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    IT is evident that as the papacy had hitherto claimed, and had actually acquired, absolute dominion over all things spiritual, henceforth she would claim, and, if crafty policy and unscrupulous procedure were of any avail, would actually acquire, absolute dominion over all things temporal as well as spiritual. Indeed, as we have seen, this was already claimed, and the history of Europe for more than a thousand of the following years abundantly proves that the claim was finally and fully established.ECE 209.1

    2. “Rome, jealous of all temporal sovereignty but her own, for centuries yielded up, or rather made, Italy a battlefield to the Transalpine and the stranger, and at the same time so secularized her own spiritual supremacy as to confound altogether the priest and the politician, to degrade absolutely and almost irrevocably the kingdom of Christ into a kingdom of this world.”—Milman. 1[Page 209] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. i, book iii, chap 4, last paragraph. Henceforth kings and emperors were but her tools, and often but her playthings; and kingdoms and empires her conquests, and often only her traffic. The history of how the papacy assumed the supremacy over kings and emperors and how she acquired the prerogative of dispensing kingdoms and empires, is no less interesting and no less important to know than is that of how her ecclesiastical supremacy was established.ECE 209.2

    3. The contest began even with Justinian, who had done so much to exalt the dignity and clear the way of the papacy. Justinian soon became proud of his theological abilities, and presumed to dictate the faith of the papacy, rather than to submit, as formerly, to her guidance. And from A. D. 542 to the end of his long reign in 565, there was almost constant war, with alternate advantage, between Justinian and the popes. But as emperors live and die, while the papacy only lives, the real victory remained with her.ECE 209.3

    4. VIGILIUS, NOV. 22, 537, TO 555, was pope when the Ostrogothic kingdom was destroyed in 538; and when, after the annihilation of the mixed people who were in rebellion, the dominion of the Eastern Empire was formally restored in Italy by the establishment of the exarchate of Ravenna in 552. He “paid a fearful price for his advancement—false accusation, cruel oppression, perhaps murder.”—Milman. 2[Page 210] Id., par. 10. He was the most vacillating of the popes who had yet reigned. The war between the papacy and Justinian was over what is known as the Three Chapters. In the writings of three men who lived and wrote nearly a hundred years before, Justinian found what he proclaimed and condemned as heresy. The three men had all lived and written before the Council of Chalcedon. The three men and their writings had all been noticed by the Council of Chalcedon; yet that council had passed them, all without condemnation or even censure. And now when Justinian condemned them all as heretical, this was held by all the orthodox as a covert attack on the Council of Chalcedon, and an undermining of the authority of general councils as such.ECE 210.1

    5. “The emperor threatened with deposition and exile,” all bishops, without distinction, who would not accept his definitions as to the Three Chapters. Under such alternative the new “faith” was soon adopted “by almost all the bishops of the whole East. But in the West it met with no less vigorous than general opposition. Vigilius and the other bishops of Italy, as well as those of Gaul and Africa, all declared unanimously against it, as evidently striking at what they called the very foundation of the Catholic faith, the authority of councils.”—Bower. 3[Page 210] “Lives of the Popes,” Vigilius, par. 19. This position was so much the more essential to the bishop of Rome, because the Council of Chalcedon was especially the council of Lee the Great, and the faith of Chalcedon was pre-eminently the faith of Leo as pope.ECE 210.2

    6. In 543 Justinian peremptorily summoned Vigilius to Constantinople. In 544 “he set forth with the imprecations of the Roman people, and assailed with volleys of stones, as the murderer of Silverius, and a man of notorious cruelty.... ‘May famine and pestilence pursue thee: evil hast thou done to us; may evil overtake thee wherever thou art.’” Arrived at Constantinople, he was between two fires: if he resisted the emperor, he might be made a prisoner and an exile; if he yielded to the emperor, he would certainly be repudiated by all the West, and might lose the papal throne. Having no strength of character or purpose, he sought alternately to please both the emperor and the West.ECE 210.3

    7. Vigilius arrived at Constantinople Jan. 25, 547. He was “received with uncommon marks of respect” by the emperor and the empress, but on the first occasion, he condemned the emperor’s condemnation of the Three Chapters; and excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople and all the bishops who had accepted the condemnation of the Three Chapters. Then “a few months after, the desire he had of returning to Rome prevailed over the regard he pretended to have for the Council of Chalcedon and the Catholic faith:” he withdrew his excommunication, and assembled in Constantinople a council of seventy bishops, at the head of which he “issued his infallible anathema against the Three Chapters” themselves. This caused all the West to revolt, in which joined even the ecclesiastics who had accompanied the pope to Constantinople. He then revoked the declarations of his late council; and upon the plea that no Western bishops were present at the late council, prevailed on Justinian to count it as naught, and call a general council.ECE 211.1

    8. Great numbers of the Eastern bishops assembled for the council, in 551, but only a very few from the West—“some from Italy, only two from Africa, and not one from Illyricum,” nor any from Gaul. The pope refused to attend the council till a greater number of Western bishops came; and no more Western bishops would came. Justinian, seeing that by this dodge the pope was trifling with him, placarded a new edict against the Three Chapters. Vigilius gathered as many bishops as he could in a council, and denounced the emperor’s “usurpation of ecclesiastical authority,” and excommunicated all who should conform to the edict. Justinian made him a prisoner in Constantinople; but he escaped to Chalcedon, and took refuge there at the shrine of St. Euphemia. The emperor did not dare to try to take him from there, and made terms with him; he revoked his edict, and deferred the question to a council, at which the pope promised to be presentECE 211.2

    9. But when the council met, in 553, the pope refused to attend unless it was composed of an equal number of bishops of the East and of the West. To this the emperor agreed; but the Eastern bishops unanimously protested: besides, there was no possibility of having a proper general council composed equally of Eastern and Western bishops, because there were so few Western bishops present. Justinian sent an embassy to the pope, to persuade him of the unreasonableness of his demand; but Vigilius stiffly maintained his ground, insisting on his readiness to meet in council “on the terms agreed to by him and the emperor.”ECE 212.1

    10. Justinian at last ordered the council to proceed. Accordingly, one hundred and sixty-five Eastern bishops met together; while sixteen Western bishops met with Vigilius. The emperor’s council condemned the Three Chapters as heretical: the pope’s council approved the Three Chapters, by solemn decree acquitting them of all heresy. This decree closes as follows:—ECE 212.2

    “These things being thus settled by us with all care, diligence, and circumspection, we ordain and decree, statuimus et decernimus, that henceforth it shall be lawful for no person in holy orders, however dignified or distinguished, to write, speak, or teach anything touching these Three Chapters, contrary to what we have, by our present constitution, taught and decreed; nor shall it be lawful for any one, after this our present definition, to move any question about them. But if anything relating to them be said, done, or written, contrary to what we have here taught and decreed, we declare it null, by the authority of the apostolic see, in which, by the grace of God, we now preside.”ECE 212.3

    11. The emperor notified the pope that he must agree with the decree of the council of the Eastern bishops; and that if he would not do this, he should be deposed and exiled. The pope replied that since he “could not sign the acts and decrees of such an assembly without renouncing the holy faith of Chalcedon, he was ready to suffer, and suffer with joy, both exile and death in so good a cause. He was therefore immediately seized and sent into exile to “Proconnesus, an inhospitable island in the Propontis.” The other Western bishops who had composed the pope’s council, were also deposed and exiled in different places.ECE 212.4

    12. After about five months in the rocky island of his exile, Vigilius, learning that steps were being taken by the emperor to depose him, and by the people of Rome to elect a new pope, he wrote a letter to the patriarch of Constantinople informing him that “upon examining the Three Chapters with more care and attention (he had already examined them with all care and attention—omni undique cantela atque diligentia) he was fully convinced that they had been deservedly condemned, so he was not ashamed openly to acknowledge and own that he had done wrong to defend them, imitating therein St. Austin, who was not ashamed when he discovered the truth, to condemn and retract whatever he had written against it. He ...concludes thus:—ECE 212.5

    “We make it known to the whole Catholic Church, that we condemn and anathematize all heresies and heretics, namely, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and his impious writings; the writings of Theodoret, against St. Cyril, and the Council of Ephesus; and the letter of Maris, the Persian, which is said to have been written by Ibas. We likewise anathematize all who shall presume to defend the said Three Chapters, or shall think them capable of being maintained or defended. We acknowledge for our colleagues and brethren, those who have condemned them; and by these presents annul whatever has been done, said, or written by us or by others to defend them.”ECE 213.1

    13. This letter was presented by the patriarch to the emperor; but the emperor would not accept any recantation that did not make it clear that the pope condemned the Three Chapters “as repugnant to the doctrine of Chalcedon.” Therefore the pope made another, Feb. 23, 554, in which he went into the subject in greater detail than at any time before, closing as follows:—ECE 213.2

    “We therefore anathematize and condemn the Three above-mentioned impious Chapters; ...as for what we or others may, at any time, have said or written in defense of the said Three impious Chapters, we declare the whole, by the authority of this our present constitution, absolutely null.” 4[Page 213] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Vigilius.ECE 213.3

    14. This document was entirely satisfactory to Justinian; and Vigilius was at once brought back to Constantinople, was received by the emperor with “extraordinary marks of honor,” and was given liberty to return immediately to Rome. He set out; but on the voyage died, early in the year 555. He was succeeded by— PELAGIUS, APRIL 11, 555, TO MARCH 1, 560, who had been the close attendant and supporter of Vigilius in all his whole course as pope. Accordingly, he had changed “faith” exactly as had Vigilius in his many changes, even to the latest one. Therefore Justinian had promised to him the office of pope if he should survive Vigilius. He was with Vigilius when he died, and hastened to Rome to assume the pontificate. But when he arrived there, he found every body against him, on account of his latest condemnation of the Three Chapters. But having the emperor in his favor, all that was required for him to become pope was a sufficient number of bishops to ordain him. The canons required that there should be at least three; but in all Italy there could be found but two bishops who were willing to take part in the ordination of Pelagius. These two with a presbyter of Ostia, performed the ceremony; and so Pelagius became pope.ECE 213.4

    15. The condition of Justinian’s favor to Pelagius was that he should cause the emperor’s doctrine as to the Three Chapters to be accepted throughout the West, and now Pelagius must fulfill his part of the bargain. The emperor commanded Narses, his representative in the West, to support Pelagius “with all his interest and power. In compliance with the emperor’s command, Narses spared no pains to reconcile the people of Rome with their bishop; and succeeded therein so far as to gain over, in a very short time, the greater part of the nobility and clergy.” However, Narses used only persuasion to effect his purpose; and this was not swift enough in its results to satisfy Pelagius. He therefore urged Narses to use his imperial authority, and compel conformity. Narses demurred, not being willing to persecute. Then the pope wrote to him as follows:—ECE 214.1

    “Be not alarmed at the idle talk of some, crying out against persecution, and reproaching the Church, as if she delighted in cruelty, when she punishes with wholesome severities, or procures the salvation of souls. He alone persecutes who forces to evil; but to restrain men from doing evil, or to punish them because they have done it, is not persecution, or cruelty, but love of mankind. Now that schism, or a separation, from the apostolic see, is an evil, no man can deny: and that schismatics may and ought to be punished, even by the secular power, is manifest both from the canons of the Church, and the Scripture.ECE 214.2

