Images de page

is only cut down, 10 or not imputed: let him be accursed. For God hates nothing in the regenerate, because there is no condemnation to those who are truly buried with Christ in baptism unto death, who walk not after the flesh, but putting off the old man, and putting on the new, which according to God is created, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, the beloved of God, and even heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, so that nothing can wholly prevent them from entering into heaven. Nevertheless, this holy council doth confess and feel that concupiscence, or the fuel of sin, doth still remain in the baptized; which being left to try them will not hurt those who do not yield thereto, but manfully resist, through the grace of Christ Jesus; on the contrary, 'he who shall strive lawfully, shall be crowned,' 2 Tim. ii. 5. The holy council declares that the Catholic church hath never understood that this concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, is so called sin, as if there were truly and properly sin in the regenerate, but because it is of sin, and inclines to sin.20 Whoever thinks differently, let him be accursed.

19" Radi." It will be perceived that the allusion is to the difference between merely felling a tree, and grubbing it up by the


20" Concupiscence is the effect of sin, and is nothing more than an appetite of the soul, in itself repugnant to reason. If unaccompanied with the consent of the will, or unattended by neglect on our part, it differs essentially from the nature of sin. This doctrine does not dissent from these words of St. Paul, 'I did not know concupiscence, if the law did not say, thou shalt not covet.' The apostle speaks not of the importunity of concupiscence, but of the sinfulness of the interior act of the will, in assenting to its solicitations."

"Concupiscence, then, is a certain commotion and impulse of the mind, urging to the desire of pleasures which it does not actually enjoy; and as the other propensities of the soul are not always sinful, neither is the impulse of concupiscence. It is not, for instance, sinful to desire meat and drink, when cold to wish for warmth, when warm to wish to become cool. This species of concupiscence was originally implanted in the human breast by the Author of Nature; but, in consequence of primeval prevarication, it passed the limits prescribed by nature, and became so depraved, that it frequently excites to the desire of those things, which conflict with the spirit, and are repugnant to reason."-Catechism, pp. 179. -445."

"The holy council further declares, that it is not its design to include in this decree, which treats of original sin, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, mother of God; but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV., of blessed memory, are to be observed, under the penalties contained in the same; which are hereby renewed." 2 1

It would swell this book to an immoderate size, if we were to undertake to refute the errors and expose the perversions of Scripture, with which the decrees abound. On the subject now before us we will only observe that the attentive reader will perceive how completely the doctrine of salvation by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is excluded by the decree.According to Scripture, we partake of the benefits of the gospel by believing, and in no other way; and thus the religion of the New Testament is a "reasonable service." But the fathers at Trent say that the merits of Christ are applied, both to adults and infants, by baptism; so that for faith is substituted the opus operatum of a sacrament. The sequel will show that this is a distinguishing feature of the whole system. Nor will it be overlooked that in this early period of the council the exclusiveness of Popery is distinctly announced, inasmuch as baptism, to be available, must be "rightly administered, according to the forms of the church," that is, the Roman Catholic church.

In the decree of reformation which was passed at the same time, it was ordained that bishops and parish priests should preach, either personally or by substitute; and provision was made for the establishment of theological lectures in cathedral churches and monasteries, for the instruction of the junior clergy, both secular and regular. Both were salutary measures, but the latter was too important to be suffered to emanate solely from the council.

21 Maimbourg pretends that Sixtus granted indulgences to those who should celebrate the "immaculate" conception of the Virgin. This is false: The Pope carefully guards against any expression that would imply a decision of the litigated question. But Maimbourg was a Jesuit! Vid. Seckendorf, lib. iii. sect. 53. and extravagant. Commun. tit. xii.

A brief from the Pope was produced, graciously permitting the fathers to legislate in this matter!32 The decision on the preaching of the regulars has been already mentioned.

22 Le Plat, iii. 427. Pallav. lib. vii. c. 10–13. Sarpí, lib, ii. sect. 70.




Alliance between the Pope and Emperor against the ProtestantsDiscussions at Trent, on justification, free will, and predestination-Negotiations for the transfer of the Council-Episcopal residence considered-SIXTH SESSION-Decree on Justification, and on Episcopal Residence-Manner in which the decree on Justification was received by the Protestants-Observations on itPublications of Catharine, Soto, and Andrew Vega.

IN the Summer of 1546, an offensive and defensive alliance was concluded between the Emperor and the Pope, the avowed object of which was the chastisement of the German Protestants for their continued rejection of the council. The Emperor engaged to declare war immediately and reduce the heretics by force; and he promised to make no treaty with them nor grant any concessions in religion without the consent of the Pope, who, on his part stipulated to send a body of 12,000 men, supported at his own expense for six months, should they be wanted so long, and to furnish a considerable pecuniary subsidy. 23

This measure entirely accorded with the general policy of the Papal See, and illustrated the mischievous tendency of the Roman Catholic system, and its utter hostility to all freedom. Conferences and disputations had been held for many years without effect; bulls had been issued, and embassies sent, in vain; and lastly, a council had been summoned, and had already published important decisions. Still, these refractory Protestants remained obstinate, and, what was worse, impugned the authority of the council itself, and refused to submit to its decrees! What was to be done? But one method was left, and it was one which Roman Pontiffs had

23 Pallav. lib. viii. c. 1. sect. 2, 3.

never felt scrupulous in employing. It was plainly a case of contumacy, and called for the interference of the secular arm. Since spiritual weapons proved powerless, the sword must decide the contest; for the motto of the Papacy, is "Subjection or death"-death in both worlds.

The emperor would fain have kept the chief subject of quarrel in the back ground, and wished it to be believed that his sole design was to punish certain rebellious princes, against whom he brought heavy charges: he was very anxious to avoid the odium of a spiritual war. But neither the Protestants nor the Pope would suffer the real intention of the enterprise to be concealed. A spirited manifesto was issued by the confederate states, openly accusing his Imperial Majesty of having formed a plan to suppress the liberties of Germany under the shallow pretext of quashing a rebellion, informing him that his views in reference to the council were clearly understood, and reiterating the formal rejection of that assembly. On the other hand the Pope evidently regarded it as a crusade in defence of the faith. He wrote to the kings of France and Poland, and to other states, requesting their co-operation; sent Cardinal Farnesius as his legate, to accompany the allied forces, gave his own troops a consecrated banner; and in a bull prepared for the occasion promised ample indulgences and remission of sin to those who should pray for the success of the "holy expedition."24 The bull was published both at Rome and at Trent. 25

It had been determined that the subject to be decided in the next session should be the doctrine of justification; and in pursuance of the prescribed order of proceeding, the question of reform proposed for discussion was the residence of bishops, and the best means of removing the obstacle thereto.

The legate Santa Croce opened the business. He adverted to the importance of the inquiry they were about to institute. They had condemned the heresies that had been promulgated on the subject of original

24 Le Plat, iii. 437-446, 456, 465.

25 At Rome, July 15; at Trent, in the presence of the Legates and the whole Council, Aug. 19.

« PrécédentContinuer »