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terdiet is a very flight punishment in comparison of excommunication. The consequence therefore is very fair and plain, whether it be granted, or not, by the Romanists, that since a free prince cannot be depriv'd of his dominions by excommunication, an interdict can by no means subject him to such deprivation at the same time for as the addition of that clause to all excommunications is irregular, it would be still worse to tack it to an interdict, which is a punishment far inferior even to the minor excommunication. I am apt to think there is no logician upon earth but will draw the fame consequence, and that enough has been said to convince scrupulous consciences how absurd it would be for an ecclesiastical judge to inflict temporal punishment for a spiritual crime, supposing no other reason for it than the enormity of such crime, at the fame time that he inflicts a spiritual punishment fevere enough for the greatest of crimes. And from hence it may be clearly infer’d,
even according to the maxims of the See of Rome, that whoever falls under an interdict, has no reason to fear being depriv’d of his dominions.
Now we will consider what reason the court of Rome has for not excommunicating a city or republic, as well as a free prince. How flagrant soever be the crime and disobedience of a republic, all the wit of man can only judge of the fact by appearance, tho' there should
not be the least doubt of the real offender. 'Tis very well known that a republic is a political body, constituted of many members, which is not govern'd after the manner of human bodies, whose members seem generally different in their particular operations, thọ’ they act all upon one and the same principle and niethod of operation. Among the aphorisms of Hippocrates, this is one : « Tis the same thing « to draw blood from one vein as from ano“ ther, because it may be said of them all,
Consensus unus & conspiratio una.” The fame form of government holds in a free state, in which there are various Councils; but they all receive motion from the will of the fovereign, who, like a heart to the body, diffuses spirits, blood, and such other alterations as are suitable to his own disposition. But the model of a republic is different, because every member, which makes a part of that body, has its operations independent on the fentiments of the other parts; and every one of them
may be consider'd distinctly as a microcosm of the whole sphere, of which he is really but a part. Tho'.one citizen, or subject, may have more power, or parts, than another, it does not follow that he has a right to compel the other, whether he will or no, to be of his own opinion. He may indeed do what he can to persuade him, but must use no violence ; for if he should proceed to extremity, he would, by so doing, fubvert the order of
government, and introduce insupportable tyranny. If any resolutions, pass'd in a senate, are so far disobedient to the Church as to deserve her censures, it will be no easy matter to distinguish which of the senators voted for the affirniative ; and shall therefore the whole senate be excommunicated in the lump? This would be to involve the innocent with the guilty, since it may happen that some of the members never voted their way. But to avoid this extreme, Christ has told us, that it is better to pardon a hundred criminals than to punish one innocent person ; and the Church, which knows how much she is oblig'd to imitate that divine master, dispenses with excommunication, which is the extremest degree of punishment, and has recourse only to an interdict, which, tho' it takes in all republicans, cannot be reckon'd for a destructive remediless punishment, because it carries along with it a corrective ; for as we have already shewn, an interdict does not deprive believers of those helps that are necessary to their salvation.
It may be objected, perhaps, that when there is a certainty that such resolution of a fenate is pass’d by the unanimous votes of all the members, excommunication would, in such a case, be denounc'd with justice against the faid senate, as supposing all the members were delinquent; but I answer, this reason will'not hoid with respect to the rest of the subjects of such republic, because 'tis inipossible for all
of them to be senåtors, who, according to the practice of all the republics in the world, are only a number of the best subjects, chosen out of the whole. But admitting that a resolution was form’d by the concurrence of all the subjects, yet, as they have no share in the administration, so they can have no share of the guilt of it ; and consequently, when a whole republic is excommunicated, it would be absolutely impossible for the innocent to escape being punish'd with the guilty, and the former might chance also to be the greater number.
If the republic happen to be a democracy, 'tis certain the commonalty cannot be responsible for the actions of those magistrates, or senators, whom they have instituted, or deputed ; and it is a mere jest to say, that the commonalty, in such a case, are oblig'd to chuse, or constitute other magistrates, or fenators, better dispos’d, in order to repair the contumacy, or other misconduct of the former, and that if the conmonalty refuse so to constitute new ones, they incur the guilt of their deputy's misbehaviour. This pretence, I say, is not to be allow'd, because the commonalty having deputed, or chose the senators, or magistrates, with a view, as'tis suppos’d, only to the public weal, and the good government of the state ; 'tis not the fault of those that deputed them, if matters do not succeed accordingly, and the electors ought ftill to be well thought of; sînce, by the same argument, if a doctor
be chofe physician to an hospital, and all the patients should happen to die under his hands, those who deputed him would be to blame for it, tho', when they elected him, they had all the moral certainty, that could be, of his sufficiency. Another reason still, which secures the commonalty from being responsible for the faults of their magistrates, is this : That by appointing a senate, or magistrates, and vesting the authority in their hands, they shut themselves entirely out of the secret ; lo that nog knowing the causes which deternine the senate, or magistrates, to form such or such resolutions, they have no plea to condemn, or degrade them, and annul their decrees.
From all this it may be concluded, that tho' what I have demonstrated to be true were abfolutely false, and that a free prince might be depriv'd of his dominions by virtue of excommunication, yet a republic cannot run that risk, because the fame is never excommunicated de facts, nor can it be ever de jure, the court of Kome themselves being conscious of their indispenlible obligation not to confound the innocent with the guilty. Moreover, since it may fall out there will be fome persons whose innocence alone may protect them from ecclesiastical excommunication, it will be always allowable for every private person, in cafe he be exconmunicated, to examine strictly whether he is innocent or guilty, in order to see whether his excommunication be justly founded ;