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fall of Jerusalem! What liberality in St. Exuperius, Bishop of Toulouse, to give away the gold and silver of his church to the poor, even to the carrying of the blessed sacrament in a little basket of osier! What charity in St. Paulinus, who, after spending his whole patrimony in alms, sold himself, and became a slave, to redeem the sons of a poor widow! And what a spirit in St. Vincent of Paul, to go in place of an unhappy man, who, for one act of smuggling, was condemned for three years to the galleys, and there to serve as a volunteer, so that he bore the marks of the irons till his death! What power in St. Leo and St. Lupus, to stay Attila, and make head against an army of 700,000 men from the most dreadful nations of the earth! What simplicity in St. Charles Borromeo and Cardinal Ximenes, to visit their diocese on foot without attendants; and in the great Cardinal of Lo ne, to be constant in ardently catechising the most simple of his diocese ! What piety and charity in the learned and innocent Baronius, for nine whole years to visit hospitals morning and evening! What an edifying spectacle, to see Lewis of Grenada refuse the mitre; and Don Bartholomew de Martyribus, to resist, till he was forced under pain of excommunication to accept the archiepiscopal throne of Braga, when he walked to Lisbon to pay his respects to the queen! To see him then leave the convent, with the attendants of an apostle, full of sorrow and shame when shewn the magnificent palace provided for him, wearing still the poor coarse habit of the order of St. Dominick; inhabiting a little room with bare walls, a deal table, and a mattress ; eating of but one dish, giving the rest to the poor ; rising at three in the morning to study the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers till eight o'clock, when he said mass ; preaching to the people on all festivals, verifying St. Augustine's rule,“ Sapienter dicit homo tanto magis vel minus quanto in Scripturis sacris magis minusque profecerit ;" visiting his diocese in the depth of winter, mounted on a mule; falling at the feet of a great lord who led a wicked life, beseeching him to repent; choosing rather to sleep in a cabin with his people, than in the principal house of the village called the Castle, which fell to the
1 De Doct. Christ. 4, 5.
ground that very night, giving the holy man occasion to remark that the poverty of Jesus Christ is often useful, even for this present life : then pursuing his journey to the Council of Trent, at each city on the way sending his people to an inn, while he and the monk who accompanied him sought a convent of his order, in which he was received as a common friar, and assisted at the office as such ; entering Trent on foot ; then practising a devout retreat in that city, being visible only in the church ; his zeal at the council, his return to Portugal, his visitation of his province, visiting the most savage mountains, sitting on the rocks instructing the poor people ; then his charity during the famine, and his self-devotion in time of the plague ; his gratitude, and his earnest prayers for the soul of the young king, Don Sebastian, who was slain in Africa ; his repeated, and at length successful, efforts to resign his mitre; his retiring to the convent of the Holy Cross of Viane, begging for charity to be allowed to inhabit the least of all the cells, whence he used to visit the neighbouring villages on foot, to teach the children their catechism, and to relieve the poor, giving his mattress to a poor woman, and reserving only a few boards for his own bed : then his patience at the last; his calm and holy death! Take another example from the Chronicle of St. Denis :' “ En cette annee, en la 3 de Septembre, trespassa de ce siecle à la joie de paradis Morice evesque de Paris, homme de hounourable memoire, pere des poures et des orphelins. Car entre ses bonnes æuvres qu'il fist, dont il fist mainte, il fonda 3 abbayes et les dona tres devotement a ses propres despens hermaulx, hermeries pere et gif: et en la parfin donna aux poures pour l'amour de nostre Seigneur quand que il peut avoir de meuble ; et pour ce que il croit fermement la resurrection des
oy douter maint grant clerc en son temps, et il desiroit que il les peust rappeller de leur erreurs, et tous ceux qui en douteroyent, il commanda quant il mouroit que on luy escripsist ung roullet qui tenoit cette sentence : Je croy que mon Redempteur vit, et que je serai resucité de terre au dernier jour, et verray droit nostre Sauveur en cette miene chair, que moy mesme verray non mye autres, que mes yeulx regarderont: ceste esperance est
1 Tom. ii. 28.
en mon coeur escripte. Et commanda et pria a ses amys que le roullet fut mys sur son tombeau le jour de son obit.” No marvel that the influence of such men was great over the generous and knightly part of mankind: these were the men who by confession knew the
grace ; they went down to the sea on ships, and they saw the works of God in the mighty depths.' Much of this influence, no doubt, arose from their faithful observance of their sacerdotal duty. “As long as we are sheep," says St. Chrysostom, “ we shall conquer, though a thousand wolves encompass us; but if we should become wolves, we shall be conquered ; for then the Pastor will withdraw his assistance.”ı
Priests having no places or pensions to seek for their families, and being even externally detached from all the bonds of the world, having consequently no motives for dreading the displeasure of the great, were enabled to perform their duty with boldness. Thus, when Brantom relates the maxim 'of Louis XI. “ qui nescit dissimulare nescit regnare,” he goes on to say, « But this is sinful, ainsi que j'ouys une fois prescher à un grand prédicateur, Docteur de Sorbonne, nommé Monsieur Poucet, qui preschoit à la paroisse S. Sulpice à S. Germain des Prez, qui dit tout haut sur un sujet que je ne diray pas, que telles paroles estoient d'un vray atheiste, et qui ouvroit le chemin aux roys et aux princes pour aller à tous les diables, et les rendre vrais tyrans. Possible qui en voudra bien pesser les raisons, il trouvera ce prescher tres veritable, et fort homme de bien selon nostre bon Seigneur Jesus Christ, qui hayt mortellement les hypocrites, les quelles on peut nommer proprement traistres dissimulez, disoit ce bon prescheur. C'estoit le prescheur autant hardy à parler que jamais a entré en chaise."
