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affirms it in express terms, that a Pope is judicable and punishable in that case. But there is no wound but some empiric or other will pretend to cure it; and there is a cure for this too. For though it be true, that if a Pope were a heretic, the church might depose him,-yet no Pope can be a heretic; not but that the man may, but the Pope cannot, for he is
ipso facto’no Pope, for he is no Christian: so Bellarmine 9: and so when you think you have him fast, he is gone, and nothing of the Pope left. But who sees not the extreme folly of this evasion? For besides that out of fear and caution he grants more than he needs, more than was sought for in the question,—the Pope hath no more privilege than the abbot of Cluny; for he cannot be a heretic, nor be deposed by a council: for if he be manifestly a heretic, he is . ipso facto' no abbot, for he is no Christian ; and if the Pope be a heretic privately and occultly, for that he may be accused and judged, said the gloss upon the canon“ Si Papa, dist. 40.” and the abbot of Cluny and one of his meanest monks can be no more, therefore the case is all one. But this is fitter to make sport with, than to interrupt a serious discourse. And therefore, although the canon“ Sancta Romana” approves
all the decretals of Popes, yet that very decretal hath not decreed it firm enough, but that they are so warily received by them, that when they list, they are pleased to dissent from them. And it is evident in the Extravagant of Sixtus IV.“com. de reliquiis,” who appointed a feast of the immaculate conception, a special office for the day, and indulgences enough to the observers of it: and yet the Dominicans were so far from believing the Pope to be infallible', and his decree authentic, that they declaimed against it in their pulpits so furiously and so long, till they were prohibited under pain of excommunication to say the Virgin Mary was conceived in original sin. Now what solemnity can be more required for the Pope to make a cathedral determination of an article? The article was so concluded, that a feast was instituted for its celebration, and pain of excommunica
9 Lib. 2. c. 30. ubi saprà. sect. est ergó.
i Vide Alphons. à Cast. I. 1. adv. hæres. c. 4. hoc lemma ridentem affabre. Vid. etiam Innocentium Ser. 2. de consecrat. Pontif. act. 7. 8æ Synodi, el Concil. 5. sub Symmadio. Vide Collat. 8. can. 12. nbi palres judicialem sententiam p. Vigilii in causa trium Capitulorum damnârunt expressè. Extrav.comm. Extrav. grave, Tit. X. De Angelo custod. fol. 59. de consecrat. dist. 3. can. pronunciand. gloss. verb. Nativ.
tion threatened to them which should preach the contrary : nothing more solemn, nothing more confident and severe. And yet after all this, to shew that whatsoever those people would have us to believe, they will believe what they list themselves, this thing was not determinedde fide,' saith Vic. torellus : nay, the author of the gloss of the canon law hath these express words, “ De festo conceptionis nihil dicitur, quia celebrandum non est, sicut in multis regionibus fit, et maxime in Anglia; et hæc est ratio, quia in peccatis concepta fuit, sicut et cæteri sanctil." And the commissaries of Sixtus V. and Gregory XIII. did not expunge these words, but left them upon record, not only against a received and more approved opinion of the Jesuits and Franciscans, but also in plain defiance of a decree made by their visible head of the church, who (if ever any thing was decreed by a Pope with an intent to oblige all Christendom) decreed this to that purposes.
16. So that, without taking particular notice of it, that egregious sophistry and flattery of the late writers of the Roman church, are, in this instance, besides divers others before mentioned, clearly made invalid. For here the bishop of Rome, not as a private doctor, but as Pope, not by declaring his own opinion, but with an intent to oblige the church, gave sentence in a question which the Dominicans will still account' pro non determinata.' And every decretal recorded in the canon law, if it be false in the matter, is just such another instance. And Alphonsus à Castro says to the same purpose, in the instance of Cælestine dissolving marriages for heresy, “Neque Cælestini error talis fuit, qui soli negligentiæ imputari debeat ; ità ut illum errâsse dicamus velut privatam personam, et non ut Papam: quoniam hujusmodi Cælestini definitio habeturin antiquis decretalibus, in cap. 'Laudabilem,' titulo De Conversione Infidelium;' quam ego ipse vidi et legi.” (Lib. l. adv. hæres. cap. 4.) And therefore it is a most intolerable folly to pretend that the Pope cannot err in his chair, though he may err in his closet, and may maintain a false opinion even to his death. For besides that it is sottish to think, that either he would not have the world of his own opinion (as all men naturally would ); or that, if he were set
• Hac in perpetuum valiturâ constitutione statuimus, &c. De reliquiis, &c. Extrav. Com. Sixt. 4. cap. 1.
in his chair, he would determine contrary to himself in his study: and therefore to represent it as possible, they are fain to fly to a miracle, for which they have no colour, neither instructions nor insinuation, nor warrant, nor promise; besides that it were impious and unreasonable to depose him for heresy, who may so easily, even by setting himself in his chair and reviewing his theorems, be cured : it is also against a very great experience. For besides the former allegations, it is most notorious that Pope Alexander III. in a council at Rome, of three hundred archbishops and bishops, A. D. 1179, condemned Peter Lombard of heresy in a matter of great concernment, no less than something about the incarnation; from which sentence he was, after thirty-six years abiding it, absolved by Pope Innocent III. without repentance or dereliction of the opinion. Now if the sentence was not a cathedral dictate, as solemn and great as could be expected, or as is said to be necessary to oblige all Christendom, let the great hyperaspists of the Roman church be judges, who tell us, that a particular council with the Pope's confirmation is made oecumenical by adoption, and is infallible, and obliges all Christendom : so Bellarminet. And therefore he says, that it is “ temerarium, erroneum, et proximum hæresi,' to deny it.
