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BY THE LATE REVEREND
JOHN JORTIN, D. D.
ARCHDEACON OF LONDON, RECTOR OF ST. DUNSTAN'S IN THE EAST,
Ego nullius obscuro gloriam, nullius obsto commodis, nullius obstrepo studiis; non
FROM A.D. 1530 TO A.D. 1536;
REMARKS ON THE WORKS OF ERASMUS.
Printed by RICHARD TAYLOR AND CO., Shoe Lane,
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, PATERNOSTER ROW;
LIFE OF ERASMUS.
A. D. MDXXX.
THIS year Erasmus was busied in translating divers trea tises of St. Chrysostom, and in exhorting his learned friends to do the like, that a complete edition might afterwards be published of the works of this father in Greek and Latin. He also wrote long letters to Tonstal and to Sadolet, wherein he defends himself, and vigorously attacks his old enemies. When he writes to the Romanists, he often seems to favour the Protestants; and when he writes against these, he ap pears zealous for the doctrines of the Roman church. Yet it should seem probable that his true sentiments were those in defence of which he got no profit, and by declaring which he incurred the dislike of the Romish party, from which he was not willing to separate himself. Ep. 1091, 1092, 1093,
To the bishop of Hildesheim he dedicated one Algerusa, a Benedictin monk of the twelfth century, who wrote on the sacrament of the body and blood of Jesus Christ against Berenger. Erasmus says that by the perusal of this book he had been confirmed in the opinion of a real presence. It would, I believe, produce the quite contrary effect upon others; and it is not to be forgotten that Erasmus could have easily embraced the sentiments of Zuinglius and Oeco lampadius, if his mother the church would have given him leave. Accordingly he was suspected of not having quite Val. Andrea Bibl. Belg. p. 133. Maittaire, ii. 732, B
so much implicit faith as he talked of, as it appears in other epistles. Ep. 1095.
In a letter to Tonstal he declares his opinion, that, in the primitive times, the faithful used sometimes to consecrate bread and wine, and communicate together without a presbyter to perform the office. Rigaltius and Grotius adopted this opinion, which gave occasion to a dispute. Ep. 1092. To the remarks which we have made upon Tonstal, in p. 97, &c. let us add these;
• Now were committed (A. 1529) unto archbishop Parker's custody divers Popish bishops, as Cuthbert Tonstal, bishop of Durham, having been deprived in July, who died in the archbishop's house at Lambeth, in November following, being eighty-five years of age. But before his death, by the archbishop's means, he was brought off from papistical fancies. And he declared it his judgment, that the pope's too far distended power ought to be restrained within his own diocese of Rome. Letters to which purpose he had long before written to cardinal Pole. Unto which mind he now returned again, after his compliance with the pope under queen Mary. And not above fourteen days before his death, while he lived with the archbishop, he testified to him and to others those letters to Pole to be his.-Tonstal also allowed of the marriage of priests, as permitted by the word of God. To all which I may add his judgment in point of justification, which was according to the doctrine of the Reformed,' &c. Strype's Life of Parker, b. i. ch. 10.
In a letter to the bishop of Augsburg, Erasmus complains much of a boil on his navel, which grievously incommoded him. Speaking of his best patron Warham, who was then fourscore years old, he says to this bishop; If he dies, you must supply his place. My two pensions from England produce about two hundred florins yearly; but this money comes to my hands greatly diminished by the merchants who remit it, and sometimes detain a fourth part. At other times other persons curtail it. If the archbishop should die, I shall never see a penny more of it. There is a man (Petrus Barbirius) to whom I could have trusted all things, even my own life, who hath begun to intercept the pension which
See Bibl. Univ. i. 133, 134. iv. 94.
I have in Flanders from a prebend which I resigned. During my absence the emperor pays me nothing, and hardly would he give me any thing, though I were to go to Brabant, notwithstanding all the fine promises with which they feed me. Thus Erasmus will soon be reduced to a state of evangelical poverty; though, by the blessing of God, he is not altogether in that condition as yet. Epist. 1112. 1117.
In a letter to George of Saxonyd he inveighs bitterly against Luther for having very roughly attacked that prince, with whom Luther had great altercations. Ep. 1113.
He mentions Trapezuntius amongst learned men. He hath also commended Bessarion in some other place. Ep. 1100.
He lived at Friburgs upon very good terms with the Franciscans, who dwelt so near him, that he could sing along with them in his chamber, without going to church.
To Melanchthon he says; God alone, my dear Philip, can unravel the intricate plot of the tragedy which is now acting. Ten councils assembled together could not do it, much less can such an one as I. If a man says a reasonable thing, it is straightway called Lutheranism, and this is all his recompense. He makes the same remarks elsewhere; and yet he flattered the party that acted in this outrageous manner, and fell foul upon the Evangelics, as in a reply to the ministers of Stratsburg, in the last tome of his works, which he addresseth to the brethren of the Lower Germany and of East Friesland. It is the work of a man who was in a passion, because he had been censured for inconstancy and want of courage. Ep. 1117. 1119.
He dedicated his Christian Widow to Mary queen-dowager of Hungary, who wrote him a letter of thanks with her
d See Seckendorf, 1. ii. p.149.
Hodius De Græc. Illustr. 102, &c. Huetius De Clar. Interpr. p. 238.
Hodius, p. 136. Huetius, p. 237.
Hic Franciscanos habeo tam vicinos, ut in cubiculo audiam canentes, perinde ac si essem in templo. Summa est inter nos amicitia, quia nulla est inter eos malitia. Habent concionatorem probum ac modestum, qui Erasmum interdum etiam honorifice citat in concionibus. Ep. 1102. Bayle, Hongrie (Marie, Reine de). See also Gerdes. ii. 176.