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the general welfare. When the Pope was informed of it, he jocosely said, that Charles had chosen this method of balancing the account between them for publishing the bull without his concurrence.*
Cardinal Crescentio was appointed to preside over the council, as the pontifical legate. With him were joined, in the capacity of nuncios, Pighino, Archbishop of Siponto, and Lippoman, Bishop of Verona. Nominally, the latter were inferior in power and authority to the legate; but in reality there was little or no distinction ; the commission was given to them jointly, and they were intrusted with ample power to resume, direct, and carry on the council, as if the Pope himself were present. Three ambassadors were sent by the Emperor, Counts de Montfort and Toledo, and William of Poictiers, severally representing his Imperial, Spanish, and Flemish dominions. The Protestant States also prepared to advocate their 'cause, both by ambassadors and divines. Melancthon was selected by Maurice of Saxony, and ordered to prepare a confession of faith, to be presented to the assembled fathers in his name. The Elector of Brandenburg employed Brentius for the same purpose. A safe-conduct granted by the Emperor assured the Protestants that they should have full liberty to go to Trent, remain there, and return when they pleased, without fear of molestation. But the fate of John Huss had made such an impression on their minds that even the Emperor's pledge for their safety was regarded as insufficient. For anything they knew, the council of Trent might do as the council of Constance had done. These doubts and difficulties being laid before the Emperor by Maurice, he engaged to procure from the council such a safe-conduct as should satisfy all parties.t A quarrel between the Pope and the King of Francef had
* Le Plat, iv. pp. 170—210. Sarpi, 1. iii. s. 34. + Sarpi, 1. iv. s. 4. Le Plat, iv. p. 212. Melancthon anticipated little good effect to result from the appearence of himself and his brethren at Trent. “ Etsi iter nostrum multi reprehendunt, et ego longe malim consuetudine et conspectu meæ familiæ et amicorum frui ; tamen sive serio sive kipwvikūs aguntur hæc in aula, ideo obtempero, ne ut aliquoties dictum est metu nos aut petulantiâ defugere publicos congressus dicant.”—Epistolæ, p. 286.
Respecting the causes of this quarrel, see Du Pin, cent. xvi. book iii. ch. 6,7.
so alienated the mind of the latter, that he refused to co-operate with his holiness in his endeavour to repair the breaches of the church, and prevented the prelates of his kingdom from going to Trent. He even threatened to summon a national council, by which his subjects might obtain redress of grievances, and relieve themselves from the oppressive yoke of Rome. Fearing that the threat would be executed, Julius determined to proceed to business at once, it being held unlawful to convene a national council while a general assembly of the representatives of the church was sitting. Accordingly, having re-appointed Massarelli to the office of secretary, offered public prayers for the success of the enterprise, and issued a bull of indulgences, after the example of his predecessor,* he dispatched the legate and nuncios to Trent, and ordered all the bishops then at Rome to follow them immediately.
On May 1st, 1551, the eleventh session was held, and the council re-opened with the usual solemnities.t During the next four months scarcely anything was done. The fathers were occupied in settling some questions of precedence, and the discussions that had taken place at Bologna were read in their hearing; but in the absence of the Germans they were unwilling to commence the regular business of the council. In August, the Electors of Mentz and Treves, with several prelates, arrived. Still the number assembled was very small, and it was judged expedient again to postpone the publication of a decree; nevertheless, the session was held at the appointed time, (Sept. 1.) Instead of a sermon, an exhortation, addressed to the assembly in the name of the president, was read by the secretary. The fathers were reminded that their undertaking was most important and difficult, being nothing less than to extirpate heresy, reform discipline, and restore amity and concord among the rulers of the European states. They were exhorted to feel their own insufficiency, and to look to God with earnest desire and humble confidence; for the cause in which they were engaged was the cause of religion, and involved the safety of the church, for which the Supreme Being gave his only-begotten Son. With humility and godly sorrow it behoved them to present themselves before
* Le Plat, iv. p. 217.
+ Pallav. 1. xi. c. 40. Sarpi, 1. iv. s. 1.
the Lord, and by good works and fruits worthy of repentance to prepare their hearts for the influences of the Holy Spirit, who undoubtedly presided over general councils lawfully convened. If the Saviour promised to be where only two or three were gathered together in his name, how much more might the presence and aid of the Spirit of God be expected when so many priests and holy fathers were assembled, and on such an occasion! Their decrees would be not so much the decrees of men, as of God. Did the Redeemer promise eternal life to him who should give food, clothing, or relief, to one of his disciples ? How much greater would be their merits, by whose pious care not one or two souls only, but whole countries, would be snatched from the jaws of Satan!
