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HE Reformation of the Church, which Charles I happened in the XVIth Century, has vill.
Lewis something fo surprizing, and wonderful
XI. in itself
, that it deserves the Attention of any from 1493 sensible Man, to inquire into the true Causes of to 1503. such an admirable Efect. Therefore, though se
Alexander veral learned Men have already spoken fully up- VI. on that subject, nevertheless I shall premise some general Considerations upon the fame, by way of Introduction to this History.
Amongst the many Causes which concurred together to this blessed Change, The Pope's
ral Condi: Usurpations and Tyranny · The Clergy's Igno- derations rance and Dissoluteness ; The Dispersion of the on the Waldenses; The Restauration of Learning ; Caufes. Leo's Bull of Indulgences ; The Disputes occa- cafioned ebe fioned by it, may be accounted for the chiefeft.
ReformaAs to the Pope's Usurpations, Tyranny, tion. Avarice, Pride, & c. all the Histories of the (1)
The Pope's XVIth, and the former Centuries from the X Ith,
Avarice, are so full of them, that there is no room left for Pride, &c. doubt. It is well known, that since the XIIIth Century, the Church's Authority was become the Capital Point of Religion, and that, by the Church the Pope was meant, in him every thing centered ; Privileges of Churches, Prerogatives of Sovereigns, all was entirely under his Dependance.
Under pretence of Religion he declared War, and enjoin'd Peace; he married, and divorced; he condemned and absolved ; he tied, and untied; just as he pleased, no body daring to ask him, why do you do fo ? In short it is very probable, that if the Schism of the XVth Century had not caused them to lose Ground, they would have wholly engrossed to themselves the temporal Power, as well as the spiritual. However the B.3
Charles Popes were become real Sovereigns, not only
VIII. Lewis XII.
with respect to the Power they had usurped, but 1493
likewise with regard to the immense Riches, 1903
which through numberless Channels flowed into
the vast Ocean of the Apostolick Chamber, Alexander VI.
It was almost impossible that Purity of Life, and true religious Principes could be preserved undefiled, amidst fo much Grandeur, and Riches; on the contrary, the Popes were the more liable to make an ill use of thcir Power. We find in History that Rome and Avignon were the center of Pride, Luxury, Sensuality, and of all the most
fcandalous Vices. Infianced Most of the Popes had no Religion at all
. in joine Rodericus Borgia, known by the name of AlexparticuLars.
ander VI. who fat upon the Papal Chair from August 1493 to August 1503, was a Monster in all manner of Wickedness; he made use of his Bastard Son the Duke of Valentinois, to perpetrate the most execrable Crimes ; he died in a way suitable to the whole Course of his Life, having drunk by mischance of a poisoned Wine, which he, and his Son had prepared for Cardinal Corneto. (a) Let us hear Guicciardine on the Character of this Pope.
When Alexander, says he, and his Son were y, at the heig it of their Hopes; fo fallacious and
vain are the Devices of Men! The Pope being » gone to sup in a Vine-yard near the Vaticans, was suddenly seized, and carried almost dead
into his Palace -- he died the next day, 18th of August, and was deposited, as usual, in the Bafilick of St. Peter, having on his Corps all
the evident Symptoms of Poison, for he was ,, black, swelled, and deformed.
It was the common Opinion that the Duke his Son,
(a) Mezeray Abregé de l' Hift. de France. Tom. iv. 0.434. Edit. d'Amsterdam 1674.
who was to sup with him in the said Vine- Lewis XID» yard, intended to poison Cardinal Adrian de 1503, „ Corneto : And it was very well known, that Alexander
the Father, and the Son made use of Poison, to
dispatch out of the World, not only their Ene- o » mies, or those of whom they food in awe, but
likewise those, who were rich enough to tempt their covetous desires, though they had never
offended against them; of this the Cardinal »
de St. Ange was a fad example, bing im» mensely rich. Nay, they fpared not their best
Friends, the most devoted to their Interests, „, as the Cardinals of Capua, and of Modena, „ were made sensible of it, though they had been
their moit faithful and useful Ministers. -
the Corps in the Basilick of St. Peter ; every „ one devoured with his Eyes that Dragon, who ,, by his immoderate Ambition, his plaguy Per„ fidiousness, his execrable Cruelty against all
Men, his monstrous Luxury, and his anhcard
of Avarice, having fold promiscuously every „ thing facred, and profane, had infected the „ whole world with his poisoned Examples (O).
