Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/337

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SOCINUS

of Sozini and Ochino (a thinker of the same type as Camillo, with finer dialectic skill) acted powerfully on each other in the radical discussion of theological problems. In 1556 by the death of his father (who left him nothing by will), Sozini was involved in pecuniary anxieties. With influential introductions (one from Calvin) he visited in 1558 the courts of Vienna and Cracow to obtain support for an appeal to the reigning duke at Florence for the realization of his own and the family estates. Curiously enough Melanchthon's letter introducing Sozini to Maximilian II. invokes as an historic parallel the hospitable reception rendered by the emperor Constans to Athanasius, when he fled from Egypt to Trèves. Well received out of Italy, Sozini could do nothing at home, and apparently did not proceed beyond Venice. The Inquisition had its eye on the family; his brother Cornelio was imprisoned at Rome; his brothers Celso and Camillo and his nephew Fausto were “reputati Luterani,” and Camillo had fled from Siena. In August 1559 Sozini returned to Zürich, where his brief career was closed by his death on the 14th of May 1562, at his lodging in the house of Hans Wyss, silk-weaver. No authentic portrait of him exists; alleged likenesses on medals, &c, are spurious. The news of his uncle's death reached Fausto at Lyons through Antonio Maria Besozzo. Repairing to Zürich Fausto got his uncle's few papers, comprising very little connected writing but a good many notes. Fausto has so often been treated as a plagiarist from Lelio that it may be well to state that his indebtedness, somewhat over-estimated by himself, was twofold: (1) He derived from Lelio in conversation (1552-1553) the germ of his theory of salvation; (2) Lelio's paraphrase (1561) of ἀρχὴ in John i. 1 as “the beginning of the gospel” gave Fausto an exegetical hint for the construction of his Christology. Apart from these suggestions, Fausto owed nothing to Lelio, save a curiously far-fetched interpretation of John viii. 58 and the stimulus of his pure character and shining qualities. The two men were of contrasted types. Lelio, impulsive and inquisitive, was in quest of the spiritual ground of religious truths; the drier mind of Fausto sought in external authority a basis for the ethical teaching of Christianity.

Sozini's extant writings are: (1) De sacramentis dissertatio (1560), four parts, and (2) De resurrectione (a fragment); these were first printed in F. et L. Socini, item E. Soneri tractatus (Amsterdam, 1654). To these may be added his Confession (1555), printed in Hottinger, Hist. eccles. N.T. ix. 16, 5 (1667); and about twenty-four letters, not collected, but may be found dispersed, and more or less correctly given in Illgen, in Trechsel, in the Corpus reformatorum edition of Calvin's works, and in E. Burnat, L. Socin (1894); the handwriting of the originals is exceedingly crabbed. Sand adds a Rhapsodia in Esaiam prophetam, of which nothing is known. Beza suspected that Sozini had a hand in the De haereticis, an sint persequendi (1553); and to him has also been assigned the Contra libellum Calvini (1554); both are the work of Castellio, and there is no ground for attributing any part of them to Sozini. Beza also assigned to him (in 1567) an anonymous Explicatio (1562) of the proem of St John's Gospel, which was the work of Fausto; this error, adopted by Zanchi, has been a chief source of the misconception which treats Lelio as a heresiarch. In Franc Guinio's Defensio cath. doct. de S. Trin. (1590-1591) is an anonymous enumeratio of motives for professing the doctrine of the Trinity, by some ascribed to Lelio; by others, with somewhat more probability, to Fausto.

For the life of L. Sozini the best guide is Trechsel, Die prot. antitrin. vor F. Socin, vol. ii. (1844); but there are valuable materials in Illgen, Vita L. Socini (1814), and especially Symbolae ad vitam et doctrinam L. Soc., &c. (1826). R. Wallace, Antitrin. biog. (1850), gives the ordinary Unitarian view, relying on Bock, Da Porta and Lubieniecki. See also Theological Review (July 1879), and Bonet-Maury's Early Sources of Eng. Unit. Christ. (trans. E. P. Hall, 1884). Use has been made above of unprinted sources.

