Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

INTRODIICTION. 25 §VIII. Neither are the adherents totheRomanchurch more agreed concerning the extent of thepope'sauthority even in spiritual matters. For although the popes themselves plainly claim an absolute supremacy in them over the church; although the stream of divines who flourish in favour with them runs that way; although, accord- ing to their principles (if they had any principles clearly and cer- tainly fixed), that might seem to be the doctrine of their church; yet is there among them a numerous party which does not allow him such a supremacy, putting great restraints to his authority, as we shall presently show. And as the other party charges this with heresy, so this returns back the same imputation on that. § IX. That their doctrine is in this matter so various and uncer- tain is no great wonder, seeing interest is concerned in the question, and principles are defective toward the resolution of it. 1. Contrary interests will not suffer the point to be decided, nor, indeed, to be freely disputed on either hand. On one hand, the pope will not allow his prerogatives to be dis- cussed, according to that maxim of the great Pope Innocent III.: " When there is a question touching the privileges of the apostolic see, we will not that others judge about them."1 Whence, as we before touched, the pope peremptorily commanded his legates at Trent in no case to permit any dispute about his authority. On the other hand, the French will not permit the supremacy of their king in temporals, or the privileges of their church in spirituals, to be contested in their kingdom; nor, we may suppose, would any prince admit a decision prejudicial to his authority and welfare, sub- jecting and enslaving him to the will of the Roman court; nor, we may hope, would any church patiently comport with the irrecover- able oppression of all its rights and liberties by a peremptory estab- lishment of papal omnipotency. 2. Nor is it easy for their dissensions to be reconciled upon theo- logical grounds and authorities to which they pretend deference; for not only their schools and masters of their doctrine in the case dis- agree, but their synods notoriously clash. § X. Yea, even popes themselves have shifted their pretences, and varied in style according to the different circumstances of time, and their variety of humours, designs, interests. In time of prosperity and upon advantage, when they might safely do it, any pope almost would talk high and assumemuch to himself; to jurisdiction. The former opinion served its purpose in hoodwinking the British public, and opening the gates ofthe constitution to professed Papists; but now the op- posite opinion is in vogue, " according to circumstances of time and contingencies of things." The same universitieswould probably give a verydifferent verdict now. En. Cum super privilegiis sedis apostolicse causa vertatur, nolumus de ipsis per alios judicari.Greg. Deer., lib. ii. tit. 1, cap. 12.