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in the world. Of us Protestants it is often said that we are split into innumerable factions, and that, by consequence, our house must fall; but the truth is, that we have a centre of unity in Christ, which keeps us up. And, on the other side, it must be admitted, even by Romanists themselves, that elements of confusion are boiling within the bosom of their Church that break forth in schism on every occasion; and that whenever the pressure of an external force is withdrawn, hosts of Priests instantly arise in open disaffection to the Court and Pope of Rome. But here is a theme for long discourse. We must leave it, and come to Gregory XII.
Innocent-(how charming a name! It reminds one of the pure, unspotted lambs’-wool, whereof is woven, by virgins' hands, the pallium to be thrown over the shoulders of some high Prelate, who might seem to be robed in innocence,
“ Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus.” One thinks of the white that glistens on the outside of a sepulchre, in spite of all the rottenness and dead men's bones within)—Innocent VII., himself an anti-Pope, died at Rome on the 6th of November, 1406. Some say that the messenger of death was a stroke of apoplexy, and some that it was a dose of poison. But all agree that his departure was regarded on both sides with delight, even greater than the satisfaction that is usually experienced when a real, entire, and peerless Pope breathes bis last.
The Cardinals of his obedience, fourteen in number, went into conclave two days afterwards, to deliberate on the election or non-election of a successor. If they did not choose one, they would have none to adore and obey but a stubborn Spaniard, whom they hated, their bitter enemy, Pedro de Luna, or Benedict XIII. If they did choose one, they would only create a new chief to carry on the schism of which all Popedom was weary. If they did not elect a Pope at Rome, the Romans would set up a master of their own to rule the state, and leave the Cardinals without any temporal power. If they did make an election, they would place themselves under the command of a man of war, and must be content to fight his battle. After long debate, they struck out a middle way, a compromise between right
and wrong; and such a comproinise, as it is not right, cannot but be wrong. They drew up a paper to the effect that whoever was made Pope should resign his crown so soon as Benedict would resign his, or so soon as death had uncrowned Benedict. Every Cardinal signed the paper, and swore to it ; and then they elected a Venetian, Angelo Corario, CardinalPresbyter of St. Mark, and saluted him as their Holy Father, under the name of Gregory XII.
Gregory seemed to be a perfect zealot for peace and unity. He was an old man of not less than threescore years and ten, but he said that he would make any effort to heal the wounds of his bleeding spouse, the Church ; that, in compassion on her misery, he would make a pilgrimage to any spot where the great business of union was to be transacted, and there would piously lay down the triple crown as a votive offering to peace and charity. If there were not a proud galley, befitting his dignity, to be had, he would trust himself to the sea in a fishing-boat; or if the journey must be performed on Jand, and a beast were not forthcoming to carry him, he would trudge it on foot ; for on one thing his heart was determinately set, to be rid of his new dignity as quickly as possible. Strange to tell, they had made him what he was under an oath to unmake himself again.
Gregory wrote, even before his coronation, to Benedict, who was then at Marseilles, with his Court of Cardinals, exhorting him to surrender, and professing himself willing to disrobe, in like manner, as soon as the two could agree on a ceremony that would give decorum to their spontaneous abdication. Benedict answered the letter sweetly; and the world wondered to see the chiefs of two hostile armies talk to each other so lovingly across the barrier which alone prevented them from edifying Christendom with a visible embrace. The King of France dispatched an embassy to ask the Spaniard to love his competitor, the Venetian, not in word only, but in deed and in truth, and in proof of sincerity, to sign an act of cession. He replied graciously, but gave reasons for waiting some adjustment, and did not sign. Gregory, too, sent an embassy to Paris, to pray the King to hasten by his good offices the happy moment when he might expire in the person of Gregory, and revive in the humbler person of Corario. The King sent an embassy, in turn, to Rome, and prayed this disinterested temporary Pope to meet Benedict for conference at Savona. Gregory, as if to achieve the proposed conference with greater dignity, imposed a heavy tax upon the people of his obedience, to defray the cost, and looked around him at the same time for reasons to set aside the expedition, which its expensiveness, he hoped, would make unpopular. This done, and suddenly changing his note, he alleged reason upon reason why he neither could nor would go to Savona. Ships, hostages, castles, every assurance and all inducements that could be thought of were offered, but Gregory was immovable. Benedict, when he knew that his antagonist would not go to the place appointed, went thither himself, but at the same time excommunicated the King for presuming to interfere in the quarrel of a Pope; and thus the “concurrents” both agreed to carry on the war, each choosing to be a half-Pope, rather than not be Pope at all. Afterwards it was ascertained that they were in a secret agreement to pursue this course. The Cardinals who had elected Gregory were mortified; but he made other Cardinals. The old ones appealed to a Council; but he laughed at their appeal, and excommunicated them all at one stroke. France, in disgust, refused obedience to both Popes; and happy would it have been for France if she had persisted in that refusal until now.
