on the lovely island of Ischia, in the country house of Vittoria Colonna; sometimes at Naples; sometimes at Caserta. The members sorrowfully recalled these happy hours in later days. “It seems to me,” writes Bonfadio, from the shores of Lake Garda, to Carnesecchi, “as if I could hear you sigh for the Chiaja and Posilippo. Florence, we must admit, is a splendid city, but it has not the charm of Naples, its site, its shores, its eternal spring. It seems as if nature swayed an undisputed sceptre there, rejoicing and smiling in her far-spreading glory. Oh that we were now standing at the windows of the tower we vaunted so often, when we surveyed the lovely gardens, and the wide bosom of the smiling sea.”[62] The Holy Scriptures were read and discussed in this community. Valdez expounded the Psalms and the Epistles of St. Paul. His comprehensive expositions of the Epistle to the Romans, and the First Epistle to the Corinthians,[63] have been preserved, while his translation and exposition of the Psalms have been lost. He wrote in Spanish, his friends translated his writings into Italian. One of the most remarkable, the “Christian Alphabet,” was suggested by a conversation with Giulia Gonzaga (1536) about a sermon of Ochino’s, at which they had both been present.[64] Valdez circulated edifying meditations[65] among the community. These were afterwards printed and are now the chief source for an exact acquaintance with his religious opinions.

The clearest insight into the actions and endeavours of this community is gained from the confessions extorted by the Inquisition many years after from Pietro Carnesecchi. The doctrine of the sinner’s justification before God, which had long been the centre of the reformatory movement on both sides of the Alps, was also the shibboleth here. The question respecting this article “quel benedetto articolo della giustificazione,”is always the first put to the accused concerning all the persons about whose life and religious opinions he is to give evidence. Valdez denied that works could contribute towards salvation, he would have this to rest entirely on the mercy of God in Christ. He made the universality of redemption to depend upon the universal working of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. The faith it evokes, is the form in which salvation for the individual seems to him made possible. It appeared to him self-evident that such a faith could not exist without charity, and the fruits of good works, or without a truly Christian life. Valdez alone deduced the necessary consequences from such a view of the doctrine of justification in opposition to the church doctrine of his time. It is probable that they only became gradually evident to many among the community, who still thought themselves good Catholics, when they were in reality Protestants.

Carnesecchi[66] says, “I saw the writings of Valdez countenanced by good and learned Catholics. I considered the article of justification by faith to be orthodox and Catholic, for I thought that by resting our salvation upon God’s grace and mercy His honour was more exalted, than by an opinion which would make our salvation depend upon our own works.”In the sentence pronounced by the Inquisition upon the unhappy Protonotary, is stated, “From your confession it appears that since 1540 you have believed the following heretical, erroneous, rash, and scandalous propositions: — Justification by faith alone, without works, according to Luther the heresiarch. The assurance of grace and salvation, according to the same. Then, that good works are not necessary for salvation, but that the justified will necessarily accomplish them of himself. Concerning fasts, you have believed that it was no deadly sin not to observe them, only they should not be held in contempt. They are serviceable only for mortification. Then, that we may only believe the word of God in Holy Scripture, that not all councils were assembled in the Holy Spirit, and therefore they may not all be believed. In like manner you have doubted whether the Sacrament of Confession was established by Christ, and whether oral confession was de jure divino, according to Scripture, and needful. You have held that the penances imposed by the priest were not necessary, because the merit of Christ has atoned for all the sins in the world.” The last part of the sentence runs, — “You have believed in all the errors and heresies which are to be found in the book ‘Of the merits of Christ,’ and in the false doctrines of your master, Juan Valdez.”

How was it possible that in such a community the burning questions of the Church’s degeneracy, both in head and members, and the need for thorough reforms should remain untouched? But Valdez did not attempt to reform the Church as such, he wished to reform men. Ecclesiastical forms were indifferent to him, as they had been indifferent to the mystics to whom he owed his conversion. The author of the “Hundred and Ten Pious Considerations” built up his mystically inspired system as a holy sanctuary, into which the initiated alone were admitted.

The reformatory influence of this group was nevertheless soon to be felt beyond its own limits.

Catholic writers have said of Valdez that he “murdered more souls than all the Landsknechts together murdered bodies.” In a later statement of the Inquisitors it is mentioned that the new doctrine found 3000 adherents in Naples.[67] “Among these especially there were many schoolmasters.” Ochino’s sermons were discussed as the most important events of the day, disputes arose about the authority and contents of the Holy Scriptures, the doctrine of justification, of faith and good works, the power of the Pope, and purgatory, and these questions were the favourite subjects of conversation, even in the class of artisans.

“We are the witnesses of a wonderful spectacle,” the pious Benedictine, Gian Battista Folengo, wrote from Monte Cassino concerning matters in Naples. “Women, who seem born more for vanity than serious reflection, uneducated men, soldiers, are all so engrossed by the knowledge of the divine mysteries, that wherever anything is heard of perfection in Christian life, it generally proceeds from them. Oh, this is indeed a golden age! Here in Campania, no preacher is so learned but he may increase in wisdom and sanctity from conversing even with certain women.”[68]

The influence Valdez personally exercised upon Ochino’s opinions was chiefly confined to the general impulse communicated by him. Yet in Ochino’s writings we meet with thoughts and combinations, whose origin can only be traced to Valdez. He has been reproached for allowing himself to be used by Valdez to spread his ideas from the pulpit. To a certain extent the accusation is merited, as it really did occur that Valdez indicated to him in writing, the theme of his discourse on the following day.[69]

But notwithstanding their similarity of aim, the natures of the two men were fundamentally different. Intellect reigned in Ochino above all his gifts and the warmth of his piety; and from the generalship of his order, to his Protestant ministry, not speculation, but his own religious experience and earnest study of the Holy Scriptures, had been his constant guide. Writings of the German reformers had also found their way into the Neapolitan community, it was there that Carnesecchi became acquainted with Bucer’s Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Luther on the Psalms, and Calvin’s Institutions. These were probably also known to Ochino.

Charles V. left Naples during Lent 1536. The fame of the Capuchin, who attracted hearers from all other congregations,[70] had already excited the envy of the other Lenten preachers. Their conventional manner could not make way against “his new mode,” as they called it. They adopted the measures always readiest to hand, they accused Ochino to the viceroy, of secretly spreading Lutheran errors. They were able to appeal to the lately issued imperial edict. Don Pedro, who as a “Spaniard, favoured the scholastics,” commanded his “governatore” to examine and report concerning this matter. It is worthy of remark that the complaint was addressed to the temporal governors, and was taken cognisance of by them. There was as yet no spiritual tribunal in Naples, and even ten years later, when at Caraffa’s instigation an attempt was made to introduce the Inquisition, it failed through the opposition, almost amounting to revolt, of the indignant inhabitants. At a later period they were forced to submit. To be on the safe side, the governor forbade the Capuchin to preach for a time, unless he expressed himself clearly from the pulpit on certain points. “But the Frà,” says Giannone, “being a learned and eloquent man, defended himself so stubbornly (cosi gagliardamente) that he was permitted to continue his Lenten sermons undisturbed. And not only was all suspicion silenced concerning his teaching, he even gained in repute, and the number of his adherents increased. These continued secretly to spread his doctrines after his departure from Naples.”

Ochino’s opponents of 1536 have not been named. In 1539, when he delivered another course of sermons at Naples, it was the Theatines who kept watch over the Capuchin. They also detected deviations from the church doctrines, of which they adduced the following among other proofs: Augustine had said,[71] “God, who created thee without thy co-operation, will not save thee without thy co-operation,” but Ochino twists the sense of these words into the contrary meaning, by turning them into a question, “Will not God who has created thee without thy cooperation, save thee also without thy co-operation?” It is evident that Ochino was right in his reading of Augustine’s text, but the real opinions of the great church father had been so entirely lost, that the true rendering of his words was stigmatised as heretical. The order of the Theatines had lately been brought to Naples, by Gaetano of Thiene. They only obeyed the express injunctions of their rule, when they pursued heresy in every form. They kept spies in the church where Ochino preached, and sent reports to Caraffa at Rome. “Our fathers discovered the heresies at Naples,” boasts the Theatine Caracciolo,[72] “and in the following manner, Raniero Gualante, and Antonio Cappone, by their intercourse with Valdez and Ochino, had themselves become somewhat defiled with their pitch, but in confession our fathers led them on to relate everything that they knew concerning these secret heresies. By these means our people became aware that Valdez and Ochino were sowing tares in the assemblies of men and women they were in the habit of holding.”

This denunciation on the part of the Theatines was not followed by any decisive steps either in Naples or in Rome. The time was not yet ripe. Caraffa understood how to await the right moment. In the following year Ochino again preached at Naples, and up to 1541 he had not apparently overstepped the boundary between the Catholic doctrines and practices and the new doctrines. Yet as early as 1540, when he preached in Modena, attentive observers had made the suggestive remark, “Frà Bernardino does not preach as he used. He has always Christ upon his lips, and he no longer mentions St. Geminiano.”[73] It was reserved for one of Ochino’s Venetian sojourns to bring about the catastrophe that led to his open rupture with the Romish Church.

We gain an acceptable insight into the state of Ochino’s religious opinions at that time, from his seven dialogues.[74] Except his “Nine Sermons,” this is the only writing which remains to us from the period of his rupture with the Catholic Church. In these conversations his convictions are more clearly and fearlessly represented than in the Venetian sermons. The copy I have consulted belongs to an edition issued in 1542, at Venice, but this is expressly marked as a new one, and if we consider the date of the last dialogue, it seems beyond doubt that the “Seven Dialogues “appeared as early as the year 1539.[75]

In most of these dialogues the conversation is carried on between Ochino and the duchess Catarina Cibo of Camerino. Catarina was a staunch friend of the Capuchins. In 1534 she had already exerted her influence in behalf of the oppressed order, with Clement VII. She was a pious woman, of great culture. Like many of her feminine contemporaries, she knew Latin and Greek, and was versed in dialectics and theological questions. The manner in which she takes part in the conduct of these dialogues, seems designed to make this prominent, and was probably more than mere gallantry on the part of the grave author.

The first dialogue treats of “love to God.” Ochino laments that so few are tilled with love to God, while all love the creature and themselves. “Our blindness is so great, that we do not love God, although all things which inspire love are possessed by Him in the highest degree. For in Him there is no evil, but rather infinite goodness. The creature also possesses a certain shadowy, but not real goodness, only such as has been originally imparted by God, and depends on Him. In God alone are perfect, endless wisdom, beauty, truth, power, mercy, love, and charity. He only sends us sorrow because He loves us. He wishes to say to us, ‘You have been too dearly bought by my only Son, that I should now permit you to be lost, therefore from time to time I send you visitations, repugnant to your carnal-mindedness.’” Ochino adds, “Since the highest love is thus in God, how could the question arise, whether man should love Him in return? At least the question ought to be put thus, whether man can love Him in return?”

The dialogue then gives an answer to this question. He carefully develops the requirements of a true love to God. It is remarkable that he introduces the Platonic definition of virtue, though somewhat superficially conceived. “While all other virtues (folio 2, b) consist in a certain mean which they cannot overstep without sacrificing the goodness that lies in them, love to God can never be great enough. The greater it is, the better it is. We ought all to love Him boundlessly, to prefer Him to all things else, and never to leave Him, whether for good or for evil, for gain or loss, for joy or sorrow, for honour or shame, but rather we should say with Paul, “What shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” Even the creature turns to God, and loves Him after the manner given to it, though it lacks reason — and man, who is so loved of God, for whose sake He has created all things, and who, endowed with reason can love Him in the highest degree; he alone reverses the order of things, and not only does not love God above all things, but prefers before Him even the meanest creature, despises Him, and treads Him under foot.”

In what follows, he distinguishes between two kinds of love; the natural or sensuous, and the free or reasonable. The former as a natural impulse is morally indifferent, the other is of high moral value.

“By nature (folio 3, a) we are all inclined to love ourselves above all others. All other likings spring from this self love. There is even a natural inclination towards God, which has its origin in the consciousness of dependence upon Him. Such love cannot rise above itself. However high the eagle may fly, he cannot surpass himself, he remains confined to earth. Thus the soul cannot rise above itself, however high it may soar, as long as it lacks the wings of virtue, and is connected with the mean things of this world. I do not speak of this kind of love, which is nothing but self love, or of any sensuous love. Both are rooted in our nature, and are formed without our assistance. They therefore deserve neither praise nor blame in themselves. I speak rather of the free, reasonable love, which we can guide in its tendency, even towards God, by means of which we love Him more than ourselves. On the wings of this love, the soul is able to soar beyond itself. It can love God in such a degree, that it despises and hates itself. If the brave citizen is able to sacrifice his life for his country, and to renounce for its sake everything dear to him, how much more can the good Christian give up his life for the sake of God and His heavenly country, and love his God more than himself, as did the martyrs and other holy men. And not only these, but every one, even the greatest sinner, can, by means of God’s grace, which is denied to none, soar so high here below, as to love God more than himself. If man could not do this, the sinner could not be reconciled to God, and recover his forfeited favour.

“But in our love to God we must beware of falling into that sensuous love, and be devoted to Him — not as a child to his father, but as a slave to his master, because he is useful to him, or because he grants him temporal goods and pleasures. That is carnal love — not sincere, pure, godly, spiritual, and holy love. Others, again, love God for the sake of the honours and dignities they gain by it, and not for His glory. That is not really love to God, but love of self.

“This kind of love is not difficult, but neither is it right and virtuous. On the contrary, it is culpable. To love God above everything, above ourselves — sincere and pure love only for the sake of His honour and glory — this is certainly repugnant to our carnal minds,— but this is what our reason requires as perfect love. The natural affection follows the natural movements of inclination and repulsion, but the reasonable affection is free. What hinders thee from doing good to him who has done thee harm? Or, if thou canst not do good to him in deed, why canst thou not do it in thy heart, and say to thyself, If I could do it, I assuredly would? It is thus with the free love to God. We can at least give our hearts to Him through Jesus Christ, and say to ourselves, If the occasion arose, I would — provided it were needful, and God willed it — give up my life for His sake. I would endure all pains and privations if I could thus please God.”

A few years later, Ochino proved that he had here spoken not mere words, but his innermost conviction, which he was ready to prove by deeds. He refers the free love to God to the working of the Holy Spirit in the human heart. As he assumes this working to be universal, embracing all men, he requires of each individual to exercise this free love to God. In another passage of the dialogue he refers the reconciliation of man and God, as Valdez does, to the rooting of this free love in his heart.

The conversation then treats another question. “I now see,” says the Duchess (folio 5, b), “that, although difficult, it is yet possible to love God sincerely. But what must I do to fill my heart with love towards Him? As Christ says, man cannot serve two masters — at least, not if they are at enmity with one another, it is therefore impossible to serve God and the world from the heart. The more we love the world, the more our love to God will be diminished. Therefore, whoever wishes to stand before God with his whole love must leave himself and all creatures behind. He cannot, at the same time, be chained to earth by his love and rise to God. Therefore the soul, as it is only single, must rise to its Creator, and free itself from every other inclination, and leave everything else below.”

Ochino returns an answer we should scarcely have expected from a man who had spent his life in the cowl of the strictest order. “The contempt of this world is the fruit of our love to God, but love to God does not arise from contempt of the world. Therefore we must first love Him, and then despise the world. The Christian is led by the love of Jesus to despise all things — even so far as to hate himself for the sake of the love of God. For this hatred arises out of the love, but not the love out of the hatred. In the foremost place, the comparison we make between God and the world helps to kindle our love towards Him, since the world is nothing, void of all good, and full of all evil.”

As a second road leading to the love of God, the Duchess herself indicates the knowledge of God. “We only love what we know — loving without previous knowledge is inconceivable. The desire to know serves that desire which is king in us — namely, the will; it precedes the will and carries the light, so that it is impossible for the will to arrive where knowledge has not forestalled it. To my mind, therefore, the best means of loving God well consists in striving to know Him better, and frequently making Him the object of our meditations. We should direct these meditations to the idea that God is single, eternal, necessary, boundless, and everlasting; that He, as Father, is unbegotten, and that he has begotten the Son, and furnished Him with all perfection; that both by their wills brought forth the Holy Ghost, and gave to Him also all perfection; that the three Persons are alike in substance, differing only in person, &c.”

Ochino has listened to the exposition of the Duchess without interrupting her. He now takes up the argument. He acknowledges the connection between the knowledge of God and love to Him, but makes a certain limit. He distinguishes two modes of knowing God — a speculative, and a practical one, and it is only to the latter that he ascribes the power of kindling true love to God.

He says (folio 7, a): “If it were really as you assume, only learned men could really love God. But I believe that a poor old woman is able to love God just as well as the most learned man in the world. Knowing these things about God does not yet lead us to love Him. They are called speculations, and they rather hinder us; for if the soul is occupied with such high matters, it does not direct its strivings towards love, but remains dry and cold. Therefore St. Paul says, in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, that the wise of this world, although they possessed a certain speculative knowledge of God, did not glorify Him as God, ‘neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.’ Thus it is not the speculative, but the practical knowledge of God which leads to love — namely, the thought that God is the highest good; that He loves us and cares for us; that He gave up His Son, even to the cross, out of love for us. This knowledge can be easily gained, even by the unlearned, ‘for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’”

In what follows, Ochino instances the various ways Christ has given us an example to lead us to the perfect love of God — His humility, wisdom, and patience, His obedience, and love for His fellow-men. We recognise the monk when Ochino specially dwells on Christ’s extreme poverty, His severe spiritual exercises, His vigils, His abstinence.

“Whoever passes before his spiritual eye Christ’s whole life from His birth to His ascension, and remembers His words, tears, and sighs, His fasts, His abstinence, His journeys and prayers, shame, reproaches, persecution, scourging, and torture, and all His love, must not he be blind, cold, and stubborn if he be not inflamed with love to God! Fire is kindled by fire, and love by love.”

“There is one thing more I should like to know,” interrupts the Duchess (folio 13, a), — “namely, whether enjoying God helps us to love Him?”

“Enjoying God,” answers Ochino, “does not yet mean loving Him. Enjoyment and true love do not re-act on one another. Enjoyment is rather connected with self-love; the soul that seeks the enjoyment of God does not wish to be His bride, but rather His mistress. God gives enjoyment to the imperfect, as we give milk to lambs, because they cannot digest solid food. Who would not be ready to give up the enjoyment of the world for the enjoyment of Christ? But there is a more difficult demand, to give up the enjoyment of the world for the sake of the persecution, shame, poverty, and cross of Christ. The true love to God helps a man to care neither for joy nor for sorrow, for praise nor for blame, nor for things that are useful to him, or for such as are harmful to him. Whoever really loves God is not troubled that he has no enjoyments. He only concludes that he is unworthy of them. He does not on this account desist from loving God.”

With this ends the first dialogue. It seems probable that in this and the following dialogues, we have a general sketch of one of those conversations, such as the intimate circle at Rome and Naples were in the habit of holding. The object is not a dogmatic exposition, but rather mutual encouragement and edification by the discussion of religious questions. In the above dialogues it seems as though Ochino had in his mind those intimate meetings, when he says (folio 9, b), “Oh, how helpful it is to the love of God to hear a man speak, who is wholly penetrated by love to Him!”

The second dialogue is a short discussion between Ochino and the Duchess “concerning the means of being happy.” It is here proved, and illustrated with passages from Plato and Seneca, that true happiness is not in the possession of earthly goods, nor in enjoyment, honour, riches, or knowledge, but that disregarding all these things, a real though necessarily imperfect happiness can be enjoyed in our pilgrimage, a happiness to be sought in ourselves, in the peace the soul finds when it is absorbed in God.”

“Happiness is in ourselves, (folio 16, a). We need not go outside to seek it, our longings are stilled in God, but whoever thinks to satisfy his longings by the things of this world, is like the man who tries to satisfy his thirst by eating salt. Whoever wishes to quench his thirst must go to that spring in which all fresh water is united, clear, pure, and inexhaustible.”

Se ben, qual fiume allui l’oro portante,

Congregi il riccho avar richezze molte,

Et hibbia assai terren buono et frutante

Et pietre et perle nel mar rosso colte —

Hor che giovar gli puonno butte quante

Sel non è per empir sue voglie stolte?

Che mentre il vive mai tal cruccio passa

Et ogni richezza pel morir si lassa.

In the third dialogue, the design of dogmatic teaching is still more in the background. It is rather a short system of ethics and morals which is here built up by Ochino. The human soul, with its various faculties, is represented as a kingdom or a court, in which each separate part has its prescribed functions, while all the parts are in turn directed according to the functions of the whole. The dialogue is carried on between a master and a scholar. They are soon agreed in thinking it wholesome and needful to have a fixed rule for self-government. The master, in carrying out the comparison of the soul to the court, designates the will as the ruler, intelligence as his adviser; and proves that good order can only be maintained in the state by the harmony of these two.

The fourth dialogue, between Ochino and the Duchess, deals with the marvellous conversion of the thief on the cross. Scholasticism had attempted to penetrate the mystery of this conversion with its little clue, and had involved itself in curious mazes. It was asked, how came it that that one believed in Christ when all others left Him? that he believed in Him at a moment when Christ was working no miracle? while His disciples, and the multitude who now mocked him, were around Him when He revealed the power and glory of His Father. The mere asking of these questions is characteristic. It assumes, as the first condition of belief in Christ, an exercise of supernatural power on His part. The answers were even more characteristic. Some declared it was the shadow of the crucified Christ which touched the thief and worked the miracle in him. Others deemed it was the devout gaze of Mary fixed on Jesus that touched him and worked the conversion. Ochino decidedly rejects both explanations with their materialistic bases. In this case, also, belief in Christ is to him a free action, brought about not magically, but psychologically. “The thief looked upon Christ (folio 29, b), he saw Him endure everything without a murmur, and that He even shed His blood with a joyful countenance. He saw the hot tears fall to the ground, and heard the glowing sighs rise to heaven. He heard His words and saw His wonderful patience, His all-embracing love; it was all this that kindled in him the belief that Christ was in truth the Son of God.”

In the fifth dialogue, Christ is introduced in conversation with the soul. Christ declares the necessity of immediate conversion; the soul, on its part, deems there is time enough for this, and excuses itself by saying that such weighty matters should be well considered.

“This holds good in all important matters of a doubtful nature,” Christ answers (folio 34, b), “but when thou art concerned with serving God, there should be no need to consider. Every one should be resolved and ready.” “For the moment,” replies the soul, “I cannot honourably quit the wicked world. People would say that the world had driven me away, I will rather await a more favourable moment, then all men will see that I leave the world, not from fear, or disgust, but out of love for Thee.” “But should this favourable moment never come?” “In any case, I will forsake the world.”

Christ answers: “Whoever depends upon the opinions of men, cannot be happy, and whoever is bound by so many considerations, cannot reach God. To come to me with earthly honours, is the same as to serve two enemies. It is evident that love for the world is stronger in thee than love for me. If thou lovedst truly, the world and all its ties could not hold thee back a single moment. I have not acted thus towards thee. I held all things as nothing for thy sake, and suffered myself to be despised. Do not have so many considerations, make a bundle of all the good and evil the world has, and cast it behind thee. The world has merited no better, time is precious, whoever does not use grace when it is offered him, shows himself unworthy, and the future is uncertain.”

After all this, the soul declares itself ready to break with the world once and for ever. It is ready to give to the world the things of the world, namely, pomp, pride, vanity, ignorance, ingratitude, deceit, falsehood, lust, and covetousness. Christ then says: “I invite thee and expect thee in paradise. If only thou comest to me in truth, I will forgive thee all thy sins. Thou shalt be as a bride dear to my heart, and shalt triumph with me everlastingly.”

In the sixth dialogue, the soul converses with its guardian angel. This conversation is, in many respects, connected with the foregoing. It is entitled “The pilgrimage to Paradise.” The soul penitently confesses that it has hitherto neglected to attain complete union with Christ, and has thus lost its whole lifetime. It begs the guidance of its guardian angel to find the right way, and he declares himself willing to lead it.

“Before thou goest on thy way,” he begins (folio 39,b), “thou must pay all thy debts; if thou hast anything belonging to thy neighbour, return it to him; if thou hast slandered him, take back thy words. If thou hast hurt his body or soul, make amends as far as lies in thy power; if thou hast sown discord between others, try to make peace between them. If by words or example thou hast led others to evil, try to bring them back to the right way, and thus make amends for the harm thou hast done. If there are cases in which thou art unable to do so, do not be ashamed, but declare openly that thou hast forsaken thy former life and art ready to give back to every man his own. Sell thy possessions, thy goods, thy palaces, and give them to the poor, as Christ said to the young man in the Gospel. Do not load thyself with earthly goods on thy pilgrimage to heaven.” “May I not take anything with me? “asks the soul. “Yes, as much as thou requirest for living.” “But I have children, parents, friends, must I leave all these behind?” “Certainly not, not one of them, rather try to take all of them with thee.” “But if they will not?” — “Then forsake them, even though it were thy own father, and go on in the way, for whoever loves father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me. Strive to enlighten thy kindred, and to lead them to Christ, help them, rebuke them, amend them where they are wanting, work upon them by thy word and example, by thy life and prayers. If thy position or dignities in the world, or thy pleasures hinder, thee, let them go, for if thou lovest God, but lovest the creature more, every time thou makest a step forwards on the way, thou wilt be making two backwards, and wilt thus never reach the goal. If thou lovest the creature up to a certain point, but God still more, thou wilt make two steps forwards, and one backwards, and thus advance, though slowly. Only if thou love God alone, wilt thou soon reach the goal.”

The last dialogue is a conversation between Ochino and the Duchess concerning “vows.”

“What must I do,” asks the Duchess, “to secure the salvation of my soul, and my highest happiness?” “You must make a vow.” “I do not mean to do that for many reasons.” “But if I should show you an order quite after your own heart?” “I might perhaps do it then, but as yet, I do not know one that satisfies me in every respect.” “But I know one which will please you, for it is quite perfect, quite divine.” “Then it will not do for me.” “On the contrary, every one ought to strive after perfection. The members of this order do not change their dwelling, but only their customs, not their clothing, but their lives. They cut off all sinful thoughts and desires instead of their hair. They pray with their hearts and not with their lips. They obey God, and not man.” “I should like to be perfect,” answers the Duchess, “but it must not give me too much trouble.” “You can be gratified in this wish also, for in the whole world there is no lighter order than this.” “What is the name of this order?” asked the Duchess. “It is called the Divine, its name is venerable as the lives of those who belong to it.” “Tell me more about it; perhaps I may feel inclined to enter it.”

“In this order,” answered Ochino, “there are no novices, the vows must be taken at once; only noble souls (spiriti gentili) may enter. If you wish to enter, then indite with all your heart the following vow. You must rise in thought to the throne of the Trinity, to the feet of Christ, and take your vow in presence of the Virgin and all the saints, ever mindful that although you feel yourself weak, you are yet united with God in faith, hope, and charity.”

“The vow. Be it known to all by these presents that I Catherine, Duchess of Camerino, enlightened by God’s grace and divine light, in consideration of the great goodness of God, and His love to me, and, on the other hand, of the wickedness of the world, and my own sinfulness, have resolved to turn to God with the whole power of my love, now and for ever. I recognise through faith, and declare from my heart with all my senses and faculties, in word and deed, that I believe in one triune God who is single, pure, eternal, immeasureable, unchangeable, all-powerful, who possesses unbounded beauty, wisdom, justice, mercy, charity, truth, and all virtues in the highest perfection. I believe that God created the world out of nothing, that He provides for all things with the greatest care, that he maintains and rules everything with the greatest wisdom and goodness, that there can be no fault in His works, that from eternity to eternity He foresees everything, and loves us with boundless, steady, disinterested fatherly love. Further, I believe that He, the eternal Father, to unite Himself with man, gave us His own Son, in His boundless love, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived for all, and died on the cross, He descended into hell, to save them that were elect in the beginning, (I Santi Padri), the third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. I believe that He poured the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, I am convinced of the truth of His doctrine, and I firmly trust that His mercy will never fail me. I believe that the life of the saints and the Church of Christ is spotless and holy. Finally, I believe all that belongs to the true faith, and if, by my sinfulness, weakness, or ignorance, I should err or sin in anything, I now and for ever attribute the fault to myself, and recant. For it is my intention to believe only the truth, now, and at every moment of my life.”

“For the sake of this faith I am ready to make any sacrifice, but knowing from experience my own fickleness, my own weakness, I mistrust myself, and place all my hopes upon God. I wish to depend upon Him alone, and expect everything from Him through the merits of Christ, and if, in consequence of my ignorance, weakness or sinfulness, I should ever doubt God, or mistrust Him, or proudly refuse to acknowledge that all good comes from Him, and all evil from myself, I declare now and for ever, that I should in such case be foolish, blind, and mad, and therefore in advance, I retract and annul all this. If any one shall praise me, I will receive it as though he praised God’s work; if I have any possessions, I will regard them not as mine, but as God’s property; and in my last hour, I will not appear before the throne of the Holy Trinity otherwise than sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and rich through His merits.”

In what follows, the Duchess thanks God for all His benefits, which she declares herself ready to proclaim all her life; she will try to work upon others, so that they may love and seek God alone. Just as she retracted everything in advance, which might come into her thoughts against divine truth, she here declares that she hates all her sins, that she is ready to bear their punishment, although she knows (folio 53, b), that even all the pains of hell could not atone for her transgressions. Therefore she gladly casts herself into the arms of the Crucified, and hopes to gain, through Him alone, forgiveness of her sins. She will devote her whole life to becoming one with Christ, and in this endeavour she pronounces the following solemn vow: —

“I promise, in the first place, to live in eternal poverty, that is without love for the creature, and acknowledging that I myself have nothing, and can not do, will, know, or accomplish anything. In the second place, I promise implicit obedience, that is, now and for ever to follow God’s commands, and never to strive against them. In the third place, I promise to observe chastity, that is, I will remain unspotted in heart and mind, and never think, wish, or commit anything which displeases God, nor soil my spirit by the thought of creatures, or love to them.”

“Thus, united with God, I promise to serve Him, my Lord, purely and without blame, and to bring others to His service. But because I do not wish to offend God, I declare that none of these promises is binding under pain of deadly sin, except in so far as God Himself binds me. Should it ever happen that I repent me of this vow, that I lose my faith, and become untrue to my promises, I hereby declare, before God and the whole world, that it is not my real will ever to take back what I here promise. Therefore in advance I declare all that as null and void, and I pray God that He may regard it as though it had never been.

“This is my last wish, and I once more declare that I am a great sinner, and that I set my hope on God alone. I hope to gain salvation through Christ alone, and as witnesses I call upon the Trinity, the Virgin, all the saints, and everything created. To attest to this, I, Duchess of Camerino, have signed with my own hand, MDXXXVIIII.”

In these dialogues, and especially in the “vow,” the fundamental idea strikes us as essentially Protestant. The idea is the doctrine of justification by the grace of God alone, taught in Valdez’ circle. The estimation of “good works” disappears in comparison, and the Catholic system is ignored. Ochino does not draw this inference here, but it forces itself forward. As long as he belonged to the Catholic Church, he acted on the principle that her institutions possessed a certain disciplinary value, even if they could not be deduced from Holy Scripture. This is clearly shown in his sermons in 1539. He shared these opinions with a large number of his most distinguished contemporaries. It depended on the development of outward circumstances whether they should break decisively with Church authority, as was the case with some few, or maintain their allegiance.

To return to Ochino, it is evident that the annalist of the Capuchin Order must have found it a hard piece of work to write the chronicle of the years 1541 and 1542. It is not wonderful that he calls this a time of trouble and storms, and he can scarcely find words strong enough to deplore and condemn Ochino’s apostasy. He thinks he has found the explanation for this unexampled event in the following: — “After the close of the general chapter, Whitsuntide 1541, Ochino still remained some time in Naples; he there formed an intimate friendship with Juan Valdez, who, himself a heretic, sowed tares in the Lord’s field. He was a man greatly honoured in the city, on account of his knowledge and experience, and it was this which had made Ochino seek his acquaintance. Valdez inspired doubts in his mind concerning the doctrines of the Church. He contrived cunningly to entangle Ochino’s reason, urging that the Church had forsaken the groundwork of Holy Scripture, that the power of the Popes and many decrees of the Councils were not scriptural, that the doctrines of purgatory and indulgence, and of the invocation and intercession of the saints were false. Then Valdez gave him writings of the German innovators, of Bucer, of Luther, and other theologians who dissented from Church doctrines. Ochino, who was inclined to novelties, yielded only too soon, he eagerly devoured the heretical writings. In this manner, from being a son of the Catholic Church, he became a stranger, an enemy, and ran blindly to destruction.” Thus Boverio. He purposely keeps silent concerning the accusation directed against Ochino at Naples in the spring of 1536, and the denunciation of 1539. He also ignores the previous acquaintance of Ochino and Valdez, already advanced into intimacy before Carnesecchi left Naples in May 1541, shortly before the death of Valdez.[76] At any cost, he strives to defend the chapter of his order against the accusation of having elected a heretic for its general. Boverio shows himself unable to do justice to the change in Ochino’s own religious opinions, of which we can find the clearest traces in his writings as early as 1539. He cannot even comprehend them. Ochino’s stern monkish life seems to him only hypocrisy, his desire for a purer knowledge of Christian things, and his consequent study of Scripture only culpable love of novelty. Boverio counts it as a sin to have read books by “heretics,” although they had not yet been forbidden by name in any index. When Ochino, despairing to find peace through abstinence and penance, prayers and vigils, seeks after other means, Boverio accuses him of pride; and when, in the anguish of his soul, and after a severe struggle, Ochino at length breaks with his order and the Church, Boverio sees in this step the lowest deep of ingratitude and wickedness. But we are anticipating the termination of that inner strife, not achieved till after years of struggle. He has left a brief account of this transition. In that same letter to Muzio, in which he speaks of himself as having been a true Pharisee, he says: “I had not been long among the Capuchins before the Lord began to open my eyes. He taught me to recognise three things; firstly, that Christ had done enough for His elect, and had obtained paradise for them, that He alone is our Righteousness; secondly, that the vows of human institution are not only not binding, but even immoral; thirdly, that the Roman Church, although outwardly brilliant to the bodily eye, is nevertheless an abomination to the eyes of the Lord. All this did the Lord plainly show me. The testimony of Holy Scripture, and of the Holy Ghost, also testified to this, and the law fulfilled its mission in me. Thus I was cast down from the height of haughty trust in myself into the depth of despair concerning my own works and powers. I recognised that, under the semblance of doing good, I had really, like Paul, persecuted Christ and His Gospel, and had departed the further from God the more I tried to attain Him by storming Him by works. I was in dire confusion, but I did not remain fixed at this point, for Christ revealed Himself to me in His grace, and when, with Paul, I forsook the trust in my own powers, I gained new confidence in God. I set all my hopes upon Him, and in all things gave myself up to His guidance, since I had only gone astray under my own.”

We have seen that Ochino did not make the struggle that engrossed his years of manhood easy to himself. So long as he was a disciple of St. Francis, he wished to be so wholly in deeds and doctrine. “No longer satisfied by the traditional life of your order, you had introduced for yourself, and for not a few who followed you, a new mode of life, longer vigils at night, sterner fasts, rougher clothing: you left your feet unshod, and in all things you strove after a yet greater abstinence. You taught all this when already advanced in years; it was no excess of youthful zeal.” And this testimony proceeds from Cardinal Caraffa, Ochino’s bitterest opponent.[77] He himself says, concerning his life in the order: “As long as I was in the order, I confessed my sins daily; sometimes twice a-day. They were certainly foolish matters, that I had broken silence, or spoken useless things, and such like; but, as far as I can remember, I never confessed that I had not a true and living faith, and yet that was the greatest of all faults.” “I anxiously obeyed all natural, moral, ecclesiastical, and evangelical observances, and not only those observances contained in the rules of St. Francis, but everything which our fathers had established in the provincial and general chapters.”[78]

“Lord! if these things do not save me,” Ochino exclaimed at that time, and yet it was all in vain. He had directed the weapons of the righteousness of works against his doubts concerning his own salvation, but these weapons proved blunt, and it was the desperate experience of his manhood, that certainty of salvation and peace of mind are not to be bought or forced. In vain he had “read masses, recited paternosters, ave marias, psalms, and prayers, even more than his rule required. In vain he had chastised his body, worn the roughest clothing, observed fasts, performed works of penance far beyond his vow.” He fought a fight like that of the German monk in the convent at Erfurt, who also for the certainty of salvation, “wrestled with the devil,” yet always had the worst of it until at last he cast himself into the arms of Divine righteousness to find salvation in the arms of Divine love. In the distress of their conscience both were driven to a deeper study of Holy Scripture. It was to both a source of consolation and of trust in the boundless mercy of God.

Ochino has mentioned, as a chief article of faith, “that Christ has done enough for His elect, and has won paradise for them.”This places him in the ranks of those who taught the justification of the sinner by God’s grace and Christ’s merits alone, as it was taught in Valdez’ circle and everywhere in Italy where there are any traces of the reform movement. It possessed this practical interest which no other doctrine had in the same degree, it dealt with the inner personal need of salvation of the individual, and his external relation to the whole traditional Church, with its institutions, commands, and pretensions. No wonder that this doctrine became the central point for the Reformation, both south and north of the Alps. No wonder, therefore, that the deductions from it were often carried to extremes.

When Ochino wrote his “Seven Dialogues” (1539), his struggle was not completely, though essentially ended. He makes the Duchess say in her vow: “In my last hour I will not appear before the throne of the Holy Trinity, otherwise than sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and rich through His merits, and in no other manner will I enter into paradise.” Therefore, she gently casts herself into the arms of the Crucified, and hopes to gain through Him alone forgiveness of her sins. But traditional views appear, when shortly before Ochino mentions the saints, and allows the Duchess to rely upon their merits as well as the merits of Christ. In the “Nine Sermons “of the same year, he made mention of the “heretics” doctrine of justification. “They say we need do no good work, because it is faith, not works, that saves us.” At that time Ochino could find no answer, but only an evasion, “In any case it is safer to do good works.” He afterwards called this preaching Christ disguised, and in a mask. “We must remember the narrow ideas of that time concerning good works, according to which they consisted in nothing but fulfilling a number of disciplinary and other ecclesiastical commands, to be able to understand the great intolerable difference between Ochino’s convictions, on the one hand, and the requirements of his position on the other. The Catholic Church never permitted him the free expression of these convictions, least of all in the pulpit where he needed it most, and yet he found the decision to leave it and his order so hard, that he endured this difference for many years, until the hope of a reconciliation had entirely vanished. In his letter to Muzio, he says, “I had long recognised the truth of the gospel through God’s grace, and although I mounted the pulpit day after day, yet I dared not openly proclaim it. You may imagine the constant martyrdom I suffered.”

A second conviction forced upon him, contrary to his former opinions, is this; “that the vows of human orders are not only not binding, but actually immoral.” He himself had a long experience in these matters, for very many years he had belonged to the Order of St. Francis. He afterwards expressed himself concerning the motives that caused men to take the vows. “Many enter and leave their own parents, their brothers or sisters, even their children in want; or, at any rate, their neighbours, to whom they could be useful. They shut themselves up in convents, feed themselves fat, and are useless and burdensome to the world. If we could see to the bottom of their hearts we should find that they go into the convent out of despair, want, or cowardice, because they have lost courage to rule themselves; or, out of laziness, to live in idleness to the sound of bells; or, at best, to atone for their sins by works and penance, and gain credit in the eyes of God. Oh, we should not find one who entered the convent for the glory of God.[79]

In the seventh dialogue of 1539, Ochino for the first time expresses his opinion concerning the moral value of orders and vows. He reviews the various professions — those of the merchant, priest, and monk, and he considers no one profession holier than another, — all seem to him equal in the eyes of God. How different from the prevalent opinions of that time, expressed in the much-used simile, which Luther also mentions: “The Church is a great ship, in which there is no layman — not even a king or a prince, but only the Pope, with the cardinals, bishops, priests, and monks. Thus they sail towards heaven. But the laymen swim about in the water round the ship; they hold on to ropes and cords which the fathers throw out to them out of pity, and on account of their good works, so that they may not be drowned, but remain clinging to the ship, and thus attain heaven.” In another passage of the same dialogue, when Ochino invites the Duchess to take the vow of poverty, obedience, and chastity, he plainly shows how he wishes the vow to be rightly understood, and why he discards the customary mode of obligation as immoral. He considers the three vows from a general point of view, and he requires their strict observance, as far as they concern the principles of moral life, from every one without exception. With the same decision he rejects the obligation to them under deadly sin. “Because I do not wish to offend God, I do not bind myself to any vow under deadly sin, but I have the firm intention of fulfilling them.” With these free and deep convictions concerning the moral duty of the individual, far beyond all monkish standards, it is not strange that Ochino should have hesitated a second time to accept the generalship of his order. In spite of the third point in his letter to Muzio, we know that as long as he remained in the Church he served her zealously. “I recognised that the Roman Church, although outwardly brilliant to the bodily eye, is nevertheless an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.” It was not till circumstances around him, and the further development in him forced him to a decision, and his conscience upbraided him for denying Christ day after day, that he broke the chains that bound him to his Church and his order, though not without a severe struggle. He refers to some of his latter actions when he writes to Muzio: “Although I had many other thoughts in my mind, there seemed to me at that time no mode of life in which I could serve God better than under the mask of a cowl, and in the holiness of walk which could be beheld by others. I resolved to proclaim God’s grace and His gospel, Christ and His great merits, with a regard to the superstition in Italy that prevailed then and now, and with respect to the peculiar manner in which I was situated. Thus I began to preach that we are saved by Christ. I saw that the eyes of Italy were so weak that I should have hurt them grievously if I had let them look full on the great Light, Christ, as it had been revealed to me. The scribes and Pharisees who govern in Italy would have killed me. I therefore thought it better not to reveal the great light of the gospel so suddenly, but gradually showing it, accommodating myself to their weak powers of sight. I arranged my expressions for their dull eyes; I preached that we are saved through grace and through Christ; that He has done enough for us, and has won us Paradise. In doing so, I avoided actually revealing the wickedness which prevails in the dominion of Antichrist. I did not say there is no other merit and indulgence except the merits of Christ, nor any purgatory. But I left these inferences to those who, through God’s grace, felt a lively sense of Christ’s great merits. Neither did I say, you are under the impious dominion of Antichrist, who has his seat at Rome; the customs of his Church and yours are rotten from their foundation — not less their doctrines and your human orders. They are all evil, and there is no true order except the order of Christ. You are nothing but idolaters; and when you make the saints your mediators you offend God, Christ, His mother, and all Paradise. I could not openly proclaim these truths, therefore I kept silence, in the hope that Christ would show me what he wished me to do. But in the narrow circle I revealed the secret to many. Many of these came to me to tempt me, others from covetousness to inform the Pope and the cardinals of the nature of my doctrines. They thus showed themselves enemies of the truth which they had pretended to approve in secret. And again, others joined who, partly from envy, partly for religion’s sake, sought to bring the matter to an issue. They contended that I preached heresies — and such poisonous heresy that none could ensnare or catch me in my own words.”


Ochino in Venice, 1542 — Writing to the Marchesa del Vasto — to Aretino — The Catastrophe — Ochino at Verona — Letter from the Council of Siena — Ochino’s Reply — Victory of the Reaction at Rome — The Inquisition — Caraffa’s Rules — Ochino’s Citation — Intercession of Giberti — The Journey — The Visit to Contarini — Ochino in Florence — Three Courses — The Decision — Letter to Vittoria Colonna — Vermigli’s Flight — Ochino concerning his Determination — Flight — Boverio’s Account — Bullinger’s Letter.

Ochino was agitated by this struggle between his office and his convictions when he again came to Naples in the beginning of 1542, to preach there during Lent. Three editions of his “Nine Sermons “of 1539 had already appeared.[80] They had increased the desire to hear him again. The people flocked to listen as much as ever when he mounted the pulpit of the S. S. Apostoli; but he seems to have been no longer trusted in Rome. When the Pope gave his consent to Ochino’s preaching in Venice, he at the same time sent directions to the Nuntius Fabio Mignanelli to watch the Capuchin carefully. If these directions were not given personally by Paul III., it is possible that the then all powerful Caraffa may have had a hand in them. It was he who had formerly in Naples caused Ochino to be watched by his Theatines. The spies in Venice did not wish to be appointed for nothing; they reported to the Nuntius a number of Ochino’s expressions as heretical. Ochino was called before him — probably in secret; but this first citation had no consequences. Ochino himself said: “It is easy to accuse any one of ambiguity in theological expressions, but it is more difficult to convict him of heresy.” At that time, as he himself mentioned afterwards, he expressed himself with particular reticence and prudence. Perhaps the Nuntius would have thought it rash to proceed decisively with this denunciation; perhaps he wished to await a more favourable time; or he may have desired, if possible, to avoid any public proceeding against the beloved preacher.

We possess two letters of this period. The one,[81] dated 10th February 1542, is addressed to the Marchese del Vasto, who was at that time imperial governor of Milan. “If it is an honour to serve under a valiant earthly general, it is a yet greater honour to serve under the General Christ, for He is the most valiant of all. While others conquer by the help of numerous armies, by weapons and arrows, often by cunning and lucky chance, Christ comes alone into the world and takes upon himself the fight without earthly power or favour, armed only with truth, humility, patience and love. In one single fight He hath conquered not only the children of the world, but also the spirits of hell, death, sin, and all God’s enemies. Since then Christ is such a glorious General you need not be ashamed of belonging to His brave soldiers, your other friends will celebrate and proclaim your earthly victories, but I will rejoice when you conquer yourself, when you do not make this world’s honour your idol, but lift yourself above the world by the power of your soul; when you do not serve the world, but rather make use of it for the greater honour of God.” Ochino knew that he himself was a soldier of Christ. Could he have felt that the hardest trial was at hand?

The second letter is among the collection of letters addressed to Pietro Aretino.[82] Aretino, who was, as he himself expressed, “earning his bread with the sweat of his pen,” at Venice, had taken up theology for a change. He sent the distinguished preacher a copy of his commentary on Genesis with a letter, which seems to have borne the stamp of artificial modesty. Ochino’s clever reply shows that he saw through the writer. “To the noble and wonderfully endowed (miracoloso) Signor Pietro Aretino. I really cannot tell you how pleasant the present of your Genesis was to me, although in my imperfect judgment it promises such rich and valuable fruits from its perusal, and I have so high an opinion of its value, that I do not even know whether my capabilities will suffice to pluck them. I was still more surprised by the great amiability which you have shown me by your letter, especially as you avoid all flattery. Only about yourself you are perhaps a trifle mistaken, you do not seem to know your own worth, and yet it seems to me impossible that ability should be ignorant of itself. I do not wish to insist on my thanks for fear of increasing my obligations, but humbly and cordially I salute you. Convent of the S. S. Apostoli, March 25th 1542.”

It was probably just at that time that the conflict broke out, whose consequences drove Ochino to that decision which determined his whole life. Shortly before, the Nuntius had condemned the preacher Giulio Terenziano of Milan for alleged heresy. The free republic lent its aid without demur, for just then relations between Venice and the Papal See were very friendly. Giulio was a friend of Ochino’s, filled with the same religious convictions, and like him a member of Valdez’ circle. Ochino mounted the pulpit, and, convinced of the injustice of this step, he allowed no considerations to deter him from openly standing up for his friend and the truth. “What will it lead to, oh! men of Venice,” he exclaimed, “if such things may happen. Oh, queen of the sea, if thou castest the heralds of truth into dungeons and chains, and condemnest them to the galleys, what resting-place shall remain for the truth? Oh that it might be freely proclaimed, how many who are now blind would regain the light!”

Ochino was denounced a second time. The Nuntius, indignant at his proceedings, forbade him to preach any more. The “Savii” of the Republic, the Committee of the Great Council for Church matters, would scarcely have consented to stronger measures against Ochino, and the Nuntius was not even able to insist on this one, for all the citizens rose up in favour of their preacher. The Nuntius gave way. On the third day Ochino once more mounted the pulpit. He had promised to refrain from polemics, but the Nuntius sent an account of the events to Rome. Giulio remained in prison, and it was not till some years later that he succeeded in escaping from his dungeon. He fled into the Valtelline and became minister of the Evangelical Congregation at Poschiaro.

After finishing his Lenten sermons, Ochino went to Verona, and took up his lodging in the quiet Capuchin cloister, near where the Adige leaves the town walls. He must more than ever have needed rest, but he did not remain idle. He expounded St. Paul’s Epistles to the members of his order; Brothers flocked from afar to hear him, he was in intimate daily intercourse with the venerable bishop of the city, Matteo Giberti, formerly papal datary and member of the Roman Oratory of Divine Love.

The Council of Siena again applied to Ochino for a course of sermons. A copy of their letter is preserved among the Sienese archives. “April 28th 1542. Venerable Father, — The grace of God has been active for our city, through the good intentions of the Emperor and the wise government of his representatives, so that the city is now converted from the dissolute ways you knew and often condemned, to an orderly and sober mode of life. Had that spirit been in us that should have been, we should not have hesitated so long before we amended. We are convinced that you will gladly lend your assistance to make the amendment lasting, and we look for greater results from the sermons of your Reverence than from any other means. Therefore we beg you, in the firm conviction that you will accede, to come as soon as possible, remain among us and strengthen us by your edifying discourses, of which we hope for many in the coming Lent, and we look for this with the more confidence as the Pope gave us his consent when he passed through on his way to Lucca. We trust that your excellent kindness will fulfil this becoming wish, which your whole native city lays before you by our means. Pray to God that He may enlighten us and lead us on the way that conducts to His glory and service. May He grant peace to your Reverence.”

To this letter Ochino replied:[83] — “Noble Signors, because the love of country is a right and holy feeling, and the more so when it concerns a universal and public good, I am of opinion that we are bound to love it the more, the nearer we stand to God. As brother of an order I am not excluded from these sweet chains, but rather bound more closely the more charity is increased in me. Accordingly the welfare of my city has filled me with joy, and I have begun to feel proud of her — though always in Christ — I hear so much good of her. I would gladly enjoy this, especially as she once gave me much trouble and the rather because your letter expresses your own wish and that of the whole city, but especially because I think that I can contribute something more to the amendment. But since I have been in Verona I have received, at the instigation of the Venetian Dominion, a brief from His Holiness which commands me to return to Venice, and remain there till further orders. I am therefore prevented, and must beg not only your forgiveness but also your compassion, since I would much rather come than remain here. I will pray to God, whose honour is concerned, that He move His Holiness to keep his promise, then I will hasten as soon as possible to my Siena. May God keep you and further you in His grace and peace. — Verona, May 20, 1542.”

We are not able to determine whether Ochino actually returned for a time to Venice. He was at Verona when soon afterwards he received a citation to Rome. How unexpected this was is evident from the whole tenor of the above letter to the Council of Siena, and from his expressions of his confident hope of preaching during the following Lent in his native city.

Meanwhile matters of importance were taking place in Rome.[84] Accounts daily poured in about the spread of the new doctrines throughout Italy. Even the vacillating Paul III. was forced to a decision. One day he summoned Caraffa before him, “How shall we gain the mastery over the heretics, and retain Catholics in the faith?” Caraffa hesitated to reply, his own opinion was fixed as early as 1532.[85] When he was in Venice he had commissioned the Frà Bonaventure plainly to tell the Pope, “Heretics are heretics, and must be treated as such. If your Holiness lowers himself to write to them, flatter them and treat them with consideration, it is unworthy your Holiness and will only increase their number.” But Caraffa had met with resistance from Clement VII. and he feared a similar fate from Paul III., and still more from the College of Cardinals, where he could only count upon one, the Cardinal of Santiago, brother of de Toledo, the Viceroy of Naples. He represented to the Pope, “In Rome are the highest functions of the Church, the highest tribunal of the faith should be here also. It was at Rome that St. Peter conquered the father of all heretics, the Magician Simon. From hence, in like manner, must his successors crush all heresies in the bud.” Caraffa at length persuaded the Pope; but there was great opposition among the cardinals. A general council had been so long expected to heal all the wounds of the Church that many of the highest dignitaries began at last to believe themselves that a council would work this miracle. Caraffa took this into consideration, proposed to make preparations for the council, and meanwhile to give the Inquisition a trial. He prevailed. On June 21st the bull Licet ab initio was issued. Later apologists of Catholicism have tried to give it a softer interpretation. “The Inquisition,” says Cantù, “was chiefly instituted to exclude bad books.” But in the thirteen paragraphs of the bull there is no mention of bad books, but only of proceedings against heretics and those suspected of heresy. The third paragraph gives the Inquisitors power to proceed not only against heretics, but also “against all who may help them in word or deed, or assist them in any manner, openly or secretly, no matter what their position, and without the consent of the existing ecclesiastical courts, even in matters within the jurisdiction of the latter. The Inquisition has power to conduct the inquiries, to imprison the guilty or suspected, to pronounce a definitive sentence and to confiscate their possessions.” It was in this unlimited power and in the directness of the proceedings which found only too ready a support in the temporal arm, that the novelty consisted, as well as the guarantee for the successful activity of the Inquisition. Caraffa had framed the following rules as normal: — “Firstly, In matters of faith there must not be a moment’s hesitation, but as soon as there is any suspicion or sign of heresy, every means, even violence, must be used to exterminate it. Secondly, There must be no respect of persons, even high church dignitaries or temporal princes. Thirdly, The examination must be carried on with the greatest severity, especially against those who try to hide themselves or to place themselves under the protection of Influential friends. But those who confess of their own freewill may be treated with kindness and paternal benevolence (viscere paterne). Fourthly, Force must be used in its fullest measure against heretics, especially against Calvinists. To attract heretics with soft speeches, to be tolerant towards them, and make promises to them, is to lower ourselves before them.” In this last rule we recognise the Caraffa who reproached Pope Clement VII. for dealing gently with the heretics. In private conversation he also said, “The Holy Office must strive most of all to punish the great who are heretically inclined, because the welfare of the lower classes depends on their chastisement.”

