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tance, many bishops were appointed to reside among them, schools also were erected, and monasteries founded, that the means of instruction might not be wanting. The same precautions were employed among the Huns in Pannonia, to maintain in the profession of Christianity that fierce people whom Charlemagne had converted to the faith, when, exhausted and dejected by various defeats, they were no longer able to make head against his victorious arms, and chose rather to be Christians than slaves."


VII. Succeeding generations, filled with a grateful sense of the exploits which Charlemagne had performed in the service of Christianity, canonised his memory, and turned this bloody warrior into an eminent saint. In the twelfth century, Frederic I. emperor of the Romans, ordered Paschal II., whom he had raised to the pontificate, to enroll the name of this mighty conqueror among the tutelary saints of the church; and indeed Charlemagne merited this honour, according to the opinions which prevailed in that dark period; for, to have enriched the clergy with large and magnificent donations, and to have extended the boundaries of the church, no matter by what methods, were then considered as the highest merits, and as sufficient pretensions to the honour of saintship; but, in the esteem of those who judge of the nature and characters of sanctity by the decisions of the Gospel upon that head, the sainted emperor will appear to have been utterly unworthy of that dignity; for, not to enter into a particular detail of his vices, the number of which counterbalanced that of his virtues, it is undeniably evident, that his ardent and ill-conducted zeal for the conversion of the Huns, Friselanders, and Saxons, was more animated by the suggestions of ambition, than by a principle of true piety; and that his main view, in these religious exploits, was to subdue the converted nations under his dominion, and to tame them to his yoke, which they supported with impatience, and shook off by frequent revolts. It is, moreover, well known, that this boasted saint made no scruple of seeking the alliance of the infidel Saracens, that he might be more effectually enabled to crush the Greeks, notwithstanding their profession of the Christian religion.

VIII. The many and stupendous miracles which are said to have been wrought by the Christian missionaries, who were sent to convert the barbarous nations, have lost, in our times, the credit they obtained in former ages. The corrupt discipline that then prevailed, admitted those fallacious stratagems, which are very improperly called pious frauds; nor did the heralds of the Gospel think it at all unlawful to terrify or allure to the profession of Christianity, by fictitious prodigies, those obdurate hearts which they could not subdue by reason and argument. It is not, however, to be supposed, that all those, who acquired renown by their miracles, were chargeable with this fanatical species of artifice and fraud; for as, on one hand, those ignorant and superstitious nations were disposed to look upon, as miraculous, every event which had an unusual aspect, so, on the other, the Christian doctors themselves were so

merated by Jo. Alb. Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Latina medii Ævi, tom. i. p. 950.

Vita S. Rudberti in Henric. Canisii Lectionibus antiquis, tom. iii. part. ii. p. 340.-Pauli Debreceni Historia Ecclesiæ Reformat. in Hungar. et Transylvaniâ, a Lampio edita, cap. ii. p. 10.

b Henr. Canisii Lect. tom. iii. par. ii. p. 207.-Walchii Dissert. de Caroli Magni Canonizatione.

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Concerning the Calamitous Events that happened to the Church during this Century.

I. THE eastern empire had now fallen from its former strength and grandeur through the repeated shocks of dreadful revolutions, and the consuming power of intestine calamities. The throne was now become the seat of terror, inquietude, and suspicion; nor was any reign attended with an uninterrupted tranquillity. In this century three emperors were dethroned, loaded with ignominy, and sent into banishment. Under Leo the Isaurian, and his son Constantine, surnamed Copronymus, arose that fatal controversy about the worship of images, which proved a source of innumerable calamities and troubles, and weakened, almost incredibly, the force of the empire. These troubles and dissensions left the Saracens at liberty to ravage the provinces of Asia and Africa, to oppress the Greeks in the most barbarous manner, and to extend their territories and dominion on all sides, as also to oppose every where the progress of Christianity, and, in some places, even to extirpate it. But the troubles of the empire, and the calamities of the church, did not end here: for, about the middle of this century, they were assailed by new enemies, still more fierce and inhuman than those whose usurpations they had hitherto suffered. These were the Turks, a tribe of the Tartars, or at least their descendants, who, breaking forth from the inaccessible wilds about mount Caucasus, overspread Colchis, Iberia, and Albania, rushed into Armenia, and after having subdued the Saracens, turned their victorious arms against the Greeks, whom, in process of time, they reduced under their dominion.

II. In 714, the Saracens crossed the sea which separates Spain from Africa, dispersed the army of Roderic king of the Spanish Goths, whose defeat was principally occasioned by the treachery of their general Julian, and made themselves masters of the greatest part of the territories of this vanquished prince. At that time the empire of the Visigoths, which had subsisted in Spain above three hundred years, was totally overturned by these fierce and savage invaders, who also took possession of all the maritime parts of Gaul, from the Pyrenean mountains to the river Rhone, whence they made frequent excursions, and ravaged the neighbouring countries with fire and sword.

The rapid progress of these bold invaders was, indeed, checked by Charles Martel, who gained a signal victory over them in a bloody action near Poictiers in 732. the vanquished spoilers soon recovered their strength and


Vid. Caroli Testamentum in Steph. Baluzii Capitularibus Regum Francor. tom. i. p. 487.

d See Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, tom. ix. chap. ii. p. 40. Jo. Mariana, Rerum Hispanicarum Hist. lib. vi. cap. xxi.-Renaudot, Historia Patriarch. Alexandrin. p. 253.-Jo. de Ferreras, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. p. 425.

Paulus Diaconus, de Gestis Longobard. lib. vi. cap. xlvi. liii.

their ferocity, and returned with new violence to their de- || vastations. This engaged Charlemagne to lead a formidable army into Spain, in the hope of delivering that whole country from the oppressive yoke of the Saracens : but this grand enterprise, though it did not entirely miscarry, was not attended with the signal success that was expected

from it.a

The inroads of this warlike people were felt by several of the western provinces, beside those of France and Spain. Several parts of Italy suffered from their incursions; the island of Sardinia was reduced under their

Mariana, lib. vii. cap. iii. Bayle's Dictionary, at the article Abderamus. -Ferreras, tom. ii. p. 463.

yoke; and Sicily was ravaged and uppressed by them in the most inhuman manner. Hence the Christian religion in Spain and Sardinia suffered inexpressibly under these violent usurpers.

In Germany, and the adjacent countries, the Christians were assailed by another sort of enemies; for all such as adhered to the pagan superstitions beheld them with the most inveterate hatred, and persecuted them with the most unrelenting violence and fury. Hence, in several places, castles and various fortifications were erected to re strain the incursions of these barbarian zealots.

Henr. de Bunau, Teutsche Keyser-und-Reichs-Historie, tom. i. p 392. Ferreras, tom. ii. p. 506. b Servati Lupi Vita Wigberti, p. 304.




cepted) either Britons or Hibernians, such as Alcuin, Bede,

Concerning the State of Letters and Philosophy Egbert, Clemens, Dungallus, Acca, and others. Charle

during this Century.

1. AMONG the Greeks of this age were some men of genius and talents, who might have contributed to prevent the total decline of literature; but their zeal was damped by the tumults and desolations that reigned in the empire; and while both church and state were menaced with approaching ruin, the learned were left destitute of that protection which gives both vigour and success to the culture of the arts and sciences. Hence few or none of the Greeks were famous, either for elegance of diction, true wit, copious erudition, or a zealous attachment to the study of philosophy, and the investigation of truth. Frigid homilies, insipid narrations of the exploits of pretended saints, vain and subtle disputes about inessential and trivial subjects, vehement and bombastic declamations for or against the erection and worship of images, and histories composed without method or judgment, were the monuments of Grecian learning in this miserable age.

II. It must, however, be observed, that the Aristotelian philosophy was taught every where in the public schools, and was propagated in all places with considerable success. The doctrine of Plato had lost all its credit in the schools, after the repeated sentences of condemnation that had been passed upon the opinions of Origen, and the troubles which the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies had excited in the church; so that Platonism now was almost confined to the solitary retreats of the monastic orders. Of all the writers in this century, who contributed to the illustration and progress of the Aristotelian philosophy, the most eminent was John Damascenus, who composed a concise, yet comprehensive view of the doctrines of the Stagirite, for the instruction of the more ignorant, and in a manner adapted to common capacities. This little work excited numbers, both in Greece and Syria, to the study of that philosophy, whose proselytes increased daily. The Nestorians and Jacobites were also extremely diligent in the study of Aristotle's writings; and from this repository they armed themselves with sophisms and quibbles, which they employed against the Greeks in the controversy concerning the nature and person of Christ.

III. The literary history of the Latins exhibits innumerable instances of the grossest ignorance, which will not, however, appear surprising to such as consider, with attention, the state of Europe in this century. If we except some poor remains of learning, which were yet to be found at Rome, and in certain cities of Italy, the sciences seemed to have abandoned the continent, and fixed their residence in Britain and Ireland. Those, therefore, of the Latin writers, who were distinguished by their learning and genius, were all (a few French and Italians ex



• See Steph. Baluz. Observat. ad Reginonum Prumiensem, p. 540. b Lud. Ant. Muratori. Antiq. Italicæ medii Evi, tom. iii. p. 811. Jac. Usserius, Præf. ad Syllogen Epistolarum Hibernicarum. The reasons that have been used, to prove Charlemagne the founder of the university of Paris, are accurately collected by Du Boulay, Historia

magne, whose political talents were embellished by a considerable degree of learning, and an ardent zeal for the culture of the sciences, endeavoured to dispel the profound ignorance that reigned in his dominions; in which excellent undertaking he was animated and directed by the counsels of Alcuin. With this view he drew, first from Italy, and afterwards from Britain and Ireland, by his liberality, eminent men, who had distinguished themselves in the various branches of literature; and excited the several orders of the clergy and monks, by various encouragements, and the nobility, and others of eminent rank, by his own example, to the pursuit of knowledge in all its branches, human and divine.

IV. In the prosecution of this noble design, the greatest part of the bishops erected, by the express order of the emperor, cathedral schools, (so called from their contiguity to the principal church in each diocese,) in which the youth, set apart for the service of Christ, received a learned and religious education. Those abbots also, who had any zeal for the cause of Christianity, opened schools in their monasteries, in which the more learned of the fraternity instructed such as were designed for the monastic state, or the sacerdotal order, in the Latin language, and other branches of learning, suitable to their future destination. It was formerly believed that the university of Paris was erected by Charlemagne; but this opinion is rejected by such as have studied, with impartiality, the history of this age, though it is undeniably evident, that this great prince had the honour of laying, in some measure, the foundation of that noble institution, and that the beginnings from which it arose may be ascribed to him. However this question be decided, it is certain, that the zeal of this emperor, for the propagation and advancement of letters, was very great, and manifested its ardour by a considerable number of excellent establishments; nor among others must we pass in silence the famous Palatine school, which he erected with a view to banish ignorance from his court, and in which the princes of the blood, and the children of the nobility, were educated by the most learned and illustrious masters of the times."


V. These establishments were not, however, attended with the desired success; nor was the improvement of the youth, in learning and virtue, at all proportioned to the pains that were taken, and the bounty that was bestowed to procure them a liberal education. This, indeed, will not appear surprising, when we consider, that the most learned and renowned masters of these times were men of very little genius and abilities, and that their system of erudition and philosophy was nothing more than a lean and ghastly skeleton, equally unfit for ornament and use. The whole circle of science was composed of, what they

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called, the seven liberal arts, viz. grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; the three former of which they distinguished by the title of trivium, and the four latter by that of quadrivium. Nothing can be conceived more wretchedly barbarous than the manner in which these sciences were taught, as we may easily perceive from Alcuin's treatise concerning them, and from the dissertations of St. Augustin on the same subject, which were in the highest repute at this time. In the greatest part of the schools, the public teachers ventured no farther than the trivium, and confined their instructions to grammar, rhetoric, and logic; they, however, who, after passing the trivium and also the quadrivium, were desirous of rising yet higher in their literary pursuits, were exhorted to apply themselves to the study of Cassiodore and Boethius, as if the progress of human knowledge had been bounded by the discoveries of those two learned writers.


