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the commencement of the custom now under consideration in the reign of Otho the Great; for though this opinion has not the approbation of Lewis Thomassin and Natalis Alexander, yet these learned men, in their deep researches into the origin of investitures, have advanced nothing sufficient to prove it erroneous. We learn also from Humbert," that the emperor, Henry III. the son of Conrad II. was desirous of abrogating these investitures, though a variety of circumstances concurred to prevent the execution of his design; but he represents Henry I. king of France in a different point of light, as a turbulent prince, who turned all things into confusion, and indulged himself beyond all measure in simoniacal practices, and loads him, of consequence, with the bitterest invectives.

In this method of creating bishops and abbots, by presenting to them the ring and crosier, there were two things that gave particular offence to the Roman pontiffs. The first was, that by this the ancient right of election was totally changed, and the power of choosing the rulers of the church was usurped by the emperors and other sovereign princes, and was confined to them alone. This indeed was the most plausible reason of complaint, when we consider the religious notions of these times, which were by no means favourable to the conduct of the emperors in this matter. Another circumstance that grievously distressed the pretended vicars of St. Peter was, to see the ring and crosier, the venerable badges of spiritual authority and ghostly distinction, delivered to the bishop elect by the profane hands of unsanctified laymen; an abuse this, which they looked upon as little better than sacrilege. Humbert, who, as we have already observed, wrote his book against simony before the contest between the emperor and Gregory had commenced, complains“ heavily of this supposed profanation, and shudders to think that that staff which denotes the ghostly shepherd, and that ring

" Qaid

[ See Ludov. Thomassini Disiciplina Eccles. circa Benef. tom. ii. lib. ii. p. 434, and Natal Alexander, Select. Histor. Eccl. Capit. Sæc. xi. xii. Diss. iv. p. 725.

g L. c. cap. vii. p. 780. h See Humbert, lib. iii. contra Simoniac. cap. vi. p. 779, 795. His words are ; ad laicas pertinet personas sacramenta ecclesiastica et pontificalem seu pastoralem gratiam distribuere, camyros scilicet baculos et annulos, quibus præcipue perficitur, militat et innititur tota episcopalis consecratio ? Equidemin camyris baculis ; designatur, quæ eis committitur cura pastoralis. Porro annulus signaculum secretorum cælestium indicat, præmonens predicatores, ut secretam Dei sapientiam cum apostolo dissignent. Quicunque ergo bis duobus aliquem initiant, procul dubio omnem pastoralem auctoritatem hoc præsumendo sibi vendicant."

which seals the mysteries of heaven,' deposited in the bosoms of the episcopal order, should be polluted by the unhallowed touch of a civil magistrate; and that emperors and princes, by presenting them to their favourites, should thereby usurp the prerogatives of the church, and exercise the pastoral authority and power. This complaint was entirely consistent, as we have already observed, with the opinions of the times in which it was made ; for as the ring and the crosier were generally esteemed the marks and badges of pastoral power, and spiritual authority, so he who conferred these sacred badges was supposed to confer and communicate with them the ghostly authority of which they were the emblems.

All these things being duly considered, we shall immediately perceive what it was that rendered Gregory VII. so averse to the pretensions of the emperors, and so zealous in depriving them of the privilege they had assumed of investing the bishops with the ceremony of the ring and crosier. In the first council which he assembled at Rome, he made no attempt indeed against investitures, nor did he aim at any thing farther than the abolition of simony, and the restoration of the sacerdotal and monastic orders to their ancient right of electing their respective bishops and abbots. But when he afterward came to know that the affair of investitures was inseparably connected with the pretensions of the emperors, and indeed supposed them empowered to dispose of the higher ecclesiastical dignities and benefices, he was then persuaded that simony could not be extirpated as long as investitures were in being ; and therefore, to pluck up the evil by the root, he opposed the custom of investitures with the utmost vehemence. All this shows the true rise of the war that was carried on between the pontiff and the emperor with such bitterness and fury.

And to understand still more clearly the merits of this cause, it will be proper to observe, that it was not investitures, considered in themselves, that Gregory opposed with such keenness and obstinacy, but that particular kind of investitures which were in use at this time. He did not pretend to hinder the bishops from swearing allegiance to kings and emperors, nor even to become their vassals; and

i Humbert mistook the spiritual signification of this holy ring, which was the emblem of a nuptial between the bishop and his see.


so far was he from prohibiting that kind of investiture that was performed by a verbal declaration, or a written deed, that on the contrary, he allowed the kings of England and France to invest in this manner, and probably consented to the use of sceptre in this ceremony, as did also after him Callixtus II. But he could not bear the ceremony of investiture that was performed with the ensigns of the sacerdotal order, much less could he endure the performance of the ceremony before the solemn rite of consecration; but what rendered investitures most odious to this pontiff was their destroying entirely the free elections of bishops and abbots. It is now time to resume the thread of our history.

xv." The severe law that had been enacted against Ilitory of the investitures, by the influence and authority of mind Gregory, made very little impression upon Henry.

