A.D. 806-882
































To the student of civil or ecclesiastical history, the eighth century and the tenth seem, at first sight, to have higher claims upon his notice than the intervening age. The rise of the Carolingian dynasty, and the conquests and policy of Charlemagne, are surpassed by few events in the history of mankind in interest and importance; and the pope’s successful revolt from eastern dominion, and alliance with the western emperor, forms a no less striking epoch in the annals of the Church. Again, if we pass on to the tenth age, the reigns of Henry the Fowler and his successors, the commencement of the third royal dynasty in France, and the renovating influence of the Norman character and example on the minds and manners of the people from whom they had conquered their new inheritance, are themes to which we gladly turn, from the wearisome and complicated annals of the later Carolingian princes.

But it may be doubted whether either the eighth or the tenth century filled in reality a more important position in the history of Europe than that which is occupied by the ninth. The system which Charlemagne established, in the Church as well as in the empire, had no fair room for displaying its real nature, and for the development of its legitimate results, while the strong arm and masterly genius of its founder were at hand to check or direct its progress. It was the policy of Charlemagne greatly to increase the weight and dignity of both the papal and the episcopal powers; two powers, which though originally one, and probably regarded as the same even by him, became thenceforward, as years flowed on, more and more distinct. While he never lost sight of the natural supremacy which the temporal sovereign must needs exercise over the ecclesiastical as well as civil authorities subordinate to him, he appears fully to have realized the truth that the Church is the teacher and civilizer of the world. This was a principle which had ever been claimed by the Church, and which indeed had been denied by none, for centuries before his time; but since the days of the first Christian emperors it appears never to have been so definitely understood by the ruling power, and so practically enforced. Accordingly, during his lifetime, the whole ecclesiastical influence, papal and episcopal, worked well, and worked together, in the great task divinely allotted to the Church. It is true that the former of the two authorities stood in a relation to the rest of the Church greatly altered from that which had existed in the days of St. Leo and St. Gregory. This was owing partly to a gradual increase of influence during the last two centuries, and in part to the act of Charlemagne himself. Yet while he reigned no signal attempts were made by Rome upon the independence of other Churches, which imply more than a somewhat exaggerated idea of the legitimate authority belonging to the first patriarchate of the Christian world. Or if some such encroachments were attempted from time to time, they were perhaps not more remarkable than certain acts of a similar nature made in earlier periods by Stephen, Zosimus, or St. Leo.

It is from the time of Charlemagne, and not till after the death of that monarch, that we must date the systematic endeavors of the Roman pontiff to raise the sovereignty of his see to a point inconsistent with the independence of national Churches. Its interference with the temporal power, and assumption that all earthly kings within the limits of Christendom held their crowns of the pope, may be traced also to the same age. The ninth century, better than anyone which preceded or which followed it, exhibits the struggle for sovereignty or independency between the papal and episcopal powers, or between the former and all national Churches, which are represented on this occasion by the national Church of France.

This contest is more worthy of note than others of a similar kind, both because it lasted longer, and because the combatants were more nearly matched in energy and influence. Of those which had occurred in earlier times, the most remarkable were the dispute between St. Cyprian and St. Stephen, and that between St. Leo and St. Hilary of Arles. In each case the history of the struggle tells us little more than that the pope, on being opposed, excommunicated his opponent, and that the bishops of Carthage and Arles, with all who took their part, lived thenceforward and died out of Communion with the Church of Rome, although both have been since recognized as Saints by that Church, with the rest of Christendom. Whatever weight and interest the circumstances may possess in our time, from the proof which they afford that Rome is inconsistent in maintaining communion with herself as essential to the being of a Church, further than this their importance scarcely extends. They led to nothing beyond themselves. No principle was established by them. The pope from his victory, if victory it can be called, gained no new accession of power; nor indeed, had he done so, would the result have been of any great importance when compared with those which followed on the disputes of the ninth century. The Churches of Africa on the one hand, and the metropolitan Church of Arles on the other, were in, the former instances alone concerned; and the Churches of Africa, however numerous, and the see of Arles, though at that time the first in Gaul, carried with them far less weight in the world, and were far less suited to represent the whole of Christendom than were the archbishopric of Rheims, and the Churches that joined with it in the time of Hincmar.

At this period the Churches of both Africa and Spain scarcely maintained a feeble struggle for existence; England and Ireland, though already rich in sanctity and learning, hardly as yet had weight among the Churches of Europe; Italy appeared singularly devoid of life and vigor, and the East, if not altogether broken off from the Western Churches, had ceased to take interest in their fortunes, or to hold any communication with them. Meanwhile, the Churches founded of late in Germany and the north were in their infancy; in the midst of barbarism and heathenism they had little leisure to trouble themselves with political struggles, however important in their object and results; nor could they yet claim any place of authority in the list of metropolitan sees. Moreover the new provinces in Germany, and, in a somewhat lower degree, the Anglo-Saxon Church in England, had been from their origin more dependent upon Rome than the rest of Europe, and were unlikely to put themselves forward in the assertion of their own independency. The Gallican Church was that which possessed the greatest vigor, and which was ruled by the most accomplished and energetic prelates; and of these, Hincmar of Rheims, for nearly forty years, was acknowledged by all his contemporaries as the chief in learning, character, and authority.

Throughout the whole of the struggle the pope had great advantages upon his side, which neither the justice of the adverse cause, nor the talents and perseverance of those who supported it, could counterbalance. The degree of preeminence which was really his due, indefinite as it was in itself, was rendered more so by the varying claims and practice of earlier times. Hence the opposition to his authority, which like all opposition to existing power, seemed at first sight to partake of the nature of rebellion, was thought by some, even among the more learned and patriotic of the French bishops, to be not altogether undeserving of the imputation. Others, from love of peace, were willing rather to yield their just rights and those of the Catholic Church, than persevere in a contest which seemed to involve breach of charity, and unwillingness to suffer wrong. The age too was one profuse in terms of compliment and respect. Men addressed to one another, especially to such as were in any degree their superiors, high-sounding appellations of reverence and honor, which, if taken literally, would amount to a recognition of the most unlimited authority on the one hand, and on the other to a confession of the most complete subjection; and it is easy to perceive that what may probably have been meant for nothing more than Christian courtesy, might be represented, and perhaps understood, as a serious acknowledgment of superiority or sovereignty. Add to this, that the temporal prince was often backward in supporting the claims of the national Church, and sometimes even took part against it; for episcopal censure was no less strict, and oft times more offensive, than that which was launched from the apostolic throne. Moreover France itself was continually divided by different political interests; Lorraine, and sometimes Aquitaine, were under different sovereigns from the rest of the country; and the other Carolingian princes, whose legitimate rule should have been confined to Italy or Bavaria, seldom lost an opportunity of interposing in the affairs of France, and of creating or encouraging factions in Church as well as in State.

Hence the consequence was, that from one cause or another, and in most cases from several causes combined, the Gallican Church was prevented from acting in concert, or from bringing her whole weight of influence to bear with efficiency on any question of national importance; and least of all, upon the question of independency, or unlimited subjection to the Roman see. Even when these adverse circumstances operated with least effect, there was another advantage possessed and used by Rome which weighed more than all the rest. This was the publication of the early decretals, first made in the end of the eighth or the beginning of the ninth century, although not generally known, and perhaps not systematically arranged, for half a century more. Hincmar lived to see them almost universally accepted as really what they purported to be. He himself indeed not unfrequently quotes them, although he refused any blind obedience to their authority, and probably had some suspicions of their genuineness. The age, as it has been truly remarked, was uncritical, and Hincmar, although he was probably one of the best read scholars of his day, and although his works show a thorough acquaintance with the whole range of Catholic writers, from St. Cyprian’s time to his own, and with the canons of Councils, general and provincial, which made up the body of ecclesiastical law, can hardly be supposed so far in advance of his contemporaries as to discover at once and without doubt the falsity of documents which were unimpeached, or at all events not disproved, for many centuries afterwards. Even if he had more strongly suspected the forgery of the decretals, however great his boldness in the cause of truth, and resolution in defence of his Church, no prelate of that time would have ventured, for the sake of their common Christianity, and the credit of the station which they both held, to bring so heavy a charge against the first bishop of Christendom. At the present day, with prejudices less enlisted in favor of the papal power than were those of all the European Church of the ninth century, and with far greater experience in the history of the Roman see, we shrink from supposing that so gigantic a forgery, so unprincipled an attempt to uphold their own supremacy at the expense of truth and justice, could have been suggested and maintained at the instance, or even with the knowledge and consent, of a succession of Christian prelates, some of whom have been held as Saints by the later Church, and many of whom were certainly men zealous for the truth in other points, and unwearied in their endeavors to spread the Gospel through the world. The alternative, with all its difficulties, seems preferable; the hypothesis which would throw all the blame of the publication upon Isidore the merchant, if such were in reality his name, and which would represent the popes as equally deceived with the rest of the Church as to the fictitious character of the documents palmed upon them by the over-zealous and unscrupulous Spaniard. In either view their effect was the same; and whether knowingly or in ignorance adduced by Nicholas and Adrian, they equally increased the difficulty, to Hincmar and his party, of defending the primitive independence of their Church.

In questions more purely doctrinal, scarcely less than in the disputes about papal supremacy, the history of the Gallican Church of the ninth century is full of interest to the ecclesiastical student. In some of these, especially the question of Predestination, Hincmar took an equally leading part, and has justly won for himself the reputation of being the great champion of orthodoxy on this difficult but important article of faith. In some other discussions, carried on with much vehemence and learning in his time, as in those upon Image Worship, and the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, his name is less prominent, although his sentiments may be discovered on both subjects; and although, on the former of the two, he appears to have been chosen as a judge or umpire by many of his learned brethren, and to have written a treatise which is not now extant, but which, doubtless, had its influence in his day.

Meanwhile the archbishop of Rheims was not only the acknowledged leader in ecclesiastical affairs, but took an important share in most of the secular or political movements of his time. These, if less striking than some events which distinguished the previous or succeeding age, occupy no insignificant place in European history. In the forty years during which Hincmar was the chief counselor of his sovereign, the kingdom and people of France may be said to have commenced their existence, as a nation distinct in character, interests, and language, from the Franks of the last century. Charles the Bald was the first true king of France, and during his reign the separation of Germany on the one side, and Italy on the other, from the country over which he ruled, was continually widening. In many respects, the old system of national life, the former gradations of society, the manners and relations of men, changed more rapidly within the same period than has been the case in an European country in any other equal space of years. This must be mainly attributed to the ravages of the Normans. The chief cities of France were destroyed, again and again, by these unsparing and unsatisfied invaders, and population was thinned to so great a degree, that large tracts of country were reduced anew to their primitive state of waste or forest land. Meanwhile the degeneration in vigor of character was more rapid in the successors of Charlemagne than even in the preceding dynasty; although in respect of morality or purity of life they offer a favorable contrast, not only to the Merovingian princes, but to Charlemagne himself. This single circumstance confers an interest of its own upon the character and actions of Louis and his sons, of a different kind from that with which we regard the exploits or policy of vigorous or warlike sovereigns, yet not less real, and perhaps better merited. It encourages the idea that the precepts and principles of Christianity had a truer hold upon both rulers and people than is often the case in times of greater national prosperity, and under the sway of princes of military prowess, and of wiser or more successful policy. The occasional exceptions which occur to the usual respectability of conduct in the Carolingian family, may be regarded, from the notice which they attracted, and the unsparing censure bestowed upon them, as proofs of this character itself, rather than of its contrary. How little, a hundred and fifty years before, would far grosser violations of the moral law, in princes occupying the same throne and station, have been considered worthy of observation or reproach!

At the time of Charlemagne’s death, which took place on the 28th of January, 814, the Western Empire extended from the Ebro as far eastward as the Elbe or Oder, and from the duchy of Beneventum northward to the Eyder. Within these limits were contained France and Germany, Italy from Calabria to the Alps, and the Spanish March, which included all the country between the Ebro and the Pyrenees. The name of France in this division must be taken in its widest acceptation, as representing not only the old provinces of Neustria and Austrasia, but Aquitaine and Burgundy, Gascony, Languedoc, and Provence; all the country, in fact, bounded by the Rhine and Alps on the eastern side, by the Mediterranean and Pyrenees on the south, and by the ocean on the west. It is true that both Brittany and the most southern provinces were in a troubled and unsettled state, even to the end of Charlemagne’s reign; still they were parts of his kingdom, in a truer sense than that in which the duchy of Beneventum, in Italy, can be considered as subject to him. This duchy, nearly co-extensive with the modern kingdom of Naples, was never altogether conquered, and Charles, notwithstanding the constant and urgent entreaties of the pope that he would entirely destroy its independency, consented to recognize Grimwald as duke, and to commit to his management the wars with the Greeks and Saracens.

The appellation of Germany was nearly confined, in those days, to the countries bordering on the Rhine, to Alsace, Swabia, Switzerland, and Franconia, the last of which provinces preserves in its name a memorial of the old Frankish empire. These, however, formed but an inconsiderable portion of Charlemagne’s German dominions, which included the kingdoms or duchies of Hesse, Thuringia, and Bavaria; Saxony, a country of wide extent, and whose limits seem to have been defined with little accuracy; and Bohemia and Hungary, to which we must add the Turkish or Illyrian provinces of Istria, Liburnia, and Dalmatia, and perhaps Slavonia.

Charlemagne had made a partition of his dominions eight years before his death, between his three sons, Charles, Pepin, and Louis. At that time the oldest had received for his portion France or the provinces of Neustria and Austrasia, and Germany; Italy and Bavaria, with the conquests in Pannonia, were given to Pepin; and Aquitaine, Burgundy, Provence, and the Spanish Marches, fell to the share of Louis. But it was not then for the first time that these princes were introduced to their kingdoms. As early as the year 781, when Louis was but three years old, he had been nominated king of Aquitaine, and committed by his father to William the Short-nosed, duke of Toulouse, and several other counts or nobles, who were charged with the education of the infant monarch, and the defence or extension of his dominions. Thus his childhood and youth were spent almost exclusively in the southern provinces of France; his first essays in war, against the half-savage inhabitants of Gascony, who fought for their freedom with an obstinacy scarcely inferior to that of the native Saxons, and especially against the Saracens in the siege of Barcelona, and other campaigns, were directed by the nobles, and performed in the presence of the freemen of that country; and the gentleness and kindness, as well as seriousness of his disposition, won for him at once the well-merited name of the Pious, or the Debonair, and a far greater share of the affections of the people than was probably ever granted, in this portion of his empire, to Charlemagne himself. For Charlemagne, like his father and grand­father, was essentially a German. Although France was the centre of his empire he seldom visited it, he was probably ignorant of its language, and he seldom even called its counts and freemen to follow him in war. He had transferred the splendor and importance of a royal residence from Paris and the other French capitals, to Aix-la-Chapelle; although in truth Charlemagne could scarcely be said to have had any fixed residence, except during the last few years of his reign, so much of his time was spent in the camp, or in winter quarters at different places, from Ravenna to Ratisbon, where his presence and that of his army were required. But his Gaulish or Roman subjects, as the inhabitants of western and southern France were still called, in contradistinction to the Franks of Austrasia and Germany, were more neglected than any other portion of the empire, of which the main reason no doubt was, that his attention was less needed there than elsewhere, whether in Italy or in the north. The Saracens of Spain were the only foes to be dreaded, when the mountaineers of Gascony or Novempopulania were once subdued; and the civil wars for the Mussulman throne of Cordova so greatly weakened these natural enemies of the Christian emperor, that the defence of the Spanish Marches and the rest of Louis’s dominions might generally be left with safety to the young prince himself, and the nobles who were his subjects and instructors.

Within four or five years from the partition of his dominions, the emperor lost first his second and then his eldest son. The latter had no children; but Pepin, king of Italy, left one son, named Bernard, and several daughters. The laws of primogeniture were little regarded at that time. At all events the reigning prince was considered at liberty to choose his successor from among his children. Accordingly, he contented himself with nominating his grandson king of Italy, and committed him to the care of Wala, whose father, Bernard, was an illegitimate son of Charles Martel, and who had held the same position of guardian or chief minister to the younger Pepin. He then sent for Louis from Aquitaine, and on his arrival at Aix-la-Chapelle presented him with great solemnity to the bishops and nobles assembled for the purpose in the national comitia or parliament, and required them to declare him emperor. After receiving the unanimous consent of all present, he bade him take with his own hands a crown of gold, similar to that worn by himself, which had been laid upon the altar of the newly-built Cathedral, and place it upon his own head; a symbolical act, by which he, doubtless, meant it to be understood, that though the approbation of the Church, as well as that of the nobles, or lay estates of the realm, might be requisite or desirable in the choice of an emperor, the royal power and privileges were the gift of God alone, and to Him alone could the monarch be responsible for the way in which he used them. Charlemagne then solemnly commended to his son’s care the interests of the Church and nation which had thus been put into his hands, as vicegerent of the Supreme Ruler; and bidding him preserve a fraternal affection towards his sisters and three illegitimate brothers, dismissed him again to his kingdom of Aquitaine.

Louis was at Toulouse at the time of his father’s death. On receiving the news, he proceeded at once to Aix-la-Chapelle, and was accompanied during his march, and met there on his arrival, by the rejoicings and congratulations of all classes of his subjects. Great hopes were formed by all from his high reputation for strictness and even sanctity of life, and for such kindness of disposition as was thought likely to lead to a watchful care for his people’s welfare. In both of these particulars he was regarded, not without some justice, as superior to his father. For although Charlemagne’s talents as a statesman were probably not inferior to his wonderful energy and genius in the field, his constant wars had reduced a large part of the empire, especially the countries then known as France and Germany, to great poverty and distress. The custom, universal in those ages, in the western world, which compelled each freeman, in possession of a certain extent of land, to follow his lord to battle, when the general summons was issued by the king, and to furnish himself with all necessaries for the war, and during its continuance, at his own expense, had impoverished the people to so great a degree, that the class of freemen had in many places well-nigh disappeared. Multitudes had been forced to sell their possessions, and reduce themselves to the condition of slaves. The slaves were not required, or permitted, to carry arms; they never formed part of the army, and in consequence as their number increased, and that of the free­men diminished, the whole country gradually became weak and defenseless, and exposed, without protection, to the attack of any foreign power. Hitherto, it is true, the more civilized part of the empire had been secure, by reason of its central position, from such dangers. But the poverty and general slavery of the inhabitants, and the frequent oppression of the weak by the powerful, were more general in France and Germany, and especially in the former country, than in the less civilized and more warlike provinces of Bavaria or Saxony, or even, though perhaps from somewhat different causes, than in Italy or Aquitaine.

From these and other evils all classes looked to the new sovereign for protection and redress. But the task would have been far too difficult an one for him, even had he possessed the greatness of mind and independence of thought which had raised his father above all contemporary princes. In this resolution and self-confidence he was unfortunately deficient; and, for a monarch who had to play so difficult a part, and to regulate, even independently of actual rebellion, or foreign war, a lawless aristocracy, a barbarous and oppressed population, and the ambition of ecclesiastics, who were the chief counselors and the chief intriguers in all state affairs, no integrity of purpose, no feelings of benevolence, could make amends for the defect. Accordingly the reign of Louis, except perhaps for the few first years, presents a striking contrast to the vigorous rule of Charlemagne. With qualities which, in another state of life, would have made him respected and beloved, which even as a king demand for him our interest and sympathy, it cannot be denied that he failed in the government of the empire, which had been with so great solemnity, with so universal a consent, and with such high expectations, committed to his care. He was not unaware himself of his deficiency in resolution; before his father’s death he had permitted himself to be stripped of all his possessions, to gratify the constant demands of those who formed his court in Aquitaine, and it required the interference of Charlemagne to reinstate him in his right and property. Whether from a persuasion of his own unfitness for the throne, or from a purely religious motive, he expressed, at one period of his life, a strong wish to retire into a monastery. This was overruled at the time, and although repeated several years after his accession to the throne, when the death of his wife deprived him at the same time of a companion and a counselor, it seems to have been but a short-lived resolution. A time arrived when those who had before dissuaded him from the idea, were anxious that he should put it into effect, but he refused then to comply. Perhaps he had become so accustomed to the dignity of an imperial throne, accompanied as it was with dangers and vexations, as to be unwilling to relinquish it, and he may have felt that it was the place allotted to him by Providence, which he had no right to desert in the time of trouble for his own ease, or at the wish of others.

On his first arrival at Aix-la-Chapelle, Louis fulfilled the requisitions of his father’s last will with strict impartiality, although the enormous wealth left by the deceased emperor to the Church, and his large allowance to his daughters, legitimate or illegitimate, might have fairly appeared excessive to the new sovereign, who found himself considerably straitened by the liberality of these bequests. But his justice in this particular extended not to any indulgence towards vices, for which the strictness of his own morality could feel no sympathy. He dismissed from the palace with unrelenting severity not only all the mistresses whom Charlemagne, after the death of his fifth wife fourteen years before, had taken to supply her place, but his sisters, whose character and manner of life seems to have been no better than might have been conjectured from the licentiousness or irregularity of the court in which they had been brought up and educated. Louis sent them to different nunneries, and punished the nobles who had been their lovers with banishment or death.

Among those who received the new emperor on his arrival at his father’s capital was Wala, before mentioned as grandson of Charles Martel, and as the tutor and minister of Bernard, the young king of Italy. Wala, who though at present a layman afterwards became abbot of Corbey, and his brother Adelard, who now held that wealthy and dignified situation, were men of talent and learning, and had been in great favor and trust with Charlemagne. Adelard was at present in Italy, but Wala joined with the other courtiers and inmates of the palace in advancing to receive Louis, and in taking the oaths of allegiance. Nor do we hear of any treasonable or suspicious conduct either on his part or on that of his brother Adelard. It is true that both were friends of the emperor’s nephew Bernard. The king of Italy, however, no less readily than his ministers, gave in his adherence to Louis, and presented himself at the first parliament, or convocation of the bishops, abbots, and nobles, summoned at Aix-la-Chapelle, little more than half a year after the death of Charlemagne. But notwithstanding this, influenced by a secret mistrust, which was doubtless increased by a consciousness of his nephew’s claims to the imperial throne, and in all probability at the instigation of his queen Ermengarde, Louis, before the termination of the first year of his reign, banished Adelard from his abbacy of Corbey to the island of Noirmoutiers, compelled Wala to dismiss his wife and become an inmate of that monastery, and sent a third brother of the name of Bernard to the monastery of Lerins, a small island, or group of islands, off the coast of Provence.

At his first comitia at Aix-la-Chapelle, the emperor had made a partition of his dominions between his three sons, Lothaire, Pepin, and Louis. As Italy was not included in this division, it interfered in no way with the rights of Bernard, of whatever nature they may have been. But three years afterwards, at another meeting of his parliament, he gained the consent of the estates of his realm to the nomination of his eldest son Lothaire as partner with himself in the empire. At the same time he altered the former distribution of his territories, giving to Pepin the kingdom of Aquitaine, which he had formerly held himself, and declaring Louis, the youngest son, king of Bavaria. Until this last division, Bernard, the emperor’s nephew, had not only abstained from interfering with the imperial authority, but had acted as if his own kingdom of Italy were merely a government held under his uncle. He had attended with regularity at the parliaments summoned to meet at Aix-la-Chapelle and Paderborn; he had followed Louis on an expedition into Saxony, undertaken in the second year of his reign; and at his command had marched, in character of his lieutenant or viceroy, from Frankfort to Rome, to support the rights of the emperor, which appeared in danger of being set aside by pope Leo III.

The circumstances of the case were the following: Leo, on his accession to the pontificate, nearly twenty years before, had been treated with great indignities, and had been accused of various crimes by some of the Roman clergy, who were hostile to his election, and who were joined and supported by a large proportion of the citizens. He had escaped from his enemies at that time with difficulty, had submitted himself to a public trial, at which his accusers had not the courage to appear against him, and had accordingly been reinstated by the emperor. As long as Charlemagne lived the pope remained in security, but after his death the Romans rose against him a second time. On this occasion, without waiting for the intervention of the emperor, Leo seized and punished his enemies as guilty of treason against himself. No such judicial powers had hitherto been considered as belonging to the papal authority. The act of Leo was an encroachment on the rights of the emperor, and it must have been regarded as one of consequence, when a prince so entirely devoted to the Church as Louis, and with views of the papal prerogative so exalted, felt it due to his privileges to resent what had been done, and to take the matter into his own hands. It is true that the pope quickly pacified the emperor; but the disturbances excited by his severity, if not the assumption of independence from which they arose, required the presence of Bernard, who accordingly proceeded to Rome, and with the assistance of the duke of Spoleto’s soldiery, succeeded, not without difficulty, in repressing the popular commotion.

Thus until the elevation of Lothaire to a partnership in the imperial throne, Bernard was faithful to Louis. This, however, amounting as it did to a virtual disinheritance, was too great a trial of his patience and fidelity. Supported by some bishops and nobles, who were dissatisfied with the reign of Louis, he raised the standard of open revolt. The insurgents could have had but little reasonable hope of success. But before any engagement had taken place, the machinations of queen Ermengarde, who had always been Bernard’s greatest enemy, put an end to the rebellion. She sent to him, offering herself as mediator between him and his uncle; and the king of Italy, who must have been aware that he could expect little from the queen’s good will, preferred running the risk of trusting her promise to the desperate chance of war. He hastened to France, and yielded himself unconditionally to the emperor. Louis ordered him, with Reginard, his chief accomplice, who had been an officer of rank in his own palace, to be thrown into prison, and to have his eyes torn out; a common mode in those days of punishing or preventing treason. Both of them died from the effects of this barbarous treatment. The bishops and other ecclesiastics of the party were deprived of their dignities, and confined in monasteries; the remainder of the conspirators among the nobles were banished or imprisoned for life. Nor did the emperor consider himself in safety until he had forced his illegitimate brothers to receive the clerical tonsure, and embrace a monastic life.

Although Bernard was formally condemned by a solemn judicial sentence to suffer capital punishment, it is probable that Louis had no intention of carrying his justice or revenge so far as his nephew’s death. There is no reason to doubt his sincerity in the relaxation of the extreme decree; and, cruel as the penalty actually awarded appears to be, it would not have caused death unless put into execution with unusual barbarity. He is said to have grieved bitterly on hearing the result, and the consciousness of having dealt with him unfairly, or of having given him at all events a plausible pretext for asserting his own rights, weighed heavily on his mind. We cannot doubt that this influenced him in his wish to retire into a monastery on the decease of his wife, which took place the following year, and his conscience was not at rest until, in the year 822, he had performed public penance at Attigny, before the prelates and nobles of his realm. But prior to this he proved the sincerity of his repentance by pardoning and recalling from exile not only all who had been engaged in the conspiracy, but Wala and his two brothers, who were banished some years before.

Bernard left several children, of whom the eldest bore the name of Pepin. Louis took the boy under his own charge, but without any purpose of advancing him to his father’s dignity. Sometime was probably required for effectually reducing or quieting Lombardy, and as soon as this was completed, Lothaire, in addition to his imperial title, was declared king, in the year 820, or at the synod of Nimeguen, in the following year.

Meanwhile, the wars in which Louis or his generals were engaged, met with a favorable result during the early years of his reign. In person he quieted without difficulty some disturbances in Saxony; he suppressed a revolt of the duke of Brittany, in which that prince lost his life, and his armies fought with honor and success against the forces of the Saracen king of Cordova, who had plundered the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, in violation of former treaties, and against the Slavonian Sorabi, and the Gascons of the Pyrenees. A war in Italy was avoided by the prudence of the emperor, who refrained from taking revenge for the murder of Grimwald, and even recognized Sico, who was the perpetrator of the crime, as his lawful successor. At the same time the boundary line between his dominions and those of the eastern emperor, in Dalmatia, were settled by peaceable negotiation; and the formal distinction was recognized between the Roman and Greek Dalmatians, or the subjects of the emperor Leo, and the Frankish or Slavonian Dalmatians, who formed part of the empire of Louis.

Nor were his reforms in the internal management of the empire, in both Church and State, carried on with less vigor, although success in these departments was more difficult and less complete. The Missi Dominici were sent into the different provinces with as much regularity as during his father’s reign, and probably performed, with equal impartiality, their arduous task of settling all disputes between the nobles and other inhabitants. In the synods, which met at least once a year, great energy was displayed by Louis in reforming the manners of the bishops and the higher clergy, who often rivaled the most luxurious of the lay nobles and courtiers in richness of dress and other expense, but who were forbidden by the emperor to wear gold and jewels. He also extended his care as guardian of the Church to the monastic establishments, which he compelled to submit strictly to the Benedictine rule, appointing a commission, under Benedict, abbot of Aniane, who had enjoyed a high reputation for sanctity during many years, to inquire into the causes of their laxity in discipline, and to put into force some means for remedying it. These monasteries he divided into three classes: the richest were required to furnish both soldiers and money to the emperor; others money alone; and a third division, which was probably too poor for either, contributed merely their prayers. For the expenses of each Church, a manse of land, valued at twelve French acres, was allotted to every parish, by the same synodal or parliamentary orders.

The great prominence given in these comitia to ecclesiastical affairs was owing to the custom, first established by Pepin, of summoning the bishops and higher clergy to take part in the deliberations. Pepin owed to the Church, as much as to his own talents in war, his advancement to the throne, and naturally gave great weight to the authority of the bishops. This was increased by Charlemagne, who was not slow in discovering that the clergy were in fact the only portion of his subjects fitted by education to afford him counsel in forming and carrying out plans for the amelioration of his dominions. Hence the practice arose of using Latin in debating all subjects, ecclesiastical or civil; a language quite unintelligible to the Austrasian and German nobles, and probably little better understood by those of western and southern France, although their usual speech was but a corruption of it. The inevitable consequence was, that the whole discussion was confined to the bishops, and at last the others either ceased to attend, or if their presence was compelled, paid no attention to subjects of which they understood so little, and in which they took perhaps as little interest.

Under the influence of his contrite feelings for the death of Bernard, Louis, as was said, resolved, after the death of Ermengarde, to retire into a monastery. His purpose was resisted by his advisers, both spiritual and secular, who persuaded him at last to marry a second time. Accordingly, in the year 819, he espoused Judith, daughter of Count Guelpho, of Bavaria, a lady of great beauty, and of ancient and noble lineage. This act, which though acceptable to his subjects in general, met, as might be supposed, with but little approbation from the emperor’s sons, while it effectually diverted his thoughts from a monastic life, only led him to seek another method of regaining peace of mind, and of manifesting his repentance. In the year 822, the ninth of his reign, he summoned his diet to meet at the palace or royal town of Attigny, in the diocese of Rheims. So large an assembly of bishops, as well as laymen, obeyed the summons, that this parliament at Attigny formed a general Council of the whole French Church. In the presence of all Louis confessed the sins of which he had been guilty, in the unjust banishment of Wala and Adelard, and in permitting the death of his nephew Bernard. The two former, who had been lately recalled from exile, were present on the occasion. Adelard was restored to his abbacy of Corbey, and Wala was appointed chief minister to the young emperor Lothaire, who was dismissed, on the breaking up of the Council, with his newly-married wife, Ermengarde, daughter of Count Hugo, to his kingdom of Italy or Lombardy. At the same synod the bishops came to a decision which was considered as of importance, and afterwards quoted, as will be seen, as a precedent of weight, in a similar affair of much greater notoriety. They were called upon to decide between a nobleman and his wife on some points of disagreement, when there was doubt whether the question was matter of separation and divorce, or should be treated in some other way. Such judgments had generally been thought to fall under the province of ecclesiastical law, and therefore to be amenable to episcopal decision. But on this occasion the bishops determined that they should in future be brought under the cognizance of married or lay judges, who were to settle the fact of the dispute, and pass sentence upon the guilty parties. Afterwards the case was to be laid before the bishops, who might fix the penance required before absolution could be given, and the offenders reconciled to the Church.

We learn from a speech or sermon delivered at the Council of Attigny, by Agobard, archbishop of Lyons, one of the most learned prelates of that age, that greatly as Louis had always favored the Church, it had notwithstanding suffered much from the rapacity of the nobles, and the carelessness of the sovereign. Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne, had permitted the Church property to be alienated in many ways, and a great portion of it was now in the hands of laymen. Even the present emperor had taken little pains to amend the fault, and had, in some instances, been himself guilty of the same; and the archbishop earnestly begged all who heard him to bring the matter under his notice, in order to obtain a restoration of the plundered property. Whether the emperor heard of the request of Agobard is not clear; to comply with it was certainly beyond his power, and complaints of a similar nature were repeated, during his reign and the next, without much redress.

Louis had already been crowned by pope Stephen, the successor of Leo. This pontiff had been elected without the emperor’s consent, and conscious that so great an encroachment on the imperial privilege would not have been safe in the time of Charlemagne, thought it necessary to go into France to seek pardon in person. But his reception by Louis and the French nation was probably different from what he had expected. On his arrival at Rheims, the emperor, who waited for him there, thrice prostrated himself on the ground before him, and treated him in every respect not as a subject, but as a potentate above all earthly princes. Nor can we suppose that the discovery thus made of the fact that he was regarded in other parts of western Christendom with far greater reverence than in his own city and country, could be without its effect in stimulating himself and his successors in their endeavors to exalt the papal dignity and power. While at Rheims Stephen crowned the emperor and his queen, and anointed them with holy oil; doubtless with a tacit inference that the right to the throne was not complete without this ceremony, although the pope’s journey into France was of itself a proof of the contrary. With similar pomp Lothaire, on arriving in Italy after the parliament at Attigny, was crowned by pope Paschal, who had succeeded Stephen the fifth, and whose elevation to the apostolic see had been marked with the same irregularity as that of his predecessor, and had been pardoned with equal indulgence on the part of Louis. Whatever may be thought of the coronation of Louis, that of Lothaire was certainly represented by the pope as no empty ceremony; for at the same time he publicly invested the young prince with civil authority over the city of Rome, as if this were not necessarily included in the power of the western emperor, as it had been before in that of the emperor of the east. However, whether possessing it as inherent in his original dignity, or receiving it from the papal gift, Lothaire was quickly called upon to exert his authority. For on his return to render to his father an account of the state in which he found his kingdom, and of the measures taken for its government, several persons, said to be friends or adherents of the emperor, were murdered at Rome. Lothaire hastened back, at his father’s desire, to examine into the matter; and though Paschal cleared himself by oath of any participation in the crime, and was accordingly at once acquitted of the charge, he strenuously defended the actual perpetrators from being brought to trial, thus showing, as indeed he publicly professed, that he approved of the deed, and that the murdered persons deserved their fate. The pope himself died soon afterwards, and Eugenius II succeeded him, with whom Lothaire came to an agreement that the property of those who had been slain should be restored to their families, and that henceforward no bishop of Rome should be chosen except in the presence of the delegates of the emperor. Before leaving the city on this occasion, Lothaire published several constitutions, determining the parties who had a right of voting at the election of pope, and giving the Roman people permission to choose the code of laws under which they were in future to be governed. In all these acts we have sufficient proof that the whole temporal sovereignty of Rome was in the hands of the emperor, and that the pontiff possessed no part of it beyond that which might be assumed by any other bishop in the civil affairs of the city where he dwelt, or to speak with greater accuracy, beyond the degree of jurisdiction exercised generally, in this age, by the lord, temporal or spiritual, over the fief or territory granted to him by his sovereign.

About this time Louis, whose wife had borne him a son, at Frankfort, in June, 823, and whom he named Charles, paid great attention to the management of ecclesiastical or spiritual affairs. St. Willibrord, in the reign of Charlemagne, had begun to preach the gospel among the northern nations bordering on the empire, the Danes, Nordalbingians or Normans, as they are called by different writers of the time. Willibrord met with but very partial success in his mission, and soon returned, bringing with him some children, to be educated in France or Germany. Charlemagne afterwards sent Heridag to continue the work begun by Willibrord, intending to make him bishop of those regions, but his intention was cut short by death. Meanwhile some political correspondence took place between the emperor and the Danes. Heriolt or Hariold, a king of Jutland, had been banished from his country by Regner Lodbrok, and took refuge with Louis, who received him with hospitality, and assisted him in regaining his throne. He was bound to show his gratitude by favoring any missionaries sent by that prince into his dominions. Accordingly Ebo, archbishop of Rheims, was deputed by the synod of Attigny to undertake the conversion of the heathen in those northern regions; and having first paid a visit to Rome to obtain the sanction of pope Paschal, who gave him as his companion Halitgar, afterwards bishop of Cambray, he preached in Denmark with considerable success, but returned before the expiration of a year. Whether by his persuasions, or for the sake of gaining a more decided support from Louis, Heriolt, two years afterwards, with his wife and a large retinue, met the emperor by appointment at Metz, and received the Sacrament of Baptism. The cause of Christianity gained an impulse from the circumstance, and not less from the contemporaneous formation of the new abbey of Corbey in Saxony or Westphalia. St. Anskar was one of the founders of the abbey, and on the return of Heriolt into Denmark accompanied him thither, and devoted the remainder of his life, which extended over a space of thirty-eight years, to the spread of Christianity in that kingdom and the adjoining territories. He was made the first bishop of Hamburg, and the see of Bremen, instituted in the reign of Charlemagne, and since its formation subject to the archbishop of Cologne, was afterwards taken from that metropolitan and joined to Hamburg, so that Anskar was sole bishop of the Church to the north and east of the Weser. In the documents relating to the union of the two sees, Hamburg is called the capital of the Nordalbingians, and Anskar is entitled bishop, not only of that people, but of the Danes and Sueones, and of the Slavi.

Another ecclesiastical act of some importance performed about the same time by the emperor and pope conjointly, was the formation of a fourth metropolitan see in Germany. Metz, Worms, and Salzburg had hitherto been the only archbishoprics in that country, but in the year 824 the old diocese of Lauriacum, destroyed by the Huns in the sixth century, was erected into an independent archbishopric.

The same year Louis prevailed on Pope Eugenius, not without some difficulty, to sanction a full discussion of the question, agitated at this time with so much violence in the East, concerning the worship of images. The great Synod of Frankfort, held under Charlemagne thirty years before, had condemned the practice, and was considered binding on the French and German Churches. But since that time the persecutions by the Iconoclast party in Constantinople, the countenance bestowed by the pope upon those who upheld the contrary doctrine, and numerous works written by different divines in support of one side or the other, rendered it necessary that some new examination should take place, and that the decrees of Frankfort should be either confirmed by authority again, or, if advisable, repealed or modified. The immediate cause of the emperor’s determination, was an embassy from Michael and Theophilus, emperors of Constantinople, who represented to Louis the divisions existing in the Eastern Church upon the subject, and the conspiracies and tumults to which they gave rise. Accordingly a number of learned men were ordered to meet at Paris, to examine the question impartially, and to communicate their decision to the emperor. The result of their deliberations was the publication of a document or libel, in which they recommended that images should be retained in the Churches, but that no kind of adoration should be paid them. The only use which they granted was the instruction of the ignorant. They condemned the second Nicene Synod, and rejected its claims to be regarded as an Ecumenical Council; they decided that Pope Adrian had acted indiscreetly in advising image worship, and accused him of inserting, in his letter to Constantine and Irene on the subject, many passages of the Fathers which had no bearing whatever on the question. As the Council of Frankfort had repudiated the terms “adoratio” and “servitus”, applied to images, the Paris Synod expressed a like abhorrence of the corresponding term, adopted by the image party among the Greeks. The decision was received and approved by Louis, and ordered by him to have thenceforth the authority of law. Aware that it would scarcely be agreeable to Eugenius, he sent Jeremias and Jonas, archbishop of Sens and bishop of Orleans, to Rome, with merely selections from the decrees, from which he omitted the strong expressions which the doctors convened at Paris had thought it their duty to insert, with reference to the contrary opinions and their advocates. These two bishops were charged, at the same time, to persuade the pope to send an embassy to the emperor Michael; but whether they succeeded in this undertaking, we have no means of discovering.

The whole Gallican Church seems to have been unanimous in the decision now settled at Paris, by which the Synod of Frankfort was fully confirmed. There appears, notwithstanding, to have been some division of opinion among the most learned men, many of whom published their sentiments on the question. The most violent opponent of images was Claudius, lately appointed by Louis bishop of Turin. He went to the full extreme of the Eastern Iconoclasts, and even further, and was contented with nothing short of destroying all the statues and pictures with which Churches were generally adorned, and even the figure of the Cross itself. But his views were equally extreme on some other subjects, and he was even accused of holding the heresy of Felix, bishop of Urgel, condemned at Frankfort, for unsound notions on the Sonship of our Lord. Hence his opinions were generally disapproved, both by Louis himself, and even by the writers who felt least disposed to look with favor on the use of images. Among these was Agobard, archbishop of Lyons, and Jonas, bishop of Orleans. Both seem to have inclined to dismiss them from Churches, and the former positively denied them any use save that of reminding the congregation of the virtues of departed Saints, and scrupled not to accuse the Roman party of idolatry. Another party, among whom was Walafrid Strabus, abbot of Auge, considered them as useful for the instruction of the people, and this, perhaps, was the common opinion of the Gallican clergy. The same were the sentiments of Hincmar, who was requested by many of the bishops and other clergy to write on the subject. He could have been at this time scarcely twenty years of age; and therefore it is not to be supposed that he was present at the Synod of Paris, or that his work on images was written till some time afterwards.

Hitherto the military affairs in which Louis or his generals had been engaged, in defending, or, in a few instances, in advancing the boundaries of the empire, had been generally prosecuted with success; which was owing perhaps as much to the terror of Charlemagne’s memory, as to the vigor of his son. Nor was there anything, of which history informs us, that would indicate any great falling off in the management of internal and civil affairs. But about this time, dating from the year 826, the weakness of the empire became gradually, every year, more and more apparent. Attacks upon the frontiers, on several sides, were made more constantly, and with greater success than before; and internal dissensions, arising simultaneously, and extending, with little interruption, to the very termination of the reign and life of Louis, put an effectual stop to any vigorous defence. These evils must be attributed partly to the division of the empire among the sons of Louis, who were too young not to be easily ruled by ambitious and interested counselors, and in part to the unwise policy of the emperor himself, who seems to have yielded himself with too great ease to the influence of his wife, and of favorites introduced or patronized by her. Inroads upon his dominions were made by the Bulgarians, a barbarous nation, who separated the boundaries of the western from those of the eastern empire, and whose chief attention had hitherto been engaged in ravaging the latter territories, but who began now to turn their arms to the other side. The Duke of Forum-julii, whose business it was to defend this portion of the empire, suffered them to lay waste, with impunity, part of Upper Pannonia; a negligence for which he was deprived of his rank, and the March, or territory under his command, was divided between four counts. Soon afterwards, Croatia, perhaps never very secure in its obedience, fell off from its allegiance to Louis; and as the Greek portion of Dalmatia, with Servia, had already freed itself from the rule of Constantinople, the two empires, which originally joined in Illyria, were now separated by a considerable space of country. A similar division took place, about the same time, in Italy, the only other point in which the kingdom of the Franks touched that of the Byzantine emperors; for Sicily, in the year 827, was conquered by the Saracens, with the exception of the two cities of Syracuse and Tauromenium, retained by the Greeks fifty or sixty years longer; and in the opposite quarter the duchy of Beneventum grew so careless in paying even the forms of obedience and respect to Louis, that we must view it as having ceased, at this time, to be in any measure a dependency of the empire.

But of all the inroads of foreign enemies, none gave so much concern to Louis, and none perhaps were marked with so much misery and destruction, of property and life, as those of the Saracens under the king or caliph of Cordova. They were introduced by the treachery of Aiso, a nobleman of the Spanish March, and a subject, in consequence, of Pepin, king of Aquitaine. His revolt probably originated in enmity against Bernard, count of Toulouse, and son of the emperor’s guardian and tutor, William the Short-nosed. Bernard was in high favor with the emperor, and with his queen Judith, and some years before had been raised to the important position of count of Barcelona, and duke of Septimania or Languedoc, appointments which gave him authority over Aiso and other counts of the Spanish March, and probably led to collision and disputes between the two nobles. Aiso had been present at the diet of the empire at Aix-la-Chapelle in 820, but from consciousness of treachery, or from fear of the enmity of Bernard, he hastened back to his own country in the midst of the deliberations, seized upon two or three fortified towns, and sent to Cordova to demand succor from Abderrahman the second. Bernard was first sent against him, and soon afterwards Pepin, supported by Hugo, father-in-law of Lothaire, and Matfrid, count of Orleans, was ordered to follow and cooperate with him. Hugo, however, was one of Bernard’s greatest enemies. Accordingly little was done against Aiso, who gathered a second army of Saracens, and although Lothaire himself advanced to assist his brother, the Spanish March was ravaged throughout, many towns taken or destroyed, and several counties or territories of considerable extent, were entirely lost to the Frankish empire for sixty years. The invaders retired in safety to Caesar Augusta or Saragossa, before the different generals opposed to them could come to a good understanding, and the forces of Louis thought it useless to follow and attack them.

Meanwhile the emperor himself had held an assembly at Aix, in February, 828, at which the counts Hugo and Matfrid who had been first sent to cooperate with Bernard of Toulouse, were censured for their conduct, and their property confiscated. The young king of Aquitaine, who had been their companion, could not but feel that the censure applied equally to himself, and Lothaire must have regarded the disgrace of his father-in-law Hugo as in some degree involving his own. Accordingly both of these princes were still more exasperated than before against Bernard, whom they considered as the cause of all, and looked with increased discontent upon the government of their father, and especially on the influence which the empress exercised on his counsels.

Louis felt, in the midst of these difficulties, how far he fell short of his sire in energy and independence of mind. Of all his courtiers or ministers, Wala seemed the only one qualified to advise him, the only one who possessed the faculties in which he was himself so greatly deficient, united with integrity and honor. But Wala gave him little support or comfort, declaring that the only method of saving the country from the complicated evils which threatened and oppressed it, was to free the clergy from all concern in secular affairs, especially from the duty of personal service in war; and at the same time to put a stop altogether to the practice of lay interference with the property and affairs of the Church. He represented to the emperor and his nobles, with the utmost vehemence, that the latter evil was plain sacrilege, while the former led to failure in discipline and laxity among the clergy, scarcely less mischievous; and that a curse could not but rest upon the country in which such things were permitted, and on the counsels of the sovereign who encouraged or failed to prevent them. However just the complaint of Wala, and of many influential men who supported him, so universal a reform was beyond the courage of Louis to attempt, and certainly beyond his power at present to effect. Nor was there wanting a large party, chiefly of laymen, who insisted with scarcely less force, though with less conclusiveness of argument, that in emergencies like the present the Church property should be employed in the service of the state. Under the pressure of these conflicting counsels, Louis deferred any immediate decision, by ordering a general assembly of the bishops of his dominions, divided, for convenience of situation, into four places of meeting, Metz, Paris, Lyons, and Toulouse. In the edict, appointing the places to which the bishops of each province should resort, seventeen metropolitan sees are enumerated, as included in the Cisalpine dominions of the emperor. The two most remote archbishoprics, that of Salzburg, and the newly formed province of Lauriacum, are for some reason which is not mentioned, probably in consequence of their great distance, omitted in the enumeration. The bishops were directed to take the miserable state of the country into consideration, and, if possible, to devise some means of averting the anger of God, of which these calamities, from foreign war, or internal sedition and distress, were evidences not to be mistaken. The Council of Paris is the only one of the four of which the decisions are preserved. They consist chiefly of complaints similar to those made by Wala, and it is plain that a large portion of the French Church, with Agobard, archbishop of Lyons, Wala, and Hilduin, abbot of St. Denys, and chancellor of the empire, at their head, were convinced of the necessity of some thorough and decisive changes in the management of civil affairs, especially in their relations to the Church. The Council of Paris add to their complaints many precepts of justice addressed to the emperor, which are perhaps capable of explanation from a letter written by Agobard to Louis, after the meeting at Lyons. The subject of the epistle is the unjust determination lately made by him to alter the former division of the empire, and to take from Lothaire’s portion a kingdom for his youngest son Charles. The territory chosen for the purpose was the country bordering upon the Rhine, known afterwards by the name of Lotharingia or Lorraine. Lothaire, it is true, agreed to yield to his father’s wish, and at the synod of Worms, held by Louis in the following year, promised to protect his brother, and to consent to no spoliation of his dominions. But succeeding events showed that he could not have been sincere in his agreement, or that he was quickly persuaded to change his mind; and not only Agobard, but other prelates of distinction, highly disapproved of the proceeding, partly perhaps from dislike to count Bernard, and the empress Judith, who were held to be the promoters of the design, and, as is possible, from belief of a report which had been very general since the birth of Charles, that the young prince was in reality the son, not of the emperor, but of Bernard himself.

Letters written at the same time by Agobard to Hilduin and Wala, as to the persons of chief authority in the court of Louis, lamented the existence of other evils in several parts of France, especially in his own diocese of Lyons, where the Jews, who were wealthy and numerous, and who had many Christians as their slaves, prevented the children from being baptized, and forced them to conform to odious and unlawful practices. Wanton contumelies were exercised by them upon the Christians in general, and the magistrates appointed by the emperor not only abstained from remedying these abuses, but encouraged the Jews to persist in them. The archbishop also mentions instances in which Jews had kidnapped the children of Christians, and sold them to the Mahometans of Spain.

The four Synods effected but little for the country. If in times of prosperity and peace, the grievances of which they complained might have been gradually redressed, the storm which had been long gathering over the head of Louis, and which soon burst upon him, effectually hindered any successful attempt at reformation. In other respects, he not only paid no attention to the wishes of Agobard, in which a great portion of his kingdom joined, but appeared to act purposely in defiance of them; for he heaped new favors on count Bernard, appointing him his camerarius, or lord chamberlain, and at the same time tutor and guardian to his son Charles.

Lothaire had returned to Italy, Pepin to Aquitaine, with a secret discontent which they concealed until a more favorable opportunity. This was soon afforded by a revolt of the Britons, against whom the emperor determined to march at the beginning of Lent, AD 831. Orders were sent to his sons to assemble their forces, and join him at Rennes, to take part in the expedition. Louis of Germany was the only one of the three who obeyed. The spirit of disaffection was general, and the greater part of the army fell off and retired to Paris. Meanwhile Pepin advanced from the south, and seized the city of Orleans, re-appointing his friend and adviser, count Matfrid, in the government of which Louis had deprived him for his conduct in the late invasion of the Saracens. From Orleans he continued his march towards Compiegne, whither his father had been forced to return by the desertion of his army, and by the news of the rebellion. The king of Bavaria lost no time in joining his brother Pepin, so that the emperor had now no supporters. Count Bernard, by his sovereign’s permission or advice, fled to his capital of Barcelona, and the empress Judith was sent to Laon as a place of refuge. The insurgents, however, took her from thence, and compelled her to take the veil in the nunnery of St. Radegonde, at Poitiers. She was charged now, without any concealment or reserve, of adultery with Bernard; and the ecclesiastics of Pepin’s party, the chief of whom were Jesse, bishop of Amiens, Hilduin, abbot of St. Denys, and Wala, without any trial, pronounced her divorce, and sentenced her to a life of penance and seclusion. It was hoped that Louis would have followed her example, and put into effect the resolution from which he had been dissuaded more than once before, of resigning his crown, and retiring to a monastery. For the purpose of persuading him to take this step, Judith was brought to him from her nunnery, and promised to use her influence in bringing him to comply with the suggestion. She had a private interview with him at Compiegne, the only result of which was, the emperor’s refusal to resign immediately, as he required time to consider the proposal, and his permission to Judith to take the veil, without however receiving the tonsure, which was the usual accompaniment of the ceremony. Meanwhile, soon after Easter, Lothaire came from Italy. He expressed his approbation of all that his brothers had done, and took upon himself the whole management of affairs. As Bernard was beyond his reach, he displayed his anger towards him by putting out the eyes of his brother Herbert. Two brothers of the empress were at the same time forced to receive the tonsure, and become monks.

During the remainder of the summer Louis remained a prisoner in the hands of Lothaire, who administered all the affairs of the empire. But though no open demonstration was made in his favor, the clergy and others who still belonged to his party were employed in secret negotiations, and Pepin and Louis of Bavaria, who had retired to their own dominions, on Lothaire’s putting himself at the head of the insurgent party, were persuaded to withdraw their support by the promise of an increase of territory at their father’s restoration. Lothaire, probably, soon found himself in an unsafe position. The sympathies of the people, who before had been so indignant at the abuses of the emperor’s rule, were enlisted on his side, now that they saw him deprived of his dignity and power, and the banishment of count Bernard probably satisfied their anger. Nor could the conscience of Lothaire be easy under so plain an act of ingratitude and rebellion. The only excuse by which he could palliate it to himself was, that the safety and well-being of the country required the emperor’s deposition. Hitherto this had not been declared in any public or formal manner. To judge from the general state of opinion in France, notwithstanding the defection of his two brothers, he could scarcely doubt that an assembly of the nobles and prelates of the realm would agree in deposing his father, and in transferring the empire to himself. Accordingly, he readily listened to the request of Louis, that a public assembly should be convened, with authority to decide between the claims of the two emperors. Lothaire desired that it should be held in some town of France, but Louis proposed Nimeguen, and at length prevailed in the choice. He remembered that the Germans had always been his father’s most trustworthy adherents, and although he himself had not lived among them so exclusively as the former Carolingian princes, he felt more security in their allegiance and support than in that of his other subjects. It is also probable that the great jealousy felt towards Bernard and the empress, was nearly confined to France; and perhaps the acts of injustice or partiality attributed to the count of Toulouse, if any such had in reality been committed, extended no farther than to the western or southern provinces of the empire. Louis also gained his son’s consent to the condition, that none of the nobles present at the meeting, on either side, should be accompanied by an armed force.

The assembly met at Nimeguen in the autumn or at the beginning of the winter. The Germans came, as the emperor expected, in large numbers, while few of the French, except those most interested in the cause, cared to undergo the expense and trouble of a tedious journey. The abbot Hilduin appeared among Lothaire’s supporters with a large body of troops, in defiance or perhaps in ignorance of the condition upon which they had before agreed; and Louis’s first act of resuming his old authority was to command him to leave the town, to march with his followers to Paderborn, and to remain there till the dismissal of the assembly. Lothaire ventured not to oppose the command, as he was himself party to the condition, and as he saw that numbers were against him. The abbot departed, and Louis followed up his success by dismissing Wala, and others of his son’s chief adherents, probably on the same ground. Nothing could now ensure to Lothaire the superiority on which he had counted at first, but a sudden attack upon the emperor. This was earnestly advised by most of the nobles on his side, but his better nature recoiled from such a breach of good faith, and so open an act of rebellion. He went alone to Louis’ tent, and in an interview which lasted during a great part of the night, threw himself on the mercy of his father, implored forgiveness for his undutiful conduct, and submitted everything to his will. Louis freely pardoned him, and the appearance of father and son together in amity put a stop to all attempt of the violence which had been meditated, and probably saved the life of the latter from the hostility of the Germans or Austrasians, who showed themselves greatly incensed against all who had taken part in the rebellion. The chief promoters, deserted by Lothaire, had no resource but to yield unconditionally; for the present they were kept in custody till a judgment should be pronounced upon them. They were then sentenced to death, but spared by the mercy of the emperor, who contented himself with condemning laymen and ecclesiastics alike to a monastic life.

In the following year, 832, three synods or diets were convened by Louis. In the first, at Aix-la-Chapelle, the empress Judith called upon her accusers to renew and prove their charges against her; but whether from deficiency of proof, or from fear of her party, which seemed now to have gained the upper hand, or because all that was said or suspected of her guilt was indeed nothing more than calumny, no one appeared in answer to her challenge. At the same time Lothaire was dismissed to Italy, and commanded henceforth to content himself with that kingdom alone, the rest of his dominions being divided between the kings of Bavaria and Aquitaine, as a reward for their having returned, sooner than their brother, to their duty and allegiance.

At the second meeting, which was held at Ingelheim, many of those who had been punished so lately for their rebellion, were permitted by the emperor’s indulgence to return from exile. Among these was the abbot Hilduin, who from the high place which he had occupied before in the favor of Louis, might have seemed less deserving of pardon than others of lower station, or whose ties of gratitude towards their master were of a less personal or of a less exalted nature. His return from the monastery of Corbey in Saxony, whither he had been sent, and the restoration of two of the abbacies of which he had been deprived, were owing to the mediation of Hincmar, a young monk of St. Denys, who had thought it right to follow his superior into banishment, although he had remained unshaken in his own fidelity to the emperor.

The third diet was summoned to meet at Thionville. There count Bernard presented himself, and challenged anyone who impugned his honor to support the charge by trial of arms. None ventured to lift the gauntlet, and the count, on taking an oath of his innocence, was accordingly declared free from all imputation of guilt. But though thus publicly acquitted of all the crimes of which he had been accused, he was not restored to the high offices which he held before. Gombald, a monk of Soissons, who had given proof of his fidelity and skill in conducting the negotiations which had led to the emperor’s success, was rewarded by an unlimited grant of confidence and power. Bernard found no place left for him in the court where he so lately had been first in dignity and influence. Instead of retiring, in quiet, to his own duchy of Languedoc, or to his government of Barcelona, he gave the fullest proof which his enemies could have required of his guilt or insincerity, by seeking at once to join himself with the malcontents, and to raise the standard of revolt a second time.

There was little need of waiting long for such an opportunity. Pepin, with whom the former insurrection commenced, had again, within a few months of its termination, disobeyed and quarreled with his father. He was summoned to attend a diet at Thionville, but refused or delayed to come till Christmas. On arriving at Aix, where Louis then was, he was received with coldness, and returned in high displeasure to Aquitaine. He found Bernard, equally incensed for the loss of his former dignities, ready to encourage him in any act of disobedience and revolt; and his brother of Bavaria seemed at first prepared to join him, and even went so far as to raise a force for the conquest of that part of Germany which had been allotted to the young prince Charles. But the emperor put a stop to the invasion, by a rapid march upon Metz, and in an interview with the younger Louis, dissuaded him from continuing to support his brother. Meanwhile Pepin, after much wavering, advanced to meet his father in the direction of Orleans. No battle was fought; he was soon obliged to yield himself prisoner, and was sent in custody to Treves, from whence, however, he quickly made his escape again. But Aquitaine was taken from him, and transferred to Charles, and his accomplice Bernard was deprived of his dignities and possessions in Septimania.

No one who follows the narrative of the repeated rebellions raised against the emperor by his sons, as related by the contemporary historians, can accuse him of injustice in depriving Pepin of his kingdom of Aquitaine. His fault seems indeed to have been extreme indulgence. Yet, to our surprise, we find the act resented, not only by Lothaire and the younger Louis, but by many prelates of high rank and character, among whom Agobard of Lyons, and Ebo of Rheims, are most remarkable, and, according to a common belief at the time, by pope Gregory IV. No clue is afforded by which this unreasonable conduct can be explained; the misgovernment of Bernard, which was the pretext for the former rebellion, had ceased, and whatever jealousy might have been felt at the influence of the empress Judith, we discover no trace of undue severity or of partiality in the actions of her husband, which could have resulted from it, or which could be advanced as any excuse for a second insurrection. We seem forced to the conclusion, that the suspicion of Charles’ illegitimacy, if not founded in truth, must have generally prevailed. If this prince were not really the emperor’s son, it is not unreasonable that a strong feeling should have existed, on all sides, against his receiving any portion of the empire as his inheritance; but on any other supposition, the hostility expressed by his brothers appears groundless, nor can we comprehend why the just deprivation of Pepin should have raised their indignation. When filial duty is cast aside so easily as was done by Lothaire and Louis, it is difficult to believe that fraternal affection can have any great weight or influence.

Whatever was the ground of complaint, the younger emperor and the king of Bavaria, on hearing of their father’s late determination, assembled all their forces, and, having been joined by Pepin, on his escape from Treves, encamped at Rothfeld, between Strasburg and Basle, in open revolt. Louis lost no time in meeting them; and so large a majority of nobles and prelates followed him to the field as to leave little doubt, at first, of an easy conquest. But negotiations began; neither side was prepared for battle; the insurgents felt their weakness, and the emperor’s characteristic love of peace and reluctance to enter upon so unnatural a combat, forbade his attacking them, until all means of pacification had been tried. Pope Gregory IV had accompanied or followed Lothaire from Italy, with the simple object, as is probable, of promoting peace, and of arbitrating in this obstinate dispute between a father and his sons. But the report was spread that he had come as an adherent of the three princes, and with the purpose of excommunicating all who supported Louis. Accordingly he was met by threats of a similar nature from the bishops on the emperor’s side. They declared that he had no power of excommunication within their dioceses; and that if he attempted to pronounce the sentence he should receive the same himself. They even threatened to depose him; and it required all the influence of Wala and the monk Radbert, who had been persuaded to join the army of Lothaire, to convince him that the French bishops threatened more than they had power to perform, and that the supreme pontiff had a Divine commission to judge all men, without submitting in turn to the judgment of any others. Supported by these arguments, Gregory maintained his ground for a time; but on visiting the camp of Louis, at Lothaire’s request, he was received by the emperor, formerly so humble and respectful, with coldness and distrust. Louis assured him of his own desire for peace, and begged him to return to the hostile camp, and prove the intention of his journey by persuading his sons to lay down their arms. This was beyond the power of the pope; who, at length, finding his efforts useless, retraced his steps to Rome, with the sorrowful consciousness of having at once failed in promoting peace, and alienated from himself the good will of the emperor, and perhaps of the whole Church of France.

The bishops of Lothaire’s party took the best advantage, as might be supposed, of the visit of the pope and his reported intention to excommunicate their opponents. Agobard wrote a letter to the emperor, reproaching him with his reception of Gregory, and complaining of Judith, whom he charged with gross misconduct. Gradually the bishops and nobles left the camp of Louis, and went over to that of his sons; and at last he was forced to yield himself prisoner to Lothaire, exacting from him no other condition than that he would keep inviolate the promise before made in favor of Judith and his brother Charles. Lothaire was then acknowledged emperor in his father’s place; and dismissed his other brothers to their kingdoms of Bavaria and Aquitaine. The empress, committed to the care of the former, was lodged in secure custody at Tortona, a town of northern Italy; while Charles was placed in the monastery of Prum, in the district of Treves, and Louis himself in that of St. Medard, of Soissons. The scene of the rival encampments was from that time called by the name of the Field of Falsehood, from the general defection and treason of the emperor’s followers. Of these, Hincmar was among the few who remained faithful; while of Lothaire’s adherents Wala, with perhaps some others, disapproved of the way in which he had used his victory. He had little to hope, in the way of amelioration and reform, from a prince whose only motive was ambition; and retired in disgust from France to Italy, where he shut himself up in the monastery of Bobio. Agobard, on the contrary, attempted to justify what was done, on the ground that Louis had forfeited his claim to the throne, by altering the partition of his dominions, by leading an army against his sons, and by taking Judith a second time for his wife, when she had been separated from him, and consecrated to a religious seclusion; and urged him to do penance for all these sins, and to fix his thoughts upon a heavenly crown, as he had lost possession of his earthly sovereignty.

Soon afterwards Lothaire assembled his parliament at Compiegne. To decide on a safe line of conduct was no easy task. His father already had been once deposed, and had soon regained his throne, and there could be little doubt that this second deprivation would terminate in the same way, unless some extraordinary means were adopted to prevent it Wala, and probably others of his more respectable followers, had already disapproved of his plans; although some influential bishops were on his side, others, of perhaps no less weight, were likely to declare against him on the first opportunity; little reliance was to be placed on the lay nobles, who would be as unscrupulous against him as they had been in his favor, or on the people in general, who were sure to feel sympathy for their former sovereign in adversity; and his brothers, Louis and Pepin, were as likely now, as before, from motives of jealousy or filial duty, to return to their allegiance. Accordingly a scheme was adopted, which could scarcely be expected to succeed, or, at all events, must probably fail as soon as Lothaire’s present authority began to decline. This was, to render Louis incapable of again assuming the sovereign power, by forcing him to assume the garb of penance. The prelates grounded their reasonings and expectations upon a canon of the Council of Nice, and a clause in a decretal letter of pope Siricius, in which public penitents were forbidden the exercise of arms, and by a necessary consequence, as it seemed, were incapable of the kingly power. It is marvelous that canonists so learned as Ebo and Agobard, could avoid perceiving that this hindrance only existed during the time of penance, and necessarily ceased with the absolution of the penitent; whence it would follow that unless the emperor were deprived of Communion till his death, an act of tyranny and injustice which could hardly have been contemplated, the time must come when he would naturally resume his authority. The public penance performed some years before, at Attigny, after which these prelates, with the rest of his present opponents, found no difficulty in recognizing him as rightful emperor, was an instance in proof of this. Other mistakes were made, of which full advantage was afterwards taken, when the time came for re-examining and rescinding the proposal. The object, as was first mentioned, was to disqualify Louis from continuing emperor, and of course presupposed that up to the time of penance he possessed that dignity. Yet Agobard’s letter some months previous, and all that was said and written in preparing and performing the penitential ceremony, take for granted that he is already deposed, and speak of him only as the lord Louis. Moreover, the very offences for which he had been absolved after his penance at Attigny, formed the subject of confession at this time; whereas it was altogether at variance with ecclesiastical law or custom, to require a second penance for the same crime, or indeed, generally speaking, to admit a person a second time to penance, Louis, with all his reverence for Church authority, was long in being persuaded to submit himself to what was required. At last, wearied out by the importunity of the bishops, and perhaps really terrified by their representations of his spiritual danger, unless he complied with the prescribed form, and, it may be, truly wishing at the time to retire peaceably from the world, and spend the remainder of his life in quiet and devotion, he gave his consent. In the Church of Notre Dame at Soissons, in the presence of Lothaire and his nobles, and a large crowd of spectators, Ebo, archbishop of Rheims, as metropolitan of the province, stood, with Agobard, Jesse of Amiens, Bernard of Vienne, and other bishops, to receive the confession of the royal penitent.  Sackcloth was spread upon the floor in front of the altar, and prostrate upon this Louis read aloud, from a paper already prepared, eight several charges or counts of offence, confessing himself guilty of each in order, and praying to be absolved from them. The death of his nephew Bernard, his frequent changes in the division of the empire among his sons, his expedition against Brittany during the sacred season of Lent, and convocation of parliament for Holy Thursday, the punishment of many innocent subjects on the pretext of rebellion, the unjust acquittal of the empress Judith and others, the many evils which he had caused by the civil war, and especially the late preparation for battle in Alsace, formed the heads of the confession. When it was finished, he returned the paper to the bishops, who laid it on the altar; then stripping himself of his arms and secular apparel, he assumed the garments of a penitent, and was admitted to penance by Ebo and his brother prelates. A solemn service of psalms and prayers concluded the ceremony, and one of the bishops was ordered to draw up a particular account of the whole action, to be kept by Lothaire, as a confirmation of his father’s degradation, and of his own consequent right to the imperial throne. The confession of Louis took place in November, 833. In six months time the folly of the proceedings at Soissons was sufficiently proved by his restoration, and the solemn declaration, by the bishops of his party, that all which had been done was uncanonical and void. The first indications of danger were conveyed to Lothaire by letters from his two brothers, Pepin and Louis, reproaching him with cruelty towards their father. He replied by a retort of the same charge, and the two princes put their armies in motion, simultaneously, towards the Loire and the Rhine, with the express determination of liberating their father from custody. Some nobles of Neustria, Austrasia, and Burgundy, collected forces at the same time in those provinces of the empire, with the same design. Lothaire waited not for their arrival, but conveyed his father to Paris, and leaving him at liberty in the monastery of St. Denys, fled southwards towards Vienne in Dauphiny. Agobard and others soon followed his example, and Ebo was the only one among the chiefs or ringleaders of the party who ventured to remain. He was sent at once to the monastery of Fulda, by order of Louis, who resumed the imperial authority, although he refused to gird himself again with his sword, until it should be publicly restored to him by the same spiritual power which had deprived him of it. This was quickly accomplished; some bishops were easily found to reconcile him to the Church, and on the Sunday following the flight of Lothaire, he was reinvested in the military garb. Although inclined to pardon his eldest son as easily as he had forgiven Louis and Pepin, on their joining him at Paris and Aix-la-Chapelle, the arrival of the empress from Tortona quickly induced him to take severer measures. Two armies were sent against Lothaire, but the counts Lambert and Matfrid quickly defeated the first, and the other was cut to pieces by Lothaire himself at Châlons-sur-Saone, the city entirely destroyed by fire, and neither women nor children spared in the general massacre. From Châlons he marched to Orleans, whither his father and two brothers advanced to meet him. The adverse armies encamped in the neighborhood of Blois, and Lothaire’s followers began to fall off, and join the army of Louis. The young emperor soon discovered that victory was hopeless; he threw himself upon his father’s mercy, and was speedily forgiven. Louis dismissed him to Italy, with orders not to quit his kingdom again without permission, and not long afterwards deprived him of the title of emperor.

Although Louis had regained his power, not only by superiority of arms, but by ecclesiastical sanction, something was still required. His deposition, if that name can be given to the ceremony at Soissons, had been conducted with greater publicity and solemnity than his restoration. To supply this defect, a diet was summoned at Thionville, in February, 835. Many archbishops and bishops were present, but Drogo, bishop of Metz, was chosen to preside, both because the place of meeting was in his diocese, and because, from his near relationship to the emperor, it was a suitable compliment to pay him on this occasion. From Thionville, the whole assemblage adjourned to Metz, and there, in the cathedral Church, on Quinquagesima Sunday, Drogo publicly proclaimed the restoration of the emperor. He then descended from the pulpit, and made way for Ebo who had been drawn from his confinement at Fulda for the purpose, who confessed, in public, the injustice and invalidity of all that had been done at Soissons, and after the return of the parliament to Thionville, submitted himself to judgment for the part which he had taken in the proceedings. At the intercession of the queen, he was permitted by Louis to choose his judges, without being at once deposed, like Agobard, and Bernard of Vienne, whose refusal to be present was considered as a confession of guilt. Ebo chose the archbishop of Bourges and two other bishops; he privately confessed to them, and then presented to the Council a written document, signed by himself, to the following effect. “I, Ebo, have made a sincere confession of my sins, for the sake of penitence and the salvation of my soul: I renounce the episcopal office, of which I consider myself unworthy, through the sins now confessed in secret, that another may be consecrated in my place, and govern the Church more worthily than I have done. And to the end that I may never retract what has been done, for the sake of regaining my see, I herewith subscribe my name”. In the subscription, he entitles himself Ebo, formerly bishop. Then all the prelates present, to the number of eight archbishops and thirty-five bishops, gave their votes in order, and unanimously condemned him to be deprived of his dignity; and those to whom he had made private confession, declared, at his request, that he had confessed such a crime as made him unworthy of any longer holding the office, such, in fact, as would have prevented his consecration, if previously committed.

After Ebo’s confession and deposition, he was sent back to his place of confinement, and remained in custody as long as Louis lived. Fulco, or Foulques, a chorepiscopus of Rheims, was appointed to succeed him; but the emperor ordered his election to be deferred for the present, wishing in the first place to receive the pope’s sanction for what had hitherto been done. Meanwhile, he determined to take vigorous measures towards removing one class of grievances, the prevalence of which had been a main cause or pretext for the late rebellions. At a diet of Aix-la-Chapelle, orders were issued for the restitution of all Church property which had fallen into the hands of laymen; and as Aquitaine seems to have been the chief scene of these impropriations, Pepin was required to insist upon their restitution. As if anxious to make amends for his former disobedience, the young king speedily complied with the demand, and sent letters to all within his dominions, urging them to obey. A similar compliance was required from Lothaire, but without the same success. The conduct of that prince showed that little improvement had taken place in his feelings of duty towards his father, or in his readiness to please him. Far from restoring the Church property, which his adherents had received, as a reward for their joining in his former enterprises, he was engaged in a quarrel with the pope, which so irritated Louis, that he at once dispatched messengers to rebuke him, and prepared to follow in person to revenge or prevent the insult offered to the holy see. If the pope, as was supposed, had encouraged Lothaire in his late rebellion, he could scarcely fail to be smitten with compunction and re­morse by the zeal of the good old emperor in his behalf, against the very prince whose treason he had supported, or at all events had not attempted to repress. He expressed great gratitude towards him for his good intentions, and loaded the messengers who had announced them with rich presents, to he carried hack to their master. These, however, never reached France, for Lothaire sent to Bologna and prevented their departure from Italy. The pope’s letter was secretly transmitted by a servant in the disguise of a beggar.

