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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Jews in Spain that he had orders from God to con-
du6t them to the Meffiah: Maimonides, being
confulted on the occafion, advifed them to pay no
regard to him. He was, liowever, followed by
great numbers. Being apprehended, he perfifted
in afferting his divine million, and faid that if his
head was cut off he fhould immediately come to
life again. He was beheaded, but without his
coming to life, and the whole nation was feverely
punifhed for their credulity. PiBei, a. d. 1167.

A fhort time after this a leprous Jew, being
cured, believed that he was the Meffiah, and gave
himfelf out for fuch to the Jews who lived beyond
the Euphrates. This impoftor having many fol-
lowers gave occafion to a new perfecution of that
people, tho' they were foon undeceived with re-
fpeft to him. lb.

Benjamin, a Jew of Tudela in Spain, finiihed
his travels into the Eaft a. d. 1173. -^^^ account
contains fo many improbable things, efpecially
with refpeft to the numbers that he found of his
nation, and their flourifhing circumllances, that
jiittle dependance can be placed upon it.




Mijcellaneous Articles:

1 . X H E knowledge of Chriftianify wa=9
extended a little in the Northern parts of Eu opa
in this period, and by fuch means as had beer, em-
ployed for the fame purpofe before. In a^ d, i 125
Otho, bifhop of Bamberg, was inflrumental in
converting the Pomeranians, the prince and the
chiefs having been gained in the firfl place ; fo that
the hiftorian fays, the converiion went on rapidly,
efpecially when the people were promifed a dimi-
nution of their taxes. It deferves to be noticed
that, among the inflruftions given to thefe people
relating to their new religion, they were forbidden
to eat blood, or animajs that had been ftrangled ;
from which it appears that at this time, in Europe
as well as in all other parts of the Chriftian world,
fuch food was thought to be unlawful.

About the year a. d. 1150 Eric king of Swe-
den, accompanied by Henry bifhop of Upfal, made
an expedition againft the Finlanders, in order to
convert them to ChriRianity. After a vi£lory ob-
tained over them, the gofpel was preached to the
reft, when they were baptized, churches were fet-
tled in the country, and the bilhop remained with



the new converts while the kinii returned fo S'.v-cdcn :
but when the biiliop would have compelled one of
them to do penance, the man killed him.

In A. D. 1168 the inhabitants of the ifle of
Rugen, being conquered by Valdemar king of
Denmark, confented to embrace Chriflianity.
And when b)'' the labours of Meinard, a canon of
Sigeberg, many of the Livonians were converted to
Chriflianity, about a. d. 1186^ being made a bi-
Oiop, he eftablifhed his fee in Rugen. Valdemar
Wfis greatly affifted in his labours to promote
Chriflianity by Abfalom bifhop of London who
a6led at the fame time in the capacities of arch-
bifliop, general, admiral, and prime minifter.
Mo/Jieim, Vol. 2. p. 356.

The Sclavonians, who had always fhewn the
greateft averfion to Chriflianity, were at length
brought over by the endeavours of the neighbour-
ing princes. Themofl eminent preacher emploj^ed
by them was Vicelinus, a native of Hamelen, who
furpalTed almoft all his cotemporaries in piety and
learning; and who, after having refided many
years in a fociety of regular canons of St. Auflin,
at Falderen, was made bilhop of Oldenburg. lb.

P- 349-

In this period a Neflorian priefl, whofe name

was yohn, invaded and conquered a hord of Tar-
tars, and as he was a prefbyter before his eleva-


tion, he continued to be called Prefbyter^ or Prcfter'
John. Of this prince and his dominions the
higheft notions were entertained by the Chriftians
in the Weft, from the letters which he wrote to the
emperor Frederic, and alfo to Emanuel the Greek
emperor. His fon David Gommonly went by the
name of his father. But he was conquered and
deprived of his life and dominions by the famous
Genghifcan. MoJJieim, Vol. 2, p. 362.

