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derision and scorn, not only to men and angels, but even to the lowest infidel.” Such was the state of the Church of God when the Light of the Gospel began first to shine upon it, when the fury of tyrants was not yet assuaged, or the sword diverted from the necks of Christians.Surely then we ought not to be astonished, if men still remain men, though dignified by the name of Christians,

CHAP. IV.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE MANNERS AND VICES OF THE

POPES AND PAPISTS, 'AND OF THEIR VARIOUS INTRIGUES, TO OBTAIN ECCLESIASTICAL SUPREMACY.

But whilst these men reflect so bitterly on our proceedings, why do they not sometimes cast a glance towards their own condition? Are they, who have so much leisure to attend to the affairs of far distant countries, and to watch so closely the state of Germany and England, so negligent, or wilfully blind as not to see what is done in Rome? Or are we to be calumniated, and abused by men whose lives and characters are so abandoned, that no one of honourable and upright principles can mention them without a blush ?

It is not our intention at this period to revive the memory of all those crimes which are far better consigned with their perpetrators to oblivion. It becomes neither our Religion, nor the purity of our Moral Principles. He however who commands himself to be saluted as the

VICES AND INTRIGUES OF THE POPES, &c.

75

Vicar of Christ, and Supreme Head of the Church may easily consider within himself the nature of those sins and corruptions which he is informed exist in Rome; † which he even sees, and to say the least, tolerates. Let him then reflect upon these circumstances, nor forget that they are his own Canonists who have taught the people that simple fornication is no sin :£ as if they had borrowed that doctrine from the Micio of Terence, who affirms; “ that it is not criminal in young men to associate with harlots." Let him consider also that it was his party who pronounced that a Priest should not be sus

;

* Johannes de Magistris, de temperantia. iii. Quæst. 7. Lata extra de Bigamis. Quia Circa.

+ Petrarch, in one of his Epistles, calls Rome the Whore of Babylon; the Mother of Idolatry and Fornication; and declares that all sbame and reverence is quite departed from her.

Petrarch. Epist. xx. et Cantil, xcii. And Baptista Mantuanus has the following severe Epigram on this subject :

Vivere qui Sanctè cupitis, discedite Roma;

Omnia cum liceant, non licet esse bonum,

| Prodicus, Ætius, Laurentius Valla, and many others in Rome and Italy, publicly maintained this; a full account of which may be seen in the writings of Epiphanius, Victor, Socrates, &c. Moreover, in a volume of Popish Decrees, pub; lished at Paris, A.D. 1505, it is laid down as a regulation, • Qui non habet uxorem, loco illius concubinam habere debet;"

pended for Fornication. Let him remember that Cardinal Campegius, Albertus Pigius, and many others of his friends have maintained, that the Priest who keeps a mistress lives a much more pious and chaste life * than he who is actually married, I hope he has not forgotten, that there are many thousands of public licensed strumpets in Rome, on whom he annually levies a tax to the amount of thirty thousand Ducats. It cannot surely have escaped his memory, that he himself publicly exercises the office of a Pimp; and by this disgraceful traffic flagitiously augments his revenues and pleasures. Were all

* This may, at first, appear incredible to the Christian reader; but if he will consult the popish writers of the sixteenth century, he will find the same opinions fully discussed, and openly espoused by some of the most learned men of the age. In fact, this doctrine obtained such ground, that Pope Nicholas threatened to excommunicate the Bishop of Augusta, for opposing the prevailing sentiments of the age. And the Council of Wormes addressed a Remonstrance to Hildebrand, for his extreme rigour and tyranny—“quod scorta pudicibus conjugibus præfert."

Concil. Wormatien, ex Aventino. + Consult the books, de Constitut. Othonis, et de Concubinis Clericorum removendis. Cornelius Agrippa, Nicholaus de Clavengiis, &c. loudly complain of the enormity of these abuses, which are not attempted to be denied, even by the friends of Popery,

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things conducted with piety and virtue in Rome, when * Joan, a woman of abandoned character, for the space of two years sat in the Papal Chair, and exercised supreme authority over the Church; prostituting herself to the lust of others:t and finally, during a public Procession, in the presence of all the Cardinals and Bishops, bringing forth a Child ?

But why should we enumerate their panders, and harlots? for in Rome these are crimes of every day occurrence, and by no means unprofitable. Here these women do not retire beyond the gates of the City with their faces veiled, and covered, as in former times;I but inhabit stately palaces, and openly frequent the public

* Statua ejusdem fæminæ parturientis adhuc Romæ est. A. D. 1683.

† Marianus Scotus, Martinus, Sabellicus, and Johannes de Parisiis, give authentic details of this woman's life, and exaltation to the Papal Chair, and completely refute the ridiculous assertions made by Mr. Harding, in his attack upon this Apology, who attempted to prove, from the writings of the Romish Doctors, that she never was absolutely Pope. This subject is learnedly discussed, and all the accusations here brought against the Papists, fully established by Bishop Jewell, in his admirable Defence, p. 357. 490.

Gencsis xxxviii, 14, 15.

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