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did not concede to the pope the sovereignty of the district in question. The assertions of the papal advocates that it did so are disproved by numerous facts. Charlemagne retained and exercised all his royal rights and prerogatives over the city aud territory intact, and only surrendered the proprietorship of the soil into the grasping and avaricious hands of the papal see.
The claim to independent sovereignty was a subsequent usurpation.
The concessions made by Charlemagne, so far from satisfying the avarice and ambition of Adrian, only stimulated them. He endeavoured, by the aid of the Franks, to extend his possessions on every hand, and with this design tried to involve his allies in broils with all the states of Italy. He especially coveted the duchy of Beneventum, and wrote to Charlemagne complaining of the conduct of Grimoald, its duke, and advising that he should still be detained a prisoner, and his territory conquered and divided : “Hasten to send such an army as shall conduce to the profit of our holy church, and to that of your royal excellency ; rest assured that I thus urge you, not from any avidity for those cities, but for the good of the holy church, and of your royal majesty." Charlemagne had, however, by this time discovered the selfish and revengeful character of the pope, notwithstanding his professions of humility and charity; and refusing to be influenced by his advice, set Grimoald at liberty, and restored to him the duchy of Beneventum. Adrian, instead of tak
ing his disappointment in good part, wrote an almost abusive letter to the emperor, reproaching him with having "spared a generation of vipers, which it behoved him to have crushed."
The conflicts of Charlemagne, so far as we have yet traced them, have been waged with the sword ; we have now to see him enter on a fresh arena, and take up a new weapon--the pen, employing it, not in defence of the papacy, but in opposition to it.
In the year 787, a council was held at Nicea, in which it was decreed that “the sign of the cross, and images of Christ, the virgin, angels, and of holy and pious men, should be placed in the churches to be adored ;'
;" and the three hundred and fifty bishops assembled set the example of obedience to the decree by ordering an image to be brought into the place of meeting, where it received the adoration of all present. In order to protest against and counteract this idolatrous decree, Charlemagne composed, or ordered to be composed,* the treatise known as the Quatuor Libri Carolini. The tendency and spirit of the book may be inferred from the following extracts : " God alone is to be worshipped, he alone to be adored, he alone to be glorified. Of him the prophet says, ' His name alone is excellent,' Psa. cxlviii. 13. Rever
"composed, or ordered to be composed,” because though the book is in substance the expression of the monarch's convictions, and though it is evident that many passages were dictated by himself, yet he must have received some assistance in its composition. The share which Alcuin had in its preparation has been probably over-estimated, as at the period of its publication (790) he was absent in England.
ence is likewise due to the saints, who, having overcome the devil, now reign with Christ, because they manfully laboured and suffered, in order that the church should come down to our times, and because they are able to assist the stiil struggling church with their prayers. But images can only be placed in churches without injury to the faith when adoration and worship of every kind are forbidden, and when they are employed either simply as ornaments of the edifice, or as memorials of the deeds of the pious dead ; or they may be absent altogether without injury to the faith, seeing that they can take no part in accomplishing our redemption.
... Those who assert that images are necessary, even as memorials of holy things, plainly declare themselves to be spiritually blind, and they acknowledge that they have so bad a memory that without these things to remind them, they should forget the service of God and the love of the saints ; they confess, too, that they are unable to raise the eyes of their understanding heavenward, above the objects of sense, or to drink from the fountain of eternal life without the aid of that which is material and bodily. But the spirit of man ought to live in such close communion with Him in whose image it was created, as to be able to embrace Christ who is the sole image of spiritual truth; and it is miserable infatuation to say that the spirit would leave him without the aid of these gross material memorials. The faith of Christians ought not to be dependent
upon these outward things, but to be rooted in the heart. . ... God who fills infinite space is not to be worshipped or prayed to under finite and material forms; but his constant presence is to be enjoyed by the pure heart. We Christians, who contemplate with unveiled face the glory of God, and into whose image we are changed from glory to glory, (2 Cor. iii. 18,) must no longer seek the truth by means of images and pictures; we who, by His aid attain to a knowledge of the truth through faith, hope, and love, must not adopt such means as these."
It would be difficult to find the nature of true spiritual worship more clearly stated, and its obligations more distinctly asserted, than in this and many other passages which might be quoted, did space permit. It is, moreover, gratifying to observe, that though in one extract the intercession of the glorified saints is erroneously affirmed, and in other passages the duty of paying a reverential respect to their relics is admitted, yet everywhere, God in Christ is maintained to be the only proper object of worship, without the intervention of priestly mediators or material images, and by the direct approach of the redeemed and sanctified spirit to its God and Father.
A copy of the treatise was sent to Rome by Angilbert, abbot of Riquieri. The pope answered it to the best of his ability, but failed to convince the Franks. A synod was held at Frankfort in the year 794, to consider the
whole question. Legates from Rome advocated the papal doctrine, but without success. Image worship was indignantly and unanimously repudiated as a new and abominable heresy. By the second canon of the council they affirmed, that they were shocked “at the new doctrine that they were to worship images made of colour, or of inlaid work, as God or the Saviour. We utterly reject both the adoration and service of images, despising and condemning it by common consent.
Whilst Charlemagne thus resolutely and skilfully opposed the idolatrous and superstitious tendencies of the papal church, he showed his entire freedom from all bigotry by co-operating with the pope in his attempts to repress the Arian and Unitarian tendencies of the Spanish churches. A doctrine styled Adoptionism had sprung up, and attained considerable influence among them. From the meagre notices of it we possess, it seems to have originated in speculations as to the nature of the relationship between God the Father and the Son, it being asserted that Christ in his human nature was the Son of God, not essentially, but only by adoption. It seems that this doctrine, as originally propounded, and as held by its wisest and best advocate, Felix, bishop of Urgellis, was not designed to trench upon the Divinity of Christ, or the doctrine of the Trinity, but was merely a metaphysical attempt to explain them. But with the mass of its followers it soon came to be understood in an Arian or