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The Macbeth mentioned in the above extract is that of Shakespear; of him the historian has a very different tale to tell from the great dramatist :
“There is a curious glimpse of national prosperity in Scotland in the reign of one whom we are bound to believe à usurper and a bloody tyrant. Our old chronicles all agree that the reign of Macbeth, of seventeen years' duration, was a time of great abundance and strict administration of justice. Old Winton tells us that
" • All his time was great plenty,
Abounding both on land and sea;
And till his lieges ali, awful.""—P. 118. We wish Mr. Innes had devoted an appendix, or at least a note, to tell us how the Shakesperian legend usurped the place of history.
We think that Mr. Innes has not given space enough, nor force enough, to the influence of the Church in those ages; nor has he prepared us for the proper understanding of the great political and religious revolution of the sixteenth century. We are not prepared from his work to see why the Reformation in Scotland differed so markedly from that in England ; for not only do we see no attempt made by any synodical body answering to the Convocation in England calmly setting itself to the real work of reformation,-i, e., of purifying the ancient Scottish offices, translating them into the vernacular, and directing their use in public worship, but we see such an entire boulversement of everything by an irregular assembly known by the name of " the Lords of Articles.” When, in 1543, the Three Estates agreed to the determination of the Lords of Articles, and passed an Act authorising the reading of the Scriptures, the Archbishop of Glasgow protested, in his own name and that of the other prelates, against any such law being passed until a pro, vincial council were called to advise on the subject. The protestation was disregarded, and the bill passed. Here was the thiņ end of the wedge introduced, which gradually widened the fissure, until the “ Lords of the Congregation” had everything their own way, The real state of the case is this, that in England the supreme power was in the crown, in Scotland in the nobles. In the latter, bishoprics, abbacies, priories, were appanages of some powerful family, which claimed an almost unlimited right to make them mere provisions for younger sons. To transfer these assumed rights into actual rights was no difficult matter; so we have abbots and priors at the conclusion of the sixteenth century who were never ordained at all, but enjoyed the rank and revenue of the religious houses.
It is in the investigation of the growth of this power of the nobles, and of its deadening influence on the sources of religion in the monasteries, that we think Mr. Innes comes short.
The following is the picture he gives of the monastery and the parish :
“The oblations and offerings to the altar and to the priest were as old as the introduction of Christianity; but the first enforcement of tithes—the first division of parishes, or the appropriation of definite districts to a baptismal Church-cannot be placed higher in Scotland than the age of David I. [A.D. 1140.) To him we are indebted for the very foundation and framework of our national establishment and parochial divisions. Under his care the more distant districts of Moray and Galloway were brought to pay the dues exacted by the Church, as they had been long paid in the civilised dioceses of S. Andrew's and Dunkeld. Every lord's manor became a parish, and the Church divided the respect of the people with the castle. Of the early independent section of the secular Clergy we know but little. They were frequently of the family of the patron ; but it is to be remarked how seldom, in the earlier times of record, a secular Clergyman was distinguished in any way, or rose to the higher offices of the Church, which were all filled by regulars. At a very early period—as early, indeed, as our records reach—it had become the custom for the patrons of churches, with the consent of the Bishop, to confer them in property upon the great monasteries and religious houses of regulars. Thus Paisley had its thirty parish churches ; Holyrood its twenty-seven ; Melrose and Kelso, each as many; and, to such an extent did this prevail, that in some districts two-thirds of the parish churches were in the hands of the monks. This was probably the greatest evil of monachism, though but an accident. The duties of the distant rural parish, whether performed by a monk of the convent, or by a vicar depending upon it, and paid with a grudging and grinding parsimony, were always made subservient to the interests of the monastery. The incumbent was looked to as the steward for ingathering the profits of the parish—that is, his own vicarial part; the small tithes, the altar-offerings, the Pasque presents, the funeral and baptismal dues; and the convent concerned itself but little as to the manner in which he discharged his duties among the poor people committed to his charge. Amongst the inpumerable disputes recorded between convents and their rural vicars, I believe there is not one that turns upon any question as to how the cure of souls was performed.”—P. 132.
