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cally contradictory. Which are we to believe? The natural inference is, that both writers are theorising, and are probably in error, and that the Papal supremacy тау
from wholly different causes ; so that the belief of the 630 fathers of the Council of Chalcedon, that it sprang from the temporal dignity of Rome, assumes additional weight.
If, as this ecumenical synod declared above fourteen hundred years since, the power in question did not spring from Divine institution, but more naturally and intelligibly from causes permitted by Divine Providence, we may, without much difficulty, see our way to account for the present differences of theology in the Roman Communion. If any institution which was merely permitted by Divine Providence, should be assumed to have been directly instituted by God, the gravest results must necessarily follow. While the Papal Primacy in the Church was understood to be one of custom, of fitness, of propriety, of ancient use, it could not produce any serious results: the Papacy might possess great influence, but it could not be a formidable and tremendous power. But as soon as the Papacy itself and a great body of adherents put forward the assertion that it was the Divinely instituted head of Christianity, that it was the Divinely appointed centre of unity; the essential channel of salvation; the foundation stone of Christianity; the representative of Deity; then the position became completely changed. It became at once the duty of the Papacy to aim at universal dominion, and it became the duty of all believers adhering to it to join in that work. And hence legitimately and necessarily sprang the unbounded power of the Popes both in spirituals and temporals: in short, Ultramontanism was developed.
When Ultramontanism had attained its full strength of influence, it plunged the Papacy into a violent struggle with the civil power for universal dominion, which has continued ever since. If the Papacy is ever inclined to adopt moderation, it is prevented by the principles which it teaches. Christianity under it is forced to assume the shape of a widespread organisation against the civil powers, in the extravagant attempt to force on society a rule which, if it could succeed in finally establishing itself, would produce an explosion that would annihilate Christianity itself.
It was felt by society and by Christianity that it was necessary to revolt against a system so dangerous and so intolerable. So Gallicanism, at the end of the thirteenth century, began the combat. The civil power felt itself on the verge of extinction ; determined resistance was the only remedy remaining. It called in the aid of the Christian Divine; the Church felt its duty towards civil government; it was protected by society against the terrible autocracy of Rome. The struggle went on, and the monarchs of Europe gradually learned how in some degree to protect themselves. Two centuries passed, and another reaction took place. The enormous corruptions engendered by the overgrown power and grandeur of the Papacy created the Reformation. Again Christianity sought to emancipate itself from the domination of a false principle. It succeeded as regards half Europe, after encountering the most desperate and bloody persecutions, although the Papacy, even up to the present hour, regards it with undying hatred.
Again the Papacy dreams of universal empire: its struggles keep Europe in terror for long years; it seeks to put the copestone on the edifice of its spiritual power, that it may march 200,000,000 to the conquest of the world, and may once more sweep down emperors and kings, as it did in the days of its prime. Scarcely has it taken the final step, when within its own bosom arises another reaction. Minimism comes forth to destroy its power, and to reduce it to impotence; and society, alarmed at its danger, proceeds to chain down the power which seeks to reduce it to slavery.
What may we gather from this ? That the providence of God has willed that a human principle shall not be established in His Church as a Divine revelation. For this he caused the Eastern Church to bear perpetual witness against the error.
For this He raised up many in the West, whose bones whitening on the hills bore witness to the same. For this He created Gallicanism, and told it to announce to the Christian world, that God had entrusted to His Catholic Church the powers which one of its pastors pretended to usurp. For this he caused the Reformation to proclaim the truth afresh; and in every age since He has raised up witnesses to declare that the supremacy
claimed for Rome must be resisted and repelled. The Gospel has thus been vindicated from intermixture with the inventions of man; and although many have been deceived, yet it may be hoped that the mass of Christians, even when nominally admitting an erroneous principle, have not been left under its absolute sway.
But before we conclude this branch of the subject, it becomes necessary to advert for a moment to an objection which may here be offered. It may be said that the Catholic Church has finally and formally decided these questions in the Vatican Council; and that as this decision defines the position of the Pontiff as springing from Divine appointment, and invests him with the attribute of infallibility, there is no longer any question on the subject.
Now I am not here about to repeat what has been said by the Expostulation' and by Mr. Shee on the subject of the form in which the Vatican Decree was made, viz., by the Pontiff, the Council only approbante' not ‘judicante,'' i.e. not exercising the power of defining or teaching. Still less am I about to dwell on the fact of its comprising bishops of the Papal obedience; nor on its
| Dr. Capel is mistaken in saying (p. 21) that when the decree on Infallibility was made, the terms · The bishops of the whole world assembled round us (the Pope), and judging with us,' were employed. These words occur in the previous definition, not in that on Infallibility; and the change of form is most remarkable.
being packed with 300 bishops of Italy the inmediate subjects of the Papal throne, and 100 titular bishops liable to dismissal by the Propaganda ; nor on the resulting fact that Italy with twenty-five millions of Roman Catholics could thus outvote the representatives of 180,000,000 of the same creed. These are not the subjects on which I propose to dwell, but on the Decree itself.
Dr. Manning has given us the secret history of this Council in which he had taken so active a part. It appears that originally in the Schema de Ecclesia'submitted to the Council, the infallibility of the Pope was not introduced ; only his Primacy and authority were mentioned ; but in the end great pressure was used to introduce the Infallibility—Dr. Manning no doubt being amongst the most eager of the party-before the Council dispersed for the summer; and especially because war was impending; and lest therefore they might not meet at all again. So at length, under great pressure, and, as it appears quite suddenly, the Decree on Infallibility was drawn up, passed, and proclaimed.
Now when committees of the whole House meet in the Commons, or where resolutions have to be quickly drawn up by a number of persons, each offering his own suggestions, and each getting his own rider or his own bit of amendment put in, there is a very great chance that the product of their united labours may present a very motley appearance. It is quite possible that absolute contradiction or nonsense may be the result. There is an old proverb, • Too many cooks, &c.'