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It is not easy to determine by whom the doctrine of transubstantiation was first broached : Selden very justly says, “ This opinion is only rhetoric turned into logic," and it is easy to see how the spiritual presence of our Savior in the holy communion might, in a dark and ignorant age, be represented as an actual change of the consecrated elements into his material substance. We are not concerned with the theological errors of this doctrine ; our subject only requires us to notice the political purposes to which it was applied. No article of faith was better calcuJated to exalt the power of the priesthood ; it represented them as daily working a miracle equally stupendous and mysterious ; true, its nature was incomprehensible, but this circumstance, instead of exciting a suspicion of its absurdity, only increased the reverence with which it was regarded. We must not then be surprised at the zeal that the Romish priesthood has ever manifested in defending an opinion which has so materially strengthened its influence. The confessor to the queen of Spain is said to have rebuked the opposition of a nobleman, by saying, “ You should respect the man who every day has your God in his hands and your queen at his feet.” In this brief sentence, the purpose of the doctrine is distinctly stated; it conferred political power, and was therefore to be defended at all hazards. But common sense frequently revolted at a doctrine contracted by sight, feeling, and taste ; in the eleventh century it was ably exposed by Berengarius, a priest of Tours, who assailed it at once with ridicule and with argument. But in his eightieth year, Berengarius was prevailed upon by Gregory to renounce his former opinions, and transubstantiation was generally received as an article of faith.
A victory obtained by Rodolph induced Gregory to depart from his cautious policy; he excommunicated Henry, and sent a crown of gold to his rival. The indignant emperor summoned a council in the mountains of the Tyrol, pronounced Gregory's deposition, and proclaimed Gilbert, archbishop of Ravenna, pope, by the name of Clement III. Gregory immediately made peace with the Normans, and, supported by them and the Countess Matilda, he bade his enemies defiance. But in the meantime, Rodolph was defeated and slain, the discontented Germans were forced to submit to the imperial authority and Henry, at the head of a victorious army, crossed the Alps. The Norman dukes, engaged in war with the Greek emperors, neglected their ally, and the forces of the countess Matilda were unable to cope with the imperialists. Twice was Henry driven from before the walls of Rome; but the third time he gained an entrance, by a lavish distribution of bribes, and procured the solemn installation of Clement. The emperor's departure left his partisans exposed to the vengeance of Gregory; the pontiff returned at the head of a Norman army, and gave the city to be pillaged by his barbarous auxiliaries. Having reduced Rome almost to a mass of ruins, Gregory retired to Salerno, where he was seized with a mortal disease. He died unconquered, repeating with his latest breath the excommunications which he had hurled against Henry, the antipope, and their adherents. He viewed his own conduct in the struggle with complacency, and frequently boasted of the goodness of his cause. “I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity," he exclaimed, “ and it is therefore I die an Avila"
Gregory may be regarded as the great founder of the political system of popery; and therefore, while he is extolled by some historians as a saint, others have described him as a disgrace to humanity. But the character of this remarkable man was formed by his age, and developed by the circumstances that surrounded him. He was the representative both of popery and democracy, principles apparently inconsistent, but which in ancient and modern times have frequently been found in close alliance. With the sanctity of the church he shielded the people; with the strength of the people he gave stability to the church. In the course of his long career as the secret and as the acknowledged ruler of the papacy, he displayed unquestionable abilities of the highest order; his pretensions to ascetic piety gained him the enthusiastic admiration of the multitude ; the soldiers regarded him as a brave warrior and successful general; the higher ranks of the clergy yielded in the council 10 his fervid eloquence and political skill. His very faults became elements of his success: he was severe, vindictive, and inexorable: he knew not what it was to forgive ; none of his enemies could elude the patient search and the incessant vigilance with which he pursued those against whom he treasured wrath. It was his custom to witness the execution of those whose death he decreed; and it was awful to contemplate the serenity of his countenance and the placidity of his manners while he presided over tortures and massacres. It can not, therefore, be a matter of wonder that the power of such a man should have swept over Christendom like a torrent, and hurried everything into the vortex of his new and gigantic institutions.
SECTION VI.-The War of Investitures.
FROM A. D. 1086 TO A. D. 1152.