But Louis’ journey to Rome was hindered by an invasion of Danes or Normans, who sailed up the Rhine, and ravaged a great part of Friesland, sacked the town of Dorstadt, and extorted large sums of money from different parts of the country. They defeated and massacred the troops under Eginhard, count of Walachia, whose office it was to defend the frontiers of that quarter of the empire, and Louis was forced to march against them in person. He met and repulsed them at Nimeguen, but probably without inflicting upon them any great loss either of life or plunder. These heathen pirates had made an attempt upon the French dominions as early as the reign of Charlemagne. They were then either repulsed by the emperor’s forces, or, according to general report, were prevented from landing by the terror of his name, and turned to the opposite coast of England, nor did they venture to return to France till the year 834. The altered state of military courage and discipline was quickly perceived, and henceforward their incursions became more and more frequent and destructive; soon scarcely a year passed without a visit, until at last one of the descendants of the present emperor put a stop to the invasions by wisely ceding a province of his dominions to the enemies, whom he was too weak to defeat in war.

The death of Pepin in the year 838, deprived Aquitaine of a king, and rendered necessary a further allotment of the empire. Louis was at Worms, whither a diet had been convened for that year, when the news reached him of his son’s decease. Lothaire also was present at this parliament. The empress Judith, at one time his most persevering adversary, had reason to fear, from her husband’s increasing infirmities, that her son Charles would soon be left without a protector, and found it her interest to conciliate the king of Italy, who must shortly succeed to the imperial title and authority. Accordingly, by her persuasion, he came to Worms, knelt at his father’s feet, and received a public assurance of his forgiveness and favor. Louis took advantage of his presence to make at once the necessary division. The Rhone and Meuse formed the line of separation between the two portions; Lothaire chose the eastern division, containing Italy and Provence, Allemania or Germany, with the exception of Bavaria, to which his brother Louis was restricted, and a part of Burgundy and Austrasia. Charles was contented with the remaining and larger portion of the two latter provinces, together with Neustria and Aquitaine. It was intended that the division should be a fair one, and certainly it could never have been meant by the emperor and Judith that Charles, their favorite son, should receive a portion inferior to that of his brother. Accordingly the notion of geography must at that time have been somewhat undefined, unless we suppose that France, of which the greater part fell to the share of Charles, was considered superior in fertility and civilization, in fidelity and security from foreign attacks, to Italy, Provence, or Germany. If so, a few years proved the mistake, for of all the dominions which owned the rule of Charlemagne, during the next half century, none was so much torn by intestine quarrels, and certainly none suffered so severely from hostile ravages as the formerly nourishing, and, in comparison with other regions, peaceable realm of France.

The division now made at Worms gave rise to complaints of partiality and injustice, which were not without foundation. Pepin left two sons, the elder called by his own name, and the other by that of Charles. A decree which gave away their father’s kingdom, without any recognition of their own existence, could scarcely be pleasing to these young princes. So clear indeed did the former of them consider his right to the throne, that he at once assumed, and maintained with little exception to the termination of his life, the title of Pepin II king of Aquitaine.

No doubt, according to Charlemagne’s theory of the empire, (in which the emperor was regarded as the Augustus of ancient Rome, while the kings under him were Caesars, appointed and deposed at his will), the claim advanced by the younger Pepin was invalid. But such a theory required a sovereign like Charlemagne himself to maintain it with vigor and success; and probably it was one altogether unsuited to a state of society like the present, or to any other form of government than a mere military despotism, similar to that of Rome. Louis had plainly failed in attempting to act upon it, and perhaps the evils of his reign may be traced, in great part, to this vain endeavor.

However it was not likely that he would, on the present occasion, relinquish his claim to set aside, at pleasure, the rights of primogeniture, and to appoint a sovereign of his own choice over his own province of Aquitaine. He marched into that country, and ravaged it during the summer of 839. The inhabitants, in general, opposed him, but could, of course, have had little hope of final success, in so unequal a war, had not pestilence destroyed a great part of the imperial army, and forced the emperor himself to retire, for the winter, to Poitiers. From thence he was summoned, by news of a threatened revolt of the king of Bavaria, who regarded the late division of the empire with little more approbation than his two nephews of Aquitaine. It appeared a plain act of injustice to confine him to Bavaria, while Lothaire received so large an increase of dominion. Of the two brothers Louis certainly had not deserved less of his father than the king of Italy, although the latter was at present in favor with the emperor and Judith. If we take into account the laxity with which the duty of filial obedience had been always regarded by the emperor’s sons, it is no matter of wonder that he resented so plain an evidence of displeasure or neglect. He took up arms in support of his claim to the rest of Germany, which seemed naturally to belong to him; but was stopped in his progress towards the Rhine, by the emperor, who crossed that river, and marched towards Thuringia. The king of Bavaria was reluctant to oppose his father in open battle, and retired before him; and Louis himself was seized with illness, and forced to return to Worms, about the beginning of June, 840, and thence to his palace of Ingelheim, on the Rhine, in the neighborhood of Metz.

The emperor’s malady, which is said to have been water on the chest, proved fatal. As soon as he was aware of the hopeless nature of his disease, he sent for his brother Drogo, bishop of Metz, to afford him spiritual aid. Each day, during the remainder of his life, he went through the duty of confession, and received the Holy Communion. This was his only food, as his appetite had altogether failed him; and he regarded the compulsory fast as a providential punishment for his neglect this year of his usual abstinence during Lent, when he had been engaged in marching against his son. His crown, sword, and scepter he sent to Lothaire, charging him to be a faithful protector to the empress Judith and her son. He seems to have found the greatest difficulty of all in extending forgiveness to his son Louis, but at length declared that he fully pardoned him. As his end approached, he made signs for Drogo and the other bishops who were present, to draw near his bed, and pray for him; and while they were thus engaged, exclaimed several times, with great vehemence, “Aus, aus”, which was understood by those present to be addressed to the evil spirit. Soon, as if his attempt to repel the hostile visitant had been successful, he raised his eyes to heaven, with a look of joy and gratitude, and shortly afterwards expired. His death took place on the twenty-eighth of June, 840, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and the twenty-seventh of his reign as emperor. His body was carried to Metz, and there buried, by the side of his mother Hildegarde.

The following is the character of Louis, collected by Fleury from contemporary writers:—In personal appearance he was of middle height, with large eyes, long nose, broad shoulders, and strong limbs. None could draw the bow, and hurl the lance better than he. His voice was manly; he spoke Latin as fluently as his native language, and understood Greek. When young he was fond of heathen poetry, but had since given up the practice of reading or hearing it. On the other hand, he was well acquainted with holy Scripture, of which he understood the spiritual, moral, and allegorical meanings. Every morning it was his custom to enter the Church, and there, throwing himself on his knees, to touch the pavement with his forehead, continuing long in prayer, and often shedding tears. Every day, before partaking of food himself, he gave alms; and, wherever he was, provided lodging for the poor. In eating and drinking he was temperate; he was never seen to laugh aloud, and on festival occasions, when the people were entertained with musicians and buffoons, he laid restraint upon the rest by his own serious demeanor. His dress was plain, except on great festivals, when, like his ancestors, he was covered with gold, and carried a scepter in his hand, and his crown upon his head. He was very liberal, and gave away many of his royal lands to private individuals. He did nothing without advice; but bestowed so much of his time on chanting and reading that his affairs were left too much in the hands of his confidants, tie continued the bad custom, which had been already established, of making bishops from persons of servile condition, who lost no opportunity of freeing their relatives, and of raising them by a literary education, or by alliance with a noble family.

To this portrait of Louis we must add a weakness and vacillation of character which made him dependent on others, to a degree quite incompatible with an energetic and useful, or even with a just exercise of sovereign power. From this fault, and from an irritability of temper, which is common in persons deficient in strength of purpose and vigor of mind, he was frequently led into acts of partiality. Perhaps also he had too high a sense of the imperial dignity, for a prince who could with so little success maintain and enforce it. This was undoubtedly a task beyond his strength. With a smaller and better regulated kingdom, or in another station of life, he would probably have done nothing to forfeit the respect which his genuine virtues, his true devotion, and high tone of morality would have won from all. His reverence for the bishops and other clergy, and for the pope as their head, was sincere, and to many may seem, and even at the time seemed, excessive. It certainly led him occasionally into error; although in that instance which has been censured as the greatest error of all, his penance at Soissons, he cannot be considered a free agent; no choice was permitted him; he had no power to resist the will of Lothaire and his party. Nor did his reverence for either the pope or the bishops prevent his exerting due authority over both, whenever they appeared to encroach on the imperial privileges. On several occasions it had seemed as if the Roman pontiff wished to act as an independent sovereign, but never unnoticed or unrebuked by Louis, although, as in every instance of personal offence, his anger was quickly pacified. The year before his death a remarkable example of this occurred. The popes Adrian and Leo had laid claim to certain monasteries, and had possessed themselves of property belonging to them. The monks denied their right, and in a Council, at the Lateran, in the time of Gregory, brought the cause before the representatives or messengers of the emperor, who decided against the pope. The event is important, as proving both that the whole jurisdiction and government of Rome was at this time in the emperor’s hands, and that Louis, with all his veneration for the apostolic see, permitted no encroachment upon his own authority. He made many useful reforms in Church affairs, especially in the discipline of the monastic body; a branch of ecclesiastical reform more important perhaps than any other of that day, because the monasteries were both the nurseries of the bishops and higher clergy, and, only or chiefly, the schools where both the clergy and those of the laymen who sought any education whatever, were instructed. He gave permission to the clergy and people to choose their own bishop in a custom which was often disregarded at this time, though not thrown aside so universally as at a later period. He is said to have exercised the privilege of investiture by the gift of the ring and crozier, but of this there is no good evidence. The order of canons, or patres Dominici, which had been first introduced by a bishop of Metz of the last century, was greatly favored by Louis. However, from their position, which was midway between the parochial or secular and the monastic clergy, they were looked upon with a degree of jealousy probably by both of the two classes. Canonesses and nunneries are said to owe their first institution to this emperor. He paid much attention to education; and the monastic schools, or those which had been attached by Charlemagne’s command to every monastery and cathedral, flourished during the reign of Louis more than perhaps at any other time, either before or afterwards. Charlemagne had also established a kind of university, on the plan probably of the aulic or court school, to which the monastic and cathedral academies were preparatory. Whether they were efficiently conducted or not in the time of Charlemagne, it seems that they had fallen into decay soon after his death, as we find the bishops assembled at Paris in 829, petitioning for the establishment of three such institutions, under the name of scholae publicae, one in each of the three great divisions of the empire, represented in that and the contemporaneous synods of Metz, Lyons, and Toulouse; or it is possible that Italy may have been included. In Italy, however, a few years before the Council, Lothaire, doubtless by command of Louis, erected schools in the eight principal towns of his dominions. Of the monastic schools of the French dominions, that of Fulda was the most celebrated in the time of Louis, having been brought into great reputation under Rabanus, while the school at Tours, which had occupied the first place when ruled by his master Alcuin, fell afterwards into disrepute. The school of Rheims, which perhaps partook of the nature of both kinds of institution, became, soon afterwards, one of the most noted in the kingdom, until the end of the next century, when the university of Paris, which is said to have been founded by Charlemagne, and increased by Louis and his son Charles, began to rise into eminence. Probably during this century, the university of Paris was no more than one of the many cathedral schools










The position of the new emperor, Lothaire, on his father’s death, differed greatly from that of Louis on the death of Charlemagne. Louis succeeded peaceably to the undivided empire of the Franks; his nephew Bernard was the only person whose rights or claims interfered in any way with his own; and Bernard was at first faithful to his allegiance, and as soon as he attempted to revolt from it, was quickly and easily overcome. Lothaire, on receiving news of the late emperor’s decease at Ingelheim, claimed at once the same supremacy which had been exercised by his father and grandfather. By this claim, which was perfectly just and in accordance with the theory of Charlemagne’s government, his brothers, if he should see fit to continue them in the kingdoms which they now possessed, were entirely dependent upon his paramount authority, were unable to carry on war, or engage in any affair of importance without his sanction, and were equally bound with the inferior nobles and the prelates of the realm, to present themselves at his diet or parliament at any place to which he might convene them. But he could have had but little expectation that Louis of Germany, or Charles the Bald, as his youngest brother was afterwards designated, would peaceably admit his claims, and consent to hold their titles and dominions at his pleasure. Revolt against the imperial authority had been too often practiced in the late reign, and those who had scrupled not to bear arms against their father, could neither be expected themselves, nor could with justice demand of others, to bow contentedly beneath a brother’s rule. Louis too considered, and not without truth, that he had been unfairly treated in the late compact between his father and Lothaire. A long residence in Germany had made him regard all the country beyond the Rhine as his own inheritance, and had accustomed the inhabitants to look upon him as their natural sovereign. Accordingly, no sooner did he hear of his father's death, than he collected his troops, and quickly persuaded or compelled most of the country on the right of that river to acknowledge him as independent king. So fully aware was the new emperor of the improbability that his brother would pay attention to his requisitions, that he seems not to have thought it worthwhile to send to him the message which he had dispatched to all other parts of his dominions, informing his subjects of his accession to the throne, and claiming the same homage which had been paid to his ancestors. To Charles especially he sent an urgent letter, promising the protection which he owed him as his elder brother, and his godfather, and begging him to take no steps of importance, particularly to abstain from continuing hostilities against Pepin, the claimant to the throne of Aquitaine, till after the diet at Worms, which had been convened by the late emperor. But Charles was probably little better disposed than Lotus of Germany, to trust the promises or acknowledge the supremacy of Lothaire. Educated as he had been by his mother, the empress Judith, he could have had small respect or affection for his eldest brother, who in truth had done little to deserve either. In addition to this, it cannot be denied that Lothaire had greatly committed himself in the late treaty, made shortly before his father’s death, in which he had consented to content himself with one portion of France, yielding the other and larger part to Charles. We hear of no reservation of his rights as emperor in this compact, which therefore virtually amounted to a recognition of his brother’s independence, or, at any rate, might plausibly be so regarded by the young prince himself.

Accordingly Charles not only paid no attention to his letter, continuing to carry on the war in Aquitaine, with the hope of quickly crushing Pepin and his party, but even abstained from presenting himself at the parliament of Worms. Lothaire and Louis, as the time for meeting approached, set forward, almost simultaneously, for the place of rendezvous. Louis first arrived, but finding himself before his time, determined meanwhile to reduce the Saxons, who had refused or delayed to join the rest of Germany in acknowledging him for their king. Part of his army were left at Worms, and these troops, whether by the command of Louis, or at their own suggestion, opposed Lothaire on his approach. They were repulsed, and the emperor advanced to Frankfort, while his brother was encamped, with the main body of his forces, at Coblentz, on the confluence of the Rhine and Maine. Neither party was willing to begin the attack, and at last they came to an agreement to separate for the present, and to meet again to terminate their differences, if nothing should be settled in the meantime, in the month of November.

Charles was at present at Bourges, where he had agreed to hold an interview with Pepin. Hearing that Lothaire was preparing to march against him without delay, he sent messengers to meet him, pressing upon him the agreement made with their father, and promising due allegiance to him as his elder brother. Lothaire endeavored in vain to seduce the messengers from their fidelity to his brother, and on failing in his attempts, stripped them of the dignities, with which the late emperor had endowed them. However, he sent a peaceable reply to Charles, and begged him to meet him at Quiercy. Thither Charles repaired, but was quickly obliged to return into Aquitaine, as his nephew, taking advantage of his absence, prepared to attack and seize his mother Judith. Meanwhile Lothaire crossed the Meuse, and advanced to the Seine. Many nobles of distinction joined him; among them Gerard, count of Paris, Hilduin, abbot of St. Denys, and Pepin, son of Bernard, the former king of Italy. From the Seine he proceeded towards the Loire, with the same success, and in a short time all the region between these two rivers had sent in their allegiance, and assured him that the whole kingdom would readily own and obey him. Terrified at this general defection, Charles began to despair. He laid the difficulties of his situation before his army, and left it to them to decide whether he should yield, or hold out to the last. With a sudden burst of enthusiasm, they declared their readiness to die for him. Though with little hope of saving anything but his honor, he advanced to Orleans, and encamped within a few leagues of Lothaire, who had marched to the neighborhood of the same city.

The loyalty exhibited on this occasion towards Charles, and the willingness of the army to fight under his banner during the whole of this campaign, is a singular instance of any such enthusiastic feeling since the days of Charlemagne. The prince was at this time but seventeen years of age, and for one so young had certainly given great proofs of boldness and energy, which, to the warlike nobles of France, was a hopeful change from the peaceful and vacillating character of his father. Moreover it could not be forgotten that he was the favorite son of the late emperor, which, to many, made his cause appear the same with that of Louis, and gave an air of loyal fidelity to the support of his pretensions; a view which was strengthened by the circumstance that several of those who had taken a prominent part against the emperor, in the dissensions of the former reign, were now the first to declare in favor of Lothaire, and had been received by him with distinguished marks of friendship. Again, Charles was only occupied in the just defence of the inheritance which had been solemnly guaranteed to him, and Lothaire, although emperor, had every appearance of a hostile invader, especially as he had himself been party to the compact which had bestowed upon him his dominions. But beyond these natural reasons for inducing the French nobles and people to act with bravery and fidelity towards Charles the Bald, another probable cause is suggested by Sismondi, which is, that the present contest was regarded as a national struggle between France and Germany. The corrupted Roman or French language prevailed at this time over nearly the same extent of country which it at present occupies. Within these limits, German, though understood by all the higher and educated classes, was everywhere looked upon as a foreign tongue, the speech, not of the country, but of its masters and conquerors. The boundaries of the French language were also the boundaries of the kingdom allotted in the last division of Louis the Pious to his youngest son; and it is possible that this may have been among the reasons which led to his fixing upon these limits. Accordingly, Charles was considered as king of France in a truer sense than that in which his ancestors, from the time of Pepin le Bref, could be so regarded; and the enthusiasm excited in his behalf was a national feeling, for the expression of which, for upwards of a century, there had been no opportunity, even if before this time there was any possibility of its existence.

The two opposing armies lay encamped near Orleans for a considerable length of time, during which Lothaire indulged the hope that the nobles of Aquitaine would join him, as those north of the Loire had already done. At length, finding this expectation to be groundless, he made proposals to his brother, offering to yield him peaceable possession of Aquitaine and Septimania, together with ten counties between the Loire and Seine, and to meet him in the following May at Attigny, there to settle finally all matters of dispute. The terms, though unfavorable, were accepted by Charles, and the two brothers separated; Lothaire marched against Louis of Germany, who fled into Bavaria, whither he thought it needless to pursue him, and the young prince hastened to Collect his forces in Aquitaine and Burgundy, and to make head against the enemies who threatened him from various quarters.

These, in addition to Pepin, were Bernard, his former tutor, and duke of Septimania, and Nomenoius, duke of Brittany, who had assumed the title of independent king, and invaded Neustria. Charles had an interview, at Bourges, with Bernard, who, as it seems, had been holding back from either party, but had at last resolved to support Pepin. On receiving this refusal, Charles lost no time in attacking him, and speedily forced him to promise fidelity and obedience for the future. A similar success crowned his arms against Nomenoius, who likewise took the oaths of allegiance. He then directed his march towards Attigny, as the time appointed for meeting Lothaire was at hand. There was little chance that any settlement would be made at this conference, or even that the interview would be a peaceable one. Lothaire had advanced against Louis, who retreated before him, and was now moving again into France with the plainest demonstration of hostility. Charles sent to his brother Louis for assistance, and the two princes having agreed upon a fair alliance against their elder brother, the king of Germany advanced at once to the Rhine, defeated and slew count Adalbert, who had been deputed by Lothaire to dispute the passage, and at length effected a junction with Charles. Meanwhile the emperor, in his turn, had formed an alliance with Pepin of Aquitaine, but was prevented by his brothers, (the union of whose forces he had, in vain, attempted to hinder), from actually joining him. For a time the two armies followed one another, alternately, until they met near Auxerre. It was Lothaire’s interest to gain time, that Pepin might reach him; accordingly, after negotiation, whose only object was delay, he marched forward to Fontenay, or Fontenaille, a village at no great distance from Auxerre, and was followed by his brothers, who pitched their camp within sight of the imperial army. Both prepared for battle, and after a still further delay, caused by the attempts of bishop Drogo, who had attached himself to the party of Lothaire, and the bishop of Ravenna, an emissary of the pope, to bring about a reconciliation, Louis and Charles sent to Lothaire, informing him that on the following day they were determined to place the settlement of their dispute in the hands of Divine Providence. This manner of speech simply signified that they were resolved to engage in battle; for the practice of deciding the right by trial of arms, or other methods of ordeal, was common in that day, and greatly influenced the views with which such contests were generally regarded. Lothaire returned an answer of defiance, and the hour of eight in the morning on the twenty-fifth of June was fixed upon as the time of attack. At daybreak the two princes dispatched the third part of their forces to occupy a hill adjoining their brother's camp; and both armies waited in silence the appointed hour. We have no detailed account of the battle, although the historian Nithard, who has recorded these events, was not only present, but, as it would seem, contributed chiefly to the victory gained by Louis and Charles. The two princes commanded each one of three divisions of the army, while die third was committed to Nithard and count Adelard. Louis was opposed to Lothaire in person. The struggle was severe, and long doubtful; both Louis and Charles are said to have been repulsed but the remaining division of their army gained a decisive superiority, which soon became a general victory. Lothaire and Pepin, who had joined him a few days before the battle, left, as it is reported, forty thousand of their men upon the field; and probably the loss of the victorious side was little inferior. For we are told that the inability of the French nation to defend themselves from the ravages and attacks of Normans, Bretons, and Saracens, during the ensuing reign, was owing to the great destruction of life on the plain of Fontenay.

After the battle, Lothaire retreated in safety to Aix-la-Chapelle. His brothers forbade all pursuit, satisfied with the victory which they had gained, and in a condition little suited to further exertion or fatigue. Several bishops were present in the camp, and assured Louis and Charles that their cause was just, and that they were in no way responsible for the slaughter which had taken place. However, as in all such conflicts the passions of men are liable to be inflamed by private animosity, they recommended a three days’ fast, which was kept by the army with due solemnity. The princes soon afterwards separated, Charles to continue the war against Pepin in Aquitaine, and to persuade or force the nobles of Neustria to acknowledge him as their king; and Louis to crush, by his presence in his own dominions, a general revolt which appeared likely to break forth over a great part of Germany.

The mass of the Saxon nation still retained a fond recollection of their ancient institutions, and in many instances of their old religion. To keep the people in obedience to the stringent laws by which Charlemagne had established, and hoped to promote Christianity and civilization, that emperor had introduced among the Saxons the same divisions which obtained in other parts of his empire. The two classes of serfs and freemen, though nominally occupying a very different position, were, in fact, almost equally in subjection to the great nobles and proprietors of the country, and both groaned under an oppressive yoke, probably still more severe than the same kind of despotism in France. Lothaire, on retiring to Aix-la-Chapelle, after the battle of Fontenay, proceeded from thence into Saxony, and, by proclaiming or promising freedom to the inhabitants of all classes, with the liberty of returning to paganism, and to the state of society of which Charlemagne had deprived them, quickly collected a large army of Saxons, who were joined by many from Austrasia, or proper Germany. With this force he succeeded in joining Pepin at Sens, and was now in a situation to treat again on equal terms with his two brothers, or if nothing could be settled peaceably, to engage with them in hostilities a second time, with fair hopes of success.

Meanwhile Charles found his power or influence sufficient, after the late advantage, to reduce into subjection some of the Neustrian provinces which had joined Lothaire, and which had been ravaged and partly conquered by the duke or king of Brittany. Among these was the province of Maine. St. Aldric, bishop of Mans, the capital of this county, had always been faithful to the emperor Louis, and had shared his reverses of fortune, and since his death had continued to preserve the same fidelity towards Charles, looking upon him as his father’s rightful heir in this part of his dominions. Accordingly, on his refusal to join the other nobles in their promise of allegiance to Lothaire, he was driven from his see, his property was destroyed or plundered, and many mansions which he had built and endowed for the reception of strangers, or for the support of the poor, were left in ruins. It appears that these excesses were perpetrated at the instigation of the abbot of St. Calais, a monastery in the diocese, who had petitioned the late emperor for a deed of exemption from episcopal rule, a practice which was beginning to become frequent, but which was generally regarded, at present, as an irregular proceeding. Louis decided against the abbot, and commanded him to submit to his bishop’s orders and inspection. In revenge for this repulse, and perhaps smarting under the severity of St. Aldric’s discipline, he lent a ready ear to the emissaries of Lothaire, and made use of his influence with that party to ruin his late superior. St. Aldric had since accompanied the camp of Charles, and was now reinstated by that prince in his bishopric of Mans, and in his jurisdiction over the abbey of St. Calais.

The success of Charles, while it was the means of restoring the see of Maine to its lawful bishop, compelled the archbishop of Rheims to leave his diocese, and take refuge beyond the limits of the kingdom. Ebo, after his resignation, and deposition by Louis and the Council of Thionville, had remained in custody in an abbey on the Loire, till the emperor’s death. On the accession of Lothaire, he persuaded the abbot to join him, and went to the new emperor, who ordered him to be reinstated in his former dignity, and prevailed on some bishops to the number of twenty, among whom was Drogo of Metz, the chief author of his deposition, to subscribe the order for his resumption of his see. In virtue of this act, Ebo was solemnly re-enthroned in his Cathedral Church by four of his suffragans, one of whom was Rothad, bishop of Soissons; the five other bishops of the province refused their consent, or were absent from their dioceses, having chosen the party of Charles. After so public a renunciation of his office, accompanied as it was by the most solemn declaration that he would never seek to resume it, the conduct of Ebo required some apology. Accordingly, he published a formal explanation, resting the propriety of his return on the uncanonical nature of the deposition, and on the circumstance that no particular crime had been alleged against him in public to justify that act, and that even supposing him to have been really guilty of anything which demanded such a punishment, he had undergone a sufficient penance in his imprisonment for the last seven years. It is not to be supposed that arguments so fallacious could really satisfy any one disposed to object to the re-election; but Lothaire and his party had the upper hand at the time, and men were too fully occupied with their own designs, and with endeavors to provide for their own security, to have time for canvassing the legality of what had been done, or the good faith and reasoning by which it was maintained. Ebo, therefore, for the space of a year, retained undisputed possession of his see, and performed several ordinations, the validity of which, as will be seen, was afterwards called in question. At the end of this time, on hearing of the approach of Charles in the direction of Paris or Rheims, he fled in great haste, and attached himself to the suite of Lothaire. Affairs soon took such a turn as to give him no hope of ever regaining his diocese; and on his appeal shortly afterwards to pope Sergius, he was not only refused the pallium by that pontiff, but commanded to remain henceforward in lay communion. Lothaire settled him as abbot in the monastery of St. Columban in Italy, but shortly after deprived him of it, on his refusal to undertake an embassy to Constantinople. He then took refuge with Louis of Germany, and having prevailed on the pope to remove the restriction that had been laid on him, accepted from that king the bishopric of Hildesheim. Here he spent the remainder of his life, which lasted a few years longer, and assisted St. Anskar in his labors in the Swedish mission.

In the early part of the year 842, about the same time with Lothaire’s departure for Aix-la-Chapelle to join his nephew Pepin, Louis and Charles met by appointment at Strasburg. The highest degree of solemnity was given to the interview, which was celebrated by public devotions, and by festivals and rejoicings of every description; among the rest by a tournament, described by the contemporary historians, which bore a near resemblance to spectacles of the same nature in the times of chivalry, though differing in particular details, and probably far inferior in splendor. The intention of the two princes on this occasion was to give to the kingdoms of France and Germany a public demonstration of the firm alliance into which they had entered against Lothaire, and to encourage a similar feeling of amity in the people themselves, while they implied and recognized at the same time the national distinction between them. With this view Louis addressed the assembled multitude in the German language, and Charles in the French or Roman, and afterwards, each taking the other’s part, Charles spoke in German, Louis in French. They explained the necessity of the union in which they engaged, in self-defence against their elder brother, and made a solemn assurance that the friendship which they had now formed would last forever. It was then ratified by oaths taken in the two languages, both by the princes themselves and the people present.

From Strasburg, the united armies of the two kings moved towards Aix-la-Chapelle. Lothaire attempted to dispute the passage of the Moselle, but after renewing their proposals of peace, which were rejected with disdain, they forced the river near Coblenz, and on their arrival at the capital, summoned a convocation of bishops to decide whether any allegiance was still due to the emperor. The evils under which the country groaned from the ambition and obstinacy of Lothaire, were set forth in order; the Council decreed that in consequence of these crimes, and of his obvious inability to govern, he should lose the territory hitherto possessed by him in France, which was henceforth to be divided between his two brothers. The decision was of little practical importance, as a new division quickly rendered it invalid, but is worthy of notice as being the first plain instance of the assumption by a Council of bishops of authority to take away and bestow kingdoms, or to transfer them from one sovereign to another. The deposition of Louis the Pious at Soissons is a less striking example, as all that Ebo and the other bishops professed to do on that occasion, was to interpret a former canon of the Church, and apply it to the case before them. Here, on the other hand, they appear to have taken for granted an inherent power to depose or nominate kings, similar to that afterwards exercised by the pope in the choice of the emperor.

Negotiations, so often declined, were soon entered upon again. Several meetings of the brothers took place in the course of this, and the early part of the following year, and at length a final division was made in August, 843, at Verdun. Lothaire had meanwhile appeased the anger of his brothers by concessions and treaties for reconciliation, and was admitted once more to a share in the Cisalpine territory. The part allotted to him was that contained between the Rhine and the Alps on the east, and on the west by the Meuse, Saone, and Rhone, which form a nearly continuous line from the north to the south of France. His title to the kingdom of Italy and Lombardy was undisputed. Germany, in the wider and modern acceptation of the term, or all the empire east of the Rhine, with a few towns on the other side, was apportioned to Louis, while Charles received the whole of France, west of Lotharingia or Lorraine, as Lothaire’s portion of the kingdom began soon afterwards to be called, with the Spanish March, or the part of Spain between the Ebro and Pyrenees. The title of king of the Franks was regarded as belonging by equal right to each of the three princes. Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, joined the hands of the brothers, and administered to them the oaths of mutual fidelity and friendship. Lothaire and Louis then returned to Italy and Germany, and Charles to Aquitaine, to continue the war against Pepin, whose cause had been readily sacrificed by Lothaire as soon as he ceased to require his nephew’s aid. The marriage of Charles with Hermintrude, daughter of Eudes, count of Orleans, had been celebrated in the spring, and his mother Judith had died at Tours a few months afterwards. For the remainder of this year, and for the first half of the following, he carried on the siege of Toulouse, one of the strongholds of Pepin. He succeeded in taking it in June, 844, but in the meantime Pepin gained several advantages, and twice forced his uncle to raise the siege. The most important of these advantages was the defeat and massacre of an army, levied in Neustria for the support of Charles by two abbots, Hugo of St. Quentin, and St. Bertin, an illegitimate son of Charlemagne, and Ritoten, a grandson of the same monarch by one of his daughters. They were met and destroyed by Pepin or his officers in the neighborhood of Angouleme. But notwithstanding this and some othersuccesses, Pepin probably would have been conquered before this time, or at any rate could hardly have succeeded so nearly in driving Charles from Aquitaine, but for the help of Bernard, the young king’s former tutor, who had at length openly declared in his favor. He was still duke or governor of all the Spanish March, and of Languedoc, and probably desired to raise himself to the rank of an independent king. Charles succeeded in defeating and capturing this formidable opponent; he was submitted to a trial by theFranks, condemned and put to death, as guilty of treason and rebellion. However just the sentence, and however important it may have been for the cause of Charles to remove so dangerous and powerful an adversary, the intimate relation in which they formerly stood, but above all the general belief once entertained that count Bernard was in reality Charles’s father, makes us regard with a feeling akin to horror his consent to the execution, even if we reject the story, which is also told, of his slaying him with his own hand. His death was of little service to the king, for William, his eldest son, though only eighteen years of age, laid claim to his father’s titles and possessions, and put himself at the head of his adherents. So desperate was his desire of revenge, that he threw himself into the arms of Abdurrahman, king of Cordova, who sent an army of Mussulmans to support him.

Meanwhile other parts of Charles’s new kingdom were in as little security as Aquitaine and the south. Nomenoius had rebelled a second time, with the powerful aid of Lambert, who claimed the duchy of Nantes, a dignity that had been lately bestowed by Charles upon Rainald, one of his officers, as a reward for the expulsion of the Normans from the island of Noirmoutier, whither they made a practice of retiring with the plunder from different parts of the coast. The new allies called in a party of these pirates, already well disposed to take revenge upon Rainald, to their aid. Rainald was slain, the city of Nantes pillaged and destroyed, and the bishop and all the clergy massacred. Shortly before the cities of Rouen and Amiens had suffered in the same way, with the monasteries in their neighborhood. These were often favorite points of attack with the Normans, who gained, by their destruction, much treasure, with comparatively little risk or trouble. The monks seldom made resistance; their main object was to convey the relics, which conferred a sanctity, in the opinion of the times, upon the places where they were retained, to a place of safety, and for this purpose they frequently had to take long inland journeys, as no part of the coast was secure from the ravages of the plunderers. They soon recovered the island of Noirmoutier, and with a desire of booty, inflamed by their new conquests on the Loire, quickly ventured still further south, and extended their depredations to the towns and neighborhood of Saintes and Bordeaux. Soon afterwards they proceeded farther up the Garonne, and advanced to the gates of Toulouse. Others, still more adventurous, stretched their voyages of plunder and dismay as far as the coasts of Portugal; but they found the Saracens a more formidable enemy than the subjects of Charles, and were forced to relinquish their ravages in that quarter. About the same time the portion of the kingdom which was open to the Mediterranean was exposed to similar ravages from the Saracens or Moors, who sailed some distance up the Rhone, and plundered the city and neighborhood of Arles. These appear not to have been the Saracens of Spain, but Moors from the coast of Africa. In the year 842 they had been introduced into Italy by Siconulf, a brother of the late duke of Beneventum, who now laid claim to the throne occupied by his nephew, Radelgisus. The latter, unable to resist the new force, was compelled to seek a similar mode of defending himself, and succeeded in rousing the jealousy of the Spanish Saracens against their new rivals in the plunder of Europe. Thus Italy, while Lothaire was absent and engaged in promoting, by war or treaty, his claim to the territories beyond the Alps, was made the battle field of armies of infidels. For the payment of his mercenaries, Radelgisus plundered the abbey of Mount Casino, probably at this time one of the richest in Europe.

The king of Germany, on returning from Verdun to his own dominions, had his time fully occupied in quieting the disturbance excited throughout Saxony by Lothaire’s last proclamation of liberty. He was readily supported by all the nobles or chiefs of that country, as well as the rest of his kingdom, whose interest it was to repress any such movement; for an example of this kind would be quickly followed elsewhere, especially as the relations subsisting between the higher and lower classes were much the same throughout the whole Cisalpine Frankish empire. The bishops and other clergy also bestowed the whole weight of their influence upon the side of the king, not only because it was the side of peace and good order, but because large numbers of the Saxons had gladly availed themselves of Lothaire’s permission to return to Paganism. It is probable, therefore, that Louis succeeded in averting any general insurrection, and gradually reduced his subjects to their old state of passive though unwilling submission.

Meanwhile Lothaire was represented, during his absence from Italy, by his son Louis, whom he had made king of Lombardy. Early in the year 813 pope Gregory died, and was succeeded by Sergius II, who, like many of his predecessors, was elected and consecrated without the consent or knowledge of the emperor. The young king of Lombardy was commissioned by his father to proceed at once to Rome, in the escort of bishop Drogo, to inquire into this new violation of the imperial privilege. The pope, as had been often done before, pacified them by an apology, crowned Louis king, and appointed Drogo his vicar in France and Germany. On the coronation of the young king, the Roman nobles came forward to do him homage, and to take the oaths of allegiance, but were prevented by the pope, who explained that the emperor alone possessed the right of sovereignty and jurisdiction within the city. This was admitted by all parties, and may accordingly be understood to have been the real law or custom of the day.

In October, 844, the three brothers met again at Thionville, and sent messages to Pepin, in Aquitaine, and to Nomenoius and Lambert, in Brittany, threatening to overwhelm them with their united forces, unless they relinquished their treasonable claims. How little the threats were regarded, may be gathered from the events of the following year, when Nomenoius again assumed the title of king, and laid siege to the town of Mans; he would probably have conquered this city, and the province of which it was the capital, but for an attack of the Normans upon the territories of their late ally, which called him back to the defence of his own coast. On his taking the field again, Charles advanced to meet him, and gave him a temporary repulse. In Aquitaine Pepin made so much progress, that Charles consented at last to acknowledge him as king of that country, with the exception of the north-western corner, comprising the modern provinces of Poitou, Saintonge, and Angoumois. In return for this cession of territory, which reduced Charles’s kingdom to Neustria, as Languedoc and the Spanish March scarcely paid him now even a nominal obedience, Pepin promised to regard him as his paramount sovereign, to pay him due reverence, and to be ready when called upon to afford him counsel and help in war. If the dominions of the king of France were so insignificant in extent, they were too large for his armies efficiently to defend. Shortly after the repulse of the Bretons, and probably in sight of the very troops who had acted with such unusual courage, a large body of Normans under Ragnar, in a fleet of 120 vessels, sailed up the Seine, and having plundered Rouen on their way, ventured, with a boldness hitherto unknown, as far as Paris itself. Charles made an effort to oppose them, which was quickly rendered ineffectual by their crossing the Seine to the side where he had fewer soldiers, who were easily mastered and put to flight; he then contented himself with retiring to the abbey of St. Denys, which he fortified and determined to defend, while the city, deserted by its inhabitants, was plundered at their leisure by the followers of Ragnar. Many churches and monasteries were also burnt in the neighborhood, but the body of St. Germain, reckoned among the most valued relics of the country, and those of other saints, were saved by being taken from their tombs, and transported from one monastery to another, till they reached a secure place in the interior of the kingdom. As soon as they were satisfied with the plunder and destruction of Paris, the Normans marched to St. Denys, where Ragnar and the chief officers under him made an agreement with Charles, on receiving the sum of seven thousand pounds of silver, never to revisit his dominions, unless invited thither by himself. On their return they pillaged and burnt the monastery of St. Bertin; but in punishment for the cruelties and sacrilege of which they had been guilty, were soon afterwards, if we may believe the accounts of the monks of the time, seized with a sudden blindness and madness, which destroyed large numbers of them, so that few finally returned to their country.

At the Council of Thionville, where Lothaire and both his brothers were present, several general regulations had been made about Church affairs, which in the late civil war, and general disturbed state of the kingdom, had been greatly neglected, and called loudly for some attention and reform. Accordingly this assembly was followed shortly afterwards by the Synod of Verneuil on the Oise, at which Charles appointed Ebroin, bishop of Poitiers and his own chancellor, to preside, although in the presence of Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, whose superior rank entitled him to the precedence. Among other grievances brought under the king’s notice by the bishops, was the custom by which the higher clergy were still compelled to serve in war. This had been excused by Charlemagne, and again by Louis the Pious, but was still not unusual; in fact bishop Ebroin, who presided at the Council, and Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, who was also present, and who drew up the canons, had both been engaged in the battle in which the abbot Hugo was lately defeated and slain by Pepin, and had both been made prisoners on the occasion. Charles promised to free them from this necessity for the future, if they would engage on their parts to commit the troops which they were bound to furnish to some of their vassals capable of commanding them. He assured them also, at the same time, that he would comply with their wish, in permitting or ordering the election and consecration of a new archbishop, in the see of Rheims, which had been long without a metropolitan. But the most important proceeding of this Council was their decision upon the title of Drogo to the office of vicar apostolic, lately conferred upon him by pope Sergius. The bishop of Metz presented his letters to the Council, and required them to acknowledge his claims. The question was one of delicacy, as Drogo was the king’s uncle, and was greatly respected, not only for his age and rank, but for his own merit and ability, and for the prominence which he had obtained, of late years, in all political and ecclesiastical concerns. He was, at this time, chancellor of Lothaire, of whose party he had always been a faithful adherent; and this, doubtless, increased the difficulty of the decision, because it was of importance to avoid any appearance of contempt or disregard towards the emperor, with whom Charles was now greatly desirous of continuing at peace. But to admit his claims would be a dangerous precedent, even if the personal moderation of Drogo prevented any present harm. Not only was he bishop of Lothaire’s kingdom, and therefore unfitted, by the acknowledged maxims of policy, to possess authority over that of Charles; but the office itself was one looked upon with great suspicion at the time. No instance of its exercise had occurred for nearly a hundred years; there could, therefore, plainly be no great necessity for it; and the example on which reliance was chiefly placed to justify the appointment, namely, St. Gregory’s nomination of St. Virgilius, of Arles, as his vicar in France, extended only to the kingdom of Childebert, and was made with the consent of the king himself, and the bishops of the country. Accordingly, the Council declined receiving Drogo, until the consent of the whole French Church could be obtained, assuring him, at the same time, that if they could conscientiously receive any vicar, there was none whom they would more gladly choose than himself. Drogo was forced to be content with this compliment, and, being unambitious of an honor which he saw there would be difficulty in obtaining, forbore pressing his claims further; so that the appointment of the pope remained inefficient.

As soon as Charles was freed from the dangers of the Norman invasion, he summoned a council, at Beauvais, in the month of April, 845, in fulfillment of the promise made at Verneuil, to appoint an archbishop of Rheims. This had now been vacant ten years, including that during which Ebo had irregularly exercised episcopal power. On Ebo’s deposition, a priest and chorepiscopus of the diocese, of the name of Fulco, or Foulgens, and after him another, named Notho, had been appointed to govern the Church. The prospect of succeeding to the dignity of archbishop was held out to the former; but this was delayed at the time, for the sake of obtaining the pope’s sanction to what had been already done, and the tumults which quickly succeeded rendered it impossible to gain the royal order or consent to the consecration. For although Louis the Pious had granted permission to the clergy and people of each diocese to elect their own bishop, the concession was probably little more than nominal. Charlemagne had been always wont to appoint to vacant bishoprics, notwithstanding an express permission to the same effect, in a capitular, at the beginning of the century; and if Louis, from greater submission of character, suffered the law, in some instances, to have effect, his knowledge and consent were still necessary; and it is unlikely that so important a dignity as the archbishopric of Rheims would be granted to any one not nominated by himself. But there was another reason which probably lay at the foundation of the long vacancy in this see. A few years since Charles had divided the property of the Church of Rheims among several of the noblemen who supported his cause; a common method of rewarding military service, as is evident from the complaints made at almost every meeting of bishops, not only during the reigns of Charles and his brothers, but even, though with less frequency, during that of their father.

Hincmar, monk of St. Denys and abbot of St. Mary’s, of Compiegne, and of St. Germer, was chosen by the suffragans, clergy, and people of Rheims to succeed to the vacant diocese, with the consent, and probably at the suggestion of the king and at the recommendation of his three superiors, the archbishop of Sens, the bishop of Paris, and Louis, his abbot. He was of a high French family, being nearly related to Bernard, count of Toulouse, as well as to another Bernard, count of Vermandois. Like many young men of noble birth and promise of talent, he was destined from childhood to the Church, the only profession, scarcely excepting that of arms, which in those times afforded a prospect of rising to eminence and distinction. Accordingly he was sent when quite young to the monastery of St. Denys, and was there educated under Hilduin. The abbot was a man of courtly manners, and of considerable erudition; but as we are forced to conclude from the part which he took in political affairs, of ambition and intrigue. The noble birth of the young monk, and the recommendation of his abbot, who occupied at that time the high post of chancellor to Louis the Pious, introduced him to the court and palace of the emperor, in whose favor his own firmness and depth of character, set off by an unusual quickness, and great sobriety of judgment, soon established him on a sure foundation. At first he had only assumed the habit of a canon, which involved less strictness of life, and a less complete retirement from worldly affairs than the full monastic character; and the abbey of St, Denys, governed as it was by the accomplished Hilduin, seems to have been the fashionable monastery of the day, and to have exceeded in laxity or liberty the other institutions of a similar nature, many of which, until Benedict of Aniane was commissioned by the emperor to enforce them, paid but little attention to great strictness of life, or to the objects of their founders. But as soon as Hincmar was of sufficient age to understand the duty and need of discipline, he gained permission from the emperor and his abbot to introduce a reformation among his fellow monks of St. Denys. With this object, he took the strictest monastic vows, and shut himself up within the abbey walls, that the weight of his example might increase his prospect of success. He now never left his retirement, unless specially summoned by the emperor or his chancellor, until the latter joined the party of Lothaire, in the civil wars between Louis and his sons, and on the breaking up of the first rebellion, was banished as a punishment for his treason to the abbey of New Corbey, in Saxony or Westphalia. Thither Hincmar, who had himself always remained faithful to the emperor, thought it his duty to accompany him; however, he used his interest at court to so good a purpose, that Hilduin was speedily pardoned and restored to his ecclesiastical dignities. At the time of the second rebellion, the abbot and his young friend formed part of the suite of Louis, when encamped on the Field of Falsehood, in Alsace; and the former, on the arrival of pope Gregory in the camp of Lothaire, and the subsequent desertion of the prelates and nobles of the imperial party, again went over to the rebel side, having vainly endeavored to persuade Hincmar to accompany him, or to follow his example. The young monk, on this occasion, was one of the few among the bishops and nobles, and immediate followers of the emperor, who were firm in their fidelity. After the restoration of Louis, he again employed his good offices in the service of Hilduin, but retired himself to his monastery, from whence Charles the Bald, as soon as the first tumults of his reign had somewhat subsided, summoned him to act as his confidential adviser, and at length determined to raise him to the highest primacy in the north of France.

Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, presided at the Council of Beauvais, when Hincmar’s election was notified and confirmed. As a preliminary proceeding, the bishops present declared, from their own personal knowledge, and from what they had been informed by others, of the circumstances of Ebo’s deposition, and the canonical rules to be followed in all such cases. Among the bishops we observe the names of the four suffragans of the province, who had been formerly employed by Lothaire to reinduct Ebo into his diocese, the bishops of Soissons, Laon, Chalons, and Senlis. Of these, the first mentioned, bishop Rothad, of Soissons, obtained afterwards a considerable though unfortunate notoriety in the Gallican Church. On receiving from all present the formal notice of the election, Hincmar addressed himself to Charles, and declared his acceptance of the office, on condition of his restitution of all the Church property belonging to the diocese, and his promise never again to alienate it, or to lay upon the Church any undue exaction, or any tribute beyond what had been customary in the time of Louis the Pious and Charlemagne. Charles agreed to the conditions, and actually restored within the next six months the estate or village of Epernay, and others, which had been bestowed on his followers.

This restitution was demanded, according to the account of Hincmar himself, by many preternatural signs and terrors which had befallen the present possessors of the property. A lady of rank, wife of one of the counts of Charles’s court, was visited on three successive nights by a vision of St. Remigius, the patron of the see, warning her of the wrath of God unless she urged her husband to restore the sacred property. She paid no attention to the threat, and on the morning after the last visit, was seized with sudden illness, of which she soon died. In another part of the diocese, the soldiers were employed in dispossessing some monks, or servants of a monastery, of certain buildings in which they resided. One of these earnestly called on St. Remigius to revenge the wrong. The appeal was received by a soldier who heard it with a laugh of derision; but his impiety was quickly punished, for the man suddenly burst asunder, and died upon the spot.

Hincmar was consecrated bishop the month following the Council of Beauvais. His first task, within, the limits of his own diocese, was to complete the great Church of Rheims, which had been partly built by Ebo, but since his deposition had been left in an unfinished state. Although on his election he had given up all his private property to the abbey of St. Denys, he found means, from the resources of the diocese, and the offerings of the faithful, to adorn the altar and all parts of the Church with unusual splendor. Its marble pavement, magnificent cross of gems, and a richly adorned image of the Blessed Virgin, were greatly celebrated. The erection of this image over the altar proves that Hincmar belonged to the moderate party in the Gallican Church, who, while opposing worship addressed to images, were equally averse to the excesses of Claudius of Turin, and other Iconoclasts of the day. Having been himself originally a canon, he favored and increased the order, and under their direction placed a hospital for the reception of strangers, and for the poor of his city or diocese. This was on a large scale, and obtained a charter of privileges and immunities from the king. These foundations were frequently formed in connection with Cathedral Churches, or with monasteries of importance. They were at once alms-houses for the poor, and hotels for strangers and travelers, not only for foreigners in journeying through the country, but for the entertainment of the bishops and clergy of other dioceses, of the nobles and their retinues, and even of the royal court, when on a progress from one part of the realm to another. Mention has been already made of some of these hospitals, founded by St. Aldric of Mans, and destroyed by Lothaire’s followers in the late civil war; and at the Council of Meaux, which met a few months after Hincmar’s election to Rheims, complaints were addressed to the king of the plunder and ruin of many such institutions, founded principally by the liberality of the Irish, or as they were now called Scotch, for travelers or pilgrims of their own and other countries journeying through France to Rome, or to the courts of the different Carolingian princes.

The Council of Meaux, which assembled on the seventeenth of June, and consisted of the bishops of three provinces, Rheims, Sens, and Bourges, under the presidency of Hincmar, Wenilo, and Rodulf, was of considerable importance or notoriety, chiefly from the opposition which it experienced from the king. Several meetings of bishops, in greater or less number, had been held within the last two or three years, but little attention had been paid by the king or others to the canons which they had drawn up. Accordingly, the fathers at Meaux collected and arranged these decrees, and promulgated them with new authority. They were directed against many practical abuses of the day; for example, against the unnecessary burden laid upon bishops, and the clergy generally, in the entertainment at their houses of noblemen and their suites, many of whom were of unmanageable and licentious character; they complained of the ruin of many monasteries, whose lands had been bestowed on laymen: the excessive liberty assumed by canons in the royal service, who took advantage of their abode at court, and absence from episcopal inspection, to transgress the vows and rules of their order. They insisted on being permitted by the king to meet in provincial Council twice every year, and required that no temporal disturbance should be allowed to interfere with this necessary custom. Many evils had also crept into the monasteries, which often refused to admit the visitations and inquiries of their bishops, and hence heretical notions were not uncommon among the monks; the discipline of St. Benedict, though enforced in the last reign, had again in many places fallen into desuetude, and corporal punishment was well-nigh altogether relinquished. It was the custom of the time for the bishops and monastic bodies to rent out their estates, chapelries as well as farms, to noblemen and other laymen, on condition of receiving the tithe in ecclesiastical, and the ninth part of the produce in seignorial right. But the occupants of these benefices, as they were termed, had very generally taken advantage of the confusion of the times to refuse either, and indeed looked upon such estates as their own. Against these and many other acts of injustice and abuse, as well as against the prevalent immorality of the day, the canons of Meaux spoke with severe blame, professing to be promulgated by royal as well as pontifical authority, and denouncing temporal punishment, by the hands of the king, as well as spiritual censure, on all who should violate or despise them. At the same time Hincmar declared, with greater boldness than was common among the prelates of the time, that no reform could be successful which began not with the king himself. He also strongly urged the republication of the capitulars of his father and grandfather, as an earnest that he would undertake with vigor all necessary reformation in Church and state.

But Charles, although he had summoned or permitted the council of Meaux to meet, refused to subscribe or sanction their decrees. He was satisfied with the restitution of the property of Rheims, which he had made to gratify the new archbishop, and probably found the performance of his promise, in that particular instance, too difficult to allow him to engage quickly in other sacrifices of the same nature. Thus, at the parliament of Epernay, summoned soon afterwards, in June, 846, he publicly refused to recognize the authority of the synod, and so strongly declared his determination, and with expressions so disrespectful towards the Church, that, as Fleury says, a similar instance is hardly to be found, in the whole history of Christian princes. Yet, about this time, he was persuaded, by Hincmar, to restore the monastery of Ferrières, to Lupus abbot of that place, a man of much repute for piety and learning, and who had but just recovered possession of his property, taken by Lothaire, before the late settlement of the kingdom, when Charles deprived him of it a second time, and bestowed it upon Count Adulf. But owing to the good offices of Hincmar, he was once more peaceably reinstated, although Charles was not ready, on every occasion, to obey the suggestions of his new counselor.

The friendship which he manifested towards him was so well known that no surer way could be discovered of annoying the king than to attack the archbishop. This probably was the origin of an attempt made by Lothaire, in 846, to dispute Hincmar’s title to his see. The cause or pretext of his complaint against Charles was the abduction and marriage of his daughter Ermengarde by a French nobleman, Count Gisalbert. There seems no ground for supposing that the king had any part in the act, and still less that Louis could have been privy to it. But Lothaire chose to accuse both of his brothers of a share in the crime; and though Louis quickly freed himself from suspicion, and used all his influence to reconcile the emperor and Charles, he could not succeed in fully removing the feelings of ill-will which these events had excited. As an effectual method of proving his displeasure against his brother, he resolved to stir up again the almost forgotten claims of Ebo to the diocese of Rheims. With this view, he sent to pope Sergius, who had already expressed his opinion on the subject in the most decided way, and begged him to give directions for the re-examination of the whole affair. The pope accordingly wrote to Charles, and requested him to send Hincmar, with Gondebaud, archbishop of Rouen, and some other prelates of his realm, to the city of Treves, where his own legates should meet them, and finally settle the matter in dispute. Treves was in Lothaire’s dominions; and the king was unwilling to permit a cause, which could only have reference to France, to be decided in a place where the council assembled would be entirely in the power of the emperor. He consented, however, to permit the meeting to be held at Paris; whither, in the month of February, 847, the metropolitans of Rouen, Sens, Tours, and Rheims proceeded, expecting to be joined by the legates of pope Sergius. But just at this time the pope died, and his legates either ceased to have any authority to exercise their office, or thought themselves freed from the necessity of taking a long journey, in a cause for which probably they felt little interest, compared with that attendant on the election of a new pope at Rome. Accordingly the French bishops, at Paris, held their synod by themselves. Ebo, who was said to have been in the city at the time, was cited to appear, and plead his cause; but he took no notice of the citation, neither presenting himself nor sending any one to represent him, nor even writing a letter in return. Gondebaud, therefore, and the other bishops, decreed that he had no claim whatever to the archbishopric of Rheims, and forbade him henceforth to set foot within the diocese. They afterwards sent an account of their proceedings to Leo IV, who succeeded Sergius. The pope approved of what had been done, and, in an answer to Hincmar, who also wrote on the same subject, bestowed upon him the dignity of the pallium, a proof that he considered him the canonical archbishop. This was usually given by the pope, at this time, to all archbishops, though, with very rare exceptions, to any of lower rank, and was worn only upon the great festivals, or other solemn occasions. But this restriction was relaxed, in Hincmar’s favor, by the same pope; who, not long afterwards, sent him a pallium for common use, which, as he said at the time, had never hitherto been granted to any metropolitan, nor would be bestowed again; a high compliment, much valued and frequently alluded to by Hincmar, in future years, as a proof of the reputation which he enjoyed, as a dutiful and submissive son of the apostolic see.

The bishops at Paris thought it right not to separate without once more pressing upon the king a better observance of the canons of former councils, and of the capitulars of his ancestors; and scrupled not to assure him that all the miseries which his kingdom suffered, from invasion by Normans and other foes, were to be traced to the sacrilege of which his subjects and courtiers were guilty, and which he took little pains to repress. At the same time they supported a petition, for the immunity of his abbey, presented by the celebrated Radbert, abbot of Corbey, who attended the synod. Radbert had, before this time, given to the king his treatise on the Eucharistic Presence, a work already well known, but which attracted far greater attention in a succeeding age. The king granted his desire, relative to the exemption of Corbey, and probably also read the treatise, of which he was no contemptible judge, having inherited all the fondness of his father and grand­father for theological discussion, although certainly at present inferior to the former in all points of practical religion.

The same abuses which were so bitterly and fruitlessly lamented by the bishops of France, existed in the neighboring kingdom of Germany, and were regarded there also as the causes of similar invasions and miseries. While Ragnar was engaged in the plunder and ruin of Paris, another Norman chief of the name of Roric, led his followers, in six hundred vessels, up the Elbe, and sacked the city of Hamburg. The count of the district was taken by surprise, and had no time to assemble his forces; and St. Anskar, after a vain attempt to defend the town, bade the clergy and his servants save themselves by flight, while he collected the relics of saints, and prepared, more slowly, to follow their example. The Church and monastery, both built by himself, the labor of many years, and an extensive library, the gift of Louis the Pious, were burnt before his eyes. All that he had gathered with incredible toil and self-sacrifice, for the use and honor of his Church, from the beginning of his episcopate, perished in an hour; but the good saint folded his hands in resignation, as he took his flight, without even a garment to cover him, repeating only the words of Scripture, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away”.

But the Normans, though successful in the destruction of the town, found the Saxons, as soon as they had recovered from their first surprise, far less disposed than the French to submit without resistance or revenge to ravages so merciless and unprovoked. They were attacked and repulsed with considerable loss, and Roric found it politic to demand a truce, and to send ambassadors to king Louis, at Paderborn, with offers of peace and alliance. The king had lately been equally successful in repulsing an invasion of Slavs and Bulgarians in an opposite quarter of his dominions. Many of the nobles of the former were persuaded, or, in accordance with his grandfather’s policy, compelled, to embrace Christianity, and Louis had the glory, worthy almost of Charlemagne himself, of dictating terms of peace, in his diet at Paderborn, to the assembled ambassadors from those distant heathen and warlike tribes.

Honourable, however, as was the position of the German king, in comparison with that of his brother Charles, the sufferings of his subjects from these attacks on all sides of the kingdom, were scarcely inferior to those of the French nation. The same reasons were also assigned for them; and in a Council at Metz, held in October, 847, under Rabanus, who had, a few months before, at the age of seventy, been raised to the government of that province, complaints of sacrilege, and of abuse in the disposal of ecclesiastical property, were addressed to Louis in the same tone as those which the Councils at Meaux and Paris had lately laid before Charles. Louis had perhaps less excuse than his younger brother for the permission of these acts of sacrilege and injustice. He was more independent of his nobles and courtiers, his army was more efficient, and he had no rivals or foes close at hand, like Pepin of Aquitaine, and Nomenoius of Brittany, to force him to preserve, at any sacrifice, the friendship of the more powerful among his subjects. It also appears, as far as we can estimate the character of the two princes, that Louis had more determination and strength of purpose than Charles, although the early actions of the latter gave great promise of this valuable qualification. But Charles more nearly resembled his father in feelings of reverence for the Church, however inconsistent with these his conduct may frequently have been; and hence the bishops of Germany had often fully as great cause of complaint against the neglect or oppression of their king and his court, in spite of his superior power to benefit and protect them. Such, undoubtedly, was proved to be the case by Rabanus and his fellow bishops at Metz, whose decrees found no more favor in the eyes of Louis, than those of Hincmar and Wenilo in the synods beyond the Rhine. While Hincmar in France and Rabanus in Germany were striving to rescue the Church from State oppression, a revolution of some importance in ecclesiastical matters took place in Brittany. Nomenoius had made himself master of the duchies or counties of Nantes and Rennes, of Anjou and part of Maine, in addition to the more western portion of the province, over which his dukedom originally extended. He had assumed the title and possessed the power of an independent king; but felt that he was, notwithstanding, no more than a successful rebel, and that the Bretons, however obedient to his command and ready to follow him in war, regarded both themselves and their sovereign as equally the subjects of king Charles. And in these circumstances it was of great importance to him to be recognized by the bishops of his dominions; to be anointed by episcopal hands would confer, in common opinion, if not in reality, a kind of divine right to the regal character, and would satisfy at once his own conscience and the scruples of all who owned his power. There were four bishops in Brittany, holding the sees of Vannes, St, Malo, Quimper, and Carbaix; none of whom, probably, were willing to commit so plain an act of rebellion as the coronation of Nomenoius; and if their objections could be overcome, the archbishop of Tours, who was their metropolitan, would undoubtedly refuse his sanction to the act, and thus render it invalid. It was perhaps with the hope of getting rid of these refractory prelates, and of erecting his new kingdom into a separate ecclesiastical province, without which he well understood that its inde­pendence would be inferior or of short duration, that Nomenoius set on foot or encouraged a charge of simony against the four bishops of his realm. St. Convoyon, abbot of Redon, a man of strict sanctity of life, who had introduced the monastic system into this corner of France, accused them of the crime. It appeared from their defence that they had been guilty of receiving certain voluntary presents as marks of honor on occasion of their performing ordinations; a dangerous and perhaps unlawful practice, but one which need not necessarily have amounted to the guilt of simony, and which probably would not have alarmed the orthodoxy of Nomenoius, but for his having some other object in view, besides the observance of the canons of the Church. It was determined however to send the cause to Rome; an act of itself suspicious, as the usual and regular method would have been to call first for the decision or advice of the metropolitan, who might summon a provincial, or if necessary a still more general council to aid him in his judgments. The bishops of Vannes and Quimper, the former of whom was the chief offender, proceeded to Rome accompanied by their accuser St. Convoyon; and pope Leo on their arrival convened a synod to assist him in so grave a cause. The decision to which they came is worthy of notice. Any simoniacal act, such as that of which the bishops were accused, deserved, according to the strict letter of the canons, no less a punishment than deposition; but such a sentence could not be passed except by a council of at least twelve bishops, or by the testimony of seveny-two witnesses; unless the accused expressed a particular desire to have his trial conducted at Rome, which must, in that case, be permitted. Meanwhile, the canons of Councils and the papal decretals were laid down as the standard by which all ecclesiastical judgments were to be regulated. Among the latter, the only pope whose letters are mentioned, prior to Siricius, is pope Sylvester; a proof that the decretals which went under the name of Isidore’s collection, and had been lately put together by Benedict, deacon of Metz, or some other compiler, were, either at this time, or by pope Leo in particular, not known or not recognized as genuine.

On receiving the decision of Rome, Nomenoius was ill-satisfied with the results of the mission. The bishops remained in their former position, and it was evident that he could assemble no Council of twelve prelates, for the sake of deposing them, without having recourse to France, whence he could expect no assistance. He resolved, therefore, to do at last what might have been effected without reference to the authority of the pope; and summoning his four bishops, with the nobles of the country, to the abbey of St. Redon, he forced them there to resign their dioceses, and appointed seven others in their place; to one of whom, the bishop of Dol, he gave the dignity of metropolitan, thus separating the Church of Brittany from its former province of Tours. We are not told how the consecration of the new bishops was effected. It was a general custom, which had gained the force of law, for an archbishop to preside over all episcopal consecrations; and we are informed that this necessity called for the appointment of a metropolitan at Dol. If Nomenoius thought it important to insist upon the regularity of all his proceedings, so far as was possible, he may perhaps have raised one of his former bishops to the archiepiscopal rank, before the ceremony of their deposition or resignation, so as canonically to ordain the remainder under his sanction or presidency. At all events, there can be no doubt that the general reverence of the day for the external ordinances of the Church was sufficient to prevent any canonical irregularity fatal to the episcopal character of the new province of Brittany.

So bold an ecclesiastical innovation as that now made by Nomenoius, in contempt of both papal and episcopal authority, could not remain unnoticed or uncensured. An assembly of bishops under Landran, the metropolitan whose province had been dismembered and authority disregarded, Hincmar and others, met at Tours or Paris, and pronounced a censure upon the king of Brittany with a threat of excommunication unless he retracted and repented of what was done. It is not likely that the prince paid much attention to the demand of the Council, but we are not informed that the threat was ever carried into effect. Some years afterwards the pope recognized the archbishop of Dol, and sent him the pallium. Meantime Nomenoius gained his object by receiving kingly unction and consecration at the hands of his new prelates.

The treaty purchased by Charles with Ragnar the Norman, after the taking of Paris, was probably not meant to extend to other chiefs of the same nation, and certainly had no effect in stopping or lessening their invasions of France. Besides Ragnar himself, and Roric, who have been already mentioned, the two other chiefs of greatest reputation at this time were Hastings and Godfrey. The former is said to have been a native of France, and to have been stolen, when a child, from the neighborhood of Troyes. He was sold to the Normans, and on growing up to manhood displayed so remarkable a degree of strength and courage, that he was chosen to take the lead in many predatory expeditions, and at length obtained the highest rank among the chieftains of his people. For thirty years he continued to head the invasions of France, until the time of Rollo, who succeeded him, and whose first command took place in the year 876. Godfrey, though less celebrated than either Hastings or Ragnar, is remarkable as being the first of these heathen pirates who obtained, by the concession of a Carolingian sovereign, a permanent settlement in the empire. About the year 850 Charles made over to him a county on the banks of the Seine; while Lothaire about the same time invested Roric with the sovereignty of Dorstadt, and some neighboring counties.

But other ravages took place between the capture of Paris and the permanent settlement of the invaders on the Meuse and Seine. In 848 Bordeaux and Melle in Poitou were burnt, the former after a long siege, which the Normans would have been forced to raise, but for the treachery of the Jewish inhabitants; and in the following year Petrocorii or Perigueux shared the same fate; while the sacking of Marseilles by some Greek pirates, and of Arles by the Moors, proved that the southern coast of France was no safer than the northern or western from the miseries of barbarian piracy, and no better defended against the attacks of any foes who might be tempted to invade it. Meanwhile, the Spanish March was the scene of constant war. William, duke of Languedoc, lost no opportunity of extending his conquests in that country; Barcelona and other towns on the same coast fell about this time into his hands; and the revolt of Mirza from the Caliph Abdurrahman, spread war and rapine over this as other quarters of Spain. Troubles of a somewhat different nature, but no less productive of confusion and distress, were caused by a renegade of the name of Rodo, who had been a clergyman, in deacon’s orders, and who embraced the Jewish creed. Such was the hatred of this apostate for the faith which he had deserted, that he employed all his efforts in persuading Abdurrahman and the Saracens of Spain to force the Christians, under pain of death and torture, to become either Mussulmans or Jews. It is supposed that the long and cruel persecution which broke out just afterwards, and which watered the Church of Spain with the blood of so many martyrs, owed its first rise to the fanaticism and malevolence of the apostate Rodo.

The war between Abdurrahman and Mirza appeared to Charles to threaten still further the stability of his kingdom, the Spanish March, of which the progress of William, son of Bernard, seemed indeed to be rapidly depriving him. The latter, at the first outbreak of his rebellion, had received assistance from the Caliph; and either to put a stop to this aid or to prevent an union between Mirza and the duke of Septimania, Charles made, in 817, a treaty of alliance with Abdurrahman. About the same time the three Carolingian princes met at Mersen on the Meuse, to devise, if possible, some means of stopping the constant invasion of Norman and other barbarians; but after renewing their vows of friendship, and promising that each, would extend the same affection to his brothers’ children, they separated without coming to any practical decision. Charles, however, gained one advantage, if such it could in reality be considered, by the trouble in which the country was involved. The people of Aquitaine, who had defended the cause of their king, Pepin II, with so much enthusiasm and success, were not long in dis­covering that they had made an unwise choice, even in comparison with Charles the Bald. Pepin is said to have been of a strikingly handsome and dignified appearance; a circumstance which had weight in engaging the affection of his party at first, but which could not stand in the place of qualifications more necessary in times like the present. He was of indolent disposition, and was addicted to an excess in eating and drinking, which frequently disabled him from all exertion, bodily or mental. Such a prince had little chance of resisting with success the invasions of the Normans, who now, year after year, ravaged the coast, and, to a considerable distance, even the interior of Aquitaine. Accordingly an important meeting of nobles and prelates of the country took place at Orleans, and tendered the crown to Charles, who was not slow in accepting the offer. A fortunate defeat of the Danes, who at this time landed and burnt Bordeaux, seemed to furnish a proof of their wisdom, and determined them to support the claim of the new monarch with vigor, until Pepin, who still numbered a large portion of the population among his adherents, should be forced to resign all pretensions to the sovereignty. Pepin, however, was supported by the marquis of Gascony, and with his aid was no contemptible foe; especially as the Caliph of Corduba, notwithstanding his late alliance with the king of France, now promised assistance to his rival. War was commenced again in Aquitaine, and continued with little intermission for the next three or four years. Charles, however, seems always to have retained the superiority with which he first began. Another nephew of the same name with himself was captured by him in the attempt to escape from the court of Lothaire, where till now he had lived in safety and seclusion, and to join his elder brother Pepin. He was carried by the king to Chartres, and there persuaded or compelled to receive the tonsure, and the monastic vows. At the same he made public declaration that the act was his own free will and choice; an assertion which, under the circumstances, cannot perhaps be received with implicit trust. Afterwards, on the death of Rabanus Maurus, he was raised to the dignity of archbishop of Metz. Pepin continued the war, after his brother’s capture, till the year 852, and probably might have disputed the throne much longer, but for a quarrel with the marquis of Gascony, his most powerful friend, who delivered him into the hands of Charles. Like his brother he was forced to become a monk, and was enclosed in the monastery of St. Medard at Soissons. Shortly afterwards he made an attempt to regain his freedom, by the assistance of two monks, but was unsuccessful, and his abettors were condemned as guilty of treason, at a diet held by the king at Soissons.

The same success which Charles enjoyed in Aquitaine attended his arms, for some time, in other parts of his dominions. In the year 850 William was killed in the Spanish March, and Barcelona retaken; and the next year the death of Nomenoius, and his friend Lambert freed him from two formidable enemies. But Erispoius, son of the king of Brittany, assumed as a matter of right his father’s title, and defeated a French army which was sent against him. After this he expressed his readiness to take oaths of fealty and allegiance to the king of France; and they met accordingly at Angers, when in return for the homage, Charles acknowledged him as king, and gave him up peaceable possession of Rennes, Nantes, and the duchy of Metz.

But no success in war, or peaceable treaties between himself and other princes, could, in any degree, counter­balance the evils of Norman invasion, which filled with misery and ruin the realm of the king of France, and seemed altogether to crush and paralyze the whole vigour of the nation. The dominions of his two brothers had their share in these calamities, yet in an inferior degree. The pirates sailed up the great rivers, and attacked the cities, and ravaged the country on their banks; or fixing upon some spot as a central position, extended their plunder on all sides, until the utter exhaustion of the neighbourhood, or the report of better spoil elsewhere, called them to some other quarters. Monasteries and Churches were, as was said before, their favourite points of attack, because more wealth was usually found attached to them than could be discovered in the towns, much less in the villages. The inhabitants seldom made any attempt to resist; on the first news of the approach they left all that was not easily carried with them, and fled into the hills, forests, or morasses, which offered a place of concealment. In several instances, indeed, they endeavoured to secure the good will of the invaders, by joining their bands, and professing their religion; for the barbarians were cruel persecutors of Christianity, and appeared instigated, not alone by love of plunder, but by a fanatical hatred of the truth, in their destruction of churches, and of the monks or clergy. They received into their ranks those who were willing to renounce their faith, but slaughtered or kept to be sold as slaves all who refused compliance.

The country of Charles suffered most, because three great rivers, the Seine, Loire, and Garonne, all of them leading quickly into what had been, until these ravages, populous and highly cultivated provinces, their banks lined with towns, Churches, and monasteries, offered easy and tempting methods of approach. To the dominions of Lothaire and Louis the sole access was by the Rhine, Meuse, or Scheldt, constituting, in fact, from the close vicinity of their mouths, one entrance to the vessels of the invaders through which they could find their way. For the Weser and Elbe offered, in comparison, few temptations, as the country to which their waters would carry them was less civilized, less furnished with the depots of wealth and luxury, and perhaps with a population less disposed to yield without resistance to their attacks. Hamburg, however, had been destroyed, as was related before, and in the year 851 two hundred and fifty large sized vessels, under Ager the Dane, entered at once the Rhine, Meuse, and Seine; one party destroyed Ghent, sacked Aix-la-Chapelle, burnt the palace of Charlemagne, and laid in ruins, with the massacre of nearly all the inhabitants, the rich and populous cities of Cologne and Treves. The other divisions, leaving the vessels at Rouen, marched to Beauvais, destroying, among other places, the celebrated monasteries of Fontenelle and St. Germar, and were so well satisfied with the neighborhood to which they had found their way, that they remained on the spot from the autumn of 851 to the following summer, and only departed to transfer their ravages to Bordeaux. During these invasions, neither Charles in France, nor Lothaire or Louis on the Rhine, nor any of the nobles and officers of either king, made any attempt to molest them or resist their progress; an excess of indolence or pusillanimity for which it seems impossible to conjecture the cause, or offer an excuse. The following year, the same scenes of pillage and massacre were enacted on the banks of the Loire. Nantes, Mans, and other towns, with many monasteries, were burnt and leveled with the ground, and Tours was only saved by a sudden inundation of the Loire and Cher, while a continuance of the last year’s attacks upon the Seine and Rhine, was averted by the cession of territory, before mentioned, to Roric and Godfrey. Soon afterwards, in 854, Angers and Blois met the same fate which had befallen many other cities, and the Danes, who laid waste the country up to the gates of Orleans, might have made themselves with equal facility masters of that town, had they not turned back from caprice and change of purpose.

