« ElőzőTovább »
rent indeed would have been the face of poor England, if the diabolic Philip had not been mercifully removed from this country to do the work of his father in his own. It was almost too much to expect, that so explicit and voluntary an admission as that just adduced with respect to Spain should be found with respect to Italy, although the fortunes of the Reformation in both countries were so perfectly analogous; but a writer, whose devotedness to the interests and credit of his church can never be questioned, the papal historian of the last of her councils, Cardinal Pallavicino, in an eulogy upon the Pontiff Paul IV., for his zealous attachment to the inquisition, has assigned the preservation of Italy from the infection of presumed heresy to the activity of the holy tribunal. D'eterna lode lo fà degno il tribunal del Inquisizione, che dal zelo di lui e prima in autorità di consigliero, e poscia in podestà di principe, riconosce il presente suo vigor nell' Italia, e dal quale riconosce l'Italia la conservata integrità della sua fede*.
* Concil. di Trento, ii. p. 128, or parte ii. 1. xiv. c. ix. $ 5. I owe this reference to the valuable and well-timed History of the Reformation of the Church of England, by the Rev. HENRY SOAMEs, vol. iv. p. 573. It is but justice to that acute writer to subjoin his observation upon it. This passage is worthy of remark, probably even more on account of its concluding clause, than of its testimony to Paul's love for the inquisition. It is, undoubtedly, an important admission from a Cardinal and a Jesuit, that without the systematic use of death and torture, Italy herself would have
It is scarcely possible for the mind, which contemplates with interest either the general prosperity of nations or the establishment of
pure Christianity, not to propose to itself the question, how far a religious system, with such inclinations, with such resources, and so little restrained by any principles in the use of them, as is that of the church of Rome, can with prudence or justice be entrusted with any power whatever to injure, by any community not professing the same creed and
embraced the Reformation. To the testimony of Pallavicino we may add that of the interesting biographer of Paul IV., who inserts a long epistle written by the Theatine Regular Clergy of the time, in commendation of the Pope; and, at pp. 70, 71, they do not forget the Inquisition, by means of which adeo fides Catholica instaurata est, ut Hæreticum virus, quod in ipsa Italia passim serpebat, extinctum, multique eo correpti sanati sint. At great expense the Pope built an ample office. Nec quidem immerito. Seit enim Optimus Pontifex id maximi referre ad conservandam in omni Italia Orthodoxam Religionem. This is contemporary evidence, the letter being dated 1559. The apprehensions for Italy are amply detailed by the author, pp. 98, 99; and, as respects Naples in particular, in the subjoined Vita Thienæi, pp. 239—242. The manner in which the popular feeling was expressed upon the death of this inquisitorial pontiff is generally known: but the description given by this writer has in it something remarkable. In obitu Pauli cum vasano furore carceres Sanctæ Inquisitionis effracti fuissent, hæretici ad iXXII. inter quos multi heresiarchæ erant, veluti totidem Tartareæ Eumenides, inde proruperunt. Uti Vincentius Bellus in Diario suo scriptum reliquit ; Ut hinc conjicere quisque possit, quam magnum exitium viventis Pauli severitas improbitati attulerit. CARACCIOLI Collectanea de Vita Pauli IV., p. 102. The Inquisition has always been deservedly dear to the apostles of Rome: but it may be some information to the Protestant reader to learn from Paramo, that the holy office originated in paradise, and is traceable in all the succeeding ages of the Jewish and Christian history.
admitting its authority, or adverse to both, as, by its very name, every Protestant state must be. Little sagacity is required to discover, that in exact proportion as it confers or increases that power, in the same it injures, if it does not destroy, but in all cases tends to destroy, its own constitution. It certainly is not pretended, that individual religion must be extinguished, even by the absolute triumph of Romanism and its wildest riot in blood : but this will never justify a protestant government in exposing its subjects and the general christianity to such a trial and hazard*. The secure and peaceable profession of the reformed faith is the object which it should most anxiously endeavour to maintain ; and if any secular temptation prevail with it to surrender this object, the uncorrupt portion of the nation, in accordance with truth itself, and therefore with awful authority, will pronounce it guilty. When will a protestant legislature open its eyes to the serpent, which it is continuing to cherish at Stonyhurst, which in foreign countries, scotched, not killed, is discovering its unconquerable vitality in this, and will soon discover its venom, in the apostasy of those, whom its artifices have beguiled, its wealth
* Otherwise, from the position, that 'the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,' might, with equal plausibility, be inferred the duty, either of courting, or of inflicting persecution.
bribed, or its power overawed *? Nothing but power reveals what the Papacy really is : it can assume—it is its interest and practice to assume, every disguise—the appearance even of the character most opposite to itself—while impotent. But let the season of prosperity breathe upon it, and the dead lion will become a living and furious
A great portion of its destructive strength lies, and has always lain, in what prophecy has emphatically denominated its DECEIVABLENESS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. The great Sorceress sits
upon her seven hills, dealing out her drugs and potions to the infatuated nations and sovereigns of the earth. Assisted by the wisdom of her superior teacher, she mixes the ingredients of her cup with exact accommodation to the inclinations and tastes of those whom she would seduce, intimidate, or ruin ; and the records of history mournfully proclaim her extensive-her almost universal
We mistake if we imagine that all this has past by : that very opinion revives its existence. There is reason to question, whether the poison has not already entered the veins of some who fancy themselves most free. Nor is there anything highly absurd in the apprehension, that the papal religion may continue its progress,
the conclusion of the
aling Act re
* What execution will be given mains to be proved.
until it prevail again extensively in this country. In its peculiarity, it is eminently a religion of nature, armed with all those fierce energies, as well as those irresistible delusions, by which the superstitions of heathenism, both ancient and modern, have laid prostrate the souls of their victims;
and recommended more artfully and effectually than in any other invented faith, by supplying the grand desideratum of vitiated humanity—a religion by proxy.
In logic, and logic is necessary in the determination of the merits of every cause, nothing is more deceptive than generalities. It is almost a proverb, Dolus latet in generalibus *. General propositions constitute the materials and instruments of Metaphysics. Some adoption of this mode of conceiving and expressing our notions is almost unavoidable; and if it be done with judgment and honesty it is highly serviceable, particularly in economizing time. But these are edged weapons, and most unsafe in the hands of either the injudicious or the designing. The reason is obvious. Every general proposition contains in itself a number, greater or less, but generally large, of particular propositions. If these latter deviate in quantity or kind from what ought to be
* Or, as it is sometimes given, Dolosus versatur in generalibus.