of the





From Gregory I to Gregory VII

A.D. 590–1073



From a. d. 590 to 1517.


General Introduction to Mediaeval Church History

§ 1. Sources and Literature.

§ 2. The Middle Age. Limits and General Character.

§ 3. The Nations of Mediaeval Christianity. The Kelt, the Teuton, and the Slav.

§ 4. Genius of Mediaeval Christianity.

§ 5. Periods of the Middle Age.



From Gregory I. To Gregory VII.

A. D. 590 – 1049 (1073).


The Conversion of the Northern and Western Barbarians.

§ 6. Character of Mediaeval Missions.

I. The Conversion of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

§ 7. Literature.

§ 8. The Britons.

§ 9. The Anglo-Saxons.

§ 10. The Mission of Gregory and Augustin. Conversion of Kent, a. d. 595–604.

§ 11. Antagonism of the Saxon and British Clergy.

§ 12. Conversion of the Other Kingdoms of the Heptarchy.

§ 13. Conformity to Row Established. Wilfrid, Theodore, Bede.

§ 14. The Conversion of Ireland. St. Patrick and St. Bridget.

§ 15. The Irish Church after St. Patrick.

§ 16. Subjection of Ireland to English and Roman Rule.

§ 17. The Conversion of Scotland. St. Ninian and St. Kentigern.

§ 18. St. Columba and the Monastery of Iona.

§ 19. The Culdees.

§ 20. Extinction of the Keltic Church, and Triumph of Rome under King David I.

II. The Conversion of France, Germany, and Adjacent Countries.

§ 21. Arian Christianity among the Goths and other German Tribes.

§ 22. Conversion of Clovis and the Franks.

§ 23. Columbanus and the Irish Missionaries on the Continent.

§ 24. German Missionaries before Boniface.

§ 25. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany.

§ 26. The Pupils of Boniface. Willibald, Gregory of Utrecht, Sturm of Fulda.

§ 27. The Conversion of the Saxons. Charlemagne and Alcuin. The Heliand, and the Gospel-Harmony.

III. The Conversion of Scandanavis.

§ 28. Scandinavian Heathenism.

§ 29. The Christianization of Denmark. St. Ansgar.

§ 30. The Christianization of Sweden.

§ 31. The Christianization of Norway and Iceland.

IV. The Christianization of the Slavs.

§ 32. General Survey.

§ 33. Christian Missions among the Wends.

§ 34. Cyrillus and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs. Christianization of Moravia, Bohemia and Poland.

§ 35. The Conversion of the Bulgarians.

§ 36. The Conversion of the Magyars.

§ 37. The Christianization of Russia.


Mohammedanism in its Relation to Christianity.

§ 38. Literature.

§ 39. Statistics and Chronological Table.

§ 40. Position of Mohammedanism in Church History.

§ 41. The Home, and the Antecedents of Islâm.

§ 42. Life and Character of Mohammed.

§ 43. The Conquests of Islâm.

§ 44. The Koran, and the Bible.

§ 45. The Mohammedan Religion.

§ 46. Mohammedan Worship.

§ 47. Christian Polemics against Mohammedanism. Note on Mormonism.


The Papal Hierarchy and the Holy Roman Empire.

§ 48. General Literature on the Papacy.

§ 49. Chronological Table of the Popes, Anti-Popes, and Roman Emperors from Gregory I. to Leo XIII.

§ 50. Gregory the Great. a. d. 590–604.

§ 51. Gregory and the Universal Episcopate.

§ 52. The Writings of Gregory.

§ 53. The Papacy from Gregory I to Gregory II. a. d. 604–715.

§ 54. From Gregory II to Zacharias. a. d. 715–741.

§ 55. Alliance of the Papacy with the New Monarchy of the Franks. Pepin and the Patrimony of St. Peter. a. d. 741–755.

§ 56. Charles the Great. a. d. 768–814.

§ 57. Founding of the Holy Roman Empire, a. d. 800. Charlemagne and Leo III

§ 58. Survey of the History of the Holy Roman Empire.

§ 59. The Papacy and the Empire from the Death of Charlemagne to Nicolas I a. d. 814–858). Note on the Myth of the Papess Joan.

§ 60. The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

§ 61. Nicolas I., April, 858-Nov. 13, 867.

§ 62. Hadrian II. and John VIII a. d. 867 to 882.

§ 63. The Degradation of the Papacy in the Tenth Century.

§ 64. The Interference of Otho the Great.

§ 65. The Second Degradation of the Papacy from Otho I to Henry III. a. d. 973–1046.

§ 66. Henry III and the Synod of Sutri. Deposition of three rival Popes. a. d. 1046.


The Conflict of the Eastern and Western Churches and Their Separation.

§ 67. Sources and Literature.

§ 68. The Consensus and Dissensus between the Greek and Latin Churches.

§ 69. The Causes of Separation.

§ 70. The Patriarch and the Pope. Photius and Nicolas.

§ 71. Progress and Completion of the Schism. Cerularius.

§ 72. Fruitless Attempts at Reunion.


Morals and Religion.

§ 73. Literature.

§ 74. General Character of Mediaeval Morals.

§ 75. Clerical Morals.

§ 76. Domestic Life.

§ 77. Slavery.

§ 78. Feuds and Private Wars. The Truce of God.

§ 79. The Ordeal.

§ 80. The Torture.

§ 81. Christian Charity.



§ 82. Use of Convents in the Middle Ages.

§ 83. St. Benedict. St. Nilus. St. Romuald.

§ 84. The Convent of Cluny.


Church Discipline.

§ 85. The Penitential Books.

§ 86. Ecclesiastical Punishments. Excommunication, Anathema, Interdict.

§ 87. Penance and Indulgence.


Church and State.

§ 88. Legislation.

§ 89. The Roman Law.

§ 90. The Capitularies of Charlemagne.

§ 91. English Legislation.


Worship and Ceremonies.

§ 92. The Mass.

§ 93. The Sermon.

§ 94. Church Poetry. Greek Hymns and Hymnists.

§ 95. Latin Hymnody. Literature.

§ 96. Latin Hymns and Hymnists.

§ 97. The Seven Sacraments.

§ 98. The Organ and the Bell.

§ 99. The Worship of Saints.

§ 100. The Worship of Images. Literature. Different Theories.

§ 101. The Iconoclastic War, and the Synod of 754.

§ 102. The Restoration of Image-Worship by the Seventh Oecumenical Council, 787.

§ 103. Iconoclastic Reaction, and Final Triumph of Image-Worship, a. d. 842.

§ 104. The Caroline Books and the Frankish Church on Image-Worship.

§ 105. Evangelical Reformers. Agobardus of Lyons, and Claudius of Turin.


Doctrinal Controversies.

§ 106. General Survey.

§ 107. The Controversy on the Procession of the Holy Spirit.

§ 108. The Arguments for and against the Filioque.

§ 109. The Monotheletic Controversy.

§ 110. The Doctrine of Two Wills in Christ.

§ 111. History of Monotheletism and Dyotheletism.

§ 112. The Sixth Oecumenical Council. a. d. 680.

§ 113. The Heresy of Honorius.

§ 114. Concilium Quinisextum. a. d. 692.

§ 115. Reaction of Monotheletism. The Maronites.

§ 116. The Adoptionist Controversy. Literature.

§ 117. History of Adoptionism.

§ 118. Doctrine of Adoptionism.

§ 119. The Predestinarian Controversy.

§ 120. Gottschalk and Babanus Maurus.

§ 121. Gottschalk and Hincmar.

§ 122. The Contending Theories on Predestination, and the Victory of Semi-Augustinianism.

§ 123. The Doctrine of Scotus Erigena.

§ 124. The Eucharistic Controversies. Literature.

§ 125. The Two Theories of the Lord's Supper.

§ 126. The Theory of Paschasius Radbertus.

§ 127. The Theory of Ratramnus.

§ 128. The Berengar Controversy.

§ 129. Berengar's Theory of the Lord's Supper.

§ 130. Lanfranc and the Triumph of Transubstantiation.


Heretical Sects.

§ 131. The Paulicians.

§ 132. The Euchites and other Sects in the East.

§ 133. The New Manichaeans in the West.


The State of Learning.

§ 134. Literature.

§ 135. Literary Character of the Early Middle Ages.

§ 136. Learning in the Eastern Church.

§ 137. Christian Platonism and the Pseudo-Dionysian Writings.

§ 138. Prevailing Ignorance in the Western Church.

§ 139. Educational Efforts of the Church.

§ 140. Patronage of Letters by Charles the Great, and Charles the Bald.

§ 141. Alfred the Great, and Education in England.


Biographical Sketches of Ecclesiastical Writers.

§ 142. Chronological List of the Principal Ecclesiastical Writers from the Sixth to the Twelfth Century.

§ 143. St. Maximus Confessor.

§ 144. John of Damascus.

§ 145. Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople.

§ 146. Simeon Metaphrastes.

§ 147. Oecumenius.

§ 148. Theophylact.

§ 149. Michael Psellus.

§ 150. Euthymius Zigabenus.

§ 151. Eustathius of Thessalonica.

§ 152. Nicetas Acominatos.

§ 153. Cassiodorus.

§ 154. St. Gregory of Tours.

§ 155. St. Isidore of Seville.

§ 156. The Venerable Bede (Baeda).

§ 157. Paul the Deacon.

§ 158. St. Paulinus of Aquileia.

§ 159. Alcuin.

§ 160. St. Liudger.

§ 161. Theodulph of Orleans.

§ 162. St. Eigil.

§ 163. Amalarius.

§ 164. Einhard.

§ 165. Smaragdus.

§ 166. Jonas of Orleans.

§ 167. Rabanus Maurus.

§ 168. Haymo.

§ 169. Walahfrid Strabo.

§ 170. Florus Magister, of Lyons.

§ 171. Servatus Lupus.

§ 172. Druthmar.

§ 173. St. Paschasius Radbertus.

§ 174. Patramnus.

§ 175. Hincmar of Rheims.

§ 176. Johannes Scotus Erigena.

§ 177. Anastasius.

§ 178. Ratherius of Verona.

§ 179. Gerbert (Sylvester II.).

§ 180. Fulbert of Chartres.

§ 181. Rodulfus Glaber. Adam of Bremen.

§ 182. St. Peter Damiani.





FROM a. d. 590 TO 1517.



General Introduction to Mediaeval Church History.

§ 1. Sources and Literature.

August Potthast: Bibliotheca Historica Medii Aoevi. Wegweiser durch die Geschichtswerke des Europäischen Mittelalters von 375–1500. Berlin, 1862. Supplement, 1868.

The mediaeval literature embraces four distinct branches;

1. The Romano-Germanic or Western Christian;

2. The Graeco-Byzantine or Eastern Christian;

3. The Talmudic and Rabbinical;

4. The Arabic and Mohammedan.

We notice here only the first and second; the other two will be mentioned in subdivisions as far as they are connected with church history.

The Christian literature consists partly of documentary sources, partly of historical works. We confine ourselves here to the most important works of a more general character. Books referring to particular countries and sections of church history will be noticed in the progress of the narrative.

I. Documentary Sources.

They are mostly in Latin—the official language of the Western Church,—and in Greek,—the official language of the Eastern Church.

(1) For the history of missions: the letters and biographies of missionaries.

(2) For church polity and government: the official letters of popes, patriarchs, and bishops.

The documents of the papal court embrace (a) Regesta (registra), the transactions of the various branches of the papal government from a.d. 1198–1572, deposited in the Vatican library, and difficult of access. (b) Epistolae decretales, which constitute the basis of the Corpus juris canonici, brought to a close in 1313. (c) The bulls (bulla, a seal or stamp of globular form, though some derive it from boulhv, will, decree) and briefs (breve, a short, concise summary), i.e., the official letters since the conclusion of the Canon law. They are of equal authority, but the bulls differ from the briefs by their more solemn form. The bulls are written on parchment, and sealed with a seal of lead or gold, which is stamped on one side with the effigies of Peter and Paul, and on the other with the name of the reigning pope, and attached to the instrument by a string; while the briefs are written on paper, sealed with red wax, and impressed with the seal of the fisherman or Peter in a boat.

(3) For the history of Christian life: the biographies of saints, the disciplinary canons of synods, the ascetic literature.

(4) For worship and ceremonies: liturgies, hymns, homilies, works of architecture sculpture, painting, poetry, music. The Gothic cathedrals are as striking embodiments of mediaeval Christianity as the Egyptian pyramids are of the civilization of the Pharaohs.

(5) For theology and Christian learning: the works of the later fathers (beginning with Gregory I.), schoolmen, mystics, and the forerunners of the Reformation.

II. Documentary Collections. Works of Mediaeval Writers.

(1) For the Oriental Church.

Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, opera Niebuhrii, Bekkeri, et al. Bonnae, 1828–'78, 50 vols. 8vo. Contains a complete history of the East-Roman Empire from the sixth century to its fall. The chief writers are Zonaras, from the Creation to a.d. 1118; Nicetas, from 1118 to 1206; Gregoras, from 1204 to 1359; Laonicus, from 1298 to 1463; Ducas, from 1341 to 1462; Phrantzes, from 1401 to 1477.

J. A. Fabricius (d. 1736): Bibliotheca Graeca sive Notitia Scriptorum veterum Graecorum, 4th ed., by G. Chr. Harless, with additions. Hamburg, 1790–1811, 12 vols. A supplement by S. F. W. Hoffmann: Bibliographisches Lexicon der gesammten Literatur der Griechen. Leipzig, 1838–'45, 3 vols.

(2) For the Westem Church.

Bibliotheca Maxima Patrum. Lugduni, 1677, 27 vols. fol.

Martene (d. 1739) and Durand (d. 1773): Thesaurus Anecdotorum Novus, seu Collectio Monumentorum, etc. Paris, 1717, 5 vols. fol. By the same: Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum Collectio ampliss. Paris, 1724–'38, 9 vols. fol.

J. A. Fabricius: Bibliotheca Latina Mediae et Infimae AEtatis. Hamb. 1734, and with supplem. 1754, 6 vols. 4to.

Abbé Migne: Patralogiae Cursus Completus, sive Bibliotheca Universalis ... Patrum, etc. Paris, 1844–'66. The Latin series (1844–'55) has 221 vols. (4 vols. indices); the Greek series (1857–66) has 166 vols. The Latin series, from tom. 80–217, contains the writers from Gregory the Great to Innocent III. Reprints of older editions, and most valuable for completeness and convenience, though lacking in critical accuracy.

Abbé Horay: Medii AEvi Bibliotheca Patristica ab anno MCCXVI usque ad Concilii Tridentini Tempora. Paris, 1879 sqq. A continuation of Migne in the same style. The first 4 vols. contain the Opera Honori III.

Joan. Domin. Mansi (archbishop of Lucca, d. 1769): Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima Collectio. Florence and Venice 1759–1798, 31 vols. fol. The best collection down to 1509. A new ed. (facsimile) publ. by Victor Palmé, Paris and Berlin 1884 sqq. Earlier collections of Councils by Labbé and Cossart (1671–72, 18 vols), Colet (with the supplements of Mansi, 1728–52, 29 vols. fol.), and Hardouin (1715, 12 vols. fol.).

C. Cocquelines: Magnum Bullarium Romanum. Bullarum, Privilegiorum ac Diplomatum Romanorum Pontificum usque ad Clementem XII. amplissima Collectio. Rom. 1738–58. 14 Tom. fol. in 28 Partes; new ed. 1847–72, in 24 vols.

A. A. Barberi: Magni Bullarii Rom. Continuatio a Clemente XIII ad Pium VIII. (1758–1830). Rom. 1835–'57, 18 vols. fol. The bulls of Gregory XVI. appeared 1857 in 1 vol.

G. H. Pertz (d. 1876): Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Hannov. 1826–1879. 24 vols. fol. Continued by G. Waitz.

III. Documentary Histories.

Acta Sanctorum Bollandistarum. Antw. Bruxellis et Tongerloae, 1643–1794; Brux. 1845 sqq., new ed. Paris, 1863–75, in 61 vols. fol. (with supplement). See a list of contents in the seventh volume for June or the first volume for October; also in the second part of Potthast, sub "Vita," pp. 575 sqq.

This monumental work of John Bolland (a learned Jesuit, 1596–1665), Godefr. Henschen (†1681), Dan. Papebroch (†1714), and their associates and followers, called Bollandists, contains biographies of all the saints of the Catholic Church in the order of the calendar, and divided into months. They are not critical histories, but compilations of an immense material of facts and fiction, which illustrate the life and manners of the ancient and mediaeval church. Potthast justly calls it a "riesenhaftes Denkmal wissenschaftlichen Strebens." It was carried on with the aid of the Belgic government, which contributed (since 1837) 6,000 francs annually.

Caes. Baronius (d. 1607): Annales ecclesiastici a Christo nato ad annum 1198. Rom. 1588–1593, 12 vols. Continued by Raynaldi (from 1198 to 1565), Laderchi (from 1566–1571), and A. Theiner (1572–1584). Best ed. by Mansi, with the continuations of Raynaldi, and the Critica of Pagi, Lucca, 1738–'59, 35 vols. fol. text, and 3 vols. of index universalis. A new ed. by A. Theiner (d. 1874), Bar-le-Duc, 1864 sqq. Likewise a work of herculean industry, but to be used with critical caution, as it contains many spurious documents, legends and fictions, and is written in the interest and defence of the papacy.

IV. Modern Histories of the Middle Ages.

J. M. F. Frantin: Annales du moyen age. Dijon, 1825, 8 vols. 8vo.

F. Rehm: Geschichte des Mittelalters. Marbg, 1821–'38, 4 vols. 8vo.

Heinrich Leo: Geschichte des Mittelalters. Halle, 1830, 2 vols.

Charpentier: Histoire literaire du moyen age. Par. 1833.

R. Hampson: Medii aevi Calendarium, or Dates, Charters, and Customs of the Middle Ages, with Kalenders from the Xth to the XVth century. London, 1841, 2 vols. 8vo.

Henry Hallam (d. 1859): View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages. London, 1818, 3d ed. 1848, Boston ed. 1864 in 3 vols. By the same: Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Several ed., Engl. and Am. Boston ed. 1864 in 4 vols.; N. York, 1880, in 4 vols.

Charles Hardwick († l859): A History of the Christian Church. Middle Age. 3d ed. by Stubbs, London, 1872.

Henry Hart Milman († 1868): History of Latin Christianity; including that of the Popes to the Pontificate of Nicholas V. London and N. York, 1854, 8 vols., new ed., N. York (A. C. Armstrong & Son), 1880.

Richard Chenevix Trench (Archbishop of Dublin): Lectures on Mediaeval Church History. London, 1877, republ. N. York, 1878.

V. The Mediaeval Sections of the General Church Histories.

(a) Roman Catholic: Baronius (see above), Fleury, Möhler, Alzog, Döllinger (before 1870), Hergenröther.

(b) Protestant: Mosheim, Schröckh, Gieseler, Neander, Baur, Hagenbach, Robertson. Also Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Rom. Empire (Wm. Smith's ed.), from ch. 45 to the close.

VI. Auxiliary.

Domin. Du Cange (Charles du Fresne, d. 1688): Glossarium ad Scriptores mediae et infimae Latinitatis, Paris, 1678; new ed. by Henschel, Par. 1840–'50, in 7 vols. 4to; and again by Favre, 1883 sqq.—By the same: Glossarium ad Scriptores medicae et infimae Graecitatis, Par. 1682, and Lugd. Batav. 1688, 2 vols. fol. These two works are the philological keys to the knowledge of mediaeval church history.

An English ed. of the Latin glossary has been announced by John Murray, of London: Mediaeval Latin-English Dictionary, based upon the great work of Du Cange. With additions and corrections by E. A. Dayman.

§ 2. The Middle Age. Limits and General Character.

The Middle Age, as the term implies, is the period which intervenes between ancient and modern times, and connects them, by continuing the one, and preparing for the other. It forms the transition from the Graeco-Roman civilization to the Romano-Germanic, civilization, which gradually arose out of the intervening chaos of barbarism. The connecting link is Christianity, which saved the best elements of the old, and directed and moulded the new order of things.

Politically, the middle age dates from the great migration of nations and the downfall of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century; but for ecclesiastical history it begins with Gregory the Great, the last of the fathers and the first of the popes, at the close of the sixth century. Its termination, both for secular and ecclesiastical history, is the Reformation of the sixteenth century (1517), which introduces the modern age of the Christian era. Some date modern history from the invention of the art of printing, or from the discovery of America, which preceded the Reformation; but these events were only preparatory to a great reform movement and extension of the Christian world.

The theatre of mediaeval Christianity is mainly Europe. In Western Asia and North Africa, the Cross was supplanted by the Crescent; and America, which opened a new field for the ever-expanding energies of history, was not discovered until the close of the fifteenth century.

Europe was peopled by a warlike emigration of heathen barbarians from Asia as America is peopled by a peaceful emigration from civilized and Christian Europe.

The great migration of nations marks a turning point in the history of religion and civilization. It was destructive in its first effects, and appeared like the doom of the judgment-day; but it proved the harbinger of a new creation, the chaos preceding the cosmos. The change was brought about gradually. The forces of the old Greek and Roman world continued to work for centuries alongside of the new elements. The barbarian irruption came not like a single torrent which passes by, but as the tide which advances and retires, returns and at last becomes master of the flooded soil. The savages of the north swept down the valley of the Danube to the borders of the Greek Empire, and southward over the Rhine and the Vosges into Gaul, across the Alps into Italy, and across the Pyrenees into Spain. They were not a single people, but many independent tribes; not an organized army of a conqueror, but irregular hordes of wild warriors ruled by intrepid kings; not directed by the ambition of one controlling genius, like Alexander or Caesar, but prompted by the irresistible impulse of an historical instinct, and unconsciously bearing in their rear the future destinies of Europe and America. They brought with them fire and sword, destruction and desolation, but also life and vigor, respect for woman, sense of honor, love of liberty—noble instincts, which, being purified and developed by Christianity, became the governing principles of a higher civilization than that of Greece and Rome. The Christian monk Salvian, who lived in the midst of the barbarian flood, in the middle of the fifth century, draws a most gloomy and appalling picture of the vices of the orthodox Romans of his time, and does not hesitate to give preference to the heretical (Arian) and heathen barbarians, "whose chastity purifies the deep stained with the Roman debauches." St. Augustin (d. 430), who took a more sober and comprehensive view, intimates, in his great work on the City of God, the possibility of the rise of a new and better civilization from the ruins of the old Roman empire; and his pupil, Orosius, clearly expresses this hopeful view. "Men assert," he says, "that the barbarians are enemies of the State. I reply that all the East thought the same of the great Alexander; the Romans also seemed no better than the enemies of all society to the nations afar off, whose repose they troubled. But the Greeks, you say, established empires; the Germans overthrow them. Well, the Macedonians began by subduing the nations which afterwards they civilized. The Germans are now upsetting all this world; but if, which Heaven avert, they, finish by continuing to be its masters, peradventure some day posterity will salute with the title of great princes those in whom we at this day can see nothing but enemies."

§ 3. The Nations of Mediaeval Christianity. The Kelt, the Teuton, and the Slav.

The new national forces which now enter upon the arena of church-history may be divided into four groups:

1. The Romanic or Latin nations of Southern Europe, including the Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese and French. They are the natural descendants and heirs of the old Roman nationality and Latin Christianity, yet mixed with the new Keltic and Germanic forces. Their languages are all derived from the Latin; they inherited Roman laws and customs, and adhered to the Roman See as the centre of their ecclesiastical organization; they carried Christianity to the advancing barbarians, and by their superior civilization gave laws to the conquerors. They still adhere, with their descendants in Central and South America, to the Roman Catholic Church.

2. The Keltic race, embracing the Gauls, old Britons, the Picts and Scots, the Welsh and Irish with their numerous emigrants in all the large cities of Great Britain and the United States, appear in history several hundred years before Christ, as the first light wave of the vast Aryan migration from the mysterious bowels of Asia, which swept to the borders of the extreme West.1 The Gauls were conquered by Caesar, but afterwards commingled with the Teutonic Francs, who founded the French monarchy. The Britons were likewise subdued by the Romans, and afterwards driven to Wales and Cornwall by the Anglo-Saxons. The Scotch in the highlands (Gaels) remained Keltic, while in the lowlands they mixed with Saxons and Normans.

The mental characteristics of the Kelts remain unchanged for two thousand years: quick wit, fluent speech, vivacity, sprightliness, impressibility, personal bravery and daring, loyalty to the chief or the clan, but also levity, fickleness, quarrelsomeness and incapacity for self-government. "They shook all empires, but founded none." The elder Cato says of them: "To two things are the Kelts most attent: to fighting (ars militaris), and to adroitness of speech (argute loqui)." Caesar censures their love of levity and change. The apostle Paul complains of the same weakness. Thierry, their historian, well describes them thus: "Their prominent attributes are personal valor, in which they excel all nations; a frank, impetuous spirit open to every impression; great intelligence, but joined with extreme mobility, deficient perseverance, restlessness under discipline and order, boastfulness and eternal discord, resulting from boundless vanity." Mommsen quotes this passage, and adds that the Kelts make good soldiers, but bad citizens; that the only order to which they submit is the military, because the severe general discipline relieves them of the heavy burden of individual self-control.2

Keltic Christianity was at first independent of Rome, and even antagonistic to it in certain subordinate rites; but after the Saxon and Norman conquests, it was brought into conformity, and since the Reformation, the Irish have been more attached to the Roman Church than even the Latin races. The French formerly inclined likewise to a liberal Catholicism (called Gallicanism); but they sacrificed the Gallican liberties to the Ultramontanism of the Vatican Council. The Welsh and Scotch, on the contrary, with the exception of a portion of the Highlanders in the North of Scotland, embraced the Protestant Reformation in its Calvinistic rigor, and are among its sternest and most vigorous advocates. The course of the Keltic nations had been anticipated by the Galatians, who first embraced with great readiness and heartiness the independent gospel of St. Paul, but were soon turned away to a Judaizing legalism by false teachers, and then brought back again by Paul to the right path.

3. The Germanic3 or Teutonic4 nations followed the Keltic migration in successive westward and southward waves, before and after Christ, and spread over Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Scandinavia, the Baltic provinces of Russia, and, since the Anglo-Saxon invasion, also over England and Scotland and the northern (non-Keltic) part of Ireland. In modern times their descendants peacefully settled the British Provinces and the greater part of North America. The Germanic nations are the fresh, vigorous, promising and advancing races of the middle age and modern times. Their Christianization began in the fourth century, and went on in wholesale style till it was completed in the tenth. The Germans, under their leader Odoacer in 476, deposed Romulus Augustulus—the shadow of old Romulus and Augustus—and overthrew the West Roman Empire, thus fulfilling the old augury of the twelve birds of fate, that Rome was to grow six centuries and to decline six centuries. Wherever they went, they brought destruction to decaying institutions. But with few exceptions, they readily embraced the religion of the conquered Latin provinces, and with childlike docility submitted to its educational power. They were predestinated for Christianity, and Christianity for them. It curbed their warlike passions, regulated their wild force, and developed their nobler instincts, their devotion and fidelity, their respect for woman, their reverence for all family-relations, their love of personal liberty and independence. The Latin church was to them only a school of discipline to prepare them for an age of Christian manhood and independence, which dawned in the sixteenth century. The Protestant Reformation was the emancipation of the Germanic races from the pupilage of mediaeval and legalistic Catholicism.

Tacitus, the great heathen historian, no doubt idealized the barbarous Germans in contrast with the degenerate Romans of his day (as Montaigne and Rousseau painted the savages "in a fit of ill humor against their country"); but he unconsciously prophesied their future greatness, and his prophecy has been more than fulfilled.

4. The Slavonic or Slavic or Slavs5 in the East and North of Europe, including the Bulgarians, Bohemians (Czechs), Moravians, Slovaks, Servians, Croatians, Wends, Poles, and Russians, were mainly converted through Eastern missionaries since the ninth and tenth century. The Eastern Slavs, who are the vast majority, were incorporated with the Greek Church, which became the national religion of Russia, and through this empire acquired a territory almost equal to that of the Roman Church. The western Slavs, the Bohemians and Poles, became subject to the Papacy.

The Slavs, who number in all nearly 80,000,000, occupy a very subordinate position in the history of the middle ages, and are isolated from the main current; but recently, they have begun to develop their resources, and seem to have a great future before them through the commanding political power of Russia in Europe and in Asia. Russia is the bearer of the destinies of Panslavism and of the, Eastern Church.

5. The Greek nationality, which figured so conspicuously in ancient Christianity, maintained its independence down to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453; but it was mixed with Slavonic elements. The Greek Church was much weakened by the inroads of Mohammedanism) and lost the possession of the territories of primitive Christianity, but secured a new and vast missionary field in Russia.

§ 4. Genius of Mediaeval Christianity.

Mediaeval Christianity is, on the one hand, a legitimate continuation and further development of ancient Catholicism; on the other hand, a preparation for Protestantism,

Its leading form are the papacy, monasticism, and scholasticism, which were developed to their height, and then assailed by growing opposition from within.

Christianity, at its first introduction, had to do with highly civilized nations; but now it had to lay the foundation of a new civilization among barbarians. The apostles planted churches in the cities of the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, and the word "pagan" i.e, villager, backwoodsman, gradually came to denote an idolater. They spoke and wrote in a language which had already a large and immortal literature; their progress was paved by the high roads of the Roman legions; they found everywhere an established order of society, and government; and their mission was to infuse into the ancient civilization a new spiritual life and to make it subservient to higher moral ends. But the missionaries of the dark ages had to visit wild woods and untilled fields, to teach rude nations the alphabet, and to lay the foundation for society, literature and art.

Hence Christianity assumed the character of a strong disciplinary institution, a training school for nations in their infancy, which had to be treated as children. Hence the legalistic, hierarchical, ritualistic and romantic character of mediaeval Catholicism. Yet in proportion as the nations were trained in the school of the church, they began to assert their independence of the hierarchy and to develop a national literature in their own language. Compared with our times, in which thought and reflection have become the highest arbiter of human life, the middle age was an age of passion. The written law, such as it was developed in Roman society, the barbarian could not understand and would not obey. But he was easily impressed by the spoken law, the living word, and found a kind of charm in bending his will absolutely before another will. Thus the teaching church became the law in the land, and formed the very foundation of all social and political organization.

The middle ages are often called "the dark ages:" truly, if we compare them with ancient Christianity, which preceded, and with modern Christianity, which followed; falsely and unjustly, if the church is made responsible for the darkness. Christianity was the light that shone in the darkness of surrounding barbarism and heathenism, and gradually dispelled it. Industrious priests and monks saved from the wreck of the Roman Empire the treasures of classical literature, together with the Holy Scriptures and patristic writings, and transmitted them to better times. The mediaeval light was indeed the borrowed star and moon-light of ecclesiastical tradition, rather than the clear sun-light from the inspired pages of the New Testament; but it was such light as the eyes of nations in their ignorance could bear, and it never ceased to shine till it disappeared in the day-light of the great Reformation. Christ had his witnesses in all ages and countries, and those shine all the brighter who were surrounded by midnight darkness.

"Pause where we may upon the desert-road,

Some shelter is in sight, some sacred safe abode."

On the other hand, the middle ages are often called, especially by Roman Catholic writers, "the ages of faith." They abound in legends of saints, which had the charm of religious novels. All men believed in the supernatural and miraculous as readily as children do now. Heaven and hell were as real to the mind as the kingdom of France and the, republic of Venice. Skepticism and infidelity were almost unknown, or at least suppressed and concealed. But with faith was connected a vast deal of superstition and an entire absence of critical investigation and judgment. Faith was blind and unreasoning, like the faith of children. The most incredible and absurd legends were accepted without a question. And yet the morality was not a whit better, but in many respects ruder, coarser and more passionate, than in modern times.

The church as a visible organization never had greater power over the minds of men. She controlled all departments of life from the cradle to the grave. She monopolized all the learning and made sciences and arts tributary to her. She took the lead in every progressive movement. She founded universities, built lofty cathedrals, stirred up the crusades, made and unmade kings, dispensed blessings and curses to whole nations. The mediaeval hierarchy centering in Rome re-enacted the Jewish theocracy on a more comprehensive scale. It was a carnal anticipation of the millennial reign of Christ. It took centuries to rear up this imposing structure, and centuries to take it down again.

The opposition came partly from the anti-Catholic sects, which, in spite of cruel persecution, never ceased to protest against the corruptions and tyranny of the papacy; partly from the spirit of nationality which arose in opposition to an all-absorbing hierarchical centralization; partly from the revival of classical and biblical learning, which undermined the reign of superstition and tradition; and partly from the inner and deeper life of the Catholic Church itself, which loudly called for a reformation, and struggled through the severe discipline of the law to the light and freedom of the gospel. The mediaeval Church was a schoolmaster to lead men to Christ. The Reformation was an emancipation of Western Christendom from the bondage of the law, and a re-conquest of that liberty "wherewith Christ hath made us free" (Gal. v. 1).

§ 5. Periods of the Middle Age.

The Middle Age may be divided into three periods:

1. The missionary period from Gregory I. to Hildebrand or Gregory VII., a.d. 590–1073. The conversion of the northern barbarians. The dawn of a new civilization. The origin and progress of Islam. The separation of the West from the East. Some subdivide this period by Charlemagne (800), the founder of the German-Roman Empire.

2. The palmy period of the papal theocracy from Gregory VII. to Boniface VIII., a.d. 1073–1294. The height of the papacy, monasticism and scholasticism. The Crusades. The conflict between the Pope and the Emperor. If we go back to the rise of Hildebrand, this period begins in 1049.

3. The decline of mediaeval Catholicism and preparation for modern Christianity, from Boniface VIII. to the Reformation, a.d. 1294–1517. The papal exile and schism; the reformatory councils; the decay of scholasticism; the growth of mysticism; the revival of letters, and the art of printing; the discovery of America; forerunners of Protestantism; the dawn of the Reformation.

These three periods are related to each other as the wild youth, the ripe manhood, and the declining old age. But the gradual dissolution of mediaevalism was only the preparation for a new life, a destruction looking to a reconstruction.

The three periods may be treated separately, or as a continuous whole. Both methods have their advantages: the first for a minute study; the second for a connected survey of the great movements.

According to our division laid down in the introduction to the first volume, the three periods of the middle ages are the fourth, fifth and sixth periods of the general history of Christianity.





a.d. 590 to 1049.




§ 6. Character of Mediaeval Missions.

The conversion of the new and savage races which enter the theatre of history at the threshold of the middle ages, was the great work of the Christian church from the sixth to the tenth century. Already in the second or third century, Christianity was carried to the Gauls, the Britons and the Germans on the borders of the Rhine. But these were sporadic efforts with transient results. The work did not begin in earnest till the sixth century, and then it went vigorously forward to the tenth and twelfth, though with many checks and temporary relapses caused by civil wars and foreign invasions.

The Christianization of the Kelts, Teutons, and Slavonians was at the same time a process of civilization, and differed in this respect entirely from the conversion of the Jews, Greeks, and Romans in the preceding age. Christian missionaries laid the foundation for the alphabet, literature, agriculture, laws, and arts of the nations of Northern and Western Europe, as they now do among the heathen nations in Asia and Africa. "The science of language," says a competent judge,6 "owes more than its first impulse to Christianity. The pioneers of our science were those very apostles who were commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; and their true successors, the missionaries of the whole Christian church." The same may be said of every branch of knowledge and art of peace. The missionaries, in aiming at piety and the salvation of souls, incidentally promoted mental culture and temporal prosperity. The feeling of brotherhood inspired by Christianity broke down the partition walls between race and race, and created a brotherhood of nations.

The mediaeval Christianization was a wholesale conversion, or a conversion of nations under the command of their leaders. It was carried on not only by missionaries and by spiritual means, but also by political influence, alliances of heathen princes with Christian wives, and in some cases (as the baptism of the Saxons under Charlemagne) by military force. It was a conversion not to the primary Christianity of inspired apostles, as laid down in the New Testament, but to the secondary Christianity of ecclesiastical tradition, as taught by the fathers, monks and popes. It was a baptism by water, rather than by fire and the Holy Spirit. The preceding instruction amounted to little or nothing; even the baptismal formula, mechanically recited in Latin, was scarcely understood. The rude barbarians, owing to the weakness of their heathen religion, readily submitted to the new religion; but some tribes yielded only to the sword of the conqueror.

This superficial, wholesale conversion to a nominal Christianity must be regarded in the light of a national infant-baptism. It furnished the basis for a long process of Christian education. The barbarians were children in knowledge, and had to be treated like children. Christianity, assumed the form of a new law leading them, as a schoolmaster, to the manhood of Christ.

The missionaries of the middle ages were nearly all monks. They were generally men of limited education and narrow views, but devoted zeal and heroic self-denial. Accustomed to primitive simplicity of life, detached from all earthly ties, trained to all sorts of privations, ready for any amount of labor, and commanding attention and veneration by their unusual habits, their celibacy, fastings and constant devotions, they were upon the whole the best pioneers of Christianity and civilization among the savage races of Northern and Western Europe. The lives of these missionaries are surrounded by their biographers with such a halo of legends and miracles, that it is almost impossible to sift fact from fiction. Many of these miracles no doubt were products of fancy or fraud; but it would be rash to deny them all.

The same reason which made miracles necessary in the first introduction of Christianity, may have demanded them among barbarians before they were capable of appreciating the higher moral evidences.


§ 7. Literature.

I. Sources.

Gildas (Abbot of Bangor in Wales, the oldest British historian, in the sixth cent.): De excidio Britanniae conquestus, etc. A picture of the evils of Britain at the time. Best ed. by Joseph Stevenson, Lond., 1838. (English Historical Society's publications.)

Nennius (Abbot of Bangor about 620): Eulogium Britanniae, sive Historia Britonum. Ed. Stevenson, 1838.

The Works of Gildas and Nennius transl. from the Latin by J. A. Giles, London, 1841.

*Beda Venerabilis (d. 734): Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum; in the sixth vol. of Migne's ed. of Bedae Opera Omnia, also often separately published and translated into English. Best ed. by Stevenson, Lond., 1838; and by Giles, Lond., 1849. It is the only reliable church-history of the Anglo-Saxon period.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, from the time of Caesar to 1154. A work of several successive hands, ed. by Gibson with an Engl. translation, 1823, and by Giles, 1849 (in one vol. with Bede's Eccles. History).

See the Six Old English Chronicles, in Bohn's Antiquarian Library (1848); and Church Historians of England trans. by Jos. Stevenson, Lond. 1852–'56, 6 vols.

Sir. Henry Spelman (d. 1641): Concilia, decreta, leges, constitutiones in re ecclesiarum orbis Britannici, etc. Lond., 1639–'64, 2 vols. fol. (Vol. I. reaches to the Norman conquest; vol. ii. to Henry VIII).

David Wilkins (d. 1745): Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae (from 446 to 1717), Lond., 1737, 4 vols. fol. (Vol. I. from 446 to 1265).

*Arthur West Haddan and William Stubbs: Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland: edited after Spelman and Wilkins. Oxford (Clarendon Press), 1869 to '78. So far 3 vols. To be continued down to the Reformation.

The Penitentials of the Irish and Anglo-Saxon Churches are collected and edited by F. Kunstmann (Die Lat. Poenitentialbücher der Angelsachsen, 1844); Wasserschleben (Die Bussordnungen der abendländ. Kirche, 1851); Schmitz (Die Bussbücher u. d. Bussdisciplin d. Kirche, 1883).

II. Historical Works.

(a) The Christianization of England.

*J. Ussher. (d. 1655): Britannicarum Eccles. Antiquitates. Dublin, 1639; London, 1687; Works ed. by Elrington, 1847, Vols. V. and VI.

E. Stillingfleet (d. 1699): Origenes Britannicae; or, the Antiqu. of the British Churches. London, 1710; Oxford, 1842; 2 vols.

J. Lingard (R.C., d. 1851): The History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church. London, 1806, new ed., 1845.

Karl Schrödl (R.C.): Das erste Jahrhundert der englischen Kirche. Passau & Wien, 1840.

Edward Churton (Rector of Crayke, Durham): The Early English Church. London, 1841 (new ed. unchanged, 1878).

James Yeowell: Chronicles of the Ancient British Church anterior to the Saxon era. London, 1846.

Francis Thackeray (Episcop.): Researches into the Eccles. and Political State of Ancient Britain under the Roman Emperors. London, 1843, 2 vols.

*Count De Montalembert (R.C., d. 1870): The Monks of the West. Edinburgh and London, 1861–'79, 7 vols. (Authorized transl. from the French). The third vol. treats of the British Isles.

Reinhold Pauli: Bilder aus Alt-England. Gotha, 1860.

W F. Hook: Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury. London, 2nd ed., 1861 sqq.

G. F. Maclear. (D. D., Head-master of King's College School): Conversion of the West. The English. London, 1878. By the same: The Kelts, 1878. (Popular.)

William Bright (Dr. and Prof, of Eccles. Hist., Oxford): Chapters on Early English Church History Oxford, 1878 (460 pages).

John Pryce: History of the Ancient British Church. Oxford, 1878.

Edward L. Cutts: Turning Points of English Church-History. London, 1878.

Dugald MacColl: Early British Church. The Arthurian Legends. In "The Catholic Presbyterian," London and New York, for 1880, No. 3, pp. 176 sqq.

(b) The Christianization of Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Dr. Lanigan (R.C.): Ecclesiastical History of Ireland. Dublin, 1829.

William G. Todd (Episc., Trinity Coll., Dublin): The Church of St. Patrick: An Historical Inquiry into the Independence of the Ancient Church of Ireland. London, 1844. By the same: A History of the Ancient Church of Ireland. London, 1845. By the same: Book of Hymns of the Ancient Church of Ireland. Dublin, 1855.

Ferdinand Walter: Das alte Wales. Bonn, 1859.

John Cunningham (Presbyterian): The Church History of Scotland from the Commencement of the Christian Era to the Present Day. Edinburgh, 1859, 2 vols. (Vol. I., chs. 1–6).

C. Innes: Sketches of Early Scotch History, and Social Progress. Edinb., 1861. (Refers to the history of local churches, the university and home-life in the mediaeval period.)

Thomas McLauchan (Presbyt.): The Early Scottish Church: the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland from the First to the Twelfth Century. Edinburgh, 1865.

*DR. J. H. A. Ebrard: Die iroschottische Missionskirche des 6, 7 und 8 ten Jahrh., und ihre Verbreitung auf dem Festland. Gütersloh, 1873.

Comp. Ebrard's articles Die culdeische Kirche des 6, 7 und 8ten Jahrh., in Niedner's "Zeitschrift für Hist. Theologie" for 1862 and 1863.

Ebrard and McLauchan are the ablest advocates of the anti-Romish and alleged semi-Protestant character of the old Keltic church of Ireland and Scotland; but they present it in a more favorable light than the facts warrant.

*Dr. W. D. Killen (Presbyt.): The Ecclesiastical History of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the Present Times. London, 1875, 2 vols.

*Alex. Penrose Forbes (Bishop of Brechin, d. 1875): Kalendars of Scottish Saints. With Personal Notices of those of Alba, Laudonia and Stratchclyde. Edinburgh (Edmonston & Douglas), 1872. By the same: Lives of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern. Compiled in the twelfth century. Ed. from the best MSS. Edinburgh, 1874.

*William Reeves (Canon of Armagh): Life of St. Columba, Founder of Hy. Written by Adamnan, ninth Abbot of that monastery. Edinburgh, 1874.

*William F. Skene: Keltic Scotland. Edinburgh, 2 vols., 1876, 1877.

*F. E. Warren (Fellow of St. John's Coll., Oxford): The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church. Oxford 1881 (291 pp.).

F. Loofs: Antiquae Britonum Scotorumque ecclesiae moves, ratio credendi, vivendi, etc. Lips., 1882.

Comp. also the relevant sections in the Histories Of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by Hume, (Ch. I-III.), Lingard (Ch. I. VIII.), Lappenberg (Vol. I.), Green (Vol. I.), Hill Burton (Hist. of Scotland, Vol. I.); Milman's Latin Christianity (Book IV., Ch. 3–5); Maclear's Apostles of Mediaeval Europe (Lond. 1869), Thomas Smith's Mediaeval Missions (Edinb. 1880).

§ 8. The Britons.

Literature: The works of Bede, Gildas, Nennius, Ussher, Bright, Pryce, quoted in § 7.

Britain made its first appearance in secular history half a century before the Christian era, when Julius Caesar, the conqueror of Gaul, sailed with a Roman army from Calais across the channel, and added the British island to the dominion of the eternal city, though it was not fully subdued till the reign of Claudius (a.d. 41–54). It figures in ecclesiastical history from the conversion of the Britons in the second century. Its missionary history is divided into two periods, the Keltic and the Anglo-Saxon, both catholic in doctrine, as far as developed at that time, slightly differing in discipline, yet bitterly hostile under the influence of the antagonism of race, which was ultimately overcome in England and Scotland but is still burning in Ireland, the proper home of the Kelts. The Norman conquest made both races better Romanists than they were before.

The oldest inhabitants of Britain, like the Irish, the Scots, and the Gauls, were of Keltic origin, half naked and painted barbarians, quarrelsome, rapacious, revengeful, torn by intestine factions, which facilitated their conquest. They had adopted, under different appellations, the gods of the Greeks and Romans, and worshipped a multitude of local deities, the genii of the woods, rivers, and mountains; they paid special homage to the oak, the king of the forest. They offered the fruits of the earth, the spoils of the enemy, and, in the hour of danger, human lives. Their priests, called druids,7 dwelt in huts or caverns, amid the silence and gloom of the forest, were in possession of all education and spiritual power, professed to know the secrets of nature, medicine and astrology, and practised the arts of divination. They taught, as the three principles of wisdom: "obedience to the laws of God, concern for the good of man, and fortitude under the accidents of life." They also taught the immortality of the soul and the fiction of metempsychosis. One class of the druids, who delivered their instructions in verse, were distinguished by the title of bards, who as poets and musicians accompanied the chieftain to the battle-field, and enlivened the feasts of peace by the sound of the harp. There are still remains of druidical temples—the most remarkable at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and at Stennis in the Orkney Islands—that is, circles of huge stones standing in some cases twenty feet above the earth, and near them large mounds supposed to be ancient burial-places; for men desire to be buried near a place of worship.

The first introduction of Christianity into Britain is involved in obscurity. The legendary history ascribes it at least to ten different agencies, namely, 1) Bran, a British prince, and his son Caradog, who is said to have become acquainted with St. Paul in Rome, a.d. 51 to 58, and to have introduced the gospel into his native country on his return. 2) St. Paul. 3) St. Peter. 4) St. Simon Zelotes. 5) St. Philip. 6) St. James the Great. 7) St. John. 8) Aristobulus (Rom. xvi. 10). 9) Joseph of Arimathaea, who figures largely in the post-Norman legends of Glastonbury Abbey, and is said to have brought the holy Graal—the vessel or platter of the Lord's Supper—containing the blood of Christ, to England. 10) Missionaries of Pope Eleutherus from Rome to King Lucius of Britain.8

But these legends cannot be traced beyond the sixth century, and are therefore destitute of all historic value. A visit of St. Paul to Britain between a.d. 63 and 67 is indeed in itself not impossible (on the assumption of a second Roman captivity), and has been advocated even by such scholars as Ussher and Stillingfleet, but is intrinsically improbable, and destitute of all evidence.9

The conversion of King Lucius in the second century through correspondence with the Roman bishop Eleutherus (176 to 190), is related by Bede, in connection with several errors, and is a legend rather than an established fact.10 Irenaeus of Lyons, who enumerates all the churches one by one, knows of none in Britain. Yet the connection of Britain with Rome and with Gaul must have brought it early into contact with Christianity. About a.d. 208 Tertullian exultingly declared "that places in Britain not yet visited by Romans were subject to Christ."11 St. Alban, probably a Roman soldier, died as the British proto-martyr in the Diocletian persecution (303), and left the impress of his name on English history.12 Constantine, the first Christian emperor, was born in Britain, and his mother, St. Helena, was probably a native of the country. In the Council of Arles, a.d. 314, which condemned the Donatists, we meet with three British bishops, Eborius of York (Eboracum), Restitutus of London (Londinum), and Adelfius of Lincoln (Colonia Londinensium), or Caerleon in Wales, besides a presbyter and deacon.13 In the Arian controversy the British churches sided with Athanasius and the Nicene Creed, though hesitating about the term homoousios.14 A notorious heretic, Pelagius (Morgan), was from the same island; his abler, though less influential associate, Celestius, was probably an Irishman; but their doctrines were condemned (429), and the Catholic faith reëstablished with the assistance of two Gallic bishops.15

Monumental remains of the British church during the Roman period are recorded or still exist at Canterbury (St. Martin's), Caerleon, Bangor, Glastonbury, Dover, Richborough (Kent), Reculver, Lyminge, Brixworth, and other places.16

The Roman dominion in Britain ceased about a.d. 410; the troops were withdrawn, and the country left to govern itself. The result was a partial relapse into barbarism and a demoralization of the church. The intercourse with the Continent was cut off, and the barbarians of the North pressed heavily upon the Britons. For a century and a half we hear nothing of the British churches till the silence is broken by the querulous voice of Gildas, who informs us of the degeneracy of the clergy, the decay of religion, the introduction and suppression of the Pelagian heresy, and the mission of Palladius to the Scots in Ireland. This long isolation accounts in part for the trifling differences and the bitter antagonism between the remnant of the old British church and the new church imported from Rome among the hated Anglo-Saxons.

The difference was not doctrinal, but ritualistic and disciplinary. The British as well as the Irish and Scotch Christians of the sixth and seventh centuries kept Easter on the very day of the full moon in March when it was Sunday, or on the next Sunday following. They adhered to the older cycle of eighty-four years in opposition to the later Dionysian cycle of ninety-five years, which came into use on the Continent since the middle of the sixth century.17 They shaved the fore-part of their head from ear to ear in the form of a crescent, allowing the hair to grow behind, in imitation of the aureola, instead of shaving, like the Romans, the crown of the head in a circular form, and leaving a circle of hair, which was to represent the Saviour's crown of thorns. They had, moreover—and this was the most important and most irritating difference—become practically independent of Rome, and transacted their business in councils without referring to the pope, who began to be regarded on the Continent as the righteous ruler and judge of all Christendom.

From these facts some historians have inferred the Eastern or Greek origin of the old British church. But there is no evidence whatever of any such connection, unless it be perhaps through the medium of the neighboring church of Gaul, which was partly planted or moulded by Irenaeus of Lyons, a pupil of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, and which always maintained a sort of independence of Rome.

But in the points of dispute just mentioned, the Gallican church at that time agreed with Rome. Consequently, the peculiarities of the British Christians must be traced to their insular isolation and long separation from Rome. The Western church on the Continent passed through some changes in the development of the authority of the papal see, and in the mode of calculating Easter, until the computation was finally fixed through Dionysius Exiguus in 525. The British, unacquainted with these changes, adhered to the older independence and to the older customs. They continued to keep Easter from the 14th of the moon to the 20th. This difference involved a difference in all the moveable festivals, and created great confusion in England after the conversion of the Saxons to the Roman rite.

§ 9. The Anglo-Saxons.


I. The sources for the planting of Roman Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons are several Letters of Pope Gregory I. (Epp., Lib. VI. 7, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59; IX. 11, 108; XI. 28, 29, 64, 65, 66, 76; in Migne's ed. of Gregory's Opera, Vol. III.; also in Haddan and Stubbs, III. 5 sqq.); the first and second books of Bede's Eccles. Hist.; Goscelin's Life of St. Augustin, written in the 11th century, and contained in the Acta Sanctorum of May 26th; and Thorne's Chronicles of St. Augustine's Abbey. See also Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., the 3d vol., which comes down to a.d. 840.

II. Of modern lives of St. Augustin, we mention Montalembert, Monks of the West, Vol. III.; Dean Hook, Archbishops of Canterbury, Vol. I., and Dean Stanley, Memorials of Canterbury, 1st ed., 1855, 9th ed. 1880. Comp. Lit. in Sec. 7.

British Christianity was always a feeble plant, and suffered greatly, from the Anglo-Saxon conquest and the devastating wars which followed it. With the decline of the Roman power, the Britons, weakened by the vices of Roman civilization, and unable to resist the aggressions of the wild Picts and Scots from the North, called Hengist and Horsa, two brother-princes and reputed descendants of Wodan, the god of war, from Germany to their aid, a.d. 449.18

From this time begins the emigration of Saxons, Angles or Anglians, Jutes, and Frisians to Britain. They gave to it a new nationality and a new language, the Anglo-Saxon, which forms the base and trunk of the present people and language of England (Angle-land). They belonged to the great Teutonic race, and came from the Western and Northern parts of Germany, from the districts North of the Elbe, the Weser, and the Eyder, especially from Holstein, Schleswig, and Jutland. They could never be subdued by the Romans, and the emperor Julian pronounced them the most formidable of all the nations that dwelt beyond the Rhine on the shores of the Western ocean. They were tall and handsome, with blue eyes and fair skin, strong and enduring, given to pillage by land, and piracy by sea, leaving the cultivation of the soil, with the care of their flocks, to women and slaves. They were the fiercest among the Germans. They sacrificed a tenth of their chief captives on the altars of their gods. They used the spear, the sword, and the battle-axe with terrible effect. "We have not," says Sidonius, bishop of Clermont,19 "a more cruel and more dangerous enemy than the Saxons. They overcome all who have the courage to oppose them .... When they pursue, they infallibly overtake; when they are pursued, their escape is certain. They despise danger; they are inured to shipwreck; they are eager to purchase booty with the peril of their lives. Tempests, which to others are so dreadful, to them are subjects of joy. The storm is their protection when they are pressed by the enemy, and a cover for their operations when they meditate an attack." Like the Bedouins in the East, and the Indians of America, they were divided in tribes, each with a chieftain. In times of danger, they selected a supreme commander under the name of Konyng or King, but only for a period.

These strangers from the Continent successfully repelled the Northern invaders; but being well pleased with the fertility and climate of the country, and reinforced by frequent accessions from their countrymen, they turned upon the confederate Britons, drove them to the mountains of Wales and the borders of Scotland, or reduced them to slavery, and within a century and a half they made themselves masters of England. From invaders they became settlers, and established an octarchy or eight independent kingdoms, Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Northumbria, Mercia, Bernicia, and Deira. The last two were often united under the same head; hence we generally speak of but seven kingdoms or the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy.

From this period of the conflict between the two races dates the Keltic form of the Arthurian legends, which afterwards underwent a radical telescopic transformation in France. They have no historical value except in connection with the romantic poetry of mediaeval religion.20

§ 10. The Mission of Gregory and Augustin. Conversion of Kent, a.d. 595–604.

With the conquest of the Anglo-Saxons, who were heathen barbarians, Christianity was nearly extirpated in Britain. Priests were cruelly massacred, churches and monasteries were destroyed, together with the vestiges of a weak Roman civilization. The hatred and weakness of the Britons prevented them from offering the gospel to the conquerors, who in turn would have rejected it from contempt of the conquered.21

But fortunately Christianity was re-introduced from a remote country, and by persons who had nothing to do with the quarrels of the two races. To Rome, aided by the influence of France, belongs the credit of reclaiming England to Christianity and civilization. In England the first, and, we may say, the only purely national church in the West was founded, but in close union with the papacy. "The English church," says Freeman, "reverencing Rome, but not slavishly bowing down to her, grew up with a distinctly national character, and gradually infused its influence into all the feelings and habits of the English people. By the end of the seventh century, the independent, insular, Teutonic church had become one of the brightest lights of the Christian firmament. In short, the introduction of Christianity completely changed the position of the English nation, both within its own island and towards the rest of the world."22

The origin of the Anglo-Saxon mission reads like a beautiful romance. Pope Gregory I., when abbot of a Benedictine convent, saw in the slave-market of Rome three Anglo-Saxon boys offered for sale. He was impressed with their fine appearance, fair complexion, sweet faces and light flaxen hair; and learning, to his grief, that they were idolaters, he asked the name of their nation, their country, and their king. When he heard that they were Angles, he said: "Right, for they have angelic faces, and are worthy to be fellow-heirs with angels in heaven." They were from the province Deira. "Truly," he replied, "are they De-ira-ns, that is, plucked from the ire of God, and called to the mercy of Christ." He asked the name of their king, which was AElla or Ella (who reigned from 559 to 588). "Hallelujah," he exclaimed, "the praise of God the Creator must be sung in those parts." He proceeded at once from the slave market to the pope, and entreated him to send missionaries to England, offering himself for this noble work. He actually started for the spiritual conquest of the distant island. But the Romans would not part with him, called him back, and shortly afterwards elected him pope (590). What he could not do in person, he carried out through others.23

In the year 596, Gregory, remembering his interview with the sweet-faced and fair-haired Anglo-Saxon slave-boys, and hearing of a favorable opportunity for a mission, sent the Benedictine abbot Augustin (Austin), thirty other monks, and a priest, Laurentius, with instructions, letters of recommendation to the Frank kings and several bishops of Gaul, and a few books, to England.24 The missionaries, accompanied by some interpreters from France, landed on the isle of Thanet in Kent, near the mouth of the Thames.25 King Ethelbert, by his marriage to Bertha, a Christian princess from Paris, who had brought a bishop with her, was already prepared for a change of religion. He went to meet the strangers and received them in the open air; being afraid of some magic if he were to see them under roof. They bore a silver cross for their banner, and the image of Christ painted on a board; and after singing the litany and offering prayers for themselves and the people whom they had come to convert, they preached the gospel through their Frank interpreters. The king was pleased with the ritualistic and oratorical display of the new religion from distant, mighty Rome, and said: "Your words and promises are very fair; but as they are new to us and of uncertain import, I cannot forsake the religion I have so long followed with the whole English nation. Yet as you are come from far, and are desirous to benefit us, I will supply you with the necessary sustenance, and not forbid you to preach and to convert as many as you can to your religion."26 Accordingly, he allowed them to reside in the City of Canterbury (Dorovern, Durovernum), which was the metropolis of his kingdom, and was soon to become the metropolis of the Church of England. They preached and led a severe monastic life. Several believed and were baptized, "admiring," as Bede says, "the simplicity of their innocent life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine." He also mentions miracles. Gregory warned Augustin not to be puffed up by miracles, but to rejoice with fear, and to tremble in rejoicing, remembering what the Lord said to his disciples when they boasted that even the devils were subject to them. For not all the elect work miracles, and yet the names of all are written in heaven.27

King Ethelbert was converted and baptized (probably June 2, 597), and drew gradually his whole nation after him, though he was taught by the missionaries not to use compulsion, since the service of Christ ought to be voluntary.

Augustin, by order of pope Gregory, was ordained archbishop of the English nation by Vergilius,28 archbishop of Arles, Nov. 16, 597, and became the first primate of England, with a long line of successors even to this day. On his return, at Christmas, he baptized more than ten thousand English. His talents and character did not rise above mediocrity, and he bears no comparison whatever with his great namesake, the theologian and bishop of Hippo; but he was, upon the whole, well fitted for his missionary work, and his permanent success lends to his name the halo of a borrowed greatness. He built a church and monastery at Canterbury, the mother-church of Anglo-Saxon Christendom. He sent the priest Laurentius to Rome to inform the pope of his progress and to ask an answer to a number of questions concerning the conduct of bishops towards their clergy, the ritualistic differences between the Roman and the Gallican churches, the marriage of two brothers to two sisters, the marriage of relations, whether a bishop may be ordained without other bishops being present, whether a woman with child ought to be baptized, how long after the birth of an infant carnal intercourse of married people should be delayed, etc. Gregory answered these questions very fully in the legalistic and ascetic spirit of the age, yet, upon the whole, with much good sense and pastoral wisdom.29

It is remarkable that this pope, unlike his successors, did not insist on absolute conformity to the Roman church, but advises Augustin, who thought that the different customs of the Gallican church were inconsistent with the unity of faith, "to choose from every church those things that are pious, religious and upright;" for "things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things."30 In other respects, the advice falls in with the papal system and practice. He directs the missionaries not to destroy the heathen temples, but to convert them into Christian churches, to substitute the worship of relics for the worship of idols, and to allow the new converts, on the day of dedication and other festivities, to kill cattle according to their ancient custom, yet no more to the devils, but to the praise of God; for it is impossible, he thought, to efface everything at once from their obdurate minds; and he who endeavors to ascend to the highest place, must rise by degrees or steps, and not by leaps.31 This method was faithfully followed by his missionaries. It no doubt facilitated the nominal conversion of England, but swept a vast amount of heathenism into the Christian church, which it took centuries to eradicate.

Gregory sent to Augustin, June 22, 601, the metropolitan pall (pallium), several priests (Mellitus, Justus, Paulinus, and others), many books, sacred vessels and vestments, and relics of apostles and martyrs. He directed him to ordain twelve bishops in the archiepiscopal diocese of Canterbury, and to appoint an archbishop for York, who was also to ordain twelve bishops, if the country adjoining should receive the word of God. Mellitus was consecrated the first bishop of London; Justus, bishop of Rochester, both in 604 by Augustin (without assistants); Paulinus, the first archbishop of York, 625, after the death of Gregory and Augustin.32 The pope sent also letters and presents to king Ethelbert, "his most excellent son," exhorting him to persevere in the faith, to commend it by good works among his subjects, to suppress the worship of idols, and to follow the instructions of Augustin.

§ 11. Antagonism of the Saxon and British Clergy.

Bede, II. 2; Haddan and Stubbs, III. 38–41.

Augustin, with the aid of king Ethelbert, arranged (in 602 or 603) a conference with the British bishops, at a place in Sussex near the banks of the Severn under an oak, called "Augustin's Oak."33 He admonished them to conform to the Roman ceremonial in the observance of Easter Sunday, and the mode of administering baptism, and to unite with their Saxon brethren in converting the Gentiles. Augustin had neither wisdom nor charity enough to sacrifice even the most trifling ceremonies on the altar of peace. He was a pedantic and contracted churchman. He met the Britons, who represented at all events an older and native Christianity, with the haughty spirit of Rome, which is willing to compromise with heathen customs, but demands absolute submission from all other forms of Christianity, and hates independence as the worst of heresies.

The Britons preferred their own traditions. After much useless contention, Augustin proposed, and the Britons reluctantly accepted, an appeal to the miraculous interposition of God. A blind man of the Saxon race was brought forward and restored to sight by his prayer. The Britons still refused to give up their ancient customs without the consent of their people, and demanded a second and larger synod.

At the second Conference, seven bishops of the Britons, with a number of learned men from the Convent of Bangor, appeared, and were advised by a venerated hermit to submit the Saxon archbishop to the moral test of meekness and humility as required by Christ from his followers. If Augustin, at the meeting, shall rise before them, they should hear him submissively; but if he shall not rise, they should despise him as a proud man. As they drew near, the Roman dignitary remained seated in his chair. He demanded of them three things, viz. compliance with the Roman observance of the time of Easter, the Roman form of baptism, and aid in efforts to convert the English nation; and then he would readily tolerate their other peculiarities. They refused, reasoning among themselves, if he will not rise up before us now, how much more will he despise us when we shall be subject to his authority? Augustin indignantly rebuked them and threatened the divine vengeance by the arms of the Saxons. "All which," adds Bede, "through the dispensation of the divine judgment, fell out exactly as he had predicted." For, a few years afterwards (613), Ethelfrith the Wild, the pagan King of Northumbria, attacked the Britons at Chester, and destroyed not only their army, but slaughtered several hundred34 priests and monks, who accompanied the soldiers to aid them with their prayers. The massacre was followed by the destruction of the flourishing monastery of Bangor, where more than two thousand monks lived by the labor of their hands.

This is a sad picture of the fierce animosity of the two races and rival forms of Christianity. Unhappily, it continues to the present day, but with a remarkable difference: the Keltic Irish who, like the Britons, once represented a more independent type of Catholicism, have, since the Norman conquest, and still more since the Reformation, become intense Romanists; while the English, once the dutiful subjects of Rome, have broken with that foreign power altogether, and have vainly endeavored to force Protestantism upon the conquered race. The Irish problem will not be solved until the double curse of national and religious antagonism is removed.

§ 12. Conversion of the Other Kingdoms of the Heptarchy.

Augustin, the apostle of the Anglo-Saxons, died a.d. 604, and lies buried, with many of his successors, in the venerable cathedral of Canterbury. On his tomb was written this epitaph: "Here rests the Lord Augustin, first archbishop of Canterbury, who being formerly sent hither by the blessed Gregory, bishop of the city of Rome, and by God's assistance supported with miracles, reduced king Ethelbert and his nation from the worship of idols to the faith of Christ, and having ended the days of his office in peace, died on the 26th day of May, in the reign of the same king."35

He was not a great man; but he did a great work in laying the foundations of English Christianity and civilization.

Laurentius (604–619), and afterwards Mellitus (619–624) succeeded him in his office.

Other priests and monks were sent from Italy, and brought with them books and such culture as remained after the irruption of the barbarians. The first archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the bishops of most of the Southern sees were foreigners, if not consecrated, at least commissioned by the pope, and kept up a constant correspondence with Rome. Gradually a native clergy arose in England.

The work of Christianization went on among the other kingdom of the heptarchy, and was aided by the marriage of kings with Christian wives, but was more than once interrupted by relapse into heathenism. Northumbria was converted chiefly through the labors of the sainted Aidan (d. Aug. 31, 651), a monk from the island Iona or Hii, and the first bishop of Lindisfarne, who is even lauded by Bede for his zeal, piety and good works, although he differed from him on the Easter question.36 Sussex was the last part of the Heptarchy which renounced paganism. It took nearly a hundred years before England was nominally converted to the Christian religion.37

To this conversion England owes her national unity and the best elements of her civilization.38

The Anglo-Saxon Christianity was and continued to be till the Reformation, the Christianity of Rome, with its excellences and faults. It included the Latin mass, the worship of saints, images and relics, monastic virtues and vices, pilgrimages to the holy city, and much credulity and superstition. Even kings abdicated their crown to show their profound reverence for the supreme pontiff and to secure from him a passport to heaven. Chapels, churches and cathedrals were erected in the towns; convents founded in the country by the bank of the river or under the shelter of a hill, and became rich by pious donations of land. The lofty cathedrals and ivy-clad ruins of old abbeys and cloisters in England and Scotland still remain to testify in solemn silence to the power of mediaeval Catholicism.

§ 13. Conformity to Row Established. Wilfrid, Theodore, Bede.

The dispute between the Anglo-Saxon or Roman, and the British ritual was renewed in the middle of the seventh century, but ended with the triumph of the former in England proper. The spirit of independence had to take refuge in Ireland and Scotland till the time of the Norman conquest, which crushed it out also in Ireland.

Wilfrid, afterwards bishop of York, the first distinguished native prelate who combined clerical habits with haughty magnificence, acquired celebrity by expelling "the quartodeciman heresy and schism," as it was improperly called, from Northumbria, where the Scots had introduced it through St. Aidan. The controversy was decided in a Synod held at Whitby in 664 in the presence of King Oswy or Oswio and his son Alfrid. Colman, the second success or of Aidan, defended the Scottish observance of Easter by the authority of St. Columba and the apostle John. Wilfrid rested the Roman observance on the authority of Peter, who had introduced it in Rome, and on the universal custom of Christendom. When he mentioned, that to Peter were intrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the king said: "I will not contradict the door-keeper, lest when I come to the gates of the kingdom of heaven, there should be none to open them." By this irresistible argument the opposition was broken, and conformity to the Roman observance established. The Scottish semi-circular tonsure also, which was ascribed to Simon Magus, gave way to the circular, which was derived from St. Peter. Colman, being worsted, returned with his sympathizers to Scotland, where he built two monasteries. Tuda was made bishop in his place.39

Soon afterwards, a dreadful pestilence raged through England and Ireland, while Caledonia was saved, as the pious inhabitants believed, by the intercession of St. Columba.

The fusion of English Christians was completed in the age of Theodorus, archbishop of Canterbury (669 to 690), and Beda Venerabilis ( b. 673, d. 735), presbyter and monk of Wearmouth. About the same time Anglo-Saxon literature was born, and laid the foundation for the development of the national genius which ultimately broke loose from Rome.

Theodore was a native of Tarsus, where Paul was born, educated in Athens, and, of course, acquainted with Greek and Latin learning. He received his appointment and consecration to the primacy of England from Pope Vitalian. He arrived at Canterbury May 27, 669, visited the whole of England, established the Roman rule of Easter, and settled bishops in all the sees except London. He unjustly deposed bishop Wilfrid of York, who was equally devoted to Rome, but in his later years became involved in sacerdotal jealousies and strifes. He introduced order into the distracted church and some degree of education among the clergy. He was a man of autocratic temper, great executive ability, and, having been directly sent from Rome, he carried with him double authority. "He was the first archbishop," says Bede, "to whom the whole church of England submitted." During his administration the first Anglo-Saxon mission to the mother-country of the Saxons and Friesians was attempted by Egbert, Victberet, and Willibrord (689 to 692). His chief work is a "Penitential" with minute directions for a moral and religious life, and punishments for drunkenness, licentiousness, and other prevalent vices.40

The Venerable Bede was the first native English scholar, the father of English theology and church history. He spent his humble and peaceful life in the acquisition and cultivation of ecclesiastical and secular learning, wrote Latin in prose and verse, and translated portions of the Bible into Anglo-Saxon. His chief work is his—the only reliable—Church History of old England. He guides us with a gentle hand and in truly Christian spirit, though colored by Roman views, from court to court, from monastery to monastery, and bishopric to bishopric, through the missionary labyrinth of the miniature kingdoms of his native island. He takes the Roman side in the controversies with the British churches.41

Before Bede cultivated Saxon prose, Caedmon (about 680), first a swine-herd, then a monk at Whitby, sung, as by inspiration, the wonders of creation and redemption, and became the father of Saxon (and Christian German) poetry. His poetry brought the Bible history home to the imagination of the Saxon people, and was a faint prophecy of the "Divina Comedia" and the "Paradise Lost."42 We have a remarkable parallel to this association of Bede and Caedmon in the association of Wiclif, the first translator of the whole Bible into English (1380), and the contemporary of Chaucer, the father of English poetry, both forerunners of the British Reformation, and sustaining a relation to Protestant England somewhat similar to the relation which Bede and Caedmon sustain to mediaeval Catholic England.

The conversion of England was nominal and ritual, rather than intellectual and moral. Education was confined to the clergy and monks, and consisted in the knowledge of the Decalogue, the Creed and the Pater Noster, a little Latin without any Greek or Hebrew. The Anglo-Saxon clergy were only less ignorant than the British. The ultimate triumph of the Roman church was due chiefly to her superior organization, her direct apostolic descent, and the prestige of the Roman empire. It made the Christianity of England independent of politics and court-intrigues, and kept it in close contact with the Christianity of the Continent. The advantages of this connection were greater than the dangers and evils of insular isolation. Among all the subjects of Teutonic tribes, the English became the most devoted to the Pope. They sent more pilgrims to Rome and more money into the papal treasury than any other nation. They invented the Peter's Pence. At least thirty of their kings and queens, and an innumerable army of nobles ended their days in cloistral retreats. Nearly all of the public lands were deeded to churches and monasteries. But the exuberance of monasticism weakened the military and physical forces of the nation

Danish and the Norman conquests. The power and riches of the church secularized the clergy, and necessitated in due time a reformation. Wealth always tends to vice, and vice to decay. The Norman conquest did not change the ecclesiastical relations of England, but infused new blood and vigor into the Saxon race, which is all the better for its mixed character.

We add a list of the early archbishops and bishops of the four principal English sees, in the order of their foundation:43















[Cedd in Essex












Wilfrid, consecrated 665, in possession



























Wilfrid again






Bosa again








§ 14. The Conversion of Ireland. St. Patrick and St. Bridget.


I. The writings of St. Patrick are printed in the Vitae Sanctorum of the Bollandists, sub March 17th; in Patricii Opuscula, ed. Warsaeus (Sir James Ware, Lond., 1656); in Migne's Patrolog., Tom. LIII. 790–839, and with critical notes in Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, etc., Vol. II, Part II, (1878), pp. 296–323.

II. The Life of St. Patrick in the Acta Sanctorum, Mart., Tom. II. 517 sqq.

Tillemont: Mémoires, Tom. XVI. 452, 781.

Ussher: Brit. Eccl. Antiqu.

J. H. Todd: St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland. Dublin, 1864.

C. Joh. Greith (R.C.): Geschichte der altirischen Kirche und ihrer Verbindung mit Rom., Gallien und Alemannien, als Einleitung in die Geschichte des Stifts St. Gallen. Freiburg i. B. 1867.

Daniel de Vinné: History Of the Irish Primitive Church, together with the Life of St. Patrick. N. York, 1870

J. Francis Sherman (R.C.): Loca Patriciana: an Identification of Localities, chiefly in Leinster, visited by St. Patrick. Dublin, 1879.

F. E. Warren (Episc.): The Manuscript Irish Missal at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. London, 1879. Ritual of the Celtic Church. Oxf. 1881.

Comp. also the works of Todd, McLauchan, Ebrard, Killen, and Skene, quoted in § 7, and Forbes, Kalendars of Scottish Saints, p. 431.

The church-history of Ireland is peculiar. It began with an independent catholicity (or a sort of semi-Protestantism), and ended with Romanism, while other Western countries passed through the reverse order. Lying outside of the bounds of the Roman empire, and never invaded by Roman legions,44 that virgin island was Christianized without bloodshed and independently of Rome and of the canons of the oecumenical synods. The early Irish church differed from the Continental churches in minor points of polity and worship, and yet excelled them all during the sixth and seventh centuries in spiritual purity and missionary zeal. After the Norman conquest, it became closely allied to Rome. In the sixteenth century the light of the Reformation did not penetrate into the native population; but Queen Elizabeth and the Stuarts set up by force a Protestant state-religion in antagonism to the prevailing faith of the people. Hence, by the law of re-action, the Keltic portion of Ireland became more intensely Roman Catholic being filled with double hatred of England on the ground of difference of race and religion. This glaring anomaly of a Protestant state church in a Roman Catholic country has been removed at last after three centuries of oppression and misrule, by the Irish Church Disestablishment Act in 1869 under the ministry of Gladstone.

The early history of Ireland (Hibernia) is buried in obscurity. The ancient Hibernians were a mixed race, but prevailingly Keltic. They were ruled by petty tyrants, proud, rapacious and warlike, who kept the country in perpetual strife. They were devoted to their religion of Druidism. Their island, even before the introduction of Christianity, was called the Sacred Island. It was also called Scotia or Scotland down to the eleventh century.45 The Romans made no attempt at subjugation, as they did not succeed in establishing their authority in Caledonia.

The first traces of Irish Christianity are found at the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century.

As Pelagius, the father of the famous heresy, which bears his name, was a Briton, so Coelestius, his chief ally and champion, was a Hibernian; but we do not know whether he was a Christian before be left Ireland. Mansuetus, first bishop of Toul, was an Irish Scot (a.d. 350). Pope Caelestine, in 431, ordained and sent Palladius, a Roman deacon, and probably a native Briton, "to the Scots believing in Christ," as their first bishop.46 This notice by Prosper of France implies the previous existence of Christianity in Ireland. But Palladius was so discouraged that he soon abandoned the field, with his assistants for North Britain, where he died among the Picts.47 For nearly two centuries after this date, we have no authentic record of papal intercourse with Ireland; and yet during that period it took its place among the Christian countries. It was converted by two humble individuals, who probably never saw Rome, St. Patrick, once a slave, and St. Bridget, the daughter of a slave-mother.48 The Roman tradition that St. Patrick was sent by Pope Caelestine is too late to have any claim upon our acceptance, and is set aside by the entire silence of St. Patrick himself in his genuine works. It arose from confounding Patrick with Palladius. The Roman mission of Palladius failed; the independent mission of Patrick succeeded. He is the true Apostle of Ireland, and has impressed his memory in indelible characters upon the Irish race at home and abroad.

St. Patrick or Patricius (died March 17, 465 or 493) was the son of a deacon, and grandson of a priest, as he confesses himself without an intimation of the unlawfulness of clerical marriages.49 He was in his youth carried captive into Ireland, with many others, and served his master six years as a shepherd. While tending his flock in the lonesome fields, the teachings of his childhood awakened to new life in his heart without any particular external agency. He escaped to France or Britain, was again enslaved for a short period, and had a remarkable dream, which decided his calling. He saw a man, Victoricius, who handed him innumerable letters from Ireland, begging him to come over and help them. He obeyed the divine monition, and devoted the remainder of his life to the conversion of Ireland (from a.d. 440 to 493).50

"I am," he says, "greatly a debtor to God, who has bestowed his grace so largely upon me, that multitudes were born again to God through me. The Irish, who never had the knowledge of God and worshipped only idols and unclean things, have lately become the people of the Lord, and are called sons of God." He speaks of having baptized many thousands of men. Armagh seems to have been for some time the centre of his missionary operations, and is to this day the seat of the primacy of Ireland, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. He died in peace, and was buried in Downpatrick (or Gabhul), where he began his mission, gained his first converts and spent his declining years.51

His Roman Catholic biographers have surrounded his life with marvelous achievements, while some modern Protestant hypercritics have questioned even his existence, as there is no certain mention of his name before 634; unless it be "the Hymn of St. Sechnall (Secundinus) in praise of St. Patrick, which is assigned to 448. But if we accept his own writings, "there can be no reasonable doubt" (we say with a Presbyterian historian of Ireland) "that he preached the gospel in Hibernia in the fifth century; that he was a most zealous and efficient evangelist, and that he is eminently entitled to the honorable designation of the Apostle of Ireland."52

The Christianity of Patrick was substantially that of Gaul and old Britain, i.e. Catholic, orthodox, monastic, ascetic, but independent of the Pope, and differing from Rome in the age of Gregory I. in minor matters of polity and ritual. In his Confession he never mentions Rome or the Pope; he never appeals to tradition, and seems to recognize the Scriptures (including the Apocrypha) as the only authority in matters of faith. He quotes from the canonical Scriptures twenty-five times; three times from the Apocrypha. It has been conjectured that the failure and withdrawal of Palladius was due to Patrick, who had already monopolized this mission-field; but, according to the more probable chronology, the mission of Patrick began about nine years after that of Palladius. From the end of the seventh century, the two persons were confounded, and a part of the history of Palladius, especially his connection with Pope Caelestine, was transferred to Patrick.53

With St. Patrick there is inseparably connected the most renowned female saint of Ireland, St. Bridget (or Brigid, Brigida, Bride), who prepared his winding sheet and survived him many years. She died Feb. 1, 523 (or 525). She is "the Mary of Ireland," and gave her name to innumerable Irish daughters, churches, and convents. She is not to be confounded with her name-sake, the widow-saint of Sweden. Her life is surrounded even by a still thicker cloud of legendary fiction than that of St. Patrick, so that it is impossible to separate the facts from the accretions of a credulous posterity. She was an illegitimate child of a chieftain or bard, and a slave-mother, received holy orders, became deformed in answer to her own prayer, founded the famous nunnery of Kildare (i.e. the Church of the Oak),54 foretold the birth of Columba, and performed all sorts of signs and wonders.

Upon her tomb in Kildare arose the inextinguishable flame called "the Light of St. Bridget," which her nuns (like the Vestal Virgins of Rome) kept

"Through long ages of darkness and storm" (Moore).

Six lives of her were published by Colgan in his Trias Thaumaturgus, and five by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum.

Critical Note on St. Patrick.

We have only one or two genuine documents from Patrick, both written in semi-barbarous (early Irish) Latin, but breathing an humble, devout and fervent missionary spirit without anything specifically Roman, viz. his autobiographical Confession (in 25 chapters), written shortly before his death (493?), and his Letter of remonstrance to Coroticus (or Ceredig), a British chieftain (nominally Christian), probably of Ceredigion or Cardigan, who had made a raid into Ireland, and sold several of Patrick's converts into slavery (10 chapters). The Confession, as contained in the "Book of Armagh," is alleged to have been transcribed before a.d. 807 from Patrick's original autograph, which was then partly illegible. There are four other MSS. of the eleventh century, with sundry additions towards the close, which seem to be independent copies of the same original. See Haddan & Stubbs, note on p. 296. The Epistle to Coroticus is much shorter, and not so generally accepted. Both documents were first printed in 1656, then in 1668 in the Acta Sanctorum, also in Migne's Patrologia (Vol. 53), in Miss Cusack's Life of St. Patrick, in the work of Ebrard (l.c. 482 sqq.), and in Haddan & Stubbs, Councils (Vol. II., P. II., 296 sqq.).

There is a difference of opinion about Patrick's nationality, whether he was of Scotch, or British, or French extraction. He begins his Confession: "I, Patrick, a sinner, the rudest and the least of all the faithful, and the most contemptible with the multitude (Ego Patricius, peccator, rusticissimus et minimus omnium fidelium et contemptibilissimus apud plurimos, or, according to another reading, contemptibilis sum apud plurimos), had for my father Calpornus (or Calphurnius), a deacon (diaconum, or diaconem), the son of Potitus (al. Photius), a presbyter (filium quondam Potiti presbyteri), who lived in the village of Bannavem (or Banaven) of Tabernia; for he had a cottage in the neighborhood where I was captured. I was then about sixteen years old; but I was ignorant of the true God, and was led away into captivity to Hibernia." Bannavem of Tabernia is, perhaps Banavie in Lochaber in Scotland (McLauchlan); others fix the place of his birth in Kilpatrick (i.e. the cell or church of Patrick), near Dunbarton on the Clyde (Ussher, Butler, Maclear); others, somewhere in Britain, and thus explain his epithet "Brito" or "Briton" (Joceline and Skene); still others seek it in Armoric Gaul, in Boulogne (from Bononia), and derive Brito from Brittany (Lanigan, Moore, Killen, De Vinné).

He does not state the instrumentality of his conversion. Being the son of a clergyman, he must have received some Christian instruction; but he neglected it till he was made to feel the power of religion in communion with God while in slavery. "After I arrived in Ireland," he says (ch. 6), "every day I fed cattle, and frequently during the day I prayed; more and more the love and fear of God burned, and my faith and my spirit were strengthened, so that in one day I said as many as a hundred prayers, and nearly as many in the night." He represents his call and commission as coming directly from God through a vision, and alludes to no intervening ecclesiastical authority or episcopal consecration. In one of the oldest Irish MSS., the Book of Durrow, he is styled a presbyter. In the Epistle to Coroticus, he appears more churchly and invested with episcopal power and jurisdiction. It begins: "Patricius, peccator indoctus, Hiberione (or Hyberione) constitutus episcopus, certissime reor, a Deo accepi id quod sum: inter barbaras utique gentes proselytus et profuga, ob amorem Dei." (So according to the text of Haddan & Stubbs, p. 314; somewhat different in Migne, Patrol. LIII. 814; and in Ebrard, p. 505.) But the letter does not state where or by whom he was consecrated.

The "Book of Armagh "contains also an Irish hymn (the oldest monument of the Irish Keltic language), called S. Patricii Canticum Scotticum, which Patrick is said to have written when he was about to convert the chief monarch of the island (Laoghaire or Loegaire).55 The hymn is a prayer for the special aid of Almighty God for so important a work; it contains the principal doctrines of orthodox Christianity, with a dread of magical influences of aged women and blacksmiths, such as still prevails in some parts of Ireland, but without an invocation of Mary and the saints, such as we might expect from the Patrick of tradition and in a composition intended as a breast-plate or corselet against spiritual foes. The following is the principal portion:

"5. I bind to myself to-day,—

The Power of God to guide me,

The Might of God to uphold me,

The Wisdom of God to teach me,

The Eye of God to watch over me,

The Ear of God to hear me,

The Word of God to give me speech.

The Hand of God to protect me,

The Way of God to go before me,

The Shield of God to shelter me,

The Host of God to defend me,

Against the snares of demons,

Against the temptations of vices,

Against the lusts of nature,

Against every man who meditates injury to me.

Whether far or near,

With few or with many.

6. I have set around me all these powers,

Against every hostile savage power,

Directed against my body and my soul,

Against the incantations of false prophets,

Against the black laws of heathenism,

Against the false laws of heresy,

Against the deceits of idolatry,

Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,

Against all knowledge which blinds the soul of man.

7. Christ protect me to-day

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wound,

That I may receive abundant reward.

8. Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the fort [i.e. at home],

Christ in the chariot-seat [travelling by land],

Christ in the poop [travelling by water].

9. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

10. I bind to myself to-day

The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity,

The faith of the Trinity in Unity,

The Creator of [the elements].

11. Salvation is of the Lord,

Salvation is of the Lord,

Salvation is of Christ;

May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us."

The fourth and last document which has been claimed as authentic and contemporary, is a Latin "Hymn in praise of St. Patrick" (Hymnus Sancti Patricii, Episcopi Scotorum) by St. Sechnall (Secundinus) which begins thus:

"Audite, omnes amantes Deum, sancta merita

Viri in Christo beati Patrici Episcopi:

Quomodo bonum ob actum simulatur angelis,

Perfectamque propter uitam aequatur Apostolis."

The poem is given in full by Haddan & Stubbs, 324–327, and assigned to "before a.d. 448 (?)," in which year Sechnall died. But how could he anticipate the work of Patrick, when his mission, according to the same writers, began only eight years earlier (440), and lasted till 493? The hymn is first mentioned by Tyrechanus in the "Book of Armagh."

The next oldest document is the Irish hymn of St. Fiacc on St. Patrick, which is assigned to the latter part of the sixth century, (l.c. 356–361). The Senchus Mor is attributed to the age of St. Patrick; but it is a code of Irish laws, derived from Pagan times, and gradually modified by Christian ecclesiastics in favor of the church. The Canons attributed to St. Patrick are of later date (Haddan & Stubbs, 328 sqq.).

It is strange that St. Patrick is not mentioned by Bede in his Church History, although he often refers to Hibernia and its church, and is barely named as a presbyter in his Martyrology. He is also ignored by Columba and by the Roman Catholic writers, until his mediaeval biographers from the eighth to the twelfth century Romanized him, appealing not to his genuine Confession, but to spurious documents and vague traditions. He is said to have converted all the Irish chieftains and bards, even Ossian, the blind Homer of Scotland, who sang to him his long epic of Keltic heroes and battles. He founded 365 or, according to others, 700 churches, and consecrated as many bishops, and 3,000 priests (when the whole island had probably not more than two or three hundred thousand inhabitants; for even in the reign of Elizabeth it did not exceed 600,000).56 He changed the laws of the kingdom, healed the blind, raised nine persons from death to life, and expelled all the snakes and frogs from Ireland.57 His memory is celebrated March 17, and is a day of great public processions with the Irish Catholics in all parts of the world. His death is variously put in the year 455 (Tillemont), 464 or 465 (Butler, Killen), 493 (Ussher, Skene, Forbes, Haddan & Stubbs). Forbes (Kalendars, p. 433) and Skene (Keltic Scotland, II. 427 sqq.) come to the conclusion that the legend of St. Patrick in its present shape is not older than the ninth century, and dissolves into three personages: Sen-Patrick, whose day in the Kalendar is the 24th of August; Palladius, "qui est Patricius," to whom the mission in 431 properly belongs, and Patricius, whose day is the 17th of March, and who died in 493. "From the acts of these three saints, the subsequent legend of the great Apostle of Ireland was compiled, and an arbitrary chronology applied to it."

§ 15. The Irish Church after St. Patrick.

The Missionary Period.

The labors of St. Patrick were carried on by his pupils and by many British priests and monks who were driven from England by the Anglo-Saxon invasion in the 5th and 6th centuries.58 There was an intimate intercourse between Ireland and Wales, where British Christianity sought refuge, and between Ireland and Scotland, where the seed of Christianity, had been planted by Ninian and Kentigern. In less than a century, after St. Patrick's death Ireland was covered with churches and convents for men and women. The monastic institutions were training schools of clergymen and missionaries, and workshops for transscribing sacred books. Prominent among these are the monasteries of Armagh, Banchor or Bangor (558), Clonard (500), Clonmacnois (528), Derry (555), Glendolough (618).

During the sixth and seventh centuries Ireland excelled all other countries in Christian piety, and acquired the name of "the Island of Saints." We must understand this in a comparative sense, and remember that at that time England was just beginning to emerge from Anglo-Saxon heathenism, Germany was nearly all heathen, and the French kings—the eldest sons of the Church—were "monsters of iniquity." Ireland itself was distracted by civil wars between the petty kings and chieftains; and the monks and clergy, even the women, marched to the conflict. Adamnan with difficulty secured a law exempting women from warfare, and it was not till the ninth century that the clergy in Ireland were exempted from "expeditions and hostings" (battles). The slave-trade was in full vigor between Ireland and England in the tenth century, with the port of Bristol for its centre. The Irish piety was largely based on childish superstition. But the missionary zeal of that country is nevertheless most praiseworthy. Ireland dreamed the dream of converting heathen Europe. Its apostles went forth to Scotland, North Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and North Italy. "They covered the land and seas of the West. Unwearied navigators, they landed on the most desert islands; they overflowed the Continent with their successive immigrations. They saw in incessant visions a world known and unknown to be conquered for Christ. The poem of the Pilgrimage of St. Brandan, that monkish Odyssey so celebrated in the middle ages, that popular prelude of the Divina Commedia, shows us the Irish monks in close contact with all the dreams and wonders of the Keltic ideal."59

The missionaries left Ireland usually in companies of twelve, with a thirteenth as their leader. This duodecimal economy was to represent Christ and the twelve apostles. The following are the most prominent of these missionary bands:60

St. Columba, with twelve brethren, to Hy in Scotland, a.d. 563.

St. Mohonna (or Macarius, Mauricius), sent by Columba, with twelve companions, to the Picts.

St. Columbanus, with twelve brethren, whose names are on record, to France and Germany, a.d. 612.

St. Kilian, with twelve, to Franconia and Würzburg, a.d. 680.

St. Eloquius, with twelve, to Belgium, a.d. 680.

St. Rudbert or Rupert, with twelve, to Bavaria, a.d. 700.

St. Willibrord (who studied twelve years in Ireland), with twelve, to Friesland, a.d. 692.

St. Forannan, with twelve, to the Belgian frontier, a.d. 970.

It is remarkable that this missionary activity of the Irish Church is confined to the period of her independence of the Church of Rome. We hear no more of it after the Norman conquest.

The Irish Church during this missionary period of the sixth and seventh centuries had a peculiar character, which we learn chiefly from two documents of the eighth century, namely, the Catalogue of the Saints of Ireland,61 and the Litany of Angus the Culdee.62

The Catalogue distinguishes three periods and three orders of saints: secular, monastic, and eremitical.

The saints of the time of St. Patrick were all bishops full of the Holy Ghost, three hundred and fifty in number, founders of churches; they had one head, Christ, and one leader, Patrick, observed one mass and one tonsure from ear to ear, and kept Easter on the fourteenth moon after the vernal equinox; they excluded neither laymen nor women; because, founded on the Rock of Christ, they feared not the blast of temptation. They sprung from the Romans, Franks, Britons and Scots. This order of saints continued for four reigns, from about a.d. 440 till 543.

The second order, likewise of four reigns, till a.d. 599, was of Catholic Presbyters, three hundred in number, with few bishops; they had one head, Christ, one Easter, one tonsure, as before; but different and different rules, and they refused the services of women, separating them from the monasteries.

The third order of saints consisted of one hundred holy presbyters and a few bishops, living in desert places on herbs and water and the alms of the faithful; they had different tonsures and Easters, some celebrating the resurrection on the 14th, some on the 16th moon; they continued through four reigns till 665.

The first period may be called episcopal, though in a rather non-episcopal or undiocesan sense. Angus, in his Litany, invokes "seven times fifty [350] holy cleric bishops," whom "the saint [Patrick] ordained," and "three hundred pure presbyters, upon whom he conferred orders." In Nennius the number of presbyters is increased to three thousand, and in the tripartite Life of Patrick to five thousand. These bishops, even if we greatly reduce the number as we must, had no higher rank than the ancient chorepiscopi or country-bishops in the Eastern Church, of whom there were once in Asia Minor alone upwards of four hundred. Angus the Culdee gives us even one hundred and fifty-three groups of seven bishops, each group serving in the same church. Patrick, regarding himself as the chief bishop of the whole Irish people, planted a church wherever he made a few converts and could obtain a grant from the chief of a clan, and placed a bishop ordained by himself over it. "It was a congregational and tribal episcopacy, united by a federal rather than a territorial tie under regular jurisdiction. During Patrick's life, he no doubt exercised a superintendence over the whole; but we do not see any trace of the metropolitan jurisdiction of the church of Armagh over the rest."63

The second period was monastic and missionary. All the presbyters and deacons were monks. Monastic life was congenial to the soil, and had its antecedents in the brotherhoods and sisterhoods of the Druids.64 It was imported into Ireland probably from France, either directly through Patrick, or from the monastery of St. Ninian at Galloway, who himself derives it from St. Martin of Tours.65 Prominent among these presbyter-monks are the twelve apostles of Ireland headed by St. Columba, who carried Christianity to Scotland in 563, and the twelve companions of Columbanus, who departed from Ireland to the Continent about 612. The most famous monastery was that of Bennchar, or Bangor, founded a.d. 558 by Comgall in the county of Down, on the south side of Belfast Lough. Comgall had four thousand monks under his care.66 From Bangor proceeded Columbanus and other evangelists.

By a primitive Keltic monastery we must not understand an elaborate stone structure, but a rude village of wooden huts or bothies (botha) on a river, with a church (ecclais), a common eating-hall, a mill, a hospice, the whole surrounded by a wall of earth or stone. The senior monks gave themselves entirely to devotion and the transcribing of the Scriptures. The younger were occupied in the field and in mechanical labor, or the training of the rising generation. These monastic communities formed a federal union, with Christ as their invisible head. They were training schools of the clergy. They attracted converts from the surrounding heathen population, and offered them a refuge from danger and violence. They were resorted to by English noblemen, who, according to Bede, were hospitably received, furnished with books, and instructed. Some Irish clergymen could read the Greek Testament at a time when Pope Gregory J. was ignorant of Greek. There are traces of an original Latin version of the Scriptures differing from the Itala and Vulgate, especially in Patrick's writings.67 But "there is no trace anywhere of any Keltic version of the Bible or any part of it. St. Chrysostom's words have been misunderstood to support such a supposition, but without ground."68 If there had been such a translation, it would have been of little use, as the people could not read it, and depended for their scanty knowledge of the word of God on the public lessons in the church.

The "Book of Armagh," compiled by Ferdomnach, a scribe or learned monk of Armagh, in 807, gives us some idea of the literary state of the Irish Church at that time.69 It contains the oldest extant memoirs of St. Patrick, the Confession of St. Patrick, the Preface of Jerome to the New Testament, the Gospels, Epistles, Apocalypse and Acts, with some prefaces chiefly taken from the works of Pelagius, and the Life of St. Martin of Tours by Sulpicius Severus, with a short litany on behalf of the writer.

In the ninth century John Scotus Erigena, who died in France, 874, startled the Church with his rare, but eccentric, genius and pantheistic speculations. He had that power of quick repartee for which Irishmen are distinguished to this day. When asked by Charles the Bald at the dinner-table, what was the difference between a Scot and a Sot (quid distat inter Scottum et Sottum?), John replied: "Nothing at all but the table, please your Majesty."

§ 16. Subjection of Ireland to English and Roman Rule.

The success of the Roman mission of Augustin among the Anglo-Saxons encouraged attempts to bring the Irish Church under the papal jurisdiction and to force upon it the ritual observances of Rome. England owes a good deal of her Christianity to independent Irish and Scotch missionaries from Bangor and Iona; but Ireland (as well as Germany) owes her Romanism, in great measure, to England. Pope Honorius (who was afterwards condemned by the sixth oecumenical council for holding the Monothelite heresy) addressed to the Irish clergy in 629 an exhortation—not, however, in the tone of authoritative dictation, but of superior wisdom and experience—to conform to the Roman mode of keeping Easter. This is the first known papal encyclical addressed to that country. A Synod was held at Magh-Lene, and a deputation sent to the Pope (and the three Eastern patriarchs) to ascertain the foreign usages on Easter. The deputation was treated with distinguished consideration in Rome, and, after three years' absence, reported in favor of the Roman cycle, which indeed rested on a better system of calculation. It was accordingly adopted in the South of Ireland, under the influence of the learned Irish ecclesiastic Cummian, who devoted a whole year to the study of the controversy. A few years afterwards Thomian, archbishop and abbot of Armagh (from 623 to 661), and the best Irish scholar of his age, introduced, after correspondence with the Pope, the Roman custom in the North, and thereby promoted his authority in opposition to the power of the abbot of Iona, which extended over a portion of Ireland, and strongly favored the old custom. But at last Abbot Adamnan likewise yielded to the Roman practice before his death (704).

The Norman conquest under William I., with the sanction of the Pope, united the Irish Church still more closely to Rome (1066). Gregory VII., in an encyclical letter to the king, clergy and laity of Ireland (1084)., boldly, challenged their obedience to the Vicar of the blessed Peter, and invited them to appeal to him in all matters requiring arbitration.

The archbishops of Canterbury, Lanfranc and Anselm, claimed and exercised a sort of supervision over the three most important sea-ports, Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick, on the ground that the Norman settlers applied to them for bishops and priests. Their influence was exerted in favor of conformity to Rome. Clerical celibacy was more generally introduced, uniformity in ritual established, and the large number of bishoprics reduced to twenty-three under two archbishops, Armagh for the North and Cashel for the South; while the bishop of Dublin was permitted to remain under the care of the archbishop of Canterbury. This reorganization of the polity in the interest of the aggrandizement of the hierarchy was effected about 1112 at the synod of Rathbreasail, which was attended by 58 bishops, 317 priests, a large number of monks, and King Murtogh O'Brien with his nobles.70

At last Ireland was invaded and conquered by England under Henry II., with the effectual aid of Pope Adrian IV.—the only Englishman that sat on the papal throne. In a curious bull of 1155, he justified and encouraged the intended invasion in the interest of the papacy, and sent the king the ring of investiture as Lord of Ireland calling upon that licentious monarch to "extirpate the nurseries of vice" in Ireland, to "enlarge the borders of the (Roman) Church," and to secure to St. Peter from each house "the annual pension of one penny" (equal in value in the twelfth century to at least two or three shillings of our present currency).71 Henry carried out his design in 1171, and with a strong military force easily subdued the whole Irish nation, weakened and distracted by civil wars, to British rule, which has been maintained ever since. A Synod at Armagh regarded the subjugation as a righteous judgment for the sins of the people, and especially for the slave trade. The bishops were the first to acknowledge Henry, hoping to derive benefit from a foreign régime, which freed them from petty tyrants at home. A Synod of Cashel in 1172, among other regulations, ordered that all offices of the church should hereafter in all parts of Ireland be conformed to the observances of the Church of England. A papal legate henceforward was constantly residing in Ireland. Pope Alexander III. was extremely gratified with this extension of his dominion, and in September, 1172, in the same tone of sanctimonious arrogance) issued a brief confirming the bull of Adrian, and expressing a hope that "the barbarous nation" would attain under the government of Henry "to some decency of manners;" he also wrote three epistles—one to Henry II., one to the kings and nobles of Ireland, and one to its hierarchy—enjoining obedience of Ireland to England, and of both to the see of St. Peter.72

§ 17. The Conversion of Scotland. St. Ninian and St. Kentigern.

See the works of Skene (the second vol.), Reeves, McLauchan, Ebrard, Cunningham, mentioned in § 7.

Also Dr. Reeves: The Culdees of the British Islands as they appear in History, 1864.

Dr. Jos. Robertson: Statuta Ecclesiae Scoticanae, 1866, 2 vols.

Bishop Forbes: The Kalendars of Scottish Saints, Edinb., 1872; Lives of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern, compiled in the 12th century, Edinb., 1874.

Haddan & Stubbs: Councils and Ecclesiast. Docum., Vol. II, Part I. (Oxf., 1873), pp. 103 sqq.

Scotland (Scotia) before the tenth century was comprised in the general appellation of Britain (Britannia), as distinct from Ireland (Hibernia). It was known to the Romans as Caledonia,73 to the Kelts as Alban; but the name of Scotia was exclusively appropriated to Ireland till the tenth century. The independent history of Scotland begins with the establishment of the Scottish monarchy in the ninth century. At first it was a purely Keltic kingdom; but in the course of time the Saxon race and feudal institutions spread over the country, and the Keltic tribes retreated to the mountains and western islands. The names of Scot and Scotch passed over to the English-speaking people and their language; while the Keltic language, formerly known as Scotch, became known as Irish.

The Keltic history of Scotland is full of fable, and a battlefield of Romanists and Protestants, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, who have claimed it for their respective systems of doctrine and church-polity. It must be disentangled from the sectarian issues of the Culdean controversy. The historian is neither a polemic nor an apologist, and should aim at nothing but the truth.

Tertullian says, that certain places in Britain which the Romans could not conquer were made subject to Christ. It is quite likely that the first knowledge of Christianity reached the Scots and Picts from England; but the constant wars between them and the Britons and the decline of the Roman power were unfavorable to any mission work.

The mission of Palladius to Scotland by Pope Caelestius is as vague and uncertain as his mission to Ireland by the same Pope, and is strongly mixed up with the mission of Patrick. An Irish colony from the North-Eastern part of Ulster, which had been Christianized by Patrick, settled in Scotland towards the close of the fifth century, and continued to spread along the coasts of Argyle and as far as the islands of Mull and Iona, until its progress was checked by the Northern Picts.

The first distinct fact in the church history of Scotland is the apostolate of St. Ninian at the close of the fourth century, during the reign of Theodosius in the East. We have little reliable information of him. The son of a British king, he devoted himself early to the ministry of Christ. He spent some time in Rome, where the Pope commissioned him to the apostolate among the heathen in Caledonia, and in Gaul with Bishop Martin of Tours, who deserves special praise for his protest against the capital punishment of heretics in the case of the Priscillianists. He began the evangelization of the Southern Picts in the Eastern districts of modern Scotland. He built a white stone church called "Candida Casa," at Whittern (Quhithern, Witerna) in Galloway, on the South-Westem border of Scotland by the sea side, and dedicated it to the memory of St. Martin, who had died in that year (397).74 This was the beginning of "the Great Monastery" ("Magnum Monasterium") or monastery of Rosnat, which exerted a civilizing and humanizing influence on the surrounding country, and annually attracted pilgrims from England and Scotland to the shrine of St. Ninian. His life has been romanized and embellished with legends. He made a newborn infant indicate its true father, and vindicate the innocence of a presbyter who had been charged by the mother with the crime of violation; he caused leeks and herbs to grow in the garden before their season; he subdued with his staff the winds and the waves of the sea; and even his relics cured the sick, cleansed the lepers, and terrified the wicked, "by all which things," says Ailred, his biographer, "the faith of believers is confirmed to the praise and glory of Christ."

St. Kentigern (d. Nov. 13, 603), also called St. Mungo (the gracious one),75 the first bishop of Glasgow, labored in the sixth century for the conversion of the people in Cumberland, Wales, and on the Clyde, and re-converted the Picts, who had apostatized from the faith. He was the grandson of a heathen king in Cumbria or Strathclyde, the son of a Christian, though unbaptized mother. He founded a college of Culdees or secular monks, and several churches. He wore a hair shirt and garment of goat-skin, lived on bread and vegetables, slept on a rocky couch and a stony pillow, like Jacob, rose in the night to sing psalms, recited in the morning the whole psalter in a cold stream, retired to desert places during Lent, living on roots, was con-crucified with Christ on Good Friday, watched before the tomb, and spent Easter in hilarity and joy. He converted more by his silence than his speech, caused a wolf and a stag to drag the plough, raised grain from a field sown with sand, kept the rain from wetting his garments, and performed other marvels which prove the faith or superstition of his biographers in the twelfth century. Jocelyn relates also, that Kentigern went seven times to Rome, and received sundry privileges and copies of the Bible from the Pope. There is, however, no trace of such visits in the works of Gregory I., who was more interested in the Saxon mission than the Scotch. Kentigern first established his episcopal chair in Holdelm (now Hoddam), afterwards in Glasghu (Glasgow). He met St. Columba, and exchanged with him his pastoral stave.76 He attained to the age of one hundred and eighty-five years, and died between a.d. 601 and 612 (probably 603).77 He is buried in the crypt of the cathedral of St. Mungo in Glasgow, the best preserved of mediaeval cathedrals in Scotland.

St. Cuthbert (d. March 20, 687), whose life has been written by Bede, prior of the famous monastery of Mailros (Melrose), afterwards bishop of Lindisfarne, and last a hermit, is another legendary saint of Scotland, and a number of churches are traced to him or bear his name.78

§ 18. St. Columba and the Monastery of Iona.

John Jamieson (D. D.): An Historical Account of the Ancient Culdees of Iona, and of their Settlements in Scotland, England, and Ireland. Edinb., 1811 (p. 417).

Montalembert: La Moines d' Occident, Vol. III., pp. 99–332 (Paris, 1868).

The Duke of Argyll: Iona. Second ed., London, 1871 (149 p

*Adamnan: Life of St. Columba, Founder of Hy, ed. by William Reeves (Canon of Armagh), Edinburgh, 1874. (Originally printed for the Irish Archaeolog. Society and for the Bannatyne Club, Dublin, 1856).

Skene: Celtic Scotland, II. 52 sqq. (Edinb., 1877). Comp. the Lit. in § 7.

Saint Columba or Columbcille, (died June 9, 597) is the real apostle of Scotland. He is better known to us than Ninian and Kentigern. The account of Adamnan (624–704), the ninth abbot of Hy, was written a century after Columba's death from authentic records and oral traditions, although it is a panegyric rather than a history. Later biographers have romanized him like St. Patrick. He was descended from one of the reigning families of Ireland and British Dalriada, and was born at, Gartan in the county of Donegal about a.d. 521. He received in baptism the symbolical name Colum, or in Latin Columba (Dove, as the symbol of the Holy Ghost), to which was afterwards added cille (or kill, i.e. "of the church," or "the dove of the cells," on account of his frequent attendance at public worship, or, more probably, for his being the founder of many churches.79 He entered the monastic seminary of Clonard, founded by St. Finnian, and afterwards another monastery near Dublin, and was ordained a priest. He planted the church at Derry in 545, the monastery of Darrow in 553, and other churches. He seems to have fondly clung all his life to his native Ireland, and to the convent of Derry. In one of his elegies, which were probably retouched by the patriotism of some later Irish bard, he sings:

"Were all the tributes of Scotia [i.e. Ireland] mine,

From its midland to its borders,

I would give all for one little cell

In my beautiful Derry.

For its peace and for its purity,

For the white angels that go

In crowds from one end to the other,

I love my beautiful Derry.

For its quietness and purity,

For heaven's angels that come and go

Under every leaf of the oaks,

I love my beautiful Derry.

My Derry, my fair oak grove,

My dear little cell and dwelling,

O God, in the heavens above I

Let him who profanes it be cursed.

Beloved are Durrow and Derry,

Beloved is Raphoe the pure,

Beloved the fertile Drumhome,

Beloved are Sords and Kells!

