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Parry Belmont

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THE PAPACY

AND

THE CIVIL POWER.

BY

R. W. THOMPSON.

“Popery is a double thing to deal with, and claims a twofold power, ecclesiastical
and political, both usurped, and the one supporting the other.”—JOIN MILTON.

“There was no usurpation so great as that of the Romans, who usurped the Em-
pire; neither do I exempt from this rule the priesthood, whose violence is double,
inasmuch as it is doubled in holding men under corporeal and under spiritual
authority."-FRANCIS GUICCIARDINI.

NEW YORK:
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

FRANKLIN SQUARE.

1876.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by

HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

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PREFACE.

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It has seemed to me, for a long time, that it was the duty of the people of the United States to make themselves familiar with the history of the papacy, its relations to the civil power, and its attempted encroachments upon the rights of existing governments. This conviction caused me to enter upon the investigations which have resulted in the preparation of this volume-mainly for self-edification; and if the conclusions I have reached are not satisfactory to others, I shall be content if they are stimulated to make like investigations for themselves.

Having begun and prosecuted my labors from the Protestant stand-point, I am aware that the partisan defenders of the papacy and its enormous pretensions will assign every thing I have stated, whether of fact or opinion, to the force of habit and prejudice of education. This prejudice is undoubtedly strong in all minds; and, struggle against them as we may, we are all apt to be influenced, more or less, by the current opinions prevailing among those with whom we habitually associate. But as I have not undertaken to discuss mere points of religious doctrine, or to treat of the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church, except in so far as they have been employed to influence the civil policy and action of governments, I am unwilling to concede my. self less able to discover and declare the truth in reference to them than is a Roman Catholic to understand and describe the true character and tendencies of Protestantism.

In the claim of impartiality and fairness in all such matters, the advantage is on the side of the Protestant. Roman Catholic writers are led, almost universally, by the very nature of their church organization, into intolerance and dogmatism. They are always ready to assume, with

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