Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/264

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that may become dangerous. As the twelfth century drew to an end there appeared another apostle whose brief career for a space seemed to give assurance that both clergy and people might be aroused to a practical sense of the changes requisite to enable the Church to fulfil its bright promises to mankind.

Foulques de Neuilly was an obscure priest, with little education or training and with profound contempt for the dialectics of the schools, but whose conviction of the sins of Church and people led him to abandon the cure of souls for the more arduous duties of a missionary. Moved by his enthusiasm, Peter Cantor procured for him from Innocent III. a license to preach, but at first his success was disheartening. He had not discovered the secret of reaching the hearts of his hearers, but the experience gained by earnest work acquired it for him, and his legend explains it in the customary shape of a special revelation from God, accompanied with the gift of working miracles. He caused, it is said, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the crippled to walk, but he selected his subjects and ofttimes refused to work cures, telling the applicant that his time had not yet come, and that health would but give him fresh opportunity to sin. Though popularly known as "le sainct homme,'' he was no ascetic, and at a time when maceration was popularly deemed an indispensable accompaniment of holiness, it was remarked with wonder that he would eat thankfully whatever was set before him, and that he was not observant of vigils. Yet he was irascible, and was wont to give over to Satan those who refused to listen to him, when it was observed that they would shortly perish through the divine vengeance. Thousands of sinners flocked to hear him and were converted to repentance, though few of them persevered in the path of righteousness, and he was so successful in reclaiming women of evil life who became nuns that the Convent of St. Antoine in Paris was founded to receive them. Many Cathari, also, were won over by him to the faith, and it was through his exertions that Terric, the heresiarch of the Nivernois, was discovered in his cave at Corbigny and was burned. He was especially severe on the licentiousness of the clergy, and at Lisieux he so angered them with his invectives that they seized and threw him in a dungeon and loaded him with chains, when his miraculous powers stood him in good stead and he walked forth without difficulty. The same thing occurred at Caen, when the officials of