But sweeter and fairer to me

The salt sea where the sea-gulls cry

When I come to Derry from far,

It is sweeter and dearer to me —

Sweeter to me."80

In 563, the forty-second year of his age, Columba prompted by a passion for travelling and a zeal for the spread of Christianity,81 sailed with twelve fellow-apostles to the West of Scotland, possibly on invitation of the provincial king, to whom he was related by blood. He was presented with the island of Hy, commonly called Iona,82 near the Western coast of Scotland about fifty miles West from Oban. It is an inhospitable island, three miles and a half long and a mile and a half broad, partly cultivated, partly covered with hill pasture, retired dells, morass and rocks, now in possession of the Duke of Argyll, numbering about three hundred Protestant inhabitants, an Established Presbyterian Church, and a Free Church. The neighboring island of Staffa, though smaller and uninhabited, is more interesting to the ordinary tourist, and its Fingal's Cave is one of the most wonderful specimens of the architectural skill of nature; it looks like a Gothic cathedral, 66 feet high, 42 feet broad, and 227 feet long, consisting of majestic basalt columns, an arched roof, and an open portal towards the ocean, which dashes in and out in a constant succession of waves, sounding solemn anthems in this unique temple of nature. Columba and his fellow-monks must have passed it on their missionary wanderings; but they were too much taken up with heaven to look upon the wonders of the earth, and the cave remained comparatively unknown to the world till 1772. Those islands wore the same aspect in the sixth century as now, with the exception of the woods, which have disappeared. Walter Scott (in the "Lord of the Isles") has thrown the charm of his poetry over the Hebridean archipelago, from which proceeded the Christianization of Scotland.83

By the labors of Columba and his successors, Iona has become one of the most venerable and interesting spots in the history of Christian missions. It was a light-house in the darkness of heathenism. We can form no adequate conception of the self-denying zeal of those heroic missionaries of the extreme North, who, in a forbidding climate and exposed to robbers and wild beasts, devoted their lives to the conversion of savages. Columba and his friends left no monuments of stone and wood; nothing is shown but the spot on the South of the island where he landed, and the empty stone coffin where his body was laid together with that of his servant; his bones were removed afterwards to Dunkeld. The old convent was destroyed and the monks were killed by the wild Danes and Norsemen in the tenth century. The remaining ruins of Iona—a cathedral, a chapel, a nunnery, a graveyard with the tombstones of a number of Scottish and Norwegian and Irish kings, and three remarkable carved crosses, which were left of three hundred and sixty that (according to a vague tradition) were thrown into the sea by the iconoclastic zeal of the Reformation—are all of the Roman Catholic period which succeeded the original Keltic Christianity, and which lived on its fame. During the middle ages Iona was a sort of Jerusalem of the North, where pilgrims loved to worship, and kings and noblemen desired to be buried. When the celebrated Dr. Johnson, in his Tour to the Hebrides, approached Iona, he felt his piety grow warmer. No friend of missions can visit that lonely spot, shrouded in almost perpetual fog, without catching new inspiration and hope for the ultimate triumph of the gospel over all obstacles.84

The arrival of Columba at Iona was the beginning of the Keltic church in Scotland. The island was at that time on the confines of the Pictic and Scotic jurisdiction, and formed a convenient base for missionary labors among the Scots, who were already Christian in name, but needed confirmation, and among the Picts, who were still pagan, and had their name from painting their bodies and fighting naked. Columba directed his zeal first to the Picts; he visited King Brude in his fortress, and won his esteem and co-operation in planting Christianity among his people. "He converted them by example as well as by word" (Bede). He founded a large number of churches and monasteries in Ireland and Scotland directly or through his disciples.85 He was involved in the wars so frequent in those days, when even women were required to aid in battle, and he availed himself of military force for the overthrow of paganism. He used excommunication very freely, and once pursued a plunderer with maledictions into the sea until the water reached to his knees. But these rough usages did not interfere with the veneration for his name. He was only a fair type of his countrymen. "He had," says Montalembert, "the vagabond inclination, the ardent, agitated, even quarrelsome character of the race." He had the "perfervidum ingenium Scotorum." He was manly, tall and handsome, incessantly active, and had a sonorous and far-reaching voice, rolling forth the Psalms of David, every syllable distinctly uttered. He could discern the signs of the weather. Adamnan ascribes to him an angelic countenance, a prophetic fore-knowledge and miracles as great as those performed by Christ, such as changing water into wine for the celebration of the eucharist, when no wine could be obtained, changing bitter fruit into sweet, drawing water from a rock, calming the storm at sea, and curing many diseases. His biography instead of giving solid facts, teems with fabulous legends, which are told with childlike credulity. O'Donnell's biography goes still further. Even the pastoral staff of Columba, left accidentally upon the shore of Iona, was transported across the sea by his prayers to meet its disconsolate owner when he landed somewhere in Ireland.86

Columba died beside the altar in the church while engaged in his midnight devotions. Several poems are ascribed to him—one in praise of the natural beauties of his chosen island, and a monastic rule similar to that of St. Benedict; but the "regula ac praecepta" of Columba, of which Wilfrid spoke at the synod of Whitby, probably mean discipline or observance rather than a written rule.87

The church establishment of Columba at Iona belongs to the second or monastic period of the Irish church, of which it formed an integral part. It consisted of one hundred and fifty persons under the monastic rule. At the head of it stood a presbyter-abbot, who ruled over the whole province, and even the bishops, although the episcopal function of ordination was recognized.88 The monks were a family of brethren living in common. They were divided into three classes: the seniors, who attended to the religious services, instruction, and the transcribing of the Scriptures; the middle-aged, who were the working brethren, devoted to agriculture, the tending of the cattle, and domestic labor; and the youth, who were alumni under instruction. The dress consisted of a white tunica or under garment, and a camilla or outer garment and hood made of wool. Their food was bread, milk, eggs, fish, and on Sundays and festivals mutton or beef. The doctrinal views and ecclesiastical customs as to the observance of Easter and the tonsure were the same as among the Britons and the Irish in distinction from the Roman system introduced by Augustin among the Saxons.89

The monastery of Iona, says Bede, held for a long time the pre-eminence over the monasteries and churches of the Picts and Northern Scots. Columba's successors, he adds, were distinguished for their continency, their love of God, and strict attention to their rules of discipline, although they followed "uncertain cycles in their computation of the great festival (Easter), because they were so far away from the rest of the world, and had none to supply them with the synodical decrees on the paschal observance; wherefore they only practised such works of piety and chastity as they could learn from the prophetical, evangelical, and apostolical writings. This manner of keeping Easter continued among them for a hundred and fifty years, till the year of our Lord's incarnation 715."90

Adamnan (d. 704), the ninth successor of Columba, in consequence of a visit to the Saxons, conformed his observance of Easter to the Roman Church; but his brethren refused to follow him in this change. After his death, the community of Iona became divided on the Easter question, until the Columban monks, who adhered to the old custom, were by royal command expelled (715). With this expulsion terminates the primacy of Iona in the kingdom of the Picts.

The monastic church was broken up or subordinated to the hierarchy of the secular clergy.

§ 19. The Culdees.

After the expulsion of the Columban monks from the kingdom of the Picts in the eighth century, the term Culdee or Ceile De, or Kaledei, first appears in history, and has given rise to much controversy and untenable theories.91 It is of doubtful origin, but probably means servants or worshippers of God.92 it was applied to anchorites, who, in entire seclusion from society, sought the perfection of sanctity. They succeeded the Columban monks. They afterwards associated themselves into communities of hermits, and were finally brought under canonical rule along with the secular clergy, until at length the name of Culdee became almost synonymous with that of secular canon.

The term Culdee has been improperly applied to the whole Keltic church, and a superior purity has been claimed for it.

There is no doubt that the Columban or the Keltic church of Scotland, as well as the early Irish and the early British churches, differed in many points from the mediaeval and modern church of Rome, and represent a simpler and yet a very active missionary type of Christianity.

The leading peculiarities of the ancient Keltic church, as distinct from the Roman, are:

1. Independence of the Pope. Iona was its Rome, and the Abbot of Iona, and afterwards of Dunkeld, though a mere Presbyter, ruled all Scotland.

2. Monasticism ruling supreme, but mixed with secular life, and not bound by vows of celibacy; while in the Roman church the monastic system was subordinated to the hierarchy of the secular clergy.

3. Bishops without dioceses and jurisdiction and succession.

4. Celebration of the time of Easter.

5. Form of the tonsure.

It has also been asserted, that the Kelts or Culdees were opposed to auricular confession, the worship of saints, and images, purgatory, transubstantiation, the seven sacraments, and that for this reason they were the forerunners of Protestantism.

But this inference is not warranted. Ignorance is one thing, and rejection of an error from superior knowledge is quite another thing. The difference is one of form rather than of spirit. Owing to its distance and isolation from the Continent, the Keltic church, while superior to the churches in Gaul and Italy—at least during the sixth and seventh centuries—in missionary zeal and success, was left behind them in other things, and adhered to a previous stage of development in truth and error. But the general character and tendency of both during that period were essentially different from the genius of Protestant Christianity. We find among the Kelts the same or even greater love for monasticism and asceticism the same superstitious belief in incredible miracles, the same veneration for relics (as the bones of Columba and Aidan, which for centuries were carried from place to place), the same scrupulous and narrow zeal for outward forms and ceremonies (as the observance of the mere time of Easter, and the mode of monastic tonsure), with the only difference that the Keltic church adhered to an older and more defective calendar, and to the semi-circular instead of the circular tonsure. There is not the least evidence that the Keltic church had a higher conception of Christian freedom, or of any positive distinctive principle of Protestantism, such as the absolute supremacy of the Bible in opposition to tradition, or justification by faith without works, or the universal priesthood of all believers.93

Considering, then, that the peculiarities of the Keltic church arose simply from its isolation of the main current of Christian history, the ultimate triumph of Rome, with all its incidental evils, was upon the whole a progress in the onward direction. Moreover, the Culdees degenerated into a state of indolence and stagnation during the darkness of the ninth and tenth centuries, and the Danish invasion, with its devastating and disorganizing influences. We still find them in the eleventh century, and frequently at war with the Roman clergy about landed property, tithes and other matters of self-interest, but not on matters of doctrine, or Christian life. The old Culdee convents of St. Andrews Dunkeld, Dunblane and Brechin were turned into the bishop's chapter with the right of electing the bishop. Married Culdees were gradually supplanted by Canons-Regular. They lingered longest in Brechin, but disappeared in the thirteenth century. The decline of the Culdees was the opportunity of Rome. The Saxon priests and monks, connected with the more civilized countries, were very active and aggressive, building cathedrals, monasteries, hospitals, and getting possession of the land.

§ 20. Extinction of the Keltic Church, and Triumph of Rome under King David I.

The turning-point in the history of the Scotch church is the reign of the devout Saxon queen St. Margaret, one of the best queens of Scotland (1070–1093). She exerted unbounded influence over her illiterate husband, Malcolm III., and her sons. She was very benevolent, self-denying, well versed in the Scriptures, zealous in reforming abuses, and given to excessive fasting, which undermined her constitution and hastened her death. "ln St. Margaret we have an embodiment of the spirit of her age. What ostentatious humility, what almsgiving, what prayers! What piety, had it only been freed from the taint of superstition! The Culdees were listless and lazy, while she was unwearied in doing good. The Culdees met her in disputation, but, being ignorant, they were foiled. Death could not contend with life. The Indian disappears before the advance of the white man. The Keltic Culdee disappeared before the footsteps of the Saxon priest."94

The change was effected by the same policy as that of the Norman kings towards Ireland. The church was placed upon a territorial in the place of a tribal basis, and a parochial system and a diocesan episcopacy was substituted for the old tribal churches with their monastic jurisdiction and functional episcopacy. Moreover the great religious orders of the Roman Church were introduced and founded great monasteries as centres of counter-influence. And lastly, the Culdees were converted from secular into regular Canons and thus absorbed into the Roman system. When Turgot was appointed bishop of St. Andrews, a.d. 1107 "the whole rights of the Keledei over the whole kingdom of Scotland passed to the bishopric of St. Andrews."

From the time of Queen Margaret a stream of Saxons and Normans poured into Scotland, not as conquerors but as settlers, and acquired rapidly, sometimes by royal grant, sometimes by marriage, the most fertile districts from the Tweed to the Pentland Firth. From these settlers almost every noble family of Scotland traces its descent. They brought with them English civilization and religion.

The sons and successors of Margaret enriched the church by magnificent endowments. Alexander I. founded the bishoprics of Moray and Dunkeld. His younger brother, David I., the sixth son of Malcolm III., who married Maud, a grand-niece of William the Conqueror (1110) and ruled Scotland from 1124 to 1153, founded the bishoprics of Ross, Aberdeen, Caithness, and Brechin, and several monasteries and religious houses. The nobility followed his example of liberality to the church and the hierarchy so that in the course of a few centuries one half of the national wealth passed into the hands of the clergy, who were at the same time in possession of all the learning.

In the latter part of David's reign an active crusade commenced against the Culdee establishments from St. Andrews to Iona, until the very name gradually disappeared; the last mention being of the year 1332, when the usual formula of their exclusion in the election of a bishop was repeated.

Thus the old Keltic Church came to an end, leaving no vestiges behind it, save here and there the roofless walls of what had been a church, and the numerous old burying-grounds to the use of which the people still cling with tenacity, and where occasionally an ancient Keltic cross tells of its former state. All else has disappeared; and the only records we have of their history are the names of the saints by whom they were founded preserved in old calendars, the fountains near the old churches bearing their name, the village fairs of immemorial antiquity held on their day, and here and there a few lay families holding a small portion of land, as hereditary custodiers of the pastoral staff, or other relic of the reputed founder of the church, with some small remains of its jurisdiction."95


General Literature.

I. Germany Before Christianity.

Tacitus: Germania (cap. 2, 9, 11, 27, 39–45); Annal. (XIII. 57); Hist. IV. 64).

Jac. Grimm: Deutsche, Mythologie. Göttingen, 2nd ed. 1854, 2 vols.

A. F. Ozanam: Les Germains avant le christianisme. Par. 1847.

K. Simrock. Deutsche Mythologie. Bonn, 2nd ed. 1864.

A. Planck: Die Götter und der Gottesglaube der Deutschen. In "Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol.," 1866, No. 1.

II. The Christianization Of Germany.

F. W. Rettberg: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands. Göttingen, 1846–48. 2 vols.

C. J. Hefele (R.C.): Geschichte der Einführung des Christenthums im südwestl. Deutschland. Tübingen 1837.

H. Rückert: Culturgeschichte des deutschen Volkes in der Zeit des Uebergangs aus dem Heidenthum. Leipz. 1853, 2 Vols.

W. Krafft: Kirchengeschichte der German. Völker. Berlin 1854. (first vol.)

Hiemer (R.C.): Einführung des Christenthums in Deutschen Landen. Schaffhausen 1857 sqq. 4 vols.

Count de Montalembert (R.C.): The Monks of the West from St. Benedict to St. Bernard. Edinb. and Lond. 1861 sqq. 7 vols.

I. Friedrich (R.C., Since 1870 Old Cath.): Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands. Regensb. 1866, 1869, 2 vols.

Charles Merivale: Conversion of the West. The Continental Teutons. London 1878. (Popular).

G. Körber: Die Ausbreitung des Christenthums im südlichen Baden. Heidelb. 1878.

R. Cruel: Geschichte der deutschen Predigt im Mittelalter. Detmold 1879. (Chs. I. and II.)

§ 21. Arian Christianity among the Goths and other German Tribes.

I. Editions of the remains of the Gothic Bible Version of Wulfila: by H. C. von der Gabelenz and J. Loebe, Leipz. 1836–46; Massmann, 1855–57; E. Bernhardt, 1875 (with the Greek text and notes); and Stamm, 7th ed. 1878, and in fac-simile by Uppström, 1854–1868. See also Ulphilae Opera, and Schaff, Compan. to Gr. Test., p. 150.

Ulphilae Opera (Versio Bibliorum Gothica), in Migne's Patrolog., Tom. XVIII. pp. 462–1559 (with a Gothic glossary).

II. G. Waitz: Ueber das Leben und die Lehre des Ulfila. Hanover 1840.

W. Bessel: Das Leben des Ulfilas und die Bekehrung der Gothen zum Christenthum. Götting. 1860.

W. Krafft: l.c. I. 213–326; and De Fontibus Ulfilae Arianismi. 1860.

A. Helfferich: Der west-gothische Arianismus und die spanische Ketzergeschichte. Berlin 1860.

We now proceed to the conversion of the Continental Teutons, especially those of France and Germany.

The first wholesale conversions of the Germanic or Teutonic race to the Christian religion took place among the Goths in the time when Arianism was at the height of power in the East Roman empire. The chief agents were clerical and other captives of war whom the Goths in their raids carried with them from the provinces of the Roman empire and whom they learned to admire and love for their virtue and supposed miraculous power. Constantine the Great entered into friendly relations with them, and is reported by Eusebius and Socrates to have subjected them to the cross of Christ. It is certain that some ecclesiastical organization was effected at that time. Theophilus, a bishop of the Goths, is mentioned among the fathers of the Council of Nicaea, 325.

The real apostle of the Goths is Ulifilas,96 who was consecrated bishop in 348 at Constantinople, and died there in 381, aged seventy years. He invented the Gothic alphabet, and translated the Bible into Gothic, but was an Arian, or rather a semi-Arian, who regarded Christ as a secondary God and the Holy Spirit merely as a sanctifying power.97

Arianism spread with great rapidity among the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, and Vandals. This heretical form of Christianity, however, was more a matter of accident than preference and conviction among the Germans, and soon gave way to orthodoxy when they became acquainted with it. When Alaric, the famous king of the Visigoths, captured Rome (410), he treated the city with marked leniency, which Augustin justly traced to the influence of the Christian faith even in heretical form. The Vandals, the rudest among the Teutonic tribes, made an exception; they fiercely persecuted the orthodox Christians in North Africa (since 430) and desolated this once flourishing field of the Catholic Church, the scene of the immortal labors of St. Augustin. Their kingdom was destroyed under Justinian (534), but the Catholic Church never rose from its ruins, and the weak remnant was conquered by the sword of Islâm (670).

Chrysostom made a noble effort to convert the Eastern Goths from Arianism to Catholicity, but his mission ceased after his death (407).

The conversion of the Franks to Catholic christianity and various political circumstances led to the abandonment of Arianism among the other Germanic tribes. The Burgundians who spread from the Rhine to the Rhone and Saone, embraced Catholic Christianity in 517, and were incorporated into the French kingdom in 534. The Suevi who spread from Eastern Germany into France and Spain, embraced the Catholic faith in 550. The Visigoths in Spain, through their king, Reccared the Catholic, subscribed an orthodox creed at the third Council of Toledo, a.d. 589, but the last of the Gothic kings, Roderic, was conquered by the Saracens, breaking into Spain from Africa, in the bloody battle of Xeres de la Frontera, a.d. 711.

The last stronghold of Arianism were the Longobards or Lombards, who conquered Northern Italy (still called Lombardy) and at first persecuted the Catholics. They were converted to the orthodox faith by the wise influence of Pope Gregory I. (590616), and the Catholic queen Theodelinde (d. 625) whose husband Agilulf (590–616) remained Arian, but allowed his son Adelwald to be baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church. An Arian reaction followed, but Catholicism triumphed under Grimoald (662–671), and Liutprand (773–774). Towards the close of the eighth century, Pepin and Charlemagne, in the interest of France and the papacy, destroyed the independence of the Lombards after a duration of about two hundred years, and transferred the greater part of Italy to the Eastern empire and to the Pope. In these struggles the Popes, being then (as they have been ever since) opposed from hierarchical interest to the political unity of Italy, aided the Franks and reaped the benefit.

§ 22. Conversion of Clovis and the Franks.

Gregorius Turonensis (d. 595): Historia Francorum Eccles. (till A..D. 591).

J. W. Löbell: Gregor von Tours und seine Zeit, Leipz. 1839.

A. Thierry: Recits des temps Merovingiens. Par. 1842, 2 vols.

F. W. Rettberg: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands. Gött. 1846, I. 258–278.

Kornhack: Geschichte der Franken unter den Merovingern. Greifsw. 1863.

Montalembert, l.c. II. 219 sqq.

Comp. also Henri Martin: Histoire de France; Sir James Stephen: Lectures on the History of France (Lond. 1859); Guizot: Histoire de la civilization en France (1830 sqq.), and his Histoire de France, 1870.

The Salian Franks were the first among the Teutonic tribes which were converted to catholic or orthodox Christianity. Hence the sovereign of France is styled by the Popes "the oldest son of the church," and Rheims, where Clovis was baptized, is the holy city where most of the French kings down to Charles X. (1824) were consecrated.98 The conversion of the Franks prepared the way for the downfall of the Arian heresy among the other Germanic nations, and for the triumph of the papacy in the German empire under Charlemagne.

The old Roman civilization of Gaul, though nominally Christian, was in the last stage of consumption when the German barbarians invaded the soil and introduced fresh blood. Several savage tribes, even the Huns, passed through Gaul like a tempest, leaving desolation behind them, but the Franks settled there and changed Gaul into France, as the Anglo-Saxons changed Britain into England. They conquered the Gallo-Romans, cruelly spoiled and almost exterminated them in the North-Eastern districts. Before they accepted the Christianity of the conquered race, they learned their vices. "The greatest evil of barbarian government," says Henri Martin,99 "was perhaps the influence of the greedy and corrupt Romans who insinuated themselves into the confidence of their new masters." To these degenerate Christians Montalembert traces the arts of oppression and the refinements of debauchery and perfidy which the heathen Germans added to their native brutality. "The barbarians derived no advantage from their contact with the Roman world, depraved as it was under the empire. They brought with them manly virtues of which the conquered race had lost even the recollection; but they borrowed, at the same time, abject and contagious vices, of which the Germanic world had no conception. They found Christianity there; but before they yielded to its beneficent influence, they had time to plunge into all the baseness and debauchery, of a civilization corrupted long before it was vanquished. The patriarchal system of government which characterized the ancient Germans, in their relations with their children and slaves as well as with their chiefs, fell into ruin in contact with that contagious depravity."100

The conversion of the Salian Franks took place under the lead of their victorious king Chlodwig or Clovis (Ludovicus, Louis), the son of Childeric and grandson of Merovig (hence the name of Merovingians). He ruled from the year 481 to his death in 511. With him begins the history not only of the French empire, its government and laws, but also of the French nation, its religion and moral habits. He married a Christian princess, Chlotilda, a daughter of the king of the Burgundians (493), and allowed his child to be baptized. Before the critical battle at Tolbiac101 near Cologne against the invasion of the Allemanni, he prayed to Jesus Christ for aid after having first called upon his own gods, and promised, in case of victory, to submit to baptism together with his warriors. After the victory he was instructed by Bishop Remigius of Rheims. When he heard the story of the crucifixion of Christ, he exclaimed: "Would I had been there with my valiant Franks to avenge him!" On Christmas, in the year 496, he descended before the cathedral of Rheims into the baptismal basin, and three thousand of his warriors followed him as into the joys of paradise. "When they arose from the waters, as Christian disciples, one might have seen fourteen centuries of empire rising with them; the whole array of chivalry, the long series of the crusades, the deep philosophy of the schools, in one word all the heroism, all the liberty, all the learning of the later ages. A great nation was commencing its career in the world—that nation was the Franks."102

But the change of religion had little or no effect on the character of Clovis and his descendants, whose history is tarnished with atrocious crimes. The Merovingians, half tigers, half lambs, passed with astonishing rapidity from horrible massacres to passionate demonstrations of contrition, and from the confessional back again to the excesses of their native cruelty. The crimes of Clovis are honestly told by such saintly biographers as Gregory of Tours and Hincmar, who feel no need of any excuse for him in view of his services to religion. St. Remigius even advised the war of conquest against the Visigoths, because they were Arians.

"The Franks," says a distinguished Catholic Frenchman,103 "were sad Christians. While they respected the freedom of the Catholic faith, and made external profession of it, they violated without scruple all its precepts, and at the same time the simplest laws of humanity. After having prostrated themselves before the tomb of some holy martyr or confessor; after having distinguished themselves by the choice of an irreproachable bishop; after having listened respectfully to the voice of a pontiff or monk, we see them, sometimes in outbreaks of fury, sometimes by cold-blooded cruelties, give full course to the evil instincts of their savage nature. Their incredible perversity was most apparent in the domestic tragedies, the fratricidal executions and assassinations, of which Clovis gave the first example, and which marked the history of his son and grandson with an ineffaceable stain. Polygamy and perjury mingled in their daily life with a semi-pagan superstition, and in reading these bloody biographies, scarcely lightened by some transient gleams of faith or humility, it is difficult to believe that, in embracing Christianity, they gave up a single pagan vice or adopted a single Christian virtue.

"It was against this barbarity of the soul, far more alarming than grossness and violence of manners, that the Church triumphantly struggled. From the midst of these frightful disorders, of this double current of corruption and ferocity, the pure and resplendent light of Christian sanctity was about to rise. But the secular clergy, itself tainted by the general demoralization of the two races, was not sufficient for this task. They needed the powerful and soon preponderating assistance of the monastic Army. It did not fail: the church and France owe to it the decisive victory of Christian civilization over a race much more difficult to subdue than the degenerate subjects of Rome or Byzantium. While the Franks, coming from the North, completed the subjugation of Gaul, the Benedictines were about to approach from the South, and super-impose a pacific and beneficent dominion upon the Germanic barbarian conquest. The junction and union of these forces, so unequal in their civilizing power, were destined to exercise a sovereign influence over the future of our country."

Among these Benedictine monks, St. Maurus occupies the most prominent place. He left Monte Casino before the death of St. Benedict (about 540), with four companions, crossed the Alps, founded Glanfeuil on the Loire, the first Benedictine monastery in France, and gave his name to that noble band of scholars who, more than a thousand years after, enriched the church with the best editions of the fathers and other works of sacred learning.104 He had an interview with King Theodebert (the grandson of Clovis), was treated with great reverence and received from him a large donation of crown lands. Monastic establishments soon multiplied and contributed greatly to the civilization of France.105

§ 23. Columbanus and the Irish Missionaries on the Continent.

I. Sources.

The works of Columbanus in Patrick Fleming's Collectanea sacra (Lovanii, 1667), and in Migne: Patrolog., Tom. 87, pp. 1013–1055. His life by Jonas in the Acta Sanct. Ord. Bened., Tom. II., Sec. II., 2–26. (Also in Fleming's Coll.)

II. Works.

Lanigan (R. K.): Eccles. Hist. of Ireland (1829), II. 263 sqq.

Montalembert: Monks of the West, II. 397 sqq.

Ph. Heber: Die vorkarolingischen Glaubenshelden am Rhein, 1867.

Lütolf (R.C.): Die Glaubensboten der Schweiz vor St. Gallus. Luzern, 1871.

Ebrard: Die iroschottische Missionskirche (1873), pp. 25–31; 284–340.

Killen: Ecclesiast. Hist. of Ireland (1875), I. 41 sqq.

W. Smith and H. Wace: Dict. Christ. Biography (1877), I. 605–607.

G. Hertel: Ueber des heil. Columba Leben und Wirken, besonders seine Klosterregel. In the "Zeitschrift für Hist. Theol.," 1875, p. 396; and another article in Brieger's "Zeitschrift für Kirchengesch.," 1879, p. 145.

While the Latin Benedictine monks worked their way up from the South towards the heart of France, Keltic missionaries carried their independent Christianity from the West to the North of France, the banks of the Rhine, Switzerland and Lombardy; but they were counteracted by Roman missionaries, who at last secured the control over France and Germany as well as over the British Isles.

St. Columbanus106 is the pioneer of the Irish missionaries to the Continent. His life has been written with great minuteness by Jonas, a monk of his monastery at Bobbio. He was born in Leinster, a.d. 543, in which year St. Benedict, his celebrated monastic predecessor, died at Monte Casino, and was trained in the monastery of Bangor, on the coast of Down, under the direction of St. Comgall. Filled with missionary zeal, he left his native land with twelve companions, and crossed over the sea to Gaul in 590,107 or in 585,108 several years before Augustin landed in England. He found the country desolated by war; Christian virtue and discipline were almost extinct. He travelled for several years, preaching and giving an example of humility and charity. He lived for whole weeks without other food than herbs and wild berries. He liked best the solitude of the woods and eaves, where even the animals obeyed his voice and received his caresses. In Burgundy he was kindly received by King Gontran, one of the grandsons of Clovis; refused the offer of wealth, and chose a quiet retreat in the Vosges mountains, first in a ruined Roman fort at Annegray, and afterwards at Luxeuil (Luxovium). Here he established a celebrated monastery on the confines of Burgundy and Austrasia. A similar institution he founded at Fontaines. Several hundred disciples gathered around him. Luxeuil became the monastic capital of Gaul, a nursery of bishops and saints, and the mother of similar institutions.

Columbanus drew up a monastic rule, which in all essential points resembles the more famous rule of St. Benedict, but is shorter and more severe. It divides the time of the monks between ascetic exercises and useful agricultural labor, and enjoins absolute obedience on severe penalties. It was afterwards superseded by the Benedictine rule, which had the advantage of the papal sanction and patronage.109

The life of Columbanus in France was embittered and his authority weakened by his controversy with the French clergy and the court of Burgundy. He adhered tenaciously to the Irish usage of computing Easter, the Irish tonsure and costume. Besides, his extreme severity of life was a standing rebuke of the worldly priesthood and dissolute court. He was summoned before a synod in 602 or 603, and defended himself in a letter with great freedom and eloquence, and with a singular mixture of humility and pride. He calls himself (like St. Patrick) "Columbanus, a sinner," but speaks with an air of authority. He pleads that he is not the originator of those ritual differences, that he came to France, a poor stranger, for the cause of Christ, and asks nothing but to be permitted to live in silence in the depth of the forests near the bones of his seventeen brethren, whom he had already seen die. "Ah! let us live with you in this Gaul, where we now are, since we are destined to live with each other in heaven, if we are found worthy to enter there." The letter is mixed with rebukes of the bishops, calculations of Easter and an array of Scripture quotations. At the same time he wrote several letters to Pope Gregory I., one of which only is preserved in the writings of Columbanus. There is no record of the action of the Synod on this controversy, nor of any answer of the Pope.

The conflict with the court of Burgundy is highly honorable to Columbanus, and resulted in his banishment. He reproved by word and writing the tyranny of queen Brunehild (or Brunehauld) and the profligacy of her grandson Theodoric (or Thierry II.); he refused to bless his illegitimate children and even threatened to excommunicate the young king. He could not be silenced by flattery and gifts, and was first sent as a prisoner to Besançon, and then expelled from the kingdom in 610.110

But this persecution extended his usefulness. We find him next, with his Irish friends who accompanied him, on the lake of Zurich, then in Bregenz (Bregentium) on the lake of Constance, planting the seeds of Christianity in those charming regions of German Switzerland. His preaching was accompanied by burning the heathen idols. Leaving his disciple St. Gall at Bregenz, he crossed the Alps to Lombardy, and founded a famous monastery at Bobbio. He manfully fought there the Arian heresy, but in a letter to Boniface IV. he defended the cause of Nestorius, as condemned by the Fifth General Council of 553, and called upon the Pope to vindicate the church of Rome against the charge of heresy. He speaks very boldly to the Pope, but acknowledges Rome to be "the head of the churches of the whole world, excepting only the singular prerogative of the place of the Lord's resurrection" (Jerusalem).111 He died in Bobbio, Nov. 21, 615. The poetry of grateful love and superstitious faith has adorned his simple life with various miracles.

Columbanus was a man of considerable learning for his age. He seems to have had even some knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. His chief works are his Regula Monastica, in ten short chapters; seventeen Discourses; his Epistles to the Gallic Synod on the paschal controversy, to Gregory I., and to Boniface IV.; and a few poems. The following characteristic specimen of his ascetic view of life is from one of the discourses: "O mortal life! how many hast thou deceived, seduced, and blinded! Thou fliest and art nothing; thou appearest and art but a shade; thou risest and art but a vapor; thou fliest every day, and every day thou comest; thou fliest in coming, and comest in flying, the same at the point of departure, different at the end; sweet to the foolish, bitter to the wise. Those who love thee know thee not, and those only know thee who despise thee. What art thou, then, O human life? Thou art the way of mortals, and not their life. Thou beginnest in sin and endest in death. Thou art then the way of life and not life itself. Thou art only a road, and an unequal road, long for some, short for others; wide for these, narrow for those; joyous for some, sad for others, but for all equally rapid and without return. It is necessary, then, O miserable human life! to fathom thee, to question thee, but not to trust in thee. We must traverse thee without dwelling in thee—no one dwells upon a great road; we but march over it, to reach the country beyond."112

Several of the disciples of Columbanus labored in eastern Helvetia and Rhaetia.

Sigisbert separated from him at the foot of the St. Gothard, crossed eastward over the Oberalp to the source of the Rhine, and laid the foundation of the monastery of Dissentis in the Grisons, which lasts to this day.

St. Gall (Gallus), the most celebrated of the pupils of Columbanus, remained in Switzerland, and became the father of the monastery and city called after him, on the banks of the river Steinach. He declined the bishopric of Constanz. His double struggle against the forces of nature and the gods of heathenism has been embellished with marvelous traits by the legendary poetry of the middle ages.113 When he died, ninety-five years old, a.d. 640, the whole surrounding country of the Allemanni was nominally Christianized. The monastery of St. Gall became one of the most celebrated schools of learning in Switzerland and Germany, where Irish and other missionaries learned German and prepared themselves for evangelistic work in Switzerland and Southern Germany. There Notker Balbulus, the abbot (died 912), gave a lasting impulse to sacred poetry and music, as the inventor or chief promoter of the mediaeval Laudes or Prosae, among which the famous "Media vita in morte sumus" still repeats in various tongues its solemn funeral warning throughout Christendom.

Fridold or Fridolin, who probably came from Scotland, preached the gospel to the Allemanni in South Germany. But his life is involved in great obscurity, and assigned by some to the time of Clovis I. (481–511), by others more probably to that of Clovis II. (638–656).

Kilian or Kyllina, of a noble Irish family, is said to have been the apostle of Franconia and the first bishop of Würzburg in the seventh century.

§ 24. German Missionaries before Boniface.

England derived its Anglo-Saxon population from Germany in the fifth century, and in return gave to Germany in the eighth century the Christian religion with a strong infusion of popery. Germany afterwards shook off the yoke of popery, and gave to England the Protestant Reformation. In the seventeenth century, England produced Deism, which was the first act of modern unbelief, and the forerunner of German Rationalism. The revival of evangelical theology and religion which followed in both countries, established new points of contact between these cognate races, which meet again on common ground in the Western hemisphere to commingle in the American nationality.

The conversion of Germany to Christianity and to Romanism was, like that of England, the slow work of several centuries. It was accomplished by missionaries of different nationalities, French, Scotch-Irish, English, and Greek. It began at the close of the second century, when Irenaeus spoke of Christian congregations in the two Germanies,114 i.e. Germania prima and secunda, on the upper and lower Rhine; and it was substantially completed in the age of Charlemagne in the eighth century. But nearly the entire North-Eastern part of Germany, which was inhabited mostly by Slavonic tribes, remained heathen till the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.

We must distinguish especially three stages: 1) the preparatory labors of Italian, French, and Scotch-Irish missionaries; 2) the consolidating romanizing work of Boniface of England and his successors; 3) the forcible military conversion of the Saxons under Charlemagne. The fourth and last missionary stage, the conversion of the Prussians and Slavonic races in North-Eastern Germany, belongs to the next period.

The light of Christianity came to Germany first from the Roman empire in the Roman colonies on the Rhine. At the council of Arles in 314, there was a bishop Maternus of Cologne with his deacon, Macrinus, and a bishop of Treves by the name of Agröcius.

In the fifth century the mysterious Severinus from the East appeared among the savages on the banks of the Danube in Bavaria as an angel of mercy, walking bare-footed in mid-winter, redeeming prisoners of war, bringing food and clothing with the comfort of the Gospel to the poor and unfortunate, and won by his self-denying labors universal esteem. French monks and hermits left traces of their work at St. Goar, St. Elig, Wulfach, and other places on the charming banks of the Rhine. The efficient labors of Columbanus and his Irish companions and pupils extended from the Vosges to South Germany and Eastern Switzerland. Willebrord, an Anglo-Saxon, brought up in an Irish convent, left with twelve brethren for Holland (690) became the Apostle of the Friesians, and was consecrated by the Pope the first bishop of Utrecht (Trajectum), under the name of Clemens. He developed an extensive activity of nearly fifty years till his death (739).

When Boniface arrived in Germany he found nearly in all parts which he visited, especially in Bavaria and Thuringia, missionaries and bishops independent of Rome, and his object was fully as much to romanize this earlier Christianity, as to convert the heathen. He transferred the conflict between the Anglo-Saxon mission of Rome and the older Keltic Christianity of Patrick and Columba and their successors from England to German soil, and repeated the role of Augustin of Canterbury. The old Easter controversy disappears after Columbanus, and the chief objects of dispute were freedom from popery and clerical marriage. In both respects, Boniface succeeded, after a hard struggle, in romanizing Germany.

The leaders of the opposition to Rome and to Bonifacius among his predecessors and contemporaries were Adelbert and Clemens. We know them only from the letters of Boniface, which represent them in a very, unfavorable light. Adelbert, or Aldebert (Eldebert), was a Gaul by nation, and perhaps bishop of Soissons; at all events he labored on the French side of the Rhine, had received episcopal ordination, and enjoyed great popularity from his preaching, being regarded as an apostle, a patron, and a worker of miracles. According to Boniface, he was a second Simon Magus, or immoral impostor, who deceived the people by false miracles and relics, claimed equal rank with the apostles, set up crosses and oratories in the fields, consecrated buildings in his own name, led women astray, and boasted to have relics better than those of Rome, and brought to him by an angel from the ends of the earth. Clemens was a Scotchman (Irishman), and labored in East Franconia. He opposed ecclesiastical traditions and clerical celibacy, and had two sons. He held marriage with a brother's widow to be valid, and had peculiar views of divine predestination and Christ's descent into Hades. Aldebert and Clemens were condemned without a hearing, and excommunicated as heretics and seducers of the people, by a provincial Synod of Soissons, a.d. 744, and again in a Synod of Rome, 745, by Pope Zacharias, who confirmed the decision of Boniface. Aldebert was at last imprisoned in the monastery of Fulda, and killed by shepherds after escaping from prison. Clemens disappeared.115

§ 25. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany.

I. Bonifacius: Epistolae et Sermones, first ed. by Serrarius, Mogunt. 1605, then by Würdtwein, 1790, by Giles, 1842, and in Migne's Patrol. Tom, 89, pp. 593–801 (together with Vitae, etc.). Jaffe: Monumenta Moguntina. Berol. 1866.

II. Biographies of Bonifacius. The oldest by Willibald, his pupil and companion (in Pertz, Monum. II. 33, and in Migne, l.c. p. 603); by Othlo, a German Benedictine monk of the eleventh cent. (in Migne, p. 634); Letzner (1602); Löffler (1812); Seiters (1845); Cox (1853); J. P. Müller (1870); Hope (1872); Aug. Werner Bonifacius und die Romanisirung Von Mitteleuropa. Leipz., 1875; Pfahler(Regensb. 1880); Otto Fischer (Leipz. 1881); Ebrard: Bonif. der Zerstörer des columbanischen Kirchenthums auf dem Festlande (Gütersloh, 1882; against Fischer and very unjust to B.; see against it Zöpffel in the "Theol. Lit. Zeitg," 1882, No. 22). Cf. the respective sections in Neander, Gfrörer, Rettberg (II. 307 sqq.)

On the Councils of Bonif see Hefele: Conciliengeschichte, III. 458.

Boniface or Winfried116 surpassed all his predecessors on the German mission-field by the extent and result of his labors, and acquired the name of the Apostle of Germany. He was born about 680 from a noble family, at Kirton in Wessex the last stronghold of paganism among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. He was brought up in the convent of Nutsal near Winchester, and ordained priest at the age of thirty. He felt it his duty, to christianize those countries from which his Anglo-Saxon forefathers had emigrated. It was a formidable task, requiring a heroic courage and indomitable perseverance.

He sacrificed his splendid prospects at home, crossed the channel, and began his missionary career with two or three companions among the Friesians in the neighborhood of Utrecht in Holland (715). His first attempt was a failure. Ratbod, the king of Friesland, was at war with Charles Martel, and devastated the churches and monasteries which had been founded by the Franks, and by Willibrord.

But far from being discouraged, he was only stimulated to greater exertion. After a brief sojourn in England, where he was offered the dignity of abbot of his convent, he left again his native land, and this time forever. He made a pilgrimage to Rome, was cordially welcomed by Pope Gregory II. and received a general commission to Christianize and romanize central Europe (718). Recrossing the Alps, he visited Bavaria and Thuringia, which had been evangelized in part by the disciples of Columban, but he was coldly received because he represented their Christianity as insufficient, and required submission to Rome. He turned his steps again to Friesland where order had been restored, and assisted Willibrord, archbishop of Utrecht, for three years. In 722 he returned to Thuringia in the wake of Charles Martel's victorious army and preached to the heathen in Hesse who lived between the Franks and the Saxons, between the middle Rhine and the Elbe. He founded a convent at Amanaburg (Amöneburg) on the river Ohm.

In 723 he paid, on invitation, a second visit to Rome, and was consecrated by Gregory II. as a missionary bishop without a diocese (episcopus regionarius). He bound himself on the grave of St. Peter with the most stringent oath of fealty to the Pope similar to that which was imposed on the Italian or suburban bishops.117

From this time his work assumed a more systematic character in the closest contact with Rome as the centre of Christendom. Fortified with letters of commendation, he attached himself for a short time to the court of Charles Martel, who pushed his schemes of conquest towards the Hessians. Aided by this secular help and the Pope's spiritual authority, he made rapid progress. By a master stroke of missionary policy he laid the axe to the root of Teutonic heathenism; with his own hand, in the presence of a vast assembly, he cut down the sacred and inviolable oak of the Thunder-God at Geismar (not far from Fritzlar), and built with the planks an oratory or church of St. Peter. His biographer, Willibald, adds that a sudden storm from heaven came to his aid and split the oak in four pieces of equal length. This practical sermon was the death and burial of German mythology. He received from time to time supplies of books, monks and nuns from England. The whole church of England took a deep interest in his work, as we learn from his correspondence. He founded monastic colonies near Erfurt, Fritzlar, Ohrdruf, Bischofsheim, and Homburg. The victory of Charles Martel over the Saracens at Tours (732) checked the westward progress of Islâm and insured the triumph of Christianity in central Europe.

Boniface was raised to the dignity of archbishop (without a see) and papal legate by the new Pope Gregory III. (732), and thus enabled to coerce the refractory bishops.

In 738 he made his third and last pilgrimage to Rome with a great retinue of monks and converts, and received authority to call a synod of bishops in Bavaria and Allemannia. On his return he founded, in concert with Duke Odilo, four Bavarian bishoprics at Salzburg, Freising, Passau, and Ratisbon or Regensburg (739). To these he added in central Germany the sees of Würzburg, Buraburg (near Fritzlar), Erfurt, Eichstädt (742). He held several synods in Mainz and elsewhere for the organization of the churches and the exercise of discipline. The number of his baptized converts till 739 is said to have amounted to many thousands.

In 743 he was installed Archbishop of Mainz or Mayence (Moguntum) in the place of bishop Gervillius (Gewielieb) who was deposed for indulging in sporting propensities and for homicide in battle. His diocese extended from Cologne to Strasburg and even to Coire. He would have preferred Cologne, but the clergy there feared his disciplinary severity. He aided the sons of Charles Martel in reducing the Gallic clergy to obedience, exterminating the Keltic element, and consolidating the union with Rome.

In 744, in a council at Soissons, where twenty-three bishops were present, his most energetic opponents were condemned. In the same year, in the very heart of Germany, he laid the foundation of Fulda, the greatest of his monasteries, which became the Monte Casino of Germany.

In 753 he named Lull or Lullus his successor at Mainz. Laying aside his dignities, he became once more an humble missionary, and returned with about fifty devoted followers to the field of the baffled labors of his youth among the Friesians, where a reaction in favor of heathenism had taken place since the death of Willibrord. He planted his tents on the banks of the river Borne near Dockum (between Franecker and Groningen), waiting for a large number of converts to be confirmed. But, instead of that, he was assailed and slain, with his companions, by armed pagans. He met the martyr's death with calmness and resignation, June 5, 754 or 755. His bones were deposited first at Utrecht, then at Mainz, and at last in Fulda. Soon after his death, an English Synod chose him, together with Pope Gregory and Augustin, patron of the English church. In 1875 Pope Pius IX. directed the Catholics of Germany and England to invoke especially the aid of St. Boniface in the distress of modern times.

The works of Boniface are epistles and sermons. The former refer to his missionary labors and policy, the latter exhibit his theological views and practical piety. Fifteen short sermons are preserved, addressed not to heathen, but to Christian converts; they reveal therefore not so much his missionary as his edifying activity. They are without Scripture text, and are either festal discourses explaining the history of salvation, especially the fall and redemption of man, or catechetical expositions of Christian doctrine and duty. We give as a characteristic specimen of the latter, the fifteenth sermon, on the renunciation of the devil in baptism:

Sermon XV.

"I. Listen, my brethren, and consider well what you have solemnly renounced in your baptism. You have renounced the devil and all his works, and all his pomp. But what are the works of the devil? They are pride, idolatry, envy, murder, calumny, lying, perjury, hatred, fornication, adultery, every kind of lewdness, theft, false witness, robbery, gluttony, drunkenness, Slander, fight, malice, philters, incantations, lots, belief in witches and were-wolves, abortion, disobedience to the Master, amulets. These and other such evil things are the works of the devil, all of which you have forsworn by your baptism, as the apostle says: Whosoever doeth such things deserves death, and shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. But as we believe that, by the mercy of God, you will renounce all these things, with heart and hand, in order to become fit for grace, I admonish you, my dearest brethren, to remember what you have promised Almighty God.

II. For, first, you have promised to believe in Almighty God, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, one almighty God in perfect trinity.

III. And these are the commandments which you shall keep and fulfil: to love God, whom you profess, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourselves; for on these commandments hang the whole law and the prophets. Be patient, have mercy, be benevolent, chaste, pure. Teach your sons to fear God; teach your whole family to do so. Make peace where you go, and let him who sits in court; give a just verdict and take no presents, for presents make even a wise man blind.

IV. Keep the Sabbath and go to church-to pray, but not to prattle. Give alms according to your power, for alms extinguish sins as water does fire. Show hospitality to travelers, visit the sick, take care of widows and orphans, pay your tithes to the church, and do to nobody what you would not have done to yourself. Fear God above all. Let the servants be obedient to their masters, and the masters just to their servants. Cling to the Lord's Prayer and the Creed, and communicate them to your own children and to those whose baptismal sponsors you are. Keep the fast, love what is right, stand up against the devil, and partake from time to time of the Lord's Supper. Such are the works which God commands you to do and fulfil.

V. Believe in the advent of Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all men. For then the impious shall be separated from the just, the one for the everlasting fire, the others for the eternal life. Then begins a life with God without death, a light without shadows, a health without sickness, a plenty without hunger, a happiness without fear, a joy with no misgivings. Then comes the eternal glory, in which the just shall shine like suns, for no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, no heart has ever dreamed, of all that which God has prepared for those whom he loves.

VI. I also remind you, my beloved brethren, that the birth-day of our Lord is approaching, in order that you may abstain from all that is worldly or lewd or impure or bad. Spit out all malice and hatred and envy; it is poison to your heart. Keep chaste even with respect to your own wives. Clothe yourselves with good works. Give alms to the poor who belong to Christ; invite them often to your feasts. Keep peace with all, and make peace between those who are at discord. If, with the aid of Christ, you will truly fulfil these commands, then in this life you can with confidence approach the altar of God, and in the next you shall partake of the everlasting bliss."118

Bonifacius combined the zeal and devotion of a missionary with worldly prudence and a rare genius for organization and administration. He was no profound scholar, but a practical statesman and a strict disciplinarian. He was not a theologian, but an ecclesiastic, and would have made a good Pope. He selected the best situations for his bishoprics and monasteries, and his far-sighted policy has been confirmed by history. He was a man of unblemished character and untiring energy. He was incessantly active, preaching, traveling, presiding over Synods, deciding perplexing questions about heathen customs and trivial ceremonies. He wrought no miracles, such as were usually expected from a missionary in those days. His disciple and biographer apologizes for this defect, and appeals as an offset to the invisible cures of souls which he performed.119

The weak spot in his character is the bigotry and intolerance which he displayed in his controversy with the independent missionaries of the French and Scotch-Irish schools who had done the pioneer work before him. He reaped the fruits of their labors, and destroyed their further usefulness, which he might have secured by a liberal Christian policy. He hated every feature of individuality and national independence in matters of the church. To him true Christianity was identical with Romanism, and he made Germany as loyal to the Pope as was his native England. He served under four Popes, Gregory II., Gregory III., Zacharias, and Stephen, and they could not have had a more devoted and faithful agent. Those who labored without papal authority were to him dangerous hirelings, thieves and robbers who climbed up some other way. He denounced them as false prophets, seducers of the people, idolaters and adulterers (because they were married and defended clerical marriage).120 He encountered from them a most determined opposition, especially in Bavaria. In connection with his servile Romanism is his pedantic legalism and ceremonialism. His epistles and sermons show a considerable knowledge of the Bible, but also a contracted legalistic spirit. He has much to say about matters of outward conformity to Roman authority and usages and about small questions of casuistry, such as whether it was right to eat horse flesh, rabbits, storks, meat offered to idols, to marry a widow after standing god-father to her son, how often the sign of the cross should be made in preaching. In his strength and his weakness, his loyalty, to Rome, and in the importance of the work he accomplished, he resembled Augustin, the Roman apostle of his Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

Boniface succeeded by indomitable perseverance, and his work survived him. This must be his vindication. In judging of him we should remember that the controversy between him and his French and Scotch-Irish opponents was not a controversy between Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism (which was not yet born), but between organized Catholicism or Romanism and independent Catholicism. Mediaeval Christianity was very weak, and required for its self-preservation a strong central power and legal discipline. It is doubtful whether in the barbarous condition of those times, and amid the commotions of almost constant civil wars, the independent and scattered labors of the anti-Roman missionaries could have survived as well and made as strong an impression upon the German nation as a consolidated Christianity with a common centre of unity, and authority.

Roman unity was better than undisciplined independency, but it was itself only a preparatory school for the self-governing freedom of manhood.

After Boniface had nearly completed his work, a political revolution took place in France which gave it outward support. Pepin, the major domus of the corrupt Merovingian dynasty, overthrew it with the aid of Pope Zacharias, who for his conquest of the troublesome Lombards rewarded him with the royal crown of France (753). Fifty years afterwards this political alliance of France and Germany with the Italian papacy was completed by Charlemagne and Leo III., and lasted for many centuries. Rome had the enchantment of distance, the prestige of power and culture, and promised to furnish the strongest support to new and weak churches. Rome was also the connecting link between mediaeval and ancient civilization, and transmitted to the barbarian races the treasures of classical literature which in due time led to the revival of letters and to the Protestant Reformation.

§ 26. The Pupils of Boniface. Willibald, Gregory of Utrecht, Sturm of Fulda.

Boniface left behind him a number of devoted disciples who carried on his work.

Among these we mention St. Willibald, the first bishop of Eichstädt. He was born about a.d. 700 from a noble Anglo-Saxon family and a near relative of Boniface. In his early manhood he made a pilgrimage to Rome and to the Holy Land as far as Damascus, spent several years among the Benedictines in Monte Casino, met Boniface in Rome, joined him in Germany (a.d. 740) and became bishop of Eichstädt in Bavaria in 742. He directed his attention chiefly to the founding of monasteries after the Benedictine rule. He called to his side his brother Wunnebald, his sister Walpurgis, and other helpers from England. He died July 7, 781 or 787. He is considered by some as the author of the biography of Boniface; but it was probably the work of another Willibald, a presbyter of Mainz.

Gregory, Abbot of Utrecht, was related to the royal house of the Merovingians, educated at the court, converted in his fifteenth year by a sermon of Boniface, and accompanied him on his journeys. After the death of Boniface he superintended the mission among the Friesians, but declined the episcopal dignity. In his old age he became lame, and was carried by his pupils to wherever his presence was desired. He died in 781, seventy-three years old.

Sturm, the first Abbot of Fulda (710 to Dec. 17, 779), was of a noble Bavarian family and educated by Boniface. With his approval he passed with two companions through the dense beech forests of Hesse in pursuit of a proper place for a monastery. Singing psalms, he rode on an ass, cutting a way through the thicket inhabited by wild beasts; at night after saying his prayers and making the sign of the cross he slept on the bare ground under the canopy of heaven till sunrise. He met no human being except a troupe of heathen slaves who bathed in the river Fulda, and afterwards a man with a horse who was well acquainted with the country. He found at last a suitable place, and took solemn possession of it in 744, after it was presented to him for a monastery by Karloman at the request of Boniface, who joined him there with a large number of monks, and often resorted to this his favorite monastery. "In a vast solitude," he wrote to Pope Zacharias in 751, "among the tribes entrusted to my preaching, there is a place where I erected a convent and peopled it with monks who live according to the rule of St. Benedict in strict abstinence, without flesh and wine, without intoxicating drink and slaves, earning their living with their own hands. This spot I have rightfully secured from pious men, especially from Karloman, the late prince of the Franks, and dedicated to the Saviour. There I will occasionally rest my weary limbs, and repose in death, continuing faithful to the Roman Church and to the people to which I was sent?"121

Fulda received special privileges from Pope Zacharias and his successors,122 and became a centre of German Christianity and civilization from which proceeded the clearing of the forests, the cultivation of the soil, and the education of youths. The number of Benedictine monks was increased by large re-enforcements from Monte Casino, after an Italian journey of Sturm in 747. The later years of his life were disturbed by a controversy with Lullus of Mainz about the bones of Boniface after his martyrdom (755) and by calumniations of three monks who brought upon him the displeasure of King Pepin. He was, however, reinstated in his dignity and received the remains of his beloved teacher which repose in Fulda. Charlemagne employed him as missionary among the Saxons. His bones were deposited in the convent church. Pope Innocent II. canonized him, A. D, 1139.123

§ 27. The Conversion of the Saxons. Charlemagne and Alcuin. The Heliand, and the Gospel-Harmony.

Funk: Die Unterwerfung der Sachsen unter Karl dem Gr. 1833.

A. Schaumann: Geschichte des niedersächs. Volkes. Götting. 1839.

Böttger: Die Einfahrung des Christenthums in Sachsen. Hann. 1859.

W. Giesebrecht; Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, Vol. I. (1863), pp. 110 sqq.

Of all the German tribes the fierce and warlike Saxons were the last to accept the Christian religion. They differed in this respect very much from their kinsmen who had invaded and conquered England. But the means employed were also as different: rude force in one case, moral suasion in the other. The Saxons inhabited the districts of modern Hanover, Oldenburg, Brunswick, and Westphalia, which were covered with dense forests. They had driven the Franks beyond the Weser and the Rhine, and they were now driven back in turn by Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne. They hated the foreign yoke of the Franks, and far-off Rome; they hated the tithe which was imposed upon them for the support of the church. They looked upon Christianity as the enemy of their wild liberty and independence. The first efforts of Ewald, Suidbert, and other missionaries were fruitless. Their conversion was at last brought about by the sword from political as well as religious motives, and was at first merely nominal, but resulted finally in a real change under the silent influence of the moral forces of the Christian religion.

Charlemagne, who became master of the French kingdom in 768, had the noble ambition to unite the German tribes in one great empire and one religion in filial communion with Rome, but he mistook the means. He employed material force, believing that people become Christians by water-baptism, though baptized against their will. He thought that the Saxons, who were the most dangerous enemies of his kingdom, must be either subdued and Christianized, or killed. He pursued the same policy towards them as the squatter sovereigns would have the United States government pursue towards the wild Indians in the Western territories. Treaties were broken, and shocking cruelties were committed on both sides, by the Saxons from revenge and for independence, by Christians for punishment in the name of religion and civilization. Prominent among these atrocities is the massacre of four thousand five hundred captives at Verden in one day. As soon as the French army was gone, the Saxons destroyed the churches and murdered the priests, for which they were in turn put to death.

Their subjugation was a work of thirty-three years, from 772 to 805. Widukind (Wittekind) and Albio (Abbio), the two most powerful Saxon chiefs, seeing the fruitlessness of the resistance, submitted to baptism in 785, with Charlemagne as sponsor.124

But the Saxons were not entirely defeated till 804, when 10,000 families were driven from house and home and scattered in other provinces. Bloody laws prohibited the relapse into heathenism. The spirit of national independence was defeated, but not entirely crushed, and broke out seven centuries afterwards in another form against the Babylonian tyranny of Rome under the lead of the Saxon monk, Martin Luther.

The war of Charlemagne against the Saxons was the first ominous example of a bloody crusade for the overthrow of heathenism and the extension of the church. It was a radical departure from the apostolic method, and diametrically opposed to the spirit of the gospel. This was felt even in that age by the more enlightened divines. Alcuin, who represents the English school of missionaries, and who expresses in his letters great respect and admiration for Charlemagne, modestly protested, though without effect, against this wholesale conversion by force, and asked him rather to make peace with the "abominable" people of the Saxons. He properly held that the heathen should first be instructed before they are required to be baptized and to pay tithes; that water-baptism without faith was of no use; that baptism implies three visible things, namely, the priest, the body, and the water, and three invisible things, namely, the Spirit, the soul, and faith; that the Holy Spirit regenerates the soul by faith; that faith is a free act which cannot be enforced; that instruction, persuasion, love and self-denial are the only proper means for converting the heathen.125

Charlemagne relaxed somewhat the severity of his laws or capitularies after the year 797. He founded eight bishoprics among the Saxons: Osnabrück, Münster, Minden, Paderborn, Verden, Bremen, Hildesheim, and Halberstadt. From these bishoprics and the parochial churches grouped around them, and from monasteries such as Fulda, proceeded those higher and nobler influences which acted on the mind and heart.

The first monument of real Christianity among the Saxons is the "Heliand" (Heiland, i.e., Healer, Saviour) or a harmony of the Gospels. It is a religious epos strongly resembling the older work of the Anglo-Saxon Caedmon on the Passion and Resurrection. From this it no doubt derived its inspiration. For since Bonifacius there was a lively intercourse between the church of England and the church in Germany, and the language of the two countries was at that time essentially the same. In both works Christ appears as the youthful hero of the human race, the divine conqueror of the world and the devil, and the Christians as his faithful knights and warriors. The Heliand was composed in the ninth century by one or more poets whose language points to Westphalia as their home. The doctrine is free from the worship of saints, the glorification of Peter, and from ascetic excesses, but mixed somewhat with mythological reminiscences. Vilmar calls it the only real Christian epos, and a wonderful creation of the German genius.126

A little later (about 870) Otfried, a Franconian, educated at Fulda and St. Gall, produced another poetic harmony of the Gospels, which is one of the chief monuments of old high German literature. It is a life of Christ from his birth to the ascension, and ends with a description of the judgment. It consists of fifteen thousand rhymed lines in strophes of four lines.

Thus the victory of Christianity in Germany as well as it, England, was the beginning of poetry and literature, and of true civilization,

The Christianization of North-Eastern Germany, among the Slavonic races, along the Baltic shores in Prussia, Livonia, and Courland, went on in the next period, chiefly through Bishop Otto of Bamberg, the apostle of Pomerania, and the Knights of the Teutonic order, and was completed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.


General Literature.

I. Scandinavia before Christianity.

The Eddas, edit. Rask (Copenhagen, 1818); A. Munch (Christiania, 1847); Möbius (Leipzig, 1860).

N. M. Petersen: Danmarks Historie i Hedenold. Copenhagen, 1834–37, 3 vols.; Den Nordiske Mythologie, Copenhagen, 1839.

N. F. S. Grundtvig: Nordens Mythologie. Copenhagen, 1839.

Thorpe: Northern Mythology. London, 1852, 3 vols.

Rasmus B. Anderson: Norse Mythology; Myths of the Eddas systematized and interpreted. Chicago, 1875.

II. The Christianization of Scandinavia.

Claudius Oernhjalm: Historia Sueonum Gothorumque Ecclesiae. Stockholm, 1689, 4 vols.

E. Pontoppidan: Annales Ecclesiae Danicae. Copenhagen, 1741.

F. Münter: Kirchengeschichte von Dänmark und Norwegen. Copenhagen and Leipzig, 1823–33, 3 vols.

R. Reuterdahl: Svenska kyrkans historia. Lund, 1833, 3 vols., first volume translated into German by E. T. Mayerhof, under the title: Leben Ansgars.

Fred Helweg: Den Danske Kirkes Historie. Copenhagen, 1862.

A. Jorgensen: Den nordiske Kirkes Grundloeggelse. Copenhagen, 1874.

Neander: Geschichte der christlichen Kirche, Vol. IV., pp. 1–150

§ 28. Scandinavian Heathenism.

Wheaton: History of the Northmen. London 1831.

Depping: Histoire des expeditions maritimes des Normands. Paris, 1843. 2 vols.

F. Worsaae: Account of the Danes in England, Ireland, and Scotland. London, 1852; The Danish Conquest of England and Normandy. London, 1863. These works are translated from the Danish.

Scandinavia was inhabited by one of the wildest and fiercest, but also one of the strongest and most valiant branches of the Teutonic race, a people of robbers which grew into a people of conquerors. Speaking the same language—that which is still spoken in Iceland—and worshipping the same gods, they were split into a number of small kingdoms covering the present Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Every spring, when the ice broke in the fjords, they launched their boats or skiffs, and swept, each swarm under the leadership of its own king, down upon the coasts of the neighboring countries. By the rivers they penetrated far into the countries, burning and destroying what they could not carry away with them. When autumn came, they returned home, loaded with spoil, and they spent the winter round the open hearth, devouring their prey. But in course of time, the swarms congregated and formed large armies, and the robber-campaigns became organized expeditions for conquest; kingdoms were founded in Russia, England, France, and Sicily. In their new homes, however, the Northern vikings soon forgot both their native language and their old gods, and became the strong bearers of new departures of civilization and the valiant knights of Christianity.

In the Scandinavian mythology, there were not a few ideas which the Christian missionary could use as connecting links. It was not absolutely necessary for him to begin with a mere negation; here, too, there was an "unknown God" and many traits indicate that, during the eighth and ninth centuries, people throughout Scandinavia became more and more anxious to hear something about him. When a man died, he went to Walhall, if he had been brave, and to Niflheim, if he had been a coward. In Walhall he lived together with the gods, in great brightness and joy, fighting all the day, feasting all the night. In Niflheim he sat alone, a shadow, surrounded with everything disgusting and degrading. But Walhall and Niflheim were not to last forever. A deep darkness, Ragnarokr, shall fall over the universe; Walhall and Niflheim shall be destroyed by fire; the gods, the heroes, the shadows, shall perish. Then a new heaven and a new earth shall be created by the All-Father, and he shall judge men not according as they have been brave or cowardly, but according as they have been good or bad. From the Eddas themseIves, it appears that, throughout Scandinavian heathendom, there now and then arose characters who, though they would not cease to be brave, longed to be good. The representative of this goodness, this dim fore-shadowing of the Christian idea of holiness, was Baldur, the young god standing on the rainbow and watching the worlds, and he was also the link which held together the whole chain of the Walhall gods; when he died, Ragnarokr came.

A transition from the myth of Baldur to the gospel of Christ cannot have been very difficult to the Scandinavian imagination; and, indeed, it is apparent that the first ideas which the Scandinavian heathens formed of the "White Christ" were influenced by their ideas of Baldur. It is a question, however, not yet settled, whether certain parts of the Scandinavian mythology, as, for instance, the above myths of Ragnarokr and Baldur, are not a reflex of Christian ideas; and it is quite probable that when the Scandinavians in the ninth century began to look at Christ under the image of Baldur, they had long before unconsciously remodeled their idea of Baldur after the image of Christ.

Another point, of considerable importance to the Christian missionary, was that, in Scandinavian heathendom, he had no priesthood to encounter. Scandinavian paganism never became an institution. There were temples, or at least altars, at Leire, near Roeskilde, in Denmark; at Sigtuna, near Upsall, in Sweden, and at Moere, near Drontheim, in Norway; and huge sacrifices of ninety-nine horses, ninety-nine cocks, and ninety-nine slaves were offered up there every Juul-time. But every man was his own priest. At the time when Christianity first appeared in Scandinavia, the old religion was evidently losing its hold on the individuals and for the very reason, that it had never succeeded in laying hold on the nation. People continued to swear by the gods, and drink in their honor; but they ceased to pray to them. They continued to sacrifice before taking the field or after the victory, and to make the sign of the cross, meaning Thor's hammer, over a child when it was named; but there was really nothing in their life, national or individual, public or private, which demanded religious consecration. As, on the one side, characters developed which actually went beyond the established religion, longing for something higher and deeper, it was, on the other side, still more frequent to meet with characters which passed by the established religion with utter indifference, believing in nothing but their own strength.

The principal obstacle which Christianity had to encounter in Scandinavia was moral rather than religious. In his passions, the old Scandinavian was sometimes worse than a beast. Gluttony and drunkenness he considered as accomplishments. But he was chaste. A dishonored woman was very seldom heard of, adultery never. In his energy, he was sometimes fiercer than a demon. He destroyed for the sake of destruction, and there were no indignities or cruelties which he would not inflict upon a vanquished enemy. But for his friend, his king, his wife, his child, he would sacrifice everything, even life itself; and he would do it without a doubt, without a pang, in pure and noble enthusiasm. Such, however, as his morals were, they, had absolute sway over him. The gods he could forget, but not his duties. The evil one, among gods and men, was he who saw the duty, but stole away from it. The highest spiritual power among the old Scandinavians, their only enthusiasm, was their feeling of duty; but the direction which had been given to this feeling was so absolutely opposed to that pointed out by the Christian morality, that no reconciliation was possible. Revenge was the noblest sentiment and passion of man; forgiveness was a sin. The battle-field reeking with blood and fire was the highest beauty the earth could show; patient and peaceful labor was an abomination. It was quite natural, therefore, that the actual conflict between Christianity and Scandinavian paganism should take place in the field of morals. The pagans slew the missionaries, and burnt their schools and churches, not because they preached new gods, but because they "corrupted the morals of the people" (by averting them from their warlike pursuits), and when, after a contest of more than a century, it became apparent that Christianity would be victorious, the pagan heroes left the country in great swarms, as if they were flying from some awful plague. The first and hardest work which Christianity had to do in Scandinavia was generally humanitarian rather than specifically religious.

§ 29. The Christianization of Denmark. St. Ansgar.

Ansgarius: Pigmenta, ed. Lappenberg. Hamburg, 1844. Vita Wilehadi, in Pertz: Monumenta II.; and in Migne: Patrol. Tom. 118, pp. 1014–1051.

Rimbertus: Vita Ansgarii, in Pertz: Monumenta II., and in Migne, l.c. pp. 961–1011.

Adamus Bremensis (d. 1076): Gesta Hamenburgensis Eccl. pontificum (embracing the history of the archbishopric of Hamburg, of Scandinavia, Denmark, and Northwestern Germany, from 788–1072); reprinted in Pertz: Monumenta, VII.; separate edition by Lappenberg. Hanover, 1846.

Laurent: Leben der Erzb. Ansgar und Rimbert. 1856.

A. Tappehorn: Leben d. h. Ansgar. 1863.

G. Dehio: Geschichte d. Erzb. Hamburg-Bremen. 1877.

H. N. A. Jensen: Schleswig-Holsteinische Kirchengeschichte, edit. A. L. J. Michelsen (1879).

During the sixth and seventh centuries the Danes first came in contact with Christianity, partly through their commercial intercourse with Duerstede in Holland, partly through their perpetual raids on Ireland; and tales of the "White Christ" were frequently told among them, though probably with no other effect than that of wonder. The first Christian missionary who visited them and worked among them was Willebrord. Born in Northumbria and educated within the pale of the Keltic Kirk he went out, in 690, as a missionary to the Frises. Expelled by them he came, about 700, to Denmark, was well received by king Yngrin (Ogendus), formed a congregation and bought thirty Danish boys, whom he educated in the Christian religion, and of whom one, Sigwald, is still remembered as the patron saint of Nuremberg, St. Sebaldus. But his work seems to have been of merely temporary effect.

Soon, however, the tremendous activity which Charlemagne developed as a political organizer, was felt even on the Danish frontier. His realm touched the Eyder. Political relations sprang up between the Roman empire and Denmark, and they opened a freer and broader entrance to the Christian missionaries. In Essehoe, in Holstein, Charlemagne built a chapel for the use of the garrison; in Hamburg he settled Heridock as the head of a Christian congregation; and from a passage in one of Alcuin's letters127 it appears that a conversion of the Danes did not lie altogether outside of his plans. Under his successor, Lewis the Pious, Harald Klak, one of the many petty kings among whom Denmark was then divided, sought the emperor's support and decision in a family feud, and Lewis sent archbishop Ebo of Rheims, celebrated both as a political negotiator and as a zealous missionary, to Denmark. In 822 Ebo crossed the Eyder, accompanied by bishop Halitgar of Cambray. In the following years he made several journeys to Denmark, preached, baptized, and established a station of the Danish mission at Cella Wellana, the present Welnau, near Essehoe. But he was too much occupied with the internal affairs of the empire and the opportunity which now opened for the Danish mission, demanded the whole and undivided energy of a great man. In 826 Harald Klak was expelled and sought refuge with the emperor, Ebo acting as a mediator. At Ingelheim, near Mentz, the king, the queen, their son and their whole retinue, were solemnly baptized, and when Harald shortly after returned to Denmark with support from the emperor, he was accompanied by that man who was destined to become the Apostle of the North, Ansgar.

Ansgar was born about 800 (according to general acceptation Sept. 9, 801) in the diocese of Amiens, of Frankish parents, and educated in the abbey of Corbie, under the guidance of Adalhard. Paschasius Radbertus was among his teachers. In 822 a missionary colony was planted by Corbie in Westphalia, and the German monastery of Corwey or New Corwey was founded. Hither Ansgar was removed, as teacher in the new school, and he soon acquired great fame both on account of his powers as a preacher and on account of his ardent piety. When still a boy he had holy visions, and was deeply impressed with the vanity of all earthly greatness. The crown of the martyr seemed to him the highest grace which human life could attain, and he ardently prayed that it might be given to him. The proposition to follow king Harald as a missionary, among the heathen Danes he immediately accepted, in spite of the remonstrances of his friends, and accompanied by Autbert he repaired, in 827, to Denmark, where he immediately established a missionary station at Hedeby, in the province of Schleswig. The task was difficult, but the beginning was not without success. Twelve young boys were bought to be educated as teachers, and not a few people were converted and baptized. His kindness to the poor, the sick, to all who were in distress, attracted attention; his fervor as a preacher and teacher produced sympathy without, as yet, provoking resistance. But in 829 king Harald was again expelled and retired to Riustri, a possession on the mouth of the Weser, which the emperor had given to him as a fief. Ansgar was compelled to follow him and the prospects of the Danish mission became very dark, the more so as Autbert had to give up any further participation in the work on account of ill health, and return to New Corwey. At this time an invitation from the Swedish king, Björn, gave Ansgar an opportunity to visit Sweden, and he stayed there till 831, when the establishment of an episcopal see at Hamburg, determined upon by the diet of Aix-le-chapelle in 831, promised to give the Danish mission a new impulse. All Scandinavia was laid under the new see, and Ansgar was consecrated its first bishop by bishop Drago of Metz, a brother of the emperor, with the solemn assistance of three archbishops, Ebo of Rheims, Hetti of Treves and Obgar of Mentz. A bull of Gregory IV.128 confirmed the whole arrangement, and Ansgar received personally the pallium from the hands of the Pope. In 834 the emperor endowed the see with the rich monastery of Thorout, in West Flanders, south of Bruges, and the work of the Danish mission could now be pushed with vigor. Enabled to treat with the petty kings of Denmark on terms of equality, and possessed of means to impress them with the importance of the cause, Ansgar made rapid progress, but, as was to be expected, the progress soon awakened opposition. In 834 a swarm of heathen Danes penetrated with a fleet of six hundred small vessels into the Elb under the command of king Horich I., and laid siege to Hamburg. The city was taken, sacked and burnt; the church which Ansgar had built, the monastery in which he lived, his library containing a copy of the Bible which the emperor had presented to him, etc., were destroyed and the Christians were driven away from the place. For many days Ansgar fled from hiding-place to hiding-place in imminent danger of his life. He sought refuge with the bishop of Bremen, but the bishop of Bremen was jealous, because Scandinavia had not been laid under his see, and refused to give any assistance. The revenues of Thorout he lost, as the emperor, Charles the Bald, gave the fief to one of his favorites. Even his own pupils deserted him.

In this great emergency his character shone forth in all its strength and splendor; he bore what God laid upon him in silence and made no complaint. Meanwhile Lewis the German came to his support. In 846 the see of Bremen became vacant. The see of Hamburg was then united to that of Bremen, and to this new see, which Ansgar was called to fill, a papal bull of May 31, 864, gave archiepiscopal rank. Installed in Bremen, Ansgar immediately took up again the Danish mission and again with success. He won even king Horich himself for the Christian cause, and obtained permission from him to build a church in Hedeby, the first Christian church in Denmark, dedicated to Our Lady. Under king Horich's son this church was allowed to have bells, a particular horror to the heathens, and a new and larger church was commenced in Ribe. By Ansgar's activity Christianity became an established and acknowledged institution in Denmark, and not only in Denmark but also in Sweden, which he visited once more, 848–850.

The principal feature of his spiritual character was ascetic severity; he wore a coarse hair-shirt close to the skin, fasted much and spent most of his time in prayer. But with this asceticism he connected a great deal of practical energy; he rebuked the idleness of the monks, demanded of his pupils that they should have some actual work at hand, and was often occupied in knitting, while praying. His enthusiasm and holy raptures were also singularly well-tempered by good common sense. To those who wished to extol his greatness and goodness by ascribing miracles to him, he said that the greatest miracle in his life would be, if God ever made a thoroughly pious man out of him.129 Most prominent, however, among the spiritual features of his character shines forth his unwavering faith in the final success of his cause and the never-failing patience with which this faith fortified his soul. In spite of apparent failure he never gave up his work; overwhelmed with disaster, he still continued it. From his death-bed he wrote a letter to king Lewis to recommend to him the Scandinavian mission. Other missionaries may have excelled him in sagacity and organizing talent, but none in heroic patience and humility. He died at Bremen, Feb. 3, 865, and lies buried there in the church dedicated to him. He was canonized by Nicholas I.

Ansgar's successor in the archiepiscopal see of Hamburg-Bremen was his friend and biographer, Rimbert, 865–888. In his time all the petty kingdoms into which Denmark was divided, were gathered together under one sceptre by King Gorm the Old; but this event, in one respect very favorable to the rapid spread of Christianity, was in other respects a real obstacle to the Christian cause as it placed Denmark, politically, in opposition to Germany, which was the basis and only support of the Christian mission to Denmark. King Gorm himself was a grim heathen; but his queen, Thyra Danabod, had embraced Christianity, and both under Rimbert and his successor, Adalgar, 888–909, the Christian missionaries were allowed to work undisturbed. A new church, the third in Denmark, was built at Aarhus. But under Adalgar's successor, Unni, 909–936, King Gorm's fury, half political and half religious, suddenly burst forth. The churches were burnt, the missionaries were killed or expelled, and nothing but the decisive victory of Henry the Fowler, king of Germany, over the Danish king saved the Christians in Denmark from complete extermination. By the peace it was agreed that King Gorm should allow the preaching of Christianity in his realm, and Unni took up the cause again with great energy. Between Unni's successor, Adaldag, 936–988, and King Harald Blue Tooth, a son of Gorm the Old, there grew up a relation which almost might be called a co-operation. Around the three churches in Jutland: Schleswig, Ribe and Aarhus, and a fourth in Fünen: Odense, bishoprics were formed, and Adaldag consecrated four native bishops. The church obtained right to accept and hold donations, and instances of very large endowments occurred.

The war between King Harald and the German king, Otto II., arose from merely political causes, but led to the baptism of the former, and soon after the royal residence was moved from Leire, one of the chief centres of Scandinavian heathendom, to Roeskilde, where a Christian church was built. Among the Danes, however, there was a large party which was very ill-pleased at this turn of affairs. They were heathens because heathenism was the only religion which suited their passions. They clung to Thor, not from conviction, but from pride. They looked down with indignation and dismay upon the transformation which Christianity everywhere effected both of the character and the life of the people. Finally they left the country and settled under the leadership of Palnatoke, at the mouth of the Oder, where they founded a kind of republic, Jomsborg.

From this place they waged a continuous war upon Christianity in Denmark for more than a decade, and with dreadful effect. The names of the martyrs would fill a whole volume, says Adam of Bremen. The church in Roeskilde was burnt. The bishopric of Fünen was abolished. The king's own son, Swen, was one of the leaders, and the king himself was finally shot by Palnatoke, 991. Swen, however, soon fell out with the Joms vikings, and his invasion of England gave the warlike passions of the nation another direction.

From the conquest of that country and its union with Denmark, the Danish mission received a vigorous impulse. King Swen himself was converted, and showed great zeal for Christianity. He rebuilt the church in Roeskilde, erected a new church at Lund, in Skaane, placed the sign of the cross on his coins, and exhorted, on his death-bed, his son Canute to work for the Christianization of Denmark. The ardor of the Hamburg-Bremen archbishops for the Danish mission seemed at this time to have cooled, or perhaps the growing difference between the language spoken to the north of the Eyder and that spoken to the south of that river made missionary work in Denmark very difficult for a German preacher. Ansgar had not felt this difference; but two centuries later it had probably become necessary for the German missionary to learn a foreign language before entering on his work in Denmark.

Between England and Denmark there existed no such difference of language. King Canute the Great, during whose reign (1019–1035) the conversion of Denmark was completed, could employ English priests and monks in Denmark without the least embarrassment. He re-established the bishopric of Fünen, and founded two new bishoprics in Sealand and Skaane; and these three sees were filled with Englishmen consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury. He invited a number of English monks to Denmark, and settled them partly as ecclesiastics at the churches, partly in small missionary stations, scattered all around in the country; and everywhere, in the style of the church-building and in the character of the service the English influence was predominating. This circumstance, however, did in no way affect the ecclesiastical relation between Denmark and the archiepiscopal see of Hamburg-Bremen. The authority of the archbishop, though not altogether unassailed, was nevertheless generally submitted to with good grace, and until in the twelfth century an independent Scandinavian archbishopric was established at Lund, with the exception of the above cases, he always appointed and consecrated the Danish bishops. Also the relation to the Pope was very cordial. Canute made a pilgrimage to Rome, and founded several Hospitia Danorum there. He refused, however, to permit the introduction of the Peter's pence in Denmark, and the tribute which, up to the fourteenth century, was annually sent from that country to Rome, was considered a voluntary gift.

The last part of Denmark which was converted was the island of Bornholm. It was christianized in 1060 by Bishop Egius of Lund. It is noticeable, however, that in Denmark Christianity was not made a part of the law of the land, such as was the case in England and in Norway.

§ 30. The Christianization of Sweden.

Rimbertus: Vita Ansgarii, in Pertz: Monumenta II.

Adamus Bremensis: Gesta Ham. Eccl. Pont., in Pertz: Monumenta VII; separate edition by Lappenberg. Hanover, 1846.

Historia S. Sigfridi, in Scriptt. Rer. Suec. Medii-oevi, T. II.

Just when the expulsion of Harald Klak compelled Ansgar to give up the Danish mission, at least for the time being, an embassy was sent by the Swedish king, Björn, to the emperor, Lewis the Pious, asking him to send Christian missionaries to Sweden. Like the Danes, the Swedes had become acquainted with Christianity through their wars and commercial connections with foreign countries, and with many this acquaintance appears to have awakened an actual desire to become Christians. Accordingly Ansgar went to Sweden in 829, accompanied by Witmar. While crossing the Baltic, the vessel was overtaken and plundered by pirates, and he arrived empty handed, not to say destitute, at Björkö or Birka, the residence of King Björn, situated on an island in the Maelarn. Although poverty, and misery were very poor introduction to a heathen king in ancient Scandinavia, he was well received by the king; and in Hergeir, one of the most prominent men at the court of Birka, he found a warm and reliable friend. Hergeir built the first Christian chapel in Sweden, and during his whole life he proved an unfailing and powerful support of the Christian cause. After two years' successful labor, Ansgar returned to Germany; but he did not forget the work begun. As soon as he was well established as bishop in Hamburg, he sent, in 834, Gautbert, a nephew of Ebo, to Sweden, accompanied by Nithard and a number of other Christian priests, and well provided with everything necessary for the work. Gautbert labored with great success. In Birka he built a church, and thus it became possible for the Christians, scattered all over Sweden, to celebrate service and partake of the Lord's Supper in their own country without going to Duerstede or some other foreign place. But here, as in Denmark, the success of the Christian mission aroused the jealousy and hatred of the heathen, and, at last, even Hergeir was not able to keep them within bounds. An infuriated swarm broke into the house of Gautbert. The house was plundered; Nithard was murdered; the church was burnt, and Gautbert himself was sent in chains beyond the frontier. He never returned to Sweden, but died as bishop of Osnabrück, shortly before Ansgar. When Ansgar first heard of the outbreak in Sweden, he was himself flying before the fury of the Danish heathen, and for several years he was unable to do anything for the Swedish mission. Ardgar, a former hermit, now a priest, went to Sweden, and in Birka he found that Hergeir had succeeded in keeping together and defending the Christian congregation; but Hergeir died shortly after, and with him fell the last defence against the attacks of the heathen and barbarians.

Meanwhile Ansgar had been established in the archiepiscopal see of Hamburg-Bremen. In 848, he determined to go himself to Sweden. The costly presents he gave to king Olaf, the urgent letters he brought from the emperor, and the king of Denmark, the magnificence and solemnity of the appearance of the mission made a deep impression. The king promised that the question should be laid before the assembled people, whether or not they would allow Christianity to be preached again in the country. In the assembly it was the address of an old Swede, proving that the god of the Christians was stronger even than Thor, and that it was poor policy for a nation not to have the strongest god, which finally turned the scales, and once more the Christian missionaries were allowed to preach undisturbed in the country, . Before Ansgar left, in 850, the church was rebuilt in Birka, and, for a number of years, the missionary labor was continued with great zeal by Erimbert, a nephew of Gautbert, by Ansfrid, born a Dane, and by Rimbert, also a Dane.

Nevertheless, although the persecutions ceased, Christianity made little progress, and when, in 935, Archbishop Unni himself visited Birka, his principal labor consisted in bringing back to the Christian fold such members as had strayed away among the heathen, and forgotten their faith. Half a century later, however, during the reign of Olaf Skotkonge, the mission received a vigorous impulse. The king himself and his sons were won for the Christian cause, and from Denmark a number of English missionaries entered the country. The most prominent among these was Sigfrid, who has been mentioned beside Ansgar as the apostle of the North. By his exertions many were converted, and Christianity became a legally recognized religion in the country beside the old heathenism. In the Southern part of Sweden, heathen sacrifices ceased, and heathen altars disappeared. In the Northern part, however, the old faith still continued to live on, partly because it was difficult for the missionaries to penetrate into those wild and forbidding regions, partly because there existed a difference of tribe between the Northern and Southern Swedes, which again gave rise to political differences.

The Christianization of Sweden was not completed until the middle of the twelfth century.

§ 31. The Christianization of Norway and Iceland.

Snorre Sturleson (d. 1241): Heimskringla (i.e. Circle of Home, written first in Icelandic), seu Historia Regum Septentrionalium, etc. Stockholm, 1697, 2 vols. The same in Icelandic, Danish, and Latin. Havn., 1777–1826; in German by Mohnike, 1835; in English, transl. by Sam. Laing. London, 1844, 3 vols. This history of the Norwegian kings reaches from the mythological age to a.d. 1177.

N. P. Sibbern: Bibliotheca Historica Dano-Norvegica. Hamburg, 1716. Fornmanna-Sögur seu Scripta Hist. Islandorum. Hafniae, 1828.

K. Maurer: Bekehrung des Norwegischen Stammes zum Christenthum. München, 1855–56, 2 vols.

Thomas Carlyle: Early Kings of Norway. London and N. York, 1875.

G. F. Maclear: The Conversion of the Northmen. London, 1879.

Christianity was introduced in Norway almost exclusively by the exertions of the kings, and the means employed were chiefly violence and tricks. The people accepted Christianity not because they had become acquainted with it and felt a craving for it, but because they were compelled to accept it, and the result was that heathen customs and heathen ideas lived on in Christian Norway for centuries after they had disappeared from the rest of Scandinavia.

The first attempt to introduce Christianity in the country was made in the middle of the tenth century by Hakon the Good. Norway was gathered into one state in the latter part of the ninth century by Harald Haarfagr, but internal wars broke out again under Harald's son and successor, Eric. These troubles induced Hakon, an illegitimate son of Harald Haarfagr and educated in England at the court of king Athelstan, to return to Norway and lay claim to the crown. He succeeded in gaining a party in his favor, expelled Eric and conquered all Norway, where he soon became exceedingly popular, partly on account of his valor and military ability, partly also on account of the refinement and suavity of his manners. Hakon was a Christian, and the Christianization of Norway seems to have been his highest goal from the very first days of his reign. But he was prudent. Without attracting any great attention to the matter, he won over to Christianity a number of those who stood nearest to him, called Christian priests from England, and built a church at Drontheim. Meanwhile he began to think that the time had come for a more public and more decisive step, and at the great Frostething, where all the most prominent men of the country were assembled, he addressed the people on the matter and exhorted them to become Christians. The answer he received was very characteristic. They had no objection to Christianity itself, for they did not know what it meant, but they suspected the king's proposition, as if it were a political stratagem by means of which he intended to defraud them of their political rights and liberties. Thus they not only refused to become Christians themselves, but even compelled the king to partake in their heathen festivals and offer sacrifices to their heathen gods. The king was very indignant and determined to take revenge, but just as he had got an army together, the sons of the expelled Eric landed in Norway and in the battle against them, 961, he received a deadly wound.

The sons of Eric, who had lived in England during their exile, were likewise Christians, and they took up the cause of Christianity in a very high-handed manner, overthrowing the heathen altars and forbidding sacrifices. But the impression they made was merely odious, and their successor, Hakon Jarl, was a rank heathen. The first time Christianity really gained a footing in Norway, was under Olaf Trygveson. Descended from Harald Haarfagr, but sold, while a child, as a slave in Esthonia, he was ransomed by a relative who incidentally met him and recognized his own kin in the beauty of the boy, and was educated at Moscow. Afterwards he roved about much in Denmark, Wendland, England and Ireland, living as a sea-king. In England he became acquainted with Christianity and immediately embraced it, but he carried his viking-nature almost unchanged over into Christianity, and a fiercer knight of the cross was probably never seen. Invited to Norway by a party which had grown impatient of the tyranny of Hakon Jarl, he easily made himself master of the country, in 995, and immediately set about making Christianity its religion, "punishing severely," as Snorre says, "all who opposed him, killing some, mutilating others, and driving the rest into banishment." In the Southern part there still lingered a remembrance of Christianity from the days of Hakon the Good, and things went on here somewhat more smoothly, though Olaf more than once gave the people assembled in council with him the choice between fighting him or accepting baptism forthwith. But in the Northern part all the craft and all the energy of the king were needed in order to overcome the opposition. Once, at a great heathen festival at Moere, he told the assembled people that, if he should return to the heathen gods it would be necessary for him to make some great and awful sacrifice, and accordingly he seized twelve of the most prominent men present and prepared to sacrifice them to Thor. They were rescued, however, when the whole assembly accepted Christianity and were baptized. In the year 1000, he fell in a battle against the united Danish and Swedish kings, but though he reigned only five years, he nevertheless succeeded in establishing Christianity as the religion of Norway and, what is still more remarkable, no general relapse into heathenism seems to have taken place after his death.

During the reign of Olaf the Saint, who ruled from a.d. 1014–'30, the Christianization of the country was completed. His task it was to uproot heathenism wherever it was still found lurking, and to give the Christian religion an ecclesiastical organization. Like his predecessors, he used craft and violence to reach his goal. Heathen idols and altars disappeared, heathen customs and festivals were suppressed, the civil laws were brought into conformity with the rules of Christian morals. The country was divided into dioceses and parishes, churches were built, and regular revenues were raised for the sustenance of the clergy. For the most part he employed English monks and priests, but with the consent of the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, under whose authority he placed the Norwegian church. After his death, in the battle of Stiklestad, July 29, 1030, he was canonized and became the patron saint of Norway.

To Norway belonged, at that time, Iceland. From Icelandic tradition as well as from the "De Mensura Orbis" by Dicuilus, an Irish monk in the beginning of the ninth century, it appears that Culdee anchorites used to retire to Iceland as early as the beginning of the eighth century, while the island was still uninhabited. These anchorites, however, seem to have had no influence whatever on the Norwegian settlers who, flying from the tyranny of Harald Haarfagr, came to Iceland in the latter part of the ninth century and began to people the country. The new-comers were heathen, and they looked with amazement at Auda the Rich, the widow of Olaf the White, king of Dublin, who in 892 took up her abode in Iceland and reared a lofty cross in front of her house. But the Icelanders were great travellers, and one of them, Thorvald Kodranson, who in Saxony had embraced Christianity, brought bishop Frederic home to Iceland. Frederic stayed there for four years, and his preaching found easy access among the people. The mission of Thangbrand in the latter part of the tenth century failed, but when Norway, or at least the Norwegian coast, became Christian, the intimate relation between Iceland and Norway soon brought the germs which Frederic had planted, into rapid growth, and in the year 1000 the Icelandic Althing declared Christianity to be the established religion of the country. The first church was built shortly after from timber sent by Olaf the Saint from Norway to the treeless island.



§ 32. General Survey.

A. Regenvolscius: Systema Hist. chronol. Ecclesiarum Slavonic. Traj. ad Rhen., 1652.

A. Wengerscius: Hist. ecclesiast. Ecclesiarum Slavonic. Amst., 1689.

Kohlius: Introductio in Hist. Slavorum imprimis sacram. Altona, 1704.

J. Ch. Jordan: Origines Slavicae. Vindob., 1745.

S. de Bohusz: Recherches hist. sur l'origine des Sarmates, des Esclavons, et des Slaves, et sur les époques de la conversion de ces peuples. St. Petersburg and London, 1812.

P. J. Schafarik: Slavische Alterthümer. Leipzig, 1844, 2 vols.

Horvat: Urgeschichte der Slaven. Pest, 1844.

W. A. Maciejowsky: Essai Hist. sur l'église ehrét. primitive de deux rites chez les Slaves. Translated from Polish into French by L. F. Sauvet, Paris, 1846.

At what time the Slavs first made their appearance in Europe is not known. Latin and Greek writers of the second half of the sixth century, such as Procopius, Jornandes, Agathias, the emperor Mauritius and others, knew only those Slavs who lived along the frontiers of the Roman empire. In the era of Charlemagne the Slavs occupied the whole of Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Balkan; the Obotrites and Wends between the Elbe and the Vistula; the Poles around the Vistula, and behind them the Russians; the Czechs in Bohemia. Further to the South the compact mass of Slavs was split by the invasion of various Finnish or Turanian tribes; the Huns in the fifth century, the Avars in the sixth, the Bulgarians in the seventh, the Magyars in the ninth. The Avars penetrated to the Adriatic, but were thrown back in 640 by the Bulgarians; they then settled in Panonia, were subdued and converted by Charlemagne, 791–796, and disappeared altogether from history in the ninth century. The Bulgarians adopted the Slavic language and became Slavs, not only in language, but also in customs and habits. Only the Magyars, who settled around the Theiss and the Danube, and are the ruling race in Hungary, vindicated themselves as a distinct nationality.

The great mass of Slavs had no common political organization, but formed a number of kingdoms, which flourished, some for a shorter, and others for a longer period, such as Moravia, Bulgaria, Bohemia, Poland, and Russia. In a religious respect also great differences existed among them. They were agriculturists, and their gods were representatives of natural forces; but while Radigost and Sviatovit, worshipped by the Obotrites and Wends, were cruel gods, in whose temples, especially at Arcona in the island of Rügen, human beings were sacrificed, Svarog worshipped by the Poles, and Dazhbog, worshipped by the Bohemians, were mild gods, who demanded love and prayer. Common to all Slavs, however, was a very elaborate belief in fairies and trolls; and polygamy, sometimes connected with sutteeism, widely prevailed among them. Their conversion was attempted both by Constantinople and by Rome; but the chaotic and ever-shifting political conditions under which they lived, the rising difference and jealousy between the Eastern and Western churches, and the great difficulty which the missionaries experienced in learning their language, presented formidable obstacles, and at the close of the period the work was not yet completed.

§ 33. Christian Missions among the Wends.

ADAM Of BRENEN (d. 1067): Gesta Hammenb. (Hamburgensis) Eccl. Pont., in Pertz: Monumenta Germ., VII.

Helmoldus (d. 1147) and Arnoldus Lubecensis: Chronicon Slavorum sive Annales Slavorum, from Charlemagne to 1170, ed. H. Bangert. Lubecae, 1659. German translation by Laurent. Berlin, 1852.

Spieker: Kirchengeschichte der Mark Brandenburg. Berlin, 1839.

Wiggers: Kirchengeschichte Mecklenburgs. Parchim, 1840.

Giesebrecht: Wendische Geschichten. Berlin, 1843.

Charlemagne was the first who attempted to introduce Christianity among the Slavic tribes which, under the collective name of Wends, occupied the Northern part of Germany, along the coast of the Baltic, from the mouth of the Elbe to the Vistula: Wagrians in Holstein, Obotrites in Mecklenburg, Sorbians on the Saxon boundary, Wilzians in Brandenburg, etc. But in the hands of Charlemagne, the Christian mission was a political weapon; and to the Slavs, acceptation of Christianity became synonymous with political and national subjugation. Hence their fury against Christianity which, time after time, broke forth, volcano-like, and completely destroyed the work of the missionaries. The decisive victories which Otto I. gained over the Wends, gave him an opportunity to attempt, on a large scale, the establishment of the Christian church among them. Episcopal sees were founded at Havelberg in 946, at Altenburg or Oldenburg in 948, at Meissen, Merseburg, and Zeitz in 968, and in the last year an archiepiscopal see was founded at Magdeburg. Boso, a monk from St. Emmeran, at Regensburg, who first had translated the formulas of the liturgy into the language of the natives, became bishop of Merseburg, and Adalbert, who first had preached Christianity in the island of Rügen, became archbishop.

But again the Christian church was used as a means for political purposes, and, in the reign of Otto II., a fearful rising took place among the Wends under the leadership of Prince Mistiwoi. He had become a Christian himself; but, indignant at the suppression which was practiced in the name of the Christian religion, he returned to heathenism, assembled the tribes at Rethre, one of the chief centres of Wendish heathendom, and began, in 983, a war which spread devastation all over Northern Germany. The churches and monasteries were burnt, and the Christian priests were expelled. Afterwards Mistiwoi was seized with remorse, and tried to cure the evil he had done in an outburst of passion. But then his subjects abandoned him; he left the country, and spent the last days of his life in a Christian monastery at Bardewick. His grandson, Gottschalk, whose Slavic name is unknown, was educated in the Christian faith in the monastery of St. Michael., near Lüneburg; but when he heard that his father, Uto, had been murdered, 1032, the old heathen instincts of revenge at once awakened within him. He left the monastery, abandoned Christianity, and raised a storm of persecution against the Christians, which swept over all Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, and Holstein. Defeated and taken prisoner by Bernard of Lower Saxony, he returned to Christianity; lived afterwards at the court of Canute the Great in Denmark and England; married a Danish princess, and was made ruler of the Obotrites. A great warrior, he conquered Holstein and Pommerania, and formed a powerful Wendish empire; and on this solid political foundation, he attempted, with considerable success, to build up the Christian church. The old bishoprics were re-established, and new ones were founded at Razzeburg and Mecklenburg; monasteries were built at Leuzen, Oldenburg, Razzeburg, Lübeck, and Mecklenburg; missionaries were provided by Adalbert, archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen; the liturgy was translated into the native tongue, and revenues were raised for the support of the clergy, the churches, and the service.

But, as might have been expected, the deeper Christianity penetrated into the mass of the people, the fiercer became the resistance of the heathen. Gottschalk was murdered at Lentz, June 7, 1066, together with his old teacher, Abbot Uppo, and a general rising now took place. The churches and schools were destroyed; the priests and monks were stoned or killed as sacrifices on the heathen altars; and Christianity, was literally swept out of the country. It took several decades before a new beginning could be made, and the final Christianization of the Wends was not achieved until the middle of the twelfth century.

§ 34. Cyrillus and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs. Christianization of Moravia, Bohemia and Poland.

F. M. Pelzel et J. Dobrowsky: Rerrum Bohemic. Scriptores. Prague.

Friese: Kirchengeschichte d. Konigreichs Polen. Breslau, 1786.

Franz. Palacky: Geschichte von Böhmen. Prague, 3d ed., 1864 sqq., 5 vols. (down to 1520).

Wattenbach: Geschichte d. christl. Kirche in Böhmen und Mähren. Wien, 1849.

A. Friud: Die Kirchengesch. Böhmens. Prague, 1863 sqq.

Biographies of Cyrillus and Methodius, by J. Dobrowsky (Prague, 1823, and 1826); J. A. Ginzel (Geschichte der Slawenapostel und der Slawischen Liturgie. Leitmeritz, 1857); Philaret (in the Russian, German translation, Mitau, 1847); J. E. Biley (Prague, 1863); Dümmler and F. Milkosisch (Wien, 1870).

The Moravian Slavs were subjugated by Charlemagne, and the bishop of Passau was charged with the establishment of a Christian mission among them. Moymir, their chief, was converted and bishoprics were founded at Olmütz and Nitra. But Lewis the German suspected Moymir of striving after independence and supplanted him by Rastislaw or Radislaw. Rastislaw, however, accomplished what Moymir had only been suspected of. He formed an independent Moravian kingdom and defeated Lewis the German, and with the political he also broke the ecclesiastical connections with Germany, requesting the Byzantine emperor, Michael III., to send him some Greek missionaries.

Cyrillus and Methodius became the apostles of the Slavs. Cyrillus, whose original name was Constantinus, was born at Thessalonica, in the first half of the ninth century, and studied philosophy in Constantinople, whence his by-name: the philosopher. Afterwards he devoted himself to the study of theology, and went to live, together with his brother Methodius, in a monastery. A strong ascetic, he became a zealous missionary. In 860 he visited the Chazares, a Tartar tribe settled on the North-Eastern shore of the Black Sea, and planted a Christian church there. He afterward labored among the Bulgarians and finally went, in company with his brother, to Moravia, on the invitation of Rastislaw, in 863.

Cyrillus understood the Slavic language, and succeeded in making it available for literary purposes by inventing a suitable alphabet. He used Greek letters, with some Armenian and Hebrew, and some original letters. His Slavonic alphabet is still used with alterations in Russia, Wallachia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, and Servia. He translated the liturgy and the pericopes into Slavic, and his ability to preach and celebrate service in the native language soon brought hundreds of converts into his fold. A national Slavic church rapidly arose; the German priests with the Latin liturgy left the country. It corresponded well with the political plans of Rastislaw, to have a church establishment entirely independent of the German prelates, but in the difference which now developed between the Eastern and Western churches, it was quite natural for the young Slavic church to connect itself with Rome and not with Constantinople, partly because Cyrillus always had shown a kind of partiality to Rome, partly because the prudence and discrimination with which Pope Nicholas I. recently had interfered in the Bulgarian church, must have made a good impression.

In 868 Cyrillus and Methodius went to Rome, and a perfect agreement was arrived at between them and Pope Adrian II., both with respect to the use of the Slavic language in religious service and with respect to the independent position of the Slavic church, subject only to the authority of the Pope. Cyrillus died in Rome, Feb. 14, 869, but Methodius returned to Moravia, having been consecrated archbishop of the Pannonian diocese.

The organization of this new diocese of Pannonia was, to some extent, an encroachment on the dioceses of Passau and Salzburg, and such an encroachment must have been so much the more irritating to the German prelates, as they really had been the first to sow the seed of Christianity among the Slavs. The growing difference between the Eastern and Western churches also had its effect. The German clergy considered the use of the Slavic language in the mass an unwarranted innovation, and the Greek doctrine of the single procession of the Holy Spirit, still adhered to by Methodius and the Slavic church, they considered as a heresy. Their attacks, however, had at first no practical consequences, but when Rastislaw was succeeded in 870 by Swatopluk, and Adrian II. in 872 by John VIII., the position of Methodius became difficult. Once more, in 879, he was summoned to Rome, and although, this time too, a perfect agreement was arrived at, by which the independence of the Slavic church was confirmed, and all her natural peculiarities were acknowledged, neither the energy of Methodius, nor the support of the Pope was able to defend her against the attacks which now were made upon her both from without and from within. Swatopluk inclined towards the German-Roman views, and Wichin one of Methodius's bishops, became their powerful champion.

After the death of Swatopluk, the Moravian kingdom fell to pieces and was divided between the Germans, the Czechs of Bohemia, and the Magyars of Hungary; and thereby the Slavic church lost, so to speak, its very foundation. Methodius died between 881 and 910. At the opening of the tenth century the Slavic church had entirely lost its national character. The Slavic priests were expelled and the Slavic liturgy abolished, German priests and the Latin liturgy taking their place. The expelled priests fled to Bulgaria, whither they brought the Slavic translations of the Bible and the liturgy.

Neither Charlemagne nor Lewis the Pious succeeded in subjugating Bohemia, and although the country was added to the diocese of Regensburg, the inhabitants remained pagans. But when Bohemia became a dependency of the Moravian empire and Swatopluk married a daughter of the Bohemian duke, Borziwai, a door was opened to Christianity. Borziwai and his wife, Ludmilla, were baptized, and their children were educated in the Christian faith. Nevertheless, when Wratislav, Borziwai's son and successor, died in 925, a violent reaction took place. He left two sons, Wenzeslav and Boleslav, who were placed under the tutelage of their grandmother, Ludmilla. But their mother, Drahomira, was an inveterate heathen, and she caused the murder first of Ludmilla, and then of Wenzeslav, 938. Boleslav, surnamed the Cruel, had his mother's nature and also her faith, and he almost succeeded in sweeping Christianity out of Bohemia. But in 950 he was utterly defeated by the emperor, Otto I., and compelled not only to admit the Christian priests into the country, but also to rebuild the churches which had been destroyed, and this misfortune seems actually to have changed his mind. He now became, if not friendly, at least forbearing to his Christian subjects, and, during the reign of his son and successor, Boleslav the Mild, the Christian Church progressed so far in Bohemia that an independent archbishopric was founded in Prague. The mass of the people, however, still remained barbarous, and heathenish customs and ideas lingered among them for more than a century. Adalbert, archbishop of Prague, from 983 to 997,130 preached against polygamy, the trade in Christian slaves, chiefly carried on by the Jews, but in vain. Twice he left his see, disgusted and discouraged; finally he was martyred by the Prussian Wends. Not until 1038 archbishop Severus succeeded in enforcing laws concerning marriage, the celebration of the Lord's Day, and other points of Christian morals. About the contest between the Romano-Slavic and the Romano-Germanic churches in Bohemia, nothing is known. Legend tells that Methodius himself baptized Borziwai and Ludmilla, and the first missionary, work was, no doubt, done by Slavic priests, but at the time of Adalbert the Germanic tendency was prevailing.

Also among the Poles the Gospel was first preached by Slavic missionaries, and Cyrillus and Methodius are celebrated in the Polish liturgy131 as the apostles of the country. As the Moravian empire under Rastislaw comprised vast regions which afterward belonged to the kingdom of Poland, it is only natural that the movement started by Cyrillus and Methodius should have reached also these regions, and the name of at least one Slavic missionary among the Poles, Wiznach, is known to history.

After the breaking up of the Moravian kingdom, Moravian nobles and priests sought refuge in Poland, and during the reign of duke Semovit Christianity had become so powerful among the Poles, that it began to excite the jealousy of the pagans, and a violent contest took place. By the marriage between Duke Mieczyslav and the Bohemian princess Dombrowka, a sister of Boleslav the Mild, the influence of Christianity became still stronger. Dombrowka brought a number of Bohemian priests with her to Poland, 965, and in the following year Mieczyslav himself was converted and baptized. With characteristic arrogance he simply demanded that all his subjects should follow his example, and the pagan idols were now burnt or thrown into the river, pagan sacrifices were forbidden and severely punished, and Christian churches were built. So far the introduction of Christianity among the Poles was entirely due to Slavic influences, but at this time the close political connection between Duke Mieczyslav and Otto I. opened the way for a powerful German influence. Mieczyslav borrowed the whole organization of the Polish church from Germany. It was on the advice of Otto I. that he founded the first Polish bishopric at Posen and placed it under the authority of the archbishop of Magdeburg. German priests, representing Roman doctrines and rites, and using the Latin language, began to work beside the Slavic priests who represented Greek doctrines and rites and used the native language, and when finally the Polish church was placed wholly under the authority of Rome, this was not due to any spontaneous movement within the church itself, such as Polish chroniclers like to represent it, but to the influence of the German emperor and the German church. Under Mieczyslav's son, Boleslav Chrobry, the first king of Poland and one of the most brilliant heroes of Polish history, Poland, although christianized only on the surface, became itself the basis for missionary labor among other Slavic tribes.

It was Boleslav who sent Adalbert of Prague among the Wends, and when Adalbert here was pitifully martyred, Boleslav ransomed his remains, had them buried at Gnesen (whence they afterwards were carried to Prague), and founded here an archiepiscopal see, around which the Polish church was finally consolidated. The Christian mission, however, was in the hands of Boleslav, just as it often had been in the hands of the German emperors, and sometimes even in the hands of the Pope himself, nothing but a political weapon. The mass of the population of his own realm was still pagan in their very hearts. Annually the Poles assembled on the day on which their idols had been thrown into the rivers or burnt, and celebrated the memory of their gods by dismal dirges,132 and the simplest rules of Christian morals could be enforced only by the application of the most barbarous punishments. Yea, under the political disturbances which occurred after the death of Mieczyslav II., 1034, a general outburst of heathenism took place throughout the Polish kingdom, and it took a long time before it was fully put down.

§ 35. The Conversion of the Bulgarians.

Constantinus Porphyrogenitus: Life of Basilius Macedo, in Hist. Byzant. Continuatores post Theophanem. Greek and Latin, Paris, 1685.

Photii Epistola, ed. Richard. Montacutius. London, 1647.

Nicholas I.: Responsa ad Consulta Bulgarorum, in Mansi: Coll. Concil., Tom. XV., pp. 401–434; and in Harduin: Coll. Concil., V., pp. 353–386.

A. Pichler: Geschichte der kirchlichen Trennung zwischen dem Orient und Occident. München, 1864, I., pp. 192 sqq.

Comp. the biographies of Cyrillus and Methodius, mentioned in § 34.

The Bulgarians were of Turanian descent, but, having lived for centuries among Slavic nations, they had adopted Slavic language, religion, customs and habits. Occupying the plains between the Danube and the Balkan range, they made frequent inroads into the territory of the Byzantine empire. In 813 they conquered Adrianople and carried a number of Christians, among whom was the bishop himself, as prisoners to Bulgaria. Here these Christian prisoners formed a congregation and began to labor for the conversion of their captors, though not with any great success, as it would seem, since the bishop was martyred. But in 861 a sister of the Bulgarian prince, Bogoris, who had been carried as a prisoner to Constantinople, and educated there in the Christian faith, returned to her native country, and her exertions for the conversion of her brother at last succeeded.

