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History of the Crusades.
abated zeal. About the year 1176, the archbishop of Milan, an old infirm man, as he was preaching against them with great vehemence, dropped down in a fit and expired as soon as he had received extreme unction! About fourteen years afterwards, one Bonacursi, who pretended he had been one of these Paterines, made a public renunciation of his opinions, and embraced the Catholic faith, filling Milan with fables, as all renegadoes do. He reported that cities, suburbs, towns, and castles, were full of these false prophets—that this was the time to suppress them, and that the prophet Jeremiah had directed the Milanese what to do, when he said, “ Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood !!" Advice which we shall presently see was but too implicitly followed.*
History of the Crusades to Asia, for the recovery of the Holy Land and the City of Jerusalem from the Turks.
A. D. 1096-1270.
It has been remarked by a late eminent historian, that “there is no event in the history of mankind more singular than that of the crusades.” The subject is indeed very remotely, if at all, connected with the kingdom of Christ; but as it forms a prominent feature in the history of the Antichristian apostacy; and as these extravagant enterprises took place towards the end of the eleventh, and during a considerable part of the twelfth, century; and especially as the relation of them throws a portion of light upon the history of Europe during this benighted period, it may not be without its use here to give a concise account of them. I have purposely reserved the article for a separate section, to prevent its being mingled with what regards the Waldenses and Albigenses, who had nothing to do with these frantic expeditions, except to condemn them.
* Robinson's Ecclesiastical Researches, p. 407-412. and p. 455. As it may afford satisfaction to some readers to know from what sources of anthority Mr. R. has drawn his account of the PATERINES, I here subjoin them. MURATORI Antiq, Ital. tom, v. GREGORII, contra Manichæos, qui Paterini dicuntur, opusculi specimen, cap. vi, Sicardi Episcopi Cremonensis chronicon, ad. An. 1213. BONACURSI Vita hæreticorum. Manifestutio hæresis Catharorum D’ACHErı Spicilegium, tom. i. p. 208. De Catharis monitum.
+ Robertson's History of Charles V. vol. i. Appendix, Note 13. Mr. Hune terms them “the most signal and most durable monument of human folly that has yet appeared in any age or nation.” Hist. of England, vol. i. ch. 5.
Pope Gregory VII. among his other vast ideas, had formed the project of uniting the Christians of the Western empire against the Mahometans, and of recovering Palestine from the hands of those infidels: but his quarrels with the emperor Henry IV. prevented the enterprise from being atchieved during his pontificate. The work, however, was reserved for a meaner instrument; for a man, whose condition could excite no jealousy; and whose hand was as weak as his imagination was warm. But previous to entering upon his bistory, it will be proper to describe the state of the East at that time, and of the passion for pilgrimages which then prevailed in Europe.
The veneration and delight with which we view those places that have been the residence of any illustrious personage, or the theatre of any great event, have been frequently remarked by philosophers and moralists. Hence the enthusiasm with which the learned still visit the ruins of Athens and Rome; and from this source also flowed the superstitious, devotion with which Christians from the earliest times were accustomed to visit that country whence their religion originated, and that city in particular in which the Saviour died for the redempsect. iv.] Pilgrimages to the Holy Land. 431 tion of sinners. Pilgrimages to the shrines of saints and martyrs were also common; and in proportion to the difficulty with which they were performed to distant countries, was their merit appreciated, 'till they came at length to be considered as an expiation for almost every crime. Moreover, an opinion' began to prevail over Europe towards the close of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century, that the thousand years mentioned by the writer of the book of the Revelation, ch. xx. 2-4, were nearly accomplished, and the end of the world at hand-a persuasion which greatly augmented the number and ardour of the credulous devotees who undertook this tedious journey. A general consternation seized the minds of men; numbers relinquished their possessions, forsook their families and friends, and hastened to the Holy Land, where they imagined Christ would suddenly appear to judge the living and the dead.
But in these pious journies, the pilgrims had the mortification to find the holy sepulchre, and the other places which had been rendered sacred by the Saviour's presence, fallen into the hands of infidels. The Mahometans had made themselves masters of Palestine, soon after the death of their prophet; but they gave little disturbance to the zealous pilgrims who daily flocked to Jerusalem; and they allowed every person, on payment of a moderate tribute, to visit the holy sepulchre, to perform his religious duties, and to return in peace. But, about the middle of the eleventh century, the Turks, who had also embraced Mahometanism, wrested Syria from the Saracens who had now been in possession of it for several centuries, and making themselves masters of Jerusalem, the pilgrims became exposed to outrages of every kind from those fierce barbarians. Every person who returned from Palestine related the dangers that he had encountered in visiting the holy city, and described
the cruelty and vexation of the Turks, who, to use the language of the pilgrims, not only profaned the sepulchre of the Lord by their presence, but derided the sacred mysteries in the very place of their completion, and where the Son of God was expected immediately to judge the world.
While the minds of men were thus roused, a fanatical monk, commonly known by the name of Peter the Hermit, a Frenchman, born at Amiens in Picardy, concieved the project of leading all the forces of Christendom against the infidels, and driving them out of the Holy Land. He had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and
so deeply affected with the danger to which his fellow pilgrims were now exposed, that, on his return, he ran from province to province, with a crucifix in his hand, exciting princes and people to undertake this holy warfare; and he succeeded in everywhere kindling the same enthusiastic ardour for it with which he himself was animated. “When he painted the sufferings of the natives and pilgrims of Palestine, every heart was melted to compassion; every breast glowed with indignation when he challenged the warriors of the age to defend their brethren and rescue their Saviour."*
Pope Urban II. who at first hesitated about the success of such a project, at length entered into Peter's views, and summoned a council at Placentia, at which, so im, mense was the multitude of attendants, that it was found necessary to hold it in the open fields. It consisted of four thousand ecclesiastics and thirty thousand of the laity, who all declared for the war against the Infidels, though but few of them discovered any alacrity to engage personally in the enterprize. The Pope, therefore, was under the necessity of calling another council, during that SECT. IV.]
* Gibbon's Rome, vol. vi. p. 3.
Expedition of the Crusades.
same year, at Clermont in Auvergne, which was attended by prelates, nobles and princes of the first distinction. On this occasion the pontiff and the hermit exerted all their eloquence, by the most pathetic exhortations, to stimulate the audience to embark in this pious cause; at the conclusion of which the whole assembly, as if impelled by an immediate inspiration, exclaimed with one voice, “ It is the will of God! It is the will of God!” "It is indeed the will of God,” replied the pope; "and let this memorable saying, the inspiration surely of the Holy Spirit, be for ever adopted as your cry of battle, to animate the devotion and courage of the champions of Christ. His cross is the symbol of your salvation; wear it: a red, a bloody cross, as an external mark on your breasts or shoulders ; as a pledge of your sacred and irrevocable engagement.” The words were accordingly adopted as the motto for the sacred standard, and as the signal of rendezvous and battle in all the future exploits of the champions of the Cross; the symbol chosen by the devout combatants, as the badge of union; and it was affixed to their right shoulder ; whence their expedition obtained the name of a Crusade.
Persons of all ranks now flew to arms with the utmost ardour; not only the gallant nobles of that age and their martial followers, whom the boldness of a romantic enterprise might be supposed to allure, but persons in the more humble and pacific stations of life, ecclesiastics of every order, and even females concealing their sex beneath the disguise of armour, engaged with emulation in a cause which was deemed so sacred and meritorious. The greatest criminals entered with alacrity into a service which they regarded as a propitiation for all their offences: if they succeeded, they flattered themselves with the hope of making their fortunes in this world ; and if they died, they were promised a crown of glory in the VOL. I.