Concerning the Doctors and Ministers of the Church, and its Form of Government during this Century.

I. THAT Corruption of manners, which dishonoured the clergy in the former century, increased, instead of diminishing, in this, and discovered itself under the most odious characters, both in the eastern and western provinces. In the east there arose the most violent dissensions and quarrels among the bishops and doctors of the church, who, forgetting the duties of their stations, and the cause of Christ in which they were engaged, threw the state into combustion by their outrageous clamours and their scandalous divisions, and even went so far as to stain their hands with the blood of their brethren, who differed from them in opinion. In the western world, Christianity was not less disgraced by the lives and actions of those who pretended to be the luminaries of the church, and who ought to have been so in reality, by exhibiting examples of piety and virtue to their flock. The clergy abandoned themselves to their passions without moderation or restraint: they were distinguished by their luxury, their gluttony, and their lust; they gave themselves up to dissipations of various kinds, to the pleasures of hunting, and, what seemed still more remote from their sacred character, to military studies and enterprises. They had also so far extinguished every principle of fear and shame, that they became incorrigible; nor could the various laws enacted against their vices by Carloman, Pepin, and Charlemagne, at all contribute to set bounds to their licentiousness, or to bring about their reformation.d

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Steph. Baluzius, ad Reginon. Prumiensem, p. 563.-Wilkins, Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ, tom. i. p. 90.

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Steph. Baluz. Capitular. Regum Francor. tom. i. p. 189, 208, 275, 493, &c. Julius Cæsar, de bello Gallico, lib. vi. cap. 13. "Druides magno sunt apud eos honore: nam fere de omnibus controversiis, publicis privatisque, constituunt; et, si quod est admissum facinus, si cædes facta, si de hæreditate, si de finibus controversia est, iidem decernunt, præmia pœnasque constituunt: si quis aut privatus aut publicus eorum decreto non stetit, sacrificiis interdicunt.-Druides a bello abesse consueverunt, neque tributa unà cum reliquis pendunt: militiæ vacationem, omniumque rerum habent immunitatem. Tantis excitati præmiis, et suâ sponte multi in

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II. It is, indeed, amazing, that, notwithstanding the shocking nature of such vices, especially in a set of men whose profession required them to display to the world the attractive lustre of virtuous example; and notwithstanding the perpetual troubles and complaints which these vices occasioned; the clergy were still thought worthy of the highest veneration, and honoured, as a sort of deities, by the submissive multitude. This veneration for the bishops and clergy, and the influence and authority it gave them over the people, were, indeed, carried much higher in the west than in the eastern provinces; and the reasons of this difference will appear manifest to such as consider the customs and manners that prevailed among the barbarous nations, which were, at this time, masters of Europe, before their conversion to Christianity. All these nations, during their continuance under the darkness of paganism, were absolutely enslaved to their priests, without whose counsel and authority they transacted nothing of the least importance, either in civil or military affairs. On their conversion to Christianity, they, therefore, thought proper to transfer to the ministers of their new religion, the rights and privileges of their former priests: and the Christian bishops, in their turn, were not only ready to accept the offer, but used all their diligence and dexterity to secure and assert, to themselves and their successors, the dominion and authority which the ministers of paganism had usurped over an ignorant and brutish people.

