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in Italy. We should, hence, expect, and we shall find, that French influence was largely instrumental in bringing about the calamities of this vial of wrath.
Before proceeding further, I cannot do better than to give place here to an interesting prediction of an old commentator, Mr. Fleming, in an exposition of these chapters, published about 1700, quoted by Barnes. I cannot quote it in full. He entered upon his calculation, that the fifth vial would be poured out in 1794, and last till 1848, when the Pope would be banished, and the Papacy greatly weakened, but not destroyed, as other vials were yet to be outpoured. It is worthy of remark, that this covers the period from the first Italian Republic to that which succeeded the French Revolution, in 1848, both of which were affected by the leaven of French republicanism. Also, that, in 1851, the Pope was restored by France, though greatly shorn of power. For an extended account of the events which followed the outpouring of this vial, I refer you to Alison's History of Europe, Volume I, pp. 542-547-a passage which, aş remarked by Albert Barnes, could hardly have been more fittingly worded, if it had been written out on purpose for the history of the fulfillment of this vial. No one, who has read Alison, will, I think, accuse him of writing in the interest of this interpretation, as his sympathies were, decidedly, with the Papal powers, though not a Papist himself. It is an entirely unconscious witness to the foresight of prophecy. I can only give a synopsis of the passage here. It was under the instigation, and by the help of the French Directory, that Rome was revolutionized.* It had long been its object of ambition, to plant the tricolor in the city of Brutus. The situation of the Pope, since the wars in Italy, had been extremely precarious, as the northern provinces were under the dictation of the French Republic, thus cutting him off from the active sympathy of Austria, which was then his chief supporter. I pointed out the effects of these Italian campaigns upon the Papacy, in my exposition of the third vial. It was now a favorable time for the outpouring of the vial of wrath upon the seat of the beast. The Papacy, deprived of its military support, impoverished in its treasuries by pre
*Note 40, Canto I, stanza 92.
vious conflicts, would be an easy victim to the plague of French republicanism, which had been working and spreading among the people of the Papal States, until the Papal throne was like a city on the heaving sides of Vesuvius, just before an eruption which breaks forth and sweeps all to destruction. The explosion came on the seventeenth of December, 1798. A great crowd was assembled at the French consulate. A collision occurred between the Papal troops and some of the insurgents, who, on that occasion, openly wore the provoking tricolored cockade, and several were killed, among whom was Duphot, a member of the French Legation. This aroused the insurgents to open hostilities. Being technically a violation of the law of nations, it called the armies of the French Republic to the gates of Rome. On the fifteenth of February, 1799, a great crowd was assembled in the Campo Vaccino-the ancient forum— and, amid the cries and tumultuous cheers of the populace, the venerable ensigns of ancient Rome-S. P. Q. R.—after a lapse of fourteen hundred years, were again displayed and floated to the winds. In the language of Alison: "The multitude tumultuously demanded the overthrow of the Papal authority; the French troops were invited to enter; the conquerors of Italy, with a haughty air, passed the gates of Aurelian, defiled through the Piazza del Popolo, gazed on the indestructible monuments of Roman grandeur, and, amid the shouts of the inhabitants, the tricolor flag was displayed from the summit of the Capitol." Thus the Papal government was subverted,* and the Roman Republic, as it was styled, was inaugurated as the first direct effects of the outpouring of the fifth vial. The revolution spread, and Papal authority was speedily extinguished in all the Papal States.
3. In the light of the above, it is easy to see the truth of our third remark, viz.: That, as the Pope is the head of despotic influences at Rome, he must, of necessity, be the chief victim of these calamities. Whatever revolutionizes a kingdom, must, necessarily, involve its sovereign. He was ordered to retire into Tuscany, under French, instead of his
*Note 41 Canto I, stanza 92.
+ Note 42, ibid.
Swiss, guards, and to dispossess himself of all temporal authority. He refused to comply. Force was soon called in; he was dragged from the altar in his palace; his repositories were ransacked-even his rings were taken from his fingers the whole effects in the Vatican and Quirinal were seized and inventoried, and he was conducted, in great ignominy, with only a few domestics, into Tuscany. Thence he was dragged about in exile, until in the month of August. Then, from the hardships of travel in the mountainous regions of the Appenines and of the Alps, the old man expired. Thus ended the Pontificate of Pius VI. His lamp went out in darkness, amidst the tempests of civil and ecclesiastical revolution.
