Author Topic: Hobbes summary of St. Bellarmines De Summo Pontifice  (Read 519 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Geremia

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3407
  • Reputation: +967/-198
  • Gender: Male
    • St. Isidore e-book library
Hobbes summary of St. Bellarmines De Summo Pontifice
« on: October 22, 2014, 12:22:03 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Thomas Hobbes read St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine's De Summo Pontifice, whose book 2, chapter 30 is a favorite among sedevacantists. The chapter from Hobbes' Leviathan is entitled "Cardinal Bellarmines Books De Summo Pontifice Considered:"
    Quote from: Hobbes
    Cardinal Bellarmines Books De Summo Pontifice Considered

    Though this that I have here said, and in other places of this Book, seem cleer enough for the asserting of the Supreme Ecclesiasticall Power to Christian Soveraigns; yet because the Pope of Romes challenge to that Power universally, hath been maintained chiefly, and I think as strongly as is possible, by Cardinall Bellarmine, in his Controversie De Summo Pontifice; I have thought it necessary, as briefly as I can, to examine the grounds, and strength of his Discourse.


    The First Book

    Of five Books he hath written of this subject, the first containeth three Questions: One, Which is simply the best government, Monarchy, Aristocracy, or Democracy; and concludeth for neither, but for a government mixt of all there: Another, which of these is the best Government of the Church; and concludeth for the mixt, but which should most participate of Monarchy: the third, whether in this mixt Monarchy, St. Peter had the place of Monarch. Concerning his first Conclusion, I have already sufficiently proved (chapt. 18.) that all Governments which men are bound to obey, are Simple, and Absolute. In Monarchy there is but One Man Supreme; and all other men that have any kind of Power in the State, have it by his Commission, during his pleasure; and execute it in his name: And in Aristocracy, and Democracy, but One Supreme Assembly, with the same Power that in Monarchy belongeth to the Monarch, which is not a Mixt, but an Absolute Soveraignty. And of the three sorts, which is the best, is not to be disputed, where any one of them is already established; but the present ought alwaies to be preferred, maintained, and accounted best; because it is against both the Law of Nature, and the Divine positive Law, to doe any thing tending to the subversion thereof. Besides, it maketh nothing to the Power of any Pastor, (unlesse he have the Civill Soveraignty,) what kind of Government is the best; because their Calling is not to govern men by Commandement, but to teach them, and perswade them by Arguments, and leave it to them to consider, whether they shall embrace, or reject the Doctrine taught. For Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, do mark out unto us three sorts of Soveraigns, not of Pastors; or, as we may say, three sorts of Masters of Families, not three sorts of Schoolmasters for their children.

    And therefore the second Conclusion, concerning the best form of Government of the Church, is nothing to the question of the Popes Power without his own Dominions: For in all other Common-wealths his Power (if hee have any at all) is that of the Schoolmaster onely, and not of the Master of the Family.

    For the third Conclusion, which is, that St. Peter was Monarch of the Church, he bringeth for his chiefe argument the place of S. Matth. (chap. 16.18, 19.) "Thou art Peter, And upon this rock I will build my Church, &c. And I will give thee the keyes of Heaven; whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven." Which place well considered, proveth no more, but that the Church of Christ hath for foundation one onely Article; namely, that which Peter in the name of all the Apostles professing, gave occasion to our Saviour to speak the words here cited; which that wee may cleerly understand, we are to consider, that our Saviour preached by himself, by John Baptist, and by his Apostles, nothing but this Article of Faith, "that he was the Christ;" all other Articles requiring faith no otherwise, than as founded on that. John began first, (Mat. 3.2.) preaching only this, "The Kingdome of God is at hand." Then our Saviour himself (Mat. 4.17.) preached the same: And to his Twelve Apostles, when he gave them their Commission (Mat. 10.7.) there is no mention of preaching any other Article but that. This was the fundamentall Article, that is the Foundation of the Churches Faith. Afterwards the Apostles being returned to him, he asketh them all, (Mat. 16.13) not Peter onely, "Who men said he was;" and they answered, that "some said he was John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the Prophets:" Then (ver. 15.) he asked them all again, (not Peter onely) "Whom say yee that I am?" Therefore Peter answered (for them all) "Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God;" which I said is the Foundation of the Faith of the whole Church; from which our Saviour takes the occasion of saying, "Upon this stone I will build my Church;" By which it is manifest, that by the Foundation-Stone of the Church, was meant the Fundamentall Article of the Churches Faith. But why then (will some object) doth our Saviour interpose these words, "Thou art Peter"? If the originall of this text had been rigidly translated, the reason would easily have appeared: We are therefore to consider, that the Apostle Simon, was surnamed Stone, (which is the signification of the Syriacke word Cephas, and of the Greek word Petrus). Our Saviour therefore after the confession of that Fundamentall Article, alluding to his name, said (as if it were in English) thus, Thou art "Stone," and upon this Stone I will build my Church: which is as much as to say, this Article, that "I am the Christ," is the Foundation of all the Faith I require in those that are to bee members of my Church: Neither is this allusion to a name, an unusuall thing in common speech: But it had been a strange, and obscure speech, if our Saviour intending to build his Church on the Person of St. Peter, had said, "thou art a Stone, and upon this Stone I will build my Church," when it was so obvious without ambiguity to have said, "I will build my Church on thee; and yet there had been still the same allusion to his name.

    And for the following words, "I will give thee the Keyes of Heaven, &c." it is no more than what our Saviour gave also to all the rest of his Disciples (Matth. 18.18.) "Whatsoever yee shall bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven. And whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven." But howsoever this be interpreted, there is no doubt but the Power here granted belongs to all Supreme Pastors; such as are all Christian Civill Soveraignes in their own Dominions. In so much, as if St. Peter, or our Saviour himself had converted any of them to beleeve him, and to acknowledge his Kingdome; yet because his Kingdome is not of this world, he had left the supreme care of converting his subjects to none but him; or else hee must have deprived him of the Soveraignty, to which the Right of Teaching is inseparably annexed. And thus much in refutation of his first Book, wherein hee would prove St. Peter to have been the Monarch Universall of the Church, that is to say, of all the Christians in the world.


    The Second Book

    The second Book hath two Conclusions: One, that S. Peter was Bishop of Rome, and there dyed: The other, that the Popes of Rome are his Successors. Both which have been disputed by others. But supposing them to be true; yet if by Bishop of Rome bee understood either the Monarch of the Church, or the Supreme Pastor of it; not Silvester, but Constantine (who was the first Christian Emperour) was that Bishop; and as Constantine, so all other Christian Emperors were of Right supreme Bishops of the Roman Empire; I say of the Roman Empire, not of all Christendome: For other Christian Soveraigns had the same Right in their severall Territories, as to an Office essentially adhaerent to their Soveraignty. Which shall serve for answer to his second Book.


    The Third Book

    In the third Book, he handleth the question whether the Pope be Antichrist. For my part, I see no argument that proves he is so, in that sense that Scripture useth the name: nor will I take any argument from the quality of Antichrist, to contradict the Authority he exerciseth, or hath heretofore exercised in the Dominions of any other Prince, or State.

    It is evident that the Prophets of the Old Testament foretold, and the Jews expected a Messiah, that is, a Christ, that should re-establish amongst them the kingdom of God, which had been rejected by them in the time of Samuel, when they required a King after the manner of other Nations. This expectation of theirs, made them obnoxious to the Imposture of all such, as had both the ambition to attempt the attaining of the Kingdome, and the art to deceive the People by counterfeit miracles, by hypocriticall life, or by orations and doctrine plausible. Our Saviour therefore, and his Apostles forewarned men of False Prophets, and of False Christs. False Christs, are such as pretend to be the Christ, but are not, and are called properly Antichrists, in such sense, as when there happeneth a Schisme in the Church by the election of two Popes, the one calleth the other Antipapa, or the false Pope. And therefore Antichrist in the proper signification hath two essentiall marks; One, that he denyeth Jesus to be Christ; and another that he professeth himselfe to bee Christ. The first Mark is set down by S. John in his 1 Epist. 4. ch. 3. ver. "Every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; And this is the Spirit of Antichrist." The other Mark is expressed in the words of our Saviour, (Mat. 24.5.) "Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;" and again, "If any man shall say unto you, Loe, here is Christ, there is Christ beleeve it not." And therefore Antichrist must be a False Christ, that is, some one of them that shall pretend themselves to be Christ. And out of these two Marks, "to deny Jesus to be the Christ," and to "affirm himselfe to be the Christ," it followeth, that he must also be an "Adversary of the true Christ," which is another usuall signification of the word Antichrist. But of these many Antichrists, there is one speciall one, O Antichristos, The Antichrist, or Antichrist definitely, as one certaine person; not indefinitely An Antichrist. Now seeing the Pope of Rome, neither pretendeth himself, nor denyeth Jesus to be the Christ, I perceive not how he can be called Antichrist; by which word is not meant, one that falsely pretendeth to be His Lieutenant, or Vicar Generall, but to be Hee. There is also some Mark of the time of this speciall Antichrist, as (Mat. 24.15.) when that abominable Destroyer, spoken of by Daniel, (Dan. 9. 27.) shall stand in the Holy place, and such tribulation as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be again, insomuch as if it were to last long, (ver. 22.) "no flesh could be saved; but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened" (made fewer). But that tribulation is not yet come; for it is to be followed immediately (ver. 29.) by a darkening of the Sun and Moon, a falling of the Stars, a concussion of the Heavens, and the glorious coming again of our Saviour, in the cloudes. And therefore The Antichrist is not yet come; whereas, many Popes are both come and gone. It is true, the Pope in taking upon him to give Laws to all Christian Kings, and Nations, usurpeth a Kingdome in this world, which Christ took not on him: but he doth it not As Christ, but as For Christ, wherein there is nothing of the Antichrist.


    The Fourth Book

    In the fourth Book, to prove the Pope to be the supreme Judg in all questions of Faith and Manners, (which is as much as to be the absolute Monarch of all Christians in the world,) be bringeth three Propositions: The first, that his Judgments are Infallible: The second, that he can make very Laws, and punish those that observe them not: The third, that our Saviour conferred all Jurisdiction Ecclesiasticall on the Pope of Rome.
    St. Isidore e-book library: https://isidore.co/calibre

    Offline Geremia

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3407
    • Reputation: +967/-198
    • Gender: Male
      • St. Isidore e-book library
    Hobbes summary of St. Bellarmines De Summo Pontifice
    « Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 09:45:44 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • The sections that follow what I quoted above also discuss St. Robert:
     Texts For The Infallibility Of The Popes Judgement In Points Of Faith
     Texts For The Same In Point Of Manners
     Of The Popes Temporall Power

    Hobbes seems to have a nominalistic understanding of papal authority (anti-papistry and nominalism go hand-in-hand since at least Occam). He also thinks a pope has no legislative power, and that he only has temporal power over territories he owns.

    Also, in the last section linked above, he discusses the Lateran Council, which he quotes: "If a King at the Popes admonition, doe not purge his Kingdome of Haeretiques, and being Excommunicate for the same, make not satisfaction within a year, his subjects are absolved of their Obedience."
    St. Isidore e-book library: https://isidore.co/calibre


     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16