James Bryce Bryce.

The book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 32 of 55)
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YY7HEN Bishop Bruno of Toul entered
** his palace at Rome, after having been
nominated by the emperor to the Holy See,
he announced to the clergy and the people
that he had come to them at the emperor's
desire, but would gladly return to his own
country if he were not confirmed in the
papal chair by their free election. Hilde-
brand, who was entirely inspired by the
Cluniac spirit, had been willing to accom-
pany him to Rome only upon the condi-
tion that he should not regard himself as
Pope by imperial appointment, but should
also seek legal election in Rome. In this
way Leo IX. became Pope on February
I2th, 1049. Further developments en-
tirely corresponded with this beginning ;
Hildebrand became the adviser and guide
of the Popes until he himself secured that

His objects were the logical continuation
of the theories of Nicholas I. The Pope

was the head of the Universal
p hat ' Church, and the clergy in
Sto^d for ever y l an d must therefore be

his subordinates. The secular
princes were also bourd to serve him, as
the body serves the soul. It was an
intolerable distortion of the system pro-
claimed by God if princes were to have
any power over the Church if, for in-
stance, they were able to give away
ecclesiastical offices or to appoint Popes.
They received their powers solely from
the Church, as the moon derives its light
from the sun ; the Pope was thus the
representative of Christ upon earth.

Hildebrand was well aware that the
practical application of these theories
would provoke a fearful conflict, and he
therefore prepared indefatigably for the
struggle. The chief necessity was to
revive the prestige of the papacy. Leo X.
travelled throughout Christendom in per-
son, holding synods, consecrating churches,
pronouncing decisions, and giving blessings.
To restore the reputation of the clergy, the
struggle against simony and ecclesiastical

misdeeds was renewed. Upon the acces-
sion of Henry IV., who was a minor,
Hildebrand ventured to reorganise the
method of electing to the papal chair. The
Lateran Council under Nicholas II. ordained
in 1059 that the purely ecclesiastical college
of the Roman cardinals
th ' . should elect the Pope. The

Found Mone <l uestion then arose as to
what became of the chartered

imperial rights ; and upon this subject a
sentence was added, which was such a
masterpiece of diplomacy that it is difficult
even at the present day to say exactly
what it means " without prejudice to the
respect due to our beloved son Henry."

Money, however, was needed for the war,
and Hildebrand therefore reorganised the
finances of the Roman Church. As he
needed allies, he invested the princes of
the wild Normans, who had constantly
been excommunicated, with wide districts
of Italy, which naturally were not his to
give, and made them swear allegiance in
these terms : "I will help thee to retain
secure and honourable possession of the
papacy, the land of St. Peter, and the
princely power." In Northern Italy he
entered into an alliance with the Pataria,
a revolutionary movement directed
against nobles and clergy, and with their
help broke down the resistance of the
powerful Archbishop Theobald of Milan,
so that henceforward " the obstinate cattle
of Lombardy " were the vassals, not of
Germany, but of Rome.

At length Hildebrand ascended the papal

chair as Gregory VII., on April 22nd, 1073,

_ , and it was then possible to begin

HaLd * the stru Sg le for the unlimited
~, freedom and supremacy of the

Of Simony ~, , TT ", j- 7 ,-

Church. He declared his sole

intention to be the extirpation of simony.
But by simony he understood not only
the selling, but also the conferment, of an
ecclesiastical office by a temporal lord. At
the same time the appointment of a bishop
was by no means a purely ecclesiastical



matter. Since the days of Otto I. the
episcopacy was also a purely secular
office, involving all the rights and duties
of a secular prince. Hence, it was not likely
that the secular power would immediately
release from their fj^idal obligations these
secular lords exercising territorial rights,
merely because they were clergy or
bishops ; it was even less likely that they
would be quickly surrendered
to another power and to the
sole supremacy of the Pope.

There would be few subjects
and but little influence re-
maining to secular sovereigns
if these bishops received their
power from the Pope, and not
from the king. If Gregory
wished to secure that the
bishops should receive their


subjects of their oath of fealty, to decide
all quarrels as he would, " to take from
any and to give to any the possessions of
all men, to make illegality legal, and
legality eternal wrong." These means,
indeed, made it possible to continue the
struggle between the empire and the
papacy for more than thirty years ; it
was a struggle which entirely paralysed
Germany, and for a long time
secured the predominance of
the Romance peoples in
Europe, while it also brought
terrible pressure to bear upon
consciences. Henry IV. was
reduced to beg for absolution
for three days as a penitent
at Canossa in 1077. These
means, however, did not se-
cure victory for the Pope, and
Gregory was reduced to an

offices from himself alone,

there was but one possibility Raised"^ st. Peter s'chalr in"ip49, exile's death.

open the bishops must re- this Pope held a synod at Rheims, Gregory's ideas, however,

f , m defiance of the wishes of the J ' .

sign all secular power and king of France; there he appointed were steadily disseminated by
supremacy and become mere deda7ehat the e pope b wasfhe s^ie the Cluniacs, both elsewhere
ecclesiastics. This simple primate of the Universal Church. an d in Germany, where Hirsau
idea, however, did not occur to him, for he in the Black Forest had become a central
was anxious that the bishops should remain point of this tendency. The extent of
princes. In his view, the Church required the papal prestige could be seen in the

wealth and power to rule as she should.
Even as she possessed the papal states in
Italy, and could make the Normans her
vassals, so should every bishop possess
some secular power with which to serve
the papacy and to defy the secular ruler,
if occasion arose;
for this reason,
again, no eccle-
siastic should
take the oath of
fealty to a secu-
lar lord.

Such a struggle
would have been
hopeless if
opened by a
w G 3. k G r m 3. n


fact that Urban II. placed himself at
the head of the Romance countries to
liberate the Holy Land from the hands of
the infidels, and induced thousands to
cry, " It is God's will," at the Council of
Clermont in 1095 ; it is evidenced by the

half-million of
Crusaders who
set out for the
Holy Sepulchre
with the Pope's
blessing, and
by the Pope's
ability to declare
the newly ac-
quired kingdom,
with its capital
of Jerusalem, an


_.. TT ' Pope Gregory VII. was the celebrated Hildebrand, the champion

Vll., WhO Was of the papal supremacy over secular princes, while Innocent II. was

blindly enthusi- *"> opposition Pope, elected in 1130, who fought hard for the supremacy.

fief. It must be
said that the

astic for the justice of his aims, and would
have beheld the ruin of the world unmoved
provided that his. own objects were
retained thereby. This victory he hoped
to secure through the magical power of
the words spoken to Peter, " What thou
loosest on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Gregory considered that this promise
enabled him to depose Icings, to relieve

struggle between Pope and Emperor was
steadily renewed.

Henry V., whom the Pope had chosen
and raised to the throne against his
father's opposition, had no intention of
showing his gratitude for this infidelity
by blind obedience. Eventually peace
was concluded by the Concordat of
Worms in 1122. The temporal possessions


and powers of the' bishops were differen-
tiated from their ecclesiastical office ;
the latter was conferred by the Church
through consecration, and the former by
the emperor through investiture with the
sceptre. Thus, the Church and the State
were placed upon an equality ; hence-
forward ecclesiastical supremacy was the
sole prerogative of the Pope, and the
emperor had nothing to do with ecclesias-
tical affairs. But it was questionable
whether this peace could be anything
more than an armistice, whether all future
German emperors would agree to this
complete surrender of the theories of
Charles the Great and Otto III., and
whether Rome would be contented with
what she had gained. The demands of
the papacy were far more comprehensive ;
not only was the Church to be entirely

College presented Christianity with two
Popes in the year 1130. The rivals waged
a bloody conflict for the supremacy ; and
on two occasions the German emperor,
Lothair, was obliged to appear in Italy
to secure the preponderance of Innocent
II. Lothair's victory confirmed the
Romans in their convictions that the
imperial aspirations of the papacy de-
prived them of peaclt, and that peace
could be restored only ' if the Church
abandoned this struggle for wealth and
power and returned to her original
poverty, while the people took political
power into their own hands. It was
impossible, in view of the past, to feel
reverence for papal authority ; Gregory
VII. and his friends had constantly
supported, and indeed instigated, revolt
and revolution.


Pope Gregory VII. engaged in a long and strenuous struggle for the supremacy of the papacy, and though for a time
he was victorious, in the end he was defeated, and he died an exile's death. His ideas, however, were disseminated
by the Cluniacs, in Germany and elsewhere, and Hirsau in the Black Forest became a centre of this tendency.

free from temporal power, but .she was
also to be a universal and world-wide
ruler. When Gregory and his helpers had
once proposed this ideal as a solution of
all difficulties, and had secured for it a
wide acceptance, the Concordat of Worms
could never imply a final peace.

The succeeding events seemed as though
intended to demonstrate to the papacy
the folly of these aspirations to world-
wide power. The papacy could not even
maintain its authority in Rome, or secure
itself from self-destruction, without the
help of Germany. That purely ecclesi-
astical corporation which had been en-
trusted with the papal elections in order
that a decision might be inspired by the
spirit of God and not by that of the world
was unable to agree. The Cardinals'

With burning words Arnold of Brescia
preached, in his native town, the life
of poverty led by Jesus and His apostles,
asserting that wealth and worldly
power in the hands of the clergy were
nothing less than sin. The move-
ment broke out in Rome itself, under
Eugenius III. (1145-1153). The secular
power was to be taken from the Pope
and entrusted to the hands of the Roman
senate, while the papal state was to be
made a Roman republic. It was not, as
before, the constant disturbances of the
nobles, but the people, that inflicted this
deadly blow upon the Pope. Arnold of
Brescia came to Rome. He swore fidelity
to the Roman senate and the republic,
and fulminated against the ambition of
the clergy and the Pope, who was no



shepherd of souls, but a man of blood,
and the torturer of the Church. The
Pope could find no other means of safety
than the recognition of the Roman

Even those bitter experiences failed to
bring the papacy to its senses, and beyond
the frontiers of Italy it continued to claim
supreme sovereignty. In order to com-
plete the organisation of a
brilliant Crusade in 1147, the
Pope did not hesitate to in-
terfere with private property,
and trampled underfoot the
imperial rights in reference to
episcopal appointments. The
Decretum of Gratian, the
great ecclesiastical law-book,
was compiled under this
Pope, and in it the claims of

the emperor to the unwelcome step of
concluding peace with Alexander in 1177.
The supremacy of the German Church was
gone for ever.

At the same moment the prestige of the
papacy was greatly advanced by a second
victory. Henry II. of England proposed
to govern the Church of his country in the
old fashion, and issued the Constitutions
of Clarendon to limit the
privileges and jurisdiction of
the English clergy. Thomas
Becket had been appointed
Archbishop of Canterbury by
Henry in 1162, and swore
obedience to the Constitu-
tions. Afterwards, however,
he did public penance for his
oath, and was solemnly re-
leased by Alexander. The
subsequent murder of Becket

the papacy, which had been

so often and fiercely disputed, THE POPE EUGENIUS in. om - v insured the prompt

were represented as legally which^as\^dfrom n iu5ii is ii53^ e n triumph of his cause. The

established. It was no won- important movement broke out in p O pe in 1 172 declared Thomas

TT , Rome. The secular power was to r . . <T^I_ , .

ier that the great Hohen- be taken from the Pope, and, to save a saint and martyr. The king
stauffen, Frederic I., made a himself . he recognised the republic. W as forced, by popular opinion
further attempt to crush these papal and by his sons, to undergo in 1174 a
ambitions for supremacy. " From whom
has the emperor his dignity, if not from
the Pope ? " was the question asked by
the papal legate, Roland of Siena.
Frederic replied, " By means of the
Empire God has raised the Church to
the head of the world. Thus standing
at the head of
the world, the
Church is at-
tempting to des-
troy the empire.
This is to us
intolerable, for

we owe our
crown only to
the gift of God."
In the year 1159
the College of

humiliating penance at the grave of the
man who had thwarted his plans.

Thus the papacy had broken down the
resistance of the Teutonic nations ; and,
when it had reached the zenith of its power,
Alexander III. convoked a brilliant third
Lateran Council in 1179. The council

decided among
other points that
the clergy could
never be brought
before a secular
court, and that


Church property
should be taxed
only with the
consent of the
bishops and
clergy, and only

Cardinals had Hadrian IV., who was appointed Pope in 1154 and died five years later, in extraordinary

acrain ^lortoM was the only Englishman that has ever occupied St. Peter's chair. He rac pc tripcp in

j issued in favour of Henry II. of England the celebrated Bull which sane- C

tWO Popes, and tioned the conquest of Ireland. Alexander III. was one of the greatest novations Were

Frederic, as Popes of the Middle Ages, and showed his power in many ways, intended to

German emperor, then claimed to decide separate the Church from political life, and

the legality of the election. Alexander
III., his old enemy Roland, against whom
he decided, was recognised by France,
Spain, and England, and the German
bishops felt as though cut off from the
rest of Christendom. The defeat of
Legnano, which the defiance of Henry the
Lion inflicted upon him in 1176, forced


to preserve its wealth unimpaired.

While the Church was thus rising to
supreme power under its head, the
papacy, a new series of events pro-
voked the question whether it would
invariably succeed in maintaining its
predominance in religious thought; which
was its peculiar sphere. The signs of a


revival of religious individualism began
distinctly to increase.

Since the Franco-Germanic world had
become outwardly Christian, the work of
religion had for centuries consisted merely
in driving back the remnants of heathen-
ism and in securing a general outward
adoption of Christian doctrine. Even
during the time when literary impulse
found expression in religious work, as
under Charles the Great, such work
consisted essentially in the mere repetition
of early Church tradition. Occasionally
some slight indication of an independent
appropriation of Christian teaching
appeared, as in the " Heiland," but the
complete assimilation of this great inherit-
ance was yet very far distant, and any
such flashes speedily disappeared.

religious feeling. Its development in the
Teutonic world follows the reverse order
of that visible in the old Church. In the
beginning the circle had widened from the
individual believer to the national Church.
In the Middle Ages the national Church
is the beginning, and the gradual progress
to individual belief the conclusion.

The first tendency observable within
this process of development does not
shrink from revolt against the Church.
From the beginning of the eleventh
century heretics constantly reappear ;
they are found in the dioceses of Chalons,
Liege, Arras, Orleans, Turin, the Nether-
lands, in Brittany, and in Goslar.
Especially in Southern France did Peter
of Bruys inveigh against the Church and
all its .institutions, asserting the true

The papacy reached the zenith of its power during the latter part of the twelfth century, when the great Pops
Alexander III. sat in St. Peter's chair. In 1179 the Pope convened a brilliant Lateran Council, which conferred on the
Pope alone the right of canonisation, and drew up the laws under which the election of the Pope is still governed.

Church to exist within the heart of the
believer. At last, on a strict fast day, he
made a heap of shattered crucifixes, upon
which he cooked meat. For this he was
thrown into the flames by a raging mob
in 1137. His place was taken by the monk
Henry and his " Petrobrussians," whose
efforts were so successful that St. Bernard
was forced to confess, " the churches are
without people, and the people without
priests." Unusually widely disseminated
were the Cathari, who rejected the Old
Testament, the sacraments, pictures,
crosses, and relics. Petrus Waldus was
inspired by nothing but a spirit of revolt
against the Church, when fear for his
salvation led him to give up all his pro-
perty, to study the Bible, and to found a
union in 1177, the members of which were


During the eleventh century, however,
new characteristics come to light. It is
as though a child, as yet capable only of
imitation, had become a boy, able to ask
himself questions upon what he was taught
or upon the difficulties he felt. Until the
year 1000 Christianity was essentially
corporate, but after that date it becomes
personal. Its manifestations are of very
various character. In one case we find,
as it were, a boy who consciously attempts
to break away from the guardianship of
his parents ; in another case, one who does
not renounce their leading, but would at
the same time advance upon paths of his
own ; again, one who consciously follows
his parents' lead for the first time.
The common element, is, however, in
every case the beginning of personal


to renounce the world and private pro-
perty, and to go through the country
preaching repentance. However, the
religious independence attained by him-
self and his friends enabled them, when the
archbishop prohibited their preaching, to
appeal to the Bible text that people should
fear God rather than men ; they were so

wholly out of sympathy with

* the Roman spirit that their

1 appeal to the third Lateran

Council wasrejected, while their
strength enabled them to disregard this
supreme decision.

