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Fables and legendary Tales- of truly contemptible and indecent Miracles :-nay more, of sanguinary Persecutions-of perpetual Misanthrophy-of determined hostility to the civil and religious Liberties of nations of the nursery of intellectual Darkness and mental Ignorance-and of systematic Disaffection, at one time latent--at another avowedto the legitimate government of lawful rulers ; not until the arrival—I' repeat-of the destined Crisis, will this your inexplicable Bulwark of heterogeneous elements, meet its merited and pre-ordained fate. · But when that period at length arrives, soon shall we discern a rapid waning in the rampant energies of your hydra-headed monster, and fully discover the absolute futility, and ludicrous display, of the unhallowed usurpations, and bombastic titles, of“ THATMAN OF Sin,'*-of “That LAWLESS ONE,”+ (v. 8)-even

* 2. Thess. ii. 3. et seq.

+ The common English version has “ that Wicked one"-but the original word is not movnpoç, but åvopos Lawless,” i.e. casting out, renouncing, and trampling on all authority of law, as well Human as Divine :--- no doubt you will, Sir, quickly detect the biting pungency of this extraordinary prophetic mark of your Papal Apostacy, when you read in your own writers of established authority, among your Colleges and Clergy, the following execrable passages of revolting blasphemy, in relation to the nature and degree of the longvaunted, but expiring Supremacy of the Popes,--the acknowledged representatives of your Antichristian System. Jst, -The celebrated Spanish Jesuit Lainez, who was the immediate successor of Ignatius Loyola--the ever-memorable founder of the Jesuitical College-in the conspicuous office of General of the Order in the year 1558; and who likewise distinguished himself so very highly in the ranks of sycophancy and parasitism, as a servile minion of the Vatican pretensions, at the Council of Trent, in 1545, that a Cardinal's hat was offered to him, as an approving reward, for his services, in declaring and urging before the Council, that, “ The Pope has the power of dispensing with all laws, and the same authority as the Lord :-in thus impiously ascribing the name as well as the attributes of Deity to the Pope, have we not the additional testimonies of Jacobatius De Concilio, iii. and Durand. De Corpore, 1, 50, “The Pope possesses a plenitude of power, and none dare say to him, any more than to God, Lord, what dost thou ?” “He can change the nature of things, and make nothing out of something, and something out of nothing:”— and have we not another Romish Jurist, Decius, as well as the Canon Law, the Decretals, and the Last General Lateran Council,--to

of him “who opposeth and exalteth himself ABOVE ALL THAT IT CALLED God, or that it worshipped,” (v. 4.) --of him who as “God sitteth in the temple of God, SHEWING HIMSELF THAT HE is God,” (v. 4.) of him

whose principles you have sworn,-inculcating precisely the very same blasphemies? 2nd. And as if it were not sufficient, Sir, to equalize the prerogatives of your Popes with those of the Supreme Deity-I challenge- I dare you to deny the palpable fact, that even the Pontiffs themselves, as well as your Theologians, Canonists, and Councils, have unblushingly, in perfect despite of the horrid blasphemy, maintained the Pope's superiority over the Creator !!! Can you contradict the fact of Cardinal Zarabella informing the world, that, “ The Pope can do all things, whatsover he pleases, EVEN UNLAWFUL THINGS and is MORE THAN GOD!!! (See De Schism)-or his assertion that the “ Pontiffs, in their arrogance, assumed the accomplishment of all they pleased, EVEN UNLAWFUL THINGS, and thus raised their power ABOVE THE LAW OF GOD," (See De Schism)- with which compare (Thuan. Histor. 6 vol. p. 397.) Nay more, can you deny that Cardinal Bellarmine, the oracular guide and continually quoted doctor in all your controversies, has taught you to believe, that, “ The Pope can transubstantiate sin into duty, and duty into sin”!!!-(De Pontif. Rom. lib. iv, cap, 5 ad finem.) Can you deny that a writer of high authority and reputation in your Church, the Jesuit Massonus, has declared “ That the Roman Pontiffs CANNot even SIN WITHOUT PRAISE”!!! (History of the Popes, lib. iii. Vit. Johan. ix.) But what says the Canon Law, the theory and practice of which are taught in almost all of your Colleges :-does it not teach you that“ The Pope in the plenitude of his power, is above right, can change the substantial nature of things, and transform unlawful into lawful” !!! (Durand. De Corpore 1. 50.) And does not the same Canon Law also declare “The Pope has plenitude of power, and is above law ?” (Gibert's Corpus Juris Canonici, 2 vol. p. 103.) But above all, can you contradict the stubborn truth that these shameful and blasphemous usurpations hold a conspicuous, in short an engrossing station, throughout the entire of the famous Decretal Epistles, which, (whatever may be your liberal opinion) even in our time-Romanists themselves, at least such as are possessed of any tolerable degree of judgment, and impartiality; honestly acknowledge as a fictitious support, as a pious fraud, as a pardonable cheat; felicitously contrived, to gain a degree of credit, to the superlatively haughty pretentions of the Supremacy of your high minded Pontiffs ; and which, you are aware, from the novelty of the doctrines and the claims of the Popes, formed quite a new Ecclesiastical Code in the ninth Century ; but such as we have heard nothing about in any of the ancient rules of Primitive Church Government. (See Buddeus Isagoge in Theologiam, tom. ii. p. 762, also Petr. Constantius, Prolegom. ad Epist. Pontificum, tom. i. p. 130; but particularly a Dissertation of Fleury, prefixed to the 16th vol. of his

" whose coming is after the WORKING OF SATAN, with all power and signs, and LYING WONDERS; and with all DECEIVABLENESS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth,

Ecclesiastical History) all, in confirmation of the spuriousness of these Epistles. Well, be the matter as it may, it is, I know full well, quite sufficient for yourself and your Church to be told; however absurd these papal documents may be in their pretentions, or ridi. culous as to their authenticity or genuineness ; that in the 13th Century, Pope Gregory IX. ordered these Decretals to be collected and added to those of Gratian. At the same time in order that your whole Church should be enlightened by such a marvellous blaze of light, as might be expected, to emanate from so very brilliant productions !!! We are informed (See Jo. Chiflet, De Juris utriusque Architectis, cap. vi. p. 60.) that this Pope in order to instil correct views of the Papal Jurisdiction into the minds of the Clergy, commanded the Decretal Epistles to be read in all the Colleges of Europe. It is also to be observed that towards the conclusion of the same Century, Pope Boniface VIII. gave them also the sACRED stamp of his HOLY authority by ordering them to be enlarged and republished. It may not be amiss, en passant, to inform my readers, with your indulgence, that this Vice-God and Creator-creating Pontiff lived, according to the concurrent testimony of all your own historians, a life of the most barbarous, disgusting, and horrid sensuality; nay more, he has been undeniably charged with an habitual practice of unmentionable, unnatural crimes ; nor was the manner of his death, less outré, than the tenor of his debauched life. Did he not leave this world, “his imperious soul being wounded in a vital part,” a martyr to the effects of disappointed avarice and ambition ?-gnawing, as we are told, his fingers, and knocking with the utmost desperation his head against the wall; a magnanimous sinner (say the ancient Chronicles of the times) who entered like a Fox, reigned like a Lion, and died like a Doa." (See his character ably delineated by the masterly pen of Gibbon, in vol. xi. p. 306, Edit. of 1807.) What wonder then, I am willing to exclaim, that such an illustrious example, and so admirable an ecclesiastical champion of Papal prerogatives, felt himself priviliged continually to teach and uphold his peculiar dogma, that, “submission to the Pontiffs was necessary for the attainment of salvation;"-laying claim, with a devotedness surpassing even one of his predesessors, the renowned Hildebrand, or Gregory VII. to a supreme and irresistible dominon over all the powers of the lower world ; and in the exhaustless fertility of his fine immagination, planning, and instituting, as the last legacy of Papal contrivances, the unheard of, and novel invention of the Jubilee, so late as the year 1300 A. D. A happy device, indeed, to communicate the overflowing treasures of such precious merits, committed in trust to the pious charge of his Holiness ; and this for so noble a purpose, as granting à PERIODICAL PLENARY ABSOLUTION;

that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a LIÊ : that they all might be DAMNED who believed not the TRUTH but had pleasure in unrighteousness (v. 9–12)

at the convenient rate of replenishing the royal exchequer ;--of playing the pander to the licentiousness and corruptions of a city, which, as it is without trade, and wallowing in indolence, is crumbling and almost decayed ;--and of enriching the tradesmen, the tavern and brothel keepers of the Holy City, by the inundating swarms of devout and impatient pilgrims, so eagerly panting, to get a glimpse of the Apostolical Churches, and the invaluable sacred depositaries of countless relics !!! A Saint, here, has cause to hide his head and blush ; but undoubtedly the gazing philosopher is not to be censured, if he can hardly stifle an expressive smile, either at the gainful triumph of the priests, who, as is recorded, have been complacently obliged to stand, during the happy season, both night and day, with rakes in their hands, to collect without counting, the heaps of gold and silver, that were poured in the altar of St. Paul (Papa innumerabilem pecuniam ab iisdem accepit,nam duo clerici, cum rastris, &c.--See the Chronicon Astense, in the xi. vol. p. 191, 192 of Muratori's Collection, and a Romish Priest):-or at the ebullition of happiness expressed in the delighted conntenances of the citizens, so fortunate as to have their solicitations granted to them, by the yielding consideration of Pope Clement VI. of having the profitable return of the Jubilee accelerated, by a period of fifty years beyond its original Institution. (See Muratori's Antiq. Ital. tom. iii. p. 344, 481.)— The inquiring reader who is anxious to investigate thoroughly the multifarious details of the Jubilees, from their origin, in the Pontificate of Boniface, in the year 1300, to that of Benedict XIV. in 1750, is particularly recommended to peruse the 3 vols. 12mo. of Mr. Chais, a French Protestant Minister at the Hague, entitled (Lettres Historiques et Dogmatiques, sur les Jubiles et les Indulgences ;') where he will find abundant cause, for either laughing or weeping over, the crimes, the intrigues, the debaucheries, the frivolous levities, exceeding the utmost bounds of Chivalry or Romance, that are acted during the festivities of this renewed figment of Paganism. Let us now return from this rather tedious digression to the consideration of these famous Decretal Epistles --- which were, as the segacious Gibbon has declared (Decline and Fall, vol. ix. p. 159.) “ a fraud--the resource of weakness and cunning; for the strong though ignorant Barbarian, was often entangled in the net of sacerdotal policy. The Vatican and Lateran were an ARSENAL and MANUFACTURE, which, according to the occasion, have PRODUCED or CONCEALEd a various collection of false or genuine, of corrupt or suspicious acts, as they tended to promote the interest of the Roman Church.” Notwithstanding this or any other historians testimony, these documents, levelled though they may have been, by the judgments of eloquent critics, the biting satyr of Poets (see Orlando Furioso of

and of him too, whose character, mission, and office are thus comprehensively included ; and by the faithful page of the historical records of friends and foes, of partizans and rivals, as well likewise of disinterest

Ariosto xxxiv. 80.) the contempt of historians, and the tacit or mo. dest censure of your own advocates ; still is their reign sanctified by such a false and obsolete title among you, as even to provoke the scornful smile of Popes themselves, at the credulity, and faithswallowing appetites of the credulous vulgar; (Perroniana, p. 77.) and this magic pillar of the spiritual and temporal monarchy of your Popes, is still resorted to as undoubted authority, with the same good fortune which has attended the Sibylline oracles; as their edifice is still proudly gazed at, though the foundations have been so often and so completely undermined. Now what do these Decretals teach? Take one example out of a thousand; “possumus supra jus dispensare” i, e. We the Popes are able to grant dispensations above law.” (See Decrét. Greg. iii. 8. iv, with which also compare Extrav. Comm. 208 et passim.) 3d. And in addition, Sir, to the above, can you contradict the well-authenticated fact, of a learned Romish doctor, Cornelio, in a speech, which met no opposition, but was hailed with a silent acquiescence, before the Holy, Infallible Council of Trent, arguing and declaring, that, from the scriptural expression “FEED MY SHEEP” as also from the Canon Law and its Glosses, the Pope can dispense, with the utmost plenitude, “ IN ALL THE LAWS OF GOD." " Le Pape pouvoit dispenser même dans tout le droit divin ?" (See the highly celebrated history of the Council of Trent, by a most distinguished member of your communion, Fra. Paolo Sarpi, translated into French by another distinguished Romanist of the Gallican Church, Courayer, 2 vol. p. 436.) Nor need we long be ignorant of the reasons why such plenitude of omnipotence, is attributed to your Popes. Your own multifarious dissertations in proof of all this, will soon solve the difficulty. Enough, methinks has been already said ; attend however to a few more authorities, with which, your own recondite Archives furnish me, in respect to the Divine attributes and super-Divine prerogatives, claimed by your Spiritual and Temporal Heads; and clcthed in language far superior to the gorgeous draperies, and pompously swelling titles of Oriental Sovereignty. Did not Stephen, Archbishop of Petrarca, with an excess of Blasphemy almost incredible, declare as an acknowledged doctrine of Romanism, and as such was unhesitatingly received and approved of by a General Council, assembled within the very walls of the Palace of the Lateran, in the sixteenth Century, that, Pope Leo X. possessed “power above all powers, both in Heaven and in Earth” or “Potestas supra omnes potestates tam cæli, quàm terræ ?" (See Labbé Concil. Edit. of Venice in 1728, vol. 19. p. 924, with which compare p. 700, 920, 927.) And was not this very same Pope in that Council styled “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the Saviour of Sion ?" (The general reader is re

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