CHAP. V. Of the power of the Pope ouer the temporalities of Kings; and that he cannot take from Kings their Crownes, nor free subiects from the Oath of fidelity. And thereupon the reasons of Bellarmine are exa∣mined.
THe King of great Britaine in his A∣pology complayneth of two Breues or letters Apostolique of Clement the eight, sent into England a little be∣fore the death of the late Queene E∣LIZABETH, which were produced at the arrain∣ment of Garnet the Iesuite; by which the said Pope excludeth him from the succession of the King∣dome, by a generall debarring of all such as were not of the Romane Religion. This thing being so notoriously vniust, and so publique, yet notwith∣standing Coeffeteau saith, that there hath beene a wrong interpretation made of this Popes intenti∣ons; and that it hath beene some particular mens drift, to put it into his Maiesties head, that he went about to hinder his establishment in the King∣dome. These are insurious speeches, to say that the King of great Britaine hath beene circumuented, and that men haue only made him beleeue things; but that he hath not seene any such Breues, but speaketh this onely vpon trust.
There likewise, turning to the side of Kings a∣gainst the consent of the whole Romish Church, he speaks thus: It is a thing without doubt,*that if the Page 48Pope would inuade Kingdoms, and giue them in prey to whom he pleaseth, deuesting the right possessors of them, he well deserueth that Princes should stand stiffe against his viosence, and should ioyntly runne vpon him as vpon a robber and spoiler of their inheritances. And a litle after, The Popes pretend nothing ouer the tempo¦ralties of Kings, & are contented only to make their au∣thority appear ouer the crimes of men, which he bindeth or looseth without stretching of it, tyranically to dispose of their possessions, otherwise then such as are fallen vnto him: what causes here moued Coeffeteau thus to fauour Kings, and to pare the Popes nayles so neare, I will not enquire: But I well know that in other times and in other places, he would for these wordes haue beene sent to the Inquisition. For he opposeth himselfe against all the actions of Popes, and the iudgement of the whole Romish Church. The examples fallen out in England shall be most pertinent to this purpose, and such as shall repre∣sent vnto his Maiestie of England how farre the Pope had set footing vpon the temporalties of his predecessors, and how much dishonoured their Crowne.*Mathew Paris a Monke of the order of S. Bennet at S. Albans in England, and a diligent Historian, witnesseth that in the yeare 1170. HEN∣RY the second being reconciled to THOMAS BECKET Archbishop of Canterbury, he twice helde the bridle whiles the said Archbishop got to horse; what submission then should he haue yeeld∣ed to the Pope himselfe, seeing that one of his Pre∣lates and the King subiects would mit that his Page 49King and Master should make him so seruile a sub∣mission? The same Authour testifieth,* that the a∣foresaid HENRY was scourged by way of pe∣nance, vpon his bare flesh by a company of Monks, some of which gaue him three stripes, others fiue. The Pope not content therewith, amerced him to keepe two hundred souldiers in pay, for the warres of Palestina, and to suffer that his subiects, of what quality or condition soeuer might thenceforward euoke their suites out of his Courts and appeale to Rome. Of which punishment Michauel in the first booke of his storie of Florence, dedicated to Pope Clement the seuenth, speaketh in this manner: Le quali coscfurono da Enrico accettate, & sattomessesi a quel giudico vn tanto Rè che hoggi vn huomo priuato sivergognarebbe a sottomettersi: which things Hen∣ry yeelded vnto, and he so great a King submitted himselfe to that censure, which a priuate man now a dayes would be ashamed to vndergoe. And fur∣ther addeth, that the Citizens of Rome scornefully vsed and curbed that very Pope, who did thus do∣mineere in England, and would not suffer him to dwell in their Citie; and thereupon he taketh vp this exclamation, tanto le cose che patono sono piu dis∣coste che d'appresso temute, that things did appeare more to be feared farre off then neere at hand.
After this HENRY succeeded RICHARD whom the Pope sent into the Leuant; and he be∣ing dead, his brother IOHN came to the Crowne.* This IOHN complayned that the Pope drew more money out of England then out of any Countrey Page 48on this side of the Aples;* and because hee therein withstood Pope Innocent the third (who couered his tyranny vnder a title of The liberties of the Church:) he was by the said Pope in the yeare 1212 declared to be fallen from the Crowne, and his Kingdome giuen in perpetual title to Philippus Au∣gustus the French King, and his successors, with condition that he should conquer him; graunting him thereupon remission of all his sinnes, and cau∣sing the Croisade to be preached against the sayde King IOHN of England: by meanes whereof he was brought into that perplexity, that he was con∣strayned to vndergo all the conditions which Pan∣dulphus the Popes Legate imposed vpon him; as namely, that King IOHN to obtaine remission of his sinnes, should render vp his Crowne into the Legates handes, and should giue vp his Kingdomes of England & Ireland to the Pope; that he should yeelde faith and homage to the Pope, as holding his said Kingdoms in fee from the Church, as parts of the Popes Demaines, and of the patrimony of S. Peter;* and in acknowledgement hereof, hee should pay yearely to the Pope a thousand Markes in money, to be payd at two seuerall times; besides the Peter-pence which were paide by the pole. All which was executed accordingly, and the homage solemnly and formally done: the King himselfe tendered the money in all submission, which the Legate❀ trod vnder his feete in token to Lordly dominion; following the custome which the Pope began then to put in practise ouer the Emperours Page 49of Germany, to wit,* that they should be bound to come and take the Crowne at his handes, and after three lowly curtesies on the knee, and kissing of the Popes feete, the Emperour was to lay downe at the Popes feete sitting in his Throne, a masse of golde, thanking his Holinesse humbly vpon his knee, as it is at large set downe in their holy Ceremonies, Lib 1. Sect. 5. cap. 3. The like is reported by Polydore Vir∣gill in the fifteenth booke of his Storie, and by Blondus, Decad. 2. lib. 6.
Howbeit the abouesaid King IOHN bare this yoake very impatiently; His Barons also hated him for hauing enthralled his Kingdome, and Eng∣land was so farre exhausted by cruel exactions that the said King IOHN out of extreame dispaire re∣solued to cast himselfe and his Kingdome into the hands of the Mahumetans: and to that effect hee sent Ambassadors to Morocco in Barbary to Ami∣ral Murmelin King of Barbary and of Granada, to make him offer of his Kingdome; but the Barba∣rian would not accept it. Whereupon the Pope made his yoake more greeuous vpon the King and his land, the Oath of subiection was renued and ingrossed in writing, the instruments, which before were onely sealed on waxe were now sealed on golde, and in stead of one thousand Markes, the King was condemned to pay* twelue thousand Markes. Since that time the Popes haue called the Kings of England their vassals, and England their Demaines. Vpon which consideration, Ann. 1216 the Pope sent letters of inhibition to Philip Augu∣stusPage 50and Lewes his sonne being then at Lyons to forbid them to passe ouer into England: but Phi∣lip answered the Popes Nuncio in these terms: Eng∣land neyther is nor euer shall be the patrimony of S. Peter.*A King cannot giue his Kingdome without the consent of his Barons: And thereupon all the French Nobility cryed out, that they would fight to the death in that quarrell.
