« PoprzedniaDalej »
They were the several provisions of an Act, passed in the year 1539, when the Romish party had regained the ascendancy. The points enforced were Transubstantiation, Communion in one kind, the celibacy of the Clergy, the obligation of vows of Chastity, private masses, and Auricular Confession. It was on this occasion that Latimer resigned his bishoprio, and retired into private life; and Cranmer only retained his post in the hopes of preventing still greater concessions.
3. To what extent, and under what conditions, was Celibacy advocated among the primitive Christians ?
Beyond all question the minds of the early Christians were most deeply impressed with a notion of the superior sanctity of a single life: so much so, that the author of the treatise de Resurrectione attributed to Justin even applies the epithet ävouoc to marriage (1. 3.). See also Ignat. Epist. ad. Polycarp. c. 5. Athenag. Legat. c. 33. Justin M. Apol. 1. cc. 15. 29. Dial. c. 110. Clem. Alex. Strom. VI. 12. 100. Origen. c. Cels. I. 25. It will appear however, from these references, that celibacy, whether Lay or Clerical, was so far from being enjoined, that it was only allowed on condition of the strictist chastity, and on no account to be made the subject of boasting.
4. Is the marriage of the Clergy prohibited in Scripture; and what do you infer from the sacerdotal succession under the Mosaic Law ?
There is no command in Scripture which binds the Clergy to celibacy; but, on the other hand, St. Paul affirms that'marriage is honourable to all' (Heb. xiii. 4.), and permits every man to have his own wife' (1 Cor. vii, 2.), without any exception or limitation whatsoever. Under the Jewish dispensation, the priesthood were, as a rule, obliged to marry; and as the exercise of the sacerdotal functions were vested in the descendants of one family, thus rendering celibacy impossible, it follows that the married state is not incompatible with ministerial efficiency.
5. Where any of the Apostles married ; and is any thing known of the condition of their fellowlabourers, which should devote their successors to a single life.
Although it cannot be proved from the New Testament that any of the Apostles, except St. Peter, was a married man; yet this single instance, of which there is positive evidence (Matt. vüi. 14.), would be sufficient to shew that the celibacy of the Romish Clergy is not supported by Apostolical example. It is more than probable however, from the right asserted by St. Paul of carrying about a Christian wife,- for such is the real import of the expression rideloriv yuvaīka (1 Cor. ix. 5.),—as well as other Apostles, that St. Peter was not the only one who had a wife: and indeed, according to St. Ambrose, in his comment on the Epistles, omnes Apostoli, exceptis Johanne et Paulo, uxores habuisse dicuntur. Philip, one of the seven deacons, was also a married man (Acts xxi. 8, 9.); and when Aquila travelled about to preach the Gospel, his wife Priscilla accompanied him. If then Christ did not require celibacy in his Apostles and their fellow-labourers, there can be no authority for imposing it upon their successors.
6. Do any of the precepts of St. Paul sanction the marriage of the several orders of the Christian ministry?
Among the qualifications of a Bishop, specified by St. Paul, it is expressly stated that he must be the husband of
one wife;' and the same is required of presbyters and deacons. The Apostle also directs that the Clergy be such as 'rule their own houses well, having their children in • subjection with all gravity: for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God ? He adds that their wives must be grave, not slanderers, sober, and faithful in all things; and then proceeds to class forbidding to marry' among those doc
trines of devils' characteristic of the apostacy of the latter times. See 1 Tim. iii. 2. sqq. iv. 1. 3. Tit. i. 6.
7. How do you account for the favour with which Celibacy was regarded in early times; and what was the grand motive for making it compulsory on the Clergy?
From a misapplication of those passages in which both Christ and St. Paul recommend, under certain circumstances, a single life, a degree of merit was in very early times attached to voluntary abstinence from marriage, and retirement from the world, and the reputation for sanctity acquired by Hermits and other recluses, led by degrees to the institution of Monachism, and the principle of clerical celibacy. It was proposed at the Council of Nice that priests should not be permitted to marry ; but, in consequence of the energetic remonstrance of Paphnutius, the prohibition was limited to the contracting of second marriages on the part of the Clergy. A system however, which was calculated to divest the priesthood of the ties of family, and leave them unfettered in the promotion of the interest of the Church, was warmly advocated by the popes; although it was not till the end of the eleventh century (A.D. 1085.), that Gregory VII. succeeded in making it compulsory.
