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XVI. SECT. I.
IV. Hence it was, that the bishops of Rome lived in the utmost security and ease, and being
entirely free from apprehensions and cares of
Alexander VI. whom humanity disowns, and
V. To the odious list of vices with which
[c] See the Life of Alexander VI. in two volumes 8vo. by Alex. Gordon, Esq.--As also another life of the same pontiff, written with more moderation, and subjoined, along with that of Leo X. to the first volume of the learned and ingenious work entitled, Histoire du Droit publique Ecclesiastique Francois, par M. D. B. published in 4to at London, in 1752.
[d] See Du Bos, Histoire de la Ligue de Cambray, pub. lished at the Hague in two volumes 8vo, in the year 1710.
He afterwards laid siege to Farrara; and, at CENT. length, turned his arms against his former ally,
XVI. the French monarch, in conjunction with the Venetians, Spaniards, and Swiss, whom he had drawn into this war, and engaged in his cause by an offensive league. His whole pontificate, in short, was one continued scene of military tumult; nor did he suffer Europe to enjoy a moments tranquillity as long as he lived. We may easily imagine the miserable condition of the church under a vicar of Christ, who lived in camps, amidst the din of arms, and who was ambitious of no other fame than that which arose from battles won and cities laid desolate. Under such a pontiff all things must have gone to ruin; the laws must have been subverted, the discipline of the church destroyed, and the genuine lustre of true religion entirely effaced.
VI. Nevertheless, from this dreadful cloud that The counhung over Europe, some rays of light seemed to break forth, that promised a better state of things, and gave some reason to expect that reformation in the church that was so ardently and so universally desired. Lewis XII. king of France, provoked by the insults he had received from this arrogant pontiff, meditated revenge, and even caused a medal to be struck with a menacing inscription, expressing his resolution to overturn the power of Rome, which was represented by the title of Babylon, on this coin [e]. Several cardinals also, encouraged by the protection of this monarch and the emperor Maximilian I. assembled, in the year 1511, a council at Pisa, with an inten
tion [e] See B. Christ. Sigismund. Liebii Commentatio de numis Ludovici XII. Epigraphe, Perdam Babylonis nomen insignibus ; Leipsic, 1717. - See also Thesaurus Epistolicus Crozianus, tom. i. p. 238. 243.---Colonia, Histoire Litter. de la Ville de Lyon tom. ii. p. 443.—The authenticity and occasion of this medal have been much disputed, and, as is well known, have afforded matter of keen debate.
cil of Pisa,
CENT. tion to set bounds to the tyranny of this furious
corruptions of a superstitious church. Julius, on
VII. He was succeeded, in the year 1513, by Leo X. of the family of Medicis, who, though of a milder disposition than his predecessor, was nevertheless equally indifferent about the interests of religion and the advancement of true piety. He was a protector of men of learning, and was himself learned as far as the darkness of the age would admit of. His time was divided between conversation with men of letters and pleasure; though it must be observed, that the greatest part of it was consecrated to the latter. He had an invincible aversion to whatever was accompanied with solicitude and care, and discovered the greatest impatience under events of that nature. He was remarkable for his prodigality, luxury, and imprudence, and has even been charged with impiety, if not atheism. He did not, however,
[S] Harduini Concilia, tom. ix. p. 1559.
neglect the grand object which the generality of CENT. his predecessors had so much at heart, even the XVI. promoting and advancing the opulence and grandeur of the Roman see. For he took the utmost care that nothing should be transacted in the council of the Lateran, which Julius had assembled and left sitting, that had the least tendency to favour the Reformation of the church. He went still farther; and, in a conference which he had with Francis I. king of France, at Bologna, he engaged that monarch to abrogate the Pragmatic Sanction [g], which had been so long odious to the popes of Rome, and to substitute in its place another body of laws, more advantageous to the papacy, which were imposed upon his subjects under the title of the Concordate, and received with the utmost indignation and reluctance [h]:
VIII. The [g] We have mentioned this Pragmatic Sanction, Cent. XV. Part II. Chap. II. sect. xvi. note , and given there some account of its nature and design. This important edict is published at large in the eighth volume of the Concilia Harduini, p. 1949. as is the Concordate, that was substituted in its place, in the ninth volume of the same work, p. 1867. and in Leibnitz, his Mantissa Codicis Diplomat. part I. p. 158. part II. p. 358.—The history of these two pieces is given in an ample and accurate manner by bishop Burnet, in his History of the Reformation, vol. iii. p. 3.—See also on the same subject, De Boulay, Historia Acad. Paris. tom. vi. p. 61.-109. Du Clos, Histoire de Louis XI. Histoire du Droit Ecclesiastique Francois, tom. i. Diss. ix. p. 415.--Menigiana, tom. iii. p. 285.
6 [h] The king went in person to the parliament to offer the Concordate to be registered, and letters patent were made out requiring all the judges and courts of justice to observe this Act, and see it executed. The parliament, after deliberating a month upon this important matter, concluded not to register the Concordate, but to observe still the Pragmatic, unless the former edict was received and established in as great an assembly as that was, which published the latter in the reign of Charles VII. And when by violence and force they were obliged to publish the Concordate, they joined to this publication a solemn protest, and an appeal from the pope to the next general council, into both which measures the university and the clergy entered with the greatest alacrity and zeal. But royal and papal despotism at length prevailed.
CENT. VIII. The raging thirst of dominion that con-
vours to crush and oppress all that came within
the reach of their power, were accompanied with The avarice of the the most insatiable avarice. All the provinces of popes. Europe were, in a manner, drained to enrich these ghostly tyrants, who were perpetually gaping
after The chancellor De Prat, who was principally concerned in promoting the Concordate, has been generally regarded as an enemy to the liberties of the Gallican church. The illustrious and learned president Hainault has not, however, hesitated to defend his memory against this accusation, and to justify the Concordate as an equitable contract, and as a measure attended with less inconveniences than the Pragmatic Sanction. He observes, that by the king's being invested, by the Concordate, with the privilege of nominating to the bishoprics and vacant benefices of the first class, many corruptions and abuses were prevented, which arose from the simoniacal practices
that prevailed almost every where, while, according to the Pragmatic Sanction, every church chose its bishop, and every monastery its abbot. He observes, moreover, that this nomination was the natural right of the erown, as the most considerable part of the great benefices had been created by the kings of France, and he insists particularly on this consideration, that the right which Christian communities have to choose their leaders, cannot be exercised by such large bodies without much confusion and many inconveniences; and that the subjects, by entrusting their sovereign with the government of the state, invest him, ipso facto, with an authority over the church which is a part of the state, and its noblest branch. See Hainault, Abregé Chronologique de l'Histoire de France, in the particular remarks that are placed at the end of the reign of Lewis XIV.
The most specious objection that was made to the Concordate was this : that in return for the nomination to the vacant benefices, the king granted to the popes the annates, or first fruits, which had so long been complained of as an intolerable grievance. There is, however, nomention of this equivalent in the Concordate. And it was by a papal bull that succeeded this compact, that the pontiffs claimed the payment of the first fruits, of which they had put themselves in possession in the year 1316, and which had been suspended by the Pragmatic Sanction. See the Histoire du Droit Ecclesiastique Francois. As this substitution of the Concordate, in the place of the Pragmatic Sanction, was a most important transaction, and had a very great influence upon the minds of the English, the translator judged it necessary to give here some account of that matter.