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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April the count received abfolution at the hands
of the pope's legate, after being led to the altar
barefooted, with only his Hilrt and drav.'crs on»

Thus ended this deflrudive war, to ibe extir-
pation ot the Albigenfes, as far as outward force
could do it ; and wjiat v/as left undone in this way-
was imimcdiately taken up by the inquiution, more
de{lru6live than the war itfclf. By an ordonance
of the king of France, heretics condemned by the
bif[iops of any place were to be puniflied without


2r€) THE HISTORY OF Piift. XlX*

delay. It was declared to be infamous, and punifh-
able by confifcation of goods, to conceal them, and
two fih^er marks were promifed to any perfon who
would apprehend One of them.

One caftle, however, Montfegur in the diocefe
of Thouloufe, afforded a retreat for fome of the
Aibigenfes, and was looked upon to be impreg-
nable. But in A. D. 1243 it was taken by Du-
rand the bifhop of Albi, and the fenefchal of Car-
caffone; who finding in it two hundred perfons
who refufed to recant, burned them all ; and this
was properly the laft exploit in the war.

In A. D. 1249 this laft count of Thouloufe
died, the family being then extinct, which was
confidered by the catholics as a judgment for the
prote6lion they had given to the heretics. How-
ever a little before his death he had caufed mora
than eighty heretics to be burned at Agcn.




Of the Progrefs of the Inquijition, and the State of
Herefy in other Countries befides France,


MORE efFeftual engine for the ex-
tinftlon of herefy than open war, was the court of
inquifition which was gradually introduced into a
great part of Europe ; but it was not till after this
period of our hiflory, that it was fully eftablifhed,
and the forms of proceeding in it fettled j nor was
it wholly independent of the temporal powers, as
it afterwards came to be. It will be proper, how-
ever, to give an account of the progrefs that was
made towards the eOabiifhrnent of this horrid tri-
bunal, in the methods of proceeding againfl here-
tics during the courfe of the preceding war, and
for fome time fubfcquent to it.

At the council ot Lateran in a. d. 1215, the
moll rigorous decrees were made againft heretics,
and all who favoured them, and alfo agaiiift thofe
princes and lords who did not purge their ellates
of them.

In A. D. 1224 the emperor Frederic II pub-
lilhed a fevere conftitution againft heretics, en-
gaging to execute the fentence of the church againf^



them. They who recanted thro' fear of death
were to be imprifoned for life, and they who re-
lapfed after recanting were to be pat to death.
The heretics were allowed no appeal from theiif
fentence, and as in this ordonance it is faid that,
*•' this crime, which attacks God himfelf, is greater
*' than that of high treafon/' the children of he-
retics to the third generation were to be excluded
from all benefices temporal or fpiritual, unlefs they
informed againfl their parents. It was alfo ordered
that the preaching fiiars, who were fent againfl
the heretics, fliould be under the emperor's fpe-
cial protedion. In a fecond conflitution of the
fame emoeror, the Paterins were condemned to the
flames. * In a third he copied four canons of the
preceding council of Lateran, inferting temporal
puniftiments inflead of excommunication.

As it v\^as probable that many perfons did not
care to inform againfl their neighbours, it was
provided at the council of Narbonne in a. d. 1227,
that in every parifb' the biOiops fhould have {y-
nodal witnefies, whofe bufmefs it fhou'd be to
make inquiry concerning herefy, and report it.
After this another council was held at Thouloufe,


* This F.Paul fays was the firfllaw that enjoined the
psmiOiment of heretics by death. Iiistoi-ij of the In-
ijx'.iijhion, p. 10'.


the objed of which was the extirpation of herefy.
Among other provifions that were here made for
that purpofe, all men above fourteen years of a^e,
and women above twtlvQ, were required to fwear
"before a biihop, or his delegate, that they re=.
nounced ail herefy, and that they would inquire
after, and inform againft, all heretics. This oath
was to be renewed every two years. All perfons
alfo were required to come to ccjhfeffion, and re-
ceive the eucharift three times in every year; and
if any perfons did not do this, they were to be
fufpefted of herefy. By a decree of the fame coun-
cil, laymen were not allowed to have any copy of
the fcriptures, hut only 2l pf alter, di breviary, and
the hours of the blejed virgin, and thefe in Latin;
which is the firft inftance of any prohibition of the

The firfl perfons who were commiflioned to
make this inquiry concerning herefy were two Do-
minicans, who conduced themfelves with fo much
rigour m the condemnation oi fome heretics at
Thouloufe, that they were obliged to leave the ci-
ty, together with all of the fame order, and the
bifhop himfelf. Afterwards, in order to moderate
their violence, they had a colleague given ihem of

the Francifcan order; but this not anfwerina the

purpofe, orders were difpatched from Rome fuf*

fpending tiiis inquifition a long time.

