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rish to the church. He was to take all proper occasions to preach to the people. St. Francis, St. Dominick, and St. Vincent Ferrier, used generally to preach in the open air. If fathers and mothers did not send their children and servants to mass, and to hear the Christian doctrine, they were not to receive absolution. Among the Excerptions of Ecbriht, A.D. 740, it is ordered that all priests at the
proper hours of day and night toll the bells of their churches, and perform their offices to God; that besides preaching Christ's Gospel to the people on all Sundays and festivals, they do with great care teach their flock the Paternoster and Credo, and the whole knowledge and practice of Christianity; and let them not desire earthly pay for what they have obtained by divine grace.
« Those who have commited suicide are not to be commemorated in the canons of the mass ;” and by St. Cuthbert's canons of Cloveshoo, A.D. 747, the clergy were to “ instruct the people in the ceremonies of the mass, and what they do spiritually signify, lest they be found dumb and ignorant in those intercessions which they make to God for the atonement of the sins of their people.” St. Cuthbert's canons at Cloveshoo should be read by such of the moderns as fancy a system of compounding for sins. According to Elfric's canons, A.D. 957, “the priest, on Sundays and festivals, was to speak the sense of the Gospel to the people in English, and of the Paternoster and Credo as often as he could.” In the canons made in King Edgar's reign, A.D. 960, we read, “ Let no learned priest reproach him that is half-learned, but mend him, if he know how; and let no noble-born priest despise one of less noble birth. If it be rightly considered, all men are of one origin. Let every priest industriously advance Christianity, and extinguish heathenism, and forbid the worship of fountains, and necromancy, and auguries, and enchantments, and soothsayings, and false worship, and legerdemain, which carry men into various impostures, and to groves, and trees, and divers sorts of stones; and many do exercise themselves in variety of whimseys to a criminal degree.' What the clergy generally taught may be learned from the Capitula of Theodulf, in 994, where it is said, “In the preface, a man is commanded to love his Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength, and his neighbour as himself ;
that he keep the commandments, honour all men, and renounce his fleshly lusts; that he feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, bury the dead, help those that are in straits, comfort the sorrowful, and always arm and defend himself as far as he may against worldly words and worldly deeds, and have no deceit in his heart, and give the kiss of peace to none unless he have full peace with him in his heart; and retain anger against no man beyond the going down of the sun; and desist not from the love of God and man ; and swear not at all, lest he should forswear, and always speak the truth from his heart, and repay to none evil for evil, give no provocation, and love his enemy out of love to God; not to be given to gluttony or drinking, or sleeping, or murmuring, or censuring; let him place all his hope in God, and when he does what is good, let him attribute that to God. Let him always bear doomsday in his mind, and dread hell-punishments, and with all spiritual eagerness let him covet everlasting life; and if any evil thoughts come into his mind, let him forthwith confess them to his ghostly physician, that is his shrift; and let him consider the sufferings of our Lord, how he made all creatures, out of his humility, and condescended so far, that for our behoof he was hanged on the rood, and how both his feet and hands were run through with nails : and with such meditations he may expel all evil thoughts out of his mind. He should pray for himself twice a day at least, morning and evening ; let him thank God for his daily food, and that he hath made him in his own likeness, and distinguished him from the beasts; and having thus worshipped his Creator only, let him call upon the saints, and
pray that they would intercede for him to God; first to St. Mary, and afterwards to all God's saints; and let him arm his forehead with the holy rood-token; and it behoves every
Christian that can do it, to come to church on Saturday, and bring a light with him, and there hear evensong and nocturns, and come in the morning with an offering to high mass. Let him daily fulfil God's will in his actions ; let him love purity, avoid all self-exaltation, honour the old, and love the young with a Christian affection, and pray for his enemies, and never despair of God's mercy.” This is the ghostly craft inculcated by the clergy in what the moderns call the “ dark ages.” Among these capitula
we read,“ mass-priests are to have a school of learners in their houses; and if any good man will commit his little ones to them, they ought gladly to accept them, and teach them at free cost."
Fleury says that it was in the seventh century, when the barbarians were first admitted into holy
rs, that bishops and priests became hunters and warriors. Canons were immediately published against them ;l to wear armour and appear in battle subjected a priest or bishop, by one council, to imprisonment on bread and water; by another, to sentence of anathema. St. Basil even advised the faithful, who had been present in just battles, to refrain from receiving the holy eucharist for three years. Charlemagne, at the request of Pope Adrian I., expressly forbids bishops and priests from appearing in arms; and by a law, no layman was permitted to appear at mass or at vespers in arms pertaining to war. The king alone was allowed to wear a sword in the church by a council in 1022.2 In the diocese of Milan, no curate could even keep arms in his house without leave of the bishop. Even during the crusades, the popes never relaxed these laws forbidding arms to the clergy.
In the romance of Huon de Bourdeaux, the Abbot of Clugni laments his inability to defend Huon when they are attacked by the conspirators, saying, “Ha beau neveu, regardez que vous ferez et n'ayez en moy fiance d'etre secouru, car bien sçavez que nullement je ne vous puis en ce cas aider; je suis prestre qui sert à Jesus Christ, nullement je ne puis estre ou homme soit occis ou mis à mort par glaive." However, there were many examples of ecclesiastics who evaded or neglected the laws of the church. That archbishop of Mainz, in the reign of Frederick I., is a striking instance; and others may be found without difficulty. At one period of the crusades, there were present in arms the Archbishops of Ravenna, Pisa, Canterbury, Besançon, Nazareth, Montreal, and the Bishops of Beauvois, Salisbury, Cambrai, Ptolemais, and Bethléem. Under the Norman kings of England, the prelates had castles. The Bishop of Winchester bad his castles of Wolvesey, Farnham, Taunton, Merden, Waltham, and Downton; and
1 III. Discours sur l'Hist. Ecclés.
2 Con. Salingestad. 8.
Roger, bishop of Salisbury in the reign of Henry I., had one of the most beautiful castles in Europe at Devizes ; and the Bishop of Lincoln had his castles of Newark and Sleaford. Some allowance should perhaps be made from a consideration of the constant danger to which society was then exposed. And, after all, what men were many even of these warlike bishops? Read the account of Henry de Blois, nephew to the Conqueror and bishop of Winchester: observe his greatness of soul, his constant prayers, his holy death. The existence of other abuses, however, is undoubted. Upon the complaint of the abbot, Hugue V., of St. Germain des Près, Pope Alexander III. authorised him to refuse receiving the Archbishop of Sens, if he should make his visitation with more than forty-four persons and forty horses. The third Council of Lateran decreed that archbishops should be limited to fifty horses, cardinals to twenty-five, bishops to thirty, archdeacons to seven, deans to two. By the fourth Council of Lateran, abbots on a journey were allowed six horses and eight men; but Pope Nicholas IV. allowed sixteen horses to the abbots of Clugni. The laws against hunting prove the existence of this abuse among the clergy. For this offence bishops were to be suspended from communion for three months. In A.D. 1128, even the knights templars were forbidden to hunt.3 Celestin III. delegated the Bishop of Lincoln and two other prelates to inquire into the conduct of the Archbishop of York, because “venatione, aucupio, et aliis militaribus curis inutiliter occupatur.” Clerks were, however, permitted to catch game in gins silently. The Abbot of St. Albans, and several others, and also bishops, had indeed right of chase, but it was for their servants. Similar canons were enacted in 1276, in the Council of Pont Audemer; in 1212, at Paris ; in 1214, at Montpellier; in 1303, at Auch; and the Council of Nantes said, in 1264,
- Statuimus ut prælati solliciti sint et intenti in puniendo clericos venatores, te præcipue presbyteros et religiosos, de quibus majus scandalum generatur.” And the law of King Edgar says,
“ Docemus etiam ut sacerdos non sit 1 Vide Milner's Hist. of Winchester, vol. i. 222. 2 Hist. de l'Abbaye de St. Germain, p. 97. 3 Concil. Trecens. cap. 46.
venator, neque accipitrarius, neque potator; sed incumbat
| Leges A. Sax. Wilkins, 86.