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and consolidate their power without fear of interference. The dismemberment of the empire by the irruption of the barbarians was also peculiarly favourable to their views, as it left them at liberty to complete the aggrandizement of their see, and erect an independent administration. Those ignorant and superstitious hordes successively embraced the profession of Christianity, transferring to the clergy the reverence with which they had been accustomed to regard their priests, and looking upon the head of the church as little le-s than a god upon earth. To retain them in their spiritual obedience, it was deemed necessary to stoop to their prejudices. Christianity received further additions from pagan rites. The religion of the converted barbarians was only changed in form ; the substance remained the same -a compound of folly and imposture.
In 606, Phocas, Emperor of Constantinople, is said to have granted to Boniface III., then Bishop of Rome, the title of “ Universal Bishop.” Be that as it may, it is well known that from this time the popes (as they were called, the term “ Papa”-that is, “ father”-hitherto common to all bishops, being now exclusively appropriated to them) resolutely maintained their claim to ecclesiastical supremacy, as successors to Peter, and vicars of Christ. The growing weakness of the imperial power in Italy served to strengthen and extend their usurpations. In the eighth century, (A.D. 755,) Pepin, King of France, who had sought and obtained Pope Zachary's sanction of the dethronement of Childeric, his predecessor, rewarded the Roman see for the boon by conquering the exarchate of Ravenna from the Lombards, and bestowing it on Stephen II., the then reigning pontiff. Thus the pope became a secular prince, governing the patrimony of St. Peter, as the exarchate was designated, adding to his dominions from time to time, as he was able, and taking his place among the sovereigns of Europe.
From this time the papal tyranny was firmly established. The Roman pontiffs had attained the height of their greatness. Sustaining their pretensions by forged decretals of ancient times, and practising on the fears of a dark and superstitious age, they strove to set up an universal monarchy, and to exact homage from all temporal sovereigns. Crowns were said to be in their gift. Kings might not assume their own titles without permission from Rome, and forfeited them if they offended their lordly masters. Resistance was punished by excommunication or interdict-harmless weapons in the hands of ordinary men, but destructive as heaven's lightning when hurled by a Gregory, an Innocent, or a Boniface. The mind of Europe was prostrated at the feet of a priest. The stoutest hearts quailed at his frown. Seated on the throne of blasphemy, be “ spake great words against the Most High ;” and “ thought to change times and laws.” (Dan. vii. 25.) Many hated him, but all stood in awe of his power. Like Simon Magus, he“ bewitched the people, giving out that himself was some great one.” (Acts viii. 9.) Like Nebuchadnezzar, “ all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him : whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive ; and whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put down." (Dan. v. 19.)
The popes attained their power by the aid of ignorance, fraud, and superstition; and uniformly strove to perpetuate the sources of their greatness. This remark will be justified by a glance at the chronology of papal corruption,
It has already been shewn that human tradition and will-worship had made considerable progress when Constantine ascended the imperial throne. Monachism was established in the fourth century: in the fifth, prayers began to be offered to the saints, pictures were placed in churches, and incense was used in them, and the doctrine of purgatory was first broached; the worship of images triumphed over opposition in the eighth century ; transubstantiation was invented in the ninth; indulgences were given as early as the tenth, and came gradually into use, till the system was perfected in the fourteenth, by Pope Clement VI.; the rosary and the scapular, the forced celibacy of all the clerical orders, the adoration of the sacramental elements, auricular confession, and the inquisition, with numerous minor abominations, are dated in the thirteenth century; the first jubilee was celebrated in 1300, and in that and the following century very many festivals were established in honour of supposed saints, and the finishing touches were given to the fabric of superstition. These monstrous additions to Christianity were defended and propagated by trickery, by intrigue, by fanaticism, or by fire and sword, at the caprice of the ecclesiastical despots. It was of small consequence to them what measures they employed, so that they secured the result. And the result was, that intelligent, scriptural piety was scarcely known, except in the rocks and fastnesses which concealed the chosen few who had not “received the mark of the beast.” Nothing short of an entire revolution could restore Christianity to its primitive lustre. The reformation in the sixteenth century was a glorious event, but the full development of the changes contemplated by the reformers was prevented by obstinate prejudices and selfish feelings. May God preserve us from all retrograde movement !
LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL COUNCILS.
Of 1583 synods or councils, noticed by ecclesiastical historians, beginning with the Synod of Pergamos, A.D. 152, and ending with the Council of Trent, the following may be considered the most important. Nineteen have been considered as entitled to the appellation of “General Councils :"_
A.D. 197. Rome. Respecting the celebration of Easter.
251. Rome. Against novation,
Nicene creed framed. There were many other councils and
A.D. 381. CONSTANTINOPLE. The second general council. The distinct
personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit declared, in oppo
sition to the Macedonians. 431. EPHESUS. The third general council. The Nestorians and
Pelagians condemned. 451. CHALCEDON. The fourth general council. Eutychianism con
demned. 501. Rome. To determine whether Symmachus or Laurentius, who
were both chosen to the bishopric of Rome, should be acknowledged. Symmachus succeeded, it is said, through the in
fluence of Theodoric, King of the Goths, and an Arian! 553. CONSTANTINOPLE. The fifth general council. Some errors of
Origen condemned. 680. CONSTANTINOPLE. The sixth general council. The Monothe
lites condemned. 691. Constantinople. Called “in Trullo," from the name of the
palace where it was held, and “ Quinisextum,” because consi
dered supplementary to the fifth and sixth general councils. 754. Constantinople. Against the worship of images. 769. Rome. A decree passed that images should be honoured, and
the Council of Constantinople anathematized. 787. Nice. The seventh general council. Image-worship established. 794. Frankfort. Under the auspices of the Emperor Charlemagne.
Image-worship condemned. 842. Constantinople. Image-worship authorized. 869. CONSTANTINOPLE. The eighth general council. Photius, Pa.
triarch of Constantinople, deposed. The preceding general
councils confirmed. 896. Rome. Pope Stephen VI. procured the body of Pope Formosus
to be disinterred and mutilated, and those to be deposed who
had been ordained by him.
Ib. Rome. Leo VIII. restored, and Benedict V. deposed,
jects absolved from their allegiance. 1079. Utrecht. The partisans of Henry IV. excommunicate Pope
Gregory VII. 1080. Rome. Henry IV. excommunicated again. 1085. Rome. The excommunication of Henry IV. declared null. 1123. Rome. In the Lateran palace. The ninth general council. On
investitures. Plenary indulgence granted to all who should
join the crusade to the Holy Land. 1139. ROME. The tenth general council, and second of Lateran. On
A.D.1179. Rome. The eleventh general council, and third of Lateran, The
Waldenses anathematized. 1215. Rome. The twelfth general council, and fourth of Lateran. Its
third canon denounces all heretics, and decrees their extir
pation. (See Appendix, No. 4.) 1229. Toulouse. Heresy denounced, and the scriptures prohibited. 1245. Lyons. The thirteenth general council. The Emperor Frederic
deposed. 1274. Lyons. The fourteenth general council. The Greek and Roman
churches re-united. 1302. Rome. The bull called “Unam Sanctam” issued, declaring
that the temporal power is inferior to the spiritual, and that the
Pope possesses the right of appointing and deposing sovereigns. 1311. Vienne. The fifteenth general council. The Order of Knights
Templar abolished. 1409. Pisa. The sixteenth general council. The rival popes, Benedict
XIII. and Gregory XII., deposed, and Alexander V. elected. 1412. Rome. Against the writings of Wiclif. 1414. CONSTANCE. The seventeenth general council. For reformation.
