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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Sir Isaac Newton :: Daniel and Revelation

Sir Isaac Newton :: Chapter 8. Of the power of the eleventh horn of Daniel’s fourth Beast, to change times and laws.

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Part I. Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel.

Chap. 8.

Of the power of the eleventh horn of Daniel’s fourth Beast, to change times and laws.

In the reign of the Greek Emperor Justinian, and again in the reign of Phocas, the Bishop of Rome obtained some dominion over the Greek Churches, but of no long continuance. His standing dominion was only over the nations of the Western Empire, represented by Daniel's fourth Beast. And this jurisdiction was set up by the following Edict of the Emperors Gratian and Valentinian.- Volumus ut quicunque judicio Damasi, quod ille cum Concilio quinque vel septem habuerit Episcoporum, vel eorum qui Catholici sunt judicio vel Concilio condemnatus fuerit, si juste voluerit Ecclesiam retentare, ut qui ad sacerdotale judicium per contumeliam non ivisset: ut ab illustribus viris Praefectis Praetorio Galliae atque Italiae, authoritate adhibita, ad Episcopale judicium remittatur, sive a Consularibus vel Vicariis, ut ad Urbem Romam sub prosecutione perveniat. Aut si in longinquioribus partibus alicujus ferocitas talis emerserit, omnis ejus causeae edictio ad Metropolitae in eadem Provincia Episcopi deduceretur examen. Vel si ipse Metropolitanus est, Romam necessario, vel ad eos quos Romanus Episcopus judices dederit, sine delatione contendat.-Quod si vel Metropolitani Episcopi vel cujuscunque sacerdotis iniquitas est suspecta, aut gratia; ad Romanum Episcopum, vel ad Concilium quind ecim finitim orum Episcoporum accersitum liceat provocare; modo ne post examen habitum, quod definitum fuerit, integretur. {See the Annals of Baronius, Anno 381. Sect. 6.} This Edict wanting the name of both Valens and Theodosius in the Title, was made in the time between their reigns, that is, in the end of the year 378, or the beginning of 379. It was directed to the Praefecti Praetorio Italiae & Galliae, and therefore was general. For the Praefectus Praetorio Italiaegoverned Italy, Illyricum occidentale and Africa; and the Praefectus Praetorio Galliae governed Gallia, Spain, and Britain.