III. The honours and privileges, which the western nations had voluntarily conferred upon the bishops and other doctors of the church, were now augmented with new and immense accessions of opulence and authority. The endowments of the church and monasteries, and the reve nues of the bishops, were hitherto considerable; but in this century a new and ingenious method was found out of acquiring much greater riches to the church, and of increasing its wealth through succeeding ages. An opinion prevailed universally at this time, though its authors are not known, that the punishment which the righteous judge of the world has reserved for the transgressions of the wicked, was to be prevented and annulled by liberal donations to God, to the saints, to the churches and clergy. In consequence of this notion, the great and opulent, who were, generally speaking, the most remarkable for their flagitious and abominable lives, offered, out of the abundance which they had received by inheritance, or acquired by rapine, rich donations to departed saints, their ministers upon earth, and the keepers of the temples that were erected to their honour, in order to avoid the sufferings and penalties annexed by the priests to transgression in this

disciplinam conveniunt, et a parentibus propinquisque mittuntur." Ta citus (de Mor. Germanorum, cap. 7.) expresses also the power and authority of the priests or Druids in the following terms: 'Neque enim animadvertere, neque vincire, neque verberare quidem, nisi sacerdotibus permissum, non quasi in poenam, nec ducis jussu, sed velut Deo imperante; " and again, cap. ii. Silentium per sacerdotes, quibus et tum coërcendi jus est, imperatur." Helmoldus (Chron. Sclavorum, lib. i. cap. xxxvi.) expresses himself to the same purpose. "Major flaminis quam regis, apud ipsos, veneratio est ;" and again, lib. ii. cap. xii. "Rex apud eos modicæ æstimationis est comparatione flaminis; ille enim responsa perquirit;-rex et populus ad illius nutum pendent." This ancient custom of honouring their priests, and submitting in all things to their decisions, was still preserved by the Germans, and the other European nations, after their conversion to Christianity; and this furnishes a satisfactory answer to the question, how it came to pass that the Christian priesthood obtained in the west that enormous degree of authority, which is so contrary to the positive precepts of Christ, and the nature and genius of his divine religion.

life, and to escape the misery denounced against the || policy which were established among those warlike peowicked in a future state. This new and commodious ple. The kings of these nations, who were employed method of making atonement for iniquity, was the prin- either in usurpation or self-defence, endeavoured, by all cipal source of those immense treasures, which, from this means, to attach warmly to their interests those whom period, began to flow in upon the clergy, the churches, they considered as their friends and clients; and, for this and monasteries, and continued to enrich them through purpose, they distributed among them extensive territosucceeding ages down to the present time." ries, cities, and fortresses, with the various rights and privileges belonging to them, reserving to themselves only the supreme dominion, and the military service of their powerful vassals. This then being the method of governing customary in Europe, it was esteemed by princes a high instance of political prudence to distribute among the biskops, and other Christian doctors, the same sort of donations that they had formerly made to their generals and clients; for it is not to be believed, that superstition alone was always the principle that drew forth their liberality. They expected greater fidelity and loyalty from a set of men who were bound by the obligations of religion, and consecrated to the service of God, than from a body of nobility, composed of fierce and impetuous warriors, and accustomed to little else but bloodshed and rapine; and they hoped also to check the seditious and turbulent spirits of their vassals, and maintain them in their obedience, by the influence and authority of the bishops, whose commands were highly respected, and whose spiritual thunderbolts, rendered formidable by ignorance, struck terror into the boldest and most resolute hearts.

IV. But here it is highly worthy of observation, that the donations which princes and persons of the first rank presented, in order to make expiation for their sins, and to satisfy the justice of God and the demands of the clergy, did not merely consist of those private possessions, which every citizen may enjoy, and with which the churches and convents were already abundantly enriched; for these donations were carried to a much more extravagant length, and the church was endowed with several of those public grants, which are peculiar to princes and sovereign states, and which are commonly called regalia, or royal domains. Emperors, kings, and princes, signalized their superstitious veneration for the clergy, by investing bishops, churches, and monasteries, with princely possessions. Those who, by their holy profession, were appointed to proclaim to the world the vanity of human grandeur, and to inspire the minds of men, by their instructions and their example, with a noble contempt of sublunary things, became themselves scandalous spectacles of worldly pomp, ambition, and splendour; were created dukes, counts, and marquisses, judges, legislators, and sovereigns; and not only gave laws to nations, but also, upon many occasions, gave battle to their enemies at the head of numerous armies of their own raising. It is here that we are to look for the source of those dreadful tumults and calamities that spread desolation through Europe in after-times, particularly of those bloody wars concerning investitures, and those obstinate contentions and disputes about the regalia.

V. The excessive donations that were made to the clergy, and the extravagant liberality that augmented daily the treasures of the European churches, (to which those donations and this liberality were totally confined,) began in this century; nor do we find any examples of the like munificence in preceding times. Hence we may conclude, that these donations were owing to customs peculiar to the European nations, and to the maxims of

a The temporal penalties here mentioned were rigorous fasts, bodily pains and mortifications, long and frequent prayers, pilgrimages to the tombs of saints and martyrs, and the like austerities. These were the penalties which the priests imposed upon such as had confessed their crimes; and as they were singularly grievous to those who had led voluptuous lives, and were desirous of continuing in the same course of licentious pleasure, effeminacy, and ease, the richer sort of transgressors embraced eagerly this new method of expiation, and willingly gave a part of their substance to avoid such severe and rigorous penalties. b Hence, by a known form of speech, they who offered donations to the church or clergy were said to do this for the redemption of their souls; and the gifts themselves were generally called the price of transgression. See Lud. Ant. Muratori Diss. de Redemptione Peccatorum, in his Antiquitates Italicæ medii Evi, tom. v. p. 712.

The account here given of the rise of the clergy to such enormous degrees of opulence and authority, is corroborated by the following remarkable passage of William of Malmesbury (lib. v. de Rebus gestis Regum Angliæ.) "Carolus Magnus, pro contundendâ gentium illarum ferociâ, omnes pene terras ecclesiis contulerat, consiliosissime perpendens, nolle sacri ordinis homines, tam facile quam laicos, fidelitatem Domini rejicere; præterea, si laici rebellarent, illos posse excommunicationis auctoritate et potentiæ severitate compescere.' This is, doubtless, the true reason why Charlemagne, who was far from being a superstitious prince, or a slave to the clergy, augmented so vastly the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff in Germany, Italy, and the other countries where he had

VI. This prodigious accession to the opulence and authority of the clergy in the west began with their head, the Roman pontiff, and spread gradually from him among the inferior bishops, and also among the sacerdotal and monastic orders. The barbarous nations, who received the Gospel, looked upon the bishop of Rome as the successor of their chief druid, or high priest. And as this tremendous druid had enjoyed, under the darkness of paganism, a boundless authority, and had been treated with a degree of veneration, that, through its servile excess, degenerated into terror; so the barbarous nations, on their conversion to Christianity, thought proper to confer upon the chief of the bishops the same honours and the same authority that had formerly been vested in their archdruid. The pope received, with something more than a mere spiritual delight, these august privileges; and lest, upon any change of affairs, attempts might be made to extended his conquests, and accumulated upon the bishops such ample possessions. He expected more loyalty and submission from the clergy, than from the laity; and he augmented the riches and authority of the former, in order to secure his throne against the assaults of the latter. As the bishops were universally held in the highest veneration, he made use of their influence in checking the rebellious spirit of his dukes, counts, and knights, who were frequently very troublesome. For instance, he had much to fear from the dukes of Benevento, Spoleto, and Capua, when the government of the Lombards was overturned; he therefore made over a considerable part of Italy to the Roman pontiff, whose ghostly authority, opulence, and threatenings, were so proper to restrain those powerful and vindictive princes from seditious insurrections, or to quell such tumults as they might venture to excite. Nor was he the only prince who honoured the clergy from such political views; the other kings and princes of Europe acted much in the same manner, and from the same principles, as will appear evident to all who consider, with attention, the forms of government, and the methods of governing, that took place in this century: so that the successive augmentation of sacerdotal opulence and authority, which many look upon as the work of superstition alone, was, in many instances, an effect of political prudence. We shall consider, presently, the terrors of excommunication, which William of Malmesbury touches but cursorily in the latter words of the passage above quoted.

d Cæsar speaks thus of the chief or arch-druid: "His omnibus druidibus præest unus, qui summam inter cos (Celtas) habet auctoritatem.

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