    16. “He closes his letter with exhorting Narses to cause the heads of the schism to be apprehended, and sent under a strong guard to Constantinople; assuring him that he need not scruple to use violence, if it may be so called, in the present case, seeing the civil power is allowed, nay, and required by the canons, not only to apprehend, but to sent into exile, and confine to painful prisons, those who, dissenting from their brethren, disturb the tranquility of the Church.”—Bower. 5[Page 215] “Lives of the Popes,” par. 6.ECE 215.1

    17. Justinian died Nov. 14, A. D. 565. “His death restored in some degree the peace of the Church, and the reigns of his four successors”—Justin II, Tiberius, Maurice, and Phocas; and also the reigns of the three successors of Pelagius—John III, July 18, 560, to 573; Benedict, June 3, 574, to July 30, 578; and Pelagius II, Nov. 28, 578, to Feb. 8, 590; “are distinguished by a rare, though fortunate, vacancy in the ecclesiastical history of the East.”—Gibbon. 6[Page 215] “Decline and Fall,” chap 47, par. 26. Yet the confusion over the Three Chapters continued between the pope and many bishops; and in 588 there began a war between the pope and the patriarch of Constantinople over the title of “universal bishop,” which, though not of the same fierce and violent order as had been the war between Justinian and the pope, was of no less importance in the development of the papacy, and the restoration of the Western Empire.ECE 215.2

    18. In 588 there was held in Constantinople a council to try a certain Gregory, patriarch of Antioch. This council took advantage of the occasion to bestow upon the patriarch of Constantinople the title of universal bishop. “Pelagius, no less disturbed and concerned than if the whole of the Catholic faith had been at stake, or the council had condemned some fundamental article of the Christian religion, immediately declared by the authority and in the name of St. Peter, all and every act of that assembly absolutely null, except the sentence in favor of Gregory.” He sent letters to Constantinople, to his representative there, and to the patriarch of Constantinople, in which he charged the patriarch “with pride and ambition, styling his attempt ‘wicked,’ ‘detestable,’ and ‘diabolical,’ and threatening to separate himself from his communion if he did not forthwith relinquish the antichristian title he had impiously assumed.”—Bower. 7[Page 215] “Lives of the Popes,” Pelagius II. Pelagius II died before he could carry the contention any farther; but his place was more than only supplied by his successor—GREGORY THE GREAT, SEPT. 3, 590, TO MARCH 12, 604.ECE 215.3

    19. Though Gregory “never attempted to extend his authority by any new usurpations or encroachments on the rights of his brethren, even of those who were immediately subject to his see; though he never exercised or claimed any new jurisdiction or power; yet he was a most zealous asserter of that which his predecessors had exercised, or at any time claimed. He often declared that he had rather lose his life than suffer the see of St. Peter to forfeit any of the privileges it had ever enjoyed, or the prime apostle to be anyways injured, or robbed of his rights.... It has ever been, even from the earliest times, a maxim of the popes, never to part with any power or jurisdiction which their predecessors had acquired, by what means soever they had acquired it; nor to give up the least privilege which any of their predecessors, right or wrong, ever had claimed.” 8[Page 216] Id., Gregory, par. 18.ECE 216.1

    20. “The bishop of Constantinople was now distinguished all over the East, with the pompous title of ecumenical or universal patriarch; and Gregory found that he had so styled himself over and over again, in a judgment which he had lately given against a presbyter arraigned of heresy, and which, at the request of the pope, he had transmitted to Rome. At this Gregory took the alarm, and, forgetting all other cares, as if the Church, the faith, the Christian religion, were in imminent danger, he dispatched in great haste a messenger with letters to Sabinianus, his nuncio at Constantinople, charging him as he tendered ‘the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free’ to use his utmost endeavors with the emperor, with the express, and above all, with the bishop himself, his beloved brother, to divert him from evermore using the ‘proud,’ the ‘profane,’ the ‘antichristian’ title of ‘universal bishop,’ which he had assumed in the pride of his heart, to the great debasement of the whole episcopal order. The nuncio, in compliance with his orders, left nothing unattempted, which he thought could make any impression on the patriarch, assuring him that unless he relinquished the odious title which had given so great an offense to the pope, he would find in him a formidable antagonist, not to say an irreconcilable enemy.”ECE 216.2

    21. The patriarch answered that though he was “sorry that his most holy brother of Rome should have taken any umbrage at so inoffensive a title;” yet since the title “had been bestowed, and bestowed by so great a council, not on him alone, but on him and his successors, it was not in his power to resign it; nor would his successors stand to his resignation if he should.” The emperor’s answer to Gregory was only an exhortation to him to live in peace with “the bishop of the imperial city.” Gregory replied:—ECE 217.1

    “It is very hard that after we have parted with our silver, our gold, our slaves, and even our garments, for the public welfare, we should be obliged to part with our faith, too; for to agree to that impious title is parting with our faith.”ECE 217.2

    22. Since the patriarch would not yield, Gregory, by his nuncio, excommunicated him; and then wrote to him “a long letter, loading the title of universal patriarch or bishop with all the names of reproach and ignominy he could think of: calling it ‘vain,’ ‘ambitious,’ ‘profane,’ ‘impious,’ ‘execrable,’ ‘antichristian,’ ‘blasphemous,’ ‘infernal,’ ‘diabolical;’ and applying to him who assumed it, what was said by the prophet Isaiah of Lucifer: ‘Whom do you imitate in assuming that blasphemous title?—Whom but him, who, swelled with pride, exalted himself above so many legions of angels, his equals, that he might be subject to none, and all might be subject to him. The apostle Peter was the first member of the universal Church. As for Paul, Andrew, and John, they were only the heads of particular congregations; but all were members of the Church under one head, and none would ever be called universal.’” And to the empress he wrote:—ECE 217.3

    “Though Gregory is guilty of many great sins, for which he well deserves thus to be punished, Peter is himself guilty of no sins, nor ought he to suffer for mine. I therefore, over and over again, beg, entreat, and conjure you, by the Almighty, not to forsake the steps of your ancestors; but treading in them, to court and secure to yourself the protection and favor of that apostle, who is not to be robbed of the honor that is due to his merit, for the sins of one who has no merit, and who so unworthily serves him.” 9[Page 217] Id., pars. 31-34.ECE 217.4

    23. In the month of October, A. D. 602, the army of the Danube revolted, declared the emperor Maurice unworthy to reign, raised to the command a centurion Phocas, and marched to Constantinople. The capital joined the revolt; and the emperor fled. He with his family hoped to find refuge in the church of St. Euphemia in Chalcedon; but by a tempest were driven ashore and took refuge in the church of St. Autonomous, near to Chalcedon. In the games that were celebrated in honor of the grand entry of Phocas into the capital, November 23, a dispute for precedence arose between the factions of the circus. When Phocas decided in favor of one faction, the other cried out, “Remember that Maurice is still alive.” This aroused all the terrible jealously of Phocas. “The ministers of death were dispatched to Chalcedon: they dragged the emperor from his sanctuary: and the five sons of Maurice were successively murdered before the eyes of their agonizing parent. At each stroke which he felt in his heart, he found strength to rehearse a pious ejaculation: ‘Thou art just, O Lord! and thy judgments are righteous.’ And such, in the last moments, was his rigid attachment to truth and justice that he revealed to the soldiers the pious falsehood of a nurse who presented her own child in the place of a royal infant. The tragic scene was finally closed by the execution of the emperor himself, in the twentieth year of his reign and the sixty-third of his age. The bodies of the father and his five sons were cast into the sea, their heads were exposed at Constantinople to the insults or pity of the multitude, and it was not till some signs of putrefaction had appeared that Phocas connived at the private burial of these venerable remains.”—Gibbon. 10[Page 218] “Decline and Fall,” chap 46, par. 12.ECE 217.5

    24. The empress and three daughters had been spared at the time of the massacre of the emperor and his sons. However, not long afterward these were all sent by Phocas to the same place, and were “beheaded on the same ground which had been stained with the blood of her husband and five sons. After such an example it would be superfluous to enumerate the names and sufferings of meaner victims. Their condemnation was seldom pressed by the forms of trial, and their punishment was imbittered by the refinements of cruelty: ...a simple and speedy death was a mercy which they could rarely obtain. The hippodrome, the sacred asylum of the pleasures and the liberty of the Romans, was polluted with heads and limbs and mangled bodies; and the companions of Phocas were the most sensible that neither his favor nor their services could protect them from a tyrant, the worthy rival of the Caligulas and Domitians of the first age of the empire.” 11[Page 219] Id.ECE 218.1

    25. Yet knowing of these things, Pope Gregory the Great lauded Phocas literally to the skies. As soon as Phocas had made himself sole emperor by the massacre of all possible legitimate claimants, he sent to Rome and the other principal cities of the East and West, the images of himself and wife. In Rome “the images of the emperor and his wife Leontia were exposed in the Lateran to the veneration of the clergy and Senate of Rome, and afterward deposited in the palace of the Caesars between those of Constantine and Theodosius.” 12[Page 219] Id. And on receiving these images Pope Gregory the Great wrote to Phocas thus:—ECE 219.1

    “Glory be to God in the highest, who, as it is written, changes times and removes kings; who has made known to all what He was pleased to speak by His prophet: The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will. Various are the changes, and many the vicissitudes of human life: the Almighty giving sometimes, in His justice, princes to afflict His people; and sending sometimes, in His mercy, princes to comfort and relieve them. We have been hitherto most grievously afflicted; but the Almighty has chosen you, and placed you on the imperial throne, to banish, by your merciful disposition, all our afflictions and sorrows. Let the heavens therefore rejoice; let the earth leap for joy; let the whole people return thanks for so happy a change. May the republic long enjoy these most happy times! May God with His grace direct your heart in every good thought, in every good deed! May the Holy Ghost that dwells in your breast ever guide and assist you, that you may, after a long course of years, pass from an earthly and temporal to an everlasting and heavenly kingdom!” 13[Page 219] Bower’s “Lives of the Popes,” Gregory, under the year 602, or par. 59.ECE 219.2

    26. Before Phocas received this letter from the pope, he had sent one to the pope, saying that at his accession he had found at Constantinople no nuncio of the pope, and asked that he send one. This gave Gregory another opportunity to laud Phocas, which he did thus:—ECE 219.3

    “What thanks are we not bound to return to the Almighty, who has at last been pleased to deliver us from the yoke of slavery, and make us again enjoy the blessings of liberty under your empire! That your Serenity has found no deacon of the apostolic see residing according to custom in the palace, was not owing to any neglect in me; but to the times, the late most unhappy and calamitous times, when the ministers of this Church all declined the office that obliged them to reside in the palace, and were even afraid to approach it. 14[Page 220] While Maurice was emperor, to him Gregory had written “that his tongue could not express the good he had received of the Almighty, and his lord the emperor; that he thought himself bound in gratitude to pray incessantly for the life of his most pious and most Christian lord: and that, in return for the goodness of his most religious lord to him, he could do no less than love the very ground which he walked on.”—Id., under the year 603, or par. 62. But now that they know it has pleased the Almighty, in His goodness and mercy, to place you on the throne, they fear no more; but exult and rejoice, and, courting the office they declined before, fly to your feet with inexpressible joy.... We hope the Almighty, who has begun to relieve us, will complete what He has so happily begun, and that He who has given us such pious lords, will deliver us from our cruel enemies. May the holy Trinity, therefore, grant you long life, that the later we have received the blessings that flow from your piety, the longer we may enjoy them!” 15[Page 220] Id., under 603, or par. 60.ECE 219.4

