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Of gold and silver ye have made your god;
Differing wherein from an idolater

But that he worships one, a hundred ye?'
Four of them, of his own day, he locates in hell, and makes the

last say:

Under my head are dragged
The rest, my predecessors in the guilt

of simony.' Stretched at their length they lie.' To the ambition of the Papacy a spirit of resistance, especially in England, had not been wanting: William the Conqueror, asserting the royal supremacy, had sternly refused to do fealty for his throne, and exacted homage from bishops as from barons. While the effect of his policy had been to weld the English Church more firmly with Rome -a dependence from which it had hitherto been preserved by its insular position - he had vigorously maintained the subjection of the ecclesiastical to the civil. Henry II, vindicating the authority of the state, had required that every priest degraded for his misdeeds should be given up to the civil tribunals. Edward I had compelled the clergy to pay taxes and forbidden bequests to any religious bodies without the king's license. Pillaged by the pope upon every slight pretence, without law and without redress, chafed by the immunities of the mendicant orders, the clergy came to regard their once paternal monarch as an arbitrary oppressor. The venality and avarice of pope, clergy, and mendicants, were sapping the ancient reverence of the people for each. Among the laity, a spirit of inveterate hatred had grown up, not only towards the papal tyranny, but the whole ecclesiastical system. It was complained that English money was pouring into Rome; that the best livings were given by the Roman See to non-resident strangers; that the clergy, being judged only by the clergy, abandoned themselves to their vices, and abused their state of immunity. In the first years of the reign of Henry III, a hundred murders were committed by priests then alive. Walter Map, a bright man of the world, with a high purpose in his life, had personified the prevalent corruption under the assumed name of a gluttonous dignitary,-- Bishop Golias," who confesses the levity of his mind, its lustful desires; recalls the tavern he has never scorned, nor will till the angels sing his requiem; images

Buying or selling ecclesiastical preferment.

9 From gula, the gullet.

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the heavens opening upon him as he lies intoxicated, too weak to hold the wine cup he has put to his lips, so dying in his shame: “What I set before me is to die in a tavern; let there be wine put to my mouth when I am dying, that the choirs of the angels when they come may say, “The grace of God be on this bibber! Golias' poetry became a fashion, and the earnest man of genius had plenty of co-laborers.

We must think of these things if we would understand the deep union that subsists between literature and religion, if we would comprehend the signs of the times and the voices of the future, or interpret the countless crowd of quaint and often beautiful legends which, while they witness to the activity of the time, reveal, better than decrees of councils, what was realized in the imagination or enshrined in the heart.

We must think of them, too, if we would understand that grand awakening of reason and conscience which is the Reformation. Every great change has its root in the soul, long preparing, far back in the national soil. Already have we had premonitory throes of the moral earthquake. We shall see the storm gather and pass, once and again, without breaking. The discontent will spread. The welling spring, despite the efforts to repress it, will bubble and leap, till its surplus overflows, bursting asunder its constraint. While men of low birth and low estate are stealing by night along the lanes and alleys of London, carrying some dear treasure of books at the peril of their lives, the finger that crawls around the dial plate will touch the hour, and the mighty fabric of iniquity will be shivered into ruins.

But amid the sins and failings of the Church, let us not forget the priceless blessings she bestowed upon mankind. The inundations of barbarian invasion left her a virgin soil, and made her for a long period the chief and indeed the sole centre of civilization,- the one mighty witness for light in an age of darkness, for order in an age of lawlessness, for personal holiness in an epoch of licentious rage.

She suppressed the bloody and imbruting games of the amphitheatre, discouraged the enslavement of prisoners, redeemed captives from servitude, established slowly the international principle that no Christian prisoners should be reduced to slavery;

created a new warrior ideal,- the ideal knight of the Crusades and chivalry, wedding the Christian virtues of humility and tenderness with the natural graces of courtesy and strength, rarely or never perfectly realized, yet the type and model of warlike excellence to which many generations aspired.

She imparted a moral dignity to the servile class, by introducing into the ideal type of morals the servile virtues of humility, obedience, gentleness, patience, resignation; and by associating poverty and labor with the monastic life so profoundly revered. When men, awed and attracted by reports of the sanctity and miracles of some illustrious saint, made pilgrimages to behold him, and found him in peasant's garb, with a scythe on his shoulder, sharing and superintending the work of the farm, or sitting in a small attic mending lamps, they could hardly fail to return with an increased sense of the dignity of toil.

