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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popes at defiance, they were too ready, thro' their
ignorance, to avail themfelves of their fuppofed
prerogative, when they were gainers by it, without
fufficiently confidering the confequence of that
conduft. When Henry II of Eng-and attempted
the conquefl of Ireland, he applied to pope Adrian
IV for his permillion, and the pope in granting it
Vol. IV. C faid


laid " It is not to be doubted but that Ireland,
*' and all the iflands which have received the
" Chriftian faith, belong to the church of Rome,"
and on condition that he caufed to be paid to St.
Peter a penny per annum for every houfe, he gare
his confent for the conqu^fl. The fame prince,
tho' fufEciently high fpirited on fome occafions, yet
when he was preilcd by the civil wars with his fons,
applied to pope Alexander III in a manner much
too abje6l ; faying, " the kingdom of England is
'* under your jurifditlion, and as to the feudal right,
<•■ it depends upon you." Thus, at leaft, Peter
of Blois made the king fay in a letter which he
wrote for him. It is very pofTible, however, that
the king might not have been acquainted with the
full meaning of that language.

The power of the popes was mofl frequently
difplayed in the cafe of uncanonical marriages. In
this period we have a remarkable example of it.
Philip Auguflus king of France refufing to take
his wife Ingelburga, daughter of the king of Den^
mark, whom he had unjuftly divorced, Innocent
III fent his legate to admonifh him ; and this not
fucceeding, at a council held at Vienne in a. d.
1199 he laid all his dominions under an interdift,
and ordered ail the prelates to obferve it under pain
ot fufpenfion. This interdift remained in force
€ight months, in all which time the churches were


Ihut, and the dead lay unburied. In confequence
of this the king was obliged to go into the territo-
ries of the king of England to get hi-s fon married.
For fometime the king refented this condnci: of the
pope, fo much that he expelled the bifbops from
their fees, and confifcated their effeds. Such
influence had the popes mandates on the minds of
the common people, and he found himfelf fo great
a fufFerer in confequence of it, that he was obliged
to yield. Tho' he was paflionately fond of Agnes,
whom he had married, and (lie was with child, and
he had an invincible averfion to Ingelburga, his
nobles perfuaded him to comply with the demands
ot the pope, by difmiffing Agnes and receiving
Ingelburga, as his queen, and promifmg to be-
have to her as fuch.

I muft not omit a curious circumfiance whicli
iliews the haughtinefs of pope Calixtus III. When
he crowned the emperor Henry VI, he pufl:cd
with his feet the imperial crown, which was placed
between them, and threw it to the ground, to de-
note his power ot depofing the emperor ; after
which the cardinals took it up, and placed it on
his head.

At the clofe of this letlion, relating to the power
ofthe popes in general, I fhallobfervethat it is in tho
writings of Geoffroy oi Vendome on the fubjed of
inveditures, that we meet with the firfl mention of

C 2 the


the two /words of St. Peter, as fignifying the tem-
poral and fpiritual povver.

Tho' the papal power relides in the perfon of
the reigtiing pontifF, he, like other fovereign princes,
does not often chufe to a61; without the concurrence
of his council, which confifts of the cardinals.
When William king of Sicily fent to treat cf peace
with Adrian IV, and the pope himfelf was of opi-
nion that the terms were fufficiently advantageous,
and would have accepted them, the greater part of
the cardinals being of a different opinion, they
were rejeCled.


Of the Schifms in this Period, and the TranfaBions
between the Popes and the Emperors of Germany,


lOME account of the tranfadions be-
tween the popes and the emperors of Germany,
and of the fchifms in the papacy, v/hich had an
intimate connedlion with thofe tranfaftions, is of
too much confequence to be omitted, as they help
to give a juft idea of the maxims and fpirit of thefe

At the clofe of the lafl; period the fchifm oc-
cafioned by the ele6lion of Guibert, under the name



of Clement, fo long favoured hy Henry IV, was
nearly extinft. In a. d. iico Clement died, and
his partiians, chofe Albert Diederic, furnamed
Silvejler, in his place ; and after him two others,
who were all immediately feized and depofed by
the Catholic party ; nor does it appear that Henry
declared for any of them. The fituation of this
emperor was not, however, changed for the better.
Pafcal II renewed the excommunication of him at
a council held in Rome in a. d. loio, and en-
couraged his fon Henry V to revolt againft him,
which he did in a. d. 1105, and expelled from
their fees all the bifhops who had been in commu-
nion with his antipope, whofe body, and thofe of
his adherents, he ordered to be taken from their
graves. His father dying at this time, and being
buried at Liege, even his body was taken up, as
that of any other perfon in a (late of excommuni-
cation, and put in a flone coffin on theoutlide of
the church at Spires.

