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THE TITLE selected for this book pretty exactly, I trust, expresses its character and defines its limits. I do not profess to write the history of the Roman Church; I do not profess to write a minute and detailed history of the popes: but I do profess to tell with some fullness and comprehensiveness the story of the popedom, to follow it from its origin to the present time through all its changes, revolutions, triumphs and disasters, to linger over its most striking personages and its most important passages, to set it forth in its twofold character as a spiritual and a secular power, and to consider its relations to other powers, its place in history, and its part in the great drama of human affairs.

While striving after strict accuracy in the statement of facts and perfect fairness in the estimate of character, I lay no claim to the impartiality of religious indifference. While in no wise blind, I trust, to intellectual greatness or moral worth in a pope, I look upon the popedom as the supreme corruption of Christianity. Disbelievers in the divine origin and the divine authority of the Christian religion may regard the papacy with feelings of mingled complacency and dislike, as an institution serviceable and beneficent in ages past though worn out and pernicious now. But every earnest believer in Christianity as the full and final revelation of God, must look upon the popedom either as the perfection or as the nethermost

degradation thereof. It was more at home in those dark. ages of which it was the creature; it may have done less harm then, it may have put forth some social restraint and held brute force in some check. But it was as much a spiritual corruption in the eleventh as in the sixteenth or the nineteenth century. Circumstances have rendered it more or less formidable, more or less pernicious; but it has remained throughout the supreme corruption of Christianity; and as such I deal with it throughout this volume.

The Italian events of 1859 and 1860 concentrated around the popedom those historical studies which form the chief employment and delight of my life. A disquisition on the Italian aspects of the papal history gradually expanded into the present volume, which, commenced at the beginning of 1860, was finished at the end of 1862. Subsequent events have required the addition of a few sentences to two or three of the chapters. I have as much as possible gone to the original and contemporaneous, especially the Roman Catholic sources of information; and I have to thank the authorities of the Bodleian Library for the months of delightful research which I enjoyed there.

The present somewhat heedless and relaxed mood of English Protestantism, as well as the deadly peril of Italian Popery, has stirred me to the production of this volume. I put it forth with the earnest hope and prayer that Italy may be rid ere long of that papacy which has wrought her such shame and evil, and that England may ever cleave to that Protestantism which has ministered so mightily to her greatness and glory, to her freedom and felicity.


The Christian Church and the Roman Empire.-The Kingdom not of this World and

the Kingdom of this World.-Their Appearance about the same Time.-Their Natural

and Original Antagonism, their Conflict, their Reconciliation and Gradual Assimila-

tion.-Degradation and Manifold Corruption of Christianity.-Gradual Transforma-

tion of the Bishop of Rome into a Prince and Pontiff, assisted by the Fall of the

Western Empire, the Absence of the Eastern Emperors and the brief Predomi-

nance of successive Barbarian Conquerors.—Personal Insignificance of the early

Roman Bishops.-St. Peter's Presence at Rome a great Improbability, and his

Primacy a pure Fiction, in exact harmony with the forgery of Constantine's Dona-

tion. Fictitious Origin both of the Spiritual and Temporal Popedom.-Historical

Falsehood the proper and legitimate Offspring of Spiritual Falsehood.-The early

Series of obscure Roman Bishops broken by Leo the Great and Gregory the Great.

—Noble Character, personal Greatness, and pervading Energy and Influence of the

latter. His Obsequiousness and the Subserviency of his Successors to the Emperor

Phocas rewarded by the first distinct Political Aggrandisement of the Roman See.