He acknowledged indeed, that in exposing ecclesiastical benefices to sale, he had done amiss, and he promised amendment in that respect; but he remained inflexible against all attempts that were made to persuade him to resign his power of creating bishops and abbots, and the right of investiture, which was intimately connected with this important privilege. Had this emperor been seconded by the German princes, he might have maintained this refusal with dignity and success; but this was far from being the case ; a considerable number of these princes, and among

others the states of Saxony, were the secret, or declared enemies of Henry ; and this furnished Gregory with a favourable opportunity of extending his authority and executing his ambitious projects. This opportunity was by no means neglected ; the imperious pontiff took occasion, from the discords that divided the empire, to insult and depress its chief ; he sent, by his legates, an insolent message to the emperor at Goslar, ordering him to repair immediately to Rome, and clear himself, before the council that was to be assembled there, of the various crimes that were laid to his charge. The emperor, whose high spirit could not brook such arrogant treatment, was filled with the warmest indignation at the view of that insolent mandate, and in the vehemence of his just resentment, assembled without delay a council of the German bishops at Worms, where Gregory was charged with several flagitious practices, deposed from the pontificate, of which he was

declared unworthy, and an order issued out for the election of a new pontiff. Gregory opposed violence to vio. lence; for no sooner had he received, by the letters and ambassadors of Henry, an account of the sentence that had been pronounced against him, than, in a raging fit of vindictive frenzy, he thundered his anathemas at the head of that prince, excluded him both from the communion of the church, and from the throne of his ancestors, and impiously dissolved the oath of allegiance which his subjects had taken to him as their lawful sovereign. Thus war was declared on both sides; and the civil and ecclesiastical powers were divided into two great factions, of which one maintained the rights of the emperor, while the other seconded the ambitious views of the pontiff. No terms are sufficient to express the complicated scenes of misery that arose from this deplorable schism.

xvi. At the entrance upon this war, the Swabian chiefs, with duke Rodolph at their head, revolted against Henry; and the Saxon princes, whose former quarrels with the emperor had been lately terminated by their defeat and submission, followed their example. These united powers being solicited by the pope to elect a new emperor, in case Henry persisted in his obstinate disobedience to the orders of the church, met at Tribur in the year 1076, to take counsel together concerning a matter of such high importance. The result of their deliberations was far from being favourable to the emperor; for they agreed, that the determination of the controversy between him and them should be referred to the Roman pontiff, who was to be invited for that purpose to a congress at Augsburg the year following, and that, in the mean time, Henry should be suspended from his royal dignity, and live in the obscurity of a private station; to which rigorous conditions they also added, that he was to forfeit his kingdom, if within the space of a year he was not restored to the bosom of the church, and delivered from the anathema that lay upon his head. When things were come to this desperate extremity, and the faction, which was formed against this unfortunate prince, grew more formidable from day to day,

7 k This same Rodolph had, the year before this revolt, vanquished the Saxons, and obliged them to submit to the emperor. Beside the Swabian and Saxon chiefs, the dukes of Bavaria and Corinthia, the bishops of Wurtzbourg and Worms, and several other eminent personages, were concerned in this revolt. VOL. II.


his friends advised him to go into Italy, and impore in person the clemency of the pontiff. The emperor yielded to this ignominious counsel, without however obtaining from his voyage the advantages he expected. He passed the Alps amidst the rigour of a severe winter, arrived, in the month of February, 1077, at the fortress of Canusium, wherethe sanctimonious pontiff resided at that time with the young Mathilda, countess of Tuscany, the most powerful patroness of the church, and the most tender and affectionate of all the spiritual daughters of Gregory. Here the suppliant prince, unmindful of his dignity, stood, during three days, in the open air at the entrance of this fortress, with his feet bare, his head uncovered, and with no other raiment but a wretched piece of coarse woollen cloth thrown over his body to cover his nakedness. The fourth day he was admitted to the presence of the lordly pontiff

, who, with a good deal of difficulty, granted him the absolution he demanded; but as to what regarded his restoration to the throne, he refused to determine that point before the approaching congress, at which he made Henry promise to appear, forbidding him at the same time to assume, during this interval, the title of king, as also to wear the ornaments, or to exercise the functions of royalty. This opprobrious convention excited, and that justly, the indignation of the princes and bishops of Italy, who threatened Henry with all sorts of evils, on account of his base and pusillanimous conduct, and would undoubtedly have deposed him, had not he diminished their resentment by violating the convention which he had been forced to enter into with the imperious pontiff, and resuming the title and other marks of royalty which he had been obliged to lay down. On the other hand, the confederate princes of Swabia and Saxony were no sooner informed of this unexpected change in the conduct of Henry, than they assembled at Forcheim in the month of March, A. D. 1077, and unanimously elected Rodolph, duke of Swabia, emperor in his place.'

xvir. This rash step kindled a terrible flame in Germany

1 The ancicut and modern writers of Italian and German history have given ample relations of all these events, though not all with the same fidelity and accuracy. In the brief account I have given of these events, I have followed the genuine sources, and those writers whose testimonies are tue most respectable and sure, such as Sigonius, Payi, Muratori, Mascovius, Noris, &c. who, though they differ in some minute circumstances, are it wgreed in those matters that arc of the most importance.

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