By inclining the moral type to the servile position, she gave an unexampled impetus to the movement of enfranchisement. The multitude of slaves who embraced the new faith was one of the reproaches of the Pagans. The first and grandest edifice of Byzantine architecture in Italy was dedicated by Justinian to the memory of a martyred slave. Manumission, though not proclaimed a matter of duty or necessity, was always regarded as one of the most acceptable expiations of sin. Clergy and laity freed their slaves as an act of piety. It became customary to do so on occasions of national or personal thanksgiving, on recovery from sickness, on the birth of a child, at the hour of death, in testamentary bequests. In the thirteenth century, when there were no slaves to emancipate in France, caged pigeons were released on ecclesiastical festivals, in memory of the ancient charity, and that prisoners might still be freed in the name of Christ.

None of her achievements are more truly great than those she effected in the sphere of charity. For the first time in history, she inspired thousands to devote their entire lives, through sacrifice and danger, to the single object of assuaging the sufferings of humanity. Uniting the idea of supreme goodness with that of active and constant benevolence, she covered the globe with institutions of mercy unknown to pagan Rome and Greece. Through disastrous eclipse and wintry night, we may trace the

subduing influence of her spell, blending strangely with every excess of violence and every outburst of superstition. Of an Irish chieftain — the most ferocious that ever defied the English power- it is related, amid a legion of horrible crimes, that, 'sit. ting at meat, before he put one morsel into his mouth, he would slice a portion above the daily alms, and send it to some beggar at the gate, saying it was meet to serve Christ first.'

The monastic bodies that everywhere arose, were an invaluable counterpoise to military violence; pioneers in most forms of peaceful labor; green spots in a wilderness of rapine and tumult, where the feeble and persecuted could find refuge. As secure repositories for books, when libraries were almost unknown, they bridged the chaos of the Middle Ages, and linked the two periods of ancient and modern civilization.

The Church peopled the imagination with forms of tender beauty and gentle pathos, which — more than any dogmatic teaching - softened and transformed the character, till it learned to realize the sanctity of weakness and the majesty of compassion. The lowliness and sorrow of her Founder, the grace of His person, the agonies of Gethsemane or of Calvary, the gentleness of the Virgin Mother, are the pictures which, for eighteen hundred years, have inspired the hearts of men with an impassioned love, formed the governing ideals of the rudest and most ignorant, furnished the highest patterns of virtue and the strongest incentives to its practice. Here, in the character and example of the crucified Nazarene, Christianity finds an enduring principle of regeneration, by which, though shrouded by disastrous eclipse or dimmed by passing mist, her light is never quenched,— by which, when luxury, ambition, worldliness and vice have wounded her wellnigh to death, she has renewed her strength like the eagle, has run and not been weary, has walked and not been faint. So has her mightiest apology, from age to age, been lives of holiness and fidelity; and never, though she seemed to be dying, has she lacked such. Side by side with those who lived and schemed in ecclesiastical politics as their chosen element, were men to whom worldly honors were indifferent, — to whose meekness and selfdenial, more than to diadem, tiara, sword, or logic, she owes her empire over the human heart.

Learning.-From the age of Augustus, Latin and Greek

learning which we call ancient or classical, sensibly declined, first by organic decay; and its downfall, begun by disease, was accelerated by violence. Libraries were destroyed, schools closed, and intellectual energy of a secular kind almost ceased, in the irruption of the Northern barbarians, who gloried in their original rudeness, and viewed with disdain arts that had neither preserved their cultivators from degeneracy nor raised them from servitude.

A collateral cause of this prostration was the neglect, by the Christian Church, of Pagan literature. For the most part, the study of the Latin classics was positively discouraged. The writers, it was believed, were burning in hell. When a monk, under the discipline of silence, desired to ask for Virgil, Horace, or other Gentile author, he was wont to signify his wish by scratching his ear like a dog, to which animal it was thought the Pagans might properly be compared.

The human intellect, sinking deeper every age into stupidity and superstition, reached its lowest point of depression about the middle of the eleventh century. On the survey of society, no circumstance is so prominent as the depth of ignorance in which it was immersed. It was rare for a layman, of whatever rank, to know how to sign his name.

Contracts were made verbally. The royal charters, instead of the names of the king's, sometimes exhibit their mark – the cross. In England, Alfred declares that he could not recollect a single priest who, at his accession, understood the common prayers, or could render a Latin sentence into English.

The darkness which reigned far and wide was rendered unavoidable, among other causes, by the scarcity of books, which — as they were in manuscript form, and written or copied with cost, labor, and delay - could be procured only at an immense price. In 855, a French abbot sent two of his monks to the Pope, to beg a copy of Cicero's De Oratore, of Quintilian's Institutes, and some others; 'for, although we have part of these books, yet there is no whole or complete copy of them in all France.' In Spain at the beginning of the tenth century one and the same copy of the Bible often served different monasteries. In 1299, the bishop of Winchester, borrowing a copy of the Bible with ginal tes gives a solemn bond for due return of the loan. A book donated to a religious house was

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