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an ecclesiastical system: its dogma might have been entirely different, or varied by degrees of more or less, and yet its ecclesiastical system be the same, or very similar. Not that we are ignorant of the fact, that doctrines and Church politics act in the most lively method upon each other; so that it would be hard, in some cases, to distinguish whether the mode of Church government has most modified the doctrine, or the doctrine has given rise to the mode of government. We hold this fact of mutual influence strongly, and yet venture to regard the Papacy, in its development, as the normal exposition of an ecclesiastical idea, rather than of a system of doctrinal truths, reported to have been revealed from Heaven for the regeneration of mankind. Those who hold the same view with ourselves of this matter will see, in the proclivity of the early converts to fall back into a modified Judaism, evidence in favour of that view in the scope an imitation of its ceremonial would give for a more splendid ritual, as the Church grew in wealth, taste, and worldliness; in the gratification which a priestly status would minister to official pride; and in the fiscal advantages which reversion to the old system would furnish in the shape of tithes and oblations. Tithes are certainly Jewish, and can claim none other than a Jewish sanction and paternity; hence a pontificate on the Jewish model would claim support on a Jewish basis. Hippolytus, of Portus, at the close of the second century, talks of "the grace, both of high-priesthood and of teaching, as belonging to the order of bishops."-(Bunsen's "Hippolytus," vol. i., 333.) This conformity had worked itself into the most definite shape, and most exorbitant claims, by the fourth and fifth centuries. We quote the "Apostolical Constitutions"-a compilation of probably the fourth age of the Church :
"O Bishop, be careful worthily to maintain your place and dignity, as . . presiding over all mortals, be they priests, kings, princes, fathers, children, doctors; for all are alike subject to you.
"In the same manner as the Levites, who ministered at the Tabernacle of testimony, which is the exact type of the Church, received liberally their portion of all those things that were offered unto God. . . so likewise, ye Bishops, who labour in the field of God, shall live by the Church; since, in your quality, ye also are both priests and Levites to your people in the holy Tabernacle, which is the holy Catholic Church."
In the same document, and on this ground of the conformity of the Christian to the Jewish system, the laity are extorted to pay to their Bishop, "as the priest of God," their first-fruits and their tithes, their heave-offerings and their gifts, the first produce of their corn-fields, their wine and their oil, their fruits, their wool-"in short, of all that God had given" unto them.
The blasphemous Dominus Deus Papa almost finds its precedent in those same sorry compilations of this early date; for it is said in them, "Since the Lord called Moses God, so let the Bishop be venerated as God, and the Deacon as the prophet of God."
We look upon Popery, then, as a Christian reproduction of the traditional temple system of the Jews; and Protestantism, or Pauline Christianity, as the child of the synagogue, or conventicle system of the Jews. For hundreds of years these two systems had subsisted together in Palestine-the one a sacerdotal, the other a laic institution; sometimes in friendly relation to each other, but sometimes, we doubt not, antagonistic: the one system nourishing the intellect, feeding the mind with Scripture, developing religious talent, didactic in the best sense-a school of Scripture morals; the other a system of shows and pomps, of exactions and imposts-addressing itself to sense-gratifying the eye and ear-claiming to rule, and demanding unquestioning obedience.
And this synagogue-origin and propagation of Christianity accounts, in part, for its ready acceptance and rapid transit over regions occupied by the foreign Jews. No foxes with firebrands found more tinderlike fuel amongst the shocks and standing corn of the Philistines, than the torch-bearers of Christianity amongst the followers of Moses in Gentile countries. For them the Synagogue was their religious home their temple-the scene and sum of their worship. A doctrine, therefore, which appealed to the Scriptures, read in their simple sanctuary every Sabbath, and which claimed for its basis the spiritual and more Divine interpretation of those Scriptures, and which, moreover, in its officership adopted the pattern of the Synagogue, could not fail to be acceptable. A Temple-religion was local, confined, sectarian, had it been free from every other objection; but here was one adapted, by its simple, social, comprehensive character, for diffusion throughout the world, whilst its doctrines realized every good, were sublime, pure, charitable, and consoling to the highest degree. Apart from Divine influence of which, however, we never lose sight-we behold, in the Synagogue-cast of genuine, simple, primitive Christianity, an adaptation for progress amongst the Synagogue communities of the Jews, wherever they were scattered.