Ochino was one of the first, perhaps the very first, cited before them. It seemed to him as though the Holy Office had been established for his sake. “Antichrist and his followers,” he afterwards wrote, “resolved with Caiaphas that I should die. Six cardinals and dignitaries were elected to put out every light that might reveal their ruthless robberies. Then I was cited before Antichrist with unusual haste. I must appear in Rome without delay.”

Certainly Caraffa could not have found a more favourable moment for exercising the activity of this new tribunal, but he was obliged to proceed cautiously. The opposition which the Savii of the Republic had shown to the violent proceedings of the Nuntius at Venice would have been repeated at Verona. Especially in this case, when a person of distinguished position in the hierarchy was concerned, who was unusually beloved and greatly respected in all circles, it was necessary if possible to proceed quietly[86] Ochino himself says, “As I enjoyed such great respect in Italy, it was feared that I might some day, on small provocation, call forth a great movement, especially as many among the Capuchins, and these their chief preachers, shared my opinions.” It did not seem impossible that Ochino might submit, that he might give that promise in a wider sense which the Nuntius had extorted in Venice concerning the Lenten sermons of the same year, namely to refrain from polemics against ecclesiastical doctrines and actions. “With his peculiar temperament which might easily be excited by harsh treatment to a decisive opposition, it seemed well to use prudence in the matter, and not bring it immediately into publicity. Ochino’s character was known at Rome, and it was resolved to proceed with full regard to it.

The accusation which the Nuntius had brought against Ochino had been followed by further denunciations. Personal motives may have here been at work. The verbose letter Caraffa afterwards addressed to Ochino[87] scarcely conceals under its affected biblical language, the vexation of the Inquisitor, whose first attempt had failed. The protector of the Capuchin Order, Cardinal de Carpi, agreed with the Pope, that the citation should take place privately. Cardinal Farnese undertook to send Ochino a polite invitation to come to Rome. He was left in the dark concerning the reason of the citation. In the letter it was only stated that it concerned “matters of importance.”

This letter naturally excited mistrust in Ochino.[88] He had been informed that he had been already denounced as a “Lutheran,” who was to be summoned to Rome on his defence, and that members of his order had arrived in Rome as witnesses against him. In spite of this he resolved to obey the summons. He wrote to Farnese, to this effect, only remarking that he would wait till the time of the great heat was passed, which had been expressly permitted to him. He had discussed the matter with Giberti, he had declared that he did not feel himself guilty, but that the Cardinal’s letter did not seem to him honest and straightforward, since two months before accusations of heresy had been openly brought against him from certain quarters.

Giberti, the influential friend of the previous Pope, was still in intimate relations with the Romish Court. He applied to friends at Rome, trying to gain a delay, at least until those rumours should be silenced. If that were impossible, he begged them to obtain a command from the Pope that Ochino should not as usual proceed on foot during the heat. The Pope was glad to be reminded of this, he did not wish to lose too much time, he therefore empowered the Bishop to give the Father this order in his name. He did not consent to Giberti’s other proposal. On the contrary, before Giberti received an answer, the Nuntius sent a messenger from Venice to Ochino with the papal brief that he was to appear at Rome without delay.

Ochino once more discussed his affairs with the well-intentioned and shrewd Bishop. Giberti would not allow any reason to hold against strict obedience.[89] “If you have erred, give the world a real example of humility and penitence with more than mere words, that will edify the good, and bring you more honour than you think. If you have not erred, all the more must you obey the command. The Pope has been appointed by God as the head of our religion, you must not commit the offence of assuming that he wishes to do you wrong, especially as in similar cases he has already shown himself more inclined to kindness than severity.” Ochino, therefore, undertook the journey in the middle of August. It was not till he was on his way that he learnt what the Curia really wanted with him. Giberti gave him a letter to Lodovico Beccadelli, secretary to Cardinal Contarini at Bologna, and also sent a servant with him, who accompanied him as far as Florence. In the letter,[90] Giberti expressed the wish that Contarini would also encourage Ochino to show himself without fear before the tribunal. He writes, “The affairs of our Pater Frà Bernardino will, I trust, have that termination merited by his sincere piety, and which we may expect from the wisdom of the Pope, before whom he is invited to appear. I recommend him to you, and if the Lord Cardinal will assist him in his kindness, everything will be so much easier.”

Beccadelli himself, in his life of the Cardinal,[91] gives an account of Ochino’s visit to Contarini. Contarini had returned a year before from the Ratisbon conference. Appointed as legate for Bologna, he had assumed his office amid the delight of the inhabitants, but soon after he was seized by a painful and incurable disease. Poison was suspected. We shall hear from Contarini’s own lips that this rumour had possibly some foundation. The Cardinal lay on his sickbed when Ochino arrived towards evening. He retained the distinguished Capuchin in his own palace, in the hope that he might be able to converse with him more freely on the following day. “But in the night,” Beccadelli continues, “his condition grew worse, so that in the morning we could speak with him neither about Frà Bernardino nor about any matters of business.” Ochino, being informed of this, wished to depart, but Beccadelli retained him till mid-day, hoping that the Cardinal might then feel better. But as there was no improvement, the secretary was at last persuaded by Ochino to enter the room of the invalid, and express the Capuchin’s wish. Ochino followed close upon him. The Cardinal, who was in a high fever, could only say to him, “Father, you see the state I am in, excuse me and pray to God for me. Buon viaggio!

Beccadelli thus relates the occurrence. Ochino himself several times referred to this visit to Contarini, and, according to his own account, that which he heard from Contarini on this occasion was of decisive importance to his future. How is that possible, if the Cardinal laid nothing to him but the above words?

The matter is important enough to warrant more careful investigation. In the tenth treatise of the first volume of his “Prediche,”[92] Ochino says concerning his visit to Contarini, “When I lately passed through Bologna, and visited the Cardinal Contarini, who was already suffering from the illness of which he afterwards died, he said to me, ‘Although at the Diet, I decidedly opposed the Protestant doctrines, yet since my return to Italy, I have been accused concerning certain twelve articles, among which one is so worded that it assumed in a secret manner, veiled under general expressions, the doctrine of justification through Christ.’” Still more striking is the mention of this same visit made by Ochino in a writing directed against the Abbot Marco of Brescia,[93] he says, “Although I knew that a hard struggle was awaiting me at home, I still set out thither. I arrived at Bologna; there I conversed with the Cardinal Contarini, and convinced myself that there was not the smallest hope that the doctrine of justification would be received at Rome. Contarini even added that he himself had been in great danger, because it was said that he had not sufficiently exposed the Protestants at the Diet. He barely escaped death. He even added, in a low voice, ‘If only I have escaped it.’ I answered, If they have dealt thus with the green tree, how shall it be with the dry?”

Ochino’ s account has been first impugned by Girolamo Muzio.[94] Muzio refers to verbal statements of Beccadelli, which agree with his written account, and insists that Contarini could not have made the communication regarding the Diet, because he only saw him that morning, and said nothing except those few words of farewell. If this were really the case, Ochino would certainly have been guilty of a serious perversion of truth. But the facts do not stand thus, and this is evident from Muzio’s own account. The following is his own statement, — “The Cardinal received Ochino, and told him to retire to rest[95] till the next morning.” He could not have said this to him except during a visit on the preceding evening. We see from this that Ochino had an interview with Contarini, concerning which Beccadelli is purposely silent. It is well known that accusations like the above were brought against the Cardinal, even before he left Ratisbon. We may add that the reproach of agreeing with the Protestant doctrine of justification cannot seem unfounded if we consider Contarini’s tract on justification. Contarini’s chief enemies at Rome were the Cardinals San Marcello and Caraffa. Both sat in the commission before which Ochino had to appear. In spite of this, Ochino continued his journey. Assuming that Ochino had arrived at his final resolution, prudence forbade him to execute it in the Papal dominions, especially as there was a Governor at Bologna, who would have felt no scruple in executing a warrant of arrest from the Curia. Ochino wrote to Giberti several times while on his way. He sent back his servant from Florence to Verona: he had found another companion.

Ochino was now certain about the Curia’s intentions. If he showed himself willing to confess a fault of which he did not feel guilty, to submit and retract, everything would be pardoned. Paul III. had held out to him the hope of the highest ecclesiastical honours.[96] It would not have been the first time that a Cardinal’s hat hid inclinations and convictions opposed to the Roman Curia. It must now be decided whether there was any foundation for the reproach which the annalist of the Capuchin Order, and others who gladly followed him, brought against Ochino, namely, that unbridled ambition had been the mainspring of his actions. Ochino’s resolution to abandon everything rather than sacrifice his convictions, must furnish the answer. During the short period of his residence at Florence, the inner struggle that had agitated him for years, came to a final decision. From an outsider’s point of view, there were three possibilities open to him.

He could go to Rome, prepared to submit to the requirements of the Curia. It is not probable that the great popular preacher, the general of an order, who although still young, yet vied with the oldest in influence and consideration, a man only too deeply initiated in the secrets and weaknesses of the Romish hierarchy,[97] would have been forced into finally breaking with the Church, if any means could have been found of keeping him on its side.

He could go to Rome, secondly, with the intention of defending his convictions, and the teaching of Scripture as opposed to tradition, and with the resolve in no manner to be forced into retractation or denial. What he had to expect in this case could be no longer doubtful after his interview with Contarini, and the intelligence he received in Florence. “I was informed,” he says,[98] “that just as the Synagogue has been honourably buried, they wished to bury me without uproar.”

A third course would be to escape the power of the Curia and the Inquisition by flight. If Ochino decided to follow this course, it was high time. If he had journeyed another day towards Rome, he would have fallen into the hands of emissaries who were watching the Capuchin convent of Porta Camollia, near Siena. Liberty in Siena was rapidly declining. In Florence, also, the Duke had shown himself willing to assist the Curia in similar cases.

Ochino had only the choice between the two last courses. The thought of retracting and sacrificing the conviction gained by such hard struggles, seemed to him only a temptation of Satan’s. Afterwards his conscience reproached him with having hidden and disguised the truth only too long. He set himself the question: Under existing circumstances am I bound to obey the commands of Rome? and he gave the following answer: “I know that he who has summoned me thither is no other than Antichrist, whom I am not bound to obey. He is persecuting me to the death, because I preach Christ, His grace, and the Gospel, and everything which glorifies the Son of God diminishes the power of Antichrist’s kingdom. Shall I now go to death with a clear conscience, and of my own free will, without hope of fruit, to the grief of all pious men? I should be tempting God if I exposed myself to death without His special revelation, or being urged by His Spirit. To obey God means to show Him honour, and solemnly to recognise His authority; but I should be dishonouring God if I obeyed the Pope, for I should be showing that I regarded him as the rightful vicar of Christ on earth. I should thus be giving great scandal, and displeasing God Himself. Till now Christ has made use of me under this mask of dress and living, so that, with less suspicion, I might preach to superstitious Italy the grace, the gospel, and the great merits of Christ; but now the hour is come when God wills to make use of me in another manner. He wills me to set forth the truth in writing publicly, and without any respect of man; and because I could not do this in Italy, God has driven me into this strait.” In another place Ochino says: “If I could thereby have done greater service to the cause of the gospel, I would not have shunned death. But I am certain that my death would only have been a triumph for my enemies, and that I am called by the Lord to serve Him yet longer and more. Thirty years I have preached in Italy, but all that has not done the Church of Antichrist so much harm as this one thing, my desertion.”

A letter of Ochino’s, written from Orvieto to Vittoria Colonna, presents a faithful picture of his state of mind, and gives us an insight into the struggles by which he was at that time agitated.[99]

“lam still lingering in the neighbourhood of Florence, tormented by doubts. I came hither with the intention of going to Rome, although I had been much dissuaded from doing so; but when, day after day, I received more particular accounts of the manner in which matters were conducted there, I was especially persuaded by Don Pietro Martire and others not to go, for I should be forced either to deny Christ, or to be crucified. I will not do the first, the second only with His grace, if He Himself wills it. I feel no call to go to death of my own free will, if it is God’s will He will know where to find me. Christ has several times taught us to flee, into Egypt and to Samaria, and also bade us, if we were not received in one city, to flee into another. What more can I do in Italy? Shall I preach Christ under a mask of jargon, while I am suspected and watched? while I am even forced at times to blaspheme in consideration of the superstitions of the world? If, then, it should please any one to send intelligence to Rome and accuse me there, we should have the same annoyance over again. For these reasons I prefer to leave Italy, entirely and without delay. I can see they are proceeding in such a manner that I cannot refrain from the thought that they wish either to force me to deny Christ, or to despatch me. I think that if Paul were in my place, he would make the same decision. I may truly say that I passed through Bologna by a miracle. I was not seized, because I showed the intention of going to Rome, also by the goodness and prudence of Cardinal Contarini, of which I had very clear proofs. I hear, moreover, that Cardinal Farnese says I have been summoned to Rome, because I preached heresies and other scandalous things. The Theatine Cardinal, Puccio, and others whom I will not name, express themselves according to what I hear, in such a manner, that if I had crucified Christ Himself, they could not make more noise. I am the same person your Excellency has known. Any one who has heard me can give an account of my doctrine. I have never preached with more moderation and reticence than during this year, and now I am decried as a heretic unheard. But I am glad that the reform of the Church has been begun with me. At this day they are keeping a monk at Aracoeli, in the gown of his order, who ought to have been unfrocked, according to the resolution of the General Chapter. Then why is there such great zeal against me? But I deem it best to yield to these attacks. On the other hand, you can well imagine how hard such a resolution is to me. You will consider how the flesh resists the thought of leaving everything behind, and considering, at the same time, what the world will say. Christ, has permitted that they should thus persecute me. He wills it for some good purpose. I should have much liked to speak with you about this, to hear your opinion, or that of Monsignor Pole, or to receive a letter from you, but I have not had one for more than a month. Pray to God for me; I am more willing than ever to serve Him. Salute all. Florence, August 22, 1542.”

Just at that time Peter Martyr had come from Lucca. A citation before the Augustine Chapter at Genoa had placed him in a similar position to Ochino, and he had already formed his decision. He had written from Pisa to Cardinal Pole at Viterbo, and communicated his intention of flight. For his companions in the faith at Lucca he had composed a detailed justification of his flight, full of prayers and exhortations to remain steadfast in their convictions. He left this in charge of a friend before he went to Florence. In S. Domenico, near Fiesole, — the same abbey which had received the youth when, in spite of his father’s commands, he had taken the cowl — he now, for the last time, took up his abode for a few days.[100] That his advice and example influenced Ochino’s decision appears from Ochino’s letter to Vittoria Colouna. Boverio was in the right, though he coloured his rhetoric too highly, when he made Martyr say to Ochino: “Unhappy one, whither are you going? — To Rome? Do you wish to bring your grey hairs with terror to the grave? Do you trust the liars who deceptively hold out to you an unexpected dignity, as though we did not know what are their intentions towards you?” If what Boverio adds is true, that Martyr furnished his friend with money for his journey, it must have been a personal sacrifice, for his own possessions were scanty.

Ochino was not in want of advice from other friends, such as Carnesecchi and Flaminio, who happened to be at Florence just then. But such resolutions as this must be taken by each individual for himself. Motives, whose importance he alone can feel, give the final impetus. Although later Ochino often had occasion to speak of this resolution to take flight and break openly with the Catholic Church, he never weakly threw the responsibility on others. No one had as much to lose as he; but, with a perfect consciousness of that which he was here renouncing and what he would gain elsewhere, Ochino made his decision.

In the above letter Ochino already declared that his position and the variance between his inner conviction and his official situation had become intolerable. “Shall I preach Christ in masked jargon?” he himself had said while his opponents at Rome did not seem disposed to permit even this much longer. The manner in which his inner struggles were concluded is shown by Ochino in the tenth treatise of the first volume of the “Prediche.”[101] He there says: “Christ knows that for a long while I have given myself to Him with my whole heart, especially when I had to decide whether I should go to Rome or not; and, through faith, I am certain that He has accepted me as His own. He never forsakes His own, but everything that they do must tend to His honour and glory.” And in the preface to these same “Prediche,”dated October 10th 1542, he says: “If I could have continued to preach Christ in Italy — I will not even say in full and naked truth, as the Father has given Him to us, but disguised and enveloped as I have striven to do till now, always with the good intention not to alarm the prejudiced, — I would not have gone away. But matters had gone so far, that if I remained in Italy there were only two courses open to me. I must either keep silence — yea, show myself the enemy of the gospel, or suffer death; and as I would not deny Christ, I have chosen, so as not to tempt God, to leave Italy. When my hour comes God will know where to find me. I well know that when all pious, prudent, and saintly men consider what I have forsaken in Italy, to what calumnies I have exposed myself, and whither I have gone in my already advanced years, they will assuredly recognise that my departure was not caused by human and carnal wisdom, or by sensual desires (for I trust in Christ that my life will prove this); on the contrary, God knows that the carnal part of my being is dissatisfied because Christ has so entirely taken possession of me.”

In the before-mentioned treatise[102] Ochino takes the opportunity of justifying his decision from another point of view, he treats the question how man must answer before God’s judgment throne, and distinguishes between the judgment-seats of God — that of justice and that of grace. Man is unable by his own power to justify himself before the one; he therefore appeals to the other, where, armed with the innocence and truth of Christ, he can be justified. Thus he may fearlessly stand before any just tribunal. “This was the case with me,” continues Ochino; “I only preached, read, and taught holy and evangelical doctrines. This is known to whomsoever has heard me in Italy. Thus armed with pure, innocent, true, and holy doctrine, I would have gladly and fearlessly appeared before the tribunal at Rome, if only it had been a just one. I am ready to prove this. Let a safe place and a Christian tribunal be given me anywhere in Italy, or wherever my accusers may please, and I pledge myself to appear, and to defend, not myself, but Christ and His doctrine preached by me.” As a proof that the Roman tribunal was not a Christian one, Ochino appeals to what Contarini had said to him at Bologna. “The doctrine of justification through Christ is one of the fundamental dogmas of the Christian faith, and yet it was condemned in such a man as Contarini by those who would have sat in judgment over me. How should I have fared? They only endured me so long as they thought I held with them I am certain that not even Paul would have appeared before such a tribunal, if he had had the certainty of going to death. He could still appeal unto Caesar; there was no one on earth to whom I could appeal.”

In his letter to Vittoria Colonna, and also in the above-mentioned preface to the first volume of the Prediche, Ochino refers to Christ’s own example, “who several times fled from His enemies to Egypt, to Samaria, and Galilee, and several times hid Himself.” Thus also Prediche ii. 25,[103] “Christ also often retired from public speaking and action, He several times forsook Judea, and fled into Galilee and Samaria. He often hid Himself and fled from death, and by doing so, he occasioned offence to none, for His hour had not yet come.” In this treatise he reasons in the following manner: the desire to cause no offence to the weak is enjoined by brotherly love and Christian prudence, but it has its limits wherever truth would be endangered. “It is certainly true that we must not give way to the weak in cases where others would take offence, or where the truth would be stifled. Thus Paul was right in blaming Peter. It is not permitted to give way to the weak in those matters, which are not indifferent, but necessary. Even in indifferent matters we should not give way to the Pharisees. Therefore, if there were any one in Italy, especially a man in authority, who hoped to serve the people, he might give way in indifferent matters, and accommodate himself to them, like Paul, who associated with Jews like a Jew, with the heathens as a heathen, with the weak as weak, and accommodated himself to all, to win them to Christ. But if this should offend the true Christians in Italy, even though they may be weak, he must no longer give way, but must throw aside all superstition. Like Paul, he must not only not yield to them, but must publicly oppose them, and fight against all, especially those who stand at their head, even St. Peter himself, if he does not walk in the true faith of the gospel. But if he hopes for no result, if he sees that he will be imprisoned and killed, then, if his hour has not yet come, and he does not feel in himself the impulse to seek death, he may and must retreat with Christ, hide himself, and flee to dwell elsewhere. If, then, Christ Himself did not sin when he did this, and went even among the Samaritans, who were heretics towards the Mosaic Law, and if for the same reasons the apostles went among the heathen, this cannot be accounted as sin in me, especially as I have forsaken a godless, Antichristian kingdom, to seek a new home among true and sincere Christians.”

Such were the thoughts which agitated Ochino during his residence in Florence. When he wrote to Vittoria Colonna, his decision was already formed, and he had resolved to leave Italy.

In resolving thus, Ochino renounced all that distinguished gifts, untiring zeal, the favour of influential friends, the work of a whole lifetime, had secured for him in outward results. He renounced even more. “An orator losing his country, loses everything,” and he renounced everything at a time which he might fairly regard as near the close of his life, when his hair was white, and his body weak from the pain and abstinence of a restless activity, which alike tried body and mind. He was in his fifty-sixth year, the thought of accommodating himself to a different mode of life and unknown language, foreign circumstances and customs, and leaving his beloved country for ever, must have been doubly hard.

Ochino probably left Florence on the 23d of August. It was the vigil of St. Bartholomew’s Day, when the guards surrounded the Capuchin cloister of Porta Camollia, near Siena. But he had already begun his flight. He started from the same Florence that four years previously had witnessed his highest honour, his election as Vicar-General of his order. He went alone. Martyr followed two days later. Ascanio Colonna, Vittoria’s brother, had given him a horse and a servant.[104] He may have avoided Bologna, where the noble Contarini drew his last breath on the 24th of August. Florimond Rémond heard from a brother of Ochino’s order that the Duchess Renée of Ferrara, the courageous patroness of all who were evangelically inclined, furnished him with clothing and other necessaries for the journey.[105] She may have recommended him to Calvin, who had spent some time at her court, and for whom she had the highest regard. As soon as Martyr’s flight was known, a warrant of arrest was sent after him, and Duke Cosimo de’ Medici was requested to assist in its execution. With regard to Ochino, the Commision of the Inquisition, thinking he could no longer be reached, seem to have abstained. Cardinal Pucci contented himself by writing in September to the Duke, “Ochino has again shown that all is not gold that glitters.”[106]

Just as there are various and contradictory accounts concerning Ochino’s earlier and later life, accounts vary about the period of his decision. Graziani[107] states that he had already fled from Bologna in the night after his visit to Contarini, or rather, as Graziani says, without Ochino’s having been able to speak to Contarini. Christoph Sand[108] relates, on the other hand, that Ochino actually obeyed the citation to Rome, that there, in a sermon on Palm Sunday (!) he severely blamed, in the presence of the Pope, the pomp of the Papal Court, contrasting it with the simplicity of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. After the conclusion of the sermon a Cardinal informed him that the Pope was very indignant with him and advised him to fly. Ochino hastened to Venice. This account, which refers to an unnamed authority, is one of the many inventions which gathered the more thickly round the story of Ochino’s life, the further the narrators were removed from the sources of facts.

From Ferrara Ochino struck across the plain of Lombardy. A brother of his order accompanied him as far as the neighbourhood of Brescia. From a passage at the end of Giberti’s letter to the Marchese del Vasto in Milan, it appears that Ochino visited del Vasto on his way. At any rate Giberti thanks the Marchese “for all that he has done and will still do to lead the good father back to the right way.” The annalist of the Capuchin Order knows nothing of any visit of Ochino’s to Ferrara. According to him he laid aside the dress of his order in the convent at Florence, in company with three companions, lay brothers of the convent, whom he had persuaded to accompany him. He took his way through Mantua. The account given by Boverio of Ochino’s parting from Italy[109] is a proof how much the desire to invent and exaggerate preponderated in him over a strict adherence to truth. It is by no means undramatic.

One of his companions, relates Boverio, was Mariano of Ginuziano, a lay brother, formerly as soldier a wanderer in France and Germany, acquainted with foreign tongues, a useful and good-hearted man. Ochino had won over the reluctant friar by the statement that he felt himself called to proclaim the true doctrine to the heretics beyond the Alps, even at the risk of martyrdom. Two more friars, Fra Ginepro, and Fra Francesco were named as his other comrades. Ochino does not mention these, nor Mariano, but Boverio continues, “On the summit of the Alps, where the eye turns back for the last look at Italy, Ochino pauses. He thinks of all the love and reverence which has been always shown him in all places, and of the high distinctions which have fallen to his lot in his own order. Forgetful of his companions, he bursts into tears and exclaims, ‘Oh, my Italy! blessed above all lands, thou my country, my home, once my joy, now my sorrow, since a sad and eternal banishment separates me from thee. The tokens of honour which thou hast given me are gone, thy people and thy nobles will no longer crowd to hear my voice, and applaud with delightful approval, they will no longer hail me with acclamation as I descend from the pulpit. My departure robs me of all this, and thou, my order, once my refuge, then my beloved child, how much kindness and benefit do I owe thee, how hast thou raised me by marks of honour! I ought to have requited thy benefits by similar ones, or at least returned my thanks for them, but now my departure casts thee into trouble and anxiety, thou didst nourish and bring up a son to have in him a Benjamin, a son of joy, and behold he has become a Benoni, a son of sorrow.’”

Thus far the annalist of the order, who now loses every certain trace of Ochino’s life. Even without his coloured rhetorical account, we feel that deep and earnest thoughts must have moved the solitary wanderer in quest of a new home, and a new future on the other side of the Alps.

Ochino directed his way to Geneva, not, as Boverio supposes, across the St. Bernard, but through Chiavenna and Zurich. Italian fugitives escaping the Inquisition were already flocking to Zurich in large numbers. Bullinger states,[110] “Among the fugitives was Signor Bernardino of Siena, celebrated for the sanctity of his walk, and for his learning, a venerable old man, with a tall figure and an imposing appearance. He remained two days among us, and we conversed about religious matters. He showed us several briefs in which Pope Paul directs him to preach now in Siena,[111] now in Florence, now in Venice. But when the Pope heard that he was preaching Christ, he cited him to Rome by another brief. Bernardino had already set out boldly on the way, but pious friends at Florence held him back and persuaded him to fly to Germany, representing to him that certain death awaited him at Rome.” Bullinger adds, “From hence he travelled to Geneva, and will remain at Geneva because he is there nearer to Italy. He lives at his own expense. In Italy he was so greatly revered that he was adored almost like a god.”


Re-action of Ochino’s Flight on the Order — Caraffa’s Letter — Giberti’s Verdict — Tolomei’s Letter — Ochino’s Reply — Muzio’s Attack — Ochino’s Answer “To the Council of Siena” — Paleario vouches for Ochino — Caterino Politi — Girolamo di Lucca — Marco di Brescia — Re-action upon the Evangelical Movement in Italy

The news of Ochino’s flight does not seem to have reached Rome till September 1542. Under that date, Seripand, afterwards Cardinal-Legate at the Council of Trent, wrote in his diary, “Bernardinus from the Capuchins to the Lutherans.”[112] A threatening storm was gathering over the order.

Another preacher, Girolamo di Melfi, distinguished like Ochino by the gift of eloquence, had followed the example of the Vicar- General; he also found a refuge at Geneva. The Inquisition at Verona had already begun its work. The guardian of the Capuchin Convent, Fra Bartolommeo of Cuneo, had been arrested. Others recanted, among them the Vicar at Milan. A strict investigation was decreed for all the convents in the provinces of Milan and Venice. For a time they each had two Provincials of the order instead of one. Boverio has not the candour to recognise the spread and influence of Ochino’s opinions within the order in its whole extent. Ochino himself casually remarks that a large number of the brothers thought with him. “Deprived of its father,” complains Boverio, “the order lay weeping and cast down. In all the convents sorrow and grief prevailed at the sacrilege of the apostate, and at the universal misfortune. A voice was heard crying in the wilderness, a voice of sorrow and tears, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted.” In vain the Procurator Bernard of Asti, in accordance with the General Chapter, which was immediately summoned, decreed special penances, prayers and fasts, and flagellations for all the convents. The people pointed at the Capuchins, mocked them as heretics, and refused them the accustomed doles.

At that time, Pope Paul III. was absent from Rome. This circumstance also proves that Ochino was not cited before him, but before the tribunal of the Inquisition. Paul III. was visiting the proud city of Perugia, conquered by him, and effectually humbled by the strong citadel which bore his name, and which has only in our time been razed to the ground. There he received the news of Ochino’s flight. The whole order was denounced. Even the procurator did not escape censure, for it was objected he must have known how matters stood with Ochino, and yet he had been admitted to the General Chapter and the election. The Pope, good-natured, but subject to transports of passion, was greatly enraged. He wished to dissolve the whole order. On his way to Rome, at the opening of the valley where Spoleto lies, he is said to have muttered at the sight of a Capuchin convent high upon a mountain: “Soon there will be neither Capuchins nor Capuchin convents.” In the consistory at Rome, the Pope first maintained this intention. It seemed to the Observants that the hour had come to avenge themselves upon the new order that had caused them such great losses. They even prepared a dress of their order for every Capuchin at Rome, so firmly convinced were they that these would be forced to enter their community. Sarcastically they greeted them with, “Soon we shall assist at your funeral!” But the Sacred College decided after long discussions, at which the Cardinal of San Severino warmly defended the order, that it should not be dissolved. Afterwards, it became a firm prop to the hierarchical system, especially in Italy. No other order has been able to win such great influence over the lower classes, and to keep them in such dependence upon Church authority. From a mendicant order it has long since become opulent, but the scrip has remained its badge. To this day its preachers assemble large audiences round their pulpits.

Boverio asserts that the anger of the Pope was specially inflamed by an “apology” which Ochino addressed to Paul III., either from Florence or Geneva, which was answered by Cardinal Caraffa. Nothing is known concerning an apology of Ochino’s, addressed to Paul III. in the year 1542; and in fact, Caraffa’s letter is addressed, not against this, but against the first volume of Ochino’s theological treatises, which appeared a short time after his arrival at Geneva.[113]

Caraffa might feel called upon, more than any other, to take up his pen against Ochino. It was before him, the inquisitor, that Ochino was to have appeared, and he had long considered himself personally appointed by Providence to fight against all heresy. Caraffa explains[114] Ochino’s apostasy as having been caused by a triumph of his sensual desires over his former piety. He fully acknowledges Ochino’s severe mode of life and his zeal in fulfilling the duties of his order. “But all this,” continues Caraffa, “has been changed at one stroke. Worldly levity has suddenly seized you, after a wicked change, caused not by the hand of God, but by the envy of the devil, you are now going about in worldly attire, in fine clothing; you mock at holy things, you have done away with fasting, you despise abstinence, you enjoy fat meat without regard of fast days. Your pale countenance, your long flowing beard, your garment of coarse cloth promised a stern mode of life for the rest of your days, and now you are scented with odours, now you worship sensual desire, now you live the life of a Bacchanal.”

This will suffice to characterise Caraffa’s attacks. His inventions about Ochino’s life are the more detestable, when we consider that Ochino was at that time at Geneva, where Calvin’s iron hand had established among laymen a much sterner discipline than could be found in Rome among ecclesiastics. Caraffa lays special stress on two points. “In thy tract, which is circulated even here, thou thyself confessest that until now thou hast preached Christ with dissimulation.” It was easy for Ochino’s opponents to give a false interpretation to this expression, which he also used in his letter to Vittoria Colonna, and Caraffa was not the only one who here proved his acuteness and used Ochino’s own words as a weapon against himself. Rightly understood, the expression only referred to the division which had formed itself between Ochino’s outward position as member of the Catholic hierarchical system, and his innermost convictions. But his opponents gladly represented the word as a confession of Ochino’s, that he had wilfully falsified Christ’s image. “What do you say there?” thus Caraffa attacks him, “Do you not see that you are caught in your own snare? Do you think you have been permitted so long to deceive Christian people with impunity, and to preach Antichrist instead of Christ? So you have set before them the leaven of the Pharisees instead of holy doctrine, and poison instead of milk, and a stone instead of bread.” Ochino subsequently answered this reproach.

The motto prefixed by Ochino to the first part of his “Prediche,”inflamed the Cardinal’s ire yet more against him. “How darest thou cloak thy disobedience to the Pope, thy flight from the presence of the Lord thy God, while thou didst curse the princes of thy people, with the words of Scripture. ‘If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.’ “This is not meant for you, you seducers, you apostates, you rebels, you drunkards and adulterers, you robbers of the sanctuary, you Christian Epicureans. The wholesome sword rightly kills you, the pious hand of the physician cuts you off from the healthy body.”

It is not known whether this declamatory effusion ever came to Ochino’s knowledge. At any rate he did not answer it. Probably he was also unacquainted with Bishop Giberti’s letter to the Marchess del Vasto. Giberti expressed himself concerning Ochino’s resolve in the following manner: — “Two things may have led our good father to the step; it may have been zeal against what seemed to him the evil government of the Church, but that is no novelty, but has been so from the beginning. Good and evil will always dwell together, and many holy and learned men, whom Ochino ought to trust, have in even worse times shown the rulers not hatred, but rather pity, and have followed the only right paths, those of private and written rebuke, and secret tears and prayers. The other motive may have been his doubts of the Pope’s good faith, but the character and former proceedings of His Holiness do not justify any such suspicion. Besides it is contradicted by the circumstance that the Pope took no steps to have Ochino arrested in the Venetian dominions, although he might very easily have done so. Nor did the Governatore of Bologna receive any order to secure him.”

We have already shown that Giberti, whenever he speaks of the “evil government” of the church, only considers a part of that which drove Ochino to a breach with this church. The real reasons for the Curia’s moderation in its proceedings against Ochino have already been adduced.

Meantime Ochino received a letter of Claudio Tolomei’s, which although not ingenuous, yet explains certain not unimportant points. Like Ochino, Claudio Tolomei was a native of Siena, where this respected and deserving patrician family still survives. Born in 1492, he spent the greater part of his life at Rome in intimate relations with the court. His elegant taste was active in authorship, and he laboured successfully for the purity of the Italian language, he was afterwards made bishop. At the time of Ochino’s flight, he was in the service of the notorious Pier Luigi, the son of Pope Paul III.

“On my return from the villa to Rome[115] a few Jays ago,” he writes, “I heard some news which seemed to me not only new but even wild, incredible and frightful. I have been told that you have deserted from the Catholic to the Lutheran camp, I know not for what inexplicable purpose, and that you have openly allied yourself to that heretical and detestable sect. The news made me shudder, and I signed and sained myself as the saying is. And yet I was forced to believe the news, as it is confirmed by all, although it seems to me more horrible than if I had been told that doves had turned into serpents, or lambs into panthers. Certainly from an angel of light Lucifer became a devil. For days I have hesitated whether I should write to you, or whether it would not be better to keep silence and to shut up in my breast what I felt and still feel in consequence of your unheard-of apostasy. On the one hand it seemed to me that I could effect nothing by writing, since you had so firmly fixed your intentions upon the new sect, and had shown to the world by deeds as well as by words that your resolution was not to be shaken. So I had to fear lest your reply should only shake my own convictions. For I know how learned you are, and how burning is your eloquence, both might easily entangle me, and bring me to unexpected danger. On the other hand, I fear lest I should pass an unfounded judgment upon you if I keep wholly silent, for I do not know the cause of your departure, and therefore cannot defend you against all those who accuse you. When I hear how you are spoken of, I become confused and sad, and it is this which has finally induced me to address this letter to you. I pray you, if my desire seems to you well founded, answer me and do your part to lighten the darkness which envelopes this change, for until another light is revealed to me I must believe that your light is not from God.”— “Perhaps your answer will be that you left Italy because you were persecuted, that you followed the example of Christ and the saints, who escaped from the hands of their persecutors, and that not seldom those who are accused by the world are excused before God, and they who are despised by the world are honoured by God. But then I do not know whether every one may fly from the commands of his superiors whom he ought to obey. And this was the ease with you. Besides I do not understand what persecution that was, nor what accusation or offence there was to impel you to flight. On the contrary you were valued in Italy, highly honoured, adored almost like a divinity, and as long as you proclaimed the holy name and the true law of Christ, all Italy listened with such deference that you could not have wished to be more beloved and more distinguished. But while you enjoyed so much distinction and honour from the world, you were, as I believe, not less agreeable to God, nay, you were the more agreeable, the more fruit you brought, and the more you instilled constant love to Him in the souls of Christians. Your father and master, St. Francis, to whom the princes and nations showed the highest honours, was none the less so worthy a servant of his God, that he was honoured with the wounds which our Lord Jesus bore upon the cross.

“But it will be said that in your sermons one thing or another may have been said and then noticed, reported, blamed and accused, as full of unholy uncatholic doctrine. What shall I answer to that? Either the accusation was founded or not, if not, what had you to fear? why did you not obey the citation to Rome? Here in the presence of our just master, who is so well disposed towards you, you might have purified the opinion which was held concerning the worth of your life and your excellence, as gold is purified in the fire. When Saint Bernardino, your countryman, and member of your order,[116] was accused of idolatry, he came to Rome and freed himself of all suspicion. By so doing he increased the fame and lustre of his holiness, and God’s people derived the greater fruit from it. The malice of your accusers could not be so great that the power of truth should not be greater, especially when strengthened by the affection felt for you, not only in Home, but in all Italy.

“If the accusation is well founded, I do not know what to think, whether you spread false doctrines among the people out of ignorance or wickedness. I must confess the one seems scarcely credible, the other quite incredible. Whichever may have been the cause, in the first case if it happened through ignorance, you ought to have been sincerely grateful to your accusers, for leading you, by their accusation, to a recognition of the truth, and for thus saving you from the darkness of error, that you might return to the light of truth, to Christ himself as the highest truth, and the source, the beginning and the end of all truth. But if you acted from malice, this motive itself was culpable, and I know no excuse for you.

“Perhaps I shall be told that it was neither ignorance nor malice which prompted you, but rather a higher revelation of divine truths, and that Christ has revealed things to you which he has hitherto kept hidden, as he once enlightened Paul, and converted him from Judaism to the true faith.

“Christ then taught you the contrary of what he revealed to his apostles and their followers, and just that which he had pointed out to them as falsehood! He would have changed from the highest truth to an unaccountable falsehood. Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, and those other great men of God, were then deceived and themselves deceived others! Ignatius, with Christ’s name in his heart, had yet received no true doctrine from Christ! And their countless followers— must we really believe that Irenaeus, Origenes, Cyprian, Athanasius, Didymus, Damascenus, those two great lights of the Church, from Cappadocia, Gregory, and Basil, then Ambrose, Hieronymus, Augustine, Bernard, and so many other saints and admirable teachers of Christ’s law— that they all erred? That they, instead of showing us the light, have enveloped us in darkness; instead of teaching the truth, have entangled us with lies?

“Whoever thinks sensibly cannot believe such falsifications, above all as Christ our Saviour says, ‘Where the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.’ But there is even more, Christ must have forsaken his Church for a long time, for if our Catholic doctrine before the time of the impious Luther was everywhere believed, and yet it was not truth, then Christ had really forsaken us. The mere thought is terrible. Besides Christ said, ‘Behold I am with you to the end of the world.’

“Believe me it is needful that on the troubled and stormy sea of conflicting opinions, there should be a steadfast star, upon which we may gaze, and which may direct us to the right path of the Lord. It has been proved by holy and learned men, that this can be no other than the Church of Rome, which, founded by Christ, commenced by Peter, has been handed down to us by a constant succession of Popes till the present day. And it will not help you if you quote against this authors whom you understand and explain in your own manner, for I shall always be mindful of the good and faithful advice of Origen, ‘if anyone wishes to show you writings as canonical, in opposition to those which the Church of Christ’s people had accepted as such, and he says to you, ‘here in this book is the word of truth,’ we must not believe him, nor forsake the tradition which has come down to us from the fathers and the whole Church.’

“I will still give you some advice. If from needless apprehension you have forsaken Italy, for the safety of your person, which I think is the case, I counsel you stay where you now are and go no further. Do not preach, write, or speak against the Catholic doctrine, but rather in everything that you have said or done submit humbly to the judgment of the Roman Church. Only if you act thus, will your fears, caused by a want of quiet reflection, again vanish. But if you act differently, if you make matters worse from day to day, you will be condemned for stiff-necked stubbornness and heresy. In the first case all Italy would be roused in your favour; they will wish to have you, they will call you, pray for you; they will rejoice to obtain for you complete forgiveness. But if you persist in the other path, the love, still warm in many hearts, will be extinguished in all, and hatred, contempt, and anger, will enter in its place.

“I cannot do otherwise than pray to God for you, while I, as you know, in former times often besought you to pray for me, and I again ask God in all humility, that it may please Him to enlighten and help you. — Rome, October 20th, 1542.”

In the preceding, we have an opinion very different both in form and contents from the passionate declamation of Cardinal Caraffa. Tolomei is a humanist, Caraffa a zealot. Tolomei feels himself still bound to Ochino by the former ties of personal regard, although he greatly deplores the decisive step. Caraffa only employs the remembrance of Ochino’s blameless life, as member and Vicar-General of his order, to add new blackness to the more recent calumnies against him.

But neither does Tolomei’s standpoint permit us rightly to judge Ochino’s resolve. Entrenched behind the traditional opinion of the “infallible doctrine of the Church,” he contents himself with a few general phrases about this, and the reference to a succession of Popes concludes the not very convincing circle. His good intentions are evident from his letter, but still more evident is the weakness which permits individual religious opinions, even when derived from the Bible, no rights as opposed to the traditional doctrines and institutions of the Church, for fear of destroying the outward uniformity, so difficult to maintain. This fear goes so far that it absolutely excludes the principle of individual research, and this sense is forced upon the passage from Origen, although, as the words themselves show, it was never meant to bear it.

Ochino carefully considers the chief points of this letter in his answer to Tolomei, which has been preserved in a Latin translation by Joachim Camerarius, among the letters of Marcantanio Flaminio.[117] “I find it difficult to answer your letter, not because the flow of your eloquent words makes it difficult, or the unanswerableness of your reasonings, but because I do not wish to wound, by the zeal of my answer, a man who esteems and is attached to me. Yet I see I must do this, unless I wish to leave my proceeding undefended, and betray my own cause. But as your well-meaning interest actually demands an answer, nothing remains but to fulfil your wish, however my answer may be received.

“And now as regards the course of argument in your own letter. I am not surprised that my departure has appeared unexpected and extraordinary to you, and others of my acquaintances. But you need not have crossed yourself on that account — the common herd does that, not the cultured man. However, the unexpected announcement may have prevented you from being quite yourself.

“Two things have greatly disturbed you — my departure from Italy, and my exit from the order. The other things which you mention have no weigh, and — forgive me for saying so — are idle gossip.

“You blame my departure, or my flight, as not only precipitate, but as actually unlawful; — precipitate, because there was no reason for it; unlawful, because contrary to dutiful obedience. You say I ought to have been firmer and more courageous; I ought not to have been so bewildered by groundless fears, as to stake my good name and my dignity— nay, the whole happiness of my life, on my departure. But a fear which cares for itself and for others is not culpable; and, as far as I was concerned, it was certainly not a groundless fear, while, with respect to others, it was only caused by conscientiousness. But should it be blameworthy from any point of view, surely I shall be forgiven by a friend when he considers a certain natural weakness in me. As to my exit from the order, I was driven to this step, not by a passing impression, not by carnal desire, not by a wish for something new, not by youthful emotions, but by long and careful thought concerning that which is written in the Holy Scriptures for the recognition of truth, for a sincere worship of God, and for our hope of salvation. I will merely quote one passage from St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians:[118] ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what concord hath Christ with Belial, and what communion hath light with darkness?’ Perhaps you will accuse me of a wrong application of St. Paul’s admonition; but if you will consider and weigh what is already evident, and what is now beginning to be revealed, you will perceive that I have not without reason referred the apostle’s words to my resolution and action.

“You mention Saints Francis and Bernardino. I regard both as excellent and God-fearing men, who strove to fly from evil and lead pious and virtuous lives. I do not believe in the fable of the stigmata mentioned in your letter. If only superstition had not elevated the name of St. Francis so high, that with his repute the whole fabric must necessarily fall to pieces! — And we have already seen such things. Bernardino, on the other hand, will only be referred to by such as think that the cloak of submission and obedience can cover all errors.

“I also believe with the apostolic creed in a ‘Holy Catholic Church,’ which is the community of God’s children, and outside it the everlasting God is not worthily adored — it is not possible to walk the paths of peace to salvation and eternal life. But since this community and union is a universal one, and, as the Greeks say, ‘everywhere under the sun,’ why, then, does your letter restrict this idea to the Romish Church. The one excludes the other; the one is the name of the whole, the other of a part.

“The assertion that the Church is founded upon Peter has long since been proved false; and if you ask, How comes it, then, that before Luther, — whose name is only introduced to implicate me, — no one has recognised and fought against these errors, I shall answer, All ages have their especial mission in history, according to God’s secret purposes; and whenever any event occurs, we must assume that it was right for it to occur just at that time. However, at all times, men have been aroused and strengthened by God to fight against false doctrine, and to suffer death for the truth. I should be obliged to fill, not a letter, but whole books, if I wished to quote all the examples, and will therefore only remind you of John Huss, and Jerome of Prague. Even large communities have remained, through God’s grace, in a wholesome and pure doctrine, like the poor Lyonese, and the so-called Waldenses. Further, you refer to the Popes as successors of St. Peter. But even if we assume that the Apostle Peter was the head, bishop, even Pope of the Romish Church, yet truth and justice are not handed down by succession, but must be found in honesty and virtue.

“When boys put on their fathers’ armour, we laugh at them, but when they begin to fight with their weapons, we forbid it, and take them away. Thus the Popes may play with the succession, but they must leave untouched the divine authority of the Holy Church, and not use it for the destruction of Christianity.

“I have not forsaken the Church, but only the impiety and superstition which falsely assumed for itself the title of ‘Church;’ and I have forsaken it, not that I may proclaim false doctrines with impunity, and lead a licentious life, but that I may recognise the truth, and practise Christian discipline. I willingly acknowledge that, in a transition state of things, there must always be some error, much self-confidence, and not a little division, and that many will misuse the security of Divine grace, favour, and pity found in the Gospel, for their carnal gratifications. But these faults are found in human weakness; they are strengthened by the carelessness of those who preside in the Church, who wish to rule without caring for the purity of the divine doctrine, or striving to preserve the holiness of their walk. You rest on the in fallibility of the Church as such, without the Holy Scriptures; that is just as if some one were to pull out the wick of a lamp, that it might give light without pouring in the necessary oil.

“You conclude with the advice that I should not continue my wanderings, and should keep silence, so as not to cut off the hope of return. This, as the advice of a friend, might have had some influence upon me, had I not entered upon my path after long and careful consideration, but now I have gone so far that only one prayer remains to me, May the everlasting God complete that which He has begun, for I have firm conviction that this is God’s work, because I sought after nothing but this one thing, to serve the truth, and Christ has proclaimed that He Himself is truth. To Him I commend my Christian pilgrimage, and pray from my heart that He, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, would send me the Holy Ghost as leader in all truth, that He will never let me depart from it, and that all my thought and action may henceforth contribute to His honour, and to the glory of His name, as well as to the service of His holy Church. For this I earnestly pray to His mercy; I recommend to Him my salvation, and that of my countrymen, that they may also be converted to the truth, and, serving God in true piety, may attain salvation through belief in Jesus Christ. And I trust that my prayer is more sincere, earnest, and pious than that prayer of which your letter speaks. I know to whom I address it, and what I am asking for when I pray for enlightenment and help; but you! take heed that you do not call that light which is darkness, and that you do not ask God’s assistance in things that are directly opposed to Him, — things which He does not help, but rather hinders, does not build up, but destroys, does not love, but hates.”

Tolomei’s letter to Ochino was followed by a letter from Muzio. Girolamo Muzio of Capo d’Istria, the birthplace of Vergerio, had changed, in search of adventures, from one service to another; now secretary, now soldier, now travelling about in Italy, France and Germany. His literary attainments were equally varied; he was a lyric poet, an historian both secular and ecclesiastical, the author of moral treatises and controversial writings; a restless spirit, ever ready to fight with his pen as he had once done with his sword. He was born in 1496, and early left an orphan. He spent a troublous youth in alternate favour and disgrace. Pope Leo X. made him a knight; he atoned for the worldliness of his early life, which attained expression in sentimental love songs, by employing his pen in his old age for the defence of the Catholic Church and directing the fiercest attacks against her opponents. He died in Rome at the age of eighty. A true son of his time, he advanced and retreated along with it. Born at the period of reviving humanism, he imbibed the classical culture of the age, and his writings are remarkable for their finish and polished expression. At the time of the re-action he was transformed into an ever ready champion of the Catholic Church. He fought against all; against Vergerio, Betti, Bullinger, and Viret,[119] “not like a profound theologian but like a robust and skilful boxer,” as even Tiraboschi says of him.

Could such a man lose the opportunity of setting a lance in rest against Ochino? At the time of the latter’s flight he was at Nice on a mission for the Marchese del Vasto, who had sent him as negotiator to the Duke of Savoy. The news astonished him also. After a few months he returned to Milan. Ochino’s “Prediche,”published in Geneva, had just been brought thither and burnt as heretical on the Piazza del Duomo. Muzio was invited to write against Ochino. He would have done this without a special invitation, although he still remembered with admiration the Capuchin’s brilliant preaching at Rome. As material Ochino’s letter to Vittoria Colonna was placed at his disposal. It is a stain on the fair character of this lady that she betrayed Ochino’s confidence by giving up this letter to his enemies. It seems that she was induced to do this by Cardinal Pole, who saw that they were both surrounded by spies. Another letter, written to her by Ochino from Geneva, accompanied by a copy of the “Prediche,”was given up by her on the 4th of December 1542 to Cardinal Cervini, afterwards Marcellus II., and she remarked concerning Ochino, “the more he tries to excuse himself the more he entangles himself. He has forsaken the safe ark of salvation.” The Duchess of Camerino, on the other hand, remained faithful to him even after his flight.[120]

Muzio afterwards published his letter, which was directed against Ochino, probably towards the end of the year 1542. He especially refers to Ochino’s letter to Vittoria Colonna and censures many points in it. Ochino laid great stress in his letter upon Peter Martyr’s advice. Muzio, on the other hand, refers him to the example of Christ who would not yield to Peter when he advised Him to flight, but replied, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Muzio seems to have forgotten what an awkward parallel he is drawing between his own Church and the persecutors of Christ if this comparison is followed out in detail. Muzio insists, just as Tolomei did, that Ochino ought under all circumstances to have obeyed the command of the Pope as his superior. Muzio might have read the answer to this in the tenth of the treatises burnt at Milan.[121] Muzio blames Ochino for forsaking Italy and his order. He uses the favourite reproach of boundless ambition, and, like Cardinal Caraffa, he employs the confession, “for a long while I have only been able to preach Christ under a mask,” to implicate him. In short he mentions no particular to which Ochino had not already replied, or which was not answered decisively in his letter of April 7th, 1543. In dealing with the final resolve formed by Ochino at Florence, we have already imparted the principal contents of this letter. It is a conclusive refutation of the separate points which Muzio dwells on in his letter, especially of the earnest invitation to return penitently into the bosom of the Catholic Church. The close is as follows: —

“My determination to leave Italy was certainly combated by carnal reason and wisdom. You represented it as difficult for me to leave my country, relations and friends, to forsake my reputation, fame, and good name, and knowingly expose myself to all the calumnies and indignities of the blind world, and especially of the many Pharisees who were ready to burst with envy. I foresaw how favourable the opportunity would seem to them to break out. Carnal wisdom advised me rather to die than to go on living thus despised, but the spirit answered, it is the highest glory of the Christian to bear this world’s shame for and with Christ. Carnal wisdom also represented to me the scandal many would feel; but I saw that it would only be the scandal of Pharisees, which, if we follow Christ’s example, ought not to concern us. Christ was, and still is, a scandal to the world, and if the impious were greatly offended at His death, the pious were greatly edified by it. If the Pharisees had killed me at Rome they would none the less have been scandalised about me, therefore it is evident that I could not have avoided giving them offence.

“After all this I cannot understand how a man of any penetration, or even sound common sense, should not judge that I acted rightly in departing. If I remained in Italy I could no longer employ the dress of my order; I might not preach nor serve my brothers in Christ. But if I departed I could serve them by writing, and reveal truth with the hope of success.

“I know what you will now say, ‘If it was thus, you did right, but it is not true that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by our works, and it is not true that the vows of human orders are null and impious, or that the Romish Church is the Babylon of Antichrist.’

“Well, I have made all that very clear. In the first twenty treatises, which have been published, I have clearly proved that justification is through Christ alone. In the following twenty, which have also been printed, I have shown that the vows of human orders — and these are naught else than the most distinguished members of Antichrist — are ungodly and of none effect, and that there is only one true order on earth, the order of Christ, In the following treatises, which are just now in the press, it is shown how the Church, which you call the Church of Christ, is in reality no other than the Babylon in which Antichrist, whom you regard as Christ’s vicar, bears the sceptre. Therefore, desist from attacking me personally and my just flight, and rather, if you can do it, attack my doctrine. I am ready to defend it with God’s help. Truth is mighty; even if all the devils were to write against me, yet they must be refuted. But you are blind and foolish, you perceive and understand nothing, for the saints knew about Antichrist, even before he was there, and recognised him as such, but you neither recognise that it is he, nor do you recognise his most distinguished members as such, although you have them before your very eyes, at a time when he is opposing Christ with the greatest audacity. Therefore you may not condemn my change, unless you have beforehand subdued the invincible truth contained in my treatises. Investigate these more closely and do so in a pure, sincere, and unprejudiced spirit. I know the truth will then convince you. Why are you afraid of reading them if you bear, like a good Christian, the testimony of the Holy Spirit in your heart and stand in the truth? The light of truth is not so feeble that it may not easily be distinguished. But if you are in darkness, as your letter shows, you should seek the light of truth more zealously, but not flee from it, so that in communion with the other chosen brothers in Christ and children in God, we also may bring our dear heavenly Father praise, honour, and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.— Geneva, April 7th 1543.”

Muzio did not answer this letter till some years later,[122] after the first two volumes of Ochino’s “Prediche,” published at Basle, had fallen into his hands, when, in 1549, he travelled through the city. Out of these he quotes in order fifty dogmatic opinions of the author concerning justification, concerning the authority of the Pope, confession, the mass, &c, and tries to prove them false. At that time Ochino was no longer at Geneva. The billow of changing fortune had borne him over to England. It is not apparent whether Muzio’s polemic ever came to his knowledge.

