A friend of Irving's, Mrs Basil Montague, wrote to Miss Welsh, to exhort her to suppress her love for Irving, who had married Miss Martin in 1823.
The clergy were bidden to exhort their hearers to the " works of charity, mercy and faith, specially prescribed and commanded in Scripture, and not to repose their trust or affiance in any other works devised by men's phantasies beside Scripture; as in wandering to pilgrimages, offering of money, candles or tapers to images or relics, or kissing or licking the same, saying over a number of beads, not understood or minded on, or in such-like superstition."
This latter, indeed, appears to have been concocted by Gerald, an ardent champion of the English cause in Ireland, from genuine letters of Pope Alexander III., still preserved in the Black Book of the Exchequer, which do no more than commend King Henry for reducing the Irish to order and extirpating tantae abominationis spurcitiam, and exhort the Irish bishops and chiefs to be faithful to the king to whom they had sworn allegiance.'
Under the Empire the bishop of Rome had possessed in the Church an authority recognized and protected by the State; respect for Rome and for the successor of Saint Peter was not forgotten by the new territorial churches, but it had altered in character; legal authority had become merely moral authority; its wielder could exhort, warn, advise but could not command.
It was then that a clerk who saw that there was but an uncertain prospect of help from the pope of his time, conceived the shrewd idea of appealing to the popes of the past, so as to exhort the contemporary generation through the mouth of former popes, from Clement to Gregory.