This will explain to us how little hold the Church had upon the people at the awakening of the sixteenth century. The parish church was no centre, the priest no trusted guide nor friend of the parishioners : the monastery alone was the centre, and it was too far off to be fully appreciated. Besides, the baron was the real head of the people : under him they went to war, even against their king. The baron’s word was enough, his will was law: if he remained true to his old faith, his vassals did so too; if he turned Protestant, his people went with him.
The monastery was, however, the one bright spot in the district :
“All the monasteries were zealous agriculturists and gardeners, at a time when we have no proof that the lay lord knew anything of the soil beyond consuming its fruits. They were good neighbours and kind landlords, so that the kindly tenant of the Church was considered the most favoured of agriculturists. Their charity and hospitality have been acknowledged by their enemies. Above all, they were by their profession and situation addicted to peace. Surrounded by warlike nobles, unarmed themselves, they had nothing to gain by war; and it is not easy to over-estimate the advantage to a half-civilised country of a great and influential class, determined supporters of peace and order." P. 134.
The supplanting of the secular clergy by the regular in the parishes, and the general dependance on the monastery, is another feature which helps to explain the weakness of the Church in the sixteenth century as regards her synodical power: the monasteries gone, or rather, their power held by a lay lord, the whole contest was left to the Bishops, who, with no powerful parochial Clergy, supported by their parishioners, were quite unable to stem the torrent that overwhelmed them.
It will be seen, from the title of the book, that these are not the most prominent subjects of inquiry with the author. It is intended primarily for the antiquarian student, with whom, as being the result of bona fide personal investigation, it will be regarded as high authority. To meet with so candid an appreciation of the Church, however, in such a publication is real matter of congratulation.
GREENWOOD'S CATHEDRA PETRI. Cathedra Petri. A Political History of the Great Latin Patriarch
ate. Books VI., VII., and VIII. From the middle of the ninth to the close of the tenth century. By Thomas GREENWOOD, M.A., Camb. and Durb., F.R.S.L., Barrister-at-Law. London : Thickbroom Brothers, 31, Paternoster Row. 1859.
on of ition to readers to
In a former volume of the Ecclesiastic, we have followed Mr. Greenwood's delineation of the varying pictures of the Latin Patri. archate, from its first formation to the period at which the present volume resumes the history. Our readers may possibly remember, how wide and how diverse were the fields of research opened up in the two former volumes of this narrative : how judgment was passed, not only upon all the more valuable writings of primitive
| Vol. XXI. pp. 130, 161.
antiquity, but also upon the very fundamental organisms of the Church itself. It was our painful duty, step by step, to combat many of Mr. Greenwood's most marked opinions; and to point out, that the axiom, that the Bishop of Rome “must always be in the wrong"—(upon which axiom he bent and warped all his carefully collated materials)—was not a fair and lawful one to be used by any historian, much less by the investigator of a religious history. We said that the former volumes of the “ Cathedra Petri” were well written, and that they undoubtedly proceeded from a scholarly pen, and the books before us do not belie our former estimate of Mr. Greenwood's abilities. The period which they einbrace is, alas ! very far from being the golden age of the existence of the Latin Church : those ninth and tenth centuries form indeed a dark and dreary time.