Vol. IV, S Ho^Y^


However, the bufinefs of the extermination of
heretics did not Aop. In May 13th, a, d. 1239,
one hundred and eighty- three heretics were burned
at Montheme in Champaign, in the prefence of the
king of Navarre, and the barons of the country,
the archbifhop of Rheims, and feventeen bifhops,
«' It was," fays Alberic, an author of that time.
«' a burnt offering well pleafing to God." Robert,
a Dominican, who pronounced the condemnation
of thefe heretics, was formerly one of them. He
afterwards difcovered many others ; but at length,
impofing upon the goodnefs of king Lewis, and
abufmg his authority as an inquifitor, accufing the
innocent with the guilty, his commifTion was
taken from him by the pope, and he vras condemned
to perpetual imprifonment.

It was not till the council of Beziers in a. d.
1246 that fuch regulations were made as fervedfor
a foundation for the proceedings of the inquifition
afterwards. The preaching friars, or Dominicans,
who wert the inquifitors, were then ordered to
make proclamation in certain places, for all here-
tics to come and make their fubmifTion for them-
felves, and inform againft others within a limited
time, under the penalty of death, perpetual im-
prifonment, exile, or confifcation of goods, ac-
cording to circumftances ; but thofe who being ac-
cufed would not confefs their faults, were to be



condemned without mercy, even tho' they fab-
mitted to the will of the church. At the fa-rte
time it was ordered that all the prifoners fhou'd be
confined feparately ; and that all the goods of pri-
foners were to be confifcafed. At the fame coun-
cil it was decreed that none of the laity fhould have
any books of divinity, not even in Latin, and the
clergy none in the vulgar tongue.

At the requefl of Lewis IX of France, pope
Alexander IV appointed two mendicant friars to
be inquifitors for the kingdom of France, except
the eilates of the count of Thouloufe; but they
were not to fentence to perpetual imprifonment,
without the confent of the diocefan bifhops. Bv
a conftitution of the fame pope, addrefied to the
inquifitors of the mendicant orders, they were to de-
mand of thofe heretics who returned to the church
a pecuniary fecurity that they would remain there.
He alfo ordered that the goods of all heretics that
were confifca'cd fhould be referved for the ufe of
the church of Rome.

It is evident that heretics abounded in the
northern parts of Italy, almofl as much as in the
fouthern provinces of France, efpecial'y during the
contefls between the popes and the emperors of
Germany, who always claimed that part of Italy.
At Viterbo, in a. d. 1207, two of the confuls,
and alfo the treafurcr, who had long been in a ftate

S 2 of


of excommunication, were Patarins ; but then
pope Innocent III went to that city on purpofe to
drive them out. The citizens complied with his
wiflies, and having affembled a g-^eat council of
bifhops, abbots counts, baions, &c. &c. from
all the cities ot Tuicany, and the eftates of the
church, he publiQied a conftitution, by which all
heretics, efpecially the Patan'ns, who fhould be
found in the patrimony of St. Peter, fhould have
their noods confifcated ; the houfes which had re-
ceived them were to be demolifhed, fo as never to
be rebuilt, and their adherents to be punifhed with
the confifcation of the fourth part of their goods.
It was alfo ordered that they fhould have no accefs
to any court of juflice, be incapable of any public
employment, and be deprived ot the rights of
Chridian burial.

In A. D. 1225 pope Honorius III complained
that in the city of Breffe the heretics were fo info-
lent, that they armed themfelves againll the Ca-
tholics, fortified feme caftles, and burned the
churches. They even threw down lamps by way
of excommunicating the church of Rome, and thofe
who favoured its dodrines. He therefore ordered
their caftles to be demolifhed, fo that they fhould

not be rebuilt.

About the year a. d. 1250 Peter of Verona,
who had been born of heretical parents, becommg

a Do-


a Dominican, was peculiarly a6live in the difcovery
and profecution of heretics in Italy, At Florence
he engaged feveral of the nobility to take a ftandard
marked with a crofs, and coming to an engagement
wiih a number of heretics, near the river Atno,
he defeated them and drove them out of the city.
This Peter Innocent IV made inquifitor for Cre-
mona, Milan, and all that neighbourhood. But
fome time after this he was murdered by a perfon
who afterwards entered into the order of the Do-
minicans himfelf. At this time, the contefl with
the emperors being over, the popes exerted them-
felves without obftru6lion for the fuppreffion of
herefy in Italy.

