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which the regular clergy (as they now became) gained all that the most aspiring could have looked forward to in theological and political distinction, while their secular brethren received the support,—which at no time did their disorganized state more greatly need, -of a body of learned, zealous, and practical coadjutors, who set themselves at once and earnestly to work in reestablishing the failing authority of the clergy over the nations of Europel. Thus it was that in the beginning suis omnibus vitam semper agere solebat. Unde ab illo omnes loci ipsius antistites usque hodie sic episcopale exercent officium, ut, regente monasterium abbate quem ipsi cum consilio Fratrum elegerint, omnes presbyteri, diaconi, cantores, lectores, cæterique gradus ecclesiastici monachicam per omnia cum ipso episcopo regulam servent. Quam vivendi normam multum se diligere probavit beatus papa Gregorius, cum, sciscitante per litterulas Augustino, quem primum genti Anglorum episcopum miserat, qualiter episcopi cum suis clericis conversari debeant, respondit inter alia, 'Sed quia tua fraternitas monasterii regulis erudita seorsum fieri non debet a clericis suis, in ecclesia Anglorum, quæ auctore Deo nuper adhuc ad fidem producta est, hanc debes conversationem instituere, quæ initio nascentis ecclesiæ fuit patribus nostris, in quibus nullus eorum ex his quæ possidebant aliquid suum esse dicebat, sed erant illis omnia communia.'” See also his Epist. ad Ecgbert, $ 6.

1 Examples of this union occur in the Excerptiones of Ecgbert, archbishop of York (Thorpe, Anc. Luws, p. 331): "Abbates pro humilitatis religione in episcoporum potestate consistant, et si quid extra regulam fecerint ab episcopis corrigantur; qui semel in anno, in loco ubi episcopus elegerit, accepta vocatione conveniant. * * Ipsi autem [monachi], qui fuerint pervagati, cum auxilio episcopi tanquam fugaces sub custodia revocentur.” Can. LXIII. Aurelian. “Si extiterit abbas divinis jussionibus prævaricator regulæque sanctæ contemptor, ab episcopo civitatis cum consensu abbatum aliorumque monachorum timentium Deum honore abbatis privetur. Convenit enim episcopum civitatis, ut sancta et magna

of the eighth century the monastic orders, whom the fifth century had seen yet excluded from ordination and appertaining rather to the laity than to the clergył, found themselves in possession of all the great episcopal seats, and the supreme ecclesiastical authority throughout the civilized world. · If we, on the other hand, cast our eye down the page of history to the age of Dunstan and his followers in England, we shall be made aware how dark is the reverse of so fair a picture.

But we have already devoted too much space to the internal influence of the clergy, and the benefits which , may indisputably be referred to their action on the masses of an undeveloped society. It is fitting that we now direct our attention to the effects of priestly interference with the political institutions and authorities of the same period.

So mighty was the power of the mere name of Rome on the rude tribes instrumental in its fall, that every paltry chief, whom the chances of Western conquest exalted into an independent sovereign, comes before us assuming, along with a fraction of the Roman territory, some travestied resemblance of Imperial dignity and

sinodus Calcedonensis decrevit, competentem monasteriorum providentiam gerere.Can. LXV. 'Episcoporum' (cod. Apostolorum).

In Augustine's time the distinction between monks and clergy was so strong, that he could say (Ep. 60), “Et ipsis enim facilis lapsus et ordini clericorum fit indignissima injuria, si desertores monasteriorum ad militiam clericatus eligantur, cum ex his qui in monasterio permanent non tamen nisi probatiores atque meliores in clerum assumere soleamus”; and more in the same strain.