Methodius was sent to her aid, and a picture he painted of the last judgment is said to have made an overwhelming impression on Bogoris, and determined him to embrace Christianity. He was baptized in 863, and entered immediately in correspondence with Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople. His baptism, however, occasioned a revolt among his subjects, and the horrible punishment, which he inflicted upon the rebels, shows how little as yet he had understood the teachings of Christianity.

Meanwhile Greek missionaries, mostly monks, had entered the country, but they were intriguing, arrogant, and produced nothing but confusion among the people. In 865 Bogoris addressed himself to Pope Nicolas I., asking for Roman missionaries, and laying before the Pope one hundred and six questions concerning Christian doctrines, morals and ritual, which he wished to have answered. The Pope sent two bishops to Bulgaria, and gave Bogoris very elaborate and sensible answers to his questions.

Nevertheless, the Roman mission did not succeed either. The Bulgarians disliked to submit to any foreign authority. They desired the establishment of an independent national church, but this was not to be gained either from Rome or from Constantinople. Finally the Byzantine emperor, Basilius Macedo, succeeded in establishing Greek bishops and a Greek archbishop in the country, and thus the Bulgarian church came under the authority of the patriarch of Constantinople, but its history up to this very day has been a continuous struggle against this authority. The church is now ruled by a Holy Synod, with an independent exarch.

Fearful atrocities of the Turks against the Christians gave rise to the Russo-Turkish war in 1877, and resulted in the independence of Bulgaria, which by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 was constituted into "an autonomous and tributary principality, under the suzerainty of the Sultan," but with a Christian government and a national militia. Religious proselytism is prohibited, and religious school-books must be previously examined by the Holy Synod. But Protestant missionaries are at work among the people, and practically enjoy full liberty.

§ 36. The Conversion of the Magyars.

Joh. de Thwrocz: Chronica Hungarorum, in Schwandtner: Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum, I. Vienna, 1746–8.

Vita S. Stephani, in Act. Sanctor. September.

Vita S. Adalberti, in Monument. German. IV.

Horvath: History of Hungary. Pest, 1842–46.

Aug. Theiner: Monumenta vetera historica Hungariam sacram illustrantia. Rom., 1859, 1860, 2 Tom. fol.

The Magyars, belonging to the Turanian family of nations, and allied to the Finns and the Turks, penetrated into Europe in the ninth century, and settled, in 884, in the plains between the Bug and the Sereth, near the mouth of the Danube. On the instigation of the Byzantine emperor, Leo the Wise, they attacked the Bulgarians, and completely defeated them. The military renown they thus acquired gave them a new opportunity. The Frankish king Arnulf invoked their aid against Swatopluk, the ruler of the Moravian empire. Swatopluk, too, was defeated, and his realm was divided between the victors. The Magyars, retracing their steps across the Carpathian range, settled in the plains around the Theiss and the Danube, the country which their forefathers, the Huns, once had ruled over, the, present Hungary. They were a wild and fierce race, worshipping one supreme god under the guise of various natural phenomena: the sky, the river, etc. They had no temples and no priesthood, and their sacrifices consisted of animals only, mostly horses. But the oath was kept sacred among them, and their marriages were monogamous, and inaugurated with religious rites.

The first acquaintance with Christianity the Magyars made through their connections with the Byzantine court, without any further consequences. But after settling in Hungary, where they were surrounded on all sides by Christian nations, they were compelled, in 950, by the emperor, Otto I., to allow the bishop of Passau to send missionaries into their country; and various circumstances contributed to make this mission a rapid and complete success. Their prince, Geyza, had married a daughter of the Transylvanian prince, Gyula, and this princess, Savolta, had been educated in the Christian faith. Thus Geyza felt friendly towards the Christians; and as soon as this became known, Christianity broke forth from the mass of the population like flowers from the earth when spring has come. The people which the Magyars had subdued when settling in Hungary, and the captives whom they had carried along with them from Bulgaria and Moravia, were Christians. Hitherto these Christians had concealed their religion from fear of their rulers, and their children had been baptized clandestinely; but now they assembled in great multitudes around the missionaries, and the entrance of Christianity into Hungary looked like a triumphal march.133

Political disturbances afterwards interrupted this progress, but only for a short time. Adalbert of Prague visited the country, and made a great impression. He baptized Geyza's son, Voik, born in 961, and gave him the name of Stephanus, 994. Adalbert's pupil, Rodla, remained for a longer period in the country, and was held in so high esteem by the people, that they afterwards would not let him go. When Stephanus ascended the throne in 997, he determined at once to establish Christianity as the sole religion of his realm, and ordered that all Magyars should be baptized, and that all Christian slaves should be set free. This, however, caused a rising of the pagan party under the head of Kuppa, a relative of Stephanus; but Kuppa was defeated at Veszprim, and the order had to be obeyed.

Stephanus' marriage with Gisela, a relative of the emperor, Otto III., brought him in still closer contact with the German empire, and he, like Mieczyslav of Poland, borrowed the whole ecclesiastical organization from the German church. Ten bishoprics were formed, and placed under the authority of the archbishop of Gran on the Danube (which is still the seat of the primate of Hungary); churches were built, schools and monasteries were founded, and rich revenues were procured for their support; the clergy was declared the first order in rank, and the Latin language was made the official language not only in ecclesiastical, but also in secular matters. As a reward for his zeal, Stephanus was presented by Pope Silvester II. with a golden crown, and, in the year 1000, he was solemnly crowned king by the archbishop of Gran, while a papal bull conferred on him the title of "His Apostolic Majesty." And, indeed, Stephanus was the apostle of the Magyars. As most of the priests and monks, called from Germany, did not understand the language of the people, the king himself travelled about from town to town, preached, prayed, and exhorted all to keep the Lord's Day, the fast, and other Christian duties. Nevertheless, it took a long time before Christianity really took hold of the Magyars, chiefly on account of the deep gulf created between the priests and their flocks, partly by the difference of language, partly by the exceptional position which Stephanus had given the clergy in the community, and which the clergy soon learned to utilize for selfish purposes. Twice during the eleventh century there occurred heavy relapses into paganism; in 1045, under King Andreas, and in 1060, under King Bela.

§ 37. The Christianization of Russia.

Nestor (monk of Kieff, the oldest Russian annalist, d. 1116): Annales, or Chronicon (from the building of the Babylonian tower to 1093). Continued by Niphontes (Nifon) from 1116–1157, and by others to 1676. Complete ed. in Russ by Pogodin, 1841, and with a Latin version and glossary by Fr. Miklosisch, Vindobon, 1860. German translation by Schlözer, Göttingen, 1802–'9, 5 vols. (incomplete).

J. G. Stritter: Memoriae Populorum olim ad Danubium, etc., incolentium ex Byzant. Script. Petropoli, 1771. 4 vols. A collection of the Byzantine sources.

N. M. Karamsin: History of Russia, 12 vols. St. Petersburg, 1816–29, translated into German and French.

Ph. Strahl: Beiträge zur russ. Kirchen-Geschichte (vol. I.). Halle, 1827; and Geschichte d. russ Kirche (vol. I.). Halle, 1830 (incomplete).

A. N. Mouravieff (late chamberlain to the Czar and Under-Procurator of the Most Holy Synod): A History of the Church of Russia (to the founding of the Holy Synod in 1721). St. Petersburg, 1840, translated into English by Rev. R. W. Blackmore. Oxford, 1862.

A. P. Stanley: Lectures on the Eastern Church. Lec. IX.-XII. London, 1862.

L. Boissard: L'église de Bussie. Paris, 1867, 2 vols.

The legend traces Christianity in Russia back to the Apostle St. Andrew, who is especially revered by the Russians. Mouravieff commences his history of the Russian church with these words: "The Russian church, like the other Orthodox churches of the East, had an apostle for its founder. St. Andrew, the first called of the Twelve, hailed with his blessing long beforehand the destined introduction of Christianity into our country. Ascending up and penetrating by the Dniepr into the deserts of Scythia, he planted the first cross on the hills of Kieff, and 'See you,' said he to his disciples, 'those hills? On those hills shall shine the light of divine grace. There shall be here a great city, and God shall have in it many churches to His name.' Such are the words of the holy Nestor that point from whence Christian Russia has sprung."

This tradition is an expansion of the report that Andrew labored and died a martyr in Scythia,134 and nothing more.

In the ninth century the Russian tribes, inhabiting the Eastern part of Europe, were gathered together under the rule of Ruric, a Varangian prince,135 who from the coasts of the Baltic penetrated into the centre of the present Russia, and was voluntarily accepted, if not actually chosen by the tribes as their chief. He is regarded as the founder of the Russian empire, a.d. 862, which in 1862 celebrated its millennial anniversary. About the same time or a little later the Russians became somewhat acquainted with Christianity through their connections with the Byzantine empire. The Eastern church, however, never developed any great missionary activity, and when Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople, in his circular letter against the Roman see, speaks of the Russians as already converted at his time (867), a few years after the founding of the empire, he certainly exaggerates. When, in 945, peace was concluded between the Russian grand-duke, Igor, and the Byzantine emperor, some of the Russian soldiers took the oath in the name of Christ, but by far the greatest number swore by Perun, the old Russian god. In Kieff, on the Dniepr, the capital of the Russian realm, there was at that time a Christian church, dedicated to Elijah, and in 955 the grand-duchess, Olga, went to Constantinople and was baptized. She did not succeed, however, in persuading her son, Svatoslav, to embrace the Christian faith.

The progress of Christianity among the Russians was slow until the grand-duke Vladimir (980–1015), a grandson of Olga, and revered as Isapostolos ("Equal to an Apostle") with one sweep established it as the religion of the country. The narrative of this event by Nestor is very dramatic. Envoys from the Greek and the Roman churches, from the Mohammedans and the Jews (settled among the Chazares) came to Vladimir to persuade him to leave his old gods. He hesitated and did not know which of the new religions he should choose. Finally he determined to send wise men from among his own people to the various places to investigate the matter. The envoys were so powerfully impressed by a picture of the last judgment and by the service in the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, that the question at once was settled in favor of the religion of the Byzantine court.

Vladimir, however, would not introduce it without compensation. He was staying at Cherson in the Crimea, which he had just taken and sacked, and thence he sent word to the emperor Basil, that he had determined either to adopt Christianity and receive the emperor's sister, Anne, in marriage, or to go to Constantinople and do to that city as he had done to Cherson. He married Anne, and was baptized on the day of his wedding, a.d. 988.

As soon as he was baptized preparations were made for the baptism of his people. The wooden image of Perun was dragged at a horse's tail through the country, soundly flogged by all passers-by, and finally thrown into the Dniepr. Next, at a given hour, all the people of Kieff, men, women and children, descended into the river, while the grand Duke kneeled, and the Christian priests read the prayers from the top of the cliffs on the shore. Nestor, the Russian monk and annalist, thus describes the scene: "Some stood in the water up to their necks, others up to their breasts, holding their young children in their arms; the priests read the prayers from the shore, naming at once whole companies by the same name. It was a sight wonderfully curious and beautiful to behold; and when the people were baptized each returned to his own home."

Thus the Russian nation was converted in wholesale style to Christianity by despotic power. It is characteristic of the supreme influence of the ruler and the slavish submission of the subjects in that country. Nevertheless, at its first entrance in Russia, Christianity penetrated deeper into the life of the people than it did in any other country, without, however, bringing about a corresponding thorough moral transformation. Only a comparatively short period elapsed, before a complete union of the forms of religion and the nationality took place. Every event in the history of the nation, yea, every event in the life of the individual was looked upon from a religious point of view, and referred to some distinctly religious idea. The explanation of this striking phenomenon is due in part to Cyrill's translation of the Bible into the Slavic language, which had been driven out from Moravia and Bohemia by the Roman priests, and was now brought from Bulgaria into Russia, where it took root. While the Roman church always insisted upon the exclusive use of the Latin translation of the Bible and the Latin language in divine service, the Greek church always allowed the use of the vernacular. Under its auspices there were produced translations into the Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and Slavic languages, and the effects of this principle were, at least in Russia, most beneficial. During the reign of Vladimir's successor, Jaroslaff, 1019–1054, not only were churches and monasteries and schools built all over the country, but Greek theological books were translated, and the Russian church had, at an early date, a religious literature in the native tongue of the people. Jaroslaff, by his celebrated code of laws, became the Justinian of Russia.

The Czars and people of Russia have ever since faithfully adhered to the Oriental church which grew with the growth of the empire all along the Northern line of two Continents. As in the West, so in Russia, monasticism was the chief institution for the spread of Christianity among heathen savages. Hilarion (afterwards Metropolitan), Anthony, Theodosius, Sergius, Lazarus, are prominent names in the early history of Russian monasticism.

The subsequent history of the Russian church is isolated from the main current of histoy, and almost barren of events till the age of Nikon and Peter the Great. At first she was dependent on the patriarch of Constantinople. In 1325 Moscow was founded, and became, in the place of Kieff, the Russian Rome, with a metropolitan, who after the fall of Constantinople became independent (1461), and a century later was raised to the dignity of one of the five patriarchs of the Eastern Church (1587). But Peter the Great made the Northern city of his own founding the ecclesiastical as well as the political metropolis, and transferred the authority of the patriarchate of Moscow to the "Holy Synod" (1721), which permanently resides in St. Petersburg and constitutes the highest ecclesiastical judicatory of Russia under the caesaropapal rule of the Czar, the most powerful rival of the Roman Pope.



"There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his apostle."—The Koran.

"There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all."—1 Tim. ii. 5, 6.

§ 38. Literature.

See A. Sprenger's Bibliotheca Orientalis Sprengeriana. Giessen, 1857.

W. Muir.: Life of Mahomet, Vol. I., ch. 1. Muir discusses especially the value of Mohammedan traditions.

Ch. Friedrici: Bibliotheca Orientalis. London (Trübner & Co.) 1875 sqq.

I. Sources.

1. The Koran or AL-Koran. The chief source. The Mohammedan Bible, claiming to be given by inspiration to Mohammed during the course of twenty years. About twice as large as the New Testament. The best Arabic MSS., often most beautifully written, are in the Mosques of Cairo, Damascus, Constantinople, and Paris; the largest, collection in the library of the Khedive in Cairo. Printed editions in Arabic by Hinkelmann (Hamburg, 1694); Molla Osman Ismael (St. Petersburg, 1787 and 1803); G. Flügel (Leipz., 1834); revised by Redslob (1837, 1842, 1858). Arabice et Latine, ed. L. Maraccius, Patav., 1698, 2 vols., fol. (Alcorani textus universus, with notes and refutation). A lithographed edition of the Arabic text appeared at Lucknow in India, 1878 (A. H. 1296).

The standard English translations: in prose by Geo. Sale (first publ., Lond., 1734, also 1801, 1825, Philad., 1833, etc.), with a learned and valuable preliminary discourse and notes; in the metre, but without the rhyme, of the original by J. M. Rodwell (Lond., 1861, 2d ed. 1876, the Suras arranged in chronological order). A new transl. in prose by E. H. Palmer. (Oxford, 1880, 2 vols.) in M. Müller's "Sacred Books of the East." Parts are admirably translated by Edward W. Lane.

French translation by Savary, Paris, 1783, 2 vols.; enlarged edition by Garcin de Tassy, 1829, in 3 vols.; another by M. Kasimirski, Paris, 1847, and 1873.

German translations by Wahl (Halle, 1828), L. Ullmann (Bielefeld, 1840, 4th ed. 1857), and parts by Hammer von Purgstall (in the Fundgruben des Orients), and Sprenger (in Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad).

2. Secondary sources on the Life of Moh. and the origin of Islâm are the numerous poems of contemporaries, especially in Ibn Ishâc, and the collections of the sayings of Moh., especially the Sahih (i.e. The True, the Genuine) of Albuchârî (d. 871). Also the early Commentaries on the Koran, which explain difficult passages, reconcile the contradictions, and insert traditional sayings and legends. See Sprenger, III. CIV. sqq.

II. Works On The Koran.

Th. Nöldeke: Geschichte des Quorâns, (History of the Koran), Göttingen, 1860; and his art. in the "Encycl. Brit., 9th ed. XVI. 597–606.

Garcin de Tassy: L'Islamisme d'après le Coran l'enseignement doctrinal et la pratique, 3d ed. Paris, 1874.

Gustav Weil: Hist. kritische Einleitung in den Koran. Bielefeld und Leipz., 1844, 2d ed., 1878.

Sir William Muir: The Corân. Its Composition and Teaching; and the Testimony it bears to the Holy Scriptures. (Allahabad, 1860), 3d ed., Lond., 1878.

Sprenger, l.c., III., pp. xviii.-cxx.

III. Biographies of Mohammed.

1. Mohammedan biographers.

Zohri (the oldest, died after the Hegira 124).

Ibn Ishâc (or Ibni Ishak, d. A. H. 151, or a.d. 773), ed. in Arabic from MSS. by Wüstenfeld, Gött., 1858–60, translated by Weil, Stuttg., 1864.

Ibn (Ibni) Hishâm (d. A. H. 213, a.d. 835), also ed. by Wüstenfeld, and translated by Weil, 1864.

Katib Al Waquidi (or Wackedee, Wackidi, d. at Bagdad A. H. 207, a.d. 829), a man of prodigious learning, who collected the traditions, and left six hundred chests of books (Sprenger, III., LXXI.), and his secretary, Muhammad Ibn Sâad (d. A. H. 230, a.d. 852), who arranged, abridged, and completed the biographical works of his master in twelve or fifteen for. vols.; the first vol. contains the biography of Moh., and is preferred by Muir and Sprenger to all others. German transl. by Wellhausen: Muhammed in Medina. From the Arabic of Vakidi. Berlin, 1882.

Tabari (or Tibree, d. A. H. 310, a.d. 932), called by Gibbon "the Livy of the Arabians."

Muir says (I., CIII.): "To the three biographies by Ibn Hishâm, by Wackidi, and his secretary, and by Tabari, the judicious historian of Mahomet will, as his original authorities, confine himself. He will also receive, with a similar respect, such traditions in the general collections of the earliest traditionists—Bokhâri, Muslim, Tirmidzi, etc.,—as may bear upon his subject. But he will reject as evidence all later authors." Abulfeda (or Abulfida, d. 1331), once considered the chief authority, now set aside by much older sources.

*Syed Ahmed Khan Bahador (member of the Royal Asiatic Society): A Series of Essays on the Life of Mohammed. London (Trübner & Co.), 1870. He wrote also a "Mohammedan Commentary on the Holy Bible." He begins with the sentence: "In nomine Dei Misericordis Miseratoris. Of all the innumerable wonders of the universe, the most marvellous is religion."

Syed Ameer Ali, Moulvé (a Mohammedan lawyer, and brother of the former): A Critical Examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammed. London 1873. A defense of Moh. chiefly drawn from Ibn-Hishâm (and Ibn-al Athîr (1160–1223).

2. Christian Biographies.

Dean Prideaux (d. 1724): Life of Mahomet, 1697, 7th ed. Lond., 1718. Very unfavorable.

Count Boulinvilliers: The Life of Mahomet. Transl. from the French. Lond., 1731.

Jean Gagnier (d. 1740): La vie de Mahomet, 1732, 2 vols., etc. Amsterd. 1748, 3 vols. Chiefly from Abulfeda and the Sonna. He also translated Abulfeda.

*Gibbon: Decline and Fall, etc. (1788), chs. 50–52. Although not an Arabic scholar, Gibbon made the best use of the sources then accessible in Latin, French, and English, and gives a brilliant and, upon the whole, impartial picture.

*Gustav Weil: Mohammed der Prophet, sein Leben und seine Lehre. Stuttgart, 1843. Comp. also his translation of Ibn Ishâc, and Ibn Hishâm, Stuttgart, 1864, 2 vols.; and his Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner aus arabischen Quellen und mit jüd. Sagen verglichen. Frcf., 1845. The last is also transl. into English.

Th. Carlyle: The Hero as Prophet, in his Heroes Hero- Worship and the Heroic in History. London, 1840. A mere sketch, but full of genius and stimulating hints. He says: "We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent prophet, but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of prophets, but I esteem him a true one. Farther, as there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans, I mean to say all the good of him I justly can. It is the way to get at his secret."

Washington Irving: Mahomet and His Followers. N. Y., 1850. 2 vols.

George Bush: The Life of Mohammed. New York (Harpers).

*SIR William MUIR (of the Bengal Civil Service): The Life of Mahomet. With introductory chapters on the original sources for the biography of Mahomet, and on the pre-Islamite history of Arabia. Lond., 1858–1861, 4 vols. Learned, able, and fair. Abridgement in 1 vol. Lond., 1877.

*A. Sprenger: First an English biography printed at Allahabad, 1851, and then a more complete one in German, Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad. Nach bisher grösstentheils unbenutzten Quellen. Berlin, 1861–'65, 2d ed. 1869, 3 vols. This work is based on original and Arabic sources, and long personal intercourse with Mohammedans in India, but is not a well digested philosophical biography.

*Theod. Nöldeke: Das Leben Muhammeds. Hanover, 1863. Comp. his elaborate art. in Vol. XVIII. of Herzog's Real-Encycl., first ed.

E. Renan: Mahomet, et les origines de l'islamisme, in his "Etudes de l'histoire relig.," 7th ed. Par., 1864.

Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire: Mahomet et le Oran. Paris, 1865. Based on Sprenger and Muir.

Ch. Scholl: L'Islam et son Fondateur. Paris, 1874.

R. Bosworth Smith (Assistant Master in Harrow School): Mohammed and Mohammedanism. Lond. 1874, reprinted New York, 1875.

J. W. H. Stobart: Islam and its Founder. London, 1876.

J. Wellhausen: Art. Moh. in the "Encycl. Brit." 9th ed. vol. XVI. 545–565.

IV. History Of The Arabs And Turks.

Jos. von Hammer-Purgstall: Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches. Pesth, 1827–34, 10 vols. A smaller ed. in 4 vols. This standard work is the result of thirty years' labor, and brings the history down to 1774. By the same: Literaturgeschichte der Araber. Wien, 1850–'57, 7 vols.

*G. Weil: Gesch. der Chalifen. Mannheim, 1846–5l, 3 vols.

*Caussin de Perceval: Essai sur l'histoire des Arabes. Paris, 1848, 3 vols.

*Edward A. Freeman (D. C. L., LL. D.): History and Conquests of the Saracens. Lond., 1856, 3d ed. 1876.

Robert Durie Osborn (Major of the Bengal Staff Corps): Islam under the Arabs. London., 1876; Islam under the Khalifs of Baghdad. London, 1877.

Sir Edward S. Creasy: History of the Ottoman Turks from the Beginning of their Empire to the present Time. Lond., 2d ed. 1877. Chiefly founded on von Hammer'

Th. Nöldeke: Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden. Aus der arabischen Chronik des Tabari übersetzt. Leyden, 1879.

Sir Wm. Muir: Annals of the Early Caliphate. London 1883.

V. Manners And Customs Of The Mohammedans.

Joh. Ludwig Burckhardt: Travels in Nubia, 1819; Travels in Syria and Palestine, 1823; Notes on the Bedouins, 1830.

*Edw. W. Lane: Modern Egyptians. Lond., 1836, 5th ed. 1871, in 2 vols.

*Rich. F. Burton: Personal narrative of a Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah, Lond. 1856, 3 vols.

C. B. Klunzinger: Upper Egypt: its People and its Products. A descriptive Account of the Manners, Customs, Superstitions, and Occupations of the People of the Nile Valley, the Desert, and the Red Sea Coast. New York, 1878. A valuable supplement to Lane.

Books of Eastern Travel, especially on Egypt and Turkey. Bahrdt's Travels in Central Africa (1857), Palgrave's Arabia (1867), etc.

VI. Relation Of Mohammedanism To Judaism.

*Abraham Geiger: Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum aufgenommen? Bonn, 1833.

Hartwig Hirschfeld: Jüdische Elemente im Koran. Berlin, 1878.

VII. Mohammedanism as a Religion, and its Relation to Christianity.

L. Maracci: Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani. Rom., 1691, 4 vols.

S. Lee: Controversial Tracts on Christianity and Mahometanism. 1824.

J. Döllingber (R.C.): Muhammed's Religion nach ihrer innern Entwicklung u. ihrem Einfluss auf das Leben der Völker. Regensb. 1838.

A. Möhler (R.C.): Das Verhältniss des Islam zum Christenthum (in his "Gesammelte Schriften"). Regensb., 1839.

C. F. Gerock: Versuch einer Darstellung der Christologie des Koran. Hamburg and Gotha, 1839.

J. H. Newman (R.C.): The Turks in their relation to Europe (written in 1853), in his "Historical Sketches." London, 1872, pp. 1–237.

Dean Arthur P. Stanley: Mahometanism and its relations to the Eastern Church (in Lectures on the "History of the Eastern Church." London and New York, 1862, pp. 360–387). A picturesque sketch.

Dean Milman: History of Latin Christianity. Book IV., chs.1 and 2. (Vol. II. p. 109).

Theod. Nöldeke: Art. Muhammed und der Islam, in Herzog's "Real-Encyclop." Vol. XVIII. (1864), pp. 767–820.'

*Eman. Deutsch: Islam, in his "Liter. Remains." Lond. and N. York, 1874, pp. 50–134. The article originally appeared in the London "Quarterly Review" for Oct. 1869, and is also printed at the end of the New York (Harper) ed. of R. Bosworth Smith's Mohammed. Reports of the General Missionary Conference at Allahabad, 1873.

J. Mühleisen Arnold (formerly chaplain at Batavia): Islam: its History, Character, and Relation to Christianity. Lond., 1874, 3d ed.

Gustav. Rösch: Die Jesusmythen des Islam, in the "Studien und Kritiken." Gotha, 1876. (No. III. pp. 409–454).

Marcus Dods: Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ. Lond. 2d ed. 1878.

Ch. A. Aiken: Mohammedanism as a Missionary Religion. In the "Bibliotheca Sacra," of Andover for 1879, p. 157.

Archbishop Trench: Lectures on Mediaeval Church History (Lect. IV. 45–58). London, 1877.

Henry H. Jessup (Amer. Presbyt. missionary at Beirut): The Mohammedan Missionary Problem. Philadelphia, 1879.

Edouard Sayous: Jésus Christ d'après Mahomet. Paris 1880.

G. P. Badger: Muhámmed in Smith and Wace, III. 951–998.

§ 39. Statistics and Chronological Table.

Estimate of the Mohammedan Population (According to Keith Johnston).

In Asia, 112,739,000

In Africa, 50,416,000

In Europe, 5,974,000

Total, 169,129,000

Mohammedans Under Christian Governments.

England in India rules over 41,000,000

Russia in Central Asia rules over 6,000,000

France in Africa rules over 2,000,000

Holland in Java and Celebes rules over 1,000,000

Total, 50,000,000

a.d. Chronological Survey.

570. Birth of Mohammed, at Mecca.

610. Mohammed received the visions of Gabriel and began his career as a prophet. (Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons).

622. The Hegira, or the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina. Beginning of the Mohammedan era.

632. (June 8) Death of Mohammed at Medina.

632. Abû Bekr, first Caliph or successor of Mohammed

636. Capture of Jerusalem by the Caliph Omar.

640. Capture of Alexandria by Omar.

711. Tharyk crosses the Straits from Africa to Europe, and calls the mountain Jebel Tharyk (Gibraltar).

732. Battle of Poitiers and Tours; Abd-er-Rahman defeated by Charles Martel; Western Europe saved from Moslem conquest.

786–809. Haroun al Rashîd, Caliph of Bagdad. Golden era of Mohammedanism. Correspondence with Charlemagne).

1063. Allp Arslan, Seljukian Turkish prince.

1096. The First Crusade. Capture of Jerusalem by Godfrey of Bouillon.

1187. Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt and scourge of the Crusaders, conquers at Tiberias and takes Jerusalem, (1187); is defeated by Richard Coeur de Lion at Askelon, and dies 1193. Decline of the Crusades.

1288–1326. Reign of Othman, founder of the Ottoman (Turkish) dynasty.

1453. Capture of Constantinople by Mohammed II., "the Conqueror," and founder of the greatness of Turkey. (Exodus of Greek scholars to Southern Europe; the Greek Testament brought to the West; the revival of letters.)

1492. July 2. Boabdil (or Alien Abdallah) defeated by Ferdinand at Granada; end of Moslem rule in Spain. (Discovery of' America by Columbus).

1517. Ottoman Sultan Selim I. conquers Egypt, wrests the caliphate from the Arab line of the Koreish through Motawekkel Billah, and transfers it to the Ottoman Sultans; Ottoman caliphate never acknowledged by Persian or Moorish Moslems. (The Reformation.)

1521–1566. Solyman II., "the Magnificent," marks the zenith of the military power of the Turks; takes Belgrade (1521), defeats the Hungarians (1526), but is repulsed from Vienna (1529 and 1532).

1571. Defeat of Selim II. at the naval battle of Lepanto by the Christian powers under Don John of Austria. Beginning of the decline of the Turkish power.

1683. Final repulse of the Turks at the gates of Vienna by John Sobieski, king of Poland, 2Sept. 12; Eastern Europe saved from Moslem rule.

1792. Peace at Jassy in Moldavia, which made the Dniester the frontier between Russia and Turkey.

1827. Annihilation of the Turko-Egyptian fleet by, the combined squadrons of England, France, and Russia, in the battle of Navarino, October 20. Treaty of Adrianople, 1829. Independence of the kingdom of Greece, 1832.

1856. End of Crimean War; Turkey saved by England and France aiding the Sultan against the aggression of Russia; Treaty of Paris; European agreement not to interfere in the domestic affairs of Turkey.

1878. Defeat of the Turks by Russia; but checked by the interference of England under the lead of Lord Beaconsfield. Congress of the European powers, and Treaty of Berlin; independence of Bulgaria secured; Anglo-Turkish Treaty; England occupies Cyprus—agrees to defend the frontier of Asiatic Turkey against Russia, on condition that the Sultan execute fundamental reforms in Asiatic Turkey.

1880. Supplementary Conference at Berlin. Rectification and enlargement of the boundary of Montenegro and Greece.

§ 40. Position of Mohammedanism in Church History.

While new races and countries in Northern and Western Europe, unknown to the apostles, were added to the Christian Church, we behold in Asia and Africa the opposite spectacle of the rise and progress of a rival religion which is now acknowledged by more than one-tenth of the inhabitants of the globe. It is called "Mohammedanism" from its founder, or "Islâm," from its chief virtue, which is absolute surrender to the one true God. Like Christianity, it had its birth in the Shemitic race, the parent of the three monotheistic religions, but in an obscure and even desert district, and had a more rapid, though less enduring success.

But what a difference in the means employed and the results reached! Christianity made its conquest by peaceful missionaries and the power of persuasion, and carried with it the blessings of home, freedom and civilization. Mohammedanism conquered the fairest portions of the earth by the sword and cursed them by polygamy, slavery, despotism and desolation. The moving power of Christian missions was love to God and man; the moving power of Islâm was fanaticism and brute force. Christianity has found a home among all nations and climes; Mohammedanism, although it made a most vigorous effort to conquer the world, is after all a religion of the desert, of the tent and the caravan, and confined to nomad and savage or half-civilized nations, chiefly Arabs, Persians, and Turks. It never made an impression on Europe except by brute force; it is only encamped, not really domesticated, in Constantinople, and when it must withdraw from Europe it will leave no trace behind.

Islâm in its conquering march took forcible possession of the lands of the Bible, and the Greek church, seized the throne of Constantine, overran Spain, crossed the Pyrenees, and for a long time threatened even the church of Rome and the German empire, until it was finally repulsed beneath the walls of Vienna. The Crusades which figure so prominently in the history of mediaeval Christianity, originated in the desire to wrest the holy land from the followers of "the false prophet," and brought the East in contact with the West. The monarchy and the church of Spain, with their architecture, chivalry, bigotry, and inquisition, emerged from a fierce conflict with the Moors. Even the Reformation in the sixteenth century was complicated with the Turkish question, which occupied the attention of the diet of Augsburg as much as the Confession of the Evangelical princes and divines. Luther, in one of his most popular hymns, prays for deliverance from "the murdering Pope and Turk," as the two chief enemies of the gospel137; and the Anglican Prayer Book, in the collect for Good Friday, invokes God "to have mercy upon all Turks," as well as upon "Jews, Infidels, and Heretics."138

The danger for Western Christendom from that quarter has long since passed away; the "unspeakable" Turk has ceased to be unconquerable, but the Asiatic and a part of the East European portion of the Greek church are still subject to the despotic rule of the Sultan, whose throne in Constantinople has been for more than four hundred years a standing insult to Christendom.

Mohammedanism then figures as a hostile force, as a real Ishmaelite in church history; it is the only formidable rival which Christianity ever had, the only religion which for a while at least aspired to universal empire.

And yet it is not hostile only. It has not been without beneficial effect upon Western civilization. It aided in the development of chivalry; it influenced Christian architecture; it stimulated the study of mathematics, chemistry, medicine (as is indicated by the technical terms: algebra, chemistry, alchemy); and the Arabic translations and commentaries on Aristotle by the Spanish Moors laid the philosophical foundation of scholasticism. Even the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks brought an inestimable blessing to the West by driving Greek scholars with the Greek Testament to Italy to inaugurate there the revival of letters which prepared the way for the Protestant Reformation.

Viewed in its relation to the Eastern Church which it robbed of the fairest dominions, Mohammedanism was a well-deserved divine punishment for the unfruitful speculations, bitter contentions, empty ceremonialism and virtual idolatry which degraded and disgraced the Christianity of the East after the fifth century. The essence of true religion, love to God and to man, was eaten out by rancor and strife, and there was left no power of ultimate resistance to the foreign conqueror. The hatred between the orthodox Eastern church and the Eastern schismatics driven from her communion, and the jealousy between the Greek and Latin churches prevented them from aiding each other in efforts to arrest the progress of the common foe. The Greeks detested the Latin Filioque as a heresy more deadly than Islâm; while the Latins cared more for the supremacy of the Pope than the triumph of Christianity, and set up during the Crusades a rival hierarchy in the East. Even now Greek and Latin monks in Bethlehem and Jerusalem are apt to fight at Christmas and Easter over the cradle and the grave of their common Lord and Redeemer, unless Turkish soldiers keep them in order!139

But viewed in relation to the heathenism from which it arose or which it converted, Mahommedanism is a vast progress, and may ultimately be a stepping-stone to Christianity, like the law of Moses which served as a schoolmaster to lead men to the gospel. It has destroyed the power of idolatry in Arabia and a large part of Asia and Africa, and raised Tartars and Negroes from the rudest forms of superstition to the belief and worship of the one true God, and to a certain degree of civilization.

It should be mentioned, however, that, according to the testimony of missionaries and African travelers, Mohammedanism has inflamed the simple minded African tribes with the impure fire of fanaticism and given them greater power of resistance to Christianity. Sir William Muir, a very competent judge, thinks that Mohammedanism by the poisoning influence of polygamy and slavery, and by crushing all freedom of judgment in religion has interposed the most effectual barrier against the reception of Christianity. "No system," he says, "could have been devised with more consummate skill for shutting out the nations over which it has sway, from the light of truth. Idolatrous Arabs might have been aroused to spiritual life and to the adoption of the faith of Jesus; Mahometan Arabia is, to the human eye, sealed against the benign influences of the gospel .... The sword of Mahomet and the Coran are the most fatal enemies of civilization, liberty, and truth."140

This is no doubt true of the past. But we have not yet seen the end of this historical problem. It is not impossible that Islâm may yet prove to be a necessary condition for the revival of a pure Scriptural religion in the East. Protestant missionaries from England and America enjoy greater liberty under the Mohammedan rule than they would under a Greek or Russian government. The Mohammedan abhorrence of idolatry and image worship, Mohammedan simplicity and temperance are points of contact with the evangelical type of Christianity, which from the extreme West has established flourishing missions in the most important parts of Turkey. The Greek Church can do little or nothing with the Mohammedans; if they are to be converted it must be done by a Christianity which is free from all appearance of idolatry, more simple in worship, and more vigorous in life than that which they have so easily conquered and learned to despise. It is an encouraging fact that Mohammedans have, great respect for the Anglo-Saxon race. They now swear by the word of an Englishman as much as by the beard of Mohammed.

Islâm is still a great religious power in the East. It rules supreme in Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor, Egypt, North Africa, and makes progress among the savage tribes in the interior of the Dark Continent. It is by no means simply, as Schlegel characterized the system, "a prophet without miracles, a faith without mysteries, and a morality without love." It has tenacity, aggressive vitality and intense enthusiasm. Every traveller in the Orient must be struck with the power of its simple monotheism upon its followers. A visit to the Moslem University in the Mosque El Azhar at Cairo is very instructive. It dates from the tenth century (975), and numbers (or numbered in 1877, when I visited it) no less than ten thousand students who come from all parts of the Mohammedan world and present the appearance of a huge Sunday School, seated in small groups on the floor, studying the Koran as the beginning and end of all wisdom, and then at the stated hours for prayer rising to perform their devotions under the lead of their teachers. They live in primitive simplicity, studying, eating and sleeping on a blanket or straw mat in the same mosque, but the expression of their faces betrays the fanatical devotion to their creed. They support themselves, or are aided by the alms of the faithful. The teachers (over three hundred) receive no salary and live by private instruction or presents from rich scholars.

Nevertheless the power of Islâm, like its symbol, the moon, is disappearing before the sun of Christianity which is rising once more over the Eastern horizon. Nearly one-third of its followers are under Christian (mostly English) rule. It is essentially a politico-religious system, and Turkey is its stronghold. The Sultan has long been a "sick man," and owes his life to the forbearance and jealousy of the Christian powers. Sooner or later he will be driven out of Europe, to Brusa or Mecca. The colossal empire of Russia is the hereditary enemy of Turkey, and would have destroyed her in the wars of 1854 and 1877, if Catholic France and Protestant England had not come to her aid. In the meantime the silent influences of European civilization and Christian missions are undermining the foundations of Turkey, and preparing the way for a religious, moral and social regeneration and transformation of the East. "God's mills grind slowly, but surely and wonderfully fine." A thousand years before Him are as one day, and one day may do the work of a thousand years.

§ 41. The Home, and the Antecedents of Islâm.

On the Aborigines of Arabia and its religious condition before Islam, compare the preliminary discourse of Sale, Sect.1 and 2; Muir, Vol. I. ch. 2d; Sprenger, I. 13–92, and Stobart, ch. 1.

The fatherland of Islâm is Arabia, a peninsula between the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. It is covered with sandy deserts, barren hills, rock-bound coasts, fertile wadies, and rich pastures. It is inhabited by nomadic tribes and traders who claim descent from five patriarchal stocks, Cush, Shem, Ishmael, Keturah, and Esau. It was divided by the ancients into Arabia Deserta, Arabia Petraea (the Sinai district with Petra as the capital), and Arabia Felix (El-Yemen, i.e. the land on the right hand, or of the South). Most of its rivers are swelled by periodical rains and then lose themselves in the sandy plains; few reach the ocean; none of them is navigable. It is a land of grim deserts and strips of green verdure, of drought and barrenness, violent rains, clear skies, tropical heat, date palms, aromatic herbs, coffee, balsam, myrrh, frankincense, and dhurra (which takes the place of grain). Its chief animals are the camel, "the ship of the desert," an excellent breed of horses, sheep, and goats. The desert, like the ocean, is not without its grandeur. It creates the impression of infinitude, it fosters silence and meditation on God and eternity. Man is there alone with God. The Arabian desert gave birth to some of the sublimest compositions, the ode of liberty by Miriam, the ninetieth Psalm by Moses, the book of Job, which Carlyle calls "the grandest poem written by the pen of man."

The Arabs love a roaming life, are simple and temperate, courteous, respectful, hospitable, imaginative, fond of poetry and eloquence, careless of human life, revengeful, sensual, and fanatical. Arabia, protected by its deserts, was never properly conquered by a foreign nation.

The religious capital of Islâm, and the birthplace of its founder—its Jerusalem and Rome—is Mecca (or Mekka), one of the oldest cities of Arabia. It is situated sixty-five miles East of Jiddah on the Red Sea, two hundred and forty-five miles South of Medina, in a narrow and sterile valley and shut in by bare hills. It numbered in its days of prosperity over one hundred thousand inhabitants, now only about forty-five thousand. It stands under the immediate control of the Sultan. The streets are broad, but unpaved, dusty in summer, muddy in winter. The houses are built of brick or stone, three or four stories high; the rooms better furnished than is usual in the East. They are a chief source of revenue by being let to the pilgrims. There is scarcely a garden or cultivated field in and around Mecca, and only here and there a thorny acacia and stunted brushwood relieves the eye. The city derives all its fruit—watermelons, dates, cucumbers, limes, grapes, apricots, figs, almonds—from Tâif and Wady Fatima, which during the pilgrimage season send more than one hundred camels daily to the capital. The inhabitants are indolent, though avaricious, and make their living chiefly of the pilgrims who annually flock thither by thousands and tens of thousands from all parts of the Mohammedan world. None but Moslems are allowed to enter Mecca, but a few Christian travellers—Ali Bey (the assumed name of the Spaniard, Domingo Badia y Leblich, d. 1818), Burckhardt in 1814, Burton in 1852, Maltzan in 1862, Keane in 1880—have visited it in Mussulman disguise, and at the risk of their lives. To them we owe our knowledge of the place.141

The most holy place in Mecca is Al-Kaaba, a small oblong temple, so called from its cubic form.142 To it the faces of millions of Moslems are devoutly turned in prayer five times a day. It is inclosed by the great mosque, which corresponds in importance to the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and St. Peter's cathedral in Rome, and can hold about thirty-five thousand persons. It is surrounded by colonnades, chambers, domes and minarets. Near it is the bubbling well Zemzem, from which Hagar and Ishmael are said to have quenched their burning thirst. The Kaaba is much older than Mecca. Diodorus Siculus mentions it as the oldest and most honored temple in his time. It is supposed to have been first built by angels in the shape of a tent and to have been let down from heaven; there Adam worshipped after his expulsion from Paradise; Seth substituted a structure of clay and stone for a tent; after the destruction by the deluge Abraham and Ishmael reconstructed it, and their footsteps are shown.143 It was entirely rebuilt in 1627. It contains the famous Black Stone,144 in the North-Eastern corner near the door. This is probably a meteoric stone, or of volcanic origin, and served originally as an altar. The Arabs believe that it fell from Paradise with Adam, and was as white as milk, but turned black on account of man's sins.145 It is semi-circular in shape, measures about six inches in height, and eight inches in breadth, is four or five feet from the ground, of reddish black color, polished by innumerable kisses (like the foot of the Peter-statue in St. Peter's at Rome), encased in silver, and covered with black silk and inscriptions from the Koran. It was an object of veneration from time immemorial, and is still devoutly kissed or touched by the Moslem pilgrims on each of their seven circuits around the temple.146

Mohammed subsequently cleared the Kaaba of all relics of idolatry, and made it the place of pilgrimage for his followers. He invented or revived the legend that Abraham by divine command sent his son Ishmael with Hagar to Mecca to establish there the true worship and the pilgrim festival. He says in the Koran: "God hath appointed the Kaaba, the sacred house, to be a station for mankind," and, "Remember when we appointed the sanctuary as man's resort and safe retreat, and said, 'Take ye the station of Abraham for a place of prayer.' And we commanded Abraham and Ishmael, 'Purify my house for those who shall go in procession round it, and those who shall bow down and prostrate themselves.' "147

Arabia had at the time when Mohammed appeared, all the elements for a wild, warlike, eclectic religion like the one which he established. It was inhabited by heathen star-worshippers, Jews, and Christians.

The heathen were the ruling race, descended from Ishmael, the bastard son of Abraham (Ibrahim), the real sons of the desert, full of animal life and energy. They had their sanctuary in the Kaaba at Mecca, which attracted annually large numbers of pilgrims long before Mohammed.

The Jews, after the destruction of Jerusalem, were scattered in Arabia, especially in the district of Medina, and exerted considerable influence by their higher culture and rabbinical traditions.

The Christians belonged mostly to the various heretical sects which were expelled from the Roman empire during the violent doctrinal controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries. We find there traces of Arians, Sabellians, Ebionites, Nestorians, Eutychians, Monophysites, Marianites, and Collyridians or worshippers of Mary. Anchorets and monks settled in large numbers in Wady Feiran around Mount Serbal, and Justinian laid the foundation of the Convent of St. Catharine at the foot of Mount Sinai, which till the year 1859 harbored the oldest and most complete uncial manuscript of the Greek Scriptures of both Testaments from the age of Constantine. But it was a very superficial and corrupt Christianity which had found a home in those desert regions, where even the apostle Paul spent three years after his conversion in silent preparation for his great mission.

These three races and religions, though deadly hostile to each other, alike revered Abraham, the father of the faithful, as their common ancestor. This fact might suggest to a great mind the idea to unite them by a national religion monotheistic in principle and eclectic in its character. This seems to have been the original project of the founder of Islâm.

It is made certain by recent research that there were at the time and before the call of Mohammed a considerable number of inquirers at Mecca and Medina, who had intercourse with Eastern Christians in Syria and Abyssinia, were dissatisfied with the idolatry around them, and inclined to monotheism, which they traced to Abraham. They called themselves Hanyfs, i.e. Converts, Puritans. One of them, Omayah of Tâif, we know to have been under Christian influence; others seem to have derived their monotheistic ideas from Judaism. Some of the early converts of Mohammed as, Zayd (his favorite slave), Omayab, or Umaijah (a popular poet), and Waraka (a cousin of Chadijah and a student of the Holy Scriptures of the Jews and Christians) belonged to this sect, and even Mohammed acknowledged himself at first a Hanyf.148 Waraka, it is said, believed in him, as long as he was a Hanyf, but then forsook him, and died a Christian or a Jew.149

Mohammed consolidated and energized this reform-movement, and gave it a world-wide significance, under the new name of Islâm, i.e. resignation to God; whence Moslem (or Muslim), one who resigns himself to God.

§ 42. Life and Character of Mohammed.

Mohammed, an unschooled, self-taught, semi-barbarous son of nature, of noble birth, handsome person, imaginative, energetic, brave, the ideal of a Bedouin chief, was destined to become the political and religious reformer, the poet, prophet, priest, and king of Arabia.

He was born about a.d. 570 at Mecca, the only child of a young widow named Amina.150 His father Abdallah had died a few months before in his twenty-fifth year on a mercantile journey in Medina, and left to his orphan five camels, some sheep and a slave girl.151 He belonged to the heathen family of the Hàshim, which was not wealthy, but claimed lineal descent from Ishmael, and was connected with the Koreish or Korashites, the leading tribe of the Arabs and the hereditary guardians of the sacred Kaaba.152 Tradition surrounds his advent in the world with a halo of marvellous legends: he was born circumcised and with his navel cut, with the seal of prophecy written on his back in letters of light; he prostrated himself at once on the ground, and, raising his hands, prayed for the pardon of his people; three persons, brilliant as the sun, one holding a silver goblet, the second an emerald tray, the third a silken towel, appeared from heaven, washed him seven times, then blessed and saluted him as the "Prince of Mankind." He was nursed by a healthy Bedouin woman of the desert. When a boy of four years he was seized with something like a fit of epilepsy, which Wâckidi and other historians transformed into a miraculous occurrence. He was often subject to severe headaches and feverish convulsions, in which he fell on the ground like a drunken man, and snored like a camel.153 In his sixth year he lost his mother on the return from Medina, whither she had taken him on camel's back to 'visit the maternal relations of his father, and was carried back to Mecca by his nurse, a faithful slave girl. He was taken care of by his aged grandfather, Abd al Motkalib, and after his death in 578 by his uncle Abu Tâlib, who had two wives and ten children, and, though poor and no believer in his nephew's mission, generously protected him to the end.

He accompanied his uncle on a commercial journey to Syria, passing through the desert, ruined cities of old, and Jewish and Christian settlements, which must have made a deep impression on his youthful imagination.

Mohammed made a scanty living as an attendant on caravans and by watching sheep and goats. The latter is rather a disreputable occupation among the Arabs, and left to unmarried women and slaves; but he afterwards gloried in it by appealing to the example of Moses and David, and said that God never calls a prophet who has not been a shepherd before. According to tradition—for, owing to the strict prohibition of images, we have no likeness of the prophet—he was of medium size, rather slender, but broad-shouldered and of strong muscles, had black eyes and hair, an oval-shaped face, white teeth, a long nose, a patriarchal beard, and a commanding look. His step was quick and firm. He wore white cotton stuff, but on festive occasions fine linen striped or dyed in red. He did everything for himself; to the last he mended his own clothes, and cobbled his sandals, and aided his wives in sewing and cooking. He laughed and smiled often. He had a most fertile imagination and a genius for poetry and religion, but no learning. He was an "illiterate prophet," in this respect resembling some of the prophets of Israel and the fishermen of Galilee. It is a disputed question among Moslem and Christian scholars whether he could even read and write.154 Probably he could not. He dictated the Koran from inspiration to his disciples and clerks. What knowledge he possessed, he picked up on the way from intercourse with men, from hearing books read, and especially from his travels.

In his twenty-fifth year he married a rich widow, Chadijah (or Chadîdsha), who was fifteen years older than himself, and who had previously hired him to carry on the mercantile business of her former husband. Her father was opposed to the match; but she made and kept him drunk until the ceremony was completed. He took charge of her caravans with great success, and made several journeys. The marriage was happy and fruitful of six children, two sons and four daughters; but all died except little Fâtima, who became the mother of innumerable legitimate and illegitimate descendants of the prophet. He also adopted Alî, whose close connection with him became so important in the history of Islâm. He was faithful to Chadijah, and held her in grateful remembrance after her death.155 He used to say, "Chadijah believed in me when nobody else did." He married afterwards a number of wives, who caused him much trouble and scandal. His favorite wife, Ayesha, was more jealous of the dead Chadijah than any of her twelve or more living rivals, for he constantly held up the toothless old woman as the model of a wife.

On his commercial journeys to Syria, he became acquainted with Jews and Christians, and acquired an imperfect knowledge of their traditions. He spent much of his time in retirement, prayer, fasting, and meditation. He had violent convulsions and epileptic fits, which his enemies, and at first he himself, traced to demoniacal possessions, but afterwards to the overpowering presence of God. His soul was fired with the idea of the divine unity, which became his ruling passion; and then he awoke to the bold thought that he was a messenger of God, called to warn his countrymen to escape the judgment and the damnation of hell by forsaking idolatry and worshipping the only true God. His monotheistic enthusiasm was disturbed, though not weakened, by his ignorance and his imperfect sense of the difference between right and wrong.

In his fortieth year (a.d. 610), he received the call of Gabriel, the archangel at the right hand of God, who announced the birth of the Saviour to the Virgin Mary. The first revelation was made to him in a trance in the wild solitude of Mount Hirâ, an hour's walk from Mecca. He was directed "to cry in the name of the Lord." He trembled, as if something dreadful had happened to him, and hastened home to his wife, who told him to rejoice, for he would be the prophet of his people. He waited for other visions; but none came. He went up to Mount Hirâ again—this time to commit suicide. But as often as he approached the precipice, he beheld Gabriel at the end of the horizon saying to him: "I am Gabriel, and thou art Mohammed, the prophet of God. Fear not!" He then commenced his career of a prophet and founder of a new religion, which combined various elements of the three religious represented in Arabia, but was animated and controlled by the faith in Allah, as an almighty, ever-present and working will. From this time on, his life was enacted before the eyes of the world, and is embodied in his deeds and in the Koran.

The revelations continued from time to time for more than twenty years. When asked how they were delivered to him, he replied (as reported by Ayesha): "Sometimes like the sound of a bell—a kind of communication which was very severe for me; and when the sounds ceased, I found myself aware of the instructions. And sometimes the angel would come in the form of a man, and converse with me, and all his words I remembered."

After his call, Mohammed labored first for three years among his family and friends, under great discouragements, making about forty converts, of whom his wife Chadijah was the first, his father-in-law, Abu Bakr, and the young, energetic Omar the most important. His daughter Fatima, his adopted son Alî, and his slave Zayd likewise believed in his divine mission. Then he publicly announced his determination to assume by command of God the office of prophet and lawgiver, preached to the pilgrims flocking to Mecca, attacked Meccan idolatry, reasoned with his opponents, answered their demand for miracles by producing the Koran "leaf by leaf," as occasion demanded, and provoked persecution and civil commotion. He was forced in the year 622 to flee for his life with his followers from Mecca to Medina (El-Medina an-Nabî, the City of the Prophet), a distance of two hundred and fifty miles North, or ten days' journey over the sands and rocks of the desert.

This flight or emigration, called Hégira or Hidshra, marks the beginning of his wonderful success, and of the Mohammedan era (July 15, 622). He was recognized in Medina as prophet and lawgiver. At first he proclaimed toleration: "Let there be no compulsion in religion;" but afterwards he revealed the opposite principle that all unbelievers must be summoned to Islâm, tribute, or the sword. With an increasing army of his enthusiastic followers, he took the field against his enemies, gained in 624 his first victory over the Koreish with an army of 305 (mostly citizens of Medina) against a force twice as large, conquered several Jewish and Christian tribes, ordered and watched in person the massacre of six hundred Jews in one day,156 while their wives and children were sold into slavery (627), triumphantly entered Mecca (630), demolished the three hundred and sixty idols of the Kaaba, and became master of Arabia. The Koreish were overawed by his success, and now shouted: "There is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet." The various tribes were melted into a nation, and their old hereditary feuds changed into a common fanatical hatred of the infidels, as the followers of all other religions were called. The last chapter of the Koran commands the remorseless extermination of all idolaters in Arabia, unless they submit within four months.

In the tenth year of the Hegira, the prophet made his last pilgrimage to Mecca at the head of forty thousand Moslems, instructed them in all important ordinances, and exhorted them to protect the weak, the poor, and the women, and to abstain from usury. He planned a large campaign against the Greeks.

But soon after his return to Medina, he died of a violent fever in the house and the arms of Ayesha, June 8, 632, in the sixty-third year of his age, and was buried on the spot where he died, which is now enclosed by a mosque. He suffered great pain, cried and wailed, turned on his couch in despair, and said to his wives when they expressed their surprise at his conduct: "Do ye not know that prophets have to suffer more than all others? One was eaten up by vermin; another died so poor that he had nothing but rags to cover his shame; but their reward will be all the greater in the life beyond." Among his last utterances were: "The Lord destroy the Jews and Christians! Let his anger be kindled against those that turn the tombs of their prophets into places of worship! O Lord, let not my tomb be an object of worship! Let there not remain any faith but that of Islâm throughout the whole of Arabia .... Gabriel, come close to me! Lord, grant me pardon and join me to thy companionship on high! Eternity in paradise! Pardon! Yes, the blessed companionship on high!"157

Omar would not believe that Mohammed was dead, and proclaimed in the mosque of Medina: "The prophet has only swooned away; he shall not die until he have rooted out every hypocrite and unbeliever." But Abu Bakr silenced him and said: "Whosoever worships Mohammed, let him know that Mohammed is dead; but whosoever worships God, let him know that the Lord liveth, and will never die." Abu Bakr, whom he had loved most, was chosen Calif, or Successor of Mohammed.

Later tradition, and even the earliest biography, ascribe to the prophet of Mecca strange miracles, and surround his name with a mythical halo of glory. He was saluted by walking trees and stones; he often made by a simple touch the udders of dry goats distend with milk; be caused floods of water to well up from the parched ground, or gush forth from empty vessels, or issue from betwixt the fingers; he raised the dead; he made a night journey on his steed Borak through the air from Mecca to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem to paradise and the mansions of the prophets and angels, and back again to Mecca.158 But he himself, in several passages of the Koran, expressly disclaims the power of miracles; he appeals to the internal proofs of his doctrine, and shields himself behind the providence of God, who refuses those signs which might diminish the merit of faith and aggravate the guilt of unbelief.159

Character of Mohammed.

The Koran, if chronologically arranged, must be regarded as the best commentary on his character. While his followers regard him to this day as the greatest prophet of God, he was long abhorred in Christendom as a wicked impostor, as the antichrist, or the false prophet, predicted in the Bible, and inspired by the father of lies.

The calmer judgment of recent historians inclines to the belief that he combined the good and bad qualities of an Oriental chief, and that in the earlier part of his life he was a sincere reformer and enthusiast, but after the establishment of his kingdom a slave of ambition for conquest. He was a better man in the period of his adversity and persecution at Mecca, than during his prosperity and triumph at Medina. History records many examples of characters rising from poverty and obscurity to greatness, and then decaying under the sunshine of wealth and power. He degenerated, like Solomon, but did not repent, like the preacher of "vanity of vanities." He had a melancholic and nervous temperament, liable to fantastic hallucinations and alternations of high excitement and deep depression, bordering at times on despair and suicide. The story of his early and frequent epileptic fits throws some light on his revelations, during which he sometimes growled like a camel, foamed at his mouth, and streamed with perspiration. He believed in evil spirits, omens, charms, and dreams. His mind was neither clear nor sharp, but strong and fervent, and under the influence of an exuberant imagination. He was a poet of high order, and the Koran is the first classic in Arabic literature. He believed himself to be a prophet, irresistibly impelled by supernatural influence to teach and warn his fellow-men. He started with the over-powering conviction of the unity of God and a horror of idolatry, and wished to rescue his countrymen from this sin of sins and from the terrors of the judgment to come; but gradually he rose above the office of a national reformer to that of the founder of a universal religion, which was to absorb the other religions, and to be propagated by violence. It is difficult to draw the line in such a character between honest zeal and selfish ambition, the fear of God and the love of power and glory.

He despised a throne and a diadem, lived with his wives in a row of low and homely cottages of unbaked bricks, and aided them in their household duties; he was strictly temperate in eating and drinking, his chief diet being dates and water; he was not ashamed to milk his goats, to mend his clothes and to cobble his shoes; his personal property at his death amounted to some confiscated lands, fourteen or fifteen slaves, a few camels and mules, a hundred sheep, and a rooster. This simplicity of a Bedouin Sheikh of the desert contrasts most favorably with the luxurious style and gorgeous display of Mohammed's successors, the Califs and Sultans, who have dozens of palaces and harems filled with eunuchs and women that know nothing beyond the vanities of dress and etiquette and a little music. He was easy of access to visitors who approached him with faith and reverence; patient, generous, and (according to Ayesha) as modest and bashful "as a veiled virgin." But towards his enemies he was cruel and revengeful. He did not shrink from perfidy. He believed in the use of the sword as the best missionary, and was utterly unscrupulous as to the means of success. He had great moral, but little physical courage; he braved for thirteen years the taunts and threats of the people, but never exposed himself to danger in battle, although he always accompanied his forces.

Mohammed was a slave of sensual passion. Ayesha, who knew him best in his private character and habits, used to say: "The prophet loved three things, women, perfumes and food; he had his heart's desire of the two first, but not of the last." The motives of his excess in polygamy were his sensuality which grew with his years, and his desire for male offspring. His followers excused or justified him by the examples of Abraham, David and Solomon, and by the difficulties of his prophetic office, which were so great that God gave him a compensation in sexual enjoyment, and endowed him with greater capacity than thirty ordinary men. For twenty-four years he had but one wife, his beloved Chadijah, who died in 619, aged sixty-five, but only two months after her death he married a widow named Sawda (April 619), and gradually increased his harem, especially during the last two years of his life. When he heard of a pretty woman, says Sprenger, he asked her hand, but was occasionally refused. He had at least fourteen legal wives, and a number of slave concubines besides. At his death he left nine widows. He claimed special revelations which gave him greater liberty of sexual indulgence than ordinary Moslems (who are restricted to four wives), and exempted him from the prohibition of marrying near relatives.160 He married by divine command, as he alleged, Zeynab, the wife of Zayd, his adopted son and bosom-friend. His wives were all widows except Ayesha. One of them was a beautiful and rich Jewess; she was despised by her sisters, who sneeringly said: "Pshaw, a Jewess!" He told her to reply: "Aaron is my father and Moses my uncle!" Ayesha, the daughter of Abû Bakr, was his especial favorite. He married her when she was a girl of nine years, and he fifty-three years old. She brought her doll-babies with her, and amused and charmed the prophet by her playfulness, vivacity and wit. She could read, had a copy of the Koran, and knew more about theology, genealogy and poetry than all the other widows of Mohammed. He announced that she would be his wife also in Paradise. Yet she was not free from suspicion of unfaithfulness until he received a revelation of her innocence. After his death she was the most sacred person among the Moslems and the highest authority on religious and legal questions. She survived her husband forty-seven years and died at Medina, July 13, 678, aged sixty-seven years.161

In his ambition for a hereditary dynasty, Mohammed was sadly disappointed: he lost his two sons by Chadijah, and a third one by Mary the Egyptian, his favorite concubine.

To compare such a man with Jesus, is preposterous and even blasphemous. Jesus was the sinless Saviour of sinners; Mohammed was a sinner, and he knew and confessed it. He falls far below Moses, or Elijah, or any of the prophets and apostles in moral purity. But outside of the sphere of revelation, he ranks with Confucius, and Cakya Muni the Buddha, among the greatest founders of religions and lawgivers of nations.

§ 43. The Conquests of Islâm.

"The sword," says Mohammed, "is the key of heaven and hell; a drop of blood shed in the cause of Allah, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer: whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven, and at the day of judgment his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim." This is the secret of his success. Idolaters had to choose between Islâm, slavery, and death; Jews and Christians were allowed to purchase a limited toleration by the payment of tribute, but were otherwise kept in degrading bondage. History records no soldiers of greater bravery inspired by religion than the Moslem conquerors, except Cromwell's Ironsides, and the Scotch Covenanters, who fought with purer motives for a nobler cause.

The Califs, Mohammed's successors, who like him united the priestly and kingly dignity, carried on his conquests with the battle-cry: "Before you is paradise, behind you are death and hell." Inspired by an intense fanaticism, and aided by the weakness of the Byzantine empire and the internal distractions of the Greek Church, the wild sons of the desert, who were content with the plainest food, and disciplined in the school of war, hardship and recklessness of life, subdued Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, embracing the classical soil of primitive Christianity. Thousands of Christian churches in the patriarchal dioceses of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, were ruthlessly destroyed, or converted into mosques. Twenty-one years after the death of Mohammed the Crescent ruled over a realm as large as the Roman Empire. Even Constantinople was besieged twice (668 and 717), although in vain. The terrible efficacy of the newly invented "Greek fire," and the unusual severity of a long winter defeated the enemy, and saved Eastern and Northern Europe from the blight of the Koran. A large number of nominal Christians who had so fiercely quarreled with each other about unfruitful subtleties of their creeds, surrendered their faith to the conqueror. In 707 the North African provinces, where once St. Augustin had directed the attention of the church to the highest problems of theology and religion, fell into the hands of the Arabs.

In 711 they crossed from Africa to Spain and established an independent Califate at Cordova. The moral degeneracy and dissensions of the Western Goths facilitated their subjugation. Encouraged by such success, the Arabs crossed the Pyrenees and boasted that they would soon stable their horses in St. Peter's cathedral in Rome, but the defeat of Abd-er Rahman by Charles Martel between Poitiers and Tours in 732—one hundred and ten years after the Hegira—checked their progress in the West, and in 1492—the same year in which Columbus discovered a new Continent—Ferdinand defeated the last Moslem army in Spain at the gates of Granada and drove them back to Africa. The palace and citadel of the Alhambra, with its court of lions, its delicate arabesques and fretwork, and its aromatic gardens and groves, still remains, a gorgeous ruin of the power of the Moorish kings.

In the East the Moslems made new conquests. In the ninth century they subdued Persia, Afghanistan, and a large part of India. They reduced the followers of Zoroaster to a few scattered communities, and conquered a vast territory of Brahminism and Buddhism even beyond the Ganges. The Seliuk Turks in the eleventh century, and the Mongols in the thirteenth, adopted the religion of the Califs whom they conquered. Constantinople fell at last into the hands of the Turks in 1453, and the magnificent church of St. Sophia, the glory of Justinian's reign, was turned into a mosque where the Koran is read instead of the Gospel, the reader holding the drawn scimetar in his hand. From Constantinople the Turks threatened the German empire, and it was not till 1683 that they were finally defeated by Sobieski at the gates of Vienna and driven back across the Danube.

With the senseless fury of fanaticism and pillage the Tartar Turks have reduced the fairest portions of Eastern Europe to desolation and ruin. With sovereign contempt for all other religions, they subjected the Christians to a condition of virtual servitude, treating them like "dogs," as they call them. They did not intermeddle with their internal affairs, but made merchandise of ecclesiastical offices. The death penalty was suspended over every attempt to convert a Mussulman. Apostasy from the faith is also treason to the state, and merits the severest punishment in this world, as well as everlasting damnation in the world to come.

After the Crimean war in 1856, the death penalty for apostasy was nominally abolished in the dominions of the Sultan, and in the Berlin Treaty of 1878 liberty of religion (more than mere toleration) was guaranteed to all existing sects in the Turkish empire, but the old fanaticism will yield only to superior force, and the guarantee of liberty is not understood to imply the liberty of propaganda among Moslems. Christian sects have liberty to prey on each other, but woe to them if they invade the sacred province of Islâm.162

A Mohammedan tradition contains a curious prophecy that Christ, the son of Mary, will return as the last Calif to judge the world.163 The impression is gaining ground among the Moslems that they will be unable ultimately to withstand the steady progress of Christianity and Western civilization. The Sultan, the successor of the Califs, is a mere shadow on the throne trembling for his life. The dissolution of the Turkish empire, which may be looked for at no distant future, will break the backbone of lslâm, and open the way for the true solution of the Eastern question—the moral regeneration of the Lands of the Bible by the Christianity of the Bible.

§ 44. The Koran, and the Bible.

"Mohammed's truth lay in a sacred Book,

Christ's in a holy Life."—Milnes (Palm-Leaves).

The Koran164 is the sacred book, the Bible of the Mohammedans. It is their creed, their code of laws, their liturgy. It claims to be the product of divine inspiration by the arch-angel Gabriel, who performed the function assigned to the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures.165 The Mohammedans distinguish two kinds of revelations: those which were literally delivered as spoken by the angel (called Wahee Matloo, or the word of God), and those which give the sense of the inspired instruction in the prophet's own words (called Wahee Ghair Matloo, or Hadees). The prophet is named only five times, but is addressed by Gabriel all through the book with the word Say, as the recipient and sacred penman of the revelations. It consists of 114 Suras166 and 6,225 verses. Each Sura (except the ninth) begins with the formula (of Jewish origin): "In the name of Allah, the God of Mercy, the Merciful."167

The Koran is composed in imperfect metre and rhyme (which is as natural and easy in the Arabic as in the Italian language). Its language is considered the purest Arabic. Its poetry somewhat resembles Hebrew poetry in Oriental imagery and a sort of parallelism or correspondence of clauses, but it loses its charm in a translation; while the Psalms and Prophets can be reproduced in any language without losing their original force and beauty. The Koran is held in superstitious veneration, and was regarded till recently as too sacred to be translated and to be sold like a common book.168

Mohammed prepared and dictated the Koran from time to time as he received the revelations and progressed in his career, not for readers, but for hearers, leaving much to the suggestive action of the public recital, either from memory or from copies taken down by his friends. Hence its occasional, fragmentary character. About a year after his death, at the direction of Abu-Bakr, his father-in-law and immediate successor, Zayd, the chief ansar or amanuensis of the Prophet, collected the scattered fragments of the Koran "from palm-leaves, and tablets of white stone, and from the breasts of men," but without any regard to chronological order or continuity of subjects. Abu-Bakr committed this copy to the custody of Haphsa, one of Mohammed's widows. It remained the standard during the ten years of Omar's califate. As the different readings of copies occasioned serious disputes, Zayd, with several Koreish, was commissioned to secure the purity of the text in the Meccan dialect, and all previous copies were called in and burned. The recension of Zayd has been handed down with scrupulous care unaltered to this day, and various readings are almost unknown; the differences being confined to the vowel-points, which were invented at a later period. The Koran contains many inconsistencies and contradictions; but the expositors hold that the later command supersedes the earlier.

The restoration of the chronological order of the Suras is necessary for a proper understanding of the gradual development of Islâm in the mind and character of its author.169 There is a considerable difference between the Suras of the earlier, middle, and later periods. In the earlier, the poetic, wild, and rhapsodical element predominates; in the middle, the prosaic, narrative, and missionary; in the later, the official and legislative. Mohammed began with descriptions of natural objects, of judgment, of heaven and hell, impassioned, fragmentary utterances, mostly in brief sentences; he went on to dogmatic assertions, historical statements from Jewish and Christian sources, missionary appeals and persuasions; and he ended with the dictatorial commands of a legislator and warrior. "He who at Mecca is the admonisher and persuader, at Medina is the legislator and the warrior, who dictates obedience and uses other weapons than the pen of the poet and the scribe. When business pressed, as at Medina, poetry makes way for prose,170 and although touches of the poetical element occasionally break forth, and he has to defend himself up to a very late period against the charge of being merely a poet, yet this is rarely the case in the Medina Suras; and we are startled by finding obedience to God and the Apostle, God's gifts and the Apostle's, God's pleasure and the Apostle's, spoken of in the same breath, and epithets, and attributes, applied to Allah, openly applied to Mohammed, as in Sura IX."171

The materials of the Koran, as far as they are not productions of the author's own imagination, were derived from the floating traditions of Arabia and Syria, from rabbinical Judaism, and a corrupt Christianity, and adjusted to his purposes.

Mohammed had, in his travels, come in contact with professors of different religions, and on his first journey with camel-drivers he fell in with a Nestorian monk of Bostra, who goes by different names (Bohari, Bahyra, Sergius, George), and welcomed the youthful prophet with a presage of his future greatness.172 His wife Chadijah and her cousin Waraka (a reputed convert to Christianity, or more probably a Jew) are said to have been well acquainted with the sacred books of the Jews and the Christians.

The Koran, especially in the earlier Suras, speaks often and highly of the Scriptures; calls them "the Book of God," "the Word of God," "the Tourât" (Thora, the Pentateuch), "the Gospel" (Ynyil), and describes the Jews and Christians as "the people of the Book," or "of the Scripture," or "of the Gospel." It finds in the Scriptures prophecies of Mohammed and his success, and contains narratives of the fall of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Deluge, Abraham and Lot, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses and Joseph, John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary and Jesus, sometimes in the words of the Bible, but mostly distorted and interspersed with rabbinical and apocryphal fables.173

It is quite probable that portions of the Bible were read to Mohammed; but it is very improbable that he read it himself; for according to the prevailing Moslem tradition he could not read at all, and there were no Arabic translations before the Mohammedan conquests, which spread the Arabic language in the conquered countries. Besides, if he had read the Bible with any degree of care, he could not have made such egregious blunders. The few allusions to Scripture phraseology—as "giving alms to be seen of men," "none forgiveth sins but God only"—may be derived from personal intercourse and popular traditions. Jesus (Isa) is spoken of as "the Son of Mary, strengthened by the Holy Spirit." Noah (Nûh), Abraham (Ibrahym), Moses (Mûsa), Aaron (Harun), are often honorably mentioned, but apparently always from imperfect traditional or apocryphal sources of information.174

The Koran is unquestionably one of the great books of the world. It is not only a book, but an institution, a code of civil and religious laws, claiming divine origin and authority. It has left its impress upon ages. It feeds to this day the devotions, and regulates the private and public life, of more than a hundred millions of human beings. It has many passages of poetic beauty, religious fervor, and wise counsel, but mixed with absurdities, bombast, unmeaning images, low sensuality. It abounds in repetitions and contradictions, which are not removed by the convenient theory of abrogation. It alternately attracts and repels, and is a most wearisome book to read. Gibbon calls the Koran "a glorious testimony to the unity of God," but also, very properly, an "endless, incoherent rhapsody of fable and precept and declamation, which seldom excites a sentiment or idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and is sometimes lost in the clouds."175 Reiske176 denounces it as the most absurd book and a scourge to a reader of sound common sense. Goethe, one of the best judges of literary and poetic merit, characterizes the style as severe, great, terrible, and at times truly sublime. "Detailed injunctions," he says, "of things allowed and forbidden, legendary stories of Jewish and Christian religion, amplifications of all kinds, boundless tautologies and repetitions, form the body of this sacred volume, which to us, as often as we approach it, is repellent anew, next attracts us ever anew, and fills us with admiration, and finally forces us into veneration." He finds the kernel of Islâm in the second Sura, where belief and unbelief with heaven and hell, as their sure reward, are contrasted. Carlyle calls the Koran "the confused ferment of a great rude human soul; rude, untutored, that cannot even read, but fervent, earnest, struggling vehemently to utter itself In words;" and says of Mohammedanism: "Call it not false, look not at the falsehood of it; look at the truth of it. For these twelve centuries it has been the religion and life-guidance of the fifth part of the whole kindred of mankind. Above all, it has been a religion heartily believed." But with all his admiration, Carlyle confesses that the reading of the Koran in English is "as toilsome a task" as he ever undertook. "A wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; insupportable stupidity, in short, nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran. We read it, as we might in the State-Paper Office, unreadable masses of lumber, that we may get some glimpses of a remarkable man." And yet there are Mohammedan doctors who are reported to have read the Koran seventy thousand times! What a difference of national and religious taste! Emanuel Deutsch finds the grandeur of the Koran chiefly in its Arabic diction, "the peculiarly dignified, impressive, sonorous nature of Semitic sound and parlance; its sesquipedalia verba, with their crowd of prefixes and affixes, each of them affirming its own position, while consciously bearing upon and influencing the central root, which they envelop like a garment of many folds, or as chosen courtiers move round the anointed person of the king." E. H. Palmer says that the claim of the Koran to miraculous eloquence, however absurd it may sound to Western ears, was and is to the Arab incontrovertible, and he accounts for the immense influence which it has always exercised upon the Arab mind, by the fact, "that it consists not merely of the enthusiastic utterances of an individual, but of the popular sayings, choice pieces of eloquence, and favorite legends current among the desert tribes for ages before this time. Arabic authors speak frequently of the celebrity attained by the ancient Arabic orators, such as Shâibân Wâil; but unfortunately no specimens of their works have come down to us. The Qur'ân, however, enables us to judge of the speeches which took so strong a hold upon their countrymen."177

Of all books, not excluding the Vedas, the Koran is the most powerful rival of the Bible, but falls infinitely below it in contents and form.

Both contain the moral and religious code of the nations which own it; the Koran, like the Old Testament, is also a civil and political code. Both are oriental in style and imagery. Both have the fresh character of occasional composition growing out of a definite historical situation and specific wants. But the Bible is the genuine revelation of the only true God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself; the Koran is a mock-revelation without Christ and without atonement. Whatever is true in the Koran is borrowed from the Bible; what is original, is false or frivolous. The Bible is historical and embodies the noblest aspirations of the human race in all ages to the final consummation; the Koran begins and stops with Mohammed. The Bible combines endless variety with unity, universal applicability with local adaptation; the Koran is uniform and monotonous, confined to one country, one state of society, and one class of minds. The Bible is the book of the world, and is constantly travelling to the ends of the earth, carrying spiritual food to all races and to all classes of society; the Koran stays in the Orient, and is insipid to all who have once tasted the true word of the living God.178 Even the poetry of the Koran never rises to the grandeur and sublimity of Job or Isaiah, the lyric beauty of the Psalms, the sweetness and loveliness of the Song of Solomon, the sententious wisdom of the Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

A few instances must suffice for illustration.

The first Sura, called "the Sura of Praise and Prayer," which is recited by the Mussulmans several times in each of the five daily devotions, fills for them the place of the Lord's Prayer, and contains the same number of petitions. We give it in a rhymed, and in a more literal translation:

"In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate!

Praise be to Allah, who the three worlds made,

The Merciful, the Compassionate,

The King of the day of Fate,

Thee alone do we worship, and of Thee alone do we ask aid.

Guide us to the path that is straight —

The path of those to whom Thy love is great,

Not those on whom is hate,

Nor they that deviate! Amen.179

"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds!

The Compassionate, the Merciful!

King on the day of judgment!

Thee only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help.

Guide Thou us on the right path,

The path of those to whom Thou art gracious;

Not of those with whom Thou art angered,

Nor of those who go astray."180

We add the most recent version in prose:

"In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, the merciful, the compassionate, the ruler of the day of judgment! Thee we serve and Thee we ask for aid. Guide us in the right path, the path of those Thou art gracious to; not of those Thou art wroth with; nor of those who err."181

As this Sura invites a comparison with the Lord's Prayer infinitely to the advantage of the latter, so do the Koran's descriptions of Paradise when contrasted with St. John's vision of the heavenly Jerusalem:

"Joyous on that day shall be the inmates of Paradise in their employ;

In shades, on bridal couches reclining, they and their spouses:

Therein shall they have fruits, and whatever they require —

'Peace!' shall be the word on the part of a merciful Lord.

But be ye separated this day, O ye sinners!"182

* * * * * * *

"The sincere servants of God

A stated banquet shall they have

Of fruits; and honored shall they be

In the gardens of delight,

Upon couches face to face.

A cup shall be borne round among them from a fountain,

Limpid, delicious to those who drink;

It shall not oppress the sense, nor shall they therewith be drunken,

And with them are the large-eyed ones with modest refraining glances,

fair like the sheltered egg."183

§ 45. The Mohammedan Religion.

lslâm is not a new religion, nor can we expect a new one after the appearance of that religion which is perfect and intended for all nations and ages. It is a compound or mosaic of preëxisting elements, a rude attempt to combine heathenism, Judaism and Christianity, which Mohammed found in Arabia, but in a very imperfect form.184 It is professedly, a restoration of the faith of Abraham, the common father of Isaac and of Ishmael. But it is not the genuine faith of Abraham with its Messianic hopes and aspirations looking directly to the gospel dispensation as its goal and fulfilment, but a bastard Judaism of Ishmael, and the post-Christian and anti-Christian Judaism of the Talmud. Still less did Mohammed know the pure religion of Jesus as laid down in the New Testament, but only a perversion and caricature of it such as we find in the wretched apocryphal and heretical Gospels. This ignorance of the Bible and the corruptions of Eastern Christianity with which the Mohammedans came in contact, furnish some excuse for their misbelief and stubborn prejudices. And yet even the poor pseudo-Jewish and pseudo-Christian elements of the Koran were strong enough to reform the old heathenism of Arabia and Africa and to lift it to a much higher level. The great and unquestionable merit of Islâm is the breaking up of idolatry and the diffusion of monotheism.

The creed of Islâm is simple, and consists of six articles: God, predestination, the angels (good and bad), the books, the prophets, the resurrection and judgment with eternal reward and eternal punishment.


Monotheism is the comer-stone of the system. It is expressed in the ever-repeated sentence: "There is no god but God (Allâh, i.e., the true, the only God), and Mohammed is his prophet (or apostle)."185 Gibbon calls this a "compound of an eternal truth and a necessary fiction." The first clause certainly is a great and mighty truth borrowed from the Old Testament (Deut. 6:4); and is the religious strength of the system. But the Mohammedan (like the later Jewish, the Socinian, and the Unitarian) monotheism is abstract, monotonous, divested of inner life and fulness, anti-trinitarian, and so far anti-Christian. One of the last things which a Mohammedan will admit, is the divinity of Christ. Many of the divine attributes are vividly apprehended, emphasized and repeated in prayer. But Allah is a God of infinite power and wisdom, not a God of redeeming love to all mankind; a despotic sovereign of trembling subjects and slaves, not a loving Father of trustful children. He is an object of reverence and fear rather than of love and gratitude. He is the God of fate who has unalterably foreordained all things evil as well as good; hence unconditional resignation to him (this is the meaning of Islâm) is true wisdom and piety. He is not a hidden, unknowable being, but a God who has revealed himself through chosen messengers, angelic and human. Adam, Noah, Abraham Moses, and Jesus are his chief prophets.186 But Mohammed is the last and the greatest.


The Christology of the Koran is a curious mixture of facts and apocryphal fictions, of reverence for the man Jesus and denial of his divine character. He is called "the Messiah Jesus Son of Mary," or "the blessed Son of Mary."187 He was a servant and apostle of the one true God, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, i.e., the angel Gabriel (Dshebril), who afterwards conveyed the divine revelations to Mohammed. But he is not the Son of God; for as God has no wife, he can have no son.188 He is ever alone, and it is monstrous and blasphemous to associate another being with Allah.

Some of the Mohammedan divines exempt Jesus and even his mother from sin, and first proclaimed the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary, for which the apocryphal Gospels prepared the way.189 By a singular anachronism, the Koran confounds the Virgin Mary with Miriam," the sister of Aaron" (Harun), and Moses (Ex. xv. 20; Num. xxi. 1). Possibly Mohammed may have meant another Aaron (since he calls Mary, "the sister of Aaron but not "of Moses"); some of his commentators, however, assume that the sister of Moses was miraculously preserved to give birth to Jesus.190

According to the Koran Jesus was conceived by the Virgin Mary at the appearance of Gabriel and born under a palm tree beneath which a fountain opened. This story is of Ebionite origin.191 Jesus preached in the cradle and performed miracles in His infancy (as in the apocryphal Gospels), and during His public ministry, or rather Allah wrought miracles through Him. Mohammed disclaims the miraculous power, and relied upon the stronger testimony of the truth of his doctrine. Jesus proclaimed the pure doctrine of the unity of God and disclaimed divine honors.

The crucifixion of Jesus is denied. He was delivered by a miracle from the death intended for Him, and taken up by God into Paradise with His mother. The Jews slew one like Him, by mistake. This absurd docetic idea is supposed to be the common belief of Christians.192

Jesus predicted the coming of Mohammed, when he said: "O children of Israel! of a truth I am God's apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an apostle that shall come after me whose name shall be Ahmed!"193 Thus the promise of the Holy Ghost, "the other Paraclete," (John xiv. 16) was applied by Mohammed to himself by a singular confusion of Paracletos (paravklhto") with Periclytos (perivkluto", heard all round, famous) or Ahmed (the glorified, the illustrious), one of the prophet's names.194

Owing to this partial recognition of Christianity Mohammed was originally regarded not as the founder of a new religion, but as one of the chief heretics.195 The same opinion is expressed by several modern writers, Catholic and Protestant. Döllinger says: "Islâm must be considered at bottom a Christian heresy, the bastard offspring of a Christian father and a Jewish mother, and is indeed more closely allied to Christianity than Manichaeism, which is reckoned a Christian sect."196 Stanley calls Islâm an "eccentric heretical form of Eastern Christianity," and Ewald more correctly, "the last and most powerful offshoot of Gnosticism."197

The Ethics of IslÂm.

Resignation (Islâm) to the omnipotent will of Allah is the chief virtue. It is the most powerful motive both in action and suffering, and is carried to the excess of fatalism and apathy.

The use of pork and wine is strictly forbidden; prayer, fasting (especially during the whole month of Ramadhân), and almsgiving are enjoined. Prayer carries man half-way to God, fasting brings him to the door of God's palace, alms secure admittance. The total abstinence from strong drink by the whole people, even in countries where the vine grows in abundance, reveals a remarkable power of self-control, which puts many Christian nations to shame. Mohammedanism is a great temperance society. Herein lies its greatest moral force.


But on the other hand the heathen vice of polygamy and concubinage is perpetuated and encouraged by the example of the prophet. He restrained and regulated an existing practice, and gave it the sanction of religion. Ordinary believers are restricted to four wives (exclusive of slaves), and generally have only one or two. But Califs may fill their harems to the extent of their wealth and lust. Concubinage with female slaves is allowed to all without limitation. The violation of captive women of the enemy is the legitimate reward of the conqueror. The laws of divorce and prohibited degrees are mostly borrowed from the Jews, but divorce is facilitated and practiced to an extent that utterly demoralizes married life.

Polygamy and servile concubinage destroy the dignity of woman, and the beauty and peace of home. In all Mohammedan countries woman is ignorant and degraded; she is concealed from public sight by a veil (a sign of degradation as well as protection); she is not commanded to pray, and is rarely seen in the mosques; it is even an open question whether she has a soul, but she is necessary even in paradise for the gratification of man's passion. A Moslem would feel insulted by an inquiry after the health of his wife or wives. Polygamy affords no protection against unnatural vices, which are said to prevail to a fearful extent among Mohammedans, as they did among the ancient heathen.198

In nothing is the infinite superiority of Christianity over Islâm so manifest as in the condition of woman and family life. Woman owes everything to the religion of the gospel.

The sensual element pollutes even the Mohammedan picture of heaven from which chastity is excluded. The believers are promised the joys of a luxuriant paradise amid blooming gardens, fresh fountains, and beautiful virgins. Seventy-two Houris, or black-eyed girls of blooming youth will be created for the enjoyment of the meanest believer; a moment of pleasure will be prolonged to a thousand years; and his faculties will be increased a hundred fold. Saints and martyrs will be admitted to the spiritual joys of the divine vision. But infidels and those who refuse to fight for their faith will be cast into hell.

The Koran distinguishes seven heavens, and seven hells (for wicked or apostate Mohammedans, Christians, Jews, Sabians, Magians, idolaters, hypocrites). Hell (Jahennem=Gehenna) is beneath the lowest earth and seas of darkness; the bridge over it is finer than a hair and sharper than the edge of a sword; the pious pass over it in a moment, the wicked fall from it into the abyss.


Slavery is recognized and sanctioned as a normal condition of, society, and no hint is given in the Koran, nor any effort made by Mohammedan rulers for its final extinction. It is the twin-sister of polygamy; every harem is a slave-pen or a slave-palace. "The Koran, as a universal revelation, would have been a perpetual edict of servitude." Mohammed, by ameliorating the condition of slaves, and enjoining kind treatment upon the masters, did not pave the way for its abolition, but rather riveted its fetters. The barbarous slave-trade is still carried on in all its horrors by Moslems among the negroes in Central Africa.


War against unbelievers is legalized by the Koran. The fighting men are to be slain, the women and children reduced to slavery. Jews and Christians are dealt with more leniently than idolaters; but they too must be thoroughly humbled and forced to pay tribute.

§ 46. Mohammedan Worship.

"A simple, unpartitioned room,

Surmounted by an ample dome,

Or, in some Iands that favored he,

With centre open to the sky,

But roofed with arched cloisters round,

That mark the consecrated bound,

And shade the niche to Mecca turned,

By which two massive lights are burned;

With pulpit whence the sacred word

Expounded on great days is heard;

With fountains fresh, where, ere they pray,

Men wash the soil of earth away;

With shining minaret, thin and high,

From whose fine trellised balcony,

Announcement of the hour of prayer

Is uttered to the silent air:

Such is the Mosque—the holy place,

Where faithful men of every race

Meet at their ease and face to face."

(From Milnes, "Palm Leaves.")

In worship the prominent feature of Islâm is its extreme iconoclasm and puritanism. In this respect, it resembles the service of the synagogue. The second commandment is literally understood as a prohibition of all representations of living creatures, whether in churches or elsewhere. The only ornament allowed is the "Arabesque," which is always taken from inanimate nature.199

The ceremonial is very simple. The mosques, like Catholic churches, are always open and frequented by worshippers, who perform their devotions either alone or in groups with covered head and bare feet. In entering, one must take off the shoes according to the command: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Slippers or sandals of straw are usually provided for strangers, and must be paid for. There are always half a dozen claimants for "backsheesh"—the first and the last word which greets the traveller in Egypt and Syria. Much importance is attached to preaching.200

Circumcision is retained from the Jews, although it is not mentioned in the Koran. Friday is substituted for the Jewish Sabbath as the sacred day (perhaps because it was previously a day for religious assemblage). It is called the prince of days, the most excellent day on which man was created, and on which the last judgment will take place; but the observance is less strict than that of the Jewish Sabbath. On solemn occasions sacrifice, mostly in the nature of a thank-offering, is offered and combined with an act of benevolence to the poor. But there is no room in Islâm for the idea of atonement; God forgives sins directly and arbitrarily, without a satisfaction of justice. Hence there is no priesthood in the sense of a hereditary or perpetual caste, offering sacrifices and mediating between God and the people.201 Yet there are Mufties and Dervishes, who are as powerful as any class of priests and monks. The Mussulmans have their saints, and pray at their white tombs. In this respect, they approach the Greeks and Roman Catholics; yet they abhor the worship of saints as idolatry. They also make much account of religious processions and pilgrimages. Their chief place of pilgrimage is Mecca. Many thousands of Moslems from Egypt and all parts of Turkey pass annually through the Arabian desert to worship at the holy Kaaba, and are received in triumph on their return. The supposed tomb of Moses, also, which is transferred to the Western shore of the Dead Sea, is visited by the Moslems of Jerusalem and the neighboring country in the month of April.

Prayer with prostrations is reduced to a mechanical act which is performed with the regularity of clock work. Washing of hands is enjoined before prayer, but in the desert, sand is permitted as a substitute for water. There are five stated seasons for prayer: at day-break, near noon, in the afternoon, a little after sunset (to avoid the appearance of sun-worship), and at night-fall, besides two night prayers for extra devotion. The muëddin or muëzzin (crier) announces the time of devotion from the minaret of the mosque by chanting the "Adan" or call to prayer, in these words:

God is great!" (four times). "I bear witness that there is no god but God" (twice). "I bear witness that Mohammed is the Apostle of God" (twice). "Come hither to prayers!" (twice). "Come hither to salvation!" (twice). "God is great! There is no other God!" And in the early morning the crier adds: "Prayer is better than sleep!"

A devout Mussulman is never ashamed to perform his devotion in public, whether in the mosque, or in the street, or on board the ship. Regardless of the surroundings, feeling alone with God in the midst of the crowd, his face turned to Mecca, his hands now raised to heaven, then laid on the lap, his forehead touching the ground, he goes through his genuflexions and prostrations, and repeats the first Sura of the Koran and the ninety-nine beautiful names of Allah, which form his rosary.202 The mosques are as well filled with men, as many Christian churches are with women. Islâm is a religion for men; women are of no account; the education and elevation of the female sex would destroy the system.

With all its simplicity and gravity, the Mohammedan worship has also its frantic excitement of the Dervishes. On the celebration of the birthday of their prophet and other festivals, they work themselves, by the constant repetition of "Allah, Allah," into a state of unconscious ecstacy, "in which they plant swords in their breasts, tear live serpents with their teeth, eat bottles of glass, and finally lie prostrate on the ground for the chief of their order to ride on horseback over their bodies."203

I will add a brief description of the ascetic exercises of the "Dancing" and "Howling" Dervishes which I witnessed in their convents at Constantinople and Cairo in 1877.

The Dancing or Turning Dervishes in Pera, thirteen in number, some looking ignorant and stupid, others devout and intensely fanatical, went first through prayers and prostrations, then threw off their outer garments, and in white flowing gowns, with high hats of stiff woolen stuff, they began to dance to the sound of strange music, whirling gracefully and skilfully on their toes, ring within ring, without touching each other or moving out of their circle, performing, in four different acts, from forty to fifty turnings in one minute, their arms stretched out or raised to heaven their eyes half shut, their mind apparently lost in a sort of Nirwana or pantheistic absorption in Allah. A few hours afterward I witnessed the rare spectacle of one of these very Dervishes reeling to and fro in a state of intoxication on the street and the lower bridge of the Golden Horn.

The Howling Dervishes in Scutari present a still more extraordinary sight, and a higher degree of ascetic exertion, but destitute of all grace and beauty. The performance took place in a small, plain, square room, and lasted nearly two hours. As the monks came in, they kissed the hand of their leader and repeated with him long prayers from the Koran. One recited with melodious voice an Arabic song in praise of Mohammed. Then, standing in a row, bowing, and raising their heads, they continued to howl the fundamental dogma of Mohammedanism, Lâ ilâha ill' Allâh for nearly an hour. Some were utterly exhausted and wet with perspiration. The exercises I saw in Cairo were less protracted, but more dramatic, as the Dervishes had long hair and stood in a circle, swinging their bodies backward and forward in constant succession, and nearly touching the ground with their flowing hair. In astounding feats of asceticism the Moslems are fully equal to the ancient Christian anchorites and the fakirs of India.

§ 47. Christian Polemics against Mohammedanism. Note on Mormonism.

See the modern Lit. in § 38.

For a list of earlier works against Mohammedanism, see J. Alb. Fabricius: Delectus argumentorum et syllabus scriptorum, qui veritatem Christ. Adv. Atheos, ... Judaeos et Muhammedanos ... asseruerunt. Hamb., 1725, pp. 119 sqq., 735 sqq. J. G. Walch: Bibliotheca Theolog. Selecta (Jenae, 1757), Tom. I. 611 sqq. Appendix to Prideaux's Life of Mahomet.

Theod. Bibliander, edited at Basle, in 1543, and again in 1550, with the Latin version of the Koran, a collection of the more important works against Mohammed under the title: Machumetis Saracenorum principis ejusque successorum vitae, doctrinae, ac ipse Alcoran., I vol. fol.

Richardus (about 1300): Confutatio Alcorani, first publ. in Paris, 1511.

Joh. de Turrecremata: Tractatus contra principales errores perfidi Mahometis et Turcorum. Rom., 1606.

Lud. Maraccius (Maracci): Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani; in quo, per IV. praecipuas verae religionis notas, mahumetanae sectae falsitas ostenditur, christianae religionis veritas comprobatur. Rom. (typis Congreg. de Propaganda Fide), 1691. 4 vols., small oct.; also Pref. to his Alcorani textus universus, Petav., 1698, 2 vols. fol.

Hadr. Reland: De Religione Mohammedica. Utrecht, 1705; 2nd ed. 1717; French transl., Hague, 1721.

W. Gass: Gennadius und Pletho. Breslau, 1844, Part I., pp. 106–181. (Die Bestreitung des Islâm im Mittelalter.)

The argument of Mohammedanism against other religions was the sword. Christian Europe replied with the sword in the crusades, but failed. Greek and Latin divines refuted the false prophet with superior learning, but without rising to a higher providential view, and without any perceptible effect. Christian polemics against Mohammed and the Koran began in the eighth century, and continued with interruptions to the sixteenth and seventeenth.

John of Damascus, who lived among the Saracens (about a.d. 750), headed the line of champions of the cross against the crescent. He was followed, in the Greek Church, by Theodor of Abukara, who debated a good deal with Mohammedans in Mesopotamia, by Samonas, bishop of Gaza, Bartholomew of Edessa, John Kantakuzenus (or rather a monk Meletius, formerly a Mohammedan, who justified his conversion, with the aid of the emperor, in four apologies and four orations), Euthymius Zigabenus, Gennadius, patriarch of Constantinople. Prominent in the Latin church were Peter, Abbot of Clugny (twelfth century), Thomas Aquinas, Alanus ab Insulis, Raimundus LulIus, Nicolaus of Cusa, Ricold or Richard (a Dominican monk who lived long in the East), Savonarola, Joh. de Turrecremata.

The mediaeval writers, both Greek and Latin, represent Mohammed as an impostor and arch-heretic, who wove his false religion chiefly from Jewish (Talmudic) fables and Christian heresies. They find him foretold in the Little Horn of Daniel, and the False Prophet of the Apocalypse. They bring him in connection with a Nestorian monk, Sergius, or according to others, with the Jacobite Bahira, who instructed Mohammed, and might have converted him to the Christian religion, if malignant Jews had not interposed with their slanders. Thus he became the shrewd and selfish prophet of a pseudo-gospel, which is a mixture of apostate Judaism and apostate Christianity with a considerable remnant of his native Arabian heathenism. Dante places him, disgustingly torn and mutilated, among the chief heretics and schismatics in the ninth gulf of Hell,

"Where is paid the fee

By those who sowing discord win their burden."204

This mediaeval view was based in part upon an entire ignorance or perversion of facts. It was then believed that Mohammedans were pagans and idolaters, and cursed the name of Christ, while it is now known, that they abhor idolatry, and esteem Christ as the highest prophet next to Mohammed.

The Reformers and older Protestant divines took substantially the same view, and condemn the Koran and its author without qualification. We must remember that down to the latter part of the seventeenth century the Turks were the most dangerous enemies of the peace of Europe. Luther published, at Wittenberg, 1540, a German translation of Richard's Confutatio Alcorani, with racy notes, to show "what a shameful, lying, abominable book the Alcoran is." He calls Mohammed "a devil and the first-born child of Satan." He goes into the question, whether the Pope or Mohammed be worse, and comes to the conclusion, that after all the pope is worse, and the real Anti-Christ (Endechrist). "Wohlan," he winds up his epilogue, "God grant us his grace and punish both the Pope and Mohammed, together with their devils. I have done my part as a true prophet and teacher. Those who won't listen may leave it alone." Even the mild and scholarly Melanchthon identifies Mohammed with the Little Horn of Daniel, or rather with the Gog and Magog of the Apocalypse, and charges his sect with being a compound of "blasphemy, robbery, and sensuality." It is not very strange. that in the heat of that polemical age the Romanists charged the Lutherans, and the Lutherans the Calvinists, and both in turn the Romanists, with holding Mohammedan heresies.205

In the eighteenth century this view was gradually corrected. The learned Dean Prideaux still represented Mohammed as a vulgar impostor, but at the same time as a scourge of God in just punishment of the sins of the Oriental churches who turned our holy religion "into a firebrand of hell for contention, strife and violence." He undertook his "Life of Mahomet" as a part of a "History of the Eastern Church," though he did not carry out his design.

Voltaire and other Deists likewise still viewed Mohammed as an impostor, but from a disposition to trace all religion to priestcraft and deception. Spanheim, Sale, and Gagnier began to take a broader and more favorable view. Gibbon gives a calm historical narrative; and in summing up his judgment, he hesitates whether "the title of enthusiast or impostor more properly belongs to that extraordinary man .... From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the daemon of Socrates affords a memorable instance how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud."

Dean Milman suspends his judgment, saying: "To the question whether Mohammed was hero, sage, impostor, or fanatic, or blended, and blended in what proportions, these conflicting elements in his character? the best reply is the reverential phrase of Islâm: God knows.' "206

Goethe and Carlyle swung from the orthodox abuse to the opposite extreme of a pantheistic hero-worshiping over-estimate of Mohammed and the Koran by extending the sphere of revelation and inspiration, and obliterating the line which separates Christianity from all other religions. Stanley, R. Bosworth Smith, Emanuel Deutsch, and others follow more or less in the track of this broad and charitable liberalism. Many errors and prejudices have been dispelled, and the favorable traits of Islâm and its followers, their habits of devotion, temperance, and resignation, were held up to the shame and admiration of the Christian world. Mohammed himself, it is now generally conceded, began as an honest reformer, suffered much persecution for his faith, effectually destroyed idolatry, was free from sordid motives, lived in strict monogamy during twenty-four years of his youth and manhood, and in great simplicity to his death. The polygamy which disfigured the last twelve years of his life was more moderate than that of many other Oriental despots, Califs and Sultans, and prompted in part by motives of benevolence towards the widows of his followers, who had suffered in the service of his religion.207

But the enthusiasm kindled by Carlyle for the prophet of Mecca has been considerably checked by fuller information from the original sources as brought out in the learned biographies of Weil, Nöldeke, Sprenger and Muir. They furnish the authentic material for a calm, discriminating and impartial judgment, which, however, is modified more or less by the religious standpoint and sympathies of the historian. Sprenger represents Mohammed as the child of his age, and mixes praise and censure, without aiming at a psychological analysis or philosophical view. Sir William Muir concedes his original honesty and zeal as a reformer and warner, but assumes a gradual deterioration to the judicial blindness of a self-deceived heart, and even a kind of Satanic inspiration in his later revelations. "We may readily admit," he says, "that at the first Mahomet did believe, or persuaded himself to believe, that his revelations were dictated by a divine agency. In the Meccan period of his life, there certainly can be traced no personal ends or unworthy motives to belie this conclusion. The Prophet was there, what he professed to be, 'a simple Preacher and a Warner;' he was the despised and rejected teacher of a gainsaying people; and he had apparently no ulterior object but their reformation .... But the scene altogether changes at Medina. There the acquisition of temporal power, aggrandizement, and self-glorification mingled with the grand object of the Prophet's previous life; and they were sought after and attained by precisely the same instrumentality. Messages from heaven were freely brought forward to justify his political conduct, equally with his religious precepts. Battles were fought, wholesale executions inflicted, and territories annexed, under pretext of the Almighty's sanction. Nay, even baser actions were not only excused but encouraged, by the pretended divine approval or command .... The student of history will trace for himself how the pure and lofty aspirations of Mahomet were first tinged, and then gradually debased by a half unconscious self-deception, and how in this process truth merged into falsehood, sincerity into guile,—these opposite principles often co-existing even as active agencies in his conduct. The reader will observe that simultaneously with the anxious desire to extinguish idolatry and to promote religion and virtue in the world, there was nurtured by the Prophet in his own heart a licentious self-indulgence; till in the end, assuming to be the favorite of Heaven, he justified himself by 'revelations' from God in the most flagrant breaches of morality. He will remark that while Mahomet cherished a kind and tender disposition, 'Weeping with them that wept,' and binding to his person the hearts of his followers by the ready and self-denying offices of love and friendship, he could yet take pleasure in cruel and perfidious assassination, could gloat over the massacre of entire tribes, and savagely consign the innocent babe to the fires of hell. Inconsistencies such as these continually present themselves from the period of Mahomet's arrival at Medina; and it is by, the study of these inconsistencies that his character must be rightly comprehended. The key, to many difficulties of this description may be found, I believe, in the chapter 'on the belief of Mahomet in his own inspiration.' When once he had dared to forge the name of the Most High God as the seal and authority of his own words and actions, the germ was laid from which the errors of his after life freely and fatally developed themselves."208

Note on Mormonism.


The Book of Mormon. First printed at Palmyra, N. Y., 1830. Written by the Prophet Mormon, three hundred years after Christ, upon plates of gold in the "Reformed Egyptian" (?) language, and translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., with the aid of Urim and Thummim, into English. As large as the Old Testament. A tedious historical romance on the ancient inhabitants of the American Continent, whose ancestors emigrated from Jerusalem b.c. 600, and whose degenerate descendants are the red Indians. Said to have been written as a book of fiction by a Presbyterian minister, Samuel Spalding.

The Doctrines and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. Contains the special revelations given to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young at different times. Written in similar style and equally insipid as the Book of Mormon.

A Catechism for Children by Elder John Jaques. Salt Lake City. 25th thousand, 1877.

We cannot close this chapter on Oriental Mohammedanism without some remarks on the abnormal American phenomenon of Mormonism, which arose in the nineteenth century, and presents an instructive analogy to the former. Joseph Smith (born at Sharon, Vt., 1805; shot dead at Nauvoo, in Illinois, 1844), the first founder, or rather Brigham Young (d. 1877), the organizer of the sect, may be called the American Mohammed, although far beneath the prophet of Arabia in genius and power.

The points of resemblance are numerous and striking: the claim to a supernatural revelation mediated by an angel; the abrogation of previous revelations by later and more convenient ones; the embodiment of the revelations in an inspired book; the eclectic character of the system, which is compounded of Jewish, heathenish, and all sorts of sectarian Christian elements; the intense fanaticism and heroic endurance of the early Mormons amidst violent abuse and persecution from state to state, till they found a refuge in the desert of Utah Territory, which they turned into a garden; the missionary zeal in sending apostles to distant lands and importing proselytes to their Eldorado of saints from the ignorant population of England, Wales, Norway, Germany, and Switzerland; the union of religion with civil government, in direct opposition to the American separation of church and state; the institution of polygamy in defiance of the social order of Christian civilization. In sensuality and avarice Brigham Young surpassed Mohammed; for he left at his death in Salt Lake City seventeen wives, sixteen sons, and twenty-eight daughters (having had in all fifty-six or more children), and property estimated at two millions of dollars.209

The government of the United States cannot touch the Mormon religion; but it can regulate the social institutions connected therewith, as long as Utah is a Territory under the immediate jurisdiction of Congress. Polygamy has been prohibited by law in the Territories under its control, and President Hayes has given warning to foreign governments (in 1879) that Mormon converts emigrating to the United States run the risk of punishment for violating the laws of the land. President Garfield (in his inaugural address, March 4, 1881) took the same decided ground on the Mormon question, saying: "The Mormon church not only offends the moral sense of mankind by sanctioning polygamy, but prevents the administration of justice through the ordinary instrumentalities of law. In my judgment it is the duty of Congress, while respecting to the uttermost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen, to prohibit within its jurisdiction all criminal practices, especially of that class which destroy the family relations and endanger social order. Nor can any ecclesiastical organization be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the National Government."

His successor, President Arthur, in his last message to Congress, Dec. 1884, again recommends that Congress "assume absolute political control of the Territory of Utah," and says: "I still believe that if that abominable practice [polygamy] can be suppressed by law it can only be by the most radical legislation consistent with the restraints of the Constitution." The secular and religious press of America, with few exceptions, supports these sentiments of the chief magistrate.

Since the annexation of Utah to the United States, after the Mexican war, "Gentiles" as the Christians are called, have entered the Mormon settlement, and half a dozen churches of different denominations have been organized in Salt Lake City. But the "Latter Day Saints" are vastly in the majority, and are spreading in the adjoining Territories. Time will show whether the Mormon problem can be solved without resort to arms, or a new emigration of the Mormons.



§ 48. General Literature on the Papacy.

*Bullarium Magnum Romanum a Leone M. usque ad Benedictum XIV. Luxemb., 1727–1758. 19 vols., fol. Another ed., of superior typography, under the title: Bullarum ... Romanorum Pontificum amplissima Collectio, opera et studio C. Cocquelines, Rom., 1738–1758, 14 Tomi in 28 Partes fol.; new ed., 1847–'72, 24 vols. Bullarii Romani continuatio, ed. A. A. Barberi, from Clement XIII. to Gregory XVI., Rom., 1835–1857, 18 vols.

*Monumenta Germaniae Historica inde ab anno Christi quingentesimo usque ad annum millesimum et quingentesimum; ed. by G. H. Pertz (royal librarian at Berlin, d. 1876), continued by G. Waitz. Hannoverae, 1826–1879, 24 vols. fol. A storehouse for the authentic history of the German empire.

*Anastasius (librarian and abbot in Rome about 870): Liber Pontificalis (or, De Vitis Roman. Pontificum). The oldest collection of biographies of popes down to Stephen VI., a.d. 885, but not all by Anastasius. This book, together with later collections, is inserted in the third volume of Muratori, Rerum Ital. Scriptores (Mediol., 1723–'51, in 25 vols. fol.); also in Migne, Patrol. L. Tom. cxxvii. (1853).

Archibald Bower (b. 1686 at Dundee, Scotland, d. 1766): The History of the Popes, from the foundation of the See of Rome to the present time. 3rd ed. Lond., 1750–'66. 7 vols., 4to. German transl. by Rambach, 1770. Bower changed twice from Protestantism to Romanism, and back again, and wrote in bitter hostility, to the papacy, but gives very ample material. Bp. Douglas of Salesbury wrote against him.

Chr. F. Walch: Entwurf einer vollständigen Historie der römischen Päpste. Göttingen, 2d ed., 1758.

G. J. Planck: Geschichte des Papstthums. Hanover, 1805. 3 vols.

L. T. Spittler: Geschichte des Papstthums; with Notes by J. Gurlitt, Hamb., 1802, new ed. by H. E. G. Paulus. Heidelberg, 1826.