It was not till a. d: 1251 that the tribunal of
the inquifi^ion was fully eftablilhed, when it was
contrived by Innocent IV to take the cognizance
oi herefy out of the hands both of the bifliops, and
the civil magiftratc, the bjfliop being affociated
with the inquifitor, but fo as to have no real power,
and the civil magillrates being allowed one third
of the fines. The prifons were kept at the ex-
pence of the public. This court was firft eflabl-fh-
ed in Lombardy, Romagna, and Marca Trevifa-
na, which abounded with heretics, and where the
popes had mod power. The eflablifhment of this
court, however, met with much oppoiition, evea

S 3 m


in Italy, and much more in other countries. Gian-
none, Vol. 2. p. 60.

The bull of Innocent not being eafily received,
Alexander IV in a. n. 1259 renewed it, but with
fome modification. It was again renewed by Cle-
ment IV in A. D. 1265. But even then it was
n^t luliy executed, fo that four fucceeding popes
were employed in overcoming the difficulties that
prevented its being carried into effeft. Thefe arofe
from the exceffive fcverity of the inquifitors, and
the objetlions ot the laiiy to bear the expcnce of
this new triSunal. In order to remove thefe diffi-
culties the pope gave more power to the bilhops,
and had the expence borne in fome different man-
ner. F. Paul's Eijiory oj the Inquifition, p. 12.

The proceedings in this court were at firft very
fimple, and refembled thofe of other tribunals ; but
they were afterwards intirely new modelled by the
Dominicans, who were generally made inquihtors,
and who knowing nothing of the common law, re-
gulated all their proceedings according to the rules
of penance, which were framed fo as to correfpond
wi:h the maxims of the government of God, to
whom every finner muft confefs his fin before hf
can expedi; to be forgiven. MoJIieim, Vol. 3. p. 116.

Eefides the cafe of herefy, the inquifitors took
cognifance of magic, Ibrcery, witchcraft, and Ju-
daifm where it was not tolerated. lb. p. 115.




OJ the Inter courfe between the Greek and Latin


HE conquell of Conftantlnople by
the Latins was as far from promoting any proper
union of the two churches, as it was from being
any aflTiUance towards recovering the holy land.
Infignificant as were the points in difpute between
them, their antipathy to each other was great, and
had now been of long Handing. The war, or the
confequences of it, had not contributed to \tSQn
this animofity ; and lead of all on the fide of
Greeks, whofe abhorrence of the Latins was much
increafed by the mfolcnce and licentioufnefs of both
the laity and clergy among them. They alfo
defpifed them for their barbarous manners, and
want of literature ; and this efFeCl continued after
the caufe was now in a great meafure removed.
For certainly, in this period, the Latin church
produced more able and learned writers than the
Greek; but the latter had no knowledi^e of them.
Since, however, a defire on the part of the pope
and the Latin clergy to derive a revenue from the
Eall. and a defire of afliftance on the part of the

S 4 Greek


Greek emperors, made both parties frequently
wifh for a compromife of their difFerences, and a
good deal was done with a view to it, it will be
proper to relate the particulars.

The firll attempt that was made in this period
to bring the two churches to greater union was oc-
cafioned by fome friars vifiting Germanus the Greek
patiiarchin a. d. 1233 ; and as John Ducas, the
Greek emperor at Nice, was then in fear of an at-
tack from the Latin emperor at Conftantinople,
and the crufaders, he favoured a conference between
them for that purpofe ; and in confequence of this
fome letters paffed between pope Gregory IX and
Germanus, each vindicating his own church; and
the next year two Dominicans and two Francifcans
arriving at Nice, to treat concerning the union,
they were honourably received, and entertained at
the expence of the emperor.

