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of power excommunicates such as never were of its communion; that is, it casts such from, who never were in it. In common life such a thing would be reckoned marvellous indeed. But miracles of this kind, Sir, your church, you know, sometimes works.
Again: the rod with which the church of Christ chastises its delinquents, is spiritual, not carnal; but the rod of the church of England is carnal, not spiritual. By the constitution of the former, the excommunicated member is only to be deprived of spiritual privileges, such as fellowship in prayer, singing, sacrament, &c. As for his civil property and rights, it meddles not with these; for, Christ's kingdom is not of this world; but by the constitution of the latter, the excommunicated member is delivered over to the civil arm to humble and chastise him; he is disabled from asserting his natural rights, from being a witness, from bringing actions at law; and, if he do not submit in forty days, a writ shall issue forth to imprison bim.
In the church of Jesus Christ, those who are entrusted with ecclesiastical discipline, are sos leinnly charged before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect Angels, to be no respecters of persons, to do nothing by partiality, und not to prefer one before another :* neither the gold ring, nor the gay clothing,t nor pecuniary gifts, are to have any influence upon
their ecclesiastical proceedings, but the poor are to receive the same measure with the rich. But is it thus, Sir, in the church of England ? May not a grievous sioner according to her constitution, be suffered to commute ? to have pardon for money, and to skreen himself by a round fee from the stroke of the church's rod? Yea, when he is going to be delivered, or actually is delivered, into the hands
of the Devil, and Satan has him in keeping, will not a handsome sum presently pluck him thence, and restore him to the church's soft and indulgent bosom again?
You remember, Sir, the heathen satyrist,
- At vos,
Dicite, pontifices, in sacris quid facit aurum.
Persius, Sat. II. And you know what was said, upon a like occasion, by a much greater than he:-Thy money perish with thee; because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money, thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter.*
Some of the most sacred acts of spiritual jurisdiction, its solemn censures and excommunications, are exercised in the church of England by unconsecrated and mere lay-men. These hold the keys, open or shut, cast out or admit into it, according to their sole pleasure. The chancellors, officials, surrogates, who administer the jurisdiction of spiritual courts, and determine the most important spiritual matters, such as delivering men to the devil, &c. frequently are, and, by express provision of law, always may be, lay-men. And truly, Sir, I greatly pity you gentlemen of the clergy, that some of the most tremendous and solemn parts of your sacred office, such as excommunications, absolutions, &c. you are forced to perform, not according to, but sometimes, perhaps, directly against your own judgments, as you are authoritatively directed and commanded by these lay persons. Forced, I say, to do it, notwithstanding what you urge about your own concurrence; for, if you refuse to concur, you are immediately liable to suspension ab officio et beneficio; and if you continue obstinate, to be excommunicated yourselves.
Acts viii. 20, 21. + There is one thing, says Bishop Burnet, yet wanting to complete the reformation of the church; which is, to
The Church of Jesus Christ never owed its support to the powers, preferments, and riches, of this world. It was of God, and therefore wanted no such aids: it was its glory that it made its way, and was established upon earth, not only without, but in direct opposition to them: it coinmands its ministers not to strive, but to be gentle to all men; in meekness, instructing those who gainsay. . (2 Tim. ii. 24, 25.) But the church of England, conscious of its weakness, props itself on every side with civil dignities and emoluments, calls in the powers and riches of this world to its support and defence, deeply intrenches itself under penal laws; and, thus fortified, thunders out its excommunications, and threats of fines and imprisonment, upon all who shall dare to write or speak any thing derogatory to its ceremonies and forms of worship, or its articles of faith.*
There is one difficulty more, Sir, which I could never possibly get over: it seems to hang as a dead and insuperable weight upon the frame of your
restore primitive discipline against scandalous persons, the establishing the government of the church in ecclesiastical hands, and taking it out of lay hands, which have so long profaned it, and have exposed the authority of the church and the censures of it, chiefly excommunication, to the contempt of the nation; so that the dreadfullest of all censures is now become the most scorned and despised. Hist. Reform. abridg. p. 367;
* The IVth, Vth, and Vlth canons solemnly denounce, « that whosoever shall affirm that the form of God's worship, “ contained in the Common Prayer, hath any thing in it re
pugnant to the word of God,-or that any of the XXXIX " articles are in any part erroneous, or such as may not with a “ good conscience be subscribed,- let him be excommuni“cated ipso facto, and not be restored until he repent and pub
licly revoke his wicked errors.”
