網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

fent Recourse to a visible, unerring Authority in DeciSion of Controversies; since if their Opposers had retused to acquiesce in his Decermination, their main Work had been not so much to contute their Opinions, as to convince them of their Duty to obey fuch fupreme Judge. But they making Ule of no such Medium, we may confidently conclude, they never had any Thought of fuch a Power delegated to any on Earth.

Platina, who writes the Lives of the Popes, dedicated to Pope Sexsus the Fourth, whose Secretary he was, in the Life of St. Peter, tells us this formal Story; That Peter sometime before his Death consecrated Clement, and committed to him the Chais, and the Church of God, his Verbis, in chele Words, « The same Power of bind«ing and looking I deliver to thee which Christ left me, do then, contemning and despiting all outward Things, promote by Pray'r and Preaching the Salva“ tion of Men, as becomes a good Pastor." Sure we are, modern Popes, cho'they talk much of the Former, have very little Regard to the latter Part of his Charge.

But how comes it to pafs, after this exact and formal Story fo gravely told, that the fame Author fets down the Lite not of the said Clement as Succeffor to Peter, but of one Linus, who he says enjoy'd che Seat eleven Years, three months and twelve Days! And after him one Clitus, who Poped it tor twelve Years, one Month, and eleven Days, and then after this Nap ot twenty four Years, comes this honest Father, Clement, into the Chair, and held it nine Years, two Months and ten Days. So that it seems their Sụccesfion got a knock in the Cradle; for by this reckoning, Clement, lamentably neglected his Charge for above twenty Years, and the two next Bishops that followed Peter, were Ufurpers. This inconsistency makes the Tale (mell rank especially if we consider,

is, That if Peter did fo ordain, either Clement or Lja nus, or any other Head of the Church, then he either divested himself of that Authority and became as well as others under such new Head; or else from that Time

[ocr errors]

till his Death, the Church had two visible Heads; both which are absurd.

2dly, If Clement, Linus, or any other succeeded Peter in the Primacy and was Head of the Church, then James, and John, and other. Apostles who survived Peter, were under, and must obey Clement, doc. But 'tis unreasonable to think, that those who were of the Chief of the Apostles called by Chrift, and (a) who were equal'd with, it not preferr'd before Peter himtelf shou'd become Inferiors and obey an ordinary Bishop called by Man. And to satisfy us that there was no such thing on foot in that Age, we may observe, that the Writings of James and John are by the Church owned in the Canon of the holy Scriptures, whereas those of Clement (tho' fome are extant in his Name) arc rejected as not Canonical.

Lastly, Suppose what they say, that Christ ordained Peter his Successor, and Peter, Clement, or Linus, yet it is nothing to the latter Popes, because they are neither called immediately as Peter by Christ, nor from the Pope foregoing, as Clement by St. Peter, but by the Cardinals. And whence had the Cardinals that Power ? If from God, let them produce their Warrant, if from Men who were they, and by what Authority?

let

But wou'd you know indeed whose Successor the Pope is, we may safely affirm, rather of simon Magus, than of Simon Peter; for Pride. Ambition and Covetousness prompted them to usurp {uch Titles and Power. Now, pray us reflect, on what a horrid Succesion they boast ot: A Succession from that Heretick, John the 22d. who deny'd the immortality of the Soul; from John the 23d. Gregory the 12th. and Benedict the 13th. who were all Popes at once, and all cashier'd by the Council of Conftance as illegitimate; from Pope Eugenius, whom the Council of Bafil convicted both of Schism and Heresy;

(a) Gal. 2.

from

from Pope Marcellinus, who facrific'd to Idols ; from Pope Liberius, who turn'd Arian; from Pope Anaftafius, whom the Roman Clergy excommunicated for being an Heretick; from Pope Silvester the 2d. who facrifică to the Devil; from Pope Formofus, who got the Chair by Perjury; from Pope Sergius the 3d. who caus’d another Pope's Body to be dug out of the Grave, and his Head to be cut off and Aung into the Tyber; from Pope Boniface, who imprison'd his infallible Predecessor, and plucked out his Eyes ; from Pope Hildebrand, who threw the Sacrament into the Fire; in a Word, from such a fulsom Pack, that Heathen Rome with her Nero's, and Domitians, and all other Pests of Mankind, cou'd not match them. How unlike are these Popes to St. Peter ? fhou'd the good old Man revive, how wou'd he wonder at such Succeffors ? It is reported ot Raphael D'Urbin, the famous Painter, when he drew the Portraitures of St. Peter, and St. Paul, that the then Pope taxed him with laying too much Colour on their Faces; he reply'd, that he did it on purpose, to represent them blushing in Heaven, to see what Succeffors they had got upon Earth. So Thomas Aquinas coming to Pope Innocent the 4tb. whom he found surrounded with great Heaps of Gold; Lo Thomas! said the Pope, the Church cannot now say, as of old; “ Silver and Gold have I none:" No, says tha surly Doctor, nor can se say to the Lame, “ Arise and

Having Mewn you how far the Pope is St. Peter's Suca cessor, we shall now proceed to give you a brief History, after what Manner, and at what time, his Holiness assum'd to himself the Title of universal Bishop, and supreme Head of the Church.

