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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France

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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE
Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 20



362 joBfriLLB'e raconte OF SAINT LOUIS IZ . £PT. T. you have done a foolish thing, in thus striking the Jew ;" but the knight answered, "Yo u have committed a much greater folly in permitting such an assembly, and suffering such a disputation of errors ; for here are numbers of very good Christians, who might have gone away unbelievers in consequence of the arguments of the Jews." " I therefore tell you," continued the king, " that no one, however learned or perfect a theologian he may be, ought to dispute with the Jews ; but the layman, whenever he hears the Christian faith contemned, should defend it, not only by words, but with a sharp-edged sword,# with which he should strike the scandalizers and disbelievers, until it enter their bodies as far as the hilt." The king's mode of living was such, that every day he heard prayers chanted, and a mass of requiem, and then the service of the day, according to what saint it was dedicated to, was sung. It was his custom to repose himself daily on his bed after dinner, when he repeated privately, with one of his chaplains, prayers for the dead, and every evening he heard complines. One day a good Cordelier friar came to the king, at the castle of Hieres, where we had disembarked, and addressed him, saying, that he had read in the Bible, and other good books which spoke of unbelieving princes ; but that he never found a kingdom of believers or unbelievers was ruined but from want of justice being duly administered. "Now, " * It was the maxim of those days that heretics should be exterminated by fire and sword. W e frequently read of heretics being burnt alive, especially in the reign of St. Louis, who carried on an incessant war against the Albigeois. See what two learned Greeks of that age have written on the subject :—Nicolaus Almannus in not. ad Procopii Hist. Arcanam. p. 55, et Leo Aliatine, lib. 2, de Concord, utriusque Eccl. cap. 13, n. 2. But Agathias, in lib. 1 of his History, holds errors in religious matters pardonable :— 1 4 Forasmuch," says he, 1 1 as those who embrace these erroneous and heretical opinions commonly do so from the firm belief which they have of their truth." Theodore Balsamon, on the Nomocanon of Photius, tit. 9, ch. 25, says, that he cannot conceive how the couucil held at Constantinople, under the patriarchate of Michael Oxistus, co aid have condemned co the flames the Bogomilea, who were heretics of those times, since at that period there did not exist any canon of the church which decreed the punishment of death against heretics. Several learned persons have therefore endeavoured to prove, by solid reasoning, that heretics ought to be reclaimed by gentle means instead of rigorous ones.


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