the pallium from the hands of the pope. Anselm, accordingly, insisted that he must proceed to Rome to receive the pall. But William would not permit this; he had not acknowledged Urban, and he maintained his right to prevent any pope being acknowledged by an English subject without his permission. A great council of churchmen and nobles, held to settle the matter, advised Anselm to submit to the king, but failed to overcome his mild and patient firmness. The matter was postponed, and William meanwhile privately sent messengers to Rome, who acknowledged Urban and prevailed on him to send a legate to the king bearing the archiepiscopal pall. A partial reconciliation was then effected, and the matter of the pall was compromised. It was not given by the king, but was laid on the altar at Canterbury, whence Anselm took it.
Little more than a year after, fresh trouble arose with the king, and Anselm resolved to proceed to Rome and seek the counsel of his spiritual father. With great difficulty he obtained a reluctant permission to leave, and in October 1097 he set out for Rome. William immediately seized on the revenues of the see, and retained them to his death. Anselm was received with high honour by Urban, and at a great council held at Bari, he was put forward to defend the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Ghost against the representatives of the Greek Church. But Urban was too politic to embroil himself with the king of England, and Anselm found that he could obtain no substantial result. He withdrew from Rome, and spent some time at the little village of Schiavi, where he finished his treatise on the atonement, Cur Deus homo, and then retired to Lyons.
In 1100 William was killed, and Henry, his successor, at once recalled Anselm. But Henry demanded that he should again receive from him in person investiture in his office of archbishop, thus making the dignity entirely dependent on the royal authority. Now, the papal rule in the matter was plain; all homage and lay investiture were strictly prohibited. Anselm represented this to the king; but Henry would not relinquish a privilege possessed by his predecessors, and proposed that the matter should be laid before the Holy See. The answer of the pope reaffirmed the law as to investiture. A second embassy was sent, with a similar result. Henry, however, remained firm, and at last, in 1103, Anselm and an envoy from the king set out for Rome. The pope, Paschal, reaffirmed strongly the rule of investiture, and passed sentence of excommunication against all who had infringed the law, except Henry. Practically this left matters as they were, and Anselm, who had received a message forbidding him to return to England unless on the king’s terms, withdrew to Lyons, where he waited to see if Paschal would not take stronger measures. At last, in 1105, he resolved himself to excommunicate Henry. His intention was made known to the king through his sister, and it seriously alarmed him, for it was a critical period in his affairs. A meeting was arranged, and a reconciliation between them effected. In 1106 Anselm crossed to England, with power from the pope to remove the sentence of excommunication from the illegally invested churchmen. In 1107 the long dispute as to investiture was finally ended by the king resigning his formal rights. The remaining two years of Anselm’s life were spent in the duties of his archbishopric. He died on the 21st of April 1109. He was canonized in 1494 by Alexander VI.
Anselm may, with some justice, be considered the first scholastic philosopher and theologian. His only great predecessor, Scotus Erigena, had more of the speculative and mystical element than is consistent with a schoolman; but in Anselm are found that recognition of the relation of reason to revealed truth, and that attempt to elaborate a rational system of faith, which form the special characteristics of scholastic thought. His constant endeavour is to render the contents of the Christian consciousness clear to reason, and to develop the intelligible truths interwoven with the Christian belief. The necessary preliminary for this is the possession of the Christian consciousness. “He who does not believe will not experience; and he who has not experienced will not understand.” That faith must precede knowledge is reiterated by him. ”Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam. Nam et hoc credo, quia, nisi credidero, non intelligam.” (“Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.”) But after the faith is held fast, the attempt must be made to demonstrate by reason the truth of what we believe. It is wrong not to do so. “Negligentiae mihi esse videtur, si, postquam confirmati sumus in fide, non studemus quod credimus, intelligere.” (“I hold it to be a failure in duty if after we have become steadfast in the faith we do not strive to understand what we believe.”) To such an extent does he carry this demand for rational explanation that, at times, it seems as if he claimed for unassisted intelligence the power of penetrating even to the mysteries of the Christian faith. On the whole, however, the qualified statement is his real view; merely rational proofs are always, he affirms, to be tested by Scripture. (Cur Deus homo, i. 2 and 38; De Fide Trin. 2.)
The groundwork of his theory of knowledge is contained in the tract De Veritate, in which, from the consideration of truth as in knowledge, in willing, and in things, he rises to the affirmation of an absolute truth, in which all other truth participates. This absolute truth is God himself, who is therefore the ultimate ground or principle both of things and of thought. The notion of God comes thus into the foreground of the system; before all things it is necessary that it should be made clear to reason, that it should be demonstrated to have real existence. This demonstration is the substance of the Monologion and Proslogion. In the first of these the proof rests on the ordinary grounds of realism, and coincides to some extent with the earlier theory of Augustine, though it is carried out with singular boldness and fulness. Things, he says, are called good in a variety of ways and degrees; this would be impossible if there were not some absolute standard, some good in itself, in which all relative goods participate. Similarly with such predicates as great, just; they involve a certain greatness and justice. The very existence of things is impossible without some one Being, by whom they are. This absolute Being, this goodness, justice, greatness, is God. Anselm was not thoroughly satisfied with this reasoning; it started from a posteriori grounds, and contained several converging lines of proof. He desired to have some one short demonstration. Such a demonstration he presented in the Proslogion; it is his celebrated ontological proof. God is that being than whom none greater can be conceived. Now, if that than which nothing greater can be conceived existed only in the intellect, it would not be the absolutely greatest, for we could add to it existence in reality. It follows, then, that the being than whom nothing greater can be conceived, i.e. God, necessarily has real existence. This reasoning, in which Anselm partially anticipated the Cartesian philosophers, has rarely seemed satisfactory. It was opposed at the time by the monk Gaunilo, in his Liber pro Insipiente, on the ground that we cannot pass from idea to reality. The same criticism is made by several of the later schoolmen, among others by Aquinas, and is in substance what Kant advances against all ontological proof. Anselm replied to the objections of Gaunilo in his Liber Apologeticus. The existence of God being thus held proved, he proceeds to state the rational grounds of the Christian doctrines of creation and of the Trinity. With reference to this last, he says we cannot know God from himself, but only after the analogy of his creatures; and the special analogy used is the self-consciousness of man, its peculiar double nature, with the necessary elements, memory and intelligence, representing the relation of the Father to the Son. The mutual love of these two, proceeding from the relation they hold to one another, symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The further theological doctrines of man, original sin, free will, are developed, partly in the Monologion, partly in other mixed treatises. Finally, in his greatest work, Cur Deus homo, he undertakes to make plain, even to infidels, the rational necessity of the Christian mystery of the atonement. The theory rests on three positions: that satisfaction is necessary on account of God’s honour and justice; that such satisfaction can be given only by the peculiar personality