Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/536

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known—with a Franciscan friar named Quintana, who was confessor to the Emperor Charles V, to Bologna, to the coronation of that monarch. And here, in Italy, it is supposed that he met with opinions which strengthened his desire for liberty of thought, for about this time he thus expresses himself: "For my own part I neither agree nor disagree in every particular with either Catholic or Reformer. Both of them seem to me to have something of truth and something of error in their views; and, while each sees the other's shortcomings, neither sees his own. God, in his goodness, give us all to understand our errors, and incline us to put them away," . . .

Leaving Bologna, the emperor with his suite proceeded to Germany to hold the Diet of Augsburg. And here Servetus probably saw and spoke to some of the leading Reformers.

Soon after this, however, he quitted the service of Quintana, and we find him seeking the friendship of certain of the Reformers, Œcolampadius and Bucer. He must have had the power of winning friends, for Bucer, in a letter, speaks of him as his dear son, "filius meus dilectus."

In 1531 Servetus published at Hagenau his first book, De Trinitatis Erroribus. This production of a young man only twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, crude as it was, excited remark from Luther and Melanchthon. In the Table-Talk of 1532 Luther refers to it as "a fearfully wicked book which had lately come out against the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Visionaries like the writer do not seem to fancy that other folks as well as they may have had temptations on this subject. But the sting did not hold; I set the Word of God and the Holy Ghost against my thoughts and got free."

Melanchthon confesses he has read Servetus much. "I see him indeed sufficiently sharp and subtle in disputation, but I do not give him credit for much depth. He is possessed, as it seems to me, of confused imaginations, and his thoughts are not well matured on the subjects he discusses."

Œcolampadius wrote: "Our senate have forbidden the Spaniard's book to be sold here. They have asked my opinion of its merits, and I have said that as the writer does not acknowledge the co-eternity of the Son, I can in no wise approve of it as a whole, although it contains much else that is good."

Servetus now followed this with Two Dialogues on the Trinity, explanatory and additional to the former work. Thus he published two books against the principal dogma of the Church in less than two years, without hesitating to put his name on the title-page of both. He was very young, extremely zealous for his new opinion, and perhaps unacquainted with the principles of the Reformers. He may have thought that if they wrote freely