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marriage cannot be denationalized, and this engagement, which is the principal one in society, ought uniformly, as a branch of civil and political order, to be placed under the authority of the magistracy.
It follows therefore, that a married couple, even educated in the worship of infidels and heretics, are not obliged to marry again, if they have been united agreeably to the established forms of their own country; and it is for the magistrate in all such instances to investigate the state of the case.
The priest is at present the magistrate freely nomi, nated by the law, in certain countries, to receive the pledged faith of persons wishing to marry. It is very evident, that the law can modify or change as it pleases the extent of this ecclesiastical authority.
Wills and funerals are incontestably under the authority of the civil magistracy and the police. The clergy have never been allowed to usurp the authority of the law in respect to these. In the age of Louis XIV, however, and even in that of Louis XV., striking examples have been witnessed of the endeavours of certain fanatical ecclesiastics to interfere in the regulation of funerals. Under the pretext of heresy, they refused the sacraments, and even interment; a barbarity which pagans would have held in horror.
Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. The sovereign or state may, without doubt, give up to an ecclesiastical body, or a single priest, a jurisdiction over certain objects and certain persons, with a power suitable to the authority confided. I examine not into the prudence of remitting a certain portion of civil authority into the hands of any body or person who already enjoys an authority in things spiritual. To deliver to those who ought to be solely employed in conducting men to heaven, an authority upon earth, is to produce an union of two powers, the abuse of which is only too easy; but at least it is evident that any man, as well as an ecclesiastic, may be intrusted with the same jurisdiction. By whomsoever possessed, it has either been conceded by the sovereign
power, or usurped; there is no medium. The kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world; he refused to be a judge upon earth, and ordered that men should give unto Cæsar the things which belonged unto Cæsar: he forbad all domination to his apostles, and preached only humility, gentleness, and dependance. From him ecclesiastics can derive neither power, authority, domination, nor jurisdiction in this world. They can therefore possess no legitimate authority, but by a concession from the sovereign or state, from which all authority in a society can properly emanate.
There was a time in the unhappy epoch of the feudal ages, in which ecclesiastics were possessed in various countries with the principal functions of the magistracy: the authority of the lords of the lay fiefs, 80 formidable to the sovereign and oppressive to the people, has been since bounded; but a portion of the independence of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions still exists. When will sovereigns be sufficiently informed and courageous to take back from them the usurped authority and numerous privileges which they have so often abused, to annoy the flock whom they ought to protect?
It is by this inadvertence of princes, that the audacious enterprises of ecclesiastics against sovereigns themselves have originated. The scandalous history of these attempts has been consigned to records which cannot be contested. The bull? In cæna Domini,' in particular, still remains to prove the continual enterprises of the clergy against royal and civil authority.* Extract from the Tariff of the Rights Eracted in France by
the Court of Rome for Bulls, Dispensations, Absolutions, &c. which Tariff was Decreed in the King's Council, the 4th of September, 1691, and which is reported entire in the brief of James le Pelletier, printed at Lyons in 1699, with the approbation and permission of the King. Lyons : printed for Anthony Boudet. Eighth edition.
1. For absolution for the crime of apostacy, payable to the pope, twenty-four livres.
+ See the article BULLS.
2. A bastard wishing to take orders must pay for a dispensation twenty-five livres ; if desirous to possess a benefice, he must pay in addition one hundred and eighty livres; if anxious that his dispensation should not allude to his illegitimacy, he will have to pay a thousand and fifty livres.
3. For dispensation and absolution of bigamy, one thousand and fifty livres.
4. For a dispensation for the error of a false judgment in the administration of justice or the exercise of medicine, ninety livres.*
5. Absolution for heresy, twenty-four livres. 6. Brief of forty hours, for seven years, twelve livres. 7. Absolution for having committed a homicide in self-defence, or undesignedly, ninety-five livres. All in company of the murderer also need absolution, and are to pay for the same eighty-five livres each.