Meanwhile, Ochino had addressed from Geneva a letter to the Council of his native city.[123] Nowhere had his flight made a deeper impression than in Siena, where a request had already been tendered to hear Ochino preach in the following Lent. Not long ago they had received a letter from him from Verona, a mark of his unchanged, sincere affection, a letter which gave no insight into the struggles, whose result was to appear so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Ochino may have felt a great need to justify his decisive step to his fellow-citizens. He does this by a confession of his belief concerning “the one fundamental article of living faith, on which all salvation depends.”

“To the very noble Signors of the Council of the City, Siena, Christ our righteousness and our peace!

“If I have hitherto written to many others, and not yet to thee, oh my city Siena, it is not from want of love, but because I knew how much thou, my kind and affectionate city, hast grieved in the flesh for my departure. My courage failed me to satisfy thee at once, to comfort thee, and expound the truth to thee with spiritual profit. But now, when time has somewhat lessened thy grief, so that thou art better able to distinguish truth with a calm and clear understanding, I have resolved to write to thee, not to excuse my departure, for I have already done that to the honour of God, in many answers that have been printed, and are at thy service; nor do I write with the intention of showing thee all the truths which the Christian needs for salvation, for that is impossible in a letter which must be brief. For this purpose I have already published several treatises, and will continue to do so with God’s grace, if only He will grant me life. I intend to lay before you, most noble signors of the Council, my confession of faith concerning one single article: The article of living faith, on which all the salvation of the true Church of Christ depends, and the fall of Antichrist’s kingdom. And this is just the article for whose sake I am persecuted.

“It runs thus: I believe and confess with Paul (Rom. viii.) that the sin of our first parents has made man dead, and powerless to raise himself and be reconciled to God; yet Christ, our righteousness, sent by His eternal Father, by taking our sins upon Himself, and offering Himself upon the cross, has rendered full satisfaction for us, and has appeased in everything the anger of God. Nay, even more, He has accepted us as children of His heavenly Father, and has made us His heirs, rich in all divine treasures and graces, and all this is through Christ, through the pure grace and mercy of God, without any merit of our own, and without our being able to do anything, which should only, in part, be worthy of such grace. Not because the elect can open their eyes and recognise God, can approach Him, and accomplish, or try to accomplish holy works in His honour, — not for that reason does God receive them with open arms, and choose them, but because He has chosen them out of mere mercy in Christ. Therefore He calls and attracts them by an inward voice, opens their eyes, gives them enlightenment, grace, and mercy, and suffers them to perform good works to His honour. But the ungodly man, even if he has a free choice to do many human and common works, cannot, unless he is born again in Christ, do any divine or lofty works, being the captive and bondsman of sin. For it is not in his power to do anything for God’s honour, whether in whole or in part, because the Divine Spirit, the supernatural enlightenment, faith, hope, and love, and all other virtues, are wanting.”

“But when we are freed from sin by Christ, and are born again through faith, although evil lusts remain in us, yet we have a new heart, and it is of that kind that we no longer serve or obey sin, but rather resist it. Only then are we free, and, through the divine Spirit, we freely perform such works as are agreeable and pleasing to God, and according to which He will reward us. Not that they themselves are worthy of reward, for even the works of the righteous are always imperfect, and never sufficient for God’s eternal goodness. But we are not judged for these failings, because we are already members of Christ, and the righteous are rewarded according to their works, in so far that those who perform the best works have a fuller light of divine goodness, and regard with a more living faith the treasures of Christ as their own.

“If we men might boast of our works, then I might truly boast more than many others; like Paul, I have profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation. But now, like the same Paul, I hold all my works and righteousness as filthy rags, and only strive for the one thing, to possess Christ in faith as my own. In Him will I be found rich, not through my own righteousness, but through His. It is an ungodly purpose to suffer, and to work with the intention of atoning before God for our sins and obligations, or to attain merit in God’s eyes. That would mean that Christ has not done enough for us, but that we are partly saved by our own strength. That diminishes the glory of Christ, which we ought to bring entire before God, and not give in part to man, to whom nothing is due but reproach, disgrace, blame, and shame.

“I also believe and confess that there never was, and never will be in the world, a more pious and holy order than that of Christ. Its rule is the living faith that in all things we are purified from our sins, through Christ, that we are reconciled to the Father through Him, justified, sanctified, and made children of God, and His rich and happy heirs. He who receives this with the liveliest faith is the best Christian and brother of the order. All other orders in which men strive to justify and purify themselves entirely or partly by their own strength, are ungodly, and the more so, the more they cause men to strive and suffer for this end. For thus they hide the great merit of Christ. Nay, I go even farther. It is impossible that we should do a really good work, pleasing to God, unless we have this lively faith. For as long as a man thinks he can justify himself before God, in part by his own strength, and to gain merit, so long he does not truly work for God’s honour. As long as he does not feel the great merit of Christ, and recognise that He is entirely and wholly saved through Him alone, he remains rooted in self-love and confidence, and works for wages. But when he feels the great goodness of God in Christ, when he knows that he is only saved through Christ and through grace, then every reason vanishes which induced him to work for his own profit. The great love of God in Christ is fully revealed to him, and he sees himself induced to work, not as a slave, from fear of punishment, or desire of gain, but rather like a son, obeying the impulse of the Spirit, and the love of God’s honour. These are the works which are pleasing to God.

“I also believe and confess that there is one only, universal, holy, and Catholic Church of Christ, and this is the community formed of the elect, and of those who believe in their entire salvation through Christ, this is the community which cannot err in the things of salvation, because the Holy Ghost dwells in it. And though the elect should fall sometimes, yet they will not perish, for Christ is with them, and will be with them to the end of the world. Finally, I believe and confess that the elect are saved through Christ, and through pure grace, and not by any works, whether wholly or in part. This is the only faith by which true Christians are distinguished from all other false opinions, religions, and sects. In this faith lies the whole sum of Christianity. This is the only and true Gospel of God, proclaimed by the prophets in the Old Testament, preached by Christ and Paul, by all apostles and saints. The Holy Scripture is full of this truth, and especially the Epistles of Paul to the Romans and Galatians. This is the truth of the gospel, for whose sake Christ was crucified and Stephen stoned, for whose sake the prophets of God, the apostles and saints, have been persecuted, imprisoned, scourged, and put to death.

“This is the faith for whose sake I was forced to leave Italy, and was persecuted to death, dishonoured, and cast out by the Antichristians. But my cause is righteous, and speaks for itself. If I err in this article, then all have erred from the beginning who have been truly saints, even the apostles, especially Paul, nay, Christ Himself, — they all must be cast out, rejected, and accursed. Then you may burn the Gospels, St. Paul’s Epistles, nay, the whole of Scripture, for then the gospel would be a delusion, the belief in Christ a deception, and religion godless.

“And the Holy Scriptures testify to this truth. Search them, humbly bending your hearts before God, and He will enlighten you.

“I have begun, and hope by God’s help to continue, a clear exposition of those truths most needful to a Christian. ‘But,’ you will say, ‘we are forbidden to read your writings.’ That is just the clearest proof that they bring the truth to light. In these treatises the contents are only a digest of the doctrines and words of Holy Scripture; therefore, in forbidding these, the Word of God is forbidden. Observe how ungodly these men are, and are you bound to obey them? It is just these who openly proclaim in the schools, and from the pulpits, worldly, heretical, and impious doctrines, on condition they themselves sustain no injury.

“I love my country too well to deceive it, how much more my friends, myself, and Christ! And it is not I alone who believe and declare the true gospel, but the greater part of Christians have now opened their eyes to the truth, and these are the noblest, the most truly cultured minds. If the gospel might be freely proclaimed in Italy, France, and Spain, as it is in Germany, almost every one would accept it, so mighty is truth. Christian books and the preaching of God’s true Word may be forbidden, the believers and friends of the gospel may be cruelly persecuted, yet the more they are pursued, imprisoned, burnt, and executed, the more their number increases. You would wonder if you could see the number of those in Italy, France, and other countries, who are secretly true Christians. If this were not the work of God, it would perish, as Gamaliel said. But it increases from day to day.”

Ochino further shows that this doctrine of justifying faith is no new doctrine, but that it was just then flashing like lightning from east to west, and illumining the whole world; that it was no unsafe doctrine, but rather the safest of all, because it gives God alone the glory. Finally, that in the present state of the Papacy and the Roman Church, that was being fulfilled which Paul had prophesied concerning the coming of Antichrist. Then he concludes with the words, “The truth will conquer, though by the blood of martyrs which is being constantly shed in all countries, and that which Christ predicted will come, that His gospel would be proclaimed through the whole world. Do you not see that now only the carnally minded worship Antichrist for the sake of their own interest? It was no excuse for the Jewish people, when Christ appeared in the flesh, that they said, ‘He is not the Messiah, but a deceiver, and we must not trust Him, but only those who cannot err; we will not be wiser than all others, and because our Synagogue has cast Him out, we must do the same.’ Just so those will now find no excuse who do not accept Christ as He shows Himself in spirit and in truth, because they say, ‘ We will believe what our fathers have taught us, and what the others believe. Our church and our prelates cannot err, so we will not be wiser than they.’

“On the contrary, they will find much less excuse, because Christ is showing Himself in yet greater clearness, and there are everywhere so many communities, peoples, and noble spirits who have accepted the gospel, and also because the Church of Antichrist is much more rotten in doctrine and custom than was ever the synagogue of the Jews and their false religion. And it is full of human inventions, hypocrisy, superstition, idolatry, and horrors.

“Oh, how happy would you be, my Siena, and I for your sake, if you would purify yourself from so many ridiculous, Pharisaical, destructive, foolish, and impious chimers, from people who profess to be your saints, and are only an abomination before God. Oh, that you would accept God’s Word and His gospel, as it was proclaimed by Christ and the apostles, and all who followed after Him in truth. Will you not bear any testimony to Christ; you who are blessed with so many noble spirits, will you be the last to recognise Christ! Open your eyes that you may recognise the Son of God as your righteousness and wisdom, your peace and your salvation, that you may live for God alone, and offer to Him alone praise, honour, and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

In this letter Ochino does not say a word in his own personal defence; just as he bade Muzio examine his doctrine, and, if possible, prove it erroneous, here also he states his creed with reference to the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. With this his cause stands and falls. But he was to have this satisfaction, that while all Italy was silent, or only opened its mouth to condemn him, in his own city, at least, the voice of a noble friend was raised in his defence. This was Aonio Paleario, himself accused in Siena by unworthy adversaries. To strike him more surely he had been attacked by the reproach of heresy — a certain sign that the reaction was now active not only in Rome, but even in wider circles. This heresy was especially sought for in a writing concerning justification through the death of Christ, which Paleario had published in the Italian language in the course of that year. It may have been September or October 1542 when Paleario delivered his apology pro se ipso.[124] Ochino’s name was still in the mouth of all men. The bond formed by accord of aims and gratitude for help in the highest matters of life is not so easily broken. How must his fellow-citizens have been moved who had so often sat at the feet of the mighty preacher, and many of whom had accompanied him with sad thoughts across the Alps, when Paleario broke out before them into this complaint: “Is it not the fanaticism of ignorant men that we have to thank for Ochino’s sad fate? His life was earnest and pure, and yet, unprotected from the passionate attacks of his enemies, he was forced to seek safety in flight; and now — I cannot think of it without sorrow — the greatest of your citizens, driven out of Italy and banished from his native city, is wandering far away as a solitary stranger. How many cities, how many distant countries would be proud to call him their own. Happy the people who can bind him to them, and earn the fruit of his virtue and culture. There is no land so savage and barbarous that it could remain unmoved by the power of his eloquence”… “Your looks and your tears,” continued Paleario, “tell me plainly enough how much Tuscany, how much the whole of Italy has lost in him. Italy, whose cities had not enough space or applause for the virtues and gifts of a man who is now abandoned to all the privations of exile.”[125]

In Paleario’s later “Complaint against the Popes of Rome,” we again find the remembrance of Ochino. Paleario had called the Romish Inquisition “a dagger drawn against the representatives of knowledge.” In the “Complaint” he designated the Pope by the name of Antichrist, and referred for this to Ochino’s example. “Bernardinus Ocellus, a man of wonderful purity of life, has designated the Romish Popes as Antichrist; he taught according to the Gospel and the example of the apostles, that justification comes not by the law but by Christ; and for this you have driven him out of Italy.” It is easy to find in these expressions echoes of Ochino’s defence.

If Paleario thus stood up for him in Siena, another assailed him in the same place with passionate vehemence. This was the Dominican father Caterino Politi, also a native of Siena; The same Fra Ambrosio, who is already known to us as a member of that circle to whom, about the year 1535, Vittoria Colonna, Michael Angelo, Lattantio Tolomei, and Ochino himself belonged. Fra Ambrosio was one of those enemies of heresy ever ready with their pens, who served the reaction partly because urged by their zeal, partly that they might be raised by it. On 5th January 1544, he sent a short answer to Ochino’s letter to the magistracy of Siena.[126] It was followed a year later by an extensive polemic. The title was “Remedy against the Pestilential Doctrine of Fra Bernardino Ochino,”[127] and it attacks single passages out of Ochino’s first “Prediche,”and out of his letter to the magistracy of Siena, in order to refute them. The vulgar tone to which the Dominican condescends speaks for itself when (on folio 46), the German reformers, and among them Ochino, are called “scum of the devil.” After a long pause Ochino replied.

At first, he said, he meant to leave Politi’s attack unanswered, but the consideration of the friends of the Evangelical cause whom he had left behind in Italy had at length determined him to take up his pen. If Politi, like so many others, attached to Ochino’s confession — that he had “preached Christ in a mask” in Italy — the reproach of duplicity and heresy, he must answer him: “I keep to this, for in the first place I myself was masked as long as I wore the dress of the order, and if this was double-faced and heretical preaching, the same reproach falls upon the Saints Francis and Dominic, and upon all who have preached in the dress of the order. Further, I confess that I preached a Christ who was Himself masked — that is, not clearly as I now preach Him, and this was because I was among people whose eyes were too weak to bear so strong a light. But if I was double-faced and heretical, the same reproach falls on Christ and the apostles, because they, obedient to his own orders, did not proclaim His glorification before His resurrection. In like manner was Paul double-faced and heretical, because for a time he preached Christ to the Jews under the mask of the Mosaic customs, out of consideration for the judgment of the weak.” Ochino also answers to the reproach brought by Politi, as by so many others, that boundless ambition was the motive-power of his actions. “You say it was ambition which induced me to leave Italy, but I say you should not assume to yourself the right of judging hearts. Besides that, you well know that, were I ambition itself, I might have been satisfied with the eminence I had reached. Was it I, nay, rather was it not men like you, who insisted, out of envy, that I should be summoned to Rome? If the Observants or the Capuchins could really have brought anything against me, they would have filled the whole world with it in their anger at my flight, and you, my countrymen, would have been at their head. But since I have passed through this trial, the world may consider me as entirely justified, since those who try to set me down can bring nothing against me, except that they blamed the object of my preaching and my departure from Italy.” Two other answers of Ochino’s to polemics directed against him from Italy belong to the time of his residence at Geneva.

Under date 9th December 1542, the Servite and Magister Girolamo, of Lucca, had composed an open letter against him, for whose circulation in Italy and the South of France copies were made.[128] Like Tolomei, he reproached him with having forsaken the bosom of the Church without any reason. “No one,” he says, “hindered you from preaching Christ as the Saviour of the world. Certainly you would not have been permitted to proclaim blasphemous doctrines — to refuse to man all power of contributing to his own salvation; to represent him as a lifeless stone — a block, incapable of doing the slightest thing by its own will.” Girolamo here touched the principal question, that of justification, but only to avoid it. Ochino therefore answered him that it had never been in his thoughts to represent man as a mere stone or block; that he recognised for him a field of free activity, but in no way the means of entirely or partly attaining salvation by his own strength. “You say,” continues Ochino, “that I have fallen from the height upon which I stood. Well; but I should have perished if I had not thus fallen. I have fallen in the eyes of those who take nothing into account but the empty smoke of honours and dignities. I have fallen from the height to which not my ambition, but the superstition of men, had raised me. I have fallen in the eyes of the world, but I do not therefore cease to stand before my God; nay, He has saved me from that slippery and dangerous height, that I might stand the more firmly in the kingdom of His Son Jesus Christ.”[129]

In the second letter, which is directed against an attack of the Benedictine abbot Marco of Brescia, Ochino especially refutes the idea of the absolute Papal primacy, which Marco had made the starting-point of his attack. “Is it Peter,” answers Ochino, ”who reigns in the hearts of the faithful through the Holy Ghost? Is it he who sits at the right hand of God? You unite the Church with Peter,” he exclaims, “but only by first separating it from Christ.” Further on in his letter Ochino mentions that he had also directed a letter of defence to the Council of Venice, and it appears that Marco’s attack referred especially to the wording of this. Ochino concludes with the words: “Mourn rather for your own blindness and misery, and that of your people, and leave me and my Lord in peace. In His service I am happy and blessed.”

If Ochino’s departure was for him the only means of attaining inner peace and calmness of soul, it was an irreparable loss for the evangelical movement in Italy. Only a short time before, a Cardinal had said at Rome,[130] “Lutheranism would be at an end in Italy, if Ochino would decidedly declare against it, but he will not.” So great was his reputation in the circles pervaded by reformatory ideas! And now the religious movement lost in one day two of its most distinguished supports, Ochino and Martyr. This loss was doubly fatal, because just at that moment the reaction had penetrated triumphantly into Rome, and had already thrown its first victims into chains. Martyr had justified himself for his flight in an especial address to his friends in Lucca, — the little community he had collected around him a year ago. Ochino, although his personal influence was much more extensive, yet had no especial congregation. Year after year his words had sounded through all the cities of Italy, and he addressed his justification to his whole nation. Had he had a congregation of his own, perhaps for its sake he might not have avoided the martyr’s death. In one of the later “Prediche”[131] he expressed himself on this subject: “Christ has taught us a remedy against persecution, — namely, flight, and he himself, as well as Paul and the other apostles, several times resorted to it. But consider well, that you may not fly unless you are convinced that your flight will tend to the honour of God. For instance, if you are producing little fruit there where you happen to be, but can be of much use beyond, then be certain that God suffers you to be persecuted to induce you to depart. But it is different if you are entrusted with the care of others’ souls, and you perceive that many would be offended at your flight, — I do not mean the offence of the Pharisees, about which, according to Christ’s example, we need not trouble ourselves, but the offence of weak Christians. If in this case you perceive that your sheep would be scattered, and fall a prey to the wolves; and if, on the other hand, you recognise that many would be edified by your firmness, and confirmed in the faith, then you must not depart. Thus you must well consider and weigh everything, and then do that which tends to the greater glory of God, without the slightest consideration of your own person. And if God’s honour requires you to stay, and you, from selfishness or worldly considerations, wish to fly, be convinced that you are no good shepherd, but a hireling. If you were a good shepherd, you would, following Christ’s example, stake your own life, so as not to prove a stumbling-block to your own people, and that you might keep them in the faith.”


Impression made by Geneva —Italian Fugitives — Ochino and Calvin — -“Prediche” i. and ii. — The Epistle to the Romans — Ochino leaves Geneva, 1545— He becomes a Preacher at Augsburg — -Sermons on the Epistles to the Galatians — Dialogue on Carnal Wisdom — Directions for Prayer — The Prayer of Comfort — Concerning the Hopes of a Christian Soul— Political Position of the Evangelicals — Murder of Diaz — The Schmalkaldic War — Charles V. before Augsburg — Ochino flies — Ochino takes no part in the Religious Discussions in Vicenza

“In Geneva, where I am at present residing,” writes Ochino in October 1542,[132] “excellent Christians are daily preaching the pure word of God. The Holy Scriptures are constantly read and expounded, and openly discussed, and every one may propound what the Holy Spirit suggests to him, just as, according to the testimony of Scripture, was the case in the early Church. Every day there are public edifying prayers. On Sundays the Catechism is explained, and the young and ignorant taught. Cursing and swearing, unchastity, sacrilege, adultery, and impure lives, bawds and harlots, all of which have prevailed in many places where I have lived, are unknown here. The people do not know what rouge is, and they are all clad in a seemly fashion. Games of chance are not customary. Benevolence is so great that the poor need not beg. The people admonish each other in brotherly fashion, as Christ prescribes. Lawsuits are banished from the city; nor is there any simony, murder, or party spirit, but only peace and charity. On the other hand, there are no organs here, no noise of bells, no showy songs, no burning candles and lamps, no relics, pictures, statues, canopies, or splendid robes, no farces, or cold ceremonies. The churches are quite free from all idolatry.”

Such was the impression produced by the serious spirit in Geneva upon Ochino. Calvin had returned a year before. He had once more introduced the discipline in Church and manners practised before his banishment. The ecclesiastical ordinances had been unanimously accepted on the 2d of January 1542, in the assembly of the citizens entitled to vote. These ordinances were upheld with iron rigour. A second time Geneva showed to the astonished world a resolve for amendment, and a deep social revolution, which is explained, though it is not the less to be admired, by the fact that the number of citizens who had a right to vote was only two thousand, and the whole number of inhabitants scarcely fifteen thousand.

It is not known on what day Ochino entered Geneva. His residence is first mentioned in a letter written by Calvin to Viret, which is undated, but may, doubtless, be referred to the early part of October 1542. “We have here,” writes Calvin, “a fugitive Italian, an old man of venerable appearance. He was greatly respected in his own country. He is living here at his own expense. If he can learn the language, he will, I hope, be of great service to us.”[133]

What Ochino has said above about the mode of life at Geneva, is the most striking refutation of the calumnies in Caraffa’s letter.[134] It was also a decisive answer to all the attempts which were then made to bring him back to the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Calvin again writes to Viret, October 1542: “They have tried, by all possible representations, to draw our Bernardino away from us, but he remains firm, nay, he has once and for ever cut off from Antichrist the possibility of attracting him; for, at the conclusion of a little volume of theological treatises, he has openly and decisively declared himself one of us. He is sought after by many Italians. We have already two other preachers here. Whoever knows Ochino, is convinced that Christ’s kingdom has no small gain in him. The better I learn to know the man, the more I honour him. But he does not disguise the fact that my encouragement has helped and aided him. The city has already permitted him to preach as often as he likes.”

On 14th of February he writes to Melancthon, “We have Bernardino Ochino of Siena here, an excellent and distinguished man, who by his departure has set all Italy in no small excitement. He commissions me to salute you and the rest.” Ochino had also been recommended to Calvin and the rest by Paleario, in the memorable letter addressed by him to the Swiss and German reformers, “I recommend to you our brother Bernardino Ochino, what you do for him, you do for Christ.”

Calvin mentions in his letter to Viret that other Italians had followed Ochino’s example, and sought refuge in Geneva. In fact at that time a congregation was “formed by the already present Italian element, and that newly arrived.[135] Probably the wish, or rather the need, of mounting the pulpit was awakened more keenly in Ochino after all the experiences he had lately gone through. He therefore made use of the permission of the Council, and preached several times in the Chapel of the Cardinal of Ostia. We cannot ascertain for certain whether he undertook any definite office in the congregation, he devoted himself almost exclusively to literary labours, the only pursuit which still insured him some influence upon his own country. He published in swift succession several small volumes of theological treatises, as well as the before-named epistles to Muzio, Girolamo of Lucca, Marco of Brescia, the Council of Siena, &c. He lived in retirement upon the money Ascanio Colonna had given him at parting, and Bullinger reports, in a letter to Vadianus, December 19, 1542, that the same Colonna had sent him a further sum by a messenger. The council accorded him a modest addition. With the preachers of Geneva, Lausanne and Neufchátel, he remained in friendly relations. Farel especially in his letters to Calvin, seldom fails to add a message for Ochino.

His relations with the Genevese theologians were not without influence upon Ochino’s theological opinions. This is evident from his treatises composed at that time, which we shall consider as a whole, and especially from the position he occupies in regard to predestination. In another important opinion Ochino found accord and confirmation among the Genevese. It was only after a long and painful struggle that he tore himself away from his order and his church. “He has forsaken the ark of salvation,” Vittoria Colonna then said of him, and thousands echoed and either mourned or blamed his resolve. Ochino himself felt the contrary conviction, that he had forsaken the Romish Church so as to serve God more purely, that by so doing he was not separated from Christ, but rather more closely united to him. The doctrine of the “invisible church” did not without reason occupy so prominent a place at the time of the Reformation. It was necessary to destroy the artificially nourished notion that Christianity and the Romish Church were identical, and every individual who, in the consciousness of his own personal responsibility, was about to take the final step, saw himself confronted with this decisive question. Ochino writes to Tolomei, “I also believe in a holy, universal Christian Church, but just for this reason I cannot permit the idea to be confined to the Church of Rome.” To the council of his native city he writes, “I also acknowledge a holy and Catholic Church of Christ, the community of the elect, who believe they are justified through Christ alone. This is the only infallible church, infallible because the Holy Spirit works in it.”

Ochino remained in friendly relations with Calvin. Calvin was careful and anxious to permit the expression of no opinions on religious matters opposed to his own. He therefore satisfied himself about Ochino’s opinions as soon as the latter showed his intention of remaining in the city. He writes to Pellicanus, April 19, 1543, “Because I do not trust the Italian spirits, I have conversed fully with Ochino about single points of our faith, and I did this in such a manner, that he could not have disguised it from me if his opinions had in any matter been different from ours. I then saw and can most positively declare that Ochino agrees with us in every particular. I feel myself bound to give this testimony to the pious and holy man, that he may not lie under the smallest unmerited suspicion, for he possesses distinguished learning, and his mode of life is exemplary.”[136] Thus Calvin. It is only malice when the latest Italian historian of Ochino’s life passes over his residence at Geneva with these words: — “But Ochino, who did not agree with the universal Christian Church, how could he submit to the individual opinions of a Calvin?”[137] And it is an entire distortion of facts when the same writer adds, “He was thus soon at variance with Calvin, in so much that he was cast out of the church community of Geneva, and banished from the city.” A remark made by Calvin, some years later, about Ochino, will suffice to prove this an invention. Calvin writes in his work, “De Scandalis “(p. 96), published in 1550: — “What monks could Germany point to in our time who might have been compared without boasting to a Luther, Bucer, and Oecolampadius for learning and purity of life? Whom could Italy place beside a Bernardino Ochino or Peter Martyr Vermigli?”It is true that Ochino left Geneva, but not till he dwelt there three years, and his departure seems to have been unexpected, since only a few months before the Council of Geneva had assigned him a residence.[138] His motive cannot be referred to disputes with Calvin, since even at a distance Ochino kept up his relations with him,[139] and some years afterwards again visited Geneva. Even before the end of Ochino’s residence at Geneva there was a weighty testimony to his theological opinions in the “Prediche,” which he there published. Seven little volumes of these were printed between October 1542 and the end of the year 1544. They were especially meant for circulation in Italy, a purpose duly accomplished, although, according to Ochino’s own statement,[140] every one was there considered a heretic who was found in possession of his writings. Milan, where Muzio declares that he can find no copy,[141] preserves to this day the original editions of the Geneva “Prediche “in its great public library.

We have seen that Ochino in his letter to Muzio names three capital points whose recognition had driven him to a breach with the Romish Church. The attainment of salvation through Christ alone, the immorality of vows, and the rottenness of the hierarchy. This three-fold experience had taken such deep root in him, and so entirely governed all his thoughts, that he arranged in this manner the subjects of the first three volumes of his “Prediche.” It is not really sermons that are contained in these writings, but rather discussions of a theological nature, which were also composed with a view of justifying his resolution before the whole world. They were not meant for the pulpit. This circumstance alone shows how little credence is due to the assertion in Michaud’s Biographie Universelle (Art. Ochino) that after his flight Ochino had the sermons, which he had preached before, newly printed, but that he had greatly altered and falsified them according to his later opinions. The character of the subject naturally caused Ochino in his Genevese “Prediche” to return to several points already touched upon in the “Nine Sermons,” or in the “Seven Dialogues” of 1539, and we may find some interesting parallels which will help us to a more exact understanding of his own development.

The first three volumes published at Geneva afterwards appeared at Basle in a single volume. This edition which also contains Ochino’s preface of October 10th, 1542, is not so rare as the Geneva edition, and it is the one to which all the following quotations will refer. Those passages from the preface which justify Ochino’s flight have been already given. The preface concludes with these words, doubly touching from the mouth of an orator, — “Now, my Italy, I can no longer speak face to face with thee, but I will write to thee and in thy own tongue, so that every one may understand it. I comfort myself with the thought that Christ has willed this, so that all other considerations may fall away, and only the one desire, for truth, may remain to me. And because the justification of the sinner through Christ is the beginning of the whole Christian life, let me commence with this, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What is justification through Christ? To this the first treatise is an answer. Justification through Christ is not the capricious unrighteous act of a partial judge who excuses the evil doer and ignores the charges against him, out of mere reluctance to impose the merited punishment. But neither is it like the act of a righteous judge, who rejects the charges against the accused because they are unfounded, and acquits him because he acknowledges him free from guilt. For we sinners are never in this position before God. In this world there are also rulers who sometimes forgive the penitent for the sake of his penitence, but it is not in this manner that God has determined to justify us, although He could do so. He will not save us without satisfaction; still less can we justify ourselves as though we could in anyway render this satisfaction, for then the offence of the cross would have lost its meaning and Christ would have died in vain. Finally, we must not say we are justified partly by Christ and partly by our own works. Numerous statements of St. Paul and St. Augustine disprove this. We must found our whole justification upon Christ, and not, like the Galatians, partly upon our own works. This is the very heresy for which Paul blamed them, that they did not give God alone the honour in Christ. It is only an evasion to say, that although our works are neither good nor deserving by themselves, God will accept them as such for Christ’s sake. Does not the same Paul say in his Epistle to Titus that our works are impure until we have attained justification through Christ? and St. Augustine, in his book “On the City of God,” calls them actually sins, because they were not done in the first place for God’s honour. That would mean that God regards our sins as virtues and rewards them as such. Christ does not only justify us by mediating for us, but by a much richer, higher, happier and diviner means. He takes away our sins and fills us with His Spirit, and thus we live, yet now not we, but Christ lives in us.

In spite of this careful treatment of the doctrine of justification in this and other passages, yet in one particular, from the point of view of the Church dogma, we miss Ochino’s decisive penetration. Anselm’s theory of justification through Christ’s suffering and death is reflected in his opinions, but its one-sided ruggedness was entirely opposed to Ochino’s whole nature. Ochino wishes to rest his salvation, not upon the appeasement of God’s anger, but upon His boundless love. The living faith which the Holy Spirit works in man, is to him, if not the reason and cause of salvation, at least the form in which salvation becomes effective. Rather than sacrifice God’s all-embracing love, Ochino bears the reproach, and leaves unanswered the riddle, “Why then has not God given this faith to all men? “

From Ochino’s fundamental idea of justification without man’s own assistance by God’s grace alone, which we have already seen set forth with great distinctness in his letter to the council of Siena, is now developed the further treatment of its nature and operation in the succeeding essays. The second treatise deals with its irrevocable certainty. Do you think, he there says, that at the last judgment, Christ will say to you, “you are condemned for having trusted too firmly in me and in God’s goodness?” We have the whole of Scripture on our side, and we have only to humble ourselves before God, and to beg Him to give us a living faith in His mercy. The third treatise, in characterising the opponents of this doctrine, distinguishes three chief classes; the heathens, Jews, and false Christians, and referring to the latter, Ochino especially answers the objection that entire confidence in salvation through Christ leads to nothing but the disdain and neglect of works and moral life. “No, whoever has a living faith in Christ, a heart-felt sense of His great benefits, will embrace Him with such passionate love that in one day he will do more good than he could in a thousand years without that faith. For faith is mightier than both fear and hope. Therefore whoever preaches faith, preaches love, confidence, humility, patience, and all the Christian virtues. For these all spring from a living faith in our justification through Christ. He also preaches love for our neighbour, pity, charity, prayer, penitence, and all good works. For it is faith alone which urges to these. Christ did not die upon the cross that we might remain idlers, loiterers, and sinners, but rather to raise up a people well pleasing to God, zealous of good works.”

We can only carefully examine a few of the following treatises, and it is the twelfth which next calls our attention, inasmuch it recalls the relations of Ochino to that circle of Juan Valdez, to which he was indebted for the whole new direction of his ideas. In the “Seven Dialogues “of 1539 there were already several points of contact with Valdez’ “pious considerations.” Mysticism was for Ochino, as for many others before and after him, a form in which his religious opinions disguised themselves, until they were strengthened to force their way to a greater freedom. The twelfth treatise hears unmistakable evidence that its author had before him a work belonging to the most important productions of the Italian Reformation, which faithfully reflects those opinions developed in the circle of Valdez. This was the tractate lost for centuries, but recovered in our time; “Concerning the merits of Christ’s death on the cross.” The fourth chapter deals with “the workings of a living faith and the union of the soul with Christ.” This union of the soul with Christ is represented by the emblem of marriage. Two are united in one flesh, the husband has the right of possession over the whole dower which the wife brings into marriage, and likewise, the wife may regard all her husband’s possessions as her own. “In like manner,” continues the tract, “God has united His Son to the believing soul; and although she has no possession except sin, yet God’s Son has taken her for His beloved bride, with sin for her dower. Christ now says, the dower of my bride — all her sins, God’s anger against her, the merit of punishments,— all belongs to me, and I do with it what pleases me. I throw it into the fire of my crucifixion and destroy it. And in like manner the bride says, the kingdom and possessions of my beloved are mine. I am queen and ruler of heaven and earth; His holiness, innocence, righteousness, godliness — all His virtues belong to me; and therefore I also am innocent, righteous, and godly as He is.” The same line of thought, partly expressed in the same words, may be found in Ochino’s twelfth treatise. It is remarkable that he treats much more thoroughly the practical part— the good fruits of a Christian life, which result from such a union. “Then,” he says, “the children of this union — that is, the good works— begin to grow. Whoever stands in Christ, and Christ in him, he brings forth good fruit. And as the love between husband and wife is so great that it forsakes father, mother, and all else, so also is the spiritual love between the believing soul and Christ.”

In one of the following treatises (14), Ochino asks the question, how man may combat his sinful desires; and in pointing out Christ as the only mirror and example of good, he refers to confession, its origin and meaning. He says: “It was natural that, in the earliest days of the Church, many should repair to the most experienced and pious in the community to seek for advice and comfort in troubles of conscience. Hence the custom gradually grew up of confessing all sins to the heads of the Church; and hence arose the ecclesiastical institution of confession, which, since Innocent III., has become obligatory upon all. The claims of a right to forgive sins, or to pronounce the forgiveness of sins in God’s place, were principally founded upon two passages in the Bible. The first of these passages (Matt, xviii. 18), ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,’ does not refer to a confession of sins, as the context shows, but to the right of the apostles to decide concerning the readmission of the relapsed into the Church.”

“Our adversaries,” continues Ochino, “rely still more firmly on the second passage: ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them, and whosoever sins ye retain they are retained.’ This saying, understood in its full bearing, means this: Christ gives to the apostles and their successors the power to proclaim the decisive truth that salvation is of Christ alone; that no one’s sins will be forgiven who does not believe in Him, however numerous the good works he may perform. It is the seal set by Christ upon His relations with the apostles, and the highest authority which He could impart to them — that He revealed to them this Divine secret, and bade them spread it abroad. Christ’s word has nothing to do with the ecclesiastical institution of confession.”

Since Ochino dealt with the same subject in one of his sermons before the time of his flight,[142] we may draw an interesting comparison between the two. He then considered it unnecessary to find a proof in tradition, or in a biblical exegesis for confession. Here, on the other hand, he refutes the chief passages which are brought forward. There he touched but slightly on the manner in which confession had arisen by purely human means, without deducing from this any inference for its dogmatic signification. Here he carefully points out the course of its development, and on this account denies its right to be held an ecclesiastical institution established by Christ or the apostles. Finally, he had then quoted the book concerning true and false penance, attributed to Augustine, as genuine, while here he has come to the right conclusion — that the book was not written by Augustine.[143]

In the sixteenth treatise, Ochino traces the historical development of indulgences, as he had traced that of confession in the fourteenth. “In the earliest days of the Church,” he says, “in which stern discipline was kept up, canonical punishments were established as a public chastisement for breach of morals. The heads of the congregations, who imposed the punishments, also retained the power to mitigate, change, or remit them altogether or in part. From this, in course of time, sprang the practice of indulgence. It rests upon the entirely unchristian, untenable assertion that the Pope has the right of disposal over certain treasures of good works, which have been accumulated by Christ and the saints.” These, and similar treatises, concerning matters of conscience reserved to the decision of the Popes, concerning purgatory and good works, conclude the first volume of the “Prediche.” “Let us then,” Ochino exhorts the reader, “put off the old Adam and his useless garments, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, His grace, His virtues, and His merits, that we may be able in all sincerity to give God the honour.” In his letter to Muzio, Ochino had also set forth the contents and purport of these first twenty treatises, “I have openly proved in them justification through Christ, I have laid low human satisfaction and human merits, also indulgence and purgatory, and all the godless blasphemies in the doctrine of Antichrist, opposed to grace and the gospel. Concerning the contents of the second volume[144] he remarks, “I have clearly proved that the vows of orders are not binding and impious, and that there is in the world only one true order, the order of Jesus Christ.” This is the same idea we have already met with in Ochino’s last dialogue of 1539. Caterino Politi was not wrong in already scenting heresy in this treatise.[145]

Separately considered, the “Prediche “in the second volume deal partly with the relation between law and liberty, partly with vows, both those of orders and others, which are closely considered from the point of view of moral worth. “Before the Fall (28th, ‘Concerning Christian Liberty ‘) man was free from all evil. It was sin that first made him a slave, but we have regained liberty through Christ, and those who are born again are free from all harms, not that they will meet with none, but because they will recognise them as sent by God for their good, and as a token of His love. They are free from suspicion and fear, for faith teaches them that God is with them, and that the creatures are vain shadows, who can only act in so far as God gives them power. Finally, they are free from idle cares, troubles, and hopes, anxious thoughts and wishes, for faith shows them that God regards them with an especial care. They only want what is pleasing to God, for their will is dead for itself, and lives only in God. This is true freedom, to be absorbed with one’s whole being, into the highest freedom which is in God.”

The third volume of the “Prediche,”[146] containing nine treatises, was in the press when Ochino addressed his letter to Muzio, April 7th, 1543, “They are to prove that what you consider the true Church of Christ, is nothing but the true Babylon, in which Antichrist himself wields the sceptre.” The first of these treatises deals with the alleged infallibility of the Romish Church. Here he employs the idea of the invisible Church, not under this designation, but under the name of “Christ’s Church,” and it is to this alone that he attributes infallibility. He brings forward numerous contradictions in the doctrines of various Popes, to prove the untenability of the assertion that the Romish Church is infallible. “But if you ask me what is the Church of Christ, I answer, the word Church has a double meaning, sometimes it means the community of those who have a living faith and the spirit of Christ. It is this Church to which the Apostles’ Creed refers, and which is called ‘holy.’ St. Paul designates it as the ‘Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth’ (1 Tim. iii.). On the other hand, the expression ‘Church’ is also used for the community of the baptized, whether they are good or bad, as the Holy Scripture represents it in the parable of the thrashing-floor, where grain and chaff are mixed, or the field where good and bad seed grow, or the net in which all manner of things are drawn to light. It is only the Church in the first sense which cannot err, whether it be called Roman, or Venetian, or French. Wherever true Christians are assembled, there is the Church of Christ.” In the three following volumes of his “Prediche,” as they were afterwards published, collected into the second volume, Ochino deals with other themes. The polemic impetus is no longer in the foreground, the contents of the treatises are more of a speculative than of a practical kind. Ochino avoids the scholastic manner throughout, for he is not addressing himself to the learned, but to those who had hitherto sat at his feet in Italy, eagerly listening to his living words. The existence in nature of God, His revelation in nature, in the Holy Scriptures, in Christ, the person and the work of Christ, these are the subjects first treated in the fourth volume.[147] Ochino assumes God’s existence as a postulate of human knowledge, he considers God’s nature as alone perfect, single, immutable, boundless. This nature is only evident to him in as far as it shows itself active in the world in which God shows His qualities, namely, His omnipotence, wisdom, goodness, justice, and truth. “Nature is a ladder to the knowledge of God, but the ladder is not without danger, since the things of sense draw away the mind from the pure contemplation of God. The ladder is also long and difficult to climb, and at last it only leads to a knowledge of a small portion of the Divine nature.”

In the seventh treatise, Ochino encounters the question how we may read Holy Scripture to the best use. “If you would converse with God in holy calm, retire from all worldly thoughts, and, Like Mary, direct your eyes to this one thing, to look upon God. Beware of the reproach which fell upon Martha, bend your head, leave pride, stubborness, conceit, and falsehood, and yield your judgment and natural light prisoner to God’s word.”

After a further development of the leading idea that God has revealed Himself most perfectly in Christ, the treatises (eleven to twenty-two) deal with Christ’s person and work. It would lead us too far, if we attempted to reproduce even the most essential part of this rich material, which is always accompanied by quotations from the Holy Scriptures. But one thing we must refer to, and that is, the seriousness Ochino requires for a worthy consideration of Christ’s sufferings. “There are some who are of opinion that the whole fruit of considering Christ’s sufferings is to shed a tear, and feel sensuous pity for Him. They, therefore, prefer to think of circumstances likely to call forth their tears; and the more any one weeps, the more pious he is held. But I insist that there is much sin hidden in this sensuous excitement; it is blameworthy in the highest degree when a soul, instead of seeking God’s honour alone, goes about trying to attain a sensuous excitement through Him, and this with a crucified Christ. The daughters of Israel wept over Christ from a natural pity, and yet they were not well-pleasing to Him. You should rather consider in the crucified One, with a living faith, the boundless love of God, who has given to us miserable and ungrateful men this only and beloved Son, to make us His children and heirs, to adorn us with all virtues, and to bless us in the highest degree.” In all these treatises we find the idea expressed by Ochino in the seventeenth: “We do not attain paradise through the observance of Divine ordinances, but Christ has won it for us on the cross. It is no wages for servants, but an inheritance for children. God does not sell it to us as a trader, but He gives it us as a father. It is sufficient for us to have a living faith, a faith we cannot attain through our own understanding and strength, because it is a gift of God. And even if it were our own work, we should not be saved because our faith deserved salvation, but through Christ alone.”

Some of the following treatises plainly denote the influence of opinions which Ochino had found among the Geneva theologians, especially concerning the doctrine of predestination. This question had certainly been discussed in Valdez’ circle,[148] and it is characteristic of Ochino that he only approaches this doctrine from the point of view that man is incapable of doing even the slightest thing for his salvation. In the twenty-seventh treatise, Ochino deals with the common objection that the doctrine of predestination, whatever its scientific value, is not adapted for public discussion. “Shall we then hide what Paul has preached? shall we take offence at the words of the Holy Spirit, which are written only for the sake of our salvation? And I believe that the doctrine of predestination is an important part in the evangelical doctrine. But whoever, through the consciousness of belonging to the elect, should keep back from good, or, through the contrary consciousness, should be attracted to evil, would be a slave, and no free man.” This treatise, in the further development of ideas, shows the connecting link by which Ochino had been easily led to accede to Calvin’s opinions. “It is Satan,” says Ochino, “disguised like an angel of light, who is labouring to persuade us that our salvation depends in part on ourselves.” Already, in 1539, from the pulpit at Naples, he had, like Augustine, denied the sinner all co-operation in his salvation, and here he repeats it, “Be content with the knowledge that your salvation rests in God’s hand. God has taken it into His own hand, because He does not trust us; He knows that even if we had already paradise in our hands, we should let it fall again.” Ochino did not follow Calvin’s terrible deduction concerning the incisive doctrine of predestination to wrath. Perhaps he does not express himself clearly; he will not sacrifice God’s love to save His omniscience. He concludes, “Let who will consider Christ as the Judge, I only want Him as the Saviour. Look around upon those who believe their salvation lies in their own hand, they are full of self-love and self-confidence, full of conceit and faults. And yet they are so blind and foolish, that they only will have the paradise of justice, and not the paradise of mercy.”

No less than fourteen “Prediche” deal with the doctrine of predestination in its nature and consequence. A discussion (41) concerning the nature and extent of free-will is appended to them. Afterwards Ochino examined this question more carefully in a special work. A comprehensive account of his opinions about the freedom of the will, will therefore find its most suitable place in the discussion of his “Labyrinthi.”[149]

The treatises of the sixth volume[150] are throughout of a practically elevating character. They deal with the government and harmony of the world, they show man ought to be led by God, and to follow Christ in spirit and in truth. Then how, in all cases where we have to decide important matters, we may with certainty recognise God’s will. Ochino may have looked back upon his own resolve to fly from Italy when he said: “To know what God really wishes you to do, the best means is prayer, and prayer for enlightenment concerning that which His will requires of you, for our natural light and our wisdom do not suffice us. Then you may also seek advice from enlightened friends, but not with the intention of submitting slavishly to their judgment, but only to weigh their counsel, and then to decide as God directs you through His Spirit. Keep your eye directed to God’s honour, without consideration of your own well-being. In doubtful cases always choose what tends to the greater honour of God. Consider what a saint would have done if he had been in your position; consider where the inward voice urges you, and then decide in the firm belief that thus it is God’s will. Then He will make use of you for His honour, and if troubles meet you, yet you must not repent of your choice, for it is God’s will that you should meet with trials.” “The Spirit of God,” he concludes, “must be our rule, which we would rather obey than all men and angels, than our own wisdom, even as the example of the leper (Luke xvii.) teaches us, rather than the literal words of Christ Himself.” The reason which made Ochino refer in this place to the example of the leper who was healed, is explained by a passage from the sixth sermon of the year 1539 (folio 52, a.) He there says: “When Christ met the lepers, He bade them all ‘go, show yourselves unto the priests,’ and it came to pass that as they went with a living faith, they were cleansed; and one of them, when he saw that he was healed, did not obey Christ, did not go to the priests, but turned back to give thanks to Christ. And Christ said to him, ‘There are not found that return to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ “Ochino concludes from this that we ought sometimes rather to obey the divine Spirit, the inward voice, which urges us to good, than the literal precepts of Christ. This is a striking example of a subjective and spiritualistic tendency in Ochino, also found in Valdez and the mystics, and which may have been partly confirmed by the number of religious experiences collected by Ochino in the early period of his development. In the struggle that decided his whole life, he did, in fact, follow his inner voice as a divine inspiration; and though the decision led him into want and trouble, — though it brought him dangers and losses of all kinds, still, on the other hand, it restored to him the peace of soul he had lost in the conflict between his office and his conviction.

While the fourteen following “Prediche” deal carefully with prayer, — they are collected under the one title of Detailed Discussions concerning Prayer, — the two last, that end the series, are of a polemic nature, and are directed against the worship of images and relics, as well as against the Papacy of the Romish Church. The last, “the image of Antichrist,” was published separately at Geneva in a French translation.[151]

To these dogmatic and paraenetic discussions of Ochino’s was added, towards the end of his stay at Geneva, a larger exegetic treatise, a detailed exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, published in 1545.[152] “No other of the biblical writings,” says Ochino, in the introduction, “sets forth the truth so strikingly, that the natural strength of man, even the law as given by Moses, does not suffice to the attainment of salvation, but that our justification lies in Christ alone. It, therefore, seemed to me that it would be of great use if this epistle were carefully read and rightly understood, and because the enemies of the gospel have made it like all other biblical writings, unattainable, because it is in Latin, I here explain it in the language of the people, so that my Italy may no longer be without so rich a treasure.” Ochino’s commentary was, however, soon after translated into Latin; a German translation also appeared.[153]

The very purpose of these treatises excludes the possibility of an abstract, erudite treatment. The great truth of “the merits of Christ,” as St. Paul has indelibly traced it in the Epistle to the Romans, was to penetrate to the heart of all. The readers were to learn humbly to recognise, with the apostle, their own weakness, and then to be elevated with him to a certainty of salvation. This was the object Ochino had in his mind. How deeply he considers the fundamental idea in the Pauline doctrine of salvation; how he makes it his own has been already shown in his letter to the Council of Siena, where Ochino sets forth the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans as the foundation of his belief. He only occasionally speaks against doctrines or institutions of the Catholic Church, as in the explanation to chapter i., 23d verse: “To God alone be glory; it is His dishonour if we worship pictures and images in His stead. But if our adversaries pretend that these pictures and images are not worshipped by them, but only God Himself — as far as He is represented in them, I call upon my own experience as witness against them. And if it is a sin to worship God in the form of the sun, it is still more idolatry to worship Him in a statue. He wills to be worshipped in nothing else but in Christ; He is His only temple.” Ochino gives the whole epistle in an Italian translation, and adds his comments to the separate verses. At the commencement of each chapter the connection with the preceding and the contents are briefly indicated.

When Ochino says in the preface, “My Italy must no longer be without so rich a treasure,” this is not to be understood as though in his time there had been no translation of the Epistle to the Romans into Italian. As early as 1471 a translation of the Bible had appeared at Venice from Jenson’s press, of which Domenico Cavalea was probably the author, and which was one of the first and most brilliant productions of the Venetian art of printing. In the same year the Abbot Niccolò de’ Malermi also published his Italian Bible at Venice, and up to 1541 it had gone through different editions; one of these (that of 1525,) was furnished with theological and moral commentaries. Antonio Brucioli, in 1530, had also published a translation of the New Testament, and this had seen five editions before the year 1544. Brucioli had himself printed the whole Bible at Venice in 1538; at the same time, the translation of Santes Marmochini of Florence was appearing there. Four years later this was followed by a new Italian edition of Fra Zaccaria’s New Testament. Even before Ochino’s commentary on Romans was printed, the sixth volume of Brucioli’s great commentary, containing the Pauline Epistles, had appeared. But Brucioli writes his commentary as a learned man who had studied the Fathers, and carefully sets forth their opinions in connection with St. Paul’s. Ochino writes as one who recognises in the apostle’s words what he himself has experienced, and what he wishes to impress upon the minds of all. Brucioli thinks that he may add at the end of his commentary, which is dedicated to Duke Cosimo de’ Medici, the following assurance: “In no case have I departed from the opinions held and approved by the holy doctors of the Church; and there is nothing in my explanation which would not be approved by the Holy Mother Church, to whose judgment I submit in all things.” Ochino, on the other hand, had broken with the same Church, because, according to his idea, she had forsaken the pure teaching of the gospel, and especially St. Paul’s doctrine of justification. From this point of view his work was certainly the first in the Italian tongue, especially as all the other translations mentioned, besides Brucioli’s, were merely renderings of the Vulgate. In many important passages Ochino’s translation follows that form of the text re-established by Erasmus, and already made public in his first edition of the New Testament in 1516. It is possible that, besides the Greek original, Ochino may have had before him Erasmus’s Latin, and perhaps even Brucioli’s Italian, rendering.

About the middle of August 1542, Ochino left Geneva. Calvin gave him introductions to Myconius at Basle, and to Madame de Falais at Strasburg. “The bearer of this letter,” he writes to Myconius, “Bernardino of Siena, is a man of great reputation in Italy, and deserves to be honoured everywhere. Although I do not doubt that for the sake of his name you would receive him with all the respect his unusual piety and learning deserve, this I wish to add — my own especial recommendation. Therefore let him feel that he is loved by all Christ’s servants, though I am sure you would do this without my asking you.”[154]

Xystus Betulejus, in his preface to his commentary on Lactantins,[155] dated August 1545, mentions Ochino’s residence at Basle. Ochino first stayed with Sebastian Castellio. He may have made his acquaintance at Geneva. Castellio had lived at Basle since 1544. At first he had made a scanty living by private lessons and literary labours, and years after he was made professor of the High School. He always remained in friendly relations with Ochino, and translated several of his writings into Latin.

Ochino’s stay at Basle was short. On August 29th Bucer writes to Calvin from Strasburg: “I wish we could show Signor Bernardino the distinctions he merits, his presence is a great pleasure to us.”[156] At Strasburg, Ochino met his faithful friend, Peter Martyr, who like him had belonged to Valdez’ circle, and had at the same time formed his resolution of leaving Italy. Alter a successful flight, they had just missed each other at Zurich. A day before Martyr’s arrival, Ochino had continued his journey to Geneva, while Martyr went to Basle, and after a short stay there, was called to a chair of Hebrew at the Strasburg University. Before this time, Ochino had been corresponding with Bucer. The MSS. of Uffenbach’s collection in the city library at Hamburg, contain extracts from a letter of Bucer’s[157] to Ochino, dated April 11th 1545. The letter relates to the reconciliation between the Wittemberg and Swiss theologians concerning the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Bucer took great interest in this matter. It appears that Curioni had intimated that Bucer had retracted his own opinion for the sake of peace. Bucer emphatically denies this, and after clearly setting forth his own opinion, adds, “Luther and his friends would have agreed to this. At Basle, the Swiss churches had framed a statement in accordance with it, but this the Zurichers afterwards rejected. Believe me, my father, Luther will not renounce the idea that Christ’s own body and blood are offered and partaken of in the bread and wine, that the bread and wine are more than mere empty symbols. He does not determine how the change takes place. I have done nothing but suggest the explanation found in John vi.; 1 Corinthians x., which has also been accepted by the Fathers.”

Ochino did not remain long in Strasburg. In October 1545, he was at Augsburg. Perhaps he had been induced to go there by Betulejus, who occupied an influential position in the city. The council of the city decided October 20th, that “Frater Bernardino Ochino, together with his brother-in-law and his sister, shall be permitted to reside here, and that, should he require money, he may apply to your council for the same.”[158] Here for the first time Ochino is no longer alone, but accompanied by his brother-in-law and sister. The wording of the council’s resolution cannot help us to decide the question whether he himself was married or no. In a conversation with Paul Knibb, (1564) which we shall mention later (chap ix.), Ochino said that his eldest daughter had married about two years ago.[159] From this we may assume that he himself was already married when he came to Augsburg, or that he must have married shortly after.

