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year 755, he laid siege to Rome for the second time, but was again obliged to sue for peace, by the victorious arms of Pepin, who returned into Italy, and forcing the Lombard to execute the treaty be bad fo audaciously violated, made a new grant of the Exarchate, and of Pentapolis, to the Roman Pontiff and his successors in the apoftolic See of St. Peter. And thus was the Bishop of Rome raised to the rank of a temporal Prince?."-" The fplendid donation was granted in fupreme and absolute dominion, and the world beheld for the firft time a Christian Bishop invested with the prerogatives of a temporal prince; the choice of magistrates, the exercise of justice, the impofition of taxes, and the wealth of the palace of Ravenna.Before the end of the eighth century some apostolical scribe, perhaps the notorious Isidore, composed the Decretals, and the Donation of Constantine, the two magic pillars of the fpiritual and temporal monarchy of the Popes. This memorable donation was introduced to the world by an Epistle of Adrian the first, who exhorts Charlemagne to imitate the liberality, and revive the
2 Molheim, vol. i. p. 353.
name of the great Constantine. Accord ing to the legend, the first of the Christian Emperors was healed of the leprosy, and purified in the waters of baptism by St. Silvester, the Roman Bishop. His royal proselyte withdrew from the seat and
patrimony of St. Peter ; declared his resolution of founding a new capital in the East; and resigned to the Popes the free and perpetual sovereignty of Rome, Italy, and the provinces of the Weft. This fiction was productive of the most beneficial effects. The Greek princes were convicted of the guilt of usurpation; and the revolt of Gregory was the claim of his lawful inheritance. The sovereignty of Rome no longer depended on the choice of a fickle
people; and the Successors of St. Peter and Conftantine were invested with the purple and prerogatives of the Cefars"."
Thus did the mystery of iniquity begin to work, with all deceivableness" of unrighteousness. Thus was the fovereign Pontiff mighty in power, but not by bis own power;
and thus did he practise and prosper, and through his policy he caused craft to prosper in his hand. Thus Rome " acquired a new seat and dominion in this patrimony of St. Peter, which has continued for above a thousand years. The beast appeared to be wounded to death,—but the deadly wound inflicted by the sword of Odoacer, King of the Heruli, was healed, after the Roman Empire had received such an injury in one of its heads, or forms of government (that is, the sixth) as left no probable prospect that Rome should ever more rise to power and empire. And all the world wondered after the beast: for this event of a new and extraordinary form of government, divers from all others". this facerdotal mom narchy," as Gibbon calls it, excited the astonishment of mankind in the succeeding ages of its aggrandizement.
After their return from Avignon, the keys of St. Peter were guarded by the sword of St. Paul.
Rome was commanded by an impregnable citadel : the use of cannon is a powerful engine against
popular feditions : a regular force of cavalry and infantry was enlisted under the banners of the Pope: his ample revenues fupplied the resources of war; and, from the extent of his domain, he could bring down on a rebellious city an army of hoftile neighbours and loyal subjects. Since the union of the dutchies of Ferrara and Urbino, the Ecclesiastical State extends from the Mediterranean 'to the Adriatic, and from the confines of Naples to the banks of the Po; and as early as the sixteenth century, the greater part of that spacious and fruitful country acknowledged the lawful claims and temporal sovereignty of the Roman Pontiffs. Their claims were seadily deduced from the genuine or fabulous donations of the darker ages : the successive steps of their final settlement would engage us too far in the transactions of Italy, and even of Europe ; the crimes of Alexander the sixth, the martial operations of Julius the fecond, and the liberal policy of Leo the tenth, a theme which has been adorned by the pens of the nobleft historians of the times. In the first period of their conquests, till the expedition of Charles the eighth, the Popes
might successfully wrestle with the adjacent princes and states, whose military force was equal, or inferior, to their own*.
Power was indeed given unto him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations for the Pope assumed the prerogative of being the supreme sovereign of the Christian Church, and exercised for many ages an uncontrolled and universal authority. The kings gave their power and strength unto him, as previous to the Reformation all the monarchs of the West acknowledged him as their superior and lord, and, as his vassals, submitted to his power and his caprice. In the seventh century Pope Zechary I. deposed Childeric, King of France, the last of the Merovingian race, and absolved his subjects from their oaths of allegiance Y. In the eighth century, Paul I. excommunicated Constantinus Copronymus, the Greek Emperor, because he endeavoured to abo
Gibbon, vol. vi. p. 613, 614. y "Socrates faith of the Church of Rome and Alex. andria, the most famous Churches in the Apostles' time, that about the year 430, the Roman and Alexandrian Bishops, leaving their facred functions, were degenerated to a secular rule or dominion," Hooker's Eccl. Polity, p. 152. ç 2