Documents Relating to the War of the Investitures
Summons of Henry IV to the Council of Worms - Royal Justification (1076)
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Henry, king by the grace of God, sends favour, greeting, love-not to all, but to a few.

In very important matters the wisest counsels of the greatest men are needed-men who shall both outwardly have the ability and inwardly shall not be without the will to give their best advice in a matter in which they are interested. For there is nothing whatever in the carrying out of which either ability without will or will without ability avails. Both of which thou, most faithful one, dost possess, as we think, in equal measure; or to speak more truly, although thou who art very great art not lacking in very great ability,-nevertheless, if we know thee rightly and have noted thy fidelity with proper care, thou dost abound with a good will greater even than this very great ability; to our own and to the country's advantage. For from the faithful services of the past we are led to hope for still more faithful services in the future. We rely moreover on thy love not to let thy faithfulness disappoint our expectations; for from the loyalty of none of the princes or bishops of the land do we hope for greater things than from shine, rejoicing, as we have done, not only in the showing of the past but also in what thou hast led us to expect from thee in the future. Let, therefore, thy timely good will be present now with thy ability; for it is called for not only by our own straits but also by those of all thy fellow-bishops and brothers-nay, of the whole oppressed church. Thou art not ignorant, indeed, of this oppression; only see to it that thou do not withdraw thy aid from the oppressed church, but that thou do give thy sympathy to the kingdom and the priesthood. For in both of these, even as the church has hitherto been exalted, so now, alas, in both it is humiliated and bereaved. Inasmuch as one man has claimed for himself both; nor has he helped the one, seeing that he neither would nor could help either. But, lest we keep from thee any longer the name of one who is known to thee, learn of whom we are speaking-Hildebrand, namely, outwardly, indeed, a monk; called pope, but presiding over the apostolic see rather with the violence of an invader than with the care of a pastor, and, from the seat of universal peace, sundering the chains of peace and unity-as thou thyself dost clearly know. For, to mention a few cases out of many, he usurped for himself the kingdom and the priesthood without God's sanction, despising God's holy ordination which willed essentially that they-namely the kingdom and the priesthood-should remain not in the hands of one, but, as two, in the hands of two. For the Saviour Himself, during His Passion, intimated that this was the meaning of the typical sufficiency of the two swords. For when it was said to Him: " Behold, Lord, here are two swords "-He answered: "It is enough," signifying by this sufficing duality that a spiritual and a carnal sword were to be! wielded in the church, and that by them every thing evil was about to be cut off-by the sacerdotal sword, namely, to the end that the king, for God's sake, should be obeyed; but by the royal one to the end that the enemies of Christ without should be expelled, and that the priesthood within should be obeyed. And He taught that every man should be constrained so to extend his love from one to the other that the kingdom should neither lack the honour due to the priesthood, nor the priesthood the honour due to the kingdom. In what way the madness of Hildebrand confounded this ordinance of God thou thyself dost know, if thou host been ready or willing to know. For in his judgment no one is rightfully priest save him who has bought permission from his own capricious self. Me also whom God called to the kingdom-not, however, having called him to the priesthood-he strove to deprive of my royal power, threatening to take away my kingdom and my soul, neither of which he had granted, because he saw me wishing to hold my rule from God and not from him- because he himself had not constituted me king. Although he had often, as thou dost know, thrown out these and similar things to shame us, he was not as yet satisfied with that but needs must inflict upon us from day to day new and ingenious kinds of confusion-as he recently proved in the case of our envoys. For a page will not suffice to tell how he treated those same envoys of ours how cruelly he imprisoned them and afflicted them, when captive, with nakedness, cold, hunger and thirst and blows and how at length he ordered them to be led like martyrs through the midst of the city, furnishing a spectacle for all; so that one would call him and believe him as mad as Decius the tyrant, and a burner of saints. Wherefore, beloved, be not tardy-may all in common not be tardy- to give ear to my request, and to that of thy fellow bishops, that thou do come to Worms at Pentecost; and that thou there, with the other princes, do listen to many things a few of which are mentioned in this letter; and that thou do show what is to be done. Thou art asked to do this for love of thy fellow-bishops, warned to for the good of the church, bound to for the honour of our life and of the whole land.

Henderson, Ernest F.
Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages
London : George Bell and Sons, 1896.

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