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COXES MEMOIRS OF MARLBOROUGH. VOL. 2. Porlrait of Ike Duchess. 


RANKE'S HISTORY OF THE POPES. VOL.2. \ruk Indix, and Portrait 
of Innocent X. 

of Lamartine, and a Sketch of the hist llcvolution. 



RAN KES POPES. VOL.3. Porlrait of Clement FH. 



Portrait of Charlemagne. 

MILTON'S PROSE WORKS. VOL. 2. Frontispiece. 
MENZELS HISTORY OF GERMANY. VOL. 2. Porlrait of Charles V. 


Letters on Christian Art, Essay on Gothic .Architecture, Keniarks on the Komance- 
Poetry of the Middle Ages, on Shakspeare, the Limits of tlie Beautiful, aud on the 
Language and Wisdom of the Indians. 

GOETHE'S WORKS. VOL. 2, containing the remainder of his Autobiography, 
together with his Travels in Italy, France, and Switzerland. 


"Love and Intrigue," and "The Ghost-Seer," translated by IIk.nki G. Bou:(. 

MENZEL'S GERMANY. VOL. 3. Porlrait of Prince MeUemick. 


inth Frontispiece, containing 6 Portraits. 


and important additions. 2 vols. Vol. 1, containing all the Original Leltcn. 

AND ARCHITECl'S. Translated by Mrs. Foster. Vol. I. Portrait. 

JUNIUSS LETTERS. VOL. 2, containing the Private and MisceUaneons 
Letters, au Essay disclosing the Authorship, and a very elaborate Index. 


"TORQUATO TASSO," and "EGMO.MV Translated l.v Miss SwA.NwicK 
With " GOETZ VON BERLICniXGEN," by Sir Waltzk'Scott. 

Revised by the Rev. A. J. W. .Moebisox. Vol. I. 




Uniform vith his Staxdaid Libkabt, /inc* 3^. 6<1., 


Boscobel Narratives. Portrait of lieli Gtcywie. 












' I am come to send fire oa the earth." — TTordi of our Lord. 

' And the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." '" Bat other foandation 
can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus." — St. PcmI. 





( iii ) 


These volumes (vii. and viii.) complete the translation of 
the General History of the Christian religion and church, as far 
as the work had been published when its lamented author was 
called away from the scene of his earthly labours. Another 
volume, as he himself intimates in the Preface to his Tenth 
Part, was to have brought the history of the church down 
to the times of the Reformation. What progress had been 
made by the author in preparing this interesting portion 
of his work for the press, I do not certainly know, though 
I feel strongly confident it must have been such that the last 
labours of the eminent historian Avill not long be withheld 
fix)m the public. In a letter to the publisher dated April 9, 
1848, Dr. Neander wnites that he was then occupied with this 
promised volume ; and it is well knowrn, that one of the last 
acts of his life was to dictate a sentence of it to his amanuensis. 
As he had therefore been employed upon it for as long a time, 
to say the least, as had ever intervened between the dates of 
his earlier volumes, it is not unreasonable to conjecture that 
the volume was left by him in a sufficient state of forwardness 
to admit of being finished without much labour. That it may 
be so finished, aud the whole work brought down to the epoch 
to which the author in his later volumes was evidently looking 
forward as a resting-place, must appear highly desirable to 
every one who is capable of appreciating the minute and com- 
prehensive learning, the scrupulous fidelity, the unexampled 
candour and simplicity of spirit, the unobtrusive but per\'ading 
glow of Christian piety, which have thus so &r eminently 
characterized every portion of this great work. 

If such a volume should soon be given to the world, the 
publisher of the present translation will take measures to 
have it converted into English. 


July 31, 1851. 

a 2 

( iv ) 






Ever since I had the happiness to be thrown by official relations, 
when you were still amongst us, into closer contact with you, and 
through your examinations over the department of practical the- 
ology, as well as by cordial intercourse to become more accurately 
acquainted with your peculiar spirit, your way of interpreting the 
signs of these times, labouring with the birth-throes of a new age of 
the world, and your judgment as to what the church in these times 
needs before all things else, I felt myself related to you, not by the 
common tie of Christian fellowship alone, but also by a special sym- 
pathy of spirit. And when you left us, called by the Lord to act 
in another great sphere for the advancement of his kingdom, your 
dear image still remained deeply engi-aven on my heart. In your 
beautiful pastoral letters I recognized again the same doctrines of 
Christian wisdom, drawn from the study of the Divine Word and 
of history, to which I had often heard you bear testimony before ; 
and when I had the pleasure of once more seeing you face to face, 
it served to revive the ancient fellowship. Often has the wish 
come over my mind of giving you some public expression of my 
cordial regard. To the bishop who in his first pastoral letters so 
beautifully refers the servants of the church to that which is only 
to be learned in the school of life, in History, I dedicated part of 
the present work, devoted to the history of the kingdom of God. 
And I feel myself constrained to dedicate to the bishop of the 
dear Pommeranian church, that volume of my work in particular 
which describes the active operations of its original founder. That 
kindred spirit, even in its errors, you will greet with your wonted 

May the Lord long preserve you by his grace for his church on 
earth, and bless your work ! 

These times, torn by the most direct contrarieties, vacillating be- 


tween licentiousness and servility, between the bold denial of God 
and tbe deification of the letter, needs such men, who recognize 
the necessary unity and the necessary manifoldness, and who 
understand how to guide free minds with love and wisdom, being 
themselves disciples of eternal love and wisdom. May all leam 
from you not to himt after new things which are not also old, 
nor to cling to old things which will not become new ; but, as you 
advise in your first pastoral letter, to form themselves into such 
scribes as know how to bring out of their good treasures things 
both old and new, just as the truth which they serve is an old 
truth, and at the same time always new. 

With my whole heart, yours, 

A. Neakdeb. 
Berlin, March 5, 184], 

( vi ) 



I HEBE present to the public the first part of the history of that 
important period, so rich in materials, the flourishing times of the 
Middle Ages ; thanking God that he has enabled me to bring this 
laborious work to an end, while engaged in discharging the duties 
of a difficult calling. 

I must beg the learned reader would have the goodness to sus- 
pend his judgment respecting the arrangement and distribution of 
the matter till the whole shall be completed. Notwithstanding 

that M. H , in his recension of the two preceding volumes, 

in the literary leaves of the Darmstadt Church Gazette, has ex- 
pressed himself so strongly, I have still thought proper in this 
volume also, to incorporate the history of Monachism with that of 

the church constitution. No one, doubtless, except M. H — ■ , 

will believe me to be so childish or so stupid as to have done this 
merely because it is customary to speak also of a constitution of 
Monachism. The reasons which have induced me to adopt the 
plan I have chosen, will readily present themselves to the attentive 
reader ; though I am free to confess that another arrangement is 
possible, and that the reference to a Christian life is made promi- 
nent by me in the second section also, as belongs, indeed, to the 
special point of view from which I write my Church History. I 
should have many things to answer to the above-mentioned re- 
viewer, if the judgment of a reviewer were really anything more 
than the judgment of any other reader or nonreader. That the 
remark concerning Claudius of Turin was neither unimportant nor 
superfluous, every one may easily convince himself, who takes the 
least interest in a thorough scientific understanding of the history 
of doctrines. As to my theological position, I demand for that the 
condescending tolerance of no man ; but shall know very well how 
to defend it on scientific grounds, 

I regret that the second volume of Barthold's History of 
Pommerania did not reach me till after the printed sheets of the 
whole section were already lying before me. 

I must direct the attention of the readers of my Church History 
to the Atlas of Ecclesiastical History, soon to be given to the world 
by Candidate Wiltsch, of Wittenberg, which will prove a welcome 
present to every friend of the history of the church. 

author's preface to second part of fifth volume, vii 

In conclusion, I thank my worthy friend, the preacher elect, 
Selbach, for the fidelity and care with which he has assisted me 
during the transit of my work through the press, and wish him the 
richest blessing in his new sphere of labour in the kingdom of God. 

A. Neaitdeb. 
Berlin, March 5, 1J44. 


I BEJOICE that I am here able at length to present to the public the 
fruits of my favourite studies for many years — an exhibition of 
the Christian life, of the development of the theology and of the 
history of the sect during the flourishing times of the Middle Ages. 
Would that the many new facts which ever and anon have pre- 
sented themselves as the result of my inquiries, may serve as some 
of my earlier labours have done, to call forth new investigations, 
which might tend to promote the cause of science by co nfirmin g 
that which I have advanced, filling up what I have left defective, 
or stating the other side of facts where I have stated but one side. 
I regret that my attention was drawn too late to Dr. Gieseler's Pro- 
gramme on the Summas of Eainer, and that I received it too late 
to be able to avail myself of it in treating the history of the sects. 
I regret it the more, as I am aware how much the labours of this 
distinguished inquirer have aided me in other investigations where 
our studies have happened to be directed to the same subjects. It 
is a great pity that, by this custom of academical programmes, 
many an important scientific essay, which, published by itself or 
inserted in some journal, might soon be generally dispersed abroad, 
is to many entirely lost or at least escajjes their notice at the par- 
ticular moment when they could have derived the most benefit 
from it. The latest volume of Bitter on Christian philosophy is 
a work also to which I could not of course have any regard. Also 
the Essay of Dr. Pianck, in the Studien imd Rritiken, J. 1844, 
4tes Heft, on a tract cited in my work, the Contra qxiatuor Galliae 
Labyrinthos of Walter of Mauretania, is a production to which I 
must refer my readers, as having appeared too late for my purpose. 
I have to lament, that of the ten volumes of the works of Eay- 
mund Lull, there are two which I have not been able to consult, as 
they are nowhere to be met Mith. If it be the fact that these two 


missing volumes caunot be restored, it is certainly desirable that 
some individual would do himself the honour of completing the 
edition from the manuscripts in the Eoyal Library of Munich. 

I have not compared my earlier labours on the subject of Abe- 
lard with this new representation of the man. By those writings 
of which Dr. Eheinwald * and Cousin have first presented to the 
world, an impulse has been given to many a new inquiry and new 
mode of apprehending the character of that celebrated individual. 

In continuation of the present work there will follow, if God 
permit, an account of the times down to the period of the Reforma- 
tion, in one volume. 

I heartily thank Professor Schonemann, for the extraordinary 
kindness with which, as Superintendent of the Ducal Library at 
"Wolfenbiittel, he has communicated its treasures for my use, with- 
out which it would have been out of my power to complete many 
an investigation of which the results are to be found in this volume. 
And in conclusion, I thank my dear young friend, H. Rossel, not 
only for the care he has bestowed on the correction of the press, 
but also for the pains and skill with which he has drawn up the 
Table of Contents, and the Register. 

A. Neandeb. 
Berlin, Dec. 3, 1844. 

♦ The Archivarius not barely of ' Modern Church History,' to whom I 
wish the most abundant support of all kinds in the very important under- 
takings in behalf of literature in which he is engaged, an edition of the col- 
lected writings of Valentine Andreas, one of the great prophetic men of 
Germany ; the Acta of the council of Basle, after the plan of the one which 
Hermann of Hardt has furnished of the council of Costnitz ; and the Con- 
tinuation of his Acta Historico-Ecclesiastica, a work which must prove so 
important for the present and for future times. 



EIGHTH. FROM A.D. 1073 TO A.D. 1294. 

[First Divisios.] 


1. Among the Heathen, 1 — 79. 



Pommerania. Unsaccessful missionary labours of partially 

converted Poles, and of the Spanish monk Bernard . . 1 

Early life of Otto ; his activity as Bishop of Bamberg ; his 

call to be an apostle among the Pommeranians ... 4 

Otto's journey through Poland ; his reception by the Dukes of 

Poland and Pommerania * 8 

The first baptized converts in Pommerania. Pagan festival at 
Py ritz ; preparatory instruction and baptism of seven thou- 
sand ! farewell exhortations 11 

Favourable disposition of Wartislav and his wife. Snccessfnl 
operations and planting of the first church in Kammin. 
Supposed divine judgment on account of breaking the 
Sabbath 12 

Otto, and his timid companions, in the free city of Julin. Fury 
of the pagans ; secret Christians there. Citizens agree to 
follow the example of Stettin 1 

Arrival at Stettin. Religious condition of the pagan inhabitants. 
Embassy to Poland. Otto's influence ; upheld by a 

Christian family 13 

Boleslav's letter. Otto's method in destroying the monuments 

of Idolatry. Death of a heathen priest 19 



Otto in Garz, Lebbehn. Julin converted, and destined for a 
bishoprick. Success in Clonoda (GoUnow), Nangard, 
Colberg, and Belgrade 20 

Visitation-tour, and return of Otto to Bamberg .... 21 

Reaction of Paganism in Pommerania. Otto's second missi- 
onary journey. His influence upon Wartislav in Demmin. 
Speech of the latter at the diet in Usedom ..... 23 

Influence of a pagan priest in Wolgast. Course of events there 

till Christianity triumphs 26 

Otto's successful labours in Gutzhow ; his discourse at the de- 
dication of a church. Salutary example of Mizlav . . 28 

Boleslav's military expedition renounced. Otto's interview 
with Wartislav. Otto's strong desire to visit Riigen. At- 
tempts of Ulric to visit that island defeated. Otto's treat- 
ment of his clergy 32 

Stettin, a town partly pagan, partly Christian. Witstack's 
conversion. His support of Otto. Otto's calmness amidst 
the infuriated pagans. Adoption of Christianity resolved 
upon in an assembly of the people. Otto's treatment of 
children. Dangers to which he exposed himself . . • 34 

Successful operations in Julin, Otto's return to Bamberg ; he 
continues to be interested in behalf of the Pommeranians. 
German clergy and colonists in Pommerania . . - . 41 

Eiigen conquered by the Danes. Planting of the Christian 

church there by Absalom 42 

Wendish kingdom of Gottschalk, under his successors. Spread 

of Christianity there 43 

Vicelins earlier life. His zealous and painful labours, in con- 
nection with Dittmar, among the Slaves. Religious soci- 
ties and missionary schools '^^ 

Lie/land. Planting of the Christian church there. Mission- 
ary operations of Meinhard (first church in Yxkiill). 
Crusades of Theodoric and Berthold against the Lieflan- 
ders. Albert of Appeldern. Riga made a bishoprick. 
Brethren of the Sword. Esthland, Semgallen, Curland, 
christianized 49 

Spiritual dramas. Theological lectures of Andrew of Lund. 
Sigfrid in Holm. Frederic of Celle martyred in Fried- 
land. John Strick's behaviour during an attack from the 
Letti. Impression produced by a spiritual song. Converts 
to Christianity come to a consciousness of their equal 
rights and dignity as men. Change in the character of 
the laws. Exhortations of William of Modena ... .52 

Prussia. Missionary labours of Adalbert of Prague, and 
Bruno Boniface, till their martyrdom. Gottfried of Lu- 
cina, and monk Philip. Christian's labours, sustained by 
Innocent the Third (through his letters and briefs). Com- 
pletion of the works by the German knights and brethren 
of the sword. Four bishoprics 55 

Finland converted to Christianity 61 


B. Asia. 


Tartary. Activity of the Nestorians in spreading Christianity. 
Legend of the Christian kingdom in Kerait, under the 
priest- kings John. Historical basis of this story . . . 62 

Mongols. Empire of Dschingiskhan. Religions condition of the 64 

Mongols. Unsuccessful embassies of Innocent the Fourth 

Influence of the Crusades. Embassy of Louis the Ninth. 
Statements of William of Rubruquis. His conversation 
and participation in the religious conference betwixt the 
different parties 69 

The Mongol empire in Persia 75 

Lamaism in the main empire of China. Report of Marco 

Polo, who enjoyed the protection of Koblaikhan ... 76 

Missionary activity of John de Monte Corvino in Persia, India, 
China. His snccessfiil labours in Cambalu (Pekin). The 
Nestoriau prince George becomes Catholic; reaction of 
Nestorianism after his death 77 

2. Among the Mohammedans in Africa, 80 — 96. 

Relation of the Mohammedans to Christianity during the Cru- 
sades. Francis of Assisi in Egypt. Different accounts of 
him. Report of Jacob of Vitry 80 

Science as an instrument for the spread of Christianity. Say- 
mund Lull's earlier life. His conversion, and his plan of 
labour. His Ars generalis opposed to two parties. Rela- 
tiou of faith to knowledge. Linguistic missionary schools 
at Majorca. Lull's voyage to Tunis and its result. His 
Tabular generalis and Necessaria demonstratio. His 
labours in Europe, and second journey to North Afinca 
(Bugia). His banishment; shipwreck near Pisa. His 
labours as a teacher in Paris ; his threefold plan. Dies a 
martyr in Bugia 82 

3. Eelation of the Christian Church to the Jews, 97 — 110. 

The monk Hermann on the treatment of the Jews. False re- 
ports concerning them ; fanatical behaviour towards them. 
Bernard of Clairvaux defends them, and puts down Ru- 
dolph. Peter of Cluny hostile to the Jews . .... 79 

The popes their protectors. Innocent the Second and the Third. 

Briefs of Gregory the Ninth and of Innocent the Fourth . 102 

Points of dispute with the Christians. Objections stated I a 

Jew. and their refutation by Gislebert 104 

Doubts and conflicts of the convert Hermann 107 





1. Papacy and the Popes, 111 — 273. 

Corruption of the church, and reformatory reaction ; Hilde- 
brand's idea of the church as designed to govern the world 

His course of development as conditioned by the times in which 
he lived. Gregory the Seventh (1073) ; complaints in the 
first years of his reign 112 

Principles of his conduct ; Old Testament position in which he 
stood. Predilection for judgments of God. Veneration 
of Mary. Papal and royal authority. Monarchical consti- 
tution of the church. Gregory and the laws. His legates. 
Annual synods. Care for the particular nations. Gre- 
gory's incorruptible integrity. Persecution of witches 
orbidden, Gregory's views of penance, of monachism, 
asceticism. His liberality 117 

Different expectations from Gregory's government. Thfe story 
concerning Henry the Fourth. Protests against his elec- 
tion. Letters missive for a reformatory Fast-synod (1074). 
Opposition to the law of celibacy. Gregory's firmness to 
his principles in the case of the opposition at Mayence, 
etc. His union with the laity and monks. His opponents. 
Letter to Cuuibert of Turin. Separatist-heretical move- 
ments. Complaints against Gregory 124 

Lay investiture forbidden. Gregory's proceedings towards 

Philip the First and Hermann of Bamberg *. . . . 138 

Henry the Fourth obeys the pope in respect to simony. Idea 
of a crusade. Henry violates the peace. Gregory's letter 
of admonition and embassy. Gregory impeached by Hugo 
Blancus. Gregory deposed at the council of Worms 
(1076). Henry's letter to Rome. Gregory's imprisonment 
by Cintius, and liberation. Ban pronounced on Henry. 
Impression produced on different parties. Gregory's 
justification of himself refuted by Waltram. Diet' at 
Tribur 141 

Henry's journey to Rome (1076-77). Gregory's journey to 
Germany prevented. His relations with Mathilda. The 
penitents at Canossa. The host used as an ordeal. The 
judgment to be formed respecting Gregory's reconciliation 
with Henry l-,4 

Henry violates the peace. Rudolph of Suabia elected (1077). 
Gregory's ambiguous mode of proceeding. New ban pro- 
nounced on Henry (1080). Gregory deposed and Clement 
the Third elected. Henry in Italy prepared for peace. 
Gregory's firmness ; his death (1085) ; h\& Uictates . , 160 

Continuance of the contest after Gregory. Victor the Third. 


Urban the Second. Philip the First's controTcrsies con- 
cerning his marriage. Firm and bold stand of Yves of 
Chartres, and his fate. Ban pronomiced on Philip . . 165 

Occasion of the Crusades. Peter the Hermit. Ecclesiastical 

assemblies at Placenza and Clermont 169 

Speech of Urban the Second. Enthusiasm called forth. Dif- 
ferent motives of the crusaders. Spiritual orders of 
knights. Pious frauds, together with examples of faith . 172 

Papal authority increased by the Crusades. Change effected 
in Urban's situation till his death. Death of the anti-pope 
Clement the Third 177 

Continued contests of Henry the Fifth. Robert of Flanders 
stirred up by Paschalis the Second. Bold letter of the 
clergy of Liege (by Singibert of Gemblours) to Paschalis 1 79 

Disputes with Henry the Fifth about Investiture. Compact at 
Sutri, A.D. 1110. New compact, a.d. 1112. Reproaches 
brought against Paschalis the Second. Gottfried of Ven- 
dome representative of the sterner party. Milder judg- 
ment of Hildebert of Mans and Yves of Chartres. John 
of Lyons. The tract of Placidus of Nonantula. Pascha- 
lis before the Lateran council. New disputes about inves- 
titure 184 

Gelasius the Second, and the imperial pope Gregory the Eight. 
Attempt to restore peace by the monk Hugo. Neutral 
stand taken by Gottfried of Vendome. Concordat of 
Worms between Calixtus the Second and Henry the Fifth, 
A.i>. 1122 . 194 

The anti-popes. Innocent the Second and Auaclete the Second. 
Innocent in France, supported by Bernard ; healing of a 
schism in the church by the latter ; his conduct towards 
William of Aquitania. Innocent triumphant in Rome . 198 

Opposition to the laity of the secularized clergy. Influence of 

the disputes about investure 201 

Arnold of Brescia ; his education, particularly under the in- 
fluence of Abelard ; his asceticism, and fierce invectives 
against the clergy ; his life in exile 203 

Arnold's principles in Rome. His return under Celistin the 
Second. Lucius the Second. Anti-papal letter of the 
Romans to Conrad the Third 206 

Eugene the Third. Bernard's letter to him. Eugene in 
France supported by Bernard. Great success attending 
his preaching of the crusades. His moderated enthusiasm. 
The awakening called forth. Twofold influence of Ber- 
nard. Opinions respecting the issue of the second cru- 
sade 210 

Eugene's return to Rome. Bernard's four books. De consi- 

deratione, addressed to him 217 

Continuation of the quarrels under Adrian the Fourth. Letter 
of the Roman Nobles to Frederic the First Fall of Ar 
nold's party. Arnold's death excused by the Roman court 222 



Arnold's ideas continue to work. Conflict of the Hohenstaufens 
with the hierarchy. First expedition of Frederic the First 
against Rome. Adrian's letter to Frederic respecting the 
term beneficium. Step taken by Frederic on the other sidef 
Reconciliation of the two parties in 1 158. New difficulties. 
Correspondence between the parties. Adrian dies 1159 . 224 

Alexander the Third, and the imperial pope Victor the Fourth. 
The council of Paris in favour of the latter in 1160. 
Victor's fuccessors. Frederic the First's reconciliation 
with Alexander, 1177. The Lateran council in 1179 de- 
termines the order of papal elections 231 

Thomas Beckett made archbishop of Canterbury 1162; his 
difficulties with Henry the Second ; his repentance at 
having signed the articles at Clarendon; his quarrel and 
reconciliation with Henry the Second ; his assassination. 
Impression produced by what happened at his tomb. 
Henry's penance . 234 

Arnold's principles propagated by the Hohenstaufens. Henry 

the Sixth, and Celestin the "Third 238 

Government of Innocent the Third ^n epoch in the history of 
the papacy, 1198-1216. Motives to his great activity. 
Successful contest with John of England, 1208-13. Voices 
against him 239 

Innocent in favour of Otho the Fourth ; opposite to the party 

of Philip ; afterwards in favour of Frederic the Second . 243 

Honorins the Tliird. Gregory the JViiUh. Frederic's crusade. 
Compact -vfrith Gregory, and the issue of a new ban. 
Frederic's circular letter. Gregory's accusations. Frede- 
ric's ideas of reform, or rather his sceptical bent of 
mind. Contest till the death of Gregory, 1241 . . . 245 

Celestin the Fourth. Frederic the Second's contests, till his 
death, with Innocent the Fourth. His circular-letter after 
the ban passed upon him at Lyons 253 

Robert Grosshead's discourse before the papal court at Lyons. 
His labours in England, and his unchecked boldness 
towards Rome 256 

Legend concerning the death of Innocent the Fourth. Alex- 
ander the Fourth. Gregory the Tenth. Want of zeal for 
the crusades at Lyons, in 1274. Abbot Joachim opposed 
to them. Arguments against the crusades combated by 
Humbert de Romanis 259 

Raymund Lull's threefold plan in his Dispittatio. His view of 

tlie crusades, and mode of procedure with infidels . . 263 

Determinations with regard to papal elections by John the 
Twenty-first revoked. Celistin the Fifth, as pope. His 

abdication 26C 

Result of the history of the papacy under Gregory the Seventh. 
Unsuccessful efforts against the mischievous papal abso- 
lutism (interview of John of Salisbury with Adrian the 
Fourth). Bribery at the Roman court Eugene the Third 268 

oojrrENTS OF VOL. vn. xr 

2. Distinct Brcmches of the Papal Government of the Church, 


Persoual labours of the popes. DifFerent modes of condact 
pursued by their legates. The Roman curia, as the high- 
est tribunal. Capricious appeals to Borne limited by in- 
nocent the Third 2:3 

Relative dependence of the bishops. The form of oath taken 
by them. Influence of the popes in appointments to bene- 
fices. Complaints about exemption from the authority of 
the bishops. Pragmatic sanction of Louis the Ninth . . 276 

CoUection of ecclesiastical laws. Study of the dril law at 
Bologna. The Decretum Gratiani. Ancient and more 
modem ecclesiastical law enriched by the decisions of the 
pope. Interpolated bulls. Saymund's decretals ... 281 

3. Other Partt of the Church Constitution, 284—298. 

Consequences of the Hildebrandian epoch of Reform Its 
slight moral influence upon the clergy Abuses in eccle- 
siastical preferments combated in vain 2S4 

Reformation of the clergy. Norberfs congregation, Gerhoh's 
Clerisi regulares. Difference amongst the secular clei^. 
The latter as preachers of repentance 2S7 

Fulco of Neuilly ; his education and influence as a preacher of 
repentance ; his influence upcn the clergy ; his preaching 
of the crusades. Peter de Rusia, a preacher of repentance 
in opposition to the system of the church 289 

Archdeacons. Officiates in the more general and in the more 
restricted sense. The bishops. Valuable labours of Peter 
of Moustier. Gerhoh opposed to the secular sword in the 
hands of bishops and popes. Titular bishops .... 292 

4. Prophetic Warnings against the Secularization of the Church, 

Possession of Property injurious to the church. Prophetic ele- 
ment in the development of the church 29S 

flildetfard. Great reverence with which she was regarded. 
Her admonitions and counsels ; her invectives against the 
clergy, and her prophesies 300 

Abbot Joachim. His active labours ; his ideas ; his genuine 
writings, and the spurious ones attributed to hun ; his 
invectives against the corrupt court of Rome; against 
Paschalis the Second, and his successors. Worldly goods 
and secular supports injurious to the church. Inward 
Christianity. God and ihe apostolic church. The anti- 
christ (^Pataranes), the destined instrument of punishment. 



The Holienstaufens. The three periods of revelation, and 
the three apostles representing them. Joachim's view of 
historical Christianity. Form and essence of Christianity 304 

5. History of Monasticism, 322 — 405. 

Monachism, and the tendency of the times. Pious mothers, 
and other influences which served to promote it. Worldly 
temper in the monasteries brought about especially by the 
oblati. Salutary examples of such men as Ebrard and 
Simon. Motives of those who embraced monachism. 
Pardoned criminals gained, and other moral influences of 
the monks 322 

Anselm on monachism and the worldly life. Early vows 
renounced. Various influence of the monks. Their 
sermons on repentance. Religious aberrations and con- 
flicts. Admonitions of Anselm and Bernard .... 328 

Yves of Chartres, Eaymund Lull, and Peter of Cluny on the 
eremite life. Preachers of repentance. Worldly and 
hypocritical monks . . • 334 

Norhert, founder of the Premonstratensians. His miracles. 
Education and labours of Robert of Arbrissel. The Pan- 
peris Christi, and the nuns at Fons Ebraldi. Robert's 
invectives against the clergy. Opinions respecting him . 339 

Cluniacensians. Predecessors of Mauritius. His exhortations 

against extravagant asceticism. His letters .... 345 

Robert, founder of the Cistercians. His successors. Bernard 
led to monachism. His rigid asceticism. His influential 
labours in Clairvaux. His relation to the popes. His 
miracles, judged by himself and by others. His exhorta- 
tion to the Templars. His theology of the heart. On 
love, and its several stages. Constant reference to Christ. 
Diff'erent positions in Christianity. The spirit of calumny 
and self-knowledge 348 

Differences betwixt the Cluniacensians and Cistercians. Ber- 
nard's Apologia. Spiritual worship of the monks . . 3C5 

Bruno , founder of the order of the Carthusians. Their occu- 
pations and strict mode of life. Carmelites, founded by 
Berthold 367 

Societies formed to take charge of the leprous and other sick 
persons. Abuse of Christian charity. Order of the Tri- 
nitarians 369 

Law against new foundations. Mendicant monks, in their 
relation to the church. Didacus and Dominick in contest 
with the heretics of South France. Order of the Domini- 
cans confirmed 371 

Conversion of Francis. His religious bent. Idea of the evan- 
gelical poverty ; his reception with the pope and cardi- 
nals ; his mortifications ; sayings concerning asceticism, 
prayer, preaching. Mystical, sensuous element in his 


character. His love of nature. Marks of the voonds. 
Minorites. Order of CTora. Tertiaries 75 

Laborioos and influential activity in the mendicants. Their 
relation to the clergy ; their degeneracy ; their influence 
on the youth, on the learned, and on men of rank. Louis 
the Ninth 333 

Influence ol the mendicant friars in the University of Paris. 
Checked by Innocent the Fourth (his death) ; favoured 
by Alexander the Fourth ; attacked by William of St. 
Amour, nrho complains of the influence on Louis the 
Kinth. Papellards and Beguins 392 

i)efence of the mendicant monks by Bonaventura and Thomas. 
Fate of William of St. Amour. Bdnaventura as a censor 
of his order. The stricter and laxer Franciscans. Joa- 
chim's ideas as embraced by this order . .... 397 

[Secoxd Divisios.] 


Christian Life and Christian Worship, 406 — 492. 

General description of Christian life 406 

Individual traits of Christian life. Ambrose of Siena. Ray- 

mund Palmaris. Louis the Ninth. Elizabeth of Hessia 409 

Kesistance to the secularization of the religious life. Pious so- 
cieties of the Beghards, Papelards, Boni homines, Boni 
valeti 420 

Subjective view of the order of salvation. Justification as the 
interior work of making just. Fides formata. Twofold 
error resulting from this view ; one-sided extemalization, 
or spiritualization, of religion. Voices of the church- 
teachers with regard to both errors. Marks of a truly 
Christian spirit 421 

Shape given to preaching in the beginning of the twelfth cen- 
tury. Preaching in the spoken languages. Preachers of 
repentance. Discourse of the abbot Guibert, of Novigen- 
tum, on the right method of preaching. Work of Hum- 
bert de Romanis, general of the Dominicans, on the 
education of preachers. Example of pope Innocent the 
Third. Berthold the Franciscan, a preacher of repent- 
ance, at Regenburg and Augsburg 434 

Attempts to translate the Bible in Germany and France. Hible- 
reading society at Metz; dissolution of it. The Bible 
prohibited at the synod of Toulouse, 1229 444 

Traces of infidelity, proceeding pardy from rudeness of man- 
ners, partly from the revival of speculative culture, and 
especially from the influence of the Arabian philosophy. 
VOL. VII. b 



Frederick the Second. John Sans Terre. John Count of 
Soissons. Tract of the abbot Guibert of Nogent sous Coucy 
against the latter. Temptations occasioned by religious 
doubt. Examples of such conflicts 450 

Dead, worldly faith. Hugo a St. Victore against it. Fanaticism 
and Superstition. Superstitious veneration of saints. Elfeg 
of Canterbury. Abuse of relics. Work of Guibert of 
Nogent sous Coucy, De pignori bus Sanctorum . ... 454 

Worship of the Virgin Mary. Doctrine of the immaculate 
conception. Festival of the conception. Bernard of Clair- 
Taux against it. Pothos a monk of Prum, attacks this 
festival in his work, "On the State of God's House." 
Epistolary dispute on this subject betwixt the abbot De 
la Celle and the English monk Nicholas. Thomas Aqui- 
nas, opponent of the exaggerated veneration of Mary. 
Itaymund Lull's defence of the vporship of Mary. Fes- 
tival of the Holy Trinity. Abuses in the observance of 
festivals. Festum fatuorum, follorum 459 

The seven sacraments ; first mentioned by Otto of Bamberg, 
1124. Exposition of the seven sacraments. Doctrine of 
the eucharist. Confirmation of the doctrine of transub- 
stantiation at the Lateran council, a.d. 1215. Distinction 
of the accidents remaining behind from the changing sub- 
stance. Completion of the cultus and entire Catholicism in 
this doctrine. Struggles against it in opinions and doubts of 
the sectaries. Secret adherents of Berengar. Older inter- 
mediate view, taking its departure from the relation of the 
two natures 465 

Extreme point of realistic externalization. Thomas Aquinas. 
Inquiries of Innocent the Third in his treatise De mj'ste- 
riis missae ; his and Bonaventura's hypothesis of a retro- 
transubstantiation. Keply of the University of Paris, on 
the doctrine of the eucharist, to Clement the Fourth, a.d. 
1264. The Dominican John of Paris's revival of the 
older dogma lying at the bottom of the relation of the two 
natures. His deposition from his office 470 

Corpus-Christi day ; originated at Liege ; instituted first in 
1264, by Urban the Fourth ; again by Clement the Fifth, 
in 1311. Introduction of the bowing of the knee before 
the host, under Innocent the Third; made a law in 1217, 
by Honorius the Third. Abolition of the communion of 
infants. Distribution of the eucharist under one form, 
occasioned by the dread of spilling the blood of Christ ; 
promoted by the idea of the priesthood. Doctrine of con- 
comitance. Contest against the division of the Lord's 
Supper ; division reprobated by Paschalis the Second. 
Provost Folmar of Traufenstein against concomitance. 
Neglect of the Lord's Supper by the laity. Ordinance of 
the Lateran council of 1215 with regard to this point. 
Encroaching corruption in the celebration of mass . . 47-1 



Doctrine of penance ; necessity of separating the theological 
doctrine from the notions of the people. Distinctions of 
the theologians between church absolution and the divine 
forgiveness of sii-s ; subjection of this correct sentiment 
under the principles of the church. The three parts of 
penitence, first defined by the Lombards : Compnnctio 
cordis ; confessio oris ; satisfactio opens. Extension of 
satisfaction to the future life. Gregory the Seventh. 
Urban the Second against the externals of penitence. In- 
dulgence. Origin of general indulgences, by Victor the 
Third, by occasion of a crusade against the Saracens 
in Africa. Repeated preaching of indulgences during the 
crusades to the holy sepulchre. The council of Clermont 
under Urban the Second. Indulgences placed on a theo- 
retical basis in the thirteenth century. Defence of thera 
on the ground of a Thesaurus maritorum and of a supere- 
rogatory perfection of the saints. Distortion of the ori- 
ginal opinion by the sellers of indulgences. Confession oi 
William of Auxerre. Thomas Aquinas, Abelard, Stephen 
of Obaize, Berthold the Franciscan, partly against indul- 
gences in general, partly against the abuse of them. 
Papal remissions, and canon of the council of Beziers 
against the latter. Ordinance of oral confessicm by Inno- 
cent the Third, at the fourth Lateran council .... 482 


YEAR 1294. 




Already, in the preceding period, we took notice of the re- 
peated but unsuccessful attempts to convert the Slavonian 
tribes living within and on the borders of Germany. Such 
undertakings, which, without respecting the peculiarities of 
national character, aimed to force upon the necks of these 
tribes the yoke of a foreign domination, along with that of the 
hierarchy, would necessarily prove either a total failure or 
barren of all salutary influences. The people would struggle, 
of course, against what was thus imposed on them. Of this 
sort, were the undertakinjre of the dukes of Poland to bring: 
the Pommeranians, a nation dwelling on tb'^ir borders, under 
their dominion and into subjection to the Christian church. 
The Poles themselves, as we observed in the preceding period, 
had been but imperfectly converted, and the consequences of 
this still continued to be observable in the religious condition 
of that people ; it was the last quarter, therefore, from which 
to expect any right measures to proceed for effecting the con- 
version of a pagan nation. Back-Pommerania having been 
already, a hundred years before, reduced to a condition of de- 
pendence on the Poles, Boleslav the Third (Krzivousti) duke 
of Poland, in the year 1121, succeeded in compelling West 
Pommerania also, and its regent, duke "Wartislav, to acknow- 



ledge his supremacy. Eight thousand Pommeranians were re- 
moved by him to a district bordering immediately on his own 
dominions, in order that they might there learn to forget their 
ancient customs, their love of freedom, and their old religion, 
and be induced at length to embrace Christianity. But the 
Polish bishops were neither inclined nor fitted to operate as 
missionaries in Pommerania ; it was much easier, in this 
period, to find among the monks men who shrunk from no 
difficulties or dangers, but were prepared to consecrate them- 
selves, with cheerful alacrity, to any enterprise undertaken in 
the service of the church, and for the good of mankind. The 
zeal of these good men, however, was not always accompanied 
with correct views or sound discretion. Often too contracted 
in their notions to be able to enter into the views and feelings 
of rude tribes with customs differing widely from their own, 
they were least of all fitted to introduce Christianity for the 
first time among a people like the Pommeranians, — a merry, 
well-conditioned, life-enjoying race, abundantly furnished by 
nature with every means of a comfortable subsistence, so that 
a poor man or a beggar was not to be seen amongst them. 
Having had no experience of those feelings which gave birth 
to monachism, they could not understand that peculiar mode 
of life. The monks, in their squalid raiment, appeared to 
them a mean, despicable set of men, roving about in search of ■ 
a livelihood. Poverty was here regarded as altogether un- 
worthy of the priesthood ; for the people Avere accustomed to 
see their own priests appear in wealth and splendour. Hence 
the monks were spurned with scorn and contempt. Such 
especially was the treatment experienced by a missionary who 
came to these parts from the distant country of Spain, — the 
bishop Bernard.* Being a native of Spain, he was unfitted 

♦ This fact is not stated, it is true, in the most trustworthy account we 
have of this mission, which is contained in the work of an unknown 
contemporary writer of the life of bishop Otto of Bamberg, published by 
Canisius, in his Lectiones antiquae, t. iii. p. ii. ; but it is reported by the 
Bambergian abbot Andreas, who wrote in the second half of the fifteenth 
century. The latter, however, iu giving this account, appeals to the 
testimony of Ulric, a priest in immediate attendance on bishop Otto him- 
self; and what we have said with regard to the missionary efforts of the 
monks generally, is confirmed at least by the more certain authority of 
the anonymous writer just mentioned. Speaking of bishop Otto, hi says : 
" Quia terram Pommeranorum opulentam audiverat et egenos siye men- 


already, by national temperament, to act -as a missionary 
among these people of the north, whose very language it must 
have been difficult for him to understand. Originally an an- 
choret, he had lived a strictly ascetic life, when, at the 
instance of pope Paschalis the Second, he took upon himself a 
bishopric made vacant by the removal of its former occupant ;* 
but finding it impossible to gain the love of his community, a 
portion of whom still continued to adhere to his predecessor, 
he abandonerl the post for the purpose of avoiding disputes, to 
which his fondness for peace and quiet was most strongly re- 
pugnant, choosing rather to avail himself of his episcopal 
dignity to go and found a new church among the Pomme- 
ranians. Accompanied by his chaplain, he repaired to that 
country : but with a bent of mind so strongly given to asceti- 
cism, he wanted the necessary prudence for such an under- 
taking. He went about barefoot, clad in the garments he was 
used to wear as an anchoret. He imj^ned that, in order to 
do the work of a missionary in the sense of Christ, and accord- 
ing to the example of the Apostles, he must strictly follow the 
directions which Christ gave to them, Matth. x. 9, 10, 
without considering that Christ gave his directions in this par- 
ticular form wth reference to a particular and transient period 
of time, and a peculiar condition of things, entirely different 
from the circumstances of his own field of labour ; and so, for 
the reasons we have alluded to, he very soon began to be re- 
garded by the Pommeranians with contempt. They refrained, 
however, from doing him the least injury ; till, prompted by 
a fanatical longing after martyrdom, he destroyed a sacred 
image in Julin, a town situated on the island of "Wollin, — a deed 
which, as it neither contributed to remove idolatry from the 
hearts of men, nor to implant the true faith in its stead, could 
only serve, without answering a single good purpose, to irritate 
the minds of the people. The Pommeranians would no longer 

dicos penitas non habere, sed vehementer aspemari, et jamdndam quos- 
dam servos Dei praedicatores egenos propter inopiam eontemsisse, quasi 
nou pro salute hominam, sed pro sua necessitate relevanda, officio insis- 
terent praedicandi." 

* It was at the time of the schism -which grew out of the quarrel 
betwixt the emperor Henry the Fourth and pope Gregory the Seventh ; 
in which dispute, this deposed bishop may, perhaps, have taken an active 
p;irt as an opponent of the papal svstem. 

B 2 


suffer him, it is true, to remain amongst them ; but whether it 
was that they were a people less addicted to religious fanaticism 
than other pagan nations within our knowledge, and Bernard's 
appearance served rather to move their pity than to excite their 
hatred and stir them up to persecution ; or whether it was that 
they dreaded the vengeance of duke Boleslav ; the fact was, 
they still abstained from all violence to his person, but con- 
tented themselves with putting him on board a ship, and sending 
him out of their country. 

Thus, by his own imprudent conduct, bishop Bernard de- 
feated the object of his enterprise ; still, however, he contributed 
indirectly to the founding of a permanent mission in this coun- 
try ; and the experience which he had gone through would, 
moreover, serve as a profitable lesson to the man who might 
come after him. He betook himself to Bamberg, where the 
severe austerity of his life, as well as his accurate knowledge 
of the ecclesiastical reckoning of time, would doubtless give 
him a high place in the estimation of the clergy. And here 
he found in bishop Otto a man that took a deep interest in 
pious enterprises, and one also peculiarly well fitted, and pre- 
pared by many of the previous circumstances of his life, for 
just such a mission. 

Otto was decended from a noble, but as it. would seem not 
wealthy Suabian family. He received a learned education, 
according to the fashion of those times ; but, being a younger 
son, he could not obtain the requisite means for prosecuting 
his scientific studies to the extent he desired, and especially for 
visiting the then fiourishing University of Paris, but was 
obliged to expend all his energies, in the early part of his life, 
in gaining a livelihood. As Poland, at this time, stood greatly 
in need of an educated clergy, and he hoped that he should be 
able to turn his knowledge to the best account in a country 
that still remained so far behind others in Christian culture, he 
directed his steps to that quarter, with the intention of setting 
up a school there. In this employment he soon rose to con- 
sideration and influence ; and the more readily, inasmuch as 
there were very few at that time in Poland who were capable 
of teaching all the branches reckoned in this period as be- 
longing to a scholastic education. Children were put under 
his care from many distinguished families, and in this way he 
came into contact with the principal men of the land. His 


knowledge and his gifts were frequently called into requisition 
by them for various other purposes. Thus he became known 
to the duke "Wartislav Hermann, who in^-ited him to his court, 
and made him his chaplain.* "When that duke, after having 
lost his first wife, Judith, b^an to think of contracting a 
second marriage, his attention was directed, by means of Otto, 
to Sophia, sister of the emperor Henry the Fourth ; and Otto 
was one of the commissioners sent, in the year 1088, to the 
emperor's court, to demand the hand of the princess. The 
mission was successful, and the marriage took place. Otto was 
one of the persons who accompanied the princess to Poland ; 
and he thus rose to higher consideration at the Polish court. 
He was frequently sent on embassies to Germany, and in this 
way he became better known to the emperor, Henry the Fourth. 
That monarch finally drew him to his own court, where he 
made him one of his chaplains, and employed him as his se- 
cretary. Otto got into great favour \*-ith the emperor. f He 
appointed him his chancellor, and when the bishopric of 
Bamberg, in the year 1 102, fell vacant, placed him over that 
diocese. Now it would be very natural to expect that a fa- 
vourite of the emperor Hearj' the Fourth, who had obtained 
through his influence an important bishopric, would therefore 
be inclined, in the contests between that monarch and pope 

* We follow here the more trustworthy accoont of the anonvmoas 
contemporary. The case is stated diflFerently by the abbot Andreas. 
According to the latter. Otto made his first visit to Poland in company 
with the sister of the emperor Heary the Fourth. He calls her Jadith, 
and says that Otto was her chaplain. After her death, according to the 
same writer, Otto was taken into the service of a certain 'abbess, at 
Regensburg, where the emperor became better acquainted with him, and 
took him into his employment. But Andreas himself confirms the state- 
ment of the facts by the anonymous writer, when, after speaking of Otto's 
appointment to be court-chaplain, he adds : •' Nobiles quique et potentes 
illius terras certatim ei filios suos ad erudiendum offerebant" Accord- 
ingly, the account given by this writer also presupposes that Otto had 
been master of a school in Poland ; and how he came to be so is best ex- 
plained by the statement of the matter in the anonymous writer, only the 
later author has fallen into a wrong arrangement of dates. 

t Because, as the story went, he was careful to have the psalter always 
ready for the emperor, who was a great admirer of the Psalms ; because 
he had an extraordinary facility of repeating psalms Irom memory ; and, 
more than all. because he once presented the emperor with his own cast- 
off psalter, having first caused it to be repaired, and set off with a very 
gorgeous binding. 

6 otto's rising favour with 

Gregory the Seventh, to espouse the interests of the imperial 
party ; but Otto was a man too strict and conscientious in his 
religion to allow himself to be governed in ecclesiastical mat- 
ters by such considerations. Like the majority of the more 
seriously disposed clergy, he was inclined to favour the prin- 
ciples of the Gregorian church government. His love of peace 
and his prudent management enabled him, however, for a while, 
to preserve a good understanding with both the emperor and 
the pope ; though at a later period he allowed himself to be- 
come so entangled in the hierarchical interest as to be betrayed 
into ingratitude and disloyalty towards his prince and old 

As a bishop, Otto was distinguished for the zeal and interest 
which he took in promoting the religious instruction of the 
people in their own spoken language, and for his gift of clear 
and intelligible preaching.t He was accustomed to moderate, 
with the severity of a monk, his bodily wants ; and by this 
course, as well as by his frugality generally, was able to save 
so much the more out of the ample revenues of his bishopric 
for carrying forward the great enterprises which he undertook 
in the service of the church and of religion. He loved to take 
from himself to give to the poor ; and all the presents he re- 
ceived from princes and noblemen, far and near, he devoted to 
the same object. Once, during the season of Lent, when fish 
were very dear, a large one, of great price, was placed on the 
table before him. Turning to his steward, said he, " God for- 
bid that I, the poor unworthy Otto, should alone swallow, 
to-day, such a sum of money. Take this costly fish to my 
Clirist, who should be dearer to me than I am to myself. 
Take it away to him, wherever thou canst find one, lying on 
the sick-bed. For me, a healthy man, my bread is enough." 
A valuable fur was once sent to him as a present, with the re- 
quest that he would wear it in remembrance of the giver. 
" Yes," said he, alluding to the well-known words of our Lord, 
" I will preserve the precious gift so carefully, that neither 

* See farther on, under thf history of tlie church constitution. 

t The anonymous biographer says: "Huic ab omnibus sui temporis 
pontificibus in docendo populum natural! sermone principatus minime 
negabatur ; quia disertus et naturali pollens eloquio, usu et frequentia in 
dicendo facilis erat, quid locoj quid tempori, quid personis competeret 


moths shall corrupt nor thieves break through and steal it," — 
so saying, he gave the fur to a poor lame man, then suffering 
also under various other troubles,* He distinguished himself 
by the active solicitude, shrinking from no sacrifice, with vrhich 
he exerted himself to relieve the sufferings of the needy and dis- 
tressed, during a great famine, which swept off large numbers 
of the people. He kept by him an exact list of all the sick 
in the city where he lived, accompanied with a record of their 
sevei-al complaints, and of the other circumstances of their con- 
dition, so as to be able to- provide suitably for the wants and 
necessities of each individual."!" He caused many churches, 
and other edifices, to be constructed for the embellishment, or 
the greater security, of his diocese. He especially took plea- 
sure in founding new monasteries ; for in common with many 
of the more seriously disposed in his times, he cherished a 
strong predilection for the monastic life. J Governed by the 
mistaiien notion, so common among his contemporaries, that a 
peculiar sanctity attached itself to the monastic profession, he 
expressed a wish, when attacked by an illness that threatened 
to prove fatal, to die in the monkish habit ; and, on his re- 
covery, intended actually to fulfil the monkish vow which he 
had already made in his heart. It was only through the 
influence of his friends, who represented to him the great im- 
portance of his continuing to labour for the good of the church, 
that he was deterred from executing this purpose. 

Such was the man, whom bishop Bernard, on his return 
from Pommerania, sought to inflame with a desire of pro- 
secuting the mission which he himself had unsuccessfully 
begun ; and he drew arguments from his own experience to. 
convince him that he might confidently hope, if he appeared 
among the Pommeranians ^-ith pomp and splendour, and em- 
ployed his ample means in the ser\-ice of the mission, to 
see his labours crowned very soon with the happiest results. 

* See Lect. antiq. 1. c. fol. 90. 

t The unknown writer says : " Habebat cognitos et ex nominibos pro- 
priis notatos omnes paralyticos, languidos, cancerosos, sive leprosos <le 
civitate sua, modum, tempos, et quantitatem langnoris eomm per se 
investigaiis congruaque subsidia omnibus providebat et per procnra- 

J For his views concerning the relation of monasteries to the world, 
see farther on. 


Otto's pious zeal could easily be enkindled in favour of such 
an object. At this juncture, moreover, came a letter from 
duke Boleslav of Poland, inviting him in the most urgent 
terms to engage in the enterprise ; whether it was that the 
duke had been informed how Otto had been led, through 
Bernard's influence, to entertain the idea of such a mission 
among the Pommeranians, and now wrote him in hopes of 
bringing him to a decision — or that this prince, a son of 
Wartislav by his first marriage, remembering the impression 
that Otto had made on him when he knew him at the court of 
his father, felt satisfied that he was the very man to be 
employed among such a people, the duke earnestly besought 
him to come to Pommerania. He reminded him of their 
former connection, whilst he himself was yet a youth, at the 
court of his father.* He complained that, with all the pains 
he had taken for three years, he had been unable to find a per- 
son suited for this work among his own bishops and clergy. f 
He promised that he would defray all the expenses of the 
undertaking, provide him with an escort, with interpreters, 
and assistant priests, and whatever else might be necessary for 
the accomplishment of the object. 

Having obtained the blessing of pope Honorius the Second 
on this work, Otto began his journey on the 24th of April, 
1124. Fondly attached as he was to monkish ways, the expe- 
rience of his predecessor in this missionary field taught him to 
avoid every appearance of that sort, and rather to present him- 
self in the full splendour of his episcopal dignity. He not 
only provided himself in the most ample manner wth every- 
thing that was required for his own support and that of 
his attendants in Pommerania, but also took with him costly 
raiment and other articles to be used as presents to the chiefs 
of the people ; likewise all the necessary church utensils 
by which he could make it visibly manifest to the Pomme- 
ranians that he did not visit them from interested motives, 
but was ready to devote his own property to the object of 
imparting to them a blessing which he regarded as the very 

* " Quia in diebus juventutis tuee apud patrem meum decentissima te 
honestate conversatum raemini." 

t " Ecce per trieunium laboro, quod nullum episcoporom vel sacerdotum 
idoneorum mibive affinium ad hoc opus inducere queo." 


Travelling through a part of Bohemia and Silesia, he made 
a visit to duke Boleslav in Poland. In the city of Gnesen, he 
met with a kind and honourable reception from that prince. 
The duke gave him a great number of waggons for conveying 
the means of subsistence which he took along with him, 
as well as the rest of the baggage; a sum of money of 
the currency of the country to defray a part of the expenses ; 
people who spoke German and Slavic to act as his servants ; 
three of his own chaplains to assist him in his labours ; and, 
finally, in the capacity of a protector, the commandant 
Paulitzky (Paulicius), a man ardently devoted to the cause. 
This commandant, or colonel, knew how to deal with the rude 
people ; and he was instructed to employ the authority of the 
duke for the purpose of disposing the Pommeranians to a 
readier reception of Christianity. Having traversed the vast 
forest which at that time separated Poland from Pommerania, 
they came to the banks of the river Netze, which diAdded the 
two districts.* Here duke Wartislav, who had been apprised of 
their arrival, came to meet them with a train of five hundred 
armed men. The duke pitched his camp on the farther side 
of the river, and then with a few attendants crossed over to the 
bishop. The latter first had a private inteniew with the duke 
and the Polish colonel. As Otto did not possess a ready 
command of the Slavic language, though he had learned it in 
his youth, the colonel ser\-ed as his interpreter. They ccm- 
ferred with each other about the course to be observed in the 
conduct of the mission. Meantime, the ecclesiastics remained 
alone with the Pommeranian soldiers, and probably their 
courage was hardly equal to the undertaking before them. 
The way through the dismal forest had already somewhat inti- 
midated them ; added to which was now the unusual sight of 
these rude soldiers, clad and equipped after the manner of 
their country, with whom they were left alone, in a wild unin- 
habited region, amid the frightful gloom of approaching night. 
The alarm which they betrayed provoked the Ponmieranians, 
who, though they had been baptized, were perhaps Christians 
but in name, to work still farther on their fears. Pretending 
to be pagans, they pointed their swords at them, threatened to 

* According to the statement of Andreas, the frontier castle where they 
pat up was Uzda, at present Uscz 

10 otto's meeting with wartislav. 

stab them, to flay them alive, to bury them to their shoulders 
in the earth, and then deprive them of their tonsure. But 
they were soon relieved from their great terror by the re- 
appearance of their bishop in company with the duke, whom, 
by timely presents, he had wrought to a still more friendly 
disposition. The example of the duke, who accosted the 
ecclesiastics in a courteous and friendly manner, was followed 
by his attendants. They now confessed that they were 
Christians, and that by their threats they had only intended to 
put the courage of the ecclesiastics to the test. Ihe duke 
left behind him servants and guides ; he gave the missionaries 
full liberty to teach and baptize throughout his whole terri- 
tory, and he commanded that they should be everywhere 
received in an hospitable manner. 

On the next morning they crossed the borders, and directed 
their steps to the town of Pyritz. They passed through a 
district wliich had suffered greatly in the war with' Poland, 
and was but just recovering from the terrors of it. The much- 
troubled people were the more inclined therefore to yield in 
all things to the authority of the bishop, who was enabled, in 
passing, to administer baptism to thirty in this sparsely-peopled 

It was eleven of the clock at night when they arrived at 
Pyritz. They found the whole town awake, for it was a great 
pagan festival, celebrated with feasting, drinking, song, and 
revelry ; and four thousand men, from the whole surrounding 
country, were assembled here on this occasion. Under these 
circumstances, the bishop did not think it proper to enter the 
town. They pitched their tents at some distance without 
the walls, and avoided everything that might attract the 
attention of the intoxicated and excited multitude. They 
kept as quiet as possible, not venturing even to kindle a lire. 
On the next morning, Paulitzky, with the other envoys of the 
two dukes, entered the town, and called a meeting of the most 
influential citizens. The authority of the two dukes was here 
employed to induce the people to compliance. They were 
reminded of the promise whicli vuider compulsion they had 
before given to the Polish duke, that they would become 
Christians, No delay was allowed for a more full delibera- 
tion on the subject, as they were informed that the bisliop, who 
had forsaken all in order to come and help them, and iii the 


most disinterested manner devoted himself to their senice, 
was near at hand ; so they yielded, for they supposed their gods 
liad shown themselves unable to help them. When the bishop, 
with all his wag-gons and his numerous train, now entered into 
the town, terror in the first place seized upon all, for they 
thouglit it some new hostile attack ; but having convinced 
themselves of tlie peaceful intentions of the strangers, they 
receivetl them with more confidence. Seven days were spent 
bv the bishop in giving instruction ; three days were ap- 
pointetl for spiritual and bodily preparation to receive the 
onli nance of baptism. They held a fast and bathed them- 
selves, tliat they miglit with cleanliness and decency submit 
to the holy transaction. Large vessels filled with water were 
sunk in the ground and surrounded with curtains ; behind 
these baptism was administered, in the form customary at that 
period, by immersion. During their twenty days' residence in 
tliis town, seven thousand were baptized ; and the persons bap- 
tize<l were instructed on the matters contained in the confession 
of faith, and respecting the most important acts of worship. 
Before taking his leave of them, the bishop, with the aid of an 
interpreter, addressed a discourse to the newly baptized from 
an elevated spot. He reminded them of the vow of fidelity 
which tliey had made to God at baptism ; he warned them 
against relapsing into idolatry ; he explained to them that the 
Christian life is a continual warfare, and then expounded 
to tliem the doctrine of the seven sacraments, since by these 
were designated the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were the 
appointed means of upholding and strengthening the faithful 
in this warfare. When he spoke of the sacrament of marriage, 
he explained that those who had hitherto possessed several 
wives ought from that time to retain but one as the lawful 
wife. He testified his abhorrence of the unnatural custom, 
which prevailed among the women, of destroying at their birth 
children of the female sex, when their number appeared too 
large. As it is evident, however, from the whole history of 
the affair, that the reception of Christianity was in this case 
brought about chiefly through the fear of the duke of Poland, 
— a vast number had submitted to baptism within a very 
short time, a time altogether insufficient to afford oppor- 
tunity for communicating the needful instruction to such a 
multitude, — so it was impossible that what was here done 


should as yet be attended with any deep-working or permanent 

From this place they proceeded to the town of Kammin. 
Here resided that wife of duke Wartislav whom he distin- 
guished above all the rest, and whom he regarded as his 
legitimate consort. She was more devoted to Christianity than 
she ventured to confess in the midst of a pagan population. 
Encouraged by what she had heard about the labours of Otto 
in Pyritz, she declared herself already, before his arrival, more 
Openly and decidedly a friend of Christianity. The bishop, 
therefore, found the popular mind in a favourable state of 
preparation ; many were anxiously awaiting the arrival of 
the ecclesiastics, from whom they desired to receive baptism. 
During the forty days which they spent in this place, their 
strength was hardly sufficient to administer baptism to as many 
as demanded it. Meantime, duke Wartislav also arrived at 
Kammin. He expressed great love for the bishop, and 
greater zeal in favour of Christianity than he had done 
before. In obedience to the Christian law of marriage, he 
took an oath, before the bishop and the assembled people, to 
remain true to his lawful wife alone, and to dismiss four-and- 
twenty others whom he had kept as concubines. This act of 
the prince had a salutary intluence on the rest of the people, who 
followed his example. Here Otto founded the first church 
for the Pommeranians, over which he appointed one of his 
clergy as priest, and left him behind for the instruction of the 
people. A remarkable concurrence of circumstances on one 
occasion produced a great impression both on the pagans and 
the new converts. A woman of property, zealously devoted 
to the old pagan religion, stood forth as a violent opponent of 
the Christians. She held that the prosperity of the country 
and its people furnished evidence enough of the power of 
their ancient deities. On Sunday, when all rested from their 
labours and repaired to church, this woman required her 
people, in defiance of the strange god, to work at gathering in 
the harvest ; and, to set the example, went herself into the 
field and grasped the sickle, but at the first stroke she wounded 
herself with the instrument. This occurrence was looked upon 
as a manifest judgment of God — evidence of the power of the 
God of the Christians. 

After having resided here in this manner forty days, the 


bishop determined to push his missionary journey still on- 
wards ; and two citizens of Pyritz, Domislav, father and son, 
accompanied them as guides. They directed their stejs to one 
of the principal places of the country, the island of Wollin ; 
but here, on account of the warlike, spiteful character of the 
inhabitants — a people strongly attached to their ancient cus- 
toms, — they had reason to expect more determined opposition. 
The two guides, as they approached the city of Julin, were 
struck with fear; and the ecclesiastics, as we have seen, were 
fer from being stout hearted men. But bishop Otto himself, 
amidst such companions, could not catch the contagion of fear. 
There was nothing to disturb him in the threatening prospect 
of death. Inclined to err at the opposite extreme, earnestly 
longing to give up his life in his Saviour's cause, he held 
danger too much in contempt. It required more self-denial, 
more self-control on his part, not to throw himself into the 
midst of the pagan populace, but to try to avert, by wise and 
prudent measures, the threatening storm. What Otto had 
done in Pyritz must have been already known in the city, and 
the zealous devotees to the old Slavic religion could therefore 
only look upon him as an enemy of their gods. From the 
fury of the pagan populace, the rude masses of a seafaring 
people, the worst was to be apprehended. The guides ad- 
vised that they should remain awhile concealed on the banks 
of the river, and endeavour to enter the town unperceived by 
night. In this town, as in the other cities, there was a castle 
belonging to the duke, attached to which was a strongly-built 
inclosure, serving as a place of refuge for such as might repair 
to it. To this place it was proposed that they should remove, 
with all their goods ; thus would they be protected against the 
first attacks of the infuriate multitude, and, waiting in their 
place of security until the fury of the people had time to cool, 
might then come to terms with them. The plan seemed a wise 
one, and was adopted ; but perhaps the peculiar character of 
the people had not been sufficiently weighed. This plan of 
stealthily creeping in by night, which betrayed timidity and a 
want of confidence, might easily lead to serious mischiefe ; 
whereas, had they come forward openly, they might reckon on 
the effect which the bishop, appearing in all the pomp of his 
office, would be likely to produce on the respect of the people 
for the authority of the PoEsh duke, and on the g^dually- 


increasing influence of a secret Christian party ; for there was 
always to be found in this important seaport and commercial 
mart, a respectable number of Christian merchants from 
abroad, by intercourse with whom, as well as with such 
Christian nations as they visited for the purpose of trade, some 
few had already, as it seems, been gained over to Christianity. 

On the following morning, as soon as they were observed bj'- 
the people, stormy movements began ; even the asylum was 
not respected, a furious attack of the populace compelled them 
to abandon it. The Polish colonel addressed the people, but 
his words had no effect on the excited multitude. Surrounded 
by his trembling companions. Otto, undaunted, cheerful, and 
ready for martyrdom, walked through an angry croAvd that 
threatened death to him in particular, and he received sevei-al 
blows. Knocked down in the press, amid the jostling on all 
sides, he fell into the mire. Paulitzky, a man of courage and 
great physical strength, covered him with his own body, and, 
warding off" the blows aimed at his life, helped him to regain 
his feet. Thus they finally made out to escape unharmed from 
the city ; but, instead of immediately abandoning this part of 
the country, they waited five days longer for tlie people to 
come to their senses. The secret Christians in the mean time 
paid a visit to the bishop ; the more respectable citizens also 
waited on him, to apologise for what had happened, which they 
said they could not hinder, laying all the blame on the popu- 
lace. Otto required them to become Christians. Taking 
advantage of these events to work upon their fears, he threat- 
ened them with the vengeance of the Polisli duke, whose 
anger they had good reason to dread, after having offered 
such an insult to his messengers. He informed them that 
the only step by which they could hope to pacify the duke, and 
to ward oft' the danger which threatened them, was to em- 
brace Christianity. After consulting together, they finally 
declared that they must be governed by the course taken by 
their capital town, Stettin, and to this place they advised the 
bishop to repair first. This advice he followed. 

At Stettin, the reception lie met with was at first unfavour- 
able. When he proposed to the chief men of the city that 
they should put away their old religion and adopt Christianity, 
they repelled the proposition very decidedly. The life and 
manners of the nations that professed Christianity had'brought 


it here, as often happens, into discredit. The Pommei-anians 
were now at precisely that point of culture which the apostle 
Paul, in the seventh of the Epistle to the Romans, describes 
as a life without the law. Possessing the simplicity, open- 
ness, and innocence of primitive manners, and enjoying a 
degree of temporal pra^perity which was the natural result of 
a favourable climate,* soil, and location, they were as yet igno- 
rant of the conflicts between law and lust, and of the strifes of 
contrary interests, and hence exempt from the evils that grow 
out of them, as well as unconscious of many wants difficult 
to be satisfied, but very sure to be called forth in a people 
making the transition from a state of nature to civilization. 
Fraud and theft were crimes unknown among them ; nothing 
was kept under lock and key.t The hospitality which usually 
distinguishes a people at this stage of culture existed among 
them to an eminent degree. Every head of a family had 
a room especially consecrated to the reception of guests, 
in which was kept a table constantly spread for their entertain- 
ment. Thus the evils were here absent, by which man is made 
conscious of the sin lurking in his nature, and thereby brought to 
feel his need of redemption. If physical well-being were man's 
highest end, they had the best reason for rejecting that which 
would tear them away from this happy state of nature. Now 
when, from this point of view, they compared their own con- 
dition Avith that of the Christian nations of Germany, and made 
up their judgment from the facts which were first presented to 
them, as they could see nothing to envy in the condition of 
the latter, so they saw nothing in the religion to which they 
attributed this condition that could recommend it to their 
acceptance. Amongst the Christians, said the more respect- 
able citizens of Stettin, are to be found thieves and pirates. 
Some people have to lose their feet, others their eyes ; every 
species of crime and of punishment abounds amongst them ; 

* The unknown author of the Life of Otto, after mentioning the plenty 
of game, the numerous herds of cattle, the abundance of wheat and of 
honey, remarks : " Si vitem et oleum et ficum haberet, terram putares 
esse repromissionis propter copiam fructiferorum." 

t " Tanta fides et societas est inter eos, ut furtorum et fraudum penitus 
inexperti, cistas aut scrinia non habeant serata. Nam seram vel clavem 
ibi non viderunt, sed ipsi admodum mirati sunt, quod clitellas et scrinia 
episcopi serata viderunt." 


Christian abhors Christian : far from us be such a religion. 
Still Otto, with his companions, tarried more than two months 
in Stettin, patiently expecting some change in their determina- 
tion. As this, however, did not take place, it was concluded 
to send a message to duke Boleslav of Poland, with a detailed 
report of the ill success attending the mission. The citizens of 
Stettin, when they heard of this, were alarmed. They now 
declared that it was their intention to send with these dele- 
gates an embassy of their own to Poland, and, in case they 
could obtain a solid and permanent peace, together with a 
diminution of tribute, tliey were willing on such conditions to 
embrace Christianity. 

In the mean time bishop Otto was not idle. On the market- 
days, which occurred twice a week, when numbers of country- 
people came into the town, he appeared in public, dressed in 
his episcopal robes, with the crosier borne before him, and 
harangued the assembled multitude on the doctrines of the 
Christian faith. The pomp in wiiich he appeared, and curi- 
osity to hear what he had to say, drew many around him ; but 
the faith gained no admittance. He strove first of all, by his 
own example, the example of a life actuated by the spirit of 
Christian love, to do away the impression which the citizens of 
Stettin had received of the Christian faith from looking at the 
life of the great mass of Christians ; to make it by this means 
practically evident to them, that there was a still higher prin- 
ciple of life than any which man knows while living in a state 
of nature, however felicitous in other respects. With his own 
money he redeemed many captives, and, having provided them 
with clothes and the means of subsistence, sent them home to 
their friends. One event, however, contributed in an espe» 
cial manner to make the pious, benevolent life of the bishop 
generally known, and to attract towards him the minds of tlie 

Many secret Christians were living even in this part of 
Pommerania, and among the number of these was a woman 
belonging to one of the first families in Stettin. Having been 
carried away captive in her youth from a Christian land, she 
had married a man of wealth and consideration, by whom she 
had two sons. Although remaining true to her laith, yet she 
did not venture, in the midst of a pagan people, to appear openly 
aa a Christian. None fhe less sincere on that account was her 


joy, when bishop Otto came to the city where she lived : these 
feelings, however, she dared not express aloud, nor to go over 
to him before the face of the world. Perhaps it was not 
without the exertion of some influence on her part that her 
two sons were led to pay frequent visits to the ^Tergy, and to 
make inquiries of them respecting the Christian faith. The 
bishop did not fail to make the most of this opportunity, 
by instructing them, step by step, in all the leading doctrines 
of Christianity. He found the young men had susceptible 
minds. They declared themselves convinced, and requested 
that they might be prepared for baptism. This ^ras done ; and 
the bishop agreed upon a day, with them, when they should 
return and receive baptism. They were baptized, with all the 
accustomed ceremonial of the church, without any knowledge 
of the transaction on the part of their parents. After this 
they remained eight days in the bishop's house, in order to ob- 
serve, with due solemnity, their octave as neophytes. Their 
mother, in the mean while, got notice of what had been done 
before the whole time of the octave had expired. Full of joy, 
she sent a message to the bishop, requesting to see her sons. 
He received her, seated in the open air on a bank of turf, sur- 
rounded by his clergy, the young men at his feet clothed in 
their white robes. The latter, on beholding their mother at 
a distance, started up, and bowing to the bishop, as if to ask 
his permission, hastened to meet her. At the sight of her sons 
in their white robes of baptism, the mother, who had kept her 
Christianity concealed for so many years, overcome by her 
feelings, sunk weeping to tlie ground. The bishop and his 
clergy hurried to her in alarm : raising the woman from the 
earth, they strove to quiet her mind, supposing she had fainted 
from the violence of her grief. But as soon as she could 
command herself, and find language to express her feeJ'ngs, 
they were undeceived. " I praise thee," were her first words, 
" Lord Jesus Christ, thou source of all hope and of all conso- 
lation, that I behold my sons initiated into thy sacraments, 
enlightened by the faith in thy divine truth." Then, kissing 
and embracing her sons, she added : "For thou knowest, my 
Lord .Jesus Christ, that for many years I have not ceased, in 
the secret recesses of my heart, to recommend these youths to 
thy compassion, beseeching thee to do in them that which 
thou now hast done." Next, turning to the bishop, she thus 

VOL. VII. ^ c 


addressed him : — " Blessed be the day of your coming to this, 
city, for, if you will but persevere, a great church shall here 
be gathered to the Lord. Do not allow yourselves to grow 
impatient by any delay. Behold ! I myself, who stand here 
before you, do, by the aid of Almighty God, encouraged by 
your presence, reverend father, but also throwing myself on 
the help of these my children, confess that I am a Christian, 
a truth which till now I dared not openly acknowledge." 
She then proceeded to relate her whole story. The bishop 
thanked God for the wonderful leadings of his grace ; he 
assured the woman of his hearty sympathy, said many things 
to strengthen and encourage her in the faith, and presented her 
with a costly robe of fur. At the expiration of the eight days, 
when the newly -baptized laid aside their white robes, he made 
them a valuable present of fine raiment, and, having given them 
the Holy Supper, dismissed them to go home. 

This remarkable occurrence was immediately attended with 
many important consequences. That Christian woman, who 
had hitherto kept her religion a secret, now that she had taken 
the first step and gathered courage, freely and openly avowed 
her faith, and became herself a preacher of the gospel. Through 
her influence, her domestics, also her neighbours and friends, 
and her entire family, were induced to receive baptism. The 
two young men became preachers to the youth. First, they 
spoke of the bishop's disinterested love, ever active in pro- 
moting the good of mankind ; then of the new, comforting, 
bliss-conferring truths which they had heard from his lips. 
The youth flocked to the bishop ; many were instructed and 
baptized by him. The young became teachers of the old ; and 
numbers every day presented themselves openly for baptism. 
But when the father of the two young men who were first bap- 
tized came to be informed that his whole family had become 
Christians, he was exceedingly troubled and indignant at 
hearing it. The prudent wife, finding that he was returning 
home in this state of feeling, despatched some of his kinsmen 
and friends to meet him with comforting and soothing words, 
while she herself prayed incessantly for his conversion ; and 
when he got home, and saw so many of his fellow- citizens and 
neighbours already living as Christians, his opposition gradually 
gave way, till finally he consented to be baptized himself. 

When thus, by influences purely spiritual, the way had heeit 


prepared for the triumph of Christianity and the downfall of 
paganism in Stettin, the messengers sent to the Polish duke 
came back, announcing that they had accomplished the object 
of their mission. The duke, in the very beginning of his letter, 
proclaimed himself an enemy to all pagans ; at the same time 
he assured them that, if they would abide faithfully by their 
promise, and embrace Christianity, they might look for peace 
and amity on a solid foundation ; otherwise they must expect 
to see their territory laid waste by fire and sword, and to ex- 
perience his eternal enmity. He first reproached them for the 
jrude behaviour which they had shown at the preaching of the 
gospel ; but declared that, notwithstanding all this, yielding to 
the earnest desires of the ambassador, and especially of bishop 
Otto, he was determined to forgive them, and to grant them 
peace on more favourable terms than ever, provided that hence- 
forth they would faithfully observe the conditions they had 
themselves proposed, and show docility to their religious 
teachers. The favourable impression produced by this reply 
was improved to the utmost by the bishop. He proposed at 
once to the assembled people that, inasmuch as the worship of 
the true God was incapable of being united with the worship 
of idols, in order to prepare a dwelling henceforth for the liv- 
ing God, all the monuments of idolatry should be destroyed ; 
but as they still clung to their belief in the reality and power 
of tliese gods, and dreaded their vengeance, he with his clergy 
proposed to go forward and set them the example. Signing 
themselves with the cross, the tnie preservative fix)m all evil, 
and armed with hatchets and pickaxes, they would proceed to 
demolish all those monuments of idolatry ; and if they re- 
mained unharmed, it should be a token to all that they had 
nothing to fear from the gods, but might safely follow the 
example he had given them. 

This was done. The first monument destroyed was a temple 
dedicated to the Slavic god Triglav, containing an image 
of that divinity, and decorated on its inner walls with various 
works of sculpture and paintings in oil. In this temple were 
many precious articles ; for the tenth part of all the spoils 
obtained in war was consecrated to this deity, and deposited 
here. Abundance of costly offerings were here to be found ; 
goblets of horn ornamented with precious stones, golden bowls, 
knives, and poniards of beautiful workmanship. All these articlej* 

c 2 

20 otto's prudent accommodation. 

it was proposed to give to the bishop ; but he declined receiving 
them. " God forbid," said he, " that we should think of en- 
riching ourselves out of what belongs to you. Such things as 
these, and still more beautiful, we have already at home." 
Then, after having sprinkled them with holy water and signed 
them with the cross, he caused them to be distributed among 
the people. With this proof of a disinterested love, that 
avoided the very appearance of selfishness, bishop Otto mani- 
fested also a singular liberality of Christian spirit, in refusing 
to give up to destruction that which, innocent in itself, might 
be devoted to better uses for the benefit of mankind. The 
only gift he consented to receive was the image of Triglav ; of 
which, causing the rest of the body to be destroyed, he pre- 
served the triple head as a trophy of the victory obtained over 
idolatry. This he afterwards sent to Rome, in evidence of 
what he had done as a missionary of the Roman Church, for 
the destruction of paganism. Three other buildings were next 
demolished, temples* erected to idols where the people were 
accustomed to meet for their sports and carousals, as well as 
for deliberation on more serious matters. In destroying or re- 
moving the monuments of the old idolatry, and everything 
connected with it. Otto did not, with heedless fanaticism, treat 
all cases alike, but was governed in his mode of procedure by 
a prudent regard to circumstances. It was an important point 
to distinguish between those objects which, by constantly fur- 
nishing some point of attachment for the old pagan bent, would 
serve to keep it alive, and others where nothing of this kind 
was to be feared. In the vicinity of each of those buildings 
dedicated to the gods was to be found one of those ancient oaks, 
regarded everywhere in Germany with religious veneration, 
and beside it a fountain. The citizens besought the bishop 
that these oaks might be spared. They promised to withhold 
from them all associations of a religious character. They sim- 
ply wished to enjoy the pleasant shade and other amenities of 
these chosen spots ; which indeed was no sin, and he complied 
with their request. Among other objects, however, there was 
a horse considered sacred, which in times of war was employed 
for purposes of divination. t In demanding the removal of all 

* Concince. 

t Nine javelins, each an ell long, were placed in a row. The horse 
was then led over them, and if he passed without touching one of them, 


such objects, Otto was inexorably severe ; he would not allow 
one of them to remain, since he was aware of the influence 
which these superstitions were still wont to exert even long after 
the destruction of paganism. He insisted, therefore, that the 
sacred horse should be sent into another country and sold. 
Notwithstanding these decided measures for the extirpation of 
paganism, not a man had the boldness to stand forth in its 
detfence, except the priest whose business it was to tend and 
manage the sacred horse ; but the sudden death of this man, who 
had stood up alone for the honour of the gods, was &vourably 
construed as a divine judgment. After the temples had been 
destroyed, the people were admitted to baptism ; and the same 
order was obser\'ed here as at Pyritz, numbers presenting 
themselves at a time, and receiving the ordinance, after a dis- 
course had been preached to them on the doctrines of faith. 
Having tarried here five months in the whole. Otto departed 
from Stettin, leaving behind him a church with a priest. 

From Stettin, he iisited a few of the places belonging to the 
territory of that city,* He then went by water down the Oder, 
and across the Baltic sea, to Julin. The inhabitants of this 
town having agreed with the bishop that they would follow 
the example of the capital city, haJd already sent persons to 
Stettin, for the purpose of obtaining exact information respect- 
ing the manner in which the gospel was there received. The 
news they obtained could not fail to make the most favourable 
impression ; and Otto was received in Julin with demonstra- 
tions of joy and respect. The activity of the clergy during the 
two months which they spent in this place, scarcely sufficed to 
baptize all who offered themselves. After the Christian church 
had thus been planted in the two chief cities of Pommerania, 
the question rose where should the first bishopric be founded. 
Otto and duke Wartislav agreed that Julin was the most suit- 
able place to be made the first seat of a bishopric for Pomme- 
rania ; partly because this city was so situated as to form a 
convenient central point, and partly because the rude people 

this was considered a favourable omen. Horses -were held sacred also 
amongst the ancient Germans, especially for the purpose of prophecy. 
Vid. Tacit. German., c. x. ; Grimm's Deutsche Mytholog , s. 878, u. d. f. 
* The unknown author mentions two castles, Graticia and Lubi- 
nuro, the first Garz. the second Lebbehn, according to the probable 
conjecture of Kanngiesser. See his Geschichte von Pommern, p. 660. 

22 otto's visitation tour. 

here, inclined by nature to be refractory and insolent, and pe- 
culiarly exposed to the infection of paganism, especially needed 
the constant presence and oversight of a bishop. * Two churches 
were here begun. From this place Otto went to a city called 
Clonoda, or Clodona,fwhere, taking advantage of the abundance 
of wood, he erected a church ;| next, he proceeded to a city 
which had suffered extremely by the ravages attending the war 
with Poland ;§ and from thence to Colberg. Many of the in- 
habitants of this place were now absent on voyages of traffic to 
the coasts of the Baltic sea, and those that remained at home 
were unwilling to make a decision till a general assembly could 
be holden of all the people ; the bishop, however, finally suc- 
ceeded in inducing them to receive baptism. The city of 
Belgrade v/as the extreme point of his missionary tour. It be- 
came necessary for him to reserve the extending of the mission 
to the remaining parts of Pommeraiiia for a future day, as the 
affairs of his own diocese now called him home ; but first, he 
felt bound to make a visitation-tour to the communities already 
founded by him, and bestow confirmation on those who had be- 
fore been baptized. Many whom he had not met with on his 
first visit, being then absent on voyages j3f trade, now presented 
themselves for baptism. The churches, whose foundations he 
had laid during his first residence in these districts, had in the 
mean time been completed, and he was enabled to consecrate 
them. The Christian Pommeranians now besought him, the 
beloved founder of their churches, to remain with them himself, 
and be their bishop ; but he could not consent. Having spent 
a year lacking five weeks in Pommerania, he hastened back, 
that he might be with his flock at the celebration of Palm- 
Sunday. He directed his course once more through Poland, 
where he met duke Boleslav, and reported to him the success- 
ful issue of his enterprise. As Otto could not hold the first 
bishopric himself, Boleslav nominated to this post Adalbert, 
one of his chaplains, who by his directions had accompanied 

* " Ut gens aspera ex jugi doctoris pra;sentia mansuesceret," says Otto's 

t According to Kanngiesser's interpretation, Gollnow. 

% " Quia locus nemorosus erat et amcenus et ligua ad aedificandum sup- 

§ Kanngiesser makes it probable, from the name and situation, that this 
place was Naugard. 


bishop Otto as an assistant. Otto himself left several priests 
in Pommerania to prosecute the work which had been com- 
menced, but they were too few in number to complete the 
establishment of the Christian church ; nor was it likely that 
any of them would possess the ardour and courage of their 
leader. As the time he was able to pass in the several places 
was comparatively so short ; as he was obliged to employ an 
interpreter in his intercourse with the people; as political 
motives had co-operated, at least in the case of many, to procure 
their conversion ; so it may readily be conceived that this con- 
version of great masses was very far from being a permanent 
and thorough work. 

The Christian worship of God having now been introduced 
into one half of Pommerania, whilst paganism reigned in 
,the other, the necessary result was, that a striking contrast pre- 
sented itself between the two portions ; and the example of 
ancient customs, of the popular festivals of paganism, its 
amusements and its carousals among the pagans, might easily 
entice back the others again into their former habits. They 
would yearn after their old unconstrained, national mode of 
life. The restrictions under which Christianity and the church, 
with its laws concerning fastings, laid their untutored nature, 
might be felt by them as an intolerable yoke, which they longed 
to exchange for the enjoyment of their ancient freedom ; and 
thus it might happen that, in the districts where Otto had laid 
the foundation of the Christian church, the pagan party would 
again lift up its head, and paganism begin once more to extend 
its empire. Such fluctuations in the conflict between Christi- 
anity and paganism — as in the early history of Christianity, 
which, having made rapid progress at first, immediately en- 
countered a strong reaction of paganism — are often found 
recurring in the history of missions. We may mention, as an 
example furnished by the modem history of missions, the mis- 
sion among the Society Islands of Australia. 

Gladly would Otto have gone earlier to the help of the new 
church in its distress ; but various public misfortunes, and the 
political affairs in which he became involved as an estate 
of the German empire, prevented him, for full three years, 
from fulfilling his ■wish. It was not till the spring of the 
year 1128, that he could visit the field in person; but to 
avoid laying any further burden on the dukes of Poland and 

24 Otto's second visit to pommerakia. 

TBohemia, he now chose another route, which had been made 
practicable by the subjugation of the Slavic populations, in 
those districts. He directed his journey through Saxony, 
Priegnitz, and the territories which were reckoned as belong- 
ing to Leuticia, to the adjacent parts of Pommerania. He 
determined also, in this second mission, to defray all his per- 
sonal expenses, and those of his attendants, out of his own 
purse, and to take with him a large number of valuable 
presents. To this end he purchased, in Halle, a quantity of 
grain and other merchandise, intended for presents, all of 
which he placed on board vessels, to be conveyed by the Saale 
to the Elbe and Havel, after which the lading was conveyed on- 
ward by fifty waggons. He arrived first at a part of Pommerania 
where the gospel had not yet been preached, and entering the 
city of Demmin, found but one old acquaintance in the person 
of the governor. Here, on the next day, he met his old friend, 
duke Wartislav, The duke was on his return, laden with spoils, 
from a successful war with the neighbouring Leuticians. 
Many sigiits were here presented to the eyes of Otto, which 
could not fail to make a very painful impression on his 
benevolent heart. The army of the duke had brought away 
a number of captives ; these were to be divided in common 
with the rest of the booty. Among them were to be found 
many persons of weak and delicate constitutions. Husbands 
were to be separated from their wives, wives from their hus- 
bands, parents from their sons. The bishop interceded with 
the duke in their behalf, and persuaded him to liberate the 
weakest, and not to separate near kinsmen and relatives from 
each other ; but, not satisfied with this, he paid from his own 
funds the ransom-money for many who were still pagans. 
These he instructed in Christianity, baptized, and then sent 
back to their homes. Otto and the duke showed every kind- 
ness to each other, and exchanged presents. They agreed 
that, on Whitsuntide, now close at hand, a diet should be held 
at Usedom, with a view to induce the several states to consent 
to, and take an active part in, the establishment of the Christian 
church. In the letter-missive, it was expressly announced, 
that the errand of bishop Otto was to preach the Christian re- 
ligion, and that this was the subject to be brought before the 
diet. Otto next laded a vessel on the river Peene, with all 
his goods, w hich thus after three days arrived at Usedom. He 


himself, however, with a few attendants, proceeded leisurely 
along the banks of the Peene to that city, taking advantage of 
this jaunt to prepare the way, wherever he went, for the 
preaching of the gospel. 

In Usedom he found there were already some scattered 
seeds of Christianity, conveyed there by the priests he had left 
behind him. Still more was done by himself. At this place 
the deputies of the States, in obedience to the summons of the 
duke, now came together, composed partly of such as had 
always remained pagans and partly of those who had been 
previously converted, but during Otto's absence had relapsed 
into paganit^m. The duke presented to them the bishop, — a 
man whose whole appearance commanded respect. In an im- 
pressive discourse, in which he invited them to set their people 
the example of embracing the worship of the true God, he 
bade them remark that the excuse they had always oiFered 
would no longer avail them, namely, that the preachers of 
this religion were a needy, contemptible set of men, in whom 
no confidence could be placed, and who pursued this business 
merely to get a living. Here they beheld one of the highest 
dignitaries of the German empire, who at home possessed 
every thing in abundance, — gold, silver, precious stones ; a 
man on whom no one could fix a suspicion that he sought 
anything for himself ; who, on the contrary, had relinquished 
a life of honour and of ease, and applied his own property to 
the object of communicating to them that treasure which he 
prized as the highest good. These words had their effect ; and 
the whole assembly declared themselves ready to pursue any 
course which the bishop might propose to them. The latter 
now began ; and, taking occasion from the festival of Whit- 
suntide, spoke of the grace and goodness of God, of the for- 
giveness of sin, and of the communication of the Holy Ghost 
and his gifts. His words made a profound impression ; the 
apostates professed repentance, and the bishop reconciled them 
with the church. Those who had always been pagans, suffered 
themselves to be instructed in Christianity, and submitted to 
baptism. A decree of the diet permitted the free preaching 
of the gospel in all places. Otto was occupied here a whole 
week. He then concluded to extend Iiis labours still farther, 
and asked the advice of the duke. The latter declared that, 
by virtue of the decree of the diet, the whole country stood open 


to him. The bishop now commenced sending his clergy, two 
by two, into all the towns and villages, intending to follow 
them himself. 

But although the decree of the diet possessed the validity 
of a law, yet such was not the character and spirit of the people 
that obedience would necessarily follow in all cases. There 
were important old cities who maintained a certain indepen- 
dence ; and in many districts the ancient popular religion had 
a powerful party in its favour, who were dissatisfied with this 
decree. Among these cities was the town of Wolgast, a place 
to which bishop Otto had determined to go first. A priest 
lived here who for a year had made it his business to resist 
the spread of Christianity, to excite against it the hatred of 
the people, and to enkindle their zeal for the honour of their 
ancient deities ; though he had been unable as yet to 
the passage of a public decree in reference to these matters. 
But now, when the diet had passed a decree so favourable for 
the diffusion of Christianity, this priest thought himself bound 
to make a final effort to carry out by fraud and cunning what 
he could not accomplish by persuasion. Eepairing by night, 
in his sacerdotal robes, to a neighbouring forest, he concealed 
himself on a hill, in the midst of a thicket of brush-wood. 
Early the next morning, a peasant passing along the road on 
his way to the city, heard a voice call out to him from the 
dark forest, and bid him stop and listen. Already terrified at 
the voice, he was still more amazed at beholding a figure 
clothed in white. The priest, following up the impression, 
represented himself as the highest of the national gods, who 
had chosen here to make his appearance. He signified his 
anger at the reception which the worship of the strange God 
had met with in the country, and bade the man say to the in- 
habitants of the city, that the man must not be allowed to live 
who should attempt to introduce among them the worship of 
that strange God. When the credulous peasant came to tell 
his story in the city, the priest who had played this trick first 
put on the air of a sceptic, with a view to draw out the peasant 
into a new and more detailed accoimt of what he had seen and 
heard, so as to avail himself of the fresh impression of thestoiy. 
Such was the effect produced by it on the popular mind, that 
the citizens passed a decree, ordaining that if the bishop or any 
of his associates entered the city, they should instantly be put 


to death, and that any citizen who harboured them in his hoiise 
should suffer the like punishment. 

These events had transpired, and such was the tone of the 
popular feeling, when the two missionaries sent before him by 
the bishop, Ulric and Albin, — the latter of whom, possessing 
a ready knowledge of the Slavic language, was commonly em- 
ployed by him as an interpreter, — arrived at "Wolgast, without 
dreaming of the danger to which they exposed themselves. 
Conformably to the Pommeranian manners, they met with an 
hospitable reception from the wife of the Burgomaster, a ' 
woman who, though not a Christian, was distinguished for a 
reverence quite free from fanaticism towards the unknown 
God, as well as for her active philanthropy. But when, after 
being entertained by the woman, they proceeded to explain 
who they were, and the object of their visit, she was struck 
mth consternation, and informed them of the danger to which 
they were exposed ; still, she was determined to observe 
faithfully the laws of hospitality. She pointed the strangers 
to a place of concealment in an upper part of her house, and 
caused their baggage to be quickly conveyed to a place of 
safety, beyond the walls of the city. It is true, the arrival of 
the strangers whom she entertained soon awakened suspicion 
among the excited multitude ; but as the practice of hospitality 
to strangers was so common a thing in Pommerania, she found 
no difficulty in evading the questions of the curious, declaring 
that strangers were indeed entertained by her, as oftentimes 
before, but that, after taking their repast, they had left her ; 
and as the persons who inquired saw no signs of their being 
still in the house, they gave up their suspicions. 

The account of these movements had already reached 
Usedom, and the duke, therefore, thought it advisable to ac- 
company the bishop to Wolgast with a large band of followers, 
among whom were some of the members of the diet, and several 
armed soldiers. Three days had been spent by the two eccle- 
siastics in their place of concealment, when by the arrival of 
so powerful a protector they felt themselves perfectly safe, and 
at liberty to emerge from their retreat. The bishop, thus 
sustained, was enabled to commence the preaching of the gospel. 
But when the authority of the duke had restored quiet in the 
city, and the pagan party was forced to keep still, a feeling of 
security took possession of some of the ecclesiastics. They 


ridiculed the two priests, when they spoke of their narrow 
escape. They separated from the bishop and the rest of the 
company, despising prudence as no better than cowardice. 
Mingling fearlessly among the people, they attempted to slip 
into the temple. By this act, however, the fury of the pagans 
was stirred up afresh ; especially as the suspicion got abroad 
that they were seeking an opportunity to set fire to the temple. 
Troops of armed people began to assemble. The priest Ulric, 
perceiving these signs of an impending tumult, said : " I 
• shall not consent to tempt my God so often," and returning 
back to the bishop, he was followed by all the others except 
one ecclesiastic, named Encodric, who had advanced too far, 
and already had his hand on the door of the temple. The 
pagans now rushed upon him in a body, intending to make 
him the victim of their common vengeance against the whole 
party. Seeing no other place of refuge, urged by the fear of 
immediate death, he penetrated into the inmost parts of the 
temple ; and this desperate movement is said to have saved him. 
Suspended in this temple was a shield, wrought Mdth great art 
and embossed with gold, dedicated to Gerovit, the god of war, 
which was regarded as inviolably sacred, and supposed to ren- 
der the person of him who bore it also inviolable. As the eccle- 
siastic, flying for his life, ran round the temple looking for a 
weapon of defence or a place of concealment, he descried this 
shield, and seizing it, sprang into the midst of the furious crowd. 
Everybody now fled before him ; not a man dared lay hands 
on him ; and thus, running for his life, he got safely back to 
his companions. The bishop took occasion from this incident 
to exhort his clergy to greater caution. He continued his 
labours in this place until the people had demolished all their 
temples, and the foundation was laid of a church, over which 
he set one of his clergy as the priest. 

Without being accompanied by the duke, who probably 
had hastened to his assistance solely on account of the occur- 
rences at Wolgast, Otto proceeded to Giitzkow. It agreed 
alike with his temperament and his principles to accomplish 
the whole work before him by no other power than that of 
love, which wins the heart. He never made any use of his 
political connections except for the purpose of securing himself, 
in the first place, against the fury of the pagans. It was cer- 
tainly most gratifying to him whenever he found he could 


dispense with the ann of secular power. Having left the 
duke free to attend to his own affairs, he felt more at liberty 
to decline the proposition of his old friend the Margrave 
Albert of Baren, afterwards founder of Mark Brandenbui^, 
who, on being informed of the popular movements at Wolgast, 
offered by his envoys, that met the bishop at Giitzkow, to assist 
him against the obstinate pagans. In Giitzkow, Otto would 
have found easier access to the hearts of the people, had he 
consented to spare a new and magnificent temple, which, consi- 
dered as a work of art, was reckoned a great ornament to the 
city. Magnificent presents were offered to him, if he would 
yield. Finally, he was entreated to convert this temple into a 
Christian church, as liad been done aforetime ; but the bishop, 
who, not ^A-ithout reason, feared the consequences which would 
result from any mixture of CRristianity with paganism, be- 
lieved it inexpedient, indulgent as he was in other respects, to 
give way in this instance ; and by a comparison drawn from 
the parables of our Lord, he endeavoured to make the people 
understand that he could not, in consistency with their own 
good, comply with their wishes. " Would you think," said 
he to the petitioners, " of sowing grain among thorns and 
thistles ? No ; you would first pluck up the weeds, that the 
seed of the wheat might have room to grow. So I must first 
remove from the midst of you everything that belongs to the 
seed of idolatry, those thorns to my preaching, in order that 
the good seed of the gospel may bring forth fruit in your 
hearts to the everlasting life." And by such representations, 
daily repeated, he finally overcame the resistance of these, 
people, so that wth their own hands they destroyed the temple 
and its idols. But, on the other hand, to indemnify the people 
for the loss of their magnificent building, he zealously pushed 
forward the erection of a stately church ; and as soon as the 
sanctuary x^-ith the altar was finished, seized upon this occasion, 
since he could not remain among them till the entire structure 
was finished, of appointing a splendid festival for its dedi- 
cation ; one which should outshine all their previous pagan 
celebrations, and be a true national festival. When nobles 
and commoners were all assembled at this celebration, and the 
whole ceremonial of the church, customary on such occasions, 
had been solemnly observed, he proceeded to explain to the 
assembled multitude the symbolical meaning of these observ- 


ances, and, directing their attention from the outward signs 
to the inner substance, warned them against the delusive 
supposition that the requisitions of Christianity coyld be satis- 
factorily met by mere outward forms. He laboured to make 
it plain to them that the highest meaning of the consecration 
of a church had reference to the consecration of God's temple 
in the soul of every believer, since Christ dwells, by faith, in 
the hearts of the faithful; and after having thus interpreted 
the several observances, he turned to one of the duke's vassals, 
Mizlav, the governor of this district, who had been a member 
of the assembly of the states lately holden at Usedom, had 
then been baptized by him, and, as the sequel shows, made an 
honest profession of Christianity. For the purpose of bringing 
out in him the truth which each man was to apply to himself, 
said he, "Thou art the true house of God, my beloved son. 
Thou shalt this day be consecrated and dedicated — consecrated 
to God, thy Almighty Creator ; so that, separated from every 
foreign master, thou mayest be exclusively his dwelling and 
his possession : therefore, my beloved son, do not hinder this 
consecration. For little avails it to have outwardly conse- 
crated the house thou seest before thee, if a like consecration 
be not made in thy own soul also." The bishop here paused, 
or perhaps Mizlav interrupted him.* At any rate Mizlav, 
who felt these woids, of which he well understood the import, 
enter like a goad into his soul, demanded what then was 
required on his part in order to such a consecration of God's 
temple within him. The bishop, plainly perceiving by this 
question that the man's heart was touched by the Spirit of 
God, resolved to profit by so favourable an indication ; 
and, to follow up the leadings of the divine prompter, re- 
plied : t " In part thou liast begun already, my son, to be a 
house of God. See that thou art wholly so. For thou hast 
already exchanged idolatry for faith by attaining to the grace 
of baptism. It remains that thou shouldst adorn faith by 
works of piety." And he required, in particular, that he 
should renounce and abandon all deeds of violence, all rapa- 

* In the MSS., 1. c. iii. c. 9. f. 79, Canis. Lect. antiq. ed. Basnage, iii. 2, 
there is to be found iu this place a slight duficieucy which leaves the 
meaning uncertain. 

t This is what the biographer doubtless intended to denote by tlie 
words, " lutelligeus adesse Spiritum Sanctum." 


citj-, oppressiou, fraud, and shedding of blood. He exhorted 
him to adopt the words of our Lord as his rule, never to do 
unto others otherwise than he would be done by. And that 
he might cany out tliis rule into immediate practice, he called 
upon him to set at liberty those persons whom he had confined 
for debt, and who were now pining in prison, or at least such 
of them as were of the same household of faith. To this 
Mizlav replied : " AYhat you require of me is extremely hard, 
for many of those persons are owing me large sums of money." 
Upon this, the bishop reminded him of the petition in the 
Lord's Prayer, " Forgive us our debts as we forgive our 
debtors." Only then would he be certain of receiving the for- 
giveness of his sins from the Lord, when he felt ready, in the 
name of the Lord, to release all his debtors. " Well, then," 
said Mizlav, deeply sighing, " I do here, in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, give them all their liberty ; that so, according to 
your words, my sins may be forgiven, and the consecration of 
which j-ou spoke may be perfected in me this day." This act 
of Mizlav spread joy all around, and an additional interest 
was thus given to the festival. There was one prisoner, how- 
ever, of Mhom Mizlav had said nothing. A nobleman of 
Denmark, owing him five hundred pounds of gold, had given 
his son as a security ; and this yoimg man, bovmd in fetters, 
lay pining in a subterranean cell. A mere accident led 
to the discovery of him— the only individual who had not been 
set free. One of the vessels needed for the consecration of 
the church was missing, and the ecclesiastics, while searching 
for it in one corner and another, at length came upon the cell 
where this youth lay confined. He implored them tc help 
him ; but as Mizlav had already done so much, the bishop 
felt unwilling to demand of him this final sacrifice. Still it 
distressed him to think that so joyful a festival should be sad- 
dened by the sufferings of one unfortunate being. He first 
resorted to prayer, and fervently besought the Almighty tliat, 
to crown the joy of this blessed festival, he would have com- 
passion on the case of this only unhappy individual. Then, 
setting before his clergy how he had already obtained so many 
self-denying acts from Mizlav that he did not feel at liberty to 
press him any farther, he proposed that they should speak to 
him ; and, after assuring him that the bishop knew how to 
appreciate the sacrifices he had already made, introduce the 


subject with all possible gentleness. This was done ; and 
Mizlav finally declared that he was ready to offer this last and 
most difficult sacrifice, " Nay," said he to the bishop, " I am 
ready, if required, to give up my person, and all that I 
call mine, for the name of my Lord Jesus Christ." The 
example of the principal man of the district had its effect 
on many others, wiio strove, according to their means, to 
evince in like manner the genuineness of the change they had 

Subsequent to these events, bishop Otto endeared himself to 
the Pommeranians by his exertions to save them from a great 
public calamity ; for it was by his intervention that a military 
expedition, threatened by duke Boleslav of Poland, who had 
become irritated by the apostacy of a part of the Pom- 
meranians from Christianity, and by their neglect to fulfil 
certain articles of an old treaty, was prevented. Soon after, 
he had a conference with duke Wartislav at Usedom, pro- 
bably for the purpose of reporting his transactions with the 
duke of Poland, and also of advising with liim about the po- 
licy of extending the missionary operations and establishing 
some new stations. In regard to this matter, however, 
animated as he certainly was by an ardent zeal for the cause 
of Christ, he still failed to act with apostolic prudence : for 
notwithstanding that the work in Pommerania went on at 
present so prosperously, and everything depended on taking 
advantage of favourable circumstances ; and notwithstanding 
so much still remained for him to do here, he thought of 
abandoning the field before he had fully taken possession of it, 
or provided for its permanent occupation, to go in quest of 
another, which promised less success, and which might easily 
prove the means of bringing all his earthly labours to a sud- 
den termination. His eye had fixed itself eagerly on the 
island of Riigen, about a day's journey distant ; and an 
earnest longing beset him to appear amongst the inhabitants 
of that island, a small warlike tribe zealously devoted to 
heathenism, and preach to them the gospel. The spread of 
Christianity among their neighbours, the Pommeranians, had 
roused the animosity of the pagan people on the island of 
Riigen to a more extravagant pitch, and they threatened 
death to the bishop if he ventured to approach them. Otto 
was not to be deterred, however, by such tlneats from 


attempting the expedition ; on the contrary, his zeal was 
inflamed to exhibit the power of faith in overcoming such dif- 
ficulties, and even to offer up his life for the gospel. In vain 
did the duke and his own friends declare themselves opposed 
to the scheme, assuring him that he would, by attempting it, 
sacrifice his life for nothing — a life he was bound to preserve 
for labours that promised more success. Otto gave way, in 
this instance, to the impulse of his feelings, instead of listening 
to the voice of reason ; but in his own opinion he reasoned 
more correctly than his friends, whom he rebuked for their want 
of faith. " It is a much greater thing," said he, " to preach by 
actions than by words. And suppose we were all to give up 
our lives for the faith, yet even our death would not be use- 
less ; by so dying we should set our seal to the faith which we 
preach, and that faith would spread with the greater power." 
While his friends strove to prevent Otto from crossing over to 
Rugen, he himself was occupied in devising some way of 
getting to the island unobserved. It was necessary, therefore, 
to watch him closely. But whilst the rest of the clergy 
blamed the rash zeal of their bishop, the priest Ulric felt him- 
self impelled to realize the darling thought of his superior. 
Having first begged and received his blessing on the under- 
taking, Ulric went on board a ferry-boat, taking with him 
such articles as were necessary for the celebration of the mass. 
But wind and weather were obstinately against him — three 
several times he was beaten back by the storm ; yet no sooner 
did it remit its violence than he again attempted to get over 
to the island. Thus he struggled with the Avinds and waves 
for seven days, many times hovering between life and death ; 
but the weather constantly proving unfavourable, and Ulric's 
boat getting to be leaky, the bishop at length began to regard 
these unpropitious events as indications of the divine will, and 
forbade his beloved priest from making any farther attempts. 
The dangers he had run now became the subject of remark. 
Said one, " Suppose Ulric had perished, who would have been 
to blame for it ? " Here the priest Adalbert spoke out, plainly 
criminating the bishop himself. " Would not the blame," 
said he, "justly fall on him who exposed him to such dan- 
gers ? " — showing not only his own independent spirit, but 
also the gentleness of the bishop, which would allow one 
of his clergy to speak so frankly about him in his own pre- 

VOL. VII. ' D 

34 otto's treatment of his clergy. 

sence. Otto, instead of taking the remark unkindly, endea- 
voured to refute the implied charge by arguing that he had 
done rightly, though on such grounds as he would not have 
offei'ed except under the influence of his present feelings. Said 
he, " If Christ sent the apostles as sheep among wolves, was 
Christ to be blamed if the wolves devoured the sheep ? " 

That he might, in the shortest time, extend out his labours 
in all directions, so as to fill up and complete the whole work 
begun during his first residence in Pommerania, Otto deter- 
mined to alter his plan ; and, instead of keeping all his 
clergy about him, as at first, and labouring in common with 
them from a single point, to divide the field between them and 
himself by sending them to different stations. Some he sent to 
Demmin ; he himself went to Stettin, to combat the paganism 
which had again lifted up its head there. But his clergy 
neither entered heartily into his plan nor partook of his cou- 
rageous faith : they trembled at the fury of the pagan people 
in that place, and were not willing to expose their lives. The 
bishop, however, since he could not overcome their opposition 
by expostulation, resolved to proceed on the journey alone. 
Having spent a day in solitude and prayer, to prepare himself 
for the undertaking, he stole away in the evening, as soon as 
it grew dark, taking with him his mass-book and the sacra- 
mental cup. The clergy knew nothing about it till they sent 
to call him to matins (the mattdina). Finding that he was 
gone, they were struck with shame, and began to grow 
alarmed lor their beloved spiritual father. They hurried 
away after him, and compelled him to return back. On the 
next morning they set out in company with him, and crossed 
over by ship to Stettin. 

In Stettin Otto's earlier labours had proved by no means 
fruitless. This appeared evident from the events which fol- 
lowed. A reaction of those Christian convictions which had 
already been deeply implanted in the minds of many, led, 
under a variety of peculiar circumstances and favourable coin- 
cidences, to a new triumph of Christianity over paganism. 
Christianity, as it seems, had gained entrance especially among 
the higher and more cultivated class of the people,* and in 

* The Sapientiores, as distin^ished from the people, a class frequently 
alluded to by the unknown writer of Otto's life. 


their case paganism found, at its revival, but little matter to 
work upon. The priests, however, who had submitted to 
baptism were still pagans at heart, and they lost too much by 
the change of religion to get easily over the pain and vexation 
which that loss occasioned : they readily found means of ope- 
rating on the rude masses of the people, in whom, during so 
short a period, Christianity had not yet struck its roots deep. 
A famine, extending to men and cattle, accompanied with 
unusual mortality, was interpreted by them as a sign of 
the anger of the deities — a thing easily made evident to 
the people. They managed, such was their influence, to 
carry the matter so far that a mob assembled to destroy 
a Christian church. Yet there were some who had felt 
the power of Christianity, though they had not entirely 
loosened their hold of paganism. In this class there was 
a struggle between the old and the new, or a commingling 
of both. 

