Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/93

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73
ARNALD OF BRESCIA.

and incorrect notions respecting pædo-baptism and the Eucharist were attributed to him. Whatever may have been his theological aberrations, his real offence was the energetic way in which he lashed the vices of the clergy and stimulated the laity to repossess the ample wealth and extended privileges which the Church had acquired. Profoundly convinced that the evils of Christendom arose from the worldliness of the ecclesiastical body, he taught that the Church should hold neither temporal possessions nor jurisdiction, and should confine itself rigidly to its spiritual functions. Of austere and commanding virtue, irreproachable in his self-denying life, trained in all the learning of the schools, and gifted with rare persuasive eloquence, he became the terror of the hierarchy, and found the laity ready enough to listen and to act upon doctrines which satisfied their worldly aspirations as well as their spiritual longings. The second Lateran Council, in 1139, endeavored to suppress the revolt which he excited in the Lombard cities by condemning and imposing silence on him ; he refused obedience, and the next year Innocent II., in approving the proceedings of the Council of Sens, included him in the condemnation of Abelard, and ordered both to be imprisoned and their writings burned. Arnald had fled from Italy to France, and now he was driven to Switzerland, where we find his restless activity at work in Constance and then in Zurich, pursued by the sleepless watchfulness of St. Bernard. According to the latter, his conquests over souls in Switzerland were rapid, for his teeth were arms and arrows, and his tongue was a sharp sword. After the death of Innocent II. he returned to Rome, where he seems to have been reconciled to Eugenius III. in 1146 or 1146. The new pope, speedily wearied with the turbulence of the city which had exhausted his predecessors, abandoned it and finally sought refuge in France. Arnald was not idle in these movements, and was generally held responsible for them. Vain were the remonstrances of St. Bernard to the Roman commonalty, and equally vain his appeals to the Emperor Conrad to restore the papal power by force. At the same time Conrad treated with disdain envoys sent by the Roman republic, protesting that their object was to restore the imperial supremacy as it had existed under the Caesars, and inviting him to come and assume the empire of Italy. Eugenius, on his return to Italy, in 1148, issued from Brescia a condemna-