After feveral days paffed in formal conference,
and much fubtle difputation, about the proceilion
ot the Holy Spirit, the Greeks, being much fur-
prized at the acutenefs of the friars, and efpecially
their ready quotation of the Greek Fathers, defired
to reler the treaty to a regular council ; and that
till this could be convened, the nuncios fhould re-
main at Conftantinople ; and the Greek emperor,
unwilling to give up all expectation from the con-
ference, with fome difficulty perfuaded them to


Sec.X. the christian church. 2ai

wait for it. Accordingly it was fixed for Eaflerat
Nympheum. In the whole of this previous con-
ference the nuncios behaved with all the newly ac-
quired haughtinefs of the court of Rome, con-
fidering the Greeks as having, without any jufl
reafon, withdrawn themfelvcs from their obedience
to the pope, and requiring abfolute fubmiffion to
the doctrine and difcipline of the Latins, in order
to their reunion ; while the Greeks, tho' in hu-
miliating circumllances, could not help difcover-
ing their contempt for the Latins, and their anti-
pathy to them. Even during the conferences a
Greek prieft laid a pcrfon under ecclefiaftical cen^
furc for attending mafs while it was celebrated by
the Latins. All the indulgence the nuncios would
allow the Greeks was that they Ciould not be ob^
liged publicly to cbaunt the creed wir.h the addition
of the dauk filioque, tho' it was inhlied that it
"fhould be inferted in it.

When the council was afTernbled, no!:hin(T
pafTed in it but mutual accufations, at which the
emperor expreffed much concern ; faying that, if
they had met in his prefence, the conference would
have been conduced in a more amicable manner.
Perceiving the impatience of the nuncios to return,
he obferved to them,, that a khifm which had con-
tinued now three hundred years could not be ex-
pe6led to be compofed in a very fhort time,

S 5 reckon-


reckoning from the patiiaichate of Photius. They,
therefore, met once more at the palace, the ^Sth
of April. There the Greeks maintained that the
eucharifl; could not be rightly celebrated with any
other than leavened bread, fuch as they faid our >
Saviour himfelfufed. This opinion, at the requi-
fition ot the nuncios, they exprelTed in writing;
and on the other hand, at the requifition of the
Greeks, the nuncios expreffed in writing their opi-
nion, that, without believing that the Holy Spirit
proceeded from the Son as well as from the Father,
a perfon is in the v/ay of perdition. The next day
thcfe writings were publicly delivered, and regular-
ly figned. In that of the Greeks on the fubjeft of
the eucharifl, their opinion only was expreiTed,
without the authorities on which it was founded ;
but that of the nuncios on the fubjeft of the creer*
was a treatifeof fome length. Havin^^ delivered
this, the nuncios declared that the writing of the
Greeks contained a herefy, and haughtily demand-
ed to know whether it was thro' malice, or
ignorance. This led to a difpute about the mean-
ing of the word o(^i:cs , which the Greeks main-
tained muft fignify bread completely made, and of
courfe with leaven ; whereas the nuncios faid it
mioht fignify bread without leaven ; and that as,
during the paffover, the Jews were not allowed to
have any leavened bread, our Saviour rauft have


Sec.X. the christian church. 283

ufed that which was unleavened. Thus this whole
day pafTed in mere wrangling.

Afterwards, the nuncios being in private con-
ference with the emperor, he obferved to them, that
when princes had a difference, and wifhed to make
peace, they relaxed a little on both fides, and
therefore he propofed that, as there were two prin-
cipal points of difference between the two churches,
viz. that concerning the proceflion of the Holy
Spirit, and that concerning the bread ufed in the
eucharift, the Greeks fhould give up the latter,
and the Latins the former. But the nuncios hav-
ing no idea of this kind of policy in matters of reli-
gion, replied, that the church of Rome would not
give up one iota of its faith ; and therefore that, if
the Greeks wifhed for an union, they mufl firmly
believe themfelves, and teach to others, that the
body of our Saviour may be confecrated with un-
leavened bread, as well as leavened, and muft,
moreover, condemn and burn thofe of their books
which contained a contrary do6lrine. And that,
with refpecl to the proceflion of the Holy Spirit,
they muft believe and teach the people that it is
from the Son, as well as from the Father, tho' they
fliould not be obliged to chaunt it in public; but
the books containing the contrary do6lrine mufl be
burned. At thij> arrogance the emperor was much



offended, and when he reported this converfation
to the Gictk priells, they were no lefs fo.

There was, however, another meeting, in order
to conclude the b'lfinefs in fome proper form. But
this was conduded with the fame pertinncious
dilpatation, and ended with more ill humour than
the preceding. The nuncios, after reciting the
faith of the Greeks with rcfpe6l to the eucharift,
faid, ** This is herefv, and finding vou heretics.
** and excommunicated, wc leave you fuch."
HAvinsj made this declaration, thcv left the coun-
"cil. the Greeks fliouting after them, '• You are ihe
•** heretics." The emperor, however, was much
mortified at this termination of the bufinefs.