To them the church looked for help; the ship was well-nigh broken by the violence of the tempest; the negligence of the sailors had exposed her to imminent peril; they only could bring her safely into port. But if they hoped to succeed in this attempt, they must put away all contention, envy, and strife; be grave, gentle, meek; exhibiting the lovely example of charity and perfect union; not seeking their own, but the things that were Jesus Christ's. *
On this occasion the council was compelled to hear another protestation against itself. James Amyot, Abbot of Bellosane, appeared at the session with a letter from the King of France, which, after some quibbling about the form of superscription, was suffered to be read, as was also the protestation. His most Christian majesty informed the fathers that, being prevented from taking part in their proceedings by the differences existing between himself and the Pope, he could not consider them as a general council of the Catholic church, but only as a private assembly, convened for the promotion of party views and private interests; that France would not be bound to observe their decrees; and that he should adopt such measures as were deemed necessary for the welfare of religion in his dominions, without any regard to their assembly.f No answer
* Pallav, l. xi. c. 15. Sarpi, 1. iv. s. 6. Le Plat, i. pp. 170—174.
+ Pallav. ut sup. c. 17. Sarpi, s. 7. Instructions et Lettres des Rois Très-Chrestiens, &c. pp. 21—37. Paris, 1654. Some of the prelates, especially the Spaniards, were greatly offended, because the king's letter was directed to the “ assembly” of holy fathers (conventus), and not to the
was given at the time, but Amyot was directed to attend at the next session, appointed to be held Oct. ll. It was resolved that on that day a decree should be passed on the sacrament of the eucharist, and that the remaining obstacles to episcopal residence should also be treated.
The debates on the eucharist were unusually languid; partly because little difference of opinion prevailed among the fathers, and partly because the whole question had been examined at Bologna so thoroughly as almost to render any further investigation unnecessary. The following regulations were made, to be observed by the divines in carrying on the discussions-viz., that their sentiments should be supported by the authority of the Scriptures, apostolic traditions, approved councils, papal constitutions and decrees, the writings of the fathers, and the general consent of the Catholic church ; that they should observe brevity, and abstain from all superfluous and useless questions, and unseemly contention; and that, in delivering their opinions, the Pope's divines should first speak, then the Emperor's, and after them the others—the seculars according to the dates of their degrees, and the regulars according to the rank of their orders. Although this method of proceeding was very far from being adapted to elicit truth, the word of God being only considered as one among other authorities, the Italians were much dissatisfied. They were so accustomed to the metaphysical subtleties of the scholastic divinity, and so imperfectly versed in Scripture, that they dreaded the consequences of being compelled to adopt even so partial a reference to its pages, and loudly complained of the regulations.*
There was some disputing respecting the necessity of auricular confession before participation of the eucharist. Melchior Cano and many others denied that necessity; the majority, however, thought differently; but the language of the decree was modified and softened, and an anathema was not pronounced against those who held the other opinion. Some other minor varieties of sentiment were observed, which were easily reconciled, and need not be enumerated. The chief contest respected the mode of Christ's presence in the sacrament, and the true meaning of the word “ transubstantiation.” The Dominicans and Franciscans were divided.
“ General Council,” (Concilium Generale.) “If you will not bear the king's letter,” said the Archbishop of Mentz,“ how will you hear the German Protestants, who call us a council of malignants ?” The reader will not fail to observe that the absence of the French prelates totally destroys the claim of the council to be considered “general,” during this period of its history.
* Le Plat, iv. p. 258. Sarpi, s. 10.
The former maintained, “ that Jesus Christ exists in the sacrament, not as coming thither from a place in which he was before, but because the substance of the bread being changed into his body, he is in the place where the bread was before without coming to it from any other place; and that as the whole substance of the bread is changed into the whole substance of his body,--that is to say, the matter and form of the bread into the matter and form of his body, this is the change which is properly called transubstantiation.” They also distinguished two modes of existence in the Saviour; “ the one his heavenly, the other his sacramental, presence; the first being natural, the second altogether extraordinary, and totally different from all other beings." The Franciscans held, “that the power of God may cause a body to exist truly and substantially in many places, and that when it occupies a new place, it is because it goes thither, not by a successive motion, as if it left one to go to another, but by an instantaneous change, which causes it to occupy a second place without leaving the first; that, by the ordinance of God, wherever the body of Jesus Christ exists, there remaineth no other substance there; not that this latter substance is destroyed, but the body of Christ has taken its place; and that transubstantiation does not consist in the formation of the body of Jesus Christ out of the substance of the bread, as the Dominicans maintained, but that it is the succession of the first to the second.” They also held, in opposition to the Dominicans, that the mode of Christ's existence in heaven is not different from his existence in the sacrament as to substance, but solely as to quantity; for that in heaven his body occupies the space that naturally belongs to it, while in the sacrament, substance occupies no place! Each party was fully convinced of the truth of the opinion it maintained, and that it was perfectly