Abbildungen der Seite

Toleratio Intolerabilis ; or, the Free Development of the Romish Sys

tem Proved to be Inconsistent with the Welfare and Safety of the

State. By the Rev. H. T.J. Bagge, B.A. Seeleys. 1852. This little work contains much important matter; and in the reasons assigned for limiting the enquiry to the Romish statements of Romish claims, and for considering only the political and not the more strictly religious part of the question on the present occasion, this little volume is suggestive of still more important subjects of meditation: for instance

“ I can conceive no examination more interesting or more essential at the present time than a history of canon law, tracing it from the first humble and salutary regulations of particular assemblies of Christians to its present unlimited pretensions; showing how rules were laid down by assemblies of bishops to meet particular emergencies: how, under the fostering protection of the emperors, canons of a general authority were passed: how these canons assumed first their legislative force from the decree of an emperor: how, further, the Christian adopted the same course towards heretics from the Christian faith as the Pagan emperors had pursued towards Christians themselves : how, first, the edicts of Romish bishops claimed universal respect and then universal obedience: how, when, the Roman seat of empire, having been transferred from Rome to Constaninople, resumed again its sway at Rome, in the person of a Pope, the edicts of the new emperor assumed the same position and character as those of the old; and how, at last a complete · Corpus Juris Canonici' took the same position in the Church as did the Corpus Juris Civilis' in the State. All these details would, I say, have contained materials of surpassing interest, and moreover would have been not without their use to ourselves; but they would have been foreign to my present purpose."

And again, as to treating the question only in its political bearings:

“ It might be thought that, as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, I should have more fulfilled the object of my position in adopting the more strictly religious part of the question ; but I would venture to express my belief that, as regards the real value of the religious part of the controversy, it is only the Christian of real experience who will ever appreciate the full value of the arguments we bring. To one who does not know from personal application to his own soul the full meaning of a free justification by faith, an argument on good works will be but a dry disquisition, productive of as much harm as good to the soul......... I fairly own that I believe as much good may result from a review of the temporal consequences of Popery as from controversies about matters which, without a living faith, cannot be rightly understood; and, besides, the very object I have in viero is to dissociate the toleration of Popery from all considerations which appertain to the toleration of other strictly religious societies" (Preface vii).

This is the real point of the question. Rome differs from


other societies of a religious kind, who are not in connection with the Church of England, in holding principles incompatible with our civil institutions, and destructive of the Established Church; and while Dissenters, who differ from us merely on religious grounds, may be safely tolerated as being loyal subjects, Romanists, who go all lengths with the ultramontanists, may not be tolerated, because the doctrines they maintain are subversive of loyalty.

In the second part of this work it is shown that Rome claims to be a material body, having spiritual objects, which it carries into effect by various ranks, like the gradations in human governments. This society, united under one supreme monarch, contains within itself all temporal governmentsthese being entirely subservient to the spiritual body, or rather that material body whose object is spiritual.

“We being many are one body in Christ; therefore (says Suarez), the Lord Christ constituted the Church as one spiritual kingdom, in which there should be one king and spiritual prince : therefore, it is of necessity that the temporal power should be subject to Him as the body to the soul" (40).

The inonarchy of this spiritual body is, of course, vested by them in the Pope, being an authority committed by Christ to Peter, and hence to his successors, to be exercised by them in all its plenitude, as though Christ himself were present. And it is assumed that the authority of Christ was and is that of a legislator, forcing obedience, which authority is now existent in the Church. Suarez deduces it from the rod which St. Paul speaks of (1 Cor. iv. 21), saying, rod signifies a governing power which, seeing that it is directive, is called a rod of direction (Psalın xlv.); and seeing it is coercive, is called a rod of iron (Psalm ii). This power was immediately given by Christ to Peter and to his successors ” (43).

Boniface VIII. draws out this in one of his constitutions, which was ratified and confirmed in a general council held in the Lateran under Leo X., saying, “ There is one fold and one shepherd; and there are two swords, the spiritual and temporal; both swords are in the power of the Church-that is to say, the spiritual and the material, but one to be used for the Church—the other by the Church : the one in the hands of the priest—the other in that of kings and soldiers—but at the command and sufferance of the priest" (45).

For, argues Boniface, “ There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordered by God; but they would not be

66 A

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• The

ordered unless one sword was under the other. Now, the power of the spiritual sword lies in two things-one is excommunication, the other is the infallibility of the Pope ; for the power is spiritual and ordained to a spiritual end. The Pope's coercive power is exercised in promoting that spiritual end, and the infallibility which he possesses makes him necessarily the only judge of what is, or what is not, conducive to that end which is the object of his jurisdiction " (47).

Molina accordingly lays it down, as an established principle of Romanism, that the spiritual power of the Pope to a supernatural end has joined to it, as a consequence, supreme and most complete power of temporal jurisdiction over all princes and others who are of the Church precisely as far as the supernatural end requires : wherefore, if the supernatural end requires it, the Pope can depose kings and deprive them of their kingdoms.

The consequences of these principles are traced out in the third part of the work before us.

Bellarmine says, Pope, as Pope, cannot regularly depose temporal princes, even for just causes, in the same way as he deposes bishops --that is, as regular judge; yet he can, as chief spiritual prince, change kingdoms and take them from one king and give them to another, if that be necessary for the salvation of souls(54).

