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pope, neither of himself, or by any authority by the church and see of Rome, or by any other meanes, with any other, hath any power or authority to depose the king, or lo dispose of any of his majesty's dominions or kingdoms, or to authorize any foreigne prince to invade or annoy him or his countreyes, or to discharge any of his subjects of their allegiance and obedience to his majesty, or to give license, or leave, to any of them to bear arms, raise tumults, or to offer any violence or hurt to his majesty's royal person, state, or government, or to any of his majesty's subjects within his majesty's dominions.
“ Also I do swear from my heart, that notwithstanding any declaration or sentence of excommunication or deprivation made or granted, or to be made or granted, by the pope or his successors, or by any authority derived, or pretended to be derived, from him or his see, against the said king, his aires or successors, or any absolution of the saids subjects from their obedience; I will bear faith and true allegiance to his majesty, his aires and successors, and him and them will defend to the uitermost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts what. soever, which shall be made against his, or their persones, their crowne and dignity, be reason, or colour of any such sentence, and declaration, or otherwise; and will do my best endeavour to disclose and make known unto his majesty, his aires and successors, all treasons, or traitours, or conspiracies, which I shall know or hear of, to be against him or any of them. And I do furder swear, that I do from my heart abhore, detest, and abjure, as impious and heretical, this damnable position and doctrine, that princes which be excommunicated or deprived by the pope, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other whatsomever. And I do believe, and in conscience am resolved, that neither the pope, nor any person whatsomever, hath power to absolve me of this oath, or any part thereof, which I acknowledge, by good and lawful authority, to be lawfully ministered to me; and do renounce all pardons and dispensations to the contrary. And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge, and swear according to these express words by me spoken, and according to the plane and common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this recognition and acknowledgment heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian. So help me God.”
The latter part of this oath is founded upon the well known casuistry of Papists, countenanced by some of their high doctrinal authorities, that it was lawful to say one thing and think another, even when upon oath, if it were to serve any important purpose ;* and the whole shows the great jealousy with which Papists were regarded. It did not, however, serve the purpose intended by it. “How egregiously was the king deceived, not considering the persons and the religion he had to do with ? His boasted kingcraft was overmatched and outwitted by Jesuitical priestcraft. If they had not art enough to untie
" One may swear that he has not done a thing, although in fact he may have done it, by understanding, in his own mind, that he did not do it on a certain day, or before he was born, or any similar circumstance, without the words which he uses having any sense that would let it be known. And this is very convenient in many situations, and is always very just, when it is necessary, or useful for health, honour, or property.” Sanchez, Op. Mor. as quoted from Pascal's Provincial Lotters by Mr. Carlisle of Dublin.
the knot, they had a spiritual sword ready to cut it. Accordingly, they derided his folly (and not altogether unjustly) for imagining that the consciences of Catholics were to be bound with such ropes of straw, or caught and held by such cobwebs. Let us hear the words of Paschenius, who, as well as Bellarmine, wrote against the king, and in condemnation of the oath; and they are words which deserve the particular attention of our present legislators :—Sed vide in tanta astutia, quanta sit simplicitas! &c. See, in so great craft, what great simplicity doth bewray itself. When he had placed all his security in that oath, he thought he had found such a manner of oath, knit with so many circumstances, that it could not, with safety of conscience, by any means, be dissolved by any man. But he could not see, that, if the pope did dissolve that oath, all the tyings of it, whether of performing fidelity to the king, or of admitting no dispensation, would be dissolved together. Yea, I will say another thing which is more admirable. You know, I suppose, that an unjust oath, if it be evidently known, or openly declared to be such, bindeth no man, but is ipso facto null. That the king's oath is unjust, hath been suffi. ciently declared by the pastor of the church himself, (i. e. the pope.) You see, therefore, that the obligation of it is vanished into smoke : so that the bond, which by so many wise men was thought to be of iron, is become less than straw." Free Thoughts, p. 234. The author refers to B. P. Epist. J. R. Bishop Usher's Sermon before the Commons, 1620.
So, it seems, if the pope should declare an oath which has been taken by a Papist to a Protestant sovereign, to be unlawful, it is ipso facto null, and of no obligation. Such is the doctrine of a grave popish writer; so far as appears it was the popular doctrine of ihe day; and the pope acted upon it when he relieved subjects from their oaths of allegiance.
