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'God complains, they have been princes, and I knew theai 'not.'*
Bellarmin's misapplication of St. Bernard's text, was not the only mistake his antagonists have censured. His wild conjecture, that 'the Christians would have deposed Nero 'aud Julian the Apostate, and the like, had they had the 'power to do so,' raised the indignation of the Catholic univertifies. 'Quod si Christiani olim non deposuerint Nero'nem, et Julianum Apostatem, et similes, id fuit quia defue'rant vires temporales Christianis.'t The decision was considered by the Catholic divines, as more becoming the scarlet robe of the stern Brutus, who beheaded his children for siding with their king, than the purple of the Christian Cardinal. It was revised by the university of Paris; corrected by the hangman with a blazing fagot; and contradicted by the unexceptionable testimony of Tertullian and St. Augustine. 'Should we want numbers or forces, if we had a 'a mind to be open enemies?' says Tertullian. 'Are the 'Moors, the Marcomans, and Parthians, and whatever na'tions of one place, and confined to their own limits, more 'than those of the whole world? We are but men of yes'terday; and yet have filled all the places you have—your 'cities, islands, and castles, boroughs, councils, and camp 'itself, your tribes, courts, the senate and the market. We have left you only the temples. For what war are we not fit and ready, (even though we were inferior in number) 'who endure death so willingly, if in this discipline it 'were as lawful to kill as to be killed ?'J 'They could 'at their pleasure have deposed Julian,' says St. Augustine, 'but would not because they were subject for necessity, 'not only to avoid anger, but for censcience and love, and 'because our Lord so commanded.'^ In effect, Sir, laying aside the truth of history, had Peter and Paul been as willing to depose kings, for the glory of God, and the propagation of religion, as some ot* our modern zealots of all eommunions, how could Nero have withstood those Apostles, whose word alone was to Ananias and Saphira a
• St. Bernard, Lib. 3. de Consid.
t Bellarmin, de Rom. Pontiff. Lib. v. c. 7.
j Tert. Apol. c. 37. § In Psal. 124.
messtnger of death, struck the magicians blind, and raised the dead to life?
I say, of all communions: for in every communion there are men of deposing principles, which their religion disclaims* 'Iiiacos intra muros peccatur et extra.' Doleman, Buchanan, Milton, Sam. Johnson, Hobbes, Hoadly, Locke, and several other advocates of republican principles, and sticklers for popular rights, are more dangerous than Bellarmin, who disowns the deposing power, except in the case of a prince forcing his subjects to change their religion: 'Si enim tales principes non concntur fitleles a fide 'avertere, non existimo posse eos privari suo dominio.'* A salvo which, I hope, will remove all umbrage and suspicion from the minds of our governors: as they do not reckon persecution in the number of their cardinal virtues: even if they did, resistance is not a principle of the Catholic religion.
But I am clearly of opinion, that had Mr. Locke, the wisest and most moderate of those English writers, been an officer in Julian's army, he would have reasoned the soldiers into open rebellion. He that compares subjects, who would brook the violence and oppression of their supreme ruler, to fools, ' who take care to avoid what mischiefs may ? be done them by pole-cats or foxes, but are content, nay
* think it safety to be devoured by lions/t aild illustrates his doctrine with the following example: 'he that hath autho'rity to seize my person in. the street, may be opposed as a 'thief and a robber, if he endeavours to break into my house
• to execute a writ, notwithstanding that I know he has such 'a warrant, and such a legal authority as will empower him 'to arrest me abroad. And why this should not hold in the 'highest, as well as in the most inferior magistrate, I would 'gladly be informed.'J
Here you see a philosophical freedom breaking the shackles of restraint and ceremony, and under the pretence of redressing imaginary grievances, introducing real mischief and a state of nature, wherein the most factious and daring adven
turers would take the lead.
* to the people at large, includes in it a dissolution of the 4 whole form of government established by that people,' says Judge Blackstone, 'reduces all the members to their origi
* nal state of equality, and by annihilating the sovereign
* power, repeals all positive laws whatsoever before enacted. 4 No human laws will therefore suppose a case, which at 4 once must destroy all law.'* 'Woe to all the princes upon 4 earth,' says a Protestant archbishop, 4 if this doctrine (of 4 resistance) be true and becometh popular; if the multitude 4 believe this, the prince not armed with the scales of the Le4 viathan, ran never be safe from the spears and barbed irons,
* which ambition, presumed interest, and malice will sharpen, 'and passionate violence will throw against him. If the
* beast we speak, of but knows its own strength, it will never 1 be managed.'!
4 But the same equality of justice and freedom that obliged
* me to lay open this,' says the Bishop of Sarum, 'ties me to
* tax all those who pretend a great heat against Rome, and 4 value themselves on their abhorring all the doctrines and 4 practices of that church, and yet have carried along with 4 them one of their most pestiferous opinions,:]: pretending re4 formation when they would bring all under confusion; and 4 vouching the case and work of God, when they were de4 stroying the authority he had set up, and opposing those 4 impowered by him; and the more piety and devotion such 4 daring pretenders put on, it still brings the greater stain and 4 imputation on religion, as if it gave a patronacy to those 4 practices it so plainly condemns.'J The borders of the Thames and Tweed afford then advocates for the deposing power, as well as the banks of the Tiber and Po.
