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History of the Christian Church, Volume VIII: Modern Christianity. The Swiss Reformation.
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§ 130. Caelius Secundus Curio. 1503–1569.


Curio’s works and correspondence.—Trechsel, I. 215 sqq., and Wagemann in Herzog,2 III. 396–400 (where the literature is given).


Celio Secundo Curione or Curio was the youngest of twenty-three children of a Piedmontese nobleman, studied history and law at Turin, became acquainted with the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Melanchthon through an Augustinian monk, and labored zealously for the spread of Protestant doctrines in Pavia, Padua, Venice, Ferrara, and Lucca. He barely escaped death at the stake, and fled to Switzerland with letters of recommendation by the Duchess Renata, the friend of Calvin. He received an appointment as professor of eloquence in Lausanne (1543–1547) and afterwards in Basel. He was the father-in-law of Zanchius. He attracted students from abroad, declined several calls, kept up a lively correspondence with his countrymen and with the Reformers, and wrote a number of theological and literary works. He sided with the latitudinarians, and thereby lost the confidence of Calvin and Bullinger; but he maintained his ground in Basel, and became the ancestor of several famous theological families of that city (Buxtorf, Zwinger, Werenfels, Frey).

Curio sympathized with Zwingli’s favorable judgment of the noble heathen, and thought that they were as acceptable to God as the pious Israelites. Vergerio, formerly a friend of Curio, charged him with the Pelagian heresy and with teaching that men may be saved without the knowledge of Christ, though not without Christ.951951    "Absque Christi cognitions, licet non sine Christo, aliquos salutem adipisci." Letter of Vergerio to Bullinger (Tübingen, Sept. 6, 1554), quoted by Trechsel, I. 217. Vergerio denounced Curio to the Swiss Churches. See his letters to Amerbach, in Trechsel, II. 463-465.

Curio advanced also the hopeful view that the kingdom of heaven is much larger than the kingdom of Satan, and that the saved will far outnumber the lost.952952    De amplitudine beati regni Dei dialogi II. Printed at Poschiavo in the Grisons, 1554.

Such opinions were disapproved by Peter Martyr, Zanchi, Bullinger, Brenz, John a Lasco, and all orthodox Protestants of that age, as paradoxical and tending to Universalism. But modern Calvinists go further than Curio, at least in regard to the large majority of the saved.953953    Dr. Charles Hodge (Syst. Theol. III. 879 sq.) says: "We have reason to believe, as urged in the first volume of this work, and as often urged elsewhere, that the number of the finally lost in comparison with the whole number of the saved will be very inconsiderable."



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