titles. Now we have already seen that, previous to the re-establishment of extended political power, the clergy, insulated from all secular connexion with Rome, became an integral and in most cases a leading part of the municipalities to which they happened to belong; for the innumerable members of the European hierarchy, although they might maintain an uncertain communication with the power ecclesiastical in Italy, were assuredly bound to them by no common political tie. The barbarian monarchs, on the other hand, were not slow to discover that of all the engines of government possessed by the Emperors whom they mimicked there was not one capable of exerting so profound an influence, for good or for evil, as the Christian clergy. Accordingly, we soon discover that in exact proportion to the strength of Imperial traditions, and the care displayed in preserving Imperial forms, was the authority claimed at first by the

Do comma in Italy


Bishops of Rome, before whose frown remote ecclesiastical dignitaries already trembled as they acknowledged their spiritual supremacy over the flock of Christ, were compelled to submit to the commands, imperious in fact, though often couched in the most submissive terms, imposed on them by the Teutonic conquerors of Italy. The letter, for example, of the Ostrogoth Athalaric to Pope John II., (to which we have already alluded *,)

· See, for instance, the description of Theodoric II. by Sidonius Apollinaris (Ep. i. 2).

. At the same time, although this is the usual tone assumed

against simony in episcopal elections, assumes a tone of command very different from the filial respect with which the contemporary monarchs of France or Spain would have addressed their less aspiring prelates. In a word, during these the primitive ages of barbaric royalty, when the influence of the clergy over the sovereign was that of mind over brute force, priestly power was necessarily most important where the intellectual gloom was thickest; and however much weight we may attach to the commonplaces which assert the demoralizing and enervating effect of excessive clerical domination, we must confess that it is to the influence of sacerdotal advisers that must be referred whatever progress towards a more perfect political system contemporary history and legislation reveal to us during the period we are considering 1. The clergy, possessing as they did a practical knowledge of the old Roman Law, were alone found capable of adapting to the countless requirements of a land old in civilization the clumsy barbaric codes of the interior of Germany.

towards the Holy See by the Romanized barbarians, the exact relations of spiritual and secular power, previously to the age of Hildebrand, seem to have depended rather on the character of individual popes and monarchs than on any fixed ideas of supremacy entertained by one or the other of the two powers.

i Clovis gave St Remigius as much land as he could compass while the king was saying his mid-day prayer, ‘yielding in this matter to the prayer of the queen and the desire of the inhabitants, who complained of being overburdened with exactions and contributions,’ (Frodoard. Hist. Eccl. Rem. i. 14, ap. Guizot. Coll. des Mém. v. 51, Couvenier, p. 69);—the Church, as usually in the middle ages, being the better landlord.


We have already observed the evident marks of clerical hands in the prefaces to the revised editions of the ancient Frankish Laws, and the earliest capitularies of the Merovingian monarchs betray the same powerful influence. The first constitution* of a Frank sovereign which has come down to us is an exhortation to the final extirpation of lingering idolatrous customs from the land; and the most cursory perusal of the edicts promulgated by the immediate successors of Clovis will convince us how large a share of the legislative energies of the State was occupied in providing for the discipline and pecuniary interests of the Church ;-a fact which can scarcely be attributed to any other cause than the overwhelming weight of priestly advisers with the sovereign and the nation. Again, if any deductions may be drawn from verbal niceties among a barbarous people, we find that in the treaty of Andelot, between Guntramn king of Burgundy and Childebert II. (A.D. 587) †, not only are religious phrases and ecclesiastical stipulations introduced in an abundance which betrays the hand of a clerical secretary, but in the mention of the royal advisers the sacerdotal functionaries take precedence of the secular ones. Indeed it hardly needed such evidence as this to peksuade us that an enlightened and acute priesthood among a politically ignorant nation must soon attain a power not confined to spiritual things alonel,

* Const. Childeberti de abolendis Reliquiis Idololatriæ, A.D. 554. (ap. Baluz. Cap. Reg. Fr. [t. i. coll. 5—8.])

+ Baluz. Capit. Reg. Franc. t. i. coll. 1–16. i The dispute between Clothaire and his son Dagobert as to the

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