The Greeks not being intirely fatisfied with
what they had delivered in writing, defired that
the writings en botli hJes fliould be given up;
but the nuncios faid, tliev would leave theirs,
wifiiiniz it to be made known to all the world as
the faith of the Roman church, and that they would
t-ieep that of the Greeks, an an evidence ot their he-
refv ; but faid, as we are in your power, you may
do as you pleafe. A public oflicer then fignified
to them, that they muft give up the writings.
They, therefore, took with them fuch books as
they could carry, and fet out on their journey on
foot. But the Greeks fent after them, and fearching
their baggage, look away the writing they wiflied



to withdraw, and iri itst place put -another, con-
tainin'^ a fuller explanation ot their fdith on the
proo^ffion of the Holy Spirit. It was evident horn
the whole conducl of this bufinefs, that there was
no difpofition on the part of the Greeks lo any
union, and that the emperor only wifhcd it for
political purpofes.

Many years afferthis, when (he Greeks had re-
covered the poireffion of Conltaniinople, the em-
peroY Michael Paleologus, being afniid of Charles
king of Sicily, exprcfFed a defire of the reunion of
the two churches, acknowledging the fupremacy of
the pope; and Gregory X, who had much at heart
the recovery of the holy land, and hoped that this
union would contribute to it, was very dehrous of
promoting it. But the Greek patriarch and the
clergy were not to be brought to accede to it ; tho',
knowing the fituation and wifhes of the emperor,
they feemed to favour the projefl. ,.The emperor,
however, being determined to be obeyed, partly
by intrcaty, and partly by force, engaged al-
mofh all the bifliops to fubfcribc a paper, in which
they exprcffed their readinefs to acknowledge the
fupremacy of the bifhop of Rome, the right of ap-
peals to him, and that his name fhould be recited
with thofe of other orthodox bifliops at the eu*




Having gained this point, the emperor fent
ambaffadors to the great council afTembled at Lyons
in A. D. 1274, where the pope himfelf was pre-
fent, attended by five hundred bifliops, feventy
abbots, and a thoufand other prelates, with James
king of Arragon, and arabafladors from all the
Chriflian courts in Europe. On the arrival of the
Greek ambaffadors at Lyons, which was the 24th
of June, they were introduced to the pope ; and
in prefenting the letters they brought, faid, they
were come to render obedience to the church of
Rome, and to acknowledge the faith which it held.
In the public fervice which they attended the li-
turgy was recited both in Latia and Greek, and in
reciting the creed the addition oi Jilioque was re-
peated three times. In the fourth feffion, which
was the 16th of July, the union of the two churches
was folemnly announced by the pope, and the con-
feflion of faith, which had been fent by the Greek
emperor (which was the fame verbatim with that
which had been fent by pope Clement IV in a. d.
1267) was read, with this addition, that he would
perfevere in that faith. He only requefted that the
Greeks might be permitted to recite the creed as
they had been ufed to do it, and continue the fame
cuftoms, which were not contrary to the decifions
of general coancils, or the traditions of the Fathers,
and which had been approved by the church of


Sec.X. the christian church. 28r

Rome. The letter of the Greek bifliops, which
was alfo read, mentioned the obflinacy of theif
patriarch in refuQng to acknowledge the fuprema-
cy of the church ot Rome; but they added that
if he perfifted in thofe fentiments, they would de-
pofe him, and chufe another who would be more
compliant. At the return of thofe ambafTadors,
the patriarch Jofeph not confenting to the union,
he was depofed, and retired to a monaftery ; but
this caufed a new fchifm in the Greek church, and
the two parties confidered each other as excom-

In A. D. 1277 there arrived at Rome ambafTa-
"dors from the Greek emperor, and the new pa-
triarch Veccas, cxpreffing their joy in the union
of the two churches, acknowledging in the fulleft
manner the fupremacy of the pope, and his right
to decide in all articles of faith. The patriarch in
his letter recited all the diftinguifhing articles of
the Roman church, but on the article of the pro-
ceffion of the Holy Spirit, he ufed many words,
which was afterwards the occafion of a difpute
among the Greeks on the fubjeft. This patriarch alfo
publifhed an excommunication againll thofe Greeks
who did not accede to the union. This violence,
however, had no good effe6l. The more intelli-
gent of the fchifmatics were quiet, b'ltthey refolutely
perlilted in their oppolidon, and many of the lower



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