On the banks of the Tiber a bigotted divine vests in the Pope an indirect power over wicked kings. On the banks of the Thames an enthusiastic Englishman vests in the subject a direct power over his sovereign. Religion points out an intermediate course, without giving a patronacy to reveries,
* Blackstone's Comm. b. 1. p. 162.
t Creed of Mr. Hobbes, examined by the archbishop of Canterbury.'
% The Bishop's heat against Rome often mistakes or disguises their real opinions.
(j Sermon of Subjection.
and mankind shall always find their account, better in mediums, than in extremes. The doctrine of the Italian has fattened the German soil with dead bodies, and induced a Pope* to attempt placing his flesh and blbod on the throne of the Ca;sars. The doctrine of the Englishman has placed dray-men and coblers in the seats of British peers; and by an extraordinary vicissitude in bringing a king to the block in England, raised a tailor to the throne m Germany.f
Such are the fruits of those two systems, equally pernicious to the safety of kings, and the peace of society. Their respective authors, in striking from the plain road of the Christian doctrine, 'Let every soul be subject to 'higher powers,' into the airy paths of speculation, have busied themselves in pursuit of a plan the most alarming to mankind. Kings were beheaded, and others deposed, before some of those authors had published their works," it is true: but are they the more justifiable in publishing a doctrine which may tincture the scaffold a second time? The difference between them is, that the Englishman, in terse and popular language, engages the imagination: adorns his subjects by a long chain of deduction: makes truth bend to arguments, reality to appearance; and is read by all. In this great arsenal, every common reader can find arms to reduce his king to reason; the shipwright and> carpenter arc enabled by the rules of political logic, to trim the vessel of state, and steer it through the unbounded ocean of constitutional liberty. But the ultramontane divine bristling with barbarous Latin, is not read by one in three millions. , Powdered with dust, and stretched on the shelf of a college library, he sleeps as sound as Endimion in his cave, and more is the pity: for his doctrine of the deposing power is founded on as solid proofs as the history of that Spaniard who made a voyage to the moon:' and displayed in a style not inferior to that of Valentine and Orson. Of his style and arguments 1 send you the following sample:
'Probatur per sitnilitudinem ad artem frmnifactoriamX efe
* Alexander VI.
-j- John ofLeyden, a taylor, made king of Munster.
j New-coiaed Latin, much of the same date with the deposing power.
'equestrem. Ut enim duse illc artes sunt inter se divers*, 'quia distincta habeht objecta, et subjecta, et actiones; et 'tamen quia finis unius ordinatiie ad finem alterius, ideo una, 'alteri ^rsest, et leges ei prsescribit: ita videntur potestas 'ecclesiastica et politica, distinctas potestates esse; et tamen 'una alteri subordinata, quoniam finis unius ad finem atte'rius natura sua refertur.'. 'That the Pope has an indirect 'power in temporals is proved by the example of the art of 'making bridles, and the art of riding: for as these two arts 'are different, because they have different objects, and sub'jetts, and actions: and notwithstanding, because the end of 'one is appointed For the end of the other, therefore one pre'sides over the other, and prescribes laws to it: in like-man-. 'ner the ecclesiastical and political powers seem to be distinct 'powers, and the one nevertheless subordinate to the other, 'because the end of the one is by its own nature referred to 'the end of the other.'
There, Sir, is learned gibberish, saddling the Pope on the backs of kings, by Aristotle's metaphysics, the object, subject, action, and relation, and end of bridle-making.
Another advocate for the deposing power disapproves the simile: 'because, says he, very gravely, 'if the art of riding 'were taken away, bridles would be useless: but the political
* power can subsist without the ecclesiastical.' 'Si enirnNnon 'sit ars equestris, supervacanea est ars frsenorum faciendo
* rum.'* An attempt to rectify the lameness of the com. parisoh, by one quite as lame. If I had not the authority of a cardinal to apologize for an absurdity, I should not mention it, for fear of being censured: but I expect, that, with his eminence's passport, it will be received by the public.— He compares the Pope to a shepherd, and the king to aris.
* Pastori est potestas triplex: una circa lupos, altera circa
* arietes, tertia circa oves: unde debet arietem furiosum de'pellere.'f ■l> v<<r
You have in these two similies as solid arguments in favour of the deposing power, as Albertus Phigius and Bellarmin have ever advanced in support of their hypothesis: and to them and their authors, I grant the same passport the satirist granted Hannibal in crossing the Alps. . -.j-.
'I, dement, et srera» curre per A] pes,
* Bellarmin, lib. T. de Rom. Pontif. t Bellarmin, ibidem. J Jurenal, sat. x.