If we except these continued invasions, the history of the Carolingian empire is barren of any political events till the year 855, which is marked by the death of the emperor Lothaire. He died in September, at the age of sixty, and shortly before his decease, finding his strength beginning to fail, and moved with compunction at the remembrance of his rebellions against his father, he resigned the imperial crown to his eldest son Louis, and retired into the monastery of Prum, in the neighbourhood of Treves. So far as we can form any notion of his character from the actions of his life, he appears to have been the least worthy of respect among the sons of Louis the Pious; yet, although criminal beyond all doubt in his frequent acts of filial disobedience and rebellion, it may be remembered, in palliation of his conduct, that he was always encouraged and supported by several of the leading prelates and clergy of the day, men who were distinguished for piety and judgment, and some of whom have been honored in the Church with the title of saints. The approval and support of adherents so respectable, if it fails in persuading us that Lothaire’s behavior towards his father was free from blame, may show at any rate that in the views of his time and country it was not thought worthy of unmitigated condemnation; but, on the contrary, that some, and those of not least weight, looked upon his side as that of justice and religion. A still more probable excuse may be made for the contest with his two brothers, although in this case also, no less than in the former, it is decided that Charles the Bald and Louis of Germany had the greater right. In private life, there is no stain of immorality in the character of Lothaire, like that which attaches so greatly to the reputation of his grandfather; but at the same time we have no evidence of his possessing the piety and sanctity of his father’s character. There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his repentance on his taking the monastic habit in the abbey of Prum. Like Charlemagne, and the other princes of his family, he was a great promoter of literature among his subjects, and invited to his court men of all countries distin­guished for their learning. His eldest son, Louis the Second, had been already crowned emperor at Rome, in the year 851, and had since that time proved himself an efficient and vigorous sovereign, by putting a termination to the long quarrels between the two claimants for the duchy of Beneventum. He divided the territory between them, and drove out both parties of Saracens from Italy. Lothaire desired him to be content with the imperial title, and the kingdom of Lombardy, and divided his French dominions between his two other sons, Lothaire the Second, and Charles. The latter received the country between the Rhone and Alps, which about this time began to be called Provence, and the former the remainder, called from him Lotharingia, or Lorraine.

It is refreshing to turn from the meagre and disre­putable list of events which make up the civil and military history of France, and indeed of all the empire, during the last few years, to the spiritual or ecclesiastical history of the same time and country. In the latter there are signs everywhere of life, energy, and talent; if there is wrong and error, these only call forth a greater vigor to redress and oppose them. In the remedy of practical abuses, in conviction of heretical opinions, in earnest labor for the spread of Christianity, in resolute defence of the rights of the Church, the bishops and clergy of France and Germany, during the reigns of Charles and Louis, need not dread comparison with those of almost any other period. If there were dissensions among the bishops, this proves, at all events, an earnestness about what each imagined to be right; or if not, they resembled not the quarrels between the political parties of the day, which swallowed up all the courage and energy which ought to have been directed against the common enemy, and gave impunity and security to the ravages of barbarous invaders. The ecclesiastical disputes, though carried on with vehe­mence, hindered not the union of those who conducted them against vice, sacrilege, and infidelity; and the same Councils which were the scenes of active discussion on matters of doctrine and Church policy, published canons the most conducive to the good of the Church and the due honor of religion, and attacking with the greatest boldness and authority even the highest and most powerful offenders. It is with pleasure, therefore, that we turn now to the history of a dispute which, beginning a few years back, produced, for some time, considerable sensation in the Church of France.

It is true that no ecumenical decree fixed the seal of truth upon either of the conflicting doctrines; but the general consent of all the Church has affirmed, with scarcely less weight of authority, the orthodoxy of the opinions advocated by Hincmar. We shall see, in the following chapter, that the archbishop of Rheims took the most active part throughout the controversy, and has left a voluminous treatise, of equal labor and erudition, on the subject.








It has been a question among the learned whether the predestinarian, or, as they were usually termed, the predestinarian errors, are to be reckoned among the heresies condemned by Catholic antiquity. The doctrines of original sin, of free-will, and grace, are so intimately connected with the doctrines of the fore-knowledge and predestination of God, that it is not possible to discuss the one set of questions without entering also upon the other. Accordingly we find that the disputes and discussions which arose in the Church on occasion of the Pelagian heresy, were followed quickly by doubts and controversies on the subject of predestination. The works of St. Augustin, in explanation and defence of the orthodox doctrines of original sin and free-will, gave rise to many mistakes among the less learned or the less submissive, even of those who agreed with him, in the main, on these points. The professed adherents of Pelagius, holding as they did the full power of men to will and to do what is right and holy, and denying, in consequence, the necessity of grace, would obviously entertain notions equally erroneous, and equally opposed to the teaching of St. Austin, upon predestination. Nor does the modification of this heresy, known by the name of Semi-Pelagianism, although not chargeable with the same manifest degree of falsehood and danger which belonged to the more extreme views, appear less opposed in reality to any orthodox opinion on the subject.

Semi-Pelagianism, which is said to have arisen first at Marseilles, in the year 429, seems to have shown itself under various forms. By some persons it was held that men had the power of willing what is right of themselves, though unable to carry out their will into action without grace; while others thought that right faith was in our own power, although the obedience founded upon it required divine assistance. Again, some insisted upon the necessity of grace, but at the same time explained it away, by teaching that under this name must be included the law, or conscience, or anything whatever which might produce a good effect upon the mind; or making a still further compromise, they asserted that the beginning of good desires, and of faith, proceeds sometimes from ourselves, sometimes is wrought within us by divine operation; that we have the power of inclining ourselves naturally to goodness, although at one time preventing grace precedes the motion of the will, at another free-will comes first.

Holding these or similar views, the Semi-Pelagians of France opposed the doctrine of predestination, as explained in the writings of St. Augustin, on the ground that all virtue is destroyed, if the very beginning of grace is from God, and therefore independent of the merit of the recipient, and if none others can be saved but those who are predestined from eternity. Confessing the Catholic doctrine that our Lord Jesus Christ died for all mankind, so that no one whatever is excluded from the redemption of His Blood, they maintained, as a consequence of this, that the eternal life thus prepared for all men is given only to those who believe of their own accord, and merit the assistance of grace by their own faith. They also declared that all ancient Catholic writers regarded predestination as founded on foreknowledge, by which God sees beforehand what use the will of each individual will make of the assistance of grace.

St. Augustin was informed of these opinions by two laymen, Hilary and Prosper, the latter a native of Reis, in Aquitaine. Though infirm from old age, and over­burdened with other occupations, he lost no time in answering them. His work on the Predestination of the Saints was written on this occasion. In this he says that predestination differs from grace, of which it is only the preparation, and from fore-knowledge. For by foreknowledge God knows all future things, whether actions of His own, or not, while predestination only extends to such things as He will do Himself, as for example, to all that He promises. Thus His promise to Abraham that all nations should believe through his seed, implied that He had predestined this belief; and the universal belief in Christianity is accordingly the act of God, or the effect of His grace. That predestination is purely gratuitous, or independent of any merit in those who are predestined, is fully proved by the salvation of infants who never live to believe or obey. St. Augustin’s work on the Gift of Perseverance, was written on the same occasion, and is indeed only a continuation of that on the Predestination of the Saints. In this he fully grants the difficulty or impossibility of our understanding why one man is predestined to life, and another not; or why, of two persons who are called and justified, of two righteous persons, the gift of perseverance is granted to the one, and not to the other, proving that one and not the other has been predestined to eternal life. Accordingly, he recommends great caution in the way of teaching the doctrine of predestination, although, as our Lord Himself and St. Paul taught it, it is not to be thought incompatible with preaching, as the Semi-Pelagians had maintained. The same objection would apply to the doctrines of fore­knowledge and grace; for predestination may be defined or explained to be the fore-knowledge and preparation of the benefits of God, by which all those are most surely delivered who are delivered. He seems to deny what had been said of the views of earlier writers on this subject, by referring to St. Cyprian as holding the same opinions with himself.

These explanations of St. Austin, so far from satisfying the scruples of the Semi-Pelagians, in France, raised a strong party against him, who scrupled not to accuse him of heresy. St. Prosper and Hilary defended him, to the best of their power; and, finding themselves too weak in argument, or possessed of too little authority to succeed, repaired to pope St. Celestine, requesting him to interfere in their aid. Accordingly, he wrote to the bishops in that part of France, urging them to put a stop at once to the spread of heresy, and strongly asserting the orthodoxy of St. Austin, whose decease had taken place in the meantime. Armed with these letters, Prosper returned to France, and addressed himself diligently to the refutation of the heresies prevalent there, at the head of which was Cassian, in high repute for learning and sanctity, and in which even St. Hilary, bishop of Arles, is said to have joined. He was met by an assertion, on the part of his adversaries, that the doctrine of St. Austin and his adherents led to the following among other erroneous conclusions:—that our Savior died not for all mankind; that God wills not the salvation of all men; that some men were created for the very purpose of being eternally condemned; that God is the author of evil; and that predestination is the cause of sin, and imposes necessity of damnation. These objections, brought forward, as some have sup­posed, by the celebrated St. Vincent of Lérins, were answered by Prosper, whose reply only drew upon himself the charge of holding the same heretical opinions before attributed to St. Augustin, and provoked Cassian and others of the Semi-Pelagian school to publish, in addition, fifteen propositions, which they maintained to be the legitimate consequence of Prospers teaching on the subject of predestination. The most important of these were the assertions that predestination, as understood and explained by him, is a sort of fatality, compelling men to sin; that baptism, though duly administered, does not, in all cases, take away original sin; that a holy and religious life is of no service to such as are not in the number of the predestined; that in the salvation of man predestination performs the whole work, and free-will has no share whatever; that the elect alone, a small number out of the mass of mankind, are the objects of divine love and mercy, or were redeemed by the Death and Passion of our Lord; that God forces some men into sin; and that predesti­nation and prescience are the same. These fifteen conclusions were condemned by St. Prosper, in the same number of propositions, in which the direct contrary is asserted.

Whether the opinions now attributed to St. Prosper by Cassian and his party in France, and so distinctly repudiated by him, were in reality held by others, of less judgment or piety, cannot be decided. It is not improbable that this may have been the case; for otherwise it seems difficult to imagine that such men as Cassian and St. Vincent, especially if St. Hilary of Arles is to be reckoned in their number, could have so misinterpreted the writings of St. Austin as to draw from them these unwarrantable conclusions. There was much dispute, as will be seen, between Hincmar and his opponents, as to the existence, at this time, of any heresy on the subject of predestination; and the archbishop of Rheims, whose historical information was, perhaps, not equal to his zeal and orthodoxy, plainly mistakes the propositions just quoted, as representing the heresy which St. Prosper was commissioned by St. Celestine to oppose in France; whereas, on the contrary, the Semi-Pelagians were the party in opposition to him, and the predestination notions were attributed to St. Austin and himself.

The controversy now noticed took place before the middle of the fifth century. Thirty or forty years afterwards it was renewed. The majority of French bishops were still inclined to Semi-Pelagian views, and, in consequence, still disposed to look with suspicion on the works of St. Augustin. A presbyter, of the name of Lucidus, wrote in defence of his book on grace and predestination, and probably fell into the opposite extreme to the notions prevalent at the time, or, at all events, used expressions of a dangerous tendency. Faustus, first abbot of Lérins, and afterwards bishop of Reis in Aquitaine, published some anathemas in opposition to the work of Lucidus, and required him to sign them. One of these was against those who maintained that the prescience of God is the cause of death; another condemned the assertion that those who perish have not received grace sufficient for their salvation; and a third, the denial that Christ died for all mankind. Lucidus complied with the request, and, according to the order of Faustus, forwarded his recantation, or signature of the anathemas presented to him, to a synod held at Arles, against the real or supposed predestinarian heresy, in the year 475. The bishops who composed this Council passed their condemnation on the views attributed to Lucidus and his followers or companions, accepted his recantation, and enjoined on Faustus the task of writing on the subject. This work was afterwards approved by another Council.

There seems, on the whole, little doubt that the unsound notions attributed by Cassian and his party to Prosper, and afterwards by Faustus and the Council of Aries to Lucidus and others, were more or less prevalent during this century in France. That a large party in the Church were at the same time strongly inclined to Semi-Pelagianism in no way lessens the probability; for in theological controversy one extreme frequently begets another. It is also certain that these errors were formally condemned by the Synod of 475. It is true that pope Gelasius, writing twenty years afterwards, reckoned the works of Faustus among the suspicious or apocryphal books rejected or held in little esteem by the Church for their Pelagian tendency; and another pope, Hormisdas, not long after confirmed the censure; nor is it improbable that the synod of Arles might, in some degree, share this condemnation, although no orthodox prelate could make any objection to the letter of its decisions. But, on the other hand, Gennadius, who also wrote at the end of this century, or quite at the beginning of the next, adds the heresy of the Predestinarians, with two or three others, to the list of heresies left by St. Augustin; and without putting the authority of Gennadius on a par with that of the two bishops of Rome just mentioned, we may regard him as fairly representing the common opinion of his time, that the existence of such a heresy was recognized in the Church. To this it may be added that the second Council of Orange, held in the year 529, under Caesarius, bishop of Arles, a prelate of high reputation in his day, pronounced an anathema on all who should maintain that any persons are predestined to death. The decision of the Council is the more worthy of notice, as Caesarius was a great admirer of St. Austin, who was considered by the Semi-Pelagian party as having advocated this very doctrine; and its condemnation by the bishop of Arles and the other opponents of Semi-Pelagianism, at the synod of Orange, is an unexceptionable testimony to the fact that the charge against that father is unmerited and altogether groundless.

Shortly before this decision in France, the question of predestination had been discussed by Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe, in Africa, who wrote on the subject to a friend, who had misunderstood some passages in the works of St. Augustin. In the course of his exposition, he speaks of two kinds of predestination, one to life, and the other to death. The manner of expression which we have just seen condemned at Orange, led to great inconvenience, and may, indeed, be considered as the foundation of many of the erroneous views held at various times upon this question. Fulgentius, however, was himself perfectly orthodox; for he takes pains to explain that the two kinds of predestination stand on very different grounds, and that men are not predestined to sin, but only to the punishment which they justly incur by their sinful lives. Notwithstanding, it is certain that St. Fulgentius was looked upon with some suspicion in the Church; and when his name was used by the later heretics, as an authority for their views on predestination, it was not always very easy to clear him of the charge.

Nor was Fulgentius the only one of the Catholic writers quoted by the predestinarians of later times in support of their opinions. Not to mention St. Augustin, because that father retracted afterwards his use of the obnoxious phrase, St. Gregory the Great, writing more than half a century after Fulgentius, speaks of predestination in the plural. No one indeed ever presumed to think that that orthodox prelate inclined to heresy on this subject, except those heretics who quoted him as holding the same sentiments with themselves. Yet he speaks in terms which, if quite intelligible in the orthodox sense, have fully as suspicious an appearance as any Fulgentius ever used. For while teaching that punishment is predestined to the wicked, he teaches also that a greater sin is often the punishment for a lesser; and therefore could scarcely refuse to admit the conclusion that Almighty God does, in this sense, predestine men to sin, not indeed independently of their own fault, but as a punishment for it. As Semi-Pelagianism ceased in the Church of France, the opposite heresy of the Predestinarians seems to have died away with it. After the Councils of Arles and Orange had pronounced an authoritative condemnation on their most prominent errors, there was perhaps little danger that any but the boldest innovators would venture to introduce novel opinions on a subject so confessedly removed beyond human comprehension. It was enough on these questions to hold certain undeniable truths,—the perfect justice of Almighty God, who can condemn none but the guilty; His boundless love for man, and will that all should be saved; His foreknowledge of all things; His determination to save, in Christ, all who should believe; and the impossibility to please Him by belief, will, or action, without His free and unmerited grace. If any of these articles of faith seemed difficult of reconciliation among themselves, or with other equally certain truths, it was sufficient to believe them, without argument, and without the attempt to clear up every difficulty; and he who was not satisfied to do this, might incur, without injustice, the charge of insubordination to the Church, in her character of interpreter of Holy Writ.

However, in the middle of the ninth century, disputes on predestination began again, and although the heretical notions had perhaps few real adherents among the bishops and clergy, the whole Gallican Church was divided by them into two parties. Two monks, Ratramnus and Godeschalcus, were the authors of the movement. Ratramnus was a monk of Corbey, and is more celebrated for his writings on some other questions than for those on predestination.  Godeschalcus, or Gotheschalcus, as his name is generally written in Latin, otherwise called Fulgentius, was a monk of Orbais, in the diocese of Soissons; by birth he was a German, as his name indicates. From childhood he had been destined by his parents for the monastic and clerical profession, and had been placed for education in the celebrated school of Fulda, then under the direction of Rabanus Maurus. After admission to the lower ecclesiastical degrees, he grew weary of his retired life, and was permitted by archbishop Otger, of Metz, to leave it; but Rabanus, who regarded the act as a violation of a fundamental principle of the monastic system, appealed to the emperor, Louis the Pious, and Godeschalcus was forced to return to the cloister. Liberty, however, was granted to him change his monastery, and he chose that of Orbais. Here he devoted himself to theological study, especially to the study of St. Austin; and became so great an admirer of that father as to commit portions of his writings to memory. He seems to have been of an enthusiastic, but passionate and reckless disposition; he was fond of novelties, and delighted in dwelling on such speculative questions in divinity as are matters for simple faith rather than for argument. He formed a friendship with some of the learned men of his day, among whom the names of Walafrid, abbot of Auge, Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, and Ratramnus of Corbey, are the best known. He was ordained priest, at the age of forty, (in an irregular way, by a chorepiscopus) and dean of Rheims, without the knowledge and consent of his own diocesan. Not contented to remain quietly in his monastery, he travelled in several countries, and particularly in Italy; and, wherever he went, appears to have taught his peculiar views of predestination. In these he was supported by Ratramnus; and the latter, who was probably a man of superior mind, may perhaps have led him originally to entertain those erroneous notions, both on this subject, and on that of the Holy Trinity, for which he afterwards suffered so severely. However, the reputation of Godeschalcus, as a teacher of heresy, was widely spread; for while he was resident in the house of count Eberard, one of the emperor’s chief nobles, in Italy, Rabanus, lately raised to the archbishopric of Metz, wrote to the count, urging him to dismiss his guest, as a well-known and dangerous person; and this letter was enforced by another to Notingus, the bishop elect of Verona, with whom Godeschalcus had already had a theological discussion. Accordingly he was dismissed, and after pursuing his travels through various parts of Germany came at last to Metz.

Whatever may have been the opinions of Ratramnus on the points just mentioned, Godeschalcus was certainly heretical on both questions; although in his views of grace and predestination he stopped short of the extreme errors of some earlier heretics. However, he believed and taught that predestination to life and to death are equally decrees of Almighty God; and if we may trust what is said by Hincmar and others, he put the two on precisely the same footing. Godeschalcus indeed frequently asserted that men are punished for their own deserts; and if he had been orthodox on other points, we might have been willing to think him misrepresented here, or, at all events, guilty only of careless expressions, and of using the term predestination to death, when he only meant by it the determination of God to punish for sin, instead of what Hincmar maintains his meaning to have been, the actual decree that man should both sin and be punished for it. However, his other errors will not permit us to clear him of heresy here. Indeed the official letter of the Council of Metz, drawn up by Rabanus, accuses him of teaching that some men are unable to turn from sin and error, because of the predestination of God, which forces them into deadly sin, or into the way which leads to death; so that God is in fact the cause of their being incorrigible here, and condemned to death hereafter. In the same document it is said that the consequence of his teaching had been that many men were wont to say, “Why need I labor in God's service? If I am predestined to death, no effort of mine will save me from it; and if I sin, and yet am predestined to life, no doubt I shall come to eternal rest”. His teaching must have been heretical, if it led to such results, however he may have formally expressed his views, when required to state them in exact terms. Thus, in a memoir presented to Rabanus, in which he accuses that prelate of Semi-Pelagianism, or of supporting the errors of Cassian, he says, “As God has predestined all the elect to life, by the free benefit of his grace alone, so most certainly He has predestined all the reprobate to the punishment of eternal death, by the equitable decree of His incommutable justice”; and again, “I, Godeschalcus believe and confess that there is a twofold predestination, of the elect to rest, and of the reprobate to death; for as God, Who cannot change, predestined immutably, by His free grace, all His elect to eternal life, before the beginning of the world, in precisely the same way the same unchangeable God, by His righteous judgment, predestined all the reprobate, who shall be condemned in the day of judgment for their own ill deserts, to a death which shall be deservedly eternal”. If, as before said, the author of these assertions had been perfectly orthodox on other points, and if his teaching had not led, as we find asserted in the letter from the Synod of Metz, to consequences so baneful, we might perhaps have acquitted him of any great error, though not of an overbold manner of speaking of the divine decrees; although, as Hincmar repeatedly says, it is in fact heretical in the highest degree to say that Almighty God predestines to death, in the same way in which he predestines to life. However former doctors of the Church, Augustin, Fulgentius, or Gregory, may have spoken of a double predestination, they never spoke of it in this sense. The predestination to life is the cause not only of reward, but of grace, and of every good thought, act, or habit, which springs from grace, and which is the title to life eternal; and consequently, if predestination to death stands on the same ground, it will be the cause, not of punishment only, but of sin; so that, however strongly and frequently the perfect justice of God be asserted by those who maintain this view, the belief itself, if carried out to its legitimate conclusion, is in fact a necessary denial of these assertions.

But other opinions, held and taught by Godeschalcus, will not admit even of that unsatisfactory defence which is furnished by vagueness of expression. Without referring here to his views about a Threefold Deity, which formed the subject of a distinct charge, the following assertion was made by him, in connection with his tenets on predestination, and was included in his letter to Rabanus. “The goodness of Almighty God has predestined to life, and has willed to be saved indefectibly, only those sinners whom the Son of God came to redeem, by shedding His own Blood; but all those sinners for whom the same Son of God neither took a human body, nor offered up prayer, not to speak of shedding His Blood for them, and for whom He was in no way crucified, inasmuch as He knew beforehand that they would be very wicked, and had justly determined to cast them into eternal torments; these He most certainly wills not to be saved”. Two kindred heresies are contained here; one, that God wills not the salvation of all men; the other, that Christ died not for all; both equally contradicting the plain assertion of Holy Writ, and the no less plain belief of the whole Church up to that time, as Hincmar sufficiently proves by a large mass of quotations. To these, Godeschalcus added another, or rather a further consequence of the same views, maintaining that all men are redeemed by Baptism, and that by Christ Himself, but that those not predestined to life are not redeemed or washed by His Blood, either in Baptism or at any other time : an opinion which seems invented solely for the sake of its apparent accordance with his other views, and the absurdity of which is so palpable, that it is at once difficult to conjecture what he could have understood by it, and no less difficult to conceive how a man of common reasoning powers could avoid being convinced, by such a conclusion, of the falsity of the premises which led to it.

Such were the views taught by Godeschalcus, in the diocese of Metz, on his return from travelling in Italy. Rabanus Maurus, who is considered the first theologian of that age, alarmed at the errors which “the vagabond monk”, as he terms him, was spreading in his diocese and city, summoned a synod, by the command of king Louis, who was himself present on the occasion, and called upon Godeschalcus to declare his opinions, which he did in a book or letter, to which allusion has been already made. He was ordered to recant, and on refusal was sent to Hincmar, as being his metropolitan, with synodal letters from Rabanus, explaining the circumstances of the case. King Charles, who appears to have taken great interest in this theological question, gave his command or permission to Hincmar to assemble a synod of bishops and other clergy in his palace at Quiercy sur Oise, in the diocese of Rheims, at which he himself was present. The synod met in April, or the beginning of May, under the presidency of Hincmar, and Wenilo, archbishop of Sens. Among the other clergy present, were Rothad, bishop of Soissons, Paschasius Radbertus, abbot of Corbey, Rignold, chorepiscopus of Rheims, who had ordained Godeschalcus, and Bavo, abbot of Orbais, to which monastery he had belonged. The Council entered into a full examination of the charge, and put many questions to the prisoner, who not only refused to recant his errors, but when unable to give a rational account of his belief, broke into abusive language against his judges, unmindful of the presence of his king, or of his metropolitan. Accordingly he was condemned by the canon law, and the rule of St. Benedict, to be deprived of his orders, to be scourged, and afterwards confined in prison. He was compelled also to burn his writings in the presence of the king.

As Godeschalcus belonged to the diocese of Soissons, it would have been more regular, or more according to custom, to commit him to the bishop of that see for confinement. Hincmar, however, would not trust him to the charge of Rothad, but placed him in the monastery of Hautvilliers. As soon as the Council had broken up, he took him a letter drawn up by the bishops who were present, in which it was shown, by quotations from the fathers of the Church, especially St. Augustin and Prosper, that predestination does not extend to evil, and that God predestines the good to life, but foreknows only, without predestinating, the death of the wicked. Hincmar tried in vain to persuade Godeschalcus to subscribe this article of faith, and finding him determined in his refusal, wrote to Prudentius, bishop of Troyes, who had been prevented from attending the synod, to beg his advice as to what ought to be done in the matter, especially whether he ought to be admitted to Communion.

Prudentius recommended as mild treatment as possible, and prayed Hincmar to grant him the unusual permission to write his own confession of faith, instead of being forced to subscribe the exact words agreed upon by the Council. Hincmar complied with the request, and Godeschalcus accordingly wrote two confessions, one of considerable length, and the other more concise. In the latter he asserted, much in the same form as in his letter to Rabanus, the unchangeable predestination of good angels and the elect among men to eternal life, and that of the devil, and all the apostate angels and reprobate men, in the same way, to eternal punishment, making the distinction, however, between the two, that the former predestination is gratuitous, or of free grace, while the latter is as a punishment for the sins of which God foreknew that they would be guilty. The other and longer confession was expressed in the form of a prayer. It contains little to distinguish it from what has been already said concerning his opinions, except that predestination is spoken of as a single act, under two forms or aspects, as it relates to the elect and to the reprobate. This, as we shall see, is an expression afterwards adopted by Hincmar himself, in the articles of a second Council at Quiercy, and therefore could not be regarded by the opponents of Godeschalcus as heretical; it is obvious that it may be explained in a right or in a wrong sense, according to the general sentiments of the person who uses it. In the same document he declared himself ready and desirous to prove the truth of his doctrine, or the sincerity of his belief, by passing through an ordeal, four times repeated, of boiling water, oil, and pitch, heated upon a blazing fire.

As there was nothing absolutely contrary to orthodoxy in the form of his expressions, Prudentius and others were no doubt induced by them to think Godeschalcus unjustly condemned. But if his real sentiments were fully and candidly expressed in the two confessions, it is scarcely possible to believe that he would have chosen imprisonment for life, and excommunication, rather than subscribe the articles which Hincmar put into his hands from the Synod of Quiercy. Moreover the ill effects of his teaching at Metz, as well as the letters of Rabanus to count Eberard and to Hincmar, imply that his views were in reality different from these; to which must be added a letter written to him sometime afterwards by Amulo, Agobard’s successor in the see of Lyons, who was well acquainted with his writings and teaching, and with all that had occurred in connection with him, both in Germany and in the Council by whose decree he was imprisoned. Godeschalcus, it appears, had sent his writings to Amulo, with an earnest request that he would read and judge of them, and the archbishop in answer rebukes him in strong terms for the novelties which he had invented, in opposition to the Church, and for the great errors into which he had fallen, and in which he so contumaciously persisted. In the same letter he goes on to prove that his opinions on the predestination of the wicked were full of the most grievous heresy, and especially reprehends his views of Baptism, and in connection with Baptism, of the other Sacraments of the Church, which are merely empty ceremonies, if none who partake of them, except those who shall be finally saved, gain from them any benefit, or are united by them to the mystical Body of Christ. He is clearly of opinion that Godeschalcus’ views imply the necessity of sinning in the reprobate. He concludes by sharply reproving him for his contempt of the sentence of excommunication.

As the subject was one of so great nicety and difficulty, Hincmar feared that the confessions now published by Godeschalcus, might lead some of the less learned among the monks and others into error. Accordingly, he wrote a short refutation of the novel opinions, with an explanation of the orthodox faith, and had it circulated in his diocese. No sooner, however, had it seen the light, than Ratramnus set himself to answer it, and published a severe censure upon it, in which he attempted to show that Hincmar had misrepresented Fulgentius and St. Jerome. Hincmar’s only reply for the present was to send all the documents, that is to say, both the confessions of Godeschalcus, his own refutation, and the answer of Ratramnus, to the archbishop of Metz, as a prelate whose orthodoxy, judgment, and learning, were acknowledged by all parties. The decision of Rabanus was favourable to Hincmar, and equally condemnatory of Ratramnus.

Meanwhile Prudentius, who had already shown himself favorably disposed towards Godeschalcus, published a short treatise on the three questions, as they began now to be technically termed by the consent or advice of the Council of Paris, held about this time, and sent it to Hincmar and Pardulus, bishop of Laon. In this he adopted the same way of speaking with Godeschalcus, though, as it is supposed, his language was intended to bear an orthodox meaning. He not only maintains a double predestination, but declares also that our Lord died for the faithful only; by which he may no doubt have understood, what as certainly was not the meaning of Godeschalcus, that the faithful alone shall ultimately be benefitted by the death of Christ. However, the manner of expression is dangerous, as well as unscriptural, and his treatise was, in consequence, marked with the disapprobation of the learned Rabanus. Charles, though disposed to admit the authority of Hincmar in all theological and ecclesiastical matters, could not entirely disregard the opinion of so learned a prelate as Prudentius. Perplexed with these contradictions, he determined to consult another divine, of great weight and character in these days, the abbot Lupus, for whom he sent in the month of December in this year, to join him at Bourges, and with whom he engaged in long discourse on the three questions of predestination, free-will, and redemption by the blood of Christ. The good abbot drew up, after this conversation, a treatise on the same subject, hoping, as he says in his preface, to settle men’s minds on the subject in dispute. In this treatise he represents the fear with which many learned bishops regarded the expression of a two-fold predestination, or of predestination to death, as foolish and ungrounded. He argues that God foresaw Adam’s transgression, and decreed what should be its consequences, namely, the total corruption of the human race, by their own or Adam’s fault, and the just punishment of many, though others were to be saved by his mercy. When he punishes the guilty, they themselves, and not the Divine justice, are to be charged as the real authors, although it is in reality he who predestined it. Thus upon this topic, Lupus, like Prudentius, adopted a similar manner of speaking with Godeschalcus, though in an orthodox sense. Nor did he differ from him on the third question, whether Christ died for all men, so widely as Hincmar and some others. Our Lord died for all men, he says, in the same sense in which God wills that all men shall be saved. In his view, the most correct assertion would be, that he died for all, whether finally saved or not, who receive his sacraments. But although he will not subscribe to the declaration of St. Chrysostom, (which indeed he elsewhere sets himself to refute, as opposed to Holy Scripture,) that Christ died for the reprobate, and positively refuses to join those who anathematize the contrary opinion; he professes himself willing to leave this matter undecided, thinking that the death of our Lord may perhaps be of some service, even to those who shall finally perish. Although taking a different view from Hincmar, to whom it is probable that he makes allusion here, Lupus is far more really opposed to Godeschalcus; for the latter denied that Christ died even for the baptized, or for Christians who are not saved; making the washing of baptism in this case altogether a distinct thing from redemption by his blood. In terms, both Lupus and Prudentius may seem to agree with Godeschalcus, but in real meaning they hold different, or even opposite views. Yet they both appear to have thought that he was probably orthodox, not being so fully acquainted with the facts of the case as Rabanus, Amulo, and Hincmar.

But the king was not even yet satisfied with his authorities, and sent a command to Ratramnus, Godeschalcus’s friend, to write on the subject of predestination. Accordingly he published a treatise in two books, in which he attempts to show that both St. Austin and Fulgentius held a double predestination. However, he denies at the same time that the wicked are predestined to sin, or in any way compelled to act, so as to render themselves liable to punishment. Thus, at all events in this treatise, he is not chargeable with heresy; whether he had taken warning by the fate of Godeschalcus, and altered his views, or his expressions, since his last publication against Hincmar, or whether he was in reality orthodox, and had been unjustly mixed up with Godeschalcus, as his accomplice in the spread of heresy.

The two treatises last mentioned were published in the year 850. Hincmar found the tide of opinion setting against himself. Prudentius and Lupus were names of weight; the reputation of Ratramnus for theological learning, if not for the strictest orthodoxy, was widely spread; and Rabanus who had drawn upon him the difficulties by which he was surrounded, however willing to express approval of his conduct, and to censure the contrary opinion, had declined, on the plea of age, to write in defence of the orthodox doctrine of predestination. At this time John Scot, or Erigena, presided over the court, or palace school, which had been reestablished by king Charles, after falling into decay during his father’s reign, and was patronized by him with no less zeal than it had been by Charlemagne during the presidency of Alcuin. Erigena was an Irish­man by birth, as his name indicates, and probably by education; but the liberality of the present king of France drew him to his court, and retained him there till his death, for upwards of thirty years. Hincmar could not fail of an intimate acquaintance with him, and, perhaps at the instance of Charles, begged him, in the course of the year 851, to publish his views on predestination; unless we suppose, which appears most probable, that the task was imposed upon him by the king himself in the name of the archbishop, yet without his consent or knowledge. The sentiments entertained by the archbishop himself, while founded on the authority of Scripture and the Church, were mainly distinguished from the opposite opinions by their accordance with the deductions of reason from what revelation informs us of the nature and attributes of the Supreme Being; and as Erigena was known as an advocate of reason or philosophy, rather than as a blind follower of antiquity, Hincmar, if the request originated with him, probably supposed that a treatise on the subject from his pen would maintain his own, or the orthodox view of predestination and free-will. He applied, at the same time, to Amalarius of Metz, another author of some note in France. We know little or nothing of the treatise of Amalarius, but Hincmar could have committed no greater mistake than in accepting Erigena as his advocate. Archbishop Wenilo, on the appearance of his work, selected a hundred propositions, and sent them to Prudentius for refutation. Prudentius found them full of Pelagianism and other heresy, and accused their author of making an impudent and treacherous attack upon catholic doctrine, under the pretext of opposing Godeschalcus. He also added quotations from St. Jerome and other fathers, as an antidote to the poison contained in these propositions; and expressly maintained that the very existence of the predestinarian heresy was imaginary. In explaining his own views of the questions so long agitated, he speaks much in the same way as in his former work, published at the request of the Council of Paris; holding a double predestination, and denying that Christ died for all men, or that God wills the salvation of all; yet showing at the same time that his sentiments were free, beyond all doubt, from any positive heterodoxy. Floras Magister, as he is termed, a deacon of the Church of Lyons, and a man of great learning, also wrote in refutation of Erigena, and took the same view as Prudentius. Though denying, like him, that any predestinarian heresy had ever existed, he anathematized, both in his own name and in that of his Church, the errors which Godeschalcus had been teaching; expressing himself, at the same time, as very doubtful whether the monk of Orbais was really guilty of holding the views with which he had been charged.

On the whole it appears that the two parties in the Gallican Church, at the head of one of which was Hincmar, while Prudentius and Lupus were the chief writers on the other side, had little real difference of opinion on the three questions of free-will, predestination, and the redemption by the death of Christ. Hincmar being well aware of the errors into which Godeschalcus had fallen, felt the danger of using phrases which had been perverted to an heretical meaning, and to say the truth, whose primary and most natural purpose was certainly heretical, although it was possible to give them an orthodox signification; while Prudentius, on the contrary, from looking at the same expressions in an orthodox point of view, was led to conclude, in charity, that Godeschalcus must have done the same, and accordingly could not but regard the proceedings at the Councils of Metz and Quiercy as an unjust persecution. But, as it has been already said, Rabanus, Amulo, and Hincmar, were the most fully acquainted with the facts of the case, and the examination of Godeschalcus was publicly conducted in the two synods, with every opportunity for the accused to clear himself, and on each occasion in presence of a king who could have no interest in permitting an act of injustice.

Florus, as we have seen, in his answer to the treatise of Erigena, had asserted, in the name of the Church to which he belonged, views in accordance with those of Prudentius, and in form of expression agreeing with those of Godeschalcus. Amulo, who was archbishop of Lyons, had always taken the same view of the case with Hincmar, who was thus, in all probability, perplexed at the apparent contradiction. He wrote therefore a letter to Amulo, enclosing a copy of the letter formerly written by Rabanus to Notingus of Verona on the heresy of Godeschalcus, begging to know definitely what was the opinion of the Church of Lyons on the subject; and his letter was accompanied by another of a similar purport from Pardulus. The answer which he received was probably little expected, for before his letter had reached Lyons, or certainly before it could be answered, his friend Amulo had departed to his rest, and Remigius, chaplain to the emperor Lothaire, had been appointed as his successor. Remigius, afterwards reputed a saint in the Church, was a theologian of considerable eminence, and was well disposed to take up and prosecute with vigor a rivalry which had existed of old between his own see and that of Rheims; for Lyons, in the south of France, laid claim to the same kind of preeminence which was enjoyed or asserted by Rheims in the north. Hincmar’s letter to Amulo was answered by the new archbishop, who sent him a treatise published by himself, in reply to the three letters from the archbishops of Metz and Rheims, and the bishop of Laon, in which he professed to clear up the difficulties attending on the questions of foreknowledge and predestination of the Divine will, with respect to mankind, and of the death of Christ. In this treatise, he declared, in the name of his Church, that the opinions contained in the confessions of Godeschalcus on these points were perfectly orthodox, and were to be found in St. Augustine, and he expressed his grief that in his condemnation a heavy blow had been dealt to the catholic truth. However he plainly showed, at the same time, that the sentiments which he attributed to Godeschalcus, were far different from those really held by him, and gave him credit, as Prudentius and Floras had done, for meaning by predestination to death merely the Divine decree to punish the reprobate, by the will of God, his efficacious will to save, and by the death of Christ, the actual benefit of eternal life conveyed by it.

About the same time Prudentius made another attack upon Hincmar, or what amounted to another declaration in favor of Godeschalcus. A synod met at Sens, under archbishop Wenilo, for the purpose of ordaining Aeneas bishop of Paris, a suffragan see belonging to that province. The bishop of Troyes was prevented by infirmities from being present, but wrote to the Council, or to Wenilo, who was his metropolitan, giving his consent to the ordination, on condition that Aeneas would confess his full consent to the canons of the Council of Carthage, and to the writings of Augustine and other fathers, on the subjects of grace and free-will, and would also subscribe four articles drawn up by himself, and sent to Wenilo for the purpose, in opposition as he stated to the errors of Pelagius. Whatever had been the purport of articles sent in this way, and even if they had contained the most indubitable propositions, such a demand as that now advanced by Prudentius would have been in the highest degree irregular, for it was never considered lawful for any one bishop to impose his own formularies of belief, in addition to the tests of orthodoxy canonically required; moreover the articles of Prudentius were by no means of indisputable truth, however orthodox his own meaning may have been, when he proposed them. On the first there could be no dispute, as it only asserted the necessity of Divine grace for all that is good in men, in will, word, or deed; the second maintained the predestination of the good to life, of the wicked to death; the third that our Lord died only for those who should believe in him; and the fourth that God wills the salvation only of believers, or of those who shall be actually saved. Whether the request made by Prudentius was complied with or not, his high character for moderation, charity, and sanctity was sufficient to defend him from all censure for the irregularity of the proceeding, and in the opinion of most men from all suspicion of his orthodoxy; and probably Hincmar himself, even while most strenuously opposing the propositions put forward by him in agreement with Godeschalcus, and though fully convinced of their falsehood, and dangerous tendency, never really thought him heretical. It appears indeed that Prudentius was long in much uncertainty as to these questions, and with difficulty made up his mind. For at first he subscribed the articles of the second Council of Quiercy, which was held this year, and of which mention will be made immediately; and then after much doubt altered his opinion, and sent the propositions just quoted to the synod of Sens. If we reflect that he set out with the notion that the existence of a predestinarian heresy was a mere fiction, it seems probable that he would naturally take these propositions in an orthodox sense, and out of charity to one whom he regarded as persecuted, declare himself as their advocate. Yet with all the respect due to his character, it is hardly possible to avoid the conviction, that both he and others who took a leading part on the same side, were actuated, perhaps unconsciously, by a certain jealousy towards Hincmar.

The second Synod of Quiercy, to which allusion has been made, took place nearly at the same time with that of Sens, for the ordination of Aeneas. King Charles came to Quiercy, resolved, as it seems, to arrive at some final determination on the subjects which so divided the Church. He assembled the bishops and abbots, who drew up four articles, which the king confirmed by his approbation and subscription. Of all the canons, or decisions of Councils published in connection with these disputes, the articles now drawn up and subscribed are the most celebrated, and certainly seem most exactly to represent the catholic doctrine. They were in substance as follows: First, God predestines no one to death, although he has predestined punishment to such as are not saved; and there is but one Divine predestination, which belongs either to the gift of grace, or to the retribution of justice. Secondly, free-will, which was lost by the fall of man, is restored to us by the preventing and assisting grace of Christ. Thirdly, God wills generally that all men shall be saved, although all are not actually saved. Fourthly, the blood of Christ was shed for all, although all are not redeemed by the mystery of the passion.

As Charles took so open a part in the predestinarian disputes, and, by subscribing the articles of Quiercy, had now publicly declared himself on the side of Hincmar, Lothaire, perhaps out of emulation towards his brother, or urged by the bishops of his dominions, summoned the Synod of Valence in Dauphiny, in the next year, AD 855. It met in the month of January, under three archbishops, all of Lothaire’s kingdom, Remigius of Lyons, Egilmar of Vienne, and Rothland of Arles, and published several canons on predestination, and the kindred questions, in which Hincmar’s articles at Quiercy are plainly meant to be censured; and a confutation of them, published meanwhile by Remigius, is clearly intended to be confirmed. The first canon was directed against novelties introduced by certain Scotchmen or Irishmen, on the mysteries of religion, especially the difficult questions of grace and predestination. By these innovators it is probable that Joannes Erigena was chiefly, if not solely meant. In the others, which need not be quoted at length, nearly the same ground is taken which we have already seen occupied by the letters of Prudentius and Remigius. The fourth canon strongly condemns the doctrine of Hincmar, that Christ died for the wicked, who, from the beginning of the world, remained in their unbelief, and were punished eternally; and substitutes, in its place, the declaration that he died for all who should believe in him. On the subjects of nature and grace, the decisions of the Councils of Carthage and Orange are declared to be final, and a censure is pronounced or implied upon all who shall alter or add to them; which no doubt is directed against the second canon of Quiercy. A canon was also passed finding fault with the practice of bishops being nominated by kings, and then being elected and ordained as a matter of course, without further enquiry into their claims or character. This is mentioned because Hincmar appears to have supposed it aimed against himself, although as far as can be known it applied equally to others, as, for example, to the archbishop of Lyons, who presided at Valence.

The canons of the Council of Valence, being sent to king Charles, by his brother, or by the bishops who were present there, were delivered by him to Hincmar, as the best judge of their orthodoxy, and the person most concerned in them, desiring him to examine them, and to let him know the result. Since all the writers on the subject, and the canons of the Councils on both sides had appealed to Scripture and the fathers of the Church, in support of their views, an examination, which was intended to settle the matter finally, could not be brought to a conclusion without much time and labor, besides which the unsettled state of affairs in France for the next year or two was by no means favorable to study and meditation. Accordingly Hincmar’s answer was not published for more than two years. It consisted of three books, and discussed the whole matter at great length. It was written professedly against Godeschalcus and Ratramnus, and dedicated to king Charles. The only part now extant is a prefatory letter to the king, in which the author notices the occasion of the work, and expresses sorrow and surprise at the decisions to which the bishops at Valence had arrived, directed as they obviously were against himself. He complains that his articles were unfairly quoted by this synod, one of them being omitted, and others laid to his charge of which he was altogether ignorant. In the same letter he mentions also the presence of Ebo, bishop of Grenoble, nephew and namesake of his predecessor in the see of Rheims, at the Council of Valence. Nor was he present only, but showed himself anxious to take a conspicuous part in the delibera­tions and conclusions; for when the three archbishops affixed their signatures to the proceedings, Ebo alone of all the suffragans added his name to theirs. If so, it leads to the suspicion, that opposition to Hincmar, or perhaps to king Charles, may have had considerable share in the conclusions arrived at by Lothaire and the Council of Valence.

The loss of Hincmar’s work is to be regretted, not so much for the sake of the views contained in it, with regard to which there can be no doubt, as the author elsewhere lets us know clearly enough what his opinions were on the subject, but because in his other works on predestination there is comparatively little original matter, the main part of his second treatise consisting of copious quotations from the earlier ecclesiastical writers. The three books drawn up on this occasion, in answer to the articles of Valence, might perhaps have enabled us to judge better of his powers of argument, although they could have added nothing to our knowledge of his orthodoxy.

The work which is still extant, was occasioned by a synod held at Langres, by Remigius and the bishops of his province, in April 859. The articles of Valence were confirmed here. This Council was probably a small one, as we hear little concerning it; but soon afterwards, in June of the same year, a general Council, as it is called, met at Savona, in the neighborhood of Tullum or Toul, at which were assembled the bishops of twelve provinces; king Charles also was present, and with him his two nephews, sons of the late emperor Lothaire, namely Lothaire, king of Lotharingia, and Charles, king of Burgundy and Provence. Thus the whole of France was represented in the Council of Tullum, over which Remigius, archbishop of Lyons presided. Hincmar also was present, with the archbishops of Rouen, Cologne, Treves, and others. Many questions were settled in this synod, to which we shall have to return in another place; all that belongs to the present subject, is the part taken on the predestinarian controversy. The archbishop of Lyons, whom we have seen active against Hincmar, or in favor of Godeschalcus before, either from a real desire of settling the matter finally, or from further opposition to Hincmar, who from his work, lately published, might have been regarded as now in possession of the field, had the canons of the Council of Valence, and the four canons decided upon six years ago at Quiercy, read to all the bishops present, in the hope, as it would appear, that they would pronounce an approval of the former; or this may have been done at the suggestion of Charles, who appears to have been sincerely anxious to arrive at some fixed determination on the matter in dispute.

After the Council, Remigius brought the canons which referred to the subject of Godeschalcus to Charles, who, as before, committed them to Hincmar, commanding him to confer with the archbishop of Lyons, and return an answer, telling him whether they approved of the articles or not. The treatise now extant in Hincmar’s works contains his reply to the king’s command. Whether Remigius also paid any further attention to the subject, we cannot learn; he certainly took no part in the treatise of Hincmar, and as the latter in no degree modified the opinions expressed by him on former occasions, we have no reason to suppose that the archbishop of Lyons agreed with him more than he had done before.

Hincmar’s work was published this same year, or perhaps the next. It possesses, as has been said, no great amount of original matter or argument, but displays great learning and equal industry. It will bear no analysis which would give a fair notion of its contents, consisting as it does mainly of quotations; in these also there is considerable repetition, arising partly from the nature of the subject, for it was seldom that passages could be quoted from the early fathers on any one of the kindred subjects of grace, free-will, original sin, or predestination, without bearing more or less upon some one of the others. However, it would neither be fair to Hincmar, of whose extant works this is by far the longest, nor to the history of the predestinarian dispute in the ninth century, of which this is the most important document now remaining, and in truth the most important to which that dispute gave rise, to pass it over without a few remarks on its contents.

As Prudentius and others had denied the existence of any heresy in the Church, either before or now, on the subject of predestination, Hincmar considered himself bound to show the contrary, in the very threshold of his treatise. Accordingly he quotes authors who have mentioned the heresy as springing up in the last year of St. Austin’s lifetime, and who added it immediately after the Pelagian or the Nestorian, to the enumeration begun by that father. The efforts made in opposition to semi-Pelagianism in Gaul, and at the same time to the contrary heresy of predestinarianism, by Prosper and Hilary, the appointment of Prosper by pope Celestine to conduct the defence of orthodoxy, in his name, and armed with the authority of his decretal letters on the subject, are mentioned; in consequence of which a synod was summoned, propositions were drawn up, declaratory of the orthodox doctrines on free-will and grace, the fall of man, election, foreknowledge, and predestination, and signed by the presbyters who had originated or supported the erroneous notions upon these points. In these articles, as Hincmar tells us, the heretics of his day were, as if prophetically, condemned.

Having satisfactorily shown the previous existence of the heresies in question, he next gives an account of Godeschalcus, relating his teaching and condemnation at Metz, with a copy of the synodal letters from the archbishop of that city to Hincmar, and the subsequent condemnation, by the Council of Quiercy, which terminated in the deposition and imprisonment of the heretic. The names of the bishops and abbots who were present at the Council are added to this account.

The great authorities claimed by Godeschalcus and his party were St. Augustine, Prosper, and Fulgentius, although St. Gregory the Great, Isidore of Seville, and others were also quoted by them. Hincmar had already defended St. Austin and Prosper, in his first chapter on the early heresy condemned in the Councils of Carthage and Arles. Fulgentius, though speaking of a double predestination, he proves to have carefully guarded his expressions, so as to mean predestination to punishment, not to sin. At the same time, though fully convinced of his orthodoxy, he admits that the name of Fulgentius is not contained in some of the lists made at different times of celebrated fathers and doctors, and thus seems to build less on his authority than on that of some other writers. But whatever may be the weight which his name ought to carry in the controversy, Hincmar declares, for his own confession of faith, his full agreement with what has always been held by the Roman Church, of which he speaks in the highest terms, as the mother and instructress of other Churches, and quotes a letter of St. Innocent, asserting that no Church had been founded in Italy, Gaul, Spain, Africa, or Sicily, by any except those whom the successors of St. Peter had appointed, and arguing that these countries ought in consequence to follow the doctrines of their mother Church.

After these preliminary remarks, Hincmar begins the examination of the canons published at Valence, confirmed at Langres, and read again, though not expressly approved, by the general Council of Savonnières or Tullum. He plainly regards them as supporting the views of Godeschalcus, with whom he joins Prudentius and Ratramnus as holding similar opinions. These canons bore evident marks of having been compiled from a short discourse of Florus, one of the clergy of Lyons, who has been already mentioned as a man of considerable weight and learning. Of this discourse, Hincmar possessed two copies; one of which had come into his hands through Ebo, bishop of Gratianopolis, and had been plainly, as he thinks, falsified in some parts. Accordingly, the canons having been compiled from this latter copy not only misrepresented the opinions of Florus, but, in fact, involved an absurdity or an illogical deduction. For after the first had asserted, in sufficiently orthodox phrases, the fore-knowledge of God, which extended to the sinful actions of men, without in any way compelling them to sin, the second proceeds at once to assert a double predestination, of the elect to life, and of the wicked to death; as if this in any way could be a consequence of the former. The predestination to death is supported by a quotation from St. Paul, in which the apostle speaks of the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and of the vessels of mercy, which God had afore prepared unto glory. This argument, as Hincmar rightly remarks, implies that God fits the reprobate for destruction, in the same sense in which he prepares the vessels of mercy for glory; for unless the vessels of wrath are understood to be fitted to destruction by the direct act of God himself, the passage can have no bearing on the double predestination. This, in fact, was the precise argument used by the old predestinarians, who professedly held that God was the cause of sin as well as of good; although probably taken by the compilers of the canon under examination not from them, but from Fulgentius, or Isidore, who agree in the application of St. Paul’s words to the subject of predestination to death. Hincmar quotes St. Augustine, to show how differently he understood the words, interpreting, as he did, the preparation of the vessels of wrath, not as the act of God, but as the effect of Adam’s transgression or of their own; and St. Gregory, Bede, and Alcuin, agreed with him in the view; although St. Gregory, in other places, spoke of a double predestination, and the two latter divines were claimed by the party of Godeschalcus as favoring their sentiments. Even Fulgentius, though incautiously using the argument answered above, proves by his language in other places, that his real opinions were very different from what this might have led us to expect; and Florus, in the genuine copy of his discourse, sufficiently proved that he was equally orthodox. The view which all catholic writers take of the subject is, that whereas all men, in Adam, had brought themselves into a state of condemnation, so that Almighty God would have been acting with perfect justice if not a single person had been saved, out of his free mercy in Christ, he determined to save some. All, then, who are saved, are saved by his free grace; all who are condemned, are condemned for their own sin, which was foreknown by Divine omniscience, but in no way affected by predestination. In this view all the passages of Scripture, which, in addition to these words of St. Paul, are quoted by Godeschalcus and others, as proving that God predestines to death, are seen to have a different, meaning, implying only that some men are left to themselves, and bring upon themselves, as a just punishment for turning from God in the first place, the loss at last of both the will and power to repent. Such passages are the words spoken of Eli’s sons, “they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them”; or the assertion in Ezekiel, “if the prophet be deceived, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet”; or the saying of St. Paul, “he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardeneth”; and numerous others of a similar purport.

The next point in the canons censured by Hincmar is the assertion, that in the election of those who are to be saved, Divine mercy comes first; in the condemnation of those who are to perish, their own fault comes first. Instead of the former of these two clauses, the expression should have been, in the salvation of the elect Divine mercy comes first. As they now stand, the words have no proper meaning; because the first act of Divine mercy is the very election or predestination to life here signified; so that there is tautology in the phrase, or two original acts of mercy are asserted to precede or come first, whereas Scripture and the Church only speak of one, the second act being not the grace of predestination, but the actual gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon the elect. In the latter clause, if by the condemnation of those who are to perish, is meant their predestination to death, (and otherwise the argument fails) it will follow that God condemns men before they sin, that he rejects them before they reject him, which is obviously contrary to the truth.

In what follows Hincmar shows, that the distinction drawn between fore-knowledge and predestination does away with predestination to death, otherwise fore-knowledge would be the cause of sin. And of the conclusion of the canon, in which the compilers declare their agreement with the Synod of Orange, and anathematize all who believe that the wicked are forced by God to sin, he remarks that the same synod will equally teach them that there is no predestination to death at all. Nor indeed is the belief even in predestination to punishment a catholic or scriptural doctrine. We are taught, not that the wicked are predestined to punishment, but that the punishment predestined for all sin is threatened and inflicted upon impenitent sinners; and when Fulgentius uses the former mode of speaking, he, in fact, opposes both St. Austin, whom he is professing to defend from heresy, and Prosper, whose assertions and arguments he advances as the grounds and means of his defence. However, though in this not perfectly consistent, he cannot justly be claimed as an authority for the use of the phrase, because at the same time he declares his agreement with these two fathers, and even cites or refers to the very passages, in which they deny that there is a double predestination.

The extreme views of the old predestinarians, as has been remarked before, were professedly repudiated by Godeschalcus and his supporters, although the most important of their tenets, that which declared that men are predestined both to sin and death, was implicitly maintained by them. However, two propositions of theirs were repeated; namely, that God wills not the salvation of all men, and that Christ was not crucified for the redemption of all the world. Against these notions especially, the four articles composed by Hincmar and approved by the Synod of Quiercy, were directed; which the canons of Valence, in their turn, were intended to censure. Accordingly, Hincmar now sets himself to prove the orthodoxy and reasonableness of these articles, against Godeschalcus. This he does very elaborately, bringing forward authorities from Scripture and the fathers, not only for every statement, but almost for every expression used in them; dwelling, however, at greatest length upon the distinction between fore-knowledge and predestination, and on the proof that the latter belongs only to the salvation, and not to the sin or death of men. In this we need not follow him, further than by remarking that the concluding sentence of his first article, in which he says that there is but one predestination belonging either to the gift of grace or to the retribution of justice, is taken, nearly word for word, from Prosper, and the sense, if not the precise expression, is clearly enough shown to have been St. Austin’s; who, indeed, by his definition of predestina­tion, as the fore-knowledge and preparation of the beneficence of God, whereby all who are saved are most certainly saved, may fairly be said to have denied the existence of a predestination to death or punishment. But because the works of this father on grace and free-will, and the kindred subjects, are so voluminous, and because, from his opposition to Pelagianism, he was naturally inclined, in his writings, towards the side taken by Godeschalcus, rather than the contrary, it is to be supposed that his treatises would be the great storehouse from which authorities in support of predestinarian views would be sought and chosen. This was the case now, as is clear from the whole history of the controversy. Accordingly Hincmar takes great pains, in this part of his treatise, as well as in some other parts, to show, by a large induction of passages from St. Austin, that he only uses the word predestination when speaking of the Divine election or vocation to life; and always chooses some other term, especially fore-knowledge, when he has to mention the punishment threatened against impenitent sinners. It is, indeed, remarkable how cautiously this father seems to avoid using the disputed term, in any sense except a good one, as if purposely guarding against his being afterwards quoted in maintenance of such heresies as the opinions of Godeschalcus and his supporters.

It is a common maxim, however, that there is no error without some admixture of truth. Hence, Hincmar thinks it right to examine the works of the fathers, St. Gregory and others, for the sake of showing the true sense in which a double predestination may be spoken of, consistently with orthodoxy. St. Gregory, in many places, lays stress on the great truth that the acts and attributes of Almighty God are not like the actions and qualities of men, but are of his essence, and, therefore, are, in reality, simple or one, though, in condescension to our limited understanding, called by many names. In this view the salvation of the righteous and condemnation of the wicked, or the determination of God to save some men, while others, who refuse to hear him, he leaves to perish in their own willful disobedience, may be regarded as one act or decree, and spoken of under the same appellation. Hence, a double predestination may be understood in a correct sense, and, in this way, St. Gregory seems once or twice to have used the phrase; though even thus it appears more consistent to adopt the language which Hincmar, in his articles at Quiercy, borrowed from Prosper and St. Austin, and to hold that there is but one predestination, whether of free grace or of just punishment.

Hincmar’s second canon was on free-will, and only differed, in form of expression, from that of the Council of Valence, on the same subject. This is so evident, that if the latter was intended to oppose or correct it, we are compelled to attribute its composition to emulation, rather than zeal for orthodoxy. The article on free-will, sent by Prudentius to his archbishop at Paris, though agreeing, in the main, with both, yet has a real difference, and is certainly less accurate than that of Hincmar. Prudentius held that free-will, lost, through Adam’s transgression, has been restored, through Christ, at present in hope, hereafter in reality. This phrase seems to imply that, in our present state, we have no free-will, or no power to choose the good, or to please God, even when aided by grace; a tenet undoubtedly erroneous, and especially liable to suspicion, when we take into consideration the predestinarian notions attributed to Prudentius, and in part, beyond all question, really favored by him. Hincmar also asserts that we lost our freedom of will by the fall of Adam, and that we recovered it by Christ; and, he continues, we have free-will for good, or a will free to choose the good, when prevented and aided by grace, and a will free to choose evil, when deserted by grace; moreover, our will is free, as having been freed by grace, and by grace healed, whereas it was corrupt before. Like the former article, Hincmar supports this also, by numerous testimonies from St. Augustine especially, with others from St. Gregory, Ambrose, Cassiodorus, and the decretals which went under the name of St. Celestine.

Many testimonies from the fathers had been quoted by the framers of the articles of Valence, in support of their opinions, and these were shortly afterwards collected and published, anonymously, as a farther attack upon Hincmar and the canons of Quiercy. Hincmar, accordingly, to leave no objection unanswered, goes through the four articles published by pope Celestine, in agreement with, and confirmation of, the African Council, and the twenty-five settled by the Council of Orange, showing, as he proceeds, how exactly his own canons coincide, in doctrine, with the decisions of both these synods. He was accused of holding that free­will had been entirely lost in the sin of our first parents : a doctrine which certainly seems more to resemble the opinions of some of his opponents than his own. In defence, he declares at full length his belief on the subject—that man was created with a will perfectly free, and able to serve God, and, if he had continued obedient, would, in time, have been made like the angels, unable to sin. But, in consequence of his choice of evil, his will became, though sufficient of itself for evil, yet languid and weak for all that is good, until, by Christ’s coming, through the agency of the Divine Spirit, it was set right again, and illuminated by grace. For after the fall God willed that without his grace no man should be able to draw near him, or to abide with him; now, however, that our will is freed by the grace of Christ, we have the will and power not only to do right, but also to persevere in it. Yet our free-will is not destroyed by grace, so that we cannot do evil; although, if we are thought worthy to share in the resurrection to eternal life, we shall then receive that perfect liberty in which the very power, as well as will, to sin, will be destroyed forever.

The third of the canons of Quiercy was in opposition to the tenet of Godeschalcus and Prudentius, that God wills not the salvation of all men, and asserted that Almighty God wills all men, without exception, to be saved, although all are not saved; and that salvation is the gift of him who saves, whereas death is merited by those who perish. The words “without exception” were inserted because those passages of Scripture in which is declared the will of God that all men should be saved, were explained away by the predestination party, and “all men” interpreted to mean “all who are actually saved”. In support of his article, Hincmar lays great stress on the authority of the Roman Church, which had always, as he says, enforced this doctrine; and quotes, from St. Celestine, the maxim that we may learn what to believe from our custom in prayer: whence, as the catholic Church universally prays for the salvation of all men, we may certainly conclude that God wills the salvation of all. A large mass of quotations follow, from nearly all the chief doctors of the Church, from Dionysius, the Areopagite, down to Bede, all bearing, more or less, on the subject in question, which is obviously a most comprehensive one, embracing, in fact, the whole scheme of redemption. Taken together, these bear an overwhelming testimony to the truth of Hincmar’s assertion, showing that it is indeed the will of God that all should be saved, which is in no way impugned by the fact that some fail of salvation, inasmuch as the freedom of will in men to choose evil, implies of necessity the possibility of their failure; nor would it be consistent with the Divine holiness and justice forcibly to destroy this liberty, so that men should cease to be moral agents. If, on the contrary, the opposite opinion is adopted, that God wills the salvation of some men and not of others, on the ground that he is omnipotent, and therefore that all which he wills must necessarily come to pass, it follows that those who perish are condemned without any fault of their own, or, in other words, are so predestined to death, that no efforts of their own could possibly have saved them. Thus the reasoning of Prudentius and Godeschalcus, against which the third canon of Hincmar is directed, is seen to be in accordance with their erroneous views on predestination; and their belief, that God wills not all men to be saved, a proposition which can bear but one meaning, seems to prove that their views or expressions, on the more ambiguous doctrine of predestination, were really of that dangerous and heretical nature which Hincmar, in opposition to the Council of Valence, and many learned and orthodox prelates, so constantly maintained them to be.

In his fourth article Hincmar contradicted the opinion expressed, in precisely the same form, by the old predestinarian heretics, by Godeschalcus, Prudentius, and the Councils of Valence and Langres. It would not be difficult to show that Prudentius and the two synods had a different meaning from that of Godeschalcus and the early predestinarians; in form, however, their language was equally false and dangerous; their assertion was that Christ died not for all men; in opposition to which Hincmar maintained that as there neither is, was, or ever will be, any man whose nature was not assumed by Christ, so there neither is, was, or ever will be, any man for whom he suffered not, though all are not redeemed by the mystery of the passion; and that this failure is not from any deficiency in the virtue of his passion, but from the infidelity of those who will not rightly believe, because the cup of salvation, composed of human infirmity and Divine power, is able to profit all, but will not heal those who refuse to drink it. In opening his discussion on the truth of his own article, and the falsehood of that to which it was opposed, Hincmar expresses his surprise that the latter had not been confirmed by Origen’s argument on the same subject; which was, that if Christ died for the reprobate among men, we are bound, in consistency, to believe that he died also for Satan and his angels; a heresy satisfactorily refuted by Theophilus of Alexandria. Two or three arguments, in addition to what is said by this father, are adduced in disproof of the error of Origen; and it seems that some of Hincmar’s opponents had actually attempted to show that it was involved in the doctrine of the fourth article of Quiercy. One of these, drawn from St. Chrysostom is, that our Lord took not on him the nature of angels, but of men only; a second, from St. Gregory, that the sins of devils had no such palliation or excuse as that which the weakness of the flesh furnishes to men; a third, from Alcuin, that they had no tempters to seduce them to evil, such as they themselves are to men. As to antichrist, it is plain, as he remarks, from the opinions of the Church, that he will be a man, and, therefore, there is no greater difficulty in supposing Christ to have died for him than for any other person who will fail finally of salvation. He next argues, that if the death of our Lord affected all men, in any way whatever, he must have died for all; and shows, from several of the fathers, that the general resurrection, whether to life or to condemnation, is a consequence of the passion and resurrection of our Lord. Quotations from the most celebrated doctors are then advanced, proving, beyond all possibility of doubt, that the universal belief was rightly represented by Hincmar’s article, the very words of which are taken from St. Prosper. It is true that additional emphasis was given to the clause which asserted that Christ had taken the nature of all men, as well as to that in which He was said to have died for all; because not only had Godeschalcus maintained, in his letter to Rabanus, that our Lord assumed not flesh for the whole of mankind, but one of his followers had since published some strictures on the articles of Quiercy, in which he had denied the possibility of Christ taking the nature of all men, by being born in the world. In reference to the censure which had been passed on certain Irishmen, who had introduced novelties into the Church, and which was aimed at Hincmar, through Erigena, as it was supposed that the latter was employed by the archbishop to write his treatise on predestination, he retorts that there are certain inventors of other novelties,— that there is a threefold Deity; that the sacrament of the altar is not the real body and blood of Christ, but a mere memorial of them; that the angels have a bodily nature; that the souls of men are not contained in their bodies; that the only hell torments are the pangs of an evil conscience. Erigena himself was the author of some, if not all, of these notions; but Hincmar undoubtedly means to include Ratramnus, Godeschalcus, and Prudentius.

To these observations are added arguments and quotations upon three propositions connected with the subject in question. The first is, that the passion of our Lord redeemed not only those who lived while he was on earth, and since the establishment of the Christian Church, but those also who have lived from the beginning of the world. This is understood to be shadowed forth, according to a very general opinion, by the crowds who preceded and the crowds who followed him into Jerusalem, all equally crying Hosannah, or declaring their faith in him, as their Savior. The second proposition is, that Christ died for all of these, both those who are saved, and those who refuse salvation. Judas, the traitor, was fed with the divine food of our Lord’s flesh and blood at the last supper, no less than the other apostles; and, in earlier times, not only the faithful and obedient among the children of Israel, but many who died in rebellion and disbelief “ate of the same spiritual food, and drank of the same spiritual drink, and were all baptized in the Red Sea, and in the cloud”. For all these, before or after his death, Christ died, whether they believed and were saved, or not; salvation was prepared for them, and they might have been saved but for their own fault; and that some failed, in no way interferes with the truth that the Savior died for them, as well as for others. To this, the universal consent of the Catholic fathers bears undoubted testimony; and the whole of Christendom, consisting of a hundred and thirteen provinces, according to Hincmar’s enumeration, has agreed in this faith from the beginning, whereas only three provinces have been, in any degree, infected by the contrary views spread by the modern predestinarians. The third proposition repeats one part of the second, asserting, more particularly, and proving, by similar quotations, that the death of Christ purchased life for the wicked and finally reprobate, as well as for the elect and faithful; or that the Church has always carefully distinguished between those who accept not the benefits thus prepared for them, and those who willingly embrace them, although holding that life and salvation have been equally purchased or prepared for both.

A chapter follows on the fifth of the articles of Valence, which, though apparently intended, like the others, against Hincmar, opposed, in reality, not his opinions, but those of Godeschalcus. In this it was asserted, that all the baptized and regenerate are washed in the blood of Christ, a proposition which was equally believed by Hincmar, though it contradicted the tenets of both the old and the modern predestinarians. The former had denied that baptism was of any service, except to those predestined to life, not even taking from them the guilt of original sin; while Godeschalcus, admitting that all the baptized were redeemed, yet maintained that the blood of Christ was not shed for them. Although agreeing with the article of Valence, Hincmar discusses the question in the same way with the others, for the sake of more fully refuting the predestinarian notions, and shows, satisfactorily, that the belief of the Catholic Church had always been that baptism implied a washing with the blood of our Lord.

The Council of Valence, in addition to the doctrinal questions settled there, had appended to their canons one on the discipline of the Church, in which a general charge of simoniacal and grossly negligent conduct, was brought against both princes and metropolitans, in their choice and ordination of bishops. Hincmar attributes this canon to the influence of Godeschalcus himself, refusing to believe that the archbishop of Lyons could have had any part in its composition. If generally meant as a charge against the kings and bishops of France, he denies, indignantly, that it has any foundation; but if intended only against himself, and his election to the see of Rheims, he disproves it, by entering into an account of all the circumstances attending the election, with the names of the bishops and clergy who had taken part in it, and of the proceedings afterwards adopted by Ebo, his predecessor. As a relation has already been given of these events, no more need be said on the subject here, except that we cannot help suspecting, from the presence of Ebo, bishop of Gratianopolis, at the Council of Valence, and the prominent part which, as has been before mentioned, he took in the decision, that his influence, rather than that of Godeschalcus, or perhaps in addition to it, may have caused the insertion of the canon; nor is it improbable that Hincmar, when exculpating Remigius from any share in its composition, and attributing it to Godeschalcus, may have tacitly meant to direct the charge against Ebo.

The formal examination of the canons of Valence, and defence of those published at Quiercy, terminates here; the next chapter containing extracts from earlier Councils and decrees on the subject of teachers who revive heresies already condemned, with rules for their treatment. According to these rules, which Hincmar applies to the case of Godeschalcus and his party, those synods and bishops who had engaged in defence of the predestinarian notions, or had even required that they should be discussed and disproved previous to condemnation, had acted in opposition to the customs and decisions of the Church. This conclusion implies the identity of the views of Godeschalcus with the predestinarian heresy, condemned in the time of pope Celestine and Prosper, which, in all main points, had been already sufficiently shown, although, in some questions, the modern teachers denied their agreement with the more ancient heretics.

In the epilogue which concludes Hincmar’s treatise, most of the points discussed in the body of the work are more briefly re-examined, especially the comparison just mentioned between the ancient and modern predestinarians. The orthodox opinions on grace, original sin, and predestination, on baptism, and the effects of our Lord’s death and passion, are supported here, as before, by quotations from St. Austin and other writers. In the course of the argument, notice is especially taken of the case of such persons as were said, by the opposite party, to have been predestined to death in such sense that there was no possibility of their salvation; a view in which both ancients and moderns concurred, although the latter adhered to the phraseology of their perishing by their own fault, and not in consequence of the divine decree. Saul and Judas were singled out to illustrate this opinion. In contradiction, Hincmar shows, that although all men were not, from the beginning, predestined to life, yet that none were left without witness, nor, consequently, without such grace as might have led them, but for their own disobedience, to salvation; and that not only the traitor Judas, but even antichrist himself, is redeemed by the blood of Christ, and included in the universal will of God to save all the world.

The treatise of Hincmar, of which a short and very imperfect account has been now given, extends to considerable length, and is well worth reading, as giving a very full account of the views of all the great writers in the Church on the subjects of grace and predestination, and the points connected with them. The quotations are very copious, and probably have omitted little that bore on the questions under discussion. Hincmar appears always to have preferred using the words of the fathers of the Church, whose orthodoxy was acknowledged, to his own. His own argument, when it is introduced, chiefly in way of application to the present topic of what was originally written with a somewhat different view, is sufficiently close and logical, and at times ingenious. It is, however, doubtless mainly as a collection or catena of all the Catholic writers, from Cyprian to Bede and Alcuin, that the work would be of use to the student.

There need no remarks, in way of summing up the argument, or for explanation of the line of controversy adopted by Hincmar himself or his opponents. Hincmar’s view seems simply to have represented the theory of predestination, if such title may be used, which was most forcibly and at greatest length, if not for the first time, expounded by St. Austin, and afterwards accepted, with few or perhaps no exceptions, by the succeeding Church. The theory which Hincmar opposed, and which was affirmed by its advocates, though without ground, to convey the true meaning of St. Augustine, in attempting to explain the difficulty that some only of mankind are saved, whereas saving grace is the free gift of God, falls into the heresy of making God the cause of evil. No subtleties of argument or substitution of one phrase for another can ward off the charge; a double predestination, while offering, in appearance, as it undoubtedly does, a more rational and intelligible scheme of Divine Providence than the adverse hypothesis, leads, beyond escape, to the worst of all heresy, to the reversal of our fundamental idea of the very nature and character of Almighty God. The difficulty which seemed to call for explanation was the following :—If God predestines all who are saved from the beginning, irrespectively of any merit of their own, because indeed the very first springs of will are moved by his free grace, how are we to look upon those who finally fail of salvation? If they are predestined to death, in the same way as the others to life, God is the cause of evil; the alternative accepted by the predestinarians: if God is infinitely just and holy, no predestination to death takes place in their case, as maintained by Austin and the Church in general, and by Hincmar and his followers, in the ninth century. Almighty God, out of his boundless mercy, chooses some out of the whole race of men lying under condemnation, for Adam's sin and their own, and leads them on, from one step to another, to final salvation. His infinite wisdom is a guarantee that such are chosen as ought to be chosen, and his infinite justice, that the rest are rightly rejected or left behind; although the reason of this is a point altogether beyond human comprehension. The great difference in the two parties of disputants consists in this:—that the orthodox attempted not to explain why some are chosen and others not, while the predestinarians, by introducing the double predestination, got rid of the doubt, and proved God the cause of sin. The arguments of the former must fall into the form of a protest against unworthy attempts to explain what it is not meant for us to understand. If it be thought that this is representing the theory of St. Austin in an insignificant aspect, we may remember that the enunciations of doctrinal truth have been, at all times, in the Church, no more than protests against error. Or if, again, it be said, more particularly, that, in such a view, the great difficulty is left untouched, we can but answer that so long as this difficulty is not practical, so far as it inter­feres in no way with true conceptions, and, therefore, with free and reasonable worship of God, it need no more offend us than other revealed truths which are matters of faith alone, and confessedly beyond our comprehension.