8. Shew that neither our Lord nor St. Paul intended to give any general preference to the principle of Clerical Celibacy.
Our Lord's admonition (Matt. xix. 11, 12.) has immediate reference to the circumstances of the times at which it was delivered; and that of St. Paul (1 Cor. vii. 26.) is manifestly limited, by the expression dià trịv éveotoav áváyknv, to the Church of Corinth in its then condition of present and expected persecution. Marriage, upon the very occasion in question, is represented by Christ as a divine institution, ordained in the time of man's innocen that although the early propagation of the Gospel, and the dangers attending it, might render it advisable to be free for a time from the unavoidable incumbrances of the married state, a temporary caution can never have the force of a law universally binding. Besides, our Lord does not actually recommend celibacy; he merely permits it, provided a person can so effectually restrain his passions as to run no risque of falling into sin : and this, it has been shrewdly remarked, amounts to a virtual prohibition with the great majority of mankind. St. Paul also distinctly leaves the expediency of marriage to the judgment of each individual; and, at all events, his words have nothing to do with clerical celibacy in particular, since men and women without distinction are included in the advice.
9. May not, however, a single state be in some cases desirable ; or is our Church to be considered as condemning celibacy altogether ?
Doubtless there may be individuals, who, in the sincere and earnest devotion of their hearts to the service of their Redeemer, may feel that the anxieties and cares of married life would impede their exertions and distract their minds; nor is there any thing in this Article that censures a state of Celibacy. It is merely affirmed that all Christian men, Clergy as well as Laity, may marry, or not, at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godlincss. Celibacy is only not compulsory ; and if we may judge from the dissolute morals of the Romish Clergy at the period of the Reformation, it will abundantly appear that the removal of the prohibition to marry, was a step by which the interests of religion were most essentially advanced.
10. Shew from the impure morals of the Romish Clergy that an enforced Celibacy is pernicious.
Bishop Jewel, in his Apology, affirms that from the law, which compels them to celibacy, has flowed incredible lawlessness of life and conversation to the ministers of ‘God;' and he adduces ample proof of his affirmation. It will suffice to mention that several of the Romish Canonists look upon fornication as no sin; that Cardinal Campegio and others have taught that the priest, who keeps a concubine, leads a holier and chaster life than a priest who has taken a wife in marriage; and that an enormous tribute was levied by a long succession of popes upon licensed brothels.
11. Name any of the early Fathers who are known to have been married ; and shew that they did not consider a married life inconsistent with ministerial usefulness.
We have an acknowledged instance of clerical marriage in Tertullian, a presbyter of the second century, who has left a treatise, in two books, addressed to his Wife. It is true that he continually and strongly expresses himself in favour of celibacy, and the Romanists say that after he became a priest, he ceased to cohabit with his wife : but this is mere assertion without a shadow of proof; and his writings abound with evidence that in his time the clergy were at liberty to marry. A letter is also extant from Hilary of Poictiers to his daughter, who was in all probability born after he had been made a bishop. As to the perfect compatibility of marriage with the clerical duties, Clement of Alexandria, though a decided patron of celibacy, not only states that some of the Apostles were married and had children, but that if Christ himself did not marry, it was because the Church was his bride (Strom. III. 533. 30; 535. 16.). St. Chrysostom (Oper. T. XI. p. 738.) affirms that it is agreeable both with the law of God and man to ascend the episcopal throne in the marriage state ; Gregory of Nazianzum (Orat. Funeb. XIX.) observes that a laborious and pious bishop executes his office nothing the worse, but rather more profitably, as a married man; and Theophylact (on Titus, p. 843.) infers that marriage is no hindrance to virtue, since the chief of the Apostles had his wife.
Of Excommunicate Persons, | De excommunicatis vitandis. how they are to be avoided.
THAT person which by QUI per publicam Ecopen denunciation of the clesiæ denunciationem rite Church is rightly cut off from ab unitate Ecclesiæ præcisus the unity of the Church, and est, et excommunicatus, is ab excommunicated, ought to be universa fidelium multitutaken of the whole multitude dine, donec per poenitentiam of the faithful as an Heathen | publice reconciliatus fuerit and Publican, until he be arbitrio Judicis competentis, openly reconciled by penance, habendus est tanquam Ethniand received into the Church cus et Publicanus. by a Judge that bath authority thereunto.
1. What is Excommunication? Did it exist, and under what form, in the Jewish Church?
Excommunication is a judicial sentence of the Church, whereby an offender is for a time excluded from her