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Of the Roman pontiff as a temporal prince, it is not necessary to speak in this place. His territory comprises a tract of country about 120 miles long, and from 80 to 100 broad, thinly peopled, and badly cultivated. Happiness and prosperity are blessings known by few under his administration.
The reforming decree passed in the twenty-third session contained eighteen chapters. Its principal enactments were included in the three following particulars: 1. The residence of the clergy. The chapter on this subject commenced with these words:-“ Since all to whom the cure of souls is committed, are bound by divine command to know the state of their flocks; to offer sacrifice for them; to feed them, by the preaching of the divine word, the administration of the sacraments, and the example of all good works; to exercise paternal care over the poor and other distressed persons; and to apply themselves to all other pastoral duties, which cannot be performed by those who, instead of watching over the flock, leave it, as the hirelings do :—the holy council admonishes and exhorts them to remember the divine precepts, and to be patterns of the flock, feeding and ruling the same in judgment and truth.” Personal residence is then enjoined on ecclesiastics of every grade: but it is observable that several legitimate causes of absence are allowed, viz. “ Christian charity, urgent necessity, due obedience, and the advantage of the church or state;" of these, the Pope was constituted supreme judge, and next, the metropolitan, or, in his absence, the senior suffragan bishop. It is true that provision was directed to be made for the churches in such cases, and that temporary periods of absence were prohibited to exceed two or at the most three months in the whole year; but the above-mentioned exceptions might be made to extend to any length of time, and the divine right of residence, which had been the fruitful source of so much contention, was kept entirely out of sight. 2. The age, qualifications, &c. of candidates for holy orders. It was enjoined that none should be admitted to minor orders under fourteen years of age. Sub-deacons must be twenty-two years old, deacons twentythree, and priests twenty-five. Some suitable directions are given respecting the examination of candidates, and the requisite qualifications for office. It would have been well had they been always duly observed.—3. The education of candidates for ecclesiastical offices. Provision was made for the institution of seminaries, in which youths might receive instruction, the poor gratuitously, the rich by paying certain fixed charges. They were to learn grammar, singing, and other sciences; and to become versed in scripture, ecclesiastical reading, the homilies of the saints, and the rites and cerengonies used in the administration of the sacraments. Special care was to be taken that they attended mass every day, confessed their sins once a month, and partook of the Lord's supper under the direction of the confessor. They were to receive the first tonsure immediately on their admission, to wear the clerical habit, and to be gradually initiated into the services of the church. 61
CELIBACY OF THE PRIESTHOOD-MONASTICISM.
Crafty policy of the Legates with respect to reform-Twenty
FOURTH Session-Decree on Matrimony-Doctrine and practice of the Church of Rome in regard to the celibacy of the ClergyMonasticism, and its effects-Decree respecting the Monastic Orders.
The records of the council of Trent become less inte. resting as we approach the termination of its proceedings. A very cursory review of the remainder of the history will be sufficient for the present purpose.
