Page images

Reformation, because we well perceive that they will give ear to nothing that may hinder the profit and authority of the Court of Rome. Besides, the Pope is so much master of this Council, that his pensioners, whatsoever the Emperor's Ambassadors or we do remonstrate unto them, will do but what they list.'

The latter writes as follows to the Queen-Mother. 'My Lords the Legates, together with the Italian Bishops which came from Rome, made a kind of Decree, that nothing should be proposed for the Fathers to consult of, but by the Legates only, or, at the least, nothing but what pleased them. This we have seen observed even to the shutting up of the Council.'




We agree with Dr. M'Crie that it is impossible to conceive any thing more deplorable than the picture of the Council drawn in the confidential correspondence of Vargas, who was attached as legal adviser to the embassy sent by Charles V. to Trent. The legate is always the same;' says he in a letter to the Cardinal Bishop of Auras; he is a man lost to all shame. Believe me, Sir, I have not words to express the pride and effrontery, which he displays in the affairs of the Council. Perceiving that we are timid, and that His Majesty is unwilling to hurt or offend the Pope, he endeavours to terrify us by assuming stately airs and a haughty tone. He treats the Bishops as slaves threatens and swears that he will depart. It is useless for His Majesty to continue longer to urge the Pope and his ministers. It is speaking to the deaf and trying to soften the stones.


It serves only to make us a laughing-stock to the world, and to furnish the Heretics with subjects for pasquinades. We must delay till the time when God will purify the Sons of Levi. That time must soon come and in my opinion, this purification will not be accomplished without some extraordinary chastisement. They cannot remain long in their present state the evils are too great. All the nerves of ecclesiastical discipline are broken. The traffic in things sacred is shameful. The prediction of St. Paul is about to be accomplished in the Church of Rome: That day cannot come unless there come a falling away first. As to the manner of treating doctrines, I have already written you that they precipitate every thing, examine few questions, and do not submit them to the judgment of the learned divines who are here in attendance. Many of the Bishops give their vote and say Placet' on points which they do not understand, and are incapable of understanding. There is no one here who appears on the side of God, or dares to speak. We are all dumb dogs that cannot bark.'

[ocr errors]

Notwithstanding all this, and much more to the purpose, Vargas adds like a true son of the Church'As for myself, I obey implicitly, and will submit without resistance to whatsoever shall be determined in matters of faith. God grant that all may do this.' (See History of Reformation in Spain, p. 168.)

So much for the Pope's Legates, who are Janissaries of His Holiness no less than the Jesuits. We now turn to the speech delivered by Laynez in the

Council, on the 20th of October, 1562. This address was of two hours long, and was made for the purpose of attacking the Episcopal authority, and of concentrating all authority in the sole person of the Pope. We will give the speech at full length, as it affords an excellent commentary on the words of St. John, Saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an Image to the Beast."


'The argument of his discourse had two parts: the first he spent in proving, that the power of jurisdiction was given wholly to the Bishop of Rome, and that none in the Church besides hath any spark of it, but from him; and the second, in resolving all the contrary arguments, used in the former Congregations. The substance was, that there is great difference, yea, contrariety between the Church of Christ and civil societies. For these have first their being, and then they frame their government, and therefore are free, and all jurisdiction is originally in them, which they do communicate to magistrates, without depriving themselves of it. But the Church did not make itself, nor its government, but CHRIST, who is Prince and Monarch, did first constitute laws, by which it should be governed, and then did assemble it, and, as the Scripture saith, did build it; so that it was born a servant, without any kind of liberty, power, or jurisdiction, and absolutely subject. For proof hereof, he alleged places of the Scripture, in which the Congregation of the Church is compared to a sowing, to the draught of a net, and to a building and where it is said that CHRIST came into the

world to assemble his faithful people, to gather together his sheep, to instruct them by doctrine and example. Then he added, that the first and principal ground, upon which CHRIST built the Church, was PETER and his succession, according to the words which he spake to him: "Thou art PETER, and upon this Rock I will build my Church." Which Rock, however, some of the Fathers have understood to be CHRIST Himself, and others the faith of Peter, or the confession of his faith, yet the more Catholic exposition is, that PETER himself is understood, who in the Hebrew and Syriac is called a stone. And, continuing his discourse, he said, that while CHRIST lived in mortal flesh, He governed the Church with an absolute monarchical government, and, being to depart out of this world, left the same form, appointing for his Vicar ST. PETER and his successors, to administer it, as He had done, giving him full and total power and jurisdiction, and subjecting the Church to him, as it was to himself. This he proved of kingdom of heaven

PETER, because the keys of the were given to him only, and by consequence power to bring in and shut out, which is jurisdiction. And to him alone it was said, Feed, i. e. govern my sheep"-animals, which have no part or judgment in governing themselves. These things, that is, to be a Key-keeper and a Pastor, being perpetual offices, must be conferred upon a perpetual person, that is, not upon the first only, but upon all his succession. So the Bishop of Rome from St. Peter to the end of the world is true and absolute Monarch, with full and

total power and jurisdiction, and the Church is subject unto him, as it was to CHRIST.

'And, as when his Divine Majesty did govern it, it could not be said, that any of the faithful had any the least power or jurisdiction, but mere, pure, and total subjection, so it must be said, in all perpetuity of time, and so understood that the church is a sheepfold, and a kingdom; and that which St. Cyprian saith, that there is but one bishopric, and a part of it held by every bishop, is to be expounded, that the whole power is placed in one pastor, without division, who doth impart and communicate it to his fellowministers, as cause doth require. And in this sense St. Cyprian maketh the Apostolic See like unto a root, an head, a fountain, and the sun; shewing by these comparisons that jurisdiction is essential in that alone, and in others by derivation or participation. And this is the meaning of the words, so much used by antiquity, that PETER and the POPE have fulness of power, and the others are of their charge. And that he is the only pastor is plainly proved by the words of Christ, when he said, "other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The shepherd meant in that place cannot be CHRIST, because he would not speak in the future, that there shall be one shepherd-himself not being a shepherd; and therefore it must be understood of another shepherd, which was to be constituted after him, which can be no other but PETER and his successors. And here be noted that the precept, "Feed the flock," is found

« PreviousContinue »