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numerous ceremonies observed by Christians ? Then God enlightened my mind. I knew these doctrines to be true. I resolved to renounce all superstition and vice, and lead a Christian life. Some of my friends thought me mad, others made sport of me. But from love to Jesus Christ, I bore it all patiently.”—“Why did you not enter the cloister ??? _“ Because I knew that a monastic life would not suit me. told that monks had seldom an opportunity to sin as other people do. I replied, that sinful desire developed itself as fully inside a monastery as out of it.”—“Did you ever converse with them ?"_“Yes, with those in whom the image of Christ was seen to shine forth.”—“Did you ever go on a pilgrimage?”—“No, for Jesus Christ manifests himself everywhere to those who truly seek him. It seemed to me an act of folly to seek at Jerusalem what I had within me.” In the same manner he gives his reasons for not observing the various ceremonies of the papal system. He, however, has fasted and heard mass. There is not a perfect freedom from error in these portrayals of character, yet the strongest features of truth stand out clearly in the dialogues.

In the second one Juan rises to eloquence, when endeavoring to show that the particular calamities which befell “the eternal city,” and the papal hierarchy, were designed by Providence as direct and corrective puishments upon their cherished vices, their insatiable ambition, their avarice and robberies, their hypocrisy, superstition, and idolatry, and their reckless destruction of the souls of men. “You see,” he exclaims, "what honor is done to Jesus Christ by his vicars, his ministers—those who live by his blood! Oh, blood of Christ! so abused by his vicars that the present one avails himself of thee to extort moneys that he may slay men, murder Christians, destroy cities, burn towns, dishonor maidens, make widows and devour them, and introduce all the accumulated ills that war brings in its train! He that saw Lombardy, and even all Christendom so lately in prosperity--such beautiful and important cities, such fine villas, such gardens, such merry-makings ! such happiness! The peasants reaped their harvests, pastured their flocks, built themselves dwellings; citizens and nobles, every one in his sphere, freely enjoyed his property. But after this accursed war began, how vast the desolations! How many nobles, citizens, and peasants brought to squalid poverty! How many widows and orphans ! How many men have fallen throughout Christendom ! And worse still, what numbers of souls have been sent to hell! And we put up with it as though it were a joke !";

More special outrages are cited, and then he exclaims, “Oh, chief pontiff, who allowest such things to be done in thy name! What Jew, Turk, Moor, or Infidel will ever wish to come to the Christian faith, if our vicar does such things? ... Does it appear to you, sir, that this is the way to imitate Jesus Christ? Is this the mode of teaching Christian people? Is this the manner of interpreting Holy Scripture?” Reference is then had to the fact that God was rejecting this papal hierarchy, and raising up such men as Erasmus, “to expose the vices and fraud of the Roman court, and the entire Roman clergy with great eloquence, prudence, and modesty ;” and Martin Luther to “ draw away many nations from obedience to their prelates.”

It seems quite as if the trenchant pen of Erasmus had been borrowed by the young Spaniard, and he might be taken for an admiring follower of Luther, were it not for his knightly defence of the emperor, and his expressions of devotion to the pope as the visible head of the church. It is not claimed that he was a Protestant, yet he took a far higher view of political morals, and cherished a more spiritual idea of religion, than any known writer in Spain during that period.

Even while these dialogues were privately circulated in manuscript among a few friends, the papal nuncio secured a copy, and declared them libellous and impious. The ruin of the secretary Valdés was at once plotted. Threatened with the Inquisition, it was a relief to follow the emperor to the famous Diet of Augsburg. He corresponded with Erasmus, he held conferences with Melanchthon, and had a quite prominent part in effecting the agreement between the Roman and Protestant parties. He translated into Italian and Spanish the Confession presented by Melanchthon, by command of the emperor, who finally said, “A man multiplies himself by the number of languages which he speaks.” IIe probably wrote

a little work concerning the results of the Diet. He published Angleria's letters, in which were two from Luther. Quite suddenly he disappears, about the year 1532, and with him the policy of the tolerant party in Spain comes to an end. Angleria and Gatinara were already dead.

The most that can be gathered concerning his fate is from a letter of Enzinas, the translator of the New Testament into Spanish, to Melanchthon: “There are none of us who did not know Alfonso Valdés to be a good man.

The satellites of the holy fathers could never endure his doctrine nor his authority. They laid such snares for him, that if he had returned to Spain there would have been an end of him. They would have caused him to die a cruel death; the emperor himself could not have saved him.” Perhaps he was a martyr, although he was never an avowed Protestant. One has said (more than we can fully indorse), “ Like Erasmus, he was not wanting in genius to soar with Luther; like Erasmus, he would not separate himself from the simplicity and breadth of the Bible; and like Erasmus, also, both he and his twin-brother remained within the pale of their ancient communion till their death.” He may justly be ranked as one of the first reformers of Spain, and not altogether unsuccessful.

Meanwhile Juan seems to have prepared the “ Advice on the Interpretation of Holy Scripture,” which gained for him the title of“ heretic," and the more prying attention of the Inquisition. He drew part of it from the writings of John Tauler. It was circulated in manuscript, and has not been recovered. Its three remarkable propositions were: That to understand the Scriptures we must not rely upon the Fathers; That we are justified by a living faith in Christ; and That we may, in this life, attain to an assurance of our justification.

It was unsafe for Juan to linger in Spain. Llorente affirms that he was formally declared a heretic while there, but the Inquisition was probably cautious enough to attempt first his capture. He was cheered by a letter from Erasmus, in March, 1529, and read these words: “That you hold a note so slightly written as mine to be one of your chief literary jewels, I quite appreciate; and, on my side, very dear Juan, I shall treasure with great esteem the memory of a mind so amiable and pure as yours in my heart. It is gratifying to know that there are many good men in Spain who heartily love me. Yet it gives me pain that, in a country favored with so many privileges, such nests of hornets multiply, and cause such disturbances to me and all whom I love. I am heartily thankful for you and all Spaniards like you, because you consecrate all your efforts

, and studies to the culture of letters, always aiming to promote Christian piety and unite them to it, a thing not done by many Italians until now. What worth have learning and literature if they draw away the mind from religion ?"

We find Juan Valdés at Naples as secretary to Don Pedro Toledo, the viceroy, who strove to inake his power a terror to evil-doers and heretics.

No city was in greater need of a vigorous administration of justice. It is supposed that the doctrines of the Reformers were first introduced there by the German soldiers, who occupied it after the sack of Rome. In no other part of the peninsula do they seem to have made such extensive progress. The

. Germans were followed by a man who, according to a bigoted papist, “ caused a far greater slaughter of souls than all the thousands of heretical soldiery.” This was Juan Valdés, whom Curione, a contemporary, describes as “ a splendid knight in the service of the emperor, but of much higher rank and much more splendid as a knight of Christ. He was not, therefore, very assiduous as a courtier, after Christ had been revealed to him, but he remained in Naples, where, by his suavity of doctrine and holiness of life, he gained over many disciples to Christ, especially among gentlemen and cavaliers, and some gentlewomen, most praiseworthy and exalted. It seemed as if God had appointed him as the instructor and pastor of noble and illustrious persons; he also drew to him those of lower rank, the poor, the rude and ignorant, making himself all things to all men, in order to win many to Christ. He gave light to some of the most renowned Italian preachers, as they have told me."

Here then was Don Pedro, charged by the emperor to nise every exertion to nproot heresy, and publishing an edict that no one should associate with persons infected with Lntheranisin, or even suspected of it, under peril of losing life and

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property. And here was Valdés, a layman and a scholar, charged by Heaven to use all efforts to plant there the Word, which lias power to grow mightily and prevail; the very man for whom many earnest inquirers were waiting. They had but a taste of the delicious truth from his lips, when ill health, or prudence, induced him to spend two years in travelling on horseback, or secluding himself at Rome. He resigned his secretary ship.

His return was hailed with uncominon delight by the circle of eager inquirers. For health and safety he took a countryhouse at Chiaja, beautifully situated on the bay of Naples. Like Calvin, he had little time to spare upon descriptions of the majestic scenery around him. Tongue and pen must be wholly engaged in his Master's service. IIe talked and wrote down the substance of the conversations; thus grew the Christian literature of Chiaja, where his friends visited him. One of them said of him, “I never saw a man more devoted to writing. At home, he is St. Juan the Evangelist, pen always in hand, so that I believe that he writes at night what he does by day, and in the day what he dreams at night.” Certain gentlemen, who wished none of his words to be lost, contrived to bring in secretly a skilful writer, and hide him so that he should take notes upon the conversations. The scheme succeeded. They finally persuaded him to fill up the notes, and thus grew the “Dialogue on Language,” for he was instructing them in the Spanish tongue. The production was one of great literary merit. One of his fine sayings in it is, “Had I to choose, I should prefer a man with but moderate genius and good judgment to one with moderate judgment and great genius.”—“And why ?”—“ Because men of great genius lose themselves in heresies and erroneous opinions through want of judgment. Man has no jewel to compare with that of a sound judgment.”

The man, who made this ingenious scheme so effective, was Marco Antonio Magno, the agent of Julia Gonzaga, duchess of Trajetto. Lawsuits brought her to Naples, where she joined “the gospel circle," and thenceforth exercised a powerful influence for the Reformation in Italy. She was known as a poetess in a literary age, and no descendant of the Colonnas


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