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Capacity for temporal Affairs ; but these, for the Francis f. most part, were Men governed by the Maxims 155 to of the World, and who did consider Religion, Pope but as a mean to establish their Fortune.
Leo X. The Legates, fent to the several States m of Christendom, were so many Incendiaries, who fought only to sow Discord and Division among the Princes, or excite them to shed the Blood of their own Subjects. In a word, they regarded only the Intereits of their Master, and the Roman See, making no Conscience to break through the Rules of Religion, and Equity, to accomplish their Ends.
The rest of the Clergy in general were not better; most of the Bishops were promoted to Epifcopacy, purely for having rendered themselves recommendable by their Attachment to the Interests of the Court of Rome, or for their Services to Princes in their temporal Concerns; in other respects, they were for the most part absolutely destitute of Learning.
It is what Nicholas Clemangis Archdeacon of Bayeux complained of bitterly
at the beginning of the XVth Century, and Æneas Sylvius says, that the Government of the Churches, of Italy especially, was committed to the Care of Persons more fit to govern Mules than Men (t).
Cruelty, Injustice, Dishonesty were very rife among them; nay, they were considered as so many Virtues, when employed in the Perfecution of those that were termed Hereticks. As to their Luxury, Lewdness, and Debauchery even in religious Houses of both Sexes, nothing can exceed what the said Clemangis, and others of the fame and the next Century, all of the Roman Communion, have related upon that subject, and
which, (+) Cook's Hift. of Pope Joan, 238, &c. Translated into Frcach by Montagne.
Francis I. which, for Modesty fake, I forbear translating (v). 1515 to
Such was in general the deplorable State of the 1517 Pope
Churcli. The exorbitant Usurpations of the Leo X. Popes, their tyrannical Government, their Pride,
Avarice, Luxury ; the Clergy's Ignorance, and Diffoluteness had rendered the Face of Religion entirely despicable, and called aloud for a Reformation in the Head, as well as in the Members.
It was the Object of the earnest Desires of every good Man, such a Work had been attempted in the XVth Century, in the Councils of Constance and Basil; it had been the outward pretence of that of Pisa in the beginning of the XVIth į but such a design was always obstructed, or laid aside by those whose Intereft it was to entertain, and maintain that Corruption and Tyranny.
These are Matters of Fact asserted by a Cloud
Suscitat, & mota lumina bile rubent :
Cerberus & Stygias, murmure turbat aquas,
Nec Jovis Imperium, nec Phlegetonta times.
That is, Thou art like the Adder, when Anger provokes his Venom, and his Eyes are irrfamed with Fury. Thou howlest like Cerberus when he bites his Iron Chains, and makeit Hell resound with his Noise. Thou putteft Enmity Francis I. and Distrust between Brethren, and careft not for 15!5t
re(v) Idem p. 234, 235. Dupl. Mornay, 991.
1517. Heaven, or for Hell.
Leo X. As to its Avarice and Fallacy : Si cuid Roma dabit, Nugas dalit, accipit Aurum, Verba dat ; Heu ! Roma sola nunc pecunia regnat, Exilium virtus patitur, &c.
That is, If Rome gives any thing, expect nothing but Trifles; for your Gold you will receive Promises ; Alas! Rome is governed only by Avarice. Virtue is banished from it.
As to its Licentiousncss and Debauchery: Vivere qui fan&te cupitis, difcedite Roma.
Omnia cum liceant, non licet effe bonum.
That is, Good and pious Men, get out of Rome, if you desire to continue so ; for though there is a full Liberty to do any thing, yet not to practise Virtue.
Notwithftanding this general Corruption of the Doctrine and Depravation of Manners, God, The Difwho never left himself without Witness, had fersion of
the Wala served to himself fome Remnant, who had not
denses. bowed the Knee to the Image of Baal ; I mean the Albigenses and Waldenfes, who having been forced out of their Native Countries by cruel Persecutions, dispersed themselves in several Countries of Europe, as France, Flanders, England, Germany, Bohemia, Italy, &c. And, as they had persevered in the Doctrine of Chrift, fince the Apostolical Times, without any Mixture, at least, in the most essential Points, so their Dilpersion helped not a little to the Revealing of the Mystery of Iniquity, and to the weaning the No.I.
Francis I. People of their old Superstitions. See more of 1515 to
this in Qur Preface. 1517 Pope
Another thing which contributed much toLeo x. wards the Restauration of Truth, was the Re
stauration of Learning. The Subversion of the Con
ftantinopolitan Empire, which happened in 1453, (2)
under Constantine Palæologus, alias Dracose, by Anuration Mahomet II, occasioned many learned' Men of of Learn- that Country to fly into Italy for Refuge, where
they were kindly received and entertained. The Knowledge of several Branches of useful Learning, and particularly of the Greek Tongue, was brought by their Means to a greater degree of Perfection, and spread itself from Italy into several Parts of Europe.
The Benevolence and Liberality of Francis I incited by the great Budeys's Sollicitations, inticed into his Dominions a great Number of the most Learned that were to be found in the rest of Europe, because the Pensions and Privileges he bestowed upon them, fufficiently secured them both from Contempt, and Misery.
Amongst these learned, belides. William Budeus, were James Faber or Le Fevre, Agathius, Francis Vatable, Paul Paradice, the three last were made. Profeffors in Hebrew; Peter Danes, and James Tufan, ProfesTors in Greek; Oroncius Finée, Professor in Mathematicks (u):
It was not long before the good Effects of these Settlements were felt in the Kingdom, and endeared the Memory of Francis I. to the learned World. These things were certainly
a great preparative to that happy and admirable Change, which happened in the Church in the XV1th Century. People were groaning under the tyrannical and intolerable Yoke of the Popes ; full of Indigration at the Licentiousness and Igno
rance (w) Beze Hit. Eccl. vol. i. liv. 1. p. 4.
rance of the proud Clergy ; enlighted by the Francis I. Restauration of Learning, they were afhamed of 1515. the many Errors and Superstitions which had
Pope been imposed upon them.
Such being the Dispositions of their Minds, no wonder,', if Truth found fo free an Access to their Hearts, if it was greedily received by a vast number of every Rank and Sex in so many Countries of Europe, since they waited, only, as it were, for an opportunity to declare themselves openly for it.
Pope Leo himself afforded them that Oppor- (5) tunity by his insatiable greediness, and intolerable Leo's Bull extortions. Let us hear Guicciardine upon this of Indulfubject.
1932 » The Authority of ghe Holy See, says he, „ which Leo abused, occafioned these Commo
tions in Germany. By the Advice of Lau„ rence Puççii Cardinal of the four Saints, Leo, without
of , had published his Indulgences throughout all the World, by which the forgiveness of
of Sins „ was promised, not only to the living, but even » to the dead, which would be redeemed from
that Fire, wherein it is said, they do expiate „ their Sins. These Indulgences, though it was „ well known, that they had been granted only
for extorting Money from People, were diftri» buted with the greatest Impudence by those
who had been ordered for it, and were an oc„ casion of scandal in many Places, particularly » in Germany, where the Collectors of that Mo» ney fold at a low Rate the Faculty of de» livering the Souls from Purgatory, or were „ seen laying out the Money-collected, in" Gam„ ing, or in Tavernş. But what raised the more »
the Indignation was, that the Pope, who, by reafon of his Effeminacy, performed in many