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vived. Indeed, the observance of St. Benedict's rule had, even in the preceding century, become so much relaxed, that Benedict of Anianum was employed to reform a number of monasteries in France and Italy.

The vast possessions which were bestowed on the Church by the sovereigns of the West, and which were held by feudal tenure, obliged bishops and abbots to attend the courts of princes, to absent themselves from their dioceses, and to mingle in scenes of war and civil commotion, which were little consistent with their sacred characters. Hence too arose that mutual interference of Church and State, of which these ages

furnished several examples. Princes seized on the temporalities of churches, kept them vacant to enjoy their revenues, or insisted on the appointment of bishops who were altogether unworthy. On the other hand, the bishops began to assume temporal authority. The council of Toledo, in 681, deposed Wamba, king of the Visigoths, because, as they pretended, he had taken the monastic habit. The emperor Louis le Débonnaire was deposed, and restored again by councils of bishops. When the patriarchs of Rome had obtained from Pepin, Charlemagne, and their successors, considerable grants of territory in Italy, those powerful prelates assumed a still loftier tone of authority, and began to interfere in the disputes and other affairs of princes. Thus Adrian II. forbade the emperor Charles the Bald to possess himself of the dominions of king Lothaire under pain of excommunication, but in this he was resisted by the bishops of France; and when Gregory IV., about 830, had taken part with Lothaire against his father the emperor Louis, and threatened to excommunicate the latter, the bishops of France informed that prelate, that if he came to excommunicate the emperor, he should return home ex

communicated himself; and they even threatened to depose him from his see. It is plain that these bishops had no idea of its being necessary to be at all times in the communion of the bishop of Rome.

The extreme abuses which had arisen in the Churches of France during the ages preceding the time of Charlemagne were vigorously assailed by that illustrious prince. The capitularies or codes of ecclesiastical law of Charlemagne and his successors consisted chiefly of selections from the ancient canons, suited to the condition of the Church at that time: and they were collected and enforced in those large councils of the bishops and peers of his kingdom, which in after-ages assumed the name of parliaments. Most of the synods or councils of the western Church, during this period, were of this mixed character, and decided equally on temporal and spiritual affairs. Such a system was not without serious inconveniences, and could not by any means be recommended as the best model for imitation in other times. The presence of a large body of turbulent barons in the synods of the Church could not contribute much to the peace of their proceedings, or to the enforcement of ecclesiastical discipline. This system, however, was gradually put an end to by the usurpations of the see of Rome, which at the close of this period began to arrogate the power of legislating for all the Church.

A great evil in these times was the facility with which excommunications were denounced. tence, which ought only to be passed on those who have been guilty of most serious offences against God or their brethren, was used on many trifling and unworthy occasions; and hence we need not wonder at the complaints frequently made in those times, that excommunication was disregarded.

The power of the Roman see in the western

A sen

Church was greatly augmented in the ninth century, by the fabrication of a large body of decretal epistles or ecclesiastical laws, which purported to have been written by the popes during the first three centuries, and in which the judgment of all bishops, the holding of all councils, and a right to hear appeals from all ecclesiastical judgments, were claimed for the Roman pontiffs. These epistles, which had been forged in the preceding century, and which are now acknowledged by the most learned Romanists to be mere fabrications, exaggerated to the highest degree the powers and privileges of the popes; and the ignorance of the ninth century prevented any discovery of their falsehood. The bishops of Rome asserted their genuineness, and carried their princi. ples into practice; though the bishops, especially those of France, offered much opposition. Thus the liberties of Churches were gradually invaded, while their discipline was injured by the obstacles thrown in the way of assembling synods and condemning offenders, and by the facility of appeals to a foreign and too favourable tribunal.

The growing influence of the Roman see in the western Churches is shewn by the gradual adoption of the liturgy of that Church. Originally one liturgy was used in Rome, another at Milan, another in Spain, another in Gaul, and another in Britain and Ireland. It seems that the Spanish, Gallican, and British liturgies were all derived from the same parent-stock; and there are reasons for supposing that they owed their origin to the apostle John, or the Asiatic Churches. The African Churches had also peculiar rites of their own. Thus it appears that for six centuries at least the Roman liturgy was not used out of Italy. But Augustine and Boniface carried that liturgy into England and Germany in the seventh and eighth

centuries; and in the ninth, Pepin and Charlemagne, to gratify the bishops of Rome, obliged the clergy of France to adopt it; while in Spain, the ancient Mosarabic liturgy was abolished at the end of the eleventh century by the princes of that country, assisted by the papal legates, and the Roman was received in its stead. Milan alone, in all the West, was able to maintain its ancient rites against those of the dominant Church of Rome. It thus appears that the unity of worship and liturgy which Romanists so often boast of, was altogether unknown in the earlier and purer ages of the Church.

The bishops of Rome gradually acquired power over the metropolitans of the West by conferring on them the pall, which was an ornament originally given to the patriarchs by the Roman emperors, and which from the sixth century the patriarchs of Rome bestowed on those bishops whom they constituted their vicars. This honour became an object of extreme desire to the western metropolitans and bishops; and from the middle of the eighth century, the metropolitans generally began to receive it. But they were obliged to solicit it earnestly, and at length to go to Rome for the purpose; and, in fine, about the end of the eleventh century, was represented by the popes as essential to the discharge of the duties of metropolitans; and this point being gained, the metropolitans were at last compelled to take oaths of obedience to the pope, before they could obtain their palls.




A.D. 680-1054.


URING the period now before us the

rival Churches of Rome and Constantinople had several disputes. When the controversy about images broke

out in the eighth century, Gregory II. and Gregory III. of Rome excommunicated the emperors of the East, and forbade the payment of tribute to them, in consequence of their opposition to images. The emperors in return confiscated the possessions of the Roman see in their dominions, and withdrawing the various Churches of Illyricum, Macedonia, Greece, as well as those of Sicily, Apulia, and Calabria, from the jurisdiction of Rome, subjected them to the see of Constantinople. The three former provinces had been under the see of Rome for about 350 years ; the latter for a much longer time : however, the eastern Church offered no objection to this arrangement, nor was communion interrupted between the East and West on this account, though the bishops of Rome made frequent efforts to obtain a restoration of their authority. Their requests were fruitless, as long as they were addressed to the eastern emperors or Churches ; but when the Normans subdued Sicily and Naples, in the eleventh century, those provinces, after an interval of three centuries, again became subject to the Roman jurisdiction. During the disputes on image-worship, the Roman see was for some time separated from the communion of the Church of

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