2. In this period literature made a very confi-
derable progrefs, many perfons of dillinguiflied a-
biUties, and indefatigable in teaching and writins-.
liaving applied themfelves to it; tho' v/hat they
chiefly infilled upon, we fhould not now think of
much value. But it was a great thing to indulge
any freedom of fpeculation, in fuch an age of high
church authority ; and the acutenefs which was ex-
ercifed on logic, me taphyficf, and fucli theology as
was made to accord widi them, prepared the minds
of men for making more accurate and more impor-
tant diftin£lions in a later period.

In the beginning of the twelfth century \Vm.
de Champeaux, bilhopof Chalons, and mailer of
Abelard, obtained the title of column of tutors, tho'
much inferior to his pupil, of whcfe fuccc fs in
teaching mention has been made already. Bat
the moft decifive proof of the attention that was
paid to literature in this age, and of the reputation
Vol, IV, K £C(jui-

146 THE HISTORY OF Per. XVtlti

acquired by it, is the hiftory of Heloifa, whofe
epiftlcs written in latin are fuperior to the other
productions of that age, and worthy of any.

At the head of the fchools was Peter Lombard,
who was made bifhop of Paris in a. d. 1159. He
compofed a work called the book ofjentences, con-
taining a fyftemjOf theology extra£led from^the Fa-
thers ; and it had the fame fuccefs with the woik
of Gratian with refpeft to the canon law. All the
teachers of theology for feveral centuries afterwards
iifed this book as a text, and two hundred and forty
four authors wrote commentaries on it. Before
this time it had been the cullom to explain all ques-
tions in theology by the philcfophy of Ariflotle,
which was thought to have led many perfons into
errors, as Rofcellin, Abelard and Gilbert de Po-
lee. St. Bernard was alio a zealous oppofer of
the fcholaftics, who were alfo attacked by the mo-
dern myftics, as well as the advocates for the old
divinity. MoJJieim, Vol. 1, p. 428,

Pope Alexander III, in a council held at
Rome A. D. 1 179, ordered the erefting new fchools
in the monafteries and cathedral churches, and
reftoring to their primitive luftre thofe which, thro'
the floth or ignorance of the monks or bifhops, had
fallen into ruin. But fuch was the celebrity of the
fchools eftablifhed at Salerno, Bologna, Paris, and
Montpellier, that the epifcopal and monallie


Iec.xi. the christian church. Uf

fchools were deferted, and funk into total oblivi-
on, lb. Vol. 2, p. 378.

The Arabic fchools in Spain were alfo much
frequented by chriftians. Peter the abbot of Clug-
hi travelled to Toledo, and tranflated into latin
ifhe Koran, and the life of Mahomet. lb. p. 385.

About the year a. d. 1176, Peter Comeflor, a
prieft of Troyes, and afterwards chancellor of the
church of Paris, publifhed an ecclefiaftical hiftory
from the creation to the time of the apoftles, a
work which, tho' very imperfeQ;, and abounding
with falfe interpretations of Icripture, was for three
hundred years confidered as a body ofpolitive*
theology, equal to the works of Gratian and Peter
Lombard. Having for lome time prefided in the
fchools of theology at Paris, he retired to St. Vic-
tor, and died in a. d. 1179.

In this period the ftudy of the cix)il law, or
the Roman jurisprudence, came into vogue, in
confequence of the difcovery of a copy of Juftini-
an's Pandedts at Amalphi, when it was conquered
by Roger king of Sicily, the emperor Lothaire,
and the Pifans in conjunftion. This was thebefl
fyftem of the civil law, and being publilhed by tha
order of Lothaire, it was publicly taught at Bo-
logna and other places • and as all literature was
in the hands of the clergy, and they found the ge-
neral maxims of the civil law favourable to their

K. 2, power,


power, this fyftem was in a great meafure adopted
by mofl chriftian Hates, and taught in conjuii6lion
with the canon law. England was perhaps the
only country, that had at any time been fubjeft
to the Romans, which retained its antient laws
without any mixture of the civil.

