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supper he committed to his apostles the manner of making chrism ;” for this, no evidence is adduced, but, say the compilers of the “ Catechism,” the fact is “ of easy proof to those who believe confirmation to be a sacrament, for all the sacred mysteries are beyond the power of man, and could have been instituted by God alone.” Although not essential to salvation, it is “ necessary for those who have occasion for spiritual increase, and hope to arrive at religious perfection ; for as nature intends that all her children should grow up and reach full maturity, so it is the earnest desire of the Catholic church, the common mother of all, that those whom she has regenerated by baptism may be brought to perfect maturity in Christ. This happy consummation can be accomplished only through the mystic unction of confirmation; and hence it is clear, that this sacrament is equally intended for all the faithful.” It is not to be administered till children have attained the use of reason ; they must therefore be at least seven years of age. Sponsors are required, as in baptism, and the same spiritual affinity is contracted.
Confirmation is administered in the following manner :— The bishop anoints the forehead with chrism, saying, “ I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Then he gently slaps the person on the cheek, “to remind him, that as a courageous champion, he should be prepared to brave with unconquered resolution all adversities for the name of Christ.” Lastly, he receives the kiss of peace, “ to give him to understand that he has been blessed with the fulness of divine grace, and with that “peace which surpasseth all understanding.'” The chrism is a mixture of oil and balsam, the mystical meaning of which is thus explained :—“ Oil, by its nature unctuous and fluid, expresses the plenitude of divine grace, which flows from Christ the head, through the Holy Ghost, and is poured out, like the precious ointment on the head that ran down upon the beard of Aaron, to the skirt of his garment;' for · God anointed him with the oil of gladness, above his fellows,' and of his fulness we all have received.' Balsam, too, the odour of which is most grateful, signifies that the faithful, made perfect by the grace of confirmation, diffuse around them, by reason of their many
virtues, such a sweet odour that they may truly say with the apostle, we are the good odour of Christ unto God.' Balsam has also the quality of preserving incorrupt whatever it embalms; a quality well adapted to express the virtue of this sacrament. Prepared by the heavenly grace infused in confirmation, the souls of the faithful may be easily preserved from the corruption of sin,”*
In common with the other sacraments, confirmation is said to confer grace. Its peculiar characteristic is, to “perfect the grace of baptism : those who are initiated into the Christian religion share, as it were, the tenderness and infirmity of newborn infants ; but they afterwards gather strength from the sacrament of chrism, to combat the assaults of the world, the flesh, and the devil.” Like baptism, it has the effect of impressing a character, on which account it is not to be administered a second time.t
The principal provisions of the decree of reformation were these : that none should be created bishops who were not born in lawful wedlock, or had not arrived at mature age, whose character was not good, and literary attainments creditable; that no more than one bishopric should be held at the same time; that other pluralities, arising from unions for life, commendams, &c. should be abolished; that dispensations for holding more benefices than one should be produced before the ordinary, who should see that provision was made for the religious instruction of all; that perpetual unions of benefices constituted within the preceding forty years should be examined by the bishops, as delegates of the Holy See, that if any had been made contrary to law, they might be declared null and void ; that churches exempted from episcopal government should nevertheless be annually visited by the bishops, under the authority of the Pontiff, in order to provide for the due observance of the services and ceremonies of religion, &c. These and other regulations were good in theory ; many of them, however, have been little regarded; and the Pope has power to dispense with the whole, at the call of interest or ambition.
The subject fixed for the next session was the Eucharist, and the divines had opened their debates upon it, when the progress of the council was suddenly suspended by an event which happened most opportunely for the Pope and his adherents, and enabled them to accomplish an object which they had long had at heart.
* Catechism, p. 197, 205.
# Ibid p. 202--204.
It was notorious that the council was extremely unpopular at Rome. The Pope feared the diminution of his power; his courtiers were terrified at the thought of losing their ill-gotten emoluments; and the resolution was taken to fight for every inch of ground. Hitherto they had succeeded, though not without difficulty ; but the sturdy zeal of the reforming party not a little alarmed them; and the persevering energy which the Spanish bishops displayed in seeking the recovery of their lost rights could not be viewed without deep concern. Those bishops, doubtless, acted in compliance with the directions and wishes of the Emperor. That monarch had testified great displeasure at the proceedings of the last session respecting justification ; his desire for reform was well-known, and the prospect of a favourable issue of the war in which he was engaged with the Protestants rendered him an object of great jealousy to the Pope, who feared that he might become master of the council and dictate all its proceedings. It seemed very desirable, therefore, to transfer that assembly to some place within the papal dominions.