Before the time of Otto's second visit to Stettin, there was 
residing in that town a person of some note, who, after having 
experienced various remarkable providences in the course of 
his life, stood forth as a zealous witness for Christianity, thus 
preparing the way by his influence for a better state of things. 
Witstack was one of those belonging to the more consequen- 
tial class of citizens who had been converted and baptized by 
Otto ; and although Christianity was by no means apprehended 
by him according to its pure spirit, yet-,he had within him the 
germ of a strong and vigorous faith. > The image of bishop 
Otto, the man whom he had seen labouring with such self- 
den jdng love, such unshaken confidence in God, this image 
seems especially to have become deeply "stamped on his mind. 
Since his conversion, he had uniformly Refused to take part 
in any warlike undertaking, except against- pagans. Fighting 
against these was one way, as he thought," by which he could 
show his zeal for Christianity. He joined a piratical expedi- 
tion, probably against the Rugians ; experiencing a defeat, he, 
mth others, was taken captive and throwni-in chains. During 
his confinement, he resorted for consolation and support to 
prayer. Once, after long-continued, earnest prayer, falling 
asleep, he dreamed that bishop Otto appeared to him, and pro- 
mised that he should be assisted; soon after which, by a 
remarkable turn of Providence, he found meaas of escaping 


from his confinement.* Hastening to the sea-shore, he found 
a boat, leaping on which he committed himself to the waves, 
and, favoured by the wind, in a short time got safely back to 
Stettin. He looked upon his deliverance as a miracle: it 
seemed to him a direct testimony to Otto's holiness — a proof 
that Christianity was the cause of God. He regarded it as a 
divine call, inviting him to appear as a witness among his 
countrymen for the Being who had miraculously saved him, 
and to labour for the extension of his worship among them.f 
After his return, he caused the boat to be hung up at 
the city gates, as a lasting memorial of his deliverance and 
testimony in favour of the Being to whom he owed it. With 
great zeal he bore witness among his countrymen of the God 
whom bishop Otto had taught him to pray to, and whose 
almighty power had been so clearly exhibited in his own case : 
he announced to the fallen the divine judgments, which would 
surely overtake them unless they repented and returned back 
to the faith. 

Still another fact, which was likewise regarded as a miracle, 
had made a favourable impression. In a popular tumult, got 
up for the purpose of destroying the churcli which had been 
erected in that town, it so happened that one of the persons 
actively engaged in the affair, when about to strike a blow 
with his hammer, was seized with a sudden palsy ; his hand 

* The account by the unknown writer, whom we follow here also, is 
certainly deserving of credit in its main points. We find, for the most 
part, in it that graphical mode of description which bespeaks an eye- 
witness, a simplicity quite remote from the exaggerated style of Andreas, 
few miraculous stories, and these, for the most part, of such a character 
that the facts at bottom may be easily separated from the mode of appre- 
hending and representing them as miracles, or that they may be easily 
reduced to a natural connection of events of the higher sort. But, in this 
case, the report refers back to the saying of Witstack. In this report, 
drawn up from recollection long after the events, everything, in the 
lively feeling of gratitude to God, might receive a colouring of the 
wonderful. But we are by no means authorised to measure all extraor- 
dinary psychological phenomena by the standard of ordinary experience, 
and the objective fact as it actually occurred ever lies at bottom of the 

t The historian already mentioned records the f(fllowing words of 
Witstack to the bishop, in reference to the boat which was the means of 
his salvation: "Haic cimba testimonium sanctitatis tuse, firmamentum 
tidei mese, argumentum legationis mea: ad populum istum." 

otto's coxDUcr rsf stettik. 37 

stiffening, let the hammer drop, and he himself fell from the 
ladder. It seems that he was one of the relapsed Christians. 
Perhaps a reaction of the faith, not yet by any means wholly 
extinguished in his soul, once more came over him ; hence an 
inward struggle, a sudden access of fear, which palsied his arm, 
as he was about to join with the rest in destroying a temple 
consecrated to the God of the Christians. Paganism, it is 
true, still maintained a place in his soul ; he could not wholly 
renounce the worship of the ancient gods ; but still, the God 
of the Christians, whose temple was being destroyed, appeared 
to him as one against whom no human power could prevail, 
as was manifest in his own case. He therefore ad^'ised that, 
in order to preser\ e friendship with all the gods, they should 
erect by the side of this church an altar to the national divi- 
nities. Now, even this was something gained ; it was a point 
in advance, that the God of the Christians should be recognized 
by pagans themselves as a mighty being beside the ancient 

Thus, after such preparatory events, Otto's arrival at Stettin 
fell at the right moment to bring the contest between Chris- 
tianity and paganism, aroused by the influence of Witstack, to 
a more open outbreak and final decision. However great his 
danger might seem, when men contemplated fit)m without the 
rage of the pagan mass of the population, yet it would appear 
by no means so great to him who could more closely examine, 
on the very scene of events, the circumstances of the case ; for 
although the pagan party, which was made up, for the most 
part, of people of the lower class, were loud in their vocifera- 
tions, and violent in their gestures, yet the Christian party, 
with whom the better class of citizens seem to have tacitly ar- 
ranged themselves, was really the most powerful ; nor were 
they destitute of the means of restoring quiet, provided only 
the first gust of anger, in which there was more noise than 
efliciency, was suffered to pass by. Besides, the pagan party 
had no leader combining superior intelligence with hot-headed 
zeal ; and the large number of those who, though they now 
took the side of the zealots for the restoration of paganism, 
had yet received some impression from Christianity, might, 
under a slight turn of circumstances, be easily led to take 
another step towards the Christian faith. But to bishop Otto 
this favourable preparation of the popular mind was wholly 


unknown. He was expecting the worst from the tumultuous 
frenzy of the pagans ; and placing no reliance whatever on 
human means, or any concurrence of natural causes ; trusting 
in God alone, and resigned to his will, he went boldly forward 
to meet the threatening danger, prepared with a cheerful heart 
to die the death of a martyr. He at first found a place of 
refuge, for himself and his companions, in a church that stood 
before the city. As soon as this became known in the town, 
a band of armed men, led on by priests, collected around this 
spot, threatening destruction to the church, and death to those 
that occupied it. Had the bishop given way to fear, or be- 
trayed the least alarm, the furious mob would, perhaps, have 
proceeded to fulfil their threats ; but the courage and presence 
of mind displayed by the bishop put a damper on the fury of 
the threatening mob. Having commended himself and his 
friends to God in prayer, he walked forth, dressed in his epis- 
copal robes, and surrounded by his clergy, bearing before him 
the cross and relics, and chanting psalms and hymns. The 
calmness with which this was done, the awe-inspiring character 
of the whole proceeding, confounded the multitude. All re- 
mained quiet and silent. The more prudent, or the more 
favourably disposed to Christianity, took advantage of this to 
put down the excitement. The priests were told that they should 
defend their cause, not with violence, but with arguments ; 
and one after another the crowd dispersed. Tfiis occurred on 
Friday, and the Saturday following was spent by Otto in pre- 
paring himself, by prayer and fasting, for the approaching 

In the mean time, Witstack, stimulated by the bishop's 
arrival, went forth among the people, testifying, with more 
boldness than ever, in favour of Christianity and against pa- 
ganism. He brought his friends and kinsmen to the bishop ; 
he exhorted him not to give up the contest, promised him 
victory, and advised with him as to the steps which should 
next be taken. On Sunday, after performing mass. Otto suf- 
fered himself to be led by Witstack to the market-place. 
Mounting the steps, from whence the herald and magistrates 
were accustomed to address the people, after Witstack by signs 
and words had enjoined silence, Otto began to speak, and the 
major part listened silently and with attention to what he said, 
as it was translated by the interpreter, already mentioned, into 


the language of the country ; but now a tall, well-habited 
priest, of great bodily strength, pressing forward, drowned the 
words of both with his shouts, at the same time endeavouring 
to stir up the anger of the pagans against the enemy of their 
gods. He called on them to seize upon this opportunity of 
avenging their deities. Lances were poised ; but still no one 
dared attempt any injury to the bishop. Well might the con- 
fident faith and the courage that flowed from it, the perfect 
composure manifested by the bishop amid this tumultuous 
scene, the imposing and dignified gravity of his whole demean- 
our, make a great impression on the multitude, particularly on 
those who had previously been in any way affected by the in- 
fluence of Christianity, and had not as yet succeeded in wholly 
obliterating the impression. Such a fact, in which we must 
certainly recognize the power of the godlike, might in such a 
period soon come to be conceived and represented more under 
the colour of the miraculous, and this representation would 
contribute again to promote the belief in men's minds of the 
divine power of Christianity. Otto immediately took advan- 
tage of the favourable impression thus produced. Proceeding 
with the crowd of believers that now surrounded him, to the 
church by which the pagan altar had recently been erected, he 
consecrated it anew, and caused the injuries it had received to 
be repaired at his own expense. 

On the next day, the people assembled to decide what course 
ought to be taken with regard to the matter of religion. They 
remained together from early in the morning until midnight. 
Individuals appeared who represented all that had occurred on 
the day before as miraculous, bearing testimony with enthusiasm 
to the active, self-sacrificing love of the bishop ; foremost 
among these was that zealous Christian and admirer of Otto, 
Witstack. A decree was passed accordingly, that Christianity 
should be introduced, and everything that pertained to idolatry 
destroyed. Witstack hastened the same night to inform the 
bishop of all that had transpired. The latter rose early the 
next morning to render thanks to God, at the celebration of 
the mass. Afler this he called a meeting of the citizens, where 
he spoke to them words of encouragement, which were received 
in the manner to be expected after such a decree of the popu- 
lar assembly. Many Avho had apostatized requested to be 
received back into the community of the faithful. 

40 otto's imprudent zeal and dangers. 

The winning kindness of Otto's manners, as well as his 
readiness to take advantage of the most trifling circumstances 
which could be turned to account in his labours, is illustrated 
by the following incident. One day, on his way to church, he 
saw a troop of boys in the street at play, — kindly saluting 
them in the language of the country, he retorted their jokes, 
and having signed the cross over them, and given them his 
blessing, left them. After he had proceeded along a few 
steps, looking behind, he observed that the children, attracted 
by the strange act, followed after him. He stopped ; and call- 
ing the little ones around him, inquired who of them had been 
baptized ? These he exhorted to remain steadfast to their bap- 
tismal vow, and to avoid the society of the unbaptized. They 
took him at his word, and even in the midst of their play lis- 
tened attentively to his discourse.* Still, the zeal of bishop 
Otto was not always accompanied with befitting prudence ; 
hence he often exposed himself to great peril. While busied 
in destroying all the pagan temples and monuments of super- 
stition, resolved to let nothing remain which was in anywise 
adapted so to impress the senses as to promote idolatry, he came 
across a magnificent nut-tree, whose refreshing shade was 
enjoyed by many, and which the people of the neighbourhood 
earnestly besought him to spare. But as it was consecrated to 
a deity, the bishop was too fearful of the dangerous sensuous 
impression to yield to their wishes. Most indignant of all was 
the owner of the estate on which the tree stood. After he had 
stormed about in a frenzy of passion, his anger seemed at 
length to have spent itself. Suddenly, however, raising his 
axe behind the back of the bishop, he would have dealt him a 
fatal blow, had not the latter, at the same moment, inclined 
himself a little on the other side. All now fell upon the man, 
and it was the bishop who rescued him out of their hands. 
Again, during his passage from Stettin, he was threatened by 

* The unknown biographer introduces this anecdote, 1. III. p. 85, 
before that popular assembly which decided the question with regard to 
the introduction of Christianity into Pommerania ; but it is plain from 
the connection of his own account, that it occurred sometime afterwards. 
From this account, it appears also to have been by no means the fact, as 
might be inferred from what he says respecting the effect and consequences 
of Otto's discourse, held after the above assembly, that all directly sub- 
mitted to baptism. 


an attack of the pagan party, which, as it diminished in num- 
bers, grew more violent in rancour ; but he fortimately escaped. 
Accompanied by his clergy, and a number of the more re- 
spectable citizens of Stettin, he proceeded to Julin, where also, 
after such an example had been set them by the capital, he 
laboured with good success. Gladly, and without slunnking 
fix)m a martyr's death, he would have extended his labours also 
to the island of Riigen, had he not been obKged, in the year 
1128, by his engagements as a member of the imperial diet, to 
return to Germany ; so, after paying another visit to the new 
communities, he shaped his course homeward. But, even 
amidst the manifold cares of his civil and spiritual relations, he 
did not lose sight of the Pommeranians. On learning that 
certain Pommeranian Christians had been conveyed into cap- 
tivity among pagan hordes, he determined to procure their 
release. He ordered a large quantity of valuable cloth to be 
purchased in Halle, and sending the whole to Pommerania, 
where these goods stood in high demand, appropriated a part 
as presents to the nobles, with a view to secure their kind feel- 
ings toward the infant church ; and ordered the remainder to 
be sold and converted into ransom-money for those captives. 

But in pushing forward with so much zeal and resolution 
the mission among the Pommeranians, Otto neglected one 
thing, which was of the utmost consequence in order to a settled, 
enduring foundation of Christian culture among the people ; 
and this was, to make provision for the imparting of Christian 
instruction in the language of the country. There was a want 
of German clergy, well skilled in the Slavic language ; there . 
was a want of institutions for the purpose of giving the native 
inhabitants an education suited to the spiritual calling. No 
doubt, both these, owing to the short time employed in the 
conversion of the people, were wants the supply of which would 
be attended vnth great difficulties ; but the consequence of it 
was, that ecclesiastics had to be called out of Germany, who 
always remained, in national peculiarities, language, and cus- 
toms, too foreign from these Wends, and had but little true 
love for them. What contributed to the same evil was, that 
German colonists, in ever-increasing numbers, were called in 
to replenish the territories which had been laid waste, and the 
cities which had been desolated, by the preceding wars. These 
foreigners met the Wends with a sort of contempt. A feud 

42 BISHOP Absalom's efforts in behalf of rOgen. 

sprung up between the new and the old inhabitants of the land, 
and the latter were induced to withdraw themselves into the 
back parts of the country.* The same injustice was here done 
to the aboriginals by the new race of foreigners who settled 
down in the land, as has often been done over again in later 
times and in other quarters of the world. 

Christianity had not as yet found admittance into the island 
of Riigen, but its inhabitants still maintained their freedom, 
and held fast to their ancient sacred customs. Thus the bond 
of union was severed between these islanders and the Christian 
Pommeranians. It was not until after repeated battles, that 
"Waldemar king of Denmark at last succeeded, in the year 
1 168, to subjugate the island ; and then the destruction of 
paganism and the founding of the Christian church first became 
practicable. The inspiring soul of this enterprise was bishop 
Absalom, of Roeskilde, a man who conceived it possible to 
unite in himself the statesman, the warrior, and the bishop ;t 
and who was therefore the least fitted of all men to bring 
about the conversion of a people in the proper sense. Through 
his mediation, a compact was formed with the inhabitants of 
the capital town Arcona, which compact laid the foundation for 
the subjection of the entire island. They obliged themselves 
by this agreement to renounce paganism, and to introduce 
among them Christianity, according to the usages of the 
Danish church. The landed estates of the temples were to 
devolve on the clergy. When the monstrous idol of Svantovit 
was to be removed from the city, not a single native-born 
individual dared lay hands on it, so dreaded by all was the 
vengeance of the deity ; but when the idol had been dragged 
off to the camp of the Danes, without any of the anticipated 
dreadful consequences, some complained of the wrong done to 
their god, while others considered the ancient faith as already 

* Thomas Kantzow's Chronicle of Pommerania, published by W. 
Bohmer, p. 35. 

t His ardent friend and eulogist, the famous Danish historian Saxo- 
Grammaticus, Provost of Roeskilde, who, on his recommendation, under- 
took his work of history, calls him " militise et religionis sociato fulgore 
conspicuus ;" this historian and ecclesiastic finding nothing offensive in 
such a combination. War with pagans for the good of the churcn, 
seemed to him not a whit foreign to the character of a bishop. " Neque 
enim minus sacrorum attinet cultui, publico religionis hostes repellere, 
quam cseremoniarum tutela: vacare." Lib. XIV., p. 440, cd. Klotz. 


overturned by this experiment, and now ridiculed the monster 
they had before adored. Still more must this impression have 
been strengthened in their minds, when they saw the idol hewn 
m pieces, and the firagments of wood used in the camp for 
cooking provisions. The clergy living in the service of the 
nobles were sent into the town to instruct and baptize the 
people according to the notions of that period ; but among 
such a clergy, who at the same time served as secretaries to the 
nobles, it is hardly to be supposed that much Christian know- 
ledge was to be found. The great temple was burnt, and the 
foundations laid for a Christian church. The same course was 
pursued in other parts of the island. The work was prosecuted 
by priests, whom bishop Absalom sent over from Denmark, 
after the recall of those ecclesiastics who were only intended 
to supply the immediate want. He provided the means for 
their subsistence, so that they might not be felt as a burden on 
the people. IVIany incidents occurred here also by which 
people were led to ascribe the cure of various diseases to the 
prayers of the priests ; but the historian of this period, though 
lie reports them as miracles, does not profess to consider them 
as proving the holiness of these ecclesiastics, but only as works 
of divine grace to facilitate the conversion of that people.* 

We noticed, in the preceding period, the founding of a great 
Christian empire of the Wends by Gottschalk. This empire 
perished, however, with its founder, when he was assassinated ; 
and paganism had revived again under Cruko, a prince very 
hostilely disposed towards Christianity. Yet Gottschalk's son, 
Henry, who had taken refuge in Denmark, succeeded, with 
the help of Christian princes, in putting down the opposition of 
the pagan Wends, and by his means, in 1 105, the Wendish 
kingdom was restored. He endeavoured also to re-establish 
Christianity; but when he died, in the year 1126, his two 
sons, Canute and Zwentipolk, fell into a quarrel with each 
other, which could not fail to operate disastrously on the 
interests of the Wendish people, both in a political and in an 
ecclesiastical point of view. With these two sons, the family 
of Gottschalk became extinct ; and the people, who along with 
their liberties defended also their ancient sacred customs, saw 

* Saxo: "Quod potios lacrandte gentis respectiii, qnam sacerdotam 
sanctitati divinitus concessum videri potest." 

44 VICELIN'S IJFE till he became a MISSIONAKY, 

themselves abandoned without mercy to the power of the 
Christian princes of Germany. It was not till after the mar- 
grave Albert the Bear, and duke Henry the Lion, had wholly 
subdued the Wends, that the Christian church could establish 
itself in this part of Germany on a solid foundation, and that 
the bishoprics previously founded could be restored. But the 
war-wasted districts were peopled by foreign Christian colonists 
from other quarters of Germany ; and what the spirit of Chris- 
tianity required, namely, that the national individuality should 
be preserved inviolate, and, ennobled by true religion, should 
be unfolded to a higher order of perfection, was left unaccom- 
plished. It would be remote from the present design to give 
an account of wars, which could be of no real service in ex- 
tending the kingdom of Christ among these tribes. 

We pass on to mention one individual, who, in the midst of 
disorder and destruction, endeavoured, with self-denying love, 
to labour for the saving good of the nations. This was Vicelin. 
Sprung from a family of the middle class at Quernheim, a village 
on the banks of the Weser, and early deprived of his parents, 
he found pity vnih. a woman of noble birth, who took him to 
her castle, Everstein, where she suflPered him to want for 
nothing. A question put to him by the envious priest of the 
village, with a view to embarrass and shame him, brought him 
tx) the consciousness and confession of his ignorance ; but this 
incident, which he himself regarded as a gracious act of Divine 
Providence,* turned out to him a salutary incentive, and gave 
a new direction to his life. Filled with shame, he immediately 
left the castle, and betaking himself to the then flourishing 
school at Paderborn, applied himself to study with so much 
diligence and application, that Hartmann, the master of that 
school, had little else to do than to check and moderate his 
zeal. In a short time, he made such progress in the acquisition 
of knowledge that his master made him an assistant in the 
school. Somewhat later, he was called himself to take the 
superintendence of a school in Bremen. After presiding over 
this institution for a few years with great zeal, his earnest 
longing after a more complete education impelled him to visit 
that far-famed seat of science, then filled with lovers of learning 

• Helmold, vide vol. iv. p. 105, whose report we here follow, says of 
him, i. 142 : " Audivi eum saepenumero diceiitem, quia ad verbum illius 
sacerdotis respexerit eum misericordia divina." 

vicelin's life till he became a missionary. 45 

from all parts of Europe, the Parisian University. Here, it 
was not the predominant dialectic tendency, for which the 
University of Paris was especially famous, but the simple 
biblical tendency, by which he felt himself to be most strongly 
attracted. After having spent three years at this University 
(a. d. 1125), he tliought he might venture on a step from 
which distrust in his youth, still exposed to temptations, had 
hitherto deterred him, and to receive the priestly consecration. 
Presently, he was seized also with a desire to convey the 
blessing of the gospel to those parts where it was most greatly 
needed. The report of what the Wendish king Henry was 
doing for the establishment of the Christian church among his 
people, drew him to that quarter. Archbishop Adalbert of 
Bremen gave him a commission to preach the gospel to the 
Slavonians. Two other ecclesiastics, Rudolph, a priest from 
Hildesheim, and Ludolf, a canonical from Verden, joined him 
as fellow-labourers in the sacred enterprise. King Henry, to 
whom they offered their services, received them readily, show- 
ing them great respect, and assigning to them a church in 
Lubec, where he himself usually resided, as the seat of their 
labours. Before they could commence them, however, the 
king died ; and the ensuing wars between his sons rendered it 
impossible for them to effect anything in that district. Vicelin 
now returned back to archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, whom 
he attended on his tour of visitation in a diocese, the borders 
of which were inhabited by Slavic tribes. It so happened 
that, in the year 1126, when Vicelin was accompanying the 
archbishop on such a tour of visitation, the inhabitants of the 
border-town Faldera,* applied to the latter for a priest to 
reside amongst them. A convenient centre was here presented 
to Vicelin for his labours among the Slavonians, and he gladly 
accepted the call. He found here a poor, uncultivated country, 
rendered desolate by many wars, numbers who were Christians 
only in name, manifold remains of idolatry, groves and fountains 
consecrated to the deities. He preached with energy and effect ; 
the truths, which were as yet wholly new to the rude multitude, 
found ready entrance into their minds. He destroyed the re- 
maining objects of idolatrous worship, travelled about in the 

* As it was named by the "Wends; otherwise, Wippendorf ; at a later 
period, Neomiinster. 

46 VIGELIN's labours among the SLAVONIANS. 

northern districts of the Elbe, and made it the aim of his 
preaching not to convert the people into nominal Christians 
merely, but to lead them to repentance and to a genuine 
Christian temper of mind. His pious, indefatigable activity 
stimulated others to imitate his example. A free society was 
instituted of unmarried laymen and ecclesiastics, who, under 
his guidance, entered into a mutual agreement to devote them- 
selves to a life of prayer, charity, and self-mortification ; to 
visit the sick, to relieve the necessities of the poor, to labour for 
their own salvation and that of others, and especially to pray 
and labour for the conversion of the Slavonians. A spiritual 
society of this sort being one of the wants of the time, 
belonging to that peculiar spirit of fraternization with wliich 
the awakening religious life readily united itself, gave birth to 
many others, like those religious associations called the apos- 
tolical. When the emperor Lothaire the Second, in the year 
1134, visited the province of Holstein, Vicelin found that he 
took a warm interest in his plan for the establishment of the 
Christian church among the Slavonians. By Vicelin's advice, 
the emperor built a fortress at Segeberg, to protect the country 
against the Slavonians ; a proceeding which, it must be allowed, 
was hardly calculated to make a favourable impression on that 
people ; for the Slaves looked upon it as a new mode of in- 
fringing upon their liberties. Here it was now proposed to 
erect a new church, which was to be committed to the care of 
Vicelin. To him, the emperor intrusted also the care of the 
church in Lubec ; and consequently, the entire direction of the 
mission among the Slavonians was placed in his hands. At 
Segeberg and Lubec he could now proceed to establish a 
seminary for missionaries among that people ; but by the 
political quarrels and disturbances, which followed the death of 
LotJiaire, in 1137, his labours here were again interrupted. 
Those districts once more fell a prey to the fury of the Slavo- 
nians ; the Christian foundations were destroyed, the clergy 
obliged to flee, and the labours of Vicelin were again confined 
to Faldera alone. But even this spot was not long spared 
from the ravages of the Slavonians. Vicelin took occasion, 
from these calamities, to direct the attention of men from 
perishable things to eternal, teaching them to find in the 
gospel the true source of trust and consolation in God. After 
having passed several years imder these distressing circum- 

vicelin's farther labours, priest dittmar. 47 

stances, his outward situation was again changed for the better 
by the establishment of the authority of duke Adolph of 
Holstein in these districts, after the subjugation of the Slaves. 
This new sovereign carried out the plans already contemplated 
by the emperor Lothaire, in jfavour of Vicelin, not only restoring 
the church at Segeberg, but also giving back the landed estates 
which had been presented to it by the emperor. But to avoid 
the bustle and confusion of the fortress, Vicelin removed the 
monastery to the neighbouring city of Hogelsdorf, a place 
more favourably situated to secure the quiet necessary for the 
spiritual life. When, at a later period, the war broke out 
afresh with the Slavonians, and in consequence of it a famine 
arose in those districts, Vicelin, by his exhortations and example, 
stirred up the spirit of benevolence. Large bodies of poor 
people daily presented themselves before the gates of the 
monastery at Hogelsdorf. Presiding over the monastery was 
a scholar of Vicelin's, the priest Dittmar, a man of similar 
spirit, who had relinquished a canonicate at Bremen for the 
purpose of joining the pious society. Dittmar exhausted all 
his resources in endeavouring to alleviate the prevailing dis- 
tress. Meanwhile, these Slavic tribes were completely subdued 
by duke Henry the Lion ; and archbishop Hartwig of Bremen, 
having it now in his power to restore the ruined bishoprics, 
consecrated Vicelin, in the year 1148, as bishop of Oldenburg. 
But the man who, during this long series of years, had freely 
laboured, according to his own principles, serving only the 
pure interests of Christianity, instead of finding himself now, 
in his old age, enabled to act more independently in this higher 
dignity, saw himself cramped and confined in various ways 
by a foreign spirit, and by other interests.* As the duke had 
already been vexed because the archbishop had renewed those 
bishoprics without his advice and concurrence, and nominated 
Vicelin bishop of a city in his own territory, so he thought 
he might at least demand that the latter ^oiild receive from 
him the investiture. Vicelin, who, by virtue of the genuine 
Christian spirit which actuated him, rose superior to the in- 
terests of the hierarchy and of the episcopal prerogative, would 
gladly have yielded the point at once, in order to preserve a 

* His friend Helmold says: "Videres virum antea magni Dominis, 
possessorem libertatis et compotem suimet post acceptum episcopale 
nomen, qaasi innodatum vincalis qoibusdam et supplicem omniiim." 


good understanding with the duke, and to avoid being disturbed 
in his spiritual labours ; but the archbishop of Bremen and his 
clergy positively forbade it, since they looked upon it as 
a pitiable disgrace to the church that the bishop should receive 
the investiture from any other hands than those of the emperor.* 
He was now exposed, therefore, to suffer many vexations and 
embarrassments from the duke. He could not get hold of the 
revenues which belonged to him. Meanwhile, he did what he 
could, and in particular took great pains to perform the tours 
of visitation in his diocese. He laboured earnestly in preaching 
the gospel to the Slavonians, yet he met with but little success 
among them. Finding himself so much embarrassed in the 
discharge of his official duties by his misunderstanding with 
the duke, he finally resolved to sacrifice the respect due to his 
ecclesiastical superiors to the higher interest of the welfare of 
souls. Therefore, he said to the duke, " For the sake of him 
who humbled himself on our account, I am ready to do homage 
to each one of your vassals, to say nothing of yourself, a prince 
exalted to so high a station by the Lord." By this concession, 
he involved himself in unpleasant relations with his archbishop. 
At last, he had the misfortune to lose the faithful friend who 
laboured on in the same spirit as himself, the priest Dittmar. 
During the last two years and a half of his life, he saw himself 
completely shut out from all official labours ; for he was so 
severely affected by repeated shocks of apoplexy, that he could 
neither move nor even control his organs of speech. All 
that remained in his power was to exert himself for the edifi- 
cation of others by the tranquillity and patience which he 
manifested under the severest sufferings. Like the apostle 
John, and Gregory of Utrecht, he had to be borne to the 
church on the shoulders of his disciples. He died on the 13th 
of December, 11 54. 

The Christian church was again planted during tliis period 
among the Slavic populations in the countries on the coasts of 
the Baltic sea. This work we will now contemplate more in 
detail. The attempts made by the Danish kings to convert 
men by force, had, in this region also, only served to diffuse 

* Helmold says of these clergymen : " Nam et ipsi vaniglorii et divitiis 
adultsD ecclesice saturi, honori suo hoc iu facto derogari putabant. nee 
maguopere fructum, sed numerum suffraganearum sedium curabant." 


more widely the hatred against Christianity and the Christians. 
It was by means of commerce that more peaceful relations 
came finally to be established between the Liejlanders and 
Christian nations. This was an important preparation for the 
work of missions, by which more could be effected for the 
introduction of Christianity, and the well-being of the nations, 
than by any of the attempts to combine the chivalric spirit 
with Christian zeal. In the year 1158, merchants of Bremen 
began to form commercial connections with the Lieflanders 
and the bordering tribes. Their ships often visited the Duna, 
where they established settlements for trade. The priest 
Meinhard, from the already-mentioned monastery of Segeberg 
in Holstein, a venerable old man, was moved by a pious zeal, 
even in his old age, to embark in one of the enterprises of 
these merchants, with a view to convey the message of salva- 
tion to the pagan people. In the year 11 86, he arrived on the 
spot. He got permission from the Russian prince Wladimir, 
of Plozk, to preach the gospel to the Lieflanders ; and at 
Yxkiill, beyond Riga, where the merchants had already built a 
fortress for the security of trade, he founded the first church. 
A number of the first men of the nation consented to receive 
baptism from him. On a certain occasion, when the Lieflanders 
were attacked by pagan tribes from Lithuania, Meinhard di- 
rected the measures for defence, and under his guidance the 
invaders were repelled. By this transaction, he won their 
confidence still more. He taught them, moreover, how to 
guard against such attacks for the future, instructing them in 
the art of fortification, of which they were entirely ignorant. 
On their promising to submit to baptism, he sent to Gothland 
for workmen and building materials, and erected two fortresses, 
at Yxkiill and Holm, for the protection of the people ; but 
more than once he was compelled by bitter experience to find 
that those who had suffered themselves to be baptized only to 
obtain his assistance in their bodily necessities, when they had 
secured their object, relapsed into paganism, and sought to 
wash away their baptism in the waters of the Diina. Meinhard, 
in the meanwhile, was on a journey to Bremen, where he went 
to make a report of the success he had met with to his arch- 
bishop and to the pope. Archbishop Hartwig of Bremen, 
ordained him bishop over the new church ; but very much still 
needed to be done before he could discharge the functions of 



the episcopal office. After his return, he found how grossly 
he had been deceived by those Lieflanders who had needed his 
assistance in temporal things. 

To aid in sustaining this work, Theodoric, a Cistercian 
monk, had come upon the ground, and settled down at Threida 
(Thoreida) ; but the pagans took a dislike to him, for the 
superior condition of his fields had aroused their jealousy. 
Already they thought of sacrificing him to their deities. 
Whilst they were deliberating on the matter, he called upon 
God in prayer. The omen which, according to Slavic cus- 
tom, they took from the steppings of a horse which they kept 
for divination,* turned out favourably for him, and his life 
was spared. At another time he was brought into great peril 
by an eclipse of the sun, the people attributing this terror- 
spreading phenomenon to his magical arts. The rude pagans 
were easy to believe that one so superior to themselves in 
knowledge and culture was able to do anything, so a wounded 
man once applied to him to be healed, promising that, if he 
obtained relief, he would be baptized. Theodoric had no 
knowledge of medicine, but trusting in God, whose assistance 
he invoked, he composed a mixture of crushed herbs, and, as 
the remedy was followed by a cure, the patient, one of the 
principal men of the nation, submitted to baptism. This 
example had its effect upon others ; but it was with manifold 
vexations, anxieties, and dangers that Meinhard had to 
struggle to the last. Sometimes the Lieflanders, when they 
had an object to gain by it, or when they felt afraid that an 
armed force might be coming to his assistance, were ready to 
promise anything ; and when he was on the point of leaving 
them, strove to retain him in their country — at other times 
they only mocked him. Already he had applied to the pope 
to assist him in this enterprise, and the latter had promised 
to do so, when, in the year 1196, he died alone at YxkiiU, but 
not till he had obtained a promise from the Lieflanders 
that they would consent to receive another bishop. Berthold, 
abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Lockum, Avas appointed 
his successor, and consecrated as a bishop over the new church. 
It was his intention, at first, not to resort to the sword, but to 
gain over the minds of the Lieflanders by the power of the 

* See ante, p. 20. 


truth and of love ; he only failed to persevere in this good re- 
solution. He came to Liefland without an armed force, called 
togetlier, near the church at Yxkiill, the better disposed 
amongst the Christians and pagans, supplied them bountifully 
with food and drink, distributed presents among fhem, and 
then said that, called by themselves, he came there to supply 
the place of their departed bishop. At first they received him 
in a friendly manner, but soon he had to hear of plots among 
the pagans, who were resolved to put him to death. The con- 
sequence of this was, an armed crusjide, at the head of which 
the new bishop returned back to Liefland. He himself, it is 
true, fell in battle, but the army was victorious. The Lief- 
landers sued for peace : they declared themselves willing to re- 
ceive clergymen, and a hundred and fifty of the people already 
consented to receive baptism. The army of crusaders was 
thus induced to leave the country ; but nothing better was to 
be expected than that the Lieflanders, when no longer re- 
strained by fear, would soon return to their old practices. 
Scarcely had the army of the Germans lefl their shores than 
they again renounced Christianity : two hundred Christians 
were put to death, the clei^ barely made out to save them- 
selves by flight, and the Christian merchants themselves could 
only purchase security for their lives by presents to the prin- 
cipal men. The canonical priest, Albert von Apeldern of 
Bremen, was appointed bishop of the new church, and a fresh 
army accompanied him, in the year 1199, to Liefland. After 
the successful termination of the new campaign, in order to fix 
a stable seat for the Christian church on a spot more secure 
and better situated for intercourse with the Christian world, 
the town of Riga was built, in the year 1200, and the bishopric 
of Yxkull translated to this place ; but it was necessary that 
an armed force should be kept always at hand here, not only 
to maintain possession of the place, and to secure the Christian 
foundations, in a constant struggle with the pagan inhabitants 
of the country, but also to ward ofi" the destructive inroads of 
other pagan tribes in the neighbourhood, and to resist the 
Russian princes on the border, who were impatient of any fo- 
reign dominion in these parts. To this end, a standing order 
of spiritual knights, formed in accordance with the spirit of 
these times, by a union of knighthood with the clerical voca- 
tion, the ordo fratrum militice Christi, was instituted, which 

£ 2 


chose the Virgin Mary, to whom the new bishopric had been 
dedicated, as its patroness. 

Not till after a war of twenty years was tranquillity 
secured. From this point the church was planted in Esthland 
and Semgallen ; and at length Curland also, in the year 1230, 
submitted to her sway, not compelled by outward force, but 
yet driven by fear. 

It would be foreign from our purpose to enter farther into 
the history of these warlike enterprises. We will simply 
notice in these movements, so alien from Christianity, such 
particulars as present to our observation the least trace of the 
Christian spirit. In the midst of these wars men did not en- 
tirely neglect to employ the method of persuasion, and to 
diffuse Christian knowledge, though they did not adopt the 
most suitable means for this purpose. Among these means 
belonged the spiritual plays which came into vogue in this pe- 
riod, and were designed to represent historical scenes from the 
Old and New Testaments. Thus, during an interim of peace, 
in the year 1204, the opportunity was taken advantage of to 
exhibit, in the recently built city of Riga, a prophetical play, 
designed to combine entertainment and instruction for the new 
Christians and the pagans, and to fix, by sensuous impressions, 
the sacred stories and doctrines more deeply on their minds.* 
By means of interpreters the subjects of these dramatical 
representations were more clearly explained to them. When 
Gideon's troop attacked the Philistines, great terror fell on 
the pagan spectators, as they supposed it applied to themselves. 
They betook themselves to flight, and it was only after much 
persuasion that their confidence could be restored.f When 
again, after a bloody war and deliverance from great dangers, 
a time of peace once more returned, archbishop Andreas of 

* Thus a man who was in part an eye-witness of these events, the 
priest Heinrich der Lette, in the Chronicon Livonicum, f. 34, published by 
Gruber, says : " Ut fidei Christianse rudimenta gentilitas fide etiam dis- 
ceret oculata." 

\ The Priest Heinrich expresses more truth than he seems himself t^ 
be conscious of, when he considers this dramatical exhibition as a fore- 
token of the calamities of the following years : " In eodem ludo erant 
bella, utpote David, Gideonis, Herodis. Erat et doctrina veteris et novi 
testamenti, quia nimirum per bella plurima, quoe sequuntur, convertenda 
erat gentilitas, et per doctriuam veteris et novi testamenti erat instruenda, 
qualiter ad verum pacificum et ad vitam perveuiat sempiternam." 


Lund, who came in company with the allied Danes, as- 
sembled, in the winter of 1205, all the clergy in Riga, and 
during the whole season gave them theological discourses on 
the Psalter.* Many amongst the clergy, for which order men 
were fond of selecting monks, devoted themselves in good 
earnest to the work of promoting the salvation of the Lief- 
landers. One of these was monk Sigfrid, who presided as 
priest and pastor over the church at Holm, and by his life of 
piety and devotion left a deep impression on the minds of the 
people. At his death, in the year 1202, the new converts 
zealously went to work and made him a beautiftil coffin, in 
which they bore him, weeping, to the place of burial.f 

Over the church connected with the recently buUt fortress, 
Friedland, was placed a priest of the Cistercian order, Frederic 
of Celle. On Palm-Sunday of the year 1213 he had cele- 
brated mass with great devotion, and then preached with much 
fervour on the passion of Christ, closing his discourse with 
touching words of exhortation addressed to the new Christians. 
After having here celebrated also the Easter festival, he was 
intending to cross over with his assistants and a few of his 
new Christians to Riga ; but on the passage they were sur- 
prised by a vessel fully manned with ferocious pagans from 
the island of Correzar (OzUia), a haunt of pirates, which had 
offered the stoutest and longest resistance to the introduc- 
tion of Christianity. Under the cruel tortures with which the 
exasperated pagans sought to put him to a lingering death, he 
lifted his eyes to heaven, and with his disciples thanked God 
that he had counted him worthy of martyrdom. | In the year 
1206, the Letti made a desolating irruption into Liefland, and 
a village near Threida was suddenly attacked by them, whilst 
the community were assembled in the church. When this 
became known, the Lieflanders, in great consternation, rushed 
from the church. Some succeeded in finding places of conceal- 
ment in the neighbouring forest, others, who hurried to their 
dwellings, were taken captive on the way, and some of them 
put to death ; but the priest, John Strick, supported by 
another priest and by his servants, would not be disturbed 
in his devotions at the celebration of the mass, but, conse- 

* The words of the above mentioned priest : " Et legendo in Psalterio 
totam hiemem in divina contemplatione deducuntur." L. c. f. 43. 
t L. c. f. 26. X L. c. f. 97. 


crating himself to God as an offering, committed his life into 
the hands of his Master, resigned to suffer whatever he should 
appoint ; and after they had finished the mass, placing the 
several articles which belonged to the celebration of the office 
in a heap together at one corner of the sacristy, they con- 
cealed themselves in the same spot. Three several times the 
troops of the Letti broke into the sanctuary, but seeing the 
altar stripped of its furniture, they gave up the hope of finding 
the plunder they were in search of, that which was concealed 
escaping their notice. When all had gone off, the priests 
thanked God for their deliverance : in the evening they for- 
sook the church and fled into the forest, where, for three days, 
they subsisted on the bread they took with them. On the 
fourth day they arrived at Riga.* 

In a fight between the converted Letti and the pagans of 
Esthland, which took place in the year 1207, a Lettian priest 
mounted a redoubt, and sang a sacred hymn to the praise of 
God, accompanying his voice with an instrument. The rude 
pagans, on hearing the soft melody of the song and its accom- 
paniment, a thing altogether new to them, for a time left off 
fighting, and demanded what the occasion was for such expres- 
sions of joy. " We rejoice," said the Letti, " and we praise 
God, because but a short time ago we received baptism, and 
now see that God defends us." t 

Amongst these people the influence of Christianity was ma- 
nifest again in the fact, that it brought them to a conscious 
sense of the equal dignity of all men, doing away amongst 
them the arbitrary and false distinction of higher and lower 
races. The Letti had, in fact, been hitherto regarded and 
treated as an inferior race of men, but through Christianity 
they attained to the consciousness of possessing equal worth 
and equal rights with all ; the priests, therefore, to whom they 
were indebted for so great an improvement in their condition, 
were received by them with joy. ij: The only law that had 
hitherto been in force amongst the Lieflanders was club-law. 

* L. c. f. 49. t L. c. f. 57. 

J The words of the priest Heinrich : " Erant enim Letthi ante fidem 
susceptam humiles et despecti, et multas injurias sustinentes a Livonibus 
et F.stonibus, unde ipsi magis gaudebant de adventu sacerdotum, eo quod 
post baptismum eodem jure et eadem pace omnes gauderunt." L. c. 
f. 56. 


By means of Christianity they were first made conscious of the 
need of a settled system of justice. The inhabitants or 
Threida made a petition to their priest Hildebrand, that the 
civil as well as the ecclesiastical law might be introduced 
amongst them, and that their disputes might be settled 
by it.* 

At the close of the war, in 1224, pope Honorius the Third, 
in compliance with the request of the bishop of Riga, sent 
"VVUliam, bishop of Modena, the papal chancellor, as a legate 
to Liefland. This prelate spared no pains in dispensing 
amongst the ancient inhabitants of the country and their con- 
querors such exhortations as their respective circumstances re- 
quired. The Germans he exhorted to mildness in their beha- 
viour to the new converts, charging them to lay on their 
shoulders no intolerable burdens, but only the light and easy 
yoke, and to instruct them constantly in the sacred truths.f 
He cautioned those who bore the sword against being too hard 
on the Esthlanders in the collection of tithes and imposts, lest 
they should be driven to relapse into idolatry. J These exhort- 
ations to a mild, indulgent treatment of the natives he repeated, 
on various occasions, amongst the different classes. 

Witli the establishment of the Christian church in these 
lands was closely connected its establishment also amongst 
another Slavic people, the Prussians ; for that same order of 
spiritual knights which had been founded for the purpose of 
giving stability to the Christian foundations in Liefland, 
formed a union with another order for the accomplishment of 
this work. We must now revert to many things strictly 
belonging to the preceding period, but which, for the sake of 
preserving the connection of events, we reserved to the present 

Adalbert of Prague, the archbishop who had to endure so 
many hard conflicts with the rudeness of his people, betook 

* L. c. f. 46. The priest Heinrich says that the Lieflanders were at 
first very well satisfied with their judges, or so-called advocates ; namely, 
so loug as pious men, who were governed only by Christian motives, ad- 
ministered this office. But it turned out otherwise when laymen, who 
sought only how they might enrich themselves, obtained these posts. 

t " Ne Teutonic! gravaminis aliquod jugum importabile neophytorum 
humeris imponerent, sed jugum Domini leve ac suave, fideique semper 
docerent sacramenta." 

1 L. c. f. 173. 


himself, after he had abandoned his bishopric for the third 
time, to Boleslav the first, duke of Poland, expecting to find 
amongst the pagans in this quarter a field of activity suited to 
the glowing ardour of his zeal. He finally determined to go 
amongst the Pnissians. The duke gave him a vessel, and 
thirty soldiers to protect him. Thus attended, he sailed to 
Dantzic,* as this was the frontier-place between Prussia ana 
Poland. Here he first made his appearance as a preacher of 
the gospel, and he succeeded in baptizing numbers. Then, 
sailing from this place and landing on the opposite coast, he 
sent back the ship and her crew. He desired to commit him- 
self, as a messenger of peace, wholly to God's protection. He 
did not choose to appear standing under the protection of any 
human power, but would avoid everything which might awaken 
suspicion amongst the pagans. The only persons he kept with 
him were the priest Benedict and his own pupil Gaudentius. 
It was an open beach where they were set down, and, taking 
a small boat, they rowed to an island formed at the mouth of 
the river Pregel ;t but the owners of the lands approached 
with cudgels to drive them away, and one dealt him so severe 
a blow with an oar, that the psalter, from which he was 
singing, dropped from his hand, and he fell to the ground. As 
soon as he had recovered himself he said, " I thank thee. 
Lord, for the privilege thou hast bestowed on me of suffering 
even a blow for ray crucified saviour." On Saturday they 
rowed to the other shore of the Pregel, on the coast of Sam- 
land. The lord of the domain, whom they happened to meet, 
conducted them to his village. A large body of people col- 
lected together. When Adalbert had given an account of 
himself, of the country he came from, and of his errand, the 
people told him they wanted to hear nothing about a foreign 
law, and threatened them all with death unless they sailed off 
the same night. Compelled to leave these coasts, they turned 
back again, tarrying five days in a village where they brought 

* Gedania. 

t As may be gathered from the -words of the ancient account of his 
life, Mens. April. T. III. c. vi. fol. 180 : " Intrant parvam insulam, quae 
curvo amne circumjecta formam circuli adeuntibus monstrat." See 
Voigt's remarks, respecting these specified marks in relation to the geo 
graphical situation of places, in his Geschichte von Preussen, Bd. I. s. 



up. Here, on the night of Thursday, the brother Gaudentius 
had a dream, which next morning he related to the bishop. 
He saw standing on the middle of the altar a golden chalice 
half filled with wine. He asked permission to drink from it, 
but the servant of the altar forbade him. Neither he nor any- 
other person could be allowed to drink from it, said he. It 
was reserved against the morrow, for the bishop, to give him 
spiritual strength. " May the Lord's blessing," said Adalbert, 
on hearing this, " bring to pass what this vision promises ; but 
we should place no confidence in a deceitful dream." At the 
break of day, they proceeded on their journey, cheerily making 
their way through the pathless woods, shortening the distance 
with spiritual songs. About noon they came to some open 
fields. Here Gaudentius celebrated the mass : Adalbert re- 
ceived the cup, then took some refreshment, and after they 
had proceeded a few steps farther, the three seated themselves 
upon the grass. "Wearied with travel, they all fell into a pro- 
found sleep, which lasted till they were awakened by the noise 
of a tumultuous band of pagans, who seized and bound them 
in chains. Said Adalbert to his companions, " Be not troubled, 
my brethren ; we know, indeed, for whose name we suffer. 
What is there more glorious than to give up life for our pre- 
cious Jesus ? " Upon this, Siggo, a priest, plunged a lance 
through his body; the others then vented their rage upon 
him. Adalbert, streaming with blood, kept his head erect and 
his eyes fixed on heaven. This happened on the 23rd of April, 

The second person who attempted to convert the Prussians 
was Bruno, surnamed Bonifacius."]" He was descended from 
a family of note in Querfurt, and became court-chaplain of the 
emperor Otto the Third, who valued him highly on account of 
his spiritual attainments. This monarch took him along with 

* We certainly cannot doubt that the circumstantial and simple narra- 
tive came from the mouth of one of Adalbert's companions, who probably 
were redeemed from their captivity among the Prussians by Duke 
Boleslav; for the author of the second account of Adalbert's life states, 
that the Prussians preserved his body with a view of afterwards disposing 
of it for a large ransom to Duke Boleslav. 

t This surname was the occasion of a mistake, two different persons 
having been made out of these two names, and a missionary Boniface was 
invented, who is to be wholly stricken out of the list of historical per- 

58 chuistian's success in Prussia. 

him in a journey to Rome, where perhaps it was the sight of a 
picture of Boniface, the apostle to the Germans, which led him 
to resolve on withdrawing from court, becoming a monk, and 
conveying the message of salvation to the heathen nations. 
Carrying this resolution into effect, he became a monk of the 
order of St, Benedict. He procured from Sylvester the 
Second full powers to engage in a mission to the heathen. 
This pope conferred on him, for the same end, episcopal ordi- 
nation, and the pall of an archbishop. With eighteen com- 
panions he repaired, in 1007, to Prussia ; but all perished by 
martyrdom on the J4th of February, 1008. 

From this time two centuries elapsed, during which, so far 
as we know, nothing farther was done for the conversion of the 
Prussians. It was not until 1207 that any new attempt was 
made for this purpose ; at that time, Gottfried, a Polish abbot, 
from the monastery of Lukina, sailed down the Weichsel, in 
company with Philip, a monk, and they succeeded in gaining 
the confidence of the heads of the people. Two of these, Pha- 
let and his brother Sodrach, embraced Christianity and received 
baptism. At this point the work was interrupted, indeed, by 
the assassination of monk Philip ; but some years later another 
man appeared, who was far better calculated for such an en- 
terprise, and who began his work with more promising results. 
Christian, a native of Freienwalde, in Pommerania, went forth 
at that time from the monastery of Oliva, near Dantzic, where, 
perhaps, the reports he heard concerning the Prussians, and the 
first attempts which were made to convert them, had served to 
call forth in him the desire of conveying to them the message 
of salvation. With several other monks, among whom one in 
particular is mentioned, named Philip, he repaired, after hav- 
ing first obtained ample authority for this work from pope 
Innocent the Third,* to the adjacent province of Prussia. The 

* As pope Innocent the Third, in his letter to the archbishop Gnesen, 
epp. 1. XIII. ep. 128, says, expressly, concerning Christian and his com- 
panions : " Ad partes Prussiae de nostra licentia accesserunt ;" and in the 
letter to the Cistercian abbots, 1. XV. ep. 147 : "Olim de nostra licentia 
inceperunt seminare in partibus Prussiae verbum Dei," it is impossible to 
doubt that the monks, at the very beginning, either orally or by letter, 
reported their project to the pope, and received from him ample powers 
for such an enterprise. From this particular point of time it was also the 
first in which resort was had in such an enterprise to the head of the 


happy results of his labours in Prussia induced him, perhaps in 
accordance with some agreement between him and the pope, in 
the years 1209 and 1210, to make a journey to Rome. Inno- 
cent the Third espoused this cause with that active zeal and 
prudent forethought, embracing the interests of the whole 
church, for which he was distinguished. He committed to the 
archbishop of Gnesen the pastoral care over this mission and 
the new converts, till their number should be such as to require 
the labours of a special bishop of their own. In his letter, ad- 
dressed to this archbishop,* he says, " Through the grace of 
him who calls into being that which is not, and who out of 
stones raises up sons to Abraham, a few of the nobles and some 
others in that region have received baptism ; and would that 
they might daily make progress in the knowledge of the true 
faith ! " Christian and his companions returned and prosecuted 
their labours with good success ; but from one quarter, where 
they had every reason to expect countenance and support, they 
experienced hindrances of all sorts in the prosecution of their 
work. The Cistercian abbots grew jealous of the independent 
activity of these men ; they put them in the same class with 
those vagabond monks, who had broken loose from all 
discipline and order ; they refused to acknowledge them as 
brethren of their order ; and denied them those kindly offices 
which in all other cases the members of the order were wont 
to show to each other. Therefore the pop^ issued in behalf of 
this mission, in the year 1213, a letter addressed to the abbots 
of the Cistercian chapter.j With the cautious wisdom mani- 
fested by this pope on other occasions, he intended, on the one 
hand, to restrain those monks who merely wished to throw off 
the forms of legitimate dependence, from roving about, un- 
called, as missionaries ; and, on the other, to provide that the 
preaching of the gospel should not be hindered xmder the pre- 
text of checking such disorders. To secure these ends, the 
whole matter was placed under the general oversight of the 
archbishop of Gnesen. He was to apply the right rules for the 
trying of the spirits, and to furnish those whom he found 
qualified to preach and influenced by the spirit of love, with 
testimonials of good standing and letters of recommendation. 
The pope commanded the Cistercian abbots to forbear from 

♦ L. c 1. XIII. ep. 128. t L- c. 1. XV. ep. 147. 


hindering in their work such persons as were thus accredited. 
Furthermore, the pope had heard complaints that the dukes of 
Pommerania and of Poland turned the introduction of Chris- 
tianity into a means of oppressing the Prussians ; that they laid 
on the Christians heavier burdens than they had previously 
borne ; which, as had often been shown in the case of the Slavic 
tribes, might end in making Christianity hateful to the people, 
whose burdens it only served to increase, and to bring about the 
ruin of the whole mission.* He therefore sent to these princes 
a letter, couched in firm and decided language, setting before 
them the unchristian character of such proceedings. " Altliough, 
in the words of the apostle, without faith it is impossible to please 
God, still, faith alone is not sufficient for this purpose ; but love 
is, in an especial manner, also necessary. As the apostle says : 
though one may have faith so as to be able to remove moun- 
tains, and though one may speak with the tongues of angels 
and of men, and though one give his whole substance to feed 
the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth him nothing. Now 
if, according to the law of Christ, this love is to be extended 
even to our enemies, how much more is it incumbent on all to 
practise it towards the newly converted, inasmuch as they, if 
hardly dealt with, may easily be led into apostasy." " We 
therefore beseech and exhort you," continues the pope, " for 
the sake of him who came to save the lost, and to give his life 
a ransom for many, do not oppress the sons of this new plan- 
tation, but treat them with the more gentleness, as they are liable 
to be misled, and to relapse into paganism ; since the old bottles 
can scarcely hold the new wine." We find from this letter, 
that Innocent had empowered the archbishop of Gnesen to 
pronounce the bann on the oppressors of the new converts in 
Prussia, if they would not listen to reason. 

So the monk Christian succeeded in overcoming these 
difficulties, and his work for the first time went prosperously 
onward. Two princes whom he had converted made over to 
him their territory, as a possession for the new church. He 

* ♦' Quidam vestrum," says the pope, in his letter to them, 1. XV. ep. 148, 
" mini me attendentes, et qusereiites, quae sua sunt, non qua? Christi, quam 
cite intelligunt aliquos e gentilibus per Prussiam constitutis novae regene- 
rationis gratiam suscepisse, statim oneribus eos servilibus aggravant et 
venientes ad Christianaj fidei libertatem deterioris conditionis efficiunt 
quam essent, dum sub jugo servitutis pristinse permanserint." 


travelled with them to Rome ; they were there baptized, and 
Christian was now consecrated to the office of bishop. But 
after his return, a stormy insurrection arose on the part of his 
pagan people, provoked perhaps, in part, by the conduct of the 
above-mentioned Christian princes. Then similar enterprises 
followed to those which had taken place in Liefland. The 
order of German knights, founded during the crusades in the 
twelfth century, joined themselves for the purpose of engaging 
in them with the order of the Brethren of the Sword ; and it 
was not till after a long series of years, in the year 1283, 
that the work was completed ; four bishoprics having been pre- 
viously, in the year 1243, founded for the Prussians ; — Kulm, 
Pomesanien, Ermeland, and Sameland. 

Nearly after the same manner was the church planted 
amongst the Finns. King Eric, of Sweden, whose zeal for the 
church caused him to be venerated as a saint, undertook for 
this purpose — inasmuch as the Finns could not be induced to 
submit in a peaceable manner — a crusade, in which he was 
accompanied by bishop Heinrich, of Upsala. A characteristic 
trait, indicating the point of religious development at which he 
stood, and the strong inclination of his times to cling to exter- 
nal things, is related of him. Kneeling down to thank God, 
after having won a battle, he was observed to be profusely 
weeping : and being asked the reason, confessed that it was for 
pity and commiseration at the fate of so many who had fallen 
in the fight without being baptized, and were consequently 
lost, when they might have been saved by the holy sacrament.* 

Let us now throw a glance at the spread of Christianity in 
Asia. It lay in the power of the NestorioTis to do the most 
for this object, for their communities were widely scattered 
over eastern Asia ; they were more favoured by the Moham- 
medan princes than any of the other Christian sects ; t and 
were the most familiarly acquainted with the languages and 
customs of the Asiatic nations. Till within the ninth century, 
the Nestorian churchf still maintained flourishing schools for 
the education of their clergy ; but after that time these schools 
seem to have declined. What we learn concerning the Nes- 

♦ See the vita s. Erici. Mens. Maj. d. 18, c. i. 

t See, on this point, the extracts from oriental sources in Assemani 
Bibliotheca orientalis, T. III. f. 9S. etc. 


torian ecclesiastics who roved about Asia, proves that they 
were often greatly wanting in theological culture, Christian 
knowledge, and sedateness of Christian character. It is true, 
they were animated by a zeal for making proselytes ; but they 
were also too often satisfied if people did but profess Chris- 
tianity outwardly, and observe a certain set of Christian or 
ecclesiastical usages. We should be the more cautious, there- 
fore, in receiving those reports which Nestorians, inclined to 
speak extravagantly concerning the merits of their sect, and 
habituated to the language of Oriental exaggeration, have 
made respecting their labours for the conversion of pagan 
tribes. They spread themselves over those districts of Asia 
in which a certain inclination to the mixing together of dif- 
ferent religions always existed. A way was easily found of 
introducing many things from Christianity into this medley, 
and the Nestorians might represent this as conversion to Chris- 

Thus, for example, we find, some time after the twelfth cen 
tury, a legend current in the Western church, respecting a 
powerful Christian empire in Asia, whose Christian kings, it 
was said, were at the same time priests, and bore the name of 
John. By the concurrent testimony of all the accounts from 
Oriental sources* and Western travellers of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, it is evident, beyond a doubt, that the kingdom of Kerait 
in Tartary, lying north of Sina (China), whose residential ca- 
pital was the city of Caracorum, was here meant. It may be 
more doubtful what opinion should be formed respecting the 
Christianity of this people and of its princes, respecting the 
union of the sacerdotal and kingly offices in the persons of the 
latter, and respecting the name of John. 

The Nestorian metropolitan Ebedjesu, bishop of Maru in 
Chorasan, in Persia, relates, in a letter to his patriarch Maris,"!" 
that a king of Kerait, in the beginning of the eleventh century, 
had been converted to Christianity by means of Christian 
merchants, certainly Nestorians. | The prince, it is said, 

* See extracts in Assemani, 1. e. f. 486. Ssanang Ssetsen's Geschichte 
der Ostmongolen, translated from the Mongol language by Schmidt, p. 87. 
Petersburg, 1829. 

+ See Assemani's Bibliothek, 1. c. p. 484. 

X This is ascribed to the apparition of a saint, who pointed out the 
right path to the prince, when he had lost his way in a chase ; whether 


thereupon sent a request to the metropolitan, that he would 
either come to him personally, or else send a priest to baptize 
him. The patriarch, to whom Ebedjesu reported this, is said 
to have empowered him to send to that country two priests, to- 
gether with deacons and ecclesiastical vessels. Two hundred 
thousand people of this nation are said to have embraced 
Christianity ; the priest above mentioned, and his descendants, 
were known henceforth in the East by the name of the priest- 
kings, John (Prester John). Various exaggerated stories con- 
cerning the power of these princes, and the extent of their 
empire, were spread abroad by monks in the West. Envoys from 
them appeared in Rome, sent for the purpose of establishing 
connections between these pretended great monarchs and the 
West, through the mediation of the pope. Not oqly have we 
every reason to doubt the truth of these reports, but it is also 
quite questionable whether the persons who represented them- 
selves as envoys, were really authorized to appear in that 
character ; whether, in fact, the whole is not to be regarded as 
a work of fraud ; especially since we know, that when the cru- 
sades had laid open a more free communication betwixt the 
East and the West, the credulity of the West was often im- 
posed upon by such fraudulent pretensions. Still, we should 
not be authorized on these grounds to call in question the exist- 
ence of such a line of sacerdotal kings passing under the com- 
mon name of John. It is possible that Nestorians baptized 
the king, and then gave him priestly consecration ; and that at 
baptism he received the name John, — particularly because 
this was the name of the Nestorian patriarch at that time. 
Both name and office may then have passed down to his suc- 
cessors. Occasion may have been given for associating the 
sacerdotal and kingly offices together in one man by ideas and 
tendencies already existing in those districts at an earlier 
period — ideas and tendencies wluch afterwards reappeared 
among this people under another form, in Lamaism. In 
recent times, however, a more careful examination into the 
history and the relations of the Chinese empire has led to a 
different interpretation of this story.* The kings of Kerait 

the truth is, that some actual occurrence lies at bottom of the story, or 
that this account is a mere imitation of other similar ones, as that respect- 
iag the conversion of the Iberians, see vol. II. 

* Schlosser's Weltgeschichte, iii. ii. 1. s. 269. Hitter's Geographic ii. ii. 


were vassals of the vast Chinese empire, and as such they 
bore, in addition to their proper names, the character and title 
of " Vara," or " Vang," Now this latter title, joined with the 
Tartaric " Khan," gave origin to the name " Vam-Khan," or 
*' Ung-Khan." It is supposed, then, that the legend respect- 
ing tiiese kings, who all call themselves John, proceeded from 
a misconception, or mutilation, of that twofold title ; while the 
legend respecting their uniting the offices of priest and king 
may have originated in a transfer of religious notions, already 
current among these nations at an earlier period, into a Chris- 
tian form. Thus we might be led to regard the whole story 
concerning the conversion of the princes of Kerait and their 
.subjects as a legend which originated in misconception and 
exaggeration, without the least foundation of historical truth. 
But as the report in the above-mentioned letter of the Nes- 
torian metropolitan, respecting the conversion of that Tartarian 
prince, is confirmed in all essential points by the narratives of 
Western missionaries and travellers belonging to the thirteenth 
century, who had, some of them, long resided in those dis- 
tricts, and were not accustomed to exaggerate ; so we regard 
the statement that princes of Kerait were converted by Nes- 
torians to Christianity, that is, led to the outward profession of 
it, and to the adoption of Christian usages, and that such a 
Christianity was transmitted in their families, as a fact suffi- 
ciently well established, however uncertain may be the rest of 
the story. 

At all events, an end was put to the empire of these so-called 
sacerdotal kings, probably under the fourth of the dynasty, by 
the great revolution in 1202, which, somewhat later, shook 
not only Asia but Europe. The head of one of the subordinate 
tribes under this empire, khan Temudschin, revolted. The 
king of Kerait lost, in the struggle which ensued, his kingdom 
and his life, and Temudschin became, under the name of 
Dschingiskhan, founder of the great Mongolian empire. It is 
said, however, that he married the daughter of the slain priest- 

Bd. 1. s. 257. Schmidt, in the note contained in the above-mentioned 
Geschichte der Ostmongolen, s. 283. Gieseler who adopts this view has 
endeavoured to make this derivation probable, by supposing that the 
Nestorians confounded the foreign Tartarian words with others of like 
sound in the Semitic dialects, Jochanan and Chohen; see Studien a. 
Kritiken, 1837, 2h. s. 354. 


king ; and that Rabbanta,* a Nestorian monk, rose to great 
authority and influence ; but we ought not to attribute too 
much importance to statements like these. The religious in- 
terest, as a general thing, was amongst the Mongols an 
altogether subordinate concern ; their only article of feith was 
the recognition of one Almighty God, the Creator of the 
world, and of the great khan, his son, whom he sent over aU 
the kingdoms of the world, and whom aU must obey. This 
one fundamental article left room, indeed, for a great deal 
besides, which might be taken from other quarters, and incor- 
porated with it. The religion of these tribes was a rude 
monotheism, which took but a slight hold on the religious 
interest ; the belief in one God, who was held off at an immense 
distance, — a belief affording but little to occupy the thoughts 
or feelings of the human mind ; and into the void thereby left 
for the religious nature, an entrance was left open for all 
manner of superstition. The religious need would necessarily 
strive to fill up the chasm between that sublime and distant 
Deity, floating before the mind in dim presentiment, and the 
life of man in all its contraction and feebleness ; and it was 
precisely here that all forms of superstition were enabled to find 
a foothold. Idols and amulets, fabricated by their own hands, 
laid stronger hold on the affections and the imaginations of the 
people, than that vague belief in one God, the creator of the 
universe. In this manner, it was possible that, vmder the 
above-mentioned single article of feuth, different religions,! 
that is, their forms and usages, with which a superstitious 
sort of coquetry was practised, might subsist side by side. 
Indeed, a frequent change of religious usages was particularly 
agreeable to the taste of these tribes of men ; and thus it 
happened that Christian, Mohammedan, and Buddhist rites 
and usages were afterwards admitted amongst them, and 
tolerated together. Nestorian priests long wandered about 
among these nations ; and these people required nothing more 

* Certainly not a proper name, but a mixture of two titles of honour 
from different languages, viz. : the Syrian Kabban, and the Turkish Atta, 
fether. See Abel-Re'musat in the Memoires de I'Academie des Inscrip- 
tions, T. VI. an. 1822, p. 413. 

t The J. de Piano Carpini, shortly to be mentioned, makes, concerning 
the Mongols, the correct remark : " Quia de cultn Dei nuUam legem 
observant, neminem adhuc, quod intelleximus, coegerunt suam fidem vel 
legem negare." 




than such an adoption of Christian forms, which they repre- 
sented as an embracing of Christianity. At the same time 
the ]\[ongolian pnnces, induced by motives of political interest, 
and seeking to form alliances with Christian nations against 
the Mohammedans, — often represented themselves as more 
inclined to Christianity than they really were ; or else, with a 
view to flatter the Christian princes of the East, who in a 
certain sense did them homage, accommodated themselves, in 
the expression of their religious opinions, to the views of 
those whom they addressed. 

Under Oktaikhan, the successor of Dschingiskhan, the ar- 
mies of the Mongols threatened to deluge Europe, through 
Russia, Poland, Bohemia, and Silesia; while the Christian 
nations were prevented from adopting common measures of 
defence by the quarrels between the pope and the emperor 
Frederick the Second. This led pope Innocent the Fourth to 
send two embassies to the Mongols, one to charge them, in his 
name, to desist from their warlike expeditions against the 
Christian nations, and the other to make an attempt to convert 
them to Christianity. Both were ill-judged ; for of what avail 
was such an injunction, backed up by nothing else ? What 
signified the word of a pope amongst Mongols ? And as to the 
other object — of gaining them over to Christianity, a single 
embassy could do nothing towards its accomplisliment ; while 
the instruments chosen by the pope for this business possessed 
neither the character nor the information necessary for per- 
forming the task imposed on them. In the year 1245, four 
Dominicans are said to have visited the commander-in-chief of 
the Mongols in Persia, and three Franciscans to have repaired 
to the gi-eat khan himself. The former,* at whose head stood 
the monk Ascelin, were altogether unfitted for the business 
they undertook, being utterly ignorant both of the manners 
and of the language of these nations, as well as utterly destitute 
of the versatility of mind necessary for acquiring such know- 
ledge. Offence was taken, in the first place, because they had 
not, according to the Oriental custom, brought presents with 
them. Then, to obtain an audience from the commander-in- 
chief, it was made a condition that they should pay obeisance 
to him by three several prostrations. The scruple which they 

* The report of their mission by one of the party. Simon of St. Quintin, 
get forth in Viucentius de Bauvais. Speculum historiale, 1. XXXI. c. 40. 


3raised, that this would be a mark of idolatrous homage, was 
removed, it is true, by Guiscard of Cremona, a monk femiliar 
with the manners of the East, whom they met with at Tiflis ; and 
who explained to them that nothing of this kind was associated 
with the act in the customs of these nations. But when he 
informed them, at the same time, that it would be a mark of 
homage paid by the pope and the church of Rome to the 
great khan, they declared themselves resolved to die rather 
than subject the church of Rome and Christendom to such a 
disgrace in the sight of the nations of the East. The Tartars 
looked upon it as exceedingly strange, that, adoring as they 
did the sign of the cross in wood and stone, they could pay no 
such mark of respect to the great commander, whom the khan 
would not hesitate to honour as he did himself. They looked 
upon this refusal as a serious insult to the dignity of the khan, 
in his representative ; and it was only by a fortunate turn of 
circumstances that the monks escaped being put to death. 
Finally, they were required to go and meet the great khan 
himself, to place in his hands the pope's letter, convince them- 
selves, by their own obser\"ation, of his unlimited power and 
matchless glory, and draw up a report of the same to the pope. 
To this Ascelin replied, that as his lord the pope knew nothing 
about the name of the khan, and had not commanded him to 
inquire after that personage, but to accost the first army of the 
Tartars whom he should meet, so he was not bound, and 
neither was he inclined, to make a journey to the khan. This 
style of expressing himself with regard to the relation of the 
pope to the Tartarian monarch, provoked afresh the displea- 
sure of the Tartars. " Has the pope, then," said they, " sub- 
dued as many kingdoms and vast empires as the great khan, 
the son of God ? Has the name of the pope spread as widely 
as that of the great khan, who is feared from the East to the 
"West ? " Upon this, Ascelin explained to them that the pope, 
as the successor of St. Peter, to whom Christ had intrusted the 
government of the entire church, possessed the highest autho- 
rity among men ; but of such an authority the Tartars could 
form no conception, and in vain did Ascelin resort to various 
illustrations and examples for the purpose of making the thing 
plain to them.* 

* Ascf lino multis modis et exemplis explanante, illi tanquam brutales 
homines nullatenus iutelligere valuerunt plenarie. 

r 2 


The letter of the pope was then translated first into Persian, 
thence into the Tartarian language, and placed before the com- 
mander-in-ehief; and the monks, after being detained for 
several months, finally obtained permission to go home, and at 
the same time a brief, haughty reply to the pope's letter was 
placed in their hands. It ran thus : — " Whereas, it is God's 
immutable decree, that all who come personally to show their 
submission to the great khan, whom God has made lord over 
the whole world, should remain on their own soil and territory, 
but the rest be destroyed ; therefore let the pope take care to 
inform himself of this, if he wishes to retain his country." 
The Franciscans, with whom went Johannes de Piano Carpini, 
an Italian,* directed their course to Tartary and the great 
khan through Russia ; and their journey lying through deso- 
late regions and steppes, which they had to traverse on horse- 
back, often at the greatest speed and without halting, was one 
attended with the severest deprivations and hardships. These 
monks seemed to be better qualified for their business than the 
first ; Johannes de Piano Carpini, in particular, by his exten- 
sive earlier travels, by the important offices which he had 
filled in his order, and the superior tact he had thereby 
acquired, seemed much better prepared for it. Less stiff in 
their prejudices, they could more easily enter into foreign cus- 
toms and modes of thinking, and hence showed themselves 
quite ready to make presents, after the Oriental fashion, of the 
few articles they brought with them ; nor did they hesitate to 
go through the ceremony of thrice bowing the knee, as a cus- 
tomary mark of respect to those in power. When they arrived 
at the khan's court, Oktaikhan had died, and they were present 
at the coronation of his successor, Gaiuk. They also found 
here Nestorian priests, who were maintained by the khan, 
and who performed their worship before his tents ; but 
assuredly it was an exaggeration, intended or unintended, on 
the part of the Christians in immediate attendance on the 
khan, when they told the monks that he himself would soon 
embrace Christianity .f Besides giving them a letter to the 

* Extracts from bis report in Vincentius de Beauvais, lib. XXXI. Tbe 
same was first publisbed complete by D'Avezac. Paris, 1838. 

f The -words of J. de Piano Carpini, in the complete edition of his 
report, mentioned in the previous note § xii. p. 370 : '• Dicebant etiam 
nobis Christiani, qui erant de familia ejus, quod credebaut firmiter, quod 


pope, he proposed to send back with them envoys of his own ; 
a proposal wliich, for various prudential reasons, they thought 
proper to decline. In other respects this embassy proved as 
fruitless as the former. 

The crusades, in various ways, brought the Christians of 
the West into contact with the Mongok.* The leaders of the 
Mongols were sometimes induced by motives of policy to court 
the alliance of the Western princes against their common 
enemy the Mohammedans ; or they ambitiously affected the 
distinction of being acknowledged, even by those princes, as 
their li^e lords and masters. There were, however, ro\Tng 
about in the East many deceivers, who represented themselves 
as envoys firom the Mongols, as weU as from others ; and in 
their names expressed opinions, and made treati^, such as had 
never been dreamed of by those rulers. At the same time, 
however, the Mongol princes themselves, doubtless, contrived 
that many things should be said in their name which they 
afterwards refused to acknowledge as having ever proceeded 
from them. Thus that pious king, Louis the Ninth of France, 
while residing, in the time of his crusade, on the isle of Cyprus, 
heard many exaggerated stories about the inclination of the 
Mongolian princes to feivour Christianity, which induced him 
to send them ambassadors with presents. 

Among these ambassadors, the most distinguished was the 
Franciscan AVilliam de Rubruquis, who undertook a journey of 
this sort in the year 1253. He ^Tsited the Mongol general 
and prince Sartach, his £ither Batu, and the great khan of the 
Mongols himself, the Mangukhan. He penetrated as far as 
Caracorum, the renowned capital of this empire, the ancient 
residential city of the above-mentioned priest-kings. From his 
report of this journey we discover that he was a man less 
prone to credulity than other monks of his time, more in- 
clined and better qualified to examine into &cts; and it is 

debet fieri Christianas et de hoc hahent signum apertum, qaoniam ipse 
tenet clericos Christianos et dat eis expensas, Christianomm etiam capel- 
lam semper habet ante majus tentorium ejus, et cantant puhlice et aperte, 
et pulsant ad boras secundum morem Grscorum, ut alii Cbristiani, 
qnantacunque sit ibi moltitudo Tatarorom vel etiam bominom alionun, 
quod non f^ciunt alii duces." 

* See the Essay of Abel-R^mnsat : " Rapports des princes Chretiens 
avec le grand empire des Mongols," in the Me'moires de I'Acad^mie des 
Inscriptions, T. VI. p. 398, 1822. 


through him we receive the first certain and accurate infonna- 
tion respecting the religious condition of these nations, and 
respecting their relation to Christianity. In piety and Chris- 
tian knowledge he was far superior to the Oriental monks and 
ecclesiastics who wandered about among these tribes ; and his 
piety, his intrepidity, and hiy insight into the essence of Chris- 
tianity, as viewed from the position held by his own church, 
fitted him beyond others to act as a missionary among these 
nations. When he came into those districts, where the king- 
dom of Prester John once had its seat, he perceived how 
exaggerated had been the accounts given of that kingdom by 
the Nestorians.* He says that, with the exception of a few 
Nestorians, there was nobody who knew anything about 
Prester John. He found the Nestorians widely dispersed in 
these regions, and filling important posts in the Tartarian 
court ;f but of the Nestoriau clergy he gives a very sad ac- 
count. " They are," he observes, " thoroughly ignorant ; and 
though they repeat the liturgical forms, and possess the sacred 
books in the Syriac language, they understand nothing about 
them. They sing like illiterate monks that have no under- 
standing of Latin ; hence they are all corrupt in their morals 
and wicked in their lives, great usurers and drunken sots. 
Some of them, who live among the Tartars, keep, like the 
latter, several wives."J It was quite enough for such people, 
if they could make their mechanical prayers and ceremonies 
pass current at the Tartarian court, so as to procure for them- 
selves presents, the means of living, and influence. The khan 
Mangu was accustomed to avail himself of the opportunity fur- 
nished by the Christian, Mohammedan, and pagan festivals, to 
give entertainments. On these occasions the Nestorian priests 
first presented themselves in their clerical robes, offered up 
prayers for the khan, and pronounced a blessing over his cups ; 

* He says of Prester John, out of whom he makes a Nestorian priest, 
-who had raised himself to be king : " Les Nestoriens disaient de lui 
choses merveilleuses, mais beaucoup plus qu'il n'y avait en efl'et, car c'est 
la coutume des Nestoriens de ces pays Ik, de faire un grand bruit de peu 
de chose, ainsi qu'ils ont fait courir partout le bruit, que Sartach ^tait 
Chretien, aussi bien que Mangu-Cham et Ken-Cham, k cause seulement, 
qu'ils font plus d'honneur aux chr^tiens, qu'k tous les autres, toutefois il 
est tres-certain, qu'ils ne sont pas chr^tieps," See his report in the col- 
lection of Bergeron, T- I- c. 19. 

t L. c. p. 31, 60, 67, X L.C. C. 28, p. 60. 


next, the Mohammedan priests did the same ; last of all came 
the pagans,* by which, perhaps, we are to understand the 
Buddhist priests, for there are many indications that Buddhism 
had already spread into these r^ons — a thing, indeed, which 
might have taken place, even at a much earlier period, through 
missions and pilgrimages of the Buddhists, who were quite 
zealous in sprea^ng the doctrines of their religion, j" At this 
court he met with a poor weaver from Armenia, who called 
himself a monk,| and pretended before the people that he 
came from Palestine, in obedience to a special divine revela- 
tion. § By his sanctimonious airs, his quackery, and boasted 
wonder-working medicines, this person had contrived to ac- 
quire considerable influence and property at the court of the 
khan, especially among the women, [j In the city of Caraco- 
rum he saw twelve idol-temples belonging to different nations, 
two masques for Mohammedans, and one church. In this 
Mongol capital he distributed the sacrament of the Supper, oa 
Easter-Day, to a large number of Christians, who had met to- 
gether here from various countries, and were eager to enjoy 
fiiat means of grace of which they had long been deprived. 
To more than sixty persons, moreover, he administered bap- 
tism.^ After having resided for some time at the court, he 
requested of the great khan a decisive answer to the question, 
whether he might be permitted to remain in the country as a 
missionary, or whether he must return home. In consequence 
of this, on the Sunday before Whitsuntide of the year 1253, 
he was, in the name of the khan, closely questioned respecting 
the object for which he had come, by certain officers of the 
khan's court, among whom were to be found a few Saracens. 
After he had explained the reasons which had led him to 
extend his journey so far, he declared that the only object he 

* Rubruqais writes, c. 36, p. 78 : " Tant les nns que les aatres suivent 
sa cour, comme les mouches a miel font les fleurs, car il donne a tous et 
chacan lui desire toutes sortes de biens et de prospentes, croyant etre de 
ses plus particuliers amis." 

t Rubruquis says, c. 28, p. 60 : " Les pretres idolatres de ce pays 14 
portent de grands chapeaux ou coqueluchons jaunes et il y a entre eux 
aussi, ainsi que j"ai oui dire, certains hermites ou anachoretes, qui viv ■ 
dans les forets et les moutagnes, menant une vie tres-surprenante et austere." 
In ■which characters we cannot fail to recognize a Buddhist element. 

t L. c. c. 38. ^ L. c. c. 48, p. 133. 

i L. c. p. 102, 133. \ L. c. c. 42, p. 102. 


had in view was to preach the word of God to the Mongols, if 
they were willing to hear it. He was asked what word of God 
he proposed to preach to them ; for they supposed that by the 
word of God he meant certain predictions of good fortune, 
somewhat of the same sort with those with which many of the 
wandering ecclesiastics and priests were accustomed to flatter 
them. But he told them, " The word of God is this (Luke 
xii. 48), ' Unto whomsoever God has given much, of him 
shall much be required ; and unto whomsoever God has 
intrusted less, of him less shall be required ; and he to whom 
most is intrusted, is also loved most.' Now, on the khan God 
had bestowed the most ample abundance of good things ; for 
of all that greatness and might of which he was possessed, he 
was indebted for nothing to idols ; but for all to God, the 
creator of heaven and earth, who has all the kingdoms of the 
world in his hands, and, on account of men's sins, suffers them 
to pass over from one nation to another. Therefore, if the khan 
loved God, nothing would be wanting to him ; but, if he con- 
ducted himself otherwise, he might be sure that God would call 
him to a strict account for everything, even to the last penny." 
Here one of the Saracens asked, " Whether there was a man 
in the world who did not love God ? " " He who loves God," 
replied Rubruquis, " keeps his commandments ; and he who does 
not keep his commandments, does not love him." Upon this 
they asked him, " Whether he had ever been in heaven, so as 
to know what God's commandments are?" "No," said he, 
" but God has communicated them from heaven to men, who 
sought after that which is good ; and he himself came down 
from heaven for the purpose of teaching them to all men. In 
the sacred Scriptures we have all his words, and we find out 
by men's works whether they observe them or not." Upon 
this they put him the ensnaring question, " Whether he thought 
that Mangukhan kept God's commandments, or not ? " But 
he adroitly evaded the dilemma, contriving, while he said 
nothing but the truth, to avoid uttering a word which could 
be interpreted to the khan's disadvantage. " He wished," he 
said, " to lay before the khan himself, if he pleased, all the 
commandments of God ; and then he could judge for himself 
whether he kept them or not." The next dcay the khan de- 
clared that, whereas there were scattered among his subjects, 
Christians, Mohammedans, and worshippers of idols, and each 


•party held their own law to be the best ; therefore it was his 
pleasure that the advocates of the three religions should appear 
before him, and each hand in a written account of his law ; so 
that, by comparing them together, it might be determined 
which vras the best. " I thanked God," says Rubruquis,* " that 
it had pleased him to touch the khan's heart, and bring him 
to this good decision. And, since it is written that a servant of 
the Lord should be no brawler, but gentle, showing meekness 
to all men, and apt to teach ; therefore I replied, that I was 
ready to give an account of my Christian faith to any man who 
required it of me." In the religious conference which followed, 
Rubruquis showed immediately his great superiority to the 
Nestorians. The Nestorians proposed that they should com- 
mence the disputation with the ]Mohammedans ; but Rubruquis 
thought it would be much better to begin with the idolaters, 
inasmuch as the Christians agreed with the Mohammedans in 
the faith in one God, and could therefore, on this point, make 
common cause with them against the idolaters. Furthermore, 
it was the intention of the Nestorians to prove the doctrine 
of one God, against the idolaters, from Holy Writ ; but 
Rubruquis explained to them the impossibility of effecting 
anything in that way, for their opponents would deny the 
authority of the Scriptures, and would oppose to their testi- 
mony otlier authorities. As they had shown themselves so 
inexpert in these preliminary matters, it was agreed that he 
should speak first, and in case he were foiled in the argument, 
they should follow him up and endeavour to better it. On 
holy eve before Whitsuntide the disputation was held. The 
khan had previously caused it to be announced, that, on pe- 
nalty of death to the transgressor, neither party should dare to 
injure the other, or to excite disturbances. Three secretaries 
of the khan, a Christian, a Mohammedan, and an idolater, 
were to preside as umpires over the debate. 

Rubruquis endeavoured to prove, in opposition to the ido- 
laters, the necessity of recognizing one AJmighty God, the 
creator of all things. They, on the other hand, being ad- 
dicted to a certain dualism, wished to have the difficulty solved, 
how evil could possibly proceed from this one God. Ru- 
bruquis, however, refiised to be drawn into that question; 

♦ L. c. c. 45. 


"for," said he, " before men can enter into any discussion 
respecting the origin of evil, it would be necessary first to 
settle the question, What is evil ?" Thus he compelled them 
to return to the main point. As to the Mohammedans, they 
evaded the discussion, declaring that they held the law of the 
Christians, and all that the gospel teaches, to be true ; and as 
they acknowledged also one God, whom, in all their prayers, 
they besought to give them grace to die like the Christians, so 
they were not inclined to enter into any dispute with them. 
Perhaps the Mohammedans merely wished that it should not 
appear before the idolaters as if there were any dispute be- 
tween the worshippers of one God, and hence chose on the 
present occasion to lay stress on that alone which they held in 
common with the Christians. Perhaps Rubruquis put more 
into their reply than it really contained. 

He had already heard that the khan had determined to dis- 
miss him ; and in a second audience, on the festival of Whit- 
suntide, the decision was announced to him: — '"We, Mon- 
gols," said the khan to him at this interview, " believe there is 
but one God, by whom we live and die, and to whom our 
hearts are wholly directed." " God give you grace to do so," 
said Rubruquis, " for, without his grace, it cannot be done." 
When, by means of his interpreter, the khan gathered the 
sense of these words, as well as the former could express it, 
said he, "As God has given many fingers to the hand, so he 
has appointed different ways of salvation for man. To the 
Christians he has given the Holy Scriptures, but they do not 
strictly observe what is prescribed therein ; nor can they find 
it written there that one class should censure others." He asked 
Rubruquis whether he found that in the Scriptures. He said 
" No ;" and then added — " but I also told you, from tlie first, 
that I would enter into controversy with no man." The khan 
then proceeded : — " I say, God gave you the Holy Scriptures, 
whose commandments you do not keep ; but to us he has 
given our soothsayers :* we do whatsoever they prescribe to us, 
and live in peace with one another." The khan was careful 
to avoid entering into any farther conversation with Rubruquis, 
as the latter wished, on religion ; but simply made known to 

* A sort of people, who pretended to understand soothsaying, astrologj-, 
and magic, who were consulted on all aflairs of state, and directed all re- 
ligious lustrations 


hnn his command that he should now leave the country, for 
the purpose of conveying his answer to the letter of king Louis 
the Ninth. Rubruquis declared his readines to obey ; but at 
the same time be^ed that he might be permitted, after 
having delivered the letters, to return ; especially, as in the 
city of Bolak there were many of his subjects and servants 
who spoke the French language, and who were in want of 
priests to preach to them, and also to impart to them and to 
their children the sacraments according to the principles of 
their religion, and he would be glad to settle among them. 
The khan, avoiding a direct reply to this request, proposed a 
querj'. He asked Rubruquis if he felt certain then that his 
king intended to send him back again. To this Rubruquis 
replied, that he did not know what the king's will might be ; 
but he had perfect liberty from him to go wherever he thought 
it necessary to preach the word of God, and it seemed to him 
there was an urgent need of his labours in these countries. 
The khan dismissed him, however, without a definite answer 
to his request, and silence here was tantamount to a refusal. 
Rubruquis concludes his account of this final interview with 
the remark, '• I thought that, had my God bestowed on me 
the gift to work such miracles as Moses did, I might perhaps 
have converted the great khan." 

By these Mongols two great empires were founded, where 
their government must have had an important influence on the 
situation of the Christian church. One was the empire founded 
by the khan's brother, Hulagu, after the year 1258, in Persia ; 
the other, the principal Mongol empire in China. Within 
the former, indeed, was the original seat of the Nestorian 
church, where it had already been feivoured by the Moham- 
medans. The new conqueror was induced by his wife, a 
Nestorian Christian, to favour Christianity still more. Besides, 
there were matrimonial alliances of the succeeding princes, 
with the families of the Byzantine emperors, and political 
interests which brought them into relation witli the European 
princes ; and they were sometimes led thereby to represent 
themselves as still more inclined to Christianity than was reaUy 
the case. The popes, down to the close of the present period, 
availed themselves of the opportunity famished by these rela- 
tions to send monks as missionaries to Persia ; but the favour 
thus shown to Christianity excited a jealousy so much the 


more violent on the part of the Mohammedan class of tlie 
people, and a contest arose between them and the Christian 
party which terminated in a complete victory on the side of 
the former, and violent persecutions of Christianity. 

As it regards the principal empire of the Mongols in China, 
it is to be remarked that the religion of this people here ob- 
tained for the first time a determinate shaping, in the form of 
Lamaism, the creation of a hierarchy which sprang out of 
Buddhism. The Mongols could not withstand the influence 
of the elements of culture already existing in that country. 
Koblaikhan, the founder of this empire, distinguished himself 
above the earlier Mongol princes as a friend of education. In 
religion, he seems to have fallen in with a certain eclectic 
tendency. He had a respect for all religious institutions, and 
especially for Christianity, though he was very far from being 
himself a Christian. 

His court was visited by two merchants belonging to the 
Venetian family of the Poll : they were favourably received, 
and resided with him for some time. He finally sent them 
back to Europe, in company with a man of his own court, 
with a commission to procure for him, from the pope, a hun- 
dred learned men, who should be well instructed in Christi- 
anity ; but their return from Rome was delayed by the two 
years' vacancy which befel the papal chair in 1272. Gre- 
gory the Tenth having been elected pope in 1274, sent 
them back to China with two learned Dominicans ; and one 
of the two Venetians took with him his son Marcus, then fif- 
teen years old. The young man made himself accurately 
acquainted with the languages and customs of those nations : 
he gained the particular favour of Koblaikhan, was employed 
by him on various occasions, and, after his return in 1295,* 
composed his account of these regions, from which we obtain 
our best knowledge respecting the state of Christianity in the 
same. A person who professed to be a Christian (probably 
after the Nestorian fashion) had rebelled against Koblaikhan. 
He mounted the cross on his banner, and moreover employed 
several Christians in his service. The Jews and Saracens in 
the army of Koblaikhan took occasion from this, after that 
rebel had been conquered, to attack Christianity. "Here," 

♦ De regionibus orientalibus, libri III. 


said they, "is seen the weakness of Christ: he could not 
procure his friends the victory." But Koblaikhan, when the 
Christians complained to him of these reflections, took their 
part. "It is true," said he, " the rebel did look for aid to 
the Christian's God; but He, being a good and righteous 
God, would not uphold wickedness." And he forbade, for 
the future, all such calumnious remarks on the God of the 
Christians, and on the cross.* 

At the close of the thirteenth century, and in the b^inning 
of the fourteenth, a man laboured in these districts, in whom 
we recognize the pattern of a true missionary, — the Francis- 
can John de Monte Corvino. He seems to have appeared 
first in Persia, in the city of Tauris (Tabris). From Persia 
he travelled, in the year 1291, to Indiaf where he remained 
thirteen months. He was accompanied by the Dominican 
Nicholas de Pistorio, who died there. In different districts 
he succeeded in baptizing a hundred persons ; and in the 
second letter which he wrote to Europe, he declared it as his 
belief, that " great results might be expected to follow the 
preaching of the gospel in those regions, if substantial men of 
the order of the Dominicans or Franciscans would come there." 
From India he travelled to China ; and at length settled down 
in the capital and residence of the great khan, the city of 
Cambalu (Pekin). In two letters, written in the years 1305 
and 1306, he drew up, for the members of his order, a brief 
report of his adventures and labours. J During eleven years 
he had laboured entirely alone, when he was joined, in the 
year 1303, by Arnold, a Franciscan from Cologne. In addi- 
tion to other obstacles, he had to encounter much opposition 
from the Nestorians, who would not suffer any man to move 
a step if he refused to join their party. They invented many 
false charges against him, which were often the means of 
bringing him into great peril. He was frequently obliged to 
defend himself before the courts, till at length by one confes- 
sion, his innocence was clearly proved; and the khan (Kob- 
lai's successor, Timur-khan), provoked at his felse accusers, 

• See Marco Polo, lib. II. c, 6. 

t Regiones sunt pulcherrimap, plenae aromatibos et lapidibos pretiosls, 
sed de fructibus nostris parum habent. 

X First published in Wadding's Annali, T. VI. ; then in Mosbcim's 
Historia eccles. Tartaror 


punished them with banishment. He found that it was not in 
his power, indeed, to convert the Chinese emperor, to whom 
he brought a letter from the pope ; but still that potentate 
treated him with favour, and did the Christians many acts of 

This distinguished man, displaying the wisdom of a genuine 
missionary, spared no pains in giving the people the word of 
God in their own language, and in encouraging the education 
of the children, as well as training up missionaries from among 
the people themselves. He translated the New Testament 
and the Psalms into the Tartar language, had these transla- 
tions copied in the most beautiful style, and made use of them 
in preaching.f He purchased, one at a time, a hundred and 
fifty boys, under the ages of seven and eleven, who were as 
yet utterly ignorant of any religion ; baptized them, gave 
them a Christian education, and taught them Latin, Greek, 
and psalmody. Already during the first years of his residence 
in Cambalu, he was enabled to build a church, in which, with 
the assistance of those boys who had been trained up by him- 
self, he recited the liturgy, so that he could truly say, "I 
hold divine service with a troop of babes and sucklings."| In 
this church he set up six pictures, representing stories from 
the Old and New Testaments, together with explanatory re- 
marks in the Latin, Persian, and Tartar languages, for the 
instruction of the uneducated people.§ It gave him great 
satisfaction when he found it in his power to erect a second 
church in the vicinity of the emperor's palace. A rich and 
pious Christian merchant, whose acquaintance he had formed 
in Persia, Peter de Lucalongo, purchasedapieceof property on 
this site, and made him a present of it. This church, which he 
built in the year 1305, stood so near the walls of the palace, j] 
that the emperor in his private cabinet could hear the church 

♦ Qui tamen nimis inveteratus est idolatria, sed malta beneficia praestat 

■j- Quae feci scribi in pulcherrima litera eorum, et scribo et lego et 
praedico in patenti et manifesto testimonium legis Christi. 

I Cum conventu infantium et lactentium divinum officium facio. 
Practice had to supply the place of a breviary provided with notes. Et 
secundum usum cantamus, quia notatum officium non babemus. 

§ Ad doctrinam rudium, ut omnes linguae legere valeant. 
I Inter curiam et locum nostrum via sola est, distans per jactum lapidis 
a porta Domini Chamis. 


psalmody ; * and the emperor took great delight in the singing 
of children. Monte Corvino now divided the boys between 
the two churches. He had during his residence in this place 
baptized from five to six thousand ; and he believed that, had 
it not been for the many plots laid against him by the Nesto- 
rians, he would have succeeded in baptizing above thirty thou- 
sand. In the first years of his residence in that place, he 
met with a certain prince, George, a descendant of the priest- 
kings. This person was persuaded by him to pass over 
from the Nestorian to the Catholic church. He conferred on 
him the inferior ecclesiastical consecration ; after which the 
prince assisted him, dressed in his royal robes, in performing 
divine worship. This prince had induced a large portion of 
his people to embrace the faith of the Catholic church, had 
buUt a magnificent church, and caused it to be called after a 
Roman nanie. It had also been his intention to translate the 
whole Roman liturgy into the language of his people, and 
introduce it into his church ; but he died in the year 1299, 
too early to accomplish his design. He left behind him a son, 
still lying in the cradle. This son was baptized by Monte 
Corvino, who, as his god-father, called him after his own 
name, John. 

But the Nestorians now succeeded in once more obtaining 
the mastery in this coimtry ; and all that had been done by 
Monte Corvino in the interest of the Catholic church fell to 
the ground. " Being alone," he wrote, " and not permitted 
to leave the emperor, it was out of my power to ^^sit churches 
situated at a distance of twenty-days journey ; nevertheless, if 
a few good helpers and fellow-labourers should come, I hope 
in God that all our hopes Avill be made good, for I still retain 
the privilegium given me by the deceased king George." For 
two years he had access to the emperor's court, and, as papal 
legate, was more honoured by him than any other ecclesiastic."!' 
He was con\Tnced, that with two or three more assistants to 
stand by him, he might have succeeded in baptizing tlie em- 

* In camera sna potest andire voces nostras, et hoc mirabile factum 
longe lateqac divulgatnm est inter gentes et pro magno erit, sicut disponet 
et adimpleoit divina dementia. 

t Ego habeo in curia sua locum et viam ordinariam intrandi et sedendi 
sicnt tegatos Domini Papae, et honorat me super omnes alios prslatos, 
qnoconqoe nomine censeatur." 


peror himself. In his two letters he urgently begged for such 
assistants, but they should be brethren, who would seek to 
stand forth as examples, and not to make broad their phylac- 
teries. Matthew xxiii. 5. " I am already become old,", 
says he in one of those letters, " but I have grown grey by 
labours and hardships, rather than by the number of my years, 
for I have lived but fifty-eight years." The pope made this 
excellent man archbishop of Cambalu, and sent seven other 
Franciscans to assist him in his labours. 

The crusades promoted intercourse between the East and 
the West, but the connection thus brought about between the 
Mohammedan and Christian races was not of such a kind as 
to prepare the way for the exertion of any religious influence 
on the former ; although that which Mohammedanism had 
already borrowed from Judaism and Christianity, as well as 
the intrinsic contradictions contained within itself, might have 
furnished the means and occasions for such an influence. More- 
over, the vicious lives of a large portion of those who were led 
to the East by the crusades, were but poorly calculated to pro- 
duce on Mohammedans a favourable impression of the religion 
which these men professed. But it is apparent from indi- 
vidual examples, how much might have been effected here by 
the gospel, if it had been preached with Christian enthusiasm, 
and illustrated by holy living. When a Christian army, in 
the year 1219, was besieging the city of Damietta (not far 
from the present Damietta),* in Egypt, Francis of Assisif 
stood forth in that army as a preacher of repentance, and from 
thence he was impelled by his burning zeal to go over to the 
Mohammedan army, which had arrived for the relief of the 
city. He was dragged as a captive before Malek al Kamel, 
the sultan of Egypt. The sultan, however, received him 
with respect, allowed him to preach several successive days 
before himself and his officers, and heard him with great at- 
tention. He then sent him back, in the most honourable 
manner, to the camp of the Franks, saying to him, as he took 
leave, " Pray for me, that God may enlighten me, and enable 
me to hold firmly to that religion which is most pleasing to 
him," This story we have from an eye-witness, Jacob 

♦ See Wilken's Geschichte der Kreuzztige, Bd, vi. p. 186. 
f Of whom we shall speak more at large farther on. 


de Vitr)',* bishop of Acco (Ptolemais, St. Jean d'Acre), in 
Palestine afterwards cardinal, who was then present in the 
army there assembled."!" In a letter written immediately after 
the capture of Damietta, in which he drew up for the regular 
canonicals of Liege, to which order he once belonged, a report 
of that important event, he gives at the same time this account 

* a Vitriaca 

■j- See his Historia occidentalis, c 32. Bonaventara, in his life of St 
Francis, relates that, in the thirteenth year after his conversion, which 
■would coincide very nearly with the time mentioned in the text, Francis 
went to Syria, for the purpose of visiting the sultan or Babylon, not fear- 
ing the danger, although at that time the price of a gold Byzantine was 
set upon the head of every Christian. When he was led before the 
sultan, be spoke with such power, that the sultan was carried completely 
away by him, heard him with the greatest pleasure, and requested him to 
remain longer with him. Thereupon, Francis send to him, that if he and 
his people would embrace Christianity, he would gladly consent, from 
love of the Saviour his Master, to remain with him ; but if he could not 
consent to this, then he might order a large fire to be kindled ; into this 
he (Francis) would enter, along with the Mohammedan priests ; and so 
it would be determined by a judgment of God on which side the true 
faith wa« to be found. The sultan objected that none of Aig priests would 
be ready for that. Whereupon, Francis declared, if the sultan would 
promise him that he with his people would embrace Christianity in case 
he should come forth unharmed from the flames, he would enter the fire 
alone, though, should he be devoured by them, it must be ascribed to his 
sins ; but if the power of God delivered him, then they most recognize 
Christ as their Grod and Saviour. The saltan declared he could not 
venture to accept such a proposal for fear of an uproar amongst the 
people. He offered Francis, however, many presents, and upon his 
declining to receive them, requested him to distribute them, for the 
salvation of the donor's soul, amongst the Christian poor and the 
churches ; but he refused to take them even for this purpose. Something 
similar is related also by the disciple of Francis, Thomas de Celano, in 
his Life of St Francis, s. 57. Acta Sanctor. Mens. Octob. T. II. f. 699. 
It is hardly to be doubted, that the same event is here alluded to which 
Jacob de Vitry relates, the scene only being transferred from Egypt to 
Syria, and in place of the sultan of Egypt the Sultan of Babylon intro- 
duced, by which doubtless is meant the saltan of Damascus, Malek al 
Moaddhem Isa, a fierce enemy of the Christians ; which substitution of 
persons might the more easily occur, because that sultan also had been to 
Egypt The more simple and exact account of the eye-witness is cer- 
tainly the most trustworthy. The two others, enthusiastic admirers of 
St Francis, followed more exaggerated and inaccurate legends. The 
appeal to a judgment of God is undoubtedly in the spirit of Francis, and 
the sultan might perhaps have returned such an answer to it. At all 
events, the agreement of the three accounts in the essential point, vouches 
for the truth of the feet lying at bottom. 



of the labours of Francis.* He also states, as an eye-witness, 
that the Mohammedans gladly listened to missionaries of the 
Franciscan order, when they spoke of the Christian faith, as 
long as they refrained from reviling Mohammed as a false pro- 
phet. But no sooner did they fall into such abuse than they 
exposed themselves to be severely treated, and even to lose 
their lives, and were driven away.j Had they, then, united to 
their glowing zeal a prudent spirit ; had they been able to ab- 
stain awhile longer from rash polemical disputes ; their preach- 
ing would perhaps have been followed with happier results. 

Among the rare phenomena in the history of missions, may 
be reckoned the combination of a scientific spirit with earnest 
zeal for the cause of Christ ; the appropriation of science as a 
means for promoting the spread of the gospel, as an instrument 
for attacking, on its own chosen grounds, some other form of 
culture standing in hostility to Christianity. The example of 
the great Alexandrian church-teachers, who had in this way 
done so much for the overthrow of that Hellenic culture which 
furnished a prop for paganism, was forgotten or remained 
imnoticed ; nor was there any call for this method among 
rude tribes, where it could find no application. But there 
could be no question about the advantage of employing it for 
the promotion of missions in those parts where Christianity, in 
order to find entrance into the minds of a people, must first 
enter into the contest with some existing culture closely in- 
woven with a hostile system of religion. We close this history 
of missions with an account of the labour of an extraordinary 
individual who, by employing a method of this kind, takes a 
prominent and peculiar place among the missionaries of this 

* Epistola Jacobi Acconensis episcopi missa ad religiosos, familiares et 
notQs suos in Lotharingia existentes, de captione Damiatse. Here he at 
last says of Francis : " Cum venisset ad exercitiim nostrum, zelo fidei 
accensus, ad exercitum hostium nostrorum ire non timuit et cum multis 
diebus Saracenis verbum Domini prasdicasset, et cum parum profecisset, 
tunc Soldanus Rex Mgypti ab eo in secreto petiit, ut pro se Domino sup- 
plicaret, quatenus religioni, qua3 magis Deo placeret, divinitus inspiratus 
adhcDreret." Vid. Gesta Dei per Francos, ed. Bongars. T. II. f. 1149. 

t The words of J. de Vitry in the Hist. Occident. I.e.: " Saraceni autem 
omnes fratres minores tarn diu de Christi fide et evangelica doctrina prse- 
dicantes libenter audiunt, quousque Mahometo,tanquam mendacietperfido, 
praidicatione sua manifeste contradicunt. Ex tunc autem eos impie 
verberantes, et nisi Dens mirabiliter protegeret psene trucidantes, de civi- 
tatibos suis expellunt." 


period, and constitutes an epoch in the history of missions 
generally,^ — a man distinguished for combining, though he 
may not have conciliated into harmonious union, moral and 
intellectual traits very different in their kind, and seldom 
meeting together in the same person ; we mean Eaj-mund 
Lull, who was born in the island of Majorca in 1236. 

Until the age of thirty, he had lived wholly to the world. 
A stranger to all higher aspirations, he resided at the court of 
the king of the Balearian islands, where he occupied the post 
of seneschal. Even after his marriage he continued to pursue 
pleasures not altogether consistent vnth conjugal fidelity ; and 
the theme of his poetical compositions was sensual love. But 
that feeling of Christian piety which, as it moved his age and 
the people among whom he lived, had been instilled also by 
education into his early affections, and that not without suc- 
cess, brought on a reaction against the hitherto-governing 
principle of his life. One night, whilst sitting by his bed, 
occupied in composing a love-sonnet, the image of Christ on 
the cross all at once presented itself before his eyes. It made 
so powerful an impression on him, that he could write no 
farther. At another time, when he attempted to resume his 
pen, the same image reappeared, and he was obliged to desist, 
as before.* Day and night this image floated before his fancy ; 
nor could he find any means of resisting the impression it 
made on him. Finally, he looked upon these ^^sions as sent 
for the purpose of warning him to retire from the world, and 
to consecrate himself wholly to the service of Christ ; but 
now the question occurred to him, " How can I possibly make 
the change from the impure life I have led to so holy a 
calling ?" This thought kept him awake whole nights. At 

* We here follow the treatise relating to a portion of the Life of Ray 
mand Lull, which was composed while Lull was still liTing. by a man 
who, as it seems, was accurately acquainted with his subject, perhaps the 
companion of his missionary journeys, published in the Actis Sanctorum, 
at the 31st of June ; Mens. Jun. T. V. f. 661. More recent accounts (see 
Wadding's Annales Franciscan. T. IV. an. 1275. § 4) state, that an unfor- 
tunate love-afiFair with a lady who was married, and suffering under a 
cancerous afl'ection, was the first occasion of the change in his religions 
feelings. As, however, the trustworthy narrative of the unknown writ» 
just referred to mentions nothing of the kind, and vre do not know from 
what source this account was derived, it remains, to say the least 



last, said he to himself, " Christ is so gentle, so patient, so 
compassionate ; — he invites all sinners to himself; therefore 
he will not reject me, notwithstanding all my sins." Thus he 
became convinced it was God's will that he should forsake 
the world and consecrate himself, with his whole heart, to the 
service of Christ. When this new life, this life animated by 
the love of God and the Saviour, began to dawn within him, 
from that moment he was conscious, for the first time, of a 
new elevation imparted to his whole being. The latent powers 
of this extraordinary mind, now first stirred in its depths, powers 
which had hitherto lain dormant, began to discover themselves. 
The man of warm and excitable feelings, of quick and lively 
imagination, could now find pleasure in the dry forms of logic ; 
but we must allow that this fertile imagination could bring so 
much the more meaning into those empty logical forms. And 
all, in his case, proceeded from that one religious idea, which 
from this time forward actuated his whole life, gave direction 
to all his plans, and by which the most heterogeneous aims 
and endeavours were united together. 

Being now resolved to consecrate himself entirely to the 
service of the Lord, he next pondered upon the best method of 
carrying this resolution into effect ; and he came to a settled 
conviction that to the Lord Christ no work of his could be 
more acceptable than that of devoting himself to the preaching 
of the gospel ; in doing which his thoughts were directed 
particularly to the Saracens, whom the crusaders had attempted 
in vain to subdue by the sword. But now a great difficulty 
arose : how could he, an ignorant layman, be fit for such a 
work ? While perplexed in labouring to resolve this difficulty, 
the thought suddenly occurred to him, that he might write a 
book serving to demonstrate the truth of Christianity in op- 
position to all the errors of the infidels ; and with this thought 
was afterwards connected the idea of a universal system of 
science. The whole suggestion rose up with such strength in 
his soul that he felt constrained to recognize it as a divine call. 
Nevertheless, he reasoned with himself, even supposing he 
were able to write such a book, of what use would it be to the 
Saracens, who understood nothing but Arabic? Thus the 
project began already to unfold itself in his mind, of applying 
to the pope and to the monarchs of Christendom, calling upon 
them to establish in certain monasteries foundations for study- 


ing and acquiring the Arabic tongue, as well as other languages, 
spoken amongst infidel nations. From such establishments 
missionaries might go forth to all regions. Thus he came 
upon the idea of founding linguistic schools for missionary- 
purposes. The day after these thoughts occurred to him, and 
took so deep hold of his mind, he repaired to a neighbouring 
church, where with warm tears he besought the Lord, that he, 
who by his own Spirit had inspired these three thoughts within 
him, would now lead him on to the execution of the contem- 
plated work in defence of Christianity, to the establishing of 
those schools for missions and the study of the languages, and 
finally to the entire dedication of his life to the cause of the 
Lord. This took place in the beginning of the month of July ; 
but it was not all at once that this new and higher direction of 
life could gain the absolute ascendancy in his soul. Old habits 
were still too strong ; and so it happened that, during the 
space of three months, Raymund Lull ceased to occupy him- 
self any longer with these thoughts, upon which he had so 
eagerly seized at first. Then came the fourth of October, 
dedicated to the memory of St. Francis ; and in the Franciscan 
church at Majorca he heard a bishop preach on St. Francis's 
renunciation of the world. By this sermon his holy resolutions 
were again called to mind. He resolved to follow at once the 
example of St. Francis. Selling his property, of which he 
retained only as much as sufficed for the support of his wife 
and children, he gave himself up wholly to the Lord Christ, 
and left his home with the intention of never returning back 
to it. His next step was to make pilgrimages to several • 
churches then standing in high consideration, for the purpose 
of imploring God's blessing, and the intercession of the saints, 
that he might be enabled to carry out the three thoughts 
which had been suggested to him in so remarkable a manner. 

