Abbildungen der Seite

severe scourge ; it being impossible that a thing so violent, and so fraught with abuses, should hold long : the whole nerve of ecclesiastical discipline being broke, and the goods of the church made a perfect trade and merchandize.

Speaking of general councils, he writes, “ This, which is now sitting here, will totally undeceive the world, so as to convince it, that by reason of the opposition and industry of the popes to engross all to themselves, nothing of reformation is ever to be expected from a general council. I would not have things, wherein the pope and his court have such great interest and pretensions, to be decided or handled here : since it cannot be done but to our great prejudice, and to the great detriment of the whole church; which at present has neither strength nor courage to resist ; and if God do not remedy it, I do not see when it will."

Speaking of exemptions, he writes, “ The canonists have made strange work; having made many jests, as well as falsehoods, to pass for current truths. When I speak of the canonists, I speak as a thief of the family, being sensible of the abuses which have been authorized by them in the church. The exemption of chapters ought to have been quite taken away, that so there might be something of order and discipline, and that they who are the head should not be made the feet. It troubles me to see how those matters are managed and determined here; the legate doing whatever he had a mind to, without either numbering or weighing the opinions of the divines and prelates ; hurrying and reserving the substance of things, which ought to have been well weighed and digested, to the last minute : the major part not knowing what they are doing. I mean, before the fact : for believing that Christ will not suffer them to err in their determinations, I shall bow down my head to them, and believe all the matters of faith that shall be decided by them: I pray God every body else may do the same. The taking no care to reform innumerable abuses has destroyed so many provinces and kingdoms; and it is justly to be feared, that what is done in this council may endanger the destroying of the rest. I must tell you further, that this council drawing so near an end is what all people rejoice at here exceedingly; there being a great many who wish it never had met; and for my own part, I would to God it had never been called; for I am mistaken if it do nɔt leave things worse than it found them.”

In another of the same date, if there is no error in writing. "he complains that the decree of the doctrine was not finished till the night before the session : so that many

bishops gave their placet to what they neither did nor could understand. The divines of Louvaine and Cologne, and some Spanish divines, being much dissatisfied with several of those matters, have publicly declared they were so. This is a very bad business : and should things of this nature come once to be so public, it must totally ruin the credit of all that has been done, or shall be done herealter; and must hinder the councii from being ever received, either in Flanders or in Germany. The bishop of Verdun, speaking to the canons of reformation, said, they would be unprofitable, and unworthy of the synod, calling it a pretended reformation : the legate fell upon him with very rude lan

je, calling him a boy, an impudent raw man, with many other hard names : nor would he suffer him to speak a word in his own defence, telling him with great heat, he knew how to have him chastised. It is really a matter of amazement to see how things appertaining to God are handled here, and that there should not be one to contend for him, or any that have the courage to speak in his behalf; but that we should be all dumb dogs that cannot bark.”

In another (Nov. 28) he writes, “that the legate himself wished that the decrees were corrected as to some particulars: and in another without date, he tells how the divines were employed in correcting them.” This secret was never heard of before : Father Paul krew nothing of it. A decree after it had passed in council was thus secretly corrected by divines ; so the infallibility was removed from the council, and lodged with the divines. In another (Dec. 19) he writes, “ It would have been a

y thing that this council had never met ; which is no more that what I have often wished and declared : by reason of the many mischiefs it has already done and is still doing. It is to little purpose, either in this or any following age, to hope for any thing of a reformation from a general council; or to see any better order therein than is in this. Ile supposes the emperor will still continue to solicit the pope, that things may not be carried there at such a scandalous rate as they have been hitherto: and that he will take care that no occasion be given to the council for to disperse itself, upon the prelates speaking their mind freely : or deny. ing their consent to such matters as are not convenient; which is a thing that may very justis be feared.

In another (Jan. 10) he writes, “This synod must end tumultuously and ingloriously.” In another (Jan. 19) he writes, “that it was an astonishing thing, that the legate had foisted in several passages into the doctrine of orders, which must of necessity ruin all. By the brutal violences, Vol. III, Part I.


[ocr errors]

pretensions, and obstinacy, of the legate, things are running into such a state as must in the end, if I am not mistaken, make both himself and the whole earth to tremble: or if it does not make him tremble, it must be because he is given over to a reprobate sense : as in truth he seems to be abundantly in every thing that he does.”

In another (Jan. 20) he writes, “ All they drive at, is to get the pope's pretensions established under the doctrine of order; and so, instead of healing, to destroy and ruin all; those being matters which were never so much as proposed or disputed in the council: neither is it fitting, as things stand here, that they, or any thing else of the same nature, shouid be meddled with in this synod.”

