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his work ", we have given a concise (but, we hope, a satisfactory) account of that renewal of contest, with the advocates of Jansenism, which distinguished the pontificate of Clement XI. The effect was, in appearance, favorable to the Jesuits : yet they im. paired their interest by the violent proceedings of their party against the Jansenists. After a long interval of comparative tranquillity, the animosities of contest were revived by the refusal of sacramental favors to dying persons, who were supposed to be attached to the Jansenian heresy.
But, before we enter into any detail upon this subject, it may not be improper to advert to the progress of that infidel philosophy, which had no inconsiderable effect in promoting the ruin of the Jesuits. Bayle, and other writers, in the reign of Louis XIV., had propagated a freedom of opinion on religious topics, which had shaken the faith of many readers; and Voltaire, following more openly a similar course, had disseminated an anti-christian spirit, which menaced the establishment with peril. Diderot and d'Alembert, who, in 1751, sent the Encyclopédie into the world, insinuated scepticism and impiety in the midst of scientific discussions ; and free-thinking became so prevalent, as to alarm the clergy, and call forth their zeal in the defence of an endangered church. The Jesuits, nursed in priest-craft, and devoted to the holy see, were peculiarly exposed to these profane attacks. Their arts and intrigues were developed, and their selfish policy was reprobated with pointed severity. Their Jansenist opponents, at the same time, were not spared, as they had too much religion to be in favor with sceptics.
w This term has been used, as being, upon the whole, the most applicable: but, in some parts, it is a supplement, rather than a sequel. For instance, in addition to Dr. Mosheim's sketch of the contest between the church and the Jansenists in the reign of Louis XIV., and under the following regency, we have given a more detailed account of the proceedings on that occasion.
Hydropic symptoms alarmed him; and other disorders conspired to put an end to his life, in the spring of the year 1724, at the age of 68.
Few pontiffs were ever more popular among their temporal subjects than Innocent XIII, whose death, therefore, was sincerely lamented. His successor was cardinal Vincent Orsini (eldest son of the duke of Gravina), who, having an early sense of piety, had rejected the offer of a splendid marriage, renounced a rich inheritance in favor of a younger brother, and entered into the clerical order, in which he distinguished himself by his indefatigable zeal as a preacher, by his rigid attention to all points of duty, and his scrupulous avoidance of every species of luxury and excess.
The beginning of the pontificate of Benedict XIII. -for so the new pope was styled-was marked by an edict against luxury and fantastic extravagance in dress; and, that he might not seem to attend inore to minutiæ than to objects of importance, he took every opportunity of recommending a strict regard to moral and social duties, and a steady practice of Christian virtues. His exhortations and injunctions had some effect : but, when one head of the hydra of vice was stricken off, another instantly grew in its place. If the wishes of Benedict, however, were not answered, he consoled himself by reflecting that he had done his duty. That consciousness will always impart pleasure to à pious mind. It will soothe the Christian moralist amidst the evils of life, and at the approach of death.
It was in the first year of his government that the affair of Thorn occurred, which, while it contributed to the supposed advantage of the catholic church by injuring the protestant interest in Poland, wounded the feelings of the pontiff, who lamented and reprobated the cruelty that attended the tri. umph of the Romanists on that occasion. Some Lutherans neglecting or refusing to kneel at a procession of the host, a student of the Jesuits' college reproached and even struck them, and some other
zealots of that seminary afterwards insulted the peaceful inhabitants. The aggressor being apprehended and confined, his comrades demanded and obtained his release : but they were not suffered to rescue another who had been seised by the cityguard. Enraged at this disappointment, they committed various outrages; and, in retaliation, the college was attacked and plundered by the populace. The president of the city, on pretence of his connivance at this tumult on the part of the people, was decapitated by order of a Polish tribunal: nine other citizens were subjected to the same fate; and the privileges of the Lutheran inhabitants were arbitrarily annulled. This barbarity disgusted those catholics who had any sense of humanity, and excited the indignation of every protestant community. The Jesuits, however, had the effrontery to maintain, that they had only inflicted due chastisement on their insolent adversaries, who had entered into a nefarious conspiracy against their catholic fellow-citizens; and the king of Poland boasted, in the same spirit of bigotry, that he had vindicated, by the punishment of profane heretics, the honor and dignity of true religion. That prince seemed to think that he had sufficiently blended mercy with justice, by sparing the lives of the vice-president and some other citizens who had been condemned. The Jesuits had, at this time, too great an influence at the court of Warsaw; and they rarely exerted that influence in the cause of justice or of humanity.
