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ring, which was called the investiture. Thus began the rights of investiture, which was a source of much contention afterwards.
Bishoprics, being virtually at length secular estates, were in some cases transferred, like them, to minors. In 1478, Sextus IV. gave the bishopric of Saragossa to a child six years old. The bishopric of Osnaburg, in Germany, is held alternately by papists and protestants, and was once assigned to the second son of the king of England, while an infant.
In the eighth century, not only private possessions, but royal domains, were made over to ecclesiastics, and monasteries, and thus churchmen became dukes, counts, and mar. quises, and even commanded armies. In France, the parliaments were composed of the bishops in union with the other grandees. In England, bishops and mitred abbots were called
the great councils of the nation with the barAnd to this day, they are admitted to the house of Lords; which is a great anomaly in a free constitution, for receiving their preferment from the court, and having further expectations from it, they will generally be in its interest, and enemies to the rights of the people.
The bishops served in wars. Barbarians being admitted among the clergy, introduced their habits of hunting and fighting. Jortin says, that in the thirteenth century, it was an axiom that the church abhors the shedding of blood. Therefore the bishops and archbishops went to battle, armed with clubs, and made no scruple to knock down an enemy, and beat and bruise him to death, though they held it unlawful to run him through with a sword !
The bishops encroached more and more on the civil power, and gradually controlled princes themselves in the exercise of their proper authority. To this many circumstances contributed, but nothing more than the admission of the great clergy to seats in the assemblies of the State. The ignorance of the laity also gave great power to the clergy. As these were almost the only people who could read or write, they were universally secretaries, stewards, treasurers, &c. Hence the word clerk, which originally signified a clergyman (clericus) came to denote an officer in the law.
The Crusades contributed much to the advancement of the clergy; the Crusaders leaving their estates to their
management, and sometimes selling them, in order to equip themselves for those distant expeditions.
The ceremony of consecration at the crowning of kings, the power of excommunication, even in the cases of princes and emperors, and the wealth which fell to the ecclesiastics from the laity, gave churchmen almost unbounded control.
By degrees they rose so much above the civil powers, that they possessed almost entire impunity in the commission of any crimes however enormous.
in the reign of Henry III. of England, that more than one hundred murders had been committed by clergymen, whom the secular authority could not bring to justice.
The clergy pretended to have jurisdiction in all cases of sin, and thus devised a mantle, which would cover the greater part of human affairs. T made themselves judges in law-suits, in wars; excommunicated those who refused to pay their debts, prescribed the degrees of relationship within which it was lawful to contract marriage, and dictated in all things pertaining thereto. They claimed entire jurisdiction in matters of schism and heresy; in usury, in concubinage.
One circumstance which contributed much to increase the ambition of the clergy was their not being allowed to marry. They were less attached to their respective countries, and hence made the hierarchy their great object. Celibacy was not imposed however without much opposition. That the motive was not a regard to purity, is evident from its being no objection to priests to keep concubines, even publicly. In the dark ages, the profligacy of the clergy perhaps exceeded that of the laity, as the sacredness of their character gave them a kind of impunity. One Fabricius, in the tenth century, complains of the vices and luxury of the clergy thus. They no longer saluted one another with the title of brother, but of master. They would not learn any thing belonging to their ministry, but committed the whole to their vicars. Their study was to have horses, cooks, concubines, buffoons, mountebanks; and they have applied to the emperor for leave to hunt all sorts of wild beasts. All writers agree in giving the most shocking pictures of the depravity of all ranks of men at that period. In the ninth century, the ignorance of the clergy was so
great, that few of them could either read or write. Britain, being removed from the seat of the greatest rapine and profligacy, had a greater proportion of learned clergy than the rest of Europe, in the greatest part of the dark ages; and Ireland had perhaps a greater proportion than Britain, as they had suffered still less by the ravages of the barbarians.
'The very corrupt state of the clergy made the monks, and their monasteries, of great value to the Christian world. With them almost all the learning and piety of those ages had an asylum, till the approach of better times.
In the church of England there is a threefold order of ministers, viz. bishops, priests, and deacons. The deacons may baptize and preach, but not administer the Lord's supper; the priests may administer the Lord's supper, and pronounce absolution ; and only the bishops confirm baptized persons, ordain ministers, and govern the church.
