Joseph Priestley.

A general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) online

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This work of St. Amour was anfwered at large by
Thomas Aquinas, Iq


In A. D. 1239 there arofe a contrcverfy of fome
ncte between Gerard of Abbeville a do6lor in Pa-
ris, and Bonaventure, about the principles of the
mendicants ; the former objecting fo them, and the
latter defending them. Gerard faid it was ridi-
culous to pretend to have no property in things
which are confumed in the ufe. " To whom,"
fays he, *' belongs the money which you amafs
*' from ail quarters, if you have notiiing even in
" common." Bonaventure rtpli>.d, " It is to the
*' pope, and the church of Rome, that the proper-
" ty of all that is given to us belongs. We have
«•' nothing but the ufe of it. We are with refpe^
*' to the pope what children in the family are with
*• refpeO; to thiir father, v/ho receive nothing but
*'• fhe property of it palTes immediately to him."

In A. D. 1279 pope Nicobs III publifiied a
declaration of the inflitute of St. Francis, anfwering
the objedions that had been made to it, and au-
thorizing the reafoning of Bonaventure ; faying
that the property' of what was given to the friars
belonged to the pope and the church of Rome,
that the places allotted them for their habitations al-
ways belonged to thofe who gave them ; and that the
property of money given them is in the fame ftate,
till it be aQually converted into neccflaries. la
anfwer to the obje£lion that had been made to them,
as not labouring as at the firft, he fiid, that bodi-


ly labour might be difpenfed with in the cafe of
thofe who applied themfelves to higher duties. He
obferved, however, that friars mufl not preach with-
out the leave of the diocefan bifhop, except by
order of the holy fee. Laftly he forbad any perfon
to write or preach againfl the rule of St. Francis.

In this period there arofe a kind of fpurious
mendicants, calling themfelves Apojlolics, the
founder of whom was Gerard Sesarelle, a native
of Parma, wholly illiterate, and of little undsr-
flanding. Not being able to get admitted among
the Francifcans, and feeing the piQures of the
apoftles as they are commonly drawn in churches,
he imitated their drefs ; and felling all that he had,
gave the money to the poor. Numbers joining
him, they fpread theraf^jlves thro' all parts of Eu-
rope ; but being charged with many diforders, and
alfo with hoJding heretical opinions, tho' they are
not named, they were fappreffed by pope Hono-
rius in a. d. 1285, and again by Innocent IV' ia
A. D. 1290; and Segarelle being opprehended^
was burned at Parma in July a. d. 1300.

Notwithftanding repeated decrees of councils
againfl the appointment of nsw religions, as they
were called, or new orders of perfons peculiarly-
devoted to what was then called religion, feveral
new orders, and fome of note, befldes thole of the
mendicants, were inftituted in this period.



In A. D. 1206 Albert bifhop of Riga inftituted
a military order called the brUhers of Chrijt, alfo
brothers of the Jword, the objeft of which was tho
defence of the newly converted Chriftians of thofe
parts againft their heathen neighbours. But after
a great defeat of thefe knights, and of many cru*
faders who had joined them in a. d. 1236, they
united themtelves to the Teutonic knights, and
the pope publiflied a bull for that purpofe in a.,
D. 1237. To thefe Teutonic knights duke Con-
rad in A. D. 1226 had given the territory of Culm,
and all the lands they ftiould conquer from the in»
fidels in Prufiia.

During the crufades againft the Albigenfes,
fnany women in Flanders, at the head of whom
was Mary de Oigres, devoted themfelves to works
of labour and charity ; thofe of them that were
married perfuading their hufbands to live in coa-
tinence, at kaft in part; and this they did not-
withftanding the ridicule to which they were ex-
pofed. An account of them is given by Philip de
Vitri, who afiifted them by his preaching.

In A. D. 1213 the order of Mercy was founded,
for the redemption of Chriftian captives. ,

At the council of Lyons in a. d. 1274 new-
orders of monks were forbidden, and fome that had
been lately formed were fupprelled ; but this was
exprefsly faid not to include the two oifders of Do-


minicans and Francifcans, on account of their
evident utility to the univerfal church. However,
the order oi Servants of the virgin Mary, common-
ly called Servites, inftitutcdat Florence thirty- fevea
years before, was- confirmed.

The mendicants it is fuppofed devifed the fee*
nical reprefentation of religious fubjeds in churches,
intended to give the common people forac know-
ledge of fcripture hiflory, and intereft them in it;
but they ferved to turn the whole fubjeft into ridi-
cule with perlbns of fenfe. Mojhcim, Vol. 2,
p. 107.



