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If indeed that power were not an ambitious one, or were accustomed to exercise a gentle and liberal sway, or were likely to look with a not unfriendly eye upon those who, through flames, had escaped its iron grasp, a divided allegiance would part with its main objection. But we know how the case stands. We know what are the real bonds and obligations of the Romanist; the Creed and Oath of Pius IV., embracing folios, and the Episcopal oath (as truly feudal as canonical) of allegiance to the Pope, with its persecuting clause, which, if withdrawn from peculiar circumstances, by a change of circumstances may be restored *
nities, both personal and real; hence also the jurisdiction of the Church in civil and criminal matters. In marriage, the sacrament ought to be principally considered ; from which it is inferred, that marriage should be regulated by ecclesiastical laws, Finally, every human act may be the subject matter of a sin : there are divine precepts and ecclesiastical laws for every matter: thus the aim of priests is to make themselves masters of everything, when they can.' It would not readily be imagined, that this is a quotation from an honest and intelligent Romanist : but the fact is, it is found in Catholicism in Austria, by Count Ferd. Dal Pozzo, p. 182. He is, it is true, a resolute defender of what may be called the Austrian Liberties.
* See Episcopal Oath of Allegiance, &c. By CATHOLICUS—of which I acknowledge myself the author. The feudal character of this latter oath is at once evident upon comparing it with any which is strictly and exclusively so; as well as from the general and distinguishing character of the whole papal polity, as described by a very competent judge. · The mode of government which Rome still maintains in this kingdom, and from which in no kingdom it ever departed but when driven to it by hard necessity, draws very near to that feudal system of polity, to which the nations of Europe were once subject. It contained one sovereign or suzeraine
They, further, press upon us the ingenious argument, that by perpetuating disabilities and exclusions, with the public disgrace ensuing, we furnish
monarch, in whose hands was lodged the supremum dominium, and this he apportioned out to a descending series of vassals, who, all holding of him in capite, returned him service for the benefice they received, in honours, jurisdiction, or lands. And to this service they were bound by gratitude, which an oath of fealty also strengthened. The application of the system to the sovereign power of the pontiff, and to a chain of descending vassalage in archbishops, bishops, and the inferior orders in the ministry, is direct and palpable.' History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Catholic Religion in England, &c. By the Rev. JOSEPH BERINGTON. P. 275. To affirm the oath above alluded to to be that of canonical obedience only is to defy palpable truth ; and that obedience cannot be otherwise than divided, in the most unfavourable sense and degree, as heretical rulers are concerned, which gives the soul and conscience to a foreign, spiritual sovereign, and what remains alone to the actual, temporal one. CATALANI, the Commentator on the Roman Pontificale, published in 1738, in three volumes, folio, Tom. i., pp. 178 and seq., has plainly declared, that the first oath of this kind, by the Patriarch of Aquileia to Gregory VII., in 1079, expressed, not only a profession of canonical obedience, but an OATH OF PEALTY not unlike that which vassals took to their DIRECT LORDS'—sed etiam juramentum fidelitatis non absimile illi quod Dominis suis directis Vassalli præstabant. $ II. And in g IV., he adduces Florens as asserting, that the three first articles rather extended beyond those in the original oath—fuisse desumptos ex Titulo v. et vi. Feudorum Lib. II. In conformity with this representation is that of Count F. dal Pozzo in his Catholicism in Austria, pp. 183—188. In a MS. collection in my possession, from the Cassano Library, which has the general title, Investituræ et Capitulationes Summorum Portificum, there occur—An Oath of Charles V. and Joanna his mother, professing plenum homagium, et vaxallagium to Clemens VII. for the kingdom of Sicily, which contains many of the clauses, and in the same terms, which are found in the later and longer form of the episcopal oath, the schismatic and heretic not being forgotten, whom, donec convertantur, persequentur et invadent.— Another of the king of Sicily and his procurator to Julius III., exactly in the same style, engaging that each, instead of assisting heretics, eos, juxta posse suum,
them with a bond of union, and strengthen the point of honour, which alone, in many instances, they contend, attaches the adherents of Rome to her communion; and that these, removed, converts would fall into the lap of Protestantism like the ripe fruit of an overloaded tree when shaken by the breeze. But it does not occur to these reasoners, that, if the principle be universal, as in their use of it it certainly is, it is equally cogent as applied to any class or description of men ; and it will then appear, that in our system of internal government, as a nation, like most other nations, we have taken exactly the wrong course; and that the best thing we can now do, is to abolish our statute-book and common law, our courts of justice, our judges and magistrates, and above all, pains and penalties, disabilities and exclusions of every description. There is more speciousness than correctness in the common observation, that opposition increases strength by calling forth obstinacy. It is often the case; but not always. And indeed this would be found out by legislators, if it were the fact. Certain it is, as we have already observed, that the opposition
donec convertantur, persequetur et impugnabit—and Infeudatio facta per Bonifacium P.P. VIII. de Regno Sardiniæ, &c., comprehending an oath almost perfectly agreeing with the episcopal one. And the highest authorities in the papal hierarchy of Ireland could, when tempted by an obvious interest, declare on oath, that this oath is of canonical obedience only!