The granting of this jurisdiction to the Pope gave several Bishops occasion to write to him for his resolutions upon doubtful cases, whereupon he answered by decretal Epistles; and henceforward he gave laws to the Western Churches by such Epistles. Himerius Bishop of Tarraco, the head city of a province in Spain, writing to Pope Damasus for his direction about certain Ecclesiastical matters, and the Letter not arriving at Rome till after the death of Damasus, A. C. 384; his successor Siricius answered the same with a legislative authority, telling him of one thing: Cum hoc fieri-missa ad Provincias a venerandae memoriae praedecessore meo Liberio generalia decreta, prohibeant. Of another: Noverint se ab omni ecclesiastico honore, quo indigne usi sunt, Apostolicae Sedis auctoritate, dejectos. Of another: Scituri posthac omnium Provinciarum summi Antistites, quod si ultro ad sacros ordines quenquam de talibus esse assumendum, & de suo & de aliorum statu, quos contra Canones & interdicta nostra provexerint, congruam ab Apostolica Sede promendam esse sententiam. And the Epistle he concludes thus: Explicuimus, ut arbitror, frater charissime, universa quae digesta sunt in querelam; & ad singulas causas, de quibus ad Romanam Ecclesiam, utpote ad caput tui corporis, retulisti; sufficientia, quantum opinor, responsa reddidimus. Nunc fraternitatis tuae animum ad servandos canoes, & tenenda decretalia constituta, magis ac magis incitamus: ad haec quae ad tua consulta rescripsimus in omnium Coepiscoporum perferri facias notionem; & non solum eorum, qui in tua sunt dioecesi constituti, sed etiam ad universos Carthaginenses ac Boeticos, Lusitanos atque [a] Gallicos, vel eos qui vicinis tibi collimitant hinc inde Provinciis, haec quae a nobis sunt salubri ordinatione disposita, sub literarum tuarum prosecutione mittantur. Et quanquam statuta sedis Apostolicae vel Canonum venerabilia desinita, nulli Sacerdotum Domini ignorare sit liberum: utilius tamen, atque pro antiquitate sacerdotii tui, dilectioni tuae esse admodum poterit gloriosum, si ea quae ad te speciali nomine generaliter scripta sunt, per unanimitatis tuae sollicitudinem in universorum fratrum nostrorum notitiam perferantur; quatenus & quae a nobis non inconsulte sed provide sub nimia cautela & deliberatione sunt salubriter constituta, intemerata permaneant, & omnibus in posterum excusationibus aditus, qui jam nulli apud nos patere poterit, obstruatur. Dat. 3 Id. Febr. Arcadio & Bautone viris clarissimis Consulibus, A. C. 385. Pope Liberius in the reign of Jovian or Valentinian I. sent general Decrees to the Provinces, ordering that the Arians should not be rebaptised: and this he did in favour of the Council of Alexandria, that nothing more should be required of them than to renounce their opinions. Pope Damasus is said to have decreed in a Roman Council, that Tithes and Tenths should be paid upon pain of an Anathema; and that Glory be to the Father, &c. should be said or sung at the end of the Psalms. But the first decretal Epistle now extant is this of Siricius to Himerius; by which the Pope made Himerius his Vicar over all Spain for promulging his Decrees, and seeing them observed. The Bishop of Sevill was also the Pope's Vicar sometimes; for Simplicius wrote thus to Zeno Bishop of that place: Talibus idcirco gloriantes indiciis, congruum duximus vicaria Sedis nostrac te auctoritate fulciri: cujus vigore munitus, Apostolicae institutionis Decreta, vel sanctorum terminos Patrum, nullatenus transcendi permittas. And Pope Hormisda made the Bishop of Sevill his Vicar over Boetica and Lusitania, and the Bishop of Tarraco his Vicar over all the rest of Spain, as appears by his Epistles to them. {Hormisd. Epist. 24, 26.}

Pope Innocent the first, in his decretal Epistle to Victricius Bishop of Rouen in France, A. C. 404, in pursuance of the Edict of Gratian, made this Decree: Si quae autem causae vel contentiones inter Clericos tam superioris ordinis quam etiam inferioris fuerint exortae; ut secundum Synodum Nicenam congregatis ejusdem Provinciae Episcopis jurgium terminetur: nec alicui liceat, Romanae Ecclesiae, cujus in omnibus causis debet reverentia custodiri, relictis his sacerdotibus, qui in eadem Provincia Dei Ecclesiam nutu Divino guberant, ad alias convolare Provincias. Quod siquis forte praesumpferit; & ab officio Clericatus summotus, & injuriarum reus judicetur. Si autem majores cause in medium fuerint devolutae, ad Sedem Apostolicam sicut Synodus statuit, & beata consuetudo exigit, post judicium Episcopale referantur. {The words, sine auctoritate, seem wanting.} By these Letters it seems to me that Gallia was now subject to the Pope, and had been so for some time, and that the bishop of Rouen was then his Vicar or one of them: for the Pope directs him to refer the greater causes to the See of Rome, according to custom. But the Bishop of Arles soon after became the Pope's Vicar over all Gallia: for Pope Zosimus, A. C. 417, ordaining that none should have access to him without the credentials of his Vicars, conferred upon Patroclus the Bishop of Arles this authority over all Gallia, by the following Decree.

Zosimus universis Episcopis per Gallias & septem

Provincias constitutis.

Placuit Apostolicae Sedi, ut siquis ex qualibet Galliarum parte sub quolibet ecclesiastico gradu ad nos Romae venire contendit, vel alio terrarum ire disponit, non aliter proficiscatur nisi Metropolitani Episcopi Formatas acceperit, quibus sacerdotium suum vel locum ecclesiasticum quem habet, scriptorum ejus adstipulatione perdoceat: quod ex gratia statuimus quia plures episcopi sive presbyteri sive ecclesiastici simulantes, quia nullum documentum Formatarum extat per quod valeant confutari, in nomen venerationis irrepunt, & indebitam reverentiam promerentur. Quisquis igitur, fratres charissimi, praetermissa supradicti Formata, sive episcopus, sive presbyter, sive diaconus, aut deinceps inferiori gradu sit, ad nos venerit: sciat se omnino suscipi non posse. Quam auctoritatem ubique nos misisse manifestum est, ut cunctis regionibus innotescat id quod statuimus omnimodis esse servandum. Siquis autem haec salubriter constituta temerare tentaverit sponte sua, se a nostra noverit communione discretum. Hoc autem privilegium Formatarum sancto Patroclo fratri & coepiscopo nostro, meritorum ejus speciali contemplatione, concessimus. And that the Bishop of Arles was sometimes the Pope's Vicar over all France, is affirmed also by all the Bishops of the Diocess of Arles in their Letter to Pope Leo I. Cui id etiam honoris dignitatisque collatum est, say they, ut non tantum has Provincias potestate propria gubernaret; verum etiam omnes Gallias sibi Apostolicae Sedis vice mandatas, sub omni ecclesiastica regula contineret. And Pope Pelagius I. A. C. 556, in his Epistle to Sapaudus Bishop of Arles: Majorum nostrorum, operante Dei misericordia, cupientes inhaerere vestigiis & eorum actus divino examine in omnibus imitari: Charitati tuae per universam Galliam, sanctae Sedis Apostolicae, cui divina gratia praesidemus, vices injungimus.

By the influence of the same imperial Edict, not only Spain and Gallia, but also Illyricum became subject to the Pope. Damasus made Ascholius, or Acholius, Bishop of Thessalonica the Metropolis of Oriental Illyricum, his Vicar for hearing of causes; and in the year 382, Acholius being summoned by Pope Damasus, came to a Council at Rome. Pope Siricius the successor of Damasus, decreed that no Bishop should be ordained in Illyricum without the consent of Anysius the successor of Acholius. And the following Popes gave Rufus the successor of Anysius, a power of calling Provincial Councils: for in the Collections of Holstenius there is an account of a Council of Rome convened under Pope Boniface II. in which were produced Letters of Damasus, Syricius, Innocent I. Boniface I. and Caelestine Bishops of Rome to Ascholius, Anysius and Rufus, Bishops of Thessalonica: in which Letters they commend to them the hearing of causes in Illyricum, granted by the Lord and the holy Canons to the Apostolic See thro'out that Province. And the Pope Siricius saith in his Epislte to Anysius: Etiam dudum, frater charissime, per Candidianum Episcopum, qui nos praecessit ad Dominum, hujusmodi literas dederamus, ut nulla licentia esset, sine consensu tuo in Illyrico Episcopos ordinare praesumere, quae utrum ad te pervenerint scire non potui. Multa enim gesta sunt per contentionem ab Episcopis in ordinationibus faciendis, quod tua melius caritas novit. And a little after: Ad omnem enim hujusmodi audaciam comprimendam vigilare debet instantia tua, Spiritu in te Sancto fervente: ut vel ipse, si potes, vel quos judicaveris Episcopos idoneos, cum literis dirigas, dato consensu qui possit, in ejus locum qui defunctus vel depositus fuerit, Catholicum Episcopum vita & moribus probatum, secundum Nicaenae Synodi statuta vel Ecclesiae Romanae, Clericum de Clero meritum ordinare. And Pope Innocent I. saith in his Epistle to Anysius: Cui [Anysio] etiam anteriores tanti ac tales viri praedecessores mei Episcopi, id est, sanctae memoriae Damasus, Siricius, atque supra memoratus vir ita detulerunt; ut omnia quae in omnibus illis partibus gererentur, Sanctitati tuae, quae plena justitiae est, traderent cognoscenda.  And in his Epistle to Rufus the successor of Anysius: Ita longis intervallis disterminatis a me ecclesiis discat consulendum; ut prudentiae gravitatique tuae committendam curam causasque, siquae exoriantur, per Achaiae, Thessaliae, Epiri veteris, epiri novae, & Cretae, Daciae mediterraneae, Daciae ripensis, Moesiae, Dardaniae, & Praevali ecclesias, Christo Domino annuente, censeam. Vere enim ejus sacratissimis monitis lectissimae sinceritatis tuae providentiae & virtuti hanc injungimus sollicitudinem: non primitus haec statuentes, sed Praecessores nostros Apostolicos imitati, qui beatissimis Acholio & Anysio injungi pro meritis ista voluerunt.  And Boniface I. in his decretal Epistle to Rufus and the rest of the Bishops in Illyricum: Nullus, ut frequenter dixi, alicujus ordinationem citra ejus [Episcopi Thessalonicensis] conscientiam celebrare praesumat: cui, ut supra dictum est, vice nostra cuncta committimus. And Pope Caelestine, in his decretal Epistle to the Bishops thro?out Illyricum, saith: Vicem nostram per vestram Provinciam noveritis [Rufo] esse commissam, ita ut ad eum, fratres carisssimi, quicquid de causis agitur, referatur. Sine ejus consilio nullus ordinetur. Nullus usurpet, eodem inconscio, commissam illi Provinciam; colligere nisi cum ejus voluntate Episcopus non praesumat. And in the cause of Perigenes, in the title of his Epistle, he thus enumerates the Provinces under this Bishop: Rufo & caeteris Episcopis per Macedoniam, Achaiam, Thessaliam, Epirum veterem, Epirum novam, Praevalin, & Daciam constitutis. And Pope Xistus in a decretal Epistle to the same Bishops: Illyricanae omnes Ecclesiae, ut a decessoribus nostris recepimus, & nos quoque fecimus, ad curam nunc pertinent Thessalonicensis Antistitis, ut sua sollicitudine, siquae inter fratres nascantur, ut assolent, actiones distinguat definiat; & ad eum, quicquid a singulis sacer dotibus agitur, referatur. Sit Concilium, quotiens causae fuerint, quotiens ille pro necessitatum emergentium ratione decreverit. And Pope Leo I. in his decretal Epistle to Anastasius Bishop of Thessalonica: Singulis autem Metropolitanis sicut potestas ista committitur, ut in suis Provinciis jus habeant ordinandi; ita eos Metropolitanos a te volumus ordinari; maturo tamen & decocto judicio.