The Hijlory of the Alhi^enjes,

JLN the preceding period of this hillory
we have feon the great progrefs that was made by
perfons who held feveral manichean principles,
together with others that were hollile to the chureh
of Rome, aiming at the fubverfion of the whole
hierarchy, in the fouthern provinces of France,
As they were mo.fl numerous in the neighbour-
hood of Albi, or as fome fay becaufe their tenets
were condemned in a council held in that city,



(but the greateft part of Narbonne Gaul was fome-
times called Albigefmm. MoPieim, Vol. 3. p. 119.)
they at length got the appellation of Albigenfes, *
tho' there were among them others who held none
of their manichean principles^ and who were called


* To the account of the Albigenfes, p. 113, add
the following particulars. After a ceremony corre-
fponding to that of extreme unction, but in which no
ufe was made of oil, they thought it neceflary that the
fubje6l fliould die; and therelore when he might have
recovered, they enjoined what was called endura, or
a voluntary death, generally by refufmg all food. Thia
favoured of their manicheifm.

After another ceremony, v/hleh was generally term-
ed spiritual baptism, by which fome of them were ad-
mitted into the clafs of the jber/^c^, it was deemed un-
lawful to touch, or to be touched by, a woman, even
the nearefl relation.

They had a peculiar m-ode of falutation, and pecu-
liar ceremonies at their meals, by which they were
diilinguiflied from other Chriilians.

They maintained that all bodily punifliment, and
efpecially that of death, was unlawful. See Lim^-
bordi's History of the Inquisition by Chandler, p. 42. &c.
Tlio' thefe circumilances and others were made ufe of
in courts of judicature, in order to afcertain whether
any perfon belonged to the fe(5l, little account would
have been made of them if they had not denied the ausk,
thority of the church of Rome*

Sec.VIIL the christian church. 2Sf

Waldenfis, having come chiefly ^rom the vaJiies
of Piedmont. Thefe lieretics, as they were called,
Tvere no a- become To numerous and powerful; fup-
ported by the lords of the country, and amotig
them by Raimond IV count of Thouloufe, and
Raimond Roger V count of Foix, that the court
of Rome was ferioufly alarmed ; and hence arofe
a religious xvar, the moft deflru6live of men of any
that we read of in the annals of the ChriRian church,
the particulars of which I fhall now recite.

In order to oppofe the progrefs of thefe here-
tics, pope Innocent III firfl fent two legates, Pe-
ter de Cafl:elnau, and Raoul, both Ciflercian
monks, in a. d. 1204; who coming to Thouloufe,
endeavoured to perfuade the people to drive the
heretics out of the city".' This they promifed, but
very little was effe6led, as the heredcs held their
aflemblies by night. And it foon appearing that
they were not to be fupprelfed without force, the
pope applied to Philip Augulfus king of France,
to aflift his legates, and employ his arms in de-
fence of the church. In (hemean time the perfe-
cutioa was carrifed on again ft the heretics in va-
rious parts of France, and in a. d. 1205 f<^veral
were burned at Braine m the dioccfe of Rheims,
and among them one Nicolas, a famous painter.

The legates were afterwards joined by the bi-

fhop of Ofma from Spain, accompanied by Do-

y OL. IV, R minic.


mink, whofe hiftory has been given in a feparate
feaion. But one of the legates, viz. Peter de
Caftelnau, having excommunicated the count of
Thouloufe, was murdered as he was leaving the
country, but it was never difcovered by whom.
The pope being informed of it, wrote on the ift
of March a. d. i 208 to all the lords in the fouthern
parts of France, treating Peter as a martyr, in-
forming thtm that he h-d ordered the clergy to
redouble their zeal againft the heretics, and that
he had excommunicated the murderers, and all
their accomplices. But the proper objed of his
letter was to urge them to join their forces againft
the heretics ; and for this purpofe he promifed re-
miffion of fins to all who fhould revenge the inno-
cent blood that had been fhed. He farther faid,
that, as the count of Thouloufe had bften juflly
fufpeded of the murder, he had ordered him to be
ao^ain excommunicated; adding that, fmce, ac-
cording to the canons, '■' faith is not to be kept with
" ihofe who keep no faith with God," he abfolved
from their oath of fealty all perfons who had taken
it to him, and permitted any Catholic to feize his
lands, with a view to purge them of all herefy.
Not content with this exhortation, addreffed to
the neighbours of the count, the pope publifhed
a plenary indulgence to all who would take the
crofs, in order to exterminate the heretics of Lan-



guedoc. Accordingly, it was taken by great
numbers, who wore it on their breads, to diftin-
guifh themfelves from the other crufaders.