A post as preacher to the Italian congregation at Augsburg, with a salary of two hundred gulden, was conferred upon Ochino by the council, in Dec. 1545. The decree runs: “On the proposition of the Burgomaster, it is decided that Signor Bernardino, Italian preacher, is to be summoned and requested to accept office for some years in service of your masterships. In return, he shall receive every quarter fifty gulden. — Decretum in Senatu, December 3rd, 1545.”

Thus three years after his flight, Ochino had found an assured, if modest, livelihood in a foreign land. The number of Italians resident at Augsburg was large. The Fuggers’ commercial activity extended beyond the Alps throughout the whole of Italy, and many an Italian, forced to fly from his fatherland, in consequence of the growing reactionary movement, sought refuge in the powerful imperial city. Ochino wrote in his polemic against Politi (Appendix, No. 23): “lam receiving from the Senate of Augsburg as much as I require to live respectably. All people are friendly to me, so that I could wish for nothing better.”

Besides his work as preacher, Ochino continued his literary labours. Castellio’s Latin translation of his Exposition of the Romans, was published under his eyes at Augsburg[160] as well as a German translation.[161] In 1545 the first twenty Geneva “Prediche,”translated by Josef Hoechstetter, were published at Neuburg on the Danube.[162] These were followed by a collection of sermons on the Epistle to the Galatians, delivered by Ochino in Italian, and then translated into German, and printed at Augsburg by Valentin Othmar in 1546.[163] The work is similar to that on Romans, but the exposition of important passages is more detailed. In fact, it bears the stamp of a homiletic treatment before the congregation. The following is an example of the manner in which Ochino treats his subject. In Gal. ii. 1-2, it is written, “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up again by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain.” Ochino here remarks, “Oh Paul, thou art contradicting thyself. Thou hast said above that thy gospel was so certain that thou didst not ‘confer with flesh and blood,’ and now thou sayest that thou didst confer with those of reputation. Is it possible that seventeen years after thy conversion thou shouldst doubt the truth of the gospel, and yet wouldst not humble thyself so much as to confer with the other apostles. How couldst thou preach sincerely in the Spirit that about which thou thyself wast in doubt? But Paul in these words appeases all such doubts, when he says that by revelation from God he went up after fourteen years to Jerusalem, and here it is remarkable that the other apostles, and especially the three first, James, Peter, and John, were sent to preach to the Jews, and because the Jews were slow to forsake the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law, for a time they bore with their weakness, in order that they might gently lead them to Christ, and they permitted them to be circumcised, and to keep their feasts and customs. But Paul being especially sent to preach the gospel to the Gentiles who did not observe the Mosaic customs, it was not necessary to speak with them about these. Now when the false apostles in Galatia saw that the Christians in Jerusalem were observing the Mosaic customs in presence of the apostles, and observed the contrary in the congregations taught by Paul, they ran about everywhere trying to destroy what Paul had built up, affirming that Paul was no true apostle, but was opposed to the true apostles. But in order to avert this evil, God commanded Paul to go up to Jerusalem, and to confer with the apostles concerning the joyful and pure gospel he preached without the Mosaic ceremonies.”

A letter of Ochino’s to Bullinger, written during the early part of his residence at Augsburg, has been preserved at Zurich. He recommends the bearer, Johannes Haller, to Bullinger, and greets the theologians in that city, especially the venerable Pellican, with the greatest cordiality.[164] Several smaller writings preserved in a German translation, also owe their existence to Ochino’s residence at Augsburg, and in the first place the “Dialogue between Carnal Wisdom and a spiritual or believing Christian.”[165] It is a compendium of polemics in the form of a dialogue, and being very short, it only touches on the chief point of the controversy between the Catholic and Protestant doctrine.

Carnal Wisdom determines to make one more attempt upon the believer, who represents Ochino, and to continue to importune him, although he refuses to have anything to do with her. She hopes she may still succeed in misleading him. She pretends that she makes this attempt out of pity for him. “Look there, he is sitting again as usual in his closet, alone, and happy in his silly faith, as though his misery were not his own, and his unhappy state of no consequence.” “Oh, I hear thy voice already,” exclaims the believer, “thou wouldst disturb my quiet peace.” “Yours is a blessed and quiet peace, forsooth,” Carnal Wisdom scornfully replies, “is it possible that you do not know the evil that has befallen you? It has all come because you would not be ruled by my advice. Consider what has befallen you for the sake of your gospel, remember the confidence, belief, consideration, honour, and fame, you formerly enjoyed, and then consider how you have now become an abomination to almost all the world.” “If I were to please man,” replies Ochino, “I should be no servant of Christ; since the world has always hated Christ, it must always hate his members. The testimony of God, and my good conscience, and the judgment of really spiritual and wise men, are much more to me than what the blind and foolish mass may say. Therefore from day to day I become calmer and happier. Whoever is united with Christ in a living faith, is rich in poverty. He remains in his country even when in banishment, he enjoys respect when he is despised, peace when he is persecuted, he is patient in troubles, and blessed in all tribulation. Christ makes all troubles sweet and pleasant to those who are united with Him.” We cannot consider the treatment of each separate controversial doctrine. Justification, purgatory, indulgence, fasts, and confessions are dealt with in succession. Concerning confession he says, “Your false Christians are forced to confess, once a year, according to the Pope’s command. They confess to their priest, but the true Christians confess according to the Divine law. They always acknowledge themselves sinners before God. The former search their conscience so that they may call their sins to mind and recount them to the priest, but we search our conscience that we may feel shame, and remind ourselves that our sins are countless. You think your sins will be forgiven you by anxious introspection, wearisome repetition, shams, indulgence, and works of penance. But we sincere Christians believe that they will only be forgiven us by God’s mercy, and for the sake of Christ’s death, which He, out of love, suffered on the cross.” Similarly he discusses the celibacy of priests, vows, dispensations, excommunication, worship of pictures and saints, the mass, and the power of the Popes. “It is because you hate the Roman Church,” returns Carnal Wisdom, “that you speak so ill of her.” But you must know that although St. Peter’s bark has been tossed about by severe and troublesome storms, yet it is not possible to sink it.” “I only hate the sins and the false, erroneous, pestilential doctrine of the Anti-Christian kingdom, but by no means persons, nor do I attack the Church of Christ, but only the one directly opposed to her, and I am certain that Christ will attain the victory. The time has come when His Church will be renewed, not only in outward customs and observances, but also in doctrine. It will once more become the true, pure, and holy Church of the apostolic time, perhaps in even greater perfection, and I am certain, although the whole world should oppose it, and should try every means to obscure and extinguish this living and shining light, God in His mercy has given us, they cannot accomplish this, but that from day to day it will be found larger, more burning, clearer, and brighter. Let us pray to the Lord God, through Christ, that He would grant this unto us. Amen.”

“Some short directions for the exercise of prayer” are attached to the dialogue. These have been already separately published,[166] and were afterwards incorporated in Italian in the collection of “Prediche.”

“Every day you should try to have a little time to yourself alone, then go to a quiet place apart, drive all temporal thoughts as much as possible from your mind, and think that you have the Lord Christ before your eyes, and that you are speaking to Him from your heart just such words as though He were bodily present. For if that were the case, I have no doubt you would have much to say to Him, and if you keep silence from reverential awe, it is really as though you were praying. Among other things I should wish you to say to Him, — ‘Oh, Lord, because until this day I have let myself be governed by my own blind prudence, I have lived in the vilest manner, I have trodden a false and crooked path; because through Thy grace I now recognise this, I come to Thee for help; and now I give Thee, from the depth of my heart, my temporal goods and honours, my children, parents, friends, health, life, soul, and everything that is mine. Do Thou use sweet or bitter remedies, whichever Thou regardest as needful for my disease. I resign myself entirely to Thee; deal with me according to Thy divine will, so long as I may become blessed through Thee. I have no fear to give myself up entirely to Thy rule, although I know that Thou never leavest Thy people in idleness, but exercisest them in all virtues that they may become perfect. I am certain that Thou lovest me, I know it through the great love shown when Thou wast offered up for me. Therefore, although I should know, that Thou wouldst deal with me, as with Job, yet I would give myself up entirely into Thy hands, because I know that it is for my salvation, and this, not for one day alone, but always and irrevocably. Therefore, if I should ever repent of having given myself to Thee, as I might do in the affliction Thou sendest me, yet do not cease, Christ, from doing Thy will upon me, and do not regard my self-confidence. For when Thou hast once accepted me as Thine own, I desire that Thy work should be completed, that Thou mayest thereby be glorified. It is true that I desire to serve Thee, but because this is not in my own power, and comes through Thee alone, and out of pure grace, I will attempt to secure my salvation through grace and not through the law, and will trust to no good work that might be worthy of Thee, and that I might accomplish by myself, without Thy Spirit, but I will remember that if Thou shouldest forsake me I should still be froward.

“’Oh, Lord, how could I ask for salvation for the sake of my own righteousness, since I have none? but I come to Thee for mercy. Oh, Lord, reveal Thy honour, show Thy wondrous goodness by redeeming and making blessed one who is still an enemy to Thee. This will be a miracle above all miracles. It is Thy most glorious and wondrous work, a work belonging to Thee alone. Take account of my many sins and show the whole world Thy power and how inexhaustible are the treasures of Thy mercy. I know that Thou art able to make me blessed. And since Thou hast shown me Thy love in wondrous fashion by Thy sufferings, even more than by omnipotence, I ought even less to doubt Thy will than Thy power. I know that my sins have neither extinguished nor lessened Thy love to me, but have rather made it livelier and greater. I know Thou canst do all that Thou willest, and all that Thou willest is just and good. Ways and means of making me blessed are not wanting to Thee, and it is easy to Thee since Thou hast but to regard Thyself and not me, and to consider what Thou hast done and suffered for my sake. Ah, do not despise him who has cost Thee so much, but if Thou shouldst still condemn me I should grieve for my own loss, but not the less would it grieve me to remember that all the pains Thou hast had for my sake had been in vain, and that Thy tears, Thy sweat and blood, were lost on me, and that Thou shouldst not triumph. Yet I feel in my heart Thou art saying to me that I am blessed through Thee. My desire is only that I should no longer live in myself but in Thee alone. I come to Thee, Lord, obedient to Thy loving call, I know Thy mercy is so great that I may hope in spite of my sin. Hitherto I have not known Thee, and therefore not loved Thee, and though there is no excuse for me, yet I compare myself to the Jews who crucified Thee, whom Thou didst excuse to Thy Father from the cross, saying, They know not what they do. Do Thou excuse me thus to Thyself and Thy Father. Have mercy, Lord, upon this sinner, who comes to Thee as his only refuge.’”

The last of the short Augsburg tractates is entitled, “Of the hope of a Christian temper”[167] (fol.3). “My hope is so great and certain, that I can find no cause to fear or to doubt that Thou, my God and Lord, hast rejected me. I know that my trust will never put me to shame, for although my sins and transgressions are great and innumerable, none the less do I trust Thy holy promises— that Thy grace and goodness are infinite, unfathomable, and far greater than my sins. Besides this, I see and feel my sins are already blotted out and purified in Christ, not only sufficiently, but in full and overflowing measure. Therefore, I know Thou hast fully atoned for them, and wilt punish me no more.”

“Oh, I now perceive that Thou art my only Lord and God, that I am loved so greatly and inexpressibly by Thee, and this through Christ, who has reconciled and atoned for me. Oh, what a gracious and firm Friend my heart and conscience have now found, now that I know and am certain that Thou art no longer angered with me; that Thou no longer reckonest my misdeeds; that, instead of a stern Judge, Thou hast become a merciful, gracious God. From the beginning Thou hast counted me among Thy elect, Thou hast accepted me as a son and brother in Christ, Thou hast given me all things through Him, even Himself with all His merits, and Thou hast given me part in the Divine inheritance; — Should I still doubt my salvation? Daily I learn from Thy gracious Word that all the promises of Thy grace have been fulfilled to me through Christ; — Should I still be wanting in love to Thee? God’s Holy Spirit, in which is neither falsehood nor guile, daily speaks and testifies in my innermost heart that I am a chosen child of God, that Thou lovest me, that Thou hast an especial care for me, that Christ has saved me, and that He — the Holy Spirit — has become a pledge of salvation to me; — Should I not then believe in Him?”

(Folio 5). “If the sons of Jacob, when they came to Egypt, found their brother Joseph friendly, mild, and kind, in spite of the harm they had done him; if the prodigal son, as soon as he returned to his father, full of penitence for his misdeeds, was pardoned from that hour, how much more may I trust in Thy mercy and goodness, Thou my merciful God and Father, when I cry to Thee in believing hope! I know that Thou wilt regard and receive me far more kindly than Joseph received his brothers, or the father the prodigal son, for Thou art the fountain of all goodness and mercy, whence flow the wholesome tears of reconciliation over every poor, lost sinner who recommends himself to the arms of Thy mercy with sincere faith and undoubting hope. I know that Thou wilt endow me with greater good and mercy than I could ask or demand of Thee, for the shepherd never rejects his lamb lost out of the fold when it returns to him; as soon as he misses it he leaves all the rest, seeks it and calls it until he finds it, and when he has found it he puts it joyfully upon his shoulders, calls his friends, and says, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Further on, Ochino writes: “Lord, it is poverty which calls forth benevolence, and the greater the transgression the greater the need of pardon. Now, since my wretchedness and transgressions are greater than it is possible to express, so that they exceed the limits of mercy, I may hope that Thou wilt show still greater mercy towards me, so that my transgression may be exceeded by Thy grace, my stubbornness by Thy goodness, and all my faults of ingratitude by Thy love, for Thou art mercy itself.”…. “And since we expect nothing from a fountain of honey but sweetness and pleasantness, nothing but kindness, mildness, love, goodness, grace, and mercy can flow from Thee, who art the only source of all grace and goodness. There are times when I do not recognise all this grace and goodness, yet the hope of my salvation sustains me day by day; in it I live; in Thy mercy I trust, Lord, and I beg of Thee that in this hope I may never be confounded.”

In these writings we perceive an inward piety, blissful certainty of salvation, and indestructible hope. And yet it is a serious, almost sombre, background from which this personal confidence stands out. In the first tract, Carnal Wisdom addresses the believing Christian: “I see such a battle preparing for you that ye will not know whither to fly.”

In fact, sad times were in store for the Protestants in the Empire. The League of Schmalkalden, which, though an incomplete work, was yet hailed as a support to the Evangelical cause, began to endanger it in a double manner, not less by inner dissensions than by the arbitrary proceedings at the founding of new churches, and by a requisition against the Supreme Court of Imperial Judicature that almost amounted to a withdrawal from the Imperial union. Both fell in a time, when, owing to the peace of Crespy, the Emperor found himself in a position to give his whole attention to German affairs, and when Emperor and Pope had just been reconciled through the mediation of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese at Worms in 1545. The Emperor appeared to give credence to the sincerity of the Papal promises. However this may have been, their common interest caused them to act in common. The two important matters were mutually arranged; the Emperor pledged himself to take arms against the Schmalkaldian confederates; the Pope, on the other hand, promised that he would at length call the Council so often promised, and that he would assist the Emperor with money, “even if he should have to sell his own crown.”[168] In December 1545, the Council at Trent was opened. In the following year, not long after Luther’s death, the war broke out in Germany.

The tragic end of the pious Spaniard, Juan Diaz, which filled all Protestant Germany with horror, in the spring of 1546, may be regarded as a painful prelude to the war. A short time before we find Ochino in connection with Diaz. They may have become friends at Geneva, where Diaz also resided for a time. He was invited by his abandoned brother Alfonso to accompany him to Italy, to labour in the Evangelical cause, which was the pretext used to persuade him. From Neufchatel he had applied for advice to Ochino and the preacher Wolfgang Museulus at Augsburg. Both warned him against heeding his brother’s allurements. On March 22d, Diaz answers: “My Father, I have received your letter and Dr. Museulus’s. My best thanks for your friendly and Christian advice, especially for the exhortation that I should take counsel with Christ my Saviour — close my eyes to the world, and open them to Him alone. Hitherto I am undecided, but to-morrow, or the day after, Dr. Bucer will arrive, and I will carefully discuss the matter with him. I recommend myself to your prayers and those of Dr. Museulus, whether the Lord bids me stay here or go away. It is incredible how many weighty reasons, I might almost say means of compulsion, my brother uses towards me. I trust in Christ. I hope soon to visit you and Dr. Museulus.” He was not destined to see his Augsburg friends again. Two days after, the terrible fratricide took place.

Four months afterwards the civil war broke out in Germany. The result favoured the Emperor beyond all his expectations. “In the autumn of 1546 he already saw the whole of Upper Germany in his hands. Cities and princes vied in their submission. The moment seemed at hand when the Protestant party in Germany might be subdued, and the whole North be once more made Catholic.” The Protestants built their last hopes on Augsburg, but alone she was no match for the Emperor. That which Carnal Wisdom had prophesied to the believer, was fulfilled. “You will not know whither to fly.” But Ochino had answered, “I have Christ my refuge, he never drives any one from Him who flies to Him. He receives in His arms those who are tossed about by the world. Yet I am certain that Christ will conquer, that He will carry away the glory, and the more the whole world resists Him the greater will be His triumph, glory and fame.” However, it appears that this tract was written before the commencement of the war. “There are very few of you,” says Carnal Wisdom, “and yet you hope to conquer.” “That is a sign that we trust in God.” “Do you not seethe whole world against you?” “It is enough for us that we have the merciful God on our side.” “Ah, I see it is your intention not to take arms, but to sit still and let God work for you.” “It is our intention to employ first spiritual arms, then, if necessary, real weapons.” If any one came to kill you, and you had no way of escape but to murder him, what would your conscience advise in such a case?” “I answer thus. According to the divine law, which forbids murder, I ought rather to suffer death, for we are forbidden to do evil that good may ensue, unless at that moment God should send me an especial spirit to direct me otherwise, as it happened to Elijah, when he called down fire from heaven and caused everything to be consumed. But this is not the case with the princes and dignitaries, for since, on the one hand, by means of righteous laws, they may punish and even execute, by their servants, murderers, assassins, and other evil-doers, for the glory of God and the maintenance of their position in Christian quiet and peace, so they have also the right and power, not only to defend themselves by their soldiers, but even to punish, chastise, and kill those who dare draw away mankind from Christ by force, injustice, and impious means.” “Yes, if you were all agreed, you might have some hope, but you are divided into so many sects, that it is impossible you must perish.”

Carnal Wisdom had prophesied but too truly what afterwards took place. On January 23d, 1547, the Emperor’s army marched upon isolated Augsburg. The city surrendered without any resistance. Among the Emperor’s demands this was one of the first; that Sebastian Schertlin, the brave commander of horse, and Bernardino Ochino, should be given up to him.

The Emperor Charles V. may still have remembered the Capuchin, who, eleven years before, had preached with such unparalleled results during his own residence at Naples, but within these years were crowded together the most stirring memories of Ochino’s life. There at Naples, in the midst of his own nation, he was approaching the pinnacle of his glory — here at Augsburg he was labouring in a modest circle in a foreign country, a fugitive, who had at length found a resting-place, and who was now once more driven towards an uncertain future.

The city did not deliver the deserving and honoured man into the hands of his enemies. During the night the Council caused him and the brave Schertlin to escape. Francesco Stancaro of Mantua accompanied Ochino to Constance, and thence for a short period to Zurich. Here he met Calvin, who chanced just then to have arrived there.[169] From Zurich Ochino went to Basle.[170]

If we may trust the editor of the Bibliotheca Antitrinitaria, Christopher Sandius, Ochino would have belonged to those who at that time (1546) “met together in the Venetian dominion for religious conversations, in which doubt was thrown upon the doctrines of the Trinity, the atonement of Christ and other similar beliefs.”[171] It is always advisable to exercise caution in receiving any statements made by Sandius about the spread of antitrinitarian opinions, and we must reject the above assertion as far as Ochino is concerned. It is not likely that after Ochino left Italy in 1542 he ever saw his country again, and certainly not in 1546, when he had to exercise his duties as preacher at Augsburg. We are accurately acquainted with his opinions concerning the doctrine of the Trinity and the atonement from his earlier and contemporary writings, and it is evident from these that in 1546, at any rate, he was far from doubting either the one or the other doctrine.


The state of Church affairs under Henry VIII. — Edward VI. — Ochino’s Appointment and Journey — Progress of Reforms — Ochino Preaches in London — The “Tragedy”-Dedication — Train of Thought — The separate Dialogues — Further Invitations to Foreign Theologians — The Florentine Manuscript — “Prediche” in an English Translation — “Prediche” III. — The Testament of the True Christian — Change of Government and Flight of Ochino

While the Emperor’s army was marching victoriously against Augsburg, and humbling this stronghold of German Protestantism, an event was taking place in England, destined to be of decisive importance for the religious development of the country, in the Protestant sense. This was the accession of Edward VI. Henry VIII. had already introduced the new doctrine, but after his own manner, without genuine religious conviction, as a means of breaking with Rome when Rome had become obnoxious to him, rather than a national movement as in Germany.

The change came as the command of a despotic ruler, who only assumed the semblance of executing the will and decisions of Parliament. Doubtless “he had the whole nation with him when he laid the axe to the mediaeval hierarchical system in England,” but only in principle. But when the separation from Rome had been accomplished, when men perceived what innumerable relations had been dissolved and destroyed, when at Cromwell’s instance the monasteries had been dissolved, spiritual possessions confiscated, and the popular veneration for relics no longer permitted; then every one of these steps cost the king some adherents, and the number of the discontented increased more and more. It is needful to bear this in mind, to understand the surprisingly rapid reaction that took place under Mary Tudor.

Henry VIII. had himself experienced the evil consequences of his reforms. Under his very eyes the reaction had been gaining a new influence at the Court, ever since 1540, and in those days the Court was everything. Bishop Gardiner was its chief representative. He was sufficiently pliable and submissive to retain his influence over the king, and to use it for the overthrow of Cromwell. The state of religious feeling had really not changed among the people, and the lower clergy, who, ignorant and uncultured, still clung to the ancient forms. Mediaeval barbarisms still reigned in the universities, whence the spirit of a new life ought to have emanated and spread over the country. The whole kingdom was in a state of ferment. Just then Henry VIII. died. His suspicious nature had not allowed him to appoint one person as guardian and adviser of his nine-year-old son, but he had entrusted the regency to the whole council. But the ambitious Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, who, as uncle to the young king, stood nearest to him, contrived to be named Lord Protector by the same council. In this capacity he exercised for some years an almost dictatorial sway over England. His rule was not without effect on political and clerical affairs. The goal of his political labours, zealously pursued by him, was to obtain a united kingdom of Great Britain: in ecclesiastical matters this was also his endeavour, he aimed at establishing one single form of public worship, based on the Protestant creed.

It seemed as though a new future was opening to Protestantism. For the first time in a great kingdom it came to the people from above, not merely superficially, but with inner conviction and inclination, and thus penetrated into the very being of the nation. The very decided step of the Lord Protector, who seemed to incorporate in his person the Protestant principle, broke the influence of the reaction at the court, with the commencement of the young king’s reign. As long as Edward VI. lived it never again reared its head. Even the fall of Seymour, or Duke of Somerset, as he was now entitled, could make no difference in Church matters. Under the protectorate of the Duke of Northumberland the reforms continued, accompanied by the lively personal interest of the king. The young Edward was brought up with great care, and instructed in God’s Word. His was a gentle, pious nature, early matured, and he was sincerely attached to the new doctrine. There is no better proof of the serious views of life already held by the boy than the motto written by him on the MS. translation of the tract, “Of the merits of Christ,” still preserved at Cambridge, “Live to die and die to live again.”[172] Not only his uncle, but Archbishop Cranmer, influenced the direction taken by the education and opinions of the young king. Cranmer zealously assisted in the Church reforms, he was a practical man, and recognised what was required. His first step was to invite a number of distinguished foreign theologians to settle in England, so as to form a new race of clergy. Among them in the first rank we find Peter Martyr and Bernardino Ochino. Melancthon, who had received a similar invitation, did not respond.

Martyr had been called as professor to the Strasburg University in 1542, his learning and personal qualities gained him great affection from his hearers, and the esteem of his fellow citizens. A year after, the council granted him the right of citizenship. In 1546, Martyr settled in a home of his own, he married a Frenchwoman from Metz, who had fled to Strasburg on account of her religion. The city was a refuge for German Protestants, but only until she submitted herself to the Interim. It is not known whether Ochino resided with his friend in the interval before he received at Basle the summons to England. An attempt had been made to obtain a post for him at Geneva. Calvin writes to Viret, under date April 6th, 1547, “Our brother (Bucer?) has written to me about Bernardino, but I have not had the matter publicly discussed, because just at present the Council cannot give him a residence. It would be absurd to invite him to return, without being able to offer him anything. But as the matter can be delayed a little while, I would rather wait till your arrival.”[173] Nothing came of this, and it is scarcely likely that Ochino visited Geneva this time. He set out for England from Basle. His wife did not accompany him, but followed him after he had passed some little time in England.

Sir John Abell had been commissioned by Cranmer to invite the two theologians. The conscientious table of expenses laid before the council by Abell,[174] furnishes interesting information concerning the time and circumstances of the journey. To begin with, Ochino was newly equipped. It is written down exactly what Abell spent for cloth to make a cloak, coat, trousers, and cap, also what he paid the tailor, and what he spent on lining materials. The whole suit cost a little over eleven gilders. Abell had the cloak lined with fur, and paid for that three gilders, three farthings. As it was not customary to travel long distances unarmed, he bought Ochino a dagger, sword, and belt when passing through Strasburg. At Cranmer’s express desire he took care that the needful literary materials were bought for both, for Martyr, the Basle editions of Augustine, Cyprian, Epiphanius, costing 13½ gilders, while no less than 40½ gilders were spent on Ochino’s books. This large sum leads us to conclude that Ochino had very little literary property at Basle. Unfortunately the detailed bill for books, which Abell enclosed for Cranmer, is no longer forthcoming.

The books were packed at Basle, and sent by ship by way of Antwerp. The travellers, for whom Abell had provided horses and two servants, took the road across country from Strasburg. They reached London on December 20, having left Basle on November 4. On the bill there was a small item for “Potycary ware.” No wonder a journey and sea-voyage at this time of year told on the travellers. On their arrival in London, they dismissed their guides. A few more articles of clothing were bought for Ochino and Martyr and for the servants. Two of the horses were sold, the others entrusted to the servants, who returned to Strasburg.

Cranmer entertained the companions at Lambeth Palace. Martyr was immediately earned professor of theology at Oxford. Before the departure from Basle and Strasburg, a most important Church question had been decided. On November 4th, 1547, Parliament introduced the celebration of the communion in both kinds, besides various other reforms. As usual, when religious questions are discussed in political assemblies, this measure had called forth much opposition, which spread to the lowest classes of the people. Martyr complains of this in a letter to Bucer. Two things, he says, hinder the swift progress of the gospel. On the one hand the obstinacy and large number of its opponents, who lead the common people and oppose the reformation with incredible sophistry; on the other, the unhappy quarrels about the Lord’s supper which have broken out among the Protestants themselves, even in Parliament. “We have overcome transubstantiation, but now they are disagreed about the manner of Christ’s presence.”

As in Augsburg, so now in London. Ochino was appointed preacher to those Italians who sojourned in the city as exiles, or for commercial pursuits. Curione of Basle had introduced him to Sir John Cheke, one of King Edward’s tutors, sending him at the same time his Commentary on Cicero’s “Philippies.” “All other information will be given you by the venerable Bernardino Ochino.”[175] Ochino was appointed prebendary of Canterbury without being obliged to reside in that city. He seems to have always lived in London, where, after some time, a church was found for his congregation. He received his salary of a hundred marks out of the king’s privy purse.[176] A letter of Ochino’s (December 1548) to Wolfgang Musculus at Augsburg, whom he had invited, in Cranmer’s name, to settle in England, mentions the presence of his wife and little daughter. In England a son was born to him.

Besides his professional employment, Ochino was active as an author. “As far as I can tell, Bernardino has never lived more happily, and worked more successfully than just now. He spends all his leisure hours in literary labours, and he himself says that he works with greater energy and success than ever before.” Thus wrote Dryander to Bullinger in 1549, and from the same year dates one of Ochino’s most important and influential writings. This was a polemic writing against the Papacy, so massive and concentrated, and yet so masterly in plan, and so excellent in execution, that it may take rank beside the most distinguished productions of the German Reformation literature. The English literature of the period has nothing resembling it. Ochino did not compose the “Tragedy”[177] in English. It was written in Latin, and Dr. John Ponet, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, translated it into English. The work is very rare in England, which is natural, since it had to survive the time of the reaction. The contemporary church development gave the work a special importance, and its strokes are the more effectual from its being based upon a careful knowledge, gained through personal experience, of the Roman court and hierarchy. The preface is addressed as a dedication to the young king, in whose person the Protestant endeavours found their highest representative.

“Although God, in His mere goodness, hath given to your majesty most rich treasures, most large kingdoms, special grace, and love of all people, most high nobility of blood, most singular ornaments both of the body and of the mind, yet, nevertheless all these things ought not nor cannot be compared to that be which He hath showed unto you, in giving unto you, in such a dark world, and in so tender age, such clear light of Christ, that albeit in this world He was poor, low, despised, and crucified, and your Majesty is so rich, so high, and in so great honour, and all kinds of felicity, yet not only you acknowledge and take Him for your Lord and Master, but also you love Him, and that in such sort, that for the love which you bear unto Him, you have such a godly hatred unto His enemies, that, following the blessed memory of your father, first with the favour of God, and then with the advice of your most dearest uncle, the Lord Protector, and of other your trusty and faithful councillors, you have driven out of your realms and dominions him who, among all the wicked, hath the highest place, and is most adversary to Christ, and therefore is he, and may worthily be called Antichrist. Now remaineth nothing behind, but that with Him you drive away also (as you have begun) his lies, errors, hypocrisy, simony, robbery, superstition, idolatry, and all wickedness. And yet, for as much as many (such as be blind, and do take him for their god on earth, whereas they ought most highly to commend your Majesty for your godly proceedings), peradventure will speak evil of so excellent an act, I thought it my part, for the duty that I owe to God, and to your Majesty, to show unto such men the beginning of this, their papacy, and how it increased and came into so high estimation among the blind people, so that they, perceiving their weak, false, ruinous, and devilish foundation, may leave their faith which they have in him, and give glory to God and to your Majesty.”

Thus the preface. The representation of the rise and fall of the Papacy extends through nine separate conversations in the Tragedy. The most heterogeneous persons take part in them, — Lucifer and Beelzebub, Christ and Gabriel, Pope Boniface III. and his servants, King Henry VIII, Edward VI. and his councillors. They are broadly sketched, and with unusual dramatic power. The idea of setting up the Papacy in the place of pure Christianity as a means of overthrowing Christ’s kingdom, originates with Lucifer, and is by him suggested to the Bishop of Rome, Boniface III. Boniface obtains from the Emperor Phocas, who is led by his own personal interest, outward authority over the whole Church. The inner authority, including the recognition of the highest personal supremacy in matters of doctrine, is obtained by Boniface from a Council by cunning and force. The idea of the Romish Primate is now entirely realised. The devils triumph. Then Christ resolves that the reaction against the Papacy, confined hitherto to a few elect, shall become more general. He inspires Henry VIII. with the idea that the Pope is no other than Antichrist. The king is confirmed in this conviction by a conversation on the subject with a Papist on the one hand, and the Archbishop of Canterbury on the other, but it is reserved to his son to accomplish a positive religious renovation, with the help of his councillors.

This is, in brief, the train of thought embodied in this remarkable production. Ochino may have chosen Pope Boniface III., (607) because since Platina[178] the founding of the Romish primacy had been dated from him. Newer historical researches refer us back a hundred and fifty years, to Leo I. In the “Tragedy,” Ochino reveals no mean learning. It leaves an impression that the controversy progressed but little in this department since his time. The introduction to the first dialogue is very dramatic, and reminds us of Job and Faust. Lucifer has assembled his “dear faithful brothers” in hell, and addresses them: “Forasmuch as I know, how much profit ariseth of the labours and pains that ye take in the world, be ye well assured that I could not have willed you to assemble here together in hell in this present, were there not some great profit to our commonwealth arising of the same that moved me so to do. Ye know right well how your enemy, God, strives to prevent us from ruling mankind. Ye know how he hath sent His Son into the world to destroy that we have builded, what shall we do to hinder this? After long consulting and devising, there is now come into my head a very handsome imagination, whereby we may destroy the kingdom of Christ, and establish our kingdom for ever. If we attempt to oppress the members of Christ with persecution and tyranny, it will avail us nothing, for if it be that we kill one Christian man (as citable is of the cutting off of one of the heads of hydra, the serpent), there springeth as it were of the ashes of him a hundred immediately in his place. God sent His Son into the world, and I will send my son into the world, who, for the destruction and condemnation of mankind, shall so announce himself, that he shall take upon him to be made equal with God. He shall make a new kingdom, replenished with idolatry, superstition, ignorance, error, falsehood, deceit, in the which kingdom all kinds of abomination shall be committed, and notwithstanding that, yet shall Christian men think that to be a spiritual kingdom, most holy and most godly, the supreme head of this kingdom shall be a man which is not only sinful and an abominable robber and thief, but he shall be sin and abomination itself. And yet for all that, shall he be thought of Christian men, a god in earth, and his members being most wicked, shall be thought of men most holy.” Beelzebub remarks that the idea is excellent, but impracticable. “For who would believe that the Christian man could be brought to this point to believe that the kingdom of the devil is the kingdom of God.” Lucifer answers, “Let us make use of the colour of the same Christ. I will stir up the chief captains of my kingdom, that they may so, by craft and diligence, shadow and cover superstition and idolatry with a lair face, and beauty of feigned holy ceremonies, that men shall be made so drunken and so amazed with this outward pomp and show, that they themselves shall not be able to discern truth from falsehood. Moreover, I have determined so to extol and set up the carnal man, in this my kingdom, that I shall be able to cast down Christ out of his place, and bury his great benefits. And although the principal heads of this kingdom be full of darkness, of ignorance, of heresy, error, fraud and lies, yet shall they shamelessly take upon them the usurpation of authority, to make new and wicked articles of the faith, wresting the Holy Scriptures to their crooked purpose, and yet they shall think themselves to be in a great clearness of light and truth. “0 Lord,” he exclaims joyfully, “what a number of mischiefs and abominations shall be committed in this kingdom, by reason of the wicked and sinful decrees which shall be made of governors of the same! I will cause them to be most cruel tyrants, under a pretence of a zeal to the house of God. As far as my wit will serve me, I think the Bishop of Rome the most meet instrument to bring about the thing we intend. Because that Rome is the head city of the world. Furthermore, it is not unknown unto you, that by reason of the manifold heresies which we have sown in Africa, and in the east parts of the world, what a number of bishops have fled to Rome. The bishop of Rome entertaineth all men very friendly, in so much that they will be very glad to give him their voice. The monks shall also help him, who of late days have arisen, and begin to be taken for spiritual, religious, and holy men, though they be never so vicious.” Beelzebub still doubts; “When I consider how short the life of man is, it seems to me a thing impossible that one man in so short a space should bring to pass so many mischiefs.” Lucifer replies: “Brother, we think that ye be very dull, for this name of Antichrist is not the proper name of any one man, but is a common name to many, for notwithstanding that it is a fit name for all them that be contrary and enemies to Christ, yet above all, it agreeth to those bishops of Rome, which usurp tyranny, lordships, and dominion above all other bishops. Now all the difficulty and hardship of this business standeth in finding that same bishop of Rome who dareth give the first adventure to be called head of all bishops. If we may once obtain this at one of their hands, the rest will easily follow willingly; and daily will they find out new ways for the establishment of their dominion. Therefore, let us all go now out of hand, and every man prepare himself to do his endeavour according to his calling, and I, as your chief captain, will first prove a foremost attempt to persuade this goodly imagination of mine to Boniface, the bishop of Rome, and I doubt not but that I shall obtain present favour of his carnal wisdom.”

The second dialogue is held between Boniface III. and Dr. Sapiens, the private secretary of the Emperor Phocas. In the interval, Lucifer has suggested to the Pope the idea of a primacy. Boniface represents to himself the delightful prospect of absolute power in the Church, and tries to win Dr. Sapiens to his side. He protests he is only actuated by love for the Church, and that self-seeking is far from him. At the same time he refers to his already distinguished position, which facilitates the execution of his plans, and he speaks of the benefits that would accrue to the Emperor in political matters from a concentrated church government. He does not leave the secretary until he has extorted a promise that the emperor shall be informed of all he has said. When Sapiens is left alone he exclaims: —

“Oh Lord God, that there can be so much ambition and desire of honour hid in the heart of a man. It is no marvel that he entertains so friendly all strangers that come to Rome. The primacy would not strengthen the Church, as he declares in his hypocrisy, but it would shortly decay and undo it. It is not many years gone, since John, Bishop of Constantinople, attempted the same enterprise, that he might be made the universal bishop, and namely Gregory the First, this man’s predecessor, did withstand him. This I dare be bold to say that neither Africa nor Greece, neither the rest of the Churches of the East, will ever consent hereunto, and so shall the seamless coat of Christ be torn in many parts. I see plainly that this matter is a thing most pernicious and hurtful, yet because I have made promise I will see what the emperor will say to it, and perhaps Boniface will see me well rewarded.”

Meanwhile Boniface is tormented by uncertainty, until Sapiens reappears and announces the favourable termination of affairs. The proposal is welcome to the emperor. It appears to him a means of confirming his own power, but he also hypocritically declares that he only consents for the greater glory of God, and the good of the Church.

Thus Boniface is appointed, by the Emperor Phocas, head of the whole Christian Church. In the third dialogue the Romish people and the Romish Church discuss the matter. “If it be true,” says the Romish people, “the emperor hath done a thing most foolish and most abominable. He hath begun to brood in his bosom such a young adder as will shortly shoot up into a mighty dragon, and will at length dig out his own eyes. There will a time come when it shall be needful for the emperor, if he will have his crown, he shall ask it at our bishop’s hands.” The Romish Church, on the other hand, is delighted at the new dignity. She declares herself ready to meet any doubts or questions of the Romish people, the more easily as she is now herself infallible.

The People. — “Tell me in good faith, had ye never a beginning?”

The Church. — “Yes, without question, my mother is the Church of Jerusalem, for even as ye know right well, that the Virgin Mary is both the mother and daughter of Christ, even so am I myself the daughter and mother of the Church at Jerusalem.”

The People. — “O how blind was I, now I perceive how the matter standeth; as the Virgin Mary is the carnal mother of Christ, and also Christ’s daughter spiritually, so be you the spiritual daughter of the Church of Jerusalem, and the carnal mother of the same Church and all other.”

The Church. — “That one prerogative the emperor himself hath given unto me. Thou shalt be richest of all other, for I will sell my churches and bishoprics to them that will give most money, and so shall the spoil of all other provinces come immediately to Rome.”

The People. — “Then will ye commit simony.”

The Church. — “I told thee afore, I cannot err.”

The People. — “Had not then the mystical body of the Church a head before now.”

The Church. — “Oh, Christ was the head, and he shall yet remain.”

The Romish people considers the emperor’s care for the Church quite unnecessary, and among other considerations urges the following: — “By your saying he cannot at one time be a pope and a man, for then might he at one time err and not err. He might err as a man, and not as a pope. How is it then possible that there have been heretical Bishops of Rome?”

The Romish Church, driven into a corner, declares that the pope is only pope in so far as he decides infallibly, or more clearly, in so far as he does not disclose himself to be a heretic (!) Here she abruptly breaks off, because she is “too much occupied with an infinite number of matters, of ceremonies, suits and controversies, to discuss the matter any longer.”

In the fourth dialogue the Pope reappears. He first converses with man’s judgment, then with the people of Rome. Boniface, delighted with the assistance of the mighty, who hope for profit from the change, but also concerned on account of the opposition which he expects from the Oriental Church, asks man’s judgment for advice.

“Say that it is Christ Himself who hath ordained you to be supreme head of the Church. If ye contend earnestly that it is Christ who hath put you in this place, ye shall both be delivered from hanging upon the emperor, and your authority, being by this means established, shall extend into all the coasts of the earth.”

“How should I persuade so manifest a vanity to the world? “

“If there could be one iota found in the Holy Scripture whereupon we might lean for a proof, that Paul the apostle was ordained of God to be supreme and universal head of the Church, it would be easy for you to maintain the same thing, for it is evident by the Word of God that Paul was sometime at Rome, though he were then a prisoner. But there will be too many writings against this. Therefore let us attempt it with Peter. We shall easily persuade the credulous people that Christ before He forsook His Church, before ever Paul belonged to it, must have provided for it. I have written certain epistles in the name of those Christian men, which were at Rome in the time of the beginning of the Church, wherein there is oft mention made of Peter, as though he had been at Rome, and not only a Bishop of this city, but also Pope. But if the emperor shall say that it was he, and not Christ, who made you Pope, our answer shall be, that he has fulfilled the command of Christ.”

The Romish people now appears, and addresses Boniface, “I have heard from the Church that Phocas has made you Pope.”

“That is not true,” says Boniface.

“But the Church, who told it to me, is infallible.”

“Only in so far as it is taught by me. Ye know right well that, according to the doctrine of Paul, a woman must be subject to her husband. Rather we now, being Bishop of Rome, have received of Christ, by succession and inheritance, this high pontifical dignity, bequeathed by Peter, Bishop of Rome.”

“I hear news now I never heard before, namely this, that Peter was ever at Rome. I have been always, and am to this day, exceeding quisitive and curious in searching of news. My study is to know what is done everywhere. How then should such a man have preached the gospel here, and I should not have heard of it? Therefore he could not have been Bishop of Rome.”

“Thou must be circumspect and wise, when it shall chance thee to reason of this matter, for the day may come when we shall call thee forth to be a witness of it.”

“What! would ye have me lie? “

“We absolve thee of this fault, and this dare we be bold to say, that great honour and profit shall arise to thee by the increasing of our dignity.”

“Being demanded when Peter came first, shall I say before Paul or after? Shall I say that he was here once, and that he was Bishop for a time, or to the end of his life? “

Finally, the Romish people points to the difficulties which will arise from the statement that both apostles were there at the same time, but she adds, “I, as a good child of your Holiness, will always show myself obedient and ready to believe you.”

This brief exposition forces upon us the thought, that the idea of a primacy, as here developed, requires a keystone, and this can consist in nothing else than the recognition of the Pope’s personal infallibility. Let us once more review the main points of Ochino’s representation. The idea of the primacy originates from carnal motives, it is accomplished by aid of temporal power, while both parties strive to cloak their transgressions by a semblance of care for the well-being of the Church. Meanwhile his indebtedness for the primacy to the emperor appears burdensome to the Pope, and pernicious too, since it restricts the bounds of his empire. Therefore, contrary to the better instincts of the people and of the Church, he pretends to have received the primacy not from the emperor but from Christ. Being now at variance with the Church (Tradition), he cuts the difficulty by the new statement that the Pope’s authority is above that of the Church, and that the Church is only infallible when it agrees with the Pope. This is the complement without which the idea of the primacy remains incomplete. Boniface III. is not troubled by the rock on which, as the “Romish people” point out, this assumption must necessarily split. This lies in the fact that, considered from the standpoint of the Catholic dogma, there have been notoriously heretical Popes, just as in our day the representatives of infallibility have either ignored or evaded the question raised regarding Honorius. It has been reserved to these latter days to witness, after centuries of hesitation, the insertion of Papal Infallibility as keystone of the Catholic edifice.

It is now Boniface’s intention that all the assumptions of the Papacy shall be recognised and ratified before the whole world. He therefore convenes a general council, which assembles at Rome under his own eyes. When Ochino was writing the “Tragedy,” the council called by Paul III. was nominally sitting. But after a year, during which nothing worthy of mention had been accomplished, the council had been transferred from Trent to Bologna, and at Bologna its labours ceased entirely. The idea seemed abandoned. Probably Ochino only thought of the past in his description of the council in the fifth dialogue of the “Tragedy.” What would be his amazement if he could see at this day, after the lapse of more than three centuries, his own picture realised, feature by feature, in the Vatican Council!

The fifth dialogue, in which this imaginary council is described, is the most extensive and important of all, and extends over a third of the book. We can only reproduce portions. Lepidus, the Pope’s chamberlain, relates the controversies which the ambassadors, from all parts of the world, have carried on in presence of the Pope and the emperor. First the ambassador from Constantinople declared the surprise of Christianity at the new primacy, which could not be established by any passage in Scripture. He is interrupted by the Pope’s advocate, who bears the characteristic name of Master Falsidicus, and is referred ostentatiously to the passage in Matthew xvi. 18, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church.” But the ambassador replies, and adds in proof many passages from Scripture, “Christ only is that proved, excellent, sure, and corner stone. Christ’s words all refer to Simon’s firm faith, and have a meaning for all other sincere believing Christians.”

His opponent advances other passages from Scripture, by which the doctrine of Peter’s primacy and the succession are supposed to be proved. The ambassador tries to show that Peter received no power which was different in degree or kind from that of the other apostles. He continues: “Would ye know what Christ meant by these words to make Peter the foundation and head of his Church? When He said: To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, He meant that he and his successors and priests should preach the gospel, and witness to it how the faithful shall be forgiven their sins, but the unbelievers shall not be forgiven, that they should be appointed by Christ to guard His sacraments, that they should admonish the erring, and amend them by love and gentleness, and finally, that those sinners who are stiff-necked and cause scandal, shall be removed out of the community of the Church.”

Master Falsidicus angrily interrupts the Ambassador from Constantinople: “You in the East are full of heresies and sects, and most of all require a visible head of the Church.” Next appears the Ambassador for Antioch. He considers the biblical refutations disposed of, and commences with the ecclesiastical. His opponent, a second counsel for the Pope, Master Pseudologus, acknowledges that Peter’s residence in Rome cannot be proved from the Bible. The Ambassador claims the honour for Antioch of having had the apostle as its Bishop. “The tradition which declares that Peter came to Rome in the second year of the Emperor Claudius (42 A.D.), and that he was Bishop there for twenty-five years, is false; for Paul himself wrote to the Galatians that he came to Jerusalem seventeen years after he was converted, and that then he found Peter there.” Pseudologus then brings forward certain epistles written by Clement of Rome. The Ambassador objects: “These epistles of yours be nothing else but feignings of your own, without authority, full of vanities and lies.” He then shows that these epistles rest upon the pretended Itinerarium Clementis, which book was notoriously forged, since it makes mention of dioceses and bishoprics, historically proved not to have existed in the time of Clement.

After the ecclesiastical test is thus disposed of, the Ambassador from Jerusalem comes forward, and objects that if there is any mention of a primacy, it ought to belong to his city, because James was next Bishop in Jerusalem after Christ, therefore this honour belonged more justly to him than to Peter. The Ambassador from Alexandria now puts in a protest: “What need for so many words! If the Bishop of Rome is Pope in the manner he pretends, then all the Fathers and all the Councils are heretical, because they nowise acknowledged him as such.” A third Counsel for the Pope then came forward, and tried to silence his opponents. This was Master Gooplan, who said, “The Pope has assumed this dignity, not to do you harm, or to rule tyranically over you, but rather to enrich you with benefices, titles, honour, privileges, immunities, and jubilees.” “Until you can prove the primacy by unanswerable arguments, we will never assent that he shall be our Bishop and supreme Head,” replied the Alexandrian Ambassador. A fourth Counsel for the Pope, Master Thrasybristus, now arose. The Pope was now growing impatient, since the discussions were taking a turn so contrary to his intentions, although so many Bishops were being entertained at Rome at his expense, and daily receiving all manner of distinctions, choice dishes, and excellent wines. It was therefore resolved to settle the matter without further delay.

When Thrasybristus stood up thus suddenly and angrily, it was evident to all that he could contain himself no longer. With an angry voice he exclaimed, “What need we have so many words for the defence of our Popeship, seeing there hath been brought strong reasons enough, insomuch that a blind man may see the truth of them. Wherefore, because these our reasons, our pleasures, our gentleness, and fair promises, cannot content them, our most holy Father must use his large and endless authority.” Then, turning to speak to the Pope, he said, “You, most holy Father, be the supreme Head of the Church of Christ, and therefore be ye above all men and angels, reasons, holy Scriptures, authorities, yea, and above the whole world. There is no man may judge you, or else command you, for it is come to pass, now ye be Pope, and, being Pope, ye cannot err. Therefore only say thus: ‘We be Pope, and we will be Pope, and it is enough.’ Your power and authority is so great, that if you were not Pope (if yet ye once pronounced these words, we will be), ye should be out of hand.” Then looking fiercely at the Ambassadors, he said, “If ye will be rebels to his Holiness, ye shall feel the lightnings and thunderbolts of his excommunications and cursings fly in the air, even to the furthest country of the East, and then shall ye know whether he be Pope or no. Moreover, we shall have the emperor’s help and favour joined to our strength, so that all we, coupled in one, will defend the Pope’s authority with our sword.”

“Then all the ambassadors rose at once to answer this saying with one accord, but there was a sign made to the Pope’s chaplain, that he should do as he was bidden, and straightway he began with a loud voice the hymn “Te Deum Laudamus,” the noise whereof filled the air up to the stars, and all the rest followed them, crying, Ho, Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. And even at the very same instant rang all the bells in Rome. The Pope himself was, by and bye, caught with men’s hands, and borne upon their shoulders, and so they carried home the most holy Father to his place with a great pomp and triumph.”

The sixth dialogue leads us back to the assembly of hell. Lucifer congratulates himself and his retinue that the birth of Antichrist has been successful beyond all expectation. “The only thing now needful is to give him great dignity and extensive power, so that he may seem a god upon earth. For this purpose he must make the following dispositions in his kingdom: Whoever denies the Pope’s power shall be burned alive with long torment. We will forbid men that they shall not have the Holy Scripture in their hands; moreover, we will cause all the books to be burned, as many as shall seem to make anything against our Popehood. There shall be no schools nor university which shall not be hurted and infected with this Antichrist of ours, but the lower people shall remain entirely ignorant. I will bring to pass that images, pictures, and relics shall be worshipped, and that with as striking a kind of superstition as may be. We will introduce indulgences, and concerning justification we will teach that man can obtain it by his own power, with the assistance of the Church. Confession and absolution, purgatory and transubstantiation, mass and celibacy, will be very firm props of the new kingdom.”

Beelzebub and the rest agree to all this; there is only one objection. “Wherefore I fear me lest when Antichrist shall die, and come down hither to hell, that as he passeth us in wickedness, so he will be above us in dignity.” Lucifer is forced to acknowledge that there is something in this.

The seventh dialogue leads us to heaven, to a conversation between Christ and the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Christ says sorrowfully: “Mine angels, see ye not how a mortal man on earth, being most vicious, and abomination itself, with no small injury and contempt of God, adventureth to settle himself in the holy place, and to boast himself to be my vicar. See you not how, under that pretence, he hath crucified me again, and buried me again, with all my greater benefits and gospel, and my grace? See you not how he hath defiled and infected the holy Church, my well-beloved spouse, whom I myself have redeemed, washed, and cleansed with mine own proper blood?”

Michael. — “We see altogether, and marvel truly very much how ye could suffer (now above four hundred years) such horrible abominations.”

Christ. — “Although the judgments of God be, for the most part, hid from the knowledge of human creatures, yet must they be taken to be, as they be indeed, righteous and holy.”

Michael. — “We take the unkindness of man to have deserved these great mischiefs.”

Christ. — “There may be many causes, but the chief is that he would make his glory more notable; and you know that during the reign of this Antichrist not one of the elects have perished, in spite of evil examples, mischiefs, promises, flatterings, slanders, persecutions, and torments. But their malice hath rather made mine honour more glorious, in that their virtue hath been tried as gold in the furnace, and those that be false Christians by this proof be declared to be hypocrites. But I will overthrow the kingdom of Antichrist; I will destroy the tyrannical dominion which Antichrist hath wrongfully used in the simple consciences of men, and afterwards will I take away from him his temporal power, even as the world hath taken him for a god in earth this long space, so will I now cause the world to acknowledge him to be the most wicked tyrant that ever was or ever shall be amongst men. And to thee, Gabriel, who hast so often carried out God’s commands, so shalt thou now go to Henry VIII., King of England, in whose heart thou shalt print and persuade that, all delays set apart, he drive this cruel tyrant out of his realms and dominions.”

Gabriel declares himself to be delighted, and Christ continues: —

“Ye shall understand that Henry VIII. shall deliver his dominion from the tyranny of this mischievous robber, and he shall not utterly cleanse it from idolatry and superstition, whose roots be further entered into the hearts of men, than that they can be pulled out again at the first pluck. For he shall not live long after this valiant enterprise attempted, but I will give him a son named Edward VI; and because he shall be one even after mine own heart — endowed with sundry godly gifts, as one that shall love me unfeignedly, and shall perceive how many and divers ways he is bound to God — he shall not abide this great and rank enemy of mine. Therefore, following his father’s steps, he shall purge all his kingdoms and dominions from all the superstition and idolatry of Antichrist. I will be always with him, neither shall he want of my favour, grace, and defence at any time, and he shall have a Christian Protector, whom I will use as a mean and instrument — a very fit messenger betwixt me and the king, to perform this my purpose, whom I will give unto him, — a very valiant man, both in nobleness and in uprightness of mind, and a singular lover and friend of right religion; by whose wisdom and purity I will have mine Edward to be instructed and brought up, even from his childhood, that all the days of his life he may have continual war with all things that shall displease God. This chosen instrument of mine shall be the first that shall bend his spear against the forenamed, mine unpardonable enemy; whose wonderful example, most worthy to be followed of all other, the rest of the princes of Christendom shall be astonished to behold, and shall apply themselves to follow his enterprise, being encouraged by his worthy virtue, neither shall it be needful for him to use any violence whereby to purge his kingdom of these mischiefs, lies, heresies, superstitions, simonies, and betraying of souls. For all these things, though they be very heinous, shall vanish away suddenly and be brought to nothing at the coming of the light of my word, which he shall always use, as a continual, burning light, both in this and in all other his doings. Happy, therefore, shall you Englishmen be, in that ye shall frame all affairs earnestly to God’s glory, to the salvation of His chosen elects, and my worthy triumph.”