Occidental Illyricum comprehended Pannonia prima and secunda, Savia, Dalmatia, Noricum mediterraneum, and Noricum ripense; and its Metropolis was Sirmium, till Attila destroyed this city. Afterwards Laureacum became the Metropolis of Noricum and both Pannonias, and Salona the Metropolis of Dalmatia. Now the Bishops of Laureacum and Salona received the Pallium from the Pope: and Zosimus, in his decretal Epistle to Hesychius Bishop of Salona, directed him to denounce the Apostolic decrees as well to the Bishops of his own, as to those of the neighbouring Provinces. {Vide Caroli a S. Paulo Geographiam sacram, p. 72, 73.} The subjection of these Provinces to the See of Rome seems to have begun in Anemius, who was ordained Bishop of Sirmium by Ambrose Bishop of Millain, and who in the Council of Aquileia under Pope Damasus, A. C. 381, declared his sentence in these words: Caput Illyrici non nisi civitas Sirmiensis: Ego igitur illius civitatis Episcopus sum. Eum qui non confitetur filium Dei aeternum, & coeternum patri, qui est sempiternus, anathema dico. The next year Anemius and Ambrose, with Valerian Bishop of Aquileia, Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica, and many others, went to the Council of Rome, which met for overruling the Greek Church by majority of votes, and exalting the authority of the Apostolic See, as was attempted before in the Council of Sardica.

Aquileia was the second city of the Western Empire, and by some called the second Rome. It was the Metropolis of Istria, Forum Juliam, and Venetia; and its subjection to the See of Rome is manifest by the decretal Epistle of Leo I. directed to Nicetas Bishop of this city; for the Pope begins his Epistle thus: Regressus ad nos filius meus Adeodatus Diaconus Sedis nostrae, dilectionem tuam poposcisse memorat, ut de his a nobis authoritatem Apostolicae Sedis acciperes, quae quidem magnam difficultatem dijudicationis videntur afferre. Then he sets down an answer to the questions proposed by Nicetas, and concludes thus: Hanc autem Epistolam nostram, quam ad consultationem tuae fraternitatis emisimus, ad omnes fratres & comprovinciales tuos Episcopos facies pervenire, ut in omnium observantia, data profit authoritas. Data 12. Kal. Apr. Majorano Aug. Cos. A. C. 458. Gregory the great A. C. 591, cited Severus Bishop of Aquileia to appear before him in judgment in a Council at Rome. {Greg M. lib. 1. Indic. 9. Epist. 16.}

The Bishops of Aquileia and Millain created one another, and therefore were of equal authority, and alike subject to the See of Rome. Pope Pelagius about the year 557, testified this in the following words: Mos antiquus fuit, saith he, ut quia pro longinquitate vel difficultate itineris, ab Apostolico illis onerosum fuerit ordinari, ipsi se invicem Mediolanensis & Aquileiensis ordinare Episcopos debuissent. {Apud Gratianum. de Mediolanensi & Aquileiensi Episcopis.} These words imply that the ordination of these two Bishops belonged to the See of Rome. When Laurentius Bishop of Millain had excommunicated Magnus, one of his Presbyters, and was dead, {Greg. M. lib. 3. Epist. 26. & lib. 4. Epist. 1.} Gregory the great absolved Magnus, and sent the Pallium to the new elected Bishop Constantius; whom the next year he reprehended of partiality in judging Fortunatus {Greg. lib. 5. Epist. 4.}, and commanded him to send Fortunatus to Rome to be judged there:four years after he appointed the Bishops of Millain and Ravenna to hear the cause of one Maximus; {Greg. lib. 9. Epist. 10 & 67.} and two years after, viz. A. C. 601, when Constantius was dead, and the people of Millain had elected Deusdedit his successor, and the Lombards had elected another, {Greg. lib. 11. Epist. 3, 4.} Gregory wrote to the Notary, Clergy, and People of Millain, that by the authority of his Letters Deusdedit should be ordained, and that he whom the Lombards had ordained was an unworthy successor of Ambrose: whence I gather, that the Church of Millain had continued in this state of subordination to the See of Rome ever since the days of Ambrose; for Ambrose himself acknowledged the authority of that See. Ecclesia Romana, saith he, hanc consuetudinem non habet, cujus typum in omnibus sequimur, & formam. {Ambros. l. 3. de sacramentis, c. 1.} And a little after: In omnibus cupio sequi Ecclesiam Romanam. And in his Commentary upon 1 Tim. 3. Cum totus mundus Dei sit, tamen domus ejus Ecclesia dicitur, cujus hodie rector est Damasus. In his Oration on the death of his brother Satyrus, he relates how his brother coming to a certain city of Sardinia, advocavit Episcopum loci, percontatusque est ex eo utrum cum Episcopis Catholicis hoc est cum Romana Ecclesia conveniret? And in conjunction with the Synod of Aquileia A. C. 381, in a synodical Epistle to the Emperor Gratian, he saith: Totius orbis Romani caput Romanam Ecclesiam, atque illam sacrosanctam Apostolorum fidem, ne turbari sineret, obsecranda fuit clementia vestra; inde enim in omnes venerandae communionis jura dimanant. The Churches therefore of Aquileia and Millain were subject to the See of Rome from the days of the Emperor Gratian. Auxentius the predecessor of Ambrose was not subject to the See of Rome, and consequently the subjection of the Church of Millain began in Ambrose. This Diocese of Millain contained Liguria with Insubria, the Alpes Cottiae and Rhaetia; and was divided from the Diocese of Aquileia by the river Addua. In the year 844, the Bishop of Millain broke off from the See of Rome, and continued in this separation about 200 years, as is thus related by Sigonius: Eodem anno Angilbertus Mediolanensis Archiepiscopus ab Ecclesia Romana parum comperta de causa descivit, tantumque exemplo in posterum valuit, ut non nisi post ducentos annos Ecclesia Mediolanensis ad Romanae obedientiam auctoritatemque redierit. {Sigonius de Regno Itliae, lib. 5.}

The Bishop of Ravenna, the Metropolis of Flaminia and AEmilia, was also subject to the Pope: for Zosimus, A. C. 417, excommunicated some of the Presbyters of that Church, and wrote a commonitory Epistle about them to the Clergy of that Church as a branch of the Roman Church: In sua, saith he, hoc est, in Ecclesia nostra Romana. When those of Ravenna, having elected a new Bishop, gave notice thereof to Pope Sixtus, {See Baronius, Anno 433. Sect. 24.} the Pope set him aside, and ordained Peter Chrysologus in his room. Chrysologus in his Epistle to Eutyches, extant in the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, wrote thus: Nos pro studio pacis & fidei, extra consensum Romanae civitatis Episcopi, causas fidei audire non possumus. Pope Leo I. being consulted by Leo Bishop of Ravenna about some questions, answered him by a decretal Epistle A. C. 451. And Pope Gregory the great, {Greg. M. lib. 3. Epist. 56, 57. & lib. 5. Epist. 25, 26, 56.} reprehending John Bishop of Ravenna about the use of the Pallium, tells him of a Precept of one of his Predecessors, Pope John, commanding that all the Privileges formerly granted to the Bishop and Church of Ravenna should be kept: to this John returned a submissive answer; and after his death Pope Gregory ordered a visitation of the Church of Ravenna, confirmed the privileges heretofore granted them, and sent his Pallium, as of antient custom, to their new Bishop Marinian. Yet this church revolted sometimes from the Church of Rome, but returned again to its obedience.

The rest of Italy, with the Islands adjacent, containing the suburbicarian regions, or ten Provinces under the temporal Vicar of Rome, viz. (1) Campania, (2) Tuscia and Umbria, (3) Picenum suburbicarium, (4) Sicily, (5) Apulia and Calabria, (6) Brutii and Lucania, (7) Samnium, (8) Sardinia, (9) Corsica, and (10) Valeria, constituted the proper Province of the Bishop of Rome. For the Council of Nice in their fifth Canon ordained that Councils should be held every spring and autumn in every Province; and according to this Canon, the Bishops of this Province met at Rome every half year. In this sense Pope Leo I. applied this Canon to Rome, in a decretal Epistle to the Bishops of Sicily, written Alippio & Ardabure Coss. A. C. 447. Quia saluberrime, saith he, a sanctis patribus constitutum est, binos in annis singulis Episcoporum debere esse conventus, terni semper ex vobis ad diem tertium Kalendarum Octobrium Romam aeterno concilio sociandi occurrant. Et indissimulanter a vobis haec consuetudo servetur, quoniam adjuvante Dei gratia facilius poterit provideri, ut in Ecclesiis Christi nulla scandala, nulli nascantur errores; cum coram Apostolo Petro semper in communione tractatum fuerit, ut omnia Canonum Decreta apud omnes Domini sacerdotes inviolata permaneant. The province of Rome therefore comprehended Sicily, with so much of Italy and the neighbouring Islands as sent Bishops to the annual Councils of Rome; but extended not into the Provinces of Ravenna, Aquileia, Millain, Arles, &c. those Provinces having Councils of their own. The Bishops in every Province of the Roman Empire were convened in Council by the Metropolitan or Bishop of the head city of the Province, and this Bishop presided in that Council: but the Bishop of Rome did not only preside in his own Council of the Bishops of the suburbicarian regions, but also gave Orders to the Metropolitans of all the other Provinces in the Western Empire, as their universal governor; as may be further perceived by the following instances.

Pope Zosimus A. C. 417, cited Proculus Bishop of Marseilles to appear before a Council at Rome for illegitimate Ordinations; and condemned him, as he mentions in several of his Epistles. Pope Boniface I., A. C. 419, upon a complaint of the Clergy of Valentia against Maximus a Bishop, summoned the Bishops of all Gallia and the seven Provinces to convene in a Council against him; and saith in his Epistle, that his Predecessors had done the like. Pope Leo I. called a general Council of all the Provinces of Spain to meet in Gallaecia against the Manichees and Priscillianists, as he says in his decretal Epistle to Turribius a Spanish Bishop. And in one of his decretal epistles to Nicetas Bishop of Aquileia, he commands him to call a Council of the Bishops of that Province against the Pelagians, which might ratify all the Synodal Decrees which had been already ratified by the See of Rome against this heresy. And in his decretal Epistle to Anastasius Bishop of Thessalonica, he ordained that Bishop should hold two Provincial Councils every year, and refer the harder causes to the See of Rome: and if upon any extraordinary occasion it should be necessary to call a Council, he should not be troublesom to the Bishops under him, but content himself with two Bishops out of every Province, and not detain them above fifteen days. In the same Epistle he describes the form of Church-Government then set up, to consist in a subordination of all the Churches to the See of Rome: De qua forma, saith he, Episcoporum quoque est orta distinctio, & magna dispositione provisum est ne omnes sibi omnia  vindicarent, sed essent in singulis Provinciis singuli quorum inter fratres haberetur prima sententia, & rursus quidam in majoribus urbibus constituti sollicitudinem sumerent ampliorem, per quos ad unam Petri Sedem universalis Ecclesiae cura conflueret, & nihil usque a suo capite dissideret. Qui ergo scit se quibusdam esse praepositum, non moleste ferat aliquem sibi esse praepositum; sed obedientiam quam exigit etiam ipse dependat; et sicut non vult gravis oneris sarcinam ferre, ita non audeat aliis importabile pondus imponere. These words sufficiently shew the monarchical form of government then set up in the Churches of the Western Empire under the Bishop of Rome, by means of the imperial Decree of Gratian, and the appeals and decretal Epistles grounded thereupon.

The same Pope Leo, having in a Council at Rome passed sentence upon Hilary Bishop of Arles, for what he had done by a Provincial Council in Gallia, took occasion from thence to procure the following Edict form the Western Emperor Valentinian III. for the more absolute establishing the authority of his See over all the Churches of the Western Empire.

Impp. Theodosius & Valentinianus AA. Aeti Viro illustri, Comiti & Magistro utriusque militiae & Patricio.

Certum est & nobis & imperio nostro unicum esse praesidium in supernae Divinitatis favore, ad quem promerendum praecipue Christiana fides & veneranda nobis religio suffragatur. Cum igitur Sedis Apostolicae Primatum sancti Petri meritum, qui princeps est Episcopalis coronae & Romanae dignitas civitatis, sacrae etiam Synodi firmavit auctoritas: ne quid praeter auctoritatem Sedis istius illicitum praesumptio attemperare nitatur: tunc enim demun Ecclesiarum pax ubique servabitur, si Rectorem suum agnoscat Universitas. Haec cum hactenus inviolabiliter fuerint custodita, Hilarius Arelatensis, sicut venerabilis viri Leonis Romani Papac fideli relatione comperimus, contumaci ausu illicit a quaedam praesumenda tentavit, & ideo Transalpinas Ecclesias abominabilis tumultus invasit, quod recens maxime testatur exemplum. Hilarius enim qui Episcopus Arelatensis vocatur, Ecclesiae Romanae urbis inconsulto Pontiface indebitas sibi ordinationes Episcoporum sola temeritate usurpans invasit. Nam alios incompetenter removit; indecenter alios, invitis & repugnantibus civibus, ordinavit. Qui quidem, quoniam non facile ab his qui non elegerant, recipiebantur, manum sibi contrahebat armatam, & claustra murorum in hostilem morem vel obsidione cingebat, vel aggressione reserabat, & ad sedem quietis pacem praedicaturus per bella ducebat. His talibus contra Imperii majestatem, & contra reverentiam Apostolicae Sedis admissis, per ordinem religiosi viri Urbis Papae cognitione discussis, certa in eum, ex his quos male ordinaverat, lata sententia est. Erat quidem ipsa sententia per Gallias etiam sine Imperiali Sanctione valitura: quid enim Pontificis auctoritate non liceret? Sed nostram quoque praeceptionem haec ratio provocavit. Nec ulterius vel Hilario, quem adhuc Episcopum nuncupare sola mansueta Praesulis permittit humanitas, nec cuiquam alteri ecclesiasticis rebus arma miscere, aut praeceptis Romani Antistitis liceat obviare: ausibus enim talibus fides & reverential nostri violatur Imperii. Nec hoc solum, quod est maximi criminis, submovemus: verum ne levis saltem inter Ecclesias turba nascatur, vel in aliquo minui religionis disciplina videatur, hoc perenni sanctione discernimus; nequid tam Episcopis Gallicanis quam aliarum Provinciarum contra consuetudinem veterem liceat, sine viri venerabilis Papae Urbis aeternae auctoritate, tentare. Sed illis omnibusque pro lege sit, quicquid sanxit vel sanxerit Apostolicae Sedis auctoritas: ita ut quisquis Episcoporum ad judicium Romani Antistitis evocatus venire neglexerit, per Moderatorem ejusdem Provinciae adesse cogatur, per omnia servatis quae Divi parentes nostri Romanae Ecclesiae detulerunt, Aeti pater carissime Augusti. Unde illustris & praeclara magnificentia tua praesentis Edictalis Legis auctoritate faciet quae sunt superius statuta servari, decem librarum auri multa protinus exigenda ab unoquoque Judice qui passus fuerit praecepta nostra violari. Divinitas te servet per multos annos, parens carissime. Dat. 8. Id. Jun. Romae, Valentiniano A. 6. Consule, A. C. 445. By this Edict the Emperor Valentinian enjoined an absolute obedience to the will of the Bishop of Rome thro'out all the Churches of his Empire; and declares, that for the Bishops to attempt any thing without the Pope's authority is contrary to antient custom, and that the Bishops summoned to appear before his judicature must be carried thither by the Governor of the Province; and he ascribes these privileges of the See of Rome to the concessions of his dead Ancestors, that is, to the Edict of Gratian and Valentinian II. as above: by which reckoning this dominion of the Church of Rome was now of 66 years standing: and if in all this time it had not been sufficiently established, this new Edict was enough to settle it beyond all question thro'out the Western Empire.