In the mean time, the count fent to the pop3,
to inform him that his legates had a6led with too
much harfhnefs ; that however he was innocent of
the murder, and ready to make any fubmiffion that:
fhouid be required of him, if he would fend a
proper perfon for the purpofe. Accordingly the
pope fent Milcn, one of his clergy, v\rho ordered
the count to attend him at A^alence, and there
made him promife to deliver feven of his caftles,
which he did from a dread of the great army of
crufaders which he faw was ready to pour upon
him ; and having done this, he was abfolvefl, but
in a manner that was very humiliating, having
been brought June i8th, a. d. 1209, to the door
of the church in his fhirt, and taken an oath to obey
all the orders of the pope, widi refpetl; to every
thing for which he had been excommunicated.
He alfo thought it necelFary to deiire the legate to
give the crofs to himfelf.

By this time the crufaders w€ie afifembled from
all quarters at the feftival cf St. John, and at the
head of them was Peter archbifhop of Sens, and
feveral other prelates, E»des III duke otBurg-in-
dy, Simon of Monttort, and other lay lords. Tak-
incf the count of Thouloufe along with them, they

R 2 pro-


proceec^ed fio Beziers ; and the inhabitants defpifing
their fummons, they took it by affault, and after
putting all they found in it to the fword, they fet
fire to the city, July 22d. It v/as fuppofed that
feven thoufaud perfons were flain in the churches
in which they had iaken refuge. In the next place
they went to CarcaiTone, the inhabitants of which
furrendered to them, on condition of leaving the
place in their fhirts, which accordingly they did

Augufl 5th.

On the 6th of September, a great council 'vas
held at Avignon, where it was ordered that the
bifhops ihouid preach oftener than they had done,
fince to their negligence was attributed the increafe
of herefy, and the corruption of manners. The
citizens of Thouloufe were excommunicated for not
havin<r expelled the heretics from their city, and
the count, if he fhould revive certain taxes which
he had renounced. At the fame time all the rela-
tions of the murderers of Peter de Caflelnau, to
the third generation, were rendered incapable of
any eccleuaflical benefice.

The next year, towards the end of June, Si-
mon de Montfort befieged the caflle of Minorbe
in the diocefe of Carcaffone, promifing thofe who,
held it their lives, on condition of their converhon.
But thofe of them who were of the rank of perfect,
men and women, rejeded the propofal with great



indign.ition ; and v/hen the fire was lighted to burn
them, they went into it of their own accord. Thefe
were about, an hundred and forty. The reft ab-
jured their herefy. Many of the bilhops of France
engaged in this war, and with them was Wilham
of Paris, an excellent engineer, who contributed
materially to the taking oi the caf^le of Carcaffone.
Towards the end of this year, the count of Thou-
loufe applied to the pope with great humdity for
the refloration of his feven caftles ; but being ftill
fufpefted of the murder of Peter de Caftelnau, and
alfo of herefy, two perfons were appointed to re-
ceive his juftification ; and after a public hearing
before a council alTembled in Provence, his fmceri-
ty being fufpcded, he was again excommunicated.
About the middle of lent, a. d. 1211, the bi-
fliop of Paris went to CarcalTone, with many other
crulliders, and foon after the bifhops of Lifieux
and Bayeux, during the liege of Lavcur, which
was taken by affault May 3d. They took out of
it Aimeri ot Montreal, and other knights, to the
number of eighty, whom the count of Montfort
ordered to be hanged ; but the gallows breaking,
he ordered them to be put to the fword, which
the pilyrims wcie eager to execute. At the fame
time they burned three hundred, and by the order
of the count they threw into a pit the fifler of Ai-
meri, called an obftinate heretic, and buried her

R 3 with


with (lones. They then took a caflle called Ca-
per, and the bifhops not being able to convert any
of them, the pilgrims burned about fixty with great

At this time the bifhop of Thouloufe would
have had an ordination in ihe city, but he could
not do it becaufe the count was in a (late of ex-
communication. He, therefore, requefted that he
would go out till the ceremony was over. But he
not only refufed, but infilled on the bifhop leaving
the place under pain of death, and v.'ith this order
he was, after fome time, obliged to comply. His
clergy alfo left the city, walking barefoot, and car-
rying the hoil. The bifliop afterwards formed the
citizens into confraternities, for the extirpation of
heretics and ufurpers, in order that they might
have the benefit of the fame indulgences that were

oranted to the ciufaders. The inhabitants of the

fuburbs alfo formed a feparate confraternity, and
favouring the heretics, they often fought with each
other. At length, however^ tho' with fome diffi-
culty, the count engaged both of them (tho thofe
of the city had been concerned in the liege of La-
vour) to unite, and defend the city againft Mont-
fort, v/ho threatened it with a fiege ; and in confe-
quence of this, the bifliop excommunicated them



