Skip to main content

Full text of "Pre-Tridentine Doctrine : A review of the Commentary on the Scriptures of Cardinal Cajetan"

See other formats




EASTER, 1906 

Shelf No. 

Register No. fl 



of Divinity, six times Rector of the University of Leipzig 
(1635-1697.) With Portrait. Small 4to. Printed on hand 
made paper with wide margin, xx. 128 pages. Cloth, 
bevelled edges. 55. 

"Alberti was an active and vigorous controversialist, and was 
engaged in contests with Puffendorf, Bossuet, Bellarmine, and other 
theologians and philosophers of note." Church Quarterly Review. 

"In every way a scholar worthy to be kept in memory. The work 
is well got up in the antique style, with an admirable portrait, and 
deserves a niche in every theological library." Record. 


DOUBTS. Letters to the Very Rev. the Dean of Peter 
borough. 2 parts. 8vo. 25 and 12 pp. Sewed, is. 6d. 

" It would be difficult to add to the argumentative force or the 
felicitous expression of the argument. Into further considerations as to 
the Ignatian Epistles, such as the comparative value of the different 
recensions, we need not now enter. They may possibly occupy the 
attention of critics for some time to come ; but as to the Medicajan and 
any other version containing the episcopal passages, Mr. Jenkins, 
following in the wake of other critics, may, as it seems to me, be 
regarded as having given them their final and unanswerable quietus. 
For the future they must be consigned in company with the forged 
Decretals and similar hierarchical impostures into that large limbo of 
ecclesiastical unveracities whence they ought never to have been 
permitted to emerge. 1 The Academy. 

" An able and thoughtful production." Theological Monthly. 

" Brings forward with much skill and power the arguments against 
the Ignatian authorship in the endeavour to prove that the letters are 
quite incompatible with a writing of the second century." The Ecclesi 
astical Chronicle. 












Komauae ruinae pars, cjuainvis et rerum omnium, in direptione et personal! 
captivitate fuerim, Conmu-ntarios quos inchoaveram perfeci." 







MOKE than fifty years have passed away since I 
first became acquainted with the Commentary of 
Cardinal Cajetan on the Epistles of St. Paul, and 
was led to detect in his remarkable defence of the 
doctrine of Justification by Faith in his Exposition 
on the third chapter of the Romans the source 
from which our Reformers derived their definition 
of that doctrine in the " Homily on the Salvation 
of Mankind." The ignorance which then almost 
universally prevailed in regard to the life and 
labours of the great Cardinal of Gaeta (whose local 
name is often inconveniently confounded with the 
personal name of the Cardinals of the Gaetani 
family), was well exemplified by the actual horror 
which the late Bishop Blom field expressed when I 
cited his Commentaries among those which I had 
read before my ordination. " Cardinal Cajetan 
Cardinal Cajetan ?" he exclaimed "What could 
have induced you to have recourse to such a 

viii PREFACE. 

writer ?" He expressed a similar amazement 
when I mentioned Estius also as a valuable aid 
in the study of the Apostolic Epistles. I satisfied 
his mind by assuring him that I did not consult 
such authorities on controversial matters, though 
I might well have urged the fact, which will 
appear to the reader of the following pages, that 
in many such questions Cajetan is far nearer to 
the Church of England than to the Church of 
Rome and that he is the most important re 
presentative we possess of the Church of the 
transition period that pre-Tridentine interval of 
about twenty years in which the controverted 
doctrines were rather in a state of fusion than in 
that inflexible rigidity, to which they were re 
duced by the Spanish and Italian majority in the 
Council. The rude Latin of the Vulgate had not 
in the days of Cajetan superseded the languages 
of the original ; and he was not afraid of dealing 
with its errors in a very summary way. The 
ignorance of Hebrew and Greek which prevailed 
universally in the Council, and the knowledge 
that the mediaeval theology of the Latin Church 
was founded upon the Vulgate, whose errors were 
imbedded in the writings of the western divines, 
conspired to efiect the canonisation of St Jerome s 
version, and indeed to make it a necessity. At 


the period of the Lateran Council, in 1860, which 
established the doctrine of the Immaculate Con 
ception, I published a translation of the remarkable 
treatise against that dogma which was drawn up 
by Cajetan for the previous Council of the same 
name by the command of Leo X., with a brief 
introduction in which an outline was given of the 
life of the Cardinal, and of the freedom with which 
he broke away from the traditional mysticism of 
the mediaeval interpreters. I observed in regard 
to his greatest exegetical work : "In his com 
mentary on the Epistles of St. Paul, the mind of 
this great man came out in all its natural freedom. 
His exposition of the doctrine of Justification in 
the Romans (transferred almost word for word 
to the Homily of our Church, On the Salva 
tion of all Mankind ) ; his declaration on the 
Corinthians in favour of the use of the vernacular 
language in the public services of the Church 
his opinion on confession before the Communion, 
on the celibacy of the priesthood as not of divine 
obligation, on the mass as merely a commemorative 
sacrifice, and on many other points ; his denial 
that the sixth chapter of St. John relates formally 
to the Eucharist, or that St. James refers in his 
fifth chapter either to Auricular Confession or to 
Extreme Unction his larger views of the Church, 


and significant observation on Saint worship as 
illustrated at the burial of Stephen ; finally, his 
noble protest against those very corruptions which 
had awakened the zeal of Luther, have not only 
taken away the reproach of his earlier life, but 
established his reputation as one of the founders 
of that literal interpretation of the Scripture which 
was developed more fully by Erasmus and has 
been handed down ever since even in the Roman 
Church." That lie would have taken part in the 
reformation of that church on the lines laid down 
in the celebrated " Council of the Cardinals " 
addressed to Pope Paul III. and signed by his 
patron, Cardinal Oaraffa, and his friends and 
colleagues, Sadolet, Contarini and Pole, though 
he did not live to share their work, is proved 
from the active part he took in the election of 
Adrian VI. who confessed in his famous in 
structions to his legate Chieregato that all the 
ills of the Church had originated at its head, and 
that from thence they flowed down to all its 
members " Curia haec, uncle forte omne hoc 
malum processit } a noble confession which 
had he lived, might have made the Council of 
Trent unnecessary, by carrying out the great 
moral reformation of which Cardinal Contarini 
said in his treatise against Luther : " Non est 


opus concilio, non disputationibus et syllogismis 
opus est tan turn bona voluntate, charitate erga 
Deum et proximum, animi humilitate opus est."* 

In his letter on the Council addressed to Mgr. 
Galeazzo Fiorimondo da Sessa, Bishop of Aquino, 
he proposes that all the bishops who are called to 
the Council should be strictly examined in life 
and doctrine, and if unworthy should be set aside. 
All who have gained their offices through the 
favour of Princes or by ambition, or by admission 
to offices in Rome (per entrate d offitii in Roma) 
or through wicked arts should be removed. If 
this were done he predicts the speedy return to 
the Church of all Christian people. How little 
his prayers were fulfilled is too evident from the 
history of the Council, as it is given us by its 
most ardent advocates and in its official documents 
as we read them in the great collection of Le Plat. 
The Commentaries of Cajetan are scarce and not 
easily procured, and they are moreover entombed 
in large folios, a circumstance which renders them 
inaccessible to the general reader, and even if 
accessible very inconvenient. Hence the writer 
of these lines has endeavoured to lay the more 
important portions of them before the general 
public, to satisfy the needs of those who may have 

* Confut. Art. Lutheri ap. finem. 


but little time to explore them in the original, 
and also to offer an invitation to those who have 
time and opportunity to give them a more perfect 
examination. With the earnest desire that his 
work may have this result, he ventures to apply 
to his far humbler labours the words of the preface 
of Cajetan " Ego jam senex, non novitatis sed 
veritatis solius amore allectus, opus hoc aggredior 
. ... ad accendendum aliorum mentes erga 
sacras Scripturas. Det Dominus Jesus Christus 
ut assequar intent um." 

















THE opening scene of the Reformation, at Augs 
burg, in which Cardinal Cajetan was the most promi 
nent, and to the outward eye the most imposing 
figure, has thrown into so deep a shade, both the 
earlier and later life of that remarkable man, that 
few are aware that the " New Learning " had no less 
marked an influence upon his own doctrine than 
it had upon the reformed churches ; that it had in 
fact transformed him from a mere Decretalist, a 
servus natus Pontifids (a title he once gave to 
the Church itself) into a devoted student, and 
learned commentator on the Scriptures a rival 
or rather fellow-worker with Luther in a field 
which then was being reopened even in the 
Eoman Church. The history of the eventful 
conference with Luther, of which we have two 
co-ordinate descriptions, one by his brother-in-law 
the Chancellor Rlihl, of Wittemberg,* and the 

* Dr. Johann Riihl was Chancellor of the Cardinal Elector of Mentz, 


other apparently drawn up by himself after his 
return, so convincingly proves the weakness of 
the cause of which the Cardinal was the advocate, 
that we can hardly wonder that the Roman Church 
has with its usual prudence forborne to publish 
its own version of it. Cajetan had gone to Augs 
burg in the belief that his profound learning and 
skill as a Decretalist would give him an easy 
victory over an Augustinian Monk, whose only 
learning he supposed to consist of a few authorities 
of the great Father whom his Order claimed as its 
first founder. The few Scriptural authorities 
which he thought might probably be referred to, 
he believed himself to be able, by his dialectical 
skill to meet successfully, and even to turn to his 
own account. On his arrival at Augsburg he be 
gan the composition of the treatise on Indulgences, 
which forms the sixteenth of his " Opuscula," first 
printed at Lyons in 1568 (pp. 97-105.) It was 
his custom to date these productions, and we are 
able therefore to find that it was written between 
the 7th of October and the isth (1518), the 
former date being also that of Luther s depar 
ture from Nllrnberg to Augsburg, while the 

and represented the Counts of Mansfeldt in the Reichstag at Niirnberg 
in 1532. He was the brother-in-law of Luther, and was with him in the 
meeting with Cardinal Cajetan, and wrote the narrative of the con 
ference. The grandmother of the writer, Johanna Regina Riihl, was 
among his descendants, and a portrait of him was once in the possession 
of her family, which had flourished long in the free city of Heilbronn. 


second fell on the day before the presentation of 
his protest to the Cardinal. That the manner of 
the latter was imperious, and even impetuous, is 
proved by the impression it left on the members 
of the Court of Rome at the time. In a remark 
able letter of Cardinal Campeggio, in the Vatican 
Library, published recently by Lammer (Mon. Vat. 
Frib. Brisg., 1861, p. 31), Cardinal Wolsey is 
described as saying to the Legate, " Most rever 
end lord, beware lest, as through the harshness 
and severity of one Cardinal, the greatest part of 
Germany fell from the Holy See and from the 
faith, it may be said that another Cardinal gave 
the same occasion to England." The legation of 
Cajetan to Germany was on all hands admitted to 
be a deplorable failure, nor can we wonder that 
no defence or report of it was attempted by the 
Court of Rome. For we are able to see in the 
treatise on Indulgences, written during the stay 
of the Cardinal at Augsburg, the course of argu 
ment he employed, and the entire reliance he 
placed upon the wretched " extravagant " Uni- 
genitus, while his attempts to explain away the 
clearest words of Scripture by the most subtle 
distinctions cannot be characterised by any other 
term than that of unconscious dishonesty. We 
cannot but give this marvellous exposition in his 
own words, for no translation would be adequate 
to express it. 


" Dominus dicit curn feceritis ornnia quaecumque 
praecepero vobis, dicite, quod debuimus fecimus, 
servi inutiles sumus. Ubi vides quod dicendo quod 
debuimus fecimus, monstrat eos implesse mandata 
sufficienter, alioquin non fecerunt quod debuerunt ; 
nam debuerunt sufficienter implere. Non est antem 
verum, servum qui fecit quod debuit inutilem 
citra fecisse ; quoniam si citra fecisset jam non 
fecisset quod debuisset. Sed verum est, quod 
est ut sic non supererogavit ; et propterea inu- 
tilis dicitur, qui enim non facit nisi quod debet 
inutilis dicitur. Unde ex istii authoritate nihil 
aliud habetur nisi quod sancti ex hoc quod 
impleverunt praecepta Christ! non superero- 
gaverunt, cum quo stat, et quod sufficienter man 
data Christ! implere potuerunt, et supererogare, et 
sic non solum fecerint quod debuerunt sed essent 
servi inutiles in domo Domini." 

This is a sample of the incomprehensible jargon 
which the Legate in the pride of his Italian 
subtlety opposed to the irresistible arguments of 
the less cultured Teuton who appealed boldly " to 
the law and to the testimony." The argument 
that even the martyrs claimed to have no merits 
of supererogation is met by the bold assertion that 
they have " dum plus patiuntur voluntarie quam 
pro peccatis suis debeant " (" Opusc." p. 99.) The 
same kind of argument which he had produced in 
defence of the autocracy of the Papacy in his 


earlier life was now adopted in defence of the 
greatest and most flagrant abuse which has ever 
defaced and degraded the Church. The loss of 
temper which too often follows the defeat in 
argument betrayed the Legate into that parting 
exclamation, " Go from me, and never see my face 
until you bring your retractation," words recalling 
those of Pharaoh to Moses, "Get thee from me, 
take heed to thyself, see my face no more." The 
great Reformer might well have replied with 
Moses, " Thou hast spoken well. I will see thy 
face again no more." For he never again saw the 
Legate, and the Church of the Scriptures went 
forth out of the Egyptian darkness of the Decre- 
talists never to return into it again. Nay more, 
it brought even the Church of Home itself into 


those better pastures which it had entered upon, 
and the learned of the Church of Eome, the 
Sadolets, the Seripandi, the Contarini, and our 
own Cardinal Pole, following the teaching of 
Erasmus, and the pioneers of the " New Learn 
ing," passed away from the husks of the old 
scholastic divinity, and the extravagances of 
Decretalism to the study of the Word of God. 
But with the single exception of Erasmus, not 
one of the new commentators on the Scriptures 
was fully equipped for so great a work. Ignorance 
of the languages in which the Scriptures were 
written, and a blind reliance upon the text of the 


Vulgate which that ignorance necessitated, placed 
the divines of that day in a position of disadvan 
tage and seriously detracted from the success of 
their work. Even in the Council of Trent some 
thirty-five years after, there was found hardly a 
divine (not to say a bishop, for such was out of 
the question) who understood Hebrew, and few 
indeed that understood Greek. And as this kind 
of learning was in the hands of the Jews or 
heretics, whose works not even the most elevated 
member of the Council was permitted to read 
without a licence, it may well be conceived that 
the Decretalists, under the skilful generalship of 
the Jesuit Laynez, regained the ground they had 
lost during the period intervening between the 
opening scene of the Reformation and the assembly 
of the Council of Trent, a sufficient reason for 
the reactionary policy which the Council adopted, 
and for the stereotyping of doctrines scarcely 
settled even by the Schoolmen, and still left to be 
the battle-field of the religious orders. For it can 
never be too confidently affirmed that the doctrines 
laid down at Trent did not represent the faith of 
the Western Church cis it was explained by its 
most authoritative expositors but a few years 
before its assembly. If any one doubt this, let 
him read the "Catechism" of Cardinal Contarini 
drawn up for the use of that very Cardinal who 
became afterwards president of the Council of 


Trent, Morone the writings of Cardinal Pole, the 
sermon of Bishop Tonstal on Palin Sunday, 1538, 
before King Henry VIII. , and other testimonies 
too numerous to reckon. To these we may well 
add the name of Thomas de Vio Cardinal Cajetan, 
who, unlike his contemporaries, prepared himself 
for the anxious work of an expositor of the Scrip 
tures by devoting all his later years to the study 
of their original languages, casting off the fetters 
of his earlier education, and proving that the 
great lesson of his German legation, however 
fruitless in its results to the Church, and 
ineffectual in its object of reuniting its now 
divided members, had borne good and lasting 
fruit in his own doctrine and in his own life 
had enabled him to surrender the Decretals, both 
the spurious and authentic ones, and to devote 
himself wholly to the work of expounding the 
Scriptures in their literal and obvious sense, and 
with the same freedom from traditional interpre 
tation by which the reformed commentators gave 
them so new a beauty and so clear a light. 
Mindful of the example of St. Jerome, who 
studied Hebrew under a Jew, then the only 
competent teacher, the Cardinal availed himself 
of the learned Jews in Home, paying with great 
liberality for their instruction. The light which 
was thus thrown upon the ancient Scriptures 
enabled him to see how vain it was to cramp and 


distort and often to destroy their meaning by 
accepting the interpretation of the ancient doctors, 
whose ignorance of the languages in which the 
sacred books were written, and servile depen 
dence on the Septuagint or the Vulgate, dis 
qualified them for the work of exposition, and 
who, being unable to find the literal meaning, 
were compelled to have recourse to mystical and 
symbolical methods. In the preface of his Com 
mentary on the Pentateuch he thus vindicates the 
freedom of interpretation which had so long been 
trammeled by artificial and scholastic rules, and 
maintains the right of private judgment against 
the bondage of ecclesiastical tradition : 

" I entreat all my readers not too suddenly to 
repudiate anything, but to weigh everything by 
the Holy Scripture, by the truth of the Christian 
faith and by the evidence and customs of the 
Catholic Church. And if sometimes a new sense 
should appear, agreeable to the sacred text and 
not contrary to the doctrine of the Church, 
although it be opposed to the whole stream of 
sacred doctors, that they will show themselves to 
be just censors. Let them remember to give every 
one his due, and that to the authors of Holy 
Scripture alone is reserved this prerogative that 
we believe their writings to be true because they 
wrote them : but as Augustine saith, Others I 
so read that, howsoever they excelled in holiness 


and doctrine, I do not believe their writings to 
be true, merely because they composed them. 
Let none therefore take offence at a new sense of 
the Scripture, because it is in disagreement with 
the ancient doctors, but scrutinise the text and 
context more closely, and if it fits them, let him 
praise God who has not tied up the exposition of 
the Scripture to the rule of the ancient doctors, 
but to that of the entire Scripture itself, under 
the judgment of the Catholic Church. Otherwise 
all hope would be taken from us and our suc 
cessors of expounding the Scripture unless we 
were (so to speak) to transfer them from one 
book to another (de libro in quinternum). I, 
though already an old man inspired by the love 
of truth only and not novelty, address myself to 
this work as an offering to Almighty God in order 
to stimulate the minds of others towards the Holy 
Scriptures. May the Lord Jesus Christ grant 
that I may obtain my object. I intend to expound 
the text according to the Hebrew verity, where- 
ever a difference occurs between the Vulgate and 
the Hebrew reading. For the text of Moses 
himself and not that of his interpreter has to be 
expounded. For the Hebrew and not the Greek 
or Latin interpretation is authoritative, which 
we are compelled to embrace and which all the 
faithful do embrace." 