But whether it be or not, it is all one as to my purpose. For, it is certain, that in a particular council confirmed by that Pope, if ever, then and there the Pope sat himself in his chair; and it is as certain, that he sat beside the cushion, and determined ridiculously and falsely in this case.
But this is a device for which there is no scripture, no tradition, no one dogmatical resolute saying of any father, Greek or Latin, for above one thousand years after Christ : and themselves, when they list, can acknowledge as much. And therefore Bellarmine's saying, I perceive, is believed of them to be true. That there are many things in the Decretal Epistles which make not articles to be de fide".' And therefore, "Non est necessario credendum determinatis per summum Pontificem," says Almain. And this serves their turns in every thing they do not like; and therefore, I am resolved it shall serve my turn also for something, and that is, that the matter of the Pope's infallibility is so ridiculous and improbable, that they do not believe it themselves. Some of them clearly practised the contrary : and although Pope Leo X. hath determined the Pope to be above a council, yet the Sorbonne to this day scorn it at the very heart. And I might urge upon them that scorn that *Almain truly enough by way of argument alleges. It is a wonder that they who affirm the Pope cannot err in judgment, do not also affirm that he cannot sin: they are like enough to say so, says he, if the vicious lives of the Popes did not make a daily confutation of such flattery. Now, for my own particular, I am as confident, and think it as certain, that Popes are actually deceived in matters of Christian doctrine, as that they do prevaricate the laws of Christian piety. And therefore Alphonsus à Castro calls them impudentes Papæ assentatores,' that ascribe to him infallibility in judgment or interpretation of Scripture.
Lib. 2. de Concil. cap. 5.-De Pontif. Rom. c. 14. sect. respondeo. In 3. sent. d. 24. q. in cont. 6. dub. 6. in fine.
u Proverbialiter olim dictum erat de Decretalibus, Malè cum rebus humanis actum esse, ex quo Decretis alæ accesserant; scil, cùm Decretales post Decrelum Gratiani sub nomine Gregorii noni edebantur.
17. But if themselves did believe it heartily, what excuse is there in the world for the strange uncharitableness or supine negligence of the Popes, that they do not set themselves in their chair, and write infallible commentaries, and determine all controversies without error, and blast all heresies with the word of their mouth, declare what is and what is not de fide,' that his disciples and confidents may agree upon it, reconcile the Franciscans and Dominicans, and expound all mysteries ? For it cannot be imagined but he that was endued with so supreme power, in order to so great ends, was also fitted with proportionable, that is, extraordinary, personal abilities, succeeding and derived upon the persons of all the Popes. And then the doctors of his church need not trouble themselves with study, nor writing explications of Scripture, but might wholly attend to practical devotion, and leave all their scholastical wranglings, the distinguishing opinions of their orders, and they might have a fine church, something like fairy-land, or Lucian's kingdom in the moon. But if they say they cannot do this when they list, but when they are moved to it by the Spirit, then we are never the nearer : for so may the bishop of Angoulême write infalli
* De Autorit. Eccles. cap. 10. in fine.
Lib. 1. cap. 4. advers. hæres. edit. Paris. 1534. Iu seqq. non expurganlar ista verba, at idem sepsus manet.
ble commentaries, when the Holy Ghost moves him to it; for I suppose his motions are not ineffectual, but he will sufficiently assist us in performing of what he actually moves us to. But among so many hundred decrees which the Popes of Rome have made, or confirmed and attested, (which is all one), I would fain know, in how many of them did the Holy Ghost assist them? If they know it, let them declare it, that it may be certain which of their decretals are de fide;' for as yet none of his own church knows. If they do not know, then neither can we know it from them, and then we are as uncertain as ever. And, besides, the Holy Ghost may possibly move him, and he, by his ignorance of it, may neglect so profitable a motion; and then his promise of infallible assistance will be to very little purpose, because it is with very much fallibility applicable to practice. And therefore it is absolutely useless to any man or any church: because, suppose it settled in thesi,' that the Pope is infallible; yet whether he will do his duty, and perform those conditions of being assisted which are required of him, or whether he be a secret simoniac (for, if he be, he is ‘ipso facto' no Pope), or whether he be a bishop, or priest, or a Christian, being all uncertain, every one of these depending upon the intention and power of the baptizer or ordainer, which also are fallible, because they depend upon the honesty and power
power of other men; we cannot be infallibly certain of any Pope that he is infallible: and therefore, when our questions are determined, we are never the nearer, but may hug ourselves in an imaginary truth, the certainty of finding truth out depending upon so many fallible and contingent circumstances. And therefore the thing, if it were true, being so to no purpose, it is to be presumed that God never gave a power so impertinently, and from whence no benefit can accrue to the Christian church, for whose use and benefit, if at all, it must needs have been appointed.
18. But I am too long in this impertinency. If I were bound to call any man master upon earth, and to believe him upon his own affirmative and authority, I would of all men least follow him that pretends he is infallible, and cannot prove it. For he that cannot prove it, makes me as uncertain as ever; and that he pretends to infallibility, makes him careless of using such means, which will morally secure