Doubts arise in the mind of Henry VIII. whether the Pope is really the successor of Christ, or rather Antichrist.

In the eighth dialogue he discusses the question, first with a Papist, then with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Papist declines all discussion about the Pope’s dignity and position as needless and harmful. “All that has long been settled by the councils. Shall we think ourselves wiser than the countless number of learned and pious men who have believed the Pope to be Christ’s vicar?” “But,” replies the king, “your divines be not afraid to dispute whether God be or not.” “It is lawful to dispute whether God be or not, because the reasons which be brought for it be so strong, clear, and pithy, that after such disputation men remain much more assured.” “Then you yourselves grant that the Popeship be a doubtful thing? . . . And if the Pope is Christ’s successor, how are we to understand the sinful life of so many Popes, and their avarice and ambition?” As the king receives no explanation from the Papist, he turns to the Archbishop, who confirms him with ecclesiastical and biblical proofs in the idea that the Pope is nothing but Antichrist.

Henry VIII. finally declares: “This fellow is the very right Antichrist;” and when the Papist hints that by forsaking the Papal cause he will lose his title— “Defensor fidei,” he replies:

“Nay, we will be called the destroyers of the false faith of Antichrist, and maintainers of the true faith of Christ.”

In the ninth and last dialogue, Edward VI. has assembled his councillors. He wishes to have their advice how to carry on his father’s work, and destroy the dominion of Antichrist, not only outwardly but in its roots, in its idolatry and superstition, and its influence upon the conscience of his subjects. The councillors declare their joyful concurrence with the king’s intentions. They remind him that this warfare had been already undertaken by several of the Emperors — by Henry IV., Henry V, Frederick I, Frederick II., and Lewis IV, — but they could not conquer Antichrist because they themselves feared his thunderbolts and excommunications, and because they did not strive to overcome his dominion in the hearts of men. To this Edward replies: “We cannot do this with the sword, but only with God’s word. Let us seek the most faithful servants of the word, men who are gifted with enlightenment and knowledge of Scripture, with eloquence and candour, and who are able and willing to imprint Christ in their hearts. And if we cannot find enough such men within our own dominions, they must be sought for, wheresoever they may be found. Good learning must be made search of and promoted forward, good wits must be nourished and provoked to learning and study, that the heavenly philosophy of Christ may reign always in our kingdom. Then surely shall we not be ashamed when we shall be never so much excommunicated of the wicked Romish robber, but we shall laugh to scorn his cursings and blessings altogether, not setting a straw by the whole rabble of the rest of his wickedness, his absolutions, dispensations, privileges, bulls, and pardons.”

“Your Majesty’s example,” reply the Councillors, “will be of great influence in the country; and since the gospel is of great power, it will be gladly received in the whole country without exciting any tumults, since in itself it forbids them.”

“We know right well,” says Edward, “that a sick body cannot be cleansed without some commotion and stirring of the body and members; and even as he should not be a good father, who, having a son sick, that he could make whole again with some medicine, yet durst not minister the same unto him, so should not we be a good king if, when we shall see our people sick of a spiritual disease, we should suffer them to perish eternally for fear of a commotion.”

The councillors conclude: “Wherefore let us do all our endeavour, that it, being purged of all false and superstitious injunctions and man’s traditions, may be ministered to the people, pure, simple, and sincere, as it is of itself. And as concerning the articles of the faith, the Word of God ought to be sufficient, except we will seem wiser than God Himself. And as touching works, the law that God Himself hath made shall be sufficient, whereunto Christ’s interpretation must be annexed. And as for prayer and invocation, what shall we rather allow than the Lord’s Prayer, which the Son of God has Himself taught us? We will therefore do all our diligence, first to put away all such things as may be a hindrance to the going forward of the gospel; and having always God’s honour before our eyes, and the health of souls, we will pray that He will grant unto us that pureness and earnestness of spirit that we may set forth His glory and serve Him in holiness, and that we may, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, give all praise, glory, and honour to God, the Father everlasting. Amen.”

In this last dialogue, when Ochino makes the king say, “If we cannot find enough such men within our dominions, they must be sought for wheresoever they can be found,” he refers to the steps taken by Cranmer, to which he himself owed his residence in England. It has never injured a country to become a place of refuge for exiles on account of religious opinions. Just at the time when the ecclesiastical reaction, which, as we have seen, had been gaining ground in Rome since 1540, raised its head higher and began to cross the Alps, there were not wanting men of Protestant opinions who were inclined or compelled to seek an asylum and field of action on that island where alone a living reformatory activity was being developed. Besides Ochino and Martyr, other Italians, like Tremellio, came at Cranmer’s invitation. France sent Valerand Poulain from Lille, and Pierre Alexandre from Arles. Castellio was also invited from Basle, but could not come, neither could Curione, Bibliander of Zurich, or Wolfgang Museulus of Augsburg. The worthy Pole, John Laski, was for a time councillor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and resided with him. In 1550 he was named Superintendent of the Foreign Congregations in London. When Strasburg submitted to the Interim (February 12th, 1549), Bucer and Fagius resolved to leave the city secretly, and to make use of England’s hospitality. All remained either at Oxford and Cambridge, or as preachers, until the storm of the reaction under Queen Mary drove them away. Before that time Bucer and Fagius were already dead at Cambridge.

About 1548 or 1549, a tract was published containing a series of the most violent personal invectives against Paul III. Contemporaries and others have named Ochino as its author, and it is ascribed to him by some at the present day. It was printed at the time, but like many other writings of the Reformation, the impression has been entirely lost. Only one copy has been preserved in M.S., which may be found in the Laurentian Library at Florence.[179] It is a comprehensive public letter to Pope Paul III. The author endeavours to prove from the immoral life led by the Pope before his Pontificate, and from his avarice, nepotism, and the astrological superstition he shared with not a few contemporaries, that Paul III. was unfitted to be the vicar of Christ and Head of His Church. At the conclusion, the letter addresses “the princes of Christendom,” and invites them to overthrow the unworthy Pope, and restore to the Church its freedom. Sleidan mentions this work,[180] and gives an extract which proves its identity with the MS. found at Florence. In adding, “Although the tract has been published in Ochino’s name, still it is thought to have been composed by others,” he is doubtless in the right, and the contemporary Giovanni della Casa, did not attribute it to Ochino, but to another distinguished representative of the evangelical movement in Italy, Pier Paolo Vergerio. The statement of Raynaldus in his continuation of Baronius’ Annals, may also refer to this production. “Paul III. complained to the emperor by his Legates, against certain calumnious writings circulated in the name of the Apostate Bernardino Ochino. He represented that the Imperial Majesty would suffer equally from the fury and levity of this heretic, and from his unworthy proceedings.”[181]

As a means of making Ochino known to his new countrymen from another point of view, the publisher, John Day, issued in 1550 a selection of the “Prediche,” translated by Anna Cook, afterwards wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon. For the “Certayne Sermons”[182] are merely twenty-two treatises selected from the Basle edition of the “Prediche,” Ochino mentions in a later work[183] that the Princess Elizabeth, after she had read some of the treatises on Predestination, summoned the author to discuss with him obscure points in this doctrine. The penetration she evinced, and her lively interest, caused Ochino, ten years later, to dedicate to her the detailed inquiries into predestination and freewill collected under the name of the Labyrinth.

Meanwhile the third volume of Ochino’s “Prediche” appeared at Basle.[184] These, like the preceding volumes, are not dated, but we can ascertain the date from another source. The catalogue of books which the Sorbonne declared heretical,[185] and which bears date October 6th, 1551, mentions this third volume with an exact statement of the title. We know from Girolamo Muzio that this volume was not yet published in 1549. In the autumn of 1549, when passing through Basle, on his way from Brussels to Rome, he asked for newly published books, and thereupon the bookseller handed him the first two volumes of Ochino’s Prediche. It has been already shown that these first two volumes embrace the first six pamphlets of the Geneva Prediche, and that there was still a seventh remaining. This Ochino placed at the beginning of the third (Basle) volume. In the preface he writes: — “Faith, Hope, and Charity form a kind of indissoluble Trinity, therefore, since I have already published a number of considerations on Faith, I will now add others on Hope and Charity.” In these words he indicates the arrangement of the volume.

The first treatise deals with an idea we have already encountered in Ochino’s dialogues of the year 1539, the influence which the knowledge of God exercises upon piety. He endeavours to prove that since all good springs from enlightenment in Divine matters, and is contained by belief in God, so all evil springs from ignorance of God, and obduracy towards His goodness. The second treatise deals with the conception of belief, treating it from its Protestant point of view, that the justification of the sinner comes through faith alone. “Faith is not a dim light about God’s nature, or some careless or superficial opinion, but rather a shining light, a certain consciousness of the soul, that God is so mighty, so wise, and so precious, that He is able and willing to save thee. Faith is the firm conviction worked in us by the Holy Spirit, that we are God’s children. Faith is a Divine ladder, by means of which we climb to a knowledge of supernatural things to which human wisdom could not lead us. It unites us with God, and makes us His children and heirs, but whoever has not himself felt and tasted it, to him thou wilt speak of it as thou wouldst tell a blind man of colours.”

In the treatises on Hope, it is first shown that despair is immoral and unchristian. There are two kinds of despair which make man doubt his own powers, his own insight, wisdom, and goodness, and the help of the creature, and therefore place all his hopes upon God. This is a Divine and pious despair, but the other is devilish and ungodly, when man, mistrusting, doubts God’s help. That is one of the greatest sins we can commit, for whoever despairs of God, has ungodly notions concerning Him, he either thinks there is no God, or that, if there is one, He cannot, or will not help him, that He does not love him, has not chosen him, that He is partial, inimical, and cruel. There is no sin more displeasing to God than this despair, for we shall find, if we consider them carefully, that all God’s works from the beginning of the world have been directed towards raising our hopes and drawing us towards Him, so that we might not despair.” In considering the story of salvation, with its main events, from this point of view, Ochino finds its crown and conclusion in the death of Christ, “which we make vain and useless, if we despair of God’s mercy.”

The dogmatic results of this third volume of the Prediche are unimportant, but it is rich in practical deductions, some of which are entirely original. The third treatise contains a remarkable discussion with God. “It has often given me no small satisfaction to dispute in the spirit with Christ and with God, and I do not know wherefore such disputations should be blameworthy. I know well that God can have no absolute obligation towards His creatures, because He has never received any advantage from them. He does not, and cannot need us, because in Himself He possesses all perfection, and pours out His goodness upon the creature. Even the goodness of saints places God under no obligation, since it comes from God’s grace, and does not originate in themselves. Therefore, the holier the saints, the more are they under obligation to God. In this conviction I turn to God and say to Him: Lord, Thou mightest truly have left us uncreated, and without the slightest token of Thy love, but since Thou hast freely chosen to love us, and with so great a love, that Thou hast given us Thy only Son upon the cross, this same love obliges and urges Thee daily to give us new proofs of Thy grace, which may correspond to so great a love. Thou must save us now, because Thou hast thus resolved in Thy mercy, and in Christ. But we are the more certain to attain all this, because Thou hast given us Thy Holy Spirit as a pledge. If Thou shouldest say to me: ‘Thou art not worthy of my grace,’ I should answer: It is so indeed, but if Thou wouldest only give Thy grace to those who are worthy of it, Thou wouldest find no one. Even the soul of Christ, before Thou hadst created it, was not worthy of the treasures with which Thou, in pure grace, didst endow it. Thou didst not endow Christ because He lived so virtuously, but it was because Thou hadst endowed Him that He lived a holy and glorious life worthy of Thee. What more should I say? In Christ Thou hast given me all things, even Thyself, therefore am I certain that Thou wilt also save me.”

Among the treatises on Hope, there is one (xxxiii.) upon the penitent thief, which repeats the contents and partly the words, of the fourth dialogue of the year 1539. The treatises on Love, which end the third volume, also remind us of the first of these dialogues. The question, What is true love to God? is answered in the following manner, (xxxvi.), “True love to God is the desire in the elect to glorify God which springs from a lively consciousness of His goodness. From this desire spring acts of love and joy in all that tends to God’s honour, and a desire to increase daily in the knowledge of God’s goodness. But since this desire is of a spiritual nature, it is not found in the carnally minded, but only in those who have been born again and become spiritual through Christ. Only these can truly love God, and the more faith they have, the more they love Him.” Concerning love to man, he says, (xxxvii.), “If we love our fellow creatures, only because they are related to us, or because they resemble us, this is natural, and has no moral value. If we love them only for the sake of their beauty, our love is lascivious; if we love them for the sake of advantage, it is covetous; if for the sake of outward honours that we expect from them, it is ambitious. We can only feel true, pure, sincere, and spiritual love, when we love the creature for the glorification of God, only so far as it tends to His honour. This is the love of which Paul says that it seeketh not its own. Keeping its eyes always directed towards God, it destroys what is human, and changes the creature into the Divine being, so that he can no longer regard himself as such, but can only see and love himself in God.”

In many passages in these treatises we again meet with the subjective bias displayed in Ochino’s earlier writings. Thus in the 78th treatise concerning the right to use arms, “Our relations to our fellow creatures must, under all circumstances, be determined by the consideration of God’s honour, not by the apparent well-being of our neighbour. It is therefore possible that we may wish him poverty, exile, and other transitory evils, even death itself, and yet love him. It is even possible that God might command us to take away our neighbour’s property, or to kill him. But if in so acting we felt no special impulse from God’s voice, or if we followed selfish interests, and did not seek God’s honour before all things, we should be committing a grievous sin.” Ochino recognises the danger of leading his conclusions to this point, and therefore continues, “Thence it follows that only good Christians, who bear in them a clear enlightenment concerning God’s will, may take up arms without sin and fight against their fellow creatures.” That which holds about killing others, may be also referred to the question, whether, under certain circumstances, it is permitted to man to kill himself. He had already said in the 55th treatise, “We must act towards ourselves as towards our neighbours, therefore when God commands us not to kill, He forbids us to kill ourselves as well as others.” And in another passage of a later work, Ochino again returns to this question. “How if any one inspired by God should kill himself? In this case he would not be commiting a sin, just as Samson did not sin when he brought on his own death.”[186]

At the end of the third volume is appended a remarkable tract. “How a Christian ought to make his last will and testament. I, N., by God’s grace, in perfect soundness of mind, make the following testament, and bequeath first of all my being and substance to God, with the gifts, graces, and benefits, that I have had of Him. From Him alone I have my salvation through Christ. I thank Him for this through Christ. He has given me my soul and preserved it to me, wherefore I return it to Him as His property, with a firm and certain faith that He will recognise it as His own, not on account of my merits, but only through His goodness and mercy, and for Christ’s sake, who died for me upon the cross. He will receive it in Christ, and I may say with Him, Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

“Now because God has laid all my sins upon Christ, who, in the fulness of His Son, has taken them for His own, I bequeath them to Him, and in their place I put the innocence, righteousness, wisdom, holiness, and all the virtues, merits, and benefits of Christ, which the Father has given me in Him. And since my body, being dust, must return to dust, though in the firm hope of resurrection through Christ on the Judgment Day, let it be buried in Christian fashion, but modestly, and without any pomp. Alas, pride has been my companion till death, it need not accompany my body to the grave, and stand there in the form of a splendid monument, decorated with armorial bearings. “While others leave orders that they shall be prayed for after their death, that alms are to be given and good works performed, so that they may be delivered the sooner from Purgatory, I desire just the contrary. No one is to do such a work for my benefit, for through faith I am certain that without going through Purgatory I shall reach Paradise. I will not do Christ so great an injury as to believe that He has not made satisfaction for all my sins upon the cross, but if any one wishes to pray for me, or do good for me, let him do it now while I am still living, and may daily increase in godliness and the grace of God.

“Further, I bequeath, not as a favour, but as a duty, a part of my possessions, not to the monks, but to the real poor, since my property is not mine, but God’s. Let them thank Him for it, and for this new proof that God is their Father who cares for them, and let them bring Him fresh thanks and praise.

“Further, leave so much to my servants, but let them remember that the goods I bequeath come from God, so that they may use them for His honour. I thank them for all the services they have done me with the intention of convincing me daily more and more of God’s great goodness.

“Further, I bequeath a sum to my friends, as a token of my friendship and gratitude, so that they may be the more encouraged to love their brothers in Christ.

“I bequeath to my relatives a part of my possessions, not because they are kindred in the flesh, but in the spirit, and because they are brothers in Christ. But let them always remember that God is the rightful Lord of these possessions, and that they may not dispose of them otherwise than is pleasing to Him.

“My wife, as long as she lives, may enjoy the interest of my property. I do not demand of her that she shall remain a widow, but only that she shall continue in the faith, and in spiritual union with Christ. If the spirit of Christ lives in her, and she remains mistress over all fleshly desires, not only my goods, but all the goods of the world, will serve her with profit, and will tend to the pleasures of all creatures, and to God’s honour. Let her always remember that, even though she is deprived of me, yet she is not forsaken, as long as Christ lives in her heart, to whom she was betrothed, through faith, even before she married me.

“My children shall inherit the rest of my possessions, but under the condition that they shall not use them otherwise than for God’s honour. That was the condition under which I received them from God. I leave Christ as their guardian, defender, and helper; He alone has the power to defend, preserve, and save them, they would be doing a grievous wrong, not only to me, but also to God and Christ, if they in their need were to seek another mediator before God, than Christ Himself.

“Finally, I leave to them God as their father, they owe Him their existence and preservation, all the good they have comes from Him, and upon Him alone they may build their hopes, and depend upon Him. They may fear, love, and honour Him only, and use the creature for His glory. Naked I came into this life, and naked I leave it, and as I, who was once young and strong like them, am now weak and old, the same will once happen to them, let them therefore remember that this life is nothing but a three days’ tragedy. May they never desire, for the sake of this vain, uncertain and transitory shadow, to risk our true, heavenly, rich, blessed, and eternal inheritance, but let them always open their eyes to truth, and give their Father praise and honour through Christ. Amen.”

During the reign of Edward VI, it seemed as though Protestantism in England were to be spared the pains and struggles it had endured in Germany, but which had led to its strengthening and concentration. So long as Edward lived, the reform advanced slowly and steadily, though not without opposition. But its prospects depended too much and too exclusively upon the isolated inclination of the leading circles, and the most educated in the nation, so that a change in the government might have a serious effect, and lead to its entire subversion. What had been feared occurred. In July 1553 the king died, having scarcely reached his fifteenth year. The Protestantism of the country was, at that time, not strong enough for self-defence. “The Protestant rule had to be followed by a Catholic reign of terror, before the Church of England could become a thing of the nation.” A detailed consideration of the reaction under Mary Tudor does not belong to our limits. The conditions of the country were changed at one blow. First of all, the foreign theologians were banished, and the native preachers were thrown into the Tower, or burnt, unless they preferred to follow the example of the foreigners, and fly. Since 1554, Cardinal Reginald Pole, Legate for England, had been assisting Bloody Mary in her persecutions. We know his former relations to Ochino. It was unnecessary for him to proceed with violence against Ochino and Martyr, since both had already fled before his arrival, but he disgraced himself by the significant step of causing the body of Martyr’s wife, buried at Oxford, to be exhumed from its quiet grave, and cast into unconsecrated ground.

For a third time Ochino was driven from his centre of activity. Six years before he had hopefully crossed the channel. He now returned to the continent with a heavy heart. He had completed his sixty-sixth year, and, besides all his other cares, there was the maintenance of his family. It appears he first went by way of Strasburg to Basle. According to a somewhat untrustworthy notice, he then arrived at Geneva on the day after the burning of Servetus (October 27, 1553).[187] In August 1554, the pious Olympia Morata wrote from Heidelberg, where she had found a refuge after countless troubles, to her sister Vittoria:[188] “I hear that Bernardinus Ocellus, a man of tried Christian temper, has been obliged to flee from England to Geneva. The times are such that, whoever wishes to be a Christian, must everywhere bear his cross.”


The Apologi— Ochino at Basle— “Prediche” IV.— The Evangelicals of Locarno — Their Oppression and Expulsion — Their Emigration to Zurich, 1555 — Ochino accepts the post of Preacher — Dialogues concerning Purgatory — Ochino’s Participation in the Communion Dispute — Martyr called to Zurich — Other Italian Fugitives — Sozini — Bullinger’s Relation to Ochino and to the Locarno Congregation — “Against the Mass”— “The Labyrinthi” — The Catechism— “Prediche” V.

We mentioned in the former chapter that Ochino was supposed to have arrived at Geneva on the day following Servetus’ execution, and that he did not disguise his disapproval of the measure. This is said to have made him unpopular at Geneva. However this may be, Ochino remained long enough in this city to publish his Apologies.[189] They are dedicated to the “most noble and honourable knight, Signor Riccardo Moricini,” who was now suffering banishment for his endeavours to promote the Reformation under Edward VI., and consist of a collection of anecdotes, which direct their sting with more or less severity against the authority of the Pope, purgatory, masses for the dead, the lives of the Church dignitaries, nuns, and monks. Sometimes they relate occurrences at the Council of Trent, or point out the relation of the religious orders to one another. Ochino may have drawn upon his own former experience, and upon a tradition nourished with secret satisfaction, even in the most Catholic circles. These Apologies were evidently written at the time when Julius III. was occupying the Papal throne, 1550-1555. For in the fifteenth the question is discussed how this Pope will demean himself towards the Emperor; and in the twenty-ninth Apology it is mentioned that the meetings of the Council of Trent had been interrupted under this Pope. This took place April 28, 1552. In our time, anecdote is no longer employed as a weapon in literary warfare; but in the time of the Reformation it was used for various purposes. In the preface addressed to Moricini, Ochino writes: “It is suitable to the follies of our opponents, it is entertaining, characteristic, and easily understood, and it stamps itself on the memory. … I dedicate these Apologies to you, because your eye is keen, and your judgment ripe, and you are more able than other men to penetrate the husk of these stories, and to appreciate what is concealed beneath it.” Such collections are of no small value to the student, since they throw a light on the peculiar character of the time, from a point of view not easily accessible. We give three examples: —

“Julius III. wrote to the Emperor that he ought to be satisfied with being Emperor and name special rulers over Milan, Naples, and Sicily. The Emperor replied, he would do so as soon as the Pope would content himself with being head of the Church and give the bishopric of Rome to another.”— (Ap. 11). “Some one was asked how the Papacy had begun, and how it had grown and reached so great a height? This was the answer: The Emperor Phocas planted, the Frankish kings watered, and Satan gave the increase; and now the despised will uproot it, the simple will bind it in bundles, and Christ will burn it with His Spirit.”— (Ap. 26). “Concerning the great perfection of the Carthusians. The Carthusian monks excel all other orders in zeal; from fear of losing their brotherly love they keep it under lock and key, and do not even let it penetrate into the sick-room, so that no harm may come to it. Poverty (La Povertà) is not admitted into the convent because it is a woman; from fear of losing their Chastity they keep it always hidden; that they may not sin against Obedience they remain in their cells, where no one gives them any orders. They sleep the whole day long, so as to keep the command of silence; they confine patience in the convent-prison, and they are only patient as long as they are there. They take their meals alone to be more frugal, and so that they may keep humility very low they tread it under foot.”— (Ap. 65). Several translations of Ochino’s Apologies have been published. Castellio’s Latin version has not come under my notice. The German version is not rare. Besides the Apologies published at Geneva in 1554, it contains a large collection of similar anecdotes also attributed to Ochino. Christoph Virsung translated them and dedicated them to the Palatine Otto Heinrich.[190] In the preface he begs that the contents, not the bulk of the book, be regarded. “Since it is written in such a manner of mingled godly and serious rebuke, that not only such as hold the Papacy an abomination, but also those who hold it in great honour and dignity, will have no dislike to it, but read it gladly.” This collection, when complete, contains five books, with nearly five hundred apologies. But there is another edition that contains only four books, and it is this which has been translated into Dutch[191] (Dordrecht 1607). Finally, a collection of seventy-eight apologies, also in a Dutch translation, was published at Amsterdam in 1691.[192] It was a great pleasure to Protestant Germany and Holland to have a laugh at the expense of their powerful enemy.

It appears that Ochino returned from Geneva to Basle, where he may have left his family. A testimonial, furnished by the Council of Basle, dated June 17, 1555, speaks of a long time spent by Ochino in their city. During this period he visited Chiavenna. A few years earlier, Ochino, at Cranmer’s desire, had offered a post in England to Marnardo, the preacher at Chiavenna. We learn from a letter to Bullinger, July 13, 1554, that Ochino made a short stay at Chiavenna, perhaps to seek a post there for himself.[193]

We think that the fourth volume of the Prediche[194] may be referred to the time of this sojourn at Basle. Like the first three volumes, it was published without name or date. We cannot doubt that it was published at Basle, and there are many reasons for believing that it appeared just about this time, 1554 or 1555. In the first place, Ochino, when living without an office or professional occupation at Basle, had most leisure for preparing his collection for the press. Secondly, Virsung, in his preface to the Apologies, mentions that he had formerly designed to translate the four books of Ochino’s “Prediche,”— a proof that the fourth volume must already have been published. Finally, in his preface to the fourth volume, Ochino mentions with regret that he is forced to go away so suddenly, and to leave the MS. for the press, while he would have wished to revise it once more. This departure from Basle can be no other than Ochino’s journey to Zurich, to fill the post offered to him there. This occurred in June 1555.

Among the treatises of this fourth volume there is one concerning God’s likeness in man (4), very similar to the first of Juan Valdez’s “Pious Considerations,” and also to the first chapter of the tract “Concerning the merits of Christ.” Although we are unable to treat separately the other Prediche of this volume, it seems of importance to consider this treatise with respect to the development of religious ideas during the Italian Reformation, and carefully to trace these similarities. Valdez’s “Pious Considerations” had been published in 1550, by Curione, at Basle. To the former members of the Neapolitan circle it was a valuable bequest from the departed. Ten years earlier, when it was circulated in manuscript among the members of this circle, the author of the tract “Concerning the merits of Christ” had made use of it,[195] and among other things he had taken from it the idea of man as the image of God, and the development of this idea. Ochino here does the same. “At the creation, man received a share of the Divine wisdom, truth, beauty, and righteousness, he was innocent, loving, painless, and immortal, and gifted with all other Divine privileges. He lost all these when God forsook him in consequence of sin. But he receives the likeness to God again when he is born again through Christ, and becomes a temple of God in the spirit. This is what Paul means, Eph. iv. 23, and Col. iii 10.” This is precisely the train of thought contained, to the minutest particulars, in the first of Valdez’s “Pious Considerations.”

After all the storms and changes of his life, Ochino was not destined to spend the evening of his days in peaceful privacy. He was once more called to a sphere of public duty, similar to that he had filled in Augsburg and London. In June 1555, deputies from Zurich offered him the post of pastor to the Italian congregation lately founded there. The fortunes of this congregation are of such great and varied interest for the history of the reform movement in Italy, that it appears needful to give a detailed account of its origin.

At the northern end of Lago Maggiore, where the mountains rise highest, and their cliffs descend most steeply into the lake, lies an ancient town, Locarno, once the richest and most powerful on its shores, but now overshadowed by its neighbours. Its white houses are pleasantly reflected in the deep blue waves. The undulating uplands around, and even the steep precipices, are carefully cultivated. Laurels, pomegranates, figs, vines, chestnuts, walnuts, and brushwood tell that northern and southern climes meet here to reward the industry of the inhabitants. It was a princely recompense when Duke Maximilian Sforza presented to the Swiss Confederates the district of Locarno, as well as Lugano and Duomo d’ Ossolo, in return for their victorious aid in 1513. Locarno counted four hundred families; among the noble houses were the Orelli and Duni, and, above all, the Muralti, with their proud motto, Our castle may be assaulted, but never stormed. Even the patrician families occupied themselves with trade and agriculture. The rich timber-produce of the forests, and the salt from Bavaria and Tyrol, were brought across the lake and down the Ticino in Lombardy, while corn from the plains, silk and woollen wares, were carried in return across the mountains. When the Swiss communities received the dominion of Locarno, it was ruling over twenty parishes. Under the new rulers a governor was appointed every two years, elected from each of the communities alternately.

Messengers were despatched annually across the mountains from the ruling cantons, to receive the accounts of the chief magistrate, and settle difficult disputes. But the Swiss government did not prove advantageous to Locarno. Very soon, complaints were made during the yearly investigations. In the messengers’ statement of 1532, they complained: “The governors release rogues and thieves for money, and take the money for themselves.” Attempts to prevent this were useless, the evil was too deeply rooted. Ten years later, a Swiss decree from Baden complains roundly: “There is an outcry that, in certain places, there are private persons who wish to be magistrates, they buy their magistracies with presents and rents, also with trousers, blouses, and other such things from common men, so that their magistracy costs them about a thousand gilders.” Ecclesiastical affairs were also in a bad way, Locarno belonged to the Bishopric of Como; everywhere in Italy, and here also, there was complaint that benefices were given to minors, and to people who were not even priests, and could not celebrate mass. Most of the livings were presented by the governors, but the Bishop exercised the spiritual jurisdiction. Cantù, in his History of the City and Bishopric of Como, states that it was an event almost unknown for a pastor to explain Holy Scripture to his congregation, or otherwise to instruct them in Divine matters. Preaching was left to the monks, especially to the Mendicant Orders. Ignorance, superstition, and immorality had gained ground in a terrible degree.

From time to time, zealous and disinterested magistrates were appointed, but even these could not stem the mischief. On August 20th, 1530, the worthy Werdmüller, whom the Zurichers had appointed governor, wrote to Zwingli: “There is no one preaching here, they could not do it even if they wished. There is one man living here, well versed in Scripture, to whom I have lent your Latin pamphlet. This parson reads the Testament often, and says that all his life he will preach Paul’s Epistles.” However, at that time, there were as yet no traces of Protestant opinions in Locarno.

The reaction that succeeded (in 1542) in introducing the Inquisition, evinced its influence in Milan, before all other Italian cities. Catholic writers boastfully narrate that the first tribunal after that at Rome was erected here. The Imperial governor, the same Marchese del Vasto with whom Ochino was still in friendly correspondence, in Lent 1542, willingly offered his aid, and his secretary, Girolamo Muzio, placed himself at the disposal of the Inquisition as spy. In January 1543, Ochino’s Genevese writings were publicly burnt by the hangman on the Piazza del Duomo, at Milan. Many who had bought the books were forced by threats to surrender them.

At this time, Giovanni Beccaria, to whom the first dissemination of evangelical opinions in the city may be ascribed, was active at Locarno. He was priest and master at the school. “A learned humanist, who knew the foundation of true Christian religion from the writings of the Reformers, but did not dare to acknowledge them openly.”[196] He worked secretly for many years, he initiated his pupils, especially his favourites, Lodovico, Ronco, and Taddeo Duno, in evangelical doctrines. He encountered no opposition from the governor Baldi of Glarus, who held the post from 1542 to 1544. On the contrary, Baldi sent to Zurich for Bibles, and distributed them among the educated. We have the testimony of Beccaria’s enemies, that he was the centre of this movement. “This rogue,” says a Catholic, “was the first to sow the first sect at Luggarnus.” It was not the temporal power, but the Milanese Inquisition which took the initiative in crushing this movement. The jealousy of the neighbouring Lugano furnished the desired impulse. In 1546, Fra Cornelio, a Sicilian monk, preached first in Locarno. He openly spoke of “the enemies of Christ’s cross, who only confess Him, that they may empty the bags of the poor, and deny Him in their walk, and in His Church.” Fra Cornelio was denounced to the Inquisition, condemned, and imprisoned. This gave the Luganese an opportunity to denounce the Locarnese in their yearly statement of 1547; because the monk had there preached the same doctrines with universal approbation. The governor, a zealous Catholic, Feer of Lucerne, made the complaint his own. In the yearly statement of 1549, the Catholic envoys resolved to cause the true, ancient, Christian faith to be preached by a Dominican, Fra Lorenzo. Lorenzo’s sermons, full of threats and insults, called forth great opposition at Locarno, and in August 1549, there was a disputation, as was there customary, but its only result was to enrage the Catholic magistrate still further against the evangelicals. Beccaria made a timely escape to Zurich, to seek protection there for his companions in the faith. But at that time the five Catholic Cantons in the confederacy were all powerful; and when religious matters were discussed in the assembly, the evangelicals were forced to content themselves with ineffectual protests. Thus the Catholic Cantons laid a heavier hand, year by year, upon the helpless body of the Locarnese evangelicals. They imposed severe punishments on all who did not keep the fasts, who did not attend mass, and confess. Some few who were regarded as representatives, were banished with their families. In vain the oppressed turned to the Evangelical Cantons imploring help. It could not even avail them that, in June 1554, a new governor, Johannes Rauchlin of Zurich, was appointed, personally inclined to the evangelicals, for he was forced to carry out the disgraceful article of the Baden decree of November 18th. “In Luggarno, all persons who have adopted the new religion shall forsake it, but if among these persons there are some who are not willing to forsake it, the same shall leave the state of Luggarus between this day and Shrove Tuesday next, with their bodies and possessions, and they shall no Longer have any dwelling or maintenance there. This term is granted on account of the present cold, which is such that they could not cross the mountains safely with wife and child, but during this time they shall not practise or further the new religion, but shall keep quiet under pain of punishment. And after this, the old religion shall continue at Luggarus, and if any one attempts to act against it, the five Cantons shall punish him.”

This decree, against which the Evangelicals protested vainly by threatening war, was a more disgraceful defeat than that of Cappel. In spite of all former experiences, so hard a blow had not been expected by the Protestants of Locarno. In January 1555, the messengers arrived at Locarno to execute the command. The Evangelicals presented them a confession of faith in procession, the men walked in front, the women followed in pairs, leading or carrying their children. They once more vainly implored mercy. “They would have moved a stone to compassion,” writes Rauchlin, “but these people were only moved to laughter.”

Zurich had been unable to prevent the Baden decree, for which another pretext had been sought in disturbances that had taken place dining the disputation at Locarno in 1549, and were considered a breach of the peace. However, the Canton offered shelter to the exiles. Among the two hundred and four persons who had openly avowed evangelical doctrines in January, there were ninety three who determined to set out at the decisive moment (March 3d). “Nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva,”quotes Taddeo Duno, in remembrance of this migration in which he himself took part. They halted for two months at Roveredo, above Bellinzona, where a valley branches off towards the St. Bernard pass. This was to give rest to the women and children. Here they were joined by twenty Evangelicals from Locarno, who were driven by their consciences to join the community. Early in May they all crossed the mountains, still covered with deep snow. They gratefully praised the merciful hand of God which had clearly protected their journey when they fled from Egyptian bondage. On the 12th May they entered Zurich, where the exiles were received with hearty affection. Already in March, when some messengers sent forward from Roveredo had arrived in the city, the Council decreed “if they shall desire a preacher in their own language, they shall be helped to one, with the assistance of M. Heinrichen” (Bullinger). After a discussion with the heads of the most distinguished families of the community, the Committee for Church matters, proposed to appoint Beccaria, “the Apostle of Locarno,” as preacher. The Council agreed. “But his doctrines and fitness must first be tried, and he must promise the other servants of the Church to keep strictly to the customs and doctrines of the Zurich Church, and he must take an oath to the Synod.” At that time such measures were a matter of course. The Council was to procure efficient dwelling, and pay for the preacher, and the service was to be held at St. Peter’s. They added, “It is assumed that the men and women will learn enough of our language, during three or four years, to be satisfied with our preachers, and thus save us this expense.”

A few days later Beccaria arrived at Zurich, and declined the office of preacher. He pleaded that he was too weak in these matters, too uneducated and unpractised to accept such an office. Shortly after, he was named teacher to the children, who received weekly instruction. In the second place the Committee had suggested Bernardino Ochino, because he was resident at Basle, had neither office or profession, had formerly preached at Augsburg and in England, and written much in the Italian language, and was an old and honoured man for whom the Luggarnese had an especial veneration. The Council consented to summon him.

Meanwhile the Locarnese congregation was being constituted. They elected four elders, with Martino Muralto at their head. Soon after, the number was increased to six. Muralto was commissioned to bear Ochino the invitation, and to escort him. Muralto was to be accompanied by Lelio Sozini, a Sienese, who had resided in Zurich since 1544. The Council of Basle had already been requested to persuade Ochino to accept the office. The proposal was wholly unexpected, and he accepted it joyfully. The Council of Basle then wrote the before-named testimonial, that he had now resided with them for some time, as a God-fearing, Christian man, leading a good, honourable, and blameless life. Three days after Ochino’s arrival (June 23d) he preached his first sermon. His family joined him shortly after. One of the Locarnese, Filippo Appiano, went for them, and brought them to Zurich on the 8th of July. The former bailiff’s house of the Rütli Convent was assigned to Ochino as a dwelling. One of his Basle friends, Martin Borrhaus, wrote to Bullinger at that time, “Ochino has traversed the wide sea of life in all directions, he will soon reach the port through which we enter the heavenly home. Let us wish him joy, he is so pious, and his work here below has been hitherto so full of troubles.”

Ochino had already attained his sixty-eighth year when he entered on this new office. So far as human foresight extended but a brief span of life remained to him. This was the only circumstance which the Locarnese regretted in their election. Ochino manifested his zeal in the arrangement and conduct of congregational matters. The meetings of the elders were held in his house. Fraternal gifts of considerable value were sent to the congregation by the Evangelical Cantons, two thousand gilders from Berne, and smaller contributions from Biel, Neufchâtel, Lausanne, and Basle. The collection of MSS. in the city library at Zurich contains a number of letters expressing thanks for these gifts. The representatives of the Italian congregations at Geneva addressed a letter, dated August 1st, to “The beloved and honoured brethren of the Locarnese congregation at Zurich and their excellent pastor, Signor Bernardino Ochino,” in which they expressed their joy that God had delivered the brethren also out of the land of bondage, and added the wish to enter into as friendly relations with them as already existed between themselves and the evangelical congregations at Chiavenna and the Valtellina. In their reply (September 1st) the representatives of the Italian Church at Zurich expressed their gratitude for this brotherly sympathy, and testified to the affectionate reception they had met with, praised the zeal of their venerable pastor, and declared that they also desired a firm union with the other Italian evangelical congregations.

The administration of the congregational property was entrusted to the elders. Not a few among the emigrants required assistance in the shape of gifts or loans of money until they were able to support themselves in the foreign city. Assistance was given to companions in the faith who journeyed through the city, Lombards, Valdenses, Frenchmen, and one Scotch student, Buchanan, whom the Inquisition had expelled penniless from Padua. In a touching letter to the pastor of Aarau, Ochino recommended to his care a number of Sicilians, who had fled to Geneva with their wives and children. He writes in the name of the elders, under date February 3d, 1556, “The faithful pastor of Chiavenna has earnestly recommended to us these poor sheep, rescued from the jaws of wolves. They come from Messina, and have fled hither for the sake of the gospel. Our congregation has given them shelter for a few days, half dead with their long journey and the cold. They are now going to Geneva, and have begged us to send people with them who know the way and will be able to help them. They have also asked for recommendations to the pastors of those places which they will pass through on their journey.”[197]

In January of the same year an event had occurred at Zurich which had caused no small excitement in the whole city. Ulrich Zwingli, son of the great reformer, had been appointed assistant at the cathedral, he was summoned before the Burgomaster to defend himself concerning the publication of a pamphlet on Purgatory. This pamphlet appeared to the Council to be too severe, and calculated to excite the indignation of the Catholic confederates, who had not yet forgotten the “Antichrist,” a polemical tract composed by Rudolf Gualther. The assistant was commanded to cause the remaining copies to be given up to the Council by the printers, the brothers Gessner, and the copies already sent to Frankfurt were to be returned. “What times are ours! what has become of our faith!” wrote Stumpf, afterwards chief pastor. Neither did the preachers keep silence, but condemned the Council’s proceedings from the pulpit; nevertheless the Council adhered to this measure.

Ulrich Zwingli had not written this pamphlet, he had only translated it into German. Ochino was the author of the Italian original printed at Zurich, and Taddeo Duno had made a Latin translation, which, also published at Zurich, had escaped censure.[198] Zwingli had amplified the title of the German edition, so that it read, “Dialogue concerning Purgatory, in which the foolish and false reasons of the Papists for maintaining Purgatory are refuted.” It may have been this addition which provoked the interference of the Council. Zwingli had also added three of Ochino’s “Apologies,” directed against the doctrine of Purgatory. Ochino had already attacked this doctrine in the Prediche of 1543, it was also one of the first whose emptiness had been recognised in the circle of Valdez. There was no other doctrine which called forth so strong and universal an opposition at the time of the Reformation. Its origin sufficed to condemn it; the remarkable circumstance could not escape observation, that an old heathen, mythical idea of the purification of the departed by cleansing fire had been employed by the Catholic Church to strengthen its influence upon timid natures, and to form an inexhaustible source for gaining money.

The dialogue concerning Purgatory is carried on between Theodidactus and five monks in turn. Theodidactus has been imprisoned for denying this doctrine, and he knows that he must suffer death if he continues to deny it. “As yet no alchemist has discovered the art of converting silver into gold with real fire, but the priests daily transform not only lead into gold, but even pen, ink, and paper, as their indulgences clearly show, and this with the pretended fire of Purgatory. Although the priests and monks have many fat and rich benefices, yet they have no such rich revenues as that which they derive from Purgatory, their most fruitful domain. The Pope wears the triple tiara, not merely to show that he is lord over Asia, Africa, and Europe, but even more, that he may show himself lord over the future life, hell, purgatory, and paradise. Now, since I deny Purgatory, I have attempted to destroy the richest of his three crowns, therefore his servants will perform their office upon me. If I had denied hell or paradise I should not have so greatly displeased him.”

In his conversation with the first monk, a Carmelite, the passages from the Bible are first discussed, which are to this day cited by Catholics as a proof of the existence of Purgatory. Referring to the chief passage, taken from 2 Maccabees xii. 43 and following verses, which mentions that Judas sent money to the high priest, that the prayers of the priesthood might secure admission into heaven for those who had fallen in battle, Theodidactus replies: “The books of the Maccabees are apocryphal, and not to be placed on a level with Holy Scripture, as has been declared by the Jewish canon of the Old Testament and by the Synod of Laodicea. Jerome says the same thing in his preface to Proverbs, and so does St. Augustine. But even if we might rank these books with the canonical writings, it does not follow that Judas thought and acted rightly, and that we must follow his example, just because it is recorded in Holy Scripture, for then I should have to commit murder and adultery with David, and crucify Christ with the Synagogue, and deny Him with Peter.” The second passage brought forward to support the doctrine is 1 Corinthians iii. 15. “Here it is easy to show that when St. Paul says, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire,” he did not in any way refer to the later notion of Purgatory. I feel convinced that by “fire” Paul meant the troubles of the present life, in which the elect and their works are tried as by fire, and it is thus that Augustine explains it.”

After the Carmelite, a Franciscan comes forward against Theodidactus. He casts the reproach upon the Protestant opinions, which in our own time we have heard from Möhler, that they let the souls of the elect go into heaven stained with sin. Theodidactus replies that it is not we, but Christ who has made satisfaction for us. He refers to the example of the thief on the cross, who, when he was converted, was immediately received into Paradise, and as Christ treated him, so does He treat all the elect. In vain the Franciscan tries to base the doctrine upon a shade of difference between venial sins and mortal sins. Theodidactus replies that no sin is so great that it cannot find forgiveness through Christ; that there is none so small that it can be forgiven without faith in Him.

The third representative of the traditional ideas is a Benedictine. He tries to maintain Purgatory by the authority of the Church and the decrees of Councils. But Theodidactus replies: “The Church of God never believed in it, but only the Church of Antichrist, and even this did not always so believe, but only after a long time.”

He justly insists that the theology of the Old Testament knows nothing of it; that the apostles and early Christians, although they wept for the death of Stephen, never prayed for the deliverance of his soul. Neither did the ancient Church know anything of Purgatory. St. Augustine writes in the fifth book against the Pelagians, that there are two places prepared for those who depart this world — the kingdoms of heaven and hell. Lastly, the Benedictine refers to apparitions of the departed, which testify to the existence of Purgatory. Theodidactus refutes him with the dilemma: “Either these are evil spirits, then there is nothing to be expected from them but lies and deceit; or if they are good spirits, still the apostle’s words must hold, ‘For though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.’”

The fourth monk, a Dominican, attempts to prove the existence of Purgatory from the Pope’s power over the same. Theodidactus replies: “Since I have proved that there is no Purgatory, it is evident that the Pope can have no power over it.” The monk tries to show a moral influence in the doctrine, and says: “The belief in Purgatory prompts the friends and relations of the departed to do good works.” But Theodidactus replies: “There is no good work without faith, but you overthrow faith because you always start from the idea that Christ has not made satisfaction for us. But you ought to preach faith instead of Purgatory — the glory of God alone.”

In conversation with the first four representatives of the doctrine, Theodidactus has refuted all the proofs brought forward to show the existence of Purgatory. He now attempts to give the fifth monk, an Augustinian, a positive proof that there is no Purgatory. He refers to passages in the Old and New Testaments, and to the whole Pauline doctrine of justification, to show that Christ’s satisfaction for believers was complete and not partial, and he calls to witness the Fathers Augustine, Jerome, and Cyprian. In conclusion, he sums up the noxious consequences of the doctrine: Firstly, the doctrine of Purgatory hides God’s law, for it represents it as so incomplete as though we men, in spite of our blindness and carnal desires, could not only fulfil the law, but even do more than the law required of us; secondly, it annuls Christ and His gospel, for it encourages the idea that we must make satisfaction for our sins and the punishment incurred thereby, as though Christ had not done enough for us; thirdly, Purgatory blasphemes God’s mercy and torments the conscience; fourthly, all manner of deceptions and countless evils spring from this doctrine — masses for the dead, vigils, offerings for the dead, pilgrimages, merits of saints, indulgences, jubilees, and such like; fifthly, this doctrine encourages an immoral life in those who believe that they can buy remission for their sins with money.” Here the Franciscan interrupts: “Do you not see that he is stiff-necked? let us depart; the Venerable Legate will faithfully execute his office.”

Ochino’s Dialogue concerning Purgatory was the first fruit of an extensive literary activity during his time of office at Zurich. At the time of its appearance, an extensive work was in print, a contribution of Ochino’s to the dispute respecting the Communion, rekindled by the Hamburg pastor, Joachim Westphal. The question of the Last Supper, once vigorously discussed by German and Swiss reformers, had rested for a time after the Wittenberg Concordia (1536), and the Zurich Consensus (1549). Over-zealous followers of Luther rekindled the strife with vehemence. Westphal was at their head, and he published two writings in the years 1552-1553.[199] Calvin replied first in 1554, then early in 1556. When he published his second defence, Martyr wrote to him from Strasburg (February 16, 1556). “There are many who would like to stop this dispute, for the sake of peace; but since it has broken out again without our fault, we may not leave the truth without defence. As long as it is not firmly established, in regard to the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, there is an important doctrine wanting in the Church, and peace cannot be hoped for.” In a letter written at the same time to Bullinger, Martyr expressed the hope that Ochino, a man experienced in such matters, would take part in defending the reformed.

Ochino had anticipated this wish. His reply to Westphal had appeared at Zurich in January 1556.[200] Taddeo Duno had translated it into Latin. This appears from his postscript to the Dialogue concerning Purgatory.

In the preface, dated January 1, Ochino says that false opinions adopted during youth are not easily removed from the mind; and this especially holds good of religious opinions. It had happened thus with the Lutheran Church, instead of going consistently forward in the doctrine of Christ’s presence in the Sacrament, the Lutherans, to the joy of their opponents, had remained stationary on the Catholic ground. To the objection that it was incredible that God, who had given this same Luther so clear an insight into spiritual matters, should have suffered him to err in this important point, Ochino replies by a remarkable reference to a gradual development of this reformer’s religious opinions. “We cannot and may not question that God has given us, in Luther, a shining light of evangelical truth in our dark age. Still, we must not forget that Martin was once a great Papist, and that he was only driven into opposition to indulgences by the proceedings of those who exaggerated the follies of the Papacy in too senseless, sinful, and tyrannical a manner. It is evident, from his writings, that when Martin already perceived that the Papal indulgences were vain lies and deceits, he did not yet understand that Christ is our only justification. Even after the completion of his work “On the Church’s Babylonian Captivity,” although he was greatly occupied by his correspondence and other duties, yet he never neglected his “Officium,” as the Papists call it, but daily kept his Prima, Tertia, and Sexta, his Nona and Vespera, his Completorium and Matutinum, so firmly were his early abuses rooted in him. Therefore we cannot wonder if he did not immediately recognise the truth that Christ’s body is not present in the bread, nor His blood in the wine. Did he not once say to a friend who is still living, with reference to this doctrine: ‘How could I believe that the Church has erred in this?’ although he well knew that she has certainly erred in other important matters.” Ochino then addresses his congregation: “We have a special reason to thank God for His grace, that He has freed us in this as in other matters from engrained superstition; have we not been saved, like Jonah, not from the belly of the whale, but from that of the devil? Without the cross no one can be a good soldier of Christ. I say this, that we may pray the more fervently for the enemies of Christ, and, as far as in us lies, instruct them in the truth and in Christian love.”

In the work itself, Ochino successively refutes three polemical tracts of Westphal. Besides the two we have already named, there was a short collection of Augustine’s sayings about the doctrine of the Last Supper.[201] He had yet a fourth tract before him, specially directed by Westphal against a certain “Sacramentist,” but Ochino does not attempt to refute this, as the person attacked would answer for himself. Who is this “Sacramentist?” Doubtless Calvin, whose first defence had been answered by an angry invective of Westphal’s in July 1555.[202]

The exegetical part of the dispute is concerned with the words, “This is my body.” Westphal insisted that these words must be literally and not figuratively understood. This was the rampart behind which Luther entrenched himself at Marburg, when he wrote the is upon the table before him. Zwingli had already answered John vi. 54 by John vi. 63. Ochino did the same. He defended the reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and its celebration against the reproach that it was empty of spiritual meaning, and denied that there was any magical power belonging to the words of the ceremony in themselves, even though, according to Westphal’s opinion, there was only a kind of mystic, unreal transubstantiation. Westphal insists that it is only the partaking of Christ’s body which guarantees to the believer the glorification and resurrection of his own body. But Ochino replies: “To live in Christ, in a living faith, this alone makes us members of Christ, and secures for us a blessed immortality.”

The verbal and written discussions which took place in countless localities, are not a very creditable memorial of the Protestantism at the time of the Reformation, but they are very characteristic of this particular period. Let us examine Ochino’s treatment of the chief point of this dispute more closely. Ochino had already proved that there are numerous figurative expressions in the Holy Scriptures, and from this he had assumed the right to regard the above as such, if the verbal interpretation should prove untenable. Westphal denies the lawfulness of the figurative conception; but since he cannot prove from the context that this reading is unlawful, he takes refuge with the orthodox ecclesiastical writers, and he first brings forward a passage out of the 60th homily of Chrysostom. Ochino, however, shows that this passage contains nothing but a general exhortation never to doubt God’s Word, even when its contents seem foolish to our apprehension. It was just the same with the two passages quoted from Cyril, of Alexandria’s Commentary to John vi., but Westphal reasons in a circle. “We must acknowledge,” he says (p. 63), “that God’s Word is not only true, but also clear, and can have no other meaning but that in the words themselves.” Ochino answers him by quoting expressions of Christ’s, which apparently have not this literal meaning, thus, John vi. 70, and Matt. xvi. 23, where Judas and Peter are designated as “Satan.” Westphal now comes forward with a new discovery. “When Christ said that His body was broken, it could only refer to the body contained in the bread, since not a bone of Christ’s real body was broken.” Ochino replies to this, that it revolts him to enter into such hair-splitting of words, and, in fact, the subtleties of this Protestant scholastic are as far removed from true Christianity as those abortions of mediaeval Catholicism, which we have before encountered.

At the conclusion of his first tract, Westphal had said that the pernicious blasphemies of the Sacramentarians deserved to be suppressed by the authority of the rulers, instead of by literary controversy; in fact, at the time when Westphal’s book appeared, the Hamburg Senate really forbade the admission into the city of Anabaptists and Sacramentarians. This decree of the Senate’s was promulgated with regard to the reformed fugitives from England. In October 1553, a troop of these, numbering one hundred and seventy, had arrived penniless at Copenhagen, under Laski’s leadership, but had found no shelter there. How painful must have been the remembrance in Ochino’s mind caused by the sad fate of these people! He replies that this manner of thinking is unchristian, that Westphal’s pretension of submitting the faith of his fellow Christians to human laws, whether they were decrees of Councils, or of the Augsburg Confession, proved that in his heart Westphal was Popish, since, disobeying the requirements of Christian love, he casts poison and gall upon his opponents, and attacks them with most abusive names. Ochino was appealing for a toleration for which the times were not yet ripe.

The dogmatic discussion about the Sacrament is continued through Westphal’s two other polemics, without calling forth new points of view in Ochino’s replies. Quitting the subject, we will now quote a number of Ochino’s characteristic expressions about the most distinguished representatives of the Swiss Reformation, and about Johann Laski and Martyr. Ochino says of Zwingli: “His doctrine of the Sacrament is sincere, true, and pure. This is evident from God’s Word, which he does not forsake by a hairsbreadth, and also from the fact that the more it has been attempted to suppress this doctrine, the more it has spread in Italy, France, and England. Martin had his Duke as follower and protector, and had no opponents except the Papists, but Zwingli, trusting in God’s protection alone, had to contend against foes from without and from within.” Speaking of all the Zurich ministers he says: “You yourself can say nothing of them, but that they have always been faithful servants of Christ, and have practised mutual love. They have always valiantly defended their faith and the truth, peacefully but firmly. What sort of man Calvin is, is best shown by his Church. What zeal dwells in him is evinced by the persecutions he has undergone. His great learning is set forth in his works. He has always laboured to establish union among the various Churches and confessions. Laski’s piety and learning are universally recognised. God, by his means, has opened out much entrance for the truth in England, but afterwards a fugitive from England he suffered and still suffers much for the sake of his convictions. If I have hitherto kept silence concerning my Martyr, it is not to be wondered at, for my praise would seem suspicious since he is himself an Italian, and it is superfluous, because his writings and his share in the Oxford disputation concerning the Sacrament, have won him a great and universal reputation.”