While we are not to seek, in Hincmar’s treatise, in his own arguments or in those quoted from earlier writers, for any definite explanation of the fundamental difficulty which attends upon this subject, we must notice that both himself and his opponents agreed in placing predestination, in one point of view, upon the same ground, or in understanding the term in a similar sense. Both equally held the predestination of individuals. The early Church understood St. Paul in this sense; and the doctors of the ninth century sought little more than to satisfy themselves as to the real opinions of St. Gregory and St. Austin. In modern times, it need scarcely be said, further attempts have been made to evade the difficulties of the subject by maintaining that predestination extends not to individuals, but to classes of people; or again, that the salvation to which Christians are predestined is the state of regeneration to which baptism is the appointed external means, and can neither mean the final salvation of the saints, nor, generally, the sanctification which, though an ordinary accompaniment of baptism, is not to be confounded with it, and may be bestowed on other occasions and by various means. Whether such an hypothesis removes or lessens the difficulties which embarrass the theory of St. Austin and Hincmar, it would be out of place now to discuss. It is obvious, however, to remark that if the supposition referring predestination to the good, as a class, and not to individual believers, is to do away with the objection drawn from the arbitrary election of God, there seems, at the same time, considerable danger of its encroaching upon a maxim acknowledged equally by Hincmar and Prudentius, that the first beginnings of good, the first will to be converted, come from God.

We have no means of learning the effect which the treatise had in the settlement of opinions at the time. The dispute, which had lasted so long, and was so vigorously conducted, on both sides, seems to have ceased altogether at the point to which its history has been now brought, whether we are to consider Hincmar’s work or the friendly discussion between Remigius and himself, as the cause of its termination. To whatever it is to be attributed, there can be no doubt that the victory lay with Hincmar and the orthodox party, because Godeschalcus still remained in confinement.

During his imprisonment, in the monastery of Hautvilliers, Godeschalcus published several effusions of different kinds, on the subject of the Holy Trinity; asserting that it was necessary, for correctness of faith, to believe and confess that there is, in the Trinity, a threefold Godhead. Ratramnus of Corbey, his supporter, if not teacher, in the views on predestination, for which he was then suffering captivity, led the way also in the promulgation of this novelty or heresy. We are not informed whether any of his other partisans took any share in the controversy. Probably they may have learnt, from their former want of success, that the patronage of new and strange views of doctrine is both useless and dangerous. The occasion of the publications of both Ratramnus and Godeschalcus was the alteration, by Hincmar, of an old chant, in use in the Church of Rheims. In one of the concluding lines of this the words ran, “Te trina Deitas, unaque poscimus”, in which Hincmar ordered the epithet “trina” to be changed into “sancta”. Ratramnus made an attack at once upon the archbishop of Rheims, in a letter addressed to Hildegar, bishop of Meaux; and shortly afterwards Godeschalcus published a confession of doctrine, or a schedule, as it was termed, asserting and attempting to prove, by various arguments, the orthodoxy of the phrase rejected by Hincmar, and the Sabellianism of all who refused it. Hincmar, in his answer, considers that the prisoner of Hautvilliers was prompted by malice towards himself in this attempt, which is by no means improbable; nor is it surprising, that the unfortunate monk, heretic as he was, yet regarding himself as most unjustly persecuted, should take every opportunity of revenging himself, in what way he could, on one whom, rightly or wrongly, he considered as the author of his misfortunes. That Hincmar, as an orthodox bishop, or even as an obedient son of the Church, could have acted in no other way, was likely to be overlooked by a person who denied his orthodoxy, and was then suffering from the punishment which the canons or the safety of his Church compelled him to inflict. But, although it is impossible to avoid feeling some pity for the imprisoned monk, this consideration can be no palliation for his heresy. The history of the Church shows that heresies, though apparently unconnected, are linked together in a strange and inexplicable manner; and the fact of the unsoundness of Godeschalcus and Ratramnus, or of their rash desire of innovation on the subject of the Holy Trinity, is a strong argument, if any such argument were required, that their views on predestination and the atonement, however concealed by vagueness of expression, and defended by orthodox prelates and provincial synods, were, in reality, heretical and unsound.

In commenting on the schedule of Godeschalcus, Hincmar takes one sentence or portion at a time, and discusses the assertions contained in it, or the meaning which it involves, in a way similar to that in which he had previously treated the propositions put forward by the same writer, or by the synod of Valence, on free­will and predestination. The main strength of his argument here, as before, lies in the number of his quotations from the chief fathers of the Church. These fathers are, for the most part, the same as those cited in the former and larger work. St. Austin and St Gregory the Great occupy the first place, although St. Athanasius also, as might be expected in a treatise on this subject, is frequently quoted. On the whole, the impression to be gathered as to the opinion under discussion is, that Godeschalcus was not explicitly and formally heterodox; that is to say, he believed in three co­equal and co-eternal persons in one Godhead; but his expressions, as will be seen, if fairly carried out, lead to a denial of the truth. Like many other originators of error, he maintained certain premises, while reprobating conclusions which logically followed from them. If he had been willing to recant these statements or opinions as soon as their dangerous consequences had been plainly pointed out, as was done in the book of which some account is now to be given, they would have been regarded as errors of judgment rather than as heresy; but the obstinacy with which he persisted in holding them, even till death, must absolutely prevent us from giving them any other name.

The first propositions of Godeschalcus which are selected by Hincmar for examination, maintain that as the Godhead is naturally one, so, to avoid Sabellianism, we must believe it to be personally threefold, just as we believe that God is naturally one, and personally threefold; and as all Catholics believe and confess each person of the Trinity to be whole, full and perfect God, so must all believe, confess, and assert, each person to have his own proper, full, and perfect Godhead.

These words contain, as Hincmar observes, the substance of the whole. That God is naturally one, personally trine or threefold, he admits to be true and Catholic doctrine, but strongly denies that it follows from thence that the Deity or Godhead is also naturally one, and personally threefold. We might ask, what it is which makes the three persons in the holy Trinity one? The answer must be, their nature, or Godhead. It is clear, then, that that very thing on which the unity of God depends cannot be threefold. We confess that God is both three and one; meaning by this, that while there is but one God, in the strictest and fullest sense of the word, each person in the Godhead is himself whole and perfect God. But it is not in his Godhead that God is three, but in the distinction of persons. The Godhead is that in which God is one. Hence the Godhead, the very nature of God, whereby he is one, can in no sense be called three, or threefold. The nature, as Hincmar continues, that is, the Godhead of the Father, is the nature of the Son, and is the nature of the Holy Ghost, who proceeds equally from the Father and the Son, and is the ineffable communion of the Father and the Son. He who proceeds wholly from the Father and wholly from the Son, abides wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son, so abiding as to proceed, so proceeding as to abide. Hence he naturally has with the Father and Son such fullness of unity, such unity of fullness, as to contain in him wholly both Father and Son, and to be himself wholly contained by both Father and Son, and to be given equally by Father and Son, yea, and by himself also, as the Son says of him, “The Spirit bloweth where it listeth”. Therefore he, like the Father and Son, is perfect God, yea, is one God with the Father and Son, and one substance, one Deity, one Divinity, one essence, one nature, which, as Athanasius and Ambrose agree in saying, cannot be divided in the persons, according to the truth of our Lord’s words, “Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”: in the name, not in the names, to show at once the unity of God by the undivided name, marking the divine essence, and the distinctions of persons pointed out by their proper appellations.

Hincmar lays great stress on the absolute identity of meaning between Godhead and nature, or unity, which, in fact, settles the whole question against Godeschalcus. Accordingly, he adduces many passages from the fathers, in which they either assert that these words are synonymous, or use one or more of them in such a manner as necessarily to imply sameness of signification. Thus St. Athanasius says, If we introduce three Gods, we are like the heathen; but if we confess the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, with the Holy Spirit, the unity is not separated, nor the Deity divided. In this passage, Unity and Deity are regarded as synonymous, and not only so, but any division of Deity is by implication considered equivalent to maintaining that there are three Gods. Hence, concludes Hincmar, there is no threefold nature or Deity, but one nature and Deity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and this Trinity is the one only God, his own Unity, Deity, greatness, goodness, omnipotence, and whatever else is spoken of him, in himself, according to his substance. This, indeed, is the great test by which we may certainly know whether the term three or threefold is applicable. All that is spoken sub­stantially, as the Latin phrase is, of God, as equivalent to or belonging to that unity of nature whereby the three persons in the holy Trinity are one God, is altogether incompatible with this term. Reference will be made again to this test, to which we meet with frequent allusions in the treatise; it is, in fact, recognized and expressed by St. Ambrose in one of his hymns, in which the words occur—

Summae Deus clementiae Mundique Factor Machinae,

Unus potentialiter trinusque personaliter;

and of which the term “potentialiter” is explained by St. Austin to mean “substantialiter”. The assertion of Godeschalcus, tried by this test, signally fails; for he would apply the epithet “trinus” or threefold, to that very word which, more obviously than any other, is spoken of God, not personally, but, as St. Ambrose says, potentially, or, as St Austin, substantially. In another hymn also the same father addresses Almighty God in the words,

Tu Trinitatis Unitas, orbem potenter qui regis;

and again,

O Lux beata Trinitas, et principalis Unitas.

of which St. Austin’s expressions may be considered as an explanation or commentary, when he speaks of the unity of the Trinity in the Godhead, incorporeal, unchangeable, and, by nature, consubstantial and co-eternal with itself. Of precisely the same purport are the words of St. Gregory Nazianzen,—we confess a Trinity of one Godhead, or, if you prefer the phrase, of one nature.

The edict of Constantine, for the sixth Ecumenical Council, is equally express; we believe in the Unity, says that orthodox emperor, because of the natural union and dominion of God—in the Trinity, because of the perfection of the three substances. . . For the Trinity is truly Unity, because one in Deity; and the Unity is truly Trinity, because divided by the personal distinctions, though undivided in eternity. And again, the Trinity is simple, undivided, incorporeal; of three perfect subsistences, itself perfect, of one nature and deity, of one will and operation.

From these and other testimonies, it is clear that the Godhead, which is the Unity of the Trinity, can in no way be considered as “personally threefold”. If, asks Hincmar, the Godhead is threefold, because each person is perfect God and has a perfect Godhead, what sense is the same Deity to be regarded as one? If the answer is, one in Godhead, threefold in persons, which is, in fact, what Godeschalcus must mean, if he had any definite meaning, by the phrase “una naturaliter, trina personaliter”, there is at once a contradiction of terms. To say that the Godhead is one in Godhead, while three in some other respect, is a palpable absurdity. Nor is this lessened in reality, though less immediately apparent in sound, if it were answered that the Godhead is threefold in persons, one in substance, essence, nature or divinity; for all these have been shown, and might be shown more fully, by a vast collection of passages, to be perfectly identical in meaning with the word Godhead. It remains, then, that we confess God to be one in Godhead, three in persons; or, which is the same thing, deny that the Deity, which is the Unity of the Trinity, can be threefold.

This argument of Hincmar is unanswerable, and of itself is quite decisive of the question. The only doubt about its force must turn on the fact that the term Deity is synonymous with the other expressions enumerated, nature, substance, and the like. This is most satisfactorily proved by authority, if the testimonies advanced are such as the opposite party is willing to admit. To these, of which the archbishop quotes a sufficient number, running through many pages, Godeschalcus could in no way object, as the voice of the Church Catholic, speaking by fathers and Councils, was regarded with the same reverence, and appealed to as equally final, by both of the disputants. A few only of these authorities have been quoted here, but enough perhaps to show that Hincmar’s cause, in this branch of his examination, is the stronger of the two.

The rest of the remarks upon this clause of the heretical schedule consist mainly of exhortations to the monks of his province, on the subject of excommunicated persons, teaching them to avoid being seduced by the artifices of Godeschalcus into any agreement with him or his heresies. The decisions of Councils and of bishops, especially the bishops of Rome, as to the treatment of those excommunicated for heresy, the readiness of the Church to receive them on recantation and repentance, while she is most strict in forbidding any communication with them while persisting in their error, are asserted and illustrated at considerable length. The dignity or high character of the person who originates or advocates heresy, is in no way regarded in the judgment passed upon him by ecclesiastical authority. As the angels who rebelled were not spared, the holy synods which have met from time to time to settle the faith, have pronounced condemnation on bishops and patriarchs of the highest sees, of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Nicomedia. Even Rome itself has not escaped, but pope Honorius was, even after death, condemned and anathematized by an Ecumenical Council.

The second clause of Godeschalcus advances, as an argument for his view of a threefold Deity, an assertion in the edict of the emperor Constantine, affixed to the volume containing the proceedings of the sixth or Constantinopolitan Council, of which mention has been already made. The words of the emperor were, that a threefold Deity (the very phrase used in Godeschalcus’s schedule of belief) is to be glorified together; and this, although the synod itself had condemned as heretical those who worshipped three Deities; the juxtaposition of the two thus proving that the doctrine of a threefold Deity by no means implies three distinct Godheads or Deities.

This argument is met by Hincmar in two ways: First, be shows, by quotations from the acts of the Council, that the holy fathers there assembled, or the Church of the time, held what he had before been proving, that Godhead, nature, and Unity, are synonymous phrases, when applied to Almighty God. Thus, in the letter of pope Agatho, addressed to the synod, and read before the bishops, the holy Trinity is spoken of as of one Deity, nature, and substance, or essence, and, consequently, of one natural will, virtue, operation, rule, majesty, power, and glory, and whatever else is predicated essentially of the same holy Trinity. Again, in a similar letter, also read before the Council, from Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, the still stronger expression, if possible, is used, that the Unity of God consists in the one and single Godhead, and identity of essential and natural sovereignty; words in which Godhead is not only represented as synonymous with Unity and nature, but even with identity. To these may be added the passage before quoted from the same edict of Constantine, to which Godeschalcus alludes as confirming his doctrine and using his manner of expression. Accordingly, the weight of all these passages, proving, as they do beyond doubt, the sentiments of the Council, far more than counterbalances any single quotation that might be made from an edict, which, if the quotation is correctly made, contradicts itself.

The quotation, however, is itself incorrect. For the purpose of proving this, Hincmar relates the following circumstances. The edict in question had been sent by him to the monastery of Hautvilliers, in which Godeschalcus was confined, to be transcribed. In the original, or, at all events, in other copies which he had seen, the phrase on which the foregoing argument is founded is not to be discovered. As quoted by Godeschalcus, the sentence in which it occurs is as follows : We embrace the five holy and universal synods, among which was that of three hundred and eight fathers at Nicaea, assembled against the madness of the Arians, who settled the sacred symbol of faith by the cooperation of the Godhead, threefold, and to be glorified together. But the true reading was, by the cooperation of the Godhead, to be thrice glorified together; which is equivalent to saying, the Godhead of the Trinity. As a proof of the falsification, we are told, that just at the time when the copy was made, Ratramnus’s book came out, a volume of considerable size, on the three­fold Deity, professing to collect passages from St. Austin and St. Hilary, but evidently showing the dishonesty of its author. Nearly at the same period Hincmar happened to preach on the subject, and, in his sermon, laid down the rule to which reference has been already made, that whether we speak of one person of the holy Trinity, or of the three persons together, we must use the singular in all that relates to God substantially, or considered in his essence as God. Someone who was present quoted to him, at the conclusion of his discourse, a passage of St. Augustine, where the phrase “one and threefold truth” occurred, not with any disputatious view, but for the satisfaction of his own doubts. Hincmar at once borrowed the book, from which the quotation had been made, from the king, to whom it had been just sent as a present, having been transcribed at the same time with the publication of Ratramnus’s work, and the copying of Constantine’s edict at Hautvilliers. On finding, to his great surprise, that the quotation was correctly made, and having no recollection of any such words in that place before, he took the pains to collect all the oldest manuscripts of the same work which could be obtained, from many towns and monasteries, and plainly discovered, by a collation of these with the king’s copy, that the latter had been interpolated. The passage in the authentic copies was this : “Thanks be to thee, O God, who art virtue, thanks be to thee, O God the Father, who hast manifested thy Son, and given him to me as my teacher”; immediately preceding which, the following words were interpolated : “Thanks be to thee, O God, thanks be to thee, trine and one Trinity, one and three­fold truth, threefold and one Unity”. More light was thrown on the subject by several quotations, sent to Hincmar with some of the manuscripts collected by him from the monasteries, in which the same unauthorized expressions were used. These had been copied at the same time with the book sent to king Charles, and were traced, after diligent examination, to the same source from which that book originated. A synod of bishops of five provinces was just then on the point of assembling at Soissons, in the presence of the king. Accordingly Hincmar related to them all that had occurred, and had the authentic and falsified passages from St. Austin, with the preceding and following context, read in their hearing, from which it was sufficiently evident, independently of the testimony furnished by the other manuscripts, that that orthodox father could never have used so careless and heretical a phrase. All present agreed in the conclusion; but among these was the person who had sent the book under discussion to the king. He begged his brethren to hear what he had to say, and adduced two passages in proof of the orthodoxy of the expression, one from St. Ambrose, which proved precisely the contrary, and the second a sermon of St. Augustine, entitled, “On the one Trinity, and the threefold Unity”. There was a general surprise that any one should lay stress on the title of a sermon, which was directly contradicted by its contents, as is shown by several quotations, in the course of which St. Augustine illustrates the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity by the analogy of the human mind, which, though strictly one, is at once memory, understanding, and will. He warns his hearers that this is merely an illustration, and cannot be followed out too far; but, according to Hincmar, entitles his sermon, “On the one Trinity, and threefold Unity”, in reference to this analogy, or with a similar vagueness of speech. For it is plain that the phrase “threefold Unity”, though inadmissible in speaking of Almighty God, is allowable and expressive when applied to the threefold nature of the human mind. That this explanation, by Hincmar, is not merely fanciful, and an attempt unfairly to escape whatever argument might be drawn from the title in dispute, is rendered more probable by the use of the same, or a similar expression, in the book which St. Austin, while yet a presbyter, wrote on the two souls. In his Retractations, however, he corrects all that is said erroneously in his other works, and warns his readers to alter, by his later publications, whatever is not strictly accurate in his earlier treatises. It is true that Pelagius, bishop of Rome, spoke in the same way, using the phrase one Trinity, and threefold Unity, but he accompanies it with other expressions, which fully prove that his meaning was sound, and that we are to understand it in some such metaphorical way as that used above to explain St. Augustin. He speaks of three persons or subsistences, of one essence or nature, of one virtue, operation, blessedness, and power; which shows that he could not have meant this threefold Unity to bear the same signification which must be given to the threefold Deity of Godeschalcus. But although it is possible, as it is necessary in this instance, to give the expression an orthodox meaning, or rather to defend it, in a particular case, from inferring heresy in the person who uses it, the fathers and doctors of the Church in general have scrupulously avoided sanctioning so loose and dangerous a way of speaking. Thus several other phrases also, which might, in themselves, have borne an innocent meaning, are repudiated as leading to error. For example, the Latin writers never use the word substance in the plural, when applied to the holy Trinity, although, in matter of fact, substance represents the Greek term hypostasis, which is equivalent to person, rather than being, or essence. A similar confusion existed for some time also between the terms hypostasis and ousia; so that we find some perfectly orthodox writers denouncing an anathema on all who shall confess or believe three hypostases in the Deity. This proves the caution necessary in the use of phrases, as well as in deciding the meaning in which each writer may have adopted them.

In the falsification of the copy of St. Austin’s treatise, the transcriber, not venturing to insert the term “three­fold Deity”, substituted for it others with similar meaning, but less plainly heterodox in sound, “threefold truth”, and “threefold Unity”. But the identity of meaning between the three expressions had been already shown by Hincmar, from numerous quotations, to which, in this part of his treatise, he adds many others. The transcriber was plainly, as he thinks, an adherent of Godeschalcus, and had his tenets in view when he made these interpolations. Such interpolations had frequently been made by the supporters of heretical opinions; while others, with similar fraud, erased passages, both of Holy Scripture and of ecclesiastical authorities, which too obviously opposed their views. Macarius, of Antioch, who was detected by the sixth Council, Donatus, reproved for it by St. Austin, Nestorius, and, more lately, Felix, of Urgel, are mentioned as notable examples. With reference, however, to the falsification made by Godeschalcus himself, in the edict of the younger Constantine, at the sixth Ecumenical Council, the charge might be evaded, by the pretence that the original Greek would bear the construction thus put upon it, as well as the more usual and more orthodox translation. To this Hincmar answers, that even if this were the case, it is no valid excuse; because, as was hinted before, the manner of expression is so different, on some points, in the Greek and Latin Churches, that what bears a perfectly good meaning in the one, may very possibly represent some heresy, when literally rendered into the language of the other.

But, says Godeschalcus, in the third clause selected by the archbishop for refutation, Prosper, Prudentius, and Arator, in their verses, speak of a threefold majesty, a threefold piety, a threefold power; to which may be added that the Greek trisagion, of such frequent occurrence, is most correctly Latinized “threefold holiness”.

To the instance from Prudentius, Hincmar himself adds one or two more of a similar bearing, in which he uses the terms “trinum numen” or “nomen” and “trinum specimen”; and then briefly quotes a few passages from Prosper himself and other writers, to show that neither of these appellations can correctly admit of the epithet “threefold”, although, by necessity of metre, a poet may be driven to use it, in order to represent the doctrine of a Trinity. As to the translation of the Greek word, he denies that it means “threefold holiness”; instead of which “thrice holy” is the natural and universal mode of rendering it.

In his remarks upon the fourth clause of Godeschalcus, which simply builds an argument upon the facts stated in the last, asserting that a threefold Deity follows upon a threefold majesty and power, and which, as it is little more than a repetition of what he said at first, is met by the same reasoning, Hincmar observes that the term “persons” is reserved to express the sense in which the holy Trinity is three, that we may have some answer to give to the question how is God three as well as one? Yet person and Deity are, in substance, the same; that is, each person is whole and perfect Deity, and the three persons together are whole and perfect Deity; nor are three persons together more whole and perfect Deity than each one; and therefore, he concludes, the holy Trinity is, in idea, to be considered inseparable, even in the persons, although it has names separable in words, inasmuch as in these names, which denote its nature, the plural number is totally inadmissible.

This is illustrated and confirmed in the animadversions which follow, by words of St. Augustine, in his book on the Trinity, in which he tells us that to be, and to subsist in God, is the same thing, or to be, and to be a person; to be, or the essence of God, is spoken of in himself, person is spoken relatively, as Father to Son, Son to Father, Holy Ghost to Father and Son. Hence, it is more correct to say that the Trinity is, in substance, one God, than, as Godeschalcus does, that the Trinity is essentially and naturally one. The latter phrase is apt to lead to Sabellianism, of which he seems himself to be aware, by adding, as a corrective, that the Godhead is personally threefold. But this is no real correction, for it would follow, from the Godhead being personally threefold, that either there are three Gods, or the one Godhead in the Trinity is divided, so as not to be perfect in any one person. The former conclusion is Arianism; the second is absurd. As Satan, in his temptation of our first parents, interpreted the declaration of the holy Trinity, “let us make man in our image”, to imply a plurality in the Godhead, and accordingly promised them that, if they would eat of the forbidden tree, they should be as gods, it is natural, according to Hincmar, to look upon the heresy of Godeschalcus, which, in reality, asserts the same, as prompted by the same false interpreter, the author of all evil.

This conclusion, however, would be contradicted by Godeschalcus in the next clause brought under examination; in which he maintains that neither the Greek word “three-theos”, nor the threefold Deity which is its translation, is in the plural number, or implies plurality.

That the Greek expression implies no plurality is true, answers Hincmar, it means only that the one God is thrice spoken of in his personal distinctions; and this is illustrated by a quotation from Boethius, who says that if the same name is thrice repeated, or the same name thrice called by three distinct names, there is no plurality. This must not be too strictly applied to the present subject, because there is a real distinction in the three persons of the holy Trinity, whereas, in the example of Boethius, there is none, but it serves as a sufficiently apposite illustration, showing us that each person may be perfect God, while yet there is but one God. The reason of its applicability is the principle, stated frequently before, that the God­head is the Unity of the Trinity. But though the Greek implies no plurality, this certainly is not the case with the threefold Deity of Godeschalcus, as may be shown by the comparison of any other use of the word threefold, or of other words of similar grammatical formation. The word Trinity Hincmar considers to be composed of tri-unitas, equivalent to ter-unitas, or the Unity thrice repeated, not of trina-unitas, or threefold Unity.

In what follows Godeschalcus asserted that as each person in the Trinity is full and perfect God, so we must confess that each person has his own proper or peculiar whole and perfect Deity.

If this were true, the disputed expression of a three­fold Deity would no doubt be admissible; but when we say that each person in the Godhead has a peculiarity or “proprietas” of his own, we mean by this those personal characteristics or properties which distinguish the Father from the Son, and the Holy Ghost from both. These are paternity, sonship, and procession; and it follows from, or is equivalent to, the existence of such properties, that there are three distinct persons. Similarly, to assert that each has his proper or peculiar Deity, is identical with maintaining that the Deity in each person has a different property or peculiarity, analogous to the distinction between paternity, sonship, and procession. Hence it follows, of necessity, that there must be three distinct Gods.

This strange declaration of Godeschalcus is followed up by an appeal to grammar, in which he repeats that his favorite phrase must necessarily bear a singular meaning, just as the cognate word Trinity also is spoken of in the singular, and is not understood to imply three Gods. The answer is a simple one, although Hincmar takes occasion to adduce a large mass of quotations, from St. Austin and other writers, on the Unity of the Trinity. It is, that although Trinity is singular in number, and used with a singular verb or adjective, yet the cause of this is that the Godhead is not threefold, but one, and that, though singular, it yet implies a plurality, not of Gods, but of persons. Hence, granting that the threefold Deity may be compared, in this respect, with the name Trinity, it will imply, by parity of reasoning, a real plurality, and that not of persons, but, by the very form of the expression, of Gods.

It is needless to transcribe the testimonies quoted in support of this argument, or of the truths implied in it. One, however, from the letter of Sophronius of Jerusalem, appealed to in the sixth synod, is so express, that it may be repeated with advantage. We acknowledge, he says, one principle of one Deity; neither confounding the subsistences and reducing them to one subsistence, nor dividing the one same essence and separating it into three essences, and so dividing the one Godhead. But, there is one God, one Godhead, shining forth in three subsistences, and three subsistences and persons are acknowledged in one Godhead. The Father is perfect God, the Son is perfect God, the Holy Ghost is perfect God, for this reason, that each person has one and the same inseparable, undiminished, and perfect Deity.

Godeschalcus, however, after his digression on the subject of grammar, advances as the reason why each person must have his own proper Deity, that human nature was assumed, not by the whole Trinity, but by the Godhead of the Son alone. The argument is briefly and satisfactorily answered, by replying, that it was not the Godhead, but the person of the Son, who assumed human nature. The Divine nature, or Godhead, remained perfectly distinct from the human nature of our Lord, both being united, without confusion, in him, as one person. With all his errors in doctrine, we cannot avoid surprise at the ignorance, or confusion of belief, manifested in this argument of Godeschalcus, which appears incompatible with the knowledge evinced by him of ecclesiastical authors, especially of St. Austin, and fully justifies, of itself, the strong expressions used of him by Hincmar, and the fixed determination of the latter to be content with nothing less than a definite recantation of his heresies. After refuting it, Hincmar takes the opportunity of showing how the whole Trinity cooperated in the mystery of the incarnation, hence proving that the Godhead of the Father and the Holy Spirit was, equally with the Godhead of the Son, the agent in that work, being, indeed, one and the same. Thus St. Athanasius is quoted, saying, although the wisdom of Solomon spoke in the proverbs of the Saviour’s body, “wisdom hath built her house”, thus acknowledging the Only-Begotten as the creator of his own body, yet here (in the address of the angel Gabriel to the blessed Virgin) the angel declared it to be of the Holy Ghost, as every Christian is taught to believe. For Scripture makes no difference in the Trinity, teaching everywhere that it has one and the same operation. Finally, when the blessed Virgin Mary was about to give birth to God, and asked the angel, “how shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” he answered her, “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”. If the power of the Highest is the Only-Begotten, according to the words of Paul, “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God”, and the Holy Ghost is the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth, and if, by the overshadowing of these, Mary, about to bring forth God, was made the temple of the Lord, while the angel declares that he should be created of the Holy Ghost, we are taught here that this is the operation of the Trinity. St. Ambrose writes to the same effect, as we read that the Father created the sacrament of our Lord’s incarnation, and that the Holy Ghost created it, so, too, we read that Christ himself created his own body. Alcuin also says, we acknowledge that human nature, that is, flesh and a rational soul, was assumed, not by the whole Trinity, but by the Son alone, into the Unity of person, not the Unity of nature ... This form of a servant, however, which the Son of God alone received, the whole Trinity created, which yet, it is clear, though created by all, belongs to the person of the Son alone. For neither the Father, nor the Holy Ghost, but only the Son assumed flesh; that he who was Son in the Godhead of God the Father, might also be made Son in the human nature of his Virgin mother, and so the name of Son might not be transferred to another person, who is not the Son by eternal generation.

The next argument for the threefold Deity is drawn from the analogy of baptism, which consists of a three­fold immersion, and is itself a threefold baptism, although it would be quite inadmissible to say that there are three immersions or three baptisms. Hincmar replies that, on the contrary, the threefold immersion, as it is called by Godeschalcus, disproves a threefold Godhead, inasmuch as the very reason why the three should be, notwithstanding, one baptism, is that there is one and the same Deity in the three persons of the Holy Trinity. However, so far from its being inadmissible to use the phrase three immersions, it is very obvious that baptism consists of three perfectly distinct immersions, which make one baptism, not a threefold baptism, as the three persons are one God. He notices that as the three immersions were a refutation of the Sabellian heresy, which denied the distinction of persons, so, in some parts, it was the custom to use only one, as a protest against the Arians, who acknowledged three Gods. Among other observations on the subject of baptism, Hincmar says, there are three separate immersions because of the distinction of the persons of the Holy Trinity; but one baptism, because one God, of one essence, Deity, nature, and consequently of one name, that is God the holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in whose name we are baptized and made children of God, born again by grace, having been before children of the devil, born of that accursed seed derived from Adam. And as the inner man must be formed anew, in the faith of the holy Trinity, after the image of his Maker, the body, too must be outwardly washed by a threefold immersion, that the priest may visibly imitate in the water what the Spirit works invisibly in the soul. For the first sin was wrought by concupiscence, consent and act, and so every sin is committed by thought, word, or deed. Hence the threefold washing seems adapted to the threefold nature of sins, whether we consider original sin, which, in infants, has strength to destroy, or those additional sins which men more advanced in age commit by will, word, or action. Rightly, also, is man, who was created after the image of the holy Trinity, restored to the same image by invocation of the holy Trinity, so that whereas by sin, in the third degree, he fell into death, by grace he might rise again to life, when raised for the third time from the baptismal font. These are Hincmar’s own words : but this part of his treatise contains a collection of many passages from the fathers, illustrating, in a variety of ways, the catholic doctrine of holy baptism.

As Godeschalcus appealed before to threefold baptism, he next calls to his aid the phrase used by Sedulius, “a threefold faith”, which Hincmar contents himself with answering by bringing passages, in both poetry and prose, of a contrary purport, and by asserting, as on a former occasion, that an expression used by a poet, for the sake of metre, cannot stand against so universal a consent as obtains on this subject among the greatest doctors of the Church.

In conclusion, all who would avoid sharing in the condemnation of the Sabellians, are called upon by Godeschalcus to embrace, confess, sing, and worship, with all catholics, a threefold Deity, sanctity, life, wisdom, glory, fear, love, charity, light, salvation, virtue, peace, and brightness, a threefold majesty, power, piety, inasmuch as our faith is threefold. To this rhapsody Hincmar replies by referring to the test laid down before, that the epithet threefold is inapplicable to such words as represent the nature or substance of God, and then proving from several writers, but especially from Alcuin (who has many things in his book on faith in the holy Trinity, bearing on the matter in question), that these expressions are used synonymously with the Deity or substance of God. This is shown especially in the case of two of these names, light and peace, which are singled out by Godeschalcus in a new paragraph annexed to the schedule just concluded, as most plainly requiring the epithet threefold, inasmuch as all must grant that both light and peace are, when applied to God the Father, unbegotten, when applied to God the Son, begotten, when spoken of God the Holy Ghost, proceeding. It is needless to follow the refutation of this paragraph, because it manifestly contains only a repetition of error already sufficiently disproved. Besides the longer schedule, containing the belief or prayer which has hitherto formed the subject of examination, Godeschalcus composed many others, attempting, in various ways, to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Some of these are noticed and refuted in the remainder of Hincmar’s treatise. Thus, in one place he says, that the personal names of God are in no way relative, but are rather essential, or substantial, as the natural names are. Such an assertion could only proceed from a weak and childish desire to oppose long-established views or usages, and to invent new names and phrases for himself—a disposition with which Godeschalcus is frequently, and, as it appears from many circumstances of the kind, deservedly charged. This assertion is answered by the question, What are the personal names of the Holy Trinity? Surely none other but Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If so, these are, beyond doubt, relative appellations, God the Father being so called in relation to the Son, God the Son in relation to the Father, God the Holy Ghost in relation to both, as proceeding from both. Accordingly, Boethius says, Trinity belongs not to substance; whence neither Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost, nor Trinity, are spoken substantially of God, but relatively; but God, truth, righteousness, goodness, and similar appellations, are spoken of the Deity substantially. The argument adduced by Godeschalcus for his opinion from the etymology of the word person, as if “per se una”, scarcely deserves a formal refutation. However, occasion is taken to make copious quotations from several writers, in opposition, if not to the etymology itself, to die opinion which accompanied it, or was founded upon it.

Elsewhere Godeschalcus maintained, that while the singular form of address must be used in prayer or praise to either one person of the Holy Trinity, the plural ought to be adopted in addressing the three persons together; this, as he confesses, was his own practice, and several instances are quoted in Hincmar’s treatise. The opinion is disproved from numerous passages in Holy Scripture, in which the Trinity is addressed or mentioned in the singular number. The command quoted by our Lord from the law, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”, is sufficient of itself for the purpose. Moreover, the one sanctification, glory, operation, Deity, of the Holy Trinity, necessarily imply the same. St. Paul’s expression, in the epistle to the Romans, “Of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to him be glory forever”, is also quite conclusive. For while the former of the two clauses makes mention of the three persons distinctly, the latter attributes glory to all together, not in the plural, but in the singular. However, Godeschalcus considers that all who say “thanks be to Thee”, when addressing the whole Trinity, are almost on a par with Sabellians or Jews.

In refuting this error, Hincmar makes an assertion which, at first appearance, seems opposed to the true faith. He disapproves of saying that each person of the Holy Trinity, by himself, is Lord God—words which occur, in almost precisely the same form, in the Athanasian creed. However, he soon after explains the phrase “by himself”, to have been meant in a different sense from that which the same expression in the creed is intended to bear. As, he says, the Father is singly Lord God Almighty, uncreate, immense, eternal, and whatever else is spoken absolutely of God, but not by himself alone without the Son, begotten of his substance, and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from himself and the Son; so also the Son is singly Lord God Almighty, uncreate, immense, eternal, and whatever else is spoken absolutely of God, but not alone, by himself, without the Father, from whom he is begotten, and the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and himself; and so the Holy Spirit is singly Lord God Almighty, uncreate, immense, eternal, and whatever else is spoken absolutely of God, but not alone, by himself, without the Father and the Son, from whom he proceeds. Thus the phrase “by himself”, is understood by Hincmar as implying separation, whereas, in the creed, it denotes what he represents by the term “singly”, the perfection of each person in the Trinity.

Of all the passages adduced from Catholic writers, none is more distinct against the opinion in question than the following words of Alcuin, in his book on the Trinity, addressed to Charlemagne. This must be maintained over and over again, that nothing said of the Holy Trinity, in itself, or absolutely, must be said in the plural number, because that simple nature of the supreme Godhead, should be designated in the singular, not in the plural. Hence, it is not lawful to speak of God as three Gods, three omnipotents, three good, three great, three substances. For though, personally, one is Father, another Son, another Holy Ghost, yet they have but one and the same name, denoting their nature, namely, God, or substance, or essence, or omnipotence, or either of those numerous other words which are spoken of him substantially, and not relatively.

Some of the prayers used in Divine service in the Catholic Church, terminated with the following words, addressed to our Lord : “who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end”; in which formula the doctrine of the Unity and Trinity are distinctly recognized. Godeschalcus found fault with the expression, not, as it appears, from any objection to the doctrines themselves, but for the futile reason that in the original Latin the words may be so rendered as to convey the idea, that our Lord is God of the Holy Spirit, and therefore inferior to him in nature or dignity. After making then an orthodox confession of belief in the unity of God, he continues with a strange prayer, almost defying translation, in which each of the three persons of the Trinity is mentioned with scrupulously the same appellations, to avoid ingratitude to either one, and all three are addressed in the plural. In commenting on this prayer, Hincmar tells us that St. Austin lays down as a rule, that wherever in Holy Scripture the name of God is used, without any addition to show that either one person is meant distinctly from the other two, we must understand the whole of the Trinity to be signified. This is illustrated by many passages from Scripture. Similarly, according to the same authority, we address all the persons of the Holy Trinity under the name of Father, in the Lord’s prayer; or rather, in consequence of the Unity of God, in praying to the Father, we pray also to the Son and Holy Spirit. This he considers sufficiently proved by the petition, “Thy kingdom come”, in which we pray for the advent, not of the Father, but of the Son. Again, St. Austin says, that if the Son is considered inferior to the Father, the Unity is destroyed, so that in the oblation the words of the prayer must be, not “I offer to Thee, O God”, but “I offer to you, Gods”, in the plural. It is a fair inference from this, that when the plural is used, according to the practice and recommendation of Godeschalcus, the Unity is destroyed, and an inferiority of one to another established between the persons of the Trinity. Again, the same father says, that God appeared to Abraham under the tree at Mamre, as he sat at noon­day in his tent door. He looked up and beheld three men standing by him, and running to meet them worshipped and said, “my Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant”. We are told that God appeared to him, and that while looking upon him he saw three men, and that he went to meet them, and worshipped the one God, addressing him as his Lord. No one blamed him for recognizing and worshipping one God and one Lord in the likeness of those three men.

Among the letters or exhortations, or other documents which Godeschalcus was in the habit of dispersing among his friends or followers, from his confinement at Hautvilliers, was one in which he mentioned that God had commanded him not to pray for Hincmar. Another contained a revelation that in three years and a half antichrist, that is, Hincmar, would die, that he himself would succeed him as archbishop of Rheims, and after holding that dignity for seven years, would be carried off by poison, and thus gain the crown of martyrdom. When, however, the time fixed by the prophetic revelation had expired, without the fulfillment of the prediction, he wrote to one of his adherents, expressing, in a kind of prayer, his willingness to wait the appointed time and manner of Hincmar’s punishment, and declaring that he would be fully satisfied whenever that heretic and enemy of the truth, on whom he bestows many similar appellations, should be rooted out as he deserved.

Hincmar remarks, at greater length, and with a greater weight of testimony than appears needful, that such revelations and prayers could not have been prompted by our Lord, or his Holy Spirit. They seem attributable, in fact, to no other cause than madness. We might have supposed that his long confinement in the monastery, which served as his prison, had partially deprived him of his senses; but the account of his manner of behavior, from the day of his first entering the cloisters of Hautvilliers, proves his conduct to have been no less irrational at that period. The relation is contained in a letter from Hincmar to Egilo, archbishop of Sens, who was departing on a mission to Rome, to deliver to pope Nicholas the acts of a Council lately held at Soissons. News had been brought him, just at the same time, that a monk of Hautvilliers, well known to be a friend and disciple of Godeschalcus, had plundered the monastery of books, vestments, horses, and other property, and had fled into Italy, with the professed purpose of engaging Nicholas to take up his master’s cause. The relations subsisting between the pope and the archbishop at that time were of such a nature that the latter could not afford to pass over even so slight a danger unnoticed; especially as Nicholas had lately written to king Charles, declining any longer to protect Hincmar in charges of the kind, as he had so frequently done before. Although declaring his ignorance that such protecting care had been hitherto bestowed upon him, Hincmar begs Egilo to spare no pains in laying before the pope a true statement of all that had occurred in connection with Godeschalcus, with reference both to his doctrine, and to the treatment which he had received since his confinement. His whole behavior (he says) shows that he is mad or possessed by a devil, adding that madness seldom occurs without possession. He had been treated in precisely the same way with the brethren of the monastery; the same food and clothing were provided for him, and a convenient cell, furnished with a fire-place, a bath, and all things needful for comfort. Until compelled by cold, he had refused clothing or fire, and even up to the period of Hincmar’s writing to Egilo had persisted in rejecting the bath, and had not even washed his face.

The following is the relation of the death of Godeschalcus. Many attempts had been made to induce him to adopt orthodox views, but in vain; and at last when word was brought to the archbishop that his death drew near, he sent him a paper, shortly asserting that God wills the salvation of all, though all are not saved, that those who are saved receive their salvation, as a free gift, from him, whereas all who perish, perish from their own fault; that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for all, and that his blood is a sufficient price for all the world, although those who refuse redemption, or who afterwards sin and persevere in impenitence, have no share in it. With regard to the Holy Trinity, the same document charged him to confess one God in a Trinity of persons, and a Trinity of persons in the Unity of the Godhead, not confounding the persons, like Sabellians, so that they be not three, nor dividing the substance, like Arians, so as to make it threefold, inasmuch as the persons are distinct, while their Deity is one, their Majesty equal, their Glory co-eternal. If he would subscribe this confession, Hincmar offered him episcopal absolution and restoration to communion. Godeschalcus, however, rejected the articles offered to him with rage and detestation. The archbishop wrote again to the monks of Hautvilliers, charging them to give him the opportunity of making his confession, to the very last; and if he gave any sign of a wish to recant, and to be reconciled to the Church, to admit him to communion, and after death to bury him with the prayers and offices used for all who died in the faith. If, on the contrary, he persevered in his present state of mind, his cause must be left, according to the commands of St. Leo, and the canons of the Church, to the judgment of God, who might, had he so willed it, have prolonged his life. If, continued the canon, any one of those for whom we offer up our prayers, be prevented, by whatever obstacle, from receiving absolution while still alive, it is forbidden to give him, after death, that which he accepted not while still in the body. It is not necessary, however, for us to decide upon the merits and acts of those who have thus died, because our Lord has reserved for his own righteous judgment all such cases as are beyond the ministry of his priesthood upon earth.

Such was the case with Godeschalcus, who retained his faculties to the last; and when at the very point of death, being urged by the brethren who stood round him to give some token of repentance, and to receive the viaticum, he plainly persisted in his refusal, and thus died out of communion with the Church.









The death of the emperor Lothaire was preceded by that of Leo IV, who died in the month of July, in the same year 855, after having filled the papal chair, with high reputation, for a little more than eight years. The election of his successor, Benedict III, is remarkable for the attempt secretly made by the emperor to force upon the Church and people of Rome a pontiff appointed by himself. The clergy, nobles, and people were unanimous in their selection of Benedict, who accepted the dignity with great reluctance. He was taken, as was usual, to the Lateran palace, and there enthroned in the midst of hymns of praise and thanksgiving, after which the chief of those concerned subscribed the notice of election, and sent it, by the hands of a bishop and of an officer of the Roman guard, to the emperors Lothaire and Louis.

A year and a half before the death of Leo, a cardinal priest, of the Roman Church, of the name of Anastasius, had been deposed and excommunicated by the pope and a Council, for a contumacious refusal, continued during the space of five years, to reside in Rome, and perform the duties of his office. He lived in the diocese of Aquileia, and at the court of Louis, at Ravenna. The emperor, however, though regarding him with favor, could not refuse to subscribe his name to the act of deposition passed by Leo and a synod of more than sixty bishops. Accordingly from that time Anastasius had remained in seclusion and disgrace; but on the decease of Leo, having gained several adherents (probably through his interest with Louis) among the bishops and nobles of Italy, he employed one of his partisans, Argenius, bishop of Eugubio, to meet the messengers sent from Rome to notify the election of Benedict, and persuade them to substitute his name in the document which they were conveying to the emperor. Imperial deputies were sent to Rome, according to custom, to witness and sanction the appointment and consecration of the pope; and these, whether by the command of Louis or not, supported with vehemence the cause of Anastasius, whom they carried with them into the city, and seated him on the pontifical throne. Then, after stripping Benedict of his robes, and committing him to the charge of some priests, who had been deposed for their vices by the late pontiff, the deputies attempted to compel the bishops assembled for the purpose to acknowledge and consecrate Anastasius. Though threatened with vio­lence by the soldiers of the emperor, who advanced with drawn swords, into the Church where they were assembled, they constantly refused to recognize any one but Benedict; and the whole people supported this resolution. The dispute lasted several days, until the deputies were at last forced to yield to so unanimous a choice, to sanction Benedict's consecration, and to banish Anastasius from the city.

There can be no doubt that Benedict succeeded Leo. Anastasius the librarian, Lupus of Ferrières, pope Nicholas, Hincmar, and other contemporaneous writers, all bear testimony to the fact. Those however, who invented the story of pope Joan, place her, for the most part, between these two pontiffs, and pretend that Leo died in the year 853, instead of two years afterwards. The general belief which this fable gained in Europe is remarkable, as it is difficult to discover even the appearance of any foundation for it. Marianus, an Irish­man, is said first to have spoken of pope Joan; this author died in the year 1086, two hundred and thirty years after the death of Leo. But the best critics suppose that even in his book it is an interpolation. Pagi had seen an ancient copy, in which no vestige of it was found. Baronius attempts to trace the origin of the story to a letter written by pope Leo IX, in the middle of the eleventh century, in which that pontiff asserted that a woman had been raised to the patriarchate of Constantinople. This story, no less than that of pope Joan herself, was a misrepresentation or a mistake, and arose from the circumstance of the emperor Michael’s dressing one of his eunuchs in woman’s clothes, and then placing him, in sport, on the pontifical throne. If, continues the annalist, there had been any truth in the story of pope Joan, Photius and other enemies of the Roman see at the time would certainly not have omitted so fair an opportunity of attack. To this we may add, that such an event as the election of a woman to the papacy could not by any possibility have escaped the watchful eye of the emperor or his deputies, who, at this time, observed with vigilance and jealousy all the proceedings connected with election and consecration to the apostolic see.

Pope Joan has been called by various names, Agnes, Gilberta, Isabella, Margaret, Dorothea, and others. Some say she was a German, others an Englishwoman; and with this last assertion may be connected the fact that Martin the Pole is said to have inserted the pontificate of an Englishman named John between the reigns of Leo IV and Benedict. The story was, at one time, so generally believed, that she had a statue among those of the other popes, in the Cathedral Church of Sens. This statue remained in its place till the pontificate of Clement VIII, or that of Alexander VII, at which time it is said to have been altered, at the request of cardinal Baronius, into an image of pope Zachary. To whatever reason the erection of this statue is to be attributed, its existence at Sens probably gave rise to the insertion of the fable in the book of Marianus.

A civil war among the Danes, (which broke out in the year 854, between king Horic, who had remained peaceably in his dominions, and those of his subjects who, under various chieftains, had engaged for twenty years in ravaging more civilized countries), relieved France, in some degree and for a short time, from the presence of the barbarians. The cessation of hostilities was, however, by no means complete, for in the following year we are told of an invasion of Bourdeaux, and of a victory gained by king Charles over Sidorc, a chief of reputation, at Pistres, on the Seine. The slaughter of both parties was so great, in Denmark, that of the whole tribe or family to which the king belonged one boy alone survived, bearing, like his father, the name of Horic. St. Anskar, whose banishment from Hamburg has been before related, had since that time been laboring in the cause of Christianity, among the Danes. The late king Horic was a convert, and had extended his protection to the Church. Sleswig was the headquarters from whence St. Anskar, or a priest placed there by him, spread the knowledge of the faith. But the death of Horic and the revolution in Denmark seemed for a time fatal to the Church. The young prince was persuaded to abolish Christianity in his dominions, to destroy St. Anskar’s Church, at Sleswig, and to banish the clergyman stationed there, with all who persisted in following and obeying him. St. Anskar, however, set out at once to the court of Denmark, regardless of the dangers which threatened him there, and having been presented to the king, by a nobleman of his family, succeeded in persuading him to grant permission to build a new Church, in the city of Ripa, to establish another priest there, and to introduce a peal of bells, which was regarded as a peculiar abomination by the heathen, and was a proportionate triumph to the bishop and his party.

From Denmark or from his old see of Hamburg St. Anskar had already planted the Church in Sweden, but the priest whom he had commissioned to represent him in that country, had, like himself, lost his Church, and narrowly escaped with his life, from a sudden insurrection of the pagans in his neighborhood. For seven years from that time another priest was sent into the same district, to encourage such of the inhabitants as still retained their Christianity, and if possible to lay afresh the foundation of the Swedish Church. Meanwhile the light of truth had been kept alive by the faith of Herigar, a man of rank and station among the Swedes, who had persevered in the belief and practice of his religion, notwithstanding the sneers and reproaches of all his countrymen. It is related by the author of the life of St. Anskar, St. Rembert, who was his disciple and friend, and successor in the bishopric of Bremen, that on one occasion when a vast national assembly was met together, for the purpose of celebrating some festival in honor of their idols, Herigar challenged them to prove by trial the truth of their respective creeds. He bade them place themselves in one part of the plain, while he and his servant stood in another; each party was to pray the God whom they worshipped to let fall a heavy shower of rain on the other side. The result was that all the Swedish pagans were drenched with the water that fell in answer to the prayer of Herigar, while not a drop of rain fell either upon his servant or himself. At another time he was himself suddenly healed of a malady which prevented his moving, by being carried into the Church, and praying there that our Lord would vouchsafe to convince the heathen, who stood round in crowds, and urged him to sacrifice to their gods, by granting him a miraculous cure. On a third occasion the town of Brica, of which Herigar was governor, was besieged by a Swedish king and by the Danes. At his persuasion the inhabitants engaged at length, as the only hope of their preservation, to become Christians, and vowed, on condition of their escape, to perform deeds of alms and fasting, in token of their sincerity. Scarcely had this been done when the besieging army, at the persuasion of the Danish prince, who had been either wholly or in part convinced of the truth of Christianity, on drawing lots, according to a prevalent custom, to determine whether they should succeed or fail in the capture of the town, found the result unfavorable, and suddenly raised the siege. These miracles, says Fleury, recorded as they are by St. Rembert, are worthy of credit, if any such stories are to be believed; and if it is permitted us to say that any occa­sion whatever calls for miracles from God, such is, without doubt, furnished by the needs of an infant Church like that of Sweden. St. Anskar, at length, not being able to prevail upon the bishop who had formerly preached in Sweden to return thither, had recourse to king Louis, who appointed him his ambassador to the court of Olaf, king of that country. He was supported by the recommendation of Horic, king of Denmark, and was favorably received by Olaf, who offered him help and protection, on condition of his persuading the people to admit him among them. This was the less likely, as they had been lately persuaded, by some person zealous in his enmity to Christianity, to deify their former king Eric, and were eagerly employed in adorning his temple, and offering him sacrifices. Resort was had to the usual method of decision by lot, and a popular tumult, which threatened to be fatal to the cause, was quieted by the speech of an old Swede, who reminded his hearers that the profession of this religion had frequently brought success in war, and in the perils of the sea; and that, in former times, persons had ventured as far as Dorstadt, for the very purpose of gaining that instruction which was now offered them without trouble, on their part, by St. Anskar, the ambassador for the Franks. After this Churches were built, and the clergy received with honor and joy, and the apostle of the north, after seeing the Church rapidly advance under Erimbert, whom he left to represent him in Sweden, returned again to his monastery in Saxony.

The death of the emperor Lothaire increased the evils of subdivision under which the empire had already greatly suffered, and multiplied the wars and quarrels, previously too numerous, between the sovereigns of the petty kingdoms into which it was divided, or the rival claimants of various thrones. Two princes, instead of one, now shared with Charles the Bald the territory of modern France; these were Lothaire, of Lorraine, and Charles, of Provence. In Aquitaine, as Pepin and his brother were still in confinement, in the monastery of St. Medard, at Soissons, and as the inhabitants chose to have a king of their own, they had offered the crown to Louis, a son of the king of Germany, who accepted it without hesitation, feeling, as it appears, no scruple at thus usurping a portion of his uncle’s kingdom, a Charles retaliated on this act of aggression by sending a secret embassy, with bribes and presents, to the Slavonian and Bulgarian tribes, on the confines of his brother’s dominions, to urge them to invade Germany. At the same time he marched into Aquitaine against his nephew. The campaign passed over without any decisive result, but Louis soon found that his new subjects had little affection for him, and were little disposed to endanger their lives and property in defending the throne to which they had so lately raised him. Accordingly he resigned his crown, and returned into Germany. 

The events just related took place shortly before the death of the emperor Lothaire. Soon afterwards, Pepin and his brother escaped from confinement. The latter, on the death of Rabanus, was presented by king Louis of Germany with the metropolitan see of Metz, an appointment in which the bishops and clergy, and the people of the province, took no part, but in which they thought it advisable to acquiesce, rather than endanger the peace of the diocese by what would probably have been a fruitless resistance to the royal will. Pepin made considerable advances, and gained many successes, by finding auxiliaries in the bands of Normans and of Saracens, who were ravaging the country at the time, and the Aquitanian nobles now sent to the king of France, informing him that they would make no resistance to his rival, unless he permitted them to have some other sovereign who would reside in the province, and form a centre around which they might range themselves for the defence of their country. Charles accordingly conducted his second son, who bore his own name, to the town of Limoges, where he was accepted by the people, and crowned and anointed king of Aquitaine. The war between Pepin and the new king was carried on for a year or two with various success. Twice or thrice the former constrained his rival to relinquish his claims and leave the country, but the people as often returned to their allegiance. These constant changes filled the whole province with disorder and calamities; no one appeared to recognize any law beyond his own will and power. The exhortations and censures of the clergy were altogether disregarded, and the allegiance professed to one king or the other was merely nominal.

While these disturbances were agitating the province of Aquitaine, Louis and the new king of Lotharingia, who, with their younger brother Charles, inherited the dominions of the late emperor, divided by his will between them, agreed to strip the latter of his portion, and to dispose of him in the method usual at the time, by forcing him to retire into a monastery. They met at Orbe, in Switzerland, to effect the conquest, and agree upon the partition of the territory, but the nobles who attended the conference refused to sanction so palpable an act of injustice, and compelled the emperor Louis and king Lothaire to confirm their brother in the kingdom of Provence and the duchy of Lyons.

The young king of Aquitaine was the second son of Charles the Bald. The eldest, Louis, against his father’s will, married the daughter of the count of Auvergne. His daughter, named Judith, after his mother, espoused at Verbery, in October, 855, Ethelwulf, then returning with his son Alfred from a journey to Rome, and, after the ceremony, was crowned by Hincmar queen of England. Ethelwulf died ten years afterwards, and was succeeded by his two sons, Ethelbald and Ethelburg, who divided the kingdom. The latter, who had a very short reign, married Judith, his father’s widow, in violation of all law, civil and ecclesiastical. After his death Judith returned to France to her father, Charles the Bald.

Amid the festivities which attended the ceremonies of Judith’s marriage and coronation, the Normans sailed up the Seine, and destroyed Beauvais, Maine, Melun, Chartres, Evreux, Bayeux, and other towns; not even a hamlet or convent escaped destruction, and no one ventured to resist their progress. They passed the winter in a spot which they fortified on the banks of the Seine, and Charles (who, whether at Verbery, Paris, or Attigny, or at his favorite palace at Quiercy, could have been but a few leagues in distance from them,) seemed altogether to disregard the presence of the invaders. Taking courage from this neglect, they burnt and plundered Paris not long afterwards. All the Churches and monasteries, which were very numerous in the city and its neighborhood, were laid in ruins, with the exception of one or two of the richest of them, for the preservation of which they exacted an enormous price. Louis, abbot of St. Denys, the grandson of Charlemagne, and cousin of the king, was taken prisoner on this occasion, but restored on the payment of a ransom proportionate to his rank and station. During the same year, Orleans was burnt by another band of the same nation, and a contemporary historian, quoted by Sismondi, tells us that if a line be drawn through the towns of Paris, Orleans, Bourges, and Clermont of Auvergne, the whole country between this line and the sea, a space which, at this time, was nearly coextensive with Charles’s kingdom, contained not a single town, village, or hamlet, which had not experienced the ravages of these barbarian and heathen plunderers. Nor were their ravages confined now, as formerly, to invasions which, though marked with ruin and misery, were brief in duration, and repeated only at intervals. On the Seine, the Somme, the Escaut, the Loire, and the Garonne, they founded permanent establishments, or military colonies, and another of a similar nature was shortly afterwards fixed in an island of the Rhone. From these centres, or head quarters, they were able to keep up a perpetual system of rapine throughout the country; nor would anything have impeded them in attempting the entire conquest of the kingdom, if a plan requiring so much system and or­ganization had been in accordance with the character and genius of the northern pirates.

It appears that for some time there had been a growing conviction in the minds of many amongst the leading subjects of Charles, that they were ruled by a king altogether incompetent, from indolence, or want of talent, to defend his dominions from the various calamities which overwhelmed them. The eyes of many were turned to other quarters in search of a remedy. Louis of Germany was, undoubtedly, the most energetic among the Carolingian kings, although the comparative tranquility of his kingdom is to be attributed, probably, quite as much to the fact, that the access to it was more difficult, as to any superior military vigor of his own. Charles was aware of the increasing disaffection among the prelates and nobles of his realm. He sent several ineffectual messages, ordering their attendance in parliament, first at one town and then at another, and even went so far as to write a letter to pope Benedict, imploring him to use his influence with the bishops of France to induce them to preserve their allegiance unbroken. The bishops and abbots met at Bonneuil in August, 856, to consider the exhortations which the pope addressed to them, in compliance with the request of Charles. They protested against the interference of a foreign prelate in the national concerns of France, and exhorted the king to terminate the miseries of his people by observing his own capitulars and those of his ancestors, especially in reforming and protecting the monasteries.

At last a diet or Council met at Quiercy, in February, 857, and published their complaint of the ravages and other irregularities practiced by the French nobles and gentry, in imitation, as it seemed, of those inflicted by the Normans. The bishops, counts, and royal messengers, were ordered to hold frequent provincial meetings, to inquire into the abuses in every quarter of the province, and the sentence of excommunication was threatened against all who should persist in their disobedience to these authorities, and disregard of the lighter censures of the clergy. A letter of Lupus, of Ferrières, written about the time of the diet, gives us an idea of the state of confusion to which the country was reduced. “In the dominions of our king Charles”, he writes, to a friend who intended to visit him, “robberies are exercised with impunity, under cover of these new revolutionary movements; nothing is more certain or more common than plunder and violence, and it is necessary, therefore, that you only venture to make the journey in company with a large party of travelers, whose number and valor may secure them from attack, or, in case of such an event, defend them”.

The capitulars of Quiercy produced, as might be supposed, but little advantage. On the first mission to the king of Germany from the malcontents of France, in the year 850, Louis had been prevented from listening to their proposals, by a war in which he was engaged, with some tribes of Slavonians, who had invaded his dominions, probably, in consequence of the persuasions of Charles the Bald, and who defeated him in several engagements. But in the summer of 858 their proposals were repeated by a still more numerous body, and were conveyed to him by the abbot Adelard, and Count Otho. They represented the miserable state of France, which Charles was altogether unable to defend, and complained that the little which remained to the French from the heathen ravages was swallowed up by the violence or artifices of the king. No one, they added, could place any faith in his promises or oaths, or entertain any hope of his amendment. Louis was persuaded to accede to these proposals, either with the desire, as we are told by his subject and apologist, the author of the annals of Fulda, of saving so fair a portion of Charlemagne’s empire from utter ruin, or with the ambitious hope of adding France to his own dominions. The permission formerly granted to his son to usurp the kingdom of Aquitaine, forces us to attribute his favorable reception of the French proposals, on this occasion, to the latter motive. He assembled his army at Worms, marched through Alsace, and was met by the majority of the nobles of France at the town of Pontyon. Charles was at this time encamped on the banks of the Seine, in opposition to the Normans, who were again threatening Paris, which they shortly afterwards pillaged and burnt for the third time. His situation and employment is a proof that the complaints which charged him with entirely neglecting to defend his kingdom, were somewhat exaggerated. The universal defection of all the nobles of Aquitaine to the German king, left both the rival claimants to that country without adherents; accordingly, the king’s camp on the Seine was joined, at this time, by his son Charles and his nephew Pepin. Pepin agreed to relinquish, henceforward, all claim to the throne, and was presented by his uncle, as a compensation, with the county of Meaux, and some other dignities. Charles marched to meet his brother, and encamped, in presence of his army, at Brienne. After some days spent in negotiation, he appears to have been convinced of the hopelessness of his cause, and suddenly leaving his followers, he made his escape into Burgundy. The French troops then went over to king Louis, who marched, unresisted, through Neustria, and divided among the French nobles of his party the counties, abbeys, and other possessions of the kingdom.

Charles, however, had meanwhile assembled a fresh army, by the aid of his nephew Lothaire, and advanced a second time against his brother; and the king of Germany, who had been obliged to disband the whole or a great part of his native troops, and who had also received news of an attack by the Lorabians, on the eastern frontier of his kingdom, retreated as Charles advanced, and crossing the Rhine, relinquished, without a blow, the crown which he had taken so much trouble to usurp.

Among the French prelates, Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, was at the head of the few who had taken part in inviting Louis into France; a large majority, following the example of Hincmar, stood firm in their fidelity to king Charles. Louis, on entering the kingdom, had ordered a general meeting of the bishops, at Rheims, to agree upon some plan of reformation in the affairs of both Church and state. They excused themselves from obeying his commands, but the bishops of the provinces of Rheims and Rouen assembled at Quiercy, and from thence addressed to the king of Germany a long letter, written by Hincmar, signed by all who were present at the Council, and conveyed to Louis by the hands of Wenilo, metropolitan of Rouen, and another bishop. While expressing their own fidelity to king Charles, and complaining of the conduct of Louis, in attacking his brother’s dominions, instead of attempting to persuade him by friendly advice, they prudently abstained from showing him that they regarded him in the light of an usurper, or from granting his claim to be their king. At the same time, great boldness is shown in rebuking him for the devastation which he had caused or permitted, in his march through France, and which was represented as worse even than those of their pagan plunderers. They urge him to turn his arms against the heathen, and put an end to civil war and rapine; to reestablish the right and influence of the Church, which in many places had well-nigh altogether ceased to exist; to force the counts who had the sovereignty over different provinces, to punish offenders; to summon frequent provincial Councils, according to canonical regulations; and to found again the monasteries and hospitals which had been misused, or given up to the possession of laymen. To support the advice which had reference to Church property, the example of Charles Martel is adduced, by Hincmar, in the Council of Quiercy, by way of warning to his descendants. This prince was the first to alienate the lands of the Church, and had been seen in a vision by St. Eucharius, of Orleans, suffering torment, both in body and soul, for his sacrilege. Charlemagne, on the contrary, Louis the Pious, and, which is more remarkable, Charles the Bald, are mentioned as sovereigns who respected the rights of the Church, and had great fear of sacrilege, although it is at the same time confessed that the last of the three had, under the guidance of ill counsel, or the thoughtlessness of youth, occasionally given away Church lands, but these Louis, who claimed to come into France as a restorer of the rights of the Church, was bound to deliver again to their just possessors. They set before him, with great gravity, and some eloquence, the fear of death and a future judgment, and the destitute condition of the soul when it appears before the tribunal of the judge; and concluded by bidding him excuse them for retaining their allegiance to his brother, and promising that, notwithstanding this, if it should appear, by the result, to be the Divine will for him to be their king, he might expect the bishops to be peaceable and obedient subjects. This letter (which, from the excellence of the advice contained in it, and perhaps from the prudence or caution by which it was no less characterized, was called the golden letter), was intended, as Hincmar tells Charles, as much for that king as for his brother Louis, and was sent to him by a nephew of the archbishop's, of the same name with himself, and about this time appointed bishop of Laon, who followed the king in his flight to Burgundy. We cannot suppose that it had much share in producing the king of Germany’s retreat from France, which may be sufficiently accounted for by other considerations. However, it is said that he was-moved with terror or compunction at the representations which it contained, and an expostulation addressed to him at the same time by the pope and his nephew the emperor, to whom Charles had written complaining of his brother’s conduct, united, with the censures of the bishops, in making him desirous of a reconciliation with the Church and the king of France. Accordingly, he gave audience at Worms in July, 859, to three archbishops, Hincmar, Gonthar, of Cologne, and Wenilo, of Rouen, with some other bishops who followed in their suite, commissioned by a Council held under Charles and his nephew Lothaire, at Metz, to offer him absolution, under certain conditions, and to conduct negotiations which might lead to a firmly established peace. The bishops ranged themselves before the king in the hall of audience, with Hincmar at their head. Louis, who was supported by his chancellor, the abbot Grimwald, and one of the bishops of his Kingdom, began the conversation, or conference, by publicly imploring their pardon for all which he had done to offend them. Hincmar replied by assuring him that the very purpose of their coming was to grant him what he desired, and that he entertained no resentment whatever against the king. The German bishop then besought Hincmar to put an end to his apprehensions, by pronouncing at once an episcopal absolution; but the archbishop of Rheims explained, that his unconditional pardon could only extend to offences against himself in person, not to the evil which the late invasion had brought upon his Church and people. This was a more weighty matter, but he was ready to give the king all necessary advice for enabling him to obtain a plenary absolution and reconciliation. The ecclesiastics who were present of both parties, expressed their concurrence in the archbishop’s proposal, but Louis, who had hoped to receive what he desired without further delay, unwilling to commit himself by promising consent to all that Hincmar might hereafter suggest, broke up the conference by saying that he could come to no final determination, without previously consulting the bishops of Germany. The French prelates therefore returned, without effecting the purpose for which they had been sent, further than that they received from the German king a promise to meet Charles and Lothaire, to settle with them all necessary negotiations. The promised meeting took place near Coblentz, in the course of the following summer, and the usual assurances of friendship were interchanged between the three princes, who agreed upon a perfect amnesty, as far as all past grievances were concerned. Louis, however, could not succeed in prevailing upon his brother to restore their honors and estates to such o£ his nobles as had been active in the late rebellion.

Meanwhile the great Council of Savonières, near Toul, to which allusion has been made before in the account of the predestinarian controversies, was held in the presence of the king of France and his two nephews, Lothaire and Charles. In addition to the discussion which took place here on the doctrinal questions agitated at the time, several other subjects were brought forward, some of them bearing on the late civil war. It has been already said that archbishop Wenilo, of Sens, had been at the head of those among the French clergy who had joined the party of king Louis, and it cannot be doubted that in proportion to his exalted station in the Church and the weight of his personal character, his influence had been more prejudicial to Charles than that of any other of the malcontents. As a reward for his services, the king of Germany had made a deacon, a relative of Wenilo, bishop of Bayeux. The Council determined that the appointment, under such circumstances, was illegal and uncanonical; they nominated some bishops to decide upon the cause, with a threat of excommunication against the accused, unless he consented to abide by their decision. In the following year another person is mentioned as bishop of Bayeux, which makes it probable that it was determined, on this occasion, to depose him from his see.

After the settlement of this, and one or two other similar causes, the Council took cognizance of a charge presented against Wenilo, by king Charles. The king enumerated the benefits which he had heaped upon the archbishop, and dwelt upon the intimacy which had existed between them. He was at first his chaplain, then he had been raised by him to his present dignity; at the partition of the empire between himself and his brother, it was Wenilo who was chosen as chief of the bishops who witnessed the compact, and administered the oaths; and he it was who had performed for him the ceremony of coronation, and who had consecrated him as king. “At that time” continues Charles, in a tone of humility which is remarkable, and which, although partly explained by the insecurity of his present position, and by his desire to conciliate the large party of prelates who composed the Council, must be regarded as a proof of the high ground which was occupied by the bishops of that day, and of the generally prevalent notion that the sovereign owed his right or power, in some sense or degree, to the episcopal sanction and consecration, “at that time he promised not to depose me from the royal dignity, at all events, without the consent of the bishops who assisted him in consecrating me, to whose judgment and fatherly chastisement I was prepared then, and am still prepared to submit myself”. Besides this promise, Wenilo had, with the other bishops, subscribed an agreement, at the commencement of the last troubles, to remain faithful to Charles; yet, on the first approach of Louis, he was the only one among the bishops who had advanced to meet him, and who, afterwards, though especially summoned to join his own king, had gone over to him with all his followers. When Charles, previous to the invasion of the Germans, was preparing to march against the Normans, he had sent to Wenilo to accompany him, perhaps from some suspicion of his fidelity. The arch­bishop of Sens excused himself on the plea of illness, but it soon appeared that the pretext was groundless, and that the real cause of his refusal was the intention of joining Louis on his arrival in France. Moreover, although he well knew that all who revolted from the king had been excommunicated, he had scrupled not to communicate with them, and had performed mass in the royal palace of Attigny, in their presence. In return for his rebellion, he had received from Louis the abbey of St. Columba, besides the bishopric of Bayeux for his relation Tortold. Even since the invasion, when Charles was advancing with his army in pursuit of Louis, he had taken Sens on his way, for the sake of gaining succor from the archbishop, but had been refused. He had also been foremost in the attempt, fortunately ineffectual, to persuade his nephew, king Lothaire, to join in the rebellion.

The Council was unanimous in its reprobation of Wenilo’s conduct, and he was cited, by a synodical letter, to appear, within thirty days, in the presence of four judges, chosen by the king. These were the archbishops of Lyons, Rouen, Tours, and Bourges. The bishop of Mans, who was commissioned by his metropolitan to deliver the citation to Wenilo, urged him to put a stop to all further proceedings by making his peace with Charles. The archbishop followed the advice, and received the king’s forgiveness at a private interview, without the delay and disgrace of submitting to a formal trial.

While on the subject of the Council of Toul, or Savonières, it may be worth notice, that the revolution which had been effected, by Nomenoius, in the Church of Britany, more than ten years before, was still looked upon by the French in the light of a schism. Some time since, the son and successor of Nomenoius had been murdered by Salomon, or Solomon, who now possessed the title of king or duke of Britanny, but had not been recognized by Charles, and was regarded as a rebel. The chief of the Breton nobles, nine in number, had been laid under the ban of excommunication by the bishops of France as long as they continued to support the pretensions of duke Solomon; and the present Council addressed a letter to them, as well as to their leader, containing earnest exhortations to return to their obedience, and thus avert the peril which now threatened their salvation. A letter was also written to the bishops of the country, containing similar advice to return to their allegiance to the metropolitan of Tours, and warning them against holding communion with the nobles who had been removed from the pale of the Church.

One of the canons passed at Savonières, was on the subject of education, and ordered that public schools, for divine and human learning, should be established throughout the kingdom, wherever fit teachers could be found. A knowledge of holy Scripture, it is added, was rare at the time; a circumstance which need cause no surprise, when we remember how unfavorable the state of the country was to any literary or peaceable occupation. We are not informed whether the public schools now recommended were similar in character to the institutions suggested, under the same name, by the Council of Paris, in the reign of Louis the Pious. If the latter, as is supposed, were large universities, of which only one was to be planted in each of the kingdoms of Lombardy, France, and Germany, it is probable that the public schools of the Synod of Savonieres were meant to designate establishments of a less exalted or extensive character. It would be interesting to know whether the recommendations of the Council were followed; probably the disturbances of the country hindered any effectual attention to the subject. Charles the Bald, however, enjoyed a reputation even higher than that of the other Carolingian princes for his patronage of learning. The author of the life of St. Germain, writing at the time, says that the Greeks were moved to emulation by his zeal in promoting literature; and describes all Ireland, with its flock of philosophers, as migrating to the shores of France. So many teachers are said by the same writer to have come from various quarters, that no one was left in other countries to conduct the schools. Of the heads of the Church who patronized learning and encouraged it by their own example, Lupus and Hincmar, in France, and the late archbishop of Metz, in Germany, are named as the most remarkable.

