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I Have now, in a course of lectures, endeavoured, with all possible brevity, to lay before you the principal arts, by which the Roman hierarchy was raised, and have also pointed out some of the most remarkable events and occurrences, which facilitated the erection. It is chiefly the progress of ecclesi. astical dominion, that I have traced. The papal usurpation on the secular powers, though I have explained its source in the erection of episcopal tribunals, and glanced occasionally at its progress, I have, for several reasons, not so expressly examined. 'One is, it does not so immediately affect the subject of the hierarchy, with which I considered myself as principally concerned. Another is, that the usurpation here is, if possi. ble, still more glaring to every attentive reader of church his tory, and therefore stands less in need of being pointed out. A third reason is, that though the claims of superiority over the civil powers, formerly advanced by Rome with wonderful success, have never been abandoned, but are, as it were, reserved in petto for a proper occasion, yet, at present, the most sublime of their pretensions are little minded, and are hardly, as affairs now stand in Europe, capable of doing hurt. No. thing can be better founded than the remark, that the thunders of the Vatican will kindle no conflagration, except where there are combustible materials. At present there is hardly a country in christendom so barbarously superstitious (I do not except even Spain and Portugal) as to afford a sufficient quantity of those materials for raising a combustion. We never hear now of the excommunication and deposition of princes, of kingdoms laid under an interdict, and of the erection and the disposal of kingdoms by the pope. Such is the difference of times, that these things, which were once the great engines of raising papal dominion, would now serve only to render it
contemptible. The foundation of all is opinion, wẠich is of great consequence in every polity, but is every thing in an ecclesiastick polity. To the above reasons, I shall add a fourth. It is only a part, and not the greater part neither, of the Roman Catholicks, who acknowledge that the pope, as pope, or bishop, has any kind of authority in secular matters over the civil powers. They make but a party comparatively small, who carry the rights of the papacy so far as to include therein a paramount authority over all the powers of this earth, spiritual and temporal. A gentleman of the house of commons, in a celebrated speech on the affairs of America, in the beginning of the American revolt, speaking of the religious profession of those colonies, denominated it the protestantism of the protestant religion. In imitation of the manner of this orator, I shall style the systein of that bighHying party in the church of Rome, the popery of the popish religion. It is the very quintessence of papistry, Nay, we have some foundation even from themselves for naming it so; for those who hold it are, even among Roman Catholicks, distinguished by the name pontificii, or papists, and mostly consist of the people and clergy of Italy, the immediate de pendencies on the papal see, and the different orders of regu. lars. It was in a particular manner the system strenuously supported by the order of jesuits now abolished. The doc. trine of the more moderate Roman Catholicks, which is that of almost all the laity, and the bulk of the secular clergy in all European countries, except Italy and its islands, is unfavourable to those high pretensions of the Roman pontiff, But even these are far from being entirely unanimously in regard to the spiritual power and jurisdiction, which they ascribe to him. The bounding line, which distinguishes the civil from the ecclesiastick, is one of the arcana of that church's policy, and therefore never to be precisely ascertained. I shall then, in order to give you some idea ere I conclude, of the sublie mity and plenitude of the ecclesiastick power, , claimed in behalf of his holiness over the ministers of the church, hy the advocates of that see, and to give you some notion of their manner of supporting those claims, exhibit to you the substance of a speech on episcopal jurisdiction, delivered in the council of Trent, by father Lainez, general of the jesuits, translated from the Italian af Fra Paolo Sarpi. Afterwards I shall take a little notice of the encroachments made on the civil powers.
"Lainez,” says that historian, " spoke more than two hours
with great vehemence, in a distinct but magisterial tone. "The argument of his discourse consisted of two parts. The “first was employed in proving, that the right of jurisdiction “over Christ's kingdom here had been given entirely to the «Roman pontiff, and not a single particle of it to any other " in the church. The second contained his answers to all " the arguments on the opposite side, adduced in former “ meetings. .
“ The substance was, that there is a great difference, nay, 66 a contrariety between the church of Christ and civil coma “munities, inasmuch as these have an existence previous to “ the formation of their government, and are thereby free, “ having in them originally, as in its fountain, all the jurisdic« tion, which, without divesting themselves of it, they com66 municate to magistrates. But the church did neither make 6 herself, nor form her own government. It was Christ the “ prince and monarch who first established the laws whereby " she should be governed ; then assembled his people, and,
as scripture expresses it, built the church. Thus she is * born a slave, without any sort of liberty, power, or jurisdic« tion, but every where, and in every thing, subjected. In " proof of this he quoted passages of scripture, wherein the “ gathering of the church is compared to the sowing of a « field, the drawing of a net to land, and the rearing of an « edifice; adding, that Christ is said to have come into the
world to assemble his faithful people, to gather his sheep, o to instruct them both by doctrine and by example. Then * he subjoined: the first and principal foundation whereon “ Christ built the church, was Peter and his succession, ac.
