subject, and he thus was able to relieve them of doubts, or gather new views from them. Thus his own themes were presented in the forenoon. In the afternoon they brought forward their topics for conversation. These meetings may have continued four or five years. “ These Sabbaths of studions Christians, this exchange of subjects, this intercourse of thought between the proposers, the day, the pure elevation of mind they brought as it were with them, the situation, the beauty of the country, the transparent skies of a Southern climate, the low murmurs of the bay,” says Mr. Wiffen, “would all be favorable to the purpose of Valdés." His notes expanded into short essays, upon distinct themes, until they formed “ The CX. Considerations.” They present his most finished thonghts, and seem to have been his latest composition.

That the book is free from any sort of erroneous opinion, none will claim. Yet it will not suffer in comparison with the writings of almost any other reformer, even the chief. The absurd charge that he was an Anti-trinitarian was started by Saudius through ignorance, or a desire to swell a list, or the mere suspicion that Bernardino Ochino received his later views from his teacher in the Gospel. Bayle and most of the biographical dictionaries have repeated the charge. It will suffice to quote Valdés—not even a tithe of what he declares; “I rejoice in what I know at present, that this Word of God is the Son of God, with whom and by whom God has created and restored all things; that he is of the same substance with the Father; that he is one and the same in essence with him, and that like him he is eternal.” He constantly speaks of "the Holy and Divine Spirit” as an eternal person. Beza was offended a little at Valdés chiefly. because his readers might be led to forsake the Scriptures and look for some higher revelations of the Holy Spirit. When trying to show, in his Sixty-third Consideration, “that the Holy Scripture is like a candle in a dark place, and the Holy Spirit is like the sud,” Valdés evidently means that the Holy Spirit is the source of Holy Scripture and higher than it; that He alone leads to its truly spiritual comprehension, and, as he says, “the man who seeks to be pious, having no other light than the Holy Scriptures, is like a man in a dark place with only

a candle," while “the man who seeks to be pious, having the Spirit of God to guide and bring him forward in it, is like one who stands in a place where the rays of the sun enter and make it bright.” Scarcely a reformer more stoutly insisted upon the light of Scripture and the life of the Spirit, as necessary to salvation.

The first edition of the “ Divine Considerations” was in Italian, edited by the refugee Celio Curione, and issued from Basle, in 1550, ten years after the author's death. It soon was published in French at Lyons and Paris, and also in Spanish and Dutch. Two English versions appeared in the seventeenth century. After that time it became a rare book, until very recently. It is now re-published in various languages. Morhof, near the close of the seventeenth century, said of the author and his work : “Those Considerations of his are full of piety, and evidently written with the taste of a purer theology than the common, so that there is no pontifical leaven to be found in them. And it is altogether wonderful that, even in that age, there were men concealed under papal darkness who profoundly fathomed the depths of religious mysteries. The book was one truly worthy of being turned into Latin or German ; it occasionally breathes so sympathetically with Arndt (author of True Christianity'), that it would seem as though they spoke but with one mouth. It ever scrntinizes our actions very closely; it evinces in its great discre tion a true acquaintance with Christianity, and on that account is singularly to be commended.”

The impression which Juan Valdés made upon and adopted country was not measured by the circulation of his writings. He was a prime mover of other minds. His personal power was felt in the entire circle of choice spirits who heard him talk in his villa, and they carried it with them into their homes, their neighborhoods, their palaces, or their pulpits, their prisons, and their places of exile. Few of them left the Roman Church, while they threw off most of its grosser errors; they had not the privilege of an organized Protestantism in their own land. The known names among them would make a long list. Julia Gonzaga was but one of the many noble ladies who were disciples of Valdés. . Isabella Manrique, a


his age

Spanish lady of high rank, and the sister of a cardinal, received his doctrine, zealously promoted the evangelical faith, and, when persecution drove her from Naples, she fled to Zurich, and finally settled in the Valtelline in order to maintain the liberty of conscience. The gifted Vittoria Colonna, an admired poetess, was no unaffected listener. Folengo, the prior of Monte Cassino, noted the effects of the revival of the Gospel, and said: “We behold a most extraordinary spectacle; we see women, who seem naturally more prone to vanity than to serious reflection, men untutored, and soldiers, so moved by the truth that, if any thing is heard about a holy life, it generally comes from them. Indeed, this is the golden age! Throughout my native Campania there is no preacher so learned but that he would become wiser and holier from converse with such women."