And by the act of uniformity, it is enacted, “ That, if any “ one shall declare or speak any thing in the derogation, or " depraving of the Book of Common Prayer, he shall, for the “ first offence, suffer imprisonment one whole year without “ bail or mainprise; and, for the second offence, shall be im“ prisoned during his life.”
church: if you are dexterous enough to remove it, you will merit Lambeth for a reward.
The church of England, and the church of Christ seem to be two societies, absolutely dis. tinct, and of a quite different constitution, as they have two different heads, or fountains of power, whence all authority, jurisdiction, and ministrations, in the two churches severally spring. In the church of Jesus Christ, he himself is supreme head, the only Lawgiver and sovereign. To us there is but one Lord. * One is your master even Christ.+ Gave him to be head over all things to the Church. All power is given to me in heaven and in earth, go ye, therefore, teach all nations.Il Christ is the only fountain of influence, jurisdiction, and power, in his church, by commission from whom alone, all its officers act.
But in the church of England, you well know Sir, the King, or Queen, is supreme head, “ vest“ed with all power to exercise all manner of ec« clesiastical jurisdiction; and archbishops, bi
shops, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical
persons, have no manner of jurisdiction eccleo siastical, but by and under the king's majesty, or who hath full power and authority to bear and « determine all manner of causes ecclesiastical, rs and to reform and correct all vice, sin, errors, “ heresies, enormities, abuses whatsoever, which
by any manner of spiritual authority, or juris“ diction, ought or may be lawfully reformed."S
At the first establishment of this church under Henry VIII. and Edward VI. all the bishops took out commissions from the crown, for exercising their spiritual jurisdiction in these kingdoms, during the King's pleasure only; " and in their commissions acknowledge all sort of juris.
• 1 Cor. vii. 6. + Matt. xxiii. 8. 1 Ephes. i. 22. 0 Matt. xxviii. 18, 19.
$26 Henry VIII, chap. i. 87 Henry VIII, chap. xvii.
1 Eliz, chap. 1.
* diction, as well ecclesiastical as civil, to have “ flowed originally from the regal power as from
a supreme head, and a fountain and spring of “ all inagistracy within his own kingdom."*
Yea, even the power of ordination itself, which is reckoned the peculiar province of the episcopal office, the first reformers and founders of this church derived from the King, and exercised only as by authority from him, and during his pleasure."
Thus Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury; Bonner, Bishop of London, &c. took "out commissions from the crown, importing, “ that because the vicegerent (Cromwell
, a lay person) could not personally attend the charge " in all parts of the kingdom, the King autho“ rises the Bishop in his (the King's or perhaps " the vicegerent's) stead to ordain, within his “ diocese, such as he judged worthy of holy “ orders: to collate to benefices ; to give insti“ tution; and to execute all other parts of the
episcopal authority; and this during the King's pleasure only." +
In consequence of this supremacy, the King, or Queen, of this church, hath power to excommunicate from, or to re-admit into it, independent of, yea, in direct opposition to all its bishops and clergy. The King or Queen, can revoke at pleasure, any spiritual censures of the bishops or archbishops; yea, can of themselves suspend, deprive, or even excommunicate; or can, by their proclamation only, without the Jeast confession, humiliation, or satisfaction, for their offence; pardon and restore excommunicated persons to the bosom of the church again.
* Burnet's Hist. Reform. Part II. Col. page 91. + Vide Examination of the Codex Juris, &c. pages 32, 33.
1 A Parson was deprived for adultery: afterwards a genera "Pardon came, which pardoned the adultery. It was adjudged that the Parson was, ipso facto restored to his benefice. Coke 6 Rep. 13.