He enlarges on the authority of bishops being derived from Christ, “ though subjected to the pope ; and he writes, that upon this bottom onlø, the hierarchy of the church can be established: to settle it on any other, is in effect to confound and destroy it. Nevertheless, the pope if he could carry this point, though all things else were ruined, and whatever was done in the ancient church condemned, would find his own account in it: for after that there would be no possibility of ever having any thing redressed.” The decree of order, on which the legate had set his heart, is set down at the end of this letter, the translation of it into English runs thus:

“ This may be called the new Jerusalem, that comes down from heaven; which was, by the most exactly regulated policy of the old Jerusalem, shadowed only as a pattern to represent the heavenly Jerusalem : for as she had many different orders, under one chief governor, so the visible church of Christ has his chief vicar; for he is the only and supreme head in earth, by whose dispensation offices are distributed so to all the other members, that in the several orders and stations in which they are placed, they may execute their functions to the good of the whole church with the greatest peace and union. A deputation of twenty was named to consider of this. The legate and the two presidents making three of that number; it was severely attacked by the bishop of Guadix.”

In his last letter (the last of February) he writes, “that the legates would one way or other bring about the dissolution of the synod; which will be certainly done, if they can but get the said clauses determined ; because in them they will have gained all that they desire: and after that they will never stand in need of any more councils for to serve their pretensions.. And in case they should not be able to carry those points, they will then, to rid themselves of this yoke that is upon their neck, and of the fears they will be under, when they shall find that they are not able to bring the synod to do all the mischief to the church, and to the authority of the present and all future general councils, that the pope and his ministers would have them do, they will then perplex and confound all.”

These are very clear discoveries of the zeal and indignation which possessed this great statesman during this whole session: he shows also the opinion he had of the former session under Pope Paul (in which he had likewise assisted), in the directions he gives concerning the government of a council, and of the office of an ambassador, which he drew up before the council was re-assembled, in this his second session, in which these words are:

“ In the whole conduct of this council of Trent there does not appear ihe least footsteps of any of the forementioned essentials of a general council: on the contrary, the most pernicious and effectual methods that can be contrived, have been taken to destroy liberty totally, and to rob councils of that authority, which, in case of great storms, used to be the sheet-anchor of the church, by which means they have cut off all hope of ever having any abuses that infest the church redressed, to the great disparagement of all past as well as future councils, from which no good is ever to be expected.

ko 'The conduct of this council has been of pernicious consequence ; in which, under the title of directing it, the pope's legates have so managed matters, that nothing but what they have a mind to can be proposed, discussed, or defines therein ; and that too after such a manner as they would have it: all the liberty that is here being only imaginary ; so that their naming it is nothing but cheat and banter: which is so notorious, that several of the prelates even among the pope's pensioners have not the face to deny it. The clause that they have inserted into the canons of reformation, which is, “saving in all things the authority of the apostolical see, is telling the world, in plain terms, that what the pope does not like shall signify nothing. He writes of certain methods that the legates have used in negotiating with the people to change their minds: this they have done so often, that it is now taken notice of by every body: neither can there be any course more pernicious or destructive of the liberty of the council. The legates many times, when they proposed a thing, declared their opinion of it first. Nay, in the middle of voting, when they observed any prelate not to vote as they would have him, they have taken upon themselves to speak to it before another was suffered to vote, doing it sometimes with soft words, and at other times with harsher ; letting others to understand thereby how they would have them vote; many times railing at the prelates and exposing them to scom, and using such methods as would make one's heart bleed to hear of, much more to see.

« The common method was, the legates assembled the prelates in a general congregation the night before the session was to be held. Then they read the decrees to them, as they and their friends had been pleased to form them. By which means, and by their not being understood by a great many prelates, some not having the courage to speak their minds, and others being quite tired out with the length of the congregation, the decrees were pased. We, who saw and observed all these doings, cannot but lament both our own condition and the lost authority of councils.

“He shows the legates' drift was to canonize all the abuses of the court of Rome : so they never suffered them to be treated of freely, but managed them like the compounding of a law-suit: in all which courses, it is certain the Holy Ghost did not assist: they striving still to authorize abuses, and giving the world to understand that the pope is gracious in granting them any thing, as if all were his own: taking abuses, though never so pernicious, and splitting them as they thought good; by which artifice, that part of the abuse which was approved of by the synod, becomes perpetual ; and for the part that was reprobated, they will, according to their custom, find ways to defeat its condemnation.

" There is nothing that can be so much as put to the vote, without the consent of the legates; who, notwithstanding that they are (by reason of the great number of pensioners which the pope has here ) always sure of a majorit nevertheless make use of strange tricks in their conduct of the council. Besides, by having made their own creatures the secretaries, notaries, and all the other officers of the council, they have made it thereby a body, without any thing of soul or strength in it: whereas all those officers ought to have been appointed by the council, and especially the notaries.

“This is the course that has been hitherto taken in the council of Trent, which is employed rather in struggling with the pope and his legates, who seek to engross all to themselves, than in reforming and remedying the evils under which the church groans. I pray God it do not increase them by the course it takes, by artifice and dissimulation, to reduce the whole synod to the will of the pope. - It may be truly said, we are in a convention of bishops, but not in a council. - It would have been much better not to have


« ZurückWeiter »