Julio de Milano, a professor of theology, carried the truth with him through various persecutions, printed a volume of sermons, and fled to the Grisons, where he founded a church, preached to it thirty years, and laid the foundation of several other churches in that region. Marc Antonio Flaminio, the poet, exercised a pious influence among literary men. Caserta and Carnesecchi were among the noble martyrs; among the charges against such men was their having read and circulated the writings of Valdés, and that kindred spirit, Aonio Paleano. The heroic Marquis of Vico, Galeazzo Caraccioli, forsook his honors, estates, and family (who refused to accompany him), and went into exile for the love and liberty of the Gospel. He was received at Geneva with the warm affection of Calvin, who did so much to make Geneva the refuge for troops of exiles driven out of Italy and France on account of their faith.

Valdés had no more eminent disciple than Peter Martyr Vermiglio, who, was still preaching at Naples when his instructor died. With him was Cusano, formerly his fellow-student at Padua, where they had spent whole nights in mastering the Greek language and reading the Greek Testament. This Peter Martyr is intimately connected with the history of the Reformation in Italy, France, Switzerland, and especially England. His influence at Oxford and with the several English bishops who labored for reform-Ridley, Latimer, Cranmer,

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Hooper, and Jewel-cannot be estimated. No small part of it may be traced to Valdés, who has been called the spiritual father of this “master-spirit in Israel, the arch-counsellor of the recognized founders of the English Church.”

It has been said that Valdés, as a reformer, entered less than almost any other man of his time into the battle of the hierarchies. His aim was not so much to destroy error as to build up truth. He was not a controversialist, nor a speculative theologian. Without discarding the Roman Church, he seems to have quietly retired from her communion. He looked far above the mere ritual. Concerning the prevalent abuse of ecclesiastical rites he said: “Outward ceremonies breed inward vices.” He could have sympathized in the remark of Calvin: “Little will be made of ceremonies in the Day of Judgment.” Certain quietists of our age have made him one of their models, and kept him aloof from the Christian church and her ordinances. This must be owing to a perversion of a few of his rather unguarded sayings : e.g., A Christian's proper study should be in his own book. I call my mind my book. In this are contained my opinions, both true and false. In this I discover my confidence and my diffidence, my faith and my unbelief, my hope and my negligence, my charity and my enmity.” But he did not mean that a pious life consisted largely in mere inward contemplation. For he goes on to say: “When I wish to know whether my opinions in the Christian faith are false or true, I compare them with the doctrines held by those holy men who wrote the Sacred Scriptures. Reading the holy faith of those Christians of the primitive church, who were acknowledged to be justified and sanctified in and by Christ, I know my own faith and my unbelief, and pray God that he will increase my faith, . . . In this manner Holy Scripture serves me the better to study my own book, and to understand it.” After all, his greatest book was the Bible. He certainly differed from most of the modern Quakers in his views of its anthority and the fulness of its light for the human soul.

He died at Naples, about middle age, in 1540, and there was a long remembrance of his spare body, fair and pleasing countenance, retiring disposition, courteous manners, gentle

and winning speech, benevolent heart, vigorous mind, clear logic, happy wit, devoted piety, and un blemished life. His circle of learners felt lonely in the world after he was gone. One of them, Bonfadio, thus wrote to Camnesecchi: “Would that we were now with that happy company! I hear you sigh for it. Yet where shall we go, now that Signor Valdés is dead? This has truly been a great loss for us and the world, for Signor Valdés was one of the rare men of Europe, and those writings he has left us on the Epistles of Paul and the Psalms of David most amply show it. With a particle of his soul he governed his frail and spare body: with the larger part he was always raised in the contemplation of truth and of divine things."

The writings of Valdés were not likely to escape the searching eye of the Inquisition in his native country. There, one of his own relatives, Fernando de Valdés, archbishop of Seville, was Graud Inquisitor. It was he who put the whole code of the Spanish Inquisition into the form in which those terrible laws have existed to this day. The contrast between the two men was but a type of what existed in that age. Juan Valdés, without using his tongue as the lash upon persecutors, or noisily declaiming against intolerance, was the earnest advocate of true, religious liberty.

Although “actions speak louder than words," the fame and influence of a few men rest mainly upon their conversations. Samuel Johnson and Coleridge were great talkers. They had great things to say. No one talks too much whose utterances are timely, wise, and weighty. The ancients, without a press to crowd its issues upon them, were not shallow thinkers; they talked and remembered, we read and forget. In an age when the decline of right manly conversation is lainented, it may be well to notice that Juan Valdés was a great talker, and that his influence was by no' means wasted in the air. His words were deeds. Mr. Ticknor, in his History of Spanish Literature, mentions him as “a person who enjoys the distinction of being one of the first Spaniards that embraced the opinions of the Reformation, and the very first who made an effort to spread them.” The day may be coming when his long-hidden writings will hold in Spain the place which they deserved more than three hundred years ago.

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