תמונות בעמוד

to show in all subordinate positions the ability to obey as well as to effect; he required to win respect and power, confidence and esteem. Then, though he did rise, he was compelled to rise slowly, tested at every step, and exposed at each step by the envy of equals, the jealousy of superiors, and the detestation of success felt by inferiors. Here were the secrets of the successes of the papal administrators found ; they were all men who had been thoroughly trained and most surely tested. We talk now-a-days of our competitive examinations; these examinations were not mere pedantic word-tests, but they were express work-tests. Here is a piece of work to do,-do it, do it thoroughly and well as you are told; and when you have acquired the art of accomplishing the will of others, you may receive the opportunity of exercising a will of your own. Here is a chance offered to every possessor of a special gift to rise by it to the highest offices for which his gifts qualify him, and here, therefore, there is a specific activity of the whole scheme, from root to fruit.

4. In its administration the Papacy was beneficial to the world. It wrought throughout the world a whole network of agencies, animated by one spirit and stirred to one end. It occupied intel. ligence everywhere; it demanded self-denial and it kept its best rewards to its best men. It was a great idea to create a unity of interests in all its members, and to keep up the vital circulation from the centre at Rome to the utmost wildernesses where the humblest hermit dwelt. In its administration it gave a lesson of thorough earnestness and perfect organization,

which nations could copy though they have never been able to emulate it.

5. Even in its history-as compared with any other sovereignty in the world, taken century by century alongside of it—the Papacy has been beneficial to the world. It is easy to compute the evils laid to the charge of a state, for its enemies are keen-sighted to detect its faults, and loud of lung and tongue to expose them ; but even thus a comparison of the evils of the Papacy as a state, will result in its favour if all things be taken into the calculationthe ends, the means, and the results. Indeed, by cutting off from itself all temptations to commit crimes capable of yielding to those who committed them more than a life-rent advantage, it showed that it had a principle in it superior to the family feuds and dynastic quarrels and the inter-dynastic wars which disgraced history in former times; while in modern times, if it has been, or rather seems to be, less immaculate than other Governments, a great deal of this is owing to the false position assigned to it by its bitterest assailants and" most virulent enemies. Altogether, while repudiating Catholicism in its Romanistic form, and willing to denounce the Papacy as an effete form of church government, I cannot but affirm that there is no greater marvel of human history than the Papacy, no monarchy so wondrous as the Popedom, and no sovereignty of such a strange nature as that of the Pontificate; nor can I doubt that so singular and so ancient an institution has

been productive of much benefit to the world ; those who would attempt to prove a negative so vast as that the Papacy has been of no benefit to the world must have hard work. We shall not claim that they should do so. If they can prove that the balance of beneficiality is not in its favour, then we shall hold them to have done enough to prove their point; but so far as we can see, in the light of reason, history, social life, and religion, there seems to be. po good grounds for believing otherwise than that the Papacy has been beneficial to society as an institution and an influence.

PHILOMATHES. NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-I. By the term Papacy, in the question now proposed for debate, we understand not so much Popery as a religious system--though that cannot be wholly omitted from consideration,

as the office, dignity, and jurisdiction of the Popes of Rome, together with their policy, acts, character, and influence. In considering whether the Papacy has been beneficial to the world, we must endeavour to determine whether its influences and effects have preponderated on the side of good or on that of evil. Though our opponents should show that in some two or three ways the Papacy has been beneficial, that cannot be considered to be a satisfactory settlement of the question now under debate: for who or what is there that is evil, that has not been in some way or other beneficial ! as is implied in the old proverb, “It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.”. The extravagance of a number of individuals may have been of benefit to a virtuous and deserving family, with whom they have spent their money ; but if themselves and their own families have been ruined, and many others greatly injured by their extravagance, would it be right to say that their extravagance has been beneficial because one family happened to be benefited by it? A monopoly may be of great service to a few individuals, and be the means of their amassing vast wealth, while it may be impoverishing and crushing to the majority of the nation ; would it then be correct to speak of such a monopoly as having been beneficial We know that it may be alleged

with truth that some of the Popes have been patrons of learning, science, art, and individual worth, and that they have sometimes taken the part of right; but if it can be shown that the iniquities of the Papacy have been such as to much more than counterbalance all its good effects,-if it can be shown that, on the whole, the influences and effects of the Papacy have been evil and injurious, ---then it will be plainly proved that the Papacy has not been beneficial to the world.