(THE HISTORY OF THE PAPAL POWER.
THE INTRODUCTION. When we consider, that the bishops of Rome were at first nothing more than other bishops, and even in their own church possessed originally no other power than that of admonition and exhortation ; it is truly astonishing to see to what a height of authority the popes, who are no other than their successors, finally attained. From poverty and persecution they rose to be the greatest of princes and persecutors.
The ground of the papal pretensions was that the popes were the successors of Peter, to whom Christ delivered the keys of the kingdom of heaven. But a similar expression was used when he delegated power to the rest of the disciples.-Matt. xviii. 18. Peter certainly never assumed any preeminence over the other disciples. Paul opposed him to his face; and said that he was not a whit behind the rery chiefest apostles. Peter was never probably the proper bishop of Rome, but exercised a general jurisdiction over the church, an office to which none of the apostles appointed any successors at all.
The title of Pope (Papa) which means Father, was not at first peculiar to the bishop of Rome, but was applied to others; thus Cyprian was called the pope of Carthage, and it was not until the seventh century that the bishops of Rome appropriated that title to themselves.
The rise and growth of the papal power presents one of the most astonishing spectacles that history affords, and well deserves to be considered with attention.
OF THE STATE OF THE PAPAL POWER TILL THE TIME OF
The first cause of the increase of power to the popes, was the same that enlarged the authority of the bishops of all the great cities of the empire; in consequence of which they had the power of calling and presiding in the assemblies of bishops within the provinces to which the civil jurisdiction of their respective cities extended. And, by degrees, as has been observed before, they had the power of ordaining the bishops in their provinces, and a negative on the choice of the people.
The bishops of the most important sees were called patriarchs, and the bishop of Rome came to be considered as the first in rank, out of respect to the city in which he presided. The proper authority of the bishop of Rome did not originally extend over the whole even of Italy, but only the southern part of it. The power of the bishops of Rome was much increased by the dignity of their city, and the great wealth and vast revenues of that see. As appeals were made in civil affairs to that place, as the head of the empire, it came to be customary to do it likewise in ecclesiastical disputes. The deference, that was at first voluntary, soon came to be expected, and finally to be insisted on, by the Romish see, and the other churches became its tributaries. The Arian, and other controversies, afforded also 'fine opportunities for the ambitious popes to extend their power. The usurpations were, however, gradual, and the early bishops themselves would no doubt have been shocked, had they seen the length to which their successors
But the papal pretensions did not pass unnoticed or un. resisted. The sixth council of Carthage determined that they would withstand the encroachments of the bishops of Rome on their rights and liberties, and sent word to pope Celestine, lo forbear sending his officers among them, “lest he should seem to introduce the vain insolence of the world into the church of Christ.” Various other councils made decrees to the same effect. But appeals made to Rome from some of the eastern churches paved the way for the attainment of a considerable degree of influence even there.
After the sway of Mahomet was extended over Africa and Asia, there remained only two rival metropolitans, Constan. tinople and Rome. They were in constant variance. As the emperors resided at that time at Constantinople, that see had the advantage over Rome. The patriarch went so far as to assume the title of Oecumenical, or universal bish. op—which was severely condemned by Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome, as blasphemy, a name invented by the devil, and the forerunner of Antichrist. But not more than eighteen years after that time, Boniface III. obtained from the emperor Phocas the exclusive privilege of holding this very title of universal bishop!
It was in the reign of Valentinian III. that by the influence of Leo, the popes gained the greatest accession of power within this period; the emperor extending their authority throughout his dominions, even into Gaul, and ordering that whatever should be done, unauthorized by them, should have no force. The other bishops acquiesced. The popes sent their vicars regularly into the provinces whenever an opportunity occurred, and watched eagerly every chance of enlarging their jurisdiction. Spies and informers were kept by them at the court of Constantinople. And finally, they commissioned officers, called legates, to that see, to solicit at the court all things relating to the faith and peace of the church, against the heretics of the age.
Changes in political affairs, the fall of the Western Empire, and the unprotected state of the people of Rome and the neighboring districts, favored the growth of the papal power. Its pretensions likewise were put upon a broader basis. Leo the Great was the first who claimed jurisdiction over the other churches, as successor to St Peter. In: a synod held at Rome in 494, Gelasius said that the church