Henry gained only a brief respite by the death of his formidable and inveterate antagonist. Victor III. was elected by the cardinals, and during his brief reign he gained several advantages over the imperial party. He was succeeded by Urban II., the friend and pupil of Gregory, who commenced his pontificate by sending an encyclical letter to the Christian churches, declaring his resolution to adhere to the political system of his deceased master. Supported by the Normans, Urban entered Rome, and assembled a council of one hundred and fifteen bishops, in which the emperor, the antipope, and their adherents, were solemnly excommunicated. At the same time he negotiated a marriage between Guelph, son of the duke of Bavaria, a distinguished supporter of the papal cause in Germany, and the countess Matilda. Fro.n this union, the present dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburgh, and the reigning family of England, trace their descent. Henry marchej into Italy, and though vigorously opposed by Guelph, gained several important advantages ; but the papal intrigues raised enemies against him in the bosom of his family ; his eldest son Conrad rebelled, and was crowned king of Italy by Urban. This revolt compelled Henry to abandon his recent acquisitions, and retire toward the Alps.
A council was summoned to meet at Placentia, and so large a number of bishops assembled, that no church could contain them, and they were forced to deliberate in the open air. Most of Gregory's decrees were re-enacted; but, in addition to the affair of investitures, the attention of the council was directed to the rapid progress of the Mohammedans in the east, and the dangers that threatened the empire of Constantinople (A. D. 1095). The tales of the persecutions to which the Christian pilgrims were exposed by the ferocious Turks, who had become masters of the Holy Land, had excited general indignation throughout Europe. Peter the Hermit, a wild fanatic, preached everywhere the necessity of rescuing the faithful from the infidel Saracens, as he ignorantly called the Turks, and such a flame was kindled by his exertions, that a decree was issued by the council of Clermont, authorizing the first crusade ; and at the same time the king of France, in whose dominions the council met, was excommunicated, and could only obtain absolution by humiliating submissions.
The general insanity diffused through Europe by the preaching of the first crusade, the multitudes that abandoned their homes to follow Walter the Pennyless or Godescald the Fanatic, the massacres of the Jews, the sufferings and exploits of the disciplined adventurers that marched under the banners of Godfrey, will form the subject of the next section; it is enough here to say that the general fanaticism proved of essential service to the papal cause, and that the partisans of Henry suffered severely from the fury of the crusaders in their
passage through Italy.
Paschal II. was the successor of Urban, and, like him, steadfastly pursued the policy of Gregory; he easily triumphed over the antipope, who died of a broken heart, and he urged a second general crusade, which the reverses of the Christians in the Holy Land rendered necessary. To consolidate the papal structure, he assembled a council at Rome, and procured the enactment of a new oath, to be taken by all ranks of the clergy. By this oath they abjured all heresy, they promised implicit obedience to the pope and his successors, to affirm what the holy and universal church confirms, and to condemn what she condemns (A. D. 1104). Soon after, the old emperor, Henry, was treacherously arrested by his own son Henry V., and deprived of his imperial dignity: he subsequently escaped, but before hostilities made any progress, he died of a broken heart. The bishop of Liege honorably interred the body of his unfortunate sovereign, but papal enmity pursued Penry beyond the grave; the benevolent prelate was excommunicatel, and could only obtain absolution by disinterring the corpse.
Though Henry V. owed his throne to papal influence, he would not yield the imperial right to granting investitures, and his example was followed by the kings of England and France. The form in which monarchs gave investiture by bestowing a pastoral ring and staff, was regarded by the popes as an interference with their spiritual jurisdiction, and when the form was altered, they gave no further trouble to the English and French monarchs, but, in their disputes with the emperors, they not only forbade ecclesiastics to receive investiture from laymen, but even to take an oath of allegiance to them.
The fifth Henry proved a more formidable enemy to the papacy than his father; he led an army into Italy, made Paschal prisoner, compelled bim to perform the ceremony of his coronation, and to issue a bull securing the right of investiture to the emperor and his successors. But
the remonstrances of the cardinals induced the pope to annul the treaty, and he permitted Henry to be excommunicated by several provincial councils. The pontiff, however, did not ratify the sentence until the death of the countess Matilda, and the disputes about her inheritance created fresh animosities between the empire and the holy see.
The death of Paschal prevented an immediate war. His successors Gelasius II. and Calixtus II., however, supported his policy, and, after
long struggle, the emperor was forced to resign his claim to episcopal investitures, but he was permitted to retain the investiture of the temporal rights belonging to the sees.
During the pontificate of Honorius II., the successor of Calixtus, the church of Ireland, for the first time, was brought under the supremacy of the pope by the exertions of St. Malachi, a monk of great influence and reputation. The greater part of the reign of Honorius was spent in a contest with the Normans in southern Italy, whum he forced to continue in their allegiance.