The more humane and benevolent pontiff consoled himself, amidst these sanguinary deeds, by a bloodless triumph of that religion which he superintended. We allude to the Jubilee of the year 1725, which he opened with great solemnity, and which gladdened the faithful with the confident hopes of a plenary remission of their sins. He afterwards held a provincial council in the Lateran church, chiefly for a reform of the conduct of the clergy; and the assembly voted for an enforcement of some decrees
dependent on the Romish hierarchy. The laity, in France and other countries, were not very willing to comply with the order : but Benedict, in this point, insisted upon their obedience and submission. If the sovereigns of those states had interfered on this occasion, he would probably have given up the point.
Indefatigable in his apostolical duties, he continued to pray and preach, attend to all pontifical and sacerdotal functions, and direct the conduct of subordinate prelates and ministers of the church. He frequently visited the poor, and not only gave them spiritual comfort, but relieved them by his bounty; selling for that purpose the presents which he received. He habituated himself to the plainest fare, and lived in the most frugal manner, like a hermit in his cell, that he might more liberally bestow upon others the blessings of fortune. But it is to be lamented, that, from inattention to his political duty, he suffered cardinal Coscia, an unprincipled Neapolitan, to pursue a shameful course of rapine and extortion P. Yet he died 9 without losing his popularity, in the eighty-second year of his age, and the sixth of his pontificate.
Clement XII., of the Corsini family, was chosen, after a long contest, to succeed the mild and humble Benedict. He quickly reformed some abuses, which had crept into the administration of the Roman state, and then directed his attention to foreign
p So we are informed by the baron de Polnitz; and the assertion is not disputed by the impartial. Guarnacci, without stating any particulars of the cardinal's misconduct and criminality, says, that he greatly increased his fortune, and governed the pope's dominions at his discretion. Clement XII. punished him with a long imprisonment, subjected him to a heavy fine, and deprived him of the archbishopric of Benevento.
. On the 21st of February, 1780.--He ought to be mentioned as an author; for many sermons, some accounts of the proceedings of synods, a commentary upon the book of Exodus, and sacred epigrams, have been published as his productions. His literary merit, however, is not of the highest kind.
affairs. In the canton of Lucerne, in Switzerland, the laic magistracy of the chief town had presumed to take cognisance of the delinquency of ecclesiastics, and had disobeyed the injunctions of the papa! nuncio, who had therefore retired into the territory of Uri. The pope now adjusted the dispute, and defined the jurisdiction, without any material derogation from the dignity of the holy see. Casting an eye upon Germany, he checked in the catholic states the practice of pluralism, and only in some cases allowed the same person to hold two bishoprics, but never three. In the Saxon electorate, he strenuously promoted the return of the protestants to catholicism, which some were inclined to embrace, in imitation of their sovereign Augustus : but these converts were not very numerous. Not neglecting France, he opposed by new edicts the progress of Jansenism in that realm. Being disgusted at the conduct of the Spaniards, who had seised the duchy of Parma without acknowleging his claim of sovereignty over it, he at first refused to bestow a cardinal's hat upon a Spanish prince, who was then too young to be canonically invested with so important a dignity : but, moved by the importunities of his catholic majesty, he suffered the prince to enjoy the title, and to be administrator of the temporalities, assigning the spiritual jurisdiction to the archbishop of Larissa. A new cause of offence soon arose; for the Spaniards had the audacity to enlist the pope's subjects, and the cruelty to commit outrages upon those who resisted such unwarrantable acts. Philip, however, soothed the irritated feelings of Clement, from whom he procured, for his son don Carlos, the investiture of Naples and Sicily. With the court of Lisbon the pontiff had previously secured a reconciliation, by complying with the request of Joseph : but he was not so acquiescent toward the king of Sardinia; for he annulled the convention which that prince had