The Catholic Church was no longer, " then, as a pure and uncorrupt Virgin," the “sacred choir of Apostles, bad long since become extinct ;'l and the generation of those that had been privileged to hear their inspired wisdom had passed away, too, many a long century before. The last great feud recorded, was the “ Iconoclastic controversy," and the second Council of Nicæa (A.D. 787) made but a poor amends for the strife and bloodshed which the image question had caused in the Church at large. But no longer with the East, nor with the Gothic conquerors of Rome, has the Latin Patriarchate aught to do in the way of disputation,-a new relation and alliance is opened out, and four chapters of Mr. Greenwood's sixth book are occupied with the communications that took place between the Bishop of Rome and the Frankish Kings, and with Charlemagne in particular. Before, however, entering into the detail of these matters, the first chapter is devoted to a retrospective glance at the past advances of the Papal power, which depended upon a two-fold condition, firstly, of the acquisition of territorial wealth and political sovereignty, and, secondly, upon the substitution of the Pontifical will for the canonical enactments of General Councils. A review is taken, of the relation between Church and State, from Constantine to Charlemagne : the initiative of the Emperors in General Councils is shown, as well as the general Censorship of the State, as accepted by the Church itself, for the correction of ecclesiastical abuses. The general bearings of the Pontificate of S. Leo the Great come next under discussion : his courage under the threatening attacks of Attila and Genseric: his mastery over Valentinian III., the downfall of the Western Empire is regarded as the vis motrix of the Papal power—it enabled Pope Hilarius to extend his Vicariate to the Gallic Churches, and Pope Simplicius, some twenty years later, to establish the same relation with Spain; the reign of Zeno was remarkable for the religious dissension which it caused; the Henoticon being an ever memo
1 S. Hegesippus. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. III., c. 32.
the ins Gelabie Holy Senso agroindrons by
rable production. Under Theodoric the Great, and under Odovaker, a sort of jus divinum was attached both to the civil and religious status of the Church, a status that, in the hands of Pope Gelasius, dogmatically assumed its own supremacy over that of the temporal state. Not that the supervision of the Church was neglected by any of the barbarian rulers ; both Odovaker and his successor, Theodoric the Great, regulated the Papal elections; while the Senates of Odovaker and Atbalaric both issued commands against bribery and venal traffic in ecclesiastical offices. At the same time the Popes Symmachus and Hormisda ably supported the position taken up by their predecessors, although the extinction of the Italian Ostrogothic kingdom by Narses, dimmed the glory of the Pontificate of Pelagius I., while the Lombardian conquest, removing, as it did, so large a portion of the Byzantine yoke, restored to the Church “some portion at least of that self-action, that animating sense of spiritual dignity which looked back upon the past as the warranty for the future.” Then came in the Pontificate of S. Gregory the Great, before described, a proper sequel to the reigns of S. Leo, Felix, Gelasius, and Hormisda; a period during which the spiritual claims of the Holy See were sustained single-handed not only against the Emperor, but also against the Patriarch of Constantinople. The next phase in this wondrous history opens with the relations established between Pope Zachary and Stephen III., and the Frankish King, Pippin the Short. Then followed the annexation of the Ducbies of Beneventum and Spoleto, as dependencies to the “patrimony of S. Peter.” The effect of these negotiations is most plainly recognised in the attitude which Pope Stephen IV. assumed towards Charlemagne. The chapter of the Papal history which treats of its relation with France is almost exclusively secular.
Now, contemporaneous with this external manifestation of power and increase, there was an internal development of ecclesiastical law and legislation, and this is traced out in detail by our Author, from the primitive notion of corporate unity till the final establishment of the false decretals. What these successive stages were, may thus roughly be summed up. There was first, the Common, and then the Statute-law of the Church, as determined by the General Councils of the fourth century, and by the initiative, in Church legislation, which was undoubtedly taken by the Pope. Then, in the year 384, began the first publication of those decretals which finally formed the great bulk of Canon Law. The internal policy of the Latin Patriarchate seems to concentrate itself round the one endeavour, to frame its own laws, according to the arbitrary will of the Pontiff, and then to stamp these decrees upon the constitution of every Church in communion with the Roman See. Thus Pope Innocent I. declared the “ usages of the Apostolic See” to be the true law of the Church. Thus Pope Celestine I., in his dealings with the African Churches, and in other instances, not only legislated