IOHN being dead,* his sonne and successor HENRY the third did homage to the Pope, and payed the accustomed tribute. Shortly after the Pope sent into England a new Legate, one Otho a Cardinall; before whom the King bowed himselfe so•low, as to touch the Legates knees with his head; which Cardinall behaued himselfe more like a King then a Legate. This Cardinall being desi∣rous to haue entred into Scotland, the King would not receiue him,* saying, that he had neuer seene Le∣gate in his Kingdome, neyther had he neede of them. But in England he was his owne caruer, cutting and paring away at his pleasure, euen so farre as that he presumed to sit at table in the Chaire of State aboue the king, as hee did at a feast which king Henry the third made at Westminster, as Matth. Paris witnesseth: which Authour also, Ann. 1241. speaking of his Legates returne, saith, that ac∣cording to the account then made, he carried away more money with him, then he left in all the king∣dome besides, hauing rifled and spoyled it like a Vine, brouzed and troden downe by wilde Boares: yea all the Historians of England doe Page 51complaine of the pillages and exactions of Rome, which sucked the Englishmen to the very blood. And as I vnderstand, Cardinall Bellarmine hath lately made a booke against the king of England,* wherein he maintayneth that the Pope is direct Lord of England and Ireland; and that these king∣domes are the Churches fee Farmes, and the King the Popes vassall or feudatary: Things which I thought good to represent at large, to the end that his Maiesty of England may know and acknow∣ledge, how much the Crowne which God hath giuen him, is beholding to the purity of the Gos∣pell; the preaching whereof hath broken that yoake, and hath made libertie to spring forth toge∣ther with the truth, dissipating at once both super∣stition and tyranny. Iesus Christ saith, Ioh. 8. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free: which saying may after a sort bee applyed to this purpose: for there our Lord speaketh of the serui∣tude of sinne, and here we speake of the slauery vn∣der the man of sinne: there our Lord speaketh of the freedome and deliuerance from the bondage of the father of lies, here we speake of being enfran∣chized from the thraldome of the sonne of perditi∣on; and indeede that temporall seruitude of the Crowne of England, came from the spirituall bon∣dage of the conscience. For the Popes laid this subiection vpon men, as a meanes and condition of obtayning remission of sinnes. Then England enioyed the happy golden age, in which euery man for his money might enter into Paradise: but Iesus Page 52Christ ouerthrew this bancke of money-changers set vp in the Temple, and detecting the abuses, sheered asunder those inuisible chains of Custome and Opinion, which held mens soules ensnared in and vniust seruitude. Certainely then the doctrine of the Gospell is the setling and establishment of Thrones, and that which exalteth & raiseth Kings, seeing that it doth: not subiect their Crownes to a∣ny man liuing, and further stoppeth vp all wayes and accesse to rebellion and disloyaltie.
Now out of that which aboue hath beene said, it is euident that Coeffeteau (telling the king of great Britaine that the Pope doth neyther expose king∣domes as a prey, nor pretend any thing vpon the temporalties of kings) thought the king a stranger at his owne home, and one that knew not his Ge∣nealogie nor the story of his owne house; or else deemed him blinde, and bereft of sense, when hee complayneth in his Apologie, that Bellarm. wri∣ting against him, dooth importunately inculcate this position, that the Pope may depose kings, in that he may excommunicate them. It must needes be then (if we beleeue Coeffeteau) that the king of great Britainecy ther did not read, or else vnder∣stood not the booke of his Aduersary.
If we would seeke out examples of the like cases besides these of England, we might fill a iust vo∣lume. How many Germane Emperours haue beene degraded from their Empire, by excommu∣nications and Papall fulminations, and their Impe∣riall Diadem giuen in prey to him that could catch Page 53it? Did not Pope Iulius the second, Anno 1511. take from king Iohn of Nauarre his kingdome, and giue it to Ferdinand king of Castile?* Did not Pope A∣lexander the sixt, Anno 1492. diuide the Indies be∣tweene the Portugals and the Spaniards, allotting the west Indies to the Spaniards, and the East to the Portugals: whereat Atabalippa the poore king of Peru asked who the Pope was, that gaue that which did not belong vnto him. To omit the con∣fusions and hurly-burlies of later times, which of fresh memory haue blasted and singed our kings with the lightnings of excommunications, and al∣most burnt them to powder, and haue made the people to rise in rebellion against their soueraigne Prince, the soares doe yet bleede, neyther is the wound yet soundly cured.
Now if experience be not strong enough to enforce the certainty of Papall vsurpations ouer kings; let vs heare the Popes themselues speake;* and let vs learne what their intent is, rather from their owne mouthes then from the fearefull and doubtfull termes of this Iacobin. Clement the fift being in the Councell of Vienna, speaketh thus: We aswell by that Superiority which wee haue ouer the Empire, as by the power whereunto we succeed the Em∣pire being vacant, &c. As it is contayned in the Cle∣mentine Pastoralis. And in the Chapter Fundamen∣ta de Electione in 6 Pope Nicholas the third, sayth that Constantine hath graunted to the Bishoppes of Rome both the one and the other Monarchy. And in the Chapter Venerabilem de Electione, InnocentPage 54the third maintayneth, that it is in him to aduance to the Empire whom he pleaseth,* and that it was the Apostolique Sea that translated the Empire from the Greekes to the Germanes. And that we may spare to produce the clauses of Sixtus Quintus his Bull, Anno 1585. (which was the first thunder∣clap that caused all the confusions in these later times) and which speake more arrogantly and in∣solently then all this that hath beene said: Let vs appeale to Cardinall Bellarmine for Iudge. These are his wordes:*The Pope can change Kingdomes; he can take them from one and giue them to another, as a Soueraigne spirituall Prince, when it shall be necessary for the saluation of soules. Of which necessity he will haue the Pope also to be Iudge. Consonant whereto one Alexander Pesantius, a Doctor of the Citie of Rome, hath written a booke of the immu¦nities of Ecclesiasticall persons, and of the power of the Pope, dedicated to the now-Pope Paul the fift, where he saith, p. 45. The Soueraine Bishop hath by Diuine right a most full power ouer all the earth, as well in causes Ecclesiasticall as Ciuill; adding in the margent, Papa iure diuino est directe Dominus orbis: The Pope by diuine right is directly Lord of the world. Yea within these few dayes there haue beene cer∣taine Theses printed and defended at Naples: in which were figured the Turkes Turbanes, the Im∣periall and Regall Crownes,* and the Coronet of the Dukes of Venice to hang in labels from the Popes Miter, and wherein the Pope is styled Vice-God, Monarch of the Christian world, and defender of Page 55the PAPALL OMNIPOTENCY: where the Pope hath accepted the bargaine which our Sauior refused at the Diuels hands, Mat 4.9. Which was, to become Monarch ouer all the Kingdomes of the earth. Thus is the Church become an Hierar∣chie, and the spirituall kingdome conuerted into a temporall Monarchy. In witnesse whereof the Popes triple Crowne is called by no other name then Il regno, the Kingdome. And the last Lateran Councell calleth the Pope in the first Session, Prince of the whole world; in the third Session, Priest and King: and in the ninth and tenth Session his charge is called His Holinesse Empire. Who will now make any doubt, but that Coeffeteau pleadeth the Popes cause vpon good warrant, and approba∣tion? And he goeth about to teach them more modesty in speach, then they are willing to learne, vnlesse that perhaps to tumble downe a Prince from the height of his Empire with flashes of light∣ning, or to skimme away the whole wealth of his Countrey, be not to be termed a touching of their temporalties: And indeede there is some reason for that, for temporall goods when they come into his Holinesse handes, they become spirituall, accor∣ding to the stile which this witty age vseth, who by a Bishops spiritualties vnderstandeth the rents and reuenues of his Bishoppricke. The misery of Prin∣ces in this case is, that if the Pope for their sinnes impose this penance vpon them, to lay down their Crownes, and to giue place to another, yet this Pe∣nance once done, is neuer followed with Absolu∣tion: Page 56for he that seizeth vpon their place by a right of conueniency,* doth neuer quit or forgoe it but by force. There be steppes and degrees indeede to clymbe vp to a kingdome, but there is no other discent then a headlong downe-fall. It is a thing seldome seene, that a Prince should suruiue his king¦dome, or that he should saue life or liberty after he is diuested of Maiesty. And that which is more, Coeffeteau hauing taken from the Pope the power of disposing of the temporalties of Kings, pag. 13. Doth he not in the next leaf following restore it to him againe, in these wordes? If Kings depart from their Duty, and in stead of defending the faith, seeke to ruine it, then it is in the Popes power to reclaime them, being in errour, and to bring forth his iust censures, to the end to turne away the mischiefe which threatneth Religion. Now these censures are, the degrading of the Prince, the absoluing his subiects from their Oath of Alleageance, and interdicting his King∣dome. And to shew that hee ought to proceede forcibly, and by way of fact, Coeffeteau addeth, That the Pope ought to oppose himselfe herein euen to the perill of his life: And if we will exactly weigh the wordes of this Doctrine, fol. 7. we shall easily finde, that where he saith that the Pope doth not pretend any thing ouer the temporalties of Princes, hee meaneth all the while Romish Catholicke Princes, who obey the Pope, that is to say, that if they bee not such as are now a dayes called Catholicks, the Pope may depriue them of their Kingdomes.
True it is that he reporteth vpon vs by way of Page 57recrimination,*That those Princes who haue sha∣ken off the yoake of the spirituall power of the Church, (that is of the Pope) see themselues exposed to the ri∣gour of their Ministers, whom by way of honor he calleth Tyrans. I looked all the while when hee would produce examples of Ministers, who had eyther degraded or murthered their Kings, or who had beene trumpets of rebellion or fire-brands of sedition, or who had skummed a Countrey of their money, or punished sinnes by the purse: Or who after the example of Innocent the third,* haue giuen to those who haue armed themselues at their commaundement, a degree of honour in Paradise aboue others, who haue nothing for their reward, but bare life euerlasting. But of all this he could al∣leadge no one example. For vnto vs agreeth that commendation which Tertullian giueth to the Christians, we neuer were, saith he, of the league and conspiracy of Albinius, Niger, or Cassius, but those rather who sware by the life and Genius of the Emperour. The faithfull Pastors hauing strip∣ped themselues of all this tyrannicall pride, haue only reserued to themselues the censuring of mens manners, by publicke and priuate reprehensions, and in case men stand out and rebell against the word of God, after many rebukes they haue reser∣ued onely the power of excluding them out of the Church as Pagans and Publicans, vntill such time as by true humiliation they haue made their repentance to appeare. These sentences of binde∣ing and loosing in the mouth of the Pastors are in∣locutorie Page 58Decrees which God doth ratifie in hea∣uen, till that himselfe in the last day pronounce the Definitiue sentence. They be the keyes which de∣pend vpon the word of God, and are annexed to the Gospell. Keyes which open the Kingdome of heauen, that is, open to the penitent sinner, an en∣trance into the Church, which in an hundred pla∣ces in the Gospell is called the Kingdome of hea∣uen. Keyes which the Pope hath not at all, seeing he hath not that whereupon they depend, to wit, the true benefites of Iesus Christ, contayned in the Gospell: and if he had them, yet can they not serue his turne, seeing he hath changed the lockes, and hath made other gates to enter into the kingdome of God.
Being then sufficiently cleared in this point, touching the Popes pretences, and Coeffeteaus in∣tention, it were nor amisse, a little to heare their reasons. Euery man knoweth, that in the yeare 1301.* Pope Boniface the eight wrote very arrogant letters to Philip the faire, contayning these words: I will that thou know, that thou art subiect to me in temporall things, they that maintaine the contrary, we hold them madmen: we know also how this vigilant and couragious King handled the Pope. This Pope hath made an authenticke Bull, which is amongst the extrauagants, and beginneth with V nam San∣ctam: wherein he reproueth the Popes Souerain∣ty both ouer the Spiritualty and Temporalty by certaine passages of Scripture, brought in by such an extrauagant by as, that we should thinke it ridi∣culous, Page 59were it not the Pope that speaketh it, who hath all law in the Chest of his breast,* as himselfe saith, cap. Licet. De Constitutionibus in 6.
These then be his Texts and Quotations: I be∣seech the Reader to lend his attention.
1. The Apostles said to Iesus Christ, Here are two Swordes, and Iesus Christ did not answere, that is too much; but that is enough: Therefore the Pope hath the Spirituall and the Temporall Sword.
2. Iesus Christ said to S. Peter, Put vp thy sword into thy sheath.
3. S. Paul, Rom. 13. sayth, that there is no power but is ordained of God. It must needes then be that the Temporall sword be subiect to the spiri∣tuall.
4. God sending the Prophet Ieremy to preach and prophesie to diuers people and nations, saith vnto him, cap. 1. I haue set thee this day ouer people and Nations. This is a prophesie (if wee beleeue this Bontface) which giueth to the Pope power ouer the Temporalty of Kings.
5 S. Paul, 1 Cor. 2.15. speaking of all the faith∣full (whom he calleth spirituall, to oppose them to the Carnall man, of whom he speaketh in the for∣mer verse) he saith, that the spiritual man iudgeth and discerneth all things, and he is not iudged of any. This spirituall man is the Pope, the soueraigne Iudge, and who cannot be iudged.
6. Iesus Christ said to S. Peter, Whatsoeuer thou shalt binde in earth, shall be bound in heauen. There∣fore Page 60the Pope is cheefe ouer the Temporaltie.
7. He addeth, that to acknowledge two So∣ueraigne powers is to be a Manichee.
8. That there can be but one beginning, and one cheefe Soueraigne, because Moses saith in the beginning of Genesis, not, In the beginnings, but in the Beginning God created the heauen and the earth.
By all these Scientificall Demonstrations, hee proueth that the Pope is cheefe ouer the Tempo∣raltie as well as ouer the Spiritualty; and thereup∣pon admiring himselfe in his own plumes, he con∣cludeth by a new Article of faith: We declare, affirm, define and pronounce, that it is altogether necessary to saluation to be subiect to the Bishop of Rome.
I would refute each of these reasons, were it not that I am perswaded, that the Pope did but mocke when he thus spake, and had no meaning to be be∣leeued. For surely Shamgars goade, or Gedeons bot∣tels may as well prooue the Popes Empire ouer Kings as any of the former places. And indeede Bellarmine, who commendeth this Bull in generall as holy and good, hath beene ashamed to produce these goodly reasons in speciall and by retaile, it is confutation enough for them onely to haue pro∣posed them. For to dispute by Scripture against them, were to vnsheath the sword of the Gospell against a filthy dung-hil. Such reasons be fit to be proposed but with the sword in hand; for they are not receiued farther then he that proposeth them is feared. And to very good purpose the King doth Page 61here apply the Fable, that when the Lyon would haue the Asses eares to be hornes, the other beasts were bound to beleeue it. So these fooleries must passe for verities, because his Holinesse will haue it so.
Such a like May-game do we find in Bellarmine, and in all their late Diuines, who willing to cloake this their foule fact, haue inuented new termes to expresse the same thing. They say that the Pope, as Pope, hath not this power ouer the Temporalty directly but indirectly, and so farre forth as it is auaileable for the spirituall good. But a King dispoyled of his Throne cannot take a few distinctions for a suffici∣ent payment; for what is it to him whether he be deposed directly or indirectly, seeing that he loo∣seth his Kingdome, be it in what sort soeuer: it is as if a man should comfort one vpon the scaffold, going to his execution, telling him, thou shalt not be beheaded with a sword, but with a Fauchin. And indeed who doth not see that this distinction is but a meere contradiction? For that which is in it selfe euill, being done by a direct course, cannot be done iustly by an indirect course. If a subiect be forbidden to wrong his Prince directly, shall it be lawfull for him to hurt him indirectly? Surely that which I ought not to take away directly, I may not filtch away indirectly and by wrongfull dealing, seeing that the thing can no wayes belong to mee in what sort soeuer. Furthermore Bellarmine by this distinction hath no meaning to contradict the Popes, whom we haue produced, who speake of Page 62Kings as of their subiects, and terme themselues Soueraignes in temporall affaires, so that this com∣meth all to one.
It bootes not to dispute of the excellency of the spirituall power aboue the Ciuil, by comparing (as did Innocent the third) the Pope to the Sunne, and the Emperour to the Moone; for albeit this were so, yet doth not the excellency of one thing aboue another necessarily import that one must therefore gouerne another: for if I say that the faculty of Di∣uinity is more noble and more excellent, then the care and custody of the Kings Treasure, must it needes therefore follow that Diuines and Clergy men must sway the Kings Exchequer? And as litle to the purpose is it to alleadge that the tempo∣rall power is subiect to the spirituall; for the que∣stion is not whether it be simply subiect vnto it, but whether it be subiect to it in temporall things, and with what punishments the Pastor of the Church may punish the Magistrate when he for∣getteth his duety,* to wit, whether by depriuing him of his estates or by fingering his purse; this is the point of the question which Bellarmine was to proue and not to suppose. For what authority so∣euer God hath giuen to faithfull Pastors ouer the Magistrates as they are Christians, yet doe they not let for all that to be subiect to the Magistrates as they are Citizens, and make a part of the Com∣mon-wealth. A king that is sicke, is for the time subiect to the gouernement of his Physitians, and yet they neuertheles remaine his subiects. As then Page 63the Temporall gouernement doth not impose spi∣rituall punishments, so the spirituall gouernement cannot impose temporall punishments, vnlesse it be sometimes by miracle, as S. Peter did vpon A∣nanias and Sapphira; for ordinary power he hath none to doe it, neyther doth the word of God giue him any.
Now if the Pope by vertue of his keyes (of which he so much boasteth) could dispossesse a King of his Kingdome for any fault, whether it be true or pretended, it should thence follow, that he hath a greater power ouer Kings then oner priuate and particular men, from whom he cannot by way of Penance plucke away their lands or houses to giue them to their neighbours: for if it were so, the Pope should be the direct Lord of all the lands and pos∣sessions of Christendome. And seeing it is gene∣rally confessed, that the Heathen Emperours were not subiect to the Bishops in temporall matters; can it stand with reason that Princes by being be∣come Christians, should become lesse Soueraignes then they were before, and that the faith of Iesus Christ should diminish their Empire?
I am not ignorant that the Prince ought so to administer temporall things, that the spirituall ad∣ministration be not thereby impeached I know also that if Princes offend God, it belongeth to the Pastors not to be silent, but to oppose themselues against that euil, by al those wayes & means which God hath permitted, which are courses ful of all re∣spect and farre from any rebellion and sedition. Page 64The faithfull Pastor that shall least of all flatter the Magistrate in his vices, is the man that shall care∣fully retaine the people in their obedience towards the Magistrate, and shall keepe that golden meane which is betweene flattery and sedition. As he must not be a dumbe dogge, so must he not be a furious beast that had neede to be tyed vp.
And to the end that you may know, that these two kindes of subiection doe not iustle or shoulder each other as incompatible; I say that the Princes and the Pastors in a State, are as the will and vn∣derstanding in the soule of a man. The will com∣mandeth the vnderstanding with an absolute com∣maund, which the Greekes call 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Lord-like, inioyning it to study or to learne this or that thing. But the vnderstanding on the other side leadeth on the will by suggestion without com∣maund; the one is done by authority the other by perswasion. So Princes command Pastors, Pastors sollicite and intreate Princes: The respect which Princes owe vnto them is not to their persons, but to their charge and calling, and to the word or message which they bring, for they be not the can∣dle it selfe, but onely the Candlesticke on which it is set,* sent, as our Sauiour saith of S. Iohn, not to be the light, but to beare witnesse of the light: How∣beit this comparison taken from the vnderstanding and the will doth halt in more then one point; for the will cannot constraine the vnderstanding, but Princes may compell Pastors to obey their lawes, and to punish them corporally when they doe a∣misse. Page 65Againe the vnderstanding is to guide the will in al things, but the Prince in an infinite of bu∣sinesse may do well enough without the helpe and counsell of his Clergy, especially in affaires that are temporall and meerely ciuill. Againe the will doth neuer teach the vnderstanding; for it consist∣eth wholly in motion and action; but many Prin∣ces haue reformed their Pastors, and brought them back to their dueties; as did Constantine who in the Councell of Nice stifeled and smothered vp all quarrels among the Bishops by casting their diffa∣matorie libels into the fire: as did Dauid, who ere∣cted new orders in the Temple: and as did Salomon who deposed Abiathar from the Priesthood, being attainted of conspiracy against him. And likewise Ezechias and Ichosaphat, who clensed the Temple and set vp the purity of Gods seruice againe. In this sense, a Synodall Epistle written to Lewes the Courteous, calleth him Rectorem Ecclesiae, gouernor of the Church. And Lewes his young sonne being at Pauia, tooke an account of the liues of the Bi∣shops, and of their diligence in their charge, as Si∣gonius witnesseth in the yeare 855. The same Au∣thour saith in his seuenth booke that Adrian con∣ferred vpon Charlemaigne the honour of gouerne∣ing the Church, and of choosing the Bishoppe of Rome; not that he might change the doctrine of the Church at his pleasure, but only to hold a strait hand for the execution of the things which were enioyned by the word of God.
