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what affronts, what robberies, yea, what murders, were committed upon the bishops and priests of holy church; whom neither the sacredness of their persons, nor the laws of God, nor the terrors of conscience, nor fears of hell, nor church censures, nor the laws of hospitality, could protect from scorn, from blows, from slaughter. Now there being so near a tie as the necessity of their own preservation, in the midst of so apparent danger, it will tie the bishops' hearts and hands to the king, faster than all the ties of law-allegiance, (all the political ties, I mean,) all that are not precisely religious, and obligations in the court of conscience.
2. But the interest of the bishops is conjunct with the prosperity of the king, besides the interest of their own security; by the obligation of secular advantages. For they who have their livelihood from the king, and are in expectance of their fortune from him, are more likely to pay a tribute of exacter duty, than others whose fortunes are not in such immediate dependence on his majesty. Æneas Sylvius
once gave a merry reason, why clerks advanced the pope above a council; viz. because the pope gave spiritual promotions, but the councils gave none. It is but the common expectation of gratitude, that a patron paramount shall be more assisted by his beneficiaries in cases of necessity, than by those who receive nothing from him but the common influences of government.
3. But the bishops' duty to the king derives itself from a higher fountain. For it is one of the main excellencies in christianity, that it advances the state, and well-being of monarchies and bodies politic. Now, then, the fathers of religion, the reverend bishops, whose peculiar office it is to promote the interests of christianity, are, by the nature and essential requisites of their office, bound to promote the honour and dignity of kings, whom christianity would have so much honoured, as to establish the just subordination of people to their prince, upon better principles than ever; no less than their precise duty to God, and the hopes of a blissful immortality. Here, then, is “ utile, honestum," and "necessarium," to tie bishops in duty to kings; and a threefold cord is not easily broken.
In pursuance of these obligations, episcopacy pays three returns of tribute to monarchy.
1. The first is the duty of their people. For they being, by God himself, set over souls, judges of the most secret recesses of our consciences, and the venerable priests under them, have more power to keep men in their duteous subordination to the prince, than there is in any secular power; by how much more forcible the impressions of the conscience are, than all the external violence in the world. And this power they have fairly put into act; for there was never any protestant bishop yet in rebellion, unless he turned recreant to his order; and it is the honour of the church of England, that all her children and obedient people are full of indignation against rebels, be they of any interest or party whatsoever. For here (and for it we thank God and good princes) episcopacy hath been preserved in fair privileges and honour; and God hath blessed and honoured episcopacy with the conjunction of a loyal people. As if because, in the law of nature, the kingdom and priesthood were joined in one person, it were natural and consonant to the first justice, that kings should defend the rights of the church, and the church advance the honour of kings. And when I consider that the first bishop that was exauctorated, was a prince too, prince and bishop of Geneva; methinks it was an ill omen, that the cause of the prince and the bishop should be in conjunction ever after.
2. A second return that episcopacy makes to royalty, is that which is the duty of all christians, the paying tributes and impositions. And though all the king's liege people do it, yet the issues of their duty and liberality are mightily disproportionate, if we consider their unequal number and revenues. And if clergy-subsidies be estimated according to the smallness of their revenue, and paucity of persons, it will not be half so short of the number and weight of crowns from lay-dispensation, as it does far exceed in the proportion of the donative.
3. But the assistance that the kings of England had in their councils and affairs of greatest difficulty, from the great ability of bishops, and other the ministers of the church, I desire to represent, in the words of King Alfred to Walfsigeus, the bishop, in an epistle, where he deplores the misery of his own age, by comparing it with the former times, when the bishops were learned, and exercised in public councils : "Felicia tum tempora fuerunt inter omnes Angliæ populos; reges Deo, et scriptæ ejus voluntati obsecundârunt in suâ pace, et bellicis expeditionibus, atque regimine domestico domi se semper tutati fuerint, atque etiam foris nobilitatem suam dilataverint." The reason was, as he insinuates before," Sapientes exstiterunt in Anglicâ gente de spirituali gradu," &c. The bishops were able, by their great learning and wisdom, to give assistance to the king's affairs. And they have prospered in it; for the most glorious issues of Divine benison upon this kingdom were conveyed to us by bishops' hands; I mean the union of the houses of York and Lancaster, by the counsels of Bishop Morton,b and of England and Scotland, by the treaty of Bishop Fox; to which if we add two other, "in materiâ religionis," I mean the conversion of the kingdom from paganism, by St. Augustin, archbishop of Canterbury; and the reformation, begun and promoted by bishops; I think we cannot call to mind four blessings equal to these in any age or kingdom, in all which God was pleased by the mediation of bishops, as he used to do, to bless the people. And this may not only be expected in reason, but in good divinity; for amongst the gifts of the Spirit, which God hath given to his church, are reckoned doctors, teachers, and helps in government. To which
may be added this advantage, that the services of churchmen are rewardable upon the church's stock : no need to disimprove the royal banks to pay thanks to the bishops.