He now proposed going to Paris, for the purpose of 
qualifying himself by a course of scientific studies for the 
accomplishment of his plans ; but through the influence of his 
kinsmen and friends, particularly of that fiimous canonist, the 
Dominican Raymund de Pennaforte, he was dissuaded from 
this project. Remaining therefore in Majorca, he there b^au 
his studies, having first exchanged the rich attire belonging to 
his former station in life, for a coarser dress. Purchasing a 
Saracen slave, he made him his instructor in Arabic ; and we 

86 lull's scientific defence of CHRISTIANITY. 

cannot but admire the energy and resolution of the man, who, 
after having spent so many years of his life in society and 
pursuits of so entirely diiferent a nature, and certainly never 
applied the powers of his mind to severe thought, could throw 
himself, at so late a period, into the midst of the driest dialec- 
tical studies, and even take delight in them. 

At first, Raymund Lull diligently employed himself in 
tracing the leading outlines of a universal formal science. 
This was his Ars major, or generalis, designed as the pre- 
paratory work to a strictly scientific demonstration of all the 
truths of Christianity. We perceive in it, how the religious, 
and especially the apologetical, interest gave direction to all 
his thoughts, and how closely he kept his eye fixed on this one 
object, even when moving in the driest tracts of formalism. 
He was for founding a science, by means of which Christianity 
might be demonstrated with strict necessity, so that every 
reasonable mind would be forced to admit its truth. Perhaps 
he might be flattering himself that a certain means would thus 
be secured for converting all unbelievers, particularly those 
whom he chiefly had in view, the Mohammedans, who were 
wrapped up in the prejudices of their Arabian philosophy. 
" If he but succeeded," he thought, " in refuting all their 
objections to Christianity, then, since they would not be able 
to refute the arguments which he could bring in defence of 
Christian truth, their learned men and sages must of necessity 
embrace Christianity."* 

There were two parties, against whom, from the vantage- 
ground of his much-promising science, he zealously contended : 
on the one side, against those who looked upon such a science as 
derogatory to faith, which by the very act of renouncing every 
attempt to comprehend, preserved its self-denying character 
and had its merit ;| on the other, against those who, perverted 

* In the Introductio to the Necessaria demonstratio articulorum fidei, 
he says : " Rogat Raymundus religiosos et scculares sapientes, ut videant, 
si rationes, quas ipse facit contra Saracenos approbaudo fidem Catholicam 
habeant veritatem, quia si forte aliquis solveret rationes, qu!E per Sarace- 
nos contra fidem Catholicam opponuntur, cum tameu ipsi rationes, quse 
fiunt pro eadem, solvere non valerent, fortificati Saraceni valde literati et 
sapifntes se facerent Christianos." 

f Dicunt, quod fides non habet meritum, cnjus humana ratio prsbet 
experimentum et ideo dicunt, quod non est bonum, probare fidem, ut non 
amittatur meritum. Asserentes autera ista et dogmatizantcs, quauquam 


by the influence of a sceptically inclined Arabian philosophy, 
took advantage of the supposed opposition between philoso- 
phical and theological truth, and while they hypocritically 
pretended that reason was led captive to obedience of the faith, 
propagated their dogmas, which were opposed to Christianity 
and to the doctrine of the church, as philosophical truth. He 
maintained against such, that although faith proceeded first 
from a practical root, firom the bent of will towards the things 
of God, and although what was thus appropriated became a 
source of nourishment and strength to the heart ;* yet, having 
this &ith. Christians were then required to soar by means of 
it to a loftier position, so as to attain a knowledge of the solid 
groundwork, the necessary truths, upon which faith reposes ; 
so that, what had been at first only a source of nourishment 
to the heart, would then prove a source of nourishment also to 
the inteUect.f The intellect would always be accompanied in 
its investigations by faith ; strengthened by that, and em- 
boldened to attempt higher flights, it would continually mount 
upward, while faith would keep equal step, and ever make 
increase with the advance of knowledge.} It is remarkable 
that two men of so different a stamp, and both so original, 
Abelard,§ the man of sober miderstanding in the twelfth cen- 
tury, and Raymund Lull, who combined logical acumen with 
a profound mysticism and the warm glow of religious sentiment, 
in the thirteenth century, should in like manner defend the 
position of science over against that of faith standing alone. 
In LuU, however, it was the enthusiastic hope of finding a 
method of argumentation suited to convince all unbelievers of 
the truth of Christianity, which constituted the moving spring 
of his philosophical inquiries. 

As he believed it was by a divine suggestion he was first 

magnog se reputent, et quod pejus est ab aliis reputentur, ostendant se 
manifestisfiime ignorantes. 

* Ipsa fides, quae volontatis firmiter earn credentium erat pabulum et 

+ Fides fundameuta, quibns innititur, necessarias scilicet rationes, 
ministrabit iisdem, ut sint eorum pabulum intellectus. 

X Ipsa fides intellectum in se ipsa fundans eumqne investigando continue 
concomitans et eonfortans supra intellectus vires et potentiam excaudescit, 
quia fatigari nesciens semper nititur intensins et altins ad credendum, 
propter quod fides in altios erigitur et meritum credentium ampliator. 

§ See regarding him on a future page. 


impelled to search after a method capable of guiding all to" a 
conviction of the truth of Christianity ; so it was in the 
solemn hour of devotion that the light first burst in upon him, 
and disclosed the way in which he might conduct his search 
with success. He had retired, for eight days, to a mountain, 
in order that he might there devote himself without disturbance 
to prayer and meditation. While he was in this solitude, the 
idea of the above-mentioned Ars generalis burst all at once in 
a clear light upon his soul. Leaving the mountain, he repaired 
to another spot, and drew out a sketch of the work according 
to that idea, which he looked upon as a divine revelation. 
After this, he returned to the mountain ; and on the spot 
where the light first broke in upon his mind, settled himself 
down as an anchorite, spending about four months there, 
praying to God night and day, that he would employ him, 
together with the Ars generalis which had there been revealed 
to him, for his own glory and for the advancement of his 
kingdom. He published his discovery at Montpelier and at 
Paris ; he delivered lectures on the Ars generalis ; he trans- 
lated the work himself into Arabic. His labours in this way 
extended through a period of nine years. Next, in the year 
1275, he prevailed on Jacob, king of the islands Majorca and 
Minorca, to found on the former of these islands a monastery 
for the express purpose of constantly supporting in it thirteen 
Franciscan monks who were to be instructed in the Arabic 
language, with a view to labour as missionaries amongst the 
Saracens. In 1286 he went to Rome, for the purpose of per- 
suading pope Honorius the Fourth to approve his plan of 
establishing such missionary schools in the monasteries every- 
where ; but when he arrived, that pope was no longer living, 
and the papal chair was vacant. A second visit to Rome on 
the same errand was attended with no better success. 

Finding that he could not establish, as he wished, a plan of 
united effort for the promotion of this holy enterprise, he now 
felt constrained to embark in it by himself, and proceed wholly 
alone, as a missionary among the infidels. . For this purpose 
he repaired, in the year 1287, to Genoa, and engaged his pas- 
sage in a ship bound to North Africa. As a great deal had 
already been heard about the remarkable change which Ray- 
mund Lull had experienced, about his ardent zeal to effect the 
conversion of the infidels, and about the new method of con- 


version \»hich, in his own opinion, promised such magnificent 
results ; so his project, when it became known in Genoa, 
excited g^eat expectations. The ship in which Raymund was 
to embark, lay ready for the voyage, and his books had been 
conveyed on board, when his glowing imagination pictured 
before him, in such lively and terrible colours, the fete which 
awaited him among the Mohammedans, whether it was to be 
death by torture or life-long imprisonment, that he could not 
summon courage enough to go on board. But no sooner had 
this passed over, than he was visited with remorseful pangs of 
concience, to think that he should prove recreant to the holy 
purpose with which God had inspired him, and occasion such 
scandal to believers in Genoa; and a severe fit of fever was 
the consequence of these inward conflicts. While in this state 
of bodily and mental suffering, he happened to hear of a ship 
lying in port, which was on the point of starting on a voyage 
to Tunis ; and though in a condition seemingly nearer to death 
than to Ufe, he caused himself to be conveyed on board with 
his books. His friends, however, believing he could not 
possibly stand out the voyage in such a condition, and fuU of 
anxiety, insisted on his being brought back ; but he grew no 
better, for the cause of his Ulness was mentcd. Some time 
afterwards, hearing of another ship bound to Tunis, nothing 
could hinder him now from taking measures to be conveyed on 
board ; and no sooner had the ship got to sea, than he felt 
himself relieved of the heavy burden which oppressed his con- 
science ; the peace he formerly enjoyed once more returned ;* 
for he found himself in his proper element. He was engaged 
in fulfilling the duty, which he recognized as obligatory on 
him by the divine calling. "With the health of his soul, that 
of the body was soon restored ; and to the astonishment of all 
his fellow-passengers, he felt himself, after a few days, as well 
as he had ever been in any former part of his life. 

Eaymund arrived at Tunis near the close of the year 1291 
or the beginning of the year 1292, and immediately inviting 
together the learned scholars among the Mohammedans, ex- 
plained to them how he had come for the purpose of instituting 

* The uukuown author of Lis Life finely remarks : " Sospitatem con- 
scientiae, quam sub nubilatione supradicta se crediderat amisisse, subito 
Isetus in Domino Saneti Spiritus illnstratione misericordi recuperavit niii> 
cam sui corporis langoidi so^pitate." 


a comparison between Christianity, of which he possessed an 
accurate knowledge, as well as of all the arguments employed to 
defend it, and Mohammedanism ; and if he found the reasons 
to be stronger on the side of the doctrines of Mohammed, he 
was ready to embrace them. The learned Mohammedans now 
came around him in constantly increasing numbers, hoping 
that they should be able to convert him to Mohammedanism. 
After he had endeavoured to refute the arguments which they 
brought forward in defence of their religion, said he to them, 
" Every wise man must acknowledge that to be the true reli- 
gion which ascribes to God the greatest perfection, which 
gives the most befitting conception of each single divine attri- 
bute, and which most fully demonstrates the equality and 
harmony subsisting among them all." He then sought to 
prove that without the doctrine of the trinity, and of the incar- 
nation of the Son of God, men cannot understand the per- 
fection of God, and the harmony between his attributes.* 
Thus he would prove to them that Christianity is the only 
religion conformable to reason. 

One of the learned Saracens, more fanatically disposed than 
the rest, directed the attention of the king to the danger threat- 
ened to the Mohammedan faith by Raymund's zeal for making 
converts ; and proposed that he should be punished with death. 
Raymund was thrown into prison ; and already it was deter- 
mined that he should be put to death, when one of their learned 
men, possessed of fewer prejudices and more wisdom than the 
others, interceded in his behalf. Ht 'ooke of the respect due 
to the intellectual ability of the stranger, and remarked, that 
" as they would praise the zeal of a Mohammedan who should 
go among the Christians for the purpose of converting them to 
the true faith ; so they could not but honour in a Christian, the 
same zeal for the spread of that religion which appeared to 
him to be the true one." These representations had their 
effect so far as to save Raymund's life ; and he was only con- 
demned to banishment from the country. On leaving the 
prison, he was obliged to endure many insults from the fanati- 
cal populace. He was then placed on board the same Genoese 
vessel in which he had arrived, and which was now about tc 

* The arguments by which he supposed that he had demonstrated this, 
■we cannot stop to explain till we come to the section which treats of 


depart ; and at the same time he was informed, that if he ever 
let himself be seen again in the territory of Tunis, he should 
be stoned to death. As he hoped, however, by persevering 
efforts to succeed in converting many of the learned Saracens 
with whom he had disputed ; he could not prevail upon himself, 
with the earnest desire he felt for their salvation, to abandon 
this hope quite so soon. Life was not too dear to him to be sa- 
crificed for such an object. Letting the vessel on board which 
he had been placed sail off without him, he transferred himself 
to another, finom which he sought a chance of getting into 
Tunis again imobserved. While remaining in this dangerous 
concealment in the harbour of Tunis, he enjoyed sufficient 
composure to labour on a work connected with his system 
of the Universal Science.* Having tarried here three months 
without effecting his main object, he finally sailed off with 
the vessel, and proceeded to Naples. Here he , loitered 
several years, delivering lectures on his new system ; till the 
feme of the pious anchorite, who had lately become pope un- 
der the name of Ccelestin the Fifth, inspired in him the hope of 
being able at length to carry into effect the plan for promoting 
missionary enterprises, on which his heart had so long been 
set. But Ccelestin's reign was too short to permit this ; and 
his successor, Bonifece the Eighth, possessed but little suscepti- 
bility to religious ideas and interests. 

During his residence at that time in Rome, in the year 1296, 
he composed the work previously mentioned, on page 86, in 
which he sought to show, how aU the truths of the Christian 
feith could be proved by incontestable arguments. In the con- 
cluding sentences of this work he expresses that enthusiastic 
zeal for the spread of the Christian £uth, which had moved 
him to compose it. " Let Christians," says he, " consumed 
with a burning love for the cause of &ith, but consider that, 
since nothing has power to withstand the truth, which by 
the strength of arguments is mighty over all things, they can, 
w ith God's help and by his might, bring back the infidels to 
tJhe way of fiuth ; so that the precious name of our Lord Jesus, 
which is in most regions of the world still unknown to the 

• In the month of September, 1292, he commenced writing, in the 
port of Tmiis, his Tabula generalis ad omnes scientias appUcabilis, as he 
himself states. See the Commentaiius prsevius to his life, in the Actis 
Sanct Mens. Jun. T. V. £ 645 

92 ratmund's labours in Europe. 

majority of men, may be proclaimed and adored ; and this way 
of converting infidels is easier than all others. For, to the 
infidels, it seems a difficult and dangerous thing to abandon 
their own belief for the sake of another ; but it will be im- 
possible for them not to abandon the faith which is proved to 
them to be false and self-contradictory, for the sake of that 
which is true and necessary." And he concludes with these 
words of exhortation : " With bowed knee and in all humility, 
we pray that all may be induced to adopt this method ; since 
of all methods for the conversion of infidels, and the recovery 
of the promised land, this is the easiest and the one most in 
accordance with Christian charity. As the weapons of the 
Spirit are far mightier than carnal weapons, so is this 
method of conversion far mightier than all others." It was on 
the holy eve before the festival of John the Baptist, that he 
wrote tlje above ; and hence he added : " As my book was 
finished on the vigils of John the Baptist, who was the herald 
of the light, and with his finger pointed to him who is the true 
light ; so may it please our Lord Jesus Christ to kindle a new 
light of the world, which may guide unbelievers to their con- 
version ; that they with us may go forth to meet the Lord Jesus 
Christ, to whom be honour and praise, world without end." 

Being repulsed at Rome, he endeavoured, for a series of 
years, to labour wherever an opportunity offered itself. He 
sought by arguments to convince the Saracens and Jews on 
the island of Majorca. He went to the isle of Cyprus, and 
from thence to Armenia, exerting himself to bring back the 
diff'erent schismatic parties of the Oriental church to ortho- 
doxy. All this he undertook by himself, attended only by a 
single companion, without ever being able to obtain the wished 
for support from the more powerful and influential men of the 
church. In the intervals, he delivered lectures on his system 
in Italian and French universities, and composed many new 

Between the years 1306 and 1307, he made another journey 
to North Africa, where he visited the city of Bugia, which 
was then the seat of the Mohammedan empire. He stood 
forth publicly, and proclaimed in the Arabic language, " that 

* U is to be regretted that only a small portion of his works has ever 
been published, and it is difficult to obtain much of what is published. 


Christianity is the only true reli^on ; the doctrine of Moham- 
med, on the contrary, feilse : and this, he was ready to prove 
to every one." A vast concourse of people collected around 
him, and he addressed the multitude in an exhortatory dis- 
course. Already many were about to lay hands on him, 
intending to stone him to death ; when the mufti, who heard of 
it, caused him to be torn away fix)m the multitude, and brought 
into his presence. The mufti asked him, how he could act so 
madly, as to stand forth publicly in opposition to the doctrines 
of Mohammed ; whether he was not aware that, by the laws of 
the land, he deserved the punishment of death ? Raymund re- 
plied : "A true servant of Christ, who has experienced the 
truth of the Catholic faith, ought not to be appalled by the 
fear of death, when he may lead souls to salvation." The 
mufti, who was a man well versed in the Arabian philosophy, 
then challenged him to produce liis proofs of Christianity as 
opposed to Mohammedanism. Then Raymund sought to 
convince him that, without the doctrine of the trinity, the self- 
sufficiency, the goodness and love of God, could not be rightly 
understood ; that if that doctrine be excluded, the Divine per- 
fections must be made to depend on that creation which had a 
beginning in time. The goodness of God caimot be conceived 
as inactive, said he ; but if you do not adopt the doctrine of 
the trinity you must say, that till the beginning of the creation 
God's goodness was inactive, and consequently was not so 
perfect.* To the essence of the highest good belongs self- 
communication ; but this can be understood as a perfect and 
eternal act only in the doctrine of the trinity. Upon this, he 
was thrown into a narrow dungeon ; the intercession of mer- 
chants from Genoa and Spain procured for him, it is true, 
some alleviation of his condition ; yet he remained a close 
prisoner for half a year. IMeanwhile, many attempts were 
made to convert him to Moslemism. The highest honours 
and g^eat riches were promised him, on condition that he 
would change his religion ; but to all these advances he re- 
plie«i : " And I promise you, if you will forsake this false 
religion, and believe in Jesus Christ, the greatest riches and 
everlasting life." It was finally agreed, at the proposal of 

* Ta dicis, quod Dens est perfecte boons ab sterno et in stemam, ergo 
non indiget mendicare et fecere bouum extra se. 

94 raymund's arrival ix pisa. 

Raymund, that a book should be written on both sides, in 
proof of the religion which each party professed, when it would 
appear evident, from the arguments adduced, which had gained 
the victory. While Eaymund was busily employed in com- 
posing such a work, a command was issued by the king, that 
he should be put on board a ship and sent out of the country.* 
The ship in which he sailed was cast away, in a violent 
storm, on the coast, not far from Pisa. Part of those on board 
jDerished in the waves ; Raymund, with his companion, was 
saved. He was received at Pisa with great honours, and, 
after having passed through so many hardships, he still conti- 
nued, although far advanced in years, to prosecute his literary 
labours with unremitted zeal. At the age of sixty, he toiled 
on with the enthusiasm of youth to secure the one object which, 
ever since his conversion, had formed the central aim of his 
whole life. He says of himself: — " I had a wife and children ; 
I was tolerably rich ; I led a secular life. All these things I 
cheerfully resigned for the sake of promoting the common 
good and diffusing abroad the holy faith. I learned Arabic ; 

* We have from Raymund himself a brief notice of these occurrences 
in the Liber, qui est disputatio Eaymundi Christian! et Hamar Saraceni ; 
at the end of which book it is stated that it was finished at Pisa, in tlie 
monastery of St. Dominick, in April, a.d. 1308. It was the Saracen 
Hamar, who, with several others, visited him in the dungeon at Bugia, 
and disputed with him concerning the advantages of Christianity and 
Mohammedanism. He says, near the close of this work, " Postquam 
Hamar Saracenus recesserat, Raymundus Christianus posuit in Arabico 
pnedictas rationes, et facto libro, misit episcopo Bugise (the person at tlie 
head of the Mohammedan cultus) rogando, ut sui sapientes viderent hunc 
librum, et ei responderent. Sed post paucos dies episcopus praecepit, 
quod praidictus Christianus ejiceretur e terra Bugia et in continenti Sara- 
ceni miserunt ipsum in quandam navem, tendentem Genuam, quae navis 
cum magna fortuna venit ante portum Pisauum et prope ipsum per decern 
milliaria fuit fracta et Christianus vix quasi nudus evasit et amisit omues 
suos libroset sua bona et ille existens Pisis recordatus fuit pradictarum 
rationum, quas habuit cum supradicto Saraceno et ex illis composuit hunc 
librum." He sent this book to the pope and the cardinals, that they might 
learn what arguments the Mohammedans employed to draw away Chris- 
tians from their faith. He laments to say, that by such arguments, and 
by the promise of riches and women, they win many to their religion. 
" Et quia Christian! uon eurant nee volunt auxilium dare Saracenis, qui 
se faciunt Christianos, inde est quod si unus Saracenus fit Christianus, 
decern Christian! et plures fiant Saraceni et de hoc habemus experimentum 
in regno jEgypti, de quo dicitur, quod tertia pars militia; Soldani fuerit 


I have several times gone abroad to preach the gospel to the 
Saracens ; I have, for the sake of the faith, been cast into 
prison and scourged ; I have laboured forty-five years to gain 
over the shepherds of the church and the princes of Europe to 
the common good of Christendom. Now I am old and poor, 
but still I am intent on the same object. I \vill persevere in 
it till death, if the Lord himself permits it." He sought to 
found, in Pisa and Genoa, a new order of spiritual knights, 
who should be ready, at a moment's warning, to go to war 
with the Saracens, and for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre. 
He succeeded in exciting an interest in favour of his plan, 
and in obtaining letters to pope Clement the Fifth, in which 
this matter was reconunended to the head of the church. 
Pious women and noblemen in Genoa offered to contribute the 
sum of thirty thousand guilders for this object. He proceeded 
with these letters to visit pope Clement v-*-. Fifth at Avignon ; 
but his plan met with no encouragement from that pontiff. 
He next appeared as a teacher at Paris, and attacked with 
great zeal the principles of the philosophy of Averroes, and 
the doctrine it taught respecting the opposition between theo- 
logical and philosophical truth.* Meanwhile, the time having 
arrived for the assembling of the general council of Vienne, 
A.D. 1311, he hoped there to find a favourable opportunity for 
carrying into effect the plan which for so long a time had oc- 
cupied his thoughts. Pie was intent on accomplishing three 
objects : first, the institution of those linguistic missionary 
schools, of which we have spoken on a former page ; secondly, 
the union of the several orders of spiritual knights in a single 
one, which would not rest till the promised land was reco- 
\ ered ; thirdly, a speedy adoption of successful measures for 
checking the progress of the principles of Averroes. To 
secure this latter object, men of suitable intellectual qualifica- 
tions should be invited to combat those principles, and he 
himself composed a new work for this purpose. The first he 
actually obtained from the poi)e. An ordinance was passed 
for the establishment of professorships of the Oriental lan- 
guages ; advising that, in order to promote the conversion of 

• His Lainentario sea expostalatio philosophia; s. duodecim principia 
philosophise, dedicated to the king of France, which he composed at Paris, 
in 1310, is directed against the Averroists. 


the Jews and the Saracens, professional chairs should be 
established for the Arabic, Chaldee, and Hebrew languages in 
all cities where the papal court resided, and also at the uni- 
versities of Paris, Oxford, and Salamanca. He now could not 
bear the thought of spending the close of his life at ease in his 
native land, to which he had returned for the last time. He 
desired nothing more than to offer up his life in the promulga- 
tion of the faith. Having spoken, in one of his works, of 
natural death, which he ascribed to the diminution of animal 
warmth, says he, " Thy servant would choose, if it please 
thee, not to die such a death : lie would prefer that his life 
should end in the glow of love, as thou didst, in love, 
offer up thy life for us."* "Thy servant," says he, "is 
ready to offer up himself, and to pour out his blood for thee. 
May it please thee, therefore, ere he comes to die, so to 
unite him to thyself that he, by meditation and love, may 
never be separated from thee." On the 14th of August, 
1314, he crossed over, once more, to Africa. Proceeding to 
Bugia, he laboured there, at first, secretly, in the small circle 
of those whom, during his last visit to that place, he had won 
over to Christianity. He sought to confirm their faith, and to 
advance them still farther in Christian knowledge. In this 
way he might no doubt have continued to labour quietly for 
some time, but he could not resist the longing after martyr- 
dom. He stood forth publicly, and declared that he was the 
same person whom they had once banished from the country, 
and exhorted the people, threatening them with divine judg- 
ments if they refused, to abjure Mohammedanism. He was 
fallen upon by the Saracens with the utmost fury. After 
having been severely handled, he was dragged out of the city, 
and, by the orders of the king, stoned to death. Merchants 
from Majorca obtained permission to extricate the body of 
their countryman from the heaps of stones under which it lay 
buried, and they conveyed it back, by ship, to their native 
land. The .30th of June, 1315, was the day of his martyrdom.f 

* The words of Eaymund, in his work De Contemplatione, c. cxxx. 
Distinct. 27, f. 299 : " Homines morientes praj senectute moriuntur per 
defectum caloris naturalis et per excessum fripoiis et ideo tuus servus et 
tuus subditus, si tibi placeret, non vellet mori tali mortc, imo vcUet mori 
prse amoris ardore, quia tu voluisti mori tali moite." 

f We cannot in this place go back to the reports ot conieftiporaries, 


We must now cast a glance at the relation of the dispersed 
Jews to the Christian church. 

As it r^ards the Jews, who were scattered in great num- 
bers in the West, it is to be remarked that the frequent 
oppressions, injuries, and persecutions which they had to suffer 
from the fanaticism and cupidity of so-called Christians, were 
not well calculated to op«i their minds to the preaching of the 
gospel ; though, through fear, and to escape the sufferings or 
the death with which they were threatened, they might be 
induced to submit to the form of baptism, and to put on the 
profession of Christianity.* Hermann, a monk of the twelfth 
century, from the monastery of Kappenberg, in "Westphalia, 
who himself had been converted from Judaism to Christianity, 
speaking, in the history which he has given of his own conver- 
sion, of the praiseworthy conduct of an ecclesiastic, from 
whom, when a Jew, he had met with kindly treatment, goes on 
to say — " Let those who read my account imitate this illus- 
trious example of love, and instead of despising and abhorring 
the Jews, as some are wont to do, let them, like genuine 
Christians, that is, followers of him who prayed for those 
that crucified him, go forth and meet them with brotherly 
love. For since, as our Saviour says, ' salvation cometh of 
the Jews ' (John iv. 22), and as the apostle Paul testifies, 
'through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles' 
(Romans xi. 11), it is a worthy return, and well pleasing to 
God, when Christians labour, so &r as it lies in their power, 
for the salvation of those from whom they have received the 
author of their salvation, Jesus Christ. And if they are bound 
to extend their love even to those from whom they suffer 
wrong, how much more bound are they to show it to those 
through whom the greatest of all blessings has been derived 
to them ? Let them, therefore, so fer as they can, cherish 

but in the latpr accounts are to be fonnd difFerences. According to one 
of them, he met his death in Tunis ; according to another, he first •went 
to Tunis, and afterwards proceeded to Bugia. If we may believe one 
account, the merchants, after having uncovered him from the heap of 
stones, fonnd a spark of life still remaining ; they succeeded in fanning 
this slumbering spark to the point of reanimation, but he died on board 
ship, when in sight of his native land. 

* In the first crusade, the Jews in Rouen were, without distinction of 
sex or age, barred up in a church, and all who refused to receive baptism 
murdered. See Guibert. Novigentens. de vita sua, 1. II. c. v. 


their love for this people, helping them in their distresses, and 
setting them an example of all well-doing, so as to win by their 
example those whom they cannot persuade by their words, for 
example is really more etfectual than words in producing con- 
viction. Let them, also, send up fervent prayers to the Father 
of mercies, if peradventure God may one day give that 
people repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, 2 
Timothy ii. 25." By means of the only business allowed to 
them, in their state of oppression, traffic and usury, they 
acquired great wealth ; thereby sometimes attaining to great 
influence, even with monarchs ; but this wealth also excited 
the cupidity of the great, and exposed them to be still more 
hated and persecuted.* The fanaticism awakened by the cru- 
sades was often directed against the Jews, as the domestic 
enemies of the Cross ; and hundreds, nay thousands, fell vic- 
tims to such animosity. Rumours became current against the 
Jews, of the same description as have prevailed at all times 
against religious sects persecuted by popular hatred ; as, for 
example, against the first Christians, who were charged with 
such crimes as flattered the credulous fanaticism of the popu- 
lace. It was said that they stole Christian children for their 
passover festival, and, after having crucified them with all 
imaginable tortures, used their entrails for magical purposes.f 
If a boy, especially near the time of the feast of Passover, 
was missed by his friends, or if the corpse of a boy, concerning 
whose death nothing certain was known, happened to be found, 
suspicion lighted at once upon the Jews of the district where 
the accident had occurred. Men could easily discover what 
they were intent on finding — marks of tlie tortures which 
had been inflicted on the sufferers. It might doubtless hap- 
pen, too, that enemies of the Jews, or those who gloated on 
their wealth, would disfigure the discovered bodies, in order to 

* The Jew introduced in Abelard's dialogue concerning tJie supreme 
good, inter philosophum, Judajum, et Christianum, observes, in drawing a 
lively picture of the wretched situation of the Jews : " Unde nobis proe- 
cipue superest lucrum, ut alienigenis foenerantes, hinc miseram susten- 
temus vitam, quod nos quidem maxime ipsis efBcit invidiosos, qui se in 
hoc plurimum arbitrantur gravatos." See this tract, published by Prof. 
Rheinwald, p. 11. 

t In the historical work of Matthew of Paris are to be found many 
stories relating to persecutions of the Jews, which had been provoked by 
the circulation of such fables. 


lend the more plausibility to the accusations brought against 
Jews. Hence a boy so found might sometimes be honoured 
by the people as a martyr, and become the hero of a won- 
derful story.* The mast extravagant of such tales might 
find credence in the existing tone of public sentiment, and 
seem to be confirmed by an investigation begun with prejudice 
and conducted in a tumultuary manner. If, at the commence- 
ment of such movements, wealthy Jews betook themselves to 
flight, when they foresaw, as they must have foreseen, the 
disastrous issue to themselves, this passed for evidence of their 
guilt and of the tnith of the rumours.f If twenty -five knights 
aflirmed, on their oath, that the arrested Jews were guilty of 
the abominable crime, this sufficed to set the matter beyond 
all doubt, and to authorize the sentence of death. J Whoever 
interceded in behalf of the unfortunate victims, exposed him- 
self by so doing to the popular hatred, which looked upon all 
such pity as suspicious. Thus, in the year 1256, pious Fran- 
ciscans in England, who were not to be deterred by the force of 
the prevailing delusion, ventured to take the part of certain Jews, 
accused of some such abominable crime, that were languishing 
in prison, and they succeeded in procuring their release and 
saving their lives ; but now these monks, who had acted in 
the spirit of Christian benevolence, were accused of having 
allowetl themselves to be bribed by money.§ Thus they lost 
the good opinion of the lower class of people, who ever after 
refuseil to give them alms.|| 

Tliese pious monks, and also the most influential men of 
the church, protested against such unchristian fanaticism. . 
"When the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux was rousing up the 

♦ See Matth. of Paris, at the year 1244. Ed. London, 1686, £ 567. 
In the case here in question, men were forced to allow, that five wounds 
could in nowise be made out in the corpse discovered. 

t See 1. c. 

X See the account given by the above-cited historian, at the year 1256, 
f. 792. 

§ The above historian, Matthew of Paris, otherwise a violent enemy 
of the mendicant monks, says, however, of this accusation : •• Ut perhibet 
mnndus, si mundo io tali casu credendum est." He himself only finds 
fault with the interposition of those Franciscans, since it is his opinion 
that those Jews had deserved death ; but he honours in the Franciscans 
their compassion, and their charitable hope that these Jews might still, 
sometime or other, be converted. || a.d. 1256, f. 792. 

H 2 


spirit of the nations to embark in the second crusade, and 
issued for this purpose, in the year 1146, his letter to the Ger- 
mans (East Franks), he at the same time warned them against 
the influence of those enthusiasts who called themselves mes- 
sengers of the Lord, and strove to inflame the fanaticism of 
the people. He called upon the Germans to follow the direc- 
tion of the apostle Paul, and not believe every spirit. He 
declaimed against the false zeal, without knowledge, which 
impelled them to murder the Jews, a people who ought not 
even to be banished from the country. He acknowledges 
their zeal for the cause of God ; but requires that it should 
ever be accompanied with correct knowledge.* " The Jews," 
says he, " are scattered among all nations as living memorials 
of Christ's passion, and of the divine judgment ; but there is 
a promise iaf their future universal restoration, Rom. xi. 26. 
Even where no Jews are to be found, usurious Christians, if 
such men deserve to be called Christians, and not rather bap- 
tized Jews, are a worse kind of Jews. How could the pro- 
mise concerning the future conversion of the Jews ever be 
fulfilled, if they were utterly exterminated ? " The same 
reasons, we must allow, ought to have persuaded men rather 
to send missionaries to the Mohammedan nations than to 
attack them with the sword ; and perhaps it may have 
occurred to Bernard himself, that this principle might be 
applied to the very crusade which he preached. To guard 
against any such application, he adds : " If the same thing 
could be expected also of other infidels, we ought certainly to 
bear with them, rather than to persecute them with the sword ; 
but as they were the fii'st to begin the M'ork of violence, so it 
becomes those who, not without cause, have taken up the 
sword, to repel force with force. But at the same time it be- 
fits Christian piety, while it strikes down the proud, to spare 
the humble (debellare superbos, parcere victis)." Such repre- 
sentations were especially needed in this excitable period ; but 
these words, written in the Latin language, could never reach 
the overheated popular mind. In these times there had started 
up, in the districts on the Rhine, a ferocious enthusiast, the 
monk Radulf (Rudolph), who, representing himself as a called 

* Ep. 363. Audivimus et gaudemus, utinvobis ferveat zelus Dei, 
sed oportet omnino temperamentum scientise non deesse. 

Rudolph's fanaticism put down by Bernard. 101 

prophet of the Lord, preached, along with the Cross, death 
to the Jews. Thousands from Cologne, Mentz, "^Vorms, 
Speiers, Strasburg, who had collected together for the cru- 
sades, turne«l their swords, in the first place, against the de- 
fenceless Jews, and a great deal of blood was shed.* Rudolph 
would not be held back from obeying his imagined divine call 
by any authority of his ecclesiastical superior, f The arch- 
bishop Henry of Mentz, who could do nothing himself to 
counteract the influence of the enthusiast, applied for help to 
the French abbot, whose wonderful power over the minds of 
men was not unknown to him. Berjiard, in his answer,^ took 
very decided gp-ounds against that monk. He found feult 
with his conduct in three respects : that he had taken it upon 
liim to preach without being called, that he set at naught the 
authoritj^ of the bishops, and that he justified murder. This 
he called a doctrine of devils. " Does not the church," said 
he, ' obtain a richer victory over the Jews, by daily bringing 
them over from their errors and converting them, than if by 
the sword she had destroyed them all at a blow ? " He 
appeals to the prayer of the universal church for the conver- 
sion of the Jews, with which such proceedings stood directly 
at variance. But it was not till Bernard went himself to Ger- 
many, and used his personal influence, which was irresistible, 
that he could succeed in quelling the spirit of £inaticism. The 
people attached themselves to that enthusiast with so blind a 
devotion, that nothing but the veneration in which Bernard 
was held could restrain them from disturbances, when that 
leader was taken away from them. At Mentz, Bernard had 
a meeting with the monk Rudolph, and produced such an 
effect on him — which was indeed a marvel — by his expostu- 

* The sufferings of the Jews have been depicted, after the accoont of a 
German Jew, who, being then a lad of thirteen, was a witness of this 
bloody massacre of his countrymen and fellow-believers, in a Jewish 
chronicle, in the Hebrew language, by Jehoschua Ben Meir, of the six- 
teenth century. See Wilken's Geschichte der Kreuiziige, dritter Theil, 
erste Abtheil, Beilage i. In this account, too, Bernard is honourably 
mentioned as deliverer of the Jews, without whose interposition not one 
in these districts would have escaped ; and he says in his praise, he " took 
no ransom-money from the Jews, for he from his heart spoke good con- 
cerning Israel." 

t See Otto Prising, hist Frederic the First, I. II. c. 37. 

X Ep. 365. 


lations, that the man acknowledged he had done wrong, and 
promised for the future to confine himself obediently to his 
convent. The celebrated abbot Peter of Cluny, who was dis- 
tinguished for a mildness of disposition springing out of the 
spirit of Christian love, even beyond Bernard himself, — who 
shQ,wed so liberal and so kindly a spirit in judging the differ- 
ent spiritual tendencies among Christians, — even he can only 
look upon the Jews as a race descended from the murderers 
of Christ, and filled with hatred to him. " If the Saracens, 
who in respect to the faith in Christ have so much in com- 
mon with us, are still to be abominated," he writes in his 
letter to king Louis the Seventh of France,* " how much 
more should we detest the Jews, who blaspheme and ridicule 
Christ, and the whole Christian faith." It is true, he declares 
himself opposed to the practice of massacring the Jews : 
" We should let them live, like the fratricide Cain, to their 
greater shame and torment," says he ; but he calls upon the 
king to deprive them of their wealth, which they had acquired 
unrighteously and at the expense of Christians, f and to devote 
the money justly extorted from them to the service of the holy 
cause which they hated. 

In particular, it was a ruling principle with the popes, after 
the example of their predecessor, Gregory the Great, to pro- 
tect the Jews in the rights which had been conceded to them. 
When the banished popes of the twelfth century returned to 
Rome, the Jews in their holiday garments went forth with the 
rest in procession, to meet them, bearing before them the 
thora ; and Innocent the Second, on an occasion of this sort, 
prayed for them, that God would remove the veil from their 
hearts. Pope Innocent the Third, in the year 1199, pub- 
lished an ordinance, taking the Jews under his own protection 
against oppressions. " Much as the unbelief of the Jews is 
to be censured," he wrote, *' yet, inasmuch as the Christian 
faith is really confirmed by them, they must suffer no hard 
oppression from the faithful." He appeals here to the example 

* Lib. iv, c. 36. 

f Non enim de simplici agricultura, non delegali militia, non de quo- 
libet honesto et utili oflBcio horrea sua frugibus, cellaria vino, marsupia 
nummis, areas auro sive argento cumulant, quautum de his, quae Christico- 
lis dolose subtrahunt, de bis quae furtim a furibus empta, vili pretio res 
carissimas comparant. 


of his predecessors, which he followed : " No one should 
compel them by force to submit to baptism ; but in case a 
Jew makes it known, that of his own free choice he has be- 
come a Christian, then no hindrances whatsoever shall be 
thrown in his way to prevent him from recei\'ing baptism ; for 
he who comes to the ordinance of Christian baptism through 
constraint, cannot be a true believer. No one should molest 
them in the possession of their property, or in the observance 
of their customs. In the celebration of their festivals they 
should not be disturbed by tumultuary proceedings." * This 
jjope was at much pains to pro\'ide for the maintenance of 
Jews who embraced Christianity, and who by so doing lost 
the means of living which they before enjoyed.'j' It might 
doubtless happen, however, that the pope, when applied to for 
relief by converted Jews from distant parts, would sometimes 
be deceived by false reports, stories of miracles by which 
tiiese persons pretended to have been converted ; still he did 
not lend implicit confidence to such reports, but caused more 
exact inquiries to be made respecting their truth in the coim- 
tries where such events were said to have occiirred.| 

When the Jews in France, in the year 1236, saw them- 
selves abandoned to the ferocious cruelty of the crusaders, they, 
too, applied for help to the pope, then Gregory the Ninth. 
He in consequence sent a letter to France, expressing in the 
most emphatic language his indignation at such barbarity. The 
crusaders, instead of arming themselves, body and soul, for a 
war which was to be carried on in the name of the Lord, in- 
stead of manifesting in their behaviour so much the more fear 
of God, and love to God, as they were to fight in the cause 

* Lib. II. ep. 302. 

t E. g. 1. II. ep. 234. Atteuta est sollicitadine providendum, ne inter 
alios Christ! fideles inedia deprimantar, cum plerique horum pro indi- 
genda necessariaram remm post receptam baptismum in confiisionem 
non modicam indacantnr, ita at plemmqne faciente illomm avaritia, qui 
cum ipsi abondent, Christum pauperem respicere dedignantur, retro co- 
gantur abire. 

X Like that extravagant tale of a Jew, who found in a chest of gold, 
in -which a stolen consecrated host had been deposited, the gold pieces 
converted into holy -wafers. The pope directed ihe bishop in the place 
"where this Jew lived, at the same time that he recommended him and 
his family to his care, to make a full and careful examination with regard 
to the truth of that story, and return him a feithful report. Innocent. 1. 
XIV. ep. 84. 


of the Lord, had executed godless counsels against the Jews ; 
but, in so doing, they had not considered that Christians must 
derive the evidences of their faith from the archives of the 
.lews, and that the Lord would not reject his people for ever, 
but a remnant of them should be saved. Not considering 
this, they had acted as if they meant to exterminate them from 
the earth, and with unheard of cruelty had butchered two 
thousand and five hundred persons of all ages and sexes. And 
in extenuation of this atrocious crime they affirmed they 
had done so, and threatened to do worse, because the Jews 
would not be baptized. " They did not consider," writes the 
pope, " that while Christ excludes no nation and no race from 
the salvation which he came to bring to all mankind ; still, 
as everything depends on the inward operation of divine 
grace, as the Lord has mercy on whom he will have mercy, 
no man should be forced to receive baptism ; for as man fell 
by his own free will, yielding to the temptation to sin, so with 
his own free will he must follow the call of divine grace, in 
order to be recovered from his fall." * Pope Innocent the 
Fourth, to whom the Jews of Germany complained, on ac- 
count of the oppressions and persecutions which they had to 
suffer from secular and spiritual lords, issued a brief, in the 
year 1248, for their protection. In this brief he declared 
the story about the Christian boy murdered for the celebration 
of the Jewish passover a pure fiction, invented solely for the 
purpose of hiding cupidity and cruelty, and of getting Jews 
condemned without the formality of a trial. Wherever a 
dead body happened to be found, it was maliciously made use 
use of as a means of criminating the Jews.j" 

Again, the Jews would unavoidably be shocked and repelled 
by those peculiarities in the shaping of the church at this time, 
which, though grounded in an original Christian feeling, yet in 
their extravagance bordered upon the pagan ; as, for example, 

* See Raynaldi Annales ad A. 1236, s. 48. 

f Scriptura divina inter alia mandata legis dicente : non occides, ac 
prohibeiite illos in soUennitate paschali quicquam morticinum contingere, 
falsa imponuut iisdem, quod in ipsa soUennitate se corde pueri communi- 
cant interfecti, credendo id ipsam legem prtecipere, cum sit legi contrarium 
manifeste, ac eis malitiose objiciunt hominis cadaver mortui, si contigerit 
illud alicubi reperiri. Et per hoc et alia quamplurima figmenta saevientes 
in ipsis eos super his non accusatos, nee convictos gpoliant contra Deum 
et justitiam omnibus suis, etc. Raynaldi Annales ad A. 1248, 8. 84. 

ponrrs of dispdtatiok with the jews. 105 

the worship of saints and images. Pious ecclesiastics and 
monks were always ready to enter into controversial discussions 
with Jews, in the hope of convincing them by arguments; 
although laymen, in the zeal for their religious creed, were 
dissatisfied with a mode of procedure which allowed the Jews 
so peacefully to state all their objections to the Christian £dth, 
and required others so patiently to listen to them. They, on 
the contrary, were for deciding the matter at once, and punish- 
ing the unbelief of the Jews with the sword.* In such deputes, 
the Jews levelled their objections not only against the fiinda- 
mental position of the Christian system in itself considered, 
which to the fleshly Jewish mode of thought clinging to the 
letter of the Old Testament, and to sensual expectations, must 
at all times be alike offensive ; but also against those excrescent 
growths so foreign to primitive Christianity. And although 
Christian theologians, in the confidence and in the light of 
Christian faith, could say many excellent things about the 
relation of the Old and New Testaments, and of their 
different comparative positions, still, they were no match for 
the Jews in the interpretation of the Old Testament ; and their 
arbitrary allegorizing explications could not remove any of the 
difficulties by which the Jews were stumbled in comparing the 

• JoinTiUe narrates, in the Memoirs of Louis the Ninth : Once a great 
controversial discussion started up in the monastery of Clnny, between 
the ecclesiastics and Jews, when au old knight rose up and demanded that 
the most distinguished among the ecclesiastics and the most learned 
among the Jews should come forward. Then he asked the Jew, whether 
he believed that Christ was bom of a virgin ? When the Jew replied in 
the negative, said the knight to him. You behave, then, very foolishly and 
presomptaoosly, in daring to come into a house consecrated to Mary — the 
convent. He dealt the Jew so violent a blow, that he sunk to the ground, 
and the rest fled for their lives. The abbot of Cluny now said to the 
knight: '' Vous avez feit folic, de ce que vons avez ainsi frappe." The 
knight, however, would not acknowledge this, but rejoined : " Vons avea 
^t encore plus grande folie, d'avoir ainsi assemble les Juife et souflFert 
telles disputations d'erreurs;" for many good Christians had thereby 
been misled into infidelity. So thought, too, king Louis the Ninth of 
France. None but learned theologians should dispute with the Jews ; nor 
should the laity ever listen to such blasphemies, but punish them at cmce 
with the sword. " Que nul, si n'est grand clerc et theologien par&it, ne 
doit disputer aux Jmh. Mais doit I'homme lay, quant il oy raesdire la 
foi Chretienne, defendre la chose non pas seulement des paroles, mais a 
bonne epee tranchante et en frapper les mesdisans a travers da corps, 
taut qu'elle y pourra entrer." 


Old Testament with the New, nor lead them away from the 
letter to the spirit. A narrow slavery to the letter, and an 
arbitrary spiritualization, here stood confronted.* We hear a 
Jew, for example, appealing to the eternal validity of the law. 
" A curse is pronounced upon every man that observes not 
the whole law," says he ; " What right or authority have you 
Christians to make here an arbitrary distinction, to explain that 
some things are to be observed while others are done away 
with ? How is this to be reconciled with the immutability of 
God's word ?" He finds in the Old Testament the prediction 
of a Messiah, but nothing concerning a God-man. The doctrine 
concerning such a being appeared to him a disparagement of 
God's glory. The promises relating to the times of the 
Messiah seem to him not yet fulfilled. " If it be true that 
the Messiah is already come, how are we to reconcile it with 
the fact that nowhere, except among the poor people of the 
Jews, is it said, ' Come, let us go up to the house of the God 
of Jacob ?' Some of you say, let us go to the house of Peter ; 
others, let us go to the house of Martin. Where is it that 
swords are turned into pruning-hooks ? Smiths enough can 
hardly be found to convert steel into weapons of war. One 
nation oppresses, cuts in pieces another; and every boy is 
trained up to the use of weapons." The Christian theologian, 
abbot Gislebert, replies to the last objection: "Neither to 
Peter nor Paul do we build a house ; but in honour and in 
memory of Peter or Paul we build a house to God. Nor can 
any bishop, in dedicating a church, say, ' To thee, Peter or 
Paul, we dedicate this house, or this altar ;' but only, * To thee, 
God, we dedicate this house, or this altar, for the glory of 
God.' " Next, he insists on it that those promises concerning 
the times of the Messiah have been spiritually fulfilled. " The 
law pronounces sentence of condemnation on every man who 
kills, or rather, as Christ has added, on every man who is 
angry with his brother ; he, then, who is transported with 
the passions of anger and hatred, cannot lawfully use the 
sword and lance. Far easier is it to turn the sword into a 

* In the Disputatio Judsei cum Christiano de fide Christiana by 
the abbot Gislebert (Gilbert) of Westminster, in the beginning of the 
twelfth century, which is founded on a dispute actually held vith a 
Jew, in Anselmi Cant. opp. ed. Gerberon, f. 512. 


ploughshare, the spear into a pruning-hook, than to turn from 
a proud man into a humble one, from a freeman to a servant ; 
to give up wife, children, house and court, arms, all earthly- 
goods, and very self. This, however, is a thing that you may 
often see done ; for many who once lived in the world, proud 
and mighty men, constantly buckled for war, greedy after 
other men's possessions, have for God's sake renounced all 
worldly glory, go in voluntary poverty on pilgrimages to 
different holy places, seek the intercession of the saints, or 
immure themselves in a convent. And, in such a community 
of the servants of God, is fulfilled that which God promised 
by the prophets concerning the peaceful living together of the 
lion and the lamb, &c. ; for, to the shepherd of such a flock 
obedience is alike paid by high and low, by the mighty and 
the powerful, the strong and the weak." 

An example, showing how the power of Christianity was 
still present, even amid the foreign rubbish with which it was 
encumbered, and could make itself be felt in the minds of the 
Jews, is seen in the remarkable case of Hermann, afterwards 
a Premonstratensian monk, whose conversion, which he has 
given an account of himself,* was brought about by a singular 
train of providential occurrences. 

He was bom at Cologne, and strictly educated as a Jew. 
When a young man he made a journey to Mentz, on com- 
mercial business. It happened at the same time that Egbert, 
bishop of Munster,f who had himself at some earlier period 
been dean of the cathedral at Cologne, was there with the 
emperor's court-camp. Being in want of money, the bishop 
negotiated a loan with this Jew ; but the latter took no 
security from him, which was quite contrary to the practice 
of his people, who were accustomed to require a pledge to 
the amount of double the sum lent. When he returned home, 
his friends reproached him for such folly, and urged him to 
seek another interview with the bishop. Fearing, however, 
the influence of the Christians on the young man, they com- 
missioned an old Jew, Baruch, to act as his overseer. Thus 
he travelled back to Miinster ; and here, as the bisiiop could 
not immediately refund the money, he was obliged to tarry 

* Published by Carpzov, after Raymund Martini's Pugio fideL 
t Bishop of Miinster from 1127 to 1132. 

108 Hermann's strivings after christian faith. 

five months. The young man, having no particular business 
on his hands, could not resist the curiosity he felt to visit the 
churches, which he had hitherto detested as temples of idols. 
He here heard the bishop preach. Many things in the dis- 
course attracted him, and he repeated his visits. Thus he 
received his first Christian impressions. Christians, observing 
how attentively he listened, asked him, how he liked what he 
heard : he replied, " Many things pleased me, others not." 
They spoke to him kindly : " Our Jesus," said they, " is full 
of compassion, and, as he himself declares, 'No man that 
Cometh unto me shall be cast out.' " They held up to him 
the example of the apostle Paul, who from a violent perse- 
cutor of Christianity became a zealous preacher of it ; but 
the Jew saw pictures of Christ in the churches, and as this 
appeared to him like idolatry, he was filled with abhorrence. 
Thus different impressions struggled together in his soul. It 
so happened, that the universally revered abbot Rupert of 
Deutz (Rupertus Tuitiensis, the author of a tract against the 
Jews) came to Miinster, and to him Hermann ventured to 
disclose his doubts. The abbot received him in a friendly 
manner, and sought to convince him that the Christians 
were very far from paying an idolatrous worship to images. 
" Images," said he, "are designed solely to supply the place 
of Scripture for the rude people." 

The bishop employed as the steward of his house a pious 
ecclesiastic named Richmar, a man of strictly ascetic habits, 
who by his kindly manners had won his way to the young 
man's heart. Once the bishop sent a choice dish from liis own 
table to this churchman ; but he immediately gave it to the 
young Hermann, who sat by his side, while he himself took 
nothing but bread and water. This made a great impression 
on the youth. As this pious man, in many conversations with 
Hermann, had sought in vain to convince him of the truth of 
Christianity, he finally conceived the hope that by the evidence 
of some miracle, a judgment of God, the ordeal of the red-hot 
iron, he might be able to conquer the unbelief of the sign- 
seeldng Jew ; but the bishop, his superior in Christian know- 
ledge and wisdom, would allow of no such experiment. Said 
he to his steward, " True, thy zeal is praiseworthy, but it is 
not accompanied with knowledge. AVe should not presume 
t(> tempt God in this way ; but we should pray to him, that 

hkrmann's strivings after christian faith. 109 

he, who wills that all men should be saved and come to the 
knowledge of the truth, would be pleased, in his own time 
and way, by his grace to break the fetters of unbelief in 
which this young man is bound captive, and set him free ; but 
it was not proper to require God to work a miracle for this pur- 
pose, nor even to be particularly anxious that he would ; since 
it was perfectly easy for the Almighty, even without a miracle, 
by the secret operation of his grace, to convert whomsoever 
he pleased ; and since, too, the outward miracle would be 
unavailing unless he wrought after an invisible manner by 
his grace in the heart of the man. Many had been converted 
without miracles ; multitudes had remained unbelievers even 
after miracles had been wrought before their eyes. The iaith 
induced by miracles had little or no merit in the sight of God ; 
but the faith which came fi"om a simple pious sense had the 
greatest," which he sought to prove by examples from gospel 
history, and from the words of Christ himself. 

When Hermann afterwards had an opportunity of visiting 
the newly founded Premonstratensian convent at Kappeuberg 
in Westphalia, and here saw men of the highest and lowest 
ranks unite together in practising the same self-denials, it 
appeared to him a very strange sight ; as yet he knew not 
what to make of it. Thus he was tossed one way and another 
by his feelings, till his mind became completely unsettled. 
He prayed to God, with warm tears, that if the Christian 
feith came from him, he would, either by inward inspiration 
or by vision, or — which then appeared to him the most effective 
means — by some visible miraculous sign, con\'ince him of it. 
He who was said to have led a Paul, even when he proudly 
resisted, to the faith, would assuredly, if this were true, hear 
him, so humble a supplicant ! 

After his return home he spent three days, strictly festing, 
in prayer to the Almighty, and waiting in expectation of a 
vision for the clearing up of his doubts ; when, exhaiisted by 
festing and by his inward conflicts, he retired to rest ; but the 
vision which he sought was not vouchsafed to him. He 
applied to book-learned churchmen, and disputed with them ; 
yet to all the arguments which they could bring his doubts 
were invincible, although many of the remarks which fell 
from them left a sting behind in his heart. 

Meanwhile the Jews had long eyed him with suspicion ; 

110 Hermann's baptism and ordination. 

and they employed every means to deter him from embracing 
Christianity. They prevailed upon him to marry, and by the 
wedding-feast and the dissipations connected with his new 
relation, he was, in fact, diverted for a while from the subject 
which had so long occupied and tormented him ; but after 
passing three months in a state of dreamy torpor, his old 
inward conflicts returned again. He once more sought the 
society of Christian theologians, with whom he had many 
disputes. Once, after he had long contended with one of these 
theologians in an assembly of clergymen, said one of the 
number to the theologian who had sought in vain to convince 
him : " Why spend your strength to no purpose? Surely you 
know that, as the apostle Paul declares, even to this day, 
when to the Jews Moses is read, a covering hangs before 
their hearts." This remark again made a deep impression on 
Hermann's mind. " Is my heart," thought he, " really pre- 
vented by such a covering from penetrating to the spirit of 
the Old Testament ?" Again, therefore, he had recourse to 
prayer, and with many tears besought the Almighty that, if 
this were so, he would himself remove the covering from his 
heart, that he might with open eyes behold the clear light of 
truth ; and recollecting what Christians had said to him about 
the power of intercessions, he commended himself to the 
prayers of two nuns who stood in high veneration among all 
the Christians in Cologne. They promised him that they 
would not cease praying until the comfort of divine grace 
should be given to him. Becoming soon afterwards more 
clear in his views and feelings, he believed himself to be 
especially indebted for this change to the intercessions of 
these two pious nuns.* He continued diligently to attend on 
the preached word, putting aside everything else, and making 
the search after truth the great object of his life. His 
inquiries and prayers conducted him at length to a settled 
conviction. He submitted to baptism, entered the monastery 
of Kappenberg, which on his first visit had made so singular an 
impression on his mind, where he studied the Latin language, 
and was consecrated a priest. 

* He says : " Ecce me, quern ad fidem Christi nee reddita mihi a multis 
de ea ratio, nee magnorum potuit clericorum convertere disputatio, 
devota simplicium femiuarum oratio attraxit." 




L Popes and Papacy. 

We commence this period in the history of the papacy, with a 
crisis of world-historical interest. The great question was 
now up, to be answered by the course of events : tVhether the 
system of the church theocracy, the spiritual universal mon- 
archy, should come ofiF victorious in the contest with a rude 
secular power, or should be laid prostrate under its feet ? The 
key to the right imderstanding of this new epoch is furnished 
us by the epoch with which the preceding period closed. 
One continuous thread of. historical evolution, a closely con- 
nected series of causes and effects, proceeds onward firom the 
last times of the preceding period into the beginning of the 
present. The corruption of the church, threatening its utter 
secularization, had now reached its highest pitch ; and that 
very circumstance had called forth a reformatory reaction on 
the part of the church. Such a reaction could, however, under 
the existing conditions, only proceed firom the side of this 
church theocracy ; since those who were most zealous against 
the abuses that had crept in, were governed by this spiritual 
tendency. The man of this party, he who was in fiict the 
guiding and animating soul of the reformatory reaction in the 
last times of the preceding period, was that Hildebrand who 
now, as pope Gregory the Seventh, had become in name, as 
he had long been secretly in feet, the ruling head of the 
Western church. As this world-historical personage was, from 
the firs>i, the object of extravagant veneration with some, and 
of equally extravagant hatred with others, so the same con- 
trariety of opinion with r^ard to him continued to prevail in 
the succeeding centuries. 

Gr^ory was certainly inspired with some higher motive 


than selfish ambition, a selfish love of domination. One pre- 
dominating idea inspired him ; and to this he sacrificed all 
other interests, the idea of the independence of the church, and 
of the control to be exercised by her over all other human re- 
lations, the idea of a religious, moral dominion over the world, 
to be administered by the papacy. This was not, indeed, the 
purely Christian idea of dominion over the world, but a recast- 
ing of it under an Old Testament form altogether foreign to 
Christianity ; and that, too, not without some mixture of the 
idea of Rome's ancient imperial sovereignty. This idea, how- 
ever, was no invention of Gregory's ; but having sprung, as we 
have shown, out of the course of development which the church 
had taken, it had acquired, by the reaction in favour of reform 
since the time of Leo the Ninth, a new force over the minds of 
the better-disposed. There were men, extremely prejudiced, 
it is true, yet animated by a warm zeal for the welfare of the 
church and against the deep-rooted abuses of the times, who 
expected, from this imperial sovereignty of the church, wielded 
by the popes, the correction of all evils. To them the church 
appeared as the representative of the divine jurisdiction, by 
which all social relations were to be regulated, all abuses to be 
removed. The church must by her equitable decisions prevent 
wars ; or, if she could not effect this, bestow communion and 
absolution on the party in the right, while she excluded the 
one in the wrong from the fellowship of the church, and re- 
fused it the privilege of ecclesiastical burial to the dead.* 

* This idea is unfolded by that rigid censor of the clergy, a contem- 
porary of Bernard of Clairvaux, the sincerely pious provost Gerhoh 
(Geroch) of Reichersberg in Bavaria, particularly in his commentary on 
the 64th Psalm, or his tract De corrupto ecclesia; statu, where he sets it 
over against the then corrupt condition of the church, which should be 
restored and improved according to this standard, published by Baluz in 
the fifth volume of his Miscellanea. The same tract of Geroch is to be 
found abbreviated in his commentary on the Psalms ; an important work 
on account of the information it gives us of the condition of the church 
in these times, published by Pez in the Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimiis. 
t. T. He looks upon it as a strange and unheard of thing, that both the 
contending parties in a war should receive the communion, when in 
truth justice could only be on one side, and the tribunal of the church 
therefore could decide in favour of but one party. In omni raiUtum vel 
civium guerra et discordia vel pars altera justa et altera Jnjusta, vel 
utraque invenitur injusta, cujus rei veritatem patefacere deberet sacer- 
dotalis doctrina, sine cujus censura nulla bella sunt movenda. Sic ergo 


The monk Hildebrand had certainly been seized with this idea, 
and active in endeavouring' to realize it, before he could have 
entertained any thought of being elevated himself to the papal 
throne. Educated as a monk at Kome, it was natural that, iu 
a man of his serious disjxisition, and situated as he was, the 
idea of such a jurisdiction to be exercised by the churcli should 
be awakened iii the fullest force.* Well might his disgust at the 
prevailing corruption in Rome and Italy have moved Hilde- 
brand the monk to retreat with his friend, the deposed pope 
Gregory the Sixth, to the countries beyond the Alps ; and well 
might he again, in the hope of being able, by virtue of his 
connection with the popes, to counteract this corruption, have 
resolved to return back to Rome, as he says in a remarkable 
letter to his friend, the abbot Hugo of Cluny :\ '•' Were it not 
that I hoped to attain to a yet better life, and to serve the 
cause of the church, nothing would induce me to stay here in 
Rome, where, not by my own choice, as God is my witness, I 
have already been compelled to live through a period of twenty 

manitestata jastitia pars jasta sacerdotalibns tnbis animanda et etiam com- 
manione dominici corporis ante bellum et ad bellam roboranda est, quia 
panLs iste cor hominis confirmat, quando pro defensione jastitiae vel 
ecclesis aliquis ad pngnam se pra;parat, cui pars iniqaa resistens et pacto 
justae pacis acquiescere nolens auathematizanda et etiam negata sibi 
sepaltura Christiana humilianda est. Bnt how is it at present, when — 
one prince or one people waging an nnjnst war against another — the 
Lord's body is given to both parties without examination of the merits of 
the case ? Tanqoam divisus sit Christus et possit esse in tam contrariis 
partibus. How easily, he exclaims, by the united agreement of the 
bishops in one judgment, could the madness of those princes and knights 
who make confusion in the Roman empire, and spread devastation through 
the church, be curbed and restrjuned ? If he, then, who has been plaopd 
over the whole, in order to preserve unity and to strengthen his brethren, 
Luke xxii. 32, should in every just judgment anticipate the bishops by a 
circular letter addressed to them — what monarch would dare to set him- 
self up in opposition to such a decision ? Cum sit velut alter Jeremias, 
constitutus non solum super ecclesias, sed etiam super regna, ut evellat et 
destruat, aedificet et plantet See 1. c. in Pez. f. 1183. 

* Where he speaks of his obligations to the apostle Peter, in a letter to 
king William of England, 1. VIL ep. 23. Quia S. Petnis a puero me in 
domo sua dnlciter nutrierat 

t L. c. 1. n. ep. 49. -Gregory himself says to the Romans : " Vos seitis, 
quod ad sacros ordiues non Ubenter accessi. sed magis inritus cum Domino 
Leone Papa ad vestram specialem ecclesiam redii, in qua utcunque vobis 
senrivL" Eccard, Scriptores rer. Genu. ep. 150. 



years." "God," he remarks, "had brought him back to 
Rome against his wilJ, and bound him there with his own fet- 
ters."* In passing judgment on this great man, we should 
not try him by the standard of a pure evangelical knowledge, 
to which he could not possibly have attained by his course of 
training. Seized and carried away by the above-mentioned 
dominant idea, he interpreted by that the testimonies of the 
Bible and of History, and these would all seem to confirm the 
same ; but he who surrenders himself so entirely to one idea, 
seen in one aspect, as to let it swallow up all other human inter- 
ests, and all the feelings implanted in man's nature, must be- 
come a slave to it. He who allows the zeal for such an idea to 
usurp the place of a zeal for truth and justice, will soon have 
formed within himself a. particular conscience also, which may 
sanction many things, tending to tlie advantage of his party- 
bent, that a true conscience and the divine law would condemn. 
He who believes himself the vicegerent of the divine will in 
the government of mankind, will easily be misled, to set up 
his own will in place of the divine, and then think himself en- 
titled to take many liberties for the realization of that divine 
will. With his fanatical self-devotion to this one tendency, 
this energetic man united a calculating prudence not always 
coupled with truth ; as we have had occasion to see already in 
his treatment of that upright follower of the interests of truth 
alone, Berengarius. 

It is certain that Hildebrand's power in Rome had become 
so great, he had so considerable a party in his favour, that no 
intrigues were needed on his part to secure for him the papal 
dignity, an eminence which he might have reached sooner, 
perhaps, if he had desired it ; for, as it was justly remarked of 
him in his own time, " after having prepared everything to 
suit his wishes, he stepped into the papal chair the moment he 
was ready."f The less to be credited, therefore, are the ac- 

* Si non sperarem ad meliorem vitain et utilitatem sanctae ecclesise 
venire, nullo modo Eoma;, iu qua coactus, Deo teste, jam a viginti anuis 
inhabitavi, remanerem; and afterwards, eum, qui me suis alliguvit vincu- 
lis et Romam invitura reduxit 

t Prajparatis ex sententia, quae voluit, Cathedram quaudo voluit 
ascendit. So speak Gregory's opponents in the noticeable tract of Dieteric, 
bishop of Verdun, a.d. 1080, in Martene et Durand thesaur. nov. anecdo- 
torum, T. V. f 21 7. Cited in the same place are opposite views respecting 
Gregory's previous conduct, and his election to the papacy. One party 


cusations which his opponents, even in published writings, had 
the boldness to bring against him.* Still, some occasion was 
given for these accusations by the mode in which Gregory's 
election was conducted. 

The death of pope Alexander was not followed by the dis- 
turbances so common on such occasions among the Roman 
people, who were accustomed to manifest very soon their pre- 
dilection for this or that cardinal whom they chose to have 
pope. The college of cardinals, therefore, supposed they had 
no interruption to fear in their preparatory proceedings to the 
choice of a new pope, and they ordered that, before they met 
to make arrangements for the new election, prayers for illumi- 
nation and guidance should be addressed to the Almighty in 
connection with processions and fasting during three days."]" 
Yet at the burial of Alexander, the people loudly demanded 
that Hildebrand should be made pope. J Although the legal 
form, therefore, was afterwards observed, and a protocol 
adopted, certifying to Hildebrand's election, yet it is manifest 
that the choice had already been made. Gr^oiy declares, in 

says of him : Decedentibas patribns tctpe electum et accitum, semper qnidem 
ammi, aliquando etiam corporis fuga dignitatis locum declinasse ; at length 
he recognised in the universal voice the will of God, Others, Gregorjr's 
ferocious enemies, say many things hardly consistent \rith one another, 
and even self-contradictory, respecting the manner in -which he attained 
to the papal throne. The truth perhaps is contained in their single 
remark, " quando voluit :" but this circumstance is easily to be accoimted 
for by his previous activity, and makes all the other explanations of his 
papal election superfluous. 

* Cardinal Benno, in his invective against Gregory, says, that when 
pope Alexander, sub miserabili jugo Hildebrandi, died one evening, Hil- 
debrand was placed by his partisans at once, and without the concurrence 
of the clergy and the community, upon the papal throne, because it was 
feared that, if there were any delay, some other person would be elected ; 
not one of the cardinals subscribed to it (All which, however, is refuted 
by the published protocol certifying his election.) To the abbot of Monte 
Cassino, who arrived after the election was over, Gregory is said to have 
remarked : " Frater, nimium tardasti," to which the abbot replied : " Et 
to, Hildebrande, nimium festinasti, qui nondum sepulto domino tuo papa, 
sedem apostolicam contra canones nsurpasti." 

t As Gregory himself declares, in the letters in which he made known 
his election. 

I He himself says: "Subito ortus est magnus tumultus popnli et 
fremitus, et in me quasi vesani insurrexemnt, nU dicendi, nil consnlendi 
fitcoltatis aut spatii relinqnentes." 


116 Gregory's complaint. 

the letters issued soon after his election, and later, that he had 
been elevated to the papal dignity against liis will, {ind not 
without strenuous opposition on his part. Still, the sincerity 
of such professions is always more or less liable to suspicion. 
Even though it was Gregory's determination, after he had 
thus far ruled by means of others, now to take the government 
of the church into his own hands, yet we may at all events 
believe that he must have foreseen the difficult contests into 
which he would be thrown ; and that, undertaking to exercise 
such a trust, would turn out to him no idle affair ; and amid 
the multiplied troubles and vexations of his later reign, he 
might well sigh after the tranquil seclusion of the monastic 
life. In a letter to duke Gottfried, who had congratulated 
him on his election,* he complains of the secret cares and 
anxieties which oppressed him. " Nearly the whole world is 
lying in such wickedness, that all, and the bishops in parti- 
cular, seem emulous to destroy rather than to defend or to 
adorn the church. Striving only after gain and honour, they 
stand opposed to everything which serves to promote religion 
and the cause of God." In the second year of his reign, he 
presented a picture of his troubles and conflicts, in a letter, to 
his intimate friend, the abbot Hugo of Cluny.f " Often have 
I prayed God, either to release me from the present life, or 
through me to benefit our common mother ; yet he has not de- 
livered me from my great sufferings ; nor has my life, as I 
wished, profited the mother with whom he has connected me." 
He then describes the lamentable condition of the church : 
" The Oriental church fallen from the faith, and attacked from 
without, by the infidels. Casting your eye over the West, 
South, or North, you find scarcely anywhere bishops who have 
obtained their office regularly, or whose life and conversation 
correspond to its requirements, and who are actuated in the 
discharge of their duties by the love of Christ and not by 
worldly ambition ; | nowhere, princes who prefer God's ho- 
nour to their own, and justice before gain." " The men among 
whom he lived," he said, " Romans, Longobards, Normans, 
were, as he often told them, worse than Jews and pagans." 

* Ep. 9. t Lib. II. ep. 49. 

X Vix legales episcopos introitu et \ita, qui Christianum populum 
Christi amore et non seculari ambitione, regant. 


"And when I look at myself," he adds, "T find myself 
oppressed by such a burden of sin, that no other hope of salva- 
tion is left me but iu the mercy of Christ alone." And, 
indeed it is a true picture which Gregory here draws of his 
' mes. 

Before we follow out the acts of Gr^ory in detail, let us 
east a glance at the principles of his conduct generally, as 
they are exhibited to us in his letters. Those persons assuredly 
mistake him, who are willing to recognize nothing else, as his 
governing principle, than prudence. Though it is, indeed, 
true, that prudence formed one of his most distinguishing 
characteristics ; yet, believing as he did, that he acted in vir- 
tue of a trust committed to him by God, it was a higher 
confidence which sustained and kept him erect through all his 
conflicts. It was in perfect consistency with those views 
which he had derived firom the Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment, respecting the theocracy, that he should so readily allow 
himself to be guided by supernatural signs, and judgments of 
God. He placed great reliance on his intimate connections 
with St. Peter and the Virgin Mary.* Among his confidential 
agents he had a monk, who boasted of a peculiar intimacy 
with the Virgin Mary ; and to this person he applied, in aU 
doubtful cases, bidding him seek, with prayer and fasting, for 
some special revelation, by vision, respecting the matter in 
question.| To his fineud the Margravine Mathilda, who 
honoured and loved him as a spiritual fether, he earnestly re- 

* Bv this pope, a special office of devotion, addressed to the Virgin 
Mary, was introduced into the monasteries. See the above-mentioned 
work of Geroch, on the Psalms, 1. c. fol. 794 : " Et in c(£nobiis canticam 
novum celebratur, ciun a tempore Gregorii septi cursns Beatae Mariae 
frequentatur." Also, in the above-cited letter of Dieteric of Verdun, 
mention is made of divine visions which were attributed to Gregory ; and it 
is said of him, "Juxta quod boni et fide digni homines attestantur, 
emn non parvam in oculis Dei familiaritatis gratiam assecutum esse." 

+ A writer of this time, the abbot Haymo, relates in his life of 
William, abbot of Hirschau, that Gregory, being uncertain which of two 
candidates proposed to him ^hoald be selected for a bishopric, directed 
a monk to pray that it might be revealed to him, by the mediation of tlie 
Virgin Mary, which would be the best choice. See his life, s. 22, in Ma- 
billon's Acta Sanct. O. B. T. VI. p. ii. f. 732. As this anecdote wholly 
agrees with what we have already quoted, from the mouth of Berengar, 
we are the less warranted to entertain any doubt respecting this charac- 
teristic trait in the life of Gr^ory. 


commended,* as a means of defence against the princes of the 
world, that she should frequently partake of the Holy supper, 
and commit herself to the special protection of the Virgin 
Mary. The peculiar bent of his own devotion, here expresses 
itself: " I, myself," he writes, " have expressly commended thee 
to her, and will not cease commending thee to her till we shall 
behold her, as we long to do — she, whom heaven and earth 
cease not to praise, though they cannot do it as she deserves. 
But of this be firmly persuaded, that as she is exalted, good, 
and holy above every mother, so too, and in the same pro- 
portion, is she more gracious and gentle towards converted 
sinful men and women. Put away, then, the disposition to sin, 
pour out thy tears before her, prostrating thyself before her 
with an humble and contrite heart ; and I promise it with cer- 
tainty, thou shalt find, by experience, how much more full of 
love and kindness she will be to thee than thine own mother 
according to the flesh."f 

Gregory decidedly avows the principle, that God had con- 
ferred on Peter and his successors, not only the guidance of 
the whole church in respect to spiritual affairs, but also a 
moral superintendence over all nations. To the spiritual, he 
maintains, everything else should be subordinated, AH worldly 
interests are vastly inferior to the spiritual. How, then, should 
not the juridical authority of the pope extend over them ? | 
We find Gregory entertaining an idea, which is expressed also 
in other writings of this party, according to which, the priestly 

* Lib. I. ep. 47. 

t Cui te priucipaliter commisi et committo et nuuqnam committer^ 
quousque illam videamus, ut cupimus, omittam, quid tibi dicam, quam 
coelum et terra laudare, licet ut meretur nequeant, non cessant? Hoc 
tamen procul dubio teneas, quia quanto altior et melior ac sanctior est 
omni matre, tanto clementior et dulcior circa conversos peccatores et 
peccatrices. Pone itaque finem in voluntate peccandi et prostrata coram 
ilia ex corde contrito et humiliato lacrimas effunde. Invenies illam, in- 
dubitanter promitto, promptiorem carnali matre ac mitiorem in tui dilec- 

X Lib. I. ep. 63. Petrus apostolus, quem Dominus Jesus Christus rex 
gloria principem super regua mundi constituit. Lib. VIL ep. 6, concerning 
Peter: Cui omnes principatus et potestates orbis terrarum subjiciens 
(Deus) jus ligandi atque solvendi in coelo et in terra tradidit. In a letter 
to king William of England, in which the pope certainly was inclined to 
lower Hither than to elevate his tone : Ut cura et dispeusatione apostolics 
dignitatis post Deum gubernetur regia. 

Gregory's views of priestly and royal power. 119 

authority would appear to be the only one truly ordained of 
God, — the authority by which everything was finally to be 
brought back into the right train ; for the authority of princes 
grew originally out of sinful self-will, the primitive equality 
of mankind having been broken up by the violence of those 
who, by rapine, murder, and every other species of atrocity, 
elevated themselves above their equals ;* — a view which might 
be confirmed, in the minds of some, on contemplating the then 
rude condition of civil society. Yet, in other places, when 
not pushed by opposition to this extreme, he recognizes the 
kingly authority as also ordained of God ; only maintaining, 
that it should confine itself within its own proper limits, remain- 
ing subordinate to the papal power, which is sovereign over all. 
He says that the two authorities stand related to each other 
as sun and moon, and compares them with the two eyes of the 

We see by single examples how welcome it would have 
been to the pope if all monarchs had been disposed to receive 
their kingdoms as feofs of the apostle Peter, Thus he would 
have converted the sovereignty of Peter into an altogether 
secular empire ; and he looked upon it as an insult to that 
sovereignty that a king of Hungary, who ought to have re- 
garded himself as a king dependent on St. Peter, should place 
himself in a relation of dependence on the German empire. 
He considered it deserving of reproach, that he should be wHl- 
iug to undergo the shame of making himself a dependent 

* In the famous letter to bishop Hermann of Mentz, 1. VIII. ep. 21 : 
Qais nesciat reges et duces ab iis habuisse principium, qui Deum igno- 
rantes, snperbia, rapinis, perfidia, homicidiis, postremo universis pane 
sceleribus, mundi principe diabolo videlicet agitante, super pares, scilicet 
homines, dominari caeca cupiditate et intolerabili praesumtione afifecta- 

t Lib. I. ep. 19. Nam sicnt duobus oculis humanam corpus temporal! 
lumine regitur, ita his duabus dignitatibus in pura religione concordanti- 
bus corpus ecclesiae spirituali lumine regi et illuminari probatur. Lib. 
VII. ep. 25 to king William of England: Sicut ad mundi pulchritudinem 
oculis cameis diversis temporibus repraesentandam solem et lunam omnibus 
aliis eminentiora disposuit luminaria, sic ne creatura, quam sui benignitas 
ad imaginem suam in hoc mundo creaverat, in errorem et mortifera trahe- 
retur pericula, providit in apostolica et regia dignitate, per diversa 
regeretnr oflScia. Qua tamen majoritatis et minoritatis distantia religio 
sic se movet Christiana, ut cura et dispensatione apostolicae dignitatis post 
Deara gubernetur regia. 


regulus on German kings, rather than to enjoy the honour of 
being dependent alone on the first of the apostles.* And to 
this he referred the promise of Christ regarding- the Rock, 
against which the powers of hell should never prevail ; that 
whoever would wrest his kingdom out of this relation of de- 
pendence to the church of Rome, must experience, by the loss 
of his inherited kingdom, the punishment due to his sacrilege, 
in his own person. So Spain was held to have been from the 
earliest times a feof of the Romish Church. f From the Romish 
church it was maintained, indeed, that all other spiritual 
authority was derived, and all ecclesiastical authorities should 
appear Jis organs of the pope ; yet among these authorities 
there should subsist a regular subordination, and all, through 
a certain series of gradations, return back to the one common 
head. J Gregory professed, it is true, in continuing the con- 
test begun by the popes at the close of the preceding period, 
that he acted as defender of the ancient ecclesiastical laws ; 
yet, at the same time also, he expressly declared, that it stood 
in his power to enact new laws against new abuses, which, 
when enacted, imposed an obligation of universal obedience.§ 
As he frequently made use of the Scriptures of the Old Tes- 
tament, which, by reason of his peculiar mode of apprehending 
the theocracy, would be particularly acceptable to him, so his 
favourite motto, whenever he spoke of maintaining, in spite of 
all opposition, the validity of the church laws, and of punish- 
ing abuses, was, " Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword 
from blood," Jeremiah xlviii. 10. || 

* Lib. II. ep. 70, to king Seusa of Hungary: Ubi contempto noblli 
dominio Petri, apostolorum principis, rex subdidit se Teutonico regi, et 
reguli nomen obtinait, et ita si quid in obtinendo regno juris prius habuit, 
eo se sacrilega usurpatioue privavit. Petrus a firma petra dicitur, quae 
portas inferi confringit atque adamantino rigore destruit et dissipat quid- 
quid obsistit. t Lib. I. ep. 7. % ^■■^^; VI. ep. 35. 

§ Lib. II. ep. 67. Huie sanct£E Romanse ecclesise semper licuit semper- 
que licebit, contra noviter increscentes excessus nova quoque decreta atque 
remedia procurare, quae rationiset auctoritatis edita judicio nulli honiinum 
sit fas ut irrita refutare. And ep. 68 : Non nostra decreta, quanquam 
licenter si opus esset possumus, vobis proponimus. 

II Lib. I. ep. 15 : In eo loco positi sumus, ut velimus nolimus omnibus 
gentibus, maxime Christianis, veritatem et justitiam annuntiare compel- 
lamnr; and now the passage: maledictus homo, qui probibet gladium 
suum a sanguine, which he explains thus : verbum prsedicationis a car- 
nalium increpatione. 


As the organs by which to extend and maintain his over- 
sight over all the churches, and to exercise everyAvhere his 
juridical authority, he determined to make use of the institution 
of legates, which had been made a \'ital part of the papacy 
during the epoch of reform, in the time of Henry the Third. 
Since he could not be in all places at once, these legates were 
to act as his representatives and vicegerents, in upbuilding 
and destroying among the distant nations ; and the bishops were 
to pay the same obedience to such legates as to the pope him- 
self, and to stand by them in all cases ; and he had tlie pre- 
sumption to apply to this relation the words of our Lord to 
his apostles, declaring, that in them he himself was honoured 
or despised.* At the same time, however, he did not allow 
these legates to act according to their own pleasure, but exer- 
cised a strict control over all their proceedings. He censured 
them, in right good earnest, if they &iled to make an exact 
report of every matter to himself. He was a despot, deter- 
mined to rule everywhere himself.f The gold which legates 
sent him, expecting by this means to pacify him, could not 
move him to release them from obligation to give in an exact 
account of all their transactions. To a certain legate, who 
contemplated something of this sort, he writes : " The fact that 
he had not personally brought in a report of all his proceed- 
ings admitted of no excuse, unless he was hindered by sick- 
ness, or had no possible means of returning." He reminded 
him of the fact, that he must have long since found out how 
small store he (the pope) set by money, separate from 

• Lib. V. ep. 2, regarding such a legate, whom he sent to Corsica : Ut 
ea, quae ad ordinem sacrae religionis pertinent, rite exequens juxta pro- 
phetse dictam evellat et destruat, sedificet et plantet. When in Bohemia, 
the authority of these legates was disputed as an innovation. Gregory 
promptly gave them his support. He thus writes on this snbject to the 
Bohemian bishops, 1. I. ep. 17: Quidam vestrorum hoc quasi novum 
aliquid existimautes et non considerantes sententiam Domini dicentis: 
" qui Tos recipit, me recipit, et qui vos spemit, me spemit." Legates 
nostros contemptui habent ac proinde dum nullam debitam reverentiam 
exhibent, non eos, sed ipsam veritatis sententiam spemnut. 

t Thus he took to task a legate whom he had sent to Spain, and who 
held a council there, l>ecause he had not, either in person or by one of his 
associates, made report to the pope (i. I. ep. 16): Quatenus perspectis 
omnibus confirmanda confirmaremos et si qua mutanda viderentnr, discreta 
ratione mutaremos. 

122 gregoey's fekedom from bribery. 

the recognition of his authority.* Furthermore, the annual 
synods, during the fasts preceding Easter, which were attended 
by bisliops from all parts of the Western church, | were to serve 
as a means of making the pope acquainted with the condition 
of all the churches, and of helping him to maintam an over- 
sight of their affairs. It is plain from many examples, how 
important he considered it to keep himself informed of the 
peculiarities, the particular condition and wants, even of 
the most most distant nations, in order to meet their several 
necessities. Thus, for instance, he wrote to the king of 
Sweden, requesting him to send a bishop, or some ecclesiastic 
of suitable qualifications, to Rome, who could exactly inform 
him respecting the character of the country and the manners 
of the people, and who, after being fully instructed, could 
more safely convey back the papal ordinances to his native 
land. I To king Olov, of Norway, he wrote, § " that it would 
give him great pleasure, were it in his power to send him 
qualified ecclesiastics for the instruction of his people ; but as 
the remoteness of the country, and especially the want of a 
knowledge of the spoken language, rendered it extremely 
diflricult to do this, he therefore requested him, as he had 
already done the king of Denmark, to send a few young people 
of the higher class to Rome, for the purpose of being accu- 
rately instructed there, under the protection of the apostles 
Peter and Paul, in the laws of God, so that they might convey 
back to their people the ordinances of the apostolical chair, and 
teach all they had learned to their countrymen, in their own 
language." On many occasions he showed how little he was 
to be influenced in the transaction of business, by money. A 
certain count of Angers maintained an unlawful connection 
M'ith a woman, and had for this reason been excommunicated by 
his bishop, whom he therefore persecuted ; at the same time, 
however, he sent presents to the pope, hoping, doubtless, that 
by this course he should be able to conciliate his favour. The 

* Nam pecunias sine honore quant'i pretii habeam.ta ipse optime dudam 
potuisti perpendere. Lib. VII. ep. 1. 

f Two at least from each bishopric should take part therein. Lib. VII 
ep. 1. 

J Lib. VIII. ep. 1. Qui et terns vestra; habitudines gentisque mores 
nobis suggerere et apostolica mandata de cunctis pleniter instructus acl vos 
certias queat referre § Lib. VI. ep. 13. 


pope sent them all back ; and wrote to the count that, until he 
had put away his sin, the head of the church could receive no 
presents from him, though he would not cease praying God to 
have mercy upon him.* The pious queen Matilda of Eng- 
land wrote to him, that anything of hers which he might wish, 
she was ready to give him. The pope answered her : "j" " What 
gold, what jewels, what precious objects of this world ought I 
to prefer to have from thee, rather than a chaste life, benefi- 
cence to the poor, love to God, and to thy neighbour ? " In 
a letter to the king of Denmark, the pope, with other exhor- 
tations, urgently ^lled upon him to put a stop to that abuse, 
in his country, by which during bad seasons and droughts, 
innocent women were persecuted as ^vitches who had brought 
about these calamities. } We have seen how a pope, by 
whom the papal authority was greatly increased, was the first 
to declare himself opposed to the employment of torture.§ 
We see in the present case how the individual by whose 
means the papal monarchy was advanced to a still greater 
height than ever, declared himself opposed to a superstition 
to which, in later times, by the trials for witchcraft, thousands 
must fell victims ! || In taking the preparatory steps for a 
synod of reform, to be held under the presidency of lus legate 
in England, against certain abuses which had crept in, he 
called upon the bishops % to direct their attention and care 
particularly against the abuses of penance, and false confi- 
dence in priestly absolution : " For if one who had been 
guilty of munler, perjury, adultery, or any of the like crimes 
persisted in such sins, or made traffic of them, which could 

* Lib. IX. ep. 22. Monera tua ideo recipienda non esse arbitrati somas 
quia divinis oculis oblatio non acceptabilis esse probator, qoamdiu a peo- 
cato isto umnanem te non reddideris et ad gratiam omuipotentis Dei non 
redieris. t Lib. VII. ep. 26. 

X Lib. VII. ep. 21. In mnlieres ob eandem causam simili immanitate 
barbari ritos damnatas qoidqaam impietatis faciendi vobis fas esse nolite 
patare, sed potios discite, divinx oltionis sententiam digne pcenitendo 
avertere, qaam in ilias insontes finostra feraliter ssviendo iram Domini 
molto magis provocare. 

§ Nicholas the First in his letter to the Bulgarian princes. 

I We find also in Germany, even at this early period, the beginnings 
of the same mischief. In the year 1074, at Cologne, a woman whom 
people suspected to be a witch, was precipitated from the city wall, and 
killed. See Lambert of Aschaffenburg, at this year; ed. Erause, p. 136. 

1 Lib. VII. ep. 10. 

124 Gregory's approval of monasticism. 

harldly be done without sin, or bore weapons (except for tlie 
protection of his rights, or of his lord or friend, or of the 
poor, or for the defence of the church) ; or if one in so doing 
remained in possession of another's property, or harboured 
hatred of his neighbour ; the penitence of such a perron 
should in nowise be considered as real and sincere. That was 
to be called a repentance without fruits, where one persisted in 
the same sin, or in a similar and worse one, or a tritiingly less 
one. True repentance consisted in a man's so turning back as to 
feel himself obliged to the faithful observance of his baptismal 
vow. Any other was sheer hypocrisy ; and on none but him 
who did penance in the former of these ways, could he by 
virtue of his apostolical authority, bestow absolution." 

Highly, again, as Gregory prized monasticism and the 
ascetical renunciation of the world ; yet his predilection for 
this mode of life never moved him, in the case of such as 
could be more useful in the discharge of their functions in 
the position where God had placed them, and whose places 
could not easily be supplied, to approve the choice of this 
mode of life. The standard of love he designated as the 
standard by which everything relating to this matter should be 
estimated. Accordingly, he wrote to the Margravine Beatrice 
and her daughter Mathilda : * " From love to God, to show 
love to our neighbour ; to aid the unfortunate and the op- 
pressed ; this I consider more than prayer, festing, vigils, and 
other good works, be they ever so many ; for true love is 
more than the other virtues." " For," he adds, " if this 
mother of all the virtues, which moved God to come down 
from heaven to earth to bear our sorrows, were not my teacher ; 
and if there were any one who would come forward in your 
place to help the oppressed churches, and serve tlie church 
universal ; then would I exhort you to forsake the world with 
all its cares." In the same temper he rebuked abbot Hugo 
of Cluny f for receivmg a pious prince to his order of monks. 
" Why do not you bethink yourself," he wrote, " of the 
great peril in which the church now stands ? Where are 
they who, from love to God, are bold enough to stand firm 
against the impious, and to give up their lives for truth and 
justice? Behold ! even such as seem to fear or to love God, 

* Lib. I. ep. 50. t Lib. VI. ep. 7, 


flee from the battle of Christ, negfect the salvation of their 
brethren, and, loving themselves only, seek repose." A 
hundred thousand Christians are robbed of their protection. 
Here and there, no doubt, God-fearing monks and priests are 
to be found ; but a good prince is scarcely to be found any- 
where. He admonishes him, therefore, to be more prudent for 
the future, and to esteem the love of God and of one's neigh- 
bour above all other virtues. The superior liberality of his 
views is shown by Gregory,* in the judgment he passed on the 
controversy between the Greeks and Latins, concerning the 
use of leavened or unleavened bread in the Lord's Supper. 
True, it is his \n\l that the Latins should hold fast to their 
usage : yet he condemns not the Greeks, but applies in thig 
case the words of Paul, " To the pure all things are pure." "j" 
As Gregory had already, when a cardinal, made himself well 
known by principles so sharply defined, and so energetically 
carried out, | so the commencement of his papal administra- 
tion would make a very different impression according to the 
relation in which the two opposite parties stood to each other. 
One of these parties expected from him the long-desired 
reformation of the church ; the other dreaded the severe 
judge and punisher of the abuses which had crept in ; bishops 
and monarchs might well tremble.§ If the nmnerous party 

* We will, by way of addition, state this fact, also : The abbot Hugo of 
Cluny had inquired of the pope concerning Berengar. The answer could 
not perhaps be so easily and briefly given, as it would have been in case 
he could have declared him at once a h.\se teacher : " De Berengario," 
he wrote, in reply to abbot Hugo, "unde nobis scripsistis, quid nobis 
videatur, vel quid disposaerimns, fratres, quos tibi remittimus cum prse- 
dicto cardinali nostro, nuntiabunt." Epp. Gregor. 1. V. ep. 21. 

f Ipsorum fermentatum nee -iituperamus nee reprobamus, sequentes 
apostolum dicentem muxidis esse omnia munda. Lib. VII. ep. 1. 

J His name, Gregory VII., while it contains an expression of his enduring 
friendship, implies also a protestation against the iiiterference of the em- 
peror in the affairs of the papacy. 

§ How he appeared to the pious men of his dmes, even such as did not 
belong to the zealots of the papal party, we may see from the judgment 
that Odericus Vitalis, of the monastery of St. Evreul in Normandy, passes 
upon him : he says of him, cd. Du Chesne, f 6.39 : A puero monachus 
omnique vita sua sapieutiae et religion! admodum studuit assiduumque 
certamen contra peccaium cxcrcuit. Lambert of Aschaffenbnrg men- 
tions him while he was yet a cardinal : Abbas de sancto Faulo, vir et 
eloqnentia et sacrarum literanmi eruditione valde admirandus and page 
89, in tota ecclesia omni virtutum genere celeberrimum. 


of bishops who were interested in the maintaining of old 
abuses, had had time for that purpose, doubtless they would 
have opposed the election of Hildebrand at every step, sucli 
reactions having already proceeded from that party at the 
end of the preceding period.* Gregory fulfilled these ex- 

* Worthy of notice is the account of Lambert of Aschaffenburg, p. 89. 
Gregory having become well known on account of his ardent zeal for the 
cause of God (zelo Dei ferventissimus), the French bishops were filled 
with great anxiety, ne vir veheraentis ingenii et acris erga Deum fidei, 
districtius eos pro negligentiis suis quandoque discuteret, and they had 
therefore been very importunate with king Henry the Fourth, that he 
should declare the election which had taken place without his concurrence 
to be null and void ; for unless he anticipated the attack of the pope, the 
latter would come down upon no one with more severity than himself. 
Henry, therefore, immediately sent count Eberhard to Rome, with instruc- 
tions to bring the Roman nobles to account for having, in contrariety to 
ancient usage, set up a pope without the concurrence of the king; and, in 
case it happened that Gregory would not give the proper satisfaction, to 
insist upon his abdication. The pope received him kindly, and called 
God to witness, that this dignity was forced upon him by the Romans ; at 
the same time, however, his ordination was put off till he should learn 
of the concurrence of the king and of the German princes. With this ex- 
planation the king was satisfied, and so Gregory's consecration took place. 
Were we warranted to give any credit to this account, then Gregory's 
adroitness, in suiting his conduct to the circumstances, would have 
descended in this case to actual dishonesty; the end must have been 
thought by him to sanctify the means ; for assuredly, according to Hil- 
debrand's principles, the validity of a papal election could not be dependent 
on any such circumstances. Certain it is, that he was, from the first, 
determined to dispute such a position most decidedly. He must have 
yielded only for the moment, because he did not believe himself, as yet, 
strong enough to maintain his ground in a quarrel with the imperial 
party, or wished at least to guard against a dangerous schism. We must 
admit it to be not at all improbable, that such attempts might be made on 
Henry the Fourth by the anti-Hildebrandian party ; but it is hardly 
possible to believe that Gregory, after having under the preceding reign 
so decidedly repelled any such concession, should have yielded so much 
as is here stated : for the consequences which might be drawn from his 
conduct in such a case could be plainly foreseen. Moreover, the silence 
observed in the writings of the opposite party, which would not have 
failed to produce this fact against Gregory if there had been any trutli 
in it, bears testimony against the credibility of the story. Bishop Henry 
of Speier, who in his ferocious letter against Gregory the Seventh (in 
Eccard. Scriptores rer. Germ. T. II. f. 762), would scarcely have omitted 
to make use of this along with his other charges against him, brings it 
against him simply that when a cardinal he had bound himself by oath 
to the emperor, Henry the Third, never to accept the papal dignity, 
during his own or his son's lifetime, without his consent, nor to suffer that 
auy other person should become pope without the same. 


pectations. He convoked a synod to meet at Rome on the 
first fast-week of the year, whose business it should be to vin- 
dicate the freedom of the church, to promote the interests of 
religion, and to prevent an irremediable corruption which was 
coming upon the church. In the letters missive for this coun- 
cil,* he depicts in glaring colours, but in a way certainly not 
differing from the truth, the then corrupt condition of the 
church : that the princes serving only their own selfish inter- 
ests, setting all reverence aside, oppressed the church as a 
poor miserable handmaiden, and sacrificed her to the indul- 
gence of their own desires. But the priests had entirely for- 
gotten the obligations under which they were laid, by their 
holy vocation, to God, and to the sheep intrusted to their 
care ; by their spiritual dignities, they only sought to attain 
to honour in the world ; and the property which was designed 
to subserve the benefit of many, was squandered away by 
them on idle state and in superfluous expenditures. And as 
the communities thus suffered mider an entire want of instruc- 
tion and guidance in righteousness ; as, instead thereof, they 
could only learn fit)m the example of those set over them 
what was contrary to Christianity, so they too gave them- 
selves up to all wickedness ; and not only the practical living 
out, but well-nigh all knowl^^ even, of the doctrines of faith 
was wanting. 

At this fast-synod, in the year 1074, the principles were 
carried out by which it had been already attempted, under 
the reigns of the recent popes, to improve the condition of 
the church, which had sunk so low. The repeated papal 
ordinances would still seem, however, to have accomplished 
nothing ; in many countries they seem to have been as good 
as not known, as apf>ears evident from the reception which 
the newly inculcated laws met with. Gregory not only 
repeated, at this synod, the ordinances against simony in the 
bestowment of benefices and against matrimonial connections 
of the clergy, which he plainly designates as " fornication ; " 
he declared not only that those ecclesiastics who had obtained 
their offices in the way just mentioned, and those who lived in 
such unlawful connections, were incapable henceforth of 
administering the functions of their oflRce ; "j" but he also 

• Lib. I. ep. 42. 

t Si qui sunt presbyteri vel diaconi vel sobdiaconi, qui in crimine for- 


addressed himself anew to the laity, with a view to stir them 
up against the clergy who would not obey. " If, however, 
they resolve to persist in their sins," says he of those clergy, 
" then let no one of you allow himself to hear mass from 
them ; for their blessing will be converted into a curse, their 
prayer into sin, as the prophet speaks : ' I will curse your 
blessings,' " Malach. ii. 12.* It was the pope's design, as he 
himself even avowed, to compel those ecclesiastics who would 
not obey from a sense of duty, to do so by exposing them to 
the detestation of the people.f Gregory, however, did not 
rest satisfied with merely having these laws published at the 
Roman synod ; he also transmitted them to those bishops 
who had not been present at the synod, making it, at the same 
time, imperative on them to see that they were put in force : 
and the legates, whom he sent forth in all directions, served as 
his agents to promulgate thom everywhere, and to take care 
that they should be obeyed. 

But the most violent commotions broke out in France and 
Germany on the publication of the law against the marriage 
of the clergy. In this instance was displayed the resistance 
of the German spirit, some symptoms of which had already 
been manifested at the time of the planting of the German 
church by Boniface, against this attempt to curtail man of his 
humanity. It was as if an entirely new and unheard of law 
was promulgated ; and the German spirit was prepared, even 
now, to feel the contradiction between this law and original 
Christianity — to contrast the declarations of Christ and the 
apostles with the arbitrary will of the pope. Such remon- 
strances as the following were uttered against the pope, in 
Germany : | — " Forgetting the word of the Lord (Matt. xix. 

uicationis jaceant, interdicimus iis ex parte Dei omnipotentis et S. Petri 
auctoritate ecclesiaj introitum, usque dum pcEiiiteant et emendent. 

* This ordinance is cited in this form by Geroch of Reichersberg, in 
Ps. X. Pez. 1. c. t. V. f. 157. Mansi Concil. xx. f. 434. 

t As he himself says, in his letter to bishop Otto of Constance : Utqui 
pro amore Dei et officii dignitate non corriguntur, verecundia seculi et 
objurgatione populi resipiscant. 

I Lambert of Aschaffenburg. who did not himself belong to this anti- 
Hildebrandian party, in his History of Germany (at the year 1074), 
expresses himself in the following strong language: Adversus hoc decre- 
tum protinus vehementer iufrenmit tota factio clericorum, homiuem plane 
..hscreticum et vcsani dogmatis esse clamitans. 


11), as well as that of the apostle Paul (1 Corinth, vii. 9), 
he would force men, by tjTannical compulsion, to live as the 
angels ; and, by seeking to suppress the very dictates of 
nature, he was throwing open a wide door for all impurity of 
manners. Unless he withdrew these decrees, they would pre- 
fer rather to renounce the priesthood than their marriage 
covenant ; and then he, for whom men were not good enough, 
might look about for angels to preside over the churches." 

The archbishop Sigfrid of Mentz wished to prepare his 
clergy by one step at a time. He allowed them half a year 
for consideration, exhorting them, however, to undertake vo- 
luntarily that which they must otherwise do by constraint, 
and imploring them not to put him and the pope under the 
necessity of resorting to severer measures against them.* 
This indulgence, however, did not help the matter, for when 
the archbishop, at a synod held in Erfurt in the month of 
October, required of the clergy that they should either sepa- 
rate from their wives or resign their places, he met with the 
most violent resistance. In vain he declared to them that he 
did not act according to his own inclination, but was obliged 
to yield to the authority of the pope ; they threatened him 
with deposition and death if he persisted in carrying this 
measure through. He saw himself forced to let the matter 
rest for the present, and promised that he would make a 
report to the pope, and try what could be done. Accordingly, 
he wrote to the pope, excusing himself on the ground of the 
impossibility, under the unfavourable circumstances, of show- 
ing obedience, as he wished, in all that the pope required. In 
this letter he says — " In regard to the chastity of the clergy 
and the crime of heresy, as well as everything else which you 
propose to me, I shall ever, so far as God gives me the 
ability, obey him and you. It would, however, correspond 
to apostolical gentleness and fatherly love, so to modify your 
ecclesiastical ordinances, as that some regard misrht be had to 
the circumstances of the time and to that which is practicable 
in individual cases ; so that, while there shall be no lack of 
strict discipline towards transgressors, there shall neither be 
any want of a charitable compassion towards those who are 
sick and need a physician ; and that the measure of justice 

♦ See Lambert, p. 146. 


may not exceed the limits of apostolical prudence and paternal 
love." * But no excuses were availing with the pope. In an 
answer to two letters, | he replied to him | that, " no 
doubt, according to man's judgment, he had adduced weighty 
grounds of excuse ; but nothing of all this could excuse him, 
however, before the Divine tribunal, for neglecting that 
which was requisite for the salvation of the souls committed to 
his care — no loss of goods, no hatred of the wicked, no wrath 
of the powerful, no peril even of his life ; for to be ready to 
make all these sacrifices was the very thing that distinguished 
the shepherd from the hireling." "It is a fact that must 
redound greatly to our shame," said the pope, in conclusion, 
" that the warriors of this world take their posts every day in 
the line of battle for their earthly sovereigns, and scarcely feel 
a fear of exposing their lives to hazard ; and should not we, 
who are called priests of the Lord, fight for our king, who 
created all things from nothing, who cheerfully laid down his 
life for us, and who promises us eternal felicity ? " And he 
persisted in requiring that the laws which had been passed 
respecting simony and the marriage of tlie clergy should 
at any rate be carried into effect, rejecting every modification 
on these points. § A second synod was held at Erfurt, at 
which a papal legate was present to enforce obedience ; but 
he, too, came near losing his life in the tumult which ensued, 
and could accomplish nothing. The archbishop contented 
himself with ordering that, in future, none but unmarried per- 
sons should be elected to spiritual offices, and that at ordina- 

* Erit autem apostolicae mansuetudinis et patemte dilectionis, sic ad 
fratres maudata dirigere ecclesiastica, ut et temporum opportunitates et 
singulorum possibilitatem digneraini inspicere, ut et deviantibus et disco- 
lis adhibeatur disciplina, quae debetur, et infirmis et opus habentibus 
medico compassio caritatis non negetur : saipeque examinatis negotiorum 
causis adhibeatur judieii censura, ut apostolicise discretionis et paternse 
pietatis modum non excedat justitia: mensura. Mansi Consil. XX. £ 

•j- In the second, he had excused himself on the ground that, under the 
existing circumstances, and on account of civil disputes and disturbances, 
he could not hold the required council of reform. 

+ Lib. III. ep. 4. 

§ Hoc autem tuse fraternitati injungimus, quatenus de simoniaca hroresi 
ac fornicatione clericorum, sicut ab apostolica sede accepisti, studiose 
perquiras et quidquid retroactum inveneris, legaliter punias et fuuditus 
reseces : ac ne quidquid ulterias fiat, peaitus interdicas. 

Gregory's views supported by the people. 131 

tion every candidate should obligate himself to observe the law 
of celibacy. 

The pope, who was soon informed of everything that trans- 
pired, by the multitudes who came from different regions 
to Rome,* learned that G^ebhard, archbishop of Salzburg, 
although he had himself been present at the synod, yet let his 
clergy go on in the old way : for this the p>ope addressed him 
a letter of sharp remonstrance. f In like manner he testified 
his displeasure to bishop Otto of Costnitz, about whom he 
had heard similar reports. " How should an ecclesiastic, 
li^dng in concubinage," he asks, " be competent to administer 
the sacraments, when, in fact, such a person is not even 
worthy of receiving them ; when the most humble layman 
li\'ing in such imlawful connection would certainly be ex- 
cluded from the church-commimion ? " | He constantly 
assumed that marriage contracted by a clergyman in defi- 
ance of the ecclesiastical laws was nothing better than 

Gregory reckoned upon being upheld by the people ; and 
he might, without advancing another step, simply leave his 
ordinances to operate among the people — here he would have 
found the most powerful support. As it had happened 
already, at the close of the preceding period, the cause of the 
papacy against a corrupted clergy had now become the cause 
Of the people. Gregory had, in fact, already appealed to the 
people, when he called on them not to accept the sacerdotal 
acts from ecclesiastics living in unlawful connections, while 
he at the same time exhibited their character in so hateful a 
light. He moreover made a direct call upon powerful lay- 
men for their active co-operation in enforcing the obedience 
which should be rendered to those laws. Thus he wrote 
to those princes on whose submission and interest, in behalf 

* Lib. IX.ep. 1. Ab ipsis mundi finibus etiam gentes noviter ad fidem 
converssE student annue tam mulieres quam viri ad eum (S. Petrum) 

t Ut clericos, qui turpiter conversantar, pastoral! vigore coerceas. Lib. 
I. ep. 30. 

X Nos si vel extremum laVcnm peJlicatui adhaerentem aliquando cog- 
noverimos, hunc velat praecisum a dominico corpore membniin, donee 
poeniteat, condigneasacramento altaris arcemus, quomodo ergo sacramen- 
torum distributor vel minister ecclesiae debet esse, qui nulla ratione debet 
esse particeps? Eccard, Scriptores rer. Gemianicar. II. ep. 142. 