3. Afew particulars relating to the cufloms and
difcipline of the church in this period are deferving
of notice.

It appears by the letters of pope Pafcal II,
that, in his time, young children were not only bap-
tized, but received the communion; and it alfo ap-
pears by the writings of Hugh Vi6lor, a famous
teacher who died in a. d. 1142, that the eucharift
was given to them in both kinds, the wine being
given to them by dipping the finger in it, and put-
ting it into their mouths^ But at a council held
at London in a. d. 1175, ^' ^^^ forbidden to give
the bread dipped in the wine, on the pretence of
making the communion more complete ; it hav-
ing by this means become cuflomary, at leafl in
fome places, to give the bread only, that being the
natural confequence of the doSrine of this bread
being the real body of Chrift, which of courfe
could not be deflitute of blood.

Gui Pare, the pope's legate in Germany, being
at Cologn in a. d, 1201, dire6led the people to
proflrate themfelves at the found of a bell during



the elevation of the hoft, andalfo that a bell fliould
he founded when it was carried in procefTion, in
grder to warn the people to adore it ; and in time
thefe pradlices became univerfal ; having been the
natural confequence of confidering this hofl as the
lame thing with Chriil himfelf in pe^fons, and tha^
perfon no lefs thaai God.

In thij. period the feftival oi the eonccption cj
the Virgin Mary was introduced by the people of
Lyons. Bernard v;rote to them to fhew his difap-
probation of the novelty, at the fame time that he
approved of the feflival of his nativity and agump'
tion. Sxhe had the privilege, he faid, of living
without Gn, but not that of being born without the
taint of original fin, which was peculiar to Chiift.

The obfervance of Sunday, as a day of reft
from all labour, was gradually introduced among
chriflians, and required to be enforced by feveral
orders of councils. Euilache, a difciple of Neu-
ville, a famous itererant preacher, authorifed by
the pope, came to England in this period, and
preached at York ; perfuading the people to have
no fairs mi fundays, but to reft from all fervilc
work from noon on faturdays till fun- rife on Mon-
day ; but king John was offended at it, and order-^
ed the markets to be kept on fundays as before.

In this period interdids had been much abu«
fed, and even found to be attended with many in-

K 3 conveai-^


conveniences, and in confequence of it, in a. d,
1195, the pope recommended particular and nofc
general interdicts ; becaufe, as he faid, Vt^hen there
was no public worfhip, the heretics took advan-
tage ot it to feduce the people.

To give a better idea of the fpirit of the religi-
on that prevailed in this period, it may not be
amifs to mention the particulars of the penance
appointed by pope Innocent III, for the murder
of the bifliop of Virfburg in a. d. 1203, who was
killed by two knights, his own vafTals, named Ba-
den and Henry. Being driven out of the country-
after having been excommunicated, they went and
fubmitted themfelves to the pope, who impofed
upon them the following penance. Never to ap-
pear in arms except againfl the Saracens or for felf
defence, never to wear green [petit gris) or ermine^
or any coloured cloth, never to attend at any public
fpedacle; not to marry again if they fhould lofe their
wives; to go as loon as poffible to the holy land, to
ferve there four years againfl the Saracens, and ia
going thither to walk barefoot, and clothed in wool,
like public penitents ; to fail on bread and water
on wednefdays and fridays, ember week, and vi-
gils, to have three falls, viz. before eafter, whitfun-
tide, and chriftmas, and never to eat flefh but on
-thofe feftivals; to chaunt an hundred paternofters,
^nd njjake a hundred genuflexions every day ; nqt


to receive the euchaiill but at the point of deaths
When they fhould be beyond the fea they fhould
faft on wednefdays and fridays, and the other
days on which flefh meat was allowed in Eafter,
and never eat flefh but on fundays and thurfdays.
When they were in fafety in any city in Germany,
diey fhould go to the great church nalced except
in drawers, a halter about their necks, and rods in
their hands, with which the canons fhould give
them difcipline. If any perfon fhould aflc the
reafon of it, they we»*e to fay, it was for the expiar
tion of their crime. Bemg returned from beyond
the fea, they were to prefent themfelves to the
pope to receive his farther orders. The letter
which contains an account of this penance was da-,
ted the l8th of April, a. d. 1203.