But Bellarmine addeth for a second reason, That Page 66if the Church (that is to say the Pope) had not the power to dispose of temporall things it could neuer at∣taine to perfection, but should want necessary power to arriue at her intended end: For, saith he, wicked Prin∣ces might without feare of punishment intertaine here∣tickes to the ouerthrow of Religion. This is a reason without reason, and full of impiety, for it accuseth the Church which was in the Apostles times of imperfection; which then had no power at all o∣uer the Temporalty, all things being then in the handes of Infidels. Add hereunto, that Kings might vse the same reason, and say, that their power could not be perfect vnlesse they had the meanes to dis∣pose of spirituall things, for that otherwise wicked Bishops might without feare of punishment be vi∣tious, mutinous, Necromancers and firebrands of sedition against Princes: of all which enormities the Sea of the Bishop of Rome can alone furnish a multitude of examples; yea, after Baronius, Coeffe∣teau himselfe doth confesse,* that many monsters haue sitten vpon that seate▪ The Churches per∣fection doth not consist in a strength, able by force to defend it selfe, but in the purity of prescribing the wholsome meanes of saluation. No otherwise then the perfection of Philosophy dooth not con∣sist in hauing a strong house, or a good sword able to represse those that should hinder her from being taught and professed; but rather in the certainty, perspicuity and sufficiency of her Demonstrations. God who hath neuer suffered that his Church should be extinguished by false teachers which in∣fect Page 67the soules, will not permit that it shall be abo∣lished by wicked Princes which offer violence to the bodies; for whatsoeuer necessity any man can alleadge why he should plucke the Crowne from a lawfull Princes head, yet can there be no necessity of doing any thing contrary to the will of God; as there is no necessity that doth binde a man to bee disloyall, there can be no dispensing with the law of God. God sayth by the mouth of his Apostle,*That euery person ought to be subiect to superior powers for there is no power but of God: Where it is cleare that he speaketh of Princes and temporall Lords, because he addeth, that they beare the sword, as be∣ing the Ministers of God, ordeyned for iustice: And a little after he commaundeth to pay them tribute and customes. Now at the time when the Apostle spake this, neyther the Bishoppe of Rome nor any other did eyther carry the sword or receiue any tribute. Who is he then that can dispense with so precise a commaundement? Or what thing can be more necessary then to obey God? And note moreouer, that if the Pope be the Iudge of this case of necessity, for which Princes ought to be dispossest, it will bee easie for him at any time to say, that it is necessary that this or that King be de∣graded, to the end to make himselfe by that means King of Kings and disposer of their Crownes.
Howbeit let vs a little weigh and consider what this necessity may be, which carrieth on the Pope to plucke from a King his Scepter, and to giue his Crowne to another. Bellarmine alleadgeth but Page 68one, to wit, if it be necessary to saluation. As in case a King be an Hereticke, an Infidell, or a perse∣cutor of the Church, or a fauourer and vpholder of errour. But he would faine hide and conceale from vs that the Pope doth aswell intrude himselfe to dispossesse Kings that are of his Religion, and no way in fault. So in the Decrees of the Romish Church in the 15. Cause, Quaest. 6. in the Canon which beginneth Alius,* the Pope speaketh in this manner: Zachary the Bishop of Rome hath deposed the French King, not so much for his iniquities, as for that he is not fit for, nor capable of so great a power, and hath set vp Pippin the faher of Charles Emperour in his place, and hath discharged all the French-men from their Oath of fidelity.〈◊〉Iulius the second could not accuse Lewes the twelfth, nor Iohn King of Nauarre of heresie: nor yet Sixtus the fift the late king Hen∣ry the third, who notwithstanding were by the Popes thundering Bulles declared to haue beene fallen from their kingdomes.
I freely indeede confesse, that in an Electiue kingdome, when question is made of choosing a new king, they to whom that charge belongeth, ought in no wise to chuse a king that is an Infidell or an Idolater. But it is one thing to speake of a king who is chosen by his subiects; and another, of a king who is a lawfull inheritour, and who is beholding to his birth for his Crowne, and to whom, ouer and aboue, his subiects haue taken the Oath of Alleageance. And therefore the Ar∣gument which Bellarmine draweth from the one Page 69to the other, to proue that Subiects are at no hand to endure a king that is an Heretick or an Infidel, doth not follow vpon good consequence. It a∣uayleth not to say that the danger is like both in the one and the other; for it may so fall out that two things may be alike dangerous, whereof the one may be bad, and the other not: as for example, for a man to receiue in his body the shot of an har∣quebuse from one that did aime to hit him, & from another that did it by chance is alike dangerous, but not alike wicked. And indeede euen in humane pollicy, and without any relation to the comman∣dements of God, it is not expedient that subiects should shake off the yoake of their Prince which is of a different Religion: for this were the next way to estrange Princes and Monarches from Christi∣an Religion, and to make them to haue it in detesta∣tion, as that which counselleth and perswadeth to rebellion, and maketh piety the cause of mutiny. Moreouer the question here is not of the danger, but of the duety, nor yet what may arriue, but what ought to be done; we must not do euill that good may come of it. Many things are lawfull which are not expedient, but there is nothing expedient which is not lawfull When we haue done what we ought to doe, then God will doe what pleaseth him; and he will doe nothing but for the good of his Church, which he cherisheth as the apple of his eye: he hath bought it too deare, that he should be of the minde to destroy it. Now if this rule of the Cardinall be necessary: that it is not permitted Page 70to Christians to suffer a King that is an Hereticke or an Infidell: Saint Paul was very much mistaken in giuing commaundement to obey Nero an Infi∣dell and a persecutor, and the Christians then did not as they ought to haue done, in that they did not stabbe him, or make a myne of powder vnder his house: Bellarmine answereth, that they might iustly haue done it, but that they wanted forces, that is to say,* that if they had been able, they would certainly haue done it, but that they feared to pro∣uoke this Emperor against them, & to haue drawn persecution against the Christians. O blessed Apo∣stle, how fitly to the purpose dost thou stop this e∣uasion, & furnishest vs with an answer that cutteth off all difficultie? for he saith, That we must be subiect to Princes not only for wrath, but euen for conscience sake. He wil that we obey Princes, not only for feare of incurring thier displeasure, but also to satisfie the conscience and our duety towards God. And S. Peter in like manner, in his first Epistle and second Chapter, Submit your selues to all manner ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as to the Superiour, &c. This then is to be done, not on∣ly to stoope and yeelde to the present necessity, but also for Gods sake. And to say truth, could not S. Peter at whose word Ananias and Saphyra gaue vp the ghost, and S. Paul, who in reasoning with E∣lymas the Sorcerer strooke him with blindenesse; could not they, I say, by the same power haue cru∣shed this monster Nero, or haue throne him from the height of the Capitoll.Page 71
But what wil they say if we produce ages, wher∣in Orthodox Christians were the stronger party, and yet did they abstaine from the life or Crowne of the Emperour. Constantius was an Arrian, a∣gainst whom Liberius Bishoppe of Rome did not cast forth his lightnings, neyther did hee attempt to dispossesse him, but vpon the Emperours com∣maund hee went into banishment. After his de∣cease Iulian the Apostata mightily laboured to re∣store Paganisme, at what time almost the whole Empire was Christian; and that which is more, his Armies were composed of Christian souldiers, as Ruffinus witnesseth in the first booke of his Sto∣ry, cap. 1. Theodoret, lib 4. cap. 1. Socrates, lib. 3. cap. 19. And indeed when the Armies after his death con∣ferred the Empire vpon Iouinian a christian Prince, they cryed with one voyce, We are Christians. What could there be more easie then to haue thrust this Apostata from the Empire? And if God hath gi∣uen to the Bishop of Rome this power to degrade Monarches, why was he then wanting to this his duety when there was such a pressing necessity, and so great a facility to haue done it? There liued at that time Gregory Nazianzen, the ornament of his age, who in his first Oration against Iulian, saith, that the Christians at that time had no other remedy a∣gainst the persecutors, saue onely their teares. But if our Popes now a dayes had then liued,* and might haue beene beleeued, they would easily haue fur∣nished other meanes. S. Austin vpon the 124. Psal. speaking of the obedience that the Christians yeel∣ded Page 72to this Iulian,*They made a difference (saith he) betweene the Lord eternall and the Lord temporall, and yet they were subiect to their temporall Lord, because of the Lord eternall. Such a like example we haue in the Emperour Valens an Arrian, and a persecutor, whose officers and people were for the most part faithfull beleeuers, but their Religion neuer brake out into rebellion: The Emperour Valentinian the yonger was infected with Arrianisme, as we see by the 33. Epistle of S. Ambrose, where Valentinian sen∣deth his Colonels and Captaines to dispossesse the Orthodox Christians of the Temple in the Ci∣ty of Milan, & to put in the Arrians. Ambrose & the Christian people withstood him, but with mode∣sty, saying, Rogamus Auguste, non pugnamus. Non ti∣memus, sed rogamus. Whereat Valentinian was so much offended, that he called S. Ambrose‡ tyrant. At the same time one*Maximus a Catholick Prince rebelled against Valentinian, and made him to for∣sake Italy, taking in hand the defence of the true faith against an Emperour that was an Hereticke. What did the Christians then? Did S. Ambrose or the Bishop of Rome commaund the people to o∣bey Maximus, and to rebell against Valentinian? Nothing lesse: nay rather Valentinian by the helpe of Theodosius and the Orthodoxes, was re-establi∣shed in his authority, which greatly serued to set him in the right way. To be short, we finde in the auncient Church many Bishops banished and cha∣stised by Emperours, but neuer any Emperour dis∣possessed of his Empire by the Bishoppe of Rome. Page 73So then Cardinall Bellarmine doth accuse the aun∣cient Bishops of Rome, for that during the oppres∣sion of the Church, they vsed not those means and remedies which they had in their hands, in that they drew onely the spirituall sword, whereas our new Popes skirmish with both hands, and flourish both swords, besides all other dexterities.
Yea futher if the auncient Bishoppes of Rome were in doubt to prouoke the Emperors, for feare of being cause of much slaughter and confusion; why did not this feare with-hold the late Popes from thundring against the Emperours Fredericke Barbarossa and Henry the fourth? Why did they draw on those horrible confusions which filled the west Empire with blood, sacked many townes, and caused threescore maine battels to bee fought?
It is then a manifest corruption of the Scripture, when in the same place he produceth the Epistle of S. Paul, saying to the Corinthians, 1. Cor. 6. that ra∣ther then they shold go to law before vngodly men or Infidels, they should erect those who were of least estimation in the Church, Iudges amongst them: Then he addeth, Is it so, that there is not a wise man amongst you, not one that can iudge betweene his brethren? From this Text Bellarmine maketh this collection, that the Corinthians might esta∣blish new Iudges. This is to take the Scriptures cleane contrary to the meaning of them. For first S. Paul doth not speake of deposing Magistrates; secondly, he doth not speake of erecting new ordi∣nary Offices in the Common-wealth, but to chuse Page 74out from among the faithfull some persons, to compose their differences by arbitrement & peac∣able meanes, rather then to draw blame vpon the Church by bringing their suits and quarrels before Infidels. This is the exposition that Theodoret and Chrysostome giue vpon this place, and Lyranus and Thomas vpon this Epistle. Now if the Cardinall maintaine, that S. Paul doth speake of forsaking the ordinary Iudges, to institute new in their places, let him produce some examples hereof; let him shew vs the practise of it. There he is silent, and for good cause; for who maketh any doubt but that the Christians, if they should haue set vp ordinary Iudges in place of Imperiall Officers, should haue beene held culpable of Leze-maiesty.
The danger which he pretendeth to be intole∣rating an heretical King, cannot beare skale against the commaundement of God. Adde hereunto, that this reason is but weake in the mouth of a Ie∣suite, who holdeth that a Pope,* be he neuer so wic∣ked and a destroyer of the Church, cannot be de∣posed no not by a general Councell; and yet there is greater apparant danger in this, then in the for∣mer.
That which Bellarmine addeth, seemeth to haue beene written by him being asleepe, and is nothing else but a quippe to make men laugh. He proueth that a faithfull people may free themselues from the yoake of a Prince that is an Infidell, that is to say, may rebell against him, and that by the exam∣ple of the beleeuing wife, which by the iudgement Page 75of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 7. is not bound to abide with an husband that is an Infidell, when hee will not dwell with her. Whereunto I answere, first that Similitudes are no proofes: Secondly, this Simili∣tude being rightly taken doth not hurt vs: for as a beleeuing wife is not bound to follow her husband when he forsaketh her, and wil no longer co-habite with her; so I will freely confesse, that subiects are not bound to acknowledge a King, that abando∣neth his subiects, and will no longer be King ouer them, but renounceth his Realme: and this is all that may be drawne from this Comparison. Third∣ly, this Similitude is aduantageous vnto vs; for if we admit the Comparison betweene the conditi∣on of a wife and of subiects, then will it definitiuely determine our Controuersie, and make vs gain the cause. For as while an husband that is an Infidell will abide with his beleeuing wife, she may not for∣sake him, nor shake off her yoake: so while a King that is an Infidell will retayne his soueraignty ouer beleeuing subiects, they may not abandone him nor rebell against him. The wordes of the Apostle are directly to this purpose: If any woman haue an vnbeleeuing husband, and he consent to dwell with her, let her not forsake him.
All that which Bellarmine addeth, is nothing else, but as his manner is, suppositions without proofes. We graunt him that Princes who against their promise, doe warre against the true fayth, de∣serue to be depriued of their Kingdome; but wee denye that this power of depriuing them is in the Page 76Pope. VVe must reserue that iudgement to God, seeing it is he that hath established them, and that (as Tertullian sayth) they are inferiour to GOD alone.*
As touching these wordes spoken to S. PETER; Feed my sheepe, to omit for the present that which S. AVSTIN sayth in his booke of the Christian combate; that Iesus Christ, saying to S. Peter, Feede my lambes, spake the same to the rest; as all the aunci∣ents with one accord doe say, that the power of binding and loosing was giuen to the Apostles, and to the whole Church in the person of S. Peter, to omit this, because I will treat of it in his proper place: I onely say, that albeit this had beene spoken to the Pope, yet might he not for all that chastise Princes with depriuation of their estates, or by rai∣sing a commotion among his subiects, or by impo∣sing fines and amercements vpon his countreyes. This is to enterprete the word Feede, too licenti∣ously, we had neede of new Grammer for this new Diuinity: for the word Feede, which in times past signified to teach and to guide, dooth now a dayes signifie to blast whole kingdomes with the light∣ning of excommunications, to ouerthrow great Monarches, and to sucke and draw out the very substance of the poore people. Beare with our simplicity herein; for so great an abuse in wordes maketh vs to feare a greater in the matter it selfe. To speake barbarously were an euill somewhat tol∣lerable, were it not that Barbarismes doe some∣tymes passe into Heresies, and incongruities in Page 77wordes into incongruity in fayth. Thus the Bishop of Rome calleth himselfe the Pylot and Steer-man of S. Peters Shippe, but he imployeth that barke to trafficke his owne gayne, and S. Peters nets to fish for Princes Crownes, and to entramell whole States and Common-weales. His keyes now a dayes serue onely to open Cofers. His power of loosing only to loose the bonds of fidelity, through a mutinous piety, and a factious Religion, which maketh it self Iudge ouer the consciences of kings, wch euen hateth their Religion because it hateth their rule & gouernment, and maketh, that to be a good subiect, & to be a good Christian, are things that cannot subsist together.
Bellarmines reasons hauing beene very feeble, the examples which he produceth in the Chapter following are lesse currant. He sayeth that Osias king of Iuda was dryuen out of the Temple by the High Priest, and depryued of his kingdome. The text of Scripture is direct to the contrary. It is said 2. King. 15.2. that Osias began to raigne in the six∣teenth yeare of his age, and hee raigned fifty two yeates: so that he liued threescore and eyght years: whence it appeareth that he was King euen vntill his death. In the fift verse Iotham his son during the time of his fathers separation, because of his lepro∣sie, he is not called King but gouernor of his house. And ver. 7. the beginning of the raigne of Iotham is reckoned only from the death of Osias his father.
The example of Athalia driuen from the King∣dome by Iehoiada the high Priest is as little to the*Page 78purpose. For wee speake here of lawfull Princes deposed, and he brings vs an example of a woman th•t vsurped anothers Kingdome by force and tyranny, in which case euery man is allowed to em∣ploy himselfe to expel the vsurper, and to preserue the Kingdome to the lawfull King.
The example of S. Ambose Bishoppe of Millan, who would not receiue the Emperour Theodosius to the communion, by reason of that great slaugh∣ter which his souldiers, at his commaundement, committed at Thessalonica, maketh expresly a∣gainst the Bishop of Rome. For would the Pope now a dayes indure that a Bishoppe of Millan or Colleyne should intrude himselfe to excommuni∣cate Emperours, and to declare them to be fallen from their Empire without his permission? Did Ambrose this by the counsaile or commaundement of the Bishop of Rome? And were it so that Am∣brose had beene, that the Pope now sayth himselfe to be, where will Bellarmine finde that Ambrose did degrade the Emperour, or that he dispensed with his subiects for the Oath of fidelity? Let a man read his three and thirtieth Epistle, and he shall see with how great humilty he submitteth himselfe to an Arrian Emperour, so farre from preaching any reuolt of his subiects from him, that indeede hee willingly offered to dye, and to suffer persecution, if such were the will of the Emperour. As touch∣ing the law which Theodosius imposed vpon him∣selfe by the Counsell of S. Ambrose, which was that from thence forward he would stay the execu∣tion Page 79of any sentence of death vntil the thirtieth day. I cannot see how this can serue to giue vnto the Pope power of deposing Princes; For if Theodosius would not haue followed the counsell of Ambrose; there had beene no harme done. But this good Emperour did of his owne accord yeeld vnto it.
After him followeth Gregory the first; at the end of whose Epistles is found a priuiledge graunted to the Abbey of S. Medard, which hath this clause for the burthen of the Song: If any King, Prelate, Iudge, or secular person what soeuer shall violate the De∣crees of this Apostolicall authority, and of our comman∣dement, be he of what dignity or greatnes soeuer he may be, let him be depriued of his honour. I might say that this is onely an imprecation against Kings, and not a Decree of deposition. But we neede not busie our selues about the sense, seeing that the E∣pistle is false. It is a priuiledge indeed vnto which the name of Gregory is put, to winne the greater credite and authority. The falshood of it appear∣eth first in the Barbarisme of the style; for men did neuer call, neyther at Rome nor in Italy, farmes or possessions by the name of Mansos. It is a word which is found in the Chapter of Charles the great, and of Lewes, which sheweth that this priuiledge was first composed in France, and not written at Rome. Which thing also appeareth in this that he vseth these wordes: Tusiacum & Mortinetum fiscos regios. To call the lands of the Kings Demaines, Fiscos regios is a Barbarisme that may easily befall some French monke; but at Rome this would not Page 80haue beene vnderstood: and you espye the French vaine in these wordes very often repeated, Dominus Medardus, Monsieur S. Medard. Adde hereunto that this priuiledge is absurd and vniust; for it for∣biddes to depose the Abbot of S. Medard howsoe∣uer attainted with crime, vnlesse it be after the Popes pleasure known, and after a Councel assem∣bled, wherein there shall bee found a dousen wit∣nesses, besides the accusers. Now to breake this goodly priueledge is thought to bee a crime, for which a King ought to loose his Kingdome. The cheef poynt is, that the humor of this Gregorie the first, who called himselfe seruant of seruants, doth very much disagree with these so arrogant terms; & which cut after the stile of an earthly Monarch. For writing to Mauricius the Emperor in his third booke and sixt Epistle: But I the vnworthy seruant of your goodnesse.* And a little after, Now I speaking these things to you my Lords, what am I but dust and a very worme? And the King of great Britayne hath wisely obserued in his first booke, that the Empe∣rour Mauricius had commaunded this Gregory to publish a law, which Gregory himselfe condemned as vniust; and yet to obey his Master, he published it. I, sayth he, as one subiect to your commaundement, haue sent these same lawes into diuers Countries; and because they do not agree with God Almighty, I haue by these my letters signified it to my Lords and Masters. How well this Gregory knew to keepe his rancke, and could not finde the way to draw this temporal sword, which yet stucke fast in the scabbard. For an Page 81vpshot of falshoods; so at the end of this goodly priuiledge the subscriptions of the Bishops of A∣lexandria and Carthage, who neuer knew the Ab∣bey of S. Medard, especially the Bishop of Alexan∣dria, who neuer saw Gregory, and who beside that signeth his name very low among the thronge of ordinary witnesses, albeit he neuer thought him∣selfe inferiour in any thing to the Bishop of Rome. After all signeth King Theodoret as inferiour to all the Bishops.
