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in the goodness of God, she should be cut off. The Scriptures make no mention of Peter's having been at Rome; and, in order to obtain a semblance of scriptural evidence, Cardinal Bellarmine and Dr. Delahogue state that when Peter dated his letter Babylon, he meant Rome, which is in the highest degree improbable. Do we find a supremacy in the immediate successors of Peter in the bishopric of Rome ? Ancient writers are not even agreed as to the fact, who was the second, or the third, or the fourth bishop of Rome. Of their supremacy over the Universal Church there is no vestige. We are told that Clemens wrote an Epistle to the Church at Corinth. : But did not Paul write Epistles to various Churches ? and did not Ignatius write an Epistle to the Romans ? Did this establish Ignatius's supremacy, over the bishops of Rome? The next evidence produced is the Council of Sinuessa, where it is said that the assembled Fathers refused to condemn Marcellinus because he was the head of the Church. But Dupin proves. beyond a doubt that this Council never existed. Hosius is said to have officiated as the Pope's legate when he presided in the Council of Nice and some other Councils ; but this is contrary to the evidence of the most ancient historians, who give the names of the Roman legates, and make no mention of Hosius in that capacity:
It is true that in the Council of Sardica, Hosius's proposal, that to the Pope, for the honour of the memory of St. Peter, with the leave of the Council, the privilege of appeals should be given, was assented to. But we learn from Dupin that this was a Council composed only of one hundred of the western bishops, and that this proposal was made after the eastern bishops had left the Council. Also, Hosius's expression,“ with leave of the Council, and in honour of Peter," is hostile to the notion of a divine right. We find, on the other hand, that in the second century, when Pope Victor had a dispute with the eastern bishops respecting the proper time for keeping Easter, they all refused to abide by his decision; and when he proceeded to excommunicate them, Eusebius informs us that he was sharply rebuked for this by Irenæus and other western bishops. Upon this occasion, all the eastern and many of the western bishops opposed the Church of Rome, In the third century Cyprian, than whom no one stood up more stoutly for the unity of the Church, at the head of an African Council of eighty-seven bishops, the
Council of Carthage, opposed the Church of Rome and Pope Stephen on the question of rebaptizing the heretics. The first Council of Nice, which gave the first place of honour to the bishops of Rome, decreed that appeals should be decided by the bishops of each province. The first Council of Constantinople renewed this decree respecting appeals; and the Council of Chalcedon, in its twenty-eighth canon, declared that the first place was given to the Bishop of Rome, not because he was the successor of Peter, but “ quia urbs illa imperaret.” Jerome, in one of his treatises, eulogises the Church of Rome, but he begins by saying, “ Nullum primum sequens, nisi Christum ;” and he elsewhere declares that all the bishops are of equal merit, and that they ought to rule the Church in common. Quid facit, exceptâ ordinatione, episcopus, quod presbyter non facit ? Nec altera Romana urbis ecclesia, altera totius orbis estimanda est. Et Gallia, Britannia, et Africa, et Persis, et Oriens, et India, et omnes barbaræ nationes unum Christum adorant, unam observant regulam pacis. Si auctoritas quæritur, orbis major est urbe. Ubicumque fuerit episcopus, sive Romæ, sive Éugubii
, sive Constantinopoli, sive Alexandriæ, sive Tanai, ejusdem meriti, ejusdem sacerdotii. Potentia divitiarum et paupertatis humilitas vel superiorem vel inferiorem episcopum non facit. Cæterùm* omnes apostolorum successores sunt. Quid mihi profers unius urbis consuetudinem." (Tom. i. Quinta Classis, epist. 146. ad Evangelum. Post monachorum ordinis S. Bened. &c. Studio et labore Dominici Vallarsii. Venetiis, 1766.)+
Towards the commencement of the fifth century, Pope Zosimus attempted to impose upon the African Church by a forged copy of the decrees of the first Council of Nice respecting appeals. Upon a reference to the copies of the Eastern Churches, the forgery was detected, and the Council of Milevi, consisting of sixty bishops, decreed that whoso
* Dupin in his Life of Jerome in his “ Nouvelle Bibliotheque des auteurs Ecclesiastiques,” tom. ii. gives a large extract from the above cited letter, he says,
“ La lettre 85 est une invective contre une personne qui vouloit preferer les diacres aux Prêtres. St. Jerome y reléve la dignité des prêtres d'une manière qui paroit un peu excessive, en les comparant aux evêques. Cette lettre est ecrite après sa sortie de Rome, on n'en scait pas l'année, c'est apparemment vers l'an 387.”
+ The best edition of Jerome's works. It is in the library of the Athenæum Club, London.
ever appealed beyond the seas should be excluded from the pale of the African Church. Among the early signatures, as they are given in Labbacus' and Mansi's Councils, we find the name of the celebrated Augustine, bishop of Hippo. Lastly, towards the close of the sixth century, we find Gregory the Great asserting that the prerogatives of Peter, instead of being vested in the bishops of Rome only, were continued by a threefold succession to the bishops of Alexdria, Antioch, and Rome. There is not, in fact, the slightest basis, either scriptural or historical, and of course we refer only to the history of the Primitive Church, for the assumed supremacy of the bishops of Rome. To this we may add, that it is impossible for any man to rule the Universal Church. Peter could not have done it; for the Apostles were widely separated, and frequently for years had no communication with each other; and to govern properly the Universal Church is beyond the power of any man. Christ by his can govern it; but no man can attempt it without a signal failure. The origin of the Papal power is no mystery. Rome was the ancient capital of the Roman empire, and hence in the General Councils the first seat in them was given to bishops of Rome. These bishops were the heads of the Western Patriarchate; which comprehended Gaul, Spain, Italy, and Britain. It was natural that the Irish bishops should consent to receive the pall from the western patriarch. Germany and the north of Europe were converted by Roman missionaries, who made the supremacy of the Pope an article of their creed. In the east, the papal pretensions were always resisted. But the Crusades, which were the offspring of military fanaticism and papal craft and ambition enabled the Popes to establish Latin patriarchs at Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople. At the Council of Florence, when the Greeks were in great straits, for a very short period the Greeks seemed disposed to agree to the papal policy, but with that exception the Popes have never ruled the Greek Church, and never at any time have they ruled the Universal Church. Their spiritual empire is founded on as rotten a foundation as their temporal supremacy was, which, thanks to the forged decretals and to layignorance, for three centuries was recognized by the Western Church, but which is now repudiated by almost all the Romanists who live beyond the precincts of the Vatican.
The pride and ambition of the Bishops of Rome exceed all that is recorded of the kings of Babylon, of the Pharaohs, of Tamerlane, and Bajazet, of the Great Mogul, of Louis XIV. and of Napoleon Bonaparte. None of these pretended to be the representatives, or vicars, of God, or as his vicegerents to be above all the kings and potentates and priests of the earth; to dispose of thrones and kingdoms, &c. And although some of these exacted menial offices from the kings whom they had conquered; none of them required their royal friends and allies to perform the menial offices of holding the stirrups aud bridles of their horses, when they mounted, or of putting the first dish upon their tables. That Christian bishops should have done this would be incredible, if the fact were not proved by indisputable evidence. But all these proud assumptions are insignificant when compared with the ceremony which follows the Papal election, when the newly elected bishop is placed upon the altar of God, and adored by the cardinals! Whether or not in these respects, the Pope exhibits the characteristics of the “ Man of Sin,” may be safely left to the judgment of wise and discreet Christians.
The evidences from the Fathers and Councils will be found among the extracts from the Fathers.
Uncertainty respecting the immediate successor of Peter. Bellarminus de Romano Pontifice, lib. i. c. 9. (Ingolstadii.)
Quidam post Petrum immediaté ponunt Clementem. Ut Tertull. de præsc. et Hieronymus in cap. 52. Isaiæ. Alii post Petrum ponunt Linum, et postea Clementem tertio loco, ut Optatus lib. 2. contra Parmenianum, et Augustinus in epist. 165. Alii post Petrum ponunt Linum et Cletum sive Ânacletum, et tandem Clementem in quarto loco, ut Irenæus, lib. 3. c. 3.
From Barrow's Supremacy: Decree made by Boniface.
Subesse Romano pontifici omni humanæ creaturæ declaramus, dicimus, definimus, et pronuntiamus omninò esse de necessitate salutis. (Extrav. com. lib. i. tit. 8. c. 1.)
Ibidem. Oportet gladium esse sub gladio, et temporalem auctoritatem spirituali subjici potestati.
Concilium Lateranense, 5. Leo X. an. Dom. 1516.
Sacro. Conc. Labbæi et Cossartii. (Parisiis, 1672.) Et cùm de necessitudine salutis existat omnes Christi fideles Romano pontifici subesse, prout divinæ Scripturæ et Sanctorum patrum testimonio edocemur, ac constitutione felicis memoriæ Bonifacii Papæ VIII. similiter predecessoris nostri, quæ incipit “Unam Sanctam,” declaratur; pro eorundem fidelium animarum salute, ac Romani Pontificis et hujus sanctæ sedis supremâ auctoritate et ecclesiæ sponse suæ unitate et potestate, constitutionem ipsam, sacro præsente concilio approbante, innovamus et approbamus.
“ Pastor æternus gregem suum usque ad consummationem mundi nunquam deserturus, ita, apostolo teste, obedientiam dilexit, ut pro expiando primi parentis inobedientiæ peccato seipsum humiliaverit, factus obediens usque ad mortem ; migraturus verò ex mundo ad Patrem in soliditate petræ, Petrum ejusque successores vicarios suos instituit, quibus ex libri regum testimonio ita obedire necesse est, ut qui non obedierit, morte moriatur.”
From Barrow's Supremacy. Extract from the bull of Pope Sixtus V. against Henry King of Navarre and the Prince of Condè.
Ab immensâ æterni regis potentiâ B. Petro ejusque suc. cessoribus tradita auctoritas omnes terrenorum regum et principum supereminet potestates. Inconcussa profert in omnes judicia, et si quos ordinationi Dei resistentes invenit, severiore hos vindictâ ulciscitur, et quamvis potentiores de soliis dejiciens, veluti superbientis Luciferi ministros ad infima terræ deturbatos prosternit.
Camden's History; also in the Bullarium Magnum. An Extract from Pope Pius V.'s bull against Elizabeth.
Regnans in excelsis, cui data est omnis in cælo et terrâ potestas, unam sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam ecclesiam, extra quam nulla est salus, uni soli in terris, videlicet