While Hincmar was busily employed in public affairs of the Church and the civil government of France, he was not less zealous in matters which concerned the welfare of his own diocese. After finishing the Church of St. Remigius, he constructed a richly ornamented cell, as a suitable resting place for the bones of that saint. In the presence of all the bishops of his province the body was disinterred, and placed in its new receptacle; it was found to be in perfect preservation, wrapped in a linen sheet, and enclosed in a small silver shrine; a part of the sheet, with the handkerchief or napkin which covered the head, was placed in an ivory casket, and laid in the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame. The tomb was concealed in front by a screen of richly-worked gold, ornamented with jewels, in which a small window disclosed the treasure within to the eyes of spectators. On the shrine some Latin verses were inscribed, containing the date of the translation, which was the 1st of October, 852. The day on which St. Remigius died was the 13th of January, but his festival is celebrated by the Church of Rheims on the day of his translation by Hincmar. King Louis, of Germany, hearing of the labors of the archbishop, wrote to beg that he would send him some portion of the body of the saint, but Hincmar replied that he could not venture to dismember a body which had been preserved entire by Divine Providence for so many years.

So much did the peculiar sanctity attributed to certain Churches, and extending, in degree, from them to the city or neighborhood in which they were situated, depend upon the possession of such sainted relics as the body of St. Remigius at Rheims, that translations similar to that which has been now mentioned not unfrequently occurred; it was reckoned as a religious duty, and an act of the utmost importance, to deposit in Churches, which were built or restored, or which were thought worthy of especial honor, the remains of some saint, whatever the expense or trouble at which they were acquired. It may be worthwhile to relate one or two of the more celebrated instances of this, which are recorded during this or the preceding reign. Hilduin, the late abbot of St. Denys, and instructor of Hincmar, obtained, from the emperor Louis the Pious, a letter to pope Eugenius, requesting him to bestow the body of St. Sebastian on the monastery of St. Medard, at Soissons. It was not without great reluctance that the pope granted so remarkable a favor; but he could refuse nothing to the emperor, and the body was received with the greatest solemnity and rejoicing in France. It is said that Hilduin, or the persons employed by him or by the provost of St. Medard, to remove the remains of St. Sebastian from Rome, carried away by stealth, at the same time, those of St. Gregory the Great. The Romans, however, boast that they still possess not only St. Gregory, but also St. Sebastian; from which we must conclude, says Fleury, either that the Romans imposed upon the French, and gave them other bodies under these names, or, that feeling less scruple than Hincmar at mutilating the relics of saints, they had sent a portion only to Soissons, and kept the rest at Rome. Another famous translation was made by the historian Eginhard, who, at great trouble and expense, obtained the bones of many saints, and transported them to the monasteries of Mulenheim and Micklenstadt, of which he was abbot. The author before quoted, in relating the history of this occurrence, remarks, that zeal for the acquirement of these relics was sometimes carried too far, and that every species of artifice was thought justifiable in gaining possession of them.

On the foundation of the new monastery of Corbey, in Saxony, the emperor presented it with the relics of St. Stephen, taken from his own chapel. When Hilduin was there, during his banishment from France, for participation in Lothaire’s rebellion, he found that the abbot of the monastery had an earnest desire to possess the body of some saint, as a means of confirming the faith among the new converts in that country. Accordingly, on his return, he gained the consent of the emperor, the bishops of Paris, and the chief nobles of the diocese, to transfer the relics of St. Vitus, which had been brought from Rome, in the time of king Pepin, from the abbey of St. Denys to that of Corbey. The sacred gift was three months on its journey, in the course of which it worked more than forty miracles, as is related by the author of the translation of St. Vitus, who himself witnessed them. On its arrival at the monastery, the concourse of people assembled for the occasion was so great, that for more than a mile in circuit the country was covered with the tents of the Saxon nobility. During the whole night and the following day this immense multitude sang praises to God, and for a considerable time afterwards so many flocked from all quarters to be healed of their diseases, or to give evidence of their reverence and gratitude, that the towns, villages, and houses appeared deserted throughout a great part of Saxony.

The translation of St. Liborius to Paderborn took place about the same time. The body of the saint was presented by St. Aldric, of Mans, to the bishop of that see, who found it difficult to remove the heathen superstitions to which the people in his diocese adhered, without some striking exhibitions, such as the miraculous cures which appear to have been often wrought at the time by means of relics of the kind. This translation, like that of St. Vitus, is said to have been accompanied by many miracles. The body was received with the highest marks of respect by the bishops of all the towns through which it passed, and arrived at Paderborn on the day of Pentecost, in the year 836.

Shortly after the translation of St. Remigius, Hincmar published some capitulars, or directions to his clergy, delivered to them at a diocesan meeting at Rheims, which will convey some idea of the information and duties of the parochial clergy of the day. He requires that all his clergy must be well skilled in the exposition of the Creed and Lord’s Prayer, according to the interpretation of the orthodox fathers of the Church, and that they frequently draw from thence the subject of their sermons. They must know by heart the canon and its preface, the composition or rules for settling the festivals of the Church, the psalms, and those chants which were in common use, the Athanasian creed, the services for exorcism, for the baptism of the sick, for final absolution in the reconciliation of penitents, for burial, and some other occasions. The forty sermons of St. Gregory are to be diligently studied by all, and one of them, that on the seventy disciples, to be committed to memory. They are ordered to bless holy water every Sunday, for the use of the people on coming into Church, to lay incense, in memory of our Saviour’s death, upon the oblation, after the offertory; to give to non-communicants “eulogiae”, or portions of the bread which remained over from consecration, but on no account to permit any layman to take the consecrated elements to their own houses, for after use, or for administration to the sick; in all such private communions, the clergyman must himself administer. None of the sacred vessels, vestments, or other articles belonging to the Church, on any pretence whatever to be given in pledge. No one is permitted to be married within the Church without the bishop’s especial license; nor is any money to be exacted for the performance of the funeral service, although the clergyman is not forbidden to receive what may be voluntarily offered. Any presbyter who shall omit to inform his bishop of public offenders, for the sake of reward, or from favor, or who, for similar causes, shall either unduly hasten or too long retard the absolution of penitents, is declared guilty of simony, and is to be dealt with accordingly. The bishop’s license is also required by any presbyter who wishes to apply for a Church or Chapel. After the performance of Divine Service, clergymen are to visit the poor of their parishes, and are then permitted to cultivate their glebe land till the usual hour of dinner. At dinner time they are to make a practice of entertaining the poor, or any strangers who may be passing through their parish, at table. Strict moderation and a sober demeanor, is strongly enjoined, on all occasions on which the clergy of different parishes meet to dine in company, and singing, jesting, or sporting with dancing bears, or dancing girls, positively forbidden. The matriculated poor, or those whose names are on the Church list, for the reception of alms, must be disabled or destitute persons belonging to the same parish or domain, the only exception being relations of the parish priest himself, if they are really in want of such support.

The following are among the subjects of inquiry, sent by the archbishop among the clergy of his diocese, and ordered to be answered and given into his hands within a certain time :—The nature and size of the glebe-house, or clergyman’s residence; the number of houses in the parish which pay tithe; the material and the workmanship of the sacred vessels; whether the parish priest has a clerk to keep school, to read the epistle, to lead the chanting, and to perform other such duties; whether the roof of the Church is in good repair; whether the clergyman has bought any land, and, if so, whether with his own private means, or with the proceeds of his living: if the latter is the case, the property purchased belongs to the Church. The tithe was to be divided into four portions, in the presence of two competent witnesses, one portion for the repairs and other needs of the Church, another for the bishop, of which account is to be kept, and to be handed in to him year by year, a third for the support of the poor matricularii, or pensioners of the Church, and the fourth for the use of the clergyman himself.

In addition to the foregoing instructions to his clergy, a few other capitles were published by him in the twelfth year of his bishopric. The first contained directions concerning persons guilty of some notorious and scandalous offence. The parish priest is to persuade such an one to appear before the rural dean and the clergy of the district, who examine into the facts of the case; then, within fifteen days, he must appear before Hincmar, who will admit him to public penance in the canonical way, by imposition of hands. Then, on the first of each month, the clergy of the deanery, at their monthly meeting, are to take notice of his behavior, and report it to the bishop, who will settle the time of his reconciliation with the Church accordingly. If a notorious sinner refuse submission, he must be separated from communion till he repent. If a parish priest neglect to warn the sinner, or to inform the bishop within the proper time, he is to be suspended for the neglected period; and if the criminal die within this time, he will be deprived of his grade altogether. No person who demands it, under any circumstance, is to be refused the last communion on his death-bed. In a second capitle, the place of burial for any parishioner is left to the choice of the priest; no person may claim a particular tomb as a family burying place, or on any other pretext. The clergyman can demand no fee furnishing a tomb, although he is not forbidden to accept any gratuitous offering. Great care is to be taken that no tomb be plundered, or turned to any other purpose. The third clause of the capitular condemns the practice followed by some clergymen, of performing Divine Service in unconsecrated chapels, which they hold in addition to their parish Churches. To remedy any inconvenience where they are waiting for consecration of Church or altar, or in the case of a chapel too insignificant for consecration, Hincmar orders the presbyter to bring him a neat slab of marble or other stone, and promises to consecrate it for the due performance of the holy mysteries.

The late invasion of France, by the king of Germany, had greatly weakened the confidence, at no time very secure, subsisting between the various princes of the Carolingian family. To heal the wounds that had been then inflicted, Charles the Bald, accompanied by Hincmar, with some others of his bishops, and many noblemen, went to Coblentz, early in the year 860, and there held a conference with his brother Louis, and his three nephews, the emperor, and the kings of Lorraine and Provence. The usual oaths were taken by the five kings, in the Church of St. Castor, promising mutual succor and defence. The king of France extended a full forgiveness, at this meeting, to all his subjects who had joined in the late rebellion. A number of capitulars were afterwards passed, which, decreed as they were by all the sovereigns of the empire, with the authority of the chief bishops, and a large body of nobles of France and Germany, might be thought to possess a more than usual weight. It seems, however, that the treaties of friendship determined upon at Coblentz had no better success than others of a similar nature, for we hear of many complaints and mutual recriminations shortly afterwards, which rose to such a height that king Louis and his three nephews wrote, in the course of this year, to pope Nicholas, complaining of the aggressions of Charles the Bald, and inviting him to pay a visit to France, and endeavor to settle matters on a securer basis by his personal presence and authority. Although a few bishops signed the letter to the pope, the generality of the Church, whether of France or Germany, would certainly not have sanctioned the request, and Nicholas had sufficient prudence to decline undertaking so delicate and difficult a task, which would not only have proved ineffectual, but would have engaged him in a quarrel with half the bishops of western Christendom.

As the meeting of the five princes had done but little for the peace of their kingdoms, a national Council of fourteen provinces met in October of the same year, at Toussi, in the diocese of Toul. Several canons were passed to put a stop, if possible, to the irregularities which prevailed throughout France. Many persons of both sexes, devoted to a religious or monastic life, availed themselves of the destruction of the convents by Normans and other plunderers, to live in a wandering and lawless manner, in defiance of all ecclesiastical rule or civil order, while others, who, for their crimes, had been excommunicated by the bishop of one diocese, took refuge in another, and were admitted to all the privileges of the Church, a circumstance most injurious to religion, but which the danger and rarity of communication between different parts of the kingdom, and hence between neighboring dioceses, rendered it extremely difficult to avoid. The Council set itself to remedy, so far as was possible, these and similar abuses; and, to add weight to their endeavors, advised Hincmar to draw up a synodal letter, addressed to all the faithful who were represented by the assembly at Toussi, and instructing them in the peculiar duties which the disturbed state of society devolved upon them, and in the relations which they occupied to the Church.

Two questions were brought before the Council of Toussi, which, from the rank of those who were concerned in them, had for some time attracted considerable notice, and which are not without interest, from the picture which they give of the kind of influence exercised by the rules of the Church upon men’s minds, and the proof furnished by this, that ecclesiastical or episcopal jurisdiction was the only one in that day which attempted to defend the cause of morality and justice. The first of the two was a complaint brought by count Raymond, a nobleman of rank and power, against Stephen, his son-in-law, a young gentleman of equal wealth and family. It appeared that Stephen had persisted, from the hour of his marriage, in living separately from his wife, in consequence of a scruple of conscience, arising from an intimacy which had subsisted, in former years, between himself and a cousin of that lady. The scruple had existed long before the marriage, and, as he informed the fathers at Toussi, on being summoned before them, and questioned as to the history of the circumstances, he had laid the case before his spiritual adviser, who read to him, from a book called the canon, some rules of the Church which bore upon the subject, declared the marriage contemplated by him unlawful, and said that nothing remained but a mutual agreement to separate, if it were once contracted. To avoid the marriage he found was impossible, as the betrothal was of long standing, and count Raymond insisted on its fulfillment, and if he had continued to refuse or delay compliance, his life would have been in danger. He had therefore been forced to adopt the compromise of receiving the lady as his wife, and thenceforward avoiding her company, but would willingly take the most solemn oath that he was actuated in so doing neither by dislike for her, nor love for any other woman, but solely by his anxiety not to implicate her in the consequence of his own former guilt and folly. On deliberating upon the matter, the bishops at Toussi found it difficult to come to a conclusion, or perhaps considered that a smaller assembly would be more suited to discuss and pass sentence upon so delicate a question. They therefore gave directions to the archbishops of Bourges and Bourdeaux, in whose province the parties concerned dwelt, to call together the suffragans, and examine what the canon decided on such a matter, while the king and his nobles should be requested to attend to give weight to their judgment, and assist them in arriving at some settlement, which might at once be canonically correct, and might satisfy both count Raymond and his son-in-law. Stephen expressed his consent to this arrangement, and Hincmar was ordered by the fathers to draw up a statement of the case, with his own view of what the law determined. The letter addressed by Hincmar, in obedience to the order of the Council, to archbishops Rodulf and Frotarius, of Bourges and Bourdeaux, is extant among his works. After relating the circumstances of the appeal to the synod, and remarking that the charge was altogether irregular, and that, in consequence, the bishops assembled at Toussi might have declined noticing it, but for the sake of the parties, and the excitement which it had caused for the last three years, he recommends that count Stephen be ordered to bring his wife with him to the Council, to be held in Aquitaine, and that the lady be examined separately, to discover whether she agrees in her husband’s story, or whether there may not, after all, be some cause of disagreement between them. If her account is the same with his, he must then be required to disclose the name of the other lady, from whose intimacy with him, in former years, the present difficulties took their rise. For the full legitimacy of a marriage, Hincmar explains that it must take place between persons who are free, and nearly of the same age, with the consent of the father, and that the bride must have a legitimate dowry; nor is the marriage to be considered a sacrament, if followed, like that nuptial ceremony now in question, by an immediate separation between man and wife. Hence it follows that this is no real marriage. Thus a legal separation must take place, and then the lady may be permitted to marry again. Stephen must, however, return the dowry he received with his wife, and, after penance, not so much for the early offence as for irregularities since his marriage, he may also, if he thinks it expedient and necessary, take another wife.

The other case brought forward for the decision of the Council was that of Ingeltrude, daughter of count Matfrid, and wife of Boso, a powerful Lombard noble­man, in the neighborhood of Milan. This lady left her husband, and went into France, where she travelled from one place to another, affording great cause for scandal by the irregularity of her life. Count Boso had applied to pope Benedict, and after that to his successor Nicholas, for letters to the kings, nobles, bishops, and other persons in the countries in which he heard that she was, exhorting them to send her back to Italy.

All was to no effect, and at last she was excommunicated by a Council at Milan, and the pope himself affixed his signature to the sentence. Soon afterwards it was discovered that the lady had fixed her abode in the kingdom of Lothaire, and, consequently, at some place within the province of Treves or Cologne. The pope, therefore, wrote to the metropolitans of those dioceses, Teutgard and Gunther, reproving them for permitting such an irregularity, reminding them that she had been excommunicated at Milan, and begging them to confirm and repeat the sentence, unless she returned at once with her husband, who, as it appears, had gone thither in quest of her. He wrote, at the same time, to king Charles the Bald, praying him to force his nephew Lothaire to banish her at once from his dominions, and to beware that she found no refuge within those of France. Charles had no wish to embroil himself in a war with his nephew, out of zeal for count Boso, or for the preservation of ecclesiastical discipline, and therefore appears to have paid no attention to the pope’s letter, although afterwards, when seeking a pretext for quarreling with Lothaire, he made use, among other things, of his harboring Ingeltrude in his kingdom. Lothaire, indeed, we know not for what reason, took up the lady’s cause with some energy, and insisted that she should not be forced away against her will. Under these circumstances, Gunther, archbishop of Cologne, knew not what steps to take. He was unwilling either to disoblige the pope, or to give his countenance to any such scandal as was undoubtedly caused by Ingeltrude’s residence in his province, excommunicated as she was by her own bishop, and proving, by her contempt of her husband’s authority, and other particulars in her conduct, that the sentence was fully resisted; nor, on the other hand, did he consider it safe, or consistent with his duty, to excommunicate a person whom his sovereign had taken under his protection, and chose to regard as an injured woman. Hincmar had gained the reputation of the best casuist of his day, and, in consequence, the archbishop of Cologne, in presence of the Council of Toussi, laid the case before his brother of Rheims, and requested him to give him his advice. The question was put in the following form :—If the wife of count Boso comes to me, making confession of her guilt, and desirous of penance and reconciliation with the Church, but expressing, at the same time, a fear that her husband will put her to death if she returns to him, in what way am I to treat her request? Ought I to admit her to penance and absolution, and then send her back to count Boso, urging him, at the same time, to save her life, and to receive her again as his wife, on pain of being himself excommunicated? Hincmar declined answering so grave a question without due reflection, and, after the Council, having given it his careful consideration, returned an answer to archbishop Gunther, to the effect that he has no right to impose penance upon a wife, without her husband’s consent and sanction; moreover, that whatever confession Ingeltrude may have made, count Boso accused her of no graver fault than neglect of the household duties to which a wife is bound. All that Gunther is required to do, is to deliver her into the hands of king Lothaire, who is bound to send her, by his official messenger or deputy, to count Boso. The archbishop ought also to write to Boso, forbidding his taking vengeance upon his wife by putting her to death, under pain of excommunication; but the sentence of excommunication, in such cases, must be pronounced, not by Gunther himself, but by the bishop of his own diocese. Also, if Ingeltrude, on her return into Italy, renews the confession which she had already made at Cologne, or if she is otherwise proved guilty, when there, her own bishop will know what penance to pronounce against her.

The archbishop of Cologne, as is probable, was unable to persuade Lothaire to follow the advice given by Hincmar, or to restore Ingeltrude to her husband, count Boso; or perhaps he may have had as little scruple as the king himself against disregarding the orders which pope Nicholas had sent him, to repeat in his own province the sentence of excommunication which had been pronounced against her at Milan. The strenuous opposition which we find subsisting, shortly afterwards, between Gunther and the pope, upon another subject, gives probability to this conjecture. Certainly, nothing was now effected towards the return of the fugitive wife to her husband; for three years afterwards Nicholas, in a letter written to some of the bishops of Lothaire’s kingdom, anathematizes Ingeltrude and all who held any communication with her, though, at the same time, he offered to pardon her if she would leave her present place of refuge and come to Rome.

Shortly afterwards another event occurred which threatened the peace between the kings of France and Lorraine. Baldwin, a count of Flanders, persuaded Judith, daughter of king Charles, who had been living in a convent since her second widowhood, to leave her seclusion in his company. They took refuge in Lothaire’s dominions, and that prince, when Charles called upon him to send back to him his daughter and the count of Flanders, either refused compliance, or, as is probable, was possessed of too little authority to seize upon so powerful a noble as count Baldwin. Charles wrote to the emperor to complain of his brother’s conduct, and at the same time informed Lothaire that he must, henceforward, cease to regard him as a friend. Louis endeavored to mediate between the two kings, and at last, on the departure from Lorraine of the subjects of the quarrel, succeeded in his attempt, for Baldwin, meanwhile, had been excommunicated by the French bishops, and, finding that it would be useless to continue in opposition to the king and the Church together, went to Rome and begged pope Nicholas to intercede for him with the former. The pope, as it appears, was afraid that the count of Flanders might join the Normans, which would be a severe blow, not only to the kingdom of France, but to all Christendom in the west; for the advances made, of late years, by those heathen tribes, were looked upon with the greatest apprehension by the whole of civilized or Christian Europe. Accordingly, the pope wrote to Charles the Bald and his queen Hermentrude, begging them to pardon the count and recognize him as a son-in-law; he wrote, at the same time, to Hincmar, begging that he, and the other bishops of France, would take up the cause of Judith, and plead with the king in her behalf. This Hincmar readily undertook to do, but as firmly refused to sanction what the pope, at the same time, requested, that their marriage should be at once publicly solemnized. He insisted that their reconciliation to the Church must take place before this could be canonically done. Nicholas was irritated at his refusal, and went so far as to threaten him with loss of communion if he persisted in it; and many persons were urgent with the archbishop of Rheims to overlook the excommunication of the offenders, rather than draw down the anger of the pope upon himself and his Church. Hincmar, however, simply answered, that they must have misunderstood the request made by the pope, as it was quite impossible that so orthodox a pontiff could wish to break through the laws of the Church, and dispense with ecclesiastical censures. Thus the matter rested for a time. Baldwin and Judith, however, shortly afterwards so far pacified the king as to gain his consent to their union, although he refused to sanction their marriage by his presence. We are not expressly told whether the ban of excommunication was removed before the ceremony. Probably Hincmar, though unwilling to act in violation of the rules of the Church, of which he was always a firm and consistent champion, might consent, when the king’s permission had been obtained, to relax the severity of discipline, and to be content with a less strict or a shorter penance than would otherwise have been exacted.

The disquiet caused by the misconduct of the princess Judith in the family of Charles the Bald, was increased by the rebellion of his two sons, Louis and Charles, the latter of whom still retained the title of king of Aquitaine, while the former had been honored with that of king of Neustria. These princes had married against the king’s will, and had been induced, by their fathers-in-law, to unite with duke Solomon, of Brittany. The alliance might have proved formidable to Charles, but for the courage and fidelity of Robert, count of Anjou, surnamed the brave, or strong, who had already signalized his valor by several victories over the Normans and Bretons, and who now defeated Louis and his new allies and forced him to return to his duty and allegiance. The king of Aquitaine, after the defeat of his brother, was quickly compelled to follow his example. Soon afterwards, as he was engaged in a mock combat with one of his companions, he received a blow upon the head which enfeebled his intellect, and brought on frequent attacks of epilepsy, of which he died in the course of two or three years, in September 866.

The death of the young king of Aquitaine was preceded, a year or two before, by that of his cousin Charles, king of Provence, who died in 863, of the same disease, of epilepsy. This prince, of whom little is known, had reigned about eight years, during which time his dominions had suffered not less than the rest of France from the ravages of Normans and Saracens. The only interest which can attach to his name, arises from the fact, that he was the first king of Provence. The territory over which he reigned was divided, according to a former agreement, between his two brothers; Provence, Dauphiny, and Savoy fell to the lot of the emperor, who assumed now, in addition to the imperial title, that of king of Italy and Provence; while the remainder, under the appellation of the kingdom of Burgundy, was added to the dominions of Lothaire. It is said that Charles the Bald was only hindered by the quarrel in which he was engaged with his own sons, from attempting to possess himself of his late nephew’s kingdom, although he had himself guaranteed the inheritance to the brothers of that prince.

Louis, the eldest son of the king of France, succeeded his brother as king of Aquitaine. There was now no opposition to his assuming the title, or exercising the rights of king, so far as any king, in this time and country, could be said to possess such rights, when the whole power was in the hands of the nobles, who obeyed their sovereign or not at their own will. Pepin, who had been reconciled to Charles, at the time of the king of Germany’s invasion of France, afterwards took up arms again, and availing himself as before of Norman aid, had met with considerable success. At the head of his new forces he took Poitiers, and though the city itself was spared, on paying an enormous ransom, he burnt the famous cathedral of St. Hilary, one of the most venerable of the Churches of France. Limousin and Auvergne were conquered; the count of the latter province was killed in battle, and Clermont, its capital, pillaged and destroyed. The whole of Aquitaine might probably have been finally conquered by the Normans, who, to the usual terror of their arms, which none dared to resist, added now a general of a more enlarged ambition and more cultivated mind. But their career was cut short by the treason or stratagem of count Rainulf, of Poitiers, who, by a promise of joining his party, induced Pepin to trust himself to a private interview. Rainulf seized him, and carrying him to Pistres, on the Seine, delivered him into the hands of king Charles, who was holding a diet there at the time, in the month of June, 864. In addition to his rebellion, a still heavier charge was brought against the prisoner, for he is said to have purchased the assistance of the Normans by apostasy from his own religion, and conformity to the idolatrous worship of the heathens. Accordingly the parliament condemned him to death, but the king commuted the sentence to confinement for life in the convent of Senlis. There is extant a letter written by Hincmar to king Charles, relative to the way in which he ought to be treated. Pepin, as it appears, had confessed his sin of joining the pagans, as well as that formerly committed of renouncing the religious vows which he had taken at Soissons, and professed repentance; and the monks of Senlis were at a loss what kind of penance to impose upon a personage of such exalted rank, and for crimes of so grave a nature. The archbishop explains that a public penance is in all common cases necessary, tinder such circumstances, but that as Pepin is afflicted with paralysis it may be sufficient for him, after a full private confession of all his sins, to come into Church, and on repeating there the confession of his apostasy to paganism, and his former renunciation of his monastic vows, to receive the same absolution which is there bestowed upon public penitents; he is then to receive the tonsure and monastic habit, and afterwards to be admitted to communion. He recommends that Pepin should be strictly guarded, but that he should be treated with every kindness consistent with a secure confinement.

Up to the year 869 the political or military history of France consists only of the ravages of the Normans, who, in parties of not more than a few hundreds, penetrated to every part of the kingdom, and seized, without resistance, on the strongest towns, as well as on the richest monasteries. For a time, Robert the Brave, and a few other nobles, defeated and repulsed them from their own counties or territories; but in 866 the count of Anjou, with Rainulf, of Poitiers, and some others, were defeated and slain in open fight in the neighbourhood of Mans, and, by their death, France seemed left without a defender. An attempt had indeed been made to resist the progress of the ravagers, or rather to furnish places of refuge on their approach, by the erection of fortresses on the estates of the noble­men and more wealthy proprietors in various parts of the country. But it was soon discovered that these strongholds were of far greater use as retreats for banditti, and safe storehouses for plunder, than as places of defence against the foreign invaders. They were therefore ordered to be razed to the ground, by an edict of the diet of Pistres, in 864, and the king attempted to supply their place by fortifying the mouths of the large rivers, placing garrisons on their banks, and planting stockades to hinder the approach of the vessels. If this plan had been put in practice twenty years earlier, it might have saved the country from its ruin and misery; but the Normans were now grown so fearless, from long success, and the French nation so unaccustomed to think of defending themselves, that they were of little comparative advantage. However, after the years 868 and 870, the invasions certainly grew less frequent, or were marked with less rapine and devastation. The French princes and nobles had learned to encourage disunion and sedition among their foes, and to win one party of Normans to oppose another; many also, in different parts of the kingdom, had been attracted by the fertility of the country, and by the charms of peace and refinement, to settle in quiet among the inhabitants, and imitate their manner of life, and not a few had been persuaded to relinquish the superstitions of their former heathenism, and adopt the profession of Christianity, which they looked upon as the religion of civilization.

The kingdom of France, less troubled than formerly with intestine war, had more leisure to turn its attention to a subject which, for twelve years, engaged the almost undivided interest of the princes and prelates of the empire. This was the divorce, by king Lothaire, of his wife Thietburga, with the circumstances which attended and followed it. Thietburga was daughter of Boso, a count of Burgundy, and her brother Hubert was notorious as being a married clergyman, who had gained possession, in an irregular manner, of more than one monastery in Switzerland, who lived in the midst of debauchery and strife, and who had been, on several occasions, instrumental in causing quarrels between the princes of the empire. Lothaire married her in the year 856, but a former attachment, or, as was said by some, betrothal to a German lady, named Waldrada, prevented him from treating his wife with due affection; nor was this, apparently, the worst of which queen Thietburga had to complain, for the conduct, as well as the court of Lothaire, is said to have been disgraced by a licentiousness from which that of the other Carolingian kings seems to have been singularly free. Not long after the marriage, a report became prevalent that the queen, many years ago, had committed the crime of incest with her brother Hubert. Thietburga indignantly denied the charge, and some nobles of his court, who, by the advice of his bishops, had been appointed by Lothaire to decide the question, proposed that recourse should be had to the ordeal of hot water. The queen readily consented, and, as was the custom when such a trial was undertaken by persons of high rank and dignity, chose a proctor or deputy, to undergo the ceremony in her behalf. The proof consisted in plunging the naked hand into a vessel full of boiling water, and drawing up from the bottom a stone or ring which had been thrown in for the purpose. The hand was immediately wrapped up, and the covering fastened with a seal, that no method of cure or obliteration might be, meanwhile, adopted. Then, after a time, it was uncovered, and, if found uninjured, the accused was declared innocent, but if injured, was condemned. The queen’s deputy passed through the trial unhurt, and, on her acquittal by her judges, the king was compelled to receive her back again as his wife.

After a time, Lothaire appears to have induced the archbishops of Cologne and Treves to undertake his cause against the queen, on the promise, as is said, of marrying a lady who was niece of the former, and sister of the latter prelate, if they would aid him in freeing himself from his present wife. Accordingly, the two archbishops, with Adventius, bishop of Metz, and some others, met at Aix-la-Chapelle, in January, 860, by the king’s appointment. In their presence he declared that he had been apprised, since his marriage, of his wife’s former guilt, and his suspicions had been confirmed during a visit which he had lately paid to his brother Louis, in Italy; he therefore begged the bishops who were present to have an interview with Thietburga, and to examine her as to the truth of the reports brought against her. On their return, Gunther assured Lothaire that the queen had made private confession of the truth, that she had expressed herself as unworthy of the conjugal state, and desired only permission to enter a convent, and pass the rest of her life in penitence. She added a solemn declaration that she was prompted to this conduct by no motive of fear, but solely from anxiety for her own salvation. The other prelates confirmed the account of Gunther, and agreed with him in advising the king to permit her retirement to a life of seclusion. In a letter written at the same time to the rest of the bishops, they added to this relation that the queen had cast herself at their feet, and implored their ghostly counsel; that they had strongly urged her on no account to make a false confession, and that she had promised, with an oath, never to dispute or deny what had been done, on condition of their giving her the absolution which she desired.

Soon afterwards, in the course of the next month, all the nobles of Lothaire’s kingdom were summoned to meet the same bishops, with some others, at Aix-la-Chapelle, and in their presence the queen delivered to her husband a written paper containing her confession, with a declaration that it was made of her own free will, without compulsion or suggestion of any kind whatever. Lothaire likewise took an oath that he had used no threats or persuasion to induce her falsely to accuse herself, and the bishops, in consequence, pronounced as her sentence, that she must perform public penance. With this view she was confined in a convent, but left it before the termination of the year, and joining her brother Hubert, took refuge in the dominions of king Charles, who, whether from a real belief in her innocence, or from a readiness to annoy his nephew, willingly offered her a secure residence in his kingdom. While there, she sent messengers to Rome to complain to pope Nicholas of the episcopal sentence passed against her at Aix-la-Chapelle, while Lothaire, on the other hand, also sent Mentzaud, archbishop of Treves, and Hatto, bishop of Verdun, with commendatory letters from the nobles and prelates of the kingdom, assuring the pope that they had passed no definitive sentence of divorce, but had simply imposed a public penance in consequence of Thietburga’s public confession of her guilt. At the same time they begged the pope to send legates into France, to settle, in a Council convened by them, the whole matter in dispute.

Some time after the last assembly at Aix, either in the same or in the following year, Hincmar received, on two separate occasions, sets of questions relative to the case of Lothaire’s divorce. They were sent by several persons of rank, both among the bishops and lay nobles, and contained a request that he would give them his best consideration, without mentioning, in his answer, the name of the inquirers. The terms of the request prove at once a doubt as to the correctness of the late decision, and a fear of appearing openly to oppose the will of Lothaire. Probably the character of the king was such as to confirm the doubts entertained by those best acquainted with him, as to the real guilt of Thietburga. Hincmar answered the inquiries in a treatise of considerable length, addressed to the kings, bishops, and faithful in general. He expresses himself as altogether dissatisfied with the proceedings of the bishops at Aix-la-Chapelle. It had been said that he had declared his approval of all that had been done, and had even begged the bishops of Metz, Meaux, and Rouen, who were present at the latter assembly, to signify his consent to the Council, with the assurance that he had himself intended to be present. This report he positively denies. The fact was, that just before the meeting, Adventius, bishop of Metz, had paid him a visit at Rheims, and had endeavored to persuade him to come, but that Hincmar had declined doing so, both from ill health, and because he had no time to consult the bishops of the province, without whose advice or consent a metropolitan was not permitted by the canons to engage in any business beyond the limits of his diocese. In commenting upon the line of conduct adopted by the bishops, he explains that the cause ought at once to have been referred to lay and married judges; and in support of this view, refers to a case which had occurred during the reign of Louis the Pious, when a lady of rank appealed to the emperor against her husband. Louis wished to lay it before a general synod which was then assembled, but the bishops wisely referred it to lay judges, with the understanding that after the case had been fully decided by them, they would, if necessary, appoint the proper penance suited for the occasion. Moreover, it was altogether wrong to separate husband and wife, on a mere private confession, unsupported by any proof. The case of Ebo, late archbishop of Rheims, who had been sentenced, on a private confession, to lose his diocese, had been quoted as a case in point, on the ground that the relation subsisting between a bishop and his flock is similar to that between a husband and wife. Hincmar, however, will not allow that the two relations have more than a resemblance of analogy one to the other. The conjugal tie is far stronger than that between a bishop and his diocese. Scripture expressly lays down one only cause sufficient to break through the former, whereas there may be an indefinite number of reasons for a bishop to resign his see. He lays it down as a principle, that divorces or separations can take place only on one of two pretexts. One is that laid down by our Lord, on the proof of adultery, clearly made out before lay judges, with sufficient evidence; and the other is, the mutual consent of both parties to separate, for the sake of their own spiritual advance­ment, and for the better service of God. In this latter case it is necessary that both husband and wife should enter at once upon a religious life; either one is forbidden to take a vow of continence and seclusion without the other. This, of course, was not pretended in the case of Lothaire, and, as to the former alternative, it was equally devoid of foundation, for Thietburga was not accused of any impropriety of conduct since her marriage, which is the only case contemplated by the Church, nor, waiving this, was the offence with which she was charged in any way attempted to be proved. The omission of so obvious a step as that of sending for Hubert, the pretended accomplice of the queen, proved of itself that the judges in this cause could have had no great anxiety for arriving at the truth. And again, Lothaire’s conduct was open to this dilemma: if the charge had any truth in it, he could not have been ignorant of it at the time of his marriage, and if he had abstained for some years in making his complaint, how could he expect to be believed now? Another argument not to be evaded was the circumstance of her trial by hot water. Whatever might be thought of the validity of this method of proof, Lothaire had consented to abide by it, and as the result was favorable to Thietburga, he was bound never to permit a resuscitation of the charge. If the queen’s deputy had been injured in the trial, there could be no doubt of her condemnation; nor, by parity of reasoning, ought she therefore to lose the advantage of an opposite consequence. However, as none of the enquiries sent to Hincmar begged for his opinion on this method of ordeal, and others by cold water, hot iron, and the like, he enters at some length into the question, deciding on the whole that they are valid and permissible means of arriving at the truth, though it is to be confessed that his reasoning, in this part of the treatise, is not so clear or so conclusive as his usual style. Many analogies are drawn from Scripture to bear upon the subject. For example, the passage of the Red Sea was a trial by cold water, which terminated in the acquittal of the Israelites, and condemnation of the Egyptians; the destruction of Sodom, the ordeal by fire, and that by hot water, refers, typically, or by anticipation, to the last judgment, when it is believed that fire and tempest will meet and destroy the wicked, but leave the saints uninjured. The method by which some of these trials were conducted is explained by Hincmar: that by hot water has been mentioned before; in the trial by cold water, the accused was let down by a rope into a cistern and drawn up again; if innocent, the water received him, but rejected him if guilty. The proceeding, in every case of the kind, was a strictly religious one, and accompanied by a regular service appointed by the Church. An attempt had been made by some persons, who considered this trial as a legitimate mode of proof, but who were favorable to Lothaire’s side of the question, to evade the force of the argument which pressed upon them, by supposing that the deputy of Thietburga escaped unhurt, not because the queen was innocent, but because she had already made a secret confession of her fault, which might be regarded as, in some degree, a compensation or satisfaction for it, or because, by a secret act of thought at the time of the immersion, she fixed in her mind upon another brother, and not Hubert, and therefore was justly acquitted. Hincmar easily shows the futility of such suppositions, and demonstrates as easily the probability of her having been acted upon by fear of death, or of some other severe punishment at her husband’s hands, to make a false confession. He then replies to another question bearing on the popular belief of the day, whether it is possible for such alienation as that which subsisted between Lothaire and his wife, to be caused by demoniacal influence, or the magical acts of enchanters. He answers this in the affirmative, and adduces several cases in proof of it, one of which had fallen under his own observation, or had happened in his own parish. The sudden hatred conceived by Amnon against his sister Tamar, he considers to have been the effect of some diabolical power of the kind. From hence he is naturally led to speak of the different kinds of witchcraft, or incantation, over all of which the Church has power by exorcism, and other methods of expulsion, or opposition, and defeat.

Since his separation from Thietburga, Lothaire had not scrupled to regard and treat Waldrada as his wife, although their union had not yet been sanctioned by any episcopal or ecclesiastical benediction. In speaking of this circumstance, Hincmar scruples not to charge him with adultery. In answer to the objection that no bishop of another diocese has any concern with the affairs of Lothaire, and the nobles and prelates of his realm, he replies, that, inasmuch as the Church is one, that which affects one portion reaches also to the rest; and that the crimes of a Christian king are indeed matters of grave thought, and of episcopal censure, not to his own subjects only, but to all Christendom. Nor can it be said with truth, that what has once been decided in a Council of bishops, ought not to be brought forward a second time, as still question for discussion, for the history of the Ephesian Council proves the contrary, and the apostolic see has the power of re-examining the decisions of provincial, or even of general synods. The final objection asserted that kings are above laws and synods, that they have no superiors upon earth, and therefore are not liable to censure and excommunication, which Hincmar answers by adducing the instances of Saul, David, and others, of the emperor Theodosius, and, in later times, of Louis the Pious, all of whom submitted to censure from their spiritual superiors, and acknowledged the lawful authority of the ministers of the Church over kings as well as their subjects.

We see from this treatise that Hincmar took, very decidedly, the part of the queen, like his sovereign, king Charles, and, with the exception of Lothaire, and a few of his bishops, and perhaps the emperor Louis, like all others who took any interest in the question. The archbishop’s letter, although written at the request of a few private individuals, was published, as is probable, from its address to all the faithful, and, doubtless, had considerable influence in forming men’s opinions on the subject, quite as much from the writer’s former reputation as a canonist and casuist, as from the intrinsic weight of the arguments contained in it. However, it is not to be supposed that Lothaire and his party would be turned aside from their determinations by anything that the archbishop of Rheims could say. A meeting assembled at Metz, at which nearly the same bishops were present who had conducted the last synod at Aix-la-Chapelle. King Lothaire, after acknowledging that the rank and power of bishops was superior to those of kings, declared himself ready to perform whatever penance they might think right to impose upon him for the sins of which he had been guilty, since his separation, two years before, from queen Thietburga; he then begged that they would permit him to take another wife in her place. The archbishop of Treves bore testimony to the sincerity of Lothaire’s repentance for his late irregularities of conduct, and to the strictness of his fasting and mortification during the Lent which had just passed. Two bishops were then appointed to examine what the canons permitted to be done under such circumstances. After spending a whole night in their examination, they reported to the Council, on the following day, as the decision to which they had arrived, that although neither Holy Scripture nor the laws of the Church afforded any ground on which the separation from Thietburga could be justified, and, although supposing the separation legal, both parties were bound to remain unmarried, at all events, till the death of one of them, yet they recommended that Lothaire should be permitted to enter upon a second marriage. This conclusion they founded on a commentary upon St. Paul, attributed to St. Ambrose, although it is now agreed that the treatise is spurious, even if the portion referred to by the bishops at Metz was not interpolated for the occasion; however, St. Ambrose was made to say that our Lord's command, not to marry after separation, applied only to the wife, and was not meant to bind the husband.

Having thus freed the king from the bonds of his former marriage, the archbishops of Cologne and Treves expected to receive their reward, in seeing the lady who was their relation, and to whom Lothaire had promised that honor, raised to the dignity of queen. She was brought to court and presented to the king, who, so far from redeeming his promise, treated her with cruelty and insult. He then introduced his mistress Waldrada to the nobles and people of his kingdom, and having celebrated his nuptials with all possible solemnity, had her crowned queen, to the great displeasure, as it is said, of the best and most faithful among his subjects.

Charles the Bald shared in the general discontent at the proceedings of his nephew, which was increased by his conduct in affording refuge to Count Boso’s wife, and to Baldwin and his daughter Judith, and declared that he could not conscientiously have any dealings with him, regarding him, as he did, in the light of one who had subjected himself to the heaviest censures of the Church. The emperor Louis, however, contrived by some means to remove his uncle’s scruples, and the three princes had a friendly meeting at Savonières, in the neighborhood of Toul, at which the king of France was accompanied by Hincmar of Rheims, his nephew, bishop of Laon, of the same name, and two other prelates.

The decision of the bishops at Metz had been made in April, and the meeting at Savonières had taken place in November, in the year 862. About the end of the same year the pope, who had only just received news of Lothaire’s marriage, sent two bishops, Rodoald and John, as his legates into France, with letters to the king of Germany, to Charles the Bald, and to the king of Provence, to send two bishops each to the synod which they had his authority to assemble. At the same time he wrote generally to the bishops of France and Germany, begging them to meet at Metz, and to prevail on king Lothaire to attend in person. In his instructions to the legates, they were ordered to go to Lothaire, if he refused to meet them at the Council, and to examine strictly into the truth of the assertion which he had made in his letter to the pope, of his having married Waldrada many years before, during his father’s life­time. If this should prove true, they were to discover for what reason Waldrada had been afterwards divorced; but unless good proof could be brought of the alleged marriage, they were to exhort him to a reconciliation with Thietburga, on her acquittal by the Council of Metz. The latter, as the pope tells his legates, had three times appealed to the holy see, and had assured him that her former confession had been extorted from her by fear of instant death. The story of Lothaire’s former marriage with Waldrada, and of his being forced by the menaces of Hubert to divorce her and marry his sister, was put forward by Adventius, in a treatise or memoir which he published shortly afterwards on the subject. But the bishop admitted that he had no ground except mere hearsay for the truth of either assertion.

The Council of Metz had been summoned for the Festival of the Purification, in 863; but an invasion of the Normans, in which Cologne was threatened, and the death of Charles, king of Provence, occupied Lothaire till the month of June. During this interval the papal legates spent part of their time with Charles the Bald, at Soissons, and apparently assisted at a Council held by that king at Senlis; for the fathers who were assembled there, in their letter to Nicholas, beg him to alter his judgment in favor of Waldrada, and condemnation of the former queen, taking it for granted, as is plain, that the pope’s views were rightly represented by his legates, who, meanwhile, had been bribed by Lothaire to maintain that side of the question for which he was interested. In his answer to this letter, the pope tells them that the instructions which he had delivered to his legates would explain to them, as soon as the Council of Metz assembled, the real opinion which he had formed upon the subject. These instructions, however, were not made known to the bishops at Metz. At the Council all the prelates of Lothaire’s kingdom, except the bishop of Utrecht, were present, but no one from Germany or the dominions of Charles the Bald. No one opposed the wishes of the king, who explained that he had only obeyed the decisions of the bishops of his realm. Accordingly the divorce of Thietburga and marriage of Waldrada were ratified, and a report of the proceedings was drawn up, to be carried back to Rome by the legates. In signing the report, one of the bishops present added to the subscription of his name a conditional clause, to the purport that the decree of the Council should not be reckoned of authority until confirmed by the sanction of the pope. Gonthar effaced the sentence from the parchment with a penknife, leaving only the subscriber’s name. He thought fit, however, in company with the archbishop of Treves, to attend the legates on their return to Rome, to demand from Nicholas, in the name of king Lothaire, his confirmation of the Council; and the legates, who could not but apprehend some dissatisfaction from the pope at the result of their proceedings, were probably not unwilling to be supported by the presence of the two leading prelates of the kingdom.

On arriving at Rome, they found that the pope had given orders for assembling a Council, to pass judgment on the conduct of Rodoald, bishop of Porto, in a former embassy to Constantinople, from which he had only returned shortly before his late mission to attend the Synod of Metz. In order to understand the reason for the sentence which the pope intended to pass upon him, and which he only avoided by taking flight the evening before the meeting of the assembly, it is necessary to say a few words on the subject of events which had lately happened at Constantinople. During the patriarchate of Ignatius, Gregory, bishop of Syracuse, had been excommunicated by that prelate, and created a schism. One of his friends and adherents was Photius, a man of noble birth and of vast learning, who filled several important offices in the imperial court. The young emperor Michael, preferring a life of ease and pleasure to the toils of government, had committed the whole management of affairs to the Caesar Bardas, his uncle, a great patron of literature and philosophy, but a man, as it appears, of a profligate life, as well as of inordinate ambition. In consequence of his character, on presenting himself with the rest of the faithful on one of the great festivals of the Church, he was refused communion by Ignatius, and from that time left nothing undone until he had succeeded in driving the patriarch from his see. By a variety of artifices he withdrew many of the bishops of the province from their fidelity; but neither by his own threats, to which were added those of the emperor, nor by their persuasions could he induce him to sign an act of resignation. He proceeded, notwithstanding, to the choice of a successor. Photius, although a layman, was elected to fill the highest place in the Church, and on five successive days was ordained reader, subdeacon, deacon, priest, and patriarch, by the hands of Gregory, the excommunicated and schismatical bishop of Syracuse. His consecration took place on the Christmas day of the year 858; and as soon as he was raised, in name, to the head of the Eastern Church, and found that he had many bishops as well as all the court influence in his favor, Photius lost no time in commencing a bitter persecution against Ignatius and his party. The unfortunate patriarch was hurried from one place of banishment to another, and subjected to the greatest personal cruelties and privations. In order to strengthen his cause, which he felt to be intrinsically weak, though strong in outward support, Photius sent deputies to Rome, with his own account of all that had occurred, to demand of the pope the recognition of his authority. None of the adherents of Ignatius were permitted to accompany or follow the legation, and Nicholas, struck, as it is probable, at this circumstance, avoided either complying with or refusing the request until he had sent messengers to Constantinople, nominally for the purpose of settling in Council the question of images, which was even yet agitated in the east, but fully as much, in reality, for the sake of discovering whether Photius or Ignatius were the legal possessor of the patriarchal rights. Two bishops, Rodoald and Zachary were charged with this embassy, and carried letters both to the emperor and to Photius, dated Michaelmas 860. In the latter epistle the pope acknowledges the orthodoxy of Photius, (who, aware of the suspicions to which he was liable, had sent his creed to Nicholas) but could not avoid noticing the irregularity of his ordination, not, however, as it seems, with a view to the schism of the bishop who ordained him, but because he had been elected bishop while a layman, and had been invested, with uncanonical rapidity, with the episcopal character. In his letter to Michael, he demanded the restitution of the jurisdiction of Rome in Epirus, Illyria, and other provinces, and of the patrimonial possessions of the Roman Church in Calabria and Sicily.

On the arrival of the papal legates at Constantinople, they were seized upon with little ceremony by the court party, and threatened with the severest sufferings unless they promised, in everything, to conform to the emperor’s will. It is but justice to them to testify that they held out against these menaces for many months. At length they were prevailed upon to give the promises required, and Ignatius was quickly brought from the island winch then formed his place of banishment, to be judged in their presence by the emperor, and a Council of upwards of three hundred bishops. The patriarch, who stood day after day alone, without a single supporter, in this vast assembly of enemies, preserved his courage, and yielded not, in the smallest point, to their threats or reproaches. He refused to recognize the papal legates as his judges, although willing, as he declared, to submit his cause to the decision of the pope himself, for the circumstance that Photius occupied the throne as president of the Council, was, he reasonably objected, a proof that the cause had already been prejudged, and determined against him. An informality in his election was the charge on which the attempt to depose him was based, and sixty-two witnesses, of various grades, were brought forward in proof of the accusation. The assertion was probably fictitious, or, if not, as Ignatius alleged in his defence, it was of equal force against the episcopacy of the bishops who formed the Council, all of whom had been ordained by him, and, as he asserted, with somewhat less cogency of argument, against the right of Michael himself, who had been consecrated by him, to the imperial throne. He also exposed the pretensions of Photius, who, by the acknowledged rules of the Church, lay under an anathema and ban of excommunication, who had bound himself, by the most solemn promises to the bishops whom he seduced from their allegiance, to treat the former patriarch as his father, and to do nothing without his sanction, and who, in violation of these oaths, had deposed and anathematized him within forty days of his ordination. He had exercised the greatest cruelties against all who attempted to remind him of his promises, and one prelate, in particular, is mentioned, the archbishop of Cyzicus, whose lingers were broken, and who lost his diocese, because he refused to give up his copy of the agreement.

The Council decreed the deposition and excommunication of Ignatius; and Rodoald and Zachary, having assisted in passing a few canons, for form’s sake, on the subject of images, and other ecclesiastical matters, returned to the pope, and delivered to him such a relation of the events at Constantinople as might encourage him in the support of Photius. A few days afterwards an ambassador from the emperor followed them, carrying with him letters from that patriarch, in which, noticing the demand of Nicholas that Illyria and other countries should be restored to the papal obedience, he assured him that he should have been most ready, not only to restore those provinces, but to add others, feeling, as he did, the weight of the responsibility which was involved in the government of so large a territory, but that state reasons prevented the cession. In the same epistle he reminds the pope that he is bound by the canons not to receive any persons who went with complaints to Rome, unless they were furnished with letters of recommendation from their bishops or metropolitans, and informs him that these persons were usually such as have been guilty of great crimes in their own country, and adopt the practice of making a pilgrimage to Rome in lieu of doing penance or suffering punishment for their offences. Notwithstanding this letter, and another from the emperor, Nicholas easily understood, from reading the acts of the late Council, which were also transmitted for his perusal, that his legates had given their countenance and aid to an act of great injustice and irregularity. He was, however, not acquainted with the prominent part which they had taken in the proceedings, or with a full history of all that had been done, until after the departure of Rodoald on his mission to the court of Lothaire. The additional information was brought by fugitives from Constantinople, whom the cruelties, as they alleged, of Photius, had forced to take refuge in Rome. Zachary was condemned and deposed in another assembly, which, at the same time, declared Photius, for his numerous offences, deprived of his sacerdotal dignity and office, by the authority of Almighty God, of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and of all the saints, of the six general Councils, and of the judgment of the Holy Ghost, then pronounced by the mouths of that synod. If Photius continued, after the reception of that decree, to retain the see of Constantinople, he was excluded from all hope of restitution to communion till his death.

Such was the high tone of authority used by pope Nicholas in his address to the patriarch of Constantinople, and letters written on the same subject, in favor of Ignatius and condemnation of Photius, to the other three ecumenical patriarchs, of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria, breathe the same spirit of monarchical superiority. There is no doubt that the pope was in the right in this point, and that Photius was wrong, but this, while an excuse or reason for the firmest opposition, is none for the tone in which it is expressed. Probably, no one of his predecessors had so exalted an idea as Nicholas of the privileges of the papal, or, as it was usually called, the apostolic see, and perhaps none effected so much towards extending them. Enjoying a reputation, which none could impeach, for strictness of life and manners, and conscious of no intermixture of low and selfish motives with his zeal for promoting the power of his see, he had no personal fears of his rival Photius. No one can doubt the sincerity of his belief that the Roman patriarch was, as he was now usually called, the universal bishop, from whose authority that of all other patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops, was derived.

The same tone of authority in which Photius and the other eastern patriarchs were exhorted or rebuked, was adopted by the pope towards the archbishops of western Christendom. Rodoald, as we have seen, took flight from Rome to avoid the sentence which, as he knew, would be passed upon him, and by which his colleague Zachary had already been condemned, but the archbishops of Treves and Cologne waited on the pope, and, at his request, read in public the acts of the Councils of Metz and Aix-la-Chapelle. Nicholas made no comment at the time, but sending for them some days afterwards, to an assembly in the Lateran palace, found great fault with the proceedings, and bestowed a severe censure on the two metropolitans who had conducted them. He then wrote a circular letter to all the bishops of France, Italy, and Germany, annulling the resolutions of the Council of Metz, and declaring Gonthar and Theutgard deprived of their episcopal character, not only for the late judgment in the cause of Lothaire, but for their neglect of the sentence of condemnation which had been passed upon Ingeltrude, count Boso’s wife. The other bishops who had assisted at the Councils were also deposed, but were promised restoration on acknowledgment of their fault, and submission to the judgment of the holy see.

Neither of the archbishops were disposed at first to submit without a struggle to so severe a sentence. They wrote to their brethren in Lorraine, begging them to trust to no reports which might be spread to their injury, to encourage the king in the independent line of conduct which he had adopted, and to use their utmost endeavors to gain for him the friendship of as many allies as possible, and especially of the king of Germany. The lord Nicholas, continues the letter, who is called pope, who accounts himself an apostle among the apostles, and makes himself emperor of all the world, wished to condemn us; but, thanks to God we resisted his madness, and now he repents of what he has done. They go on in an imaginary address to the pope to complain of the injustice of their treatment: “we went to you”, they say, “in all humility, begging for your instructions; for three weeks we received no other answer than that you thought our conduct excusable; at the end of that time we were brought into your presence, the doors were closed, and a confused multitude of clergy and laymen together vehemently attacked us. Without counsel, without canonical examination, without accuser, without witnesses, without reason or authority brought in proof against us, without confession of our own, in the absence of our brother metropolitans, and the bishops our suffragans, you took upon yourself to condemn us for a mere fancy of your own, at the prompting of your own unreasonable passion. But we admit not your uncharitable sentence, and we reject you from our communion, and content ourselves with the communion of all the Church, and with the society of our brethren, which you despise, and of which you prove yourself unworthy by your pride and arrogance. You are the first to violate the precepts of the apostles, and therefore have but called down an anathema on your own head, annihilating, so far as in you lies, the law of God, the canons of the Church, and even the customs and conduct of your own predecessors. They finish by maintaining again their former judgment about the marriage of the king”.

On leaving Rome, the two archbishops sought refuge at the emperor’s court at Beneventum, and succeeded in representing their treatment at the pope’s hands as an insult to his brother, by whose commission they had gone to Rome in the character of ambassadors. Louis expressed great indignation at the account, and, accompanied by the empress and some troops, set off at once for Rome. A tumult took place among some of his followers and a procession of Romans, who were advancing to the Church of St. Peter with banners and crosses. Among the rest was the cross of St. Helen, presented by that holy lady to the Church, and including within it a portion of the wood of the true cross. This was thrown to the ground and broken, but some Englishmen who were present collected the fragments with great care and reverence, and delivered them to the keeper of the relics. The soldier whose violence had caused this catastrophe, fell sick and died, and the fever which had carried him off, seized likewise on the emperor. Terrified at the danger, he lost no time in reconciling himself with the pope, and sent the archbishops back to France without making any further effort in their favor.

Gonthar, whose firmness was not inferior to that of Nicholas, and who was as fully persuaded of the independence of metropolitan bishops, or of national Churches, as the pope was of their dependence upon Rome, was, unfortunately for the cause which he supported, engaged in maintaining the weakest side of the question in dispute, nor had he the same severe integrity of character and reputation to uphold him in his own judgment, or that of others, which was possessed, in an eminent degree, by his adversary. He was also deserted by his former allies, for Lothaire, who felt that his great strength lay in the support of his brother, the emperor, no sooner heard of his reconciliation with the pope, than he sent a message to Rome, promising submission, although expostulating with Nicholas, and complaining that it was a new thing for a king to be judged in this way. He interceded also for his two archbishops, but finding the pope resolute in condemning Gonthar, stripped him of his see, and banished him from the diocese. Theutgard, Adventius, and the other bishops, also sent in their letters of submission. The archbishop of Treves was pardoned, but not restored to his diocese till after the death of Nicholas; but Adventius, though he had shown equal zeal in the cause of Lothaire, was permitted to retain his see, chiefly, perhaps, from the intercession of Charles the Bald, who entertained great affection for him as the pupil and favorite of his uncle Drogo, whom he had succeeded, some years before, in the bishopric of Metz. In his letter to Adventius on the occasion, Nicholas laid down a somewhat dangerous doctrine with respect to kings, informing the bishop, who had pleaded in his defence the command of St. Paul to obey the king, as supreme, that the king must be obeyed for the sake of God, not against God; that is, if he is just and religious, he must be obeyed as king, if the contrary, he is to be resisted as no king, but a tyrant. The pope forgets, as Fleury remarks on the occasion, that the sovereign whom St. Paul enjoins his followers to obey was Nero.

Meanwhile Gonthar, to show his defiance of the authority which had deposed him, sent his brother Hilduin, a man who had been elected by Lothaire bishop of Cambray, and put by him in possession of the temporalities of the see, but who had been refused ordination by Hincmar, the metropolitan, with a copy of the protest, from which extracts had been made, to be presented to the pope, and on his refusal to receive it, to be laid upon the tomb of St. Peter, as an appeal made to that apostle from the injustice of his successor and representative. Hilduin accordingly, when Nicholas declined accepting it, marched into the Church, in armor, and driving away the vergers or officers who attempted to impede him with so much violence that one of them was slain on the spot, cast the document upon the tomb, and left the Church. This was done while Louis was still at Rome. During the whole of his sojourn there, though nominally on friendly terms with the pope, Louis permitted his soldiers to plunder the monasteries and nunneries in the city and neighborhood, and to commit other ravages and abuses with impunity. He returned to Ravenna for the Easter Festival, which this year, AD. 864, fell on the second of April. Gunther kept the Festival in his cathedral at Cologne, performing mass as usual, although neither the king nor any of the bishops consented to communicate with him. On being deposed by Lothaire, for whom he had done and suffered so much, his indignation against the king overcame that which he entertained towards the pope, and he returned to Rome to explain to Nicholas the artifices and falsehoods of which Lothaire had been guilty, in bringing about the divorce from one queen and marriage to another, and if possible to make his peace with him. He seems however, to have been unsuccessful; for in November a council was held at Rome, to treat again of Lothaire’s marriage, and to devise means for restoring Ignatius to his patriarchate. The bishops of France and Germany, and of Lothaire’s dominions, which the pope calls Belgica, were cited to attend. They all excused themselves, but Gunther presented himself at the synod, testifying repentance, and begging for restoration; but his prayer, although supported by the recommendation of the emperor, was steadily refused. We hear little of his cause afterwards. He is said to have written to Photius with complaints against Nicholas, which could be of no service to himself, and could scarcely widen the breach that already existed between the pontiffs of Rome and Constantinople. Two or three years afterwards, probably not till after the death of pope Nicholas, we are told that he was restored to the see of Cologne, which had meantime been filled by Hugo, a cousin of king Charles of France.

Meanwhile Thietburga, the innocent cause of all this strife, lost the protection of her brother Hubert, who was killed in an affray with some followers of the emperor. She took refuge with king Charles, who gave her the nunnery of Avenay, in the diocese of Rheims, as a place of residence; but her stay there was not long. In the year, AD 865, the pope sent Arsenius a Tuscan bishop, as his legate into France, charged with letters to the kings, exhorting them to preserve peace, and to the bishops, ordering them to menace Lothaire with excommunication, unless he dismissed Waldrada without delay, and received back Thietburga as his wife. The pope’s anxiety for the peace of France appears to have been caused by some symptoms exhibited lately by Charles of interfering with that part of the late kingdom of Provence which had fallen to the share of the emperor. In writing to the king of France, he urges him to let his nephew retain in peace the territories which had fallen to his lot, and in which he was confirmed by the authority of the holy see and by the crown which the sovereign pontiff had placed upon his head; phrases which demonstrate that Nicholas regarded himself as the fountain of civil, as well as of ecclesiastical dominion. Arsenius went through Frankfort to Cologne, and terrified or persuaded Lothaire into receiving Thietburga again, and dismissing his present wife; and the latter was charged by the legate to proceed at once to Rome, on pain of excommunication. Twelve noblemen offered themselves as guarantees that Lothaire should treat Thietburga as his lawful wife and queen; and they both attended mass, in the presence of Arsenius, (who performed the service), clad in the robes of royalty, and with crowns upon their heads. The legate shortly afterwards departed on his return, and was met, at Worms, by Ingeltrude, the wife of Count Boso of Lombardy. In an interview with that lady, he persuaded her to promise obedience for the future to her husband, and to accompany him into Italy; but on the journey she changed her mind, and leaving his escort, near the Danube, on pretence of seeking horses from a relation in the neighborhood, and with the promise of rejoining him at Augsburg, she hastened back again into France. Waldrada paid as little attention to the commands of the legate, and was in consequence excommunicated by the pope. Letters to this effect were sent to the French and German bishops, in which, in addition to her other crimes, the lady is charged with constant machinations against the life of her rival Thietburga; and it is implied that similar charges were made in secret against the king of Lorraine himself. On receiving these documents, bishop Adventius wrote a reply to Nicholas, denying the offences with which Lothaire was charged, or even his unwillingness to entertain Thietburga in every respect as his queen; and the king added an epistle of his own to a similar effect, praying the pope, at the same time, to give no countenance to any other prince in attempting to seize upon his dominions. That there was some danger of this is not improbable, and if Lothaire, like Waldrada, had been put under ban of excommunication, there is little doubt that the king of France would have made this a pretext for giving public proof of the hostility which he had never entirely laid aside since the affair of Ingeltrude and his daughter Judith. Many reports were current at this time with regard to the inefficiency of Lothaire, and the contempt in which he was held by his subjects, not less for his readiness in yielding to the threat of Arsenius, and taking back his wife, than for his former separation from her and marriage to Waldrada. These unfavorable whispers are likely enough to have had some truth in them; though it is equally probable that they were encouraged and exaggerated by Charles and those who were interested in his aggrandizement. The bishops, however, of Lothaire’s kingdom met, and addressed a letter to those who were subjects of Charles, denying the truth of what was reported, and assuring them of their own unshaken fidelity to their sovereign, and threatening excommunication against anyone who should first violate the peace between the two kingdoms.

The submission shown by Lothaire to Arsenius and the pope was but in appearance. Waldrada, though no longer nominally queen, returned to the court of Aix-la-Chapelle, and exercised her former influence over the king, and Thietburga, so far from receiving the treatment due to her as queen, as asserted by Adventius and Lothaire himself, suffered so much of cruelty as well as neglect at her husband’s hands, that she earnestly desired to be separated from him a second time. So great was the hardship that she suffered, that she was driven even to meditate self-destruction. Under these circumstances, she was easily persuaded by Lothaire to write again to the pope, signifying her wish to renounce the royal dignity and to pass her life in seclusion, and to found her request upon the allegation that Waldrada was, in reality, the king’s lawful wife, and that therefore her own marriage with him was illegal and invalid. Nicholas, however, had information from several sources in France and Germany, from which he drew the conclusion that Thietburga now, as before, was induced either by the threats of her husband, or by the discomfort of her present situation, to send him a false statement. His letter, in reply, is a characteristic one, and shows that in the unbending firmness of his own strength of purpose, he could have little sympathy for the fears and feelings of a woman whose character was not that of a heroine or a martyr. He tells her that her coming to Rome, which she had expressed a desire to do, would be useless; that Lothaire could, under no circumstances, be permitted to receive Waldrada as his lawful life and assures her that she would be more fortunate in receiving any degree of ill-treatment, or even death itself, from her husband, than in succeeding, by means of falsehood, in obtaining a separation from him. He explains to her, at the same time, that a wife was forbidden by the laws of the Church to enter upon a monastic life, unless her husband had a similar intention. He thinks, however, that Lothaire will hardly carry his hatred towards her so far as to put her to death, as he would endanger his own kingdom by so open an act of violence and injustice. We are to understand, as it seems, by these words, that under circumstances so extreme as those which are here supposed, Nicholas would have thought himself empowered to pronounce Lothaire’s throne vacant. The date of this letter is the 24th of January, 867, and others written at the same time, or, as is probable, at a somewhat earlier date, to the king himself and the bishops of his realm, declare that unless Lothaire has dismissed Waldrada on or before the Eve of the Purification, he is to be excluded from entering the Church, which was equivalent to excommunication, upon that festival.

The bishops were alarmed at this decisive step of pope Nicholas; it appeared that they must now make their choice between excommunicating their king, and disobeying an express order of the pope. The affair, however, was compromised, or its settlement deferred again by submissive letters written by the king to Rome, in which he begged permission to go in person to the holy see, and make his own defence, and offered to collect troops in his own kingdom to join those of the emperor in defending Italy against the Saracens. Nicholas was not deceived by these attempts to gain him, yet they were so far effectual that the immediate excommunication was avoided, although, in the course of the following half year, the sentence was either actually pronounced, or was supposed to be virtually in force, in consequence of his continued intercourse with Waldrada, who had herself, long since, been cast out of the Church. He also refused to see Lothaire at Rome, and wrote to king Louis, of Germany, to use his influence in bringing his refractory nephew to a better mind.

In the month of November, 867, pope Nicholas died, and was succeeded by Adrian II, a man of sixty-seven years of age, and with so high a reputation, that he had been elected to the pontifical chair by the clergy and people of Rome after the death of both Leo IV and of Benedict III, but had prevailed upon his electors to excuse his accepting the dignity on both occasions. Adrian differed in character from his predecessor; not only was he of a less stern and unyielding temper, as well as of less vigor and activity of mind, but he seems, at the commencement of his pontificate, actually to have disapproved of much that Nicholas had done, and it was feared, by the chief friends and admirers of the latter, that he would annul many of his acts, and introduce a different system into the conduct of the Roman see. His favorite counselor and adherent was Arsenius, who had received ill-treatment at the hands of Nicholas, and since that time had thrown himself into the arms of the emperor; and the feelings of Louis towards the late pontiff were generally understood to have been by no means friendly. Adrian, however, professed, on every occasion, the highest respect for the character and actions of Nicholas, and declared himself ready to support all his decrees as if they had been his own, adding, at the same time, that if his predecessor had been compelled, on some occasions, to resort to a more than usual severity, he might find himself, under a change of circumstances, permitted to relax the excessive strictness.

An instance of this quickly occurred in the case of king Lothaire. That monarch, on hearing of the pope’s decision, sent the bishop of Metz, and his chancellor Grimbard, to Rome, to congratulate Adrian on his accession to the pontificate, while he expressed, probably with less sincerity, regret at the death of Nicholas. The late pope, however, he complained in his letter to Adrian, had been prejudiced against him, although he had exhibited towards the authority of Rome more complete submission than any of his ancestors had ever done. He instanced, particularly, the refusal of Nicholas to permit him to meet his accusers face to face in his presence, and remarked, that though well pleased that the Bulgarians and other barbarous tribes should be invited to visit the tomb of the apostle, he could not but feel it hard that he, whose ancestors had been the great protectors of the holy see, should be deprived of the same privilege. He requested that the new pope would grant him the favor which had been so harshly denied by his predecessor. The messenger arrived in Rome in May, 868, and found that Thietburga, who had been sent by Lothaire in advance of them to beg, by personal appeal, for permission to separate from her husband, had already had an interview with the pope for that purpose. Adrian, however, though disposed from his own natural temper, as well as from a desire to please the emperor, who had been very energetic and successful in his war with the African Saracens in Italy, to comply as far as possible with his brother’s wishes, could not consent to an act so evidently in violation of the canons of the Church, and of the intentions of Nicholas. He removed the ban of excommunication from Waldrada, on being assured by Louis of her repentance, but urged him to receive Thietburga again, until another Council, which he was on the point of assembling, should have passed its judgment on the validity of the reasons alleged by the queen in favor of the divorce. If, however, she was prevented by bodily infirmity from travelling so far as from Rome to Aix-la-Chapelle in the interval, he begged Lothaire to grant her some abbey as a place of residence, and a means of support. Meantime he threatened with excommunication anyone who should oppose her journey, and the king himself, if it was found that he had sanctioned the hindrance. Adrian informed him also that he made no objection to his coming to Rome, if he were really conscious of his innocence, and even if this were not the case, he could come to receive at the hands of the pope a suitable penance. About the same time that these letters were written, another was sent to Hincmar, begging him to use his influence with Lothaire. Whether the archbishop obeyed the request we are not told, but the decided manner in which he had taken the part of Thietburga, and censured the king in his treatise on the subject of the divorce, as well as the quarrel in which he had been engaged with him on refusing to sanction Hilduin’s election to the vacant see of Cambray, make it probable that his expostulations and advice would be regarded with little favor.

In the beginning of the summer of 869, Lothaire availed himself of Adrian’s permission, and passed through Ravenna on his way to Rome. He was accompanied by many of his nobles, and followed at no great distance by Thietburga, whose entreaties he wished to add to his own, in the hopes of prevailing upon the pope to sanction their separation, and his marriage afterwards with Waldrada. But he ventured not to appear in the presence of Adrian without the support of his brother and the empress. Louis was engaged in the siege of Bari, whither the Moors had retreated, on being driven out of one town after another in the provinces of Campania, Samnium, and Apulia. Their present refuge was strongly fortified, and situated as it was upon the coast, was easily furnished by fresh supplies of troops or of provisions. Accordingly, the siege lasted four years. The emperor was reluctant to leave the camp, and in reply to the messages sent to him from his brother, bade him return into France, and put off the interview which he demanded till a more seasonable opportunity. Lothaire, however, hastened on to Beneventum, where the empress Ingelberga was residing, and, by interesting her in his cause, he at last prevailed with Louis to send orders to the pope to meet him at the monastery of Mount Casino, and himself, with the empress, to accompany him to the place of rendezvous. The pope received him with courtesy and kindness, and accepted some valuable presents at his hands, and, at Ingelberga’s request, promised to do him the honor of performing mass in his presence, and of giving him the holy communion, on condition of his having abstained from holding any intercourse with Waldrada since her excommunication by pope Nicholas. He extended his forgiveness also to Gunther, late archbishop of Cologne, so far as to receive him into lay communion, on his signifying his acquiescence in the sentence by which he was deposed, and his promise of obedience, henceforward, to the Roman Church.

The whole party proceeded together from Mount Casino to Rome, but Lothaire remained at St. Peter’s, without the city walls, not venturing to enter till his sentence had been removed. None of the clergy of the city came to visit him, and even the lodging which had been fixed upon for his abode, near the Church, was found altogether unprepared for his reception. The day of his arrival was Saturday, and he expected that the pope would have performed his promise on the following day, and received him to public communion. In this also he was disappointed; all men kept at a distance from him, and regarded him with cold looks, as one beyond the pale of the Church, and in whom no Christian could have any interest or concern. This state of suspense was not to be borne long; he entered the city, and presented himself before the pope, who received him with honor, and inquired whether he had attended exactly to the orders delivered to him by his predecessor with respect to the rival queens. The king replied that he had attended to them as if they had been the immediate commands of heaven, and the noblemen o£ his court, who stood by his side, corroborated the assertion. If your testimony is true, said Adrian, we thank God for his grace in your behalf, and it remains only that you present yourselves at the sacrifice of the host in St. Peter’s Church, and, by partaking thereof, be incorporated anew among the members of Christ, from which you have been separated. Accordingly, after mass, Lothaire was called up to the altar by Adrian, who thus addressed him, holding in his hands the body and blood of Christ; “If your conscience acquits you of adultery with Waldrada, since the prohibition of pope Nicholas, and if you have made a firm resolution never to repeat the crime, approach with boldness, and receive the sacrament of eternal salvation for the pardon of your sins; but if you intend to return to your former guilt, dare not receive it, lest what is intended by God as a remedy for his faithful, turn to your condemnation”. The king received the communion without hesitation, and a similar warning was addressed to his followers, who, with the exception of a few who seemed conscience-struck, and retired from the altar, also communicated. After the service, Lothaire dined in the Lateran palace with the pope, and made him large presents of gold and silver plate, in return for which he begged him to bestow upon him a lion, a branch of palm, and a cane. Adrian, not suspecting the interpretation which the king and his followers chose to put upon these symbols, granted the request, and they, as it is said, by a miserable conceit, in which they could not possibly deceive themselves, considered that, under the figure of the lion, the pope had given Lothaire permission to marry Waldrada, that the palm branch signified success in all his undertakings, and that by the cane, or ferule, which was at that time a symbol of the episcopal character, was meant authority to punish the bishops who might venture to oppose his wish. Congratulating himself on so satisfactory a termination to his journey, Lothaire and his suite left Rome, and hastened on their return to France, without thinking it necessary to make any further request relative to the divorce from Thietburga, and aware that to recur to this subject would be to reveal to the pope the dissimulation of which they had been already guilty. On their arrival at Lucca the king was taken ill of fever, which spread rapidly among his followers, they died in numbers before his eyes, but disregarding the warning which seemed then addressed to him, he continued his journey to Placentia, and arriving at that town on Saturday, remained there during the following day. On Sunday a sudden seizure, resembling paralysis, deprived him of speech, and he died on the morning of Monday, the eighth of August, after a reign of nearly fourteen years since his father’s death. The petty remnant of his suite buried him in a small monastery near the city, and hastened to inform the emperor of the catastrophe, or proceeded on their journey into France.