The Cardinals of both obediences then joined in a determination to convoke a Council at Pisa, to set aside the refractory Innocent and Benedict at the same time; but each of these made the best of his position by creating new Cardinals, and attaching himself to political factions in Italy, or to friendly interests abroad, wherever he could find them. Affairs were embroiled more and more, the belligerents flew to arms, and Europe was in flames of strife and terror. A Council, however, assembled at Pisa, and, by a large majority, deposed both anti-Popes. The Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem ascended a spacious pulpit together, in the cathedral of Pisa, and solemnly pronounced the two troublers deposed as “schismatics, abettors of schism, heretics, obstinate, nerjured, and engaged in an incorrigible manner in divers
enormous crimes." It was also decreed that “all their sentences, promotions, and other acts, were null; that all Christians should be forbidden to own them in any manner whatever ; their adherents were to be excommunicated, and whoever disobeyed given over to the secular arm.
To complete the good work, the Cardinals went into conclave, and elected a new Pope, who took the name of Alexander V. But as neither of the old ones would resign, and each of them had his own followers, the Church of Rome presented the strange spectacle, for some years, of a body under three heads. As for Gregory, he carried himself loftily, and even held a Council at a town called Udina, in the Venetian territory; but finding himself in danger of being arrested by the authorities of the republic, to whose vengeance the sentence of the Council made him liable, he mounted a horse, and rode off in the garb of a layman. Under the protection of the King of the Romans, he took up his abode at Gaeta, a place latterly known as the refuge of Pius IX., whence he issued Bulls to curse heretics, together with Pedro de Luna (Benedict XIII.) and Baltassare Cossa (John XXIII.) However, the . Council of Constance afterwards deposed John XXIII., successor of Alexander V., for many and great crimes; and our Gregory, having seen the death of one antagonist, and the deposition of another, was at length persuaded to lay down his own dignity, which the Council of Constance accepted with a good grace. At Rimini,--the place where an image of the Virgin winks,having assembled his Cardinals in Consistory, he announced to them that his representative at Constance had presented his act of cession, and then took off his tiara, and his pontifical vestments, and, laying them on the floor, declared that he would never wear them again, but be content with the dignity of First Cardinal, and the revenue of Legate of the March of Ancona. Benedict, in Spain, persisted in blessing, cursing, creating Cardinals, and performing such other sovereign acts as the shadow of a Pope could, and then died in a wretched and contemptible obscurity.
* L'Enfant, “ Histoire du Conseil de Pise," livre iii,
Thus ended the last great schism of the Papacy; and out of that schism the Court of Rome, instructed by long experience, rose to a pitch of temporal power far beyond its utmost attainment in the darkest age, because less noisy, less furious, less haughty, but more consolidated, and exercising a far more prudent, equable, and intensely mischievous administration throughout the world.
GEHAZI. Elisha had a servant named Gehazi, who appears to have possessed his entire confidence, and to have been his constant companion and attendant. When the Shunammite stood before Elisha, and he inquired of her what request she had to make of him, and what should be her reward for the attention she had paid him, Gehazi suggested to his master the mode in which she should be requited; when the Shunammite came to Elisha with a message that her son was dead, Gehazi was sent to lay Elisha's staff upon the face of the child, and he did so, but the child did not revive ; and when Elisha had raised up the child to life, he told Gehazi to call the Shunammite, to whom he delivered back her son. (2 Kings iv. 14, 31, 36.)
But the most remarkable incident in the history of Gehazi occurred in connexion with the cure of Naaman. Here it is that his real character appears; or, if he was previously a good man, it is here that we have the account of his fall and punishment.
The grateful Naaman wished to give Elisha a token of his gratitude ; but Elisha, with a noble disinterestedness, refused to receive it. He did not wish the Syrian to go home with the impression that the Prophet of Israel was a lover of the wealth of this world, or that the gift of God was to be bought with money; and though the famine was still raging in the land, and such a gift as Naaman offered would have been doubly valuable at such a season, yet, rather than receive it, and thereby compromise his character in the estimation of the Syrians, the Prophet resolved to cast himself on that Providence which had hitherto sustained him so remarkably. But Gehazi said, “ Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he