The following is the oath imposed by the act of King William, which is more severe than that of King James, as it implies an express renunciation of many of the doctrinal tenets of the church of Rome.
“ The formula, or oath of purgation, appointed by the act of King William, to be taken by Papists in Scotland.
“I, A. B., do sincerely from my heart profess, and declare before God, who searcheth the heart, that I do deny, disown, and abhore these tenets and doctrines of the papal Romish church, viz. the supremacy of the pope and bishops of Rome over all pastors of the Catholic church; his power and authority over kings, princes, and states; the infallibility that he pretends to, either without or with a general council; his power of dispensing and pardoning; the doctrine of transubstantiation, and the corporeal presence, with the communion without the cup in the sacrament of the Lord's supper; the adoration and sacrifice professed and practised by the popish church in the mass; the invocation of angels and saints; the worshipping of images, crosses, and relics; the doctrine of supererogation, indulgences, and purgatory; and the service and worship in an unknown tongue: all which tenets and doctrines of the said church, I believe to be contrary to, and inconsistent with, the written word of God. And I do from my heart deny, disown, and disclaim the said doctrines and tenets of the church of Rome, as in the presence of God, without any equivo
cation, or mental reservation, but according to the plain meaning of the words as to me offered and proposed. So help me God.” Free Thoughts, p. 388.
The above was required under an act intituled, An act to prevent the growth of popery, which imposed certain penalties and disabilities on those who should refuse to make a solemn renunciation of popery in the above terms. This act is repealed by “ An act for requiring a certain form of oath or abjuration, from his majesty's subjects professing the Roman Catholic religion, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, 3d June, 1793."
In the preamble of this act, it is declared that, “the foresaid formula, (that of King William,) contains only a renunciation of speculative and dogmatical opinions, but imports no positive assurance of the submission and attachment of persons making the same to the laws and constitution of the realm, or to the person of his most sacred majesty." It is then enacted, “that from henceforth, all persons professing the Roman Catholic religion, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, who shall take and subscribe the oath, abjuration, and declaration hereinafter expressed, and in the manner hereby directed and required, shall be exempted and relieved from all the pains, penalties, and disabilities imposed, enacted, revived, ratified, and confirmed by the before mentioned act of the eighth and ninth session of the first parliament of King William the Third, as fully and effectu. ally, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as if such persons had actually made the renunciation of popery thereby ordained, according to the formula thereunto subjoined.
" II. And be it farther enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the oath, abjuration, and declaration to be so taken and subscribed, shall be in the words following, (that is to say :)
“ I, A. B., do hereby declare, that I do profess the Roman Catholic religion: I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his majesty, King George the Third, and him will defend, to the utmost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatever, that shall be made against his person, crown, or dignity; and I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose, and make known to his majesty, his heirs and successors, all treasons, and traitorous conspiracies which may be formed against him or them: And I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and defend, to the utmost of my power, the succession of the crown, which succession, by an act (intituled, An act for the further limitation of the crown, and better securing the rights and liberties of the subjects) is, and stands limited to the Princess Sophia, electress and duchess dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants; hereby utterly renouncing and abjuring any obedience or allegiance unto any other person, claiming or pretending a right to the crown of these realms: And I do swear, that I do reject and detest, as an unchristian and impious position, that it is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for, or under pretence of their being heretics or infidels; and also that unchristian and impious principle, that faith is not to be kept with heretics or infidels : And I further declare, that it is not an article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion, that princes excommunicated by the pope and
council, or any authority of the see of Rome, or by any other authority whatsoever, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any person whatsoever: And I do promise, that I will not hold, maintain, or abet any such opinion, or any other opinion contrary to what is expressed in this declaration: And I do declare, that I do not believe that the pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm: And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatever, and without any dispensation already granted by the pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, or any person whatever, and without thinking that I am, or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the pope, or any other person or authority whatsoever, shall dispense with, or annul the same, and declare that it was null or void. SO HELP ME God.”