The result of this twofold transition from the 


Decretalists to the Scriptures is apparent through 
every part of the commentary of the Cardinal 
from the Pentateuch to the last of the apostolical 
epistles, for the Revelations he wisely forbears to 
interpret, confessing himself unable to discover its 
direct or literal meaning. A single instance of 
the change effected in his mind during the interval 
between the conference at Augsburg and the work 
of his Commentary,* and unquestionably originated 
by the appeal of Luther to the Scriptures, may 
enable the reader to estimate its larger results. 
We have already seen his interpretation in the 
earlier day of Luke xvii. io. Let us now set 
against it the later view which he gives of it in 
his commentary on this passage : 

" Si servando ornnia praecepta sumus inutiles 
nee habemus unde superbiamus quid sentiendum 
de nobis ipsis est, qui non omnia servamus, qui 
nmltorum rei sumus ? Sed quid de nobis dico ? 
quum nullus dicere possit quod debebam feci 
nisi exemptus est a dicendo ( Dimitte nobis debita 
nostra. Quod ergo dicitur cum feceritis omnia 
non ideo dicitur quod facturi essent omnia ; sed 
quod si etiam facerent omnia praecepta, recog- 
noscant se servos inutiles ; ut a fortiori recognos- 
cant se minus quam inutiles, hoc est debitores et 
reos multorum quae debebant seu debent facere." 

We find here no " works of supererogation." 

* i.e., between 1518 and 1524-34, 


As no one could say the Lord s Prayer who claimed 
to have done such works, the saints who (unless 
they disobeyed the Lord s injunction) must have 
said it, are included in the general insufficiency ; 
and the treasury created or imagined by the author 
of the extravagant Unigenitus passes away for 
ever in other words, the Papal bank stops pay 
ment. The later doctrine of the Cardinal became 
at last so strong a conviction that he denounces 
the merchandise of Indulgences as bringing its 
agents under the ban of St. Peter himself. Com 
menting 011 the w 7 ords (2 Pet. ii. 3), " And through 
covetousness shall they with feigned words make 
merchandise of you," he writes : 

" Not fur removed from such as these are the 
preachers of gain, who abuse the devotion of the 
Christian people for money who ignorantly and 
rashly dare to preach that, by paying a carline or 
ducat for a so-called plenary indulgence, they will 
be in the same state as a newly-baptised person ; 
arid in like manner that they can free a soul from 
purgatory. For these are monsters, and make 
merchandise of Christian people. The Christian 
religion knows no such figments, but they are the 
inventions of those who through covetousness 
with feigned words make merchandise of Chris 
tians, abusing them for gain." Writing on i Cor. 
xvi. i, he denounces the same abuse in these 
words : 


" This traffic blackens and discredits not a little 
the Christian Church, which is full of it in the form 
of indulgences, crusades, hospitalia, &c." 

Yet this was the abuse against which the theses 
of Luther were published, and in defence of which 
the Cardinal was employed at Augsburg. 

It cannot but be interesting to all who value 
the importance of an independent witness a 
witness holding so high a rank in the very camp 
and court of Rome, born and brought up in that 
court a kind of " fils du regiment " to carry on 
his examination of the Commentary of Cajetan, 
in its bearing upon the other controversies which 
were so fatally rending the Western Church. 

It will be obvious that the adoption of a " new 
meaning opposed to the whole stream of sacred 
doctors," must involve the rejection even of the 
decisions of the Popes themselves, who were an 
important part of that stream, while the claim of 
the Scriptures to be their own interpreters subject 
only to the law of the whole Church, and the 
denial of the authority of translations, not except 
ing the Canonised Vulgate, gives scope to that 
higher criticism, whose reign was just opening in 
the Church. The pre-Eeformation exegesis (if it 
deserved the name) was truly a pouring from one 
book into another, as Cajetan well describes it. 
Augustine, Jerome, and an admixture of other 
writers in different proportions were poured into 


the pages of Peter Lombard, and from thence were 
transfused into the voluminous pages of Aquinas, 
Bona ventura, and the later Schoolmen, to be again 
diluted, until the true meaning of the text of 
Scripture was lost, or at least fatally deteriorated 
and corrupted. Erasmus had led the way out of 
this endless maze of subtleties and trivialities, and 
the boldness with which his example was followed 
by Cajetan, exposed him to almost as much abuse 
as had been heaped upon Luther, for releasing the 
Scriptures from the Scholastic bonds. He was 
attacked by Ambrosius Catharinus, a monk of the 
same Dominican order to which he had belonged, 


the very year after his death, in a special treatise 
addressed to the " General of the Order and the 
other Fathers and Masters" of it. Just before his 
death, he had been charged with certain errors by 
the theologians of Paris, to whom he replied in 
the fifteenth and last tractate of the third book 
of his " Opuscula." The date given to this piece, 
December 29, 1534, is erroneous, as the Cardinal 
died on the 9th of September in that year. The 
work of his opponent, who had dared not to 
encounter in life one who could have so easily 
crushed him, is so far valuable to us, as it forms a 
useful index to many of those passages in which 
Cajetan had advocated the earlier doctrines and 
practices of the Church against the corruptions of 
later times, and had vindicated the " liberty of 


prophesying," by freely examining into the authen 
ticity and authority of certain doubtful and dis 
puted passages, and especially in denying the canon 
ical authority of the Apocrypha. It is difficult 
to estimate what might have been the influence of 
Cajetan on the future of the Roman Church had 
he survived to take part in the Council of Trent. 
The three greatest ornaments of that Church 
passed away before its assembly, Sadolet, Conta- 
rini, and zEgidius of Viterbo, not to speak of many 
of the principal bishops who lived during the 
transition period. Cardinal Pole, who was pre 
sent in the Council as Legate, left it in disgust 
after its rejection of the ancient doctrine on Justi 
fication, and Seripandi, the brightest ornament of 
its later history, died in the Council the last 
defender of the Augustinian doctrine of grace 
against the new theory of the Jesuits, which 
developed into the fatal bull Unigenitus in a later 
day. But Cajetan had long before passed away 
to a better world ; and we may well apostrophise 
him in the words of one of his most devoted 
friends and admirers :* 

" Felix 6 nimium felix, nimiuinque beat us 
Mortalem exutus vitam nunc denique vives 
Et fructum vita innocua; sine fine frueris." 

* Job. Uapt. Flavins. 



THE Cardinal gave in the very opening of his 
work proof of his release from the chains of a 
traditional interpretation, and the stereotyped 
exegesis of the Schoolmen. Hence Catharinus 
charges him with the twofold crime of destroying 
the historical sense, and also setting at nought 
the allegorical one charges which seem to refute 
one another. The ground of his accusation seems 
to be the fact that Cajetan gives an allegorical 
interpretation to some of the prehistoric portions 
of the sacred narrative which the previous inter 
preters had turned into historic facts, while in 
other places where they have allegorised, he has 
asserted a literal meaning. The former charge 
was naturally brought against every attempt to 
give a reasonable explanation of what appeared 
inexplicable on natural or moral grounds, or by 
its comparison with other parts of the divine 

Thus he held that the days of the creation were 
not d<*ys in an ordinary sense, but an allegorical 


representation of successive periods, in which he 
merely followed St. Augustine and other early 
commentators. In like manner he held the de 
scription of the formation of Eve out of the rib 
of Adam to be allegorical, and to have a meta 
phorical meaning. 

In his treatment of the conversation between 
the serpent and the woman he adopts the same 
method of interpretation. " It was not (he writes) 
a spoken discourse, but an inward suggestion by 
which the devil began to insinuate (serpere) with 
his poisonous reflection. And this is to be under 
stood of the entire conversation between the serpent 
and the woman. For these metaphorical mean 
ings are not only sober according to the Scripture, 
but are not a little useful to the profession of the 
Christian faith, especially in the presence of the 
wise of this world, for perceiving that such things 
are not to be understood and believed literally 
but metaphorically, they do not reject the state 
ments about the rib of Adam and the serpent ns 
fables, but reverence them as mysteries, and thus 
are led more easily to embrace the things of 
faith. Nor is any handle given hereby to inter 
pret other things metaphorically for such things 
do not, like these, contain the proofs that they 
should be metaphorically understood." This is a 
sufficient answer to the charge advanced by 
Catharinus. It is almost needless to say that, as 


an intelligent student of the Hebrew text, Cajetan 
rejected at once the feminine in that much- vexed 
passage, "He shall bruise thy head "- " He saith 
not this of the woman, but of her seed" Ipswn 
conteret caput tuum. Consistently with his inter 
pretation of the temptation he attaches a meta 
phorical meaning to the cherubim with the 
flaming sword, though to the similar representa 
tion of the destroying angel in Chron. xxi., he 
attaches a literal meaning. 

He appears generally to follow the rule of 
Maimonides (Moreh Nevochim, ii. c. 47.) Em 
ploy your reason and you will be able to discern 
what is said allegorically, figuratively, or hyper- 
bolically, and what is meant literally, exactly, 
according to the original meaning of the words." 

His preliminary disquisition on the names of 
the Deity and their special import and significance, 
is an approach to the higher criticism of a later 
age. He divests himself of the traditional view 
that the Trinity is involved in the plural Eloliim 
and of the co-ordinate notion that the spirit which 
moved upon the face of the waters was the Holy 
Spirit, and without attempting to account for the 
successive uses of El, Elohim, Jehovah or Jehovah- 
Elohim by creating Elohistic and Jehovistic 
waiters, he explains their uses according to the 
facts or words with which they were specially 

* Trans, by Dr. Friedliinder, vol. ii. p. 221. 



connected. In works simply of creative power or 
providential direction, he rinds that Elohim, a 
w r ord of power is adopted while in the relations 
of God with the chosen people, his covenant name 
of Jehovah or Jehovah- Elohim is employed. On 
every occasion in which the Divine Being is 
named, he expressly mentions which of the several 
terms is selected, and why. With his adversary 
Catharinus it was an unpardonable error that he 
destroyed one of the chief supports of the Mass, 
in his explanation of the offering of Melchisedeck. 

" There is no mention here (he writes) of 
any sacrifice or oblation, but of bringing forth, or 
bringing out, which, as Josephus saith, was done 
to refresh the conquerors." 

In the narrative of the death of Jacob his 
Hebrew studies enabled him to see the error into 
which the adoption of the LXX. reading led the 
writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews the ground 
work unfortunately of a still greater error in the 
age of the second Nicene council in which the 
passage was quoted in defence of the image- worship 
which then unhappily reintroduced into Chris 
tianity the idolatry of the heathen world. Cajetan 
reads, as our own version does, that the Patriarch 
gathered up his feet on the bed and died. To 
sit up and worship, leaning on a staff, is certainly 
an unusual position for a dying man. 

The rest of the narrative of Genesis as well as 


that of Exodus is treated historically, and does 
not present any features of special interest. The 
commentary on the second commandment is 
severe in its prohibition of any kind of reverence 
being paid to images, either inwardly or outwardly, 
Pope Marcellinus, who sacrificed to idols from 
fear, being specially mentioned as falling under 
the latter sin. 

The exposition of Leviticus is literal, and pre 
sents no remarkable feature, unless it be the dis 
cussion on the prohibited degrees of marriage, in 
regard to one of which, that of the successive 
marriage with two brothers, Cajetan had taken 
so decided a part. His letter to Henry VIII. 
and brief treatise on this subject is not the least 
interesting of his lesser works. Most of the pro 
hibitions he alleges to be rather against the positive 
than the natural law. The exposition of the 
Book of Numbers, in which moral and doctrinal 
teaching might have been more readily intro 
duced, is like that of Leviticus, purely literal and 
critical. Cajetan had not proposed to do more 
in this part of his Commentary than to clear up 
the text, and set the Hebrew original against the 
very imperfect and often erroneous translation of 
the Vulgate. This, in the eyes of Catharinus, is 
one of his greatest sins, almost greater than his 
rejection of a traditional interpretation of the 
text. Yet with a strange inconsistency he con- 


demns the Cardinal for accepting the opinions of 
St. Jerome in regard to the authenticity of certain 
books of the New Testament as well as of the 
entire Apocrypha which Jerome removes from the 
authoritative books of the Canon. His diver 
gence from the Vulgate in his commentary on the 
Psalms is so great that he offers a new version of 
the whole Psalter, and prefixes to his own trans 
lation of the Hebrew text that of the Vulgate, 
from which it differs as greatly as our authorised 
version does from the translation which still holds 
its place in our Prayer-book. In the history of 
Balaam s journey Cajetan appears not quite 
satisfied in accepting it in a strictly literal sense. 
He supposes an angel to have spoken by the 
mouth of the ass, who is a mere instrument for 
expressing words which it could not possibly 

The passage is curious: " Nee sis adeo rudis, 
ut putes per hoc colloquium inter asinam et 
Bilham, intellixisse asinam verba quae dicebat. 
Angelico siquidem ministerio formabatur verba 
asinino ore ; quae asina ipsa non intelligebat, 
quasi asina intelligeret et tueretur causam pro- 
priam." Here he might with more reason have 
availed himself of the allegorical interpretation, 
unless (which appears still more reasonable) he 
adopted the view of Maimonides, that the whole 
narrative represented the vision of Balaam : 


" That which happened to Balaam on the way, 
and the speaking of the ass, took place in a pro 
phetic vision." (Moreh Nevoch. ii. c. 42.) The 
commentary on Deuteronomy is as strictly literal 
as those on Exodus and Leviticus, nor is there 
any attempt to give a mystical view of the sacri 
ficial system of the Jewish Church in connection 
with the Christian sacraments, as was usual in 
the mediaeval commentators. 



IN his treatment of the historical books of the 
Old Testament, the Cardinal confines himself 
throughout to a literal meaning and to a textual 
criticism. He does not even attempt to explain 
or to extenuate in any degree from the strict 
interpretation even of the miracles of the Book of 
Joshua, merely observing that the standing still 
of the sun " was the greatest miracle that had 
ever happened up to that time." The ignorance 
of astronomy which then reigned was enough to 
account for the absence of any attempt at expla 
nation of what must, from the very character 
of the " Book of Jasher," from which it was 
taken, be simply the poetical description of a day 
preternaturally (or at least beyond ordinary 
experience) lengthened according to the will oi 
God. He did not perceive, though his Hebrew 
knowledge might have here guided him, that the 
" Book of that righteous man " (Sepher haijaschar) 
refers to a panegyrical narrative of the wars of 
Joshua^ as the same term does afterwards to a 

* o. Hilliger Disp. de Libro Kecti, Lips. 1714, s. vii. 


like history of the wars of David (II. Sam. i. 18). 
The commentary on the historical books from 
Joshua to the second of Chronicles was written 
between the close of 15 30 and the early part of 
1532. That on Ezra was carried on during the 
severe illness which gave warning of his approach 
ing end. The commentary on Nehemiah and 
Esther was finished on the i9th of July in the 
same year. The exposition of the Proverbs and 
Ecclesiastes was not completed until the 23rd of 
June 1534. The last months of the life of the 
Cardinal were devoted to the preparation for the 
Commentary on Isaiah, in which he evidently 
designed to pass from the mere literal to 
doctrinal and Messianic interpretation of the 
Prophecy, as the fragment we have of it contain 
ing the exposition of three chapters only, indi 
cates. The closing words of the editor give us a 
touching notice of the failure of his design : 
" Finis commentariorum in Isaiam Prophetam 
quae morte prreventus auctor ad calcern non 

But a coincidence still more affecting occurs in 
regard to its closing words. At the period of the 
sacking of Home by the l)uke of Bourbon the 
Cardinal was deprived of all that he possessed, 
and made further to pay a large sum for his 
ransom, which reduced him to such extreme 
poverty that he was compelled to borrow clothing 


from a Spaniard, by name Garcia Manriquez, in 
order that he might appear in Rome decently 
appareled. In this state of penury his great 
Commentary was carried on calmly and uninter 
ruptedly, and almost its last words were on the 
text of Isaiah iii. : "A man shall take hold of 
the brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou 
hast clothing, be thou our ruler and let this ruin 
be under thy hand In that day he shall swear, 
saying, I will not be a healer ; for in my house 
is neither bread nor clothing, make me not a ruler 
of the people." " Vide (he writes) magnitudinem 
paupertatis, requirunt in rectorem quia habet 
indumentum .... Ecce inopiam requisiti et 
renuentis principatum." His own state of cruel 
privation must have risen sadly before him on 
contemplating so strange a parallel, and his life 
and Commentary close together with strange 
suggestiveness at this picture of his greatest and 
last affliction. The little that remained to him 
of his fortune, which must have been ample in his 
earlier days, he left to the poor of Christ, and was 
wont to say at the close of his life, " Scis Domine 
exiguum supellectilem pauperibus dari." Alas ! 
that so few cardinals, so few bishops or ministers 
of any Christian Church could ever say the same ! 
The mortal remains of this great and good man 
rest under the pavement of the vestibule of the 
Church of " St. Maria supra Minervam," where was 


once the simple inscription perhaps it is there 
no more 

" Thomas de Vio Cajetanus Card, 
Si Sixti, Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum." 

Few and simple words, suggestive of a life 
which after its early trials and reverses shrank 
from human applause, and willingly merged one 
of the highest titles of earthly dignity in the 
higher title of a preacher of the Word of God 
a servant of Him " whom (as the great Gregory 
writes) to serve is to reign " " cui servire regnare 
est" But we have been led away by the touching 
features of his closing life from the instructive les 
sons of his Commentary, and must say a few words 
on one of his greatest works, his "Commentary 
on the Psalms." He observes (in his dedication of 
it to Clement VII.) that no one had hitherto 
attempted to explain the Psalter according to the 
literal sense, inasmuch as all who had expounded 
it previously dwelt only on the mystical meaning. 
From its constant use in the services of the Church 
he held that its literal sense ought to be made 
clearer and more evident. He devoted three 
years to this important work, w^hich involved the 
necessity of a new translation, in which (at the 
sacrifice of all the laws of Latin construction) 
he exhibited word for word the Hebrew text. 
ic Curavi (he writes) ut de verbo ad verbum 
textum haberem Psalterii qualem habent Hebraei." 


His view of the authorship of the Psalms, every 
one of which (with the exception of the Mosaic 
goth Psalm) he attributes to David, compels him 
to regard those Psalms, which were evidently 
written during and after the Captivity, as pro 
phecies uttered by David of the woes which were 
to fall upon his people. Thus, on the Psalm 
" When the Lord turned the captivity of Sion," 
he writes: The subsequent history established 
the truth of this prophecy/ When, however, he 
arrived at the 13 7th Psalm, "By the waters of 
Babylon," he appears either to have altered his 
mind, or at least to rind it impossible to account 
for so vivid a description of the afflictions of the 
captivity, by a mere prophetic anticipation. His 
constant view of the Messianic character of the 
principal Psalms, and the manner in which he 
applies them to Christ, leads him somewhat 
beyond the strict limits of a literal interpreta 
tion, and of the exclusively historical meaning he 
had given to the earlier part of his Commentary. 

In a sketch like this, it is impossible to follow 
our author step by step through a work of such 
magnitude or to do more than convey to the reader 
an idea of the principles and method of its con 
struction. It will be enough therefore to refer to 
those passages which have an immediate bearing 
upon Christianity, and illustrate the manner in 
which he connects the former and the latter 


revelation. The foremost of these passages and 
the most important from its forming one of the 
great utterances of the Cross is the opening of the 
2 2nd Psalm, "My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ? " &c. On this he writes : " You 
might perchance understand that this dereliction 
has a simple and absolute meaning, which is not 
true and is not intended, the dereliction meaning 
merely the not interposing to prevent the passion 
and death ; and hence he adds, and art so far, 
that is, not from me, but from my salvation, from 
suffering and death. Observe here that he 
describes this dereliction not as a desertion, but 
the standing at a distance, saying, and art so far 
off/ in order to show that God was standing far 
away, that is, not preserving from the passion and 

The 2ist Psalm he refers to the glorious reign 
of the Messiah, and quotes a passage from the 
Targum to show that it was thus considered by 
the Jews themselves. From the 4oth to the 5 oth 
Psalm, the Commentary gives us an almost unin 
terrupted view of the advent and life of the 
Messiah ; but here, as in most other portions of 
his work, the author unconsciously departs from 
the literal into the spiritual or mystical sense, 
without which a prophetic writing would be 
aimless and profitless. 

Although in the opening of his Commentary he 


declares that the Psalms were put together in no 
proper order or arrangement, arguing from the 
closing words of the 72nd Psalm, " The prayers of 
David, the son of Jesse, are ended," which seem 
to conflict with his assignment of the whole col 
lection to David, yet he notes certain connections 
between the Psalms in their present order, as, 
for instance, between the closing words of the 
4oth and the opening verse of the 4ist, "I am 
poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me," 
&c., which he treats as the appeal of human 
nature to God for help and salvation. He 
supposes the answer of God to be given in 
the words of the following Psalm, "Blessed is 
he that considereth the poor," &c., and to be 
fulfilled in Christ, who came as the friend of the 
poor and needy, inviting such to come to him. 
This idea he carries out in the remaining part of 
the Psalm, not without considerable beauty of 
illustration and appropriateness. The two follow 
ing Psalms he regards as describing the misery of 
Israel in the captivity, while in the 44th he 
conceives the Church of Christ in its early per 
secutions appealing to God for help, and calling to 
remembrance the great deliverance he had given to 
his people in an earlier day : " We have heard 
with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto 
us." Such an interpretation cannot be termed 
other than mystical, but without similar methods 


the connection between the two dispensations 
would be fatally disturbed. 

In the 45th Psalm, we are led again to the 
Messianic reign and the victories and glories which 
were to attend it. The Hebrew- Latin which is 
given here as conveying the literal meaning is 
more than usually defiant of the laws of grammar. 
And here we may observe that in most of the 
Psalms the author recognises a kind of dialogue 
kept up between two or more parties, a feature 
which is too much neglected by our later writers. 
Sometimes the effect is striking and gives a new 
beauty to the poem ; in other cases it is somewhat 
strained, as in this Psalm, in which the last verse, 
" I will make thy name to be remembered in all 
generations," is supposed to be a prophetic dis 
closure of the preaching of the Gospel by the 
Apostles, and the discovery of the name of Christ 
to be made to all the world. He supposes the 
Apostles to be made by Christ " princes in all 
lands " (v. 16). " Christus constituit apostolos in 
principes, ipsi em* c runt memoriam non sui sed 

The 46th Psalm he represents as a conversation 
between the Prophet and the Messiah, the tenth 
verse introducing the claim of the latter, which is 
responded to by the prophet in the eleventh. In 
the following Psalm the Prophet, representing the 
Church, calls all mankind to the praise of God. 


The 47th Psalm opens the future worship of the 
Messiah in the new city of God, the heavenly 
Jerusalem. The 49th is held to describe the 
state of the Church under the government of 
the Messiah, the cessation of the legal sacrifices, 
and the substitution for them of the offerings of 
prayer and praise. 

From the soth to the 68th Psalm, the literal 
sense is restricted to the purely historical. 
The latter Psalm suggests a difficulty, as it is 
clearly Messianic in its ultimate sense, from the 
passage " Thou art gone up on high," &c., which 
St. Paul expressly interprets of the Ascension. 
The Cardinal regards this application as made in 
the mystical and not in the literal sense, as the 
entire scope of the Psalm is the providential care 
of Israel, as proved not only in their passage into 
the promised land, but also their preservation 
therein in peace and plenty. The 69th Psalm is, 
of course, interpreted in its most literal Messianic 
meaning, as also the 9ist, which is represented as 
a dialogue between the Prophet, the Messiah, and 
God. The 96th, 9/th, and 9 8th are also treated 
as Messianic; as also the lOQth on the authority 
of St. Peter and from its prophetic allusion to the 
betrayal of Judas. 

The Melchisedechian passage in the following 
Psalm places it in the same class. In his com 
mentary hereupon the Cardinal considers Melchise- 


deck to be rather the dynastic name of the kings 
of Jerusalem than a mere personal one, corre 
sponding to Pharaoh or Caesar a name equivalent 
to the parallel one of Adonisedech. The 1 1 ith 
and 1 1 2th Psalms he terms, in the words of St. 
Jerome, Alphabetical Psalms, the initial letters of 
the half verses following those of the alphabet. 
This would certainly indicate from its more 
elaborate and fanciful character a much later age 
than that of David, in which the alliteration and 
rhythm was rather carried on in the ideas and 
sentiments of the poem, than in the mere pur 
suit of an alliterative ingenuity. The same may 
be said of that most beautiful and artistic of all 
the Psalms, the iiQth, in which every separate 
division not only begins with a single letter of 
the alphabet, but every word in each division is 
similarly distinguished. 

We have given here only the faint outline of a 
work, which even in our own day may claim an 
important rank among the commentaries on the 
Psalms, but which in the earlier day in which it 
was produced may be said to surpass in learning 
and solid judgment every contemporary work 
with the single exception of the Commentaries of 
Erasmus, who was the pioneer of the literal and 
natural interpretation of the Scriptures. The 
Cardinal closes his work in the Spirit and in the 
words of the final Psalm, " Let everything that 


hath breath praise the Lord ; praise ye the Lord ;" 
adding, " And yet again be praise to God, for He 
hath granted me through His grace alone to bring 
this Commentary to its close. Written at Rome 
in the Easter celebration, in the year of our Lord 
1527, and in my fifty-ninth year." 



HAVING completed his Commentary on the Psalms, 
the Cardinal addressed himself to the still greater 
work of the exposition of the Gospels. Dismiss 
ing on several grounds the idea that St. Matthew 
wrote in Hebrew, he enters into a long disquisition 
on the difficult subject of the genealogy of our 

The fact that the pedigree is traced through 
Joseph, he regards as a necessary consequence of 
the legal status of Christ which needed the line 
of the putative father to be distinctly represented. 
He considers the Blessed Virgin to have been de 
scended from David through the female line only, 
asserting that this satisfies the description of 
her origin from the seed of David. For this 
he is fiercely attacked by Catharinus, though 
the precedent of the daughters of Zelopehad 
shows that the representation of a family might 
be claimed through a female as well as a male 


In the circumstances surrounding the nativity 
he surrenders at once all the needless and sense 
less miracles, which the devotees of a later age 
have gathered around that great event and 
shows that the order of nature was not disturbed 
in any of the incidents attending the birth of 
Christ. For this again he is severely rebuked by 
his pertinacious adversary, who with his usual 
zeal strives to be more Eoman than Borne itself. 
On the perpetual Virginity of Mary, however, he 
makes a firm stand, adopting many of the rea 
sons of St. Jerome against Helvidius. The ex 
pression, "And knew her not until," &c., he 
confesses to be ambiguous, and capable of a 
double interpretation, but shows that Matthew, 
as he was undertaking to write a history of our 
Lord only, and not of the Virgin Mary, was not 
careful to guard against misconceptions ; and both 
in that place, and in the description of Christ as 
the first-born Son, used the ordinary conven 
tional terms, without anticipating any contro 
versy arising out of them. The primogenitus 
may at the same time be unigenitus as it is in 
Hebrews i. 6. 

The silence of the Evangelist in regard to the 
earlier years of Christ, which the apocryphal gos 
pels have filled up with so strange a series of 
wonders, is urged as a proof that his life was 


spent in the ordinary manner communis fuit 
illius conversatio. 

The " baptism of repentance " preached by the 
Baptist, he shows most emphatically to represent 
not penance, but repentance ; and this is the uni 
form meaning he assigns to poenitentia wherever 
it occurs. 

The narrative of the temptation enables the 
writer to show how entirely and exclusively he 
rested upon the written word as against a mere 
traditional authority, a fact of which his whole 
Commentary gives conclusive proof. Our Lord s 
repeated words, It is written are thus commented 
upon, "Let us learn from hence that our arms 
are the Holy Scriptures, wherefore Jesus conquers 
all these temptations with the Holy Scriptures 
alone, that he might teach us to fight and con 
quer in the same way. For nothing could allure 
us to evil if we were to consult the Holy 
Scriptures, and thus direct our actions and 

omissions. * 

Passing on from the Temptation to the Sermon 
on the Mount, our attention is first arrested by 
the interpretation of the words, "Blessed are the 
poor in Spirit." The word poor he translates 
mendicos, which he affirms to be the meaning of 
the original. This change of term gives him 
occasion to show that Jesus, though poor, was 


never in any sense mendicant, which he proves by 
the fact that he is described as giving rather 
than receiving alms and from the mission of 
the apostles to the villages to buy food, &c. 
" Hence he concludes that our Lord did not in 
clude himself or His Apostles under the class of 
mendicants/ For this home-thrust at the men 
dicant orders, Catharinus most bitterly rebukes 
him. But though our Lord, without doubt, 
received offerings from those who were able to 


contribute them, we certainly discover no trace 
of begging for them ; nor any resemblance be 
tween the mendicant orders of a later day, and 
the apostolic body which was supported like its 
successors by the voluntary offerings of the faith 
ful. But the Cardinal affirms further that the 
" poor in spirit " possess a very different quali 
fication from that of mere beggars. He shows 
indeed that individuals may become thus poor in 
spirit, but denies the blessing to colleges or bodies 
of men, and shows that Christ pronounced this 
blessedness in the case of individuals, and not 
societies or colleges. This exclusion from it of 
Franciscans, Dominicans, and other such orders 
subjects him to the charge of " agreeing with 
the heretics at this point." Well might he have 
replied with our Lord that c< wisdom is justified 
in her children." 


The exposition of the Lord s Prayer which 
occurs in the following chapter is most clear and 
practical, and worthy of the commonsense and 
intelligence of the author. He substitutes for the 
word supersubstantialem, which brings in the 
eucharistical sense of the Roman interpreters, the 
word quotidianum ; observing, at the same time, 
" the order of the petitions compels me to under 
stand this one, not of the bread of the body but 
of the soul," in which he includes every kind of 
spiritual support, the " divine word, work, and 
sacrament, and in a word, everything ,which 
supports and gives growth to the soul." The 
deprecation, " Deliver us from evil," he refers to 
every kind of evil, and to evil in the abstract. 
The doxology he considers to be an addition to 
the original prayer, of a later date herein agree 
ing with some modern critics. The charge to be 
" not over-careful for the things of the morrow," 
leads him to observe that " only the kind of care 
which, according to right reason, belongs to the 
future and not the present, is here precluded. 
Hence the care which belongs to the present time 
of making provision for the future, even though it 
be for years to come/ he regards "as not a 
care for the morrow, but for the present time. 
As for instance, Joseph s care to collect corn for 
providing against the seven years famine, which 


was a present and not a future care since it was 
incumbent upon any one knowing such an event 
to be coming, to make immediate provision for it." 
" Hence also (he adds) it is not carefulness for 
the morrow to make provision even for annual 

In his commentary on the words of Christ to 
Peter, after duly maintaining according to his 
official obligation the Roman supremacy, he makes 
several qualifications and limitations, which greatly 
contrast with his uncompromising assertion of the 
claims of the Papacy in the days of Leo X. " The 
kingdom ofliearen" " He saith not of the king 
doms of this world. . . . All the authority of 
Peter has respect to the kingdom of heaven, to 
the government of the world in the interest of 
the heavenly kingdom (in ordine ad regnum 
ccelorum), of the salvation of souls, of all those 
things by which the kingdom of heaven is served 
and increased among men, which it is plain are 
spiritual objects only." A still more suggestive 
passage follows, " Whatsoever tlwu slialt bind 
upon earth" "The power of Peter," he con 
tinues, " is limited to binding or loosing the things 
on earth, in distinction to those which are under 
the earth, that is, in hell or in purgatory. For 
these, as they are beyond the knowledge of Peter, 
for he cannot know the rights of such cases (causas 


eorum) so are exempt from his jurisdiction. For 
they have passed from the tribunal of the Militant 
Church to the tribunal of Jesus Christ reigning 
in heaven." Here in one sentence he resigns the 
whole treasury of purgatorial indulgences and 
virtually recognises the justice of the theses of 
the great reformer, against which he argued but a 
few years before at Augsburg. But a still more 
remarkable passage follows : " We can and ought 
to gather from this (the binding and loosing 
power) that Peter does not bind on earth accord 
ing to his own will (ad libitum) but then only, 
when the bond is ratified in heaven and in like 
manner that he does not loose on earth, unless his 
loosing is ratified in heaven. Otherwise, the 
heavenly court (ccelestis curia) would be com 
pelled to approve voluntary and even bad bindings 
and loosings of Peter, which would not only be 
foolish but blasphemous." Here again in a single 
utterance he destroys the doctrine of Papal infal 
libility, and implies the " motus proprius " and 
the " plenitudo potestatis " to be a blasphemous 
fiction ; enabling every one who is aggrieved by 
the earthly tribunal to appeal to the heavenly one, 
as did the Gallican Church in its better days, and 
the Jansenists until they were crushed by that 
temporal power which Cajetan altogether re 
nounces for the Church. The commentary on 


the i gth chapter is chiefly remarkable for the 
statement that divorce, a vinculo matrimonii, in 
the single instance to which our Lord restricts it, 
is lawful and a subsequent marriage legitimate. 
In the same chapter he expresses his views in 
regard to vows of monastic obedience, remarking 
that our Lord " enjoined no vow upon the young 
man who desired to attain to perfection, because 
its attainment consists not in vows but in works 
of perfection. Religious vows are laudable, but it 
is not by their profession, but by works in which 
we imitate Christ, that we obtain perfection. In 
finite in the present day is the number of those 
who acquire the state of perfection by professing 
religious vows ; but few indeed are they who seek 
to be perfect by imitating Christ in his humility, 
patience, meekness, charity." We pass on to the 
commentary on the institution of the Last 
Supper, in which are several points to be specially 

He begins by affirming that the Sacrament was 
instituted during the eating of the supper, first to 
remove the error of those who deny the Eucharist 
to persons who are not fasting, and next to teach 
us that our temperance at meals ought to be so 
great as to make us fit for its reception even while 
supping or after supper. He then alleges that 
Jesus blessing of the bread was a blessing of praise 
and not a blessing of consecration. Herein he is 


strongly corroborated by the Passover prayers in 
the Jewish Church, in which the blessing is entirely 
one of thanksgiving and not of setting apart the 
object blessed by an act of consecration. He then 
shows that the Eucharist could not be designed 
for infants (to whom it was in later ages adminis 
tered), inasmuch as it could not be said to them 
" take, eat," for they could neither take nor eat it. 
From this it appears that he would hardly sanction 
the now prevalent usage, in which the communi 
cant receives in his hand, instead of taking with 
his fingers, the consecrated bread. He supposes 
that the distance at which our Lord was placed from 
the disciples would not have made it easy for Him to 
distribute the broken bread to every one at the 
table any more than to deliver the cup into their 
hands. " I should rather believe," he writes, 
" that as he gave the wine to the disciples in one 
cup, so he delivered the bread in one paten to 
them all, having first broken it in twelve pieces." 
This would certainly agree with the Jewish tradi 
tion of the Passover rite, which was undoubtedly 
followed by our Lord in His new institution. 
After a somewhat long defence of transubstantia- 
tiori, he fails to note the obvious fact that the 
description of the wine as the "fruit of the vine" 
after its consecration is as much a disproof of the 
miraculous change as the words " this is my blood " 
could possibly be a proof of it, and expresses his 


concurrence with those who hold that Judas had 
gone out before the Eucharistic distribution. His 
view of the character of the fallen apostle is far 
less severe than that of most other commentators. 
He conceives that Judas never intended to deliver 
our Lord to death, but believed that he would (as 
Pilate at first proposed) be merely scourged and 
dismissed ; and that finding that he was con 
demned to death, he so bitterly repented of his act 
as to destroy himself. On the dream of the wife 
of Pilate he writes : " Observe that no one, either 
male or female, offered a single word in favour of 
Jesus during the whole season of the Passion 
except the wife of Pilate and Pilate himself, 
though neither of them believed in Jesus, being 
both Gentiles ; and neither was instigated by 
others to act in behalf of Jesus, but the wife was 
induced by a dream, and Pilate from the sense of 
justice, and the knowledge of the envy of the 

The reference to prophecy, " They parted my 
garments among them," the Cardinal considers 
(from its absence from many Greek MSS.) to 
be doubtfully ascribed to Matthew. The last 
words of the Gospel, " Lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world," lead him to 
observe, " We need not therefore fear that the 
Christian faith will ever be extinguished, for it 
will always remain in some of the true disciples 


of Jesus to the end of the world." He had 
doubtless in view that great apostasy which the 
Jesuit teaching, in its establishment of a trium 
phant church reigning over ever} 7 kingdom of the 
world, so systematically excludes from its system. 



THE Gospel of St. Mark contains so few diversi 
ties of importance from that of St. Matthew that 
we naturally expect its commentary to exhibit 
the same resemblance to that whose most inter 
esting features we have already represented to the 

The Cardinal accepts the general view that 
St. Mark wrote in Greek, though the tradition of 
the Latin original, supported as it is by the Latin- 
isms occurring in the text, ought not to have been 
so summarily dismissed. He observes first that 
St. Mark s design, as it is limited to the public life 
and teaching of Christ, precludes his entering upon 
the history of its earlier wonders and of the 
beautiful incidents which opened his life upon 
earth. In this we see the corroboration of that 
ancient and universal tradition that St. Mark s 
object was to record rather the preaching of 
St. Peter at Alexandria than those incidents which 
related to the earlier and more private life of Jesus. 

On the words " the Sabbath is made for man" 


it is observed, " For man that is, for his spiritual 
utility. For days and places are only hallowed 
that man may be hallowed in mind and body, not 
man for days and places (et non e con verso). For 
the sanctification of inanimate things is ordained 
for the sanctification of man." 

On the words " they anointed the sick with 
oil," &c. (chap. vi.)he writes: "This anointing ought 
not to be understood as the sacramental, or extreme 
unction which the Church uses, but a kind of 
beginning (initium quoddam). In his commentary 
on St. James Epistle (v. 14) he refers to this 
apostolic practice with the same object, showing 
that it has no connection with the rite of extreme 
unction, and that St. James makes no reference 
to such a practice in that much disputed passage. 
There is little difference between the commentary 
on this gospel and that on St. Matthew, to which 
it makes frequent reference, nor is there anything 
requiring special notice until we arrive at the last 
chapter, which, in common with most of the early 
and all the later critics, the author considers to 
lie under so much suspicion as not to be of the 
same firm authority as the rest of St. Mark s 
narrative. At the same time he regards the 
chapter as " not altogether a later addition, unless 
another which it represents has been lost." How 
ever, his adversary, Catharinus, with his usual 
dishonesty, suppresses this part of the Cardinal s 


statement, in order to fix upon him the charge of 
rejecting a necessary portion of the gospel on a 
mere suspicion. The promise of the signs which 
were to follow those who believe greatly increases 
the difficulty of regarding this chapter as perfectly 
authentic, and these Catharinus admits are to 
be understood not temporally and literally, but 
spiritually, a large concession for one who 
accepted the doctrine of the continuance of 
miraculous agency in the Church to make. 
Cajetan observes truly that these are rather 
the gifts of faith than the signs or tokens of 
it. They are what the Roman divines of late 
termed charismata or gratiae gratis datae 
extraordinary and not ordinary results of faith. 
He interprets sitting "on the right hand of 
God" to indicate the quiet and undisputed 
reign of Christ as having entered upon the 
greatest portion of his inheritance. 

We pass on to the Commentary on St. Luke, in 
which our interest is first awakened in the treat 
ment of the Salutation of the Blessed Virgin. 
Here the strong view the Cardinal entertained 
in regard to the doctrine of the Immaculate Con 
ception, whose adoption he succeeded in preventing 
during the sitting of the Lateran Council under 
Leo X., and which forms the subject of one of the 
most remarkable treatises, appears in brief but 
emphatic words. He describes the Virgin as 


gloriosa " on account of the gifts of divine 
grace which she must have accordingly received 
not from the moment of her conception, but of 
her birth into the world. He interprets the 
words of the angel, " Blessed art thou among 
women " as imprecatory rather than declaratory, 
meaning rather " Blessed be thou among women " 
an explanation better suited to the words of the 
Virgin, " All generations shall call me blessed," in 
asmuch as the declaratory form would be applic 
able only to her contemporaries and to her own 

The cousinship of Elizabeth and Mary presents 
some difficulty to the mind of the Cardinal. He 
writes : " It is certain that this cousinship existed, 
but uncertain in what manner. For we have no 
certain genealogies of them in both male and 
female line. This, however, we do know, from 
the Holy Scripture, that the House of David 
intermarried with the house of Aaron. For the 
wife of the Priest Jehoiada was sister of Ahaziah, 
King of Judah. Hence the fact that Elizabeth was 
of the tribe of Levi and the Blessed Virgin of the 
tribe of Judah would not be inconsistent with the 
relationship between Mary and Elizabeth." On 
the words " Blessed art thou among women," &c., 
he notes the limitation of the blessing of the 
Virgin to her own sex, while the blessing of Christ 
is unlimited and extends to all mankind. 


The " lowliness of his handmaiden " in the 
Vulgate translated humilitas as though it expressed 
the virtue of humility instead of the lowness of 
her position in the world he restores to its mean 
ing in the original, for which he is again severely 
attacked by Catharinus. 

On the passage (Luke x.), "The harvest is 
plenteous, but the labourers are few, he observes : 
" He saith not the preachers but the labourers 
are few that we may understand that there are 
few who prove themselves preachers by their 
works, although many preach in the exercise of 
the voice." 

The beautiful contrast of the active and con 
templative life in Martha and Mary he draws out 
with great clearness and effect, concluding that 
the perfect life involves both these states, alleging 
that St. Peter in the Acts claims both as belong 
ing to his office when he says, " But we will give 
ourselves to prayer" (i.e., to the contemplative 
life), " and to the preaching of the word " (i.e., the 
active life). 

The promise of the growth of the Holy Spirit 
to those who ask it of the Father (chap, xi.) gives 
occasion for this reflection: "You see, judicious 
reader, that there is no need here of glosses. For 
this is an infallible promise according to the 
meaning of the context, and contains all the con 
ditions necessary for the acquisition of the Holy 


Spirit viz., to pray with the mind, to seek in the 
deed, and to persevere in both." 

On the words, " If any man come to me and 
hate not his father and mother " &c. (Luke xiv.), 
he observes that " we are not to understand them 
absolutely, but only in so far as the love of parents 
is a hindrance to our adhesion to Christ. For 
grace does not destroy but perfects nature" If 
he had applied this last principle to the doctrine of 
transubstantiation which destroys nature to supply 
its place with altogether a different one, he would 
have followed Berengarius in his final reply to 
Lanfranc, in which he proves that the substance 
of the bread remains, the consecration only adding 
grace to the nature of the element. We have 
already seen the Cardinal s renunciation of works 
of supererogation in his commentary on Luke 
xvii. 10. 

On the words which foreshowed the fall of Peter 
(Luke xxii. 32), " When them art converted, 
strengthen thy brethren," he remarks : 

" Observe here that he wishes Peter to regard 


the rest of the apostles as brethren and not 
subjects (non subditos sed fratres) " foreshowing 
and enjoining not an office of ruling, but of con 
firming them in faith, hope, and charity." This 
draws forth the strongest objurgations from 
Catharinus, who sees in it the assertion that the 
Papal claim to domination is simply a usurpation. 


On the breaking of the bread after the resurrec 
tion the Cardinal puts forth the singular opinion 
that there must have been something miraculous 
in the manner in which our Lord was accustomed 
to break bread, " quod frangebat panem manibus 
sicut alii incidunt cultello." Whether this strange 
idea was original or derived I am unable to dis 
cover. The Commentary on St. Luke was com 
pleted on Jan. 25, 1528, and, like the previous 
ones, in his native town of Gaeta 



THE Fourth Gospel gives a much wider scope to 
the Cardinal s labours, and enables him to extend 
some portions of his Commentary almost into dis 
quisitions. On the first chapter and its great 
disclosure of the Incarnation he naturally dwells 
at unusual length, but we pass over the less im 
portant portion of his exposition to devote our 
attention to the crowning revelation, " The Word 
was made flesh " " He saith not here the Word 
was made (or created), but the Word was made 
flesh. And since the Word of GOD is incapable 
of any change, we must understand hereby that 
the Word, without any change in its nature " 
(absque quacumque sui mutatione) " was made 
flesh. No alteration, no mixing of the two, no con 
version into the Word is here signified. For the 
word is not changed by any alteration so as to be 
come flesh. Nor is any mixture of the Word with 
the flesh interposed, nor is the Word turned into 
flesh. These might rather be called dreams than 
doctrines, since it is clear that the Word which 


was in the beginning with God is unchangeable. 
Truly, therefore, and properly, and yet without any 
change in itself the Word is made flesh." After 
much more to the same purpose he adds : " And 
if these words are considered with perspicacity 
(by which it is signified that the word, remaining 
in its full integrity was made flesh, not fleshly), it 
will appear that the evangelist excludes in this 
making every manner by which one thing which 
already exists becomes another. Thus, the air 
which becomes water ceases to be air. A man 
who is white already cannot be said to become 

No intelligent reader can fail to see that the 
Cardinal in this passage has unconsciously given 
us the most convincing argument that could be 
produced against the doctrine of transubstantia- 
tion. If for the Word we substitute the bread (or 
elements of the sacrament) and for the flesh, the 
body and blood of Christ, the result would be 
simply this. Neither is the bread turned into the 
body by a miraculous annihilation of the substance 
(which is transubstantiation) nor the bread mixed 
(or united) with the body of Christ by impanation 
(as Rupert of Deutz held), or by consubstantiation 
as Luther taught. The union is between grace 
and nature (as Cajetan had already taught), neither 
of which destroys the other. Berengarius in his 
final and crushing reply to Lanfranc (a document 


whose existence was unknown until Leasing dis 
covered it in the Ducal Library at Wolfenblittel, 
and the brothers Vischer produced it in its entirety 
at Berlin in 1834) alleged the parallel between 
John i. 14 and Matt. xxvi. 26 in these words : 
" Verbum caro assumpsit quod non erat, non 
amittens quod erat ; et panis consecratus, in altari 
amisit vilitatem, arnisit inefficaciam, non amisit 
naturae proprietatem, cui naturae quasi loco, quasi 
fundamento dignitas divinitus augeretur et effi- 
cacia." * 

In the same manner he anticipates Cajetan s 
conclusion in the words : " Const at omne quod 
consecretur, omne cui a Deo benedicatur, non 
absumi, non auferri, non destrui, sed manere, et in 
melius quam erat necessario provehi," and quotes 
from St. Ambrose the similitude, "tu eras, sed 
eras vetus creatura ; postquam consecratus es, 
nova creatura factus es, ut sicut manente subjecto 
anirnae et corporis, in novam mutatus est aliquis 
creaturam " ita rnanentibus subjectis suis mu- 
tentur panis et vinum in corpus et sanguinem 
Christ " (p. 248). 

But while the Cardinal appears to be unconscious 
of the bearing of the passage, " The Word was 
made flesh," upon the Eucharistical doctrine of his 
Church, he makes a voluntary concession to the 
advocates of a more spiritual interpretation of the 

* Berengarii de Sacni Coenu adv. Lanfranc, p. 98. Ed. Berol.. 1834. 


words of the institution in his commentary on the 
sixth chapter, which had till then been regarded 
one of the mainstays of the dogma of transubstan- 
tiation. His treatment of the whole subject 
brings down upon him the fullest measure of 
indignation from Catharinus. Yet Catharinus 
himself has a beautiful passage on the contrast 
between the outward and the inward, the material 
and spiritual reception of the sacrament while 
thus denouncing Cajetan. " Comprimebatur 
Christus a turba, nihil proderat caro ilia compre- 
mentibus. Eadem caro, immo fimbria vestimenti 
a muliere sensibiliter tangitur ; exivit virtus et 
sanavit. Quare ? quia illi carnaliter solum tange- 
bant, at mulier tetigit fide. Idcirco audit Fides 
tua te salvam fecit/ non dicit tactus ille sensibilis 
sed fides." Surely this is as much as though he 
admitted that ct the mean whereby the Body of 
Christ is received and eaten in the supper is Faith." 
(Art. xxviii.) Cajetan lays down first the prin 
ciple that " the entire discourse in its direct in 
tention (sermo formalis) does not relate to the 
sacrament, or to the res sacramenti (the matter 
or outward part of the sacrament) but to the 
fountain of the sacrament (fons sacramenti) 
which he shows to be the death and sacrifice of 

Secondly, he shows that, if applied to the sacra- 

* Anibros. Catharinus con. Cajetan, p. 168 (Paris, 1535). 


merit, its meaning is limited to those who par 
take of it spiritually. The primary meaning he 
states thus : " The sense is, unless ye feed on 
the death of the Son of Man as meat and drink 
ye have no spiritual life in you. And this sense 
(he adds) is the true one and is the obvious 
(or necessary) intention. It is the true one, since 
unless the soul of man so believes in the death of 
Christ as to be sustained by it as by food, and 
be made glad by it as by drink, it has no life of 
grace in it. It is, moreover, the necessary in 
tention, because the separation of the flesh and 
blood manifestly explains the death of Christ, in 
which the flesh and the blood were separated, and 
also because He expressly says, * my flesh, which 
I will give for the life of the world/ by which he 
clearly describes his death." The secondary or 
eucharistic meaning he shows must be consistent 
with this primary one, and must refer to faith in 
the sacrament as the memorial of the death of 
Christ ; according to the words of the Apostle, 
" As often as ye eat of this bread and drink of 
this cup ye do show forth the death of Christ," 
&c. The third interpretation which relates to 
the reception of the sacrament, he limits to the 
spiritual reception, and here he endeavours to 
escape from the dilemma in which the Roman 
expositors flud themselves by the denial of the 
cup to the laity, and to meet the argument of the 


Bohemians who, having received from the Roman 
Church the eucharistical interpretation of the 
entire discourse, used the words " except ye eat 
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood 
ye have no life in you," so successfully even before 
the Council of Trent, as to compel the Court of 
Rome to make some temporary and local con 
cession of the cup to the laity.* He concludes, 
however : " It clearly appears that the discourse 
in its literal sense does not relate to the eating 
and drinking the sacrament of the Eucharist, but 
to the eating and drinking the death of Christ 
.... by saying he who eateth me shall live by 
me he shows that to eat is to have life, and 
truly this is so, since to feed on the death of Christ 
is to have eternal life." 

In direct contradiction to the theory of Car 
dinal Wiseman, in his famous Lectures, that there 
is a transition in the discourse of Christ at the 
43t,n verse, Cajetan observes. "Remember that 
this discourse, as it begins with bread so ends 
with bread " (a pane incepit, ad panem redit). 

Much in the same manner, and in the same 

* Cajetan charges the Bohemians with the re-introduction of the 
practice of administering the Eucharist to infants. Zorn, in his learned 
" Historia Eucharistiae Infantiuny proves that this allegation is false as 
regards the Hussites proper, and is only true of the branch of the later 
Calixtines. The usage prevailed anciently over the whole Church, as 
Zorn has largely proved (pp. 81, 91, 146, 402, &c.). Its entire abrogation 
shows that the Church recognised faith, of which infants are incapable, 
as a necessary qualification for the reception of the Eucharist. 


spirit Cajetan had already interpreted the inter 
view of our Lord with the Samaritan woman in 
the fourth chapter. And, indeed, His discourse on 
that occasion might be applied to baptism in the 
same manner in which that in the sixth chapter 
is applied to the Eucharist and might for the 
same reason be proved inapplicable, for eternal life 
is the promise annexed both to the water given 
by Christ, and to the bread with which he com 
pares himself. And as the result in both cases 
is purely spiritual, the causes which led to it must 
be so too. The observation of the Cardinal on 
the words, " The hour cometh," c., as addressed 
by our Lord to the woman, is significant : " He 
foreshows the future period of grace of the New 
Testament abrogating both places, yea, every 
place." " Neither in this mountain," here one of 
them is excluded; "nor in Jerusalem," here the 
temple-worship is excluded ; and through these 
two exclusions, every other place is excluded. 

He seems to take no account of Roman pilgrim 
ages, Jubilees, privileged places or privileged 
altars. If the claim of Jerusalem is disallowed 
far more would these be. For the worshippers 
of the Father in spirit and in truth have every 
place as their temple, and bring the living temple 
into every place of their worhip. 

Passing on to the eighth chapter, Cajetan holds 
with St. Jerome that the incident of the woman 


taken in adultery is not sufficiently authentic to 
be accepted as a part of the Gospel, although read 
in the Church as such. For this of course he 
receives the severest reprehension from his critic, 
who does not however venture to carry back the 
censure to the real culprit. 

The question of the Jews (xii. 34) : " How 
sayest thou the Son of Man must be lifted up ?" 
leads to the observation, " It appears hence that 
Jesus said many things of which the Evangelists 
have only gathered some sentences Christ merely 
says, I, if I be lifted up ; the insertion by the 
multitude, " the Son of Man must be lifted up," 
turns the conditional statement into a positive 
and specific one. 

On the words, "or that He should give some 
thing to the poor" (xiii. 29), the Cardinal 
renews his argument against the mendicant orders 
with even additional force. From the whole of 
his Commentary on the Gospels, and especially 
from that on St. John, it is clear that Cajetan 
held a strong doctrine on the subject of predesti 
nation, and regarded only the predestined to life 
as the " flock" and sheep of Christ. The words, 
u Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," 
(xv. 1 6) give him occasion to point to the 
doctrine of election, and in pursuit of the simi 
litude of the vine and its branches to observe : 
" While in the vine it is clear that the vine pro- 


daces the branches, and not the branches the vine, 
the contrary appears in civil (or political) societies. 
For the people choose the king, not the king the 
people, and so in other orders. Accordingly to 
exclude this view and to declare in fact, and in 
a literal sense, what he had already declared 
metaphorically, he adduces this third lesson to the 
end that the disciples might continue in his love. 
The first he alleges from the fruit of joy ; the 
second from that of friendship ; the third from 
the benefit of their election. In these, taken 
altogether, he manifests the truth that their union 
with Jesus does not originate from themselves, 
but from Jesus alone : " Ye have not chosen me/ 
he saith, as a people would choose their king, or 
an army their general, or disciples their master, 
but I have chosen you/ And lest you should 
err in believing that this union springs from 
chance or circumstance he adds, "but I have 
chosen you/ that is, both by an eternal and a 
temporal election." 

He follows up this view of election to a singular 
result in his commentary on the charge to Peter, 
" Feed my sheep" (xxi. i 5-17), and alleges that 
as the sheep and lambs represent the predes 
tinated to life, the pastoral rule of Peter extends 
only to the elect, and not to any who are not thus 

The obvious consequences which would follow 


from this theory, to the Papal authority and its 
claim over all mankind both in spiritual and tem 
poral things, awakens the most serious alarm in 
the mind of Catharinus. He denounces the doc 
trine as " false and perilous. For if the care 
given to Peter only extends to the predestinate, 
truly he would not have it over others, which is 
false and heretical moreover, we should not know, 
nor would he know who or how manv were com 
mitted to his charge, for he would not know who 
were predestinated. Moreover, the binding and 
loosing power which was given him explicitly 
by the Lord would fail him altogether." The 
reason though plausible is hardly sufficient, for 
the knowledge given to Peter extended far beyond 
an ordinary human knowledge, and enabled him 
to recognise those who were truly called ; a privi 
lege which could not extend to his alleged suc 
cessors, and the binding and loosing power had 
been already so limited by the Cardinal (on Matt, 
xvi. 19) as to adapt it in some degree at least to 
the strange limitation which we are now consider 
ing. In illustration of this latter passage we 
may fall back upon the final commission of Christ 
to the Apostles, and the power of retaining or 
remitting sin which is there given them (xx. 23). 
Cajetan supposes that the gift of the Holy Ghost 
was specially bestowed in relation to the sacra 
ment of Penance, " in which the sacramental act 


requires in the minister the direction of the Holy 
Spirit, and an internal judgment of sin. And if 
any should ask how can I know that the Holy 
Ghost moves me to retain or to remit, the reply 
is obvious that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of 
wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel 
and of the fear of the Lord, and according as every 
one of these conditions is observed or not, viz., 
wisdom, counsel and the like, we may reasonably 
conclude that the penitent may be either absolved 
or not absolved." He proposes here as great a 
difficulty as he had already done in regard to the 
predestinate. For how shall either the confessed 
or the confessor feel satisfied that all the condi 
tions on which the gift of the Holy Ghost is 
promised, have been complied with. One fatal 
condition, which in that day only existed in a 
doubtful appendix to the Council of Florence, viz., 
the necessity of intention both in the minister and 
receiver of the sacraments, had not then the 
stereotyped authority which the Council of Trent 
assigned to it. In the endeavour to give to the 
priesthood a superhuman authority, and to make 
his will like the "I wills " of Christ, that fatal 
doctrine has cut away the ground from their 
feet and made the very existence of the ijnurch 
dependent upon a supposition which can never 
assume the solidity of a fact, or the sanction of 
an established truth. 


We have already observed that the frequent 
mistranslations of the Vulgate are as frequently 
corrected by the Cardinal, to the great grief of 
Catharinus, who dedicates an entire chapter to his 
pathetic remonstrance. In the last chapter of 
St. John, one of these mistranslations, and one of 
the most unaccountable of them is amended " Sic 
eum volo manere donee veniam,"- instead of " Si 
eum volo," &c., the absurdity of which error mu^t 
be apparent from the fact that it would be a con 
tradiction of the verses that follow, and a fatal 
misrepresentation of the entire incident. Yet 
Sixtus V. in his authoritative edition preserves the 
false reading as he does every other. 



THE commentary of the Cardinal on the Acts of 
the Apostles is little more than an explanatory 
paraphrase. Nothing indicative of the state of 
Christianity in the Apostolic age as contrasted 
with that of later ages occurs in it, except perhaps 
the single passage on the burial of Stephen, of 
which he observes on the words " And devout men 
carried Stephen to his burial " (viii. 2), " It 
appears from this that the festival of martyrs 
(solemnitates martyruni) had not begun in that 
primitive Church. For they did not dedicate a 
martyr s celebration (martyrium) to Stephen, but 
made great lamentation over him, taking care of 
his body after the Hebrew manner." 

One other suggestive passage we may note, 
that, namely, on the offer of money to Peter by 
Simon Magus, where the Cardinal touches upon 
the delicate subject whether the guilt of simony 
attaches to the purchase of the Cardinalate, which 
many of the more lax moralists of the fifteenth 


century held, from its mixed civil and religious 
character, to be capable of sale without incurring 
the guilt of simony. He holds of course the 
stricter view, which the Constitution of Julius II. , 
" Cum tarn divino" had already so rigidly en 
forced (A.D. 1505). The very necessity of this 
stringent law gave sad and significant proof of the 
extent to which simony had reigned in the Church 
of Rome, and the number of offices and dignities 
which had been filled simoniacally. 

The contemporary commentator upon it, Gam- 
marus, gives us proofs that the very author of the 
decree had mounted the Papal throne through 
simony, and intimates that it was promulgated as 
a kind of atonement for this notorious guilt. 

On the words in xix. 18, "Many came and 
confessed and showed their deeds," he observes, 
" As the repentant persons came to John the 
Baptist confessing their sins, in the same manner 
these are described as confessing their sins, without 
doubt generally or publicly, for neither was a 
sacramental confession, but merely the profession 
of repentance for their past lives." 

The closing words of Cajetan s exposition of the 
Acts are an indication that he did not attach much 
importance to the legendary history of St. Peter 
and St. Paul which represents their later years. 

Of all that followed the two years in which he 
received the faithful in his own house the Cardinal 


professes an entire ignorance. " Quid postea secu- 
tum sit, nescitur ; nisi quantum ex Epistolis Pauli 
conjicere licet." 

We approach now the most important and the 
most doctrinal portion of his Commentary, that 
on the Epistles of St. Paul, the first which the 
writer of this summary became acquainted with, 
and which gave him the great inducement to 
examine its earlier divisions. This part of the 
work is dedicated to the Emperor Charles the Fifth. 

The examination of the earlier portion of the 
Commentary enabled us to see the comparative 
freedom of the pre-Tridentine writers from the 
fetters of a traditional interpretation, not older in 
most ca,ses than the mediaeval theology which was 
re-imposed upon the Church by the stereotyped 
laws of Trent. Neither the great Churches of 
Northern and Central Europe nor the Eastern 
Churches were represented in that assembly, while 
the Gallican Church, the "first daughter of the 
Church," struggled but feebly for life under the 
leadership of the Cardinal of Lorraine, whose 
constant protests fell fruitlessly upon the dead 
wall of Spanish and Italian Ultramontanism. All 
the greatest men of the Italian Church had 
passed away, with the single exception of Cardinal 
Seripandi, who died in the Council ; the last con 
tender for the ancient doctrine of the Church on 
justification by faith, and of the auxilia gratiae 



of the Augustinian School. Cajetan, Contarini, 
Sadolet, ^Egidius of Viterbo, and all the great 
luminaries of the Church of Italy during the 
renaissance of theological learning had passed 
away from the scene. Pole alone survived to 
take part in the opening sessions of the Council, 
but when he saw that the doctrine of Justification 
was being corrupted by the Jesuit faction, and the 
ancient teachings of the Church on grace deter 
minedly set aside, he left the assembly in disgust 
and never appeared in it again. The only great 
testimony which survived in the Council was the 
admirable letter of Cardinal Contarini, by which, 
" being dead, he yet spake." In the hands of his 
nephew, Julius Contarini, it was so formidable a 
weapon that at one time it threatened to divide 
the Council almost as perilously as did the conten 
tion of the Spanish bishops on the " residence of the 
bishops by divine right." A MS. treatise, which 
has never been published, by Giacomo Giacomelli, 
Bishop of Belcastro, who was present in the earlier 
sessions of the Council, dedicated to Cardinal 
Farnese, and now in the possession of the writer, 
opens with the following statement : " Superioribus 
diebus cum (ut te non latet) de impii justificatione 
in sancta hac Tridentina Synodo ageretur, ut quid 
de ea sentiendum foret tandem aliquando statuere- 
mus, fuere quidam (non oportet nominare quen- 
quam) eruditi viri, meo judicio et diserti, qui summa 


nobis contentione, summaque eloquentia persua- 
dere conati sunt, opera iiostra qua.mlibet in gratia 
patrata, quamlibet a charitate einanantia longe 
abesse ab eo, ut sufficiant, et quae satisfaciant legi 
Dei, et quae gloriam mereantur ; nisi ad justitiam 
Christi, ad misericordiarn Patris novo quodam 
rnodo, nescio unde eruto, confugiamus. Manca enim 
ipsa nostra opera esse et debilia quainvis a divina 
gratia fulciantur. Ipsis propterea non fidendum. 
A Christi meritis, a sola justitia Christi opem et 
auxiliurn implorandum. Appellabantque hanc 
justitiam, justitiam imputatam, ut quam nobis 
imputari si servandi sumus atque attribui opus 
sit. Hanc suam opinionem summa (ut aiebam) 
contentione, multis ac undecumque accersitis 
rationibus tutabantur . . . . et tamen inventi 
sunt qui in pleno senatu pro ilia opinione tan- 
quam pro aris et focis (ut dicitur) dimicarent. . , . 
Erat iiempe negotium Justifications post diutur- 
nam et in synodo, et seorsum a synodo discepta- 
tionem eo denique perlatum ut niliil praeterea 
superesset quam ut supremam acciperet manum. 
Ecce tibi nova jurgia, novae lites Justitia imputata 
in medium prosilit nova pompa et apparatu intro- 

In a later passage he refers to the famous letter 
of Cardinal Contarini in defence of the doctrine he 

* The original words have been quoted that there might be no charge 
of suppression or mutilation in the translation of them. 


is impugning, " cpistola quae uLicumque circum- 
fertur"* indicating* the great influence which the 
name of that noblest of the ornaments of the 
Roman Church in the Reformation period still 
possessed, and that not only with the subordinate 
members of the Council, but with Seripandi and 
Pole, and even with its last president, Cardinal 
Moron e, for whose use in his diocese of Bologna 
Contarini had written his beautiful catechism of 
Christian doctrine, the most perfect picture we 
possess of pre-Tridentine doctrine and of the faith 
of Rome before its corruption by the Jesuits 
under the overwhelming influence of Laynez. 

The ignorance of the Council when it entered 
upon the subject was plainly admitted by Cardinal 
Cervinus (afterwards MarcellusII.),the Pro-Legate, 
as the representative of Cardinal del Monte, the 
first Legate, who observed that " though the 
ancient Schoolmen wrote copiously on the ques 
tion of original sin, they wrote but sparingly on 
Justification," and that therefore their light must 
be derived from the writers who for the last 
twenty years had opposed the writings of Luther. 
This confession of weakness, which indicated that 
one of the cardinal doctrines of Christianity had 

* This letter, which the Lyons Edition of his works in 1571 gives in 
its integrity, was so mutilated by the Jesuit editors in the later edition, 
published at Venice, that the Cardinal is ingeniously made to express the 
very contrary doctrine to that he is really advocating. By an artifice 
worthy of the "Society," the paging of the former edition is preserved 
in order to conceal from the reader the omissions made in the text. 


had no place in the religious teaching of the 
Tridentine Fathers, whose only enlightenment 
could be found in the polemical writers of modern 
date, Cardinal Pacecco supplemented by admitting 
that " not only the ancient divines had treated this 
question in a more contracted form, but that even 
in the ancient Councils it had never been venti 
lated or defined. Wherefore it ought to be dis 
cussed and defined by the present one." It would 
appear from this candid admission that the doc 
trine of Justification, lost to the Roman. Church 
during the Middle Ages, had now to be discovered, 
or rather disinterred, from the closed pages oi the 
Scripture, and that, at the end of the sixteenth 
century. But as the auxilia gratiae are as yet 
unsettled by that Church, though the discussion 
of them before the Popes fills hundreds of folio 
pages, we ought perhaps to excuse the Legate for 
so honest a confession of neglect.* 

The Italian and Spanish bishops at Trent seemed 
to have heard as little of the doctrine as the 
disciples at Ephesus had of the Holy Ghost (Acts 
xix. 2), though they might have learned it as fully 
in the Epistles of St. Paul, as the Ephesians 
learned the doctrine of the Holy Ghost from the 
personal teaching of the same Apostle. Cajetau 
had learned it there, and his Commentary on the 

* Le Plat, Mon. C. T. torn. iii. p. 430. Serry, Hist. Congreg. de 
Auxiliis Gratiae, Ven. 1740. 


Romans shows that he at least was not of the 
number of those who wrote sparingly upon it or 
failed to give it the most exalted rank in the 
teachings of the Church. From these introduc 
tory considerations, which will prepare the reader 
for the marked contrast in which his doctrine 
stands with the Tridentine definitions and decrees, 
we proceed to an examination of the Commentary 
itself. And to show this contrast more remark 
ably we will place the words of Cajetan in juxta 
position with those of our own Homily on the 
Salvation of Mankind which I was led to observe, 
now fifty-five years since, were taken almost 
verbatim from the Commentary of the Cardinal, 
whose works were well known to, and often quoted 
by, our reformers. The words of the latter will be 
given in their original form that there may be no 
suspicion of any attempt at adaptation. 

Cajetan in Rom. c. Hi. v. 24. Homily on Salvation. 

Adverte quod in hoc quod In our justification is not 
homines ex peccatoribus fiunt only God s mercy and grace, 
justi concurrunt gratia Dei et but also His justice. And, 
justitia Dei. Ita quod non although this justification be 
concurrit sola gratia, quae tune free to us, yet it cometh not 
sola concurreret quando Deus so freely to us that there is 
remitteret peccata sine aliqud no ransom paid for it at all. 
solutione. Sed hoc Deus nuii- 
quam fecit aut facit. Sed 
gratiae suae inserit justitiam 
suam quam toties Apostolus 
noininat Justitiam Dei. 



At si contra hoc instetur, 
quod haec duo sibi invicem ad- 
versantur, scilicet quod sinius 
justificati gratis per gratiam 
Dei, et quod simus justificati 
per redeniptionem quae est in 
Ohristo Jesu. Nam si per re- 
demptionem ergo non gratis, 
et si per gratiam ergo non per 
justitiam redemptionis. Solu- 
tio est, quod scriptura sacra 
non dicit nos justificari per 
solam gratiam sed per gratiam 
simul et justitiam, sed utram- 
que Dei 

Et adverte tria " PER " at- 
tulisse apostolum in hae sen- 
tentia. Primum dicendo per 
gratiam ipsius, secundum per 
redemptionem, et tertium per 
fidem redemptionis ; ut intel- 
ligamus ad justificandum nos 
concurrere, primum ex parte 
Dei gratiam, deinde ex parte 
JesuChristi justitiam redemp 
tionis, et demum ex parte 
nostri fidem in sanguine Jesu 
Christi. Et gratia quidem 
primum tenet locum, utpote 
etiam causa secundi et tertii. 
.... Fides donum Dei est et 
non creaturae (in c. X.). 

Arbitramur igitur justificari 
hominem per fidem sine oper- 
ibus legis justificantibus. Non 

But here may man s reason 
be astonied, reasoning after 
this fashion. If a ransom be 
paid for our redemption, then 
it is not given us freely. For 
a prisoner that paid his ran 
som is not let go freely 

This reason is satisfied by the 
great wisdom of God in this 
mystery of our redemption, 
who hath so tempered his jus 
tice and mercy together, and 
with his mercy hath joined 
his upright and equal justice 
(gratiae suae inserit justitiam 
suam, ut supr.). 

In these foresaid places the 
Apostle toucheth specially three 
things which must go together 
in our justification. Upon 
God s part His great mercy and 
grace, upon Christ s part jus 
tice that is, the satisfaction 
of God s justice by the offering 
of his body and upon our 
part true and lively faith in 
the merits of Jesus Christ, 
which yet is not ours, but God 
working in us. 

The grace of God doth not 
shut out the justice of God in 
our justification, but only shut- 


enim intendit excludere opera teth out the justice of man 

legis Non intendit ex- that is to say, the justice of 

chulere ab executione sed a our works Faith doth 

justificatione not shut out repentance, hope, 

love, dread, &c.,but it shutteth 
them out from the office of 

That Cajetan held with Contarini, Pole, and the 
learned and influential minority at Trent the 
doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ 
which St. Bernard so eloquently vindicated in 
an earlier day, and of which the Bishop of Bel- 
castro was willingly or rather stolidly ignorant, 
appears from his commentary on the passage (his 
faith) " was imputed unto him for righteousness " 
(iv. 22).* 

Having first corrected the Vulgate reading by 
substituting imputation for reputation, he observes 
that the former word better describes the ascribing 
or attributing a work to another than does the 
latter. " In the doctrine that faith was imputed 
for righteousness it is signified that righteousness 
is not conferred of debt or of merit/ The opening 
of the fifth chapter, which describes the fruits of 
justification, is treated by the Cardinal in a very 
lucid and practical manner. He observes that 

* The excellent commentary of Cardinal Seripandi on the Galatians, 
with the interesting questions he raises at its close, may well be com 
pared with the words of Cajetan on Rom. iii. His 29th Question, " de 
justificationis initio, proyressu etfine, exemplo Abrahae" excellently repre 
sents the evangelical view for which he contended at Trent. 


these fruits are four in number, including first, 
peace with God and access to Him by faith ; 
secondly, the rejoicing in the hope of the glory of 
God ; thirdly, the glorying in tribulations ; and, 
lastly, joy in God through Jesus Christ (verse 1 1) 
on all which results of a justification by faith he 
dwells with his usual clearness and skill. " The 
first good," he writes, " arising to the justified is 
peace with God ; to this is added a threefold 
glorification ; first, in the hope of the glory of God ; 
secondly, in glorying in afflictions ; and, thirdly, in 
God." On the i8th verse he writes: "From 
this doctrine of St. Paul you see that original 
sin is common to all men, and hereby even to 
infants, for otherwise the sin of Adam would 
be more powerful than the righteousness 
of Christ, because the former would extend to 
infants and not the latter,* the opposite of 
which Paul teaches manifestly. And mark this 
as an argument for infant baptism." From a 
passage in the following chapter in which baptism 
is likened to a burial with Christ it would appear 
that baptism by immersion was then generally 
practised. " Ex sepultura declarat mortem, ex 
ritu baptizandi ; quia scilicet qui baptizatur sub 
aqua ponitur. ; 

* This argument had already been strongly urged by St. Bernard 
against Abailard, in the celebrated passage in which he uses the terra 
imputation " in connection with the righteousness of Christ. 


The last verse of the chapter gives him occasion 
to make a new and most emphatic renunciation 
of human merit. " The gift of God is eternal 
life" &c. " He does not say that the wages of 
righteousness is eternal life, but the gift of God 
is eternal life, in order that we might understand 
that it is not of our own merits but the free gift 
of God that we obtain the end of eternal life. 
Wherefore he adds f In Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Here, then, is the merit, here is the righteousness 
whose wage is eternal life ; to us, however, it is 
the gift of God for the sake of Jesus Christ/ 

We now arrive at that most difficult stage of 
the long and closely connected argument of this 
epistle, the seventh chapter, which has exercised 
the skill of so many commentators in every period 
and in every division of the Church. The Cardinal, 
rightly regarding the obvious connection it has 
with the fifth chapter, in which the fall of man in 
A darn is so impressively contrasted with his rising 
again in Christ, describes the Mosaic law as inter 
posed between these two great periods in the his 
tory of mankind in order to give a divine revelation 
on the nature and the effects of sin. On the passage 
" I had not known sin but by the law," he shows 
that the apostle refers to sin as the transgression 
of the law of God in contrast to the mere law of 
man. " For murder," he writes, " and similar sins, 
nay, even inward sins were known to mankind as 


appears by the works of trie Philosophers. But 
they knew not sin according to the chief reason of 
its guilt, which is its offence against God, nor ac 
cording to the reason of its penalty, which is its 
deserving eternal death." Coveting, as a sin of the 
mind and heart, the apostle alleges to have become a 
sin only through the prohibition of the law. By *m 
the Cardinal considers him to mean the fomes 
peccati, the desire and lust after sin, which St. 
Paul describes as working in him all manner of 
concupiscence. For without the law this desire 
would be dead. The passage, " I was alive with 
out the law once," he refers to the first state of 
man before a positive law had been given by God. 
But when that prohibitory law was proclaimed, the 
desire of sin revived, that is, the death to sin was 
broken and sin regained its life. And thus the new 
commandment which was designed to bring life re 
sulted in death, through the weakness of the nature 
on which it was imposed. The struggle of the 
two principles in the soul of man arises out of this 
first incapacity, a struggle which is described as 
terminating in the triumph of the grace of God 
through Christ, who has delivered man from the 
body of death which weighed him down and placed 
him in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Such 
is the brief outline of the Cardinal s view of this 
difficult chapter, as far as I am able to understand 
it. For his language is often obscure from its 


colloquial style and scholastic subtleties, and would 
naturally be more so in an argument which has 
baffled so many endeavours to clear it up. We 
pass on to the ninth chapter, which presents scarcely 
less difficult a problem, that on predestination and 
election, which has occasioned such irreconcilable 
differences of doctrine and opinion from the earliest 
period of the history of the Church. On this point 
the Cardinal has displayed a singular judgment and 
moderation, and presents another point of contact 
with the doctrine of the Church of England. Though 
differently worded and not exhibiting the close 
affinity which we observed between his definition 
of justification and our own Homily on the Salva 
tion of Mankind, the doctrinal resemblance is 
equally clear and the via media which both pre 
serve is characteristic of the wise moderation of 
our own reformers as well as of Cajetan himself. 
We cannot withhold from the reader the passage in 
its entirety, as it could not be summarised with 
detracting from its force and value. 

"But before we proceed further it occurs to us 
to respond to the curiosity of men on the subject 
of predestination and reprobation. For they say, 
If I am of the number of the elect, it is the same 
thing as saying that I am saved ; in like manner, if 
I am of the number of the reprobate, it is the same 
thing as though I were condemned. " I answer 
that, we can speak in two manners on this curious 


question either beginning from those things which 
belong to the part of God and coming down to our 
selves, or conversely beginning with those things 
which belong to ourselves, and ascending to God. If 
we begin from God, we profess first that God has 
from eternity chosen severally this and that man 
according to his good pleasure ; secondly, that this 
election will infallibly (I say not necessarily) have 
its effect namely, his salvation. But beginning 
from ourselves, we profess first, that every one 
possesses a free will to choose good or evil ; secondly, 
that every one doing as much as lies in him towards 
obtaining eternal life will be saved by divine grace. 
In what manner, however, and by what connecting 
means the ascending and descending chains are 
linked together does not appear. For in the as 
cending line there fails the link uniting this liberty 
and security of ours with the eternity and immuta 
bility of the divine election which implies the sal 
vation of the elect only. And in like manner, 
descending from the eternal, immutable, and 
effectual divine election, the link is wanting con 
necting it with our own free will and security. 
And hence it is no wonder that we fail to quiet 
the minds of those who inquire and draw unbecom 
ing consequences from the doctrine. Such as that, 
let a man do what he will the election is sure to 
take place, and the like horrible conclusions. To 
relieve curiosity I affirm that these things are 


truths in regard to divine election or reprobation, 
but not truths which stand alone, but are asso 
ciated with other truths on our own part viz., 
that we have a free will and that by doing our 
own duty (faciendo quod ex nobis est) we shall be 
saved by divine grace, and, according to our own 
deserts, shall be either saved or lost. And when 
you object to this, Join these truths together/ 
I reply, I know that truth is not contrary to truth, 
but know not how to join them, even as I cannot 
explain the mystery of the Trinity nor the immor 
tality of the soul ; nor how the Word was made 
Hesh, and the like truths which I nevertheless 
believe. And as I believe the other mysteries of 
faith so I believe these mysteries of predestination 
and reprobation. It is mine only to hold what I 
know certainly viz., to use rny free will and all 
the other gifts which God has granted me with 
all diligence to the attainment of eternal life, and 
to wait to learn in the heavenly country the mys 
tery of divine election at present unknown to me, 
and all other mysteries of faith. This ignorance 
quiets my mind." 

Passing to the tenth chapter, the Cardinal has 
this comment on the words, "Faith cometh by 
hearing," &c. "Observe that faith (as is said in 
Eph. ii.) is the gift of God and not of the crea 
ture, in so far as it represents the will to believe, 
and the act of faith itself. But as far as relates 


to the explanation of the things to be believed, 
faith cometh by hearing. For by hearing the 
doctrine of the Gospel we learn what is to be 
believed definitely. Hence, Cornelius the cen 
turion, through the gift of God, believing in Him, 
sent for Peter and learned from him the definition 
of the things to be believed (quae sunt nobis de 
terminate credenda). . . . and hearing by the 
word of God. This hearing is derived from the 
word of God revealed to the Prophets and Apos 
tles, so that from first to last faith is described 
as derived from the word of God, and not of men. 
Whence by no human authority can new articles 
of faith be introduced ; but only those explained 
which were revealed through the word of God to 
the Prophets and Apostles." 

We cannot but believe that the Cardinal had in 
view in these words the attempt to enforce upon 
the Church the dogma of the Immaculate Concep 
tion which he so energetically denounced, and 
whose acceptance by the Lateran Council under 
Leo X., he succeeded in preventing. The doc trine 
he here puts forth is however equally applicable 
to the numerous inventions with which the Church 
of Rome has at once complicated, and debased the 
simple and primitive religion of Christ. 

Cardinal Pole, in his " Book on the Council," 
alleges in the same spirit as that of his early 
colleagues, that the "kingdoms and nations ought 


to hear the faith of Peter explained by his suc 
cessors in the same manner in which it was ex 
plained by Peter himself to the first-fruits of the 
Gentiles." 1 But what then would become of the 
bulls, constitutions, and " extravagants," and of 
the " plenitude potestatis " of the spiritual and 
temporal power ? 

* DC Concilio, Quaestio 56. Le Plat, torn. iii. p. 338. 



THE Epistles to the Corinthians, unlike that to 
the Homans which carries on a connected argu 
ment on the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, 
have rather the usual character of such communi 
cations, and present the different subjects as they 
appear in succession to the mind of the Apostle. 
The occasion however on which the former of the 
Epistles was written, and the schisms and errors 
of doctrine and practice which had so painfully 
disturbed the Church of Corinth, led the Apostle 
into many subjects of special interest, and enable 
us to see in it more clearly than in any other of 
his writings, the external features of the Primi 
tive Church, and the simplicity of its ritual and 
government. These the Cardinal does not attempt 
to dissemble or to explain away. The simple 
ritual with which the Eucharist was then cele 
brated so closely resembling its Passover proto 
type the use in it of a language understood by 
the people the absence of the more elaborate 



antiphonal methods of a later age, all these features 
are honestly recognised and depicted, to the great 
grief and indignation of his pertinacious adversary, 
Catharinus. The transitional state in which the 
doctrine and practice of the Eucharist appears in 
the pre-Tridentine writers of the more advanced 
school of thought is very conspicuous in the con 
fusion which reigns in many of their statements, 
and in their over- anxiety to rescue their belief in 
Transubstantiation from the gross conceptions of 
the Schoolmen, and the consequences into which 
they were not ashamed to follow it up. The 
fiction of an absolute presence in the Eucharist 
from its repulsive and revolting consequences led 
many even in the days of Aquinas to believe that 
in the case of the wicked and unworthy commu 
nicant, the elements ceased to be the body of 
Christ, and no sooner touched his lips than they 
returned to their former state.* 

Innocent III., the inventor of Transubstantia 
tion answers in like manner the question whether 
a mouse can receive the body of Christ if it eats 
the sacrament, by supposing that in that case the 
place of the consecrated host is supplied again by 
the si na pie element, so that the bread is in a 
manner transubstantiated back again, f But what 

" :: ~ Aquinat. Summa Theol., p. iii. q. 80, art. iii. 

f Innocent III., de Sacro Altaris Mysterio, 1. iv. c. n. 


could we not expect from one who wrote these 
words of his new discovery, 

" Sic ergo creatura quotidie fit creator." * 

Can we wonder that the great philosopher, 
Averroes exclaimed, " Quoniam hi Christiani man- 
ducant Deum quern adorantt sit anima mea cum 

Cajetan makes but two divisions of communi 
cants, those who communicate sacramentally only, 
and those who communicate both sacramentally and 
spiritually. But he holds the absolute presence 
in both cases. He shows that in the Primitive 
Church the breaking of the bread was an essen 
tial part of the rite, and evidently disapproves 
of the disuse of it in the Roman Church. He 
asserts the Eucharist to be a sacrifice, on the 
ground of the twenty-first verse of the tenth 
chapter, where the table of the Lord is contrasted 
with the table of devils forgetful that there is no 
idea of sacrifice in either member of the com 
parison, but only of the participation of the things 
which had been offered, after their sacrifice. He 
supposes that on the anniversary of the Last 
Supper, the faithful met together in a representa 
tive feast, which was carried on at first with 
great solemnity but afterwards was corrupted by 
abuses. He vindicates against the Latin form of 

" Id. 1. iv. c. 19. f Concil. TricL, can. i. de Transubst. 


consecration the use by the Greek Church of the 
words " this is my body which is broken for you," 
instead of only " given for you," defending the 
former term on the ground of St. Paul s tradi 
tion. He shows how far better it would depict 
the body "which was scourged, pierced by the 
nails, fixed on the Cross, and at last broken by 
the spear of the soldier." The limited idea which 
he attaches to the Eucharist as a sacrifice appears 
from his remarkable definition of it : " Praecipiens 
Eucharistiam, non solum praecipit Hoc facite, 
sed adjungit, in meam memoriam, ut intelligamus 
non tantum sacrameritum sed sacrificium praecipi. 
Hostiae siquidem ct sacrifleia sunt quae in me 
mo riam jiunt." His view hereupon will more 
clearly appear in his Commentary on the Hebrews 
where he explains his idea of the Missal sacrifice 
at greater length. 

On the twelfth chapter, v. 13, " We have been 
all made to drink into one spirit" he remarks: 
" Consider these words of Paul, and reflect that 
in so far as Christians are members of the body 
of Christ, in that same degree they are generated 
by the same spirit, and are nourished by the same 
spirit. Otherwise they are members of the body 
of Christ only sacrament ally." The difference 
between a spiritual faith and a mere sacramental 
one is here clearly defined. 

Passing on to the fourteenth chapter, v. 14, 


" For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit 
prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful," the 
Cardinal writes : 

" Experience teaches us that when any one 
ignorant of Latin is moved by the Holy Spirit to 
pray in Latin (for instance, to say the Psalm 
6 Miserere mei Deus ) his spirit, that is his feel 
ings pray (for he is warmed with devotion towards 
God and to the spiritual grace of remission of 
sins), but his mind, that is his intellect, does not 
meditate upon the sense of the words he is utter 
ing, he does not contemplate the things signified 
by them, he does not penetrate into their meaning, 
and hence the mind, so far as it can penetrate 
the meaning of the things which he speaks while 
praying, is without its proper fruit, which is the 
feeding on the meaning and signification of the 

Following up this train of thought he ventures 
to affirm : " We ought to learn from this that 
it would be more desirable that divine services 
(the canonical hours and masses) should be said 
intelligibly without musical melody, than so as to 
be not understood." Observing how the use of 
organs often drowned the voices of the singers, 
he concludes, u Haec omnia magis extranea. sunt 
quam decem millia vorborum in lingua." 

He had already observed on the eleventh 
chapter (v. 4), "At the time of this Epistle that 


manner of public prayer had not been introduced 
which now prevails in the temples of God by 
which prayer is given in alternate choirs, but 
one pronounced the common prayer for all, the 
rest remaining silent. And I think that the 
same was once the case in the psalmody of the 
Monks, that one read the psalm, the rest remain 
ing silent." 

Proceeding to the Second Epistle to the Corin 
thians we find a remarkable passage illustrative of 
the nature and principles of the Gospel and the 
direct teaching of the Holy Spirit by which every 
separate Christian is able to carry out the laws of 
the better covenant. On the words, " Ye are 
manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ 
ministered by us," the Cardinal observes : " The 
meaning of the passage is this : Ye are the Epistle, 
dictated by Christ, written by Christ, receiving 
its title from Christ, and signifying Christ. For 
whatever we have within us of spiritual faith, 
hope, and charity, Christ dictates and writes not 
in another s, but in His own name, and Christ 
Himself is He who is believed in, who is hoped 
for, who is loved by us. The Corinthians there 
fore are deservedly called the Commendatory 
Epistle of St. Paul, whereof Christ is the author 
and matter, ministered by us, or rather subminis- 
tered" This explanation leads him to describe 
the nature of the Christian ministry as subordi- 


nated to Christ. Even the idea of subministra- 
tion seems to him at first sight to be presumptuous, 
as though man could become a delegate to write 
thus in the hearts of his fellow-men, as subminis- 
tering to the Holy Ghost ; but he proceeds to 
show that he is qualified for this arduous work by 
the freely bestowed gifts of God. " Shutting out 
all presumption, the Apostle declares that in fact 
God makes them fit to give manifestation of His 
spirit as he had said already, ( ministered by us, 
written by the Spirit of the living God. He 
concludes in these words : " You may gather from 
this, judicious reader, that the nature of the New 
Testament consists of those things which are im 
printed in the minds of men by Christ through the 
Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us ; evangelical men 
subministering to us the things to be believed in, 
hoped for, loved, wrought, or avoided." 

If this truly evangelical doctrine had been 
maintained in the Church of Eome in the day of 
the Reformation, there would have been little 
ground for the departure of all the more religious 
and intellectual of the nations of Europe from her 
communion. In modern Romanism, however, no 
ministration, far less subministration, is admitted 
in the government of the Church. It is an abso 
lute autocracy in which the headship of Christ is 
hidden and lost, in which faith is written, not on 
the fleshly tables of the heart, or by the Christ 


Himself, but engraved by the Pope in his own 
name, and not in Christ s, upon the " tables of 
stone " of bulls and constitutions by his own " mere 
motion" and in the "plenitude of his power." 
Though he cannot bestow the grace of faith, or 
the gift of the Holy Spirit, he invents new condi 
tions of the Gospel by the imposition of new and 
unintelligible dogmas, and makes the mere out 
ward acceptance of them the qualification for the 
kingdom instead of the living faith of Christ, 
exercised in the full freedom of the eternal and 
unchangeable Gospel. Yet that faith (as Cajetan 
writes) is "dictated and written by Christ" as 
His living Epistle in our hearts, " in His own 
name and not another s." And He is "both the 
author and the subject of it." Of all who receive 
Him now, even as of all who received Him at first, 
it is written infallibly that " to them gave He 
power to become the sons of God, even to them 
that believe in His name." No Pope or Church 
upon earth can ever deprive them of this power or 
of this heritage, confirmed as it is by that supreme 
promise, " They shall never perish, neither shall 
any man pluck them out of my hand." 

The Commentary on the Galatians is little more 
than a paraphrase and explanation of the text ; 
even the " withstanding of St. Peter to the face " 
by St. Paul being passed over with but little com 
ment. Cardinal Seripandi, in one of his questions 


on the Epistle to the Galatians a work we have 
already cited devotes much pains in the endea 
vour to explain, or rather explain away, its bear 
ing on the Petrine claims. 

The Commentary on the Ephesians gives, as 
might be expected from its text, the fullest corro- 
boration of the method of salvation laid down in 
the Commentary on the Eomans, but with greater 

In the Commentary on the Philippians we find 
scarcely anything beyond that literal interpreta 
tion by which the Cardinal endeavoured to make 
plain to the reader the obvious sense of the words. 
One passage is noticeable, in which he refers, but 
very doubtfully, to the Letters of Ignatius on the 
question whether St. Paul as well as St. Peter 
was a married man, which, though not actually 
proved by the words of the Apostle, he holds to 
be yet very probable xi epistolis Ignatii datur 

Until we arrive at the Second Epistle to the 
Thessalonians we find little or no break in the 
paraphrastic explanations of the text which were 
designed to clear up its literal meaning. The 
prophecy of the coming of Antichrist in the 
second chapter of this Epistle the writer refers 
to the breaking up of the Ptoman Empire, which 
he believes to be the falling away or apostasy 
which is to bring in the reign of Antichrist. 


61 Sublato dc medio Romano imperio revelabitur 
ille iniquus" He holds that the followers of 
Antichrist will remain until the return of Christ, 
the distinctive characteristics of Antichrist being 
the acquisition of power, through the possession 
both of wealth and coercive authority, to which 
the working of false signs and wonders will be 
added. By these appliances he will so seduce the 
minds of men as to make them believe wickedness 
to be lawful, while by the working of false miracles 
he will establish his reign. 