We understand the question then to be, Have the office, dignity, character, measures, and influence of the Popes of Rome been beneficial to the world !

To this question we reply in the negative; and in proof of the correctness of our answer we adduce,

1. The peculiar character of the Papacy, from the union of

some temporal, and so great spiritual power in the same individual. For the furtherance of schemes of ambition and aggrandizement, the Popes, as temporal princes, have entered into alliances, raised supplies, and furnished their contingent of troops so as to carry on an offensive war; but when endangered by defeat, and alarmed for the safety of their own dominions they resorted for shelter to their 'pontifical robes, and called on all Christendom to protect the head of the universal Church. This part has been frequently played by the Popes with great address and advantage, to the detriment of various nations in their turn ; for the extreme sacredness attributed to their persons has led to their being protected by various powers with injustice to others, when but for their peculiar position they would have been left to the usual and just consequences of defeat in war; and thus the Papacy has been not beneficial, but injurious.

2. The authority claimed by the Popes above all lawful earthly sovereigns.

The authority thus claimed has led to a baneful interference in the affairs of the nations. Subjects have been countenanced in breaking faith with, in disturbing the goveroment of, and even in putting to death, heretical sovereigns. Kingdoms have been laid under interdict. The persons of monarchs have been enslaved and trampled on. Princes bave been deposed, and subjects absolved from their obedience. The Popes have paralyzed parliaments, agitated nations, and sown heart-burnings among peoples, introducing and carrying on war, bloodshed, adversity, and numberless calamities. Can these measures of the Papacy have been beneficial to the world? That the Popes bave given an ill example to subjects, let the following relation by Baronius, a celebrated Roman Catholic historian, show :-“Our lord the Pope sat in his pontifical chair, holding between his feet the golden imperial crown; and the Emperor (Henry VI., of Germany), with bent head, received the crown, and the Empress likewise her crown from the feet of our lord the Pope. But our lord the Pope immediately struck with his foot the crown of the Emperor, and knocked it to the ground, signifying that he has the power to depose him from the imperial dignity if he deserved it.”

3. Papal bulls and indulgences will tell us whether the Papacy has been beneficial to the world.

A bull of Clement VII. declared the doctrine of works of supererogation to be an article of faith. It was said that Christ had done more than was necessary to make atonement for sin ; that one drop of His blood would have sufficed, but that he shed it copiously to form a treasure for His Church, which the supererogatory merits of the saints, the reward of the good works they have done beyond their obligation, have augmented. The keeping and management of this treasure, it was said, were confided to Christ's vicar upon earth. Under John XXII. a tariff of indulgences was invented. Incest, if not detected, was to cost five groats; and six if it was known. There was a stated price for murder, infanticide, adultery, perjury, &c. In the year 1300, Boniface VIII. published a bull in which he declared that every hundred years all who made a pilgrimage to Rome should receive a plenary indulgence. From all parts people flocked in crowds. They brought with them rich offerings; and the Pope had his coffers replenished. Could an institution which propagated such base delusions on solemn matters, and which so evidently propagated them for worldly gain, be beneficial to the world! And was it not the tendency of what was thus propagated, not only to deceive men's souls and ruin them eternally, but also to encourage the practice among men prone enough to sin already, of all crimes and wickednesses, and thus make the Papacy to be in every sense a deadly evil?

4. The persecutions of the excellent of the earth by the Popes of Rome, whenever they have been able to persecute, show that the Papacy has ever been injurious the world.

For centuries the Popes practised persecution by fire and fagot, rack and torture, imprisonment and death. Others have persecuted from passion, but the Popes have persecuted from principle. The extermination of heretics has been their avowed object. And they have not only killed the bodies of such, but have claimed the power to damn their souls—to pursue them not only to the limits of time, but to curse them to all eternity. Nor have the murders they committed or encouraged been common murders. They have ofttimes been wholesale butcheries, e.g., the massacre of St. Bartholomew, &c. And has the Papacy, which has authorized, directed, countenanced, and defended such measures, been beneficial to the world?

5. Ignatius Loyola and his companions were, by a bull of Paul III., incorporated as “The Society of Jesus." The actions and influence of the Jesuits will show us whether, in incorporating this society, the Pope acted for the world's benefit. To show what the influence of the Jesuits has been we give an extract from Macaulay's Essay on “Ranke's History of the Popes" :-“Jesuits were to be found under every disguise, and in every country; scholars, physicians, merchants, serving men ; in the hostile court of Sweden, in the old manor-houses of Cheshire, among the hovels of Connaught; arguing, instructing, consoling, stealing away the hearts of the young, animating the courage of the timid, holding up the crucifix before the eyes of the dying. Nor was it less their office to plot against the thrones and lives of apostate kings, to spread evil rumours, to raise tumults, to inflame civil wars, to arm the band of the assassin. Inflexible in nothing but in their fidelity to the Church, they were equally ready to appeal in her cause to the spirit of loyalty and to the spirit of freedom. Extreme doctrines of obedience and extreme doctrines of liberty, the right of rulers to misgovern the people, the right of every one of the people to plunge his knife in the heart of a bad ruler, were inculcated by the same man, according as he addressed himself to the subject of Philip, or to the subject of Elizabeth. Some described these divines as the

most rigid, others as the most indulgent of spiritual directors ; and both descriptions were correct. The truly devout listened with awe to the high and saintly morality of the Jesuit. The gay cavalier who had run his rival through the body, the frail beauty who had forgotten her marriage vow, found in the Jesuit an easy, wellbred man of the world, who knew how to make allowance for the little irregularities of people of fashion. The confessor was strict or lax, according to the temper of the penitent. The first object was to drive no person out of the pale of the Church. Since there were bad people, it was better that they should be bad Catholics than bad Protestants. If a person was 80 unfortunate as to be a bravo, a libertine, or a gambler, that was no reason for making him a heretic too." Such a society of men could not be other than a curse to the world, and it was under the patronage of the Papacy that they were sheltered and that they flourished.

6. The personal character of the Popes, and the encouragement given to wickedness through the practice of it by persons in their exalted and supposed spiritual station, proves that the Papacy bas been adverse to the interests of the world. We know that example, whether it be good or evil, travels downwards. The example of sovereigns influences their courts, and thence descends to the next in rank, influencing all grades of society. We need not go out of our own country for proof of this fact in human nature. The example of profanity and licentiousness given by Charles II. infected and influenced the whole nation; and the pattern of virtue given by our present beloved Sovereign has had a mighty effect for good on all classes of her subjects. If such, then, be the effect of example as set by common human beings, what must be its effect when given by a personage unique in his character and position, and exalted above all other earthly personages? What inference 80 natural to be drawn by those who viewed the Pope as infallible, as that deeds done by the vicegerent of the Most High must at least be void of any gross sin P and if not grossly sinful in him, why 80 in them!

But what was the personal character of the Popes? Let us hear witnesses. Erasmus, in his " Praise of Folly," writes, " Are there more formidable enemies of the Church than those impious Pontiffs who, by their silence, allow Jesus Christ to be disannulled; who bind Him by their mercenary laws, falsify Him by their erroneous interpretations, and strangle Him by their pestilential life P" Of Alexander VI., Guicciardini writes, “In his manners he was most shameless; wholly divested of sincerity, of decency, and of truth; without fidelity, without religion; in his avarice, immoderate; in his ambition, insatiable ; in his cruelty, more than barbarous; with a most ardent desire of exalting his numerous children by whatever means it might be accomplished.”. Of Julius II., Roscoe writes, "Bold, enterprising, ambitious, and indefatigable, he neither sought repose himself, nor allowed it to be enjoyed by others. In searching for a vicar of Christ upon earth it would indeed have been

« הקודםהמשך »