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The kings of the Lombards, however, restrained them, and in opposition to them they procured the aid of the family of Charlemagne, who having subsequently obtained the nomination of the Popes, naturally advanced the greatness of those who were to be their creatures. About this time the decretal epistles of the early Popes made their appearance, by which they were represented as governing the world with an uni. versal authority. At first this forgery was disputed, but being received after a little time, the Popes made use of it to advance new pretensions. They claimed a power over princes and their dominions, which was at first confined to spiritual matters, and deposed them for heresy. From deposing, they advanced to transferring their dominions to others, and at last Boniface VIII. completed their claim, for he decreed that " it “ was necessary for every man to be subject to the
Pope's authority,” and declared that all princes held their dominions under him, and at his courtesy. The jurisdiction which they claimed over the spiritualty was conducted with equal violence, and thus were men led to inquire into the grounds of that authority which was managed with so much tyranny and corruption.
3rdly. The jurisdiction of the See of Rome in England cannot be derived from the latter receiving the faith by her ministry. For, (1.) if it were true, that a nation's receiving the faith by the ministry of men sent from any see, subjected them to that see, then all must be subject to Jerusalem, since the Gospel came to all the Churches from thence. (2.) The Cypriotic Churches a declared before the third general council that they had always been independent Churches, and on this grounded a claim not to be subject to any Patriarchal See. The council decided in their favour. In like manner, since the Britannic Churches were converted 6 long before they had any commerce with Rome, they were origiually independent;c which could not be lost by any
• The bishop of Antioch had pretended to a right to consecrate the metropolitan of the Churches of Cyprus, of which the latter complained as a violation of the canons of the Nicene council. The council, therefore, not only decided in their favour, but made a general rule, which “ forbad any bishops from presuming to invade another's province.”—See Conc. Eph. can. 9.
• The conversion of the Britons is supposed to have been effected in consequence of an embassy sent from King Lucias to Pope Eleutherias for that purpose, A. D. 176. This account, however, is given only by Bede, and is generally admitted to be fabuloas. Bishop Stillingfleet thinks it not improbable that they were converted by the ministry of St. Paul.-See bis Antiquities of the Britisk Churches, in his Works, v. iii. p. 24. See also Bower's Lives of the Popes, v. 1. p. 33. and Mason's Vindic. B. iv. c. 16.
· The independency of the British Churches on the See of Rome is evident from the fact, that when St. Augustine, who had been sent by Gregory to introduce Christianity into England, and who had been furnished by him with full authority over the bishops, summoned a meeting for the purpose of forcing them to submit to the Pope, they peremptorily refused submission to the Church of Rome. See Bede's Hist. 1. 2. c. 9.
subsequent ministry of men sent from Rome among the Saxons.
4thly. It cannot be derived from patriarchal authority. For that authority which the See of Rome had once over a great part of the Roman empire arose merely from its peculiar constitution, and as this is now dissolved into many different sovereignties the new princes are not bound to have any regard to that authority.
From these considerations it plainly follows: that “ the bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.”
II. The Article asserts that our Sovereign has an authority over his subjects in ecclesiastical matters.
The truth of this assertion will appear, 1. from Scripture ; 2. from the practice of antiquity : and 3. from reason.
1. From Scripture. (1.) In the Old Testament, the kings of Israel interfered in all matters of religion. Samuel acknowledged Saul's authority, and said that “ he was made the head of the tribes of Israel; (1 Sam. xv. 17;) one of which was the tribe of Levi. Abimelech, too, the High Priest, when called before him, appeared, and answered some charges that were brought against him, relating to the service of God. (xxii. 14.) (2.) David made several laws about sacred things, such as the orders of the courses of the priests, and the time of their attendance at public wor
ship; (1 Chr. xxiii. 6 ;) and when, at his death, he informed Solomon of the extent of his authority, he told him that “ the courses of the priests and " Levites should be with him for all the service “ of the house of God, and the princes and all “ the people shonld be wholly at his command“ ment.” (xxviii. 21.) Accordingly we find Solomon appointed them their charges in the service of God, and “they departed not from “ the commandment of the king unto the priests “ and Levites concerning any matter." (2 Chron. viii. 14, 15.) He deprived Abiathar of the High Priest's office, and no complaint was made, as if he had assumed an unwarrantable authority. It is true, that David and Solomon were inspired persons. But these were merely acts of regal power, in which they do not appear to have been guided by any such inspiration. (3) In like manner the subsequent kings, Jehosephat, Hezekiah and Josiah made many rules in ecclesiastical matters. (2 Chr. xvii. 8.) And though the priests opposed Uzziah when he was going to offer incense at the Holy Place, still they never claimed to be exempted from obedience to the orders of their kings. (xxvi. 16.) (4.) In the same way, Mordecai appointed the feast of Purim, by virtue of the authority that king Ahaseurus gave him, and both Ezra and Nehemiah, by their commission from the kings of Persia, made several regulations in sacred things, (5.) In the New Testament the same doctrine is inculcated. Our Saviour desired the Jews to “ render into “ Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and un
to God the things which are God's,” (Matt. xxii. 21,) thus showing that the laws of his dispensation were not intended to lessen the temporal authority. The Apostles desired the Churches to“ obey magistrates, to submit to them, and to pay tribute;" and charged “every soul to be subject to the higher powers.” (Rom. xiii. 1, 6, and 1 Pet. ii. 13.)
2. The truth of our assertion appears from the practice of antiquity. (1.) The early writers interpret the passages of Scripture which we have quoted as including the clergy as well as others. (2.) Previous to the time of Constantine this question was not attended to, for before him the emperors looked on the Christians scarcely in any other light than as enemies; and though the case a of Paul of Samosata is an exception, in which they obtained a favourable answer to their address from the Emperor Aurelian, yet it was not till the reign of Constantine that any legislative enactments were made regarding reli
• Paul had been degraded from the See of Antioch by a council beld in that city A. D. 270. He however still continued to keep possession of the office for four years after the decree had passed, when, to put an end to the schism, the case was referred to the Emperor Aurelian, who confirmed the decision of the synod. See Euseb. Hist. Eccl. I. vii. c. 30.