Gotteschalcus, Fulgentius

, surnamed Fulgentius, and celebrated for propagating and exciting a controversy on the doctrines of predestination and free grace, was born | in Germany, in the beginning, probably, of the ninth century. From early life he had been a monk, and had devoted himself to theological inquiries. He was peculiarly fond of the writings of St. Augustine, and entered with much zeal into his sentiments. About the year 846, he left his monastery at Fulcla, and went into Dalmatia and Pannonia, where he spread the doctrines of St. Augustine, under a pretence, as his enemies said, of preaching the gospel to the infidels. At his return, he remained some time in Lombardy, and in the year 847 held a conference with Notingus, or Nothingus, bishop of Vienne, concerning predestination, who prevailed on Rabanus, archbishop of Mentz, to undertake the confutation of what was called a new heresy. This the archbishop undertook, and was supported by a synod at Mentz, which condemned Gotteschalcus. He was farther prosecuted by Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, was degraded from the priesthood, and ordered to be beaten with rods, and imprisoned. But as nothing was proved against him, except his adherence to the sentiments of Augustine, which were still held in estimation in the church, this shews, in the opinion of Dupin, that he was an injured man. He was, however, so severely whipped in the presence of the emperor Charles and the bishops, that his resolution failed him, and he complied with their commands so far as to throw into the fire a writing in which he had made a collection of scripture texts in order to prove his opinion. After this he was kept a close prisoner by Hincmar in a monastery, where he continued to maintain his opinions until his death in the same prison in the year 870. Hincmar, hearing that he lay at the point of death, sent him a formulary, which he was to subscribe, in order to his being received into the communion of the church; Gotteschalcus, however, rejected the offer with indignation, and therefore, by orders of Hincrnar, was denied Christian burial. But even in that age there were men who loudly remonstrated against the barbarity with which he had been treated. Remigius, archbishop of Lyons, distinguished himself among these; and, in a council held at Valence, in Dauphiny, in the year 855, both Gotteschalcus and his doctrine were vindicated and defended, and two subsequent councils confirmed the decrees of this council. The churches also of Lyons, Vienne, and Aries, vigorously supported the sentiments of Gotteschalcus, whom nothing but the secular influence of | Hincmar could have detained in prison, while his cause was thus victorious. The only writings of this confessor that have reached the present times are, two “Confessions of Faith,” inserted in archbishop Usher’s “Historia Gotteschalci,” printed at Dublin in 1641; an epistle to Ratramnus, published in Cellot’s “Historia Gotteschalci,” at Paris, in 1655, and some fragments of other pieces, noticed by Cave. In 1650, the celebrated Maguin published, at Paris, a collection of the treatises produced on both sides of this controversy, entitled “Veterum Auctorum qui nono saeculo de Prasdestinatione et Gratia scripserunt, &c.” 2 vols. 4to. 1

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Cave. Dupin. —Moreri. Milner’s Church Hist. vol. Ill, p. 242.