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548

ANSELM


548


ANSELM


required him to meet this cliarge in the King's court. Ansehn dechncd ami asked leave to go to Rome. This was refused, but after a meeting at Winchester Anselm wa.s told to be ready to sail in ten days. On parting with the King, the Archbisliop gave iiim his blessing, which WiUiam received with bowed head. At St. Omcr's Anselm confirmed a multitude of persons. Cliristmas was spent at Cluny, and the rest of the winter at Lyons. In the spring he resumed his journey and crossed Mont Cenis with two com- panions, all travelling as simple monks. At the monasteries on their way they were frequently asked for news of Anselm. On his arrival in Rome he was treated with great lionour by the Pope. His case was considered and laid before the council, but noth- ing could be done beyond sending a letter of remon- strance to William. During his stay in Italy Anselm enjoyed the hospitality of the Abbot of Telese, and passed the summer in a mountain village belonging to this monastery. Here he finished liis work, " Cur Deus Homo", which he had begun in England. In October, 1098. Urban held a council at Bari to deal with the difTiculties raised by the Greeks in regard to the procession of the Holy Ghost. Here Anselm was called by the Pope to a place of honour and bid- den to take the cliief part in the discussion. His arguments were afterwards committed to writing in his treatise on this subject. His own case was also brought before this council, which would have ex- communicated William but for Anselm's intercession. Both he and his companions now desired to return to Lyons, but were bidden to await the action of another council to be held in the Lateran at Easter. Here Anselm heard the canons passed against Investitiu'es, and the decree of excommunication against the offenders. This incident had a deep influence on his career in England.

While still staying in the neighbourhood of Lyons, Anselm heard of the tragic death of William. Soon messages from the new king and chief men of the land summoned him to England. Landing at Dover, he hastened to King Henry at Salisbury. He was kindly received, but the question of Investitures was at once raised in an acute form. Henry re- quired the Archbishop liimself to receive a fresh investiture. Anselm alleged the decrees of the recent Roman council and declared that he had no choice in the matter. The difficulty was postponed, as the King decided to send to Rome to ask for a special exemption. Meanwhile, Anselm was able to render the King two signal services. He helped to remove the obstacle in the way of his marriage with Edith, the heiress of the Saxon kings. The daughter of St. Margaret had sought shelter in a convent, where she had worn the veil, but had taken no vows. It was thought by some that this was a bar to marriage, but Anselm had the case considered in a coimcil at Lambeth, where the royal maiden's liberty was fully established, and the Archbishop himself gave his blessing to the marriage. Moreover, when Robert landed at Portsmouth and many of the Norman nobles were wavering in their allegiance, it was An- Bclra who turned the tide in favour of Henry. In the meantime Pope Paschal had refused the King's request for an exemption from the Lateran decrees, yet Henry persisted in his resolution to compel Anselm to accept investiture at his hands. The revolt of Robert de Bellesme put off the threatened rupture. To gain time the King sent another em- bassy to Rome. On its return, Anselm was once more required to receive investiture. The Pope's letter was not made public, but it was reported to be of the same tenor as his previous reply. The envoys now gave out that the Pope had orally con- sented to the King's request, but could not say so in writing for fear of ofTeiiding otiicr sovereigns. Friends of Anselm who had been at Rome, disputed


this assertion. In this crisis it was agreed to send to Rome again; meanwhile the King would continue to invest bishops and abbots, but Anselm should not be required to consecrate them.

During this interval Anselm held a council at Westminster. Here stringent canons were passed against the evils of the age. In spite of the com- promise about investiture, Anselm was required to consecrate bishops invested by the King, but he firmly refused, and it soon became evident that his firmness was taking effect. Bishops gave back the staff they had received at the royal hands, or refused to be consecrated by another in defiance of Anselm. When the Pope's answer arrived, repudiating the story of the envoys, the King asked Anselm to go to Rome liimself. Though he could not support the royal request he was willing to lay the facts be- fore the Pope. With this understanding he once more betook himself to Rome. The request was again refused, but Henry was not excommunicated. Understanding that Henry did not wish to receive liim in England, Anselm interrupted his homeward journey at Lyons. In this city he received a letter from the Pope informing him of the excommuni- cation of the counsellors who had ad\ised the King to insist on investitures, but not decreeing anything about the Kng. Anselm resumed his journey, and on the way he heard of the illness of Henrjs sister, Adela of Blois. He turned aside to visit her and on her recoverj' informed her that he was re- turning to England to excommunicate her brother. Slie at once exerted herself to bring about a meeting between Anselm and Henry, in July, 1105. But though a reconciliation was effected, and Anselm was urged to return to England, the claim to invest was not relinquished, and recourse had again to be made to Rome. A papal letter authorizing Anselm to absolve from censures incurred by break- ing the laws against investitures healed past of- fences but made no provision for the future. At length, in a council held in London in 1107, the question foimd a solution. The lung relinquished the claim to invest bishops and abbots, while the Church allowed the prelates to do homage for their temporal possessions. Lingard and other writers consider this a triumph for the King, saying that he had the substance and abandoned a mere form. But it was for no mere form that this long war had been waged. The rite used in the investiture was the symbol of a real power claimed by the English kings, and now at last abandoned. The victory rested with the Archbishop, and as Schwano says (Kirchenlexicon, s. v.) it prepared the way for the later solution of the same controversy in Ger- many. Anselm was allowed to end his days in Eeace. In the two years that remained he continueil is pastoral labours and composed the last of his writings. Eadmer, the faitliful chronicler of tlicse contentions, gives a pleasing picture of his peaceful death. The dream of his childhood was come true; he was to climb the mountain and taste the brcail of Heaven.

His active work as a pastor and stalwart cham- pion of the Church makes Anselm one of the chief figures in religious history. The sweet influence of his spiritual teacliing was felt far and wide, and its fruits were seen in many lands. His stand for the freedom of the Church in a crisis of medieval history had far-reaching effects long after his own time. As a writer and a tliinker he may claim yet higher rank, and his influence on the course of philo.sophy and Catholic theology was even deeper anil more enduring. If he stamls on the one hand with tireg- ory VTl, and Innocent III, and Thomas Hecket, on the other he may claim a place beside .-Vthanasius, -Vugustine, and Thomas .-Vqumas. His merits in the field of theology have received official recognition;