4. This brings us to our fourth remark: That the darkness which followed the outpouring of this vial, must symbolize something in these calamities, which, in some sense, resembles, or would suggest, natural darkness. That the friends of the Papacy must have been in great doubt and perplexity in the midst of such unpropitious events, is the most rational expectation in the world. The plague now invades the very sanctum sanctorum of the Papacy, already stunned and weakened by the effects of the former vials of wrath, and drives out the sovereign Pontiff. What greater and more humiliating disasters could fall upon the head of the Papacy? If there were no power to turn aside the fiery inundation from France, what power could now roll it back, repair its damages, and restore the treasures which French soldiers had taken from the world's repository? Surely, his kingdom was full of darkness. Even the people of Rome, after the Pope was driven from the chair of the Papacy, were in a state of the utmost confusion and foreboding. Berthier, who commanded the French troops when they took possession of Rome, writes to Napoleon: "I have been in Rome since this morning, and I have found nothing but the utmost consternation among its inhabitants." As events progressed, they did not realize what they hoped from a Roman Republic for the greed of France soon absorbed the Papal States and Southern Italy, as it had already absorbed the Northern States, under the illusory professions of establishing freedom for the people, where blood had so stained the rivers and
the fountains, and the condition of the people, under French dictation and domination, was scarcely less tolerable than under that of the Pope. And what can better describe the condition of the Papal States under Napoleon, after he had become Chief Consul and Emperor, than to say that they were full of darkness? All efforts to stay his aggressions, abortive; every barrier they had erected, sinking under the weight of his iron hand, where was the visible hope of that power from what point in the political heavens, now dark as hades, could they look for light to break forth?
5. We are prepared by the above, to consider our fifth - remark, viz.: That revolution and war would constitute an important part of these calamities.
It is, however, worthy of remark, that the great battles which have involved the fate of the Papacy, have not been fought in the hearing of the seven hills. Thus, the first Italian revolution was a logical consequence of the battles of Northern Italy-of Lodi, Arcole, Rivoli, and many others. And that which kept the Papacy in a state of servile dependence upon the will of the Emperor Napoleon, and its kingdom full of darkness and doubt, was his astounding successes in the awful battles of the period when men were scorched, as it were, by the heat of the sun. Thus, during the seventy-five years of its subsequent history, up to the present time, which are supposed to be covered by the symbols of this vial, so far as they relate to the seat of the Papal domination, all the great battles which have weakened that power, and brought it where it is to-day, have been out of hearing of Rome, with few exceptions. Great upheavals in mid-ocean have sent their waves, thundering and crashing, against the walls of the Eternal City, until, at length, they have broken them down, and overflowed the seven hills. The disasters of 1848 were effects of the great tidal wave of revolution, heaved up in France and rolled over the city of the Cæsars. The battles under the leadership of Garibaldi, which shred away from the Pope a number of the States of the Church, were fought, principally, in Sicily and Southern Italy. The battles of Magenta and Solferino, which confirmed the Italian crown, including several more of the States of the Church, to Victor Emmanuel, were fought under
the Alps, out of hearing of Rome. The collision of great powers, compared to which the troops of the Papal States were but a small handful, brought about these results. One of the most terrible blows which the Papacy has received in modern times, was struck at Sadowa, where one of the two strongest, and almost its only, supporters, was struck down by Protestant Prussia. This fearful campaign separated Lombardy from the Austrian crown, and gave it to Victor Emmanuel-an excommunicated son of the Church. And the last great blow, which culminated at Sedan, has stricken down the other power, whose bayonets held the Pope in his place, viz., the French Empire; and to-day his capital and kingdom are both in the hands of his rebellious son, Victor. The leniency of the Italian Parliament toward the Holy Father, which some deplore, will, doubtless, tend more to disarm reactionists, and secure to the Italian crown a permanent possession of Rome, than that severity which would again drive him into the hardships of exile. Thus, while revolutions and wars have clamored around Rome, they, as from the nature of the symbolism we should not expect they would, have not proved as severe as those foreshadowed under other symbols. Yet, it must not be forgotten that the Papal Government has repeatedly become so odious to its subjects, that it has been revolutionized by the sword, and driven' from its capital at the point of insurgent bayonets. That no great battles have been fought around the walls of Rome, to accomplish this, only shows how low that power had sunk under the repeated shocks of former reverses. He who once could have called the armies of all Europe around the seven hills, if that had been necessary, to defend his prerogative, could now call to his support but a contemptibly small army, a mere squad, in comparison with the mighty armies which won or lost the great battles of Europe, during that unprecedentedly stormy period. Poor, sickly Spain gave Napoleon more trouble than all the power which the Pope could call to his especial aid, though he was the so-styled Sovereign Pontiff of Christendom. Yet, his overthrow, under Garibaldi, was still more humiliating. In the revolution of '98, and for some time after, Spain and Austria were taxing all their powers for existence against