However this good fon of the church, and un-
natural one to his own father, very foon came to
be in nearly the fame fituation with refpeQ; to the
popes that his father had been. For, immediately
avowing the fame fentiraents, he marched into Ita-
ly, with a view to infifl; upon his right to grant
inveftitures hy the delivery of the flaff and

C 3 At


At ca confcretice at Chalons, when Paul II w»s
prefent, the archbilhop of" Treves pleaded thecaufe
of the emperor; faying that it had been the univer-
fal cuftom in the time of their predeceffors, holy
and apoflolicai men, St. Gregory and otheis, that
when the people had freely chofen any candidate
for ecclefiaftical preferment, the emperor had con-
firm:;d their choice by the delivery of the ring and
the paftoral llafF; and that when the perfon fo ap-
provLd had fworn fealty, he received the regalia,
or the revenue granted by the prince to the fee.
,To this the archbifliop of Mayence on the part of
the pope replied, that the church, purchafcd with
the blood of Chrift, would be a Have, if thebifiiops
could not be chofen without the confent of the
temporal princes ; that the ring and the flafF be-
longed to the altar, with which princes had nothing
to do, and that the prelates debafed their un6lion,
if when, ccnfecrated by the body and blood of
Chrilt, they fubmitted to the hands of laymen, de-
filed with blood. This fo much provoked the am-
baifadors from Germany, that they declared it was
not there, but at Rome, and with their fwoirds in
their hands, that this queflion fhould be decided.

At another conference, however, between his
ambalfadois and thofe of the pope, it v/as agreed
that the king fliould renounce the invelliture, and
the pope the regalia ; and thus the dilFcrence f£cme^^

* tQ


to be properly accommodated. But the prince,
thinking probably that he had yielded too much, in
giving up what had unqueftionably been enjoyed
by preceding emperors, inlifted, in the very middle
of the coronation fervice, on the pope's delivering
him the crown, in the fame manner, and on the
fame terms, as it had been given to Charlemagne
and his anceftors ; and as the pope did not chufe
to comply with this, the emperor ordered him to
be feized ; and while he was a pri Toner he, tho'
with great reludance, confented to relign the in-
veftitures. He alfo gave the emperor the ftrongeft
affurances in writing that for the future no eccle-
fiaftic fiiould be confecrated till he had received
inveftiture in the ufual form from him.

This confefEon of the pope gave great diffatis-
faSlion to the fuperior clergy ; and the cardinals
being aflembied on the occafion, they made a de-
cree againft the pope, and his bull. In confe-
quence of this the pope, when he was informed of
it, promifed to correct what he had done only by
force ; and at a numerous council held at Rome
in A. D. 1112, he publickly revoked his conceffion.
After this, in a council held at Vienne, decrees
were made againft the right of the laity to grant
inveftitures, and Henry was excommunicated for
his treatment of the pope, who confirmed thefe

C 4 Seve-^


Several of the clergy u-rcte on this occajQon ;
but none of them with fo much fpirit as GeofFroy,
abbot of Vendome. He maintained that the pope
ought to have died rather than have made the con-
ceuion that he had done. " A pallor of bad mo-
rals," he faid, " may be tolerated, but not if he
" err in the faith. In this cafe the faithful have a
*' rit^ht to oppofe him, mere than if he were a pub-
*' lie {inner, and the moll infam.ous perfon." For
he maintained that, according to the tradition of the
Fathers, the authorizing of giving inveTtiture by
laymen was a herefy.

If excommunication had any vilible efFeft, it
muft have been feen on this cccafion. Henry was
excommunicated again at a council held at Bcau-
vais in a. d. 1114, again at Rheims in n. d. 1115,
at two councils held by the legate Conon, one at
Cologn, and the other at Soiilans the fame year,
and again at Cologn in a. d. 1116. Albert arch-
biOiop af Mayence, who had been among the firll
to encourage Henry in his oppofition to the pope,
finding that he had been excommunicated in [o
many places, and that the pope (tho', to keep his
word, he had not himfclr excommunicated him)
would not abfolve him, turned againft his mailer,
who was not, however, dlfcouraged by this cir-
cumQance; for he caufed him to be apprehended,
and kept him three years a clofe prifuncr.



On the death of Pafcal who had been driven
from Rome in a faftion of the citizens, fupported
by Henry in a. d. iii8, when Gelafius was
chofen to fucceed him^ Henry, not being able
to bring him to an accommodation, did not con-
fent to his e^eftion, but favoured that of Maurice
Bourdin bifhop of Bruges, who had crowned him
in the abfence of the pope, and for which he had
been excommunicated by Pafcal, and he affumed
the name of Gregory VIII. On this GcIaSus ex-
communicated both Henry and him. This fchifm
was not, however, of long continuance. For, on
the return of Celefline II from France in a. d.
1 1 20, Gregory fled to Sutri, and fhut himfelf up
in a fortrefs J but being delivered up on the ap-
proach of the army of Celeltine, he was expofed to
infult, and confined in a monaftery for life.

In A. D. 1118 Conon, the pope's legate, again
excommunicated Henry at a council held at Co-
logn, and alfo at Friflar, at which he was much
enraged, but promifed to attend a meeting for pro-
moting peace at Fribur. A conference was alfo
agreed on between the pope and the emperor at a
great council held at Rheims in a. d. 1119, at
which the pope attended ; but nothing coming of
it, he was there excommunicated, as well as the
antipope. This Conon going into the Eafl, alfo
excommunicated Henry at Jerufalem, as he had

C 5 done


done on his way thither, in Greece, in Hungary,
Saxony, Lorraine, and France, and required thafc
what he had done fhould be confirmed by the coun-
cil at Lateran held by Pafcal in a. d. 1116 ; and
tho' fome oppofed it, the majority confented ; and
the prohibition of inveftitures pronounced by Gre-
gory VII was renewed.

At length, however, thi^ great bufinefs was fi-
nally fettled at Worms in a. d. 1122, when it
was agreed between Henry and Calixtus II, that
the emperor fhould no longer give inveftiture by
the deiiverv of the crofs and the ftafF, that the
ele6lion of bifhops and abbots fhould be in the
king's prefence, but without violence, or fimony ;
that if there fhould be any difference, it fhould be
decided by the metropolitan and the bifhops of the
province, and that the perfon elefted fhould re-
ceive the regalia by the emperor's delivering to him
a fceptre, as a badge of temporal and fpiritual
power. The allembly in which this was tranfafted
was held in the open air, in a plain near P.heims,
on account of the great multitude that attended.
After this the emperor received the communion,
and was reconciled to the church.

A eompromifc fifnilar to this was made in En2-
land. For at a council held in London in a. d.
1107, it was agreed that the king fhould not give
mveflittjre by the delivery of the ring and paftoral



ftafF, but that the bifhops fhould fivear allegiance
to him. But the king, jealous of his prerogative,
hearing that the emperor of Germany granted in-
veftitures in the ufual form, declared that he would
do the fame if the emperor was fuflFered to do fo.

A fchifm of longer continuance took place on
the death of Honorius II in a. d. 1130. Before
this event it had been agreed among the cardinals
to make the ele£lion of the new pope in the church
of St. Marc, where they fhould all meet accord-
ing to cuftom. But thole cardinals who had been
the particular friends of Honorius, and the greater
number, apprehending a tumult, haftened the
eleftion before the pope's death was generally
known, and chofe Gregory, the cardinal of St.
Ange, furnamed Innocent II; while the other
cardinals, meeting at St. Marc's at the time ap-
pointed, chofe Peter de Leon, cardinal of St. Ma-
ry, called Anaclet II. But the party of Innocent
being weaker in the city, he left Rome, and went
to. Pifa, in order to proceed to France.

Anaclet was acknowledged by Roger king of
Sicily, but not by any of the princes in the wcftern
part of Europe. There the interefl of Innocent,
which at firft feemed very unpromifingj prevailed,
in confequence of his being warmly fupported
firfl by Hugh bifhop of Grenoble, a prelate highly
refpedled, and then near eighty years old, who ex-



communicated Anaclct and his adherents; and alfo
by St. Bernard, who for a great part of his life al-
mofl governed the church. At a council aflembled
at Eftampes for the purpofe of deciding between
the two competitors, Bernard pleaded fo ftrenu-
oufly for Innocent, that, with the exception of the
duke of Aquitain, he was univerfally acknowledged
in France. His popularity had alfo been greatly
X^promoted by the fplendid reception he had met
v/ith at the mona fiery of Clugny. After this he
was acknowledged in England, Scotland, Ger-
many, and Spain, and alfo by the king of Jerufalem.
In A. D. 1133 Innocent, accompanied by the
emperor Lotbaire, went to Italy, and, they entered
Rome together, the Genoefe having affifled them
with a fleet ; but they could not take the caflle of
St. Angelo, whither Anacict had retired. Lo-
thaire, however, being unable to contend with the
king of Sicily, returned to Germany, and Inno-
cent to Pifa; where, holding a grand council in
which every thing xvas carried by the authority of
Bernard, he excommunicated Anaclet and all his
adherents. In a. d. 1135 Bernard fucceeded in
gaining the duke of Aquitain to acknowledge In-
nocent, having at the lime of communion advanced
towards him from the altar with the hofl; in his
hand, and with furious looks threatened him with
divine judgment for fupporling the fchifm.