In July Montfort, with the afli fiance of a, large
reinforcement, by the arrival of the count of Bar in
Lorrain, and many of the German nobility, a6lual-
ly laid fiege to Thouloufe; but not having troops
eno'»v', he foon raifed the liege. After this the bi-
fhopof Cohors invited Montfert to take poffefTion
of his city, which belonged to the count, and there
he w^as received. But many of the places which he
had taken revolted from him, and many of the cru-
(aders, after they had ferved the forty days, xvhich
was all that their vow engaged them to do, left him,
and both thofe inconveniences frequently happened
in the courfe of this war.

In the following winter William archdeacon of
Paris, and James de Vitri, and of Argenteueil,
joined by the bifhop of Thouloufe, preaching the
crufade thro' France and Germany, gave the crofs
to prodigious numbers. Alfo Gui bilhop of Car-
caffone, and many other bifhops, were indefati-
gable in promoting the war, calling it the war of
Jefus Chrift,

In A. D. 1213 the count of Thouloufe, findings
that he could not do better, made over his eftates
to his brother in law, Alphonfo king ot Arragon,
who thereupon wrote to the pope, complaining of
tlie harfh treatment of the count, and begging that
his eftates might be referved for his fon, then only
fiftieen years of age ; and alfo that he would accept

R 4 of


of the penance of the count hirnfelf, who was ready
to ferve again ft the Saracens, either beyond fea or
in Spain. Upon this the pope, unwilh'ng to have
any difference with the king, wrote to count Mont-
fort, to reftore to the king what he had taken from
the count ; and a council was held at Lavour for
the purpofe of making terms with the king. But
not coming to any agreement, Alphonfo a61ed
openly in defence of the Albigenfes, tho'appeahng
to the pope.' On the reprefentation of the legates,
the pope required the king to abandon the people
of Thouloufe, in the mean time ordering a truce
between him, and the count of Montfort, who,
however, paying no regard to this requiiilion,
challenged the count, fo that the war continued all

the fummer.

In February this year, Lewis, the fon of the
king of France, took the crofs again ft the Albigen-
fes, and after his example many knights ; but his
war with the king of England obliged him to affifb
his father ; and the crufade for the holy land took
off fo many, that Montfort was almoft abandoned,
when he was joined by two brothers Manaffey bi-
fhop of Orleans, and William bifliop of Auxerre,
with as many troops as they could colletl. With
this reinforcement he marched to Carcaffone, and
on the loth of September, having made prepara-
tions to befioge Muret, the crufadcrs made a pecu-


liarlv folemn preparation for battle. The biiliop
ot Thouioufe advancin,gr with his mitre on his head,
and what was lupjsofed to be the true crofs ol^'
Chrift in his hand, all the crnfaders ahghted
from their horfes. and one by one adored it ; when
the biibop of Comminges, feeing that this rnethodl
would take up tqo much time, took, the crofs in his
hand, andhom an elevated fi-uadon gave the whole
army his folemn bencdiftion, faying, " Go in the
*' name of Jefus Chnfl;, I will be your furety at
" the day of j augment, that whoever dies in this
*' battle fhall receive the eternal glory of martyrr
^* dom, wirhout paffing thro' purgatory ;" and the
Other bifhops prefent confirmed what he faid. In*»
flamed by this ceremony, and thefe deciaratioiiS,
the army, previoufly arranged in three bodies, iu
honour of the trinity, advanced againll the enemy,
while the bilhops and the red of the clergy wept
into a neighbouring church, where they prayed
with a loud voice for the combatants. Thefe
meafures had the defired effect. They obtained a
complete vi£iory, and the king of Arragon v^as
killed in the battle.

In the middle of April a. d. 1214 there arrived
a frefh army of crufaders, condutied hy the bifliop
of CarcaiTone, the general rendezvous being at
Beziers in Eafter. And in the courfe of this fum-
mer the count of Montfort took feveral caftles in

R 5 Quer-


Oacrcy and Agenois, and among them Muriac,
where rliey iound feven of the Waldenfes, whom
the crufaders burned with great joy. Thefe con-
quefts being made by the crufaders, the pope's le-
gate claimed them, as belonging to the pope; and
the ion of Lewis not obje£ling to it, the pope gave
the guardianihip of all the conquered places to
Montfort, till the meeting of a general council in
November following. In the Chriftmas of this
year, count Baldwin, brother of the count of
Thouloufe, was taken by treachery, and after cruet
ufage was hanged by the order of his brother.

