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Spira

English translation: Francis Spira (Francesco Spiera)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Spira
English translation:Francis Spira (Francesco Spiera)
Entered by: Charles Davis
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06:14 Oct 10, 2012
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Religion
English term or phrase: Spira
How sad is it not to persevere in holiness! You expose yourself to the reproaches of men, and the rebukes of God. First, to the reproaches of men. They will deride both you and your profession. ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:40. Such is he who begins in religion, and does not persevere: he is the ludibrium and derision of all. Secondly, to the rebukes of God. God is most severe against such as fall off, because they bring an evil report upon religion. Apostasy breeds a bitter worm in the conscience; (what a worm did ***Spira*** feel!); and it brings swift damnation; it is a drawing back to perdition. Heb 10:09. God will make his sword drunk with the blood of apostates.

Does anybody know who this Spira was?
Ana Juliá
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Francis Spira
Explanation:
"Perhaps the most widely-known example of despair in the sixteenth and seventeenth century was the case of an Italian lawyer Francis Spira. In 1548, Spira converted to Lutheranism and began to spread the Lutheran message to others. Under pressure from the Catholic Church, however, he renounced his Protestant faith. He then became convinced that he was a reprobate, destined for hell. The story of Spira spread throughout Europe, surfacing in sermons and treatises dealing with despair. In England, an account of Spira's case by a first-hand witness, Matteo Gribalde, appeared in 1550. The most influential English account of Spira, however, was written by Nathaniel Bacon in 1638. Bacon's Fearefull Estate of Francis Spira, based on the original Latin records, became an instant best-seller and was reissued ten times in England and eight times in the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For anti-Puritans, Spira's case exemplified the dangers of the Calvinist teachings of predestination and human corruption. Puritans, however, empathized with Spira, seeing Spira's condition as simply an extreme example of the experience of all godly Christians."
http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/260spira.html
This page contains an abbreviated version of Bacon's account of Spira, from which Watson presumably knew the story.

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Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-10 07:52:25 GMT)
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"Spira" became the archetype of the apostate, as in the title of this work of 1684:

"The English Spira: being a fearful example of an apostate who had been a preacher many years and then apostatized from his religion, miserably hanged himself, October the 13th, 1684 : giving an account of his dispair, and divers conferences had with him, by several ministers and others of his friends : together with his answer, and papers written by his own hand / left attested by Mr. T. Plant, Mr. H. Collings, Mr. B. Dennis, Mr. B. Keach"
http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5921139

His real name was presumably Francesco, but he was known as Francis in English.

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Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-10 08:01:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another interesting reference that demonstrates how celebrated Spira's case was soon after his death in 1550:

Giorgio Siculo, Epistola ... alli cittadini di Riva di Trento contra il mendatio di F. Spira, & falsa dottrina di Protestanti (Bologna, 1550)
http://www.swissbib.ch/TouchPoint/perma.do?v=nose&l=de&q=0="...[3]
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Grading comment
Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +3Francis Spira
Charles Davis
4An eminent lawyer living near Venice in the Reformation period.
Peter Nicholson
Summary of reference entries provided
"Francesco Spiera"Colin Rowe

Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
spira
An eminent lawyer living near Venice in the Reformation period.


Explanation:

http://www.puritan-books.com/books/pdf/watson_repentance.pdf


Peter Nicholson
Poland
Local time: 21:05
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks!

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
spira
Francis Spira


Explanation:
"Perhaps the most widely-known example of despair in the sixteenth and seventeenth century was the case of an Italian lawyer Francis Spira. In 1548, Spira converted to Lutheranism and began to spread the Lutheran message to others. Under pressure from the Catholic Church, however, he renounced his Protestant faith. He then became convinced that he was a reprobate, destined for hell. The story of Spira spread throughout Europe, surfacing in sermons and treatises dealing with despair. In England, an account of Spira's case by a first-hand witness, Matteo Gribalde, appeared in 1550. The most influential English account of Spira, however, was written by Nathaniel Bacon in 1638. Bacon's Fearefull Estate of Francis Spira, based on the original Latin records, became an instant best-seller and was reissued ten times in England and eight times in the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For anti-Puritans, Spira's case exemplified the dangers of the Calvinist teachings of predestination and human corruption. Puritans, however, empathized with Spira, seeing Spira's condition as simply an extreme example of the experience of all godly Christians."
http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/260spira.html
This page contains an abbreviated version of Bacon's account of Spira, from which Watson presumably knew the story.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-10 07:52:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"Spira" became the archetype of the apostate, as in the title of this work of 1684:

"The English Spira: being a fearful example of an apostate who had been a preacher many years and then apostatized from his religion, miserably hanged himself, October the 13th, 1684 : giving an account of his dispair, and divers conferences had with him, by several ministers and others of his friends : together with his answer, and papers written by his own hand / left attested by Mr. T. Plant, Mr. H. Collings, Mr. B. Dennis, Mr. B. Keach"
http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5921139

His real name was presumably Francesco, but he was known as Francis in English.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-10 08:01:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another interesting reference that demonstrates how celebrated Spira's case was soon after his death in 1550:

Giorgio Siculo, Epistola ... alli cittadini di Riva di Trento contra il mendatio di F. Spira, & falsa dottrina di Protestanti (Bologna, 1550)
http://www.swissbib.ch/TouchPoint/perma.do?v=nose&l=de&q=0="...[3]

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 96
Grading comment
Thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Colin Rowe
29 mins
  -> Many thanks, Colin, and especially for the references.

agree  Christopher Crockett: Has to be. No matter what the orthography.
4 hrs
  -> Absolutely. If he was Venetian, the problem is probably further compounded. At any rate, he became famous in English as Spira; I found later cautionary tales of apostates entitled The Second Spira and The Third Spira (17-18c). Thanks, Christopher!

agree  Veronika McLaren
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Veronika :)
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Reference comments


2 hrs peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: "Francesco Spiera"

Reference information:
See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Spiera

www.jstor.org/stable/2543142

Colin Rowe
Germany
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 35

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Charles Davis: Very useful! Didn't think of looking for Spiera.
9 mins
agree  Christopher Crockett: Don't try to figure out 17th c. orthography --especially when it involves multiple languages-- unless you want to give yourself a headache.
3 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Oct 15, 2012 - Changes made by Charles Davis:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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