Thus perished, by what the annalist who records it regards, and apparently not without justice, as a special judgment of Divine Providence, one of the weakest and least respectable of the descendants of Charlemagne. His character and actions contain nothing to interest the reader; and if it had not been for the unfortunate quarrel concerning his divorce, which must have embittered his own life, as it brought scandal upon his kingdom and upon the whole of the empire, and for the fact that the province of Lorraine gained its appellation from him, his name would be scarcely mentioned in history. The divorce and the circumstances attending it gain a political importance, from having been used as a handle by pope Nicholas for strengthening the influence of the papal see, or rather for making it felt, as a real and active power, greatly affecting the exercise of both spiritual and civil sovereignty. The events of the last ten years brought home to people’s minds, in France and Germany, that the supremacy claimed by Rome was no mere theory, no assumption which might safely be granted without involving any dangerous practical results. An authority which interfered, in the highest degree, with the independent conduct of government, in the province of royal as well as of episcopal jurisdiction, was boldly claimed and actually put into force by the pope. In the latter case it was carried so far as totally to set aside two Councils, one of which, though not so numerously attended as many others at this time, might claim the title of a national synod, if we regard the dominions of Lothaire as forming a distinct kingdom of themselves, and to depose the primate of the realm, (for such was the archbishop of Treves,) with the metropolitan of Cologne, who held the second rank in the Church of Belgica or Lorraine. The conduct of the pope towards the king stopped short of actually pronouncing the sentence of deposition; but Nicholas implied, in a way that was little ambiguous, that he possessed the right of proceeding to this extremity, and perhaps was only prevented by death from putting it in execution. The course of the dispute awakened the attention of both kings and bishops to the powers claimed by Rome, and the ground upon which it was attempted to justify them. Hincmar, among others, must have observed and weighed well the circumstances which unfolded themselves, as scene after scene of the drama was acted before his eyes. He had already, in an early stage of the question, declared his sentiments to be in agreement with those of Nicholas on the subject of the divorce, and his position as a metropolitan of another kingdom, although part of his province lay in that of Lothaire, prevented his taking any share in the after part of the dispute. During, however, a part of the time which was taken up in the discussion of the divorce of Thietburga, he was himself in a situation, not altogether unlike that of Gunther, of opposition to the pope. But in conducting the causes of Rothad and Wulfad, which will next offer themselves to our notice, the side which Hincmar supported, if not free from all doubt as to its superior justice, was one for which far better arguments were to be advanced than any which could be brought forward for the line of action pursued by the archbishop of Cologne and his sovereign. Independently of this, Gunther had neither the learning, nor the temper and prudence which distinguished his brother metropolitan; while in strictness of character and in zeal for upholding, without compromise, the rights and authority of the Church, the latter was in no degree inferior to the pontiff against whom he was called upon to defend himself.

The death of Lothaire was a natural termination to the discussion concerning Thietburga and her rival. The pope, distrusting the assertions and promises of the king and his courtiers, had given notice of a Council to be held next year, at Rome, to decide with greater certainty on the truth or falsehood of their statements and, meanwhile, had sent two bishops into France, to collect information on the subject; but the decease of the king rendered these preparations useless. Theutgard, archbishop of Treves, died a short time before his sovereign; and the next year, AD 870, his see and that of Cologne were filled, after a vacancy of six years since the deposition of Gunther and himself. Bertulf, a nephew of Adventius of Metz, was appointed by king Charles to the diocese of Treves, and Hilduin, whose name has already been mentioned, was nominated by the same prince to succeed his brother at Cologne; both of these cities were then included in the dominions of the king of Germany. Louis seems to have acquiesced in the choice of Bertulf, but opposed that of Hilduin, and prevailed in obtaining the consecration of Gilbert as priest of the Church of Cologne, a venerable and saintly man. Adrian considered the privileges of the Roman see as in some way violated, by the appointment of a bishop without his previous knowledge and consent, to a see which the late pope had rendered vacant, by his deprivation of the former metropolitan. He complained of this, in a letter to king Louis; but Gilbert continued in undisturbed possession of his dignity, and presided, with his brethren the archbishops of Metz and Treves, at a Council, in the month of September, at which the bishops of Saxony were present, when he consecrated or dedicated the great Cathedral Church of St. Peters, at Cologne.









While the attention of the empire was directed to the divorce of queen Thietburga, and the various circumstances which attended and followed that event, Hincmar, who had little individual concern in these proceedings, was engaged in the conduct of others which created no less interest in the Church of France. Among the suffragan bishops of the province of Rheims was Rothad, bishop of Soissons, a prelate considerably the senior of his metropolitan, having been consecrated during the reign of Louis the Pious, in the year 831, and who, for that and other reasons, was ill-disposed to pay so strict an obedience to the will of his archbishop as the canons required, and as Hincmar was determined to exact. Rothad, so far as we have means of judging of his character, seems to have been a somewhat weak and obstinate man, and to have had so little regard for the ordinances of the Church as to manage his diocese in an irregular and careless way, even should we suppose him free from some graver offences of which his adversaries accused him. His name occurs occasionally in the ecclesiastical history of the last twenty or thirty years, although never in a very prominent position. He joined with others in the deposition of Ebo, after the restoration of Louis the Pious; he was said also to have been among the bishops who re-invested him with his dignity, at the command of the emperor Lothaire; he was one of the adherents of that prince in opposition to Charles the Bald, although Soissons lay in the dominions of the latter; he was present at the Council of Beauvais when Hincmar was elected archbishop, and assisted at the consecration. There seems, from the first, to have been a misunderstanding between the two prelates, and when Godeschalcus was condemned, at the Council of Quiercy, Hincmar would not permit him to be confined in the diocese of Soissons, through fear, as he afterwards told pope Nicholas, that Rothad might have neither the will nor the power to prevent him from spreading his heretical notions, or might even himself be in danger of seduction. The bishop of Soissons, who was present at Quiercy, may, probably, have expressed some opinion in favor of the monk of Orbais which afforded ground for such a suspicion. Of this, however, we are not told.

The quarrel was brought under public notice at the Synod or diet of Pistres, held by king Charles in the year 862. At this assembly Rothad presented himself, with complaint of a harsh sentence passed upon him in the previous year by his metropolitan. It appears that three or four years before a clergyman of the diocese of Soissons had been deprived by his bishop, on a criminal charge, upon the justice of which we have no means of deciding. This priest appealed to Hincmar, but not till a considerable time had elapsed from his deprivation. The archbishop, satisfied, apparently, that the charge had been unfounded, and perhaps not unwilling to find an opportunity of exerting his authority in opposition to Rothad, sent him back to his Church, at the same time excommunicating and putting into confinement the person who had been appointed to fill his place, and who probably showed some resistance on being so suddenly required to relinquish it. To this somewhat peremptory act the bishop of Soissons was unwilling to submit, and, on persisting in his refusal, was deprived of episcopal communion, in a provincial Council, held at Soissons, AD 861.

This account of the quarrel between himself and Hincmar is taken from Rothad’s own story. The Council of Soissons gave, as a reason for the degradation passed upon him, that he refused obedience to the rules of the Church, and it was considered as fully proved before the bishops of that synod that he pledged in pawn, with Jews and tavern keepers, some costly vessels belonging to the Church; that he had alienated portions of the Church income, without permission of his metropolitan and of the other bishops of his province, and that he had led a life which, in many particulars, was indecorous in a person of his station. Of this deposition Rothad complained to the king and bishops at Pistres, and when Hincmar, at the same time, pressed, on the other hand, for a confirmation of his sentence, cut short all further proceedings by appealing to the holy see. None present chose to oppose the appeal, to which Hincmar, with great reluctance, was accordingly forced to submit, and Rothad hastened back to Soissons, before the breaking up of the Council, to prepare for his journey, and wrote to the king and to his archbishop, recommending to their care the see of Soissons during his absence. At the same time he ordered the clergyman, whom he had deposed, to be ready to attend him to Rome, that the pope might have an opportunity of hearing both sides of the question.

The messenger charged with the letters to Charles and Hincmar, at Pistres, carried a third to one of the bishops, who had taken Rothad’s part in the previous discussion, containing a defence of his conduct, to be put into the hands of the other prelates who might be favorably disposed towards him, with a view to their undertaking to clear his character in the presence of the king and the rest of the assembly. Hincmar, who was opposed, on principle, to the practice of appealing to Rome, and who was anxious, if possible, to prevent it in the present instance, suspected that this letter might contain something to invalidate the appeal, and therefore urged the king to command its public perusal, before such of the bishops as had not yet taken their departure from Pistres. On hearing the contents, which was, in fact, tantamount to pleading the cause over again, Hincmar insisted that this was equivalent to a renunciation of the appeal to Rome. The case seemed plain, for such an appeal implied, of necessity, that no other judge should be chosen or recognized in the meantime; and therefore the king and the bishops, agreeing in the view taken by the archbishop of Rheims, sent in haste to Soissons, before Rothad had time to make his preparations for departure, and proclaiming publicly, in front of the Church, that the king forbade any one from attending him in his journey, put an effectual stop to his undertaking it. Soon afterwards Charles, no doubt at Hincmar’s suggestion, ordered a Council to attend him at St. Medard’s, at Soissons, and cited the bishops of the see to be present. The summons was repeated a second and a third time, but Rothad, who had protested against the obstacles put in the way of his journey to Rome, declared that he durst not attend the Council, as it would be an offence to the holy see to submit to any judgment pending an appeal to that supreme court. The excuse is a proof that Hincmar was justified in considering the letter, lately addressed to the bishops at Pistres, as equivalent to a renunciation of the appeal, although it is equally certain that it arose from a mere blunder of Rothad, who had no such intention in writing and sending it. On his positive refusal to present himself before Charles and the synod assembled at St. Medard’s, it was proposed to him by the bishops who were sent to require his attendance, to have a private interview with the king, in some room in the neighborhood of the place of assembly. He agreed to this, though not without great reluctance, and clothed in his episcopal robes, and carrying the gospels and the cross with him as a token of his sacred office, he begged the permission of Charles to go at once to Rome. The king, who had yielded with some unwillingness to the proposal of an interview with his refractory bishop replied that the decision of that matter lay entirely with his metropolitan and the Council then met for deliberation, and that he should act strictly in accordance with their advice. As nothing farther was advanced by Rothad, the king then retired. After this, the same messengers were sent with the most pressing entreaties at one time, and with severe menaces at another, to urge him to attend the Council, but without success. The Council then proceeded to deliberate on the question, and came to the decision that he must be deposed from the episcopate. Rothad prayed earnestly that they would not presume to pass such a sentence, under the circumstances, but would permit him to go to Rome, but he was refused, and to prevent his escaping without permission, confined in a monastery. Soon afterwards another bishop was elected in his place. To make some amends for the loss of his bishopric, a valuable abbey was offered him by the king, at Hincmar’s wish, on condition, according to Rothad’s own account, that he would relinquish his appeal, and remain content with the decision of the Council. This he represents himself as indignantly refusing, but a somewhat different version was given, as we shall see, by the archbishop of Rheims, in a letter afterwards written to pope Nicholas.

More than a year after these events, the legates sent by pope Nicholas to hold the Council of Metz, and decide upon Lothaire’s divorce, were at Soissons, on a visit to king Charles. Many of the people of the diocese, who had probably enjoyed great freedom from discipline and restraint, under the laxity and negligence of Rothad’s government, took the opportunity to apply to the king and his visitors for the restoration of their old bishop. Hincmar, who had already received a reproof from pope Nicholas on the subject, charging him with an insult toward the see of St. Peter, and insisting that he should either restore Rothad within thirty days, or appear with him, personally, or by his legate, at Rome, on pain of deprivation from his priestly office, assembled, at Senlis, a Council of several provinces, to which a reference has been already made, and sent the acts of its proceedings to the pope by the hand of bishop Odo, of Beauvais. In these was contained an apology for disallowing the appeal, on the ground that such a step was forbidden by the laws of the empire. Instead of pacifying the displeasure of Nicholas, the papers delivered by Odo seem to have increased it. He wrote, in return, three letters, one in answer to the synodical epistle of the Council, and the others addressed to Hincmar and the king. In the first he easily disposed of the excuse that had been advanced by them, by laying down, as an acknowledged principle, that if the laws of the emperor were in opposition to the canons of the Church, they ought to be disobeyed without scruple, and by representing the course which Rothad had adopted as in accordance with the decrees of the Council of Sardica. Great fault is found, in the same letter, with the substitution of another bishop in Rothad’s place, and they are charged to retract what has been done, on the peril of being condemned to the same degradation which had been imposed on the bishop of Soissons. The pope’s letter to Hincmar, though speaking in the same tone of censure with respect to all which had been done in Rothad’s case, contained expressions of amity and respect, and a confirmation, for which Hincmar had applied some time before, of a former Council of Soissons, which had been held in the year 853, and which decided on the canonical regularity of his consecration to the see of Rheims. That addressed to the king was mainly on the subject of count Baldwin, containing an apology for the pope’s interference in his behalf, and simply begged Charles to permit and encourage Rothad’s journey to Rome. Odo carried, at the same time, a message or epistle to Rothad, consoling him for his misfortunes, urging him to come to Rome as soon as he could gain permission, and desiring him, on no account, to be frightened out of his present line of conduct; yet expressing, at the same time, the hope that he was thoroughly convinced, in his own mind, of the justice of his cause, for this clearness of conscience was an indispensable condition to his receiving any countenance or support from Rome. The date of these letters was the 28th of April, 863. The king was very reluctant to comply with the wishes of Nicholas, not only because he regarded the claims of the pope as an encroachment upon the privileges of the Church of France, but because the appeal of Rothad called for the interference of a foreign power with his own authority no less than with that of Hincmar. His queen Ermentrude wrote to Rome, in the hope of bending the firmness of the pope’s resolution, but the attempt was unsuccessful, and Charles found himself forced to permit Rothad to set out upon his journey. He was accompanied or followed shortly afterwards by some bishops, who were commissioned to act as Hincmar’s deputies or legates at the papal court. At this time an unfriendly feeling existed between the emperor and his uncle, the king of France, in consequence of the displeasure which the latter had expressed at the conduct of king Lothaire towards his wife Thietburga. Accordingly Louis, when the party of French bishops made their appearance on the frontiers of Italy, refused to grant them a passage through his dominions. This, probably, was a hardship regretted by Rothad alone; his companions returned into France, though not without finding means of letting the pope know that they had proceeded so far on their journey, and of forwarding to him the letters with which they had been entrusted from Hincmar and the king; but a sudden illness prevented the deposed bishop of Soissons from entering the territory of Charles. He remained at Besançon, and, as soon as the other bishops had left that place, succeeded in gaining from the kings of Germany and Lorraine a recommendation to the emperor, to allow him to continue his journey to Rome; and that sovereign felt, as is probable, less disinclination to one who occupied the position of a rebellious subject than to the faithful bishops who had previously accompanied him. He arrived in Rome in the spring of 864, and waited there some months, in expectation that someone would appear to prefer against him the accusation which he was come to answer.

The letter from Hincmar, which had been transmitted by his deputies to the pope, enters with great fullness into the subject of their correspondence or dispute. He maintained that the legates whom he had empowered to represent him at Rome, and who were the bearers of the letter, appeared not as complainants or accusers, according to the notion of Rothad and of Nicholas himself, but as accused, to answer the charges brought against him by the late bishop of Soissons. It was true, he said, that Rothad had appealed to Rome, alleging the canons of Sardica as the ground of his conduct; but having, in the meantime, substituted for this the choice of another tribunal, and having selected the judges by whom he desired to be tried, he had brought himself under the Carthaginian and African canons, which were of equal authority in the Church with those of Sardica, and which positively forbade any appeal to Rome under these circumstances. The decree of St. Gregory was to the same purport. And again, it would be unseemly and irreverent toward Rome to trouble that supreme court with all the quarrels and discussions which took place among the lower as well as the higher clergy in different parts of the Church, and which were ordered by the Nicene and other synods to be settled by their own metropolitans or in provincial councils. He lays down the matters in which appeals may be necessary, as the following :—when the dispute involves some question, connected with episcopal conduct, in which the canons of the Church have never passed any decision, and on which assemblies of one or more provinces have been unable to come to any satisfactory conclusion; or again, whenever, in causes of greater importance, the bishop appeals from a provincial synod, without having compromised this appeal by choosing other judges for himself. In either of these cases the Sardican canons allow the appeal, and permit the pope to require that a new enquiry should be made, to be conducted, however, not at Rome, but in the same place in which the cause of dispute had arisen, or the former trial had taken place. A third case is, when a charge is brought against a metropolitan who has had his rank recognized by receiving the pallium from Rome, who had the privilege of demanding, in the first place, that the decision of the pope should be taken upon the matter of complaint. But as Rothad’s case could fall under neither of these classes, he had no canonical right to make the appeal. With respect to Rothad’s own character and conduct, Hincmar informs Nicholas that he had vainly endeavored, for many years, at one time with kindness and indulgence, at another with more severity, to bring him to greater regularity of life, and a stricter obedience to the canons and regulations of the Church; he had been forced at last to bring him before a Council, and Rothad had then chosen certain judges to decide the cause between himself and his metropolitan. To these Hincmar had submitted himself, though it was plainly a concession that could not have been legally demanded or expected from him. On his deprivation an abbey had been given him, whose revenues would have been amply sufficient for the continuance of the luxurious life which he had, hitherto, been accustomed to lead. With this arrangement he was perfectly content, until the bishops of Lothaire’s kingdom, irritated at the part taken by Hincmar in the question of Thietburga’s divorce, had instigated him to demand his restitution from Rome; and some other prelates of Germany had joined in the same act, from feelings of hostility, in consequence of the decided part taken by the archbishop of Rheims, in opposition to king Louis, on occasion of his invading France, at which time Rothad had lent a favorable ear to the arguments of that prince, although, he was prevented, by the vigilance of his metropolitan, from openly joining the invading army. However, notwithstanding all the arguments to be adduced against the restoration of Rothad, Hincmar assured the pope that on receiving his letters by the bishop of Beauvais, he had lost no time in laying them before the prelates who had condemned him, and urging them to comply with his wishes. The deputies would have set out immediately, but Hincmar was employed in bringing about a reconciliation between the king and his son Charles, who was engaged in a rebellion. The pope had complained of Hincmar’s lengthiness of style, a charge to which, it must be granted, that he was open in some degree, although it was the fault of the time, rather than of the archbishop of Rheims individually, and one which is conspicuous in all the documents of that age, and not least in the letters of pope Nicholas himself. He replied to the complaint in the words of St. Austin, who says that words, however numerous, are not too many, if the subject necessarily requires them. While the letters sent from Nicholas by the bishop of Beauvais had required that legates should be sent with Rothad to Rome, others which he had sent to king Charles by the hands of Luido, the king's ambassador, ordered Hincmar and the Council of Soissons to restore him to that bishopric. This Hincmar declined to do, using, in making his excuse for the refusal, terms of such excessive reverence and affection, that, customary as this mode of speaking is in the writings of the day, it is difficult to avoid attributing to them an ironical meaning. The reasons for not restoring him were, first, that the bishops who had ordered his deposition could not be re-assembled, as they were kept in their dioceses by dread of a Norman invasion; secondly, because Rothad had already commenced his journey to Rome: thirdly, because all the bishops to whom Hincmar communicated the order of the pope, declined having any share in restoring a man who had been so negligent in preserving discipline, so disobedient to canonical rules, and so rebellious, on all occasions, to the will of his king and metropolitan. In proof that the reputation thus universally given to Rothad was not unmerited, he recounted some of his misdemeanors. If, however, he continues, the pope persists, for some reason which has been overlooked by the bishops of France, or which they had no opportunity of knowing, in demanding Rothad’s restoration, no obstacle will be opposed, inasmuch as everyone acknowledges that the Churches of France are in the primacy of St. Peter, and subject to the Roman pontiff. He expostulates with the pope on the numerous threats of excommunication which he had lavished upon him in his letters, but professes to regard them as a just punishment for his many sins. For the future, he says, it will be his great business to conduct himself so as to avoid a repetition of them, that he may run no risk of dying out of communion with the Church of Rome. However, he reminds the pope that he himself gives the name of brethren to metropolitan bishops, and that r while the metropolitan has no right to oppress one of his suffragans, a certain respect and obedience is, at the same time, due from the latter to the former. In the letter previously sent by the Council of Soissons, the pope had been requested to pay a just regard to the privileges of the French Churches, and had expressed, in return, his determination to preserve those of the Church of Rome. Hincmar now says, as if in answer to this resolution, that the privileges of Rome are best kept up by preserving those of the provincial Churches, such as Rheims, and that he himself, in laboring to uphold the latter, had been striving, in fact, to maintain the rights of the apostolic see.

In the same letter, referring to an order lately sent by Nicholas, that the archbishops of Treves and Cologne are to be reckoned as no longer bishops, Hincmar begs the pope to say plainly whether Ebo’s name is to be kept, as it has hitherto been done, on the diptychs of the Church of Rheims, for Ebo, in having presumed to exercise episcopal offices after his deposition, stood apparently on the same ground with the two metropolitans of Lorraine. This might be an important question to Hincmar, for the validity of his own ordination depended upon that of the deposition of his predecessor, and although Nicholas had lately sent him a confirmation of the Council which, in 853, decided that he had been canonically ordained, the same pope, by taking up the cause of some priests ordained by Ebo during the vacancy of the see, had, in fact, given his countenance to the opposite side. Hincmar may have also wished to know whether the pope would be willing to put upon the same footing a decree of his own and one passed by a Council of bishops, such as that by which, in the reign of Louis the Pious, the former archbishop of Rheims had been deposed.

We may notice that, in an account which Hincmar gives the pope, at the conclusion of this letter, of the manner in which he had treated Godeschalcus, in answer to some false or exaggerated statements that had been made against him, upon that subject, to Nicholas, he mentions that both he himself and the heretical monk had been summoned to appear before the Council lately held at Metz. The citation was altogether irregular, and if it had been otherwise, no time was allowed them to come. It is not improbable that Nicholas may have given directions or permission to his legate to issue the summons to which allusion is here made; and the prelates assembled at Metz would be ready either to suggest or to further any plea which might bring trouble or annoyance to the archbishop of Rheims.

It is clear, from this letter, and from the whole of his conduct in the affair, that while the archbishop of Rheims held the see of Rome in the highest reverence, as enjoying by right a primacy over the whole of western Christendom, he was perfectly aware that the power of hearing appeals, now claimed by pope Nicholas, was an innovation on the rules and practice of the Church, and altogether inconsistent with the rights of national Churches and provincial bishops. The ground assumed by Nicholas seems indeed only tenable on the hypothesis that all other bishops derived their authority and jurisdiction, not immediately from our Lord and his Apostles, but through the pope, in a somewhat similar way to that in which nobles, at the present time or a little later in history, derived their rank from their feudal superior. The custom of sending the pallium to all metropolitan bishops no doubt aided in suggesting or confirming this opinion; but perhaps no one, and certainly none of the better informed among the clergy, regarded this practice in any other light than as a symbolical evidence of union and goodwill, or perhaps, at furthest, of the primacy of the Apostolic see. This explanation is, in fact, furnished by one of the popes of the present century.

Hincmar, certainly, in many passages in his letters, and other works, maintains, in the most positive terms, the doctrine of the independency of provincial Churches. In the epistle to Nicholas, of which an abstract has just been given, he uses the following terms, the strongest, perhaps, of all which are to be found, on this subject, in his extant treatises : “the Lord himself hath founded, on the apostolic rock, his Church, which, both before his passion, and after his resurrection, he committed with special care, and by a singular privilege, to St. Peter, and in him to his vicars, so that whoso honors his see and the pontiff of his see, honors him who said, he who receiveth whomsoever I shall send receiveth me�. These words might be understood either as conceding all which Nicholas and his successors demanded or could desire, or as implying simply the recognition of primacy, which was the well-known doctrine of Europe after the fourth and fifth centuries. That the archbishop of Rheims meant it to be taken in the latter sense is clear, from the plain explanation which he elsewhere gives, on several occasions, of the gift of the keys conferred by our Lord on St. Peter, and of the charge addressed to him to feed his sheep. These he interprets, in precisely the same way as St. Cyprian and others of the fathers, as spoken to St. Peter as representative, not of the bishop of Rome in particular, but of all the bishops of the Church, one of the apostles being chosen, rather than all the twelve, to receive the promise and command as a token of the unity of the Church, not of the supremacy of Rome, or, at all events, not of such a supremacy as was claimed by pope Nicholas and his successors.

After waiting for half a year in Rome, as if in expectation that Hincmar would send someone to conduct the cause against him, Rothad presented a petition to the pope filled with bitter complaints against the archbishop, and with assurances that he had never from the first moment intended to renounce his appeal to Rome. Accordingly, on Christmas-eve, in a discourse which he was accustomed to make at that season, from the pulpit of the Greater St. Mary’s, Nicholas adverted to this subject, and exposed the illegality of the deposition of the bishop of Soissons, after he had referred his cause to the apostolic see. Even had he chosen to submit it to other judges, as was pretended by Hincmar and the king, the archbishop of Rheims should have prevented such a proceeding, instead of taking advantage of it, in prejudice of his appeal. He also laid down the doctrine that no general Council could be convened without the command of the papal chair, from whence it followed that all the proceedings of the late Synod of Soissons must be altogether null and invalid. Allusion was made, in this discourse, to the general consent of many decretal letters, on the subject of appeal to Rome. This is the first occasion on which these documents, which can be none other than those contained in the collection of Isidore, are mentioned by the pope. He entered into the subject more at length shortly afterwards, as will be seen. It has been conjectured that Rothad brought them with him from France, and thus, for the first time, made them known at Rome; an opinion which derives weight from the fact that the French Church had already been, for some years, acquainted with them, as appears from their having been quoted by Hincmar in his great work, published in 859, on predestination; and that they were, probably, not known by Nicholas at the beginning of the former discussion about Rothad, because he confined himself, for some time, to the authority of the Council of Sardica, whereas the decretal letters, if genuine, furnished a far clearer ground on which to rest the right of appeal to the holy see.

The public declaration in favor of Rothad was quickly followed by as public an act of restitution to his former dignity and office. This took place on the festival of St. Agnes, in January, 865. Rothad declared his readiness to appear, when called upon, to answer any accusation that might be brought against him, and performed mass in presence of the pope and the Roman clergy and people, in token of his full possession of the sacerdotal or episcopal character. He was then furnished with letters by the pope, testifying to the king and bishops of France that he was restored to his station and right as bishop of Soissons. Arsenius, who was at this time sent as legate into that kingdom, was commissioned to see that the papal orders were obeyed.

Some of these letters require notice, from the importance of the lines of argument adopted by the writer. In that which is addressed to king Charles, he throws great blame upon Hincmar for his conduct in the matter, and justifies his own by a canon of the Council of Chalcedon, which directed that any bishop or other clergyman, who had ground of complaint against his metropolitan, might bring it before the primate of the diocese, or the bishop of Constantinople, which of course applied equally, or in a higher degree, to Rome, especially as the canons of Sardica were an additional ground for the possession of this privilege by the latter city. In the letter to Hincmar, after reproaches, in the same strain, for his forgetfulness of what was due to the apostolic see, he replies to some of the excuses which had been made by the archbishop in his last letter to Rome. He denies that Rothad could be regarded as having relinquished the appeal, and chosen judges for himself, for in the document which was represented as containing the proposal for a new trial, and which, as we have seen, was sent to the bishops at Pistres before the termination of the diet, neither the names nor the number of the judges chosen were to be found; and if neither of these particulars were specified, it was impossible, according to Nicholas, that any choice could have been intended. But even granting that this had been Rothad’s meaning, the pope remarks, that to appeal to any bishop or Council, pending an appeal to Rome, was clearly irregular, and therefore should have been disregarded by Hincmar and the king. Again, he complains, and not without justice, that a needless waste of time had been suffered by Hincmar to elapse between the reception of the letters from Rome and his acting in any way upon them. Nicholas, no doubt, was well aware that had there been any anxiety, on the archbishop’s part, to settle the matter speedily, the various causes of delay alleged by him, such as his employment as arbitrator between the king and his son, or the fear of a Norman invasion, would have been surmounted without much difficulty. Finally, he gives him his choice, again, either to reinstate Rothad at once, or to accompany him to Rome as soon as he should have recovered from the fatigue of the journey, on pain of his being deposed of his archi-episcopal rank and office, by the judgment of God, and the authority of the apostolic see, without any hope of future restoration.

We cannot suppose that Hincmar could be indifferent to these menaces. Although no one was more fully aware than himself that the arbitrary right of deposition, thus claimed by pope Nicholas, was a mere usurpation, altogether unrecognized by the acknowledged rules or Former practice of the Church, the example of the archbishops of Treves and Cologne was too fresh in his remembrance to give room for any expectation that the threats of the pope would be unfulfilled. Those prelates were his equals in dignity, they had been supported by the bishops of their own provinces with greater unanimity and earnestness than had been exhibited in Hincmar’s cause, by his own suffragans and the other bishops of France; and the support of their king might have been relied on with even greater security than that of Charles in the present cause, because the interests of Lothaire were more intimately concerned in the question of Thietburga’s divorce, than those of the king of France in that of Rothad’s deposition. Therefore, he could not doubt that Nicholas would put his sentence in force against him; that the French bishops would either at once, or gradually, acknowledge its validity; and that the king, however strongly bound to him by ties of gratitude and affection. however ill-disposed to admit such an interference as that of the pope, in the relations between his subjects and himself, would be forced, ere long, to yield to the combination formed against him. If he cast his regards upon the other metropolitans of France or the neighboring territories, not a single man was to be found on whose countenance, even for a short time, he could have any reason to rely. It was plain, therefore, that no course was left him but submission, and Rothad was accordingly permitted to take quiet possession of his diocese, an act which was greatly facilitated by the death, just at this season, of the bishop who had been substituted in his place.

That the complaints of pope Nicholas, in his last letter to Hincmar, of a certain want of openness and straightforwardness in the archbishops conduct, were not without some foundation, can scarcely be denied. This is so far true, that in two, or perhaps three instances, Hincmar had availed himself to the utmost of circumstances which offered themselves. He had delayed noticing the orders of the pope till it was impossible to avoid doing so any longer, he had taken full advantage of the obstacles interposed by the emperor to the journey of his legates, even if those bishops had not, according to the insinuation of Nicholas, greatly exaggerated the difficulty; and in the case of Rothad’s letter to the bishops at Pistres, there can be no doubt that he gave it an interpretation which, though literally tenable, was far from the intention of the writer. But he was fighting in the cause of the Church, not of France only, but of all Europe, against what his knowledge of ecclesiastical history, as well as of the interpretation of Scripture, told him was a most ungrounded assumption of dominion. When the most legitimate weapons of argument were disregarded, and those whose main office it was to support the cause were backward or unable to assist him, to resort to such an artifice as that which he employed, if this be not, indeed, too harsh a name, was not only justifiable according to the recognized laws in such a dispute, but was part of his duty as the champion in so great a struggle. He was in the position of an advocate, who, well aware that he is in the right, but seeing that the truth has little chance of proof in the face of an overwhelming mass of evidence, unfairly brought against it, takes advantage of such flaws or accidental errors and omissions as the case admits, and thus by a legal, and, under the circumstances, equitable artifice, saves his cause and promotes that of justice. The use of such means depends for its justification on the cause in which they are employed. In the eyes of the pope, who thought opposition to Rome equivalent to disobeying the Divine commands, Hincmar naturally appeared guilty of unfairness and chicanery, but how much more worthy of censure must the conduct of Nicholas have seemed to his antagonist, in claiming a power which could have no other termination than the total subversion of the independence of the Church, and the destruction of that government which, as the archbishop of Rheims believed, had been established by our Lord himself, and in supporting these claims by arguments displaying either gross deception or a no less dangerous ignorance. These arguments were contained in a third letter committed to the care of Arsenius and Rothad, and addressed to all the bishops of France. The epistle discussed, at some length, the whole argument for the papal supremacy, taking as a foundation a saying of St. Leo, that though the dignity of the holy apostles was equal, there was a difference of authority, whence the distinction among bishops has arisen, one holding sway in each province over all the rest, and again, in the larger cities, one being chosen as chief of the provincials, until the see of St. Peter crowns the whole, as the head of the universal Church. Considerable stress is laid upon the unity of the Church as consisting in this dependence of one part upon another, and of all together upon one visible head or centre; and the pope takes for granted that all who read his letter will agree in the theory which he lays down. Probably he was not wrong in this supposition, for sufficient reverence was then had for the see of Rome to make this no strange or no distasteful view among the bishops of France. Many, however, might object to the conclusion, that to assemble a general Council of several provinces, and especially to depose a bishop, without the direction or sanction of the pope, must imply a breach of this fair proportion of unity and dependence. To Nicholas himself, with his interpretation of St. Leo’s meaning, the consequence was a natural and obvious one; to Hincmar and those of the Gallican Church who agreed with him, it was unfairly drawn. He proceeds to support it by the canon from the Council of Chalcedon, which has been already quoted, by the argument, that detriment done to any one of the limbs must needs affect the head, that is, to depose or otherwise harm a bishop, must affect the pope, and, by adducing a canon of Sardica, which ordered or permitted bishops, from all provinces, to refer to the head, that is, to the seat of the apostle Peter.

But, independently of these arguments in justification of Rothad’s appeal, and condemnation of the treatment which he had received, the whole authority of the papal decretal letters is, as Nicholas next argues, in opposition to conduct so independent of the Roman see. That these letters are worthy of the highest reverence is plain from this consideration, that since the approbation of Rome is generally accepted as a test of the soundness of all documents, those which came from the pen of any pope who lived and died in the true faith, must, of necessity, be received by the Church. An objection, however, had been brought against the epistles now in question; and if we suppose that Rothad was the first to introduce them to the knowledge of Nicholas, it is probable that the objection was also conveyed by him, as one that had been commonly advanced in his own country against the genuineness or the authenticity of Isidore’s collection. It appears to be no very valid or satisfactory one, and if the learning and ingenuity of the French Church could discover no stronger argument against the forgery, we need not wonder that Nicholas prevailed in the dispute. These decretals, the objectors maintained, were not contained in the code of Church canons, and therefore could not be reckoned as of equal or similar authority. The pope replied, that the same argument would lie against the writings of St. Gregory, and the rest of the fathers, and even against the Holy Scriptures themselves, none of which were contained in the code of ecclesiastical law. But, he adds, since we accept the Scripture, although not included in that collection of canons, because pope Innocent ordered it to be received, so we are equally bound to acknowledge the decretal letters, open as they are to the same objections, because pope Leo declares that all the decrees of all his predecessors, on the subject of ecclesiastical ordinances and canonical discipline, are to be observed with the utmost reverence, and this must include equally those which are incorporated in the body of the canons, and those which, for one reason or another, have been omitted in the compilation.

We shall find Hincmar, on a future occasion, attempting to answer this argument, which appears to show that the zeal and firmness of the pope were superior to his logical discrimination. With a second he might have found it somewhat more difficult to deal, in which Nicholas remarked that his opponents were ready to use these decretals when favoring their own cause and when they seemed to tell against the privileges of Rome, but denied their genuineness or their authority when they were of weight on the contrary side. It is hard to say to what he especially refers in this observation. Hincmar, it is true, had, on several occasions, made use of the false decretals, but never, so far as appears from his extant works, written before this period, in opposition to the claims of Rome; on the contrary, one of the few places in which he adopts them is in his treatise on predestination, of which he had sent a copy, the year before, to the pope, and in which he quotes a passage from the spurious letters of Anacletus, in proof of the primacy of the Roman Church. The great difference between the use which Hincmar makes of these letters and the advantage to which they are turned by Nicholas is, that the latter builds entirely upon them doctrines hitherto unknown, and which could be supported by no other proof, whereas the archbishop of Rheims quotes them only as furnishing an additional evidence to truths already granted, and even without them easily established or defended. In the latter case their genuineness could be of little importance, nor was it necessarily incumbent on the writer who thus used them to have satisfied himself without any doubt on this point. But when applied to such a purpose as that for which they are advanced by pope Nicholas, any deficiency in the fullest proof that they were both genuine and of authority, subjects the author to a graver charge than even that of the most culpable negligence. Among the particular privileges derived by pope Nicholas from the decretal letters, so providentially thrown in his way, as he must have thought, are the following:—that no provincial synod can be summoned without special permission from the pope; that even when it is thus regularly assembled, no decision is to be considered as final until ratified by him; that all the more important and all complicated questions, especially disputes among bishops, belong solely to his jurisdiction; and that not only any bishop, but any clergyman, of whatever rank, has the right of appeal to Rome from any tribunal whatever, and may summon his adversary or his judges to the papal court. These and other points were likely to meet with a favorable acceptance with the suffragan bishops and the lower clergy of the Church, as they virtually annulled the whole authority of metropolitans and of all Church assemblies larger than the meetings of the clergy of a single diocese. If the decretals were recognized as law, a bishop could have no superior but the pope, and Rome was at too great a distance from most parts of Europe to make such an authority formidable; besides which political interests were so likely to interfere with a speedy judgment at that court as to make it, in all probability, generally disregarded. It seems plain that the compiler of these documents intended them as an attack upon the rights of metropolitan bishops. We cannot so easily decide whether the object of the attempt was to exalt the privileges of Rome and increase her power, or to free the suffragan bishops from the control of their superiors. The forgery cannot be attributed to the command or consent of any Roman pontiff of the ninth century; for it is evident that Leo IV could not have been aware of the existence of the decretals in the early part of his pontificate, at the time of the return or new consecration of bishops in Brittany; and even Nicholas, in a letter written in the year 863, two years before the epistle already noticed, to the bishops of France, proves that he was, at that time, equally ignorant, by referring to the decrees of his predecessors Siricius, Innocent, Zosimus, and others, from which it seems an allowable inference that, at that period, he knew of none earlier than the first-mentioned of those pontiffs.

Hincmar, however, elsewhere mentions that the decretals were first brought into France, from Spain, by Riculf, archbishop of Metz, who succeeded to that see as early was the year 787. They could not have been much known for the next thirty or forty years, but seem to have spread through the dioceses in the north and east of France after that time. But for a single circumstance we should conclude that they were quite unknown at Rome till the time of Rothad’s journey to St. Peter’s chair. The exception is that before the date of Riculf’s accession to Metz, pope Adrian I is said to have sent a copy of canons and papal decrees to Ingelram, bishop of Metz, containing many extracts from Isidore’s collection. Considerable doubt is thrown on this story by the fact that the same pope, shortly before, sent another copy to Charlemagne, very different from that which he is reported to have transmitted to bishop Ingelram; and it has been supposed that the compilation known by the name of Ingelram’s collection, so far from being the work of Adrian I owes its authorship to Hincmar bishop of Laon, nephew of the archbishop of Rheims, in which case it would scarcely be of earlier date than the year 870, nearly a century after the alleged correspondence between the pope and the bishop of Metz. It is impossible, however, as will be seen afterwards, to attribute the document to the younger Hincmar. The history, on the whole, if we are to suppose that Hincmar was right in his assertion, may probably be as follows :—the collection known under the name of Isidore, whether really the forgery of a person of that name, or intended to pass for the work of St. Isidore, of Seville, was brought from Spain into France, by Riculf, a few years before his accession to the see of Metz. It is not impossible that a copy may have been sent to Adrian, either by the author himself, or by Riculf; and indeed it would be improbable that the author should abstain from sending them to Rome, calculated as they were to advance the privileges of the apostolic see. But if Adrian was aware of their existence and had sufficient belief in their genuineness to send extracts from them to the bishop of Metz, his immediate successors in the papal throne were either men of too great sincerity and discrimination to follow his example, or were too well aware of the sagacity of Charlemagne and Alcuin to attempt to force them on the notice of the Church. Accordingly they must have been neglected and forgotten till Nicholas received them from Rothad, after the middle of the ninth century, and was readily deceived by their claims, from inferiority of critical acumen, joined to a more eager and unscrupulous desire to adopt any means which might exalt the dignity of Rome.

Riculf, however, was a pupil of Alcuin, and it is difficult to believe that any one instructed by so profound and elegant a scholar could avoid detecting the spuriousness of these decretals, much more, that he could himself, as conjectured by some persons, have been their author. We may more easily suppose that Hincmar was deceived, and that they were the production of Benedict deacon of Metz, and publisher of the imperial capitulars, or of some other writer, in the reign of Louis the Pious. The compiler represents himself as ordered by many bishops to make a collection of apostolical canons and the decretal letters of Clement, Anacletus, and other popes down to the time of St. Sylvester; but he gives us no information as to where he found them. They are all composed in the same style, (although purporting to extend over a space of two hundred and fifty years,) and that the obscure Latin style of the eighth century, and are made up, in great part, of extracts from passages of St. Leo, St. Gregory, and other later popes. They speak throughout of primates, metropolitans, patriarchs, ranks in the Church unknown in the times of the first bishops of Rome. They complain of usurpation of Church property, and are mainly taken up with the method of settling disputes in which bishops are accused or otherwise concerned. They represent appeals to Rome as frequent in the earliest times, and forbid any provincial Council to be held without the pope's consent.

It is plain, from events which afterwards occurred, that Hincmar considered the restoration of Rothad, by the pope, as a mere act of successful injustice, involving in it no principle, and in no degree binding him to a different line of conduct on any other occasion, should similar circumstances again arise. But every such successful act is a precedent of great weight, and goes far towards facilitating the same or an analagous attempt in future. The deprivation of Gunther and Theutgard, and condemnation of the Council of Metz, were of great assistance to the pope in passing a similar sentence against the Council of Soissons, and threatening the archbishop of Rheims with the same punishment. Hincmar had, indeed, come off from the struggle with Rome with less injury than those unfortunate prelates. This cannot be attributed to any fear in Nicholas of proceeding to the same extremity with a man of his learning, influence, and character, because such a feeling seems to have had no place in the heart of that intrepid pontiff, and because, in fact, he was taught by Rothad, and, as he thought, by his own observation, to disbelieve in the archbishop’s integrity. Moreover, the metropolitans of Lorraine submitted to the papal will much more completely and speedily than Hincmar, and yet could never, by the humblest entreaties, obtain a retractation of their sentence; whereas he, on the contrary, so far from being visited with this perseverance in displeasure, was regarded with good-will and respect, after the termination of the dispute, by Nicholas, as well as by his successor Adrian. Yet the illegal deprivation of a bishop, joined as it was, according to the judgment of Nicholas, with many circumstances of unjust persecution, of dishonest artifice, and of contempt for the apostolic authority of Rome, could hardly have appeared, in his eyes, a less flagrant fault than that of which the metropolitans of Cologne and Treves had been guilty; for there was always a sufficient degree of doubt as to the truth in the matter of Lothaire’s divorce to afford some palliation for those bishops who acted in accordance with the wishes of their sovereign. Why was it, then, that Nicholas visited the two offences with so great a difference of severity? Doubtless because he could have no hesitation in deciding on the illegality of an uncanonical divorce, but, with all his resolution in carrying out his will, and his confident tone in maintaining its justice, he was far less convinced in reality that the claims advanced in Rothad’s case, and founded on the false decretals, or on a forced interpretation of the canons of Sardica and Chalcedon, possessed the same secure ground of equity and truth. Probably Nicholas knew, as well as Hincmar, that the power which he assumed was not contemplated, or, at all events, had never been thought practical, by the earlier Church. But this fact he interpreted in a different way from the archbishop of Rheims. His theory of Church unity would be more perfectly carried out if Rome possessed the authority which he claimed for her; and, therefore, it appeared to be his duty and office to acquire what had hitherto been deficient. His theory, perhaps, colored the facts of history, and distorted the evidence on which they were supported, while that of Hincmar and of the Gallican Church, when fairly represented, was built upon an historical as well as theological foundation, and if, in any point of view, exaggerated or perverted, was so only because in some of the precedents by which it was maintained, there had been a departure from the principles of truth.

We now turn to another course of events in which Hincmar was opposed to pope Nicholas and his successor, and in which, as in the contest just described, he was forced to submit at last. The circumstances took their commencement at an earlier period than those which concerned Rothad’s deposition, but were not fully terminated till some years later. A Council held at Soissons in April, 853, has already been mentioned; king Charles attended at this synod, the archbishops of Rheims and four other provinces, and twenty-six suffragan bishops, with other clergy, were present. At one of the sessions, Wulfad and three other canons of Rheims, with eight monks from the abbey of St. Remigius, and one from another monastery, were introduced to the Council, and preferred a request, to the effect that having been ordained by Ebo, after his deposition, and lately deprived by Hincmar, in a synod at Meaux, they might be restored by the bishop at Soissons to their former office. The Synod of Meaux, which deposed them, was held in the month following Hincmar’s consecration. They had quietly acquiesced in their conditions for the eight years which intervened, but at last had prevailed upon the archbishop to allow their petition to the Council. Having ordered them to present their petition in writing, as was customary in that and similar cases, Hincmar remarked that a canon of the African Council, confirmed by Charlemagne, provided, that whenever a complaint was made against a sentence passed by a bishop, judges should be selected by each party to decide the cause, and that, after such decision, no second trial could be sought by either side. He then, for his own part, chose Wenilo, Amalric, archbishop of Tours, and his friend Pardulus, bishop of Laon, with reservation of his own rights as metropolitan, and of those of the apostolic see. To these Wulfad and his party agreed, only adding Prudentius of Troyes, perhaps as a counterbalance to the influence of Pardulus. Hincmar then vacated his seat, as president of the Council, and the bishop of Laon took his place. The judges determined that the decision of the matter depended on the regularity of Ebo’s deposition, and since this affected the validity of Hincmar’s ordination, that those who were concerned in the latter act must be called upon to show that all things had been canonically done on that occasion. Testimony was then borne by some of the clergy present to the facts of Ebo’s deposition, proving that it was strictly regular, and the confirmation by pope Sergius was read, in which he was forbidden to exercise thenceforward any episcopal functions. Next Rothad, bishop of Soissons, produced the canons which regulated the consecration of a metropolitan, and the letters of the bishop of Paris and archbishop of Sens, permitting that Hincmar, a clergyman of their diocese and province, should be promoted to the see of Rheims, at the request of the clergy and people of that Church. Hincmar then exhibited his letters of consecration, with others confirmatory, from the king and bishops of France. The deposition of Ebo and consecration of Hincmar having been thus proved canonical, and evidence being adduced in addition that all sacerdotal acts, except baptism, were held by the Church to be invalid if performed by a deprived clergyman, it followed of necessity that the ordination of Wulfad and his companions was irregular.

One of the deposed canons, named Fredebert, defended his ordination, on the ground of his having witnessed the public restoration of Ebo, in the Church of Rheims, by three of his suffragans, the bishops of Soissons, Laon, and Senlis, at the command of the emperor Lothaire. He produced, in evidence, letters from the nine suffragans of the province of Rheims, but one of these, Immo bishop of Noyon, proved that the signature to these documents had been forged. For this act, and for having communicated with Ebo before his restoration to lay communion, the thirteen clergymen were excommunicated in addition to their deprivation. This last sentence, however, at the particular request of king Charles, was taken off, at the termination of the Council. In reference to the defence put forward by Fredebert, and disallowed by the synod, it must be remarked, that the three suffragans named by him as having officiated in Ebo’s restoration by Lothaire, with the addition of the bishop of ChĂ¢lons, who was also now present with the rest in Council, had really performed the act of which he accused them, and that, although the signatures produced may have been forgeries, yet the bishops present seem to have been chargeable with something like evasion, in paying no attention to a fact which was truly stated, although the evidence brought in proof of it was fictitious.

Hincmar having been ordered to resume his seat with the other metropolitans, a somewhat different case was brought before the Council, in which Halduin, abbot of Hautvilliers, was concerned. He had received deacon’s orders from Ebo since his deposition, and was afterwards ordained priest by Lupus, bishop of Chalons. Lupus excused himself for the act, by showing that during the vacancy of the see of Rheims, king Charles had commanded him to consecrate the holy chrism, and to perform some other necessary functions, of which none but a bishop was capable, among others to ordain Halduin, and consecrate him to the abbey of Hautvilliers, and that, being unacquainted with the circumstances, he had complied, without further enquiry, on his being presented in the usual way, by the archdeacon of Rheims. The Council, however, decided that, as Halduin was never deacon, he must be deposed from the priesthood, according to the canons of Nice and Sardica.

Although no doubt can be entertained of the complete validity and regularity of the election and consecration of the archbishop of Rheims, there was something sufficiently out of the common in the circumstances connected with it to make it not improbable that, in those days, when parties in France were greatly divided, his right might be challenged, on some pretext, ecclesiastical or political. He, therefore, deemed it of importance to recognize, in every possible way, the acts of the Council of Soissons, which, by depriving those whom Ebo had ordained after his deposition, had decided that the see was then vacant, and had thus removed the only or the chief objection which could be brought to the ordination of a successor. With this wish Hincmar sent the acts of the Council to Leo IV, begging that he would ratify them, but was disappointed, by the pope’s refusal, on the ground that they had not been sent to him in the usual complimentary way, by the hands of one of the bishops present at the synod, that no legate from Rome had attended on the deliberations, that the acts were not subscribed by the emperor, and that the deposed clergyman had, as he was told, since appealed to the apostolic see. If it is allowable to make a conjecture on the subject, it seems probable that the last of these reasons was the main obstacle in the way of Leo’s compliance with the request of Hincmar. But the first is the only one to which the archbishop, so far as we know, attempted any answer. His reply, not now sent to Rome, but written on another occasion, was that the metropolitans in France have no such power as that which the pope supposes of sending a bishop out of the kingdom, on a mission to his court or elsewhere, without the especial consent or order of the king.

A year or two afterwards Hincmar sent a second messenger to Leo, in the escort of an embassy from the emperor. While on their journey they received news of the pope’s death, which took place in July, 855, and on arriving at the court of Rome, they found that Benedict III had already been elected to succeed him. This pontiff received the petition with greater favor than Leo, and granted, at the same time, the confirmation of the Council of Soissons, on the understanding that Hincmar had given him a true account of all the circumstances attending it, and that of the privileges of the Church of Rheims, of which the archbishop had also requested the ratification. The latter document contained a clause forbidding any subject of that Church to appeal to any other tribunal from that of the metropolitan, with a reservation of the right of Rome; and another, by which Hincmar, if any accusation or complaint were brought against him, might demand to be heard by Rome before sentence could be passed.

Whether any proceedings connected with this subject intervened between the refusal of Leo to ratify the Council, and his death, seems doubtful. Pope Nicholas long afterwards declared that Leo, not content with his rejection of the request, had summoned Hincmar and the deposed clergymen to a new Council, to be held in the presence of his legate, the bishop of Spoletum, for the purpose of examining the cause afresh, and under the condition that Wulfad and his companions, if again deposed, might a second time appeal to Rome. Hincmar, however, according to the pope, neglected to obey the summons, but the archbishop, on the contrary, denied that any such order had been received from Leo, or that any such Council had been held; and the circumstance that Nicholas omits mentioning the place where it was held, goes far towards making this assertion the more probable of the two.

For the space of nearly eight years after Benedict’s confirmation of the Synod of Soissons, and the privileges of the Church of Rheims, the latter were, for the first time, called in question by pope Nicholas, who, though he himself ratified both of these acts of his predecessor, explained the privileges of Hincmar’s see as depending on his perfect obedience to that of St. Peter, and, with characteristic vehemence of expression, pronounces a sentence of eternal damnation upon all who should presume to oppose that decree, while they who observed it received an unconditional promise of eternal life. There was the more reason for insisting on obedience to the papal authority at this time, as these declarations of Nicholas were made during the dispute concerning Rothad’s deposition, and were contained in the letter sent to Hincmar by Odo, bishop of Beauvais, on his return, in the year 863, from Rome.

His success in re-establishing the bishop of Soissons appears to have had little effect in appeasing the pope’s feelings towards Hincmar. Perhaps this very success made him more ready to engage in another contest for exalting the power of his see. Accordingly, in 866, he wrote to the archbishop that on examining the acts of the Council of Soissons, which, by Divine revelation, he had discovered in the archives of Rome, he found that the deprivation of Ebo’s clergy had been irregular. He therefore requested Hincmar himself, with the archbishops of Lyons, Vienne, and Rouen, and the other bishops of France, to assemble at Soissons, in the month of August, to summon Wulfad and the others before them, and if they found it possible, according to the laws of the Church, to restore them to the rank of which they had been deprived; if, however, they found any difficulty in making their decision, or if appeal was made to Rome, he begged that both parties would send their deputies to plead the cause before him immediately after the termination of the Council. He obviated, by anticipation, any objection that might be made to this procedure, on the ground that the decision which was to be re-examined had occurred so many years before, by explaining that the usual limit of twelve months, beyond which an appeal was considered illegal, was not canonically applicable to Rome, and that even if it were so, the appeal had, in fact, been made to pope Leo, soon after the act of deprivation. Nor could Hincmar plead that the confirmation of the synod of 853, both by Benedict and by Nicholas himself, forbade, under an anathema, any resumption of the question, because there was, in both, a reservation of the rights of Rome. The choice, however, was permitted him of restoring the clergymen at once, without waiting for the deliberations of the Council.

It is not improbable that the pope, in the acts of the Council then miraculously discovered in the Roman archives, not only saw a good opening for the advancement of another claim which, like his former undertaking, would be likely to terminate in the aggrandizement of Rome, but also perceived that no more formidable weapon could be used against Hincmar than the resuscitation of a question which so intimately affected the validity of his own consecration. The first suggestion of the matter, and his inducement to reperuse the proceedings of the Council, were, perhaps, furnished by the request of king Charles, or some one of his friends. Wulfad had been for some time in the king’s service, and had gained his favor and esteem by his learning, and, probably, by other good qualities, so that Charles looked upon him as the fittest person to succeed to the metropolitan see of Bourges, now vacant by the death of archbishop Rodolf. Shortly previous his son Charles, king of Aquitaine, had met with an accident, before mentioned, which weakened his intellect, and rendered it necessary for him to have a confidential guide and counselor in managing the government of that province. For this office Wulfad was chosen, and in his position as archbishop of Bourges, would be conveniently situated for giving the prince the full advantage of his counsel and assistance. Well aware, however, of the delay which might probably intervene before the fulfillment of his wishes, if a Council must first be held, and if the pope and the archbishop of Rheims were at issue on the decisions to which it might come, the king, on the arrival of the letter from Nicholas, besought Hincmar to accept the alternative proposed to him, of at once restoring Wulfad and his companions. On his assuring Charles that such a course would be altogether in violation of ecclesiastical law, since a synod of several provinces had decided on the deprivation, the king next had recourse to Nicholas, praying him to send a special order for the ordination of his new nominee to the see of Bourges, instead of having that Church vacant, contrary to ecclesiastical rule and custom, or, if he could not comply with that request, at all events to sanction his entering at once upon a provisional administration of the affairs and revenues of the province. The letter addresses the pontiff in the humblest and most flattering style, and assures him that to his care he committed all things, even his wife and children, and the whole of his kingdom. This application had no better success than the preceding, for Nicholas replied, that he could not move further in the cause until the synod which had been summoned had published its decision.

The bishops met on the appointed day in August; seven archbishops presided, and among the twenty-eight suffragans present Rothad, who had been restored the year before, took his place. To assist them in their deliberations, Hincmar presented four letters, or memoirs : the first informed them that Wulfad and his companions had not been deprived by him and the bishops of Rheims, but by a Council of five provinces, to whom they appealed, and that on this latter occasion he himself had not even joined in the decision. Pope Benedict, and, after him the present pontiff, had confirmed the deposition, under a strong anathema against all who should attempt to question it. The original letters of the popes were delivered in proof of this assertion. Now, however, continued Hincmar, pope Nicholas had ordered the decision to be revised, and he, who bore no grudge against the clergymen in question, willingly obeyed. If the province of Rheims alone had deprived them, its consent would have been sufficient for their restoration, but, under the circumstances, a synod of the same provinces as those of which the former Council had consisted, or a still more numerous one, was required to pass such an act. He concluded by remarking that all the Roman pontiffs, of the highest reputation, had spoken strongly of the guilt of breaking through canons which had once passed, and that supported, as these especial decrees were, by the anathema of the apostolic see, he durst not attempt, by restoring them on his own authority, so glaring a violation of ecclesiastical law.

As Wulfad had assured many persons in secret that Ebo had not been regularly deposed, and again, that he had been canonically restored, Hincmar devoted a second letter to the information of the bishops assembled at Soissons, on these subjects; for, with the exception of Rothad, none of those who had been concerned in these events were now living. He was deposed, as was proved by documents presented to the synod, on his own confession, by the decree of forty-three bishops; afterwards, without any regular restoration, he usurped the same episcopal ministry, and, among other acts, ordained Wulfad and his companions; he then went to Rome, and was ordered by pope Sergius to remain in lay communion, and during the rest of his life never again sought to be restored to the see of Rheims. No deed of restoration could be produced from any bishops of his own or of any other province, nor was any lay authority capable of such an act. It was true that he had afterwards acted as a bishop in the province of Metz, but it was obvious that such a line of conduct could never be accepted in proof of his right to the episcopal character. In evidence of his own canonical ordination, Hincmar exhibited all the documents necessary to prove it, and when his letter had been publicly read, several bishops present rose to confirm the contents. Hincmar of Laon, his nephew, handed in the acts of the Council of Soissons, in 853; the bishop of Tournay those of a Council of Bourges, under the late metropolitan Rodulf, confirmatory of the former; the bishop of ChĂ¢lons the letters of pope Benedict, and Odo of Beauvais those of pope Nicholas, to the same effect

In a third memoir, Hincmar expressed his willingness to consent to the restoration of the deposed clergy­men, if the pope and the Council thought fit, out of indulgence, to reinstate them in their former positions, or even to promote any one of them to a still higher station in the Church. Notwithstanding this, in a fourth letter, which was not read in public, because, as the fathers were resolved that it should not affect their decision, it might only form a needless cause of offence and ill-will, he charged Wulfad with several acts which might well have interfered with their resolutions in his favor, had not the power of king Charles and the pope together made it a matter of prudence to overlook them. It appears that Wulfad, though only deacon, had intruded himself into the see of Langres, when vacant some time before, in direct violation of the canons which prevented a clergyman from leaving the diocese in which he had received the tonsure and been ordained, and that he had laid violent hands on the revenues of that see, appropriating them to his own private use and that of his family or friends; and again, that on being admitted to communion, after the sentence of excommunication passed upon him by the former Council of Soissons, he had taken a most solemn oath, in the presence of the king and of several bishops, never to aspire, thenceforward, to any ecclesiastical office whatever. These facts, as Hincmar said, he only stated that the Council might have full information of all the circumstances connected with the question before them, not from any ill-will towards Wulfad, or with any purpose of interfering to prevent his restoration.

The decision of the Council was rightly anticipated by Hincmar. Out of deference to the king and to the pope, they decided on the restoration of Wulfad, and on permitting his election to the see of Bourges. As if conscious that the resolution required some apology, Herard, archbishop of Tours, protested in the name of the Council, that the present decision was not to be regarded as invalidating the decree passed thirteen years before, by a similar assembly, and in the same place, but simply as an indulgence granted out of compassion to the persons who had been then justly sentenced. The same ground was taken, in a synodal letter, written by the Council to pope Nicholas, in which the example of the clergy ordained by Meletius was adduced in justification of what had now been done. They also excused Hincmar for his refusal to reinstate Wulfad on his own authority, giving it as their opinion, that such a proceeding would have been an uncanonical and a presumptuous act.

While on the subject of this Council we may notice that king Charles sent a message to the assembled bishops, begging them to confer upon his wife Hermentrude an episcopal benediction, recognizing her as queen of France. They had been married twenty-four years, and she had had several children, but these had either died in childhood, or had been visited with illness and various distressing accidents, which persuaded their parents that the Divine blessing was for some reason withheld from their union. For this they sought a remedy, from the prayers and benediction of the bishops of the Council of Soissons; and queen Hermentrude was accordingly crowned by Hincmar, with special prayers, adapted to the circumstances, in the Church of St. Medard.

The synodal letter to the pope was sent by Egilo, archbishop of Sens, and Actard, bishop of Nantes, the latter of whom had been driven from his see by the violence of the Bretons and Normans. Actard was recommended to the protection and favor of the pope, who was requested, at the same time, to write to the duke of Brittany, urging him, on pain of ecclesiastical censure, to return to his allegiance to the king of France, to recognize again the archbishop of Tours as his metropolitan, and to re-establish in their sees two surviving bishops of those who had been deposed twenty years before.

King Charles and Hincmar both wrote letters to the pope at the same time, and the latter referred Nicholas to the archbishop of Sens for a fuller account of the readiness which he had shown in obeying his commands, and the absence of all ill-will in his feelings now or before towards Wulfad and his companions. A longer epistle he addressed to Egilo himself, begging him, instead of taking to Rome the original documents produced at the late Council, to give the pope an account, by word of mouth, of the various circumstances which were proved by their means. The points on which he was to lay most stress were the regularity of Ebo’s deposition, and that of his own election and ordination. He urged him also, if he could find an opportunity, to let Nicholas know that the practice, introduced by him on this and some other occasions, of rescinding the decrees of former Councils and popes, had produced a general contempt of episcopal authority, so that people cared very little for the censures or even for the excommunications of the Church; and that there was a general belief in the insecurity of all ecclesiastical proceedings. He begged Egilo to take the precaution of reading over the pope’s answer to this and the other letters, before they were put into the hands of the transcribers, as there was reason to suspect that documents had been sometimes falsified by them. Egilo was likewise exhorted to procure a copy of all the papal acts since the accession of pope Sergius, among which Ebo’s condemnation would be found, and none of which were to be obtained in France.

King Charles, although he had requested the pope, in his letter conveyed by Egilo, to permit, without delay, the appointment of Wulfad to the see of Bourges, was too impatient for the fulfillment of his wishes to wait for the answer from Nicholas; or it is possible that he may have desired, at the same time, to show his conviction that a general Council, like that of Soissons, had full power of itself to decree the restoration. He sent his son Carlomann, to whom he had given the abbacy of St. Medard, to induct the new metropolitan into his see; and in the month of September, very shortly after the termination of the Council, he was consecrated by Aldo, bishop of Limoges, suffragan of Bourges, and other bishops of the province. It was remarked by those who had been most opposed to this act that Aldo was seized with fever and died almost immediately after the ceremony, which was regarded as an evidence that it was displeasing in the sight of God. The king's anxiety to furnish his son Charles with a faithful guide and councilor was fruitless, for the death of that prince was contemporaneous with or followed immediately after Wulfed’s consecration. His elder brother Louis succeeded him as king of Aquitaine; and it is not impossible that his peaceable government of his kingdom may have been owing to the wise counsels of the new archbishop.

It might be supposed that Nicholas would have been satisfied with the proceedings of the Council of Soissons, and the obedience to his commands which the bishops assembled there had manifested and expressed. But notwithstanding their submission, the tone adopted by the synod was too independent for this arbitrary pontiff, who could be content, as it seemed, with nothing short of the annihilation of all power, except his own. He was displeased that any respect should have been expressed for the former Council of AD 853, when he had once declared his disapproval of it; he was even dissatisfied that, by too perfect an obedience to his orders, the bishops had afforded no opportunity to Wulfad of again appealing to the apostolic see, and of actually bringing the final decision to the foot of his throne; and he was disappointed that the enquiry into the canonical deposition of Ebo had not terminated in something which might have been used as a handle for invalidating the ordination of his successor. These feelings are evident, in the angry and querulous tone of his answers to the letters delivered by Egilo and Actard. Of these, one was addressed to Wulfad and his companions, congratulating them on their restoration and praying them to entertain no ill-feeling against Hincmar or others, for the opposition which they had experienced; a second to king Charles, and two others at greater length to the bishops of the Council of Soissons, and to the archbishop of Rheims himself. He told the bishops that on a further examination of the acts of the Council of AD 853, he had discovered that Hincmar had been guilty of several misrepresentations; as for example, in describing the deposed clergymen as having been anxious for the discussion of their cause, by that synod, whereas the introduction of the subject had its origin from Hincmar himself; and, again, in forging the subscription of Wulfad to the petition for redress, whereas it was notorious that that person was prevented by sickness from attending at the Council; also in unjustly compelling them to promise, as a condition of return to communion, that they would never thenceforward aspire to any ecclesiastical office. Again, the boasted confirmation of the Council by Rome, was either false or had been placed in so unfair a light by Hincmar as to appear under altogether a different character, the conditions and limitations under which pope Benedict had granted it having been suppressed. Moreover, the bishop of Spoletum had been sent by Leo, as his legate, to hold a new Council, and the disobedience manifested at that time by the archbishop, in refusing to give his attendance, was now greatly heightened by his denial of these very circumstances. In reference to the late Council, while expressing his gratification that no hindrance had been placed in the way of restoring Wulfad and the others, he complained that the original documents had not been forwarded to Rome, and deferred sending a confirmation of their decision until this deficiency had been supplied. Meanwhile, the restoration of the clergy was to be looked upon simply as provisional, and Hincmar was to be allowed a year, for the purpose of collecting evidence, in proof of the regularity of their deposition. If he omitted to employ the interval in the way pointed out, the pope would find it his duty, at the end of that time, to prove the irregularity not only of their deposition but of that of Ebo, who had ordained them; a point, continued the pope, which was perfectly clear to himself and to everyone else, except to Hincmar. The elevation of Wulfad to the see of Bourges, without waiting for the papal confirmation, and that at a time when they were professing their obedience and submission, was deserving of severe censure.

The epistle to the archbishop of Rheims contained, in great part, the same words used in that to the bishops. Although Hincmar had apologized for not sending a legate of his own, in addition to the messengers dispatched by the Council, Nicholas chose to consider the omission as another insult to his dignity; and even expressed a doubt whether the letter delivered to him, in Hincmar’s name, by Egilo, had really been written by him, because he had neglected to seal it with his official seal. An additional charge was made, that he had used the pallium, granted by pope Leo, on ordinary occasions, instead of reserving it, in token of respect towards Rome, for the great festivals of the Church.

These letters bear date Dec. 866, and were put into the hands of king Charles, at Samonci, a palace in the neighborhood of Laon, in the following May. Hincmar, at the king’s command, conveyed the eight deposed clergymen of Rheims (for to that number they were now reduced from the fourteen, who were living in 853,) to the same place, where they were joined by Wulfad, from Bourges, and by Rothad, and the younger Hincmar. The letter of the pope was read in the presence of all; and as the act of restoration had not yet been definitely passed, Charles directed that another Council should be held, in the ensuing October, at Troyes, for the purpose of effecting this, and of putting a termination to the whole affair. Previous to the assembling of the bishops, in the month of July, Hincmar, who was then on the point of setting out in the suite of the king, on an expedition against the duke of Brittany, wrote a reply to Nicholas, without availing himself of the year which had been granted him for collecting his evidence and preparing his arguments. The letter was sent by some of his clergy, disguised as pilgrims, to Rome, for so great, at this time, was the hostility of king Lothaire and the emperor against the archbishop, that, without some precaution of the kind, no messenger of his would have been permitted to pass in safety to Rome.

The tone adopted in this epistle is one of great humility, though joined with firmness of determination in defence of his character and privileges; and referred to a similar event many years before, when Pope Sergius and Leo were greatly irritated against him, by the false accusation of the emperor Lothaire, and disposed, in consequence, to take up the cause of Ebo, to his injury, but as soon as he obtained a hearing he fully cleared himself in the eyes of those pontiffs. He went through the case of Ebo’s deposition, showing that this had taken place on his own voluntary confession, and that its validity was in no way affected by the question whether that confession were true or false. In case of the resignation of a bishop, it was ordered, by the African Council and the decrees of pope Damasus, that a new bishop should be elected in his place, and that the former should be incapable of episcopal jurisdiction as long as his successor lived. He reminded Nicholas, as he had done on a former occasion, that the metropolitans of France possessed no liberty of leaving the country or of sending their suffragans on a journey without the king’s command, which was a sufficient reason for his having commissioned no legate to appear for him at Rome. He assured the pope that he was ready to cast himself at his feet and implore pardon for all his offences, and that he readily acknowledged that his many sins fully merited the displeasure which was entertained towards him. Yet his conscience acquitted him of the crimes which were laid to his charge, of pride, of disobedience, and contempt towards the holy see, of harshness, or of falsifying documents. His anxiety for the renewal, time after time, of the privileges of Rheims granted by the pope, arose from the peculiar situation of his province and diocese, which lay partly in Lothaire’s kingdom, partly in France. In such case it was necessary to have some one power whom the inhabitants of both might respect, to keep any degree of obedience among the members of his Church, or to give security to ecclesiastical property in the eyes of the rough nobles, who cared little for justice or for the censure of their bishop. In answer to the charge concerning the pallium, he explained that so far from using it too frequently, he only wore it on Christmas and Easter day, because the multiplicity of his engagements and occupations seldom left him at liberty to officiate in his Cathedral on the other festivals; he cared little, indeed, whether or not he used it, because, although it might add authority to his office, in the eyes of men, it could not increase the merit of his services in those of God. As Nicholas, in his late correspondence, had declared his unwillingness to raise the clergy who had been ordained by Ebo to any higher grade in the Church, he begged to know whether he had the pope's definite prohibition to permit such a promotion, should either of them, at any future time, be chosen bishop.

This letter was sent without delay, that Nicholas might have his defence before the meeting of the council of Troyes; for in that synod the subject of his own election and consecration might probably again be discussed, and now that the pope had declared, with so much plainness, his own judgment on the irregularity of Ebo’s deposition, there was reason to fear that some of the bishops assembled might take a similar view, and perhaps determine the decision of the Council to his disadvantage. This dread was probably not a little increased by the anger of king Charles, who had hitherto been, in all matters of difficulty and dispute, his friend and partisan, but who displayed, at this time, great coldness and displeasure towards him, conduct ill merited by his uninterrupted fidelity for so many years, and which was deeply felt by the archbishop as a heavy aggravation to the disquiet and sorrow caused by the persevering attacks of pope Nicholas. His conscientious refusal to consent to the elevation of Wulfad to the see of Bourges until after the decision of the Council of Soissons and of the pope in his favor, and the influence of Lothaire, doubtless assisted in producing the estrangement and injustice in the king, though we are not informed whether any more private cause of displeasure may have existed.

The anticipations of Hincmar were confirmed by the actual proceedings of the Council of Troyes, which met on the appointed day. The German bishops were invited to attend, and in the letter of invitation the reasons for assembling the Council are stated to be—the plunder of Churches and Church property; the disobedience and insult with which Bishops were generally treated; and an universal oppression of the people. The prelates who were present were, however, confined to the kingdoms of Charles and Lothaire. Wulfad took his place, as archbishop of Bourges, by the side of Hincmar and the four other metropolitans who presided.

With a view of paying court to king Charles or to the pope, some persons present made a strenuous attack upon the validity of Ebo’s deposition and the ordination of his successor. They reckoned upon the late submission exhibited by the archbishop to the papal orders, and upon the implicit obedience and humility that had characterized all his conduct towards the king. Hincmar, however, defended himself with so much power of argument and with so clear an exposure and refutation of the quibbles that were brought against him, that the Council not only overruled the re-opening of these questions, but prepared for the pope a full account of all the circumstances, to the utmost advantage of the accused, and besought Nicholas in no way to alter what had been already settled so many years before, adding the request that he would decree that henceforward no bishop should be deposed without the previous consent of the holy see. It is probable that Hincmar himself had little share in appending the latter clause to the synodal epistle; for one of the most important encroachments of the false decretals received from this petition the positive support of a Council of six provinces of France. But his own defence left him no leisure to enforce his scruples on a subject which had already been practically determined, by his own submission and that of the rest of France, in reinstating Rothad in the see of Soissons. He, therefore, permitted the insertion of the clause, without a protest, and joined also with the rest in begging Nicholas to send the pallium to the new archbishop of Bourges.

These letters were carefully sealed, to avoid a repetition of the pope’s censure for their neglect of this precaution in the former instance. Actard was again chosen as bearer; but before commencing his journey to Rome, he went, according to previous appointment, to king Charles, who, suspecting the influence of Hincmar at the late Council, broke the seal of the letter, and finding its tenor too favorable to the archbishop of Rheims, destroyed it, and substituted another in its place. This letter resembled the former in giving a detailed account of the proceedings with regard to Ebo, but represented them in a light favorable to him, and disadvantageous both to the conduct of Hincmar and to the validity of his election. It contained, at some length, a narrative of some of the events of Ebo’s early history, and of the circumstances connected with his first elevation to the see of Rheims, as well as of his subsequent deposition, and restoration by the emperor Lothaire. Of these particulars nothing need now be repeated in addition to what has already been said upon the subject, except that Ebo, although he joined in dethroning and excommunicating the emperor Louis, in the second rebellion of his sons, had been faithful to him in the first revolt, and that, according to the king’s account, all the other metropolitans of France and all the suffragans of Rheims recognized him as canonically restored by the new emperor, and unhesitatingly joined in communion with him, while those suffragans who had received episcopal consecration during his absence from the province, accepted from his hands the ring and staff of office on his return. The king ventured to cast no reflection on the ordination of Hincmar; but it is evident that if his view of Ebo’s restoration were received as authentic, the invalidity of the former would follow as a necessary consequence. He concluded by recommending the bearer of his letter to the pope’s favorable notice, begging that, as he had no chance of recovering the see of Nantes, he might have his permission to occupy some other bishopric, whenever a vacancy should occur.

Actard carried, at the same time, a letter from Hincmar to Anastasius, the librarian, complaining, it would seem, of the same falsification by the Roman copyists, which he had before noticed in his epistle to archbishop Egilo; he apologized also for not sending presents to the pope, to Arsenius, or to Anastasius himself, a proof of the means usually adopted at this time for keeping up a good understanding with the court of Rome.

Meanwhile, during the session of the Council of Troyes, or immediately after the departure of Actard, the archbishop received from the pope an answer to his last letter, favorably contrasted, in style and address, to the censorious and angry tone of his former correspondence. Nicholas now expressed himself satisfied with the obedience and submission of Hincmar, and, as a testimony of the esteem with which he regarded him, commissioned him, and through him the other bishops of France, to examine and refute several charges which had lately been brought by Photius and the Church of Constantinople against the orthodoxy of Rome, and of western Christendom. Before noticing further the details of the charge, it will be well to bring to a conclusion the correspondence between France and the pope on the subjects discussed by the Synod of Troyes.

The date of the pope’s letter is the 23rd £ October, 867. On the 13th of the next month he died, and Actard, on arriving at Rome, learned that Adrian now occupied the apostolic chair. He had intended, as we are told by the letter of king Charles, of which he was the bearer, to remain some time in Rome, with the view of meeting the emissaries, who were shortly expected in that city, from the duke of Brittany and the bishops who had renounced their allegiance to the metropolitan of Tours. Whether his determination was changed by the death of Nicholas, or whether he wished to avail himself at once of letters from Adrian in his favor to the king and to archbishop Herard, we are not told. He returned, however, with these and other letters, bearing date February, 868; one of them was addressed to the bishops present at the late Councils of Soissons and Troyes, informing them the writer had granted the pallium to Actard, an unusual mark of esteem when bestowed on a suffragan bishop, in token of the sufferings and persecutions endured by him in the cause of the Church; and in the epistles to the king he begged that the affairs of Ebo’s deposition might, for the future, be buried in silence, because as Rothad alone of all the bishops engaged in that and other events connected with him was now alive, it was impossible to arrive at any certain conclusion as to the truth or falsehood of the reports on both sides. To Hincmar he wrote in terms of great friendship and respect, mentioning the high testimony which Actard, Anastasius, and Arsenius all concurred in bearing to his learning and character, and begged him to use all his influence, both with king Charles and with king Lothaire, to bring the latter to a better state of feeling toward queen Thietburga.

Adrian’s pacific advice was followed by the king and bishops of France; Hincmar himself had no wish to continue a dispute in which he could gain no advantage from a conclusion the most favorable to himself, and it is probable that Charles soon returned to that friendly intercourse with him to which the late misunderstandings about Wulfad and Lothaire had caused a temporary interruption. The discussion, like that concerning Rothad, had ended in a victory gained by Rome. The defeat, however, which Hincmar and the bishops of France sustained, was neither so signal nor so important as the former; for although Wulfad and his companions were restored, Nicholas obtained neither of his two grand objects, of which one was to invalidate altogether the decrees of the Council of Soissons of 853, (thus establishing his right to set aside a general Council,) and the other, to punish the firmness or the contumacy of Hincmar, by proving the uncanonical character of his election. The former result was avoided by the decision of the bishops, who met at Soissons in 866, that the restoration demanded by the pope, on the part of the deposed clergy, should be granted only as a matter of indulgence. His second object the pope may be supposed, from the mild tone of his last letter, to have relinquished, or if his character renders it likely that he would have continued the attempt, had not death put a stop to all his schemes for the aggrandizement of Rome, it is certain, from the firmness of the bishops of Troyes, which was in striking contrast to the subserviency exhibited in Rothad’s case, that he must have been defeated. Perhaps the only definite advantage gained by Rome from this struggle, was the admission by the Council of Troyes that no bishop could be legally deposed until the express consent of the pope had been, in the first place, signified.

The charges of heresy brought by the Greek Church against the western creed, to which the notice of Hincmar and the other French bishops was called, in the last letter of pope Nicholas, were connected with the conversion of the Bulgarians. This nation, lying on the frontiers of both the eastern and western empires, carried on for many years an irregular war with Constantinople. In one of the campaigns the sister of Rogoris, king or chief of the Bulgarians, was taken captive, and during her residence at Constantinople was instructed by the empress Theodora in the Christian faith. She was afterwards, about the year 845, restored to her country, in exchange for a monk who, while a prisoner among the Bulgarians, had produced an impression favorable to Christianity on the mind of king Rogoris. This was strengthened by his sister on her return, and the conversion thus begun was completed some years afterwards, on occasion of a famine which devastated the country, and which was removed in answer to prayers addressed by the king to the God of the Christians. He applied to the court of Constantinople, and a bishop was sent, at whose hands he received the sacrament of baptism, and the name of Michael, after that of the emperor. The act was displeasing to the nobles of his court or army, who raised an insurrection against him; but the newly baptized king, with a handful of faithful followers, boldly marched against the rebel multitude, who, seized with a sudden panic, which was reckoned miraculous both by king Michael and by his adversaries, laid down their arms. After the punishment of the ringleaders, a large number of the rest followed the example of their prince and were baptized. The bishop, as is probable, then returned to Constantinople, and the year following, in 866, the king of Bulgaria sent to Louis of Germany, begging that he would send another bishop and some clergy to instruct them still further in the points of Christian belief and practice, and to extend the knowledge of the faith in his dominions. The ambassadors sent for this purpose went on to Rome, with offerings to the shrine of St. Peter, and with a similar request for further instruction in their newly-adopted faith. Nicholas lost no time in complying with the prayer, and dispatched several bishops, one of whom was Formosus, bishop of Porto, with answers to the various questions which they had proposed to the holy see, with copies of the Holy Scriptures and with other books. In their company legates were sent with letters to Photius and the emperor of Constantinople, whither the journey through Bulgaria, especially in the escort of the ambassadors from that country, was reckoned more secure than the sea voyage, for the hostility which existed between the papal see and the eastern Church rendered the latter mode of travelling somewhat dangerous. The legates were, however, arrested on the frontiers between Bulgaria and the imperial dominions, and compelled to retrace their steps to Rome. But Formosus and his companions were received with every mark of zeal and reverence, and set about their task of preaching and baptizing with vigor and energy, so that when, in the following year, a bishop and some of the clergy sent by Louis of Germany, arrived in the country, they found the ground already preoccupied by the missionaries from Rome, and, as there was no need of their services, returned to their own homes. So successful were they in their labors, and so fully did they persuade their converts not only of the truth of the Christian religion, but of the supremacy of the Roman see, that king Michael drove out of his dominions all the clergy and teachers except those who belonged to the suite of Formosus, or who were willing to acknowledge the sovereignty of his Church. These were probably missionaries from various parts of the eastern empire, and the report which they were likely to carry to Constantinople of the influence gained by Rome in Bulgaria, was not such as to allay the feeling of enmity entertained by the emperor and patriarch towards the pope. Meanwhile the Bulgarian prince sent to Nicholas, begging that he would appoint Formosus metropolitan of his country, a request with which he refused literally to comply, on the ground that he could not remove that prelate from his present diocese. He ordered, however, two others, Paul and Grunwald, to remain in Bulgaria as bishops of that region, and instructed the king to choose from all the Roman or Italian clergy in his realms the person who seemed most fit to fill the station of metropolitan, with the understanding that he would then consecrate him to that office. Formosus, with another bishop named Dominic, were ordered to proceed to Constantinople to put an end, if possible, to the schism in that Church.

The power of Photius seemed, at this time, greater than it had ever been, although he was, in reality, standing on the edge of a precipice, without consciousness of his danger. A short time before the Caesar Bardas, an able though unprincipled man, had been murdered by the weak and debauched emperor Michael, and in him Photius lost one who was his most powerful friend, although he entered not into all the fraudulent and ambitious schemes which are attributed to the patriarch. Basil the Macedonian, a man of low birth, though said to be descended from the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia, was then taken into favor by Michael, (who was altogether incapable of conducting the government himself), and shortly afterwards raised to a partnership in the imperial throne. Photius paid his court alternately to both the emperors, and during the lifetime of Michael seemed each day to increase in popularity and influence. The condemnation pronounced against him by pope Nicholas withdrew, for a time, many from his communion, but by various artifices he attached the great majority of the Church of Constantinople to his party, and visited with persecution all who refused to acknowledge him.

On hearing of the success of the papal missionaries in Bulgaria, and of the rejection by the king and people of that country of the eastern clergy, and of various points in the ritual of the eastern Church, Photius determined to revenge himself on what he regarded as an unjust usurpation, and summoned a Council of all the bishops of the patriarchate. To this assembly he gave the name of an Ecumenical Synod, and persons came forward charging Nicholas with many criminal acts and violations of the canons of the Church. The patriarch himself appeared in the character of his advocate, but the charges were, in the opinion of the Council, so well proved, that the pope was condemned, deposed, and excommunicated. The acts of the Council bore the subscription of more than a thousand names, of which, however, a very large majority are said to have been mere forgeries. They were sent into Italy, to Louis and to his queen Ingelberga, to whom the titles of emperor and empress were given by Photius and the Council, although, hitherto, it had been usual to restrict this appellation to the sovereign of the east. Ingelberga was earnestly exhorted, in a letter from the patriarch, to persuade her husband to drive Nicholas from Rome, now that he had been canonically deposed by the decision of an Ecumenical Council.

Photius continued his attack upon the pope, by addressing a circular epistle to the patriarch of Alexandria, and to all the Churches in the east, in which, after recounting the successful conversion of the Bulgarians by the missionaries of Constantinople, he asserted that men had issued from the darkness of the west, and corrupted with their superstitions and errors the purity of their faith. The following are the errors specified: fasting on the sabbath; permission to eat cheese and other food composed of milk, during the first week of Lent; the Manichean heresy of refusing the ministrations of married priests, which had resulted, as was affirmed, in many immoral practices; the custom of repeating the unction of the holy Chrism, if previously administered by a priest, on the ground that bishops alone are capable of that office; and, above all, the impious addition to the creed, received by all the Councils, which represented the Third Person in the holy Trinity as proceeding from the Son as well as from the Father. Against the last-mentioned doctrine he argued at some length, asserting that no one who held it deserved the name of Christian, that it introduced two principles into the unity of Divine nature, and that it confounded the peculiar attributes of the three Persons in the Godhead. The letter also mentioned that the Russian nation, hitherto so notorious for their savage character, had lately yielded to the labors of eastern missionaries, and had received a bishop.

The same epistle was sent by the emperor to the bishops Formosus and Dominic, who were now on the point of leaving Bulgaria, to enter upon their mission, as papal legates, at the court of Constantinople. They refused to receive or recognize them save on condition of their acknowledging Photius as ecumenical patriarch and anathematizing the errors enumerated in the circular letter.

These charges and pretensions were brought to a sudden termination by the death of Michael. This weak and vicious emperor soon repented of having raised Basil to a share in his throne, on discovering that that prince not only refused to take part in his debaucheries and buffooneries, but even ventured to endeavor, by expostulation, to dissuade himself from conduct so unworthy of his dignity. To rid himself of advice so distasteful, he made an attempt upon the life of Basil, during a hunting excursion, but Basil escaped, and revenged himself by bribing the guards of Michael to slay their master, when in a fit of drunkenness. This event took place in September, 869, and was followed immediately by the banishment of Photius from Constantinople and the recall of Ignatius to the patriarchal throne.

The charges contained in the letter of Photius and of the so-called Ecumenical Council, to the patriarchs of the east and the king of Bulgaria, were those which pope Nicholas, shortly before his death, sent to Hincmar and the other French bishops for refutation. To these the pope added one or two other objections, usual among the Greeks, against the Roman faith—as that the western Church was in the habit of sacrificing a lamb on the Easter festival; that the clergy among them were permitted to shave their beards; and that deacons were ordained bishops without passing through the intermediate order of the priesthood. He mentioned also the claim advanced by Photius to be universal patriarch, on the ground that the primacy and privileges of Rome had passed to Constantinople at the time when the emperors changed their residence from one city to the other.

Hincmar read the pope’s letter to the king, and lost no time in sending it round to his brother metropolitans, begging that the subject might be examined in each province. Among his own suffragans he selected Odo, bishop of Beauvais, as the fittest person to reply to the Greek objections, and corrected his treatise with his own pen, but the essays of Eneas, bishop of Paris, and Ratramn, monk of Corbey, are the only ones now extant on the subject. The former consists almost solely of quotations from ecclesiastical writers. On the subject of abstinence the bishop remarks, that custom varies in different regions; that in Egypt and Palestine it is usual to fast nine weeks before Easter, and that while, in many parts of Italy, no food is eaten during Lent and on other fast days, except fruits and herbs, the Germans abstain not on those occasions from milk, cheese, eggs, and beer. He refers also to the pretended donation by Constantine to the pope, and is, according to Fleury, the earliest author by whom that fable is noticed.

Ratramn’s treatise, which, as might be expected from the author’s learning, is more worthy of notice than that of bishop Aeneas, is mainly taken up with the subject of the double procession; the scriptural argument is well managed and convincing, and the proof from the Latin fathers sufficiently complete; but although St. Athanasius, St. Gregory Nazianzen, and Didymus of Alexandria, are also quoted, the citations are sometimes from spurious works, and it is plain that Ratramn, with all his learning, was but imperfectly acquainted with this class of writers, who would have been alleged with greater force than the Latin fathers in a treatise directed against the Greeks. With regard to the duration of the Lent fast, and the question whether Saturday was to be regarded as a feast day, or a day of abstinence, he takes the rational ground of maintaining the liberty possessed by each Church of regulating such matters for itself, insisting only on the necessity of observing forty fast days, whether with the interval of the Sundays only, or of the Sabbaths also, before Easter. Friday, he remarks, is always reckoned a fast in England, and in the Irish monasteries they fast all the year round except Sundays and other festivals. Shaving the beard or the head he notices as a matter altogether indifferent, and, though regarding the celibacy of the clergy as more important, places it simply on the foundation of a pious expediency, which, by freeing them from secular cares, permitted a more complete devotion to the sacred ministry. He defends the unction of the holy Chrism by the practice of the apostles, and a decretal of the first Innocent, and contents himself with denying some of the other charges. Fleury remarks, however, in reference to the sacrifice of the lamb at Easter, that this practice, though condemned by all persons of sense and learning, is said by Walafrid Strabo, an author who died somewhat less than twenty years before, to have existed in some places, and that the Roman missal still contains a prayer of benediction pronounced over a lamb at Easter by the pope. It is perhaps not wonderful that the Greek objectors, with some foundation, should have represented the usage as one recognized by the western Church. Ratramn defends the primacy of Rome by quotations from Socrates, who remarks, on the Arian Council of Antioch, that the consent of the pope was necessary for an universal synod, from the canons of Sardica, from the presence at Nice of the papal legates, and from St. Leo’s influence in substituting the Council of Chalcedon for that of Ephesus. With less force of argument he maintains that the dignity of patriarch, with the second rank in the Church, had been given to the bishop of Constantinople simply as a title of honor, without involving any right of jurisdiction.

The overthrow of Photius and restoration of Ignatius rendered these answers to the Greek objections of less value or necessity. Ignatius, as well as the emperor Basil, was ready to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome, and could have no wish to continue the charges against the pope and the western Church. A Council was called by Adrian, at Rome, in condemnation of the pretended synod which, under the influence of Photius, had deposed his predecessor Nicholas; and this was followed, on the arrival of the legates whom the pope had sent instead of Formosus and Dominic, by the assembly which is usually known as the eighth Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople. It was held in October, 869, and terminated in the trial and condemnation of Photius for the various crimes of which he was said to have been guilty, and, on his refusing submission, in his banishment and excommunication. The union between the east and west seemed firmly re-established, but within two years the Church of Bulgaria, which had been the occasion of so much dispute, was regained by Constantinople from the Roman obedience, and a Greek archbishop settled in the province. On the death of Ignatius, which took place in the year 879, Photius returned to Constantinople, and having already gained the favor of the emperor Basil by his flatteries, was permitted to resume in peace the patriarchal dignity. John, who filled at that time the chair of St. Peter, received his legates with courtesy, and recognized him as true patriarch, ordering that all the Councils held under Adrian, in his condemnation, whether at Rome or Constantinople, should be thenceforth null and void. Instead of these another Council, also entitled the eighth Ecumenical, was held in the latter city, under Photius, at which the pope’s legates assisted. John, in a letter appended to the acts of this synod, renounced the addition to the Nicene Creed, asserting that it had not been received by the Roman Church, and scrupled not to speak of the doctrine which it represented as a blasphemy. After this it is probable that the treatises on the subject, by Ratramn and others, came into the hands of the patriarch, who, in the year 885, in a letter addressed to the archbishop of Aquitaine, set himself to answer the arguments then employed, and to defend the eastern creed. He was afterwards forced by the successor and son of Basil, Leo the Philosopher, to leave the patriarchate for the second time, and lived nearly twenty years afterwards, till the early part of the tenth century, partly at Athens, but during the last years of his life in Constantinople.








The death of Lothaire, king of Lotharingia, or Lorraine, took place at Placentia on the 8th of August, 869. The kings of Germany and France had bound themselves, by a solemn promise to the late emperor, to maintain the rights of their nephews, and, in case of the death of either one, to guarantee the inheritance of his territory to his surviving brothers. In accordance with this agreement, on the death of Charles, king of Provence, the country over which he reigned had been divided between the emperor Louis and Lothaire. By the same treaty, made nearly twenty years before, the two kings were under a similar obligation to their only remaining nephew, the emperor Louis, who was now legal successor to the crown of Lorraine, and whose dominions, by the decease of his two brothers, were coextensive with those possessed by his father. But Charles the Bald had already, even before his nephew's death, shown symptoms of an ambitious wish to add to his own realm a territory which seemed by position naturally to form a portion of it, and the king of Germany’s absence at the time, in a campaign against the Wends, on a distant frontier of Germany, rather than his respect for his nephew’s rights, withheld him from putting forward a claim to the vacant throne. The emperor also was engaged, in southern Italy, against the Saracens, and could not leave his camp and army for even so important a business as that of taking possession of his new inheritance. He contented himself with begging the pope to undertake his cause, and to prevent, if possible, usurpation on the part of Charles, and treason on that of his own subjects. Adrian, therefore, early in September, wrote to the nobles of Lorraine, exhorting them to be faithful to the emperor, their legitimate sovereign, and menacing them with excommunication if they yielded to the threats or promises of an usurper. Similar language was addressed to the nobles, lay and ecclesiastical, of France, reminding them of the emperor's claims upon their gratitude for his efforts against the infidels, and of the solemnity of the promises which had been made in his behalf; he assured them also that the holy see was prepared to defend his rights against anyone who might attempt to violate them. A separate epistle was sent to Hincmar, on whom the pope bestowed the office, on this occasion, of his delegate.

The dissuasions arrived too late to be of any service. Charles, who was at Senlis, on hearing of his nephew’s decease, hastened to his palace of Attigny, on the frontiers of Lorraine, and was met there by the nobles of that kingdom, many of whom encouraged him to march at once to Metz, and take possession of the throne, while others wished him to delay for a time, until he could determine, in an interview with Louis of Germany, which of the two sovereigns had the highest right to the crown. Neither party, as it seems, thought of the emperor, who had seldom left Italy, and was, probably, personally unknown to all his new subjects. Charles attended to the advice most favorable to his own inclinations, and arrived at Metz, accompanied by Hincmar and a large party of French bishops and noblemen, on the very day on which Adrian sent off from Rome the letters forbidding the usurpation. Adventius, bishop of Metz, and others, with the leading men of the kingdom, were in waiting there to tender their allegiance, and on Friday, the 9th of September, he was conducted to the Cathedral of St. Stephen's for the ceremony of consecration.

Adventius opened the proceedings by an address, in which he described the sorrow felt by all for the unfortunate fate of their late sovereign, and the constant fasting and prayer by which they had since sought to gain a successor who would respect their rights, and to obtain unanimity in their choice. The presence of Charles and of the rest of the assembly was to be regarded, according to the bishops, as a propitious answer to their supplications, and the prince himself was to be looked upon as set over the realm by Divine appointment. Yet, before the coronation, he begged the new sovereign to declare his views of the mutual duties of a good king and faithful subjects.

The king, in reply, declared that he considered the welcome of the bishops and the acclamations of all the people as a proof that the hand of God had placed him on the throne; and assured them of his determination to respect in all points the rights of religion and the Church, to honor all the bishops and others as their rank demanded, and to deliver justice faithfully in accordance with law, civil and ecclesiastical; and concluded with declaring his full trust and expectation that they would render him in return all due obedience and succor.

Hincmar then, at the instance of the suffragan bishops of Treves, explained that the sister Churches of that diocese and of Rheims had ever been regarded as so closely united in equality and love, that they formed in fact but a single province, and met together in Council, and in the presidency of that one of the metropolitans who enjoyed the seniority of consecration. This mutual agreement between the two sees imposed upon him the duty of taking a prominent share in the present proceedings, especially as the province of Tours was now vacant by the late death and by the deposition of archbishop Teutgard. He appeared, therefore, not as metropolitan of Rheims, but as the representative of the bishops of Treves. To this explanation the bishops of Metz, Verdun, Toul and Tongers, suffragans of that province, signified their assent. He continued, as an introduction to the ceremony of coronation, to state that Clovis, the ancestor of Charles, who was converted by St. Remigius and baptized at Rheims, was consecrated king by holy oil which came down from heaven for the purpose; that the late emperor Louis the Pious was also crowned by pope Stephen at Rheims; and on his restoration to the throne, after the successful rebellion of his subjects, was crowned by the bishops a second time before the altar of St. Stephen's at Metz, the Church in which they were then assembled. Hincmar himself was present, as he informed them, on the occasion. He now begged to know whether all present agreed to the coronation of this newly appointed sovereign. An unanimous acclamation signified their consent, and the Te Deum was sung as a solemn seal of the agreement.

When each of the bishops present had, in turn, offered up a prayer for the welfare of the new king, Hincmar pronounced a solemn benediction, during which he anointed Charles on the forehead, the ears, and the head, with the holy oil; another benediction followed, while the bishops placed the crown upon his head, and put into his hand the palm and scepter, and the ceremony was concluded by the service of the mass.

The king of Germany, who shortly afterwards received a letter from the pope, praising him for his moderation, in making no attempt upon his nephew's inheritance, no sooner heard of the coronation of his brother, than he prepared to support, by arms, his own claim to a share of the kingdom. He made a hasty peace with the Wends, and marched rapidly towards the west; but a sudden illness seized him at Ratisbon, and for some months delayed his progress. Large presents were made to the Churches and monasteries of Germany, to gain prayers for his recovery at so important a crisis; and at length he was again in a situation to menace with invasion the new dominions of his brother. Charles, who had paid little attention to his threats or overtures, as long as there was a prospect of his not recovering from his sickness, at Ratisbon, thought it prudent to avert by negotiation the evils of a civil war. The brothers met on the Meuse, in August, AD 870, and their nephew's kingdom was divided between them; Dauphiny, the greater part of Burgundy, and the territories of Lyons, Liege, and Brabant, fell to the king of France; while Alsace, with the modern province of Lorraine, and the left bank of the Rhine, were added to the dominions of Louis.

Meanwhile the letters sent by the pope, to king Charles, to the archbishop of Rheims, and to the prelates and nobles of France and Lorraine, met with little attention, and as it was impossible to return a satisfactory reply, were suffered to pass in silence. A second epistle to the king met with the same neglect; and at length a third message was sent, from Adrian and the emperor in concert, by the hands of several bishops and Count Bernard a vassal of the empire. They were ordered to proceed in the first place to the king of Germany, to dissuade him from the expedition against Lorraine, to which the fame of his preparations for war had already attracted attention in Italy. They found the king in his new capital of Aix-la-Chapelle. The deed which they came to denounce, was already done; remonstrances would have been useless, nor had they authority to make them; and Louis quickly sent them oh to his brother, to whom they were also furnished with letters, full of the severest denunciations.

These epistles were delivered to Charles, at the monastery of St. Denys, in the month of October. Their subject was not only the late usurpation of Lorraine, and the neglect with which he had treated the pope's commands, but the imprisonment with which, some months before, he had punished his son Carloman.

This prince, as we have already seen, had received the clerical tonsure, and had been ordained deacon, and his father had bestowed upon him several abbacies. It is probable, however, that he had little taste from the first for his sacred profession; and a year or two before Charles had so far indulged him as to permit his joining Solomon of Brittany, at the head of a troop of soldiers furnished by the abbey of St. Medard, in one or more campaigns against the Normans : afterwards he renounced his vows, and assembling a multitude of disbanded soldiers, who, in the disordered condition of France, were easily allured by hopes of plunder, and ready to follow any adventurer, he pillaged the country with a ferocity of which even the Norman invasions had furnished no example. To this conduct, which can only be ascribed to madness, he added the crimes of forsaking his religion, and of conspiring against his father's life or crown. For these acts he was subjected by the king to trial before a numerous Council of ten provinces, assembled at Attigny in May, 870, and, by their decision, was deprived of his abbacies, and confined in prison at Senlis; but, at the suggestion of Hincmar of Laon, the nephew and namesake of the archbishop of Rheims, who was now engaged, as will be seen afterwards, in a quarrel with his uncle and with the king, he sent a message to the pope complaining of his father's treatment, and imploring the aid of apostolic authority. This request was accompanied with similar charges from his friend the bishop of Laon, and Adrian, already disposed to believe any complaint against Charles or the archbishop, warmly took up his cause, and, in addition to his reproaches on the subject of Lorraine, expressed himself in the strongest terms in reprobation of the king's conduct to his son.

Charles committed the task of replying, on the former question, to Hincmar, whom he conceived to be equally concerned with himself, as letters of a similar character had also been received by him from Adrian. That he was altogether free from blame in the punishment of Carloman is not to be doubted, but probably the consciousness of his injustice towards the emperor, made him more apprehensive of bringing down upon himself, still further, the displeasure of the apostolic see. He dispatched ambassadors to the court of Rome with rich presents, to appease the wrath of Adrian, two crowns of gold and precious stones, and an altar-cloth composed of the royal vestment of cloth of gold. He also sent for his son from his prison at Senlis, and kept him for a time at his own court; but soon after the departure of the papal messengers, whom he had entertained at Rheims, the young prince made his escape by night from Lyons, whither he had accompanied his father, and, returning to Belgica, reassembled his troops, and repeated his ravages with the same savage cruelty as before. The bishops whose dioceses and Churches he plundered and destroyed were forced to take active measures for their defence. Hincmar, after vainly endeavoring to bring him to a better mind, and after four times addressing a solemn warning to all his followers, wrote to Remigius, archbishop of Lyons, with the request that he would join him in excommunicating all the accomplices in his crimes. The sentence was accordingly passed, and subscribed by all the suffragans of both provinces, with the exception of Hincmar of Laon, but, at the king’s request, was not extended to Carloman himself, who was reserved for judgment by the bishops of Sens, to which diocese he belonged, in virtue of his ordination by the bishop of Meaux. Adrian still continued to plead his cause; he charged the king with a ferocity surpassing that of brutes for his persecution of his son, and threatened the nobles of France with eternal damnation if they gave any assistance to their sovereign in opposing him. The pope was probably unacquainted with the real circumstances, or rather, out of enmity to Charles and Hincmar, chose to trust the misrepresentations of the bishop of Laon and of Carloman, rather than the true account with which he was furnished from other quarters. The judgment of Sens proceeded against the prince and deacon, and deprived him of his ecclesiastical character, but the decision, so far from interfering with the atrocities of which he had continued guilty, rendered him more dangerous, for many who before had had no excuse for joining him, were disposed to take a more open and decided part with him on the removal of the disabilities which hitherto had made it impossible for him to succeed to the throne. His brother, Charles of Aquitaine, was already dead, as well as another brother, Lothaire, who had, like himself, been devoted to the clerical profession, and had died in 866, in possession of the abbacy of St. Germain, in Auxerre, and other dignities. Louis alone, now king of Aquitaine, stood between him and the crown of France, and affairs threatened to assume a similar aspect to that which they had borne more than thirty years before, when the emperor Louis was at open war with his sons. Charles was forced a third time to bring him to trial, no longer before the bishops of his province, but before the secular judges of the realm. He was condemned to death, but the extreme sentence was changed for loss of eyesight, to afford him time to repent of his crime. He was confined in the monastery of Corbey, but was afterwards rescued from thence by some of his former adherents, who carried him to the court of his uncle, king of Germany. Louis received him with kindness and compassion, and appointed him abbot of Esternach, and in that monastery he died shortly afterwards.

This termination to the rebellion of Carloman occurred in the year 873. To return to the letters on the subject of Charles the Bald’s usurpation of Lorraine, put into his hands by the pope’s legates in October, 870. In these he charged the king with perjury, with insult towards Rome, and, as an aggravation of his guilt, with his choosing for his attempt the time when the real owner of the throne was engaged in war with the enemies of Christianity. He ended by threatening to use against him the power given him by his office, if he hardened himself in his disobedience. Still stronger were the expressions used towards the bishops and nobles of France, who were accused of having prepared for their sovereign and themselves the pains of hell fire, by abstaining from hindering him in his usurpation. The pope also declared that unless they returned at once to the path of justice, and obedience to himself, he would come into France, and himself inflict upon them the punishment that they had so long deserved.

Hincmar on this, as on other occasions, was honored with a separate letter, filled with, if possible, still heavier reproaches and complaints. Adrian expressed his sorrow at discovering that neither the love of God nor the fear of eternal punishment, could rouse the archbishop and his brother prelates to a consciousness of their duty, and described them as mere hirelings, who fled at the approach of the wolf, and left their flocks to perish. He declared that he regarded Hincmar not only as a partaker in his master's guilt, but as the main author of it, and warned him that the lightnings of the apostolic throne were ready to be launched against all who had consented to the crime. If the king delayed immediate restitution, he commanded him to break off all communion with him, and, according to the apostle's command, not even to give him God speed, on pain of being himself separated from communion with Rome. He also repeated what he had said in his other letter, that he would himself hasten to France to give fuller effect to his menaces.

Hincmar’s reply was such as might have been expected. Even Nicholas had used less vehemence of reproach, had presumed less offensively on the prerogative of St. Peter's chair, and had interposed in questions in which he had less obviously no concern, than Adrian, who, at the commencement of his rule, had given signs of a far milder and less exacting temper. It was not now simply an attack upon himself or upon the privileges of his see which roused the archbishop, but an invasion of the rights and a bitter censure on the character of his sovereign. His reply was resolute, yet expressed in terms of respect and of personal humility. He apologized for the contempt of which the pope had thought him guilty, in having sent no previous answer, by saying that Adrian had simply imposed upon him the performance of a certain task, without any further request for a reply. However he had in fact sent an answer, by word of mouth, by the bishops Paul and Leo, the messengers from Rome. He explained that he had obeyed the commands which were sent him, as far as was in his power, and that when the bishops of France met, by the king’s command, at Attigny, he had read the papal letter in their presence, together with an accompanying paper, addressed to king Louis and to the bishops of the three kingdoms, the purport of which was that if any one invaded the emperor's newly acquired territory, he was at once to be excommunicated, and that any bishop who refused to carry out the command was to be deprived. Hincmar himself had been appointed to see that all this was done; but when the letters arrived and had been read, the two kings had completed their negotiations for the division of the vacant realm, and were proceeding to carry them into effect. It was obvious to all that if the matter were then delayed, seditions and disturbances of every kind would follow, like those which disturbed France on the death of Louis the Pious, when each person thought himself at liberty to choose his own king. Thus there were two dangers upon which Hincmar was called upon to decide, the risk of involving his country in ruin, or that of disobedience to the pope's command; he dared not act in so difficult a matter. Again, the pope had expressed an assurance that Hincmar was well aware of the oath violated by Charles in his invasion of Lorraine; in reply to which he suggested, that whatever he might suspect or know from other sources, the king had never informed him of this oath or treaty; and that he deemed it beyond a bishop's province to believe ill of his sovereign when there was no positive proof of his guilt. This opinion he confirmed by quotations from St. Austin, Gelasius, and others. The pope had taken for granted that he had given Charles no advice about assuming the throne of Lorraine, and had therefore charged him with having a share in the usurpation; in reply to which he reminded him that in Holy Scripture we read, that the Lord went down to Sodom to see whether these things were so, before passing judgment, which must be a lesson to all men to abstain from hasty condemnations. However, he would find from the message delivered to the legates, that his opinion, in this instance, was wrongly formed. Adrian had also spoken of Hincmar as superior in rank and estimation to all the rest of the French bishops, whereas all metropolitans were equal in dignity, and in merit and wisdom he was the least of all. In answer to the command to separate himself from communion with the king, and not to bid him God speed, he remarked that such things had never been done to any king, even though he were a heretic; that although numerous wars had taken place between brothers, and even between fathers and children, among the former kings of France, no similar order had ever been issued by the pope; that when the late king Lothaire was guilty even of notorious adultery, his predecessor, Nicholas, had not taken this extreme course; and that the worst kings and emperors, Constantius the Arian, Julian the Apostate, Maximin the Tyrant, had always received respect from the bishops of the Church. Even if Hincmar ventured to obey the pope, and separate from his sovereign, the rest of the bishops, before whom he had laid the menaces of the pope, declared they would not follow his example, but would, on their part, separate from his communion. But, moreover, the king denied the charge of perjury and usurpation so lavishly bestowed upon him by the pope, and, when accused of such crimes, might surely claim an impartial trial, such as was the right of the meanest individual, before he was pronounced guilty. It was remarked, he continued, by all in France, that history generally, and especially that of the ancestors of the present king, proved that the conquest of crowns and kingdoms was carried on by arms, and not by papal or episcopal excommunications; and on his exhorting all parties to obey the pope, and to reverence the great authority which he possessed, he was requested, in reply, to beg the pope to attend to his own concerns, to the Church, and not to the state; and if he considered prayers the only lawful weapons, to content himself with them in defending himself against the heathen, instead of calling for succor from the temporal princes of the empire. It was also the universal opinion that it became not a bishop to consign to the same portion with the devil, a prince who still professed the Christian religion, for invading a kingdom; that if a bishop excommunicates without reason, he thereby loses the power of excommunication; and that while the pope speaks so much of the necessity of peace, he endangers it by exciting quarrels among princes, and would persuade men that the way to reach the kingdom of heaven is to disobey the king, whom heaven has appointed over them upon earth.

These assertions and opinions Hincmar represented as current in France, with respect to the late letters from the pope. For himself, he added, that he could not see how it was possible for him to excommunicate a king of whose dominions his own province and diocese formed a part, and quoted St. Austin, to prove that such a course is not to be adopted except towards notorious sinners, who have been condemned by the sentence of the Church. Therefore he hoped that for this refusal it would not be necessary for Adrian to cut him off from communion, especially as he had already so far opposed the enterprise of the king and his nobles as to have received from them a warning, that if he persisted he might chant the service alone at his own altar, without power, or property, or dependents. He explained that when the episcopal power was bestowed on St. Peter alone, that apostle represented all the bishops of the Church, and that, consequently, the privilege of St. Peter's chair can never be broken as long as bishops duly exercise their office. If he were to separate himself from the king he must also desert his Church, because the king and his court often made Rheims their residence. Nor could he refuse to do as his predecessors had done in the case of the ancestors of the king, by furnishing him with aid, in his need, from the resources of his bishopric. However, it was not his business then to exculpate his king; Charles was able to speak for himself. The charge of Adrian, he argued, led to a violation of the Scriptural command, to give tribute to whom tribute was due, as might be seen from St. Austin's explanation; and concluded by expressing a hope that the pope would take the counsel conveyed in his letter in the same spirit as that in which St. Peter received the advice, not of St. Paul only, but of the brethren who found fault with him on the subject of circumcision.

Adrian probably thought it useless to carry the controversy further, and, whatever his feelings may have been towards Hincmar, must have speedily forgiven the king, because we find that, in the following year, he wrote to him a private letter, in which he promised to bestow upon him the imperial crown, in the event of his outliving his nephew Louis. Meanwhile that prince had at length succeeded in reducing the town of Bari, the last strong-hold of the Saracens in Italy. The sultan, or Saracen governor of the city, was taken prisoner, and the victory was regarded as a great achievement, although the conquest of a single town by the emperor of the west, with the assistance of the Greeks and the Lombards of Beneventum, after so protracted a siege, seems scarcely to merit so high a praise. That it implied no great power in the emperor is clear, from an event which occurred shortly afterwards. Louis had been summoned by Adalgisus, duke of Beneventum, who was more immediately concerned than himself in the expulsion of the Saracens from Italy, to aid him in the enterprise. Notwithstanding this, he persuaded the Greeks to attack him, in the hope of freeing the south of Italy from the imperial yoke. Louis quieted the rebellion, and, apparently, without suspecting the faith of Adalgisus, disbanded his troops, and trusted himself in his palace of Beneventum. The duke, whose anger is said to have been roused by the pride of Ingelburga, seized upon the person of his lord, and kept him in confinement for upwards of a month. By the interposition of the bishop of Beneventum, he was at length released, on taking an oath never to seek vengeance for the unworthy treatment which he had received, or to attempt the reduction of the province. The treachery of Adalgisus, as Louis probably thought, might be fairly met by a similar return. Accordingly, on his way to Ravenna, he begged Adrian to meet him and absolve him from his vow; and the next year, AD 872, he passed through Rome, and prevailed on the senate to declare the duke of Beneventum an enemy to the state. From thence he advanced against him, in the hope of a speedy conquest, but Adalgisus defended himself, by the help of the Greeks, with great obstinacy, and the war was not brought to a conclusion till the following year.

Meanwhile, when the news of his nephew's confinement at Beneventum reached the ears of Charles, he imagined the time had come for the fulfillment of Adrian’s promise, and for adding to his dominions a wider inheritance and a higher title than those gained by the late partition of Lorraine. He hastened forward to Besançon, on his way towards Italy, while Louis of Germany, who probably counted on the same aggrandizement on the ground of his seniority, was equally expeditious in advancing to the German frontier.

Both retired as quietly as they had come, on hearing of the emperor’s release, and, in the course of the following year, agreed upon an interview with Ingelburga, who, in her husband's name, had fair ground of complaint against his two uncles. The king of Germany met her at Trent, and, moved by her expostulations, or by compunction at his own injustice, relinquished the portion of Lorraine which had fallen to his share. Charles regarded his brother's act as a reflection upon himself, and broke off his engagement to meet the empress.

In the autumn of the year 871, a Council was held at Douzi, in the diocese of Rheims, under eight archbishops, Hincmar, Wulfad, and others, in the presence of king Charles. The object for which it was assembled was the trial of Hincmar, bishop of Laon, accused of several offences against the king, as well as against his uncle and metropolitan. This question will form the subject of another chapter. It is only mentioned here for the sake of reference to Actard, bishop of Nantes, who was appointed to carry the acts of the Council to pope Adrian. This prelate, it will be remembered, was recommended by the pope to the good offices of king Charles and the archbishop of Rheims, who were requested to give him promotion in the Church, in lieu of his see of Nantes, from which he had been expelled by the Bretons, and which had been ravaged by the Normans. He was an intimate friend of Hincmar, who had permitted him to perform episcopal functions in a vacant Church of the province of Rheims. Since the recommendation of the pope he had been chosen to fill the archiepiscopal see of Tours, and the fathers of Douzi, in sending him with the acts of their synod to Rome, gave their consent to his consecration or appointment by the pope to that dignity. Hincmar, on this occasion, wrote to Adrian on the subject of his nephew, but referred, in the beginning of his letter, to Actard, probably by command of the king rather than because he himself approved of his promotion. He explained that he had been unable to elevate him to the rank of bishop in the province of Rheims, although permitting him to exercise episcopal acts during the vacancy of one of his dioceses, because the Church of Nantes, to which he really belonged, was at a great distance from Rheims, and a bishop could not canonically belong to two provinces at the same time. Nantes, however, formed part of the province of Tours, and therefore there was less irregularity in Actard succeeding to that see, especially as he had been baptized, and had received the clerical tonsure, and all the ecclesiastical orders under the episcopal, in the Church of Tours. Under these circumstances Hincmar consented, in obedience to the wish of the pope and the king, to recognize his translation, and to agree to his ordination as archbishop by the pope, on the condition, however, that, after his death, his successor should be elected according to the canons, by the clergy and people of the diocese, and regularly ordained by the bishops of the province.

Actard accordingly, who had already received the pallium from Adrian, went to Tours. It appears, however, that he not only enjoyed that archbishopric but also kept his former diocese of Nantes, and the friendship which Hincmar had entertained towards him could not withhold him from passing a severe censure upon conduct so irregular. This occurs in a letter afterwards written to a bishop, whose name is not mentioned, on the subject. In this he explained that one bishop was ordained for each city, and that it had been decreed by the Church that it should be unlawful to change from one see to another. An exception, however, was always permitted in cases of necessity, when ordered by a synod, and with the consent of the apostolic see. In such cases it must be plainly proved that the translation has taken place solely for the advancement of the true faith, and in no degree for the sake of temporal advantage. Thus St. Peter left the see of Antioch for that of Rome, and St. Boniface, who had been bishop of Cologne, was made afterwards bishop of Metz. Besides this general decision against translation, it was especially ordered by St. Gregory and by the Council of Sardica, that whenever a bishop was driven from his see by persecution, he was to be received with hospitality and respect in other dioceses, but not permitted to exercise episcopal jurisdiction. Actard’s case fell under this rule. He was driven out by Salomon, then restored by king Charles, then a second time deprived of his see by the Normans; after that, permitted to preside for a time over another diocese, and finally installed as metropolitan of Tours, on the petition of the clergy and people of that see, though without the approbation or consent of the bishops of the province.

This might be allowable on two conditions, one, if the diocese of Nantes was reduced, by the ravages of the heathen, to such a state of destitution that he could not, by any possibility, reside there; and the other, if no equally fit person could be found in the Church of Tours to succeed to the government of that province. Without entering into the latter supposition, Hincmar denied the impossibility of residing as a bishop at Nantes. A count and some other nobles, with some clergy and many laymen, still dwelt there, notwithstanding the devastation which had fallen upon the town, nor could a bishop, who had no wife and children to increase his expense, find any difficulty in living even among the heathen, especially as Actard possessed lands and abbacies, bestowed upon him by the liberality of the king. He had advanced, as an argument for his further promotion, the insufficiency of the revenues of Nantes to support the dignity of a bishop, although granting that the clergy belonging to the diocese were sufficient for the needs of the people, which was a proof, according to Hincmar, that his own wealth and ease, rather than the advantage of the Church, was the motive on which he had been acting. How much better would it have been to retain his place, like the patriarch of Jerusalem or the bishop of Cordova, in the midst of infidels, in the hope of converting some to Christianity. As to his retaining one see at the same time with another, it was no more justifiable than it would be for a man to make the infirmity of one wife an excuse for marrying a second.

Sound as were the views put forward by the arch­bishop, Adrian seemed to have little sympathy with them. In his answer to the bishops at Douzi, he informed them that he had appointed Actard, at their desire, metropolitan and cardinal of the diocese of Tours, and that he had also permitted him to retain possession of that of Nantes, nor could anyone, during his lifetime, be chosen to either of these Churches. The translation from one see to another he supported by a decretal letter of pope Anterius, who lived in the early part of the third century. He granted, however, the request made by Hincmar, that, after the death of Actard, his successor at Tours might be chosen and ordained in the regular way, and if the see of Nantes should have recovered, at that time, from its present state of depression, it might again receive a bishop of its own. In a letter sent, at the same time, to the king, he remarked that all monasteries should be under episcopal control, and that the neglect of this custom had led to the ruin of many, among others, that of St. Medard, at Tours, which he recommended to the care of Charles.

Actard was again sent to Rome, after delivering his letters to the bishops and the king, with answers from both, containing a firm opposition to the papal orders on the subject of Hincmar, of Laon. These will be noticed afterwards. The reply conveyed to Charles a second time by the new archbishop of Tours, was the last extant letter of Adrian, and written in a very different style from those addressed by him either to Hincmar or the king. He told Charles that he had been assured by Actard that he was the greatest lover and protector of the Church, and that there was no monastery or bishop in his realm which he had not enriched by valuable gifts. It was in this epistle that he promised him what we have already mentioned, that if he survived his nephew Louis he would bestow upon him the imperial crown, for that all the clergy, people, and nobility of Rome, eagerly desired to have him for their emperor.

Nearly at the same time with his writing this letter, in which he seemed tacitly to acknowledge the claim of Charles to the kingdom of Lorraine, by adopting, for the first time since his assumption of that throne, a tone so mild and conciliatory, Adrian crowned the emperor as king of the same disputed realm. The ceremony was performed on Whit-Sunday, when Louis was passing through Rome on his expedition against the duke of Beneventum. Whatever may have been the pope's sincerity in the change of his language towards Charles, it is plain that he could not conscientiously refuse to bestow this public mark of recognition upon the prince whose claims to Lorraine he had defended with so much energy at first. Louis indeed demanded and received it as a right. He never forgot, as it would appear, throughout his reign, that the pope was his subject, nor did either Adrian or his predecessor adopt towards him the same high tone of superiority which they were in the habit of using towards the other princes o£ his family. On the one side the power of the emperor was too near at hand to be treated with disrespect, and, on the other, the papal pretensions, when viewed from a nearer point of aspect, lost much of that exaggerated influence with which they were invested by those who saw them only at a distance. A power that is unseen, while its effects are felt, is regarded with more respect and awe than that with whose nature and mode of operation we are familiar.

Adrian lived but a short time beyond the events now recorded. His death took place in November, 872, and, in the ensuing month, John, the eighth pontiff of that name, who held the office of archdeacon in the Church of Rome, was elected to succeed him. John was connected in friendship with the duke of Beneventum, and the emperor, who had little success in his war with that prince, was contented to beg his mediation between Adalgisus and himself. The pope accordingly had an interview with the two rivals, at Capua, and put an end to the war.

Adrian had succeeded to the chair of St. Peter with a high reputation, and the earliest acts of his pontificate had been marked with a mildness which was favorably contrasted with the severity of his predecessor; yet in his dealings with the king and with the Church of France, he yielded in no degree to Nicholas in assumption of sovereign authority, and in an inflexible adherence to his own views, which were hastily adopted, and which were, in the majority of instances, plainly on the wrong side. This will appear more obviously in the narrative of the quarrel between Hincmar and his nephew. Meanwhile, it has already been sufficiently evident, in his interference in behalf of Carloman, and perhaps in his determination with respect to Actard; and, although there can be no doubt that Charles the Bald acted unjustly in taking possession of Lorraine, it is equally clear that the pope's conduct in that affair had no precedent in former examples of papal interference, and that it was opposed to all scriptural and ecclesiastical principles. A deficiency in the power of weighing evidence, and a too great readiness to believe that those who had before opposed him must always be in the wrong, may be accepted as a sufficient account of his perseverance or obstinacy in upholding the cause of prince Carloman and the younger Hincmar. In attempting to understand how a man of high character and piety could act in other cases in the way in which Adrian acted, or could exercise, in all which he did, so haughty an intolerance, and an ambition so unbounded, we seem forced to suppose that each pope, on his election, formed, as a rule of conduct, and set before him as a point of highest duty, the resolution not only to diminish in no degree the authority to which the pontificate had reached, by the efforts of his predecessor, but to take some step in advance towards extending it. If we were permitted to suppose a traditional belief in the Church of Rome, since the time of Charlemagne, that the pope was in such sense the vicegerent of Christ and head of the Church, as to possess the whole delegated power of our Lord over the temporal and spiritual kingdom of the earth, and that it was the main duty and office of each pontiff, on succeeding to the throne of St. Peter, to make such advances as the times permitted toward this perfection of monarchical sovereignty, it would be a clue to explain much that is perplexing in the conduct of men whom otherwise we are called upon to respect. It is certain that of all the popes of the times which have been under our notice, this seems the chief, or almost the only object. All their letters, whatever the subject with which they commenced, or the immediate object of writing them, recur to this claim of superior power over the Church, or over the world, or over both. If any other metropolitan bishop, or if any secular prince had so constantly and exclusively put forward his own claims, or those of his diocese or kingdom, to the obedience of all whom he addressed, such an advocacy of his pretensions, however well founded in themselves, would have been regarded as a proof of either great insincerity or an intolerable ambition and self-conceit. Unless such a line of action had been looked upon by Leo and Benedict, by Nicholas and Adrian, as the true means of advancing the kingdom of Christ, and as the very object for which they were raised to the apostolic throne, that good taste or good feeling, to take the lowest view, which characterizes most men of honesty and religion, of pious motives and otherwise of exalted character, would necessarily have withheld them from a course which could not but provoke opposition and contempt from all towards whom it was adopted, even though it might often be successful.

The friendly feeling caused by the king of Germany's tardy act of justice, in restoring to his nephew his portion of Lorraine, was encouraged by an interview between the two princes, at Verona, in the year 874. Meanwhile, in France, Charles the Bald had distinguished himself by an unusual act of energy, in taking the city of Angers, a stronghold of the Normans, who, although their ravages were less frequent than they had been some years before, had established themselves in this and other towns, as permanent conquerors of the country. With the assistance of Salomon, Charles compelled large numbers of these barbarians to leave his dominions, under an oath that they would never return; permitting only such as consented to conform to the Christian religion to settle in France. This was the last military exploit of Salomon; he died in the year 874, with the glory of having shaken off the Carolingian yoke, for both Charles and the court of Rome had lately acknowledged his independence. It is said that he also succeeded in effecting the independence of the Church of Brittany; but although it was practically severed from the province of Tours, to which it had originally belonged, the determination lately made, with regard to Actard, by the pope and the bishops of France, seems to prove that the claims of the bishop of Dol to the title of metropolitan had not, up to that time, been generally recognized. Salomon, who had gained the crown of Brittany by treason and usurpation, lost it in the same way; two of his generals headed a revolt of his subjects, and forced him to retire for safety into a monastery, at Brest. He was persuaded to leave his sanctuary, on receiving a pledge that no Breton should injure or insult him, but the oath was evaded by delivering him into the hands of a Frank, who tore out his eyes, with so much violence as to put an end to his life. The rebel generals quarreled for the crown among themselves, and the civil war so enfeebled the infant kingdom that it was reduced again, for a time, to the position of a dependent province. A year or two afterwards Alan, count of Vannes, seized upon the whole territory, and assumed the title of king of Brittany; (to which history has added the surname of Great, without, however, informing us by what exploits or by what character he merited the name). Under him and his successor, Brittany continued for upwards of thirty years, until Rollo the Norman annexed it to his new kingdom.

The attention of king Charles, after his expulsion of the Normans from western France, was engaged with the spiritual state of Aquitaine, in which great complaints were made of the usurpation and plunder of Church property, and of other abuses, especially of the prevalence of marriages within the limits prohibited by the Church. At the time of the first conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, St. Gregory, to lay as light a burden as possible on the infant Church, had given his sanction to the contraction of marriages between cousins of various degree; of this indulgence the people of Aquitaine had taken advantage, forgetting that the same pontiff, at the time of granting it, had informed the new converts of St. Austin that, when more fully established in the faith, they were to abstain from alliances within the seventh degree of consanguinity. To settle these questions, the bishops of several provinces assembled at Douzi, forming the second Council of that name, under king Charles, in June, 874. They addressed a synodal letter, drawn up in all probability by Hincmar, to the bishops of Aquitaine. The attention of the Council was directed also to the trial of a nun, who, assisted by a monk or priest, had been guilty of many artifices for the purpose of supplanting the abbess of her convent, and succeeding to her place. After a long examination of many witnesses, the priest was deprived and banished, and the nun, after being scourged in presence of the sisters of her convent, was ordered to be kept from communion for seven years, and to pass the rest of her life in confinement and mortification.

Among the letters and synodal decrees of Hincmar we find some statutes passed by him at a diocesan meeting, in the month following that of the Council of Douzi. These are worthy of mention, for the view which they afford of some of the Church practises of the time. He takes notice of some parish priests, who, in addition to their cures, had accepted canonries in the monastery of Montfaucon, and received prebends, by which was meant a portion distributed to each canon for his subsistence, as well as the tithe and other revenue of their parishes. He shows that this practice was illegal, being virtually forbidden by those laws of the Church which ordered that no clergyman should leave one Church for another, or possess two benefices at the same time. The canons, as we learn from what is said here, lived under the same restrictions, in many respects, as ordinary monks; for example, Hincmar speaks of the impossibility of their leaving the cloister by night, if called upon suddenly to baptize a sick infant, or to administer the communion to a dying person. He also insists on regularity in restricting the due portion of the tithe to the use of the matriculars, as they were called, or of the poor whose names were inscribed on a roll kept for the purpose in each parish. It was a matter of importance, and often of interest, especially in times when property was so insecure, to gain a place upon the parish list, and it is likely that the abuse of which the archbishop complains, of receiving payments in money, or in labor, for entering the names of applicants, was not uncommon among clergy­men. He here denounces it, under the penalty of immediate deprivation, and adds that no priest guilty of the act will himself, when deprived, receive any portion of the Church alms. He strictly forbids the presence of women in the houses of clergymen, except at fixed hours, for the performance of certain domestic offices, and threatens to visit a violation of this precaution with the same punishment. Another prohibition was directed against the purchase of property and erection of houses, with money derived from the ecclesiastical revenues, and the custom of leaving the possessions thus gained to relations or friends, instead of to the Church, as the law directed. The whole revenue derived from an ecclesiastical benefice was, as is clear from this rule, to be expended upon the wants of the parish, or in the exercises of hospitality, with the exception of the portion actually required for the necessities of the clergyman himself. The simoniacal practice of making presents to patrons for the appointment to vacant benefices, is also strongly censured.

Some other capitles are also extant, which may be conveniently mentioned now, delivered by Hincmar, two or three years afterwards, to two priests, on their appointment to the office of archdeacon in the diocese of Rheims. From the prohibitions contained in these, we may perhaps conclude that the practices censured were not uncommon in other dioceses. He charges them to cause no unnecessary expense to the parochial clergymen in several parts of the diocese where they visited, as their visits were for the purpose of giving instruction both to clergy and people, and of making inquiries as to their conduct, and not for their own pleasure or convenience, and forbids their demanding any fee for the visitation, or for the holy chrism which they distributed to the different parishes, although they were permitted to accept voluntary offerings on these occasions. A greater authority belonged to the office of archdeacon in those days than in more modern times, as is plain from the next charge, namely, that they were not to divide parishes at the solicitation of any individual, nor to reduce Churches, which have always possessed a separate clergyman of their own, to the state of dependent chapelries. They are commanded to hand in to the archbishop an account of all Churches and chapels in their districts; to permit no person to have a private or domestic chapel, without his permission; and to deliver a statement of all such chapels of the kind as have been established since the time of Ebo. A particular account is required of the conduct and learning of all candidates presented for ordination. The acceptance of any present for hastening or delaying the reconciliation of penitents is strictly forbidden. The appointment of rural deans is to be left to Hincmar himself, if he is within convenient distance, if not, they are to be established provisionally by the archdeacons.

On the last day of August, 875, the emperor Louis died, after a reign of about twenty years. He appears to have been a prince of some energy and talent, and the warfare in which he had been engaged, since the commencement of his reign, with the foes of the empire and of Christianity, although conducted with less genius, and attended with less success than became one who wore the crown of Charlemagne, seems to place him in a higher station than that occupied by most of the other princes of his family. With him ceased the eldest branch of the descendants of Louis the Pious, for he left behind him one daughter only, who was incapacitated by the Frankish law from succeeding her father, and his brothers, Lothaire and Charles, had died without legitimate offspring. One of his two uncles, the king of Germany, or the king of France, was heir to the vacant throne; Louis had the higher right, as the elder born, but his dominions lay at a greater distance from Italy, and his subjects had less in common with the Italians, in character, customs, or language, than the French, while, as a still more formidable obstacle for his success, pope Adrian had promised Charles that he should succeed his nephew, and pope John was equally ready to support the king of France. Against such advantage the right of primogeniture, never very strictly observed in the Carolingian line, had little chance of prevailing. The Italian nobles assembled at Pavia, soon after the emperor's death, in the presence of his widow Ingelburga, and arrived at the strange determination of offering the crown to both kings at once, whether because, from a real indifference, they were unable to make their choice, or because they favored Charles, while the empress supported his brother's claim, or because, by provoking the rivalry of the two sovereigns, they expected to free themselves from the yoke of either.

Charles the Bald had already made some progress in his way towards Italy, relying on his interest at the court of Rome, when the invitation from the diet of Pavia met him, and strengthened his confidence. As he marched through France and Switzerland, taking the route of mount St. Bernard into Italy, large numbers of his subjects from every province swelled his train. The multitude of his followers was probably the cause of his safe arrival at Rome, for on his way his march was impeded by his two nephews, Charles, afterwards emperor, and Carloman, sons of the king of Germany, who had been successively dispatched by their father for the purpose of opposing the king of France, and of receiving, in his name, the proffered crown of Italy. For some reason which can only be conjectured, both the nephews were induced by Charles to retrace their steps, bribed, as some say, by his presents, or, according to other accounts, deceived by his false promises into an agreement that nothing should at present be settled in the matter in which both parties were interested. The king of France then pursued his way to Rome, which he entered a few days before Christmas, and on that festival was publicly crowned by pope John. The pope passed the highest eulogium on his character, and in the name of the bishops and other clergy of the holy Roman Church, of the senate and people of the city, bestowed upon him the title of emperor and crown of Charlemagne, as if it had been a mere fief of Rome. As the Italian nobles at Pavia had elected him without reference to the pope, the pope crowned him with an equal assumption of independent right. “We have elected him, approved of him, exalted him, to the scepter of the Roman empire”, were the words used by the pontiff to the new sovereign, who readily submitted to receive, as a gift, the dignity which otherwise he might have felt it difficult to gain. If to have acquired this crown at last was a great triumph to king Charles, and the satisfaction of his highest ambition, it was a still prouder triumph and a far more substantial addition of power to the see of Rome to have thus bestowed the most exalted dignity in western Christendom without a protest from him to whom the gift was granted. The three preceding emperors had, indeed, been crowned by the pope, and it is possible that, in performing the ceremony, each pontiff had wished it to be understood that the real title was in some way, or in a certain aspect, given with the crown. It is, however, beyond all doubt, that neither Louis the Pious, Lothaire, nor the lately deceased emperor, and still less, perhaps, Charlemagne himself, regarded the ceremony as conveying any right to dominion, or in any other light than as significative of the sanction of the Church, conferring the Divine blessing upon his appointment. From this act, more than, perhaps, from any other that can be selected from history, must be dated the papal interference, if it is not rather to be called supremacy, in the imperial elections, equally exercised under the dynasties of Franks, Italians, or German emperors. Yet while it is clear to all that the assumption now made by pope John was a mere act of usurpation, it is equally true that, in this instance, far more than the empty name was bestowed upon Charles when he received the crown. His predecessors were emperors, by right of conquest or by birth, before the hands of the pope were raised to place the diadem on their brow. But the real title of Charles the Bald to succeed them rested on this gift, as the diet of Pavia had equally sanctioned the election of his brother.

From Rome the new emperor hastened to attend a new diet of the kingdom of Lombardy, at Pavia, where a considerable number of bishops and nobles were assembled to meet him, under the presidency of Anspert, archbishop of Milan, and Boso, brother of Richilde, the wife of Charles, whom he had married on the death of queen Ermentrude, a few years before. The Lombard nobles exercised an old right, which had been in abeyance since the conquest of Charlemagne, and instead of simply accepting Charles as their king, in virtue of hereditary claim, declared that they elected him as their protector and sovereign lord. Boso was then rewarded with the title of duke of Lombardy, and viceroy of the emperor; and Charles himself lost no time in hastening back to France, where his presence was required by an invasion of the king of Germany.

Louis, on the return of his two sons from their unsuccessful march against their uncle, passed the Rhine, and marched to Attigny, where he passed the Christmas of 875, hoping to divert his brother from prosecuting his ambitious schemes. On hearing of his approach, the bishops and nobles of that part of France in the direction of which he was advancing, applied to Hincmar for advice, remembering that on a similar occasion, seventeen years before, he had been the chief means of disappointing the success of the same invader. Now, as before, Louis had made many promises of protecting the rights of the Church, which seem to have been of late but little regarded by Charles, and these may have induced many among the bishops to lend a favorable ear his proposals. Hincmar, however, exhorted them to give no sanction whatever to the enterprise of the king of Germany, for no fault of a king could be excuse for his subjects, rebellion. He gave a sketch of the former invasion, after which Charles had expressed his displeasure with the clergy of France for not making a more decided opposition to his brother. But his anger was unreasonable, because he had himself been the first to desert them. And now Charles, he maintained, was equally to be blamed for leaving his kingdom open to attack. There were difficulties on either side, and one prince or the other would probably inflict punishment upon them for the censure which it was the duty of the bishops to pronounce on both. Yet he urged them on no account to leave their dioceses for safety, instancing the narrative of St. Peter, who, when leaving Rome to avoid martyrdom, was met by Christ, who told him that he came thither to be crucified a second time. St. Nicasius also, a bishop of Rheims, suffered death from the Vandals, rather than desert his city. He begged them to pray earnestly that no blood should be shed, to send no messenger to gain the favor of Louis, to be seduced by no bribes that he might offer, yet not to venture upon separating him from the communion of the Church. In support of this advice he quoted St. Austin, who said that no one could be kept from communion, even for his own good, except after a voluntary confession of crime, or the passing of a sentence, secular or ecclesiastical. Although Charles was charged with so great faithlessness and fickleness that none could trust him, with disgracing his friends and oppressing the Church, Hincmar expressed a hope that he might still reform his conduct on his return from Italy. He exhorted them to send a warning to Louis to respect his oaths of friendship towards his brother, and advance no farther. If this had no effect upon him, it would, at all events, preserve their own reputation from stain and censure. But, beyond this, they were not called upon to offer resistance, but were to receive the conqueror peaceably, as St. Basil and his clergy received Julian the Apostate. If Louis demanded payment of tribute from the Church lands, such as the kings were wont to receive, it must be rendered without complaint. They could all, he concluded, look forward with hope and rejoicing to the return of their rightful king, and maintain their devotion to him in his absence, without openly quarrelling with the king of Germany,

On the news of his brother's return towards France, the king of Germany, who had received too little support from the French nation to give him any hope of final success, retired with his son into his own dominions. The emperor entered France in triumph, and, not content with the recognition of his new dignity by the Romans and the Lombards, gave notice for the assemblage of a larger diet or Council, at Pontyon, between the towns of Langres and Châlons. Fifty bishops, under seven metropolitans, met at the appointed time, in the month of June, AD 876. Charles, robed in his imperial vestments, entered the Church, attended by two Italian bishops, legates of the pope, one of whom, after the usual chant with which synods commenced their session, was ordered by the emperor to pronounce the customary prayer, and to open the proceedings. Accordingly, he read a papal letter, establishing Ansegisus, archbishop of Sens, under the name of primate of the Gauls and of Germany, vicar apostolic in those countries, with the authority to summon Councils and to take the direction of all other ecclesiastical matters. Charles required all the bishops present to signify their obedience to this decree, without even permitting them to re-peruse the letters from Rome, in which it was contained. They replied that they would obey the orders of the pope, with reservation of the rights of metropolitans, and so far as was in accordance with the canons of the Church, and with such decrees of the holy see as were conformable to them. The answer was far from satisfying the emperor, the legates, or the newly-appointed primate, who required an unconditional submission. Frotair archbishop of Bordeaux, was the only metropolitan who signified his consent, and this readiness was attributed to his wish to exchange his present province, which had been much overrun with Norman invasion, for that of Bourges,—a translation which was uncanonical, but which might not unreasonably be hoped, if supported by the favor of Rome. Charles was greatly irritated at their firmness; he put the pope’s letter into the hands of Ansegisus, and ordering a seat to be placed near his own and those of the legates, above the places occupied by other metropolitans senior to himself, desired him to take possession of it, in virtue of his superiority in ecclesiastical rank. Hincmar then rose and opposed the execution of the command, protesting, in the presence of all the Council, that the whole matter was a direct violation of the canons of the Church; but Charles rudely set aside the archbishop, and placed the new primate in his chair, in the midst of the silent displeasure of all the synod,

So ended the first session of the Council. On the following day the emperor's election by the diet of Pavia, and all that had been determined in that assembly, was confirmed by the bishops and nobles of his Cisalpine dominions of France, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Septemania, Neustria, and Provence. The fourth session was taken up in the audience of ambassadors from the king of Germany, Gilbert, archbishop of Cologne, and others, who were sent to demand, in their master's name, a portion of his late nephew's kingdom. This request, which, as may be supposed, received but little favor, was followed by letters from the pope, read in public by one of his legates, addressed to the bishops and to the counts of Germany, and containing the severest censures upon Louis for his late invasion of France, and upon his subjects for not attempting to dissuade him from the enterprise.

In the sixth session the bishops of France were again at issue with the pope; they were required by the emperor, or the legates, to confirm or to declare their approval of the condemnation of Formosus, bishop of Porto, as well as of some officers of the Roman Church, accused of conspiracy against the pope and the emperor, of plundering the Lateran palace, and other crimes. Formosus, who, as will be remembered, was sent by pope Nicholas on the mission to Bulgaria, was charged with having acquired so great influence over the king of that country, as to have exacted from him a promise never to recognize, as metropolitan of Bulgaria, any other bishop than himself; also with conspiring against the newly-elected emperor, Charles. All the accused were deprived, and then excommunicated by the pope, but they had left Rome, and the Council of Pontyon was now required to pass a similar sentence upon them. It appears probable that the real crime of Formosus, if not of the other excommunicated persons, was a refusal to concur with John in the election of Charles the Bald. However this may have been, the bishops of France declined to sanction the papal sentence, and when required, in the seventh session, to account before the legates for their refusal, gave reasons so convincing and indisputable, that their opponents were reduced to silence. They were also pressed, at the same time, to reconsider their former answers with regard to the primacy of Ansegisus, but the reply, though expressed in a different form, gave no further promise of submission. They said that they would obey the pope, according to rule, as their predecessors had obeyed John. However, as the emperor was not then present, the legates expressed themselves more satisfied with the answer. In the same session a petition from Frotair, to be allowed to take possession of the see of Bourges, as long as Bordeaux was exposed to the heathen incursions, was read by the legates, who begged the bishops to support it with their sanction. All refused; but the petition was, notwithstanding, presented to the pope, and Frotair was shortly afterwards translated to Bourges, vacant by the death of Wulfad.

At the eighth and last session of the Council, on the morning of the 16th of July, Charles the Bald presented himself, no longer in the Frankish garb which had always been worn by his ancestors, and till then by himself, but in the costume of the emperors of Constantinople. This consisted of a long flowing gown, with a veil of silk over his head, surmounted by a crown. A more unconditional consent to the appointment of Ansegisus was again demanded from the Council, with no greater success than before, and thenceforward, although the archbishop of Sens retained the title of primate of France and Germany, it was a mere nominal distinction, carrying with it no substantial power or jurisdiction. Odo, of Beauvais, was also called upon to read certain articles, drawn up by Ansegisus and himself, which the annalist of St. Bertin, who was either Hincmar, or someone who wrote under his supervision, describes as dictated without the participation of the Council, as self-contradictory, and as equally devoid of utility, authority, or reason. They contained an account of the election and coronation of Charles at Rome, and of messages said to have been sent by Odo to king Louis and others, exhorting them to a peaceable acknowledgment of the emperor, and declared the full consent of the Council of Pontyon to the vicariate and primacy of Ansegisus, to the condemnation of Formosus and the other persons accused by the pope, and to that which was likewise pronounced against Louis of Germany and all his accomplices, unless they speedily repented of their disobedience exhibited towards the papal message and the invasion of the emperor's dominions. On the termination of this business, the empress Richilde was presented to the council with a crown upon her head, and the synod was dissolved, after the prayers were pronounced by one of the legates, amid the acclamations of all present, in honor of the pope, the emperor, and his queen.

At the breaking up of the assembly, Charles, irritated at the opposition that he had experienced from Hincmar, or perhaps disapproving of the terms of censure in which his conduct had been mentioned, in the letter addressed by the archbishop to the suffragans and nobles of his province, on the occasion of the late invasion by Louis, compelled him to repeat to him the oath of allegiance and fidelity. We cannot learn precisely whether the other bishops assembled at Pontyon were required to perform the same ceremony. Hincmar certainly regarded the demand as a bitter and most unmerited insult, after thirty-six years of uninterrupted devotion to the service and welfare of Charles, in addition to eight years during which he enjoyed the confidence of his father.

Apprehensive, as it is probable, that the appointment of archbishop of Sens, as papal vicar and primate of France and Germany, would be further insisted upon by the pope, and that the bishops, when unsupported by his presence and arguments, might, at some future time, relax their opposition to the encroachment, Hincmar published a letter to the prelates of France upon the right of metropolitans. He explained to them that the patriarchate of Rome, like the others, had under it many metropolitan sees, whose rights and independency it was bound to preserve with all possible care. The pope usually sent the pallium to all these, in token of his love and solicitude for them. These metropolitans were ordained by the bishops of their province, without the interference of other primates; among the primates of the Gallican Church, it was an acknowledged custom that the senior in ordination should take the precedence. In the times of Theodosius and Honorius all the seven provinces of Gaul met at Arles, which thus obtained a species of priority over the rest. Afterwards, in the reign of Clovis, Rheims possessed the same, in consequence of the employment of St. Remigius to reduce the whole Church of France to order, although, even then, the nominal precedence of Aries was still reserved. Vigilius, archbishop of the latter see, was appointed to the performance of the same office by king Childebert, and when Milo usurped the sees of Rheims and Treves, in the days of Charles Martel, St. Boniface was ordered to undertake a similar task. Several provinces were, at that time, placed under the primacy of Metz. In this way one archbishop at one time, and another at another, gained precedence over his brother metropolitans, yet without encroaching on the general principle of their independency or equality. With regard to his own province of Rheims, Hincmar notices the confirmation of its independency on all other metropolitan dioceses by pope Benedict, after Ebo’s attempt to recover possession of the see. Recurring, then, to the subject of the delegacy or vicariate of Ansegisus, he asserted that no papal delegate had been appointed in France for ninety years after the time of St. Boniface. Sergius then bestowed the office on Drogo, bishop of Metz, whose high family seemed to qualify him for the distinction. The bishops, however, unanimously refused to acknowledge him, and he wisely abstained from pressing upon them an unwelcome appointment. The fact was, that the office possessed only a temporary character. In cases of necessity the pope was authorized to appoint someone for the purpose of putting down simony or other irregularities, or for the conversion of infidels, and when the purpose was effected the Churches returned, as a matter of course, to their ancient rights. He quoted also St. Gregory's rebuke to the patriarch John, for assuming the title of universal bishop, which implied the equality of all primates, and therefore condemned the establishment of any one as delegate with an authority above that of all the other metropolitans.

