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and even in some instances, universal history was handled by the writers of the twelfth age. In the philosophic academies the works of Aristotle and those of the Arabs who had commented them, particularly Averroes,—were translated into the Latin tongue; and the Aristotelian principles became so fashionable, that it was not unusual with philosophers, to refer all disputes --those of religion not excepted-to this grand criterion. In their defence of religion they affected to explain what was mysterious, by the light of reason; and to combat by philosophic arguments and the authority of the ancient sages, the novel objections of modern dialecticians. In the other sciences improvement was imperceptible. From what we bave said it will be inferred,
i. That those who wished to reconcile the dogmata of religion with the principles of philosophy, and the opinions of the ancients, moved upon the brink of precipices into which the listlessness of curiosity might easily betray them.
2. It was natural that the new pretensions of the popes, and of the clerical orders, should give birth to numberless complaints and accusations against the sovereign pontiffs, the bishops and the clergy indiscriminately, and subject their respective rights and privileges to obloquy; and that written declamations upon the subject should be read and understood-by an infinite number of persons educated in the public schools.
3. We must premise, that all the efforts of the twelfth century were not adequate to dispel ignorance, and re-establish order: on the contrary, one part of the clergy still remained extremely ignorant and immoral.
4. Translations of Holy Scripture into the vulgar languages had been put forth, and thus the unexperienced and undiscerning multitude were qualified to misinterpret and abuse it.
5. With regard to the Manichees, that excessive rigor with which they were treated in the West, had made them more cautious; but had increased their animosity, and created in the breasts of these fanatics the most infuriate desire of
revenge. Thus we may recognise in the twelfth age-many principles of error and division relative to the doctrines of religion, the jurisdiction of the church, and the reformation of manners. They produced in Abelard and in Gilbert of Porree, dogmatical errors concerning the holy mysteries of our faith ; in Arnold of Brescia, the wild and frantic project of despoiling the pope and clergy of their property, and that of re-establishing at Rome the ancient republican form of government; in Waldo,-dreams of evangelical perfection, obliging christians to renounce their estates and all pretensions to any private property whatever ; in Eon,--the blasphemous conceit, that he himself was Jesus Christ; in Peter of Bruys, Tankelin and the apostolics,-a variety of erroneous notions and strangely ridiculous practices, of. ten absolutely inconsistent with each other, relating to the sa
craments, and whatever they deemed calculated to procure esteem and veneration to the bishops and the clergy: in a word, they eventually produced the reunion of all these fanatics-in the Albigenses ;--and the crusades, undertaken in order to suppress this impious and immoral sect.
The East was occupied by the Moguls, the Saracens and Turks, and by the multitude of adventurers from the different nations of the West, who in the first crusade had formed a new state in Palestine and Syria. All these were incessantly at war. Gengiskan and his successors reduced by force of arms a considerable portion of the Saracen and Turkish empires; while the princes of the West took Constantinople by storm, and established there a Latin emperor, whose successors swayed the Greek sceptre till the middle of the thirteenth century. The Greek emperors, after their restoration, were always at våriance with the Turks, who finally reduced a considerable part of the Constantinopolitan territories.
In the West, Germany was convulsed by the factions of different pretenders to the empire. Otho was at length acknowledged and crowned by Innocent III. after promising by oath to protect the patrimony of St Peter. The emperor, notwithstanding, quarrelled with the Romans, and proceeded to ravage the territories of the church. Thereupon he was deposed in a council assembled by the pope.
Part of the German princes elected Frederic II. in his place; others espoused the cause of Otho, who was defeated in battle, and by his death left Frederic in quiet possession of the empire. Frederic engaged him. self by vow to undertake an expedition to the Holy Land, and added to the patrimony of the Roman church; but afterwards falling out with his holiness, he resolved to expel the bishops nominated by him in various cities of Italy, and, like his predecessor, incurred the sentence of excommunication and deposition ! Nor did the troubles and subsequent commotions in the empire cease, till the accession of Rodolph I. to the imperial throne, including a period of nearly half a century.
France and England were involved in the like disedifying contests. One part of the provinces of France was desolated by the religious wars against the Albigenses. Consequently the West was still the theatre of discord, and its attendant evils : the violence of men's passions still armed one moiety of the human race against the other. But, deplorable as were the calamities still resulting from this continual state of warfare, they are not to be compared with the horrible excesses and cruelties committed in ages anterior to the reign of Constantine, and
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during the inroads of barbarians into the West, before they had embraced the doctrines of christianity; nor with those scenes of desolation exhibited in the Eastern world during this very age—by the Moguls, the Huns and Tartars, and by all those savage tribes whose passions still remained untutored by
Science, as in the foregoing century, was protected by the Moguls in the beginning of the thirteenth ; and learning greatly flourished in their empire: while, on the other hand, the conquests of the Turks insensibly annihilated it throughout the boundaries of their unhappy jurisdiction. Some few men of learning flourished among the Greeks. But almost all their efforts were employed in vain attempts to justify their schism, and to refute the writings of the Latin theologians. sades had rendered the Greek language more familiar in the West; and the works of Aristotle, of Plato, and other celebrated philosophers of antiquity, were now translated into Latin, and read with great avidity. The emperor Frederic II. translated
part of them himself, and caused others to be translated by various hands; while he very laudably established some schools both in Italy and Germany. In France there reigned a sort of enthusiastic predilection for the works of the ancient sages, and particularly those of Aristotle. It was now the fashion to adopt, indiscriminately, his opinions; and such was the complaisance of certain theologists and sophists of this age for whatever originated with their admired author, that they taught, like him, the eternity of matter, and absolute fatalism. Others, not so impious, endeavoured to reconcile the opinions of this philosopher with religion; or rather, without being aware of it, they sought to reconcile religion with those fallacious principles, which they found laid down by Aristotle. Thus were many betrayed into superfluous and dangerous disquisitions, and even into a variety of errors relative to faith, all canonically condemned and proscribed by the definitive judgment of the church. The reading of Aristotle's Physics and Metaphysics was now prohibited as a measure of precaution against error. But the prohibition itself proved rather a stimulant to curiosity; and Aristotle still had many votaries. Even some of the most celebrated divines scrupled not in their controversial writings and disputes--to avail themselves of the authority and opinions of this famous heathen author. Among these stand foremost-Albert the Great, and St Thomas of Aquino. The study of the canon law and that of theology were likewise much cultivated this century in consequence of the rising heresies of the age, and of the frequent contests which took place between the popes and crowned heads, concerning the disputed right of investiture, &c.
The southern provinces of France were full of the Manichean
sectaries called Albigenses. Against this infamous and infernal heresy a crusade was proclaimed ; and thus the South of France became the theatre of a cruel war, Some cities of considerable note were reduced to ashes, and their inhabitants
inhumanly put to the sword in the course of this crusade, at the head of which was the famous Simon, count of Montfort; and a court of inquisition was established with a view to exterminate the reninants of this devoted and execrable sect. Indefatigable was the zeal of the inquisitors; and their rigor was extreme. This exposed them to the dagger of assassins; and the exercise of the inquisitorial office was for a while suspended. It was afterwards established under different regulations—in some parts of Italy :in Spain, Portugal, and Malta: while other catholic countries very properly viewed this institution with an eye of jealousy, as productive of much evil and unchristian intolerance.
In this age were instituted the four mendicant orders of religious men, together with that of the redemption of captives, &c. The zeal of pious individuals would have founded many others, had not pope Gregory X. for prudential motives, prohibited in the council of Lateran the multiplication of religious orders. Those already instituted, particularly the mendicant, increased very rapidly, and peopled Christendom with saints. These religious families—so respectable for their piety and learning, and so useful to the community at large, especially at the commencement of their establishment,-did not live retired in deserts and in forests: they fixed their abode in the midst of cities, and there subsisted on the voluntary contributions of the pious. Here they labored for the salvation of their benefactors. Their active zeal put them upon promoting practices of devotion the į best calculated to revive among the people the true spirit of religion ; and they preached the doctrines of eternal life with the 1 most astonishing success. The zeal however, of some of these religious men, appeared in certain instances, to encroach upon the rights of the clergy. The latter complained aloud against this innovation, as a violation of order, and a breach of discipline: the former alleged certain indults and exemptions granted in their favor by the apostolic see ; and the popes patronised their claims, and silenced their opponents.
The rigors of the inquisition, and the efforts of the crusards had not extinguished the Manichean sect. Its surviving votaries had dispersed themselves in Germany, and there continued to disseminate in silence their pernicious errors-against the church, its form of worship, and its sacraments; while other sectaries declaimed immoderately against the pope and bishops, and would needs maintain that they were heretics, and that the privilege of granting indulgences, forsooth, was now transferred to their party.
During this age a few distinguished geniuses had marked out
for themselves a new course in the regions of science. St Bonaand: venture, for instance, and St Thomas,-in regard of one departtable ment of philosophy and theology; and the famous Roger Bacon, nhu our countryman, in physics. This extraordinary character was head reputed by his ignorant contemporaries--a magician, and treated
as such by his religious brethren of the Franciscan order in our the island!
reand nice and and OUS. Their
This of the
Fourteenth century of the christian era. cards
From the reign of Andronicus Paleologus, the empire of Constantinople was one vast theatre of disorder. Nothing so common as to see princes promoting mutiny and rebellion, and
forming unnatural conspiracies against their own parents; while reli
the people, stupidly indifferent with regard to the evils and cala&c.
mities of the state, interested themselves solely in perpetuating ders, their pernicious schism, and sacrificed the very existence of the d in empire to their inveterate antipathy against the Latin church. Pers.
The Turks failed not to improve these untoward circumstances to eased their own advantage. They established themselves in Europe ;
and the princes of the West were no longer able to contend with them in Palestine. Italy, France, Germany and England, were perpetually in arms. The sovereign pontiffs in many instances abused their authority, excommunicating and deposing kings; and kings in their turn, set up and abetted antipopes.
Some of the Turkish princes had patronized the sciences ; but the bulk of their subjects were uncivilized barbarians, and held all literary improvement in the highest contempt. Learning, of course, quickly abandoned their inhospitable empire. The Greek emperors, observing with regret the encroachments of these savage people, who had crossed the Hellespont,--taken Adrianople, and made it the seat of their empire, began then sensibly to feel a want of the support of the Western princes, and with their utmost efforts sought to procure the reunion of the
Greek and Latin churches. But the obstinacy of their bigoted sed subjects opposed to all their endeavours an insurmountable bar
rier; and caused them to apply their whole attention to justify, if possible, their groundless and unwarrantable schism. Their
cause was desperate; although, it must be owned, they made 10 the most of it; and their writings were not altogether void of h,
classical merit: the schools of grammar and rhetoric still sub
sisted at Constantinople. d Among the religious orders established in the West, some
were destitute of that spirit of humility, which alone can render the most austere practices of self-renunciation either meritorious in the sight of God, or even harmless to the individuals who adopt them. : In one of those orders it was warmly contest