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SECT. H.] The Emperor Henry deposed.
399 be confined-assembled a diet of his own confederates, at which the pope's legate presided, and repeated the sentence of excommunication against the emperor, whose dignity was instantly transferred to his rebellious son.
The archbishops of Mentz and Cologne were sent as deputies to the old emperor, to intimate his deposition and demand his regalia. Henry received this deputation with equal surprise and concern; and finding that the chief accusation against him was “the scandalous manner in which he had set bishopricks to sale,” he thus addressed the audacious ecclesiastics : “ If I have prostituted the benefices of the church for hire, you yourselves are the most proper persons to convict me of that simony. Say then, I conjure you in the name of the eternal God! what have I exacted, or what have I received, for having promoted you to the dignities that you now enjoy?” They acknowledged that he was innocent, so far as regarded their preferments. “And yet,” continued he, “ the archbishoprics of Mentz and Cologne, being two of the best in my gift, I might have filled my coffers by exposing them to sale. I bestowed them, however, upon you, out of free grace and favour, and a worthy return you make to my benevolence! Do not, I beseech you, become abettors of those who have lifted up their hands against their lord and master in defiance of faith, gratitude, and allegiance."
As the unfeeling prelates, deaf to this pathetic address, insisted on his compliance with the object of their mission, Henry retired, and put on his regal ornaments; then returning to the apartment he had left, and seating himself on a chair of state, he renewed his remonstrance in these words ; “ Here are the marks of that royalty with which I was invested by God and the princes of the empíre;
if you disregard the wrath of heaven, and the eternal reproach of mankind, so much as to lay violent hands on your sovereign, you may strip me of them. I am not in a condition to defend myself.”
Regardless of these expostulations, the two archbishops snatched the crown from his head, and dragging him from his chair, forcibly pulled off his robes. While thus employed, Henry exclaimed, “ Great God! (the tears flowing down his venerable cheeks) thou art the God of vengeance, and wilt repay this outrage. I have sinned, I own, and merited such shame by the follies of my youth; but thou wilt not fail to punish those traitors for their violence, ingratitude and perjury.”
To such a degree of wretchedness was this prince afterwards reduced by the barbarity of his son, that, destitute of the common necessaries of life, he entreated the bishop of Spire, whom he had promoted to that see, to grant him a canonry for his subsistence, representing that he was capable of performing the office of " chanter or reader." Disappointed in that humble request, he shed a flood of tears, and turning to those who were present, said, with a deep'sigh, “ My dear friends, at least have pitý upon my condition, for I am touched by the hand of the Lord.”
Yet in the midst of these distresses, when every one thought his courage was utterly extinguished, and his soul overwhelmed by despondence, Henry found means to escape from custody and reached Cologne, where he was recognized as lawful emperor. Repairing next to the Netherlands, he found friends' who raised a considerable body of men'to assert his claims, and facilitate his restoration ; he also issued circular letters, calling upon the princes of Christendom to interest themselves in his cause. He even wrote to the pope, intimating that he was inclined to an accommodation, provided it could be settled without prejudice to his cause.
But before any thing material could be executed in his favour, Henry died at Leige (Aug. 7. 1106) in the fifty-sixth year of his age and
sect. 111.] The peaceable vallies of Piedmont. 401 the forty-ninth of his reign. He was a prince of great courage and excellent endowments both of body and mind. In his appearance there was an air of dignity which spoke the greatness of his soul. He possessed a natural fund of eloquence and vivacity, his temper was placid and merciful, his kindness and benevolence extensive, and his life exhibited an admirable pattern of fortitude and resignation.*
Sketch of the state of the Christian profession from the death
of Claude of Turin to the times of Peter Waldo.
A. D. 843-1160.
DURING the dark ages which succeeded the invasion of Europe by the barbarous nations, when feudal anarchy distracted the civil governments, and a flood of superstition had deluged the church, Christianity, banished from the seats of empire, and loathing the monkish abodes of indolence and vice, meekly retired into the sequestered vallies of Piedmont. Finding there a race of men unarrayed in hostile armour, uncontaminated by the doctrines and commandments of an apostate church, unambitious in their temper, and simple in their manners, she preferred their society, and among them took up her abode. The turbulence of the times, which drave many from the more fertile plains of France and Italy in search of freedom and tranquillity, greatly augmented the population of this remote district; and, in the ninth century, the doctrine of the kingdom of heaven had been held forth among them
Russel's Modern Europe, vol. i. part i. letter 23. and the anthors there quoted on this subject. Vol. I.
with considerable clearness and ability by Claude, bishop of Turin.*
Remote from the influence of noisy parties, and little conversant with literature, we can scarcely expect any notice of them, until their increase and prosperity excited the attention of ambition and avarice, and occasioned it to be rumored in the neighbouring ecclesiatical states, that a numerous people occupied the southern vallies of the Alps, whose faith and practice differed from those of the Romish church; who paid no tythes, offered no mass, worshipped no saints, nor had recourse to any of the prescribed means for redeeming their souls from purgatory.
The archbishops of Turin, Milan, and other cities heard this report with anxiety, and the necessary measures were accordingly adopted for ascertaining its truth or falsehood, the former turning out to be the result, and finding that these people were not to be controlled by the authority and denunciations of the church of Rome, the aid of the civil power was demanded.' The princes and nobles of the adjacent countries at first refused to disturb them; they had beheld with pleasure their simple manners, their uprightness and integrity, their readiness to oblige, and their fidelity in the discharge of all the duties of civil and social life. The clamour of the Romish clergy, however, ultimately prevailed, and the civil power was armed against the peaceable and inoffensive inhabitants of the vallies. Scaffolds were erected and fires kindled at Turin and other cities around them. The fortitude and confidence of the martyrs, however, increased as their faith and constancy were tried. “Favor me,” said Catalan Girard, who was one of their number, as he sat upon the funeral pile at Reuel—" favor me with those two flint stones,” which he say near him. Being handed to him,
* See chap iv. sect. i. p. 288–297. and L'Hist. Generale des Eglises Vaud. par. Giles Juan Leger, ch. 20, 21. 22. 28. Rankiu's Hist. France, vol. 3.
SECT. III.] Heresy of Berengarius.
403 he added as he threw them to the ground,“ Sooner shall I eat these stones, than you shall be able by persecution to destroy the religion for which I die.'*
Multitudes, however, fed like innocent and defenceless sheep from these devouring wolves. They crossed the Alps; and travelled in every direction as Providence and the prospect of safety conducted them, into Germany, England, France, Italy, and other countries. There they trimmed their lamps and shone with new lustre. Their worth every where drew attention, and their doctrine formed increasing circles around them. The storm which threatened their destruction, only scattered them as the precious seeds of the future glorious reformation of the Christian church. In the present section, we shall endeavour to mark their dispersions into different countries, and the treatment they met with during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, prior to the appearance of Peter Waldo of Lyons. Our materials of information are scanty, and even those we must be content to receive chiefly from their implacable enemies ; but by a little patient research, and the aid of a discriminating judgment in selecting the probable from the fictitious, we shall be furnished with some interesting information relative to this obscure portion of their history.
Before we proceed, it may be proper to remark, that about the middle of the eleventh century, and during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX. (A.D. 1050) rose up BerenGARIUS, a person of great learning and talents, who denied the doctrine of the real presence, as it was then commonly termed; and by writing against it, called forth all the learned of the church of Rome to defend the doctrine of transubstantiation. Berengarius, was a native of France, eduated under Fulbert, bishop of Chartras, a very learned
* Perrin's History of the Vaudois, part ii. b. ii. ch. 4, # Dr. Rankin's History of France, vol. iii. p, 193–198.