Изображения страниц

ing her renunciation, so some of her friends planned and accomplished her liberation, but not knowing where to seek a place of security, she unfortunately sought it in England from Queen Elizabeth, who promised to aid and assist her as a sister Sovereign. Thus she threw herself into the power of the very woman of all others most anxious to deprive her of life and kingdom, for Mary was her only rival, and the greatest difficulty the Pope had in recognizing Elizabeth was, that while Mary lived she was the lawful inheritor of the English throne. When Mary arrived in England, Elizabeth pretended to receive (23) her; but she imprisoned her first, at Carlisle, and afterwards in Bolton-under pretence that her enemies wished to make away with her. The national pride of the Scotch was raised when they learned their Queen was a prisoner, and they invaded England with six thousand men. Élizabeth, then unprepared for war, had recourse to

. craft to avert the blow, and she therefore promised Mary that if she used her authority to make the Scotch retire from England, she would assist her to recover her kingdom, but otherwise that there would be no chance of her liberation till the war was at an end. Mary yielded, and ordered the Scotch to disband themselves, under pain of high treason; the chiefs of the party were thus constrained to obey, but she was still kept in prison, and Elizabeth, to have another pretext for detaining her, induced Murray, a natural brother of Mary, and the Countess of Lennox, mother of the murdered Darnley, to accuse her of procuring her husband's murder. Elizabeth appointed a commission to try her, and though many persons of the greatest weight took up her defence, still, after being imprisoned nineteen years, and having changed from prison to prison, sixteen times in England alone, she was condemned to be beheaded. She received the news of her sentence with the greatest courage, and an entire resignation to the divine will. She asked for a pen, and wrote three requests to Elizabeth: First.—That after her death her servants might be at liberty to go where they pleased. Second.—To allow her to be buried in consecrated ground; and, Third.— Not to prosecute any one who wished to follow the Catholic faith.

84. The execution of the sentence was deferred for two months, but on the day appointed, the 18th February, 1587, at the dawn of day, the officers of justice came to conduct her to the place of execution. The Queen asked for a confessor to prepare her for death, but was refused, and a minister was sent to her whom she refused to receive. It is said that she received the holy Communion herself, having, by permission of the Pope, St. Pius V., retained a consecrated particle for that purpose (24). She then dressed herself with all the elegance of a bride, prayed for a short time in her

(23) Varill. p. 50, seg.

(24) Vide P. Suar. t. 3, in St. Thom. c. 72, ar. 8, in fin.


oratory, and went to the scaffold which was prepared in the hall of Fotheringay Castle, the last prison she inhabited. Everything was covered with black, the hall, the scaffold, and the pulpit from which the sentence was read. Mary entered, covered with a long veil, which reached to her feet, a golden cross on her breast, a Rosary pendant at her girdle, and a crucifix in one hand, the Office of the Blessed Virgin in the other. She went forward with a majestic gait, and calling Melvin, her Major-domo, she saluted him with a serene countenance, and said: “My dear Melvin, when I am dead go to my son and tell him that I die in the Catholic religion, and tell him if he loves me or himself to follow no other; let him put his trust in God, and He will help him, and tell him to pardon Elizabeth for my death, which I voluntarily embrace for the Faith." She then requested the Governor to allow the persons composing her suite to be present at her death, that they might certify that she died in the Catholic Faith. She knelt down on a cushion covered with black, and heard the sentence signed by Elizabeth's own hand read, she then laid her head on the block, and the executioner cut it off at the second stroke. Her body was buried near Queen Catherine's, the wife of Henry VIII., and it is said this inscription was put on her tomb, but immediately after removed by order of Elizabeth : “ Maria Scotorum Regina virtutibus Regiis et animo Regio ornata, tyrannica crudelitate ornamentum nostri seculi extinguitur." Mary's death filled all Europe with horror and compassion for her fate, and even Elizabeth, when she heard it, could not conceal the effect it had on her, and said it was too precipitate, but for all that she continued to persecute the Catholics more and more, and added many martyrs to the Church (25).

85. James VI., King of Scotland, and the son of Queen Mary, took little heed of his mother's advice or example, for, after Elizabeth's death, being then King of Scotland, he succeeded her, and took the title of James I., King of Great Britain, and the his coronation, which took place in 1603, he ordered, under pain of death, that all Catholic priests should quit the kingdom. In the year 1606 he brought out that famous declaration that the King of England was independent of the Roman Church, called the Oath of Supremacy. He died in 1625, the fifty-ninth year of his age, and the twenty-second of his English reign. He was the first King who governed the three kingdoms of England, Ireland, and Scotland, but he lived and died a heretic, while his mother lived forty-two years in almost continual sorrow and persecution, but died the death of the just. This unhappy monarch was succeeded by his son, Charles I., born in the year 1600, and like his father, the Sovereign of three kingdoms; he followed his father's

year after

(25) Varillas, sopra, t. 2, l. 28; Bern. t. 4, s. 16, c. 11; Joves Istoria della Rel. t. 2, p. 84; Dizion. Port.

errors in religion, and sent succours to the Calvinists in France, to enable them to retain Rochelle then in their possession. He was unfortunate; for both the Scotch and English Parliamentarians took up arms against him, and after several battles he lost the kingdom. He took refuge with the Scotch, but they delivered him up to the English, and they, at Cromwell's instigation, who was then aiming at sovereign power, condemned him to be beheaded, and he died on the scaffold on the 30th of July, 1648, the twentyfifth of his reign and forty-eighth of his age.

86. He was succeeded by his son, Charles II., born in 1630; at his father's death he went to Scotland, and was proclaimed King of that country and of England and Ireland likewise. Cromwell, who then governed the kingdom, under title of Protector of England, took the field against him, and put his forces to flight, so that Charles had to make

his escape in disguise, first to France and afterwards to Cologne and Holland. He was recalled after Cromwell's death, which took place in 1658, and was crowned King of England in 1661, and died in 1685, at the age of sixty-five. He was succeeded by his brother, James II., born in 1633. James was proclaimed King on the day of his brother's death, the 16th of February, 1685, and was soon after proclaimed King of Scotland, though he openly declared himself a Roman Catholic, and forsook the communion of the English Church. Ardently attached to the Faith, he promulgated in 1687 an Edict of Toleration, granting to the Catholics the free exercise of religion, but this lost him his crown, for the English called in William, Prince of Orange, who, though James's son-in-law, took possession of the kingdom, and, in 1689, James had to fly to France. He soon after went over to Ireland, to keep possession of that kingdom at all events, but being again beaten he fled back again to France, and died in St. Germains, in 1701, the sixty-eighth year of his age. As this sovereign did not hesitate to sacrifice his temporal kingdom for the Faith, we have every reason to believe that he received an eternal crown from the Almighty. James II. left one son, James III., who died in the Catholic Faith in Rome.



87. Calvin adopts the Errors of Luther. 88. Calvin's Errors regarding the Scriptures.

89. The Trinity. 90. Jesus Christ. 91. The Divine Law. 92. Justification. 93. Good Works and Free Will. 94. That God predestines Man to Sin and to Hell, and Faith alone in Jesus Christ is sufficient for Salvation. 95. The Sacraments, and especially Baptism. 96. Penance. 97. The Eucharist and the Mass. 98. He denies Purgatory and Indulgences; other Errors.

97. Calvin adopted almost all the principal errors of Luther, who adopted almost all the errors of the ancient heretics, as we shall hereafterwards show in the refutation of Luther and Calvin. Prate

[ocr errors]

olus (1) reckons two hundred and seven heretical doctrines, promulgated by Calvin, and another author (2) makes the number amount to fourteen hundred. At present I will only speak of the principal errors of Calvin, and will give in the last part of the work a particular treatise to refute them.

88. As regards the Holy Scriptures, Calvin, in his book against the Council of Trent (3), says the Church has no right to interpret and judge of the true sense of the Scriptures. Second.—He refuses to receive the Canon of the Scriptures as settled by the Council. Third.-He denies the authority of the Vulgate. Fourth.-He denies the Canonicity of the books of Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, Tobias, Judith, and the Maccabees, and totally rejects Apostolical Traditions (4)

89. Regarding the Persons of the Trinity, he does not like the words Consubstantial, Hypostasis, or even Trinity. “I wish," he says, " all these words were buried in oblivion, and we had this Faith alone, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God" (5). The Church, however, has inserted in the Office of the Breviary the Athanasian Creed, in which it is positively laid down that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are not only one God, but also three distinct Persons; for otherwise one might fall into the errors of Sabellius, who said that these were but simple words, and that in the Trinity there is but one Divine Nature, and one Person, and on that account the Holy Fathers made use of the words Hypostatic and Consubstantial to explain both the distinction and the equality of the Divine Persons. Second. It is a foolish thing, he says, to believe in the continual actual generation of the Son from the Eternal Father (6); but this doctrine is not only the general one among theologians (7), but is proved by the Scriptures: " Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Ps. ii. 7). St. Augustin, explaining this text, says: “ This day, that is, from all

, eternity, and in every continuous instant, he begets me according to my Divine Nature, as his Word and his Natural Son."

