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the pontiffs : how John XII. had cut off the nose and tongue of John the Cardinal ; how Boniface had strangled John XIII. ; how John XIV. had been starved to death in the dungeons of the Castle of St. Angelo. He demands, “ To such monsters, full of all infamy, void of all knowledge, human and divine, are all the priests of God to submitmen distinguished throughout the world for their learning and holy lives? The pontiff who so sins against his brother - who, when admonished, refuses to hear the voice of counsel, is as a publican and a sinner.” With a prophetic inspiration of the accusations of the Reformation, he asks, “Is he not Anti-Christ ?” He speaks of him as “the Man of Sin,” “ the Mystery of Iniquity.” Of Rome he says, with an emphasis doubtless enforced by his Mohammedan experiences, “She has already lost the allegiance of the East; Alexandria, Antioch, Africa, and Asia are separate from her ; Constantinople has broken loose from her; the interior of Spain knows nothing of the pope." He says, “How do your enemies say that, in deposing Arnulphus, we should have waited for the judgment of the Roman bishop? Can they say that his judgment is before that of God which our synod pronounced ? The Prince of the Roman bishops and of the apostles themselves proclaimed that God must be obeyed rather than men; and Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, announced anathema to him, though he were an angel, who should preach a doctrine different to that which had been delivered. Because the pontiff Marcellinus offered incense to Jupiter, must, therefore, all bishops sacrifice ?” In all this there is obviously an insurgent spirit against the papacy, or, rather, against its iniquities.
In the progress of the political movements Gerbert was appointed to the archbishopric of Rheims. On, this occasion, it is not without interest that we tical advanceobserve his worldly wisdom. It was desirable to ment. conciliate the clergy-perhaps it might be done by the encouragement of marriage. He had lived in the polygamic court of the khalif, whose family had occasionally boasted of more than forty sons and forty daughters. Well then may he say, “I prohibit not marriage. I condemn not second marriages. I do not blame the eating of flesh.” His election not only proved unfortunate, but, in the tortuous policy of the times, he was removed from the exercise of his episcopal functions and put under interdict. The speech of the Roman legate, Leo, who presided at his condemnation, gives us an insight into the nature of his offence, of the intention of Rome to persevere in her ignorance and superstition, and is an amusing example of ecclesiastical argument: “Because the vicars of Peter and their disciples will not have for their teachers a Plato, a Virgil, a Terence, and the rest of the herd of philosophers, who soar aloft like the birds of the air, and dive into the depths like the fishes of the sea, ye say that they are not worthy to be door-keepers, because they know not how to make verses. Peter is, indeed, a door-keeper—but of heaven!” He does not deny the systematic bribery of the pontifical government, but justifies it. “Did not the Saviour receive gifts of the wise men ?" Nor does he deny the crimes of the pontiffs, though he protests against those who would expose them, reminding them that “Ham was cursed for uncovering his father's nakedness.” In all this we see the beginning of that struggle between Mohammedan learning and morals and Italian ignorance and crime, which was at last to produce such important results for Europe.
Once more Gerbert retired to the court of the emperor. It was at the time that Otho III. was contemplating a revolution in the empire and a reformation of the Church. He saw how useful Gerbert might be to his policy, and had him appointed Archbishop of Ravenna. On the Gerbert the death of Gregory V. he issued his decree for the pope. election of Gerbert as pope. The low-born French ecclesiastic, thus attaining to the utmost height of human ambition, took the name of Sylvester II.
But Rome was not willing thus to surrender her sordid interests ; she revolted. Tusculum, the disgrace of the papacy, rebeller. It required the arms of the emperor to sustain his pontiff. For a moment it seemed as if the Reformation might have been anticipated by many centuries -that Christian Europe might have been spared the abominable papal disgraces awaiting it. There was a learned and upright pope, an able and youthful emperor; but Italian revenge, in the person of Stephania, the wife of the murdered Crescentius, blasted all these expectations. From the hand of that outraged and noble criminal, who, with more than Roman firmness of purpose, could deliberately barter her virtue for vengeance, the unsuspecting emperor took the poisoned cup, and left Rome Poisoning of only to die. He was but twenty-two years of the emperor age. Sylvester, also, was irretrievably ruined and pope. by the drugs that had been stealthily mixed with his food. He soon followed his patron to the grave. His steam organs, physical experiments, mechanical inventions, foreign birth, and want of orthodoxy, confirmed the awful imputation that he was a necromancer. The mouth of every one was full of stories of mystery and magic in which Gerbert had borne a part. Afar off in Europe, by their evening firesides, the goblin-scared peasants whispered to one another that in the most secret apartment of the palace at Rome there was concealed an impish dwarf, who wore a turban, and had a ring that could make him invisible, or give him two different bodies at the same time; that, in the midnight hours, strange sounds had been heard, when no one was within but the pope; that, while he was among the infidels in Spain, the future pontiff had bartered his soul to Satan, on condition that he would make him Christ's vicar upon earth, and now it was plain that both parties had been true to their compact. In their privacy, hollow-eyed monks muttered to one another under their cowls, “ Homagium diabolo fecit et male finivit.”