But, Sir, I grow troublesome. Let this discourse have what ends it can; the use I make of it, is but to pretend reason for my boldness, and to entitle you to my book: for I am confident you will own any thing that is but a friend's friend to a cause of loyalty. I have nothing else to plead for your acceptance, but the confidence of your goodness, and that I am a person capable of your pardon, and of a fair interpretation of my address to you, by being,
Your most affectionate Servant,
SACRED ORDER AND OFFICES OF EPISCOPACY.
In all those accursed machinations, which the de- | vice and artifice of hell hath invented for the supplanting of the church, “inimicus homo," that old superseminator of heresies and crude mischiefs, hath endeavoured to be curiously compendious, and, with Tarquin's device, "putare summa papaverum." And, therefore, in the three ages of martyrs, it was a ruled case in that Burgundian forge, "Qui prior erat dignitate, prior trahebatur ad martyrium." The priests, but, to be sure the bishops, must pay for all," Tolle impios, Polycarpus requiratur." Away with these peddling persecutions; άžívην πρòç τùν píšaν"lay the axe at the root of the tree." Insomuch that in Rome, from St. Peter and St. Paul to St. Sylvester, thirty-three bishops of Rome, in immediate succession, suffered an honourable and glorious martyrdom, unless Meltiades a be perhaps excepted, whom Eusebius and Optatus report to have lived all the time of the third consulship of Constantine and Lucinius. "Conteret caput ejus," was the glorious promise, Christ should "break the devil's head;" and though the devil's active part in the duel was far less, yet he would venture at that too, even to strike at the heads of the church, “capita vicaria," for "the head of all" was past his striking now; and this I say he offered to do by martyrdom, but that, instead of breaking, crowned them.
His next onset was by Julian, and "occidere presbyterium," that was his province. To shut up public schools, to force christians to ignorance, to impoverish and disgrace the clergy, to make them vile and dishonourable, these are his arts; and he did the devil more service in this fineness of undermining, than all the open battery of the ten great rams of persecution. But this would not take. For, "that which is without, cannot defile a man." So it is in the church too. "Cedunt in bonum" all violences" ab extra."
But, therefore, besides these, he attempted by heresies to rend the church's bowels all in pieces; “Maximini jussu martyrio coronatur," saith Platina;
but the good bishops gathered up the scattered pieces, and re-united them at Nice, at Constantinople, at Ephesus, at Chalcedon, at Carthage, at Rome, and in every famous place of christendom; and by God's goodness, and the bishops' industry, catholic religion was conserved in unity and integrity. Well; however it is, antichrist must come at last, and the great apostasy foretold must be, and this not without means proportionable to the production of so great declensions of christianity. "When ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars, be not afraid," said our blessed Saviour, "the end is not yet." It is not war that will do "this great work of destruction," for then it might have been done long ere now. What then will do? We shall know when we see it. In the mean time, when we shall find a new device, of which indeed the platform was laid, in Aerius and the Acephali, brought to a good possibility of completing a thing, that whosoever shall hear, his ears shall tingle, "an abomination of desolation standing where it ought not," "in sacris," in holy persons, and places, and offices,--it is too probable that this is the preparatory for the antichrist and grand apostasy.
For if antichrist shall exalt himself above all that is called God, and in Scripture none but kings and priests are such, "dii vocati, dii facti," I think we have great reason to be suspicious, that he that divests both of their power, (and they are, if the king be christian, in very near conjunction,) does the work of antichrist for him; especially if the men, whom it most concerns, will but call to mind, that the discipline or government which Christ hath instituted, is that kingdom by which he governs all christendom (so themselves have taught us); so that, in case it be proved that episcopacy is that government, then they (to use their own expres sions) throw Christ out of his kingdom; and then either they leave the church without a head, or else put antichrist in substitution. but that is wholly uncertain.
But be this conjecture vain or not, the thing of itself is of deep consideration; and the catholic practice of christendom for 1500 years is so insupportable a prejudice against the enemies of episcopacy, that they must bring admirable evidence of Scripture, or a clear revelation proved by miracles, or a contrary undoubted tradition apostolical for themselves, or else hope for no belief against the prescribed possession of so many ages.
But before I begin, methinks in this contestation, "ubi potior est conditio possidentis," it is a considerable question; what will the adversaries stake against? For if episcopacy cannot make its title good, they lose the benefit of their prescribed possession. If it can; I fear they will scarce gain so much as the obedience of the adverse party by it, which yet already is their due. It is very unequal; but so it is ever, when authority is the matter of the question. Authority never gains by it; for although the cause go on its side, yet it loses costs and damages for it must either by fair condescension to gain the adversaries, lose something of itself, or, if it asserts itself to the utmost, it is but that seldom or never happens; for the very questioning of any authority, hoc ipso, makes a great intrenchment even to the very skirts of its clothing.
We all wish, that our fears in this and all things | therefore persecutes the bishop, that having taken else may be vain, that what we fear may not come him away, he may, without check, pride himself in upon us; but yet that the abolition of episcopacy is the ruins of the church." And a little after, speakthe forerunner, and preparatory to the great apos- ing of them that are enemies to bishops, he says, tasy, I have these reasons to show at least the pro- that " Antichristi jam propinquantis adventum imibability. First, because here is a concourse of tantur:" "Their deportment is just after the guise times; for now, after that these times have been called of antichrist, who is shortly to be revealed." the last times for 1600 years together, our expectation of the great revelation is very near accomplishing; and what a grand innovation of ecclesiastical government contrary to the faith and practice of christendom, may portend now in these times, when we all expect antichrist to be revealed, is worthy of a jealous man's inquiry. Secondly: episcopacy, if we consider the final cause, was instituted as an obstructive to the diffusion of schism and heresy. So St. Jerome,"In toto orbe decretum est, ut unus de presbyteris electus superponeretur cæteris, ut schismatum semina tollerentur." And therefore if unity and division be destructive of each other, then episcopacy is the best deletery in the world for schism: and so much the rather because they are "in eâdem materiâ:" for schism is a division for things either personal or accidental, which are matters most properly the subject of government, and there to be tried, there to receive their first and last breath, except where they are starved to death by a desuetude; and episcopacy is a unity of person-governing, and ordering persons and things, accidental and substantial: and therefore a direct confronting of schism, not only in the intention of the author of it, but in the nature of the institution. Now then, although schisms always will be, and this by Divine prediction; (which clearly shows the necessity of perpetual episcopacy, and the intention of its perpetuity, either by Christ himself ordaining it, who made the prophecy, or by the apostles and apostolic men at least, who knew the prophecy ;) yet, to be sure, these divisions and dangers shall be greater about and at the time of the great apostasy; for then, were not the hours turned into minutes, a universal ruin should seize all christendom: "No flesh should be saved, if those days were not shortened." Is it not next to an evidence of fact, that this multiplication of schisms must be "removendo prohibens ?" and therefore that must be by invalidating episcopacy, ordained as the remedy and obex of schism, either tying their hands behind them, by taking away their coercion, or by putting out their eyes, by denying them cognizance of causes spiritual, or by cutting off their heads, and so destroying their order. How far these will lead us, I leave to be considered. This only: "Percute pastores, atque oves dispergentur;" and I believe it will be verified at the coming of that wicked one; "I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep having no shepherd."
I am not new in this conception, I learned it of St. Cyprian: "Christi adversarius, et ecclesiæ ejus inimicus ad hoc, ecclesiæ præpositum suâ infestatione persequitur, ut gubernatore sublato, atrocius, atque violentius circa ecclesiæ naufragia grassetur:" "The adversary of Christ, and enemy of his spouse,
b In 1. ad Titum.
But "huc deventum est." Now we are in, we must go over.
Christ did institute a Government in his Church.
FIRST, then, that we may build upon a rock. Christ did institute a government to order and rule his church by his authority, according to his laws, and by the assistance of the blessed Spirit.
1. If this were not true, how shall the church be governed? For I hope the adversaries of episcopacy, that are so punctual to pitch all upon Scripture ground, will be sure to produce clear Scripture for so main a part of christianity, as is the form of the government of Christ's church. And if for our private actions, and duties economical, they will pretend a text, I suppose it will not be thought possible Scripture should make default in assignation of the public government, insomuch as all laws intend the public, and the general directly; the private, and the particular, by consequence only and comprehension within the general.
2. If Christ himself did not take order for a government, then we must derive it from human prudence and emergency of conveniences, and concourse of new circumstances, and then the govern
ment must often be changed, or else time must stand still, and things be ever in the same state and possibility. Both the consequents are extremely full of inconvenience. For if it be left to human prudence, then either the government of the church is not in immediate order to the good and benison of souls, or if it be, that such an institution, in such immediate order to eternity, should be dependent upon human prudence, it were to trust such a rich commodity in a cock-boat, that no wise pilot will be supposed to do. But if there be often changes | in government ecclesiastical, (which was the other consequent,) in the public frame I mean, and constitution of it; either the certain infinity of schisms will arise, or the dangerous issues of public inconsistency and innovation, which in matters of religion is good for nothing, but to make men distrust all; and come the best that can come, there will be so many church-governments as there are human prudences. For so (if I be not misinformeda) it is abroad in some towns that have discharged episcopacy. As St. Galles, in Switzerland; there the ministers and laymen rule in common, but a layman is president. But the consistories of Zurick and Bazil are wholly consistent of laymen, and ministers are joined as assistants only, and counsellors; but at Schaffhausen the ministers are not admitted to so much, but in the Huguenot churches of France the ministers do all.
3. In such cases, where there is no power of the sword for a compulsory, (and confessedly of all sides there can be none in causes and courts ecclesiastical,) if there be no opinion of religion, no derivation from a Divine authority, there will be sure to be no obedience, and indeed nothing but a certain public, calamitous irregularity. For why should they obey? Not for conscience, for there is no derivation from Divine authority; not for fear, for they have not the power of the sword.
of binding and loosing might be communicated. "Has igitur claves dedit ecclesiæ, ut quæ solveret in terrâ, soluta essent in cœlo; scil. ut quisquis in ecclesiâ ejus dimitti sibi peccata crederet, seque ab iis correctus averteret, in ejusdem ecclesiæ gremio constitutus eâdem fide atque correctione sanaretur." So St. Austin. And again, "Omnibus igitur sanctis ad Christi corpus inseparabiliter pertinentibus, propter hujus vitæ procellosissimæ gubernaculum, ad liganda et solvenda peccata claves regni cœlorum primus apostolorum Petrus accepit; quoniam nec ille solus, sed universa ecclesia ligat, solvitque peccata :" Peter first received the government in the power of binding and loosing: but not he alone, but all the | church," to wit, all succession and ages of the church. "Universa ecclesia," viz. “in pastoribus solis," as St. Chrysostom; c "In episcopis et presbyteris," as St. Jerome ;d the whole church, as it is represented "in the bishops and presbyters." The same is affirmed by Tertullian,e St. Cyprian, St. Chrysostom, St. Hilary, Primasius, and generally by the fathers of the elder, and divines of the middle ages.
4. If there be such a thing as the power of the keys, by Christ concredited to his church, for the binding and loosing delinquents and penitents respectively on earth, then there is clearly a court | erected by Christ in his church ; for here is the delegation of judges, Tu Petrus, vos apostoli :” whatsoever ye shall bind; here is a compulsory, "ligaveritis:" here are the causes of which they take cognizance, "quodcunque ;" viz. " in materiâ scandali." For so it is limited Matt. xviii., but it is indefinite Matt. xvi., and universal John xx., which yet is to be understood, “secundum materiam subjectam," in causes which are emergent from christianity," ut sic," that secular jurisdictions may not be intrenched upon. But of this hereafter. That Christ did in this place erect a jurisdiction, and establish a government, (besides the evidence of fact,) is generally asserted by primitive exposition of the fathers, affirming, that to St. Peter the keys were given, that to the church of all ages a power
5. When our blessed Saviour had spoken a parable of the sudden coming of the Son of man, and commanded them therefore with diligence to stand upon their watch, the disciples asked him, "Speakest thou this parable to us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household to give them their portion of meat in due season ?" As if he had said, "I speak to you; for to whom else should I speak, and give caution for the looking to the house in the master's absence? You are by office and designation my stewards, to feed my servants, to govern my house."