“This document,” according to AMICUS VERITATIS, “is approved by the pope, and all the Catholic bishops in the three kingdoms; it is also received, and accredited by the British government, as containing the principles of Catholics.” It is certainly very natural that the British government should receive and accredit one of its own statutes for all the purposes expressed by it; but the statute referred to, does not declare the principles of Catholics, as any one may see that reads it. It calls these principles “speculative and dogmatical opinions," with which it professes to have nothing to do, farther than to repeal an act, which made it a crime to hold such opinions. That it is approved by “the pope, and all the Catholic bishops in the three kingdoms," is a matter of
very little importance,—it is the manner of such dignitaries, to approve
of any thing that serves their present purpose. We know that the pope approved of the usurpation of Bonaparte, so far as to crown him, and bless him as his dear son in the faith, because he could not help it. Neither can he help bis adherents in Britain, or procure for them the privileges which they desire, without their taking the oath of allegiance, which the law requires; he therefore approves of their taking it. But as he has never by any public act that I know of, renounced his right to dispense with the oaths of his adherents, we · have no security that he will not do what was often done by his predecessors, whenever he shall think proper; especially when he finds that it will promote the interest of the holy see.
On this act, Amicus Veritatis takes his stand; and he may stand there long enough before he will get the act to speak what he ascribes to it,—that it never was a doctrine of the Catholic church, that a pope or a bishop could grant an indulgence to commit sin.
In addition to several documents which I have produced on this subject in former numbers, I shall subjoin one which speaks plainly to the point. It is “An INDULGENCE, granted by Pope Clement VI. to John and Joan, king and queen of France, and to their successors
Clement, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to our most dear son and daughter in Christ, the illustrious John and Joan, king and
queen of France, greeting, and our apostolic benediction. Your desires we willingly approve of, and especially those, wherein may God graciously give you that peace and repose of soul you piously seek after; hence it is, that we, ready to answer your humble request, do, by our apostolic authority, grant by these presents, an indulgence for ever hereafter, to you and your successors, that for the time being, shall be kings and queens of France; and to every of you and them: That such confessor, regular or secular, you and they shall choose, may commute, for such vows as you may have already made; or which by you or your successors may be hereafter made; (vows touching the holy land, the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of chastity and continence only excepted;) and also such oaths by you taken, and by you and them to be taken, in all times coming, that
and they cannot profitably keep: By other works of piety, as to him shall seem expedient towards God, and for the peace of your and their souls. Be it, therefore, utterly unlawful to any upon earth, to annul this our grant, or by any aet of temerity to controvert the same. And be it known to any one, that presumptuously attempts so to do, that he forthwith incurs the wrath of Almighty God, and of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at Avignon, 12 Calend. Maii, ann. 1347.” See Dacherius, Spicileg. miscell
. Epistolar, Tom. 4, p. 275, quoted in Protestant Catechism, Glasgow, 1779.
PAPISTS NOW DISAVOW THE DOCTRINE THAT FAITH IS NOT TO BE KEPT WITH HERE
TICS. THE DILEMMA TO WHICH THEY ARE THUS REDUCED. MR. PITT'S INQUIRIES ON THIS SUBJECT, ADDRESSED TO THEIR UNIVERSITIES. BUT THE PRINCIPLE HAS BEEY MAINTAINED AND ACTED UPON. DECREE OF GREGORY VII.; OF MARTIN V.; AND OF GREGORY IX. OTHER POPES HAVE ADOPTED THE SAME MAXIM. THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE SANCTIONED IT. AND THEN, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR PRINCIPLES, BURNT JOHN HUSS. COUNCIL OF TRENT. PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION IN THE CASE OF A MAN IN GLASGOW, WHO ABANDONED HIS WIFE BECAUSE SHE WAS A PROTESTANT.
SATURDAY, January 20, 1819. "With what a face of effrontery,” says Amicus VERITATIS, your correspondent come forward and declare to the public, that such are the principles of a body of men, who have been celebrated for every Christian virtue, and who publicly abjure, upon the most solemn oaths, the abominable principles imputed to them?". In my last number, I gave the words of the solemn oath, or abjuration, which Papists in this country are required by law to make, from which my readers will see that they abjure none of the principles which I had imputed to them; that it is merely an oath of civil allegiance, an abjuration of any claim of civil authority which the pope, or any foreign prince, may claim in this country, and a disavowal of one speculative, or rather practical principle of their church,—that faith is not to be kept with heretics. I had not, in any of the letters which my opponent was answering, brought this charge against his church; but I bring it now.
I am aware that I am entering upon an odious part of my sub