To this, answers the character which Mezeray gives us of that Pope, for he tells us, that he had intruded himself into the Holy Chair ; that, having bought the Pontificate very dear, he dispofed of every thing after his own will; that no Mahometan Prince was ever so impious, vicious, and unfaithful as this Man, ard that if he was furpast by any one in his Abominations and Crimes, it was only by his Bastard Son Cæfar Borgia. (c) Thefe Verses were made on his account.
(b) Guicciardini Hiit. Ital. lib. vi. p. 201. Edit. Iar Frinted at Bafil 1566. Mezeray ubi upru. P. 375.
Lewis XII. Vendit Alexander Cruces, Altaria, Christum,
Emerat ille prius, vendere jure poteft. Pope
That is, Julius II.
✓ Alexander fold Crosses, Altars, Christ himself; He could sell them by Right, since he had bought
[them. Pius III. Pius III. of the Piccolomini's house, who had
þeen elected in his room, fat for twenty fix days
only; he was succeeded by Julianus de Roveira, Julius II. who took the name of Julius II. A very pro
fligate Man indeed! He came to the Papacy by Simony, and other wicked Arts, and having got his ends, he put all Europe in confusion by Wars and Factions.
The assembly of the Gallican Church held at Tours in 1519, by the King's Command, to resolve his scruples about the lawfulness of the War, which he was obliged to carry on against him, Thewed forth, what opinion they had of the Pope, and of the Vatican's thunder-bolts, when they decided unanimously, that, it was lawful for the King, not only to act defensively, but even offensively against such a Man. (d)
The King himself, though the meekest, and the justest of all the Princes of his time, could not forbear venting his Indignation, by causing a gold Medal to be struck with this Inscription, PERDAM BABYLONIS NOMEN, that is, I will destroy the name of Babylon. (e)
Julius, fully resolved to attack Ferrara, was advised to make himself first master of Mirandola, but tired with the length of the Siege, he went thither in person ; ,, a thing unheard of before ! 7 says Guicciardine, The Vicar of Christ on Earth,
(d) Idem ubi fuprà, p. 453. p. 11. Edit. Aurel. 1626.
(e) ThuaniHift. lib. i,
old and sickly against a Christian City, in
LewisXII. War kindled by himself against the Christian from 1503
to 1513 Princes (f)."
So obstinate and fiery was he, that nothing was Julius 16, done soon enough to please him, always scolding at the Captains, always in fury, lodging so near the Battery, that two Men were killed in his Kitchen, notwithstanding the remonftrances of his Cardinals, who endeavoured to make him fenfible of the scandal which would reflect upon his own Person, and his See. Monstrelet hath these remarkable words upon the same Subject.
He forsook, says he, the Chair of St. Peter, to „, take upon him the title of Mars, God of Battle, „ to display in the Fields the three Crowns, and » to lay like a Centry; and God knows, what
fine object, the Miters, Crosses, and Staves fly» ing in pieces through the Fields, offered to the „, sight! The Devil, to be sure, could not be „ there, since the Blessings were bestowed at so
cheap a rate (g)."
The wicked nature of this Pope, made the Emperor Maximilian to cry out, lifting up his Eyes, O Everlasting God! what would this World come to, if you did not watch for it, bow should it be ill governed by me, who am but a weak Hunter, And by that wicked Drunkard, namely, Pope Julius?
Wicelius, though a great Stickler for the Popes, is fain to own, that Julius was more devoted to Mars, than to Christ. The Gluttony, Lewdness, Cruelty, Swearing and Cursings of this Pope are so well known, that I need not infif: upon the fame (h).
The Germans, provoked at the Exactions and Tyranny of the Court of Rome, tendered a Peti
Guicciard. lib. ix. p. 324. (8) Monstrelet quoted by Da Plessis Mornay Hift. de la Papauté fol. Saumur 16.11.
(h) Crelpin Etat de l'Eglise, p. 453: