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IMMORALITY INEVITABLE IN PAPISM.
penance, if they are joined with such clerical persons, according to the rank of each, since the Christian religion forbids fornication equally to both sexes. 8. But if, with a view to concealment, they put their children thus begotten to death, the ancient law extends to the end of life the punishment not only of those women, but expels from the Church such women as procure abortion; but now it is more humanely decreed that they do penance for x years. 9. If a bishop commits fornication with a quadruped, let him do penance vii years; a priest, v; a deacon or a monk, iv; a sub-deacon, iii; a clerk, ii. If they are accustomed to the crime, let a bishop do penance x years, iv on bread and water; a priest, vii years, iii on bread and water; a deacon or a monk, v, ii on bread and water; a sub-deacon, iv, i on bread and water; a clerk, iii, half a year on bread and water."
The priesthood of the ninth century is reproduced by the priesthood of the nineteenth, only with the difference of such mitigations and such concealments and secrecy as are occasioned or necessitated by the improvements of modern social life in moral virtue and external decency. In the main, Popery is as corrupt and as corrupting now as of old. It is so from its very nature, being the enslavement of the human mind to the worship of man in that which is for himself and others his lowest form, namely, an infallible, impeccable and irreformable, unmarried and unmarriable priesthood, partly secular, partly regular. The crown of this rotten edifice is the Pope. He is the concentrated essence of priestism. He of all others is secured against my wiles. The very temple of the Holy Ghost on earth, he has full power to set me at nought. Yet what is his character? He over whom I have no influence is surely free from vice. He must be so if I am the author of all evil. What if he prove to be the reverse? Then human nature, apart from the devil, is capable of every kind and every degree of wickedness. This is my principal position. Man is his own devil. Witness the history of the Papacy. That history I am familiar with, and I solemnly
THE PAPACY CONDEMNED BY PROVIDENCE.
308 declare that had I constructed the Papacy with my own hands, and were I the personal devil of priestly description and popular delusion, I could not have made it worse than it has been-more unholy, more distracted, more smitten by Providence. Take as my voucher a recently published History, the last pages of which give this
Summary of the Papacy.
"The papacy from Simon bar Jonas, called Saint Peter, down to Pio Nono, the present Pope, has had 293 heads called popes. Thirty-one of these were anti-popes or usurpers. Of the remaining 262 legitimate popes, 25 came to a violent death, as follows: 18 were poisoned, namely, Jean XI., Clement II., Damasus II., Stephen IX., John XIII., Pascal II. -the same that disinterred and insulted the corpses of Henry IV. and Clement II.-Gelasius II., Benedict XI., Alexander V., Pius III., Alexander VI., Hadrian VI., Marcellus II., Urban VII., Clement XIV. and Clement VIII., Leo XI. and (perhaps) XII.; finally, Leo X. died either of poison or the small-pox, or, it may be, of both. Four popes were assassinated-John VIII., Leo VI., Leo VII. and John XII. Thirteen others died by various means. Stephen VI. was strangled; Leo III. and John XVI. were mutilated and lamed; John X. stifled; Benedict VI. was killed by a cord round his neck; John XIV. died of hunger; Lucius II. by stoning; Gregory XVIII., being imprisoned, perished in an iron cage ; Celestine V. of a nail driven into his temples; Boniface by his own hands from rage at having been whipped; Clement V. was burnt on his death-bed; Urban VI. was thrown from his horse and died of the fall; Paul II. died from apoplexy from over-eating; Pius IV. died from excess in a woman's arms. Sixty-four popes, then, out of 262, perished in some extraordinary manner; without counting 20 others who suddenly died from vexation in consequence of reverses they suffered, notably Gregory IX., Innocent IV., Paul III. and IV., Gregory XIII.
WHAT WORK OF CIVILIZATION BELONGS TO THE POPES ? 309
Twenty-six popes were deposed, or expelled, or exiled, without counting the popes of Avignon. These are Sergius III., Benedict V., Leo VIII., John XIII., Benedict VIII., Sylvester III., Gregory V., VII., IX., XII., Alexander III., Urban V. and VI., Pascal II., Gelasius II., Innocent II. and IV., Eugenius III. and IV., Hadrian III. and IV., Lucius III., Martin IV., Pius VI., VII. and IX. (the present pope), John XXIII., who was hunted by his brother pope, Martin V., as if he had been a wild beast.
Moreover, besides the first 14 popes, who did not believe in the Deity of Christ, first proclaimed by Zephyrinus in the year 202, 21 were clearly heretics; viz., Marcellinus, Zephyrinus, Cornelius, Marcellus, Sylvester I., Liberius, Damasus, Eleutherius, Innocent I., Vigilius, Pelagius I., Zozimus, Felix III., Honorius I., Hormisdas, John II., John VIII., Leo III., Sixtus V., and Anastasius and Gregory the Great, who were iconoclasts.
"Several popes were accused of murder. Twenty-eight popes invited foreigners into Italy for the sake of being supported in 'the chair of Saint Peter.' Nicholas III. opens the series of nepotist popes.
"In brief, 90 popes suffered violent deaths, and were expelled, deposed, banished; 35 underwent the same fate from being unfaithful to their office; 28 would have been subject to the same lot but for the intervention of foreigners: in all, 153 unworthy popes out of 262."
What dynasty, what institution in the world, ever had a darker history?
"Civilization asks what share the Papacy has taken in its work. Is it the press? Is it electricity? Is it steam? Is it chemical analysis? Is it free trade? Is it self-government? Is it the principle of nationality? Is it the proclamation of the rights of man? Of the liberty of conscience? Of all this the Papacy is the negation. Its culminating points are Gregory I., who, like Omar, burnt libraries; Gregory VII.,
THE PAPACY HAS SMITTEN ALL EUROPE.
who destroyed a moiety of Rome and created the temporal sovereignty; Innocent III.., who founded the Inquisition; Boniface IX., who destroyed the last remains of municipal liberty in Rome; Pius VII., who committed the same wrong in Bologna; Alexander VI., who established the censorship of books; Paul III., who published the bull for the establishment of the Jesuits; Pius V., who covered Europe with burning funeral piles; Urban VIII., who tortured Galileo; and Pius IX., who has given us the modern Syllabus.
"Has not the Papacy stamped its brand on all the nations of Europe? In England, that brand is Mary Tudor; in Spain, Philip II.; in the Low Countries, the Duke of Alva; in Bohemia, the war against the Hussites; in France, Simon de Montfort, Saint Bartholomew, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; in Germany, the Thirty Years' War; in South America, destruction; in Italy, division and foreign despotism.
"What ground of existence, then, has the Papacy? In Italy it impedes the settlement of nationality; in Mexico, the formation of the State; in France, the progress of freedom; in England, the pacification of Ireland. In virtue of what merit, then, does it claim its right to live? To travel through its past history of fifteen centuries is hideous and distressing, yet it is replete with instruction. It proclaims, beyond all contradiction, that the Roman world must be depapalized before it can be really free."*
Yet the specific title of each of this long line of popes is "His Holiness." Holy? What then is unholy? And how could several of these feeble mortals have been more wicked than they were, had they been under the temptation of a per sonal devil as wicked as the devil is described to be by the papal system? If men who are armed cap-à-pie against my influence, men who were the temple and the channel of the Holy Spirit, could be so base and so unfortunate, humanity contains
* Histoire Diplomatique des Conclaves, par F. P. Della Gattina, M. D., et Membre du Parlement Italien. 4 vols. 8vo. 1866.
SACERDOTALISM IS NECESSARILY BANEFUL.
vice enough in its own self to account for all the crimes of history and social life.*
I have spoken of priests and popes in general, without intending to deny that many of them were and are (in a sense) Christian men.
On that very account are they more formidable. Sacerdotalism is not the less to be denounced and undermined because it proves in some natures to be compatible with a certain moral excellence. Whatever the man, the priest is, as a priest, that is as one devoted to the interests of a so-called sacred caste the priest is to be feared, shunned, disallowed and superseded. In the kingdom of THE SON OF MAN-that is, wherever true religion prevails, the religion which Jesus taught and lived-priests will be impossible. The Father of the universe admits no dark shadow between Himself and his children of the human race.
ECCLESIASTICAL TRADITION CONCERNING ME HALTS IN ITS
THE whole history of Church doctrines concurs to shew that when once a dogma has been planted, it continues to grow and expand until it has reached the summit of its logical development. Interruptions and even momentary recessions may arise in its course from incidental causes, but it can no more stop finally than the acorn can cease growing before it has become an oak. It was so with the dogma of the Trinity. Given the human and the divine life of Jesus, and given the social conditions into which the seed was cast, and in due time the Trinity of the creeds was inevitable. So too with
* Compare Les Crimes des Papes jusqu'à Pie VI., par L. Lavicomterie. Paris, 1792.