8. Indulgences for seven years, twelve livres.
9. Perpetual indulgences for a brotherhood, forty livres.
10. Dispensation for irregularity and incapacity, twenty-five livres; if the irregularity is great, fifty livres.
11. For permission to read forbidden books, twentyfive livres.
12. Dispensation for simony, forty livres; with an augmentation according to circumstances.
13. Brief to permit the eating of forbidden meats, sixty-five livres.
14. Dispensation for simple vows of chastity or of religion, fifteen livres. Brief declaratory of the nullity of the profession of a monk or a nun, one hundred livres. If this brief be requested ten years after profession, double the amount.
Dispensations in relation to Marriage. Dispensation for the fourth degree of relationship, with cause, sixty-five livres; without cause, ninety livres ; with dispensation for familiarities that have * The latter clause must have produced an immense revenue to
Rome, if the physicians
passed between the future married persons, one hundred and eighty livres.
For relations of the third or fourth degree, both on the side of the father and mother, without cause, eight hundred and eighty livres; with cause, one hun. dred and forty-five livres.
For relations of the second degree on one side, and the fourth on the other; nobles to pay one thousand four hundred and thirty livres; roturiers, one thousand one hundred and fifty-five livres.
He who would marry the sister of the girl to whom he has been affianced, to pay for a dispensation, one thousand four hundred and thirty livres.
Those who are relations in the third degree, if they are nobles, or live creditably, are to pay one thousand four hundred and thirty livres; if the relationship is on the side of father as well as mother, two thousand four hundred and thirty livres.
Relations in the second degree, to pay four thousand five hundred and thirty livres; and if the female has accorded favours to the male, in addition for absolution, two thousand and thirty livres.
For those who have stood sponsors at the baptism of the children of each other, the dispensation will cost two thousand seven hundred and thirty livres. If they would be absolved from the sin of premature familiarity, one thousand three hundred and thirty livres in addition.
He who has enjoyed the favours of a widow during the life of her deceased husband, in order to legitimately espouse her, will have to pay one hundred and ninety livres.
In Spain and Portugal the marriage dispensations are still dearer. Cousins-germain cannot obtain them for less than two thousand crowns.
The poor not being able to pay these taxes, abatements may be made. It is better to obtain half a right than lose all by refusing the dispensation.
No reference is had here to the sums paid to the pope for the bulls of bishops, abbots, &c. which are to be found in the almanacks; but we cannot perceive
by what authority the pope of Rome levies taxes upon laymen who chuse to marry their cousins.*
The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error. It is not long since it was discovered, that all rivers originate in those eternal masses of snow which cover the summits of lofty mountains, those snows in rain, that rain in the vapour exhaled from the land and sea; and that thus everything is a link in the great chain of nature.
When a boy, I heard theses delivered which proved that all rivers and fountains came from the sea. This was the opinion of all antiquity. These rivers flowed into immense caverns, and thence distributed their waters to all parts of the world.
When Aristeus goes to lament the loss of his bees to Cyrene his mother, goddess of the little river Enipus in Thessaly, the river immediately divides itself, forming
This article, if read with a due attention to the time in which it was written, and the state of the country and people more immedia ately addressed, exhibits an excellent specimen of the management andiactof Voltaire in the introduction of incontrovertible principles among a population only partially disposed to receive them, and in the face of strong pernicious and confederated interests, whose prosperity, and even existence, are founded upon imposture and usurpation. There are parts of the reasoning which, in respect to the sacred independence of the rights of conscience, scarcely go far enough : but it is to be recollected that, in France, much positive and obvious oppression was to be rendered odious in the first instance, and more particularly the impudent assumption ou the part of the clergy, of a division of the supreme power, and of an exclusive, and even in some respects of a paramount jurisdiction. It may be added, that the labours of Voltaire and his coadjutors in this respect have been as salutary and effective as they were incessant and laborious; and the re-action which is at this mo. ment taking place, will never be able to effect more than that species of collusive junction which renders the church a potent, yet governable state-engine, to the increase of undue power in the executive and aristocracy, to wliom a great part of the emolumnents of the church usually find their way. For the existing policy of the catholic church under all these changes, consult the instructions of the Dalai Lama to his council, in the article PAGAN PRIESTY.-T.