In A. D. 1 137 Innocent, accompanied by Lo-
thaire, again entered Rome, and even took pof-
feffion of the greateft part of the South of Italy,
which thereby returned to his obedience. But
Lothaire returning to Germany, and dying there,
Roger retook all that he had iofl, and obhged the
country to acknowledge Anaclet. He dying in
A. D. 1138, Gregory, a cardinal priefl, furnamed
ViBoTy was chofen to fucceed him, but, at the per-
fuafion of Bernard, he refigned, after holding the
papacy only two months ; and thus this fchifm

The emperor Frederic BarbarofTa, who fuc-
ceeded -Conrad in a. d. 1152, had as ferious at
difference with the popes a« his predeceffors Hen-
ry IV, or Henry V, and promoted another fchifm
in the church of Rome. He fhewed fome proper
fpirit at the time of his coronation, by refufincrfof
fome time to hold (he pope's ftirrup, which was
infilled upon by Adrian IV, who was notfalisGed
with his kiffing his foot. At length, however, he
thought proper to comply with that humiliating

This pope, having in a. d. 1157 fent legates
to complain to the emperor of the archbifliop of
Lunden being feized in Germany on his retnrri
from Rome, and kept a prifoner by fome of the?
lords, they reproached him in an improper man-

U THE HISTORY 01' Per. a v xiL

ner for his arrogance ; and in admonifliing him to
do his duty, they reminded him of his having re-
ceived the imperial crown from the pope. This
language gave great offence both to the emperor
and his lords, who faid that he had received his
crown from God, and not hom the pope ; that,
of the two fwords, he held one, and the pope the
other, but both from the fame authority. The
emperor alfo expreffed his refentment on account
of a pi6lure exhibited at the palace of Lateran in
Rome, in which Ldthaire was not only repre*
fented as receiving his crown from the pope, but
with an infcription on it, fignifying that he received
it as a va'ilcil of the pope, the term benejidum (or
fief) being ufed on the occafion. At Rome it-
felf there was a party, even of the clergy, who fa-
voured the emperor. In Germany the clergy univer-
fally took his part, and on his marching into Italy the
pope thought proper to fend legates to meet him,
and by declaring that by the term benejichcm was
meant fimply a favour, and not ^ifef in the legal
fenfe of the term, the difference was for that time

The reconciliation was, however, hy no means
cordial. The pope, diffatisfied with the conduct
of his legates, and with the vigour with which the
emperor exacted his rights of forage, &c. wrote
him a letter, refpeftful enough in \vords, but in



reality difcovering much refentment on the occa-
lion. He alfo fent it by an ordinary perfon, who
difappeared as foon as he had delivered it. The
empejTor being highly exafperated at this, dire6led
his fecretary to write to thje pope in the flyle of the
antient Roman emperors, putting his own name
before that of the pope, and ufmg the fin^ular
number thou inJUead of the plural, which was then
grown cuftomary. In reply, the pope complained
of this want of refpe6i, and threatened him with
the lofs of his crown if he did not rQ with more

The emperor, more irritated than before, Hiid
he owed his crown to God, and that the popes
held all their poffefiioQS of the emperors; that he
had excluded his cardinal legates from Germany,
which was one principal fubjeft of the pope's com-
plaint, becaufe inllead of coming to preach the
gofpel, and make peace, they had amaiTed gold
and filver with infatiable avidity, and that pride
had got even into the chair of St. Peter. The em-
peror being at Bologna in a. d. 1159, the pope
fent four legates to him to make various complaints
and demands, to which he anfwered with others,
each infilling on their relpe^live prerogatives;
when the pope died in September ot that year.

