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Unformatted text preview: rtin knew, that, in order to insure success, it was necessary to inlist the greater and more warlike nations in the same engagement; and having previously exhorted Peter to visit the chief cities and sovereigns of Christendom, he summoned another council at Clermont in Auvergne.l The fame of this great and pious design, being now universally diffused, procured the attendance of the greatest prelates, nobles, and princes; and when the pope and the hermit renewed their pathetic exhortations, the whole assembly, as if impelled by an immediate inspiration, not moved by their preceding impressions, exclaimed with one voice, It is the will of God, It is the will of God: Words deemed so memorable, and so much the result of a divine influence, that they were employed as the signal of rendezvous and battle in all the future exploits of those adventurers.m Men of all ranks flew to arms with the utmost ardour; and an exterior symbol too, a circumstance of chief moment, was here chosen by the devoted combatants. The sign of the cross, which had been hitherto so much revered among Christians, and which, the more it was an object of reproach among the pagan world, was the more passionately cherished by them, became the badge of union, and was affixed to their right shoulder, by all who enlisted themselves in this sacred warfare.n Europe was at this time sunk into profound ignorance and superstition: The ecclesiastics had acquired the greatest ascendant over the human mind: The people, who, being little restrained by honour, and less by law, abandoned themselves to the worst crimes and disorders, knew of no other expiation than the observances imposed on them by their spiritual pastors: and it was easy to represent the holy war as an equivalent for all penances,o and an atonement for every violation of justice and humanity. But amidst the abject superstition, which now prevailed, the military spirit also had universally diffused itself; and though not supported by art or discipline, was become the general passion of the nations, governed by the feudal law. All the great lords possessed the right of peace and war: They were engaged in perpetual hostilities with each other: The open country was become a scene of outrage and disorder: The cities, still mean and poor, were neither guarded by walls, nor protected by privileges, and were exposed to every insult: Individuals were obliged to depend for safety on their own force, or their private alliances: And valour was the only excellence, which was held in esteem, or gave one man the preeminence above another. When all the particular superstitions, therefore, were here united in one great object, the ardour for military enterprizes took the same direction; and Europe, impelled by its two ruling PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 169 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 passions, was loosened, as it were, from its foundations, and seemed to precipitate itself in one united body upon the east. All orders of men, deeming the crusades th...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08