In 1553, a short time after Ochino’s flight, Peter Martyr had also been forced to leave England and to return to Strasburg. There he lived without any office. He was unable to recommence his former relations. The doctrine of the Sacrament had also caused disputes at Strasburg, his colleagues had accepted the Lutheran view, while Martyr made no secret of his continued agreement with the Swiss. In the spring of 1556 he simultaneously received an invitation to Heidelberg from the Palatine Otto Heinrich, and one to Zurich from the Council. During his first residence at Zurich, when he arrived after his flight from Italy, on the day after Ochino’s departure, the theologians had received him with great kindness, and with Bullinger especially he had entered into friendly relations. A chair of Hebrew at the University was now vacant by the death, on April 6, of the venerable Pellicanus, “who, during his whole life had not been angry for three days and had never been sad.” This chair was unanimously offered to Martyr. Bullinger communicates the news to his friend, under date May 1. He says: “There are countless reasons which ought to decide you to accept. Firstly, the unanimous election certainly inspired by God, besides you will be delivered from the enmity and contentiousness of your colleagues, and you will be among men who love you and dislike all quarrels. Here you will find your old friend and brother Bernardino, you will find an Italian congregation to which there is probably no second in the whole of Germany. You will be near your own country, if you wish to communicate with it, you can do so easily from here. Yon will receive a sufficient income. No great exertions will be expected from you, but consideration will be shown for your increasing years. If illness or failing strength should prevent your fulfilling your office, you will continue to receive the whole salary till your death. I hope that you will refuse the call to Heidelberg. You learned in England what it means to serve a prince, and yet the gracious Edward was a young man, but the Palatine is old, and stands with one foot in the grave. You know how many changes the death of a prince may cause, neither is it unknown to you that the princes of the empire greatly depend upon the Emperor’s desires, and that now this, now that, may be changed in the German churches at his command, but with us you will be among a free people, who have nothing to do with the Emperor and the unstable diets.”[203]

Martyr decided for Zurich. When once settled there he refused all offers which were made to gain him for other places, as well as the proposal to accept the office of preacher to the Italian congregation at Geneva after the death of Celso Martinengo. He also refused a pressing invitation to return to England, where Elizabeth’s accession had inaugurated a better time for Protestantism. “When Martyr left Strasburg the Council gave him this testimony, “He has shown himself a man of rare virtue and piety, of excellent gifts, and extraordinary learning. He was beloved by us all, not only on account of the above mentioned qualities, but also for the kindliness and peacefulness he has always shown.” In a similar manner he lived and worked at Zurich. He remained united with Ochino by the truest friendship until death. The Locarnese community received him “like a second father.” They elected him as an exceptional addition to the established number of their elders. When Ochino was prevented from preaching, he took his place. Probably he did this during the severe illness in 1560, which Ochino’s Zurich friends feared would end his life. Meantime he had another opportunity of interposing in Ochino’s behalf. In the dialogue concerning Purgatory, Theodidactus represents to the Franciscan the doctrine of justification through Christ in this manner, “Christ has made satisfaction for us all. Not because His work, His life, and sufferings, were by themselves an infinite merit, — for He owed everything to God, therefore also complete obedience — but because God in His grace has decreed to accompany Christ’s work by this satisfaction for the sake of mankind.” This reminds us of an opinion concerning justification met with in Ochino’s Geneva “Prediche,”an opinion for which Ochino, in the person of Theodidactus, when speaking to the Franciscan, refers to Duns Scotus, the teacher of that same order, who taught that Christ’s merits and works are of infinite benefit, not because this quality belongs to them of themselves, but because the Father, out of pure mercy, has accepted these works as an infinite benefit. This conception of Ochino’s had called forth misunderstanding in the Valtellina, he was accused of regarding Christ’s work too lightly, nay, it was even reported that he had said that the doctrine of Christ’s merits was nothing but folly. Besides Duns Scotus, who, as a scholastic philosopher, bore little authority with Protestants, Ochino might have appealed to another, who enjoyed undisputed respect. This was no less a person than Calvin, who a short time before had given exactly the same answer to a question of Lelio Sozini’s. Lelio had thought it a contradiction that justification was set forth on the one hand as though it came from the free grace of God, but on the other as though it were gained by Christ’s merits. To this Calvin answered[204] “This apparent contradiction does not exist. The free grace of God and the merits of Christ are not opposed, rather the free grace of God, and the merits of Christ stand on one side and the sin of mankind on the other. For the merits of Christ have only become a merit for us because God’s grace has made them so.” When once the people of the Valtellina suspected Ochino of heresy, and had spread the report, the preacher at Soglio, Michael Angelo Fiorio, applied on this subject to Martyr, for at that time people were more jealous of the words of the creed than a superficial consideration would lead us to think compatible with their own fundamental ideas. Martyr discussed the matter with Ochino, who refuted the accusation. He sent a public explanation to Augusto Mainardo, the preacher at Chiavenna, and a letter[205] to Friedrich von Salis, the worthy protector of the Reformation in the Grisons. This gave satisfaction.

In the circle of Italians at Zurich, and in friendly relations with Ochino, there were at that time several persons who occupy a place in the history of the Reform movement in Italy. The Roman, Francesco Betti, was a fugitive in Ochino’s house. Ochino dedicated his Dialogue concerning Purgatory to Francesco Lismanino, formerly Provincial of the Minorites in Poland, who resided for a time at Zurich, and who is said to have been led to forsake Catholicism through Ochino’s “Prediche.” The Marchesa Isabella Manriquez, who had belonged to the circle of Valdez, also came to Zurich with her son, whom she had educated in the house of Beccaria. In 1558 she had been forced to fly from Italy. After a short residence in Würternberg she came to Zurich. How highly she was regarded by Ochino is evident from the preface to his work concerning Christ’s corporal presence in the Sacrament, which he dedicated to her, when in the following year she left Zurich for Chiavenna. “Hitherto[206] I have been unwilling to dedicate the theological treatises, which I have published from time to time, to any single person. My intention was that all should read them and profit by them. But I dedicate the present treatises to you, and I do this for a particular reason. Everyone in Italy has already learnt to know the unusual gifts with which God has endowed you; your wisdom, your uprightness, your generosity, and fearlessness. As soon as your eyes were opened to the truth, and as soon as you recognised the errors and superstitions of the Romish Church, you immediately tried to serve and help the true Church of Christ. When discovered and pursued you forsook everything to remain near Christ. Strong in spirit, though weak in body; rich, not in earthly, but in heavenly goods, you came over here to give new proofs of your patience and stedfastness, and everyone who had the good fortune to know you here is aware how much others have been edified by your word and example. Therefore you ought before all to thank God for the benefits He has shown us in the death of Christ, by remembering His death in the circle of the elect. It is these considerations that have prompted me to dedicate this writing to you.”

Among the Italian residents at Zurich, Lelio Sozini had intercourse with Ochino, though no particulars have been preserved to us. Lelio[207] belonged to a distinguished Sienese family. He was born in 1525. He studied law, and then the Holy Scriptures. He devoted himself to them with such zeal that he did not shrink from learning the original languages, even Arabic. When twenty-one, he left Siena and went to Venice. The interest he brought with him, and the opinions that there influenced him, may have completed his breach with the Catholic Church. It is possible that while at Venice he may have taken part in the religious controversies at Vicenza in 1546. It could not have been for long, for in the following year he left Italy, and, after a stay at Chiavenna, he travelled in Switzerland, France, and England. Perhaps he may already then have made Ochino’s acquaintance. At any rate, when he arrived at Basle, on his journey home, he sent a letter of Ochino’s as an enclosure to Zurich, on July 19th, 1549.[208] When he arrived at Zurich in the autumn of the same year, Bullinger received him with fatherly care. In all discussions and theological considerations, he and his colleagues assisted the young Sozini, who was naturally sceptical and pensive. Lelio also entered into close relations with Calvin. In 1552, an important matter summoned him to Siena. At the same time, when Ochino was forced to fly from England, Lelio was returning to Switzerland. The assertion that he was present at Servetus’ execution, October 27, 1553, is false, since at that time he was still at Padua. But he was bold enough not to conceal his disapproval of the proceeding, and, in consequence, the Geneva theologians persisted in attributing to him the polemic against the punishment of heretics by the sword of authority, composed under the name of Martin Bellius. In 1555, he was in relations with Ochino, when the Locarnese congregation sent him with Muralto, to fetch the preacher from Basle. Sozini, nevertheless, did not take up his residence finally at Zurich, in the spring of 1558, after he had returned from a journey to the Conference at Worms; he set out for Poland, and from there, by way of Vienna, to Italy, there to witness the complete triumph of the religious reaction. In 1559 he returned to Zurich, and there he spent his last years in the strictest retirement, until, in May 1562, death overtook him in the prime of life.

Martyr’s residence at Zurich had helped to bring Bullinger and Ochino into closer relations. Bullinger stood sponsor to one of his children, and Ochino, like all the other members of the Zurich ministry, was consulted by the council of theologians in practical matters, — as in 1559, when the ministry resolved affirmatively the question whether the Marchese Galeazzo Caraccioli, who had fled from Italy to Geneva, whose wife had refused to follow him, might be permitted to enter into a new union. The Locarnese congregation, during the first years after their migration, found a kind protector in Bullinger. The generosity which the Zurich municipality had shown in their reception of the Locarnese, was soon followed by the petty envy of individuals. Complaints were first made secretly, and then publicly, in a memorial to the Council, that the presence of the strangers was detrimental to the inhabitants, since they carried on trades outside the guilds, competed with the dealers, and, contrary to the law, had acquired property in the city by the purchase of houses. These complaints, although, on closer examination, they proved unfounded or exaggerated, yet contributed to impair mutual good feeling. It is true the Senate, to whom the matter was referred in 1558, decreed “that, in consideration of the causes which have brought the Locarnese hither, and that they have hitherto led orderly, respectable, and quiet lives, they shall be held in honour, and shall not be denied Christian charity, but shall continue to be treated with brotherly kindness.” Still, a number of restrictions were imposed upon their trades and industry, which may be explained by the illiberal conditions of that time, which were especially prevalent at Zurich. In the course of the next year, some of the emigrants left Zurich, but the greater part remained. The industrious and enterprising Locarnese merchants and weavers introduced new branches of industry into the city, and thus, in the course of time, they richly recompensed the substantial sacrifices which the hospitality of the Zurichers had once made for their sake.

Ochino’s name is repeatedly mentioned in the correspondence between Bullinger and the other Zurich theologians, and those English Protestants who, after a long residence at Zurich, had returned to their country during the reign of Elizabeth.[209] They never omitted hearty greetings to Bernardino. John Fox desires Ochino to collect everything he knows about Italian martyrs for his history. Jewel sends five gold pistoles, which have been entrusted to him for Ochino, and, under date November 16th, 1559, he expresses the wish that Ochino may regain the prebendary of Canterbury, of which he has been deprived in contumaciam, April 1554.[210] It would appear, however, from later letters, that this prospect was not fulfilled. In a letter to Martyr, of January 6th, 1560, Thomas Sampson says: “I hear that Bernardino is in great repute with the Queen. I wish he would write to her, and exhort her to remain firm in our cause, where the Gospel of Christ is concerned. She has need of such counsellors.” At that time the question was being discussed, whether the setting up of a crucifix, with burning tapers upon the altar, especially at the celebration of the Communion, was to be reckoned among indifferent things. Sampson himself would rather resign office than permit it. When Sampson’s letter reached Zurich, Ochino was suffering from his before-named illness. He promised, nevertheless, to write to the Queen as soon as he was restored to health.

After this illness of the year 1560, Ochino devoted himself with especial zeal to the completion of a series of extensive writings. At first he published that work respecting Christ’s corporal presence in the Sacrament, whose dedication to Isabella Mauriquez has been already mentioned. It is easy to find a connection in these treatises concerning Communion and Mass with the polemics against Westphal. A particular circumstance, notwithstanding, seems to have led Ochino to treat this subject in a more detailed manner. A short time after Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, Martyr had completed his comprehensive polemic against Bishop Gardiner, concerning the Eucharist.[211] It is possible that the contents may, for some time, have been a subject of friendly discussions between Martyr and Ochino, and this may have prompted the latter to treat the subject himself in a popular form. Ochino’s work[212] was published without any date, but the dedication to Isabella Manriquez leads us to conclude that it was composed in 1560. In 1561, a Latin translation by Castellio appeared at Basle.[213] The book, at whose contents we can only glance, is divided into two parts. The first treats of the question of Christ’s bodily presence in the Sacrament, and controverts the Catholic and the Lutheran doctrine of transubstantiation. It concludes with a discussion of the question, how the different views of the Lutheran and the reformed doctrines may be reconciled in a Christian manner, without any violence to conscience. Ochino seeks this union in a wider aspect. On page 151, he says, “The contention about the doctrine of the Last Supper had been kindled in our time by literary means, with a violence hitherto unknown. Some write with understanding, and set forth the undefiled Scriptural doctrine; others write with a virulence, which manifests that the false impressions of former times are still active in them. Others, again, try to hold their footing in both stirrups, and therefore write in so lofty, or in so obscure a style, that no one can understand them. In this Supper, which is to unite us all, no one will show so much charity as to give way in the smallest thing. And yet there is one way of uniting all in Christ, and this is to show that man can be loved, justified, and saved by God, no matter whether he believes or not in Christ’s bodily presence in the Sacrament.” In thus boldly ranking the much-disputed point of the Sacrament among non-essentials,[214] Ochino does not disguise from himself that this would cause offence to many, especially at this time, when those who were in the heat of the discussion were so jealous of the very letter. “I well know that the ignorance and superstition of many will be hurt at this assertion, but I also know that, in spite of this, truth will hold its own against all God’s enemies.” Ochino was not mistaken, and yet it required centuries of development and experience in the Protestant Church before the originally antagonistic views had become reconciled and united on common ground. It was not till the third centenary jubilee of the Reformation that the parties united in brotherly love on this Sacrament. Luther, at Marburg, had only consented to this with reserve. The second part of Ochino’s writing consists of six treatises concerning, or rather against, the Mass of the Catholic Church. We must not be surprised at Ochino’s treating the Communion and the Mass in succession. In his polemic against Westphal, he had already asserted that Luther’s special doctrine of the Sacrament was but a remnant of Papistry. This is the fundamental idea, remarkable in all the polemics of the Swiss against the Germans. They fear that Papistry will again penetrate into the Protestant Church by the door thus left open. The form and the animated representation in this second part of Ochino’s writing, remind us of his Tragedy. On page 192, he says, “Scarcely was the Mass born from Satanic seed, and from the bosom of the Romish Church, before an astrologer cast its horoscope thus: it will receive more money and valuables than all the princes of the earth taken together; and if it had not to nourish countless idlers, it would soon collect all the treasures of the earth. It will obscure the glory of all other human institutions, even the glory of the Gospel and Christ’s kingdom, but its end will be miserable, and its death will concur with the destruction of the whole Papacy.” Thus runs the horoscope. The devil hits on the best name for the Mass. Lucifer is long in doubt how to name it in opposition to the true Communion, whether Altare di Satana, as opposed to Mensa del Signore, or Disunione as opposed to Communione, or Disgrazia as opposed to Eucharistia, or Crocifissione di Christo as opposed to the free Sacrifizio di Christo. Finally, he decides for a name which cannot reveal its true nature, and names it Missa. Then fools may think it has been sent into the world by God. He appoints Carnal Policy as godmother, and she undertakes the education of the Mass. Carnal Policy disfigures the original celebration of holy Communion in such a manner that it may be impossible to recognise in it Christ’s Last Supper. In the following treatise, the Mass is summoned before God’s judgment-seat, and condemned as unchristian and immoral. Ochino represents all this in detail. He had to treat of all the superstitions connected with the celebration of the Communion, from the representation of the change of the elements, by means of the priest himself, to the popular opinion which attributes various effects to the Mass, according to the different altars at which it is celebrated. Thus, the altar of San Gregorio releases souls from purgatory, San Rocco liberates from the plague, San Antonio of Padua discovers lost things, and the Holy Ghost finds a beautiful wife, or a handsome husband. (P. 238). He concludes: “According to all this, the Mass appears thoroughly heretical and blasphemous. It would be vain to try and reform it, because it is incorrigible.”

In this exposition, Ochino encounters a practical question which was much discussed at that time, concerning the evangelically minded who had remained in Italy. Shall it be permitted to those who have recognised the errors of the Catholic Church, and especially the Mass, to accommodate themselves to its customs, so that they may live undisturbed amid their Catholic fellow citizens? This was a question to which Tertullian and other Church Fathers, in regard to the heathen customs of their time, had already replied with a decisive negative. Now it reappeared in a similar light. This question had penetrated deeply into Ochino’s own life, and he had already given his answer by his own departure from Italy. Neither does he hesitate here to reply in the negative.

“Participation in the mass is no indifferent action for a Christian, since it implies the recognition of the Antichristian kingdom, but if abstaining from it is followed by persecution, then let everyone regard God’s voice in himself. If God wishes him to stay, he must do so, but if God’s voice tells him that his time is not yet come, then he may fly. Did not Christ fly when His time had not yet come, and did not the apostles, and many pious men follow His example?” “By prayer thou wilt learn what is God’s will in such matters, but if He urge thee to fly He does not do so that thou mayest lead a dissolute life, not that thou shouldst consider thyself perfect, when delivered from the tyranny, superstition, and idolatry of Antichrist, and participating in the preaching and communion of a reformed and truly Christian Church, for all such outward things can also be done by hypocrites. Nor does the Lord call thee, that living in security thou shouldst lose the zeal which thou hadest when among Papists, and so become lukewarm and indolent. Neither must thou imagine that by thy mere departure thou hast already taken a great step, that thou hast already reached the summit, when peradventure thou hast not yet climbed the first rung, but He has called thee that thou mightst arm thyself with faith and other Christian virtues, so that one day thou mayest come forth as a valiant warrior against the Papists, and shed thy blood for His sake.” “Since forty years many Churches have been reformed, and all think themselves perfect, especially in doctrine, and yet they are so different that each single one condemns as heretical all the other Churches which do not accept its doctrines” (p. 258). “And if thou hast departed from the Papists, and hast united thyself in living faith to one of these churches, it is natural that, like the apostles, thou canst not keep silence concerning that which thou hast seen and experienced in the spirit. But if thou speakest of it, they will denounce thee as ignorant, childish, and heretical, and letters full of calumnies will fly about in all directions, so that thou wilt either have to go forward again, or to lead a fruitless and troublesome life “(p. 259).

It is evident from Ochino’s words how deeply he had been wounded by the attacks against misunderstood passages in his writings. The above remarks, purposely kept general, were not to escape distortion, for the reproach afterwards made to him at Zurich[215] could scarcely refer to any other passage. He was said to have declared that there are errors in all Churches, therefore the adherents of the Romish Church need not forsake it, even when they recognise its errors. A simple comparison shows that Ochino’s expressions had been distorted into a meaning exactly contrary to that which they were intended to bear. But more fundamental differences of opinion were developed by and bye.

Under date December 29th, 1561, the Zurich theologians, with Bullinger, Gaulther, Wolff, and Martyr at their head, drew up a judgement concerning twelve theses in which Zanchi, an Italian refugee, who had been denounced at Strasburg, expressed his opinions concerning predestination and other doctrines. The Zurichers occupied the standpoint of unconditional predestination. Ten years before, Calvin in his controversy with Bolsec, had failed in obtaining a similar judgment. The revolution in favour of unconditional predestination, may be ascribed to Martyr’s profound influence. Ochino was not one of those who signed the judgment of 1561, yet he had been greatly occupied by this fundamental doctrine of reformed Protestantism, even when at Geneva, and as early as the time of his flight from Italy. We have seen the point of view from which Ochino approached this doctrine, he had always retained it, nor had the theories of original sin and predestination led him to doubt individual power, and thus to recognise the human will as unfree, that is incapable of good, but on the other hand, his personal experience of the subjection of the will led him to the doctrine of predestination. The “Labyrinthe,”[216] in which he gives a connected discussion of this question, is a remarkable work. In the first part, he shows with great acuteness, that both the assertion and the denial of free will lead into four separate and apparently inextricable labyrinths. In the second part, he tries to solve these contradictions. The result is, “that human freedom is to be regarded as a postulate of practical reason, and its subjection as a postulate of religious consciousness.” The idea of its subjection must be taken in its theological sense, namely, as the inability of man to do even the smallest thing for his salvation.[217] Then we shall understand Ochino’s conclusion, “whoever believes that his actions are not free, easily lulls into the abyss of moral indolence. Whoever believes that he is free, becomes liable to spiritual pride. There is only one way of avoiding both. Strive after good with all your power, as though convinced of your freedom, and at the same time, give God the glory in all humility, as though convinced of your impotence.”

This work, first published at Basle, in Italian, and then in Castellio’s Latin translations is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, who greatly respected Ochino, as Sampson has testified. In his preface he says: “Bernardino Ochino wishes Queen Elizabeth of England salvation through God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. The question whether man has free will or no, is one of the most difficult, because we meet with the most serious objections, whether we affirm or deny it. Inasmuch as I have observed that many, in considering these questions, have only involved themselves and others in a greater bewilderment, I have long been endeavouring to find a way to overcome these difficulties. God has at length accorded me His grace, and as I well remember that, when I was in England, your Majesty read some of my treatises on predestination, and when you consulted me about them, you gave me many proofs of the comprehensiveness and acuteness of your intellect, and of your desire to examine the deep things of God, I therefore conceive that you, before all others, will reap fruit from my exposition. I have accordingly dedicated this work to you.”

Ochino’s “Labyrinthe” are the following:[218] — “Whoever affirms the freedom of the will is involved in the first, he is forced to confess that his will, which he thinks free, is yet determined and attracted by surrounding circumstances, and impelled by affections. If he strives to avoid this difficulty by the assumption that his will is able to resist outward influences, he entangles himself in the second labyrinth, he becomes aware that he still depends upon God for that which the will is in itself, and also for all his actions, for he is not able to oppose God’s decrees. We can only save ourselves from this labyrinth, by the assumption that our expressions of will only receive a relation to God’s will at the moment when they become an accomplished action. But by this assumption we are involved in a third labyrinth, since the Holy Scriptures plainly say that God knows all our thoughts beforehand. Whoever thinks to escape these three labyrinths, will still be involved in the fourth. If he thinks that his will suffers no necessity through circumstances and affections, nor even from God’s unchangeable decrees, nor from God’s infallible prescience, let him think of the Divine prophecies which embrace so many distinct things, and must be fulfilled. Thus Christ’s life and death were almost entirely determined by these, but if Christ was not free, how then should we be?

“But if, on the other hand, we declare that we are not free, we shall again meet with four labryinths: The first consists in this, that we must necessarily assume either that the sin we commit is no sin, and not displeasing to God, or that God Himself is sinful and wicked, for in this case God would have denied us the necessary power to withstand evil. If we think to escape this labyrinth, we must also extricate ourselves from a second; God cannot justly punish me for my sin if it was not in my power not to sin, if I have no free will. If I were to escape this labyrinth I should still fall into a third, I should not know wherefore God had created me and placed me in the world, since, if I am not free, He cannot wish to try and develope me. Finally, I should be involved in a fourth labyrinth. I know that God is wise, and does nothing without reflection, and everything for a certain reason. Besides this He calls all men to Him, not only the elect, but also the reprobate, but He would be unwise in so doing if we were not free to follow.”

How then is it possible to escape from these labyrinths? The chapters 11 to 18 successively answer this question. First concerning the four labyrinths which confuse the doctrine of free will.

“However dependent we may be upon God, and though we are only shadows compared with Him, yet He has bestowed upon us a nature invested with higher powers by contrast with the lower animals. Certainly we are dependent upon Him in the manner of our actions, and our affections are moved involuntarily, as the senses can only judge concerning colour, form, &c, according to their capabilities. Even the understanding cannot judge involuntarily, but it is possible for it to think now this, now that, just as with our eyes we may behold first one thing and then another. There is thus a certain kind of freedom. But the will is not absolutely free in loving and hating. It is governed by the nature of things, established by God, but it cannot resist its natural inclinations. When a man is born again through Christ, he then begins to be really free, to do works for God’s honour, and to love Him. But he sins if he does not do this with his whole heart. We may thus escape the first labyrinth by the assumption that man is free in outward, civil, and moral things, where he is not driven by mere brute passions, but rather may govern himself in various ways. We must think concerning the second labyrinth that God’s will is the rule of all that is good, and that He finds nothing outside His will, therefore whatever God wills is always good in itself. God is absolutely free, although He cannot do evil or good at pleasure, for the power of sinning is no part of freedom. This is the manner in which we escape from the labyrinth that we are not free, because God has decreed everything beforehand. God in establishing everything by His eternal wise decrees, has also willed that man should be relatively free. Thus, nothing is decreed concerning the separate movements of our hands, while the general maintenance of our power springs from God. We escape the third labyrinth that we are not free because of God’s prescience, by the statement that God only foresees what we are going to do. It depends upon man whether the action God foresees is sinful or innocent action. We may find a similar means of escape from the fourth labyrinth. The prophecies of the law, its promises and threats, are only conditional; but evangelical predictions concern that which God hath promised in His free grace, independently of man’s actions, therefore firmly and absolutely. Christ died necessarily, but not from compulsion. His mind could not swerve from His Father’s will.

“The four labyrinths of the subjection of the will may also be escaped. The first in this manner. God cannot desire sin, God Himself cannot sin, because He cannot act contrary to His own will. If God does not prevent our sinning, this is no sin in Him, since He does not stand under the law which bids you prevent sin. God does not make sin any more than He makes darkness, since it is only emptiness and absence of good. Therefore we cannot say that God desires sin, but only He does not here desire the light of faith, He never withdraws light or grace before the withdrawal has been deserved. Therefore sin is always our own fault. The second labyrinth, that God may not punish sin if we are not free, is avoided by God’s absolute omnipotence, so that He may take all gifts from all men, and may place all the blessed in hell and all the damned in heaven. No wrong would be done us if we were all condemned for Adam’s sin alone. The third labyrinth, that if we are not free we should not know why we are here, since neither our election or rejection depends upon ourselves, or can be altered by us — is avoided when we consider that the means of leading a pious life are given to the elect, and they may make use of these, always remembering that without God’s protection it is impossible to resist sin, and also that by doing good and enduring evil, they are to be an example in this world. Finally, we escape from the fourth labyrinth, that God is unwise in calling us if we are not at liberty to follow, when we bear in mind that God’s call always desires a response. He summons all men to Him by the works of nature, by the visitations of their lives, and by His word and spirit. He does not call the elect to work out their election, which has already taken place, nor that they should make themselves righteous, or increase their own righteousness, which is done by Him alone, nor that by their own actions they may fit themselves for grace, and thus in a measure deserve it. But He calls them, before they receive faith, to do good to the poor, to pray, to hear sermons, means which God almost always uses for endowing them with grace. In all these things man has a certain freedom, if he neglects them it is his own fault, if he does them he must still not glory in them. If faith has been given to you, you are at liberty to do, not only works of civil justice, but also spiritual works to God’s honour. You have therefore not been called in vain. The doing comes from God, the neglecting from yourself, even the rejected have not been called in vain, but for some certain reason. It is true, that when they are grown up, God does not always give them powerful inner calls, for He does not owe it them and they do not merit it. Still He often calls them away from sins into which they would have fallen without the call, even when they do not follow. He does not call in vain, since they become the more inexcusable.”

Thus far the “Labyrinthe.”

What is Ochino’s intention in this composition? Does he only wish to bring together the much discussed opinions concerning hereditary sin, predestination, grace, and rejection, and show how they mutually undermine each other? Does he only wish to give a brilliant example of his acuteness, and to leave the reader in a mood which answers a question of so much practical importance by the ancient sceptical confession — I only know that I know nothing?

It is the difficulty of this problem itself which causes such vacillation in Ochino and others. “It drives the thinker backwards and forwards, now to a denial of the liberum arbitrium, now to a disputed affirmation, now to attribute omnipotence to Providence, now to fancy it restricted, so that evil may not also be attributed to it, now to particularism, then again to universalism, now to an absolute decree, then again to a conditional one.”[219]

We must always remember that Ochino did not destine this book for the use of his congregation, nor for weak minds, and unenlightened characters, and that since he comes forward as a critic of certain doctrines, it must be permitted him, under certain circumstances, only to disclose the contradictions, and declare himself incapable of solving them. However, since he was here dealing with fundamental doctrinal ideas, it would at that time have been extremely remarkable. But Ochino cannot have meant this, the above expositions do not end this writing, after he has given a wide field to the conflicting opinions, he himself attempts, at the conclusion, not to reconcile them, but to overcome them by setting up a higher standard. The last chapter is devoted to this attempt.

“Even the wisest in the world have come to recognise that in truth they know nothing. How then should we men, who cannot even penetrate natural things, be able to understand supernatural? I confess before God and the whole world, that I only know so much of God’s supernatural things as He Himself has revealed to me, and I thank Him for this recognition of my own ignorance. All that we pretend to know of Divine things, beyond and without revelation, is nothing but mere dreams and imaginations. God has not revealed everything to man which he is capable of understanding, but only that which it is necessary to his salvation to know, and all this is contained in the Holy Scriptures. Concerning the freedom or subjection of the will, nothing is revealed to us. These expressions do not even occur in the Holy Scriptures, from this we infer that it is not necessary for our salvation to know whether we are free or not, and further, this is certain, if man does not know whether he is free or not, and yet firmly strives after good for the glory of God, as though he were sure of his freedom, he will in this case make a more laudable use of his free-will, and one better pleasing to God, than if he had known that he was free. Whoever believes that he is not free, falls into the abyss of moral indolence, but whoever believes that he is free, becomes exalted in his own conceit. The only certain way of avoiding both, since we are uncertain concerning both, is on the one hand to strive with all our power after good, as though we knew that we were free, and on the other to give God alone the glory, as though certain of our subjection. This is the only sure way of coming to God, the way which also the saints in their simplicity have entered, without ever thinking whether they were free or no. Would it not then be foolish to forsake this certain mode of salvation, and to venture ourselves upon the stormy sea of Divine predestination, foreknowledge, and the relations of human freedom, with evident danger of our salvation? Would it not be foolish to consider whether we are free or no before obeying God? Besides this, if we think we are free, we must accuse Augustine of heresy, and if we are not free, then we must accuse Chrysostom and the Greeks, but I declare that we are not constrained to believe either the one or the other. Life is so short, that unless we neglect our own salvation, and the great merits of Christ, we cannot occupy ourselves much with such matters, which do not contribute to our edification, but only sow strife, hatred, and dissension. And the gospel is a sustenance of the Spirit so easily corrupted, that idle doctrines can cause it much harm. Whoever has a preference for such things shows that he has never tasted it in perfection.”

It is conceivable that in spite of this edifying conclusion, Ochino’s writing caused misunderstanding and misconstruction. The point of view from which he tried to overcome the combating opinions concerning free-will, is of practical value, but still it is really no other than that of the “sceptical Academicians,” which always appeared to Calvin the most dangerous enemy of his work. The task of later and modern Protestantism was different, but in reference to that time we must recognise that the exaggerated Augustinianism, the harsh decisiveness of the Servum Arbitrium, were needed to establish the work of ecclesiastical reform upon a sure foundation. In the heat of the strife it often appears to the combatant as though everything were against him, which he does not immediately recognise to be really for him.

Ochino’s “Labyrinthi,” therefore, called forth attacks. In a later work, he himself complains: “I am supposed to have said that man can be saved whether he is free or no, while I really said, he could be saved whether he thought himself free or no. Further, I am supposed to have said that God does not will us to know whether we are free or not, while I really said, God does not will to make this an article of faith, whose acceptance should be necessary to salvation, for had He wished this, He would have revealed it to us, as He has done all other necessary truths.”[220]

If we now attempt to trace the relations in form and contents of the “Labyrinthi” to the collective opinions of Ochino as they are gradually developed in his works, we shall, however much we may emphasise the conciliatory conclusion of the work, be forced to join the Zurich theologians in a certain surprise. It is evident that new opinions have awakened in Ochino, and are striving for adjustment. His intellect, which had bowed with full conviction to the formulas in which the early reformed Protestantism carefully hid the newly found religious treasures, was beginning to feel these formulas oppressive chains, and was striving after a wider field of action. The Reformation of the sixteenth century, where it touched the domain of doctrine, had a thoroughly positive, and sternly conservative character, and it would scarcely have gained its wonderful results if it had not from the first established itself on the old ecclesiastical foundation, which opponents were also forced to acknowledge, and on which alone reconciliation with them was possible. But scarcely is the existence of the new doctrines and new Churches assured, than the germs which lie in Protestantism itself, such as the principle of the sole authority of Holy Scripture in matters of faith, which had first been used as a defence against opponents, began to extend their influence within the new Churches themselves. It was then that the manifold theological agitation began within Protestantism, a movement which continues to the present day. This is not the place to trace more closely this agitation of three centuries’ duration, but we may indicate that as early as the middle of the sixteenth century, there were certain men who held opinions at variance with those received by the contemporary Church, opinions which, in the course of time, were partly absorbed in the general theological conscience. Such a man was Sebastian Castellio, who attacked the sternly Calvinistic opinions in several dialogues (concerning Predestination, concerning Election, concerning Free- Will) as well as in some essays, and on this account suffered the most violent persecutions. Such a man was also Ochino, and this we see, especially from his latest work, the Thirty Dialogues, written towards the end of his life. If a personal influence is to be sought which led him to this path, we might find it in his intercourse with Castellio, and in his relation to Lelio Sozini, so much younger than himself, and there can be no doubt that Ochino’s residence at Basle, before he accepted the office of minister to the Locarnese congregation at Zurich, was of decisive importance in this direction. The historically dramatic interest in his personality is diminished at this point, and does not re-appear until re-awakened a short time before his death, by his tragical catastrophe. But the interest in his inner development increases more and more, and it would be far greater in consideration of the important change witnessed by the last ten years of his life, if the state of affairs, and the considerations of his environment, and his own office, had not forced Ochino rather to cloke than openly to declare his opinions in his principal work in this direction, the Thirty Dialogues to be considered subsequently, whenever his views came into conflict with the contemporary Church doctrines.

Only one part of the Italian edition of the “Labyrinthi” bears on its title-page the real name of the author; the other part was published under a fictitious name, Padre Don Serafino d Piacenza, and Pavia was named as the place of publication. The Basle printer may have tried to deceive the vigilance of the Inquisition, while he circulated the book in Italy. The same was done with other works at that time.

Ochino had destined another work for the narrow circle of his own congregation, which probably appeared at Basle in 1561, at the same time as the “Labyrinthi.” The “Catechism, or Christian Instruction in the Form of a Dialogue,”[221] is dedicated to the Locarnese congregation. It was to be a lasting bequest from the author. In the preface, Ochino says: “I feel that my life is hastening to its close, but I should wish, even after my death, to be of use to my beloved congregation, to whom I have hitherto dedicated my powers. Therefore I have set forth, in a short space, what the life of a true Christian should be. I have omitted whatever is not needful for salvation, I only wish to point out the direct way which leads to heaven. Read the book diligently, and act accordingly for God’s honour and your salvation.”

There is nothing in the arrangement of Ochino’s Catechism to distinguish it from similar contemporary writings. He treats successively the five main doctrines, namely, the Ten Commandments, the Apostolic Symbol, the Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Ochino, under the name of “Illuminato,” carries on the conversation with a “Ministro.” The latter asks: “Does it appear to you that man has an existence or not?” “Certainly it appears to me that I exist, but perhaps I am mistaken.” The Ministro replies quite in the Cartesian spirit, almost three generations before Descartes, “It is impossible that it should appear to one who does not exist, as though he existed.”[222] “But what, then, is the purpose of human existence?” “To love God, to proclaim His goodness, love, righteousness, truth, mercy, wisdom, and power, to lead our fellow-men to Him, to love and praise Him, and to worship Him alone. Man honours Him first by keeping His commandments, as they were once revealed to the people of Israel, and then renewed through Christ.” A detailed exposition of these commandments occupies half the book. It is impracticable to extract even the most salient portions from this rich paraenetic material.

The second commandment gives him an opportunity to inveigh against the worship of images in the Catholic Church, and in discussing the fifth, Ochino refers to the adoration of saints. “Why does it say, honour thy father and thy mother, and not also thou shalt adore the saints?” In treating the seventh commandment, he says of the sincerity of marriage, “It is so holy and divine, that if all who do not possess the gift of continence, should be united in it, and live chastely as the state of marriage requires, the world would be free from countless sins of unchastity.” In treating of the ninth commandment, Ochino entirely condemns lies, even white lies. “I believe that every lie is a sin, because it is opposed to truth and therefore to God. Neither may one do evil that good may follow. God would not be the true God if He could not govern the world without these lies. He has forbidden them without exception.” It is remarkable in this decided rejection of every species of untruth, that here also the subjective trait, so often met with in Ochino, penetrates, and threatens to confuse the principal. In his attempt to make the voice of conscience, which is God’s voice in man, recognised as judge over all our thoughts and actions, without exception, and to establish as the sole test of the worth of every action, the motive whence it springs, Ochino transgresses the true mean, when he says, “The Egyptian mid-wives, the harlot Rahab, and Jacob before his father, sinned with their lies, unless the Divine voice prompted them.” Judging from Ochino’s own stand-point, it required only one more step to recognise that an inner voice, which prompts a breach of truth, cannot be divine.

In connection with the Apostle’s Creed, concerning which he does not determine whether or no it originated from the apostles themselves, Ochino sets forth the chief points of the Christian faith. He conceives the idea of faith itself, in the depth and extent we have already witnessed in the “Prediche.” Concerning the divine humanity of Christ, Ochino expresses himself in a manner according with the ecclesiastical dogmas of his time.[223]

We also encounter the idea of the invisible Church, to which alone Ochino wishes to see the name Church of Christ applied. He says (p. 194), “Although the Church has many branches, there is one universal Church of Christ, which comprehends all others, and whose head is Christ Himself. It is called the universal, not because these true Christians exceed all others in number, but because all the elect belong to it, wherever and whenever they live and have lived, so that from the beginning to the end of the world there has been and will be this one Church alone.” Concerning the prayers appended by Ochino to the following section, we can only say that they are prayers to be spoken before and after meals, on retiring, and on waking, during preparation for the Lord’s Supper, and as expressions of gratitude after its celebration. We are induced to give a more detailed account of his notion of baptism, by the reproach Trechsel has cast upon him regarding this.[224] In discussing the Catechism, he lays down as Ochino’s opinion, that “he who receives baptism, shows by this that he is already justified by faith in Christ’s blood.” This is not accurate, for Ochino only says, that whoever worthily receives baptism, shows by this that he believes in Christ. Trechsel adds, “One can imagine that such an idea of baptism would lead, as a natural consequence, to the rejection of the baptism of infants, and in fact Ochino seems to feel this consequence, but he saves himself by a bold inconsistency. He distinguishes two purposes of baptism, one is a dedication to God, whether performed by ourselves or through others, and this is fulfilled in the baptism of infants, as well as in that of adults. The second purpose is a public confession of faith, and this must naturally be wanting with children.” Trechsel’s remarks are severe. Let us see whether they are justified.

It is true that Ochino distinguishes, and rightly, a double purpose in baptism. Baptism was one thing to the jailor at Philippi, and another to the children in the house of Cornelius at Caesarea. But, even when speaking of the baptism of converted adults, Ochino denies any mysterious working.[225] The difference is, to him, merely one in form; the Illuminato does not acknowledge a qualitative difference between the act of baptism in the one and the other case.[226] Ochino himself defines the double purpose of baptism in the following manner (p. 284): “In the first place, it serves to consecrate and dedicate us to God; and we do this on our own account if we are adults, but by means of others if we are still children. This object is the same in adults and children, but the second purpose is, that we may give a public testimony of our faith, and this can only be accomplished by adults, and not by children.[227] It does not appear from this that infant baptism should lose its value as a pious custom.

Shortly after the appearance of the Catechism, the fifth and last volume of Ochino’s Prediche was published in 1562. This contains fifty treatises, in which some subjects and questions are discussed afresh, already met with in previous collections. The contents of the treatises are general; they concern the nature of God, Christ’s person and work, the teaching of the Bible, the Holy Spirit and prayer, and throughout they move in the same groove of thought already met with in similar writings of Ochino’s. However, the desire not merely to repeat what is said before, caused Ochino to pursue remote ideas in some passages, or to set up paradoxical antitheses; thus the thirteenth Predica discusses the question: “What was the greatest benefit which God conferred upon Christ?” and the answer is: “That He caused Him to be despised by the world.” The twelfth Predica asks: “Was it well that Christ had to die while still young?” Answer: “Undoubtedly, because God had thus ordained it.”

CHAPTER IX: THE END: 1563-1564

Publication of Ochino’s Thirty Dialogues, 1563— The Incident at the Fair of Basle — Statement to the Council of Zurich — The Dialogue on Polygamy— Judgment and Banishment from Zurich — Banishment from Basle — Meeting with Cardinal Lorraine — Journey to Nuremberg — His Defence — Answer to the Zurich Theologians — Ochino Accused of Atheism, Socinianism, and Antitrinitarianism — Examination of these Accusations — Ochino on the Punishment of Heretics — The Fragment — Ochino goes to Poland, 1564 — He Dies at Schlackan — Retrospect

Schellhorn, the diligent historian of Ochino’s life and writings, when he arrives at this last period, says: “Hitherto I have had much pleasure in gleaning my materials, but I grieve that I must conclude with unwelcome tidings. His last work occasioned him the saddest fate; it caused him to be deprived of his pastorate, to be driven from Zurich, and afterwards from Basle, with four children, during a severe winter. He was forced to fly to the distant kingdom of Poland, and thence to Moravia. He had been tossed about the world hither and thither like a ball. He had already reached his seventy-sixth year, and was suffering from the troubles and infirmities of age, — this man, who had been equipped with such exceptional endowments, and had hitherto brought the Reformed Church so much honour.”[228]

The work to which Schellhorn refers is Ochino’s Thirty Dialogues, published by Perna at Basle in 1563. The tract on Purgatory, then the Labyrinthi and Catechism had already, as we have seen, called forth misrepresentation and displeasure in circles in and beyond Zurich. Bullinger, Gualther, and Wolf had already remonstrated amicably with the author in February, 1563. They had requested him to publish no more books that had not been previously approved by the Zurich deputies, for in this case no one would dare to attack them. They meant this as good advice. Ochino afterwards most emphatically denied their having added that the inhabitants of Zurich were directly forbidden to publish anything, even out of their own city, without approval of the censors.[229] “Had I known this,” he said, “I should not have acted contrary to the law.” Nor is there any mention of other than native printing presses in the “customs and institutions of the Zurich Church,” published in 1559, a document to which Ochino especially refers.[230] When the three theologians addressed themselves to Ochino, his Dialogues were already in the press. He had sent the MS. to Basle eight months previously. At that time Martyr was still living. We cannot doubt that he was informed of this work. A short time after its publication, Beza wrote to Bullinger that it was full of unprofitable speculations and distortions of Scripture passages. So he had been told; he himself had scarcely glanced at the book.[231] For a time Bullinger took no notice of the matter. It was not till the Zurich Council received a direct complaint that he attempted any further proceeding.[232]

During the fair at Basle, in the autumn of 1563, it happened that Johannes Wagmann, and other Zurich merchants, entered into a religious discusion with a nobleman from the Margravate Ròtélu, in the Ot Tairm, at the public table. One man said, referring scornfully to the position of Nuremberg, in the quarrel about the Lord’s Supper: “The Nurembergers, they have a delicate faith, they let every one believe what he likes.” “That is true,” said another; “they have no very deep convictions; they may still incline to whatever side they please.” “But from Zurich have come sects which are mischievous and heretical,” remarked Kraft. The Zurichers contradicted him with one accord. They exclaimed: “You are doing our magistrates an injustice. No heresy is taught among us, and we should like to know from you what form it has taken. Prove it to us.” Kraft replied: “A book is being circulated, which was printed at Zurich. It was Bernardino Ochino, who lives in Zurich, who sent it to press. In this book there are such shameful and scandalous things, that it is unchristian to endure such a person.” He referred to many things concerning polygamy, which Ochino had tried to justify, out of the Old Testament. He continued to repeat: “Wherever such things are permitted, there is knavery and heresy.” The listeners were staggered. “For the sake of our oath and our honour,” they said, “we are bound to announce this to our Lords.” “I will take you to the printers,” continued Kraft, “where it was printed in Latin. Nearly six hundred copies have been sent out and sold, a large number have gone to Wittemberg. But when the magistrates of Basle heard these things, they forbade the printer to sell or distribute the pamphlets until further notice.” On his return to Zurich, Wagmann acquainted the Burgomaster Müller by letter with the occurrence at Basle, he had caused his account to be signed by the nine persons who were present.

The school committee commanded that the book should be sought, and commissioned Bullinger, Gualther, and Wolf to make a report concerning it. This took place on the following day, November 22d. In the report to the honourable Council,[233] the three theologians censured two things especially; that Ochino should have publicly discussed matters of so objectionable and dangerous a character in such evil times, and that he had not sufficiently defended monogamy. They say, “Bernardino introduces a person who complains of his wife who is barren and sickly. Although the complainant could rid himself of her by force, yet he fears God, who has suggested to him that he should rather take another beside this one.” Now he asks Bernardino whether it was right, and whether he should do it. Bernardino answers, that it is not right, and he shall and may not do it, for God has given two together into wedlock. Hereupon the defender of polygamy brings forward many reasons for it, and after a long dispute Bernardino says, “Since I cannot overcome you with the Old Testament, I will try what I can do with the New.” But the opponent insists further, and tries to prove that in this particular case polygamy is neither contrary to nature nor to God’s commands, nor to the imperial law, and that there is no canon of the Councils, nor passage of the Fathers which forbids many wives. Bernardino makes some reply to this, but his opponent brings a stronger argument, and at the conclusion, when he asks what he must now do, Bernardino answers, that he is to be satisfied with his single marriage, and take no more wives, since that was unlawful, but he should beg that God would give him the grace of continence. Thereupon he asks, What if He does not give him that grace? This is Bernardino’s answer, “Then do whatever God urges you, so long as you know for certain that God is urging you. That which we do by God’s inspiration is no sin.”

So ran the report concerning the contents of the offensive Dialogue. Ochino had provided it with an especial preface. “To all men who think they have reason to complain of their wives, and to all women who complain of their husbands, Bernardino Ochino wishes patience through Jesus Christ. While holy matrimony is of itself honourable, right, estimable, happy, laudable, and well-pleasing to God, and is useful, necessary, wholesome, and fruitful for us, yet on the other hand there are bound up with it many dangers, difficulties, and troubles. When oppressed by such, many husbands and wives have been driven to neglect good remedies and thoughtlessly to make a bad choice. If they had recognised the truth they would not have done this. I have therefore thought it useful to set forth this matter more closely, and to show what he, who has met with such visitations, should do to please God, and what he should not do, that he may not displease God. I trust that all these will read this book and will thus learn to distinguish good remedies from bad ones. But where no remedies will avail, I exhort all to patience, so that in all things praise, honour, and glory may be brought to our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It seems advisable, besides the statement of the three theologians, especially to mention some things in the Dialogue. It is the 21st in the collection. Although from the beginning Ochino condemns polygamy as directly opposed to the idea of marriage, yet he is forced to admit to his opponent Telipolygamus that there is no direct prohibition in the Old Testament. When Telipolygamus replies that the mere fact of God’s having given Adam only one wife was not sufficient to establish the principle, Ochino turns the same argument against him, saying, that neither may the examples of polygamy like Abraham, David, and others, be considered binding for the decision of the question as a principle, and for our present practice. “You may say what you will,” he continues (p. 192), “polygamy is immoral, and is directly opposed to holy matrimony.” Finally, Ochino is forced to confess, “Since I cannot overcome you by the words of the Old Testament I will attempt it with the New,” and it was this that the three theologians brought forward. But he adds, “In the ancient Covenant men were on a lower stage of perfection, and many things were permitted to them which are not permitted to us, for our carnal desires must be much more subdued.” Besides other passages in the New Testament, Ochino tries to make use of the much quoted passage (1 Tim., 3d chap. 2 v.), “Paul wishes a bishop to be the husband of one wife,” therefore he forbids polygamy. But his opponent draws the contrary conclusion, “If Paul wishes this to refer especially to bishops, so that they may not be diverted from their duties by the increase of worldly cares, we may conclude that he permits polygamy to those who are not bishops.” Ochino points out in vain that in the above passage actual polygamy was not in question, but that the apostle would not permit the bishop to enter into a second marriage after the death of his wife. Here, as in several other passages, Telipolygamus keeps to the words of the text, and therefore forces Ochino to repeat[234] again and again, “You may say what you will, polygamy is immoral.” This removes the question from the domain of biblical doctrine, to that of general moral ideas, and in the second part of the Dialogue Telipolygamus makes incisive attacks from this standpoint. He will not acknowledge the consensus nationum against polygamy, he insists that neither in the laws of the Empire, nor in the decrees of the Councils, nor the works of the Fathers, can any absolute interdiction be found. Ochino replies, “The whole world considers polygamy forbidden, no one can have several wives without grievously offending the universal moral conscience. God also wills us to obey authority, and this is so opposed to polygamy that it punishes it with death.”

In reference to the arguments upon which the opposite party rely, especially in the second part of the Dialogue, Schelhorn has pointed out in the most convincing manner that Ochino in bringing them forward, has committed an unfortunate plagiarism, “that he has ploughed with Neobuli’s steer.”[235] “It was a misfortune for him,” says Schelhorn, “that Hulderici Neobuli’s Dialogue, as to whether it be agreeable or opposed to the divine, natural, imperial, and spiritual law to have more than one wife at a time, had fallen into his hands, and that he was impressed by it.” Such questions were eagerly discussed at that time, when institutions were overthrown, which for centuries had been held indestructible truths; and Luther’s lamentable compliance in the case of the Landgraves of Hesse, with which, however, Protestantism itself had nothing to do, gave rise during a long period, to many doubts concerning the exclusive morality of monogamy. Ochino has here entwined with his exposition similar doubts to those expressed in the above pseudonymous writing, in so detailed and lively a manner, that finally he can only refer to the principle; monogamy is the only moral relation between man and woman. “We here meet with a similar treatment of disputed questions to that in one of Ochino’s sermons, where the development of the opposite opinion received a disproportional extension. But the opponent will not be satisfied with the prohibition from the point of view of principle. “What advice do you now give me?” he says. “I advise you to take no other wife, but rather to pray to God that he may give you continence.” “But if he does not give it me?” “He will give it you, if you ask him in faith.” “But if he neither gives me the gift of continence, nor of faith to ask for it? “ “Then do whatever God urges you. If you are quite certain that the suggestion comes from God you will not sin, for whoever obeys God cannot sin. Farewell, I will pray for you.”

This conclusion cannot satisfy the reader. Here we again meet with the subjective trait in Ochino’s groove of thought, which we have several times encountered. It is conceivable that in individual cases such a principle might not disturb the moral harmony of the person, nay, rather that it might found and establish it more firmly, but the moment when it comes forward with the demand to be acknowledged as universal principle it is necessarily exposed to misconstruction and blame. Ochino himself by no means desires to overthrow by his conclusion what he has hitherto represented. On the contrary, he replies to Telipolygamus: “You assume what is never the case, that it is possible to be urged to polygamy by God.”[236] But when he finally answers in the manner quoted above, he wishes to lay down as a principle, that in this as in all other cases, the final decision lies in the conscience of the individual, enlightened by the prayer of faith.

The theologians who reported to the Zurich Council concerning this Dialogue, did not mention, that like the rest of the work, it was published in Latin, and therefore not destined for the general reader. Ochino afterwards adduced this circumstance in his Justification,[237] and also pointed out, that three years previously Peter Martyr (now dead) had himself discoursed on this subject at Zurich on three consecutive days. This removed one reproach made by the theologians, that Ochino should not have dealt with so difficult and ticklish a question. But the other reproach remains, that he did not sufficiently mark out his own position, and refute the opposite reasons with sufficiently strong counter reasons. Not even one of the Zurich opponents dared to suggest that it was personal motives that urged Ochino either to defend polygamy or to combat it insufficiently. He was in the seventy-seventh year of his life, and before the publication of the work, his wife had lost her life by an unfortunate fall. What was there to prevent him, if he thought good, from giving his four young children a second mother? His mode of life had always been exemplary, even after his death Bullinger testified to this. “He has lived among us for a number of years, and the congregations give him the warmest testimony.”[238] Even the three theologians say in their report to the Council, “We are sincerely grieved that this aged man, who came here when seventy years old, and who had before then won a great name, should be involved in this trouble.”

