صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

solves upon

Rome, but

could not

ANSELM enemies in practice against him, that they designed to get Abp. Cant. him prosecuted and cast upon the articles above mentioned; Anselm re- that having him at this disadvantage, they would either disa voyage to able him in his fortune, by a heavy fine, or else weaken his character and credit, by forcing him upon improper meaprocure the sures to procure his pardon. Anselm, therefore, to fence king's leave. A. D. 1097. against this dilemma, spoke to some of the great men at court to entreat the king for leave to go to Rome, representing, withal, the necessity he was under to make this request. The king seemed suprised at the petition, and sent him a flat denial, adding withal, "that he did by no means understand the reason of such a voyage; that he could not think Anselm so far guilty of any crime as to stand in need of the pope's absolution. And as for the point of consultation, he had that good opinion of the archbishop's judgment, that he thought him every jot as well qualified to give the pope advice, as to receive any from him."

Anselm, receiving this denial, was resolved to repeat his request, hoping the king might comply at last. However, the king being solicited the third time, grew angry, and sent him word to desist from his importunity, and that he should be called to an account for the trouble he had given him already; and when Anselm answered, that he was ready, upon leave, to justify his request, the king replied, "he would allow none of his reasons, and that if he ventured upon the voyage he would seize his temporalities, and own him for archbishop no longer."

Eadmer. p. 39,

Anselm, despairing of the king's leave, sent for the bishops of Winchester, Lincoln, Salisbury, and Bath, who were then at court, and told them, "that it belonged more particularly to their office to adhere to the interest of religion; if, therefore, they would stand by him upon this occasion, and be firm to the service of the Church, he would lay his design before them, and be governed by their advice." They desired a little time for deliberation; and after they had consulted among themselves, and understood the archbishop's mind more fully, they returned to him with the following answer:

"My lord, we know you to be a very religious and holy man, and that your conversation is wholly in heaven; but as for ourselves, we must confess, our relations and secular in


terest are a clog upon us, insomuch that we cannot rise up to these seraphic flights, nor trample upon the world with K. of Eng. the noble contempt that you do. If you please to stoop to our infirmities, and content yourself with our methods and management, we will solicit your cause with the same heartiness we do our own, give you our best advice, and assist you to the utmost of our power. But if you are all sprituality, and have nothing but the Church in your prospect, all we can do is to retain our former regards for you, and that with a reserve of acting nothing which may intrench upon our allegiance to the king."

After this conference with the bishops the king sent another message, expostulating with him upon breach of duty; that his going to Rome without leave from his sovereign was contrary to the engagements of his homage, and that none of his nobility had that liberty without the royal permission. That to prevent the king's having any of this trouble for the future, he commanded him either to swear, that from henceforward he would never appeal to the pope upon any pretence whatever, or else immediately to depart the kingdom. Upon this Anselm went to court, and, according to his customary privilege, seating himself at the king's right hand, began to enter upon his justification. He confessed he had promised to observe the customs and usages of the realm, and to maintain the king's right and prerogative against all men living; but then it was done under the guard of a distinction, and with this limitation, so far as those usages, &c., were agreeable to justice and the laws of God: and when the king and his courtiers swore there was not the least mention of God or justice in the case, the archbishop replied, "That was exceeding strange! that such a clause was of absolute necessity; for God forbid that any Christian should engage to maintain any customs or prerogative that were plainly a contradiction to right and religion; that all engagements to allegiance stood upon a basis of conscience, and were to be construed with a salvo for our duty to God Almighty." And to apply this reasoning to the business in hand, he urged, he was now obliged in conscience to have recourse to the pope, the service of God and the Church requiring him at this time to consult the head of Christen


ANSELM, dom. Neither did he conceive any person could hinder his Abp. Cant. voyage without incurring the Divine displeasure.

This manner of justifying himself was called mere preaching, and nothing to the point in hand. In short, the king persisted in his denial of leave, and Anselm was resolved upon the voyage. At his parting from the court he told the king, he was now just ready to set forward; that if he could have gained his permission, he conceived, it might have been both more serviceable to his majesty and satisfactory to all good people. But, since the event proved otherwise, he must acquiesce in the misfortune, and should always have the same regard for the welfare of the king's soul. That now, not knowing when he should wait upon his highness again, he was ready to recommend him to God Almighty, and to dismiss him with the same solemnity of good wishes that were owing from a spiritual father to a son he had so great an affection for, and which the king of England ought to receive from the archbishop of Canterbury. "And therefore, unless your highness rejects it," says he, "I shall give The king you my blessing before I take leave." The king replying he receives the archbishop's did not refuse his blessing, the archbishop rose up, and blessing at making the sign of the cross over the king's head, who parting. bowed to that ceremony, took his leave: the king and all the court admiring the spirit and unconcernedness of his Eadmer. p. behaviour.