We hold with Paya in his monograph, and with the authorities on which his statements are based, that both bishops and deacons, the early functionaries in the Christian officerhood, found their prototype in the Jewish synagogue. This is, at least, interesting as a speculation -if not important as a fact-and allowably not essential to our argument. It by no means follows thence, as some in their alarm might surmise, that our modern episcopate must claim our exclusive homage on the ground of the undoubted antiquity of its name. The fairer inference would be that our episcopate must revert to the simplicity of its prototype in the Synagogue before it can take full advantage of its early origin. If the episcopate of the present day and the episcopate of an earlier day are two different things, the mere continuance of the name will not entitle the latter to a veneration earned by a less-developed constitution in the former.
That a separate jurisdiction should grow up in the heart of Christianity apart from the civil power, an imperium in imperio, arose from
the sheer necessity of the case. Christianity was not of this world —was an exotic in an unfriendly spot-and its nature, codes, exigencies demanded an avoidance of litigation before heathen courts of law. (1 Cor. vi. 1-7.) Questions of marriage, morals, property, must soon have arisen, with increasing numbers of proselytes, requiring a judicious and vigorous administration-a necessity which at once tended to cloak official persons with growing influence and power. After the persecutions of early Christianity, which had abated nearly all their virulence before the close of the second century, and which, in the very earliest ages, had befallen the Christians from their supposed identity with the turbulent and factious Jews, rather than from any special distrust directed against themselves, the Christian population of most places, and pre-eminently of Rome, had attained sufficient importance to make friendly relations with them a matter of moment to the civil ruler. These relations would naturally establish themselves with the functionaries of the body, the bishops of the churches, or the chief bishop of the metropolis. The influence of the ecclesiastical officers would, during the troubled period of its growth, become all the greater from its being, in a large degree, a moral influence, and from the Christian institution being a permanent one, while Imperial Rome was torn with dynastic and civil convulsions. The emperor's, or prætor's, or ædile's most loyal subjects, and most easily-managed fellow-citizens, would, in every case, be the quiet, unwarlike, unobtrusive members of the Kingdom of Christ. By this time, too, what with bequests, donations, and exactions where required, what with trusteeships, superintendencies, and wardenships of deceased and existing wards and properties, the leading officers of the Churches were become rich and powerful. The Church had risen to a corporation, and places of prominence in it had become offices charged with influence and loaded with emoluments-objects for ambition to aim at and avarice to covet. These functionaries grew into supreme authorities in their own circle-one of daily increasing extent and, as they grew internally in power, were hailed as coadjutors, in the government of the State, by the civil ruler. Not less in Pagan than in Christian times, the officers of the Church claimed the decision of all questions relating to matrimony and its kindred questions nullitates matrimoniorum, successiones, and hereditates-a conjunction of topics still existing in the title and business of our Court of Probate and Divorce. They also exercised that right of censure, which, where it is simply confined to the exclusion of unworthy members, must be conceded to every Christian organization. whatsoever, but which, where it deals in temporal pains and penalties, or effloresces into the enormous wickedness of Papal excommunication, not only encroaches upon the office of the magistrate, but violates every instinct of humanity and every definition of spiritual office.
Long before the transfer of the Imperial seat from Old Rome to New, A.D. 329, the Bishops of the quondam capital of the Empire, claimed by their metropolitan position, and on the ground of their supposed connection with the Apostle Peter, jurisdiction over all the
churches of Christendom. The Patriarch of Constantinople, a new creation of the Emperor, could only boast of his political consideration, as Ecclesiastical Head of the new capital and diocese of Thrace; but, on all ecclesiastical grounds, must rank inferior to Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. The claims of so ancient a See as that of Rome only shone the more signally in comparison with the novel rank and installation of the Byzantine dignitary, while the political importance of the Italian bishop took enormous strides from the date which found him residing in Rome, away from the immediate control of the Emperor, and the eclipsing contrast of courtly splendour. Any historical survey of the successive steps which marked the usurpations, encroachments, luxuries, and vices of the Popes of Rome as a secular power, must be necessarily brief to adapt it for publication in our pages. We shall, nevertheless, endeavour to indicate a few traces of progress, and exhibit some of the more remarkable phenomena in its state of fact or opinion which has gone to create the monstrous "regiment" of the Papacy, and to inflict its oppressive and unholy despotism on mankind.
At the same time, we feel bound to admit that one of its most influential claims to power arose from the fact that, amongst the Churches of the first three centuries, the Church at Rome ever opposed a steady front to the vagaries of heresy and unbelief. That enormous endowment of practical wisdom and common sense, and the power which such a faculty is certain to accumulate in its hands, which were characteristic of Pagan Rome, were also the gift of the Christian Church domiciled in that city and recruited from its inhabitants. Corinthians and Nicolaitans could find a field for their speculations in Asia Minor, Basilidians at Alexandria, and Simonites, Ebionites, and Valentinians in Palestine, but no Gnostic or Marcionite heresy could long look the steady practical good sense of the Western mind in the face, and maintain its standing-ground. The fanciful Oriental theosophies and religious dreams of ascetic enthusiasm, when submitted to the test of an understanding that had grown up amid the bustle of commerce, the pomp of courts, the clash of the Campus Martius, and the cultivation of the Forum, melted into thin air, and appeared the shadowy things they were. This had so often proved the case in regard to prevalent heresies and phantasms imported into the metropolis of the world, and there extinguished by the united action of the Christian body and its rulers, that the decisions of that Church on doctrinal and ecclesiastical questions became invested with an importance to the Churches without, which their veneration in the first instance volunteered, and afterwards, when it was claimed, conceded. An honourable testimony, on this ground, must be borne to the history of religious dogma in Rome in early days. Many doctrines of the Bible of the first importance found a faithful champion and advocate in the Church at Rome.
There appears to have grown up, indeed, from its stability, its antiquity, its political influence, its wealth, its numbers, its intelli
gence, its habitual orthodoxy, and, even from its own presumption on all these grounds, a degree of deference in other Churches towards the Church of Rome and its prelates, which afterwards was demanded as a right upon other and fictitious grounds, just as an exacting member of a family, an invalid, for instance, receiving peculiar attention out of sympathy and kind feeling, afterwards angrily resents the denial of the same attention, as if it were robbed of an inheritance or undoubted peculium. On any legal or evangelical, any just or cognizable grounds, this deference does not seem to have rested; rather, we should say, upon easiness in concession, and the operation of circumstances on the one hand, and audacity of self-assertion on the other. So Tertullian treated it in the close of the second century, who with disgust refuses to acknowledge the title of pontifex maximus, and episcopus episcoporum, assumed at that early day by the Bishop of Rome. Depudicitia, § 1.
After the accession of Constantine, these claims of precedence and authority were more freely acknowledged, as Rome became invested with the twofold character of the religious as well as the political capital of the world. All the authority resulting from her social and religious station had now become the subject of State recognition and positive legislation, and the mind of the Churches, in consequence, felt itself subdued and humbled, and prepared silently to acquiesce in claims resolutely asserted. Under the new circumstances in which the Church of Rome was placed, by State patronage, the rule and practice of Roman Church government naturally assimilated itself to the forms of imperial polity. Accordingly her admonitions assumed the tone of mandates, her interferences the character of rescripts and ordinances ; her discipline was presented to the world as the model by which other Churches were to shape their own; and her ritual as the pure Apostolic order of devotion, from which none could depart without the sin, or at least the danger of schism. The secularism of the Church of Rome, properly so called, takes its date from its patronage by Constantine. Before this it was rich, pretentious, haughty, but could not fairly be called a worldly institution.
Ammianus Marcellinus, the historian, representing the heathen remnant of that period, thus describes the pomp and circumstance of the Roman Pontiff and his Church-a representation to be received with caution, on account of the animus of the writer, but not therefore to be hastily rejected:" When I consider the love of distinction which actuates all who aspire to dignities in this city, I naturally expect that all who are anxious for the episcopate, would not shrink from any expedient of faction to obtain it. For thereby the successful candidate gains the opportunity of fattening upon the oblations of matrons; of being conveyed about in State carriages; of appearing in public in costly dresses; of giving banquets so profuse as to surpass even royal splendour." The term faction here probably refers to the disputed pontificate of Damasus and Ursinus, when the rival factions shed blood copiously on both sides in their struggle for the Papal chair. Of the peculation attendant on the distribution of alms by the