6. In Scripture, and other writers, "to feed," and "to govern," is all one, when the office is either political, or economical, or ecclesiastical. "So he fed them with a faithful and true heart, and ruled them prudently with all his power." St. Peter joins ἐπισκοποῦντες and ποιμαίνοντες 10gether, ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐπισκοποῦντες. So does St. Paul, προσέχετε οὖν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ πάντι τῷ ποιμνίῳ, ἐν ᾧ ὑμᾶς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἔθετο Ἐπισκόπους.” — Επισκόπους ἐν Tоuví, Rulers or "Overseers in a flock;" Pastors. It is ordinary. Ποιμένα λαῶν, Homer; i. e. βασιλéa öxλwv. Euripides calls the governors and guides of chariots, ποιμένας ἔχων. And our blessed Saviour himself is called the "great Shepherd of our souls ;" and that we may know the intentum of that compellation, it is in conjunction also with Ἐπίσκοπος. He is, therefore, our Shepherd, for he is our Bishop, our Ruler, and Overseer. Since, then, Christ hath left pastors or feeders in his church, it is also as certain he hath left rulers, they being both one in name, in person, in office. But this is of a known truth to all that understand either
law or languages: oi de Toμaivovтes ȧрxóvтwv Kai | persons, for they died long ago; but "vobiscum et ἡγεμόνων ἔχοντες δύναμιν, saith Philo;° They vestri similibus," with apostles to the end of the that feed have the power of princes and rulers :" world. And, therefore, that the apostolate might the thing is an undoubted truth to most men; but be successive and perpetual, Christ gave them a because all are not of a mind, something was ne- power of ordination, that, by imposing hands on cessary for confirmation of it. others, they might impart that power which they received from Christ. For in the apostles there was something extraordinary, something ordinary. Whatsoever was extraordinary, as immediate mission, unlimited jurisdiction, and miraculous operations," that was not necessary to the perpetual regiment of the church, for then the church should
This Government was first committed to the Apos- fail, when these privileges extraordinary did cease.
tles by Christ.
THIS government was, by immediate substitution, delegated to the apostles by Christ himself, "in traditione clavium, in spiratione Spiritûs, in missione in Pentecoste." When Christ promised them the "keys," he promised them "power to bind and loose;" when he breathed on them the Holy Ghost, he gave them that actually, to which, by the former promise, they were entitled; and in the octaves of the passion, he gave them the same authority which he had received from his Father, and they were the "faithful and wise stewards, whom the Lord made rulers over his household." But I shall not labour much upon this. Their founding all the churches from east to west, and so, by being fathers, derived their authority from the nature of the thing; their appointing rulers in every church; their synodal decrees" de suffocato et sanguine,' and letters missive to the churches of Syria and Cilicia; their excommunications of Hymeneus and Alexander, and the incestuous Corinthian; their commanding and requiring obedience of their people in all things, as St. Paul did of his subjects of Corinth, and the Hebrews, by precept apostolical; their threatening the pastoral rod; their calling synods and public assemblies; their ordering rites and ceremonies; composing a symbol as the tessera of christianity; their public reprehension of delinquents, and, indeed, the whole execution of their apostolate, is one continued argument of their superintendency, and superiority of jurisdiction.
With a Power of joining others, and appointing Successors in the Apostolate.
THIS power, so delegated, was not to expire with their persons; for when the great Shepherd had reduced his wandering sheep into a fold, he would not leave them without "guides to govern" them, so long as the wolf might possibly prey upon them, and that is, till the last separation of the sheep from the goats. And this Christ intimates in that promise, "Ero vobiscum (apostolis) usque ad consummationem seculi." "Vobiscum;" not with your
• In lib. de eo quod deterior potiori insidiatur.
It was not, therefore, in extraordinary powers and privileges that Christ promised his perpetual assistance; not in speaking of tongues, not in doing miracles, whether " in materiâ censuræ," as delivering to Satan; or "in materiâ misericordiæ," as healing sick people: or" in re naturali," as in resisting the venom of vipers, and quenching the violence of flames; in these Christ did not promise perpetual assistance, for then it had been done, and still these signs should have followed them that believe. But we see they do not. It follows, then, that in all the ordinary parts of power and office, Christ did promise to be with them to the end of the world, and, therefore, there must remain a power of giving faculty and capacity to persons successively, for the execution of that, in which Christ promised perpetual assistance. For since this perpetual assistance could not be meant of abiding with their persons, who, in few years, were to forsake the world, it must needs be understood of their function, which either it must be succeeded to, or else it was as temporary as their persons. But, in the extraordinary privileges of the apostles, they had no successors; therefore, of necessity, must be constituted in the ordinary office of apostolate. Now what is this ordinary office? Most certainly since the extraordinary, as is evident, was only a help for the founding and beginning, the other are such as are necessary for the perpetuating of a church. Now, in clear evidence of sense, these offices and powers are "preaching, baptizing, consecrating, ordaining, and governing." For these were necessary for the perpetuating of a church, unless men could be christians that were never christened, nourished up to life without the eucharist, become priests without calling of God and ordination, have their sins pardoned without absolution, be members, and parts, and sons of a church, whereof there is no coadunation, no authority, no governor. These the apostles had without all question; and whatsoever they had they had from Christ, and these were eternally necessary; these, then, were the offices of the apostolate, which Christ promised to assist for ever, and this is that which we now call the order and office of episcopacy.
Vide Hilarium in hunc locum et pp. communiter.