After this Gregory, wee are brought downe to Gregory the second, the great puller downe of Ima∣ges. If we may beleeue Cedrenus and Zonaras great adorers of Images: this Gregory went about to hin∣der the Italians from paying their tributes to Leo Isauricus, who had demolished Images. But Platina who hath most carefully searched out the story of Popes, witnesseth the contrary, and sayth in the life of this Gregory, that vpon order giuen from the Emperour for the breaking downe of Images. The people of Italy were so much moued,*that it wanted but little, but that they had chosen themselues another Em∣perour: but Gregory employed his authority to hinder that matter. Nay further he neuer for all that, de∣clared Leo fallen from the Empire, he did not trans∣late his Scepter to another, he did not dispense with his subiects for their Oath of Alleageance: And yet the Emperour at that time did onely hold a third part of Italy, which was a very small porti∣on of the Empire; so that his tributes of Italy were vnto him of very little value.Page 82
As for Pope Zacharie, when they report in the yeare 750 to haue taken from Childeriche the King∣dome of Fraunce to giue vnto Pipin; and likewise Pope Leo the third, whom men say to haue transla∣ted the Empire of the Greekes to the French by giuing the Empire to Charlemaine. I could con∣uince all this of falshood, and shew that the practise and custome of Popes is to giue vnto some one, that thing which he cannot take from him; Or af∣ter hauing incyted some one to inuade the posses∣sions of his neighbour, to vaunt afterward, and to reproach him; that what he got by rapine he now holdeth by his Holinesse liberality; or as if in the Sacring of the Emperour, because he hath put the Crowne on his head, he should say that he hath giuen him the Empire; as if in the sacring of a King he that hath inaugurated him by performing the Ceremony should bragge that he hath giuen him the Kingdome. By this reason the Bishop of Ostias, who hath had for a long time the right of consecrating the Pope, should haue bin aboue the Popes: and the Bishop of Millan should giue the Kingdome of Italy to the Emperour, because from him he is to receiue a Crowne of Iron: but this be∣longeth to another discourse, neyther is the proofe of it necessary to this purpose. For had these Bi∣shops done much worse then this, yet could not their example serue for a rule, vnlesse it be shewed where and when God gaue them this power. For is it credible that the Bishops of Rome could haue had in their hands this power neare eight hundred Page 83yeares together without enploying it? or that they suffered this temporall sworde to hang rusting on a pinne, without euer making vse of it, vntill that after many ages this Zachary bethought himselfe of putting it to seruice in an action which the Church of Rome it selfe confesseth to bevniust? Seeing that the Canon Alius, before aleadged, sayth, that Childericke was not deposed for any cryme, but because Pipin was more capable of gouernement then he. How many Emperours and Kings vnfit to gouerne were there before this Childericke, whose Crownes the Popes neuer tou∣ched? But this Pope flattered Pipin to the end to be succoured by him against the Lumbards, who kept him in seruitude.
Now to shut vp this whole matter, seeing that the Pope doth challenge to himselfe this power o∣uer Kings, who is it that hath giuen it vnto him? Is it from the vnwritten worde? Is it a custome au∣thorised by the time? or suffered by Princes? or slid it along by the fauour and sleepinesse of an age that liued in darkenesse? Or if God hath giuen him this power, let him produce his Title, let him shew the clauses of this Donation.
2. Againe, If Christ left a Successour or Liefte∣nant here on earth, it is certayne that he can exer∣cise no other charge then that which Iesus Christ did, being in the world. Now he did neuer degrade Kings, nor translate Empyres. Nay how is it like he would haue done that, seeing that he could not be intreated to become a Iudge betweene priuate Page 84men in a Controuersie that was of ciuill nature. He that teacheth vs to yeelde tribute to Caesar is it likely that hee would haue left a Lieftenant that should make Caesar himselfe tributary.
3. If it be so, that S. Peter or any other Apostle had this power ouer Kingdomes: where dooth it appeare that euer he exercised it? And to what end serueth an authority without the execution? Or where did this power of the Bishops ouer the tem∣porality of Kings lie couring all this while, that it should need to be rouzed vp some eleuen hundred yeares after Iesus Christ?
4 Moreouer, It is God that giueth Kings and Princes their power, as Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar though an Infidel.*Thou O King art a King of Kings, because the God of heauen hath giuen thee a Kingdome, and power, and strength, and glory. And the Apostle, Rom. 13.1. hath tolde vs that all powers are orday∣ned of God. Now that which God giueth, man cannot take away. Let the Pope take away if it please him, that which himselfe hath giuen: let him take his Cardinals redde hattes, Archbishops pals, if euer he gaue any without money; Let him giue out against them that holde Benefices from him, that their Benefices are deuolted vnto him by lapse, but let him abstaine from the Crowes of Kings, let him not touch the Lords annoynted.
5. Adde hereunto those passages which the King of great Britaine hath learnedly obserued in his Apology, by which he proueth, that God wil∣leth that his pleople yeelde obedience to Kings e∣uen Page 85to Infidels. So in the 27. of Ieremie; Submit your neckes vnder the yoake of the King of Babell, and serue him and his people: and cap. 29. Seeke the peace of the Citie whether I haue carried you, and pray for it; for in her peace you shall haue peace This was farre from mouing them to reuolt. Thus did the Isra∣elites obey Pharaoh: And euen then when the Kings of Iuda were Idolaters, as Ahaz and Ma∣nasse, yet did the High Priests neuer for all that in∣cite the people to Rebellion. The Emperour Nero was a prodigious monster for all kinde of wicked∣nesse, notwithstanding S. Paul would haue men to obey him for conscience sake,* and for feare of of∣fending God. But wee now a dayes stand vpon better termes: for if wee ought to obey a Prince that is a Pagan, euen for conscience sake in Ciuill causes; how much more one that is truely a Chri∣stian? And if a Tygre that hath climed to the top of the Empire, how much more a Prince that is wise and mercifull, who preserueth the liues of those that desire his death? And if we may not obey any man that leadeth and commaundeth a mutiny and treason; how much lesse ought we to obey the Pope, whose Empire is founded vpon the ruines of the Gospell, and who being prodigall of the blood of those who are his, draweth persecution vpon them, to the end that they for him may loose goods and life, yea and life eternall?
Now if any man vnwilling to enter this list, shal say that this is a matter of pollicy, and that we prye into matters of State; such a one by his tergiuer∣sation Page 86wil more ouerthrow the Popes power, then if hee had expresly fought against it. For if this power be a point without the compasse of Religi∣on, it followeth thereupon that it is not sounded vpon the word of God: And if God had spoken of it in his worde, it were a point of Religion to be∣leeue it. The Pope then is to blame for making such bragges of his keyes in this case, if it be nothing but a matter of pollicy, and such as hath no sparke of Diuinity in it: which thing Pope Clement the fift, doth couertly confesse in the extrauagant Meruit:* where he declareth that he doth not vnderstand that the extrauagant Vnam Sanctam of Boniface the eight, which giueth to the Pope soueraigne power ouer the Temporalties of Kingdomes as well as o∣uer the Spiritualtie, could bring any preiudice to the Kingdome of France, to make it more subiect to the Church of Rome, then before it was, but re∣integrateth the said Kingdome into the same estate that it was before the abouesaid definition of Boni∣face, and that in acknowledgement of the merites of King Philip the faire, albeit hee had somewhat rudely accorded matters with Boniface. Let the Reader weigh and consider this point aduisedly. For in this extrauagant (which Bellarmine dooth ap∣proue and commend) Pope Boniface foundeth his pretensions ouer the Temporalties of Princes, vp∣pon many passages of the word of God. He mea∣neth then that his right is by the lawe of God: where against King Philip hedoth maintaine, that in temporal things he is subiect to no man. Within Page 87a while after Clement the fift passed it so, in fauor of the King, and exempted him from the rigour of this Bull; the Pope then made bolde to dispense with the law of God: or if on the other side it be no∣thing else but an humane positiue law, then Boni∣face dealt very wickedly in seeking to ground it vp∣pon the holy Scripture. But why shall Fraunce a∣lone be exempted from this yoake and other King∣domes shall be enforced to beare it? Could Philips merites dispense with him for obeying the word of God produced by Boniface. These Popes make a Religion of waxe, depending vpon the conditions of the times, and the traine of their affaires, and make it a prop of their Dominion: they stretch it and shorten it like a stirrup leather, fitting not their wils to Religion, but Religion to their will. Now if Philip had bin Master of Rome and absolutecom∣mander in Italy, the Bishops of Rome would haue thrown themselues on their knees before him, as did Pope Adrian in the second Counsell of Nice, 2. Act. and would haue called themselues wormes, dust, and his petty-seruants as did Gregory the first, writing to Mauricius.