cording to the word which he said to him, Thou art Peter; " and upon this rock I will build my church; which rock though " some of the fathers have understood to be Christ himself,
and others the faith in him, or the confession of the faith, “ it is nevertheless a more catholick exposition to understand "it of Peter himself, who, in Hebrew or Syriack, is called “ Cephas, that is, Rock. He affirmed, in like manner, that 66 while Christ lived in mortal flesh, he governed the church * with despotick and monarchical government, and leaving this " earth, he left the same form, constituting St. Peter, and the " successours of St. Peter, his vicars successively, to admi
nister it, as it had been exercised by him, giving them « plenary power and jurisdiction, and subjecting to them the
church in the way wherein it is subjected to him. This he proved from what we are told of Peter, because to him alone
were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and by conse " quence, power to admit and exclude, which is jurisdiction ; 6 and to him alone it was said, Feed, that is, rule my sheep, .silly animals, which have no part, no choice whatever in
# conducting themselves." These two things, namely, to be 4 porter and pastor, being perpetual offices, it was necessary $that they should be conferred on a perpetual person, that is, 6 not on the first only, but on the whole succession. Hence the “ Roman pontiff, beginning from St. Peter to the end of the “ world, is true and absolute despot with plenary power and “ jurisdiction, and the church is subject to him as it was to 6. Christ. And as when his divine majesty governed it, it 4 could not be said, that any of the faithful had the smallest “ power or jurisdiction, all being in total subjection, the same 66 may be said in all perpetuity. Thus we ought to 'under: $6 stand these declarations, that the church is a sheepfold, " that it is a kingdom, and what St. Cyprian says, that the 16 épiscopate is one, and that a part thereof is held by every « bishop; that is, that the whole undivided power is placed « in one single pastor, who apportions and communicates it to 66 associates in the ministry as exigencies require ; and that, $ in allusion to this St. Cyprian compares the apostolick see to 46 the root, the head, the fountain, the sun; showing, by these 6 comparisons, that the jurisdiction is essentially in her alone; $ in others, only by derivation or participation. And this is lll the meaning of that most usual expression of antiquity, that “ Peter and the pontiff possess the plenitude of power, others 66 do but participate in the cure. And that he is the sole shep! herd, is demonstrated by the words of Christ, who said, $ that he had other sheep, which he would gather, that there
might be but one sheepfold, and one shepherd. The shep16 herd spoken of here cannot be Christ himself, because it $t could not be said, in the future tense, that there shall be one " shepherd, he being already the shepherd. It must, there. © fore, be understood of another sole shepherd, to be consti.
tuted after him, who can be no other than Peter with his “ succession. He remarked here, that the precepti to feed $c the flock, occurs but twice in scripture, once in the singular “ number, when Christ said to Peter, Feed my sheep; once in " the plural, when Peter said to others, Feed the flocks assigned 66 to you. Now if the bishops had received any jurisdiction « from Christ, it would be equal in them all, which would « destroy the difference between patriarch, archbishop, and * bishop; besides, the pope could not intermeddle with that « authority, either by diminishing it, or by removing it en
tirely, as he cannot intermeddle with the power of orders “which is from God. Wherefore the greatest caution is * necessary here, lest by making the institution of bishons de " jure divino, they should subvert the hierarchy, and introduce is into the church an oligarchy, or rather an anarchy. He 4 added, To the end that Peter might govern the church " well, so that the gates of hell should not prevail against her, “ Christ, a little before his death, prayed efficaciously, that “his faith might not fail, and ordained him to confirm the “ brethren ; in other words, he gave him the privilege of “ infallibility, in judging of faith, manners, and the whole of “ religion, obliging all the church to obey him, and stand firm « in whatsoever should be decreed by him. He concluded, " that this is the true foundation of the christian doctrine, " and the rock whereon the church is built. He proceeded " to censure those who hold that bishops have received any “ power from Christ, an opinion subversive of the privilege of " the Roman church, whose pontiff is head of the church unis “ versal, and the only vicar of Christ upon earth. It is very “ well known, that by the ancient canon, omnes sive patriarcha, " &c. it is enacted, that whoever takes away the rights of other “ churches, commits injustice, but whoever takes away the « privileges of the Roman church, is a heretick. He added, " that it is an absolute contradiction to maintain, that the pon" tiff is head of the church, and its government is monarchi. “ cal, and to affirm, that there is either power or authority in " it, which is received from others, and not derived from
« In refuting the arguments, on the opposite side, he ade u vanced, that, according to the order instituted by Christ, the " apostles must have been ordained bishops, not by Christ, but " by Peter, receiving jurisdiction from him alone; an opi. " nion, he said, extremely probable, and held by many catho“ lick doctors. Others, however, who maintain that the apos. " tles were ordained bishops by Christ, add that his divine ma“ jesty, in so doing, exercised, by prevention, Peter's office, doing " for once what belonged to Peter to do, giving to the apostles " himself that power which they ought to have received from " Peter, just as God took of the spirit of Moses, and imparted " it to the seventy judges, so that it was as much as if they “ had been ordained by Peter, and had received all authority “ from him; and therefore they continued subject to Peter, « in regard to the places and modes of exercising their autho“rity. And though we do not read that Peter corrected " them, it was not through defect of power, but because they “ exercised their office properly, and so did not need correction. " Whoever reads the celebrated canon, Ita Dominus, will be " assured, that every catholick ought to believe this ; and thus 6 the bishops, who are successours of the apostles, receive the 66 whole from the successour of Peter. He observed, also, ► that the bishops are not called successours of the apostles,