The Council proceeded without due regard. At the same sitting, without even hearing the accused, they pronounced judgment upon Ochino. The resolution was unanimous. It was thus reported in the protocol of November 22d: “At this my Lords expressed great regret, and they dismissed Ochino, and banished him from their city and domains, and they commanded the Burgomaster Müller, the Knight Andreas Schmidt, Standardbearer, and the Knights Conrad Escher and Hansen Göldli to announce this to Ochino.” The Commissioners cited Ochino before them, on the afternoon after the sitting. They communicated the sentence to him. Ochino tried to justify himself, and to prove that the reproaches which had been made to him rested upon misunderstanding and calumny. In vain; the decree of the Council was final, and it is evident that they meant it to be so from a letter to the Council of Basle, which was resolved upon at this same sitting, in which they informed the “pious, prudent, honourable, wise, and especially friendly and faithful confederates” of the circumstance. After setting forth Wägmann’s account of the event at Basle fair, and stating the sentence against Ochino, this letter continues: “We now beg you, our faithful confederates, in all friendship, that you will immediately, and without delay, insist that all the copies of this work, printed by your citizen Petro Perna, should be placed in your hands, and also, if any of your citizens have bought these books, let them bring them to you, and do you keep them, so that no more may be issued, nor come among the common people.”[239]

A contemporary declares that the preachers had invited Ochino to make a public recantation, or, at least, a satisfactory explanation, but that he refused.[240] The archives do not mention this; it could only have been a step taken privately, and could therefore have no influence upon the course of events. The Burgomaster commanded the three theologians to continue their perusal of the dialogues, and to point out what was dangerous and erroneous. Meyer rightly remarks,[241] “Neither could this investigation have any influence upon the result of the matter. It was evidently only decreed so as afterwards to find reasons for the hasty and stern decrees of the Council, for we cannot deny that this matter was conducted with great haste; in fact, the whole course of the business justifies the supposition that it was not merely just indignation at the objectionable opinions, more or less cloaked by Ochino, at his disobedience (!) to the laws of the country, at the shame incurred by the city of Zurich and the Evangelical Church before the whole world, that urged the majority of the Council to so precipitate a step. Many were impelled by a secret dislike to the Italians, and a desire to prevent the coming of such strangers, by the abolition of the Italian service.” Ochino himself says,[242] referring to the judgment passed upon him: “The state in which it left me may well be imagined. My neighbours were weeping in sympathy. One of the Council hinted to the members of my congregation that they must not visit me if they did not wish to displease the Council. But they did not suffer themselves to be deterred by human considerations. They were with me day and night, to comfort and help me. Certainly not one of the Zurich preachers, who even visit a murderer condemned to death, came near me. There was a rumour spread about in the town that I was trying to introduce polygamy, and that I was full of heresies, so that my friends begged me not to go out, except in the dark.” When cited before the Commissioners to hear the sentence, Ochino had added two points to his defence. He begged for a dismissal in writing, and also for the permission to remain with his four children at Zurich till the end of the winter. The former request was granted, the other was refused. A fortnight, at the most three weeks, was allowed him as a favour. It was written in his dismissal:[243] “When a few days ago we heard, and ourselves learned, that he, Ochino, of his own will and pleasure, contrary to our commands and decrees (which he well knew, and had also been sufficiently warned beforehand), had composed the Thirty Dialogues in two books, in some of which he disputes of many unnecessary and dangerous matters concerning marriage and other subjects, and introduces articles which are contrary to our religion, since he has sent such books to be printed at another place, without our knowledge, and secretly; and since this, has caused public scandal, and much evil has been spoken of us on this account, we have felt much regret and displeasure, and have, therefore, deposed Ochino from the office he had hitherto held, and have banished him from our city and domain, Zurich. On November 24th, 1563.”

Two days before his departure, Ochino sent Dr. Martino Muralto to Bullinger, to bid him farewell[244] and to beg him for letters of recommendation to his friends at Basle. Bullinger answered: “I am sorry for Bernardino, for the sake of his age and his children, especially my godchild. But since he has allowed himself to be stirred up by other troublesome people, and has spread abroad evil doctrines and scandals under his name, which hitherto commanded respect, our Lords could no other than they have done. The articles have not yet all come before our Lords, but they will be brought before them; therefore tell him that I cannot agree with his dogmas, and that I consider them erroneous, noxious, scandalous, and that I never could have believed that he would promulgate the like, after his confession of faith, and the oath he had taken to the authorities; and since he has vexed the Locarnese Church, and ours also, I will give him no assistance, for I could not do this with a good conscience, or without endangering my honour. Neither should I like to recommend to any one a man whom I consider troublesome, and thus cause trouble to other people.”

“Do you think he may remain at Basle?” asked Muralto. “I cannot say,” replied Bullinger; “but this I know, that at Basle there are also disturbances on his account, and that inquiries are being made, and the sooner he goes the better it will be for him, for his cause will be worse the longer it lasts.” Ochino did not await the end of the three weeks granted him. On December 2d, 1563, he departed quite quietly before sunrise, as his friends had advised him. He went to that same city of Basle, from which, eight years previously, the Commissioners of the Locarnese had fetched him, with all ceremony, to undertake his office. But there, also, he did not remain. It must be recorded to the disgrace of this and other Protestant cities, that they would not even grant this man a refuge. The Basle Council was even more impatient than the preachers there. According to a letter of Wolfgang Weissenburg’s to Bullinger,[245] dated from Basle, December 18th, the preachers wished to intercede for him, on the condition that he would give a written explanation of the scandalous and wicked articles. Ochino had declared himself willing, since this was required, to give his judgment in writing, if only he might be permitted to spend the winter with his children at Basle. But the Council, who were informed of the matter, and prejudiced by the letter from Zurich, returned a negative answer. They said that Bernardino had disgraced the city, since he had sent forth his false and shameful doctrines from Basle. He must now leave the city without delay. He should only be tolerated at Basle if he had previously been reconciled to the authorities and Church at Zurich. Weisseuburg adds that the printer was also to be indicted. “I do not know how he will answer, for it appears that he published it unrevised, and without permission, by his own authority. Sebastian Castellio, an Italian, who translated the dialogue into Latin, is very ill with a fever. If he should recover, he will also have to answer for himself.” Castellio had to answer before a higher Judge; he died December 23d, mourned by few, harshly judged by many; but grateful pupils erected a worthy monument to his memory.[246]

In the circumstance mentioned by Weissenburg, that the printer had printed the Dialogues by his own authority, lies Ochino’s formal justification, also towards the Council of Basle and its regulations for the censorship. Ochino had sent the MS. to Perna, towards the middle of 1562. He was to have it translated into Latin by Castellio, and to print it. According to custom, Perna handed in Ochino’s MS. to the pro-rector of the University, the younger Basilius Amerbach. It does not distinctly appear from the proceedings whether, at that time, he belonged to the Basle censors. Being ignorant of Italian, he gave the MS. to Curione, and it was returned by him to Perna; it was Perna, therefore, who was guilty of acting contrary to the censorship. As soon as the printing was ended, he had pushed the sale of the work with great rapidity, so that he could now declare to the Council that he no longer possessed a single copy. We do not know whether he met with the threatened punishment, nor what was its extent. On December 23d, Weissenburg wrote to Bullinger: “The printer Perna is daily awaiting his sentence; although he has been several times summoned before the Council, he has not yet received it, because the Council had enough to do with other matters.”

Banished from Basle, and rejected by Mühlhausen, Ochino bent his steps to Nuremberg. There he was permitted to spend the winter, but not even this city would accord him a permanent residence. Bullinger writes to Fabritius at Chur, “A trustworthy person writes to me from Nuremberg that Ochino lies hidden there, that he is writing against us, and is going to Poland, since he is not permitted to remain at Nuremberg.”[247] Ochino had taken the road by Schaffhausen. He arrived there by chance on the same day as the Cardinal of Lorraine, who was travelling from Trent to France. It is characteristic that Ochino’s meeting with the Cardinal, who was personally known to him, was interpreted to his disadvantage by his adversaries. They said Ochino had told the Cardinal the cause of his banishment, had given him his Dialogues, and declared himself willing to prove twenty-four errors in the

Reformed Church, and that the Cardinal answered that four were already too many. In the Life of Bullinger,[248] Simmler mentions this story as a mere rumour, and Weissenburg does the same in a letter to Bullinger. Beza[249] mentions it as certain truth. He speaks of a hundred instead of twenty-four errors, and says that Ochino placed himself and his services at the Cardinal’s disposal, and offered to return to the Catholic Church. We need scarcely point out how improbable it is that such a proposal would have been rejected by the Cardinal if it had been made. Bullinger investigated the matter. In January 1564 he received this answer from Jacob Ruge, the preacher at Schaffhausen:[250] — “I have not been able to receive any exact account about the supposed conversation between the Cardinal and Bernardino. The Cardinal arrived here on the 17th of December, he did not remain for the night but proceeded to a little village in the neighbourhood, from whence he continued his journey next morning. To this place I went, and inquired of the innkeeper whether an old man with white hair had visited the Cardinal that evening. He could give me no information. I inquired also at the inns in the town whether Ochino had lodged there, but the innkeepers could tell me nothing.” Yet the presence of Ochino must have been easy to ascertain, as he travelled with four children. If we compare the date given by Ruger, December 17th, with that borne by a former letter of Weissenburg’s to Bullinger, December 18th, it becomes evident that the pretended conversation could certainly never have taken place in Schaffhausen. According to Weissenburg, Ochino was still at Basle on the 18th of December, and it was not yet known exactly where he was going. Ochino himself, in a conversation with Paul Knibb,[251] decidedly denied, not the meeting itself, but what had been related concerning the alleged conference, namely, that he had said he would be neither a Bullingerian nor a Calvinist, nor a Papist, but simply a Christian. In his zeal against Ochino, Beza allowed himself to be led into still more flagrant misrepresentations.

Ochino employed the interval of quiet, afforded him by his stay at Nuremberg, in composing a defence for himself, directed against the ministry at Zurich.[252] “Carnal Wisdom,” already encountered in one of the Augsburg Dialogues of 1546, whispers to him, “You have fallen into danger, poverty, and shame, because you would not allow yourself to be guided by me. It is time that you should open your eyes and acknowledge the greatness of your error in rejecting my advice.” Ochino replies, “Yon are blind in spiritual matters, and therefore I, to you, seem miserable. But you are mistaken. In truth, I am happy, not only because I have been counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake, but also because, though old and weak and surrounded by enemies, I have been preserved through the wonderful guidance of God. During this last persecution I felt that the more the world cast me out the nearer did God draw me to Himself. Never have I so tasted His love as now, when in the evening of my days he has tried me so severely. Nor have I ever felt the love of my friends so deeply as during this banishment, You are in error therefore, when, judging from outward appearances, you regard me as unfortunate.” Carnal Wisdom replies, “If God cared for you especially, then you might certainly be in some degree blessed, but you imagine to yourself what is not the case. In the next place it was not zeal for the glory of God that prompted you to write your Dialogues.” Carnal Wisdom then brings forward the two accusations levelled against Ochino by the Zurich theologians in their statement respecting the twenty first Dialogue, namely, that first it was not allowable to discuss such dangerous subjects publicly, and secondly, that Ochino had not defended Monogamy so forcibly as he ought to have done. To the first charge Ochino replies by referring to the example of Martyr. “With respect to the second, he says, “Polygamy is impious, immoral, and contrary to Holy Scripture. It follows therefore that all arguments in its favour, not only those put forward by my opponent, but all arguments that could ever be adduced, are powerless and sophistical. Truth, by its own strength, will resist them, and can only be the gainer by the struggle. The Word of God itself clearly lays down that a man ought not to have more than one wife. Now, as God does not contradict Himself, it will be impossible for the adversary to prove from the Word of God that polygamy is sanctioned by it. I have brought forward all the reasons against it which it is customary to bring, more reasons, indeed, and stronger than have been given by others.” Carnal Wisdom now applies itself to a reflection of a more general nature. “Shall I prove to you that, in your other Dialogues also, you are opposed to the opinions of the Reformed Church? “This Ochino does not deny, but claims for himself unconditionally the right to search after truth. “The true Churches of Christ,” he replies, “cannot complain of me, because I carefully examine such doubts as may present themselves. But if the arguments of some, which I reproduce in the Dialogues, prove weak, and the counter arguments strong, I am not to blame for this, for I cannot overcome good arguments. The fault lies with those who desire that errors should be defended in the name of truth.” Ochino then reverts to his personal concerns. He speaks, not without some self-consciousness, of his activity hitherto, his blameless life, and his fulfilment of the duties of his office at Zurich. “All this,” he continues, “has not been taken into consideration. I have been rejected in my seventy -seventh year when in ill health, with four young children, and in mid-winter. I have been condemned unheard. When I was summoned before the commissioners to hear my sentence, I excused myself and represented the simple truth to them. They then showed some compassion towards me and assured me repeatedly of their regret, and that on the following Wednesday the matter should be discussed again in Council. I am nol aware if they have done so, but be that as it may, the sentence has not been altered. The little that I possessed they have sold, or, shall I say squandered? If they bring forward, as an excuse, that I knowingly transgressed the law, which declares the approval of the Zurich Censorship necessary even for books that appear elsewhere, — this is a lie, as I was in ignorance of this decree. Even the three theologians, who requested me in the spring to have no more books published out of Zurich without the approval of the Council, made this communication to me as a piece of advice only, not in the name of the authorities. And I never thought that Bullinger was Pope in Zurich, and that not his decrees only, but his private wishes must needs be obeyed.” He subjoins a series of charges against Bullinger — attacking him as overbearing and striving after too high a position; as regarding foreigners, Italians especially, with spite; as distrusting learned men, for fear lest they should refute him; and finally, as having persecuted Ochino himself, personally, ever since he had received the appointment at Zurich. Such attacks can only be accounted for by recalling Ochino’s miserable condition, and the deep wounds which the feelings of the injured man had received. The irritated mood induced by the memory of his wrongs is quite out of harmony with the resignation to God’s will, expressed in the commencement of the Dialogue. We shall return to the separate points of doctrine, in which he represents the Zurich theologians as in error, when we discuss the remaining Dialogues of the Basle edition.

Ochino caused his defence to be circulated in the Valtellina, probably in MS. copies only, one of which, sent from Chur on March 20th, came into Bullinger’s hands. Fabritius wrote with it,[253] “Let it be translated into Latin, so that you may acquaint the Senate of Nuremberg with it as soon as possible. It has not yet been printed.” Bullinger wrote back under date, March 24th: “I return Ochino’s Dialogue. He has portrayed himself so plainly in its pages, that those who did not know him before, must now have their eyes opened.”[254] Before the end of the month, a reply appeared from the ministry at Zurich.[255] It was intended to justify the proceedings of the Council against Ochino, once more giving a detailed account of the whole affair, “in order that all who have heard of it may now perceive that the old man was unworthy of the leniency (!) shown to him by the Council of Zurich.” This pamphlet is written in Latin, and first relates the incidents of the Basle fair, and afterwards Ochino’s accusation and condemnation at Zurich. The abstract[256] relating to Ochino’s remaining Dialogues, and which the three theologians had also handed over to the Council, is here in the main part reproduced. Upon how susceptible an age Ochino’s utterances had fallen, appears from the circumstance that he was reproached on such grounds as the following, by the authors of the “Spongia”. “In the Twenty-seventh Dialogue,” they say, “he introduces a certain Eusebius, who relates that he has visited all the reformed Churches trying to discover one in which he could remain, but has not succeeded in finding one in which he can live according to the dictates of his conscience.” “It is with me,” he says, “as with Noah’s dove, who returned to the ark when she could find no resting place. In like manner do I, now that no stainless Church can I find, return to Hungary, hoping there, by God’s help, to found a Church myself, which shall be free from all the defects that have so displeased me in other Churches.” They say, besides, that in the same Dialogue Ochino wrongfully blames the custom of bowing at the name of Jesus, kneeling during prayers, and uncovering the head upon entering Church, and, on the other hand, praises and recommends monasticism and scholasticism. This last is only a distortion of the passage already quoted to prove that Ochino rightly appreciated the influence his conventual education had exercised on his subsequent development.

The manifold accusations directed against Ochino, first by the two written expositions of the Zurich theologians, afterwards by other opponents, Catholic and Protestant, may be divided, so far as they regard his theological opinions, into three principal groups. In discussing these, we shall have occasion to enter into a closer examination of the more important among the Thirty Dialogues.

The charge of impiety is brought against Ochino in the most wanton and inconsiderate manner. To those who are acquainted with Ochino’s life and opinions, any special refutation of this calumny would be superfluous. It appears that the origin of this accusation must be referred to his contemporary, Cardinal Hosius, who wrote: “I believe that for the last hundred years no more pernicious heretic has existed than Bernardino Ochino, who even dared to throw doubts upon God’s existence, and on His care for the fortunes of mankind.”[257] Hosius repeated the same charge in a letter which he wrote in 1584 to Nicolaus Radziwil, of Cologne. Accusations such as these may account for Ochino’s name having been mentioned in connection with the notorious work “De tribus Impostoribus”. The origin of the idle saying that there have existed on earth three chief impostors, Moses, Christ, and Mohammed, may be traced back as far as the twelfth century. It is significant that a professor of the Parisian School of Theology, Simon Tornacensis, was reported to be the author. Subsequently it was attributed to the Emperor Frederick II. by his enemies. A pamphlet with this title (1201) which did not appear till the sixteenth century, was attributed to various persons — by most to Pietro Aretino, by others to Boccaccio and William Postel. Later, we find Ochino referred to as the probable author, but there is no authority for this statement beyond the malignant tradition current about him.

The first traces of another tradition which would rank Ochino among the Socinians, we have already found in the statement that he took part in the Vicentine conferences of 1546, but this is proved chronologically to be incorrect. Similar accusations were brought against Ochino, when, in 1555, he published his Dialogue on Purgatory. He was reported to have depreciated the work and merit of Christ. We have seen how Ochino justified himself against such reproaches, and his writings give us a clearer insight into his views at the time. Already in his Geneva Prediche he had ceased to found the certainty of salvation unconditionally upon Anselm’s theory of satisfaction through the death of Christ. It is in accordance with the fundamental characteristics of his whole being, and also with his personal religious experience, that, in his later writings, he lays more stress upon the subjective idea in the Atonement, the unconditional self-surrender of the individual to God, through faith in His mercy and love. That salvation is based upon the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, is an idea which thus naturally falls into the background. The process which the general sentiment of Protestantism has slowly been undergoing during the course of centuries we find prefigured, and, to a certain extent, worked out in the development of Ochino. The “Thirty Dialogues “, taken together with Ochino’s earlier writings, afford sufficient material for us to determine his own position, with regard to those questions relating to Christ’s Person and Work, which were discussed at that time with such violent party spirit. It becomes evident that, towards the close of his life, doubts began to arise in his mind concerning those formulas offered as the solution of such questions by the Protestant dogmatism of the time. The peculiar form of the “Dialogue”, in which he composed his last work, makes it the more difficult clearly to ascertain his own opinion in particular cases. Thus Trechsel[258] makes it a reproach to him “that he himself did not always hold the opinion which he puts forward in his name, and which he seems to defend, seeing that he makes his opponent far stronger than himself, and bring forward arguments which he is either unable or unwilling to refute by stronger ones. The three Zurich theologians had made a similar reproach, and the remark, indeed, is not without foundation. But we may ask whether it were really a matter of reproach to Ochino, that he gave such a part to his opponent in the Dialogue. This question really relates to the form, and will be answered in the affirmative by those only who feel no doubt concerning what is dogmatically fixed, whatever the form in which it may be brought forward.

The preface to the first part of the Thirty Dialogues is addressed to the Earl of Bedford. Ochino says: “I believe there is nothing in Holy Scripture so salutary and so necessary for us to know, as the fact that Jesus is the true Messiah; for whosoever believes this sees in Jesus the highest innocence, love, and power, a striving and a direction of mind which serve the purposes of religion exclusively, and combine to the fullest extent all gifts and advantages. It is thus that Moses and the prophets prophesied concerning Him. ‘He that believeth in me shall not taste of death, but shall have eternal life.’ When I considered how blessed was this knowledge, how Divine its fruit, I felt myself impelled to write down some dialogues upon it. And as I know how piously and how faithfully you are devoted to Jesus, I dedicate this book to you, in the hope that its perusal may make Christ yet nearer and dearer to you than before.” We must confine our notice of this extensive work to the shortest limits, but, as a specimen, we give the train of thought in the first Dialogue. Ochino is conversing with a Jew, Jacob, concerning the Messiahship of Jesus. Ochino asks, “Why do you not believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” “Because of the superstitious histories and teaching that we find in your Church, the worship of images, prayers to the saints, the doctrines of transubstantiation and confession. Did not Jesus institute all these?” “If it were so,” Ochino retorts, “you would be in the right, but such is far from being the case.” “Why, then, do you not observe the Divine ordinances of circumcision, and the Sabbath-day?” asks the Jew. “Circumcision was a sign, till the coming of Christ, but now it is replaced by Christ’s institution of baptism. The true celebration of the Sabbath consists in doing good, and exalting the glory of God, and the object of Sunday is, that we may hear God’s word in common.” “Against the Messiahship of Christ,” interposes Jacob, “we have also the words of the Prophet Malachi, when he says, in the fourth chapter, that ‘Elias must first come, before Messiah shall appear. For Elias has not yet come.’” “But that was John the Baptist. That Jesus was, indeed, the true Messiah, appears also from this, that the Jewish people, for fifteen hundred years, have endured so severe a punishment for rejecting Him. This is proved also by Jacob’s blessing (Gen. xlix.), ‘The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, until Shiloh come;’ but, since the coming of Jesus, the sceptre has been taken away from him. As the fruit succeeds the flower, so has the gospel succeeded the law. Only the moral law remains of the old covenant; the ceremonial law binds us no longer. In Jesus have all the prophecies of the prophets been fulfilled. His own witness of Himself, His deeds and His resurrection, constitute an incontrovertible proof that He is the Messiah.” “All this,” replies the Jew, evasively, “will not oblige me to recognise Jesus as the Messiah. I should only be convinced by a proof that mankind, through Him, are saved and made blessed, for this alone corresponds to the idea of Messiah. But it is evident that, after the coming of Jesus, the world and men have been no better or happier than they were before.” “You are making,” Ochino replies, “unwarranted demands upon the Messiah. He was not to come in order to release us from outward sufferings, and render us rich and powerful, but to found for us a heavenly kingdom.” Such was God’s design, which Jesus has carried out. When you say that matters in this world are no better than they were before Christ appeared, and conclude from this that Messiah is not yet come, you are thinking to yourself of an earthly Messiah. But He is to be a spiritual Messiah, and I will prove it to you out of Moses and the prophets. The proof follows in the second Dialogue. It is certainly shown there that a number of passages in the Old Testament, which have been, and are to this day, traditionally regarded as relating to the Messiah (among others the often-quoted passage, Job xix. 25), neither contain, nor are intended to contain, any prophecies on the subject. Still, the whole of the second Dialogue, and also those that follow, leave on the reader the impression they produced on the theologian Wolff, when he says, “When Ochino is disputing against Jewish opinions, he is incomparable.”[259] With regard to the further question, as to whether Ochino, in his later development, is justly or unjustly counted among the Socinians, his contemporaries were as little able to agree as posterity. Mosheim[260] also declares the question an open one; but the fact did not escape his keen penetration that, “in certain points, Ochino’s views were bolder and more advanced than his contemporaries would allow.”[261] It has already been observed that a gradual change was wrought in Ochino’s opinions, which is significant, and even typical of the development of general theological thought in modern times. And it cannot be denied that the reason for this must be sought in the fact that the Socinians’ views respecting redemption, though forcibly expelled from the doctrine of the Church, have gradually crept in again with greater or less modifications.

We are enabled to give a more decided answer to a third traditional idea, connected with the former, and which places Ochino among those who contest the Trinity. For this we must consider two of the Dialogues of 1563, the 19th and 20th. The ministers of Zurich, in their refutation, say of these Dialogues, “On the subject of the holy mystery of the Trinity, the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Ghost, the casuistry exhausts all the arguments of the worst heretics, and defends their iniquitous and blasphemous opinions far better and more forcibly than it afterwards attacks and refutes them. May we not then assert that Ochino, instead of defending the orthodox, universal doctrine, recommends rather the impure doctrine of the adversary? He has terribly confused and distorted certain plain passages of Scripture, bearing witness to the Divinity of Christ as the Son of God.” The “Short Abstract” handed over to the Council by the three theologians makes a similar statement, almost in the same words.

The Dialogues are dedicated to Prince Nicolaus Radiziwil, but the prince complained later in a letter to Calvin that he never received them. Probably they had been intercepted to prevent them from penetrating into Poland. In the preface Ochino declares that he had been urged by dear friends to write these Dialogues, and that certain groundless accusations directed against him had also prompted him to the undertaking. Concerning the treatment of the subject, he lays down as a rule that passages of Holy Scripture only are conclusive, but not the opinions of the Fathers of the Church, nor those of the later dogmatists, nor even the decrees of the Councils. The nineteenth Dialogue bears the following title, “Concerning the Holy Trinity. It is shown in the same that there exist three Divine Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, differing in themselves, but consubstantial and alike eternal. The passages and arguments which it is customary to bring forward against this are here refuted.” Ochino discourses with a spirit — the Spirit of doubt, always ready to hand with objections, whilst Ochino himself represents the traditional doctrine adopted also by the Reformers. The conversation is connected with the Dialogues of the first book. “Dost thou believe,” says the Spirit, “that Jesus is the Messiah?” “Yes.” “And also that He is the Son of God?” “Yes; firstly, because He, as man, received His being from God; secondly, because He was the greatest Prophet, Priest, and King; thirdly, because He waa begotten by the Holy Ghost, and not after the manner of men; and lastly, He is the Son of God through participation in His divinity, wisdom, might, beauty, goodness, justice, mercy, and all other divine perfections. But this is not to say that God is so contained in Christ that He cannot at the same time be everywhere, since He is infinite and fills heaven and earth.” Ochino quotes a number of biblical passages in proof of this. The Spirit asks, moreover, “Dost thou then believe that Christ is God’s only begotten Son?” “Yes.” “But the Scriptures speak of many sons of God.” “Christ,” retorts Ochino, “is only begotten in this wise, that He alone among the elect is the highest Prophet, Priest, and King, that He alone was conceived by the Holy Ghost, that to Him alone has God given of His Spirit without measure, that in Him alone lie hidden all treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge, that He alone has been without sin. If we go more closely,” he continues, “into the question of the Trinity we must consider two points, — first and chiefest, if such a thing exists at all; and secondly, whether faith in the same is necessary to salvation.” The first question is discussed in the nineteenth, the second in the twentieth Dialogue. The existence of a Divine Trinity may, Ochino shows[262] be proved on speculative grounds from our conception of God. For to perfection belong the powers of generation and production; but in God there are two productive principles, wisdom and will, therefore in Him there are two produced, — in all three persons. To this the adversary objects, “This perfection would therefore be wanting in the two persons produced, or at least in the Holy Ghost; besides, why should not the Father, instead of two, have produced innumerable Hypostases?” Ochino cannot entirely parry the first objection; to the second he gives this striking answer (p. 24), “All these sons and spirits would have been indistinguishable from one another, therefore identical, therefore after all but one Son and one Spirit.” The opponent raises a similar objection. “There would have been this difference between the Son and Spirit, that one would have been brought forth before the other.” Ochino parries this objection also, “As the Father has begotten both of necessity, and from all eternity, no reason can be found for assigning to either a priority in time.” The adversary then brings his attack to bear upon the most difficult part of the whole dogma: how it can be possible to conceive, together with the Unity of the Divine Being, the Trinity of the Hypostases? The scholastic theology, and afterwards the doctrine of reformed Protestantism, had attempted to solve this problem by distinguishing three relations, called in their barbarous Latin, — Paternity, Filiation, and Spiration; these three relations were to denote the peculiarities of the separate divine Hypostases. In opposition to this it is remarked (p. 32), “If these relations are real, paternity must, by the act of production, pass over to the Son, paternity and filiation on the Holy Ghost. A further objection raised is this. The idea of communication excludes co-eternity, just as the idea of the Son’s being sent by the Father excludes the equality of the former with the latter; yea, when Christ declares, ‘The Father is greater than I,’ if we assume the three persons to be equal, we are led to the absurd deduction that the Father is greater, not only than the Son, but also than Himself.” To these objections Ochino is unable to give a satisfactory answer. At length he takes refuge in saying “that the dogma is in itself one of extreme difficulty, but that it is derived from the Holy Scriptures.” “The Trinity is hardly susceptible of discussion; we should regard it with reverence and faith, and not overstep the limits which God has set to his revelation thereof. I am satisfied with the belief that there are three Divine Persons and but one Divine Being, as I will prove to you clearly out of Holy Scripture.” But before Ochino passes on to the Scriptural proofs, the adversary briefly sets forth a string of other theories about the nature of God, more or less sharply opposed to the Church doctrine just discussed. “The testimonies of Holy Scripture,” he remarks, “are to be estimated, not according to their number, but according to their clearness and power of conviction. In explaining them we may employ such means only as the Bible itself affords as, and on no account call the authority of councils to our aid. In any case it is to be regretted that belief in the Trinity, according to the Church’s doctrine, has been so strongly impressed upon Christians, that they scarcely dare to raise a discussion on the subject. But if any one goes so far as to deny it, not only do his words remain without fruit, but he himself is regarded as a heretic and a fool, and is persecuted and burnt. Yet, perhaps, it is quite as necessary that this doctrine should be tested afresh from the Scripture, as that of the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. How different were Luther and Zwingli. They did not shrink from attacking ancient errors, and who knows whether they might not have ventured to touch upon the doctrine of the Trinity, if God had gifted them for this, or if they had pondered it more nearly, or if they had not been deterred by the burden of such an undertaking.”

Hereupon follows the discussion of the appropriate texts. It occupies no less than 90 pages (48-138), extends over all those passages which are usually brought forward as proofs of Christ’s Divine nature, His part in the creation, the eternity and preexistence of the “Logos”, and the unity of Christ with God, and what can be gathered from His own sayings, His miracles, and forgiveness of sins through Him.

Ochino is sometimes able to uphold the traditional explanation, but some passages the adversary refutes by overwhelming arguments. Still, at the close, Ochino is far from regarding his cause as lost. “Although Christ,” he says (p. 130), “nowhere has said ‘I am God’, yet He often expressed Himself in a manner which clearly manifests His Divinity.” “I might,” he adds (p. 138), “quote other Scriptural passages, but those already adduced will suffice, and if all the passages do not irrefragably prove the Divinity of Christ, yet from many it may most certainly be inferred, and the remainder are calculated to confirm us in the truth.” Ochino expresses himself in a similar manner after briefly discussing certain passages relating to the personality of the Holy Ghost.

This, however, only brings to an end the first question. The second, whether belief in the Trinity is necessary to salvation, is treated in the twentieth Dialogue. The adversary gives a negative, Ochino an affirmative reply. The adversary chiefly insists that the doctrine of the Trinity has no practical import, that it contributes nothing to our knowledge of God’s goodness, nor incites us to love Him more fervently. Ochino holds the contrary opinion — that the value of the doctrine lies in its practical import, that it shows forth God’s goodness and love in a remarkable and fundamental manner, but that it is desirable, just on this account to disregard scholastic subtleties and, believing, to reverence the mystery of the Trinity. “It is enough,” he says (p. 183), “to believe that the Word has been since the beginning made flesh, as the Scripture certifies. But how this took place I do not know, because God has not revealed it unto me in His Word, and He has not revealed it to me because it was not necessary for my salvation.” It is quite evident from what has been quoted, that although in this Dialogue Ochino makes himself the representative of the traditional Church doctrine of the Trinity, which he defends against the shrewd objections of the “Spirit”, he is nevertheless convinced of the necessity for a revision of this doctrine. He does not clearly indicate, but leads us rather to infer the point where this revision is required; it must proceed from the religious import of the idea, expressed by the doctrine in question. It is this practical religious import alone which in Ochino’s eyes constitutes a sufficient test of its value. “Whatever lies beyond,”he says, “is of evil, for it is idle speculation which contributes nothing towards kindling a pure love of God in our hearts, or increasing our reverence and gratitude to Him.”

From all this it becomes quite explicable how Ochino’s expressions, such as these, should have met with the most violent opposition from his adversaries. It is more astonishing that they should have extended the same opposition to statements in which questions of dogma are not touched upon, as for instance, the Twentieth Dialogue, which treats of the punishing of heretics with death. This Dialogue is dedicated to King Sigismund II. of Poland. “I have been induced,” he says in the preface, “to agitate this question, because in the present day many are in doubt whether it be right or wrong to punish heretics with death. And as I have heard that a door is opened to the gospel in your kingdom, and as I fear lest Satan should sow heresy in it, I wish to assist you in exactly recognising what is your duty with regard to this, and therefore dedicate the following Dialogue to you.” The Dialogue is a conversation between Pope Pius IV. and Cardinal Morone. It may have been the sad condition of the evangelical party in his own country which prompted Ochino to select these personages. Pius IV’s predecessor had been Paul IV., that same Caraffa who was the originator of the Inquisition in Italy. Caraffa had kept the vow of his youth. Raised, when far advanced in years, to the Papal Chair, which he occupied from 1555 to 1559, he forcibly suppressed every movement of freedom within his religious jurisdiction. He became the cruel reinstater of the “Unity of Faith” in Italy. Better days appeared to have dawned under his successor, but it was only the calm before the storm, which burst in even greater fury under Pius V., the “Fra Michele dell’ Inquisizione.”

Cardinal Morone had himself in his time been cited before the tribunal of the Inquisition. He was accused of heresy, and of associating with heretics, and also on account of the circulation of the pamphlet “Concerning the Merit of Christ”. But the proofs were insufficient, and thus Morone, after a long imprisonment, was, in 1560, released from the Castle of St. Angelo at Rome. In the Dialogue in question the Cardinal emphatically maintains the principle that those who have erred in matters of doctrine should be led back to the right way, but that they should not be put to death whether they err knowingly or ignorantly. The Pope’s reference to certain passages of the Old Testament, which seem to prescribe the punishment of death for those who have fallen away from the faith, Morone refutes by declaring that we, as Christians are bound, indeed, to obey the moral law, but not the ceremonial law of the Old Covenant. He adduces the example and sayings of Christ, which commend forbearance and mercy, especially the parable of the tares among the wheat. “It is evident from this that we ought not to put heretics to death, for, seeing that they live mingled among the elect, and it is difficult to distinguish them apart, the punishment might fall also upon one of the elect.” Yet, in the course of the Dialogue, Morone so far concedes to the Pope as to allow that cases of obstinate blasphemy are conceivable, in which no choice would remain to the community but to inflict death for example’s sake. Ochino, certainly, by giving a list of twelve conditions, all of which must exist, narrows this concession, until the liability to capital punishment becomes merely nominal. The thoughts here expressed by Ochino, and the standpoint he represents, have, in the course of time, become common-places, but they far transcended the general intellectual level of his own time. The period of the Reformation did not allow of the principle of religious toleration to be reduced to practice, it cast the seed into the ground, but long development was, and is still required to rear the tree itself. We may say of Ochino, what has been said of his friend Castellio: “He was, in his age, the representative of the free and tolerant spirit, which has only in late times prevailed and become no longer dangerous.”[263]

It is probable that another of Ochino’s Dialogues belongs also to the year 1563. This was either left unfinished, or, in any case, has only come down to us as a fragment.[264] This is a conversation upon the idea of sin, and is carried on between the soul and moral philosophy, scholastic theology, and “Divine theology” in turn. The Dialogue is designed to show that neither moral philosophy nor scholastic theology is capable of giving a true idea of sin, but Divine theology has power to do this. Unfortunately, at the very point when the soul is about to converse with the latter, the Dialogue breaks off. It exists only in MS. There is a copy in the possession of Count Guicciardini, at Florence. A closer comparison of this fragment, with the Twenty-ninth of the Thirty Dialogues, shows that we have in the former a further development of the thoughts contained in the latter; thus the date we have assigned to the composition above is presumably the correct one. We may take this opportunity of stating that the Cantonal Library of Zurich contains a printed Dialogue in the Italian language, carried on between “Fedele” and “Ministro “, supposed to be written by Ochino, and which treats of the authority of Holy Scripture, of salvation through the “Popish religion”, and the vows of holy orders. It is full of sharp polemics, directed against the traditional Catholic views. If this Dialogue, which bears no indication of time or place, nor the name of the author, be rightly ascribed to Ochino, it must belong to the latter part of his residence at Zurich.

In February or March 1564, Ochino made a journey from Nurnberg to Frankfort-on-the-Maine. He had a small sum of money to draw — perhaps a debt owing from his bookseller. Paul Knibb, a scholar and a friend of Bullinger’s, visited him there, and we are indebted to his above-mentioned detailed account of the conversation for some interesting particulars. When Knibb entered the parlour of the inn, Ochino was occupied in dictating to a scribe a writing in Italian against the Church of Zurich, complaining of his cruel sentence, evidently his letter of defence against the Zurich ministry. The conversation first turned upon the publication of the Thirty Dialogues. “I did not expect,” said Ochino, “that they would proceed thus against me, for I did no more than set forth the different conflicting opinions. Besides, the doctrine of the Zurich and Geneva theologians cannot claim to be infallible; even their chief representatives, Peter Martyr and Calvin, were long in doubt respecting important questions.” Ochino then touched upon the report, circulated by his enemies, of his conversation with the Cardinal of Loraine, and innumerable other incidents of the latter time. Then he sat down to dinner. But sorrow overmastered him. He burst into tears, exclaiming, “Oh, Bullinger, Bullinger, had any one told me a month ago that thou wouldst act thus, I should have replied to him, ‘Thou sayest false;’ and yet,” he added, “in spite of all the misery that has come upon me and my children, I am happier now than ever. Now only am I become a true Apostle. Nevertheless, I would gladly return to Zurich, and be reconciled to them, but I know that what has once been decreed must be maintained, and that I should not be received there again.”

Ochino, indeed, made no attempt to obtain permission to return to Zurich. As he was denied a permanent residence in Nurnberg, he went to Poland. Already, when in Basle, he appears to have expressed his intention of going there. In the meantime, the Roman Curia had been apprised of Ochino’s expulsion from Zurich. His old enemies in Rome exulted. On the 5th of February 1564, Cardinal Borromeo wrote from there to Cardinal Commendone, at that time Legate in Poland.[265] “We hear from Switzerland that the Zurichers, and, after them, the people of Basle, have expelled from their territory that pernicious apostate, Bernardino Ochino of Siena, who, as you know, sowed tares in that city. They have done this because he has published writings of such a nature, that they excite disgust in heretics themselves. As we are informed that this wretched man intends to betake himself to the kingdom of Poland, his Holiness thinks fit that you should acquaint his Majesty with the life and noxious character of this individual. See to it that he is not received in Poland so that he may not spoil what is good in the land, and sow greater dissensions in the kingdom.” In spite of this, Ochino was not refused admission into Poland. He preached at Cracow to his Italian companions in the faith; he spoke of the trials which had fallen to his share. For his utterances we have, unfortunately, no testimony, beyond that of a professed adversary[266] which can hardly be esteemed reliable.

But the man “who had been tossed about the world like a ball” was to find no rest in Poland. There can be no doubt that it was principally owing to the Papal legate that a royal edict appeared in the middle of 1564, forbidding all foreigners, not being Catholics, to reside in the land. Commendone had been unable directly to execute the commands of the Curia, and this made him all the more eager in insisting that Ochino should now be banished.

It was in vain that some of the nobles interfered. They interceded for him with the king, and begged for an exception to be made in favour of this old, infirm, pious, quiet man, and that he should be allowed to remain. But the king was not to be moved. “The law must be obeyed,” said he. So for the last time Ochino went into exile. On the way he was struck down by the plague at Pinczow. It carried off three of his children; he himself remained alive. Wearied to death, he bade his friends and companions in the faith a last farewell on Advent Sunday. There we lose every trace of him. At the close of the year 1564, he died in solitude at Schlackau, in Moravia. This man, once so highly honoured, shared the fate of those who dared to advance beyond the narrow limits of the age they live in, and to take their own path. No outward sign, no memorial tablet or gravestone remains of him in the place where he died; no tradition relates what became of the last of his children who was spared by the fatal disease. All remembrances of his last days have been effaced, and his end is so entirely shrouded in darkness, that hostile tradition has ventured to invent for him, on his deathbed, one of its favourite stories of final recantation. But as the scene of this has been laid at Geneva, and the story represents him as having been murdered by the enraged disciples of Calvin, it sufficiently refutes itself. These arbitrary inventions are not requisite in order to maintain interest in the vicissitudes of his life. There is something deeply tragic in being compelled, by the conflict between his opinions and the requirements of his office, to sacrifice everything when in the fulness of his strength, and the height of his activity, that he might obtain peace of conscience. “No sooner had he created for himself new circles of activity in foreign countries, than an implacable fate drove him thence far away,”— from Augsburg, from England, from Zurich, — nay, when wearied to death, he was not even allowed to find rest for his head among his friends in Poland. And all the while his powerful mind was unceasingly active, as at first in his native land, so also abroad — ever ready to draw his sharp sword to fight against Antichrist; and when, at the close of his life, he looked back with tears upon his long path of sorrows, he was still able to say, for the consolation of his friends, “I have had to suffer many things, but that is spared to none of Christ’s disciples and apostles. But that I have been enabled to endure all things, shows forth the might of the Lord.”



1. 1541— Prediche nove predicate dal Reverendo Padre Frate Bernardino Ochino Senese Generale dell’ ordine di frati Capuzzini nella inclita Citta di Vinegia del MDXXXIX. La prima la Domenica di passione. La seconda il Martedi. La terza il Venerdi. La quarta il sabato dopala detta Domenica di passione, avanti la Domenica dell’ Olivo. La quinta il Lunedi santo. La sesta il Giovedi santo. La settima il Lunedi di Pasqua. La ottava il di della Maddalena. La nona il di S. Nicolo alli Scolari in Perugia. Nuovamente date in luce, e cograndissima diligenza stampate MDXLI. With Ochino’s portrait. 8°, 83 fol. At the end: In Vinegia, per Niccolo d’ Aristotile da Ferrara, detto il Zoppino. Ne gli anni del nostro Signore MDXLI; Del Mese di Maggio.

2. 1542.— Dialogi sette del Reverendo Padre Frate Bernardino Ochino Senese Generale di frati Capuzzini dove si contiene. Nel primo dell’ innamorarsi di Dio, nel secondo il modo di diventar felice, nel terza di conoscer se stesso, nel quarto del latrone buono, nel quinto del pelegninaggio per andar al paradiso, nel sesto de la disputa di Christo con l’ anima, nel settimo et ultimo della divina professione con un spirituale testamento. Nuovamente stampata, el historiata. Con il Priviligio. MDXLI. With Ochino’s portrait. 8°, 55 fol. At the end: Stampata in Vinetia per Nicolo d’ Aristotile detto il Zoppino. L’ anno MDXXXXII.


3. 1542. — Prediche di Bernardino Ochino da Siena. Si me persecnuti sunt, et vos persequentur sed, Omnia vincit Veritas. 1542, die x Octobris. 8o, Sign.; A2-M3. Geneva.

4. 1543.— Sermones Bernardini Ochini Senensis. Joan 12.— Nisi granum frumenti cadens in terra mortuum fuerit, ipsum solum manet: si autem mortuum fuerit, mulsum fructum affert. 25 Jannarii 1543. On the reverse of the title- page; Mat. 10. Si patremfamilias vocaverunt Beelzebub, quanto magis dome sticos eius? 8o, Sign.; a 2 — k 5. Geneva.

5. 1543. — Sermones D. Bernardini Ochini Senensis. (Palm). 2 Thess. 2. — Dominus Jesus interficiet Antichristum spiritu oris sui et destruet illustratione adventus sui; 1543. Reverse; Matth. vii.— a fructibus corum cognoscetis eos. 8°, Sign.; a 2 — h 4. Geneva.

6. 1543. — Epistola Magistir Hicronimi Lucensis ad Bernardinum Ochinum Senensem. Cum responsione eiusdem Bernardini. Geneve. Per Johannem Girardum. 1543. 8°, 55 p., Sign.; a3— d 2. Geneva.

7. 1543. — Responsio Bernardini Ochini Senensis ad Marcum Brixiensem Abbatem Ordinis Sancti Benedicti. (Palm). Luc. 21. — Dabo vobis os et sapientiam, cui non poterunt resistere omnes adversarii vestri. 1543. 8°, Sign.; A 2— C 5. Geneva.

8. 1543. — Bernardini Ochini Senen. Responsio ad Mutium Justinopolitanum, qua rationem reddit sui discessus ab Italia. Super omnia vincit Veritas. 1543. 8°, Sign.; a 3— a 5. Nominally printed in Venice.

9. 1543.— Sermones Bernardini Ochini Senensis. (Palm). Pressa valentior. Matt. 2. — Omnis qui confitebitur me coram hominibus, confitebor et ego eum coram patre meo qui in caelis est. 1543. Reverse; Matt. 8. — Qui erubescit de me et de verbis meis, in generatione ista adultera, et Filius hominis erubescit de eo quando venerit in gloria patris cui cum angelis sanctis. 8°, Sign.; A 3 — B 5. Geneva.

10. 1543. — Epistola di Bernardino Ochino, Alli molto Magnifici Signori, li Signori di Balia della Citta di Siena. (Palm). Pressa valentior. Stampato in Geneva. 1543. Die prima Novembris. 8°, Sign.; A 2—B 3. Geneva.

11. 1543. — Sermones Bernardini Ochini, Senensis. Joan 5. — Quomodo vos potestis credere qui gloriam ab invicem accepistis, et gloriam que à solo Deo est, non que ritis? Stampato in Geneva. 1543. Die tertia Novembris. Reverse; Joan 12. — Dilexerunt eum gloriam homilium, magis quam gloriam Dei. 8°, Sign.; a 2 — g 5. Geneva.

12. 1543? (cp. No. 10 and 8). — Epistre aux magnifiques seigneurs de Siene par Bernardin Ochin du dit lieu, aux quels il rend raison de sa foy et doctrine, avec une autre epistre à Mutio Justinopolitain par la quelle il rend aussi raison de son departement d’ltalie et du changement de son estat; translatée de la langue Italienne. o. 0. 8°, Sign.; a — s. Geneva.

13. 1544. — Sermones Bernardini Ochini Senensis. (Palm). Pressa valentior. Jac. iiii. — Petitis, et non accipitis, eo quod male petatis. 1544. Die 15 Martii. Reverse; Joan iiii. — Venit hora, et nunc est, quando veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate. 8o, Sign.; A 2 — 12. Geneva.

14. 1544. — L’image de l’Antechrist; compose en langue Italiene par Bernardin Ochin de Siene, translaté en francoys. (Hand with drawn sword.) L’Agneau qui a esté occiz vainera. 1544. 8°, 16 p., Sign.; A 2 — A 5. Geneva.

15. 1544. — Bernardini Ochini senensis Sermo ex Italico in Latinum conversus Coelio Secundo Curione interprete: Quid sit Christum iustificari, tum qui iustificationis modus. In Appendix to Araneus seu de Providentia Dei, p. 170 — 184. Basil, 1544.

16. 1544. — Sermones de Fide Bernardini Ochini Senensis. (Palm). Pressa valentior. Luc. 18. — Veniens filius hominis, putas inveniet fidem in terra? 1544. Reverse; Joh. 17. — Post tenebras speio lucem. 8°, Sign.; a 2 — o 5. Geneva.

17. 1545. — Expositione di Bernardino Ochino di Siena, sopra la Epistola di S. Paolo alli Romani. (Palm). Pressa valentior. Rom. 10. — Finis legis, Christus ad salutem omni credenti. 1545. Geneva.


18. 1545. — Bernhardini Ochini Senensis expositio Epistolae divi Pauli ad Romanos, de Italico in latinum translata. Auguatae Vindelicorum. 8°, Sign.; .A 2 – O 5, Augsburg. Philipp Ulhart.

19. 1545. – XX. Predige Bernhardini von Siena: dargnne die fürnembsten haubtstück christlichs Glaubens, Nemlich, von der Rechtfertigung durch Christum, und was daran hanget, von jm beschrieben seien: Jumassen, wie Ena zuvor vngeuerlich im Welschland gepredigt hat. Ainem yeden Christen nit allain nützlich zuwissen, Sonder auch tröstlich zusehen, wie das liecht Gottlichs worts allenthalben seliglich aufgeet. Psalmo cxii.; den Aufrichtigen gehet das Licht auf im finsternus, von dem gnedigen, barnherzigen und gerechten. Neuburgi Danubii. Anno Domine MDXLV. 8°, Title-page with marginal designs. Sign.; .A 2 — Y 5. This collection passed through severalral editions, and was afterwards icreased to 26.

20. 1546. – Espositione di Messer Bernardino Ochino sopra la Epistola di Paulo ai Galati. Impresso nel MDXLVI. o. O. 8°, 95 unnumbered pages.

21. 1546.— Ausslegung der Epistel S, Pauls zun Römern, durch den hochgelehrten Herrn Bernhardinum Ochinum von Sena in Welsch-Landen beschriben, yetzun auss dem Latein in Hochdeutsch fleyssig verdollmetschet. 1546. Augspurg, Philipp Ulhart, 8o, 149 p.

22. 1546. – Predigen vber die Epistel Pauli zu den Galatern, von Bernhardino Ochino von Senis zu Augspurg öffentlich in Welsch gepredigt und verteutscht. Getruckt zu Augspurg durch Valentin Othmar. MDXLVI. 8°, Title-page with marginal designs.

23. 1546. — Riposta di Messer Bernardino Ochino alle false calumnie et impie biastemmie di frate Ambrosio Catharino. Impresso nel MDXLVI. o. 0. 8°, 40 unnumbered pages.

24. 1546? — Ain christlichs schönes und trostlichs Bett (Gebet), in dem mit wunderbaslicher Kürtze, die gantz säligkeit und gerechtigkeit, wie die mit Verleugmiss vnd zunichtmachung sein selber vnd, aus einiger Genad Gottes durch Christum Jesum, der mensch erlange, gar trostlich vnd reinlich begriffen ist, sampt ainer rechtten, waren geschriffgeler ten Biblischen vnd christlichen Bergcht. Durch Bernhardinum Ochinum von Senis in Welsch beschriben vnd verteutscht. Getruckt zu Augspurg durch Philipp Urhart.

25. 1546. — Ain Geaprech der flaischlichen vernunfft vnd aina Gaistlichen oder glaubigen Chrstenmenschen, Von den hendlen, so sich zu diser unserer zeit zutragen, von Bernhardino Ochino von Senis in Welsch beschriben, und verteutscht. Mehr ain kurtze Anlaitung, wie man sich im Gebet üben solle. (This “instruction”is the “prayer”mentioned under 24). Getruckt zu Augspurg, durch Philipp Ulhart. 8°, Sign.; A II. — D III.

26. 1547. — Von der Hoffnung aines Christlichen Gemüts. Wie dieselbige jr vnzweyfeiche gewiasen- schafft, durch den Glauben der Allmächtigkait, Weisshait, Güte, und Barmhertzigkait Gottes in Christo bestendigklich yebe. Durch den Gottsäligen vnd Hochgelerten Herren Bernhardino Ochino, kurtz verschmer Zeit in Italienischer sprach, jm selbs vnd andern gutherzigen zu trost gestellt. Getruckt zu Augspurg, durch Philipp Ulhart. 1547. 8o, Sign.; A II.— B IIII.


27. (Before 1549).— Prediche di Bernardino Ochino da Siena. Novellamente ristampate et con grand diligenza rivedute et corrette. Con la sua Tavola nel fine. 8°, o. 0. (Basle), o. T. Sign.; a—z, A—D. Contains the Geneva “Prediche,”enumerated under 3, 4, 5. Another slightly different edition of this collection exists.

28. (Before 1549). — La seconda parte delli prediche, di M. Bernardino Ochino Senese, diligentemente corrette. Con la sua tavola in fine. 8°, o. 0. (Basle), o. T. Sign.; aa — zz, AA—KK. Contains the Geneva “Prediche,”enumerated under 9, 11, 12, besides the letters mentioned under 8 and 10. There is also another slightly different edition of this collection.

29 a. The beginninge and endinge of all popery or popish Kyngdome. Done at the charges of Gualter Lynne. With many wooden cuts. 4°. (Ames, Typogr. Ant. of Great Britain, Dibdin’s Edit. 1816, 1, III., 559 n.)

29 b. 1549. — A Tragoedie or Dialoge of the vniust vsurped primacie of the Bishop of Rome and of all the iust abolishing of the same, made by Master Bernardine Ochine, an Italian, and translated out of Latine into Englische by Master John Ponet, Doctor of divinitie, never printed in any language. Anno Do. 1549. 8°, 116 fol. Imprynted at London for Gwalter Lynne, dwelling on Somers Kaye by Bellinges Gate. Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. Anno Do. 1549.

30 a. 1548. — Sermons of the ryght famous and excellent Clerke, Master Bernardine Ochine, borne withine the famous vniversyte of Siena in Italy, nowe also an exyle in this life, for the faithfull testimony of Jesus Christ. Psalm cxvii. — I wyll not dye but lyve ande declare the workes of the Lorde. Imprinted at Ippeswich by Anthony Skoloker. Dwellyng in S. Nicholas Paryshe. Anno 1548. Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. 8°, 32 sheets, a ii. — d iiii.

30 b. 1550. — Certayne Sermons of the ryghte famous and excellente Clerke Master Bernardine Ochine Borne within the famous universitie of Siena in Italy, nowe also an exyle in thys life, for the faithful testimony of Jesus Chryste. Faithfully translated into Englishe. Psalme 118. — I wyll not die but lyve and declare the workes of God. Imprinted at London by Jhon Day: dwelling over Aldersgate beneth S. Martins. These books are to be sold at hys shop in Chepesyde, by the Little Lonndnit at the sygne of the Resurrection. Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum Per septennium.

30 c.? — Fourtene Sermons of Barnardine Ochyne concerning the predestinacion and elecion of god; very expediente to the settynge forth of hys glorye among hys creatures. Translated out of Italian in to oure natyve tounge by A(nna) C(ook). It is good to hyde the kinges secretes; but to declare and praise the workes of god, it is an honorable thing. — To. xij. I will say to the north, let go, and to the southe, kepe not backe. . . — Es. xliii. To the ryght worshipful and worthyly beloved Mother the Lady F. hyr humble daughter. Imprynted at London by John Day.

31. 1551? — La terza parta delle Prediche di M Bernardino Ochino nelle qualli si tratta della Fede, Speranza et Carita, tanto divinamente quanto si possa da ogni pio Christiano desiderare, a utilita di quelli i quali cercano intendere la verita dello Evangelio. Con la sua Tavola al fine. 8°, o. 0. (Basle), o. T. Sign.; Aaa—Zzz, AAa—LLl. There is also another slightly different edition of this collection.

