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no less than that of a totally new empire in the west, and the entire separation of the Roman pontiff from all intercourse with the eastern church. Leo, the Isaurian, emperor of the east, conceiving that the worship of senseless stocks and stones was more suitable to pagans than to Christians, exerted himself most vigorously to destroy it. He at once prohibited the setting up of any images or pictures in the churches, and ordered the destruction of those which had already been made objects of adoration. The immediate consequence was a civil war in all the Italian provinces. Pepin was now king of the Franks, Stephen the pope of Rome. The pope, fearful on the one hand that he should suffer from his adherence to image worship at the hands of Leo, and being at the same time pressed by the Lombards, who harassed his dominions in another quarter, made application to Pepin for assistance. Pepin, who was an usurper, and had dethroned his lawful sovereign Childeric, was glad at any price to obtain the countenance of the church. He therefore sent the required assistance to the pope, twice defeated the king of the Lombards, and established the Roman pontiff in all the dominions of the Exarchate of Ravenna. This grant of territory and dominion was further augmented and confirmed by Charlemagne, the son of Pepin; and the pope, in return for these substantial gifts, was glad to confer the sanction

of the church on the establishment of the great western empire under Charlemagne.

Such is as brief an account as can well be given of this great historical event. Charlemagne retaining under his empire the general supreme power, while he granted to the church of Rome a subordinate and separate jurisdiction over her especial and appointed territories; while Leo, surnamed the Iconoclast, or image-breaker, set at defiance by the increased strength thus acquired, was compelled to give way; and though in the east he succeeded in his wise and Christian endeavours to restore a purer worship, yet by so doing he brought about the great schism between the eastern and western churches, which led very shortly after to their final and complete separation.

Thus, then, with regard to religion, we might naturally expect with this increase of power an increase of those abuses which had already commenced. Mosheim* describes the effect which all this had upon the administration of the Eucharist as follows:-"The administration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which was deemed the most solemn and important branch of divine worship, was now every where embellished, or rather deformed with a variety of senseless fopperies, which destroyed the beautiful simplicity of that affecting and salutary

* Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 242.

institution." In addition to this, we find evident traces of the commencement of solitary masses. Solitary masses are those which are celebrated by the priest alone in behalf of souls detained in purgatory.* The cause of this innovation is easily discerned. The church was now become a church of the world. Temporal power and temporal riches were her delight. The wealthy and noble would gladly leave their wealth to men who had the power, by their prayers and their sacrifices, to obtain for them pardon for their sins and salvation for their souls. Hence, therefore, the doctrine of purgatory being once established, the masses for the dead would be encouraged by the clergy, while the wealth of the laity would be willingly received in return by

*The reader will bear in mind that a mass is a sacrifice, and therefore that in the notion of a solitary mass, we must understand that the priest, without any reference to a communion, is supposed to offer the sacrifice of the Son of God, and he is supposed to offer that sacrifice in behalf of the souls of the dead. This error could never have arisen without the

existence of the previous error-that of purgatory. Gregory the Great, in the previous century, was most expressly a believer in purgatory. "We must believe that there is a purgatorial fire for certain light faults." Dialog. lib. 4. c. 39. Again, "After the death of the flesh, some are immersed in eternal punishments, others pass to life through the fire of purgation ;" and the notion was, that the prayers of the faithful, and the masses of the priest, could expedite the deliverance of the soul from this purgatorial state. That this is still the doctrine of the Roman church, see the decree of the Council of Trent, session xxv. A.D. 1563.

those whose temporal glory was the highest point of their ambition. But how glaring, how strange a perversion! The sacrament of the Eucharist, or thanksgiving, in which all are to communicate, performed by one man, and that without any reference to the living, or the commemoration of Christ, but as a sacrifice for the souls of the absent and the dead. "This single custom," says Mosheim, says Mosheim, "is sufficient to give us an idea of the superstition and darkness which sat brooding over the Christian church in this ignorant age, and renders it unnecessary to enter into a further detail of the absurd rites with which a designing priesthood continued to disfigure the religion of Jesus."* Three of the principal authors who flourished in this century are Bede,† John Damascenus,‡ and Alcuinus. While they speak of the many

*Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 244.

† BEDE, born in England, A.D. 672. Was looked upon as the wonder and ornament of his age. In science, religion, grammar, and mathematics, considering the general darkness and ignorance of the times, his writings are certainly wonderful. He died A.D. 735.

JOHN DAMASCENUS, called Chrysorrhoas, because of his eloquence. Native of Damascus; was a great advocate for image worship, and incurred the hostility of Leo the Isaurian. Died in A.D. 750.

ALCUINUS, pupil of the Venerable Bede, and deacon of the church of York: afterwards the head of the monastery of Tours. Died, A.D. 804. A great patron and supporter of learning.

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errors above alluded to, such as purgatory, relics, solitary masses, and the like, with no uncertain voice, yet they abound in passages concerning transubstantiation, which each party might quote with equal triumph. Alcuinus says, Every thing that is offered in this oblation is a mystery, which ought to be received with purity of faith, but cannot be comprehended by the subtilty of reason; for one thing is seen, another understood. That which is seen has a bodily appearance; that which is understood has a spiritual fruit. Christ fills the altar, and proposes himself as food. He is slain, not killed; he is eaten, not diminished; he refreshes us, but does not decrease; though eaten, he lives, because he is risen from the dead. O wonderful and ineffable! O mystery of faith! All eat of him, yet each eats the whole; he is divided into parts, but the whole is in the parts; he is eaten by the people, yet he remains entire; he is wholly in heaven, yet he is wholly in the hearts of the faithful. He purges sins, his death makes alive, he strengthens the weak, he preserves the sound."* Now this may be understood spiritually, and may be claimed by one side as not favouring transubstantiation; while in another place he speaks as strongly as any of the Roman church might desire in favour of transubstantiation; for he says: "I, the least

* Alcuin. Conf. Fid. fol. edition, p. 413

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