Among the Causes preparatory and co-operating towards bringing the intolerable Roman Yoke on the Necks of our Forefathers, we may reckon this among many subsequent Revolutions, which are too tedious to enumerate; "that is to say, the Removal of the Imperial Seat to Conftantinople: On which Occasion, neither the Emperors, nor lo much as their Exarchs or Viceroys residing at Rome, it came to pass, that the Splendor of the Imperial Majesty, being far removed from the Eyes

Walk.”

of the Roman People, their Bishops shone so much the brighter, and gained a proportionable Increase of Respect, and opportunity to play their Pranks at Home; yet none of them were so insolent as to assume the haughty Name of universal Bishop, for fix bundred Years atter Christ came into the World.

This is apparent in Gregory, the first of that Name, Bishop of Rome, who mounted that Chair about the Year 590. For in the Time of Gregory's Popedom, John the 4th. Bishop of Conftantinople, Aushed with the Emperor's Presence, and alledging that the Imperial City ought always to have the chiet Bishop, wou'd needs af Lume to himself the Title of Oecumenical (that is, univerfal) Bishop

And here it will deserve the Reader's Attention, to obServe the Arguments Pope Gregory uses

against any Bishop whatsoever, that shou'd term himself Universal: God in his wonderful Providence so ordering, that this Question should now be argued and debated to the Full, that the Popes of the ensuing Ages might be condemned, out of the Mouth of their Predeceffor; and especially this Gregory, so eminent and renowned a Personage amongst them. We hali therefore select a few of his own Expressions, faithfully translated out of some of his Letters, extant in his Works, as tollow.

Writing to the Emperor, he faith, (a) Peter was “not called universal Apotle, and yet behold, my fel. “ low Priest, John, seeketh to be called universal Bi“ Thop. O Times! O Manners! Europe is now exposed • for a Prey to the Barbarians, and yet the Priests who « should lay themselves in Duft, and weeping rowl “ themselves in Ashes, seek after Names of Vanity, and “ boast themselves of their new-found profane Titles.”

Writing to Cyriacus, fohn's Succeffor, persisting in the same Pretensions of Univerfality, he intreats him, (b) “ To abolish that Word of Pride, by which there is

(a) Lib. 4. Ep. 32. (b) Lil. 4. Ep. 28.

[ocr errors]

* fo great Scandal given to the Church:" For, fays hy

Wholoever is desirous of Honour, contrary to the “ Honour of God, fhall never be accounted honourable « by me: Neither may you say, that the using this Title " is nothing; for if we bear this Matter quietly, we o“ vertbrow the Faith of the whole Church; the À. “ greement to this wicked Title is the lofing of the « Faith : What Answer wilt thou make unto Chrift, er that is indeed the Head of the universal Church, åt “ the Tryal of the last Judgment, that thou go:{t about, * Under the Name of universal Bishop, to subdue his * Members unto thee?

() " Because Antichrist, the Enemy of the Almighty, " is now at Hand, my Desire is, that he may find nothing * of his own, either in the Manners or Names of the « Priests: I speak it boldly, whosoever calls himselt, or e desires to be called of others, the universal Bishop or :6 Priest, is in his Pride the Forerunner of Antichrift; « because in his Pride he settech himself before ow chers.”

And the better to express his Detestation of fuch lotiy Titles, in Opposition to the faid John and Cyriacus; he first of all took to himself the Appellation of Servas Servorum, the Servant of the Servants of God; which his Successors, with a most impudent Hypocrisy, to this Day retain; tho', at the fame Time, they use all Endeavours to domineer over all the World.

But Gregory liv'd but a Mort Time after, and was fucceeded by Sabinian, a Fellow born nobody knows where, and Platina says, “ None need care, for he was “ a very Churl, and so inveterate an Enemy to his Pre" deceffor, that he endeavour'd to have buro'd all his “ Writings.” He ruled the Roast not full an Ycar and half, and then, (after a Vacancy of very near twelve whole Months) comes Pope Boniface the 3d. a Man very bold, and very ambitious; who about the Year of our Lord, 608. first honoured the Holy See with this

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »