Analysis of Dr. Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua: with a glance at the history of Popes, Councils, and the Church.

J. N. Darby.

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I have now to see in what way the state of the Papacy gave occasion to Protestantism. From 887, then, the popes were engaged in the strifes of the Italian nobles, when the power of the Empire fell. Another circumstance has to be introduced here. A number of forged decretals were produced at this time, which formed the foundation of the pope's pretensions subsequently — the Isidorean collection. No doubt political circumstances were a means of the popes' power, but their canonical pretensions leaned on these forged decretals. They declare the notable falsehood that all churches had their origin from Rome — "A qua omnes ecclesias principium sumsisse" — and then go on to state its consequent rights. It is said they were written between 829 and 845; appear at Mentz in the time of Archbishop Autcarius; alleged to be brought from Spain at the end of the eighth century, or thereabouts. Some think they were forged by Autcarius himself, at Mentz; and that there were some old decretals which gave rise to them, or, as some allege, introduced to accredit the forgeries. At any rate, what gave legal (not political) force to papal authority from this date was the forged Isidorean collection. It is admitted on all hands they are forgeries. They were not detected till the Reformation. Calvin states it (Inst. 4, 7, 20, and the Cent. 2, 7), and fully (3, 7) demonstrated it. Bellarmine says they are ancient, but does not dare defend them as genuine; and Baronius gives them up (6, 865, and following, with Pagi Ann.). Hincmar combated, in 870, the authority of the decrees, but used them too. However no one denies their spuriousness, but they served their purpose when wanted. They were used by Nicholas I in 864.

212 I turn to the history of the popes from this time. After the death of Formosus (897), Boniface took possession of the see, and held it for fifteen days. Stephen VI (VII) drove him out, and took possession. Baronius here remarks: Boniface is not to be counted, Stephen is; future popes having owned one, not the other, the clergy thought it better, though all was taken by fear and violence, to sanction it, rather than by electing a legitimate pope to have a schism (Bar. 1, 897). Stephen dragged Formosus out of his tomb, clothed him in pontifical robes, and put him on the throne; charged him with intrusion into the see (he had been made pope in a tumult, Sergius having been chosen by a party), stripped him then of his pontifical robes, cut off the three fingers which were used to bless with, and had his body thrown into the Tiber, and re-ordained all the clergy he had ordained. Baronius says he should not dare to count him among the popes, if he had not found it done by those of old (6, 987). Stephen was put in prison and strangled. Baronius owns he had only the fact of subsequent recognition by the church to accept such a pope 1, 897).

I should have, perhaps, mentioned the history of Pope Joan. A woman, an Englishwoman, who had received a learned education at Athens, became, it is said, pope in 855. She is said to have died in childbirth, having been taken with pains of labour in the street, going to the Lateran church; so that the popes never pass that way. This seems unquestionable, and it is certain that the sex of the Pontiffs was examined for long years, and the story believed till the time of Reformation, that is, for many centuries. She is put by Platina, who speaks of the story as of uncertain authority, between Leo IV and Benedict III. The whole controversy is fully gone into in Basnage, 7, 12, and Schrock, 27, 75-110. Baronius and Fleury pass the Joan of Platina over in a suspicious silence, and make Benedict elected on the death of Leo IV. Here there was a contested election too: Anastasius was chosen by the people and installed pope, Benedict by the clergy, and Anastasius was driven away.

213 To continue. After Stephen was gone, the Roman faction having the upper hand at the time, Romanus was pope somewhat more than four months. I quote Baronius' account: "Thus indeed all things, as well sacred as profane, were mixed up with factions, so that promotion to the Apostolic see of the Roman pontiff was in the power of the party which seemed the strongest. So that at one time the Roman nobles, at another the Prince of Etruria intruded by secular power whom he would, and put down when he could, the Roman pontiff promoted by the contrary faction. Which things were carried on for almost a whole century, until the Othos (German Emperors) came in between, in opposition to both parties, but arrogating to themselves in the same way the election of a pope and his deposition when elected." Romanus disappeared. Theodorus was pope twenty days. Benedict IV succeeded, of whom nothing is known; he seems to have been a respectable man. Leo V succeeded. After forty days he was driven out, and put in prison by Christopher. He was, after seven months, driven out, put in prison, and obliged to retire to a monastery by Sergius, who was all-powerful through Adelbert, Marquis of Tuscany. It is to be added, that these popes undid the ordinations of their predecessors, as having no legitimate title. One Auxilius wrote a dialogue, by decrees and canonical examples, to guard against the intestine discord of the Roman church; namely, on ordinations, exordinations, and super-ordinations (Baronius, 907, 3). "That reprobate Sergius," says Baronius. (908, 2), "the slave of all vices, the most iniquitous of all men — what did he leave unattempted?" "One pope undid," he says, "all the acts of another; what, then (912, 7), was the face of the holy Roman church? how filthy, when the most powerful and basest harlots ruled at Rome! at whose will sees were changed, bishops given, and, what is horrible and unutterable to hear of, lovers were introduced into the see of Peter, who are only to be written in the catalogue of Roman pontiffs to mark such times. For who can say that persons, intruded without law in this way by harlots, can be said to be legitimate Roman pontiffs? The clergy never elected, nor is there afterwards any consenting mention," etc. Yet succession depends upon this, we are told! Baronius says, "Christ indeed seemed to sleep, but He was in the ship; and that this proves the unfailing security of the church." Of the church, I believe; not however by, but in spite of, the popes.

214 On the death of Lando, Theodora (who lived with Adelbert, marquis of Tuscany, and whose daughter Marozia was concubine of Pope Sergius), makes John, son of Sergius and Marozia, pope (John X). Marozia became wife of Guido, marquis of Tuscany. She being angry with his brother Peter, had Peter killed, and John seized and put in a dungeon, where he died — they say suffocated. The Emperor at this epoch got a lance, made out of the nails of Christ's cross, from Rudolf, king of Burgundy, after threatening fire and sword if he did not give it to him; afterwards gave a large part of Swabia to him, because he gave it up; and always beat his enemies with it.

Afterwards Pope Stephen, the marquis of Tuscany and Marozia make another son of hers, by Pope Sergius, pope, by the name of John XI; but Alberic (son of Adelbert, marquis of Tuscany, by Theodora, not his wife), who ruled at Rome, put John in prison. There he remained three years, and there was no other pope made. In 936 Leo VII became pope. I pass over a number which need no mention. Octavianus, son of Alberic, was a clergyman; and as he governed at Rome, made himself pope (John), being at the outside not eighteen years old. Baronius again remarks here (955, 4), that though not of an age to be made bishop, or even deacon, he was owned afterwards in the succession, the clergy being supposed to consent, not to have a schism. The truth is plain enough — he ruled at Rome. However, the Emperor Otho comes to Rome (963), and holds a council, which deposes John, and elects Leo VIII, whom Baronius will not own, because nobody could depose a pope; yet he was ordained pope, and ordained priests and deacons, and held the see a year and four months (Fleury, book 56, sec. 7), and they swore fidelity to them. But Otho having sent away some of his troops, the Romans rose against him, and tried to kill him; which he knew, and had the advantage; but when the Emperor left, Leo had to fly, and John was pope again. However, being one night out of Rome with a married woman, he was caught in the act of adultery, and had his head smashed, and died without the sacraments.

215 The Romans chose Benedict V pope. Otho came and besieged them, and they were forced to give up Benedict to him, and Leo re-enters. The Emperor committed Benedict to the keeping of the Archbishop of Hamburg. The Emperor held a council at Rome. Benedict appeared; owned he had sinned; was stripped of his robes, and his pastoral staff broken: he had joined in deposing John, and swore fidelity to Leo. No wonder Baronius does not own Leo, as he recognized the right of Otho to establish the pope, of investitures, etc., under pain of excommunication, exile, and death. However, the next Leo was Leo the ninth, so that on Baronius' principle he must be reckoned such. Baronius has no Leo VIII at all. After Leo's death they sent to Otho to know whom he would have, and he sent ambassadors to Rome, and John XIII was chosen. He was followed by Benedict VI who became odious to the Romans. Crescentius, son of Theodora and Pope John X, took him, shut him up, and afterwards strangled him; while yet alive, Boniface VII became pope. After the death of Benedict they drove out Boniface, and Donus became pope (though some do not count him among the popes), then a relation of Alberic. But Baronius inserts Donus, and does not count Boniface.

I pass over the popes named while temporal influence prevailed. The Germans were more respectable; but Baronius does not like them. In 1002 or 1003 we have John XVI, called also and commonly XVIII for a few months, and then John XVII (usually XIX). Baronius will not own him but as XVII, because it would be recognizing schismatic popes. Baronius (10, 1003) puts two popes John; he says, to make the numbers run right. Crescens had expelled Gregory V from Rome, and made a Greek pope. The Emperor and Gregory V marched together on Rome. But some servants of the Emperor, fearing his clemency (John was a favourite at court), followed, and caught the pope, and put his eyes out, and put him in prison (Fleury, 57, 50). Benedict VIII now took the see after Sergius IV, but another party chose Gregory VI. But Benedict, being son of the Count of Tusculum, carried the day; but the party of Gregory VI roused itself, and Benedict fled to the Emperor. However Benedict was restored in less than two years.

216 After Benedict, John, a layman not in orders at all, had the papacy. He was Benedict's brother, another son of the Count of Tusculum. He got the papacy, says Fleury, partly by money (59, 3), evidently by family influence too. The patriarch of Constantinople very nearly succeeded in buying the universal papacy of the East. The Romans drove John XIX out; but Conrad, the Emperor, came with an army and set him up again: he died that year, 1033. His nephew, son of Alberic, Count of Tusculum, was made pope, a boy of about twelve years old, says Fleury; not quite ten, says Glabeus, in Baronius — by money also, and intrigue too (Fleury, 59, 81; Bar. 1033, 5) — Benedict IX. His life was infamous, and through his plunderings and murders he became so odious, that the people drove him out. Sylvester III became pope, but only held it three months; he was of another powerful family, says Baronius. But Benedict, with the Tusculum family, attacked Rome, and was reinstated. But his conduct became insupportable, and he agreed to leave for a sum of money, and the papal revenue of England, to follow his pleasures freely; and they made John Gratian pope, as Gregory VI. But all three called themselves popes. Gregory VI gave up the papacy, in a council called to settle matters, as having entered on it unlawfully; as Benedict was paid to go out. But Baronius, who speaks of it as a beast with three heads (5, 1044) coming out of the gates of hell, insists Gregory VI was a real pope, owned so by Gregory VII, Peter Damianus, etc. The number designating the pope is constantly uncertain, because whether such or such an one was really pope is uncertain. Him who is called John XIX Baronius calls XVII. Benedict is VIII or IX: so Stephen.

But when things are at the worst they mend. The Emperor came, gathered the clergy and nobles of Rome; they agreed to have things done decently, and the Emperor took up Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, and he became Clement II. No fit person, it is said, was found in Rome. However, Clement II died in nine months, and Benedict came back and held the papacy for nine months, then, as it seems, repented, and gave it up. Sylvester went back to his see. What came of Gregory I know not. The Emperor sent Poppo, bishop of Brixia, to be pope. He lived as Damasus II twenty-three days; and was said to be poisoned. Bruno, six months after, in a diet held at Worms, was chosen pope. But Baronius says, Benedict was tearing it to pieces and defiling it: so Dupin (II century, chap. 4), who refers to Clement's being poisoned. A circumstance is to be noted here. Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VII, came with Bruno. The Romans had sent to the Emperor, and asked him to give them a pope, through dread, it appears, of Benedict; and after his choice at Worms, Bruno (Leo IX) came in his pontifical robes. Hildebrand got him to take them off, and be again chosen at Rome. He it was who established the modern papacy (Bar., Fleury, Dupin). Everyone who searches for himself must look to the facts, not the title of the pope, as the succession is so uncertain, that VIII in one is IX in the other, and sometimes, as in the Johns, there are three enumerations.

217 We have seen already the state of the clergy; the buying and sale of benefices was universal, even of the popedom; and immorality, the most degraded, all but universal among the clergy. The chase or pleasure was their occupation. On the death of Leo, the Romans sent Hildebrand to the Emperor to choose a pope in Germany; they had no one fit in Rome. The Emperor assembled a council at Mayence, and Hildebrand got them to choose Gibbard, bishop of Eichstadt, a near relative to the Emperor, who did not wish to lose him. However he went, kept his bishopric too, and became pope. He was very near being poisoned by a subdeacon in the sacrament, but could not lift the cup. They say another devil openly seized the poisoner.

Hildebrand was now the soul of the papacy at Rome. A great change took place under Nicholas II. On the death of Stephen, the Emperor, who kept things in order, the Roman nobles, the Alberic family, and others, chose the bishop of Veletri as Pope Benedict. The cardinals opposed; but Fleury says he held the papacy nearly ten months; but Hildebrand got the bishop of Florence chosen at Florence. When he had arrived, the Romans sent to the Emperor, who sanctioned the choice of Florence; the pope was Nicholas II. He recognised publicly the Emperor's rights, but decreed, when pope, that the cardinals should choose the pope, thus excluding the Emperor and the Roman people. This laid the foundation of the modern papacy, which was born in Hildebrand, Gregory VII. Therefore it is I have noticed this part of the history. Benedict abdicated.

218 This was the era of Damianus, whom we have previously cited. Alexander II was the first chosen by the cardinals 1061). Another was chosen at Basle, and consecrated through Lombard influence, Pope Honorius. He came to Rome in arms, was at first victorious, but afterwards beaten, the German princes deserting him to weaken an infant Emperor. He was deserted by his soldiers, got into the castle of St. Angelo, was besieged two years by Alexander, and then fled. But Honorius never gave up his claim. One great means of the depression of imperial power was, that the archbishop of Cologne stole away the young Emperor from his mother, who had maintained his authority, and went over to Pope Alexander's side, so that the Emperor was null, though nominally saved. There was a council at Mantua, where the archbishop appeared, as did Alexander, who was charged also with simony, and Honorius. Alexander was recognized pope, Honorius pardoned, the Emperor's rights nominally saved, and some of the German party promoted. The archbishop charged Alexander with having despised the Emperor's rights. P. Damianus wrote on this, that Honorius contrived to claim and exercise papal authority as far as he could (see Bar. 1064, 40), and the archbishop of Ravenna favoured him. After Alexander, Hildebrand was pope, as Gregory VII. He decreed absolutely the celibacy of the clergy; was resisted everywhere in the north of Europe, where there was some more respect for morality; but prosecuted it earnestly.

The papal system was now established. I have only to notice, till I come to those near the Reformation, the dying struggles of the imperial power which had given popes for nearly a century, as Baronius admits, and the Avignon popes, and the schism; and briefly. Before I turn to this, I give Gregory VII's account of the state of the church. I have not preserved any reference here, but have no doubt of the correctness of the extract. "Alone with my mind's eye, I look at the west, south, and north. I scarcely find bishops, legally such by their entrance and life, who rule the Christian people for the love of Christ, and not secular ambition; and among all secular princes, I know none who put God's honour before their own, and justice before gain. As to those amongst whom I dwell, as I often tell them, Romans, Lombards, and Normans, I denounce them as, in a certain way, worse than Jews and Pagans."* Gregory having excommunicated the Emperor, the latter and his bishops chose Guibert (Clement III) pope. Gregory would have attacked him at Ravenna with an army (Fleury, 1080, 4). He sought the help of the Normans, the Italians (Lombardy) and Germany being for the Emperor. The latter (1084) entered Rome and set Clement III on the Papal throne. Gregory retired to St. Angelo. The Emperor besieged him there. Robert Guiscard, the Norman, freed him, and, after staying awhile in Rome, retired to Salerno under the protection of the Normans. Gregory VII died at Salerno. The small papal party secretly elected Desiderius (Victor III). Clement returned to Rome; he had been expelled in 1089, and came back in 1091 (Fleury, Bar.). Didier refused to be pope, and when chosen went back to Mont Casino, and would not be ordained, but at last yielded. The Normans and others came to Rome, and turned out Clement III from St. Peter's by force. Still, it appears, he held the upper hand there; for after the death of Victor III (Didier), Urban, named by him, was chosen at Terracina, under the influence of Mathilde, the great protectress of the popedom then, by a small assembly, forty persons, clergy and laity partly, by proxy, John, bishop of Porto, having their authority. (Fleury, 63, 41; Dupin, II cent., chap. 6; Bar. 1088, 1, et seq.).

{*An abbot Transmundus having put out the eyes of some monks accused of rebellion, and torn out the tongue of one of them, Desiderius, abbot of Casino, put him to penance. Gregory, then cardinal, approved the act, got him out of the abbot's hands, gave him an abbacy, and afterwards made a bishop of him. Anything for power.}

219 It is important to notice at this part of the history, that what destroyed the power of Clement and the Emperor in Italy was, that Urban got up the crusades through Peter the hermit, and when that took effect, Clement was rejected. He was driven, it appears, from Rome by the crusaders. Pope Urban the second (Grat. Decr. part 2, Caus. 23, Quaes. 5, c. 47) says, "Enjoin a measure of suitable satisfaction to those who have killed the excommunicated. For we do not consider those as guilty of homicide who, burning with the zeal of their Catholic mother against the excommunicated, shall have happened to have slain some of them." At this time this was the greater part of Europe.

220 The remaining facts may be briefly recounted. Paschal II raised the Emperor's son against him. That son banished him from Rome, and Gregory VIII was set up as pope. The Roman pope died in exile, or two days after his return; but Gelasius was elected as Roman pope, but died in exile soon after. Calistus II followed as Roman pope; he treats of peace with the Emperor. Gregory was his prisoner. Calistus was not elected, Baronius admits; he was chosen by a few cardinals and clergy at Clugny, when Gelasius died, as trusted by him (Bar. 1119, 1 and 5). After Honorius there was a contested election between cardinals and people, but the circumstances are of no moment. After him the cardinals who had been beaten in Honorius's case chose Gregory (Innocent II). Other cardinals and the people chose Peter (Anacletus II), favoured by the laity. Innocent had to leave Rome, went to France, owned by Rernard, and in general in Europe; but Anacletus was pope at Rome. On Anacletus's death, the schism for the moment is ended by St. Bernard's influence. The Emperor Lothaire brought back Innocent; but as soon as he was gone, Innocent had to go back to Pisa. Gregory was elected in Anacletus's stead as Victor, and submitted to Innocent, but the Romans renounced obedience to the latter. Celestine followed quickly. Baronius says Anacletus's presence at Rome was the triumph of Antichrist, and that it was easy to see who was the successor of St. Peter (1130, 3). The next, Lucius, was killed in a rebellion of the Romans, by a blow of a stone, when assaulting the Capitol; or of chagrin, as some say. Baronius, Dupin, Fleury, do not say how he died. His successor, Eugene, fled from Rome, but returned. Then came Anastasius IV; Adrian IV followed. Then a disputed election — Alexander and Victor; the latter given up by the Emperor when beaten by the Lombards. Lucius III and Urban III sat at Verona, not at Rome. Lucius fled, being hated and despised by the Romans, who attacked his territories, and he finally settled at Verona, where Urban was chosen.

From Urban III on to Boniface VIII, that is, taking in Lucius, from 1181 to 1294, the history of the papacy is that of a worldly power, yet using excommunication as its weapon, contending against the emperors, using Sicily and Lombardy as their main arms against him with various success, but in result successful. But it wearied the world, and when Boniface attempted to use the acquired power against Philip of France, he signally failed. His successor repeated his acts. And the next pope, chosen by French influence, removed to Avignon, in France. This, as being practically secular history, I leave untouched. "My kingdom," says the Lord, "is not of this world, else would my servants fight"; the pope's was.

221 The most remarkable pope of the period was Innocent III, who held the fourth council of Lateran, when transubstantiation was for the first time decreed. He established the inquisition in the crusades against the Albigenses. We may notice that, the see having been vacant three years through election intrigues, there was a compromise, and Gregory X made a decree for what is now practised, that the cardinals should be shut up till they chose a pope. Celestine V reserved it, and then resigned, as the cardinals were two years and a half before electing him. The person who got Celestine to resign got himself chosen in his place — it was Boniface VIII. Celestine gives a curious reason to justify his abdication. He says Clement, who was named by Peter, resigned, that no pope might be named by his predecessor; and then came third after Linus and Anacletus. So Peter made a blunder in beginning the matter. It is known the succession of the first three possessors of the see is hopelessly embroiled.

As to the manners of the clergy and the court of Rome in Innocent's time, Matthew Paris is quoted as giving the parting address of Cardinal Hugo, at Lyons (P. 819. I have not the book to verify the quotation.) "Amici magnam fecimus postquam in hanc urbem venimus utilitatem et eleemosynam. Quando enim primo huc venimus tria vel quatuor prostibula invenimus [here in the sense of lupanar], sed nunc recedentes unum solum relinquimus, verum ipsum durat continuatum ab orientali porta civitatis usque ad occidentalem."

From 1309 the pope lived at Avignon, under French influence and protection, proclaimed his rights over others, and submitted to France. The struggles with the Emperor went on. Louis was set up an anti-pope at Rome — Nicholas V; but he was soon given up to his competitor at Avignon. The friars Minorites and Italian cardinals sided with the Emperor, who was preparing a general council against the pope who meanwhile died. Benedict XII succeeded at Avignon. France would not allow him to make peace with the Emperor; the Emperor was deprived of the sacraments by the pope; but the clergy who would not administer them were banished. But Louis took ecclesiastical powers in hand, and lost influence. Clement VI succeeded Benedict, and anathematized the Emperor, and set up an anti-Emperor who was forced to fly. But the conduct of Clement, who had deposed an ecclesiastical Elector to gain voices for his anti-Emperor, had wearied men of the popes. Clement got the upper hand, but injured the Papacy. The Electors of the empire meet, and declare the King of Rome receives his power from Electors only.

222 From 1313 to 1316 the see was vacant: the cardinals would not elect. Clement V, first pope at Avignon, lived in adultery, sold all the benefices he had to dispose of, and left immense wealth (Fleury, 92, 11). Yet this same Clement, in opening the council of Vienne, describes the state of the whole church as corruption itself, clergy and laity (Raynald, con. of Bar. 1311, 55). This is Petrarch's account of the court at Avignon. He died in the Papacy of Gregory XI, and had lived at Avignon. "It is the third Babylon, the fifth labyrinth. Here dreadful prisons, nor the tortuous way of a dark house, nor the fatal mixing of the fate of the human urn, lastly, not imperious Minos, nor a voracious minotaur, nor the monument of condemned lusts (veneris), are wanting; but remedies — love, charity, faith to promises, friendly counsels, or thread by silent help, marking the perplexed way — Ariadne and Daedalus. The only hope of safety is gold! A fierce king is appeased by gold, and heaven is opened by gold; nay more, Christ is sold for gold!"

During this time, from the universal corruption and squeezing for money, the consciences of godly men were rising up against the state of things — Milicz, Matthias Von Jannow, both Bohemians, before Huss; in England, Wickliffe (1360, etc.). Gregory XI died at Rome, and a pope was elected then in a riot: Raynald says the uproar was afterwards. However this may be, for all was violence and confusion, the cardinals elected another, Clement VII, who went to Avignon; and there were two who divided Europe between them. Benedict XIII succeeded at Avignon, Boniface IX at Rome, and then Gregory XII. This brought on the Council of Pisa, which put down both. The council chose Alexander V. He dissolves the council, and does not reform.

223 There were now three popes. The exaction of money became intolerable, selling of benefices public. It was said it was allowable, as the pope could not sin in it. This brought on the council of Pisa, "a council," says Bellarmine, "neither manifestly approved nor manifestly condemned" (De Conc. lib. 1, C. 8). That it is approved, the succeeding Alexander being called VI shews, for Alexander V was made pope by that council; and the same circumstance shews John XXIII to be confessedly a true pope, though moderns say no. John XXIII being obliged to fly, Rome consented to a new council, which met at Constance. Here first they voted by nations. John was deposed, accused of every sort of horrible crime. He had first fled the council. Gregory XII resigned. Benedict XIII remained determined, was deposed, and finally deserted by all but the Spanish town he lived in. Martin V was elected by all. The council had formally decreed a council superior to the pope, and had acted on it. Martin condemned all appeals from popes, and after a little reformation dissolved the council. It was here John Huss was burnt, and it was declared that faith was not to be kept with a heretic, he having had letters of safe conduct. Martin confirmed the articles of faith of the council of Constance (Raynald, 1418, 2). Martin V quarrelled with cardinals. He appointed a council first at Pavia, then at Siena; but which met afterwards at Basle under Eugenius. But there was no reformation really, and the universal complaint continued. France made regulations for herself. Eugene IV succeeded Martin V. The iniquities with which John XXIII was charged were so dreadful, that, when presented to the chief men of the Council of Constance, they thought it better not to have him called to account — the apostolic see would be discredited altogether, and all his promotions of ecclesiastics held void.

I should add, that the Council of Constance had ordered that a council should be held within a limited time, and a second within seven years; and these were held in consequence. Eugenius, fearing reformation from the first, sought to dissolve the council. The council, under his own legate, resisted, confirmed the decrees of Constance that a council was above the pope, and could decide so as to subject all, the pope included, in articles of faith, schism, and reformation. The cry universal echoed in these councils for reformation in head and members. The French held a national council to back up the Council of Basle against the pope's effort, and even the Emperor, though yielding to the pope for a time to get crowned, returned to the council. But this pope tried it out. It condemned the pope, and deposed him, and elected Felix V. Meanwhile, the council having cited the pope (1437) to appear before it, he appointed a council at Ferrara, and the two sat together. The Council of Ferrara condemns that of Basle. From Ferrara it was transferred to Florence. The Council of Florence ended in 1442, the pope appointing one in Rome; that at Basle, in 1444, appointing one in Germany. Felix V had one at Lausanne, but subsequently resigned the Papacy, on condition of having all his cardinals and promotions to benefices owned, and certain personal privileges. Nicholas, the other pope, withdrew all his acts against him and the Council of Basle.

224 The pope of Rome had thus seemingly gained uncontested supremacy; but the fact that all the respectable clergy had met, condemned deposed popes, and named others whose successors all subsequent popes have been, made their position very different. All their theologians avoid, if possible, pronouncing a judgment on these councils, even when they hold the supremacy of the pope in the highest way. Bellarmine admits that Pisa can neither be approved nor condemned. If it be condemned, the pope is not pope, for the popes are the successors of the council's nominee; if it be approved, then a council can depose a pope. Neither proposition would do. The like is the case of Constance. That council deposed three popes, and chose another. But then it openly declared that a pope was subject to a general council, and that a council represented the universal church, and could act in its name, and was infallible; and it acted on it; and again, the succession depends on their act. Moreover, Martin V sanctioned the doctrine that a general council represents the whole church (Fleury, 106, 14). Bellarmine recognizes the power of a council to settle schism. He refers to Popes Cornelius, Symmachus, Innocent II, Alexander III, and the Pisa and Constance councils. No remedy, he says, is more powerful than a council. So for false doctrines in popes, as Marcellinus, Damasus, Sixtus III, Leo III and IV. Marcellinus, he said, had to confess it; the rest purged themselves.

225 Now, though the popes had the upper hand, the universal conscience of the church was roused; the weightiest, godliest doctors declared there must be reform in the head and in the members. This became the universal cry all over Europe; whenever the pope went too far, there was an appeal to a general council. France maintained, in what are called the Gallican liberties, the doctrine of Constance. The popes themselves (instead of governing an ignorant and prostrate Europe, whose princes, being divided and jealous of one another, were glad of the pope's help, while he was always himself and one in his purpose, and scrupled at no weapons), were now judged by laity and clergy, who were subject to them, and gave themselves up to mere petty local ambition. France and Germany were considerably emancipated in the spirit of men's minds, deliverance being looked for anxiously, and though disappointed in their hopes of redress from the councils, were groaning so much the more, though hopelessly, under the burden. Spain and Portugal were more content, because they liked that title of the pope which divided the new world between them. But men's spirits craved deliverance; threatened councils, appealed to them, were ripe for some deliverance. The unheard-of infamies of Alexander VI, and even the crimes and conduct of Sixtus and Julius, only sunk the Papacy lower, though none opposed it; and the shameless sale of indulgences, practically an allowance to sin, gave the last blow to man's conscience, and opened the door to the testimony of an offended God. I shall briefly trace this, which will lead us to the Reformation.

Nicholas V arranged matters peaceably with Felix V, the Lausanne pope, who was during his life to be respected as such, though without power. Calixtus IV followed him. They succeeded in gaining influence in Germany; but the attempt to rouse the people to a crusade against the Turks utterly failed. Pius II failed in like attempts; he condemned appeals to a general council (Raynald, 1460, 10, 11), where we see it was become a general thing. This same pope, as Aeneas Sylvius, had been a great adherent of the Council of Basle. Paul II was arbitrary. The cardinals at this time bound themselves all when in conclave, as in the case of Eugenius, to reform the papal court in head and members, hold a council, and to many other points. Eugene confirmed this by a bull. Paul bound himself in the same way, but by a decree rejected it all, and by cajoling and violence forced all the cardinals but one to join in, though some very reluctantly (Raynald, 1431, 5, 1458, 5, 1464, 61, 62). Platina complains bitterly of his undoing iniquitously all Pius II had done, threatened to complain to kings and princes (for parliaments, universities, kings, everybody did so now), and have a general council, and got put in prison and in the stocks for his pains. Sixtus IV succeeded. He occupied himself with low Italian intrigues and conspiracy to advance his family. Innocent VIII came after him. He was famous for promoting and enriching his illegitimate children, though one of the conditions (in conclave) of election was not to do it. He was the subject of pasquinades on this account. Rome, they said, might well call him father. It appears he had seven children while pope. The general fact is stated by Raynald (1492, 23). He received pay from the Sultan for keeping a rival brother safe when the Turks were invading Europe.

226 To Alexander VI one hardly knows how to refer. He is recognized to have been — except it be his own second illegitimate son — the most horrible fiend who has come under public notice. A thorough debauchee at all times, so as to attract notice and reproof even at the Papal court, elected pope by bribery and promises, he got rid, in one way or another, of those who promoted him. His second son killed his eldest brother, and the pope's other favourite, Peroto, who had hidden himself in the pope's mantle, so that the blood spurted up in the pope's face. (Casillo, Appendix to Ranke.) Alexander had made a cardinal of him when quite young, but he left the clerical order to be a prince in Italy. France made him Duke of Valentinois to reward the pope for his divorce. He killed his sister's husband to marry her better. This same sister, when the pope was away, kept the Papal court, and opened the despatches, consulting the cardinals. She was one of the pope's five illegitimate children. Her marriage was celebrated with pomp in the pope's palace. Infessina's language is bitter to a degree on the occasion, and he declares that the universal corruption of the clergy through Innocent and Alexander's care of their children made men fear it might reach the monks and people of religion. "Although," he adds, "the monasteries of the city were almost all (quasi omnia) turned into brothels, no one gainsaying it. The current lines on him were, 'Alexander sells kings, altars, Christ. He first bought them, he has good right to sell them.'" Engaged with his second son Borgia in poisoning (as he had poisoned others already) some rich cardinals, to get their money, at a feast prepared for it, he took, being very hot, the poisoned wine, and died.

227 I cannot be expected to go into the details of such a life as this. Raynald tries to cover the way he met his death, but no one believes him. The very brief pontificate of Pius III needs no notice. Julius II was engaged in wars. The cardinals had all sworn to reform, and to have a general council. He was occupied fighting against the Venetians, and afterwards the French, etc. Louis XII had a council at Tours. Germany prepared her griefs, and sought a pragmatic sanction like France. The French council held that the king could renounce allegiance to the pope. He should keep the decrees of Basle, and appeal to a future council. If Julius, armed pronounced sentence upon him or his allies, it would be of no force whatever. The king and Emperor summoned a general council at Pisa, but it was mainly composed of French bishops. The pope convoked another at the Lateran. The Pisan came to nothing, though it deposed the pope by a decree. A number of cardinals were engaged in it, founded on Julius' promise to have a general council within two years. I only refer to it to shew the confusion all was in. The Emperor and King of France adhered afterwards to the Lateran. Francis I and Leo X made a treaty. The pope by this had again quietly the upper hand. The Councils of Constance and Basle, on the first of which the succession of the Papacy depends, maintained the authority of councils and bishops. France held strongly to this. The Councils of Florence and Lateran V set up the pope. In result half Europe broke off, and the pope by the Council of Trent remained absolute in the rest, if we except the Gallican liberties.

This brings us to the last act which brought about the Reformation: not the wisdom of princes, nor the power of councils, but God rousing conscience and faith — conscience long wearied, and faith which He gave, roused by the excessive wickedness which the popes, grown secure in wickedness, countenanced for mere aesthetical purposes. Julius II had begun St. Peter's, Leo wanted to finish it. Italy had been flooded with fresh light from Constantinople, and the educated clergy were infidels. Elegant Latin or Greek was alone sought after, pleasure and literary pursuits. It is said that Leo himself was an infidel; but there is no proof of it. At any rate St. Peter's was to be finished, and for this purpose money was to be raised. For this purpose an old expedient, by which the piety of the ignorant had been before that imposed on, was resorted to, but with a recklessness that passed all bounds. Indulgences were issued, as to which there are very pretty theories, but which are but allowances to commit sin for money. I know well it is said to be commutation of penance, and shortening, consequently, the duration of purgatorial pains; but penance had taken place of the need of holiness, and as a man with the sacraments would not go to hell, purgatory had taken the place of hell, and when a man wanted to sin, he got rid of the purgatory he was afraid of by paying a sum of money: he wanted to sin, and paid so much money to do it with impunity. Guilt (culpa) was settled by sacraments, so that he did not much trouble himself about it; the pains which remained, about which he did care, by money. Now, too, it was not provided for troubled sinners, but offered everywhere to bold ones who wanted to sin. Each sin had its price. The object was to get money. Grace, or holiness, or any doctrine, no matter which, was not thought of.

228 Albert, brother of Joachim of Brandenburg — a young, elegant, sumptuous Archbishop of Mayence, and Elector — spent, like Leo, more than he could afford, and applied to Leo for the farming of the indulgences; but he had not paid for his pallium, or archiepiscopal robe, some 30,000 florins, and could not have it without; for the pope wanted money, and Cardinal Pucci had suggested this means of getting it. The Fuggers were bankers of Augsburg, and Albert owed them money already; however the affair seemed a good one, and they advanced the money for the pallium, and became bankers for the indulgence-money. A certain Tetzel (whose life, it is said, the Elector of Saxony had already saved, when Maximilian was going to put him in a sack and throw him into the Inn, and who had before preached indulgences with success), undertook the matter for Albert. It is stated that he declared that, if a person had violated the Virgin Mary, he could give him pardon: that as soon as the money was in the box the souls were out of purgatory. It is certain from his own statement, that he urged that when a man had pardon (plenary remission, say the instruction) for his sins on confession and contrition, which he got on confessing them or undertaking to do it, still for mortal sin there was seven years' penance on earth; and men committed countless ones, and God knew how long they would be in purgatory; and that, save for four cases, reserved to the pope, he could give pardon for everything now, at any time on confession,* and plenary at the hour of death, so that they would slip purgatory altogether for a small sum. As to condemnation, the confession, contrition, and absolution had put all that out of the question.

{*The instructions themselves to Tetzel are in Gerdes' Hist., Ev. Ren. vol. I, document 9. These say once in life, and in the hour of death even, for reserved cases; for others as often as need was. Section 30.}

229 The Jesuit Maimbourg does not attempt to conceal the iniquity of what was and had been going on. Before this, indulgences had been largely used to make money — farmed out to quaestors, who made all the money of them they could. It was one of the charges against John XXIII, giving power to his legate to appoint confessors, and free every one from sins, and all the penalty besides, if they paid what they were rated at. Still Maimbourg admits it went on with Leo all the same, that Tetzel was employed because he had got in great sums for the Teutonic knights, that the agents made people believe they were sure of their salvation, and souls were delivered out of purgatory as soon as the money was paid; and as they saw the clerks of these same agents carousing in taverns on their profits, much indignation was created (Maimbourg's History of Lutheranism, 3rd edition, 12mo, Paris, p. 9 et seq). This, he admits, was the origin of Protestantism. No doubt popes had made money of indulgences before. It was now an habitual resource; that is, religious iniquity of the profoundest kind was. The sale of liberty to sin was the settled practice of the Romish church, the authorized practice and doctrine of its popes and leaders. It was farmed out to profit. I repeat, no heathenism, horrible as was its corruption, ever was guilty of such deep and dark iniquity.

It will be said that Tetzel's conduct was a gross abuse. Be it so. To a rightly constituted mind the principle is far worse than the abuse. The pope getting money to build or ornament a grand church, by a universal commutation of godly discipline (if we go no farther) for money, really for an allowance of all sorts of sin for money, is worse than the abuses that a reckless agent may be guilty of. Dr. N. knew this. An ignorant man might be ignorant of this; Dr. N. was not; he knew this gave birth to Protestantism. Has he not learned to hate such things as this?

230 In Leo's time light had come in; the condemning of popes by councils had weakened confidence; the people were weary of the iniquity long ago, but the authority that sanctioned it had now lost a great deal of its influence, and the excessive insult to conscience, shewn in the present sale of indulgences, filled the cup. The princes were angry at their oppression by the pope; they had long complained, though they had not dared to stir. But when God raised up Luther to apply the word of God to the conscience, and shew the iniquity of all this and after some time the want of foundation for the pope's power, all was providentially prepared. People came to confess to him, guilty of all sorts of crimes; and when he insisted on putting practical penance on them, they produced their letters of indulgence, and were easy in their sin. My business here is not to pursue the history of the Reformation. For my own part, I do not for a moment think it established the church on its original basis; nor did its leaders see this any more than Dr. Newman does; but it was the righteous rising up of faith, with the power of the truth and word of God, as far as it was possessed, against the most iniquitous system that ever the sun looked on, of which nations and conscience were alike weary. I challenge Dr. Newman, or any one else, to shew me a like system of iniquity in the world. That gave rise to Protestantism. If natural conscience even was not to have been finally destroyed by the heads and authorities of Christendom, it must have protested. That protest first made by Luther's faith was Protestantism.

I have followed out the historical state of what Dr. N. looks at as the holy Catholic church, and that of the popes its leaders, according to him, the alleged vicegerents of Christ on earth. If details were gone into and the statements of private historians, 911 would appear far darker than I have made it. But it is needless. A righteous soul will judge whether "the note" of holiness is to be found in this history. That upright souls there were who groaned under it, I admit. But what did they groan under? Who made them groan?

But Dr. N. tells us that normally infallibility resides in a pope and general council. "It is to the pope in ecumenical council that we look as to the normal seat of infallibility" (280). I will therefore run through the ecumenical councils, and see what we can trust to in them.

231 Constantine, the first Christian emperor, meddled, as did his successors, largely in ecclesiastical matters. As a political man, he felt his government hindered by the dissensions of the bishops, which roused the whole Christian world. He took up the Donatist question; he directed certain bishops to hear the same a second time, others to rehear it, and at last heard it himself, and put the Donatists down. Meanwhile the Arian controversy raged in the East. It had spread from Alexandria over the whole eastern world, and divided the people into two factions (Euseb. Life of Const., book 2, 61 to the end). Thereupon the Emperor writes a letter, saying the East had been the source of light to the world; how grieved he was, and so on, that, as they were one in faith (Alexander and Arius), they ought to hold their tongues on nice points, and not let such delicate questions before the ignorant, and make confusion. But in vain; so he summoned a council at Nice in the hope of settling it. The invitations came from himself, and he provided horses for the bishops to come, or allowed them to use the public posts; he had them to meet in the palace, and presided himself. A glowing description is given by Eusebius of his coming into the assembly, and taking his seat at the head of it. When the bishops had bowed and said a few complimentary words, he sat down, and the bishops too. Then he made a long harangue to them, and gave liberty of speech afterwards to the bishops, soothed them, answered objections, reasoned with them, and brought them, though with difficulty, to some kind of quietness, and got all but five to sign, who were banished. The Emperor held thus a strong hand over them; having once made a decision in a council, little or big, he enforced it, for peace' sake, by his own authority. The orthodox suffered as others, if they were not quiet — Athanasius himself among the rest. That Constantine convoked and managed the council is beyond all question: Eusebius, Ruffinus, Epiphanius all agree. That he presided is equally certain; he sat in a little golden seat at the head, the bishops down the sides, of the apartment. Alexander of Alexandria, Epiphanius tells us, got him to convoke it. Hosius subscribed first, then the two presbyters sent by Silvester of Rome, then the rest.

I may note here that in the early councils scarce any Western bishops were ever present. The West had not the mental activity of the East, and they did not raise useless questions as the Easterns did. In no one of the first six general councils were there a dozen Western bishops, in many not half that number. Three are found in this first one. A note, said to be of Dionysius Exiguus, says, they did not sign at Nice, because they were not suspected of heresy (Hard. 1, 311). If this were so, it gives a curious character to the decrees and signatures. It was to force the suspected bishops to declare and bind themselves. The number of prelates is uncertain; Eusebius says 250. In Hardouin you have 318 names, which afterwards was held to be a mystical number.

232 The late councils were, on the contrary, wholly Western, and of the Latin church. There were no Easterns. At Florence Pope Eugenius attempted it, but it was a complete failure; the assent a few Greek prelates did give was utterly repudiated by their church when they went home. All these late Western councils, save Pisa, Constance, and Basle, were assemblies called and managed by the popes for their own purposes, with, in general, a vast majority of Italian bishops. Pisa, Constance, and Basle, were the fruit of the struggles of the conscience of Christendom against the hopeless wickedness and oppression of the papacy and the popes. There has been no council since which represented East and West. It was attempted at Sardica, and failed; they split, and held two; the most complete one was Ariminium, under Constantius, where 400 bishops undid the work of Nice by dropping the words — "of one substance with the Father," though they rejected many statements of Arius: but it did not succeed; the Westerns had been dragged in, and afterwards protested.

Catholicity is a fable as to fact. As to holiness, to seek it leads into a tissue of horrible facts. Unity in the outward body there has been none, since the pretensions of the popes and Constantinople began.

The second so-called general council consisted of 150 Eastern bishops, called together by Theodosius; and the bishops so declare in their letter which precedes the decrees, and ask expressly the confirmation by the Emperor of what they had decreed. They communicate their decrees and canons to the Western bishops in common, then assembled at Rome, giving Constantinople the second rank after Rome, but on grounds which refer merely to civil rank in each. They confirm the sixth canon of the Council of Nice as to the independence of the larger divisions of the hierarchical system. Their creed is the now accepted Nicene one, an article forbidden by Pope Leo being added. But the pope had nothing to say to the council; the popes did not accept its canons; but they are received in the universal church. Baronius seeks to invalidate one, but is corrected by Pagi, who shews it to have been universally received.

233 It is worthy of note here, that the article added to their creed is still rejected by the Greeks, who hold the creed as settled by the Council of Constantinople. And it is further to be remarked, that the general council of Ephesus forbade any other creed to be proposed to any one, and the great Pope Leo, the means of Dr. N.'s becoming a Romanist, this very article in particular. This added article, which came from Spain and France, is the great subject of division with the Greeks, though they do not believe in purgatory either, nor, of course, recognize the popes. Not only did Pope Leo formally forbid its being inserted, but had the Constantinopolitan creed engraved in Greek and Latin on silver plates on this account in the church. (Compare Pearson on the Creed, on the eighth article, where the authorities are cited.)

We have not much security from councils as yet, nor is the pope found in an ecumenical council hitherto, save by his presbyters at Nice, who subscribed in their place after Hosius, the Emperor's confidant, as it appears. The council of Ephesus followed, in which the pope acted very ably by his legates, but in which no other Western prelates were present. The Emperor had convoked the council, and his commissioner forbade them to meet till all the Eastern prelates were there: but Cyril, and the bishops of his party, drove him out, took possession of all the churches, and settled the matter by condemning Nestorius before the Easterns came, Nestorius and his party protesting, but not daring to go. The Easterns, however, did not yield: Cyril was excommunicated and deposed by them; and it was only on Cyril's giving up some points that John of Antioch was reconciled some years later with Cyril, through the Emperor's means. The result was, Nestorianism spread through the East even to China. The Emperor gave up Nestorius to have peace, and he was banished. But Leo, in his letter subsequently to Flavian of Constantinople, adopted at the council of Chalcedon, does not use the word Nestorius objected to — Deipara. The whole course of Cyril a disgrace to any sober Christian man; he was the true source of Eutychianism, and I judge his soundness very questionable on the atonement.

234 The next council of Ephesus was convoked as the previous one; the pope's representatives were in it. But Cyril's violence against Nestorius had left Eutychian sects at Alexandria, and bore its fruits here. The Archbishop of Alexandria presided as before. Why was not the Holy Ghost here? Yet they beat the poor old Archbishop of Constantinople in such a way, that he died of it in a few days, and others were sorely maltreated. Pope Leo condemned Eutyches in the famous epistle to Flavian, too rhetorical for such a subject, and questionable, I judge, in some expressions; but doubtless a remarkable document, and substantially sound, and asked for; a council in or near Italy. The Emperor refused; but the council first convened at Nice, and then removed to Chalcedon, was held, which also condemned Eutyches, adopting Leo's statement and Cyril's two letters to Nestorius, on the ground of their intrinsic merits. The legates asked if this and the other councils agree with Leo. The bishops answered, Leo agrees with them. There was a great struggle for jurisdiction and rank between Leo and Anatolius, the legates having orders to resist all advance in rank of Constantinople. Leo's predecessor denied any to it. But it was maintained and increased to equal dignity and second rank in precedence, and the contested jurisdiction given it, the legates staying away that day, then complaining of its being done; but it was confirmed. Anatolius gave way afterwards in form, but kept his ground in fact. The canon remains in the universal canons; but the popes would never own it. Pretty work for the lowly servants of Christ! The Romans were charged with forging part of a canon here to give supremacy to Rome, as they were convicted of it just at this time in Africa, which peremptorily rejected the pretensions of Rome, and sent off its legate. But what I mainly refer to in the council was this, that Theodore and Ibas were declared sound in the faith. And Leo confirmed twice over the doctrinal decisions of the council. But in the following ecumenical council, Pope Vigilius first gave a judgment in favour of the three chapters, as it was called; but he had to do with a powerful Emperor who had now re-conquered Italy, and he made the pope come to the council, and finally forced him* to sign and confirm its decrees, which condemned the three chapters which Chalcedon had pronounced sound, by which confirmation, moreover (Baronius says) it became a general council. But if it did, we have alleged infallible authority, a pope in an ecumenical council, condemning what the same infallibility approves. What kind of infallibility or security is this? The truth is, the best of these councils were disgraceful scenes of turbulent violence, even Chalcedon.

{*I do not enter into the details: they were wretched enough.}

235 God has taken care of His church, and the faith that is true, blessed be His name; and He uses any means He pleases; but the history of the means shews that, if they are rested in, it is worse than a broken reed. It is an utterly false principle to sanction the means God has employed, because He has employed them. The wickedness of the Jews was the means God employed for our salvation, with the utter want of conscience of Pilate. Who justifies them?

The third general council was perfectly shameful, and really produced lasting disasters to the church at large. No one acquainted with history can deny it. It was really the fruit of the pope's jealousy of Constantinople, and consequent intrigues. Constantinople had not been what was called an apostolic see; it was raised to eminence by the importance of the city as the capital. Old Rome could not bear this. At any rate, these councils, which we are told are to secure us, rested the preeminence of Rome and Constantinople on their being capitals, old and new Rome. The Christian has nothing to do with these worldly intrigues. They enable him to judge the whole system by the faith of Him whose kingdom was not of this world. At any rate general councils confirmed by popes have directly contradicted one another. In very deed, if we examine their history, we find no trace of the Spirit's presence, but every proof of His absence, though the faith may have been substantially preserved.

I am not writing a history of the councils, but meeting what is referred to in Dr. N.'s self-defence. I pass to three others, to shew how groundless, how wild, these foundations of faith are; how unsimple, compared with the precious word of God, the statements of the Lord and His inspired apostles, or other servants.

236 First, Pisa. Here is a council on which the whole succession of the pope and Roman clergy depends. Yet Bellarmine declares that it is a council which can neither be approved nor condemned. The reason is very simple; there were two popes, Benedict and Gregory. The council was formed by a number of the cardinals of each, and the prelates and others they brought together. They summoned formally the two popes, and deposed them; they chose a third, who confirmed all their acts, and is recognized pope. If they do accept the council, then it is above the pope, and can act without him; for this is what amongst other things is confirmed. If they do not accept it, then the succession of popes is a false one. Benedict and Gregory held their ground, but in vain. The council had decreed a new council, and Alexander, the newly elected pope, had John for his successor. The Emperor was able to get him to hold a council, to which he went. Here was normal infallibility; but the council deposed him for crimes, and the other two as schismatics, etc., and chose a fourth, Martin, whose authority, of course, depended on that of the council. He tried to destroy it by an evasive confirmation, and closed it without any reforms.

Now, if normal infallibility rests in a pope in ecumenical council, it is not to be found at all; for in the early councils they contradicted one another, to say nothing of their being horrible bear gardens; and in the later ones, the existence of popes depends on their action without a pope amongst them.

Is it to this the Christian is reduced he who seeks the truth or even the true church? He cannot receive a priest, nay, not a sacrament, till he knows he is one. I say this on their own ground, and we are supposing a person inquiring. He cannot take it for granted, or he is decided already; he looks to the person who established the priest, and finally to the ultimate source of certainty and authority. In Rome it cannot be found. It is not a question of profiting by a recognized ministry, but finding the truth, and a true one. But this normal seat of infallibility is not to be found by a person competent to inquire; and what a thing to search for, when their own authorities cannot tell me which council, or what part of it, has authority, if a person is not competent!

Whereas, if I receive the scriptures as the word of God (and if not, I am an infidel) I have the teaching of Paul, and Peter, and John, and of the blessed Lord Himself. Surely I have need of holiness and grace to learn; but I have infallible authority to learn from. It is in vain to say it is a rule of faith, not a proper means of communicating truth. I insist urgently on the difference. I may learn there; I may have learnt from my mother, a minister, or others. I may have done so from the Bible. But I have a certain rule here; the Romanist has none, if the question is raised. They say the universal church is right. But where is it to be found? The majority of Christians, and the most ancient churches, are outside Rome. One will tell me the seat of this authority is in the pope; another, the pope with a council; another, a council as independent of and above a pope. And if this last be not held, there is no true pope to be had, no true succession. And this not as an individual argument; it has been decreed twice by assembled Christendom, held by universities the most famous in the world, denounced, no doubt, the other side of the Alps, at Rome. But when I inquire of their greatest authority about that council on which their cause depends, which was confirmed absolutely by a pope, I am told it is uncertain — cannot be condemned or approved! As another is a secret not to be spoken of! There is no known seat of infallibility for a person capable of inquiring. The whole thing is as foreign from God's dealings, and His way of securing us in the truth, as it is possible to be. I might much enlarge upon this point, but I refrain. That which I have said is enough to shew what the Roman church system produced, as its own best authors record it (individual authors teem with reproaches and scorn), what its popes were, what refuge its councils were to the inquiring mind. I close this part of my inquiry.

237 The question of Dr. Newman's honesty has been raised. It is a painful kind of subject. But, I must say, I do not think him honest, without in the least meaning that gross dishonesty which sets about to deceive and say what is false. But a false way always begets false ways — that kind of dishonesty of which scripture says, "deceiving and being deceived." Every one saw, and Monsignor Wiseman saw, as he tells us, and Dr. Newman knew that his path led to Rome. He counted Rome the most exalted church in the world; hated Protestantism, though he had a special mission to reform Anglicanism; had a presentiment that he himself should land in popery; admits now the scope and issue of the movement was such; knew his leading was leading others into it; hence was willing to bend the stick beyond what was straight, in order to straighten it — that is, to go beyond the truth to gain the result he wished. He was not, as many thought that he was, a concealed Romanist, seeking to gain others; but he did know or feel where it led, though there were difficulties from habits of thought in his own mind, yet continued without his conscience being stirred as to the path he was pursuing, and bending everything as, I must say, no honest mind could do to the purpose he had in view. I suppose, from what he says of visions and secret feelings as to a mission, that there was some direct action of Satan: else it was connected with the most absolute confidence in himself, and the most total absence of the truth, or any concern in it. When he joined Romanism, he did not yet believe its principal tenets; he submitted to authority — that authority, I have no doubt, Satan's. It is characteristic of Rome to be regardless of the truth, of Christ to be the truth. It is the more solemn in his case, because he declares he is now certain that he was converted to God by that which he gave up.

238 Till the end of 1842 he was in doubt, not certain, that Rome was right (246). But long before this, for he disclosed it in 1839, he had a strong presentiment that his existing opinions would ultimately give way, and that the grounds of them were unsound. Only before 1839 he felt such a strong presentiment was not a sufficient ground for disclosing the state of his mind. Perhaps not, if he had not been active in a work and mission confided to him. At that time he knew (174) he was disposing young men's minds towards Rome: this in 1839, and he had mentioned his general difficulty to A. B. a year before. He stayed then, because he had not made trial how much the English church would bear. As to the result, he says, namely, whether this process will not approximate the whole English church, as a body, to Rome, that is nothing to us (176). "I am more certain that the Protestant spirit which I oppose leads to infidelity, than that which I recommend leads to Rome" (177). In page 195 we read, "I have felt all along Bishop Bull's theology was the only theology on which the English church could stand. I have felt that opposition to the church of Rome was part of that theology, and that he who could not protest against the church of Rome was no true divine in the church of England. I have never said, nor attempted to say, that any one in office in the English church, whether bishop or incumbent, could be otherwise than in hostility to the church of Rome." Yet in the next page he says, "You cannot tell how sad your account of Moberly has made me. His view of the sinfulness of the Tridentine decrees is as much against union of churches as against individual conversions." In page 116 he tells us, "We had a real wish to co-operate with Rome in all lawful things, if she would let us, and the rules of our church let us; and we thought there was no better way towards the restoration of doctrinal purity and unity." Yet opposition to the church of Rome was part of the theology of the church of England divines, and none in office in the church of England could be otherwise than in hostility to the church of Rome, yet he talks of saving his protest.

239 So as regards the Articles. "I wished to institute an inquiry how far in critical fairness the text could be opened. I was aiming far more at ascertaining what a man who subscribed it might hold, than what he must, so that my conclusions were negative rather than positive" (124). "In addition, I was embarrassed in consequence of my wish to go as far as possible in interpreting the Articles in the direction of Roman dogma, without disclosing what I was doing to the parties whose doubts I was meeting, who might be thereby encouraged to go still farther than at present they found in themselves any call to do." This, he tells us, was from being enjoined, he thinks, by his bishop to keep the men straight who were going into popery through his means.

What a labyrinth of disingenuousness! I ask any man if this be plain uprightness. I do not mean he intended to deceive; but a false way, I repeat, leads to false ways. His pretension to reform the Anglican system, for which he had a vision and a charge, led him into this tortuous course, through absolute confidence in himself. My reader will perhaps say that it is a hard word, "absolute confidence in himself." It is his own. In the storm that arose on Tract 90, he says, "But how was I to have any more absolute confidence in myself? how was I to have confidence in my present confidence?" (132). "Am I wrong in saying, a vision, a mission, a charge?" (81). Going abroad he wrote the verses about his guardian angel, which began with these words,

"Are these the tracks of some unearthly friend?"

and goes on to speak of "the vision which haunted me." While abroad he repeated to himself the words, even of old dear to him, "Exoriari aliquis … I began to think I had a mission" (82), and so wrote to his friends. It was at this time he said, "I shall not die; I have a work to do in England." Nor did this ever leave him. When Tract go came out, in writing to Dr. Bagot of the See of Oxford, he says (134), "I think I can bear, or at least will try to bear, any personal humiliation, so that I am preserved from betraying sacred interests which the Lord of grace and power has given into my charge." The words of St. Augustine, securus judicat orbis terrarum — the whole world judges in security — came into his mind as a light from heaven, in connection with Leo and the monophysites, and Cardinal Wiseman's lecturing on the Anglican claim. "I had seen the shadow of a hand upon the wall. The heavens had opened and closed again" (158). At this time he wrote the sermon in which it is said, "Compared with this one aim, of not being disobedient to a heavenly vision." Now, what was this mission? At this time the effect of the vision was, "the church of Rome will be found right after all." Already, when abroad, we have seen he held Rome to be the most exalted of all churches. In 1839 he held the churches of Rome and England were both one (163). His via media was then gone (161). His mission was to reform the Anglican church.

240 But in the beginning of 1839, in an article in the British Critic, he says (143), "Lastly, I proceed to the question of that future of the Anglican church which was to be a new birth of the ancient religion." Yet he had no prospect as to it; the age was moving towards Rome, he knew (204). But in defending Anglicanism he did not at all mind framing a sort of defence, which they (the High Church clergy) "might call a revolution, while I thought it a restoration. Thus, for illustration, I might discourse upon the communion of saints in such a manner (though I do not recollect doing so) as might lead the way towards devotion to the blessed Virgin and the saints on the one hand, and towards prayers for the dead on the other. If the church be not defended on establishment grounds, it must be upon principles which go far beyond their immediate object. Sometimes I saw these further results, sometimes not. Though I saw them, I sometimes did not say that I saw them; it was indeed one of my great difficulties and causes of reserve, as time went on, that I at length recognized, in principles which I had honestly preached as if Anglican, conclusions favourable to the Roman church. Of course, I did not like to confess this, and when interrogated was in perplexity. If Leo had overset, in my own mind, its (antiquity's) force in the special argument for Anglicanism, yet I was committed to antiquity, together with the whole Anglican school. What, then, was I to say when acute minds urged this or that application of it against the via media? It was impossible that any answer could be given that was not unsatisfactory, or any behaviour adopted that was not mysterious." Now this was already the case in 1839 (155, 156). He was preaching principles favourable to the Roman church at that date; knowing them to be such, did not confess it, and was mysterious in his conduct (204,205).

241 Is it possible that Dr. N. now does not see the want of simplicity and uprightness in this? When he found out he was preaching principles favourable to Rome, when he declares a true Anglican divine must be hostile; if he could not bring himself to confess it, could he not have stopped, instead of adopting a mysterious behaviour? I certainly judge an honest man would have done so. He says in this page, "I simply deny that I ever said anything which secretly bore against the church of England, knowing it myself, in order that others might unwarily accept it." But for him, as we have seen, the whole question was between the churches of England and Rome. He recognized, by 1839 at any rate, that he was in effect preaching in favour of the latter. When he continued to do so, was it that others might accept it or not? He was all this time remaining without any satisfactory basis for a religious profession in a state of moral sickness, neither able to acquiesce in Anglicanism, nor able to go to Rome. "But I bore it till, in course of time, my way was made clear to me" (112). But he had the presentiment he was going there, was teaching conclusions favourable to it, knew it, and preached on, and was mysterious in behaviour, with the conviction that he had a mission from some heavenly vision, to which he would not be disobedient — that vision being that Rome was right. He had a secret longing love of Rome (202), preached conclusions favourable to Rome, knew it, but never said anything which secretly bore against the church of England.

Dr. N. may think this honest; I avow I cannot. His friends may attribute it more to his "absolute confidence in myself." This, doubtless, had a share in it. But it does not make it honest. He had a great sense of his own importance. His secession is a great act (206). It is a great event (245). But this does not solve the question of honesty. He was seeking disciples (247) till he gave up his place in the movement; but this last was only after Tract 90, that is, in 1841. Yet he knew in 1839 he was preaching principles favourable to Rome, yet tells us (247) he was fighting for the Anglican church in Oxford. I may admit the being deceived, but I cannot admit it was not deceiving. He charges (131) others as being as bad; but this is a poor defence. I think the only possible excuse is a confusion and self-deception which comes from the enemy.

242 He says in 1845, when a Romanist, "I do not think at all more than I did that the Anglican principles which I advocated at the date you mention lead men to the church of Rome. If I must specify what I mean by Anglican principles, I would say, e.g., taking antiquity, not the existing church, as the oracle of truth" (194). Yet in page 205 he says, "I recognized, in principles which I had preached, conclusions favourable to the Roman church. The prime instance of this was the appeal to antiquity."

This confession was the effect of habitual mental dishonesty. I do not now enlarge on Tract 90. Dr. N. has still no consciousness of it. Thus (129) his attempt to shew the articles purposely left questions open, and those on which the controversy hinged. Article XII positively states that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ; and the XIII, which is Of Works before justification, says, "Works done before the grace of God and the inspiration of His Spirit are not agreeable to God." Dr. N.'s comment is, "They say that works before grace and justification are worthless and worse, and that works after grace and justification are acceptable; but they do not speak at all of works with God's aid before justification." They do not, because they say that good works, without any distinction at all, are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification; that is, they say there are not any such. Nor can the miserable plea, that "which" distinguishes some, namely, those that spring from faith, and follow, be of any avail. Not only is it evident to every upright person that it is not the meaning of the sentences, but the title disproves it, and the next article sets it at rest, because it says of works done before justification, "Forasmuch as they spring not from faith in Christ, they are not pleasant to God." He says, "They say that councils called by princes may err; they do not determine whether councils called in the name of Christ may err." To be sure. But they say, general councils (none, that is) cannot be called without the commandment and will of princes; and that general councils, which cannot be called in ally other way, may and have erred.

243 That is, it applies to all general councils. No; all this is offensive dishonesty. He was trying, as he says, how much the church of England could bear; he did not expect people to look at the articles for themselves. I think his answer to Mr. Kingsley, as to the sermon on "Wisdom and Innocence" being a Protestant sermon, dishonest; but I will not enter on that part of the book. It is to be noted that, already in 1833, when abroad, he was forming theories which tended to obliterate "the stain upon my imagination" his youth had left as regards Rome. And note, this was not merely his feelings, which he tells us all through the book led him Romewards; "but as regards my reason, I began in 1833 to form theories." It was deliberate; it was his reason. Foolish his theories were; but that is not my subject now. It was the genius loci like the Prince of Persia, one of his Alexandrian middle demons, neither good nor bad absolutely, which infected "the undeniably most exalted church. in the whole world."

I cannot but think that Dr. N.'s book to prove himself honest proves distinctly he was not. As to a Protestant theology in the interpretation of the articles, "it sets his teeth on edge even to hear the sound" of it. He had led many on so far towards popery, that he was forced, when ordered by Dr. Bagot to try and keep them, to stretch the articles as far as possible, without their being aware why; as we have seen him say. Was he honestly asking what they did mean? Not he; he tells us so: but what they could bear by perversion. "Men had done their worst to disfigure, to mutilate, the old Catholic truth; but there it was, in spite of them, in the articles still" (171). We have seen how he found it there.

It will be said, But his protest against Rome saved his consistency. His consistency in what? Forming theories in favour of it, tenderly loving it, counting it the most exalted church in the world? But there was no conviction in his protest either. In excusing himself when he retracted his words against Rome, he tells us, at the time he protested, "I said to myself, I am not speaking my own words; I am but following almost a consensus of the divines of my own church. They have ever used the strongest language against Rome, even the most able and learned of them. I wish to throw myself into their system. While I say what they say, I am safe. Such views, too, are necessary to our position" (233). Yes, they spoke against Rome, but they believed what they said. They were opposed to Rome; Dr. N. favoured it. He has explained their words when urged against him; but there is no explaining them to an honest mind. I admit he did not believe in transubstantiation; he thought they adored the Virgin Mary too much. But these were slight things; he joined the church of Rome when he did not believe them a bit more. He believed them because Rome was now an oracle, and what she taught must be right.

244 I do not think I ever met, in all my experience, a mind so effoeta veri as Dr. Newman's, so perfectly incapable of valuing truth; and truth of doctrine has more to say to truthfulness than we are aware, for we are sanctified by the truth. In that conviction which wholly overthrew his whole scheme of the via media, it never occurred to him to think even whether in one case error was opposed, in the other, truth.

In studying the monophysite history — that is, the controversy whether Christ had one nature or two, or rather, whether the divinity did not take the place of a human soul — he found Eutyches on one side, and Leo, a most able pope, on the other, who wrote a famous letter, accepted by the Council of Chalcedon as rightly defining the doctrine; and the doctrine so defined has been ever since accepted. Eutyches sought imperial protection. Well, here was a pope instructing a council, and a heretic condemned, the universal church accepting the council's act. At Trent a pope confirms a council's decisions, which the Protestant world does not accept; consequently the Protestant world must be as wrong as Eutyches. What the composition of the Council of Trent was; what the doctrine was that was condemned; whether Eutyches, held what was contrary to the faith of the apostles or not; whether Trent condemned the faith of the apostles or not, is never a subject of his inquiry even. There was a pope, and a council, and Eutyches; and a council and a pope, and half the European world, against it, the Greek church absent. But as in the two cases there was a pope and a council (whether general or not even, is a question), half Europe must be wrong, as Eutyches and many Orientals were. The only question for Dr. N. was analogy of position. What was condemned was a matter of total indifference to him. Dr. Newman knows very well that another pope and another general council condemned a part of this same council of Chalcedon for all that — what was called the three chapters. But this was no matter; he was on journey to Rome.* But, as we have seen, when he joined Rome he did not believe in transubstantiation more than before. He says, "People say that the doctrine of transubstantiation is difficult to believe. I did not believe the doctrine till I was a Catholic. I had no difficulty in believing it, as soon as I believed that the Catholic Roman church was the oracle of God, and that she had declared this doctrine to be part of the original revelation." Is it possible for truth to be more absolutely null in a human mind, or true faith to be more absent from it?

{*His protest was really to avoid getting the credit of being on his way there.}

245 Another principle which really led Dr. Newman to popery was the doctrine of development. I will say a word on this. I deny it absolutely in divine things. In the human mind there is development. In the present truth there cannot, for God has been revealed. There is no revelation more, nor meant to be any. Individuals may learn more and more, but it is there to be learned. The scriptures give two positive grounds for this — that I am to continue in what I have learned as the only true ground of safety, that I know of whom I have learned them. There is a negative ground of proof — the apostles committing us, when they should be gone, to that which would be a security for us. If the Person of Christ be the foundation truth of Christianity (as scripture declares it is) as the Son revealing the Father, it is clear there can be no development. His Person cannot be developed. But I quite understand it will be said, Of course not; but the revelation of it can. Equally impossible. He Himself is wholly, fully revealed, and reveals the Father. The Holy Ghost has revealed, and is the truth.

Hence John, who treats this subject, declares that was to continue (abide in them) which they had learned, and they would so abide in the Father and in the Son. They could not have more. If any doctrine other than this, or "para," beyond or on one side, besides "what he preached," says Paul, "was preached," neither the doctrine nor the preacher were to be received. If the church did not possess fully the revelation of the Father in the glorified Son by the Holy Ghost, it did not possess Christ at all, as there revealed; if it did, it could not be added to nor developed. If it did add to it, it falsified Christ. That men speculated about it, and their foolish and irreverent speculations had to be rebuked, repressed, corrected, that is true; but whatever was more than returning to the simplicity of the first revelations, or went beyond its fulness, was pure mischief. Either the apostles and first church had a full revelation of Christ, or the church never was founded on it. If they had, there was no development of it. So of His work. It is complete, or the church is not saved; was completely revealed, or the church had not its ground of justification and peace. If it had, there was no development. That much was lost I believe.

246 The greatest stickler for church authority does not pretend the church receives a fresh revelation. He merely says that the church pronounces on truth as having been revealed. But then there can be no development. Till revelation was complete there were further truths unfolded, but it was by revelation. Once that complete, all is closed; and Christianity completes it. The word of God is fulfilled, completed, says Paul to the Colossians. We are to walk in the light, as God is in the light. It was an unction of the Holy One, by which we know all things. "The Spirit," says the apostle, "searcheth all things, even the deep things of God." And then the apostle tells us he spoke by the Holy Spirit in words which He taught. The true light now shines. We have the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost may guard the saints against error, and shew it is error; but the apostles were guided into all truth. Thus John, in a passage quoted, "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall continue in the Father and in the Son." We have the "glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." So again: "Continue thou in the things that thou hast learned, knowing of whom thou hast learned them." Paul, in going, commends them to God and the word of His grace, as sufficient. Peter writes that they should have, after his decease, these things always in remembrance. As Tertullian justly says, "What is first is the truth." If Eutyches introduces error, Eutyches may be condemned, and truth stated; but this is not development, but maintenance of the truth as it had been revealed.

247 The church does not teach; the teacher teaches. The church abides in and professes the truth she has learned. She is, or ought to be, the pillar and ground of the truth; but she does not teach it. T he mystery of iniquity began in the apostles' days: the last days were already come. The Truth was there; but men, like Satan, abode not in it. But abiding in it, walking in it, in the truth perfectly revealed in Christ, this was the duty of the saint, even if the professing church would not, and the time should come when they would turn away from the truth: Paul declared they would.

In result, Dr. N.'s book presents us with this history — a man who declares that he was converted in a system and by truth which he afterwards gave up.

I value the doctrine of the church of God deeply, as the body of Christ (Eph. 1), and on earth the dwelling-place of the Spirit (Eph. 2). I believe the confounding these two to be the source of popery, and men's present confusions. But I do not believe that trusting the church is the ground of faith, for then there could have been none. Heathens and Jews did not receive the church at all. "Of his own will begat he us," says James, "by the word of truth."

However, I am analysing Dr. N.'s account. He was converted, he is still perfectly sure, at fifteen, by the power of certain truths, and by the instrumentality of a clergyman he calls Calvinistic. He got then and there (29), in the system he left, conversion, of which he is "still more certain than that he has hands and feet" (56); and the beginning of divine faith, so he calls it now. In a word, he owes his salvation to what he got then. He, indeed, all but admits it as entirely obtained there. Next we see him gradually giving up the truth which was the means of it, by intercourse with Dr. Hawkins, Froude, Whately, James, and Bishop Butler.* The result has been, that he has wholly apostatized from all true ground of faith. "Speaking historically of what I held in 1833-4, I say that I believed in a God on a ground of probability, that I believed in Christianity on a probability, and that I believed in Catholicism on a probability, and that all these were about the same kind of probability accumulative, a transcendent probability; but still probability, inasmuch as He who has made us has willed that, in a religious inquiry, we arrive at certitude by accumulated probabilities."

{*[That is, with Bishop Butler's book, the "Analogy of Religion." — ED.]}

248 It was thus he was "led on into the church of Rome." That is, it was by giving up all true faith. Faith is the reception of a divine testimony by the operation of the Spirit of God, and can have no possible connection with probability. To say it is probable that God speaks the truth would be a blasphemy. He who receives a thing as probable does not believe that God has said or taught it at all. What led Dr. N. to popery was giving up faith. In this way he was in a sick state of soul, neither able to acquiesce in Anglicanism, nor to go to Rome; but thought, by some vision first, and then a special call, as to which he was not quite sure, but that it came from Satan. He says he had a mission, a charge, and was diligently making converts (247), until, after Tract go, he gave up the lead in the movement. All the while his heart was towards Rome: she was certainly Catholic, he was not quite sure that England was; at any rate, she needed a complete revolution in her state. As to the true unity of the body, he never had an idea of it. He threatened his Romanist friends, and threatened the bishops; he knew, as we have seen, at the bottom of his heart, that he was going to Rome; had a secret longing love of it, and knew he was disposing others to it, yet worked on. The result of his account is this: the truth was the means of his conversion to God; departure from all true ground of faith, that of his going to Rome.