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SUBJECT OF THE

TREATISE.

XXI

There

can

be no

doubt

that the

Papacy,

in virtue

of

the

possessions

granted

it at

various times by superstitious or servile monarchs, be-

came

a

temporal

power.

The pope has his capital and

his

council-

lors,

his ambassadors

and his

armies,

his dominions and his

subjects,

his

wars

and

his

taxes. To all

intents and

purposes

he

is

nothing

less,

and, in sober reality,

he

is

nothing

more,

than

a temporal

prince.

Into the

circumstances which led

to this

worldly

exaltation

we

do

not

enter.

It

is

generally acknowledged

that

the

foundation of

it

was

laid by Pepin

the

usurper

of

France,

when,

in

756 or

758,

on over-

coming

the

Lombards, he

laid

the

keys of

the

conquered towns on,

the altar

of

St

Peter, and

converted

Pope Stephen

IL

into a tem-

poral

prince.

" This,"

says

father

Daniel,

"

is,

properly speaking,

the

original of

the

temporal

power of

the

popes."

The

same

remark

is

made

by Ranke in

his

" History of

the Popes;"

and

most writers

on prophecy

date

from this period

the

union of

the

temporal with

the

spiritual

power of

the

pope.*

But

it

would be

a

grievous

mistake

to

measure

the

temporal

power which

the pope

pretends

to exercise

by

the extent

of his

petty

possessions as

an

Italian

sovereign.

This

is

a mere

trifle

in

comparison

with

the

temporal authority

which

he

claims

in virtue of

his

spiritual.

As

a spiritual

prince,

he

asserts

not

merely a

right

to

the

patrimony

of

St

Peter,

but

a right to

dispose

of

all

the

patrimonies and

possessions

of

this world; to

depose kings,

and transfer

their

kingdoms to others; to

absolve subjects from

their

allegiance; and, in short, to reign

as

lord

paramount

over

the

whole

earth. The

earthly

splendour with

which

he

is

invested,

so

incon-

sistent

with

his

professedly

spiritual

character, may have

served

to

keep up

the prestige

of his

supremacy; but, in

fact,

though

the

pope

were deposed to-morrow from his

throne in the

Vatican,

though not

an

inch of

territory

were allowed

him,

though he

were

stripped

of

his purple

robe,

deserted by his

Swiss

guards

and

his

sbirri,

and left

without

chancery,

mint,

or

arsenal,

he

would still,

in

virtue

simply

of

his

spiritual

pretensions

as

the

vicar of Christ,

retain all the

claims

which

his

predecessors

have

put

forth

to

temporal

dominion.

And

these

claims would be acknowledged

by all

his devoted followers;

for

they

are founded

on

the

same fictitious

jus

divinum

as

that

on

which

he

claims

the

government

of

the

church.

It

is

assumed

that

the

divine prerogatives of

the

"Saviour have been transferred

to

the

governors of

the

church,

and to the

pope,

by

way of eminence, as

*

Mr Fleming,

the

ingenious

author

of

a "

Discourse on

the

Rise and

Fall of the

Papacy," dates

this

event from 758. Mezerai differs

both

from Daniel

and Fleming as

to

the

date, which he

fixes

at

756,

but

errs

as to

the

reigning

pope,

whom

he makes

to

be Stephen

III.

Abrégè

Citron.

de

l'H!st.

de

France,

tom. i.

p.

446.