Imatges de pàgina

century, numerous disciples. Embassies also were sent by the Roman pontiffs to the emperors of the Tartars, who had ravaged Hungary and the adjoining countries; and Tartarian ambassadors presented themselves, in return, before the council held at Lyons. This intercourse produced the establishment of Roman Catholic congregations among the heathen; as well as much benefit to the papal cause among the Nestorians, many of whom now adopted the doctrines, and owned the supremacy, of Rome. The Christian sovereigns in Spain enlarged their kingdoms daily at the expence of the Moors. The Prussians, obstinate in paganism, were invaded by the Teutonic knights ; and after a bloody contest of fifty years, acknowledged the religion and the sovereignty of the victors. Lithuania endured the same cruelties, and submitted to the same yoke. The distress of the Christians in Palestine at length overcame the growing reluctance of Europe to Eastern campaigns. The first expedition, consisting of French and Venetians, realized the apprehensions of the Greek emperor ; who had repeatedly trembled for his sceptre, on the approach of the armies of the West. They stormed Constantinople, A.D. 1203, originally for the purpose of reinstating the rightful prince who had been dethroned : but on his murder in the following year, they seized the city for their own benefit, and elected Baldwin, Count of Flanders, Emperor of the Greeks. His claim was disputed by the native emperors, who chose Nice in Bithynia for their capital ; and after a contest of fifty-seven years recovered Constantinople, A.D. 1261, and put an end to the Eastern empire of the Latins. In the mean time, Andrew, King of Hungary, and other princes, had conducted new armies, A. D. 1217, to the aid of Palestine, and commenced their operations in Egypt. After some successes, they experienced the fate of preceding undertakings. Frederic II., Emperor of Germany, renewed the enterprise, A.D. 1228 ; and by treaty in the following year obtained from the sultan of Egypt the possession of the kingdom and the city of Jerusalem, on condition that the walls should not be rebuilt, and that

mosques should be allowed for the religious exercises of the Mahometans. Not many years afterwards, on the rupture of the truce, a succeeding sultan seized Jerusalem ; and having slain or expelled the Christians, sacked it, not even sparing the hitherto unviolated sepulchre of our Lord. New succours from Europe became indispensable; and, after two intervening and unfortunate expeditions, the one under the King of Navarre, A.D. 1239, the other in the subsequent year under Richard, Duke of Cornwall and brother to the English king, Henry III. ; the French monarch, Louis IX., landed, A. D. 1249, with a most formidable army in Egypt. After the capture of the strong city of Damietta a fatal reverse overwhelmed him. Defeated in a bloody action, he was taken prisoner ; and only a handful of his forces returned to France. Impelled by misguided piety, he resumed the attempt, A.D. 1270; and, commencing his operations against the Mahometans with the siege of Tunis, perished with the greater part of his army by a pestilence. No future sovereign followed his footsteps. The Christian kingdom of Palestine rapidly declined; and was extinguished, A.D. 1291, by the capture of Acre.

Innocent III., who filled the papal chair during the first sixteen years of this century, equalled the most ambitious of his predecessors in zeal to establish the favourite maxim of Rome, that

pope was by divine

right supreme lord of the world, and the fountain of all authority ecclesiastical or civil. He claimed for the Holy See the power of disposing of bishopricks, abbeys, and canonries, lest heretics should intrude into the church of Christ. He reduced under his jurisdiction the prefect of Rome, who until this period had taken an oath of allegiance to the emperor. He made himself master of Ancona, Spoletto, and other Italian cities. In Asia he gave a king to Armenia. In Europe he conferred the regal dignity on the Duke of Bulgaria ; and also on Peter of Arragon, who had rendered his dominions tributary to Rome. Philip, King of France, he anathematised into compliance with his mandates. Successive emperors of Germany he excommunicated and deposed. In a bull addressed to Richard I. of England, with whom he had a contest, he instructs that monarch that “ if he opposed the execution of the apostolic decrees, he would soon convince him how hard it is to kick against the pricks :" and in another bull declares that “ he would not endure the least contempt of himself, or of God whose place he held on earth, but would punish every act of disobedience without delay, and without respect of persons; and would convince the whole world that he was determined to act like a sovereign.” The lion-hearted king submitted. But the weight of the fury of Innocent fell on John, the successor of Richard. John refused to recognise, as archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Langton, whom the pope by his fiat appointed to that dignity. Innocent laid the kingdom under an interdict 1 : followed the interdict by a bull absolving the subjects of John from their allegiance, and commanding all men to shun him as excommunicated : declaring by another bull the throne vacant, and exhorted Philip of France to invade the kingdom, and unite it for ever to his dominions; and by a third bull excited all Christian princes to aid Philip in the enterprise, and bestowed on every person who should promote it the same plenary remission of all sins as was granted to those who engaged in crusades against the Mahometans. The French monarch made unbounded preparations; and was already grasping in idea the sceptre of England, when Innocent dexterously seized it for himself. John, alarmed and ensnared by the arts of the legate Pandulf, formally surrendered his kingdom to the See of Rome. The crown and other ensigns of royalty, after being detained five whole days by the legate, were returned to John, now a papal vassal, who did homage and swore fealty to the representative of Innocent; presented to him, as a mark of dependence, a sum of money, which the latter proudly trampled under his feet; and bound himself and his successors, on pain of forfeiture of the crown, annually to pay the stipulated tribute to Rome. The successors of Innocent imitated the example of that pontiff with varying ability. Emperors continued to be deposed, and kingdoms to be granted. The pontificate of Gregory X. was signalized, A.D. 1274, by the subjugation of the Greek church to the See of Rome, through the influence of Michael Palæologus, Emperor of Constantinople ; who regarded the protection of the pope as a security against a renewal of the Latin invasions. But the ignominious treaty was re

| The immediate effects of an interdict were, that the celebration of Divine worship was suspended, and the churches were shut

up :

sacrament, except baptism, was administered; the dead were buried in highways without funeral rites.

nounced ten years afterwards by the Greeks; who speedily saw their emperor, like his brethren of the West, excommunicated by the Roman pontiff.

During the course of these transactions, the papacy dictated new laws to the church; and added to its increasing wealth and territories various additional supports, which rendered most important service. By Innocent III., A.D. 1215, transubstantiation was solemnly pronounced an indispensable article of faith, and auricular confession an act of indispensable duty. He promulgated, at the same time, and equally without deigning to consult any individual, sixty-eight other decrees extending and confirming the papal power. The decree respecting transubstantiation naturally introduced the idolatrous adoration of the wafer, now blasphemously called the deified bread. Boniface VIII. enacted, that whoever should visit, in the concluding year of each century, the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome with sentiments of contrition, should thus obtain the plenary remission of sins. His successors in later times, perceiving the lustre and the riches which the centenary crowds of pilgrims added to the church, graciously reduced by degrees the period to twenty-five years. But greater things remain to be stated. In the course of the century there arose several orders of mendicant friars ; men who disclaimed endowments and revenues, and professed voluntary poverty. The contrast which their seeming humility exhibited to the luxury and pomp of other monastic orders, and its resemblance to the lowly circumstances of Christ and his apostles, won the public favour. But the two orders founded, the one by Dominic, a Spaniard, the other by Francis, an Italian, took the lead in general estimation ; and notwithstanding their bitter contests with each other for

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