II. Fausto Paolo Sozzini (1530-1604) was born at Siena on the 5th of December 1539, the only son of Alessandro Sozzini, “princeps subtilitatum,” by Agnese, daughter of Borghese Petrucci, a descendant of Pandolfo Petrucci, the Cromwell of Siena. Unlike his uncle Lelio, Fausto spells his surname Sozzini, latinizing it Socinus. His father died in 1541, in his thirty-second year. Fausto had no regular education, being brought up at home with his sister Fillide, and spent his youth in desultory reading at Scopeto, the family country-seat. To the able women of his family he owed the strong moral impress which marked him through life; his early intellectual stimulus came from his uncle Celso, a nominal Catholic, but an esprit fort, founder of the short-lived Accademia dei Sizienti (1554), of which young Fausto was a member. In 1556 his grandfather's will, leaving him one-fourth of the family estates, made him independent. Next year he entered the Accademia degli intronati, the centre of intellectual life in Siena, taking the academic name “Il Frastagliato,” his badge Un mare turbato da venti, his motto Turbant sed extollunt. About this time Panzirolo (De claris legg. interpp., first published 1637) describes him as a young man of fine talent, with promise of a legal career; but he despised the law, preferring to write sonnets. In 1558-1559 the suspicion of Lutheranism fell on him in common with his uncles Celso and Camillo. Coming of age (1561) he went to Lyons, probably engaging in mercantile business; he revisited Italy after his uncle Lelio's death; we find him in 1562 on the roll of the Italian church at Geneva; there is no trace of any relations with Calvin; to Lyons he returned next year. The evangelical position was not radical enough for him. In his Explicatio (1562) of the proem to St John's Gospel he already attributes to our Lord an official, not an essential, deity; a letter of 1563 rejects the natural immortality of man (a position subsequently developed in his disputation with Pucci). Towards the end of 1563 he returned to Italy, conforming to the Catholic Church, and for twelve years, as his unpublished letters show, was in the service, of Isabella de Medici, daughter of the grand-duke Cosimo of Tuscany (not, as Przypkowski says, in the service of the grand-duke). This portion of his life he regarded as wasted; till 1567 he gave some attention to legal duties, and at the instance of “a great personage” wrote (1570) his treatise De auctoritate s. scripturae. In 1571 he was in Rome, probably with his patroness. He left Italy at the end of 1575, and after Isabella's death (strangled by her husband in 1576) he declined the overtures of her brother Francesco, now grand-duke, who pressed him to return. Francesco was doubtless aware of the motive which led Sozzini to quit Italy; there is every reason to believe Przypkowski's statement that the grand-duke agreed to secure to him the income of his property so long as he published nothing in his own name. Sozzini now fixed himself at Basel, gave himself to close study of the Bible, began translating the Psalms into Italian verse, and, in spite of increasing deafness, became a centre of theological debates. His discussion with Jacques Couet on the doctrine of salvation issued in a treatise De Jesu Christo servatore (finished July 12, 1578), the circulation of which in manuscript commended him to the notice of Giorgio Blandrata (q.v.), court physician in Poland and Transylvania, and ecclesiastical wire puller in the interests of heterodoxy.

Transylvania had for a short time (1559-1571) enjoyed full religious liberty under an anti-Trinitarian prince, John Sigismund. The existing ruler, Christopher Bathori, favoured the Jesuits; it was now Blandrata's object to limit the “Judaic” tendencies of the eloquent anti-Trinitarian bishop, Francis Dávid (1510-1579), with whom he had previously co-operated. A charge of the gravest sort against Blandrata's morals had destroyed his influence with Dávid. Hence he called in Sozzini to reason with Dávid, who had renounced the worship of Christ. In Sozzini's scheme of doctrine, terms in themselves orthodox were employed in a heretical sense. Thus Christ was God, though in nature purely human, namely as un Dio subalterno, al quale in un dato tempo il Dio supremo cedette il governo del mondo (Cantù). In matter of worship Sozzini distinguished between adoratio Christi, the homage of the heart, imperative on all Christians, and invocatio Christi, the direct address of prayer, which was simply permissive (Blandrata would have made it imperative); though in Sozzini's view, prayer, to whomsoever addressed, was received by Christ as mediator, for transmission to the father. In November 1578 Sozzini reached Kolozsvár (Klausenburg) from Poland, and did his best, during a visit of four months and a half under Dávid's roof, to argue him into this modified doctrine of invocation. The upshot was that Dávid from the pulpit exerted all his powers in denouncing all cultus of Christ. His civil trial followed, on a charge of innovation. Sozzini

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