J. E. Riddle: The History of the Papacy to the Period of the Reformation. London, 1856. 2 vols.

F. A. Gfrörer: Geschichte der Karolinger. (Freiburg, 1848. 2 vols.); Allgemeine Kirchengeschichte (Stuttgart, 1841–'46, 4 vols.); Gregor VII. und sein Zeitalter (Schaffhausen, 1859–64, 8 vols.). Gfrörer began as a rationalist, but joined the Roman church, 1853, and died in 1861.

*Phil. Jaffé: Regesta Pontificum Roman. ad annum 1198. Berol., 1851; revised ed. by Wattenbach, etc. Lips. 1881 sqq. Continued by Potthast from 1198–1304, and supplemented by Harttung (see below). Important for the chronology and acts of the popes.

J. A. Wylie: The Papacy. Lond., 1852.

*Leopold Ranke: Die römischen Päpste, ihre Kirche und ihr Staat im 16 und 17ten Jahrhundert. 4 ed., Berlin, 1857. 3 vols. Two English translations, one by Sarah Austin (Lond., 1840), one by E. Foster (Lond., 1847). Comp. the famous review of Macaulay in the Edinb. Review.

Döllinger. (R.C.): Die Papstfabeln des Mittelalters. Munchen, 1863. English translation by A. Plummer, and ed. with notes by H. B. Smith. New York, 1872.

*W. Giesebrecht: Geschichte der Deutschen Kaiserzeit. Braunschweig, 1855. 3rd ed., 1863 sqq., 5 vols. A political history of the German empire, but with constant reference to the papacy in its close contact with it.

*Thomas Greenwood: Cathedra Petri. A Political History of the great Latin Patriarchate. London, 1856–'72, 6 vols.

C. de Cherrier: Histoire de la lutte des papes el des empereurs de la maison de swabe, de ces causes et des ses effets. Paris, 1858. 3 vols.

*Rud. Baxmann: Die Politik der Päpste von Gregor I. bis Gregor VII. Elberfeld, 1868, '69. 2 vols.

*F. Gregorovius: Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter, vom 5. bis zum 16. Jahrh. 8 vols. Stuttgart, 1859–1873 .2 ed., 1869 ff.

A. v. Reumont: Geschichte der Stadt Rom. Berlin, 1867–'70, 3 vols.

C. Höfler (R.C.): Die Avignonischen Päpste, ihre Machtfulle und ihr Untergang. Wien, 1871.

R. Zöpffel: Die Papstwahlen und die mit ihnen im nächsten Zusammenhange stehenden Ceremonien in ihrer Entwicklung vom 11 bis 14. Jahrhundert. Göttingen, 1872.

*James Bryce (Prof. of Civil Law in Oxford): The Holy Roman Empire, London, 3rd ed., 1871, 8th ed. enlarged, 1880.

W. Wattenbach: Geschicte des römischen Papstthums. Berlin, 1876.

*Jul. von Pflugk-Harttung: Acta Pontificum Romanorum inedita. Bd. I. Urkunden der Päpste a.d. 748–1198. Gotha, 1880.

O. J. Reichel: The See of Rome in the Middle Ages. Lond. 1870.

Mandell Creighton: History of the Papacy during the Reformation. London 1882. 2 vols.

J. N. Murphy (R.C.): The Chair of Peter, or the Papacy and its Benefits. London 1883.

§ 49. Chronological Table of the Popes, Anti-Popes, and Roman Emperors from Gregory I. to Leo XIII.

We present here, for convenient reference, a complete list of the Popes, Anti-Popes, and Roman Emperors, from Pope Gregory I. to Leo XIII., and from Charlemagne to Francis II., the last of the German-Roman emperors:210







(Greek Emperors)


St. Gregory I



(the Great)






Boniface III


Boniface IV






Boniface V


Honorius I




John IV

Constantine III

Constans II



Theodorus I

649–653 [655]

St. Martin I

Constantine IV


Eugenius I








Donus or Domnus I




Leo II


Benedict II


John V

Justinian II










Tiberius III



Sergius I

Justinus II restored



John VI

Philippicus Bardanes



John VII

Anastasius II




Theodosius III



Constantine I

Leo III. (the Isaurian)



Gregory II


Gregory III

(Charles Martel, d. 741, defeated the Saracens at Tours 732.)



(Pepin the Short,


Stephen II




Stephen III (II)


Paul I


Constantine II

Roman Emperors.




Stephen IV


Adrian I

* Charlemagne




Crowned emperor at Rome



Stephen V


Paschal I

* Louis the Pious (le Débonnaire)



Eugenius II

Crowned em. at Rheims





Gregory IV

* Lothaire I (crowned 823)



John (diaconus)


Sergius II

(Louis the German, King of Germany, 840–876)


Leo IV

The mythical papess Joan or John VIII


Benedict III



* Louis II (in Italy)



Nicolas I


Adrian II



* Charles the Bald



Marinus I

* Charles the Fat



Adrian III


Stephen VI

* Arnulf




Crowned emperor



Boniface VI






Theodorus II


John IX

(Louis the Child)



Benedict IV


Leo V

Louis III of Provence (in Italy)



Christophorus (deposed)


Sergius III


Anstasius III

Conrad I (of Franconia) King of Germany.





John X

Berengar (in Italy).



Leo VI

Henry I. (the Fowler) King of Germany. The House of Saxony.



Stephen VIII


John XI




Stephen IX

* Otto I (the Great)



Marinus II

Crowned emperor



Agapetus II


John XII (deposed)




Benedict V (deposed)




Benedict VI

* Otto II



Benedict VII

(Boniface VII?)


John XIV (murdered)

* Otto III



Boniface VII

Crowned emperor



John XV


Gregory V


Calabritanus John XVI

*Henry II (the Saint, the last of the Saxon emperors).



Silvester II

Crowned emperor







Sergius IV


Benedict VIII




* Conrad II, The House of Franconia.


John XIX

Crowned emperor



Benedict IX (deposed)


Silvester III

* Henry III



Gregory VI

Crowned emperor



Clement II


Damasus II


Leo IX


Victor II

* Henry IV



Stephen X

Crowned by the Antipope Clement



Benedict X (deposed)


Nicolas II


Alexander II


Cadalous (Honorius II)

(Rudolf of Swabia rival)



Gregory VII (Hildebrand)


Wibertus (Clement III)

(Hermann of Luxemburg rival)



Victor III


Urban II


Paschal II





* Henry V



Maginulfus (Silvester IV)


Gelasius II


Burdinus (Gregory VIII)

* Lothaire II (the Saxon



Calixtus II


Theobaldus Buccapecus (Celestine)

* Conrad III, The House of Hohenstaufen. (The Swabian emperors.)



Honorius II.

Crowned Em. at Aix


Innocent II


Anacletus II


Gregory (Victor IV)


Celestine II


Lucius II


Eugenius III

*Frederick I (Barbarossa)



Anastasius IV

Crowned emperor



Adrian IV


Alexander III


Octavianus (Victor IV)

Guido Cremensis (Paschal III)


Johannes de Struma (Calixtus III)



Landus Titinus (Innocent III)


Lucius III


Urban III


Gregory VIII


Clement III

*Henry VI



Celestine III


Innocent III

Philip of Swabia and Otto IV (rivals)


*Otto IV



Honorius III

*Frederick II.



Gregory IX

Crowned emperor



Celestine IV

(Henry Raspe rival)


Innocent IV

(William of Holland rival)

Conrad IV



Alexander IV



Richard (Earl of Cornwall)


Urban IV

Alfonso (King of Castile) (rivals)



Clement IV


Gregory X


Innocent V

Rudolf I (of Hapsburg)


Adrian V

House of Austria



John XXI


Nicolas III


Martin IV


Honorius IV


Nicolas IV

Adolf (of Nassau)



St. Celestine V (abdicated)


Boniface VIII

Albert I (of Hapsburg)



Benedict XI


Clement V211

*Henry VII (of Luxemburg)




*Lewis IV (of Bavaria)



Benedict XII

(Frederick the Fair of Austria, rival 1314–1330)


Clement VI


Innocent VI


Urban V

*Charles IV (of Luxemburg)



Gregory XI

(Gunther of Schwarzburg, rival)


Urban VI


Clement VII


Boniface IX

Wenzel (of Luxemburg)



Benedict XIII

(deposed 1409)


Innocent VII

Rupert (of the Palatinate)



Gregory XII (deposed)


Alexander V


John XXIII (deposed)

Sigismund (of Luxemburg)


(Jobst of Moravia rival)


Martin V

Clement VIII


Eugene IV


Felix V

Albert II (of Hapsburg)




*Frederick III.212



Calixtus IV

Crowned emperor



Pius II


Paul II


Sixtus IV


Innocent VIII

Maximilian I



Alexander VI.


Pius III.


Julius II.

* Charles V



Leo X.

Crowned emperor at Bologna not in Rome



Hadrian VI


Clement VII


Paul III


Julius III


Marcellus II

Ferdinand I



Paul IV


Pius IV


Pius V


Gregory XIII

Maximilian II



Sixtus V


Urban VII


Gregory XIV


Innocent IX


Clement VIII

Rudolf II



Leo XI


Paul V




Gregory XV

Ferdinand II



Urban VIII


Innocent X

Ferdinand III



Alexander VIII


Clement IX

Leopold I



Clement X


Innocent XI


Alex'der VIII


Innocent XII


Clement XI

Joseph I



Innocent XIII

Charles VI.



Benedict XIII

Charles VII (of Ba


Clement XII




Benedict XIV

Francis I (of Lorraine)



Clement XIII

Joseph II



Clement XIV


Pius VI

Leopold II


Francis II



Pius VII

Abdication of Francis II






(Francis I, E


§ 50. Gregory the Great. a.d. 590–604.


I. Gregorii M. Opera.: The best is the Benedictine ed. of Dom de Ste Marthe (Dionysius Samarthanus e congregatione St, Mauri), Par., 1705, 4 vols. fol. Reprinted in Venice, 1768–76, in 17 vols. 4to.; and, with additions, in Migne's Patrologia, 1849, in 5 vols. (Tom. 75–79).

Especially valuable are Gregory's Epistles, nearly 850 (in third vol. of Migne's ed.). A new ed. is being prepared by Paul Ewald.

II. Biographies of Gregory I

(1) Older biographies: in the "Liber Pontificalis;" by Paulus Diaconus († 797), in Opera I. 42 (ed. Migne); by Johannes Diaconus (9th cent.), ibid., p. 59, and one selected from his writings, ibid., p. 242.

Detailed notices of Gregory in the writings of Gregory of Tours, Bede, Isidorus Hispal., Paul Warnefried (730).

(2) Modern biographies:

G. Lau: Gregor I. nach seinem Leben und nach seiner Lehre. Leipz., 1845.

Böhringer: Die Kirche Christi und ihre Zeugen. Bd. I., Abth. IV. Zurich, 1846.

G. Pfahler: Gregor der Gr. und seine Zeit. Frkf a. M., 1852.

James Barmby: Gregory the Great. London, 1879. Also his art. "Gregorius I." in Smith & Wace, "Dict. of Christ. Biogr.," II. 779 (1880).

Comp. Jaffé, Neander, Milman (Book III., ch. 7, vol. II., 39 sqq.); Greenwood (Book III., chs. 6 and 7); Montalembert (Les moines d'Occident, bk. V., Engl. transl., vol. II., 69 sqq.); Baxmann (Politik der Päpste, I. 44 sqq.); Zöpffel (art. Gregor I. in the, new ed. of Herzog).

Whatever may be thought of the popes of earlier times," says Ranke,213 "they always had great interests in view: the care of oppressed religion, the conflict with heathenism, the spread of Christianity among the northern nations, the founding of an independent hierarchy. It belongs to the dignity of human existence to aim at and to execute something great; this tendency the popes kept in upward motion."

This commendation of the earlier popes, though by no means applicable to all, is eminently true of the one who stands at the beginning of our period.

Gregory the First, or the Great, the last of the Latin fathers and the first of the popes, connects the ancient with the mediaeval church, the Graeco-Roman with the Romano-Germanic type of Christianity. He is one of the best representatives of mediaeval Catholicism: monastic, ascetic, devout and superstitious; hierarchical, haughty, and ambitious, yet humble before God; indifferent, if not hostile, to classical and secular culture, but friendly to sacred and ecclesiastical learning; just, humane, and liberal to ostentation; full of missionary zeal in the interest of Christianity, and the Roman see, which to his mind were inseparably connected. He combined great executive ability with untiring industry, and amid all his official cares he never forgot the claims of personal piety. In genius he was surpassed by Leo I., Gregory VII., Innocent III.; but as a man and as a Christian, he ranks with the purest and most useful of the popes. Goodness is the highest kind of greatness, and the church has done right in according the title of the Great to him rather than to other popes of superior intellectual power.

The times of his pontificate (a.d. Sept. 3, 590 to March 12, 604) were full of trouble, and required just a man of his training and character. Italy, from a Gothic kingdom, had become a province of the Byzantine empire, but was exhausted by war and overrun by the savage Lombards, who were still heathen or Arian heretics, and burned churches, slew ecclesiastics, robbed monasteries, violated nuns, reduced cultivated fields into a wilderness. Rome was constantly exposed to plunder, and wasted by pestilence and famine. All Europe was in a chaotic state, and bordering on anarchy. Serious men, and Gregory himself, thought that the end of the world was near at hand. "What is it," says he in one of his sermons, "that can at this time delight us in this world? Everywhere we see tribulation, everywhere we hear lamentation. The cities are destroyed, the castles torn down, the fields laid waste the land made desolate. Villages are empty, few inhabitants remain in the cities, and even these poor remnants of humanity are daily cut down. The scourge of celestial justice does not cease, because no repentance takes place under the scourge. We see how some are carried into captivity, others mutilated, others slain. What is it, brethren, that can make us contented with this life? If we love such a world, we love not our joys, but our wounds. We see what has become of her who was once the mistress of the world .... Let us then heartily despise the present world and imitate the works of the pious as well as we can."

Gregory was born about a.d. 540, from an old and wealthy senatorial (the Anician) family of Rome, and educated for the service of the government. He became acquainted with Latin literature, and studied Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustin, but was ignorant of Greek. His mother Sylvia, after the death of Gordianus her husband, entered a convent and so excelled in sanctity that she was canonized. The Greek emperor Justin appointed him to the highest civil office in Rome, that of imperial prefect (574). But soon afterwards he broke with the world, changed the palace of his father near Rome into a convent in honor of St. Andrew, and became himself a monk in it, afterwards abbot. He founded besides six convents in Sicily, and bestowed his remaining wealth on the poor. He lived in the strictest abstinence, and undermined his health by ascetic excesses. Nevertheless he looked back upon this time as the happiest of his life.

Pope Pelagius II. made him one of the seven deacons of the Roman Church, and sent him as ambassador or nuntius to the court of Constantinople (579).214 His political training and executive ability fitted him eminently for this post. He returned in 585, and was appointed abbot of his convent, but employed also for important public business.

It was during his monastic period (either before or, more probably, after his return from Constantinople) that his missionary zeal was kindled, by an incident on the slave market, in behalf of the Anglo-Saxons. The result (as recorded in a previous chapter) was the conversion of England and the extension of the jurisdiction of the Roman see, during his pontificate. This is the greatest event of that age, and the brightest jewel in his crown. Like a Christian Caesar, he re-conquered that fair island by an army of thirty monks, marching under the sign of the cross.215

In 590 Gregory was elected pope by the unanimous voice of the clergy, the senate, and the people, notwithstanding his strong remonstrance, and confirmed by his temporal sovereign, the Byzantine emperor Mauricius. Monasticism, for the first time, ascended the papal throne. Hereafter till his death he devoted all his energies to the interests of the holy see and the eternal city, in the firm consciousness of being the successor of St. Peter and the vicar of Christ. He continued the austere simplicity of monastic life, surrounded himself with monks, made them bishops and legates, confirmed the rule of St. Benedict at a council of Rome, guaranteed the liberty and property of convents, and by his example and influence rendered signal services to the monastic order. He was unbounded in his charities to the poor. Three thousand virgins, impoverished nobles and matrons received without a blush alms from his hands. He sent food from his table to the hungry before he sat down for his frugal meal. He interposed continually in favor of injured widows and orphans. He redeemed slaves and captives, and sanctioned the sale of consecrated vessels for objects of charity.

Gregory began his administration with a public act of humiliation on account of the plague which had cost the life of his predecessor. Seven processions traversed the streets for three days with prayers and hymns; but the plague continued to ravage, and demanded eighty victims during the procession. The later legend made it the means of staying the calamity, in consequence of the appearance of the archangel Michael putting back the drawn sword into its sheath over the Mausoleum of Hadrian, since called the Castle of St. Angelo, and adorned by the statue of an angel.

His activity as pontiff was incessant, and is the more astonishing as he was in delicate health and often confined to bed. "For a long time," he wrote to a friend in 601, "I have been unable to rise from my bed. I am tormented by the pains of gout; a kind of fire seems to pervade my whole body: to live is pain; and I look forward to death as the only remedy." In another letter he says: "I am daily dying, but never die."

Nothing seemed too great, nothing too little for his personal care. He organized and completed the ritual of the church, gave it greater magnificence, improved the canon of the mass and the music by a new mode of chanting called after him. He preached often and effectively, deriving lessons of humility and piety, from the calamities of the times, which appeared to him harbingers of the judgment-day. He protected the city of Rome against the savage and heretical Lombards. He administered the papal patrimony, which embraced large estates in the neighborhood of Rome, in Calabria, Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Dalmatia, and even in Gaul and Africa. He encouraged and advised missionaries. As patriarch of the West, he extended his paternal care over the churches in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Britain, and sent the pallium to some metropolitans, yet without claiming any legal jurisdiction. He appointed, he also reproved and deposed bishops for neglect of duty, or crime. He resolutely opposed the prevalent practice of simony, and forbade the clergy to exact or accept fees for their services. He corresponded, in the interest of the church, with nobles, kings and queens in the West, with emperors and patriarchs in the East. He hailed the return of the Gothic kingdom of Spain under Reccared from the Arian heresy to the Catholic faith, which was publicly proclaimed by the Council of Toledo, May 8, 589. He wrote to the king a letter of congratulation, and exhorted him to humility, chastity, and mercy. The detested Lombards likewise cast off Arianism towards the close of his life, in consequence partly of his influence over Queen Theodelinda, a Bavarian princess, who had been reared in the trinitarian faith. He endeavored to suppress the remnants of the Donatist schism in Africa. Uncompromising against Christian heretics and schismatics be was a step in advance of his age in liberality towards the Jews. He censured the bishop of Terracina and the bishop of Cagliari for unjustly depriving them of their synagogues; he condemned the forcible baptism of Jews in Gaul, and declared conviction by preaching the only legitimate means of conversion; he did not scruple, however, to try the dishonest method of bribery, and he inconsistently denied the Jews the right of building new synagogues and possessing Christian slaves. He made efforts, though in vain, to check the slave-trade, which was chiefly in the hands of Jews.

After his death, the public distress, which he had labored to alleviate, culminated in a general famine, and the ungrateful populace of Rome was on the point of destroying his library, when the archdeacon Peter stayed their fury by asserting that he had seen the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above Gregory's head as he wrote his books. Hence he is represented with a dove. He was buried in St. Peter's under the altar of St. Andrew.

Note. Estimates of Gregory I.

Bishop Bossuet (as quoted by Montalembert, II. 173) thus tersely sums up the public life of Gregory: "This great pope ... subdued the Lombards; saved Rome and Italy, though the emperors could give him no assistance; repressed the new-born pride of the patriarchs of Constantinople; enlightened the whole church by his doctrine; governed the East and the West with as much vigor as humility; and gave to the world a perfect model of ecclesiastical government."

To this Count Montalembert (likewise a Roman Catholic) adds: "It was the Benedictine order which gave to the church him whom no one would have hesitated to call the greatest of the popes, had not the same order, five centuries later, produced St. Gregory VII .... He is truly Gregory the Great, because he issued irreproachable from numberless and boundless difficulties; because he gave as a foundation to the increasing grandeur of the Holy See, the renown of his virtue, the candor of his innocence, the humble and inexhaustible tenderness of his heart."

"The pontificate of Gregory the Great," says Gibbon (ch. 45), "which lasted thirteen years, six months, and ten days, is one of the most edifying periods of the history of the church. His virtues, and even his faults, a singular mixture of simplicity and cunning, of pride and humility, of sense and superstition, were happily suited to his station and to the temper of the times."

Lau says (in his excellent monograph, pp. 302, 306): "The spiritual qualities of Gregory's character are strikingly apparent in his actions. With a clear, practical understanding, he combined a kind and mild heart; but he was never weak. Fearful to the obstinate transgressor of the laws, on account of his inflexible justice, he was lenient to the repentant and a warm friend to his friends, though, holding, as he did, righteousness and the weal of the church higher than friendship, he was severe upon any neglect of theirs. With a great prudence in managing the most different circumstances, and a great sagacity in treating the most different characters, he combined a moral firmness which never yielded an inch of what he had recognized as right; but he never became stubborn. The rights of the church and the privileges of the apostolical see he fought for with the greatest pertinacity; but for himself personally, he wanted no honors. As much as he thought of the church and the Roman chair, so modestly he esteemed himself. More than once his acts gave witness to the humility of his heart: humility was, indeed, to him the most important and the most sublime virtue. His activity was prodigious, encompassing great objects and small ones with equal zeal. Nothing ever became too great for his energy or too small for his attention. He was a warm patriot, and cared incessantly for the material as well as for the spiritual welfare of his countrymen. More than once he saved Rome from the Lombards, and relieved her from famine .... He was a great character with grand plans, in the realization of which he showed as much insight as firmness, as much prudent calculation of circumstances as sagacious judgment of men. The influence he has exercised is immense, and when this influence is not in every respect for the good, his time is to blame, not he. His goal was always that which he acknowledged as the best. Among all the popes of the sixth and following centuries, he shines as a star of the very first magnitude."

Rud. Baxmann (l.c., I. 45 sq.): "Amidst the general commotion which the invasion of the Lombards caused in Italy, one man stood fast on his post in the eternal city, no matter how high the surges swept over it. As Luther, in his last will, calls himself an advocate of God, whose name was well known in heaven and on earth and in hell, the epitaph says of Gregory I. that he ruled as the consul Dei. He was the chief bishop of the republic of the church, the fourth doctor ecclesiae, beside the three other powerful theologians and columns of the Latin church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome. He is justly called the pater ceremoniarum, the pater monachorum, and the Great. What the preceding centuries had produced in the Latin church for church government and dogmatics, for pastoral care and liturgy, he gathered together, and for the coming centuries he laid down the norms which were seldom deviated from."

To this we add the judgment of James Barmby, the latest biographer of Gregory (Greg., p. 191): "Of the loftiness of his aims, the earnestness of his purpose, the fervor of his devotion, his unwearied activity, and his personal purity, there can be no doubt. These qualities are conspicuous through his whole career. If his religion was of the strongly ascetic type, and disfigured by superstitious credulity, it bore in these respects the complexion of his age, inseparable then from aspiration after the highest holiness. Nor did either superstition or asceticism supersede in him the principles of a true inward religion-justice, mercy, and truth. We find him, when occasion required, exalting mercy above sacrifice; he was singularly kindly and benevolent, as well as just, and even his zeal for the full rigor of monastic discipline was tempered with much gentleness and allowance for infirmity. If, again, with singleness of main purpose was combined at times the astuteness of the diplomatist, and a certain degree of politic insincerity in addressing potentates, his aims were never personal or selfish. And if he could stoop, for the attainment of his ends, to the then prevalent adulation of the great, he could also speak his mind fearlessly to the greatest, when he felt great principles to be at stake."

§ 51. Gregory and the Universal Episcopate.

The activity, of Gregory tended powerfully to establish the authority of the papal chair. He combined a triple dignity, episcopal, metropolitan, and patriarchal. He was bishop of the city of Rome, metropolitan over the seven suffragan (afterwards called cardinal) bishops of the Roman territory, and patriarch of Italy, in fact of the whole West, or of all the Latin churches. This claim was scarcely disputed except as to the degree of his power in particular cases. A certain primacy of honor among all the patriarchs was also conceded, even by the East. But a universal episcopate, including an authority of jurisdiction over the Eastern or Greek church, was not acknowledged, and, what is more remarkable, was not even claimed by him, but emphatically declined and denounced. He stood between the patriarchal and the strictly papal system. He regarded the four patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, to whom he announced his election with a customary confession of his faith, as co-ordinate leaders of the church under Christ, the supreme head, corresponding as it were to the four oecumenical councils and the four gospels, as their common foundation, yet after all with a firm belief in a papal primacy. His correspondence with the East on this subject is exceedingly important. The controversy began in 595, and lasted several years, but was not settled.

John IV., the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople, repeatedly used in his letters the title "oecumenical" or "universal bishop." This was an honorary, title, which had been given to patriarchs by the emperors Leo and Justinian, and confirmed to John and his successors by a Constantinopolitan synod in 588. It had also been used in the Council of Chalcedon of pope Leo I.216 But Gregory I. was provoked and irritated beyond measure by the assumption of his Eastern rival, and strained every nerve to procure a revocation of that title. He characterized it as a foolish, proud, profane, wicked, pestiferous, blasphemous, and diabolical usurpation, and compared him who used it to Lucifer. He wrote first to Sabinianus, his apocrisiarius or ambassador in Constantinople, then repeatedly to the patriarch, to the emperor Mauricius, and even to the empress; for with all his monkish contempt for woman, he availed himself on every occasion of the female influence in high quarters. He threatened to break off communion with the patriarch. He called upon the emperor to punish such presumption, and reminded him of the contamination of the see of Constantinople by such arch-heretics as Nestorius.217

Failing in his efforts to change the mind of his rival in New Rome, he addressed himself to the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, and played upon their jealousy; but they regarded the title simply as a form of honor, and one of them addressed him as oecumenical pope, a compliment which Gregory could not consistently accept.218

After the death of John the Faster in 596 Gregory instructed his ambassador at Constantinople to demand from the new patriarch, Cyriacus, as a condition of intercommunion, the renunciation of the wicked title, and in a letter to Maurice he went so far as to declare, that "whosoever calls himself universal priest, or desires to be called so, was the forerunner of Antichrist."219

In opposition to these high-sounding epithets, Gregory called himself, in proud humility, "the servant of the servants of God."220 This became one of the standing titles of the popes, although it sounds like irony in conjunction with their astounding claims.

But his remonstrance was of no avail. Neither the patriarch nor the emperor obeyed his wishes. Hence he hailed a change of government which occurred in 602 by a violent revolution.

When Phocas, an ignorant, red-haired, beardless, vulgar, cruel and deformed upstart, after the most atrocious murder of Maurice and his whole family (a wife, six sons and three daughters), ascended the throne, Gregory hastened to congratulate him and his wife Leontia (who was not much better) in most enthusiastic terms, calling on heaven and earth to rejoice at their accession, and vilifying the memory of the dead emperor as a tyrant, from whose yoke the church was now fortunately freed.221 This is a dark spot, but the only really dark and inexcusable spot in the life of this pontiff. He seemed to have acted in this case on the infamous maxim that the end justifies the means.222 His motive was no doubt to secure the protection and aggrandizement of the Roman see. He did not forget to remind the empress of the papal proof-text: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," and to add: "I do not doubt that you will take care to oblige and bind him to you, by whom you desire to be loosed from your sins."

The murderer and usurper repaid the favor by taking side with the pope against his patriarch (Cyriacus), who had shown sympathy with the unfortunate emperor. He acknowledged the Roman church to be "the head of all churches."223 But if he ever made such a decree at the instance of Boniface III., who at that time was papal nuntius at Constantinople, he must have meant merely such a primacy of honor as had been before conceded to Rome by the Council of Chalcedon and the emperor Justinian. At all events the disputed title continued to be used by the patriarchs and emperors of Constantinople. Phocas, after a disgraceful reign (602–610), was stripped of the diadem and purple, loaded with chains, insulted, tortured, beheaded and cast into the flames. He was succeeded by Heraclius.

In this whole controversy the pope's jealousy of the patriarch is very manifest, and suggests the suspicion that it inspired the protest.

Gregory displays in his correspondence with his rival a singular combination of pride and humility. He was too proud to concede to him the title of a universal bishop, and yet too humble or too inconsistent to claim it for himself. His arguments imply that he would have the best right to the title, if it were not wrong in itself. His real opinion is perhaps best expressed in a letter to Eulogius of Alexandria. He accepts all the compliments which Eulogius paid to him as the successor of Peter, whose very name signifies firmness and solidity; but he ranks Antioch and Alexandria likewise as sees of Peter, which are nearly, if not quite, on a par with that of Rome, so that the three, as it were, constitute but one see. He ignores Jerusalem. "The see of the Prince of the Apostles alone," he says, "has acquired a principality of authority, which is the see of one only, though in three places (quae in tribus locis unius est). For he himself has exalted the see in which he deigned to rest and to end his present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the see [Alexandria] to which he sent his disciple [Mark] as evangelist. He himself established the see in which he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Since, then, the see is one, and of one, over which by divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your own merits; because we are one in Him who said: 'That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that all may be one in us' (John xvii. 21)."224

When Eulogius, in return for this exaltation of his own see, afterwards addressed Gregory as "universal pope," he strongly repudiated the title, saying: "I have said that neither to me nor to any one else (nec mihi, nec cuiquam alteri) ought you to write anything of the kind. And lo! in the preface of your letter you apply to me, who prohibited it, the proud title of universal pope; which thing I beg your most sweet Holiness to do no more, because what is given to others beyond what reason requires is subtracted from you. I do not esteem that an honor by which I know my brethren lose their honor. My honor is that of the universal Church. My honor is the solid strength of my brethren. I am then truly honored when all and each are allowed the honor that is due to them. For, if your Holiness calls me universal pope, you deny yourself to be that which you call me universally [that is, you own yourself to be no pope]. But no more of this: away with words which inflate pride and wound charity!" He even objects to the expression, "as thou hast commanded," which had occurred in hid correspondent's letter. "Which word, 'commanded,' I pray you let me hear no more; for I know what I am, and what you are: in position you are my brethren, in manners you are my, fathers. I did not, therefore, command, but desired only to indicate what seemed to me expedient."225

On the other hand, it cannot be denied that Gregory, while he protested in the strongest terms against the assumption by the Eastern patriarchs of the antichristian and blasphemous title of universal bishop, claimed and exercised, as far as he had the opportunity and power, the authority and oversight over the whole church of Christ, even in the East. "With respect to the church of Constantinople," he asks in one of his letters, "who doubts that it is subject to the apostolic see?" And in another letter: "I know not what bishop is not subject to it, if fault is found in him." "To all who know the Gospels," he writes to emperor Maurice, "it is plain that to Peter, as the prince of all the apostles, was committed by our Lord the care of the whole church (totius ecclesiae cura) .... But although the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the power to bind and to loose, were intrusted to him, and the care and principality of the whole church (totius ecclesiae cura et principatus), he is not called universal bishop; while my most holy fellow-priest (vir sanctissimus consacerdos meus) John dares to call himself universal bishop. I am compelled to exclaim: O tempora, O mores!"226

We have no right to impeach Gregory's sincerity. But he was clearly inconsistent in disclaiming the name, and yet claiming the thing itself. The real objection is to the pretension of a universal episcopate, not to the title. If we concede the former, the latter is perfectly legitimate. And such universal power had already been claimed by Roman pontiffs before Gregory, such as Leo I., Felix, Gelasius, Hormisdas, in language and acts more haughty and self-sufficient than his.

No wonder, therefore that the successors of Gregory, less humble and more consistent than he, had no scruple to use equivalent and even more arrogant titles than the one against which he so solemnly protested with the warning: "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."227 But it is a very remarkable fact, that at the beginning of the unfolding of the greatest power of the papacy one of the best of popes should have protested against the antichristian pride and usurpation of the system.

§ 52. The Writings of Gregory.

Comp. the second part of Lau's biography, pp. 311 sqq., and Adolf Ebert: Geschichte der Christlich-Lateinischen Literatur, bis zum Zeitalter Karls der Grossen. Leipzig, 1874 sqq., vol. I. 516 sqq.

With all the multiplicity of his cares, Gregory found time for literary labor. His books are not of great literary merit, but were eminently popular and useful for the clergy of the middle ages.

His theology was based upon the four oecumenical councils and the four Gospels, which he regarded as the immovable pillars of orthodoxy; he also accepted the condemnation of the three chapters by the fifth oecumenical council. He was a moderate Augustinian, but with an entirely practical, unspeculative, uncritical, traditional and superstitious bent of mind. His destruction of the Palatine Library, if it ever existed, is now rejected as a fable; but it reflects his contempt for secular and classical studies as beneath the dignity of a Christian bishop. Yet in ecclesiastical learning and pulpit eloquence he had no superior in his age.

Gregory is one of the great doctors or authoritative fathers of the church. His views on sin and grace are almost semi-Pelagian. He makes predestination depend on fore-knowledge; represents the fallen nature as sick only, not as dead; lays great stress on the meritoriousness of good works, and is chiefly responsible for the doctrine of a purgatorial fire, and masses for the benefit of the souls in purgatory.

His Latin style is not classical, but ecclesiastical and monkish; it abounds in barbarisms; it is prolix and chatty, but occasionally sententious and rising to a rhetorical pathos, which he borrowed from the prophets of the Old Testament.

The following are his works:

1. Magna Moralia, in thirty-five books. This large work was begun in Constantinople at the instigation of Leander, bishop of Seville, and finished in Rome. It is a three-fold exposition of the book of Job according to its historic or literal, its allegorical, and its moral meaning.228

Being ignorant of the Hebrew and Greek languages, and of Oriental history and customs (although for some time a resident of Constantinople), Gregory lacked the first qualifications for a grammatical and historical interpretation.

The allegorical part is an exegetical curiosity he reads between or beneath the lines of that wonderful poem the history of Christ and a whole system of theology natural and revealed. The names of persons and things, the numbers, and even the syllables, are filled with mystic meaning. Job represents Christ; his wife the carnal nature; his seven sons (seven being the number of perfection) represent the apostles, and hence the clergy; his three daughters the three classes of the faithful laity who are to worship the Trinity; his friends the heretics; the seven thousand sheep the perfect Christians; the three thousand camels the heathen and Samaritans; the five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred she-asses again the heathen, because the prophet Isaiah says: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."

The moral sense, which Gregory explains last, is an edifying homiletical expansion and application, and a sort of compend of Christian ethics.

2. Twenty-two Homilies on Ezekiel, delivered in Rome during the siege by Agilulph, and afterwards revised.

3. Forty Homilies on the Gospels for the day, preached by Gregory at various times, and afterwards edited.

4. Liber Regulae Pastoralis, in four parts. It is a pastoral theology, treating of the duties and responsibilities of the ministerial office, in justification of his reluctance to undertake the burden of the papal dignity. It is more practical than Chrysostom's "Priesthood." It was held in the highest esteem in the Middle Ages, translated into Greek by order of the emperor Maurice, and into Anglo-Saxon by King Alfred, and given to the bishops in France at their ordination, together with the book of canons, as a guide in the discharge of their duties. Gregory, according to the spirit of his age, enjoins strict celibacy even upon sub-deacons. But otherwise he gives most excellent advice suitable to all times. He makes preaching one of the chief duties of pastors, in the discharge of which he himself set a good example. He warns them to guard against the besetting sin of pride at the very outset; for they will not easily learn humility in a high position. They should preach by their lives as well as their words. "He who, by the necessity of his position, is required to speak the highest things, is compelled by the same necessity to exemplify the highest. For that voice best penetrates the hearts of hearers which the life of the speaker commends, because what he commends in his speech he helps to practice by his example." He advises to combine meditation and action. "Our Lord," he says, "continued in prayer on the mountain, but wrought miracles in the cities; showing to pastors that while aspiring to the highest, they should mingle in sympathy with the necessities of the infirm. The more kindly charity descends to the lowest, the more vigorously it recurs to the highest." The spiritual ruler should never be so absorbed in external cares as to forget the inner life of the soul, nor neglect external things in the care for his inner life. "The word of doctrine fails to penetrate the mind of the needy, unless commended by the hand of compassion."

5. Four books of Dialogues on the lives and miracles of St. Benedict of Nursia and other Italian saints, and on the immortality of the soul (593). These dialogues between Gregory and the Roman archdeacon Peter abound in incredible marvels and visions of the state of departed souls. He acknowledges, however, that he knew these stories only from hearsay, and defends his recording them by the example of Mark and Luke, who reported the gospel from what they heard of the eye-witnesses. His veracity, therefore, is not at stake; but it is strange that a man of his intelligence and good sense should believe such grotesque and childish marvels. The Dialogues are the chief source of the mediaeval superstitions about purgatory. King Alfred ordered them to be translated into the Anglo-Saxon.

6. His Epistles (838 in all) to bishops, princes, missionaries, and other persons in all parts of Christendom, give us the best idea of his character and administration, and of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. They treat of topics of theology, morals, politics, diplomacy, monasticism, episcopal and papal administration, and give us the best insight into his manifold duties, cares, and sentiments.

7. The Gregorian Sacramentary is based upon the older Sacramentaries of Gelasius and Leo I., with some changes in the Canon of the Mass. His assertion that in the celebration of the eucharist, the apostles used the Lord's Prayer only (solummodo), has caused considerable discussion. Probably he meant no other prayer, in addition to the words of institution, which he took for granted.

8. A collection of antiphons for mass (Liber Antiphonarius). It contains probably later additions. Several other works of doubtful authenticity, and nine Latin hymns are also attributed to Gregory. They are in the metre of St. Ambrose, without the rhyme, except the "Rex Christe, factor omnium" (which is very highly spoken of by Luther). They are simple, devout, churchly, elevated in thought and sentiment, yet without poetic fire and vigor. Some of them as "Blest Creator of the Light" (Lucis Creator optime), "O merciful Creator, hear" (Audi, beate Conditor), "Good it is to keep the fast" (Clarum decus jejunii), have recently been made familiar to English readers in free translations from the Anglo-Catholic school.229 He was a great ritualist (hence called "Master of Ceremonies"), but with considerable talent for sacred poetry and music. The "Cantus Gregorianus" so called was probably a return from the artistic and melodious antiphonal "Cantus Ambrosianus" to the more ancient and simple mode of chanting. He founded a school of singers, which became a nursery of similar schools in other churches.230

Some other writings attributed to him, as an Exposition of the First Book of Kings, and an allegorical Exposition of the Canticles, are of doubtful genuineness.

§ 53. The Papacy from Gregory I to Gregory II a.d. 604–715.

The successors of Gregory I. to Gregory II. were, with few exceptions, obscure men, and ruled but a short time. They were mostly Italians, many of them Romans; a few were Syrians, chosen by the Eastern emperors in the interest of their policy and theology.

Sabinianus (604) was as hard and avaricious as Gregory was benevolent and liberal, and charged the famine of his reign upon the prodigality of his sainted predecessor. Boniface III. (606607) did not scruple to assume the title of It universal bishop, "against which Gregory, in proud humility, had so indignantly protested as a blasphemous antichristian assumption. Boniface IV. converted the Roman Pantheon into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs (608). Honorius l. (625–638) was condemned by an oecumenical council and by his own successors as a Monothelite heretic; while Martin I. (649–655) is honored for the persecution he endured in behalf of the orthodox doctrine of two wills in Christ. Under Gregory II. and III., Germany was converted to Roman Christianity.

The popes followed the missionary policy of Gregory and the instinct of Roman ambition and power. Every progress of Christianity in the West and the North was a progress of the Roman Church. Augustin, Boniface, Ansgar were Roman missionaries and pioneers of the papacy. As England had been annexed to the triple crown under Gregory I., so France, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia were annexed under his successors. The British and Scotch-Irish independence gave way gradually to the irresistible progress of Roman authority and uniformity. Priests, noblemen and kings from all parts of the West were visiting Rome as the capital of Christendom, and paid homage to the shrine of the apostles and to the living successor of the Galilaean fisherman.

But while the popes thus extended their spiritual dominion over the new barbarous races, they were the political subjects of the Eastern emperor as the master of Italy, and could not be consecrated without his consent. They were expected to obey the imperial edicts even in spiritual matters, and were subject to arrest and exile. To rid themselves of this inconvenient dependence was a necessary step in the development of the absolute papacy. It was effected in the eighth century by the aid of a rising Western power. The progress of Mohammedanism and its encroachment on the Greek empire likewise contributed to their independence.

§ 54. From Gregory II to Zacharias. a.d. 715–741.

Gregory II. (715–731) marks the transition to this new state of things. He quarreled with the iconoclastic emperor, Leo the Isaurian, about the worship of images. Under his pontificate, Liutprand,231 the ablest and mightiest king of the Lombards, conquered the Exarchate of Ravenna, and became master of Italy.

But the sovereignty of a barbarian and once Arian power was more odious and dangerous to the popes than that of distant Constantinople. Placed between the heretical emperor and the barbarian robber, they looked henceforth to a young and rising power beyond the Alps for deliverance and protection. The Franks were Catholics from the time of their conversion under Clovis, and achieved under Charles Martel (the Hammer) a mighty victory over the Saracens (732), which saved Christian Europe against the invasion and tyranny of Islâm. They had thus become the protectors of Latin Christianity. They also lent their aid to Boniface in the conversion of Germany.

Gregory, III. (731–741) renewed the negotiations with the Franks, begun by his predecessor. When the Lombards again invaded the territory, of Rome, and were ravaging by fire and sword the last remains of the property of the church, he appealed in piteous and threatening tone to Charles Martel, who had inherited from his father, Pepin of Herstal, the mayoralty of France, and was the virtual ruler of the realm. "Close not your ears," he says, "against our supplications, lest St. Peter close against you the gates of heaven." He sent him the keys of the tomb of St. Peter as a symbol of allegiance, and offered him the titles of Patrician and Consul of Rome.232 This was virtually a declaration of independence from Constantinople. Charles Martel returned a courteous answer, and sent presents to Rome, but did not cross the Alps. He was abhorred by the clergy of his own country as a sacrilegious spoiler of the property of the church and disposer of bishoprics to his counts and dukes in the place of rightful incumbents.233

The negotiations were interrupted by the death of Charles Martel Oct. 21, 741, followed by that of Gregory III., Nov. 27 of the same year.

§ 55. Alliance of the Papacy with the New Monarchy of the Franks. Pepin and the Patrimony of St. Peter. a.d. 741–755.

Pope Zacharias (741–752), a Greek, by the weight of his priestly authority, brought Liutprand to terms of temporary submission. The Lombard king suddenly paused in the career of conquest, and died after a reign of thirty years (743).

But his successor, Astolph, again threatened to incorporate Rome with his kingdom. Zacharias sought the protection of Pepin the Short,234 the Mayor of the Palace, son of Charles Martel, and father of Charlemagne, and in return for this aid helped him to the crown of France. This was the first step towards the creation of a Western empire and a new political system of Europe with the pope and the German emperor at the head.

Hereditary succession was not yet invested with that religious sanctity among the Teutonic races as in later ages. In the Jewish theocracy unworthy kings were deposed, and new dynasties elevated by the interposition of God's messengers. The pope claimed and exercised now for the first time the same power. The Mayor, or high steward, of the royal household in France was the prime minister of the sovereign and the chief of the official and territorial nobility. This dignity became hereditary in the family of Pepin of Laudon, who died in 639, and was transmitted from him through six descents to Pepin the Short, a gallant warrior and an experienced statesman. He was on good terms with Boniface, the apostle of Germany and archbishop of Mayence, who, according to the traditional view, acted as negotiator between him and the pope in this political coup d'etat.235

Childeric III., the last of the hopelessly degenerate Merovingian line, was the mere shadow of a monarch, and forced to retire into a monastery. Pepin, the ruler in fact now assumed the name, was elected at Soissons (March, 752) by the acclamation and clash of arms of the people, and anointed, like the kings of Israel, with holy oil, by Boniface or some other bishop, and two years after by the pope himself, who had decided that the lawful possessor of the royal power may also lawfully assume the royal title. Since that time he called himself "by the grace of God king of the Franks." The pope conferred on him the title of "Patrician of the Romans" (Patricius Romanorum), which implies a sort of protectorate over the Roman church, and civil sovereignty, over her territory. For the title "Patrician," which was introduced by Constantine the Great signified the highest rank next to that of the emperor, and since the sixth century was attached to the Byzantine Viceroy, of Italy. On the other hand, this elevation and coronation was made the basis of papal superiority over the crowns of France and Germany.

The pope soon reaped the benefit of his favor. When hard pressed again by the Lombards, he called the new king to his aid.

Stephen III., who succeeded Zacharias in March, 752, and ruled till 757, visited Pepin in person, and implored him to enforce the restoration of the domain of St. Peter. He anointed him again at St. Denys, together with his two sons, and promised to secure the perpetuity of his dynasty by the fearful power of the interdict and excommunication. Pepin accompanied him back to Italy and defeated the Lombards (754). When the Lombards renewed the war, the pope wrote letter upon letter to Pepin, admonishing and commanding him in the name of Peter and the holy Mother of God to save the city of Rome from the detested enemies, and promising him long life and the most glorious mansions in heaven, if he speedily obeyed. To such a height of blasphemous assumption had the papacy risen already as to identify itself with the kingdom of Christ and to claim to be the dispenser of temporal prosperity and eternal salvation.

Pepin crossed the Alps again with his army, defeated the Lombards, and bestowed the conquered territory upon the pope (755). He declared to the ambassadors of the East who demanded the restitution of Ravenna and its territory to the Byzantine empire, that his sole object in the war was to show his veneration for St. Peter. The new papal district embraced the Exarchate and the Pentapolis, East of the Apennines, with the cities of Ravenna, Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Cesena, Sinigaglia, lesi, Forlimpopoli, Forli, Montefeltro, Acerra, Monte di Lucano, Serra, San Marino, Bobbio, Urbino, Cagli, Luciolo, Gubbio, Comachio, and Narni.236

This donation of Pepin is the foundation of "the Patrimony of St. Peter." The pope was already in possession of tracts of land in Italy and elsewhere granted to the church. But by this gift of a foreign conqueror he became a temporal sovereign over a large part of Italy, while claiming to be the successor of Peter who had neither silver nor gold, and the vicar of Christ who said: "My kingdom is not of this world." The temporal power made the papacy independent in the exercise of its jurisdiction, but at the expense of its spiritual character. It provoked a long conflict with the secular power; it involved it in the political interests, intrigues and wars of Europe, and secularized the church and the hierarchy. Dante, who shared the mediaeval error of dating the donation of Pepin back to Constantine the Great,237 gave expression to this view in the famous lines:

"Ah, Constantine! of how much ill was mother,

Not thy conversion, but that marriage-dower

Which the first wealthy Father took from thee."238

Yet Dante places Constantine, who "from good intent produced evil fruit," in heaven; where

"Now he knows how all the ill deduced

From his good action is not harmful to him,

Although the world thereby may be destroyed."

And he speaks favorably of Charlemagne's intervention in behalf of the pope:

"And when the tooth of Lombardy had bitten

The Holy Church, then underneath its wings

Did Charlemagne victorious succor her."239

The policy of Pepin was followed by Charlemagne, the German, and Austrian emperors, and modern French rulers who interfered in Italian affairs, now as allies, now as enemies, until the temporal power of the papacy was lost under its last protector, Napoleon III., who withdrew his troops from Rome to fight against Germany, and by his defeat prepared the way for Victor Emanuel to take possession of Rome, as the capital of free and united Italy (1870). Since that time the pope who a few weeks before had proclaimed to the world his own infallibility in all matters of faith and morals, is confined to the Vatican, but with no diminution of his spiritual power as the bishop of bishops over two hundred millions of souls.

§ 56. Charles the Great. a.d. 768–814.


Beati Caroli Magni Opera omnia. 2 vols. In Migne's Patrol. Lat. Tom. 97 and 98. The first vol. contains the Codex Diplomaticus, Capitularia, and Privilegia; the second vol., the Codex Carolinus, the Libri Carolini (on the image controversy), the Epistolae, Carminâ, etc.

1. The Letters of Charles, of Einhard, and of Alcuin. Also the letters of the Popes to Charles and his two predecessors, which he had collected, and which are called the Codex Carolinus, ed. by Muratori, Cenni, ad Migne (Tom. 98, pp. 10 sqq.).

2. The Capitularies and Laws of Charlemagne, contained in the first vol. of the Leges in the Mon. Germ., ed. by Pertz, and in the Collections of Baluzius and Migne.

3. Annals. The Annales Laurissenses Majores (probably the official chronicle of the court) from 788 to 813; the Annales Einhardi, written after 829; the Annales Petaviani, Laureshamenses, Mosellani, and others, more of local than general value. All in the first and second vol. of Pertz, Monumenta Germanica Hist. Script.

4. Biographies: Einhard or Eginhard (b. 770, educated at Fulda, private secretary of Charlemagne, afterwards Benedictine monk): Vita Caroli Imperatoris (English translation by S. S. Turner, New York, 1880). A true sketch of what Charles was by an admiring and loving hand in almost classical Latin, and after the manner of Sueton's Lives of the Roman emperors. It marks, as Ad. Ebert says (II. 95), the height of the classical studies of the age of Charlemagne. Milman (II. 508) calls it "the best historic work which had appeared in the Latin language for centuries."—Poeta Saxo: Annales de Gestis Caroli, from the end of the ninth century. An anonymous monk of St. Gall: De Gestis Caroli, about the same time. In Pertz, l.c., and Jaffe's Monumenta Carolina (Bibl. Rer. Germ., T. IV.), also in Migne, Tom. I., Op. Caroli.

Comp. on the sources Abel's Jahrbucher des Fränk. Reichs (Berlin, 1866) and Wattenbach's Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter (Berlin, 1858; 4th ed. 1877–78, 2 vols.)


J. G. Walch: Historia Canonisationis Caroli M. Jen., 1750.

Putter: De Instauratione Imp. Rom. Gött., 1766.

Gaillard: Histoire de Charlemagne. Paris, 1784, 4 vols. secd ed. 1819.

Gibbon: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ch. 49.

J. Ellendorf: Die Karolinger und die Hierarchie ihrer Zeit. Essen., 1838, 2 vols.

Hegewisch: Geschichte der Regierung Kaiser Karls des Gr. Hamb., 1791.

Dippolt: Leben K. Karls des Gr. Tub., 1810.

G. P. R. James: The History of Charlemagne. London, 2nd ed. 1847.

Bähr: Gesch. der röm. Lit. im Karoling. Zeitalter. Carlsruhe, 1840.

Gfrörer: Geschichte der Karolinger. Freiburg i. B., 1848, 2 vols.

Capefigue: Charlemagne. Paris, 1842, 2 vols.

Warnkönig et Gerard: Hist. des Carolingians. Brux. and Paris, 1862, 2 vols.

Waitz: Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, vols. III. and IV.

W. Giesebrecht: Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit. Braunschweig, 1863 sqq. (3rd ed.). Bd. I., pp. 106 sqq.

Döllinger: Kaiserthum Karls des Grossen, in the Munchener Hist. Jahrbuch for 1865.

Gaston: Histoire poetique de Charlemagne. Paris, 1865.

P. Alberdinck Thijm: Karl der Gr. und seine Zeit. Munster, 1868.

Abel: Jahrbucher des Fränkischen Reichs unter Karl d. Grossen. Berlin, 1866.

Wyss: Karl der Grosse als Gesetzgeber. Zurich, 1869.

Rettberg: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, I. 419 sqq., II. 382 sqq.

Alphonse Vétault: Charlemagne. Tours, 1877 (556 pp.). With fine illustrations.

L. Stacke: Deutsche Geschichte. Leipzig, 1880. Bd. I. 169 sqq. With illustrations and maps.

Comp. also Milman: Latin Christianity, Book IV., ch. 12, and Book V., ch. 1; Ad. Ebert: Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters im Abendlande (1880), vol. II. 3–108. Of French writers, Guizot, and Martin, in their Histories of France; also Parke Godwin, History of France, chs. xvi. and xvii. (vol. I. 410 sqq.).

With the death of Pepin the Short (Sept. 24, 768), the kingdom of France was divided between his two sons, Charles and Carloman, the former to rule in the Northern, the latter in the Southern provinces. After the death of his weaker brother (771) Charles, ignoring the claims of his infant nephews, seized the sole reign and more than doubled its extent by his conquests.

Character and Aim of Charlemagne.

This extraordinary man represents the early history of both France and Germany which afterwards divided into separate streams, and commands the admiration of both countries and nations. His grand ambition was to unite all the Teutonic and Latin races on the Continent under his temporal sceptre in close union with the spiritual dominion of the pope; in other words, to establish a Christian theocracy, coëxtensive with the Latin church (exclusive of the British Isles and Scandinavia). He has been called the "Moses of the middle age," who conducted the Germanic race through the desert of barbarism and gave it a now code of political, civil and ecclesiastical laws. He stands at the head of the new Western empire, as Constantine the Great had introduced the Eastern empire, and he is often called the new Constantine, but is as far superior to him as the Latin empire was to the Greek. He was emphatically a man of Providence.

Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse, towers high above the crowned princes of his age, and is the greatest as well as the first of the long line of German emperors from the eighth to the nineteenth century. He is the only prince whose greatness has been inseparably blended with his French name.240 Since Julius Caesar history had seen no conqueror and statesman of such commanding genius and success; history after him produced only two military heroes that may be compared with him) Frederick II. of Prussia, and Napoleon Bonaparte (who took him and Caesar for his models), but they were far beneath him in religious character, and as hostile to the church as he was friendly to it. His lofty intellect shines all the more brightly from the general ignorance and barbarism of his age. He rose suddenly like a meteor in dark midnight. We do not know even the place and date of his birth, nor the history of his youth and education.241

His Reign.

His life is filled with no less than fifty-three military campaigns conducted by himself or his lieutenants, against the Saxons (18 campaigns), Lombards (5), Aquitanians, Thuringians, Bavarians) Avars or Huns, Danes, Slaves, Saracens, and Greeks. His incessant activity astonished his subjects and enemies. He seemed to be omnipresent in his dominions, which extended from the Baltic and the Elbe in the North to the Ebro in the South, from the British Channel to Rome and even to the Straits of Messina, embracing France, Germany, Hungary, the greater part of Italy and Spain. His ecclesiastical domain extended over twenty-two archbishoprics or metropolitan sees, Rome, Ravenna, Milan, Friuli (Aquileia), Grado, Cologne, Mayence, Salzburg, Treves, Sens, Besançon, Lyons, Rouen, Rheims, Arles, Vienna, Moutiers-en-Tarantaise, Ivredun, Bordeaux, Tours, Bourges, Narbonne.242 He had no settled residence, but spent much time on the Rhine, at Ingelheim, Mayence, Nymwegen, and especially at Aix-la-Chapelle on account of its baths. He encouraged trade, opened roads, and undertook to connect the Main and the Danube by canal. He gave his personal attention to things great and small. He introduced a settled order and unity of organization in his empire, at the expense of the ancient freedom and wild independence of the German tribes, although he continued to hold every year, in May, the general assembly of the freemen (Maifeld). He secured Europe against future heathen and Mohammedan invasion and devastation. He was universally admired or feared in his age. The Greek emperors sought his alliance; hence the Greek proverb, "Have the Franks for your friends, but not for your neighbors." The Caliph Harounal-Raschid, the mightiest ruler in the East, sent from Bagdad an embassy to him with precious gifts. But he esteemed a good sword more than gold. He impressed the stamp of his genius and achievements upon the subsequent history of Germany and France.

Appearance and Habits of Charlemagne.

Charles had a commanding, and yet winning presence. His physique betrayed the greatness of his mind. He was tall, strongly built and well proportioned. His height was seven times the length of his foot. He had large and animated eyes, a long nose, a cheerful countenance and an abundance of fine hair. "His appearance," says Eginhard, "was always stately and dignified, whether he was standing or sitting; although his neck was thick and somewhat short, and his belly rather prominent; but the symmetry of the rest of his body concealed these defects. His gait was firm, his whole carriage manly, and his voice clear, but not so strong as his size led one to expect."243

He was naturally eloquent, and spoke with great clearness and force. He was simple in his attire, and temperate in eating and drinking; for, says Eginhard, "he abominated drunkenness in anybody, much more in himself and those of his household. He rarely gave entertainments, only on great feast days, and these to large numbers of people." He was fond of muscular exercise, especially of hunting and swimming, and enjoyed robust health till the last four years of his life, when he was subject to frequent fevers. During his meals he had extracts from Augustine's "City of God" (his favorite book), and stories of olden times, read to him. He frequently gave audience while dressing, without sacrifice of royal dignity. He was kind to the poor, and a liberal almsgiver.

His Zeal for Education.

His greatest merit is his zeal for education and religion. He was familiar with Latin from conversation rather than books, be understood a little Greek, and in his old age he began to learn the art of writing which his hand accustomed to the sword had neglected. He highly esteemed his native language, caused a German grammar to be compiled, and gave German names to the winds and to the months.244 He collected the ancient heroic songs of the German minstrels. He took measures to correct the Latin Version of the Scriptures, and was interested in theological questions. He delighted in cultivated society. He gathered around him divines, scholars, poets, historians, mostly Anglo-Saxons, among whom Alcuin was the chief. He founded the palace school and other schools in the convents, and visited them in person. The legend makes him the founder of the University of Paris, which is of a much later date. One of his laws enjoins general education upon all male children.

His Piety.

Charles was a firm believer in Christianity and a devout and regular worshipper in the church, "going morning and evening, even after nightfall, besides attending mass." He was very liberal to the clergy. He gave them tithes throughout the empire appointed worthy bishops and abbots, endowed churches and built a splendid cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle, in which he was buried.

His respect for the clergy culminated in his veneration for the bishop of Rome as the successor of St. Peter. "He cherished the church of St. Peter the apostle at Rome above all other holy and sacred places, and filled its treasury with a vast wealth of gold, silver, and precious stones. He sent great and countless gifts to the popes; and throughout his whole reign the wish he had nearest at heart was to re-establish the ancient authority of the city of Rome under his care and by his influence, and to defend and protect the church of St. Peter, and to beautify and enrich it out of his own store above all other churches."245

His Vices.

Notwithstanding his many and great virtues, Charles was by, no means so pure as the poetry and piety of the church represented him, and far from deserving canonization. He sacrificed thousands of human beings to his towering ambition and passion for conquest. He converted the Saxons by force of arms; he waged for thirty years a war of extermination against them; he wasted their territory with fire and sword; he crushed out their independence; he beheaded in cold blood four thousand five hundred prisoners in one day at Verden on the Aller (782), and when these proud and faithless savages finally surrendered, he removed 10000 of their families from their homes on the banks of the Elbe to different parts of Germany and Gaul to prevent a future revolt. It was indeed a war of religion for the annihilation of heathenism, but conducted on the Mohammedan principle: submission to the faith, or death. This is contrary to the spirit of Christianity which recognizes only the moral means of persuasion and conviction.246

The most serious defect in his private character was his incontinence and disregard of the sanctity of the marriage tie. In this respect he was little better than an Oriental despot or a Mohammedan Caliph. He married several wives and divorced them at his pleasure. He dismissed his first wife (unknown by name) to marry a Lombard princess, and he repudiated her within a year. After the death of his fifth wife he contented himself with three or four concubines. He is said even to have encouraged his own daughters in dissolute habits rather than give them in marriage to princes who might become competitors for a share in the kingdom, but he had them carefully educated. It is not to the credit of the popes that they never rebuked him for this vice, while with weaker and less devoted monarchs they displayed such uncompromising zeal for the sanctity of marriage.247

His Death and Burial.

The emperor died after a short illness, and after receiving the holy communion, Jan. 28, 814, in the 71st year of his age, and the 47th of his reign, and was buried on the same day in the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle "amid the greatest lamentations of the people."248 Very many omens, adds Eginhard (ch. 32), had portended his approaching end, as he had recognized himself. Eclipses both of the sun and the moon were very frequent during the last three years of his life, and a black spot was visible on the sun for seven days. The bridge over the Rhine at Mayence, which he had constructed in ten years, was consumed by fire; the palace at Aix-la-Chapelle frequently trembled; the basilica was struck by lightning, the gilded ball on the roof shattered by a thunderbolt and hurled upon the bishop's house adjoining; and the word Princeps after Karolus inscribed on an arch was effaced a few months before his decease. "But Charles despised, or affected to despise, all these things as having no reference whatever to him."

The Charlemagne of Poetry.

The heroic and legendary poetry of the middle ages represents Charles as a giant of superhuman strength and beauty, of enormous appetite, with eyes shining like the morning star, terrible in war, merciful in peace, as a victorious hero, a wise lawgiver, an unerring judge, and a Christian saint. He suffered only one defeat, at Roncesvalles in the narrow passes of the Pyrenees, when, on his return from a successful invasion of Spain, his rearguard with the flower of the French chivalry, under the command of Roland, one of his paladins and nephews, was surprised and routed by the Basque Mountaineers (778).249

The name of "the Blessed Charles" is enrolled in the Roman Calendar for his services to the church and gifts to the pope. Heathen Rome deified Julius Caesar, Christian Rome canonized, or at least beatified Charlemagne. Suffrages for the repose of his soul were continued in the church of Aix-la-Chapelle until Paschal, a schismatical pope, at the desire of Frederic Barbarossa, enshrined his remains in that city and published a decree for his canonization (1166). The act was neither approved nor revoked by a regular pope, but acquiesced in, and such tacit canonization is considered equivalent to beatification.


I. Judgments on the Personal Character of Charlemagne.

Eginhard (whose wife Emma figures in the legend as a daughter of Charlemagne) gives the following frank account of the private and domestic relations of his master and friend (chs. 18 and 19, in Migne, Tom. XCVII. 42 sqq.):

"Thus did Charles defend and increase as well as beautify his kingdom; and here let me express my admiration of his great qualities and his extraordinary constancy alike in good and evil fortune. I will now proceed to give the details of his private life. After his father's death, while sharing the kingdom with his brother, he bore his unfriendliness and jealousy most patiently, and, to the wonder of all, could not be provoked to be angry with him. Later" [after repudiating his first wife, an obscure person] "he married a daughter of Desiderius, King of the Lombards, at the instance of his mother" [notwithstanding the protest of the pope]; "but he repudiated her at the end of a year for some reason unknown, and married Hildegard, a woman of high birth, of Swabian origin [d. 783]. He had three sons by her,—Charles, Pepin, and Lewis—and as many daughters,—Hruodrud, Bertha, and Gisela." [Eginhard omits Adelaide and Hildegard.] "He had three other daughters besides these—Theoderada, Hiltrud, and Ruodhaid—two by his third wife, Fastrada, a woman of East Frankish (that is to say of German) origin, and the third by a concubine, whose name for the moment escapes me. At the death of Fastrada, he married Liutgard, an Alemannic woman, who bore him no children. After her death he had three [according to another reading four] concubines—Gerswinda, a Saxon, by whom he had Adaltrud; Regina, who was the mother of Drogo and Hugh; and Ethelind, by whom he had Theodoric. Charles's mother, Berthrada, passed her old age with him in great honor; he entertained the greatest veneration for her; and there was never any disagreement between them except when he divorced the daughter of King Desiderius, whom he had married to please her. She died soon after Hildegard, after living to see three grandsons and as many grand-daughters in her son's house, and he buried her with great pomp in the Basilica of St. Denis, where his father lay. He had an only [surviving] sister, Gisela, who had consecrated herself to a religious life from girlhood, and he cherished as much affection for her as for his mother. She also died a few years before him in the nunnery where she had passed her life. The plan which he adopted for his children's education was, first of all, to have both boys and girls instructed in the liberal arts, to which he also turned his own attention. As soon as their years admitted, in accordance with the custom of the Franks, the boys had to learn horsemanship, and to practise war and the chase, and the girls to familiarize themselves with cloth-making, and to handle distaff and spindle, that they might not grow indolent through idleness, and he fostered in them every virtuous sentiment. He only lost three of all his children before his death, two sons and one daughter .... When his sons and his daughters died, he was not so calm as might have been expected from his remarkably strong mind, for his affections were no less strong, and moved him to tears. Again when he was told of the death of Hadrian, the Roman Pontiff, whom he had loved most of all his friends, he wept as much as if he had lost a brother, or a very dear son. He was by nature most ready to contract friendships, and not only made friends easily, but clung to them persistently, and cherished most fondly those with whom he had formed such ties. He was so careful of the training of his sons and daughters that he never took his meals without them when he was at home, and never made a journey without them; his sons would ride at his side, and his daughters follow him, while a number of his body-guard, detailed for their protection, brought up the rear. Strange to say, although they were very handsome women, and he loved them very dearly, he was never willing to marry either of them to a man, of their own nation or to a foreigner, but kept them all at home until his, death, saying that he could not dispense with their society. Hence though otherwise happy, he experienced the malignity of fortune as far as they were concerned; yet he concealed his knowledge of the rumors current in regard to them, and of the suspicions entertained of their honor."

Gibbon is no admirer of Charlemagne, and gives an exaggerated view of his worst vice: "Of his moral virtues chastity is not the most conspicuous; but the public happiness could not be materially injured by his nine wives or concubines, the various indulgence of meaner or more transient amours, the multitude of his bastards whom he bestowed on the church, and the long celibacy and licentious manners of his daughters, whom the father was suspected of loving with too fond a passion." But this charge of incest, as Hallam and Milman observe, seems to have originated in a misinterpreted passage of Eginhard quoted above, and is utterly unfounded.

Henry Hallam (Middle Ages I. 26) judges a little more favorably: The great qualities of Charlemagne were, indeed, alloyed by the vices of a barbarian and a conqueror. Nine wives, whom he divorced with very little ceremony, attest the license of his private life, which his temperance and frugality can hardly be said to redeem. Unsparing of blood, though not constitutionally cruel, and wholly indifferent to the means which his ambition prescribed, he beheaded in one day four thousand Saxons—an act of atrocious butchery, after which his persecuting edicts, pronouncing the pain of death against those who refused baptism, or even who ate flesh during Lent, seem scarcely worthy of notice. This union of barbarous ferocity with elevated views of national improvement might suggest the parallel of Peter the Great. But the degrading habits and brute violence of the Muscovite place him at an immense distance from the restorer of the empire.

"A strong sympathy for intellectual excellence was the leading characteristic of Charlemagne, and this undoubtedly biassed him in the chief political error of his conduct—that of encouraging the power and pretensions of the hierarchy. But, perhaps, his greatest eulogy is written in the disgraces of succeeding times and the miseries of Europe. He stands alone, like a beacon upon a waste, or a rock in the broad ocean. His sceptre was the bow of Ulysses, which could not be drawn by any weaker hand. In the dark ages of European history the reign of Charlemagne affords a solitary resting-place between two long periods of turbulence and ignominy, deriving the advantages of contrast both from that of the preceding dynasty and of a posterity for whom he had formed an empire which they were unworthy and unequal to maintain."

G. P. R. James (History of Charlemagne, Lond., 1847, p. 499): "No man, perhaps, that ever lived, combined in so high a degree those qualities which rule men and direct events, with those which endear the possessor and attach his contemporaries. No man was ever more trusted and loved by his people, more respected and feared by other kings, more esteemed in his lifetime, or more regretted at his death.

Milman (Book V. ch. 1): "Karl, according to his German appellation, was the model of a Teutonic chieftain, in his gigantic stature, enormous strength, and indefatigable activity; temperate in diet, and superior to the barbarous vice of drunkenness. Hunting and war were his chief occupations; and his wars were carried on with all the ferocity of encountering savage tribes. But he was likewise a Roman Emperor, not only in his vast and organizing policy, he had that one vice of the old Roman civilization which the Merovingian kings had indulged, though not perhaps with more unbounded lawlessness. The religious emperor, in one respect, troubled not himself with the restraints of religion. The humble or grateful church beheld meekly, and almost without remonstrance, the irregularity of domestic life, which not merely indulged in free license, but treated the sacred rite of marriage as a covenant dissoluble at his pleasure. Once we have heard, and but once, the church raise its authoritative, its comminatory voice, and that not to forbid the King of the Franks from wedding a second wife while his first was alive, but from marrying a Lombard princess. One pious ecclesiastic alone in his dominion, he a relative, ventured to protest aloud.')

Guizot (Histoire de la civilisation en France, leçon XX.): "Charlemagne marque la limite à laquelle est enfin consommée la dissolution de l'ancien monde romain et barbare, et où commence la formation du monde nouveau."

Vétault (Charlemagne, 455, 458): "Charlemagne fut, en effet, le père du monde moderne et de la societé européenne .... Si Ch. ne peut être légitemement honoré comme un saint, il a droit du moins à la première place, parmis tous les héros, dans l'admiration des hommes; car on ne trouverait pas un autre souverain qui ait autant aimé l'humanité et lui ait fait plus de bien. Il est le plus glorieux, parce que ... il a mérite d' être proclamé le plus honnête des grands hommes."

Giesebrecht, the historian of the German emperors, gives a glowing description of Charlemagne (I. 140): "Many high-minded rulers arose in the ten centuries after Charles, but none had a higher aim. To be ranked with him, satisfied the boldest conquerors, the wisest princes of peace. French chivalry of later times glorified Charlemagne as the first cavalier; the German burgeoisie as the fatherly friend of the people and the most righteous judge; the Catholic Church raised him to the number of her saints; the poetry of all nations derived ever new inspiration and strength from his mighty person. Never perhaps has richer life proceeded from the activity of a mortal man (Nie vielleicht ist reicheres Leben von der Wirksamkeit eines sterblichen Menschen ausgegangen)."

We add the eloquent testimony of an American author, Parke Godwin (History of France, N. Y., 1860, vol. i. p. 410): "There is to me something indescribably grand in the figure of many of the barbaric chiefs—Alariks, Ataulfs, Theodoriks, and Euriks—who succeeded to the power of the Romans, and in their wild, heroic way, endeavored to raise a fabric of state on the ruins of the ancient empire. But none of those figures is so imposing and majestic as that of Karl, the son of Pippin, whose name, for the first and only time in history, the admiration of mankind has indissolubly blended with the title the Great. By the peculiarity of his position in respect to ancient and modern times—by the extraordinary length of his reign, by the number and importance of the transactions in which he was engaged, by the extent and splendor of his conquests, by his signal services to the Church, and by the grandeur of his personal qualities—he impressed himself so profoundly upon the character of his times, that he stands almost alone and apart in the annals of Europe. For nearly a thousand years before him, or since the days of Julius Caesar, no monarch had won so universal and brilliant a renown; and for nearly a thousand years after him, or until the days of Charles V. of Germany, no monarch attained any thing like an equal dominion. A link between the old and new, he revived the Empire of the West, with a degree of glory that it had only enjoyed in its prime; while, at the same time, the modern history of every Continental nation was made to begin with him. Germany claims him as one of her most illustrious sons; France, as her noblest king; Italy, as her chosen emperor; and the Church as her most prodigal benefactor and worthy saint. All the institutions of the Middle Ages—political, literary, scientific, and ecclesiastical—delighted to trace their traditionary origins to his hand: he was considered the source of the peerage, the inspirer of chivalry, the founder of universities, and the endower of the churches; and the genius of romance, kindling its fantastic torches at the flame of his deeds, lighted up a new and marvellous world about him, filled with wonderful adventures and heroic forms. Thus by a double immortality, the one the deliberate award of history, and the other the prodigal gift of fiction, he claims the study of mankind."

II. The Canonization of Charlemagne is perpetuated in the Officium in festo Sancti Caroli Magni imperatoris et confessoris, as celebrated in churches of Germany, France, and Spain. Baronius (Annal. ad ann. 814) says that the canonization was, not accepted by the Roman church, because Paschalis was no legitimate pope, but neither was it forbidden. Alban Butler, in his Lives of Saints, gives a eulogistic biography of the "Blessed Charlemagne," and covers his besetting sin with the following unhistorical assertion: "The incontinence, into which he fell in his youth, he expiated by sincere repentance, so that several churches in Germany and France honor him among the saints."




The monogram of Charles with the additions of a scribe in a document signed by Charles at Kufstein, Aug. 31, 790. Copied from Stacke, l.c.

§ 57. Founding of the Holy Roman Empire, a.d. 800. Charlemagne and Leo III

G. Sugenheim: Geschichte der Entstehung und Ausbildung des Kirchenstaates. Leipz. 1854.

F. Scharpff: Die Entstehung des kirchenstaats. Freib. i. B. 1860.

TH. D. Mock: De Donatione a Carolo Mag. sedi apostolicae anno 774 oblata. Munich 1861.

James Bryce: The Holy Roman Empire. Lond. & N. York (Macmillan & Co.) 6th ed. 1876, 8th ed. 1880. German translation by Arthur Winckler.

Heinrich von Sybel: Die Schenkungen der Karolinger an die Päpste. In Sybel's "Hist. Zeitschrift," Munchen & Leipz. 1880, pp. 46–85.

Comp. Baxmann: I. 307 sqq.; Vétault: Ch. III. pp. 113 sqq. (Charlemagne, patrice des Romains-Formation des états de l'église).

Charlemagne inherited the protectorate of the temporal dominions of the pope which had been wrested from the Lombards by Pepin, as the Lombards had wrested them from the Eastern emperor. When the Lombards again rebelled and the pope (Hadrian) again appealed to the transalpine monarch for help, Charles in the third year of his sole reign (774) came to the rescue, crossed the Alps with an army—a formidable undertaking in those days—subdued Italy with the exception of a small part of the South still belonging to the Greek empire, held a triumphal entry in Rome, and renewed and probably enlarged his father's gift to the pope. The original documents have perished, and no contemporary authority vouches for the details; but the fact is undoubted. The gift rested only on the right of conquest. Henceforward he always styled himself "Rex Francorum et Longobardorum, et Patricius Romanorum." His authority over the immediate territory of the Lombards in Northern Italy was as complete as that in France, but the precise nature of his authority over the pope's dominion as Patrician of the Romans became after his death an apple of discord for centuries. Hadrian, to judge from his letters, considered himself as much an absolute sovereign in his dominion as Charles in his.

In 781 at Easter Charles revisited Rome with his son Pepin, who on that occasion was anointed by the pope "King for Italy" ("Rex in Italiam"). On a third visit., in 787, he spent a few days with his friend, Hadrian, in the interest of the patrimony of St. Peter. When Leo III. followed Hadrian (796) he immediately dispatched to Charles, as tokens of submission the keys and standards of the city, and the keys of the sepulchre of Peter.

A few years afterwards a terrible riot broke out in Rome in which the pope was assaulted and almost killed (799). He fled for help to Charles, then at Paderborn in Westphalia, and was promised assistance. The next year Charles again crossed the Alps and declared his intention to investigate the charges of certain unknown crimes against Leo, but no witness appeared to prove them. Leo publicly read a declaration of his own innocence, probably at the request of Charles, but with a protest that this declaration should not be taken for a precedent. Soon afterwards occurred the great event which marks an era in the ecclesiastical and political history of Europe.

The Coronation of Charles as Emperor.

While Charles was celebrating Christmas in St. Peter's, in the year of our Lord 800, and kneeling in prayer before the altar, the pope, as under a sudden inspiration (but no doubt in consequence of a premeditated scheme), placed a golden crown upon his head, and the Roman people shouted three times: "To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, the great and pacific emperor of the Romans, life and victory!" Forthwith, after ancient custom, he was adored by the pope, and was styled henceforth (instead of Patrician) Emperor and Augustus.250

The new emperor presented to the pope a round table of silver with the picture of Constantinople, and many gifts of gold, and remained in Rome till Easter. The moment or manner of the coronation may have been unexpected by Charles (if we are to believe his word), but it is hardly conceivable that it was not the result of a previous arrangement between him and Leo. Alcuin seems to have aided the scheme. In his view the pope occupied the first, the emperor the second, the king the third degree in the scale of earthly dignities. He sent to Charles from Tours before his coronation a splendid Bible with the inscription: Ad splendorem imperialis potentiae.251

On his return to France Charles compelled all his subjects to take a new oath to him as "Caesar." He assumed the full title "Serenssimus Augustus a Deo coronatus, magnus et pacificus imperator, Romanum gubernans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum et Longobardorum."

Significance of the Act.

The act of coronation was on the part of the pope a final declaration of independence and self-emancipation against the Greek emperor, as the legal ruler of Rome. Charles seems to have felt this, and hence he proposed to unite the two empires by marrying Irene, who had put her son to death and usurped the Greek crown (797). But the same rebellion had been virtually committed before by the pope in sending the keys of the city to Pepin, and by the French king in accepting this token of temporal sovereignty. Public opinion justified the act on the principle that might makes right. The Greek emperor, being unable to maintain his power in Italy and to defend his own subjects, first against the Lombards and then against the Franks, had virtually forfeited his claim.

For the West the event was the re-establishment, on a Teutonic basis, of the old Roman empire, which henceforth, together with the papacy, controlled the history of the middle ages. The pope and the emperor represented the highest dignity and power in church and state. But the pope was the greater and more enduring power of the two. He continued, down to the Reformation, the spiritual ruler of all Europe, and is to this day the ruler of an empire much vaster than that of ancient Rome. He is, in the striking language of Hobbes, "the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof."

The Relation of the Pope and the Emperor.

What was the legal and actual relation between these two sovereignties, and the limits of jurisdiction of each? This was the struggle of centuries. It involved many problems which could only be settled in the course of events. It was easy enough to distinguish the two in theory by, confining the pope to spiritual, and the emperor to temporal affairs. But on the theocratic theory of the union of church and state the two will and must come into frequent conflict.

The pope, by voluntarily conferring the imperial crown upon Charles, might claim that the empire was his gift, and that the right of crowning implied the right of discrowning. And this right was exercised by popes at a later period, who wielded the secular as well as the spiritual sword and absolved nations of their oath of allegiance. A mosaic picture in the triclinium of Leo III. in the Lateran (from the ninth century) represents St. Peter in glory, bestowing upon Leo kneeling at his right hand the priestly stole, and upon Charles kneeling at his left, the standard of Rome.252 This is the mediaeval hierarchical theory, which derives all power from God through Peter as the head of the church. Gregory VII. compared the church to the sun, the state to the moon who derives her light from the sun. The popes will always maintain the principle of the absolute supremacy of the church over the state, and support or oppose a government—whether it be an empire or a kingdom or a republic—according to the degree of its subserviency to the interests of the hierarchy. The papal Syllabus of 1864 expresses the genuine spirit of the system in irreconcilable conflict with the spirit of modern history and civilization. The Vatican Palace is the richest museum of classical and mediaeval curiosities, and the pope himself, the infallible oracle of two hundred millions of souls, is by far the greatest curiosity in it.

On the other hand Charles, although devotedly attached to the church and the pope, was too absolute a monarch to recognize a sovereignty within his sovereignty. He derived his idea of the theocracy from the Old Testament, and the relation between Moses and Aaron. He understood and exercised his imperial dignity pretty much in the same way as Constantine the Great and Theodosius the Great had done in the Byzantine empire, which was caesaro-papal in principle and practice, and so is its successor, the Russian empire. Charles believed that he was the divinely appointed protector of the church and the regulator of all her external and to some extent also the internal affairs. He called the synods of his empire without asking the pope. He presided at the Council of Frankfort (794), which legislated on matters of doctrine and discipline, condemned the Adoption heresy, agreeably to the pope, and rejected the image worship against the decision of the second oecumenical Council of Nicaea (787) and the declared views of several popes.253 He appointed bishops and abbots as well as counts, and if a vacancy in the papacy, had occurred during the remainder of his life, he would probably have filled it as well as the ordinary bishoprics. The first act after his coronation was to summon and condemn to death for treason those who had attempted to depose the pope. He thus acted as judge in the case. A Council at Mayence in 813 called him in an official document "the pious ruler of the holy church."254

Charles regarded the royal and imperial dignity as the hereditary possession of his house and people, and crowned his son, Louis the Pious, at Aix-la-Chapelle in 813, without consulting the pope or the Romans.255 He himself as a Teuton represented both France and Germany. But with the political separation of the two countries under his successors, the imperial dignity was attached to the German crown. Hence also the designation: the holy German Roman empire.

§ 58. Survey of the History of the Holy Roman Empire.

The readiness with which the Romans responded to the crowning act of Leo proves that the re-establishment of the Western empire was timely. The Holy Roman Empire seemed to be the necessary counterpart of the Holy Roman Church. For many, centuries the nations of Europe had been used to the concentration of all secular power in one head. It is true, several Roman emperors from Nero to Diocletian had persecuted Christianity by fire and sword, but Constantine and his successors had raised the church to dignity and power, and bestowed upon it all the privileges of a state religion. The transfer of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople withdrew from the Western church the protection of the secular arm, and exposed Europe to the horrors of barbarian invasion and the chaos of civil wars. The popes were among the chief sufferers, their territory, being again and again overrun and laid waste by the savage Lombards. Hence the instinctive desire for the protecting arm of a new empire, and this could only be expected from the fresh and vigorous Teutonic power which had risen beyond the Alps and Christianized by Roman missionaries. Into this empire "all the life of the ancient world was gathered; out of it all the life of the modern world arose."256

The Empire and the Papacy, The Two Ruling Powers of the Middle Ages.

Henceforward the mediaeval history of Europe is chiefly a history of the papacy and the empire. They were regarded as the two arms of God in governing the church and the world. This twofold government was upon the whole the best training-school of the barbarian for Christian civilization and freedom. The papacy acted as a wholesome check upon military despotism, the empire as a check upon the abuses of priestcraft. Both secured order and unity against the disintegrating tendencies of society; both nourished the great idea of a commonwealth of nations, of a brotherhood of mankind, of a communion of saints. By its connection with Rome, the empire infused new blood into the old nationalities of the South, and transferred the remaining treasures of classical culture and the Roman law to the new nations of the North. The tendency of both was ultimately self-destructive; they fostered, while seeming to oppose, the spirit of ecclesiastical and national independence. The discipline of authority always produces freedom as its legitimate result. The law is a schoolmaster to lead men to the gospel.

Otho the Great.

In the opening chapter of the history of the empire we find it under the control of a master-mind and in friendly alliance with the papacy. Under the weak successors of Charlemagne it dwindled down to a merely nominal existence. But it revived again in Otho I. or the Great (936–973), of the Saxon dynasty. He was master of the pope and defender of the Roman church, and left everywhere the impress of an heroic character, inferior only to that of Charles. Under Henry III. (1039–1056), when the papacy sank lowest, the empire again proved a reforming power. He deposed three rival popes, and elected a worthy, successor. But as the papacy rose from its degradation, it overawed the empire.

Henry IV. and Gregory VII.

Under Henry IV. (1056–1106) and Gregory VII. (1073–1085) the two power; came into the sharpest conflict concerning the right of investiture, or the supreme control in the election of bishops and abbots. The papacy achieved a moral triumph over the empire at Canossa, when the mightiest prince kneeled as a penitent at the feet of the proud successor of Peter (1077); but Henry recovered his manhood and his power, set up an antipope, and Gregory died in exile at Salerno, yet without yielding an inch of his principles and pretensions. The conflict lasted fifty years, and ended with the Concordat of Worms (Sept. 23, 1122), which was a compromise, but with a limitation of the imperial prerogative: the pope secured the right to invest the bishops with the ring and crozier, but the new bishop before his consecration was to receive his temporal estates as a fief of the crown by the touch of the emperor's sceptre.

The House of Hohenstaufen.

Under the Swabian emperors of the house of Hohenstaufen (1138–1254) the Roman empire reached its highest power in connection with the Crusades, in the palmy days of mediaeval chivalry, poetry and song. They excelled in personal greatness and renown the Saxon and the Salic emperors, but were too much concerned with Italian affairs for the good of Germany. Frederick Barbarossa (Redbeard), during his long reign (1152–1190), was a worthy successor of Charlemagne and Otho the Great. He subdued Northern Italy, quarrelled with pope Alexander III., enthroned two rival popes (Paschal III., and after his death Calixtus III.), but ultimately submitted to Alexander, fell at his feet at Venice, and was embraced by the pope with tears of joy and the kiss of peace (1177). He died at the head of an army of crusaders, while attempting to cross the Cydnus in Cilicia (June 10, 1190), and entered upon his long enchanted sleep in Kyffhäuser till his spirit reappeared to establish a new German empire in 1871.257

Under Innocent III. (1198–1216) the papacy reached the acme of its power, and maintained it till the time of Boniface VIII. (1294–1303). Emperor Frederick II. (1215–1250), Barbarossa's grandson, was equal to the best of his predecessors in genius and energy, superior to them in culture, but more an Italian than a German, and a skeptic on the subject of religion. He reconquered Jerusalem in the fifth crusade, but cared little for the church, and was put under the ban by pope Gregory IX., who denounced him as a heretic and blasphemer, and compared him to the Apocalyptic beast from the abyss.258 The news of his sudden death was hailed by pope Innocent IV. with the exclamation: "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad." His death was the collapse of the house of Hohenstaufen, and for a time also of the Roman empire. His son and successor Conrad IV. ruled but a few years, and his grandson Conradin, a bright and innocent youth of sixteen, was opposed by the pope, and beheaded at Naples in sight of his hereditary kingdom (October 29, 1268).

Italy was at once the paradise and the grave of German ambition.

The German Empire.

After "the great interregnum" when might was right,259 the Swiss count Rudolf of Hapsburg (a castle in the Swiss canton of Aargau) was elected emperor by the seven electors, and crowned at Aachen (1273–1291). He restored peace and order, never visited Italy, escaped the ruinous quarrels with the pope, built up a German kingdom, and laid the foundation of the conservative, orthodox, tenacious, and selfish house of Austria.

The empire continued to live for more than five centuries with varying fortunes, in nominal connection with Rome and at the head of the secular powers in Christendom, but without controlling influence over the fortunes of the papacy and the course of Europe. Occasionally it sent forth a gleam of its universal aim, as under Henry VII., who was crowned in Rome and hailed by Dante as the saviour of Italy, but died of fever (if not of poison administered by a Dominican monk in the sacramental cup) in Tuscany (1313); under Sigismund, the convener and protector of the oecumenical Council at Constance which deposed popes and burned Hus (1414), a much better man than either the emperor or the contemporary popes; under Charles V. (1519–1558), who wore the crown of Spain and Austria as well as of Germany, and on whose dominions the sun never set; and under Joseph II. (1765–1790), who renounced the intolerant policy of his ancestors, unmindful of the pope's protest, and narrowly escaped greatness.260 But the emperors after Rudolf, with a few exceptions, were no more crowned in Rome, and withdrew from Italy.261 They were chosen at Frankfort by the Seven Electors, three spiritual, and four temporal: the archbishops of Mentz, Treves, and Cologne, the king of Bohemia, and the Electors of the Palatinate, Saxony, and Brandenburg (afterwards enlarged to nine). The competition, however, was confined to a few powerful houses, until in the 15th century the Hapsburgs grasped the crown and held it tenaciously, with one exception, till the dissolution. The Hapsburg emperors always cared more for their hereditary dominions, which they steadily increased by fortunate marriages, than for Germany and the papacy.

The Decline and Fall of the Empire.

Many causes contributed to the gradual downfall of the German empire: the successful revolt of the Swiss mountaineers, the growth of the independent kingdoms of Spain, France, and England, the jealousies of the electors and the minor German princes, the discovery of a new Continent in the West, the invasion of the Turks from the East, the Reformation which divided the German people into two hostile religions, the fearful devastations of the thirty years' war, the rise of the house of Hohenzollern and the kingdom of Prussia on German soil with the brilliant genius of Frederick II., and the wars growing out of the French Revolution. In its last stages it became a mere shadow, and justified the satirical description (traced to Voltaire), that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. The last of the emperors, Francis II., in August 6th, 1806, abdicated the elective crown of Germany and substituted for it the hereditary crown of Austria as Francis I. (d. 1835).

Thus the holy Roman empire died in peace at the venerable age of one thousand and six years.

The Empire of Napoleon.

Napoleon, hurled into sudden power by the whirlwind of revolution on the wings of his military genius, aimed at the double glory of a second Caesar and a second Charlemagne, and constructed, by arbitrary force, a huge military empire on the basis of France, with the pope as an obedient paid servant at Paris, but it collapsed on the battle fields of Leipzig and Waterloo, without the hope of a resurrection. "I have not succeeded Louis Quatorze," he said, "but Charlemagne." He dismissed his wife and married a daughter of the last German and first Austrian emperor; he assumed the Lombard crown at Milan; he made his ill-fated son "King of Rome" in imitation of the German "King of the Romans." He revoked "the donations which my predecessors, the French emperors have made," and appropriated them to France. "Your holiness," he wrote to Pius VII., who had once addressed him as his "very dear Son in Christ," "is sovereign of Rome, but I am the emperor thereof." "You are right," he wrote to Cardinal Fesch, his uncle, "that I am Charlemagne, and I ought to be treated as the emperor of the papal court. I shall inform the pope of my intentions in a few words, and if he declines to acquiesce, I shall reduce him to the same condition in which he was before Charlemagne."262 It is reported that he proposed to the pope to reside in Paris with a large salary, and rule the conscience of Europe under the military, supremacy of the emperor, that the pope listened first to his persuasion with the single remark: "Comedian," and then to his threats with the reply: "Tragedian," and turned him his back. The papacy utilized the empire of the uncle and the nephew, as well as it could, and survived them. But the first Napoleon swept away the effete institutions of feudalism, and by his ruthless and scornful treatment of conquered nationalities provoked a powerful revival of these very nationalities which overthrew and buried his own artificial empire. The deepest humiliation of the German nation, and especially of Prussia, was the beginning of its uprising in the war of liberation.

The German Confederation.

The Congress of Vienna erected a temporary substitute for the old empire in the German "Bund" at Frankfort. It was no federal state, but a loose confederacy of 38 sovereign states, or princes rather, without any popular representation; it was a rope of sand, a sham unity, under the leadership of Austria; and Austria shrewdly and selfishly used the petty rivalries and jealousies of the smaller principalities as a means to check the progress of Prussia and to suppress all liberal movements.

The New German Empire.

In the meantime the popular desire for national union, awakened by the war of liberation and a great national literature, made steady progress, and found at last its embodiment in a new German empire with a liberal constitution and a national parliament. But this great result was brought about by great events and achievements under the leadership of Prussia against foreign aggression. The first step was the brilliant victory of Prussia over Austria at Königgrätz, which resulted in the formation of the North German Confederation (1866). The second step was the still more remarkable triumph of united Germany in a war of self-defence against the empire of Napoleon III., which ended in the proclamation of William I. as German emperor by the united wishes of the German princes and peoples in the palace of Louis XIV. at Versailles (1870).

Thus the long dream of the German nation was fulfilled through a series of the most brilliant military and diplomatic victories recorded in modern history, by the combined genius of Bismarck, Moltke, and William, and the valor, discipline, and intelligence of the German army.

Simultaneously with this German movement, Italy under the lead of Cavour and Victor Emmanuel, achieved her national unity, with Rome as the political capital.

But the new German empire is not a continuation or revival of the old. It differs from it in several essential particulars. It is the result of popular national aspiration and of a war of self-defence, not of conquest; it is based on the predominance of Prussia and North Germany, not of Austria and South Germany; it is hereditary, not elective; it is controlled by modern ideas of liberty and progress, not by mediaeval notions and institutions; it is essentially Protestant, and not Roman Catholic; it is a German, not a Roman empire. Its rise is indirectly connected with the simultaneous downfall of the temporal power of the pope, who is the hereditary and unchangeable enemy both of German and Italian unity and freedom. The new empire is independent of the church, and has officially no connection with religion, resembling in this respect the government of the United States; but its Protestant animus appears not only in the hereditary religion of the first emperor, but also in the expulsion of the Jesuits (1872), and the "Culturkampf" against the politico-hierarchical aspirations of the ultramontane papacy. When Pius IX., in a letter to William I. (1873), claimed a sort of jurisdiction over all baptized Christians, the emperor courteously informed the infallible pope that he, with all Protestants, recognized no other mediator between God and man but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The new German empire will and ought to do full justice to the Catholic church, but "will never go to Canossa."

We pause at the close of a long and weighty chapter in history; we wonder what the next chapter will be.

§ 59. The Papacy and the Empire from the Death of Charlemagne to Nicolas I a.d. 814–858). Note on the Myth of the Papess Joan.

The power of Charlemagne was personal. Under his weak successors the empire fell to pieces, and the creation of his genius was buried in chaotic confusion; but the idea survived. His son and successor, Louis the Pious, as the Germans and Italians called him, or Louis the Gentle (le débonnaire) in French history (814–840), inherited the piety, and some of the valor and legislative wisdom, but not the genius and energy, of his father. He was a devoted and superstitious servant of the clergy. He began with reforms, he dismissed his father's concubines and daughters with their paramours from the court, turned the palace into a monastery, and promoted the Scandinavian mission of St. Ansgar. In the progress of his reign, especially after his second marriage to the ambitious Judith, he showed deplorable weakness and allowed his empire to decay, while he wasted his time between monkish exercises and field-sports in the forest of the Ardennes. He unwisely shared his rule with his three sons who soon rebelled against their father and engaged in fraternal wars.

After his death the treaty of Verdun was concluded in 843. By this treaty the empire was divided; Lothair received Italy with the title of emperor, France fell to Charles the Bald, Germany to Louis the German. Thus Charlemagne's conception of a Western empire that should be commensurate with the Latin church was destroyed, or at least greatly contracted, and the three countries have henceforth a separate history. This was better for the development of nationality. The imperial dignity was afterwards united with the German crown, and continued under this modified form till 1806.

During this civil commotion the papacy had no distinguished representative, but upon the whole profited by it. Some of the popes evaded the imperial sanction of their election. The French clergy forced the gentle Louis to make at Soissons a most humiliating confession of guilt for all the slaughter, pillage, and sacrilege committed during the civil wars, and for bringing the empire to the brink of ruin. Thus the hierarchy assumed control even over the civil misconduct of the sovereign and imposed ecclesiastical penance for ft.

Note. The Myth of Johanna Papissa.

We must make a passing mention of the curious and mysterious myth of papess Johanna, who is said during this period between Leo IV. (847) and Benedict III. (855) to have worn the triple crown for two years and a half. She was a lady of Mayence (her name is variously called Agnes, Gilberta, Johanna, Jutta), studied in disguise philosophy in Athens (where philosophy had long before died out), taught theology in Rome, under the name of Johannes Anglicus, and was elevated to the papal dignity as John VIII., but died in consequence of the discovery of her sex by a sudden confinement in the open street during a solemn procession from the Vatican to the Lateran. According to another tradition she was tied to the hoof of a horse, dragged outside of the city and stoned to death by the people, and the inscription was put on her grave:

"Parce pater patrum papissae edere partum."

The strange story originated in Rome, and was first circulated by the Dominicans and Minorites, and acquired general credit in the 13th and 14th centuries. Pope John XX. (1276) called himself John XXI. In the beginning of the 15th century the bust of this woman-pope was placed alongside with the busts of the other popes at Sienna, and nobody took offence at it. Even Chancellor Gerson used the story as an argument that the church could err in matters of fact. At the Council in Constance it was used against the popes. Torrecremata, the upholder of papal despotism, draws from it the lesson that if the church can stand a woman-pope, she might stand the still greater evil of a heretical pope.

Nevertheless the story is undoubtedly a mere fiction, and is so regarded by nearly all modern historians, Protestant as well as Roman Catholic. It is not mentioned till four hundred years later by Stephen, a French Dominican (who died 1261).263 It was unknown to Photius and the bitter Greek polemics during the ninth and tenth centuries, who would not have missed the opportunity to make use of it as an argument against the papacy. There is no gap in the election of the popes between Leo and Benedict, who, according to contemporary historians, was canonically elected three days after the death of Leo IV. (which occurred July 17th, 855), or at all events in the same month, and consecrated two months after (Sept. 29th). See Jaffé, Regesta, p. 235. The myth was probably an allegory or satire on the monstrous government of women (Theodora and Marozia) over several licentious popes—Sergius III., John X., XI., and XII.—in the tenth century. So Heumann, Schröckh, Gibbon, Neander. The only serious objection to this solution is that the myth would be displaced from the ninth to the tenth century.

Other conjectures are these: The myth of the female pope was a satire on John VIII. for his softness in dealing with Photius (Baronius); the misunderstanding of a fact that some foreign bishop (pontifex) in Rome was really a woman in disguise (Leibnitz); the papess was a widow of Leo IV. (Kist); a misinterpretation of the stella stercoraria (Schmidt); a satirical allegory on the origin and circulation of the false decretals of Isidor (Henke and Gfrörer); an impersonation of the great whore of the Apocalypse, and the popular expression of the belief that the mystery of iniquity was working in the papal court (Baring-Gould).

David Blondel, first destroyed the credit of this mediaeval fiction, in his learned French dissertation on the subject (Amsterdam, 1649). Spanheim defended it, and Mosheim credited it much to his discredit as an historian. See the elaborate discussion of Döllinger, Papst-Fabeln des Mittelalters, 2d ed. Munchen, 1863 (Engl. transl. N. Y., 1872, pp. 4–58 and pp. 430–437). Comp. also Bianchi-Giovini, Esame critico degli atti e documenti della papessa Giovanna, Mil. 1845, and the long note of Gieseler, II. 30–32 (N. Y. ed.), which sums up the chief data in the case.

§ 60. The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

I. Sources.

The only older ed. of Pseudo-Isidor is that of Jacob Merlin in the first part of his Collection of General Councils, Paris, 1523, Col., 1530, etc., reprinted in Migne's Patrol. Tom. CXXX., Paris, 1853.

Far superior is the modem ed. of P. Hinschius: Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianae et Capitula Angilramni. Lips. 1863. The only critical ed, taken from the oldest and best MSS. Comp. his Commentatio de, Collectione Isidori Mercatoris in this ed. pp. xi-ccxxxviii.

II. Literature.

Dav. Blondel: Pseudo-Isidorus et Turrianus vapulantes. Genev. 1628.

F. Knust: De Fontibus et Consilio Pseudo-Isidorianae collectionis. Gött. 1832.

A. Möhler (R.C.): Fragmente aus und uber Isidor, in his "Vermischte Schriften" (ed. by Döllinger, Regensb. 1839), I. 285 sqq.

H. Wasserschleben: Beiträge zur Gesch. der falschen Decret. Breslau, 1844. Comp. also his art. in Herzog.

C. Jos. Hefele (R.C.): Die pseudo-Isidor. Frage, in the "Tubinger Quartalschrift, "1847.

Gfrörer: Alter, Ursprung, Zweck der Decretalen des falschen Isodorus. Freib. 1848.

Jul. Weizsäcker: Hinkmar und Pseudo-Isidor, in Niedner's "Zeitschrift fur histor. Theol.," for 1858, and Die pseudo-isid. Frage, in Sybel's "Hist. Zeitschrift, "1860.

C. von Noorden: Ebo, Hinkmar und Pseudo-Isidor, in Sybel's "Hist. Zeitschrift," 1862.

Döllinger in Janus, 1869. It appeared in several editions and languages.

Ferd. Walter (R.C.): Lehrbuch des Kirchenrechts aller christl. Confessionen. Bonn (1822), 13th ed. 1861. The same transl. into French, Italian, and Spanish.

J. W. Bickell: Geschichte des Kirchenrechts. Giessen, 1843, 1849.

G. Phillips (R.C.): Kirchenrecht. Regensburg (1845), 3rd ed. 1857 sqq. 6 vols. (till 1864). His Lehrbuch, 1859, P. II. 1862.

Jo. Fr. von Schulte (R.C., since 1870 Old Cath.): Das Katholische Kirchenrecht. Giessen, P. I. 1860. Lehrbuch, 1873. Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des Canonischen Rechts von Gratian bis auf die Gegenwart. Stuttgart, 1875 sqq.3 vols.

Aem. L. Richter: Lehrbuch des kath. und evang. Kirchenrechts. Leipz., sixth ed. by Dove, 1867 (on Pseudo-Isidor, pp. 102–133).

Henry C. Lea: Studies in Church History. Philad. 1869 (p. 43–102 on the False Decretals).

Friedr. Maassen (R.C.): Geschichte der Quellen und d. Literatur des canonischen Rechts im Abendlande. 1st vol., Gratz, 1870.

Comp. also for the whole history the great work of F. C. von Savigny: Geschichte des Röm. Rechts im Mittelalter. Heidelb. 2nd ed. 1834–'51, 7 vols.

See also the Lit. in vol. II. § 67.

During the chaotic confusion under the Carolingians, in the middle of the ninth century, a mysterious book made its appearance, which gave legal expression to the popular opinion of the papacy, raised and strengthened its power more than any other agency, and forms to a large extent the basis of the canon law of the church of Rome. This is a collection of ecclesiastical laws under the false name of bishop Isidor of Seville (died 636), hence called the "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals."264 He was the reputed (though not the real) author of an earlier collection, based upon that of the Roman abbot, Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century, and used as the law-book of the church in Spain, hence called the "Hispana." In these earlier collections the letters and decrees (Epistolae Decretales) of the popes from the time of Siricius (384) occupy a prominent place.265 A decretal in the canonical sense is an authoritative rescript of a pope in reply to some question, while a decree is a papal ordinance enacted with the advice of the Cardinals, without a previous inquiry. A canon is a law ordained by a general or provincial synod. A dogma is an ecclesiastical law relating to doctrine. The earliest decretals had moral rather than legislative force. But as the questions and appeals to the pope multiplied, the papal answers grew in authority. Fictitious documents, canons, and decretals were nothing new; but the Pseudo-Isidorian collection is the most colossal and effective fraud known in the history of ecclesiastical literature.

1. The contents of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. The book is divided into three parts. The first part contains fifty Apostolical Canons from the collection of Dionysius, sixty spurious decretals of the Roman bishops from Clement (d. 101) to Melchiades (d. 314). The second part comprehends the forged document of the donation of Constantine, some tracts concerning the Council of Nicaea, and the canons of the Greek, African, Gallic, and Spanish Councils down to 683, from the Spanish collection. The third part, after a preface copied from the Hispana, gives in chronological order the decretals of the popes from Sylvester (d. 335) to Gregory II. (d. 731), among which thirty-five are forged, including all before Damasus; but the genuine letters also, which are taken from the Isidorian collection, contain interpolations. In many editions the Capitula Angilramni are appended.

All these documents make up a manual of orthodox doctrine and clerical discipline. They give dogmatic decisions against heresies, especially Arianism (which lingered long in Spain), and directions on worship, the sacraments, feasts and fasts, sacred rites and costumes, the consecration of churches, church property, and especially on church polity. The work breathes throughout the spirit of churchly and priestly piety and reverence.

2. The sacerdotal system. Pseudo-Isidor advocates the papal theocracy. The clergy is a divinely instituted, consecrated, and inviolable caste, mediating between God and the people, as in the Jewish dispensation. The priests are the "familiares Dei," the "spirituales," the laity the "carnales." He who sins against them sins against God. They are subject to no earthly tribunal, and responsible to God alone, who appointed them judges of men. The privileges of the priesthood culminate in the episcopal dignity, and the episcopal dignity culminates in the papacy. The cathedra Petri is the fountain of all power. Without the consent of the pope no bishop can be deposed, no council be convened. He is the ultimate umpire of all controversy, and from him there is no appeal. He is often called "episcopus universalis" notwithstanding the protest of Gregory I.

3. The aim of Pseudo-Isidor is, by such a collection of authoritative decisions to protect the clergy against the secular power and against moral degeneracy. The power of the metropolitans is rather lowered in order to secure to the pope the definitive sentence in the trials of bishops. But it is manifestly wrong if older writers have put the chief aim of the work in the elevation of the papacy. The papacy appears rather as a means for the protection of episcopacy in its conflict with the civil government. It is the supreme guarantee of the rights of the bishops.

4. The genuineness of Pseudo-Isidor was not doubted during the middle ages (Hincmar only denied the legal application to the French church), but is now universally given up by Roman Catholic as well as Protestant historians.

The forgery is apparent. It is inconceivable that Dionysius Exiguus, who lived in Rome, should have been ignorant of such a large number of papal letters. The collection moreover is full of anachronisms: Roman bishops of the second and third centuries write in the Frankish Latin of the ninth century on doctrinal topics in the spirit of the post-Nicene orthodoxy and on mediaeval relations in church and state; they quote the Bible after the; version of Jerome as amended under Charlemagne; Victor addresses Theophilus of Alexandria, who lived two hundred years later, on the paschal controversies of the second century.266

The Donation of Constantine which is incorporated in this collection, is an older forgery, and exists also in several Greek texts. It affirms that Constantine, when he was baptized by pope Sylvester, a.d. 324 (he was not baptized till 337, by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia), presented him with the Lateran palace and all imperial insignia, together with the Roman and Italian territory.267 The object of this forgery was to antedate by five centuries the temporal power of the papacy, which rests on the donations of Pepin and Charlemagne.268 The only foundation in fact is the donation of the Lateran palace, which was originally the palace of the Lateran family, then of the emperors, and last of the popes. The wife of Constantine, Fausta, resided in it, and on the transfer of the seat of empire to Constantinople, he left it to Sylvester, as the chief of the Roman clergy and nobility. Hence it contains to this day the pontifical throne with the inscription: "Haec est papalis sedes et pontificalis." There the pope takes possession of the see of Rome. But the whole history of Constantine and his successors shows conclusively that they had no idea of transferring any part of their temporal sovereignty to the Roman pontiff.

5. The authorship must be assigned to some ecclesiastic of the Frankish church, probably of the diocese of Rheims, between 847 and 865 (or 857), but scholars differ as to the writer.269 Pseudo-Isidor literally quotes passages from a Paris Council of 829, and agrees in part with the collection of Benedictus Levita, completed in 847; on the other hand he is first quoted by a French Synod at Chiersy in 857, and then by Hincmar of Rheims repeatedly since 859. All the manuscripts are of French origin. The complaints of ecclesiastical disorders, depositions of bishops without trial, frivolous divorces, frequent sacrilege, suit best the period of the civil wars among the grandsons of Charlemagne. In Rome the Decretals were first known and quoted in 865 by pope Nicolaus I.270

From the same period and of the same spirit are several collections of Capitula or Capitularia, i.e., of royal ecclesiastical ordinances which under the Carolingians took the place of synodical decisions. Among these we mention the collection of Ansegis, abbot of Fontenelles (827), of Benedictus Levita of Mayence (847), and the Capitula Angilramni, falsely ascribed to bishop Angilramnus of Metz (d. 701).

6. Significance of Pseudo-Isidor. It consists not so much in the novelty of the views and claims of the mediaeval priesthood, but in tracing them back from the ninth to the third and second centuries and stamping them with the authority of antiquity. Some of the leading principles had indeed been already asserted in the letters of Leo I. and other documents of the fifth century, yea the papal animus may be traced to Victor in the second century and to the Judaizing opponents of St. Paul. But in this collection the entire hierarchical and sacerdotal system, which was the growth of several centuries, appears as something complete and unchangeable from the very beginning. We have a parallel phenomenon in the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons which gather into one whole the ecclesiastical decisions of the first three centuries, and trace them directly to the apostles or their disciple, Clement of Rome.

Pseudo-Isidorus was no doubt a sincere believer in the hierarchical system; nevertheless his Collection is to a large extent a conscious high church fraud, and must as such be traced to the father of lies. It belongs to the Satanic element in the history of the Christian hierarchy, which has as little escaped temptation and contamination as the Jewish hierarchy.

§ 61. Nicolas I., April, 858-Nov. 13, 867.