On the death of Adrian IV a great majority
of the cardinals chofe cardinal Roland, chancellor



of the Roman church, by the name of Alexander
III, while the reftchofe Ofljavian by the name of
Vi6lor III. Alexander and his friends appre-
hending violence, retired to the fortrefs, but they
were defended by the people of Rome, while the
emperor adhered to Vi6lor. In this flate of things
the emperor fummoned a council to meet at Pavia,
in order to decide between the two competitors in
February a. d. 1159. It confi lied ot fifty bifhops
and archbifhops, and a great number of abbots and
other eccleliaftics. There were alfo deputies from
France, England, and other countries, who pro-
mifed to be determined by the decrees of this coun-
cil. After feven days the decilion was in favour
of Vi£lor, who being prefent was immediately re-
ceived as pope.

On the other hand, Alexander, after adrno-
nifhing the emperor, formally excommunicated
him at Anagni on the 24t.h of March a. d. 1160,
and declared all who had taken the oaths to him
abfolved. Both Henry II of England, and the
kin^T of France, after holding affemblies of their
refpe6live clergy, acknowledged Alexander, as did
the king of Jerufalem : and it is remarkable that,
in a letter addrefifed to him from a council which
met at Nazareth, he was called their fpiritual and
temporal lord, tho' the king himfelf was prefent.



In the mean time Vi6tor held a council at Lo-
di, when the empe;:or'^nd many bifliops were pre-
fent, and there he excommunicated all who op-
pofed him. In a. d. ji6i Alex-ander returned to
Rome ; but not being able to remain there, on ac-
count of the number of his enemies, he went to
Campania, under the prote6lion of the king of Si-
cily, and thence, by way of Genoa, to France,
where he arrived in the beginning of the year a.
». 1162; and after holding a grand council at
Tours, be took up his refidence at Sens, and con-
tinued there two years.

In A. D. 1164 Vi6lor died, and his adherents
having chofen Gui of Crem.a, called Pafcal III,
the emperor confirmed hiseleftion. In a. d. 11S5
Alexander left France ; and having gone to Mef -
fina, where he was received with great honour by
the king of Sicily, he arrived at Rome in Novem-
ber. But the emperor coming to Rome in a. d»
1167, and defeating the Romans, he went to
]3ieneventum, while Pafcal celebrated mafs at Rome,
and crowned the emperor. Sicknefs feizing the
emperor's army, and he leaving Rome in confe-
quence of it, Alexander pronounced againfl him a
fentence of excommunication and depofition, ufmg
the form that was firft adopted by Gregory VII,
viz. that " for the future he fliould have no force in
" battle, and gain no vidory over any Clirifiiins."
Vol. IV. D In


In A. D. 1168 Pafcal died, and John, abbot
of Strum, and bifhop of Albani, fucceeded him^
under the naipe of Calixtus III. But the empe-
ror, being defeated in Lombardy in a. d, 1176,
fent to treat with Alexander, promiling to give
hitn the prefe6lure of Rome,' and the lands of Ma-
tilda J and when they had a meeting at Venice, a-
peace was concluded between them, when Frede-
ric, renouncing the caufe of the antipope, was' ab-
folved from his excommunication. On this occa=»
fion the emperor walked before the pope, difcharg-
i«g the office of an huiffier, and when he mounted-
his horfe he held his ftirrup a long time. It is ob- -
fervable, Fleury fays, that on this occalion the ab-
folution given to the emperor related wholly to
the fchifm, and no mention was made of the fen-
tence of depofition, which had produced no ef*
fe£l ; fo little were the novel pretenfions of Gre-
gory VII regarded.

At the earneft invitation of the fenate and
people of Rome, Alexander returned thither in a.
D. 1178; they promifing to do him homage, and
reftore to him all the rights of regalia ; and he
made fuch a triumphant entry as no pope had ever
made before. Calixtus himfelf made a public con-
feffion of his offence, and received abfolution.
The fchifm was not, however, abfolutely ended,
for a few of the friends of Calixtus chofe Lando-



Steno, of the family of the Frangipani (which had
always been particularly hoftile to Alexander) and
called him Innocent III, and for fome time, a
brother of Odavian, or Vitlor III, took him un-
der his protedion, in a fortrefs which he had near

At a general council held immediately after this
fchifm in a. d. 1179, in order to prevent others,
it v/as ordered that every pope fhould have two
thirds of the votes of the cardinals ; and that who-^
ever fhould affume the dignity without it fliould be
deprived of all holy orders, and be excommuni-
cated, as well as all who fhould acknowledge liim,'
In A. D. 1180 Alexander, having purchafed the
caftle in which the antipope had taken refuge, he
was by him put in prifon ; and thus a final end
was put to this long fchifm. After the death of
Alexander the cardinals began to conform to this
decree, and all Qther perfons, clergy or laity, were

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