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If I have not carried this work so low as might be expected, and this be not sufficiently accounted for by what has been already said on the subject thereof, I hope I may be allowed to say, that I have performed what I promised to the public in my last, and given a just view of the state of the church from the first rise of the papal power, till that usurpation was carried to its utmost height of grandeur and elevation; and of the changes occasioned thereby both in church and state.-When the hard fate of our Holy Mother, which stands charged by one party with approaching too near to that of Rome, whilst that church, which one would think was the best judge of compliances of this kind, charges us with heresy and schism for standing at too great a distance from her, first obliged me to lay out all the time I was master of, the better to enable me to make a true judgment of the controversies which so unhappily divide the state of Christendom; and the bright pattern of that most worthy and learned prelate, who wrote the History of the British Church, had brought me to a resolution to endeavour to do right to our Holy Mother by setting her history in a true light; I flattered myself with the hopes of continuing our history, from the time where the learned bishop of Worcester concludes his, till the resumption thereof by another very learned and most worthy prelate ', in his History of the Reformation; and designed in three short and distinct volumes to set out the three great periods and different states of the English church: the first, that before the Conquest, whilst its primitive freedom and independence on that of Rome were duly preserved; the second, the state of the church from the Norman revolution, whilst things were in a ferment, and the usurpations of the bishops of Rome still making new steps, till their sovereign power rose to its full growth in the reign of king John; the third, to give a just view of our affairs during the vassalage and subjection of the English church to that of Rome, till the Reformation so happily rescued the church and kingdom from the mischiefs of that usurpation.
The first part of this design has been published some years since; the second is what now I offer to the public: but the time and my age have in some measure cooled the sanguine thoughts I once had of the third; and the views I have taken, and the steps I have made towards it, drive one backward, and rather
1 Another most worthy prelate.] Bishop Burnet.
throw one into despair, than bring me to any resolution to proceed. For to say nothing of the expense of time, the charge and difficulties which attend the very access to records and manuscripts, from whence the most considerable notices are to be expected; it is no little mortification to hunt from one record to another, to find little else but new scenes of tyranny and oppression; to dwell upon a story filled with remonstrances of our kings and their great councils ; broken and eluded laws; the unregarded complaints and petitions of the clergy; the unpitied cries of a nation; and, in every line one writes, to feel new pain and bleed afresh in the wounds of our country. In short, a history which one can hardly read with patience, or relate with the calmness and temper that become a Christian, is at best a very discouraging undertaking.
Yet one who considers the artifices and address with which our enemies are every day attempting to bring these nations back again to the yoke under which our ancestors so long groaned ; how totally some men have forgot the miseries of those days, and even the late prospect we had of falling under them again ; how fondly some men talk of an union with that church, which can allow no terms of communion but such as must let in a foreign power, and bring servitude along with them; how unhappily some mistake the decency and order of our Holy Mother, and will not believe that she is far enough from popery, because she does not sacrifice all regard to the best ages of the church, and run into novelty to show her aversion to that of Rome ;-will easily be persuaded, that the advantages would on many accounts over-balance the difficulties which attend a work of this kind. Had we as plain a view of the use which the court of Rome made of their power', as, I hope, the following history will give of the unworthy arts by which they gained it ; could we see how the wealth of the nation was exhausted to enrich her enemies; all the measures of law and justice, and even the religion of Christ, forced to give way to avarice and ambition; the sacred patrimony of the English church made the reward of those who first enslaved it; and at once behold the difference betwixt the purity, the decency, the order, and the gentleness of our Holy Mother, and the corruptions, the foppery, the superstition and tyranny of
Made of their power.] This service, I may remark, is designed to be answered, in some degree, by the earlier portions of the present collection.
Rome;—a work of this nature would give us a lively view of the blessings of the Reformation, and raise up so just a veneration for that church, which has hitherto through the blessing of God continued its greatest ornament and support, as might possibly cure the mistakes which so unhappily divide us, or at least teach us all such forbearance of one another in love, that our divisions and animosities may never provoke God to take his blessings INTRODUCTION.
KING HENRY II. ; AND ARCHBISHOP BECKET'.
The affairs of the king (Henry II.) being in a very good posture, he was at leisure to make his progress in England, and in the year 1159 to go over into France, and set up his pretensions to the earldom of Thoulouse. But whilst things went thus quietly in England, pope Adrian died, which occasioned a new schism ? in the church of Rome.
The haughtiness and ambition of pope Adrian were so suitable to the present views of the court of Rome, that it is not easy to determine whether that prelate was inspired from his court, or actuated by the ambition of his own nature. But from whatever principle he moved, it is very evident that his whole conduct was much of a piece. His rescript to king Henry and bold claim to a sovereignty over all Christian islands: were dictated by the same spirit, which every where appears in his transactions with
Archbishop Becket.] From Inett's Origines Anglicane, vol. ii. p. 235–51. 272--83. 286, 7.
? A new schism.] Of these schisms in the church of Rome, their effects, &c., see Inett, vol. ii. p. 77–81. 140. 138—70.
3 Christian islands.] “The kyng” (Henry II.) “wrote to P. Adrian of his purpose to reduce the Irishe nation to better religion. The pope in his rescripte did well commende his good zeale, and councelled hym to go forwarde ; but with this proviso, that because (saith he) all ilandes that be turned to the fayth belong to the ryghts of S. Peter and the most holy churche of Rome, the lande shoulde pay yerely to S. Peter for every house a pennye. So that whosoever take payne and coste to set any nation in order, or to bryng them to better beliefe, the pope would lose nothyng thereby : where yet tyll that tyme, his fatherhood dyd most strangely suffer
the empire. And it was easy to foresee that the designs of the court of Rome would not die with pope Adrian ; therefore the emperor Frederick, taking the advantage of the present vacancy, employed all his interest in that court to secure such an election as might be consistent with the peace of the empire. On the other hand, the governing part of that court, which was hitherto animated by the spirit of Gregory the Seventh, cast their thoughts another
and this created such difficulties in the election of pope Adrian's successor, as ended in a schism; for the court party chose cardinal Rowland late chancellor of the church of St. Peter in Rome, who took the name of Alexander the Third ; whilst the imperial faction chose cardinal Octavian, who took upon him the name of Victor the Fourth.
The warmth of the several parties was much alike, and with equal assurance they mutually pretended to the right of election. The kings of England and France acknowledged the title of Alexander, whilst the emperor favoured Victor, and gave such uneasiness to pope Alexander, as obliged him to run the hazard of a voyage by sea to get into France, where we must leave him, till we meet him at the council of Tours, about three years after his advancement to the papacy, concerting measures with Becket then archbishop of Canterbury, for which the king of England had no reason to thank him.
The public business detaining the king (1160) in Normandy, Theobald archbishop of Canterbury had the greatest hand in all the affairs of the English church, and by his wisdom and good conduct things went on so smoothly, that, except the common changes which death is ever making, the three or four last years of that prelate's government afford nothing but the building of monasteries, the increase of the religious, and such other occurrences as the historian of the state is chiefly concerned to account for.
But after that prelate had filled that chair for two-and-twenty years, he died about the middle of April in the beginning of this
, year (1161), and by his death made
for a successor of a very different temper. The king was in Normandy at the time of
that people so outrageously to live, tyll the kyng tooke to the reformation." Archbishop Parker, in the (anonymous) Defence of Priests' Marriages, p. 344. 4to.
For a further account of this pretended grant of Ireland by pope Adrian, see Inett, vol. i. p. 227–31. and 279. given below.