Pope John XXIII. deposed. Martin V. chosen. John Huss
and Jerome of Prague burnt. 1431. BASLE. The eighteenth general council. On reform, and the
union of the Greek and Latin churches. 1438. Ferrara. A rival council to that at Basle, in consequence of a
disagreement respecting the transference to Ferrara. 1439. Florence. On the same subjects as that of Basle. 1511. Pisa. For reform. Considered by some a general council. 1512. Rome. The fifth of Lateran. Considered also by some a gene
ral council. Against the Council of Pisa. 1545. Trent. The last general council. The foregoing list is taken from “ The Chronology of History,” by Sir Harris Nicolas, who refers to “ L'Art de vérifier les Dates” as his authority. It is well known, however, that great diversity of opinions prevails among the Romanists respecting the general councils. “Three jarring and numerous factions have, on the subject of ecumenical councils, divided and agitated the Romish communion. One party reckons the general councils at eighteen, which met at Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Lateran, Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and Trent. A second faction count the same number, but adopt different councils. These reject the Councils of Lyons, Florence, Lateran, and Trent; and adopt, in their stead, those of Pisa, Constance, Basle, and the second of Pisa. A third division omit the whole or a part of the councils which intervened between the eighth and sixteenth of these general conventions. The whole of these are omitted by Clement, Abrahamus, and Pole; and a part by Sixtus, Carranza, Silvius, and the Council of Constance."*
* Edgar's Variations of Popery, p. 125. A second edition of this very valuable work is just published.
No. III. CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE POPES. The authorized lists of the popes, published by the Romanists, begin with the Apostle Peter, and place next to him Linus and Anacletus. As it cannot be proved that Peter was bishop of Rome, and great uncertainty exists with regard to his two supposed successors, the following list begins with Clement. The names in Italics designate those who are not acknowledged, or whose right to the title has been questioned :A. D.
A. D. St. Clement I. - - - 91-100 St. Innocent I. - - - 402-417 St. Evaristus - - - 100-109 St. Zozimus - - - - 417-418 St. Alexander I. - - 109—119 St. Boniface I. - - - 418—422 St. Sixtus I. - - - - 119–128 St. Celestine 1.
422-432 St. Tilesphorus - - - - 128--139 St Sixtus III. - - 432—440 St. Hygenius - - 139—142 St. Leo I.
440-461 St. Pius I. - - - . 142—157 St. Hilary -
461 -468 St. Anicetus - - - 157-168 St. Simplicius - . - 468-483 St. Soter - 168–176 St. Felix III.
483-492 St. Eleutherius - - - 177—192 St. Gelasius I.
- 492-496 St. Victor -
192202 St. Anastasius II. - - 496-498 St. Zepherinus
202-218 St. Symmachus - - - 498–514 St. Calixtus -
218--223 St. Hormisdas - - - 514-523 Urban -
223—230 St. John I. - - - - 523-526 Pontian - - - 230—235 St. Felix IV. - . - 526-529 Anterus - - - - 235-236 Dioscorus
530 St. Fabian -
236-250 Boniface II. - - - - 530-531 St. Cornelius - - - 251-252 John II. - - - - - 532-535 St. Lucius I. - 252-253 St. Agapetus - - - 535-536 St. Stephen I. - - 253–257 St. Sylverius
536-538 Sixtus Il. - - - 257—258 Vigilius I - - 538-555 St. Dionysius - - - 259–269 Pelagius I. - . 555-559 St. Felix I. - - - - 269–275 John III. - - - 5594572 St. Eutychian - - - 275-283 Benedict I. - - 573-577 St. Caius - - - - 283-2961 Pelagius II. - - - - 578–590 St. Marcellinus* . . 296-308 St. Gregory I.
590-604 St. Marcellus I. - - 308-310 Sabinian - - - - - 604-605 St. Eusebius - - - - 310-310 Boniface III.
606—606 St. Melchiades - - - 311—314 Boniface IV. - - . 607–614 St. Sylvester I. - - - 314-335
St. Deusdedit - - - 614–617 St. Mark - - - 335—336 Boniface V. -
617-625 St. Julius I. - - - - 337–352 Honorius I. $ - - - 626-640 St. Liberius - - - 352—366 Severinus - - - - - 640 St. Felic II.t - -
John IV. - - - - 640-642 St. Damasus I. - - - 366—384 Theodorus I. . - - 642--649 St. Sericius - - - - 385-398
St. Martin I. - - - 649-655
St. Avastasius I. - - 399–402 | St. Eugenius I. - - - 655-658
* This pope is said to have sacrificed to idols.
Condemned and anathematized by the sixth General Council, as a Monothelite.