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take them away; for then they can be of no longer use to the king or state. 'Tis but like the little wimble, to let in the greater auger. Objection. But they are but for their life, and that makes them always go for the king as he will have them. Answer. This is against a double charity; for you must always suppose a bad king and bad bishops. Then again, whether will a man be sooner content, himself should be made a slave, or his son after him 2 [when we talk of our children we mean ourselves]. Besides, they to that have posterity are more obliged to the king than they that are only for themselves, in all the reason in the world. II. How shall the clergy be in the parliament, if the bishops be taken away 7 Answer. By the laity; because the bishops, in whom the rest of the clergy are included, assent to the taking away their own votes, by being involved in the major part of the house. This follows naturally. 12. The bishops being put out of the house, whom will 20 they lay the fault upon now? When the dog is beat out of the room where will they lay the stink?
I. In the beginning, bishops and presbyters were alike; like your gentleman in the country, whereof one is made
Parliament are not invested in them by blood, and so hereditary, but by annexation of a barony to their office; and depending upon that office and thereby of their places, at the king's pleasure they . . . . sit . . . . but at will and pleasure.' Nalson, Collections, ii. 268. l. 20. The bishops being put out of the house &c.] This was done in I642, when the king was at length induced to give his consent to the Bill excluding them. Clarendon, i. 668. l. 24. In the beginning, bishops and presbyters &c.] The question
. ...” o 24 THE DISCOURSE OF JOHN SELDEN. | so deputy-lieutenant, another justice of peace; so one is made a bishop, another a dean; And that kind of government by archbishops and bishops no doubt came in, in imitation of the temporal government, no jure divino. In time of the Roman empire, where they had a legatus, there they placed an archbishop; where they had a rector, there a bishop; that every one might be instructed in Christianity, which now they had received into the empire.
2. They that speak ingenuously" of bishops and presby
* Ingenuously] MSS. ingeniously. The two words are confused in several places.
raised in the first three sections as to the identity of bishops and presbyters was one of the stock subjects of dispute in Selden's day. After the triumph of the Presbyterian party, it was answered by the legislature in the affirmative:‘Whereas the word Presbyter, that is to say Elder, and the word Bishop, do in the Scripture intend and signify one and the same function, although the title of Bishop hath been by corrupt custom appropriated to one, &c. ‘Nov. 8, 1645.” Ordinance of Lords and Commons. Rushworth, Collections, vi. 212. Selden's view agrees with, and was not improbably based upon, that of Archbishop Usher, to whom he was in the habit of referring, and for whose judgment he had a great and merited respect. Usher, his biographer Parr writes, was charged ‘That he ever declared his opinion to be, that Episcopus et Presbyter gradu tantum differunt non ordine—which opinion,’ says Parr, ‘I cannot deny to have been my Lord Primate's since I find the same written almost verbatim with his own hand, dated Nov. 26, 1655. And that the Lord Primate was always of this opinion I find by another note of his own hand, written in another book many years before this.’ Parr adds some limitations and cautions; but subject to these, confirms the opinion from other writers. ‘So that you see,” he adds, “that as learned men, and as stout asserters of episcopacy as any the Church of England hath had, have been of the Lord Primate's judgment in this matter, though without any design to lessen the order of bishops or to take away their use in the Church.”—Life of Usher, Appendix, pp. 5–7. l. 4. In time of the Roman Empire &c.] Bingham, Christian Antiquities, bk. ix. goes minutely into this, and shows in detail that the Church, in setting up metropolitan, patriarchal, and episcopal sees, commonly took the model from the civil divisions of the state.
ters say, that a bishop is a greater presbyter, and during the time of his being bishop, above a presbyter: as the president of the college of physicians, is above the rest, yet he himself no more than a doctor of physic. 3. The word [bishop] and [presbyter] are promiscuously used; that is confessed by all: and though the word bishop be in Timothy and Titus, yet that will not prove the bishops ought to have a jurisdiction over the presbyters, though Timothy or Titus had by the order that was given them. Somebody must take care of the rest: 10 and that jurisdiction was but to excommunicate; and that was but to tell them they should come no more into their company. Or grant they did make canons one for another, before they came to be in the state: does it follow they must do so when the state has received them into it? What if Timothy had power in Ephesus, and Titus in Crete over the presbyters? Does it follow therefore our bishops must have the same in England? Must we be governed like Ephesus or Crete? 4. However some of the bishops pretend to be jure 20 divino, yet the practice of the kingdom has ever been otherwise; for whatsoever bishops do otherwise than the
l. 20. However some of the bishops pretend &c.] This was and has ever been the claim of the High Church party. We find it e.g. asserted by Andrewes, and approved by Laud, and in express terms asserted by Laud himself. See ‘Die Mercurii, ostendi rationes regi cur chartae Episcopi Winton, defuncti, de episcopis quod sint jure divino, praelo tradendae sint, &c.” Laud's Diary, Jan. 17, 1626; Works, iii. 199.
‘We maintain that our calling of bishops is jure divino, by divine right... This I will say and abide by it, that the calling of bishops is jure divino, by divine right, though not all adjuncts to their calling.’ Speech at the censure of Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne; Works, vi. pt. i. p. 43.
Selden's argument to the contrary seems to be based on the legal control exercised over bishops in the discharge of their functions, most notably in the matter of excommunications. See ‘Excommunication.’
law permits, Westminster-hall can controul, or send them to absolve, &c. 5. He that goes about to prove bishops to be jure divino, does as a man that, having a sword, shall strike it against an anvil; if he strike it awhile there, he may peradventure loosen it, though it be never so well riveted; it will serve to cut flesh or strike another sword, but not against an anvil. 6. If you should say, you held your land by Moses’ or Io God’s law, and would try it by that, you may perhaps lose; but by the law of the kingdom you are sure of it. So may the bishops by this plea of jure divino lose all. The pope had as good a title by the law of England as could be had, had he not left that, and claimed by power from God. 7. There is no government enjoined by example, but by precept: it does not follow we must have bishops still, because we have had them so long. They are equally mad who say bishops are so sure divino that they must be ao continued; and they who say, they are so anti-christian that they must be put away. All is as the state likes. 8. To have no ministers but presbyters, ’tis as if in the temporal state, they should have no officers but constables, and justices of peace which are but greater constables. Bishops do best stand with monarchy; that as amongst the laity, you have dukes, lord-lieutenants, judges, &c. to send down the king's pleasure to his subjects; so you have bishops to govern the inferior clergy: these upon occasion may address themselves to the king, otherwise every 30 parson of the parish must come and run up to the court. 9. The protestants have no bishops in France, because l. 31. The protestants have &c.] Probably suggested by Usher, who is quoted by his biographer Parr, as excusing or palliating the absence of bishops in the Churches of France on the ground that they are
‘living under a popish power and cannot do what they would.” Parr's Life, Appendix, pp. 5 and 6.
they live in a catholic country, and they will not have catholic bishops; therefore they must govern themselves as well as they may. Io. What is that to the purpose, to what end bishops' lands were given to them at first? We must look to the law and custom of the place. What is that to any temporal lord's estate, how lands were first divided, or how in William the Conqueror's days? And if men at first are juggled out of their estates, yet they are rightly their successors. If my father cheat a man, and he con- to sents to it, the inheritance is rightly mine. II. If there be no bishops, there must be something else which has the power of bishops, though it be in many; and then had you not as good keep them? If you will have no half-crowns, but only single pence, yet 30 single pence are a half-crown; and then had you not as good keep both P But the bishops have done ill. ’Twas the men, not the function. As if you should say, you would have no more half-crowns, because they were stolen, when the truth is they were not stolen because they were half. 20 crowns, but because they were money, and light in a thief's hands. 12. They that would pull down the bishops and erect a new way of government, do as he that pulls down an old house, and builds another of another fashion. There's a great deal ado, and a great deal of trouble; the old rubbish must be carried away, and new materials must be brought; workmen must be provided; and perhaps the old one would have served as well. 13. If the prelatical and presbyterian party should dis-3o pute, who should be judge? Indeed in the beginning of queen Elizabeth there was such a difference between the
l. 31. Indeed in the beginning of queen Elizabeth &c.] Strype, in the Annals of the Reformation, vol. i. chap. 5, gives a lengthy account of this ‘conference between some popish bishops and other learned