to the progress of the reformation in Spain and Italy did not promote it*. Killing indeed is decisive work; and had it proceeded in this nation, what would have been the event is among the secrets of Omniscience. But if the plan recommended be indeed, although not at first sight apparently, yet in fact, and to some second sights demonstrably, so great a benefit to the Protestant cause, and so, slowly and secretly indeed, but
* See, on this important and interesting subject, the valuable, but posthumous and imperfect work of Dan. Gerdes, entitled Specimen Italiæ Reformatæ, &c. Lugd. Bat. 1765, 4to. On a subject of which no regular history exists, and of which the best now to be collected must consist of fragments derived from incidental notices of all descriptions; it being the policy and practice of the enemies of true Christianity, who in this instance were the victors, to suppress, as much as possible, the memory and very name of those whom they overbore and immolated (for those who were condemned by the Inquisition were considered, according to our author's observation, as if they had not been born), agreeably to the spirit of that article in the Instructio of CLEMENS VIII., prefixed to his Index, De Correct. 9 ü. Itemque epitheta honorifica, et omnia in laudem hæreticorum dicta deleantur, and amplified with much intensity in the Spanish Index of 1640, Advertencias, &c. v.-it is matter of surprise, that a work so satisfactory could be compiled: and the reader, with the author, will have enjoyed the appearance of another work on the same subject (embracing the kindred events in Spain) by an author, so able to do it justice as Dr. Thomas M'CRIE. The volume which accomplishes one portion of this object has appeared, and certainly has not disappointed the high expectations which were previously formed of the research and general ability with which it would be executed. Gerdes's work, however, is not superseded. The sister-work of the Scottish historian on the Progress and Suppression of the Reformation in Spain has likewise appeared ; and, if it be not better written than the former, certainly possesses more unity and interest.
surely, ruinous to the Roman, how is it, that among the numberless adherents of the
papacy, who are not usually suspected of ignorance or indifference as respects the interests, the stability and advancement of their religion, they should yet, in this instance, discover such unaccountable obtuseness of understanding, as to foresee none of these calamities, but even hail them, and with their utmost power promote their accomplishment? That they should feel no objection to the prevalence of the opinion is no matter of surprise. The surprise really is, that such an opinion should prevail *. It
may be permitted just to observe, with respect to exclusions, and more especially that which seems to be most felt, exclusion from seats in Parliament: that when the clergy, who may be equally able with any layman, and without cure; when all under age, who are often better qualified than their elders in all necessary acquirements; when persons of insufficient fortune, which certainly is an inferior disqualification ; and when women, whose capacities are not less than those of some men, and who may be sovereigns—are all excluded from the legislature, it is out of all reason
* I had written these remarks on this strange argument before I had read the convincing, solemn, and energetic conclusion of Mr. Townsend's Accusations of History against the Church of Rome, directed against the same argument. Pp. 502 to the end, of edition 1826.