committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

 

SECTION XIX.

FURTHER CRUSADES.—THE HOSTILITY OF POPE INNOCENT IV.—MORE
LENIENT, BUT NOT MORE EFFECTIVE, MEASURES.

IN 1246, Pope Innocent IV. found that there was need of a third crusade in Bosnia, and again it was entrusted to an archbishop of Colocz. "A man skilled in all the science of war," King Bela IV., aided him in his impious work. He butchered many heretics and cast thousands into dungeons, and succeeded in persuading the pope that his deserts were so great that the Roman Catholic see of Bosnia was transferred from the archiepiscopal diocese of Spalato to that of Colocz. But his triumphs were of short duration. A bishop had been established in Bosnia after the first crusade in 1240, and had maintained his episcopal authority, not without difficulty, till 1256, but then it lapsed a second time. The Bogomils were still in the ascendency, and the Hungarian suzerainty was no longer potent in the affairs of Bosnia.

The popes Alexander IV., Urban IV., and Clement IV., perhaps more enlightened, and certainly more politic, than their predecessors, abandoned their method of converting the Bogomils by fire and sword, and resorted to persuasion. The Dominican and Franciscan friars were established in Bosnia between 1257 and 1260, and argument and entreaty took the place of violence. Still there was no Roman Catholic bishop of Bosnia, nor did persuasion prove more effective than force.

There is nowhere any record among the persecutors of these cruelly-harassed Bogomils that they rose against their persecutors, or that when, as was often the case, they temporarily attained to power, they ever sought to persecute in turn, or to do any injury to those who had so often and so deeply injured them. If they are to be regarded as Christians who follow the example of the Lord Christ, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, and suffered in patience the contradiction of sinners, are not these humble and patient souls to be reckoned as eminently entitled to that honored but much-abused name?

 
 
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