Innocent II. and Anacletus, elected by rival factions, were both enthroned the same day, and the papacy was consequently rent by a schism. Anacletus was the grandson of a converted Jew; he possessed great wealth, was a favorite with the Roman populace, and had an undoubted majority of the cardinals in his favor, yet he is stigmatized as an antipope. This was principally owing to the exertions of the celebrated St. Bernard, who warmly espoused the cause of Innocent, and procured him the support of the king of France and the German emperor. On the death of Anacletus, his party elected another antipope, but he soon made his submission to Innocent, and the schism was appeased.
A general council was soon afterward assembled at Rome (A. D. 1139), at which no less than a thousand bishops were present; several ordinances were made for completing the ecclesiastical organization of the church. The opinions of Arnold of Brescia were condemned at this council; they were derived from the celebrated Abelard, whose controversy with St. Bernard began to excite universal attention.
Abelard was generally regarded as the most accomplished scholar and the best logician in Europe ; crowds of disciples flocked to hear nis lectures, and though he did not break through the trammels of schoastic philosophy, he gave an impulse to the spirit of inquiry which, in a future age, produced beneficial effects. St. Bernard, whose opinions were invested by the bishops with a kind of apostolic authority, accused Abelard of teaching heretical opinions respecting the doctrine of the trinity. Abelard denied the imputation, and the dispute turned on metaphysical subtleties, to which neither party affixed a definite meaning. Abelard's opinions were condemned by a council at Sens, but he was pernitted to retire into the monastery of Clugny, where he died in peace.
This obscure controversy was the first symptom of the struggle between scholastic divinity and philosophy. Abelard was subdued, but he bequeathed his cause to a succession of faithful disciples, who gradually emancipated knowledge from the confinement of the cloister, and liberated the human mind from the thraldom of popery. Abelard's opinions were purely theological ; his disciple, Arnold of Brescia, abandoning his master's mysticism, directed his attention to the reform of the
church and of the government. He declared that the political power and wealth of the clergy were inconsistent with the sanctity of their profession, and he began to preach these doctrines in Italy and Ger. many; so great was his influence, that he was invited to Rome, in order to revive the republic. Innocent II., Celestine II., Lucius II., and Eugenius III., had to struggle with “the politicians," as the followers of Arnold were called, for the maintenance of their domestic power; and during this period the aggressions of popery on the rights of kings and nations were suspended. Rome set the example of resistance to the pontiffs ; Italy, for a brief space, furnished the boldest opponents to the papal usurpations; but when Europe began to profit by the example, the Italians discovered that the overthrow of the papacy would diminish the profits which they derived from the payments made by superstition and ignorance to the Roman exchequer; and they lent their aid to the support of the lucrative delusion they had been the first to expose, and even yielded their liberties to the pontiffs, on condition of sharing in their unhallowed gains.
The claims of the popes to spiritual and temporal power, the means they employed to effect their object, their struggle against royal power on the one side, and national independence on the other, form the most important part of European history during several centuries. A calm and careful examination of the origin and growth of the papal system is therefore necessary to a right understanding of the social condition of Europe in the ages preceding the Reformation. To render this portion of history satisfactory to the student, it is necessary to trace back the early history of Christianity, and point out some of the corruptions by which its purity was early disfigured.
SECTION VII.-The Crusades.
The wars undertaken by the crusaders for the conquest of Palestine, at the instigation of the popes, form an essential part of the history of the great struggle between the spiritual and temporal powers. To understand aright the influence they exercised, it will be necessary to cast a retrospective glance at their origin, and at the state of society in the eastern and western world, when first this great movement began.
Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and the localities that had been hallowed by our blessed Savior's presence, were common in the earliest ‘ages of the church. They began to multiply very rapidly at the beginning of the eleventh century, in consequence of an opinion very generally diffused, that the end of the world was at hand; many persons sold their estates, and migrated to the Holy Land, to wait there the coming of the Lord. While the Saracens remained masters of Palestine, they encouraged and protected visiters whose arrival brought them considerable profit
, but when the Seljúkian Turks wrested the country from the khaliphs of Egypt, the pilgrims were subjected to every extortion and outrage that fanaticism and ignorance could dictate. Their sad recital of the calamities they were forced to endure excited universal indignation, and Gregory VII was the first to propose a general arming throughout Christendom, for the purpose of driving the Turks beyond the Euphrates. The time was not propitious for such an undertaking; the wars of the