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and the earls of Poitou and Brittany, and Henry, bishop of Bayeux, Froger, bishop of Seez, Reginald, bishop of Bath, Sigfred, bishop of Chichester, who were present, I have come to a different determination as to my mode of life and profession, wishing for a time to serve in a military capacity under the orders of the king, my father, and to refrain from interfering in episcopal matters. Accordingly, most holy father, I do spontaneously, freely, and entirely, resign into your hands all rights consequent upon my election, as also the see of Lincoln; requesting of you as being my metropolitan, and for this purpose especially delegated by the Apostolic See, absolution both from the said election and from holding the said bishopric. Farewell.”
In like manner, the said bishop elect of Lincoln wrote to the canons of the church of Lincoln, asking of them absolution both from the said election and from holding the said bishopric. After this, our lord, the king, by whose advice his son Geoffrey had resigned his election into the hands of the archbishop of Canterbury, gave him his chancellorship and a yearly revenue of five hundred marks in England, and the same in Normandy.
In this year, Saladin, the king of Babylon, seeing that Bald. win, king of Jerusalem, being smitten with leprosy, had not strength to resist him, raising a great force, came into the land of Jerusalem, and laid it waste, and there was no person to make any resistance to him. In the same year, the king of England was at Chinon during the festival of Easter; and after Easter returned into Normandy, and held a conference with Philip, king of France, at Vé Saint Remy, on the fifth day before the calends of May, being the second day of the week; at which the Templars and Hospitallers of Jerusalem presented to the beforenamed kings letters from Alexander, the Supreme Pontiff, to the following effect: The Letter of pope Alexander on the necessity of giving aid to the
land of Jerusalem. “ Alexander, the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dearly beloved sons, those noble men, the dukes and princes, earls, barons, and all the faithful servants of God, to whom these letters shall come, health and the Apostolic benediction. The sinister rumours which, according to the universal report of those passing this way, have reached us from the land of
Jerusalem, have afflicted our heart and those of all our brethren with excessive grief; inasmuch as any one who has the name of Christian can hardly even hear, without tears and sighs, the recitals that are given as to the wretched state of that country. For it is (and with grief we own it) trodden down under the inroads of the infidels, and so utterly bereft of the prowess of men of might, and the prudent counsel of men of probity, that unless the people receive from the Christian kings and princes of the earth speedy and powerful succour, we fear, which may God forbid, the speedy desolation thereof, thus working to the disgrace of the Lord, and to the contempt of the Christian faith. For there is no king to rule that land, inasmuch as Baldwin, who now holds the helm of state, has been (as we believe you are aware) so grievously scourged under the righteous judgments of God, that he is hardly able to endure the incessant torments of his body. Indeed, the heavy losses and the shocking misfortunes, both in men and property, which that land (for which our fathers and ancestors shed their blood in the battles which they formerly waged with the heathens) has, in consequence of its sins so requiring it, endured, we can neither without great sorrowing at heart call to our recollection, nor can any who are zealous for the law of the Lord, endure with feelings of patience calamities of the faithful so mighty; and the more especially so, as this most abominable nation of the pagans, in consequence of the losses and dangers which they have inflicted upon the nation of the Christians, are said to be inspired with such audacity as impudently to boast that they will, which God forbid, gain possession of that land. Therefore let the zeal of the Lord move you, and let not the Christian religion sleep in its sorrow over such mighty evils as are threatening that land; but, on the contrary, manfully defend all those places which our Saviour and Redeemer has sanctified by His bodily presence, and despise the nations which reject the Lord, and strive to sweep away the Christian name from off the earth. For indeed, there is no Christian who is not moved at the misfortunes of the before-named land, and who does not prepare
for the purpose of defending it from the attacks of the infidels, while they are striving to possess it, and, which God forbid, to profane it by their abominations. Therefore, those among you who are valiant and fit for waging war, ought, as a matter of duty, to undertake a work as pious as it is necessary and the labours of this pilgrimage, clothed no less with the shield of faith
and the breastplate of justice than with worldly arms, and to defend those places in which the Redeemer of mankind has been willing to die for us and has undergone a temporal death, with powerful might, so that in our times Christianity may suffer no detriment in those parts. For inasmuch as Christ for our salvation endured many insults, and, last of all, suspension on the cross, that He might make an offering of us to God, mortified in the flesh and justified in the spirit, it is most conducive to the salvation of the faithful that on His behalf we should expose our bodies to perils and to labours, that so we may not seem to be forgetful of the price of His blood which He shed for us. Give heed therefore, my beloved sons in Christ, and consider how disgraceful it would be, and how deserving of the grief of all Christians, if at last the enemies of the cross of Christ should prevail against the dwellers in that land ; and that they will prevail we have no small dread, unless assistance is brought in all haste from the different parts of Christendom to those who dwell there. Therefore, take precaution and exert all your endeavours that Christianity may not succumb to heathenism, inasmuch as it is better to meet an