Lengthened discussions on matrimony had taken place before the twenty-third session. These debates were remarkably dry and jejune, and indeed chiefly related to customs or circumstances peculiar to those times. The marriage cf nainsts may be excepted; but even on this subject there was scarcely any difference of opinion. All agreed in extolling the virtues of celibacy, and the most part denounced as heretics such as maintained the lawfulness of the marriage of the clergy; while some few were willing to admit that there were cases in which the Pope might dispense with the vow of chastity. The Protestant reader will not care to inquire for the arguments by which men attempted to withstand the dictates of nature, and pervert the word of God. 62
62 Pallav. I. xx. C. 1, 4. ; xxii. c. 1. 4,9. Sarpi, 1. vii. s. 59, 62, 64, 70. One divine edified the fathers with a long “ disputation' on this subject. Like Ruth, he said, he would follow the reapers, those who had spoken before him, collect the few small ears they had left, separate them from dirt and straw, and present them to fair Naomi, “ that is, the holy Catholic church, my mother.” His tirade was in the form of an imaginary dialogue between himself and Calvin. Thus
"Alas, my good friend Calvin, may God convert thee: what absurdity are you now cherishing? Calvin answers. I cherish absurdities? I am contriving a method by which I will do away with the Two measures proposed by ihe legates, but ultimately withdrawn or considerably modified, deserve to be mentioned, as illustrative of the spirit and designs of the papacy. The first was as follows:—when the sacrament of orders was under discussion, a canon was presented to the fathers, enjoining princes and civil rulers in general, to require of all persons whom they should invest with any public office, dignity, magistracy, or place of trust, that they should subscribe to a creed therein recited, comprising the distinctive tenets of the Roman Catholic religion, and concluding with a solemn promise to reject all novel doctrines, avoid all schism, detest every heresy, and promptly and faithfully assist the church against all heretics whatsoever. 63
The other measure was a proposal for the reformation of the civil powers. Assailed on all sides by urgent demands for reform, the legates were compelled to put on the appearance of concession. They prepared a decree, touching as lightly as possible the evils and abuses which had excited such general indignation. The closing articles of the decree were levelled at the sovereigns and states of Europe. It was pretended that the church also had just cause for remonstrance and complaint, and that the reformation would not be complete, unless the encroachments of the secular on the ecclesiastical power were abolished. The legates had even the assurance to demand that the clergy should enjoy an absolute immunity from the civil jurisdiction, in all causes whatsoever; that spiritual causes, and those of a mixed nature, should be tried before ecclesiastical judges, to the entire exclu. sion of laymen, and that these judges should receive their appointments from their spiritual superiors, and not
custom of celibacy and will establish a state of whoredom for myself and for those who a postatized with me.
“Are you in your senses, O Calvin? Do you, wretched man, attempt to overturn the rite of celibacy which God instituted, John the Baptist observed, and Christ commended and acknowledged? Are you ignorant that the work of God cannot be destroyed by the power of man or of Satan? You are mad, Calvin, you are mad; your lusts have made you twice a fool," &c. Le Plat, v. p. 725—743.
63 Sarpi, l. viii. 8. 22. Le Plat, vi. p. 32-42. It is somewhat singular that Pallavicini makes no reference to this creed: it is difficult to believe that he was ashamed of it.
from any secular authority; that the church should be entirely free from all taxes, imposts, subsidies, &c. under whatsoever name or pretence they might be levied , and finally, that all the ancient canons, and all papa) constitutions, enacting clerical immunity, should be revired in their full force, and any breach or infringement be visited with excommunication, without trial or notice.
Had these demands been complied with, the triumph of the clergy would have been consummated, and society would have commenced a retrograde movement, which, if not checked by some counter-revolution, might have ended in a state of things analogous to the disorders and usurpations of the middle ages. Most probably, however, the failure of the measure was expected from the very first. It was intended to intimidate the wavering, and extinguish the attempts of the more zealous friends of reform. And the success was complete. The French ambassadors, whose bold and unflinching attacks on the corruptions of the Roman court had given so great offence, protested against the decree in the name of their sovereign, and withdrew to Venice. They returned no more to Trent. Those who remained had no inclination to continue a struggle, in which the chances of victory were so few: their acceptance of such reformation as was offered them, was the price of the withdrawment of the obnoxious articles. 8 4
The twenty-fourth session was held Nov. 11, 1563.The doctrinal decree related to matrimony.
“The first parent of the human race, inspired by the divine Spirit, pronounced the bond of marriage to be perpetual and indissoluble, when he said, "This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; wherefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.' Gen. ii. 23. 24.
"Christ our Lord hath expressly taught that two persons only can be joined together and united in this bond. Having quoted the last mentioned words, as proceeding from God, he said, “Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh :' and immediately afterwards he
64 Pallav, l. xxiii. e. 1. Sarpi, l. viii. s. 53–56. Le Plat, vi. p. 227-251,