Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

SUBJECT OF THE TREATISE. XXIII created heaven and earth! Moreover, we declare, assert, define, and pronounce, that TO BE SUBJECT TO THE ROMAN PONTIFF IS TOEVERY HUMAN CREATURE ALTOGETHER NECESSARY TO SALVATION. Given at the Lateran, in the eighth year of our'pontificate."* The portentous extravagance of such a pretence as that involved in this document might seem to place it beyond the category of human assumptions. But in a church which assigns to its priests the faculty of making, and to its followers the privilege of masti- cating, "the real body, blood, soul, and divinityof the Son of God," it is not easy to imagine any bounds to the ambition of the one or the credulity of the other. And the plain language of the divines of the Romish church places the matter of fact beyond all question. Bellarmine's doctrine is, "By reason of the spiritual power, the pope has, at least indirectly, a certain supreme power in temporal matters." Ferraris, a great authority in that church, is still more explicit. "The pope," he says, " is of such dignity, that he is not simply man, but, AS IT WERE, GOD I and the vicar of God. He occupies one and the same tribunal with Christ. Hence thecommon doctrine teacheth that the pope Lath the power of the two swords, namely, the spiritual and the temporal." The same doctrine is asserted by Baronius, the acknowledged champion of Romanism, who says, "There can be no doubt but that the civil principality is subject to the sacerdotal ; and that God hathmade the political government subject to the dominion of the spiritual church. "t The fallacy on which the claim rests is, ifpossible, still more glar- ing than the pope's assumed supremacy over the church; for, in the first place, the universal authoritywith which our Lord is invested as head of the church, the "power given him over all flesh," is inca- pable ofdelegation to the creature. It is the power of God, and ne- cessarily implies, in order to its efficient exercise, the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is equivalent with sovereign control over all the elements of nature, the events of pro- vidence, and the hearts of men. To claim participation in this power amounts on the part of any creature to a denial of the very sove- reignty in question; it is an impious attempt to pluck the crown of Deity from the Saviour's head, and to place it upon his own. But, in the next place, to claim a temporal jurisdiction over the kingdoms of this world is to assume what our Lord never claimed for himself, and what does not properly belong to him as mediator. During his personal abode on earth he repeatedly disclaimed all temporal jurisdiction, and refused to interfere with Extray. lib. i. tit. viii. cap. 1. t See the authorities referred to in " Elliott's Delineation of Popery," p. 597, &c.