To a degree of wickedness almost irremediable had things thus come. The sins of the pontiffs were repeated, without any abatement, in all the clerical ranks. Simony and concubinage prevailed to an extent that threatened the authority of the Church over the coarsest minds. Ecclesiastical promotion could in all directions be obtained by purchase; in all directions there were priests boasting of illegitimate families. But yet, in the Church itself there were men of irreproachable protest in the
Commencing life, who, like Peter Damiani, lifted up their Church against
: its sina. voices against the prevailing scandal. He it *** was who proved that nearly every priest in Milan had purchased his preferment and lived with a concubine. The
immoralities thus forced upon the attention of pious men soon began to be followed by consequences that might have been expected. It is but a step from the condemnation of morals to the criticism of faith. The developing intellect of Europe could no longer bear the acts or the thoughts that it had heretofore submitted to. The dogma of transubstantiation led to revolt. The early fathers delighted to point out the agreement
of doctrines flowing from the principles of Primitive
of Christianity with those of Greek philosophy. philosophy For long it was asserted that a correspondence and acces between faith and reason exists; but by degrees as one dogma after another of a mysterious and unintelligible kind was introduced, and matters of belief could no longer be co-ordinated with the conclusions of the understanding, it became necessary to force the latter into a subTheir gradual ordinate position. The great political interests alienation. involved in these questions suggested the expediency and eren necessity of compelling such a subordination by the application of civil power. In this manner, as we have described, in the reign of Constantine the Great, philosophical discussions of religious things came to be discountenanced, and implicit faith in the decisions of existing authority required. Philosophy was subjugated and enslaved by theology. We shall now see what were the circumstances of her revolt.
In the solitude of monasteries there was every inducement for those who had become weary of self-examination to enter on the contemplation of the external world. Herein they found a field offering to them endless occupation, and capable of worthily exercising their acuteness. But it was not possible for them to take the first step The mutiny without offending against the decisions estaagainst theo- blished by authority. The alternative was logy commences among the stealthy proceeding or open mutiny; but before monks. mutiny there occurs a period of private suggestion and another of more extensive discussion. It was thus that the German monk Gotschalk, in the ninth Persecution of century, occupied himself in the profound proGotschalk, blem of predestination, enduring the scourge and death in prison for the sake of his opinion. The presence of the Saracens in Spain offered an incessant provocation to the restless intellect of the West, now rapidly expanding, to indulge itself in such forbidden exercises. Arabian philosophy, unseen and silently, was diffusing itself throughout France and Europe, and churchmen could sometimes contemplate a refuge from their enemies among the infidel. In his extremity, Abelard himself looked forward to à retreat among the Saracens—a protection from ecclesiastical persecution.
In the conflict with Gotschalk on the matter of predestination was already foreshadowed the attempt to set up reason against authority. John Erigena, reason against who was employed by Hincmar, the Archbishop aut.
authority. of Rheims, on that occasion, had already made a pilgrimage to the birthplaces of Plato and Aristotle, A.D. 825, and indulged the hope of uniting philosophy and religion in the manner proposed by the ecclesiastics who were studying in Spain.
From Eastern sources John Erigena had learned the doctrines of the eternity of matter, and even of the creation, with which, indeed, he confounded the John Fricena Deity himself. He was, therefore, a Pantheist; falls into accepting the Oriental ideas of emanation and Panthers absorption not only as respects the soul of man, but like wise all material things. In his work “On the Nature of Things,” his doctrine is, “That, as all things were originally contained in God, and proceeded from him into the different classes by which they are now distinguished, so shall they finally return to him and be absorbed in the source from which they came; in other words, that as, before the world was created, there was no being but God, and the causes of all things were in him, so, after the end of the world, there will be no being but God, and the causes of all things in him.” This final resolution he denominated deification, or theosis. He even questioned the eternity of hell, saying, with the emphasis of a Saracen, “There is nothing eternal but God.” It was impossible, under such circumstances, that he should not fall under the rebuke of the Church.
Transubstantiation, as being, of the orthodox doctrines, the least reconcilable to reason, was the first to be attacked by the new philosophers. What was, perhaps, in the