Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

is bound to his fellow man, in other matters we are at liberty either to unite with them or separate from them, as shall appear most conducive to our own interests. In Spain, indeed, for these three hundred years past, no one is permitted to hold any military office, nor to enjoy a perpetual settlement, who is considered as an avowed enemy to the catholic church; because our princes have thought it more eligible to forego certain advantages, which might perhaps be derived from commercial intercourse with men of different persuasions, or from their improvements in the arts, than either to endanger the faith of their subjects, or expose their empire to frequent broils and contentions about the doctrines of religion. But it never was the doctrine of the catholic church, nor was it ever believed by us to be her doctrine, that faith was not to be kept with the enemies of the church, whatever may be their denomination; therefore, among the articles of the catholic faith, there is none which teaches that catholics are not bound to keep faith with heretics, or with persons of any other description, who dissent from them in matters of religion.

Given in the university of Salamanca, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. Signed in the name of the whole University, by the Rector and the six deputed Members.

[ocr errors]

(Signed by the Rector, the Regius and Public Professors of Theology, the Professors of Canon, Ecclesiastical, and Civil Law, and the Greek Professor; and countersigned, by order of the University, by its Secretary.)

[ocr errors]

NOTE III; referred to in page 280.

Council of Trent.

THE assembling of a general council to compose the actual differences of religious opinion which took place towards the beginning of the sixteenth century, was first seriously agitated during the pontificate of Clement the seventh. But the council did not meet till 1545, the eleventh year of the pontificate of his successor, when it was opened at Trent, on the 13th of December. The matters for the discussion of the assembly were proposed by the legates of the holy see; then considered, first in separate, and afterwards in full congregations; and finally decreed at the sittings of the council.

Little was done in the three first sessions; but, in the four subsequent sessions, the points respecting the Canon of the Holy Books, Original Sin, Free Will, Justification, the Sacraments in general, and Baptism and Confirmation in particular, were decided. An epidemical disorder breaking out at Trent, the council, at its eighth session, translated itself to Bologna. The ninth and tenth sessions were held in that city; but nothing was decided in either; and the pope, being then very aged and infirm, suspended its proceedings. He died in 1549.

With infinite difficulty, Julius the third, the immediate successor of Paul, effected the second opening of the council, on the 1st of May 1551. The eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth sessions were held during his pontificate. The two first of these sessions were employed in preparatory proceedings. In the fourteenth and fifteenth, the council propounded the catholic doctrine on the Eucharist, Penance, and Extreme Unction. At the fifteenth, the protestants were

invited to the assembly, with an offer of safe conduct, At the sixteenth, the council again broke up, in consequence of the war in Germany.

Julius the third died in 1555. He was succeeded by Marcellus the second. The pontificate of Marcellus lasted only one month, and he was succeeded by Paul the fourth, of the illustrious house of Caraffa, the dean of the sacred college.-Much was expected from him; but, in 1559, he died, without having re-assembled the council. The cardinal de Medicis, by whom he was succeeded, under the name of Pius the fourth, exerted himself with success, in effecting a third re-assembly of the council, and bringing it to a conclusion. By an uncommon union of prudence, zeal, and moderation, he effected his object, and the third opening of the council took place on the 18th day of January 1562. On that day, the seventeenth sessions of the council met; and it was attended by several cardinals and one hundred and two bishops. On the eighteenth, the Censure of Heretics was discussed, and a safe conduct granted to protestants. Nothing was decided at the eighteenth and nineteenth sessions. At the twenty-first, the council decided on the question respecting Communion under both kinds; at the twenty-second, on the Sacrifice of the Mass; at the twenty-third and twenty-fourth, on the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony; and on the twenty-fifth, on Purgatory, Devotion to Holy Images, the Invocation of Saints, and Indulgences.

Here, the council closed. Its decrees were signed by two hundred and fifty-five fathers; four of these were legates of the holy see; two, cardinals; three, patriarchs; twenty-five, archbishops; one hundred and sixty-eight, bishops; thirty-nine, deputies of absent prelates; seven, abbots; and seven were generals of religious orders. It was subscribed on separate schedules, by the ambassadors of the catholic sovereigns.

It was earnestly wished by the pope and the romancatholic states, that the protestant princes, and their divines, should attend the council; but they insisted on a deliberative voice: this, the council uniformly refused. On this point the negotiation between them unfortunately failed; and, in a consistory, held on the 26th of January 1564, the pope, having taken, in the usual form, the advice of the cardinals, confirmed the proceedings of the council. He died in the following year, and was succeeded by Pius the fifth.

That a considerable proportion of the prelates by whom the council was attended, were distinguished by learning, virtue, and enlightened zeal for religion, has never been denied. Perhaps no civil or religious meeting ever possessed a greater assemblage of moral, religious, and intellectual endowment.

[ocr errors]

Under the different atmospheres of Venice and Rome, the History of the Council of Trent has been written by the celebrated Fra. Paolo, (the translation of whose work, with notes, by Dr. Courayer, is more valued than the original), and by cardinal Pallavicini, a jesuit. The cardinal does not dissemble, that some of the deliberations of the council were attended with intrigues and passion; and that their effects were visible in various incidents of the council: but he contends, that there was an unanimity in all points, which related to doctrine, or the reformation of manners: and Dr. Courayer, in the preface to his translation, concedes, "that, in "what regarded discipline, several excellent regulations were made, according to the ancient spirit of the "church;" and observes, that, "though all the dis"orders were not reformed by the council, yet, if we "set aside prejudice, we may with truth acknowledge, "that these were infinitely less than they were before." Leibnitz*, in a letter to the dutchess of Brunswick, ob

[ocr errors]

* Bausset's Vie de Bossuet, vol. iv. p. 241.

"

serves, that most of the decisions of the council had "been formed with great wisdom, and that he was far "from despising them." The classical purity, and severe simplicity of the style, in which the decrees of the council are expressed, are universally admired; and are greatly superior to the language of any part of Justinian's law.

[ocr errors]

In what concerns faith or morals, the decrees of the council have been received, without any restriction, by every roman-catholic kingdom: all its decrees have been received by the empire, Portugal, the Venetians, and the duke of Savoy, without an express limitation. They have been received by the Spaniards, Neapolitans, and Sicilians, with a caution, as to such points of discipline, as might be derogatory to their respective sovereignties. But the council was never published in France. No attempt was made to introduce it into England. Pope Pius the fourth sent the acts of the council to Mary queen of Scots, with a letter, dated the 13th of June 1564, urging her to have the decrees of the council published in her dominions; but nothing appears to have been done in consequence of it*.

The canons and decrees of the councils, with the title, "Canones et Decreta Concilii Tridentini," were published at Rome twice in the year 1564, in one volume folio, and have since been reprinted in every form. Both the editions of 1564 are great typographical curiosities, but the first of them is incomparably the greatest.

The acts of the council were deposited in the Vatican, and were removed by the order of Bonaparte to Paris, where they were deposited in the Hotel de, Soubize: a French gentleman, who examined them, gives the following account of them:

See Histoire de la Reception du Concile de Trente, dans les différens Etats Catholiques, Paris, 2 vols. 8vo. 1766,

« IndietroContinua »