The arch


While the archbishop was at Dover, in order to embark, bishop em- his equipage was all searched by the king's order, but nothing being found upon him for which he could be called in question, he was suffered to go on board. After he had reached the continent and travelled as far as Lyons, he made a halt there, and wrote a letter to the pope, in which he complains, that the king had mightily oppressed the Church in England; that the canons were over-borne by new customs, and that he met with insuperable obstructions in the execution of his office; that the post he was in was forced upon him, perfectly against his inclination, and therefore desired he might be discharged, and retire. By the way, we are to observe, that when the king heard Anselm had crossed the Channel, he seized upon the archbishoprick, and made everything void which the archbishop had done.

Eadmer. p. 41. 44.


To return: one reason of Anselm's staying at Lyons was WILthe danger of the roads from thence to Rome. The men of K. of Eng. the highway thought the archbishop of Canterbury a great prize, and laid out for him accordingly; but besides this common danger, Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna, the antipope, had small parties upon the road to surprise those who came to visit pope Urban. However, Anselm and Idem. p. 44. Eadmer got safe to Rome, and were honourably received by the pope.

From hence, after a short stay, the pope and Anselm retired into the country, near Capua, because of the unhealthiness of the town. And here Anselm wrote a book, in which he gives an account of the reason of our Saviour's incarnation.

The pope, upon Anselm's application, promised his assistance, and wrote to the king of England in a strain of authority, enjoining him to put Anselm in possession of all the profits and privileges of his see. Anselm likewise wrote into England upon the same subject.


p. 45.

Gest. Pon


princes and

As for the king, he endeavoured to get Anselm discountenanced abroad, and wrote to Roger, duke of Puglia, and others, to that purpose. But the king, it seems, had not Malmsb. de credit enough to gain his point, for Anselm was saluted with tif. 1. 1. fol. all imaginable respect wherever he came; and finding his He is well preaching had a good effect upon the audience in Italy, he received by desired the pope once more he might have leave to resign foreign the archbishoprick, believing he might be more serviceable prelates. to the world in a more private station. The pope would by no means consent, but charged him, upon his obedience, never to drop his title or quit his station; telling him, withal, that it was an argument of a nice and dispirited soldier, to be apprehensive of distant danger, and quit the field before the charge; and that it was not the part of a man of piety and courage to be frightened from his post purely by the dint of browbeating and menace, for that was all the harm which had hitherto been received. To this the archbishop replied, that, if he understood himself, he was not overset with the terror of the prospect, nor afraid of losing his life in the cause of God; "But," says he, "what is to be done in a country where justice is perfectly overruled and clapped under hatches, where my suffragans, instead of concurring,

ANSELM, appear against me, and desert to the court." Though, by Abp. Cant. the way, Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, and Robert, of Malmsbur. Hereford, had asked his pardon at Canterbury for siding fol. 126. 276. against him. The pope waived discoursing farther upon that argument, and told him he should want his assistance at the council of Bari. This synod was held to give check to the errors of the Greek Church about the procession of the Holy Ghost. When the council was opened, the pope entered upon the dispute, but seemed rather to perplex the cause than give satisfaction, being not able to disentangle himself from the objections of the Greeks. Being thus at a stand, he calls out aloud for Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, and told him, that now the occasion required his cil of Bari, learning and elocution to defend the Church against her and confutes

He assists

at the coun

the prelates adversaries, and that he of the Greek thither for that service.


A. D. 1098.

thought God had brought him And then, turning to the fathers of the synod, he gave them an account of his quality, country, and merit. The debate was adjourned to the next day, though Anselm offered to engage without that preparation. The next morning, when the house was full, Anselm spoke to the point, went to the bottom, and disentangled the difficulties of the question, and managed the argument with so much learning, judgment, and penetration, that he silenced the Greeks, and gave general satisfaction to those of the Western Church. This argument was afterwards digested by him into a tract, and is extant among his other works.

Ibid. fol. 127.

Baronius's remark upon this discourse of Anselm's deserves to be remembered. He taks notice that the archbishop in his tract does not make use of the authorities either of the Greek or Latin fathers; not of the Latins, because the Greeks excepted against their testimony, as being friends and parties; and when the Greek fathers were cited against them, they used to object against the credit and authenticity of the copy. Anselm, therefore, trusting to the goodness of the cause, took none of these auxiliaries into the service, but applied himself wholly to the Holy Scriptures, and confuted the adversary from Baron. An- thence.

nal. tom. 11. ad An. 1097.

To return to the council: After the pope had pronounced an anathema against those that persisted in the

« السابقةمتابعة »