The messages of rejection and of censure returned by the Council of Pontyon to the king of Germany, roused the indignation of that prince and his sons, who resolved on seeking satisfaction in arms. The emperor bent all his, energies upon the task of resisting his brother or his nephews, for the growing age and infirmity of Louis compelled him to entrust his three sons with the management of the war. Yet there were calls upon Charles from two other quarters at the same time, which might have been obeyed with more justice and glory than the prosecution of the contest with his own relations. On one side he received a pressing entreaty from pope John to hasten to the defence of Rome, which was threatened with ruin by the Saracens. These infidels, according to the pope's letter, had reduced to desolation all the country, up to the very city walls, and the people, crowded to excess within the gates of Rome, were suffering under an inexpressible poverty and distress. John soon learnt how mistaken he had been in selecting Charles for the imperial throne, and in the unbounded praises which he had heaped upon him at his coronation. The emperor paid no attention to the summons, nor indeed could it be expected that he would feel much for the danger of Rome, when a much nearer calamity, similar in kind, was equally neglected. This was an invasion of Normans, led for the first time, as it is supposed, by the famous Rollo, who, in a hundred vessels, then first termed barks, ascended the Seine, and gained an easy possession of Rouen, (as Franco, the archbishop, found opposition useless,) thence extending their ravages on both sides of the river, in the direction of Paris. The message of the pope, and the invasion of Rollo, were nearly contemporaneous, in the month of September, 876; but the French monarch thought only of the war with king Louis, and his eagerness was increased, instead of being allayed, by his brother’s decease, which occurred on the twenty-eighth of August, at Frankfort. He had reigned thirty-six years from his father's death, during which time he had displayed considerable ability, and was spoken of with praise for his justice and moderation, and, as far as we can learn, took a real interest in the cause of religion and the Church. His invasions of France, especially that of the year 858, as well as his haste in seizing upon a portion of the kingdom of Lorraine, after his nephew's death, are stains upon his character, whatever palliation may be sought for each of these actions in the conduct of Charles the Bald. Louis, like other contemporary sovereigns, was frequently censured by the bishops or Councils of his kingdom, for encroaching on ecclesiastical privileges, and conferring upon laymen the property of the Church. In a point where none were free from blame, it is perhaps more fair to judge of one prince by a comparison with others of the same time and in a similar position, than by any strict and absolute rule, and with the advantage of such a mode of judgment the king of Germany may claim merit, rather than incur blame, in his character of defender of the Church. His dominions were divided between his three sons; Carloman received Bavaria, with Bohemia, and some other provinces; Louis, distinguished from his father by the appellation of Louis of Saxony, inherited that portion of Germany, with the addition of Thuringia, Franconia, Friesland, and part of Lotharingia; and Charles, the youngest, known in history by the title of the Fat, became king of Allemania, or proper Germany,

Previously to the death of Louis, Germany appeared to hold the position of the offensive party, and the preparations of Charles the Bald had been mainly for the purpose of defending his newly-acquired title and dominions. The decease of his brother reversed the aspect of affairs, and not only gave him the hope of securing possession of all the country which Louis held on the left bank of the Rhine, but perhaps opened to his ambition the prospect of adding to the crowns of Italy and France the remaining countries which owned the sway of Louis the Pious and of Charlemagne. Of the new sovereigns, Louis of Saxony, with a considerable army, was nearest to the French frontier. Relinquishing all former claims, he sent a peaceable message to his uncle, with offers of friendship, and begged, in return, for his protection and alliance. Charles replied only by hastily collecting his forces, to the number, as is said, of fifty thousand men, and putting them in march in the direction of Andernach, to which town his nephew had advanced. Louis, as a solemn proof of the justice of his cause, and for the sake of inspiring his new subjects with confidence, if not of inspiring fear or conviction in the mind of the emperor, or of his followers, selected thirty men, and submitted them to the triple ordeal of hot iron, and of hot and cold water. All escaped, as it is said, unharmed; but the success put no obstacle to the emperor’s progress, although he granted a short truce, more for the object, as it would seem, of surprising the Germans, than for any mutual advantage. In the night of the seventh of October he put his army in motion, and advanced, by a cross path, towards his nephew's camp. Gilbert, however, archbishop of Cologne, had found means of discovering the intention of Charles, and of disclosing it to Louis, and when the advanced guard of the emperor's army reached the hostile lines, expecting to achieve an unresisted conquest, they were met by troops drawn up in perfect order, and waiting their approach. Disordered already by the darkness of the night, and by the difficulties of their march, which were increased by torrents of rain, as well as by the false confidence of success, they were quickly repulsed, and fell back in confusion on the main body of their own army; they communicated their own terror to their companions, who knew not whether the disorderly mass thus pouring upon their lines were friends or foes. A total rout of the French army was the result; large numbers were slain, or perished in the flight, among whom were many noblemen, with bishops and abbots, and so complete was the pillage of the camp, and of the goods, furniture, and even apparel of those who accompanied it, that the fugitives, as it is said, had to content themselves with coverings of straw to protect them from the cold. Charles himself, who had left his empress, on the point of confinement, at the palace of Heristal, on the Rhine, stopped not in his flight till he reached Antenay, in the diocese of Rheims, and his wife, who, like himself, was obliged to flee, was seized with the pains of child-birth, at the dawn of day, in the midst of a wood, and was with difficulty dragged by an attendant, with her new-born infant, to her husband’s place of security. Louis, however, content with the victory, had no intention of pursuing his uncle; he returned to hold a conference with his brother Charles, at Coblentz, and then hastened to take possession of his kingdom.

The complaints of the pope, who was sorely pressed by the Saracens, still continued, and during the remainder of this and the first half of the succeeding year he urged the emperor, without intermission, to send relief into Italy. In one letter he said the inhabitants of whole districts were either slain or reduced to starvation, the towns and villages entirely desolate, and the bishops, instead of governing their dioceses and preaching to their people, were reduced to flee in beggary from their homes, which had become the retreat of wild beasts, although, whether by this term the pope meant beasts of prey, or employed it as descriptive of the Saracen plunderers, is doubtful. He complained also that the Christians were, in many districts, as formidable as the pagans, for that they had either joined them or taken advantage of the confusion to form themselves into troops of banditti, and live by plunder. Accordingly, he exhorted Charles to hasten to the aid of his mother, the Church, from whom he had received not only his kingdom, but the faith, and who had lately raised him, in preference to his brother, to the imperial dignity. From another letter, written in February, 677, with the same object, and accompanied by similar entreaties, addressed to the empress and to the bishops of France, we learn that the Christians, of whose conduct he complained so bitterly, were chiefly the Neapolitans, whose duke, Sergius, had made a treaty with the Mussulmans. Sergius frequently promised the pope to break off this treaty or friendship with the infidels, but as often delayed performing the promise, doubtless, because his only hope of safety rested in its maintenance. But the anger of John was directed mainly against Athanasius, bishop of Naples, who had consented to the alliance, or had given no proof that he disapproved of it; the pope informed him that if his people refused to listen to his dissuasions, he was bound to leave his diocese. Athanasius soon afterwards recovered the favor of John, by seizing upon Sergius, who was his brother, tearing out his eyes, and sending him to Rome as prisoner, while he himself assumed the ducal sovereignty. The pope hesitated not to regard this conduct as the result of divine inspiration, as much because an ecclesiastical instead of a secular rule was thus established at Naples, as because Sergius had supported the cause of the infidels. He found reason, however, afterwards, to alter his sentiments, and deposed and anathematized Athanasius, but, on his submission, suffered him to be restored.

The messenger from Rome, bearing the last-mentioned letter from John, arrived in France soon after Easter. The emperor, who was then at Compiegne, resolved to yield to the pope’s entreaties, and to take a journey in person into Italy. Previously to commencing his march, he assembled the bishops of the province of Rheims, with some others, and presided at the dedication of a Church that had been built at Compiegne for the reception of the remains of St. Cyprian and St. Cornelius, the former of which had been brought into France in the time of Charlemagne. This ceremony was followed by a diet at Quiercy, at which he appointed his only remaining son Louis, surnamed, from an impediment in his speech, le Begue, or the Stammerer, his viceroy during his absence from France. In this diet, the last that was held by Charles the Bald, a decree was passed, of considerable importance in the political history of the country. Hitherto the counts had been appointed by the king: they were magistrates or representatives of the sovereign in different provinces or counties of his dominions; they possessed no property in these districts, as did the barons and other proprietors of the land; and the title, with all its power and privileges, on the death of one count, was transferred, at the royal option, to any other courtier. It is true that the influence and interest created by their political or magisterial connection with certain districts, furnished facilities, of which they frequently availed themselves, of acquiring territorial possessions in the same places; and in this way it is probable that the counts had become, in many instances, signorial lords, like the barons and other owners, lay or spiritual, of fiefs or benefices. These fiefs or benefices themselves had been originally granted by Charles Martel and perhaps by the Merovingian kings, in the same way,— that is, they were not hereditary, but were granted at the sovereign's will. In the time of Charlemagne, however, they had universally become hereditary; and the diet of Quiercy, now held, in June, 877, under Charles the Bald, legalized the hereditary nature of the higher dignity of count. The king of France was bound henceforth to bestow on the son of a count his father's dignity, or rather, he succeeded to the rank and title as a matter of course, without the intervention of the sovereign. The result was that a number of irresponsible princes were created throughout the country; their dependence on the king, which, as the course of our history has shown, was before very precarious, became nearly annihilated; and the feeble princes who prolonged for another century the dynasty of Charlemagne were in no position to give reality and substance to a paramount dominion scarcely recognized even in name and theory. Instead of being chosen by the king, they became themselves his electors; they made war upon their sovereign or upon one another at their pleasure; there was no appeal for the poorer or less powerful, from their oppression, to any higher court, and although what is usually termed the feudal system was not yet fully established, it was plain that the whole state of society had become prepared for its institution, as soon as more warlike habits should have led the way to a general military vassalage, or when chiefs of more than usual talent or ambition should have fixed and organized what had been hitherto irregular and accidental.

After the diet, Charles and his empress crossed the Jura, and hastened to join the pope, who had advanced to meet them as far as Pavia, and from thence to Vercelli. He received them with great honor; but they were quickly obliged to retreat, on the news that Carloman, king of Bavaria, was advancing towards Italy. This prince, since his father's death, had been employed in repressing an invasion or rebellion of the Wends, and was now leading his successful army to lay claim, as representative of the eldest branch of the family of Charlemagne, to the crown of the empire. Terrified at the news of his approach, the pope, accompanied by his guests, retired to Tortona, where John crowned Richilde empress. After the ceremony she took her departure, and hastened across the Alps to Maurienne, at the foot of mount Cenis, while her husband waited for a time at Tortona, in expectation that Boso, duke of Lombardy, with other nobles of that country, would join him, according to appointment, with their troops. Boso, however, thought little of the allegiance due to his sovereign; he looked upon himself as an independent prince, and had lately, as an increase of his dignity, poisoned his former wife, and married Ermengarde, daughter of the late emperor, Louis. He had no wish to commit himself to either of the contending claimants, and Charles, who was in no condition to contend with the German army of Carloman, found himself compelled to follow his wife, while the pope hastened with equal speed to Rome, carrying with him a magnificent crucifix of gold and jewels, the offering of the emperor to St. Peter's shrine. The king of Bavaria, who would have found no resistance in attempting the conquest of Italy and Rome, seized by a causeless panic, or terrified by a vague rumor that the pope and his uncle were advancing with a large army to meet him, relinquished the good fortune that was thrown in his way, and returned to Germany. Charles never reached his kingdom of France; he was taken ill while traversing mount Cenis, and sent for the empress from her refuge in Savoy, to join him at a mountain village, called Brios. Here he died, on the sixth of October, 877, and his physician, a Jew of the name of Zedekiah, was charged with having caused his death by poison. He was fifty years of age, of which, since his father’s death, he had reigned thirty-seven. His body was embalmed, but so rapid was the progress of decomposition that it was impossible to convey him for burial farther than to a monastery in the diocese of Lyons. Seven years afterwards his remains were transported to the cemetery of the French kings, at St. Denys.

The character of Charles the Bald is sufficiently exhibited in the narrative which has been given of the events and conduct of his life. He appears to have afforded an early promise of energy and courage, if not of other virtues, which his after years failed to redeem. He possessed, among his contemporaries, the reputation of weakness and timidity, and what is related of his actions proves, with a few exceptions, the truth of the report. Yet, with this want of firmness and courage, ambition seems to have grown upon him as he advanced in life, and it is not to be doubted that he indulged the dream of uniting under his scepter all the territory which owned the sway of Charlemagne. Towards the attainment of this object he made, as it must be acknowledged, no inconsiderable progress; yet the various steps of his success were attributable to any other cause rather than to merit of his own. In the prosecution of his designs, he was little scrupulous as to the justice of his claims. The ambition of universal empire might be pardoned in a grandson of Charlemagne, but it is probable that that emperor would have regarded as unjustifiable, and unworthy of a great monarch, the means by which Charles gained possession both of the crown of Lorraine and of that of the empire itself. With the exception of his taking Richilde as his mistress, after the death of queen Ermentrude, until decorum permitted him to receive her as his wife, no stain rests on the character of Charles the Bald, such as those which disfigured that of his nephew Lothaire. In reverence for the Church, and, with certain exceptions, in general submission to its authority, he scarcely yielded to his father, and if we find in the letters of Hincmar, and in other documents of the time, complaints of his oppressing the Church, and encroaching upon its rights and property, these are, perhaps, not more frequent than those directed, by Agobard and others, against similar grievances on the part of Louis the Pious, of the sincerity of whose devotion to religion no doubt can be reasonably entertained. To the counsels of Hincmar was owing much in the conduct of Charles the Bald which is worthy of praise or free from blame; and it is certain that if these had been more strictly followed, many of the most censurable actions of his life would have been avoided. That his subjects retrograded in prosperity and happiness, during his reign, the surest sign, in general, of a weak or wicked prince, is not to be laid altogether to his charge; for no talent or energy, short of that of Charlemagne himself, could have saved France from the incessant devastations of Normans and other plunderers. If Charles failed from unavoidable circumstances, as much as from his own defects of character, in promoting his country's good, by encouraging a military spirit, or by the wisdom of political institutions, he was second to no sovereign of his own, or any other age, in effecting or attempting this in two points of view which tend, in an important degree, towards the advancement of happiness and civilization. These were, his strengthening the influence of the clergy, and the remarkable patronage which, more than even Charlemagne or his father and brothers, he extended to philosophy and literature. Finally, we may conclude, that while Charles the Bald was inferior in genius, whether as a warrior or as a statesman, to his grandfather, and to his father in the sincerity of his religious sentiments, or in their practical influence on his life, he was, in a still more striking degree, superior to the succeeding sovereigns of the Carolingian dynasty, and his reign may, perhaps, with more truth, be regarded as the termination of the better class of that family, than as the commencement of their undoubted and rapid degeneracy.

Before concluding this chapter, it will be right to notice some letters or treatises of Hincmar, which were written shortly before the death of Charles. At the emperor’s command, he addressed to pope John, (in consequence, as is probable, of something that occurred at the Council of Pontyon), an epistle on the subject of the judgments and appeals of bishops and presbyters. Certain laws had been laid down by Charlemagne on these points, which were still, as Hincmar says, generally considered as in force. Within the last few years, however, since the existence of an ill-feeling between Charles and the late emperor, Louis II, various letters had been received in France, purporting to be written by the pope, but which the French bishops decided, from their tenor, could not possibly be genuine, permitting all presbyters who had been condemned by their bishops, to journey to Rome, without the knowledge or consent of bishop or metropolitan, and lay their appeals at the foot of the papal throne. Many clergymen had availed themselves of this permission, and Hincmar, in remonstrating with pope John on his suffering the continuance of the practice, discusses the origin of all appeals to Rome, which arose from the Council of Sardica. By this Council the right was granted to bishops only, and all that the pope was authorized to do was to require a second trial in the same place; and if he had reason to think the Council which had passed the former sentence insufficient, he was empowered either to make selections from the bishops who composed it to act as judges, or to send a legate of his own to assist them in their decision. The same restrictions were noticed by St. Innocent, who wrote to Victricius, bishop of Rouen, on the subject; by Boniface, in a letter to Hilary, of Narbonne; and by the canons of several Councils. He insists on the impossibility of deciding such causes at a distance, and concludes, that if these rules are violated, it is altogether useless to hold any Councils out of Italy.

Another epistle, or short treatise, on a point of discipline, was written probably about this time. It is on the subject of presbyters, accused or suspected of crimes. Such persons, he says, are bound to take an oath of purgation, on the four gospels, in the presence of three, five, or seven brother clergymen, or, if the bishop orders it, of more. No person who has himself been condemned is to be accepted as the accuser of a clergyman, except in a matter which concerns himself; and no one witness, however high in dignity or reputation, is admissible. A priest, if convicted, has power of appeal to his bishop, to his metropolitan, or to a provincial Council; but if, with the bishop's consent, he has chosen his own judges, no further appeal is allowed.

In this letter he speaks of Isidore’s collection of the epistle's of Roman pontiffs, from St. Clement to St. Gregory, and among them notices a decree of pope Sylvester, that no layman could accuse a clergyman, no deacon a priest, and so in order; and that no bishop could be condemned before fewer than seventy-two judges. Of this decretal he remarks, that no one can doubt its inconsistency and contradiction to all Church laws, and concludes that the decretals of Sylvester are forged. He repeats also here, what he had often said elsewhere, that all bishops are equally successors of St. Peter, and that the authority which he received was bestowed, in him, upon all bishops.

In another short memoir, written just after the death of Charles, on the duties of a bishop, among which he reckons the furnishing his quota of soldiers for war, Hincmar quotes again some of the false decretals of Anacletus, Urban, and Lucius. The quotations, however, refer to no matter of importance, or which might not be supported with equal ease from other quarters.

Among the bishops present at the Council of Pontyon was Hildebald, who had succeeded Rothad in the see of Soissons. This prelate, shortly afterwards, was taken dangerously ill, and sent a general confession of his sins, by letter, to Hincmar, his metropolitan, for the purpose of receiving absolution. Hincmar, who was himself disabled, by illness, from visiting him in person, contented himself with ordering prayers to be put up for his recovery throughout the diocese of Rheims; but on receiving a second request to the same effect, he sent back, by the priest who brought the message, consecrated oil, with an absolution or benediction, such as he conceived it right to send by letter. He wrote to him at the same time, reminding him that neither the general confession which he had sent nor the absolution sent back in reply was sufficient. One particular confession to a priest, he tells him, is enough, but it should be repeated every day, in private prayer. With regard to the power or effect of priestly absolution, upon which he suspected, perhaps, that Hildebald’s view was not altogether clear, he impressed upon him the fact that it is only an appointed means of conveying to the sinner that pardon which the blood of Christ alone can really procure. He quotes to him many passages of comfort from the New Testament, and urges him daily to receive the holy communion, which is the instrument of uniting us to our Lord.

While on the subject of these treatises of Hincmar, we may mention his account of the vision of Bernold, written shortly after the death of Charles the Bald. This man was a well-known person in the diocese of Rheims; being at the point of death, he confessed, received absolution, the holy communion, and extreme unction; he then lay as if dead, except that he still continued to breathe. For four days he remained in this state, taking no nourishment but a little water; at the end of this time he opened his eyes, and begged his wife to run with all haste to the priest. On his approach, before anyone could be aware of it, the sick man called out that he was coming, and had a chair placed for him at his bed side. After the customary benediction and prayers, he begged the clergyman to give him his best attention, that he might perform the task, which had been laid upon himself, in the event of his being hindered from fulfilling it by death. He then told him, in the midst of many tears, that he had been carried to the other world, to a place where he found forty-one bishops, among whom he particularly noticed Ebo, Leopardel, conjectured by Fleury to be the same as Pardulus, of Laon, and Eneas, of Paris; they were clothed in rags, which were black, as if burnt by fire, and at one time shivered with the cold, at another suffered intolerable heat. Ebo called to him, and begged him, on his return to the body, to go to those who had been benefitted by himself and his brethren who were there, during their lifetime, and request their prayers, alms, and sacrifices in their behalf, and on Bernold’s replying that he knew not where to find these persons, Ebo gave him a guide, by whom he was conducted to a large palace, where a number of the followers and friends of the bishops were assembled; he delivered his message, and on his return found Ebo and his companions with cheerful countenances, clothed in white robes, with stole and sandals, but without the cope usually worn by bishops. They told Bernold that they owed the change to his good offices, and that they had a kind keeper now, no other than St. Ambrose, instead of the cruel one whom he had seen before.

From thence he went to a dark place, beyond which was visible another filled with a beautiful light, and shedding the most delicious odours. In the former, lying in the midst of mud, and in a mass of the filthiest corruption, lay the late emperor, Charles, so devoured by worms that the bones and nerves of his body alone remained. Charles called him by name, and bade him go to Hincmar, report what he had seen, and inform him that he was in that miserable condition as a punishment for so frequently neglecting the good advice offered by the archbishop and his other faithful counselors. He said that he had always trusted and relied on him, and hoped that he would prevail on his other subjects to join in efforts for delivering him from that state of wretchedness. Bernold, on questioning him as to the place of which he caught so ravishing a prospect beyond the darkness, learnt that it was the abode of rest for the saints, and, on entering it, such transporting beauty met his eyes as no human language could describe. Crowds of persons were enjoying that delightful scene, clothed in white, and seats of dazzling brilliance were ready for their use, with others for whom, as yet, there were no occupants. He afterwards, in his vision, saw a Church, in which Hincmar stood at the altar with his clergy, prepared to perform mass. To him he delivered the message entrusted to him by the king, and, on returning, found Charles removed from his former dark habitation to the place of light and joy, perfectly healed, and robed in his royal vestments. He afterwards saw bishop Jesse fastened to a rack, near which was a pit filled with pitch-like water, with flames and smoke. Out of this appeared devils with heaps or bundles of human souls, which they carried from the pit and dipped in water cold as ice. This was repeated, as Jesse told him, every day, because they had no friends to take up their cause. Bernold interceded for Jesse, as he had done for the rest, with some persons whom he met, and, on his return, found that their good offices had been of equal benefit to him. Count Othar was the next person whom he saw, covered with hair, and begrimed with dirt; he attempted at first to hide himself from Bernold, who called to him by name, but afterwards entrusted him with a similar message to that received from the former sufferers, accusing the demon who was his keeper with having been the prompter of all his sins during his lifetime, and with having advised him now to hide himself from the eyes of Bernold. He was afterwards addressed by two men, one of a noble aspect, and the other resembling a boor or clown; the former told him that he should return to the body and live fourteen years longer, urging him, at the same time, to make a good use of the period thus granted him, while the other attempted, but in vain, to oppose his return.

The sick man, on finishing his story, received the holy communion, and, after he had taken food, quickly recovered his health and strength. The vision was reported to Hincmar by the priest to whom it had been confessed, a man, as he assures us, of integrity and good sense. He had no doubt, therefore, of the truth of the story, and mentions, as if in confirmation of it, that he had read similar accounts in the works of St. Gregory, in Bede's Anglo-Saxon history, in the writings of St. Boniface, and more lately in a relation of a vision which occurred to a monk in the reign of Louis the Pious. The vision of St. Eucherius, of Orleans, on the subject of Charles Mattel's punishment, held out as a warning to Louis, king of Germany, by Hincmar and the other bishops at the time of his French invasion, may be compared with this. It proves how widely spread, at this time, was the notion of some kind of purgatory after death, and of the efficiency of prayers, alms-deeds, and the eucharistic sacrifice, in benefiting the condition of those detained there. Hincmar concludes by a practical exhortation to his readers to live in fear and watchfulness during their life here, and by requesting them to pray for king Charles and other deceased persons.










It is necessary to go back some years from the point to which our history has arrived, to relate the origin and progress of the various disputes which arose from the insubordination of Hincmar, bishop of Laon, towards his uncle and king Charles. These began eight or ten years before the king’s death, and cannot be said to have terminated till the Council of Troyes, in the year 878. The younger Hincmar was educated by his uncle, and, at the earliest age permitted by the custom of the Church, was promoted by his interest, on the death of his friend Pardulus, to the see of Laon. This was probably in the year 858. The good offices of the archbishop also introduced him to the notice of the king, in whose favor he quickly made considerable progress. Charles gave him an office of some emolument at court, and an abbey in a distant province. His uncle disapproved of his accepting employments which took him from the duties of his diocese, especially as the bishop of Laon made a practice of frequently visiting his abbey, and of remaining there for considerable periods, without troubling himself to obtain the permission of his metropolitan; a conduct in violation of ecclesiastical law, and which Hincmar, strict at all times in enforcing discipline, was not likely to regard with less displeasure when pursued by one who was bound by ties of relationship and gratitude to be more than usually submissive to his will. But in many other respects the bishop treated his uncle with neglect; he was frequently censured, but disregarded all remonstrance and expostulation, and even disobeyed the positive orders of his archbishop; for example, when specially summoned to attend the consecration of a bishop of Cambray, he refused to go or to send a delegate to excuse or to represent him. Nor were the clergy and people of his own diocese better satisfied with him; and at last king Charles himself found cause for equal displeasure.

It was a common custom for a bishop to give, in way of loan, lands or other properties of the diocese to lay­men, especially if recommended by the king; and these possessions were handed down by father to son, in the same manner as property of their own. Thus a family gained a certain right of tenure in estates, which were, at the same time, property of the Church, and under the direction of the bishop. Such a benefice had been bestowed by Hincmar of Laon or his predecessor upon a certain Luido, a vassal of the king, and by him had been left, in the usual way, to his son. Without reason, as it appears, the bishop deprived him of the property; and on a visit made by Charles to the neighborhood, in the summer of 868, the aggrieved tenant brought his complaint before him, and begged for restitution. The king remonstrated with Hincmar on the subject; but received a reply so disrespectful that he was greatly amazed, and broke out into the most vehement reproaches. He appointed a time and place for his appearance before some noblemen, who were to decide the cause. But when the day arrived, Hincmar neither presented himself nor sent any one to appear for him, satisfying himself with the plea that he could not submit himself to a secular tribunal without prejudice to the Church. The king punished his contumacy by depriving him not only of his abbey and of the office which he held at court, but of the revenues of his diocese.

These proceedings of Charles appeared an encroachment on the rights and independence of the Church; and the archbishop of Rheims accordingly, though disapproving of his nephew's conduct, interfered in his behalf. He wrote a letter to Charles, declaring that he had acted unjustly, both in requiring the bishop of Laon to appear before a lay tribunal, and in seizing upon the revenues of the see. Such acts were condemned by Charlemagne, as well as by the earlier Christian emperors; and the present king was bound, in an especial manner, to uphold the privileges of the Church, as he had taken an oath to do so at various times, as the Councils of Beauvais and Quiercy. Canons are adduced from Antioch, Gangra, and Chalcedon, forbidding any one to seize upon Church property, and to these Hincmar adds the decretals of popes Urban, Lucius, and Stephen. In proof of the right of a bishop to be judged by a spiritual tribunal, a custom recognized by civil as well as by ecclesiastical law, he quotes the words of Gelasius, who, in laying down the existence of a double power, the regal and the sacerdotal, maintains the superior importance of the latter, inasmuch as priests will have to give account for kings as well as for others at the last judgment. Every class of men, he continues, enjoys the privilege of being judged according to its own laws, and it is unreasonable that bishops alone should be an exception.

In August, 868, within a month or two of these events, the Synod of Pistres, on the Seine, was assembled under the king, and both the Hincmars were present. The bishop of Laon laid his cause before the Council, pleading the violation of ecclesiastical law, of which the king had been guilty in commanding him to appear before the judges, and in taking possession of his revenues, and promised to answer any charges that might be brought against him at a regular synod of the province of Rheims. Soon afterwards, however, either during the continuance of the Council, or on its dissolution, he repented of this promise, and appealed to Rome. In answer to the bishop's plea, king Charles informed the Council that his predecessors, in all cases similar to the present, in which a bishop had deprived one of their vassals of a benefice, had been in the habit of subjecting him to a secular judgment in the royal palace. The archbishop of Rheims, however, lost no time in overthrowing the king’s argument, by representing the custom to which he had alluded as originating in a mistaken view, and by showing that it had been expressly annulled by the capitulars. He afterwards prevailed on his nephew to make an apology to the king, who was pacified at length, and restored the property of Laon, on the condition that legally appointed judges, or, if necessary, a provincial Council, should afterwards pronounce on the conduct of the bishop.

It was not long before the younger Hincmar incurred the displeasure of Charles a second time, for a similar reason. He had made over to the king another estate in his diocese, which was bestowed upon count Norman. Hincmar wished to get this property into his hands again, but the count refused to relinquish it, and when the judges appointed to settle former matters of dispute took cognizance of this business likewise, and in ordering the restoration of the Church property to Hincmar, expressly excepted the estate of Pouilly, held by Norman; he sent one of his clergy with a letter to the pope complaining of the usurpation, and expressing, at the same time, an earnest desire to pay his respects in person at the apostolic throne. Adrian wrote to Charles and to the archbishop of Rheims, informing him of the bishop’s wish to visit Rome, and begging them to forward the journey, and to take the diocese of Laon into their charge during his absence, and, at the same time, desired the archbishop to threaten count Norman with excommunication unless he restored at once the property of the Church of Laon, of which he was in possession, as well as all others who might interfere with the revenues of the diocese. The archbishop thought it unnecessary to pay any attention to these commands, knowing well that his nephew had misrepresented the matter to the pope, but Charles, on receiving Adrian’s letter, which arrived while he was at his palace at Quiercy, in December, was beyond measure irritated at Hincmar's secret correspondence with Rome, and at having been slanderously described as an usurper of the property of the Church. His displeasure was soon increased by the complaints of Norman, whose house the bishop of Laon attacked, during his absence, with a large party of armed retainers, and, after seizing upon every article which it contained, turned out his wife, who was weakened by the recent pains of childbirth. He sent for the author of the outrage, who had been in attendance on the court, in discharge, as is probable, of the office which he held there; but the bishop, without waiting to gain his master's permission, had left Quiercy, and retired to Laon. Soon afterwards, at the beginning of the following year, AD 869, he entered into a correspondence with king Lothaire, who was at this time on no very cordial terms with his uncle, the king of France, on the subject of leaving the dominions of the latter, and receiving, in exchange, a bishopric or some other dignity in Lorraine. To enquire into this matter, or to prevent any general defection, Charles sent an order for the vassals of the Church of Laon to appear before him at Compiegne. The command was obeyed by some, but others were prevented by the bishop from waiting on the king. Two bishops of the province, Odo of Beauvais, and Gilbert of Châlons, were next dispatched to lead the refractory prelate to the royal presence; and some nobles with troops were ordered to support them, in case of resistance offered by the bishop’s retainers. Hincmar, on hearing of their approach, called together the clergy of his diocese to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, at Laon, and while they stood round him, holding the cross and the gospels in their hands, pronounced sentence of excommunication against all who should enter that holy place or any other portion of his diocese by force, together with all who aided or countenanced them. The sentence, without naming the king, plainly included him, and was sufficient of itself to cause great scandal throughout France. On the arrival of the bishops with their followers, Hincmar refused to leave the altar where he stood as in a place of refuge, nor did they choose to incur the responsibility of violating so solemn a sanctuary. They, therefore, contented themselves with requiring all the vassals of Laon to renew their oaths of allegiance to king Charles, and returned to Compiegne. No sooner, however, had they departed, than the bishop of Laon gave a further proof of his contumacy, if not of actual treason, by compelling them to take another oath.

To bring the dispute to a termination, the king issued orders for the assembling of a general Council, at Verbery, on the twenty-fourth of the following April. Eight metropolitans, and twenty-one suffragan bishops were present, and Hincmar of Rheims presided. The bishop of Laon, who had been specially summoned, ventured not again to disobey, but finding that all present were likely to be unanimous in his condemnation, he appealed to the pope, and demanded permission from the king to go at once to Rome. His request was refused, but the appeal had the effect of staying all further proceedings for the present, and he returned once more to his diocese. Here he found few of his clergy disposed to pay him obedience or respect, and proceeded at once to an act which, according to his uncle’s description, had been, hitherto, unknown in the Church. He laid the whole of his diocese under an interdict, or general sentence of excommunication, with an express prohibition on its removal except by himself or by the pope. During its continuance no clergyman was permitted to perform Divine service, no children could be baptized, no penitents absolved, no sick could receive the holy communion, and no dead could be buried. His uncle, in writing to him afterwards on the subject, speaks of it as a cruelty exceeding that of pagans and persecutors, causing, as it did, not only the destruction of the body, but the ruin of the soul, because they are guilty of the soul's death who force men to leave the world unbaptized or without penitence and communion. The clergy of Laon ventured neither to obey so strange an order, nor, on their own responsibility, directly to oppose it; they therefore had recourse to the archbishop of Rheims, who charged his nephew to revoke the sentence, and, on his persisting in refusal, after a first and second repetition of the warning, authorized the clergy to go on in the usual way with the duties of their office, without regarding their bishops interdict. Meanwhile the younger Hincmar was arrested, by the king's command, and kept for a short time in confinement at Silvacus, a place in the vicinity of Laon. The anger of Charles, however, was soon appeased, and the disobedient bishop was again set at liberty, on taking a new oath of fidelity to his sovereign.

To satisfy any scruples which the clergy of Laon might have felt, in acting against the sentence of their diocesan, the archbishop of Rheims had drawn up for their perusal a collection of laws, bearing on the circumstances in which they were placed. His nephew, on regaining his freedom, set himself to overthrow their authority, by making a further compilation of passages, drawn from the writings of ante-Nicene authors. The object of this document was to weaken the authority of metropolitan bishops and of provincial Councils, and it contained, according to the archbishop's description, a number of views inconsistent with themselves, and opposed to scriptural and canonical law, and the authority of the holy see. The point on which he mainly insisted in his collection, was the right of bishops to refer their cause, in the first instance, before submitting to any other jurisdiction, to the judgment of the pope. All the clergy of his diocese were compelled to subscribe these extracts.

Soon after this occurred the death of king Lothaire, and the coronation of Charles as his successor. The bishop of Laon assisted at the ceremony, and may be supposed, from this circumstance, to have regained the favor of the king. But, within a few months, new causes of dispute arose between the two Hincmars. There were two brothers, Nivin and Bertric, the former of whom, and perhaps the other also, was resident in the diocese of Rheims. Both of them were men of profligate and disorderly character, and Nivin, at the end of this year, or early in the year 870, seduced a nun from her convent. Hincmar, thereupon, excommunicated him, and Nivin, instead of either attempting to prove his innocence or of seeking pardon for his transgression, fled with his brother into the diocese of Laon, where the younger Hincmar not only peaceably received him, but gave him a pension out of the revenues of his Church. The archbishop wrote a letter of expostulation to his nephew on the subject, explaining the circumstances of the case, and remarking that the bestowal of the benefice or pension was quite contrary to all rule. His nephew, in answer, attempted to justify himself by maintaining Nivin’s innocence, and declaring that he had been anxious to refute the charge, but was unable to find the archbishop himself, or any deputy to act for him. He denied that he had bestowed upon him a benefice in return for any pecuniary compensation, but represented the gift as conferred out of gratitude for property long ago made over to the Church of Laon. He accused his uncle of readily believing such tales, maintained the authority of the false decretals, and quoted a spurious letter of Damasus, in which it is pretended that no Council can be assembled except by the pope, and that, without his sanction, no bishop can be condemned.

Shortly after this correspondence, a second dispute arose from the following circumstance :—A priest of Laon, named Adulf, was employed by his bishop to execute a commission, which he neglected, and, when reproved for it, answered in a sullen and disrespectful manner, and, in token that he refused all further connection with his diocesan, cast his robe or gown upon the floor, and hastened from his presence. Hincmar sent a priest after him to excommunicate him, but Adulf stopped his ears, and went to Rheims to lay his complaint before the archbishop. Afterwards he repented of his haste and returned to Laon, with the intention of entering again upon his duties, but was turned out of his Church, and found the monastery in which he lived closed against him. He next prevailed upon the elder Hincmar to intercede for his readmission, and at last the bishop of Laon, in answer to his uncle's entreaty, permitted him to reside in his diocese, and took off the ban of excommunication, although, with some inconsistency, refusing to communicate with him himself.

Contemporaneously with this, was a third difference between the two prelates, in which the same Adulf was in some way concerned. A chapel in the diocese of Laon belonged to a benefice in that of Rheims, and the incumbent was in the custom of nominating a curate to serve it. The present incumbent, Sigebert, gave the appointment to Senatus, a servant of the Church of Rheims, and the archbishop accordingly gave him his liberty, and sent him to his nephew for ordination. He was ordained deacon, and in that capacity served the chapel for four years. This, as it seems, was an irregularity; but the bishop, instead of advancing Senatus to the priesthood, suffered it to continue for a time, and then sent other priests to officiate. He afterwards turned Senatus away without any reason, and shut up the chapel, with orders to the inhabitants of the vicinity to attend in future at a parish Church in the diocese of Laon. The archbishop, on hearing this, attempted to dissuade his nephew from the proceeding, and urged him either to ordain Senatus, or to appoint another clergyman to the chapel. He received, in return, an angry answer, in which the bishop refused to reply to some of his uncle’s questions; denied that he had ever promised Senatus the chapel; accused Sigebert of unlawfully thrusting a curate upon another man's parish, which he said was done at the suggestion of Adulf, and quoted the capitulars of Louis the Pious, to show that no one who had been born in servitude could be ordained priest. The quotation, however, seems in truth to have told against him, as the capitular in question only required that the bondman must receive his freedom before being admitted to holy orders. From this subject he digressed to his usual introduction of the appeal to Rome, in support of which he transcribed passages from the spurious decretals of Victor, Callistus, Lucius, and other popes.

Early in the spring of the year 870, in the midst of the correspondence on these various matters of dispute, the uncle and nephew met at the palace of Gondeville, in the diocese of Tola, in attendance on king Charles. A good many bishops were present, and interchanged friendly salutation; but the younger Hincmar refused to take notice of his uncle, or to give him the kiss of peace, the usual token of affection and good-will. Wenilo of Rouen expostulated with him on this want of courtesy and charity; and the bishop of Laon, in reply, declared that he could never bring himself to entertain friendly feelings towards his metropolitan until the latter had publicly destroyed the paper that had been written by him to the clergy of Laon on the subject of the interdict. This collection, he said, professed to prove the injustice of the sentence; whereas the archbishop himself had before acted in a precisely similar way, having laid an interdict upon a village of Laon, on some question of tithes, during the continuance of which many infants had died unbaptized, and many grown persons without the last communion. He assured Wenilo that he was in possession of documents which proved the truth of the assertion. The archbishop, on hearing the charge, asserted that it was a mere fabrication, without a shadow of truth, and begged Wenilo to propose to his nephew to lay the papers that proved it before the bishops then present, while he himself would produce at the same time the collection of canons compiled in opposition to the interdict. The younger Hincmar, who had obviously invented the accusation on the spur of the moment, was compelled to excuse himself from complying with so reasonable a suggestion, on the plea of not knowing where at once to place his hand upon the documents to which he had referred; and contented himself with delivering to Wenilo, for his uncle, a new and more elaborate compilation of the papal decretals, with an introduction in verse. In the course of the following night, Hincmar read this production, and wrote an answer to it, which he delivered the next morning to his nephew; and when more at leisure, in the month or two which intervened before the Synod of Attigny in May, extended the treatise to the form which it now bears, and in which it occupies more than two hundred folio pages in the second volume of his works.

The main object of the Council of Attigny, which consisted of the bishops of ten provinces, was to put a stop to the disorderly conduct of prince Carloman, as well as to discuss with the ambassadors from king Louis some questions concerning the division of Lorraine. After the termination of these political debates, the subject of the younger Hincmar was submitted to the council. The archbishop of Rheims was ordered to relate all that had passed between them, and produced the essay lately composed by him in answer to his nephew’s support of the decretal letters. The bishops in general then brought forward against him the excommunication which he had laid upon his diocese; the king charged him with violation of his allegiance; and Count Norman and his wife complained of the injustice received by them at his hands, and of his still continuing in possession of their property, notwithstanding the decision previously given for its restoration. Of these charges, that advanced by the king seemed the most dangerous, and the bishop was conscious that his insubordination might justly be punished with severity. But Charles, whatever were his other faults, seldom bore ill-will for any length of time against those who offended him. He therefore now proposed that the accused prelate should be freed from the necessity of a formal trial, and should be permitted simply to sign a promise of obedience henceforward to his king and to his metropolitan. The bishop of Laon hesitated to comply with the suggestion, and Charles, as it would appear, consented to allow him time to think of the proposal.

As he was retiring to his lodging from the synod, which immediately broke up its session for the day, Frotair of Bourdeaux followed the discontented bishop, and enquired why he had refused so easy and reasonable a proposition as that laid before him by the king. Hincmar replied that he could do nothing unless his uncle gave him a promise in writing to observe the rights of the Church of Laon. Frotair assured him that he would willingly consent to give such a promise, and led his companion back into the hall where the meeting had been held, and where the archbishop of Rheims was then standing at a window, in conversation with his friend Odo, of Beauvais. Frotair joined them, and informed them that his brother Hincmar was willing to subscribe the paper laid before him by Charles, and to live henceforward with his uncle as a son ought to live with his father, and a suffragan with his metropolitan. The archbishop expressed a lively joy at the news, and received his nephew with kindness; while the latter assured him that his opposition had arisen from no hostility towards himself, but from a fear that the see of Laon might suffer from the encroachments of any future archbishop of Rheims. Odo was then requested to draw up the form to be subscribed; and after both the Hincmars had made such alterations as they thought fit, the elder begged the bishop of Beauvais to procure a fair copy, to be signed by his nephew, the following day, in the presence of the council. The latter at first objected to this arrangement, on the plea of his being ill at the time, with a feverish attack, for which he had need of returning home, for the purpose of losing blood, but Aeneas, bishop of Paris, at length persuaded him to consent.

The next day, the sixteenth of June, in the presence of the king and the synod, the required declaration was made. It was expressed in the following terms: “I, Hincmar, bishop of Laon, will be henceforward faithful and obedient to king Charles, my lord, according to my office, as a vassal ought to be to his lord, and a bishop to his king. I promise to obey the privileges of Hincmar, metropolitan of Rheims, according to the canons, and the decrees of the holy see approved by the canons”. This declaration he subscribed, and handed to the king and to his uncle, both of whom gave him, on receiving it, the kiss of peace, in token of reconciliation. The next day the bishop of Laon sent his uncle, by the hand of a friend, a paper, which he desired him to subscribe, and which doubtless contained the promise to respect the rights of the Church of Laon, of which he had spoken before to Frotair. Hincmar, however, took no further notice of the paper, thinking it unbecoming for an archbishop to subscribe such an engagement with his suffragan.

The only remaining complaints against the younger Hincmar were those of count Norman. To settle them three bishops were appointed by his uncle, with the consent of both parties. Among other things they decided, that the estate formerly possessed by Norman should be restored to him. The bishop, who, as it would seem, could scarcely have expected any other judgment, dissatisfied with the decision, departed during the night from Attigny, without waiting for the termination of the business. A few days afterwards he wrote to his uncle, reminding him of his former appeal to Rome, and imploring him to use his interest with the king for permission to take the journey; his own vows, as he said, and the command of the pope, compelled him to take this course, and if his wish were not granted he could pay no further obedience to his uncle's orders. Hincmar abstained from answering his nephew’s letter, but the king sent to bid him return without delay, and received in answer a still more urgent petition for leave to wait on pope Adrian, and an excuse that the fever under which he was suffering prevented his return to Attigny. Charles expressed his surprise that a fever, which kept him from travelling a short distance, should allow him to take so long a journey as to Rome; and sent him back word by the bearer of the letter, that if, on his return, he could show any good cause for the journey, he would not hinder it. He took notice, at the same time, of another estate which had been taken from a certain tenant, of the name of Eligius, much in the same way as that in which count Norman had been plundered, and ordered him to restore it. The council, however, broke up without his insisting any further on his attendance.

The next step in the correspondence was taken by the younger Hincmar, who sent a still more violent message than before to his uncle, by Fleddo, who is called a provost of the Church of Laon, offering to return and be obedient for the future, on receiving a positive promise from Charles to interfere in no way again with the disposal of the property of his Church, but declaring that he would otherwise no more obey the king, but would follow up his appeal to Rome, and lay under excommunication all who laid hands upon his revenues. In justification of this resolution, he sent, by the same messenger, a paper purporting to contain an abstract of a decree passed at a synod at Toussi, in the year 860, in which all persons appropriating Church revenues, without the bishop’s consent, were threatened with so strict a sentence of excommunication as to give them no hope of communion in their last sickness, or of burial after death.

The archbishop, in answer, said that he had spoken to the king on the subject, and that a part of his property would be at once restored, but that nothing could be decided as to the remainder until a judgment should have been delivered on the matter, in place of that which had been cut short by his sudden flight from Attigny. He then noticed the canon of Toussi, adduced by his nephew, which he said was altogether new to him and to other bishops to whom he had shown it, although both they and himself had been present at the council. Besides this he had compared it with the original acts, then in his possession, and found no traces of it there; and it was also in plain opposition to well-known canons of the Church.

The bishop of Laon complained, in reply, that many estates had been alienated from his Church, that the commissioners appointed to examine into the question had acted with great partiality, and that even the estate which had been especially ordered by the king to be restored to him, was still partially occupied by one of the royal tenants. He expressed also great surprise at his uncle’s assertion that the bishops who had attended the council denied any knowledge of the canon in question, because archbishop Harduic, one of those present, had given it to him, and he had employed two deacons of his Church to transcribe it, men who were quite incapable of falsifying the document. The truth seems to have been, respecting this discrepancy, that the fathers at Toussi had threatened with ecclesiastical censure all plunderers of Church property, but had not used the strong expressions represented by the younger Hincmar as contained in their decree. The refusal of the last communion and of the rites of burial was indeed only employed in most extreme cases. In the remainder of his letter, which is of considerable length, the bishop makes an attempt to defend his collection of papal epistles from some of the arguments adduced by his uncle against their authority.

This was the termination, for a time, of the correspondence between the archbishop and his nephew. Soon afterwards, the latter, finding that he could expect nothing from an episcopal judgment, wrote to the king, and offered to submit the decision of his cause to any lay judges whom he might appoint. For some reason, which it seems difficult to understand, unless it were for the sake of opposition to ecclesiastical influence and authority, they decided in his favor, and compelled Norman, as well as some other tenants of the Church, to restore his property. He then returned to court, and continued his official occupation as usual, without pressing any further the necessity of his visiting Rome. By this submission to a lay judgment he relinquished the sole point of sympathy which had existed in the late disputes between his uncle and himself; and the former afterwards brought heavy reproaches against him, for an act of such treason towards the privileges of the Church.

It is necessary to interrupt the course of the narrative, for the sake of giving a brief account of the treatise, consisting of fifty-five chapters, which the archbishop of Rheims presented at the Council of Attigny, in reply to his nephew's quotations from the false decretals, and in consideration of some other questions which had arisen between them.

In the first few chapters he denies and disproves the charge brought against him by his nephew, of having laid under excommunication a village in the diocese of Laon, for refusing to pay tithes; he accuses him of the various faults committed against him as his archbishop, in his acceptance of an office at court, and of an abbey in another province, without his permission; of his remaining for long periods out of his diocese; of his refusal to be present at the ordination of John, bishop of Cambray; and of his venturing to excommunicate persons who belong to another diocese; and expresses his astonishment at his nephew's venturing to demand that he should publicly destroy the document sent to the clergy of Laon, on the subject of die interdict, agreeable as it was, in all respects, to the gospel, to the canons, and to the decrees of the apostolic see. He next notices the opposition made by pope Nicholas to his determinations in the affairs of Rothad and Wulfad, which his nephew, as it appears, had made the pretext for refusing to attend any synod to which his uncle might summon him, unless he himself had any reason for wishing to be present. The archbishop explains that the pope could not fairly be regarded as having set aside his decisions in these cases, but had rather used his authority to temper, by clemency, the strict justice of the sentences which had been passed concerning them.

He next applies himself to an explanation of the privileges of an archbishop, and of the distinction existing between a simple bishop and a metropolitan. Metropolitans alone, he says, have the power of calling a synod in any part of their provinces; and all suffragans are bound to attend in person or by a deputy on pain of punishment. Anyone who has a charge against a bishop, must bring it before the metropolitan, who can either appoint judges himself or permit the accused person to select them. Every bishop must be consecrated by the metropolitan of his province, and any election without his consent is invalid by a canon of the Council of Nice; whereas, on the contrary, the refusal of one or two bishops has no effect in hindering the election of a brother suffragan, if the metropolitan and the majority of the bishops are agreed upon it. On the death of a bishop it is the business of the metropolitan to appoint a receiver for the revenues of the vacant Church, to order a new election, and if there is any want of unanimity in the electors, to choose the most worthy candidate, and examine him prior to consecration. A metropolitan may demand the subscription of all his suffragans to any document which he thinks fit to put forth, unless containing something contrary to the faith. His permission is necessary to the sale or alienation by a bishop of the property of his Church. He has the power of hearing appeals from any clergyman or layman who has been excommunicated by one of his suffragans, and, without his will, may restore him in an episcopal assembly. In fine, he has the care of the whole province, whereas a bishop has only the management of his own diocese. If two bishops have any dispute neither has the right of choosing judges from another province, but must leave the choice to the metropolitan. To his advice recourse must be had in all doubtful questions; nor can any bishop, under any circumstances whatever, appeal to Rome, without having first sought this advice. Without his permission no bishop or no messenger commissioned by him can leave the province. If a bishop has any ground for complaint against his metropolitan, he is permitted by the Council of Sardica, by the decrees of St. Innocent, St. Gregory, and other popes, and by the ecclesiastical law of the empire, to request the apostolic see to appoint judges to decide the cause. If a bishop commits anything in violation of the laws, his metropolitan is not required to wait for the meeting of a synod, or for the advice of his suffragan, but may at once give orders for the abrogation of what has been done.

In the three following chapters, the seventh, eighth, and ninth, Hincmar reproves his nephew for his double appeal to Rome, in opposition to the rules now laid down; for his submitting the decision of causes in which he was concerned to lay judges and foreign bishops, instead of to his own metropolitan and fellow suffragans; for his employing the mediation of archbishops of other provinces in his dealings with himself and with the king; and for his listening to the persuasions of others, while he refused to pay attention to himself and his friend Odo, to take off a sentence of excommunication pronounced against a monk of St. Denys, whom the king had removed from that abbey to a monastery in the diocese of Laon.

He next notices the argument adduced by his nephew for the authority of the decretal letters of the elder popes, from the saying of St. Leo, already mentioned, when quoted by pope Nicholas in his defence of the same documents, that the decrees of all his predecessors were to be diligently observed on the subject of Church ordinances and ecclesiastical discipline. He answers this by drawing a distinction between the promulgation of ordinances and rules of canonical discipline, and the promulgation of decrees relating to such subjects; just as in civil matters, it is a very different thing to make laws and to pass sentences concerning them, when already made. The latter class was meant by St. Leo, and he referred, in this position, to such ordinances as had already been decided by the judgment of councils. This view he confirms by copious quotations, proving that the decrees of councils are represented, both by the councils themselves and by the letters of popes, to be strictly binding for all time, and that heavy anathemas are pronounced upon all sentences which contradict them.

A further argument against the younger Hincmar’s compilation is drawn from his omission, among his decretals, of many which told against him, and which confirmed the authority of metropolitans over their suffragans; as some of St. Clement, Anacletus, Zephyrinus, Stephen, and Pelagius. The archbishop remarks that his nephew appears to think that his collection is the only one known, whereas, long before his birth, they had been often read.

Before continuing his prosecution of this subject, Hincmar notices the dependence of the Church of Laon on that of Rheims. Before the first foundation of the former bishopric Rheims was a metropolitan diocese, with eleven suffragans. St. Remigius raised the castle of Laon to the dignity of a see, and as his authority descended to his successors, the present archbishop of Rheims possessed the highest claims on the gratitude and obedience of the bishop of Laon. He then speaks more generally of the insubordination of suffragans towards their spiritual superiors, reproving their ill-feeling from the censures of the popes, and showing that it proceeded from pride, which has the effect of blinding men to truth. This he confirms by the examples of heretics, who have been led by such pride to force or falsify Scripture, or openly to set themselves against the authority of the Church.

The next argument considered by the archbishop is one which has also been noticed before, drawn from a canon of the Council of Chalcedon, which ordered that while all other clergymen were to appeal from an episcopal sentence to a provincial synod, a bishop, who had a complaint against his metropolitan, was to bring it before the primate of the diocese, or the bishop of Constantinople. To this he replies that the canon in question is not accepted by the Roman Church, any more than that canon of the Council of Constantinople which allots to the bishop of that see the second rank after the bishop of Rome.

Having occasion to mention the so-called apostolical canons, Hincmar says that they owe their origin not to the apostles themselves, but to a tradition of apostolical men, and that though containing much that is valuable, they contain also much that cannot be accepted. He then goes on to speak of a collection of canons, laws, and decretals, said to have been sent, at the latter end of the last century, AD 785, by pope Adrian I to Ingelram, bishop of Metz. This collection was, in many points, inconsistent with one formerly sent by the same pope to Charles, and contained extracts from the false decretals of Isidore, being, in fact, the earliest instance in which the latter compilation is used or maintained. From Ingelram’s collection the younger Hincmar had taken many of his quotations, and his uncle describes it as containing passages of obvious inconsistency, as well as contradictory to the canons and judgments of the Church, and proves his assertion by examples. At the same time he convicts his nephew of folly in supposing that he could select the beginnings and endings, piecemeal, from various letters and documents contained in it, and put them together into new forms, as if no one except himself had access to the originals, whereas the whole country is full of copies both of Ingelram’s collection, and of that made by Isidore, and brought by Riculf, archbishop of Metz, from Spain.

Pope Gelasius left behind him a catalogue of the books which were to be received in the Catholic Church, and in this, Hincmar next observes, speaks in very different terms of the decrees of councils and of the writings of holy bishops, even of the bishops of Rome themselves. Of the former he says that they must be kept and received, of the latter that they are to be honorably accepted. The one possessed a permanent authority, whereas the others were composed for some temporary object, and ceased to be of weight when the purpose which called them forth was answered. Though, for their authors' sake, they should be treated with reverence, they are not binding in the same sense in which the decrees of councils are. The latter have a right, or force, prior to examination, and independent of our own opinion as to their necessity or propriety; whereas the epistles and other writings of popes, as of other individual bishops, are subject to the apostolical ride, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good”. Hincmar compares them to the law of the Old Testament, of which St. Paul declares that it is holy, and yet which was not binding after the fuller law of Christianity.

In the few next chapters the bishop of Laon’s refusal to plead before canonically appointed judges, on the ground of his appeal to Rome, the illegality of the excommunication laid upon his diocese, without proof of faults which merited so severe a punishment, as well as the irregular nature of the sentence, and the consequent right possessed by himself, as metropolitan, to remove it, are dwelt upon at length. The archbishop returns also to the power possessed by all metropolitans to act upon the known laws of the Church, without having recourse, in the first instance, either to a synod or to the pope; and again notices and illustrates the inconsistency of his nephew in quoting decretals which appeared to hamper the jurisdiction of archbishops, while he passed over, without attention, such as enjoined obedience upon suffragans.

The remainder of the essay, containing the last twenty chapters, is employed mainly on the subject of the unreasonableness of the younger Hincmar’s demand that his uncle should burn the collection of canons sent to the diocese of Laon in justification of his removing the interdict, as well as of his calling upon his clergy to sign so absurd a document as the compilation of decretals which he had now been engaged in refuting. He cannot sufficiently wonder at the folly of his nephew in submitting the composition to the examination of other bishops, of the king, and of himself, for, as we learn from an earlier part of the archbishop’s essay, copies had been carefully sent round to all the provinces of the kingdom. Bearing as it does upon its front the names of so many holy pontiffs of the apostolic see, he speaks of it as a cup of poison, whose edge has been rubbed with honey, to tempt the taste, and compares the act to that of Satan, when he tempted our first parents in Paradise, with an apple sweet to the palate and fair to the eyes. As Satan promised an equality with God as the consequence of their obedience to his counsel, whereas the real effect was a miserable servitude, so Hincmar seems almost prophetically to imply that those who expect, by relying on such a collection of false decretals, to obtain an independence on the power of metropolitans, may rather look for a similar disappointment. He considers that his nephew, in publishing and presenting it to the bishops, virtually called upon them to aid him to throw off all authority except that of Rome, by destroying the distinction existing, by Divine appointment, between different orders of bishops, and, in conclusion, comforts himself with the hope that his labor in this answer may not be vain, although it should fail in persuading his nephew to change his sentiments and obey him for the future, just as when an Ethiopian visits a public bath the bathing-master receives his price, although he comes out from the water as black as he had entered it.

It is worthy of notice that in this treatise Hincmar, in speaking of the Ecumenical Councils, enumerates six only as possessing a right to that title, and as binding on the whole Church. Of that which is usually spoken of as the seventh, he uses the following language :—“The false universal council, which the Greeks call the seventh, relates to images, which one party were desirous of destroying, another of worshipping, neither of whom took the right view of the question. It was held at Constantinople, a little before our time, without the authority of the holy see, and sent to Rome, and from thence by the pope sent into France. In consequence of this a general council was held in France, by order of the pope, in the time of the emperor Charlemagne, when that false council was rejected and refuted by Scripture and tradition. A large volume of the refutations was published, and the emperor sent it by some bishops to Rome, and when I was very young I read it in the palace”.

The younger Hincmar has obtained considerable reputation for his collection of the decretal letters, and has been spoken of as the first systematic collector of these compositions, the first who attempted to arrange them under their respective authors. It has also been said, but without ground, that he was the compiler of what is usually termed Ingelram’s collection. Independently of the falsity of the letters themselves, it appears from the words used by his uncle in their refutation, that the younger Hincmar's collection, which is contained in the archbishop's works, must present them in a garb still more unreal, being formed in great part by transposition of the beginnings and endings of various epistles.

Throughout the whole of this controversy it cannot but strike the reader with surprise that the archbishop of Rheims, who was so much interested, both for his own victory over his nephew and for the advantage and independence of the Church of France, in overthrowing the authority of the false decretals, should not have attempted to do so by attacking their genuineness. That he was assured of the spuriousness of some of them, if not of all, is clear from remarks elsewhere made by him on an epistle attributed to pope Sylvester. Well acquainted as he was with the genuine writings of the early Church, he might, without difficulty, have done this, either from the style and language in which they are expressed, or from the subjects of which they treat. It is possible that the consciousness of having himself, on several occasions, founded arguments upon these letters, though never, as far as is seen in his extant works, with the same unfairness with which they were used by his nephew, or before by pope Nicholas, may have deterred him from bringing forward a mode of argument which, if successful, would have deprived them at once of even that degree of authority which he was disposed to grant them. At all events, to such as are concerned in showing that the sovereignty conceded to the pope, in the time of Hincmar, was of a different nature from that which has been since established, it is a more powerful argument that he should have opposed the authority of the decretals, without doubting their genuineness, than that he should have overthrown them more effectually by proving their forgery.

The enormities practiced by prince Carloman were stayed but for a short time by the judgment passed upon him at Attigny; he escaped from his father’s custody at Lyons, and renewed them with greater ferocity than before. The king at last called upon Hincmar, Remigius, and other metropolitans, to pronounce the heaviest sentence of the Church against all who took any part in his excesses. This was accordingly done, and the excommunication dated from the Lent of the year 871. Hincmar required his nephew, as well as his other suffragans, to sign the sentence, but whether from the same feeling of insubordination which had actuated him at former times, or from sentiments of friendship or sympathy towards Carloman himself, the bishop of Laon persisted in refusing to comply, although urged by the king and by his uncle on six different occasions. The reason alleged by him for his refusal, in a letter to his uncle, was the failure of the latter to grant him the request formerly sent by the provost of Laon, a request which the archbishop told him he now heard mentioned for the first time, but which he was willing to grant if he found that he could do so with propriety. Driven from this ground, he maintained that it was inconsistent in his uncle to pretend that he needed his signature, whereas he had not consulted him as to the necessity or advantage of issuing it. Charles was at last highly provoked at his disobedience, and the old causes of complaint, which had been allowed to slumber for a time, revived with more than their former strength at this new instance of rebellion. He summoned a Council for the month of August, at Douzi, determined to bring the contumacious prelate to a final trial. Commands were sent round to the different metropolitans to cite their suffragans to attend, and Hincmar, in sending the summons to his nephew, informed him that the various complaints of his conduct, formerly brought under his notice, had been recently renewed, and entreated him to come well prepared to make a satisfactory defence. A long memoir was sent back in reply, filled with reproaches against the archbishop, who was charged with having caused his nephew's imprisonment at Sylvacus, and with having always borne ill-will against him, because he had opposed him in the affair of Rothad. The archbishop of Rheims repeated the summons, urging, as an additional reason for his presence, a letter which he had just before received from pope Adrian, and which it was needful to read to all his bishops in council.

The council assembled, in the royal presence, on the appointed day. The archbishop of Rheims (who presided, as it was held in his diocese), with Wulfad of Bourges and six others, was present; and among the suffragans are the names of Walter, of Orleans, known as the author of some articles of discipline, and Ingelvin, who had within the last year succeeded Aeneas as bishop of Paris. The proceedings opened with the presentation, by the king, of a list of complaints against the younger Hincmar, including his breach of his oaths of fealty, the false accusation sent to the pope, in which he was represented as a spoiler of Church property, his treasonable correspondence with Lothaire, and other points. With reference to the appeal to Rome, the king informed the council that the bishop of Laon had visited him several times since his flight from Attigny, and had never mentioned the subject. He concluded by urging all present to use their best endeavors on the bishop of Laon’s arrival, to persuade him to submit to his uncle, and to put an end to their differences. The fathers present desired time to deliberate on the different charges; and meanwhile the archbishop of Rheims brought forward his own complaints against his nephew. These, like those of Charles, were mainly the same as had formed the subjects of their former correspondence, for example, his acceptance of an office at court and of an abbey, his excommunication of the king, the interdict of his diocese, and others. At the same time he proved, from several letters written at the time, that he had no share in the imprisonment of his nephew, and appealed to the king in confirmation of this circumstance; and took the opportunity to declare his own fidelity to the Roman see, as an answer to the various charges brought against him on this point by the bishop of Laon. In this explanation, he entitles the Church of Rome the mother and mistress of all Churches, and the bishop patriarch of patriarchs, and primate of primates; but maintains, at the same time, as he had constantly maintained before, that the power of the keys and other powers delivered to St. Peter, were, in him, delivered to the rest of the apostles, and to all bishops, who are their successors. At the conclusion of his charge, he left it to the decision of the council whether the refusal of the bishop of Laon to attend were not deserving the punishment of deprivation.

The answer delivered by the bishops to the king's complaint consisted of passages quoted from Holy Scripture and the canons, in condemnation of such offences as those of which the younger Hincmar had been accused. If a provincial council, they said, had been unable of itself to come to a satisfactory decision on the matters in dispute between the bishop of Laon and others, they would themselves have furnished him with letters to the pope, instead of waiting for him to appeal, as he had so often done, to that tribunal. Meanwhile the accused bishop, although he had arrived at Douzi, still refused to present himself at the council. At length, after a further citation, three times repeated, and conveyed in the formal way, by a bishop, priest and deacon, he made his appearance; and the king, in his presence, read to the council, a second time, the articles of accusation, and desired him to take time to consider his defence. Odo also delivered to him a letter from Adrian, in which he was commanded to be obedient to his uncle, but which complained likewise of his not having visited Rome, according to his own promise and the pope’s request.

The time for preparing his defence having expired, he was again summoned to attend the council, and, as before, paid at first no attention to the order. At length he came, but on being desired to answer the charges against him, only replied by reading a paper, which he had brought with him, on the right of appeal. He was interrupted by the bishops, who explained that his compliance with their demand would not prejudice his appeal or be any obstacle to his fulfilling his wish, at some future time, to proceed to Rome, on obtaining permission of the king. He then excused himself from answering, on the ground that he had been deprived of his possessions. The fathers ordered him to name the persons who had deprived him; but although several times pressed for a reply, he only referred them for information to some clergymen from the diocese of Laon, who had attended him to the council. At last one of them, Fagenulf by name, being called upon to give the required testimony, declared that his bishop was hindered from disposing of his property at his will, and on the king requiring him to name the authors of this hindrance, replied, that Charles had seized upon his possessions. Charles addressed himself to the synod, and positively denied the charge; he explained that after the summons had been sent to the bishop of Laon to attend the council, news was brought him that some of his subjects, in the bishop's service, had been guilty of treason. He had sent accordingly to the count of the district to seize the guilty persons and bring them into his presence; but Hincmar armed his retainers, both serfs and freemen, and resisted the attempt. Next he had heard that he intended to come to Douzi with a large force of soldiers, contrary to the express command that each bishop summoned to attend should bring with him no more than ten or twelve followers, exclusive of clergymen and personal servants, in order not to draw away too many men from the defence of the country against the Normans. In addition to this, he was likewise informed that he had sent out of the way, beyond reach of the royal officers, the persons suspected of treasonable conduct; that he had furnished them with goods belonging to the Church, to aid them in their flight; and that he was himself prepared to follow them. To guard against the possibility of these things, Charles said that he had commissioned certain servants to watch the motions of the bishop, with orders, however, not to interfere with him if he shewed an intention of coming peaceably to Douzi. This was the sole proceeding of which he could complain as having any other than a friendly aspect. As for his goods, the king had taken particular care that he should have a guard, for the especial purpose of protecting the property which he brought with him, and he had, in fact, on arriving at the lodging prepared for his reception, found everything untouched and safe.

The king supported these assertions by the testimony of several witnesses of respectability, and the clergy of Laon themselves were forced to grant this truth. In the course of examination, however, it appeared that Hincmar had brought with him, as if part of his own private property, several valuable articles belonging to his Cathedral, and had, on that very day, given directions to one of the priests who attended him to keep them in a place of concealment. Among these was a box of onyx stone, richly ornamented with jewels, some rubies, bestowed by Pardulus, his predecessor in the see, some title deeds and other papers belonging to the Church, and a highly decorated cross of gold, presented by the late queen Ermentrude. The bishop carried the cross at that moment on his person, and when charged with the intent to appropriate it to his own use, offered to restore it if his metropolitan commanded him to do so. The archbishop perceived that this was said with the object of gaining a pretext for accusing him, at some future time, as he had already accused the king, of depriving him of his property. He, therefore, only answered by quoting a canon of the Council of Antioch, which laid down clearly enough the distinction between the private property of a bishop and that belonging to his Church. The king followed up the reply by observing that the bishop of Laon was among those prelates who had no possessions of their own, having been entirely brought up at the expense of his uncle, and supported, previous to his elevation to the episcopal rank, from the revenues of the diocese of Rheims. The younger Hincmar attempted to deny this, and declared that he had been in possession of lands and vassals of his own; but his uncle proved that this was false, inasmuch as his grandfather and father had expended all the property of the family, and had left him, without resources, to his own charitable care. He was, in fine, compelled to deliver up the cross to the treasurer of his Church.

The bishop of Laon was now again called upon by his uncle, as president of the Council, to enter upon his defence, but refused to acknowledge him as judge, pleading his appeal to Rome, and when forced to withdraw from this ground by the argument that the Council of Sardica only allowed of appeal after the judgment of a provincial Council, whereas none had, as yet, been pronounced on either side, advanced, as a further pretext, that the king had imprisoned him at the express advice of his metropolitan. The archbishop prayed the king to give his testimony on this point; Charles answered the Council, calling God to witness the truth of his words, that he had been prevented solely by consideration for the archbishop from long ago committing his nephew to the strictest confinement in a prison far from his diocese. His insolence, he added, had been more than he could tolerate, and he had with difficulty hindered his servants from dragging the bishop from the palace and putting him to death. Odo, bishop of Beauvais, and Hildebald, of Soissons, delivered testimony similar to that of the king, and two counts, with some clergymen who had been present at the time of his arrest, confirmed the account, adding, as the reason of the act, his refusal to attend the following Council, and the prevalent report of his intention to leave his diocese, and join the king of Lorraine. The Council decided that the archbishop of Rheims was fully cleared from the calumny, and that his nephew being proved guilty of slander, by the same evidence, was canonically rendered incapable of bringing any further charge against him.

Although deprived of every excuse for refusing to plead in his defence, it was still a matter of great difficulty to induce the younger Hincmar to reply to the interrogations of the synod. At last, on his being pressed with the question, whether he had actually taken the oath of allegiance to the king, which he was accused, in one portion of his charge, with having violated, he attempted to palliate the offence by asserting that when he took the oath the volume of the gospels was not at hand to give it validity; and he terminates, as usual, with pleading his appeal to the pope, as if that circumstance were an excuse for every breach of law. No further reply could be extracted from the accused, who filled the Council with noisy and unreasonable complaints; and the president was compelled to call for the votes of the synod without wasting any further time in so unprofitable an examination.

Each of the metropolitans present, in delivering his opinion, described the bishop of Laon as guilty of one or other of the crimes brought against him. Harduin, of Besançon, declared him guilty of seditious conduct, and deserving deposition by the law of the Church, with a saving clause in favor of the judgment of the apostolic see; Frotair, of Bordeaux, spoke of his perjury and disobedience to the royal commands; and Wulfad, of Bourges, of the calumnious charges which he had brought against Charles in his letters to the pope. The archbishop of Rheims gave his opinion last, and pronounced the sentence of deposition. The twenty-one prelates who were present, and eight other ecclesiastics, with the legates or deputies of eight absent bishops, subscribed the decree. The saving clause in favor of Rome ran in these words :—“Reserving, in all things, the legal privilege of our lord and father Adrian, pope of the apostolic and primary see, according to the decree of the sacred canons of Sardica, and the orders of the pontiffs of the same apostolic see, Innocent, Boniface, and Leo, derived from the same sacred canons”.

A synodal letter was sent, as usual, with the acts of the Council to the pope. The fathers prayed Adrian to confirm their decision, or, if he considered it necessary to take advantage of the privilege allowed him by the Council of Sardica, and order a second examination, the bishops of the neighboring provinces of France were willing to undertake it. Or if again the pope wished to send judges of his own appointment to assist the Gallican prelates in their decision, as permitted by the same Council, they were ready to receive them. They desired, however, that he would not take any steps for re-establishing the deposed bishop of Laon before the termination of the discussion, for this would be a direct infringement on the acknowledged right of Gallican Councils. They cited the decisions of Nice and other synods to show the necessity of a suffragan bishop’s paying obedience to his metropolitan, and expressed a hope that Adrian would not weaken the force of these laws, by refusing his sanction to their decree. They concluded by declaring that if the pope, contrary to their expectation, opposed the resolution of the Council, and restored this scorner of all Church law, they would make no attempts, in future, to enforce against him any ecclesiastical discipline, as it was quite impossible for them to send messengers to plead their cause at Rome. The bishop, if reinstated by the pope, might live and act as he pleased, but the Gallican Church would hold no communion with him.

The date of this letter is September, 871. The elder Hincmar also wrote to Adrian on the same occasion : he gave an account of his nephew’s various misdemeanors, and declared that he could not receive him again as his suffragan, having discovered that all expostulation was spent without fruit, in the attempt to reform him. He excused himself for not having complied with an order formerly sent by Adrian, to defend his nephew in the affair of count Norman, pleading that the account of that cause, sent to Rome by the bishop of Laon, was altogether false. He regretted that he had ever ordained him, and would rather, as he asserted, lose an eye, a foot, or a hand, than continue a life of such useless altercation. He had arrived now, he continued, at such an age as to render it needful for him to seek repose, and to employ his thoughts on finishing his course in peace.

The remainder of the letter, with the exception of a part referring to the translation of Actard, bishop of Nantes, to the see of Tours, contains the account of some circumstances that had happened, not long before, in the writer’s diocese, and which had been represented, to Hincmar's prejudice, to the pope. They are worth relating for the notion which they help us to form of the state of society at the time. The brother of a clergyman, named Trising, had married the sister of a gentleman of the name of Liulf. This lady had a daughter by a former marriage, and some unfavorable reports were current in the neighborhood in reference to the intercourse of the young lady with the clergyman who was her half uncle, and who was a frequent visitor at his brother's house. His character, in some other respects, gave a probability to the charge. One day Trising and his friend Liulf had been drinking together at an inn, and, being somewhat intoxicated, had quarreled on their way home; the subject of their niece was mentioned, and led to violent reproaches and recriminations. At last Liulf, who carried with him a heavy cudgel, attacked his companion with it, and struck him to the ground; he fell over Liulf’s son, who was of the party, and who had a sword hanging at his neck; Trising drew out the sword, and struck at Liulf, who only saved his life by raising his arm, and losing several of his fingers by the blow; he fell from his horse, and the priest, who thought that he had killed him, galloped home. As soon as Hincmar heard of the matter he sent for Trising, and enquired into the truth of the story. The clergyman denied most positively that the slanderous reports spread concerning the niece had any foundation, but confessed that he had attempted the dea