Hence all the Bishops of the Province of Arles in their Letter to Pope Leo, A. C. 450, petitioning for a restitution of the privileges of their Metropolitan, say: Per beatum Petrum Apostolorum principem, sacrosancta Ecclesia Romana tenebat supra omnes totius mundi Ecclesias principatum. And Ceratius, Salonius and Veranus, three Bishops of Gallia, say, in their Epistle to the same Pope: Magna praeterea & ineffabili quadam nos peculiares tui gratulatione succrescimus, quod illa specialis doctrinae vestrae pagina ita per omnium Ecclesiarum conventicula celebratur, ut vere consona omnium sententia declaretur; merito illic principatum Sedis Apostolicae constitutum, unde adhuc Apostolici Spiritus oracula referentur. And Leo himself, in his Epistle to the metropolitan Bishops thro'out Illyricum: Quia per omnes Ecclesias cura nostra distenditur, exigente hoc a nobis Domino, qui Apostolicae dignitatis beatissimo Apostolo Petro primatum, fidei sui remuneratione commisit, universalem Ecclesiam in fundamenti ipsius soliditate constituens. {Epist. 25. apud Holstenium.}

While this Ecclesiastical Dominion was rising up, the northern barbarous nations invaded the Western Empire, and founded several kingdoms therein, of different religions from the Church of Rome. But these kingdoms by degrees embraced the Roman faith, and at the same time submitted to the Pope's authority. The Franks in Gaul submitted in the end of the fifth Century, the Goths in Spain in the end of the sixth; and the Lombards in Italy were conquered by Charles the great A. C. 774. Between the years 775 and 794, the same Charles extended the Pope's authority over all Germany and Hungary as far as the river Theysse and the Baltic sea; he then set him above all human judicature, and at the same time assisted him in subduing the City and Duchy of Rome. By the conversion of the ten kingdoms to the Roman religion, the Pope only enlarged his spiritual dominion, but did not yet rise up as a horn of the Beast. It was his temporal dominion which made him one of the horns: and this dominion he acquired in the latter half of the eighth century, by subduing three of the former horns as above. And now being arrived at a temporal dominion, and a power above all human judicature, he reigned with a look more stout than his fellows, {Dan. 7:20.} and times and laws were henceforward given into his hands, for a time times and half a time, {Dan. 7:25.} or three times and an half; that is, for 1260 solar years, reckoning a time for a calendar year of 360 days, and a day for a solar year. After which the judgment is to sit, and they shall take away his dominion, not at once, but by degrees, to consume, and to destroy it unto the end. {Dan. 7:26.} And the kingdom and dominion, and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall, by degrees, be given unto the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.{Dan. 7:27.}


[a] Populos Galliciae.

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