History will often present these apostolic men, who are disengaged from the world, invested with a dignity arising from their elevation above all temporal interests, which surpassed that of kings.
When the French officers burst at midnight into the cabinet of the Vatican, and announced to Pius VII. that he must instantly accompany them to leave Rome, the holy Pope, taking up his breviary, told them that he was ready, and desired them to lead the way.
1 Comment. in Matt. xxiv.
answer was that which Pius VI. had made to General Berthier, who had presented him with the national cockade, and told him that his reign was at an end, but that he might retire on a pension ! “ I know of no other uniform but that with which the Church has honoured me : you have full power over my body, but my soul is beyond the reach of your endeavours. I want no pension. A staff in place of a crosier, and a sackcloth, suffice for him who ought to expire on ashes. I adore the hand of the Almighty, who punishes the shepherd and his flock : you can burn and destroy the houses of the living, and the tombs of the dead; but religion is eternal; it will exist after you as it was before you, and its reign will endure from generation to generation.”
The clergy were aware always of their own power ; they knew, as St. Cyprian says, “Sacerdos Dei, evangelium tenens, occidi potest, vinci non potest.” It was not by human oratory that they commanded. Even St. Chrysostom shunned the style of orators ; and though naturally as eloquent as Demosthenes, yet he adopted no exordium, no division, and appears not even to have formed a plan for his discourse. But it was by the gentle annunciation of the doctrine of Christ, and by the grace accompanying their words, that they bound the kings of the earth with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron. Of this influence we need only cite a few examples ; such as that of St. Bernard over Louis le Jeune, in preventing his war with Thibaut Count of Champagne, who likewise governed his court by advice of St. Bernard, which became remarkable for modest and temperate manners ; and from this epoch, says the historian," he no longer took up arms as readily as he used to do."2 Again, such was the influence of Archbishop Lanfranc over William the Conqueror, and of St. Anselm over William Rufus. The admiration even of infidel historians has been extorted by “the peace of God,” first preached by the Bishops of Arles and Lyons, A.D. 1033, and being found impracticable, changed for the “ Treuga Dei,” which was adopted in 1041. This lasted from Advent till the Epiphany, and from Quinquagesima Sunday till Whitsuntide; besides,
| Fleury, Deuxième Discours, sur la Prédication.
during the four Quatembres, the festivals of our Lady and of All Saints, and during every week, from Wednesday evening until Monday morning. Against duelling their labours were incessantly directed; and when they could not prevent, they at least diminished the crimes of their generation. There is a striking narrative in the history of French chivalry which will illustrate the subject, and point out the general benefit, and the scenes of exquisite beauty in point of taste, which might sometimes arise from the exercise of this influence. Two Spanish gentlemen, the Seigneurs Sainte-Croix and Azēvēdo, were made prisoners at Bologna, where they had a quarrel. It was during the wars of Louis XII. in Italy. Azēvēdo accused Sante-Croix of a treacherous design to assassinate him : Sainte-Croix had given him the lie, and had offered to exculpate himself by mortal combat, “par combat à outrance.' Azēvēdo commissioned the baron of Bearn to ask permission from the Duke of Nemours. This being granted, and the field for combat, he challenged Sainte-Croix, who accepted the duel, and the parties met without delay. The spot chosen was before the palace of the Duke of Ferrara. Sainte-Croix was accompanied by a hundred gentlemen. Among others, by Don Pedro d'Acugna, his relation, knight of Rhodes, and grand prior of Messina. Azēvēdo appeared with a similar attendance, and his relation Frederic de Gonzagues, Count of Bozolo. As soon as Azēvēdo entered the lists with all arms, either to fight on foot or on horseback, the grand prior of Messina advanced towards him, and presented two sharp swords and two daggers, that he might choose, for Sainte-Croix would not permit any other arms. Then their relations came forward to feel that they had no concealed armour under their dress. The combatants proceeded to prayer, and the lists were cleared, only the two relations remaining and Bayard, whom the Duke of Ferrara had appointed judge of the field. The herald having proclaimed silence, the two adversaries marched up fiercely and commenced to fight with such address that each had need of a firm foot and a sharp eye. After many ineffectual blows, Sainte-Croix aimed with all his strength at the face of Azēvēdo, who parried the blow with great skill, and in return forced his sword into the thigh of Sainte-Croix from the hip to the