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bino, the Ecclesiastical State 'extends from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic, and from the confines of Naples to the banks of the Po; and as early as the sixteenth century, the greater part of that fpacious and fruitful country acknowledged the lawful claims and temporal fovereignty of the Roman Pontiffs. Their claims were readily deduced from the genuine or fabulous donations of the darker ages : the successive steps of their final fettlement would engage us too far in the transactions of Italy, and even of Europe ; the crimes of Alexander the fixth, the martial operations of Julius the fecond, and the liberal policy of Leo the tenth, a theme which has been adorned by the pens of the nobleft historians of the times. In the first period of their conquests, till the expedition of Charles the eighth, the Popes might successfully wrestle with the adjacent princes and states, whose military force was equal, or inferior, to their own *.
Power was indeed given unto him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations--for the Pope assumed the prerogative of being the supreme sovereign of the Christian Church, and exercised for many ages an uncontrolled
* Gibbon, vol. vi. p. 613, 614
and universal authority: The kings gave their power and strength unto him, as previous to the Reformation all the monarchs of the West acknowledged him as their superior and lord, and, as his vassals, submitted to his power and his caprice. In the seventh century Pope Zachary I. deposed Childeric, King of France, the last of the Merovingian race, and absolved his subjects from their oaths of allegiance Y. In the eighth century, Paul I. excommunicated Constanținus. Copronymus, the Greek Emperor, because he endeavoured to abolish the worship of images. Henry IV. Emperor of Germany, was deposed and excommunicated in the eleventh century by Pope Hildebrand II. “ Under that young and ambitious priest, Innocent III. the successors of St. Peter attained the full meridian of their greatness; and in a reign of eighteen years he exercised a despotic command over the Emperors and Kings, whom he raised and deposed.; over the nations, whom an interdict of months or years deprived, for the offence of their rulers, of the exercise of Christian worship. In the Council
y « Socrates faith of the Church of Rome and Alexandria, the moft famous Churches in the Apostles' time, that about the year 430, the Roman and Alexandrian Bishops, leaving their facred functions, were degenerated to a secular rule or dominion." Hooker's Eccl. Polity, p. 152.
of the Lateran, he acted as the ecclesiastical, almost as the temporal sovereign of the East and West. It was at the feet of his Legate that John, King of England, surrendered his crown; and Innocent may boast of the two most signal triumphs over sense and humanity, the establishment of transubstantiation, and the origin of the Inquisition. At his voice; two crusades, the fourth and the fifth, were undertaken a." In the same century
in which the same historian says, that “ Charles the fourth received the gift or promise of the empire from the Roman pontiff, who, in the exile or captivity of Avignon, affected the dominion of the earth," the Monkish miffionaries kept the Papal banner flying in China; and Pope Benedict XII. received a solemn embassy from the Khan of the Tartars. In the next age, Alexander IV. gave a rare specimen of Papal presumption, in dividing America between the Portuguese and Spaniards. “ In the seventeenth century, Alphonso Mendez, the Catholic Patriarch of Ethiopia, accepted, in the name of Urban VIII. the homage of the Emperor of Abyssinia and his court-I con
2 About the year 931, Pafchafius Radbertus first maintained the real presence in the Sacrament.
Gibbon, vol. vi. p. 109. • Whitaker, p. 241. C 2
fess, said the Emperor on his knees, that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of St. Peter, and the Sovereign of the world: to him I swear true obedience, and at his feet I offer my person and kingdom.”
• And to show the high prerogatives to which the Church of Rome holds itself intitled, we have only to appeal to their own writers for authentic proofs. Cardinal Bellarmine, when treating of the Roraan Pontiffs, tells us that they must peculiarly well understand the authority of their own See. Let us therefore hear them speak from their apostolical chair.
“ He who reigneth on high, to whom all power is, given in heaven and in earth, hath committed the one holy Catholic and Apoftolical Church, out of which there is no falvation, to be governed with plenitude of power by one only on earth ; namely, by Peter the prince of the Apostles, and by the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff. This one be bath constituted a prince over all nations, and all kingdoms; to pluck up, waste, destroy, plant, and build.”
Babylon in the Revelation of St. John, by Townson, p. 9:
These are the words of Pope Pius V. in his Bulld against Queen Elizabeth ; towards the conclusion of which, Supported,” he fays,
by the authority of him who hath seen fit to place him, however unequal to so great a charge, in this supreme throne of justice, he declares, in the plenitude of his Apoftolical authority, the faid Elizabeth laid under a sentence of Anathema, deprived of all right and title to her kingdom, her subjects absolved from all oaths of allegiance to her, and those who obey her, involved in the like sentence of Anathema.'
The See of Rome, as it was rising to this plenitude of power, endeavoured to support itself by every appeal to the peculiar favour of heaven. Many of the Popes confirmed their authority by the pretended evidence of ghosts, and of persons affirmed to be risen from the dead. Such is the exact conduct of him who was predicted to come after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, who deceiveth them that dwell in
• This Bull may be seen at length in Camden's Annals of Queen Elizabeth, under the year 1570, and in Burner's Hift. of the Reformation, vol. ij. Collection of Records, P. 377.