132 Gregory's views supported by the people. 

of the cause of piety, he thought he might safely rely.* He ex- 
horted them, in the most urgent manner, to refuse accepting 
any priestly performance at the hands of clergy who had 
obtained their places by simony, or who lived in unchastity.'j' 
They were requested to publish these laws everywhere ; and, 
if it should be necessary, hinder even by force such eccle- 
siastics from administering the sacraments : | they were not 
to be put at fault, if the bishops neglected their duty and 
kept silent, or even spoke against them.§ If it should be 
objected to them, that this did not belong to their calling, 
^siill they should not desist from labouring for their own and 
the people's salvation ; they should, on the contrary, appeal 
to the pope, who had laid upon them this charge. |1 He 
himself says — " Since, by so many ordinances, from the time , 
of Leo the Ninth, nothing has been effected,^ it is far better I 
to strike out a new path than to let the laws sleep and the 
souLs of men perish also." ** He had allied himself with 
the pious laity against the corrupted clergy, he expresses his 
joy that he had done so, and thanks God that men and 
women of the lay order, notwithstanding the bad example of 
the clergy, were ready to give themselves up to the interests 
of piety. He calls upon such not to suffer themselves to be 

* Lib. II. ep. 45. 

t Vos officium coram, quos aut simoniace promotes et ordinatos aut in 
crimine fomicationis jacentes cognoveritis, nullatenus recipiatis. 

I Et haec eadem adstricti per obedientiam tam in curia regis quam per 
alia loca et conventus regni notificantes ac persuadentes, quantum potestis, 
tales sacrosanctis deservire mysteriis, etiam vi, si oportuerit, prohi- 

§ Quidquid episcopi dehinc loquantur aut taceant. 

d Si qui autem contra vos quasi istud oflScii vestri ngn esse, aliquid 
garrire incipiant, hoc illis respondete : ut vestram et populi salutem 
non impedientes, de injuncta vobis obedientia ad nos nobiscum disputaturi 

^ Concerning those laws : Quae cum sancta et apostolica mater ecclesia 
jam a tempore b. Leonis papae ssepe in conciliis turn per legates turn per 
epistolas in se et commissas sibi plebes, utpote ab antiquioribus neglecta, 
renovare et observare commonuerit, rogaverit et accepta per Petrura 
auctoritate jusserit, adhuc inobedientes, exceptis perpaucis, tam execran- 
dam consuetudinem nulla studuerunt prohibitione decidere, nulla dis- 
trictione punire. 

** Multo enim melius nobis videtur, justitiam Dei vel novis reacdi- 
ficare consiliis, quam animas hominum una cum legibus deperire neg- 


alarmed by the cry of the latter, who thought themselves 
entitled to despise such laymen as ignorant persons.* 

Again, Gregory found a peculiar kind of support in those 
monks who travelled about as preachers of repentance, had 
the greatest influence among the people, and sided with 
the popes in combating the prevailing corruption of manners 
and the vicious clergy. There were some among these 
inflamed by the ardour of genuine piety, but there were others 
inspired only by fanaticism or ambition ;f hence the monks 
drew upon themselves, as a class, the hatred of the anti- 
Hildebrandian party. They were represented by the men 
wiio stood at the head of that party as pharisees, promoters of 
spiritual darkness, and zealots for human ordinances.^ In the 

* Lib. II. ep. 11. Qnapropter qaidqoid illi contra yos imo contra 

jostitiam garriant et pro defendenda nequitia saa robis, qui iltiterati estis, 
objiciant, vos in puritate et constantia fidei vestrse permanentes, quae de 
episcopis et sacerdotibus simoDiacis aut in fornicatione jacientibos ab 
apostolica sede accepistis, firmiter credite et tenete. In a letter which is 
addressed to the bishop and the commnnities at the same time, he calls 
upon both to labour together for the same object. Lib. II. ep. 55. 

t When the decrees of that Roman council were made known at a 
synod held in Paris, nearly all the bishops, abbots, and clergy protested 
against them, declaring importabilia esse praecepta ideoque irrationabilia. 
Walter, abbot of the monastery of St. Martin, near Pontisara(Pontoise), 
the fierce antagonist of simony, who fearlessly told the truth to king 
Philip the First, was the only one who stood up for these laws, on the 
principle of the respect which in every case was due to superiors. Church- 
men and people of the court attacked him on all sides ; but he was not to 
be moved by any authority nor by any threats. See his Life, written by 
one of his disciples : c. ii. s. 10, t. 1. Mens. April, f. 760. Even down to 
the early part of the twelfth century, to the time of pope Paschalis the 
Second, the papal laws of celibacy were so little observed in Normandy, 
that priests celebrated their weddings openly, passed their livings to their 
sons by inheritance, or gave them as a dowry to their daughters, if they 
had no other property. Their wives, before they married, took an oath 
before their parents, that they would never forsake their husbands. 
When, however, the monk Bernard (abbot of Tira in the diocese of 
Chartres), itinerated at that time in Normandy as a preacher of repentance, 
being a man of true piety, who had great influence on the people, he stood 
forth in opposition to such ecclesiastics, and sharply rebuked them in his 
discourses. Some gave heed to his exhortations, but the greater number 
continued to pursue their old course of life. The wives of the priests 
with their whole retinue, and the clergy themselves, persecuted him. 
They tried to bring it about that he should be forbidden to preach. See 
the Life of this man, at April U, c. vi. s. 51, t. II. f. 234. 

X The fierce opponent of the Hildebrandian party, and zealous champion 


anti-Hildebrandian party we must distinguish two classes — 
those who, contending only for their own personal advantage 
and the maintenance of old abuses, were farthest removed 
from the interest of culture ; and those who strove for 
the .-ause of a well-grounded conviction — representatives of a 
freer spirit,* which they had contracted from the study of the 
Bible and of the older church-teachers, and which would 
incite them to push their studies still farther in the same 
direction. To such, the monks contending for the Hilde- 
brandian system might well appear to be no better than 

Thus Gregory must unite himself with the monks against 
the bishops as well as against the princes. We see how 
he takes the part of the former against that free-minded 
bishop, Cunibert of Turin ; and it may be a question on 
which side the right was in this dispute, whether the quarrel 
was not connected with the universal contest about principles 
which agitated these times. Remarkable is the language which 
Gregory, in a threatening tone, addresses to this bishop, that 
' ' the earlier popes had made pious monasteries free from all 
relations of dependence on the bishops, and bishoprics free 
from the oversight of the metropolitans, in order to protect 

for the cause of the emperor Henry the Fourth, bishop Waltram of 
Naumburg, attacked the monks as pharisees ( Obscurantes), who zealously 
contended for human traditions, prevented instruction in their monaste- 
ries, and sought to keep the youth, from the first, in ignorance and 
stupidity. Mirandum est valde, quod nolunt aliqui, prsecipue autem 
monachi, quae praiclara sunt discere, qui ne pueros quidem vel adoles- 
centes permittunt in monasteriis habere studium salutaris scientiae, ut 
scilicet rude ingenium nutriatur siliquis dsemoniorum, quae sunt consue- 
tudines humanarum traditionum, ut ejusmodi spurcitiis assuefacti non 
possint gustare, quam suavis est Dominus, qui dicit in evangelio de 
talibus : vse vobis scriba et pharissei hypocritae, vos enim non intratis, 
nee sinitis introeuntes intrare. Apolog. Lib. II. p. 170, in Goldast. Apol. 
pro Henrico Quarto. Hanoviae, 1611. 

* Gerhoh of Reichersberg complains of the wresting of the Scriptures 
■which the defender of Simony and of Nicolaitism (as the defence of the 
marriage of priests was termed) resorted to : Ipsi Simoniaci et Nicolaitao 
obtinuerunt divitias corporales et spirituales, nam possident ecclesias et 
sciunt scripturas et ideo de ipsis scripturis et nuvi testamenti intenderunt 
arcum ad se detorquendo et ilectendo sensum eorum juxta errorem suum. 
It is evident, then, that the educated men of the anti-Hildebrandian party 
took pains to study the bible ; and -what Gerhoh calls wresting of the 
Scriptures, was sometimes the right interpretation of the bible. 


them against the enmity of their superiors, so that they 
misht ever stand free and immediately connected, as more 
illustrious members, with the head, the apostolical see.* 
Here we discern that tendency of papal absolutism which was 
seeking to dissolve the existing legitimate gradation of the 
church-organism, and to procure organs everywhere which 
should be immediately dependent on and serviceable to itself. 
It was made therefore a special matter of reproach against 
Gregory the Seventh, by the defenders of the opposite system, 
that he paid no regard whatever to the specific rights of any 
ecclesiastical authority, f 

But the passions of the people having once been excited 
against the clergy, there arose, to a still greater extent than 
we observe on the like occasion in any former period, separa- 
tist movements, and the passions of the people went beyond 
the limits fixed by the popes. Laymen stood forth who, 
while they declared the sacraments administered by the 
corrupted clergy to be without validity, took the liberty 
themselves to baptize. We may well believe, too, the remark 
of a historian of this period, J hostilely disposed to this pope, 
that, in a state of the nations which still continued to be so 
rude, the fanaticism excited by the pope against the married 
clerg^', manifested itself in the wildest outbreaks, and even 
led to a profanation of the sacraments. Heretical tendencies 
might easily spring up out of this insurrection against the 
corrupted clergy and this separatism, or find in them a point 
of attachment. It was an easy thing for all who understood 
how to take advantage of the excited feelings of the people, 
to use them for their own ends, and as a means to obtain 
followers. Certain it is, that the heretical sects, which in the 
twelfth century spread with so much power, especially in 
Italy, were by this ferment not a little promot€d,§ as the 

* Lib. II. ep. 69. Perpetiia libertate donantes apostolicae sedi velut 
principalia capiti suo membra adhaerere sanxerant 

t See the letter of the bishop of Speier against Gregory : Sublata quan- 
tnm in te fuit, omni potestate episcopis, quae eis divinitus per gratiam 
Spiritus sancti collata esse dinoscitur, dam nemo jam alicui episcopus ant 
presbyter est, nisi qui hoc indignisslma assentatione a fastu tuo emendi- 
carit. See Eccard, 1. c. ii. f. 762. 

X See the remarks of Sigebert of Gemblours, cited below. 

§ This may be gathered even from the remarkable account of the 
historian Sigebert of Gemblours. Continentiam paucis teneutibus, ali- 


sectarian name of the Patarenes itself indicates. The de- 
magogical tendency was especially objected to the pope by 
his adversaries ; and it was said, that he made use of the 
popular fury as a means of procuring obedience to his laws.* 
How easily the people, in a time of barbarism, might pass 
over from a superstitious veneration of the clergy to a fanatical 
detestation of them, may be seen from the example in Den- 
mark, which perhaps was connected with these movements 
excited by the pope himself. The people, on occasions of 
public calamity, a bad atmosphere, droughts, failure of crops, 
were wont to complain of the clergy, and to rage against 
them ; hence, the pope himself was under the necessity of 
exhorting them to show a becoming reverence to the priests.f 
All this now furnished grounds for various complaints 
against the pope. Even those who approved the laws respect- 
ing celibacy, in themselves considered, still could not approve 

qaibus earn modo causa quaestus ac jactantiaj simulantibus, multis incon- 
tinentiam perjuro (since they put themselves under an obligation, at their 
ordination, to observe the law of celibacy, and yet were not enabled to 
keep it), cumulantibus ad hoc hac opportunitate laicis insurgentibus 
contra sacros ordines, et se abomni ecclesiastica subjectione excuticntibus, 
laici sacra mysteria temerant et de his disputant, infantes baptizant, sor- 
dido humore aurium pro sacro oleo et chrismate utentes, in extremo vitse 
viaticum dorainicum et usitatum ecclesise obsequium sepultursB a presby- 
teris conjugatis accipere parvi penduut, decimas presbyteris deputatas 
igni cremant, et ut in uno caetera perpendas, laici corpus Domini a pres- 
byteris conjugatis consecratum, sa;pe pedibus conculcaverunt et sanguinem 
Domini voluntarie eifuderunt, et multa alia contra jus et fas in ecclesia 
gesta sunt, et hac occasione multi pseudomagistri exurgentes in ecclesia, 
profanis novitatihus plebem ah ecclesiastica disciplina avertunt. Although 
this account, as proceeding from an opponent of the Hildebrandian party, 
might excite suspicion, yet certainly in all essential points it is in confor- 
mity with the truth. 

* In the letter of Theodoric of Verdun : Legem de clericorum incon- 
tinentia per laicorum insanias cohibenda, legem ad scandalum in ecclesia 
mittendum tartaro vomente prolatam. Martene et Durand, thes. nov. 
anecdoto. T. I. f. 218. And Henry, bishop of Speier, says, in the letter 
above cited : Omnis rerum ecclesiasticarum administratio plebejo furori 
per te attributa. 

•)■ His way of doing this discovers, in a characteristic manner, the more 
Jewish than Christian position on which he stood. Quod quam grave 
peccatum sit, ex eo liquid© potestis advertere, quod Judaeis etiam sacer- 
dotibus ipse salvator noster lepra purgatos eis mittendo honorem exhi- 
buerit ca3terisque servandum esse qua? illi dixissent, prsecepit, qunm 
profecto vestri qualescunque habeantur, tamen illis longe sint meliores. 
Lib. VII. ep. 21. 


tho means which he employed to enforce obedience to them ; 
and they thought he ought to have been content to establish 
these laws on a firm foundation for the future, and to enforce 
obedience to them in all following time. But they found fault 
with him because he showed no indulgence to those clergy- 
men who were already bound by the ties of wedlock. ; because 
he was for having everything done at once, and paid no regard 
to the weakness of mankind ; because he did not copy the ex- 
ample of Christ, in bearing with the infirmities of his disciples ; 
because he was for pouring the new wine into old bottles, and 
stirring up the people so cruelly against the clergy. By all the 
laws in the world, said they, that cannot possibly be brought 
about by force which grace alone can effect by working from 
within. Hence every good man should be more ready to pray 
for the weak than to involve them in such persecutions.* 

Furthermore, the manner in which Gregory had expressed 
himself respecting the sacramental acts performed by unworthy 
ecclesiastics, gave occasion to the charge, that he made the 
validity and force of the sacraments depend on the subjective 
character of the priest : which stood at variance with the 
doctrine concerning the objective validity of the sacraments 
recognized ever since the controversies between Cyprian and 
the church of Rome.f 

* The words of priest AlboiD, in his second letter against priest 
Bemold of Constance : Nonne etiam ipse sommns pontifex, qui cobIos 
penetravit, non omnes hoc verbum castitatis capere, neque etiam novum 
mustum in veteres uteres fundi convenire, insnper rudes discipulos, 
quamdiu cum illis sponsus est, non jejunare profitetnr, infirmitatibus 
nostris misericorditer compati non dedignatur. As Christ, the great phy- 
sician, received publicans and sinners among his table companions. Bat 
one will say : Yes, after they maniYested repentance. Well, but who 
brought them to repentance? Assuredly, Christ alone. Profecto filius 
hominis, qui de coelo descendit, Zachaeo sui occulta inspiratione adscen- 
sionem arboris persuasit. Sic etiam nunc, nisi ille omnia trahens ad se 
oceuUo sua gratuB metu nos miseros trahat, procul dubio nostri Papa 
auctoritas vacillat. Agnum cum lupo vesci confitetnr dextera excelsi. 
Proinde quemque piorum magis deceret pro infirmis orare, qnam in 
istis malis diebus tot persecutorum super eos jugum ducere. Ed. Goldast. 
1. c. pag. 42. 

t See Waltram of Naumburg, 1. III. c. 3. Gerhoh of Reichersberg 
takes great pains to defend the pope against the accusation of those who 
said : Non potest pollui verbum Dei, non potest impediri gratia Dei, quin 
suos eflfectns operetur, etiam per ministros, Judse traditori similes. He 
grants this to be true in reference to those whose vices are not yet openly 


Although those first ordinances of the pope had already 
excited so violent a ferment, he yet, unmoved by that cir- 
cumstance, proceeded to take another step. In order to cut 
off entirely the fountain-head of simony, and to deprive the 
secular power of all influence in the appointments to spiritual 
offices, the right of investiture, by virtue of which the laity 
might always exercise a certain influence of this sort, was to 
be wholly denied them. At a second fast-synod of reform, 
held at Rome the year 1075, he issued the ordinance : " If 
any person in future accepts a bishopric or an abbacy from 
the hands of a layman, such person shall not be regarded as a 
bishop or an abbot, nor shall he enter a church, till he has 
given up the place thus illegally obtained. The same thing 
should hold good also of the lower church offices ; and every 
individual, be he emperor or king, who bestows investiture in 
connection with such an office, should be excluded from 
church-communion."* Gregory and his party maintained 
that on this point also they only restored to the ancient 
ecclesiastical laws the authority which belonged to them ; 
that being reduced to practice, which these laws had deter- 
mined with regard to the freedom of church elections. He 
was praised as the restorer of free church elections ; and men 
were indebted to him for the rescue of the church from utter 
ruin, which venality, and hence bad appointments to all 
offices, from the highest to the lowest, must have for their con- 
sequence, f By the other party, however, it was made out, in 

known; but the case is different, he maintains, after such worthless 
clergymen have been deposed by the pope ; just as Judas, after he had 
become exposed, and had left the ranks of the disciples, no longer took 
part with them in any religious act. See I. c. pag. 154 seq. We see from 
what he says, how much talk there was at that time on this subject on 
both sides. In a much more able manner than Gerhoh, Anselm of Can- 
terbury defends, at one and the same time, the objective validity of the 
sacraments and the papal law, the sense of which was not, quo quis ea, 
qua; tractant, contemnenda, sed tractandos execrandos existimet, ut qui 
Dei et Angelorum prsesentiam uon revereutur, vel hominum detestatione 
repulsi, sacra contaminare desistant. Lib. I. ep. 56. 

♦ See this decree in the work which that zealous defender of Gregory's 
course, Anselm, bishop of Lucca, wrote against his adversary Guibert. 
T. in. p. i. lib. II. f. 383. Canis lect. anUq. cd. Basnage. 

t Gerhoh of Reichersberg, who wrote after the middle of the twelfth 
century, reckons the restoration of free ecelesiastical elections among the 
works of the Holy Spirit in his times. Ilajc sunt pia de spiritu pietatis 


defence of the rights of monarchs, that if the bishops and abbots 
Mere willing to receive from them civil immunities and pos- 
sessions, thev must also bind themselves to the fulfilment of 
the duties therewith connected. This was the beginning of 
a long-continued contest between the papacy and the secular 

The above-mentioned decrees the pope now sought to cany 
into execution against princes and prelates. He threatened 
the young Philip the First of France with excommunication, 
the interdict, and deposition, if he refused to reform. In a 
letter to the French bishops,* he describes the sad condition 
of France, where no rights, human or divine, were respected, 
where rapine and adultery reigned with impuuity.f He made 
it a matter of severest reproach to the bishops, that they did 
not restrain the king from such acts. They had not a shadow 
of excuse to plead. They were much mistaken if they sup- 
posed that they acted against the oath of fidelity which they 
had taken, when they prevented him from sinning ; for it was 
a far greater act of fidelity to rescue another against his own 
will from making shipwTeck of his soul, than by an injurious 
acquiescence to allow him to perish in the vortex of his guilt. 
The plea of fear could not excuse them in the least ; for if 
they were imited in each other in defending justice and right, 
they Avould have such power, that without any danger what- 
soever, they might draw him from all his accustomed vices, 
and at the same time deliver their own souls ; although, to 
say truth, not even the fear of death should hinder them from 
discharging the duties of their priestly vocation. If the king 

provenientia spectacula, cujas operationi et hoc assignamns, qaod in diebus 
istis magna est libertas canonicis electionibus episcoporum, abbatum, 
prajpositorum, et aliarum ecclesiasticarum personamm provehendarum 
m dignitatibus, qnas per multos annos paine a temporibns Ottonis primi, 
imperatoris usque ad imperatorem Henricum quartum, vendere solebant 
ipsi reges vel imperatores regnante ubique simonia, dum per simoniacos 
episcopos in cathedra pestilentiae positos mortifera ilia pestis dilata est 
usque ad infimos plebauos et capellanos, per quos valde multiplicatos, 
ecclesia pane tola fcedabatur, usque ad Gregorium septimum, qui se 
opposuit mnrum pro domo Israel, reparaudo in ecclesia canonicas electiones 
juxta pristinas canonum saactioncs. In Ps. xxxix. 1. c. f. 793. 

* Lib. TI. ep. 5. 

t Quod niisquam terrarnm est, ciyes, propinqui, fratres etiam alii alios 
proper cupiditattm capiunt et omnia bona eorum ab illis extorquentes, 
vitam in extrema miseria finire faciont 


would not listen to their representations, they should then 
renounce all fellowship with him, and impose the interdict on 
all France. And at the same time, Gregory declared : " Let 
every man know that, should the king even then show no signs 
of repentance, he would, with God's help, take every measure 
within his reach to wrest the kingdom of France from his 

Hermann, bishop of Bamberg (a man who lacked every 
other qualification as well as the knowledge required by his 
office),! formerly vice-dominus at Mentz, had in the year 
1065, with a large sum of money, procured for himself the 
episcopal dignity in Bamberg. | In vain did this man try to 
deceive the pope by professions of repentance. In vain did 
his friend, archbishop Sigfrid of Mentz, go in person to Rome, 
and use all his influence to soften the feelings of the pope 
towards him. He had to be content that no worse punishment 
befel himself; that he was not himself put out of his office, 
because he had ordained that bishop. The pope commanded 
him to withdraw himself from all fellowship with the bishop 
of Bamberg, to publish the papal sentence of excommunication 
against him in all Germany, and to see to it, that another 
should be elected as soon as possible. No other hope now 
remaining to bishop Hermann, he proceeded himself, with 
advocates to defend his cause, to Rome, intending to effect his 
object by intrigue and bribery ; but he dared not appear 
personally before the pope.§ He endeavoured to carry on his 
cause in Rome simply by his money and his lawyers ; but he 
foxmd himself disappointed in his expectations. Gregory was 

* Nulli clam aut dubiura esse volumus, quin modis omnibus regnum 
Francise de ejus occupatione, adjuvante Deo, tentemus eripere. 

t A remarkable illustration af his ignorance is a case cited by Lambert 
of Aschaffenburg, a.d. 1075, p. 154. When the cleras of Bamberg, 
taking advantage of the authority of the papal legate, rose in resistance 
against their bishop, a young clergyman stood forth and declared that, 
if the bishop showed himself able to translate, word for word, a single 
Terse from the Psalter, they would acknowledge him as bishop on the 
spot. I See Lambert, 1. c. p, 44. 

§ From Lambert's words, 1. c. p. 156, we should infer, it is tnie, that 
he himself had come to Kome ; but it is evident from a letter of popo 
Gregory, that he did not execute this resolution. In the letter to king 
Henry, lib. IIL ep. 3: Simoniacus ille Herimannus dictus episcopus hoc 
anno ad synodum Homam vocatus venire contemsit ; sed cum propius 
Komam accessisset, in itinere substitit. 

henky's recosceliation with the pope. 141 

inaccessible to such influences ; and it is a proof of the power 
which he exercised over all that were about him that, even at 
the Roman court, arts of bribery, which at other times had been 
so common and so successful here, could now effect nothing.* 
No other way, therefore, remained for him, but unconditional 
submission to the irrevocable judgment of the pope. He 
obtained only the assurance of the papal absolution, on pro- 
mising that, after his return, he would retire to a monastery, 
for the purpose of there doing penance. But when he came 
back, the manner in which he had been treated by the pope 
excited great indignation in the knights who espoused his 
cause; they called it an unheard-of thing, that the pope, 
without any regular trial, should presume to depose a high 
spiritual dignitar}' of the empire. The bishop now threw 
himself upon these knights, who were his only reliance, and 
treated the papal excommunication as null ; yet all others 
avoided intercourse with him as an excommunicated person. 
None would receive from him any sacerdotal act, and he could 
only decide on questions of secular property. The pope pro- 
nounced on him the anathema ; and as he finally succeeded in 
having another bishop appointed, Hermann was obliged to 
yield. The deposed bishop, driven by necessity, retired to 
the monastery of Schwartzach, in the territory of Wiirzburg, 
and then went with the abbot of this convent to Rome. Now, 
for the first time, the pope bestowed upon him absolution, and 
gave him permission to perform sacerdotal functions, with the 
understood condition, however, that he was ever to remain 
excluded from the episcopal dignity. 

King Henry, who most favoured tlie abuses attacked by the 
pope by an administration wholly surrendered to arbitrary will, 
was induced, on account of his then political situation, to yield 
compliance. Through the mediation of his pious mother 
Agnes, a reconciliation took place between him and the pope ; 
he dismissed the ministers on whom, because they encouraged 

• Lambert of Aschaffenburg says rightly : Sed Komani pontificis con- 
stantia et invictus adversus avaritiam animus omnia excludebat argnmenta 
homanae fallacise, ■which is confirmed by Gregory's way of expressing 
himself on the subject : Praemittens nnntios suos cum copiosis muneribns 
noto sibi artificio innocentiam nostram et confratrum nostrorum integri- 
tatem pactione pecuniae attentare atque, si fieri posset, corrumpere molitus 
est. Quod ubi pncter spem evenit, etc. 


simony, excommunication had been pronounced, and expressed 
a willingness to obey the pope in all things, so that the latter 
signified his entire satisfaction with him, and the best hopes 
for the future. Already Gregory was employed, during this 
momentary interval of peace, in sketching the outlines of a 
great plan, for the execution of which he invited the co-ope- 
ration of king Henry. The idea of a crusade, first broached 
by Sylvester the Second, was now taken up again by him. 
We have observed how Gregory lamented over the separation 
of the Western from the Eastern church, and the sad condition 
of Oriental Christendom, overrun by the Saracens. He had 
been invited from the East to procure the assistance of the 
West in behalf of the oppressed Christian brethren of the 
East. The hope was opened out to him, of liberating the holy 
places from the yoke of the infidels, of once more uniting to- 
gether the East and the West in one community of faith and 
church-fellowship, and of thus -extending his spiritual pre- 
rogative over the former as well as the latter. Fifty thousand 
men were already prepared to march under his priestly di- 
rection to the East.* " Since our fathers," he wrote, "have, 
for the confirmation of the Catholic faith, often trod those 
countries, so will we, sustained by the prayers of all Christians, 
if under the leading of Christ the way shall be opened to us, — 
for it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps, but the 
ordering of our ways is of the Lord, — for the sake of the same 
faith and for the defence of Christians go thither also." And 
in communicating this purpose to king Henry, he asked his 
counsels and support ; he would during his absence commend 
the Roman church to his protection. But soon Gregory be- 
came involved in violent disputes, which no longer permitted 
him to think of executing so vast a plan. 

The young king Henry, following his own inclinations, 
would be more ready to agree with the opponents of the 
Hildebrandian system than with its adherents, for Gregory's 
severity could not possibly be agreeable to him ; and men 
were not wanting who wished to make use of him as a bulwark 
against the rigid, inflexible pope, and these invited him to 

* Lib. II. ep. 31. Jam ultra quinquaginta millia ad hoc se praparant, 
ut si me possunt in expeditione pro duce ac pontifice habere, armata 
manu contra inimicos Dei volunt insurgere, et usque ad sepulchrum 
Domini ipso ducente pervenire. 


assert against the latter his sovereign power. His uncertain 
political situation had procured admission for the remonstrances 
of his mother and other mediators, but after he had con- 
quered Saxony these restraints vanished away. The pope 
heard that the emperor continued, in an arbitrary manner, to 
fill vacant bishoprics in Italy and Germany, and that he had 
again drawn around him the excommunicated ministers. After 
Gregory found that he had been deceived by many of Henrj''s 
specious words, he wrote him in the year 1075, as the last 
trial of kindness, a threatening letter, couched in language of 
paternal severity, but at the same time tempered with gentle- 
ness. The spirit in which he wrote was expressed already in 
the superscription :* " Gregory to king Henry, health and 
apostolical blessing ; that is, in case he obeys the apostolical 
see, as becomes a Christian prince." With such a proviso — 
the letter began — had he bestowed on him the apostolical 
blessing, because the report was abroad that he knowingly 
held fellowship with persons excommunicated. If this were 
the case, he himself must perceive that he could not otherwise 
expect to share the di\'ine and apostolical blessing than that 
he separated himself from the excommunicated, inciting them 
to repentance, and rendered himself worthy of absolution by 
affording the satisfaction tliat was due. If, therefore, he felt 
himself to be guilty in this matter, he should quickly apply 
for advice to some pious bishop, confess his fault to him ; and 
the bishop, with the concurrence of the pope, could impose a 
suitable penance, and bestow absolution on him.")" He next 
complains of the contradiction between his fair professions 
and his actions. In reference to the law against investiture, 
concerning which the pope had been informed that the 
king had many difficulties, J he declared, it is true, once more, 
that he had merely restored the old ecclesiastical laws to their 
rights ; yet he professed himself ready to enter into negotiations 
on that subject, through pious men, with the king, and § to 

* Lib. III. ep. 10. 

t Qui cum nostra licentia congruam tibi pro hac culpa iojungens 
p<Enitentiam te absolvat, ut nobis tuo consensu modum poenitentia: tuae 
per epistolam suam veraciter intimare audeat. 

X Decretum, quod qnidam dicont importabile pondos et immensam 

§ Ne pravae consuetudinis mutatio te commoTeret 

144 henry's breach with Gregory. 

mitigate so far the severity of the law in compliance with their 
advice, as could be done consistently with the glory of God 
and the spiritual safety of the king. 

The pope had said nothing in this letter, which, according 
to his mode of looking at things, could offend the king's dig- 
nity. He looked upon it as a principle universally valid, that 
high and low should in like manner be subject to his spiritual 
jurisdiction. He could not foresee that Henry, after having 
so shortly before, at least in his professions, acknowledged so 
entire a submission to the papal see, would receive such a 
letter, in which he himself held out his hand for peace, with 
such violent indignation.* But as appears evident from tlie 

* According to the account of the German historian, Lambert of 
Aschaff'enburg, there was, to be sure, something else of a special charac- 
ter, which so exasperated the feelings of the king towards the pope, and 
which had in some sense compelled him, unless he was willing to be 
completely humbled before the pope, to anticipate the blow which he was 
to receive from Rome. The pope had sent an embassy to him, through 
which he cited him to appear before the Roman synod of Lent, on the 
Monday of the second week of Lent, a.d. 1076, where he was to clear 
himself of the charges which had been brought against him, with the 
threat that, if he did not comply, the ban would be pronounced on him 
the same day. The above-mentioned letter of the pope, however, contra- 
dicts the supposition of any such embassy. Some important occurrence 
must have intervened, which led the pope to deviate so far from the 
paternal tone which he had expressed in this letter. The thing, after 
all, remains quite improbable. We may perhaps consider the embassy 
mentioned by this historian as the same with that which was the bearer 
of the above-mentioned letter ; and in this case, we must explain the con- 
tents of the message delivered by this embassy in accordance with the 
letter itself. From the letter it follows, to be sure, that if Henry did not 
act in the way required of him by the pope, he had to expect excommu- 
nication ; and from this the story just related may have grown. Were the 
statement, as we find it given by this historian, the correct one, the 
defenders of Gregory could never have appealed to the fact, that Henry 
had attacked the pope without any previous provocation, and that this 
first violent step was the source of all the ensuing evil. Thus, the lan- 
guage of Gebhard, bishop of Salzburg, to Hermann, bishop of Metz, is : 
" The adherents of Henry could not excuse themselves on the ground 
that they at first had only adopted measures of defence against the pope." 
Nam apostolica: animadversionis, qua se injuriatos causantur, ipsi potius 
causa extiterunt, et unde se accensos conqueruntur, hoc ipsi potius incen- 
derunt ideoque injurias non tam retulerunt quam intulerunt. Cum enim 
primum ad initiandam hanc rem Wormatiie confluxissent, ubi omnis^ 
quam patimur, calamitas exordium sumsit, nuUam adhuc Dominus Papa 
excommunicationis vel anathematis sententiam destinavit, sed ipsi, pri- 
mitise discordiarum, ipso ignorante et nihil minus putante, sua 

HEXRY'3 breach with GREGORY. 145 

letter of the pope addressed to the Germans themselves,* he 
afterwards sent to him three men, natives of countries subject 
to the emperor, who were directed privately to reprove him 
for his transgressions, exhort him to repentance, and represent 
to him, that if he did not reform, and shun all intercourse 
with the excommunicated, he might expect excommunication ; 
and that then, as a thing which, according to the Hilde- 
brandian notions of ecclesiastical law, followed necessarily 
upon excommunication, he would no longer be competent to 
administer the government. Henry, in his existing state of 
mind, was little capable of enduring such a mode of treatment 
as this. He dismissed the envoys in an insulting manner ; and 
an accidental circumstance contributed perhaps to induce him 
to venture on a step which was by no means justified in the 
then existing forms of law, but by which he hoped he might 
be able to rid himself at once of so annoying an overseer. A 
certain cardinal, Hugo Blancus, whom pope Alexander the 
Second, and indeed Gr^ory himself, had employed on em- 
bassies, but who for reasons unknown had become the pope's 
most bitter enemy, and whom Hildebrand had deposed, | came 
to the emperor, and handed over to him a violent complaint 
against the pope. The king now issued letters missive for an 
assembly of his spiritual and secular dignitaries, to be held at 
"Worms on the Sunday of Septuagesima, a.d, 1076. These 
letters invited them to come to the rescue, not merely of his 
own insulted dignity, but also of the interest of all the bishops, 
the interests of the whole oppressed church. In this writing 
he even accuses the pope, probably on the ground of the 

superba et repentina temeritate abrenantiaverunt Gebhard then seeks to 
prove this by the chronology of events. When Henry celebrated the 
festival of St Andrew in Bamberg, shortly before Christmas, there was 
still so good an understanding between the emperor and the pope, that 
the former acted entirely according to the determinations of the latter in 
displacing the bishop of Bamberg. Quid ergo tam cito intercidere potuit, 
ut ille, qui in proximo ante nativitatem Domini tantae in ecclesia magni- 
ficentiaj fiiit, ut ad nutnm illius dignitatum mutationes fiereut, idem paucis 
post nativitatem diebns inconventus, inanditus totius etiam ignaros dis- 
sensionis proscriberetur ? Ed. Tengnagel, pp. 28, 29. 

* Praeterea misimus ad eum tres religiosos viros, suos ntique fideles, 
per quos eum secret© monuimus, ut poenitentiam ageret de sais sceleribus. 

t Lambert says : Quem ante paucos dies propter ineptiam et mores 
inconditos papa de statione sua amoverat. 



above-mentioned rumour, of having obtained possession of the 
papal dignity in an unlawful manner.* He requires of the 
bishops, that they should stand by him in a distress, which was 
not his alone, but the common distress of all the bishops, and 
of the whole oppressed church. It was the common interest of 
the empire and of the priesthood ; for the pope had, notwith- 
standing Christ's direction that the two swords, the spiritual 
and the secular, the two powers,f should be separated from each 
other, sought to usurp both for himself. He meant to let no 
man be a priest who did not sue for it at his own footstool ; 
and because the king regarded his royal power as received 
solely from God, and not from the pope, he had threatened (o 
deprive him of his government and of his soul's salvation. 

The council, which met on the Sunday of Septuagesima, 
January 24, 1076, on the ground of the charges brought 
against the pope by the cardinal Hugo Blancus, pronounced 
sentence of deposition upon Gregory ; and, which shows to 
what extent these bishops and abbots were willing to be em- 
ployed as the blind tools of power, and how much they needed 
a severe regent at the head of the church, notwithstanding the 
irregular procedure of this assembly, notwithstanding the 
scruples which, according to the ecclesiastical views of that 
period, must have arisen against it in the minds of the clergy, 
not a man amongst them all uttered a word against it. Two 
only, Adalbero bishop of Wiirzburg, and Hermann bishop of 
Metz, protested against the irregularity of tlds proceeding. 
They objected to it, in the first place, on the general principle, 
that no bishop, without a previous regular trial, without the 
proper accusers and witnesses, and without proof of the charges 
brought against him, could be deposed ; and least of all could 
this be done in the case of the pope, against whom no bishop 
or archbishop could appear as an accuser. 

It was considered a duty of loyalty to the king to acquiesce 
in this decjsion. In order to bind the members of the assembly, 
Henry caused a written oath to be taken by each, that he would 

* Invasoris violentia. 

t Concerning the spiritual sword, it is said that, by means of it. men 
^ere to be compelled to obey the king next to God. The pope, therefore, 
ought to unite with the king in punishing those who disobeyed the latter. 
Videlicet sacerdotali gladio ad obedientiam regis post Dominum homines 


no longer recognize Gregory as pope. This judgment having 
been passed, Henry announced it to the pope in a letter, 
addressed as follows : " Henry, king by the grace of God and 
not by the will of man, to HUdebrand, no longer apostolical, 
but a false monk : " and the letter concluded with the words — 
" this sentence of condemnation having been pronounced upon 
you by us and all our bishops, descend from the apostolical 
chair you have usurped ; let another mount the chair of Peter, 
who will not cloak deeds of violence under religion, but set 
forth the sound doctrines of St. Peter. I, Henry, and all our 
bishops, bid you come down, come down," Moreover, in this 
letter, it was alleged against the pope, that he had attacked 
the divine right by which kings are appointed, and that he 
sought to degrade all prelates to the position of his servants, 
and stirred up the people against the clergy* At the same 
time, Henry addressed a letter to the cardinals and to the 
Roman people, calling upon them to acquiesce in this sentence, 
and to sustain the election of a new pope. An ecclesiastic of 
Parma, by the name of Roland, f was selected to convey these 
letters to Rome, and to announce to the pope the judgment 
passed upon him. 

Shortly before this storm came upon the pope, he had been 
delivered from a gjeat danger, which gave him another oppor- 
tunity of showing his imconquerable fortitude. It was an 
after-effect of that wild, lawless condition which had prevailed 
at Rome in the eleventh century (and to which an end was put 
by the popes who ruled in the spirit of Hildebrand), that Cin- 
tius, a Roman nobleman of licentious morals, one who indulged 
himself in the most extravagant actions and patronized the 
lowest crimes, was permitted to occupy a strong citadel built 
in the heart of the city, thus exercising a lordship of the very 
worst character. As Gregory would not tolerate such a per- 
son, and his firm will threatened to ruin this man's power, the 
latter determined to get rid of him by a conspiracy which he 
formed with Gregory's numerous enemies. The vigils in the 

* Rectores ecclesiae sicut servos sub pedibns tuis calcasti, in quomm 

conculcatione tibi favorem ab ore vulgi comparasti. Laicis ministeriam 
super sacerdotes usurpasti, ut ipsi deponant vel contemnant, quos ipsi 
a manu Dei per impositionem manuum episcopalium docendi aocepe- 
t By others called Eberhard, 

L 2 

148 Gregory's calmness. 

night before Christmas, a. d, 1075, was the time selected for 
the deed. At the public service, Gregory was fallen upon and 
hurried away, wounded, to a tower in Cintius's castle. He re- 
mained calm and firm in the midst of all these insults, and in 
the face of danger ; not a word of complaint or of supplication 
fell from his lips. There was displayed on this occasion, too, 
a beautiful proof of the enthusiastic regard which Gregory 
had inspired towards himself in the more serious minds. A 
man and a woman, both of high rank, insisted on attending 
the pope in his confinement ; the man endeavoured to keep 
him warm with furs during the cold winter night; the woman 
bound up his wound. When, however, the next morning, 
Gregory's absence was observed, the most violent commotions 
broke out among the people. The citadel of Cintius was 
stormed ; he saw himself compelled to give the pope his free- 
dom, and it was by means of the latter alone, his life was 
saved from the furj' of the people. 

As Gregory was about to open the Lent-synod, in the year 
1076, the above-mentioned Roland appeared, and, in the name 
of king Henry and the synod of Worms, announced the judg- 
ment which had there been passed. There arose a common 
feeling of bitter indignation, to which he would have fallen a 
victim, had not Gregorj^ interposed and saved him.* The 
pope calmly heard all : without betraying the least agitation, 
he held a discourse, in which he distinctly set forth that men 
ought not to be surprised at these contests, foretold by Christ ; 
he declared himself resolved to sulFer anything for the cause of 
God, and exhorted the cardinals to do the same. Then he 
pronounced, in the name of the apostle, the ban on king Henry : 
declared him (which was the natural consequence of this act, 
according to his theory of ecclesiastical law) incompetent to 
reign any longer, and forbade his subjects to obey him for the 

* We doubtless have the words of an eye-witness in the chronicle of 
Bernold of Constance : Quid ibi tumultus et conclamationis et in legates 
illos non ordinatai incursionis excreverit, noverint illi, quipncsto fuerunt. 
Hoc unum sit nostrum inde dixisse, dominum apostolicum non sine sui 
ipsius corporis magno satis periculo, quanquam vix, eos Romanorum 
manibus semivivos eripuisse. Monumenta res Allemannicas illustrantia 
ed. S. Bias. a. 1792, T. II. p. 30. That violent enemy of the pope's, the 
princess Anna Comnena, unjustly accuses Gregory himself of having 
treated the ambassadors in a shameful and abusive manner. In Alexias, 


future. He pronounced, also, sentence of excommunication 
on the bishops from whom everything had proceeded in that 
assembly at Worms. He aimounced the same punishment as 
awaiting the archbishop Sigfrid of Mentz, William of Utrecht, 
and Rupert of Bamberg, unless they should come to Rome and 
justify their conduct. 

This sentence pronounced by the pope was the signal for 
a violent and long-continued contest between the two parties, 
who fought each other both with the sword and Avith argu- 
ments. The men who were zealous for the cause of Henry 
insisted on the sacredness of the oath, whose binding force no 
authority could destroy. They called it, therefore, an act of 
consummate wickedness, that a pope, setting himself above all 
laws, human and divine, should have presumed to discharge 
subjects from their sworn obligations towards their princes. 
They also considered the power of princes as one founded in 
a divine order, and subsisting independently by itself ; they 
appealed to the duties inculcated in the New Testament, of 
obedience to those in authority, and would concede to no 
power on earth the right of annulling this obligation. They 
appealed to the fact, that the apostles had shown obedience 
even to pagan magistrates, and recommended such obedience : 
that the more ancient bishops and popes had never enter- 
tained a thought of deposing even idolatrous and heretical 
princes.* The fulmination of the papal ban, it was said, does 

* So said the scholastic -writer Guenrich, standing at this point of view, 
in the name of bishop Theodoric of Verdun, when these disputes had 
already lasted for some time. Martene et Durand thesaurus novus anec- 
dotorum, T. I. Non est novum, homines seculares seculariter sapere et 
agere, novum est autem et omnibus retro seculis inauditum, pontifices 
regna gentium tam facile velle dividere. Nomen regum inter ipsa mundi 
initia repertum adeo postea stabilitum repentina factione elidere, Christos 
Dei, quoties libuerit plebejos sorte sicuti villicos mutare, regno patrum 
suorum decedere jussos, nisi confestim acquieverint, anathemati damnare. 
The author of this letter appeals to the precepts of the apostle Paul con- 
cerning duties to magistrates : Porro de ordinatis a Deo potestatibus 
omni studio suscipiendis, omni amore diligendis, omni honore reverendis, 
omni patientia tolerandis tanta ubique sapientia disputat. Concerning 
the indissoluble obligation of an oath, it is here said: Sanctam et omnibus 
retro seculis apud omnium gentium nationes inviolatam jurisjurandi 
religionem facillima, inquiunt, domini paps rescindit absolutio, et quod 
tantum est, ut illud omnis controversiae finem apostolus nominaret, Hebr. 
▼i. 16, modo unius cartulse per quemlibet bajulatorem porrectae levissijna 
infringere juberctur lectione. 


not carry with it so much danger as it does fright. Human 
affairs would be in truly a sad condition if the wrath of God 
followed every ebullition of human passion.* An unjust ban 
fell back upon the head of its author. The other party 
agreed, it is true, with all that was said with regard to the 
sanctity of an oath ; but they maintained that an oath taken 
in reference to anything at variance with the divine law could 
have no binding force. No oath given to the prince, there- 
fore, could obligate subjects to obey him in setting himself up 
against the one to whom is committed, by God, the guidance 
of entire Christendom. f If he who has been expelled from 
the fellowship of the church became, by that very circum- 
stance, incapable of administering any civil office, and if any 
man who continued to have fellowship with him thereby pro- 
cured his own expulsion from the church-community ; if the 
pope, as the director of entire Christendom, might call to ac- 
count all the rulers of the earth in case they abused their au- 
thority, might bring them to punishment, and depose them from 
office, J then it followed, as a matter of course, that to the 
king, on whom the pope had passed such a judgment, lawful 
obedience could no longer be rendered. The oath, moreover, 
by which the bishops bound themselves, before their consecra- 
tion, to obey the pope, was contrary to the oath of homage 
given to the prince. § And when some appealed to the in- 

* In the letter already cited : Hoc tonitruum non tantum portendit 
periculum, quantum intendit terroris. Male profecto rebus hunianis 
consultum esset, si ad qualescunque animi concitati niotus divina seque- 
retur damnatio, sicut illi uuiuscujusque iracundia dictate vellet, qui 
omnia dispeusat, in mensura, et |X)ndere et numero. 

f Thus archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg, in his letter written to bishop 
Hermann of Metz, in defence of the cause of Gregory the Seventh. It 
is here objected to the opposite party, that they brought forward such 
remarks as the following : ad percutiendam simpliciorum fratrum infir- 
mam conscientiam, quatenus eis sub specie pietatis laqueum injiciant et 
quasi vera dicendo fallant, diligentius autem intuentibus ad nostrae con- 
troversiam causae nihil pertinere videntur. Nam quis sanse mentis per- 
jurium grave peccatum esse dubitet? But from this, he says, it does not 
follow, ut quicquid quisque juret, indifferenter et sine retractatione ser- 
vandum sit. 

J Thus, too, writes Gerhoh of Reichersberg : Ordo clericalis cujus 
nimirum est officium, non solum plebejos, sed etiam reges increpare 
atque regibus aliis descendentibus, alios ordinare. L. c. in Ps. xxix. 
f. 6.-36. 

§ Credimos enim, memorise illoram non excidisse, quod in sacro illo 

6Bon:n)6 of defence, asd grbgoby's eei>ly. 151 

violable divine right of kings, the other party maintained, on 
the other hand, that it was necessary to distinguish bebveen 
the rightfiil authority of princes and the abuse of arbitrary 
will, between kings and tyrants. Princes deprived them- 
selves of their own authority by abusing it.* 

No impression could be made on pope Gregory by the 
doubts expressed respecting the lawfulness of his conduct by 
Hermann, bishop of Metz.-f In the light of the principles 
which he maintained, it appeared to him a thing absolutely 
settled that the pope might excommunicate a king, like any 
other mortal ; and any doubt expressed on this point he could 
only look upon as a mark of incredible fatuity. % He ap- 
pealed to the example of pope Zacharias, who pronounced sen- 
tence of deposition upon the last of the Merovingians, and ab- 
solved the Franks from their oath of all^iance to him ; to the 
example of bishop Ambrose of Milan, who in feet excommu- 
nicated an emperor. He asked whether Christ, when he com- 
mitted to Peter the feeding of his sheep, the power to bind and 
to loose, made any exception in favour of princes. If kings 
could not be excommxmicated by the church, it would follow, 
that neither could they receive absolution firom the church. 
But to this bishop Waltrara of Naumburg, not without reason, 
replied, that Ambrose had, it is true, once excluded the em- 
peror Theodosius from the communion of the church, which 
was attended with the most salutary consequences both to that 
emperor and to the common weal ; but he had not the remotest 
intention or wish to disturb thereby the relation subsisting 
between the emperor and his subjects. He had rendered to 
(lod the things that are God's, and to Caesar the tilings that 
were Caesar's. Even towards Valentinian the Second and his 
mother Justina, Ambrose had never, in all the disputes with 

episcopomm et cleri conventa ad promerendam promotionem saam beato 
Petro suisque vicariis et successoribus fidem et subjectionem se servaturos 
promiserant Quomodo ergo hoc pluris faciunt, qaod in eubicnlo sive 
in aula regis inter Palatines strepitus conspiraverunt, qnam illud, qnod 
coram sacro altari sanctisque sanctomm reliquiis sub testimonia Christi 
et ecclesiae professi sunt ? 

* So says Bemold of Constance, 1. c. p. 57 : Recte faciendo somen 
regis tenetar, alioquin amittitur, unde est hoc vetus elogium ; rex eris, 
si recte facis, si non facis, nou eris. 

t See Gregory's letters. 1. IV. ep. 2. 

i Licet pro magna fatoitate nee etiam lis respondere debeamus. 


them, taken any such liberties.* His reasoning is not so 
strong with regard to the other example, of pope Zacharias. 
He says, the pope did not by any means depose Childeric, nor 
absolve his subjects from their oath of allegiance to him ; for 
Childeric merely bore the name of king, without possessing 
the kingly power. Of the latter, therefore, he did not need 
to be deprived. f 

Yet the ban pronounced by the pope produced a great 
effect in Germany, which was increased by the prevailing dis- 
satisfaction with Henry's government. The bishop Udo of 
Triers, after his return from Rome, avoided all intercourse 
with the spiritual and secular counsellors of the emperor who 
had been excommunicated by the pope. He declared, that 
by holding fellowship with the excommunicated king, one 
became involved in the same condition ; that only at his 
special request permission had been granted him by the pope 
of conversing with the king ; yet even to him the communion 
of prayer and of the Lord's table with that monarch had been 
forbidden. By the example and the representations of Udo, 
many were induced to draw away from the king. But the men 
of the other party sought by the arguments above mentioned 
to confirm the king in his resistance to the pope ; they main- 
tained tliat an arbitrary unjust ban ought not to be feared ; 
that in sucli a case refigion was only employed as a pretext 
to cover private passions and private ends. They called upon 
him to use the sword which God had intrusted to him, as the 
legitimate sovereign, for the punishment of evil doers against 
the enemies of the empire. Such language found a ready ear 
on the part of the king. He was inclined already to bid 
defiance to the papal ban, and to threaten with his kinglj 
authority those who sided with the pope's party ; but as tiie 

* See Waltram Naumburgens. de unitate eccles. et imperii, L. I. p. 66. 
Sed ipse quoque sanctus Ambrosius ecclesiam non divisit, sed ea, qua; 
Cffisaris sunt, Caisari et quae Dei, Deo reddenda esse docuit, qui Theodo- 
sium ecclesiastica coercuit disciplina, etc. Ecce ilia excommunicatio 
quam utilis erat ecclesia; pariter atque ipsi imperatori Theodosio, quae 
nunc prodendi schismatis ponitur exemplo, quo separentur principes, vel 
milites reipublicae ab imperatoris sui consortio simul et obsequio ! 

t Lib. I. p. 17. Quandoquidem ille Hilderichus nihil omuino regiae 
potestatis vel dignitatis habuisse describatur, atque ideo comprobatur, 
quod non fuerit dominus aliquorum sive rector, quoniam rex a regendo 


number of those who went over to that party was constantly 
increasing, and he wanted power to carry his threats into exe- 
cution, he suddenly adopted quite another tone. He sought 
to bend the minds of his opponents by negotiations, but this 
also proved fruitless, and they were already on the point of 
proceeding to the extremest measures. 

In the year 1076 the Suabian and Saxon princes assembled 
at Tribur. Before this assembly appeared, as papal legates, 
the patriarch Sighard of Aquileia, and the bishop Altmann of 
Passau, a man eminently distinguished for his strict piety. 
And here we may notice how large a party stood up for the 
pope from among those who felt a serious regard for religion. 
Several laymen, who had renounced important stations and 
great wealth for the purpose of devoting themselves to a 
strictly ascetic life, now appeared publicly as advocates of the 
papal principles. These refused to hold communion with any 
one who maintained familiar intercourse with king Henry, 
after his excommunication, till each had personally obtained 
absolution from bishop Altmann, the prelate empowered by 
the pope to bestow it. After a deliberation of seven days, it 
was resolved to proceed to the election of a new king. Henry, 
after a variety of fruitless n^otiations with the opposite party, 
among whom partly the political partly the religious interest 
predominated, determined to give way. An agreement was 
entered into, to the effect that the pope should be invited to 
visit Augsburg on the festival of the purification of Mary ; 
there, in a numerous assembly of the princes, all accusations 
against the king should be presented, and then, after the pope 
had heard what both parties had to say, the decision should 
be left with him. If the king, by any fault of his own, 
remained excommunicated a year, he should be considered for 
ever incapable of holding the government : in the mean time 
he should abstain fix)m all intercourse with the excommuni- 
cated, and live in Speier as a private man. Henry the Fourth 
agreed to all the conditions proposed to him, severe as they 
were ; and as everything was now depending on his being ab- 
solved from the papal ban, in order that he might be able to 
negotiate on equal footing with the princes, so he determined 
to pay a >'isit to the pope himself, in Italy, before the latter 
could come to Germany. He was willing to risk everything 
to obtain absolution. 

154 henry's journey to rome. 

A few days previous to Christmas, in the unusually cold 
winter of 1076-77, he crossed the Alps •with liis wife and 
little son, attended only by one individual, of no rank. Mean- 
time the ambassadors of the German princes had come to the 
pope, and, in compliance with their invitation, the latter set 
out on his journey, expecting to reach Augsburg at the ap- 
pointed time, on the 2nd of February, 1077,* although his 
friends advised him not to undertake this journey, probably 
because they feared the power of Gregory's enemies in Italy. 
It had been agreed upon that, at a particular point of time, 
delegates from the princes should meet him on the borders 
of Italy, for the purpose of escorting him to Augsburg. 
Twenty days before the time appointed, the pope set out on 
his journey. Meanwhile came also the messengers of king 
Henry, through whom the latter promised him every satisfac- 
tion and amendment, and urgently begged for absolution. 
Gregory, however, would not meddle with the matter ; he only 
loaded him with severe reproaches for his transgressions."]" 

If, viewing the matter in the light of the pope's rigidly con- 
sistent system, we might perhaps approve of Gregory's conduct 
towards the insolent Henry, yet we cannot fail to miss, in his 
conduct towards the humbled man, that spirit of love which 
proceeds from a pure gospel ; w6 perceive in it nothing but 
the stiff firmness of a self-will, which, spurning all human 
feelings, goes straight onward to the mark on which it has 
once fixed. 

The promised escort from Germany found it impossible, on 
account of the many difficulties they met with, to make their 
appearance at the time appointed ; and Gregory's journey to 
Germany was hindered by various circumstances. Meanwhile 
Henry arrived in Italy, and the reception he there met with 
stood in melancholy contrast with liis actual situation. A 
large party exulted at his appearance ; the numerous oppo- 

* It is evident from the words of Gregory himself, in his letter to the 
Germans, Mansi. XX. f. 386, that this was the reason of his undertaking 
the journey to Lombardy. The account given by Domnizo, in his Life of 
Mathilda, at the beginning of the second book, is false therefore ; namely, 
that Gregory came to Lombardy at the request of the latter, who stood 
forth as mediator between the king and the pope. 

t Gregory himself says: " Acriter ettm de suis excessibus per omnes, 
qui intercurrebant, nuncios redarguimus." 


nents of Gregory, among the bishops and nobles, hoped to 
gain in the king a head to their party, and they were ready to 
do anytldng in his service. Gregory, being fiilly aware of the 
fickle-mindedness of the young king, felt uncertain whether 
such a reception would not produce a change in his disposition 
and his mode of procedure. In this uncertainty with regard 
to his own situation, he betook himself for a while to the 
castle of his enthusiastically devoted firiend, the powerfiil 
Margravine MathUda of Tuscany.* 

But Henry, for the present, had no other object in view 
than to get himself absolved from the ban. Before him went 

* The connection of the pope with this lady was certainly of the 
purest character; and so it appears in his correspondence with her. 
The enthusiastic devotedness of the most strict and pious persons of the 
age testifies in favour of Gregory. The accusations of his most violent 
enemies, who brought so many absurd charges against him, certainly 
cannot be regarded as trustworthy evidence. It was natural that they 
should avail themselves of this connection of Gregory, for the purpose of 
throwing suspicion on the character of this severe censor of the morals 
of the clergy with regard to this very point, and thereby to place his 
real for the laws of the celibacy of priests in an imfavourable point 
of light. That fierce opponent of the Hildebrandian party, bishop Wal- 
tram of Naumburg. intimates this suspicion against the pope, however, 
in such a way, that it is easy to see how little reason he himself had for 
regarding it as well-grounded. Apolog. 1. II. c, 36. Mathilda ilia post 
octavum qnoque annum, quo defunctus est HUdebrand familiaris ejvs, 
defendit promptissime contra sedem apostolicam (Guibert's party) et con- 
tra imperatorem partem ipsius, qui propter frequens cum ea et familiare 
colloquium generavit plurimis scaevse suspicionis scandalum. Henry, 
bishop of Speier, expresses himself in stronger terms, in his invective 
against Gregory, Eccard. T. II. in the collection of letters of the Cod. 
Bamberg, ep. 162 : Qui etiam quasi fcstore quodam gravissimi scandal! 
totam ecclesiam replesti de convictu et cohiabitatione aliense mulieris 
familiariori, quam necesse sit. In qua re verecundia nostra magis quam 
causa laborat, quum haec generalis querela unicuique personnerit, omnia 
jadicia, omnia decreta per feminas in sede apostolica actitari. denique per 
feminas totum orbem ecclesiae administrari. The impartial Lambert of 
Aschaffenburg remarks, concerning the relation of Mathilda to the pope: 
Tanquam patri vel domino sedulum exhibebat officium. He then refere 
to the misinterpretations put on this relation, which proceeded fixtm the 
friends of Henry, and particularly from the opponents of the laws of 
celibacy among the clergy, and says of these : Sed apud omnes sannm 
aliquid sapientes luce clarius constabat, falsa esse, quae dicebantur. Nam 
et papa tam eximie tamque apostolice vitam instituebat, ut nee minimam 
sinistri rumoris maculam couTcrsationis ejus sublimitas admitteret et ilia 
in urbe celeberrima atque in tanta obsequentium frequentia, obscoenom 
aliqoid perpetrans latere neqoaquam potuisset, 

156 henry's penance at canossa. 

the excommunicated bishops and nobles of Germany, in the 
habit of penitents, barefoot and in woollen garments, to beg 
absolution from the pope. The latter listened, it is true, to 
their petition, but he required of them such proofs of their 
repentance as would be calculated to leave a right lasting 
impression on men so inured to luxury. Each of the bishops 
was obliged to remain from morn to evening shut up in a 
solitary cell, in his penitential raiment, partaking only of the 
most meagre diet. Then he allowed them to come before him 
and gave them absolution, after mildly reproving them for 
their transgressions, and exhorting them to guard against such 
conduct for the future. When they took their leave of him, he 
strictly charged them to abstain from all fellowship with king 
Henry till he had become reconciled with the church ; only 
for the purpose of exhorting him to repentance, they might be 
allowed to converse with him. 

But Gregory proceeded more harshly with the young king 
himself. First he repelled the urgent entreaties of that prince, 
and the intercessions of Mathildis, of the abbot Hugo of Cluny 
(who was the king's godfather), and of many others who im- 
plored his compassion on the young monarch. He says him- 
self, in his letter to the Germans : — " All were surprised at 
his unusual severity, and many imagined they perceived in it 
a tyrannical cruelty." * He persisted in requiring that every- 
thing should be referred over to the trial which was to be 
instituted at the appointed convention in Germany. At 
length he yielded to the entreaties and intercessions poured in 
upon him, but required of king Henry still severer proofs of 
his repentance than he had demanded from those bishops. The 
king, after having laid aside all the insignia of his imperial 
rank, and clothed himself in the garb of a penitent, was ad- 
mitted into the sacred inclosure of the castle of Canossa, where 
he waited fasting, during three days, in the rough winter at 
the commencement of the year 1077, till at length, on the 
fourth day, the pope admitted him to his presence. He gave 
him absolution under the condition that he should appear be- 

* Ut pro eo multis precibus et lacrimis intercedentibus, omnes quidem 
insolitam mentis nostrae duritiam inirarentur, nonnulli vero in nobis non 
apostolicffi severitatis gravitatem, sed quasi tyranuiciE feritatis crudelita- 
tem esse clamarent. 


fore the proposed general assembly in Gennany, where the 
pope would listen to the accusations of his adversaries, and to 
what he had to say in defence of himself, and give his decision 
accordingly. Till then he should utterly renounce the govern- 
ment, and, if he obtained it again, bind himself to support the 
pope in everything requisite for the maintenance of the eccle- 
siastical laws. If he failed to observe this condition, he should 
again fall under the ban.* And the abbot Hugo of Cluny, 
and several persons present, of the spiritual and secular orders, 
pledged themselves that tlie king would fulfil the conditions of 
the comjKict. The pope then celebrated the mass in the pre- 
sence of the king and of a nmnerous multitude. When he had 
consecrated the host, he observed, while taking a portion of it, 
that he had been accused by his enemies in Germany of many 
offences. True, he could bring forward many witnesses of his 
innocence, but he chose rather to appeal to the testimony of 
God than to that of man ; and for the purpose of refixting, in 
the shortest way, all those charges, he here called on God 
himself to witness his innocence, while he now took, in 
averring it, the body of the Lord. Let Almighty God now 
declare him free, if he was innocent, or cause the partaking of 
the body of Christ to prove his immediate destruction, if he 
w^as guilty. Gregory regarded this, like his contemporaries, 
as a judgment of God ; and such an appeal to the divine deci- 
sion by a miracle was in perfect harmony with his whole mode 
of thinking. With the greatest composure he partook of the 
holy supper, which to him — since, according to his own reli- 
gious conviction, this was really subjecting himself to a 
judgment of God — would have been impossible, if in his con- 
science he had felt that he was guilty. In very deed, there- 
fore, it was the testimony of a tranquil conscience, and on the 
assembled multitude (to whom this appeared as such a 
triumph of innocence as if the voice of God had spoken 
directly from heaven) it must have made a most powerful 
impression. With a loud shout of approbation it was accepted 

• In his letter to the Germans, Gregory appeals also to the fact that 

everything -was still undecided ; that he -was boimd by no obligation to 
the king: adhuc totius negotii causa suspensa est. Sciatis nos non aliter 
regi obligates esse, nisi quod puro sermone sicut nobis mos est ea diximus, 
quibus eum ad salutem et hoiiorem suum aut cum justitia aut cum mise- 
xicordia sine nostrs aut illius animse periculo adjavare possimus. 

158 henry's promises, sincerity of 

by the whole assembly ; and praise to the God, who had so 
glorified innocence, rung out from every mouth. Wlien the 
shouts of the multitude had somewhat abated, the pope turned 
with the remainder of the host to the young king, and invited 
him to attest his innocence of all the charges brought against 
him from Germany, by doing the same. Then there would be 
no occasion for the trial which it had been proposed to hold in 
Germany, for all human judicatories M'ere liable to error, and 
then he himself would, from that moment, stand forth as 
Henry's defender. But Henry was neither sufficiently sure of 
his own innocence, nor sufficiently hardened against religious 
impressions, to subject himself, uncertain of the result, to such 
an ordeal. He turned pale at the proposal, whispered with 
his attendants, sought evasions, and finally requested the pope 
to leave everything to be decided by the trial to be had in 
Germany. He pledged himself, by oath, to refer the settle- 
ment of the disputes in Germany to the pope's decision, and to 
insure his safety, so far as it depended on himself, inhis jour- 
ney to Germany. At the close of the service, Gregory 
invited him to a repast, conversed with him in a friendly 
manner, and then dismissed him with serious admonitions. 

The question here arises, whether the pope was perfectly 
sincere in eftecting this reconciliation with king Henry. The 
enemies of Gregory charge him * with having persecuted him 
from the beginning, on a calculated plan of bringing about his 
utter ruin, and of using everything as a means to accomplish 
this end. If Henry obeyed, and refmined entirely from exer- 
cising his kingly authority till that assembly could meet in 
Germany, then he would, by that very act, render himself 
contemptible ; while the power of the anti-emperor, about 
whose election men were already busying themselves, would 
become more and more confirmed ; or if he did not fulfil the 
condition, an opportunity would be given the pope to accuse 
him of violating the agreement, and again to pronounce the 
ban upon him. In what light would Gregory, with this fine- 
spun plan of revenge, requiring him to turn the most sacred 
acts into a means of deception, have to be regarded ? If, after 
having granted king Henry absolution, he had still been able 

» So bishop Waltram of Naumburg, in his work De unitate ecclcsisB 
et imperii, L. I. c vi. 

gregoby's reconciliation with henry. 159 

to say to the enemies of that monarch, who were dissatisfied 
with this step, as he is represented to have said in a letter, that 
" they should give themselves no trouble about what he had 
done, he was only going to send them back Henry loaded with 
deeper guilt,"* what diabolical malice and hypocrisy ! Well 
might Waltram of Naumburg say, " He dismissal him in 
peace, but peace such as Judas pretended, not such as Christ 
bestowed." f "With perfect justice might he exclaim, in view 
of such an act of duplicity, " This is not acting like a suc- 
cessor of Peter ; this is not feeding Christ's sheep, to send one 
away loaded with still hea\'ier guilt, and one too who repented 
of his fault ; this was not acting like a priest of our Lord, 
who himself says in the gospel, that in heaven there is more 
joy over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine 
just men that need no repentance." j 

But we are listening to the words of a passionate antagtMilst. 
The language of party-passion, on either side, is to be heard 
with distrust. "Who could penetrate into Gregory's heart, so 
as to be sure of the disposition in which he acted ? The rea- 
soning from an actual result to a deliberate purpose Is always 
most unsafe. Even though Gregory had said what is laid to 
his charge, or something like it, still a great deal depends on 
tJie question, in what connection he said it, and whether with 
some condition or in an imconditioned manner. The dignity 
and self-respect which Gregory ever exhibits in his public 
communications, render it extremely unlikely that he would 
suffer himself to be hurried by passion to utter words so much 
in contradiction with those qualities. In granting king Henry 
absolution, Gregory assuredly said nothing to him which 
could have been designed to deceive him ; he gave him plainly 
enough to understand that all was depending on his future be- 
haviour : he even persisted in declaring that the whole matter 

* Ne sitis solliciti, qaoniatn culpabiliorem eum reddo vobis. 

t Concerning Henry : Dimissas est Id pace, qoalem scilicet pacem 
Jndas simulavit ; non qnalem Christns reliquit. 

X His words : Certe culpabiliorem facere aliquem, pra?cipne aatem 
regem, quern pra;cipit Petrus apostolus honorificare, hoc non est oves 
Christi pascere. Culpabiliorem, inquam, facere, prsecipne eum, qnem 
poeniteat culpabilem existere, hoc non est, sacerdotem Domini esse, cum 
ipse in eyangelio Dominus dicat, gaudium fieri in coelo super uno pecca- 
tore poenitentiam agente, quam super nonaginta novem justis, qui non 
indigent poenitentia. 

160 henry's breach with GREGORY. 

was reserved for the trial which was to take place under his 
presidency in Germany — earlier than this, nothing was to be 
determined in relation to the settlement of the government.* 
By his own judicial decision everything should be set to rights 
in Germany, and only in case he submitted wholly to this 
could Henry calculate on a lasting peace with the pope. As 
to the fact, tiierefore, the remarks of Waltram with regard to 
the precarious position of the emperor, however he might act, 
were correct ; though it cannot be said of the pope that, from 
the first, he only became reconciled to Henry in appearance, 
and had nothing, else in view than his utter destruction. He 
acted thus, impelled by that reckless and persevering resolu- 
tion with which he followed out false principles : he sacrificed 
to his consistency the true interests of the misled king and the 
well-being of the German people. It must be owned, how- 
ever, that it was Henry who, hurried on by the force of circum- 
stances, ^r*< broke the terms of the treaty. 

When he returned back to his friends, and with them 
repaired to the states of Lombardy, he found the tone of 
feeling there very much altered. Men were highly indignant 
at the manner in which he had been made to humble himself 
before the detested Gregory. They were upon the point of 
renouncing him ; they were for nominating his son emperor, 
and with the latter marching straight to Rome. As then 
Henry had so many enemies in Germany, as he could not 
place any great reliance on the pope, and as he here found a 
considerable party who were willing to do anything for him 
if he would place himself in their hands, he now went over 
wholly to this side. He allied himself once more with 
Gregory's enemies, acted once more as monarch, and resumed 
once more the counsellors whom the pope had excommuni- 
cated. As the earlier-appointed assembly in Germany covdd 
not be holden, the states, dissatisfied with king Henry, appointed 
another assembly, to meet in the beginning of March, 1077, 
and invited the pope to be present for the purpose of restoring 
order and tranquillity to Germany ; but this also was prevented 

* As he says in his letter, in which he reported to the Germans his 
transactions with Henry, ep. iv. 12. Ita adhuc totius negotii causa 
suspcnsa est, ut et adventus noster et consiliorum vestrorum unaiiimitas 
permaxime necessaria esse videantur. Comp. the remarks already quoted, 
p. 157, in the note. 


by Gregorj-'s detention in Italy. Gregory sent to Germany 
two legates, who reported to the assembly what causes had 
hindered him from coming to Germany, and left it to them 
to provide, as they deemed best, for the necessities of the 
empire. At this assembly Rudolph duke of Suabia was 
elected ting in Henry's place. Although the pope was 
doubtless already resolved to renew the ban against Henry if 
the latter did not alter his conduct, yet he still passed no 
definitive sentence. He declared himself at first neutral 
between the two parties, and named both the princes kings in 
his letters, and reserved it to himself, when he should \'isit 
Germany, to decide which party had the right. Meanwhile, 
in Germany, much blood was shed on both sides ; the two 
parties persecuted each other with unrelenting ferocity. State 
and church were rent in pieces by these quarrels, while 
Gregory quietly looked on, and by his ambiguous declarations 
and acts kept up the contest. He expressed his pain* at 
seeing so many thousand Christians fall victims to temporal 
and eternal death through the pride of one man ; at seeing 
the Christian religion and the Roman church thereby pros- 
trated to the ground. He did not declare, however, whom 
he meant by this individual ; he only called upon the Germans 
to renounce obedience to the proud man, who hindered him 
from coming to Germany ; on the other hand to obey him 
who showed himself devoted to the apostolical see. The 
partisans of Rudolph fiercely reproached him with hindering, 
by this ambiguous conduct, the decision of a quarrel, into 
which they at least had suffered themselves to be drawn in 
obedience to the papal see, when on the other hand, by a 
distinct declaration, he could bring the matter to an end ; but 
Gregory was not moved by this language to depart from his 
plan. He exhorted the Germans to fidelity, and testified his 
firmness by declaring himself resolved to abide unswervingly 
by the principles on which he had always acted, without 
regarding the voice of the multitude, by which king Henry 
was defended and he himself accused of harshness towards 
that prince.f When, however, in the year 1080, the weapons 

* Ep. 149, in Cod. Babenberg. Eccard. T. II. f. 151. 

t Mansi Concil. VII. 3. Quotquot Latini sunt, omnes cansam Henrici 
praeter admodum paucos laudant ac defendant et pernimiae duritise ac 
impietatis circa eum me redargnont. 



of Rudolph met with continual success, the pope finally, at a 
Roman synod, passed the definitive sentence. He pronounced 
anew the ban on king Henry, because by his means the 
assembly in Germany had been prevented from meeting, and 
he recognized Rudolph as emperor, sending him a crown, 
inscribed with a motto in correspondence with the principles 
of his consistent theocratical system, claiming to himself, as 
Peter's successor, full power and authority to decide the 
contest concerning the election of an emperor in Germany;* 
but at the same time he gave him also to understand that he 
should not yield an iota of the law against investiture. 

It was now however, for the first time, that Gregory's firm- 
ness was really to be put to the test ; for as, in this same year, 
duke Rudolph lost his life in a battle on the Elster, although 
again victorious, so Henry saw himself no longer prevented 
from directing his course again to Italy. After sentence of 
deposition had already been passed, at a previous council of 
Mentz, by a small number of bishops of Henry's party, on 
Gregory the Seventh, the same thing was repeated by a more 
numerous assembly, held at Brixen, of those dissatisfied with 
the Hildebrandian principles of government from Italy and 
Germany. Characteristic of the spirit of this assembly are 
some of the charges brought against Gregory : that he boasted 
of being favoured with divine revelations ; of possessing the 
gift of prophecy ; that he was given to the interpretation of 
dreams ; that he was a disciple of Berengar.f One of Gregory's 
opponents, Guibert archbishop of Ravenna, was chosen pope, 
under the name of Clement the Third ; but this arbitrary 
proceeding appeared too much like a political movement to 
have the least influence on men's religious convictions. The 
free-minded bishop Dieteric of Verdun, rendered famous by 

* Inscription : " Petra dedit Petro, Petrus diadema Pndolpho." Plank, 
in his history of the papacy (II. 1, p. 198), says, certainly with injustice: 
" The pope, in this inscription, probably did not have half so much in his 
thoughts as was attributed to him in the issue." What we have said 
above concerning the principles of this pope, as they are made known to 
us in his letters, as well as what we know concerning the system of the 
entire party, proves beyond question that Gregory had actually in his 
mind all that these words literally contain. 

t Catholicam atque apostolicam fidem de corpore et sanguine in 
qusestionem ponentem, ha;retici Berengarii antiquum discipulum, divina- 
tionum et somniorum cultorem. 

gregoey's cojtduct aftee the death of budolph. 163 

his fidelity to king Henry, had been induced to take a part in 
these proceedings of the above-mentioned assembly at Mentz ; 
but he soon repented of it, his conscience reproaching him for 
this step. He suddenly, and in a secret manner, forsook the 
assembly, and felt impelled to seek absolution from Gr^ory 
the Seventh, whom he recognized as the lawful pope.* 

King Henry himself felt a want of confidence in his cause. 
He gladly offered his hand for peace, and declared himself ready, 
before penetrating farther with his army into Italy, to enter into 
negotiations for that purpose with the pope; but the latter showed 
no disposition to yield anything, though his friends represented 
to him that all would go over to the side of the king in Italy, 
and that no help was to be expected from Germany. He 
replied that, for himself, it was not so very great a thing to be 
left destitute of all help from men.! He exhorted the Ger- 
mans not to be in haste about the election of a new emperor 
after the death of Rudolph. He prescribed to the new king, 
without taking any notice of his own perilous situation, in an 
imperative tone, a form of oath drawn up in accordance with 
his theocratic system, whereby the king was to promise that 
he would faithfully observe, as became a genuine Christian, 
all that the pope should command in the name of true 
obedience,! and consecrate himself, as soon as he should have 
an opportunity of meeting him in person, a miles sancti Petri 
et illius. 

It is deserving of notice that the pope, who had shown so 
much strictness in his judicial sentences against married priests, 
now yielded on this point, for the moment, to the force of cir- 
cumstances ; that because Henry's party gained an advantage 
from the prevailing dissatisfaction with the laws respecting 

* He writes about his participation in the above-mentioned convention : 
Mnltipliciter coactus sum ibi agere contra ordinem, contra salntem meam, 
imo contra dignitatem ecclesiasticam, abrenuntiavi sedenti in sede apos- 
tolica, et hoc sine ratione aliqaa. cum prjesens non audiretur, auditos 
discuteretur, discussus convinceretur. Abrenuntiavi 11 li, cui in examine 
mese ordinationis professus fueram obedientiam, cui subjeciionem polli- 
citus eram, cui post b. Petrum suscepto regimine mihi commissae eccle- 
siae commissus fueram. 

t Quod (auxilium) si nobis, qui illius superbiam parvi pendimos, 
defi^iat, non adeo grave videtur. Mansi Concil. IX. 3. 

I Quodcunque mihi ipse papa prseceperit, sub bis videlicet verbis, per 
veram obedientiam, fideliter, sicut oportet Christiannm, observabo. 

M 2 


celibacy, and because the deficiency of ecclesiastics who would 
have been competent, according to the rigid construction of 
those earlier laws respecting celibacy, to administer the sacra- 
ments, was too great, he deemed it best to recommend to his 
legates the exercise of indulgence in this matter till mpre 
quiet times.* 

The same inflexibility which Gregory opposed to king 
Henry, when that monarch was pressing towards Rome, he 
still maintained, when besieged during two years in Rome 
itself. No force could move him to enter into negotiations 
with the king, with whom, if he had been willing to crown 
him emperor, he might have concluded an advantageous 
peace. He despised the threats of the Romans. He chose 
rather, as he declared, to die as a martyr, than to swerve in 
the least from the strict line of justice.^ 

At length, in the year 1084, the Romans, tired of the 
siege, and discontented with the defiance of the pope, opened 
their gates to king Henry, and received him with demon- 
strations of joy, which he announced to his friends in Germany 
as a triumph bestowed by God himself J Gregory was obliged 
to retreat into the castle of St. Angelo (domum Crescentii). 
The emperor gave orders for convoking a numerous public 
assembly, in which the sentence of deposition on Gregory and 
the election of Clement were confirmed, § At the Easter 

♦ Lib. IX. ep. 3. Quod vero de sacerdotibus interrogastis, placet nobis, 
ut in prscsentianim turn propter populorum turbationes, turn etiam propter 
bonorum inopiam, scilicet quia paucissimi sunt, qui fidelibus officia 
religiouis persolvant, pro tempore rigorem canonicum temperando de- 
beatis sufferre. 

t Lib. IX. ep. 11, 

% Thus the emperor writes from Rome to Dieteric, bishop of Verdun : 
Incredibile videtur, quod verissimum probatur, quod factum est in Roma, 
ut ita dicam, cum decem hominibus in nobis operatus est Dominus, quod 
antecessores nostri si fecissent cum decem millibus, miraculum esset 

§ The emperor writes, in the above-cited letter, after his departure 
from Rome : (Romani) summo triumpho et fide prosequuti sunt nos, in 
tantum ut in Domino fiducialiter dican)us, quia tota Roma in manu nos- 
tra est, excepto illo castello, in quo conclusus est Hildebrand, scilicet in 
domo Crescentii. Quem Hildebraudura legali omnium cardinalium 
(•which certainly is exaggerated) ac totius populi Romani judicio scias 
abjectum et electum papam nostrum Clementem in sede apostolica subli- 
matum omnium Romanorum acclamatioue, nosque a papa Clemente 

HIS DEATH. " 165 

festival, the new pope, Clement, consecrated Henry emperor, 
and the latter soon departed from Rome. By the Norman 
duke, Robert Guiscard, Gregory was at length liberated from 
his confinement, and repaired to Cremona, where he soon after 
died, on the 2oth of May, 1085. His last words are supposed 
to fiimish evidence of his own conviction of the goodness of 
his cause ; they were as follows : " I have loved righteousness, 
and hated iniquity ; therefore I die in exile."* These words 
harmonize at least with the conviction which Gregory, in his 
letters, to the last moment of his life, expresses in tlie 
strongest language ; and it will be much sooner believed tliat 
he sealed the consistency of his life with such words than that 
he testified on his death-bed, as another account reports, f his 
repentance at the controversy which he had excited, and 
recalled the sentence he had pronounced on his adversaries. 
At all events, we recognize in these two opposite accounts 
the mode of thinking which prevailed in the two hostile 

Under the name of this pope we have a number of brief 
maxims relating to the laws and government of the church, 
called his dictates (dictatus). Although these maxims did not 
by any means proceed from himself, still, they contain the 
principles which he sought to realize in his government of the 
church, the principles of papal absolutism, — signalizing that 
new epoch in the history of the papacy which is to be 
attributed to him as the author, wliereby everytlung was 
made to depend on the decision of the pope, and the juris- 
diction over emperors and kings, as over all the presiding 
officers of the church, was placed in his hands. Most of 
these maxims may be confirmed by passages from his letters. 

A contest like that between the emperor Henry and Gregory 
the Seventh could not be brought to a termination by the 
death of the latter ; for although the quarrel had at length 
become a personal one, still there ever lay at bottom withal a 
conflict of opposite party tendencies and interests. Gregory 

ordinatum et consensu omniam Romanomm consecratum in die s. 
Paschae in imperatorem totius populi Romani. Gesta Trevirorum, ed. 
Wyttenbach et Mueller. Vol. I. p. 164, 1836. 

* Dilexi justitiam et odl iniqnitatem, propterea morior in exilic. 

t By Sigebert of Gembloars, ad h. a. 


was the hero and the saint of the party zealous for the system 
of the church theocracy. His death in misfortune appeared 
to that party a martyrdom for the holy cause.* He had, 
moreover, for his successors, men whom he himself would 
have selected as like-minded with himself, and as persons of 
ability. After the first of these, Victor the Third (Gregory's 
enthusiastic admirer, the abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino), 
had died, a. d. 1087, Otto, bishop of Ostia, was chosen pope 
linder tha name of Urban the Second. 

Though Urban was obliged to yield to the imperial party, 
which made their own pope, Clement, sovereign in Rome ; 
still, events by which public opinion was gradually gained 
over to his side, were in his favour, so that, even when 
banished from the seat of the papacy, he was still enabled to 
exercise the most powerful influence. He could resume the 
position of a judge over princes ; and the cause in which he 
did so was one where the pope could not fail to appear as the 
upholder of the authority of the divine law, and of the 
sacredness of the marriage covenant ; and the light in which 
he here exhibited himself was necessarily reflected, greatly to 
his own advantage, on the whole relation in which he stood 
to his age. Philip, king of France, a prince accustomed to 
give free indulgence to his passions, in the year 1092, 
repudiated his lawful wife, Bertha, with the intention of mar- 
rying another, Berthrade, who had left her lawful husband, 
the count of Anjou. He found bishops cowardly and mean 
enough to serve as the instruments of his will : but the truly 
pious bishop Yves of Chartres, a prelate distinguished for the 
conscientious administration of his pastoral oflnice, accustomed 
boldly to speak the truth to princes and popes, and zealous in 
contending for the purity of morals as well as the sacred 
tenure of the marriage covenant,! was of another mind. 
When invited to attend the king's wedding, he declared he 
could not consent to do so until, by a general assembly of the 
French church, the lawfulness of his separation from his first 
wife, and of the new marriage, had undergone a fair investiga- 

* Thus the abbot and cardinal Gottfried of Vendome, in speaking ot 
the opposition to lay investiture, says of Gregory the Seventh : " Qui pro 
defeusione hujus fidei mortuus est in exilio." Ep. 7, 

t See e, g. his letters, ed. Paris, 1610, ep. 5. 


tion. " "Whereas, I am formally smmnoned to Pam with your 
wife, concerning whom I know not whether she may be your 
wife," * he wrote to the king, " therefore be assured, that for 
conscience' sake, which I must preserve pure iu the sight of 
God, and for the sake of my good name, which the priest of 
Christ is bound to preserve towards those who are without, I 
would rather be sunk with a millstone in the depths of the 
sea than to be the means of giving offence to the souls of the 
weak. Nor does this stand in the least contradiction with the 
fidelity which I have vowed to you ; but I believe I shall best 
maintain that fidelity by speaking to you as I do, since I am 
convinced that for you to do as you propose, will bring great 
injury upon your soul, and great peril to your crown." Neither 
by threats and violence, nor by promises, could the pious man 
be turned in the least from the course which he considered 
right. He vehemently reproached those bishops who neglected 
their dut)\ The king's anger against him had for its conse- 
quence, that, by one of the nobles his property was confis- 
cated, and he himself put under confinement. The first men 
of the city of Chartres now combined to procure the release 
of their bishop by force ; but he remonstrated in the strongest 
language against such a proceeding. I " By laying houses in 
ashes, and plundering the poor," he wrote to them, " ye can- 
not propitiate God's fiivour, but will only provoke his ven- 
geance ; and without his favour neither can ye nor any man 
deliver me. I would not, therefore, that on my account ye 
should make the cry of the poor and the complaint of widows 
go up to God's ear. For neither is it befitting that I, who 
did not attain to the bishopric by warlike weapons, should 
recover it again by such means, which would not be the act 
of a shepherd, but of a robber. If the arm of the Lord has 
stricken me, and is still stretched out over me, then let me 
alone to bear my sorrow and the anger of the Lord, till he 
vindicates my cause ; and wish not to augment my misery by 
making others wretched, lor I am determined not only to 
suffer incarceration or the deprivation of my ecclesiastical 
rank, but even to die, rather than that on my account one 
drop of blood should be spilt." He called upon laity and 
clergy, insteao of attempting to effect his liberation by such 

♦ Ep. 15. t Ep. 20. 


means, simply to pray for him, for prayer had procured the 
deliverance of Peter, Acts xii. The king caused bishop Yves 
to be informed that he would forbear doing him a great harm, 
and on the other hand bestow on him great favours, if, by his 
intercession, he would obtain leave for him to retain Berthrade 
a short time longer ; but Yves repelled the proposition with 
horror, saying, that neither bribes nor deception could blot 
out any man's sin, while he resolved to persist in it.* He who 
resolved to persist in sin, could not redeem himself from its 
guilt by alms or gifts.f There was no help for the king, 
except by abstaining from his sin, and submitting himself by 
repentance to the yoke of Christ ; for God did not require 
men's possessions, but themselves, as an ofiering in order to 
their salvation. J "While Yves rejected all forcible, he em- 
ployed every lawful means which the existing constitution 
of the church put into his hands, to procure victory to the 
side of the righteous cause. He applied to pope Urban the 
Second, and was strongly supported by him. This pontitf 
addressed a severe letter of reproof to the French bishops 
who had suffered themselves to be used as mere instruments 
of the king's pleasure, and threatened the king with the ban 
if he did not separate from Berthrade. He demanded, under 
the same threat, the liberation of Yves. This demand was 
complied with ; but the might of papal authority still could 
not do the work thoroughly. A council, which assembled at 
Rheims in 1094, once more allowed itself to be determined 
by its dependence on the king and cited bishop Yves, who 
was animated by a different spirit, before its tribunal, to an- 
swer to the charge of high treason and of violating his oath 
of allegiance to the king. Yves protested against the com- 
petency of this tribunal, and appealed to the pope ; and in a 
letter relating to this matter,§ he said, " The charge of high- 
treason fell with more justice upon those who by their treach- 

* Ep. 47. 

t He writes to the Marshal of the royal court (Dapifer) : Ex auctoritate 
diviria hoc caritati tuse rescribo, quia nulla redemptionevel commutatioue 
quis peccatum suum poterit abolere, quaradiu vult in eo permanere. 
Nemo in peccato suo perdurare volens peccatum suum poterit aliqua 
eleemosyna vel oblatione redimere. 

X Cum Deus non nostra, sed nos ad salutem nostram requirat. 

§ Ep. 35. 


erous compliance had done the king most harm, who had 
shrunk from applying sharper remedies for healing the wound, 
when milder ones were unavailing." * •' If you had, with me, 
held fast to this principle," he writes to them, " you would 
have already restored our patient to health. Consider whether, 
so long as you neglect to do this, you CNnnce that perfect 
fidelity to the king which you are bound to show ; whether 
you rightly discharge the duty of your calling. Let the king 
then," concluded this pious man, in a truly apostolical spirit. 
" do towards me what, under God's permission, he may please 
and be able to do. Let him shut me up, or shut me out, 
and deprive me of the protection of the law. By the inspira- 
tion and under the guidance of the grace of God, have I 
resolved to suffer for the law of my God ; and no consideration 
shall induce me to participate in the guilt of those in whose 
punishment I would not share also." In the very same year 
the pope's threat was executed on the king. At a council in 
Autun, A. D. 1094, the archbishop Hugo of Lyons, as papal 
legate, actually pronoimced the ban on the king, and not till 
the latter submitted and made professions of amendment f did 
the pope remove the ban, which, however, on finding that he 
had been deceived, he pronounced anew, at the councU of 

Meantime there had been developing itself among the 
Western nations a great movement, which, beyond every 
other, could not fail so to operate as to increase the authority 
of the pope and exalt his dignity ; for he was called to place 
himself at the head of a vast undertaking which grew out of 
and was consecrated to the religious interest, which was 
seized with mighty enthusiasm by the nations, and for which 
vast forces were leagued together. This was an event upon 

* Quod, ut pace vestra dicam, recti us in eos retoiqaeri potest, qai 
vulnus fomentis incurabile, tanquam pii medici cauteriis competentibus 
dissimulant urere vel medicinali ferro praecidere. 

t Yves warned the pope (ep. 46) not to let himself be deceived by the 
envoys of the king, and induced to grant him absolution. It was 
intended to alarm the pope by the threat that the king, if he were not 
pronounced free from the ban, would go over to the pope of the imperial 
party. Yves wrote him : What hope of sinning with impunity will be» 
given hereafter to transgressors, if forgiveness is granted to the impenitent, 
is a point on which I need not detain your wisdom, since it is especially 
your business not to protect sinners but to punish them. 


which Urban could not have made any previous calculation- — 
a long-prepared event, arid hastened to its crisis by a circum- 
stance in itself insignificant. Already had Silvester the 
Second and Gregory the Seventh broached the idea of an 
expedition of Western Christendom for the liberation of their 
fellow-believers in the East, and for the recovery of the holy 
places ; but the minds of men were not as yet quite ripe for 
such a thought : there was need, in the first place, of a 
gradual preparation. Pope Victor the Third issued, in the 
year 1086, an invitation for a crusade, to be undertaken under 
the banner of St. Peter, against the Saracens in North Africa, 
and promised to all wiio sliould take part in it a plenary 
indulgence. After this came pilgrims from the East, with 
most distressing accounts of the insults and ill treatment which 
Christians had to suffer from the rude Mohammedans, and of 
the manifold profanations of the holy places. Among these 
pilgrims one deserves particularly to be mentioned, the hermit 
Peter of Amiens (Ambianensis). This individual believed 
himself divinely called, by visions in which Christ appeared to 
him, to invoke the assistance of Western Christians in reco- 
vering the holy places and the original seats of Christianity ; 
and he brought with him a letter of complaint, calling for 
help, written by the patriarch of Jerusalem. He first sought 
an interview with pope Urban ; and that pope was himself 
deeply affected, as well by the personal narrative of the monk 
as by the letter of which he was the bearer. He commis- 
sioned monk Peter to travel through the countries, and, 
testifying before high and low to the scenes he had wit- 
nessed, call upon them to go to the rescue of the East, now 
groaning under so heavy a yoke, and of the Holy Sepulchre. 
Peter the Hermit was a person of small stature and ungainly 
shape ; but the fire of his eloquence, the strong faith, and the 
enthusiasm which furnished him with a copious flow of lan- 
guage, made a greater impression in proportion to the weak- 
ness of the instrument. It is to be remarked, as a peculiar 
trait in the life of these times, that men of mean outward ap- 
pearance, and with bodily frames worn down by deprivation, 
were enabled by a fiery energy of discourse to produce the 
greatest effects. In a monkish cowl, and a woollen gown or 
cloak over it, this Peter itinerated the countries, barefoot, and 
riding on a mule. Immense crowds of people gathered round 


hiiii : he was loaded with presents, and from these he bounti- 
fully distributed to the poor ; his words were received as the 
utterances of an oracle, and he made many a good use of the 
high influence he enjoyed ; by his exhortations he wrought a 
change of character in abandoned women, for whom he pro- 
cured husbands, and then bestowed on them a dowry ; he 
reconciled contending parties to one another ; he was vene- 
rated as a saint ; men were eager to obtain from him some- 
thing in the shape of a relic, were it but a hair from his mule. 
A contemporary and eye-witness who relates this, the abbot 
Guibert of Nc^ent sous Coucy (Guibertus Novigentensis),* 
says that he does not remember having ever witnessed the like 
veneration paid to any man ; but he looks upon it as the effect 
which the charm of novelty exercises on the minds of the 
multitude.! Thus, by the labours of this individual, were the 
minds of men already prepared, when Urban, in the year 
1095, held the church assembly at Placenza, at which he first 
brought this matter forward. The assembly was so numerous 
that no church could contain it, and they were obliged to 
hold their sessions in the open air.J At Clermont, in Au- 
vergne, an assembly of men, of both the spiritual and secular 
order, was afterwards holden, which was composed of still 
greater numbers, because it was known beforehand that this 
matter, which took such hold on the universal interest and 
sympathy, was to be the subject of discussion. The pope, in a 
fiery discourse, described the importance of the city of Jeru- 
salem in its bearing on the Christian &ith, the insults and 
abuse which the residents of the place and the Christians 
sojourning there as pilgrims were obliged to suffer. Next, he 
invited the assembly to be zealous for the law and glory of 

* In his Historia Hierosoljmitana apud Boogars, Gesta Dei per 
Francos, f. 482. 

t Quod nos non ad veritatem, sed vnlgo referimns amanti novitatem. 

X Bemold of Constance, who relates this in his Chronicle, endeavours 
to show by examples that this was nothing unbecoming : Hoc tamen non 
absque probabilis exempli anctoritate, nam primus legislator Moses po- 
palum Dei in campestribus legalibus prseceptis Deo jabente institnit, et 
ipse Dominus non in domibus, sed in monte et in campestribus discipulos 
suos evangelicis institutis informavit. Missas quoque nonnunquam extra 
ecclesiam satis probabiliter, necessitate quidem cogente, ceJebramus 
quamvis ecclesias earum celebrationi special iter deputatas non igno- 


God ; and, impelled by the love of Christ, to grasp the sword, 
and turn the weapons which they had hitherto borne against 
Christians, and which they had stained with Christian blood, 
against the enemies of the Christian faith. The time was now 
come when, by participating in this holy work, they might 
atone for so many sins, robbery, and murder, and obtain -for- 
giveness of all.* He announced the fullest indulgence to all 
who, in the temper of true repentance and devotion, would 
take part in this expedition. He promised forgiveness of 
sin and eternal salvation to all who should die in Palestine in 
true penitence, and he took all participators in this expedition 
under his own papal protection. This discourse of the pope 
produced a great effect on the already excited minds of men ; 
and, after the example of Ademar, bishop of Puy, to whom 
the pope gave the guidance of the whole, many on the spot 
marked their right shoulder with the sign of the cross, as the 
symbol of the holy expedition, indicating their readiness to 
take upon them the cross of Christ, and follow him. 

From this council, and from the impression which the 
itinerant monk Peter made on the multitude, proceeded an 
uninterruptedly progressive enthusiasm of the nations. It was 
like a voice of God to a generation given up to unrestrained 
passion and wild desires, amidst the mutual feuds and violent 
deeds of princes and knights, amidst the corruption which was 
only increased by that quarrel between pope and emperor — a 
mighty religious shock, — a new direction given to the imagi- 
nation and to the feelings of men. So this fire poured out upon 
the nations, with which was mingled some portion at least of 
a holier flame, became one which, as it tended to counteract 
the hitherto prevailing rudeness of the fleshly sense, was consi- 
dered, even by the pious and intelligent men of this age, a 
refining fire.| It needed no exhortations from the clergy ; 

* It is a -well-known fact that we have several recensions of this dis- 
course, and no verbally accurate record of it, so that we can only give 
with certainty the general thoughts, 

f So says Guibert of Novigento, L. I. init. : Quoniara omnium animis 
pia desinit intentio et habendi cunctorum pervasit corda libido, instituit 
nostro tempore proelia sancta Deus, ut ordo equestris et vulgus oberrans, 
qui vetusta) paganitatis exemplo in mutuas versabantur ca;des, novum 
reperirent salutis promerenda; genus. — And William of Tyre : Necessa- 
rius erat hie ignis purgatorius, quo prtcterita, quae niniia eraut, diluerentur 
commissa et occupatio ista utilis, qua declinarentur futura. 


men mutually stimulated one another ; there was a mutual 
emulation. People of every class, of all ages, from nations 
the most diverse, hastened to the appointed spot. Everything 
required for the journey was quickly collected together ; 
though, owing to bad seasons, provisions had become dear, yet 
of a sudden there was a fall in the market because all vied 
with each other in contributing, as they were able, to promote 
the holy enterprise, as they also recognized in the abundance 
of the follo^ving year a special providence of Gk)d for the pro- 
motion of the crusade.* Thus the extraordinary movement of 
mind produced by the preaching of the crusade, owing to 
which that which seemed impossible was made possible, ap- 
peared to contemporaries as a work of God not to be mistaken. "j" 
Yet the unprejudiced, even amongst them, were obliged to 
confess, that it was by no means the pure enthusiasm for a 
work undertaken in the interest of Christian feith, which hur- 
ried all to take part in it, but that a great variety of motives 
mixed in with this. Some had been awakened, by this call, 
out of a life stained with vices, to repentance, and sought by 
joining the crusade to obtain the forgiveness of their sins ; 
while many, at other times, were led by a sudden awakening 
to repentance from a life of crime to embrace monasticism, 
there was now opened to them, in this enterprise, a more con- 
venient way, and one more flattering to their inclinations. 
They might continue their accustomed mode of life as knights, 
and still obtain indulgence or the forgiveness of sin. Others 
meditated escaping in this way the civil punishments which 
threatened them, or delivering themselves from the oppressive 
burden of debt. Others were hurried along by the force of 
example and of the fashion. J 

* Falcher of Chartres, on the year -which followed upon the council 
of Clermont : Quo anno pax et ingens abandantia frumenti et vini per 
cuncta terrarum climata exuberavit, disponente Deo, ne panis inopia in 
via deficerent, qui cum crucibus suis juxta ejusdem praecepta eum seqoi 
elegerant. lu Bongars, 1. c. f. 384. 

t The men who looked upon this great movement of the nations as a 
•work of God, still do not fail to mark the disturbing elements of vanity, 
self-deception, or intentional fraud. Thus the abbot Balderic, afterwards 
bishop of Dole, after having cited examples of this st)rt in his Historia 
Hierosolymitana, adds : " Haec idcirco instruimus, ne vel aliquid prse- 
teriisse videamur, vel nostratibus in vanitatibus suis pepercisse redargua- 
mur." Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, T. I. f. 89. 

J William of Tyre says, in Bongars, f. 641 : Nee tamen apud omnes 


If the religious awakening produced by the preaching of 
the crusades took such a turn with many as that, to speak in 
the language of those times, they preferred the pilgrimage to 
the heavenly Jerusalem, through the contemplative life of 
monasticism, to the pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem, the 
spiritual contest beneath the banner of the cross, to the bodily ; 
others, on the contrary, rejoiced at the opportunity thus 
afforded them of forsaking, to follow a holy vocation, the 
quiet and solitude of monasticism which had become irksome 
to them ; and even monks believed themselves warranted to 
break away from their confinement and grasp the sword ;* 
till at length, from a necessity grounded in the life of the 
times, a blending together of monasticism and knighthood 
afterwards shaped itself into the spiritual order of knights. 
Under this prevailing tone of excited feeling men were easily 
disposed to fancy they saw miracles, and stories of miraculous 
works, wrought for the furtherance of the holy object, easily 
found credence, and were made the most of to promote the 
same, on the principle of the so-called pious fraud. | Men 
and women stood forth from among the people and pretended 
that a cross had been miraculously stamped on their bodies :| 
many branded this sign upon their persons with a hot iron, 
whether from zeal for the holy cause or purely out of 

in causa erat Dominus, sed quidam, ne amicos desererent, quidam ne 
desides haberentur, quidam sola levitatis causa aut ut creditores suos, 
quibus multorum debitorum pondere tenebantur obligati, declinantes 
eluderent, aliis se adjungebaut. 

* Bernold of Constance attributes to this cause the misfortunes of a 
body of the first crusaders : Non erat autem mirum, quod propositum 
iter ad Hierosolymam explere non potuerunt, quia non tali humilitate et 
devotione, ut deberent, illud iter adorti sint. Nam etplures apostatas in 
coraitatu suo habuerunt, qui abjecto religionis habitu, cum illis militare 
proposuerunt. L. c. p. 171. — And another contemporary, Balderic, 
states, in his Historia Hierosolymitaua: Multi eremita; et reclusi et 
monachi, domiciliis suis non satis sapienter relictis, ire viam perrexerunt, 
quidam autem orationis gratia ab abbatibus suis accepta licentia profecti 
sunt, plures autem fugiendo se subduxerunt. Bongars, Gesta Dei per 
Francos, T. I. f. 89. 

t In the appendix to Balderic's Chronicle, ed. Le Glay, p. 373 : Por- 
tenta et signa in coelo se videre multi asserebant. 

t Multi de gente plebeja crucem sibi divinitus innatam jactandoosten- 
tabant, quod et idem quaidam ex mulierculis pnnsumserunt, hoc enim 
falsum deprehensum est omnino. Baldric. Histor. Hiuros. 1. c. 


vanity.* In the beginning of these movements an abbot was 
living: in France who found himself unable, for want of means, * 
to jom the expedition. To obtain these, instead of mounting 
the cross in the usual manner, he made one, by some artificial 
process or other, on his forehead, and then proclaimed among 
the people that this mark came from an angel who had 
appeared to him in a vision. This story was easily believed 
by the people, f Many rich presents were bestowed on 
him ; he was enabled to accomplish his purpose, and after- 
wards became archbishop of Csesarea, in Palestine. In the 
latter part of his life he confessed the fraud, which was 
forgiven him on account of his pious motives, though doubt- 
less there were some few who disapproved of this dishonesty. J 
It is no matter of wonder that many who, in consequence of 
a momentary paroxysm of contrition, engaged in this expedi- 
tion, hoping to find in it the forgiveness of their sins, should 
sufier themselves to be so far misled by their &ilse confidence 
as to let down the watch over themselves, and thus to be 
drawn into various excesses, for which the expedition and the 
climate furnished but too strong temptations.§ But there were 
also to be found examples of genuine Christian iaith — captives 
who gave up their lives rather than deny their faith. A knight 
who had been distinguished from his youth for a life of piety, 
strict morality, and active benevolence, was taken prisoner 
by the Saracens, and his life spared on condition of abjuring 
the faith. He begged that he might be allowed time for 
reflection till the next Friday. When Friday came, he 
declared that far from him was the desire of gaining a few 
days* respite for his earthly life, he had only wished to give it 
up on that day when his Saviour had offered his for the salva- 
tion of all. II 

* The Balderic, just before mentioned, who relates this, says: Vel 
peste jactantiae vel bonae suae voluntatis ostentatione. 

t Indocile et novarum rerum cupidum vulgus, says Guibert, L. c. t. 

X Guibert calls it an semulatio Dei, sed non secundum scientiam. 

5 Bemold says, in the place before cited : Sed et innumerabiles femi- 
nas secum habere non timuerunt, qua; natnralem habitum in virilem 
nefarie mutaverunt, cum quibus fomicati sunt, in quo Deum mirabiliter, 
sicat Israeliticns populus quondam, offenderunt. 

H See Guibert, 1. c. f. 508. 

176 urban's confined position in eome. 

The spirit which gave birth to these popular expeditions in 
the name of the Christian faith was no other than that which 
had stamped itself in the system of the papal theocracy, and 
hence the enthusiasm attending the former would necessarily 
give a stronger impulse to this spiritual tendency ; and the 
light in which Urban appeared as the leader of a popular en- 
terprise generally regarded as the work of God, could have no 
other effect than to establish his papal authority. What was 
it iji the power of Guibert to do, who, supported by the forces 
of the emperor, ruled in Rome, in opposition to such a moral 
force of public sentiment as Urban had on his side ? It was 
not till near the close of the year 1093 that the latter re- 
turned to Rome. The papal palace (the Lateran) and the 
castle of St. Angelo were still in the hands of the other party, 
and Urban was obliged to take shelter in the castle of 
Frangipani, a Roman devoted to his service. His party did 
not venture as yet to come forth openly in Rome, and his 
friends from a distance visited him clandestinely. The abbot 
Gottfried, of Vendome, a man ardently devoted to the Hilde- 
brandian principles, who had just entered upon his office, 
found the pope in circumstances of great distress and over- 
whelmed with debt. The governor of the Lateran palace, 
who served the party of Guibert, offered, it is true, for a 
stipulated sum of money, to give up the palace ; but Urban, 
with his cardinals and bishops, was unable to raise the amount. 
The zealous Gottfried of Vendome staked all his possessions to 
procure the sum required, and thus Urban was finally enabled 
to take possession of the palace which had so long been in the 
hands of the other party.* 

* This abbot notices his services in the cause, in a letter to the succes- 
sor of this pope, I. 8. Quasi aher Nicodemus in domum praDdicti Joanuis 
(Fricapauis) nocte veni : ubi eum pane omnibus temporalibus bonis 
nudatum et alieno asre nimis oppressum inveni. Ibi per qnadragesimara 
mansi cum illo, ejus onera, quantum potui, caritatis humeris supportavi. 
Quindecim vero diebus ante Pascha Ferruchius, quern Lateranensis 
Palatii custodem Guibertus fecerat, per internuncios locutus est cum 
Domino Papa, qna;rens ab eo pecuniam, et ipse redderet illi tuiTim et 
domum illam. Unde Dominus Papa cum Episcopis et Cardinalibus, qui 
secum erant, locutus, ab ipsis pecuniam quKsivit, sed modicum quidapud 
ipsos, quoniam persecutione et paupertate simul premebantur, invenire 
potuit. Queni ego quum non solum tristem, verum etiam pra; nimia 
angustia lacrimantem conspexissem, coepi et ipse flere et flens access! ad 


Having accomplished such great things during his absence 
from the city, Urban, in the year 1096,* marched in a sort of 
triumph to Italy and Rome, escorted by troops of crusaders, 
fuU of enthusiasm for their cause, who had him pronoimce 
a blessing on their undertaking. Thus he obtained the 
victory over the party of Guibert, though in Rome it still 
continued to maintain its authority ;| and the pope, before so 
poor, now possessed wealth enough to wrest from the party of 
Guibert their last prop in Rome, the castle of St. Angelo. He 
died in possession of the uncontested supremacy in the year 
1099, after he had pronounced in a council the ban on his ad- 
versaries. In the following year died Clement, and it deserves 
to be noticed that his adherents resorted to the common expe- 
dient of miraculous stories, hoping by their means to uphold 
his authority, and to procure a saint for the party of Henry.J 
Henry the Fourth, epradually sobered by his misfortunes, per- 
severed until his death in maintaining the quarrel with the 
pope, and the latter might naturally enough be disposed 
to sanction any means to bring about his destruction, — even 
encourage the rebellion of the sons against their father,§ pro- 

eum dicens, ut secure iniret pactum ; ibi aurum et argentum, nummos, 
mulos et equos expendi, et sic Lateranense habuimos et intravimua 
palatium. Ubi ego primus osculatus sum Domini Papae pedem, in sede 
videlicet apostolica, ubi longe ante cathohcus noa sederat Papa. 

* In Longobardiam cum magno triumpho et gloria repedavit, says 

t Otto of Freisingen, in his work of Universal History, L. VIII. c. 
6, says : " Auxilio eorum, quos ad Hierosolymitanum iter accenderat, 
Guibertum ab urbe excepto castro Crescentii ejecit" Fulcher of Char- 
tres, who was himself among these crusaders, who then came to Rome, 
relates how they were disturbed in their "devotional exercises, in the 
church of St. Peter, by the violent acts of Guibert's partisans ; and it 
may easily be conceived, that retaliation would be provoked on the other 
side, and bloody scenes ensue, in which the crusaders must have con- 
quered, being the majority. Yet from Fulcher's expressions it is not to 
be inferred that Guibert's party was destroyed or driven away by the 
sword of the crusaders, but rather the contrary, for he says : " Satis 
proinde doluimus, cum tantam nequitiam ibi fieri vidimus, sed nil aliud 
facere potuimus, nisi quod a Domino vindictam inde fieri optavimus." 

t See a report of this sort, Ck)d. Bamb. in Eccard. Script, rer. Germ. 
II. c. 173. f. 194. 

§ Those who were blinded by the hierarchical spirit, looked upon the 
rebellion of the sons against their father as a punishment brought on 
him for having rebelled against his spiritual father, 

VOL. vir. N 


voke the shedding of blood, and palliate assassination.* The 
popes, who were ready to oppose the fanaticism of the 
crusaders when it would vent itself on the defenceless Jews, 
with admonitions in a genuinely Christian spirit, felt no 
scruples, when blinded themselves by a fanatical party- 
interest, in employing the same instrument against the ene- 
mies of their papal authority, who appeared to them as rebels 
against the church and enemies of God. When the emperor 
Henry, forsaken on all other sides, still had faithful adherents 
in the dioceses of Liege and Cambray, pope Paschalis the 
Second turned against them the zeal of count Robert of Flan- 
ders, who, in the year 1099, returned from the first crusade, 
in which he had acted a prominent part. He exhorted him 
to persecute Henry, that head of the heretics, and all his 
friends, to the utmost extent of his power. He did not shrink 
from so abusing the name of God, as to write to him, that he 
could not offer to God a more acceptable sacrifice than that of 
carrying war against him who had rebelled against God, and 
sought to rob the church of its sovereignty. " By such 
battles," said he, in laying down to Robert and his knights 
the mode of obtaining forgiveness of sin, " they should 
obtain a place in the heavenly .Jerusalem." But while even 
bishops of true piety, as bishop Otto of Bamberg, the apostle 
of the Pommeranians, through their entanglement in a false 
system, so disregarded all other human feelings and duties, 
could let themselves be so far misled as to deny their obliga- 
tions of fidelity and gratitude to the emperor Henry, and to 
sanction wickedness, still the Christian sense of truth asserted 

* Men did not venture, it is true, to pronounce free from all blame 
those who were moved by their fanaticism to slied the blood of persons 
excommunicated. They were to submit to a church penance ; still, 
however, their crime was not looked upon as properly murder. It is 
singular to observe the self-contradictory manner in which pope Urban 
the Second expresses himself on a case of this sort, when calling upon 
bishop Gottfried, of Lucca, to require of the assassins of the excommu- 
nicated, according to the custom of the Romish church, suitable satisfac- 
tion. Non enim eos homicidas arbitramur, quos adversus excommunicatos 
zelo catholicse matris ardentes eorum quoslibet trucidasse contigerit. Yet, 
in order to preserve the purity of church discipline, a suitable penance 
should be prescribed for them : qua divinac simplicitatis oculos adversus 
se complacere valent, si forte quid duplicitatis pro humana fragilitatc in 
eodem Jlagitio contraxerunt. Mansi Concil. XX. f. 713. 


its rights in opposition to the clamours of fanaticism and 
party-passion. This was seen in the vote of the church of 
Liege,* whose organ was the free-minded, erudite monk 
Sigebert of Gemblours, who, in his Chronicle, where he 
refutes the letter addressed by pope Gregory the Seventh to 
Herman bis 1 1 op of Metz, stood forth as a bold and energetic 
opponent of the Hildebrandian system.f 

The clergy of Liege objected to the pope, that he had ex- 
changed the spiritual for the secular sword. " If our respect 
for the apostolical dignity may allow us to say it," they wrote 
to him, " we would say, the pope was asleep, and his council- 
lors were asleep, when they suffered the publication of such a 
mandate for the devastation of the communities of God. We 
pray him to consider whether he leads a beloved son in the 
right way, when he promises him an entrance into the heavenly 
Jerusalem by attacking and desolating the church of Grod. 
"Whence this new example, that he who is called to be a mes- 
senger of peace should by his own mouth, and another'' s hand, 
declare war against the church ? The laws of the church 
allow even clergymen to take up arms in defence of the city 
and church against barbarians and God's enemies ; but no- 
where do we read that, by any ecclesiastical authority, war 
has been proclaimed against the church. Jesus, the apostles, 
and the apostolical men proclaim peace ; they punished the 
erring with all patience and admonition. The disobedient, 
Paul bids us punish severely. And how this should be. done, 
Christ tells us, ' Let him be to thee as an heathen man and a 
publican ; ' and this is a worse evil than if he should be struck 
by the sword, consumed by the flames, or thrown before wild 
beasts. He is thus more severely punished when he is left 
unpunished. "Who, now, would superadd to God's punishment 
that of man ? But why should these clergymen be excommu- 
nicated ? Is it, perhaps, because they are devoted to their 
bishop, and the latter to the party of his lord the emperor ? 

* See the Epistola Leodiensiam adversns Pasch. in Hardnin. Cone. T. 
VI. p. ii. f. 1770. 

t See concerning this person, the Commentatio recently composed by 
a promising young historian, Dr. Hirsch. Sigebert designates himself 
as the author of that remarkable letter near the close of his tract, De 
scriptoribus ecclesiasticis. where he speaks of himself. See Bibliotheca 
ecclesiastica, ed. Fabric, f. 114. 

K 2 


This is the very beginning of all evil, that Satan should have 
succeeded to sow discord between the church and the empire." 
They would not presume to antedate the Lord's judgment, by 
which the good fruit and the tares were finally to be separated 
from each other. How much of the good fruit might he pluck 
away, who would cull out the tares before the harvest ? A 
gentle hint to the pope, not to condemn prematurely. " And 
who can rightly censure the bishop that holds sacred the oath 
of allegiance he has sworn to his sovereign ? How grievous a 
sin perjury is, those very persons know who have brought 
about the recent breach betwixt the empire and the church ; 
since they promise by their new maxims dispensation from the 
guilt of perjury to those who have violated the oath of fidelity 
to their sovereign ! " They object to the pope, the unapostolic 
harshness with which he treated them.* They maintained, 
indeed, that princes might be respectfully admonished and 
corrected, but that they could not be deposed by the popes.f 
They doubted, in fact, the right of the popes to pronounce the 
ban on princes. The jurisdiction over them, the King of kings, 
who appointed them his vicegerents on earth, had reserved in 
his own hands ; a position inconsistent, to be sure, with the 
position maintained by the spirit of this age, and one by which 
the theocratical jurisdiction of the church, restricted by arbi- 
trary limitations, would have wholly lost its importance ; so 
that, in the end, it could only have reached the weak, while 

* They speak thus strongly : Eructavit cor David regis verbam 
bonum, evomuit cor Domini Paschasii vile convicium, prout vetulse et 
textrices faciunt. Petrus apostolus docet : non dominantes in clero, sed 
forma facti gregis. Paulus apostolus ad Galatas delinquentes ait: 
Filioli, quos iterum parturio in Domino. Hos igitur attendat Dominus 
Paschasius pios admonitores, non impios conviciatores. 

f Concerning the papal ban against princes : Maledictum excommn- 
nicationis, quod ex novella traditione Hildebrandus, Odardus (Urbanus 
Secundus) et iste tertius indiscrete protulerunt,omnino abjicimus et priores 
sanctos patres usque nunc veneramur et tenemus, qui dictante Spirita 
sancto, non animi motu in majoribus et minoribus potestatibus graviter 
delinquentibus quEcdam dissimulaverunt, quajdam correxerunt, quaedam 
toleraverunt, .... Si quis denique respectu sancti Spiritus vetus et 
novum testamentum gestaque resolverit, patenter inveuiet, quod aut 
minime aut difficile possunt reges aut imperatores excommunicari et adhuc 
sub judice lis est. Admoneri quidem possunt, increpari, argui a timo- 
ratis, et discretis viris, quia quos Christus in terris rex regum vice sua 
coustituit, damnandos et salvandos suo judicio reliquit. 


the powerful, the very ones on whom it might prove most sa- 
lutary, would have remained wholly untouched. They defend, 
against the principles established by the popes of these times, 
the old ecclesiastical law, and the authority of bishops, arch- 
bishops, and provincial synods ; they maintain that only on 
graver matters (graviora negotia) a report was to be made out 
to Rome. But they declared strongly against the papal legates 
a latere, who did nothing but travel up and down to enrich 
themselves ; from which no amendment of life proceeded, but 
assassination and spoliation of the church.* They maintained, 
tlierefore, that they did not deserve the reproaches of the pope, 
since they had only acted according to their duty. They took 
no part in politics. They never attended the assemblies of the 
princes, but left the decision of political questions to their 
superiors, to whose province it belonged. The reproach fell 
with more justice on popes who were actuated by mere worldly 
pride. Tliat from the time of pope Silvester to Hildebrand false 
popes had been judged by emperors, the imperial authority 
was of greater force than the papal ban.f Our Lord says : 
If I have spoken evil, show it me. Paul boldly witlistood 
Peter. " Wherefore, then, should the Roman bishops not be 
reproved for manifest error ? He who is not willing to be set 
right, is a false bishop.''^ They would not enter at present 
into any defence of their sovereign. " But even were he such 
as the pope represents, still would we let him rule over ub, 
since we should regard it as a judgment of God hung over us 
on account of our sins. Still, we should not be authorized to 
lift up the sword against him ; but prayer would be our only . 

* Illos vero legates a latere Romani episcopi exeuntes et additanda 
marsapia discurreates, omnino refutamus, sicut temporibus Zosimt, 
Coelestini, Bonifacii concilia Africana probaverunt. Etenim ut a fructi- 
bus eorum cognoscamas eos, non morum correctio, non vitae emendatio, 
sed inde hominum caedes et ecclesiarum Dei proveniuut depraedationes. 

t Potius deposita spiritu praesumptionis cum suis consiliariis sollerter 
recoUigat, quomodo a beato Silvestro usque ad Hildebrandum sedem 
Romanam obtiuuerint, et quot et quanta inaudita ex illius sedis ambitione 
perpetrata sint, et quomodo per reges et imperatores definita sint, et 
pseudopapae damnati et abdicati sint et ibi plus valuit virtus imperialis, 
quam excommunicatio Hildebrandi, Odardi, Faschasii. 

X Ergo remoto Romauae ambitionis tvpho, cur de gravibus et mani- 
festis nou reprehendantur et corrigantur Komani episcopi ? Qui repre- 
hendi et corrigi non vult, pseudo est sive episcopus sive clericus. 


refuge. Why do the popes hand down to each other as an 
inheritance, the war against king Henry, whom they persecute 
with unjust excommunications, when they are bound to obey 
him as their rightful sovereign? To be sore, he who is ex- 
communicated by the judgment of the Holy Ghost is to be 
repelled from the house of God ; but who would say that 
when one has been excommunicated with injustice, in respect 
to his cause or in respect to his person, that such an one has 
been excommunicated by the judgment of the Ploly Ghost ? 
Gregory the Seventh expressed the principle, and applied it in 
practice, that the bishop of Rome can absolve one unjustly 
excommunicated by another. And if the bishop of Rome can 
do this, why should not God be able to absolve one unjustly 
excommunicated by the pope ? For to no one can any real 
injury be done by another, if he has not first injured himself." 
Finally, they speak with the greatest abhorrence of the fact, 
that the pope had promised the count forgiveness of sins on 
such conditions. " What new authority is this, by which im- 
punity for sins committed, and freedom for such as are to be 
committed hereafter, is promised to the guilty without coii- 
fession and penance ? How wide hast thou thus thrown open 
the doors for all iniquity ? * Thee, O mother, may God 
deliver from all iniquity. May Jesus be thy door, and open 
to thee that door. No one enters unless he opens. Thee, and 
those who are set over thee, may God deliver from such as 
betray the people." (Micah i.) 

Urban's successor, Paschalis the Second, also followed, il is 
true, the Hildebrandian system, like his predecessors : but he 
wanted Gregory's spirit, firmness, and energy.^ He reaped 
the reward of his own iniquity in countenancing the inconsider- 
ate rebellion of Henry the Fifth against his father ; for that 
prince showed himself obedient to the pope only so long as he 
stood in need of him for the attainment of his ends. But no 
sooner was he in possession of the power, than he revived the 

* Unde ergo hsec nova auctoritas, per quam reis sine confessione 
et poeniteutia affertur praiteritorum peccatorum impunitas et futurorum 
libertas ? Quantam fenestram malitia; per hoc patefecisti hominibus? 

t Guibert of Novigentum represents him as being a vreak and imper- 
fectly educated man, m the third book of his autobiography. He says of 
him : " Erat minus, quam suo competeret ofBcio, literatus." De vita sua, 
L. III. c. 4. 


old quarrel respecting the investiture, and, after threatening 
at a distance, in the year 1110 entered Italy with an army. 
At Sutri, a treaty was concluded between the pope and the 
emperor, by which treaty the contest which had continued so 
long was finally to be settled. The imperial party had, in 
fact, in this contest, always insisted on the principle, that to 
Caesar must be rendered the things of Caesar, as well as to God 
the things that are God's ; that if the bishops would retain the 
possessions and privileges they had received from the empire, 
they should fulfil the obligations due to the empire for them. 
If they refused coming to any such understanding, they should 
restore back what they had received from the empire, and be 
content with that which the church originally possessed. It 
might -with justice be said, that the church, by usurping a 
pro\Tnce not her own, but belonging to the secular power, made 
herself dependent on that power ; that the bishops and abbots 
had been misled thereby to lose sight of their spiritual duties 
in attending to secular business. The pope, in his letter to 
the emperor Henry the Fifth, might not without reason com- 
plain of it as an evil, that the sonants of the altar had become 
servants of the curia ; that they had received from the princes 
mints, castles, and cities ; whereby they were obliged to appear 
at court, to take part in wars and in many other affairs, incom- 
patible with their vocation.* Accordingly, those possessions 
and privileges which, vmder Charlemagne, Louis the Pious, 
and the Othos, had been bestowed on churches, should now be 
restored back to the empire, in order that the bishops might, 
with less distraction, attend to the spiritual welfare of their 
communities.! Upon this condition, Henry the Fifth might 

* Ep. 22. In vestri regni partibos episcopi vel abbates adeo cnris 
ssecularibos occnpantur, nt comitatum assidae frequentare, et militiam 
exercere cogantur, qujE nimirum aut vix aut nullo modo sine rapinis, 
sacrilegiis, incendiis aut homicidiis exhibentur. Ministri vero altaris 
ministri curiae facti sunt, quia civitates, ducatus, marchionatus, mone- 
tas, turres et caetera ad regni servitium pertinentia a regibus acceperunt. 
Unde etiam mos ecclesiae inolevit, ut electi episcopi nullo modo conse- 
crationem acciperent, nisi per manum regiam investirentur. Also Gerhoh 
of Reichersberg remarks, in opposition to that mixing together of spiri- 
tual and secular concerns : Ducatus, comitatus, telonia, moneta pertinent 
ad saculnm. See his work, De aedificio Dei, c. x. in Fez Uiesaums 
anecdot. T. II. p. ii. f. 281. 

t Oportet enim episcopos curis saecularibus expedites curam Euorum 
agere populorum nee ecclesiis suis abesse diutius. 


be willing to renounce the right of investiture ; and Paschalis, 
when he had done so, could bestow on him the coronation in 
Rome. A treaty of this sort was concluded at Sutri. But at 
that time things spiritual and secular in Germany had become 
so jumbled together, that a sudden separation of this sort 
could not be carried into effect ; and men were not wanting, 
who called it sacrilege to think of depriving the church of that 
which belonged to her by long years of possession.* The 
emperor may perhaps already have foreseen,f that the German 
bishops would not be inclined to let secular matters alone ; 
and may have drawn up his plan with reference to the 
expected issue. But Paschalis shows himself, in all these 
transactions, a weak man, governed by the influences of pass- 
ing events and the force of circumstances ; and in the present 
case he acted without any calculation either of the conse- 
quences or the practicability of the treaty. Accordingly, when 
the emperor and the pope came together at Rome, A. d. 1111, 
and the treaty was made known to the German prelates, they 
declined giving up the regalia. The emperor now, on his 
part, would not consent to renounce the investiture, which he 
had promised to do only under this condition, and yet he de- 
manded of the pope, since he had performed his part of the 
treaty, the imperial coronation. As the pope declined, and 
refused to recall the old veto against the investiture, he with 
his cardinals were arrested and imprisoned ; and, for the pur- 
pose of obtaining his liberty again, he concluded, in the year 
1112, a treaty with the emperor, by virtue of which he con- 
ceded to him the right of bestowing, by staff and ring, the 
investiture on bishops and abbots elected freely and without 

* When Gerhoh spoke in opposition to that mixing together of spiritual 
and secular concerns by the German prelates, he was in fear that he 
should give ofiFence to those -who said: Tales semel ecclesiis donata 
quacunque occasione ab illis auferentes sacrilegium committere, quouiam 
ecclesia rem semel acceptamet dintina possessione mancipatam non potest 
amittere. In the work already cited, De sedificio Dei. L. c. 

t Gerhoh of Reichersberg, in his book De statu ecclesiae, c. xxi. 
Gretser opp. T. VI. f. 251, says of the emperor: Ha;c sane promittens 
sciebat,'non consensum iri ab episcopis praccipue Germaiiite et Gallise 
atque Saxonise, sed per promissa speciem quandam pietatis habentia ad 
perceptionem imperialis coronas per benedictionem Komani pontificis 
imponendse nitebatur. 


simony.* Had the pope held out firmly in the contest with 
the emperor, he might have reckoned upon the force of public 
opinion,which must have protested strongly against such violence 
done to the person of the head of the church. It is evident from 
the expressions of Hildebert of Mans, who was by no means a 
zealot, how enormous a crime this appeared. f He would have 
been venerated as a martyr ; but the man who had hitherto so 
zealously served the cause of the papacy, for that very reason 
lost so much the more by yielding. Great must have been the 
impression made upon his age, when it was found that the 
pope, from motives of fear, proved unfaithful to the system 
which he had before so earnestly defended, and for which 
Gregory the Seventh had perseveringly fought, at the cost of 
everything, till his death. The name of Paschalis, as the man 
who had cowardly betrayed the liberties of the church, and 
made her dependent on the emperors, was handed down from 
one generation to another through the twelfth century. Thus, 
for example, in the prophecies of the abbot Joachim of Cala- 
bria, towards the close of this century, where he describes the 
growing corruption of the church, Paschalis holds a prominent 
place in the picture. J The abbot Gottfried of Veudome 

* Ut regni tui episcopis vel abbatibus libere praeter violentiam vel 
simoniam electis investituram virgse et annuli conferas, post investitionem 
vero canonice consecrationera accipiant ab episcopo, ad quern perti- 

t See his L. II. ep. 21. The same writer objects to Henry his double 
crime against his real and against his spiritual father. Quis enim potest 
praeter eum inveniri, qui patres suos, spiritualem pariter et carnalem 
subdola ceperit factione ? Iste est, qui prajceptis Dominicis in utraque 
tabula contradicit. Nam, ut de his, quae actu priora sunt, prius dicam, 
patrem camis sxiae non honoravit, sed captivavit prius et deinceps 
expulit fraudulenter et in Deum postmodum et ejus ecclesiam insurrexit 
et de Sede Petri vicarium usque in vincula perturbavit. 

X Although he calls him Paschasius the Third, and says many things 
which do not agree with an exact knowledge of history, yet we can con- 
ceive of no other Paschalis that can be meant. In the Commentary on 
the prophet Jeremiah, we read : Libertas ecclesiae ancillanda est et sta- 
tuenda sub tributo a papa Paschasio tertio. Non est plangendus, quia 
etsi captiyus a duce Normannico (which title here is not correct), ponere 
debuit animam pro justitia ecclesiae et non infringere libertatem ejus et 
tradere servituti, de qua collum non excutiet sic de levi. See the edition 
of Cologne, 1577, p. 312; and in another place: The servitude of the 
popes began in pope Paschalis, quern dux Normannicus ccepit et contra 


loaded hira with the severest reproaches,* and expressed a de- 
termination to renounce obedience to him if he remained 
faithful to that treaty. He held up before him the example of 
the old martyrs, as well as that of the two apostles who laid 
the foundations of the Roman church. If the successor of 
sudi men, sitting on their seat, by acting contrary to their ex- 
ample, has robbed iiimself of their glorious lot, then, said he 
in his letter to the pope, he ought himself to annul what he 
has done, and, as a second Peter, expiate the fault by tears of 
repentance. If, through weakness of the flesh, he had from the 
fear of death wavered for a moment, the spirit should keep itself 
pure by reforming the works of the flesh ; nor should he him- 
self wish to excuse by pleading the latter, which at any rate 
must die, an act which he might have avoided, and so gained 
a glorious immortality. Nor could he excuse himself by 
pleading anxiety for the lives of his sons the cardinals ; for he 
ought to have been much more concerned for the everlasting 
than for the temporal welfare of his sons ; and instead of eking 
out a brief life to them, by exposing the church to ruin and 
their souls to injury, he should by his own example have fired 
them on to meet a glorious martyrdom ; for the object, as it 
seemed to him, was worthy of such a sacrifice. The lay-inves- 
titure, whereby the power was conceded to laymen of convey- 
ing a spiritual possession, appeared to him as a denial of the 
faith and of the freedom of the church, — as a veritable heresy. 
He begged the pope not to add to his fault by trying to excuse 
it, but rather to amend it. He did not hesitate to tell him that, 
although even a vicious pope must be tolerated, yet the case 
stood quite otherwise witli an heretical one. Against such a 
pope, any man, who did but remain true to the faith himself, 
might stand forth as an accuser, f 

There were, among the adherents of the church theocratical 
system, two parties ; one rigid and stiff", the other milder. The 

libertatem ecclesise privilegia fecit et indulsit invltus, quae postea libe- 
ratus fregit. P. 259 * Ep. 7. 

t When, in another legal affair, he invited his assistance, he wrote to 
him (ep. 6) : Non vos ultra modum aiBciat, si qua fuit sinistra operatic, 
non perturbet oculum mentis vestrje regis exactio, sed quanto fortius 
potestis, jura justitisc in rebus aliis teneatis nunc ex deliberatione, ut quod 
regi fecit vestra humanitas, fecisse credatur pro vita fihorum paterna 


former, of which we may consider the abbot Gottfried of Ven- 
dome, in his then position, a representative, declared, without 
reserve, that maintaining the right of lay-investiture was a 
heresy, because thereby the right was attributed to laymen of 
conveying a spiritual possession ; and according to the judg- 
ment of this party, the pope, if he did not revoke that which 
he had done through weakness, made himself liable to con- 
demnation, and men were authorized and bound to renounce 
obedience to him as a promoter of heresy. Others judged the 
conduct and the person of the pope more mildly, though they 
considered the lay-investiture as unjustifiable. To this party 
belonged two other distinguished men of the French church, 
Hildebert, bishop of Mans, and Yves, bishop of Chartres. The 
former was not only ready to excuse the pope's conduct, but 
even represented it as exemplary. " The pope," says he, 
"has ventured his life for the church, and yielded only for 
a moment to put a stop to the effusion of blood, and to 
desolation. Another cannot so transport himself into the 
critical and perilous situation of the head of the church as to 
be entitled to judge him. It behoves not the man living 
in comfortable ease to accuse the bleeding warrior of fear.* 
The pope," he thought, " was obliged to accommodate himself 
to circumstances. The oftentimes misinterpreted and mis- 
applied example of the apostle Paul Mas employed, to the 
great wrong of truth, in palliation of crooked courses. 
Where we cannot know the heart, we ought to presume the 
best motives ; and no man should set himself up as judge over 
the pope, who, as universal bishop, is empowered to alter and 
rescind aJl laws."! 

Yves of Chartres declared himself, it is true, in favour of 
the principles promulgated by Gregory the Seventh and Urban 
the Second against lay-investitiu-e, but he also excused the 
forced compliance of Paschalis. His advice was, that confi- 
dential, affectionate letters should be addressed to the pope, 
■exhorting him to condemn himself or to retract what had been 
done.| If he did so, men would thank God, and the whole 

* Ep. 22. Delibutns ungnentis cruentam militem fonnidinis non 

t QiMPcanque nescimus quo animo fiant, interpretemur in melios. 
Universalis episcopus omnium habet leges et jura rescindere. 

X Ep. 233. Quia verendo patris debemos potios velare qoam nodare, 


church rejoice over the recovery of their head ;* but if the 
pope proved incurable, still it did not belong- to others to pass 
judgment on him. The archbishop John of Lyons, having 
called together a council, at which the subject of lay-investi- 
ture, as an affair concerning the faith, and the treaty between 
the pope and the emperor, were to be brought into discussion, 
Yves wrote to this archbishop a letter,| warning him against 
taking any irrevocable steps in this matter, and recommending 
moderation. He sought to excuse the pope, who had yielded 
only to force, and for the purpose of avoiding a greater evil, by 
holding up the examples of Moses and of Paul, showing how 
the latter had allowed Timothy to be circumcised, in order by 
this accommodation to gain the Jews "God has permittoi 
the greatest and holiest men, when they have given way to a 
necessity which seemed to exculpate them, or have descended 
to a prudent accommodation, to fall into such weaknesses, in 
order that they might thereby be led to a knowledge of their 
own hearts, learn to ascribe their weaknesses to themselves, 
and to feel their indebtedness to the grace of God for all the 
good that is in them." He refused to assist in any council 
met to deliberate on this affair, since it was out of the power 
of any to judge the party against whom they would have to 
proceed ; for the pope was amenable to the judgment of no 
man. Although he declared himself opposed to lay-investi- 
ture, still he would not concede to those who drove the 
matter to an extreme, and drew rash conclusions, that the 
maintaining of lay-investiture was a heresy, a sin against the 
Holy Ghost. "For heresy," he thought, "had reference to 
the faith, and faith had its seat within ; but investiture was an 
external thing. | Whatever is founded on eternal law could, 
indeed, never be altered ; but in that which proceeded from no 
such law, but was ordered and arranged with reference to cer- 
tain necessities of the times, for the honour and advantage of 

familiaribus et caritatem redolentibus Uteris admonendus mihi videtnr, 
ut se judicet aut factum suura retractet. '^ 

* Omnis ecclesia, quae graviter languet, dum caput ejus laborat tanta 
debilitatum molestia. 

f There were several eminent French bishops, in whose name this ■was 
■written. Ep. 23fi. 

I Fides et error ex corde procedunt, investifrura vero ilia, de qua 
tantus est motus, in solis est manibus dantis et accipientis, qua; bona et 
mala agere possunt, credere vel errare in fide non possunt. 


the church, something doubtless might be remitted for the 
moment, out of regard to changing circumstances.* But if a 
layman claimed the power of bestowing, with the investiture, 
a sacrament, or a rem sacramenti, such a person would 
be a heretic, not on account of the investiture in itself, but on 
account of the usurpation connected with it. The lay-investi- 
ture, as the wresting to one's self of a right belonging to 
another, ought assuredly, for the sake of the honour and free- 
dom of the church, to be wholly abolished, if it could be done 
wathout disturbing the peace ; but where this could not be 
done without danger of a schism, it must be suffered to remain 
for a whUe under a discreet protest." The archbishop John of 
Lyons, however, in his reply, expressed his regret to find that 
the pope would not allow the weak spots which he had 
exposed to be covered. f To the remarks of Yves with, regard 
to the mitigation of the judgment concerning lay -investiture, 
he replied — " It is true, faith and heresies have their seat ia 
the heart : but as the believing man is known by his works, so 
also is the heretic by his. Although the outward act, as such, 
is not heretical, still it may be of such a kind that something 
heretical lies at the bottom of it. If, therefore, the outward 
act of investiture by laymen is in itself nothing heretical, still 
the maintaining and defending it proceeds fiom heretical prin- 

Deserving of notice is the book which, amid these move- 
ments, the prior Placidus of Nonantula wrote in defence of the 
honour of the church, | as it is especially calculated to convey 
a knowledge of the relation in which the different parties stood 
to each other. This book is directed partly against those who 
defended the lay-investiture with a view to the interests of 
the state ; partly against those who, from the position of papal 
absolutism, maintained that no one could set himself up as 
judge over the decision of the pope. The former were led by 

* Cum ergo ea, quae setema lege sancita non sunt, sed pro honestate 
et utilitate ecclesiae instituta vel prohibita, pro eadem occasione ad 
tempus remittuntur pro qua inventa sunt, non est institutorum damnosa 
praevaricatio, sed laudabilis et saluberrima dispensatio. 

t U tinam ipse pater pudenda (_ut dicis) ista pro voluntate nostra contegi 

X Liber de honore ecclesise. Pez thesaoros anecdotorum novissimas, 
T. II. p. ii. f. 75. 


the reaction against the theocracy, which subordinated every- 
thing secular to itself, to give prominence to the purely 
spiritual idea of the church. " The church," said they, "is 
a thing purely spiritual ; hence, of earthly matters, nothing 
belongs to it but the place in which the faithful are assembled, 
and which is denominated a church.* The servants of the 
church can, according to her laws, lay claim to no earthly 
possession ; nothing is due to them but the tithes, firstlings, 
and oblations of the altar ; whatsoever more they desire 
to have, they can only receive from the monarch. The church 
and its precincts consecrated to God belong, it is allowed, to 
none but God and his priests ; but what the church now glo- 
rified throughout the whole world possesses — cities, castles, 
public mints, &c.'\ — all this belongs to the emperor, and this 
the shepherds of the church cannot possess, unless it be con- 
stantly bestowed on them, over and over again, by the 
emperor. How should not the churches be subject, on account 
of their earthly possessions, to him to whom the whole land is 
subject ? I If, in order to the choice of a shepherd, the agree- 
ment of the whole community is required, how much more 
must this be the case in regard to emperors or princes ? " 
This party, in order to defend lay-investiture, appealed to the 
fact, that even the emperor was the Lord's anointed, by vir- 
tue of the anointing with holy oil which was bestowed on 
him. To these arguments Placidus replied:' — "To be sure 
the church is a spiritual society, the community of believers, 

* Ecclesia spiritualis est et ideo nihil ei terrenarum rerum pertinet, 
nisi locus tantum, qui consueto nomine ecclesia dicitur. 

t Dacatus, marcliiae, coniitatus, advocatiae, monetae publicse, civitates 
et castra. 

J A comparison of our citations from this book with what Gerhoh of 
Reichersberg, in his work, De statu ecclesise, sub Henrico Quarto et Quinto 
imperatoribus et Gregorio Septo, nonnullisque cconsequentibus Romanis 
Pontificibus, published by the Jesuit Gretser, (T. VI. opp.) puts in the 
mouth of the defenders of the cause of Henry (qui pro parte erant regis 
ajebant), serves also to show that from these communications of Placidus 
we may learn what were the principles maintained by a whole party ; 
and we see of how much importance this dispute about principles was. 
According to the quotation of Gerhoh, the imperial party said : " If the 
bishops wished to remain heads of the empire, then they must consent 
to be invested, like all others, by the emperor, with the concurrence of 
the other members of the imperial diet." Non imperio condecet, ut 
aliquis in principem, nisi ab ipso imperatore ex consilio aliorum princi- 
pum assumatur. L. c. f. 259. 


which has been adorned with the gifts of the Holy Spirit ; but 
she should also be honoured by her consecrated earthly gifts, and 
what has once been given to her cannot again be wrested fi"om 
her without sacrilege. Just so the worship of God ; though it 
has its seat in the heart, yet must appear outwardly and pre- 
sent itself in a visible manner, and visible temples must be 
erected to his honour. According to the promises of the pro- 
phets, the once persecuted church should at length be out- 
wardly glorified. As the soul cannot, in this present life, subsist 
without the body, so neither can the spiritual subsist \vithout 
the corporeal, and the latter is sanctified through its con- 
nection with the former." Many, whom Placidus calls 
"simplices," said, " If things go on in this way, the church 
will in the end absorb all earthly interests into itself." He 
replies, by quoting the words of Christ, " AU men cannot 
receive this saying (t. e. few are so far advanced in the 
spiritual direction as to perceive how everything earthly should, 
in fact, be consecrated to the church); for when would all 
give their possessions to the church, if now they seek to de- 
prive her even of that which has been her property for ages ? 
The plenty which is now in the hands of the church, belongs 
to her no less than the little did which she once possessed. 
Both belong to her for the same reason, because it is property 
consecrated to God. The same Being who once formed her by 
want, has now enriched and glorified her. What would be said 
of the man who should maintain that the emperor has no right 
indeed to a house that belongs to one of his subjects ; yet the 
possessions of the house belong to the emperor in the sense 
that no one has a right to dispose of them unless he receive it 
from the emperor ? Princes should by no means be excluded 
from participating in the election of bishops ; but they should 
do so as members of the community — as sons, not as lords of 
the church. They should not by their own authority give 
shepherds to the church, whether by investiture or by any other 
exercise of their sovereignty ; but bishops should be appointed 
by the common choice of the clergy and the concurrence of 
the communities, of the high and the low, among whom princes 
also belong. The emperor is anointed, not that he may 
rule the church, but that he may faithfully govern the em- 

He next proceeds to combat those who argued that the pope 


could not take back his oath to the emperor, by which he con- 
ceded to him the right of investiture ; those who held that no 
man could exalt himself over the pope, the supreme lawgiver 
of the church ; that the laws enacted by him, although new, 
still carried with them the obligation of obedience. He says, 
on the other hand, pope Paschalis, Avith the cardinals, had 
been induced by compassion to grant the emperor Henry the 
Fifth a privilege incompatible with the grace of the Holy 
Spirit and with the ecclesiastical laws. The pope was not 
bound to abide by this compact ; but was bound to correct the 
mistake with all zeal, following the example of the apostle 
Peter, who, after having denied the Lord through fear, 
sought to make up the injury by greater love. An oath, 
whereby one promises to do a wicked thing, cannot be binding ; 
on the contrary, the promiser should repent for having taken 
the name of the Lord in vain, by promising to do what he 
ought not to do either with or without an oath. It must be 
admitted that the pope may enact new laws, but only respecting 
matters on which the holy fathers have determined nothing, 
and especially on which nothing has been settled in the sacred 
Scriptures ; but wherever our Lord or his apostles, and the 
holy fathers succeeding them, had manifestly determined any- 
thing, there the pope can give no new law, but is bound 
rather to defend that which has been once settled, until he 
dies. Accordingly, this Placidus calls upon every man to 
follow the example of all who have fought for the kingdom of 
God, from the apostles to Gregory the Seventh and Urban 
the Second,* and to give up everything, even life itself, for 
the cause of righteousness. 

It appears evident, from these signs of the times, that if 
Paschalis had been disposed to abide faithfully by the treaty 
which had been concluded, still he could not have carried it 
out in opposition to the superior power of the Hildebrandian 
party in the church. A new schism in the church would, in 

* Concerning Gregory the Seventh, he says : Pro honore sanctsc eccJe- 
sise dimicans, multas et varias tempestates sustinuit, sed flecti non potuit, 
quia fundatus erat supra firmam petram. Concerning Urban the Second, 
•who at first could find no spot in the city of Rome where he could 
remain : Qui tamen non cessit, sed patienter ferens Christo pro se obti- 
nente, omnis hsereticorum vis dcstructa et ipse sanctaj ecclesiaj redditus 
apud beatum Petrum in sua sede beato fine quievit. 


all probability, have been the consequence of such an attempt.* 
If the most zealous defenders of the church theocratical system 
had hitherto been zealous also for papal absolutism, they might 
now take another turn, and be led by zeal for their principles 
to stand up against the person of the pope ; so that from a 
party, of which under other circumstances such a thing was 
least to be expected, might proceed a freer reaction against the 
arbitrary will of the individual who stood at the head of the 
church government. 

But not only was Paschalis too weak to undertake to main- 
tain, against the force of such a spirit, the step he had taken, 
he was also, at heart, too much affected by the same spirit 
himself to form any such resolution. Without doubt he had 
only been induced to give way by a momentary impulse of 
fear and weakness, and he soon began to reproach himself for 
what he had done, as in fact he expressed his regret at the 
transaction in his letters to foreign bishops.j He was de- 
sirous of retiring to private life, and of leaving it to the 
church to judge respecting what had been done. He deserted 
the papal palace, and retired to an island in the Tiber, and 
could only be persuaded to jeturn by the entreaties of the car- 
dinals and of the Roman people.J It might be easier for the 

* Gerhoh of Reichersberg relates, that nearly cdl the French bishops 
(which doubtless is exaggerated) had formed the resolution together to 
excommunicate the pope himself, if he would not revoke what he had 
conceded to the emperor Henry the Fifth. Universi paene Francise epis 
copi consilium inierant, quatenus excommunicarent Paschalem, tanqnam 
ecclesiae hostem et destructorem, nisi privilegium idem ipse, qui dedit, 
damnavisset. See the above-cited tract, De statu ecclesise, chap. xxii. in 
Gretser, opp. Tome VI. f. 257. 

t Yves of Chartres says (ep. 233 and 236") of the pope : Postquam 
evasit periculum, sicut ipse quibusdam nostrum scripsit, quod jusserat, 
jussit, quod prohibuerat, prohibuit, quamvis quibusdam ne&ndis quaedam 
uefanda scripta permiserit. 

+ So Hildebert, at least, relates, in the above-cited letter, following a 
rumour : Renuncians domo, patrite, rebus, officio, mortificandus in came, 
Pontianam insulam commigravit. Populi vocibus, et cardinalinm lacri- 
mis revocatus in cathedram. This is confirmed by the account of a 
trustworthy historian among his contemporaries, the abbot Suger of St. 
Denis, in his account of the life of the French king Louis the Sixth. 
Vita Ludovici Grossi, where he says of the pope : Ad eremum solitudi- 
nis confugit moramque ibidem perpetuam fecisset, si universalis ecclesia 
et Romanorum violentia coactum non reduxisset. See Duchesne, Scnp- 
tores rer. Franc. T. IV. f. 291. 

yoi« VII. o 


pope to reconcile to his conscience the non-observance of his 
oath than the surrendering of any right belonging to the 
church. In the year 1112 he declared, before a council 
assembled in the Lateran, that he had been forced to make 
that treaty in order to save the cardinals and the city of 
Rome; abiding by his oath, he would himself personally 
undertake nothing against the emperor Henry, but it was be- 
yond his power to surrender any of the liberties and rights of 
the church. He left it to the assembly to examine the treaty, 
and that body unanimously declared that it was contrary to the 
laws of the church and to divine right, and therefore null. The 
pope wished, by an ambiguous mode of procedure, to save his 
conscience and his honour at the same time ; and while he for- 
bore personally and directly to pronounce the ban on Henry 
the Fifth, still permitted this to be done by his legates. 
Thus the contest respecting investiture broke out anew, and 
with it was again connected, we must admit, the corrupt exer- 
cise of an arbitrary will in the filling up of spiritual offices by 
the court.* The emperor had it in his power to expel the 
popes from Kome, and to set up against Paschalis's successor 
Gelasius the Second, another, chosen by his own party, the 
archbishop Burdinus of Braga, Gregory the Eighth. 

The mischievous consequences of this schism in the churches, 
in which both parties combated each other with ferocious ani- 
mosity, could not fail to call forth the more strongly, in all 
who had at heart the welfare of Christendom, the wish for a 
restoration of the peace of the church ; these, accordingly, set 
themselves to devising means for bringing about a reconcilia- 
tion of conflicting interests and principles. Between the stiff 
Hildebrandian party and those who defended lay-investiture 
there gradually rose up a third intermediate party. These con- 
troversies led to some important consequences. Various more 
profound investigations were thereby occasioned, into the rela- 
tion of the church to the state, of ecclesiastical matters to 

♦ In the life of the archbishop Conrad the First, of Salzburg, it is 
related how pious ladies, at the emperor's court, had the greatest influ- 
ence in the distribution of ecclesiastical preferments. See Pez thesaur. 
anecdot. nov. T. II. p. 3, f. 204 ; and Gerhoh says, in the above-cited 
tract, De statu ecclesiae, c. 22 : Spretis electionibus is apud eum dignior 
caeteris episcopatus honore habitus est, qui ei vel familiarior extitisset vel 
plus obsequii aut pecuuiee obtulisset. 


political, of spiritual matters to secular. Men of sobriety and 
moderation stood forth, who endeavoured to soften the extra- 
vagant excesses of the Hildebrandian zealots, in their fanatical 
deprecation of the civil power, and who, instead of continu- 
ally harping against lay-investiture, sought to bring about an 
understanding on the question, as to what was essential and 
what unessential in the points of dispute ; as to what should 
be held fast in order to secure the freedom of the church, 
and what might be conceded to the state in order to the con- 
servation of its rights. We have already noticed, on a former 
page, the milder views on this subject expressed by HUdebert 
of Mans, and Yves of Chartres. 

By occasion of the disputes between tlie Norman princes of 
England and the archbishops of Canterbury, the monk Hugo, 
belonging to the monastery of Fleury, wrote his work for the 
reconciliation of church and state, of the royalty and the priest- 
hood.* He combated the Gregorian position, that monarchy 
was not, like the priesthood, founded on a divine order, but 
that the former sprang from man's will, and hiunan pride ; and 
in opposition to those who maintained this, he held up the 
apostle Paul's declaration concerning the divine institution of 
magistrates.! He affirmed, that the relations among men 
were, from the first, founded upon such a subordination. He 
attacked the exaggerations on both sides, and, in opposition to 
them, held fast to the principle that to God must be rendered 
tliat which is God's, and to Caesar that which is Caesar's. 
The king should lay no restraint on the election of a bishop 
by the clergy and the community, to be held according to the 
ecclesiastical laws ; and should give his concurrence to the 
choice when made. To the person elected, the king ought 
not to give the investiture with staff and ring, which, as sym- 
bols of spiritual things, belong to the archbishop ; but should 
bestow the feoflftnent with secular appurtenances, and accord- 

* De regia potestate et sacerdotali dignitate ; in Balnz. Miscellan. 

t Scio quosdam nostris temporibus, qui reges autamaiit, non a Deo, 
sed ab his habuisse principium, qui Deum ignorantes superbia, rapiuis, 
homicidiis et postremo psene uuiversis sceleribus in mundi principio dia- 
bolo agitante supra pares homines dominari cceca cupiditate affectaveruat 
Quorum sententia quam sit frivola liquet apostolico docamento : Non est 
potestas nisi a Deo, etc. 

o 2 


ingly select for this some other symbol.* The cardinal abbot 
Gottfried of Vendome, as we have seen above, had declared 
himself so strongly against the concessions of pope Paschalis 
in the dispute concerning the investiture as to pronounce the 
maintaining of the investiture by laymen a heresy ; but he 
extricated himself from these wearisome and ruinous con- 
troversies, and, by certain notional distinctions, found a way 
of reconciling the antagonism between the church and the 
secular power,"]" He distinguished between that investiture 
which makes the bishop a bishop and that which has refer- 
ence to his temporal support ; | between that which pertains to 
human and that which pertains to divine right. The church 
held her possessions by human right, the right which defines 
generally the mine and thine. Divine right we have in the 
Holy Scriptures (the ecclesiastical laws being reckoned there- 
to) : human right in the laws of princes. Property, which 
belongs to human right, God has given to the church through 
the emperors and kings of the world. He protested against 
that stern hierarchical bent which would not allow princes 
to possess what was their own. " If thou sayest," he remarks 
to the bishop, " what have I to do with the king ; then call 
not the possessions thine ; for thou hast renounced the only 
right by which thou canst call them thine." § While now, in 
accordance with this distinction, he still declared the investi- 
ture by staff and ring, practised by laymen and referring to 
spiritual matters, a heresy, he still found nothing offensive in 
the fact that kings, after the completion of a free canonical 
election, and after the episcopal consecration, should, by the 
royal investiture, convey over the secular possessions and their 

* Lib. I. c. 5. Post electionem autem non anulum aut baculum a 
manu regia, sed investituram rerum seculariura electus antistes debet sus- 
cipere et in suis ordinibus per auulum aut baculum animarum curam ab 
archiepiscopo suo. 

t Opusc. III. to pope Calixtus, and his Tractatus de ordinatione epis- 
coporum et de investitura Laicorum, addressed to cardinal Peter Leouis. 

X Alia est investitura, quae episcopum perficit, alia vero, quse episcopura 

§ Si vero dixeris : Quid mihi et regi, noli jam dicere possessiones 
tuas, quia ad ipsa jura, quibus possessiones possidentur, renuntiasti. 
Unde (juisque possidet, quod possidet ? Noune jure humano ? Nam jure 
divino Domini est terra et plenitude ejus. Pauperes et divites Deus de 
uno luto fecit, et divites et pauperes una terra supporut. 


own protection along with them,* and by what sign this 
might be done, was, he declared, a matter of indifference to 
the Catholic faith.| Chidst intended that the spiritual and the 
secular sword should serve for the defence of the church ; but 
if one of the two beats back the other, this happens contrary 
to his will. Thus arise bitter feelings and schisms ; thus 
arises corruption of the body and of the soul. And when 
empire and priesthood contend one against the other, both 
are in danger. The church ought to assert her freedom, but 
she ought also to guard against disorganizing excesses. | He 
calls it a work of Satan, when, under the show of right, men 
cause the destruction of an individual, who might have been 
won by indulgence. § 

The way having been prepared by investigations of this 
sort, a treaty was brought about, after repeated negotiations, 
in the year 1122, between pope Calixtus the Second and the 
emperor Henry the Fifth, which, concluded at "Worms, after- 
wards confirmed at the Lateran Council in 1123, was desig- 
nated by the title of the Concordat of Worms. The pope 
conceded to the emperor the right to bestow on bishops and 
abbots, chosen in his presence, without violence or simony, 
the investiture with regalia per sceptrum. 

When by this concordat the reconciliation between church 
and state, after a conflict ruinous to both, which had lasted 
for more than forty years, was finally effected, it was received 
with universal joy, even by those who in other respects were 
devoted to the Hildebrandian principles. || There were, it is 

* Possunt itaque sine offensione reges post electionem canonicam et 
liberam consecrationem per investituram regalem in ecclesiasticis posses- 
sionibas concessionem, aoxihum et defensionem episcopo dare. 

t Quod quolibet signo factum extiterit, regi vel pontifici sen catho- 
licae fidei non nocebit. 

X Habeat ecclesia suam libertatem, sed summopere caveat, ne dnm nimis 
emunxerit, eliciat sanguinem et dum rubiginem de vase conatur eradere, 
vas ipsom frangatur. 

§ Tunc enim a satana qais circumvenitur, quando sub specie jnstitiae 
ilium per nimiam tristitiam perire contingit, qui potuit liberari per indul- 

II Among whom belongs the so often mentioned Geroch, or Grerhoh, of 
Keichersberg. He was Canonicus at Augsburg, and master of the cathe- 
dral school. Being a zealous adherent of the papal party, he fell into a 
quarrel with his bishop, Hermann of Augsburg, who defended the impe- 
rial interest. He was obliged to remove from this city, and to retire into 


true, some stiff zealots who were not satisfied even with this 
treaty ; who saw a humiliation of the priesthood in the re- 
quirement that a bishop should do homage to a layman.* 
Moreover, the Hildebrandian system had for its very object 
to effect the complete subjection of the state under the theo- 
cratical power represented by the church : in this effort of 
the church, and the natural counteraction of the state, 
asserting its independence, was contained the germ of divisions 
continually breaking out afresh. 

The history of the papacy in the next following times leads 
us to take notice of a quarrel connected with the election of a 
pope, which was attended with consequences more lasting and 
more important than usual ; differing from all events of this 
kind heretofore related, in that the schism in this case did not 
proceed from the influence of opposite church-political parties, 
nor were opposite principles of church government maintained 
by the two competitors for the papal dignity. A schism of 
this sort might have served, by the uncertainty touching the 
question as to who was pope, to unsettle all faith in the papacy 
itself. Yet the most influential voices decided too quickly in 
favour of one of the two popes, to permit of any such result ; 
and by the way in which the greatest men of the church 
laboured for the cause of this pope, the papacy could only 
receive an accession of glory. It was in the year 1130 that by 
a considerable party the Roman cardinal Gregory was chosen 
pope, who assumed the name of Innocent the Second ; but 
the cardinal Peter Leonis had also a large number of adherents. 
The latter was grandson of a very rich Jewish banker, who 
had embraced Christianity ; and his ancestors, during the con- 
tests of the popes with the emperors, had been enabled to per- 
fox-m important services for the former by means of their great 
wealth, with which they supported them through their difficul- 

a monastery. He testifies his joy over the Concordat of Worms, whereby 
it was made possible for him to become reconciled with his bishop. He 
says : Cessante ilia commotione, in qua non erat Dominus, venit sibi- 
lus aura; lenis, in quo erat Dominus, faciens utraque unum, concordia 
reparata inter sacerdotium et imperium. In Ps. cxxxiii. L. c. f. 2039. 

* As the archbishop Conrad of Salzburg says : it is nefas and instar 
sacrilegii, nianus chrismatis unctione consecratas sanguineis manibos 
subjici et homagii exhibitione pollui. See his life in Pez thesaurus. L. c 
f. 228. 


ties. By his money he had himself also at that time acquired 
^eat influence in Rome. He called himself, as pope, Anaclete 
the Second. Innocent was compelled to yield to his power in 
Rome ; nor was there any safety for him, even in Italy ; for 
Anaclete possessed a powerful ally in Roger king of Sicily. 
He took refuge in France, and in that country he acquired 
greater power than he could have acquired in Rome ; for the 
two heads of monasticism, who had the greatest influence on 
the public sentiment among the nations, the abbot Peter of 
Cluny and the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, espoused his 
interests with great zeal. More than all, he was assisted by 
the moral power of the abbot Bernard. This man stood then 
in the highest authority with the French church. In all 
great ecclesiastical and political affairs his voice was listened 
to ; and it went for much with the most considerable men of 
church and state. In a body enfeebled by the ascetical efforts 
of his earlier youth, the force of his superior intellect triumph- 
ing over the frailty of its physical organ, was but the more 
sure to accomplish whatever he undertook. The enei^ of 
religious enthusiasm, contrasted with the pale, meagre, attenu- 
ated body, made so much the greater impression ; and people 
of all ranks, high and low, were hurried along by it in despite 
of themselves.* Whatever cause he laid hold of, he espoused 
with his whole soul, and spared no efforts in carrying it. 
Fondly as he was attached to the quiet life of contemplation, 
he itinerated about, notwithstanding, amidst the tumults of 
the nations ; appeared before synods and in the assemblies of 
the nobles, and expended his fiery eloquence in support of the 
cause which he found to be righteous. This energetic man 
now became a hearty champion for the cause of Innocent ; 
for him he set everything in motion, in and without France. 

After Louis the Sixth, king of France, and the French 
church, had already been induced, through the influence of 
Bernard, to recognise Innocent as pope, the bishop Gerhard of 

* How Bernard appeared, and what effect he produced as an orator, is 
graphically described by an eye-witaess, the abbot Wibald of Stavelo : 
Vir ille bonus longo eremi squalore et jejuniis ac pallore confectus et in 
quandam spiritualis formae tenuitatem redactns, prins persuadet visus 
quam auditus. Optima ei a Deo concessa est natura, eruditio summa, 
exercitium ingens, pronuntiatio aperta, gestus corporis ad omnem dicendi 
modum accommodatus. See his ep. 147. Marteue et Darand, Collectio 
amplissima, T. II. f. 339. 


Angouleme, who stood up as legate for the cause of Anaclete, 
prolonged the contention, and by his means one of the mighty 
nobles, count William of Aquitaine, was gained over to the 
same. The latter sought by forcible measures to make the 
party dominant in whose favour he had declared, and perse- 
cuted all its opponents. He expelled the adherents of Inno- 
cent among the bishops from their offices. A characteristic 
illustration of the power which the abbot Bernard could exer- 
cise over the minds of men, as well as of the religious spirit 
of his times, is presented in the mode by which he finally 
succeeded in putting an end to the schism that had now lasted 
five years. Already had he brought the count to acknow- 
ledge that Innocent was pope ; and that nobleman was now 
only resisting the demand, that tlie bishops should be restored 
to their places. After Bernard, in an interview with the count 
at Partheney, had tried in vain every method to bring about 
the object last mentioned, he repaired to the church to hold 
mass, and the count remained standing by the door. Then 
Bernard, filled with the consciousness of the greatest of all 
miracles which he, as an instrument of God's grace, was privi- 
leged by his priestly office to perform, elevated in the feeling 
of the godlike above all earthly considerations,* holding in 
his hand the plate with the host — in which he saw under 
the figure of the bread only the veUed body of the Lord, — 
with Hashing eye, not beseeching but commanding, stepped 
before the count, and said to him : " We have entreated thee, 
and thou hast spurned us ; the united band of God's servants 
have besought thee, and thou hast spurned them. Beliold, 
here comes the Head and Lord of the Church which thou per- 
secutest. Here is thy judge, at whose name every knee sliall 
bow. Wilt thou spurn him, as thou hast done his servants ? " 
All that looked on were seized with a shuddering awe, and 
bowing their heads in prayer, waited in expectation of an imme- 
diate judgment from heaven. All wept. The count himself 
could not withstand the impression. Trembling, and as if de- 
prived of speech, he fell to the earth. He was lifted up by his 
attendants, and again fell, foaming at the mouth, to the 
ground. Bernard himself now approached him, reached out 

* As an eye-witness, the abbot Bernald, in the account of Bernard's 
life, VI. 38, in his opp. ed. Mabillon the Second, f. 1107, characteristi- 
cally says : Vir Dei jam non se agens ut hominem. 


his hand for him to rise, and bid the humbled man submit 
to pope Innocent, and become reconciled vrith the deposed 
bbhops. The count dared not contradict. He embraced the 
bishop of Poitiers, who was presented to him, one of those to 
whom he had before been most inimical ; and Bernard, upon 
this, conversed with him familiarly, exhorting him, as a 
father, never again to disturb the peace of the church, and 
thus this schism was ended. 

TAvice was Bernard called to Italy. Here also he exerted 
a great and powerful influence on the minds of the nations : a 
great deal was said of his miracles. He reduced under the 
pope the restless Lombard cities, and helped on the triumph 
of Innocent, at a synod in Pisa, in 1134. In the year 1136 
the latter was enabled to march triumphantly to Rome with 
the emperor Lothaire the Second. Bernard also came there, 
and sought to destroy the remains of the schism, of which 
king Roger in particular still continued to be the support ; 
but he did not as yet succeed. After Anaclete's death, in the 
year 1138, his party chose, it is true, a successor; but yet it 
was not ^vith any view of defending longer his claims to the 
papal throne, but only in order to secure a treaty on more 
advantageous terms with the other party ; and in the year 
1139 Innocent was at liberty to hold a Lateran council for the 
purpose of sealing the peace of the church. 

Yet precisely at this time a furious storm broke out, by 
which the last years of the rule of Innocent and the reigns of 
the next succeeding popes were disquieted ; events which 
were important on accoimt of their immediate consequences, 
and as symptoms of a more deep-grounded reaction against 
the dominant church-system, for which the way was now 

In order to find the origin of these commotions, we must 
glance back and trace the consequences of earlier events. "We 
saw how the popes, ever since the time of Leo the Ninth, had 
placed themselves at the head of a movement of reform, in 
opposition to the corruption of the clergy ; how, by this move- 
ment, individual ecclesiastics and monks of more serious minds 
had been incited to stand forth as castigatory preachers against 
the secularized clergy.* Not only such preachers, but the 

* Of sach, Gerboh of Reichersberg, in his book : De corrupto eccle- 
sisB statu, in Baloz. Miscellan. T. V. p. 205, where he places the con- 


popes themselves, as for example pope Gregory the Seventh^ 
had also stirred up the people against the corrupt clergy.* 
Thus there rose up from amongst the laity severe censors 
of the corrupt clergy. Doubtless many, who had ever con- 
templated the lives of these men with indignation and abhor- 
rence, rejoiced at now having it in their power, under the 
papal authority, of giving vent to their long repressed anger ; 
and even those, who themselves led an immoral life, made a 
merit of standing forth against the unchaste ecclesiastics, and 
driving them off from their benefices, j From this insurrec- 
tion of the laity against the secularized clergy, proceeded also 
separatist movements, which did not restrict themselves to the 
limits set up by the popes. In addition to this, came now the 
important and lasting controversies concerning the investiture, 
by means of which more liberal investigations had been called 
forth respecting the boundaries between church and state, and 
their respective rights. Pope Paschalis the Second had in 
fact himself publicly avowed, that the regalia were to the 
church a foreign possession, whereby its officers were drawn 
aside from their appropriate spiritual duties, and betrayed into 
a dependence on the secular power. And there existed, as 
we have already remarked, an entire party who held this 
opinion ; who demanded that the bishops and abbots, in order 
to be excused from taking the oath of allegiance to the princes, 

flicts which these men had to sustain on a parallel with the earlier ones 
of the martyrs with pagan tyrants, remarks : Novissime diebus istis viri 
religiosi contra simoniacos, conducticios (the itinerant clergy hired to 
perform mechanically the priestly functions, who were ready to strike a 
bargain with any body) incestuosos, dissolutos aut, quod pejus est, irregu- 
lariter congregates clericos prcelium grande tempore Gregorii Septi, 
habuenint et adhuc habent. 

* In addition to the citations made before, we may notice what the 
abbot Guibert, in his life written by himself, relates concerning the effects 
of the Hildebrandian laws of celibacy : Erat ea tempestate nova super 
uxoratis presbyteris apostolicse sedis invectio, unde et vulgi clericos 
zelantis tanta adversus eos rabies testuabat, ut eos ecclesiastico privari 
beneficio vel abstineri sacerdotio infesto spiritu conclamarent Lib. I. 
c. 7. f. 462. 

■j- Something of the same kind is related by Guibert (1. c.) concerning 
a nobleman of his district, who gave himself up to all manner of lust ; 
Tanta in clerum super prsefato canone (the law concerning celibacy) ba- 
chabatur instantia, ac si eum singularis ad detestationem talium pulsaret 


should surrender back to them the regalia, restoring to Caesar 
the things that are Caesar's ; in accordance with that pre- 
cept of the apostle Paul which required the clergy not to 
meddle with secular business. In opposition to the practice 
of mixing up together things spiritual and secular, and in jus- 
tification of the oath of allegiance sworn by the bishops to 
the emperors, propositions like the following were already 
advanced : If the clergy would be entirely independent of the 
secular power, let them, like the clergy of the primitive 
church, be content with the tithes and the free gifts of the 

It was a young clergyman of Brescia, by the name of 
Arnold, who gave the first impulse to this new reaction against 
the secularization of the church, and against the power of the 
pope in temporal things. From what we have said concerning 
the conflict of spiritual tendencies in this age, and particularly 
concerning the causes and consequences of the controversies 
about investiture, it is easy to explain how a young man of a 
serious and ardent temperament, brought up in the midst of 
such events and circumstances, might be carried away by this 
tendency, nor should we need to trace the matter to any other 
origin ; but the account of a contemporary, which lets us into 
the knowledge of another circumstance that had an important 
influence on the development of Arnold's mind, is by no means 
improbable."]" When the great teacher Abelard assembled 
around him, in a lonely region near Troyes, the youth that 
poured in upon him from all quarters, and by his lectures fired 
them with his own enthusiasm, Arnold, who in his early youth 
had been a reader in the church at Brescia, was one of the many 

* Gerhoh, in his book, De statu ecclesiae, published by Gretser, says 
expressly : Qui pro parte regis erant sufficere ajebant ecclesiasticis de- 
bere decimas et oblationes Uberas id est nullo regalivel imperiali servitio 
obnoxias. — Satis, inquit, apparet, sacerdotes regibus se per hominia obli- 
gantes Deo pro sui oflScii gradu sufficienter placere non posse. Unde, 
ut ei placeant, cui se probaverunt, militiam et caetera, pro quibns hominia 
regibus debentur, regno libera relinquant et ipsi vacent orationibns 
ovibusque Christi pascendis invigilent, ad quid instituti sunt. Gretser, 
opp. T. VI. f. 258. Here we have the principles set forth by Arnold, as 
they naturally shaped themselves out of the reaction, partly of the state 
interest, partly of the purer Christian spirit, against the secularization of 
the clergy, and not as they were first excogitated by Arnold. 

t Otto of Freisingen, in the 2nd book of his History of Frederic the 
First, c. 20 : Petrum Abailarduai olim prseceptorem habuerat. 

204 Arnold's leading idea. 

that did not shrink from the meagre fare and various depriva- 
tions necessary to be undergone in order to enjoy the privilege 
of listening to the voice of that great master.* The specu- 
lative vein in Abelard's style and teachings did not, it is true, 
fall in with the peculiar bent of Arnold's mind ; and perliaps 
even an Abelard would have found it impossible to produce 
any essential change in a native tendency which, as in the 
case of Arnold, was so much more practical than speculative. 
But Abelard possessed a versatility of intellect which enabled 
him to arouse minds of very different structure on different, 
sides. From such of his writings as have been preserved to 
us, we may gather that, among other qualities, an important 
practical element entered also into his discourses ; that he 
spoke sharply against the worldly temper in ecclesiastics and 
monks, and contrasted their condition as it actually was with 
what it ought to he. It was the religious, ethical element in 
Abelard's discourses which left the deepest impression on the 
warm and earnest heart of the young man,! and, inflamed with 
a holy ardour, he returned home to his native city. 

* In harmony with this is what Giinther Ligurinus, in his poem on 
the deeds of Frederic the First, says concerning Arnold : Tenui nutrivit 
Gallia sumptu edocuitque diu. These words, it is true, might, in conse- 
quence of the relation of this historian to Otto of Freisingen, appear to 
be a mere repetition of the report given by the latter ; but the phrase, 
" teuui nutrivit sumptu," may doubtless point to some other source ; they 
agree very well with the time of his connection with Abelard. 

t This connection between Abelard and Arnold has been doubted in 
these modern times. We allow, an authority so important as that of the 
abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, seems to be against the correctness of this 
account ; for this abbot expresses himself as if he had first made his ap- 
pearance in a way altogether independent of Abelard, and had not till 
later, when banished from Italy he came to France, espoused the cause of 
that persecuted man. See Bernard, in his 189th letter to pope Innocent, 
s. 3 : Sibilavit apis, quse erat in Francia, api de Italia et venerunt in 
unum adversus Dominum ; and ep. 195 : Exsecratus a Petro apostolo 
adhffiserat Petro Abajlardo. We must suppose, then, that Otto of Frei- 
singen had been led, by what he had heard concerning the later connection 
between Arnold and Abelard, into the mistake of representing the former 
as a pupil of the latter. Upon this hypothesis we must suppose that 
Arnold had been led, only at some later period, by the common interest 
of opposition to the dominant church-system, to take sides with Abelard. 
The testimony, however, of Otto of Freisingen, who had himself pur- 
sued his studies in France, is of importance ; and we are by no means 
warranted to accuse him of an anachronism in his account of a fact not 
in itself improbable. The less inward relationship there appears at first 


It was observed that he had undergone a change, — a 
thing not uncommon among the yoimg secular clergy, who, 
awakened by some remarkable providence to a more serious 
religious turn of mind, altered their dress and their entire mode 
of life, appeared as regular canonicals, or monks, and now 
stood forth the bold and open chastisers of worldly ecclesi- 
astics.* The inspiring idea of his movements was that of a 
holy and pure church — a renovation of the spiritual order after 
the pattern of the apostolic church. His life corresponded 
with his doctrine. Zealously opposing the corruption of the 
worldly-minded clergy and monks, and requiring that clei^- 
men and monks should follow the steps of the apostles in evan- 
gelical poverty and chastity, he set the example himself by 
his dress, his entire mode of living, and the ascetical severity 
with which he treated his own person — a fact which even his 
most violent adversaries could not but acknowledge.! He 
required that the bishops and abbots, in conformity with 
the teachings of Holy Scripture, should wholly renounce their 
worldly possessions and privileges, as well as all secular busi- 
ness, and give all these things back to the princes. The clergy 
should be content with whatever the love of the communities 
might bestow on them for their support — the oblations, the 
firstlings, and tithes. The incontinent clergy, living in luxury 
and debauchery, were no longer, he declared, true ecclesiastics 
— they were unfit to discharge the priestly ftinctions ; in 

glance to have been between the teachings of Abelard and those of 
Arnold, the less reason have we to call in doubt an account which repre- 
sents Arnold as having been a pupil of Abelard. The narrative of 
Giinther, mentioned in the previous note, which enters into particulars, 
agrees with the above. How easily might it have escaped the notice of 
Bernard, however, who would have taken but little interest in the early 
life of Arnold, that, of the great crowd of young men who flocked to 
hear Abelard, Arnold was one ! 

* The provost Gerhoh of Reichersberg would be inclined, with the 
views he entertained, to judge more mildly concerning the man who 
agreed with him in his attacks on the secularized clergy, but did not 
restrain himself within the same limits. He says of his teaching : Quae 
etsi zelo forte bono, sed minori scientia prolata est. Which words 
Gretser cites, in a fragment from the first book of the work written by 
Gerhoh : De investigatione Antichristi, in the prolegomena to his edition 
of the Scriptores contra sectam Waldensium, in his opp. T. XII. f. 12. 

t Bernard says of him, ep. 195. Homo est neque manducans neque 
bibens, qui utinam tarn sanae esset doctrinae, quam districtae est vita;. 


maintaining which position, he might perhaps expect to attach 
to his side the Hildebrandian zealots. The corrupt bishops 
and priests were no longer bishops and priests ; the secularized 
church was no longer the house of God.* It does not appear 
that his opposition to the corrupt church had ever led him to 
advance any such remarks as could be interpreted into heresy ; 
for, had he done so, men would from the first have proceeded 
against him more sharply, and his opponents, who spared no 
pains in hunting up everything which could serve to place him 
in an unfavourable light, would certainly never have allowed 
such heretical statements of Arnold to pass unnoticed. | But 
we must allow that the way in which Arnold stood forth 
against the corruptions of the church, and especially his incli- 
nation to make the objective in the instituted order, and in the 
transactions of the church, depend on the subjective character 
of the men, might easily lead to still greater aberrations. 

Arnold's discourses were directly calculated by their ten- 
dency to find ready entrance into the minds of the laity, before 
whose eyes the worldly lives of the ecclesiastics and monks 
were constantly present, | and to create a faction in deadly hos- 
tility to the clergy. Superadded to this was the inflammable 
matter already prepared by the collision of the spirit of political 
freedom with the power of the higher clergy. 

Thus Arnold's addresses produced in the minds of the Italian 
people, quite susceptible to such excitements, a prodigious 
effect, which threatened to spread more widely, and pope 
Innocent felt himself called upon to take preventive mea- 
sures against it. At the already-mentioned Lateran council, 
in the year 1139, he declared against Arnold's proceedings, 
and commanded him to quit Italy — tlie scene of the disturb- 

* Gerhoh of Reichersberg cites from him, in the work mentioned in 
the preceding note, an assertion like the following : Ut domus Dei taliter 
ordinata domus Dei non sit vel prgesules eorum non sint episcopi, quem- 
admodum quidam nostro tempore Arnoldus dogniatizare ausus est, plebes 
a talium episcoporum obedientia dehortatus. 

•(■ Only Otto of Freisingen, after having noticed that in which all 
■were agreed, adds : PriEter hsec de Sacramento altaris, baptismo parvu- 
lorum non sane dicitur sensisse. But this account is too vague to be 
safely relied on. 

I Gunther Ligurinos says of Arnold — 

Veraque multa qiiidem, nisi tempora nostra fideles 
Respuereiit monitus, falsis admixta munebat. 


ances thus fer — altogether ; and not to return again without 
express permission from the pope. Arnold, moreover, is said 
to have bound himself by an oath to obey this injunction, 
which probably was expressed in such terms as to leave him 
free to interpret it as referring exclusively to the person of 
pope Innocent.* If the oath was not so expressed, he might 
aftersvards have been accused of violating that oath. It is to 
be regretted that the form in which the sentence was pro- 
nounced against Arnold has not come down to us ; but from 
its very character it is evident that he could not have been 
convicted of any false doctrine, since otherwise the pope would 
certainly not have treated him so mildly — would not have 
been contented with merely banishing him from Italy, since 
teachers of false doctrine would be dangerous to the church 
everywhere. Bernard, moreover, in his letter directed against 
Arnold, states that he was accused before the pope of being 
the author of a very bad schism. Arnold now betook himself 
to France, and here he became entangled in the quarrels with 
his old teacher Abelard, to whom he was indebted for the first 
impulse of his mind towards thb more serious and free bent 
of the religious spirit. Expelled from France, he directed his 
steps to Switzerland, and sojourned in Zurich. The abbot 
Bernard thought it necessary to caution the bishop of Con- 
stance against him ; but the man who had been condemned by 
the pope found protection there from the papal legate, cardinal 
Guido, who, indeed, made him a member of his household and 
companion of his table. The abbot Bernard severely censured 
that prelate, on the ground that Arnold's connection with him 
would contribute, without fail, to give importance and influ- 
ence to that dangerous man. This deserv^es to be noticed on 
two accounts, for it makes it evident what power he could 
exercise over men's minds, and that no false doctrines could be 
charged to his account. 

But independent of Arnold's personal presence, the impulse 
which he had given continued to operate in Italy, and the effects 
of it extended even to Rome. By the papal condemnation, 
public attention was only more strongly drawn to the subject. 

* Bernard's words, ep. 1 95 : Accasatus apud Dominam Papam schis- 
mate pessimo, natali solo pulsus est, etiam et abjurare compulsus reversi- 
onem, nisi ad ipsius apostolici permissionem. 


The Romans certainly felt no great sympathy for the religious 
element in that serious spirit of reform which animated Arnold ; 
but the political movements, which had sprung out of his 
reforming tendency, found a point of attachment in their love 
of liberty, and their dreams of the ancient dominion of Home 
over the world. The idea of emancipating themselves from 
the yoke of the pope, and of re-establishing the old republic, 
flattered their Koman pride. Espousing the principles of 
Arnold, they required that the pope, as spiritual head of the 
church, should confine himself to the administration of spiritual 
affairs ; and they committed to a senate, whom they established 
on the capitol,* the supreme direction of civil aifairs. Innocent 
could do nothing to stem such a violent current ; and he died, 
in the midst of these disturbances, in the year 1 143. The mild 
cardinal Guido, the friend of Abelard and Arnold, became his 
successor, and called himself, when pope, Celestin the Second. 
By his gentleness, quiet was restored for a short time. Per- 
haps it was the news of the elevation of this friendly man to 
the papal throne that encouraged Arnold himself to come to 
Rome.f But Celestin died after six months, and Lucius the 
Second was his successor. Under his reign the Romans 
renewed the former agitations with more violence : they ut- 
terly renounced obedience to the pope, whom they recognized 
only in his priestly character, and the restored Roman republic 
sought to strike a league in opposition to the pope and to 
papacy with the new emperor, Conrad the Third. In the 
name of the " Senate and Roman people," a pompous letter 
was addressed to Conrad. The emperor was invited to come 
to Rome, that from thence, like Justinian and Constantine, in 
former days, he might give laws to the world. Caesar should 

* Gerhoh of Reichersberg says : ^Edes Capitolina olim diruta et nunc 
resedificata contra domum Dei. See his Commentary in Ps. Ixiv. ed. Pez. 
L. c. f. 1182. 

t Otto of Freisingen expresses himself, indeed, as if Arnold had first 
come to Rome in the time of Eugenius ; but here he is hardly exact in 
his chronology. He only gathers this from the disturbances which broke 
out in Rome in the time of Eugenius ; and the letters of the Romans to 
the pope, which in truth may have been written already in the time of 
Innocent, he places too late. The disturbances in Rome may themselves 
furnish evidence of an earlier visit of Arnold, though we cannot attribute 
everything which the Romans undertook, after the impulse had beeu 
given to them by Arnold, to his mode of thinking. 


have the things that are Caesar's ; the priest the things that 
are the priest's, as Christ ordained when Peter paid the tribute- 
money.* Long did the tendency awakened by Arnold's prin- 
ciples continue to agitate Rome. In the letters written amidst 
these commotions, by individual noblemen of Rome to the 
emperor, we perceive a singular mixing together of the 
Arnoldian spirit with the dreams of Roman vanity — a radical 
tendency to the separation of secular from spiritual things, 
which, if it had been capable enough in itself, and if it could 
have foimd more points of attachment in the age, would have 
brought destruction on the old theocratical system of the 
church. They said that the pope could claim no political 
sovereignty in Rome ; he could not even be consecrated ^^^th- 
out the consent of the emperor — a rule which had in fiict been 
observed till the time of Gregory the Seventh. Men com- 
plained of the worldliness of the clergy, of their bad lives, of 
the contradiction between their conduct and the teachings of 
Scripture. The popes were accused as the instigators of the 
wars. "The popes," it was said, "should no longer unite 
the cup of the eucharist with the sword : it was their vocation 
to preach, and to confirm what they preached by good works."]" 
How could those who eagerly grasped at all the wealth of this 
world, and corrupted the true riches of the church, the doc- 
trine of salvation obtained by Christ, by their false doctrines 
and their luxurious living, receive that word of our Lord — 
Blessed are the poor in spirit — when they were poor them- 
selves neither in fact nor in disposition." Even the donative 
of Constantine to the Roman bishop SUvester, was declared to 
be a pitiable fiction. This lie haid been so clearly exposed, 
that it was obvious to the very day-labourers and to women, 
and that these could put to silence the most learned men if 
they ventured to defend the genuineness of this donative ; so 
that the pope, with his cardinals, no longer dared to appear 
in public. J But Arnold was perhaps the only individual in 

* Caesaris accipiat Caesar, quae sunt sua prsesnl, 
Ut Christus jussit Petra solvente tribatum. 
t See Martene et Durand, CoUectio amplissima, T. II. ep. 213, f. 399. 
Non eis licet ferre gladium et calicem, sed praedicare, praedicationem vero 
bonis operibus confirmare. 

1 Mendacinm vero illud et fabala haeretica, in qua refertur Constand- 


whose case such a tendency was deeply rooted in religious 
conviction ; with many it was but a transitory intoxication, 
in which their political interests had become merged for the 

The pope Lucius the Second was killed as early as 1145, in 
the attack on the capitol. A scholar of the great abbot Ber- 
nard, the abbot Peter Bernard of Pisa, now mounted the papal 
chair, under the name of Eugene the Third. As Eugene 
honoured and loved the abbot Bernard as his spiritual father 
and old preceptor, so the latter took advantage of his relation 
to the pope, to speak the truth to him with a plainness which 
no other man would easily have ventured to use. In con- 
gratulating him upon his elevation to the papal dignity, he 
took occasion to exhort him to do away the many abuses which 
had become so vvddely spread in the church by worldly influ- 
ences. " Who will give me the satisfaction," said he in his 
letter,* "of beholding the church of God, before I die, in a 
condition like that in which it was in ancient days, when the 
apostles threw out their nets, not for silver and gold, but for 
souls. How fervently I wish thou mightest inherit the word 
of that apostle whose episcopal seat thou hast acquired, of him 
who said, ' Thy gold perish with thee,' Acts viii. 20. O that 
all the enemies of Zion might tremble before this dreadful 
word, and shrink back abashed ! This, thy mother indeed 
expects and requires of thee. For this, long and sigh the sons of 
thy mother, small and great, that every plant which our Father in 
heaven has not planted, may be rooted up by thy hands." He 
then alluded to the sudden deaths of the last predecessors of the 
pope, exhorting him to humility, and reminding him of his 
responsibility. "In all thy works," he wrote, "remember 
that thou art a man ; and let the fear of Him who taketh away 
the breath of rulers, be ever before thine eyes." Eugene was 
soon forced to yield, it is true, to the superior force of the 
insurrectionary spirit in Rome, and in 1146 to take refuge in 
France : but, like Urban and Innocent, he too, from this 
country, attained to the highest triumph of the papal power. 

num Silvestro imperialia simoniace concessisse, in urbe ita detecta est, ut 
etiam mercenarii et muliercula; qnoslibet etiam doctissimos super hoc 
concludant et dictus apostolicus cum suis cardinalibus in civiiate pra; pu- 
dore apparere non audeant. Ep. 384, f. 556. L. c. 
* Ep. 238. 


Like Innocent, he found there, in the abbot Bernard of Clair- 
vaux, a mightier instrument for operating on the minds of the 
age than he could have found in any other country ; and like 
Urban, when banished from the ancient seat of the papacy, he 
was enabled to place himself at the head of a crusade pro- 
claimed in his name, and undertaken with great enthusiasm ; 
an enterprise from which a new impression of sacredness would 
be reflected back upon his own person. The news of the 
success which had attended the arms of the Saracens in Syria, 
the defeat of the Christians, the conquest of the ancient 
Christian territory of Edessa,* the danger which threatened 
the new Christian kingdom of Jerusalem, and the holy city, 
had spread alarm among the Western nations, and the pope 
considered himself bound to summon the Christians of the 
West to the assistance of their hard-pressed brethren in the 
faith, and to the recovery of the holy places. By a letter 
directed to the abbot Bernard, he commissioned him to exhort 
the Western Christians in his name, that, for penance and 
forgiveness of sins, they should march to the East, to deliver 
their brethren, or to give up their lives for them.f Enthu- 
siastic for the cause himself, Bernard communicated, through 
the power of the living word and by letters, his enthusiasm to 
the nations. He represented the new crusade as a means 
furnished by God to the multitudes sunk in sin, of calling 
them to repentance, and of paving the way, by devout partici- 
pation in a pious work, for the forgiveness of their sins. Thus, 
in his letter to the clergy and people in East Frankland 
(Germany),;}: he exhorts them eagerly to lay hold on this 
opportunity : he declares that the Almighty condescended to 
invite murderers, robbers, adulterers, perjurers, and those 
Slink in other crimes, into his ser\'ice, as well as the righteous. 
He calls upon them to make an end of waging war with one 
another, and to seek an object for their warlike prowess in this 
holy contest. "Here, brave warrior," he exclaims, "thou 

* Gerhoh of Reichersberg writes, in the year 1148: A. 1145, a Pa- 
ganis capta civitate Edessa ploratus et ululatus multus auditus est et 
exauditus in excelsis. In Ps. xxxix. ed. Pez. L. c. f. 794. 

t In Bernard's life of his disciple, the abbot Gottfried ; the third Life 
in the edition of Mabillon, T. II. c. 4, f. 1120. It is here said that he 
■was to present the matter before the princes and nations as the Romanse 
ecclesise lingua. + Ep. 363. 


212 Bernard's exihusiasm axd prudence. 

hast a field where thou mayest fight without danger, where 
victory is glory, and death is gain. Take the sign of the 
cross, and thou shalt obtain the forgiveness of all the sin? 
which thou hast never confessed with a contrite heart," By 
Bernard's fiery discourses, men of all ranks were carried 
away.* In France and Germany he travelled about, con- 
quering by an eflfort his great bodily infirmities, and the living 
word from his lips produced even mightier eflTects than his 
letters.! A peculiar charm, and a peculiar power of moving 
men's minds, must have existed in the tones of his voice ; to 
this must be added the awe-inspiring effect of his whole 
appearance, the way in which his whole being and the motions 
of his bodily frame joined in testifying of that which seized 
and inspired him. Thus it admits of being explained how, in 
Germany, even those who understood but little or in fact 
nothing of what he said, could be so moved as to shed tears 
and smite their breasts ; could, by his own speeches in a foreign 
language, be more strongly affected and agitated than by the 
immediate interpretation of his words by another. | From aU 
quarters sick persons were conveyed to him by the friends 
who sought from him a cure ; and the power of his faith, the 
confidence he inspired in the minds of men, might sometimes 
produce remarkable eflrects.§ With this enthusiasm, however, 
Bernard united a degree of prudence and a discernment of 
character such as few of that age possessed, and such qualities 
were required to counteract the multiform excitements of the 
wild spirit of fanaticism which mixed in with this great ferment 
of minds. Thus, he warned the Germans not to suffer them- 

* Gerhoh of "Reichersberg writes, a year after this : Certatim curritur 
ad bellum sanctum cum jubilantibus tubis argenteis, Papa Eugenio 
Tertio, et ejus Nuntiis, quorum prsecipuus est Abbas Clarevallensis, 
quorum praidicationibus coutouantibus et miraculis nonnulUs pariter cc>- 
ruscantibus terrae motus factus est magnus. In Ps. xxxix. ed. Pez. L. c. 
f. 792. 

t How great was the force of his eloquence, says the abbott Gottfried, 
1. c. c. 4, f. 1119 : Nosse poterunt aliquatenus, qui ipsius legerint scripta, 
etsi longe minus ab eis, qui verba ejus saipius audierunt. Siquidem dif- 
fusa erat gratia in labiis ejus et ijfnitum eloquium ejus vehementer, ut 
non posset ue ipsius quidem stilus, licet eximius, totam illam dulcedinem, 
totum retinere fervorem. 

X Verborum ejus magis sentire virtutem, says the biographer named in 
the preceding note. 

§ Of which we shall say more farther on. 

berxard's ixfluence ox the mixds of mex. 213 

selves to be misled so far as to follow certain independent 
enthusiasts, ignorant of war, who were bent on moving forward 
the bodies of the crusaders prematurely. He held up as a 
warning the example of Peter the Hermit, and declared himself 
very decidedly opposed to the proposition of an abbot who was 
disposed to march with a number of monks to Jerusalem ; 
"For," said he, "fighting warriors are more needed there 
than singing monks."* At an assembly held at Chartres, it 
was proposed that he himself should take the lead of the expe- 
dition ; but he rejected the proposition at once, declaring that 
it was beyond his power, and contrary to his calling. | Having, 
perhaps, reason to fear that the pope might be hurried on, by 
the shouts of the many, to lay upon him some chaise to which 
he did not feel himself called, he besought the pope that he 
would not make him a victim to men's arbitrary will, but that 
he would inquire, as it was his duty to do, how God had deter- 
mined to dispose of him.J We have already narrated, on a 
former page, how Bernard succeeded in assuaging the popular 
fury against the Jews. 

With the preaching of this second crusade, as with the invi- 
tation to the first, was connected an extraordinary awakening. 
Many who had hitherto given themselves up to their unre- 
strained passions and desires, and become strangers to all 
higher feelings, were seized mth compunction. Bernard's call 
to repentance penetrated many a heart : people who had lived 
in all manner of crime, were seen following this voice, and 
flocking together in troops to receive the badge of the cross. 
Bishop Otto of Freisingeu, the historian, who himself took the 
cross at that time, expresses it as his opinion, " That every 
man of sound understanding would be forced to acknowledge 
so sudden and uncommon a change could have been produced 
in no other way than by the right hand of the Lord."§ The 

* Plus illic milites pugnantes, quam mouachos cantantes necessaries 
esse. Ep. 359. 

+ Ep. 256, to pope Eugene the Third : Quis sum ego, nt disponam cas- 
trorum acies, nt egrediar ante facies armatorum ? Aut quid tam remo- 
tum a professione mea, etiam si vires suppeterent, etiam si peritia non 

X Ne me humanis voluntatibus exponatis, sed, sicut singulariter vobis 
incumbit, divinum consilium perquiratis. 

§ De gestis Frederici I. c. 40 : Tanta, mirum dictu, prsedonum et 

214 Bernard's influence on the minds of men. 

provost Gerhoh of Reichersberg, who wrote in the midst of 
these movements, was persuaded that he saw here a work of 
the Holy Spirit, designed to counteract the vices and cor- 
ruptions which had got the upper hand in the church.* Many 
who had been awakened to repentance, confessed what they 
had taken from others by robbery or fraud, and hastened, 
before they went to the holy war, to seek reconciliation with 
their enemies.| The Christian enthusiasm of the German 
people found utterance in songs in the German tongue ; and 
even now the peculiar adaptation of this language to sacred 
poetry began to be remarked. Indecent songs could no longer 
venture to appear abroad 4 

While some were awakened by Bernard's preaching from a 
life of crime to repentance, and by taking part in the holy war 
strove to obtain the remission of their sins ; others, again, who 
though hitherto borne along in the current of ordinary worldly 
pursuits, yet had not given themselves up to vice, were filled 
by Bernard's words with loathing of the worldly life, inflamed 
with a vehement longing after a higher stage of Christian 
perfection, after a life of entire consecration to God. They 
longed rather to enter upon the pilgrimage to the heavenly, 
than to an earthly Jerusalem ; they resolved to become monks, 
and would fain have the man of God himself, whose words had 
made so deep an impression on tlieir hearts, as their guide in 

latronum advolabat multitudo, ut nullus sani capitis hanc tam subitam, 
quam insolitam mutationem ex dextera excelsi pervenire non cogno- 

* His remarkable words are : Post ha;c invalescente multimoda impie- 
tate ac multiplicatis in ecclesia vel mundo fornicatoribus, raptoribus, 
homicidis, perjuris, incendiariis non solum in skcuIo, sed itiam in domo 
Dei, quam fecerunt speluncam latronum, ego ecclesia (personification of 
the church) expectavi Dominum et intendit mihi et exaudivit preces 
meas, quia ecce dam ha3C scribimus, contra nequitias et impietates mani- 
festum spiritus pietatis opus in ecclesia Dei videmus. In Ps. xxxix. L. c. 
f. 792. 

t Multi ex iis primitus ablata seu fraudata restituunt et, quod majus 
est, exemplo Christi suis inimicis osculum pacis offeruut, injuries ig- 
noscunt. L. c. 

+ Gerhoh 's noticeable words: In ore Christo militantium Laicorum 
laus Dei crebrescit, quia non est in toto regno Christiano, qui turpes 
cantilenas cantare in publico audeat, sed tota terra jubilat in Christi lau- 
dibus, etiam per cantilenas linguaj vulgaris, maxime in Teutonicis, quo- 
rum lingua niagis apta est conciunis canticis. L. c. f. 794. 


the spiritual life, and commit themselves to his directions, in 
the monastery of Clairvaux. But here Bernard showed his 
prudence and knowledge of mankind ; he did not aUow all to 
become monks who wished to do so. Many he rejected 
because he perceived they were not fitted for the quiet of the 
contemplative life, but needed to be disciplined by the conflicts 
and cares of a life of action.* 

But we here have occasion to repeat the same remark which 
we made in speaking of the first crusade. As contemporaries 
themselves acknowledge, these first impressions in the case of 
many who went to the crusades, were of no permanent duration, 
and their old nature broke forth again the more strongly under 
the manifold temptations to which they were exposed, in pro- 
portion to the facility with which, through the confidence they 
reposed in a plenary indulgence, without really laying to heart 
the condition upon which it was bestowed, they could flatter 
themselves with security in their sins. Gerhoh of Reichersber^, 
in describing the blessed effects of that awakening which 
accompanied the preaching of the crusader, yet says, "We 
doubt not that among so vast a multitude, some became in the 
true sense and in all sincerity soldiers of Christ. Some, 
however, were led to embark in the enterprise by various other 
occasions, concerning whom it does not belong to us to judge, 
but only to Him who alone knows the hearts of those who 
marched to the contest either in the right or not in the right 
spirit. Yet this we do confidently affirm, that to this crusade 
many were called, but few were chosen." f And it was said 

* The monk Cesarius, of the monastery of Heisterbach, near Cologne, 
in the beginning of the thirteenth century, relates this in his dialogues, 
which, amidst much that is fabulous, contains a rich store of facts 
relating to the history of Christian life in this period, I. c. vi. for instance, 
concerning the effects of the preaching of the crusades in Liege. When 
Bernard preached a crusading sermon at Costnitz, his words made such 
an impression on Henry, a very wealthy and powerful knight, the owner 
of several castles, that he wished to become a monk, and he was encou- 
raged in this by Bernard. He at once became the latter's companion, 
and, as he understood both the French and the German languages, acted 
as his interpreter. But when one of the soldiers in the service of the 
said knight proposed also to become a monk, Bernard declined to receive 
him, and exhorted him rather to take part in the crusade. L. c 

t Et quidem non dubitamus in tauta multitudine quosdam vere a-* 
sincere Christo militare, quosdam vero per occasiones varias, quos diju- 
dicare non est nostrum, sed ipsios, qui eoIos noiit corda hominum sive 


that many returned from this expedition not better but worse 
than they went.* Therefore the monk Cesarius of Heisterbach, 
who states this, adds : " All depends on bearing the yoke of 
Christ not one year or two years, but daily, — if a man is really 
ntent on doing it in truth, and in that sense in which our Lord 
requires it to be done, and as it must be done, in order to 
follow him." 

When it turned out, however, that the event did not answer 
the expectations excited by Bernard's enthusiastic confidence, 
but the crusade came to that unfortunate issue which was 
brought about especially by the treachery of the princes and 
nobles of the Christian kingdom in Syria, this was a source of 
great chagrin to Bernard, who had been so active in setting it 
in motion, and who had inspired such confident hopes by his 
promises. He appeared now in the light of a bad prophet, and 
he was reproached by many with having incited men to engage 
in an enterprise which had cost so much blood to no purpose ;f 
but Bernard's friends alleged, in his defence, that he had not 
excited such a popular movement single-handed, but as the 
organ of the pope, in whose name he acted ; and they appealed 
to the facts by which his preaching of the cross was proved to 
be a work of God, — to the wonders which attended it. J Or 
they ascribed the failure of the undertaking to the bad conduct 
of the crusaders themselves, to the unchristian mode of life 
which many of them led, as one of these friends maintained, in 
a consoling letter to Bernard himself, § adding, "God, however, 
has turned it into good. Numbers who, if they had returned 

recte sive non recte militantium. Hoc tamen constanter affirmamus. quod 
multi ad hauc militiam vocati, pauci vero electi sunt. L. c. f. 793. 

* Multi post peregrinationes deteriores fiunt et pristinis vitiis amplius 
se involvunt. Cesar. Heisterb. I. c. 6. 

f Gottfried, in his life of Bernard, says (c. 4) : Nee tacendum, quod ex 
praedicatione itineris Hierosolymitani grave contra eum quorundam ho- 
minum vel simplicitas vel malignitas scandalum sumsit, cum tristior 
sequeretur effectus. 

X Evidenter enim verbum hoc pncdicavit. Domino cooperante et ser- 
monem confirmante sequentibus signis ; so says the biographer mentioned 
in the preceding note. 

§ See ep. 386. The abbot, who was the writer of this letter, relates 
that many who had returned from Palestine stated, quod vidissent multos 
ibi morientes, qui libenter se mori dicebant neque velle reverti, ne am- 
plius in peccatis reciderent. 


Eugene's return to rome. 217 

home, would have continued to live a life of crime, disciplined 
and purified by many suffering's, have passed into the life 
eternal." But Bernard himself could not be staggered in 
his faith by this event. In writing to pope Eugene on this 
subject,* he refers to the incomprehensibleness of the divine 
ways and judgments ; to the example of Moses, who, although 
his work carried on its face incontestable evidence of being a 
work of God, yet was not permitted himself to conduct the 
Jews into the promised land. As this was owing to the fault 
of the Jews themselves, so too the crusaders had none to blame 
but themselves for the failure of the divine work ;f "But," 
says he, " it ^vill be said, perhaps, How do we know that this 
Mork came from the Lord ? What miracle dost thou work that 
we should believe thee? To this question I need not give an 
answer ; it is a point on which my modesty asks to be excused 
from speaking. Do you answer," says he to the pope, "for 
me and for yourself, according to that which you have seen 
and heard ;" so firmly was Bernard convinced that God had 
sustained his labours by miracles. 

Eugene was at length enabled, in the year 1149, after 
having for a long time excited against himself the indignation 
of the cardinals by his dependence on the French abbot, with 
the assistance of Roger king of the Sicilies, to return to Rome ; 
where, however, he still had to maintain a struggle with the 
party of Arnold. The provost Gerhoh finds something to 
complain of, in the fact that the church of St. Peter wore so 
warlike an aspect that men beheld the tomb of the apostle 
surrounded with bastions and the implements of war! § 

As Bernard was no longer sufficiently near the pope to exert 
on him the same immediate personal influence as in tunes past, 
he addressed to him a voice of admonition and warning, such 

* CoDsiderat. L. II. in the beginning. 

t Quod si illi (Judaei) ceciderunt et perierunt propter iniquitatem 
suam, miramur istos eadem facientes eadem passos? 

X Responde tu pro me et pro te ipso, secundum ea quae audisti et 

§ Non immerito dolemus, quod adhuc in domo b. Petri desolationis 
abominationem stare videmus, positis etiam propugnacuiis et aliis bello- 
rum instrumentis in altitudiue sauctuarii supra corpus b. Petri. Quod 
licet non audeamusjudicare malum esse tamen sine dubio judicamus esse 
a malo, eorum videlicet, qui suae rebellionis malitia coarunt fieri talia. In 
Ps. Ixiv. f. 1181. 


as the mighty of the earth seldom enjoy the privilege of hearing. 
With the frankness of a love, which, as he himself expresses it, 
knew not the master, but recognized the son, even under the 
pontifical robes,* he set before him, in his four books f " On 
Meditation " (De Consideratione), which he sent to him singly 
at different times, the duties of his office, and the faults 
against which, in order to fulfil these duties, he needed espe- 
cially to guard. Bernard was penetrated with a conviction 
that to the pope, as St. Peter's successor, was committed by 
God a sovereign power of church-government over all, and 
responsible to no other tribunal ; that to this church theocracy, 
guided by the pope, the administration even of the secular 
power, though independent within its own peculiar sphere, 
should be subjected, for the service of the kingdom of God ; 
but he also perceived, with the deepest pain, how very far 
the papacy was from corresponding to this its idea and destina- 
tion ; what prodigious corruption had sprung and continued to 
spring from the abuse of papal authority ; he perceived already, 
with prophetic eye, that this very abuse of arbitrary will 
must eventually bring about the destruction of this power. He 
desired that the pope should disentangle himself from the 
secular part of his office, and reduce that office within the 
purely spiritual domain ; and that, above all, he should learn to 
govern and restrict himself. " From neither poison nor sword," 
wrote he to him, " do I so much dread danger to thee, as from 
the love of rule."| He reminded him of the shameful, spirit- 
depressing slavery which he endured from all quarters under 
the show of rule, — he must be servant, not of an individual, 
but of all. Nor could he rightly appeal to that saying of the 
apostle Paul, that he made himself the servant of all men, 
while the ambitious, the seekers of gain, the practisers of 
simony, the incontinent, and such like monsters, from the 
whole world, flocked to the pope, seeking to acquire or 
to preserve, by his apostolical authority, the places of honour 
in the church. That apostle, to whom to live was Christ, and 
to die was gain, made himself a servant to men, in order that 

• His words in the prologue to the work : De consideratione : Amor 

Dominum nescit, agnoscit filium et in infulis. 

t Of the fifth, we shall have occasion to speak hereafter, 

I Nullum tibi venenum, nullum gladium plus formido, quam libidi- 

ucm domiuandi. Lib. III. c. I. 

Bernard's admonitions to eugene the third. 219 

iie might win more souls to Christ, not in order to increase the 
emoluments of cupidity. Much rather should he ponder that 
saying of the same apostle : Ye are bought with a price, be 
not the servants of men. " What is more a ser\-itude, what is 
more unworthy a pope, than that thou shouldst busy thyself 
almost every hour with such things and for the advantage of 
such men ? Finally, when is there time for prayer, to instruct 
the congregation, to edify the church, to meditate on the 
di\'ine law ? And yet we must admit that the laws do daily 
make themselves to be heard in the papal palace ; but what 
laws ? the laws of Justinian, not those of the Lord." Gladly 
would he in\'ite him, according to 2 Timothy ii. 4, to put fer 
from him all these secular affairs, so alien from his spiritual 
office, but he is very sensible that the times were not capable 
of receiving such truths. " Believest thou that these times 
would bear it, if thou shouldst repel those people who are con- 
tending about an earthly inheritance, and seek a decision from 
thee, with the words of thy Master : Man, who has made me 
a judge over you ? How instantly would they accuse thee of 
dishonouring thy primacy, and surrendering somewhat of the 
apostolical dignity ; and yet it is my opinion, that those who 
so speak cannot mention the place where any one of the 
apostles ever held a trial, decided disputes about boundaries, 
or portioned out lands. I read, indeed, that the apostles stood 
before judgment-seats, but not that they sat upon them." 
This, he said, was not belittling the papal dignity or authority ; 
on the contrary, he held it to be so exalted as to be able to 
dispense with managing such worldly aflSdrs. " Your authority 
has reference to sins, not to earthly possessions. On account 
of the former, not the latter, have you received the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven, with power to exclude men from it on 
account of their sins, not on account of their possessions. 
These earthly things have also their judges, the kings and 
princes of the world. "Why intrude into another's province ?"* 
He laments that the pope's appearance, mode of living, and 
occupations, so little comported with the office of spiritual 
shepherd. He laments the arrogance and superior airs affected 

* Habent hsec infima et terrena judices suos, reges et principes terrae. 
Quid fines alieuos invaditis ? Quid falcem vestram in alienam messem 

220 Bernard's admonitions to eugene the third. 

by his attendants.* He labours to impress him, above all, 
with the duty of exercising his spiritual office as amongst that 
intractable, corrupt people, the Romans, who stood in especial 
need of it ; at least to make the experiment, whether something 
could not be done for their conversion, and these wolves turned 
into lambs. " Here," said he, " I do not spare thee, in order 
that God may spare thee. Deny that thou art the pastor, the 
shepherd of this people, or prove thyself to be such. Thou 
wilt not deny it, lest he whose episcopal seat thou possessest, 
deny thee as his heir. It is that Peter, of whom it is not 
known that he was ever loaded with precious stones or silks, 
conveyed about covered with gold on a white horse, surrounded 
by soldiers and bustling servants. In these things thou hast 
not followed Peter, but Constantino." He advises him, if he 
must endure such marks of honour for a short time, yet to put 
in no claim to them, but rather seek to fulfil the duties 
belonging to his vocation. " Though thou walkest abroad 
clad in purple and gold, yet as thou art heir of the shepherd, 
shrink not from the shepherd's toils and cares ; thou hast no 
reason to be ashamed of the gospel." Not the earthly sword, 
but the sword of the word should be used by him against the 
unruly Romans. " Why dost thou again unsheath the sword 
which the Lord has bid thee put up in its sheath ? True, it is 
evident from this command, that it is thi/ sword still ; but one 
which is to be drawn at thy bidding only, not by thy hand. 
Else, when Peter said. Here are two swords, our Lord would 
not have answered. It is enough : but there are too many ; 
therefore both swords, the spiritual and the temporal, are 
to serve the church ; but the first is for the church ; the 
second also, from the church : the first is wielded by the hand 
of the priest ; the second, in the hand of the soldier, at the 
beck of the pope, by the command of the emperor." It was 
then Bernard's idea that, although the pope busies himself 
directly only with spiritual matters, yet he should exercise a 
sort of superintendence also over the administration of the 
secular authority. 

But while he recognizes the church government of the pope 
as one to which all others, without exception, are subjected, 

* Ita omne humile probro ducitur inter Palatines, ut facilius qvu esse, 
quam qui apparere humilis velit, invenias. 


he advises that he should restrict himself; that he should 
respect the other authorities existing in the church, and 
not usurp the whole to him.«elf. He presents before him the 
great evil which must necessarily result from multiplied and 
arbitrary exemptions ; the murmurings and complaints of the 
churches, which sighed over their mutilations ; hence so much 
squandering of church property, destruction of church order, 
and so many schisms. If his authority was the highest 
ordained of God, yet he should not for that reason suppose it 
the only one ordained of God. The text, Rom. xiii. 1, 
which was often misinterpreted and abused by the defenders of 
absolute arbitrarj' will, Bernard turns against them. '• Though 
the passage, ' Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the 
ordinance of God,' serves thy purpose especially, yet it does 
not serve it exclusively. The same apostle says : ' Let every 
soul be subject unto the higher powers ;' he speaks not of one, 
but of several. It is not thy authority alone, therefore, that is 
from the Lord, but this is true also of the intermediate, of the 
lower powers. And, since what God has put together, man 
should not put asunder ; so neither should man level down 
what God has put in a relation of supra-ordination and 
subordination. Thou produces! a monster, if thou disseverest 
the finger from the hand, and makest it hang directly from the 
head. So is it, too, if thou arrangest the members in the body 
of Christ in a different order from that in which he himself 
has placed them." He refers to the order instituted by Christ 
himself, 1 Corinth, xii. 28 ; Ephes. iv. 16. He refers to the 
system of appeals, so ruinous to the condition of the church, as 
an example suited to show the direct tendency of the abuse of 
the papal authority to bring it into contempt, and also that the 
pope would take the best and surest means of meeting the 
latter evil by checking the former.* He warns the pope, by 
pointing him to Grod's judgments in history : " Once make the 
trial of uniting both together ; try to be ruler and at the same 
time successor of the apostle, or to be the apostle's successor 

* Lib. III. cap. ii. s. 12. Videris tu, quid sibi Tclit, quod zelos vester 
assidue paene viudicat ilium (comemptum), istam (usurpationem) dissi- 
mulat. Vis perfectius coercere contemptum ? Cura in ipso utero pessi- 
mal matris praefocari germen nequam, quod ita fiet, si usurpatio digna 
animadversione mulctetur. Tolle usurpationem. et contemptus excosa- 
tionem non habet. 

222 Bernard's four books, de consideratioxe. 

and at the same time ruler. You must let go of one or the 
other. If you attempt to secure both at once, you will lose 
both." He commends to his consideration the threatening lan- 
guage of the prophet, Hosea viii. 4.* 

But to the close of his life, in the year 1153, pope Eugene 
had to contend with the turbulent spirit of the Romans and the 
influences of the principles disseminated by Arnold ; and this 
contest was prolonged into the reign of his second successor, 
Adrian the fourth. Among the people and among the nobles, 
a considerable party had arisen, who would concede to the pope 
no kind of secular dominion. And there seems to have been 
a shade of difference among the members of this party. A mob 
of the people! is said to have gone to such an extreme of 
arrogance as to propose the choosing of a new emperor from 
amongst the Romans themselves, the restoration of a Roman 
empire independent of the pope. The other party, to which 
belonged the nobles, were for placing the emperor Frederic 
the First at the head of the Roman republic, and uniting 
themselves with him in a common interest against the pope. 
They invited himj to receive the imperial crown, in the ancient 
manner, from the " Senate and Roman people," and not from 
the heretical and recreant clergy, and the false monks, who 
acted in contradiction to their calling, exercising lordship 
despite of the evangelical and apostolical doctrine ; and in 
contempt of all laws, divine and human, brought the church of 
God and the kingdom of the world into confusion. Those who 
pretend that they are the representatives of Peter, it was said, 
in a letter addressed in the spirit of this party to the emperor 
Frederic the First, " act in contradiction to the doctrines 
which that apostle teaches in bis epistles. How can they say 
with the apostle Peter, ' Lo, we have left all and followed 
thee,' and, 'Silver and gold have I none?' How can our 

* Lib. II. c. vi. s. 11. I ergo tu et tibi usurpare aude aut dominans 
apostolatum aut apostolicus domiuatum. Plane ab alterutro prohiberis. 
Si utrumque simul habere voles, perdes utrumque. Alioquin non te 
exceptum illoruin numero putes, de quibus queritur Deus. Osea viii. 4. 

t Rusticaua quicdam turba absque nobilium et majorum scientia. as 
pope Eugenius himself writes. Martene et Duraud, CoUectio amplis- 
sima, T. II. f. 554. 

X See the letter written in the name of this party, and expressing its 
views, by a certain Wezel, to the emperor Frederic the First, in the, year 
1152, in the collection mentioned in the note preceding, T. II. f. 554. 


Lord say to such, ' Ye are the light of the world,' * the salt of 
the earth ? ' Much rather is to be applied to them what our 
Lord says of the salt that has lost its savour. Eager after 
earthly riches, they spoil the true riches, from which the 
salvation of the world has proceeded. How can the saying be 
applied to the.ii, ' Blessed are the poor in spirit ;' for they are 
neither poor in spirit nor in feet ? " 

Pope Adrian the Fourth was first enabled, under more 
favourable circumstances, and assisted by the emperor Frederic 
the First,* to deprive the Arnold party of its leader, and then 
to suppress it entirely. It so happened that, in the first year of 
Adrian's reign, 1155, a cardinal, on his way to visit the pope, 
was attacked and wounded by followers of Arnold. This 
induced the pope to put aU Rome under the interdict, T^-ith 
a view to force the expulsion of Arnold and his party. This 
means did not fail of its effect. The people, who could not 
bear the suspension of divine worship, now themselves com- 
pelled the nobles to bring about the ejection of Arnold and his 
friends. Arnold, on leaving Rome, found protection from 
Italian nobles. By the order, however, of the emperor Fre- 
deric, who had come into Italy, he was torn from his protectors, 
and surrendered up to the papal authority. The prefect of 
Rome then took possession of lus person, and caused him to be 
hung. His body was burned, and its ashes thrown' into the 
Tiber, lest his bones might be preserved as the relics of a 
martyr by the Romans, who were enthusiastically devoted to 
him.j Worthy men, who were in other respects zealous 
defend^rg of the church orthodoxy and of the hierarchy, as, for 
example, Gerhoh of Reichersberg, expressed their disappro- 
bation, first, that Arnold should be punished with death on 
account of the errors which he disseminated ; secondly, that the 
sentence of death should proceed from a ^iritucd tribunal, or 

* Pope Eugene had taken advantage of the above-mentioned plan of 
one portion of Arnold's party to represent that party to the emperor as 
detrimental even to the imperial interests. The words of Eugene, in 
the letter already mentioned in a preceding note addressed to the em- 
peror's envoy, the abbot Wibald, are : Quod quia contra coronam regni 
et carissimi filii nostri, Friderici Romanorum regis, honorem attentare 
praesumunt, eidem volumus per te secretins nrmtiari. 

t See Acta Vaticana, in Baronius, annal. ad a. 1155, No. I. et IV^ and 
Otto of Freisingen de gestis, f. 1, * ii. c xx. 

