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released from their most solemn oaths, and of subjects absolved from their allegiance, by the power of the Popes; nor will the detail be necessary to those who are acquainted with the history of European states.
Such arrogance in obscure individuals, who by the choice of ecclesiastics were raised to the pretended chair of St. Peter, could not have been tolerated, had not Europe laboured under the greatest infatuation: but the charm, we should have thought, must have been dissolved by the schism which subsequently broke out even in the popedom itself, when Clement and Urban discharged their spiritual artillery at each other. This schism, observes Lord C., lasted forty years; during which period it was impossible to say which was the true Pope but, from this circumstance, which made the assumed infallibility doubtful, it clearly appears that the Christian religion may be preserved in its integrity without any Pope.' Indeed, the Council of Pisa declared both Popes to be schismatical. To increase the ridicule of this spiritual farce, a third Pope started up; and the Council of Constance, interfering in this strange contest for infallibility, arrogated a superiority over the Papal see, pronounced all the pretended Popes schismatical, and declared the see to be void. This, however, did not settle the business. For a long period, one set of Popes held their court at Rome and another at Avignon; and Lord C. reckons that a period of one hundred and ten years elapsed without a peaceable Pope.' (P. 249.)
Contemplating the state of the popedom from the election of Eugenius IV., A.D.1431, to Paul III., A.D.1534, i.e. from the end of the schism to the Reformation, the noble author points to many particulars worthy of notice, and is not sparing in his reflections. He attributes the loss of Constantinople, by which the interests of the Christian church were deeply affected, to that fatal schism which, for so many years, kept all Christian kings divided in the quarrel, and diverted them from being united in any one honourable or generous action for the good of Christianity.' (P. 255.) In conjunction with this subject, he traces the causes and consequences of the separation between the church of Rome and the Greek church.
On the private lives of the Popes, we shall not here comment: but, as Alexander VI. (Borgia) assumed, by a bull dated May 14. 1493, the power of granting the East and West Indies to Ferdinand and Isabella, it may be proper to insert here a sketch of his character:
In the place of Innocent the Eighth, to the universal amazement and scandal of Christianity, the Cardinal Borgia was elected, or deelared Pope, with the most infamous circumstances of corruption that
ever accompanied the most secular transaction, and was called Alexander the Sixth; of whom I shall say the less, because his memory is the most odious, and the most blasted by the universal consent of all Catholic writers, who acknowledge him to be an eternal reproach to the holy chair. Monsieur Mezeray thinks he hath sufficiently described him, by saying, that never any Mahometan prince was ever more vicious, more wicked, more infidel than he; and if any one ever surpassed him in all kind of abominations and crimes, it was his bas tard son Cæsar Borgia.'
Having quoted the language of the Popish bulls, and instanced the uneasiness of sovereigns occasioned by a variety of Papal usurpations, Lord C. offers these judicious remarks:
By this that hath been said, it is manifest enough what opinion of, or reverence for, the infallible chair at that Catholic time, Kings, Princes, and Bishops had, both for the ecclesiastical and temporal authority thereof; by their so frequent contemning all his spiritual censures, and their appealing to a future general Council. And there needs no other instance than the authority he usurped in the excommunication of so many sovereign Princes of all degrees; the absolving their subjects from their allegiance and obedience; his interdicting the exercise of their religion in all their dominions; and his conferring "ex plenitudine potestatis" their dominions and territories apon those he favoured more, or upon those who, without any colour of right, would by force invade the same; thereby opening a door to let in all the blood, and rapine, and devastation upon a peaceable Catholic people that could be exercised by the most barbarous and savage enemies and all this upon no other ground or pretence than that they did not wish well to Catholic religion, and were schismatics and heretics; when none of them professed to know any other religion than that which he pretended to be of: nor to be of any church than the same of which he would be thought the head. I say, there needs no other evidence than the insolence, actions, and pretences of Julius the Second, (whose pride and tyranny wiped out the memory of the im pieties of Alexander the Sixth,) to convince all Kings, Princes, and States, how insecure their condition and government must be, and how indevoted and unfaithful their subjects may be to them, if the Pope hath such a power over them as he lays claim to, and hath exercised.'
A long account is given, in this part of the work, of the excommunication of Henry VIII.: but with this fact English readers are well acquainted.
The period from the calling to the conclusion of the Council of Trent, or from Paul III. to Pius V., A.D. 1566, is fertile in incidents illustrative of the spirit and tendency of the popedom: but we need advert only to two particulars as specimens ; the first is the institution of the order of the Jesuits, and the second the establishment of the Inquisition; by which, observes Lord C., (p. 373.) the spirit of the Spanish nation was broken, and its understanding darkened.'
Of the celebrated Council of Trent itself, and of its perturbed sittings, ample details are given, and its result is thus summed up:
In this disorder, and almost in the same confusion in which it had been continued, this famous Council of Trent, after it had sat for above the space of eighteen months in continual dissensions, ended in a visible harmony in the month of December, in the year fifteen hundred sixty-three, to the eternal honour of Pius the Fourth; who, it cannot be denied, steered it with wonderful dexterity, and, by the bounty and good influence of his own stars, and the rare accidents which intervened, brought it to such a consistency as hath given more credit, and produced more unity to that Church, than could have been expected either from the debates or the conclusions. The articles were signed by four Legates, two other Cardinals, three Patriarchs, five-and-twenty Archbishops, a hundred sixty-eight Bishops, seven Abbots Benedictines, nine-and-thirty Proctors of the Prelates absent, and seven Generals of Orders; so that the whole subscriptions were of two hundred and fifty-five hands; and, considering the paucity of the number, besides the presumption of imposing rules, and restraining privileges, contrary to the laws and customs of all œcumenical councils, it is no wonder that the same is not received in many Catholic as well as Protestant kingdoms; and still less that the Church of England rejects what the State never admitted, and hath more reverence for the decrees of its own Councils, (which always consist of much greater numbers,) than the subscribers to those articles of Trent amount unto: and if the parts and learning of the subscribers (for all the names of both are easily known) be considered, there will be more men of profound learning and confessed or eminent piety found in the Synod held in that time in our own country, and in all the Synods which have since been held there, than there were at any time in Trent; though it is not denied that there were many of great estimation in letters, and of lives very unblameable; and yet that kind of learning is much improved since that time, and even in that Church, which they will not deny.'
