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Constantinople; but it does not appear that the western Church generally regarded either party as heretical, or refused communion with them.
In the ninth century a dispute arose between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople about the province of Bulgaria, which each claimed. This was heightened by the controversy in the case of Photius, who had been made patriarch of Constantinople when Ignatius, the last patriarch, was expelled from his see by the emperor, and deposed by a synod of 318 bishops, by whom Photius was acknowledged patriarch. The Roman see took part with Ignatius, and deposed Photius, who retaliated by deposing the bishop of Rome: but after a time he was expelled, and Ignatius restored by another emperor. The majority of the eastern Church, however, adhered to Photius; and on the death of his rival Ignatius, he was again placed in his see by a synod of 383 bishops, in 879, with the approbation of pope John VIII. The latter consented to his restoration, on condition that Bulgaria should be transferred to the Roman jurisdiction, but this transfer was opposed by Photius and his successors; and though he became, in consequence, very obnoxious to the popes, who withdrew their communion from him, the communion of the universal Church was not seriously affected, and the two rival Churches afterwards remained in communion till 1054.
In this year, however, a division began between the eastern and western Churches, which has never yet been entirely healed. For when Cerularius, bishop of Constantinople, wrote to the bishop of Trani, in Italy, condemning several of the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Church, and shut up the Latin churches and monasteries of Constantinople, the legate of the Roman see, Cardinal Humbert, insisted
on his implicit submission to the pope; and, on his refusal, left an excommunication on the altar of his patriarchal church of St. Sophia at Constantinople. And as the eastern Churches adhered to Cerularius, and the western to the Roman see, they gradually became estranged from each other, though for many ages some communion still existed between them.
I have thus endeavoured to trace briefly the principal features in ecclesiastical history from the beginning to the division of the eastern and western Churches, and to shew that in every age the Church of God still existed, notwithstanding all the temptations of the devil, the world, and the flesh. It will next be my endeavour to carry on the same plan from the division of the East and West to the Reformation.
ON THE PROGRESS OF CHRISTIANITY.
HE period under consideration is chiefly remarkable as exhibiting the progress of the division between the eastern and western Churches, and the rise and in
crease of the prodigious spiritual and temporal power of the
It was the unreasonable claims of this power which separated the eastern from the western Church, and which still continues to be the great obstacle to their re-union. The spirit of worldliness, of craft, cruelty, and avarice, which so often disgraced professing Christians, and even ministers of Christ, in these ages, was but too faithfully copied from the example of the pretended
heads of the universal Church; while the ancient laws and liberties of churches, the rights of kings, and the sound discipline of the Church, were without scruple invaded and subverted by these imperious pontiffs. But we should remember that the visible Church was now becoming co-extensive with the world, and therefore that "it was impossible but that offences should come.” The good seed was now mingled thickly with tares, and the love of many waxed faint: but still there was a remnant left; still the Church, however afflicted, might point to new evangelists and saints, and behold the verification of our Saviour's promises.
The great work of evangelising the heathen was continually proceeding, and the zeal and piety of the early missionaries were occasionally revived. In 1124, Boleslaus, duke of Poland, having subjugated the duchy of Pomerania, and wishing to introduce Christianity into that country, invited St. Otto, bishop of Bamberg, to preach the Gospel there, informing him that the people had consented to be baptised, and that he should be aided and assisted in every way by the sovereign power. St. Otto having learnt that the Pomeranians were wealthy and despised poverty, went into that country with a considerable train, and with every thing that could convince the natives that he came not to derive any pecuniary advantage, but solely to win their souls. At the town of Pirits, where they first proceeded, about four thousand men were assembled from all parts to keep the feast of one of their idols. The principal inhabitants of the place were informed by one of the duke's officers of the approach of the bishop, and of the commands of their sovereign that he should be received and heard with respect. The officer added, " that this prelate was a great and wealthy man in his own country; that he sought
none of their goods, but only their salvation; that they ought to remember their promise to become Christians, and the sufferings they had experienced in war, and not to provoke again the anger of God.” After some demur, the pagans, finding that St. Otto was close at hand, agreed to hear him; and the bishop then came with all his company and encamped outside the town, where the barbarians ran in great numbers to behold and assist them. St. Otto then ascended an elevated place, adorned with all his episcopal vestments, and by means of an interpreter addressed the people, who were very eager to hear him.
“May ye be blessed of God,” he said, “ for the good reception you have given to us.
You already know, perhaps, the cause which has brought us so far. It is your salvation and your happiness ; for you will be happy for ever, if you will acknowledge your Creator and serve him.” While he thus simply exhorted the people, they all declared that they would receive his instructions. He spent seven days in instructing them carefully, with the assistance of his priests and clergy. Then he ordered them to fast three days, to bathe themselves, and clothe themselves with white garments, to be ready for baptism. He then prepared three baptisteries, for the men, women, and children, respectively. These baptisteries were great wooden vessels sunk in the earth and filled with water. They were surrounded by curtains, and at the part of each where the priest stood, was another curtain. When any one was to be baptised, he came accompanied by his godfather, to whom, on entering the baptistery, he gave his garment, and who held it before his face until the ceremony was concluded. The priest, as soon as he observed any one in the water, drew aside the curtain a little, and baptised him, immersing his head three
times in the water. He then anointed him with chrism, gave him a white garment, and dismissed him. The godfather received him, covered him with his garment, and led him away. In winter, baptism was administered with warm water, in places well heated.
Otto and his companions remained three weeks at Pirits, instructing the converts in the duties of religion, the observance of Sundays and holydays; exhorting them to attend the celebration of the eucharist, and to communicate at least three or four times in the year. He explained to them the sacraments, desired that their children should be brought for baptism at Easter and Whitsuntide, exhorted them to give some of their children to be educated as clergy, and left them a priest to administer the sacraments, whom the people, to the number of seven thousand, received with the greatest joy and devotion.
In the next town he remained six weeks, and baptised so great a multitude, that his alb was often wet with perspiration even to the waist. At another town he was less fortunate. The Pagans fell with fury on him and his attendants. St. Otto was with difficulty saved, after having received many blows and fallen in the mud. At Stettin, the people declared at first that they were satisfied with their old religion, and refused to become Christians; but they afterwards gave hopes that if the duke would remit certain taxes, they might be induced to adopt Christianity. While the negotiation was going on, the bishop and priests, arrayed in their vestments and bearing a cross, preached twice a-week in the market-place, that is, on market-days. The novelty attracted many hearers, and several were converted. On the return of their messengers with a favourable answer from the duke, the inhabitant resolved to