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some were influenced by different passions and views. For in this mortal life, we all retain some impressions of the frailty of our origin.
Yet neither piety, nor ambition, the propagation of faith, nor the reformation of morals, ever induced them to attempt the deposing of kings, or arrogating to themselves a power disclaimed by the Saviour of the world, convicted of falsehood by his apostles, and unheard of in the church for the space of ten ages. Why have some of the succeeding pon'.iffs deviated from the primitive path? I say some, because it would be unjust to charge them all alike. They^are distinct individuals succeeding one another in the same throne, and one is as much to be blamed for the faults of his predecessor, as George III. is accountable for the licentiousness of Charles II.
Why have some of them deviated from the primitive path? It is that they had prescription and privilege to plead, oaths and treaties to support their claims. In the conduct of kings, choosing them for arbiters (o/their quarrels, covers to their usurpations, and liege Lords of their territories, they found a specious pretext to punish the infraction of treaties, and the breach of prerogative. A repetition of the fame acts introduced custom, custom obtained the
power power of law, the law bound the parties concerned, and the violation of the law has been attended with penalties. Hence the deposition of an emperor was more owing to the code and pandects of Justinian, than to the gospel of Christ. The popes who stretched their prerogative beyond the bounds of moderation, were blamed by the Catholics themselves, whose religion was in no wife concerned in the quarrels of their superiors, and the few enthusiastic flatterers, who have attempted to lodge PaiiTs sword and Peter's keys in the fame hand, and to make an universal monarch of the vicar of a crucified God, who acknowledged the power of a Heathen magistrate, have injured religion, and betrayed either their madness or ignorance. They have confounded fact with right, the unalterable dogmas of faith with the flux and changeable customs of men, and built a Chalcedon, though they had a Byzantium before their eyes.
They should have considered, that thechurch pleads antiquity, and that her criterion of truth, and test of found doctrine, is that golden rule of Vincentius Lerinensis: "Quod semper, quod ** ubique, quod ab omnibus." "What has been ** held ever, and every where, and by all, "ever." The deposing power was never beard of,' for the space of one thousand and eightyseven seven years, from St. Peter to Gregory VII: a great chasm this! and the chain of tradition must be very short, when you take off a thousand and eighty-seven links.
The apostles and their successors preached the Christian doctrine in all its rigour. They taught kings to cherish the cross in their hearts, 'before it was displayed in their banners, and to prefer a heavenly before an earthly throne. Had they thought (and who could know better ?) that the power to depose them, and to absolve their subjects from their allegiance, were conducive to the glory of God and the honour of religion, they never would have concealed it, much less would they have commanded to obey them.
Everywhere and by all. The deposing power though grounded as I remarked before, on temporal claims, has been opposed by the Catholics from its birth. In Germany by open force and bloody wars: in Ireland, whose kings and prelates paid no attention to the famous bull of pope Adrain: In England by a solemn declaration, 16 Rich. II. Even under Elizabeth, a Protestant queen, the English Catholics joined their sovereign, and paid a greater regard to the command of St: Paul, obey the prince, than to the dispensation of Six
tus tus Quintus, or the expectation of being relieved by a Catholic king, which made the Spanish admiral say, " that if he had landed, he would *' have made no distinction between a Catholic "and a Protestant, save what distinction the "point of his sword would have made between "their flesh." I believe it; for a conqueror's sword is an undistinguifhing weapon, were even a crucifix tied to the hilt of it. In invading England, it is the enemy of Spain, not the enemy of the mass, the Spaniards would attack; were they here this instant, they would not deprive a Protestant of his estate, because it belonged three hundred years ago to some old Milesian, whose posterity is now at the plough; it would not be their interest, the laws of conscience and conquest forbid it, and the rivals of England will always find their interest in the poverty and defenceless situation of her subjects.
In fine, the pope's temporal power has beert baffled by the Venetians in their contests with Paul V. And in France, whoever would argue 'm its favour would be confuted with a halter, or galley chain.
According to the canon law, a hundred years prescription in temporals can be pleaded against the Church of Rome. "Contra ecclesiam Ro"manam valet præscriptio centum annorum." A hundred years and more have elapsed, since no pope has attempted to dispose of kingdoms, or absolve subjects from their allegiance, though armies have been poured into the pope's territories, and his cities taken by Catholic princes. Out of his own states, his temporal prerogative is confined to a palfrey he receives from the king of Naples every year, as a customary homage. The two late popes have absolutely disclaimed any temporal power over kings. Thus, things have returned back into the former channel of primitive simplicity: God has his own, and Cafar his due; and the two powers which men had confounded, and blended into one Delphian sword, equally adapted to the ministry of the altar and profane uses, are again divided.
In tracing thus the temporal power, we have chosen a medium between the enthusiasm of some Italians, and the prejudices of their antagonists. The picture drawn by those different painters, is all light or shadow. In resolving it into the grants of kings and civil contracts, prescription and a colourable title, as its first principles, we prefer the middle tints: and in measuring the portrait by this rule, we give it its due dimensions. <
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