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ordained by the authority of the civil magistrate, you are, at length, constrained to own their force; but without the honour of retracting your former dangerous assertion, “ that the magistrate has no " such power at all."* You are now brougnt to acknowledge“ That the truth of the case is, all
our ceremonies and forms of worship are or“ dained, as they ought to be, both by ecclesias“ tical and civil authority.”+ Honestly said at last! Well, if by civil authority the magistrate has some power in ordering church matters, which you have all along denied him, it then follows that the power is not vested solely in the pastors and governors, as with great pertinacity you have insisted it was. Render then te Cesar the things which are Cæsar's, and lift not up your heel against the hand by whose bounty you are so liberally fed.
You are at last willing, I find, to compromise the matter, and to go shares with the magistrate in the enjoyment of this power; and presume to talk of an - alliance, and of terms on which it • stands between the state and the church." This alliance, Sir, is a mere phantom, conjured up by the strength of a late warm imagination, to preserve at least a shadow of its lost power to the church. Neither our history nor our laws kuow any thing at all of it. The nature of our constitution entirely disowns it; and avows the church not to be an ALLY, but a SUBJECT to the state. An alliance supposes independency in the contracting powers. But by the famous act of submission, the church hath resigned all pretensions to independency, and given up its powers into the hands of the state. The truth of the case
• Defence, pages 18, 19. + Appendix, page 13.
Ibid. $ See the Rev. Caleb Fleming's excellent comment on Warburton's Alliance, &c.
is this. A few centuries past, the church was found guilty of a dangerous rebellion and high treason against the state. While it lay thus at mercy, as a criminal before its judge, its pardon and life were given it upon the terms of its resigning all claims of independency, and submitting itself henceforward to the will of the prince. But behold, these terms of submission you have now, it
refined into terms of alliance; and the church, from a pardoned crimi. nal, now claims to be a rival power, and to have its rights and jurisdiction independept of the state! “ Our ceremonies and forms of worship “ are ordained by ecclesiastical, as well as civil “ authority.” But these, alas! are but illusions which mock your heated fancy; for ecclesiastical authority, as distinguished from civil, you may rest assured, there is none. Ask
your learn. ed bishops, and they will utterly disclaim it. Ask your able lawyers, and they will tell you, that you incur the danger of a premunire by presuming to exert any one single act of authority of this kind. Ask all the knowing members of the convocation itself, and they will answer with one voice, --" It is not in us :
-Authority we have none.' Yea, ask the meanest novice in the history of the reformation, and of the establishment of your church, and he will presently acquaint you, that your ceremonies and forms were not ordained by BOTH ecclesiastical and civil authority, but by civil authority ONLY, the ecclesias tics in convocation and in the two universities obstinately refusing to give their concurrence, and even entering their very solemn and zealous protest against it.
But you still insist upon it, as if it were of some weight, that the convocation at last gave their assent, Pray, how did they give it? Not till they had been first garbled and packed by the magistrate; all the bishops, save one, exiled, impri
soned, turned out, by his authority; and new ones, according to his taste, put into their room : besides this, the invincible artillery of deaneries, prebends, snug and fat livings, played strongly upon the inferior clergy, who hoped that by their submission, they might the more readily succeed those dignitaries who had been deprived by the civil power. And it is strange that the convocation, thus powerfully attacked, made no long resistance, but yielded, however reluctantly, to what parliament had done.* But their concurrence, I must again tell you, whether free or forced, gave, and could give, no authority to the new establishment; because, by our constitulion, they had not the smallest degree of authority to give. Suppose the convocation had refused their concurrence to that act of the legislature, would the law not have had its force? You dare not affirm it. Suppose, again, the clergy had established any new forms without an act of parliament, would the people have been obliged to yield obedience to them? Neither durst
you assert this. However, not to discourage good beginnings, 1 will take you where you are. then, to this issue: that the civil magistrate has power to ordain ceremonies and rites of worship, and to make new terms of Christian communion; and that the things of this kind, which are done in the church of England, are done, at least in part, by civil authority. This is what you now grant. But the question then returns, with unan
We are come,
• Hear what even Echard, who was never suspected of partiality against 'the church, says: Fourteen bishops, twelve “ deans, twelve archdeacons, fifteen heads of colleges, fifty pre“ bendaries, and eighty rectors, were deprived by the Queen.
But it was strongly believed, that of the rest, the greatest " part complied against their consciences, and would have been 6 ready for another turn if the Queen had died while that race 5 of Incumbents lived, and the next successor had been of ano66 ther religion."
Echard's Hist. Eng page 330.
swerable weight upon you—Who gave him this power? What charter has lodged it in him ? Not surely, the scriptures, the only charter of the Christian church. Por, all the power or authority which the scriptures give the magistrate, relates only, and can relate only, to things of a civil nature, but cannot at all relate to things of worship and religion. This never can be contested, because the magistrate, at the time when the scriptures were written, and for near three hundred years after, was Infidel or Pagan. St. Paul, therefore, by commanding us to be subject to the higher powers, and to obey magistrates, for conscience-sake, because they are the ministers of God for good, does not, in the least, require our obedience to their decrees as to ceremonies and forms of worship; or, our conformity to their establishments in things of a religious nature. No: St. Paul bimself was a zealous nonconformist. He was accused of the heinous sin of schism, by that great champion of the Pagan Ephesian church, Demetrius, the shrine-maker to the goddess Diana: and so far was this great apostle from submitting himself to every ordinance of man,* that he was publicly charged with having not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, persuaded and turned away much people (from the then established religion, saying that they be no gods which are made with hands. And when certain of the philosophers of the Epicureatas and of the Stoics encountered him at Athens, and brought him unto Areopagus, that they might know what that new doctrine was whereof he spoke, he entered on his subject with a spirited, unqualified protest against the established religion of the state.
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things
ye are too superstitious. So that, though St. Paul knew that the powers that be are ordained of God," he also knew that these powers were confined to those civil purposes for which society was instituted, that the magistrate was to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil; and, therefore, so far was St. Paul from extending this authority of the powers that be, over the rights of conscience and private judgment, that he made it the grand scope of his labours, as did all the other apostles, by their preaching and their lives, to persuade and draw men off from the established forms of worship, and to convince them, that, in these affairs, there was one King only, and one Lord, to whom their homage alone was due, even Jesus, who, by his sufferings, had merited this high honour, and to whom alone God bad commanded that, in things of religion, every knee shall bow.
Here, then, I again call upon and provoke you to tell me,- Who gave the civil magistrate this authority in religious matters? You are silent, and cannot say:
Well, then, if he hath none by the command of Almighty God, and by the original constitution of the Christian church, consequently the subjects of Jesus Christ are under no obligation to obey his injunctions in things of a religious nature; they are guilty of no fault in dissenting from established forms; your censures of them, therefore, as great sinners for so doing are extremely rash and uncharitable, for which it becomes you to be humbled greatly before God, and to ask pardon of men.
See now, the unhappy dilemma to which you are reduced. If you say the magistrate has authority to decree ceremonies and forms of worship, to make new terms of communion, and to determine controversies of faith, you then sin
• Romans xiii. 3.