« PrécédentContinuer »
to nourishment; Penance to the restoration of health Extreme Unction to the recruiting of strength; Orders to the office of magistrates; Matrimony to the procreation of children.
The Head of Orders is therefore most certainly the sixth Head; and not only so, but it is in some sense the Imperial Head; if we substitute ecclesiam' for ' rempublicam,' we shall see the analogy. 'That
with respect to the church there be never wanting magistrates by whose authority and control it may be ruled,' ' quorum auctoritate et IMPERIO regatur.'
We believe that this Head' was as it were wounded to death' in the time of Gregory VII. who assembled a numerous council at Rome in which it was ordained 'that the sacerdotal order should abstain from marriage; and that such members of them as had already wives or concubines should immediately dismiss them or quit the priestly office.' 'The more difficult part remained to enforce this decree; and herein Gregory did not confine himself to the legitimate weapon of spiritual censure, but also exerted his powerful influence to arm the temporal authorities in his service. Numerous disorders were the consequences of this measure; at Milan and in Germany the edict was openly resisted; and many ecclesiastics were found in every country who preferred the sacrifice of their dignities and interests to the abandonment of those connexions which they held dearer than either.' (Mr. Waddington's Hist. of Church, p. 277). Mosheim gives the same account. The priests in the several provinces of Europe who lived in the
bonds of marriage with lawful wives, or of lasciviousness with hired concubines, complained loudly of the severity of this council, and excited the most dreadful tumults in the greatest part of the European provinces. Many of these ecclesiastics, especially the Milanese priests, chose rather to abandon their spiritual dignities than their sensual pleasures, and to quit their benefices that they might cleave to their wives. They went still farther; for they separated entirely from the church of Rome, and branded with the infamous name of Paterini, i. e. Manichæan, the Pontiff and his adherents, who condemned so unjustly the conduct of such priests as entered into the bonds of a lawful and virtuous wedlock.' (Century xi. Part 2.)
The Pope gave over the married priests to the civil magistrates to be punished as disobedient and unworthy subjects, with the loss of their substance, and the most shocking marks of ignominy and disgrace.
The Sacrament of Orders was as it were wounded to death.' The wound was inflicted by a sword;" (verse 14.) and that 'sword' was of material texture. Gregory, as we have seen,' did not confine himself to the legitimate weapon of spiritual censure, but also exerted his powerful influence to arm the temporal authorities in his service.'
THE DEADLY WOUND IS HEALED: ALL THE WORLD WONDERS AFTER THE POPE.
AND HIS DEADLY WOUND WAS HEALED: ALL THE WORLD WONDERED AFTER THE BEAST."Verse 3.
THE imperial head was indeed " wounded as it were to death." There seemed no probability of a wound so deadly being healed. But the scriptures must be fulfilled. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of the living God shall not pass away." In the page of prophecy it is written, And his deadly wound was healed." In the page of history it is also written, On the festival of Christmas, the last year of the eighth century, Charlemagne appeared in the church of St. Peter; and, to gratify the vanity of Rome, he had exchanged the simple dress of his country for the habit of a patrician. After the celebration of the holy mysteries, Leo suddenly placed a precious crown on his head, and the dome resounded with the acclamations of the people. Long life
and victory to Charles, the most pious AUGUStus, crowned by God the great and pacific EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS!' The head and body of Charlemagne were consecrated by the royal unction: after the example of the CESARS, he was saluted or adored by the Pontiff: his coronation-oath represents a promise to maintain the faith and privileges of the church; and the first-fruits were paid in his rich offering to the shrine of the Apostle.' In the language of inspiration, "the deadly wound was healed." In the language of the historian, the western empire
was REVIVED: the claims of the Greeks were finally eradicated from the debasement of a provincial town: THE MAJESTY OF ROME WAS RESTORED: the Latin Christians were united under a supreme head in their ancient metropolis; and the conquerors of the west were expected to receive their crown from the successors of St. Peter.'
If we come down to the fourteenth century, we find the Imperial Head in a state of weakness and poverty, but more ostentatious than ever. 'The supremacy of the Emperor was not confined to Germany alone: the hereditary monarchs of Europe confessed the pre-eminence of his rank and dignity: he was the first of the Christian princes, the temporal head of the great republic of the west to his person the title of majesty was long appropriated: and he disputed with the Pope the sublime prerogative of creating kings and assembling councils. The oracle of civil law, the learned Bartolus, was a pensioner of Charles IV.; and his school resounded with the doc
trine that the Roman Emperor was the rightful sovereign of the earth from the rising to the setting sun. The contrary opinion was condemned, not as an error, but as an heresy, since even the gospel had proclaimed, And there went forth a decree from CESAR AUGUSTUS that all the world should be taxed.' (Gibbon, vol. ix. pp. 172—217.)
But the seven heads are not only they are also seven mountains on which the woman sitteth." The seven mountains on which the church of Rome, whose name in scripture is " Mystery," sitteth, we believe to be seven "Mysteries," in other words, the seven sacraments of that church. And the sixth sacrament or the Sacrament of Orders, "was as it were wounded to death," when Gregory VII. enforced celibacy on the clergy, and this not only with the spiritual weapon of ecclesiastical censure, but with the material weapon of the temporal sword. 'The deadly wound was,' however, healed.' It is true that great tumults and divisions were excited: but these were gradually CALMED through length of time, and also by the perseverance of the obstinate Pontiff.' (Mosheim, Cent. XI. Part ii. xiv.) The confusion thus created was gradually tranquillized by the progress of time, by the perseverance of the Pontiff, by the aid, perhaps, of the laity, by the indifference of the sovereigns.' (Mr. Waddington's Hist. of Church, p. 278.)
When the imperial head was healed, "all the world wondered after the Beast." The page of history is in strict accordance with the page of Prophecy. One