90. Speaking of Jesus Christ, he says, that he was the mediator of mankind with his Eternal Father before he became man, and before Adam sinned (8). "Not alone,” he says in one of his letters, "did Christ discharge the office of a mediator after the fall of Adam, but as the Eternal Word of God." This is a manifest error, for it was when Christ took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary that he became the mediator of reconciliation between God and man; as the Apostle says, “ for there is one God, and one mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy, ii. 5). He also blasphemously taught, that when Christ descended into hell (and

[ocr errors]


(1) Præteol. Hær. 13. (2) Francisc. Forfandes. in Tbeomach. Calv. (3) Calvin, Antid. ad Synod. Trident. ad Sess. IV. (4) Calvin. in Antid. loc. cit. (5) Calvin Instit. l. 1, c. 13, sec. (6) Calvin, vide loc. cit. (7) Calvin. Epist. ad Stancarum. (8) Calvin, Instit. I. 2, c. 16.

he understands it as the hell of the damned), that he suffered the pains of the damned, and this was the great price he offered to his Eternal Father for our redemption. Cardinal Gotti says (9), that like Nestorius, he recognized two persons in Christ (10).

91. Concerning the Divine law, and the sins of mankind (11), he says it is impossible for us to observe the law imposed on us by God, and that original concupiscence, or that vicious leaning to sin which exists in us, though we do not consent to it, is still sinful, since such desires arise from the wickedness which reigns in us; that there are no venial sins, but that all are mortal; that every work which even the just man performs is sinful; that good works have no merit with God, and that to say the contrary is pride, and proceeds from a wish to depreciate grace (12).

92. Concerning justification, he says that it does not consist in the infusion of sanctifying grace, but in the imposition of the justice of Christ, which reconciles the sinner with God. The sinner, he says in another place, puts on the justice of Christ by Faith, and clothed in that, appears before God not as a sinner, but as one of the just, so that the sinner, though continuing a sinner still, is justified by being clothed with-masked as it were—the justice of Christ, and appears just by that means (13). He also says, that man, in a state of sin, is not justified by contrition, but by Faith alone, believing in the promises and in the merits of Jesus Christ (14). This was the doctrine of the French Calvinists in their celebrated profession of faith: “We believe that we are made participators of this justification by Faith alone, and this so happens because the promises of life offered to us in Christ are applied to our use.” He likewise said, that those who are justified should believe with a certainty of Faith that they are in a state of grace, and that this certainty should be understood not only of perseverance, but even of eternal salvation; so that one should consider himself as one of the elect, as St. Paul was by the special revelation he received from God (15). He likewise said, that Faith and justification belong to the elect alone, and that once in possession of them, they cannot be lost, and if any one thinks he lost them, he never had them. The Synod of Dort, however (16), opposed this doctrine, when it decided that in particular instances one may lose the Divine grace.

We should not at all be surprised at this disagreement in the same sect, for as the heresiarchs separate from the Church, they cannot blame their disciples for separating from them; as Tertullian


when each follows his own will, the Valentinians have the same right to their own opinions as Valentine himself (17).

93. He uttered horrible blasphemies when speaking of human


(9) Gotti, Vera Chiesa, t. 1, c. 8, sec. 1, n. 9. (10) Calvin. Instit. l. 1, c. 13, sec. 9, n. 23, 24. (11) Calv. I. 3, c. 3, sec. 10. (12) Idem. I. 3, c. 14, sec. 4. (13) Idem. 1. 3, c. 11, sec. 15, 16. (14) Idem, l. 3, c. 11, sec. 3. (15) Calv. Inst. 1. 3, c. 2, sec. 16, & seq. (16) Idem, l. 3, c. 2, sec. 11, 12. (17) Tertull. de Script. Hærat. c. 42.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »