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argue for the excessive pretences of the see of Rome. Abp. Cant. However, the disproof of the pope's spiritual authority in
this island, does not infer that it must necessarily be lodged in the crown. There is a third seat for this privilege, and that is, the bishops of the country.
To proceed if by ecclesiastical jurisdiction is only meant some part of that authority exercised in the bishops' courts, such as the probate of wills, the disposal of the goods of the intestate, and such other matters, where property is concerned; these, without doubt, are grants from the state and crown, and cannot be challenged by the bishops upon the score of their spiritual character. But if by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, is meant a right of admitting members into the Church and casting them out of it, a power for the regulation of discipline and worship, and performing such other functions as are necessary for the government of a society,—if these powers are meant by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, it may be, it will not be so easy to prove them within the commission of the civil magistrate: Besides, if these learned men of the long robe extend the prerogative thus far, they seem to mistake in their way of proof; it is their method to cite precedents, and rest the point upon authorities of law; but, under favour, this topic is by no means sufficient to decide the question for all persons, not infidels, will grant that Christianity is the last revelation of the will of God: that it is settled for a standing rule of belief and practice, and to continue to the world's end. The enquiry will be therefore, upon whom our Saviour settled the government of his Church; who are his representatives in his kingdom; and whether he has made this spiritual society dependent on the state or not. The question then must be determined, not by statutes or common law, but by the New Testament and the practice of the primitive times. And if it appears, that God has given the Church a commission to govern herself, and made her independent of the civil authority, it is not in the power of princes to revoke her charter, or overrule the divine institution.
Now that the Church is settled independently of the state may be made good: first, from the original of ecclesiastical authority: secondly, from the practice of the primitive Christians.
K. of Eng.
First, from the original of ecclesiastical authority. The power of governing the Church, and performing the offices LIAM I of religion, is neither any gift of the people, nor held by commission from the prince. It springs from a greater original, and derives no lower than from heaven itself. Our blessed Saviour, who redeemed the Church, was pleased to settle the administration by his own appointment: from him the apostles received authority to teach and govern such as were converted by them. The words of their commission are plain, and expressed with all imaginable advantage: "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you: whoseso- John20. 21 ever sins ye remit, they are remitted," &c. Upon this account the apostles are called the ambassadors, and ministers 1 Cor. 4. 1. of Christ. And the people are commanded to obey and 258. submit themselves to those who have this spiritual authority. Heb. 13. 17. Neither was this power to expire with the apostles; but to be conveyed by succession through all ages of the world, there being the same reason for its continuance as for its first institution: and accordingly we find from St. Paul, that one motive of his giving Titus the superintendency of Crete was Titus 1. 5. 1st Ep. ad to ordain elders in every city. Thus Clemens Romanus Corinth. tells us, the apostles in their travels used to ordain bishops for the advantage of such as were only Christians in prospect, as well as for those that were already converted. Now, our Saviour, we know, was no temporal prince: he refused to interpose in a case of property, and declared expressly, that his kingdom was not of this world. From whence it is St. Luke plain, that the authority which our Saviour gave the Church, St. John can have no dependence upon the state, because it was 18. 36. never derived from thence. It is true, all power, both sacred and civil, comes originally from God; yet under the Jewish and especially under the Christian institution, the crown and mitre have been divided. And though the same persons are capable of both, yet the claim must be made on a different account, and conveyed by titles perfectly distinct. And since the ecclesiastical authority does not hold of the civil magistrate, it cannot be forfeited to him: as the state cannot consecrate bishops and priests, so neither can they recal their character, or restrain them in the exercise of their function; there being no reason a privilege should be either extinguished, or limited by those who were never
masters of the grant: for what a man has no power to give, he can have no right to take away.
Secondly, the practice of the apostles, and of the whole primitive Church, is another proof that the ecclesiastical authority was perfectly sui juris, and never under the control of the secular magistrate. Thus when the Sanhedrim of the Jews, who acted by the authority of the Romans, and had the assistance of the captain of the temple; when they imActs 4. 19. prisoned the apostles, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus: to this their answer is Verse 20. plain and positive; "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye?" That is to say, they had a commission from heaven to preach the gospel, which they were bound to execute, and which no temporal jurisdiction had any authority to revoke. Whereas, had the Church been under the check of the state, in matters purely spiritual, St. Peter and St. John were much to blame for refusing to obey their superiors: they ought to have acquiesced in the Sanhedrim's prohibition, and not to have pursued their function after they were so solemnly silenced; and that by those whom themselves owned to be Acts 4. 8. rulers of the people. Either therefore the Church must be constituted independent of the state, or the apostles can never be cleared of the charge of sedition. The same imputation will, upon Erastian principles, affect the bishops of the universal Church for the first three hundred years; who held public assemblies, governed their clergy and their people, and performed all parts of their office, not only without any authority from their respective princes, but often contrary to their express commands, which matter of fact is so well known, that it would be superfluous to enlarge upon the proof of it.
LANFRANC, Abp. Cant.
If it is objected, that the emperors within the time above mentioned were all heathens, but that when princes turn Christian it makes an alteration in the case; to this it has been already answered, that the receiving princes into the Church by baptism, does by no means enlarge the prerogative of the crown, or cancel that charter of jurisdiction granted by our Saviour to the apostles, and the bishops, their successors. Though the benefits of baptism are inestimable in other respects, yet they do not extend the autho
rity of the person baptized, or give him any branch of WILgovernment which he had not before. Therefore, if the K. of Eng. Church was sui juris under heathen princes, she is no less so under those that are Christian.
And as for the state, there is no occasion for any apprehensions of ill consequence upon this account. This settlement is not at all prejudicial to the temporal government. The independency of the Church can never shake any prince's throne, nor do the least disservice to his authority. The commission of the hierarchy reaches no farther than matters purely spiritual: the clergy are subjects no less than to the laity. The Church, by her divine charter, can make no seizure of liberty and property: her censures relate only to the other world. Our Saviour has given her no authority to encroach upon the rights of the state. It is true her spiritual governors are obliged not to surrender her authority to the secular magistrate, neither, indeed, can they do it; such an attempt is a contradiction to the divine establishment, and would be both a sin and a nullity.
But then, on the other side, since the sword was not put into the Church's hands, they are not to contest their privileges by resistance, or revenge their sufferings by force and fighting. In case of extremity, prayers and tears are the Church's only weapons against the oppressions of the state. To dispense with oaths of allegiance; to dispose of kingdoms, and raise the subject against the prince, are by no means within the verge of spiritual jurisdiction. These are flaming usurpations upon civil right. The apostles and primitive bishops, though they propagated the faith and governed their converts against the prohibitions of the state, yet they were always inoffensive to the empire, and took care to give Cæsar his due. But so much for this digression, which I hope may not be foreign to the history in hand.
About this time, Thomas, archbishop of York, wrote a letter to Lanfranc of Canterbury, in which he acquaints him, that Paul, earl of the Orcades, had sent him one Ralph a clergyman with letters, importing a request, that the said Ralph might be consecrated bishop for those islands. This clergyman in conformity to the custom of his predecessors, applied to the Church of York for his consecration: upon which Thomas, the archbishop, desires Lanfranc to send him
two of his suffragans to assist him in the solemnity; and Abp. Cant. that the matter might not be drawn into a precedent to the prejudice of the bishops of Lincoln or Worcester, in case they were sent to prevent this objection, he declares before God, he would never set up any claim of authority over those sees upon this score. This letter is penned with great deference and submission: Thomas calls himself son and homager to Lanfranc, and owns his jurisdiction over the whole island. But it may be enquired, what necessity was there for the Church of York to apply to that of Canterbury upon this occasion? Had not Thomas suffragans enough within his own province to satisfy the canons? Could not the northern province of England and the kingdom of Scotland furnish two prelates for this solemnity? In answer to this it may be said, that it seems hinted in archbishop Thomas's letter that a due number of prelates could not be so conveniently had from the province of York as from that of Canterbury. This appears to have been the true reason of the application: for that the archbishop of York was bound by virtue of his canonical obedience, not to consecrate any bishops within his province without leave from the primate of Canterbury, is very improbable, and contrary to the practice of the ancient Church.
Upon the receipt of this letter, Lanfranc writes to Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, and Peter, bishop of Chester, and acquainting them with the contents of archbishop Thomas's letter, commands them to go to York at the time assigned, and assist at the consecration. Non enim decet, says he, ut qui sacrandus in hanc terram venit, et cum omni humilitate sacrare se postulat, inopiâ adjutorum à tanto regno non sacratus abscedat. From this clause it appears plainly, that the archbishop of York could not, without great difficulty at least, procure a just number of bishops out of his own province to assist him upon this occasion. And thus the reason of his application is accounted for.
Seld. Not. ad Eadmer, p. 261.
To return to the Conqueror. This prince, amongst other Malms. de Saxon constitutions, confirmed the law relating to the payGest. Reg.
1. 5. fol. 91. ment of tithes, made in the reign of Edward the Confessor; Hoveden, but this law having been already mentioned needs not be 343. repeated.