Gregory VII, had acted on this principle and cites as an example Zacharias, who deposed a King of France, not so much for his iniquities as because he was unprofitable to so great a power, or unfit for so great a charge, and substituted another in his place and absolved all the French from their allegiance. Urban II. writes, “Forbid the soldiers who are bound by oath to Count Hugo to serve him as long as he is excommunicate ; and, if they should plead their oath, let them be warned that they ought rather to serve God than man.” And the same Pope, Urban II., goes on to say, “We judge that they are not murderers who, burning with zeal for their Catholic mother against the excommunicated, should happen to kill any of them” (66).

Mariana asserts that a prince who, without public consent, has seized the sovereignty, is a man whom any private person may murder. Suarez

says there are two kinds of tyrants--the one class consisting of those who, having no title, have seized a kingdom by force—the other, those who having a true title rule tyrannically: especially in this class is to be reckoned the prince who leads his people into heresy. He thus gets James the First into both classes; for Queen Elizabeth had been deprived of her title by Pius V.; there.

[ocr errors]

fore, James had no title which a Papist could recognise; and James was also leading his people into what they called heresy; and therefore, on either ground, might be slain by any private person. Tyrannum quoad titulum interfici posse a quacumque privata persona (Suarez, Def. Fid. Cath. Lib. vi, chap. 4).

And the Council of Constance declares that no obligation of any kind must be allowed to stand in the way of the interests of the Church-not even a safe conduct:

“ The present holy synod declares that no prejudice or impediment can or ought to arise or be presented to the Catholic faith, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction by any safe conduct, through the emperor, king, or secular princes, granted to any hereties... ... But that it be lawful for the ecclessastical judge, notwithstanding the said safe conduct, to punish such persons as far as justice shall advise if they shall pertinaciously refuse to revoke their errors, even if relying on the safe conduct they shall have come to the place of judgment, to which otherwise they would not have some ; nor does the person making such promises, when he shall have done all that he can, remain under any further obligation."

This decision was come to in order to legalize, as far as Rome could do so, the artifice by which John Huss was entrapped and murdered, “than which we have not in all his

6 tory an instance of more diabolic and deliberate villany:"

“As far, then, as Romish principles are concerned, it must be pretty evident that they are in themselves utterly subversive of the authority and therefore of the welfare of States; and it is perfectly absurd to object, as do some inconsiderate persons, that these principles appertain only to a former and barbarous age, as indeed must appear to any one who would give the subject one moment's consideration ; for these principles, inasmuch as they are those of a Church claiming infallibility, must represent truth itself, and therefore can never change or be in any way dependent upon existing peculiarities of civil developments” (111). Kings of England: a History for Young Children. London:

Mozley. 1852. This little volume pretends to far less than it performs; for

; while it aims merely “ to give young children—including, perhaps, the upper classes of village schools-correct ideas of the general course of events in the history of both Church and State,” it is really a compendium of English history, written in a very easy yet withal graceful style, and in a right spirit; while the price at which it is published will facilitate its circulation among even the humbler classes of the rising generation, It has reached a fourth edition,

Reasons for Aljuring Allegiance to the See of Rome. A Letter to

the Earl of Shrewsbury. By Pierce CONNELLY, M.A. London:

Hatchard, 1852. Facts have greater force than arguments in most cases ; and where the question regards personal conduct, and involves practical consequences, facts have an immeasurable advantage over arguments. Mr. Connelly was a Protestant clergyman who, dazzled by the Roman pretensions to infallibility and purity, sacrificed everything to become a priest of that communion; and finding every Roman profession to be nothing but pretence, and finding that Church to be one mass of corruption and hypocrisy, he has left it in disgust; and has returned humbled and penitent to the Church of England, after having sacrificed everything to Rome except his conscience.

This letter is addressed to the Earl of Shrewsbury, as having stood sponsor to the writer fifteen years ago when he passed over from the Protestant into the Roman communion, and as having received the writer into the confidential relationship of a domestic chaplain at Alton Towers. Facts such as these prepare us for receiving with confidence the statements which follow, as not coming from an obscure, illinformed, or disappointed man; but as being the experience of one who was placed in the most favourable circumstances for discovering the truth, and whom nothing but the truth could have forced to renounce, “not only a position of much happiness and many worldly advantages, but the religion which at one-and-thirty years of age” he “had deliberately chosen;" and for his fidelity to which Lord Shrewsbury bad solemnly undertaken to answer.

Mr. Connelly had belonged to the Episcopalian Church in America; and the slavery on the one hand, and the lawlessness on the other, which he beheld around him, formed the chief grounds for resolving to throw up his American preferment and join himself to the Church of Rome:

“I saw the masses of slaves around me apparently beyond the reach of the Protestant Church ; while at no great distance, on the banks of the very same river, the Roman Catholic clergy had over them absolute control, and the pious white laity of their communion thought it no shame to kneel side by side with the negroes at the foot of a common altar. I saw in the Church of Rome not only an ability to conquer, as I supposed, unto God, but an ability to control effectively and to satisfy the spirits of those it conquered. I saw a wonderful unity of dogma, and, as I supposed, a logical congruity in the system built


upon it."

« ZurückWeiter »