I. The Epistles of Nicolas I. in Mansi's Conc. XV., and in Migne's Patrol. Tom. CXIX. Comp. also Jaffé, Regesta, pp. 237–254.

Hincmari (Rhemensis Archiepiscopi) Oper. Omnia. In Migne's Patrol. Tom. 125 and 126. An older ed. by J. Sirmond, Par. 1645, 2 vols. fol.

Hugo Laemmer: Nikolaus I. und die Byzantinische Staatskirche seiner Zeit. Berlin, 1857.

A. Thiel: De Nicolao Papa. Comment. duae Hist. canonicae. Brunzberg, 1859.

Van Noorden: Hincmar, Erzbischof von Rheims. Bonn, 1863.

Hergenröther (R.C. Prof at Wurzburg, now Cardinal): Photius. Regensburg, 1867–1869, 3 vols.

Comp. Baxmann II. 1–29; Milman, Book V. ch.4 (vol. III. 24–46); Hefele, Conciliengesch. vol. IV., (2nd ed.), 228 sqq; and other works quoted § 48.

By a remarkable coincidence the publication of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals synchronized with the appearance of a pope who had the ability and opportunity to carry the principles of the Decretals into practical effect, and the good fortune to do it in the service of justice and virtue. So long as the usurpation of divine power was used against oppression and vice, it commanded veneration and obedience, and did more good than harm. It was only the pope who in those days could claim a superior authority in dealing with haughty and oppressive metropolitans, synods, kings and emperors.

Nicolas I. is the greatest pope, we may say the only great pope between Gregory I. and Gregory VII. He stands between them as one of three peaks of a lofty mountain, separated from the lower peak by a plane, and from the higher peak by a deep valley. He appeared to his younger contemporaries as a "new Elijah," who ruled the world like a sovereign of divine appointment, terrible to the evil-doer whether prince or priest, yet mild to the good and obedient. He was elected less by the influence of the clergy than of the emperor Louis II., and consecrated in his presence; he lived with him on terms of friendship, and was treated in turn with great deference to his papal dignity. He anticipated Hildebrand in the lofty conception of his office; and his energy and boldness of character corresponded with it. The pope was in his view the divinely appointed superintendent of the whole church for the maintenance of order, discipline and righteousness, and the punishment of wrong and vice, with the aid of the bishops as his executive organs. He assumed an imperious tone towards the Carolingians. He regarded the imperial crown a grant of the vicar of St. Peter for the protection of Christians against infidels. The empire descended to Louis by hereditary right, but was confirmed by the authority of the apostolic see.

The pontificate of Nicolas was marked by three important events: the controversy with Photius, the prohibition of the divorce of King Lothair, and the humiliation of archbishop Hincmar. In the first he failed, in the second and third he achieved a moral triumph.

Nicolas and Photius.

Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople, of imperial descent and of austere ascetic virtue, was unjustly deposed and banished by the emperor Michael III. for rebuking the immorality of Caesar Bardas, but he refused to resign. Photius, the greatest scholar of his age, at home in almost every branch of knowledge and letters, was elected his successor, though merely a layman, and in six days passed through the inferior orders to the patriarchal dignity (858). The two parties engaged in an unrelenting warfare, and excommunicated each other. Photius was the first to appeal to the Roman pontiff. Nicolas, instead of acting as mediator, assumed the air of judge, and sent delegates to Constantinople to investigate the case on the spot. They were imprisoned and bribed to declare for Photius; but the pope annulled their action at a synod in Rome, and decided in favor of Ignatius (863). Photius in turn pronounced sentence of condemnation on the pope and, in his Encyclical Letter, gave classical expression to the objections of the Greek church against the Latin (867). The controversy resulted in the permanent alienation of the two churches. It was the last instance of an official interference of a pope in the affairs of the Eastern church.

Nicolas and Lothair.

Lothair II., king of Lorraine and the second son of the emperor Lothair, maltreated and at last divorced his wife, Teutberga of Burgundy, and married his mistress, Walrada, who appeared publicly in all the array and splendor of a queen. Nicolas, being appealed to by the injured lady, defended fearlessly the sacredness of matrimony; he annulled the decisions of synods, and deposed the archbishops of Cologne and Treves for conniving at the immorality of their sovereign. He threatened the king with immediate excommunication if he did not dismiss the concubine and receive the lawful wife. He even refused to yield when Teutberga, probably under compulsion, asked him to grant a divorce. Lothair, after many equivocations, yielded at last (865). It is unnecessary to enter into the complications and disgusting details of this controversy.

Nicolas and Hincmar.

In his controversy with Hincmar, Nicolas was a protector of the bishops and lower clergy against the tyranny of metropolitans. Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, was the most powerful prelate of France, and a representative of the principle of Gallican independence. He was energetic, but ambitious and overbearing. He came three times in conflict with the pope on the question of jurisdiction. The principal case is that of Rothad, bishop of Soissons, one of his oldest suffragans, whom he deposed without sufficient reason and put into prison, with the aid of Charles the Bald (862). The pope sent his legate "from the side," Arsenius, to Charles, and demanded the restoration of the bishop. He argued from the canons of the Council of Sardica that the case must be decided by Rome even if Rothad had not appealed to him. He enlisted the sympathies of the bishops by reminding them that they might suffer similar injustice from their metropolitan, and that their only refuge was in the common protection of the Roman see. Charles desired to cancel the process, but Nicolas would not listen to it. He called Rothad to Rome, reinstated him solemnly in the church of St. Maria Maggiore, and sent him back in triumph to France (864)271 Hincmar murmured, but yielded to superior power.272

In this controversy Nicolas made use of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, a copy of which came into his hands probably through Rotbad. He thus gave them the papal sanction; yet he must have known that a large portion of this forged collection, though claiming to proceed from early popes, did not exist in the papal archives. Hincmar protested against the validity of the new decretals and their application to France, and the protest lingered for centuries in the Gallican liberties till they were finally buried in the papal absolutism of the Vatican Council of 1870.

§ 62. Hadrian II. and John VIII a.d. 867 to 882.

Mansi: Conc. Tom. XV.–XVII.

Migne: Patrol. Lat. Tom. CXXII. 1245 sqq. (Hadrian II.); Tom. CXXVI. 647 sqq. (John VIII.); also Tom. CXXIX., pp. 823 sqq., and 1054 sqq., which contain the writings of Auxilius and Vulgarius, concerning pope Formosus.

Baronius: Annal. ad ann. 867–882.

Jaffé: Regesta, pp. 254–292.

Milman: Lat. Christianity, Book V., chs.5 and 6.

Gfrörer: Allg. Kirchengesch., Bd. III. Abth. 2, pp. 962 sqq.

Baxmann: Politik der Päpste, II. 29–57.

For nearly two hundred years, from Nicolas to Hildebrand (867–1049), the papal chair was filled, with very few exceptions, by ordinary and even unworthy occupants.

Hadrian II. (867–872) and John VIII. (872–882) defended the papal power with the same zeal as Nicolas, but with less ability, dignity, and success, and not so much in the interests of morality as for self-aggrandizement. They interfered with the political quarrels of the Carolingians, and claimed the right of disposing royal and imperial crowns.

Hadrian was already seventy-five years of age, and well known for great benevolence, when he ascended the throne (he was born in 792). He inherited from Nicolas the controversies with Photius, Lothair, and Hincmar of Rheims, but was repeatedly rebuffed. He suffered also a personal humiliation on account of a curious domestic tragedy. He had been previously married, and his wife (Stephania) was still living at the time of his elevation. Eleutherius, a son of bishop Arsenius (the legate of Nicolas), carried away the pope's daughter (an old maid of forty years, who was engaged to another man), fled to the emperor Louis, and, when threatened with punishment, murdered both the pope's wife and daughter. He was condemned to death.

This affair might have warned the popes to have nothing to do with women; but it was succeeded by worse scenes.

John VIII. was an energetic, shrewd, passionate, and intriguing prelate, meddled with all the affairs of Christendom from Bulgaria to France and Spain, crowned two insignificant Carolingian emperors (Charles the Bald, 875, and Charles the Fat, 881), dealt very freely in anathemas, was much disturbed by the invasion of the Saracens, and is said to have been killed by a relative who coveted the papal crown and treasure. The best thing he did was the declaration, in the Bulgarian quarrel with the patriarch of Constantinople, that the Holy Spirit had created other languages for worship besides Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, although he qualified it afterwards by saying that Greek and Latin were the only proper organs for the celebration of the mass, while barbarian tongues such as the Slavonic, may be good enough for preaching.

His violent end was the beginning of a long interregnum of violence. The close of the ninth century gave a foretaste of the greater troubles of the tenth. After the downfall of the Carolingian dynasty the popes were more and more involved in the political quarrels and distractions of the Italian princes. The dukes Berengar of Friuli (888–924), and Guido of Spoleto (889–894), two remote descendants of Charlemagne through a female branch, contended for the kingdom of Italy and the imperial crown, and filled alternately the papal chair according to their success in the conflict. The Italians liked to have two masters, that they might play off one against the other. Guido was crowned emperor by Stephen VI. (V.) in February, 891, and was followed by his son, Lambert, in 894, who was also crowned. Formosus, bishop of Portus, whom John VIII. had pursued with bitter animosity, was after varying fortunes raised to the papal chair, and gave the imperial crown first to Lambert, but afterwards to the victorious Arnulf of Carinthia, in 896. He roused the revenge of Lambert, and died of violence. His second successor and bitter enemy, Stephen VII. (VI.), a creature of the party of Lambert, caused his corpse to be exhumed, clad in pontifical robes, arraigned in a mock trial, condemned and deposed, stripped of the ornaments, fearfully mutilated, decapitated, and thrown into the Tiber. But the party of Berengar again obtained the ascendency; Stephen VII. was thrown into prison and strangled (897). This was regarded as a just punishment for his conduct towards Formosus. John IX. restored the character of Formosus. He died in 900, and was followed by Benedict IV., of the Lambertine or Spoletan party, and reigned for the now unusual term of three years and a half.273

§ 63. The Degradation of the Papacy in the Tenth Century.


Migne's Patrol. Lat. Tom. 131–142. These vols. contain the documents and works from Pope John IX.–Gregory VI.

Liudprandus (Episcopus Cremonensis, d. 972): Antapodoseos, seu Rerum per Europam gestarum libri VI. From a.d. 887–950. Reprinted in Pertz: Monum. Germ. III. 269–272; and in Migne: Patrol. Tom. CXXXVI. 769 sqq. By the same: Historia Ottonis, sive de rebus gestis Ottonis Magni. From a.d. 960–964. In Pertz: Monum. III. 340–346; in Migne CXXXVI. 897 sqq. Comp. Koepke: De Liudprandi vita et scriptis, Berol., 1842; Wattenbach: Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, and Giesebrecht, l.c. I. p. 779. Liudprand or Liutprand (Liuzo or Liuso), one of the chief authorities on the history of the 10th century, was a Lombard by birth, well educated, travelled in the East and in Germany, accompanied Otho I. to Rome, 962, was appointed by him bishop of Cremona, served as his interpreter at the Roman Council of 964, and was again in Rome 965. He was also sent on an embassy to Constantinople. He describes the wretched condition of the papacy as an eye-witness. His Antapodosis or Retribution (written between 958 and 962) is specially directed against king Berengar and queen Willa, whom he hated. His work on Otho treats of the contemporary events in which he was one of the actors. He was fond of scandal, but is considered reliable in most of his facts.

Flodoardus (Canonicus Remensis, d. 966): Historia Remensis; Annales; Opuscula metrica, in Migne, Tom. CXXXV.

Atto (Episcopus Vercellensis, d. 960): De presauris ecclesiasticis; Epistolae, and other books, in Migne, Tom. CXXXV.

Jaffé: Regesta, pp. 307–325.

Other sources relating more to the political history of the tenth century are indicated by Giesebrecht, I. 817, 820, 836.


Baronius: Annales ad ann. 900–963.

V. E. Löscher.: Historie des röm. Hurenregiments. Leipzig, 1707. (2nd ed. with another title, 1725.)

Constantin Höfler (R.C.): Die deutschen Päpste. Regensburg, 1839, 2 vols.

E. Dummler: Auxilius und Vulgarius. Quellen und Forschungenzur Geschichte des Papstthums im Anfang des zehnten Jahrhunderts. Leipz. 1866. The writings of Auxilius and Vulgarius are in Migne's Patrol., Tom. CXXIX.

C. Jos. Von Hefele (Bishop of Rottenburg): Die Päpste und Kaiser in den trubsten Zeiten der Kirche, in his "Beiträge zur Kirchengesch," etc., vol. I. 27–278. Also his Conciliengeschichte, IV. 571–660 (2d ed.).

Milman: Lat. Chr. bk. 5, chs. 11–14. Giesebrecht: Gesch. der deutschen Kaiserzeit., I. 343 sqq. Gfrörer: III. 3, 1133–1275. Baxmann: II. 58–125. Gregorovius, Vol. III. Von Reumont, Vol. II.

The tenth century is the darkest of the dark ages, a century of ignorance and superstition, anarchy and crime in church and state. The first half of the eleventh century was little better. The dissolution of the world seemed to be nigh at hand. Serious men looked forward to the terrible day of judgment at the close of the first millennium of the Christian era, neglected their secular business, and inscribed donations of estates and other gifts to the church with the significant phrase "appropinquante mundi termino."

The demoralization began in the state, reached the church, and culminated in the papacy. The reorganization of society took the same course. No church or sect in Christendom ever sank so low as the Latin church in the tenth century. The papacy, like the old Roman god Janus, has two faces, one Christian, one antichristian, one friendly and benevolent, one fiendish and malignant. In this period, it shows almost exclusively the antichristian face. It is an unpleasant task for the historian to expose these shocking corruptions; but it is necessary for the understanding of the reformation that followed. The truth must be told, with its wholesome lessons of humiliation and encouragement. No system of doctrine or government can save the church from decline and decay. Human nature is capable of satanic wickedness. Antichrist steals into the very temple of God, and often wears the priestly robes. But God is never absent from history, and His overruling wisdom always at last brings good out of evil. Even in this midnight darkness the stars were shining in the firmament; and even then, as in the days of Elijah the prophet, there were thousands who had not bowed their knees to Baal. Some convents resisted the tide of corruption, and were quiet retreats for nobles and kings disgusted with the vanities of the world, and anxious to prepare themselves for the day of account. Nilus, Romuald, and the monks of Cluny raised their mighty voice against wickedness in high places. Synods likewise deplored the immorality of the clergy and laity, and made efforts to restore discipline. The chaotic confusion of the tenth century, like the migration of nations in the fifth, proved to be only the throe and anguish of a new birth. It was followed first by the restoration of the empire under Otho the Great, and then by the reform of the papacy under Hildebrand.

The Political Disorder.

In the semi-barbarous state of society during the middle ages, a strong central power was needed in church and state to keep order. Charlemagne was in advance of his times, and his structure rested on no solid foundation. His successors had neither his talents nor his energy, and sank almost as low as the Merovingians in incapacity and debauchery. The popular contempt in which they were held was expressed in such epithets as "the Bald," "the Fat," "the Stammerer," "the Simple," "the Lazy," "the Child." Under their misrule the foundations of law and discipline gave way. Europe was threatened with a new flood of heathen barbarism. The Norman pirates from Denmark and Norway infested the coasts of Germany and France, burned cities and villages, carried off captives, followed in their light boats which they could carry on their shoulders, the course of the great rivers into the interior; they sacked Hamburg, Cologne, Treves, Rouen, and stabled their horses in Charlemagne's cathedral at Aix; they invaded England, and were the terror of all Europe until they accepted Christianity, settled down in Normandy, and infused fresh blood into the French and English people. In the South, the Saracens, crossing from Africa, took possession of Sicily and Southern Italy; they are described by pope John VIII. as Hagarenes, as children of fornication and wrath, as an army of locusts, turning the land into a wilderness. From the East, the pagan Hungarians or Magyars invaded Germany and Italy like hordes of wild beasts, but they were defeated at last by Henry the Fowler and Otho the Great, and after their conversion to Christianity under their saintly monarch Stephen (997–1068), they became a wall of defence against the progress of the Turks.

Within the limits of nominal Christendom, the kings and nobles quarreled among themselves, oppressed the people, and distributed bishoprics and abbeys among their favorites, or pocketed the income. The metropolitans oppressed the bishops, the bishops the priests, and the priests the laity. Bands of robbers roamed over the country and defied punishment. Might was right. Charles the Fat was deposed by his vassals, and died in misery, begging his bread (888). His successor, Arnulf of Carinthia, the last of the Carolingian line of emperors (though of illegitimate birth), wielded a victorious sword over the Normans (891) and the new kingdom of Moravia (894), but fell into trouble, died of Italian poison, and left the crown of Germany to his only legitimate son, Louis the Child (899–911), who was ruled by Hatto, archbishop of Mayence. This prelate figures in the popular legend of the "Mouse-Tower" (on an island in the Rhine, opposite Bingen), where a swarm of mice picked his bones and "gnawed the flesh from every limb," because he had shut up and starved to death a number of hungry beggars. But documentary history shows him in a more favorable light. Louis died before attaining to manhood, and with him the German line of the Carolingians (911). The last shadow of an emperor in Italy, Berengar, who had been crowned in St. Peter's, died by the dagger of an assassin (924). The empire remained vacant for nearly forty years, until Otho, a descendant of the Saxon duke Widukind, whom Charlemagne had conquered, raised it to a new life.

In France, the Carolingian dynasty lingered nearly a century longer, till it found an inglorious end in a fifth Louis called the Lazy ("le Fainéant"), and Count Hugh Capet became the founder of the Capetian dynasty, based on the principle of hereditary succession (987). He and his son Robert received the crown of France not from the pope, but from the archbishop of Rheims.

Italy was invaded by Hungarians and Saracens, and distracted by war between rival kings and petty princes struggling for aggrandizement. The bishops and nobles were alike corrupt, and the whole country was a moral wilderness.274

The Demoralization of the Papacy.

The political disorder of Europe affected the church and paralyzed its efforts for good. The papacy itself lost all independence and dignity, and became the prey of avarice, violence, and intrigue, a veritable synagogue of Satan. It was dragged through the quagmire of the darkest crimes, and would have perished in utter disgrace had not Providence saved it for better times. Pope followed pope in rapid succession, and most of them ended their career in deposition, prison, and murder. The rich and powerful marquises of Tuscany and the Counts of Tusculum acquired control over the city of Rome and the papacy for more than half a century. And what is worse (incredibile, attamen verum), three bold and energetic women of the highest rank and lowest character, Theodora the elder (the wife or widow of a Roman senator), and her two daughters, Marozia and Theodora, filled the chair of St. Peter with their paramours and bastards. These Roman Amazons combined with the fatal charms of personal beauty and wealth, a rare capacity for intrigue, and a burning lust for power and pleasure. They had the diabolical ambition to surpass their sex as much in boldness and badness as St. Paula and St. Eustachium in the days of Jerome had excelled in virtue and saintliness. They turned the church of St. Peter into a den of robbers, and the residence of his successors into a harem. And they gloried in their shame. Hence this infamous period is called the papal Pornocracy or Hetaerocracy.275

Some popes of this period were almost as bad as the worst emperors of heathen Rome, and far less excusable.

Sergius III., the lover of Marozia (904–911), opened the shameful succession. Under the protection of a force of Tuscan soldiers he appeared in Rome, deposed Christopher who had just deposed Leo V., took possession of the papal throne, and soiled it with every vice; but he deserves credit for restoring the venerable church of the Lateran, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 896 and robbed of invaluable treasures.276

After the short reign of two other popes, John X., archbishop of Ravenna, was elected, contrary to all canons, in obedience to the will of Theodora, for the more convenient gratification of her passion (914–928).277 He was a man of military ability and daring, placed himself at the head of an army—the first warrior among the popes—and defeated the Saracens. He then announced the victory in the tone of a general. He then engaged in a fierce contest for power with Marozia and her lover or husband, the Marquis Alberic I. Unwilling to yield any of her secular power over Rome, Marozia seized the Castle of St. Angelo, had John cast into prison and smothered to death, and raised three of her creatures, Leo VI., Stephen VII. (VIII.), and at last John XI, her own (bastard) son of only twenty-one years, successively to the papal chair (928–936).278

After the murder of Alberic I. (about 926), Marozia, who called herself Senatrix and Patricia, offered her hand and as much of her love as she could spare from her numerous paramours, to Guido, Markgrave of Tuscany, who eagerly accepted the prize; and after his death she married king Hugo of Italy, the step-brother of her late husband (932); he hoped to gain the imperial crown, but he was soon expelled from Rome by a rebellion excited by her own son Alberic II., who took offence at his overbearing conduct for slapping him in the face.279 She now disappears from the stage, and probably died in a convent. Her son, the second Alberic, was raised by the Romans to the dignity of Consul, and ruled Rome and the papacy from the Castle of St. Angelo for twenty-two years with great ability as a despot under the forms of a republic (932–954). After the death of his brother, John XI. (936), he appointed four insignificant pontiffs, and restricted them to the performance of their religious duties.

John XII.

On the death of Alberic in 954, his son Octavian, the grandson of Marozia, inherited the secular government of Rome, and was elected pope when only eighteen years of age. He thus united a double supremacy. He retained his name Octavian as civil ruler, but assumed, as pope, the name John XII., either by compulsion of the clergy and people, or because he wished to secure more license by keeping the two dignities distinct. This is the first example of such a change of name, and it was followed by his successors. He completely sunk his spiritual in his secular character, appeared in military dress, and neglected the duties of the papal office, though he surrendered none of its claims.

John XII. disgraced the tiara for eight years (955–963). He was one of the most immoral and wicked popes, ranking with Benedict IX., John XXIII., and Alexander VI. He was charged by a Roman Synod, no one contradicting, with almost every crime of which depraved human nature is capable, and deposed as a monster of iniquity.280

§ 64. The Interference of Otho the Great.

Comp., besides the works quoted in § 63, Floss: Die Papstwahl unter den Ottonen. Freiburg, 1858, and Köpke and Dummler: Otto der Grosse. Leipzig, 1876.

From this state of infamy the papacy was rescued for a brief time by the interference of Otho I., justly called the Great (936973). He had subdued the Danes, the Slavonians, and the Hungarians, converted the barbarians on the frontier, established order and restored the Carolingian empire. He was called by the pope himself and several Italian princes for protection against the oppression of king Berengar II. (or the Younger, who was crowned in 950, and died in exile, 966). He crossed the Alps, and was anointed Roman emperor by John XII. in 962. He promised to return to the holy see all the lost territories granted by Pepin and Charlemagne, and received in turn from the pope and the Romans the oath of allegiance on the sepulchre of St. Peter.

Hereafter the imperial crown of Rome was always held by the German nation, but the legal assumption of the titles of Emperor and Augustus depended on the act of coronation by the pope.

After the departure of Otho the perfidious pope, unwilling to obey a superior master, rebelled and entered into conspiracy with his enemies. The emperor returned to Rome, convened a Synod of Italian and German bishops, which indignantly deposed John XII. in his absence, on the ground of most notorious crimes, yet without a regular trial (963).281

The emperor and the Synod elected a respectable layman, the chief secretary of the Roman see, in his place. He was hurriedly promoted through the orders of reader, subdeacon, deacon, priest and bishop, and consecrated as Leo VIII., but not recognized by the strictly hierarchical party, because he surrendered the freedom of the papacy to the empire. The Romans swore that they would never elect a pope again without the emperor's consent. Leo confirmed this in a formal document.282

The anti-imperial party readmitted John XII., who took cruel revenge of his enemies, but was suddenly struck down in his sins by a violent death. Then they elected an anti-pope, Benedict V., but he himself begged pardon for his usurpation when the emperor reappeared, was divested of the papal robes, degraded to the order of deacon, and banished to Germany. Leo VIII. died in April, 965, after a short pontificate of sixteen months.

The bishop of Narni was unanimously elected his successor as John XIII. (965–972) by the Roman clergy and people, after first consulting the will of the emperor. He crowned Otho II. emperor of the Romans (973–983). He was expelled by the Romans, but reinstated by Otho, who punished the rebellious city with terrible severity.

Thus the papacy was morally saved, but at the expense of its independence or rather it had exchanged its domestic bondage for a foreign bondage. Otho restored to it its former dominions which it had lost during the Italian disturbances, but he regarded the pope and the Romans as his subjects, who owed him the same temporal allegiance as the Germans and Lombards.

It would have been far better for Germany and Italy if they had never meddled with each other. The Italians, especially the Romans, feared the German army, but hated the Germans as Northern semi-barbarians, and shook off their yoke as soon as they had a chance.283 The Germans suspected the Italians for dishonesty and trickery, were always in danger of fever and poison, and lost armies and millions of treasure without any return of profit or even military glory.284 The two nations were always jealous of each other, and have only recently become friends, on the basis of mutual independence and non-interference.

Protest Against Papal Corruption.

The shocking immoralities of the popes called forth strong protests, though they did not shake the faith in the institution itself. A Gallican Synod deposed archbishop Arnulf of Rheims as a traitor to king Hugo Capet, without waiting for an answer from the pope, and without caring for the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (991). The leading spirit of the Synod, Arnulf, bishop of Orleans, made the following bold declaration against the prostitution of the papal office: "Looking at the actual state of the papacy, what do we behold? John [XII.] called Octavian, wallowing in the sty of filthy concupiscence, conspiring against the sovereign whom he had himself recently crowned; then Leo [VIII.] the neophyte, chased from the city by this Octavian; and that monster himself, after the commission of many murders and cruelties, dying by the hand of an assassin. Next we see the deacon Benedict, though freely elected by the Romans, carried away captive into the wilds of Germany by the new Caesar [Otho I.] and his pope Leo. Then a second Caesar [Otho II.], greater in arts and arms than the first [?], succeeds; and in his absence Boniface, a very monster of iniquity, reeking with the blood of his predecessor, mounts the throne of Peter. True, he is expelled and condemned; but only to return again, and redden his hands with the blood of the holy bishop John [XIV.]. Are there, indeed, any bold enough to maintain that the priests of the Lord over all the world are to take their law from monsters of guilt like these-men branded with ignominy, illiterate men, and ignorant alike of things human and divine? If, holy fathers, we be bound to weigh in the balance the lives, the morals, and the attainments of the meanest candidate for the sacerdotal office, how much more ought we to look to the fitness of him who aspires to be the lord and master of all priests! Yet how would it fare with us, if it should happen that the man the most deficient in all these virtues, one so abject as not to be worthy of the lowest place among the priesthood, should be chosen to fill the highest place of all? What would you say of such a one, when you behold him sitting upon the throne glittering in purple and gold? Must he not be the 'Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself as God?' Verily such a one lacketh both wisdom and charity; he standeth in the temple as an image, as an idol, from which as from dead marble you would seek counsel.285

"But the Church of God is not subject to a wicked pope; nor even absolutely, and on all occasions, to a good one. Let us rather in our difficulties resort to our brethren of Belgium and Germany than to that city, where all things are venal, where judgment and justice are bartered for gold. Let us imitate the great church of Africa, which, in reply to the pretensions of the Roman pontiff, deemed it inconceivable that the Lord should have invested any one person with his own plenary prerogative of judicature, and yet have denied it to the great congregations of his priests assembled in council in different parts of the world. If it be true, as we are informed by, common report, that there is in Rome scarcely a man acquainted with letters,—without which, as it is written, one may scarcely be a doorkeeper in the house of God,—with what face may he who hath himself learnt nothing set himself up for a teacher of others? In the simple priest ignorance is bad enough; but in the high priest of Rome,—in him to whom it is given to pass in review the faith, the lives, the morals, the discipline, of the whole body of the priesthood, yea, of the universal church, ignorance is in nowise to be tolerated .... Why should he not be subject in judgment to those who, though lowest in place, are his superiors in virtue and in wisdom? Yea, not even he, the prince of the apostles, declined the rebuke of Paul, though his inferior in place, and, saith the great pope Gregory [I.], 'if a bishop be in fault, I know not any one such who is not subject to the holy see; but if faultless, let every one understand that he is the equal of the Roman pontiff himself, and as well qualified as he to give judgment in any matter.' "286

The secretary of this council and the probable framer of this remarkable speech was Gerbert, who became archbishop of Rheims, afterwards of Ravenna, and at last pope under the name of Sylvester II. But pope John XV. (or his master Crescentius) declared the proceedings of this council null and void, and interdicted Gerbert. His successor, Gregory V., threatened the kingdom of France with a general interdict unless Arnulf was restored. Gerbert, forsaken by king Robert I., who needed the favor of the pope, was glad to escape from his uncomfortable seat and to accept an invitation of Otho III. to become his teacher (995). Arnulf was reinstated in Rheims.

§ 65. The Second Degradation of the Papacy from Otho I to Henry III. a.d. 973–1046.

I. The sources for the papacy in the second half of the tenth and in the eleventh century are collected in Muratori's Annali d' Italia (Milano 1744–49); in Migne's Patrol., Tom. CXXXVII.-CL.; Leibnitz, Annales Imp. Occid. (down to a.d. 1005; Han., 1843, 3 vols.); Pertz, . Mon. Germ. (Auctores), Tom. V. (Leges), Tom. II.; Ranke, Jahrbucher des deutschen Reiches unter dem Sächs. Hause (Berlin 1837–40, 3 vols.; the second vol. by Giesebrecht and Wilmans contains the reigns of Otho II. and Otho III.). On the sources see Giesebrecht, Gesch. der deutschen Kaiserzeit, II. 568 sqq.

II. Stenzel: Geschichte Deutschlands unter den Fränkischen Kaisern. Leipz., 1827, 1828, 2 vols.

C. F. Hock (R.C.): Gerbert oder Papst Sylvester und sein Jahrhundert. Wien, 1837.

C. Höfler (R.C.): Die deutschen Päpste. Regensb., 1839, 2 vols.

H. J. Floss (R.C.): Die Papstwahl unter den Ottonen. Freib., 1858.

C. Will: Die Anfänge der Restauration der Kirche im elften Jahrh. Marburg, 1859–'62, 2 vols.

R. Köpke und E. Dümmler: Otto der Grosse. Leipz. 1876.

Comp. Baronius (Annal.); Jaffe (Reg. 325–364); Hefele (Conciliengeschichte IV. 632 sqq., 2d ed.); Gfrörer (vol. III., P. III., 1358–1590, and vol. IV., 1846); Gregorovius (vols. III. and IV.); v. Reumont (II. 292 sqq.); Baxmann (II. 125–180); and Giesebrecht (I. 569–762, and II. 1–431).

The reform of the papacy was merely temporary. It was followed by a second period of disgrace, which lasted till the middle of the eleventh century, but was interrupted by a few respectable popes and signs of a coming reformation.

After the death of Otho, during the short and unfortunate reign of his son, Otho II. (973–983), a faction of the Roman nobility under the lead of Crescentius or Cencius (probably a son of pope John X. and Theodora) gained the upper hand.287 He rebelled against the imperial pope, Benedict VI., who was murdered (974), and elected an Italian anti-pope, Boniface VII., who had soon to flee to Constantinople, but returned after some years, murdered another imperial pope, John XIV. (983), and maintained himself on the blood-stained throne by a lavish distribution of stolen money till he died, probably by violence (985).288

During the minority of Otho III., the imperialists, headed by Alberic, Count of Tusculum, and the popular Roman party under the lead of the younger Crescentius (perhaps a grandson of the infamous Theodora), contended from their fortified places for the mastery of Rome and the papacy. Bloodshed was a daily amusement. Issuing from their forts, the two parties gave battle to each other whenever they met on the street. They set up rival popes, and mutilated their corpses with insane fury. The contending parties were related. Marozia's son, Alberic, had probably inherited Tusculum (which is about fifteen miles from Rome).289 After the death of Alberic of Tusculum, Crescentius acquired the government under the title of Consul, and indulged the Romans with a short dream of republican freedom in opposition to the hated rule of the foreign barbarians. He controlled pope John XV.

Gregory V.

Otho III., on his way to Rome, elected his worthy chaplain and cousin Bruno, who was consecrated as Gregory V. (996) and then anointed Otho III. emperor. He is the first pope of German blood.290 Crescentius was treated with great leniency, but after the departure of the German army he stirred up a rebellion, expelled the German pope and elevated Philagathus, a Calabrian Greek, under the name of John XVI. to the chair of St. Peter. Gregory V. convened a large synod at Pavia, which unanimously pronounced the anathema against Crescentius and his pope. The emperor hastened to Rome with an army, stormed the castle of St. Angelo (the mole of Hadrian), and beheaded Crescentius as a traitor, while John XVI. by order of Gregory V. was, according to the savage practice of that age, fearfully mutilated, and paraded through the streets on an ass, with his face turned to the tail and with a wine-bladder on his head.

Sylvester II.

After the sudden and probably violent death of Gregory V. (999), the emperor elected, with the assent of the clergy and the people, his friend and preceptor, Gerbert, archbishop of Rheims, and then of Ravenna, to the papal throne. Gerbert was the first French pope, a man of rare learning and ability, and moral integrity. He abandoned the liberal views he had expressed at the Council at Rheims,291 and the legend says that he sold his soul to the devil for the papal tiara. He assumed the significant name of Sylvester II., intending to aid the youthful emperor (whose mother was a Greek princess) in the realization of his utopian dream to establish a Graeco-Latin empire with old Rome for its capital, and to rule from it the Christian world, as Constantine the Great had done during the pontificate of Sylvester I. But Otho died in his twenty-second year, of Italian fever or of poison (1002).292

Sylvester II. followed his imperial pupil a year after (1003). His learning, acquired in part from the Arabs in Spain, appeared a marvel to his ignorant age, and suggested a connection with magic. He sent to St. Stephen of Hungary the royal crown, and, in a pastoral letter to Europe where Jerusalem is represented as crying for help, he gave the first impulse to the crusades (1000), ninety years before they actually began.293

In the expectation of the approaching judgment, crowds of pilgrims flocked to Palestine to greet the advent of the Saviour. But the first millennium passed, and Christendom awoke with a sigh of relief on the first day of the year 1001.

Benedict VIII., and Emperor Henry II.

Upon the whole the Saxon emperors were of great service to the papacy: they emancipated it from the tyranny of domestic political factions, they restored it to wealth, and substituted worthy occupants for monstrous criminals.

During the next reign the confusion broke out once more. The anti-imperial party regained the ascendency, and John Crescentius, the son of the beheaded consul, ruled under the title of Senator and Patricius. But the Counts of Tusculum held the balance of power pretty evenly, and gradually superseded the house of Crescentius. They elected Benedict VIII. (1012–1024), a member of their family; while Crescentius and his friends appointed an anti-pope (Gregory).

Benedict proved a very energetic pope in the defence of Italy against the Saracens. He forms the connecting link between the Ottonian and the Hildebrandian popes. He crowned Henry II, (1014), as the faithful patron and protector simply, not as the liege-lord, of the pope.

This last emperor of the Saxon house was very devout, ascetic, and liberal in endowing bishoprics. He favored clerical celibacy. He aimed earnestly at a moral reformation of the church. He declared at a diet, that he had made Christ his heir, and would devote all he possessed to God and his church. He filled the vacant bishoprics and abbeys with learned and worthy men; and hence his right of appointment was not resisted. He died after a reign of twenty-two years, and was buried at his favorite place, Bamberg in Bavaria, where he had founded a bishopric (1007). He and his chaste wife, Kunigunde, were canonized by the grateful church (1146).294

The Tusculan Popes. Benedict IX.

With Benedict VIII. the papal dignity became hereditary in the Tusculan family. He had bought it by open bribery. He was followed by his brother John XIX., a layman, who bought it likewise, and passed in one day through all the clerical degrees.

After his death in 1033, his nephew Theophylact, a boy of only ten or twelve years of age,295 ascended the papal throne under the name of Benedict IX. (1033–1045). His election was a mere money bargain between the Tusculan family and the venal clergy and populace of Rome. Once more the Lord took from Jerusalem and Judah the stay and the staff, and gave children to be their princes, and babes to rule over them.296

This boy-pope fully equaled and even surpassed John XII. in precocious wickedness. He combined the childishness of Caligala and the viciousness of Heliogabalus.297 He grew worse as he advanced in years. He ruled like a captain of banditti, committed murders and adulteries in open day-light, robbed pilgrims on the graves of martyrs, and turned Rome into a den of thieves. These crimes went unpunished; for who could judge a pope? And his brother, Gregory, was Patrician of the city. At one time, it is reported, he had the crazy notion of marrying his cousin and enthroning a woman in the chair of St. Peter; but the father of the intended bride refused unless he abdicated the papacy.298 Desiderius, who himself afterwards became pope (Victor III.), shrinks from describing the detestable life of this Benedict, who, he says, followed in the footsteps of Simon Magus rather than of Simon Peter, and proceeded in a career of rapine, murder, and every species of felony, until even the people of Rome became weary of his iniquities, and expelled him from the city. Sylvester III. was elected antipope (Jan., 1044), but Benedict soon resumed the papacy with all his vices (April 10, 1044), then sold it for one or two thousand pounds silver299 to an archpresbyter John Gratian of the same house (May, 1045), after he had emptied the treasury of every article of value, and, rueing the bargain, he claimed the dignity again (Nov., 1047), till he was finally expelled from Rome (July, 1048).

Gregory VI.

John Gratian assumed the name Gregory, VI. He was revered as a saint for his chastity which, on account of its extreme rarity in Rome, was called an angelic virtue. He bought the papacy with the sincere desire to reform it, and made the monk Hildebrand, the future reformer, his chaplain. He acted on the principle that the end sanctifies the means.

Thus there were for a while three rival popes. Benedict IX. (before his final expulsion) held the Lateran, Gregory VI. Maria Maggiore, Sylvester III. St. Peter's and the Vatican.300

Their feuds reflected the general condition of Italy. The streets of Rome swarmed with hired assassins, the whole country with robbers, the virtue of pilgrims was openly assailed, even churches and the tombs of the apostles were desecrated by bloodshed.

Again the German emperor had to interfere for the restoration of order.

§ 66. Henry III and the Synod of Sutri. Deposition of three rival Popes. a.d. 1046.

Bonizo (or Bonitho, bishop of Sutri, afterwards of Piacenza, and friend of Gregory VII., d. 1089): Liber ad amicum, s. de persecutione Ecclesiae (in Oefelii Scriptores rerum Boicarum II., 794, and better in Jaffe's Monumenta Gregoriana, 1865). Contains in lib. V. a history, of the popes from Benedict IX. to Gregory VII., with many errors.

Rodulfus Glaber (or Glaber Radulfus, monk of Cluny, about 1046): Historia sui temporis (in Migne, Tom. 142).

Desiderius (Abbot of M. Cassino, afterwards pope Victor III., d. 1080): De Miraculis a S. Benedicto aliisque monachis Cassiniensibus gestis Dialog., in "Bibl. Patr." Lugd. XVIII. 853.

Annales Romani in Pertz, Mon. Germ. VII.

Annales Corbeienses, in Pertz, Mon. Germ. V.; and in Jaffé, Monumenta Corbeiensia, Berlin, 1864.

Ernst Steindorff: Jahrbucher des deutschen Reichs unter Heinrich III. Leipzig, 1874.

Hefele: Conciliengesch. IV. 706 sqq. (2d ed.).

See Lit. in § 64, especially Höfler and Will.

Emperor Henry III., of the house of Franconia, was appealed to by the advocates of reform, and felt deeply the sad state of the church. He was only twenty-two years old, but ripe in intellect, full of energy and zeal, and aimed at a reformation of the church under the control of the empire, as Hildebrand afterwards labored for a reformation of the church under the control of the papacy.

On his way to Rome for the coronation he held (Dec. 20, 1046) a synod at Sutri, a small town about twenty-five miles north of Rome, and a few days afterwards another synod at Rome which completed the work.301 Gregory VI. presided at first. The claims of the three rival pontiffs were considered. Benedict IX. and Sylvester III. were soon disposed of, the first having twice resigned, the second being a mere intruder. Gregory VI. deserved likewise deposition for the sin of simony in buying the papacy; but as he had convoked the synod by order of the emperor and was otherwise a worthy person, he was allowed to depose himself or to abdicate. He did it in these words: "I, Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, do hereby adjudge myself to be removed from the pontificate of the Holy Roman Church, because of the enormous error which by simoniacal impurity has crept into and vitiated my election." Then he asked the assembled fathers: "Is it your pleasure that so it shall be?" to which they unanimously replied: "Your pleasure is our pleasure; therefore so let it be." As soon as the humble pope had pronounced his own sentence, he descended from the throne, divested himself of his pontifical robes, and implored pardon on his knees for the usurpation of the highest dignity in Christendom. He acted as pope de facto, and pronounced himself no pope de jure. He was used by the synod for deposing his two rivals, and then for deposing himself. In that way the synod saved the principle that the pope was above every human tribunal, and responsible to God alone. This view of the case of Gregory, rests on the reports of Bonitho and Desiderius. According to other reports in the Annales Corbeienses and Peter Damiani, who was present at Sutri, Gregory was deposed directly by the Synod.302 At all events, the deposition was real and final, and the cause was the sin of simony.

But if simony vitiated an election, there were probably few legitimate popes in the tenth century when everything was venal and corrupt in Rome. Moreover bribery seems a small sin compared with the enormous crimes of several of these Judases. Hildebrand recognized Gregory VI. by adopting his pontifical name in honor of his memory, and yet he made relentless war the sin of simony. He followed the self-deposed pope as upon chaplain across the Alps into exile, and buried him in peace on the banks of the Rhine.

Henry III. adjourned the Synod of Sutri to St. Peter's in Rome for the election of a new pope (Dec. 23 and 24, 1046). The synod was to elect, but no Roman clergyman could be found free of the pollution of "simony and fornication." Then the king, vested by the synod with the green mantle of the patriciate and the plenary authority of the electors, descended from his throne, and seated Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, a man of spotless character, on the vacant chair of St. Peter amid the loud hosannas of the assembly.303 The new pope assumed the name of Clement II., and crowned Henry emperor on the festival of Christmas, on which Charlemagne had been crowned. The name was a reminder of the conflict of the first Clement of Rome with Simon Magus. But he outlived his election only nine months, and his body was transferred to his beloved Bamberg. The wretched Benedict IX. again took possession of the Lateran (till July 16, 1048). He died afterwards in Grotto Ferrata, according to one report as a penitent saint, according to another as a hardened sinner whose ghost frightened the living. A third German pontiff, Poppo, bishop of Brixen, called Damasus II., was elected, but died twenty-three days after his consecration (Aug. 10, 1048), of the Roman fever, if not of poison.

The emperor, at the request of the Romans, appointed at Worms in December, 1048, Bruno, bishop of Toul, to the papal chair. He was a man of noble birth, fine appearance, considerable learning, unblemished character, and sincere piety, in full sympathy with the spirit of reform which emanated from Cluny. He accepted the appointment in presence of the Roman deputies, subject to the consent of the clergy and people of Rome.304 He invited the monk Hildebrand to accompany him in his pilgrimage to Rome. Hildebrand refused at first, because Bruno had not been canonically elected, but by the secular and royal power; but he was persuaded to follow him.

Bruno reached Rome in the month of February, 1049, in the dress of a pilgrim, barefoot, weeping, regardless of the hymns of welcome. His election was unanimously confirmed by the Roman clergy and people, and he was solemnly consecrated Feb. 12, as Leo IX. He found the papal treasury empty, and his own means were soon exhausted. He chose Hildebrand as his subdeacon, financier, and confidential adviser, who hereafter was the soul of the papal reform, till he himself ascended the papal throne in 1073.

We stand here at the close of the deepest degradation and on the threshold of the highest elevation of the papacy. The synod of Sutri and the reign of Leo IX. mark the beginning of a disciplinary reform. Simony or the sale and purchase of ecclesiastical dignities, and Nicolaitism or the carnal sins of the clergy, including marriage, concubinage and unnatural vices, were the crying evils of the church in the eyes of the most serious men, especially the disciples of Cluny and of St. Romuald. A reformation therefore from the hierarchical standpoint of the middle ages was essentially a suppression of these two abuses. And as the corruption had reached its climax in the papal chair, the reformation had to begin at the head before it could reach the members. It was the work chiefly of Hildebrand or Gregory VII., with whom the next period opens.



§ 67. Sources and Literature.

The chief sources on the beginning of the controversy between Photius and Nicolas are in Mansi: Conc. Tom. XV. and XVI.; in Harduin: Conc. Tom. V. Hergenröther: Monumenta Graeca ad Photium ejusque historiam pertinentia. Regensb. 1869.

I. On the Greek Side:

Photius: jEgkuvklio" ejpistolhv etc . and especially his Lovgo" peri; th'" tou' aJgivou Pneuvmato" mustagwgiva", etc. See Photii Opera omnia, ed. Migne. Paris, 1860–'61, 4 vols. (Patr. Gr. Tom. CI.-CIV.) The Encycl. Letter is in Tom. II. 722–742; and his treatise on the mustagwgiva tou' aJgivou Pneuvmato" in Tom. II. 279–391.

Later champions:

Caerularius, Nicetas Pectoratus, Theophylact (12th century). Euthymius Zigabenus, Phurnus, Eustratius, and many others. In recent times Prokopovitch (1772), Zoernicav (1774, 2 vols.).

J. G. Pitzipios: L'Egl. orientale, sa séparation et sa réunion avec celle de Rome. Rome, 1855. L'Orient. Les réformes de lempire byzantin. Paris, 1858.

A. N. Mouravieff (Russ.): Question religieuse d'Orient et d'Occident. Moscow, 1856.

Guettère: La papauté schismatique. Par. 1863.

A. Picheler: Gesch. d. kirchlichen Trennung zwischen dem Orient und Occident von den ersten Anfängen his zur jüngsten Gegenwart. München, 1865, 2 Bde. The author was a Roman Catholic (Privatdocent der Theol. in München) when he wrote this work, but blamed the West fully as much as the East for the schism, and afterwards joined the Greek church in Russia.

Andronicos Dimitracopulos: !Istoriva tou' scivmato". Lips. 1867. Also his Bivblioqhvkh ekklhs. Lips. 1866.

Theodorus Lascaris Junior: De Processione Spiritus S. Oratio Apologetica. London and Jena, 1875.

II. On the Latin (Roman Catholic) Side:

Ratramnus (Contra Graecorum Opposita); Anselm of Canterbury (De Processione Spiritus S. 1098); Petrus Chrysolanus (1112); Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), etc.

Leo Allatius (Allacci, a Greek of Chios, but converted to the Roman Church and guardian of the Vatican library, d. 1669): De ecclesiae occident. atque orient. perpetua consensione. Cologne, 1648, 4to.; new ed. 1665 and 1694. Also his Graecia orthodoxa, 1659, 2 vols., new ed. by Lämmer, Freib. i. B. 1864 sq.; and his special tracts on Purgatory (Rom. 1655), and on the Procession of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1658).

Maimburg: Hist. du schisme des Grecs. Paris, 1677, 4to.

Steph. de Altimura (Mich. le Quien): Panoplia contra schisma Graecorum. Par. 1718, 4to.

Michael le Quien (d. 1733): Oriens Christianus. Par. 1740, 3 vols. fol.

Abbé Jager: Histoire de Photius d'après les monuments originaux. 2nd ed. Par. 1845.

Luigi Tosti: Storia dell' origine dello scisma greco. Firenze 1856. 2 vols.

H. Lämmer: Papst. Nikolaus I. und die byzantinische Staatskirche seiner Zeit. Berlin, 1857.

Ad. d'Avril: Documents relatifs aux églises de l'Orient, considerée dans leur rapports avec le saint-siége de Rome. Paris, 1862.

Karl Werner: Geschichte der Apol. und polemischen Literatur. Schaffhausen, 1864, vol. III. 3 ff.

J. Hergenröther: (Prof. of Church History in Würzburg, now Cardinal in Rome): Photius, Patriarch von Constantinopel. Sein Leben, seine Schriften und das griechische Schisma. Regensburg, 1867–1869, 3 vols.

C. Jos. von Hefele (Bishop of Rottenburg): Conciliengeschichte. Freiburg i. B., vols. IV., V., VI., VII. (revised ed. 1879 sqq.)

III. Protestant writers:

J. G. Walch (Luth.): Historia controversiae Graecorum Latinorumque de Processione Sp. S. Jena, 1751.

Gibbon: Decline and Fall, etc., Ch. LX. He views the schism as one of the causes which precipitated the decline and fall of the Roman empire in the East by alienating its most useful allies and strengthening its most dangerous enemies.

John Mason Neale (Anglican): A History of the Holy Eastern Church. Lond. 1850. Introd. vol. II. 1093–1169.

Edmund S. Foulkes (Anglic.): An Historical Account of the Addition of the word Filioque to the Creed of the West. Lond. 1867.

W. Gass: Symbolik der griechischen Kirche. Berlin, 1872.

H. B. Swete (Anglic.): Early History of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Cambr. 1873; and History of the Doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Apost. Age to the Death of Charlemagne. Cambr. 1876.

IV. Old Catholic Writers (irenical):

Joseph Langen: Die Trinitarische Lehrdifferenz zwischen der abendländischen und der morgenländischen Kirche. Bonn, 1876.

The Proceedings of the second Old Catholic Union-Conference in Bonn, 1875, ed. in German by Heinrich Reusch; English ed. with introduction by Canon Liddon (Lond. 1876); Amer. ed. transl. by Dr. Samuel Buel, with introduction by Dr. R. Nevin (N. Y. 1876). The union-theses of Bonn are given in Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, vol. II., 545–550.

§ 68. The Consensus and Dissensus between the Greek and Latin Churches.

No two churches in the world are at this day so much alike, and yet so averse to each other as the Oriental or Greek, and the Occidental or Roman. They hold, as an inheritance from the patristic age, essentially the same body of doctrine, the same canons of discipline, the same form of worship; and yet their antagonism seems irreconcilable. The very affinity breeds jealousy and friction. They are equally exclusive: the Oriental Church claims exclusive orthodoxy, and looks upon Western Christendom as heretical; the Roman Church claims exclusive catholicity, and considers all other churches as heretical or schismatical sects. The one is proud of her creed, the other of her dominion. In all the points of controversy between Romanism and Protestantism the Greek Church is much nearer the Roman, and yet there is no more prospect of a union between them than of a union between Rome and Geneva, or Moscow and Oxford. The Pope and the Czar are the two most powerful rival-despots in Christendom. Where the two churches meet in closest proximity, over the traditional spots of the birth and tomb of our Saviour, at Bethlehem and Jerusalem, they hate each other most bitterly, and their ignorant and bigoted monks have to be kept from violent collision by Mohammedan soldiers.

I. Let us first briefly glance at the consensus.

Both churches own the Nicene creed (with the exception of the Filioque), and all the doctrinal decrees of the seven oecumenical Synods from a.d. 325 to 787, including the worship of images.

They agree moreover in most of the post-oecumenical or mediaeval doctrines against which the evangelical Reformation protested, namely: the authority of ecclesiastical tradition as a joint rule of faith with the holy Scriptures; the worship of the Virgin Mary, of the saints, their pictures (not statues), and relics; justification by faith and good works, as joint conditions; the merit of good works, especially voluntary celibacy and poverty; the seven sacraments or mysteries (with minor differences as to confirmation, and extreme unction or chrisma); baptismal regeneration and the necessity of water-baptism for salvation; transubstantiation and the consequent adoration of the sacramental elements; the sacrifice of the mass for the living and the dead, with prayers for the dead; priestly absolution by divine authority; three orders of the ministry, and the necessity of an episcopal hierarchy up to the patriarchal dignity; and a vast number of religious rites and ceremonies.

In the doctrine of purgatory, the Greek Church is less explicit, yet agrees with the Roman in assuming a middle state of purification, and the efficacy of prayers and masses for the departed. The dogma of transubstantiation, too, is not so clearly formulated in the Greek creed as in the Roman, but the difference is very small. As to the Holy Scriptures, the Greek Church has never prohibited the popular use, and the Russian Church even favors the free circulation of her authorized vernacular version. But the traditions of the Greek Church are as strong a barrier against the exercise of private judgment and exegetical progress as those of Rome.

II. The dissensus of the two churches covers the following points:

1. The procession of the Holy Spirit: the East teaching the single procession from the Father only, the West (since Augustin), the double procession from the Father and the Son (Filioque).

2. The universal authority and infallibility of the pope, which is asserted by the Roman, denied by the Greek Church. The former is a papal monarchy, the latter a patriarchal oligarchy. There are, according to the Greek theory, five patriarchs of equal rights, the pope of Rome, the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. They were sometimes compared to the five senses in the body. To them was afterwards added the patriarch of Moscow for the Russian church (which is now governed by the "Holy Synod"). To the bishop of Rome was formerly conceded a primacy of honor, but this primacy passed with the seat of empire to the patriarch of Constantinople, who therefore signed himself "Archbishop of New Rome and Oecumenical Patriarch.305

3. The immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, proclaimed as a dogma by the pope in 1854, disowned by the East, which, however, in the practice of Mariolatry fully equals the West.

4. The marriage of the lower clergy, allowed by the Eastern, forbidden by the Roman Church (yet conceded by the pope to the United Greeks).

5. The withdrawal of the cup from the laity. In the Greek Church the laymen receive the consecrated bread dipped in the wine and administered with a golden spoon.

6. A number of minor ceremonies peculiar to the Eastern Church, such as trine immersion in baptism, the use of leavened bread in the eucharist, infant-communion, the repetition of the holy unction (to; eujcevlion) in sickness.

Notwithstanding these differences the Roman Church has always been obliged to recognize the Greek Church as essentially orthodox, though schismatic. And, certainly, the differences are insignificant as compared with the agreement. The separation and antagonism must therefore be explained fully as much and more from an alienation of spirit and change of condition.

Note on the Eastern Orthodox Church.

For the sake of brevity the usual terminology is employed in this chapter, but the proper name of the Greek Church is the Holy Oriental Orthodox Apostolic Church. The terms mostly in use in that church are Orthodox and Oriental (Eastern). The term Greek is used in Turkey only of the Greeks proper (the Hellens); but the great majority of Oriental Christians in Turkey and Russia belong to the Slavonic race. The Greek is the original and classical language of the Oriental Church, in which the most important works are written; but it has been practically superseded in Asiatic Turkey by the Arabic, in Russia and European Turkey by the Slavonic.

The Oriental or Orthodox Church now embraces three distinct divisions:

1. The Orthodox Church in Turkey (European Turkey and the Greek islands, Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine) under the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

2. The state church of Russia, formerly under the patriarch of Constantinople, then under the patriarch of Moscow, since 1725 under the Holy Synod of St. Petersburg and the headship of the Czar. This is by far the largest and most important branch.

3. The church of the kingdom of Greece under the Holy Synod of Greece (since 1833).

There are also Greek Christians in Egypt, the Sinaitic Peninsula (the monks of the Convent of St. Catharine), the islands of the AEgean Sea, in Malta, Servia, Austria, etc.

Distinct from the Orthodox Church are the Oriental Schismatics, the Nestorians, Armenians, Jacobites, Copts, and Abyssinians, who separated from the former on the ground of the christological controversies. The Maronites of Mount Lebanon were originally also schismatics, but submitted to the pope during the Crusades.

The United Greeks acknowledge the supremacy of the pope, but retain certain peculiarities of the Oriental Church, as the marriage of the lower clergy, the native language in worship. They are found in lower Italy, Austria, Russia, and Poland.

The Bulgarians, who likewise call themselves orthodox, and who by the treaty of Berlin in 1878 have been formed into a distinct principality, occupy an independent position between the Greek and the Roman Churches.

§ 69. The Causes of Separation.

Church history, like the world's history, moves with the sun from East to West. In the first six centuries the Eastern or Greek church represented the main current of life and progress. In the middle ages the Latin church chiefly assumed the task of christianizing and civilizing the new races which came upon the stage. The Greek church has had no Middle Ages in the usual sense, and therefore no Reformation. She planted Christianity among the Slavonic races, but they were isolated from the progress of European history, and have not materially affected either the doctrine or polity or cultus of the church. Their conversion was an external expansion, not an internal development.

The Greek and Latin churches were never organically united under one government, but differed considerably from the beginning in nationality, language, and various ceremonies. These differences, however, did not interfere with the general harmony of faith and Christian life, nor prevent cooperation against common foes. As long and as far as the genuine spirit of Christianity directed them, the diversity was an element of strength to the common cause.

The principal sees of the East were directly founded by the apostles—with the exception of Constantinople—and had even a clearer title to apostolic succession and inheritance than Rome. The Greek church took the lead in theology down to the sixth or seventh century, and the Latin gratefully learned from her. All the oecumenical Councils were held on the soil of the Byzantine empire in or near Constantinople, and carried on in the Greek language. The great doctrinal controversies on the holy Trinity and Christology were fought out in the East, yet not without the powerful aid of the more steady and practical West. Athanasius, when an exile from Alexandria, found refuge and support in the bishop of Rome. Jerome, the most learned of the Latin fathers and a friend of Pope Damasus, was a connecting link between the East and the West, and concluded his labors in Bethlehem. Pope Leo I. was the theological master-spirit who controlled the council of Chalcedon, and shaped the Orthodox formula concerning the two natures in the one person of Christ. Yet this very pope strongly protested against the action of the Council which, in conformity with a canon of the second oecumenical Council, put him on a par with the new bishop of Constantinople.

And here we approach the secret of the ultimate separation and incurable antagonism of the churches. It is due chiefly to three causes. The first cause is the politico- ecclesiastical rivalry of the patriarch of Constantinople backed by the Byzantine empire, and the bishop of Rome in connection with the new German empire. The second cause is the growing centralization and overbearing conduct of the Latin church in and through the papacy. The third cause is the stationary character of the Greek and the progressive character of the Latin church during the middle ages. The Greek church boasts of the imaginary perfection of her creed. She still produced considerable scholars and divines, as Maximus, John of Damascus, Photius, Oecumenius, and Theophylact, but they mostly confined themselves to the work of epitomizing and systematizing the traditional theology of the Greek fathers, and produced no new ideas, as if all wisdom began and ended with the old oecumenical Councils. She took no interest in the important anthropological and soteriological controversies which agitated the Latin church in the age of St. Augustin, and she continued to occupy the indefinite position of the first centuries on the doctrines of sin and grace. On the other hand she was much distracted and weakened by barren metaphysical controversies on the abstrusest questions of theology and christology; and these quarrels facilitated the rapid progress of Islâm, which conquered the lands of the Bible and pressed hard on Constantinople. When the Greek church became stationary, the Latin church began to develop her greatest energy; she became the fruitful mother of new and vigorous nations of the North and West of Europe, produced scholastic and mystic theology and a new order of civilization, built magnificent cathedrals, discovered a new Continent, invented the art of printing, and with the revival of learning prepared the way for a new era in the history of the world. Thus the Latin daughter outgrew the Greek mother, and is numerically twice as strong, without counting the Protestant secession. At the same time the Eastern church still may look forward to a new future among the Slavonic races which she has christianized. What she needs is a revival of the spirit and power of primitive Christianity.

When once the two churches were alienated in spirit and engaged in an unchristian race for supremacy, all the little doctrinal and ritualistic differences which had existed long before, assumed an undue weight, and were branded as heresies and crimes. The bishop of Rome sees in the Patriarch of Constantinople an ecclesiastical upstart who owed his power to political influence, not to apostolic origin. The Eastern patriarchs look upon the Pope as an anti-christian usurper and as the first Protestant. They stigmatize the papal supremacy as "the chief heresy of the latter days, which flourishes now as its predecessor, Arianism, flourished in former days, and which like it, will in like manner be cast down and vanish away."306

§ 70. The Patriarch and the Pope. Photius and Nicolas.

Comp. § 61, the Lit. in § 67, especially the letters of Photius and Nicolas.

Hergenröther: Photius (Regensb. 1867–69, vol. I. 373 sqq.; 505 sqq.; and the second vol.), and his Monumenta Graeca ad Photium ejusque historiam pertinentia (Ratisb. 1869, 181 pages). Milman: Hist. of Latin Christianity, bk. V. Ch. IV. Hefele IV. 224 sqq.; 384 sqq.; 436sqq. The chief documents are also given by Gieseler II. 213 sqq. (Am. ed.)

The doctrinal difference on the procession of the Holy Spirit will be considered in the chapter on the Theological Controversies. Although it existed before the schism, it assumed a practical importance only in connection with the broader ecclesiastical and political conflict between the patriarch and the pope, between Constantinople and Rome.

The first serious outbreak of this conflict took place after the middle of the ninth century, when Photius and Nicolas, two of the ablest representatives of the rival churches, came into collision. Photius is one of the greatest of patriarchs, as Nicolas is one of the greatest of popes. The former was superior in learning, the latter in statesmanship; while in moral integrity, official pride and obstinacy both were fairly matched, except that the papal ambition towered above the patriarchal dignity. Photius would tolerate no superior, Nicolas no equal; the one stood on the Council of Chalcedon, the other on Pseudo-Isidor.

The contest between them was at first personal. The deposition of Ignatius as patriarch of Constantinople, for rebuking the immorality of Caesar Bardas, and the election of Photius, then a mere layman, in his place (858), were arbitrary and uncanonical acts which created a temporary schism in the East, and prepared the way for a permanent schism between the East and the West. Nicolas, being appealed to as mediator by both parties (first by Photius), assumed the haughty air of supreme judge on the basis of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, but was at first deceived by his own legates. The controversy was complicated by the Bulgarian quarrel. King Bogoris had been converted to Christianity by missionaries from Constantinople (861), but soon after applied to Rome for teachers, and the pope eagerly seized this opportunity to extend his jurisdiction (866).

Nicolas, in a Roman Synod (863), decided in favor of the innocent Ignatius, and pronounced sentence of deposition against Photius with a threat of excommunication in case of disobedience.307 Photius, enraged by this conduct and the Bulgarian interference, held a counter-synod, and deposed in turn the successor of St. Peter (867). In his famous Encyclical Letter of invitation to the Eastern patriarchs, he charged the whole Western church with heresy and schism for interfering with the jurisdiction over the Bulgarians, for fasting on Saturday, for abridging the time of Lent by a week, for taking milk-food (milk, cheese, and butter) during the quadragesimal fast, for enforcing clerical celibacy, and despising priests who lived in virtuous matrimony, and, most of all, for corrupting the Nicene Creed by the insertion of the Filioque, and thereby introducing two principles into the Holy Trinity.308

This letter clearly indicates all the doctrinal and ritual differences which caused and perpetuated the schism to this day. The subsequent history is only a renewal of the same charges aggravated by the misfortunes of the Greek church, and the arrogance and intolerance of old Rome.

Photius fell with the murder of his imperial patron, Michael III. (Sept. 23, 867). He was imprisoned in a convent, and deprived of society, even of books. He bore his misfortune with great dignity, and nearly all the Greek bishops remained faithful to him. Ignatius was restored after ten years of exile by the emperor Basil, the Macedonian (867–886), and entered into communication with Pope Hadrian II. (Dec. 867). He convened a general council in the church of St. Sophia (October, 869), which is numbered by the Latins as the Eighth Oecumenical Council. The pontifical legates presided and presented a formula of union which every bishop was required to sign before taking part in the proceedings, and which contained an anathema against all heresies, and against Photius and his adherents. But the council was poorly attended (the number of bishops being at first only eighteen). Photius was forced to appear in the fifth session (Oct. 20), but on being questioned he either kept silence, or answered in the words of Christ before Caiaphas and Pilate. In the tenth and last session, attended by the emperor and his sons, and one hundred and two bishops, the decrees of the pope against Photius and in favor of Ignatius were confirmed, and the anathemas against the Monothelites and Iconoclasts renewed. The papal delegates signed "with reservation of the revision of the pope."

But the peace was artificial, and broken up again immediately, after the Synod by the Bulgarian question, which involved the political as well as the ecclesiastical power of Constantinople. Ignatius himself was unwilling to surrender that point, and refused to obey when the imperious Pope John VIII. commanded, on pain of suspension and excommunication, that he should recall all the Greek bishops and priests from Bulgaria. But death freed him from further controversy (Oct. 23, 877).

Photius was restored to the patriarchal see three days after the death of Ignatius, with whom he had been reconciled. He convened a council in November, 879, which lasted till March, 880, and is acknowledged by the Orientals as the Eighth Oecumenical Council,309 but denounced by the Latins as the Pseudo-Synodus Photiana. It was three times as large as the Council of Ignatius, and held with great pomp in St. Sophia under the presidency of Photius. It annulled the Council of 869 as a fraud; it readopted the Nicene Creed with an anathema against the Filioque, and all other changes by addition or omission, and it closed with a eulogy on the unrivalled virtues and learning of Photius. To the Greek acts was afterwards added a (pretended) letter of Pope John VIII. to Photius, declaring the Filioque to be an addition which is rejected by the church of Rome, and a blasphemy which must be abolished calmly and by, degrees.310 The papal legates assented to all, and so deceived their master by false accounts of the surrender of Bulgaria that he thanked the emperor for the service he had done to the Church by this synod.

But when the pope's eyes were opened, he sent the bishop Marinus to Constantinople to declare invalid what the legates had done contrary to his instructions. For this Marinus was shut up in prison for thirty days. After his return Pope John VIII. solemnly pronounced the anathema on Photius, who had dared to deceive and degrade the holy see, and had added new frauds to the old. Marinus renewed the anathema after he was elected pope (882). Photius denied the validity of his election, and developed an extraordinary, literary activity.

But after the death of the Emperor Basilius (886), he was again deposed by Leo VI., miscalled the Wise or the Philosopher, to make room for his youngest brother Stephen, at that time only sixteen years of age. Photius spent the last five years of his life in a cloister, and died 891. For learning, energy, position, and influence, he is one of the most remarkable men in the history of Eastern Christianity. He formulated the doctrinal basis of the schism, checked the papal despotism, and secured the independence of the Greek church. He announced in an Encyclical of 866: "God be praised for all time to come! The Russians have received a bishop, and show a lively zeal for Christian worship." Roman writers have declared this to be a lie, but history has proved it to be an anticipation of an important fact, the conversion of a new nation which was to become the chief support of the Eastern church, and the most formidable rival of the papacy.

Greek and Roman historians are apt to trace the guilt of the schism exclusively to one party, and to charge the other with unholy ambition and intrigue; but we must acknowledge on the one hand the righteous zeal of Nicolas for the cause of the injured Ignatius, and on the other the many virtues of Photius tried in misfortune, as well as his brilliant learning in theology, philology, philosophy, and history; while we deplore and denounce the schism as a sin and disgrace of both churches.


The accounts of the Roman Catholic historians, even the best, are colored by sectarianism, and must be accepted with caution. Cardinal Hergenröther (Kirchengesch. I. 684) calls the Council of 879 a "Photianische Pseudo-Synode," and its acts "ein aecht byzantinisches Machwerk ganz vom Geiste des verschmitzten Photius durchdrungen." Bishop Hefele, in the revised edition of his Conciliengesch. (IV. 464 sqq.), treats this Aftersynode, as he calls it, no better. Both follow in the track of their old teacher, Dr. Döllinger who, in his History of the Church (translated by Dr. Edward Cox, London 1841, vol. III. p. 100), more than forty years ago, described this Synod "in all its parts as a worthy sister of the Council of Robbers of the year 449; with this difference, that in the earlier Synod violence and tyranny, in the later artifice, fraud, and falsehood were employed by wicked men to work out their wicked designs." But when in 1870 the Vatican Council sanctioned the historical falsehood of papal infallibility, Döllinger, once the ablest advocate of Romanism in Germany, protested against Rome and was excommunicated. Whatever the Latins may say against the Synod of Photius, the Latin Synod of 869 was not a whit better, and Rome understood the arts of intrigue fully as well as Constantinople. The whole controversy between the Greek and the Roman churches is one of the most humiliating chapters in the history of Christianity, and both must humbly confess their share of sin and guilt before a reconciliation can take place.

§ 71. Progress and Completion of the Schism. Cerularius.

Hergenröther: Photius, Vol. III. 653–887; Comp. his Kirchengesch. vol. I. 688 sq.; 690–694. Hefele: Conciliengesch. IV. 587; 765 sqq.; 771, 775 sqq. Gieseler: II. 221 sqq.

We shall briefly sketch the progress and consolidation of the schism.

The Difference About Tetragamy.

The fourth marriage of the emperor Leo the Philosopher (886–912), which was forbidden by the laws of the Greek church, caused a great schism in the East (905).311 The Patriarch Nicolas Mysticus solemnly protested and was deposed (906), but Pope Sergius III. (904–911), instead of siding with suffering virtue as Pope Nicolas had done, sanctioned the fourth marriage (which was not forbidden in the West) and the deposition of the conscientious patriarch.

Leo on his death-bed restored the deposed patriarch (912). A Synod of Constantinople in 920, at which Pope John X. was represented, declared a fourth marriage illegal, and made no concessions to Rome. The Emperor Constantine, Leo's son, prohibited a fourth marriage by an edict; thereby casting a tacit imputation on his own birth. The Greek church regards marriage as a sacrament, and a necessary means for the propagation of the race, but a second marriage is prohibited to the clergy, a third marriage is tolerated in laymen as a sort of legal concubinage, and a fourth is condemned as a sin and a scandal. The pope acquiesced, and the schism slumbered during the dark tenth century. The venal Pope John XIX. (1024) was ready for an enormous sum to renounce all the claim of superiority over the Eastern patriarchs, but was forced to break off the negotiations when his treasonable plan was discovered.

Cerularius and Leo IX.

Michael Cerularius (or Caerularius),312 who was patriarch from 1043 to 1059, renewed and completed the schism. Heretofore the mutual anathemas were hurled only against the contending heads and their party; now the churches excommunicated each other. The Emperor Constantinus Monachus courted the friendship of the pope for political reasons, but his patriarch checkmated him. Cerularius, in connection with the learned Bulgarian metropolitan Leo of Achrida, addressed in 1053 a letter to John, bishop of Trani, in Apulia (then subject to the Eastern rule), and through him to all the bishops of France and to the pope himself, charging the churches of the West that, following the practice of the Jews, and contrary to the usage of Christ, they employ in the eucharist unleavened bread; that they fast on Saturday in Lent; that they eat blood and things strangled in violation of the decree of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts, ch. 15); and that during the fast they do not sing the hallelujah. He invented the new name Azymites for the heresy of using unleavened bread (azyma) instead of common bread.313 Nothing was said about the procession of the Spirit. This letter is only extant in the Latin translation of Cardinal Humbert.314

Pope Leo IX. sent three legates under the lead of the imperious Humbert to Constantinople, with counter-charges to the effect that Cerularius arrogated to himself the title of "oecumenical" patriarch; that he wished to subject the patriarchs of Alexandria and of Antioch; that the Greeks rebaptized the Latins; that, like the Nicolaitans, they permitted their priests to live in wedlock;315 that they neglected to baptize their children before the eighth day after birth; that, like the Pneumatomachi or Theomachi, they cut out of the symbol the Procession of the Spirit from the Son.316 The legates were lodged in the imperial palace, but Cerularius avoided all intercourse with them. Finally, on the 16th of July, 1054, they excommunicated the patriarch and all those who should persistently censure the faith of the church of Rome or its mode of offering the holy sacrifice. They placed the writ on the altar of the church of Hagia Sophia with the words: "Videat Deus et judicet."

Cerularius, supported by his clergy and the people, immediately answered by a synodical counter-anathema on the papal legates, and accused them of fraud. In a letter to Peter, the patriarch of Antioch (who at first acted the part of a mediator), he charged Rome with other scandals, namely, that two brothers were allowed to espouse two sisters; that bishops wore rings and engaged in warfare; that baptism was administered by a single immersion; that salt was put in the mouth of the baptized; that the images and relics of saints were not honored; and that Gregory the Theologian, Basil, and Chrysostom were not numbered among the saints. The Filioque was also mentioned.317

The charge of the martial spirit of the bishops was well founded in that semi-barbarous age. Cerularius was all-powerful for several years; he dethroned one emperor and crowned another, but died in exile (1059).

The patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem adhered to the see of Constantinople. Thus the schism between the Christian East and West was completed. The number of episcopal sees at that time was nearly equal on both sides, but in the course of years the Latin church far outgrew the East.

The Latin Empire in the East. 1204–1261.

During the Crusades the schism was deepened by the brutal atrocities of the French and Venetian soldiers in the pillage of Constantinople (1204), the establishment of a Latin empire, and the appointment by the pope of Latin bishops in Greek sees.318 Although this artificial empire lasted only half a century (1204–1261), it left a legacy of burning hatred in the memories of horrible desecrations and innumerable insults and outrages, which the East had to endure from the Western barbarians. Churches and monasteries were robbed and desecrated, the Greek service mocked, the clergy persecuted, and every law of decency set at defiance. In Constantinople "a prostitute was seated on the throne of the patriarch; and that daughter of Belial, as she is styled, sung and danced in the church to ridicule the hymns and processions of the Orientals." Even Pope Innocent III. accuses the pilgrims that they spared in their lust neither age nor sex, nor religious profession, and that they committed fornication, adultery, and incest in open day (in oculis omnium), "abandoning matrons and virgins dedicated to God to the lewdness of grooms." And yet this great pope insulted the Eastern church by the establishment of a Latin hierarchy on the ruins of the Byzantine empire.319

§ 72. Fruitless Attempts at Reunion.

The Greek emperors, hard pressed by the terrible Turks, who threatened to overthrow their throne, sought from time to time by negotiations with the pope to secure the powerful aid of the West. But all the projects of reunion split on the rock of papal absolutism and Greek obstinacy.

The Council of Lyons. a.d. 1274.320

Michael Palaeologus (1260–1282), who expelled the Latins from Constantinople (July 25, 1261), restored the Greek patriarchate, but entered into negotiations with Pope Urban IV. to avert the danger of a new crusade for the reconquest of Constantinople. A general council (the 14th of the Latins) was held at Lyons in 1273 and 1274 with great solemnity and splendor for the purpose of effecting a reunion. Five hundred Latin bishops, seventy abbots, and about a thousand other ecclesiastics were present, together with ambassadors from England, France, Germany, and other countries. Palaeologus sent a large embassy, but only three were saved from shipwreck, Germanus, ex-patriarch of Constantinople, Theophanes, metropolitan of Nicaea, and the chancellor of the empire. The pope opened the Synod (May 7, 1274) by the celebration of high mass, and declared the threefold object of the Synod to be: help for Jerusalem, union with the Greeks, and reform of the church. Bonaventura preached the sermon. Thomas Aquinas, the prince of schoolmen, who had defended the Latin doctrine of the double procession321 was to attend, but had died on the journey to Lyons (March 7, 1274), in his 49th year. The imperial delegates were treated with marked courtesy abjured the schism, submitted to the pope and accepted the distinctive tenets of the Roman church.

But the Eastern patriarchs were not represented, the people of Constantinople abhorred the union with Rome, and the death of the despotic Michael Palaeologus (1282) was also the death of the Latin party, and the formal revocation of the act of submission to the pope.

The Council at Ferrara—Florence. a.d. 1438–1439.322

Another attempt at reunion was made by John VII. Palaeologus in the Council of Ferrara, which was convened by Pope Eugenius IV. in opposition to the reformatory Council of Basle. It was afterwards transferred to Florence on account of the plague. It was attended by the emperor, the patriarch of Constantinople, and twenty-one Eastern prelates, among them the learned Bessarion of Nicaea, Mark of Ephesus, Dionysius of Sardis, Isidor of Kieff. The chief points of controversy were discussed: the procession of the Spirit, purgatory, the use of unleavened bread, and the supremacy of the pope.323 Bessarion became a convert to the Western doctrine, and was rewarded by a cardinal's hat. He was twice near being elected pope (d. 1472). The decree of the council, published July 6, 1439, embodies his views, and was a complete surrender to the pope with scarcely a saving clause for the canonical rights and privileges of the Eastern patriarchs. The Greek formula on the procession, ex Patre per Filium, was declared to be identical with the Latin Filioque; the pope was acknowledged not only as the successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, but also as "the head of the whole church and father and teacher of all Christians," but with variations in the Greek texts.324 The document of reunion was signed by the pope, the emperor, many archbishops and bishops, the representatives of all the Eastern patriarchs except that of Constantinople, who had previously died at Florence, but had left as his last sentence a disputed submission to the catholic and apostolic church of old Rome. For the triumph of his cause the pope could easily promise material aid to his Eastern ally, to pay the expenses of the deputation, to support three hundred soldiers for the protection of Constantinople, and to send, if necessary, an army and navy for the defense of the emperor against his enemies.

But when the humiliating terms of the reunion were divulged, the East and Russia rose in rebellion against the Latinizers as traitors to the orthodox faith; the compliant patriarchs openly recanted, and the new patriarch of Constantinople, Metrophanes, now called in derision Metrophonus or Matricide, was forced to resign.

After the Fall of Constantinople.

The capture of Constantinople by the Mohammedan Turks (1453) and the overthrow of the Byzantine empire put an end to all political schemes of reunion, but opened the way for papal propagandism in the East. The division of the church facilitated that catastrophe which delivered the fairest lands to the blasting influence of Islâm, and keeps it in power to this day, although it is slowly waning. The Turk has no objection to fights among the despised Christians, provided they only injure themselves and do not touch the Koran. He is tolerant from intolerance. The Greeks hate the pope and the Filioque as much as they hate the false prophet of Mecca; while the pope loves his own power more than the common cause of Christianity, and would rather see the Sultan rule in the city of Constantine than a rival patriarch or the Czar of schismatic Russia.

During the nineteenth century the schism has been intensified by the creation of two new dogmas,—the immaculate conception of Mary (1854) and the infallibility of the pope (1870). When Pius IX. invited the Eastern patriarchs to attend the Vatican Council, they indignantly refused, and renewed their old protest against the antichristian usurpation of the papacy and the heretical Filioque. They could not submit to the Vatican decrees without stultifying their whole history and committing moral suicide. Papal absolutism325 and Eastern stagnation are insuperable barriers to the reunion of the divided churches, which can only be brought about by great events and by the wonder-working power of the Spirit of God.



§ 73. Literature.

I. The chief and almost only sources for this chapter are the acts of Synods, the lives of saints and missionaries, and the chronicles of monasteries. The Acta Sanctorum mix facts and legends in inextricable confusion. The most important are the biographies of the Irish, Scotch, and Anglo-Saxon missionaries, and the letters of Boniface. For the history, of France during the sixth and seventh centuries we have the Historia Francorum by Gregory of Tours, the Herodotus of France (d. 594), first printed in Paris, 1511, better by Ruinart, 1699; best by Giesebrecht (in German), Berlin 1851, 9th ed. 1873, 2 vols.; and Gregorii Historiae Epitomata by his continuator, Fredegar, a clergyman of Burgundy (d. about 660), ed. by Ruinart, Paris 1699, and by Abel (in German), Berlin 1849. For the age of Charlemagne we have the Capitularies of the emperor, and the historical works of Einhard or Eginard (d. 840). See Ouvres complètes d' Eginard, réunies pour la première fois et traduites en français, par A. Teulet, Paris 1840–'43, 2 vols. For an estimate of these and other writers of our period comp. part of the first, and the second vol. of Ad. Ebert's Allgem. Gesch. der Lit. des Mittelalters im Abendlande, Leipz. 1874 and 1880.

II. Hefele: Conciliengesch. vols. III. and IV. (from a.d. 560–1073), revised ed. 1877 and 1879.

Neander: Denkwördigkeiten aus der Geschichte des christl. Lebens. 3d ed. Hamburg, 1845, '46, 2 vols.

Aug. Thierry: Recits des temps merovingiens. Paris 1855 (based on Gregory of Tours).

Loebell: Gregor von Tours und seine Zeit. Leipz. 1839, second ed. 1868.

Monod: Études critiques sur les sources de l'histoire mérovingienne. Paris 1872.

Lecky: History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne, fifth ed. Lond. 1882, 2 vols. (part of the second vol.).

Brace: Gesta Christi, N. York, third ed. 1883, p. 107 sqq.

Comp. Guizot (Protest., d. 1874): Histoire générale de la civilisation en Europe et en Prance depuis la chute de l'empire romain jusqu à la révolution française, Paris 1830; seventh ed. 1860, 5 vols. (one vol. on Europe in general).

Balmez, (a Spanish philosopher and apologist of the Roman church, d. 1848): El Protatantismo comparado con el Catolicismo en sus relaciones con la civilisacion europea. Barcelona, 1842–44, 4 vols. The same in French, German, and English translations. A Roman Catholic counterpart to Guizot.

§ 74. General Character of Mediaeval Morals.

The middle age of Western Christendom resembles the period of the Judges in the history of Israel when "the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through by-ways," and when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes."326 It was a time of civil and political commotions and upheavings, of domestic wars and foreign invasions. Society was in a chaotic state and bordering on the brink of anarchy. Might was right. It was the golden age of border-ruffians, filibusters, pirates and bold adventurers, but also of gallant knights, genuine heroes and judges, like Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, and Samuel of old. It presents, in striking contrasts, Christian virtues and heathen vices, ascetic self-denial and gross sensuality. Nor were there wanting idyllic episodes of domestic virtue and happiness which call to mind the charming story of Ruth from the period of the Judges.

Upon the whole the people were more religious than moral. Piety was often made a substitute or atonement for virtue. Belief in the supernatural and miraculous was universal; scepticism and unbelief were almost unknown. Men feared purgatory and hell, and made great sacrifices to gain heaven by founding churches, convents, and charitable institutions. And yet there was a frightful amount of immorality among the rulers and the people. In the East the church had to contend with the vices of an effete civilization and a corrupt court. In Italy, France and Spain the old Roman vices continued and were even invigorated by the infusion of fresh and barbaric blood. The history of the Merovingian rulers, as we learn from Bishop Gregory of Tours, is a tragedy of murder, adultery, and incest, and ends in destruction.327

The church was unfavorably affected by the state of surrounding society, and often drawn into the current of prevailing immorality. Yet, upon the whole, she was a powerful barrier against vice, and the chief, if not the only promoter of education, virtue and piety in the dark ages. From barbaric and semi-barbaric material she had to build up the temple of a Christian civilization. She taught the new converts the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments the best popular summaries of faith, piety, and duty. She taught them also the occupations of peaceful life. She restrained vice and encouraged virtue. The synodical legislation was nearly always in the right direction. Great stress was laid on prayer and fasting, on acts of hospitality, charity, and benevolence, and on pilgrimages to sacred places. The rewards of heaven entered largely as an inducement for leading a virtuous and holy life; but it is far better that people should be good from fear of hell and love of heaven than ruin themselves by immorality and vice.

A vast amount of private virtue and piety is never recorded on the pages of histor y, and is spent in modest retirement. So the wild flowers in the woods and on the mountains bloom and fade away unseen by human eyes. Every now and then incidental allusion is made to unknown saints. Pope Gregory mentions a certain Servulus in Rome who was a poor cripple from childhood, but found rich comfort and peace in the Bible, although he could not read himself, and had to ask pious friends to read it to him while he was lying on his couch; he never complained, but was full of gratitude and praise; when death drew near he requested his friends to sing psalms with him; then stopped suddenly and expired with the words: "Peace, hear ye not the praises of God sounding from heaven?" This man's life of patient suffering was not in vain, but a benediction to many who came in contact with it. "Those also serve who only stand and wait."

The moral condition of the middle age varied considerably. The migration of nations was most unfavorable to the peaceful work of the church. Then came the bright reign of Charlemagne with his noble efforts for education and religion, but it was soon followed, under his weak successors, by another period of darkness which grew worse and worse till a moral reformation began in the convent of Cluny, and reached the papal chair under the lead of Hildebrand.

Yet if we judge by the number of saints in the Roman Calendar, the seventh century, which is among the, darkest, was more pious than any of the preceding and succeeding centuries, except the third and fourth (which are enriched by the martyrs).


The following is the table of saints in the Roman Calendar (according to Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints): Saints.

First Century


Second Century


Third Century


Fourth Century


Fifth Century


Sixth Century


Seventh Century


Eighth Century


Ninth Century


Tenth Century


Eleventh Century


Twelfth Century


Thirteenth Century


Fourteenth Century


Fifteenth Century


Sixteenth Century


Seventeenth Century


Eighteenth Century


In the first centuries the numerous but nameless martyrs of the Neronian and other persecutions are not separately counted. The Holy Innocents, the Seven Sleepers (in the third century), the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (fourth century,) and other groups of martyrs are counted only one each. Lecky asserts too confidently that the seventh century was the most prolific in saints, and yet the most immoral. It is strange that the number of saints should have declined from the seventh century, while the church increased, and that the eighteenth century of infidelity should have produced five more saints than the seventeenth century. It would therefore be very unsafe to make this table the basis for

§ 75. Clerical Morals.

1. Social Position. The clergy stood, during the middle ages, at the head of society, and shared with kings and nobles the rule of the people. They had the guardianship of the souls and consciences of men, and handled the keys of the kingdom of heaven. They possessed nearly all the learning, but it was generally very limited, and confined to a little Latin without any Greek. Some priests descended from noble and even royal blood, others from slaves who belonged to monasteries. They enjoyed many immunities from public burdens, as military duty and taxation. Charlemagne and his successors granted to them all the privileges which the Eastern emperors from the time of Constantine had bestowed upon them. They could not be sued before a civil court, and had their own episcopal tribunals. No lay judge could apprehend or punish an ecclesiastic without the permission of his bishop.

They were supported by the income from landed estates, cathedral funds, and the annual tithes which were enacted after the precedent of the Mosaic law. Pepin, by a decree of 764, imposed the payment of tithes upon all the royal possessions. Charlemagne extended it to all lands, and made the obligation general by a capitulary in 779. The tithes were regarded as the minimum contribution for the maintenance of religion and the support of the poor. They were generally paid to the bishop, as the administrator of all ecclesiastical goods. Many nobles had their own domestic chaplains who depended on their lords, and were often employed in degrading offices, as waiting at table and attending to horses and hounds.

2. Morals. The priests were expected to excel in virtue as well as in education, and to commend their profession by an exemplary life. Upon the whole they were superior to their flock, but not unfrequently they disgraced their profession by scandalous immorality. According to ancient discipline every priest at his ordination was connected with a particular church except missionaries to heathen lands. But many priests defied the laws, and led an irregular wandering life as clerical tramps. They were forbidden to wear the sword, but many a bishop lost his life on the battle field and even some popes engaged in warfare. Drunkenness and licentiousness were common vices. Gregory of Tours mentions a bishop named Cautinus who, when intoxicated, had to be carried by four men from the table. Boniface gives a very unfavorable but partizan account of the French and German clergymen who acted independently of Rome. The acts of Synods are full of censures and punishments of clerical sins and vices. They legislated against fornication, intemperance, avarice, the habits of hunting, of visiting horse-races and theatres, and enjoined even corporal punishments.328

Clerical immorality reached the lowest depth in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when Rome was a sink of iniquity, and the popes themselves set the worst example. But a new reform began with the Hildebrandian popes.

3. Canonical Life. Chrodegang, bishop of Metz (a.d. 760), reformed the clergy by introducing, or reviving, after the example of St. Augustin, the "canonical" or semi-monastic life. The bishop and lower clergymen lived in the same house, near the cathedral, ate at the same table, prayed and studied together, like a family of monks, only differing from them in dress and the right of holding property or receiving fees for official services. Such an establishment was called Chapter,329 and the members of it were called Canons.330

The example was imitated in other places. Charlemagne made the canonical life obligatory on all bishops as far as possible. Many chapters were liberally endowed. But during the civil commotions of the Carolingians the canonical life degenerated or was broken up.

4. Celibacy. In the East the lower clergy were always allowed to marry, and only a second marriage is forbidden. In the West celibacy was the prescribed rule, but most clergymen lived either with lawful wives or with concubines. In Milan all the priests and deacons were married in the middle of the eleventh century, but to the disgust of the severe moralists of the time.331 Hadrian II. was married before he became pope, and had a daughter, who was murdered by her husband, together with the pope's wife, Stephania (868).332 The wicked pope Benedict IX. sued for the daughter of his cousin, who consented on condition that he resign the papacy (1033).333 The Hildebrandian popes, Leo IX. and Nicolas II., made attempts to enforce clerical celibacy all over the West. They identified the interests of clerical morality and influence with clerical celibacy, and endeavored to destroy natural immorality by enforcing unnatural morality. How far Gregory VII. succeeded in this part of his reform, will be seen in the next period.

§ 76. Domestic Life.

The purity and happiness of home-life depend on the position of woman, who is the beating heart of the household. Female degradation was one of the weakest spots in the old Greek and Roman civilization. The church, in counteracting the prevailing evil, ran into the opposite extreme of ascetic excess as a radical cure. Instead of concentrating her strength on the purification and elevation of the family, she recommended lonely celibacy as a higher degree of holiness and a safer way to heaven.

Among the Western and Northern barbarians she found a more favorable soil for the cultivation of Christian family life. The contrast which the heathen historian Tacitus and the Christian monk Salvian draw between the chastity of the Teutonic barbarians and the licentiousness of the Latin races is overdrawn for effect, but not without foundation. The German and Scandinavian tribes had an instinctive reverence for the female sex, as being inspired by a divinity, possessed of the prophetic gift, and endowed with secret charms. Their women shared the labors and dangers of men, emboldened them in their fierce battles, and would rather commit suicide than submit to dishonor. Yet the wife was entirely in the power of her husband, and could be bought, sold, beaten, and killed.

The Christian religion preserved and strengthened the noble traits, and developed them into the virtues of chivalry; while it diminished or abolished evil customs and practices. The Synods often deal with marriage and divorce. Polygamy, concubinage, secret marriages, marriages with near relatives, mixed marriages with heathens or Jews or heretics were forbidden; the marriage tie was declared sacred and indissoluble (except by adultery); sexual intemperance restrained and forbidden on Sundays and during Lent; the personal independence of woman and her rights of property were advanced. The Virgin Mary was constantly held up to the imagination as the incarnation of female parity and devotion. Not unfrequently, however, marriages were dissolved by mutual consent from mistaken ascetic piety. When a married layman entered the priesthood or a convent, he usually forsook his wife. In a Roman Synod of 827 such separation was made subject to the approval of the bishop. A Synod of Rouen, 1072, forbade husbands whose wives had taken the veil, to marry another. Wives whose husbands had disappeared were forbidden by the same Synod to marry until the fact of death was made certain.334

Upon the whole, the synodical legislation on the subject of marriage was wise, timely, restraining, purifying, and ennobling in its effect. The purest and brightest chapter in the history of Pope Nicolas I. is his protection of injured innocence in the person of the divorced wife of King Lothair of Lorraine.335

§ 77. Slavery.

See the Lit. in vol. I. § 48 (p. 444), and in vol. II. § 97 (p. 347). Comp. also Balmes (R.C.): Protestantism and Catholicism compared in their effects on the Civilization of Europe. Transl. from the Spanish. Baltimore 1851, Chs. xv.-xix. Brace: Gesta Christi, Ch. xxi.

History is a slow but steady progress of emancipation from the chains which sin has forged. The institution of slavery was universal in Europe during the middle ages among barbarians as well as among civilized nations. It was kept up by natural increase, by war, and by the slave-trade which was carried on in Europe more or less till the fifteenth century, and in America till the eighteenth. Not a few freemen sold themselves into slavery for debt, or from poverty. The slaves were completely under the power of their masters, and had no claim beyond the satisfaction of their physical wants. They could not bear witness in courts of justice. They could be bought and sold with their children like other property. The marriage tie was disregarded, and marriages between freemen and slaves were null and void. In the course of time slavery was moderated into serfdom, which was attached to the soil. Small farmers often preferred that condition to freedom, as it secured them the protection of a powerful nobleman against robbers and invaders. The condition of the serfs, however, during the middle ages was little better than that of slaves, and gave rise to occasional outbursts in the Peasant Wars, which occurred mostly in connection with the free preaching of the Gospel (as by Wiclif and the Lollards in England, and by Luther in Germany), but which were suppressed by force, and in their immediate effects increased the burdens of the dependent classes. The same struggle between capital and labor is still going on in different forms.

The mediaeval church inherited the patristic views of slavery. She regarded it as a necessary evil, as a legal right based on moral wrong, as a consequence of sin and a just punishment for it. She put it in the same category with war, violence, pestilence, famine, and other evils. St. Augustin, the greatest theological authority of the Latin church, treats slavery as disturbance of the normal condition and relation. God did not, he says, establish the dominion of man over man, but only over the brute. He derives the word servus, as usual, from servare (to save the life of captives of war doomed to death), but cannot find it in the Bible till the time of the righteous Noah, who gave it as a punishment to his guilty son Ham; whence it follows that the word came "from sin, not from nature." He also holds that the institution will finally be abolished when all iniquity shall disappear, and God shall be all in all.336

The church exerted her great moral power not so much towards the abolition of slavery as the amelioration and removal of the evils connected with it. Many provincial Synods dealt with the subject, at least incidentally. The legal right of holding slaves was never called in question, and slaveholders were in good and regular standing. Even convents held slaves, though in glaring inconsistency with their professed principle of equality and brotherhood. Pope Gregory the Great, one of the most humane of the popes, presented bondservants from his own estates to convents, and exerted all his influence to recover a fugitive slave of his brother.337 A reform Synod of Pavia, over which Pope Benedict VIII., one of the forerunners of Hildebrand, presided (a.d. 1018), enacted that sons and daughters of clergymen, whether from free-women or slaves, whether from legal wives or concubines, are the property of the church, and should never be emancipated.338 No pope has ever declared slavery incompatible with Christianity. The church was strongly conservative, and never encouraged a revolutionary or radical movement looking towards universal emancipation.

But, on the other hand, the Christian spirit worked silently, steadily and irresistibly in the direction of emancipation. The church, as the organ of that spirit, proclaimed ideas and principles which, in their legitimate working, must root out ultimately both slavery and tyranny, and bring in a reign of freedom, love, and peace. She humbled the master and elevated the slave, and reminded both of their common origin and destiny. She enjoined in all her teaching the gentle and humane treatment of slaves, and enforced it by the all-powerful motives derived from the love of Christ, the common redemption and moral brotherhood of men. She opened her houses of worship as asylums to fugitive slaves, and surrendered them to their masters only on promise of pardon.339 She protected the freedmen in the enjoyment of their liberty. She educated sons of slaves for the priesthood, with the permission of their masters, but required emancipation before ordination.340 Marriages of freemen with slaves were declared valid if concluded with the knowledge of the condition of the latter.341 Slaves could not be forced to labor on Sundays. This was a most important and humane protection of the right to rest and worship.342 No Christian was permitted by the laws of the church to sell a slave to foreign lands, or to a Jew or heathen. Gregory I. prohibited the Jews within the papal jurisdiction to keep Christian slaves, which he considered an outrage upon the Christian name. Nevertheless even clergymen sometimes sold Christian slaves to Jews. The tenth Council of Toledo (656 or 657) complains of this practice, protests against it with Bible passages, and reminds the Christians that "the slaves were redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that Christians should rather buy than sell them."343 Individual emancipation was constantly encouraged as a meritorious work of charity well pleasing to God, and was made a solemn act. The master led the slave with a torch around the altar, and with his hands on the altar pronounced the act of liberation in such words as these: "For fear of Almighty God, and for the care of my soul I liberate thee;" or: "In the name and for the love of God I do free this slave from the bonds of slavery."

Occasionally a feeble voice was raised against the institution itself, especially from monks who were opposed to all worldly possession, and felt the great inconsistency of convents holding slave-property. Theodore of the Studium forbade his convent to do this, but on the ground that secular possessions and marriage were proper only for laymen.344 A Synod of Chalons, held between 644 and 650, at which thirty-eight bishops and six episcopal representatives were present, prohibited the selling of Christian slaves outside of the kingdom of Clovis, from fear that they might fall into the power of pagans or Jews, and he introduces this decree with the significant words: "The highest piety and religion demand that Christians should be redeemed entirely from the bond of servitude."345 By limiting the power of sale, slave-property was raised above ordinary property, and this was a step towards abolishing this property itself by legitimate means.

Under the combined influences of Christianity, civilization, and oeconomic and political considerations, the slave trade was forbidden, and slavery gradually changed into serfdom, and finally abolished all over Europe and North America. Where the spirit of Christ is there is liberty.


In Europe serfdom continued till the eighteenth century, in Russia even till 1861, when it was abolished by the Czar Alexander II. In the United States, the freest country in the world, strange to say, negro slavery flourished and waxed fat under the powerful protection of the federal constitution, the fugitive slave-law, the Southern state-laws, and "King Cotton," until it went out in blood (1861–65) at a cost far exceeding the most liberal compensation which Congress might and ought to have made for a peaceful emancipation. But passion ruled over reason, self-interest over justice, and politics over morals and religion. Slavery still lingers in nominally Christian countries of South America, and is kept up with the accursed slave-trade under Mohammedan rule in Africa, but is doomed to disappear from the bounds of civilization.

§ 78. Feuds and Private Wars. The Truce of God.

A. Kluckhohn: Geschichte des Gottesfriedens. Leipzig 1857.

Henry C. Lea: Superstition and Force. Essays on the Wager of Law—the Wager of Battle—the Ordeal—Torture. Phila. 1866 (407 pages).

Among all barbarians, individual injury is at once revenged on the person of the enemy; and the family or tribe to which the parties belong identify themselves with the quarrel till the thirst for blood is satiated. Hence the feuds346 and private wars, or deadly quarrels between families and clans. The same custom of self-help and unbridled passion prevails among the Mohammedan Arabs to this day.

The influence of Christianity was to confine the responsibility for a crime to its author, and to substitute orderly legal process for summary private vengeance. The sixteenth Synod of Toledo (693) forbade duels and private feuds.347 The Synod of Poitiers, a.d. 1000, resolved that all controversies should hereafter be adjusted by law and not by force.348 The belligerent individuals or tribes were exhorted to reconciliation by a sealed agreement, and the party which broke the peace was excommunicated. A Synod of Limoges in 1031 used even the more terrible punishment of the interdict against the bloody feuds.

These sporadic efforts prepared the way for one of the most benevolent institutions of the middle ages, the so-called "Peace" or "Truce of God."349 It arose in Aquitania in France during or soon after a terrible famine in 1033, which increased the number of murders (even for the satisfaction of hunger) and inflicted untold misery upon the people. Then the bishops and abbots, as if moved by divine inspiration (hence "the Peace of God"), united in the resolution that all feuds should cease from Wednesday evening till Monday morning (a feriae quartae vespera usque ad secundam feriam, incipiente luce) on pain of excommunication.350 In 1041 the archbishop Raimbald of Arles, the bishops Benedict of Avignon and Nitard of Nice, and the abbot Odilo of Clugny issued in their name and in the name of the French episcopate an encyclical letter to the Italian bishops and clergy, in which they solemnly implore them to keep the heaven-sent Treuga Dei, already introduced in Gaul, namely, to observe peace between neighbors, friends or foes on four days of the week, namely, on Thursday, on account of Christ's ascension, on Friday on account of his crucifixion, on Saturday in memory of his burial, on Sunday in memory of his resurrection. They add: "All who love this Treuga Dei we bless and absolve; but those who oppose it we anathematize and exclude from the church. He who punishes a disturber of the Peace of God shall be acquitted of guilt and blessed by all Christians as a champion of the cause of God."

The peace-movement spread through all Burgundy and France, and was sanctioned by the Synods of Narbonne (1054), Gerundum in Spain (1068), Toulouse (1068), Troyes (1093), Rouen (1096), Rheims (1136), the Lateran (1139 and 1179), etc. The Synod of Clermont (1095), under the lead of Pope Urban II., made the Truce of God the general law of the church. The time of the Truce was extended to the whole period from the first of Advent to Epiphany, from Ashwednesday to the close of the Easter week, and from Ascension to the close of the week of Pentecost; also to the various festivals and their vigils. The Truce was announced by the ringing of bells.351

§ 79. The Ordeal.

Grimm: Deutsche Rechtsalterthömer, Göttingen 1828, p. 908 sqq. Hildenbrand: Die Purgatio canonica et vulgaris, Mönchen 1841. Unger: Der gerichtliche Zweikampf, Göttingen 1847. Philipps: Ueber die Ordalien, Mönchen 1847. Dahn: Studien zur Gesch. der Germ. Gottesurtheile, Mönchen 1867. Pfalz: Die german. Ordalien, Leipz. 1865. Henry C. Lea: Superstition and Force, Philad. 1866, p. 175–280. (I have especially used Lea, who gives ample authorities for his statements.) For synodical legislation on ordeals see Hefele, Vols. III. and IV.

Another heathen custom with which the church had to deal, is the so-called Judgment of God or Ordeal, that is, a trial of guilt or innocence by a direct appeal to God through nature.352 It prevailed in China, Japan, India, Egypt (to a less extent in Greece and Rome), and among the barbaric races throughout Europe.353

The ordeal reverses the correct principle that a man must be held to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty, and throws the burden of proof upon the accused instead of the accuser. It is based on the superstitious and presumptuous belief that the divine Ruler of the universe will at any time work a miracle for the vindication of justice when man in his weakness cannot decide, and chooses to relieve himself of responsibility by calling heaven to his aid. In the Carlovingian Capitularies the following passage occurs: "Let doubtful cases be determined by the judgment of God. The judges may decide that which they clearly know, but that which they cannot know shall be reserved for the divine judgment. He whom God has reserved for his own judgment may not be condemned by human means."

The customary ordeals in the middle ages were water-ordeals and fire-ordeals; the former were deemed plebeian, the latter (as well as the duel), patrician. The one called to mind the punishment of the deluge and of Pharaoh in the Red Sea; the other, the future punishment of hell. The water-ordeals were either by hot water,354 or by cold water;355 the fire-ordeals were either by hot iron,356 or by pure fire.357 The person accused or suspected of a crime was exposed to the danger of death or serious injury by one of these elements: if he escaped unhurt—if he plunged his arm to the elbow into boiling water, or walked barefoot upon heated plough-shares, or held a burning ball of iron in his hand, without injury, he was supposed to be declared innocent by a miraculous interposition of God, and discharged; otherwise he was punished.

To the ordeals belongs also the judicial duel or battle ordeal. It was based on the old superstition that God always gives victory to the innocent.358 It was usually allowed only to freemen. Aged and sick persons, women, children, and ecclesiastics could furnish substitutes, but not always. Mediaeval panegyrists trace the judicial duel back to Cain and Abel. It prevailed among the ancient Danes, Irish, Burgundians, Franks, and Lombards, but was unknown among the Anglo-Saxons before William the Conqueror, who introduced it into England. It was used also in international litigation. The custom died out in the sixteenth century.359

The mediaeval church, with her strong belief in the miraculous, could not and did not generally oppose the ordeal, but she baptized it and made it a powerful means to enforce her authority over the ignorant and superstitious people she had to deal with. Several councils at Mainz in 880, at Tribur on the Rhine in 895, at Tours in 925, at Mainz in 1065, at Auch in 1068, at Grau in 1099, recognized and recommended it; the clergy, bishops, and archbishops, as Hincmar of Rheims, and Burckhardt of Worms, and even popes like Gregory VII. and Calixtus II. lent it their influence. St. Bernard approved of the cold-water process for the conviction of heretics, and St. Ivo of Chartres admitted that the incredulity of mankind sometimes required an appeal to the verdict of Heaven, though such appeals were not commanded by, the law of God. As late as 1215 the ferocious inquisitor Conrad of Marburg freely used the hot iron against eighty persons in Strassburg alone who were suspected of the Albigensian heresy. The clergy prepared the combatants by fasting and prayer, and special liturgical formula; they presided over the trial and pronounced the sentence. Sometimes fraud was practiced, and bribes offered and taken to divert the course of justice. Gregory of Tours mentions the case of a deacon who, in a conflict with an Arian priest, anointed his arm before he stretched it into the boiling caldron; the Arian discovered the trick, charged him with using magic arts, and declared the trial null and void; but a Catholic priest, Jacintus from Ravenna, stepped forward, and by catching the ring from the bubbling caldron, triumphantly vindicated the orthodox faith to the admiring multitude, declaring that the water felt cold at the bottom and agreeably warm at the top. When the Arian boldly repeated the experiment, his flesh was boiled off the bones up to the elbow.360

The Church even invented and substituted new ordeals, which were less painful and cruel than the old heathen forms, but shockingly profane according to our notions. Profanity and superstition are closely allied. These new methods are the ordeal of the cross, and the ordeal of the eucharist. They were especially used by ecclesiastics.

The ordeal of the cross361 is simply a trial of physical strength. The plaintiff and the defendant, after appropriate religious ceremonies, stood with uplifted arm before a cross while divine service was performed, and victory depended on the length of endurance. Pepin first prescribed this trial, by a Capitulary of 752, in cases of application by a wife for divorce. Charlemagne prescribed it in cases of territorial disputes which might arise between his sons (806). But Louis-le-Débonnaire, soon after the death of Charlemagne, forbade its continuance at a Council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 816, because this abuse of the cross tended to bring the Christian symbol into contempt. His son, the Emperor Lothair, renewed the prohibition. A trace of this ordeal is left in the proverbial allusion to an experimentum crucis.

A still worse profanation was the ordeal of consecrated bread in the eucharist with the awful adjuration: "May this body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be a judgment to thee this day."362 It was enjoined by a Synod of Worms, in 868, upon bishops and priests who were accused of a capital crime, such as murder, adultery, theft, sorcery. It was employed by Cautinus, bishop of Auvergne, at the close of the sixth century, who administered the sacrament to a Count Eulalius, accused of patricide, and acquitted him after he had partaken of it without harm. King Lothair and his nobles took the sacrament in proof of his separation from Walrada, his mistress, but died soon afterwards at Piacenza of a sudden epidemic, and this was regarded by Pope Hadrian II. as a divine punishment. Rudolfus Glaber records the case of a monk who boldly received the consecrated host, but forthwith confessed his crime when the host slipped out of his navel, white and pure as before. Sibicho, bishop of Speier, underwent the trial to clear himself of the charge of adultery (1049). Even Pope Hildebrand made use of it in self-defense against Emperor Henry IV. at Canossa, in 1077. "Lest I should seem," he said "to rely rather on human than divine testimony, and that I may remove from the minds of all, by immediate satisfaction, every scruple, behold this body of our Lord which I am about to take. Let it be to me this day a test of my innocence, and may the Omnipotent God this day by his judgment absolve me of the accusations if I am innocent, or let me perish by sudden death, if guilty." Then the pope calmly took the wafer, and called upon the trembling emperor to do the same, but Henry evaded it on the ground of the absence of both his friends and his enemies, and promised instead to submit to a trial by the imperial diet.

The purgatorial oath, when administered by wonder-working relics, was also a kind of ordeal of ecclesiastical origin. A false oath on the black cross in the convent of Abington, made from the nails of the crucifixion, and derived from the Emperor Constantine, was fatal to the malefactor. In many cases these relics were the means of eliciting confessions which could not have been obtained by legal devices.

The genuine spirit of Christianity, however, urged towards an abolition rather than improvement of all these ordeals. Occasionally such voices of protest were raised, though for a long time without effect. Avitus, bishop of Vienne, in the beginning of the sixth century, remonstrated with Gundobald for giving prominence to the battle-ordeal in the Burgundian code. St. Agobard, archbishop of Lyons, before the middle of the ninth century (he died about 840) attacked the duel and the ordeal in two special treatises, which breathe the gospel spirit of humanity, fraternity and peace in advance of his age.363 He says that the ordeals are falsely called judgments of God; for God never prescribed them, never approved them, never willed them; but on the contrary, he commands us, in the law and the gospel, to love our neighbor as ourselves, and has appointed judges for the settlement of controversies among men. He warns against a presumptuous interpretation of providence whose counsels are secret and not to be revealed by water and fire. Several popes, Leo IV. (847–855), Nicolas I. (858–867), Stephen VI. (885–891), Sylvester II. (999–1003), Alexander II. (1061–1073), Alexander III. (1159–1181), Coelestin III. (1191–1198), Honorius III. (1222), and the fourth Lateran Council (1215), condemned more or less clearly the superstitious and frivolous provocation of miracles.364 It was by their influence, aided by secular legislation, that these God-tempting ordeals gradually disappeared during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but the underlying idea survived in the torture which for a long time took the place of the ordeal.

§ 80. The Torture.

Henry C. Lea: Superstition and Force (Philad. 1866), p. 281–391. Paul Lacroix: Manners, Customs, and Dress of the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Period (transl. from the French, N. York 1874), p. 407–434. Brace. Gesta Christi, ch. XV.

The torture rests on the same idea as the ordeal.365 It is an attempt to prove innocence or guilt by imposing a physical pain which no man can bear without special aid from God. When the ordeal had fulfilled its mission, the torture was substituted as a more convenient mode and better fitted for an age less superstitious and more sceptical, but quite as despotic and intolerant. It forms one of the darkest chapters in history. For centuries this atrocious system, opposed to the Mosaic legislation and utterly revolting to every Christian and humane feeling, was employed in civilized Christian countries, and sacrificed thousands of human beings, innocent as well as guilty, to torments worse than death.

The torture was unknown among the Hindoos and the Semitic nations, but recognized by the ancient Greeks and Romans, as a regular legal proceeding. It was originally confined to slaves who were deemed unfit to bear voluntary testimony, and to require force to tell the truth.366 Despotic emperors extended it to freemen, first in cases of crimen laesae majestatis. Pontius Pilate employed the scourge and the crown of thorns in the trial of our Saviour. Tiberius exhausted his ingenuity in inventing tortures for persons suspected of conspiracy, and took delight in their agony. The half-insane Caligula enjoyed the cruel spectacle at his dinner-table. Nero resorted to this cruelty to extort from the Christians the confession of the crime of incendiarism, as a pretext of his persecution, which he intensified by the diabolical invention of covering the innocent victims with pitch and burning them as torches in his gardens. The younger Pliny employed the torture against the Christians in Bithynia as imperial governor. Diocletian, in a formal edict, submitted all professors of the hated religion to this degrading test. The torture was gradually developed into a regular system and embodied in the Justinian Code. Certain rules were prescribed, and exemptions made in favor of the learned professions, especially the clergy, nobles, children below fourteen, women during pregnancy, etc. The system was thus sanctioned by the highest legal authorities. But opinions as to its efficiency differed. Augustus pronounced the torture the best form of proof. Cicero alternately praises and discredits it. Ulpian, with more wisdom, thought it unsafe, dangerous, and deceitful.

Among the Northern barbarians the torture was at first unknown except for slaves. The common law of England does not recognize it. Crimes were regarded only as injuries to individuals, not to society, and the chief resource for punishment was the private vengeance of the injured party. But if a slave, who was a mere piece of property, was suspected of a theft, his master would flog him till he confessed. All doubtful questions among freemen were decided by sacramental purgation and the various forms of ordeal. But in Southern Europe, where the Roman population gave laws to the conquering barbarians, the old practice continued, or revived with the study of the Roman law. In Southern France and in Spain the torture was an unbroken ancestral custom. Alfonso the Wise, in the thirteenth century, in his revision of Spanish jurisprudence, known as Las Siete Partidas, retained the torture, but declared the person of man to be the noblest thing on earth,367 and required a voluntary confession to make the forced confession valid. Consequently the prisoner after torture was brought before the judge and again interrogated; if be recanted, he was tortured a second, in grave cases, a third time; if he persisted in his confession, he was condemned. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the system of torture, was generally introduced in Europe, and took the place of the ordeal.

The church, true to her humanizing instincts, was at first hostile to the whole system of forcing evidence. A Synod of Auxerre (585 or 578) prohibited the clergy to witness a torture.368 Pope Gregory I. denounced as worthless a confession extorted by incarceration and hunger.369 Nicolas I. forbade the new converts in Bulgaria to extort confession by stripes and by pricking with a pointed iron, as contrary to all law, human and divine (866)370 Gratian lays down the general rule that "confessio cruciatibus extorquenda non est."

But at a later period, in dealing with heretics, the Roman church unfortunately gave the sanction of her highest authority to the use of the torture, and thus betrayed her noblest instincts and holiest mission. The fourth Lateran Council (1215) inspired the horrible crusades against the Albigenses and Waldenses, and the establishment of the infamous ecclesiastico-political courts of Inquisition. These courts found the torture the most effective means of punishing and exterminating heresy, and invented new forms of refined cruelty worse than those of the persecutors of heathen Rome. Pope Innocent IV., in his instruction for the guidance of the Inquisition in Tuscany and Lombardy, ordered the civil magistrates to extort from all heretics by torture a confession of their own guilt and a betrayal of all their accomplices (1252).371 This was an ominous precedent, which did more harm to the reputation of the papacy than the extermination of any number of heretics could possibly do it good. In Italy, owing to the restriction of the ecclesiastical power by the emperor, the inquisition could not fully display its murderous character. In Germany its introduction was resisted by the people and the bishops, and Conrad of Marburg, the appointed Inquisitor, was murdered (1233). But in Spain it had every assistance from the crown and the people, which to this day take delight in the bloody spectacles of bullfights. The Spanish Inquisition was established in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella by papal sanction (1478), reached its fearful height under the terrible General Inquisitor Torquemada (since 1483), and in its zeal to exterminate Moors, Jews, and heretics, committed such fearful excesses that even popes protested against the abuse of power, although with little effect. The Inquisition carried the system of torture to its utmost limits. After the Reformation it was still employed in trials of sorcery and witchcraft until the revolution of opinion in the eighteenth century swept it out of existence, together with cruel forms of punishment. This victory is due to the combined influence of justice, humanity, and tolerance.


I. "The whole system of the Inquisition," says Lea (p. 331), "was such as to render the resort to torture inevitable. Its proceedings were secret; the prisoner was carefully kept in ignorance of the exact charges against him, and of the evidence upon which they were based. He was presumed to be guilty, and his judges bent all their energies to force him to confess. To accomplish this, no means were too base or too cruel. Pretended sympathizers were to be let into his dungeon, whose affected friendship might entrap him into an unwary admission; officials armed with fictitious evidence were directed to frighten him with assertions of the testimony obtained against him from supposititious witnesses; and no resources of fraud or guile were to be spared in overcoming the caution and resolution of the poor wretch whose mind had been carefully weakened by solitude, suffering, hunger, and terror. From this to the rack and estrapade the step was easily taken, and was not long delayed." For details see the works on the Inquisition. Llorente (Hist. crit. de l'Inquisition d'Espagne IV. 252, quoted by Gieseler III. 409 note 11) states that from 1478 to the end of the administration of Torquemada in 1498, when he resigned, "8800 persons were burned alive, 6500 in effigy, and 90,004 punished with different kinds of penance. Under the second general-inquisitor, the Dominican, Diego Deza, from 1499 to 1506, 1664 persons were burned alive, 832 in effigy, 32,456 punished. Under the third general-inquisitor, the Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo, Francis Ximenes de Cisneros, from 1507 to 1517, 2536 were burned alive, 1368 in effigy, 47,263 reconciled." Llorente was a Spanish priest and general secretary of the Inquisition at Madrid (from 1789–1791), and had access to all the archives, but his figures, as he himself admits, are based upon probable calculations, and have in some instances been disproved. He states, e.g. that in the first year of Torquemada's administration 2000 persons were burned, and refers to the Jesuit Mariana (History of Spain), but Mariana means that during the whole administration of Torquemada "duo millia crematos igne." See Hefele, Cardinal Ximenes, p. 346. The sum total of persons condemned to death by the Spanish Inquisition during the 330 years of its existence, is stated to be 30,000. Hefele (Kirchenlexikon, v. 656) thinks this sum exaggerated, yet not surprising when compared with the number of witches that were burnt in Germany alone. The Spanish Inquisition pronounced its last sentence of death in the year 1781, was abolished under the French rule of Joseph Napoleon, Dec. 4, 1808, restored by Ferdinand VII. 1814, again abolished 1820, and (after another attempt to restore it) in 1834. Catholic writers, like Balmez (I.c. chs. xxxvi. and xxxvii.) and Hefele (Cardinal Ximenes, p. 257–389, and in Wetzer and Welte's Kirchen-Lexicon, vol. V. 648–659), charge Llorente with inaccuracy in his figures, and defend the Catholic church against the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition, as this was a political rather than ecclesiastical institution, and had at least the good effect of preventing religious wars. But the Inquisition was instituted with the express sanction of Pope Sixtus IV. (Nov. 1, 1478), was controlled by the Dominican order and by Cardinals, and as to the benefit, the peace of the grave-yard is worse than war. Hefele adds, however (V. 657): "Nach all' diesen Bemerkungen sind wir öbrigens weit entfernt, der Spanichen Inquisition an sich das Wort reden zu wollen, vielmehr bestreiten wir der weltlichen Gewalt durchaus die Befugniss, das Gewissen zu knebeln, und sind von Herzensgrund aus jedem staatlichen Religionszwang abhold, mag er von einem Torquemada in der Dominikanerkutte, oder von einem Bureaucraten in der Staatsuniform ansgehen. Aber das wollten wir zeigen, dass die Inquisition das schaendliche Ungeheuer nicht war, wozu es Parteileidenschaft und Unwissenheit häufig stempeln wollten."

II. The torture was abolished in England after 1640, in Prussia 1740, in Tuscany 1786, in France 1789, in Russia 1801, in various German states partly earlier, partly later (between 1740 and 1831), in Japan 1873. Thomasius, Hommel, Voltaire, Howard, used their influence against it. Exceptional cases of judicial torture occurred in the nineteenth century in Naples, Palermo, Roumania (1868), and Zug (1869). See Lea, p. 389 sqq., and the chapter on Witchcraft in Lecky's History of Rationalism (vol. I. 27–154). The extreme difficulty of proof in trials of witchcraft seemed to make a resort to the torture inevitable. English witchcraft reached its climax during the seventeenth century, and was defended by King James I., and even such wise men as Sir Matthew Hale, Sir Thomas Browne, and Richard Baxter. When it was on the decline in England it broke out afresh in Puritan New England, created a perfect panic, and led to the execution of twenty-seven persons. In Scotland it lingered still longer, and as late as 1727 a woman was burnt there for witchcraft. In the Canton Glarus a witch was executed in 1782, and another near Danzig in Prussia in 1836. Lecky concludes his chapter with an eloquent tribute to those poor women, who died alone, hated, and unpitied, with the prospect of exchanging their torments on earth with eternal torments in hell.

I add a noble passage on torture from Brace's Gesta Christi, p. 274 sq. "Had the 'Son of Man' been in body upon the earth during the Middle Ages, hardly one wrong and injustice would have wounded his pure soul like the system of torture. To see human beings, with the consciousness of innocence, or professing and believing the purest truths, condemned without proof to the most harrowing agonies, every groan or admission under pain used against them, their confessions distorted, their nerves so racked that they pleaded their guilt in order to end their tortures, their last hours tormented by false ministers of justice or religion, who threaten eternal as well as temporal damnation, and all this going on for ages, until scarce any innocent felt themselves safe under this mockery of justice and religion—all this would have seemed to the Founder of Christianity as the worst travesty of his faith and the most cruel wound to humanity. It need not be repeated that his spirit in each century struggled with this tremendous evil, and inspired the great friends of humanity who labored against it. The main forces in mediaeval society, even those which tended towards its improvement, did not touch this abuse. Roman law supported it. Stoicism was indifferent to it; Greek literature did not affect it; feudalism and arbitrary power encouraged a practice which they could use for their own ends; and even the hierarchy and a State Church so far forgot the truths they professed as to employ torture to support the 'Religion of Love.' But against all these powers were the words of Jesus, bidding men 'Love your enemies' 'Do good to them that despitefully use you!' and the like commands. working everywhere on individual souls, heard from pulpits and in monasteries, read over by humble believers, and slowly making their way against barbaric passion and hierarchic cruelty. Gradually, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the books containing the message of Jesus circulated among all classes, and produced that state of mind and heart in which torture could not be used on a fellow-being, and in which such an abuse and enormity as the Inquisition was hurled to the earth."

§ 81. Christian Charity.

See the Lit. in vol. II. § 88, p. 311 sq. Chastel: Études historiques sur l'influence de la charité (Paris 1853, English transl., Philad. 1857—for the first three centuries). Häser: Geschichte der christl. Krankenpflege und Pflegerschaften (Berlin 1857). Ratzinger: Gesch. der christl. Armenpflege (Freib. 1869, a new ed. announced 1884). Morin: Histoire critique de la pauvreté (in the "Mémoirs de l' Académie des inscript." IV). Lecky: Hist. of Europ. Morals, ch. 4th (II. 62 sqq.). Uhlhorn: Christian Charity in the Ancient Church (Stuttgart, 1881; Engl. transl. Lond. and N. York 1883), Book III., and his Die Christliche Liebesthätigkeit im Mittelalter. Stuttgart, 1884. (See also his art. in Brieger's "Zeitschrift för K. G." IV. 1). B. Riggenbach: Das Armenwesen der Reformation (Basel 1883). Also the articles Armenpflege in Herzog's "Encycl."2 vol. I. 648–663; in Wetzer and Welte's "Kirchenlex."2 vol. I. 1354–1375; Paupérisme in Lichtenberger X. 305–312; and Hospitals in Smith and Cheetham I. 785–789.

From the cruelties of superstition and bigotry we gladly turn to the queen of Christian graces, that "most excellent gift of charity," which never ceased to be exercised wherever the story of Christ's love for sinners was told and his golden rule repeated. It is a "bond of' perfectness" that binds together all ages and sections of Christendom. It comforted the Roman empire in its hoary age and agonies of death; and it tamed the ferocity of the barbarian invaders. It is impossible to overestimate the moral effect of the teaching and example of Christ, and of St. Paul's seraphic praise of charity upon the development of this cardinal virtue in all ages and countries. We bow with reverence before the truly apostolic succession of those missionaries, bishops, monks, nuns, kings, nobles, and plain men and women, rich or poor, known and unknown, who, from gratitude to Christ and pure love to their fellow-men, sacrificed home, health, wealth, life itself, to humanize and Christianize savages, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to entertain the stranger, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick, to call on the prisoner, to comfort the dying. We admire and honor also those exceptional saints who, in literal fulfillment or misunderstanding of the Saviour's advice to the rich youth, and in imitation of the first disciples at Jerusalem, sold all their possessions and gave them to the poor that they might become perfect. The admiration is indeed diminished, but not destroyed, if in many cases a large measure of refined selfishness was mixed with self-denial, and when the riches of heaven were the sole or chief inducement for choosing voluntary poverty on earth.

The supreme duty of Christian charity was inculcated by all faithful pastors and teachers of the gospel from the beginning. In the apostolic and ante-Nicene ages it was exercised by regular contributions on the Lord's day, and especially at the communion and the agape connected with it. Every congregation was a charitable society, and took care of its widows and orphans, of strangers and prisoners, and sent help to distant congregations in need.372

After Constantine, when the masses of the people flocked into the church, charity assumed an institutional form, and built hospitals and houses of refuge for the strangers, the poor, the sick, the aged, the orphans.373 They appear first in the East, but soon afterwards also in the West. Fabiola founded a hospital in Rome, Pammachius one in the Portus Romanus, Paulinus one in Nola. At the time of Gregory I. there were several hospitals in Rome; he mentions also hospitals in Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. These institutions were necessary in the greatly enlarged sphere of the church, and the increase of poverty, distress, and disaster which at last overwhelmed the Roman empire. They may in many cases have served purposes of ostentation, superseded or excused private charity, encouraged idleness, and thus increased rather than diminished pauperism. But these were abuses to which the best human institutions are subject.

Private charity continued to be exercised in proportion to the degree of vitality in the church. The great fathers and bishops of the fourth and fifth centuries set an illustrious example of plain living and high thinking, of self-denial and liberality, and were never weary in their sermons and writings in enjoining the duty of charity. St. Basil himself superintended his extensive hospital at Caesarea, and did not shrink from contact with lepers; St. Gregory Nazianzen exhorted the brethren to be "a god to the unfortunate by imitating the mercy of God," for there is "nothing so divine as beneficence;" St. Chrysostom founded several hospitals in Constantinople, incessantly appealed to the rich in behalf of the poor, and directed the boundless charities of the noble widow Olympias. St. Ambrose, at once a proud Roman and an humble Christian, comforted the paupers in Milan, while he rebuked an emperor for his cruelty; Paulinus of Nola lived in a small house with his wife, Theresiâ and used his princely wealth for the building of a monastery, the relief of the needy, the ransoming of prisoners, and when his means were exhausted, he exchanged himself with the son of a widow to be carried away into Africa; the great Augustin declined to accept as a present a better coat than he might give in turn to a brother in need; St. Jerome founded a hospice in Bethlehem from the proceeds of his property, and induced Roman ladies of proud ancestry to sell their jewels, silk dresses, and palaces, for the poor, and to exchange a life of luxurious ease for a life of ascetic self-denial. Those examples shone like brilliant stars through the darkness of the middle ages.

But the same fathers, it must be added, handed to the middle ages also the disturbing doctrine of the meritorious nature and atoning efficacy of charity, as "covering a multitude of sins," and its influence even upon the dead in purgatory. These errors greatly stimulated and largely vitiated that virtue, and do it to this day.374

The Latin word caritas, which originally denotes dearness or costliness (from carus, dear), then esteem, affection, assumed in the church the more significant meaning of benevolence and beneficence, or love in active exercise, especially to the poor and suffering among our fellow-men. The sentiment and the deed must not be separated, and the gift of the hand derives its value from the love of the heart. Though the gifts are unequal, the benevolent love should be the same, and the widow's mite is as much blessed by God as the princely donation of the rich. Ambrose compares benevolence in the intercourse of men with men to the sun in its relation to the earth. "Let the gifts of the wealthy," says another father, "be more abundant, but let not the poor be behind him in love." Very often, however, charity was contracted into mere almsgiving. Praying, fasting, and almsgiving were regarded (as also among the Jews and Mohammedans) as the chief works of piety; the last was put highest. For the sake of charity it is right to break the fast or to interrupt devotion.

Pope Gregory the Great best represents the mediaeval charity with its ascetic self-denial, its pious superstitions and utilitarian ingredients. He lived in that miserable transition period when the old Roman civilization was crumbling to pieces and the new civilization was not yet built up on its ruins. "We see nothing but sorrow," he says, "we hear nothing but complaints. Ah, Rome! once the mistress of the world, where is the senate? where the people? The buildings are in ruins, the walls are falling. Everywhere the sword! Everywhere death! I am weary of life! "But charity remained as an angel of comfort. It could not prevent the general collapse, but it dried the tears and soothed the sorrows of individuals. Gregory was a father to the poor. He distributed every month cart-loads of corn, oil, wine, and meat among them. What the Roman emperors did from policy to keep down insurrection, this pope did from love to Christ and the poor. He felt personally guilty when a man died of starvation in Rome. He set careful and conscientious men over the Roman hospitals, and required them to submit regular accounts of the management of funds. He furnished the means for the founding of a Xenodochium in Jerusalem. He was the chief promoter of the custom of dividing the income of the church into four equal parts, one for the bishop, one for the rest of the clergy, one for the church buildings, one for the poor. At the same time he was a strong believer in the meritorious efficacy of almsgiving for the living and the dead. He popularized Augustin's notion of purgatory, supported it by monkish fables, and introduced masses for the departed (without the so-called thirties, i.e. thirty days after death). He held that God remits the guilt and eternal punishment, but not the temporal punishment of sin, which must be atoned for in this life, or in purgatory. Thus be explained the passage about the fire (1 Cor. 3:11) which consumes wood, hay, and stubble, i.e. light and trifling sins such as useless talk, immoderate laughter, mismanagement of property. Hence, the more alms the better, both for our own salvation and for the relief of our departed relatives and friends. Almsgiving is the wing of repentance, and paves the way to heaven. This idea ruled supreme during the middle ages.

Among the barbarians in the West charitable institutions were introduced by missionaries in connection with convents, which were expected to exercise hospitality to strangers and give help to the poor. The Irish missionaries cared for the bodies as well as for the souls of the heathen to whom they preached the gospel, and founded "Hospitalia Scotorum." The Council of Orleans, 549, shows acquaintance with Xenodochia in the towns. There was a large one at Lyons. Chrodegang of Metz and Alcuin exhort the bishops to found institutions of charity, or at least to keep a guest-room for the care of the sick and the stranger. A Synod at Aix in 815 ordered that an infirmary should be built near the church and in every convent. The Capitularies of Charlemagne extend to charitable institutions the same privileges as to churches and monasteries, and order that "strangers, pilgrims, and paupers" be duly entertained according to the canons.

The hospitals were under the immediate supervision of the bishop or a superintendent appointed by him. They were usually dedicated to the Holy Spirit, who was represented in the form of a dove in some conspicuous place of the building. They received donations and legacies, and were made the trustees of landed estates. The church of the middle ages was the largest property-holder, but her very wealth and prosperity became a source of temptation and corruption, which in the course of time loudly called for a reformation.

After we have made all reasonable deduction for a large amount of selfish charity which looked to the donor rather than the recipient, and for an injudicious profusion of alms which encouraged pauperism instead of enabling the poor to help themselves by honest work, we still have left one of the noblest chapters in the history of morals to which no other religion can furnish a parallel. For the regular gratuitous distribution of grain to the poor heathen of Rome, who under Augustus rose to 200,000, and under the Antonines to 500,000, was made from the public treasury and dictated by selfish motives of state policy; it called forth no gratitude; it failed of its object, and proved, together with slavery and the gladiatorial shows for the amusement of the people, one of the chief demoralizing influences of the empire.375

Finally, we must not forget that the history of true Christian charity remains to a large part unwritten. Its power is indeed felt everywhere and every day; but it loves to do its work silently without a thought of the merit of reward. It follows human misery into all its lonely griefs with personal sympathy as well as material aid, and finds its own happiness in promoting the happiness of others. There is luxury in doing good for its own sake. "When thou doest alms," says the Lord, "let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee."376


Uhlhorn closes his first work with this judgment of mediaeval charity (p. 396 sq. of the English translation): "No period has done so much for the poor as the middle ages. What wholesale distribution of alms, what an abundance of institutions of the most various kinds, what numbers of hospitals for all manner of sufferers, what a series of ministrant orders, male and female, knightly and civil, what self-sacrifice and devotedness! In the mediaeval period all that we have observed germinating in the ancient Church, first attains its maturity. The middle ages, however, also appropriated whatever tendencies existed toward a one-sided and unsound development. Church care of the poor entirely perished, and all charity became institutional; monks and nuns, or members of the ministrant orders, took the place of the deacons—the diaconate died out. Charity became one-sidedly institutional and one-sidedly ecclesiastical. The church was the mediatrix of every exercise of charity, she became in fact the sole recipient, the sole bestower; for the main object of every work of mercy, of every distribution of alms, of every endowment, of all self-sacrifice in the service of the needy, was the giver's own salvation. The transformation was complete. Men gave and ministered no longer for the sake of helping and serving the poor in Christ, but to obtain for themselves and theirs, merit, release from purgatory, a high degree of eternal happiness. The consequence was, that poverty was not contended with, but fostered, and beggary brought to maturity; so that notwithstanding the abundant donations, the various foundations, the well-endowed institutions, distress was after all not mastered. Nor is it mastered yet. "The poor ye have always with you" (John 12:8). Riggenbach (l.c.) maintains that in the middle ages hospitals were mere provision-houses (Versorgungshäuser), and that the Reformation first asserted the principle that they should be also houses of moral reform (Rettungshäuser and Heilanstalten).

Lecky, who devotes a part of the fourth chapter of his impartial humanitarian History of European Morals to this subject, comes to the following conclusion (II. 79, 85): "Christianity for the first time made charity a rudimentary virtue, giving it a leading place in the moral type, and in the exhortations of its teachers. Besides its general influence in stimulating the affections, it effected a complete revolution in this sphere, by regarding the poor as the special representatives of the Christian Founder, and thus making the love of Christ, rather than the love of man, the principle of charity .... The greatest things are often those which are most imperfectly realized; and surely no achievements of the Christian Church are more truly great than those which it has effected in the sphere of charity. For the first time in the history of mankind, it has inspired many thousands of men and women, at the sacrifice of all worldly interests, and often under circumstances of extreme discomfort or danger, to devote their entire lives to the single object of assuaging the sufferings of humanity. It has covered the globe with countless institutions of mercy, absolutely unknown to the whole Pagan world. It has indissolubly united, in the minds of men, the idea of supreme goodness with that of active and constant benevolence. It has placed in every parish a religious minister who, whatever may be his other functions, has at least been officially charged with the superintendence of an organization of charity, and who finds in this office one of the most important as well as one of the most legitimate sources of his power."



See the Lit. on Monasticism in vol. II. 387, and III. 147 sq.

§ 82. Use of Convents in the Middle Ages.

The monks were the spiritual nobility of the church, and represented a higher type of virtue in entire separation from the world and consecration to the kingdom of God. The patristic, ideal of piety passed over into the middle ages; it is not the scriptural nor the modern ideal, but one formed in striking contrast with preceding and surrounding heathen corruption. The monkish sanctity is a flight from the world rather than a victory over the world, an abstinence from marriage instead of a sanctification of marriage, chastity, outside rather than inside the order of nature, a complete suppression of the sensual passion in the place of its purification and control. But it had a powerful influence over the barbaric races, and was one of the chief converting and civilizing agencies. The Eastern monks lost themselves in idle contemplation and ascetic extravagances, which the Western climate made impossible; the Western monks were, upon the whole, more sober, practical, and useful. The Irish and Scotch convents became famous for their missionary zeal, and furnished founders of churches and patron saints of the people.

Convents were planted by the missionaries among all the barbarous nations of Europe, as fast as Christianity progressed. They received special privileges and endowments from princes, nobles, popes, and bishops. They offered a quiet retreat to men and women who were weary of the turmoil of life, or had suffered shipwreck of fortune or character, and cared for nothing but to save their souls. They exercised hospitality to strangers and travelers, and were a great blessing in times when traveling was difficult and dangerous.377 They were training schools of ascetic virtue, and the nurseries of saints. They saved the remnants of ancient civilization for future use. Every large convent had a library and a school. Scribes were employed in copying manuscripts of the ancient classics, of the Bible, and the writings of the fathers. To these quiet literary monks we are indebted for the preservation and transmission of nearly all the learning, sacred and secular, of ancient times. If they had done nothing else, they would be entitled to the lasting gratitude of the church and the world.

During the wild commotion and confusion of the ninth and tenth centuries, monastic discipline went into decay. Often the very richs of convents, which were the reward of industry and virtue, became a snare and a root of evil. Avaricious laymen (Abba-comites) seized the control and perpetuated it in their families. Even princesses received the titles and emoluments of abbesses.

§ 83. St. Benedict. St. Nilus. St. Romuald.

Yet even in this dark period there were a few shining lights.

St. Benedict of Aniane (750–821), of a distinguished family in the south of France, after serving at the court of Charlemagne, became disgusted with the world, entered a convent, founded a new one at Aniane after the strict rule of St. Benedict of Nursia, collected a library, exercised charity, especially during a famine, labored for the reform of monasticism, was entrusted by Louis the Pious with the superintendence of all the convents in Western France, and formed them into a "congregation," by bringing them under one rule. He attended the Synod of Aix-la-Chapelle in 817. Soon after his death (Feb. 12, 821) the fruits of his labors were destroyed, and the disorder became worse than before.378

St. Nilus the younger,379 of Greek descent, born at Rossano in Calabria380 (hence Nilus Rossanensis), enlightened the darkness of the tenth century. He devoted himself, after the death of his wife, about 940, to a solitary life, following the model of St. Anthony and St. Hilarion, and founded several convents in Southern Italy. He was often consulted by dignitaries, and answered, like St. Anthony, without respect of person. He boldly rebuked Pope Gregory V. and Emperor Otho III. for bad treatment of an archbishop. When the emperor afterwards offered him any favor he might ask, Nilus replied: "I ask nothing from you but that you would save your soul; for you must die like every other man, and render an account to God for all your good and evil deeds." The emperor took the crown from his head, and begged the blessing of the aged monk. When a dissolute nobleman, who comforted himself with the example of Solomon, asked Nilus, whether that wise king was not saved, the monk replied: "We have nothing to do with Solomon's fate; but to us it is said, 'Every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' We do not read of Solomon that he ever repented like Manasseh." To questions of idle curiosity he returned no answer, or he answered the fool according to his folly. So when one wished to know what kind of an apple Adam and Eve ate, to their ruin, he said that it was a crab-apple. In his old age he was driven from Calabria by invaders, and founded a little convent, Crypta Ferrata, near the famous Tusculum of Cicero. There he died peacefully when about ninety-six years old, in 1005.381

St. Romuald, the founder of the order of Camaldoli, was born early in the tenth century at Ravenna, of a rich and noble family, and entered the neighboring Benedictine convent of Classis, in his twentieth year, in order to atone, by a severe penance of forty days, for a murder which his father had committed against a relative in a dispute about property. He prayed and wept almost without ceasing. He spent three years in this convent, and afterwards led the life of a roaming hermit. He imposed upon himself all manner of self-mortification, to defeat the temptations of the devil. Among his devotions was the daily repetition of the Psalter from memory; a plain hermit, Marinus, near Venice, had taught him this mechanical performance and other ascetic exercises with the aid of blows. Wherever he went, he was followed by admiring disciples. He was believed to be endowed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, yet did not escape calumny. Emperor Otho III. paid him a visit in the year 1000 on an island near Ravenna. Romuald sent missionaries to heathen lands, and went himself to the border of Hungary with a number of pupils, but returned when he was admonished by a severe sickness that he was not destined for missionary life. He died in the convent Valle de Castro in 1027.382

According to Damiani, who wrote his life fifteen years after his death, Romuald lived one hundred and twenty years, twenty in the world, three in a convent, ninety-seven as a hermit.383

The most famous of Romuald's monastic retreats is Campo Maldoli, or Camaldoli in the Appennines, near Arezzo in Tuscany, which he founded about 1009. It became, through the influence of Damiani, his eulogist and Hildebrand's friend, the nucleus of a monastic order, which combined the cenobitic and eremitic life, and was distinguished by great severity. Pope Gregory XVI. belonged to this order.

§ 84. The Convent of Cluny.

Marrier and Duchesne: Bibliotheca Cluniacensis. Paris 1614 fol. Holsten.: Cod. Regul. Mon. II. 176. Lorain: Essay historique sur l' abbaye de Cluny. Dijon 1839. Neander III. 417 sqq. 444 sq. Friedr. Hurter (Prot, minister in Schaffhausen, afterwards R. Cath.): Gesch. Papst Innocenz des Dritten (second ed. Hamb. 1844), vol. IV. pp. 22–55.

After the decay of monastic discipline during the ninth and tenth centuries, a reformation proceeded from the convent of Cluny in Burgundy, and affected the whole church.384

It was founded by the pious Duke William of Aquitania in 910, to the honor of St. Peter and St. Paul, on the basis of the rule of St. Benedict.

Count Bruno (d. 927) was the first abbot, and introduced severe discipline. His successor Odo (927–941), first a soldier, then a clergyman of learning, wisdom, and saintly character, became a reformer of several Benedictine convents. Neander praises his enlightened views on Christian life, and his superior estimate of the moral, as compared with the miraculous, power of Christianity. Aymardus (Aymard, 941–948), who resigned when he became blind, Majolus (Maieul to 994), who declined the papal crown, Odilo, surnamed "the Good" (to 1048), and Hugo (to 1109), continued in the same spirit. The last two exerted great influence upon emperors and popes, and inspired the reformation of the papacy and the church. It was at Cluny that Hildebrand advised Bishop Bruno of Toul (Leo IX.), who had been elected pope by Henry III., to seek first a regular election by the clergy in Rome; and thus foreshadowed his own future conflict with the imperial power. Odilo introduced the Treuga Dei and the festival of All Souls. Hugo, Hildebrand's friend, ruled sixty years, and raised the convent to the summit of its fame.

Cluny was the centre (archimonasterium) of the reformed Benedictine convents, and its head was the chief abbot (archiabbas). It gave to the church many eminent bishops and three popes (Gregory VII., Urban II., and Pascal II.). In the time of its highest prosperity it ruled over two thousand monastic establishments. The daily life was regulated in all its details; silence was imposed for the greater part of the day, during which the monks communicated only by signs; strict obedience ruled within; hospitality and benevolence were freely exercised to the poor and to strangers, who usually exceeded the number of the monks. During a severe famine Odilo exhausted the magazines of the convent, and even melted the sacred vessels, and sold the ornaments of the church and a crown which Henry II. had sent him from Germany. The convent stood directly under the pope's jurisdiction, and was highly favored with donations and privileges.385 The church connected with it was the largest and richest in France (perhaps in all Europe), and admired for its twenty-five altars, its bells, and its costly works of art. It was founded by Hugo, and consecrated seventy years afterwards by Pope Innocent II. under the administration of Peter the Venerable (1131).

The example of Cluny gave rise to other monastic orders, as the Congregation of the Vallombrosa (Vallis umbrosa), eighteen miles from Florence, founded by St. John Gualbert in 1038, and the Congregation of Hirsau in Württemberg, in 1069.

But the very fame and prosperity of Cluny proved a temptation and cause of decline. An unworthy abbot, Pontius, wasted the funds, and was at last deposed and excommunicated by the pope as a robber of the church. Peter the Venerable, the friend of St. Bernard and kind patron of the unfortunate Abelard, raised Cluny by his wise and long administration (1122–1156) to new life and the height of prosperity. He increased the number of monks from 200 to 460, and connected 314 convents with the parent institution. In 1245 Pope Innocent IV., with twelve cardinals and all their clergy, two patriarchs, three archbishops, eleven bishops, the king of France, the emperor of Constantinople, and many dukes, counts and knights with their dependents were entertained in the buildings of Cluny.386 This was the end of its prosperity. Another decline followed, from which Cluny never entirely recovered. The last abbots were merely ornamental, and wasted two-thirds of the income at the court of France. The French Revolution of 1789 swept the institution out of existence, and reduced the once famous buildings to ruins; but restorations have since been made.387

A similar reformation of monasticism and of the clergy was attempted and partially carried out in England by St. Dunstan (925-May 19, 988), first as abbot of Glastonbury, then as bishop of Winchester and London, and last as archbishop of Canterbury (961) and virtual ruler of the kingdom. A monk of the severest type and a churchman of iron will, he enforced the Benedictine rule, filled the leading sees and richer livings with Benedictines, made a crusade against clerical marriage (then the rule rather than the exception), hoping to correct the immorality of the priests by abstracting them from the world, and asserted the theocratic rule of the church over the civil power under Kings Edwy and Edgar; but his excesses called forth violent contentions between the monks and the seculars in England. He was a forerunner of Hildebrand and Thomas à Becket.388



Comp. vol. II. § 57, and vol. III. § 68.

§ 85. The Penitential Books.

I. The Acts of Councils, the Capitularies of Charlemagne and his successors, and the Penitential Books, especially that of Theodore of Canterbury, and that of Rome. See Migne's Patrol. Tom. 99, fol. 901–983.

II. Friedr. Kunstmann (R.C.): Die latein. Pönitentialbücher der Angelsachsen. Mainz 1844. F. W. H. Wasserschleben: Bussordnungen der abendländ. Kirche. Halle 1851. Steitz: Das röm. Buss-Sacrament. Frankf. 1854. Frank (R.C.): Die Bussdisciplin der Kirche. Mainz 1867. Probst (R.C.): Sacramente und Sacramentalien. Tübingen 1872. Haddan and Stubbs: Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol. III. Oxf. 1871. H. Jos. Schmitz (R.C.): Die Bussbücher und die Bussdisciplin der Kirche. Nach handschriftl. Quellen. Mainz 1883 (XVI. and 864 p.). Comp. the review of this book by Wasserschleben in the "Theol. Literaturzeitung," 1883, fol. 614 sqq.

Bingham, Bk XIV. Smith and Cheetham, II. 608 sqq. (Penitential Books). Herzog,2 III. 20 sqq. (Bussbücher). Wetzer and Welte2 II. 209–222 (Beichtbücher); II. 1561–1590 (Bussdisciplin).

Comp. Lit. in § 87.

The discipline of the Catholic church is based on the power of the keys intrusted to the apostles and their successors, and includes the excommunication and restoration of delinquent members. It was originally a purely spiritual jurisdiction, but after the establishment of Christianity as the national religion, it began to affect also the civil and temporal condition of the subjects of punishment. It obtained a powerful hold upon the public mind from the universal belief of the middle ages that the visible church, centering in the Roman papacy, was by divine appointment the dispenser of eternal salvation, and that expulsion from her communion, unless followed by repentance and restoration, meant eternal damnation. No heresy or sect ever claimed this power.

Discipline was very obnoxious to the wild and independent spirit of the barbaric races. It was exercised by the bishop through synodical courts, which were held annually in the dominions of Charlemagne for the promotion of good morals. Charlemagne ordered the bishops to visit their parishes once a year, and to inquire into cases of incest, patricide, fratricide, adultery, and other vices contrary to the laws of God.389 Similar directions were given by Synods in Spain and England. The more extensive dioceses were divided into several archdeaconries. The archdeacons represented the bishops, and, owing to this close connection, they possessed a power and jurisdiction superior to that of the priests. Seven members of the congregation were entrusted with a supervision, and had to report to the inquisitorial court on the state of religion and morals. Offences both ecclesiastical and civil were punished at once with fines, fasting, pilgrimages, scourging, imprisonment. The civil authorities aided the bishops in the exercise of discipline. Public offences were visited with public penance; private offences were confessed to the priest, who immediately granted absolution on certain conditions.

The discipline of the Latin church in the middle ages is laid down in the so-called "Penitential Books."390 They regulate the order of penitence, and prescribe specific punishments for certain sins, as drunkenness, fornication, avarice, perjury, homicide, heresy, idolatry. The material is mostly derived from the writings of the fathers, and from the synodical canons of Ancyra (314), Neocaesarea (314), Nicaea (325), Gangra (362), and of the North African, Frankish, and Spanish councils down to the seventh century. The common object of these Penitentials is to enforce practical duties and to extirpate the ferocious and licentious passions of heathenism. They present a very dark picture of the sins of the flesh. They kept alive the sense of a moral government of God, who punishes every violation of his law, but they lowered the sense of guilt by fostering the pernicious notion that sin may be expiated by mechanical exercises and by the payment of a sum of money.

There were many such books, British, Irish, Frankish, Spanish, and Roman. The best known are the Anglo-Saxon penitentials of the seventh and eighth centuries, especially that of Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury (669–690). He was a Greek by birth, of Tarsus in Cilicia, and reduced the disciplinary rules of the East and West to a system. He was not the direct author of the book which bears his name, but it was drawn up under his direction, published during his life-time and by his authority, and contains his decisions in answer to various questions of a priest named Eoda and other persons on the subject of penance and the whole range of ecclesiastical discipline. The genuine text has recently been brought to light from early MSS. by the combined labors of German and English scholarship.391 The introduction and the book itself are written in barbarous Latin. Traces of the Greek training of Theodore may be seen in the references to St. Basil and to Greek practices. Next to Theodore's collection there are Penitentials under the name of the venerable Bede (d. 735), and of Egbert, archbishop of York (d. 767).392

The earliest Frankish penitential is the work of Columban, the Irish missionary (d. 615). He was a severe monastic disciplinarian and gave prominence to corporal punishment among the penalties for offences. The Cummean Penitential (Poenit. Cummeani) is of Scotch-Irish origin, and variously assigned to Columba of Iona (about 597), to Cumin, one of his disciples, or to Cummean, who died in Columban's monastery at Bobbio (after 711). Haltigar, bishop of Cambray, in the ninth century (about 829) published a "Roman Penitential," professedly derived from Roman archives, but in great part from Columban, and Frankish sources. An earlier work which bears the name "Poenitentiale Romanum," from the first part of the eighth century, has a more general character, but its precise origin is uncertain. The term "Roman" was used to designate the quality of a class of Penitentials which enjoyed a more than local authority.393 Rabanus Maurus (d. 855) prepared a "Liber Poenitentitae" at the request of the archbishop Otgar of Mayence (841). Almost every diocese had its own book of the kind, but the spirit and the material were substantially the same.


As specimens of these Penitential Books, we give the first two chapters from the first book of the Poenitentiale Theodori (Archbishop of Canterbury), as printed in Haddan and Stubbs, Councils and Eccles. Doc. relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vol. IIIrd. p. 177 sqq. We insert a few better readings from other MSS. used by Wasserschleben.

I. De Crapula et Ebrietate.

1. Si quis Episco pus aut aliquis ordinatus in consuetudine vitium habuerit ebrietatis, aut desinat aut deponatur.

2. Si monachus pro ebrietate vomitum facit, XXX. dies peniteat.

3. Si presbiter aut diaconus pro ebrietate, XL. dies peniteat.

4. Si vero pro infirmitate aut quia longo tempore se abstinuerit, et in consuetudine non erit ei multum bibere vel manducare, aut pro gaudio in Natale Domini aut in Pascha aut pro alicujus Sanctorum commemoratione faciebat, et tunc plus non accipit quam decretum est a senioribus, nihil nocet. Si Episcopus juberit, non nocet illi, nisi ipse similiterfaciat.

5. Si laicus fidelis pro ebrietate vomitum facit, XV. dies peniteat.

6. Qui vero inebriatur contra Domini interdictum, si votum sanctitatis habuerit VII. dies in pane et aqua, LXX. sine pinguedine peniteat; laici sine cervisa [cervisia].

7. Qui per nequitiam inebriat alium, XL. dies peniteat.

8. Qui pro satietate vomitum facit, III. diebus [dies] peniteat.

9. Si cum sacrificio communionis, VII. dies peniteat; si infirmitatis causa, sine culpa.

II. De Fornicatione.

1. Si quis fornicaverit cum virgine, I. anno peniteat. Si cum marita, IIII. annos, II. integros, II alios in XL. mis. III. bus., et III dies in ebdomada peniteat.

2. Qui sepe cum masculo aut cum pecude fornicat, X. annos ut peniteret judicavit.

3. Rem aliud. Qui cum pecoribus coierit, XV. annos peniteat.

4. Qui coierit cum masculo post XX. annum, XV. annos peniteat.

5. Si masculus cum masculo fornicaverit, X. annos peniteat.

6. Sodomitae VII. annos peniteat [peniteant]; molles [et mollis] sicut adultera.

7. Item hoc; virile scelus semel faciens IIII annos peniteat; si in consuetudine fuerit, ut Basilius dicit, XV. Si sine, sustinens unum annum ut mulier. Si puer sit, primo II. bus annis; si iterat IIII.

8. Si in femoribus, annum I. vel. III. XL. mas.

9. Si se ipsum coinguinat, XL. dies [peniteat.]

10. Qui concupiscit fornicari [fornicare] sed non potest, XL. dies vel XX. peniteat. Si frequentaverit, si puer sit, XX. dies, vel vapuletur.

11. Pueri qui fornicantur inter se ipsos judicavit ut vapulentur.

12. Mulier cum muliere fornicando [si ... fornicaverit], III. annos peniteat.

13. Si sola cum se ipsa coitum habet, sic peniteat.

14. Una penitentia est viduae et puellae. Majorem meruit quae virum habet, si fornicaverit.

15. Qui semen in os miserit, VII annos peniteat: hoc pessimum malum. Alias ab eo judicatum est ut ambo usque in finem vitae peniteant; vel XXII. annos, vel ut superius VII.

16. Si cum matre quis fornicaverit, XV. annos peniteat, et nunquam, mutat [mutet] nisi Dominicis diebus: et hoc tam profanum incertum [incestum] ab eo similiter alio modo dicitur ut cum peregrinatione perenni VII. annos peniteat.

17. Qui cum sorore fornicatur, XV. annos peniteat, eo modo quo superius de matre dicitur, sed et istud XV. alias in canone confirmavit; unde non absorde XV. anni ad matrem transeunt qui scribuntur.

18. Qui sepe fornicaverit, primus canon judicavit X. annos penitere; secundus canon VII.; sed pro infirmitate hominis, per consilium dixerunt III. annos penitere.

19. Si frater cum fratre naturali fornicaverit per commixtionem carnis, XV. annos ab omni carne abstineat.

20. Si mater cum filio suo parvulo fornicationem imitatur, III. annos se abstineat a carne, et diem unum jejunet in ebdomada, id est, usque ad vesperum.

21. Qui inludetur fornicaria cogitatione, peniteat usque dum cogitatio superetur.

22. Qui diligit feminam mente, veniam petat ab eo [a Deo] id est, de amore et amicitia si dixerit si non est susceptus ab ea, VII. dies peniteat."

The remaining chapters of the first book treat De Avaritia Furtiva; De Occisione Hominum [De Homicidio]; De his qui per Heresim decipiuntur; De Perjurio; De multis et diversis Malis; De diverso Lapso servorum Dei; De his qui degraduntur vel ordinari non possunt; De Baptizatis his, qualiter peniteant; De his qui damnant Dominicam et indicta jejunia ecclesiae Dei; De communione Eucharistiae, vel Sacrificio; De Reconciliatione; De Penitentia Nubentium specialiter; De Cultura Idolorum. The last chapter shows how many heathen superstitions prevailed in connection with gross immorality, which the church endeavored to counteract by a mechanical legalism. The second book treats De Ecclesiae Ministerio; De tribus gratlibus; De Ordinatione; De Baptismo et Confirmatione; De Missa Defunctorum, etc.

§ 86. Ecclesiastical Punishments. Excommunication, Anathema, Interdict.

Friedrich Kober (R.C.): Der Kirchenbann nach den Grundsätzen des canonischen Rechts dargestellt. Tübingen 1857 (560 pages). By the same author: Die Suspension der Kirchendiener. Tüb. 1862.

Henry C. Lea: Excommunication, in his Studies in Church History (Philadelphia 1869), p. 223–475.

The severest penalties of the church were excommunication, anathema, and interdict. They were fearful weapons in the hands of the hierarchy during the middle ages, when the church was believed to control salvation, and when the civil power enforced her decrees by the strong arm of the law. The punishment ceases with repentance, which is followed by absolution. The sentence of absolution must proceed from the bishop who pronounced the sentence of excommunication; but in articulo mortis every priest can absolve on condition of obedience in case of recovery.

1. Excommunication was the exclusion from the sacraments, especially the communion. In the dominions of Charlemagne it was accompanied with civil disabilities, as exclusion from secular tribunals, and even with imprisonment and seizure of property. A bishop could excommunicate any one who refused canonical obedience. But a bishop could only be excommunicated by the pope, and the pope by no power on earth.394 The sentence was often accompanied with awful curses upon the bodies and souls of the offender. The popes, as they towered above ordinary bishops, surpassed them also in the art of cursing, and exercised it with shocking profanity. Thus Benedict VIII., who crowned Emperor Henry II. (a.d. 1014), excommunicated some reckless vassals of William II., Count of Provence, who sought to lay unhallowed hands upon the property of the monastery of St. Giles,395 and consigned them to Satan with terrible imprecations, although be probably thought he was only following St. Peter's example in condemning Ananias and Sapphira, and Simon Magus.396

"Hardened sinners" (says Lea) "might despise such imprecations, but their effect on believers was necessarily unutterable, when, amid the gorgeous and impressive ceremonial of worship, the bishop, surrounded by twelve priests bearing flaming candles, solemnly recited the awful words which consigned the evil-doer and all his generation to eternal torment with such fearful amplitude and reduplication of malediction, and as the sentence of perdition came to its climax, the attending priests simultaneously cast their candles to the ground and trod them out, as a symbol of the quenching of a human soul in the eternal night of hell. To this was added the expectation, amounting almost to a certainty, that Heaven would not wait for the natural course of events to confirm the judgment thus pronounced, but that the maledictions would be as effective in this world as in the next. Those whom spiritual terrors could not subdue thus were daunted by the fearful stories of the judgment overtaking the hardened sinner who dared to despise the dread anathema."

2. The Anathema is generally used in the same sense as excommunication or separation from church communion and church privileges. But in a narrower sense, it means the "greater" excommunication,397 which excludes from all Christian intercourse and makes the offender an outlaw; while the "minor" excommunication excludes only from the sacrament. Such a distinction was made by Gratian and Innocent III. The anathema was pronounced with more solemn ceremonies. The Council of Nicaea, 335, anathematized the Arians, and the Council of Trent, 1563, closed with three anathemas on all heretics.

3. The Interdict398 extended over a whole town or diocese or district or country, and involved the innocent with the guilty. It was a suspension of religion in public exercise, including even the rites of marriage and burial; only baptism and extreme unction could be performed, and they only with closed doors. It cast the gloom of a funeral over a country, and made people tremble in expectation of the last judgment. This exceptional punishment began in a small way in the fifth century. St. Augustin justly reproved Auxilius, a brother bishop, who abused his power by excommunicating a whole family for the offence of the head, and Pope Leo the Great forbade to enforce the penalty on any who was not a partner in the crime.399 But the bishops and popes of the middle ages, from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, thought otherwise, and resorted repeatedly to this extreme remedy of enforcing obedience. They had some basis for it in the custom of the barbarians to hold the family or tribe responsible for crimes committed by individual members.

The first conspicuous examples of inflicting the Interdict occurred in France. Bishop Leudovald of Bayeux, after consulting with his brother bishops, closed in 586 all the churches of Rouen and deprived the people of the consolations of religion until the murderer of Pretextatus, Bishop of Rouen, who was slain at the altar by a hireling of the savage queen Fredegunda, should be discovered.400 Hincmar of Laon inflicted the interdict on his diocese (869), but Hincmar of Rheims disapproved of it and removed it. The synod of Limoges (Limoisin), in 1031, enforced the Peace of God by the interdict in these words which were read in the church: "We excommunicate all those noblemen (milites) in the bishopric of Limoges who disobey the exhortations of their bishop to hold the Peace. Let them and their helpers be accursed, and let their weapons and horses be accursed! Let their lot be with Cain, Dathan, and Abiram! And as now the lights are extinguished, so their joy in the presence of angels shall be destroyed, unless they repent and make satisfaction before dying." The Synod ordered that public worship be closed, the altars laid bare, crosses and ornaments removed, marriages forbidden; only clergymen, beggars, strangers and children under two years could be buried, and only the dying receive the communion; no clergyman or layman should be shaved till the nobles submit. A signal in the church on the third hour of the day should call all to fall on their knees to pray. All should be dressed in mourning. The whole period of the interdict should be observed as a continued fast and humiliation.401

The popes employed this fearful weapon against disobedient kings, and sacrificed the spiritual comforts of whole nations to their hierarchical ambition. Gregory VII. laid the province of Gnesen under the interdict, because King Bolislaw II. had murdered bishop Stanislaus of Cracow with his own hand. Alexander II. applied it to Scotland (1180), because the king refused a papal bishop and expelled him from the country. Innocent III. suspended it over France (1200), because king Philip Augustus had cast off his lawful wife and lived with a concubine.402 The same pope inflicted this punishment upon England (March 23, 1208), hoping to bring King John (Lackland) to terms. The English interdict lasted over six years during which all religious rites were forbidden except baptism, confession, and the viaticum.

Interdicts were only possible in the middle ages when the church had unlimited power. Their frequency and the impossibility of full execution diminished their power until they fell into contempt and were swept out of existence as the nations of Europe outgrew the discipline of priestcraft and awoke to a sense of manhood.

§ 87. Penance and Indulgence.

Nath. Marshall (Canon of Windsor and translator of Cyprian, d. 1729): The Penitential Discipline of the Primitive Church for the first 400 years after Christ, together with its declension from the fifth century downward to its present state. London 1714. A new ed. in the "Lib. of Anglo-Cath. Theol." Oxford 1844.

Eus. Amort: De Origine, Progressu, Valore ac Fructu Indulgentiarum. Aug. Vindel. 1735 fol.

Muratori: De Redemtione Peccatorum et de Indulgentiarum Origine, in Tom. V. of his Antiquitates Italicae Medii Aevi. Mediol. 1741.

Joh. B. Hirscher (R.C.): Die Lehre vom Ablass. Tübingen, 5th ed. 1844.

G. E. Steitz: Das römische Buss-Sacrament, nach seinem bibl. Grunde und seiner gesch. Entwicklung. Frankf a. M. 1854 (210 pages).

Val. Gröne (R.C.): Der Ablass, seine Geschichte und Bedeutung in der Heilsökonomie. Regensb. 1863.

Domin. Palmieri (R.C.): Tractat. de Poenit. Romae 1879.

George Mead: Art. Penitence, in Smith and Cheetham II. 1586–1608. Wildt, (R.C.): Ablass, in Wetzer and Welte2 I. 94–111; Beichte and Beichtsiegel, II. 221–261. Mejer in Herzog2 I. 90–92. For extracts from sources comp. Gieseler II. 105 sqq.; 193 sqq.; 515 sqq. (Am. ed.)

For the authoritative teaching of the Roman church on the Sacramentum Poenitentiae see Conc. Trident. Sess. XIV. held 1551.

The word repentance or penitence is an insufficient rendering for the corresponding Greek metanoia, which means a radical change of mind or conversion from a sinful to a godly life, and includes, negatively, a turning away from sin in godly sorrow (repentance in the narrower sense) and, positively, a turning to Christ by faith with a determination to follow him.403 The call to repent in this sense was the beginning of the preaching both of John the Baptist, and of Jesus Christ.404

In the Latin church the idea of repentance was externalized and identified with certain outward acts of self-abasement or self-punishment for the expiation of sin. The public penance before the church went out of use during the seventh or eighth century, except for very gross offences, and was replaced by private penance and confession.405 The Lateran Council of 1215 under Pope Innocent III. made it obligatory upon every Catholic Christian to confess to his parish priest at least once a year.406

Penance, including auricular confession and priestly absolution, was raised to the dignity of a sacrament for sins committed after baptism. The theory on which it rests was prepared by the fathers (Tertullian and Cyprian), completed by the schoolmen, and sanctioned by the Roman church. It is supposed that baptism secures perfect remission of past sins, but not of subsequent sins, and frees from eternal damnation, but not from temporal punishment, which culminates in death or in purgatory. Penance is described as a "laborious kind of baptism," and is declared by the Council of Trent to be necessary to salvation for those who have fallen after baptism, as baptism is necessary for those who have not yet been regenerated.407

The sacrament of penance and priestly, absolution includes three elements: contrition of the heart, confession by the mouth, satisfaction by good works.408 On these conditions the priest grants absolution, not simply by a declaratory but by a judicial act. The good works required are especially fasting and almsgiving. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome, Tours, Compostella, and other sacred places were likewise favorite satisfactions. Peter Damiani recommended voluntary self-flagellation as a means to propitiate God. These pious exercises covered in the popular mind the whole idea of penance. Piety was measured by the quantity of good works rather than by quality of character.

Another mediaeval institution must here be mentioned which is closely connected with penance. The church in the West, in her zeal to prevent violence and bloodshed, rightly favored the custom of the barbarians to substitute pecuniary compensation for punishment of an offence, but wrongly applied this custom to the sphere of religion. Thus money, might be substituted for fasting and other satisfactions, and was clothed with an atoning efficacy. This custom seems to have proceeded from the church of England, and soon spread over the continent.409 It degenerated into a regular traffic, and became a rich source for the increase of ecclesiastical and monastic property.

Here is the origin of the indulgences so called, that is the remission of venial sins by the payment of money and on condition of contrition and prayer. The practice was justified by the scholastic theory that the works of supererogation of the saints constitute a treasury of extra-merit and extra-reward which is under the control of the pope. Hence indulgence assumed the special meaning of papal dispensation or remission of sin from the treasury of the overflowing merits of saints, and this power was extended even to the benefit of the dead in purgatory.410

Indulgences may be granted by bishops and archbishops in their dioceses, and by the pope to all Catholics. The former dealt with it in retail, the latter in wholesale. The first instances of papal indulgence occur in the ninth century under Paschalis I. and John VIII. who granted it to those who had fallen in war for the defence of the church. Gregory VI. in 1046 promised it to all who sent contributions for the repair of the churches in Rome. Urban II., at the council of Clermont (1095), offered to the crusaders "by the authority of the princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul," plenary indulgence as a reward for a journey to the Holy Land. The same offer was repeated in every crusade against the Mohammedans and heretics. The popes found it a convenient means for promoting their power and filling their treasury. Thus the granting of indulgences became a periodical institution. Its abuses culminated in the profane and shameful traffic of Tetzel under Leo X. for the benefit of St. Peter's church, but were overruled in the Providence of God for the Reformation and a return to the biblical idea of repentance.


The charge is frequently made against the papal court in the middle ages that it had a regulated scale of prices for indulgences, and this is based on the Tax Tables of the Roman Chancery published from time to time. Roman Catholic writers (as Lingard, Wiseman) say that the taxes are merely fees for the expedition of business and the payment of officials, but cannot deny the shameful avarice of some popes. The subject is fully discussed by Dr. T. L. Green (R.C.), Indulgences, Sacramental Absolutions, and the Tax-Tables of the Roman Chancery and Penitentiary, considered, in reply to the Charge of Venality, London (Longmans) 1872, and, on the Protestant side, by Dr. Richard Gibbings (Prof. of Ch. Hist. in the University of Dublin), The Taxes of the Apostolic Penitentiary; or, the Prices of Sins in the Church of Rome, Dublin 1872. Gibbings reprints the Taxae Sacrae Poenitentiariae Romanae from the Roman ed. of 1510 and the Parisian ed. of 1520, which cover 21 pages in Latin, but the greater part of the book (164 pages) is an historical introduction and polemical discussion.



Comp. vol. III. ch. III. and the Lit. there quoted

§ 88. Legislation.

Mediaeval Christianity is not a direct continuation of the ante-Nicene Christianity in hostile conflict with the heathen state, but of the post-Nicene Christianity in friendly union with a nominally Christian state. The missionaries aimed first at the conversion of the rulers of the barbarian races of Western and Northern Europe. Augustin, with his thirty monks, was provided by Pope Gregory with letters to princes, and approached first King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha in Kent. Boniface leaned on the pope and Charles Martel. The conversion of Clovis decided the religion of the Franks. The Christian rulers became at once the patrons of the church planted among their subjects, and took Constantine and Theodosius for their models. They submitted to the spiritual authority of the Catholic church, but aspired to its temporal government by the appointment of bishops, abbots, and the control over church-property. Hence the frequent collisions of the two powers, which culminated in the long conflict between the pope and the emperor.

The civil and ecclesiastical relations of the middle ages are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to study or understand the one without the other. In Spain, for instance, the synods of Toledo were both ecclesiastical councils and royal parliaments; after the affairs of the church were disposed of, the bishops and nobles met together for the enactment of civil laws, which were sanctioned by the king. The synods and diets held under Charlemagne had likewise a double character. In England the bishops were, and are still, members of the House of Lords, and often occupied seats in the cabinet down to the time of Cardinal Wolsey, who was Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England. The religious persecutions of the middle ages were the joint work of church and state.

This union has a bright and a dark side. It was a wholesome training-school for barbarous races, it humanized and ennobled the state; but it secularized the church and the clergy, and hindered the development of freedom by repressing all efforts to emancipate the mind from the yoke of despotic power. The church gained a victory over the world, but the world gained also a victory over the church. St. Jerome, who witnessed the first effects of the marriage of the church with the Roman empire, anticipated the experience of later ages, when he said: "The church by its connection with Christian princes gained in power and riches, but lost in virtues."411 Dante, who lived in the golden age of the mediaeval hierarchy, and believed the fable of the donation of Constantine to Sylvester, traced the ills of the church to "that marriage-dower" which the first wealthy pope received from the first Christian emperor.

The connection of the ecclesiastical and civil powers is embodied in the legislation which regulates the conduct of man in his relations to his fellow-men, and secures social order and national welfare. It is an index of public morals as far as it presupposes and fixes existing customs; and where it is in advance of popular sentiment, it expresses a moral ideal in the mind of the lawgivers to be realized by the educational power of legal enactments.

During the middle ages there were three systems of jurisprudence: the Roman law, the Barbaric law, and the Canon law. The first two proceeded from civil, the third from ecclesiastical authority. The civil law embodies the records and edicts of emperors and kings, the enactments of diets and parliaments, the decisions of courts and judges. The ecclesiastical law embodies the canons of councils and decretals of popes. The former is heathen in origin, but improved and modified by Christianity; the latter is the direct production of the church, yet as influenced by the state of mediaeval society. Both rest on the union of church and state, and mutually support each other, but it was difficult to draw the precise line of difference, and to prevent occasional collisions of jurisdiction.

§ 89. The Roman Law.

See vol. III. §§ 13 and 18, pp. 90 sqq. And 107 sqq.

Fr. K. von Savigny (Prof. of jurisprudence in Berlin, d. 1861) Geschichte des römischen Rechts im Mittelalter. Berlin 1815–'31 6 vols. Chapter 44 of Gibbon on Roman law. Ozanam: Hist. of the Civilization in the Fifth Century, ch. V. (vol. I. 136–158 in Glyn's transl. Lond. 1868). Milman: Lat. Christ. Bk III. ch.5 (vol. 1. 479 sqq. N. York ed.)

The Justinian code (527–534) transmitted to the middle ages the legislative wisdom and experience of republican and imperial Rome with the humanizing improvements of Stoic philosophy and the Christian religion, but at the same time with penal laws against every departure from the orthodox Catholic creed, which was recognized and protected as the only religion of the state. It maintained its authority in the Eastern empire. It was partly preserved, after the destruction of the Western empire among the Latin inhabitants of Italy, France, and Spain, in a compilation from the older Theodosian code (429438), which contained the post-Constantinian laws, with fragments from earlier collections.

In the twelfth century the Roman law (after the discovery of a copy of the Pandects at Amalfi in 1135, which was afterwards transferred to Florence) began to be studied again with great enthusiasm. A famous school of civil law was established at Bologna. Similar schools arose in connection with the Universities at Paris, Naples, Padua, and other cities. The Roman civil law (Corpus juris civilis), in connection with the ecclesiastical or canon law (Corpus juris canonici), was gradually adopted all over the Continent of Europe, and the Universities granted degrees in both laws conjointly.

Thus Rome, substituting the law for the sword, ruled the world once more for centuries, and subdued the descendants of the very barbarians who had destroyed her empire. The conquered gave laws to the conquerors, mindful of the prophetic line of Virgil:

"Tu, regere imperio populos, Romane, memento."


The anti-heretical part of the Roman law, on which persecution was based, is thus summed up by Dean Milman (Bk III. ch. 5): "A new class of crimes, if not introduced by Christianity, became multiplied, rigorously defined, mercilessly condemned. The ancient Roman theory, that the religion of the State must be the religion of the people, which Christianity had broken to pieces by its inflexible resistance, was restored in more than its former rigor. The code of Justinian confirmed the laws of Theodosius and his successors, which declared certain heresies, Manicheism and Donatism, crimes against the State, as affecting the common welfare. The crime was punishable by confiscation of all property, and incompetency to inherit or to bequeath. Death did not secure the hidden heretic from prosecution; as in high treason, he might be convicted in his grave. Not only was his testament invalid, but inheritance could not descend through him. All who harbored such heretics were liable to punishment; their slaves might desert them, and transfer themselves to an orthodox master. The list of proscribed heretics gradually grew wider. The Manicheans were driven still farther away from the sympathies of mankind; by one Greek constitution they were condemned to capital punishment. Near thirty names of less detested heretics are recited in a law of Theodosius the younger, to which were added, in the time of Justinian, Nestorians, Eutychians, Apollinarians. The books of all these sects were to be burned; yet the formidable number of these heretics made no doubt the general execution of the laws impossible. But the Justinian code, having defined as heretics all who do not believe the Catholic faith, declares such heretics, as well as Pagans, Jews, and Samaritans, incapable of holding civil or military offices, except in the lowest ranks of the latter; they could attain to no civic dignity which was held in honor, as that of the defensors, though such offices as were burdensome might be imposed even on Jews. The assemblies of all heretics were forbidden, their books were to be collected and burned, their rites, baptisms, and ordinations prohibited. Children of heretical parents might embrace orthodoxy; the males the parent could not disinherit, to the females he was bound to give an adequate dowry. The testimony of Manicheans, of Samaritans, and Pagans could not be received; apostates to any of these sects and religions lost all their former privileges, and were liable to all penalties."

§ 90. The Capitularies of Charlemagne.

Steph. Baluzius (Baluze, Prof. of Canon law in Paris, d. 1718): Regum Francorum Capitularia, 1677; new ed. Paris, 1780, 2 vols. Pertz: Monumenta Germaniae historica, Tom. III (improved ed. of the Capitularia). K. Fr. Eichhorn: Deutsche Staats-und Rechtsgeschichte, Göttingen, 1808, 4 Parts; 5th ed. 1844. J. Grimm: Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, Göttingen 1828. Giesebrecht (I. 800) calls this an "unusually rich collection with profound glances into the legal life of the German people." W. Dönniges: Das deutsche Staatsrecht und die deutsche Reichsverfassung, Berlin 1842. F. Walther: Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, second ed. Bonn 1857. J. Hillebrand: Lehrbuch der deutschen Staats-und Rechtsgeschichte, Leipzig 1856. O. Stobbe: Geschichte der deutschen Rechtsquellen, Braunschweig, 1860 (first Part). W. Giesebrecht: Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, third ed. Braunschweig 1863 sqq. Bd I. 106–144.

The first and greatest legislator of the Germanic nations is Charlemagne, the founder of the Holy Roman Empire (800–814). What Constantine the Great, Theodosius the Great, and Justinian did for the old Roman empire on the basis of heathen Rome and the ancient Graeco-Latin church, Charlemagne did for the new Roman Empire in the West on the basis of Germanic customs and the Latin church centred in the Roman papacy. He was greater, more beneficial and enduring in his influence as a legislator than as a soldier and conqueror.412 He proposed to himself the herculean task to organize, civilize and Christianize the crude barbarian customs of his vast empire, and he carried it out with astonishing wisdom. His laws are embodied in the Capitularia, i.e. laws divided into chapters. They are the first great law-book of the French and Germans.413 They contain his edicts and ordinances relating to ecclesiastical, political, and civil legislation, judicial decisions and moral precepts. The influence of the church and the Christian religion is here more direct and extensive than in the Roman Code, and imparts to it a theocratic element which approaches to the Mosaic legislation. The Roman Catholic church with her creed, her moral laws, her polity, was the strongest bond of union which held the Western barbarians together and controlled the views and aims of the emperor. He appears, indeed, as the supreme ruler clothed with sovereign authority. But he was surrounded by the clergy which was the most intelligent and influential factor in legislation both in the synod and in the imperial diet. The emperor and his nobles were under the power of the bishops, and the bishops were secular lords and politicians as well as ecclesiastics. The ecclesiastical affairs were controlled by the Apocrisiarius414 (a sort of minister of worship); the secular affairs, by the Comes palatii;415 both were aided in each province by a delegated bishop and count who were to work in harmony. On important questions the pope was consulted.416 The legislation proceeded from the imperial will, from ecclesiastical councils, and from the diet or imperial assembly. The last consisted of the dignitaries of church and state, the court officials, bishops, abbots, dukes, counts, etc., and convened every spring. The emperor was surrounded at his court by the most eminent statesmen, clergymen and scholars, from whom he was anxious to learn without sacrificing his right to rule. His court was a school of discipline and of that gentlemanly courtesy and refinement which became a distinguishing feature of chivalry, and Charlemagne shone in poetry as the first model cavalier.

The legislation of the Carolingian Capitularies is favorable to the clergy, to monasteries, to the cause of good morals and religion. The marriage tie is protected, even among slaves; the license of divorce restrained; divorced persons are forbidden to marry again during the life-time of the other party. The observance of Sunday is enjoined for the special benefit of the laboring classes. Ecclesiastical discipline is enforced by penal laws in cases of gross sins such as incest. Superstitious customs, as consulting soothsayers and the Scriptures for oracles, are discouraged, but the ordeal is enjoined. Wholesome moral lessons are introduced, sometimes in the language of the Scriptures: the people are warned against perjury, against feud, against shedding Christian blood, against the oppression of the poor (whose cause should be heard by the judges before the cause of the rich). They are exhorted to learn the Apostles' Creed and to pray, to love one another and to live in peace, "because they have one Father in heaven." Cupidity is called "a root of all evil." Respect for the dead is encouraged. Hospitality is recommended for the reason that he who receives a little child in the name of Christ, receives him.

This legislation was much neglected under the weak successors of Charlemagne, but remains a noble monument of his intentions.

§ 91. English Legislation.

Wilkin: Leges Anglo-Saxonicae (1721). Thorpe: Ancient Laws and Institutes of England (London 1840). Matthew Hale: History of the Common Law (6th ed. by Runnington, 1820). Reeve: History of the English Law (new ed. by Finalson l869, 3 vols.). Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England (London 1765, many ed. Engl. and Amer.). Burn: Ecclesiastical Law (9th ed. by Phillimore, 1842, 4 vols.). Phillimore: Ecclesiastical Law of the Church of England (Lond. 1873, 2 vols.). Wm. Strong (Justice of the Supreme Court of the U. S.): Two Lectures upon the Relations of Civil Law to Church Property (N. York 1875).

England never accepted the Roman civil law, and the canon law only in part. The island in its isolation was protected by the sea against foreign influence, and jealous of it. It built up its own system of jurisprudence on the basis of Anglo-Saxon habits and customs. The English civil law is divided into Common Law or lex non scripta (i.e. not written at first), and Statute Law or lex scripta. They are related to each other as oral tradition and the Bible are in theology. The Common Law embodies the ancient general and local customs of the English people, handed down by word of mouth from time immemorial, and afterwards recorded in the decisions of judges who are regarded as the living oracles of interpretation and application, and whose decisions must be adhered to in similar cases of litigation. It is Anglo-Saxon in its roots, and moulded by Norman lawyers, under the influence of Christian principles of justice and equity. Blackstone, the standard expounder of English law, says, "Christianity is a part of the Common Law of England."417 Hence the laws against religious offences, as blasphemy, profane swearing, desecration of the Lord's Day, apostasy from Christianity, and heresy.418

The Christian character of English legislation is due in large measure to the piety of the Anglo-Saxon kings, especially Alfred the Great (849–901), and Edward III., the Confessor 1004–1066, canonized by Alexander III., 1166), who prepared digests of the laws of the realm. Their piety was, of course, ascetic and monastic, but enlightened for their age and animated by the spirit of justice and charity. The former is styled Legum Anglicanarum Conditor, the latter Legum Anglicanarum Restitutor.

Alfred's Dome-Book or Liber justicialis was lost during the irruption of the Danes, but survived in the improved code of Edward the Confessor. Alfred was for England what Charlemagne was for France and Germany, a Christian ruler, legislator, and educator of his people. He is esteemed "the wisest, best, and greatest king that ever reigned in England." Although he was a great sufferer from epilepsy or some similar bodily infirmity which seized him suddenly from time to time and made him despair of life, he performed, like St. Paul in spite of his thorn in the flesh, an incredible amount of work. The grateful memory of his people ascribed to him institutions and laws, rights and privileges which existed before his time, but in many respects he was far ahead of his age. When he ascended the throne, "hardly any one south of the Thames could understand the ritual of the church or translate a Latin letter." He conceived the grand scheme of popular national education. For this end he rebuilt the churches and monasteries which had been ruined by the Danes, built new ones, imported books from Rome, invited scholars from the Continent to his court, translated with their aid Latin works (as Gregory's Pastoral Care, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, and Boethius's Consolations of Philosophy) into the Anglo-Saxon, collected the laws of the country, and remodelled the civil and ecclesiastical organization of his kingdom.

His code is introduced with the Ten Commandments and other laws taken from the Bible. It protects the stranger in memory of Israel's sojourn in Egypt; it gives the Christian slave freedom in the seventh year, as the Mosaic law gave to the Jewish bondman; it protects the laboring man in his Sunday rest; it restrains blood thirsty passions of revenge by establishing bots or fines for offences; it enjoins the golden rule (in the negative form), not to do to any man what we would not have done to us.419

"In all these words of human brotherhood, of piety, and the spirit of justice, of pity and humanity, uttered by the barbaric lawgivers of a wild race, there speaks a great Personality—the embodiment of the highest sympathy and most disinterested virtue of mankind. It cannot be said indeed that these religious influences, so apparently genuine, produced any powerful effect on society in Anglo-Saxon England, though they modified the laws. Still they began the history of the religious forces in England which, though obscured by much formalism and hypocrisy and weakened by selfishness, have yet worked out slowly the great moral and humane reforms in the history of that country, and have tended with other influences to make it one of the great leaders of modern progress."420


John Richard Green, in his posthumous work, The Conquest of England (N. York ed. 1884, p. 179 sq.), pays the following eloquent and just tribute to the character of King Aelfred (as he spells the name): "Aelfred stands in the forefront of his race, for he is the noblest as he is the most complete embodiment of all that is great, all that is lovable in the English temper, of its practical energy, its patient and enduring force, of the reserve and self-control that give steadiness and sobriety to a wide outlook and a restless daring, of its temperance and fairness, its frankness and openness, its sensitiveness to affection, its poetic tenderness, its deep and reverent religion. Religion, indeed, was the groundwork of Aelfred's character. His temper was instinct with piety. Everywhere, throughout his writings that remain to us, the name of God, the thought of God, stir him to outbursts of ecstatic adoration. But of the narrowness, the want of proportion, the predominance of one quality over another, which commonly goes with an intensity of religious feeling or of moral purpose, he showed no trace. He felt none of that scorn of the world about him which drove the nobler souls of his day to monastery or hermitage. Vexed as he was by sickness and constant pain, not only did his temper take no touch of asceticism, but a rare geniality, a peculiar elasticity and mobility of nature, gave color and charm to his life .... Little by little men came to recognize in Aelfred a ruler of higher and nobler stamp than the world had seen. Never had it seen a king who lived only for the good of his people .... 'I desire,' said the king, 'to leave to the men that come after me a remembrance of me in good works. His aim has been more than fulfilled .... While every other name of those earlier times has all but faded from the recollection of Englishmen, that of Aelfred remains familiar to every English child.'



Comp. vol. III. ch. VII., and Neander III. 123–140; 425–455 (Boston ed.).

§ 92. The Mass.

Comp. vol. III. § 96–101 and the liturgical Lit. there quoted; also the works on Christian and Ecclesiastical Antiquities, e.g. Siegel III. 361–411.

The public worship centered in the celebration of the mass as an actual, though unbloody, repetition of the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world. In this respect the Eastern and Western churches are fully agreed to this day. They surround this ordinance with all the solemnity of a mysterious symbolism. They differ only in minor details.

Pope Gregory I. improved the Latin liturgy, and gave it that shape which it substantially retains in the Roman church.421 He was filled with the idea that the eucharist embodies the reconciliation of heaven and earth, of eternity and time, and is fraught with spiritual benefit for the living and the pious dead in one unbroken communion. When the priest offers the unbloody sacrifice to God, the heavens are opened, the angel are present, and the visible and invisible worlds united.422

Gregory introduced masses for the dead,423 in connection with the doctrine of purgatory which he developed and popularized. They were based upon the older custom of praying for the departed, and were intended to alleviate and abridge the penal sufferings of those who died in the Catholic faith, but in need of purification from remaining infirmities. Very few Catholics are supposed to be prepared for heaven; and hence such masses were often ordered beforehand by the dying, or provided by friends.424 They furnished a large income to priests. The Oriental church has no clearly defined doctrine of purgatory, but likewise holds that the departed are benefited by prayers of the living, "especially such as are offered in union with the oblation of the bloodless sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory."425

The high estimate of the efficacy of the sacrament led also to the abuse of solitary masses, where the priest celebrates without attendants.426 This destroys the original character of the institution as a feast of communion with the Redeemer and the redeemed. Several synods in the age of Charlemagne protested against the practice. The Synod of Mainz in 813 decreed: "No presbyter, as it seems to us, can sing masses alone rightly, for how will he say sursum corda! or Dominus vobiscum! when there is no one with him?" A reformatory Synod of Paris, 829, prohibits these masses, and calls them a "reprehensible practice," which has crept in "partly through neglect, partly through avarice."427

The mysterious character of the eucharist was changed into the miraculous and even the magical with the spread of the belief in the doctrine of transubstantiation. But the doctrine was contested in two controversies before it triumphed in the eleventh century.428

The language of the mass was Greek in the Eastern, Latin in the Western church. The Latin was an unknown tongue to the barbarian races of Europe. It gradually went out of use among the descendants of the Romans, and gave place to the Romanic languages. But the papal church, sacrificing the interests of the people to the priesthood, and rational or spiritual worship429 to external unity, retained the Latin language in the celebration of the mass to this day, as the sacred language of the church. The Council of Trent went so far as to put even the uninspired Latin Vulgate practically on an equality with the inspired Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.430

§ 93. The Sermon.

As the chief part of divine service was unintelligible to the people, it was all the more important to supplement it by preaching and catechetical instruction in the vernacular tongues. But this is the weak spot in the church of the middle ages.431

Pope Gregory I. preached occasionally with great earnestness, but few popes followed his example. It was the duty of bishops to preach, but they often neglected it. The Council of Clovesho, near London, which met in 747 under Cuthbert, archbishop of Canterbury, for the reformation of abuses, decreed that the bishops should annually visit their parishes, instruct and exhort the abbots and monks, and that all presbyters should be able to explain the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the mass, and the office of baptism to the people in the vernacular.432 A Synod of Tours, held in the year 813, and a Synod of Mainz, held under Rabanus Maurus in 847, decreed that every bishop should have a collection of homilies and translate them clearly "in rusticam Romanam linguam aut Theotiscam, i.e. into French (Romance) or German," "in order that all may understand them."433

The great majority of priests were too ignorant to prepare a sermon, and barely understood the Latin liturgical forms. A Synod of Aix, 802, prescribed that they should learn the Athanasian and Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer with exposition, the Sacramentarium or canon of the mass, the formula of exorcism, the commendatio animae, the Penitential, the Calendar and the Roman cantus; they should learn to understand the homilies for Sundays and holy days as models of preaching, and read the pastoral theology of Pope Gregory. This was the sum and substance of clerical learning.434 The study of the Greek Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures was out of the question, and there was hardly a Western bishop or pope in the middle ages who was able to study the divine oracles in the original.

The best, therefore, that the priests and deacons, and even most of the bishops could do was to read the sermons of the fathers. Augustin had given this advice to those who were not skilled in composition. It became a recognized practice in France and England. Hence the collection of homilies, called Homiliaria, for the Gospels and Epistles of Sundays and holy days. They are mostly patristic compilations. Bede's collection, called Homilice de Tempore, contains thirty-three homilies for the summer, fifteen for the winter, twenty-two for Lent, besides sermons on saints' days. Charlemagne commissioned Paulus Diaconus or Paul Warnefrid (a monk of Monte Cassino and one of his chaplains, the historian of the Lombards, and writer of poems on saints) to prepare a Homiliarium (or Omiliarius) about a.d. 780, and recommended it for adoption in the churches of France. It follows the order of Sundays and festivals, is based on the text of the Vulgate, and continued in use more or less for several centuries.435 Other collections were made in later times, and even the Reformed church of England under Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth found it necessary to provide ignorant clergymen with two Books of Homilies adapted to the doctrines of the Reformation.

In this connection we must allude again to the poetic reproductions of the Bible history, namely, the divine epos of Caedmon, the Northumbrian monk (680), the Saxon Heliand" (Heiland, i.e. Saviour, about 880), and the "Christ" or Gospel Harmony of Otfrid (a pupil of Rabanus Maurus, about 870). These works were effective popular sermons on the history of redemption, and are at the same time the most valuable remains of the Anglo-Saxon and old high German dialects of the Teutonic language.436

It was, however, not till the Reformation of the sixteenth century that the sermon and the didactic element were restored and fully recognized in their dignity and importance as regular and essential parts of public worship. I say, worship, for to expound the oracles of God, and devoutly to listen to such exposition is or ought to be worship both on the part of the preacher and on the part of the hearer, as well as praying and singing.

§ 94. Church Poetry. Greek Hymns and Hymnists.

See the Lit. in vol. III. § 113 (p. 575 sq.) and § 114 (p. 578), and add the following:

Cardinal Pitra: Hymnographie de l'église grecque. Rome 1867. By the same: Analecta Sacra Spicilegio Solesmensi parata, T. I. Par. 1876.

Wilhelm Christ et M. Paranikas: Anthologia Graeca carminum Christianorum. Lips. 1871. CXLIV and 268 pages. The Greek text with learned Prolegomena in Latin. Christ was aided by Paranikas, a member of the Greek church. Comp. Christ: Beiträge zur kirchlichen Literatur der Byzantiner. München 1870.

[?]. L. Jacobi (Prof. of Church Hist. in Halle): Zur Geschichte der griechischen Kirchenliedes (a review of Pitra's Analecta), in Brieger's "Zeitschrift für Kirchengesch., "vol. V. Heft 2, p. 177–250 (Gotha 1881).

For a small selection of Greek hymns in the original see the third volume of Daniel's Thesaurus Hymnologicus (1855), and Bässler's Auswahl altchristlicher Lieder (1858), p. 153–166.

For English versions see especially J. M. Neale: Hymns of the Eastern Church (Lond. 1862, third ed. 1866, 159 pages; new ed. 1876, in larger print 250 pages); also Schaff: Christ in Song (1869), which gives versions of 14 Greek (and 73 Latin) hymns. German translations in Bässler, l.c. p. 3–25.

[Syrian Hymnology. To the lit. mentioned vol. III. 580 add: Gust. Bickell: S. Ephraemi Syri Carmina Nisibena, additis prolegomenis et supplemento lexicorum syriacorum edidit, vertit, explicavit. Lips.] 1866. Carl Macke: Hymnen aus dem Zweiströmeland. Dichtungen des heil. Ephrem des Syrers aus dem syr. Urtext in's Deutsche übertragen, etc. Mainz 1882. 270 pages. Macke is a pupil of Bickell and a successor of Zingerle as translator of Syrian church poetry.]

The general church histories mostly neglect or ignore hymnology, which is the best reflection of Christian life and worship.

The classical period of Greek church poetry extends from about 650 to 820, and nearly coincides with the iconoclastic controversy. The enthusiasm for the worship of saints and images kindled a poetic inspiration, and the chief advocates of that worship were also the chief hymnists.437 Their memory is kept sacred in the Eastern church. Their works are incorporated in the ritual books, especially the Menaea, which contain in twelve volumes (one for each month) the daily devotions and correspond to the Latin Breviary.438 Many are still unpublished and preserved in convent libraries. They celebrate the holy Trinity and the Incarnation, the great festivals, and especially also the Virgin Mary, the saints and martyrs, and sacred icons.

The Greek church poetry is not metrical and rhymed, but written in rhythmical prose for chanting, like the Psalms, the hymns of the New Testament, the Gloria in Excelsis and the Te Deum. The older hymnists were also melodists and composed the music.439 The stanzas are called troparia;440 the first troparion is named hirmos, because it strikes the tune and draws the others after it.441 Three or more stanzas form an ode; three little odes are a triodion; nine odes or three triodia form a canon. The odes usually end with a doxology (doxa) and a stanza in praise of Mary the Mother of God (theotokion).442 A hymn with a tune of its own is called an idiomelon.443

This poetry fills, according to Neale, more than nine tenths or four fifths of the Greek service books. It has been heretofore very little known and appreciated in the West, but is now made accessible.444 It contains some precious gems of genuine Christian hymns, buried in a vast mass of monotonous, bombastic and tasteless laudations of unknown confessors and martyrs, and wonder-working images.445

The Greek church poetry begins properly with the anonymous but universally accepted and truly immortal Gloria in Excelsis of the third century.446 The poems of Gregory of Nazianzus (d. 390), and Synesius of Cyrene (d. about 414), who used the ordinary classical measures, are not adapted and were not intended for public worship.447

The first hymnist of the Byzantine period, is Anatolius patriarch of Constantinople (d. about 458). He struck out the new path of harmonious prose, and may be compared to Venantius Fortunatus in the West.448

We now proceed to the classical period of Greek church poetry.

In the front rank of Greek hymnists stands St. John Of Damascus, surnamed Mansur (d. in extreme old age about 780). He is the greatest systematic theologian of the Eastern church and chief champion of image-worship against iconoclasm under the reigns of Leo the Isaurian (717–741), and Constantinus Copronymus (741–775). He spent a part of his life in the convent of Mar Sâba (or St. Sabas) in the desolate valley of the Kedron, between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.449 He was thought to have been especially inspired by the Virgin Mary, the patron of that Convent, to consecrate his muse to the praise of Christ. He wrote a great part of the Octoechus, which contains the Sunday services of the Eastern church. His canon for Easter Day is called "the golden Canon" or "the queen of Canons," and is sung at midnight before Easter, beginning with the shout of joy, "Christ is risen," and the response, "Christ is risen indeed." His memory is celebrated December 4.450

Next to him, and as melodist even above him in the estimation of the Byzantine writers, is St. Cosmas Of Jerusalem, called the Melodist. He is, as Neale says, "the most learned of the Greek poets, and the Oriental Adam of St. Victor." Cosmas and John of Damascus were foster-brothers, friends and fellow-monks at Mar Sâba, and corrected each other's compositions. Cosmas was against his will consecrated bishop of Maiuma near Gaza in Southern Palestine, by John, patriarch of Jerusalem. He died about 760 and is commemorated on the 14th of October. The stichos prefixed to his life says:

"Where perfect sweetness dwells, is Cosmas gone;

But his sweet lays to cheer the church live on."451

The third rank is occupied by St. Theophanes, surnamed the Branded,452 one of the most fruitful poets. He attended the second Council of Nicaea (787). During the reign of Leo the Arminian (813) he suffered imprisonment, banishment and mutilation for his devotion to the Icons, and died about 820. His "Chronography" is one of the chief sources for the history of the image-controversy.453

The following specimen from Adam's lament of his fall is interesting:

"Adam sat right against the Eastern gate,

By many a storm of sad remembrance tost:

O me! so ruined by the serpent's hate!

O me! so glorious once, and now so lost!

So mad that bitter lot to choose!

Beguil'd of all I had to lose!

Must I then, gladness of my eyes, —

Must I then leave thee, Paradise,

And as an exile go?

And must I never cease to grieve

How once my God, at cool of eve,

Came down to walk below?

O Merciful! on Thee I call:

O Pitiful! forgive my fall!"

The other Byzantine hymnists who preceded or succeeded those three masters, are the following. Their chronology is mostly uncertain or disputed.

Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople in the reign of Heracleus (610–641), figures in the beginning of the Monotheletic controversy, and probably suggested the union formula to that emperor. He is supposed by Christ to be the author of a famous and favorite hymn Akathistos, in praise of Mary as the deliverer of Constantinople from the siege of the Persians (630), but it is usually ascribed to Georgius Pisida.454

Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (629), celebrated in Anacreontic metres the praises of Christ, the apostles, and martyrs, and wrote idiomela with music for the church service 455

Maximus The Confessor (580–662), the leader and martyr of the orthodox dyotheletic doctrine in the Monotheletic controversy, one of the profoundest divines and mystics of the Eastern Church, wrote a few hymns.456

Germanus (634–734), bishop of Cyzicus, then patriarch of Constantinople (715), was deposed, 730, for refusing to comply with the iconoclastic edicts of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (717–741), and died in private life, aged about one hundred years. He is "regarded by the Greeks as one of their most glorious Confessors" (Neale). Among his few poetical compositions are stanzas on Symeon the Stylite, on the prophet Elijah, on the Decollation of John the Baptist, and a canon on the wonder-working Image in Edessa.457

Andrew Of Crete (660–732) was born at Damascus, became monk at Jerusalem, deacon at Constantinople, archbishop of Crete, took part in the Monotheletic Synod of 712, but afterwards returned to orthodoxy. In view of this change and his advocacy of the images, he was numbered among the saints. He is regarded as the inventor of the Canons. His "Great Canon" is sung right through on the Thursday of Mid-Lent week, which is called from that hymn. It is a confession of sin and an invocation of divine mercy. It contains no less than two hundred and fifty (Neale says, three hundred) stanzas.458

John of Damascus reduced the unreasonable length of the canons.

Another Andrew, called jAndreva" Purov" or Purrov", is credited with eight idiomela in the Menaea, from which Christ has selected the praise of Peter and Paul as the best.459

Stephen The Sabaite (725–794) was a nephew of John of Damascus, and spent fifty-nine years in the convent of Mar Sâba, which is pitched, like an eagle's nest, on the wild rocks of the Kedron valley. He is commemorated on the 13th of July. He struck the key-note of Neale's exquisite hymn of comfort, "Art thou weary," which is found in some editions of the Octoechus. He is the inspirer rather than the author of that hymn, which is worthy of a place in every book of devotional poetry.460

Romanus, deacon in Berytus, afterwards priest in Constantinople, is one of the most original and fruitful among the older poets. Petra ascribes to him twenty-five hymns. He assigned him to the reign of Anastasius I. (491–518), but Christ to the reign of Anastasius II. (713–719), and Jacobi with greater probability to the time of Constantinus Pogonatus (681–685).461

Theodore Of The Studium (a celebrated convent near Constantinople) is distinguished for his sufferings in the iconoclastic controversy, and died in exile, 826, on the eleventh of November. He wrote canons for Lent and odes for the festivals of saints. The spirited canon on Sunday of Orthodoxy in celebration of the final triumph of image-worship in 842, is ascribed to him, but must be of later date as he died before that victory.462

Joseph Of The Studium, a brother of Theodore, and monk of that convent, afterwards Archbishop of Thessalonica (hence also called Thessalonicensis), died in prison in consequence of tortures inflicted on him by order of the Emperor Theophilus (829–842). He is sometimes confounded (even by Neale) with Joseph Hymnographus; but they are distinguished by Nicephorus and commemorated on different days.463

Theoctistus Of The Studium (about 890) is the author of a "Suppliant Canon to Jesus," the only thing known of him, but the sweetest Jesus-hymn of the Greek Church.464

Joseph, called Hymnographus (880), is the most prolific, most bombastic, and most tedious of Greek hymn-writers. He was a Sicilian by birth, at last superintendent of sacred vessels in a church at Constantinople. He was a friend of Photius, and followed him into exile. He is credited with a very large number of canons in the Mencaea and the Octoechus.465

Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople (784), was the chief mover in the restoration of Icons and the second Council of Nicaea (787). He died Feb. 25, 806. His hymns are Unimportant.466

EUTHYMIUS, usually known as Syngelus or Syncellus (died about 910), is the author of a penitential canon to the Virgin Mary, which is much esteemed in the East.467

Elias, bishop of Jerusalem about 761, and Orestes, bishop of the same city, 996–1012, have been brought to light as poets by the researches of Pitra from the libraries of Grotta Ferrata, and other convents.

In addition to these may be mentioned Methodius (846)468 Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 891), Metrophanes of Smyrna (900), Leo VI., or the Philosopher, who troubled the Eastern Church by a fourth marriage (886–917), Symeon Metaphrastes (Secretary and Chancellor of the Imperial Court at Constantinople, about 900), Kasias, Nilus Xanthopulus, Joannes Geometra, and Mauropus (1060). With the last the Greek hymnody well nigh ceased. A considerable number of hymns cannot be traced to a known author.469

We give in conclusion the best specimens of Greek hymnody as reproduced and adapted to modern use by Dr. Neale.

'Tis the Day of Resurrection.

( jAnastavsew" hJmevra.)

By St. John of Damascus.

'Tis the Day of Resurrection,

Earth, tell it out abroad!

The Passover of gladness,

The Passover of God!

From death to life eternal,

From earth unto the sky,

Our Christ hath brought us over,

With hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil,

That we may see aright

The Lord in rays eternal

Of resurrection light:

And, listening to His accents,

May hear, so calm and plain,

His own "All hail!"—and hearing,

May raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be!

Let earth her song begin!

Let the round world keep triumph,

And all that is therein:

In grateful exultation

Their notes let all things blend,

For Christ the Lord hath risen,

Our joy that hath no end.


Jesu, name all names above.

(!Ihsou' glukuvtate.)

By St. Theoctistus of the Studium.

Jesu, name all names above,

Jesu, best and dearest,

Jesu, Fount of perfect love,

Holiest, tenderest, nearest!

Jesu, source of grace completest,

Jesu truest, Jesu sweetest,

Jesu, Well of power divine,

Make me, keep me, seal me Thine!

Jesu, open me the gate

Which the sinner entered,

Who in his last dying state

Wholly on Thee ventured.

Thou whose wounds are ever pleading,

And Thy passion interceding,

From my misery let me rise

To a home in Paradise!

Thou didst call the prodigal;

Thou didst pardon Mary:

Thou whose words can never fall

Love can never vary,

Lord, amidst my lost condition

Give—for Thou canst give—contrition!

Thou canst pardon all mine ill

If Thou wilt: O say, "I will!"

Woe, that I have turned aside

After fleshly pleasure!

Woe, that I have never tried

For the heavenly treasure!

Treasure, safe in homes supernal;

Incorruptible, eternal!

Treasure no less price hath won

Than the Passion of the Son!

Jesu, crowned with thorns for me,

Scourged for my transgression!

Witnessing, through agony,

That Thy good confession;

Jesu, clad in purple raiment,

For my evils making payment;

Let not all thy woe and pain,

Let not Calvary be in vain!

When I reach Death's bitter sea,

And its waves roll higher,

Help the more forsaking me,

As the storm draws nigher:

Jesu, leave me not to languish,

Helpless, hopeless, full of anguish!

Tell me,—"Verily, I say,

Thou shalt be with me to-day!"

Art thou weary?

(Kovpon te kai; kavmaton.)

By St. Stephen The Sabaite.

Art thou weary, art thou languid,

Art thou sore distrest?

"Come to me"—saith One—"and coming

Be at rest!"

Hath He marks to lead me to Him,

If He be my Guide?

"In His feet and hands are wound-prints,

And His side."

Is there diadem, as Monarch,

That His brow adorns?

"Yea, a crown in very surety,

But of thorns!"

If I find Him, if I follow,

What His guerdon here?

"Many a sorrow, many a labor,

Many a tear."

If I still hold closely to Him,

What hath He at last?

Sorrow vanquished, labor ended,

Jordan past!"

If I ask Him to receive me,

Will He say me nay?

Not till earth, and not till heaven

Pass away!"

Finding, following, keeping, struggling

Is He sure to bless?

Angels, martyrs, prophets, virgins,

Answer, Yes!"

§ 95. Latin Hymnody. Literature.

See vol. III. 585 sqq. The following list covers the whole mediaeval period of Latin hymnody.

I. Latin Collections.

The Breviaries and Missals. The hymnological collections of Clichtovaeus (Paris 1515, Bas. 1517 and 1519.), Cassander (Col. 1556), Ellinger (Frankf. a. M. 1578), Georg Fabricius (Poetarum Veterum ecclesiasticorum Opera, Bas. 1564). See the full titles of Breviaries and these older collections in Daniel, vol. I. XIII-XXII. and vol. II. VIII-XIV.

Cardinal Jos. Maria Thomasius (Tomasi, 1649–1713, one of the chief expounders of the liturgy and ceremonies of the Roman church): Opera Omnia. Rom. 1741 sqq., 7 vols. The second volume, p. 351–403, contains the Hymnarium de anni circulo, etc., for which he compared the oldest Vatican and other Italian MSS. of hymns down to the eighth century. The same vol. includes the Breviarium Psalterii. The fourth (1749) contains the Responsorialia et antiphonaria Romanae ecclesia, and the sixth vol. (1751) a collection of Missals. Thomasius is still very valuable. Daniel calls his book "fons primarius."

Aug. Jak. Rambach (Luth. Pastor in Hamburg, b. 1777, d. 1851): Anthologie christlicher Gesänge aus alien Jahrh. der christl. Kirche. Altona and Leipzig 1817–1833, 6 vols. The first vol. contains Latin hymns with German translations and notes. The other volumes contain only German hymns, especially since the Reformation. Rambach was a pioneer in hymnology.

Job. Kehrein (R.C.): Lat. Anthologie aus den christl. Dichtern des Mittelalters. Frankfurt a. m. 1840. See his larger work below.

[John Henry Newman, Anglican, joined the Rom. Ch. 1845]: Hymni Ecclesiae. Lond. (Macmillan) 1838; new ed. 1865 (401 pages). Contains only hymns from the Paris, Roman, and Anglican Breviaries. The preface to the first part is signed "J. H. N." and dated Febr. 21, 1838, but no name appears on the title page. About the same time Card. N. made his translations of Breviary hymns, which are noticed below, sub. III.

H. A. Daniel (Lutheran, d. 1871): Thesaurus Hymnologicus. Lips. 1841–1856, 5 Tomi. The first, second, fourth and fifth vols. contain Lat. hymns, the fourth Greek and Syrian h. A rich standard collection, but in need of revision

P. J. Mone (R. Cath. d. 1871): Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters. Freiburg i. B. 1853–'55, 3 vols. From MSS with notes. Contains in all 1215 hymns divided into three divisions of almost equal size; (1) Hymns to God and the angels (461 pages); (2) Hymns to the Virgin Mary, (457 pages); (3) Hymns to saints (579 pages).

D. Ozanam: Documents inédits pour servir a l'histoire littéraire de l'Italie. Paris 1850. Contains a collection of old Latin hymns, reprinted in Migne's "Patrol. Lat." vol. 151, fol. 813–824.

Joseph Stevenson: Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church; with an Interlinear Anglo-Saxon Gloss, from a MS. of the eleventh century in Durham Library. 1851 (Surtees Soc.).

J. M. Neale (Warden of Sackville College, high Anglican, d. 1866): Sequentiae ex Missalibus Germanicis, Anglicis, Gallicis, aliisque medii aevi collectae. Lond. 1852. 284 pages. Contains 125 sequences.

Felix Clément: Carmina e Poetis Christianis excerpta. Parisiis (Gaume Fratres) 1854. 564 pages. The Latin texts of hymns from the 4th to the 14th century, with French notes.

R. Ch. Trench (Archbishop of Dublin): Sacred Latin Poetry, chiefly Lyrical. Lond. and Cambridge, 1849; 2d ed. 1864; 3rd ed. revised and improved, 1874. (342 pages). With an instructive Introduction and notes.

Ans. Schubiger: Die Sängerschule St. Gallens vom 8ten bis 12ten Jahrh. Einsiedeln 1858. Gives sixty texts with the old music and facsimiles.

P. Gall Morel (R.C.): Lat. Hymnen des Mittelalters, grösstentheils aus Handschriften schweizerischer Klöster. Einsiedeln (Benziger) 1868 (341 pages). Mostly Marienlieder and Heiligenlieder (p. 30–325). Supplementary to Daniel and Mone.

Phil. Wackernagel (Luth., d. 1877): Das deutsche Kirchenlied von der ältesten Zeit bis zum Anfang des XVII. Jahrh. Leipz. 1864–1877, 5 vols. (the last vol. ed. by his two sons). This is the largest monumental collection of older German hymns; but the first vol. contains Latin hymns and sequences from the fourth to the sixteenth century.

Karl Bartsch (Prof of Germ. and Romanic philology in Rostock): Die lateinischen Sequenzen des Mittelalters in musikalischer und rhythmischer Beziehung dargestellt. Rostock 1868.

Chs. Buchanan Pierson: Sequences from the Sarum Missal. London 1871.

Joseph Kehrein (R.C.): Lateinische Sequenzen des Mittelalters aus Handschriften und Drucken. Mainz 1873 (620 pages). The most complete collection of Sequences (over 800). He divides the sequences, like Mone the hymns, according to the subject (Lieder an Gott, Engellieder, Marienlieder, Heiligenlieder). Comp. also his earlier work noticed above.

Francis A. March: Latin Hymns, with English Notes. N. York, 1874.

W. McIlvaine: Lyra Sacra Hibernica. Belfast, 1879. (Contains hymns of St. Patrick, Columba, and Sedulius).

E. Dümmler: Poëtae Latini Aevi Carolini. Berol. 1880–'84, 2 vols. Contains also hymns, II. p. 244–258.

Special editions of Adam of St. Victor: L. Gautier: La aeuvres poétiques d' Adam de S. Victor. Par. 1858 and 1859, 2 vols. Digby S. Wrangham (of St. John's College, Oxford): The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor. Lond. 1881, 3 vols. (The Latin text of Gautier with E. Version in the original metres and with short notes). On the Dies Irae see the monograph of Lisco (Berlin 1840). It has often been separately published, e.g. by Franklin Johnson, Cambridge, Mass. 1883. So also the Stabat Mater, and the hymn of Bernard of Cluny De Contemptu Mundi (which furnished the thoughts for Neale's New Jerusalem hymns). The hymns of St. Bernard, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventura, are in the complete editions of their works. For St. Bernard see Migne's "Patrol. Lat." vol. 184, fol. 1307–1330; for Abelard, vol. 178, fol. 1759–1824.

II. Historical and Critical.

Polyc. Leyser: Historia Poëtarum et Poëmatum Medii Aevi. Halae 1721.

Friedr. Münter: Ueber die älteste christl. Poesie. Kopenhagen 1806.

Edélstand Du Méril: Poésies populaires Latines anterieures au douzième siècle. Paris 1843. Poésies populaire's Latines du moyen âge. Paris 1847.

Trench: Introd. to his S. Lat. Poetry. See above.

Baehr: Die christl. Dichter und Geschichtschreiber Roms. Karlsruhe 1836 , 2nd ed., revised, 1872 (with bibliography).

Edward Emil Koch: Geschichte des Kirchenlieds und Kirchengesangs in der christlichen, insbesondere der deutschen evangel. Kirche. Stuttgart, third ed. rev. and enlarged 1866–1876, 7 vols. This very instructive and valuable work treats of Latin hymnology, but rather superficially, in vol. I. 40–153.

Ad. Ebert: Allgem. Gesch. der Lit. des Mittelalters im Abendlande, vol. I. (Leipz. 1874), the third book (p. 516 sqq.), and vol. II. (1880) which embraces the age of Charlemagne and his successors.

Joh. Kayser (R.C.): Beiträge zur Geschichte und Erklärung der ältesten Kirchenhymnen. Paderborn, 2d ed. 1881. 477 pages, comes down only to the sixth century and closes with Fortunatus. See also his article Der Text des Hymnus Stabat Mater dolorosa, in the Tübingen "Theol. Quartalschrift" for 1884, No. I. p. 85–103.

III. English translations.

John Chandler (Anglican, d. July 1, 1876): The Hymns of the Primitive Church, now first collected, translated and arranged. London 1837. Contains 108 Latin hymns with Chandler's translations.

Richard Mant (Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, d. Nov. 2, 1848): Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary. 1837. New ed. Lond. and Oxf. 1871. (272 pages)

John Henry Newman:] Verses on Various Occasions. London 1868 (reprinted in Boston, by Patrick Donahue). The Preface is dated Dec. 21, 1867, and signed J. H. N. The book contains the original poems of the Cardinal, and his translations of the Roman Breviary Hymns and two from the Parisian Breviary, which, as stated in a note on p. 186, were all made in 1836–38, i.e. eight years before he left the Church of England.

Isaac Williams (formerly of Trinity College, Oxford, d. 1865): Hymns translated from the Parisian Breviary. London 1839.

Edward Caswall (Anglican, joined the R.C. Church 1847, d. Jan. 2, 1878): Lyra Catholica. Containing all the Breviary and Missal Hymns together with some other hymns. Lond. 1849. (311 pages). Reprinted N. Y. 1851. Admirable translations. They are also included in his Hymns and Poems, original and translated. London 2d ed. 1873.

John David Chambers (Recorder of New Sarum): Lauda Syon. Ancient Latin Hymns in the English and other Churches, translated into corresponding metres. Lond. 1857 (116 pages.)

J. M. Neale: Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences. Lond. 1862; 3d ed. 1867. (224 pages). Neale is the greatest master of free reproduction of Latin as well as Greek hymns. He published also separately his translation of the new Jerusalem hymns: The Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny, on the Celestial Country. Lond. 1858, 7th ed. 1865, with the Latin text as far as translated (48 pages). Also Stabat Mater Speciosa, Full of Beauty stood the Mother (1866).

The Seven Great Hymns of the Mediaeval Church. N. York (A. D. F. Randolph & Co.) 1866; seventh ed. enlarged, 1883. 154 pages. This anonymous work (by Judge C. C. Nott, Washington) contains translations by various authors of Bernard's Celestial Country, the Dies Irae, the Mater Dolorosa, the Mater Speciosa, the Veni Sancte Spiritus, the Veni Creator Spiritus, the Vexilla Regis, and the Alleluiatic Sequence of Godescalcus. The originals are also given.

Philip Schaff: Christ in Song. N. Y. 1868; Lond. 1869. Contains translations of seventy-three Latin hymns by various authors.

W. H. Odenheimer and Frederic M. Bird: Songs of the Spirit. N. York 1871. Contains translations of twenty-three Latin hymns on the Holy Spirit, with a much larger number of English hymns. Erastus C. Benedict (Judge in N. Y., d. 1878): The Hymn of Hildebert and other Mediaeval Hymns, with translations. N. York 1869.

Abraham Coles (M. D.): Latin Hymns, with Original Translations. N. York 1868. Contains 13 translations of the Dies Irae, which were also separately published in 1859.

Hamilton M. Macgill, D. D. (of the United Presb. Ch. of Scotland): Songs of the Christian Creed and Life selected from Eighteen Centuries. Lond. and Edinb. 1879. Contains translations of a number of Latin and a few Greek hymns with the originals, also translations of English hymns into Latin.

The Roman Breviary. Transl. out of Latin into English by John Marquess of Bute, K. T. Edinb. and Lond. 1879, 2 vols. The best translations of the hymns scattered through this book are by the ex-Anglicans Caswall and Cardinal Newman. The Marquess of Bute is himself a convert to Rome from the Church of England.

D. F. Morgan: Hymns and other Poetry of the Latin Church. Oxf. 1880. 100 versions arranged according to the Anglican Calendar.

Edward A. Washburn (Rector of Calvary Church, N. Y. d. Feb. 2, 1881): Voices from a Busy Life. N. York 1883. Contains, besides original poems, felicitous versions of 32 Latin hymns, several of which had appeared before in Schaff's Christ in Song.

Samuel W. Duffield: The Latin Hymn Writers and their Hymns (in course of preparation and to be published, New York 1885. This work will cover the entire range of Latin hymnology, and include translations of the more celebrated hymns).

IV. German translations of Latin hymns: (Mostly accompanied by the original text) are very numerous, e.g. by Rambach, 1817 sqq. (see above); C. Fortlage (Gesänge christl. Vorzeit, 1844); Karl Simrock (Lauda Sion, 1850); Ed. Kauffer (Jesus-Hymnen, Sammlung altkirchl. lat. Gesänge, etc. Leipz. 1854, 65 pages); H. Stadelmann (Altchristl. Hymnen und Lieder. Augsb. 1855); Bässler (1858); J. Fr. H. Schlosser (Die Kirche in ihren Liedern, Freiburg i. B. 1863, 2 vols); G. A. Königsfeld (Lat. Hymnen und Gesänge, Bonn 1847, new series, 1865, both with the original and notes).

§ 96. Latin Hymns and Hymnists.

The Latin church poetry of the middle ages is much better known than the Greek, and remains to this day a rich source of devotion in the Roman church and as far as poetic genius and religious fervor are appreciated. The best Latin hymns have passed into the Breviary and Missal (some with misimprovements), and have been often reproduced in modern languages. The number of truly classical hymns, however, which were inspired by pure love to Christ and can be used with profit by Christians of every name, is comparatively small. The poetry of the Latin church is as full of Mariolatry and hagiolatry as the poetry of the Greek church. It is astonishing what an amount of chivalrous and enthusiastic devotion the blessed Mother of our Lord absorbed in the middle ages. In Mone's collection the hymns to the Virgin fill a whole volume of 457 pages, the hymns to saints another volume of 579 pages, while the first volume of only 461 pages is divided between hymns to God and to the angels. The poets intended to glorify Christ through his mother, but the mother overshadows the child, as in the pictures of the Madonna. She was made the mediatrix of all divine grace, and was almost substituted for Christ, who was thought to occupy a throne of majesty too high for sinful man to reach without the aid of his mother and her tender human sympathies. She is addressed with every epithet of praise, as Mater Dei, Dei Genitrix, Mater summi Domini, Mater misericordiae, Mater bonitatis, Mater dolorosa, Mater jucundosa, Mater speciosa, Maris Stella, Mundi domina, Mundi spes, Porta paradisi, Regina coeli, Radix gratiae, Virgo virginum, Virgo regia Dei. Even the Te Deum was adapted to her by the distinguished St. Bonaventura so as to read "Te Matrem laudamus, Te Virginem confitemur."470

The Latin, as the Greek, hymnists were nearly all monks; but an emperor (Charlemagne?) and a king (Robert of France) claim a place of honor among them.

The sacred poetry of the Latin church may be divided into three periods: 1, The patristic period from Hilary (d. 368) and Ambrose (d. 397) to Venantius Fortunatus (d. about 609) and Gregory I. (d. 604); 2, the early mediaeval period to Peter Damiani (d. 1072); 3, the classical period to the thirteenth century. The first period we have considered in a previous volume. Its most precious legacy to the church universal is the Te Deum laudamus. It is popularly ascribed to Ambrose of Milan (or Ambrose and Augustin jointly), but in its present completed form does not appear before the first half of the sixth century, although portions of it may be traced to earlier Greek origin; it is, like the Apostles' Creed, and the Greek Gloria in Excelsis, a gradual growth of the church rather than the production of any individual.471 The third period embraces the greatest Latin hymnists, as Bernard of Morlaix (monk of Cluny about 1150), Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153), Adam of St. Victor (d. 1192), Bonaventura (d. 1274), Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), Thomas a Celano (about 1250), Jacopone (d. 1306), and produced the last and the best Catholic hymns which can never die, as Hora Novisasima; Jesu dulcis memoria; Salve caput cruentatum; Stabat Mater; and Dies Irae. In this volume we are concerned with the second period.

Venantius Fortunatus, of Poitiers, and his cotemporary, Pope Gregory I., form the transition from the patristic poetry of Sedulius and Prudentius to the classic poetry of the middle ages.

Fortunatus (about 600)472 was the fashionable poet of his day. A native Italian, he emigrated to Gaul, travelled extensively, became intimate with St. Gregory of Tours, and the widowed queen Radegund when she lived in ascetic retirement, and died as bishop of Poitiers. He was the first master of the trochaic tetrameter, and author of three hundred poems, chief among which are the two famous passion hymns:

"Vexilla regis prodeunt,"

"The Royal Banners forward go;"


"Pange, lingua, gloriosi proelium certaminis,"

"Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle."

Both have a place in the Roman Breviary.473

Gregory I. (d. 604), though far inferior to Fortunatus in poetic genius, occupies a prominent rank both in church poetry and church music. He followed Ambrose in the metrical form, the prayer-like tone, and the churchly spirit, and wrote for practical use. He composed about a dozen hymns, several of which have found a place in the Roman Breviary.474 The best is his Sunday hymn:

"Primo dierum omnium,"

"On this first day when heaven on earth,"

or, as it has been changed in the Breviary,

"Primo die quo Trinitas,"

"To-day the Blessed Three in One

Began the earth and skies;

To-day a Conqueror, God the Son,

Did from the grave arise;

We too will wake, and, in despite

Of sloth and languor, all unite,

As Psalmists bid, through the dim night

Waiting with wistful eyes."475

The Venerable Bede (d. 735) wrote a beautiful ascension hymn

"Hymnum canamus gloriae,"

"A hymn of glory let us sing;"

and a hymn for the Holy innocents,

"Hymnum canentes Martyrum,"

"The hymn of conquering martyrs raise."476

Rabanus Maurus, a native of Mainz (Mayence) on the Rhine, a pupil of Alcuin, monk and abbot in the convent of Fulda, archbishop of Mainz from 847 to 856, was the chief Poet of the Carolingian age, and the first German who wrote Latin hymns. Some of them have passed into the Breviary.477

He is probably the author of the pentecostal Veni, Creator Spiritus.478 It outweighs all his other poems. It is one of the classical Latin hymns, and still used in the Catholic church on the most solemn occasions, as the opening of Synods, the creating of popes and the crowning of kings. It was invested with a superstitious charm. It is the only Breviary hymn which passed into the Anglican liturgy as part of the office for ordaining priests and consecrating bishops.479 The authorship has been variously ascribed to Charlemagne,480 to Gregory the Great,481 also to Alcuin, and even to Ambrose, without any good reason. It appears first in 898, is found in the MS. containing the Poems of Rabanus Maurus, and in all the old German Breviaries; it was early and repeatedly translated into German482 and agrees very well in thought and expression with his treatise on the Holy Spirit.483

We give the original with two translations.484

Veni, Creator Spiritus,

Mentes tuorum visita.

Imple superna gratia

Quo tu creasti pectora.

Creator, Spirit, Lord of Grace,

O make our hearts Thy dwelling-place,

And with Thy might celestial aid

The souls of those whom Thou hast made.

Qui Paracletus diceris,

Donum Dei altissimi,

Fons vivus, ignis, charitas,

Et spiritalis unctio.

Come from the throne of God above,

O Paraclete, O Holy Dove,

Come, Oil of gladness, cleansing Fire,

And Living Spring of pure desire.

Tu septiformis munere,

Dextrae Dei tu digitus,

Tu rite Promissum Patris,

Sermone ditans guttura.

O Finger of the Hand Divine,

The sevenfold gifts of Grace are Thine,

And touched by Thee the lips proclaim

All praise to God's most holy Name.

Accende lumen sensibus,

Infunde amorem cordibus;

Infirma nostri corporis,

Virtute firmans perpetim.485

Then to our souls Thy light impart,

And give Thy Love to every heart

Turn all our weakness into might,

O Thou, the Source of Life and Light.

Hostem repellas longius,

Pacemque dones protinus.

Ductore sic te praevio,

Vitemus omne noxium.

Protect us from the assailing foe,

And Peace, the fruit of Love, bestow;

Upheld by Thee, our Strength and Guide,

No evil can our steps betide.

Per te sciamus, da Patrem,

Noscamus atque Filium,

Te utriusque Spiritum,

Credamus omni tempore.

Spirit of Faith, on us bestow

The Father and the Son to know;

And, of the Twain, the Spirit, Thee;

Eternal One, Eternal Three.

[Sit laus Patri cum Filio,

Sancto simul Paracleto,

Nobisque mittat Filius

Charisma Sancti Spiritus.]486

To God the Father let us sing;

To God the Son, our risen King;

And equally with These adore

The Spirit, God for evermore.

[Praesta hoc Pater piissime,

Patrique compar unice,

Cum Spiritu Paracleto,

Regnans per omne saeculum.] See note above.

O Holy Ghost, Creator come!

Thy people's minds pervade;

And fill, with Thy supernatural grace,

The souls which Thou hast made.

Kindle our senses to a flame,

And fill our hearts with love,

And, through our bdies' weakness,


Pour valor from above!

Thou who art called the Paraclete,

The gift of God most high–

Thou living fount, and fire and love,

Our spirit's pure ally;

Drive further off our enemy,

And straightway give us peace;

That with Thyself as such a guide,

We may from evil cease.

Thou sevenfold giver of all good;

Finger of God's right hand;

Thou promise of the Father, rich

In words for every land;

Through Thee may we the Father


And thus confess the Son;

For Thee, from both the Holy


We praise while time shall run.

In this connection we mention the Veni, Sancte Spiritus, the other great pentecostal hymn of the middle ages. It is generally ascribed to King Robert of France (970–1031), the son and success or of Hugh Capet.487 He was distinguished for piety and charity, like his more famous successor, St. Louis IX., and better fitted for the cloister than the throne. He was disciplined by the pope (998) for marrying a distant cousin, and obeyed by effecting a divorce. He loved music and poetry, founded convents and churches, and supported three hundred paupers. His hymn reveals in terse and musical language an experimental knowledge of the gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It is superior to the companion hymn, Veni, Creator Spiritus. Trench calls it "the loveliest" of all the Latin hymns, but we would give this praise rather to St. Bernard's Jesu dulcis memoria ("Jesus, the very thought of Thee"). The hymn contains ten half-stanzas of three lines each with a refrain in ium. Each line has seven syllables, and ends with a double or triple rhyme; the third line rhymes with the third line of the following half-stanza. Neale has reproduced the double ending of each third line (as "brilliancy"—"radiancy").

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,

Et emittee coelitus

Lucis tuae radium.

Holy Spirit, God of light!

Come, and on our inner sight

Pour Thy bright and heavenly ray!

Veni, Pater pauperum,

Veni, dator munerum,

Veni, lumen cordium.

Father of the lowly! come;

Here, Great Giver! be Thy home,

Sunshine of our hearts, for aye!

Consolator optime,

Dulcis hospes animae,

Dulce refrigerium:

Inmost Comforter and best!

Of our souls the dearest Guest,

Sweetly all their thirst allay;

In labore requies,

In aestu temperies,

In fletu solatium.

In our toils be our retreat,

Be our shadow in the heat,

Come and wipe our tears away.

O lux beatissima,

Reple cordis intima,

Tuorum fidelium.

O Thou Light, all pure and blest!

Fill with joy this weary breast,

Turning darkness into day.

Sine tuo numine

Nihil est in homine

Nihil est innoxium,

For without Thee nought we find,

Pure or strong in human kind,

Nought that has not gone astray.

Lava quod est sordidum,

Riga quod est aridum,

Sana quod est saucium.

Wash us from the stains of sin,

Gently soften all within,

Wounded spirits heal and stay.

Flecte quod est rigidum,

Fove quod est languidum,

Rege quod est devium.

What is hard and stubborn bend,

What is feeble soothe and tend,

What is erring gently sway.

Da tuis fidelibus,

In te confitentibus,

Sacrum septenarium;

To Thy faithful servants give,

Taught by Thee to trust and live,

Sevenfold blessing from this day;

Da virtutis meritum,

Da salutis exitum,

Da perenne gaudium.488

Make our title clear, we pray,

When we drop this mortal clay;

Then,—O give us joy for aye.489

The following is a felicitous version by an American divine.490

Come, O Spirit! Fount of grace!

From thy heavenly dwelling-place

One bright morning beam impart:

Come, O Father of the poor;

Come, O Source of bounties sure;

Come, O Sunshine of the heart!

O! thrice blessed light divine!

Come, the spirit's inmost shrine

With Thy holy presence fill;

Of Thy brooding love bereft,

Naught to hopeless man is left;

Naught is his but evil still.

Comforter of man the best!

Making the sad soul thy guest;

Sweet refreshing in our fears,

In our labor a retreat,

Cooling shadow in the heat,

Solace in our falling tears.

Wash away each earthly stain,

Flow o'er this parched waste again,

Real the wounds of conscience sore,

Bind the stubborn will within,

Thaw the icy chains of sin,

Guide us, that we stray no more.

Give to Thy believers, give,

In Thy holy hope who live,

All Thy sevenfold dower of love;

Give the sure reward of faith,

Give the love that conquers death,

Give unfailing joy above.

Notker, surnamed the Older, or Balbulus ("the little Stammerer, "from a slight lisp in his speech), was born about 850 of a noble family in Switzerland, educated in the convent of St. Gall, founded by Irish missionaries, and lived there as an humble monk. He died about 912, and was canonized in 1512.491

He is famous as the reputed author of the Sequences (Sequentiae), a class of hymns in rythmical prose, hence also called Proses (Prosae). They arose from the custom of prolonging the last syllable in singing the Allelu-ia of the Gradual, between the Epistle and the Gospel, while the deacon was ascending from the altar to the rood-loft (organ-loft), that he might thence sing the Gospel. This prolongation was called jubilatio or jubilus, or laudes, on account of its jubilant tone, and sometimes sequentia (Greek ajkolouqiva), because it followed the reading of the Epistle or the Alleluia. Mystical interpreters made this unmeaning prolongation of a mere sound the echo of the jubilant music of heaven. A further development was to set words to these notes in rythmical prose for chanting. The name sequence was then applied to the text and in a wider sense also to regular metrical and rhymed hymns. The book in which Sequences were collected was called Sequentiale.492

Notker marks the transition from the unmeaning musical sequence to the literary or poetic sequence. Over thirty poems bear his name. His first, attempt begins with the line

"Laudes Deo concinat orbis ubique totus."

More widely circulated is his Sequence of the Holy Spirit:

"Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia."

"The grace of the Holy Spirit be present with us."493

The best of all his compositions, which is said to have been inspired by the sight of the builders of a bridge over an abyss in the Martinstobe, is a meditation on death (Antiphona de morte):

"Media vita in morte sumus:

Quem quaerimus adiutorem nisi te, Domine,

Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris?

Sancte Deus, sancte fortis,

Sancte et misericors Salvator:

Amarae morti ne tradas nos."494

This solemn prayer is incorporated in many burial services. In the Book of Common Prayer it is thus enlarged:

"In the midst of life we be in death:

Of whom may we seek for succour, but of Thee,

O Lord, which for our sins justly art moved?

Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty,

O holy and most merciful Saviour,

Deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts.

Shut not up thy merciful eyes to our prayers:

But spare us, Lord most holy,

O God most mighty,

O holy and merciful Saviour,

Thou most worthy Judge eternal,

Suffer us not, at our last hour,

For any pains of death,

To fall from Thee."495

Peter Damiani (d. 1072), a friend of Hildebrand and promoter of his hierarchical refrms, wrote a solemn hymn on the day of death:

"Gravi me terrore pulsas vitae dies ultima,"496

"With what heavy fear thou smitest."

He is perhaps also the author of the better known descriptive poem on the Glory and Delights of Paradise, which is usually assigned to St. Augustin:

"Ad perennis vitae fontem mens sitivit arida,

Claustra carnis praesto frangi clausa quaerit anima:

Gliscit, ambit, eluctatur exsul frui patria."497

The subordinate hymn-writers of our period are the following:498

Isidor of Seville (Isidoris Hispalensis, 560–636). A hymn on St. Agatha: "Festum insigne prodiit."

Cyxilla of Spain. Hymnus de S. Thurso et sociis: Exulta nimium turba fidelium."

Eugenius of Toledo. Oratio S. Eugenii Toletani Episcopi: "Rex Deus."

Paulus Diaconus (720–800), of Monte Casino, chaplain of Charlemagne, historian of the Lombards, and author of a famous collection of homilies. On John the Baptist ("Ut queant laxis),499 and on the Miracles of St. Benedict (Fratres alacri pectore).

Odo of Cluny (d. 941). A hymn on St. Mary Magdalene day, "Lauda, Mater Ecclesiae," translated by Neale: "Exalt, O mother Church, to-day, The clemency of Christ, thy Lord." It found its way into the York Breviary.

Godescalcus (Gottschalk, d. about 950, not to be confounded with his predestinarian namesake, who lived in the ninth century), is next to Notker, the best writer of sequences or proses, as "Laus Tibi, Christe" ("Praise be to Thee, O Christ"), and Coeli enarrant ("The heavens declare the glory"), both translated by Neale.

Fulbert Of Chartres (died about 1029) wrote a paschal hymn adopted in several Breviaries: "Chorus novae Jerusalem" ("Ye choirs of New Jerusalem"), translated by Neale.

A few of the choicest hymns of our period, from the sixth to the twelfth century are anonymous.500 To these belong:

"Hymnum dicat turba fratrum." A morning hymn mentioned by Bede as a fine specimen of the trochaic tetrameter.

"Sancti venite." A communion hymn.

"Urbs beata Jerusalem."501 It is from the eighth century, and one of those touching New Jerusalem hymns which take their inspiration from the last chapter of St. John's Apocalypse, and express the Christian's home-sickness after heaven. The following is the first stanza (with Neale's translation):

"Urbs beata Jerusalem,

Dicta pacis visio,

Quae construitur in coelo

Vivis ex lapidibus,

Et angelis coronata

Ut sponsata comite."

Blessed City, Heavenly Salem,

Vision dear of Peace and Love,

Who, of living stones upbuilded,

Art the joy of Heav'n above,

And, with angel cohorts circled,

As a bride to earth dost move!"

"Apparebit repentina." An alphabetic and acrostic poem on the Day of Judgment, based on Matt. 25:31–36; from the seventh century; first mentioned by Bede, then long lost sight of; the forerunner of the Dies Irae, more narrative than lyrical, less sublime and terrific, but equally solemn. The following are the first lines in Neale's admirable translation:502

"That great Day of wrath and terror,

That last Day of woe and doom,

Like a thief that comes at midnight,

On the sons of men shall come;

When the pride and pomp of ages

All shall utterly have passed,

And they stand in anguish, owning

That the end is here at last;

And the trumpet's pealing clangor,

Through the earth's four quarters spread,

Waxing loud and ever louder,

Shall convoke the quick and dead:

And the King of heavenly glory

Shall assume His throne on high,

And the cohorts of His angels

Shall be near Him in the sky:

And the sun shall turn to sackcloth,

And the moon be red as blood,

And the stars shall fall from heaven,

Whelm'd beneath destruction's flood.

Flame and fire, and desolation

At the Judge's feet shall go:

Earth and sea, and all abysses

Shall His mighty sentence know."

"Ave, Maris Stella." This is the favorite mediaeval Mary hymn, and perhaps the very best of the large number devoted to the worship of the "Queen of heaven," which entered so deeply into the piety and devotion of the Catholic church both in the East and the West. It is therefore given here in full with the version of Edward Caswall.503

"Ave, Maris Stella,504

Dei Mater alma

Atque semper Virgo,

Felix coeli porta.

Hail, thou Star-of-Ocean,

Portal of the sky,

Ever-Virgin Mother

Of the Lord Most High!

Sumens illud Ave

Gabrielis ore,

Funda nos in pace,

Mutans nomen Evae.505

Oh, by Gabriel's Ave

Uttered long ago

Eva's name reversing,

'Stablish peace below!

Solve vincla reis

Profer lumen coecis,

Mala nostra pelle,

Bona cuncta posce.

Break the captive's fetters,

Light on blindness pour,

All our ills expelling,

Every bliss implore.

Monstra te esse matrem,506

Sumat per te precem,

Qui pro nobis natus

Tulit esse tuus.

Show thyself a mother,

Offer Him our sighs,

Who, for us Incarnate,

Did not thee despise.

Virgo singularis,

Inter omnes mitis,

Nos culpis solutos

Mites facet castos.

Virgin of all virgins!

To thy shelter take us—

Gentlest of the gentle!

Chaste and gentle make us.

Vitam praesta puram

Iter para tutum,

Ut videntes Iesum

Semper collaetemur.

Still as on we journey,

Help our weak endeavor,

Till with thee and Jesus,

We rejoice for ever.

Sit laus Deo Patri,

Summo Christo decus,

Spiritui Sancto

Honor trinus et unus.

Through the highest heaven

To the Almighty Three,

Father, Son, and Spirit,

One same glory be.

The Latin hymnody was only, for priests and monks, and those few who understood the Latin language. The people listened to it as they do to the mass, and responded with the Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, which passed from the Greek church into the Western litanies. As the modern languages of Europe developed themselves out of the Latin, and out of the Teutonic, a popular poetry arose during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and afterwards received a powerful impulse from the Reformation. Since that time the Protestant churches, especially in Germany and England, have produced the richest hymnody, which speaks to the heart of the people in their own familiar tongue, and is, next to the Psalter, the chief feeder of public and private devotion. In this body of evangelical hymns the choicest Greek and Latin hymns in various translations, reproductions, and transformations occupy an honored place and serve as connecting links between past and modern times in the worship of the same God and Saviour.

§ 97. The Seven Sacraments.

Mediaeval Christianity was intensely sacramental, sacerdotal and hierarchical. The ideas of priest, sacrifice, and altar are closely connected. The sacraments were regarded as the channels of all grace and the chief food of the soul. They accompanied human life from the cradle to the grave. The child was saluted into this world by the sacrament of baptism; the old man was provided with the viaticum on his journey to the other world.

The chief sacraments were baptism and the eucharist. Baptism was regarded as the sacrament of the new birth which opens the door to the kingdom of heaven the eucharist as the sacrament of sanctification which maintains and nourishes the new life.

Beyond these two sacraments several other rites were dignified with that name, but there was no agreement as to the number before the scholastic period. The Latin sacramentum, like the Greek mystery (of which it is the translation in the Vulgate), was long used in a loose and indefinite way for sacred and mysterious doctrines and rites. Rabanus Maurus and Paschasius Radbertus count four sacraments, Dionysius Areopagita, six; Damiani, as many as twelve. By the authority chiefly of Peter the Lombard and Thomas Aquinas the sacred number seven was at last determined upon, and justified by various analogies with the number of virtues, and the number of sins, and the necessities of human life.507

But seven sacraments existed as sacred rites long before the church was agreed on the number. We find them with only slight variations independently among the Greeks under the name of "mysteries" as well as among the Latins. They are, besides baptism and the eucharist (which is a sacrifice as well as a sacrament): confirmation, penance (confession and absolution), marriage, ordination, and extreme unction.

Confirmation was closely connected with baptism as a sort of supplement. It assumed a more independent character in the case of baptized infants and took place later. It may be performed in the Greek church by any priest, in the Latin only by the bishop.508

Penance was deemed necessary for sins after baptism.509

Ordination is the sacrament of the hierarchy and indispensable for the government of the church.

Marriage lies at the basis of the family and society in church and state, and was most closely and jealously guarded by the church against facility of divorce, against mixed marriages, and marriages between near relatives.

Extreme unction with prayer (first mentioned among the sacraments by a synod of Pavia in 850, and by Damiani) was the viaticum for the departure into the other world, and based on the direction of St. James 5:14, 15 (Comp. Mark 6:13; 16:18). At first it was applied in every sickness, by layman as well as priest, as a medical cure and as a substitute for amulets and forms of incantation; but the Latin church afterwards confined it to of extreme danger.

The efficacy of the sacrament was defined by the scholastic term ex opere operato, that is, the sacrament has its intended effect by virtue of its institution and inherent power, independently of the moral character of the priest and of the recipient, provided only that it be performed in the prescribed manner and with the proper intention and provided that the recipient throw no obstacle in the way.510

Three of the Sacraments, namely baptism, confirmation, and ordination, have in addition the effect of conferring an indelible character.511 Once baptized always baptized, though the benefit may be forfeited for ever; once ordained always ordained, though a priest may be deposed and excommunicated.

§ 98. The Organ and the Bell.

To the external auxiliaries of worship were added the organ and the bell.

The Organ,512 in the sense of a particular instrument (which dates from the time of St. Augustin), is a development of the Syrinx or Pandean pipe, and in its earliest form consisted of a small box with a row of pipes in the top, which were inflated by the performer with the mouth through means of a tube at one end. It has in the course of time undergone considerable improvements. The use of organs in churches is ascribed to Pope Vitalian (657–672). Constantine Copronymos sent an organ with other presents to King Pepin of France in 767. Charlemagne received one as a present from the Caliph Haroun al Rashid, and had it put up in the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle. The art of organ-building was cultivated chiefly in Germany. Pope John VIII. (872–882) requested Bishop Anno of Freising to send him an organ and an organist.

The attitude of the churches towards the organ varies. It shared to some extent the fate of images, except that it never was an object of worship. The poetic legend which Raphael has immortalized by one of his master-pieces, ascribes its invention to St. Cecilia, the patron of sacred music. The Greek church disapproves the use of organs. The Latin church introduced it pretty generally, but not without the protest of eminent men, so that even in the Council of Trent a motion was made, though not carried, to prohibit the organ at least in the mass. The Lutheran church retained, the Calvinistic churches rejected it, especially in Switzerland and Scotland; but in recent times the opposition has largely ceased.513

The Bell is said to have been invented by Paulinus of Nola (d. 431) in Campania;514 but he never mentions it in his description of churches. Various sonorous instruments were used since the time of Constantine the Great for announcing the commencement of public worship. Gregory of Tours mentions a "signum" for calling monks to prayer. The Irish used chiefly hand-bells from the time of St. Patrick, who himself distributed them freely. St. Columba is reported to have gone to church when the bell rang (pulsante campana) at midnight. Bede mentions the bell for prayer at funerals. St. Sturm of Fulda ordered in his dying hours all the bells of the convent to be rung (779). In the reign of Charlemagne the use of bells was common in the empire. He encouraged the art of bel-founding, and entertained bell-founders at his court. Tancho, a monk of St. Gall, cast a fine bell, weighing from four hundred to five hundred pounds, for the cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle. In the East, church bells are not mentioned before the end of the ninth century.

Bells, like other church-furniture, were consecrated for sacred use by liturgical forms of benediction. They were sometimes even baptized; but Charlemagne, in a capitulary of 789, forbids this abuse.515 The office of bell-ringers516 was so highly esteemed in that age that even abbots and bishops coveted it. Popular superstition ascribed to bells a magical effect in quieting storms and expelling pestilence. Special towers were built for them.517 The use of church bells is expressed in the old lines which are inscribed in many of them:

"Lauda Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum,

Defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festaque honoro."518

§ 99. The Worship of Saints.

Comp. vol. III. §§ 81–87 (p. 409–460).

The Worship of Saints, handed down from the Nicene age, was a Christian substitute for heathen idolatry and hero-worship, and well suited to the taste and antecedents of the barbarian races, but was equally popular among the cultivated Greeks. The scholastics made a distinction between three grades of worship: 1) adoration (latreiva), which belongs to God alone; 2) veneration (douleiva), which is due to the saints as those whom God himself has honored, and who reign with him in heaven; 3) special veneration (uJperdouleiva), which is due to the Virgin Mary as the mother of the Saviour and the queen of all saints. But the people did not always mind this distinction, and the priests rather encouraged the excesses of saint-worship. Prayers were freely addressed to the saints, though not as the givers of the blessings desired, but as intercessors and advocates. Hence the form "Pray for us" (Ora pro nobis).

The number of saints and their festivals multiplied very rapidly. Each nation, country, province or city chose its patron saint, as Peter and Paul in Rome, St. Ambrose in Milan, St. Martin, St. Denys (Dionysius) and St. Germain in France, St. George in England, St. Patrick in Ireland, St. Boniface in Germany, and especially the Virgin Mary, who has innumerable localities and churches under her care and protection. The fact of saintship was at first decided by the voice of the people, which was obeyed as the voice of God. Great and good men and women who lived in the odor of sanctity and did eminent service to the cause of religion as missionaries or martyrs or bishops or monks or nuns, were gratefully remembered after their death; they became patron saints of the country or province of their labors and sufferings, and their worship spread gradually over the entire church. Their relics were held sacred; their tombs were visited by pilgrims. The metropolitans usually decided on the claims of saintship for their province down to a.d. 1153.519 But to check the increase and to prevent mistakes, the popes, since Alexander III. a.d. 1170, claimed the exclusive right of declaring the fact, and prescribing the worship of a saint throughout the whole (Latin) Catholic church.520 This was done by a solemn act called canonization. From this was afterwards distinguished the act of beatification, which simply declares that a departed Catholic Christian is blessed (beatus) in heaven, and which within certain limits permits (but does not prescribe) his veneration.521

The first known example of a papal canonization is the canonization of Ulrich, bishop of Augsburg (d. 973), by John XV. who, at a Lateran synod composed of nineteen dignitaries, in 993, declared him a saint at the request of Luitolph (Leuthold), his successor in the see of Augsburg, after hearing his report in person on the life and miracles of Ulrich. His chief merit was the deliverance of Southern Germany from the invasion of the barbarous Magyars, and his devotion to the interests of his large diocese. He used to make tours of visitation on an ox-cart, surrounded by a crowd of beggars and cripples. He made two pilgrimages to Rome, the second in his eighty-first year, and died as an humble penitent on the bare floor. The bull puts the worship of the saints on the ground that it redounds to the glory of Christ who identifies himself with his saints, but it makes no clear distinction between the different degrees of worship. It threatens all who disregard this decree with the anathema of the apostolic see.522

A mild interpretation of the papal prerogative of canonization reduces it to a mere declaration of a fact preceded by a careful examination of the merits of a case before the Congregation of Rites. But nothing short of a divine revelation can make such a fact known to mortal man. The examination is conducted by a regular process of law in which one acts as Advocatus Diaboli or accuser of the candidate for canonization, and another as Advocatus Dei. Success depends on the proof that the candidate must have possessed the highest sanctity and the power of working miracles either during his life, or through his dead bones, or through invocation of his aid. A proverb says that it requires a miracle to prove a miracle. Nevertheless it is done by papal decree on such evidence as is satisfactory to Roman Catholic believers.523

The question, how the saints and the Virgin Mary can hear so many thousands of prayers addressed to them simultaneously in so many different places, without being clothed with the divine attributes of omniscience and omnipresence, did not disturb the faith of the people. The scholastic divines usually tried to solve it by the assumption that the saints read those prayers in the omniscient mind of God. Then why not address God directly?

In addition to the commemoration days of particular saints, two festivals were instituted for the commemoration of all the departed.

The Festival of All Saints524 was introduced in the West by Pope Boniface IV. on occasion of the dedication of the Pantheon in Rome, which was originally built by Agrippa in honor of the victory of Augustus at Actium, and dedicated to Jupiter Vindex; it survived the old heathen temples, and was presented to the pope by the Emperor Phocas, a.d. 607; whereupon it was cleansed, restored and dedicated to the service of God in the name of the ever-Virgin Mary and all martyrs. Baronius tells us that at the time of dedication on May 13 the bones of martyrs from the various cemeteries were in solemn procession transferred to the church in twenty-eight carriages.525 From Rome the festival spread during the ninth century over the West, and Gregory IV. induced Lewis the Pious in 835 to make it general in the Empire. The celebration was fixed on the first of November for the convenience of the people who after harvest had a time of leisure, and were disposed to give thanks to God for all his mercies.

The Festival of All Souls526 is a kind of supplement to that of All Saints, and is celebrated on the day following (Nov. 2). Its introduction is traced to Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, in the tenth century. It spread very soon without a special order, and appealed to the sympathies of that age for the sufferings of the souls in purgatory. The worshippers appear in mourning; the mass for the dead is celebrated with the "Dies irae, Dies illa," and the oft-repeated "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine." In some places (e.g. in Munich) the custom prevails of covering the graves on that day with the last flowers of the season.

The festival of Michael the Archangel,527 the leader of the angelic host, was dedicated to the worship of angels,528 on the 29th of September.529 It rests on no doctrine and no fact, but on the sandy foundation of miraculous legends.530 We find it first in the East. Several churches in and near Constantinople were dedicated to St. Michael, and Justinian rebuilt two which had become dilapidated. In the West it is first mentioned by a Council of Mentz in 813, as the "dedicatio S. Michaelis," among the festivals to be observed; and from that time it spread throughout the Church in spite of the apostolic warning against angelolatry (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; 22:8, 9).531

§ 100. The Worship of Images. Literature. Different Theories.

Comp. Vol. II., chs. vi. (p.266 sqq.) and vii. (p. 285); Vol. III. §§109–111 (p. 560 sqq.).

(I.) John of Damascus (chief defender of image-worship, about 750): Lovgoi ajpologhtikoi; pro;" tou;" diabavllonta" ta;" aJgiva" eijkovna" (ed. Le Quien I. 305). Nicephorus (Patriarch of Constantinople, d. 828): Breviarium Hist. (to a.d. 769), ed. Petavius, Paris, 1616. Theophanes (Confessor and almost martyr of image-worship, d. c. 820): Chronographia, cum notis Goari et Combefisii, Par., 1655, Ven. 1729, and in the Bonn ed. of the Byzant. historians, 1839, Tom. I. (reprinted in Migne's "Patrol. Graeca," Tom. 108). The later Byzantine historians, who notice the controversy, draw chiefly from Theophanes; so also Anastasius (Historia Eccles.) and Paulus Diaconus (Historia miscella and Hist. Longobardorum).

The letters of the popes, and the acts of synods, especially the Acta Concilii Nicaeni II. (a.d. 787) in Mansi, Tom. XIII., and Harduin, Tom. IV.

M. H. Goldast: Imperialia Decreta de Cultu Imaginum in utroque imperio promulgata. Frankf., 1608.

The sources are nearly all on the orthodox side. The seventh oecumenical council (787) ordered in the fifth session that all the books against images should be destroyed.

(II.) J. Dalleus (Calvinist): De Imaginibus. Lugd. Bat., 1642.

L. Maimbourg (Jesuit): Histoire de l'hérésie des iconoclastes. Paris, 1679 and 1683, 2 vols. (Hefele, III. 371, calls this work "nicht ganz zuverlässig," not quite reliable).

Fr. Spanheim (Calvinist): Historia Imaginum restituta. Lugd. Bat. 1686 (in Opera, II. 707).

Chr. W. Fr. Walch (Lutheran): Ketzerhistorie. Leipz., 1762 sqq., vol. X. (1782) p. 65–828, and the whole of vol. XI. (ed. by Spittler, 1785). Very thorough, impartial, and tedious.

F. Ch. Schlosser: Geschichte der bilderstürmenden Kaiser des oströmischen Reichs. Frankf. a. M., 1812.

J. Marx (R.C.): Der Bilderstreit der Byzant. Kaiser. Trier, 1839.

Bishop Hefele: Conciliengesch. vol III. 366–490; 694–716 (revised ed., Freib. i. B. 1877).

R. Schenk: Kaiser Leo III. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Bilderstreites. Halle, 1880.

General Church Histories: 1) R. Cath.: Baronius, Pagi, Natalis Alexander, Alzog, Hergenröther (I. 121–143; 152–168). 2) Protest.: Basnage, Gibbon (ch. 49), Schröckh (vol. XX.), Neander (III. 197–243; 532–553, Bost. ed.; fall and fair); Gieseler (II. 13–19, too short).

The literature on the image-controversy is much colored by the doctrinal stand-point of the writers. Gibbon treats it with cold philosophical indifference, and chiefly in its bearing on the political fortunes of the Byzantine empire.

With the worship of saints is closely, connected a subordinate worship of their images and relics. The latter is the legitimate application of the former. But while the mediaeval churches of the East and West—with the exception of a few protesting voices—were agreed on the worship of saints, there was a violent controversy about the images which kept the Eastern church in commotion for more than a century (a.d. 724–842), and hastened the decline of the Byzantine empire.

The abstract question of the use of images is connected with the general subject of the relation of art to worship. Christianity claims to be the perfect and universal religion; it pervades with its leavening power all the faculties of man and all departments of life. It is foreign to nothing which God has made. It is in harmony with all that is true, and beautiful, and good. It is friendly to philosophy, science, and art, and takes them into its service. Poetry, music, and architecture achieve their highest mission as handmaids of religion, and have derived the inspiration for their noblest works from the Bible. Why then should painting or sculpture or any other art which comes from God, be excluded from the use of the Church? Why should not Bible history as well as all other history admit of pictorial and sculptured representation for the instruction and enjoyment of children and adults who have a taste for beauty? Whatever proceeds from God must return to God and spread his glory.

But from the use of images for ornament, instruction and enjoyment there is a vast step to the worship of images, and experience proves that the former can exist without a trace of the latter. In the middle ages, however, owing to the prevailing saint-worship, the two were inseparable. The pictures were introduced into churches not as works of art, but as aids and objects of devotion. The image-controversy was therefore a, purely practical question of worship, and not a philosophical or artistic question. To a rude imagination an ugly and revolting picture served the devotional purpose even better than one of beauty and grace. It was only towards the close of the middle ages that the art of Christian painting began to produce works of high merit. Moreover the image-controversy was complicated with the second commandment of the decalogue which clearly and wisely forbids, if not all kinds of figurative representations of the Deity, at all events every idolatrous and superstitious use of pictures. It was also beset by the difficulty that we have no authentic pictures of Christ, the Madonna and the Apostles or any other biblical character.

We have traced in previous volumes the gradual introduction of sacred images from the Roman Catacombs to the close of the sixth century. The use of symbols and pictures was at first quite innocent and spread imperceptibly with the growth of the worship of saints. The East which inherited a love for art from the old Greeks, was chiefly devoted to images, the Western barbarians who could not appreciate works of art, cared more for relics.

We may distinguish three theories, of which two came into open conflict and disputed the ground till the year 842.

1. The theory of Image-Worship. It is the orthodox theory, denounced by the opponents as a species of idolatry,532 but strongly supported by the people, the monks, the poets, the women, the Empresses Irene and Theodora, sanctioned by the seventh oecumenical Council (787) and by the popes (Gregory II., Gregory III. and Hadrian I). It maintained the right and duty of using and worshipping images of Christ, the Virgin, and the saints, but indignantly rejected the charge of idolatry, and made a distinction (often disregarded in practice) between a limited worship due to pictures,533 and adoration proper due to God alone.534 Images are a pictorial Bible, and speak to the eye even more eloquently than the word speaks to the ear. They are of special value to the common people who cannot read the Holy Scriptures. The honors of the living originals in heaven were gradually transferred to their wooden pictures on earth; the pictures were reverently kissed and surrounded by the pagan rites of genuflexion, luminaries, and incense; and prayers were thought to be more effective if said before them. Enthusiasm for pictures went hand in hand with the worship of saints, and was almost inseparable from it. It kindled a poetic inspiration which enriched the service books of the Greek church. The chief hymnists, John of Damascus, Cosmas of Jerusalem, Germanus, Theophanes, Theodore of the Studium, were all patrons of images, and some of them suffered deposition, imprisonment, and mutilation for their zeal; but the Iconoclasts did not furnish a single poet.535

The chief argument against this theory was the second commandment. It was answered in various ways. The prohibition was understood to be merely temporary till the appearance of Christ, or to apply only to graven images, or to the making of images for idolatrous purposes.

On the other hand, the cherubim over the ark, and the brazen serpent in the wilderness were appealed to as examples of visible symbols in the Mosaic worship. The incarnation of the Son of God furnished the divine warrant for pictures of Christ. Since Christ revealed himself in human form it can be no sin to represent him in that form. The significant silence of the Gospels concerning his personal appearance was supplied by fictitious pictures ascribed to St. Luke, and St. Veronica, and that of Edessa. A superstitious fancy even invented stories of wonder-working pictures, and ascribed to them motion, speech, and action.

It should be added that the Eastern church confines images to colored representations on a plane surface, and mosaics, but excludes sculptures and statues from objects of worship. The Roman church makes no such restriction.

2. The Iconoclastic theory occupies the opposite extreme. Its advocates were called image-breakers.536 It was maintained by the energetic Greek emperors, Leo III. and his son Constantine, who saved the tottering empire against the invasion of the Saracens; it was popular in the army, and received the sanction of the Constantinopolitan Synod of 754. It appealed first and last to the second commandment in the decalogue in its strict sense as understood by the Jews and the primitive Christians. It was considerably strengthened by the successes of the Mohammedans who, like the Jews, charged the Christians with the great sin of idolatry, and conquered the cities of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt in spite of the sacred images which were relied on for protection and miraculous interposition. The iconoclastic Synod of 754 denounced image-worship as a relapse into heathen idolatry, which the devil had smuggled into the church in the place of the worship of God alone in spirit and in truth.

The iconoclastic party, however, was not consistent; for it adhered to saint-worship which is the root of image-worship, and instead of sweeping away all religious symbols, it retained the sign of the cross with all its superstitious uses, and justified this exception by the Scripture passages on the efficacy of the cross, though these refer to the sacrifice of the cross, and not to the sign.

The chief defect of iconoclasm and the cause of its failure was its negative character. It furnished no substitute for image-worship, and left nothing but empty walls which could not satisfy the religious wants of the Greek race. It was very different from the iconoclasm of the evangelical Reformation, which put in the place of images the richer intellectual and spiritual instruction from the Word of God.

3. The Moderate theory sought a via media between image-worship and image-hatred, by distinguishing between the sign and the thing, the use and the abuse. It allowed the representation of Christ and the saints as aids to devotion by calling to remembrance the persons and facts set forth to the eye. Pope Gregory I. presented to a hermit at his wish a picture of Christ, of Mary, and of St. Peter and St. Paul, with a letter in which he approves of the natural desire to have a visible reminder of an object of reverence and love, but at the same time warned him against superstitious use. "We do not," he says, "kneel down before the picture as a divinity, but we adore Him whose birth or passion or sitting on the throne of majesty is brought to our remembrance by the picture." The same pope commended Serenus, bishop of Marseilles, for his zeal against the adoration of pictures, but disapproved of his excess in that direction, and reminded him of the usefulness of such aids for the people who had just emerged from pagan barbarism and could not instruct themselves out of the Holy Scriptures. The Frankish church in the eighth and ninth centuries took a more decided stand against the abuse, without, however, going to the extent of the iconoclasts in the East.

In the course of time the Latin church went just as far if not further in practical image-worship as the Eastern church after the seventh oecumenical council. Gregory II. stoutly resisted the iconoclastic decrees of the Emperor Leo, and made capital out of the controversy for the independence of the papal throne. Gregory III. followed in the same steps, and Hadrian sanctioned the decree of the second council of Nicaea. Image-worship cannot be consistently opposed without surrendering the worship of saints.

The same theories and parties reappeared again in the age of the Reformation: the Roman as well as the Greek church adhered to image-worship with an occasional feeble protest against its abuses, and encouraged the development of fine arts, especially in Italy; the radical Reformers (Carlstadt, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox) renewed the iconoclastic theory and removed, in an orderly way, the pictures from the churches, as favoring a refined species of idolatry and hindering a spiritual worship; the Lutheran church (after the example set by Luther and his friend Lucas Kranach), retained the old pictures, or replaced them by new and better ones, but freed from former superstition. The modern progress of art, and the increased mechanical facilities for the multiplication of pictures have produced a change in Protestant countries. Sunday School books and other works for old and young abound in pictorial illustrations from Bible history for instruction; and the masterpieces of the great religious painters have become household ornaments, but will never be again objects of worship, which is due to God alone.


The Council of Trent, Sess. XXV. held Dec. 1563, sanctions, together with the worship of saints and relics, also the "legitimate use of images" in the following terms: "Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and retained particularly in temples, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity, or virtue, is believed to be in them, on account of which they are to be worshiped; or that anything is to be asked of them; or that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old done by the Gentiles, who placed their hope in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which those images represent; in such wise that by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ, and we venerate the saints, whose similitude they bear: as, by the decrees of Councils, and especially of the second Synod of Nicaea, has been defined against the opponents of images." The Profession of the Tridentine Faith teaches the same in art. IX. (See Schaff, Creeds, II. p. 201, 209).

The modern standards of the Eastern Church reiterate the decision of the seventh (Ecumenical Council. The Synod of Jerusalem, or the Confession of Dositheus, includes pictures of Christ, the mother of God, the saints and the holy angels who appeared to some of the patriarchs and prophets, also the symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit under the form of a dove, among the objects of worship (proskunou'men kai; timw'men kai; ajspazovmeqa). See Schaff, l.c. II. 436. The Longer Russian Catechism, in the exposition of the second commandment (Schaff, II. 527), thus speaks of this subject:

"What is an icon (eijkwvn)?

"The word is Greek, and means an image or representation. In the Orthodox Church this name designates sacred representations of our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, his immaculate Mother, and his saints.

"Is the use of holy icons agreeable to the second commandment?

It would then, and then only, be otherwise, if any one were to make gods of them; but it is not in the least contrary to this commandment to honor icons as sacred representations, and to use them for the religious remembrance of God's works and of his saints; for when thus used icons are books, writen(sic) with the forms of persons and things instead of letters. (See Greg. Magn. lib. ix. Ep. 9, ad Seren. Epis.).

"What disposition of mind should we have when we reverence icons?

"While we look on them with our eyes, we should mentally look to God and to the saints, who are represented on them."

§ 101. The Iconoclastic War, and the Synod of 754.

The history of the image-controversy embraces three periods: 1) The war upon images and the abolition of image-worship by the Council of Constantinople, a.d. 726–754. 2) The reaction in favor of image-worship, and its solemn sanction by the second Council of Nicaea, a.d. 754–787. 3) The renewed conflict of the two parties and the final triumph of image-worship, a.d. 842.

Image-worship had spread with the worship of saints, and become a general habit among the people in the Eastern church to such an extent that the Christian apologists had great difficulty to maintain their ground against the charge of idolatry constantly raised against them, not only by the Jews, but also by the followers of Islam, who could point to their rapid successes in support of their abhorrence of every species of idolatry. Churches and church-books, palaces and private houses, dresses and articles of furniture were adorned with religious pictures. They took among the artistic Greeks the place of the relics among the rude Western nations. Images were made to do service as sponsors in the name of the saints whom they represented. Fabulous stories of their wonder-working power were circulated and readily believed. Such excesses naturally called forth a reaction.

Leo III., called the Isaurian (716–741), a sober and energetic, but illiterate and despotic emperor, who by his military talents and successes had risen from the condition of a peasant in the mountains of Isauria to the throne of the Caesars, and delivered his subjects from the fear of the Arabs by the new invention of the "Greek fire," felt himself called, as a second Josiah, to use his authority for the destruction of idolatry. The Byzantine emperors did not scruple to interfere with the internal affairs of the church, and to use their despotic power for the purpose. Leo was influenced by a certain bishop Constantinus537 of Nakolia in Phrygia, and by a desire to break the force of the Mohammedan charge against the Christians. In the sixth year of his reign he ordered the forcible baptism of Jews and Montanists (or Manichaeans); the former submitted hypocritically and mocked at the ceremony; the latter preferred to set fire to their meeting-houses and to perish in the flames. Then, in the tenth year (726),538 he began his war upon the images. At first he only prohibited their worship, and declared in the face of the rising opposition that he intended to protect the images against profanation by removing them beyond the reach of touch and kiss. But in a second edict (730), he commanded the removal or destruction of all the images. The pictured walls were to be whitewashed. He replaced the magnificent picture of Christ over the gate of the imperial palace by a plain cross. He removed the aged Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople, and put the iconoclastic Anastasius in his place.

These edicts roused the violent opposition of the clergy, the monks, and the people, who saw in it an attack upon religion itself. The servants who took down the picture from the palace gate were killed by the mob. John of Damascus and Germanus, already known to us as hymnists, were the chief opponents. The former was beyond the reach of Leo, and wrote three eloquent orations, one before, two after the forced resignation of Germanus, in defence of image-worship, and exhausted the argument.539 The islanders of the Archipelago under the control of monks rose in open rebellion, and set up a pretender to the throne; but they were defeated, and their leaders put to death. Leo enforced obedience within the limits of the Eastern empire, but had no power among the Christian subjects of the Saracens, nor in Rome and Ravenna, where his authority was openly set at defiance. Pope Gregory II. told him, in an insulting letter (about 729), that the children of the grammar-school would throw their tablets at his head if he avowed himself a destroyer of images, and the unwise would teach him what he refused to learn from the wise540. Seventy years afterwards the West set up an empire of its own in close connection with the bishop of Rome.

Constantine V., surnamed Copronymos,541 during his long reign of thirty-four years (741–775), kept up his father's policy with great ability, vigor and cruelty, against popular clamor, sedition and conspiracy. His character is very differently judged according to the doctrinal views of the writers. His enemies charge him with monstrous vices, heretical opinions, and the practice of magical arts; while the iconoclasts praise him highly for his virtues, and forty years after his death still prayed at his tomb. His administrative and military talents and successes against the Saracens, Bulgarians, and other enemies, as well as his despotism and cruelty (which he shares with other Byzantine emperors) are beyond dispute.

He called an iconoclastic council in Constantinople in 754, which was to be the seventh oecumenical, but was afterwards disowned as a pseudo-synod of heretics. It numbered three hundred and thirty subservient bishops under the presidency of Archbishop Theodosius of Ephesus (the son of a former emperor), and lasted six months (from Feb. 10th to Aug. 27th); but the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria, being under Moslem rule, could not attend, the see of Constantinople was vacant, and Pope Stephen III. disregarded the imperial summons. The council, appealing to the second commandment and other Scripture passages denouncing idolatry (Rom. 1:23, 25; John 4:24), and opinions of the Fathers (Epiphanius, Eusebius, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, etc.), condemned and forbade the public and private worship of sacred images on pain of deposition and excommunication, but (inconsistently) ordered at the same time that no one should deface or meddle with sacred vessels or vestments ornamented with figures, and formally declared its agreement with the six oecumenical councils, and the lawfulness of invoking the blessed Virgin and saints. It denounced all religious representations by painter or sculptor as presumptuous, pagan and idolatrous. Those who make pictures of the Saviour, who is God as well as man in one inseparable person, either limit the incomprehensible Godhead to the bounds of created flesh, or confound his two natures, like Eutyches, or separate them, like Nestorius, or deny his Godhead, like Arius; and those who worship such a picture are guilty of the same heresy and blasphemy. The eucharist alone is the proper image of Christ. A three-fold anathema was pronounced on the advocates of image-worship, even the great John of Damascus under the name of Mansur, who is called a traitor of Christ, an enemy of the empire, a teacher of impiety, and a perverter of the Scriptures. The acts of the Synod were destroyed except the decision (o{ro") and a brief introduction, which are embodied and condemned in the acts of the second Nicene Council.542

The emperor carried out the decree with great rigor as far as his power extended. The sacred images were ruthlessly destroyed and replaced by white-wash or pictures of trees, birds, and animals. The bishops and clergy submitted; but the monks who manufactured the pictures, denounced the emperor as a second Mohammed and heresiarch, and all the iconoclasts as heretics, atheists and blasphemers, and were subjected to imprisonment, flagellation, mutilation, and all sorts of indignities, even death. The principal martyrs of images during this reign (from 761–775) are Petrus Kalabites (i.e. the inhabitant of a hut, kaluvbh), Johannes, Abbot of Monagria, and Stephanus, Abbot of Auxentius, opposite Constantinople (called "the new Stephanus," to distinguish him from the proto-martyr). The emperor made even an attempt to abolish the convents.543

§ 102. The Restoration of Image-Worship by the Seventh Oecumenical Council, 787.

Leo IV., called Chazarus (775–780), kept up the laws against images, though with more moderation. But his wife Irene of Athens distinguished for beauty, talent, ambition and intrigue, was at heart devoted to image-worship, and after his death and during the minority of her son Constantine VI. Porphyrogenitus, labored with shrewdness and perseverance for its restoration (780–802). At first she proclaimed toleration to both parties, which she afterwards denied to the iconoclasts. She raised the persecuted monks to the highest dignities, and her secretary, Tarasius, to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople, with the consent of Pope Hadrian, who was willing to overlook the irregularity of the sudden election of a layman in prospect of his services to orthodoxy. She removed the iconoclastic imperial guard, and replaced it by one friendly to her views.

But the crowning measure was an oecumenical council, which alone could set aside the authority of the iconoclastic council of 754. Her first attempt to hold such a council at Constantinople in 786 completely failed. The second attempt, owing to more careful preparations, succeeded.

Irene convened the seventh oecumenical council in the year 787, at Nicaea, which was less liable to iconoclastic disturbances than Constantinople, yet within easy reach of the court, and famous as the seat of the first and weightiest oecumenical council. It was attended by about three hundred and fifty bishops,544 under the presidency of Tarasius, and held only eight sessions from September 24 to October 23, the last in the imperial palace of Constantinople. Pope Hadrian I. sent two priests, both called Peter, whose names stand first in the Acts. The three Eastern patriarchs, who were subject to the despotic rule of the Saracens, could not safely leave their homes; but two Eastern monks, John, and Thomas, who professed to be syncelli of two of these patriarchs and to have an accurate knowledge of the prevailing orthodoxy of Egypt and Syria, were allowed to sit and vote in the place of those dignitaries, although they had no authority from them, and were sent simply by a number of their fellow-monks.545

The Nicene Council nullified the decrees of the iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople, and solemnly sanctioned a limited worship (proskynesis) of images.546

Under images were understood the sign of the cross, and pictures of Christ, of the Virgin Mary, of angels and saints. They may be drawn in color or composed of Mosaic or formed of other suitable materials, and placed in churches, in houses, and in the street, or made on walls and tables, sacred vessels and vestments. Homage may be paid to them by kissing, bowing, strewing of incense, burning of lights, saying prayers before them; such honor to be intended for the living objects in heaven which the images represented. The Gospel book and the relics of martyrs were also mentioned among the objects of veneration.

The decree was fortified by a few Scripture passages about the Cherubim (Ex. 25:17–22; Ezek. 41:1, 15, 19; Heb. 9:1–5), and a large number of patristic testimonies, genuine and forged, and alleged miracles performed by images.547 A presbyter testified that he was cured from a severe sickness by a picture of Christ. Bishop after bishop, even those who had been members of the Synod of 754, renounced his iconoclastic opinions, and large numbers exclaimed together: "We all have sinned, we all have erred, we all beg forgiveness." Some professed conscientious scruples, but were quieted when the Synod resolved that the violation of an oath which was contrary to the law of God, was no perjury. At the request of one of the Roman delegates, an image was brought into the assembly, and reverently kissed by all. At the conclusion, the assembled bishops exclaimed unanimously: "Thus we believe. This is the doctrine of the apostles. Anathema upon all who do not adhere to it, who do not salute the images, who call them idols, and who charge the Christians with idolatry. Long life to the emperors! Eternal memory to the new Constantine and the new Helena! God protect their reign! Anathema upon all heretics! Anathema especially upon Theodosius, the false bishop of Ephesus, as also upon Sisinnius and Basilius! The Holy Trinity has rejected their doctrines." Then follows an anathema upon other distinguished iconoclasts, and all who do not confess that Christ's humanity has a circumscribed form, who do not greet the images, who reject the ecclesiastical traditions, written or unwritten; while eternal memory is given to the chief champions of image-worship, Germanus of Constantinople, John of Damascus, and George of Cyprus, the heralds of truth. 548

The decrees of the Synod were publicly proclaimed in an eighth session at Constantinople in the presence of Irene and her son, and, signed by them; whereupon the bishops, with the people and soldiers, shouted in the usual form: "Long live the Orthodox queen-regent." The empress sent the bishops home with rich presents.

The second Council of Nicaea stands far below the first in moral dignity and doctrinal importance, and occupies the lowest grade among the seven oecumenical synods; but it determined the character of worship in the oriental church for all time to come, and herein lies its significance. Its decision is binding also upon the Roman church, which took part in it by two papal legates, and defended it by a letter of Pope Hadrian to Charlemagne in answer to the Libri Carolini. Protestant churches disregard the council because they condemn image-worship as a refined form of idolatry and as a fruitful source of superstition; and this theory is supported by the plain sense of the second commandment, the views of the primitive Christians, and, negatively, by the superstitions which have accompanied the history of image-worship down to the miracle-working Madonnas of the nineteenth century. At the same time it may be readily conceded that the decree of Nicaea has furnished aid and comfort to a low and crude order of piety which needs visible supports, and has stimulated the development of Christian art. Iconoclasm would have killed it. It is, however, a remarkable fact that the Catholic Raphael and Michael Angelo, and the Protestant Lucas Kranach and Albrecht Dürer, were contemporaries of the Reformers, and that the art of painting reached its highest perfection at the period when image-worship for a great part of Christendom was superseded by the spiritual worship of God alone.

A few months after the Nicene Council, Irene dissolved the betrothal of her son, the Emperor Constantine, to Rotrude, a daughter of Charlemagne, which she herself had brought about, and forced him to marry an Armenian lady whom he afterward cast off and sent to a convent.549 From this time dates her rupture with Constantine. In her ambition for despotic power, she rendered him odious by encouraging his bad habits, and at last incapable of the throne by causing his eyes to be plucked out, while he was asleep, with such violence that he died of it (797). It is a humiliating fact that Constantine the Great, the convener of the first Nicene Council, and Irene, the convener of the second and last, are alike stained with the blood of their own offspring, and yet honored as saints in the Eastern church, in whose estimate orthodoxy covers a multitude of sins.550 She enjoyed for five years the fruit of unnatural cruelty to her only child. As she passed through the streets of Constantinople, four patricians marched on foot before her golden chariot, holding the reins of four milk-white steeds. But these patricians conspired against their queen and raised the treasurer Nicephorus to the throne, who was crowned at St. Sophia by the venal patriarch. Irene was sent into exile on the Isle of Lesbos, and had to earn her bread by the labors of her distaff as she had done in the days of her youth as an Athenian virgin. She died of grief in 803. With her perished the Isaurian dynasty. Startling changes of fortune were not uncommon among princes and patriarchs of the Byzantine empire.

§ 103. Iconoclastic Reaction, and Final Triumph of Image-Worship, a.d. 842.

Walch, X. 592–828. Hefele, IV. 1–6; 38–47; 104–109.

During the five reigns which succeeded that of Irene, a period of thirty-eight years, the image-war was continued with varying fortunes. The soldiers were largely iconoclastic, the monks and the people in favor of image-worship. Among these Theodore of the Studium was distinguished by his fearless advocacy and cruel sufferings under Leo V., the Armenian (813–820), who was slain at the foot of the altar. Theophilus (829–842) was the last and the most cruel of the iconoclastic emperors. He persecuted the monks by imprisonment, corporal punishment, and mutilation.551

But his widow, Theodora, a second Irene, without her vices,552 in the thirteenth year of her regency during the minority of Michael the Drunkard, achieved by prudent and decisive measures the final and permanent victory of image-worship. She secured absolution for her deceased husband by the fiction of a death-bed repentance, although she had promised him to make no change. The iconoclastic patriarch, John the Grammarian, was banished and condemned to two hundred lashes; the monk Methodius of opposite tendency (honored as a confessor and saint) was put in his place; the bishops trembled and changed or were deposed; the monks and the people were delighted. A Synod at Constantinople (the acts of it are lost) reënacted the decrees of the seven oecumenical Councils, restored the worship of images, pronounced the anathema upon all iconoclasts, and decided that the event should be hereafter commemorated on the first Sunday in Lent by a solemn procession and a renewal of the anathema on the iconoclastic heretics.

On the 19th of February, 842, the images were again introduced into the churches of Constantinople. It was the first celebration of the "Sunday of Orthodoxy,"553 which afterwards assumed a wider meaning, as a celebration of victory over all heresies. It is one of the most characteristic festivals of the Eastern church. The old oecumenical Councils are dramatically represented, and a threefold anathema is pronounced upon all sorts of heretics such as atheists, antitrinitarians, upon those who deny the virginity of Mary before or after the birth of Christ, the inspiration of the Scriptures, or the immortality of the soul, who reject the mysteries (sacraments), the traditions and councils, who deny that orthodox princes rule by divine appointment and receive at their unction the Holy Ghost, and upon all iconoclasts. After this anathema follows the grateful commemoration of the orthodox confessors and "all who have fought for the orthodox faith by their words, writings, teaching, sufferings, and godly example, as also of all the protectors and defenders of the Church of Christ." In conclusion the bishops, archimandrites and priests kiss the sacred icons.554

§ 104. The Caroline Books and the Frankish Church on Image-Worship.

I. Libri Carolini, first ed. by Elias Philyra (i.e., Jean du Tillet, or Tilius, who was suspected of Calvinism, but afterwards became bishop of Meaux), from a French (Paris) MS., Paris, 1549; then by Melchior Goldast in his collection of imperial decrees on the image-controversy, Francof., 1608 (67 sqq.), and in the first vol. of his Collection of Constitutiones imperiales, with the addition of the last ch. (lib. IV., c. 29), which was omitted by Tilius; best ed. by Ch. A. Heumann, Hanover, 1731, under the title: Augusta Concilii Nicaeni II. Censura, h. e., Caroli Magni de impio imaginum cultu libri IV., with prolegomena and notes. The ed. of Abbé Migne, in his "Patrol. Lat.," Tom. 98, f. 990–1248 (in vol. II. of Opera Caroli M.), is a reprint of the ed. of Tilius, and inferior to Heumann's ed. ("Es ist zu bedauern," says Hefele, III. 696, "dass Migne, statt Besseres, entschieden Geringeres geboten hat, als man bisher schon besass".)

II. Walch devotes the greater part of the eleventh vol. to the history of image-worship in the Frankish Church from Pepin to Louis the Pious. Neander, III. 233–243; Gieseler, II. 66–73; Hefele, III 694–716; Hergenröther, I. 553–557. Floss: De suspecta librorum Carolinorum fide. Bonn, 1860. Reifferscheid: Narratio de Vaticano librorum Carolinorum Codice. Breslau, 1873.

The church of Rome, under the lead of the popes, accepted and supported the seventh oecumenical council, and ultimately even went further than the Eastern church in allowing the worship of graven as well as painted images. But the church in the empire of Charlemagne, who was not on good terms with the Empress Irene, took a position between image-worship and iconoclasm.

The question of images was first discussed in France under Pepin in a synod at Gentilly near Paris, 767, but we do not know with what result.555 Pope Hadrian sent to Charlemagne a Latin version of the acts of the Nicene Council; but it was so incorrect and unintelligible that a few decades later the Roman librarian Anastasius charged the translator with ignorance of both Greek and Latin, and superseded it by a better one.

Charlemagne, with the aid of his chaplains, especially Alcuin, prepared and published, three years after the Nicene Council, an important work on image-worship under the title Quatuor Libri Carolini (790).556 He dissents both from the iconoclastic synod of 754 and the anti-iconoclastic synod of 787, but more from the latter, which he treats very disrespectfully.557 He decidedly rejects image-worship, but allows the use of images for ornament and devotion, and supports his view with Scripture passages and patristic quotations. The spirit and aim of the book is almost Protestant. The chief thoughts are these: God alone is the object of worship and adoration (colondus et adorandus). Saints are only to be revered (venerandi). Images can in no sense be worshipped. To bow or kneel before them, to salute or kiss them, to strew incense and to light candles before them, is idolatrous and superstitious. It is far better to search the Scriptures, which know nothing of such practices. The tales of miracles wrought by images are inventions of the imagination, or deceptions of the evil spirit. On the other hand, the iconoclasts, in their honest zeal against idolatry, went too far in rejecting the images altogether. The legitimate and proper use of images is to adorn the churches and to perpetuate and popularize the memory of the persons and events which they represent. Yet even this is not necessary; for a Christian should be able without sensual means to rise to the contemplation of the virtues of the saints and to ascend to the fountain of eternal light. Man is made in the image of God, and hence capable of receiving Christ into his soul. God should ever be present and adored in our hearts. O unfortunate memory, which can realize the presence of Christ only by means of a picture drawn in sensuous colors. The Council of Nicaea committed a great wrong in condemning those who do not worship images.

The author of the Caroline books, however, falls into the same inconsistency as the Eastern iconoclasts, by making an exception in favor of the sign of the cross and the relics of saints. The cross is called a banner which puts the enemy to flight, and the honoring of the relics is declared to be a great means of promoting piety, since the saints reign with Christ in heaven, and their bones will be raised to glory; while images are made by men's hands and return to dust.

A Synod in Frankfort, a.d. 794, the most important held during the reign of Charlemagne, and representing the churches of France and Germany, in the presence of two papal legates (Theophylactus and Stephanus), endorsed the doctrine of the Libri Carolini, unanimously condemned the worship of images in any form, and rejected the seventh oecumenical council.558 According to an old tradition, the English church agreed with this decision.559

Charlemagne sent a copy of his book, or more probably an extract from it (85 Capitula or Capitulare de Imaginibus) through Angilbert, his son-in-law, to his friend Pope Hadrian, who in a long answer tried to defend the Eastern orthodoxy of Nicaea with due respect for his Western protector, but failed to satisfy the Frankish church, and died soon afterwards (Dec. 25, 795).560

A Synod of Paris, held under the reign of Charlemagne's son and successor, Louis the Pious, in the year 825, renewed the protest of the Frankfort Synod against image-worship and the authority of the second council of Nicaea, in reply to an embassy of the Emperor Michael Balbus, and added a slight rebuke to the pope.561


The Caroline Books, if not written by Charlemagne, are at all events issued in his name; for the author repeatedly calls Pepin his father, and speaks of having undertaken the work with the consent of the priests in his dominion (conniventia sacerdotum in regno a Deo nobis concesso). The book is first mentioned by Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims in the ninth century as directed against the pseudo-Synodus Graecorum (the second Nicene Council), and he quotes a passage from a copy which he saw in the royal palace. The second mention and quotation was made by the papal librarian Augustin Steuchus (d. 1550) from a very old copy in the Bibliotheca Palatina. As soon as it appeared in print, Flavius and other Protestant polemics used it against Rome. Baronius, Bellarmin, and other Romanists denied the genuineness, and ascribed the book to certain heretics in the age of Charlemagne, who sent it to Rome to be condemned; some declared it even a fabrication of the radical reformer Carlstadt! But Sirmond and Natalis Alexander convincingly proved the genuineness. More recently Dr. Floss (R.C.) of Bonn, revived the doubts (1860), but they are permanently removed since Professor Reifferscheid (1866) discovered a new MS. from the tenth century in the Vatican library which differs from the one of Steuchus, and was probably made in the Cistercian Convent at Marienfeld in Westphalia. "Therefore," writes Bishop Hefele in 1877 (III. 698), "the genuineness of the Libri Carolini is hereafter no longer to be questioned (nicht mehr zu beanstanden)."

§ 105. Evangelical Reformers. Agobardus of Lyons, and Claudius of Turin.

I. Agobardus: Contra eorum superstitionem qui picturis et imaginibus SS. adorationis obsequium deferendum putant. Opera ed. Baluzius Par. 1666, 2 vols., and Migne, "Patrol. Lat." vol. 104, fol. 29–351. Histoire litter. de la France, IV. 567 sqq. C. B. Hundeshagen: De Agobardi vita et scriptis. Pars I. Giessae 1831; and his article in Herzog2 I. 212 sq. Bähr: Gesch. der röm. Lit. in Karoliny. Zeitalter, p. 383–393. Bluegel: De Agobardi archiep. Lugd. vita et scriptis. Hal. 1865. Simson: Jahrbücher des fränkischen Reichs unter Ludwig dem Frommen. Leipz. 1874 and '76. C. Deedes in Smith and Wace, I. 63–64. Lichtenberger, I. 119.

II. Claudius: Opera in Migne's "Patrol. Lat." vol. 104, fol. 609–927. Commentaries on Kings, Gal., Ephes., etc., Eulogium Augustini, and Apologeticum. Some of his works are still unpublished. Rudelbach: Claudii Tur. Ep. ineditorum operum specimina, praemissa de ejus doctrina scriptisque dissert. Havniae 1824. C. Schmidt: Claudius v. Turin in Illgen's "Zeitschrift f. die Hist. Theol." 1843. II. 39; and his art. in Herzog2, III. 243–245.

III. Neander, III. 428–439 (very full and discriminating on Claudius); Gieseler, II. 69–73 (with judicious extracts); Reuter: Geschichte der Aufklärung im Mittelalter, vol. I. (Berlin 1875), 16–20 and 24–41.

The opposition to image-worship and other superstitious practices continued in the Frankish church during the ninth century.

Two eminent bishops took the lead in the advocacy of a more spiritual and evangelical type of religion. In this they differed from the rationalistic and destructive iconoclasts of the East. They were influenced by the writings of Paul and Augustin, those inspirers of all evangelical movements in church history; with this difference, however, that Paul stands high above parties and schools, and that Augustin, with all his anti-Pelagian principles, was a strong advocate of the Catholic theory of the church and church-order.

Agobard (in Lyonese dialect Agobaud or Aguebaud), a native of Spain, but of Gallic parents, and archbishop of Lyons (816–841), figures prominently in the political and ecclesiastical history of France during the reign of Louis the Pious. He is known to us already as an opponent of the ordeal, the judicial duel and other heathen customs.562 His character presents singular contrasts. He was a rigid ecclesiastic and sacerdotalist, and thoroughly orthodox in dogma (except that he denied the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures); but, on the other hand, a sworn enemy of all superstition, and advocate of liberal views in matters of worship.563 He took part in the rebellion of Lothaire against his father Louis in 833, which deprived him of his bishopric and left a serious stain on his character, but he was afterwards reconciled to Louis and recovered the bishopric. He opposed Adoptionism as a milder form of the Nestorian heresy. He attacked the Jews, who flocked to Lyons in large numbers, and charges them with insolent conduct towards the Christians. In this he shared the intolerance of his age. But, on the other hand, he wrote a book against image-worship.564 He goes back to the root of the difficulty, the worship of saints. He can find no authority for such worship. The saints themselves decline it. It is a cunning device of Satan to smuggle heathen idolatry, into the church under pretext of showing honor to saints. He thus draws men away from a spiritual to a sensual worship. God alone should be adored; to him alone must we present the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart. Angels and holy men who are crowned with victory, and help us by their intercessions, may be loved and honored, but not worshiped. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man" (Jer. 17:5). We may look with pleasure on their pictures, but it is better to be satisfied with the simple symbol of the cross (as if this were not liable to the same abuse). Agobart approves the canon of Elvira, which forbade images altogether. He says in conclusion: "Since no man is essentially God, save Jesus our Saviour, so we, as the Scripture commands, shall bow our knees to his name alone, lest by giving this honor to another we may be estranged from God, and left to follow the doctrines and traditions of men according to the inclinations of our hearts."565

Agobard was not disturbed in his position, and even honored as a saint in Lyons after his death, though his saintship is disputed.566 His works were lost, until Papirius Masson discovered a MS. copy and rescued it from a bookbinder's hands in Lyons (1605).

Claudius, bishop of Turin (814–839), was a native of Spain, but spent three years as chaplain at the court of Louis the Pious and was sent by him to the diocese of Turin. He wrote practical commentaries on nearly all the books of the Bible, at the request of the emperor, for the education of the clergy. They were mostly extracted from the writings of Augustin, Jerome, and other Latin fathers. Only fragments remain. He was a great admirer of Augustin, but destitute of his wisdom and moderation.567

He found the Italian churches full of pictures and picture-worshipers. He was told that the people did not mean to worship the images, but the saints. He replied that the heathen on the same ground defend the worship of their idols, and may become Christians by merely changing the name. He traced image-worship and saint-worship to a Pelagian tendency, and met it with the Augustinian view of the sovereignty of divine grace. Paul, he says, overthrows human merits, in which the monks now most glory, and exalts the grace of God. We are saved by grace, not by works. We must worship the Creator, not the creature. "Whoever seeks from any creature in heaven or on earth the salvation which he should seek from God alone, is an idolater." The departed saints themselves do not wish to be worshipped by us, and cannot help us. While we live, we may aid each other by prayers, but not after death. He attacked also the superstitious use of the sign of the cross, going beyond Charlemagne and Agobard. He met the defence by carrying it to absurd conclusions. If we worship the cross, he says, because Christ suffered on it, we might also worship every virgin because he was born of a virgin, every manger because he was laid in a manger, every ship because he taught from a ship, yea, every ass because he rode on an ass into Jerusalem. We should bear the cross, not adore it. He banished the pictures, crosses and crucifixes from the churches, as the only way to kill superstition. He also strongly opposed the pilgrimages. He had no appreciation of religious symbolism, and went in his Puritanic zeal to a fanatical extreme.

Claudius was not disturbed in his seat; but, as he says himself, he found no sympathy with the people, and became "an object of scorn to his neighbors," who pointed at him as "a frightful spectre." He was censured by Pope Paschalis I. (817–824), and opposed by his old friend, the Abbot Theodemir of the diocese of Nismes, to whom he had dedicated his lost commentary on Leviticus (823), by Dungal (of Scotland or Ireland, about 827), and by Bishop Jonas of Orleans (840), who unjustly charged him with the Adoptionist and even the Arian heresy. Some writers have endeavored, without proof, to trace a connection between him and the Waldenses in Piedmont, who are of much later date.568

Jonas of Orleans, Hincmar of Rheims, and Wallafrid Strabo still maintained substantially the moderate attitude of the Caroline books between the extremes of iconoclasm and image-worship. But the all-powerful influence of the popes, the sensuous tendency and credulity of the age, the ignorance of the clergy, and the grosser ignorance of the people combined to secure the ultimate triumph of image-worship even in France. The rising sun of the Carolingian age was obscured by the darkness of the tenth century.



§ 106. General Survey.

Our period is far behind the preceding patristic and the succeeding scholastic in doctrinal importance, but it mediates between them by carrying the ideas of the fathers over to the acute analysis of the schoolmen, and marks a progress in the development of the Catholic system. It was agitated by seven theological controversies of considerable interest.

1. The controversy about the single or double Procession of the Holy Spirit. This belongs to the doctrine of the Trinity and was not settled, but divides to this day the Greek and Latin churches.

2. The Monotheletic controversy is a continuation of the Eutychian and Monophysitic controversies of the preceding period. It ended with the condemnation of Monotheletism and an addition to the Chalcedonian Christology, namely, the doctrine that Christ has two wills as well as two natures.

3. The Adoptionist controversy is a continuation of the Nestorian. Adoptionism was condemned as inconsistent with the personal union of the two natures in Christ.

4 and 5. Two Eucharistic controversies resulted in the general prevalence of the doctrine of transubstantiation.

6. The Predestinarian controversy between Gottschalk and Hincmar tended to weaken the influence of the Augustinian system, and to promote semi-Pelagian views and practices.

7. The Image-controversy belongs to the history of worship rather than theology, and has been discussed in the preceding chapter.569

The first, second, and seventh controversies affected the East and the West; the Adoptionist, the two Eucharistic, and the Predestinarian controversies were exclusively carried on in the West, and ignored in the East.

§ 107. The Controversy on the Procession of the Holy Spirit.

See the Lit. in § 67 p. 304 sq. The arguments for both sides of the question were fully discussed in the Union Synod of Ferrara-Florence, 1438–'39; see Hefele: Conciliengesch. VII. P. II. p. 683 sqq.; 706 sqq.; 712 sqq.

The Filioque-controversy relates to the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit, and is a continuation of the trinitarian controversies of the Nicene age. It marks the chief and almost the only important dogmatic difference between the Greek and Latin churches. It belongs to metaphysical theology, and has far less practical value than the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men. But it figures very largely in history, and has occasioned, deepened, and perpetuated the greatest schism in Christendom. The single word Filioque keeps the oldest, largest, and most nearly related churches divided since the ninth century, and still forbids a reunion. The Eastern church regards the doctrine of the single procession as the corner-stone of orthodoxy, and the doctrine of the double procession as the mother of all heresies. She has held most tenaciously to her view since the fourth century, and is not likely ever to give it up. Nor can the Roman church change her doctrine of the double procession without sacrificing the principle of infallibility.

The Protestant Confessions agree with the Latin dogma, while on the much more vital question of the papacy they agree with the Eastern church, though from a different point of view. The church of England has introduced the double procession of the Spirit even into her litany.570 It should be remembered, however, that this dogma was not a controverted question in the time of the Reformation, and was received from the mediaeval church without investigation. Protestantism is at perfect liberty to go back to the original form of the Nicene Creed if it should be found to be more in accordance with the Scripture. But the main thing for Christians of all creeds is to produce "the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control."

Let us first glance at the external history of the controversy.

1. The New Testament. The exegetical starting-point and foundation of the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit is the word of our Lord in the farewell address to his disciples: When the Paraclete (the Advocate) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth (or, goeth forth) from the Father, he shall bear witness of me."571

On this passage the Nicene fathers based their doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit,572 as his personal property or characteristic individuality573 while the unbegotten Fatherhood574 belongs to the person of the Father, and the eternal generation575 to the person of the Son.

Our Lord says neither that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, nor that he proceeds from the Father and the Son. But in several other passages of the same farewell addresses he speaks of the Spirit as being sent by the Father and the Son, and promises this as a future event which was to take place after his departure, and which actually did take place on the day of Pentecost and ever since.576

On these passages is based the doctrine of the mission of the Spirit.577 This is regarded as a temporal or historical act, and must be distinguished from the eternal procession in the Trinity itself. In other words, the procession belongs to the Trinity of essence, and is an intertrinitarian process (like the eternal generation of the Son), but the mission belongs to the Trinity of revelation in the historical execution of the scheme of redemption. In this exegesis the orthodox divines of the Greek and Latin churches are agreed. They differ on the source of the procession, but not on the mission.

Modern exegetes, who adhere closely to the grammatical sense, and are not governed by dogmatic systems, incline mostly to the view that no metaphysical distinction is intended in those passages, and that the procession of the Spirit from the Father, and the mission of the Spirit by the Father and the Son, refer alike to the same historic event and soteriological operation, namely, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and his continued work in the church and in the heart of believers. The Spirit "proceeds" when he "is sent" on his divine mission to glorify the Son and to apply the redemption to men. The Saviour speaks of the office and work of the Spirit rather than of his being and essence. Nevertheless there is a difference which must not be overlooked. In the procession, the Spirit is active: in the mission, he is passive; the procession is spoken of in the present tense (ejkporeuvetai) as a present act, the mission in the future tense (pevmyw) as a future act, so that the former seems to belong to the eternal Trinity of essence, the latter to the historical or economical Trinity of revelation. Now God indeed reveals himself as he actually is, and we may therefore reason back from the divine office of the Spirit to his divine nature, and from his temporal mission to his eternal relation. Yet it may be questioned whether such inference justifies the doctrine of a double procession in the absence of any express Scripture warrant.578

2. The Nicene Creed, in its original form of 325, closes abruptly with the article: "And [we believe] into the Holy Spirit.579 In the enlarged form (which is usually traced to the Council of Constantinople, 381, and incorporated in its acts since 451, but is found earlier in Epiphanius, 373, and Cyril of Jerusalem, 362, we have the addition: "the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father," etc.580 This form was generally adopted in the Eastern churches since the Council of Chalcedon, 451 (at which both forms were recited and confirmed), and prevails there to this day unaltered. It is simply the Scripture phrase without any addition, either of the Greek "alone," or of the Latin "and from the Son." The Greek church understood the clause in an exclusive sense, the Latin church, since Augustin and Leo I., in an incomplete sense.581

The Latin church had no right to alter an oecumenical creed without the knowledge and consent of the Greek church which had made it; for in the oecumenical Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople the Western church was scarcely represented, at Nicaea only by one bishop (Hosius of Spain), in the second not at all; and in the Council of Chalcedon the delegates of Pope Leo I. fully agreed to the enlarged Greek form of the Nicene symbol, yet without the Filioque, which was then not thought of, although the doctrine of the double procession was already current in the West. A departure from this common symbolical standard of the most weighty oecumenical councils by a new addition, without consent of the other party, opened the door to endless disputes.

The Enlargement of the Nicene Creed.

The third national Synod of Toledo in Spain, a.d. 589, held after the conversion of King Reccared to the Catholic faith, in its zeal for the deity of Christ against the Arian heresy which lingered longest in that country, and without intending the least disrespect to the Eastern church, first inserted the clause Filioque in the Latin version of the Nicene Creed.582 Other Spanish synods of Toledo did the same.583

From Spain the clause passed into the Frankish church. It was discussed at the Synod of Gentilly near Paris in 767, but we do not know with what result.584 The Latin view was advocated by Paulinus of Aquileja (796),585 by Alcuin (before 804), and by Theodulf of Orleans.586 It was expressed in the so-called Athanasian Creed, which made its appearance in France shortly before or during the age of Charlemagne.587 The clause was sung in his chapel. He brought the matter before the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 809, which decided in favor of the double procession.588 He also sent messengers to Pope Leo III., with the request to sanction the insertion of the clause in the Nicene Creed. The pope decided in favor of the doctrine of the double procession, but protested against the alteration of the creed, and caused the Nicene Creed, in its original Greek text and the Latin version, to be engraved on two tablets and suspended in the Basilica of St. Peter, as a perpetual testimony against the innovation.589 His predecessor, Hadrian I., had a few years before (between 792 and 795) defended the Greek formula of John of Damascus and patriarch Tarasius, that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.590 But the violent assault of Photius upon the Latin doctrine, as heretical, drove the Latin church into the defensive. Hence, since the ninth century, the, Filioque was gradually introduced into the Nicene Creed all over the West, and the popes themselves, notwithstanding their infallibility, approved what their predecessors had condemned.591

The coincidence of the triumph of the Filioque in the West with the founding of the new Roman Empire is significant; for this empire emancipated the pope from the Byzantine rule.

The Greek church, however, took little or no notice of this innovation till about one hundred and fifty years later, when Photius, the learned patriarch of Constantinople, brought it out in its full bearing and force in his controversy with Nicolas I., the pope of old Rome.592 He regarded the single procession as the principal part of the doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit on which the personality and deity of the Spirit depended, and denounced the denial of it as heresy and blasphemy. After this time no progress was made for the settlement of the difference, although much was written on both sides. The chief defenders of the Greek view, after the controversy with Photius, were Theophylactus, Euthymius Zigabenus, Nicolaus of Methone, Nicetus Choniates, Eustratius, and in modern times, the Russian divines, Prokovitch, Zoernicav, Mouravieff, and Philaret. The chief defenders of the Latin doctrine are Aeneas, bishop of Paris,593 Ratramnus (or Bertram), a monk of Corbie, in the name of the French clergy in the ninth century,594 Anselm of Canterbury (1098),595 Peter Chrysolanus, archbishop of Milan (1112),596 Anselm of Havelberg (1120),597 and Thomas Aquinas (1274),598 and in more recent times, Leo Alacci, Michael Le Quien, and Cardinal Hergenröther.599

§ 108. The Arguments for and against the Filioque.

We proceed to the statement of the controverted doctrines and the chief arguments.

I. The Greek and Latin churches agree in holding-

(1) The personality and deity of the third Person of the holy Trinity.

(2) The eternal procession (ejkpovreusi", processio) of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity.

(3) The temporal mission (pevmyi", missio) of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, beginning with the day of Pentecost, and continued ever since in the church.

II. They differ on the source of the eternal procession of the Spirit, whether it be the Father alone, or the Father and the Son. The Greeks make the Son and the Spirit equally dependent on the Father, as the one and only source of the Godhead; the Latins teach an absolute co-ordination of the three Persons of the Trinity as to essence, but after all admit a certain kind of subordination as to dignity and office, namely, a subordination of the Son to the Father, and of the Spirit to both. The Greeks approach the Latins by the admission that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son (this was the doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria and John of Damascus); the Latins approach the Greeks by the admission that the Spirit proceeds chiefly (principaliter) from the Father (Augustin). But little or nothing is gained by this compromise. The real question is, whether the Father is the only source of the Deity, and whether the Son and the Spirit are co-ordinate or subordinate in their dependence on the Father.

1. The Greek doctrine in its present shape. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone (ejk movnou tou' patrov"), as the beginning (ajrchv), cause or root (aijtiva, rjizh, causa, radix), and fountain (phghv) of the Godhead, and not from the Son.600

John of Damascus, who gave the doctrine of the Greek fathers its scholastic shape, about a.d. 750, one hundred years before the controversy between Photius and Nicolas, maintained that the procession is from the Father alone, but through the Son, as mediator.601 The same formula, Ex Patre per Filium, was used by Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople, who presided over the seventh oecumenical Council (787), approved by Pope Hadrian I., and was made the basis for the compromise at the Council of Ferrara (1439), and at the Old Catholic Conference at Bonn (1875). But Photius and the later Eastern controversialists dropped or rejected the per Filium, as being nearly equivalent to ex Filio or Filioque, or understood it as being applicable only to the mission of the Spirit, and emphasized the exclusiveness of the procession from the Father.602

The arguments for the Greek doctrine are as follows:

(a) The words of Christ, John 15:26, understood in an exclusive sense. As this is the only passage of the Bible in which the procession of the Spirit is expressly taught, it is regarded by the Greeks as conclusive.

(b) The supremacy or monarchia of the Father. He is the source and root of the Godhead. The Son and the Spirit are subordinated to him, not indeed in essence or substance (oujsiva), which is one and the same, but in dignity and office. This is the Nicene subordinatianism. It is illustrated by the comparison of the Father with the root, the Son with the stem, the Spirit with the fruit, and such analogies as the sun, the ray, and the beam; the fire, the flame, and the light.

(c) The analogy of the eternal generation of the Son, which is likewise from the Father alone, without the agency of the Spirit.

(d) The authority of the Nicene Creed, and the Greek fathers, especially Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and John of Damascus. The Antiochean school is clearly on the Greek side; but the Alexandrian school leaned to the formula through the Son (dia; tou' uiJou', per Filium). The Greeks claim all the Greek fathers, and regard Augustin as the inventor of the Latin dogma of the double procession.

The Latin doctrine is charged with innovation, and with dividing the unity of the Godhead, or establishing two sources of the Deity. But the Latins replied that the procession was from one and the same source common to both the Father and the Son.

2. The Latin theory of the double procession is defended by the following arguments:

(a) The passages where Christ says that he will send the Spirit from the Father (John 15:26; 16:7); and that the Father will send the Spirit in Christ's name (14:26); and where he breathes the Spirit on his disciples (20:22). The Greeks refer all these passages to the temporal mission of the Spirit, and understand the insufflation to be simply a symbolical act or sacramental sign of the pentecostal effusion which Christ had promised. The Latins reply that the procession and the mission are parallel processes, the one ad intra, the other ad extra.

(b) The equality of essence (oJmoousiva) of the Father and Son to the exclusion of every kind of subordinationism (since Augustin) requires the double procession. The Spirit of the Father is also the Spirit of the Son, and is termed the Spirit of Christ. But, as already remarked, Augustin admitted that the Spirit proceeds chiefly from the Father, and this after all is a kind of subordination of dignity. The Father has his being (oujsiva) from himself, the Son and the Spirit have it from the Father by way of derivation, the one by generation, the other by procession.

(c) The temporal mission of the Spirit is a reflection of his eternal procession. The Trinity of revelation is the basis of all our speculations on the Trinity of essence. We know the latter only from the former.

(d) The Nicene Creed and the Nicene fathers did not understand the procession from the Father in an exclusive sense, but rather in opposition to the Pneumatomachi who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Some Greek fathers, as Epiphanius, Cyril of Alexandria, and John of Damascus, teach the Latin doctrine. This is not the case exactly. The procession of the Spirit "through the Son," is not equivalent to the procession "from the Son," but implies a subordination.

(e) The Latin fathers are in favor of Filioque, especially Ambrose, Augustin, Jerome, Leo I., Gregory I.603

(f) The insertion of the Filioque is as justifiable as the other and larger additions to the Apostles' Creed and to the original Nicene Creed of 325, and was silently accepted, or at least not objected to by the Greek church until the rivalry of the Patriarch of Constantinople made it a polemical weapon against the Pope of Rome. To this the Greeks reply that the other additions are consistent and were made by common consent, but the Filioque was added without the knowledge and against the teaching of the East by churches (in Spain and France) which had nothing to do with the original production.

This controversy of the middle ages was raised from the tomb by the Old Catholic Conference held in Bonn, 1875, under the lead of the learned historian, Dr. Döllinger of Munich, and attended by a number of German Old Catholic, Greek and Russian, and high Anglican divines. An attempt was made to settle the dispute on the basis of the teaching of the fathers before the division of the Eastern and Western churches, especially the doctrine of John of Damascus, that is, the single procession of the Spirit from the Father mediated through the Son. The Filioque was surrendered as an unauthorized and unjustifiable interpolation.

But the Bonn Conference has not been sanctioned by any ecclesiastical authority, and forms only an interesting modern episode in the, history of this controversy, and in the history of the Old Catholic communion.604

§ 109. The Monotheletic Controversy.


(I.) Sources: Documents and acts of the first Lateran Synod (649), and the sixth oecumenical Council or Concilium Trullanum I., held in Constantinople (680), in Mansi, X. 863 sqq. and XI. 187 sqq.

Anastasius (Vatican librarian, about 870): Collectanea de iis quae spectant ad controv. et histor. monothelit. haeret., first ed. by Sirmond, Par. 1620, in his Opera, III., also in Bibl. Max. PP. Lugd. XII. 833; and in Gallandi, XIII.; also scattered through vols. X. and XI. of Mansi. See Migne's ed. of Anastas. in "Patrol. Lat." vols. 127–129.

Maximus Confessor: Opera, ed. Combefis, Par. 1675, Tom. II. 1–158, and his disputation with Pyrrhus, ib. 159 sqq. Also in Migne's reprint, "Patrol. Gr." vol. 91.

Theophanes: Chronographia, ed. Bonn. (1839), p. 274 sqq.; ed. Migne, in vol. 108 of his "Patrol. Graeca" (1861).

(II.) Franc. Combefisius (Combefis, a learned French Dominican, d. 1679): Historia haeresis Monothelitarum ac vindiciae actorum Sexti Synodi, in his Novum Auctuarium Patrum, II. 3 sqq. Par. 1648, fol. 1–198.

Petavius: Dogm. Theol. Tom. V. l. IX. c. 6–10.

Jos. Sim. Assemani, in the fourth vol. of his Bibliotheca Juris Orientalis. Romae 1784.

CH. W. F. Walch: Ketzerhistorie, vol. IX. 1–666 (Leipzig 1780). Very dry, but very learned.

Gibbon (Ch. 47, N. Y. ed. IV. 682–686, superficial). Schröckh, vol. XX. 386 sqq. Neander, III. 175–197 (Boston ed.), or III. 353–398 (Germ. ed.). Gieseler, I. 537–544 (Am. ed.).

The respective sections in Baur: Gesch. der Lehre v. d. Dreieinigkeii und Menschwerdung (Tüb. 1841–'43, 3 vols.), vol. II. 96–128; Dorner: Entwicklungsgesch. der Lehre v. d. Person Christi (second ed. 1853), II. 193–305; Nitzsch: Dogmengesch. I. 325 sqq.; and Hefele: Conciliengeschichte (revised ed. 1877) III. 121–313. Also W. Möller. in Herzog2 X. 792–805.

The literature on the case of Honorius see in the next section.

§ 110. The Doctrine of Two Wills in Christ.

The Monotheletic or one-will controversy is a continuation of the Christological contests of the post-Nicene age, and closely connected with the Monophysitic controversy.605

This question had not been decided by the ancient fathers and councils, and passages from their writings were quoted by both parties. But in the inevitable logic of theological development it had to be agitated sooner or later, and brought to a conciliar termination.

The controversy had a metaphysical and a practical aspect.

The metaphysical and psychological aspect was the relation of will to nature and to person. Monotheletism regards the will as an attribute of person, Dyotheletism as an attribute of nature. It is possible to conceive of an abstract nature without a will; it is difficult to conceive of a rational human nature without impulse and will; it is impossible to conceive of a human person without a will. Reason and will go together, and constitute the essence of personality. Two wills cannot coexist in an ordinary human being. But as the personality of Christ is complex or divine-human, it may be conceived of as including two consciousnesses and two wills. The Chalcedonian Christology at all events consistently requires two wills as the necessary complement of two rational natures; in other words, Dyotheletism is inseparable from Dyophysitism, while Monotheletism is equally inseparable from Monophysitism, although it acknowledged the Dyophysitism of Chalcedon. The orthodox doctrine saved the integrity and completeness of Christ's humanity by asserting his human will.606

The practical aspect of the controversy is connected with the nature of the Redeemer and of redemption, and was most prominent with the leaders. The advocates of Monotheletism were chiefly concerned to guard the unity of Christ's person and work. They reasoned that, as Christ is but one person, he can only have one will; that two wills would necessarily conflict, as in man the will of the flesh rebels against the Spirit; and that the sinlessness of Christ is best secured by denying to him a purely human will, which is the root of sin. They made the pre-existing divine will of the Logos the efficient cause of the incarnation and redemption, and regarded the human nature of Christ merely as the instrument through which he works and suffers, as the rational soul works through the organ of the body. Some of them held also that in the perfect state the human will of the believer will be entirely absorbed in the divine will, which amounts almost to a pantheistic absorption of the human personality in the divine.

The advocates of Dyotheletism on the other hand contended that the incarnation must be complete in order to have a complete redemption; that a complete incarnation implies the assumption of the human will into union with the pre-existing divine will of the Logos; that the human will is the originating cause of sin and guilt, and must therefore be redeemed, purified, and sanctified; that Christ, without a human will, could not have been a full man, could not have been tempted, nor have chosen between good and evil, nor performed any moral and responsible act.

The Scripture passages quoted by Agatho and other advocates of the two-will doctrine, are Matt. 26:39 ("Not as I will, but as Thou wilt"); Luke 22:42 ("Not my will, but thine be done"); John 6:38 ("I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me"). For the human will were quoted Luke 2:51 ("he was subject" to his parents); Phil. 2:8 ("obedient unto death"), also John 1:43; 17:24; 19:28; Matt. 27:34; for the divine will, Luke 13:34; John 5:21.

These Scripture passages, which must in the end decide the controversy, clearly teach the human will of Jesus, but the other will from which it is distinguished, is the will of his heavenly Father, to which he was obedient unto death. The orthodox dogma implies the identity of the divine will of Christ with the will of God the Father, and assumes that there is but one will in the divine tripersonality. It teaches two natures and one person in Christ, but three persons and one nature in God. Here we meet the metaphysical and psychological difficulty of conceiving of a personality without a distinct will. But the term personality is applied to the Deity in a unique and not easily definable sense. The three Divine persons are not conceived as three individuals.

The weight of argument and the logical consistency on the basis of the Chalcedonian Dyophysitism, which was acknowledged by both parties, decided in favor of the two-will doctrine. The Catholic church East and West condemned Monotheletism as a heresy akin to Monophysitism. The sixth oecumenical Council in 680 gave the final decision by adopting the following addition to the Chalcedonian Christology:607

"And we likewise preach two natural wills in him [Jesus Christ], and two natural operations undivided, inconvertible, inseparable, unmixed, according to the doctrine of the holy fathers; and the two natural wills [are] not contrary (as the impious heretics assert), far from it! but his human will follows the divine will, and is not resisting or reluctant, but rather subject to his divine and omnipotent will.608 For it was proper that the will of the flesh should be moved, but be subjected to the divine will, according to the wise Athanasius. For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of the God Logos, so is also the natural will of his flesh the proper will of the Logos, as he says himself: 'I came from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the Father who sent me' (John 6:38). … Therefore we confess two natural wills and operations, harmoniously united for the salvation of the human race."609

The theological contest was carried on chiefly in the Eastern church which had the necessary learning and speculative talent; but the final decision was brought about by the weight of Roman authority, and Pope Agatho exerted by his dogmatic epistle the same controlling influence over the sixth oecumenical Council, as Pope Leo I. had exercised over the fourth. In this as well as the older theological controversies the Roman popes—with the significant exception of Honorius—stood firmly on the side of orthodoxy, while the patriarchal sees of the East were alternately occupied by heretics as well as orthodox.

The Dyotheletic decision completes the Christology of the Greek and Roman churches, and passed from them into the Protestant churches; but while the former have made no further progress in this dogma, the latter allows a revision and reconstruction, and opened new avenues of thought in the contemplation of the central fact and truth of the divine-human personality of Christ.

§ 111. History of Monotheletism and Dyotheletism.

The triumph of Dyotheletism was the outcome of a bitter conflict of nearly fifty years (633 to 680). The first act reaches to the issue of the Ekthesis (638), the second to the issue of the Type (648), the third and last to the sixth oecumenical Council (680). The theological leaders of Monophysitism were Theodore, bishop of Pharan in Arabia (known to us only from a few fragments of his writings), Sergius and his successors Pyrrhus and Paul in the patriarchal see of Constantinople, and Cyrus, patriarch of Alexandria; the political leaders were the Emperors Heraclius and Constans II.

The champions of the Dyotheletic doctrine were Sophronius of Palestine, Maximus of Constantinople, and the popes Martin and Agatho of Rome; the political supporter, the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus (668–685).

1. The strife began in a political motive, but soon assumed a theological and religious aspect. The safety of the Byzantine empire was seriously threatened, first by the Persians, and then by the Arabs, and the danger was increased by the division among Christians. The Emperor Heraclius (610–640) after his return from the Persian campaign desired to conciliate the Monophysites, who were more numerous than the orthodox in Armenia, Syria, and Egypt.610 He hoped, by a union of the parties, to protect these countries more effectually against the Mohammedan invaders. The Monophysites took offence at the catholic inference of two energies (ejnevrgeiai) in the person of Christ. The emperor consulted Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople (since 610), who was of Syrian (perhaps Jacobite) descent. They agreed upon the compromise-formula of "one divine-human energy" (miva qeandrikh; ejnevrgeia).611 Sergius secured the consent of Pope Honorius (625–638), who was afterwards condemned for heresy. Cyrus, the orthodox patriarch of Alexandria, published the formula (633), and converted thousands of Monophysites.612

But Sophronius, a learned and venerable monk in Palestine, who happened to be in Alexandria at that time, protested against the compromise-formula as a cunning device of the Monophysites. When he became patriarch of Jerusalem (in 633 or 634), he openly confessed, in a synodical letter to the patriarchs, the doctrine of Dyotheletism as a necessary part of the Chalcedonian Christology. It is one of the most important documents in this controversy.613

A few years afterwards, the Saracens besieged and conquered Jerusalem (637); Sophronius died and was succeeded by a Monotheletic bishop.

In the year 638 the Emperor issued, as an answer to the manifesto of Sophronius, an edict drawn up by Sergius, under the title Exposition of the Faith (e[kqesi" th'" pivstew"), which commanded silence on the subject in dispute, but pretty clearly decided in favor of Monotheletism. It first professes the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and incarnation in the Chalcedonian sense, and then forbids the use of the terms "one" or "two energies" (miva or duvo ejnevrgeiai) since both are heretically interpreted, and asserts one will (qevlhma) in Christ.614

2. Two synods of Constantinople (638 and 639) adopted the Ekthesis. But in the remote provinces it met with powerful resistance. Maximus Confessor became the champion of Dyotheletism in the Orient and North Africa, and Pope Martinus I. in the West. They thoroughly understood the controversy, and had the courage of martyrs for their conviction.

Maximus was born about 580 of a distinguished family in Constantinople, and was for some time private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius, but left this post of honor and influence in 630, and entered a convent in Chrysopolis (now Scutari). He was a profound thinker and able debater. When the Monotheletic heresy spread, he concluded to proceed to Rome, and passing through Africa be held there, in the presence of the imperial governor and many bishops, a remarkable disputation with Pyrrhus, who had succeeded Sergius in the see of Constantinople, but was deposed and expelled for political reasons. This disputation took place in July, 645, but we do not know in what city of Africa. It sounded all the depths of the controversy and ended with the temporary conversion of Pyrrhus to Dyotheletism.615

About the same time, several North-African synods declared in favor of the Dyotheletic doctrine.

In the year 648 the Emperor Constans II. (642–668) tried in vain to restore peace by means of a new edict called Typos or Type, which commanded silence on the subject under dispute without giving the preference to either view.616 It set aside the Ekthesis and declared in favor of neutrality. The aim of both edicts was to arrest the controversy and to prevent a christological development beyond the fourth and fifth oecumenical councils. But the Type was more consistent in forbidding all controversy not only about one energy (miva ejnevrgeia), but also about one will (e{n qevlhma). Transgressors of the Type were threatened with deposition; if clergymen, with excommunication; if monks, with the loss of dignity and place, of military or civil officers.

3. An irrepressible conflict cannot be silenced by imperial decrees. Pope Martin I., formerly Apocrisiarios of the papal see at Constantinople, and distinguished for virtue, knowledge and personal beauty, soon after his election (July 5th, 649), assembled the first Lateran Council (Oct., 649), so called from being held in the Lateran basilica in Rome. It was attended by one hundred and five bishops, anathematized the one-will doctrine and the two imperial edicts, and solemnly sanctioned the two-will doctrine. It anticipated substantially the decision of the sixth oecumenical council, and comes next to it in authority on this article of faith.617

The acts of this Roman council, together with an encyclical of the pope warning against the Ekthesis and the Type, were sent to all parts of the Christian world. At the same time, the pope sent a Greek translation of the acts to the Emperor Constans II., and politely informed him that the Synod had confirmed the true doctrine, and condemned the heresy. Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paulus had violated the full humanity of Christ, and deceived the emperors by the Ekthesis and the Type.

But the emperor, through his representative, Theodore Calliopa, the exarch of Ravenna, deposed the pope as a rebel and heretic, and removed him from Rome (June, 653). He imprisoned him with common criminals in Constantinople, exposed him to cold, hunger, and all sorts of injuries, and at last sent him by ship to a cavern in Cherson on the Black Sea (March, 655). Martin bore this cruel treatment with dignity, and died Sept. 16, 655, in exile, a martyr to his faith in the doctrine of two wills.

Maximus was likewise transported to Constantinople (653), and treated with even greater cruelty. He was (with two of his disciples) confined in prison for several years, scourged, deprived of his tongue and right hand, and thus mutilated sent, in his old age, to Lazica in Colchis on the Pontus Euxinus, where he died of these injuries, Aug. 13, 662. His two companions likewise died in exile.

The persecution of these martyrs prepared the way for the triumph of their doctrine. In the meantime province after province was conquered by the Saracens.

§ 112. The Sixth Oecumenical Council. a.d. 680.

Constans II. was murdered in a bath at Syracuse (668). His son, Constantine IV. Pogonatus (Barbatus, 668–685), changed the policy of his father, and wished to restore harmony between the East and the West. He stood on good or neutral terms with Pope Vitalian (6 57–672), who maintained a prudent silence on the disputed question, and with his successors, Adeodatus (672–676), Donus or Domnus (676–678), and Agatho (678–681).

After sufficient preparations, he called, in concert with Agatho, a General Council. It convened in the imperial palace at Constantinople, and held eighteen sessions from Nov. 7, 680, to Sept. 16, 681. it is called the Sixth Oecumenical, and also the First Trullan Synod, from the name of the hall or chapel in the palace.618 The highest number of members in attendance was one hundred and seventy-four, including three papal legates (two priests and one deacon). The emperor presided in person, surrounded by civil and ecclesiastical dignitaries. The acts are preserved in the Greek original and in two old Latin versions.619

After a full discussion of the subject on both sides, the council, in the eighteenth and last session, defined and sanctioned the two-will doctrine, almost in the very language of the letter of Pope Agatho to the emperor.620 Macarius, the patriarch of Alexandria, who adhered to Monotheletism, was deposed.

The epistle of Agatho is a worthy sequel of Leo's Epistle to the Chalcedonian Council, and equally clear and precise in stating the orthodox view. It is also remarkable for the confidence with which it claims infallibility for the Roman church, in spite of the monotheletic heresy of Pope Honorius (who is prudently ignored). Agatho quotes the words of Christ to Peter, Luke 22:31, 32, in favor of papal infallibility, anticipating, as it were, the Vatican decision of 1870.621

But while the council fully endorsed the dyotheletic view of Agatho, and clothed it with oecumenical authority, it had no idea of endorsing his claim to papal infallibility; on the contrary, it expressly condemned Pope Honorius I. as a Monotheletic heretic, together with Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Paulus, Petrus, and Theodore of Pharan.

Immediately after the close of the council, the emperor published the decision, with an edict enforcing it and anathematizing all heretics from Simon Magus down to Theodore of Pharan, Sergius, Pope Honorius, who in all was their follower and associate, and confirmed the heresy.622 The edict forbids any one hereafter to teach the doctrine of one will and one energy under penalty of deposition, confiscation, and exile.

Pope Agatho died Jan. 10, 682; but his successor, Leo II., who was consecrated Aug. 17 of the same year, confirmed the sixth council, and anathematized all heretics, including his predecessor, Honorius, who, instead of adorning the apostolic see, dared to prostitute its immaculate faith by profane treason, and all who died in the same error.623

§ 113. The Heresy of Honorius.

J. von Döllinger (Old Cath.): Papstfabeln des Mittelalters. München, 1863. The same translated by A. Plummer: Fables respecting the Popes in the Middle Ages; Am ed. enlarged by Henry B. Smith, N. York, 1872. (The case of Honorius is discussed on pp. 223–248 Am. ed.; see German ed. p. 131 sqq.).

Schneemann (Jesuit): Studien über die Honoriusfrage. Freiburg i. B, 1864.

Paul Bottala (S. J.): Pope Honorius before the Tribunal of Reason and History. London, 1868.

P. Le Page Renouf: The Condemnation of Pope Honorius. Lond., 1868. The Case of Honorius reconsidered. Lond. 1870.

Maret (R.C.): Du Concil et de la paix relig. Par. 1869.

A. Gratry (R.C.): Four Letters to the Bishop of Orleans (Dupanloup) and the Archbishop of Malines (Dechamps), 1870. Several editions in French, German, English. He wrote against papal infallibility, but recanted on his death-bed.

A. de Margerie: Lettre au R. P. Gratry sur le Pape Honorius et le Bréviaire Romain. Nancy, 1870.

Jos. von Hefele (Bishop of Rottenburg and Member of the Vatican Council): Causa Honorii Papae. Neap., 1870. Honorius und das sechste allgemeine Concil. Tübingen, 1870. (The same translated by Henry B. Smith in the "Presbyt. Quarterly and Princeton Review, "N. York, April, 1872, p. 273 sqq.). Conciliengeschichte, Bd. III. (revised ed., 1877), pp. 145 sqq., 167 sqq., 290 sqq.

Job. Pennachi (Prof. of Church Hist. in the University of Rome): De Honorii I. Romani Pontificis causa in Concilio VI. ad Patres Concilii Vaticani. Romae, 1870. 287 pp. Hefele calls this the most important vindication of Honorius from the infallibilist standpoint. It was distributed among all the members of the Vatican Council; while books in opposition to papal infallibility by Bishop Hefele, Archbishop Kenrick, and others, had to be printed outside of Rome.

A. Ruckgaber: Die Irrlehre des Honorius und das Vatic. Concil. Stuttgart, 1871.

Comp. the literature in Hergenröther; Kirchengesch., III. 137 sqq.

The connection of Pope Honorius I. (Oct. 27, 625, to Oct. 12, 638) with the Monotheletic heresy has a special interest in its bearing upon the dogma of papal infallibility, which stands or falls with a single official error, according to the principle: Si falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. It was fully discussed by Catholic scholars on both sides before and during the Vatican Council of 1870, which proclaimed that dogma, but could not alter the facts of history. The following points are established by the best documentary evidence:

1. Honorius taught and favored in several official letters (to Sergius, Cyrus, and Sophronius), therefore ex cathedra, the one-will heresy. He fully agreed with Sergius, the Monotheletic patriarch of Constantinople. In answer to his first letter (634), he says: "Therefore we confess one will (qevlhma, voluntas) of our Lord Jesus Christ."624 He viewed the will as an attribute of person, not of nature, and reasoned: One willer, therefore only one will. In a second letter to Sergius, he rejects both the orthodox phrase: "two energies," and the heterodox phrase: "one energy" (ejnevrgeia, operatio), and affirms that the Bible clearly teaches two natures, but that it is quite vain to ascribe to the Mediator between God and man one or two energies; for Christ by virtue of his one theandric will showed many modes of operation and activity.625 The first letter was decidedly heretical, the second was certainly not orthodox, and both occasioned and favored the imperial Ekthesis (638) and Type (648), in their vain attempt to reconcile the Monophysites by suppressing the Dyotheletic doctrine.626

The only thing which may and must be said in his excuse is that the question was then new and not yet properly understood. He was, so to say, an innocent heretic before the church had pronounced a decision. As soon as it appeared that the orthodox dogma of two natures required the doctrine of two wills, and that Christ could not be a full man without a human will, the popes changed the position, and Honorius would probably have done the same had he lived a few years longer.

Various attempts have been made by papal historians and controversialists to save the orthodoxy of Honorius in order to save the dogma of papal infallibility. Some pronounce his letters to be a later Greek forgery.627 Others admit their genuineness, but distort them into an orthodox sense by a nonnatural exegesis.628 Still others maintain, at the expense of his knowledge and logic, that Honorius was orthodox at heart, but heretical, or at least very unguarded in his expressions.629 But we have no means to judge of his real sentiment except his own language, which is unmistakably Monotheletic. And this is the verdict not only of Protestants,630 but also of Gallican and other liberal Catholic historians.631

2. Honorius was condemned by the sixth oecumenical Council as "the former pope of Old Rome," who with the help of the old serpent had scattered deadly error.632 This anathema was repeated by the seventh oecumenical Council, 787, and by the eighth, 869. The Greeks, who were used to heretical patriarchs of New Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria, felt no surprise, and perhaps some secret satisfaction at the heresy of a pope of Old Rome.

Here again ultramontane historians have resorted to the impossible denial either of the genuineness of the act of condemnation in the sixth oecumenical Council,633 or of the true meaning of that act.634 The only consistent way for papal infallibilists is to deny the infallibility of the oecumenical Council as regards the dogmatic fact.635 In this case it would involve at the same time a charge of gross injustice to Honorius.

3. But this last theory is refuted by the popes themselves, who condemned Honorius as a heretic, and thus bore testimony for papal fallibility. His first success or, Severinus, had a brief pontificate of only three months. His second successor, John IV., apologized for him by putting a forced construction on his language. Agatho prudently ignored him.636 But his successor, Leo II., who translated the acts of the sixth Council from Greek into Latin, saw that he could not save the honor of Honorius without contradicting the verdict of the council in which the papal delegates had taken part; and therefore he expressly condemned him in the strongest language, both in a letter to the Greek emperor and in a letter to the bishops of Spain, as a traitor to the Roman church for trying to subvert her immaculate fate. Not only so, but the condemnation of the unfortunate Honorius was inserted in the confession of faith which every newly-elected pope had to sign down to the eleventh century, and which is embodied in the Liber Diurnus, i.e. the official book of formulas of the Roman church for the use of the papal curia.637 In the editions of the Roman Breviary down to the sixteenth century his name appears, yet without title and without explanation, along with the rest who had been condemned by the sixth Council. But the precise facts were gradually forgotten, and the mediaeval chroniclers and lists of popes ignore them. After the middle of the sixteenth century the case of Honorius again attracted attention, and was urged as an irrefutable argument against the ultramontane theory. At first the letter of Leo II. was boldly, rejected as a forgery as well as those of Honorius;638 but this was made impossible when the Liber Diurnus came to light.

The verdict of history, after the most thorough investigation from all sides and by all parties remains unshaken. The whole church, East and West, as represented by the official acts of oecumenical Councils and Popes, for several hundred years believed that a Roman bishop may err ex cathedra in a question of faith, and that one of them at least had so erred in fact. The Vatican Council of 1870 decreed papal infallibility in the face of this fact, thus overruling history by dogmatic authority. The Protestant historian can in conscience only follow the opposite principle: If dogma contradicts facts, all the worse for the dogma.


Bishop Hefele, one of the most learned and impartial Roman Catholic historians, thus states, after a lengthy discussion, his present view on the case of Honorius (Conciliengesch., vol. III. 175, revised ed. 1877), which differs considerably from the one he had published before the Vatican decree of papal infallibility (in the first ed. of his Conciliengesch., vol. III. 1858, p. 145 sqq., and in big pamphlet on Honorius, 1870). It should be remembered that Bishop Hefele, like all his anti-infallibilist colleagues, submitted to the decree of the Vatican Council for the sake of unity and peace.

"Die beiden Briefe des Papstes Honorius, wie wir sie jetzt haben, sind unverfälscht und zeigen, dass Honorius von den beiden monotheletischen Terminis ejn qevlhma und miva ejnevrgeia den erstern (im ersten Brief) selbst gebrauchte, den anderen dagegen, ebenso auch den orthodoxen Ausdruck duvo ejnevrgeiai nicht angewendet wissen wollte. Hat er auch Letzteres (die, Missbilligung des Ausdruckes duvo ejnevrg.) im zweiten Brief wiederholt, so hat er doch in demselben selbst zwei natürliche Energien in Christus anerkannt und in beiden Briefen sich so ausgedrückt, dass man annehmen muss, er habe nicht den menschlichen Willen überhaupt, sondern nur den Verdorbenen menschlichen Willen in Chistus geläugnet, aber obgleich orthodoz denkend, die monotheletische Tendenz des Sergius nicht gehörig durchschaut und sich missverständlich ausgedrückt, so dass seine Briefe, besonders der erste, den Monotheletismus zu bestätigen schienen und damit der Häresie Factisch Vorschub leisteten. In dieser Weise erledigt sich uns die Frage nach der Orthodoxie des Papstes Honorius, und wir halten sonach den Mittelweg zwischen denen, welche ihn auf die gleiche Stufe mit Sergius von Constantinopel und Cyrus von Alexandrien stellen und den Monotheleten beizählen wollten, und denen, welche durchaus keine Makel an ihn duldend in das Schicksal der nimium probantes verfallen sind, so dass sie lieber die Aechtheit der Acten des sechsten allgemeinen Concils und mehrerer anderer Urkunden läugnen, oder auch dem sechsten Concil einen error in facto dogmatico zuschreiben wollten." Comp. his remarks on p. 152; "Diesen Hauptgedanken muss ich auch jetzt noch festhalten, dass Honorius im Herzen richtig dachte, sich aber unglücklich ausdrückte, wenn ich auch in Folge wiederholter neuer Beschäftigung mit diesem Gegenstand und unter Berücksichtigung dessen, was Andere in neuer Zeit zur Vertheidigung des Honorius geschrieben haben, manches Einzelne meiner früheren Aufstellungen nunmehr modificire oder völlig aufgebe, und insbesondere über den ersten Brief des Honorius jetzt milder urtheile als früher."

Cardinal Hergenröther (Kirchengeschichte, vol. I. 358, second ed. Freiburg i. B. 1879) admits the ignorance rather than the heresy of the pope. "Honorius," he says, "zeigt wohl Unbekanntschaft mit dem Kern der Frage, aber keinerlei häretische oder irrige Auffassung. Er unterscheidet die zwei unvermischt qebliebenen Naturen sehr genau und verstösst gegen kein einziges Dogma der Kirche."

§ 114. Concilium Quinisextum. a.d. 692.

Mansi., XI. 930–1006. Hefele, III. 328–348. Gieseler,I. 541 sq.

Wm. Beveridge (Bishop of St. Asaph, 1704–1708): Synodicon, sive Pandectae canonum. Oxon. 1672–82. Tom. I. 152–283. Beveridge gives the comments of Theod. Balsamon, Joh. Zonaras, etc., on the Apostolical Canons.

Assemani (R.C.): Bibliotheca juris orientalis. Rom 1766, Tom. V. 55–348, and Tom. I. 120 and 408 sqq. An extensive discussion of this Synod and its canons.

The pope of Old Rome had achieved a great dogmatic triumph in the sixth oecumenical council, but the Greek church had the satisfaction of branding at least one pope as a heretic, and soon found an opportunity to remind her rival of the limits of her authority.

The fifth and sixth oecumenical councils passed doctrinal decrees, but no disciplinary canons. This defect was supplied by a new council at Constantinople in 692, called the Concilium Quinisextum,639 also the Second Trullan Council, from the banqueting hall with a domed roof in the imperial palace where it was held.640

It was convened by the Emperor Justinian II. surnamed Rinotmetos,641 one of the most heartless tyrants that ever disgraced a Christian throne. He ruled from 685–695, was deposed by a revolution and sent to exile with a mutilated nose, but regained the throne in 705 and was assassinated in 711.642

The supplementary council was purely oriental in its composition and spirit. It adopted 102 canons, most of them old, but not yet legally or oecumenically sanctioned. They cover the whole range of clerical and ecclesiastical life and discipline, and are valid to this day in the Eastern church. They include eighty-five apostolic canons so called (thirty-five more than were acknowledged by the Roman church), the canons of the first four oecumenical councils, and of several minor councils, as Ancyra, Neo-Caesarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, etc.; also the canons of Dionysius the Great of Alexandria, Peter of Alexandria, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzum, Amphilochius of Iconium, Timothy of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, Gennadius of Constantinople, and an anti-Roman canon of Cyprian of Carthage. The decretals of the Roman bishops are ignored.

The canons were signed first, by the emperor; the second place was left blank for the pope, but was never filled; then follow the names of Paul of Constantinople, Peter of Alexandria, Anastasius of Jerusalem, George of Antioch (strangely after that of the patriarch of Jerusalem), and others, in all 211 bishops and episcopal representatives, all Greeks and Orientals, of whom 43 had been present at the sixth oecumenical council.

The emperor sent the acts of the Trullan Council to Sergius of Rome, and requested him to sign them. The pope refused because they contained some chapters contrary to ecclesiastical usage in Rome. The emperor dispatched the chief officer of his body guard with orders to bring the pope to Constantinople. But the armies of the exarch of Ravenna and of the Pentapolis rushed to the protection of the pope, who quieted the soldiers; the imperial officer had to hide himself in the pope's bed, and then left Rome in disgrace.643 Soon afterwards Justinian II. was dethroned and sent into exile. When he regained the crown with the aid of a barbarian army (705), he sent two metropolitans to Pope John VII. with the request to call a council of the Roman church, which should sanction as many of the canons as were acceptable. The pope, a timid man, simply returned the copy. Subsequent negotiations led to no decisive result.

The seventh oecumenical Council (787) readopted the 102 canons, and erroneously ascribed them to the sixth oecumenical Council.

The Roman church never committed herself to these canons except as far as they agreed with ancient Latin usage. Some of them were inspired by an anti-Roman tendency. The first canon repeats the anathema on Pope Honorius. The thirty-sixth canon, in accordance with the second and fourth oecumenical Councils, puts the patriarch of Constantinople on an equality of rights with the bishop of Rome, and concedes to the latter only a primacy of honor, not a supremacy of jurisdiction. Clerical marriage of the lower orders is sanctioned in canons 3 and 13, and it is clearly hinted that the Roman church, by her law of clerical celibacy, dishonors wedlock, which was instituted by God and sanctioned by the presence of Christ at Cana. But second marriage is forbidden to the clergy, also marriage with a widow (canon 3), and marriage after ordination (canon 6). Bishops are required to discontinue their marriage relation (canon 12). Justinian had previously forbidden the marriage of bishops by a civil law. Fasting on the Sabbath in Lent is forbidden (canon 55) in express opposition to the custom in Rome. The second canon fixes the number of valid apostolical canons at eighty-five against fifty of the Latin church. The decree of the Council of Jerusalem against eating blood and things strangled (Acts 15) is declared to be of perpetual force, while in the West it was considered merely as a temporary provision for the apostolic age, and for congregations composed of Jewish and Gentile converts. The symbolical representation of Christ under the figure of the lamb in allusion to the words of John the Baptist is forbidden as belonging to the Old Testament, and the representation in human form is commanded (canon 82).

These differences laid the foundation for the great schism between the East. and the West. The supplementary council of 692 anticipated the action of Photius, and clothed it with a quasi-oecumenical authority.

§ 115. Reaction of Monotheletism. The Maronites.

The great oecumenical councils, notably that of Chalcedon gave rise to schismatic sects which have perpetuated themselves for a long time, some of them to the present day.

For a brief period Monotheletism was restored by Bardanes or Philippicus, who wrested the throne from Justinian II. and ruled from 711 to 713. He annulled the creed of the sixth oecumenical Council, caused the names of Sergius and Honorius to be reinserted in the diptycha among the orthodox patriarchs, and their images to be again set up in public places. He deposed the patriarch of Constantinople and elected in his place a Monotheletic deacon, John. He convened a council at Constantinople, which set aside the decree of the sixth council and adopted a Monotheletic creed in its place. The clergy who refused to sign it, were deposed. But in Italy he had no force to introduce it, and an attempt to do so provoked an insurrection.

The Emperor Anastasius II. dethroned the usurper, and made an end to this Monotheletic episode. The patriarch John accommodated himself to the new situation, and wrote an abject letter to the Pope Constantine, in which he even addressed him as the head of the church, and begged his pardon for his former advocacy of heresy.

Since that time Dyotheletism was no more disturbed in the orthodox church.

But outside of the orthodox church and the jurisdiction of the Byzantine rulers, Monotheletism propagated itself among the inhabitants of Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon under the lead of abbot John Marun (Marwvn), their first patriarch (d. 701). The maronites,644 as they were called after him, maintained their independence of the Greek empire and the Saracens, and adhered to the Monotheletic doctrine till the time of the crusades, when they united themselves with the Roman church (1182), retaining, however, the celebration of the communion under both kinds, the Syrian liturgy, the marriage of the lower clergy, their own fast-days, and their own saints.

§ 116. The Adoptionist Controversy. Literature.

I. Sources.

The sources are printed in Harduin, Vol. IV., Mansi, XIII., and in Alcuin's Opera, ed. Frobenius (1777), reprinted by Migne (in his "Patrol. Lat.," vols. 100 and 101), with historical and dogmatical dissertations.

(1.) The writings of the Adoptionists: a letter of Elipandus Ad Fide lem, Abbatem, a.d. 785, and one to Alcuin. Two letters of the Spanish bishops—one to Charlemagne, the other to the Gallican bishops. Felicis Libellus contra Alcuinum; the Confessio Fidei Felicis; fragments of a posthumous book of Felix addressed Ad Ludovicum Pium, Imperat.

(2.) The orthodox view is represented in Beatus et Etherius: Adv. Elipandum libri II. Alcuin: Seven Books against Felix, Four Books against Elipandus, and several letters, which are best edited by Jaffé in Biblioth. rer. Germ. VI. Paulinus (Bishop of Aquileja): Contra Felicem Urgellitanum libri tres. In Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," vol. 99, col. 343–468. Agobard of Lyons: Adv. Dogma Felicis Episc. Urgellensis, addressed to Louis the Pious, in Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," vol. 104, col. 29–70. A letter of Charlemagne (792) to Elipandus and the bishops of Spain. The acts of the Synods of Narbonne (788), Ratisbon (792), Francfort (794), and Aix-la-Chapelle (799).

II. Works.

(1.) By Rom. Cath. Madrisi (Congreg. Orat.): Dissertationes de Felicis et Elipandi haeresi, in his ed. of the Opera Paulini Aquil., reprinted in Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," vol. 99( col. 545–598). Against Basnage. Enhueber (Prior in Regensburg): Dissert. dogm. Hist. contra Christ. Walchium, in Alcuin's Opera, ed. Frobenius, reprinted by Migne (vol. 101, col. 337–438). Against Walch's Hist. Adopt., to prove the Nestorianism of the Adoptionists. Frobenius: Diss. Hist. de haer. Elip. et Felicis, in Migne's ed., vol. 101, col. 303–336. Werner: Gesch. der Apol. und polem. Lit. II. 433 sqq. Gams: Kirchengesch. Spaniens (Regensb., 1874), Bd. II. 2. (Very prolix.) Hefele: Conciliengesch., Bd. III. 642–693 (revised ed. of 1877). Hergenröther: Kirchengesch., 2nd ed., 1879, Bd. I. 558 sqq. Bach: Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters (Wien, 1873), I. 103–155.

(2.) By Protestants. Jac. Basnage: Observationes historicae circa Felicianam haeresin, in his Thesaurus monum. Tom. II. 284 sqq. Chr. G. F. Walch: Historia Adoptianorum, Göttingen, 1755; and his Ketzergeschichte, vol. IX. 667 sqq. (1780). A minute and accurate account. See also the Lit. quoted by Walch.

Neander, Kirchengeschichte, vol. III., pp. 313–339, Engl. transl. III. 156–168. Gieseler, vol. II., P. I., p. 111 sqq.; Eng. transl. II. 75–78. Baur: Die christliche Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit und Menschwerdung Gottes, Tübingen, 1842, vol. II., pp. 129–159. Dorner: Entwicklungs-Geschichte der Lehre von der Person Christi, second ed., Berlin, 1853, vol. II., pp. 306–330. Helfferich: Der Westgothische Arianismus und die spanische Ketzergeschichte, Berlin, 1880. Niedner: Lehrbuch der christl. K. G., Berlin, 1866, pp. 424–427. J. C. Robertson: History of the Christian Church from 590 to 1122 (Lond., 1856), p. 154 sqq. Milman: Lat. Christ. II. 498–500; Baudissin: Eulogius und Alvar, Leipz., 1872. Schaff, in Smith and Wace, I. (1877), pp. 44–47. W. Möller, in Herzog2 I. 151–159.

§ 117. History of Adoptionism.

The Adoptionist controversy is a revival of the Nestorian controversy in a modified form, and turns on the question whether Christ, as to his human nature, was the Son of God in essence, or only by adoption. Those who took the latter view were called Adoptionists.645 They taught that Christ as to his divinity is the true Son646 of God, the Only-Begotten of the Father; but as man he is his adopted Son,647 the First-Born of Mary. They accepted the Chalcedonian Christology of one person and two natures, but by distinguishing a natural Son of God and an adopted Son of God, they seemed to teach two persons or a double Christ, and thus to run into the Nestorian heresy.

The orthodox opponents held that Christ was the one undivided and indivisible Son of God; that the Virgin Mary gave birth to the eternal Son of God, and is for this reason called "the mother of God;" that sonship is founded on the person, not on the nature; and that Adoptionism leads to two Christs and to four persons in the Trinity.

Both parties displayed a degree of patristic learning which one would hardly expect in this period of the middle ages.

The history of this movement is confined to the West (Spain and Gaul); while all the older Christological controversies originated and were mainly carried on and settled in the East. It arose in the Saracen dominion of Spain, where the Catholics had to defend the eternal and essential Sonship of Christ against the objections both of the Arians and the Mohammedans.

The Council of Toledo, held in 675, declared in the preface to the Confession of Faith, that Christ is the Son of God by, nature, not by adoption.648 But about a century afterwards Elipandus, the aged Archbishop of Toledo, and primate of that part of Spain which was under Mohammedan rule, endeavored to modify the orthodox doctrine by drawing a distinction between a natural and an adopted sonship of Christ, and by ascribing the former to his divine, the latter to his human nature. He wished to save the full humanity of Christ, without, however, denying his eternal divinity. Some historians assert that he was influenced by a desire to avoid the Mohammedan objection to the divinity of Christ;649 but the conflict of the two religions was too strong to admit of any compromise. He may have read Nestorian writings.650 At all events, he came to similar conclusions.

Having little confidence in his own opinions, Elipandus consulted Felix, bishop of Urgel651 in Catalonia, in that part of Spain which, since 778, was incorporated with the dominion of Charlemagne. Felix was more learned and clear-headed than Elipandus, and esteemed, even by his antagonist Alcuin, for his ability and piety. Neander regards him as the originator of Adoptionism; at all events, he reduced it to a formulated statement.

Confirmed by his friend, Elipandus taught the new doctrine with all the zeal of a young convert, although he was already eighty years of age; and, taking advantage of his influential position, he attacked the orthodox opponents with overbearing violence. Etherius, Bishop of Osma or Othma (formerly his pupil), and Beatus, a presbyter, and after Alcuin abbot at Libana in Asturia,652 took the lead in the defence of the old and the exposure of the new Christology. Elipandus charged them with confounding the natures of Christ, like wine and water, and with scandalous immorality, and pronounced the anathema on them.

Pope Hadrian, being informed of these troubles, issued a letter in 785 to the orthodox bishops of Spain, warning them against the new doctrine as rank Nestorianism.653 But the letter had no effect; the papal authority plays a subordinate role in this whole controversy. The Saracen government, indifferent to the theological disputes of its Christian subjects, did not interfere.

But when the Adoptionist heresy, through the influence of Felix, spread in the French portion of Spain, and even beyond the Pyrenees into Septimania, creating a considerable commotion among the clergy, the Emperor Charlemagne called a synod to Regensburg (Ratisbon) in Bavaria, in 792, and invited the Bishop of Urgel to appear, that his case might be properly investigated. The Synod condemned Adoptionism as a renewal of the Nestorian heresy.

Felix publicly and solemnly recanted before the Synod, and also before Pope Hadrian, to whom he was sent. But on his return to Spain he was so much reproached for his weakness, that, regardless of his solemn oath, he yielded to the entreaties of his friends, and re-affirmed his former opinions.

Charlemagne, who did not wish to alienate the Spanish portion of his kingdom, and to drive it into the protection of the neighboring Saracens, directed Alcuin, who in the mean time had come to France from England, to send a mild warning and refutation of Adoptionism to Felix. When this proved fruitless, and when the Spanish bishops, under the lead of Elipandus, appealed to the justice of the emperor, and demanded the restoration of Felix to his bishopric, he called a new council at Frankfort on the Main in 794, which was attended by about three hundred (?) bishops, and may be called "universal," as far as the West is concerned.654 As neither Felix nor any of the Adoptionist bishops appeared in person, the council, under the lead of Alcuin, confirmed the decree of condemnation passed at Ratisbon.

Subsequently Felix wrote an apology, which was answered and refuted by Alcuin. Elipandus reproached Alcuin for having twenty thousand slaves (probably belonging to the convent of Tours), and for being proud of wealth. Charles sent Archbishop Leidrad of Lyons and other bishops to the Spanish portion of his kingdom, who succeeded, in two visits, in converting the heretics (according to Alcuin, twenty thousand).

About that time a council at Rome, under Leo III., pronounced, on very imperfect information, a fresh anathema, erroneously charging that the Adoptionists denied to the Saviour any other than a nuncupative Godhead.

Felix himself appeared, 799, at a Synod in Aix-la-Chapelle, and after a debate of six days with Alcuin, he recanted his Adoptionism a second time. He confessed to be convinced by some passages, not of the Scriptures, but of the fathers (especially Cyril of Alexandria, Leo I., and Gregory I.), which he had not known before, condemned Nestorius, and exhorted his clergy and people to follow the true faith.655 He spent the rest of his life under the supervision of the Archbishop of Lyons, and died in 818. He left, however, a paper in which the doctrine of Adoptionism is clearly stated in the form of question and answer; and Agobard, the successor of Leidrad, felt it his duty to refute it.

Elipandus, under the protection of the government of the Moors, continued openly true to his heretical conviction. But Adoptionism lost its vitality with its champions, and passed away during the ninth century. Slight traces of it are found occasionally during the middle ages. Duns Scotus (1300) and Durandus a S. Porciano (1320) admit the term Filius adoptivus in a qualified sense.656 The defeat of Adoptionism was a check upon the dyophysitic and dyotheletic feature in the Chalcedon Christology, and put off indefinitely the development of the human side in Christ's Person. In more recent times the Jesuit Vasquez, and the Lutheran divines G. Calixtus and Walch, have defended the Adoptionists as essentially orthodox.

§ 118. Doctrine of Adoptionism.

The doctrine of Adoptionism is closely allied in spirit to the Nestorian Christology; but it concerns not so much the constitution of Christ's person, as simply the relation of his humanity to the Fatherhood of God. The Adoptionists were no doubt sincere in admitting at the outset the unity of Christ's person, the communication of properties between the two natures, and the term Theotokos (though in a qualified sense) as applied to the Virgin Mary. Yet their view implies an abstract separation of the eternal Son of God and the man Jesus of Nazareth, and results in the assertion of two distinct Sons of God. It emphasized the dyophysitism and dyotheletism of the orthodox Christology, and ran them out into a personal dualism, inasmuch as sonship is an attribute of personality, not of nature. The Adoptionists spoke of an adoptatus homo instead of an adoptata natura humana, and called the adopted manhood an adopted Son. They appealed to Ambrose, Hilary, Jerome, Augustin, and Isidore of Seville, and the Mozarabic Liturgy, which was used in Spain.657 Sometimes the term adoptio is indeed applied to the Incarnation by earlier writers, and in the Spanish liturgy, but rather in the sense of assumptio or ajnavlhyi", i.e. the elevation of the human nature, through Christ, to union with the Godhead.658 They might, with better reason, have quoted Theodore of Mopsuestia as their predecessor; for his doctrine of the uiJo;" qetov" is pretty much the same as their Filius Dei adoptivus.659

The fundamental point in Adoptionism is the distinction of a double Sonship in Christ—one by nature and one by grace, one by generation and one by adoption, one by essence and one by title, one which is metaphysical and another which is brought about by an act of the divine will and choice. The idea of sonship is made to depend on the nature, not on the person; and as Christ has two natures, there must be in him two corresponding Sonships. According to his divine nature, Christ is really and essentially (secundum naturam or genere) the Son of God, begotten from eternity; but according to his human nature, he is the Son of God only nominally (nuncupative) by adoption, or by divine grace. By nature he is the Only-Begotten Son of God;660 by adoption and grace he is the First-Begotten Son of God.661

The Adoptionists quoted in their favor mainly John 14:28 Luke 1:80; 18:19; Mark 13:32; John 1:14; 10:35; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 11:3; 1 John 3:2; Deut. 18:15; Ps. 2: 8; 22:23, and other passages from the Old Testament, which they referred to the Filius primogenitus et adoptivus; while Ps. 60:4 (ex utero ante Luciferum genui te); 44:2; Is. 45:23; Prov. 8:25, were understood to apply to the Filius unigenitus. None of these passages, which might as well be quoted in favor of Arianism, bear them out in the point of dispute. Christ is nowhere called the "adopted" Son of God. Felix inferred from the adoption of the children of God, that they must have an adoptive head. He made use of the illustration, that as a son cannot have literally two fathers, but may have one by birth and the other by adoption, so Christ, according to his humanity, cannot be the Son of David and the Son of God in one and the same sense; but he may be the one by nature and the other by adoption.662

It is not clear whether he dated the adopted Sonship of Christ from his exaltation663 or from his baptism,664 or already from his birth.665 He speaks of a double birth of Christ, compares the baptism of Christ with the baptism or regeneration of believers, and connects both with the spiritualis generatio per adoptionem;666 but, on the other hand, he seems to trace the union of the human nature with the divine to the womb of the Virgin.667

The Adoptionists, as already remarked, thought themselves in harmony with the Christology of Chalcedon, and professed faith in one divine person in two full and perfect natures;668 they only wished to bring out their views of a double Sonship, as a legitimate consequence of the doctrine of two natures.

The champions of orthodoxy, among whom Alcuin, the teacher and friend of Charlemagne, was the most learned and able, next to him Paulinus of Aquileja, and Agobard of Lyons, unanimously viewed Adoptionism as a revival or modification of the Nestorian heresy, which was condemned by the third Oecumenical Council (431).669

Starting from the fact of a real incarnation, the orthodox party insisted that it was the eternal, only begotten Son of God, who assumed human nature from the womb of the Virgin, and united it with his divine person, remaining the proper Son of God, notwithstanding this change.670 They quoted in their favor such passages as John 3:16; Rom. 8:32; Eph. 5:2; Acts 3:13–15.

The radical fault of this heresy is, that it shifts the whole idea of Sonship from the person to the nature. Christ is the Son of God as to his person, not as to nature. The two natures do not form two Sons, since they are inseparably united in the one Christ. The eternal Son of God did not in the act of incarnation assume a human personality, but human nature. There is therefore no room at all for an adoptive Sonship. The Bible nowhere calls Christ the adopted Son of God. Christ is, in his person, from eternity or by nature what Christians become by grace and regeneration.

In condemning Monotheletism, the Church emphasized the duality of natures in Christ; in condemning Adoptionism, she emphasized the unity of person. Thus she guarded the catholic Christology both against Eutychian and Nestorian departures, but left the problem of the full and genuine humanity of Christ unsolved. While he is the eternal Son of God, he is at the same time truly and fully the Son of man. The mediaeval Church dwelt chiefly on the divine majesty of Christ, and removed him at an infinite distance from man, so that he could only be reached through intervening mediators; but, on the other hand, she kept a lively, though grossly realistic, remembrance of his passion in the daily sacrifice of the mass, and found in the worship of the tender Virgin-Mother with the Infant-Saviour on her protecting arm a substitute for the contemplation and comfort of his perfect manhood. The triumph of the theory of transubstantiation soon followed the defeat of Adoptionism, and strengthened the tendency towards an excessive and magical supernaturalism which annihilates the natural, instead of transforming it.


The learned Walch defends the orthodoxy of the Adoptionists, since they did not say that Christ, in his two-fold Sonship, was alius et alius, a[llo" kai; a[llo" (which is the Nestorian view), but that he was Son aliter et aliter, a[llw" kai; a[llw". Ketzerhistorie, vol. IX., pp. 881, 904. Baur (II., p. 152) likewise justifies Adoptionism, as a legitimate inference from the Chalcedonian dogma, but on the assumption that this dogma itself includes a contradiction. Neander, Dorner, Niedner, Hefele, and Möller concede the affinity of Adoptionism with Nestorianism, but affirm, at the same time, the difference and the new features in Adoptionism (see especially Dorner II., p. 309 sq.).

§ 119. The Predestinarian Controversy.

Comp. vol. III., §§ 158–160, pp. 851 sqq.


I. The sources are: (1) The remains of the writings of Gottschalk, viz., three Confessions (one before the Synod of Mainz, two composed in prison), a poetic Epistle to Ratramnus, and fragment of a book against Rabanus Maurus. Collected in the first volume of Mauguin (see below), and in Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," Tom. 121, col. 348–372.

(2) The writings of Gottschalk's friends: Prudentius: Epist. ad Hincmarum, and Contra Jo. Scotum; Ratramnus: De Praedest., 850; Servatus Lupus: De tribus Questionibus (i.e., free will, predestination, and the extent of the atonement), 850; Florus Magister: De Praed. contra J. Scot.; Remigius: Lib. de tribus Epistolis, and Libellus de tenenda immobiliter Scripturae veritate. Collected in the first vol. of Mauguin, and in Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," vols. 115, 119 and 121. A poem of Walafrid Strabo on Gottschalk, in Migne, Tom. 114, col. 1115 sqq.

(3) The writings of Gottschalk's opponents: Rabanus Maurus (in Migne, Tom. 112); Hincmar of Rheims: De Praedestinatione et Libero Arbitrio, etc. (in Migne, Tom. 125 and 126); Scotus Erigena: De Praedest. Dei contra Gottescalcum, 851 (first ed. by Mauguin, 1650, and in 1853 by Floss in Migne, Tom. 122). See also the Acts of Councils in Mansi, Tom. XIV. and XV.

II. Works of historians: Jac. Ussher (Anglican and Calvinist): Gotteschalci et Praedestinatianae controversiae ab eo motto Historia. Dublin, 1631; Hanover, 1662; and in the Dublin ed. of his works.

Gilb. Mauguin (Jansenist, d. 1674): Vet. Auctorum, qui IX. saec. de Praedest. et Grat. scripserunt, Opera et Fragm. plurima nunc primum in lucem edita, etc. Paris, 1650, 2 Tom. In the second volume he gives the history and defends the orthodoxy of Gottschalk.

L. Cellot (Jesuit): Hist. Gotteschalci praedestinatiani. Paris, 1655, fol. Against Gottschalk and Mauguin.

J. J. Hottinger (Reformed): Fata doctrinae de Praedestinatione et Gratia Dei. Tiguri, 1727. Also his Dissertation on Gottschalk, 1710.

Card. Noris: Historia Gottesc., in his Opera. Venice, 1759, Tom. III.

F. Monnier: De Gotteschalci et Joan. Erigenae Controversia. Paris, 1853.

Jul. Weizsäcker (Luth.): Das Dogma von der göttl. Vorherbestimmung im 9ten Jahrh., in Dorner's "Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theol." Gotha, 1859, p. 527–576.

Hefele (R. Cath.): Conciliengesch. IV. 130–223 (second ed., 1879).

V. Borrasch: Der Mönch Gottschalk v. Orbais, sein Leben u. seine Lehre. Thorn, 1868.

Kunstmann: Hrabanus Maurus (Mainz, 1841); Spingler: Rabanus Maurus (Ratisbon, 1856); and C. v. Noorden: Hinkmar v. Rheims (Bonn, 1863); H. Schrörs: Hincmar Erzbisch v. R. (Freil. B. 1884).

See also Schröckh, vol. XXIV. 1–126; Neander, Gieseler, Baur, in their Kirchengeschichte and their Dogmengeschichte; Bach (Rom. Cath.), in his Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters, I. 219–263; Guizot: Civilization in France, Lect. V.; Hardwick: Middle Age, 161–165; Robertson, II. 288–299; Reuter, Rel. Aufklärung im Mittelalter, I. 43–48; and Möller in Herzog2, V. 324–328.

Gottschalk or Godescalcus,671 an involuntary monk and irregularly ordained priest, of noble Saxon parentage, strong convictions, and heroic courage, revived the Augustinian theory, on one of the most difficult problems of speculative theology, but had to suffer bitter persecution for re-asserting what the great African divine had elaborated and vindicated four centuries before with more depth, wisdom and moderation.

The Greek church ignored Augustin, and still more Gottschalk, and adheres to this day to the anthropology of the Nicene and ante-Nicene fathers, who laid as great stress on the freedom of the will as on divine grace. John of Damascus teaches an absolute foreknowledge, but not an absolute foreordination of God, because God cannot foreordain sin, which he wills not, and which, on the contrary, he condemns and punishes; and he does not force virtue upon the reluctant will.

The Latin church retained a traditional reverence for Augustin, as her greatest divine, but never committed herself to his scheme of predestination.672 It always found individual advocates, as Fulgentius of Ruspe, and Isidore of Seville, who taught a two-fold predestination, one of the elect unto life eternal, and one of the reprobate unto death eternal. Beda and Alcuin were Augustinians of a milder type. But the prevailing sentiment cautiously steered midway between Augustinianism and Semi-Pelagianism, giving the chief weight to the preceding and enabling grace of God, yet claiming some merit for man's consenting and cooperating will.673 This compromise may be called Semi-Augustinianism, as distinct from Semi-Pelagianism. It was adopted by the Synod of Orange (Arausio) in 529, which condemned the Semi-Pelagian error (without naming its adherents) and approved Augustin's views of sin and grace, but not his view of predestination, which was left open. It was transmitted to the middle ages through Pope Gregory the Great, who, next to Augustin, exerted most influence on the theology of our period; and this moderated and weakened Augustinianism triumphed in the Gottschalk controversy.

The relation of the Roman church to Augustin in regard to predestination is similar to that which the Lutheran church holds to Luther. The Reformer held the most extreme view on divine predestination, and in his book on the Slavery of the Human Will, against Erasmus, he went further than Augustin before him and Calvin after him;674 yet notwithstanding his commanding genius and authority, his view was virtually disowned, and gave way to the compromise of the Formula of Concord, which teaches both an absolute election of believers and a sincere call of all sinners to repentance. The Calvinistic Confessions, with more logical consistency, teach an absolute predestination as a necessary sequence of Divine omnipotence and omniscience, but confine it, like Augustin, to the limits of the infralapsarian scheme, with an express exclusion of God from the authorship of sin. Supralapsarianism, however, also had its advocates as a theological opinion. In the Roman church, the Augustinian system was revived by the Jansenists, but only to be condemned.

§ 120. Gottschalk and Babanus Maurus.

Gottschalk, the son of Count Berno (or Bern), was sent in his childhood by his parents to the famous Hessian convent of Fulda as a pious offering (oblatus). When he had attained mature age, he denied the validity of his involuntary tonsure, wished to leave the convent, and brought his case before a Synod of Mainz in 829. The synod decided in his favor, but the new abbot, Rabanus Maurus, appealed to the emperor, and wrote a book, De Oblatione Puerorum, in defence of the obligatory character of the parental consecration of a child to monastic life. He succeeded, but allowed Gottschalk to exchange Fulda for Orbais in the diocese of Soissons in the province of Rheims. From this time dates his ill feeling towards the reluctant monk, whom he called a vagabond, and it cannot be denied that Rabanus appears unfavorably in the whole controversy.

At Orbais Gottschalk devoted himself to the study of Augustin and Fulgentius of Ruspe (d. 533), with such ardent enthusiasm that he was called Fulgentius.675 He selected especially the passages in favor of the doctrine of predestination, and recited them to his fellow-monks for hours, gaining many to his views. But his friend, Servatus Lupus, warned him against unprofitable speculations on abstruse topics, instead of searching the Scriptures for more practical things. He corresponded with several scholars' and made a pilgrimage to Rome. On his return in 847 or 848, he spent some time with the hospitable Count Eberhard of Friuli, a son-in-law of the Emperor Louis the Pious, met there Bishop Noting of Verona, and communicated to him his views on predestination. Noting informed Rabanus Maurus, who had in the mean time become archbishop of Mainz, and urged him to refute this new heresy.

Rabanus Maurus wrote a letter to Noting on predestination, intended against Gottschalk, though without naming him.676 He put the worst construction upon his view of a double predestination, and rejected it for seven reasons, chiefly, because it involves a charge of injustice against God; it contradicts the Scriptures, which promise eternal reward to virtue; it declares that Christ shed his blood in vain for those that are lost; and it leads some to carnal security, others to despair. His own doctrine is moderately Augustinian. He maintains that the whole race, including unbaptized children, lies under just condemnation in consequence of Adam's sin; that out of this mass of corruption God from pure mercy elects some to eternal life, and leaves others, in view of their moral conduct, to their just punishment. God would have all men to be saved, yet he actually saves only a part; why he makes such a difference, we do not know and must refer to his hidden counsel. Foreknowledge and foreordination are distinct, and the latter is conditioned by the former. Here is the point where Rabanus departs from Augustin and agrees with the Semi-Pelagians. He also distinguishes between praesciti and praedestinati. The impenitent sinners were only foreknown, not foreordained. He admitted that "the punishment is foreordained for the sinner," but denied that "the sinner is foreordained for punishment."677 He supported his view with passages from Jerome, Prosper, Gennadius, and Augustin.678

Gottschalk saw in this tract the doctrine of the Semi-Pelagian Gennadius and Cassianus rather than of "the most catholic doctor" Augustin. He appeared before a Synod at Mainz, which was opened Oct. 1, 848, in the presence of the German king, and boldly professed his belief in a two-fold predestination, to life and to death, God having from eternity predestinated his elect by free grace to eternal life, and quite similarly all reprobates, by a just judgment for their evil deserts, to eternal death.679 The offensive part in this confession lies in the words two-fold (gemina) and quite similarly (similiter omnino), by which he seemed to put the two foreordinations, i.e. election and reprobation, on the same footing; but he qualified it by a reference to the guilt and future judgment of the reprobate. He also maintained against Rabanus that the Son of God became man and died only for the elect. He measured the extent of the purpose by the extent of the effect. God is absolutely unchangeable, and his will must be fulfilled. What does not happen, cannot have been intended by him.

The details of the synodical transaction are unknown, but Rabanus, who presided over the Synod, gives as the result, in a letter to Hincmar, that Gottschalk was condemned, together with his pernicious doctrine (which he misrepresents), and handed over to his metropolitan, Hincmar, for punishment and safe-keeping.

§ 121. Gottschalk and Hincmar.

Hincmar, archbishop of Rheims, a most influential, proud and intolerant prelate, was ill-disposed towards Gottschalk, because he had been somewhat irregularly (though not invalidly) ordained to the priesthood by a rural bishop (chorepiscopus), Rigbold of Rheims, without the knowledge of his own bishop of Soissons, and gone on travels without permission of his abbot.680 He treated the poor monk without mercy. Gottschalk was summoned before a synod of Chiersy (in palatio Carisiaco)681 in the spring of 849. He refused to recant, and was condemned as an incorrigible heretic, deposed from the priesthood, publicly scourged for obstinacy, according to the rule of St. Benedict, compelled to burn his books, and shut up in the prison of a convent in the province of Rheims.682 According to the report of eye-witnessses, he was scourged "most atrociously" and "nearly to death," until half dead he threw his book, which contained the proofs of his doctrine from the Scriptures and the fathers, into the fire. It is a relief to learn that St. Remigius, archbishop of Lyons, expressed his horror at the "unheard of impiety and cruelty" of this treatment of the miserabilis monachus, as Gottschalk is often called by his friends.

In his lonely prison at Hautvilliers, the condemned monk composed two confessions, a shorter and a longer one, in which he strongly re-asserted his doctrine of a double predestination. He appealed to Pope Nicolas, who seems to have had some sympathy with him, and demanded a reinvestigation, which, however, never took place. He also offered, in reliance on the grace of God, to undergo the fiery ordeal before the king, the bishops and monks, to step successively into four cauldrons of boiling water, oil, fat and pitch, and then to walk through a blazing pile; but nobody could be found to accept the challenge. Hincmar refused to grant him in his last sickness the communion and Christian burial) except on condition of full recantation.683 Gottschalk scorned the condition, died in his unshaken faith, and was buried in unconsecrated soil after an imprisonment of twenty years (868 or 869).

He had the courage of his convictions. His ruling idea of the unchangeableness of God reflected itself in his inflexible conduct. His enemies charged him with vanity, obstinacy, and strange delusions. Jesuits (Sirmond, Peteau, Cellot) condemn him and his doctrine; while Calvinists and Jansenists (Ussher, Hottinger, Mauguin) vindicate him as a martyr to the truth.

§ 122. The Contending Theories on Predestination, and the Victory of Semi-Augustinianism.

During the imprisonment of Gottschalk a lively controversy, was carried on concerning the point in dispute, which is very creditable to the learning of that age, but after all did not lead to a clear and satisfactory settlement. The main question was whether divine predestination or foreordination which all admitted as a necessary element of the Divine perfection, was absolute or relative; in other words, whether it embraced all men and all acts, good and bad, or only those who are saved, and such acts as God approves and rewards. This question necessarily involved also the problem of the freedom of the human will, and the extent of the plan of redemption. The absolute predestinarians denied, the relative predestinarians affirmed, the freedom of will and the universal import of Christ's atoning death.

The doctrine of absolute predestination was defended, in substantial agreement with Gottschalk, though with more moderation and caution, by Prudentius, Bishop of Troyes, Ratramnus, monk of Corbie, Servatus Lupus, Abbot of Ferrières, and Remigius, Archbishop of Lyons, and confirmed by the Synod of Valence, 855, and also at Langres in 859.

The doctrine of free will and a conditional predestination was advocated, in opposition to Gottschalk, by Archbishop Rabanus Maurus of Mainz, Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, and Bishop Pardulus of Laon, and confirmed at a synod of Chiersy, 853, and in part again at Savonnières, near Toul, in 859.

A third theory was set forth by John Scotus Erigena, intended against Gottschalk, but was in fact still more against the orthodox view, and disowned by both parties.

I. The doctrine of an Absolute and Two-Fold Predestination.

Gottschalk professed to follow simply the great Augustin. This is true; but he gave undue disproportion to the tenet of predestination, and made it a fundamental theological principle, inseparable from the immutability of God; while with Augustin it was only a logical inference from his anthropological premises. He began where Augustin ended. To employ a later (Calvinistic) terminology, he was a supralapsarian rather than an infralapsarian. He held a two-fold predestination of the elect to salvation, and of the reprobate to perdition; not in the sense of two separate predestinations, but one predestination with two sides (gemina, i.e. bipartita), a positive side (election) and a negative side (reprobation). He could not conceive of the one without the other; but he did not teach a predestination of the sinner to sin, which would make God the author of sin. In this respect he was misrepresented by Rabanus Maurus.684 In his shorter Confession from his prison, he says: "I believe and confess that God foreknew and foreordained the holy angels and elect men to unmerited eternal life, but that he equally (pariter) foreordained the devil with his host and with all reprobate men, on account of their foreseen future evil deeds, by a just judgment, to merited eternal death." He appeals to passages of the Scriptures, to Augustin, Fulgentius, and Isidor, who taught the very same thing except the pariter. In the larger Confession, which is in the form of a prayer, he substitutes for equally the milder term almost or nearly (propemodum), and denies that God predestinated the reprobates to sin. "Those, O God," he says, "of whom thou didst foreknow that they would persist by their own misery in their damnable sins, thou didst, as a righteous judge, predestinate to perdition." He spoke of two redemptions, one common to the elect and the reprobate, another proper and special for the elect only. In similar manner the Calvinists, in their controversy, with the Arminians, maintained that Christ died efficiently only for the elect, although sufficiently for all men.

His predestinarian friends brought out the difference in God's relation to the good and the evil more clearly. Thus Ratramnus says that God was the author (auctor) as well as the ruler (ordinator) of good thoughts and deeds, but only the ruler, not the author, of the bad. He foreordained the punishment of sin, not sin itself (poenam, not peccatum). He directs the course of sin, and overrules it for good. He used the evil counsel of Judas as a means to bring about the crucifixion and through it the redemption. Lupus says that God foreknew and permitted Adam's fall, and foreordained its consequences, but not the fall itself. Magister Florus also speaks of a praedestinatio gemina, yet with the emphatic distinction, that God predestinated the elect both to good works and to salvation, but the reprobate only to punishment, not to sin. He was at first ill-informed of the teaching of Gottschalk, as if he had denied the meritum damnationis. Remigius censured the "temerity" and "untimely loquacity" of Gottschalk, but defended him against the inhuman treatment, and approved of all his propositions except the unqualified denial of freedom to do good after the fall, unless he meant by it that no one could use his freedom without the grace of God. He subjected the four chapters of Hincmar to a severe criticism. On the question whether God will have all men to be saved without or with restriction, and whether Christ died for all men or only for the elect, he himself held the particularistic view, but was willing to allow freedom of opinion, since the church had not decided that question, and the Bible admitted of different interpretations.685

The Synod of Valence, which met at the request of the Emperor Lothaire in 855, endorsed, in opposition to Hincmar and the four chapters of the Synod of Chiersy, the main positions of the Augustinian system as understood by Remigius, who presided.686 It affirms a two-fold predestination ("praedestinationem electorum ad vitam et praedestinationem impiorum ad mortem"), but with such qualifications and distinctions as seemed to be necessary to save the holiness of God and the moral responsibility of man. The Synod of Langres in the province of Lyons, convened by Charles the Bald in 859, repeated the doctrinal canons of Valence, but omitted the censure of the four chapters of Chiersy, which Charles the Bald had subscribed, and thus prepared the way for a compromise.

We may briefly state the system of the Augustinian school in the following propositions:

(1) All men are sinners, and justly condemned in consequence of Adam's fall.

(2) Man in the natural state has no freedom of choice, but is a slave of sin. (This, however, was qualified by Remigius and the Synod of Valence in the direction of Semi-Pelagianism.)

(3) God out of free grace elected from eternity and unalterably a part of mankind to holiness and salvation, and is the author of all their good deeds; while he leaves the rest in his inscrutable counsel to their merited damnation.

(4) God has unalterably predestinated the impenitent and persistent sinner to everlasting punishment, but not to sin, which is the guilt of man and condemned by God.

(5) Christ died only for the elect.

Gottschalk is also charged by his opponents with slighting the church and the sacraments, and confining the effect of baptism and the eucharist to the elect. This would be consistent with his theory. He is said to have agreed with his friend Ratramnus in rejecting the doctrine of transubstantiation. Augustin certainly did not teach transubstantiation, but he checked the logical tendency of Predestinarianism by the Catholic doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and of the visible historical church as the mediatrix of salvation.687

II. The doctrine of a Conditional and Single Predestination.

Rabanus and Hincmar, who agreed in theology as well as in unchristian conduct towards Gottschalk, claimed to be Augustinians, but were at heart Semi-Pelagians, and struck a middle course, retaining the Augustinian premises, but avoiding the logical consequences. Foreknowledge (praescientia) is a necessary attribute of the omniscient mind of God, and differs from foreordination or predestination (praedestinatio), which is an attribute of his omnipotent will. The former may exist without the latter, but not the latter without the former. Foreknowledge is absolute, and embraces all things and all men, good and bad; foreordination is conditioned by foreknowledge, and refers only to what is good. God foreknew sin from eternity, but did not predestinate it; and so he foreknew the sinners, but did not predestinate them to sin or death; they are simply praesciti, not praedestinati. There is therefore no double predestination, but only one predestination which coincides with election to eternal life. The fall of Adam with its consequences falls under the idea of divine permission. God sincerely intends to save all men without distinction, and Christ shed his blood for all; if any are lost, they have to blame themselves.

Hincmar secured the confirmation of his views by the Synod of Chiersy, held in presence of the Emperor, Charles the Bald, 853, It adopted four propositions:688

(1) God Almighty made man free from sin, endowed him with reason and the liberty of choice, and placed him in Paradise. Man, by the abuse of this liberty, sinned, and the whole race became a mass of perdition. Out of this massa perditionis God elected those whom he by grace predestinated unto life eternal; others he left by a just judgment in the mass of perdition, foreknowing that they would perish, but not foreordaining them to perdition, though he foreordained eternal punishment for them.689 This is Augustinian, but weakened in the last clause.

(2) We lost the freedom of will through the fall of the first man, and regained it again through Christ. This chapter, however, is so vaguely worded that it may be understood in a Semi-Pelagian as well as in an Augustinian sense.690

(3) God Almighty would have all men without exception to be saved, although not all are actually saved. Salvation is a free gift of grace; perdition is the desert of those who persist in sin.

(4) Jesus Christ died for all men past, present and future, though not all are redeemed by the mystery of his passion, owing to their unbelief.

The last two propositions are not Augustinian, but catholic, and are the connecting link between the catholic orthodoxy and the Semi-Pelagian heresy.

Hincmar defended these propositions against the objections of Remigius and the Synod of Valence, in two books on Predestination and Free Will (between 856 and 863). The first is lost, the second is preserved. It is very prolix and repetitious, and marks no real progress. He made several historical blunders, and quoted freely from the pseudo-Augustinian Hypomnesticon, which he thought presented Augustin's later and better views.

The two parties came to a sort of agreement at the National Synod of France held at Toucy, near Toul, in October, 860, in presence of the Emperor, Charles the Bald, King Lothaire II., and Charles of Provence, and the bishops of fourteen ecclesiastical provinces.691 Hincmar was the leading man, and composed the synodical letter. He still maintained his four propositions, but cleared himself of the suspicion of Semi-Pelagianism. The first part of the synodical letter, addressed to all the faithful, gives a summary of Christian doctrine, and asserts that nothing can happen in heaven and earth without the will or permission of God; that he would have all men to be saved and none lost; that he did not deprive man after the fall of free will, but heals and supports it by grace; that Christ died on the cross for all men; that in the end all the predestinated who are now scattered in the massa perditionis, will be gathered into the fulness of the eternal church in heaven.

Here ended the controversy. It was a defeat of predestinarianism in its rigorous form and a substantial victory of Semi-Augustinianism, which is almost identical with Semi-Pelagianism except that it gives greater prominence to divine grace.

Practically, even this difference disappeared. The mediaeval church needed the doctrine of free will and of universal call, as a basis for maintaining the moral responsibility, the guilt and merit of man, and as a support to the sacerdotal and sacramental mediation of salvation; while the strict predestinarian system, which unalterably determines the eternal fate of every soul by a pre-temporal or ante-mundane decree, seemed in its logical consequences to neutralize the appeal to the conscience of the sinner, to cut off the powerful inducement of merit and reward, to limit the efficacy of the sacraments to the elect, and to weaken the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

But while churchly and sacerdotal Semi-Augustinianism or covert Semi-Pelagianism triumphed in France, where Hincmar had the last word in the controversy, it was not oecumenically sanctioned. Pope Nicolas, who was dissatisfied with Hincmar on hierarchical grounds, had some sympathy with Gottschalk, and is reported to have approved the Augustinian canons of the Synods of Valence and Langres in regard to a "two-fold predestination" and the limitation of the atonement.692

Thus the door was left open within the Catholic church itself for a revival of strict Augustinianism, and this took place on a grand scale in the sixteenth century.


The Gottschalk controversy was first made the subject of historical investigation and critical discussion in the seventeenth century, but was disturbed by the doctrinal antagonism between Jansenists (Jansen, Mauguin) and Jesuits (Sirmond, Cellot). The Calvinistic historians (Ussher, Hottinger) sided with Gottschalk and the Jansenists. The controversy has been more calmly and impartially considered by the Protestant historians of the nineteenth century, but with a slight difference as to the limits and the result of the controversy; some representing it merely as a conflict between a stricter and a milder type of Augustinianism (Neander, Kurtz), others as a conflict between Augustinianism and a revived and triumphant Semi-Pelagianism (Baur, Weizsäcker). The former view is more correct. Semi-Pelagianism was condemned by the Synod of Orange (Arausio), 529; again by the Synod of Valence in the same year, and by Pope Boniface II., 530, and has ever since figured in the Roman catalogue of heresies. The Catholic Church cannot sanction what she has once condemned.

Both parties in the contest of the ninth century (leaving the isolated Scotus Erigena out of view) appealed to Augustin as the highest patristic authority in the Latin church. Both agreed in the Augustinian anthropology and soteriology, i.e. in the doctrine of a universal fall in Adam, and a partial redemption through Christ; both maintained that some men are saved by free grace, that others are lost by their own guilt; and both confined the possibility of salvation to the present life and to the limits of the visible church (which leads logically to the horrible and incredible conclusion that the overwhelming majority of the human race, including all unbaptized infants, are eternally lost). But the Augustinian party went back to absolute predestination, as the ultima ratio of God's difference of dealing with the saved and the lost, or the elect and the reprobate; while the Semi-Augustinian party sought the difference rather in the merits or demerits of men, and maintained along-side with a conditional predestination the universal benevolence of God and the universal offer of saving grace (which, however, is merely assumed, and not at all apparent in this present life). The Augustinian scheme is more theological and logical, the Semi-Augustinian more churchly and practical. Absolute predestinarianism starts from the almighty power of God, but is checked by the moral sense and kept within the limits of infralapsarianism, which exempts the holy God from any agency in the fall of the race, and fastens the guilt of sin upon man. Relative predestinarianism emphasizes the responsibility and salvability of all men, but recognizes also their perfect dependence upon divine grace for actual salvation. The solution of the problem must be found in the central idea of the holy love of God, which is the key-note of all his attributes and works.

The practical difference between the catholic Semi-Augustinianism and the heterodox Semi-Pelagianism is, as already remarked, very small. They are twin-sisters; they virtually ignore predestination, and lay the main stress on the efficacy of the sacramental system of the historical church, as the necessary agency for regeneration and salvation.

The Lutheran system, as developed in the Formula of Concord, is the evangelical counterpart of the Catholic Semi-Augustinianism. It retains also its sacramental feature (baptismal regeneration and the eucharistic presence), but cuts the root of human merit by the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Calvinism is a revival of Augustinianism, but without its sacramental and sacerdotal checks.

Arminianism, as developed in the Reformed church of Holland and among the Wesleyan Methodists, and held extensively in the Church of England, is an evangelical counterpart of Semi-Pelagianism, and differs from Lutheranism by teaching a conditional election and freedom of the will sufficient to accept as well as to reject the universal offer of saving grace.

§ 123. The Doctrine of Scotus Erigena.

A complete ed. of the works of Scotus Erigena by H. J. Floss, 1853, in Migne's "P. L.," Tom. 122. The book De Praedestinatione in col. 355–440. Comp. the monographs on S. E. by Hjort (1823), Staudenmaier (1834), Taillandier (1843), Christlieb (1860, and his art. in Herzog2 XIII. 788 sqq.), Hermens (1861), Huber (1861); the respective sections in Schröckh, Neander, Baur (on the Trinity), Dorner (on Christology); and in the Histories of Philosophy by Ritter, Erdmann, and Ueberweg. Also Reuter: Gesch. der relig. Aufklärung im Mittelalter (1875), I. 51–64 (a discussion of Erigena's views on the relation of authority and reason).

At the request of Hincmar, who was very anxious to secure learned aid, but mistook his man, John Scotus Erigena wrote a book on Predestination (in 850), and dedicated it to Hincmar and his friend Pardulus, Bishop of Laon. This most remarkable of Scotch-Irishmen was a profound scholar and philosopher, but so far ahead of his age as to be a wonder and an enigma. He shone and disappeared like a brilliant meteor. We do not know whether he was murdered by his pupils in Malmsbury (if he ever was called to England), or died a natural death in France (which is more likely). He escaped the usual fate of heretics by the transcendental character of his speculations and by the protection of Charles the Bald, with whom he was on such familiar terms that he could answer his saucy question at the dinner-table: "What is the difference between a Scot and a sot?" with the quick-witted reply: "The table, your Majesty." His system of thought was an anachronism, and too remote from the spirit of his times to be properly understood and appreciated. He was a Christian Neo-Platonist, a forerunner of Scholasticism and Mysticism and in some respects of Spinoza, Schleiermacher, and Hegel. With him church authority resolves itself into reason, theology into philosophy, and true philosophy is identical with true religion. Philosophy is, so to say, religion unveiled and raised from the cloudy region of popular belief to the clear ether of pure thought.693

From this alpine region of speculation he viewed the problem of predestination and free will. He paid due attention to the Scriptures and the fathers. He often quotes St. Augustin, and calls him, notwithstanding his dissent, "the most acute inquirer and asserter of truth."694 But where church authority contradicts reason, its language must be understood figuratively, and, if necessary, in the opposite sense.695 He charges Gottschalk with the heresy of denying both divine grace and human freedom, since he derived alike the crimes which lead to damnation, and the virtues which lead to eternal life, from a necessary and compulsory predestination. Strictly speaking, there is in God neither before nor after, neither past nor future;696 and hence neither fore-knowledge nor fore-ordination, except in an anthropopathic sense. He rejects a double predestination, because it would carry a contradiction into God. There is only one predestination, the predestination of the righteous, and this is identical with foreknowledge.697 For in God knowledge and will are inseparable, and constitute his very being. The distinction arises from the limitation of the human mind and from ignorance of Greek; for prooravw means both praevideo and praedestino. There is no such thing as predestination to sin and punishment; for sin is nothing real at all, but simply a negation, an abuse of free will;698 and punishment is simply the inner displeasure of the sinner at the failure of his bad aims. If several fathers call sinners praedestinati, they mean the reverse, as Christ called Judas amice instead of inimice, and as lucus is called a non lucendo. Sin lies outside of God, and does not exist for him at all; he does not even foreknow it, much less foreordain it; for knowing and being are identical with him.699 But God has ordered that sin punishes itself; he has established immutable laws, which the sinner cannot escape. Free will is the very essence of man, and was not lost by the fall; only the power and energy of will are impaired. But Erigena vindicates to man freedom in the same sense in which he vindicates it to God, and identifies it with moral necessity. His pantheistic principles lead him logically to universal restoration.700

This appears more clearly from his remarkable work, De Divisione Naturae, where he develops his system. The leading idea is the initial and final harmony of God and the universe, as unfolding itself under four aspects: 1) Natura creatrix non creata, i.e. God as the creative and uncreated beginning of all that exists; 2) Natura creatrix creata, i.e. the ideal world or the divine prototypes of all things; 3) Natura creata non creans, i.e. the created, but uncreative world of time and sense, as the reflex and actualization of the ideal world; 4) Natura nec creata nec creans, i.e. God as the end of all creation, which, after the defeat of all opposition, must return to him in an ajpokatavstasi" tw'n pavntwn. "The first and the last form," he says, "are one, and can be understood only of God, who is the beginning and the end of all things."

The tendency of this speculative and mystical pantheism of Erigena was checked by the practical influence of the Christian theism which entered into his education and personal experience, so that we may say with a historian who is always just and charitable: "We are unwilling to doubt, that he poured out many a devout and earnest prayer to a redeeming God for his inward illumination, and that he diligently sought for it in the sacred Scripture, though his conceptual apprehension of the divine Being seems to exclude such a relation of man to God, as prayer presupposes."701

Hincmar had reason to disown such a dangerous champion, and complained of the Scotch "porridge."702 John Scotus was violently assailed by Archbishop Wenilo of Sens, who denounced nineteen propositions of his book (which consists of nineteen chapters) as heretical, and by Bishop Prudentius, who increased the number to seventy-seven. He was charged with Pelagianism and Origenism, and censured for substituting philosophy for theology, and sophistical subtleties for sound arguments from Scripture and tradition. Remigius thought him insane. Florus Magister likewise wrote against him, and rejected as blasphemous the doctrine that sin and evil were nonentities, and therefore could not be the subjects of divine foreknowledge and foreordination. The Synod of Valence (855) rejected his nineteen syllogisms as absurdities, and his whole book as a "commentum diaboli potius quam argumentum fidei." His most important work, which gives his whole system, was also condemned by a provincial Synod of Sens, and afterwards by Pope Honorius III. in 1225, who characterized it as a book "teeming with the vermin of heretical depravity," and ordered all copies to be burned. But, fortunately, a few copies survived for the study of later ages.

§ 124. The Eucharistic Controversies. Literature.

The general Lit. on the history of the doctrine of the Eucharist, see in vol. I., § 55, p. 472, and II. 241.

Add the following Roman Catholic works on the general Subject: Card. Jo. de Lugo (d. 1660): Tractatus de venerabili Eucharistiae Sacramento, in Migne's "Cursus Theol. Completus," XXIII. Card. Wiseman: Lectures on the Real Presence. Lond., 1836 and l842. Oswald: Die dogmat. Lehre von den heil. Sacramenten der katholischen Kirche. Münster, 3rd ed., 1870, vol. I. 375–427.

On the Protestant side: T. K. Meier: Versuch einer Gesch. der Transsubstantiationslehre. Heilbronn, 1832. Ebrard: Das Dogma v. heil. Abendmahl und seine Gesch. Frankf. a. M., 1845 and '46, 2 vols. Steitz: Arts. on Radbert, Ratramnus, and Transubstantiation in Herzog. Schaff: Transubstantiation in "Rel. Encycl." III. 2385.

Special Lit. on the eucharistic controversies in the ninth and eleventh centuries.

I. Controversy between Ratramnus and Paschasius Radbertus.

(1) Paschasius Radbertus: Liber de Corpore et Sanguine Domini, dedicated to Marinus, abbot of New Corbie, 831, second ed., 844, presented to Charles the Bald; first genuine ed. by Nic. Mameranus, Colon. 1550; best ed. by Martene and Durand in "Veter. Script. et Monum. amplissima Collectio," IX. 367.—Comm. in Matth. (26:26); Epistola ad Fridegardum, and treatise De Partu Virginis. See S. Pasch. Radb.: Opera omnia in Tom. 120 of Migne's "Patrol. Lat.," Par. 1852.

Haimo: Tract. de Corp. et Sang. Dom. (a fragment of a Com. on 1 Cor.), in D'Achery, "Spicil." I. 42, and in Migne, "P. L.," Tom. 118, col. 815–817. Hincmar: Ep. ad Carol. Calv. de cavendis vitiis et virtutibus exercendis, c. 9. In Migne, T. 125, col. 915 sqq.

(2) Ratramnus: De Corpore et Sanguine Domini liber ad Carolum Calvum Reg. Colon., 1532 (under the name of Bertram), often publ. by Reformed divines in the original and in translations (from 1532 to 1717 at Zürich, Geneva, London, Oxford, Amsterdam), and by Jac. Boileau, Par., 1712, with a vindication of the catholic orthodoxy of Ratramnus. See Ratramni Opera in Migne," P. L.," Tom. 121, col. 10–346.

Rabanus Maurus: Poenitentiale, cap. 33. Migne," P. L." Tom. 110, col. 492, 493. Walafrid Strabo: De Rebus Eccls., c. 16, 17. See extracts in Gieseler, II. 80–82.

(3) Discussions of historians: Natalis Alexander, H. Eccl. IX. and X., Dissert. X. and XIII. Neander, IV. 458–475, Germ. ed., or III. 495–501, Engl. transl., Bost. ed. Gieseler, II. 79–84, N. Y. ed. Baur: Vorlesungen über Dogmengesch. II. 161–175.

II. Controversy between Berengar and Lanfranc.

(1) LANFRANCUS: De Eucharistiae Sacramento contra Berengarium lib., Basil,. 1528, often publ., also in "Bibl. PP. Lugd.," XVIII. 763, and in Migne," Patrol. Lat.," Tom. 150 (1854), col. 407–442.

(2) Berengarius: De Sacra Coena adv. Lanfrancum liber posterior, first publ. by A. F. & F. Th. Vischer. Berol., 1834 (from the MS. in Wolfenbüttel, now in Göttingen. Comp. Lessing: Berengarius Turon. oder Ankündigung eines wichtigen Werkes desselben. Braunschweig, 1770). H. Sudendorf: Berengarius Turonensis oder eine Sammlung ihn betreffender Briefe. Hamburg and Gotha, 1850. Contains twenty-two new documents, and a full list of the older sources.

(3) Neander: III. 502–530 (E. Tr. Bost. ed.; or IV. 476–534 Germ. ed.). Gieseler: II. 163–173 (E. Tr. N. York ed.). Baur: II. 175–198. Hardwick: Middle Age, 169–173 (third ed. by Stubbs). Milman: III. 258 sqq. Robertson: II. 609 sqq. (small ed., IV. 351–367). Jacobi: Berengar, in Herzog2 II. 305–311. Reuter: Gesch. der relig. Aufklärung im Mittelalter (1875), I. 91 sqq. Hefele: IV. 740 sqq. (ed. 1879).

§ 125. The Two Theories of the Lord's Supper.

The doctrine of the Lord's Supper became the subject of two controversies in the Western church, especially in France. The first took place in the middle of the ninth century between Paschasius Radbertus and Ratramnus, the other in the middle of the eleventh century between Berengar and Lanfranc. In the second, Pope Hildebrand was implicated, as mediator between Berengar and the orthodox party.

In both cases the conflict was between a materialistic and a spiritualistic conception of the sacrament and its effect. The one was based on a literal, the other on a figurative interpretation of the words of institution, and of the mysterious discourse in the sixth chapter of St. John. The contending parties agreed in the belief that Christ is present in the eucharist as the bread of life to believers; but they differed widely in their conception of the mode of that presence: the one held that Christ was literally and corporeally present and communicated to all communicants through the mouth; the other, that he was spiritually present and spiritually communicated to believers through faith. The transubstantiationists (if we may coin this term) believed that the eucharistic body of Christ was identical with his historical body, and was miraculously created by the priestly consecration of the elements in every sacrifice of the mass; their opponents denied this identity, and regarded the eucharistic body as a symbolical exhibition of his real body once sacrificed on the cross and now glorified in heaven, yet present to the believer with its life-giving virtue and saving power.

We find both these views among the ancient fathers. The realistic and mystical view fell in more easily with the excessive supernaturalism and superstitious piety of the middle age, and triumphed at last both in the Greek and Latin churches; for there is no material difference between them on this dogma.703 The spiritual theory was backed by the all-powerful authority of St. Augustin in the West, and ably advocated by Ratramnus and Berengar, but had to give way to the prevailing belief in transubstantiation until, in the sixteenth century, the controversy was revived by the Reformers, and resulted in the establishment of three theories: 1) the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, re-asserted by the Council of Trent; 2) the Lutheran theory of the real presence in the elements, retaining their substance;704 and 3) the Reformed (Calvinistic) theory of a spiritual real or dynamic presence for believers. In the Roman church (and herein the Greek church fully agrees with her), the doctrine of transubstantiation is closely connected with the doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass, which forms the centre of worship.

It is humiliating to reflect that the, commemorative feast of Christ's dying love, which should be the closest bond of union between believers, innocently gave rise to the most violent controversies. But the same was the case with the still more important doctrine of Christ's Person. Fortunately, the spiritual benefit of the sacrament does not depend upon any particular human theory of the mode of Christ's presence, who is ever ready to bless all who love him.

§ 126. The Theory of Paschasius Radbertus.

Paschasius Radbertus (from 800 to about 865), a learned, devout and superstitious monk, and afterwards abbot of Corbie or Corvey in France705 is the first who clearly taught the doctrine of transubstantiation as then believed by many, and afterwards adopted by the Roman Catholic church. He wrote a book "on the Body and Blood of the Lord," composed for his disciple Placidus of New Corbie in the year 831, and afterwards reedited it in a more popular form, and dedicated it to the Emperor Charles the Bald, as a Christmas gift (844). He did not employ the term transubstantiation, which came not into use till two centuries later; but he taught the thing, namely, that "the substance of bread and wine is effectually changed (efficaciter interius commutatur) into the flesh and blood of Christ," so that after the priestly consecration there is "nothing else in the eucharist but the flesh and blood of Christ," although "the figure of bread and wine remain" to the senses of sight, touch, and taste. The change is brought about by a miracle of the Holy Spirit, who created the body of Christ in the womb of the Virgin without cohabitation, and who by the same almighty power creates from day to day, wherever the mass is celebrated, the same body and blood out of the substance of bread and wine. He emphasizes the identity of the eucharistic body with the body which was born of the Virgin, suffered on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven; yet on the other hand he represents the sacramental eating and drinking as a spiritual process by faith.706 He therefore combines the sensuous and spiritual conceptions.707 He assumes that the soul of the believer communes with Christ, and that his body receives an imperishable principle of life which culminates at last in the resurrection. He thus understood, like several of the ancient fathers, the words of our Saviour: "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:54).

He supports his doctrine by the words of institution in their literal sense, and by the sixth chapter of John. He appealed also to marvellous stories of the visible appearances of the body and blood of Christ for the removal of doubts or the satisfaction of the pious desire of saints. The bread on the altar, he reports, was often seen in the shape of a lamb or a little child, and when the priest stretched out his hand to break the bread, an angel descended from heaven with a knife, slaughtered the lamb or the child, and let his blood run into a cup!708

Such stories were readily believed by the people, and helped to strengthen the doctrine of transubstantiation; as the stories of the appearances of departed souls from purgatory confirmed the belief in purgatory.

The book of Radbert created a great sensation in the West, which was not yet prepared to accept the doctrine of transubstantiation without a vigorous struggle. Radbert himself admits that some of his contemporaries believed only in a spiritual communion of the soul with Christ, and substituted the mere virtue of his body and blood for the real body and blood, i.e., as he thinks, the figure for the verity, the shadow for the substance.709

His opponents appealed chiefly to St. Augustin, who made a distinction between the historical and the eucharistic body of Christ, and between a false material and a true spiritual fruition of his body and blood. In a letter to the monk Frudegard, who quoted several passages of Augustin, Radbert tried to explain them in his sense. For no divine of the Latin church dared openly to contradict the authority of the great African teacher.

§ 127. The Theory of Ratramnus.

The chief opponent of transubstantiation was Ratramnus,710 a contemporary monk at Corbie, and a man of considerable literary reputation. He was the first to give the symbolical theory a scientific expression. At the request of King Charles the Bald he wrote a eucharistic tract against Radbert, his superior, but did not name him.711 He answered two questions, whether the consecrated elements are called body and blood of Christ after a sacramental manner (in mysterio), or in the literal sense; and whether the eucharistic body is identical with the historical body which died and rose again. He denied this identity which Radbert had strongly asserted; and herein lies the gist of the difference. He concluded that the elements remain in reality as well as for the sensual perception what they were before the consecration, and that they are the body and blood of Christ only in a spiritual sense to the faith of believers.712 He calls the consecrated bread and wine figures and pledges of the body and blood of Christ. They are visible tokens of the Lord's death, that, remembering his passion, we may become partakers of its effect. He appealed to the discourse in the sixth chapter of John, as well as Radbert; but, like Augustin, his chief authority, he found the key to the whole chapter in John 6:63, which points from the letter to the spirit and from the carnal to the spiritual understanding.713 The souls of believers are nourished in the communion by the Word of God (the Logos), which dwells in the natural body of Christ, and which dwells after an invisible manner in the sacrament. Unbelievers cannot receive Christ, as they lack the spiritual organ. He refers to the analogy of baptism, which is justly called a fount of life. Viewed by the senses, it is simply a fluid element; but by the consecration of the priest the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit is added to it, so that what properly is corruptible water becomes figuratively or in mystery a healing virtue.714

It is consistent with this view that Ratramnus regarded the sacrifice of the mass not as an actual (though unbloody) repetition, but only as a commemorative celebration of Christ's sacrifice whereby Christians are assured of their redemption. When we shall behold Christ face to face, we shall no longer need such instruments of remembrance.

John Scotus Erigena is also reported to have written a book against Radbert at the request of Charles the Bald. Hincmar of Rheims mentions among his errors this, that in the sacrament of the altar the true body and blood of Christ were not present, but only a memorial of them.715 The report may have arisen from a confusion, since the tract of Ratramnus was at a later period ascribed to Scotus Erigena.716 But he expresses his view incidentally in other writings from which it appears that he agreed with Ratramnus and regarded the eucharist only as a typical representation of a spiritual communion with Christ.717 In his book De Divisione Naturae, he teaches a mystic ubiquity of Christ's glorified humanity or its elevation above the limitations of space. Neander infers from this that he held the eucharistic bread and wine to be simply symbols of the deified, omnipresent humanity of Christ which communicates itself, in a real manner, to believing soul.718 At all events the hypothesis of ubiquity excludes a miraculous change of the elements, and gives the real presence a christo-pantheistic aspect. The Lutheran divines used this hypothesis in a modified form (multipresence, or multivolipresence, dependent on the will of Christ) as a dogmatic support for their doctrine of the real presence.

Among the divines of the Carolingian age who held the Augustinian view and rejected that of Radbert, as an error, were Rabanus Maurus, Walafrid Strabo, Christian Druthmar, and Florus Magister. They recognized only a dynamic and spiritual, not a visible and corporeal presence, of the body of Christ, in the sacrament.719

On the other hand, the theory of Radbert was accepted by Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, Bishop Haimo of Halberstadt, and other leading ecclesiastics. It became more and more popular during the dark post-Carolingian period. Bishop Ratherius of Verona (about 950), who, however, repelled all curious questions about the mode of the change, and even the learned and liberal-minded Gerbert (afterwards Pope Sylvester II., from 999 to 1003), defended the miraculous transformation of the eucharistic elements by the priestly consecration. It is characteristic of the grossly sensuous character of the theology of the tenth century that the chief point of dispute was the revolting and indecent question whether the consecrated elements pass from the communicant in the ordinary way of nature. The opponents of transubstantiation affirmed this, the advocates indignantly denied it, and fastened upon the former the new heretical name of "Stercorianists." Gerbert called stercorianism a diabolical blasphemy, and invented the theory that the eucharistic body and blood of Christ do not pass in noxios et superfluos humores, but are preserved in the flesh for the final resurrection.720

Radbertus was canonized, and his memory, is celebrated since 1073, on the 26th of April in the diocese of Soissons.721 The book of Ratramnus, under the supposed authorship of Scotus Erigena, was twice condemned in the Berengar controversy (1050 and 1059), and put in the Tridentine Index of prohibited books .722


In connection with this subject is the subordinate controversy on the delicate question whether Christ, admitting his supernatural conception, was born in the natural way like other children, or miraculously (clauso utero). This question troubled the pious curiosity of some nuns of Vesona (?), and reached the convent of Corbie. Paschasius Radbertus, following the lead of St. Ambrose and St. Jerome, defended the theory that the holy Virgin remained virgo in partu and post partum, and used in proof some poetic passages on the hortus conclusus and fons signatus in Cant. 4:12, and the porta clausa Domini in Ezek. 44:2. The whole incarnation is supernatural, and as the conception so the birth of Christ was miraculous. He was not subject to the laws of nature, and entered the world "sine dolore et sine gemitu et sine ulla corruptione carnis." See Radbert's tract De Partu Virginis in his Opera, ed. Migne, col. 1365–1386.

Ratramnus, in his book De eo quod Christus ex Virgine natus est (in D'Achery, "Spicilegium," I., and in Migne, Tom. 121, col. 82–102), likewise taught the perpetual virginity of Mary, but assumed that Christ came into the world in the natural way ("naturaliter per aulam virgineam" or "per virginalis januam vulvae"). The conception in utero implies the birth ex utero. But he does not controvert or name Radbert, and uses the same Scripture passages for his view. He refers also to the analogy of Christ's passing through the closed doors on the day of the resurrection. He quotes from Augustin, Jerome, Pope Gregory, and Bede in support of his view. He opposes only the monstrous opinion that Christ broke from the womb through some unknown channel ("monstruose de secreto ventris incerto tramite luminis in auras exisse, quod non est nasci, sed erumpi." Cap. 1, col. 83). Such an opinion, he thinks, leads to the docetic heresy, and to the conclusion that "nec vere natus Christus, nec vere genuit Maria."

§ 128. The Berengar Controversy.

While the doctrine of a corporeal presence and participation of Christ in the eucharist made steady progress in the public opinion of Western Christendom in close connection with the rising power of the priesthood, the doctrine of a spiritual presence and participation by faith was re-asserted by way of reaction in the middle of the eleventh century for a short period, but condemned by ecclesiastical authority. This condemnation decided the victory of transubstantiation.

Let us first review the external history of the controversy, which runs into the next period (till 1079).

Berengar (c. 1000–1088), a pupil of Fulbert of Chartres (d. 1029), was canon and director of the cathedral school in Tours, his native city, afterwards archdeacon of Angers, and highly esteemed as a man of rare learning and piety before his eucharistic views became known.723 He was an able dialectician and a popular teacher. He may be ranked among the forerunners of a Christian rationalism, who dared to criticize church authority and aimed to reconcile the claims of reason and faith.724 But he had not the courage of a martyr, and twice recanted from fear of death. Nor did he carry out his principle. He seems to have been in full accord with catholic orthodoxy except on the point of the sacrament. He was ascetic in his habits and shared the prevailing respect for monastic life, but saw clearly its danger. "The hermit," he says with as much beauty as truth, in an Exhortatory Discourse to hermits who had asked his advice, "is alone in his cell, but sin loiters about the door with enticing words and seeks admittance. I am thy beloved—says she—whom thou didst court in the world. I was with thee at the table, slept with thee on thy couch; without me, thou didst nothing. How darest thou think of forsaking me? I have followed thy every step; and dost thou expect to hide away from me in thy cell? I was with thee in the world, when thou didst eat flesh and drink wine; and shall be with thee in the wilderness, where thou livest only on bread and water. Purple and silk are not the only colors seen in hell,—the monk's cowl is also to be found there. Thou hermit hast something of mine. The nature of the flesh, which thou wearest about thee, is my sister, begotten with me, brought up with me. So long as the flesh is flesh, so long shall I be in thy flesh. Dost thou subdue thy flesh by abstinence?—thou becomest proud; and lo! sin is there. Art thou overcome by the flesh, and dost thou yield to lust? sin is there. Perhaps thou hast none of the mere human sins, I mean such as proceed from sense; beware then of devilish sins. Pride is a sin which belongs in common to evil spirits and to hermits."725

By continued biblical and patristic studies Berengar came between the years 1040 and 1045 to the conclusion that the eucharistic doctrine of Paschasius Radbertus was a vulgar superstition contrary to the Scriptures, to the fathers, and to reason. He divulged his view among his many pupils in France and Germany, and created a great sensation. Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, to whose diocese he belonged, and Frollant, bishop of Senlis, took his part, but the majority was against him. Adelmann, his former fellow-student, then arch-deacon at Lüttich (Liège), afterwards bishop of Bresci, remonstrated with him in two letters of warning (1046 and 1048).

The controversy was fairly opened by Berengar himself in a letter to Lanfranc of Bec, his former fellow-student (1049). He respectfully, yet in a tone of intellectual superiority, perhaps with some feeling of jealousy of the rising fame of Bec, expressed his surprise that Lanfranc, as he had been informed by Ingelram of Chartres, should agree with Paschasius Radbertus and condemn John Scotus (confounded with Ratramnus) as heretical; this showed an ignorance of Scripture and involved a condemnation of Ambrose (?), Jerome, and Augustin, not to speak of others. The letter was sent to Rome, where Lanfranc then sojourned, and caused, with his co-operation, the first condemnation of Berengar by a Roman Synod held under Pope Leo IX. in April, 1050, and attended mostly by Italian bishops. At the same time he was summoned before another Synod which was held at Vercelli in September of the same year; and as he did not appear,726 he was condemned a second time without a hearing, and the book of Ratramnus on the eucharist was burned. "If we are still in the figure," asked one member indignantly (probably Peter Damiani), "when shall we have the thing?" A Synod of Paris in October, 1050 or 1051, is said to have confirmed this judgment and threatened Berengar and his friends with the severest punishment, even death; but it is uncertain whether such a Synod was held.727

After a short interval of silence, he was tried before a Synod of Tours in 1054 under Leo IX.,728 but escaped condemnation through the aid of Hildebrand who presided as papal representative, listened calmly to his arguments and was perfectly satisfied with his admission that the consecrated bread and wine are (in a spiritual sense) the body and blood of Christ.729 At the same time he was invited by Hildebrand to accompany him to Rome for a final settlement.

Confiding in this powerful advocate, Berengar appeared before a Lateran council held in 1059, under Nicolas II., but was bitterly disappointed. The assembled one hundred and thirteen bishops, whom he compares to "wild beasts," would not listen to his notion of a spiritual communion, and insisted on a sensuous participation of the body and blood of Christ. The violent and bigoted Cardinal Humbert, in the name of the Synod, forced on him a formula of recantation which cuts off all spiritual interpretation and teaches a literal mastication of Christ's body.730 Berengar was weak enough from fear of death to accept this confession on his knees, and to throw his books into the fire.731 "Human wickedness," he says, "extorted from human weakness a different confession, but a change of conviction can be effected only by the agency of Almighty God." He would rather trust to the mercy of God than the charity of his enemies, and found comfort in the pardon granted to Aaron and to St. Peter.

As soon as he returned to France, he defended his real conviction more boldly than ever. He spoke of Pope Leo IX. and Nicolas II. in language as severe as Luther used five centuries later.732 Lanfranc attacked him in his book on the eucharist, and Berengar replied very sharply in his chief work on the Lord's Supper (between 1063 and 1069.)733 His friends gradually withdrew, and the wrath of his enemies grew so intense that he was nearly killed at a synod in Poitiers (1075 or 1076).

Hildebrand who in the mean time had ascended the papal throne as Gregory VlI., summoned Berengar once more to Rome in 1078, hoping to give him peace, as he had done at Tours in 1054. He made several attempts to protect him against the fanaticism of his enemies. But they demanded absolute recantation or death. A Lateran Council in February, 1079, required Berengar to sign a formula which affirmed the conversion of substance in terms that cut off all sophistical escape.734 He imprudently appealed to his private interviews with Gregory, but the pope could no longer protect him without risking his own reputation for orthodoxy, and ordered him to confess his error. Berengar submitted. "Confounded by the sudden madness of the pope," he says, "and because God in punishment for my sins did not give me a steadfast heart, I threw myself on the ground and confessed with impious voice that I had erred, fearing the pope would instantly pronounce against me the sentence of excommunication, and that, as a necessary consequence, the populace would hurry me to the worst of deaths." The pope, however, remained so far true to him that he gave him two letters of recommendation, one to the bishops of Tours and Angers, and one to all the faithful, in which he threatened all with the anathema who should do him any harm in person or estate, or call him a heretic.735

Berengar returned to France with a desponding heart and gave up the hopeless contest. He was now an old man and spent the rest of his life in strict ascetic seclusion on the island of St. Côme (Cosmas) near Tours, where he died in peace 1088. Many believed that he did penance for his heresy, and his friends held an annual celebration of his memory on his grave. But what he really regretted was his cowardly treason to the truth as he held it. This is evident from the report of his trial at Rome which he drew up after his return.736 It concludes with a prayer to God for forgiveness, and to the Christian reader for the exercise of charity. "Pray for me that these tears may procure me the compassion of the Almighty."

His doctrine was misrepresented by Lanfranc and the older historians, as denying the real presence.737 But since the discovery of the sources it is admitted also by Roman Catholics that, while he emphatically rejected transubstantiation, he held to a spiritual real presence and participation of Christ in the eucharist.

This explains also the conduct of Gregory VII., which is all the more remarkable, as he was in every other respect the most strenuous champion of the Roman church and the papal power. This great pope was more an ecclesiastic than a theologian. He was willing to allow a certain freedom on the mysterious mode of the eucharistic presence and the precise nature of the change in the elements, which at that time had not yet been authoritatively defined as a change of substance. He therefore protected Berengar, with diplomatic caution, as long and as far as he could without endangering his great reforms and incurring himself the suspicion of heresy.738 The latest known writing of Berengar is a letter on the death of Gregory (1085), in which he speaks of the pope with regard, expresses a conviction of his salvation, and excuses his conduct towards himself.

Berengar was a strange compound of moral courage and physical cowardice. Had he died a martyr, his doctrine would have gained strength; but by his repeated recantations he injured his own cause and promoted the victory of transubstantiation.

Notes. Hildebrand and Berengar.

Sudendorf's Berengarius Turonensis (1850) is, next to the discovery and publication of Berengar's De Sacra Coena (1834), the most important contribution to the literature on this chapter.739 Dr. Sudendorf does not enter into the eucharistic controversy, and refers to the account of Stäudlin and Neander as sufficient; but he gives 1) a complete chronological list of the Berengar literature, including all the notices by friends and foes (p. 7–68); 2) an account of Gaufried Martell, Count of Anjou, stepfather of the then-ruling Empress Agnes of Germany, and the most zealous and powerful protector of Berengar (p. 69–87); and 3) twenty-two letters bearing on Berengar, with notes (p. 88–233). These letters were here published for the first time from manuscripts of the royal library at Hanover, contained in a folio volume entitled: "Codex epistolaris Imperatorum, Regum, Pontificum, Episcoporum." They throw no new light on the eucharistic doctrine of Berengar; but three of them give us interesting information on his relation to Hildebrand.

1. A letter of Count Gaufried of Anjou (d. 1060) to Cardinal Hildebrand, written in March, 1059, shortly before the Lateran Synod (April, 1059), which condemned Berengar (p. 128 and 215). The Count calls here, with surprising boldness and confidence, on the mighty Cardinal to protect Berengar at the approaching Synod of Rome, under the impression that he thoroughly agreed with him, and had concealed his real opinion at Tours. He begins thus: "To the venerable son of the church of the Romans, H.[ildebrand]. Count Gauf. Bear thyself not unworthy of so great a mother. B.[erengar] has gone to Rome according to thy wishes and letters of invitation. Now is the time for thee to act with Christian magnanimity (nunc magnanimitate christiana tibi agendum est), lest Berengar have the same experience with thee as at Tours [1054], when thou camest to us as delegate of apostolic authority. He expected thy advent as that of an angel. Thou wast there to give life to souls that were dead, and to kill souls that should live .... Thou didst behave thyself like that person of whom it is written [John 19:38]: 'He was himself a disciple of Jesus, but secretly from fear of the Jews.' Thou resemblest him who said [Luke 23:22]: 'I find no cause of death in him,' but did not set him free because he feared Caesar. Thou hast even done less than Pilate, who called Jesus to him and was not ashamed to bear witness: I find no guilt in him .. . To thee applies the sentence of the gospel [Luke 9:26]: 'Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall I be ashamed before my heavenly Father.' To thee applies the word of the Lord [Luke 11:52]: 'Woe unto you, for ye took away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and hindered those that were entering.'... Now the opportune time has come. Thou hast Berengar present with the pope. If thou again keepest silence on the error of those fools, it is clear that thou formerly didst not from good reasons wait for the proper time, but from weakness and fear didst not dare to defend the cause of the innocent. Should it come to this, which God forbid, we would be wholly disappointed in our great hope placed on thee; but thou wouldst commit a monstrous injustice to thyself, yea even to God. By thee the Orient with all its perverseness would be introduced into the Occident; instead of illuminating our darkness, thou wouldest turn our light into darkness according to the best of thy ability. All those who excel in erudition and judge the case according to the Scriptures, bore testimony that Berengar has the right view according to the Scriptures .... That popular delusion [of transubstantiation] leads to pernicious heresy. The resurrection of the body, of which Paul says that the corruptible must put on the incorruptible, cannot stand, if we contend that the body of Christ is in a sensuous manner broken by the priest and torn with the teeth (sensualiter sacerdotum manibus frangi, dentibus atteri). Thou boastest of thy Rome that she was never conquered in faith and military glory. Thou wilt put to shame that glory, if, at this time when God has elevated thee above all others at the papal see, that false doctrine, that nursery of the most certain heresy, by thy dissimulation and silence should raise its head. Leave not thine honor to others, by retiring to the corner of disgraceful silence."

2. A letter of Berengar to Pope Gregory VII. from the year 1077, in which he addresses him as "pater optime," and assures him of his profound reverence and love (p. 182 and 230). He thanks him for a letter of protection he had written to his legate, Bishop Hugo of Die (afterwards Archbishop of Lyons), but begs him to excuse him for not attending a French council of his enemies, to which he had been summoned. He expresses the hope of a personal conference with the pope (opportunitatem vivendi praesentiam tuam et audiendi), and concludes with the request to continue his patronage. "Vel [i.e. Valeat] Christianitas tua, pater optime, longo parvitati meae tempore dignum sede apostolica patrocinium impensura." The result of this correspondence is unknown. Berengar's hope of seeing and hearing the pope was fulfilled in 1078, when he was summoned to the Council in Rome; but the result, as we have seen, was his condemnation by the Council with the pope's consent.

3. A letter of Berengar to Archbishop Joscelin of Bordeaux, written in a charitable Christian spirit after May 25, 1085, when Gregory VII. died (p. 196 and 231). It begins thus: "The unexpected death of our G. [regory] causes me no little disturbance (G. nostri me non parum mors inopinato [a] perturbat)." The nostri sounds rather too familiar in view of Gregory's conduct in 1079, but must be understood of the personal sympathy shown him before and after in the last commendatory letters. B. then goes on to express confidence in the pope's salvation, and forgives him his defection, which he strangely compares with the separation of Barnabas from Paul. "Sed, quantum mihi videor novisse hominem, de salute hominis certum constat, quicquid illi prejudicent, qui, secundum dominicam sententiam [Matt. 23:24], culicem culantes, camelum sorbent. In Christo lesu, inquit Apostolus [Gal. 6:15], neque circumcisio est aliquid, neque preputium, sed nova creatura. Quod illum fuisse, quantum illum noveram, de misericordia presumo divina. Discessit a Paulo Barnabas [Acts 15:39, 40], ut non cum illo secundum exteriorem commaneret hominem, nec minus tamen secundum interiorem hominem Barnabas in libro vitae permansit." In remembrance of Gregory's conduct in forcing him at the Roman Council in 1079 to swear to a formula against his conviction, he asserts that the power of the keys which Christ gave to Peter (Matt. 16:19) is limited. The binding must not be arbitrary and unjust. The Lord speaks through the prophet to the priests (per prophetam ad prelatos): "I will curse your blessings (Mal. 2:2: maledicam benedictionibus vestris)." From this it follows necessarily that He also blesses their curses (Ex quo necessarium constat, quod etiam benedicat maledictionibus talium). Hence the Psalmist says (Ps. 109:28): "Let them curse, but bless thou." The blessed Augustin, in his book on the Words of the Lord, says: "Justice solves the bonds of injustice;" and the blessed Gregory [I.] says [Homil. XXVI.]: "He forfeits the power to bind and to loose, who uses it not for the benefit of his subjects, but according to his arbitrary will (ipsa hac ligandi atque solvendi potestate se privat, qui hanc non pro subditorum moribus, sed pro suae voluntatis motibus exercet)." Berengar thus turns the first Gregory against the seventh Gregory.

Hildebrand's real opinion on the eucharistic presence can only be inferred from his conduct during the controversy. He sincerely protected Berengar against violence and persecution even after his final condemnation; but the public opinion of the church in 1059 and again in 1079 expressed itself so strongly in favor of a substantial or essential change of the eucharistic elements, that he was forced to yield. Personally, he favored a certain freedom of opinion on the mode of the change, provided only the change itself was admitted, as was expressly done by Berengar. Only a few days before the Council of 1078 the pope sought the opinion of the Virgin Mary through an esteemed monk, and received as an answer that nothing more should be held or required on the reaI presence than what was found in the Holy Scriptures, namely, that the bread after consecration was the true body of Christ. So Berengar reports; see Mansi, XIX. 766; Gieseler, II. 172; Neander, III. 519. (The charge of Ebrard that the pope acted hypocritically and treacherously towards B., is contradicted by facts).

The same view of a change of the elements in a manner inexplicable and therefore indefinable, is expressed in a fragment of a commentary on Matthew by a certain "Magister Hildebrand," published by Peter Allix (in Determinatio Ioannis praedicatoris de, modo existendi Corp. Christi in sacramento altaris. Lond., 1686)." In this fragment," says Neander, III. 511, "after an investigation of the different ways in which the conversio of the bread into the body of Christ may be conceived, the conclusion is arrived at, that nothing can be decided with certainty on this point; that the conversio therefore is the only essential part of the doctrine, namely, that bread and wine become body and blood of Christ, and that with regard to the way in which that conversion takes place, men should not seek to inquire. This coincides with the view which evidently lies at the basis of the cardinal's proceedings. But whether the author was this Hildebrand, must ever remain a very doubtful question, since it is not probable, that if a man whose life constitutes an epoch in history wrote a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, it should have been so entirely forgotten." Sudendorf, however (p. 186), ascribes the fragment to Pope Hildebrand.

§ 129. Berengar's Theory of the Lord's Supper.

The chief source is Berengar's second book against Lanfranc, already quoted. His first book is lost with the exception of a few fragments in Lanfranc's reply.

Berengar attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation, and used against it nearly every argument: it is not only above reason, but against reason and against the testimony of the senses; it involves a contradiction between subject and predicate, and between substance and its qualities, which are inseparable; it is inconsistent with the fact of Christ's ascension and presence in heaven; it virtually assumes either a multiplication or an omnipresence of his body, which contradicts the necessary limitations of corporeality.740 There can be only one body of Christ, and only one sacrifice of Christ. The stories of the appearances of blood on the altar, be treated with scorn, from which some of his enemies inferred that he denied all miracles. He called the doctrine of transubstantiation an absurdity (ineptio) and an insane folly of the populace (vecordia vulgi).

To this notion of a corporeal or material presence on the altar, he opposed the idea of a spiritual or dynamic presence and participation. His positive view agrees essentially with that of Ratramnus; but he went beyond him, as Calvin went beyond Zwingli. He endeavors to save the spiritual reality without the carnal form. He distinguishes, with St. Augustin and Ratramnus, between the historical and the eucharistic body of Christ, and between the visible symbol or sacramentum and the thing symbolized or the res sacramenti. He maintains that we cannot literally eat and drink Christ's body and blood, but that nevertheless we may have real spiritual Communion by faith with the flesh, that is, with the glorified humanity of Christ in heaven. His theory is substantially the same as that of Calvin.741 The salient points are these:

1) The elements remain in substance as well as in appearance, after the consecration, although they acquire a new significance. Hence the predicate in the words of institution must be taken figuratively, as in many other passages, where Christ is called the lion, the lamb, the door, the vine, the corner-stone, the rock, etc.742 The discourse in the sixth chapter of John is likewise figurative, and does not refer to the sacrament at all, but to the believing reception of Christ's death.743

2) Nevertheless bread and wine are not empty, symbols, but in some sense the body and blood of Christ which they represent. They are converted by being consecrated; for whatever is consecrated is lifted to a higher sphere and transformed. They do not lose their substance after consecration; but they lose their emptiness, and become efficacious to the believer. So water in baptism remains water, but becomes the vehicle of regeneration. Wherever the sacramentum is, there is also the res sacramenti.

3) Christ is spiritually present and is spiritually received by faith. Without faith we can have no real communion with him, nor share in his benefits. "The true body of Christ," he says in a letter to Adelmann," is placed on the altar, but spiritually to the inner man and to those only who are members of Christ, for spiritual manducation. This the fathers teach openly, and distinguish between the body and blood of Christ and the sacramental signs of the body and blood. The pious receive both, the sacramental sign (sacramentum) visibly, the sacramental substance (rem sacramenti) invisibly; while the ungodly receive only the sacramental sign to their own judgment."

4) The communion in the Lord's Supper is a communion with the whole undivided person of Christ, and not with flesh and blood as separate elements. As the whole body of Christ was sacrificed in death, so we receive the whole body in a spiritual manner; and as Christ's body is now glorified in heaven, we must spiritually ascend to heaven."744

Here again is a strong point of contact with Calvin, who likewise taught such an elevation of the soul to heaven as a necessary condition of true communion with the life-giving power of Christ's humanity. He meant, of course, no locomotion, but the sursum corda, which is necessary in every act of prayer. It is the Holy, Spirit who lifts us up to Christ on the wings of faith, and brings him down to us, and thus unites heaven and earth.

A view quite similar to that of Berengar seems to have obtained about that time in the Anglo-Saxon Church, if we are to judge from the Homilies of Aelfric, which enjoyed great authority and popularity.745

§ 130. Lanfranc and the Triumph of Transubstantiation.

The chief opponent of Berengar was his former friend, Lanfranc, a native of Pavia (b. 1005), prior of the Convent of Bet in Normandy (1045), afterwards archbishop of Canterbury (1070–1089), and in both positions the predecessor of the more distinguished Anselm.746 He was, next to Berengar, the greatest dialectician of his age, but used dialectics only in support of church authority and tradition, and thus prepared the way for orthodox scholasticism. He assailed Berengar in a treatise of twenty-three chapters on the eucharist, written after 1063, in epistolary form, and advocated the doctrine of transubstantiation (without using the term) with its consequences.747 He describes the change as a miraculous and incomprehensible change of the substance of bread and wine into the very body and blood of Christ.748 He also teaches (what Radbert had not done expressly) that even unworthy communicants (indigne sumentes) receive the same sacramental substance as believers, though with opposite effect.749

Among the less distinguished writers on the Eucharist must be mentioned Adelmann, Durandus, and Guitmund, who defended the catholic doctrine against Berengar. Guitmund (a pupil of Lanfranc, and archbishop of Aversa in Apulia) reports that the Berengarians differed, some holding only a symbolical presence, others (with Berengar) a real, but latent presence, or a sort of impanation, but all denied a change of substance. This change he regards as the main thing which nourishes piety. "What can be more salutary," he asks," than such a faith? Purely receiving into itself the pure and simple Christ alone, in the consciousness of possessing so glorious a gift, it guards with the greater vigilance against sin; it glows with a more earnest longing after all righteousness; it strives every day to escape from the world ... and to embrace in unclouded vision the fountain of life itself."750

From this time on, transubstantiation may be regarded as a dogma of the Latin church. It was defended by the orthodox schoolmen, and oecumenically sanctioned under Pope Innocent III. in 1215.

With the triumph of transubstantiation is closely connected the withdrawal of the communion cup from the laity, which gradually spread in the twelfth century,751 and the adoration of the presence of Christ in the consecrated elements, which dates from the eleventh century, was enjoined by Honorius III. in 1217, and gave rise to the Corpus Christi festival appointed by Urban IV., in 1264. The withdrawal of the cup had its origin partly in considerations of expediency, but chiefly in the superstitious solicitude to guard against profanation by spilling the blood of Christ. The schoolmen defended the practice by the doctrine that the whole Christ is present in either kind.752 It strengthened the power of the priesthood at the expense of the rights of the laity and in plain violation of the command of Christ: "Drink ye all of it" (Matt. 26:27).

The doctrine of transubstantiation is the most characteristic tenet of the Catholic Church of the middle age, and its modern successor, the Roman Church. It reflects a magical supernaturalism which puts the severest tax upon the intellect, and requires it to contradict the unanimous testimony of our senses of sight, touch and taste. It furnishes the doctrinal basis for the daily sacrifice of the mass and the power of the priesthood with its awful claim to create and to offer the very body and blood of the Saviour of the world. For if the self-same body of Christ which suffered on the cross, is truly present and eaten in the eucharist, it must also be the self-same sacrifice of Calvary which is repeated in the mass; and a true sacrifice requires a true priest, who offers it on the altar. Priest, sacrifice, and altar form an inseparable trio; a literal conception of one requires a literal conception of the other two, and a spiritual conception of one necessarily leads to a spiritual conception of all.


A few additional remarks must conclude this subject, so that we need not return to it in the next volume.

1. The scholastic terms transsubstantiatio, transsubstantiare (in Greek metousivwsi", Engl. transubstantiation, Germ. Wesensverwand-lung), signify a change of one substance into another, and were introduced in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The phrase substantialiter converti was used by the Roman Synod of 1079 (see p. 559). Transsubstantiatio occurs first in Peter Damiani (d. 1072) in his Expos. can. Missae (published by Angelo Mai in "Script. Vet. Nova Coll." VI. 215), and then in the sermons of Hildebert, archbishop of Tours (d. 1134); the verb transsubstantiare first in Stephanus, Bishop of Autun (1113–1129), Tract. de Sacr. Altaris, c. 14 ("panem, quem accepi, in corpus meum transsubstantiavi"), and then officially in the fourth Lateran Council, 1215. See Gieseler, II. ii. 434 sq. (fourth Germ. ed.). Similar terms, as mutatio, transmutatio, transformatio, conversio, transitio, had been in use before. The corresponding Greek noun metousivwsi" was formally accepted by the Oriental Church in the Orthodox Confession of Peter Mogilas, 1643, and later documents, yet with the remark that the word is not to be taken as a definition of the manner in which the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. See Schaff's Creeds of Christendom, II. 382, 427, 431, 495, 497 sq. Similar expressions, such as metabolhv, metabavllein, metapoiei'n, had been employed by the Greek fathers, especially by Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and John of Damascus. The last is the chief authority quoted in the Russian Catechism (see Schaff, l.c. II. 498).

All these terms attempt to explain the inexplicable and to rationalize the irrational—the contradiction between substance and accidents, between reality and appearance. Transubstantiation is devotion turned into rhetoric, and rhetoric turned into irrational logic.

2. The doctrine of transubstantiation was first strongly expressed in the confessions of two Roman Synods of 1059 and 1079, which Berengar was forced to accept against his conscience; see p. 557 and 559. It was oecumenically sanctioned for the whole Latin church by the fourth Lateran Council under Pope Innocent III., a.d. 1215, in the creed of the Synod, cap. 1: "Corpus et sanguis [Christi] in sacramento altaris sub speciebus panis et vini veraciter continentur, TRANSSUBSTAN-TIATIS PANE IN CORPUS ET VINO IN SANGUINEM, POTESTATE DIVINA, ut ad perficiendum mysterium unitatis accipiamus ipsi de suo, quod accepit ipse de nostro. Et hoc utique sacramentum nemo potest conficere, nisi sacerdos, qui fuerit rite ordinatus secundum claves Ecclesiae, quas ipse concessit Apostolis et eorum successoribus lesus Christus."

The Council of Trent, in the thirteenth session, 1551, reaffirmed the doctrine against the Protestants in these words: "that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord (conversionem fieri totius substantiae panis in substantiam corporis Christi Domini), and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood; which conversion is by the holy Catholic Church suitably and properly called Transubstantiation." The same synod sanctioned the adoration of the sacrament (i.e. Christ on the altar under the figure of the elements), and anathematizes those who deny this doctrine and practice. See Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, II. 130–139.

3. Thomas Aquinas, the prince of scholastic divines, has given the clearest poetic expression to the dogma of transubstantiation in the following stanzas of his famous hymn, "Lauda Sion Salvatorem," for the Corpus Christi Festival:

"Dogma datur Christianis,

Quod in carnem transit panis,

Et vinum in sanguinem.

Quod non capis, quod non

Animosa firmat fides

Praeter rerum ordinem.

"Hear what holy Church maintaineth,

That the bread its substance changeth

Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.

Doth it pass thy comprehending?

Faith, the law of sight transcending,

Leaps to things not understood.

"Sub diversis speciebus,

Signis tantum et non rebus,

Latent res eximiae.

Caro cibus, sanguis potus,

Manet tamen Christus totus,

Sub utraque specie.

Here, in outward signs, are hidden

Priceless things, to sense forbidden;

Signs, not things, are all we see:

Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine:

Yet is Christ, in either sign,

All entire, confess'd to be.

"A sumente non concisus,

Non confractus, non divisus,

Integer accipitur.

Sumit unus, sumunt mille,

Quantum isti, tantum ille,

Nec sumitus consumitur.

They, too, who of Him partake,

Sever not, nor rend, nor break,

But entire, their Lord receive.

Whether one or thousands eat,

All receive the self-same meat,

Nor the less for others leave.

"Sumunt boni, sumunt mali,

Sorte tamen inaequali

Vitae vel interitus.

Mors est malis, vita bonis:

Vide, paris sumptionis

Quam sit dispar exitus."

Both the wicked and the good

Eat of this celestial Food;

But with ends how opposite!

Here 'tis life, and there tis death;

The same yet issuing to each

In a difference infinite."

See the Thes. Hymnol. of Daniel, II. 97–100, who calls St. Thomas "summus laudator venerabilis sacramenti," and quotes the interesting, but opposite judgments of Möhler and Luther. The translation is by Edward Caswall (Hymns and Poems, 2nd ed., 1873, and previously in Lyra Catholica, Lond., 1849, p. 238). The translation of the last two stanzas is not as felicitous as that of the other two. The following version preserves the double rhyme of the original:

"Eaten, but without incision,"

"Here alike the good and evil,

Broken, but without division,

High and low in social level,

Each the whole of Christ receives:

Take the Feast for woe or weal:

Thousands take what each is taking,

Wonder! from the self-same eating,

Each one breaks what all are breaking,

Good and bad their bliss are meeting

None a lessened body leaves.

Or their doom herein they seal."

4. The doctrine of transubstantiation has always been regarded by Protestants as one of the fundamental errors and grossest superstitions of Romanism. But we must not forget the underlying truth which gives tenacity to error. A doctrine cannot be wholly false, which has been believed for centuries not only by the Greek and Latin churches alike, but as regards the chief point, namely, the real presence of the very body and blood of Christ—also by the Lutheran and a considerable portion of the Anglican communions, and which still nourishes the piety of innumerable guests at the Lord's table. The mysterious discourse of our Saviour in the synagogue of Capernaum after the miraculous feeding of the multitude, expresses the great truth which is materialized and carnalized in transubstantiation. Christ is in the deepest spiritual sense the bread of life from heaven which gives nourishment to believers, and in the holy communion we receive the actual benefit of his broken body and shed blood, which are truly present in their power; for his sacrifice, though offered but once, is of perpetual force to all who accept it in faith. The literal miracle of the feeding of the five thousand is spiritually carried on in the vital union of Christ and the believer, and culminates in the sacramental feast. Our Lord thus explains the symbolic significance of that miracle in the strongest language; but he expressly excludes the carnal, Capernaitic conception, and furnishes the key for the true understanding, in the sentence: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life" (John 6:63).



§ 131. The Paulicians.

I. Petrus Siculus (imperial commissioner in Armenia, about 870): Historia Manichaeorum, qui Pauliciani dicuntur ( JIstoriva peri; th'" kenh'" kai; mataiva" aiJrevsew" tw'n Maniccaivwn tw'n kai; Paulikianw'n legomevnwn). Gr. Lat. ed. Matth. Raderus. Ingolst., 1604. Newly ed. by J. C. L. Gieseler. G