-Evil Character of its first Imperial Benefactor.--The Growth of the Papacy

furthered by the Rise of Mohammedanism and the exceeding Darkness of the Time,

a Darkness broken only by the Light from Iona and the bright but brief Career of

the Scotch Evangelists.-The Conversion of Nations more and more a Papal Busi-

ness.-Germany converted by Boniface, a direct Papal Agent and Emissary.—

The Spiritual Supremacy of Rome first propagated by him as an essential Portion

of Christianity. The Spiritual Aggrandisement of the Popedom contemporaneous

with its Political Aggrandisement.-Revolt of the Papal Champions of Image Wor-

ship against the Imperial Iconoclasts of Constantinople.-The Lapse into Idolatry

concurrent with the Secularisation of the Church.-The Popes almost Princes and

wellnigh Pontiffs by the middle of the Eighth Century

The Franks, their Prominence, Conquests and Connection with the Papacy.-Exchange
of Services between the French Monarchy and the Roman See.-Pepin and Charle-
magne assist the Popes against the Lombards, confer upon them a Principality and
receive from them a Crown.-Coronation of Charlemagne by Leo III.-Creation of
the Holy Roman Empire, at once the Creature and the Master of the Roman
Church.-Consecration of the Kingdom of this World and Desecration and Trans-
formation into a Worldly Power of the Kingdom not of this World.-Personal and
Political Greatness of Charlemagne.-His Place in Ecclesiastical History.-Dealings
between the Papacy and his Successors.-The False Decretals.-Nicholas I.—
Growing Alienation between the Greek and the Roman Churches.-Singular Sym-
pathy of the Popedom with the Fortunes of the House and Empire of Charle-
magne. As it grew with the Growth, so it dwindled with the Decay and Degene-
racy thereof.-Degradation of the Papacy from the Middle of the Ninth to the

The Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Church the Two Great Powers of the

Middle Ages. Their singular Relation to each other. Their Close Connection,

mutual Dependence, jarring Claims, bitter Enmity and prolonged Conflict.-Pecu-

liarities of that Conflict.-Its beginners Pope Gregory VII. and Cæsar Henry IV.

contrasted. Incidents of their Strife.-Debasement of the Emperor before the

Pontiff at Canossa.-Expulsion of Gregory from Rome and his Death in Exile.—

The Greatness of his Pontifical Ambition and his partial Realisation of the Papal

Ideal. Continuance of the Conflict by congenial Successors.-Discomfiture and De-

thronement of Henry IV. by his Son.--His miserable End and Unburied Corpse.--

Renewal of the Struggle with the Popedom by this very Son Henry V.-Humiliation

of Pope Pascal II. and the Compromise between Henry and Pope Callixtus in 1122,

somewhat to the Advantage of the Papacy.-Lull in the Strife between the Two

Powers.-The Twelfth Century.-Its manifold Life.-Anti-Papal Tendencies and

Great Men.-Growth of Anti-Roman faith in the South and South-East of France.

-Bernard as a Maker of Popes, a Preacher of Crusades and a Combatant of Here-

tics.-Abelard, the great intellectual Luminary, his Pupil Arnold of Brescia, the

great Anti-Papal Champion of the Age.-The Surrender of Arnold by Cæsar Frede-

rick Redbeard to Pope Adrian IV. the great Mistake and Misdeed of the great

Hohenstaufen Emperor.-High Imperial Ideal and Noble Character of Frederick.—

His Estrangement from Adrian IV. and his Conflict with Alexander III. — Guelfs

and Ghibelins.-Alexander and the Lombard League.--The Papal Power in Alliance

with that Italian Freedom with which it is now in mortal Conflict.-Imperial Power

overborne by the two Allies.-Failure of Frederick and his Humiliation before

Alexander at Venice, nearly contemporaneous with the Humiliation of Henry Plan-

tagenet before the Tomb of Becket at Canterbury.--Victory of the Papacy, though

not yet complete and crushing.-Pause in the Strife between Empire and Pope-


Hostile Powers and favourable Influences which surrounded the Papacy at the Acces-
sion of Innocent III.-Marvellous Skill and Vigour of the Pontiff in crushing the
former and unfolding the latter. His thorough Mastery of the Age and sub-
jection of its chief Personages.-Victory over Philip Augustus of France.-Humilia-
tion of John Lackland and Degradation of England into a Tributary Realm of

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