It does not occur to the mind of the Cardinal 
that the world-wide power which succeeded the 
breaking up of the Roman Empire was the Papacy ; 
for he expressly denies that Mahomet could be the 
Antichrist, inasmuch as he made himself an in 
spiration of God and not God Himself, whereas 
Antichrist not only opposes himself to God, but 
also exalts himself above all that is called God. 
Had he seen the later works of the Decretalists 
and the Jesuits, or the bulls of some of the later 
Popes or, it may be added,, the decrees of the 
modern Lateran and Vatican Councils, he might 
have seen how startling was the likeness of the 
later Popes to the man of sin who was to sit 
in the temple of God showing himself to be 

On the second chapter of the First Epistle to 


Timothy, verse 5, " There is one God and one 
mediator between God and man," the Cardinal 
has this significant observation : 

" From the fact that there is only one God, it 
is shown that the care of men devolves upon that 
one God only. And as he is by nature good, it 
follows that he must offer to all salvation and the 
knowledge of the truth. For if there had been 
many Gods, one might imagine that one God 
might have the charge of saving some men, and 
another be charged with saving others. But as 
there is only one, to that one only belongs the 
care of all men." And he derives this also from 
the unity of the Mediator, adding," and one Medi 
ator betiveen God and man. If there were more 
mediators between God and man, it might be 
thought that there was one mediator for some, and 
another for others ; but from the truth that there 
is one Mediator between God and man to reconcile 
man to God, to him alone it devolves to mediate 
between God and all mankind. It follows that 
God wills that all men should be saved and come 
to the knowledge of the truth, for this very reason, 
that he has appointed one Mediator between God 
and man." The Cardinal evidently knew nothing 
of patron saints, or sainted mediators nor could 
he have recognised the title of the Virgin Mary 
as a mediatrix, or the attributes which have been 


robbed from the one God and one Mediator to be 
heaped with such lavish profusion on her, whose 
only injunction was this " Whatsoever he saith 
unto you, do it " and His supreme command was 
" Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him 
only shalt thou serve " in which the so-called 
I atria and the subordinate dulia are both appro 
priated absolutely and exclusively to God. The 
mediaeval devotion to patron saints and guardian 
angels realises in a disguised form the imagination 
suggested by Cajetan that there is one God to 
save some, and another to save others ; for if it 
be urged that these are not the " Gods many" of 
heathenism, they are certainly the " Lords many," 
whose invocation is equally forbidden. It would 
appear from this passage of the Cardinal s Com 
mentary that he would have never subscribed to 
the decree of the Council of Trent, which enjoins 
the invocation of the saints, and meets only with 
a senseless impie sent ire the charge that such a 
practice detracts from the honour due to the " one 

A curious confession occurs in the commentary 
on the third chapter on the passage requiring 
bishops to be " given to hospitality " " Rara est 
haec hodic virtus." 

On the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus, 
after showing that the bishop and presbyter were 


the same in St. Paul s time, " both in degree and 
office," he adds the significant remark, " How the 
word presbyter became translated into sacerdos, it 
is not our present design to inquire." Perhaps the 
difficulty of the inquiry, as well as its irrelevancy, 
was the ground of this reticence. 



THE Commentary on the Hebrews opens with a 
somewhat long disquisition on its authenticity 
and authority. Cajetan, though altogether setting 
aside the authority of St. Jerome as a translator 
of the Scriptures, recognises his claims as a critic 
in all questions connected with the authenticity 
of particular portions of the canon or passages 
of the text which had been disputed or doubted 
by the writers of the first centuries. These in 
clude in the Old Testament the whole of the 
Apocrypha, and in the New, the story of the 
woman taken in adultery in St. John s Gospel 
the greater part of the last chapter of St. Mark 
and the following entire portions of the Canon, 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of St. 
James, the Second Epistle of St. Peter, the Second 
and Third Epistles of St. John, and the Epistle of 
Jude besides these well-known detached pas 
sages, the "three heavenly witnesses" (i John 
v. 7), the appearance of the angel comforting our 
Lord (Luke xxii. 43), and the doxology at the 


close of the Lord s Prayer. The Apocalypse he 
does not venture to include in his Commentary 
confessing himself unable to explain it in a literal 
sense. " Hxponat," he adds, " cui Deus conces- 
serit," an act of humility for which he is as severely 
rebuked by Catharinus, as he is for any of his 
misdeeds of interpretation. The Epistle to the 
Hebrews presents without doubt many very diffi 
cult problems to modern as well as ancient critics. 
Its very title as an Epistle, its address to the 
Hebrews by one whose special mission was to the 
Gentile world, the difference of its style from 
that of any of the undoubted writings of St. Paul, 
present preliminary difficulties, which, however 
explained, must leave traces of their existence in 
every intelligent mind. Cajetan dwells mostly on 
the evidence he derives from chap. ii. 3, 4, and 
from the irrelevance of the quotation in chap. i. 5, 
" I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me 
a Son." The former he considers to give proof 
that the writer derived his doctrine from the 
Apostles rather than claimed himself to have 
derived it from Christ. " Confirmed unto us by 
them that heard him," seems to be impossible 
words to one who declared that he had seen the 
Lord himself, that he spoke by direct revelation 
from God, and. that he derived nothing from those 


who had gone before him in the faith. From 
similar or cognate reasons he rejects the theories 


that Apollos, or Barnabas, or Clement could 
have composed the epistle, or rather discourse ; 
for it addressed no particular Church or person, 
and is more like an exhortation addressed to an 
entire, though scattered nation. The application 
to Christ of the words of God to David concerning 
Solomon (2 Sam. vii. 14, i Chron. xxviii. 6) is 
certainly very difficult to give a reasonable expla 
nation of. For the promise, " I will be his father, 
and he shall be my Son," is inevitably connected 
with, and indeed forms the complement of that 
threat, a If he commit iniquity I will chasten him 
with the rod of men." 

But Cajetan, far from rejecting the authority 
of the Epistle, though evidently holding with 
Erasmus that its claim to be a portion of the 
Canon rests on the judgment of the Church, treats 
it throughout in the same spirit, and with the 
same reverence which mark all the earlier portions 
of his work. That it was originally written in 
Greek and not in Hebrew, he proves among other 
arguments, from its constant use of the Septuagint 
version, instancing especially chap. ii. 7, " Thou 
madest him a little lower than the angels" 
whereas the Hebrew has the word God. Pro 
ceeding to the fourth chapter he shows that having 
compared our Lord to Moses as the faithful mes 
senger of God, the Apostle proceeds to a new 
comparison of Christ to Aaron, as the High Priest 


of God not merely ministering at an earthly 
altar as Aaron, but passed into the heavens to 
intercede for his people. Here he enters upon 
the chief subject of the Epistle, and approaches 
the difficult question of the Melchisedechian 
priesthood. On the third verse of the seventh 
chapter, " without father, without mother, with 
out descent, having neither beginning of days nor 
end of life, but made like unto the Son of God," 
he writes : " Under this description he is found 
in the Scriptures, without any recorded (scripto) 
father, without any recorded mother, without any 
written genealogy, without beginning of days, for 
it is not written where he was born, and without 
end of life, for it is not recorded how long a time 
he lived. And hence he is compared with the 
Son of God, who is the King of righteousness and 
peace, without father as man, and without mother, 
as God without genealogy, as being without 
ancestors inasmuch as he is divine having neither 
beginning of days, nor end of life, as being eternal, 
and remaining a priest for ever in a positive 
sense while Melchisedeck remains a priest only 
negatively ; for he is described to be a priest, and 
the term of his priesthood is undefined. In every 
point therefore he is a type of the Son of God." 
He appears to contrast the priesthood of Aaron 
which was one of a dynasty, whose succession 
was carefully recorded with that of Melchisedeck 


concerning whom we read of no predecessors or 
successors, and whom we see only in a single act, 
and then hear of no more, as though he had rather 
a typical than a real priesthood. He holds that 
" Melchisedeck is preferred to the Levitical priests 
because the Scripture speaks of their succeeding 
one another, but speaks not of any successor to 
Melchisedeck, but only of him as living." He 
holds that the name "Melchisedeck," like that 
of Pharaoh or Caesar, is not a personal but a 
dynastic name. He had already in his Commen 
tary on Genesis described the offering of Mel 
chisedeck to Abraham as rather a gift of refresh 
ment after the battle of the kings than a sacri 
fice, so that this he had no need to repeat here. 
He does not dissemble the difficulty which appears 
in the seventh verse, on which he observes : "It 
would seem to follow from this payment of tithes 
by Abraham that Christ also paid them since He 
was also in the loins of Abraham, and hence 
Christ would be made less than Melchisedeck. 
The solution seems to be that all the other de 
scendants of Abraham were entirely and absolutely 
derived from him, while Christ in His divine 
personality came down from heaven, only the per 
sons of the rest being in the loins of Abraham. 
The purpose of the Cardinal to treat the whole 
of the Scriptures literally can hardly be carried 
out on a portion of Scripture which itself is a 


mystical interpretation of the historical persons 
and events of the earliest period. 

On the fourth verse of the ninth chapter he 
finds it difficult to reconcile the account of the 
contents of the ark as here given with the words 
of i Kings viii. 9. " There was nothing in the 
ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put 
there at Horeb when the Lord made a covenant 
with the children of Israel." Here, however, we 
may reasonably agree with his critic Catharinus, 
who alleges that the apostle is speaking of what 
had originally been placed in the ark, not of the 
contents of it in a later age. He next proceeds 
to the application of the ancient ritual to the final 
and completed sacrifice of Christ, which he describes 
emphatically as noniterata nee iteranda $ed semel. 
Passing on to the words, "Where remission of these 
is there is no more offering for sin" (x. 18) he 
gives us the following remarkable illustration 
of the pre-Tridentine doctrine of the sacrifice 
of the mass. " The writer s argument has this 
tendency ; that from the fact that in the new 
law there is remission of sins through the ob 
lation of Christ, there remains now no oblation for 
sin. For this would do an injury to the offering 
of Christ as insufficient (minus sufficienti.) Nor 
let the novice wonder on this account that the 
sacrifice of the altar is daily offered in the Church 
of Christ. For this is not a new sacrifice, but 


that same sacrifice which Christ offered is com 
memorated (commemoratur) according to his own 
charge, f Do this in remembrance of me. For 
all the sacraments are nothing else than applica 
tions of the passion of Christ to the recipients. It 
is one thing, however, to repeat (iterare) the 
passion of Christ, and altogether another to repeat 
the commemoration and application of the passion 
of Christ. We observe here that he places all 
the sacraments on the same footing in regard to 
the sacrifice of Christ ; they are applicatory and 
commemorative, but no proper sacrificial character 
is annexed to them. In his treatise on the mass 
against Luther the Cardinal had made a similar 
observation : " When it is inferred that it would 
be unbecoming to establish an offering for sins in 
the New Testament which has need to be repeated," 
he claims a concession from his adversary of the 
whole question, adding "quia non repetitur in 
Missfi hostia, sed illamet hostia in cruce oblata 
perse verans immolatitio modo recolitur in qufi- 
cumque Missa." : He regards the continuance of 
this offering as an act of continual intercession, 
as in every prayer of an ordinary kind, and so 
not derogatory to the propitiatory offering of the 
cross, adding the " oblation (hostia) of the Eu 
charist profits (those who receive it) by applying 
to them the efficacy of the death of Christ." In 

* Opusc. Lugcl. 1568, p. 287. 


this case it has clearly a sacramental rather than 
a sacrificial character. Cardinal Contarini in his 
" Christiana Instructio " has exactly the same 
doctrine on this subject. To the question, " In 
what manner is the mass a sacrifice 1 " it is replied, 
" The mass is a sacrifice of praise; it is a sacrifice 
of thanksgiving ; it is a sacrifice because it is a 
memorial of that one sacrifice by which Christ 
offered himself for us to God the Father through 
the Holy Ghost. It is a sacrifice because it is an 
offering whereby we offer Christ and his Passion 
and all the Church through Christ to Almighty God 
that we may be incorporated in him through Christ 
as our supreme good." This is the exact doctrine 
of our Communion Office, and almost in its actual 
words e.g., " This our sacrifice of praise and 
thanksgiving," " a perpetual memory of his precious 
death." " And here we offer unto thee our souls 
and bodies to be a reasonable, holy, and lively 
sacrifice unto thee," " that all we who are par 
takers of this Holy Communion may be fulfilled 
with thy grace and heavenly benediction." The 
closing chapters of the epistle give little oppor 
tunity for more than explanatory and textual 
remarks. The final words of the Commentary re 
assert the doubtful authorship of the work, speak 
ing of the " genuine epistles of St. Paul, and that 
which is inscribed to the Hebrews," "germanas 
Epistolas Pauli et earn quae ad Hebraeos in- 


scribitur." He had already rejected all the other 
claimants without attempting to fix the author 
ship on any other. Some have thought that Zenas 
the lawyer has a strong claim to the authorship, 
from the supposition that his knowledge of the law 
and its ritual must have specially qualified him for 
such a work. 



FOLLOWING St. Jerome, the Cardinal finds great 
difficulty in assigning the Epistle of St. James to 
the " brother of the Lord " its opening salutation 
which differs so greatly from the ordinary apostolic 
formula placing in his mind a preliminary obstacle 
to its apostolic origin. The violent abuse which 
the Roman advocates have heaped upon Luther 
for entertaining the same doubt stands in strange 
contrast with the fact that Cajetan s views on the 
doubtfulness of this and many other parts of the 
canon have never given him a place in the " Index," 
or even detracted from his general authority as a 
divine. The salutation appears to him so brief 
and secular as to present no point of affinity to 
those of the other apostles. 

The reconciliation between the doctrine of 
St. Paul and St. James on a justifying faith 
he states in these words. " Consider here, 
judicious reader, that St. James does not think 
that faith without works is dead, but holds 
that faith without works that is, refusing to 


work, is dead and vain, and does not justify. 
And he thinks rightly, for faith which is not 
prepared to work is dead. For from its own 
nature it worketh by love, as Paul saith. When 
James therefore alleges the word in Gen. xv. 
Abraham believed God, he means to say that he 
believed as one prepared to work. And therefore 
he saith that in the work of offering up his son 
the Scripture was fulfilled by Abraham s faith as 
prepared to work. For it was completed as far 
as extended to the execution of the greatest work 
which the faith of Abraham was ready to accom 
plish. Nor does this sentence contradict the sen 
tence of Paul to the Romans, where he teaches that 
man is justified by faith and not by works. Since 
Paul speaks of works in themselves as distinct 
from faith and James of works as they are inspired 
by the Son of God. For both speak truly; Paul, 
that not by works in themselves, whether moral or 
ceremonial or judicial we are justified but by the 
grace of faith ; James, on the other hand, that 
we are not justified by a sterile faith but by a 
faith fruitful in works. Hence it appears that 
their doctrines are not opposed to one another." 

We pass on to the fifth chapter, the Commen 
tary upon which draws forth such severe repre 
hension from Catharinus. . 

On the words, " Is any sick among you," &c. 
(v. 14), he observes: "Neither by these words 


themselves nor by their effect do they speak of the 
sacramental anointing of the Extreme Unction, 
but rather of the anointing which the Lord Jesus 
Christ instituted in the gospel, to be exercised by 
the disciples on the sick. For the text does not 
say, Is any sick unto death, but generally, is any 
sick. And the effect is said to be alleviation of 
the intirm person, and remission of sin is only 
spoken of conditionally. But extreme unction is 
only given in articulo mortis, and (as its form 
shows) tends directly to the remission of sin. Be 
sides this, James bids many presbyters to be sent 
for for one sick man, which is quite foreign to 
the rite of extreme unction." 

The words which follow, " Confess your sins one 
to another," are treated with the same freedom, 
and produce an equal degree of reprobation in the 
pages of Catharinus. "Nor does this discourse," 
proceeds the Cardinal, refer to sacramental con 
fession, as is evident from the words confess to one 
another. For sacramental confession is not mutual, 
but made only to priests. It relates to the con 
fession in which we mutually confess ourselves 
sinners, in order that we may be prayed for, and 
to the confession on one side or the other of our 
errors, in order to our mutual appeasement and 

We pass on to the Epistles of St. Peter, the 
former of which only the Cardinal admits to be 


authentic. The second chapter of the first Epistle 
presents the first opportunity of his exercising his 
polemical skill. The universal priesthood of Chris 
tians which is there asserted, and which formed 
one of the chief grounds of the liberty which 
Luther had claimed for them, is the first important 
subject which arrests our attention. "To offer 
spiritual sacrifices of prayers and holy meditations 
and spiritual instructions, as also to offer oneself 
to God as an offering of a sweet-smelling savour, 
is common to all. There is, however, here no re 
ference to the priesthood by which the Eucharist 
is offered." 

The grand assertion by the Apostle of the 
dignity of this universal priesthood, " But ye are 
a chosen generation, a royal priesthood," compels 
him again to meet the claim of the reformed 
teachers, arising out of it, which he does by alleg 
ing that the priesthood here assigned to Christians 
is not individual, but as a body and an entire 
people ; that it is " collata populo non ut singulis 
xed ut universis " that the priesthood and the 
royalty are assigned respectively to the people and 
the sacerdotal order. Here as in duty bound he 
brings in the Pope as the delegate of the people in 
the royal power, as well as the High Priest of the 
sacerdotal order " cum suapte nature! convcnit 
2)raeesw regibus omnibus et relative ad spiritualia 
de m disponere" The last sentence seems like a 


souvenir of that earlier teaching which brought on 
him the censure of the Sorbonne, and the denun 
ciation of him by the King of France, who 
charged the University of Paris nostrejille aisnee, 
to proceed to the condemnation of his work in 
defence of the Papal autocracy. But old memories 
revived at the close of his last work, and he doubt 
less felt the ruling passion strong in death. The 
thought that he was not only an exalted member 
of the Court of Eome, but also a Dominican, bound 
to promote the temporal as well as spiritual in 
fluence of the Papacy, seems to have returned to 
him from the distant past, and he closes his great 
work with somewhat more limited a view of the 
"glorious liberty of the sons of God" than that with 
which he had opened it and carried it on. Yet in 
commenting on the words " Honour all men," c., 
he writes : The Apostle adds a special precept in 
regard to the honour due to a king. For there is a 
special reason for this honour. He assigns, there 
fore, subjection and honour to the king, that 
nothing which is his due according to Christian 
doctrine should be detracted from him." This 
reads as a saving clause to the unlimited extent 
which he had assigned to the " regalia Petri" 

* Cardinal Pole, who, like Contarini, did not think the Cardinalate 
the greatest of his honours, had too strong a sense of his royal descent 
to admit any of the temporal claims of the Papacy against kings and 
rulers. He maintains their rights with great force in his famous treatise 
"On the Council." 