The last two chapters in the historical part of this work include the period from A.D. 1566 to 1670, or from Pius V. to Clement X. Here the excommunication of Elizabeth and the horrid massacre of St. Bartholomew fall under the noble author's review; and he does not forget to remind us that Gregory XIII., who was then in the Papal chair, no sooner had notice of that barbarous and inhuman massacre, than he went himself in the most solemn procession to the church of St. Lewis in Rome, to thank God for that happy victory.' (P. 427.)
As we proceed in this history, we perceive the sovereigns of Europe asserting their rights against the pretensions of the court of Rome; and, under the pontificate of Gregory XV., we find this court obliged to change its policy, and to relax in its claims. In proof of this important fact, Lord C. remarks, (p. 526.) 'that, in the republication of the Bullarium (or Collec
tion of the bulls issued by the Popes) all those bulls which were sent abroad in the time of Gregory XIII., Sixtus V., and Clement VIII., to the eternal reproach of the crown of France, were left out, that the presumption and malignity of them might be forgotten.' The resentment of the King of France, and the humiliation to which he subjected the Pope, in consequence of the violence offered by the Corsican guard, in the city of Rome, to the French ambassador, manifest a very striking proof of the decline of Papal despotism, towards the end of the 17th century.
After having, in nine long chapters, afforded a sufficiently ample display of Papal usurpations, and after having attended every Pope, from St. Peter to Clement X, (who was living when the noble author wrote, but died in 1676,) through a series, according to the best account, of 243 Popes, Lord C. closes the details of this historical discourse with the two following observations:
The first is, the extreme scandal and damage religion hath sus tained from this exorbitant affectation of superiority and sovereignty in the Pope; the greatest schisms and separations amongst Christians having flowed from that fountain; and from thence the greatest ruin to kings and kingdoms, in the vast consumption of treasure and blood in unnatural wars and rebellions, having had their original.
The second is, that Catholic Princes themselves, who, for their own benefit and mutual exchange of conveniencies, do continue that correspondence with the Popes, and do themselves pay and enjoin their subjects to render that submission and obedience to him, have not that opinion of his divine right, nor do they look upon it as any part of their religion; so that in truth the obligation which is imposed upon the Catholic subjects of Protestant Princes is another religion, or at least consists of more articles of faith than the Catholic Princes and their subjects do profess to believe.'
Since the latter remark applies so closely to the Catholic subjects of the British empire, the posthumous work before us is intitled to the fullest consideration. Lord Clarendon was persuaded that no union can take place between the Catholic and the Protestant church, till the power of the Pope is destroyed; and he recommends a National Council, by which as in other countries the Catholic church may be made independent of all foreign jurisdiction. If the Catholics will abjure the Pope, then, he contends, may the state repeal the penal laws against them; and he hopes that they will find enough of their best clergy to concur with and support them in this resolution. With much liberality, this noble author endeavours to place Catholics and Protestants on good terms with each other; and he calls on the former to adopt those principles of policy, by which every objection to their admission to the fullest enjoy
ment of civil rights in Protestant states would be removed. He thus concludes:
This would be the way, and the only way, to make the practice of religion flourish amongst Christians, without any violation of Christian charity; and, the uncharitableness of all faction being removed, there would remain such an innocence and integrity in the heart, as would make our religion acceptable to God; and when no mischievous action doth necessarily result from our opinions, how erroneous soever, we should be no more offended with each other for those differences, than for the distinct colour of our eyes or hair.'
We wish to persuade ourselves that, as this work was written many years ago by a nobleman who was eminent for his talents, the long account which we have given of it will not be deemed superfluous; and that Catholics, while they must rest assured of the good intentions of the writer, will not regard it as a party-publication, but duly consider what good they can derive from the advice which it contains.
ART. VII. The Code Napoleon, verbally translated from the French; to which is prefixed an Introductory Discourse, &c. By Bryan Barrett, of Gray's-Inn. 8vo. 2 Vols. 11. 8s. Boards. Reed.
HATEVER becomes of the dynasty of Napoleon, it is probable that the Code of Law, which passes under his name, will in some shape be perpetuated, so far as to remain an object of interesting inquiry to the present and to future generations. Calculated as it is in many respects for the purposes of rational government, and exempt from any taint of the visionary and mischievous principles of the revolutionary system, surely the name alone of its founder will not be sufficient to induce the sound part of the French nation, under any ruler, entirely to annul its provisions. If it had no other merit than that of hav ing given to the kingdom of France one uniform law, in the place of a great variety of clashing and irreconcileable systems of judicature, which formerly prevailed in its different provinces, this alone would afford it a claim to continuance which cannot fail, after eleven years' experience, to be strongly felt and universally appreciated. These considerations, together with the assurance specifically announced in the public acts recognized by the restored monarch, encourage us to believe that no apology is necessary for requesting the reader's attention to a succinct account of the work announced at the head of this article; more especially as it forms a proper sequel to the observations of which they are already in possession, on publications intimately connected with the present.