Two days after the session, it was reported that a distemper prevailed in the city, of which many persons had died; among them were some individuals connected with the councilthe Bishop of Capaccio, the general of the Friars Minors, and several servants. Great alarm was excited, and some of the prelates left the place, without asking permission of the legates. It was affirmed that the distemper was infectious, and that the neighbouring towns would soon interdict all communication with Trent. Baldwin, domestic physician to De Monte, and Jerome Fracastorio, physician to the council, were consulted : they said, that the disease was a contagious fever; that the danger would increase as the weather became warmer; and that persons of delicate constitutions, studious men, and noblemen, and gentlemen, were chiefly in peril.*
These circumstances were communicated to the fathers by
* Pallav. 1. ix. c. 13. s. 3–5.
the Pope Fed the necessive of absence
De Monte. Opinions were various : some wished for suspension, some for translation, some for leave of absence. Cardinal Pacheco strongly urged the necessity of consulting the Emperor and the Pope before they came to any decision. After a long debate the meeting was adjourned till the next day. When they met again, De Monte said, that on mature consideration, he and his colleagues had agreed that it was desirable to transfer the council to some other place not far distant, and they jointly recommended Bologna, a city belonging to the Pope. Cardinal Pacheco replied that the power of translation rested in the sovereign Pontiff only. He dwelt on the scandal that would be occasioned if the council should be broken up without any adequate reason. He denied the danger said to exist, and denied it after having made particular inquiry into the alleged facts. It had been ascertained, he said, that in the populous parish of St. Peter but two persons had died in the preceding month, one an infant, and the other a dropsical patient. There were only forty sick in the whole city, and but five of them had the fever. He placed little confidence in the testimony of Baldwin and Fracastorio, whose depositions the Trent physicians had refused to sign. He proposed, therefore, that a committee should be appointed to examine witnesses. The majority of the prelates, however, whether really terrified by the fear of death, or glad to get away from Trent, embraced the views of the legates.
Accordingly, the eighth session was held March 11. After mass, De Monte addressed the council. He discoursed on the unwholesomeness of the air of Trent, the sterility of its soil, and the extreme danger of remaining in the city, during the prevalence of the fever. Having stated that measures had been taken to procure the depositions of witnesses respecting the nature and effects of the disease, those depositions were read; they confirmed the testimony of the physicians. On the question being put, Cardinal Pacheco repeated his opposition to the measure; he complained that the committee proposed by him had not been appointed, and that none of those who were hostile to the translation had been invited to attend the examination of the witnesses, some of whom, to his own knowledge, had perjured themselves. He placed more confidence in the Trent physicians, who might be supposed to understand
the nature of the air and climate of the district better than strangers; and he advised that the session should be prorogued for a short time, that the fathers might enjoy a little rest from their labours, and recover from their distressing fears. There were but few disposed to support this opinion; thirty-eight voted for the translation, fourteen against it; four were neutral. The minority were chiefly Spanish bishops, the majority for the most part Italians. On the next day (it was Sunday) the legates publicly left the city, accompanied by the prelates who had voted for the translation. The rest remained at Trent, waiting the orders of the Emperor. *
There can be little doubt that this affair was managed by the legates, under the full conviction that what they did would be highly agreeable to the Pope. If they had not his express orders, they knew very well his repugnance to the council, and his desire for its removal to some other place whenever a suitable occasion might offer. The appearance of the fever at Trent was a fortunate occurrence, and furnished an opportunity which they were too sagacious not to discern and embrace. A plausible pretext for the translation was thus supplied; but that it was only a pretext will now, perhaps, be generally conceded. The impartial inquirer will weigh well the following considerations :—the witnesses were mostly persons connected with the council, and under the influence of the legates; they were not examined by the opponents of the translation ; the physicians of the place were not questioned; the prelates who remained at Trent enjoyed their usual health ; the danger, if any, was soon over ;ť and the council met again in the same place at two subsequent periods without any mention being made of the insalubrity of its air, or the prevalence of contagious disorders. I In fact, the fever dis
* Pallav. ut sup. c. 14, 15. Le Plat, iii. p. 584—608. Sarpi, 1. ii. s. 97–99.
p“ Paulatim defluxit, et innocentem exitum tandem habuit.”- Pallav. ut sup. c. 16. s. 1.
| A zealous advocate for the council, in a work published the year after its termination, speaks in the strongest terms of the fine air of Trent, and the salubrity of the place. When contagion prevailed almost throughout Germany, Trent was free; he was there two years, but neither was the heat oppressive nor the cold severe. In short, from his account, Trent must be one of the healthiest places under the sun.
“Jam vero tàm salubri aura, et benigno cælo Tridentum fruitur, ut cum