The reference to baptism (iii. 2 1 ) the Cardinal 
limits to adults who alone could have the answer 
of a good conscience (" effectum habct i.u tuhdto, 
cooperantc -ipso adulto "). 

On the passage " Neither as being Lords over 
God s heritage " (cleros) he writes : " Nee intelligo 
per cleros eos quos appellamur clericos, sed 
Christianos omnes ad divinam sortem ascitos." 

He holds that by "Babylon" (v. 13) Home 
is designated, " for he saw that Home was op 
pressed with a confusion both of idols and of 

The Second Epistle of Peter he held to be of 
very doubtful authenticity, but considers that St. 
Jerome s scepticism regarding it, on account of its 
difference of style from that of the former, would 
tell against either epistle with equal force. For 
either might represent St. Peter s style, and two 
of the Catholic Epistles claim to be his. But dif 
ference of style he regards as not a sufficient 
criterion, as many writings of the same author (as 
the Registrum of Gregory the Great and his other 
works) present equal differences. 

We have already quoted the remarkable passage 
in the second chapter against Papal indulgences, 
and from thence to the Commentary on St. 
John s First Epistle. 

The very slight regard in which auricular con 
fession was held by the Cardinal has already 


appeared to the reader in his surrender of the only 
two Scriptural supports which it has in the contro 
versial writings of the Roman theologians. His 
idea of the true confessional appears in a direct 
form in his Commentary on the words (i John ii.) 
" If we confer our sins," &c. " In contrast to 
those who say that they have no sin he places 
those who confess their sins. The discourse re 
lates to confession either internal or external, by 
which man acknowledges that he has committed 
sin. He is faithful and just to forgive us our 
sins &c. Lest (as many talk) you should think 
the confession of sin, in order to obtain its remis 
sion from God, vain, especially from His knowing 
our sins without our confession of them, John 
attributes it to the faithfulness of God ; to signify 
that our confession is of avail to the remission of 
sins because he is faithful, that is, because God has 
promised forgiveness to those who confess, and is 
faithful in keeping His promise, and therefore he 
makes the condition If we confess, God is faithful. " 
On the words of St. John which describe the 
law of love to God and our neighbour as at once u 


new and an old Commandment, he writes : 

"The precept of the love of God and our neigh 
bour is not a new but an ancient one, but the 
precept directing the nature of our love (viz., in 
that manner in which Christ loved us) is a new 
precept. Hence our Lord saith hereof in the 


Gospel, A new commandment give I unto you 
that ye love one another as I have loved you/ 
Therefore John speaks here of that new command 
ment which is true in Jesus Christ, and is true in 
you as the imitators of Christ. Both command 
ments John confesses that he has written; first, the 
old one which is handed down even in the Old 
Testament; and secondly, the new one which Christ 
delivered, according to the two things he had pre 
fixed to them, viz., the love of God and the dwell 
ing in Christ." 

On the passage, " He that doeth righteousness 
is born of God," the Cardinal propounds the follow 
ing evangelical doctrine : " Our fellowship (socie- 
tas) with God and Christ is not of any kind 
whatever, but is contracted by our birth from God. 
And therefore he saith if you know that God is 
righteous, you know that every righteous man is 
born of God ; so that no one is righteous except 
he be born of God, for the discourse is of Christ 
in His divine nature, inasmuch as from Him the 
righteousness of all mankind proceeds. He saith 
significantly every one who worketh righteousness 
is Lorn of God, that we may understand that he 
does not obtain righteousness by his own strength, 
but by his nativity from Christ. With equal 
significance he saith, Every one that doeth 
righteousness/ lest we should think that he is 
speaking of some fictitious righteousness in our 


own breasts and not rather of the righteousness 


which we do in deed and in truth." 

It is almost needless to say that the Cardinal 
regards the much-vexed passage of the thres 
heavenly witnesses as doubtful, on account of its 
absence from so many MSS. For this he meets with 
severe reprehension from his implacable critic. 
He remarks on the words, "Little children, keep 
yourselves from idols." To the affirmation that 
Christ is the true God, he adds the exclusion of 
the worship of images, as not true gods. As 
though he had openly said : " We who worship 
Jesus Christ as the true God and not man ouo-ht 


therefore to beware of image- worship." 

The Second and Third Epistles of St. John, the 
Cardinal appears, with St. Jerome, to have re 
garded rather as the work of another John, than 
of the Evangelist, alleging the authority of Papias. 
He notes the great diversities both in the Greek 
text and in the Latin version, but very briefly 
comments on the former of the epistles, arid 
merely gives a corrected version of the last. The 
Epistle of Jude presents still greater difficulties, 
and the reference in it to the Apocryphal book of 
Enoch is his greatest stumbling-block ; not so 
much the mere reference, as the designation of it 
as a prophecy, which derogates from the dignity 
of a canonical work. With this brief commentary 
the entire work of Cajetan closes, the confession 


that " he is unable to interpret the Apocalypse 
" literally, and therefore leaves it to him to whom 
" God may reveal the knowledge of it," giving the 
last touch to his long and arduous labours. Even 
this profession of humility, which had it been 
made by later commentators would have saved 
the Church from many wild and eccentric inter 
pretations, failed to secure the respect of Cathari- 
nus who denounces it with his accustomed in 

In presenting this view of the last and greatest 
work of one of the noblest members of the Roman 
Court and Church in the eventful age of the 
Reformation, the chief design of the writer has 
been to exhibit a faithful outline of the doctrines 
of that Church in the transition period, and of 
the comparative freedom enjoyed by its members 
before the heavy chains of some hundreds of 
anathematising canons were forged for them in 
the Council of Trent. 

It is easy to conceive how different might have 
been the tone of the deliberations, and perhaps even 
the character of the conclusions of the Council, 
had Cajetan, Contarini, Sadolet, and the Cardinals 
and divines of an earlier day, survived to take 
part in its labours. They did not indeed look 
forward to them with any expectations of their 
success, and Contarini in his treatise against 
Luther, but still more energetically in his letter 


to Mgr. Fioribondo da Sessa, Bishop of Aquino, 
expresses his conviction that the promised Council 
would do nothing to heal the divisions of the 
Church or to restore its influence. "These," he 
holds, " need only a good will, the love of God 
and man, and humility of mind," for their treat 
ment. But these qualifications were never found 
in the Council in any part of its tumultuous 
history, full as it is of mutual recriminations, 
arbitrary acts of the legates, and sometimes even 
scenes of personal violence. Unhappily the 
years between Cajetan s appearance at Augsburg 
and the assembly of the Council, were spent in 
violent controversies conducted on either side 
with a degree of acrimony and implacability which 
in days of a higher civilisation it seems hard to 
realise. With the Eoman Advocates furious 
personal invectives against Luther and his fol 
lowers supplied the place of arguments against 
their doctrines, while the great Eeformer hurled 
back on his opponents the same materials of an 
earthly and unholy warfare. But most fatal to 
every hope of an approximation of the contending 
parties (not to say their reconciliation, which 
almost from the first was hopeless) was the haughty 
treatment by the Council of all the legitimate 
complaints of the Protestants, and their insulting 
summons to them as rebels to lay down their 
arms arid surrender all their rights as Christians, 



and even as men, to a body consisting of a fana 
tical majority of Italian and Spanish bishops, 
" servi nati Pontificis" as Cajetan in his earlier 
days would have called them ; who outnumbered 
the representatives of all Europe by more than 
two hundred members, the great English Church 
being only represented by a renegade bishop who 
had no jurisdiction, Germany by only two bishops, 
Poland and Hungary, each by two, only while 
Croatia and Moravia had an imaginary repre 
sentation in a single bishop each, and the shadowy 
Latin Episcopate in the east numbered six epis 
copal ghosts, who, as well as the Italian bishops 
in partibus, having no jurisdiction had no lawful 
place in the Council, and were mere stipendiaries 
of the Pope, dependent upon him for their daily 
bread. Such w T as the constitution of that Council 
which fixed and in a manner stereotyped the 
Roman doctrines, on the ridiculous pretence that 
it represented the Western Church, and in the 
still more doubtful pretext that it wa,s assembled 
" in the Holy Ghost." We might well say of 
such an assembly in the words of Andrew Mar- 
veil, " I do not think it possible for any Council 
to be free that is composed out of bishops, and 
where they only have the decisive voices. Nor 
is that a free Council which takes away Christian 
liberty. But as it was founded upon usurpation, 
so it terminated in imposition." 


But the spirit and life of the Church having 
been thus crushed out at Trent, authority being 
substituted for truth, and an abject submission 
for faith it is easy to see how terribly the down 
ward impulse must have increased in the course 
of the Papacy during the period in which the 
Popes reigned alone, and acquired sufficient 
strength to enable them to call up shadowy and 
spectral councils like the Lateran and Vatican 
assemblies of our own day, to endorse whatever 
new dogmas they might discover in the plenti- 
tude of their wisdom and of their power, and 
publish them as the dictates of the Holy Ghost, 
under the authority of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
with the necessary addition u ct nostri" " Quelle 
sublime autorite," wrote Quesnel on the Bull Uni- 
genitus ; " d irriter ainsi S. Pierre contre ceux qui 
rejettent une piece si contraire a son esprit." 

Yet (and this is not a little remarkable) the 
writings of Cajetan, notwithstanding the freedom 
with which he rejects the Apocrypha, and claims 
a " liberty of prophesying " such as the Roman 
Church has never admitted in its greatest saints, 
have never been placed in the Index, though the 
bitter attack of Catharinus, himself a member of 
the Council of Trent, and of great influence in 
Rome, might have well secured for them a place 
in that Walhalla of sacred and profane literature. 
The writings of Cajetan, however, needed not this 


posthumous advertisement. Nay, he has a yet 
more illustrious one in the great work of Pope 
Benedict XIV., " De Synodo Dicecesana " (1. xiii. 
c. xix. sect, xxviii.), where he is bravely defended 
by the Pope against Catharinus. " Catharinum 
excessisse in censura, turn quia non fideliter Caje- 
tani sententiam retulerit, turn quia non admodum 
solide earn impugnaverit, facillime ostenditur." 

That Cajetan would never have added his name 
to the subscriptions to the Bull Ineffabilis is clear 
from his noble vindication of the ancient doctrine 
of the Church in his authoritative memoir on the 
Immaculate Conception, drawn up by command of 
Leo X., which prevented its reception by the 
Council of Lateran of that earlier day. That he 
would have resisted the exorbitant claims of the 
Papacy in the Vatican Council is no less evident 
from the change which took place in his mind after 
he had begun the study of the Scriptures, and 
freed himself from the slavery of the Decretalists. 

But if at any point more than any other he 
would have resisted the encroachments of the 
Jesuits upon the domain of ancient divinity, it 
would have been on the cardinal one of the 
auxilia gratiae on which, in common with Con- 
tarini, Pole, Seripandi, and all the great divines of 
the Augustinian school, he held the most decided 
doctrines and admitted no compromise. The Bull 
Unigenitus would have been met by him with a 


counter-anathema, and he would have denounced 
it, as the Jansenists did in a later day, as the most 
dangerous and unchristian document which has 
ever been published against the ancient faith of 
the Church opposed no less to the teachings of 
his great master, Aquinas, than it is to the doc 
trine of St. Augustine, St. Prosper, St. Fulgentius, 
and their innumerable followers nor less by the 
African Councils, and specially by the famous 
canons of Mile vis. Of the new theology invented 
and imposed by the ruinous influence of the 
Jesuits upon the Roman Church, it is truly said 
by Caramuel de Lobkovicz, one of their most 
skilled controversialists, " Tota theologia nostra 
nova est. Non multum temporis perdo in veterum 
libris legendis ; " while the Abate Zaccaria for the 
same reason considered the study of the Fathers 
ridiculous ; for he writes : " Multa in ejusmodi 
libris exageratius proferuntur, neque id mirum, 
cum oratoribus omnibus id solemne sit." : The 
exhaustive history of the congregations " de 
auxiliis gratiac" by Serry might well prove to 
any intelligent mind how profitless as well as 
precarious is the claim of the Popes to infalli 
bility, confessing as they do in this long discussion, 
which they were unable to close, their inability to 
define the most essential and practical of the doc 
trines of Christianity, or to reconcile the conflict- 

* r. Atti dell asscmblca tenuta in Firenze 1787, torn. iv. p. 289. 


ing theories upon it on the lines of the Scriptural 

But the " new theology " of the Roman Church 
will doubtless have a much fuller and, if possible, 
more dangerous development in its future history. 
The manufacture of new doctrines, so recklessly 
entered upon by Pius IX., is too fascinating a 
work to be altogether abandoned, though his 
learned and enlightened successor has wisely sus 
pended it during his Pontificate. Yet this genera 
tion may in all probability not pass away before 
the Assumption of the Virgin, the Immaculate 
Conception of St. Anne, and the cultus of St. 
Joseph and of the Holy House of Loreto may be 
added to the list of new doctrines, to be enforced 
under the profane sanctions of a Bull claiming the 
authority of the Almighty and of St. Peter and 
St. Paul. It is impossible to predict what will be 
the end of this great apostasy from the truth of 
God. As the " love " of that truth dies out, and 
indifference to the truth gathers strength in the 
world, we cannot but fear that the religion of Christ 
will approximate more and more to those which it 
superseded and discredited in the days of its 
earlier successes, and that the worship of the 
" Mother of the Gods " on the Vatican Hill which 
once threatened its very existence in Rome* may 

* See the preface of the Canon Bianchini to the Vatican edition of 
Anastasius Bibliothecarius. 


again, though more insidiously, darken and distort 
the worship of "the true God and Jesus Christ 
whom he hath sent." It were well for us to lay to 
heart the great truth that only in that intelligent 
and prayerful study of the Scriptures to which Caje- 
tan devoted his last years can we hope to save our 
selves from the dangers which are being multiplied 
around us. To conclude with the wise counsel of 
the Cardinal on the temptation of our Lord, " Let us 
learn from hence that our arms are the Holy Scrip 
tures, for Jesus conquers all these temptations with 
the Holy Scriptures alone, that he might teach us 
to fight and conquer in the same way." In all these 
things " we shall thus be more than conquerors 
through Him that loved us " (Rom. viii. 37). 



periodical publications. 

The Babylonian and Oriental Record, A Magazine of the 

Antiquities of the East. Edited by Professor TERRIEN DE LACOUPERIK. 
Monthly. (24 pp.) Large Svo. is. 6d. 

Yearly Subscription price for the 12 numbers, post free, i2s. 6d. 

The Jewish Quarterly Review. Edited by J. ABRAHAMS and 

C. G. MONTEFIORE. Yearly 4 numbers. Each number, 3 or 4 sheets, 
large Svo. 3s. 

Yearly subscription price, post f /re, IDS. 
Above subscription prices are nctt and payable in advance. 

Ubeolooical anfc BMMlosopbical publications. 

* before the Title denotes that the Work is by a Roman Catholic Author or Editor. 

Anselmus (S.). Cur Deus Homo? 121110. 1886. Sewed, is. 6d. 
ace. Eadmeri vita S. Anselmi. 121110. 1886. 

Sewed. 4s. 

Athanasius (S.) on the Incarnation. Edited for the use of Students, 

with introduction and notes, by the Rev. A. ROBERTSON. Svo. 1882. 
(xii. 89 pp.) Cloth. 35. 

The same, Translated by the Rev. A. ROBERTSON. Svo. 

1884. Sewed. I?. 6d. Cloth. 2s. 6d. 

Augustinus (S.). Three Anti-Pelagian Treatises, viz.: De Spiritu 

et Litcra, De Natura et Gratia, and De Gestis Pelagii. Translated 
with Analyses by the Rev. F. H. WOODS and the Rev. J. O. JOHNSTON. 
Crown Svo. 1887. (xxvii. 242 pp.) Cloth, bevelled edges. 45. 6d. 
Coptic Liturgy. The Rites of the Coptic Church. The Order of 
Baptism and the Order of Matrimony. Translated from the MSS. by 
B. T. A. EVETTS. i6mo. 1888. (61 pp.) Hand-made Paper. 
Sewed. is. 

Eadmeri vita S. Anselmi. 121110. 1886. Sewed. 25. 6d. 

King (Rev. C. W.). The Gnostics and their Remains, Ancient 

and Mediaeval. Second Edition. Svo. 1887. (xxiii. 466 pp. 14 full- 
pnge chromolithographed plates and 19 woodcuts in the text.) Cloth. 
This edition contains cne-third more text and illustrations than the first ;l IS. 
edition published in 1864. 

Malan (Rev. S. C.). Original Documents of the Coptic Church. 

6 part?. I2mo. 1872-75. Sewed. IDs. 6d. 

1. The Divine Liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist. 1872. (63 pp.) as. 

2. The Calendar of the Coptic Church. 1873. (liv. 91 pp.) 2s. 

3. A Short History of the Copts and of their Church. 1873. (iv. 115 pp.) 2s. 6d. 

4. The Holy Gospel and Versicles of Sundays and Feast Days, as used in the 

Coptic Church. 1874. (vii. 82 pp.) 2 s. 

5. 6. The Divine Euchologion and the Divine Liturgy of S. Gregory the Theologian. 

1875. (vii. 90 pp.) 3 s. 

The two Holy Sacraments of Baptism and of the Lord s 

Supper, according to Scripture, Grammar and Faiih, I2mo. iSSi. 
(v. 272 pp.) Cloth. 35. 

See also Armenian Liturgy. 

^Records of the English Catholics under the Penal Laws. 

Chiefly Irom the Archives of the See of Westminster. E ihed by Fathers 
of the Congregation of the London Oratory, with an Historical Intro 
duction by Rev. T. F. KNOX, D.D. 410. Cloth. 

I. The first and second Diaries of the College, 
Douay. With unpublished Documents. 
1878. (cviii. 447 pp.) Out of print. 2 los. 

II. The Letters and Memorials of William 
Cardinal Allen, 1532-94. 1882. (cxxii. 
480 pp.) i ios. 








,">" " 


-- - : - "--*: , 


. T