    27. At the same time he wrote also to the new empress as follows:—ECE 220.1

    “What tongue can utter, what mind can conceive, the thanks we owe to God, who has placed you on the throne to ease us of the yoke with which we have been hitherto so cruelly galled? Let the angels give glory to God in heaven; let men return thanks to God upon earth; for the republic is relieved, and our sorrows are all banished. May the Almighty, who in His mercy has made you our emperors, make you likewise zealous defenders of the Catholic faith! May He endow your minds with zeal and mercy: with zeal to punish what is committed against God; with mercy to bear and forgive what may be committed against yourselves! May He grant to you, and to our most pious lord, a long reign, that the comforts and blessings we enjoy in it may be long! I should perhaps have entreated you to take under your particular protection the hitherto most grievously afflicted Church of the apostle St. Peter. But as I know you love God, I need not ask you to do what I am sure you are ready to do of your own accord. For the more you fear God, the more you must love His apostle, to whom it was said: ‘Thou art Peter,’ etc., ‘To thee will I give,’ etc. I do not therefore doubt but you take care to oblige and bind him to you, by whom you are to be loosened from your sins. May he, therefore, be the guardian of your empire; may he be your protector on earth; may he be your advocate in heaven; that after a long course of years you may enjoy, in the kingdom of heaven, the reward that is due to you there, for relieving your subjects from the burdens they groaned under, and rendering them happy upon earth.” 16[Page 220] Id., under 603, or par. 61.ECE 220.2

    28. These praises brought swiftly to the papacy a corresponding reward. The nuncio whom Gregory sent to Constantinople in 603, at the request of Phocas, was a certain Boniface, a native of Rome and a deacon of the Church in Rome. Gregory the Great died March 12, 604, and was succeeded by—SABINIAN, SEPT. 13, 604, TO FEB. 22, 606, who reigned but one year, five months, and nine days, and was succeeded by this very nuncio Boniface, who became Pope—BONIFACE III, FEB. 19 TO NOV. 10, 607.ECE 220.3

    29. Having been sent to Phocas by Gregory under such letters as those which Gregory wrote to Phocas and Leontia, it can be easily understood what would be the attitude and course of Boniface toward the new emperor and empress. And now he was chosen to be pope, expressly because he was “one who was not only well known to Phocas, but greatly favored both by him and his wife. For, by flattering the usurper, as Gregory had done, and conniving at his cruelties, if not applauding him in them, while the rest of mankind exclaimed against him as an outrageous tyrant, Boniface had so insinuated himself into his good graces as to become one of his chief favorites, or, as Sigebert writes, his only favorite, being the only person in the whole city of Constantinople who approved, or could so dissemble as to make the tyrant believe that he approved, of his conduct. For that merit alone he was chosen” 17[Page 221] Id., Boniface III, par. 1. to the papal throne. The diligent use which he made of the opportunity that fell to him in the office of nuncio at the court of Phocas, can in some measure be comprehended by the fact that, though he was at Constantinople only about a year, and was pope less than nine months, yet while he was pope he succeeded in securing from Phocas an edict settling upon him and his successors the grand and intensely coveted title of “universal bishop.”ECE 221.1

    30. The patriarch of Constantinople at this time, Cyriacus, had incurred the disfavor of Phocas by protecting the empress—widow of Maurice—and her daughters. And now Boniface had “no sooner found himself vested with the papal dignity, than, taking advantage of the partiality and favor of Phocas to him, and of his aversion and hatred to the patriarch Cyriacus, he not only prevailed on the tyrant to revoke the decree settling the title of universal bishop on the bishop of the imperial city; but obtained ...a new decree, settling on himself and his successors that very title.”ECE 221.2

    31. “No sooner was the imperial edict, vesting him with the title of universal bishop, and declaring him head of the Church, brought to Rome, than, assembling a council in the basilic of St. Peter, consisting of seventy-two bishops, thirty-four presbyters, and all the deacons and inferior clergy of the city, he acted there as if he had not been vested with the title alone (though Phocas probably meant to grant him no more), but with all the power of a universal bishop, with all the authority of a supreme head, or rather absolute monarch of the Church. For by a decree, which he issued in that council, it was ‘pronounced,’ ‘declared,’ and ‘defined’ that no election of a bishop should thenceforth be deemed lawful and good, unless made by the people and clergy, approved by the prince or lord of the city, and confirmed by the pope interposing his authority in the following terms: ‘We will and command—valumus et jubemus.’” 18[Page 222] Id., par. 8.ECE 222.1

    32. Thus was the hitherto claimed title and power of universal bishop, or head of the whole Church, officially and legally settled upon the bishop of Rome. And thus, though Boniface III held the papal office so short a time, “yet it may truly be said that to him alone the Roman see owes more than to all his predecessors together.” That title as officially and legally bestowed “owed its original to the worst of men; it was procured by the basest of means, by flattering a tyrant in his wickedness and tyranny; and was in itself, if we stand to the judgment of Gregory the Great, ‘antichristian,’ ‘heretical,’ ‘blasphemous,’ ‘diabolical.’” And so in the palace of the Caesars the place of the image of Phocas between those of Constantine and Theodosius, was perfectly fitting, as symbolizing the equality of Phocas with those two in the making of the papacy. And how fitting the workmanship to the workers—the papacy: Constantine, Theodosius, and Phocas!ECE 222.2

    33. The center of motion in the development of the papacy is next found in Italy; and in a train of circumstances through which the papacy secures independence of the Eastern Empire, and which ends only in the assertion of the supremacy of the papacy over kingdoms and empires in the restoration of the Western Empire.ECE 222.3

    34. In A. D. 568 the Lombards had invaded Italy, and for nearly twenty years wrought such devastation that even the pope thought the world was coming to an end. The imperial power of the East was so weak that the defense of Italy fell exclusively to the exarch of Ravenna and the pope. And as “the death of Narses had left his successor, the exarch of Ravenna, only the dignity of a sovereign which he was too weak to exercise for any useful purpose of government” (Milman 19[Page 223] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. i, book iii, chap 7, par. 1.), the pope alone became the chief defender of Italy. In 594 Gregory the Great concluded a treaty of peace with the Lombards; and “the pope and the king of the Lombards became the real powers in the north and center of Italy.” 20[Page 223] Encyclopedia Britannica, art. Lombards, par. 6. Even at that time the pope so far ignored the power of the Eastern emperor, as to send “letters to King Childebert and Queen Brunehaut, under the apparent pretext of recommending a priest whom he sent to the bishops of Gaul; but in reality to solicit their aid.”—De Cormenin. 21[Page 223] “History of the Popes,” Gregory I, par. 82.ECE 223.1

    35. The wife of the king of the Lombards was a Catholic, and by the influence of Gregory, she “solemnly placed the Lombard nation under the patronage of St. John the Baptist. At Monza she built in his honor the first Lombard church, and the royal palace near it.” From this the Lombards soon became Catholic; but though this was so, they would not suffer the priesthood to have any part in the affairs of the kingdom. They “never admitted the bishops of Italy to a seat in their legislative councils.”—Gibbon. 22[Page 223]“Decline and Fall,” chap 14. par. 18. And although under the Lombard dominion “the Italians enjoyed a milder and more equitable government than any of the other kingdoms which had been founded on the ruins of the empire,” this exclusion of the clergy from affairs of the state was as much against them now, though Catholic, as their Arianism had been against them before; and the popes ever anxiously hoped to have them driven entirely from Italy.ECE 223.2

    36. In 728 the edict of the Eastern emperor abolishing the worship of images, was published in Italy. The pope defended the images, of course, and “the Italians swore to live and die in defense of the pope and the holy images.” And thus there was begun a war which in its nature and consequences was in every sense characteristic of the papacy. It established the worship of images, as an article of Catholic faith; it developed the supremacy of the pope in temporal affairs.ECE 223.3

    37. “The first introduction of a symbolic worship was in the veneration of the cross and of relics.”—Gibbon. 23[Page 224] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 2. And the first introduction of the cross as a visible symbol was by Constantine. It is true that the sign of the cross was used as early as the days of Tertullian; but it was only a sign, made with a motion of the hand upon the forehead or breast. Constantine enlarged upon this by the introduction of the visible cross itself: in the Labarum. He erected in Rome his own statue, “bearing a cross in its right hand, with an inscription which referred the victory of his arms and the deliverance of Rome to that salutary sign, the true symbol of force and courage. The same symbol sanctified the arms of the soldiers of Constantine; the cross glittered on their helmets, was engraved on their shields, was interwoven into their banners; and the consecrated emblems which adorned the person of the emperor himself were distinguished only by richer materials and more exquisite workmanship.ECE 224.1

    38. “But the principal standard which displayed the triumph of the cross was styled the Labarum.... It is described as a long pike intersected by a transversal beam. The silken veil which hung down from the beam was curiously inwrought with the images of the reigning monarch and his children. The summit of the pike supported a crown of gold which inclosed the mysterious monogram, at once expressive of the figure of the cross and the initial letters of the name of Christ.” The basis of all this was the fiction and the imposture of Constantine’s “vision of the cross.” And, from it “the Catholic Church, both of the East and of the West, has adopted a prodigy which favors, or seems to favor, the popular worship of the cross.” 24[Page 225] Id., chap 20, pars. 11, 13.ECE 224.2

    39. Under Constantine’s patronage also, “magnificent churches were erected by the emperor in Rome adorned with images and pictures, where the bishop sat on a lofty throne, encircled by inferior priests, and performing rites borrowed from the splendid ceremonial of the pagan temple.”—Lawrence. 25[Page 225] “Historical Studies,” art. Bishops of Rome, par. 13. “At first the experiment was made with caution and scruple; and the venerable pictures were discreetly allowed to instruct the ignorant, to awaken the cold, and to gratify the prejudices of the heathen proselytes. By a slow, though inevitable, progression, the honors of the original were transferred to the copy: the devout Christian prayed before the image of a saint; and the pagan rites of genuflexion, luminaries, and incense again stole into the Catholic Church. The scruples of reason or piety were silenced by the strong evidence of visions and miracles; and the pictures which speak, and move, and bleed, must be endowed with a divine energy, and may be considered as the proper objects of religious adoration.ECE 224.3

    40. “The use and even the worship of images was firmly established before the end of the sixth century; they were fondly cherished by the warm imagination of the Greeks and Asiatics; the Pantheon and Vatican were adorned with the emblems of a new superstition.... The style and sentiments of a Byzantine hymn will declare how far their worship was removed from the grossest idolatry: “How can we with mortal eyes contemplate this image, whose celestial splendor the host of heaven presumes not to behold? He who dwells in heaven condescends this day to visit us by his venerable image. He who is seated on the cherubim visits us this day by a picture which the Father has delineated with His immaculate hand; which He has formed in an ineffable manner; and which we sanctify by adoring it with fear and love.’”—Gibbon. 26[Page 225] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, pars. 2, 3.ECE 225.1