32.?— A Sermon declaring how we are Iustified by faith. Imprinted at London by Willia~ hyl at the signe of the grene hyl, and there to be soulde. Reverse of title-page: What is too (sic!) be: iustifyed by Christe and the way howe we are iustifyed and reprouynge error concernyng it. Translated out of Latin into Englyshe by E. T. This Writing is no other than the Sermon of Ochino translated by Curione mentioned under n. 15.


33. 1554. — Apologi nelli i quali si scuoprano li abusi sciocheze, superstitioni, errori, idolatrie et impieta della sinagoga del Papa et spetiaImente de suoi pieti, monaci e frati. Opera insieme utile et dilectevole. (Palm). Pressa valentior. MDLIIII. 8°, o. 0. (Geneva). Sign.; A 2- II 4; 60 Fol. Improperly paged.

33 a. Enlarged German edition of the “Apologie;” Des hochgelehrten und Gottsäligen mans Bernardini Ochini von Senis füufl Bucher siner Apologen. Darin werdeh die Missbräuch, Thorheiten; Aberglauben, Irrthumben, Götzendienst und gott-losigkeiten der Papistischen Synagaga, sonderlich der Pfaffen, Munich und der Bruder eröffnet, lieblich, darbey auch nutzlich zu lesen. Durch Christoff Wirsung vordeutscht. Apologus redt wol im schertz, Licht doch dem Babsttumb ab des hertz. MDLIX. 8°, o. 0.

33 b, c. Dutch editions of the “Apologia” Dortrecht 1607 (4 books), and Amsterdam 1691 (78 Apologie).

34. 1555? — La quarta parte delle prediche di M Bernardino Ochino, non mai più stampate, nelle quali con mirabile ordine si tratta dell’ anima, et di divesse cose utile et necessarie. Come dalla sua Tavola potrai vedere in fine. Psalm xliiij.— Per tuo amore siamo da ogni hora da ti alla morte et reputati come pecore del macello. 8°, o. 0. (Basle), o. T. Sign.; AAaa- YYyy.

35. 1556. — Dialoga del Purgatorio di Messer Bernardino Ochino di Siena, Pastore della Chiesa de Locarnesi in Zuricho. A gl’ Hebrei Cap IX. — Per che il sangue de tori, e de beechi a la cenere della giovenca sparsa sopra quei che son macchiati, li santifica alla purificatione della carne, quato maggiormete il sangue di Christo, il quale per lo spirito eterno ha offerto se stesso immacculato a Dio, purgarà la nostra la conscietia da l’ opere morte, per servire a Dio vivente? MDLVI. 8°, Sign.; A 2 — P. (Zurich).

36. 1556. — Bernardini Ochini Senensis viri doctissimi De Purgatorio dialogus Ad lectorem Opus est lector velut ex authoris praefatiuncula cognosees non tam utile quam iucundum lectu: ab ipsa primum authore Italica Lingua scriptum, postea vero a quodam eius studioso viro in Latinum tra slatum. Vale. Hebr. 9. 8°. Tiguri apud Gesneros. The preface of the translator, Taddeo Duno, is dated Dec. 6th, 1555.

37 a. 1556. — Dialogus Das ist, Ein Gespräch von dem Fägfheur, in welchem der Bäpstleren torechtigen vnd falschen grund, das Fagfheur zu erhalten, widerlegt werden. Beschriben inn Italianischer spraach von dem wolgeleersten Flerren Herren Bernhardino Ochino von Senen, yetzt aber auff das einfeltigest verteutscht. Joannis am 5 cap. . . . Getruckt zu Zurych by Andrea und Jacobo den Gessnern, gebruder. MDLV. 8°. 174 pages.

37 b. Idem, “Getruckt zu Mulhusen im oberen Elsass durch Hans Schirenbrand und Peter Schmid.” 8°. 135 pages.

38. 1556. – Syncerae et verae doctrinae de Coena Domini expositio per Bernardinum Ochinum Locarnensium Ecclesiae pastorem contra libros tres Joachimi Westphali Hamburgenisis Ecclesiae praedicatoris. Tiguri apud Gesnerum 1556 mense Januario. 8°.

39. 1559. – Dialogue touchant le Purgatoire traduit en francoys, imprimé par Antoine Cercia 1550. 8°, o. O.

40 a. 1561. — Sermons de B. Ochin en francoys. Nouvellement mis en lumière a L’honneur de Dieu, profit et utilité de tous fidèles Chrestiens desirans viure selon la Loy du Seigneur et ses saincts commandements. S. Paul 5 Chap. aux Thessal. Deut. 8 Chap.

40 b. Sermons (22) très utiles de Bernardin Ochin traduits en francoys. Geneve, 1561.

40 c. Sermons de Bernardin Ochin traduits en francoys. Lyon, Vascosan, 1561.

41. 1561. – Disputa di M. Bernardino Ochino da Siena intorno alla presenza del Corpo di Giesù Christo nel Sacramento della Cena. Non mai per l’ addietro stampata. In Basilea MDLXI. 8°, 287 P.

42. 1561? — Prediche di M. Bernardino Ochino Senese, nomate Laberinti del libero o uer seruo Arbitrio, Prescienza, Predestinatione et Libertà diuina, et del modo per vscirne. Non mai per l’ adietro stampate. In Basilea. 8°, 260 P.

43. 1561?— Labyrinthi, Hoc est, de Libero aut servo Arbitrio, de divina Praenotione, Destinatione, et Libertate Disputatio. Et quonam pacto sit ex iis Labyrinthis exeundum. Authore Bernardino Ochino Senensi. Nunc primum ex Italico in Latinum translati. Basileae apud Petrum Pernam. 8°, 2 Fol., 261 p. 1 Fol.

44. 1561? — Bernardini Ochini Senensis Liber de Corporis Christi praesentia in Coenae Sacramento. In quo acuta est tractatio de Missae origine at que erroribus; itemque altera de Conciliatione controversiae inter reformatas Ecclesias. Cui adiunximus eiusdem auctoris Labyrinthos de Divina Praenotione, et liberro seu seruo hominis Arbitrio. Omnia nunc primum ex Italico in Latinum sermonem translata. Basileae. 8°. 4 Fol., 301 P., 1 Fol.

45. 1561. — II Catechismo, o vero Institutione Christiana di M. Bernardino Ochino da Siena, in forma di Dialogo. Interlocutori, il Ministro et Illuminato. Non mai piu per l’ adrietro stampato. In Basilea MDLXI. 8o, 2 Fol, 313 P.

46. 1562. — La Quinta parte delle prediche di M. Bernardino Ochino, non mai prima stampate. Con la sua Tavola degli articoli et capiche in quelle si contengono. In Basilea MDLXII. 8°, 365 P.

47. 1563.— Bernardini Ochini Senensis Dialogi xxx. in duos libros divisi, quorum primus est de Messia continetque Dialogos XVIII. Secundus est cum de rebus variis tum potissimum de Trinitate. Quorum argumenta in secunda utriusque libri pagina inuenies. Basileae MDLXIII. Per Petrum Pernam. 8°, Vol. I. 440 P.; Vol. II. 518 P.

48. 1563? — Fragment of a dialogue on sin. MS. in the Bibl. Guicciardini.

49. 1564.— Dialogo. Favellatori: Prudenza humana e Ochino; bei Schelhorn, Ergotz. III, P. 2009 ff.

50. A Dialogue of Polygamy, written originally in Italian, rendered into English by a Person of quality. London, Gaifeild. 1657. Bound up with this is: A Dialogue of Divorce, between Ochinus and Meschinus, which it is easy to see was not written by Ochino.

  1. Pronounced Okeeno.
  2. Dante, “Divina Commedia,” Inferno, Canto xxix. 121. . . . . Or fu giammaiGente si vana come la Sanese?Certo non la Francesca si d’assai.
  3. Palearii, “Opera” ed Wetstein, p. 416.
  4. “Sena vetus civitas Virginis” runs the legend on Sienese coins.
  5. In the account-book of the Treasurer to the Opera del Duomo in Siena, 1540, fol. 122, is noted, under date January 22, “furouo pagate Lire 32 a frà Bernardino di Domenico Tommasini detto Ochino.”
  6. Paleario, Oratio pro se ipso, Opera ed., Wetstein, p. 91, Olympia Morata, Opera ed. Curione, Bas. 1570, p. 168, et seq.
  7. Mancini, MS. communications preserved in the Communal Library of Siena; also Pecci, Memorie della Città di Siena, 1758, i., p. 222.
  8. MS. at the Communal Library of Siena.
  9. Boverius, Annales Ordinis Capucinorum ad ann. 1534 XII.
  10. In his address to the ministry at Zurich (Dialogo fra la Prudenza humana et Ochino) Ochino speaks of himself as “an old man of 70.” This production dates from the end of 1563.
  11. Letter to Muzio; Appendix, No. 8.
  12. Trenta Dialogi, ii. 27, p. 376. See Appendix, No. 47.
  13. Boverius Annales, ad ann. 1534, xii.
  14. Le Mentite Ochiniane, 1551. Introduction.
  15. Flor. Raymundus, Historia haer. saec. XVI., iii. 5, p. 231.
  16. Compare Raczynski, Les Arts en Portugal. Paris, 1846.
  17. Boverius, Annales ad ann. 1535, xvi. Bernardinus divinis et humanis literis non mediocriter imbutus.
  18. Muzio, Le Mentite Ochiniane, fol. 12, 6: . . . . a Roma havete predicato con tanto favore et con tanto concorso di quel sagro collegio de’ Cardinali con quanto habbia per avventura fatto altro predicatore a’ nostri giorni.
  19. These and the following letters from the Lettere di M. Pietro Bembo, Tom. iv., Venezia,1552.
  20. Appendix I. The engraving prefixed to this book is a copy from this original.
  21. Vita Cardinalis Commendoni, ii., cap. 9.
  22. Another letter of Aretino’s may also date from this time. It is in the first volume of the Lettere Volgari di diversi nobilissimi huomini, 1548, sheet 121. It is addressed “Al molto …. apostolicio,”— i.e., to Ochino, whose name it was thought needful to suppress in this collection, which first appeared in 1543. This letter was evidently written at a time when the writer had just recovered from a severe illness, and it is full of wordy flattery, in the manner of Aretino: “Questa età, priva delle eccellenza sue, parebbe una notte senza stelle,”and such like.
  23. Sette Dialogi, vii. See Appendix 2.
  24. Nove Prediche viii. See Appendix 1.
  25. Giannone, Istoria civile del regno di Napoli IV. c. xxxii. 5: “Narra Gregorio Rosso, testimone di veduta, che in quei giorni di Quaresima che l’ Imperatore a trattenere in Napoli — poichè partì dentro di quelle — andava spesso a sentirlo in S. Giovanni Maggiore con molto suo diletto, imperochè, com’ e’ dice, predicava con ispirito grande che faceva piagnere i sassi.” The form “dice” proves that the last words are Rosso’s, and not the Emperor’s, as many will have it.
  26. Caracciolo, Collect. hist. de vita Pauli iv. Coloniae 1612, p. 240.
  27. Tommaso Costo, Compendio dell’ Istoria del Regno di Napoli. Venice 1591. II. Sheet 152.
  28. Lettere volgari i., p. 17. (Venice 1548.) These two sonnets, as well as a third, also addressed to Ochino, are contained in the Opere di Monsignor Giov. Giudiccione, Florence 1867, i., p. 47, et seq.
  29. Lettere all’ Aretino, ii. 66.
  30. The letter is dated 28th February 1539. Nelli uses the Siena style, according to which the new year was counted from March 1st; accordingly his letter really dates from February 28th 1540.
  31. Pecci, Memorie della Citta di Siena, iii., p. 104.
  32. Molto magnifici signori etc. Non penso vi habi a esser difficile el persuadersi che molto volontieri verrei in questa quaresima a predicare alla mia Siena, sichome per una vostra o visto sarebe intento di vostre signorie: resta solo che da chi può comandarmi io non sia impedito: di me potra servirsi nel scrivere che a me el venir sarebe gratissimo pur che sia con volonta di Sa Sta. questo medesimo ò expresso al revmo Monsignore Ghinucci. et perchè del tempo fuor della quaresima Sa Sta non è solita impedirmi, quando a vostre signorie paresse che io venisse in questo tempo inanti alla quaresima, mi dieno un cenno del quando, che non mancarò col non cessare anchora di tentare per la quaresima, il che sarà etiam più facile di obtenersi per esser lì. et se in altro posso si servino di me che per la singulare affetione li porto mi sarà facile tutto in Christo per el qual vivo et spero di morire. resto con pregarlo che vi prosperi sempre con la sua buona gratia in ogni vera felicità.Da Roma 5 settembris 1540. Delle vostre magnifice SignorieFrater Bernardinus Senensis.
  33. Molto magnifici signori. Non o più presto resposto per non essere resoluto di Sa Sta. Ogi s’ è contentata che io per lo advento venghi, così mi sforzarò circa a Ognisanti essere a Siena. Preghiamo el Signor ch’ el mio venire non sia vano. Resta che vostre signorie in quanto posso mi comandino che non sara cosa tanto difficile che lo amor non me lo renda facile.II Signor vi conservi et prosperi nella sua gratia.Da Roma 27 settembris 1540.
  34. Compagnia di S. Domenico, Libro delle Deliberazioni del 1540. Fol. v. 2. Miscellanea di cose Sanesi. MS. in the Communal Library at Siena.
  35. Boverius, Annales ad ann. 1556, VII.; Capucinorum ordo hoc orationis opus summa semper religione prosecutus est.
  36. Molto magnifici signori Priori Governatori e Capitani miei osserv.Mi dolgo per la molta affetione et cordiale amor che porto et alle Signorie vostre et alla patria di non poter soddisfar a quello che per debito me si conviene et a quanto saria el voler di quelle, io non harei gia aspettato che mi avessin fatto istantia di venir costa a predicare, che — quantunque non sia secondo il merito di quelle — al primo cenno sarei venuto ma mi troveda molti giorni indrieto con un dolor grande di schiena et con altre indispositioni attalchè si ben mi forzasse a venir, non potrei predicare e per questo ho ricusato anche a molti e mi so fermato qui che, tra che curarò il mal, mi verrò rassettando le mie scritture per questo le S. V. si degneranno per tal impedimento scusarmi contentandosi di quanto e voler di Dio per la mia imperfetione e di questo e il mio buon volere verso di tutti, e mi faran gratia avermi nella vostra protectione, e così a quelle con tutto il core mi fo racomandato.Dal luogo nro di Firenze, il dì xjj di novembre del D 4 j.
  37. As a statement of Carnesecchi’s proves, Ochino was occupied in preparing a selection of his sermons for the press. See Processo di Pietro Carnesecchi, edito di G. Manzoni, tom. x. of the Miscellanea di Storia Italiana, p. 374.
  38. Sand, Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum, Freistadt, 1685, p. 2. Seckendorff Commentarii, lib. iii., 131, 1.
  39. See Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura Italiana, vol. vi., 3, 3.
  40. Caracciolo, Vita di Paolo IV., i. 2, c. 1; MS. in the Library Casanatense in Rome and at the British Museum: “In quel tempo non pareva che fusse galantuomo o buon corteggiano colui che non haveva qualche opinionetta erronea.”
  41. Tiraboschi vi. 3; 3, 10.
  42. Savonarlo Prediche sopra il Salmo, Quam bonus, Israel, Deus, Advent 1493 Venet. ed. 1539, fol. 55.
  43. Laurentino Valla, Antidoti in Poggium i. 3, p. 375: Basle, 1543.
  44. Told by Ortensio Landi, Parad. II. 29.
  45. Mare Magnum was the name triumphantly given by the Franciscans, to a Bull of Sixtus IV. 1474, which accorded to them these extended privileges.
  46. Title, See Appendix 1. On the back of the title-page is a brief granted by Paul III. in 1539, according the printer the sole privilege for the whole extent of the papal dominion.
  47. In the 6th sermon, at the end of the introduction, he says: Ma purgatevi bene, prestando grata udienza, et cominciarmo. Here and there “ma riposiamci na poco.”
  48. In the same sermon: Vi raccomando le povere Monache di S. Maria di Grazia fuora di Bressa, donne sante et di buone vita et in gran numero; vi le recommando, staranno alle porte.
  49. Conc. Lat. iv., can. 21: “Omnis utriusque sexus fidelis postquam ad annos discretionis pervenerit, omnia sua peccata fideliter saltem semel in anno confiteatiur proprio sacerdoti.” The dubious expression, “Omnis utrisque sexus fidelis,” has evoked the scorn of the Reformation over this barbarous Latin. Calvin Justit., iii. 4, 7: “quod jubent, omnem utrisque sexus— faceti homines excipiunt, hoc praecepto toneri solos hermaphroditas.”
  50. Compare Prediche di Bernardino Ochino. Basil i. 14; appendix, n. 27.
  51. Compendio dell’ Istoria del Regno di Napoli di Mambrin Roseo da Fabriano. Ed. Tommaso Costa. Ven. 1591, fol. 152, b.
  52. It is the before named Consilium de Emendanda Ecclesia, Rome, 1537.
  53. Caraffa’s biographer, Caraccioli, states this, Vita di Paolo IV. MS.
  54. S. Bernardi ep. 238, ad papam Eugenium III.
  55. The church and rectory of S. Dorotea passed into the hands of the Conventuals in the last century. They have dedicated a tablet to the memory of Giuliano Dati, which mentions the founding of the oratory, and enumerates its most distinguished members. They have also preserved a memorial stone of that period, and set it up in the lowest story of the rectory. The stone is cut in the form of an antiqui sacrificial altar, and bears on one side the inscription, “Julianus de Dathis Poenitentiarius et Rector”; on the other, “D. O. M. Divo Silvestro ac Divae Dorotheae (sic) manibus Laribusque avitis sacrum an (no) jubilei.” The jubilee year is clearly that of 1525. This remarkable stone furnishes by its form and inscription a striking proof of how deeply the classic Pagan reminiscences had penetrated into the opinions of that time. A pious penitentiary and rector dedicates to the manes of the fathers and two saints a sacrificial altar.
  56. Both in the Vita di Paolo iv. MS.
  57. Compare Atti dell’ Instituto di Scienze ed Arti in Padova, April 1869. The work of Pietro Citadella was found in Venice 1869, and was composed, according to the assertion of the author, in 1512.
  58. “Cavalliere di Cesare, ma piu honorato e splendido Cavalliere di Christo.” Curione, Pasquillus ecstaticus. Geneva 1514, p. 35. Also in the preface to the “Cento e dieci considerazioni of Valdez.” Basle 1550.
  59. “II Revmo Contareno dice miracoli della dottrina theologica et altre di Don Pietro Martyre,” is written in a Roman document of 1540. Compare Lämmer Monumenta Vaticana, Freiburg 1861, m. 184.
  60. Concerning the question of the author of this tractate, refer to my exposition of this work in “Revista Cristiana,” Florence 1876, book i.; also the Letters of Jules Bonnet and Professor da seva, idem, book 3.
  61. Estr. del Proc. 51 f.
  62. Lettere volgari I. fo. 26. Venice 1553.
  63. La epistola de San Pablo a los Romanos y la I. a los Corintios. Ambas traduzidas y comentadas por Juan de Valdez: Reformistas antignuos Españoles. Madrid 1856. I find the commentary to the Epistle to the Romans (Ven. 1556) cited in the Spanish Index of Interdicted Books of 1559.
  64. The Spanish original seems to have been lost. The translation by Marc’ Antonio Magno is printed in vol. 15 of the Reformistas Antiguos Españoles, Lond. 1861. Valdez says, with reference to Ochino’s sermon, “Madam, Ochino has awakened in you by his sermon the recollection of what you have already learnt about heaven and hell. He knew how to represent so vividly that the fear of hell leads you to love heaven, and that the love of heaven makes you fear hell, and in connection with this he shows that you cannot escape hell if you do not adopt and hold Christ’s commands and doctrines. The restlessness you speak of feeling was caused in this manner: — You have gained the conviction through his words that you cannot attain the goal without being mocked, misunderstood, and despised by the world. Thus the hope of a future life is at variance with the necessities of bearing the troubles of the present, and it is nothing but self-love which causes this restlessness.”
  65. Le cento e dieci divine Considerazioni. Basle 1550, Halle 1860.
  66. Estrato del Processo, p. 389.
  67. In Caracciolo, Vita di Paolo iv. MS. The passage runs: — “In Napoli se ne apprestarono tanti, e particolarmente molti Masetri di Scuola, che arrivano al numero di tre mila.” It is not necessary to refer “che” to the schoolmasters, as Ranke does (Hist. i. p. 93, 6th Ed. 1874), and others have copied after him. How should there have been three thousand schoolmasters in Naples?
  68. Folengo, Commentary to the Psalms, ad Psalm cxix., fol. 348, Basle 1549.
  69. Carnesecchi confirms this Estr. del Processo.
  70. Giannone, Istoria civile del Regno di Napoli IV. p. 80, according to Gregorio Rosso… (Ochino) aura sbancati tutti gli altri predicatori, poichè a gara tutta la Cittá correva a lui.
  71. Augustini Serm. de veris Dom., ch. ii. ract. 91 in Joh.
  72. Vita di Paolo IV. MS.
  73. Letter of Grillenzoni’s, July 3d, 1512, to cardinal Morone, among his papers in the Vatican secret archives: Già sono due anni, predictò il grande frate Bernardino. Non si vergognano di dire che piú non predicava come soleva. Alcuni alami di’ levano che troppo predicava di Christo e che mai non haveva nominate S. Geminiano né fatto di sputa alcuna.
  74. Appendix No. 2.
  75. Fra Catherino Politi refers, in his Remedio alla Pestilente dottrina di Frà Bernardino Ochino, Rome, 1544, f. 44, a, to an edition issued at Naples. He quotes a passage out of the seventh dialogue almost word for word.
  76. Compare Estratto del Processo, pp. 67, 68.
  77. Letter from Caraffa, printed in del Tufo’s chronicle of the Theatines, and also Boverio ad ann. 1542.
  78. Dialogi xxx., Basle 1563, ii. S. 306 f., 466 f.
  79. Pred. II., 50. Appendix, n. 28.
  80. The edition published by Zoppino in May 1541 calls itself “nuovamente stampata;” in December 1541 another edition appeared at Bindoni and Pasini.
  81. Lettere volgari di diversi nobilissimi Huomini et eccellentissimi Ingegni. Venice 1539, p. 196.
  82. Lettere seritte al Signer Pietro Aretino II., 218 O. O. Con. Privilegio 1552. From the signature “Fra Bernardino, Scapuccino,” Tiraboschi (Storia della Letterature Italiana, viii. 2, 39) endeavours to read that Ochino already regarded himself as at heart separate from the order. This idea need not be sought in the form Scapuccino instead of Capuccino, as it occurs (see Appendix) in Ochino’s letter to the Council of Siena, Scapuccino is a Sienese provincialism.
  83. Alli molto magci Sri li Sri Priori et governatori del com(une) et il cap (itano) del popolo della Citta di Siena. Molto magnifici signori. Per essere lo amor della patria justo et santo et tanto piu quanto e d’ un bene universale e pubblico, cognosco che tanto più siamo obligati a marla quanto siamo a Dio piu proximi. però per esser frate non so excluso da questo dolce vinculo, anzi tanto più strectamente ligato quanto in me fusse più charità. unum est che mi so congratulato del felice essere della mia patria et o incominciato a honorarmene, però in Christo, tanto ne sento dir bene, et desiderarei presentialiter godermene, sichome del contrario le altre volte ne o hauto molestia, et tanto piu quanto per la vostra vedo el desiderio di ve Se et della città, maxime quando credesse havere a giovare. ma poi so qui a Verona, ad instantia del clarissimo dominio veneto o hauto un breve da Sa Sta dove mi impone che ritorni in Vinetia et li stia in fin tanto che altro non determina. tal che so impedito, et bisogna mi haviate non solo per excusato, ma compassione, et tanto più quanto el venire mi sarebe più contento ch’ el restare. pregarò bene el Signore che, essendo suo onore, faci che sua Sta osservi la promessa, et io quanto più presto potrò me ne verro alia mia Siena. pregando dio che la conservi et prosperi nella sua gratia et pace.Da Verona alli 20 di magio 1542.
  84. What follows is taken partly word for word from the Life of Paul IV. by Caracciolo, MS., lib. iii.
  85. Compare idem, lib. ii. cap. 9.
  86. Boverius, Annales ad. a. 1542. “Pontifex eum Romam advocandum statuit; sed cum illius honori et existimationi consultum vellet non in vincula conjiei aut publice Romam velut haeresis suspectum vocari voluit; sed humianissime cum eo agens Cardinale Carpense, qui Ordinis Protector erat, accersito, cum eo rem ita gerendam statuit, ut per Ordinis Procuratorem ac privatas ejus literas Ochinum Romam advocandum curet.” The last statement is not correct. It was not the Procurator of the Order, Bernard de’ Asti, but Cardinal Farnese who wrote to Ochino.
  87. See Chapter V.
  88. Letter of Bishop Giberti to Marchese del Vasto, Sept. 7, 1542. Florentine archives.
  89. Ma io volsi admettere ragione alcuna in ontrario, se non che dovesse obbedire, havendo o no errato, &c.
  90. Monumenta di vasia letteratura Bologna, 1797, ff. i. 2, p. 52, note 74.
  91. First printed in Querini, Epist. Reginaldi Poli, then in Monumenti di varia letteratura.
  92. See Appendix, n. 3 The Preface dates from October 10, 1542.
  93. See Appendix, n. 7.
  94. Le Mentite Ochiniane, Venezia, 1551, f. 22, b.
  95. Il Cardinale lo ricevette e gli disse che si andasse a riposare infino alla mattina, &c.
  96. Di poi che cominciarono a suspicare di me, Paolo Papa ditto terzo non mancò colla sua prudentia d’ usar mezzi per tirarmi alle sue voglie con invitarmi a dignità, Pred. i. 10. Erat Pontifex in Senensem usque adea animo propensus totque in eum singularis benevolentiae signa declaraverat, ut in eam haud pauci opinionem adducerentur, quod ab eo in Cardinalium numerum brevi adscribendus esset. Boverius Annales, ad an. 1542.
  97. He expresses this happily somewhere, “La loro Religione habisogno di silenzio.”
  98. Io fui certificate che siccome la Sinagoga fu sepolta honoratamente, cosi senza tumulto volevano sepelir me, Pret. 10. See Appendix, No. 3.
  99. Non con piccolo fastidio di mente mi truovo qui fuore di Fioreuze venuto con animo di andai a Roma dove sono chiamato, benche inanti ch’ io fussi qui, da molti ne sia stato dissuaso. ma intendendo ogni di più cose et il modo col quale procedono sono stato particularmente da Don Pietro Martire et da altri molto persuaso di non andare: perchè non potrei se non negar Christo o esser crocifisso. el primo non vorei fare, el secondo sì, co la sua gratia, ma quando lui vorra. andar io alla morte voluntariamente, non ho questo spirito hora. Dio quando vorra mi saprà trovar per tutto. Christo m’ insegno a fuggire più volte, in Egitto et alli Samaritani, et così Paulo, immo mi disse che io andassi in altra citta quando in una io non ero ricevuto. dapoi che farei più in Italia? predicar sospetto et predicar Christo mascarato in gergo? et molte volte bisogna bestemiarlo per satisfare alla superstitione del mondo. et non basta, et ad ogni sgraziato basterebe l’ animo acrivere a Roma, pontar me: ritorneremo presto alli medesimi tumulti. e scrivendo manco potrei dare in luce cosa alcuna. per questi et altri rispetti eleggo partirmi, et particolarmente che vedo procedono in modo, che ho da pensare che vorrebbeno infino esaminarmi et farmi rinegar Christo o ammazzarmi. credo se Paulo fosse nel mio essere non pigliarebbe altro partito. posso dir che forse come per miracolo so passato Bologna e non so stato ritenuto per la volontà che ho mostrata di andare, et per la bontà et prudentia del Contareno, siccome ne ho avuto evidenti indicij. di poi ho inteso ch’ el Farnese dice che so chiamato perchè ho predicato heresie et cosa scandalosa; il Theatino, Puccio et de l’ altri ch’ io non voglio nominarli, dalli avisi ne ho havuto, (parlano) in modo che se io avessi crocefisso Christo non so se si facesse tanto rumore. io son tale qual sa V. S., et la dottrina si puo sapere da chi m’ ha udito. immo mai predicai più reservato et con modestia che quest’ anno, et gia senza udirmi mi hanno pubblicato per uno heretico. ho piacer che da me incominciano a riformar la Chiesa. tengono in sino un frate con l’ habito nostro in Araceli che el Capitolo annuale ordinò che gli fosse cavato l’ habito. onde tanti commotione contro di me? penso sia bene cedere a tanto impeto. dall’ altra parte pensate se mi e aspro per tutti li rispetti che sapete. considerate so ben che senso repugna à lasciar tutto et a pensare che si dira. Christo ha permesso et voluto ch’ essi mi necessitino così a qualche buon fine. mi sarebbe stato sopra modo gratissimo parlarvi et havere el vostro giuditio et di Mons. Rmo. Polo o una lettera nostra; ma è più d’ un mese che non ho vostre lettere. pregale il Signor per me ho animo servirgli più che mai con la sua gratia, et salutate tutti. — Da Firenze alli xxii. di Agosto MDXLII. After a copy in the Biblioteca Communale of Siena.
  100. Compare Estratto del Processo di Pietro Carnesecchi, p. 375.
  101. Prediche, 10; see Appendix, No. 3.
  102. Prediche, 10; see Appendix, No. 3.
  103. Appendix, No. 28.
  104. Compare Letter of Bullinger to Vadian, Corpus Reformatorum. ed. Baum, Cunitz, Reusa xxxix. n. 441.
  105. Florimundus Raimundus, Historia haeres, seculi xvi., iii. c. v. p. 231.
  106. Archivio Mediceo. Florence cart. 3717.
  107. Historia Cardinalis Comendoni II. cap. 9.
  108. Christophorus Sandius, Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum, S. 3. Appendix ad Nucleum hist., eccl., S. 90.
  109. Boverius, Annales ad. ann. 1542, c. xxxi. to xxxviii.
  110. Letter to Vadian, 19th Dec. 1542. Corpus Reformatorum, xxxix., No. 441.
  111. Januensibus praedicare, should read Senensibus, idem.
  112. Documenti inediti sul Concilio de Trento, edited by P. Generoso Calenzio Rome, 1874, III. MS. Seripandi.
  113. Appendix, No. 3.
  114. Supplemento alla Historia della Religione dei Padri clerici Regolari. Rome. 1616, c. 97.
  115. Lettere di Claudio Tolomei, libri vii. Venice, 1547, p. 189.
  116. S. Bernardino of Siena, who died 1444, belonged as a member, afterwards as Vicar-General, to the Order of Observants, who, like the Capuchins, belonged to the “family” of St. Francis of Assisi.
  117. Printed in Schelhern, Ergötzlichkeiten. XI. p. 1145 et seq.
  118. 2 Cor. xvi. 4.
  119. Even the titles of his writings are characteristic: — L’ Eretico infuriato, Le Malizie Bettine, Difesa della Mesa contro le bestemmie di Pietro Vireto, and so forth.
  120. “Amica di frà Bernardino et ante et post discessum,”Estr. del Processo di Pietro Carnesecchi, p. 57.
  121. Compare above, p. 106.
  122. In the Polemic, Le Mentite Ochiniane del Mutio Justinopolitano. Con Privilegio del Sommo Pontefice Giulio III. et dello Illustriss. Senato et d’ altri Prencipi. In Vinegia appressi Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari e Fratelli. M. D. li.
  123. The letter was published separately under date November 3, 1543.
  124. At any rate, we find that Paleario, when Sadolet visited him at the time when the rumour of Ochino’s flight was just known— probably, therefore, at the end of August — was occupied with the composition of this apology. Compare Sadoleti Epist. iv. 2: Quid, quod ego tibi sum testis, cum in Galliam Legatus proficiscerer, me Senas venisse ubi et tibi adfui …. tum primum fuisse rumorem de Ocelli fuga. Quo tempore si tu, cum scriberes istam orationem, cuius principium mihi legisti, eadem vel sperasti vel desiderasti quae omnes qui popularem illam Ocelli eloquentiam noverant — quis te reprehendat?
  125. Palearii Opera, ed. Hallb., p. 103; ed. Wetstein, p. 91 et seq.
  126. The original in the archives of Siena.
  127. Rimedio alla pestilente dottrina di Frate Bernardino Ochino. Epistola responsiva diretta al Magistrato de Siena. Frate Arnbrosio Catharino Politi, Senese de l’Ordine de ‘ Predicatori, Autore. 1544.
  128. See Appendix, No. 6.
  129. The answer to Girolamo’s Latin letter, and the following, directed against Marco of Brescia, are, besides the “Tragedy,” afterwards published in England, the only writings composed by Ochino in the Latin tongue. In the Life of Cardinal Commendoni, Graziani says of Ochino, “he scarcely understood Latin.” Others have copied this from him. How little this is founded is proved by several letters in the Appendix. The above passage reads: “Quod multos arguere dicis me non super firmam petram fuisse fundatum quia ceciderim, felicem vero casum et optabilem, qui mihi salutis portus quodammodo fuit! Perieram enim nisi sic cecidissem. Cecidi, fateor in eorum conspectu, qui nihil nisi inanes honorum et dignitatum fumos sapiunt vel indicunt. Cecidi ex alto fastigio, quo me non mea quidem ambitio sed hominum superstitio extulerat. Mundo denique cecidi sed non propterea desii stare Deo, quin potius ex Iubrica illa et caduca altitudine me detraxit, ut firmus in regno Christi sui starem.”
  130. Compare Responsio ad Marcum Brixiensem. See Appendix, No. 7.
  131. Prediche iv. 40, Basle edition. Appendix, No. 34.
  132. Prediche i. 10. See Appendix, No. 3.
  133. Corpus Reformatorum, xxxix. ed. Baum, Cunitz, Reuss. Joannis Calvini Opera, vol. xi., No. 426; for the following letters compare Nos. 431 and 450.
  134. A passage out of Jacob Lingaeus’ Treatise De Vita et Moribus, atque rebus gestis haereticorum sui temporis, Paris 1581, p. 27, will serve to characterise the disgraceful calumnies which were afterwards circulated by Ochino’s enemies concerning his life. “Quid plura dicam de miserrimo Bernhardino? Ut uno verbo dicam, is intra paucos dies summa inopia rerum et sui officii negligentia coaetus est, cum sua meretrice (!) more mulierum aliorum vestimenta lavare et quaseunque vilissimas ac sordidissimas artes exercere.” So writes a Doctor of the Sorbonne, concerning Ochino’s residence at Geneva.
  135. The establishment of the Italian congregation at Geneva took place in October 1542, according to Corpus Ref. xxxix., n. 438. The “universi fratres ecclesise Venetiarum, Vicentise, Trevisii,”in December 1542, thanked the servants and members of the Church at Geneva for receiving the fugitive brothers with such great kindness. In the Registres du Conseil of 23 Oct. 1542, we read: — “Bernardino de Sesna est homme scavant et desire prescher publiquement la parol de Dieu en langue Italienne. Resolu qu’il luy soyt baillé place de prescher a St. Pierre en la chapelle du Cardinal pour un peu de temps et d’empuys pourra estre mis à St. Germain. Et semblablement pour aulmosne a este aduise de donner a ancien compagnons six escus soleil desqueulx presentement l’on luy delivrera dix florins.” Soon afterwards the Council made him a present of some white wine. Compare Amédée Roget, Histoire du Peuple de Genève, 1873, ii. 53.
  136. Corpus Ref. xxxix., No. 462.
  137. Cantù. Gli Eretici d’ Italia, ii. p. 62.
  138. Reg. du Conseil., 7th April 1545. Compare Corpus Ref. xl. p. 678.
  139. Lettres de Calvin à Jacques de Bougoyne. Amsterdam 1774, p. 36 and 108.
  140. Responsio ad Hieronymum Lucensem. Appendix, No. 6.
  141. Le Mentite Ochiniane, folio 6.
  142. In the “Nove Prediche” of 1539.
  143. Et se mi si dicesse: Della confessione parlò pure S. Agostino vel libro Della vera et falsa penitentia— respondo, che quel libro non è suo, imperocchè l’ allega Agostino in suo favore.” This remark is in the 17th chapter.
  144. Basle Edition, i. 21-41. Appendix, No. 27.
  145. Compare above, p. 70.
  146. Basle Edition, i. 42-50.
  147. Basle Edition, ii. 1-22. Appendix, No. 28.
  148. Compare Valdez’ “Divine Considerationi,”xlv.
  149. See chap. viii.
  150. Basle edition, ii. 52-63. Appendix, No. 28.
  151. Appendix, No. 13. The Spanish index of prohibited books of 1559 notices “Imagen del Antechristo, copuesta primieramote en Italiano y despues traducida en Romêce por Alâso de Penafuerte,”also “Predichas de B. Ochino en qualquier lengua.”
  152. Appendix, No. 16.
  153. Appendix, Nos. 17 and 18.
  154. Corpus, Ref. xl., No. 678.
  155. P. 476, he calls him “purioris tbeologiae Professorem.”
  156. Corpus Ref. xl. No. 689.
  157. Vol. lix. in fol. No. 41.
  158. This document and the following, are found in Schelhom “Ergötzlichkeiten iii. S. 114, 1 f.
  159. “Narrare coepit (Ochinus) nuptias filiae et morbum suum, quae ante biennium aut amplius acciderunt. “Knibb to Bullinger Easter 1564. Simmber’s collection, Zurich. MSS.
  160. Appendix, No. 18.
  161. Appendix, No. 21.
  162. Appendix, No. 19.
  163. Appendix, No. 20.
  164. I found a copy of this in Simmler’s collection.
  165. Appendix, No. 25.
  166. Appendix, No. 22.
  167. Appendix, No. 26.
  168. Verbatim. On January 8th, 1546, Ochino wrote to Bucer: “The Pope will sell the Church property to obtain money for the war against the Lutherans.” Compare Seckendorff Commentarii, Lib. iii. 131, i.
  169. Corpus. Ref. xl., Calvin to Musculus, 21st April 1547: — Tiguri in Bernardinum incidi qui dimidia fere hora antea appulerat. Calvin speaks of a journey which he undertook at the end of January.
  170. “Er ist aber gen Constanz entronnen und durch Zürich gen Basel gereiset,” Hottinger, Helvet. Kirchengesch, iii. p. 776.
  171. Bibl. Antitr. Freistadt (Amsterdam), 1684, p. 18.
  172. In Babington’s edition. Cambridge 1855.
  173. Corpus Ref, xl. No. 892.
  174. Now in the Bodleian library, Cod, Ashm, 826,3; Printed in the “Archaeologia,”vol. xxi. p. 571.
  175. This letter bears date September 5, 1547. Caelii Secundi Curionis Selectarum Epistolarum libri ii., p. 287, “Reliqua quae brevitas literarum non fert, a sapientissimo sene Bernardino Ocello cognoscas.”
  176. Strype, Cranmer Memorials, 1694, p. 400.
  177. Appendix, 29. All the following quotations from the Tragedy have been transcribed with orthographical corrections from the copy of this rare work, possessed by the British Museum. — Translator.
  178. Compare Platina; Historia de Vitis pontificum perjucunda, (Ven. 1504) vita Bonifacii III.
  179. I have published this M.S. “Lettera di Fra Bernardino (sic.) a Papa Paolo III.” in the August and September numbers of the Rivista Cristiana (Florence 1874), and must refer to this for a critical analysis.
  180. Sleidanus, De Statu Religionis Caroli V. temporibus, ad an. 1549.
  181. Raynaldus, Continuatio Annalium Baronii, ad. a. 1549.
  182. Appendix, No. 31.
  183. Preface to “Laberinti,” see Appendix, No. 42.
  184. Appendix, No. 32.
  185. Du Plessis d’ Argentré: Collectio Judiciorum de novis erroribus, Paris 1728, vol. ii. p. 178.
  186. Catechismo (Appendix, No. 45) p. 91. Prechsel, who treats this passage in “Lelio Sozini and the Antitrinitarians of his time,” 1844, p. 217, draws the inference; “Ochino declares suicide (?) to be permissible and right, when a man feels the certainty within himself that he is inspired by God.”
  187. Contra libellum Calvini, in quo ostendere conatur, haereticos jure gladii coercendos esse, 1554-6.
  188. Olympiae Fulviae Moratae Opera, Bas. 1570, p. 178.
  189. Appendix, No. 33.
  190. Appendix, No. 33, a.
  191. Appendix, No. 33, b.
  192. Appendix, No. 33, c.
  193. Compare Ferdinand Meyer, Die evangelische Gemeinde in Locarno: Zurich, 1836; p. 297, note 79.
  194. Appendix, No. 34.
  195. Compare Benefizio, cap. i. (Cambridge, 1855, f. 2, with Consid. i. (new edition, Halle, 1860, p. 1-3); Benefizio, cap. iv. (f. 19, b) with Consid. xiii. (p. 35- 41).
  196. Taddeo Duno, History of the Locarno persecution, MS. at Zurich. I have published it in the “Rivista Cristiana,” Florence, 1873, folio 3 and 4.
  197. Seniores Ecclesiae Locarnensium pio et sincero Pastori Ecclesiae Argoviae.Oviculas istas ex luporum faucibus ereptas Messana Siciliae urbe pro Christi Evangelio profugas nobis diligentissime commendavit Ecclesiae Clavensis fidelis minister. Eos rerum omnium egenos, longo itinere ac frigore semianimos pro sua tenuitate nostra Ecclesia dies aliquot bic sustentavit. Cum autem a nobis essent Genevam versus dimittendi, rogarunt nos ut mitteremus ex nostris qui et itineris duces essent et gestandis infantibus adessent, praeterea ut piorum Ecclesiis in itinere occurrentibus etiam quam diligentissime commendarentur. Id quod libentissimo animo facimus, apud te praesertim, reverende Christi minister, qiu alios hujus gentis nostris literis commendatos benigne acceperis atque long benignius dimiseris ac deduci curaveris. Cum autem sciamus, tibi ante omnia curae esse, ut viva Christi nembra pro tua virili juves ac foveas: arbitramur apud te non opus esse diligentiori commendatione. Illud obnixe rogamus ut — si modo fieri possit — istuc conducatur equus vehendis infantibus Bernam usque; sin minus, mandavimus Bajulo isti ut Bernam usque progrediatur. Agnosce nobiseum, carissime frater, et complectere Christum in istis exulem, egentem, nudum peregrinum et famelicum; auditurus in extremo die cum piis omnibus: Venite, benedicti Patris mei etc.Salutat te tuasque oves nostra Locarnensium Ecclesia ac vobis omnibus continuum fidei atque caritatis incrementum a Deo patre nostro precatur.Vale, Tiguri III. Februarii 1556.
  198. Compare Appendix, Nos. 35 to 37.
  199. Farrago Confus-anearum et inter se dissidentium opinionum de Coena Domini, Magdeburg, 1552.
  200. Appendix, No. 38.
  201. Collectanea Sententiarum divi Aurelii Augustini de Coena Domini. Ratisponae, Sept. 1554.
  202. The fourth tract of Westphal’s is entitled, Justa defensio adversus cuiusdam Sacramentarii falsam criminationem. Frankfurt, July 1555. Calvin answered it in January 1556: Secunda defensio piae et orthodoxae de Sacramentis fidei contra J. Westphali calumnias.
  203. May 1, 1556. MSS. at Zurich.
  204. 5th June 1555. Calvini Epp. et Resp. p. 197. Regula vulgaris est, quse subalterna sunt, non pugnare. Ergo nihil obstat, quominus gratuita sit hominum justificatio ex mera Dei misericordia et simul interveniat Christi meritum. Atque ideo nostris operibus tam gratuitus Dei favor quam Christi obedientia opponitur. Nam Christus nonnisi ex Dei beneplacito aliquid mereri potuit sed quia ad hoc ordinatus est, ut iram Dei sacrificio suo placaret suaque obedientia deleret transgressiones nostras. In summa, quando ex sola Dei misericordia quae hune nobis constituit salutis modum, dependet meritum Christi, non minus apte quam illa humanis omnibus justitiis opponitur.
  205. Printed in De Porta Historia Reformationis, Eccl. Raetic. Chur. 1777, ii p. 392.
  206. Disputa, &c. Appendix, No. 41, Preface.
  207. Compare Trechsel, Lelio Sozini, Heidelberg, 1844, p. 37, et seq.
  208. Trechsel, Lelio Sozini, Supplement, viii. 3, p. 434.
  209. In MS. at Zurich, printed in the Zurich letters of the Parker Society, Cambridge 1842-1845.
  210. Compare Cranmer Memorials, London, 1691, p. 326.
  211. Defensio doctrinae veteris et apostolicae de sacrosancto Eucharistiae sacramento adversus Stephani Gardineri . . . librum.
  212. Appendix, No. 41.
  213. Appendix, No. 44.
  214. More exactly, p. 160, “Raccogliendo adunque il tutto, dico; che può un huomo esser eletto, amato, grato, giusto, santo et salvo, senza, credere che il corpo di Christi sia o non sia nel pane et il suo sangue nel vino.”
  215. Compare Meyer ii., p. 167.
  216. Appendix, No. 42.
  217. It is thus that Luther understands the “Servum Arbitrium” when he says: It would be much better not to use the expression free will at all; to do nothing without grace, that means to have no free will.
  218. Compare Alex. Schweitzer: Die Protestantischen Centraldogmen in ihrer Entwickelung innerhalb der reformirten Kirche, I. p. 297 et seq.; whose exposition we have followed as much as possible.
  219. Alex. Schweitzer, concerning Bullinger’s Oratio, quae moderatio servanda sit in negotio providentiae, praedestinationis, gratiae, et liberi arbitrii.
  220. Dialogi xxx. 1. p., 132. (Appendix, No. 47.)
  221. Appendix, No. 45.
  222. È impossible, che a chi non è, gli paja d’ essere. Periò ch’ ei ti par’ essere, bisogna dire che tu sia. P. L.
  223. P. 159. Christo è unigenito figliulo di Dio in quanto che intra gli eletti è sommo. Profeta et unico maestro nostro; lui solo è il nostro gran Sacerdote, supremo Rè de’ Rè et capo nostro. È unigenito poi in quanto che lui solo gu concetto per lo Spirito Santo. Dipoi è unigenito in quanto che Dio a lui solo ha dato spirito senza misura, in lui sono tutti li tesori della divina sapientia, havendo perfettissimamente tutte le virtù et gratie. II padre suo dunque l’ ha avichito come se non havesse altri figlinoli che lui et gli fusse unigenito. Habbiamo anche il testimonio di Christo, il quale domandando il cieco nato ae credeva nel figliuol di Dio, et esso domandando chi fusse il figliuol di Dio, disse, lo sono. È necessaiio adunque che crediamo che è figlinol di Dio et di più, che è Dio, atteso che San Giovanni disse che il verbo era Dio. II sinuil fece San Tommaso quando disse a Christo, Signor mio et Dio mio. (Cf. Rom. ix.; 1 John i.; Heb. i.)
  224. Die Protestantischen Antitrinitarier vor Faustus Sozin, ii. 1844.
  225. Ill. Ma io non so vedere come il battesimo habbia la promessa della remission de peccati, imperocche quando l’ adulto si vuol battezzare, bisogna, prima che si battezzi che habbia viva fede in Christo come è gia provato, Però bisogna credere che per Christo gli son stati gia perdonati i peccati. Non si battezza adunque acciocche gli sieno perdonati, ma per protestare che gia vivamente cio’ crede; talchè la promessa è fatta a chi crede e non a chi si battezza.
  226. M. Che gli adulti non si battezzano per haver la fede ma perchè l’ hanno pcio’ in battezzarsi protestano d’ haverla, non puo’ negarsi. Ma non è cosi de’ fanciullini, imperocchè essi per mezzo del battesimo ricevano la fede. Ill. Se fusse come dici, doverebbono i fanciullini battezzarsi subito che sono nati, anzi subito che appar la testa . . . ma non fanno cosi, per tor la superstitione da quelli che credano che il battesimo giustifichi e salvi.
  227. Ill. È da sapere che per due cose è ordinato il battesimo, la prima accio’ ci consacriamo e dedichiamo a Dio per noi medesimi se siamo adulti o per altri se siamo senza giuditio. E questo è essenziale a tutti quelli che si battezzano, siano adulti o no’. La seconda è di protestare la fede che habbiamo, e questa è essensiale solamente agli adulti, imperocchè esse fanciullini non possano protestare d’ haver fede, anzi ne quelli che gli presentano, atteso che non sanno se l’ hanno, anzi ne se mai l’ havranno.
  228. Ergötzlichkeiten aus der Kirchenhistorie und Literatur, 1764, iii., 1175.
  229. È ben vero che il Bulingiero insiemo col Gualtero e col Volfino, havendo già io fatto stampare in Basilea un Catechismo dellamessa et quattro laberinti, et per esservi stati alcuni che ingiustamente alcune cose che erano in quegli dannavano, m’ esortarono a non stampare più altri libri, se prima non fossero approvati dai Deputati loro, imperochè poiche fossero stati approvati, non vi sarebbe chi ardisse di dannargli. Ma non mi dissero già che ci fosse la legge della proibitione. E Dio sà s’ egli è cosi. La causa poi perchè cio non m’ esplicassero io non la so. Ne mi esortarono puntò in nome de’ Consoli o del Senato, che haverei ubbidito, ma come da loro. Dialogo della Prudenza humana et Ochino. See Appendix, No. 49.
  230. De ritibus et institutis Ecclesiae Tigurinae opusculum. Published by Ludwig Lavater, 1559, fol. 24 b, Typographiae. Non liberum est cuivis, quidquid velit, in lucem edere; sed constituti sunt librorum censores ex senatoribus et ministris, qui curent ne edantur libelli famosi aut cum vera fide ac honestate pugnantes.
  231. 5th June 1563. In the Simmler’s collection at Zurich.
  232. The following is extracted from Meyer, Locarnes, ii., 168, et seq., which contains the graphic and faithful statement of the burgher Johannes Wagmann tithe Council. Simmler’s collection.
  233. Simmler’s Collection, Zurich MS.
  234. Pages 192, 210, 217, 225.
  235. Schelhorn, Ergötzlichkeiten iii., p. 2140.
  236. Tu id ponis, quod nunquam fit, videlice aliquem divinitas ad bigamiam vocari.
  237. Appendix, No. 49.
  238. Boxhorn, Historiae universalis ad. a. 1552., p. 74. (Leyden 1652. ). Bullinger’s statement dates from the year 1568.
  239. Simmler’s collection, Zurich MS.
  240. Simmler vita Bullingeri, p. 39.
  241. Meyer ii., p. 174, et seq.
  242. Dialogo, Appendix, No. 49, Schelhorn Ergötzlichkeiten iii., p. 2023.
  243. Simmler’s collection, Zurich MS.
  244. The following in Meyer ii., p. 176.
  245. Simmler’s collection, Zurich MS.
  246. When already on his deathbed, he wrote a defence against the reproaches made to him at Basle, on account of his share in Ochino’s publication: “Quod ad accusationis partem secundam attinet, videlicet quod Bernardini Ochini Dialogos transtulerim, non puto id mihi fraudi esse debere. Transtuli enim — sicut et alia eiusdam opera transtuleram — non ut iudex sed ut translator et ex eiusmodi opera ad alendam familiam questum facere solitus, et typographus librum se dixit obtulisse, cumque secundum Baaileensia institute fuisse censura approbatum. “At the end of the tractate, contra libellum Calvini, quo ostendere conatur, haereticos iure gladii coercendos esse.
  247. March 17th, 1564. MS. in Simmler’s Collection, Zurich. Bullinger had already warned this same Fabritius, at the end of December, that it was rumoured Ochino was going into the Valtellina. Thereupon it was resolved at Chur that he should not be permitted to pass through the Grisons. The caution was unnecessary; Ochino did not come.
  248. Folio 39 b.
  249. Epistolae, Geneva 1573, p. 11.
  250. Fuesslin, Epist. Reform. Eccl. helv., p. 463.
  251. Knibb to Bullinger, Easter 1564, MS. in Simmler’s Collection.
  252. Dialogo. Appendix, No. 49. Schelhorn has given what was probably the first edition of this pamphlet in the Ergötzlichkeiten, iii., pp. 2009-2035.
  253. Letter in Simmler’s Collection.
  254. Letter in Simmler’s Collection.
  255. Spongia adversus aspergines Bernardini Ochini qua verae causae exponuntur, ob quas ille ab Urbe Tigurina fuit relegatus. Printed with Hottinger’s Hist. Eccl. Novi Testamenti, torn ix., p. 475 ff, and with Schelhorn’s Ergötzlichkeiten, iii., p. 217 ff.
  256. Short abstract of certain offensive, distorted, and erroneous doctrines of Bernardino Ochino, taken out of the two volumes of his Thirty Dialogues. Simmler’s Collection, Zurich.
  257. Stanislai Resü Vita card. Hosii, Romae 1587. P. 234 ff. The date of the letter is not given.
  258. Trechsel, Lelio Sozini, p. 233.
  259. Schelhorn Ergötzlichkeiten, p. 1192.
  260. Instit. hist. eccl. aut. et rec, p. 812: non satis apertum est, jurene an injuria Socinianis annumeretur.
  261. Ibid, p. 788: Audacius quam haec aetas ferebat et secus quam Helvetorum Theologos de multis rebus virum sentisse libri ejus demonstrant.
  262. Compare Trechsel. Ibid., p. 236 ff.
  263. Henry, Life of Calvin, ii., p. 383.
  264. Appendix, No. 8.
  265. Cypriani Tabularium Ecclesiae Rom., saec. xvi., p. 347. It is there erroneously stated that the letter was addressed to Hosius.
  266. A. M. Graziani Vita Card. Commendoni, p. 134.