impending evil before it comes, than to seek a remedy after the cause has been injured. To those also, who in behalf of Christ shall undertake the labours of this expedition, we do, by the Apostolic authority, grant and confirm that remission of sins, which the fathers, our predecessors, Urban and Eugenius, the Roman Pontiffs, gave by their enactments. The wives also, and children of such persons, and their goods and possessions, we do decree to be under the protection of Saint Peter and of ourselves, as also of the archbishops and bishops and other prelates of the Church; strictly forbidding, that after the assumption of the cross, any claim shall be entertained with reference to the things of which they are in peaceable possession, until such time as they shall return, or certain information shall have been brought of their death. Let it also be lawful for them, after their relations, or even their superior lords, to whom the fee belongs, have shown themselves unwilling or unable to lend them money thereon, to pledge their lands or other possessions to churches or to ecclesiastics or others of the faithful, freely and without any challenge thereof, in order to defray the expenses of the said expedition. Moreover, such men, accustomed to arms and fitted for the defence of that land, as shall, in the fervour of their devotion,
repair to those holy places, and serve there for a period of two years against the Saracens, in defence of the Christian name, trusting in the merits of Jesus Christ and in the authority of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, we do give them absolution for all those sins of which with a contrite and humble heart they shall make confession, unless they shall happen to have taken property that belongs to another, or to have extorted usurious interest, or to have committed thefts; for all which offences due reparation ought to be made. But if those who are guilty thereof have not the means of making such reparation, nevertheless they shall obtain pardon for their offences, as we have already mentioned. And those who shall have remained there but one year, as we have previously mentioned, shall obtain an indulgence for one half the penance enjoined them and remission of their sins. And, further, to all, who, by reason of urgent necessity, are wishful to visit the sepulchre of our Lord, whether they die on the road, or whether they arrive at that place, we do enjoin that the labour of the said journey shall be in place of penance, and obed and for the remission of all their sins, that so by the bounty of God, they may arrive from the turmoils of this life at that state of blessedness, • Which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, ? 15 and which the Lord hath promised to those who love Him. Given at Tusculanum, on the seventeenth day before the calends of February.”
The said pope also wrote to the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of churches with reference to the same subject, to the following effect :
Another Letter of pope Alexander on the same subject. “ Alexander the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren the archbishops and bishops, and to his dearly beloved sons the abbats and other prelates of churches to whom these letters shall come, health and the Apostolic benediction. Inasmuch as the eastern lands, by reason of the attacks and assaults of the infidels, have been deprived of the prowess of men of valour and the counsel of men of probity, and are stricken with exceeding dismay, the archbishops, bishops, and other chief men of the land, have thought proper to send to your parts our dearly beloved sons, the knights of the Temple, the bearers of these presents, religious men, and who
15 I Cor. ii. 9.
fear God, in order to implore your aid ; wherefore we, whom the calamities of that land afflict with intense sorrow, after the example of our fathers and predecessors, being anxious for the preservation thereof, do by this healthful warning exhort the Christian kings and princes of the world to the defence of those places in which the feet of the Lord have stood; and for that purpose, we do proclaim to all sinners, who, in the cause of Christ, shall undertake the labour of aiding Jerusalem, and shall with faithful duteousness make it their care to fight against the Saracens, that remission and forgiveness of sins, which the fathers, our predecessors, Urban and Eugenius, the Roman Pontiffs, gave by their enactments. We do therefore advise and strictly enjoin the whole of you, to receive with kindly feelings the brethren who have been sent for this purpose, and after learning through them the state of the countries of the east, and the necessities thereof, to labour by frequent and anxious exhortations to induce the princes, earls, and others of the faithful in Christ in your respective dioceses, to repair with all haste to these lands, for the delivery of which their fathers and ancestors have shed their own blood, and to fight with might and valour against the enemies of the cross of Christ. The letters which for this purpose we send, addressed to all generally, you will cause to be publicly read in all churches and will explain the tenor thereof, and will announce the remission of sins which we grant to those who shall engage in a work so pious and so necessary, and so advise all persons to do that which we suggest. And may, through your anxiety and your exhortations, that land speedily be sensible of the aid and succour of the faithful, and may you yourselves in return for it, gain from Almighty God an everlasting reward. Given at Tusculanum, on the sixteenth day of January.”
On hearing of this, Philip, king of France, and Henry, king of England, greatly lamenting the adversities and the desolation of che land of Jerusalem, promised that they would, with the aid of the Lord, give speedy succour thereto; upon which, the interview was brought to a close.
In the meantime, William, king of Scotland, by the command of our lord the king of England, came into Normandy, and by his counsel and advice the said king of Scotland gave liberty to return to Matthew, bishop of Aberdeen, and John, bishop of Saint Andrew's, whom he had banished from Scot
16 The modern Frascati.