A second tendency becomes more clearly
obvious in the opposition of Berengar
of Tours to the views of Radbertus, which
had gradually gained a universal accept-
ance. Radbertus held that the bread and
wine of the Communion were trans-
formed into Christ's body and blood.
Berengar asserted that only truth could
prevail in the Church, but that truth was
not secured by ecclesiastical office or a
Church council, and here his anti-Roman
spirit is manifest. He further asserted
that whatever was unintelligible to reason
was impossible, and he also acted as
though he considered commonsense his
own peculiar possession. This is nothing
more than the first appearance of tha
aberrations, often repeated at a later
period, which are caused by the desire for
religious independence. These first prin-
ciples, however, proclaimed him a dangerous
opponent of Roman teaching.

It is remarkable that Berengar's doctrine
of the Holy Communion met with the
approval of Cardinal Hildebrand, who at-
tempted to protect him from his fanatical
opponents. When, however, the Roman
synod condemned the freethinker as a
heretic in 1079, Pope Gregory VII. im-
mediately sacrificed his own convictions.
The condemned man attempted to appeal
to a conversation which he had held with
the Pope a short time previously. The

Pope ordered him in a voice of
Freethinking thunder to fall to the ground

and confess his error. The

truths actually considered as
such by the Church were less important to
the imperialist ideas of the papacy than
the necessity of uniformity upon questions
of belief.

The fate of this man who had attacked
the existing doctrine at one point only
must have induced others to conceal their
special opinions. Many erroneous views


on Church doctrine existed, as is shown
by the next scholar who was unable to
silence his independence, the great dialec-
tician, Peter Abelard. He regretted that
so many rejected the Christian teaching,
and was yet more repelled by its defenders,
who demanded simple submission to Church
authority. He therefore declared that
what could not be proved could not be
accepted, and attempted in consequence
to demonstrate the truth of Christianity,
rejecting as wrong or unimportant all
that his reason could not grasp. His
opposition to Church doctrine was gener-
ally concealed. For instance, in his
dialogue between a philosopher, a Jew, and
a Christian, he compared the different re-
ligions together, but carefully avoided the
inevitable inference from his investigations
that the substratum of truth in heathenism,
Jydaism, and Christianity was ultimately
identical. He also was expelled from the
Church by the Council of Sens in 1141.

A third tendency is manifested b^'those
who remained faithful \fy the Church
and her doctr|ne, but either in theory or
practice di&play r d a personal conviction
previously unknown. In the early Church
p- was generally considered an
i irremediable defect, and the
r chief question therefore was in
what manner this defect could
be remedied, and how the strength of
virtue could be imparted to the sinner.
When the Teutonic spirit began personally
to grapple with Christian truth, the
results acquired were wholly different.
The" " Heiland " represented God as the
great and benevolent lord of the heavens,
tb whom mankind owed obedience. Sin
was now conceived as a debt to God, and,
according to Teutonic views, such a debt
necessitated expiation and atonement.
Upon such theories is based the famous
work of the scholastic Anselm of Canter-
bury, " Why did God become Man ? "
(Cur Deus Homo ? 1198). Man cannot
make atonement for his sins ; the burden
of his unfaithfulness is too great. Hence
God became man in Christ, and this
divine Man performed what no mere man
could do, and voluntarily gave His blame-
less life to wipe out our debt. As this
attempt had been inspired by a personal
feeling of guilt, so, too, the sense of per-
sonal forgiveness might arise.

These are new lines of thought foreign to
Rome. The mystical Bernard of Clairvaux
makes the same attempt by other methods.


Hitherto fear had been announced even
among the Teutons as the normal attitude
of the Christian towards God ; but Ber-
nard makes love the centre of his theory
the love of God which condescends to
man, and the love of man which can rise to
God. In prayerful joy his looks and
thoughts hang upon the Christ as the
sacrifice of love : " All hail, thou bleeding
Head ! " His desire is to show love of
Christ, not only for what He did for us, but
also for the sake of the Man who could do
so much. In correspondence with this
mystical interpretation, the actual progress
of the world is represented as a second
manifestation of the love of God. What
freedom and what independence did the

Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 32 of 55)