Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/273

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253
THE DOMINICANS.

and elected Matthieu le Gaulois as their abbot. lie was the first and hist who bore this title, for as the Order grew its organization was modified to secure greater unity and at the same time greater freedom of action. It was divided into provinces, the head of each being a provincial prior. Supreme over all was the general master. These offices were filled by election, with tenure during good behavior, and provisions were made for stated assemblies, or chapters, both provincial and general. Each brother, or friar, was held to implicit obedience. Like a soldier on duty, he was liable at any moment to be despatched on any mission that the interest of religion or of the Order might demand. They deemed themselves, in fact, soldiers of Christ, not devoted, like the monks, to a life of contemplation, but trained to mix with the world, exercised in all the arts of persuasion, skilled in theology and rhetoric, and ready to dare and suffer all things in the interest of the ChurcH Militant. The name of Preaching Friars, which acquired such world-wide significance, was the result of accident. During the Lateran Council, while Dominic was in Rome, Innocent had occasion to address a note to him and ordered his secretary to begin, "To brother Dominic and his companions;" then, correcting himself, he said, " To brother Dominic and the preachers with him," and finally, considering further, "to Master Dominic and the brethren preachers." This greatly pleased them, and they at once commenced calling themselves Friar Preachers.[1]

Curiously enough, poverty formed no part of the original design. The impulse to found the order was given by Cella's donation of his property and the share of the tithes offered by Bishop Foulques; and, as soon as it was organized, Dominic had no scruple in accepting three churches from Foulques — one in Toulouse, one in Pamiers, and one in Puylaurens. The historians of the Order endeavor to explain this by saying that its founders desired to make poverty a feature of the Rule, but were deterred for fear that so novel an idea would prevent the papal confirmation. As Innocent had already approved of poverty in Duran de Huesca's scheme, the futility of this excuse is apparent, and we may well doubt the


  1. Hist. Ordin. Praedicat. c. 1, 2, 3. — Chron. Magist. Ordin. PraBdicat. c. 1. — Bernard. Guidouis Tract, de Magist. Ord. Prycdic. (Martene Ampliss. Coll. VL 332-4, 400).