At the council of Lateran in a. d. 1215, tho
count of Thouloufe, accompanied by his fon, and
the count of Foix, claimed the reftitution of their
eilates, of which they had been deprived by the
crufaders ; but they were confirmed to the count
of Montfort, and Raimond was only allowed a
penfion of four hundred marks of filver. It w^s,
however, agreed that the places which had not yet
been conquered Ihould be referved for his fon,
when he fliould be of age. This youth being thus
favoured, feveral cities revolted from Montfort,
particularly Avignon, Marfeilles, St. Gilles, Beau-
caire, and Tarrafcon.

In the mean time the father, who had been ia
Spain, had taken poff.ffion of Thouloufe, while

Momforthad been engaged in the war againft the



revolted cities, in September a. d.^ 1217. The
pope, alarmed at this, exerted himfelf to the ut-
moft to recover it, and wrote to the king of France"
to engage his affidance. Accordingly Montfoit
advanced to the fiege of Thouloufe, but after ]y*
ing before it nine months, he was killed in a faliy
01 the befieged June 25th, a. d. 1218. Amauii
his fon, who fucceeded him in the command,
raifed the fiege a month after, many of the cm-
faders having returned home, and many of the
people of the country having quitted his party, and
joined the enemy. DvOminic, hearing of the death
of Montfort, left Roine, to go and comfort his

This event was fsverely felt hy the crufadcrs,
and the pope, who immediately fent legates to the
king of France, to engage him to compromife his
differences with the king of England, and march
againa the heretics. But nothing was efrefled oi
a coniiderable time, and the count of Thoulouie
died m peaceable poIFefTion of the city,, and with,
all the maiks of a good cathohc, tho' in a flate of
excommunication. He was fucceeded by his fon
Raimond VIII, then twenty-five years of age, who
continued the war againft Amauri de Montfort;
but being afraid of Lewis, the Ton of Philip Au-
guftus, he made his peace, and was abfolvedfrcm
•bis excommunication; promifiHg, at a council


held at Montpelicr Auguft 261b, a. d. 1224, to
adhere to the catholic faith of the cliurch of Rome,
and caufe it to, be profeffed in all his flates, alfo
to reoair the injury that had been done to the
church, and [xiy twenty- Five thoufand marks of
filver, provided the pops would difcharge himi
.from the pretenGions of the count de Montfort.
This he confirmed by oath, v/hich was alfo taken
by Ro'^er count de Foix, and the count of Beziers.

In A. D. 1226, Amauri, having now no other
rcfource, furrendered to Lewis VI 11 all his right
to theefiatcs of the count of Thouloufe, and then
the kinfT took the crof^, with almofl all the bifhops
and barons of his kingdom, in order wholly to ex-
terminate the AlbJgenfes. At the fame time
preachers were fent into all the provinces, to pub-
lifli a plenary indulgence to all who would go on
the expedition ; and the pope's legate, with the
confent of the billiops, promifed the king a hundred
thoufand livrcs a year for five years, with a tenth
of the levies upon the clergy, and that if this fhould
not be fufTicient, the remainder of his expences
Ihould be paid out of the treafury of the church.

Encouraged by this, the king appointed a meet-
ing of the crufaders at Bourges the fourth funday
in Eafter, and in the fpringof theyear a. d. 1226,
he attended at the place, from which he proceeded
to Lyons. Every place received him till he came



to Avignon, which he befieged, an;^ took after two
months hy conrkpofition, when there had been a great
mortality both in the c'l'y and among the bcfiegers,
tvho lofl; there twothoufand men. After this the
king went to Montpcnfier in Auvergne, where he
died November 8.h. However, the armv, now
commanded by Imbert de Beaujeu, marched to
ThoiiIoure,and madefuch deftrudlion inCheneifrh-
bourhood, that the count liflcned to a propofal of
peace; agreeing to meet at Meaux the year fol-
lowing to fettle the terms of it. There the count
was reconciled to the church, promifing to make
ftri£l; inquiry after the heretics within his eftates,
and drive them out of them ; and for a penance he
took che crofs to ferve five years againft the Sara-
cens. He gave his only daughter in marriage to
the brother of the king of France, who, if he had
no children, was lo inherit all his cRates. In

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