224 GERHOH ON Arnold's death. 

that such a tribunal should at least have subjected itself to that 
bad appearance. But on the part of the Roman court it was 
alleged, in defence of this proceeding, that " it was done without 
the knowledge and contrary to the will of the Eoman curia." 
*' The prefect of Rome had forcibly removed Arnold from the 
prison where he was kept, and his servants had put him to death 
in revenge for injuries they had suffered from Arnold's party. 
Arnold, therefore, was executed, not on account of his doc-> 
trines, but in consequence of tumults excited by himself." It 
may be a question whether this was said with sincerity, or 
whether, according to the proverb, a confession of guilt is not 
implied in the excuse. But Gerhoh was of the opinion that 
in this case they should at least have done as David did, in the 
case of Abner's death (2 Sam. iii.), and, by allowing Arnold 
to be buried, and his death to be mourned over, instead of caus- 
ing his body to be burned, and the remains thrown into the 
Tiber, washed their hands of the whole transaction.* 

But the idea for which Arnold had contended, and for which 
he died, continued to work in various forms, even after his 
death, — the idea of a purification of the church from the 
foreign worldly elements with which it had become vitiated, of 
its restoration to its original spiritual character. Even the 
person who had given over Arnold to the power of his enemies, 
must afterwards attach himself — though induced by motives of 

* Gerhoh's noticeable words concerning Arnold : Quem ego vellem 
pro tali doctrina sua, quamvis prava, vel exilio vel carcere aut alia pcena 
prajter mortem punitum esse vel saltern taliter occisum, ut Komana 
ecclesia sen curia ejus necis qucestione careret. Nam, sicut ajunt, absque 
ipsorum scientia et consensu a praifecto urbis Romse de sub eorum cus- 
todia, in qua tenebatur, ereptus ac pro speciali causa occisus ab ejus 
servis est ; maximam siquidem cladem ex occasione ejusdem doctrina) 
(in -which, therefore, it seems to be implied, that Arnold's principles had 
only given occasion to the tumult, not that he himself had created it), 
idem prfefectus a Romanis civibus perpessus fuerat ; quare non saltern 
ab occisi crematione ac submersione ejus occisores metuerunt? Quatenus 
a domo sacerdotali sanguinis quasstio reniota esset, sicut David quondam 
honestas Abner exequias providit atque ante ipsas flevit, ut sanguinem 
fraudulenter eifusum a domo ac throno suo removeret. Sed de his ipsi 
viderint. Nihil enim super his nostra interest, nisi cupere matri nostrse, 
sancta) Romans ecclesiae id quod bonum jtistum et honestum est. It 
■was important for him to make this declaration : ne videatur neci ejus 
perperam actae assensum prabere. See Gretsers Werke, T. XII. in the 
prolegomena to the writings against the Waldenses, f. 12. 


a different kind, by the interests of politics — to a tendency of 
this sort. With this emperor begins a new epoch in the his 
tory of the papacy, — the hundred years controversy of the 
popes with the emperors of the Hohenstaufen fiimily. It was 
not, as formerly, the contests of the pope with princes who 
stood singly opposed to him, and acted rather by momentary 
interests than according to a fixed plan ; but a contest, which 
was perseveringly maintained by three princes, follo^ving one 
after the other in immediate succession, with all the power, 
energy, and craft of a consistent plan, — which, after every mo- 
mentary pause occasioned by particular circumstances, was 
resumed with the same vigour as before. Here it was to be 
decided whether the papacy could be overturned by any force 
from without, or must only come forth triumphant out of such 
a conflict. 

"When Frederic came into Italy for the first time, and Rome 
was already filled with alarm, the issue showed that these fears 
were groundless. The emperor sought to maintain a good un- 
derstanding with the pope,— whether it was that he had it in 
view to establish his power on a firm footing in Italy, before 
he embarked in this dangerous contest, or that he was disposed 
to try whether he might not obtain the pope's co-operation in 
accomplishing his objects.* If the latter was his plan, he must 
at least have soon convinced himself that this thing was impos- 
sible. The churchly theocratical system could tolerate no power 
beside itself; but it required of every other unconditional sub- 
jection. Its unyielding pretensions Frederic soon came to find 
out, in disputing the question whether he was bound to hold 
the stirrup for the pope,f and in beholding those pictures and 

* The remarkable words of John of Salisbury, who to be sure was 
very hostilely disposed towards the imperial interest, are (ep. 59): Scio 
quid Teutonicos moliatur. Eram enim Romae praesidente b. Eugenio, 
quando prima legatione missa in regni sui initio, tanti ausi impudentiam, 
tamor intolerabilis, lingua incauta detexit Promittebat enim, se totius 
orbis reformaturum imperium, urbi subjiciendum orbem, eventuque 
facili omnia subactnrum, si ei ad hoc solius Romani pontificis favor 
adesset. Id enim agebat, ut in qnemcunque demutatis inimicitiis mate- 
rialem gladium imperator, in eundem Bomanus pontifex spiritualem 
gladium exereret Therefore, the idea of universal politico-spiritual 

+ The fabulous story was handed round that the emperor Constantine 
had done this act of homage to pope Silvester, and good use was made 
of it in an uncritical age. We take this from Gerhoh's words, in his 


226 Adrian's letter to frederic. 

inscriptions iu the papal palaces, which represented the pope as 
liege-lord of the empire.* 

The resolution was now matured in the emperor's mind that 
he would take advantage of the first opportunity to resist these 
papal pretensions. Such an opportunity was soon furnished, 
perhaps undesignedly, by the pope himself, A bishop of Lund, 
in Sweden, when returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, was 
robbed and taken captive by certain German knights. The 
pope complained to the emperor in a letter, of the year 1157, 
that he had let this offence go unpunished, and had not taken 
the side of the bishop. He reminded him of the gratitude 
which he owed to the papal chair, of the services which that 
chair had rendered him during his stay at Rome, and men- 
tioned, among other particulars, the bestowment of the im- 
perial crown, as if this depended on the pope's determination.! 
Still, he added, the pope would not have regretted it, had he 
received, if that were possible, still greater benefits from him. J 

Syntagma de statu ecclesiiE, c. xxiv. Gretser, T. VI. fol. 258 : Cui ad 
honoris cumulum et ipse Constantinus tenens frenum per civitatem stra- 
toris officium exhibuit. In another place, Gerhoh extols this triumph 
of the hierarchy in the following noticeable words: Regnis idololatris, 
schismaticis atque indisciplinatis usque ad sui fastus defectum curvatis 
amplius glorificanda et coronanda erat sacerdotalis dignitas, ita ut stra- 
toris quoque officium pontifici Romano a regibus et imperatoribns exhi- 
bendum sit. In him we have a strikingly characteristic representative 
of the spirit of this party, when intoxicated by his enthusiasm for the 
universally triumphant priesthood he sees in the future a goal to be 
reached, where small princes of inferior name should arise in place of 
the imperial dignity ; princes who could undertake nothing in opposition 
to the church. Haec nimirum spectacula (says he, after the passage just 
cited), nunc regibus partim ablatis, partim diminuto eorum regno humi- 
litatis, et exaltato sacerdotio delectant spectatorem benevolum, torquent 
invidum, qui ut amplius crucietur et plus oculus magis jucundetur, etc., 
succedci in sscculari dignitate minoris nominis potestas diminutis regnis 
magnis in tretrarchias aut minores etiam particulas. ne premere valeant 
ecclesias et ecclesiasticas personas. In Ps. Ixiv. 1. c. f. 11 90. 

* To paintings which symbolically represented the principles of the 
papal system, John of Salisbury also alludes, in the letter already referred 
to ; Sic ad gloriam patrum teste Lateranensi palatio, ubi hoc invisibili- 
bus picturis et laici legunt, ad gloriam patrum schismatici, quos ssecu- 
laris potestas intrusit, dantur pontificibus pro scabello. 

f Quantam tibi (Romana ecclesiaj dignitatis plenitudinem contulerit 
et honoris et qualiter imperialis insigne coronse libentissime conferens. 

X Si majora beneficia excellentia tua de manu nostra suscepisset, si 
fieri posset. 


"When this was read before the emperor, in the diet held at 
Besangon, it produced a strong and universal movement of sur- 
prise. Not without reason might offence be taken at the language 
in which the pope spoke of the bestowment of the imperial crown ; 
and — by putting this in conjunction with what was said about 
benefits, the emperor recollecting all the while those pictures 
and inscriptions which he had seen at Rome,* the worst con- 
struction which could be put on the word " beneficium, " 
according to the use of language in that period, as designating 
a feofiage, was put upoij the pope's language, though the con- 
nection was decidedly against any such construction. The 
papal legates, who hjid brought the letter, were little fitted by 
their temper to quiet the excited feelings of the assembly. 
One of them. Cardinal Roland of Siena, chancellor of the church 
of Rome, on offence being taken at those words of the papal 
letter, had the boldness to ask, " From whom then did the em- 
peror obtain the government, if not fit)m the pope ? " These 
words produced such an outburst of anger, that a terrible ven- 
geance would have lighted on the head of the speaker, if he 
had not been protected by the emperor. The l^ates were 
dismissed with disgrace ; they were commanded to return im- 
mediately to Rome, and to visit no bishop or abbot by the 
way, lest, in travelling about the empire, they might find 
opportunity of creating disturbances, or of exacting contribu- 
tions, "f For the same reason, the emperor laid a restriction 

* The pietare of the emperor Lothaire the Second, on whom the pope 
bestows the imperial crown, with the inscription : — 

Rex venit ante fores, jonns prius oibis honores 
Host homo fit Paps, samit qao dante eoronam. 

According to the account of the historian Radwic (i. 10), the pope had 
promised, in reply to the friendly remonstrances of the emperor, that 
this picture should be removed. 

t The words in the emperor's letter, in which he notict« this, and 
explains his motives : Porro quia multa paria literamm apnd eos reperta 
sunt et schedulae sigillatae ad arbitrium eomm adhuc scribendae (namely, 
blank leaves to which the pope's seal had been affixed, which they were 
to fill up according to circumstances; so great was the power intrusted 
to them), quibus sicut hactenus consuetudinis eorum fuit, per singulas 
ecclesias Teutonici regni conceptum iniquitatis suae virus respergere, 
altana denudare. vasa domus Dei apportare. cires excoriare nitebantur. 
A description of the exactions made by the papal legates, which we 
assuredly cannot regard as exaggerated, judging firom a comparison with 
other accounts of these times. 


228 Frederic's declaration against Adrian. 

upon that constant and lively intercourse which had been 
hitherto kept up between Germany and Rome, by means of 
pilgrimages and appeals. He endeavoured to provide that 
his conduct towards the pope should everywhere be seen in a 
favourable point of light. He therefore caused to be published 
throughout the whole empire, a document setting forth what 
had been done, and the reasons which made it necessary to 
take such a course. In this paper he styled himself, in oppo- 
sition to the papal pretensions, " the Lord's anointed," who 
had obtained the government from that almighty power from 
which proceeds all authority in heaven* and on earth. " Since 
our government," he declared, " proceeds, through the choice 
of the princes, from God alone ; since our Lord, at his passion, 
committed the government of the world to two swords, and 
since the apostle Peter gave to the world this precept, ' Fear 
God, and honour the king,' it is evident, that whoever says, 
* we received the imperial crown as a beneficium from the pope,' 
contradicts the divine order and the doctrine of Peter, and 
makes himself guilty of a lie." The pope, first in a letter 
issued to the German bishops, complained bitterly of this pro- 
cedure on the part of the emperor, and called upon them to use 
the influence they had with him, to bring him to his senses. 
But the bishops were here of one and the same mind with the 
emperor ; they handed over this letter to him, and he com- 
municated to them the draft of a reply which he intended for 
the pope. In this, he declared that he was ready to pay all 
due respect to the head of the church ; but he was also resolved 
to maintain the independence of his imperial throne. " It was 
by no means," he said, " his design to hinder those who wished, 
from making the pilgrimage to Rome, or from visiting that 
city for any other good reasons ; but he only intended to resist 
those abuses of which he could justly say, that all the churches 
of his empire were burdened with them, and all tlie discipline 
of the monasteries destroyed by them."* " In the head city 
of the world," he writes, " God exalted the church by means 
of the empire ; in the head city of the world, the church now 
seeks, not through God, as we think, to destroy the empire. 

* nils abusiouibus, quibus omnes ecclesiae regni nostri gravatao et 
attentatae sunt et omnes paene claustrales discipline emortua) et sepultac, 
obviare inteudimus. 


She began with pictures; firom pictures she proceeded to 
writings ; these writings would procure for themselves the 
authority of the law. Sooner will we lay down our crown, 
than suffer it, together with ourselves, to be so degraded. The 
pictures must be destroyed ; the writings must be revoked, so 
that the monuments of ^e controversy between the empire and 
the priesthood may not last for ever."* The bishops, in 
transmitting this declaration of the emperor to the pope, 
assured him that those words of his own letter had excited the 
g^reatest displeasure amongst all tiie German princes, as well 
as in the emperor ; that they themselves could not defend those 
words because of their ambiguity. They represented to him 
the great danger which might grow out of this dispute, and 
besought him earnestly, that he would seek to pacify the em- 
peror by a conciliatory letter. 

As the emperor now marched into Italy with an army, fear 
added weight, in the pope's mind, to the representations of the 
bishops. He sent a second legation to the emperor, for which 
he selected two cardinals who were firee from that hierarchical 
obstinacy, and adroit men of the world. These envoys handed 
over to the emperor another letter, which, by a milder explana- 
tion of those words which had given offence, was designed to 
pacify him. Against the construction which the emperor had 
put on the word beneficium, he could easily defend himself, 
by an appeal to etymology, to the common Latin usug lo- 
quendi, and at the same time to the Bible-f In respect also 
to the other difficulty, he maintained that this language had 
been misconstrued, but without entering into more distinct 

Thus, for the present, the good understanding between the 
emperor and the pope was again restored ; stUl, however, in a 
case where interests and principles were so directly opposed, 
this could not last long ; and the sojourn of the emperor in 
Italy, in the year 1158, where with good success he was seek- 
ing to establish his power on a firm foundation, could not fidl 

♦ Picturae deleantur, scriptone retractputor, ut inter regnom et sacer* 
dotinm seteme inimicitiamm monomenta non remaneant. 

t Hoc nomen ex bono et facto est editom et dicitar beneficiom apnd 
no6 non fendum. sed bonnm factnm. 

t Per hoc vocabalnm (the offensive word " contnlimos "\ nihil alind 
iotelleximns, nisi quod superios dictom est imposoimas. 


to produce many a collision between the two. The pope could 
not pardon it in the emperor, that he insisted on his right of 
sovereignty over the city of Rome, caused the bishops to take 
the oath of allegiance, placed a limit on appeals to Rome, and 
sought to check the influence of the papal legates in Germany. 
In this uneasy state of feeling, he wrote to the emperor a 
short letter, complaining of his want of respect to the apostle 
Peter and to the church of Rome. What arrogance was it, 
tliat in his letter to the pope, he should place his own name 
before that of the pope. How grossly he violated the fidelity 
vowed to St. Peter, when he required of those who are all 
gods and sons of the Highest, the oath of allegiance, and took 
their holy hands into his. He reproached him with having 
shut out the churches and states of his empire from the papal 
legates. He exhorted him to repentance. In the reply to 
this letter a mode of thinking expressed itself, which required 
the separation of spiritual things from secular, in the case of 
the church of Rome as well as of other churches. The very- 
superscription itself plainly indicated the emperor's views, in 
• the wish there expressed that he might remain faithful and 
true to all that Jesus had taught by word and deed. He 
denied that the popes held worldly possessions by divine riglit ; 
they were indebted for all they possessed to the donations of 
monarchs, as Sylvester first had received all he possessed from 
the emperor Constantine. It was by ancient right that, in his 
letters to the pope, he placed his own name first ; and the 
pope was free to do the same thing in writing to the emperor. 
He acknowledged the higher consecrated character of the 
bishops ; but it seemed to him not in the least incompatible 
with this, that he should require them to take the oath of alle- 
giance ; and he appeals to the pattern of Christ : " Whereas 
your Master and mine, who needed not that anything should 
be given him by a king who was a man, but bestows every 
good upon all, paid for himself and Peter the tribute-money 
to Caesar, and also set the example of so acting, when he said, 
' Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart,' so you 
therefore should leave to us the regalia, — or, if you expect 
to derive advantage from it, you should 'render to God 
the things that are God's, and to Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's.' " The churches and countries he had shut out from 
the cardinals because they did not come to preach, to make 


and to establish peace, but to plunder, and to gratify their 
insatiable cupidity. Should such men come, however, as the 
good of the church required that bishops should be, he would 
not delay providing them with everything needful. The em- 
peror asked the pope to consider how incongruous it was with 
the humility and meekness of which, as Christ's vicegerent, he 
should set the example, for him to excite disputes about such 
things ; and in what an unfavourable light he must place 
himself thereby before the eyes of the world ! After long- 
continued negotiations, the dispute between the pope and the 
emperor was as far from being settled as ever. Already wag 
Adrian on the point of proceeding to more violent measures 
against that monarch, when, precisely at this critical moment) 
in the year 1159, he died. 

The death of Adrian at this point of time was necessarily 
followed by a schism in the choice ^f a pope ; for there were, 
as usual, two parties among the cardinals ; one, who were 
determined to maintain, at all hazards, the pretensions of 
the hierarchical system, and to employ for this purpose the 
strongest and most violent measures ; the other, who were 
inclined to more moderate proceedings. The former, at whose 
head stood the deceased pope himself, were for uniting them- 
selves with the enemies of the emperor in Italy and Sicily, 
and pronouncing the ban upon him ; the other, to which those 
cardinals belonged who already under the preceding reign 
had pushed forward the negotiations with the emperor, wished 
for a peaceable termination of the difficulties. The first party 
chose as pope the cardinal Roland, of Siena, and he assumed 
the name of Alexander the Third ; the second party chose the 
cardinal Octavian, who gave himself the name of Victor the 
Fourth. The emperor could not doubt for a moment which 
of these two parties was the most favourably disposed to his 
own interest ; as the popes themselves plainly expressed their 
different principles by the different tone in which they ad- 
dressed him. But he was very far from being disposed to 
intermeddle with the inner affairs of the church; he only 
meant to take advantage of this strife so as to be able, after the 
example of the Othos and of Henry the Third, to hit upon 
the legitimate measures for the removal of the present schism, 
and the establishment of a universally recognized pope. He 
announced a church assembly to meet in the year 1160 at 


Pavia, before which the two competitors should appear, in 
order that their respective claims to the papal dignity might 
then be scrutinized. But Alexander, without regard to any 
further scrutiny, considered himself as the onlj. regular pope, 
and declared it to be an unheard-of pretension, that a layman 
should presume to set himself up as judge over such an affair. 
He looked upon the council at Pavia as an altogether dis- 
orderly assembly. Victor, on the other hand, recognized this 
tribunal. When the council had assembled, the emperor de- 
clared he had now done all that belonged to his vocation ; 
nothing else remained for him than to await the decision of 
God, through those whom he had appointed the judges in this 
matter ; whereupon he withdrew from the transactions. The 
council reci)gnized Victor as the regular pope, and Frederic 
sought to promote his authority by every means of power and 
influence within his comijiand. But although Alexander was 
compelled to yield to the authority of the emperor, and in 
the year 1162 to seek a refuge in France, yet he con- 
tinually gained more and more on his side the public 
opinion in the church ; the heads of the clerical and of the 
monastic orders stood up for him or demanded a true general 
council, as alone competent to decide this controversy.* 
All who were devoted to the church theocratical system 
saw in Alexander the champion of a holy cause, and in 
Victor a tool of the imperial power.| Alexander too, like 

* So the provost Gerhoh, who calls the assembly at Pavia only a 
" curia Papiensis,"' in Ps. cxxxiii. f. 1042. 

t So Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, or John of Salisbury, 
in his name (ep. 48, in the letter of J. of Salisbury), in a letter to king 
Henry the Second, of England, whom the emperor was seeking to gain 
over to Victor : Absit, ut in tanto periculo ecclesia; pro aniore et honore 
hominis faciatis, nisi quod crederetis Domino placiturum, nee decet 
majestatem vestram. si placet, ut in tota ecclesia regni vestri superpo- 
natis hominem, qui sine electione, ut publice dicitur, sine gratia Domini 
per favorem unius imperatoris tantum honorem aiisus est orcupare. 
Nam tota fere ecclesia Romana in parte Alexandri est. Incredibile au- 
tcm est, quod pars ilia possit obtinere, prsevalere per hominem, cui 
justitia deest, cui Doniinus adversatur. He then cites the example of 
the popes, sinc^ the time of Urban the Second, who began in weakness, 
and, after having been acknowledged in France, triumphed over their 
opponents. John of Salisbury declares, very strongly, his opposition to 
the council of Pavia: Universalem ecclesiam quis partieularis ecclesiae 
subjecit judicio ? Quis Teutonicos coustituit judices nationum ? Quis 

Frederic's peace with Alexander. 233 

his predecessors, was ^eatly indebted to the influence of the 

Still less authority than Victor's was enjoyed by his suc- 
cessors nominated by the imperial party, Paschalis the 
Third ril64), and Calixtus the Third (11G8). The tyranny 
which the emperor exercised in Italy, the struggle of the 
Longobard states for their freedom, procured allies for the 
pope with whom he could constantly fortify himself more 
strongly against the emperor ; and after the unfortunate cam- 
paign in Italy, in 1176, Frederic was induced to conclude 
at Venice a peace with the pope, upon conditions prescribed 
by the latter. This victory was interpreted by the adherents 
of the church theocratical system as a judgment of God in 
favour of the papacy, "f The seal was set to this victory by 
the Lateran council, which Alexander, as universally acknow- 
ledged pope, held in the year 1179, and by which an ordi- 
nance was passed in relation to papal elections, in order to 
prevent similar schisms to those that had recently occurred. 
It was thereby determined, J that the individual chosen by the 
votes of two-thirds of the cardinals should be lawful pope ; 
and in case the person chosen by the minority, consisting of 
the other third, should set himself up as pope in opposition, 
he and his adherents should be liable to excommunication. 

hanc bmtis, impetaosis hominibus aactoritatem contulit, at pro arbitrio 
priucipem stataant super capita filiorum homiuum ? 

* In the life of bishop Anthelm, by Bellay, in the Actis Sanctor. Jon. 
T. V. c. iii. f. 232, it is stated that quum universa psene anceps ecclesia 
vacillaret, the Carthusian order, at first, used their influence in favour 
of Alexander: Praecedentibus itaque Cartusiensibus et Cisterciensibus 
Alexander papa ecclesiarum in partibus Galhae, Britannise, atque His- 
paniae, cito meruit obedientiam habere. 

t Thus wrote John of Salisbury, who from this result entertained 
the hope that the contest for the interest of the church in England would 
have a like issue (ep. 254) : Nam quse capiti schismatis confurebant 
membra cointereunt eoque succiso corpus totnm necesse est interire. 
Vidimus, vidimus hominem, qui consueverat esse sicuti leo in domo sua, 
domesticos evertens et opprimens subjectos sibi, latebras quserere et tanto 
terrore concuti, ut vix tutus esset in angulosis abditis suis. Ilium, ilium 
imperatorem, qui totsus orbis terror fuerat, utinam vidissetis ab Italia 
fugieutem cum ignominia sempiterna, ut his cautelam procuret ant 
ruiuain, qui catholicorum laboribus insultabant ex successibus et furore 
ejus. Ergo conceptam laudt- m Dei silere quis poterit ? Ipse eoim est, 
qui facit mirabilia magna solus. 

t Can. I. 


Still stronger did the power of the papacy exhibit itself in 
another contest, between the secular power and the church, 
which arose in another quarter, namely England. Thomas 
Becket had come as archdeacon to the court of king Henry 
the Second of England, and, getting more and more into the 
confidence of that monarch, was finally appointed chancellor, 
ill which post his word became law. Without doubt, the 
king supposed that he should most certainly promote his own 
interest if, availing himself of the vacancy of the archbishopric 
of Canterbury, in the year 1162, he proceeded to make his 
favourite, the man hitherto so devoted to him, primate of the 
English church, while at the same time he allowed him to 
continue in the same relations to himself, as his chancellor. 
But he found himself altogether deceived in his expectations ; 
for Thomas Becket from that moment changed entirely the 
whole mode of his life,* and with still greater zeal served the 
interest of the hierarchy than he had before served the in- 
terests of the king. It was to him an affair of conscience, not 
to surrender a tittle of anything pertaining to the cause of 
the church, and to the dignity of the priesthood, contemplated 
from the hierarchical point of view which was common at that 
time, f When he resigned his post as chancellor, king 
Henry regarded it as an indication of his change of views on 
political and ecclesiastical interests, and was by this circum- 
stance first prejudiced against him ; and his previous incliua- 

* Still, owing to his ascetic zeal, he could not be induced to make any 
such alterations in his diet as were too much at variance with his previous 
habits: and when once at the common table of the clergy, a pheasant 
was placed before him, said he to one of his companions at the table, 
who took offence at it : " Truly, my brother, if I do not mistake, thou 
eatest thy beans with more relish than I do the pheasant set before me." 
See his life by Heribert of Boseham (ed, sup.), with the letters of 
Thomas, in the collection of the four lives, p. iib. 

t The bishop's zealous friend, John of Salisbury, expresses himself 
somewhat dissatisfied with his rough and stern proceedings at the outset : 
Novit cordium inspector, et verborum judex et operum, quod ssepius et 
asperius, quam aliquis mortalium corripuerim archiepiscopum de his, in 
quibus ab initio dominum regem et suos zelo quodam inconsultius visus 
est ad amaritudinem provocasse, cum pro loco et tempore et personis multa 
fuerint dispensanda. By his opponents he was accused of covetousness 
and nepotism, in procuring preferments for his relatives. The latter 
certainly not without good grounds, as may be gathered from the way in 
which his zealous friend Peter de Blois defends him (in ep. 38). 


tion in his favour must have gone on continually changing 
into greater aversion, when he saw in the man whom he had 
hoped to find a grateful and zealous servant, his most resolute 
adversary. One fact, which proves what an injury great 
external privileges were to the true interests of the spiritual 
order is this ; there were to be found among the clergy of 
England men who, by the commission of the worst crimes, 
had fallen under the jurisdiction of the civil tribunals. The 
king demanded that such persons, after having been divested 
in the usual form of their spiritual character, should be given 
over to the common tribunal, and suffer the punishment ap- 
pointed by the laws. He alleged, in support of this, that the 
loss of the clerical dignity was to such people no punishment 
at all ; that the more they dishonoured by their crimes the 
clerical profession, the severer ought to be their punishment. 
By being suffered to go impimished, such crimes spread with 
fearful rapidity.* Yet the archbishop, carried away by his 
hierarchical delusion, thought himself bound to insist tbat, 
even in these imworthy subjects, the clerical character and the 
jurisdiction of the church should be respected. In the year 
1164 the king caused sixteen resolutions to be laid before an 
assembly composed of spiritual and lay orders, at Clarendon, 
which related to the securing of the civil power against the 
encroachments of the hierarchy. They were adopted, under 
oath, by all ; and even Thomas Becket yielded to the prevailing 
spirit. But soon his hierarchical conscience loaded him with 
the severest reproaches ; he put on the dress of a penitent ; 
he proposed to resign his bishopric, of which he had showed 
himself so unworthy ; to withdraw into solitude and do pe- 
nance, both on account of the transgressions of his earlier life 
at court, and on account of this last infidelity to the interests 
of the church. He drew up a report to the pope of what had 
transpired, and left the whole to be disposed of by his decision. 
The pope confirmed him in his resistance to those sixteen 

* Which the king says : Per hnjosmodi castigationes talium clericomm 
imo verius coronatonim daemonum flagitia non reprimi, sed potius in 
dies reguum detenus fieri. Ad nocendum fore promptiores, nisi post 
pceuam spiritualem corporali poenae subdantur. Et poenam parum cnrare 
de ordinis amissione, qui ordinis contemplatione a tam enonnibns manus 
continere non verentur et tanto deteriores esse in scelere, quanto sont 
caeterls ordinis privilegio digniores. Heribert. p. 33. 

236 becket's death, enthusiasm of his party. 

articles, and absolved him from his obligation of his unlawfiilly 
given oath ; but encouraged him to continue the administra- 
tion of the archbishopric for the good of the church. This 
was the signal for a fierce and wearisome contest between the 
archbishop and the king. Becket sought refuge in France, 
where he spent nearly seven years in exile. From both sides, 
delegates were sent to the pope ; Becket visited him in person. 
Bat the affair lingered along, since the king and his money 
had their influence also at the papal court ; * since, on the 
one hand, there was an unwillingness to make a victim of 
the bishop, who stood up so firmly and staked his all for the 
interest of the hierarchy : but on the other hand, too, there 
was great reason to fear lest, in the contest then going on 
with the emperor Frederic, the latter, and his pope, should 
procure an important ally in the king of England, if he should 
be driven to an extreme. At length, however, a treaty of 
peace seemed to have been brought about ; and Becket, in 
1170, returned back to England. But the reconciliation 
was but transitory ; and as the archbishop pursued the same 
principles with inflexible consistency, the quarrel could not 
fail to break out anew. Becket was received by one party 
with enthusiastic admiration, by the other with abhorrence ; 
since they looked upon him as nothing better than a traitor to 
his king and country. Four knights considered some remark 
which escaped the king in a moment of violent anger, as an 
invitation to revenge him on the archbishop, and the latter 
was murdered by them in the church. Yet, under these cir- 
cumstances, his death could not but serve directly to procure 
the most brilliant victory for the cause for which he contended. 
He appeared to the people as a martyr for the cause of God ; 
as a saint ; crowds flocked to pray before his tomb ; and soon 
divers stories got abroad about the wonderful cures performed 
there. Men of all ranks bore testimony to their truth. John 
of Salisbury, a man of spirit and intelligence, but we must 
add, too, the archbishop's enthusiastic friend as well as fellow- 
sufferer, having served him in the capacity of archdeacon and 

* Metuebat (Romanus pontifex), quod si ita omnino rex pateretur 
repulsam, majus in ecclesia schisma faceret, quod et ipsi, qui iiiissi fue- 
rant et prscsertim laid minabantur. In favour of the king was a ma- 
jority of the cardinals, quibus ut principibus et magnatibus placeaut, stu- 
dere nios est, aliis vero renitentibus. Heribert. p. 75 


secretary, even he speaks of them with astonishment as an 
eye-witness ; so that striking appearances, produced either by 
the ecstatic flights of a strong faith or by an excited fency, 
must certainly have occurred there.* It was in vain that 
Becket's opponents sought to suppress this enthusiasm by out- 
ward force ; it only burst forth with the more violence.^ In 
these facts, men saw a testimony from God mightier than the 
decisions of the pope. Instead of Becket's needing any testi- 
mony from the pope, thought his party, these miracles wrought 
at his tomb were much rather a testimony for the cause of pope 
Alexander himself against his adversaries ; for Becket had in 
truth been a zealous adherent of the latter. He must have 
been a schismatic, if it were not right to consider this person 
the lawful pope ; and a schismatic, God would not honour by 
miracles. J King Henry was deeply affected when he heard 
of Becket's death. He did penance, because his words, though 
without intention on his part, had given occasion for such a 
deed. He made every effort to justify himself before the pope 
and procure his absolution. He acquiesced in all the con- 
ditions prescribed, and yielded more than Thomas Becket had 

* Malta et magna miracnla fiunt, catervatim confluentibiis praelatis, at 
videant in aliis et s«ntiant in se potentiam et clementiam ejus, qui 
semper in Sanctis suis mirabilis et gloriosus est. Nam et in loco passionis 
ejus et ubi ante majus altare pemoctavit humandus et ubi tandem sepul- 
tus est, paralytic! curantur, ccEci vident, surdi audiunt, loquuntur mutl, 
claudi ambulant, evadunt febricitantes, arrepti a daemonic liberantur et a 
variis morbis sanantur aegroti, blaspbemi a daemonio arrepti confunduntur 
— Qua; profecto nulla ratione scribere praesumsissem, nisi me super his 
fides oculata certissimum reddidisset. Ep. 286. 

t John of Salisbury says : Inhibuerunt nomine publicae potestatis, ne 
miracttla, quae fiebant, quisquam publicare praesumeret. Caetemm frustra 
quis obnubilare desiderat, quod Deus clarificare disponit. Eo enim 
amplius percrebuere miracula, quo videbantur impiis studiosius occul- 

J John of Salisbury, ep. 287. Dubitatur a plurimis, an pars domini papee, 
in qua stamus, de justitia niteretnr. sed earn a crimine schismatis gloriosus 
martyr ateolvit, qui si fantor esset schismatis nequaquam tantis mira- 
culis coruscaret. He thinks he should have been very much surprised 
that the pope did not at once pronounce Thomas Becket a saint, unless 
he had remembered what was done in the Koman senate on the report of 
Pilate, ne deltas Christi, cujus nomen erat Judaeis et gentibus praedican- 
dum, terrenae potestati videretur obnoxia et emendicatam dicerent infi- 
deles. — Sic ergo nutu divine arbitror evenisse, ut martyris hujos gloria 
nee decreto pontificis nee edicto principis attollatur, sed Christo praecipae 
aactore invalescat. 

238 Arnold's opinions propagated. 

ever been able to gain during his lifetime. The king himself 
made a pilgrimage to his tomb, and there submitted to exercises 
of penance. 

Through the yielding of the emperor Frederic, to which he 
had been moved by the force of circumstances and by con- 
siderations of prudence, nothing in the relation of the two 
parties, — of which one defended a papal absolutism, requiring 
entire subjection of the states and churches ; the other, the 
rights of independent state authority, — nothing of all this had 
been changed. The principles which had come under discussion 
in the controversies about investiture, which had been placed 
in a still clearer light and more widely diffused through the 
influence of Arnold of Brescia, and to the promotion of which 
the study of the Roman law, begun with so much zeal at the 
university of Bologna, had contributed, — these principles we 
find expressed in the acts and public declarations of the 
Hohenstaufen emperors. Gottfried of Viterbo, who was secre- 
tary and chaplain to the emperors Conrad the Third, Frederic 
the First, and Henry the Sixth, and had opportunities enough 
to hear what was said at the imperial court ; — this writer, in 
speaking of the controversy between the imperial and the 
papal parties, in his Chronicle, or Pantheon,* quotes these 
declarations from the lips of the former. The emperor Con- 
stantine, to whose donation to the Roman bishop Silvester, 
men were in the habit of appealing, had by no means conceded 
to the popes an authority of lordship in Italy, but chosen them, 
as priests of the Supreme God, for his spiritual fathers, and 
sought blessing and intercassion at their hands. Had he 
actually conceded to the pope a right of sovereignty over Italy, 
he could not have left the Western empire, of which Italy was 
a part, to one of his sons ; and so, too, Rome went along with 
the Western empire to the succeeding emperors. As he 
affirms, men appealed to the words of Christ: "Render to 
Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the tilings that 
are God's ;" to the fact that Christ paid the tribute-money for 
himself and for Peter ; to the declaration of St. Paul con- 
cerning the respect due to those in authority ; and yet, they 
added, this declaration had immediate reference to a Nero. 
We here listen to well-known voices, which we already 

* P. 16. Muratori, Scriptores rerum Italicarum, T. VII. f. 360. 


heard speaking in the controversies which preceded, and 
which are again re-echoed ia the letters of Frederic the 

Hot had the emperor Frederic the First by any means 
given up the plan which he had hitherto followed in the con- 
test with the pope, but was making new preparations to 
prosecute it. He had been at work to establish anew his 
authority in Italy. He sought, by uniting the kingdom of the 
Sicilies with the imperial crown, to oppose a twofold power 
against the popes, in their own vicinity. This was accom- 
plished by his son Henry the Sixth, who was animated by 
the same spirit with his iather. The most difficult and unequal 
contest seemed to stand before the papal power ; on one side, 
the emperor Henry the Sixth, in the vigour of manhood, and 
at the sununit of his power ; on the other, the feeble old man 
Celestin the Third, now past his eightieth year ; but, by cir- 
cumstances not entering into the calculations of human wisdom, 
in which oftentimes the sudden turn of important events com- 
pels us to recognize the guidance of an in>isible hand, a change 
was suddenly brought about of an altogether opposite kind. 
The emperor Henry died in the year 1197 : in the following 
year died the pope ; and his successor was the cardinal Lothario, 
of Anagni, one of the most distinguished men who were ever 
invested with the papal dignity, and now not over forty years 
old.* Innocent the Third united in himself the three parts 
which Alexander the Third had required as necessary to the 
right administration of the papal office : zeal in preaching, 
ability in church-governance, and skill in the management of 
penance."!" He was, so far as the power of a correct judgment 
was possible at his own point of view, well acquainted with 
the relations and wants of the church in his time, and had been 
educated according to the system of theology taught in the 
universities of that period, for he had studied at the university 
of Paris, a fact of which he speaks with particular pleasure 

* Hencfl the remark of the German poet Walter von der Vogelweide : 
" O we der babst ist ze jnnc, hilf Herre diner Kristenheit" P. 9, in 
Lachmann's Ausgabe, v. 35. 

t When some person had said to Alexander the Third : Domine, bonus 
papa es, quidquid facis papale est ; he replied : Si scirem bien i (n) viar 
e bien predicar e penitense douar, io seroie boene pape. See Petri Can- 
toris verbom abbreviatum, pag. 171. 


and gratitude.* He was entirely filled with the idea of the 
papal monarchy over the world, and contrived to make use of 
the conjunction of many favourable circumstances with skill 
and energy for the realization of that idea. His activity 
extended over a field of enormous extent, f — it reached to every 
quarter of the world. His watchful eye observed everything 
that transpired in churches and states. By his legates, he 
would make his presence everywhere felt, and enforce obe- 
dience. | Over bishops and monarchs, in affairs ecclesiastical 
and political, which latter he believed he could bring before 
his tribunal, in so far as they should be decided on religious or 
moral principles, he asserted his supreme juridical authority 
with energy and firmness.§ His numerous letters, the records 
of his active guidance of the church, certainly evince that he 
was animated, not solely by a zeal for the maintenance of the 
papal authority and dominion, but also by a zeal for the true 
well-being of the church ; but devoted to that system of a 
spiritual monarchy over the world, in which secular and 
spiritual matters were already so confounded together, as a 
system founded in divine right ; and feeling himself bound to 
defend this system as well against reactions proceeding from a 

* In a letter to the king of France : Tibi et regno tuo specialiter nos 
fatemur teneri, in quo nos recolimus in studiis literarum setatem transe- 
gisse miuorem ac divino munere quanta;cunque scientise donum adeptos, 
beneficiorum impensam multiplicem suscepisse. See epp. lib. i. ep. 171. 

t In a letter in which, impressed with a sense of the diflSculties and the 
responsibleness of his office, he implores an interest in the prayers of the 
abbots of the Cistercian chapter, he notices the many kinds of business 
devolving on him, yet doubtless without naming them all. as follows : — 
Nunc ambigua quajstionum elucidans et certo in ambiguis usns responso, 
nunc difficiles nodes causarum justae diffinitionis manu dissolvens, nunc 
malignorum incursus refrsenans, nunc humilibus clypeum apostolicae pro- 
tectionis indulgens. Lib. I. ep. 358. 

J His words : " If the omnipresent God still makes angels his ministers, 
how should the pope, who is a limited man, be able to extend his activity 
to all countries in any other way than by legates?" Si ergo nos, quos 
humana conditio simul in diversis locis corporaliter esse non patitur, 
hujusmodi naturae defectum per angelos nostros redimere nequiverimus, 
quomodo judicium et justitiam et alia, quai ad summi pontificis officium 
pertinent, in gentibus longe positis faciemus? Lib. XVI. ep. 12. 

§ Ep. lib. I. ep. 324. Decision on the right of property in a lot of 
land. Lib. I. ep. 249, that his legate should force the kings of Portugal 
and Castile, by ban and interdict, to remain faithful to the league they 
Lad sworn to each other. 


good, as those proceeding from a bad spirit, he was betrayed 
by his bad cause into the use of bad means. 

A proof of this is the history of his controversies with 
England. King John, with wnom he there had to contend, 
was a man utterly destitute of moral worth, accustomed to 
follow all his lusts and passions without restraint, and to yield 
himself to every caprice. Fear alone could restrain him. 
Even to the religious impressions, which had so much power 
in his times, his inherent sensual barbarity was imsusceptible. 
He wavered betwixt a brutal infidelity and a servile super- 
stition. A dispute concerning the filling up of a vacancy left 
by the archbishop of Canterbury, gave the pope opportimity 
to guide the choice after his own will, and he fixed upon 
an Englishman, cardinal Stephen Langton, to occupy this post. 
The king thought he might complain that his wishes had not 
been duly consulted in this affair, and perhaps too he was 
averse to the man, who may have been one of the worthier 
sort. At first he repelled with blind defiance all the repre- 
sentations and threats of the pope. The interdict under which 
England was laid in 1208 could not break down his stubborn 
self-will, great as was the terror which elsewhere such a mea- 
sure at that time spread all around ; for the entire people, 
innocent and guilty, must suffer, because the king would not 
obey the pontiff" ; all must be deprived of the blessing of the 
church. Of the sacraments, none but extreme unction, the 
baptism of children, and confession were permitted. The 
bodies of the dead were borne forth and buried mthout prayer 
or the attendance of priests. 

There was one individual, however, who encouraged the 
king to despise the interdict which filled so many minds with 
uneasiness. The man who possessed this influence with the 
king, a theologian named Alexander, had not adopted this 
policy through any interest for the truth, but solely induced 
by the most sordid motives of gain. He courted the king's 
favour to promote his own advantage, acting as the tool of his 
despotism in the contest with papal absolutism. " This cala- 
mity," said he to the poor, miserable monarch, " had not come 
upon England by the king's fault, but on account of the vices 
of his subjects." The king himself was the scourge of the 
Lord, and ordained of God to rule the people with a rod 
of iron. As often happens, the same was said here to uphold 



the interest of political despotism as had been said by others 
to defend the interests of truth and piety : that over the pos- 
sessions of princes and potentates, and over civil governments, 
the pope had no jurisdiction whatever ; for, to the first of the 
apostles, to Peter, was committed by our Lord only a purely 
spiritual authority. This worthless individual was overloaded 
by the king with benefices ; but he afterwards experienced the 
just reward of his baseness, for the very king whom he had 
served afterwards gave him up to the pope ; and, stripped of 
all his prebends, he saw himself reduced to the condition of a 

The circumstance which at last, after a resistance of five 
years, bowed the stubborn will of the king to submission, was 
not the might of the spiritual weapons of the pope, but fear of 
a foreign power which the pope managed to raise up against 
him, under the fonn of a crusade. King Philip Augustus of 
France welcomed the opportunity which gave him a chance in 
executing on king John the papal sentence of deposition, of 
making himself master of the English crown. As the latter 
had the more occasion to dread such a war because he had 
exasperated his subjects and excited discontent amongst his 
nobles ; so, in the year 1213, he humbled his tone from that 
of insolent defiance to an equally slavish submission. He 
acknowledged the pope as his liege lord, received the crown 
from his hands, swore subjection to him like a vassal, and 
bound himself to assist in a crusade which Innocent was then 
labouring with great zeal to set on foot. The pope now 
became his protector, and adopted him as a penitent prodigal. 
When the nobles of England, dissatisfied with the self-degra- 
dation of their king, and with his many arbitrary acts, sought 
to revive the old liberties of the realm, and to oppose a firm 
check to despotism, it was the pope who now turned his 
spiritual arms to fight the battles of such a king. But if the 
popes, when they appeared as defenders of justice and of sacred 
institutions and customs, as protectors of oppressed innocence, 
could not fail thereby to present the pontifical dignity in a 
more advantageous light to the nations, a proceeding of this 
sort, where it was so plainly evinced that they were ready to 
sacrifice everything else to their personal aggrandizement, 

» See Matthew of Paris, at the year 1209, f. 192. 


could only produce an impression injurious to their reputation 
on the public conscience. In England, it was already mur- 
mured : " Thou, who, as holy father, as the pattern of piety 
and the protector of justice and truth, oughtest to let thy light 
shine before the whole world, dost thou enter into concord 
with such a WTetch — praise and protect such a monster ? But 
tliou defendest the tyrant who cringes before thee, that thou 
mayest draw everything into the whirlpool of Roman cupidity ; 
yet such a motive directly charges thee as guilty before God."* 
The city of London despised the ban and the interdict whereby 
the pope sought to compel obedience to the king. The papal 
bull was declared null ; for such things did not depend on the 
pope's decision, since the authority bestowed on the apostle 
Peter by our Lord related solely to the church, " Why 
does the insatiable avarice of Rome," it was said, " stretch 
itself out to us ? What concern have the apostoliod bishops 
with our domestic quarrels? They want to be successors 
of Constantine, not of Peter. If they do not foUow Peter 
in his works, they cannot partake of his authority ; for God 
treats men according to their true deserts. Shameful ! to see 
these miserable usurers and promoters of simony ainung 
already, by means of their ban, to rule over the whole world. 
How very different jfrom Peter, the men who claim to possess 
his authority ! "f And, in despite of the interdict, public 
worship still continued to be kept up in London, 

The present relations of the papal dominion to the German 
empire were also favourable to it. The young prince Frederic 
the Second, a child only a few years old, left beliind him by 
the emperor Henry the Sixth, had been recommended by his 

* The free-spirited English historian, Matthew of Paris, quotes such 
words (f. 224)) ftx)m the lips of the English barons. It certainly appears, 
comparing it with other expressions of his, that he cannot seriously mean 
what he himself says against this : Et sic barones lacrimantes et lamen- 
tantes regem et papam maledixerunt, imprecantes inexpiabiliter, cum 
scriptum sit : principi non maledices, et pietatem et reverentiam trans- 
gredientur, cum illustrem Joannem regem Anglise servum asseruerunt, 
cum Deo servire regnare sit. 

t Matthew of Paris, who cites such voices, adds, to be sure, what 
hardly could be his honest opinion : Sic igitur blasphemantes, ponentes os 
in c<Elum ad iuterdicti vel excommunicationis sententiam nullum penitus 
habentes respectnm, per totam civitatem celebrarout divisa signa, pul- 
santes et vocibus altisonis modulautes. 



mother Constantia, on her deathbed, to the guardianship of the 
pope. Frederic, it is true, was already elected king of Rome, 
but there appeared to be no possibility of making his claims 
valid. His uncle, Philip, duke of Suabia, and the duke Otho 
of Saxony, were contending with one another for the imperial 
dignity, and this furnished the pope with another welcome 
opportunity of placing the papal power high above every other 
subsisting among men ; to appropriate to himself the supreme 
direction of all hunian affairs, the right of deciding as to the 
disposition of the contested imperial crown. Innocent, to 
prepare the way for the decision of this dispute, drew up 
^ writing,* in which, making use of various passages of 
Scripture, particularly from the Old Testament, he brings 
together, in the usual scholastic form of that lime, the argu- 
ments for and against the choice of all three, — Frederic, 
Philip, and Otho. Against Philip he objected, that he was 
descended of a race hostile to the church ; that the sins of the 
fathers would be visited upon the children to the third and 
fourth generations, if they followed their father's example. In 
favour of Otho, it was alleged, on the other hand, that he had 
sprung from a race constantly devoted to the church ; and the 
pope concluded, after examining all the arguments on both 
sides, that, if the German princes, when he had waited a 
sufficient length of time, could not unite in the choice of any 
one, he should give his voice for Otho. When, in pursuance 
of this resolution, he, in the year 1201, caused duke Otho to 
be recognized by his legates as king of Rome, and pronounced 
excommunication on all his opponents, he met with determined 
resistance from Philip's party, which constituted the majority. 
A portion of it, including several bishops, issued a letter to 
the pope,t in which they very strongly expressed their sur- 
prise at the conduct of his legate. " Where had it ever 
occurred in the case of any of his predecessor, that they 
so interfered in the election of an emperor as to represent 
themselves either as electors or as umpires over the election ? 
Originally, no papal election could be valid without the con- 
currence of the emperor ; but the magnanimity of the emperors 
had led them to renounce this right. If, now, the simplicity 
of laymen had given up, from a feeling of reverence to the 

* Registr. ed. Baluz. i. f. 697. f L. c f. 715. 


church, a right previously exercised by them, how should the 
sacredness of the papacy presume to usurp to itself a right 
which it never possess©!?" Innocent replied to this pro- 
testation in a letter to the duke of Zahringen : " Far was it 
firom him," he wrote, " to take away from the princes the right 
of election, which belonged to them by ancient custom, espe- 
cially since it was by the apostolical see itself, which had 
transferred this right from the Greeks to the Germans, that 
the same had been given them ; but the princes should also 
understand that to the pope belonged the right of trying 
the person elected king, and of promoting him to the empire, 
since it is the pope who has to anoint, to consecrate, and 
to crown him. Suppose then, even by a unanimous vote of 
the princes, the choice should fiJl on an exconununicated per- 
son, on a tyrant, on a madman, or on a heretic, or heathen, — 
is the pope to be forced to anoint, consecrate, and crown such 
a person?" After the assassination of duke Philip, in the 
year 1208, no power remained to oppose king Otho; and he 
continued to maintain a good understanding with the pope till 
he obtained from him the imperial crown. But as he defended, 
against him, the rights of the empire, so he soon fell into 
a quarrel with him ; which was finally carried to such a length, 
that the pope pronoimced the ban upon him. And now his 
choice fell on the prince whom he had at first endeavoured to 
place at the farthest distance from the imperial throne, the 
young prince, Frederic the Second. It was not till the pope 
had examined the choice of the princes at the Lateran council, 
in 1215, that he ratified it. 

The emperor Frederic might well adopt, from the first, the 
spirit which animated his ancestry in their contests with the 
popes ; nor were the teachings of his own experience, from 
his earliest childhood,* calculated to inspire lum with much 
love for them. Still, his natural prudence forbade him, 
in the outset, to let his designs be known publicly. As 
the getting up of a new crusade was a feivourite thought of 
Innocent's successor, Honorius the Third, which lay nearer to 
his heart than the interest of the papal hierarchy, so Frederic 

* Frederic complains, L. I. ep. 20, de Vineis, of the bad treatment he 
had already received from pope Innocent the Third, to whose guardian* 
ship he had been committed by his dying mother. 


could take advantage of this humour of the pope, and, by fall- 
ing in with it, carry out many objects of his own, which under 
other circumstances would not have been possible. He amused 
the pope, however, by putting off, from one time to another, 
the fulfilment of his promise to undertake a crusade. When 
the last term had arrived, in which Frederic had bound himself, 
under penalty of the ban, actually to engage in his crusade, 
Honorius died. This was in the year 1227. His successor, 
Gregory the Ninth, though now seventy-seven years old, was 
still full of energy, and as the papal hierarchy was with him 
a more important object than the cause of the crusades, the 
emperor found it more difficult to satisfy him. Frederic 
seemed disposed really to fulfil the promise given two years 
before. A great array assembled near Brindisi, for the pur- 
pose of passing by sea to the East. The emperor had already 
embarked ; when compelled, as he said, by illness, he turned 
back, and the whole expedition was broken up. The pope looked 
upon this as a mere pretext ; and at the Anglo-Roman Synod 
of Easter he pronounced the ban on the emperor, and absolved 
his subjects from their oath of allegiance. In a letter to the 
king of England,* the emperor complained of the wrong done 
him by the pope ; he solemnly avowed his innocence, and de- 
clared it to be his determination to fulfil his vow as soon as it 
was possible. He sought to show, that cupidity and ambition lay 
at the bottom of all the machinations of the Roman court.f 
" The primitive church, founded in poverty and simplicity, had 
been fruitful of holy men ; but through superabundance of 
earthly goods she had been corrupted." He drew a picture of 
the extortions, which, to the great injury of Christendom, pro- 
ceeded from Rome ; he pointed to the history of England in 
the times of Innocent the Third, as a warning against papal 
ambition, which sought to make all empires dependent on 
itself; and he called upon the princes to take a lesson from his 
own example, and, according to the ancient proverb, " Look 
out for themselves, when their neighbour's house was on fire."J 

* Matthew of Paris, at the year 1228, fol. 293. 

f Curia Romana omnium malorum radix et origo, non matemos, sed 
actos exercens noVercales, ex cognitis fructibus suis certum faciens argu- 

I In the words of Virgil : Tunc tua res a^tur, paries quum proximus 


Still the emperor, doubtless, understood that he should 
always have the public voice against him tUl he had refuted, 
by his own action, the reproachful charges of the pope.* In 
the year 1228 he undertook an expedition to Palestine. This, 
however, would in the eyes of the pope only make the matter 
worse ; for it appeared an unheard-of contempt of the authroity 
of the church, that Frederic should venture so to despise the 
ban pronounced on him as to put himself at the head of so holy 
an enterprise. He issued the command to Palestine, that no 
one should obey the emperor, since he was an excommimicated 
person. He sought to stir up enemies against him on aU sides, 
and his states were threatened. The emperor managed to ren- 
der all these attempts abortive. He hit upon the expedient of 
issuing his orders to the army, not in his own name, but in tJie 
name of God and of Christendom. Through favourable politi- 
cal circumstances, he succeeded in concluding a peace of ten 
years with the Sultan of I^ypt; whereby, to be sure, the 
wishes of those who felt a deeper interest than the emperor for 
the cause of Christianity in the East were by no means satis- 
fied. At the holy sepulchre, he placed upon his head the 
crown of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and, in his letters written 
to Europe, boasted, with a tone of triumph, of the great things 
he had been able to accomplish in so short a time. " The 
finger of Grod," he declared, " was manifestly in it." Then, in 
the year 1229, he hastened back to Europe, to the relief of his 
hardly-pressed states. Here he found very many enemies to 
contend with ; and the pope endeavoured to get up a general 
crusade against him. The emperor easily got the victory ; yet 
lie understood too well the spirit of his age, to be disposed to 
push things to an extreme. He concluded, in 1230, a treaty 
with the pope, which was to the latter's advantage. He pro- 
mised to obey the commands of the church, on all the points 
with reference to which he had been excommunicated. Yet, 
as both remained true to their principles, this peace could not 
be of very long duration ; and though they were apparently 

• It was the emperor's true mode of thinking whicli he expressed 
when he declared among the Mohammedans that he had undertaken this 
expedition, and was obliged to acquire something by means of it, in 
order to restore his good fiime in the West. See Extraits des historieus 
Arabes relatifs aux guerres des Croisades, par M. Beinauld, 1829, 
pag. 429. 


united, yet in secret they worked in opposition to each other. 
When Frederic sought to subject the cities of Lombardy, to 
extend and confirm his power in Italy, but refused to accept 
the offered mediation of the pope, which would go against his 
interests, the latter became still more alienated from him. He 
united himself with the liberty-loving cities of Lombardy, 
which the emperor had exasperated by his despotic conduct ; 
and, in the year 1239, he pronounced the ban on him anew, 
because he had stripped the church of many of her possessions, 
and because of the oppressive measures with which he had bur- 
dened her. At the same time, he threw in an accusation, 
which, in this age, must have made a greater impression than 
all the rest, that, " on account of his words and deeds, which 
were known through the whole world, he was strongly suspected 
of not thinking rightly about the Catholic faith." The 
emperor thereupon issued a circular letter to the Christian 
princes and cardinals, in which he was careful to distinguish 
the pope from the Roman church and the papal see. While 
he testified his reverence for the apostolical see, he declared 
Gregory only to be unworthy of his office. He could not 
recognize as his judge a man who, from the first, had shown 
himself to be his bitterest enemy. The moving spring of his 
actions was nothing but a selfishnesss, which could not forgive 
the emperor for being unwilling to leave in his (the pope's) 
hands the management of Italian affairs. He appealed to the 
decision of a general council. To wipe away the impression 
which this declaration might create, the pope now came forth 
more openly with the charge, which before he had but hinted 
at. He issued a bull, in which he portrayed the emperor in 
the blackest colours as an infidel. He accused him of having 
asserted that the whole world had been deceived by three im- 
postors, — Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed ; that men should 
believe nothing but that which could be made out on rational 
grounds, and explained from tiie forces of nature. It was 
impossible to believe that God was born of a virgin. 

The question here arises, whether these complaints against 
the religious opinions of the emperor Frederic rest on any basis 
of truth. Assuredly, the testimony of the pope against him 
cannot be received as trustworthy. Respecting a prince, who 
contended so powerfully against the hierarchy, and thus became 
iuvolved in contentions with the monks, who served as its in- 

Frederic's ideas of reform. 249 

struments ; a prince who rose above many of the prejudices of 
his times, and who lived on very free terras with the Saracens, 
it was easy to set afloat disreputable stoiies of this sort. A 
pope so passionately prejudiced against the emperor was, doubt- 
less, inclined to believe everything bad of him ; and as the 
emperor called him the protector of the heretics in Milan, so 
he would be glad of an opportunitj' to retort the accusation 
more severely in another fonn. Even the historian Matthew 
of Paris notices the contradictions in which men involved 
themselves by these charges against the emperor. Sometimes 
he was accused of having declared all the three founders of 
religion to be impostors ; sometimes of having placed Moham- 
med above Christ. We might conceive that Frederic was led 
by his contest with the hierarchy, and by the clearer discern- 
ment of his less prejudiced understanding, to detect the felsifi- 
cations of original Christianity, and the corruption of the 
church which sprung from the mixing up of spiritual and 
secular things. Judging from the public imperial declarations 
compiled by the chancellor Peter de Vineis, it might appear, 
we admit, that Frederic the Second aimed at a purification of 
the clmrch on this particular side ; as, in a circular letter to the 
princes, appealing to the testimony of his conscience, and 
to God, he declares : *' It had ever been his purpose to bring 
back all the clergy, and especially the higher order, to the 
standard of the apostolical church, when they led an apostoli- 
cal life, and imitated the humility of our Lord. For such 
clergymen are used to behold the visions of angels, to shine by 
miracles, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and to subject 
princes to themselves, not by arms, but by the power of a holy 
life." " But the clergy at present," he then adds, " devoted 
to the world and to drunkenness, are lovers of pleasure more 
than lovers of God. In their case, religion is choked by the 
superfluity of riches. To deprive them of those hurtful riches, 
with which they are damnably burdened, is a work of charity. 
He would invite all the princes to co-operate with him in this 
work, in order that the clergy, relieved of all their superfluities, 
may serve God, contented with a little."* The emperor here 
expresses a conviction, which we find expressed in many a re- 
action of the Christian spirit against the secularization of the 



church, since the time of Arnold of Brescia ; in the prophecies 
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ; in the songs of the 
German national poets ; and in the phenomena of the history of 
sects. But the public declarations of a monarch can hardly be 
taken as trustworthy sources from which to form a judgment 
of his religious opinions ; and the rest of the emperor's conduct 
by no means evinces that he was governed by any such plan of 
impoverishing the clergy. He appears in his laws to have 
been a violent persecutor of the sects to the advantage of the 
hierarchy, although in many of them he must have observed a 
like religious interest directed against the secularization of the 

As to the remarks ascribed to Frederic the Second, by 
which he is alleged to have placed the Jewish, Christian, and 
Mohammedan religions on one and the same level, such 
remarks* may, perhaps, have only been a current form among 
the people for expressing a naturalistic mode of thinking. But 
although expressions, — actually made by no one, — but which 
had become stamped as the current phrase, to denote a deistic, 
naturalistic mode of thinking, may have been wrongfully attri- 
buted to the emperor Frederic, — yet it may be true, after all, 
that, from other indications, men had reason to conclude that 
he was really given to such a mode of thinking. Several otiier 
remarks, said to have been uttered by him, and supposed to 
indicate a decided infidelity, were circulated about ; as, for 
example, that once, on seeing the Host carried by, he observed, 
" How long shall this imposture go on ?"■]■ It is remarkable 
that, among the Mohammedans, the emperor left the im- 
pression, during his stay in the East, that he was anythign but 
a believing Christian.| It may be easily explained how, — 

* See farther on, in the history of the scholastic theology. 

t See Matthew of Paris, at the year 1439, f. 408 ; and something more 
definite by the contemporary Alberic, as Leibnitz (Access. Hist. T. II. 
568) relates. The emperor's words, as the pyx was being carried by to 
a sick person, were — " Heu me I quamdiu durabit truflFa ista ? " 

X Abulfeda repeats, from the mouth of a Mohammedan scholar, 
Gemel-ed-din, who stood high in the estimation of Frederic's sons, an 
account of Frederic's inclination in favour of the followers of Islam, 
which descended from him to his sons ; with which, to be sure, the false 
story is joined, that, for this reason, Frederic was excommunicated by tha 
pope, Tom. V. pp. 145, 146. When the words of the Koran against 
Christianity were proclaimed from the minaret of Omar's mosque in Je- 


hj his passionate contests with the popes, from whom he had 
experienced, ever since his earliest childhood, in the name of 
religion and the church, so much evil ; by his opposition to 
the acknowledged corruption of the church ; by the incon- 
gruities between the reigning church doctrine and his clear 
tmderstanding, Frederic might be impelled to reject the whole 
at once, destitute as he was of the religious sense which 
would have enabled him to separate and distinguish the 
original faith and the foreign elements with which it had 
become encimibered. The influence of the learned Moham- 
medans, with whom he was on terms of intimacy, might also 
have contributed to promote such a tendency in him. "We 
cannot be surprised that Frederic's one-sided intellectual 
training, in which sincerity and warmth of religious feeling 
had no part, should have led him to an infidelity, which was 
called forth in occasional paroxysms, at least, by mere brutal 
rudeness, in the case of king John of England. We might 
indeed say, T^ith the historian Matthew of Paris, that the 
religious opinions of this emperor, concerning which we can 
judge but from what others report, are certainly known only 
to the Omniscient :* but if we compare all the accounts 
diflPused among Christians and Mohammedans, we must still 
be inclined to consider him as having been, to say the least, a 
denier of revealed religion. The circxunstance that the pope 
did not make any further use of these criminations, by no 
means makes it clear that they were all a febrication ; for 
naturally, it would have been found diflBcult, if not impos- 
sible, to establish these charges on such grounds of evidence 
as were required, in order to bring a process against him. 

msalem, the cadi, with whom the emperor resided, -was greatly annoyed. 
He contrived to have it stopped, lest the emperor might be offended. The 
latter, surprised at no longer hearing the accnstomed cry from the mi- 
naret, asked the cadi the reason of it, and the cadi explained the whole 
matter. " You have done wrong," said the emperor ; " why should yon, 
on my account, be wanting to yonr duty, to your law, to your religion ? " 
See the book of Reinauld, already referred to, p« 432. An official, at- 
tached to the mosque of Ooiar, who conducted him about, related that the 
emperor's conversation showed sufficiently that he believed nothing 
about Christianity ; wheu he spoke of it, it was only to ridicule it. IZ 
c p. 431. 

♦ Matthew of Paris says, concerning Frederic's accusers on the point 
of his orthodoxy : Si peccabant, vel non, novit ipse, qui nihil ignorat. 
L. c f. 527. 

252 Frederic's contest with Gregory the ninth. 

A conflict arose between Gregory the Ninth and the emperor 
Frederic, for life or for death ; the old Gregory brought 
secular and spiritual weapons to bear against the emperor ; 
he allied himself with the cities of Lombardy, which were 
battling for their freedom, and from all quarters sought to 
collect money to defray the expenses of the war, whence 
various complaints about the corruption of the Roman court, 
and many a free speech in opposition to it, would naturally be 
provoked.* The emperor cleared himself publicly from the 
aspersions thrown upon him by the pope, by a full profession 
of orthodoxy ; he contrived to prevent the introduction into 
his states of papal bulls, which were averse to his interests ; 
and carried his point, in forbjdding the pope's interdict to be 
observed. P>en at Pisa, mass was celebrated in his presence. 
The monks and clergy who consented to be used as the pope's 
instruments, and refused to hold public worship, were removed 
from his states. His weapons also were successful. In the 
year 1239, his troops stood victorious before the gates of 
Rome. The pope meanwhile sent letters missive for a general 
council, to meet in 1241, and proposed to the emperor a sus- 
pension of arms, in order that the meeting might be held. 
Frederic, it is true, was inclined to peace ; but he well under- 
stood the hostile intentions of the pope, who only wanted to 
use tlie council as an instrument against him ; and he would 
not be hindered by it in prosecuting his designs against the 
Lombardian states. He therefore accepted the proposal of a 
cessation of hostilities, but on the condition that the Lom- 
bardian states, the allies of the pope, should have no share in 
it, and that no council should be assembled. The pope would 
not listen to this, nor yet would he suffer himself to be pre- 
vented from holding a council. He contrived so to arrange 
it, that a Genoese fleet should be at hand for the protection of 
the prelates who might attend the council. In vain were all 
the warnings given out by the emperor. The Genoese fleet, 
however, was beaten by that of the emperor, and many 
prelates fell into his hands as prisoners. Yet the pope, ad- 

* Matthew of Paris says : Adeo invaluit Romanse ecclesisc insatiabilis 
cnpiditas. confundens fas nefasque, quod deposito ruborevehit nieretrix 
vulgaris et effrons omnibus venalis et exposita, usuraui pro parvo, 
simoniam pro nullo inconvenienti reputavit. L. c. f. 493. 


vanced as he was in years, did not suffer nimself to be moved 
by this untoward event. He required of the emperor, to the 
last, undualified submission. Frederic now saw his predictions 
verified, and he took no pains to conceal his joy at having 
p^^netrated into the pope's designs. He also shut his eyes to 
all forbearance towards the pope. In liis proclamations he 
dwelt on the contrast between such a pope and the apostle 
Peter, of whom he pretended to be the vicegerent. " When 
the pope is in drink," said he, " he fancies himself able 
to control the emperor and all the kingdoms of the world."* 
Tlie aged pope died, while thus hardly pressed, in the year 

After the sudden demise of Celestin the Fourth, who was 
chosen next, followed a two years' vacancy of the papal chair ; 
and the cardinals, by the tardiness of the election, which many 
ascribed to their worldly views, to the ambition and the thirst 
for power of individuals, drew upon themselves violent re- 
proaches.| Compelled by the emperor to hasten the election, 
they finsjly made choice of cardinal Sinibald of Anagni, 
Innocent the Fourth. The new government opened mth 
peaceful prospects ; for a treaty was set on foot between the 
emperor and the pope, and such an one as would redound to 
the advantage of the latter ; but when the two principal par- 
ties came to meet for the purpose of ratifying it, they showed 
a mutual distrust in each other's proceedings, and the affair 
was spun out in length. Meantime Innocent, who had no 
intention to deal honestly with the emperor, escaped by flight 
from a situation in which, besieged by the weapons of Fre- 
deric, he could not act freely. According to a preconcerted 
plan, he was conveyed by a Genoese fleet to Lyons. There 

• Ep. 1, Tn ad hoc vivis ut concedas, in cujus Tasis et sryphis aureis 
scriptum est: bibo, bibis. Cujns verbi praeteritum sic frequenter in 
mensa repetis et post cibum, qood quasi raptus usque ad tertinm cceluic, 
Hebraice et Grsece loqueris et Latine. 

t So the emperor writes to them (ep. 14) : Sedentes ut colubri non 
quae sursum sunt, sapitis ; sed quae ante oculos sita sunt, mundaua, non 
spiritualia intueutibus providetis. Sitit enim qnaelibet praesulatum et p»- 
palem csurit apicem. And in a letter of the king of France (ep. 35) : 
Ecce nobilis urbs Komana sine capite vivit, quae caput est alianun. 
Quare? Certe propter discordiam Romanomm; sed quid eos ad 
discurdiam provocavit ? Auri cupiditas et ambitio diguitatum. He re- 
proaches them on account of their fear of the emperor- 


he placed the emperor once more under the ban. Next, he 
sent letters missive for a general council to meet at Lyons in 
the year 1245, where, also, Frederic was cited to appear and 
defend himself.* The pope presented before this council 
many and violent charges against the emperor ; and among 
these were charges of heresy and of suspicious connections 
with the Saracens. The imperial statesman, Thaddeus de 
Suessa, who attended the council as Frederic's envoy, the only 
individual who stood forth in his defence, replied to these 
charges with a satirical allusion to the Roman court. One 
thing, at least, spoke in the emperor's favour, said he ; in his 
states he tolerated no usurer.f He at the same time declared, 
however, that to the most serious charge, that of heresy, the 
emperor himself alone must answer in person ; and he there- 
fore solicited a longer delay for him. With difficulty the 
pope was prevailed upon to grant a respite of two weeks. But 
Frederic declined appearing before a council got up by a pope 
in open hostility to him, as a thing beneath his own dignity 
and that of the empire. The pope now proceeded in the most 
solemn manner to pronounce tlie ban and the sentence of 
deposition on the emperor. Thaddeus himself was struck with 
awe and dismay ; on the emperor alone it failed of making the 
least impression. On hearing of what had been done, he sent 
for the imperial crown, and, placing it on his head, said : " I 
still possess this crown ; and without a bloody struggle I shall 
not let it be plucked away from me by the attack of any pope 
or council." He drew up a circular letter, addressed to all 
the princes, in which he expressed himself in much too strong 

* A remarkable sign of the freer public sentiment, on which aiready 
the word of popes, so manifestly governed by worldly passions and 
worldly interests, no longer had its former power, is the anecdote told by 
Matthew of Paris : A priest in Paris was obliged, in conformity with a 
command addressed to all, to publish the ban which had been pronounced 
against Frederic. In doing this, he declared that he had received it in 
charge to announce the ban with tapers burning and the ringing of the 
bells. He knew of the violent contention, and the inextinguishable 
hatred between them both ; but as to the cause of it he knew nothing. 
He was aware, too, that one of the two was to blame and wronged the 
other ; but which one it was, he did not know. But he pronounced the 
ban on that one, whichever it was, who wronged the other, and he pro- 
nounced those free who suffered the wrong which was so injurious to 
entire Christendom. See Matth. of Paris, f. 575. 

t Matthew of Paris, f. 585. 


and free a manner * for the spirit of the times, against the 
proceedings of the pope."j" " Would that we had learned a 
lesson," said he, " from the example of the monarchs before 
us, instead of finding ourselves compelled to serve, by what 
we must suffer, as examples for those who come after us ! 
The sons of our own subjects forget the condition of their 
fathers, and honour neither king nor emperor the moment 
they are consecrated as apostolical fethers. What have not 
all the princes to fear from this prince of the priests, if one of 
them takes such liberties with the emperor ! The princes 
have none to blame but themselves ; they have brought the 
mischief on their own heads by their submissive obedience to 
these pretended saints, whose ambition is large enough to 
swallow up the whole world." " O, if your simple credulity 
would only beware of this leaven of the scribes and pharisees, 
which, accordiug to the words of our Saviour, is hypocrisy, 
how many scandals of that Roman court you would learn 
to execrate, which are so infiimous that decency forbids us 
to name them."J The numberless sources of revenue by 
which they would enrich themselves at the expense of many 
an impoverished state, made them crazy, as the princes them- 
selves must be well aware. He call^ upon them to unite 
with him in wresting from the clergy this abundance of earthly 
goods, which was only a source of corruption to them and to 
the church. 

The fierce contest began anew ; and in vain did the emperor 
at length, moved by an unfortimate turn of civil afllairs, offer 
his hand for peace. Innocent continued implacably to carrj* 
on the war tiU the death of the emperor, in 1250 ; and the 
popes never ceased to persecute the descendants of the house 
of Hohenstaufen. Thus the papal power came forth victorious, 

* Matthew of Paris says, concerning the impression which this letter 
made : Fridericus libertatem ac nobilitatem ecclesiae, qoam ipse nunqoam 
auxit, sed magnifici antecessores ejus malo grato suo stabilierunt, toto 
conamine studuit annullare et de hseresi per id ipsum se reddens suspec^ 
turn, merito omnem, qaem hactenos in omni populo ignicolum famse pro- 
* priae prudentise et sapientiae habuit, impudenter et imprudenter exstinxit 
atque delevit. f Ep. 2. 

J si vestrae credulitatis simplicitas a scribarum et pharisseomm fer- 
mento, quod est hypo<rrisis, juxta sententiam salvatoris sibi curaret at- 
tendere, quot illius curiae turpimdines execrari possetis, quas honestas et 
pudor prohibet nos efifari. 


as to outward success, from these last violent contests; but 
this very victory was destined to prove its ruin. The power 
which could not be overthrown by outward force, must, 
as Bernard had foretold, prepare the way for its own de- 
struction, by being abused. This very age furnished an 
example to show how a man, with no other weapons than those 
of piety and truth, might venture with impunity to resist the 
abuse of that power which could humble mighty monarchs. 

This man was Robert Grosshead (Capito), bishop of 
Lincoln ; a man who held also an important place among the 
learned theologians of his age. He was induced, by reason of 
a dispute with the worldly-minded canonicals of his cathedral, 
to make a journey to the Roman court, and thus he had an 
opportunity of learning, by personal observation, the whole ex- 
tent of the corruption which prevailed at, and proceeded from, 
that court. In the year 1250 he delivered before the papal 
court at Lyons a strikingly bold discourse, in which he por- 
trayed at large the faults of the church, and pointed out how 
far they were chargeable to the Roman court.* "The bad 
shepherds," he says, "are the cause of the infidelity, schisms, 
false doctrines, and bad conduct throughout the whole world. f 
As the great work of Christ, for which he came into the world, 
was the salvation of souls, and the great work of Satan is their 
destruction ; so the shepherds, who as shepherds take the place 
of Jesus Christ, if they preach not the word of God, — even 
though they should not lead vicious lives, — are anti-Christ, 
and Satan, clothing himself as an angel of light." He then 
goes on to describe the additional evil of a bad life in the 
clergy. " And the guilt of the whole," says he, " lies at the 
door of the Roman court, not simply because it does not root 
out this evil, — when it alone is both able and bound to do so, — 
but still more, because itself, by its dispensations, provisions, 
and collation, appoints such shepherds ; and thus, in order to 
provide for the temporal life of an individual, expose to eternal 
death thousands of souls, for the salvation of every one of 
whom Christ died. To be sure, the pope, being the vice- 

♦ This discourse, with other ■writings of Robert, is to be found in the 
Appendix to the Fasciculus rerum expetendarum fugiendarumque, by 
Ortuinus Gratius, ed. Brown, in the App. fol. 251. 

+ Mali pastores causa infidelitatis, schismatis, hjercticsD prayitatis et 
vitiosffi conversationis per orbem universum. 


gerent of Christ, must be obeyed. But when a pope allows 
himself to be moved by motives of consanguinity, or any other 
secular interest, to do anything contrary to the precepts and 
will of Christ, then he who obeys him manifestly separates 
himself from Christ and his body, the church, and from him 
who fills the apostolical chair, as the representative of Christ. 
But whenever a universal obedience is paid him in such 
things, then comes the true and complete apostasy — the time 
of anti- Christy He unconsciously predicts the Reformation, 
when he says, " God forbid that this chair should at some 
future day, when true Christians refuse to obey it in such 
things, attempt to compel obedience, and thus become the cause 
of apostasy, and open schism."* In opposition to the pope's 
practice of carrjdng on war witli worldly weapons, he says : 
" Those who are anxious for the safety of this chair are mucli 
afraid that the threatening words of our Lord ^\'ill be fulfilled 
on it, ' He who takes the sword, shall perish with the sword.' " 
This bishop, after his return to England, committed the 
whole charge of managing the external affairs of his office to 
the hands of another person, reserving to himself the purely 
spiritual duties, which he could thus discharge to much greater 
advantage. He entered heartily into the business of visiting 
the different parts of his diocese, and laid himself out especially 
to preach the gospel everywhere. Preaching, he looked upon, 
in general, as one of the most important parts of his pastoral 
office, and took every pains to stir up the zeal of his clergy in 
it. No consideration would prevail upon him to induct clergy- 
men whom he did not think qualified for the performance of 
this duty. An attempt was made from Rome, to compel this 
excellent man to confer a benefice within his foundation on a 
mere boy, — one of those papal favourites, who, besides being 
destitute of every spiritual qualification, could speak nothing 
but Italian. But he was steadfast in refusing to obey a 
mandatum apostolicum of this sort, declaring, " he was ready 
to pay filial obedience to the apostolical mandates, as also, lie 
contended against everything which was at variance with the 
apostolical mandates ; to both he was obligated by the divine 

_ * Absit et qaod existentibus aliquibus aliquando veraciter Christo cog- 
nitis non volentibus quocunque modo voluntati ejus contraire haec sedes et 
in ea prjEsidentes praecipiendo talibus Christi voluntate oppositum causa 
sint discessionis aut schismatis apparentis. 



law, for an apostolical mandate was only one which as^reed 
with the doctrine of the apostles and of onr Lord Jesus Christ, 
whose place was especially filled by the pope in the church ; for 
Christ himself says, ' whosoever is not with me is against me.' 
But the above document stood in no sort of conformity with 
the holiness of the apostolical chair ; for by such papal ordi- 
nances, Avhich, by the phrase ' non obstante,' superseded all 
existing rules, the most shameless effrontery in lying and 
deceiving was encouraged, to the great injury of the Christian 
life and of social order, and all mutual confidence destroyed. 
Then again, after the sin of Satan and of anti-Christ, there was 
none more abominable than that of plunging souls to destruc- 
tion by an unfaithful discharge of the pastoral ofllice. The 
apostolical chair, on which was conferred by our Lord all 
power for building up, and not for pulling down, neither ought, 
therefore, nor could possibly ordain any thing, which would 
lead to such a sin ; and no man, who was truly obedient to that 
sacred chair, and had not cut himself oft" from the body of 
Jesus Christ, could obey such commands ; but, even though 
they should proceed from the highest class of angels, must re- 
sist them with all his might." He repeated it at the close of 
his letter : " The fullness of power means solely the power of 
doing everything for the edification of the church ; by no means 
that which tends to her destruction. Those papal provisions 
tended not to edification, but most evidently to destruction. 
The apostolical chair could not therefore approve of such pro- 
visions ; for flesh and blood, which cannot be partakers of the 
kingdom of God, have revealed this ; not the Father of Jesus 
Christ which is in heaven."* Amidst positions and maxims of 
church doctrine, the principle forces its way through, in this 
witness of the truth, that faith clings only to Christ, and must 
examine and prove everything by its relation to him, to his spirit 
and laws. Zealous as this bishop was in defence of the papal 
authority, he himself maintaining in the contest with the king of 
England that the pope must be supported with money during his 
exile in France, still, his whole mode of action proceeds from the 
principle, as its starting-point, that men are bound to obey the 
pope only so far as they actually recognize in him the organ of 
Christ; so far as his commands harmonize with Christ's doctrines. 

* See Matthew of Paris^ f. 570. 


The pope, who was accustomed to triumph over the might- 
iest princes, was greatly exasperated at this boldness of an 
English bishop, and would have gladly made him feel at once 
the absoluteness of his papal power. But some cardinals kept 
him back ; for their bad consciences made them dread the force 
of the public discontent, provoked by so many abuses proceed- 
ing from and promoted by the Roman court, and the voice of 
truth, supported by the personal authority of the worthy bishop. 
They held that it would be better to keep still, and so prevent 
the sensation which the affair might create.* 

A legend recorded by Matthew of Paris, in his historical 
work, deserves to be noticed as characteristic of the times, and 
showing the influence which the corruption of the Roman court 
had on the public judgment. The pope is said to have in- 
tended to avenge himself on the pious and free-spirited bishop 
after his death, which shortly occurred, by causing his bones 
to be disinterred ; but one night the bishop appeared to him, 
and, fixing on him a stem and threatening look, struck him 
upon the side with his crosier. This made so profound an im- 
pression on the pope that, from that day onward, pursued by 
one divine judgment after another, he had not a moment's 
repose.f So in the descriptions generally, which the English 
historian, Matthew of Paris, gives of the later popes of this 
century, and in the legends recorded by him of their reappear- 
ance after death, we see what an unfavourable influence 
the abuse of the papal power must have had on the tone 
of public feeling ; and the indignation of the German people 
against the popes already expressed itself strongly in the songs 
and ballads of the thirteenth century. J 

"When pope Alexander the Fourth commenced his adminis- 
tration with requesting that all Christians would pray for him, 

* Deserving of notice is the presentiment of a fall of the Eomish 
chnrcb, to be brought about by this corruption proceeding from Rome, 
•which expresses itself in the way in which Matthew of Paris accounts for 
the concern expressed by many cardinals : Maxime propter hoc, quia 
scitnr, quod qnandoque discessio est ventura. 

t Matthew of Paris, f. 760 : Et qui vivum nolnerat andire corripientem, 
senserat mortuum impingentem. Nee unquam postea ipse papa unum 
bonum diem vel prosperum continuavit usque ad noctem vel noctem 
usque ad diem, sed insomnem vel molestam. 

X See passages of this sort collected in St'andlin's Archiv fiir alte imd 
neu Kirchengeschichte, IV. 3tes St. s. 549. 

S 2 


it was hoped that this pontiff would distinguish himself advan- 
tageously from his predecessors ; but his subsequent conduct, 
the course he pursued in exacting contributions from the 
churches, contradicted these hopes, and his earlier professions 
appeared to be mere hypocrisy, and a mask to cover a worldly 

The factions among the worldly-minded cardinals made it 
possible to keep the papal chair vacant during a space of three 
years from the year 1269. At length, in 1271, they agreed 
in the choice of an ecclesiastic from Liege, then absent at 
Ptolemais on a crusade under prince Edward of England. He 
took the name of Gregory the Tenth. 

This pope had already bound himself to the cause of the 
crusades, while in the East. He therefore felt called upon to 
make the preparation of another a special object of attention ; 
and this was one of the objects for which he called to- 
gether the general council at Lyons, in the year 1274, the 
most important transaction of his administration. But, in this 
century, the public sentiment had already undergone a great 
change on the subject of crusades ; after so many unsuccessful 
efforts, the zeal once so easily enlisted in tliese undertakings 
had abated. The popes of this century, when they raised their 
voice and fired the people to embark in such wars, could no 
longer rely on the universal confidence, which met their pre- 
decessors half-way in the twelfth century. The exactions 
which they were in the habit of making, under pretext of the 
crusades, had greatly injured these in the public opinion.^ 
The repeated failures of the crusades led many to doubt the 
goodness of the cause ; and the feith of those who were ac- 

* Matthew of Paris, f. 795 : Hypocrisin reputant et sacularitatis pal- 
liationem quamplurimi. Spes prscconcepta de sanctitate papae prorsus 
evanuit exsufflata. In excuse of the pope he says afterwards, that many 
things were done in his name, and by deceiving him, of which he was en- 
tirely innocent : Veruntamen multorum auribus veraciter instillatum est, 
quod de bulla decepto papafraus committitur multiformis ; but he adds 
immediately, that the pope could not be excused on this ground : Sed ha;c 
ratio, si tamen ratio est, papam non excusat. 

t Matthew of Paris says expressly, that the exactions of Gregory the 
Ninth did permanent injury to the cause of the crusades in Pingland. 
Quod fidelium circa negotium crucis tepuit, imo potius caritas rcfriguit 
generalis. Unde negotium terraj sancta; nunquam felix super hoc sus- 
cepit incrementum. At the year 1234, f. 340. 


customed to make up their judgments according to the dictates 
of a sensuous religion, received a violent shock from the unfor- 
tunate issue of the cause which they had regarded as a divine 
one. from the victory of Mohammedan arms over the banner 
of the cross.* Others, who had attained to a higher position of 
Christian fiiith and knowledge, were either led by the issue of 
the crusades, or eke availed themselves of it, to express the 
conviction openly, that men must attack unbelievers with other 
weapons than these, and employ the forces of Christendom for 
other objects than these. 

As early as the close of the twelfth century, the abbot 
Joachim, of Calabria, a man earnestly desirous for a better 
slate of the church, had spoken with remarkable freedom 
against the zeal for the crusades. " How many are there at 
the present time," said he,")" " soliciting the pope that he would 
cause the badge of the cross to be marked on the shoulders of 
Christians, and reaUy intending, under the pretext of going to 
the rescue of a desolate and rejected Jerusalem, to draw gain 
and temporal advantage to themselves out of piety. They con- 
sider not how bad it is for men to oppose the di\Tne coimsels ; as 
when the restoration of the walls of Jericho was forbidden with 
a curse — 1 Kings xvi. 34 ; Joshua vi. 26." He represents, 
therefore, the restoration of Jerusalem as a project opposed to 
the declarations of Christ concerning the destruction of that 
city. He then adds : " Let the popes see to it, and mourn 
over their own Jerusalem, that is, the universal church, not 
built by the hands of men, which God has redeemed with his 
own blood ; and not over the fallen Jerusalem. But if the 
nations fight for the glorious sepulchre of our Lord, let them 
understand that it is not this which the Lord will raise to 
heaven, but rather the holy souls in whom the Lord, daily 
buried, by the mysterj" of piety, reposes and dwells, till he 
shall exalt them to the kingdom of his everlasting glory ."J 

• Matthew of Paris remarks, at the year 1 250, f. 672 : Coeperunt 
mnlti, quos firma fides non roboraverat, desperatione contabescere. Et 
fides heu ! heu ! multomm coepit vacillare, dicentium ad invicem : Ut 
quid dereliquit nos Christus, pro quo et cui hactenns militavimos ? 

t Commentar. in Jeremiam, p. 284. 

X Videant summi pontifices et doleant de sua Hiemsalem, id est, ee- 
desia generali non mann facta, quam Deus redemit sanguine suo, et non 
de ilia, quae eecidit desistantqne ulterius illius mures erigere, quae quoti- 
die morte fidelinm ruii. Ac si pro sepulcro glorioso de gentibns conten- 


And, in another place, he complains of the popes that, by their 
means, the nations and resources of Christendom are exhausted 
among barbarous tribes, whither they are sent under the spe- 
cious pretexts of salvation and the cross.* 

The objections urged against the crusades by a party who 
were opposed to them at the time of the council of Lyons, are 
known from the manner in which Humbert de Romanis, 
general of the Dominican order, whom the pope had commis- 
sioned to draw up a schedule of the matters to be handled at 
that council, sought to refute them.f They were such as 
follows : That it was contrary to the examples of Christ and 
the apostles, to uphold religion with the sword, and to shed 
the blood of unbelievers. It was tempting God ; because the 
Saracens were in all respects, in numbers, in knowledge of the 
country, in being accustomed to the climate, in means of sub- 
sistence, superior to the Christians. Though Christians might 
be allowed to fight in self-defence, yet it did not follow from 
this that they might attack the infidels in their own countries. 
It was no more right to persecute those Saracens, than it was 
to persecute the Jews, the idolaters, the subjugated Saracens 
in Europe. These wars brought neither spiritual nor temporal 
advantage. The Saracens were provoked by them to blaspheme 
the Christian faith, instead of being converted to that faith ; 
but all of them that fell in battle sank to perdition. Nor was 
any temporal advantage gained from them ; for it was impos- 
sible to retain possession of the conquered territories. The 
unhappy reverses which had been experienced, proved that 
these undertakings were not in accordance with the divine 
will. Particularly deserving of notice is what Humbert says 
in refutation of the first of these reasons, " That which was 

ditur, non est ipsum dominus translaturus in coelum ; sed potius sanctas 
animas, in quibus dominus quotidie per pietatis mysterium sepelitur, 
quiescit et manet, donee eas transferat et resurgant in regno claritatis 

* Romani pontifices dissipant sepem imperii, imminuendis populis 
christianis et viribus et mittendis ad barbaras uationes sub specie salutis 
et crucis. P. 292. 

t Humbertus de Romanis de his qua; tractanda videbantur in Concilio 
generali. The first part, -which consists of 27 chapters, de negotio eccle- 
siaj contra Saracenos. Extracts in Mansi, T. XXVI. f. 109. More full 
in the first part of the Opusculum tripartitum, published by Brovn, in 
the Appendix to the Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum, f. 
185, seqq. 


right aud proper at the time of the first planting of the church 
is one thing ; that which is required in order to preserve the 
church is another. To preserve the church, to defend it 
against those who would utterly destroy it, the sword is 
required. The condition of the first Christian Communities, 
when as yet they had no power, but could only propagate 
themselves by humility, is quite different from the present 
condition of things, when the Christian people are become 
mighty, and not without good reason bear the sword. In 
earlier times, the church was defended by the gift of miracles ; 
at present, when miracles faU, she must have recourse to arms. 
What is said against the employment of weapons, has reference 
not to the outward act, but to the temper, with which they 
should be used."* While, in former times, the crusades had 
been extolled as a means whereby the vicious who embarked 
in them might obtain the pardon of their sins, Humbert, on 
the other hand, represented it as a main cause of the want of 
success, that precisely this class of persons had been employed ; 
and he proposed that a competent number of pious warriors 
should be constantly maintained in the East as a bulwark 
against the Saracens.f 

We have already, on a former page, J described the glowing 
zeal of that extraordinary man, Eaymund Lull, for the con- 
version of the infidels and the extension of the Christian 
church. The aim of his fiist efforts was to bring it about, 
that missions and arms should be conjoined for the accom- 
plishment of these objects. In a work which he composed at 
Pisa, soon after his return in April, a.d. 1308, from Is'orth 
Africa,§ he recommended three things : first, that four or five 
monasteries should be founded, in which learned and pious monks 
and secular clergymen might study the language of the infidels, 

* Ad prseparationem animi, non ad executionem gladii. 

t Ad quod eligerentur non homicidae aut pessimi sicut hactenos, sed 
homines a peccatis abstinentes, quia nescit justitia Dei patrocinari crimi- 
nosis, f. 119. 

X See ante, pp. 82-96. I could not then as yet avail myself of the 
jrreat collected edition of the works of Raymand Lull, which appeared at 
Mayence. After the printing of this section was finished, I first had the 
1,-ood fortune, during a residence in Munich, of being able to study this 
work also, among the numerous and rare treasures of the Royal library 
in that city. 

§ Disputatio Raymundi Christiani et Hamar Saraceoi. 


and thus prepare themselves for preaching the gospel in tlie 
whole world. Secondly, that out of all the orders of spiritual 
knights not a single one should be formed for fighting against 
the Saracens. But this order of knights should not embark at 
once, as had been done before, in distant enterprises, but 
should first attack the empire of the Saracens in Granada, and 
take possession of their treasures; next, proceed to Korth 
Africa, and, last of all, buckle on their armour for the 
conquest of the Holy Land. Thirdly, the tenths from all the 
churches should be applied to this object until the holy 
sepulchre should be recovered. In another work,* he intro- 
duces two ecclesiastics disputing on the question, whether 
it were better that some mighty prince should be commissioned 
to bring about the conversion of the heathen by force, or 
whether men should labour for the spread of the faith by 
means of persuasion, and by offering up their lives, according 
to the example of Christ and of the martyrs. Even at this 
period, he declared in favour of the latter plan ; and to the 
close of his life he felt more and more convinced that this was 
the only Christian mode of procedure, the only one which any 
Christian could expect would be crowned with a blessing. In 
his great work, on the Contemplation of God,-]- where he 
makes all the ranks and callings of Christendom pass in re- 
view, and seeks to point out the defects in each, J he remarks 
in the section concerning knights :§ "I see many knights 
going to the Holy Land, in the expectation of conquering 

* Liber super Psalmum " quicunque vult." 

t T. IX. opp. ed. Mogunt. 1722, fol. 

X To finish which work, that he might then go to meet martyrdom, 
was his most ardent wish; as he remarks, c. cxxxi. f. 301 : "Asa 
.hungry man makes despatch, and takes large morsels, on account of his 
great hunger, so thy servant feels a great desire to die, that he may glo- 
rify thee. He hurries day and night to complete this work, in order 
that, after it is finished, he may give up his blood and his tears to be shed 
for thee, in the Holy Land where thou didst pour out thy precious blood 
and thy compassionate tears. O Lord, my help, till this work is com- 
pleted, thy servant cannot go to the land of the Saracens, to glorify thy 
glorious name, for I am so occupied with this work, which I undertake 
for thine honour, that I can think of nothing else. For this reason, I 
beseech thee for that grace that thou wouldst stand by me, that I may 
soon finish it and speedily depart to die the death of a martyr out of love 
to thee, if it shall please thee to count me worthy of it." 

§ Chap. cxii. f. 250. 


it by force of arms ; but instead of accomplishing their object, 
they are in the end all swept off themselves. Therefore," 
says he, addressing Christ, " it is my belief that the conquest 
of the Holy Land should be attempted in no other way than as 
thou and thy apostles undertook to accomplish it, — by love, 
by prayer, by tears, and the offering up of our own lives. As 
it seems that the possession of the holy sepulchre and of the 
Holy Land can be better secured by the force of preaching 
than the force of arms, therefore let the monks march forth, 
as holy knights, glittering with the sign of the cross, replenished 
with the grace of the holy spirit, and proclaim to the infidek 
the truth of thy passion ; let them fiom love to thee exhaust the 
whole fountain of their eyes, and pour out all the blood of 
their bodies, as thou hast done ftom love to them ! Many are 
the knights and noble princes that have gone to the promised 
land with a view to conquer it ; but if this mode had be«i 
pleasing to thee, O Lord, they would assuredly have wrested 
it from the Saracens who possess it against our will. Thus is 
it made manifest to the pious monks thaf thou art daily 
waiting for them, expecting them to do, firom love to thee, 
what thou hast done from love to them. And they may be 
certain that, if from love to thee, they expose themselves to 
martyrdom, thou wilt hear their prayers in respect to all that 
which they desire to see accomplished in this world for the 
promotion of thy glory." And, in another passage of this 
work,* he seeks to show, first, that the schism of souls, the 
religious strife between Saracens and Christians, was the 
cause of the outward war and of the many evils therewith con- 
nected ;j" that by this war Christians were hindered fit)m 
preaching the truth to the Saracens, whereby they might 
perhaps succeed to convince them, and then, through the 
spiritual communion of one faith, bring them back to outward 
peace also. He then concludes with the foUoAving prayer: 
" Lord of heaven. Father of all times, when thou didst send 

* T. IX. L. III. Distinct. 29, c. cciv. f. 512. 

t Quia Christiani et Saraceni pugnant intellectualiter in hoc, quod 
discordent et contrarientur in fide, propterea pngnant sensualiter et rati- 
one hujus pagnae molti vulnerantur et captivantur et moriontur et 
destmuntur, per quam destructionem devastantur et destruuntnr multi 
principatus et multa? divitise et multae terrse et impediuntur multa boua, 
qus fierent, si non esset talis pugna. 

266 coxclave of caedikals. 

thy son to take upon him human nature, he and his apostles 
lived in outward peace with Jews, Pharisees, and other men ; 
for never, by outward violence, did they capture or slay any of 
the unbelievers, or of those who persecuted them. Of this 
outward peace they availed themselves to bring the erring to 
the knowledge of the truth, and to a communion of spirit with 
themselves. And so, after thy example, should Christians con- 
duct themselves towards the Saracens ; but since that ardour 
of devotion which glowed in apostles and holy men of old 
no longer inspires us, love and devotion through almost 
the whole world have grown cold ; therefore do Christians 
expend their efforts far more in the outward than in the 
spiritual conflict." 

At the above-mentioned council of Lyons, Gregory again 
introduced a new regulation with regard to papal elections, 
designed to prevent such delay which had preceded his own 
appointment. The cardinals should at least be compelled by 
hunger to agree in a choice. Each having his own particular 
cell, should remain there without liberty of leaving it until 
they were prepared to proceed to the election. After three* 
days the quantity of food and drink should be diminished ; 
and if at the expiration of eight days they had not yet agreed 
in their choice of a pope, they should be allowed nothing but 
bread, wine, and water. This ordinance, after great resistance 
on the part of the cardinals, was adopted ; and as it was 
exceedingly annoying to them, they made the greater despatch, 
such persons being selected as were not expected to live long, 
and in whose choice it was the most easy to unite. In the 
single year 1276, three popes followed in quick succession one 
after the other. The third of these, John the Twenty-First, 
was, by the influence of the cardinals, induced to suspend an 
arrangement of the conclave which they felt to be so incon- 
venient. The consequence was, that in the year 1292 the 
election of a pope was delayed by parties among the cardinals 
two years and a quarter. At length, compelled by the 
influence of Charles the Second, king of Naples, and to get rid 
of a disgraceful dependence on him, in which they found them- 
selves placed, they resolved to choose somebody, and, as they 
could agree on no one else, their choice fell on a man, Avho 
under any other circumstances they would hardly have thought 
of, and M'ho loriucu a diiect contrast to his predecessor. I'his 


was Peter of Morone, a pious anchorite, who lived not £ir 
from Suhnone, in the Neapolitan territory-, — an old man, who 
from his twentieth year had led a solitary life, devoted to 
prayer and religious contemplation,* and had composed a few 
small tracts on ascetical subjects and on ecclesiastical law.f 
Against his wishes he was obliged to exchange the tranquillity 
of the contemplative life for a sphere of action of the most 
enormous extent and full of unrest. He called himself Celestin 
the Fifth. Even when pope, he still wore his monkish dress 
under the papal insignia. His appearance and deportment, 
forming so striking a contrast with that of the other popes of 
this time, procured for him the more respect and veneration. 
Seated upon an ass, which the kings of SicUy and Hungary led 
by the bridle, he made his entry into the city of Aquila. 
Thousands flocked about him, not as they did aroimd other new 
popes, to obtain rich benefices, but to receive his blessing. 
The shouts of the multitudes, who gathered from city and 
country, compelled him to show himself frequently at the 
window and bestow his blessing.j But when Celestin, the 
feeble old man, came to be placed in circumstances so little 
conformable to his habits and temperament ; when he was set 
down in the midst of a vast circle of business with which 
he was entirely imacquainted ; he soon brought affairs into the 
most vexatious perplexity. Always following the direction of 
the papal officials, he subscribed and affixed the papal seal to 
rolls of parchment, negligently read or even not written on, 
which could be filled up at pleasure ; he made himself de- 
pendent on king Charles the Second, who persuaded him to fix 
his seat in his own residential city. The cardinals grew tired 
of him ; it was easy for them to excite scruples of conscience 
in his mind; and, besides, he longed to be restored to his 

* He himself wrote an account of his yoath, his inward conflicts and 
visions, in the commencement of his spiritual career : See Acta Sanctor. 
Maj. T. IV. f. 422. 

t These writings, which are of no particular importance, are published 
in the Bibl. patr. Lugdunens. T. XXV. 

X Benedict Cajetan relates this in his life of Celestin : Tantus fdit 
ooncursus ad ipsum de villis et castris, quod stupor erat videre, quia 
magis veniebant ad suam obtinendam benedictionem, quam pro praeben- 
dffi acquisitione, nnde oportebat eum saepius ad fenestram accedere, ad 
benedicendum populum victus ipsorum clamoribus, quod et ego vidi et 
prsesens fui tjuando ista fiebant. See Acta Sanctor. Maj. T. IV. f. 427. 


former quiet. Gladly would he have resigned his seat ; but 
on the principles of the church constitution and of the eccle- 
siastical laws as then understood, it was very difficult to see 
how the pope, who was invested with the highest dignity on 
earth, could be divested of his office, or could voluntarily 
resign it. Yet cardinal Benedict Cajetan, than whom no one 
could be more unlike this pope in temper and disposition, and 
who himself aspired to the papal dignity, strengthened him in 
his inclination ; so, after having published by the advice of the 
latter, an ordinance, purporting that it was allowable for a pope 
to abdicate his office, he laid down his own in the year 1294, 
and returned to his former mode of life. 

It will be evident from this history of the papacy that, from 
the time of Gregory the Seventh, it had come into a new re- 
lation with the rest of the church. Not only was it assumed, 
as it had been already in the Pseudo-Isidorian decretals, that 
the form of the government of the church is monarchical ; but 
the government became an unlimited monarchy ; — the triumph 
of papal absolutism was complete. All other ecclesiastical 
authority was but the pope's organ, was valid only to the ex- 
tent he might choose. No longer tied by the old ecclesiastical 
laws, he could render them powerless by dispensations, 
explanations, and laws newly enacted. There were, indeed, 
distinguished men, and zealous for the well-being of the church, 
who — much as they were devoted in other respects to the in- 
terest of the papacy, or rather because they were so — often 
took pains to remind the popes that they must fix limits to 
their own authority, which had not been limited from without, 
by reason of the end for which such authority had been con- 
ferred. Thus, for example, bishop Yves of Chartres, declared, 
" That the Roman church had received no authority from God 
for injustice, — no authority to take away from any man his 
guilt, but only to bind what ought to be bound, and to loose 
what ought to be loosed."* The abbot Gottfried of Vendome, 
also, against whom Yves had cited this principle, because in a 
particular case he would acknowledge dependende only on the 
Moman Church, — admitted the same as an undeniable truth.t 

* Nullam injustam potestatem, fidem violandi videlicet debita sua cui- 
que Don reddendi ; sed tantum, quae sunt liganda ligandi et qu8B sunt 
solv?nda solvendi. See ep. 195. 

t Quia enim insanus credere vel cogitare audeat, bouum Deum aliquid 


" One thing- only," he said, " might be disputed, namely, 
whether, in the particular ease in question, the pope had made 
such arbitrary use of his authority." The abbot Peter of 
Cluny reminded pope Innocent the Second,* that if he ruled 
over all, it should be his glory to be ruled himself only by 
reason. f We have already quoted the sayings of abbot Bernard 
of Clairvaux on this subject, namely, tliat popes were created 
not to dissolve the ecclesiastical laws, but to see that they 
were executed. John of Salisbury', that zealous champion of 
the hierarchy, wrote thus to pope Alexander the Third, in the 
name of the archbishop of Canterbury : J " Undoubtedly, to 
the pope, all things are allowable ; that is, all things that be- 
long by divine right to ecclesiastical authority. He is free to 
make new laws and to do away the old ones ; only it is not in 
his power to change anything which, by the word of God, has 
eternal validity. I might venture to assert that not even 
Peter himself can absolve any one from his guilt who perse- 
veres in sin or in the will to sin ; that even he has received no 
such key as gives him power to open the door of the kingdom 
of heaven for an impenitent person." 

Still, in such voices, it was but a force of moral sentiment 
that opposed itself to the arbitrary will of the pope. There 
was no higher authority, which the popes were obliged to 
respect, which presented to them checks from without, and 
could have jurisdiction over them. The general covmcils, 
which constituted the highest tribunal and the highest legisla- 
tive authority in the ancient church, had themselves become 
converted into blind tools of the popes. Such authority in the 
hands of a single man, standing at the head of the whole 
Western church, m^ht undoubtedly, in the then rude con- 
dition of the nations, be productive of much good, as a check 
on the trifling caprices of secular rulers, and as a terror to the 
vast multitude of negligent bishops ; but even in the best use 
of that authority the free original development could not fail 
to suffer a check. This check, in the best use of the papal 
power, would of necessity become the stronger, inasmuch as, in 

unquam injoste dedisse aut ejns sanctam ecclesiam quicquam ab eo in- 
juste accepisse. Epp. 1. ii. 11. * Ep. ii. 28. 

t Cum jure majestas apostolica omnibus dominetur, soli tantum rationi 
subjici gloriatur. ; Ep. 193. 


such a case, the reaction favourable to the upward struggle of 
freedom would be less powerfully called forth. Naturally, 
however, such power in the hands of an individual was liable 
to manifold abuses. In order that the papacy might ever sub- 
serve the end for which it was designed, an harmonious com- 
bination of the highest mental and moral powers, purity of 
heart united with great intellectual superiority, was absolutely 
required ; and such a combination could not often occur. Add 
to this already, in the twelfth century, a too-powerful 
secular tendency had grown up within the pale of the papacy, 
which threatened to swallow up the spiritual interest. Already 
must the provost Gerhoh of Keichersberg complain, that the 
ecclesia Itomana had become a curia Romana,* and we have 
already heard the complaints of the abbot Bernard on the se- 
cularization of the papacy. Every corrupt practice, which was 
accustomed to prevail in courts, reigned at the Koman court -f^ 

* The provost Gerhoh of Keichersberg had, as he says, laid at the feet 
of pope Eugene the Third, his Essay on the Confusion between Babylon 
and Jerusalem, from, which grew afterwards his work so often cited : 
" Decorrupto ecclesise statu," or, "expositio in Ps. Ixiv." in Baluz, Miscel- 
lan. T. V. Hac intentione, ut curia ilia semetipsam attenderet seseque 
pariter et ecclesiam totam, quam regere debet, a confusione Babylonica 
distinctam exhibere satageret sine macula et ruga neque eiiim vel hoc ip- 
sum carere macula videtur, quod nunc dicitur curia Komana, quaj antehac 
dicebatur ecclesia Romana, c. Ixiii. 

t John of Salisbury, who stood on terms of intimacy with pope Adrian 
the Fourth, relates a remarkable conversation which he once had with 
that pope. The pontiff inquired of him respecting the general tone of 
feeling towards the Romish church, and towards himself; and he frankly 
stated to him the complaints concerning the exactions that proceeded from 
the church of Rome. Sicut enim dicebatur a multis Romana ecclesia, qua; 
mater omnium ecclesiarum est, se non tam matrem exhibet aliis, quam uo- 
vercam. Sedent in ea ScribsB et Pharissei, pcnentes onera importabilia ia 
humeris hominum, quae digito non contingunt. Concutiuut ecclesias, lites 
excitaat, collidunt clerum et populum, laboribuset miseriis afHictorum ne- 
quaquam compatiuutur, ecclesiarum laetantur spoliis et quastum omnera 
reputant pietatem. Omnia cum pretio hodie, sed nee eras aliquid sine pretio 
obtinebis. Nocent sscpius et in eo dajmones imitantur, quod tunc prodesse 
putantur, cum nocere desistunt exceptis paucis, qui nomen et officium pasto- 
ris implent. The pope calmly listened to all he had to say, and thanked him 
for his frankness ; and after having conceded some things and justified 
others, concluded with an apology like the following : All the members 
of the body complained of the stomach, that whilst they were all obliged 
to labour for that, the stomach was idle, and did nothing but consume 
what was furnished to it by the labour of all the other members. They 
declared it the enemy of all, and determined to punish it, to rest from 


and if the Hildebrandian tendency of reform had aimed to bring 
back the church to its purely spiritual character, to deliver 
it from the yoke of secularization, yet this secularization sprung 
up again in another form, from the mixing up together of court 
and church in Rome. The complaints about the corruptibility 
of the Roman court, of the officials by whom the judgment of 
the pope was influenced or determined, — these complaints, which 
we have already noticed as existing in the preceding periods, only 
went on multiplying with the increased influence of the papacy. 
It must have appeared strange, that on the very spot where 
simony, as practised by the princes and bishops, was so ■vigor- 
oasly combated, the same thing, though under more specious 
names, should prevail to no less an extent. When the odious 
charge was issued fix>m Rome against bishop Yves of Chartres, 
that simony reigned openly in his church, he replied : " He 
had not as yet been able to do anything towards suppressing 
the ancient custom by which the candidates for a canonry must 
pay something to the deans and the cantor ; for men appealed 
to the example of the Romish church itself, where the cubieu- 
larii and ministri sacri palatii demanded no small sum of 
money for the consecration of bishops and abbots, imder the 
specious names of an ablatio or a benedictio* Not the stroke 
of a pen, not a sheet of paper, was to be had for nothing. He 
knew not how to answer those who brought this matter against 
him, except in the words of Christ : " All whatsoever they bid 
you observe, that observe and do ; but do not ye after their 

their labours and starve it out. Thus passed several days, till all the 
members had become quite feint, and were no longer able to perform 
their appropriate functions. They were now under the necessity of hold- 
iug another consultation ; they found out that, in consequence of with- 
holding everjthing from the stomach, that organ had been unable to 
supply them any longer with what was requisite to give them strength 
and vigour. They found themselves compelled, therefore, to restore 
back to it all they had withheld, and now the members were strong and 
vigorous again, and peace was restored to the whole. So it was with 
those who ruled in the church or in the state. Although they re- 
quired much, yet it was not for their own advantage, but for the good of 
the whole. It" they were not rich and mighty themselves, they could not 
help the members. Noli ergo neqne nostrum neque saecularium principum 
duritiam metiri, sed omnium ntilitatem attende. See Job. Saresberiensis 
Policraticus sive de nugis curialium et vestigiis philosophorum, L. VI, 
c. xxiv. 

* Qua; oblationis vel benedictionis nomine palliantur. Ep. 133. 


works." Matth. xxiii. 3. Disputes about election in churches 
and covenants carried up to Rome for decision, were welcomed 
there by those whose only object was money, because the con- 
tending parties nmst resort to gold in order to effect their 
object ; * the officers of the papal court were bribed by 
presents or promises, and then sought to mislead the judgment 
of the pope. This was the ordinary way of gaining a bad 
cause.f Surrounded by such a swarm of corrupt courtiers, it 
was not enough, therefore, that the individual who stood at 
the head should be rigidly incorruptible and disinterested. 
Eugene the Third is extolled as a model in this respect ;J but 
he should also possess the power of control over the corrupt 
creatures around him, and wisdom to detect the fraudulent 
acts by which truth was kept back from him. Bernard had 
good reason, therefore, for remarking to this very Eugene-: 
" Of what avail is the good disposition of the individual, when 
still the bad disposition of others predominates !" 

* We present a few examples. Near the close of the twelfth century 
Peter de Blois complains of the fact that a homo illiteratus et laicus, sed 
in emendis honoribus circumspectus, was endeavouring by means of his 
gold to establish in Home his illegal claims to an abbot's place in Can- 
terbury. He was there received in a friendly manner by those, qui 
sicut scitis gratius acceptant hominum munera, quam merita personarum. 
Sperabant enim, quod promotio ejus esset rixse materia et majoris emolu- 
menti occasio. His party exerted themselves to the utmost to make 
themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness at the Roman 
court, and thereby to nullify the just charges brought against this man 
(opinionis et infamise vulneribus vinum et oleum iufundere). Exhaustis 
itaque Flandriaj mercatoribus in argento, a Romauis tandem inlinitam 
multitudinem auri mutuavit. Ep. 158. The abbot Guibert, of Novi- 
gentum, says, in his autobiography, in the beginning of the twelfth 
c«ntury, L. III. c. iv. f. 498, concerning the palatinis Papa;; Quibus 
moris est, ut audito auri nomine mausuescant. A bishop who was sus- 
pected, on good reasons, of having committed a murder for the sake of 
revenge, found means to clear himtelf, adulatione donorum. at the 
Roman court, under pope Paschalis the Second. 

t Ep. 87. Of bishop Yves of Chartres, John of Salisbury writes (ep. 
222) : Romanos amicis verba dare jam nemo miratur, quia percelebre 
est, et innotuit universis, quod apud eos, quantum quisque numraorum 
habet in area, tantum habet et fidei, et plerumque obliquata mente legum 
et cancnum, qui munere potior est, potentior est jure. 

+ A prior, whose case he had not yet examined, once pressed him to 
accept from him a mark of gold, as a testimony of regard ; but he de- 
clined, saying, " Thou hast not as yet stepped into the house, and already 
wouldst thou bribe the master ? " Joli. Saresb. Policrat. L. V. cxv. 


"We shall now proceed to consider the several branches of 
the papal authority, as they were separately exercised by them- 

II. Distinct Branches of the Papal Church 

Important effects iindoubtedly resulted from the feet that 
the popes visited particular countries in person, and spent 
some time in them.* We have seen how the events which 
compelled them to take refuge in France operated in giving a 
new spring to their authority; still, the cases were quite rare 
in which they could obtain, by their personal presence, a 
knowledge of the condition of particular nations and churches, 
counteract abuses which had crept in, and lend force to their 
laws. There was need of a permanent and general order of 
men, to serve as a substitute for the immediate personal pre- 
sence of the pope. To this end served the cardinals, or other 
persons from the clergy, clothed with plenary powers, who, 
imder the name of legates, were sent to all quarters of the 
world. To be sure, a legate whose knowledge of the country 
was only such as could be derived from a transient residence 
in it, and from superficial observation, might easily be deceived 
by appearances ; for which reason, Yves of Chartres wished 
that the popes would, as was sometimes done indeed, appoint 
as their legates the bishops in the countries themselves, who 
would be accurately acquainted with the region and its rela- 
tions.f Against this well-meant proposal, however, it might 
be objected, that native legates were more exposed than 
foreign ones to the influence of impure motives and considera- 
tions, — which difficulty might be illustrated by examples. 

Much could be effected in these times by a legate who, as 

* This subject, the influence which proceeded from the joumeyings of 
the popes in the Middle Ages, deserved certainly to be more accurately 
investigated in a fuller Monograohy than Johann von Miiller's Essay, 
Von den Keisen der Papste. 

t Cum enim a latere vestro mittitis ad nos cardinales vestros, quia in 
transitu apud nos sunt, non tantum non possunt curanda curare, sed 
iiec curanda prospicere ; hence, ut alicui transalpino legationem sedis 
apostolicae injungatis, qui et vicmius subrepentia mala cognoscat et ea vel 
per se vel per relationem ad sedem apostolicam maturius curare praeva- 
leat. Vol. VIII. Ep. 109. 



Bernard required, should interest himself for the people and 
the poor in their spiritual and bodily necessities, steadfastly 
oppose himself to the arbitrary will of the mighty, and every- 
where promote the supremacy of order and of law.* Bernard 
cites examples of such legates, who avoided the very appear- 
ance of self-interest. A certain cardinal, Martin, returned 
back from a very distant country to Italy so poor that, in 
Florence, he found himself without money or means to continue 
his journey except on foot ; whereupon the bishop of Florence 
made him a present of a horse. He next met with this bishop 
in Pisa, where the papal court then resided ; and here, being 
told that the bishop had a process going on and was depending 
upon his vote, he gave the horse back to him on the spot. Bishop 
Gottfried of Chartres refused to accept from a priest the present 
of a costly fish, except on condition that he might be allowed 
to pay the price of it. But Bernard, in relating these factt, 
could not help exclaiming, " Does it not seem like a story of 
some other world, that a legate should return with his purse 
empty of gold, from the very land of gold?" He had himself 
to complain of a legate, who, in Germany and France, left 
everywhere behind him the marks of his wickedness, "j" every- 
where sought to place beautiful boys in high offices in the 
church, and everywhere made such exactions, that many pre- 
ferred purchasing a release from him., that he might not near 
them. Bishop Yves of Chartres invites pope Urban the Second 
to send on a legate, because there was special need of a person 
clothed with such authority, when arbitrary will everywhere 
ruled supreme ; when there was nothing which any man might 
not dare to do, and dare with impunity ; but, at the same time, 
he asked for a legate of good name and reputation, wiio would 
seek not his own, but the things of Jesus Christ. J The same 
bishop wrote to a legate a beautiful ]etter,§ reproving him for 
his inconsistency in zealously contending against lay-investiture, 
while he did not give himself the least concern with many 

* Qui vulgus non spernant, sed doceant, divites non palpent, sed ter- 
reant, minas principum non paveant, sed contemnant, gloriantes, non 
quod curiosa seu pretiosa qua;que in terram attulerint, sed quod relique- 
rint pacem regnis, legem barbaris, quietem monasteriis, ecclesiis ordinem, 
clericis disciplinam. De considerat. L. IV. c. iv. 

t Vir apostolicus replevit omnia non evangelic, sed sacrilegio. Ep- 
290. X Ep. 12. § Ep. 60. 


openly prevailing vices. " He wished," he said, " with many 
pious men, that the servants of the Romish church would, like 
experienced physicians, seek first to heal the greater disorders, 
and not give occasion for their banterers to say that they 
strained at gnats and swallowed camels. 

Under this head belongs, again, the authority exercised by 
the Roman curia, as the highest tribunal ; a tribunal, to which 
appeal could be made from the whole of Western Christen- 
dom, in all matters that stood in any relation whatsoever to 
the church. Salutary as this branch of the papal authority, 
rightly used, might have proved, it would in the same pro- 
portion turn out hurtful when every appeal was received 
without discrimination at Rome, and corruption by bribes, 
partiality, zeal — not for justice and law — but only for am- 
bitious projects and the dignity of the church of Rome, pre- 
vailed there ; when, as men were forced to complain was 
really the case, he who appealed to the ecclesiastical laws, 
instead of leaving everything to depend solely on the plenary 
power of the pope, was already put down as an enemy of that 
church.* In this way appeals would necessarily result in 
effects directly contrary to the end for which they were insti- 
tuted. They no longer served the purpose of procuring pro- 
tection for the weak and oppressed against the will of the 
mighty, but much more of securing for arbitrary power a 
convenient handle by which to thwart the execution of the laws 
and defeat the ends of justice. Every sentence, however just 
and lawful, could, by an arbitrary appeal on the part of him 
whose selfish interests it opposed, or whose sole object it was 
to revenge himself on an enemy, be either reversed, or at 
least seriously retarded in its execution. As early as the year 
1129, Hildebert, bishop of Mans, found cause for declaring, 
in a free-spirited letter to the pope Honorius the Second, that 
all church discipline would come to an end, all vices must 
get the upper hand, if, as the case had hitherto been, every 
appeal should without distinction be admitted at Rome ; he 
calls upon him to provide that appeals, without good reasons 

* Yves of Chartres, ep. 67. Peter of Blois, ep. 158 : Leges et canones 
et quicquid de sacro eloquio ad nostrae partis assertionem poteramas iiido- 
cere, funestum et sacrilegum reputabaut nosqae hostes Romance ecclesiae 
publice judicabant. Men were not to cite any canones, or leges, but 
only (papal) privilegia. 



assigned, and that aimed only to procure delay of justice, 
should be wholly rejected.* Bernard advised pope Eugene 
the Third not to listen to every man's story, but sometimes 
to strike in with the rod.f Men came at length to perceive, 
therefore, in Rome itself, the necessity of setting limits to 
arbitrary appeals. The eminent wisdom of Innocent the 
Third as a ruler was shown in tliis matter as well as in 
others ; while at the same time, however, his ordinances 
testify of the enormous abuses which were practised in the- 
matter of appeals.^ He directed, at the fourth Lateran coun- 
cil, A.D. 1215, that bishops should not be hindered by any 
appeal from punishing the transgression of their subjects, and 
from the reformation of their dioceses, unless they had vio- 
lated the legal forms. § 

As by the Hildebrandian system the whole government of 
the church was placed in the hands of the pope, and the 
bishops were to exercise some part of it only as his instru- 
ments ; so it was but a consistent application of the principles 
contained in that system when bishops, by the act of their 
institution, by the predicate they bestowed on themselves, 
came to be placed more and more in a relation of dependence 
on these unlimited rulers of the church. Had it not been for 
the reaction of the old ecclesiastical laws, which were still valid 
in church practice, the consequences flowing out of that sys • 
tern would have been realized much earlier than they were. 
That no choice of a bishop could be valid without the pope's 
confirmation was, properly, but a necessary deduction from 
that system ; still, however, it came to be so considered only 
by slow degrees. Disputes on the choice of bishops furnished 
occasion, for the most part, for the practice of the individuals 
elected going themselves to Rome to secure the confirmation 

* Moratorias appellatioues et superfiuas omnino a vestra elongendas 
esse audientia. Ep. 41. 

t Non semper pra^bere aurem, qua audiat, sed aliquando et flagellum 
quod feriat. 

% E. g. epp. ii. 13. Benignitate juris plurimi hodie abutentes in sui 
erroris defensionem assumuut, quod in gravaminum fuerat revelationem 
iuventum, et ut suorura superiorum correctionem eludant, sine causa fre- 
quenter ad apostolicam sedem appellant, cf. i. 237 ; ii. 99 ; v, 23. 

6 Ut correctionis et reformationis officium libere valeant exercere, de- 
cernimus, ut exsecutionem ipsorum nulla appellatio valeat impedire, nisi 
fbniiam excesseriut in talibus observandam, c. vii. 


of their election ; and thus this papal confirmation came more 
and more into use in the course of the thirteenth century. 
The fonnular}'^ which designated bishops as appointed by the 
grace of God, was increased by adding, " and by the grace 
of the apostolical chair." At length, they were bound by- 
oath to such obedience to the popes as vassals paid to their 
liege lords. This oath was similar to the one which Boniface 
first took to tlie pope. From the time of Gregory- the 
Seventh, the Italian metropolitans immediately subordinate to 
the church of Rome placed themselves under such an oath ; 
next, it was required of all metropolitans that received the 
pall from Rome ; finally, of all bishops whatsoever. They 
bound themselves thereby to appear at every synod when cited 
by the popes ; to keep secret whatever might be communicated 
to them either orally or in writing, by the popes ; to treat the 
Roman legates with honour and respect ; to provide them 
with everything they needed ; and in all cases of necessity to 
stand by the popes with force of arms. 

The popes, who at first contended against arbitrary appoint- 
ments to church oflBces by princes, afterwards became charge- 
able themselves with the same arbitrary mode of procedure, to 
the great injury of the churches. It was first, in the twelfth 
century, that they recommended, by way of petition, to vacant 
benefices individuals who had done eminent service for the 
Romish church. (Their recommendations still appear under 
the modest name of preces ; hence the persons recommended, 
are called precistce.) But in the beginning of the thirteenth 
century these />rece* were changed into mandata; and, finally, 
the popes of this century took the liberty to supersede all other 
rights (by the formula " non obstante"), and to promote their 
favourites to vacant benefices in whatsoever countr}' they 
might be found ; insisting, with a threat of the ban, that their 
commands should be obeyed, as we have seen in the case 
of Robert, bishop of Lincoln. Thus could the most unfit and 
the most imworthy men be promoted to such offices ; boys 
under age, or at least such as were entirely ignorant of the 
language and manners of the people where their field of 
action was assigned ; men who carried with them, wherever 
they went, all the Roman corruption of morals ; or who, if they 
preferred to enjoy as absentee > the revenues of the benefices, 
hired underlings who performed the spiritual fiinctions in an 


altogether mechanical manner. The best use which the popes 
made of this authority was when they provided in this way 
for men who had done good service in the cultivation of 
letters, an appointment free from cares, which they could not 
otherwise have obtained. 

We have seen already, in the preceding period, how the 
papal power was advanced by the selfish interests of subordi- 
nate ecclesiastical authorities, who sought to make themselves 
independent of their immediate superiors ; but when the 
popes, instead of keeping every other authority confined within 
its appropriate limits, and placing themselves in opposition to 
all arbitrary procedures, now sought to grasp all other power 
for themselves ; when, to secure this end, they eagerly com- 
plied with the demands of those who wished to be freed from 
the troublesome oversight of their immediate superiors, the 
inevitable result was, the destruction of all ecclesiastical order, 
and the promotion of all licentiousness. Thus abbots pro- 
cured for themselves the insignia of the episcopal office — 
sandals, mitre, and crosier ; and privileges of exemption in 
respect to the diocesan authority of the bishops. Thus was 
taken away from the bishops the means of watching over all 
that transpired in their dioceses, and of punishing everything 
bad in them. "VVe have seen on a former page how Ber- 
nard warned the pope against this arbitrary extension of his 
authority ; and many other influential voices were heard in 
like manner to protest agamst these exemption-privileges. 
Thus Yves, bishop of Chartres,* complains to pope Urban 
the Second of a monastery which sought to free itself by such 
an exemption from the diocesan oversight of the bishop of 
Paris, in order that it might suffer no disturbance in its licen- 
tious doings. "j* Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, in a letter 
filled with similar complaints, addressed to Pope Alexander 
the Third,! quotes the language of one of these abbots who 

* Ep. 65, 

t Latiniacensis abbas et monachi ejus, qui nescio qua nova libertate 
suos excessus tuentur, et subjectionem Parisiensi ecclesiae debitam et 
Lactenus exhibitam contra canonicam institutionem de cervice sua excu- 
tere moliuntur. Hsb autem personse hujus modi sunt, quibus magis 
uecessaria est subjectio quam libertas, qui libertate in occasioucm carnis 
abutuntur, quibus si decern millia psedagogorum in Cbristo ad custodiam 
deputarcntur, vix tamen sic regularis continentise legibus ligarentur. 

X Ep. 68. Among the letters of Peter of Blois. 


was striving' to throw off the regular dependence on his bishop. 
He said : ** The abbots who do not annihilate the authority 
of the bishops are poor creatures ; for, by the annual pay- 
ment at Rome of an ounce of gold they might obtain exemp- 
tion." " The abbots," says that archbishop, " exalt them- 
selves above their primates and bishops ; and not a man of 
them is Aiilling to pay due regard to his superior. Thus 
abbots and monks would abandon themselves to all their lusts, 
with none to remind them of their duty, and every species of 
disorder would spread through the monasteries.* If a speedy 
remedy were not applied to this e\nl, it was to be feared that, 
as tlie abbots were exempted from the oversight of the 
bishops, so the bishops would be exempted from that of the 
archbishops, and the deans and archdeacons from that of their 
superiors." " To express our own opinion freely," says he, 
" it does little honour to the pope's justice, for him to confer 
a benefit on one person at the cost of another ; to take what is 
mine, and render himself chargeable with doing iu ecclesias- 
tical affairs that which no secular power would take the 
liberty of doing in secular affairs." He reminds him, as 
Bermird had reminded pope Eugene, of the precept of the 
apostle Paul (Rom. xiii. 1), that every man should be subject 
to the powers that be. '* In the human body, one member 
does not decline sen-ing another. Among the angels one 
desired exemption from the divine authority, and, from an 
angel, he become a devil." He acknowledges, that such ex- 
emptions had been originally granted to the monasteries to 
secure quiet for them, to protect them against the tyranny of 
bishops ; but the matter had now taken an opposite turn. 
Many were at the present time brought to ruin by these extra- 
ordinarj' liberties. To be sure, one who so firmly resisted the 
arbitrary proceedings of Rome would necessarily draw upon 
himself the charge of presumption, for daring to attack the 
sacred authority of the pope.f Peter of Blois congratulates 

* Abbates exterius curam rarnis in desideriis agunt, non curautes, 
dnmmodo laate erhibeantur, f\ fiat pax in diebiis, eomm claostralt* vero 
tanquam acephali otio vacant et vaniloqaio, nee enim prsesidem habeut, 
qui eos ad fragem vitae melioris inclinet. Qnodsi tumultuosas eomm 
contentiones audiretis, claustrum non multum dififerre pataretis a foro. 

+ De facto spinmi pontificis disputasse et sacrilegitun commisisse dice- 
mur; veramtamen non est seqoa dispatatio, ubi sostinenti respondere noa 


his brother, an abbot, who had received from the pope those 
badges of the episcopal dignity, together with the exemption, 
on the promotion he had obtained ; but at the same time ex- 
presses his dissatisfaction that he should consent to wear the 
signs of a dignity which belonged only to the bishop, and which, 
on another iixnctionary, savoured of vanityand arrogance.* He 
tells him that disobedience to his lawful superior was not to 
be excused even by the papal privilegium ; for a privilege be- 
stowed by a man could avail nothing against the divine order.")" 
That pious theologian of Paris, who was so zealous in oppos- 
ing the abuses of the church near the close of the twelfth 
century, Peter Cantor, expresses a fear that such partial 
exemption and partitions would pave the way for the universal 
downfal of the spiritual empire of Eome, which was to take 
place in the last times. | It is singular, however, at the same 
time, to observe how this man, otherwise so liberal-minded, 
— in intimating, that by such a mode of procedure the whole 
ancient constitution of the church was overthrown, and every- 
thing made solely and directly dependent on the supreme 
authority of the pope, — yet, at the same time, feels con- 
strained to defend hmself against the charge of violating the 
papal majesty ; declaring that, beyond a doubt, no person was 
competent to judge over the pope, and that the apostolical 
chair, which could not err, may perhaps have acted in such 
things by a particular illumination. "We might be almost 
tempted to regard such declarations as irony, if the whole 
tone of the work, and of the passage in question, did not con- 
tradict such a supposition. § 

* Insignia episcopalis eminentiae in abbate nee approbo nee accepto. 
Mitra enim et annulus atque sandalia in alio quam in episeopo quaedam 
superba elatio est et prassumtuosa ostentatio libertatis. Ep. 90. 

t Nee blandiatur sibi aliquis, quod per privilegium Romance ecelesise 
ab inobedientia excusetur. Si enim praeipit Deus et aliud indulget et 
praecipit homo, obediendum est Deo potius quam homini. 

J Verendum est, ne ha3 exemptiones et divisiones particulares univer- 
salem faciant divisionem a Romano regno spirituali, quae facta est jam ex 
parte a Romano regno materiali. 2 Thess. ii. 3. See Petri Cantoris 
verbum abbreviatum. Montibus, 1G39, p. 114. 

§ Sed dicetur mihi, Ps. Ixii. Os tuum pouis in ccBlum, Respondeo: non. 
Hoc autem non asserendo, scd opponendo induce. Non enim licet mihi 
dieere domino papae : Cur ita facis ? Sacrilegium enim est, opera ejus 
redarguere et vituperare. Verumtamen horum solutionem vel qua ratione 
iis obvietur, non video. Scio autem, quia auetoritate canonis veteris vel 


In France, some after-effects of that spirit of church free- 
dom, which we observed there in the earlier centuries, still 
manifested themselves in the way in which the church of this 
country sought to preserve itself by the so-called pragmatic 
sanction, enacted by king Louis the Ninth, in the year 1268, 
against several of the oppressive and restrictive measures which 
have just been mentioned. 

The change which had taken place in the supreme govern- 
ment of the church necessarily brought along with it a change 
also in many thmgs connected with legislation, in all parts of 
the church ; and hence, the old collections of ecclesiastical laws 
no longer met the existing wants. Ever since the pseudo- 
Isidorian decretals began to be received as valid, men would 
already come to be sensible of this. The collision between the 
old and the new church l^islation would occasion considerable 
embarrassment. Since the establishment of the validity of 
those decretals, several new collections of ecclesiastical laws 
had, it is true, been formed ; as, for example, that of Regino, 
abbot of Priim, in the tenth, and that of Burkhard, bishop 
of Worms, and that of Yves, bishop of Ohartres, in the eleventh 
century ; but still, these collections did not prove adequate to 
do away that contrariety. Add to this, that the new papal 
church system needed some counterpoise against a tendency 
which threatened to become dangerous to it. In the twelfth 
century, great enthusiasm was excited for the renewed study 
of the Roman law, by the famous Imerius (Guarnerius), at 
the university of Bologna ; and this study led to investigations 
and doctrines which were quite unfavourable to the interests 
of the papacy. Even Imerius stood forth as an ally of the 
imperial power, in the contest with the papacy,* and it was, in 
fact, the famous teachers of law at that university who were 
employed by the emperor Frederic the First to investigate and 
defend his rights at the diet of Roncala. The more eager, 

novi non fit hujasmodi divisio et exemptio in ecclesia sed special! 
auctoritate sedis apostolica», quam non patitur Dominus errare. Forte 
3niin instinctu et familiari consilio Spiritiis Sancti legeque privata dacta 
hoc facit, sicut Samson se cum hostibus occidit, sed sic sublati sunt con- 
sales et proconsoles de medio, ut panca vel nulla imperent et omnia 
Caesar sit, qui omnia sicut omnibus imperet. 

♦ Laudulph. Junior, hist. Mediolan. c. xxx. Muratori, Scriptor. rer. 
Italicar. T. V. f. 502. 


therefore, would be the hierarchical party to oppose that 
hostile tendency, by setting up another, in defence of their 
own interests and principles, through the study of ecclesiastial 
law from an opposite point of view. Thus it came about that 
— at the famous seat itself of the study of the Roman law —at 
Bologna, about the year 1151, a Benedictine, or, according to 
another account, a Camaldulensian monk, Gratian, arranged a 
new collection of ecclesiastical laws, better suited to the wants 
of the church and to the scientific taste of these times. As 
the title itself indicates, " Concordia discordantium canonum" 
old and new ecclesiastical laws were here brought together, 
their differences discussed, and tlieir reconciliation attempted 
— a method similar to that employed by Peter Lombard m 
handling the doctrines of faith. This logical arrangement 
and method of reconciliation supplied a welcome nutriment to 
the prevailing scientific spirit. From that time the study also 
of canon law was pursued with great zeal, and the two parties 
called the Legists and the Decretists arose — Gratian's col- 
lections of laws being denominated simply the '•'• Decretwm 
Gratiani" Tlie zeal with which the study of civil and 
ecclesiastical law was pursued had however this injurious 
effect, that the clergy were thereby drawn away from the 
study of the Bible, and from the higher, directly theological 
interest, and their whole life devoted solely to these pursuits.* 
But still the contrariety between the old and the new eccle- 
siastical laws could not be got rid of by this attempt at 
reconciliation. Many doubts and difficulties arose from this 
cause ; and the popes were applied to for a decision of the 
contested questions which resulted therefrom. In the laws 
enacted by them, the ecclesiastical laws received great addi- 
tions ; as, for example, in the decisions of Innocent the Third, 
in particular, which formed a rich storehouse for that code ; 
but a twofold injury resulted. An intermediate authority was 
wanting to introduce the new papal laws at once into the 
practice of the church ; and in the twelfth century many 
bulls were interpolated, under the name of the popes, to sub- 
serve particular interests. People returning from a pilgrimage 

* Peter Cantor complains, in his Verbum abbreviatum, c. li. : Omissis 
urtibus liberalibus coelestibusque disciplinis omnos codicem legunt et 
forensia qusDrunt, ut gloriam et lucrum mendicent. Compare, in the 
letters of Peter de Blois, epistles 76 and 140. 


to Rome, brought with them interpolated bulls, dud put them 
in circulation.* In the time of Innocent the Third, a forger 
of tliis sort had the boldness to appear in Sweden, in the 
cliaracter of a papal legate.f There were ecclesiastics who 
had acquired a peculiar knack in imitating papal bulls, and 
pushed a lucrative business in that line.| Thus many bad 
things could be done in the names of the popes for which they 
were not in the least responsible, — an evil of which Innocent 
the Third felt it necessary to complain.§ In England, near 
the close of the twelfth century, the ban was for this reason 
publicly pronounced on falsifiers of the bulls. | In order to 
suppress these pernicious acts of imposture, Innocent the Third 
enacted laws whereby such impostors were condemned to 
severe punishments, and the marks of distinction between 
genuine and ungenuine bulls accurately defined.^ Hence, the 
still greater need of a new and duly accredited collection for 
ecclesiastical law, in which the genuine laws might be found 
brought together. After many previous attempts to supply 
tills want, pope Gregory the Ninth, in the year 1234, caused 

• Innocent the Third, epp. L. II. ep. 29. f L- C. L. VI. ep. 10. 

X Jacob of Vitry (see ante) names among the bad monks and clergy, 
who took all sorts of liberty to gratify their cupidity, those qui falsario- 
rum crimen pessimum incurrentes, falsis Uteris et bnllis furtivis in per- 
ditionem uti non verentur. Hist, occidental, c. xxix. 

§ Innocent III.(L. I. ep. 235) says : Dura saepe mandata et institutiones 
interdum iniquas a sede apostolica emanare multi argnnnt et mirautur et 
in hoc ei culpam imponnnt, in quo sinceritas ejus culpae prorsoa ignara 
per innocentiam excusatnr. 

II Letters of Peter de Blois, ep. 53. It is here said, in an ordinance 
issued by Richard, archbishop of Canterbury : Quoniam in his partibus 
publica falsariornm pestis obrepsit, qui bullis adulterinis et Uteris calum- 
nias innocentibns movent et statum juste possidentium subvertere moli- 
tintur. And ep. 68 : Falsariornm prajstigiosa malitia ita in episcoporum 
coutumeliam se armavit, ut falsitas in omnium fere monasteriorum ex- 
emptione prsevalcat. In the letters of John of Salisbury, ep. 83 : Hujus 
sigilli corruptio universalis ecclesijE periculum est, cum ad unius sigua- 
culi notam solvi et claudi possint qnorumlibet ora pontificum et culpa 
qnaelibet impunita pertranseat et innocentia condemnetur. Unde in eos, 
qui hoc attentare prsesamimt, animadvertendum est sicut in hostes publi- 
cos et totius ecclesise, quantum in ipsis est, subversores. On the traffic 
pursued with these forgeries, see, further on, the letter of Stephen of 
Tournay, ep. 221. 

% Epp. L. I. ep. 235 and 349, and the other epistles of this pope 
already referred to. 


such a digest to be formed by the general of the Dominicans, 
Eaymund a Pennaforte.* 


It was by the degeneracy of the clergy and the confusion 
existing in all parts of the church-constitution, that the 
reforming tendencies of the Hildebrandian epoch had been 
called forth. A part of the abuses which had crept in, those 
which the rude arbitrary proceedings of monarchs had intro- 
duced, were thoroughly counteracted by the triumph of the 
Hildebrandian system ; a great zeal for the reformation of the 
clergy and of the church life, after the pattern of the primitive 
apostolical church, as it presented itself to the imagination of 
the men of this period, commenced from this epoch. A bond 
of union was here presented between all the opponents of the 
reigning corruption, all men in all the churches who were 
zealous for a strict severity of morals among the clergy, and 
the worthy celebration of the offices of worship. The provost 
Gerhoh of Keichersberg represents, as a work of the same spirit, 
the enthusiasm for the crusades ; the zeal of monasticism now 
carried to an unusual height, and for the renovated canonical 
mode of living together ; the multitudes who contended with 
secular, and the other multitudes who contended with spiritual 
weapons for the same holy object.f From this epoch began 
a fierce struggle between the smaller number of the more strict 
ecclesiatfics, who were disposed to favour reform, and the gi'eat 
majority who followed only their pleasures. 

But the measures applied by Gregory the Seventh and his 
successors were by no means calculated to produce a lasting 
effect on the vast multitude who were not themselves affected 
by this spirit of reform. By laws of celibacy, chastity and 
purity of manners could not be forced on the clergy : men 

* Decretalium, Libri V ; the Decretals, simply so called. 

t He says : Est grande spectaculum, videre hinc milites in campo l 
pugnantes duce Josua, hinc vero beatum Augustinum quasi alteram AronJ 
stipatum Levitis et sanctum Benedictum quasi Hur, Exod. xvii. 12, stij 
turn religiosis monachis orantes ; — and again : Hinc post longam simon 
hiemem vemali suavitate spirante rcflorcscit vinea Dominica, constit 
untur coenobia et xenodochia et nova crebrescunt laudum cantica. 
Ps, xxxix. Pez, Thesaurus anecdotor. novissimus, T. V. f. 794. 


contented themselves with a seeming obedience, and those to 
whom a regular marriage was not allowed, abandoned them- 
selves, in private, to excesses so much the worse, — sought in 
gorgeous apparel, outward splendour,* revelry, and noisy 
amusements, an indemnification for the enjoyments of domestic 
life, which were forbidden them. The dissolution of the 
canonical life continually went on increasing. The prebends 
were by many considered as only a means of good living, and 
they either did not concern themselves at all about the eccle- 
siastical functions incumbent on them, or performed them in a 
mechanical way, without devotion or dignity, or else got them 
performed by hireling^ job-working substitutes.'^ Those who 
would not follow the example of the rest, who exhibited in 
their whole manner of life a seriousness corresponding to their 
vocation, who dared to converse about spiritual things, were 
decried by the latter as singular fellows and pietists ;§ or, if 
they ventured to stand forth as censors, exf)osed themselves to 
hatred and persecution ; for men dreaded a spirit of reform 
supported by popes and monarchs which might bring down a 
severe chastisement on the heads of the corrupt clergy. 
" Behold," said the others, " how this man departs from our 
customs ; he wants to convert us into monks. We must at 
once take our stand against him. If we do not, it will go with 
us as it has done with others before us. The pope and the 
king will unite against us, they ^ill deprive us of our livings. 

* In opposition to these, see, e. g., the abbot Bernard of Clairvanx, ep. 
- . s. 11: Conceditur tibi, ut si bene deservis, de altario vivis, non autem, 
■-t de altario luxurieris, ut de altario sni)erbias, ut iude compares tibi 
frena aurea, sellas depictas, calcaria deargentata, varia griseaque pellicea 
a collo et manibus omatu purpureo diversificata. 

t We have an example in a church at Gubbio in the twelfth century, 
in the account of the life of bishop Ubald, written by his successor 
Tebald : Nulla tunc temporis ordinis observantia, nulla prorsus religionis 
colebatur memoria. Mercede annua erat conductus, qui campanas pnl- 
saret in hora officiorum et quia clericorum unusquisque in domo propria 
epulabatur et dormiebat, tota fere observantia ecclesiastici cultus custo- 
diebatur in pulsu nolarum.— See Acta Sactor. Mens. Maj. T. III. f. 631. 

I Clerici conductores and conductitii, as Gerhoh says in his Dialog. 
De diflFerentia clerici ssecularis et reerilaris, Pez, Thes. anecd. noviss. T. 
II. f. 482. 

§ Si non facio, quod caeteri, de singularitate notabor, Bernard, ep. 
2,8. 11. 


and other fashions will be introduced here. "We shall become 
a laughing-stock to all the people."* 

When the popes had succeeded in banishing the direct and 
arbitrary influence of the princes on ecclesiastical appointments, 
another not less pernicious mode of arbitrary proceeding often 
took the place of that which had been suppressed. The 
bishops and chapters of the cathedral often suffered themselves 
to be determined by fatnily interests and worldly considerations 
more than by any concern for the good of the church. The 
older ecclesiastical laws respecting the canonical age were 
neglected, and boys under age promoted to the first offices of 
the church. I Canonical priests made it a rule amongst them- 
selves, that none but persons of noble birth should join their 
class,! and so the ostentatious display and luxurious modes of 
living practised in the higher ranks were introduced amongst 
the clergy. Nepotism, and the spirit of gain, led to the 
accumulation of several benefices, often involving the duties of 
incompatible callings, on one person. Respecting the so-called 
plurality of benefices, and the non-residence of clergymen 
near the church with which their official duties were connected, 
various complaints were offered. Peter Cantor, in the work 
wherein he combats the ecclesiastical abuses of his times, § 
resents it that, in a respectable church, the five offices of 
greatest income had been given to absentees, [j The popes 

* See Life of the abbot William Roskild, who belonged to the times of 
pope Innocent the Third, in the Actis Sanctor. M. April. T. I. f. 625 ; and 
■what .lacob of Vitry says of those corrupt ecclesiastics : Hi autem, qui 
inter eos viri justi et timorati super abominationibus eorum lugent et con- 
tristantur, ab iis irridentur. Hypocritas et superstitiosos dicunt, repu- 
tantes pro magno crimine, quod divinaj scripturie verbum vel ipsum Dei 
nomen inter eos ausi sunt nominare. Hist, occidental, c. xxx, 

t The words of Bernard, in his tract, De officio episcoporum, c. vii. : 
Scholares pueri et impuberes adolescentes ob sanguinis dignitatem pro- 
moventur ad ecclesiasticas diguitates et de sub ferula transferuntur ad 
priucipandum presbyteris, latiores interim, quod virgas evaserint quam 
quod meruerint principatum. The complaints in Peter de Blois, ep. 60 : 
Episcoporum nequitia, qui circa parentum promotionem sunt adeo singu- 
lariter occupati, ut nihil aliud affectent aut somnient, atque indigentiara 
scholarium vel in modicu visitatione non relevent. Purpurata incendit 
parentela pciitificum et elata de patrimonio crucifix! iu superbia et in 
abusione ad omues vitae saecularis illecebras se efi'undit. 

X See, e. g., Yves' letters, ep. 126. 

§ The Verbum Abbreviatum, already several times referred to. 

II Pro quibus (reditibus) perceptis in ea nee per vicarium nee per alium 


Alexander the Third and Innocent the Third passed laws at 
the Lateran general councils, in the years 1179 and 1215, for 
the suppression of the above-mentioned abuses ; but, by all 
the outward measures that were applied, little could be effected 
so long as the sources of the evil were still left behind ; and 
the bad example which the arbitrary proceedings of succeeding 
popes presented would only contribute to promote such abuses. 
Bishops who had the good of their communities at heart, as, 
for example, Robert Grosshead, we hear complaining bitterly 
on this subject.* 

In the contest with the great mass of the secularized clergy 
stood forth, in the twelfth century, men who sought to bring 
back the old canonical life to a still greater d^ree of strict- 
ness, to reform the clerical body still more according to the 
pattern of the monastic life. Such a man was Norbert, the 
founder of a new and peculiar congregation, which became a 
place of refuge for many who were dissatisfied with the then 
existing condition of the clergy. Of him we shall have 
to speak more at large in the history of monasticism. But 
there were also other men of the more rigid tendency, who 
professed no wish of founding a new institution, but only 
desired to bring back the clergy to a mode of life and of associ- 
ation corresponding to their original destination. Among 
these, the individual of whom we have so often spoken as an 
enthusiastic champion of the Hildebrandian system, the pro- 
vost Gerhoh of Reichersberg, deserves particularly to be men- 
tioned. The greatest part of his life was spent in struggling 

servitur. Non dico, non cantator, non legitar tantnin, sed nee etiam 
consiliis ejns assissitur, qaippe nalla personanun qoinqae semel in anno 
praesens in ea invenitur. L. C. c. xxxiv. 

* Set his letter to his archdeacon, ep. 107, in Brown, in which he calls 
npon him to exercise severity towards the clergy who neglected their 
duty, and complains of their incontinent lives, their worldly pursuits, and 
their trifling amusements : Ex relatu fide digno andivimns, quod plnrimi 
sacerdotes archidiaconatus vestri boras canonicas aut non dicnnt aut cor- 
rupte dicunt, et id quod dicunt sine omni devotione aut devotionis signo, 
imo magis cum evidenti ostensione animi indevoti dicunt nee horam ob- 
Bervant in dicendo, quae commodior sit parochianis ad audiendum divina 
sed quse eorum plus consonat libidinosae desidise. Habent insuper suas 
fov-arias, quod etsi nos et nostros lateat cum inquisitiones super ejusmodi 
fieri fecimus, his per quos fiunt inquisitiones perjuria non timentibus, non 
debet tamen yos sic latere. 


for the reformation of the clerus,* and the storms which agi- 
tated that body proceeded from this very cause — he is in this 
respect to be compared with Ratherius. The apostolical com- 
munity of goods, as men conceived it, was to him the type of 
tlie vmion which ought to exist amongst the clergy. The rule 
ascribed to Augustin, he represented as the law for the com- 
munity of the clergy ; they should own no sort of property ; 
strangers to all luxury and splendour, they should be con- 
tented with the simple necessaries of life : it was what Arnold 
of Brescia wanted to bring about, only in a more liberal spirit. 
To tlie clerical rule drawn up at Aix-la-Chapelle, Gerhoh 
referred back, as a lax rule, originating in the court of a 
prince, not in the church.f Considered from this point of 
view, those ecclesiastics alone who subjected themselves to 
this stricter rule, were recognized as genuine canonicals, as 
cleriei regulares ; all the rest were placed in the class of irre- 
gulares sceculares — secular clergymen ; but among the latter, 
too, there Avas a great diversity as to their habits of living. 
This, even the zealous advocate of the stricter rule, the pro- 
vost Gerhoh, little as he was inclined to do them justice, was 
forced to acknowledge. | There were, amongst the secular 
clergy, men of spiritual feelings ; and a distinction is to be 
made between those whom the love of freedom and those 
whom an inclination to licentiousness led to choose this mode of 
life ; of which latter Jacob of Vitry says, that they were very 
properly called canonici sceculares because they belonged 
entirely to the scBculum — to the world ; but that they were 
incorrectly styled canonici, for they led a life altogether with- 
out rule or law.§ 

It so happened, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that, 

* He has himself related the history of his contests with bishops, 
canonicals, and princes, in his Commentary on the Psalms. See Pez, 
Thes. anecd. noviss. T. V. f. 2039. 

t Illam clericorum regulam. non in ecclesia, sed in aula regis dictatam. 
In Ps. Ixviii. Pez, Thes. T. V. f. 1352. 

X He says: Non eos omnes damnaums, cum ex ipsis agnoscamus ali- 
quos, licet paucos, esse ita disciplinatos, ut licet habeant propria, quasi 
lion habentes, habeant ea et studeant in sectanda morum disciplina. In 
Ps. Ixvii. 1. c. f. 1353. 

§ From that better class he distingnishes these : Multi autem tcm- 
poribus istis reperiuntur canonici vero nomine saeculares, quorum rcgula 
est, irregulariter vivere. c. xxx. 


fix>m the body of these secular clergymen came individmLls 
awakened to repentance by peculiar impressions upon their 
minds ; filled with abhorrence of the worldly pursuits of the 
clergy, they turned all at once to an entirely diflFerent mode 
of life. The duties of the spiritual calling, their guilt in 
having hitherto so neglected them, pressed with their whole 
weight upon their consciences : they felt constrained to exert 
themselves the more earnestly to make good their own defi- 
ciencies, and to exhort clergy and laity to repentance, and to 
a serious Christian deportment. They travelled round as 
preachers of repentance ; by their words of exhortation, com- 
ing warm firom the heart, many were moved, awakened to 
remorse for their sins, and to resolutions of amendment ; though 
the powerful impressions of the moment did not always en- 
dure. A circle of young men was formed around them, and 
they became the objects of enthusiastic veneration ; by which, 
however, such of them as lacked firmness of Christian cha- 
racter might easily be intoxicated, and, quitting the paths of 
humility and discretion, be led into dangerous self-delusions ; 
so that what had begun in a holy enthusiasm might gradually 
become vitiated by the intrusion of impure motives. 

Near the close of the twelfth centiiry, a great stir was pro- 
duced in France by a person named Fulco. He was one of 
the ordinary, ignorant, worldly-minded ecclesiastics, the priest 
and parson of a coxmtry town not far firom Paris ; afterwards 
he experienced a change of the nature we have described, and, 
as he had before neglected his flock, and injured them by his 
bad example, so now he sought to build them up by his teach- 
ing and example. But he soon became painfully sensible of 
his want of riiat knowledge which he had taken no pains to 
acquire, but which was now indisj)ensable to him in order to 
instruct his community. In order to supply as £0* as possible 
this deficiency, he went on week-days to Paris, and attended 
the lectures of Peter Cantor, a theologian distinguished for his 
peculiar scriptural bent, and his tendency to practical reform ; 
and of the knowledge here acquired he availed himself, by 
elaborating it into sermons, which he preached on Sundays to 
his flock. These sermons were not so much distinguished for 
profoundness of thought as for their adaptation to the common 
understanding, and to the occasions of practical life. He was 
a man of the people, and the way in which he spoke made what 

VOL. VII. u 


he said still more impressive than it would otherM'ise have 
been ; hence, when others delivered his copied discourses over 
again, they failed of producing the same effects.* At first, 
neighbouring clergymen invited him to preach before their 
congregations ; next, he was called to Paris, and he preached 
not only in churches, but also in the public places. Pro- 
fessors, students, people of ail ranks and classes, flocked to hear 
him. In a coarse cowl, girt about with a thong of leather, he 
itinerated as a preacher of repentance through France, and 
fearlessly denounced the reigning vices of learned and un- 
learned, high and low. His words often wrought such deep 
compunction, that people scourged themselves, threw them- 
selves on the ground before him, confessed their sins before 
all, and declared themselves ready to do anything he might 
direct in order to reform their lives, and to redress the wrongs 
which they had done. Usurers restored back the interest 
they had taken ; those who, in times of scarcity, had stored 
up large quantities of grain, to sell again at a greatly advanced 
price, threw open their granaries. In such times he fre- 
quently exclaimed : " Give food to him who is perishing with 
hunger, or else thou perishest thyself." He announced to the 
corn-dealers, that before the coming harvest they would be 
forced to sell cheap their stored-up grain ; and cheap it soon 
became, in consequence of his own annunciation. Multitudes 
of abandoned women, who lived on the wages of sin, were 
converted by him ; for some he obtained husbands, for others 
he founded a nunnery. He exposed the impure morals of the 
clergy ; and the latter, seeing the finger of every man pointed 
against them, were obliged to separate from their concubines. 
A curse, that fell from his lips, spread alarm like a thunder- 
bolt. People whom he so addressed were seen to fall like epi- 
leptics, foaming at the mouth and distorted vith convulsions. 
Such appearances promoted the faith in the sivpernatural power 
of his words. Sick persons were brought to him from all 
quarters, who expected to be healed by his touch, by his bless- 
ing, and wonderful stories were told of the miracles thus 
wrought.-j- Men were so eager to obtain a fragment of liis 

* See the words of Jacob of Vitry : Quee tamen non ita sapiebant 
in alterius ore nee tantum fructificabant ab aliis prajdicata. Hist, occi- 
dental, p. 287. 

t Deserving of notice are the words of Jacob of Vitry : Tanta infir- 


elothing, in order to preserve it as a miracle-working relic, 
that the very garments he wore on his person were often rent 
in pieces by the multitude. It required strong qualities of 
mind for a man not to be hurried, by such extravagant venera- 
tion paid to himself, into self-forgetfiilness and spiritual pride. 
Pressed by the multitude, in danger of being crushed, Fulco 
would swing his staflPwith such violence around him as to wound 
many within its sweep ; but the wounded never uttered a 
murmuring word, they kissed the blood as it streamed forth 
under the blow as if they had been healed by the rough touch 
of the holy man. A person having once rent a fragment 
from his garment, said he to the multitude, " Tear not my 
apparel, which has not been blessed," and, signing the cross, 
he prouoimced a blessing on the raiment of the individual who 
had torn the fragment from his own, and this was now imme- 
diately divided up into small pieces, which were looked upon 
as relics. At length he stood forth as a preacher of the cru- 
sades. A great deal of money was sent to hira, which he 
divided amongst the crusaders ; yet the vast collections which 
he made injured his reputation.* 

The personal influence of this man, who stood prominent 
neither by his talents nor his official station, gave birth to a 
new life of the clergy, a greater zeal in discharging the duties 
of the predicatorial office and of the cure of souls, both in 
France and in England. Young men, who, in the study of a 
dialectic theology at the University of Paris, had forgotten 
the obligation to care for the salvation of souls, were touched 
by the discourses of this unlearned itinerant, and trained by 
his instrumentality into zealous preachers. He formed, and 
left behind him, a peculiar school ; he sent his disciples over 
to England, and his example had a stimulating effect even on 
such as had never come into personal contact with him. 
" Many," says Jacob of Vitry,-}- '• inflamed with the fire of 
love, and incited by his example, b^an to teach and to 

morum et eomm, qui eos afferebant, erat fides et devotio, quod non solum 
servi Dei meritis, sed./ervore spiritus et Jidei non hasitantis mcu/nitudine 
plures sanarentur. 

* Jacobus de Vitriaco, Histoccideutal. c. vi. etc. : where we find the 
story related in full. Rigord, De gestis Philippi Augusti, at the year 
1195, and the following. Matthew of Paris, year 1197, £ 160. 

+ Hist, occidental, c. ix. 



preach, and to lead not a few to repentance, and to snatch the 
►souls of sinners from destruction." 

One man of learning, in particular, belonging to the Uni- 
versity of Paris, the magister Peter de Rusia (or de Rossiaco), 
attached himself, as a preacher of repentance, to Fulco, and 
produced great effects : but although his preaching procured 
for him rich presents and great marks of honour, he proved 
unfaithful to his missionary calling by accepting a place as 
canonical priest and chancellor of the church at Chartres. 
Such a change in this man made an unfavourable impression 
on those who were accustomed to reverence in Fulco's dis- 
ciples only preachers glowing with love for the salvation of 
the souls of their brethren. An historian of these times 
remarks, in speaking of the great activity of the above-men- 
tioned preacher, '* He who would know in what temper each 
man preached, must look to the end, for the end most clearly 
reveals the disposition of the man."* 

These preachers of repentance and reform, who came forth 
from the very body of the clergy, might be led on by their pious 
zeal to examine into the grounds and causes of the corruption 
vhich they attacked, and to inquire more profoundly into the 
gospel-truth which was opposed to it. In this way a class of 
nen might be raised up who would attack the reigning church- 
lystem, as we shall see in the fourth section, relating to the 
history of sects. 

We must here repeat what we have already said in an 
earlier period, concerning the exactions and tyranny of the 
archdeacons, who endeavoured to build up an authority inde- 
pendent of the bishops ;| although there were those, too, who 
distinguished themselves by self-denying love in a devotional 
and assiduous discharge of the duties of their calling, by un- 
wearied zeal and disinterestedness in making their tours of 

* Sed qui scire desiderat, qua intentione quisque prsedicavit, finem 
attendat, quia finis intentionem hominum manifestissime declarat. Ri- 
gord, De gestis Philippi, ad a. 1198. 

t E. g., John of Salisbury, ep. 80, concerning the rabies archidiaco- 
norum : Aliorum tristitia in eorum gaudium cedit, in quorum manibus 
iniquitates sunt, et sinistra eorum aut repleta est muneribus aut inhiat. 
Hsec enim hominum moustra dextras non habent. Sicut enim quidam 
in virtutis exercitio ambidextri sunt, sic isti ambila;vi convincuntur ab 
4iTaritia et rapina. 


visitation amongst the communities intrusted to their care; 
men who expended their regular incomes in works of benefi- 
cence, and who remained poor in very profitable offices ; men 
who, staff in hand, travelled over their dioceses on foot, 
preaching the word in every place.* To oppose, however, 
the arbitrary proceedings of those archbishops who abused 
their authority, the bishops, in the course of the twelfth cen- 
tury, employed other proxies in the administration of their 
jurisdictions, under the name of officiales. This title was ap- 
plied at first, in a more general sense, to denote those who, 
under various relations, ser\'ed as deputies and agents of the 
bishops, and had to manage f various kinds of business in their 
names.} Somewhat later, those who served as deputies of 
the bishops in the care of souls, § and in the proper spi- 
ritual jurisdiction (such officers as Innocent the Third, at the 
fourth Lateran council, in 1215, ordered to be appointed 
for the benefit of the larger dioceses neglected by the worldly- 
minded bishops II), were distinguislied imder the name of 
vicarii, from the officiales, so called in the narrower sense, to 
whom was intrusted a coercive jurisdiction. But though a 
check was thus placed on the arbitrary authority which the 
hdeacons had arrogated to themselves, and the authority of 
e bishops preserved against encroachments, yet the commu- 
ities gained nothing thereby. In place of the exactions, 

* As is related of an archdeacon, Maaritias, in the diocese of Troyes, 
tiear the beginning of the thirteenth century, by Thomas Cantipratenos, 
in his Bonum Universale, c. i. p. 6. 

t As appertaining to the officium episcopi. 

X On this point, a passage in the Verbum Abbreviatnm of Peter Can- 
tor is particularly weighty, c. xxiv. He distinguishes tria genera offici- 
alinm : 1. confessor cui episcopus vices suas in spiritualibns, in audiendis 
coufessionibus et curandls animabus committit ; 2. quaestor palatii sni, 
decanus, archipresbyter et hujusmodi, qui incrementis et profectibus 
causarum et negotiorum episcopi per fas etnefas invigilant ; 3. prsepositus 
ruralis primus. He designates as qua;stor and prsespositus such as had 
to administer the coercive jurisdiction of the bishop, and who were after- 
wards called officiales in the stricter sense of the word. 

§ Those whom Peter Cantor designates with the title of con/essores. 

y Praecipimus tam in cathedralibus, quam in aliis conventualibus 
ecclesiis viros idoneos ordinari, quos episcopi possint coadjutores et co- 
operatores habere, non solum in praedicationis officio, verum etiam in 
audiendis confessionibus et poenitentiis injungendis ac caeteris, quae ad 
ealatem pertinent animarum. ex. 


which the archdeacons had taken the liberty to make on their 
own score, came others of a different sort, which were prac- 
tised by the officials, as the organs of the bishops, for the 
enriching of themselves ; so that Peter of Blois, in the last 
times of the twelfth century, could call these officials by no 
better name than bishops' bloodsuckers;* and Peter Cantor 
complains that the bishops gave themselves but little concern 
about the men to whom they committed the care of souls, but 
looked more sharply after those officials in the more limited 
sense of the word, by whom their coffers were filled. From 
this it was quite evident how little they loved the souls of men, 
and their Saviour and upper Shepherd ; how much, on the 
other hand, they loved money. f He pronounces it an abomi- 
nable thing, tiiat the places of such officials should be farmed 
out by the bishops for a stipulated sum of money, for these 
people practised every species of extortion in order to indem- 
nify themselves for the sums they had advanced. ;}: 

The bishops, with the great poM-^ers bestowed on them, 

* Tota officialis intentio est, ut ad opus episcopi suae jurisdiction! 
commissas miserrimas oves quasi vice illius tondeat, emungat, excoriet. 
Isti sunt episcoporum sanguisugse, Ep. 25. 

f I will, for the benefit of the learned reader, place here the entire 
passage which is so important a source for the history of these rela- 
tions : Praepositus ruralis primus, licet Deo dignior, episcopo tamen est 
vilior. Cum isto ei est rarus sermo, rara consultatio super reddenda 
ratione villicationis suae, super regimine animarum, in quo patet, quan- 
tum amabat eas et redemptorem et summum pastorem earum. Cum 
tortore autem et praeposito freouens ei est sermo, ratiocinatio et con- 
sultatio. In quo patet, quantum dilexerit pecuniam. Sed et, quod 
detestabilius est, primum mittit ad oflScii sui executionem sine magna 
fidelitatis ejus exauiinatioue praehabita, sine sacrameuto jurisjurandi de 
fidelitate ei servanda in regimine animarum interposito. Secundum 
autem et tertium discutit usque ad unguem, si bene noverint bursas 
pauperum emungere et cum aspoitato lucro ad Domiuos suos redire, 
quibus tutelam pecuniae sine jurauiento interposito non committit. 
Horum autem duorum, scilicet qu»storis et prsepositi, violentior est 
quaestor. Praepositus enim saepius poena certa et defiiiita reum punit. 
Quaestor veto incerta et voluutaria, pro raodica culpa maximam poe- 
nam infligens. 

X Quod mirabilius est et execrabilius, illis quacsturam, torturam et 
exactionem et praelaturam vendit, ad pretium certum committit. Qui 
ne damnum et detrimentum propria) pecunisB incurraut, per omne nefas 
exactionum, calumniarum, rapinarum laxant retia sua in capturam 
pecuniarum, praedones effect! potius quam officiales. 


mig'ht be instruments of much good, or they might occasion 
a great deal of mischief. We find examples of both kinds ; 
for along with the great majority of bad bishops, there was a 
choice set of very good ones, men profoimdly penetrated with 
the spirit of genuine piety, and ready to offer themselves up 
in every way for the good of their communities. Among the 
qualities belonging to the exemplary discharge of the bishop's 
calling, were reckoned zeal in preaching, in caring for souls, 
and in making church-visitations ; impartiality ; the union of 
severity and gentleness in the trials conducted by him ; in- 
flexibility to the threats of power in administering punishment 
to the bad ;* activity in providing for the poor and sick ; 
burial of the poor ; restoration of peace among contending 
parties. Peter, bishop of Moustier en Tarantaise, in Savoy, 
who administered this office from the year 1142 to 1175, per- 
formed all these duties with great diligence in a poor and 
mountainous diocese. He sought to bring it about that each 
church of his diocese might possess a silver cup for the com- 
munion. Where other means fiiiled, he got an e^ to be 
offered weekly from each house ; these eggs he caused to be 
collected together and sold, till finally the necessary sum was 
obtained for purchasing a cup for the church where this was 
done. On his tours of visitation, he took but few companions 
with him, and those only such as, like himself, would seek to 
be as little burdensome as possible to the communities. He 
begged those who entertained him and his companions to 
give all which they left untouched to his brethren the poor. 
His house always resembled a poorhouse, — as his biographer 
relates, — especially during the three months before harvest, 
when, amonsrst those barren rocks, the means of subsistence 
were most difficult to be obtained. A multitude flocked in 
daily, whom he supplied with bread and herbs, and every year 
he made a grand and general love-feast. He took pains to 
search out those who were too infirm to labour, those who 
were suffering under incurable disorders throughout his whole 
diocese, — or to cause them to be sought out by others whom 
he could trust,— and provided them with food and raiment. 

* Accordingly, it was said of sucli an one : Nihil ea in re nee minis 
principium nee tyrannomm ssevitia absterritus. See, e. g., the life of 
William archbishop of Bourges, in the beginning of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, in the Actis Sanct. Mens. Januar. T. I. c. ii. and iii. f. 629. 


Those who had no dwellings, no relatives to care for them, 
he took care to place under the guardianship of faithful and 
pious persons, with whom they found everything necessary for 
their comfort. When, in rough winter weather, poor people 
met him on the mountains, destitute of suitable clothing to 
protect them from the cold, he shared with them, in case of 
necessity, the raiment he wore on his own body. In those 
Alpine regions, where there were no houses to receive wan- 
dering travellers, as, for example, on Mount St. Bernard, on 
the Jura, and on a third mountain, unnamed, he caused such 
shelters to be erected at his own expense, and took care 
that every pains should be taken to make them solid and 
durable. Wherever it was necessary to preach before the 
better-educated, he turned the duty on others;, but he made 
it a special object of attention himself to preach intelligibly 
to the common people. He was wont to apply to himself the 
words of the apostle Paul, 1 Cor. xiv. 19, — "I had rather 
speak five words with my understanding, that I might teach 
others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." 
Being a zealous adherent of Alexander the Third, he liad to 
oppose the emperor Frederick the First, in the contested 
papal election ; yet this monarch, who looked with contempt 
on the clergy that were surrounded with worldly pomp and 
splendour, felt constrained to honour and spare a spiritual 
shepherd like him.* 

We have already, on several occasions, remarked of the 
German bishops, that by their political position, as important 
members of the empire, they became entangled in a great deal 
of business foreign to their spiritual office as shepherds, so as 
to be drawn off by secular affairs from the proper duties of 
their calling.f Gerhoh of Reichersberg looked upon it as a 
grave violation of the ecclesiastical laws, that bishops should 
plan campaigns,— deliberate with monarchs on worldly affairs ; 
especially, that they should assist at capital trials. He called 

* Acta Sanctor. Mens. Maj. T. II. f. 324. 

t The words of a Parisian ecclesiastic : " I can believe almost any- 
thing; but I can hardly believe that a German bishop will be saved." 
The reason stated is, that German bishops, almost without exception, 
bear the secular along with the spiritual sword ; hold bloody courts • 
wage war, and feel more solicitude about the pay of their troops than 
the salvation of souls. See Cesar. Hebterbac. Dial.distiuct. II. c. xxvi. 
Bibl. Cisterc. T. II. f. 44. 


it a wretched hypocrisy in these bishops when, in order to 
show an apparent respect for the ecclesiastical laws, they 
absented themselves a short time before the close of those 
bloody trials, after every arrangement had already been made 
for the sentence which was to be passed. " They do like the 
Jews," says he, " who declared before Pilate, ' It is not lawful 
for us to put any man to death,' " John xviii. 31, — meaning 
that the Roman soldiers should crucify Christ.* According 
to his view of the church theocracy, the church should ex- 
ercise only a moral oversight over secular affairs, contend 
only with the sword of the Spirit ; and she would be irresis- 
tible, as he supposed, if she made use of this weapon alone. 
She enfeebled herself and her authority when she laid aside 
the spiritual sword for the secular. Nor did he even spare 
the popes, whose example might be appealed to in justification 
of the bishops. Happening to meet pope Eugene the Third, 
who had returned for the last time to Rome, at Viterbo, — 
when that pope complained to him of the unfavourable treaty 
of peace, which, after a large expenditure of money, he had 
been obliged to conclude with the Romans, — he remarked 
to him, that " even such a peace was better than the war 
carried on by him ; for," said he, " when the pope prepares 
to make war with the aid of hireling soldiers, I seem to see 
Peter before me, drawing his sword fi"om its sheath. But 
when he comes off" the worst in such a contest, I think I hear 
the voice of Christ, saying to Peter, ' Put up thy sword in 
its sheath.' "f 

As those German bishops must have felt themselves bur- 
dened by the duties of their double sphere of action, as their 
dioceses were of vast extent, and as secular business often 
occupied more of their time and thoughts than spiritual, so 
they would naturally welcome any opportunity that might 
offier itself of procuring such assistants as had received epis- 
copal ordination, and were therefore in a condition to act as 
their substitutes in the performance of episcopal functions. 
This opportunity was presented to them by a peculiar train of 
events in the thirteenth century. When the successfiil issue 

* De aedificio, c. xxxv. Pez. T. II. p. ii. f. 359. 
t See Gerhoh's letter to pope Alexander the Third, pablished by 
Pez. Thes, aneodot noviss. T. V. f. 540. 


of the first crusades, and the conquest of Constantinople, had 
extended the empire of the Western church in the East, the 
popes proceeded to erect bishoprics in those countries; but 
with the loss of those possessions, the bishoprics also had to 
be abandoned. Yet the popes would not relinquish their 
claims to them ; but still continued to appoint and consecrate 
bishops for those lost churches ; though in reality they were 
bishops only in name {episcopi in partibus infidelium). Now, 
in these titular bishops, the German prelates found the very 
kind of help which they wanted. These ecclesiastics were 
sent to them as coadjutores, suffragan bishops {suffraganei) ; 
and as pious men were frequently appointed to those places 
from the Dominican and Franciscan orders, so the arrange- 
ment operated advantageously for the cause of religious instruc- 
tion and the care of souls in those German dioceses. 

IV. PaoPHETic Warnings against the Seculabization 
OF THE Church. 

The church having arrived at the summit of power, the 
conviction continually gained force on the minds of men, that 
the superfluity of earthly goods would work ruin to the church 
itself; that through this secularizing spirit she was becoming 
estranged from her true calling. The complaints of the 
Hohenstaufen emperors, and of an entire party which attached 
itself to them ;* the voices of the German national bards,f 
and of the prophets that rose up to oppose the coriuption of 
the church, as well as of the sects that contended against her ; 

* The Gottfried of Viterbo, mentioned on page 238, speaking of Con- 
stantine's donation to Silvester, says : Ego autem, ut de sensu meo lo- 
quar, utrum Deo magis placeat gloria et exaltatio ecclesise, quae hoc 
tempore est, aut humilitatio, quae primitus fuerat, confiteor me ignorare. 
Videtur multis quidem primus ille status sanctiar, iste felicior. He does 
not venture to decide on the point, since Christ promised the church free- 
dom from error. Castera super his qusestionibus, majoribus nostris 
solvenda relinquimus. Pantheon, p. xvi., in Muratori, Script, rerum 
Italiear. f. 361. 

t E. g. in Walter von der Vogelweide, the legend of the threefold 
■woe, which the angels had announced at the donation made by Constan- 
tine to Sivester : " Once, Christianity was beautiful ; a poison has now 
fallen on it; its honey has been turned to gall ; great sorrow will come 
from this upon the world." Edition of Lachraann, p, 25. 


all were agreed in attributing her deg-eneracy to the riches 
that had been lavished on her. A certain faculty of prophecy 
seems implanted in the spirit of humanity ; the longing heart 
goes forth to meet beforehand great and new creations, which 
it needs in order to the attainment of its objects ; undefined 
presentiments hasten to anticipate the mighty future. Espe- 
cially does the kingdom of God, in the course of its develop- 
ment from beginning to end, form a connected whole, and it 
strives towards its completion according to sure and certain 
laws. The germ of the unknown future is already contained 
in the past. The spirit of the kingdom of God begets, there- 
fore, in those who are filled with it, a prophetic consciousness, 
— presentiments in reference to the grand whole of the evolu- 
tion, which are different from the prediction of individual 
events, not necessarily connected with that whole. Although 
tfie appearance of Christ, as the great turning point in man's 
history, would above all be necessarily preceded by prophecy 
and anticipation, yet, to the still further evolution of the 
Jdngdom of God, even after it has left its first envelopment, 
and come forth to the open light, belongs also a prophetic 
element ; as many an important epoch and turning-point still 
remains to be unfolded in its history, till it arrives at the 
ultimate goal. Out of the consciousness of the corruption of 
the church sprang the presentiment of a future regeneration, 
for which the way must be prepared by some violent process 
of purification. To longing hearts, a contemplation of the ' 
corruption of the secularized church served as a sort of foil, 
enabling them to picture forth, by the rule of contraries, the 
image of the better future. Accordingly, we may recognize 
in phenomena of this kind, belonging to the twelfth and thir- 
teenth centuries, foretokens — premonitions, of the Reforma- 
tion ; and perhaps, also, of epochs of development lying still 
more remote. Not the Christian spirit alone, however, but 
the antichristian also, has its divination. We see already 
budding forth, in antagonism with the false objectivity and 
externalization of the church, the tendency to a false inward- 
ness and subjectivity ; a tendency which aimed at, and pre- 
dicted, the dissolution of everything positive in religion, and, 
consequently, the dissolution of Christianity itself; premo- 
nitions of a spiritual bent, which, after mining for centuries 
in the heart of European civilization, was destined finally 


to burst through all the established boundaries of its social 

As representatives of the first-described direction of the 
prophetical spirit, we may mention the abbess Hildegard and 
the abbot Joachim. The predictions of the latter, however, 
were afterwards taken up by the second of the above-men- 
tioned directions, and interpreted in accordance with its own 
sense. We will now proceed to take a nearer view of these 
two important personages. 

Hildegard, who was born in 1098, and died in 1197,* 
founded, and presided as abbess over, the Rupert convent 
near Bingen. Her visions, which were held to be super- 
natural, — the revelations which she claimed herself to have 
received from Heaven, — her plain, frank, and moving exhor- 
tations, made her an object of great veneration. Especially 
after the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, — while sojourning in 
Germany on the business of preaching the crusade, — and pope 
Eugene the Third, had both recognized the divinity of her 
mission, did she attain the highest summit of her reputation. 
Persons of all ranks applied to her for advice, for the dis- 
closing of future events, for the decision of disputed questions, 
for her intercessions, and her spiritual consolations. Amongst 
those who consulted her were to be reckoned abbots and 
bishops, popes, kings, and emperors. If many complained of 
the obscurity of her sayings,"]" others might suppose they found 
a deeper wisdom in the darkness of the response. Parents 
longing to obtain children had recourse to the intercessions 
of Hildegard ; and to such applications she replied : ' ' This 
depends on the power and will of God, who alone knows 
to whom he grants children, and from whom he takes them 
away ; for his judgment is not according to man's liking, but 
according to his own wisdom. Because you have besought 
me, I will beseech God for you ; but let him do what, accord- 
ing to his grace and mercy, he has determined to do."J 

* The collections on the history of their lives, in the Actis Sanctorum, 
17th Sept. 

t Thus we hear of an Abbot Berthold : Licet consolationibus verbo- 
rum vestrorum factus sum sacpe loetior, obscuritatibus tamen eornm eo 
quod non plene iiitellectui meo paterent, factus sum tristior. Martene 
et Durand, Collectio amplissima, T. II. f. 1017. 

X Martene et Durand, Collectio ampl. T. II. f. 1029. Ep. 11. 


Many of her exhortations and responses betoken, on the 
whole, a Christian wisdom superior to the prejudices of her 
times. Pointing to the inward temper alone, as the important 
thing in Christian life, she declared herself opposed to all 
over-estimation of outward works, and all excessive asceticism. 
To an abbess she wrote, cautioning her against such delusion : 
" I have often observed that, when a man mortifies his body 
by extreme abstinence, a sort of disgust steals over him, and 
from this disgust he is more apt to plunge into vice than if he 
had allowed due nourishment to his body."* In the name of 
God, she gave to another this response : " What I have given 
man to eat, I do not take from him ; but food that excites 
disgust I know not, for vanity goes with it. Believe not that 
by immoderate abstinence any soul can fly to me ; but avoid- 
ing all extremes, let the man devote himself to me, and I 
will receive him."! To another much respected nun of this 
period, Elizabeth of Schonau, who also supposed herself 
favoured with heavenly visions, she gave the following exhor- 
tation : " Let those who would do the work of God be ever 
mindful that they are earthen vessels — that they are men. 
Let them ever keep before their eyes what they now are, and 
what they shall be ; and let them commit heavenly things to 
him who is in heaven, for they are themselves at a far distance 
from their home, and know not the things of heaven." J To 
an abbess, who b^ged an explanation of some anxiety by 
which she was troubled, she replied : " Thou shouldst hold 
fast to the sacred Scriptures, in which we come to the know- 
ledge of God by faith. We should not tempt God, but 
reverentially adore him. Oftentimes, man impatiently desires 
from God a solution of some difficulty which it is not granted him 
to understand, and is thereby misled to forsake God's service. 
Give thyself no concern about thoughts rising up involuntarily 
in thy soul. Satan often shoots such arrows into man's heart, 
in order to create distrust of God. This should serve as an 
exercise for self-denial ; everything depends on not giving way 
to such thoughts. Blessed is the man who by so doing /ire*, 

* Saepe video, quando homo per nimietatem abstinentise corpus saam 
affligit, quod taedium iu illo surgit, et taedio vido se implicat, plus qaam 
si illud juste pasceret L. c. f. 1068. 

t L. c. f. 1060. 

X Hildegard. epistolae, p. 115. 0)1od. 1566. 

302 THE abbess's bold language to the clergy. 

though constantly girt around, as it were, by the pains cf 
death."* To an abbot, harassed by many inward conflicts, 
who applied to her for comfort and for her intercessions, she 
replied : " There is in thee a breath of God, to which God has 
communicated an endless life, and to which he has given the 
wings of reason ; rise, therefore, with them, through faith 
and pious aspirations, to God. Know him as thy God who 
knew thee first, and from whom thy being proceeds ; therefore, 
beseech him that, by the breath of his Spirit, he would teach 
thee what is good, and deliver thee from evil. Trust in him, 
that thou mayest not be ashamed to appear before him with 
all thy works ; and pray to him, as a son does to a father, when 
punished by him because he has erred, that he would remem- 
ber his own child, in thee."f In the time of the schism 
between pope Alexander the Third and Victor the Fourth, a 
certain abbot applied, among others, to Hildegard, to inform 
him what he ought to do, so long as it remained doubtful 
which was to be considered the true pope ? J She advised him 
to say in his heart to God, "Lord, thou, who knowest all 
things, in my superiors I will obey thee, so long as they 
oblige me to do nothing contrary to the Catholic faith." He 
should place his hope in God alone, who would never forsake 
his church. § To an abbess who applied to her for comfort, 
and for her intercessions, she wTote : " Abide in communion 
with Christ ; seek all good in him ; to him reveal thy works, 
and he will bestow on thee salvation ; for without him salvation 
is sought in vain from man ; for grace and salvation are 
attained, not through any man, but through God." She 
boldly stood forth against the arbitrary will of an ambitious 

* Beatus homo, qui ea nee facere \ult, nee eis consentit, sed sicut cum 
passione mortis in eis vivit. Martene et Durand, Collectio ampl. T. II. 
f. 1075. 

■)• Martene et Durand, CoUectio ampl. T. II. f. 1053. 

X The abbot, speaking of the pernicious consequences of a schism of 
this sort, which every man would take advantage of as a pretext for 
disobedience, had said : Quoniam ecclesia, ad quod caput suum respi- 
ciat, veraciter iguorat, quia quisque vagus inde exemplum sumens reli- 
gionem bonsE conversationis abhorret, hiqui spiritu Dei aguntur, nou 
minime soUicitantur, qui finis eorum in voluntate Dei esse debeat. L. 
c. f. 1055. 

§ Tu ergo ?pe tua ad unum Deum tende, quia ipse ecclesiam suam noa 

THE abbess's bold LANGUAGE TO THE CLERGY. 303 

clergy. In the cemetery of her convent one was buried who, 
it was said, had been excommunicated ; but those who per- 
formed the obsequies maintained that he had obtained absolu- 
tion. The spiritual authorities of ^layence caused the body to 
be dug up, and laid the convent under an interdict because 
ecclesiastical burial had been granted to an excommimicated 
person. Hildegard thereupon issued a letter, addressed to 
the clergy of Mayence,* in which she represented to them 
how grievously they had sinned by such an arbitrary proceed- 
ing. " All prelates were bound to avoid taking a step, except 
after the most careful examination of reasons, which would 
prevent any community, by their sentence, from singing God's 
praise or administering and receiving the sacraments. They 
should be very certain, that they were moved to such a step 
only by zeal for God's justice, and not by anger or revenge." 
She assured them that she had heard a divine voice saying : 
"Who created heaven? — God, "Who opens heaven to the 
faithful ? — God. Who is like unto him ? — No man."f 

The clergy, generally, she severely rebuked on account of 
their corrupt morals ; their ambition and thirst for lucre ; 
their unholy traffic with sacred things ; their occupations, 
which were so utterly inconsistent with the spiritual calling, 
— such as bearing arms, singing ludicrous songs.J She re- 
proaches them for neglecting, in their devotion to worldly 
pursuits, the peculiar duties of their calling, — the instruction 
of the people in God's law, offering the idle excuse that it 
costs too much labour.§ They rendered themselves chargeable, 
by this n^lect and by their bad example, with the guilt of 
ruininu: the laity, who lived according to their lusts ; before 
whom they ought rather to shine as pillars of light. She 
announced to the clergy a divine judgment, which would 
deprive them of the riches that served to corrupt them ; a 
judgment from which the clergy was to come forth tried and 
refined. The then spreading sects of the Catharists and the 

* Martene et Durand, CoUectio ampl. T. II. f. 1058. 

t Hildegard. epistolae, p. 121. 

X L. c. p. 160, to the clergy in Cologne : Interdum milites, interdnm 
servi, interdum ladificantfs cantores existitis; sed per fabulosa officia 
vestra in aestate aliqaando abigitis. 

§ Nee subditos doctrinam a vobis quaerere permitdtis, dicentes ; omnia 
elaborare non possumus. 

304 HILDEGARd'S prophecies, abbot JOACHIM. 

Apostolici* appeared to her the antetype of a party whieh 
would be used by the Almighty as an instrument of this 
judgment for the purification of the church. f " A troop led 
astray, and commissioned by Satan, shall come, with pale 
countenances and all appearance of sanctity ; and they shall 
combine with the mightier princes of the world. In mean ap- 
parel shall they go ; full of meekness and composure of mind 
shall they appear ; by simulating the strictest abstinence and 
chastity shall they draw after them a numerous train of 
followers ; and to the princes shall they say, concerning you, 
Why tolerate these people among you who pollute the whole 
earth with their sins ? They live in drunkenness and revelling, 
and unless you drive them forth the whole church will go to 
destruction. These people shall be the rod which God will 
make use of to chastise you, and they shall continue to per- 
secute you until you are purified from your sins. When this is 
done, then shall the princes discover the hypocritical character 
of these persecutors of the clergy, and fall upon them. Then 
shall the morning dawn of righteousness arise, and the clergy, 
purified by affliction, shine as the finest gold." J 

The predictions of Hildegard were widely diffused, and much 
read ; and they gave matter for reflection on the nature of that 
process of purification which awaited a corrupted church. New 
prophetic visions were called forth by them. 

Far more graphically depicted did the image of the future 
present itself in the soul of the abbot Joachim, who, at first, 
presided over the monastery at Corace (Curatium) in Calabria, 
at length founded the monastery of Floris, and a peculiar 
congregation of monks, and died between the years 1201 
and 1202. He was reverenced in his time as a prophet, and 
stood in high consideration with popes and princes.§ He 
was an enthusiastic friend of monasticisra and of the con- 

* Of whom we shall speak in the fourth section. 

t Per quendain errantem populum, pejorem erranti populo, qui nunc 
est, super vos prEevaricatores ruina cadet, qui ubique vos persequetur et 
qui opera vestra non celabit, sed ea denudabit. L. c. p. 160, 

J Hildegard. epistolse, p. 169. 

§ See the records and collections on the history of his life in the Actis 
Sanctor. 29th of May. Comp. Dr. Engelhardt's Essay, on the Abbot 
Joachim and the Everlasting Gospel, p. 32, in his Kirchengeschichtlichen 


teraplative life, from which he looked for the regeneration 
of the secularized church. He opposed the mystical to the 
scholastico-dialectic theology. As the reigning corruption 
seemed to him to spring from secularization, and the fondness 
for dry and meagre conceptions of the understanding, so he 
expected from religious societies, who should renounce all 
earthly goods, and live only in pious contemplation, a new 
and more glorious epoch of the church in the latter days. We 
must transport ourselves back to the times in which he lived. 
It was near the close of the twelfth century ; the papacy had 
been seen to come forth victoriously out of the contest with 
the emperor Frederic the First ; but new and violent storms 
might still be expected to burst from the side of that powerful 
house. The Calabrian regarded Germany with detestation ; 
and he was inclined to look upon the imperial power of 
Germany as the one to be employed In executing judgment 
on a corrupted church ; but neither could he forgive it in 
the popes that they had taken refuge in France. Grief over 
the corruption of the church, longing desire for better times, 
profound Christian feeling, a meditative mind, and a glowing 
imagination, such are the peculiar characteristics of his spirit 
and of his writings. His ideas were presented for the most part 
in the form of comments and meditations on the New Testa- 
ment ; but the language of the Bible furnished him only with 
such hints as might turn up for the matter which he laid into 
them by his allegorizing mode of interpretation ; although the 
types, which he supposed he found presented in the Scriptures, 
reacted in giving shape to his intuitions. As his writings and 
ideas found great acceptance, in this age, among those who 
were dissatisfied with the present, and who were longing after 
a different condition of the church ; and the Franciscans, who 
might easily fency they discovered, even in that which is cer- 
tainly genuine in Joachim's writings, a prophecy referring to 
their order, so a strong temptation arose to the forging of 
works under his name, or the interpolating those which really 
proceeded from him. The loose connection of the matter in 
liis works, made it easy to insert passages from other hands ; 
and this character of the style renders a critical sifting of 
them difficult.* 

* The three works referred to by himself in the prolc^oe to his Com- 
mentary on the Apocalypse, namely : This Commentary, the Concordiae 

306 Joachim's genuine and spurious writings. 

Let us now consider, more in detail, what is expressed in 
these remarkable writings concerning the present and the 

Veteris ac Novi Testamenti, and the Psalterium decern Chordarum, are 
certainly genuine. In reference, however, to the Commentary on Jere- 
miah and Isaiah, my own opinion would be confirmatory of the sus- 
picions expressed by Engelhardt. These books are not cited in the list 
given by Joachim himself, although the Commentary on Jeremiah pur- 
ports to have been written in the year 1197, and the Commentary on the 
Apocalypse, to which the above-mentioned prologue belongs, was com- 
posed in the year 1 200. Moreover, in the preface to his Psalterium 
decem Chordarum, he mentions only those three works as belonging to 
one whole. The prediction of two new orders of monks, who should 
appear for the glorification of the church in the last times, and which 
were supposed to be fulfilled in the Dominican and Franciscan orders, 
certainly does not warrant us to entertain the suspicion, at once, that 
they were of later origin : for the contemplative life of monasticism was 
assuredly regarded by the abbot Joachim as the highest of all ; and 
a renovation of that mode of life could not but appear to him as one of 
the essential marks of the glory of the last age of the church. But then 
^gain, the idea of a double order of monks presented itself to him of its 
own accord, — of an order, whose labours in the way of preaching was to 
bring about the last general conversion of the nations ; an order which 
should represent the highest Johannean stage of the contemplative life. 
Thus, no doubt, it may be explained that, even without being a prophet, 
he might hit on the thought of sketching forth a picture of two such 
orders ; since we find something like this in the writings which un- 
doubtedly belong to him. But still, many descriptions of the Franciscans 
are too striking not to excite the suspicion that they have been foisted in 
by some Franciscan ; as, for example, Commentar. in Jerem., p. 81, the 
pradicatores and the ordo myivrum ; and the way in which the author 
expresses himself in this place, makes it certainly more probable that the 
title minores, already existing, led him to the explications which there 
occur, than that he had been led by those explications so to designate 
this order of contemplatives. Next occur, particularly in the Commen- 
tary on Isaiah, as they do not in Joachim's undoubtedly genuine works, 
certain prophecies, which seem to have arisen post factum. Page seventh 
contains the remarkable passage concerning Almaric of Bena, Revela- 
tion ix. 2, thus interpreted : Sive Almericus sive aliquis alius in Liguria 
doctor magnus fuerit, qui detexerit profundum scientise ssecularis, cum 
regio ilia adeo infecerit erroribus circumpositas regiones, ut de hujus- 
modi locustis et lamiis ipsa mater ecclesia tabescat. Page 28, col, 2, the 
predictions concerning the power of the Mongols ; how the Tartars 
would turn their arms against the Mohammedans. To be sure, the 
spurious character of such single passages is no evidence of the spurious- 
ness of the entire work, in which moreover, the current ideas of Joa- 
chim may easily be discerned : and in the Commentary on Jeremiah 
we also find many single passages which do not favour the hypothesis 


In his commentary on the prophet Jeremiah, Joachim 
complains of the exactions of the Roman church : " The 
whole world is polluted with this evil. There is no city nor 
village where the church does not push her benefices, collect 
her revenues. Everywhere she will have prebends, endless in- 
comes. O God ! how long dost thou delay to avenge the blood 
of the innocent, which cries to thee firom beneath the altar of 
the Capitol ? "* He calls the church of Rome the house of the 
courtezan, where all practise simony, all are stained and pol- 
luted ; where the door b thrown open to every one who 
knocks. He speaks against the legates, who travel about the 
provinces, impudently preach, acquire benefices and prebends, 
snatch to themselves the dignity of the prelates. He com- 
plains of the deification of the Rioman chiu^h. " Some have so 
exalted the church in Rome," says he, " that a man was held 
up as a heretic who did not visit the threshold of Peter. 
Their guilty mistake lay in this, that they bid men visit the 
holy material temple, wlien the truth is, that in every place 
every Christian is a temple of God, if he leads a good lifcf 
He speaks against indulgences dispensed from Rome : " Many 
place so much confidence in the absolution of the church, as 
never once to think that they need to leave oflf sinning ! but 
sink deeper and deeper in all manner of wickedness." He is 
full of zeal against the proud and fleshly living cardinals and 

of its having been composed at some later period. Woald a Franciscan, 
instead of referring all to the two mendicant orders, have so expressed 
himself as on page 85 : In tertio vero statu retorqnendnm est totmn ad 
Cisterciences et alios futoros religiosos, qui post antichrist! minam 
multiplicandi sunt ? Page 151, the successor of Celestin is compared 
with Herod the Great, and a persecution of the spiritualis intelligentia, 
proceeding from him, is predicted : Designat Herodes summum pontifi- 
cem post Ccelestinum fotumm, quicunque sit ille. It is easy to see how 
Joachim, writing near the end of the reign of Celestin, might have been 
led by his typical exposition, flights of imagination, and his tone of cha- 
racter, to predict such things of Celestin's successor ; but it is difficult 
to believe that a man belonging to one of the two monkish orders, after- 
wards Innocent the Third, would be so designated. 

* A play on words : O Dens, quousque non vindicas sanguinem inno- 
centum, sub altari clamantium Romani Capituli, immo Capitolii? 

t Quia invitabant ad templam sanctum materiale arguuntur, quia in 
loco omni quilibet Christianas templam Dei est, dammo<io bonas faciat 
vias suas. 

X 2 


prelates.* He predicts a divine judgment on the Roman 
curia, because litigious processes and exactions were worse in 
that court than in all other judicatories, t He announces that 
Christ is about to grasp the scourge, and drive sellers and 
buyers out of the temple. He does not stop with accusations 
against the church of Rome, but attacks also the prevailing 
corruption in all other parts of the church. " The church of 
Peter," says he, " the church of Christ, which was once full, 
is now empty : for, although she now seems full of people, 
yet they are not lier people, but strangers. They are not 
her sons, the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, but the sons 
of Babylon. What profits the name of Christ, where the 
power is wanting ? The church is, as it were, widowed : 
there are but few or no bishops, who, to save their flocks, 
expose themselves a prey to the wolves. Every man seeks his 
own, and not the things of Jesus Christ."J " Where," says 
he,§ " is there more contention, more fraud, more vice and 
ambition, than among the clergy of our Lord ? Therefore 
must judgment begin from the house of the Lord, and the 
fire go forth from his sanctuary, to consume it, in order that 
tlie others may perceive what will be done with them when 
he spares not even his sinning children." Of the Romish 
church, to which he frequently applies the name Babylon, 
he says, " She should not plume herself upon her laith, 
when she denies the Lord by her works." || He is fond of 
marking the course of history ; particularly the history of the 
papacy. He describes pope Leo the Ninth as the representa- 
tive of a reforming tendency in the church.^ Pope Paschalis 
the Second he represents as the traitor of the church, who 
had reduced her to servitude.** He accuses the popes of con- 
niving at wickedness in order to gain temporal advantages 

* Prselatos et cardinales superbe camaliterque viventes. Comment, 
in Jerem. p. 262. 

f Transcendit papale praetorium cunctas curias in calumniosis litibus 
et quaestibus extorquendis. Comment, in Esaiam, p. 39. 

X De Concordia novi et veteris testamenti, p. 54 ; therefore in a-vrriting 
undoubtedly genuine. 

§ L. c. p. 53. II In .Terem. p. 65. 

If Ut ambularent in novitate spiritus in came viventes. 

** See above, p. 2, f. Compare also the commentary on the apoca- 
lypse, p. 7 : In tempore ecclesioe quiuto et maxime a diebus Henrici 
primi imperatoris Alamauuorum muudani principes, qui Christiani di- 


fiom princes, and of having made themselves slaves to princes 
l)ecause they wished to rule by secular power. " After the 
^mpes began to contend with worldly princes, and to be intent 
on reigning over them by worldly pride, they have been 
obliged ever since the time of Pope Paschalis to fall beneath 
them. Their successors down to the present time have sacri- 
ficed the liberties of the church to the German monarchs ; 
and, for the sake of temporal things, have tolerated many an 
offence in the church of God. Because they perceived that 
the temporal things after which they lusted belonged to the 
Roman empire, they were willing rather to do homage for 
a v/hile to secular princes, than to go against the stream." * 
" Although," says he,| " the secular princes have wrested 
many things by violence from the church, as, for example, the 
Kingdom of the Sicilies ; and, although they hinder the 
freedom of the church, yet even the popes themselves have 
wrested many things from the princes, which they never 
should have longed after nor taken. And as every man seeks 
his own, force is met by force ; the church attacks the state, 
the greedy prelates receive not the word of Christ, ' Render 
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's ; ' thus the old bottles 
will burst, and the pope will not only long after temporal 
things, as belonging to him, but also after spiritual things 
which do not belong to him, (the sense is, he will arrogate to 
himself all spiritual authority, even that which does not be- 
long to him). Thus will it come to pass, that he will seat 
himself in the temple of God, and, as a god, exalt himself 
above all that is called God, that is, above the authority of 
all prelates." } In the commentary on Isaiah, he remarks : 
■•' When the chair of Peter drew the temporal sword in com- 
pliance with a forbidden ambition, and his sons, like cattle 
for the slaughter, exposed themselves to doubtful chances, he 
considered not what the Scriptures say, ' He that takes the 

cuntur, qui primo videbantur venerari clenim, deterius prae gentibns 
quaesierunt libertatem ecclesiae, et quantum ad eos pertinet, abstulisse 
noscuntur. It is noticeable that Henry the Fifth is referred to as primus ; 
and so he is always designated in the commentary on Jeremiah; as 
Henry the Sixth is there called secundus. 

* In Jeremiah, p. 330. j Ibid. p. 310. 

X Non tantum sua Romanus prseses exiget quasi temporalia (it should 
doubtless read : temporalia quasi sua), sed etiam spiritualia quae non sua. 
L. c. p. 310. 


sword shall perish by the sword.' * It is the incredulity of 
liuman weakness," says he,| " which leads the popes to place 
more confidence in men than in God ; and hence it happens, 
by a just judgment, that destruction comes from tlie very 
quarter where they looked for help. Surely, when we turn 
our eye to the root of this evil, it must be plain to us that the 
church, founded upon the lowly Christ, ought to keep far 
from pride ; and she has reason to fear, that if she strives 
after earthly riches, these will finally be driven away like 
chaff before the wind. The church ought, in these times, 
when she is oppressed by those of her own household, to 
place her confidence not in worldly goods, but in the power 
of God. If believing princes have offered some gifts to the 
poor Christ, still, the spiritual order, waxen fat with abun- 
dance, must not give themselves up to pride ; but rather dis- 
tribute their superfluous wealth to the poor, and not to the 
giants who have helped to build the tower of Babel (the high 
prelates, by whom the secularization of the church is pro- 
moted). Gold was brought to Christ, that he might have the 
means of fleeing into Egypt ; myrrh was offered him, as if in 
allusion to his death ; incense that he might praise God, not 
that he might rise up against Herod, or fall as a burden upon 
Pharaoh ; not that he might give himself up to sensual de- 
lights, or reward benefits received with ingratitude. The vice- 
gerents of Christ, in these latter times, care nothing for the 
incense, they seek only the gold ; in order that, with great 
Babylon, they may mingle the golden goblets, and pollute 
their followers with their own uncleanliness." " Because the 
cardinals, priests, and different orders of the clergy, who at 
present are very seldom followers of the lowly Christ, use the 
goods of the churches in the service of their lusts ; therefore 
the princes of the world, who behold the disgrace of the sanc- 
tuary, stretch out their hands to the property of the church, 
believing that by so doing they render a service to the Most 
High." f " The church," says he,§ " can and could retire 
into solitude, lead a spiritual life, abide iji communion with 

* Ubi pro terrenis ambitionibus sibi prohibitis temporalem gladium 
exemit, et filios suos eventibus dubiis, vf lut oves occisionis exponit, non 
revolvens animo quod scriptura prseloquitur, p. 7. 

f lu Jerem. p. 370. J In Esaiara, p, 28. § In Jerem. p. 56. 


Christ, her bridegroom ; and through her love to him she 
would become mistress of the world, and perhaps no longer b« 
subject to pay quit-rent. But alas ! in loving the friendship 
of secular princes, and grasping without shame after earthly 
incomes, she is humiliated in the same proportion as she 
lowered herself down to such femiliarity and concupiscence." 
As Joachim believed the popes were pa\'ing the way for the 
overthrow of their own power by seeking to hold it up by 
worldly props, instead of confiding solely on the power of 
God, so he looked upon it as one evidence of the weakness 
they had brought upon themselves, that they must in the twelfth 
centurj' so often seek a refiige in France. He warns them 
" to see to it, lest that French power might prove to them a 
broken reed." 

Joachim was fiiU of zeal for the essential matter of an 
inward, living Christianity ; and hence he decried that confi- 
dence in externals which tended to render men secure in their 
sins, and to draw them away from true penitence. " Many of 
the laity, " says he,* " expect to be saved by the offerings 
of the priests and the prayers of the regular clergy, even while 
they give themselves up to sin. But in vain look they to such 
gods for help ; their incense is an abomination to God." f 
" That which is represented outwardly in the sacraments," 
says he, " can be of no saving benefit whatever to a man if in 
his daily actions he does not strive to live conformably to what 
is thus outwardly represented. " For why wast thou baptized 
unto Christ if thou wilt not be pure ? "Why art thou buried in 
baptism if thou wUt continue to live in sin ? Why dost thou 
partake of the body of Christ, that was offered for thee, if thou 
art not willing to die for Christ if it be necessary ? J The 
sacraments, then, do nothing for those that abuse them ; th^ 
benefit those only who so live as the sacraments signify." § 

* L. c p. 104. 

t Nutandum est, qaod laici qoidam pntant se saaari victimis sacer- 
dotum et orationibus regalariam, cum ipsi mala committant. Sed frostra 
tales dii eos adjuvant, nam incensum abominatio est mihi, holocausto* 
mata uiliilominus reproba esse demonstrant. 

X In Apocalyps. p. 91. 

§ Licet tuec omnia in sacramento fidelibos data sint, non potest tamen 
tenere ilia, nisi id explere studeat moribus, quod sacramenti similitudo 
docet esse tenendum. Non igitur sacramenta conferunt aliquid aba- 
tentibus eis, sed his, qui ita vivuiit, quo modo sacramenta significant 


Against sanctimonious monks he says,* '• They pas? current 
for living men with those who are carnal and carnally minded, 
those who loolc merely on the outside, the visible appearance, 
and cannot see the idols within. Thus, they allow themselves 
to be deceived, praise and extol these miserable creatures, 
in whom there is nothing to praise, and hope for the forgive- 
ness of their sins through the merits of those whose souls at 
the end of the present life sink to perdition." Concernuig 
fleshly representations of the divine Being, he says ; - A God 
like this is not the God of believers, but of unbelievers, an 
idolatrous image of the human mind and not God." "j" The 
jealousies subsisting between the different ranks in the church 
and the different orders of monks seemed to him most directly 
at variance with that pattern of the apostolic church, which 
\yas constantly present to his mind. " In those times," says 
he, " there were manifold forms of life corresponding to differ- 
ent gradations of the development of the Christian life ; but 
all were united together in the organism of the body of Christ, 
as harmonizing parts of one whole." J 

Joachim agreed with Hildegard in announcing a terrible 
judgment that was coming upon the corrupted church, from 
which, however, she was to emerge purified and refined. It 
was also a characteristic point in the prophetical picture which 
floated before his imagination, that the secular power was to 
combine with the heretical sects in combating the church. As 
in Italy and Sicily, the name " Patarenes"§ was a popular 
and current name applied to sects, so the Patarenes, according 
to him, were to be the instrument for the execution of the 
divine judgment, — forerunners of the antichrist, from whom 
the latter himself was to proceed ; — a king, and probably, in 

* L. c. p. 78. 

t Deus, qui talis est, non est Deus fidelium, sed infidelinm, idolum 
animarum et non Deus. P. 101, in the Tractatus de ,'oncordia veteris 
et novi testament!. 

X Quam vero longe sit omnis moderna religio a forma ecclesia; primi- 
tivae, eo ipso intelligi potest, quod ilia apostolos et evangelistas, doctores 
et virgines, et zelantes vitam continentera et conjugates veluti unus cor- 
tex mail Punici divisis tamen cellulis niausionum cotijungebat in unum 
et conjunctis membrorum speciebus efficiebat ex omnibus unum corpus. 
Nunc autem alibi corpus et membra, singula pro seipsis, non pro aliis 
sunt sollicita. L. c. p. 71. 

§ See above, p. 136, and the passages there cited. 

Joachim's pbopiiecies coxcerkixg henkt vi. 313 

conjunction with him, a felse pope also. A pope, springing up 
from among the Patarenes, and armed with a seeming power 
of working miracles, would league himself with the antichrist 
of the secular power in the attack on the church, and stir up 
the latter against the feithful, as Simon Magus is said to have 
incited Nero to the persecution of the Christians.* He was 
inclined to represent the antichrist as an incarnation of Satan, 
through whom the great enemy of all good would seek to 
accomplish against the church what he had hitherto attempted 
in vain. All the previous machinations of Satan against the 
church were but a preparation for this final attack, in which 
aU preceding wickedness was to be concentrated ; in which 
Satan, foreseeing the last judgment near at hand, would expend 
his rage in a last desperate effort.'}' 

The house of Hohenstaufen hold a prominent place in his 
description of the judgment that was to come upon the secular- 
ized church. In the details, we meet with a great deal which 
is vague and self-contradictory ; moreover, it admits of a ques- 
tion whether his predictions at this point may not have been 
interpolated, so as to agree with the issue of events. J "When, 
in the year 1197, § at the particular invitation of the emperor 
Henry the Sixth, he wrote his commentary on the prophet 
Jeremiah, he expresses himself in one place j] as uncertain 
whether or not another emperor would yet intervene between 
him and his heirs.^ Such an intervening emperor did in feet 
come in, after the death of Henry, in the same year. He 

* In Jerem. p. 123. The secta falsorum christianornm et lia;reti- 
comm, quorum caput erit antichristus, et forsitan pseudopapa erit adja- 
toset fultus antichristo reipublicae; and p. 143, we find, as the seventh 
and Irst persecutor of the church, the antichristus, rex Patareuorum. 

t Et sciendum, quod in primis temporibns proeliatns est diabolus in 
membris suis, in extremis vero temporibns prceliabitnr in illo, qui erit 
capnt et primus omnium reproborum, in quo et habitabit specialins ac si 
in vase proprio per seipsum, ut malum, quod princeps dsemonum nequi- 
vit explere, ipse quasi magnus et potens expleat in furore fortitndinis 
suae. In the concordia 130, 2. 

X In the commentary on Isaiah, p. 4, is cited a vaticinium Silvestri 
de Frederico Secundo, et ejus |X)steris : Erit in insidiis sponsse agni, 
quam praesules dilaniant et absorbent 

§ Commentar. in Jerem. p. 33, 

jl L. c. p. 86. He says to him : Et jngum patris tni vix pontifices 
potnerunt portare et minimus digitus tnus lumbis est grossior patris toL 

^ Utrum inter Heuricum hnnc et haeredem alios surgat, illi videbont, 
qui snperemnt L. c. p. 86. 


foretold, though without intimating that the event was so near 
at hand, that Frederic the Second would remain under the tu- 
telage of his mother Constantia, and that — if the Roman see 
did not care to preserve for him the empire which another* 
would make himself master of — ho, would stand forth as ruler 
and pour out upon the church a mortal poison. | Sometimes 
the year 1200, sometimes 1260, is mentioned as one which 
would constitute an epoch in history. 

Joachim, as we have said, was an opponent of the prevailing 
dialectic tendency in theology. Hence the latter days of the 
church, when it should have come forth glorified out of the 
refining process, appeared to him as a time of all-satisfying 
contemplation, taking the place of that learning which dwells 
on the letter and finite conceptions of the understanding, 
when the inspiration of love, that meditation on divine things 
which can solve all problems, would follow an imperfect, 
fragmentary, conceptual knowledge. Connected with this is 
a division of the different periods of revelation and of history, 
which from this time onward recurs repeatedly under various 
phases, — a division conformable to the doctrine of the trinity. 
Although, by virtue of their essential unity, all the three 
persons ever work together, and somewhat belonging properly 
to each person is to be found in every period, yet, at the 
same time, in relation to the distinction of persons, the pre- 
dominant activity of some one amongst the three is to be 
distinguished according to the measure of three principal 
periods. The times of the Old Testament belong especially 
to God the Father; in it, God revealed himself as the 
Almighty, by signs and wonders ; next, followed the times 
of the New Testament, in which God, as the Word, revealed 
himself in his wisdom, where the striving after a compre- 
liensible knowledge of mysteries predominates ; the last tmies 

* Otho the Fourth. 

t L. c. p. 299. Sub nomine viduse tangit consortem tuam Constan- 
tiam, cujus pupillus filius erit. Puto quoque, si Romana sedes post te 
de manu calumniatoris posita accessoris regnum liberare neglexerit, 
versa vice pupillus mutatus in regulum super earn mortalia veneua dif- 
fundet. He says that, under him, the fastigium imperiale would decline, 
protendetur vita ejus, quasi vita regis in 60 annis. He announces, in the 
year 1197, the persecution proceeding from the Hoheustaufeu house 
against the Romish church, in 64 annos deteriores prioribus. L. c. 
p. 331. 


belong to the Holy Spirit, when the fire of love in con- 
templation will predominate.* As the letter of the Old 
Testament answers to God the Father, the letter of the New 
Testament more especially to the Sou, so the spiritual under- 
standing, which proceeds from both, answers to the Holy 
Spirit.f As all things were created by the Father through 
the Son ; so in the Holy Spirit, as love, all were to find their 
completion.^ To the working of the Father, — power, fear, 
fiiith, more especially correspond ; to the working of the Son, 
— humility, truth, and wisdom ; to the working of the Holy 
Spirit, — love, joy, and freedom.§ In connection with this 
must be considered the way in which he contemplates the three 
apostles — Peter, Paul, and John — as representatives of the 
three periods in the process of the development of the church, 
John represents the contemplative bent, and as he laboured 
where Peter and Paul had already laid the foundation, and 
survived the other apostles, so the Johannean contemplative 
period would be the last times of the church, corresponding to 
the age of the Holy Spirit. As the Father revealed himself 
in the Old Testament, and the Son, after the completion of the 
Old, introduced the New ; so this relation corresponds to that 
of Paul to Peter ; since Paul did not labour on the foundation 
which Peter had laid, but opened for himself an independent 
field of action ; and as then the completion was given to the 

• The \rords in John v. 17, according to the Vulgate : " Pater mens 
usqae modo operatur, et ego operor," he explains as follows : " Till now 
the Father has worked ; from henceforth 1 work." When accused of 
Tritheism on this account, he retaliated by accusing his opponents of 
Sabellianism : Non attendentes, quod sicut vere in personis proprieta* 
est et in essentia unitas, ita qusedam sint, quae propter proprietateni 
personarum proprie adscribantur patri, qusedam, qua propria adscriban- 
tur filio, qua;dam, quae proprie spiritui sancto, et quae propter imitatem 
esseutiae ipsamet commnniter referantur ad omnes. Introdact. in Apo- 
calyps. p. 13. 

t Ut litera testament! prioris proprietate quadam similitudinis vide- 
tur pertinere ad patrem, litera testamenti novi pertinere ad filium, ita 
spiritalis iutelligeutia, qose procedit ex ntraque, ad spiritum sanetiun. 
L. c. p. 5. 

X Quoniam sicut a patre omnia sunt et per filium omnia, ita et in 
spiritu sancto, qui est caritas Dei, consummanda stmt uniTcrsa. In 
Apocalyps. p. 84. 

§ Nonnulla specialius attribuuntur patri, sicuti potentia, timor et fides, 
nonuulla filio, nt humilitas, Veritas et sapientia, nonnulla spiritui sancto, 
at caritas, gaudium et Ubertas. L. c. p. 48. 


whole by John, so in the last Johnnean period, that which 
the Son began will be carried to its completion by the Holy 
Spirit.* Then will the promise of the Lord be fulfilled ; that 
he had yet many things to say which his disciples could not 
then bear ; that this Spirit should guide into all truth. In the 
words spoken by Christ to John (John xxi. 23), " If I will 
that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ? " he finds an 
intimation of the fact that the Johannean period would be the 
last.f He says of John, " What he himself had drunk out of 
the heart of Christ, that he has given the chosen to drink — the 
living water, which he had drunk from the fountain of life ; for 
the living water is the Holy Scriptures, in their spiritual sense, 
which was not written with ink, pen, and paper, but by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, in the book of man's heart."| John 
is the representative of the contemplative, as Peter, of the 
practical tendency ; the latter prefigures the clerical, the for- 
mer the monastic, order. When Peter (John xxi. 21) supposes 
that John also M'as to be a martyr, by this is signified the 
jealousy of the practical class towards the contemplative : they 
reproach the latter with leading so easy and quiet a life, and 
taking no share in their toils : they do not consider that it costs 
quite as much self-denial to human nature, patiently to wait 
the revelation of God, and to give one's self up entirely to the 
contemplation of divine things, as to pursue bodily labour ; to 
sit in one spot, as to be driven about in a multiplicity of 
employments. As after the martyrdom of Peter, John alone 
remained, so when the order of the clergy shall have perished 
in martyrdom, following Christ, in the last conflict with anti- 
christ, the order of the contemplative, genuine monks shall 
alone remain, and the entire succession of St. Peter pass over 
into that.§ The order of genuine contemplatives and spiritales, 

* Et illud diligenter observa, quod qnando inter Petrum et Joannem 
interponitur Paulus, tunc Petrus designat personam patris, Paulus filii, 
Joannes spiritus sancti, et quia Paulus non supersedificavit a priucipio 
in his, quae Petrus fundavit, fundavit autem ipse per se (et supersedifi- 
cavit Joannes), unigenitum Dei patris in hoc ipso designat, qui consum- 
mato veteri testamento, quod specialius pertinebat ad patrem, inchoavit 
testamentura novum, quod specialius pertinetadseipsum, superveniet au- 
tem spiritus sanctus, consummaturus, quae inchoata sunt et fundata a filio. 

t Significat electos tertii status. In Apocaljps. p. 84. 

X lu Apocalyps. p. 3. 

§ Uelinquatur pars ilia electorum, qusp designata est in Joanne, ad 


prefigured by Jesus himself, might perhaps — he supposes, in 
his Commentaiy on the Apocalypse — be already existing 
in the germ ; but as yet it could not be observed, because the 
beginnings of a new creation are ever wont to be obscure and 
contemptible* The abbot Joachim was filled with that same 
idea, — an idea called forth by the antagonism to the secular- 
ization of the church, — which had seized many serious minds 
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and which gave birth 
to the first societies of the "Waldenses, as well as of the Fran- 
ciscans. Accordingly, he must be a prophet for all appearances 
of a kindred character. 

Each of the three great apostles had his peculiar gift of 
grace, conformable to the peculiar position which he took in 
the process of the development of the church. And, as this 
process was thereby prefigured, so each period in the history 
of the church has its peculiar gift of grace, belonging to this 
peculiar position. We should not expect to find everything, 
therefore, in every age. Peter represents the power of feith 
which works miracles ; Paul, knowledge ; and John, contem- 
plation. f 

In these last times was to be concentrated every divine element 
from the earlier periods. The planting and sowing of many 
years would be collected together at one point, — a period, 
though short in compass, yet greatest in intrinsic importance in 
reference to the fulness of grace there accumulated.^ In the 

qaam oportet transire totam Petri saccessionem, deficiente parte ilia 
laboriosa, qnai designata est in Petro, data ubique tranquillitjite ama- 
toribus Christi. In tempore nempe illo erit Dominns unns et nomen 
ejus nnum. L. c. p. 77. 

* Qui videlicet ordo prae multis aliis, qui prsecessemnt enm, amabilis 
et prsEclarus infra limitera quidem secundi status initiandus est, si tamea 
usque adhue non est in aliquibus initiandus, quod tamen mihi adhac non 
constat, quia initia semper obscura et contemptibilia sunt. In Apocaljps. 
p. 83, c. 2. 

t Etsi Petro, apostolomm primo, data est praerogativa fidei ad faci- 
enda signa in typo eorum, qui dati sunt in fundamentis ecclesiae, non 
ideo tamen parvi pendenda est cla-vis scientise, quse data est Paulo, apos- 
tolorum novissimo, baud dubiuni quin in typo eorum. qui dandi erant in 
fine ad supersedificandam ecclesiam. Novit nempe ille, qui pro tempo- 
rum varietate dona distribuenda partitur, quid illis afqne illis expediat, 
ita ut pro tempore existimandum sit, quid cui praeferatur, et illud pro tem- 
pore magis eorum quod utile et non quod sublimius judicandnm. L. c.p. 88. 

X Etsi spatium illius temporis breve erit, gratiarum tamen copiosios 


first period, the fathers laid themselves out in announcing 
God's great woi'k of the creation; in the second, it was the 
eflRort of the Son to lay the foundation of hidden wisdom. 
When man, by means of the two Testaments, had now come 
to know how God had finished all things in wisdom, what still 
remains (for the third age) except to praise God, whose works 
are so great. The Father comes, as it were, when from the 
things that are made we come to the knowledge of the Maker, 
when in the contemplation of his almighty power we are filled 
with reverence ; the Son comes to us, when we explore into the 
depths of doctrine in the discourses of him who is the Father's 
wisdom. The Holy Ghost comes and reposes in our hearts, 
when we taste the sweetness of his love, so that we break 
forth into songs of praise to God rather than keep silence.* 
Then will ensue the time of an Easter jubilee, in which all 
mysteries will be laid open, the earth will be full of the know- 
ledge of the Lord, and it will be scarcely possible any longer 
to find a man who will dare deny that Christ is the Son of 
God.| The Spirit will stand forth free from the veil of the 
letter. It is the gospel of the Spirit, the everlasting gospel ; 
for the gospel of the letter is but temporary. J 

It was this doctrine of the abbot Joachim which was after- 
wards apprehended and applied in so many diflerent ways ; 
which in fact, at a later period, came to be so interpreted, by 
a one-sided rational istico-pantheistic party, as to make Chris- 
tianity itself, which was considered but a transient form of 
religious development, cease, and give place to a higher 
position, a purely inward religion of the Spirit, consisting of 
some intuition of God that no longer needed an intermediate 
organ. Joachim was very far from holding Christianity in it- 
self to be a transient form of the manifestation of religion. 
The knowledge, transcending all doubt, of Jesus as the Son of 
God, he considered indeed, as we have seen, as something dis- 
tinguishing those last times of the Holy Spirit ; he taught 

cseteris, ut multorum annorum segetes congregentur in uno. In Apoca- 
lyps. p. 84. 

* Spiritus sanctus ad corda nostra venire et requiescere dicitur, cum 
dulcedo amoris ejus quam suavis sit degu.stamus, ita ut psallere magis 
libeat, quam a Dei laude tacere, L. c. p. 85. f L. c. p. 9. 

X Evangelium a;ternum, quod est in spiritu, quoniam utique evan- 
gelium, quod est in litera, temporale est, uon aiternum. In Apoc. p. 95. 

Joachim's apparent idealism. 319 

expressly* that two Testaments only were to be received ; for 
the last revelation of the Holy Spirit was in fact to serve no 
other purpose than to make men conscious of the hidden 
spiritual meaning of both Testaments, and to let the spirit un- 
fold itself out of the covering of the letter. Yet at the same 
time we must admit that the ideal, pantheistic interpretation 
above mentioned, found a point to fix upon in several of 
Joachim's expressions ; for instance, when he described the 
humility of self-debasement in the form of a servant as the 
peculiarity of the Son, the abiding in his spiritual exaltation, 
the purely spiritual revelation, as the peculiarity of the Holy 
Spirit, and hence assigned the advanced position of perfect free- 
dom to the agency of the Holy Spirit ;f when he represented 
that position as a subordinate one, to which the divine must 
be brought nigh, by the revelation of God to sense in the in- 
carnation of the Son, and by the instrumentalities corresponding 
thereto ; and on the other hand, that of the spiritales, who 
needed no such sensible medium, as the highest, " Say not, 
I have no teacher to explain to me in detail what I read. 
Where the Spirit is the teacher, a little spark, increases to an 
immeasurable flame ; and because the Word became flesh and 
dwelt amongst us, and he who by reason of the simplicity of 
his essence was invisible, dignified man's nature by appearing 
visibly in it, so he would be preached by visible men under 
the veil of the Word, that they who were unable by contem- 
plation to penetrate into the mysteries of the divine essence, 
might through visible emblems soar upward to the exalted. 
But with spiritual men it is not so : but the purer their hearts 
are, the more do they by God's invisible operations, which 
are nearer to them, stretch the vision of their spiritual eyes to 
the Creator of all ."J But such language merely expresses, 

* HiEC est causa, pro qua non tria testamenta, sed duo esse scribuntur, 
quorum concordia iiianet iutegra. L. c p. 13. 

t His words : Et quia aquse natura gravis est et humilia petit, ignis 
pro levitate sua ad superiora recurrit, quid est, quod frequentius filius 
assimilatur aquae, spiritus vero sanctus crebrius igni, nisi quia, quod 
non fecit spiritus sanctus, filius semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi 
accipiens, spriritus autem sanctus, de quo dicitur : ubi spiritus, ibi 
libertas, nequaquam eo modo, quo filius humiliatus est, sed in majestate 
gloriae suse, non assumta carne permansit. In Apocalyps p. 55. 

♦. Qui erat invisibilis pro sua? simplicitate naturae, per humanaj as- 
somtionem substantiae visibilis fieri dignatos est, voluit per visibiies. 


though in an original and forcible manner, the chosen position 
of mysticism, which gives special prominence to the work of 
the Holy Spirit in men's hearts ; and such passages can by no 
means furnish any foundation for the charge, that he would 
speak disparagingly of historical Christianity. Yet we must 
allow that at the bottom of the whole mode of intuition 
set forth in his works, lies the thought, that the entire re- 
velation of the Old and New Testaments contains, indeed, 
immutable truth, and that Christianity is in itself a complete 
and immutable thing ; but yet, at the same time, this does not 
hold good of the different forms of its manifestation. The 
overthrow of the particular ecclesiastical form then existing, 
and a new, more complete development of Christianity in the 
consciousness of mankind, in which the inner revelation of 
the Holy Spirit will take the place of outward authority, is 
predicted by him. This is in fact already implied in what he 
says, in his own way, concerning the transition of the Petrine 
position into that of John, the dissolution of the clerical 
governance of the church and its rehabilitation in the com- 
munity of the contemplative life. Doubtless he supposes, as 
the peculiarity of those last times, a direct and unmediated 
reference of the religious consciousness of all men, to God 
manifested in Christ, so that there would be no more need of 
an order of teachers.* Then the prophecy of Jeremiah, that 
God himself would be the teacher of men, and would write 
his law in the hearts of all, would meet with its fulfihnent ; 
but as all earthly greatness must come to shame, when the 
sublimity of things heavenly revealed itself, so it was only by 
humbling himself tiiat man could become capable of beholding 
such divine glory. f 

homines vocis mysteria personari, ut hi qui arcana divinitatis penetrare 
contemplando non poterant, visibilibus ad sublimia raperentur exemplis. 
Non sic autem spiritales, non sic, sed quo illorum corda mundiora sunt, 
eo per invisibiha Dei opera, quae sibi ■viciniorasunt, in ipsum, qui crea- 
tor est omnium, spiritalium oculorum aciem intellectualiter flgunt. In 
Apocalyps. p. 49. 

* Quasi per alios pascuntur eves, cum ad docendas subditorum eccle- 
fiias pastores in populis eliguntur, cum autem veritatem evangelicam 
clarificat per spiritum suum ad complendam prophetiam Jerem. xxxi. 33, 
34; quasi jam non per alios Dominus, sed ipse per semetipsum requiret 
oves suas, sicut visitat pastor gregem suum in die, quando fuerit in medio 
oviura suarum dissipatarum. 

t Et quia mirabilis est Deus in Sanctis suis et longe mirabilior in 


Especially deserving of notice are the following words in 
the book written by abbot Joachim, on " The Harmony 
between the Old and New Testaments," (Concordise Veteris 
ac Novi Testament ;) in which, speaking of the relation of 
cliangeable fonns to the unchangeable essence in the reve- 
lation of di\dne things, he thus expresses himself:* " The 
Holy Spirit is the fire which consumes all this. Why? 
Because there is nothing durable on earth ; for so long as we 
see through a glass darkly, it is necessary for us to cling to 
those symbols, and so long are we unable to come to the 
knowledge of that truth which is represented in symbols; 
but when the Spirit of truth shall come and teach us all 
truth, what further need shall we then have of symbols ?""j" 
For as with the communion of the body of Christ the par- 
taking of the paschal lamb was done away, so when the Holy 
Ghost shall reveal himself in his glory, the obser^•ation of 
symbols will cease ; men will no longer follow figures, but the 
truth, — which is the simplest, and which is symbolized by fire, 
— as the Lord says, " God is a spirit, and they that worship 
him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Dust and water, 
such is the historical letter of the two Testaments, — which 
letter was given by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of pointing 
thereby to something else, rather than for the sake of the 
literal historical sense itself ; that is, that thereby the spiritual 
understanding, which is the divine fire, by virtue of which 
the spiritual man judges all men and is judged by none, might 
be presented to us ; for neither the partaking of bread and 
meat, nor the drinking of wine and water, nor the anointing 
with oil, is anything eternal, but that is eternal which is 
signified by these acts. If, then, the things themselves and 
their use are perishable, but that which is represented by 
them, the thing which endures for evermore ; then with good 
right is the former consmned by the fire, whUe the fire itself 
lives alone, without depending on anything sensible in the 
hearts of the faithful, and abides for ever. And although 
there are many visible things which will eternally remain, as 

majestate spa, necesse est, ut semetipsum dejiciat, qui videre tantam 
gloriam existimatur dignus, quia nimirum terrena altitudo confiiaditur, 
cum celsitudo coelestium aperitur. In Apocalyps. p. 45. 

» L. c.p. 103. i- Ji~ 1- 

t Quid nobis tdterius de figuris? 



they are revealed to us in the letter of the two Testaments, 
yet they will not remain for ever in the same form, but rather 
in the form appointed for the future. For, amongst the rest, 
that which according to the Catholic faith shall remain for 
ever, the body of Christ, — which shall ever remain as it is 
taken up into unity with his person,— is to us especially an 
object of veneration. And yet our Lord himself declared the 
spirit maketh alive, the flesh profiteth nothing. Hence the 
apostle Paul also says, the letter killeth, but the spirit maketh 
alive. But if, in reference to the body of Christ himself, the 
letter is consumed by the spirit, how much more will this be 
the case with other things. Far be it from us, then, to say 
that the things themselves will be consumed as to their whole 
essence ; but we say that they themselves, that is, their 
symbols, must pass over to represent something spiritual, in 
order that we may elevate ourselves, through the scripture of 
visible things, as through a glass, to the intuition of invisible 

V. — History of Monasticism. 

The reaction of this prophetic spirit against the seculari- 
zation of the church proceeded from monasticism, as did many 
an appearance of the same kind down to the time of Luther ; 
nor was this an accidental thing, but connected with the 
essential character of monasticism itself; for we may regard 
it generally as a reaction, though one-sided, of the Christian 
spirit, against the secularization of the church and of the 
Christian life. It is true, monasticism was itself seized and 
borne along by the current of secularization ; but even then, 
it ever gave birth to new reactions of reform against the 
encroaching tide of corruption. This form of the manifestation 
of Christian life and of Christian society belongs among the 
most significant and the most influential facts of these periods, 
in which the very good and the very bad are found so often 
meeting together. 

Monasticism stood forth against the wild life of the knights, 
and the corruption of a degenerate clergy ; and many were 
impelled to fly for refuge from the latter to the former. The 
Hildebrandian epoch of reform, near the close of the eleventh 
century, was accompanied with the outpouring of a spirit of 


compunction and repentance on the Western nations. It was 
the same spirit which, in different directions, promoted the 
crusades, monasticism, and the spread of sects that contended 
against the hierarchy. By the political storms which broke 
up the interior organization of the nations, by the ruinous 
contests of this age between church and state, many were 
impelled to seek in the monasteries a quiet retreat for the 
cultivation of the Christian life. Thus it happened in Ger- 
many, amidst the ferocious contests between the party of 
Henry the Fourth and that of Gregory the Seventh. An 
extraordinary multitude of men of the first rank retired from 
the world ; and the three monasteries, in which the greater 
number congregated, St, Blasen in the Black Forest, Hirsau, 
and the convent of St. Salvator in Schafihausen, had not 
room enough to contain them all, so that it was necessary to 
make great additions to the old structtires. Men of the first 
rank were here to be seen among the monks, selecting from 
preference and engaging with delight in the most menial 
employments, and serving as cooks, bakers, or shepherds.* 
The impulse to community — the characteristic of energetic, 
creative times, belongs among the peculiar features of this 
time, and such commimities easily formed themselves around 
any man that showed an enthusiasm for religion, that spoke 
and acted in the power of faith, and in love ; and then took 
the form of monasticism. 

But the causes differed widely in their nature which led 
men to choose this mode of life ; and for this very reason 
the directions of life in monasticism would also be different. 
Oftentimes the deep piety of mothers, patterns of Christian 
virtue in the family circle, stood out in striking contrast with 
the mere worldly pursuits of their husbands in the knightly 
order, or in the life at court. When such mothers looked 
forward to the birth of their first child, or when they had 
much to suffer, and great peril was before them, they would 
vow before the altar to devote the chUd, in case it should be 

* Berthold. Coustant, Chronicon, at the year 1083, in Monumenta 
les Alemannonim illustrantia, T. II. p. 120. Quanto nobiliores erant in 
CiECulo, tanto se contemtibilioribus officiis occupari desiderant, ut qui 
quondam erant comites vel marchiones in sseculo nunc in coquina vel 
pistrino fratribus servire vel porcos eorum in campo pascere pro snminis 
delicijs conputent. 

Y 2 


a male, wholly to the service of God ; that is, to destine him 
for the spiritual or the monastic order, — as we see in the 
examples of the mother of the abbot Guibert of Nogent sous 
Coucy, near the beginning of the twelfth century,* and of 
the mother of the abbot Bernard of Clairvaux. The boys 
were trained up under the influence of these sincerely pious 
mothers, in the society of devout clergymen and monks ; the 
love for a life consecrated to God was instilled into their 
youthful minds : and although they might afterwards, in the 
age of youth, be drawn aside by a different sort of society, by 
the wild spirit of the times, or by the prevailing enthusiasm 
for the new paths struck out in science, — from the inclination 
excited in them in the years of childhood, — still, the deep 
impression would subsequently be revived again with new 
force, and so, under peculiar circumstances, recalling the 
feelings and purposes of former days, the resolution of de- 
voting themselves wholly to monasticism would ripen to 
maturity in them. Thus were formed the great men of the 
monastic life. But it so happened, too, that children, — either 
on occasions like those just mentioned, or else to lighten the 
expense of a numerous family, were delivered over to convents 
as oblati ; and by such persons, who had not chosen this mode 
of life of their own impulse, or from their own disgust with a 
world lying in wickedness, it was followed only because it 
favoured idleness and easy living. The abbot Guibert com- 
plains that, towards the close of the eleventh century, worldly 
living had, through the multitude of such oblati, got the 
upperhand in the monasteries, whose possessions were waste- 
fully squandered by these monks.| When persons who had 

* See his Life, c. iii. When death threatened her and her children, 
initur ex necessitate consilium et ad dominicse matris altare concurritur, 
et ad earn, quee sola sive etiam virgo semper futura pepererat, hujusmodi 
vota promuntur, ac oblationis vice araj imponitur, quod videlicet si 
partus ille cecisset jn masculum, Deo et sibi obsecuturus clericatui tra- 

t Nostris monasteria vetustissima numero extenuata temporibus, 
rerum antiquitus datarum exuberante copia, parvis erant contenta con- 
ventibus, in quibus perpauci reperiri poterant, qui peccati fastidio saicu- 
lum respuissent, sed ab illis potissimum detinebantur ecclesia;, qui in 
eisdem parentum devotione contraditi, ab ineunte nutriebantur setate. 
Qui quantum minorem super suis, qu£E nulla sibi videbantur egisse, malis 
metum habebaut, tanto intra coenobionim septa remissiore studio victi- 
tabant. See his Life, c. viii. 


lived from their childhood in absolute dependence and com- 
plete retirement from the world, were sent away by their 
abbots on foreign business, they were the more inclined to 
abuse a liberty which they now enjoyed for the first time.* 
It was a matter of general remark, that young men who 
turned monks out of penitence for their sins, became after- 
wards the most distinguished for zeal in their profession ; 
while others, who had not been impelled to the choice of this 
life by any such powerful inward impulse, and any such deep- 
felt need, either failed altogether of possessing the right zeal, 
or else lost what they once had.| Men of the first rank, 
struck by the force of momentary' impressions, or by sudden 
reverses of fortvme, reminded of the uncertain nature of 
earthly goods, the nearness of death, the vanity of all worldly 
glory, retired to solitude as anchorets, or entered a monastery ; 
and a single example of this sort would be followed by mul- 
titudes. This effect was produced by the example of a certain 
count Ebrard (Everard) of Breteul, in Picardy, near the end 
of the eleventh century. He was a young man of noble 
parentage, and possessed of an ample fortune, who, struck 
with a sense of the emptiness of all his pleasures, and seized 
with the craving after some higher good, forsook all, and joined 
himself with a number of others who travelled about as 
itinerant charcoal-burners, thus earning their daily bread. 
'' In this poverty," says the writer of the narrative, " he 
believed that he first found the true riches." Somewhat later 
he retired with his companions to a convent, haWng become 
sensible of the dangers which beset the Christian life in the 
anchorite condition :| one of his contemporaries, Simon, also 
descended fi"om a very rich and powerful femily, was so struck 

* Qui administrationes ac ofiBcia forastica cum pro abbatum aut 
necessitate aut libitu sortirentur, utpote voluntatis propriae avidi eate 
rioresque licentias minus experti, ecclesiasticas occasione facili dilapi- 
dare pecunias. 

The words of Caesarius of Heisterbach. Distinct. I. c. iv : Earum 
esse, quod pueri vel juvenes ad ordinem venientes, quorum conscientias 
pondus peccati non gravat, ferventes sint, vel in ordine tepide et minus 
bene vivunt vel ab ordine prorsus recedunt. 

X How the monastic life was introduced by him from France, and 
brought into a flourishing state in these districts, is related by the abbot 
Guibert, Vita, c. ix : Cum ad eos (the monks) pretii vix ullus accederet, 
ad excitandas plurimorum mentes emersit. 


at beholding his father's corpse, — a man who but just before 
held a high place in the world, — as to conceive a disgust of 
all earthly glorj'. He at once left his family, and became a 
monk in some foreign country. When he returned afterwards 
to his native district, his appearance and words made so strong 
an impression on men and women, that numbers followed his 
example. The Cistercian monk, Caesarius of Heisterbach, in 
the first half of the thirteenth century, sets forth, in a way 
that deserves to be noticed, the different causes which led 
people to embrace the monastic life. What he felt con trained, 
in the case of some, to attribute to an awakening by divine 
grace, he found reason in the case of others to ascribe to the 
instigation of an evil spirit ; while in still others, he traced it 
to fickleness of temper ; as, for example, in the case of those 
who, following the impulse of a momentary and transient 
interest, mistook their own nature, and neglected to consider 
whether it was the fear of hell or the longing after a heavenly 
home that operated upon their feelings. Countless numbers 
were driven to this step by circumstances of distress ; sickness, 
poverty, imprisonment, shame, remorse following the com- 
mission of crime, and the present fear of death.* When 
attacked by fatal diseases, many put themselves under a vow 
that, in case they recovered, they v/ould become monks ; or 
they enshrouded themselves at once in monkish robes, per- 
suaded that by so doing they would be more likely to obtain 
salvation. And such persons, if they recovered, actually 
became monks.l Those who had been driven to this step by 
the fear of death, did not always, however, remain true to a 
purpose thus conceived ; and there were complaints that in 
changing their garb they had not altered their manners.^ It 
happened not unfrequently that criminals on whom sentence 
of death had been passed M^ere, through the influence of 

* Distinct. I. c. v. Caesarius of Heisterbach cites individual examples 
to show how a canonicus became a monk, because he had played away 
his clothes. I. 9, c. xii. A young man belonging to a wealthy family 
thought of turning monk, without the knowledge of his parents, because 
he had gambled away a large sum of money ; but he gave up the notion 
when a friend came forward and paid up his debts, c. xxviii. 

t L. c c. XXV. 

X Orderic Vital, hist. L. III. 468, says of a priest, who had led a 
trifling life, and in sickness had put on the monkish garb, but afterwards 
relapsed into his former vicious habits : Habitum, non mores mutavit 


venerated abbots who condescended to intercede for them, first 
pardoned, and then committed to the care of their deliverers, 
with a ^-iew to try what could be done for them under the 
discipline of the monastery ; and as in these times many 
were hurried into crimes by the impulses of a sensuous and 
passionate nature, which had never felt the wholesome re- 
straints of education and religious instruction, it was possible 
that such, by judicious teaching, by the force of religious 
impressions, and the severe discipline to which they were 
subjected in a cloister, under the direction of some wise abbot, 
might be really reformed, — as examples, in fact, show that 
they sometimes were.* When Bernard of Clairvaux was 
once going to pay a visit to his fiiend, the pious count Theo- 
bald of Champagne, he was met by a crowd of men conducting 
to the place of execution a robber, who, after committing 
many crimes, had been condemned to the gallows. He begged 
it as a fevour of the count that the criminal might be given 
up to him. He took the man along with him to Clairvaux, 
and there succeeded in transforming him into a pious man. 
This reformed criminal died in peace, after having spent 
thirty years in the cloister as a monk.| Thus the monasteries 
proved in some instances to be houses of correction for aban- 
doned criminals ; and the spirit of Christian charity, which 
proceeded from pious monks, first strove to abolish the punish- 
ment of death. Another monk, Bernard, founder of the con- 
gregation of the monks of Tiron, in the diocese of Chartres, 
A. D. 1113, had settled himself down near the close of the 
eleventh century as a hermit, on the island of Causeum 
(Chaussey), between the island of Jersey and St. Malo. It 
so happened, while he was there, that pirates landed on the 
beach with a merchant-vessel which they had captured. 
Bernard laboured earnestly, but in vain, for the conversion of 
these barbarians ; in vain did he strive to move their pity for 
the crew, whom they had taken and boimd in chains ; but 

* An example of this sort is stated by Csesarins, c. xxxi. of a preda- 
torj- knight, who, after having been condemned to death, and reprieved 
at the request of the abbot I^iel of Schonau, was permitted to enter 
the Cistercian order to do penance for his sins ; and he adds : Frequenter 
huic similia audivi, scilicet ut homines flagitiosi pro suis criminibus 
vanis suppliciis deputati, beneficio ordinis sint liberati. * 

t Vitae, L. VII. c. xv. ed. MabiUon, T. II. f. 1204. 


when they left the shore, he still did not cease praying both 
for pirates and prisoners. Soon after there came up a great 
storm ; the pirates saw nothing before them but shipwreck 
and death. Struck with alarm and remorse of conscience, 
they set free the captives, mutually confessed to each other 
their sins, and vowed, if they should be saved, to amend 
their lives, and go on pilgrimages to various shrines. But 
one of them, on whose heart the words of Bernard had made 
an indelible impression, reminded the others of this holy man : 
" They should only vow," said he to them, " that if the Lord 
would conduct them to the good hermit, they would implicitly 
follow his direction, and by his mediation they might be saved 
from death." All united in taking the vow. Four of the 
ships were foundered ; the fifth got safely to the island. The 
pirates, awakened to repentance, fell down before monk 
Bernard, and besought him to listen to the confession of their 
sins, and to impose on them such penance as he thought fit. 
Some he bade perform their vow of a pilgrimage ; others 
continued to remain under his spiritual direction on the 

In the beginning of the twelfth century, when the enthusiasm 
for the new dialectic inquiries in France had seized hold on 
numbers, — and, among the rest, of such as merely followed 
the current without any call or talent for such studies, many 
of these soon became disgusted with the idle pursuit, and by 
this very disgust were led to take a serious spiritual direction 
in monasticism.-j- How monasticism was regarded, in its 
relation to the worldly life, we find expressed in the following 
remarks of Anselm of Canterbury, where he is exhorting one 
of his friends to become a monk :| " Whatever glory of this 
world it may be which thou wouldst aspire after, yet remember 
its end, and the fruit at the end ; and then consider, on the 
other hand, what the expectations of those are who despise all 
the glory of this world. Dost thou say, it is not monks only 
who are saved ? I admit it ; but who attains to salvation in 

* See the account of the Life of Bernard of Tiron, by one of hig 
scholars, c. iv. Mens. April. T. II. f. 229. 

t Deprehendentes in se et aliis praedicantes, quia quicquid didicerant, 
vanitas vanitatum est et super omnia vanitas. Metalog. L. I. c. iv. of 
John of Salisbury. 

I Lib. II. ep. 29. 


the most certain, who in the most noble way — the man who seeks 
to love God alone, or he who seeks to unite the love of God 
with the love of the world? But perhaps it wiU be said, 
even in monasticism there is danger ! O, why does not he 
who says this, consider what he says ? Is it rational, when 
danger is on every side, to choose to remain where it is 
greatest ? And if he who seeks to love God alone perseveres 
to the end, liis salvation is secure ; but if he who is determined 
to love the world, does not alter his plan of living before the 
end, there remains for him either no salvation at all, or else a 
doubtful or a less one." Yet here it is all along presupposed 
that an objective contrariety exists between the inclination to 
the world and the inclination to God ; and not that all activity 
in relation to the world should be taken up and absorbed in 
the inclination to God, and animated by that tendency. Men 
compared monasticism with baptism, as a purification from sin, 
a renunciation of the world, and regeneration to a new and 
higher life. It was a prevailing opinion that, by entering 
upon the i^9nastic life, one was released from the obligation 
to make a pilgrimage, or to go on a crusade, or to perform 
any other vow, — an opinion grounded at bottom on the 
Christian view, that the ruling bent of the heart, submission 
to God's wiE, was more than external and isolated acts. 
" Whoever vows, when living in the world, to make a 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem or to Rome, and after this becomes a 
monk," says Anselm of Canterbury,* " has performed all his 
vows at once ; for single vows signify only a partial submission 
to God, with respect to a single matter; but monasticism 
embraces the whole. After a man has thus embraced the 
whole, he wtII not restrict himself again to individual parts."! 
An Englishman who had set ont on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem 
came to Clairvaux, and, attracted by the spiritual society 
which he there met with, turned monk, and gave up his 
pilgrimage. The abbot justified this step, in opposition to his 
bishop, declaring that to ^^ persevere in a bent of the heart 
towards the heavenly Jerusalem was more than to take one 

* Lib. III. ep. 116. 

t Qui voverunt se ituros Romam vel Hierusalem in sseciilo, si ad ordi- 
pern nostnun venerint, omnia Tota sua compleverunt. Quippe qui se 
in partem Dei per vota tradiderant, postquam se Deo totos tradiderint, 
totiun in partem postmodum non habeut redigere. Compl. L. III. ep. 33. 


hasty and transient glance of the earthly Jerasalem."* The 
abbot Peter of Cluny wrote to a knight who had promised 
to become a monk in Cluny, but afterwards determined to go 
on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem : "It is greater to serve the 
true God in humility and poverty, than to travel in a showy 
and luxurious manner to Jerusalem. If there is something 
good in visiting Jerusalem, where the feet of our Lord have 
trod, still it is a far better thing to strive after that heaven 
where we shall see the Lord himself face to face."! 

The influence of monasticism was various and widely 
extended. Venerated monks were called upon to give their 
advice with regard to the most weighty affairs. Persons of 
the highest standing, both of the secular and spiritual orders, 
noblemen and princes, got themselves enrolled as members of 
monasteries and monkish orders, for the purpose of sharing in 
the privileges of prayer and good works (fratres adscripti or 
conscripti) ; by which means these societies were brought into 
various influential connections. Any recluse who had become 
known for his pious and strict mode of life was soon looked 
up to by men of all ranks, from far and near, and was enabled 
by his counsels and exhortations to make himself widely useful. 
Such a recluse was Aybert in Hennegau, who lived near the 
beginning of the twelfth century. So great was the number 
of people continually flocking to him for the purpose of con- 
fessing their sins, that he had scarcely a moment's rest. He 
gave them spiritual counsel, but not till after they had promised 
to lay their confession before their ordinary ecclesiastical supe- 
riors : only if they declared themselves resolved not to open 
their breasts to any other confessor he yielded to their impor- 
tunity, lest they might be driven to despair. At length he 
received orders from the pope to hear the confessions of all, 
and prescribe to them the appropriate penance. Whoever 
could get near enough to his person tried to tear off a piece of 
his dress and bear it away as a relic, whilst he, resisting, 
exclaimed : " I am a poor sinner, and by no means what you 
think me to be."| Monks travelled about as preachers of 
repentance, and often collected great crowds around them, 
who, awakened to repentance by their impressive words and 

* Ep. 64. t Lib. II. ep. 15. 

X Acta Sanctorum, M. April. T. I. f. 678. 


their severely strict mode of living, confessed their sins to 
them, and avowed their readiness to do anything they might 
prescribe for the reformation of their lives. They stood to 
the people in place of the worldly-minded clergy who neglected 
their duties. They restored peace between contending parties, 
reconciled enemies, and made collections for the poor. The 
monasteries were seats for the promotion of various trades, 
arts, and sciences. The gains accruing from the union of the 
labours of many were often employed for alleviating the dis- 
tresses of many. In great famines, thousands obtained fit)m 
monasteries of note the means of support, and were rescued 
from threatening starvation.* 

Those, however, who took refuge in the monastery, or even 
in the retreat of the anchoret, from the temptations of the 
outward world, were still threatened by dangerous temptations 
of another kind, when, impelled by the first glow of their zeal 
they engaged in extravagant self-mortifications. Changes in 
the tone of feeling would still occur, even after some con- 
siderable time had been spent in this mode of life. Too deeply 
absorbed in their subjective feelings, they would waste them- 
selves away in reflecting on these changeable moods. They 
felt dearth, emptiness, in their inward being ; they feUed of 
experiencing delight, animation in prayer. Evil thoughts 
gained the advantage in proportion as they allowed themselves 
to be troubled with them, instead of forgetting themselves in 
some nobler enjoyment which would tax all the energies of 
the soul. Thus such men, becoming their own tormentors, 
fell into despair, and unless better directed by prudent and 
experienced abbots, might even be tempted to commit suicide ; 
or moments of uncommon religious enthusiasm and fervour 
would be followed by a reaction of the natural man, hankering 
after the things of sense or of the imderstanding, limited to 
the consciousness of this world ; and hence arose moods of 
scepticism and unbelief.f There was much need, therefore, 

* In the year 1117, when there -was a great famine, by which many 
died of hunger, the monastery of Heisterbach, near Cologne, distributed 
in one day fifteen hundred alms. Meat, herbs, and bread were dis- 
tributed amongst the poor. 

t We will illustrate this by a few examples related by Csesarins, 
in his Dialogues. A young female, belonging to a wealthy and re- 
putable family, had become a recluse contrary to the wishes of her 


in the men who "presided over these communities of a peculiar 
love and wisdom, in order to exert a salutary control over 
these monks, to manage them according to their different 
temperatures and states of feeling, and to protect them from 
the dangers to which they were exposed ; but when so quali- 
fied, these superiors, in exercising such a watch over the 
welfare of souls, might obtain a rich harvest of Christian 
experience. They would have first to become acquainted, by 
their own interior religious experience, with the truths which 
they afterwards used for the benefit of others. Such wisdom 

friends. But she had been deceived -with regard to herself; she fell into 
a state of great depression, and doubted of everything which before had 
been certain to her. When the abbot to -whose care her spiritual con- 
cern had been intrusted by the bishop, -visited her, and asked her how 
she did ? she answered, " Not well ; " and when he inquired of her the 
reason, she said, " She did not know herself, why she was shut up there." 
When he told her that it was for the sake of God and of the kingdom of 
heaven ; she replied : " Who knows whether there is a God, whether 
there are angels, whether there are immoi-tal souls, and a kingdom of 
heaven ? Who has seen them ; who has come from the other side and 
told us about them ? " In vain were all the conversations of the abbot : 
she only begged that shg might be released, since she could en- 
dure no longer this life of a recluse. But the abbot exhorted her to 
remain faithful to her purpose, and at least wait seven days longer, at 
the end of which period he would visit har again. Certainly a very 
hazardous step to be taken with a person in her condition, which might 
easily have been followed with the most melancholy consequences, as 
appears evident from other examples. But, in this instance, the effect 
was favourable ; and when the abbot, who in the mean time had caused 
many prayers to be offered in her behalf, again visited her at the time 
appointed, he found the tone of her feelings entirely changed. An extra- 
ordinary elevation had followed that season of depression. In a vision, 
which she saw while in a state of religious excitement, all her doubts 
had vanished away. — Another aged nun, who had previously been dis- 
tingTiished for her pious walk and conversation, doubted of everything 
she had believed from the time of her childhood. She would not be 
spoken to ; she maintained that she could not believe, since she belonged 
among the reprobates. She could not be induced to take part in the 
holy communion. The prior was indiscreet enough to say, for the pur- 
pose of exciting her fears, that if she did not desist from her unbelief, he 
would after her death cause her to be buried in the fields. To escape 
this lot she threw^'herself into the Moselle, but was taken out before she 
perished. — Another person, who had from his youth up led an unblam- 
able life, fell into absolute despair, utterly doubting that his sins were 
forgiven, since he could not pray as he had been wont to do : he finally 
threw himself into a pond, and was drowned. L. c. f. 94, etc. 100. 

axselm's and berkard's exhortatioks. 333 

derived from experience we discern in an Anselm of Canter- 
bury. To certain persons who had requested of him a 
directory to the spiritual life, he thus writes : '* On one 
point, namely, how you may be able to get rid of an evil will 
or evil thoughts, take from me this little piece of advice : Do 
not contend with the evil thoughts or inclinations of the will, 
but get yourselves right earnestly engaged mth a good 
thought or purpose, till those evil thoughts vanish ; for never 
will a thought or volition be banished out of the heart unless 
it be by one of an opposite character.* Manage yourselves, 
therefore, with reference to unprofitable thoughts, so as to 
turn your minds with all your power of control over them to 
the good, so as not to pay the least attention to the others ; 
but if you would pray, or occupy yourselves with a pious 
meditation, and then such thoughts become troublesome to 
you, still by no means desist from your pious occupation, but 
vanquish them in the way described, by contempt. And, as 
long as you can thus despise them, let them not trouble you, 
lest by occasion of this anxiety they come up again and torment 
you anew ; for such is the nature of the human soul, that it 
more often recalls what has given it joy or pain than what it 
judges to be unworthy of its attention.^ Kor should you 
fear that such motions or thoughts will be imputed to you 
as sins, proWded your will does not go with them ; for there 
is no condemnation in them to those who are in Christ Jesus, 
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." Against a 
mistake of this sort Bernard also strove to put his monks on 
their guard. " I exhort you, my friends," says he to them, J " to 
exalt yourselves sometimes above an anxious remembrance of 
your past conduct to a contemplation of the divine goodness, that 
you, who are abashed by the contemplation of yourselves, may 
breathe again by looking away to God. True, pain about sin 
is necessary ; but it should not be a pain that lasts for ever. 

* Nunquam enim expellitnr de corde, nisi alia cogitatione et alia 
voluntate, qua; illis non concordat. 

t Similiter se debet habere persona in sancto proposito stndiosa, in 
quoiibet motu indecente in corpore vel anima, sicuti est stimulus carais 
ant irae, aat invidiae aut inanis gloria. Tunc enim facillime extinguuntur, 
cum et illos velle sentire, aut de illis cogitare, aut aliquid illonim sna- 
sione facere dedignamur. 

J See xi. on Solomon's Song, II. f. 1296. 


Let it be interrupted by the more joyful remembrance of 
divine grace, that the heart may not become hardened by grief 
or wither in despair. The grace of God abounds over every 
sin. Hence the righteous man is not a self-accuser to the end, 
but only at the beginning of prayer ; but he ends by ascribing 
praise to God." Accordingly, he exhorted his monks, from 
his own experience, not to suffer themselves to be kept from 
prayer by any momentary feeling of spiritual barrenness. 
" Often we come to the altar with lukewarm, barren hearts, 
and address ourselves to prayer ; but if we persevere, grace is 
suddenly poured in upon us, the heart becomes full, and a 
current of devotional feelings flows through the soul."* So 
he warns beginners especially against the excesses of asceticism. 
" It is," says he to them, " your self-will which teaches you 
not to spare nature, not to listen to reason, not to follow the 
counsel or example of your superiors. You had a good spirit, 
but you do not use it rightly. I fear that you have received 
another instead, which, under the appearance of the good, will 
deceive you, and that you who began in the Spirit will end in 
the flesh. Know you not that a messenger of Satan often 
clothes himself as an angel of light ? God is wisdom, and he 
requires a love which, instead of surrendering itself merely to 
pleasant feelings, unites itself also with wisdom ; hence the 
apostle, Rom. xii. 1, speaks of a service of God which is 
reasonable. If you neglect knowledge, the spirit of eiTor will 
very easily lead your zeal into wrong directions ; and the 
cunning enemy has no surer means of banishing love from the 
heart than when he can get men to walk in it improvidently 
and not according to reason."f 

Those dangers of the interior life would especially beset the 
anchorets who were left to their own feelings, who could find 
neither counsel nor encouragement in society, and could not 
be led back from their wanderings to the right path by the 
guidance of an experienced mind. Hence it was thought 
necessary to warn men of the dangers to which this kind of 
life was peculiarly exposed. Thus Yves, bishop of Chartres^| 
took ground against those who, puffed up by the leaven of the 
Pharisees, boasted of their spare diet and bodily mortifications, 

* In Cantica canticorum, s. x. s. 7. -f L. c. s. xx. s. 7. 

X Ep. 192. 


whereas, according to the declarations of the apostle, 1 Timoth. 
iv. 8, bodily exercise profiteth little, and the kingdom of God, 
Eom. xiv. 17, consisteth not in meat and drink, but in 
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The solitude 
of groves and of moimtains cannot make a man blessed unless 
he brings with him that solitude of the soul, that sabbath of 
the heart, that elevation of the spirit, without which idleness 
and storms of dangerous temj^tation attend every "solitude, and 
the soul never finds rest mjless God hush to silence these 
storms of temptation. " But if you have his grace with you," 
he writes, " be assured of blessedness in whatever place you 
may be ; in whatever order, in whatever garb, you may serve 
God."* A certain monk proposed to exchange the life of the 
convent for that of solitude ; but he warned him not to do so.f 
He bid him remember that Christ left the wilderness to engage 
in public labours ; hence he declared the life of the anchoret 
inferior to that of the monaster)-, because in the former the 
man is abandoned to his self-wdl and his own troublesome 
thoughts, which disturb the quiet of the soul. This he had 
learned from the experience of many who had before led a 
blameless life, but after becoming anchorets, fell into lamentable 
aberrations. That warm and hearty devotee to the work of 
missions, Raymund Lull, complains of it as a great evU that 
pious monks retired into solitudes, instead of giving up their 
lives for their brethren, and in preaching the gospel among 
the infidels. "I behold the monks," says. he, "dwelling in 
the country and in deserts, in order to avoid the occasions 
of sin amongst us ; I see them ploughing and cultivating the 
soil, in order to provide the means of support for themselves, 
and to supply the necessities of the poor ; but far as I can 
stretch my eyes and look, I can scarcely see an individual who 
from love to thee goes forth to meet the death of the martyr, 
as thou didst from love to us." He longs for the time, which 
he describes as a glorious day, when pious monks, skUled in 
languages of foreign nations, shall follow the example of the 
apostles, and, betaking themselves amongst the infidels, stand 
ready to lay down their lives in preaching the faith. Thus 
would the holy zeal of the apostles retum.| The abbot Peter 

* L. c. I Ep. 256. 

X gloriose Domine, quando erit ilia benedicta Dies, in qua videam, 
quod sancti religiosi velint te adeo laudare, quod eant in terras exteras 


of Cluny writes to a recluse,* that " his outward separation 
from the world would avail him nothing if he was destitute of 
the only firm bulwark against besetting sins within the soul 
itself. This bulwark is the Saviour. By union with him, and 
by following him in his sufferings, he would be safe against 
the attacks of all enemies, or able to repel them. Without 
this protection it was not of the least use for one to shut 
himself up in solitude, mortify the body, or travel to foreign 
lands ; but he would only expose himself thereby to more 
grievous temptations. Every mode of life, that of laymen, of 
clergymen, of monks, and particularly that of anchorets and 
recluses, has its peculiar temptations. First of all, the temp- 
tations of pride and of vanity. The anchoret takes delight in 
picturing to his fancy what he is by this mode of life more than 
others. The solitary, uniform life, in inactive repose, he 
cannot bear, and yet he is ashamed to abandon a mode of 
living which he has once chosen ;| the repressed impulses seek 
room for play, therefore, in some artificial manner. Thousands 
flock to consult him as an oracle, and to ask his advice about 
everything. They make confession of their sins to him, and 
implore his spiritual counsel. They invite him to aid them by 
his intercessions in a great variety of matters, and ofier him 
presents. Thus both his ambition and his avarice are gratified : 
while he exhorts people to give to the poor, he may amass 
great treasures for himself." After the manner here described, 
persons who had begun as strict anchorets, might soon, through 
the excessive veneration which was shown them and the nu- 
merous presents which they received, be turned away from 
the course which they had chosen. Many monkish institutions, 
governed by the strictest rule, degenerated in this way ; im- 
postors, too, would sometimes take advantage of the popular 

ad daudam laudem de tua sancta trinitate et de tua sancta unitate et de 
tua benedicta incarnatioiie et de tua gravi passione ? Ilia dies esset dies 
gloriosa, et dies, in qua rediret devotio, quam sancti apostoli habebant in 
moriendo pro suo Domino Jesu Christo. In the magnus liber contem- 
plationis in Deum, opp. T. IX. f. 246. 

* Lib. I. ep. 20. 

•t Prae ta;dio dormitando, ipsius miserabilis ta;dii non in Deo, sed in 
mundo, non in se, sed extra se quserit remediuin. Nam quia seniel 
assumptum propositum eremitam deserere pudet, quaritur occasio fre- 
quentis alieni coUoquii, ut qui multa de se taceus tormenta patitur, alio- 
rum saltern confabulationibus relevetur. 


credulity, contrive to render themselves famous as strict 
anchorets, and thus make themselves rich.* The monks, 
who roved about as preachers of repentance, might produce 
great effects amongst the imeducated and neglected people ; 
but when powerfiil compunctions, showing themselves out- 
wardly by sensible signs, resulted firom these impressions, and 
an excitement of this kind, accompanied with strong sensuous 
elements, seized irresistibly on the multitude, it required con- 
smnmate wisdom to give the right direction to such a movement 
of the affections, so that nothing impure might intermingle, so 
that the sensuous element might not prevail over the spiritual, 
and give birth to a fanaticism which would even nm into 
immorality, as it was said to have done in the case of a certain 
Robert of Arbrissel.f Amongst the vast multitude of monks 
there were many who embraced this mode of life only for the 
purpose of obtaining consideration and an easy living, while 
they spent their time in idleness ; and if, on the one hand, there 
were pious monk^ who exerted a powerful and wholesome 
influence on the religious feelings and the religious education 
of multitudes ; so there proceeded, on the other hand, firom the 
ranks of the uneducated or hypocritical monks active dissemi- 

tors of every kind of superstition. Abelard was one who 
' forth as a stem reprover of this class of monks. He 
ribes how those who had retired from the world became 

rrupted by the veneration in which they were held, fell 

,ck again into the world, paid court to the rich, and, insteaa 
speaking to their consciences, lulled them to security in 

eir sins by teaching them to depend on their intercessions.! 

• Thus, it is related in the life of the abbot Stephen, of Obaize, in the 
province of Limousin, in the first half of the twelfth century, that a per- 
son had settled down there as an anchoret, and built himself an oratory. 
He gladly received whatever the people brought him, and what he could 
make no use of himself he converted into money. Once he appointed a 
day on which they were to assemble there together to hear a mass. Many 
came in the morning, but found him no longer there. He had absconded 
■with all he possessed. Hence there was a want of confidence in that 
district towards all who represented themselves as anchorets. See L. I. 
e. iv. in Baluz. Miscellan. T. IV. p. 78. 

t See farther onward. 

X Sint, qui longa eremi conversatione et abstinentia tantnm religionis 
Domen adepti sunt, ut a potentioribus saeculi vel siecularibus viris snb 
aliqna pietatis occaaone saepins invitentur et sic diabolic© cribro more 



He applies to such the words in Ezek. xiii. 18:" "Woe to you 
that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the 
heads of young and old, to catch souls !" " What other 
meaning has this, than that we pacify the consciences of 
worldly people by our sweet words, instead of improving their 
lives by our honest reproofs?"* In like manner Hildebert of 
Mans boldly unmasked the hypocritical monks. " Let his 
pale, haggard countenance," says he, " excite reverence ; let 
him stand forth, in coarse and squalid raiment, the stem censor 
of manners ; yet for all this he is far astray from the path that 
leads to life."t Raymund Lull, in one of his books, where he 
relates the wanderings of a friend of that true wisdom which 
begins in the love of God (philosophia amoris), describes J 
how, in his search after this true love, he comes to k monastery 
that stood in the highest reputation for piety. Rejoiced at 
beholding so many united together in offering praise to God, 
he thinks he has at last found the dwelling of true love. 
Soon, however, he observes a monk with a patched cowl, but 
he was a hypocrite ; for though he fasted, preached, laboured, 
and prayed abundantly, yet he did it only for the sake of 
being regarded as a saint by the others. Beside him stood 
another, who fasted and prayed still more. He did so, how- 
ever, because he supposed that God would certainly make him 
«o holy that he might be able to work miracles, and so be 
venerated as a saint after his death.§ Here the joy of the 
lover of true wisdom vanished ; for he could nor help seeing 
how much he was dishonoured by such conduct, who alone 

paleae ventilati, de eremo remoreantur in sseculo. Qui multis adulationum 
favoribus dona divitum venantes tam suam, quam illorum jugulant ani- 

* Quid est autem pulvillos cubitis vel cervicalia capitibus supponere, 
nisi saecularium hominum vitam blandis sermonibus demulcere, quam 
uos magis asperis increpationibus oportebat corrigere. Quorum dona 
quum sustulenmus, eos utiqiie de sutfragio nostrarum orationum confi- 
dantes, in suis iniquitatibus relinquimus securiores. De Joanne baptista 
sermo, opp. Abaslardi, p. 954. 

t Ut in 60 adoretur osseus et exanguis vultus, ut sermo censorius ei 
Bit et cultus incultior, extra viam est, quae ducit ad vitam. Ep. 11. 

1 In his Arbor philosophiae amoris, opp. T. VI. f. 56. 

§ Hoc faciebat ideo, quia habebat opinionem, quod Deum ipsnm deberet 
facere tam sanctum, quod etiam posset facere miracula, et cum esset 
mortuus, quod de ipso singulis annis fieret soUenne festum. 

soebert's cosvebsion. 339 

should command the love of all. Even that enthusiastic 
friend of the contemplative life of the monk, abbot Joachim, 
declared, that while a monk who stands firm under temptations 
attains to the highest degree of the spiritual life, so one that 
yields to them becomes the worst of men. " Let a monk once 
become wicked," said he, " and there is not a more covetous 
and ambitious creature than he is."* 

Casting a glance at the various monastic societies, which 
sprang up wittiin this period, we notice, in the first place, 
those which derived their origin from efforts of reform amongst 
the clergy ; and which may, therefore, be r^arded as a 
medium of transition from the clerus to the body of monks. 
Among these belongs the order of Praemonstrauts, whose 
founder, Norbert, was bom in the city of Xantes, in the duke- 
dom of Cleves, between a. d. 1080-1085. Descended from a 
fiimily of note, he lived at first after the manner of the ordi- 
nary secular clergy, sometimes at the court of the archbishop 
Frederick the First of Cologne, sometimes at that of the 
emperor Henry the Fifth. But in the year 1114, being 
caught by a storm, while riding out for his pleasure, a flash of 
lightning struck near him and prostrated him to the earth. 
On recovering his breath and coming to his senses, he felt 
admonished by the thought of the sudden death from which he 
had been saved as by a miracle, and resolved to begin a more 
serious course of life. From this incident he was led to 
compare the history of his own conversion with tliat of the 
apo»:tle Paul, and to represent it as partaking of the miraculous. 
He laid aside his sumptuous apparel for a humbler dress, and, 
after a season of earnest spiritual preparation, entered the 
order of priests. In Germany and in France he itinerated as 
a preacher of repentance, and by his admonitions and reproofe 
restored peace between contending parties. He rebuked the 
worldly-minded clergy, and the degenerate canonical priests. 
By this course, however, he made himself many enemies, and 
was accused of preaching where he had no call to preach, 
lie found a protector in pope Gelasius the Second, who gave 
him full power to preach wherever he chose. He was every- 

* Nee putes ambitione monacham non esse tentandam, quia mortans 
est mundo, quia nihil, si mains est, ambitiosios monacho, nihil avarixis 
invenitur. In the Concordia veteris et Xovi Testamenti, c. ii. p. 109. 

z 2 


where received with great respect. Whenever he entered the 
vicinity of villages or castles, and the herdsmen saw him, they 
left their cottages and ran to announce his arrival. As he 
proceeded onward the bells rang ; young and old, men and 
women, hastened to church, where, after performing mass, he 
spoke the word of exhortation to the assembled people. After 
sermon he conversed with individuals on the concerns of the 
soul. Towards evening he was conducted to his lodgings, all 
were emulous of the honour and blessing of entertaining him 
as a guest. He did not take up his residence, as was 
customary with itinerant ecclesiastics and monks, in the church 
or in a monastery, but in the midst of the town, or in the 
castle, where he could speak to all, and bestow on such as 
needed the benefit of his spiritual advice. Thus he made 
himself greatly beloved among the people. In the year 1119 
he visited pope Calixtus the Second, in Rheims, where that 
pope had assembled a council. This pope confirmed the full 
powers bestowed on him by his predecessor, and recommended 
him to the protection of the bishop of Laon. The latter 
wished to employ him as an instrument for bringing back his 
canonical priests to a life corresponding to their rule ; but 
meeting here with too violent an opposition, Norbert withdrew 
from the field ; as the bishop, however, wished to retain him 
in his diocese, Norbert chose a desert region in it, the wild 
valley of Premonstre (^Prcemonstratum Pratum monstratum) 
in the forest of Coucy, as a suitable spot for a retreat. Such 
was the first foundation of a new spiritual society, which, 
attaching itself to the so-called rule of Augustin, aimed to 
unite preaching and the cure of souls with the monastic life. 
From this spot he travelled in every direction to preach, — to 
France, to Flanders, and to Germany, at the invitation of 
ecclesiastics, communities, and noblemen. The pious count 
Theobald of Champagne proposed uniting himself, and all he 
possessed, with the new spiritual foundation; but Norbert 
dissuaded him from his purpose by showing him how much 
good, of which he might be the instrument as a prince, would 
thus be prevented. " Far be it from me," said he to the 
count, " to harbour a wish of disturbing the work which God 
is doing through you." When, finally, he became archbishop 
of Magdeburg (1126), he sought, but not without violent 
opposition, to introduce his order there. He died a.d. 1134. 


Norbert was one of the number also, about whom mar- 
vellous stories were circulated. But if the veneration of the 
multitude, and the enthusiasm of some of his disciples, at- 
tributed miracles to him, yet, the more critically examining-, 
and we must add, inimically disposed Abelard, accuses him of 
ambitiously seeking after this reputation, of obtaining- it by 
deceptive arts ; and when his promises were not fulfilled, of 
ascribing the failure to the unbelief of others.* 

"We should here mention also, as belonging to the same age, 
Robert of Arbrissel. He had been carried away in his youth 
by both tendencies of the enthusiasm of his times, the scientific 
and the religious. After having pursued his studies with 
great zeal at Paris, he gained considerable celebrity by his 
attainments in science, and also by his strictly ascetic and 
pious life. The bishop of Rennes, who was possessed of a 
zeal for reform, — induced by the high reputation of the young 
man, drew him to his church, where he laboured four years as 
priest. He attached himself to the Hildebrandian movement 
for the reformation of the church, and was zealous in opposing 
the corruption of morals in the clergy, and in upholding the 
severity of the laws of celibacy, and against simony. He was 
a forcible preacher, and his discourses produced many of those 
effects M-hich we have already noticed as attending the in- 
fluential preachers of these times. After the death of his 
bishop he betook himself to the solitarj' life. His reputation 
attracted to him numbers of both sexes, who wished to train 
themselves under his direction in the way of spiritual living. 

* Thus, when others told of Norbert, that, not long before his death 
he called the dead to life, Abelard ridiculed his vain attempts to raise the 
dead. Ad majora ilia veniam et summa ilia miracula de resuscitandis 
quoque mortuis inaniter tentata. Quod quidem nuper praesumsisse Nor- 
bertum et coapostolum ejus Farsitum mirati fuimus et risimus. Qui diu 
pariter in oratione coram populo prostrati et de sua prsesumtione frustrati, 
cum a proposito confusi deciderent, objurgare populum, impudenter cce- 
perunt, quod devotion! suae et constanti fidei fidelitas eomm obsisteret. 
Sermo de Joanne baptista, p. 967. It is worthy of note, that the Prse- 
monstrant, who wrote Norbert's life, makes no mention of his having 
raised the dead, and that in his prologue he declares : Many things must 
be passed over on account of the infidel es et impii, qui quidquid legunt 
et audiunt, quod ab eorura studiis et conversationibus sit alienum, falsum 
continuum et confictum esse judicare non metuunt, ea duntaxat brevitcr 
attingens, quje omnibus nota sunt neque ipsi ulla improbitate audeant 
diffiteri. Acta Sanctor. Mens. Jun. T. I. f. 819. 


Pope Urban the Second conferred op him the dignity of 
apostolic preacher, by virtue of which he might travel about 
everywhere, and call sinners to repentance, and restore peace 
between contending parties. He exercised an astonishing 
power over men and women. Vicious persons were so in- 
fluenced by it as to make full confession of their sins to him, 
and promise amendment. Others, who had led an upright 
life in the world, were persuaded wholly to forsake it. Such, 
for example, was the effect produced by the society of this man 
on the mother of the famous abbot Peter of Cluny, who enter- 
tained him for a while in her house. She secretly vowed that she 
would become a nun, and resolved to execute her vow as soon 
as her husband died, or would permit her to do so.* It was 
said of his sermons, that every individual who heard them felt 
the words to be aimed at himself as much as if they were 
addressed to him personally and with design. f There was 
formed under his direction a religious society composed of 
persons of both sexes, and of ecclesiastics and laymen, whom 
he denominated the Pauperes Christi. His admirers were 
disposed to regard the moral effects that resulted from his 
labours as something beyond miracles ; and it deserves notice 
that, although he produced such powerful impressions by his 
preaching, yet during his lifetime not a single miracle was 
ascribed to him, — the reason of which may doubtless be found 
in the peculiar spirit of his labours ; for on this point, the 
enthusiastic admirer who wrote his life, says, that miracles 
wrought within men's souls are more than those performed on 
their bodies4 The enduring monument of his activity was 

* Words of the abbot Peter of Cluny, concerning his mother : Famoso 
illi Roberto de Brussello ad se venienti et secum aliquamdiu moranti im- 
pulsa violento acstu animi se in monacham ignorante viro redderet, ut eo 
defuncto vel concedente statim ad fontem Ebraudi, si viveret, demigraret. 
Epp. L. II. ep. 17. 

f Bishop Baldric, in the account of his life, at the 25th of February, 
c. iv, s. 23 : Tantam praedicationis gratiam ei Dominus donaverat, ut cum 
communem sermocinationem populo faceret, unusquisque quod sibi con- 
veniebat, acciperet. 

X This is evident, from the beautiful -words in the account of his life, 
c. iv. s. 23 : Ego audenter dico, Robertum iu miraculis copiosum, super 
dsemones imperiosum, super principes gloriosum. Quis enim nostri 
temporis tot languidos curavit, tot leprosos mundavit, tot mortuos susci- 
tavit? Qui de terra est, de terra loquitur et miracula in corpori''HS 
admiratur. Qui autem spiritualis est, languidos et leprosos, mortuos 


the order of nuns at Fontevraud (Fons Ebraldi), a convent 
not far from the town of Candes in Poitou. It is impossible 
to mistake the marks which show that this man was actuatai 
by a glowing zeal for the salvation of souls ; though we must 
confess that, as in the case of many powerful preachers of 
times so given to the eccentric, his zeal may not have been 
accompanied with a spirit of prudence, nor exempt from 
fanatical excesses ; and some of the bad effects which attached 
themselves to the great results of his labours may doubtless 
have proceeded from these causes. His enthusiastic admirers 
will not allow us, it is true, to perceive any mixture of lights 
and shades in the picture they have drawn of him ; but the 
way in which the abbot Gottfried of Vendome, and bishop 
Hildebert of Mans, or Marbod of Rennes, describe his labours, 
contain features too characteristic to leave it possible for us to 
conceive that they should have been pure inventions, and they 
moreover agree with other kindred examples of these times.* 
If the squalid raiment in which he travelled about as a 
preacher of repentance contributed to procure for him the 
reverence of the multitude, — and he is said to have given it 
himself as a reason for wearing tliem, that they drew more 
veneration from the simple ; yet there were others who blamed 
him for attempting to distinguish himself in this way, and 
complained that he did not dress according to his station, as a 
canonical ecclesiastic and priest. They styled it only a species 
of vanity, and assured him that to reasonable people he must 
appear like a crazy man.f By censuring the worldly-minded 

qnoqne convaluisse testator, qnando qoilibet animabus langoidis et lepro- 
sis suscitandis consulit et medetur. 

* Even if the persons mentioned -were not the anthors of these letters, 
if one or the other of them was written by Roscelin, a truth of this kind 
may have been lying at bottom. This Koscelin, when a canonical priest, 
was an adversary of Robert Arbrissel, who seemed desirous of transform- 
ing the regular clergy into monks. Abelard says of him (ep. 21): Hie 
contra egregium ilium praeconem Christi Robertum de Arbrosello con- 
tomacem ansus est epistolam confingere. 

t Ep. Marbod, among the letters of Hildebert, f. 1408 : De pannosi 
habitus insolentia plurimi te redarguendum putant, qnoniam nee canonics 
profession!, sub qua militare ccepisti, nee sacerdotali ordini, in qnem 
promotus es, convenire videtur. Est enim singulis quibusque professi- 
unibus sive ordinibos apta qusedam et congrua distinctio habenda, quae si 
permatetur, publicum ofFendit judicium. Videamus ergo, ne ista, per 
quae admirationem parare volumus, ridicola et odiosa sint. That he went 

344 Robert's character, as judged by his oppoxents. 

clergy in which he followed altogether the spirit of the Hil- 
debrandian party, he drew after him the multitude, who 
delighted in such things. On the other hand, it is said, in the 
letter above noticed, " of what use is it to censure the absent ? 
So far from being of any use, it must seem to his ignorant 
hearers, as if he gave them liberty thereby to sin, — holding 
up to them, as he does, the example of their superiors, whose 
authority they might plead. By such censures the absent 
would rather be excited to indignation than persuaded to 
amendment. Of some advantage, however, it was perhaps to 
himself to make every other order of the church contemptible 
in the eyes of the multitude, so that he and his followers 
might stand alone in their esteem. Such cunning, however, 
savours of the old man ; it is something diabolical. It accords 
not with his calling, with his itinerant wanderings, with the 
squalid dress he wears. The congregations leave their priests, 
whom they are taught to look upon as worthless ; they despise 
their intercessions, and will no longer submit to church penance 
from them ; will no longer pay them tithes and firstlings. 
To him and his followers they flock in crowds ; and to him 
and his, pay the honour which they owe to their own priests. 
Yet these poor people are not influenced by the love of re- 
ligion, but manifestly by that love of novelty which is ever a 
ruling passion with the multitude;* for nobody can perceive 
any amendment in their lives." It was now objected to him 
generally, that he placed too much reliance on momentary 
feelings of compunction, and made no further inquiry into the 
temper of those on whom his discourses had produced an 
effiBct. He was accused of saying, that he was satisfied could 
he prevent a man from sinning, even for a single niglit. He 
was accused of accepting at once every man, who, after some 
such superficial impression, expressed a wish to retire from 
the world. Hence, people of this class fell afterwards into a 
worse state than ever. He was accused of a pharisaical zeal 
to make proselytes. " So great is the number of his dis- 

about in a cowl full of holes, barefoot, and ■with a long beard, as a novel 
sight for all, ut ad ornatuni lunatici solam tibi jam clavam deesse loquan- 
tur. Hsec tibi uon tam apud simplices, ut dicere soles, auctoritatem, 
quam apud sapientes furoris suspicionem comparant. 

* Quos tamen, ut manifestum est, non religionis amor, sed ea, quro 
semper vulgo familiaris est, curiositas et novorum cupiditas ducit 


ciples." said these adversaries, " that they may be seen with 
their long beards and their black dresses running in troops 
through the provinces ; wearing shoes in the countrj-, going 
barefbot in the towns and villages. And if these people are 
asked why they do so, the only reply they have to make is, 
' They are the people of the Master.' " Especially was he 
censured for his manner of operating upon the female sex ; for 
his too free intercourse with them, and for his renovation of 
the dangerous fanaticism of the subintrodiictce.* He is said 
to have allowed himself to be influenced in his conduct towards 
the female sex too much by whim and caprice ; to some, being 
too lenient; to others, too severe; imposing on them too 
harsh modes of penance. Gottfried of Vendome, — who in- 
timates, however, that this charge against Robert of Arbrissel 
came by no means from credible sources, "j" — represents to him 
how tenderly the weaker sex should be dealt with ; how easily 
many might by his mode of treatment be reduced to despair.| 
We noticed, at the close of the preceding period, the origin 
of the order of Cluny ; and we have described the high con- 
sideration it attained through the merits of the men who stood 
at its head. In the beginning of this period the friend of 
Gregory the Seventh, abbot Hugo, joined himself to it ; but 
so much the more mischievous in its influence on the order 
was the bad administration of his successor, Pontius, who was 
finally obliged, in the year 1122, to resign his post. Soon 
afterwards the place was fiUed by one who is to be numbered 
among the most distinguished men of the church in his times, 
the abbot Peter Mauritius, to whom even his contemporaries 
gave the title of Venerable. By him, the order was once 
more raised to distinction. He was desc«ided from a family 
of consideration in Auvergne, and is to be reckoned among 
the many great men of the church on whose development the 
influence of Christian training by pious mothers had a lasting 
effect. The character of his mother, who later in life became 
a nun, was delineated by his own pen with filial affection, 

* 2u«i»-a«T9j, Tol. I. 277, and vol. II. 149. 

t Quod si ita est. IV. 46. 

X Fragilis est multum et delicatns scxns femineus et idcirco necesse est, 
ut pietatis dulcedine potius quam nimia severitate regatar, ne forte abun- 
dantiori tristitia absorbeatur, et qui earn regere debet, sic a satana cir- 


soon after her death.* Under him the order took a different 
direction from that in which it had originated. As this man, 
distinguished for his amiable and gentle spirit, strongly sym- 
pathized with everything purely human, so, under his guid- 
ance, the monastery, before consecrated alone to rigid asceti- 
cism, became a seat also of the arts and sciences.^ A Christian 
delicacy of feeling, far removed from the sternness and excess 
which we elsewhere find in moneisticism, forms a characteristic 
trait in the character of this individual. To a prior, who was 
not disposed to relax in the least from the zeal of an over- 
rigid asceticism, he wrote : "God accepts no sacrifices which 
are offered to him contrary to his own appointed order," He 
held up to him the example of Christ: " The devil invited 
Christ to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple ; 
but he who came to give his life for the salvation of the 
world refused to end it by a suicidal act — thereby setting an 
example which admonishes us that we are not to push the 
mortification of the body to self-destruction. J So Paul, 
also (1 Timothy v. 23), following the example of Christ, 
exhorts his disciple, that he should provide for his body with 
moderation, not that he should destroy it." He blames him for 
not heeding the affectionate remonstrances of the pious bre- 
thren amongst his inferiors. " When a man pays no regard 
to those who speak such words of love, he despises the love 
itself which prompted such words ; and he who despises love, 
can have none himself. But of what avail is all the fasting in 
the world, and all the mortification of the flesh, to him who 
has no love? (1 Cor. xiii.) Abstain, then, from flesh anf\ 
from fish ; push thy abstinence as far as thou wilt ; torture thy 
body, allow no sleep to thine eyes ; spend the night in vigils, 
thy day in toils ; still, whether willing or unwilling, thou must 
hear the apostle : ' Even if thou givest thy body to be burned, 
it profits thee nothing,' " Far removed from this monkish 
estrangement from humanity, he was aware that the suppres- 
sion of man's natural feeling stood at variance with the essence 

* Lib. II, ep, 17. 

t Lib. III. ep. 7. He praises a monk who diligently devoted himself 
to scientific studies: Monachum longe melius Cluniaci, quam quemlibet 
philosophum in academia philosophantem stupeo. 

X Ut doceret, utiliter quidem carnem esse mortificandam, sed non 
more homicidarum crudeliter perimendam. 


of Christianity; on which point he thus expresses himself 
in a beautiful letter to his brother, on the occasion of their 
mother's death : '* The feelings of nature, sanctified by Chris- 
tianity, should be allowed their rights in the free shedding of 
tears. Paul (1 Thess. iv. 13) does not object to sorrow gene- 
rally, but only to the sorrow of unbelief, the sorrow which con- 
tends against Christian hope." * To a monk who thought him- 
self bound to keep away from his native coimtry, lest he should 
be attracted by some earthly tie, he wrote : I "If pious men 
must abhor their country. Job would not have remained in 
his ; the devout Magians would not have returned to theirs ; 
our Lord himself would not have rendered his own illustrious 
by his miracles. The pious then are not obliged to fly from their 
country, but only from its customs if they are bad. Neither 
ought the good man to fly from his relations and friends, from 
fear of the contamination of wickedness ; rather he should en- 
deavour to win them to salvation by wholesome admonitions ; 
he should not be afraid of their earthly affections, but rather 
seek to communicate to them his own heavenly affections. " I 
myself," said he, " would gladly retire into solitude ; but, if it 
is not granted me, or until it is granted me, let us follow the 
example of him who, amidst the crowd in royal banquets and 
surrounded by gilded walls, would say he dwelt in solitude (Ps. 
Iv. 8, according to the Vulgate). And such a solitude we can 
construct in the recesses of the heart, where alone the true 
solitude is found by true despisers of the world, — whe?e no 
stranger finds admittance ; where, without bodily utterance, is 
heard in gentle murmurs the voice of our discoursing Master. 
In this solitude, let us, my dearest son, so long as we are in the 
body, and dwell as strangers on the earth, — even in the midst 
of tumults, — take refuge ; and what we would seek in distant 
eoutries, find in ourselves ; for the kingdom of God is indeed 
in us." His letters evidence the intimate communion of spirit 
which he cherished with those of kindred disposition among 
the monks. Thus he writes to one of them : " "When I would 
search with thee into the mysteries of the Holy Scriptures, 
thou didst always come and join with me with the greatest 

* Non noster talis dolor, quem generat non fidei defectus, sed nulla 
lege prohibitus mutuae germanitatis afiFectus. Non noster talis fletus, 
quem fundimus, non futurorum desperatione, sed naturae compassione. 

t Lib. II. ep. 22. 


<lelight. When I would converse with thee on matters of 
worldly science, though still under the guidance of divine 
grace, I found in thee a ready mind and an acute discernment. 
O, how often, with the doors shut, and him alone for our wit- 
ness who is never absent where thought and discourse dwell 
on him, has awful converse been held by us, on the blindness 
and hardness of man's heart ; on the various entanglements of 
sin, and of the manifold snares of wicked spirits ; on the abyss of 
the divine judgments ; how have we, with fear and trembling, 
adored him in his counsels respecting the children of men — when 
we considered that he has mercy on whom he will have mercy, 
and hardens whom he will ; and that no man knows whether 
he deserves love or hatred ; on the uncertainty of our calling ;* 
when we meditated on the economy of salvation, by the incar- 
nation and sufferings of the Son of God ; on the dreadful day 
of the last judgment ! " f With great boldness he told even 
the popes their faults. Thus he wrote to Eugene the Third :} 
" Though you have been set by God over the nations, in order 
to root out and to pull down, to build and to plant (Jerem. i. 
10) ; still, because you are neither God nor the prophet to 
whom this was said, you may be deceived, betrayed, by those 
who see only their own. For this reason, a faithful son, who 
would put you on your guard against such dangei"s, is bound 
to make known to you what has been made known to him, and 
what you perhaps may still remain ignorant of." 

When the Cluniacensian order had thus departed fiom its 
ancient austerity, and when milder principles prevailed in the 
Benedictine monasticism generally, there sprung up, out of a 
certain tendency to reform, an enterprise by which the strict- 
ness of the older models was to be again revoked to life. 
Robert, who came from a noble family in Champagne, had, in 
his childhood, been presented by his parents as an ohlatits to 
a monastery ; but as monasticism nowhere came up to his 
high requisitions, he joined himself to a society of anchorets, 
who led a strict life in the forest of Moslesme. The high con- 
sideration which this society attained to, by its strict mode of 
living, procured for it unsought rich gifts ; and the increase of 
earthly goods was followed as usual by relaxation. Hence 

* We perceive here the influence of the Augustinian doctrine. 
t Lib. II. ep. 22. % Lib. VI. ep. 12. 


Robert, together with twenty of the most zealous of these re- 
chises, was induced to separate from the rest. With his com- 
panions he retired to a lonely district, called Citeaux (Cister- 
cium), in the bishopric of Chalons, not far from Dijon. Here 
was formed, sometime after the year 1098, a society of monks, 
over which Robert presided. But he could not carry his work 
here to its Ml completion, for the monks of Moslesme contrived 
to obtain an order from pope Urban the Second, by \'irtue of 
which the abbot Robert was obliged to return, and assume the 
direction of that monastery. He left his disciple Alberic at the 
head of the new establishment. Pope Paschalis the Second 
confirmed the rule of the new monastic order, which had been 
drawn up after the benedictine rule, but with greater severity. 
The new monasteries presented a picture of the extremest 
poverty, and in this respect stood in striking contrast with the 
monasteries of Cluny, which in some cases were distinguished 
for the embellishment of art. The defenders of the hitherto 
current fonn of the Benedictine monasticism objected, however, 
to the abbot Robert, that he clung tenaciously to the letter of 
the Benedictine rule, as the Jews to the letter of the law ; * 
and they maintained, in opposition to him, that the strictness 
of ancient monasticism had been properly modified, with a due 
reference to the difference of climate.| Under the third 
abbot of Citeaux, Stephen Harding, this new order of monks 
had but few members left, its excessive severity having fright- 
ened numbers away. It was first by means of an extraordinary 
man, who belonged amongst the most influential of his times, 
that this order attained to higher consideration, and became 
more widely spread. This was the abbot Bernard of Clair- 
vaux, whose spirit, life, and labours we must here consider 
more in detail. 

Bernard was bom in the year 1091, at Fontaines, in Bur- 
gimdy, not far from Dijon. His father was a respectable 
knight ; and on his education, as in so many other cases, a 
pious mother, Aleth, exerted the greatest influence. All her 
seven children, six sons and a daughter, she brought, as soon 

♦ See the words of the worthy English Benedictine, Odericus Vitalis, 
Hist, eccles. L. VIII. f. 713, where, speaking of those who retired with 
Robert to Cistercinm, he says : Qui sancti decreverant regulam Benedicti, 
Eicut Judiei legem Mosis ad literam servare penitus. 

t Orderic. Vital., Hist eccles. L. VIII. f. 712. 

350 Bernard's earlier life. 

as they saw the light, to the altar and consecrated to God. 
The third of these sons, Bernard, already exhibited, while a 
child, a predominant religious bent, which under the influence 
of such a mother developed itself at a very early period.* 
After the death of his mother, the young man fell into a kind 
of society by which he was drawn away from that earlier bent. 
Yet this had been too deeply ingrained into his disposition not 
to put forth in the end a mightier reaction against all the 
impressions made on him at a later period, and he determined 
to break loose from all worldly ties and become a monk. His 
brothers, not pleased with this design, tried to dissuade him 
from it, and to counteract the love of monasticism by another 
of the nobler tendencies of these times, the enthusiasm for 
science, which now began to manifest itself, especially in 
France. This attempt was not altogether unsuccessful ; but 
the memory of his mother revived in him the impressions of his 
childhood ; he often saw in fancy her image before him, and 
heard her admonishing voice. Once, when on his way to pay 
a visit to his brother, who was a knight, and then engaged in 
beleaguering a castle, — he was so overwhelmed with these 
recollections as to feel constrained to enter a church on the 
road, where, with a flood of tears, he poured out his heart 
before God, and, solemnly consecrating himself to his service, 
resolved to execute the above-mentioned plan of life. And it 
is characteristic of the man, that he chose at once as his 
ideal the strictest monasticism of this period, by which so 
many others were frightened away from it. By the invincible 
fervour of his zeal, which expressed itself in the force of his 
language and in his whole demeanour, several of his relatives 
and friends, and all his brothers except the youngest, who was 
still a child,f were immediately carried away, and induced to 

* Suffering, when a lad, under severe headaches, a woman came to him 
and promised to cure him by incantations and amulets ; but he repelled 
her proposals with great indignation. Once, on Christmas-eve, he was 
at church, and having waited longer than usual for the commencement of 
service, fell asleep, and had a vision of Christ, who appeared to him as a 
child. See the account of Bernard's life by one of his disciples, the abbot 
William, in Mabillon, L. I. c. ii. s. 4. 

t The following incident illustrates one characteristic feature in the 
life of this period. The eldest of these brothers, Guido, happening to 
see the youngest, Nivard, playing with other boys in the street, called out 
to him, and said : ♦* You are now owner of all our property." To which 

Bernard's earlier ufe. 351 

join him in his resolution. In the year 1113, he entered, 
with thirty companions, into the monastery of Citeaux. 

He was a monk with his whole soul. In bodily labours, as 
well as in spiritual exercises, he sought to come fully up to 
the ideal of the monastic life. He himself was compelled 
afterwards to lament that, in the first years of his life as a 
monk, he had so enfeebled his body by excessive asceticism, as 
to find himself afterwards disqualified from completely fill- 
filling the duties of his station.* But his wide and diversified 
labours show to what extent the energy of a mind actuated by 
a sense of the highest interests, could find ways of making 
even so frail a vessel ser\-iceable, and of overcoming the obsta- 
cles of a sickly constitution,"]" And in these times his very 
looks, which bore the marks of this rigid self-discipline, only 
created for him the greater respect. The fiery energy with 
which he spoke and acted, contrasted with the weakness of his 
bodily frame, only produced so much the mightier efFects.if 

In the three years during which he remained at Citeaux, he 
gained in this way so high a reputation, that at the early age of 
five and twenty he was placed himself at the head of a monas- 
tery. In a desert and wild valley inclosed by moimtains, lying 
within the bishopric of Langres, which in earlier times, hav- 
ing been a nest of robbers, was called the Valley of Worm- 
wood ( Vallis absinthialis), and afterwards when cleared of 

the lad replied, " What ! you have heaven, and / the earth ? That is no 
equitable division." 

• In the account of his life already cited (c. viii. s. 4 1) , it is said of him, 
Non confunditur usque hodie se accusare, sacrilegii arguens semetipsnm, 
quod servitio Dei et fratrum abstulerit corpus snom, dum indiscreto ferrore 
imbecille illud reddiderit ac psene inutile. 

t When, during the schism under pope Innocent the Third, he was 
under the necessity of journeying to Italy: Instantissima postulatione 
imperatoris apHKtoficoque mandato nee non ecclesise ac principum preci- 
bus flexi dolentes ac nolentes. debiles atque infirmi, et,' ut verum fateor, 
pavidse mortis pallidam circumferentes imaginem trahimur in Apnliam. 
Epp. 144, s. 4. 

+ In the first account of his life, L. c. : Quis nostra setate, quantumvis 
robusti corporis et accuratae valetudinis tanta aliquando fecit, quanta iste 
fecit et fecit moribundus et languidus ad honorem Dei et sanctse ecclesiae 
utilitatem ? And from immediate observation, his biographer could say : 
Virtus Dei vehementius in infirniitate ejus refulgens extunc usque hodie 
digniorem qtiandam apud homines ei efficit reverentiam et in reverenlia 
auctoritatem et in aactoritate obedientiam. 


them, Clear Valley {Clara vallis), it was proposed to found 
a new monastery of Cistercians ; and this, from its location, 
received the name of Claravallis, or Clairvaux. Bernard was 
made abbot of it in the year 1115, and this monastery became 
thenceforth the seat of his multifarious labours, which ex- 
tended abroad from this point through the whole of Europe. 
From that time, men of all ranks and stations, knights and 
scholars, were attracted to the Cistercian order. The strict- 
ness which had hitherto kept back so many, now acted as a 
charm on others. Monasteries after the pattern of Clairvaux 
sprang up in the deserts, whose very names were intended to 
denote what the interior life could gain in them.* Within 
thirty-seven years the number of convents subordinate to the 
abbot of Citeaux was increased to sixty-seven. 

Under Bernard's direction, the above-named monastery, 
situated in an uncultivated region, earned so much by the hard 
labour of the monks, that during a severe famine in Burgundy, 
when crowds of famisldng poor poured in from all quarters to 
the gates of the convent, two thousand, selected from the mul- 
titude and marked by a peculiar badge attached to their per- 
sons, were supplied for several months with all they needed for 
their sustenance, while others at the same time received indis- 
criminate alms.f The monastery of Clairvaux became the 
model of monasticism ; and colonies from it, to found other 
establishments after the same pattern, were demanded from all 
quarters ; so that the abbot Bernard sometimes found himself 
unable to comply with all the invitations that were sent to 
him. To all parts of France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, 
Germany, England, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden, monks 
must be sent from Clairvaux for the purpose of founding new 

* Ordericus Vitalis, the friend of the old man says : Multi nobiles 
athletae et profundi sophista ad illos pro novitate singularitatis concurre- 
runt et inusitatam districtionem ultro complexantes in via recta laeti 
Christo hymnos lastitise modulati fuerunt. In desertis atque silvestribns 
locis monasteria proprio labore coiididerunt et sacra illis nomina solenti 
provisione imposuerunt, ut est Domus Dei, Claravallis, Bonus mons, et 
eleemosynaetaliaplura hujusmodi, quibus auditores solo nominis nectare 
invitantur festiiianter experiri, quanta sit ibi beatitudo, qua) tarn speciali 
denotetur vocabulo. Hist, eccles. L. VIII. f. 714. 

t See the account of the life of John Eremita the Second, 6, in his 
works, ed. Mabillon, f. 1287. 

Bernard's influence is other couxtries. 353 

monasteries or of reforming old ones ; * and thus Bernard, at 
his death, in 1153, Ifeft behind him one hundred and sixty 
monasteries, which had been formed under his influence. 
Hence he had connections and correspondents with all these 
countries ; and the establishments which had thus arisen ever 
regarded him as their father and teacher. Hence his letters 
and his influence would be widely diffused through all these 
lands. He was the counsellor of noblemen, bishops, princes, 
and popes. As we have seen, he was often summoned to their 
assistance, to settle disputes, to quiet disturbances ; insomuch 
that he was constrained to lament over the little opportunity 
that was left him, in the multiplicity of external business, to 
lead the kind of life which became a monk.| The general 
enthusiasm demanded him for bishop in many of the more im- 
portant cities, — such as Langres, Chalons sur Mame, Rheims, 
Genoa, and Milan ; but he declined every such invitation. J 
Before princes and nobles he stood up as an advocate for the 
unfortunate, and for the victims of injustice ; he stimulated 
those who attached themselves to his person, to benevolent 
enterprises, and directed them in such undertakings by his 
counsel. Amongst the tetter belonged particularly the count 
Theobald of Champagne. He directed that nobleman in 
establishing a fund for the support of poor people, the interest 
of which should go on continually increasing, and thus secure 
a permanent and accumulating capital for relieving the wants 
of the needy.§ Although a religious interest, based on his 
view of the church theocracy, as we have unfolded it on a for- 
mer page, induced him to enter the lists in defence of the 
papal authority ; and, although he was a zealotis instrument in 
promoting the higher objects of the popes ; yet he was no 
advocate of a blind obedience to them, and boldly exposed to 
them the wicked acts perpetrated in their name ; so that his 
interference in public aJSairs was sometimes extremely irksome 

• See the second account of his life by Bemald, iv. 26 ; and the third, 
▼ii. 22. 

t Amici, qui me quotidie de claustro ad civitates pertrahere moliantor. 
Ep. 21. 

X See the second account of his life by Bernald, iv. 26. 

§ L. c. viii. 52. Eleemosynas ea sagacitate disponere, ut semper fruc- 
tificantes redivivis et renascentibus accessiouibns novas semper eleemosy- 
nas parturirent 

VOL. VII. 2 A 


to the more important personages near the papal court. 
Strongly as he recommended in general; as a monk, obedience 
to superiors, yet he also declared himself opposed to too broad 
an interpretation of this duty. " Were a blind and implicit 
obedience, submitted to without examination, to become the 
general rule," says he, " the words we hear read at church : 
' Prove all things, hold fast that which is good,' would be 
without meaning. We should have to expunge from the gos- 
pel the words : ' be wise as serpents,' and retain only, ' be 
harmless as doves.' True, I do not say that the commands of 
superiors ought to be examined by subordinates, where nothing 
is commanded which is contrary to the divine law ; but I 
affirm that wisdom is also necessary to detect whatever may 
be commanded contrary to those laws ; axiA freedom to regard 
every such command with contempt.* Say, suppose one 
should place a sword in your hand, and bid you point it against 
his own throat, would you obey him ? Or, if he bid you plunge 
into the flames or into the flood, would you not be yourself 
a partaker of the crime, were it in your power to prevent 
another from so doing and you failed to exert it ? "f This 
principle, he applies, in the letter where it is expressed, to the 
relation of men to the pope ; and he sels the command of 
Christ, the high-priest of all, over against such a supposed 
command of the pope. His own conduct was ever in accord- 
ance with this principle. He shrunk not from writing to 
Innocent the Second, that the popes themselves had contributed 
most to injure their own authority, by abusing it.t " It was the 
unanimous voice of all who presided over the communities 
with a sincere regard for their well-being, that justice in the 
church was falling to decay ; the power of the keys reduced to 
nothing ; the episcopal authority losing all respect ; — since no 
bishop was allowed to punish wickedness in his own diocese, 
and this, owing to the action of the pope and the Roman 
court ; for men said, whatever good thing the bishop may de- 
vise, it is sure to be frustrated there ; whatever evil they have 
rightly removed, is sure to be again introduced. All the 

* Nee dieo, a subditis mandata prffipositorum esse dijudicanda, ubi nihil 
juberi deprehenditur divinis coutrarium institutis, sed necessariam assero 
et prudeiitiam, qua advertatur, si quid adversatur et libertatem, qua et 
ingenue contemnatur. + Ep. 7, s. 12. 

X Quid vobis vires minuitis? Quid robur vestrum deprimitis? Ep. 178. 


vicious, the quarrelsome, who have been expelled by them 
from the communities, from the body of the clergy, or of the 
the monks, run up to Rome, and boast of the protection which 
they there find."* 

We have already spoken of the great power exercised by 
Bernard over the minds of men, when, in the name of pope 
Eugene, he preached up the crusade in France and Germany. 
Though at that time many deceptions, whether intentional or 
undesigned, were mixed in,! under the name of miraculous 
cures, yet we cannot suppose the former in the case of such a 
man as Bernard ; and unintentional deception would not suf- 
fice to explain the general belief of Bernard's miraculous 
powers, nor the several stories so circumstantially narrated.^ 

* Qaique flagitiosi et contentiosi de populo, sive de ckro ant ex mo- 

nasteriis pulsati currant ad vcs, redeuntes jactant et gestiant,se obdnuisse 
tutores, quos magis ultoros sensisse debuerant. 

t Abelard, who with critical understanding examined into the tales of 
miraculous cures in his times, speaks of it: Non ignoramus astutias talium, 
qui cum febricitantes a lenibus morbis curare prsesumont, pluribus aliqua 
vel in cibo vel in potu tribuunt, ut curent, vel benedictiones vel orationes 
faciunt. Hoc utique cogitant, nt si qnoquomodo curatio sequatur, sanc- 
titati eorum imputetur. Sin vero minime, infidelitati eorum (i. e. of 
those on whom the cure had been performed) vel desperationi adscribatnr. 
De Joanne baptista, opp. p. 967. 

X Concerning a boy born blind, to whom he restored sight, in tl»e 
district of Liege, we find the following account by the monk Gottfried, of 
Clairvaux, in L. IV. vi. 34. Transported at the first ray of light to him 
before wholly unknown, the boy cried out " I see day, I see everybody. I 
8ee people with hair !" and clapping his hands for joy, he exclaimed, " My 
God ! now I shall no more dash my feet against the stones !" In Cambray, 
he cured a deaf and dumb boy ; and, as soon as he could speak, the mul- 
titude set him on a wooden bench, that he might salute the people with 
his new gift of speech, and his first words were received with a shout of 
joy. This monk relates still another case of which he was an eye-witness, 
L. c. s. 39 (e plurimis sane, qua in ejusdem apostolici viri facta sunt 
comitatn, duo scribimus, quae nos oblivisci ipsa,quam vidimus magnitude 
laetitiae non permittit). At Charlerie, a country town not far from the 
city of Provins, a boy ten years old, who had been for a year so lame in 
all his limbs as to be unable to move a single member, not even his head, 
was presented to him, as he passed along the street, by the lad's parents 
and other relations. Bernard touched him, and signed the cross over 
him : when, at his bidding, he rose up and walked. The lad was now 
unwilling to leave his benefactor, who had given him the use of his limbs, 
till Bernard obliged him to do so. His younger brother embraced him, 
as if he had been restored from the dead, and many were moved to tears. 
Four years afterwards, his mother brought him again to Bernard, as he 

2 A 2 

356 Bernard's miracles. 

Whether it was that the confident faith excited by the strong 
impression which this extraordinary man everywhere made, 
produced so great effects, and the religious susceptibility of 
the times, in which the element of a critical understanding was 
so repressed by that of immediate religious feeling, came to 
his assistance ; or, whether he possessed some natural, magnetic 
power of healing (a supposition which I see no reasons for 
adopting) ; the fact was, Bernard himself avowed the convic- 
tion, that God did perform miracles by him ; as, for example, 
in that letter to pope Eugene the Second, already quoted, 
where he refers to what he had accomplished in rousing up 
Europe to engage in the crusade.* So, after fighting down 
the heretics in the south of France, he appeals, in a letter to 
the citizens of Toulouse, to the fact,! that he had revealed 
among them the truth, not merely by word, but also by power.;f 
As solitary workings of that higher power of life which Christ 
introduced into human nature, these facts might perhaps 
be properly regarded, wherever they appeared in connection 
with a genuinely Christian temper, actuated by the spirit of 
love. Evidence, for this reason, in favour of the entire truth of 
the doctrines promulgated, they at the same time certainly 
were not ; for that higher power of life, whose fountain-head is 
union with Christ, does not necessarily exclude errors ; and 
moreover, the supposed miracles may have belonged to the 
Old Testament position of this period. 

Still there were, even then, persons who, in the conflict with 
the prevaling spiritual tendencies of their times, doubted or 
denied the truth of those miraculous stories ; persons, to be 
sure, who cannot be regarded as unprejudiced witnesses, — who 
were not at all less biassed than his enthusiastic admirers, 
though on a different side, — the representatives of that critical 
bent of the understanding which was most directly opposed to 
the spirit of Bernard, — Abelard and his disciples. These seem 
not to have acknowledged Bernard's miraculous gifts. Abe- 
lard, it is true, in a passage already quoted,§ does not speak of 

happened to be passing through the town a second time ; and she bade 
her son kiss his feet, saying to him, " This is the man who restored life 
to you and you to me." * Page 210. t_Ep. 242. 

X Veritate nimirum per nos mauifestata non solum in sermone, sed 
eliam in virtute. § Page 355. 


his miracles, precisely after the same manner in which he does 
of the miracles of others, which he directly pronounces a de- 
lusion ; nor does he mention him by name. But proceeding as 
he does on the general assumption, that miracles were no 
longer wrought in his age, he seems to make no exception of 
the case of Bernard ; and the way in which Abelard's talented 
but haughty disciple, Berengar, expresses himself, would lead 
us to infer from the whole tone of his remarks, though he no- 
where' disputes the truth of those miraculous stories, yet his 
owTi incredulity with regard to them.* 

He himself, for that matter, was far from over-estimating 
the value of such miraculous gifts, which he describes as 
something rare in this time, and difficult of attainment. He 
advises that men should rather bend all their efforts in striving 
after those Christian virtues without which the church can- 
not exist, and, above all, charity, than to be very anxious after 
these things, — which served only as an ornament to the church, 
— which were not necessary to salvation, and which were 
attended with many dangers. f 

Connected with Bernard's participation in the crusades, was 
the part he took also in an imdertaking designed for the pro- 
motion of the same object, the order of Knight Templars. 
This order of spiritual knights had been already founded nine 
years, but consisted of only eighteen members ; wJjen, through 
Bernard's co-operation, it received a newly modified rule, at 
the council of Troyes, in 1127, and Bernard's participation in 
it gave the whole affair a new impulse. In compliance with 
the wish of its first master, Hugo de Paganis, he wrote a dis- 
course of exhortation and encouragement for the use of the 

* He says, manifestly with sarcasm, Jamdudum sanctitudinis tuae 
odorem ales per orbem fama dispersit, prseconizavit merita, miracula 
declamavit. Felicia jactabamus moderna ssecala tam corusci sideris 
venustata nitore munduraque jam debitum pterditioni tuis meritis subsistere 
patabamus. Sperabamus in linguae tuse arbitrio coeli sitam clemeutiam, 
aiiris temperiem, ubertatem terrae, fruetuum benedictionem. Sic dia 
vixisti, ut ad semicinctia tua rugire dsemones autumaremus et beatulos 
DOS tantulo gloriaremur patrono. 

t Istiusmodi ligna in opus laqnearium ad decorem Domns Dei Cqnie 
magis noscuntur apta ornatai, quam necessaria fore salati), quoniam 
istiusmodi ligna constat et laboriose quaeri et difficile inveniri et pericu- 
lose elaborari (nam et rara ea pra;sertim his temporibus terra oostra 
producere reperitur). Sermo xlvi. in Cantica canticor. s. 8. 


members : " Exhortatio ad milites templi." He extols this 
order as a combination of monasticism and knighthood, con- 
trasting it with the common knighthood, which was only sub- 
servient to wicked ends, and inspired by sinful desires and 
passions. He describes the design of it as being to give the 
military order and the knighthood a serious Christian direction, 
and to convert war into something which God might approve. 
" Even infidels," says he, "should not be put to death, if in 
any other way they could be prevented from persecuting and 
oppressing Christians ;"* and, as in favour of the crusades 
generally, so also in favour of this order of knights devoted to 
the same object, he makes it a prominent argument, that 
Christendom would thereby be relieved from a multitude of 
mischievous men, that these men would be called to repentance, 
and rendered serviceable to the church. •]• 

What pre-eminently distinguished this great man was, that to 
a bent of mind profoundly contemplative, a rich inward experi- 
ence, he united such a many-sided activity directed on the out- 
ward world. As in his own case religious knowledge proceeded 
from interior experience, so he endeavoured to guide his 
disciples and contemporaries to this fountain-head of the know- 
ledge of divine things, as opposed to a predominantly scientific 
direction of the Christian mind.| Monasticism was so highly 
valued by him, because he considered it a school for this 
theology of the heart. Thus he wrote to a scholastic theolo- 
gian, whom he invited to become a monk.§ " Thou, who 
busiest thyself with the study of the prophets, understandest 
thou what thou readest? If thou dost understand it, then 
thou knowest that the sense of the prophets is Christ ; and, 
if thou wouldst have him, know that thou wilt succeed far 
better by following him than by reading. Why seekest thou 

* Non quidem vel pagani necandi essent, si quo modo aliter possent a 
nimia infestatione seu oppressione fideliura cohiberi. 11. 4. 

t Quodque cernitmr jucundius et agitur commodius, paucos admodum 
in tarita multitudine hominuin illo conflare videas, nisi utique sceleratos 
et impios, raptores et sacrilegos, homicidas, perjuros, et adulteros. Sic 
Christus, sic novit ulcisci in hostem suos, ut non solum de ipsis, sed per 
ipsos quoque frequenter soleat tanto gloriosius, quanto et potentius triuni- 
phare, s. 10. 

I Which we shall describe more exactly in the fourth section. 

§ Ep. 106. 


in the word that Word, which stands already before thine eyes 
as the "Word become flesh ? He who has ears to hear, let him 
hear him crying in the temple : ' If any man thirst, let him 
come unto me and drink ;' and, ' Come imto me, all ye that 
are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' O, if 
you had but a taste of the rich marrow of the grain with which 
the heavenly Jerusalem is satisfied, how gladly wouldst thou 
leave those Jewish scribes to nibble their crusts of bread." 
Then, he adds, " Believe one who has experi«ice, thou wilt 
find more in the forests than in books. Woods and stones will 
teach thee what thou canst not learn from the masters."* It 
was one of Bernard's inspiring thoughts, that the right know- 
ledge of divine things was only such a knowledge as proceeds 
from the interior life, from the impress of the divine upon the 
disposition. Planting himself upon the words, " The fear of the 
Lord is the beginning of wisdom," he says : " Knowledge makes 
men learned, the disposition makes them wise."')' " The sun 
does not tearm all upon whom it shines ; so wisdom does not 
inflame all whom she teaches what to do, with the desire to do 
it. It is one thing to know about many treasures, another to 
possess them ; and it is not the knowledge, but the passession, 
that makes one rich. So it is one thing to know God, and 
another to fear him ; and it is not the mere knowledge, but 
the fear of God, which moves the heart, makes one wise." 
Blnowledge is to him but a preparation for true Mosdom. It 
leads to the latter only when that which is known is takm up 
into the heart, and the heart is moved by it. " Yet pride," he 
imagines, " is very apt to proceed from mere knowledge where 
the fear of God does not present a counterpoise." 

But it was especially the principle of a love exalted above 
fear and the desire of reward, which he was accustomed to 
regard, and to recommend to his monks, as the soul of Christian 
perfection. Hence pre-eminently above every other p\pus 
man of his times, he was called the man of love ;j though, in 
a practical view, Peter of Climy might imdoubtedly claim this 

* Experto crede, aliquid amplius invenies in silvis, qoam in libris. 
Ligna et lapides docebant, qaod a magistris aadire non possis. 

t Instructio doctos reddit, affectio sapientes. S. xxiii. in Candca 
canticor. s. 14. 

J Acta Sanctor. M. Jan. T. I. f. 826. 


title in preference to all others. When he was called to Italy, 
in the contest for the cause of the pope, and was compelled to 
travel far and undergo much fatigue, he wrote to his monks,* 
that, amid all his toils, he found the greatest consolation in 
reflecting that he laboured and suffered in his cause for whom all 
things live. " I must, whether willing or unwilling, live for him 
who has acquired a property in my life, by giving up his own 
for me." To have their lives also consecrated solely to him 
was his exhortation to his monks. "j" "To whom," he wrote, 
"am I more bound to live than I am to him whose death is 
the cause of my living ? To whom can I devote my life with 
greater advantage than to him who promises me the life 
eternal ? To whom with greater necessity, than to him who 
threatens the everlasting fire ? But I serve him with freedom, 
since love brings freedom. | To this, dear brethren, I invite 
you : serve in that love which casteth out fear, feels no toils, 
thinks of no merit, asks no reward, and yet carries with it 
a mightier constraint than all things else. No terror so spurs 
one on, no reward so strongly attracts, no demand of a due so 
pressingly urges. Tiiis love binds you inseparably with me, 
this love makes me ever present with you, especially in the 
hours when I pray." Touching the essence of disinterested 
love, Bernard says :§ "Not without reward is God loved, 
though he should be loved without respect to a reward. True 
love possesses enough in itself, it has a reward ; but it is 
nothing other than the very object that is loved." He distin- 
guishes, however, four stages in the progressive development 
of love. The lowest stage is where a man is drawn away from 
selfish interests, by means of self-love, to the love of God. 
Sufferings are ordained to the end that man may be awakened 
to the consciousness of dependence on God, and, by seeking 
after help in distress, be led away to God ; but must not his 
heart be harder than iron or stone, who, after having often 
turned to God in distress and found help from him, does net 
become so softened that he must begin to love him for his own 
sake? Thus he attains to the second stage, where God is 
loved no longer merely as a helper in distress, but on account 

* Ep, 144. s. 3. t Ep. 148. 

I Sed servio voluntarie, quia caritas libertatem donat. 
j De diligendo Deo, c. vii. 


of the experience which has been had of the blessed effects of 
communion with himself. As those Samaritans said to the 
woman who had informed them of the coming of the Lord : 
'• Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have 
heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, 
the Saviour of the world ;" so we too may rightly say to 
the flesh : '• Now we love God, not on account of thy distress, 
but because we ourselves have experienced and know that the 
Xrord is gracious. Thus, by degrees, we attain to the third 
stage, which is, to love God not only on account of the way 
in which he has manifested lumself to ourselves, but for his 
own sake, to love him as we are loved ; we, too, seeking not 
our own but the things of Jesus Christ, as he sought our good, 
or rather us, and not his own. From this is developed, finally, 
the fourth and highest degree of love, where self-love passes 
wholly up into the love of God, and the man loves even 
himself only for God's sake," Bernard finds this stage of love 
described in Ps. Ixxiii. 26 : " My flesh and my heart faileth ; 
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." 
'• Blessed and holy," says he, " would I call him to whom it is 
granted in this mortal life rarely, occasionally, or even but , 
once, and that only for a moment, to experience something of 
this kind ; for so to lose thyself thine /, so to renounce 
thyself, this is heavenly converse, and not feeling, after 
the ordinary manner of man. As the glory of God is the end 
of all creation, so the point towards which all progress in 
religion strives is, to do all things only for God's sake. This 
ground-tone of the soul is, properly speaking, transformation 
into the image of God ; but here below man can sustain 
himself but for a few moments in these heights." " I know 
not," says Bernard, " whether by any mortal this fourth 
attainment has been completely realized in the present life. 
Let them maintain that it has who have experienced it : to me 
it seems impossible. Without doubt, however, it is then to be 
realized when the good and faithful servant shall enter into 
the joy of his Lord." 

It is everywhere apparent that the reference to Christ con- 
stituted with him the soul of the Christian life. " Thus," he 
says,* " dry is all nutriment of the soul, if it be not anointed 

* S. XT. in Cantica canticor. s. 6. 


with this oil. When thou writest, nothing touches me if I 
cannot read Jesus there ; when thou conversest with me on 
religious subjects, nothing touches me unless Jesus chimes in ; 
but he is also the only true remedy. Is any one among you 
troubled ? Let Jesus enter into his heart, and lo ! at the 
rising light of his name, every cloud is dispersed and serenity 
returns. Here is a man full of despondency, running to 
entangle himself in the snares of death ; let him but call on 
the name of life, and will he not at once recover the breath of 
life ? Where did ever hardness of heart, indolence, or ill-Mill 
abide the presence of this holy name ? In whom does not the 
fountain of tears begin at once to flow more copiously when 
Jesus is named? ]n what man that trembled at danger does 
not the invocation of his name of power at once infuse con- 
fidence? In what man that wavered in doubt does not the 
light of certainty beam forth at the invoking his glorious 
name? In whom that grew faint-hearted in misfortune, was 
there ever lack of fortitude when that name whispered, I am 
with thee ? Certainly, these are but diseases of the soul, but 
this is the remedy. If, for example, I name Jesus as man, I 
present to myself the meek and lowly of heart ; the man 
radiant with all virtue and holiness ; the same who is also 
Almighty God ; who can heal me by his example, and 
strengthen me by his grace. Of all this the name of Jesus 
at once reminds me. From the man I take my example ; 
from him who is mighty my help ; and of both I com- 
pound a remedy for my case such as no physician could 
provide for me." 

But as the discrimination of the different stages of religious 
progress, suggested by his own rich spiritual experience and 
by observation derived from watching over the souls of others, 
distinguished Bernard, so he went on to mark differences of 
degree in the love to Christ, as he had done before in the love 
to God. At one stage he placed the love possessed by such 
as are still governed by the outward senses, — love excited by 
sensible impressions ; at another, the love of those who are 
capable of rising above the appearance in the flesh to the 
divine in itself, and live in that. " Remark," says he,* " that 
this love of the heart is still in some measure a fleshly one, 

* S. XX. in Cantica canticcr. s. 6. 


when it is moved chiefly by a regard to Christ manifest in the 
flesh, to what he did and commanded in the flesh. He who is 
full of this love is easily bowed down with contrition at the 
mention of Christ. When he prays, the holy image of the 
God-man stands before him, — born, teaching, dying, rising 
again, or ascending up to heaven ; and whatsoever of this sort 
may present itself to his soul must either enkindle the soul to 
the love of the virtues, or expel the vices of the flesh, and quell 
its impulses. I think this especially to have been the reason 
why the invisible God was pleased to manifest himself in the 
flesh, and to hold intercourse with man as man ; it was that he 
might first draw all the inclinations of the carnal men, who 
can love only carnal things, to the soul-saving love of his own 
flesh, and thus to elevate them by degrees to a spiritxial love. 
At this stage were still to be found those who said ' Lo, we 
have left all and followed thee,' Luke xviii. 28. Assuredly, it 
was love of his bodily presence alone which had induced them 
to leave all ; and hence they could not patiently hear the 
aimouncement of his approaching sufferings which were to 
bring salvation ; but Christ pointed them to a higher stage of 
love when he said, ' It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh 
profiteth nothing/ To this higher state he doubtless had 
already attained who said, ' Though we have known Christ 
after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.' " 
Bernard marks the difference between a Christian who Is 
easily touched by the remembrance of Christ's sufferings — 
and, by the blessed experience of these pious feelings, is 
incited to aspire after all goodness — and the Christian who, 
more and more purified and ennobled by such feelings, has 
finally attained to a steadfast zeal for righteousness and 
truth, — who, becoming a stranger to all vain glory, abhors 
caliminy, knows nothing about envj, despises all human glory, 
avoids, as it were instinctively, all sin, and embraces everything 

True humility in judging of one's self, he declared to be 
more than prolonged fastings, late vigils, and any bodily 
exercise, — the true godliness which is profitable unto all 
things, 1 Tim. iv. 8.* As it turned out with many who 
embraced the monastic life, that their corrupt inclinations 

• Ep. 142. 


broke out with the more force in proportion to the narrower 
room left for the indulgence of them,— so Bernard found it 
necessary to rebuke the odious practice of slandering' the 
character of others under some hypocritical form of piety. 
In what he says he discovers his profound knowledge of 
mankind: "First we hear, as the premonitory sign, a deep 
sigh ; then, with a certain dignity, with a certain hesitation, 
with a sorrowful look, with a lamenting tone — behold ! the 
calumny is uttered, and the word spoken gains the more 
power of begetting conviction because the hearers believe it 
has been uttered unwillingly, and more out of pity and 
sympathy than out of malice. ' It gives me great pain,' says 
one, ' for I love the man sincerely, and never could cure him 
of this fault.' Says another, ' I knew that of him very well, 
yet by me it was never divulged to any one, but now it has 
been told by somebody else, I cannot deny its truth ; with 
pain I say it, the fact is really so.' And he adds, ' a great 
pity, for in most other respects he is without a fault, but on 
this point, to confess the truth, he is altogether inexcusable.' "* 
*' The first thing for every man," says Bernard, " is self- 
knowledge ; the^V*^, because every man is his own neighbour ; 
the most profitable, hecaMsa such knowledge does not puff up, 
but humbles, and prepares the way for edification,— for the 
spiritual building cannot stand firm unless it rests on the solid 
foundation of humility ; but nothing is better calculated to lead 
the soul to humility than a knowledge of itself as it is."f 
" If a soul," says he in another place,| " has once learned and 
obtained from the Lord the power of turning inward upon 
itself, of panting in its inmost depths after God's presence, of 
continually seeking the light of his countenance, — I know not 
whether such a soul would consider the suffering of hell itself 
for a season as a greater punishment than, — after having once 
tasted the bliss of this spiritual direction, to be turned back 
again to the allurements, — say, rather, to the hardships of the 

* XXIV. in Cantica canticor, s. 4. It is the same thing as was ob- 
jected by Berengar, Abelard's disciple, to the Carthusians: Quid prodest, 
fratres, exire in eremum et in eremo habere cor ^Egyptium ? Quid pro- 
dest, iEgypti ranas vitare et obscoenis detraction) bus concrepare? 0pp. 
Abcclard. p. 326. 

f S. xxxvi. in Cantica cantico. s. 5. t L. c. s. xxxv. s. 1. 



As the Cistercian order gave a new impulse to strict mo- 
naslicism, so it rapidly extended itself, — thus exciting the 
jealousy of the older monkish societies, over which it threatened 
to elevate itself.* Hard feelings grew up, especially between 
the old order of the Cl