    41. Thus stood Catholic idolatry when the Mohammedans, with equal contempt for the images and their worshipers, swarmed up from the deserts of Arabia. And under the influence of the charge of idolatry which the Mohammedans incessantly urged against the Catholics, some began to awake to the thought that perhaps the charge was true. “The triumphant Mussulmans, who reigned at Damascus and threatened Constantinople, cast into the scale of reproach the accumulated weight of truth and victory. The cities of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt had been fortified with the images of Christ, His mother, and His saints: and each city presumed on the hope or promise of miraculous defense. In the rapid conquest of ten years, the Arabs subdued those cities and these images; and, in their opinion, the Lord of hosts pronounced a decisive judgment between the adoration and contempt of these mute and inanimate idols. In this season of distress and dismay the eloquence of the monks was exercised in the defense of images. But they were now opposed by the murmurs of many simple or rational Christians, who appealed to the evidence of texts, of facts, and of the primitive times; and secretly desired the reformation of the Church.” 27[Page 226] Id., chap 49, par. 4.ECE 225.2

    42. Thus began the Iconoclastic Controversy, between the worshipers and the breakers of the images, which continued with bloody and unabated fury for one hundred and twenty years—726-846; and which finally resulted in the triumph of the worship of images, and the “religion of Constantine.” In A. D. 726, Leo III, “the Isaurian,” as emperor, ascended the throne of the East. “He began in 727-730 the famous iconoclastic reform. He ordered the images to be broken to pieces; the walls of the churches to be whitewashed; and prosecuted with honest but imprudent vigor his design of extirpating idolatry. But a fierce dissension at once raged throughout all Christendom: the monks and the people arose in defense of their images and pictures, and the emperor, even in his own capital was denounced as a heretic and a tyrant. There was an image of the Saviour renowned for its miraculous powers, over the gate of the imperial palace called the Brazen Gate from the rich tiles of gilt bronze that covered its magnificent vestibule. The emperor ordered the sacred figure to be taken down and broken to pieces. But the people from all parts of the city flew to the defense of their favorite idol, fell upon the officers, and put many of them to death.ECE 226.1

    43. “The women were even more violent than the men. Like furies they rushed to the spot, and, finding one of the soldiers engaged in the unhallowed labor at the top of the ladder, they pulled it down, and tore him to pieces as he lay bruised upon the ground. ‘Thus,’ exclaims the pious annalist, ‘did the minister of the emperor’s injustice fall at once from the top of the ladder to the bottom of hell.’ The women next flew to the great church, and finding the iconoclastic patriarch officiating at the altar, overwhelmed him with a shower of stones and a thousand opprobious names. He escaped, bruised and fainting, from the building. The guards were now called out and the female insurrection suppressed; but not until several of the women had perished in the fray.”—Lawrence. 28[Page 227] “Historical Studies,” art. Bishops of Rome, par. 33. “The execution of the imperial edicts was resisted by frequent tumults in Constantinople and the provinces; the person of Leo was endangered, his officers were massacred, and the popular enthusiasm was quelled by the strongest efforts of the civil and military power.”—Gibbon. 29[Page 227] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 5.ECE 226.2

    44. When Leo’s decree against the worship of images was published in the West, “the images of Christ and the Virgin, of the angels, martyrs, and saints, were abolished in all the churches in Italy;” and the emperor threatened the pope that if he did not comply with the decree, he should be degraded and sent into exile. But the pope—GREGORY II, MAY 19, 715, TO FEB. 20, 732, stood firmly for the worship of images, and sent pastoral letters throughout Italy, exhorting the faithful to do the same. “At this signal, Ravenna, Venice, and the cities of the exarchate and Pentapolis adhered to the cause of religious images; their military force by sea and land consisted, for the most part, of the natives; and the spirit of patriotism and zeal was transfused into the mercenary strangers. The Italians swore to live and die in the defense of the pope and the holy images.... The Greeks were overthrown and massacred, their leaders suffered an ignominious death, and the popes, however inclined to mercy, refused to intercede for these guilty victims.”ECE 227.1

    45. At Ravenna, A. D. 729, the riot and bloody strife was so great that even the exarch, the personal representative of the emperor, was slain. “To punish this flagitious deed, and restore his dominion in Italy, the emperor sent a fleet and army into the Adriatic Gulf. After suffering from the winds and the waves much loss and delay, the Greeks made their descent in the neighborhood of Ravenna.... In a hard-fought day, as the two armies alternately yielded and advanced, a phantom was seen, a voice was heard, and Ravenna was victorious by the assurance of victory. The strangers retreated to their ships, but the populous seacoast poured forth a multitude of boats; the waters of the Po were so deeply infected with blood, that during six years the public prejudice abstained from the fish of the river; and the institution of an annual feast perpetuated the worship of images, and the abhorrence of the Greek tyrant. Amidst the triumph of the Catholic arms, the Roman pontiff convened a synod of ninety-three bishops against the heresy of the Iconoclasts. With their consent he pronounced a general excommunication against all who by word or deed should attack the traditions of the Fathers and the images of the saints.” 30[Page 228] Id., par. 9.ECE 227.2

    46. As already stated, Gregory II was now pope. Some of his argument in support of the worship of images is worth setting down here, in order that it may be seen how certainly idolatrous is the use of images in the Catholic Church. In 730 Gregory II wrote to the emperor Leo III thus:—ECE 228.1

    “Ten years by God’s grace you have walked aright, and not mentioned the sacred images; but now you assert that they take the place of idols, and that those who reverence them are idolaters, and want them to be entirely set aside and destroyed. You do not fear the judgment of God, and that offense will be given not merely to the faithful, but also to the unbelieving. Christ forbids our offending even the least, and you have offended the whole world, as if you had not also to die and to give an account. You wrote: ‘We may not, according to the command of God (Exodus 20:4), worship anything made by the hand of man, nor any likeness of that which is in the heaven or in the earth. Only prove to me, who has taught us to worship (σέβεσθαι καὶ προσκυνεῖν) anything made by man’s hands, and I will then agree that it is the will of God.’ But why have not you, O emperor and head of the Christians, questioned wise men on this subject before disturbing and perplexing poor people? You could have learnt from them concerning what kind of images made with hands (χειροποίητα) God said that. But you have rejected our Fathers and doctors, although you gave the assurance by your own subscription that you would follow them. The holy Fathers and doctors are our scripture, our light, and our salvation, and the six synods have taught us (that); but you do not receive their testimony. I am forced to write to you without delicacy or learning, as you also are not delicate or learned; but my letter yet contains the divine truth.ECE 228.2

    “God gave that command because of the idolaters who had the land of promise in possession and worshiped golden animals, etc., saying: ‘These are our gods, and there is no other God.’ On account of these diabolical χειροποίητα, God has forbidden us to worship them.... Moses wished to see the Lord, but He showed himself to him only from behind. To us, on the contrary, the Lord showed himself perfectly, since the Son of God has been made man.... From all parts men now came to Jerusalem to see Him, and then depicted and represented him to others. In the same way they have depicted and represented James, Stephen, and the martyrs; and men leaving the worship of the devil, have venerated these images, but not absolutely (with latria), but relatively.... Why, then, do we make no representation of God the Father? The divine nature can not be represented. If we had seen Him, as we have the Son, we could also make an image of Him.... You say: ‘We worship stones and walls and boards.’ But it is not so, O emperor; but they serve us for remembrance and encouragement, lifting our slow spirits upward by those (persons) whose names the pictures bear, and whose representation they are. And we worship them not as God, as you maintain; God forbid! For we set not our hope on them; and if a picture of the Lord is there, we say: Lord Jesus Christ, help and save us. At a picture of His holy mother, we say: Holy God-bearer, pray for us with thy Son; and so with a martyr.... It would have been better for you to have been a heretic than a destroyer of images.” 31[Page 229] Hefele’s “History of the Councils,” sec. cccxxxii. As late as our own day the worship of images has been supported by a Catholic bishop with the following argument:—
    “The Old Testament forbade images (Exodus 20:4), because through the weakness of the Jewish people, and their strong inclination to imitate the idolatrous worships of the neighboring peoples, they had brought the spiritual and Monotheistic worship of God into danger. This prohibition was, like all ritual ordinances, no longer binding in itself, in the New Testament. On the contrary, it was the business of Christianity to lay hold of and ennoble the whole man in all his higher powers; and thus not only all the other noble arts, e. g., music and poetry, but also to draw painting and sculpture into the service of the most holy.”—Hefele, Id., par. 1.
    ECE 228.3

    47. In this crisis the papacy formed an alliance with the Lombards, who were glad of the opportunity offered in a zeal for the worship of images to seize upon the Italian territories of the Eastern emperor. By means of this alliance “entire Italy, excited by the pontiff, resolved to free itself from the rule of the Greek emperors.”—De Cormenin. 32[Page 229] “History of the Popes,” Gregory II, par. 29. This alliance, however, did not last long: each power—the Lombards and the papacy—being determined to possess as much of Italy as possible, there was constant irritation which finally culminated in open hostilities, and the Lombards invaded the papal territory in A. D. 739. And now what could the pope do? He could not appeal to his image-breaking enemy, the emperor. The Lombards, though friends of the images, were also now enemies of the pope. What could be done?ECE 229.1

    48. Charles Martel, the mayor of the palace of the Frankish kingdom, had gained a world-wide glory by his late victory, 732, over the Mohammedans at Tours. Of all the barbarians, the Franks were the first who had become Catholic, and they had ever since been dutiful sons of the Church. The pope, now—GREGORY III, MARCH 18, 732, TO NOV. 27, 741, determined to appeal to Charles for help against this assertion of Lombard dominion. He sent to Charles the keys of the “sepulcher of St. Peter;” some filings from the chains with which “Peter had been bound;” and, more important than all, as the legitimate inheritor of the authority of the ancient Roman republic, he presumed to bestow upon Charles Martel the title of Roman consul. “Throughout these transactions the pope appears actually, if not openly, an independent power, leaguing with the allies or the enemies of the empire, as might suit the exigencies of the time.” And now, “the pope, as an independent potentate, is forming an alliance with a transalpine sovereign for the liberation of Italy.”—Milman. 33[Page 230] “History of Latin Christianity,” book iv, chap 9, pars. 14, 26.ECE 229.2

    49. The Lombards, too, sent to Charles with counter-negotiations. This the pope knew, and wrote to Charles that in Italy the Lombards were treating him with contempt, and were saying, “Let him come, this Charles, with his army of Franks; if he can, let him rescue you out of our hands;” and then Gregory laments, and pleads with Charles thus:—ECE 230.1

    “O unspeakable grief, that such sons so insulted should make no effort to defend their holy mother, the Church! Not that St. Peter is unable to protect his successors, and to exact vengeance upon their oppressors, but the apostle is putting the faith of his followers to trial. Believe not the Lombard kings, that their only object is to punish their refractory subjects, the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, whose only crime is that they will not join in the invasion and plunder of the Roman see. Send, O my Christian son, some faithful officer, who may report to you truly the condition of affairs here; who may behold with his own eyes the persecutions we are enduring, the humiliation of the Church, the desolation of our property, the sorrow of the pilgrims who frequent our shrine. Close not your ears against our supplication, lest St. Peter close against you the gates of heaven. I conjure you by the living and the true God, and by the keys of St. Peter, not to prefer the alliance of the Lombards to the love of the great apostle, but hasten, hasten to our succor that we may say with the prophet, ‘The Lord has heard us in the day of tribulation, the God of Jacob has protected us.’” 34[Page 231] Id., par. 24.ECE 230.2

    50. The ambassadors and the letters of the pope “were received by Charles with decent reverence; but the greatness of his occupations and the shortness of his life, prevented his interference in the affairs of Italy, except by friendly and ineffectual mediation.”—Gibbon. 35[Page 231] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 12. But affairs soon took such a turn in France that the long-cherished desire of the papacy was rewarded with abundant fruition. Charles Martel was simply duke or mayor of the palace, under the sluggard kings of France. He died Oct. 21, 741. Gregory III died November 27, of the same year, and was succeeded by—ZACHARIAS, NOV. 30, 741, TO MARCH 14, 752. No immediate help coming from France, Zacharias made overtures to the Lombards, and a treaty of peace for twenty years was concluded between the kingdom of Lombardy and “the dukedom of Rome.”ECE 231.1

    51. Charles Martel left two sons, Carloman and Pepin. Carloman being the elder was his successor in office; but he had been in place but a little while, before he resigned it to his brother, and became a monk, A. D. 747. The late events in Italy, and the prestige which the pope had gained by them, exerted a powerful influence in France; and as the pope had already desired a league with Charles Martel, who, although not possessing the title, held all the authority, of a king, Pepin, his successor, conceived the idea that perhaps he could secure the papal sanction to his assuming the title of king with the authority which he already possessed. Pepin therefore sent two ecclesiastics to consult the pope as to whether he might not be king of France. Zacharias returned answer “that the nation might lawfully unite, in the same person, the title and authority of king; and that the unfortunate Childeric, a victim of the public safety, should be degraded, shaved, and confined in a monastery for the remainder of his days. An answer so agreeable to their wishes was accepted by the Franks as the opinion of a casuist, the sentence of a judge, or the oracle of a prophet; ...and Pepin was exalted on a buckler by the suffrage of a free people, accustomed to obey his laws, and to march under his standard;” and March 7, 752, was proclaimed king of the Franks.—Gibbon. 36[Page 232] Id., par. 13.ECE 231.2

    52. Zacharias died March 14, the same year, and was succeeded by STEPHEN II who died the fourth day afterward, and before his consecration, and STEPHEN III became pope, March 26. Astolph was now king of the Lombards. He had openly declared himself the enemy of the pope; and was determined to make not only the territories of the exarchate, but those of the pope, his own. The pope sent ambassadors, and the treaty of peace was renewed for “forty years;” “but in four months, the Lombard was again in arms. In terms of contumely and menace he demanded the instant submission of Rome, and the payment of a heavy personal tribute, a poll-tax on each citizen.” The pope again sent ambassadors; but they were treated with contempt, and Astolph invaded the territory of the exarchate, and laid siege to the capital, Ravenna.ECE 231.3

    53. “Eutychius, at this time exarch, defended the place for some time with great resolution and intrepidity; but, finding his men quite tired out, as the garrison was but small, by the repeated attacks of the enemy, and despairing of relief, he abandoned it at last, and returned, carrying with him what men and effects he could, by sea to Constantinople. Aistulphus, become thus master of the metropolis of the exarchate, reduced, almost without opposition, the other cities, and all the Pentapolis, which he added to his kingdom; and raised, by that addition, the power of the Lombards to the highest pitch it had yet attained to since the time they first entered Italy. Thus ended the exarchate of Ravenna; and, with the exarchate, the splendor of that ancient city, which had been ever since the time of Valentinian the seat of the emperors of the West, as it was afterward of the Gothic kings, and, upon their expulsion, of the exarchs, who residing there, had, for the space of one hundred and eighty-seven years, maintained the power and authority of the emperors in the West.”—Bower. 37[Page 232] “Lives of the Popes,” Stephen II, par. 3.ECE 232.1

    54. Astolph, having thus supplanted the exarch, claimed as his successor, the territories of the pope, even to Rome itself. The Eastern emperor sent an ambassador by way of Rome, with whom the pope sent his brother, to Astolph to ask him to send a representative to Constantinople to arrange terms between the Lombards and the Eastern Empire. Astolph sent them away with fair words; but seeing the pope intriguing with the emperor, he sent a messenger to the pope and the Romans demanding that they recognize his authority. They positively refused. Astolph with his army approached Rome to enforce his demand. “The pope appealed to heaven, by tying a copy of the treaty, violated by Astolph, to the holy cross.”—Milman. 38[Page 233] “History of Latin Christianity,” book iv, chap 11, par. 24. Astolph pressed the siege. The pope’s case was desperate again.ECE 232.2

    55. He wrote to Pepin, but got no answer. In his distress he wrote even to Constantinople, but much less from there was there an answer. Then he determined to go personally to Pepin, and ask his help. There was present at the court of the pope an ambassador from the court of France, under whose protection Stephen placed himself, and traveled openly through the dominions of Astolph. Nov. 15, 752, he entered the French dominions. He was met on the frontier by one of the clergy and a nobleman, with orders to conduct him to the court of the king. A hundred miles from the palace he was met by Prince Charles, afterward the mighty Charlemagne, with other nobles who escorted him on his way. Three miles from the palace, the king himself, with his wife and family, and an array of nobles, met Stephen. “As the pope approached, the king dismounted from his horse, and prostrated himself on the ground before him. He then walked by the side of the pope’s palfrey. The pope and the ecclesiastics broke out at once into hymns of thanksgiving, and so chanting as they went, reached the royal residence.ECE 233.1

    56. “Stephen lost no time in adverting to the object of his visit. He implored the immediate interposition of Pepin to enforce the restoration of St. Peter.... Pepin swore at once to fulfill all the requests of the pope.” 39[Page 234] Id., par. 25. “He even made in advance a donation to St. Peter of several cities and territories, which were still under the rule of the Lombards. The deed was solemnly delivered, and Pepin signed it, in his own name and that of his two sons, Charles and Carloman.”—De Cormenin. 40[Page 235] “History of the Popes,” Stephen III, par. 21. As the winter rendered all military operations impracticable, Pepin invited the pope “to Paris, where he took up his residence in the abbey of St. Denys.”ECE 233.2

    57. Pepin had already been anointed by a bishop in France, but this was not enough; the pope must anoint him too, and then upon this claim that the king of the Franks held his kingdom by the grace of the bishop of Rome. In the monastery of St. Denys, Stephen III placed the diadem on the head of Pepin, anointed him with the holy oil, confirmed the sovereignty in his house forever, and pronounced an eternal curse upon all who should attempt to name a king of France from any other than the race of Pepin. The pope was attacked with a dangerous sickness which kept him at the capital of France until the middle of 753.ECE 233.3

    58. On this same occasion, the pope as the head of the restored republic of Rome, renewed to Pepin the Roman title and dignity of patrician, which, as well as that of consul, had been conferred upon Charles Martel. He also bestowed the same title upon the two sons of Pepin, “to pledge them to defend the holy city.” The insignia of the new office were the keys of the shrine of St. Peter, “as a pledge and symbol of sovereignty;” and a “holy” banner which it was their “right and duty to unfurl” in defense of the Church and city of Rome.ECE 234.1

    59. The emperor Leo died in 741, and was succeeded by his son, Constantine V, June 18. While Constantine was absent on an expedition against the Saracens, a rival espoused the cause of the images, usurped the throne, and triumphantly restored the worship of the images. Constantine returned with his army and was victorious against the usurper and his cause. It had been the purpose of the emperor Leo “to pronounce the condemnation of images as an article of faith, and by the authority of the general council;” and now his son fulfilled that purpose. He convened a general council at Constantinople in 754, composed of three hundred and thirty-eight bishops. After six months’ deliberations, in a long disquisition they rendered their “unanimous decree that all visible symbols of Christ, except in the eucharist, were either blasphemous or heretical; that image-worship was a corruption of Christianity and a renewal of paganism; that all such monuments of idolatry should be broken or erased; and that those who should refuse to deliver the objects of their private superstition were guilty of disobedience to the authority of the Church and to the emperor.”—Gibbon. 41[Page 234] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 6.ECE 234.2

    60. “The patient East abjured, with reluctance, her sacred images; they were fondly cherished and vigorously defended by the independent zeal of the Italians.” 42[Page 235] Id., par. 47. The decree of the council was enforced by all the power of the emperor in bitter persecution. He “demanded of all the bishops and of the most distinguished monks a written assent to the decree of his synod. We do not learn that one single man among the bishops and secular clergy of the whole [Byzantine] kingdom refused; but so much the more earnestly was opposition made by many monks.”—Hefele. 43[Page 236] “History of the Councils,” sec. cccxxxvii.ECE 235.1

    61. Meantime Astolph had persuaded Carloman to leave his monastery, and go to the court of Pepin to counteract the influence of the pope, and if possible to win Pepin to the cause of the Lombards. But the unfortunate Carloman was at once imprisoned “for life,” and his life was ended in a few days. In September and October, 753, Pepin and the pope marched to Italy against Astolph, who took refuge in Pavia. They advanced to the walls of that city: and Astolph was glad to purchase an ignominious peace, by pledging himself, on oath, to restore the territory of Rome.ECE 235.2

    62. Pepin returned to his capital; and Stephen retired to Rome. But Pepin was no sooner well out of reach, than Astolph was under arms again, and on his way to Rome. He marched to the very gates of the city, and demanded the surrender of the pope. “He demanded that the Romans should give up the pope into his hands, and on these terms only would he spare the city. Astolph declared he would not leave the pope a foot of land.”—Milman. 44[Page 237] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. ii, book iv, chap 11, par. 28.ECE 235.3

    63. Stephen hurried away messengers with a letter to Pepin in which the pope reminded him that St. Peter had promised him eternal life in return for a vow which he had made to make a donation to St. Peter. He told Pepin that he risked eternal damnation in not hastening to fulfill his vow; and that as Peter had Pepin’s handwriting to the vow, if he did not fulfill it, the apostle would present it against him in the day of judgment. Pepin did not respond, and a second letter was dispatched in which the pope “conjured him, by God and His holy mother, by the angels in heaven, by the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and by the last day,” to hasten to the rescue of his holy mother, the Church, and promised him, if he would do so, “victory over all the barbarian nations, and eternal life.”ECE 235.4

    64. But even yet Pepin did not respond; and as Astolph was pressing closer and harder, the pope determined to have St. Peter himself address the dilatory king. Accordingly, he sent now the following letter:—ECE 236.1

    “I, Peter the apostle, protest, admonish, and conjure you, the most Christian kings, Pepsin, Charles, and Carloman, with all the hierarchy, bishops, abbots, priests, and all monks; all judges, dukes, counts, and the whole people of the Franks. The mother of God likewise adjures you, and admonishes and commands you, she as well as the thrones and dominions, and all the hosts of heaven, to save the beloved city of Rome from the detested Lombards. If ye hasten, I, Peter, the apostle, promise you my protection in this life and in the next, I will prepare for you the most glorious mansions in heaven, will bestow on you the everlasting joys of paradise. Make common cause with my people of Rome, and I will grant whatever ye may pray for. I conjure you not to yield up this city to be lacerated and tormented by the Lombards, lest your own souls be lacerated and tormented in hell, with the devil and his pestilential angels. Of all nations under heaven, the Franks are highest in the esteem of St. Peter; to me you owe all your victories. Obey, and obey speedily, and, by my suffrage, our Lord Jesus Christ will give you in this life length of days, security, victory; in the life to come, will multiply his blessings upon you, among his saints and angels.” 45[Page 236] Id., par. 31.ECE 236.2

    65. This aroused Pepin to the most diligent activity. Astolph heard that he was coming, and hastened back to his capital; but scarcely heard he reached it before Pepin was besieging him there. Astolph yielded at once, and gave up to Pepin the whole disputed territory. Representatives of the emperor of the East were there to demand that it be restored to him; but “Pepin declared that his sole object in the war was to show his veneration for St. Peter;” and as the spoils of conquest, he bestowed the whole of it upon the pope—A. D. 755. “The representatives of the pope, who, however, always speak of the republic of Rome, passed through the land, receiving the homage of the authorities, and the keys of the cities. The district comprehended Ravenna, Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Cesena, Sinigaglia, Iesi, Forlimpopoli, Forli with the Castle Sussibio, Montefeltro, Acerra, Monte di Lucano, Serra, San Marino, Bobbio, Urbino, Cagli, Luciolo, Gubbio, Comachio, and Narni, which was severed from the dukedom of Spoleto.” 46[Page 237] Id., par. 35.ECE 236.3

    66. Astolph was soon afterward killed while hunting. The succession was disputed between Desiderius and Rachis. Desiderius secured the throne by courting the influence of the pope, and in return the pope compelled him to agree to surrender to the papacy five cities, and the whole duchy of Ferrara besides. The agreement was afterward fulfilled, and these territories were added to the kingdom of the pope.ECE 237.1

    67. Stephen III died April 26, 757, and was succeeded by his brother—PAUL, MAY 29, 757, TO JUNE 28, 767, who glorified Pepin as a new Moses, who had freed Israel from the bondage of Egypt. As Moses had confounded idolatry, so had Pepin confounded heresy; and he rapturously exclaimed, “Thou, after God, art our defender and aider. If all the hairs of our heads were tongues, we could not give you thanks equal to your deserts.” When Constantine V learned that Pepin had bestowed upon the pope “the exarchate of Ravenna and Pentapolis,” he sent two ambassadors to Pepin to persuade him to restore those lands to the authority of the Eastern emperor. But, to his request, Pepin answered that “the Franks had not shed their blood for the Greeks, but for St. Peter and the salvation of their souls; and he would not, for all the gold in the world, take back his promise made to the Roman Church.” Paul I “took every pains to work in opposition to the Byzantines;” and “in one of the letters which Pope Paul now addressed to Pepin, he assured him that it was the affair of the images that was the principal cause of the great anger of the Greeks against Rome.”—Hefele. 47[Page 238] Id., sec. cccxxxviii.ECE 237.2

    68. All the donations which Pepin had bestowed upon the papacy were received and held by the popes, under the pious fiction that they were for such holy uses as keeping up the lights in the churches, and maintaining the poor. But in fact they were held as the dominions of the new sovereign State descended from the Roman republic, the actual authority of which had now become merged in the pope, and by right of which the pope had already made Charles a Roman consul, and Pepin a patrician. All these territories the pope ruled as sovereign. He “took possession as lord and master; he received the homage of the authorities and the keys of the cities. The local or municipal institutions remained; but the revenue, which had before been received by the Byzantine crown, became the revenue of the Church: of that revenue the pope was the guardian, distributor, possessor.”—Milman. 48[Page 238] Id., par. 41.ECE 237.3

    69. In A. D. 768, Pepin died, and was succeeded by his two sons, Charles and Carloman. In 771 Carloman died, Charlemagne reigned. In 772 succeeded to the popedom—HADRIAN OR ADRIAN, FEB. 9, 772, TO DEC. 25, 795.ECE 238.1

    70. Charlemagne was a no less devout Catholic than was Clovis before him. His wars against the pagan Saxons were almost wholly wars of religion; and his stern declaration that “these Saxons must be Christianized or wiped out,” expresses the temper both of his religion and of his warfare. The enmity between the pope and the Lombards still continued; and the king of the Lombards invaded the territory and took possession of some of the cities, which Pepin had bestowed upon the papacy. The pope immediately applied to Charlemagne, reminding him of the obligation that was upon him ever since he with his father Pepin had received of the pope the title and dignity of patrician of Rome. Charlemagne marched immediately into Lombardy, A. D. 773, and laid siege to Pavia, the Lombard capital: at the same time with a part of his army attacking the city of Verona.ECE 238.2

    71. It was the month of October before Verona fell; and Pavia held out till the following summer. As Easter approached, Charlemagne decided to celebrate the festival in Rome. In the month of March, “attended by a great many bishops, abbots, and other ecclesiastics, who had accompanied him into Italy, as well as officers and persons of distinction,” he made his journey to the renowned city. As soon as the pope knew the road upon which Charlemagne was coming “he sent all the magistrates and judges of the city, with their banners and the badges of their respective offices, to meet him at thirty miles’ distance, and attend him the remaining part of his journey. At a mile from the gate he was received by all the militia of Rome under arms, and a procession of children carrying branches of olive trees in their hands and singing his praises. After them appeared at some distance the crosses that were carried according to custom before the exarchs and the Roman patricians, in their public entries. As soon as he saw the crosses, Charlemagne alighted from his horse, with all his retinue, and, attended by his own nobility and the Roman, went on foot, amidst the loud acclamations of the people crowding from all parts to see him, the rest of the way to the Vatican.ECE 238.3

    72. “As for the pope, he, with the whole body of the clergy, had repaired to the church of the Vatican early in the morning to await there the arrival of the king, and conduct him in person to the tomb of St. Peter. Charlemagne being arrived at the foot of the steps leading up to the church, kneeled down and kissed the first step; and thus continued kneeling down and kissing each step as he ascended. At the entry of the church he was received by the pontiff in all the gorgeous attire of his pontifical ornaments. They embraced each other with great tenderness; and the king holding the pope’s right hand with his left, they thus entered the church: the people and clergy singing aloud the words of the gospel, ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ The pope conducted the king straight to the confession; that is, to the supposed tomb of St. Peter; and there prostrating themselves both on the ground, they returned thanks to the prince of the apostles for the great advantage the king had, by his intercession, already obtained over his enemies and the enemies of the Church....ECE 239.1

    73. “The third day after Easter the pope and the king had a conference in the Vatican, when Hadrian coming to the main point put the king in mind of the promise which King Pepin, his father, and he himself had made at Chiersi to his holy predecessor, Pope Stephen, extolled the generosity of his predecessors and his own to the apostolic see, the merit they had thereby acquired, and the reward that was on that account reserved for them in heaven; and earnestly entreated him as he tendered his happiness in this world and the other, to confirm his former promise or donation; to cause all the places mentioned therein to be delivered up without further delay to St. Peter; and to secure forever the possession of them to that apostle and his Church. Charlemagne readily complied with the desire of the pope: and having caused the former instrument of donation to be read, he ordered Etherius, his chaplain and notary, to draw up another. This new instrument he signed himself: and, requiring all the bishops, abbots, and other great men who had attended him to Rome, to sign it, with his own hand he laid it thus signed, kissing it with great respect and devotion, on the body of St. Peter.”—Bower. 49[Page 240] “Lives of the Popes,” Hadrian, pars. 13, 14.ECE 239.2

    74. This document has been so utterly lost, that it is impossible to know just what was included in the donation. It was more to the interest of the papacy that it should be lost, than that it should be preserved. If it were preserved, the claims of the papacy could be confined to its specified limits: while if it were utterly lost, they could under it claim at least everything within the bounds of all Italy. And this has actually been done: “It is said to have comprehended the whole of Italy, the exarchate of Ravenna from Istria to the frontiers of Naples, including the Island of Corsica.”—Milman. It is known that at least the dukedom of Spoleto was added to the territories already named in the donation of Pepin. “Charlemagne made this donation as lord by conquest over the Lombard kingdom, and the territory of the exarchate.” 50[Page 240] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. ii, book iv, chap 12, pars. 15, 16.ECE 240.1

    75. Charlemagne returned to the siege of Pavia, which he pressed so hard that the city soon fell. Desiderius, the Lombard king, was obliged to surrender “and deliver up himself, with his wife and daughter, to Charlemagne upon condition, for the conqueror would hear to no other, that their lives were spared. Charlemagne took them with him into France, and confined them, according to some writers, first to Liege and afterward to the monastery of Corbie, where Desiderius is said to have spent the rest of his life in fasting, in praying, and in other good works. Thus ended the reign of the Lombard princes in Italy two hundred and six years after they had made themselves masters of that country. I say the reign of the Lombard princes; for, properly speaking, that kingdom did not end now, Charlemagne having assumed, upon the surrender of Pavia and the captivity of Desiderius, the title of King of the Lombards, and left the people in the same condition he found them; so that the monarch was changed, but no alteration was made in the monarchy.ECE 240.2

    76. “As Charlemagne claimed the kingdom of the Lombards by right of conquest, he caused himself, soon after the reduction of Pavia, to be crowned king of Lombardy by the archbishop of Milan at a place called Modastia, about ten miles from that city. Of that ceremony we read the following account in the Ordo Romanus, a very ancient ritual: The new king was led out of his chamber by several bishops to the church; and being conducted to the high altar, the archbishop, after some solemn prayers, asked the people whether they were willing to subject themselves to Charles, and with constant fidelity obey his commands? The people answering that they were willing, the bishop anointed his head, breast, shoulders, and arms, praying that the new king might be successful in his wars, and happy in his issue. He then girt him with a sword, put bracelets on his arms, and gave him a robe, a ring, and a scepter; and having placed the crown on his head he led him through the choir to the throne, and having seated him there and given him the kiss of peace, he celebrated divine service.”ECE 241.1

    77. Having thus completed the conquest of Lombardy and placed, upon his own head the iron crown of that kingdom, “Charlemagne’s first care, after the reduction of Pavia, was to put the pope in possession of all the places that had been yielded to him by his father or himself; viz., the exarchate, the Pentapolis, and the dukedom of Spoleto, which, however, continued to be governed by its own dukes. Thus the popes had at last the satisfaction, the so-long-wished-for satisfaction, of seeing the Lombards humbled, and no longer able to control them in their ambitious views; the emperors driven almost out of Italy; and themselves enriched by the spoils of both.... Charlemagne, having thus settled the affairs of Italy to the entire satisfaction of the pope and his own, repassed the mountains in the month of August of the present year [774], and returned to France.”—Bower. 51[Page 241] “Lives of the Popes,” Hadrian, par. 26, note 17.ECE 241.2

    78. In exactly the papal, the feudal, form of temporal government, “Hadrian took possession of the exarchate, seemingly with the power and privileges of a temporal prince. Throughout the exarchate of Ravenna he had ‘his men,’ who were judged by magistrates of his appointment, owed him fealty, and could not leave the land without his special permission. Nor are these only ecclesiastics, subordinate to his spiritual power (that spiritual supremacy Hadrian indeed asserted to the utmost extent: Rome had a right of judicature over all churches); but his language to Charlemagne is that of a feudal suzerain also: ‘As your men are not allowed to come to Rome without your permission and special letter, so my men must not be allowed to appear at the court of France without the same credentials from me. The same allegiance which the subjects of Charlemagne owed to him, was to be required from the subjects of the see of Rome to the pope. Let him be thus admonished: We are to remain in the service, and under the dominion, of the blessed apostle St. Peter to the end of the world.’ The administration of justice was in the pope’s name; and not only the ecclesiastical dues, and the rents of estates forming part of the patrimony of St. Peter, the civil revenue likewise came into his treasury. Hadrian bestows on Charlemagne as a gift, the marbles and mosaics of the imperial palace in Ravenna: that palace apparently his own undisputed property.ECE 241.3

    79. “Such was the allegiance claimed over the exarchate and the whole territory included in the donation of Pepin and Charlemagne: with all which the ever-watchful pope was continually adding (parts of the old Sabine territory, of Campania and of Capua) to the immediate jurisdiction of the papacy. Throughout these territories the old Roman institutions remained under the pope as patrician; the patrician seemed tantamount to imperial authority. The city of Rome alone maintained, with the form, somewhat of the independence of a republic. Hadrian, with the power, assumed the magnificence of a great potentate. His expenditure in Rome more especially, as became his character, on the religious buildings, was profuse. Rome with the increase of the papal revenues, began to resume more of her ancient splendor.”—Milman. 52[Page 242] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol. ii, book iv, chap 12, pars. 19, 20.ECE 242.1

    80. In 776 Charlemagne was obliged by a Lombard revolt to go again to Italy. His motions were, however, so prompt and vigorous that it was not necessary for him to remain there long. In 780, again because of a Lombard revolt, and also because the archbishop of Ravenna had laid claim to the exarchate in opposition to the pope, he was obliged to go again to Italy. This time he went even to Rome, where he again celebrated Easter, 781, with the pope; and had his son Carloman, who was five years old, baptized by the pope; and both his sons Carloman and Louis anointed kings—Carloman of Lombardy, Louis of Aquitaine.ECE 242.2

    81. During all these years, the Iconoclastic War had gone on between the East and the West. Constantine V had died Sept. 14, 775, and had been succeeded by his son, Leo IV, who largely relieved the pressure which Constantine had continuously held, against the worship of images. He died Sept. 8, 780, and was succeeded by his son, Constantine VI, who was but ten years old. Because of the youth of the new Constantine, his mother Irene became his guardian, and began diligently to work for the restoration of the images. She opened correspondence with Pope Hadrian I, who “exhorted her continually to this.” 53[Page 243] In his argument promotive of image worship the pope used Hebrews 11:21—Jacob blessed both sons of Joseph and “worshiped upon the top of his staff,” making it support image worship by casting out the prepositions so as to read: “worshiped the top of his staff.”—Bower’s” Lives of the Popes,” Hadrian, par. 40. And so it reads in the Catholic Bible to-day. But since the image worship had been abolished by a general council, it was only by a general council that image worship could be doctrinally restored. It took considerable time to bring this about, so that it was not till 787 that the council was convened.ECE 243.1

    82. This council, called also the seventh general council, was held at Nice, in Asia, especially for the prestige that would accrue to it by the name of the second Council of Nice. It was held Sept. 24 to Oct. 23, A. D. 787. “The iconoclasts appeared, not as judges, but as criminals or penitents; the scene was decorated by the legates of Pope Adrian, and the Eastern patriarchs; the decrees were framed by the president, Tarasius, and ratified by the acclamations and subscriptions of three hundred and fifty bishops. They unanimously pronounced that the worship of images is agreeable to Scripture and reason, to the Fathers and councils of the Church.”—Gibbon. 54[Page 243] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 17.ECE 243.2

    83. The closing words of the decree of the council are as follows:—ECE 243.3

    “We are taught by the Lord, the apostles, and the prophets, that we ought to honor and praise before all, the holy God-bearer, who is exalted above all heavenly powers; further, the holy angels, the apostles, prophets, and martyrs, the holy doctors, and all saints, that we may avail ourselves of their intercession, which can make us acceptable to God if we walk virtuously. Moreover, we venerate also the image of the sacred and life-giving cross and the relics of the saints, and accept the sacred and venerable images, and greet and embrace them, according to the ancient tradition of the holy Catholic Church of God, namely, of our holy Fathers, who received these images, and ordered them to be set up in all churches everywhere. These are the representations of our Incarnate Saviour Jesus Christ, then of our inviolate Lady and quite holy God-bearer, and of the unembodied angels, who have appeared to the righteous in human form; also the pictures of the holy apostles, prophets, martyrs, etc., that we may be reminded by the representation of the original, and may be led to a certain participation in His holiness.”ECE 244.1

    84. “This decree was subscribed by all present, even by the priors of monasteries and some monks. The two papal legates added to their subscription the remark, that they received all who had been converted from the impious heresy of the enemies of images.”—Hefele. 55[Page 244] “History of the Councils,” sec. cocli. “The council was not content with this formal and solemn subscription. With one voice they broke out into a long acclamation, ‘We all believe, we all assent, we all subscribe. This is the faith of the apostles, this is the faith of the Church, this is the faith of the orthodox, this is the faith of all the world. We, who adore the Trinity, worship images. Whoever does not the like, anathema upon him! Anathema on all who call images idols! Anathema on all who communicate with them who do not worship images! Anathema upon Theodorus, falsely called bishop of Ephesus; against Sisinnius, of Perga, against Basilius with the ill omened name! Anathema against the new Arius Nestorius and Dioscorus, Anastasius; against Constantine and Nicetas (the iconoclast patriarchs of Constantinople)! Everlasting glory to the orthodox Germanus, to John of Damascus! To Gregory of Rome everlasting glory! Everlasting glory to the preachers of truth!” 56[Page 244] Milman’s “History of Latin Christianity,” book iv, chap 7, par. 27.ECE 244.2

    85. “In the West, Pope Adrian I accepted and announced the decrees of the Nicene assembly, which is now revered by the Catholics as the seventh in rank of the general councils.” “For the honor of orthodoxy, at least the orthodoxy of the Roman Church, it is somewhat unfortunate that the two princes [Constantine and Irene] who convened the two councils of Nice, are both stained with the blood of their sons.”—Gibbon. 57[Page 245] “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 18.ECE 244.3

    86. In the year 787 Charlemagne went again to Italy, took six cities—Sora, Arces, Aqrpino, Arpino, Theano, and Capua—of the dukedom of Beneventum, and added them to his already immense territorial donations to the papacy. In the year 795 Pope Hadrian died, and was immediately succeeded by—LEO III, DEC. 26, 795, TO JAN. 24, 817, who in the year 799 made a journey to France, and was royally received and entertained by Charlemagne. At a royal banquet, the king and the pope quaffed together “their rich wines with convivial glee.”—Milman. 58[Page 245] “History of Latin Christianity,” Vol ii, book iv, chap 12, par. 26.ECE 245.1

    87. And now Charlemagne’s conquests were finished. He wore the crown of the Frankish kingdom, and the iron crown of the kingdom of Lombardy. In addition to these two kingdoms, he was the ruler of a vast region, in which dukedoms were almost as large as kingdoms: some of which had indeed been kingdoms. He was the one great sovereign in Europe; and the one great defender of the Church. Why then should he not be emperor? He and his father and his grandfather had all been made by the popes patricians of Rome. And now that Charlemagne was so much greater than when he was made patrician; and so much greater than was either his father or his grandfather when they were made patricians; why should he not have a yet higher dignity? If a mere king of France could deserve to be a patrician of Rome, did not that same king of France when also king of Lombardy and sovereign of vast territories besides, deserve a dignity as much greater than that of patrician as his power was now greater than when he was only king of France? There were only two dignities higher than that of patrician—consul and emperor; and that of consul as well as that of patrician had been bestowed on Charles Martel when he was not even a king. Therefore for Charlemagne what appropriate dignity remained but that of emperor.ECE 245.2

    88. In the year 800 Charlemagne made a journey to Rome. He arrived in the city November 23, and remained there through the winter, and till after Easter. On Christmas day, A. D. 800, magnificent services were held. Charlemagne appeared not in the dress of his native country, but in that of a patrician of Rome, which honor he, as both his father and his grandfather, had received from the pope. Thus arrayed, the king with all his court, his nobles, and the people, and the whole clergy of Rome, attended the services. “The pope himself chanted the mass; the full assembly were wrapped in profound devotion. At the close the pope rose, advanced toward Charles with a splendid crown in his hands, placed it upon his brow, and proclaimed him Caesar Augustus.” The dome of the great church “resounded with the acclamations of the people, ‘Long life and victory to Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by God the great and pacific emperor of the Romans.’” Then the head and body of Charlemagne were anointed with the “holy oil” by the hands of the pope himself, and the services were brought to a close. 59[Page 246] Id., par. 31, and Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall,” chap 49, par. 20. In return for all this, Charlemagne swore to maintain the faith, the powers, and the privileges of the Church; and to recognize the spiritual dominion of the pope, throughout the limits of his empire.ECE 246.1

    89. It would be a sheer ignoring of the native far-seeing craftiness of the papacy, to suppose that this deduction had not occurred to the popes who witnessed Charlemagne’s wonderful career. This would be true even though there were nothing but that amazing career, upon which the papacy might be expected to build. But in addition to this there are in the course of the papacy unquestionable facts which practically demonstrate that it was a deeply laid scheme for the exaltation of the papacy, its secret working traceable far back in her ambitious course.ECE 246.2

    90. The conferring of the dignity of patrician, as well as that of consul, was a prerogative that pertained to the Roman emperor alone. For the pope then to confer such a dignity was in itself first to assert that the pope occupied the place of emperor, and possessed an authority that included that of emperor. This is exactly what was claimed. We have seen that even while the Roman Empire yet remained, Pope Leo the Great, 440-461, declared that the former Rome was but the promise of the latter Rome; that the glories of the former were to be reproduced in Catholic Rome; that Romulus and Remus were but the precursors of Peter and Paul, and the successors of Romulus therefore the precursors of the successors of Peter; and that as the former Rome had ruled the world, so the latter by the see of the holy blessed Peter as head of the world would dominate the earth. This conception was never lost by the papacy. And when the Roman Empire had in itself perished, and only the papacy survived the ruin and firmly held place and power in Rome, the capital, how much stronger and with the more certitude would that conception be held and asserted.ECE 246.3

    91. This conception was also intentionally and systematically developed. The Scriptures were industriously studied and ingeniously perverted to maintain it. By a perverse application of the Levitical system of the Old Testament, the authority and eternity of the Roman priesthood was established; and by perverse deductions “from the New Testament, the authority and eternity of Rome herself was established.” First taking the ground that she was the only true continuation of original Rome, upon that the papacy took the ground that wherever the New Testament cited or referred to the authority of original Rome, she was meant, because she was the true, and the only true, continuation of original Rome. Accordingly, where the New Testament enjoins submission to the powers that be, or obedience to governors, it means the papacy; because the only power and the only governors that then were, were Roman. And since even Christ had recognized the authority of Pilate who was but the representative of Rome, who should dare to disregard the authority of the papacy, the true continuation of that authority to which even the Lord from heaven had submitted? “Every passage was seized on where submission to the powers that be is enjoined; every instance cited where obedience had actually been rendered to imperial officials: special emphasis being laid on the sanction which Christ himself had given to Roman dominion by pacifying the world through Augustus, by being born at the time of the taxing, by paying tribute to Caesar, by saying to Pilate, ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me except it were given thee from above.’” 60[Page 247] Bryce, “The Holy Roman Empire,” chap 7, par. 17.ECE 247.1

    92. The power that was usurped by the popes upon these perversions of Scripture, was finally confirmed by a specific and absolute forgery. This “most stupendous of all the medieval forgeries” consisted of “the Imperial Edict of Donation,” or “the Donation of Constantine.” “Itself a portentous falsehood, it is the most unimpeachable evidence of the thoughts and beliefs of the priesthood which framed it.... It tells how Constantine the Great, cured of his leprosy by the prayers of Sylvester, resolved, on the fourth day after his baptism, to forsake the ancient seat for a new capital on the Bosphorus, lest the continuance of the secular government should cramp the freedom of the spiritual; and how he bestowed therewith upon the pope and his successors the sovereignty over Italy and the countries of the West. But this was not all, although this is what historians, in admiration of its splendid audacity, have chiefly dwelt upon. The edict proceeds to grant to the Roman pontiff and his clergy a series of dignities and privileges, all of them enjoyed by the emperor and his Senate, all of them showing the same desire to make the pontifical a copy of the imperial office. The pope is to inhabit the Lateran palace, to wear the diadem, the collar, the purple cloak, to carry the scepter, and to be attended by a body of chamberlains. Similarly his clergy are to ride on white horses, and receive the honors and immunities of the Senate and patricians. The notion which prevails throughout, that the chief of the religious society must be in every point conformed to his prototype, the chief of the civil, is the key to all the thoughts and acts of the Roman clergy: not less plainly seen in the details of papal ceremonial, than in the gigantic scheme of papal legislation.”—Bryce. 61[Page 248] “The Holy Roman Empire,” chap 7, pars. 8, 9.ECE 248.1

    93. The document tells how that “Constantine found Sylvester in one of the monasteries on Mount Soracte, and having mounted him on a mule, he took hold of his bridle rein, and, walking all the way, the emperor conducted Sylvester to Rome, and placed him on the papal throne;” and then, as to the imperial gift, says:—ECE 248.2

    “We attribute to the see of Peter, all the dignity, all the glory, all the authority, of the imperial power. Furthermore we give to Sylvester and to his successors our palace of the Lateran, which is incontestably the finest palace on earth; we give him our crown, our miter, our diadem, and all our imperial vestments; we transfer to him the imperial dignity. We bestow on the holy pontiff in free gift the city of Rome, and all the Western cities of Italy. To cede precedence to him, we divest ourselves of our authority over all these provinces; and we withdraw from Rome, transferring the seat of our empire to Byzantium: inasmuch as it is not proper that an earthly emperor should preserve the least authority where God hath established the head of His religion.” 62[Page 249] Wylie’s “History of Protestantism,” book i, chap 3, par. 14.ECE 248.3

    94. This forgery was committed in these very times of the intrigues of the popes with Pepin and Charlemagne against the Lombards and the authority of the Eastern Empire as represented in the West in the exarchate of Ravenna. It was first produced as a standard of appeal in 776; and in the dense ignorance in which the papacy had whelmed Europe, it was easy to maintain it. And this is the great secret of the marvelous success of the popes in securing to the papacy the immense donations of the Italian and Lombard cities and territories by Pepin and Charlemagne. And with such inveterate views of her own possession of the imperial dignity and prerogatives, to do with as she would, to bestow upon whom she pleased, it is easy enough to understand that she would anxiously watch the conquering career of Charlemagne, or of any other who might appear, and would carefully cultivate his friendship ready to make use of him at the opportune moment, to flatter his ambition and exalt her own dignity and power by exercising the prerogative of creating emperors.ECE 249.1

    95. Just at this time also there occurred another circumstance which perfectly opened the way for the papacy to take this mighty step: the Eastern Empire had fallen absolutely to a woman. It was held to be utterly illegitimate for a woman to reign as empress. Before this, women had exercised the imperial authority; yet it was always concealed under the name of a husband or a minor son. But in 797 Irene, the mother of Constantine VI and widow of the emperor Leo IV, who from 780 to 790 had reigned as regent, deposed her son, and had his eyes put out with such barbarity that in a few days afterward he died. “Upon his death Irene was proclaimed empress. And thus, what had never before happened, did the empire fall to the distaff.”—Bower. 63[Page 249] “Lives of the Popes,” Leo III, par. 26. And into the breach caused by the usurpation of Irene, 797-802, Pope Leo III pressed himself with the crowning of Charlemagne as emperor, and, thus, with the restoration of the Western Empire.ECE 249.2

    96. When Odoacer with the Senate in 476 abolished the Western Empire, “he did not abolish it as a separate power, but caused it to be reunited with or sunk into the Eastern.” He sent the imperial insignia to the Eastern emperor, with the statement that one emperor was sufficient: “so that from that time there was, as there had been before Diocletian, a single undivided Roman Empire.” And now when by the usurpation of Irene there was no Eastern emperor and Charlemagne is crowned emperor, it was held to be the transference of the empire once more to its original and rightful place in the West. And thus Charlemagne was always in the fiction “held to be the legitimate successor, not of Romulus Augustus, but of Leo IV, Heraclius, Justinian, Aracadius, and the whole Eastern line. And hence it is that in all the annals of the time, and of many succeeding centuries, the name of Constantine VI, the sixty-seventh in order from Augustus, is followed without a break by that of Charles, the sixty-eighth.” Leo and Charlemagne professed that they were “but legitimately filling up the place of the deposed Constantine the Sixth: the people of the imperial city exercising their ancient right of choice, their bishop his right of consecration.”—Bryce. 64[Page 250] “The Holy Roman Empire,” chap 5, par. 10.ECE 250.1

    97. Thus the assumption of the papacy in the crowning of Charlemagne emperor, was not merely the assumption of power and prerogative to create an emperor in itself: it was nothing less than the enormous assumption of all the power and prerogative of the whole original Roman Empire, and the re-establishment of it in its own original capital Rome. And though for the immediate occasion, Charlemagne was the convenient means by which this enormous assumption was made to prevail; and though through later occasions, Charlemagne’s successors were the means by which that enormous assumption was maintained; yet these were indeed only the occasional means of the papacy’s attaining to that supreme height of arrogance at which she would hold as entirely of herself all the power and prerogative of that enormous assumption, and, “arrayed with sword and crown and scepter,“ would stout aloud to the assembled multitude, “I AM CAESAR—I AM EMPEROR!”ECE 250.2

    98. The real nature of this new empire with office of emperor can be seen from the fact that “in a great assembly held at Aachen, A. D. 802, the lately crowned emperor revised the laws of all the races that obeyed him, endeavoring to harmonize and correct them, and issued a capitulary singular in subject and in tone. All persons within his dominions, as well ecclesiastical as civil, who have already sworn allegiance to him as king, are thereby commanded to swear to him afresh as Caesar; and all who have never yet sworn, down to the age of twelve, shall now take the same oath. ‘At the same time it shall be publicly explained to all what is the force and meaning of this oath, and how much more it includes than a mere promise of fidelity to the monarch’s person. Firstly, it binds those who swear it, to live, each and every one of them, according to his strength and knowledge, in the holy service of God; since the lord emperor can not extend over all his care and discipline. Secondly, it binds them neither by force nor fraud to seize or molest any of the goods or servants of the crown. Thirdly, to do no violence nor treason toward the Holy Church, or to widows, or orphans, or strangers, seeing that the lord emperor has been appointed after the Lord and His saints, the protector and defender of all such. Then in similar fashion purity of life is prescribed to the monks; homicide, the neglect of hospitality, and other offenses are denounced, the notions of sin and crime being intermingled and almost identified in a way to which no parallel can be found, unless it be in the Mosaic Code.... The whole cycle of social and moral duty is deduced from the obligation of obedience to the visible autocratic head of the Christian State.ECE 251.1

    99. “In most of Charles’s words and deeds, nor less distinctly in the writings of his adviser Alcuin, may be discerned the working of the same theocratic ideas. Among his intimate friends he chose to be called by the name of David, exercising in reality all the powers of the Jewish king; presiding over this kingdom of God upon earth rather as a second Constantine or Theodosius than in the spirit and traditions of the Julii or the Flavii. Among his measures there are two which in particular recall the first Christian emperor. As Constantine founds, so Charles erects on a firmer basis, the connection of Church and State. Bishops and abbots are as essential a part of rising feudalism as counts and dukes. Their benefices are held under the same conditions of fealty and the service in war of their vassal tenants, not of the spiritual person himself: they have similar rights of jurisdiction, and are subject alike to the imperial missi. The monarch tries often to restrict the clergy, as persons, to spiritual duties; quells the insubordination of monasteries; endeavors to bring the seculars into a monastic life by instituting and regulating chapters. But after granting wealth and power, the attempt was vain: his strong hand withdrawn, they laughed at control. Again, it was by him first that the payment of tithes, for which the priesthood had long been pleading, was made compulsory in Western Europe, and the support of the ministers of religion intrusted to the laws of the State.”—Bryce. 65[Page 252] “The Holy Roman Empire,” chap 5, pars. 8, 9 from end.ECE 251.2

    100. “Thus the holy Roman Church and the holy Roman Empire are one and the same thing, in two aspects; and Catholicism, the principle of the universal Christian society, is also Romanism: that is, rests upon Rome as the origin and type of its universality; manifesting itself in a mystic dualism which corresponds to the two natures of its Founder. As divine and eternal, its head is the pope, to whom souls have been intrusted; as human and temporal, the emperor, commissioned to rule men’s bodies and acts. In nature and compass the government of these two potentates is the same, differing only in the sphere of its working; and it matters not whether we call the pope a spiritual emperor, or the emperor a secular pope.ECE 252.1

    101. “This is the one perfect and self-consistent scheme of the union of Church and State; for, taking the absolute coincidence of their limits to be self-evident, it assumes the infallibility of their joint government, and devices, as a corollary from that infallibility, the duty of the civil magistrate to root out heresy and schism no less than to punish treason and rebellion. It is also the scheme which, granting the possibility of their harmonious action, places the two powers in that relation which gives each of them its maximum strength. But by a law to which it would be hard to find exceptions, in proportion as the State became more Christian, the Church, who to work out her purposes had assumed worldly forms, became by the contact worldlier, meaner, spiritually weaker.” 66[Page 253] Id., chap 7, pars. 12, 13.ECE 252.2

    102. As to the relationship of the emperor and the pope “no better illustrations can be desired than those to be found in the office for the imperial coronation at Rome, too long to be transcribed here, but well worthy of an attentive study. The rights prescribed in it are rights of consecration to a religious office: the emperor, besides the sword, globe, and scepter of temporal power, receives a ring as the symbol of his faith, is ordained a subdeacon, assists the pope in celebrating mass, partakes as a clerical person of the communion in both kinds, is admitted a canon of St. Peter and St. John Lateran.... The emperor swears to cherish and defend the holy Roman Church and her bishop.... Among the emperor’s official titles there occur these: ‘Head of Christendom,” ‘Defender and Advocate of the Christian Church,’ ‘Temporal Head of the Faithful,’ ‘Protector of Palestine and of the Catholic Faith.’” 67[Page 253] Id., chap 7, par. 16.ECE 253.1

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