4. Inflances of grofs fuperflition may be ex-
pe6led in this period, the whole hiftory exhibit-^
ing little elfe. I Ihall however, give a few of a
particular kind. At a council at Beauvais in a.
1114, two brothers having been apprehended on a
charge of herefy, one of them confefTed. but the other
was tried by being thrown into the water ; and not
finking, he was judged to be guilty. The idea was
that the devil, or fome evil fpirit being v>rithin them,
they were thereby rendered fpecifically lighter than
water, and therefore could not fink in it. At the
fame time two other perfons who came to fee these

K 4 l)rother^


brothers were apprehended ; and while the bifhops
v.'erede^liberating on their cafe, thepopuLice rufhed
into the prifon, and burned them alive without
the city.

So gicat was the fuperflitious regard for rer
lies, that they wera caj'ricd from place to place, as
an inilrument of raifmg money. In order to raife a
fum to rebuild the cathedral church of Laon in
France, the people carried not only about France
but in England alfo, the relicks which had been
faved when it had been burned down ; and mira-
cles being faid to be wrought by them, a great fum
was collefted.

Of fuperflition leading to the commiffion of
crimes we had fome remarkable inftances in the
preceding period. There occurs one no lefs fo
in this. As St. Laurence, bifhop of Dublin, was
advancincr to the altar in the church of Canterbury,
at the time of folemn mafs in a. d. 1179, a man
who was prefcnt, hearing that he was a faint, thought
it would be meritorious to make him a martyr,
like St. Thomas Becket ; and with a great bludge-
on he knocked him down. The prelate, however,
recovered, and by his intreaty the pious aflaflin

was fpared.

Arnidfl the lamentable fuperflition of thefe

times, hurtful no doubt to good morals, we per-
ceive the e.\ccllait ilamina of chrifiianity in the



quePtions propofed to dying perfons, and the an-
fwers expeded to be made to them, fuppofed to be
drawn by Anfelm. We find them in difFerent
forms in different authors, but much to the fame
purpofe. One of the forms is as follows. Qu. Do
you beheve all the articles of the chrillian faith ?
An. I beheve them. you rejoice that you.
die in the faith of a chrillian ? An. I do rejoice in
it. Ou. Do you not acknowledge that you have
offended God ? An. I do, and am forry for it.
Ou. Do you refolve to abftain from all mortal fin,
for the luture ? An. By the help of God I do.
Ou. Do you believe that you fhall arrive at a flate
of glory by the merits and paffion of Jefus Chriil,
and not by your own works ? An, I do. PiBet,

A. D. 1109.

5. Public tournaments, often ending in blood-

fhed, were juflly off^nfive to the church/ They

>vere forbidden at a council at Rheims in a. d.

1131, as endangering both the body and the foul.

They were alfo forbidden at the council :of Late-

ran in a. d. 1139; but tho' thefe prohibitions

were frequently repeated, they had no eff^Q:, the

practice continuing four hundred years. At this laff

mentioned council, the ufe ofcrofsbows andalfoof

lon<j bows was forbidden a;7aiDf}; chriftians and

catholics, being probably deemed too deftru£live


K 5 6. At


6. At the fame council thofe who were theo
<;alled Brabancons or Routiers, who ferved any
prince for pay, and were of different nations, tho*
perhaps principally from Brabant, as their name
feem to intimate, men who lived without any reli-
gion, were excommunicated; and orders were given
that they lliould not be abfolved till they had re-
iiounced their pernicious fociety. It would have
been happy if the terrors of fuperflition had always
been employed for fuch purpoies as thefe.

7. The number of lepers was prodigioufly in-
creafed in the Weft, by means of the communica-
tion with the Eaft in the crufades. At the time
of the council of Lateran in a. d. 1129, the le-
pers, as they could not attend public worfhip in
company vv-ith other chriftians, were allowed to
have churches and priefts of their own ; and this
is the firfl public aO: that we meet with concern-
ing lepers.

Another effect of the crufades was the union
of the Maronites, who lived about mount Lebanon,
and who had been Monothelites, to the latin church,
by the patriarch of Antioch, in a. d. 1182. They
were then faid to be about forty thoufand perfons.

Q. It will be thought not a little extraordinary,
but it was faid there were fome pagans inMarfeilles .
fo late as in the 13th century. Lavals Hipry of
the reformation in France, Vol, .1. p. 412.


As a faTOurable fpecimen of the literature and
taftc, as well as the piety, of this period, I fliall
prefent my readers with a poem in latin rhyme, in-
titled ratio ad Dominum, written by Hildebert
bifhop of Mans, firft publifhed by archbilhop Ufh-
er, and copied into the Annual Regi/ler for the
year a, d. 1765.

Extra portam jam delatum,
Jam fcEtentem, tumulatum,
Vitta ligat, lapis urget ;
Sed fi jubeshicrefurget.
Jube, lapis revolvetur,
Jube, vitta difrumpetur.
Exiturus nefcit moras,
Poflquam clamas, Exi Jorau

In hoc falo mea ratis,
Infeftatur a piratis,
Hinc alTultus, inde fludlus,
Plinc et inde mors et lu6lus.
Sed tu, bone nauta, veni,
Preme ventos, mare leni ;
Fac abfcedant hi piratas,
Due ad portum, falvarate.

Infaecunda mea ficus,
Cujus ramus ramus ficais,
Incidetur, incendetur.
Si promulgas quod meretur.

^,, Sed hoc anno dimittatur,

:i.'^' Stercoretur


Stercoretur, fodiatur,

Quod fi necdum refpondebit,

Flens hoc loquor, tunc ardebit,

Vetus hoftis in me turif,
Aquis merfat, flammis urit.
Inde languens et affli6lus,
Tibi foli fum reliflus.

Ut hie hoflis evaneseaf,
Ut infirmus convalefcat,
Tu virtutem jejunandi,
Des infiimo, des orandi.

Per hasc duo, Chriflo telle,
Liberabor ab hac pefte,
Ab hacpefte folve mentem,
Facdevotum, pcenitentem.

Da tiraorem, quo projeQo,
De falute nil conjefto.
Da fpem, fidem, charitatem.
Da difcretam pietatem.

Da contemptum terrenorum,
Appetitum fupernorum.
Totum, Deus, in te fpero.
Deus, ex te totum quaero.

Tu laus mea, meum bonum,
Alea cun6ia tuum donum,
Tu folamen in labore,
Medicamen in languore.
Tu in lu6lu mea 1^'ra,


Tu lenimen es in ira ;
Tu in ar£lo liberator,
Tu in lapfu relevator,

Metum prasftas in proveflu,
Spem confervas in defeftu,
Si quis lasdit tu rependis.
Si minatur tu defendis.

Quod eft anceps tu dilTolvis.
Quod tegendum tu involvis.
Tu intrare me non finas
iLfernales officinas.

Ubi maeror, ubi metus,
XJbi foe tor, ubi fletus,
Ubi probra deteguntur,
Ubi rei confanduntur.

Ubi tortor femper cacdens,
Ubi vermis femper edens,
Ubi totum hoc perenne.
Quia perpes mors Gehsan^c,

Me receptet Sion ilia,
Sion David, Urbs tranquiila ;
Cujus faber au6lor lucis,
Cujus portas fignum cnjcis.

Cujus claves lingua Petri,
Cujus cives femper laeti.
Cujus muri lapis vivus,
Cujus cuftos rex feftivus.

In hac urbe lux folennis,



Ver eternurn, pax perennis ;
In hac odor implens coelos,
In hac femper feftum melos;

Non eft ibi corruptela,
Non defeftus, non querela ;
Non minuti, non deformes.
Omnes chrifto funt conformes.

Urbs caeleftis, urbs beata,
Supra petram collocata.
Urbs in portu fatis tuto,
De longinquo te faluto.

Te faluto, te fufpiro,
Te afiFeclo, te requiro,
Quantum tui gratulentur,
Ouam feftive conviventur,

Quis affeftus eos ftringat,
Aut quae gemma muros pingat,
Quis chalcedon, quis jacinftus,
Norunt illi qui funt intus.

In plateis hujus urbis,
Sociatus piis turbis.
Cum Moife, et Elia, '

Pium cantem Alleluia. "





- ' "I

From the taking of Constantinople
BY THE Latins in a. d. 1204, to ths
Termination of the Crusades in a«
a. 1291.


Th€ Hijlory of the Crufades continue d»


HE taking of Conflantinople froni
the Greek emperors, who had always been the fe-
cretoropen enemies of the crufaders, was thought
to be a decifive advantage to Rome, but eventually"
it proved to be the ruin of the whole fcheme. It
alarmed the Mahometan powers and united then?,
at the fame time that it divided the Latin powers,
by giving them too many obje6ls ; and among;
thefe the original one, which was the recovery of
the holy land, (in which there was the moft to be
gained, and the le^ifti to be hazardedj was negleft-




Pope Innocent III, tho' he had many objefti-
ons to the conduft of the crufaders, who had paid
no regard to his flrici prohibitions not to moleft any
chriftian prince, and efpecially the Greek emperor,
\v^s in reality well pleafed with their fuccefs ; and
after fome time thought proper to teftify his appro-
bation of it. In anfwer to a letter which the new
^mperor wrote to him on the occafion, he congra-
tulated him on the event, expreffing his ardent
wifh that the union of the two churches might be
promoted by it. With this view he infiRed large-
ly in his letter to the bifhops, on the chief arti-
cles of difference between them, viz. the proceflTion
of the holy fpirit. If, he obferved, this was from
the Father only, and not from the Son alfo, he
would not have the fame affeclion for the Son as
for the Father, which would be inconfiftent with
the perfect equality of the divine perfons. He
€xpreffed his concern, however, to find that even
the chriftians in Palelline left that country, and
went to Conllantinople, after making a truce of
fix years with the Mahometans.

The Latins being now in poireffiou of Conllan-
tioople, a latin patriarch was chofen for that city,
and the Greek patriarch retired to Thrace. But
this was far from promoting any real union of the
two churches. On the contrary, this conqueft, and
ihe behaviour of the conquerors, made the breach
wider Itian before, Aiemeri


Aimeri de Lufignan, king of Cyprus and Je-
rufalem, dying in a. d. 1205, and Ifabella his wi-
dow, in whofe right he had held the kingdom, dy-
ing A. D, 1210, her daughter Mary married John
de Brienne, commonly called king of Acre, be-
caufe that was his place of refidence, and his do-
mmious did not extend much farther.

Satisfied with the conquell of Confiantitiople,
it was fome time before the chriftians in the Weft
tho'ight it neceffary to fend any forces into the
Edl; but they were excited to it by the zeal of
a great number of boys and fome girls, who in a.
D. 1212 took the crofs in France and Gerrnany,
but without any chief or plan of conduft. Many
of them were confined by their parents, but othei-s
made their efcape, and in purfuit of their objcQ:,
wandeiiug in the deferts, periflied miferably.
Some, however, pafTed the Alps, but the Lombards
plundering them, they returned with fhame to their
refpeftive homes.

The pope heanng of this, faid, " Thofe chil-
" dren reproach us. They ran to the fucrour of
the holy land, while we are flecping ;" and in a,
D. 1213 he publifhed a bull for the convocation
of a general council, to meet in tvv^o years for the
reformation of abufes, and the fuccour of the holy
land. The fame year he publifhed another bull,
which refpefted the crufade only. In this he fays,
Vol. IV, L, «« We


" We hope that the power of Mahomet will footi
" come to an end, fmce he is the beaft in the Reve-
*' lation, whofe numberis fixhundredand fixty fix
" years, and fix hundred years are now nearly expi-

Online LibraryJoseph PriestleyA general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 30)