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bishop answers, “I will, by the help of God.” This office was, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, ratified by act of parliament. It was again expressly confirmed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, as indeed it had been virtually confirmed before by that act in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, which revived Edward the Sixth’s book of Common Prayer.
Now Henry the Eighth, in the Institution of a Christian Man, before quoted, (fol. 50.) says, « must think and believe that God hath made “ christian kings to be as chief heads and overlook
ers over the said priests and bishops, to cause them « to administer their office and power committed “ unto them purely and sincerely; and, in case they “ be negligent in any part thereof, to cause them " to supply and repair the same again :" referring to which, the Queen to the same effect, though more in general, says,
“ That her claim is, under « God, to have sovereignty and rule over all man" ner of persons born within these her realms and « dominions, and countries, of what estate either “ ecclesiastical or temporal soever they be, so as no « foreign power shall or ought to have any superio"rity over them." Accordingly, in the 37th of the Thirty-nine articles confirmed and authorised by that Queen in parliament, 13 Eliz. chap. xii. it is said, “ We do not give to our princes the minister
ing of God's word or sacraments, but only that prerogative which we see to have been given al
ways to godly princes in the holy scriptures by " God himself; that is, that they should rule all
“ estates and degrees committed to their charge by “ God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal; " and restrain, with the civil sword, the stubborn 66 and evil doers.” From all which passages it is evident, that the authority attributed then to Queen Elizabeth, by the oath of supremacy,* was not properly spiritual in any case ; but only to take care exclusively of any other sovereign or foreign power, that the clergy of this realm should do their duty by professing and practising themselves, and teaching the people true religion; and, if they failed to do it, then to animadvert and inflict proper penalties upon them, viz. admonition, suspension, deprivation, &c.
Against this account of the nature of the king's ecclesiastical supremacy, I am sensible that some objections may be raised from the expressions used in several statutes in the time of Henry the Eighth and Queen Elizabeth, viz. from 26 Henry VIII. chap. i. which says, “ that the king, &c. shall have full power, from time to time, to visit, reform, correct and amend all such heresies and enormities, whatsoever they be, which, by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction, ought to or may lawfully be reformed, ordered, &c. any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority, prescription, or any thing to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.” From 37 Henry VIII. chap xvii. in which it is said,
* To this same purpose, an explanation of it was given by Archbishop Usher before, and by order of, the privy council of Ireland; for which explanation he had the thanks of King James the First See Parr's Life of Archbishop Usher, p. 19,
“ that the archbishops and bishops, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical persons, have no inanner of jurisdiction ecclesiastical, but by, under, and from your royal majesty. $ 16. Declaring its intent, that all the usurped and foreign power and authority, temporal and spiritual, may for ever be clearly extinguished, and never to be used or obeyed within this realm or any other of your majesty's dominion or country, may it please your highness, that it may further be enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, spiritual or temporal, shall, at any time after the last day of this session of parliament, use, enjoy, or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence or privilege, spiritual or ecclesiastical, within this realm, or within any majesty's doininions or countries that now be, or shall hereafter be; but from henceforth shall be clearly abolished out of this realm, and all other your highness's dominions for ever, any statute, ordinance, custom, constitutions, or any other matter or cause whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding." § 17. " And that also it
likewise please your highness, that it may be established and enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that such jurisdictions, privileges, superiority, and pre-eminence, spiritual and ecclesiastical, as by any spiritual or ecclesiastical power or authority bath heretofore been, or may lawfully be, exercised or used for the visitation of the ecclesiastical state and persons, and for reformation, order, and correction of the same, and of all
manner of errors, heresies, and enormities, shall for ever be united to the imperial crown of this realm.”
From the 37 Henry VIII. chap. xvii. 4. which enacts, “ that doctors of the civil law, which shall be made chancellors, vicars general, &c. may lawfully execute and exercise all manner of jurisdiction commonly called ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and all censures and coercions appertaining, or in any wise belonging, unto the same, albeit such person or persons be lay, married or unmarried, &c. which act also, $ 1. declares the king to be a layman."*
From the 25 Henry VIII. chap. xix. which enacts, " that in case of appeals to be made from the archbishops' courts, (\ 4.) or from places exempt, ($ 6.) into the king in chancery, a commission shall be directed under the great seal of such persons as shall be named by the king's highness, his heirs or successors; which commissioners shall have full power and authority to hear and definitively determine such appeals, and the causes, and all circumstances concern
* By the first and second of the canons of 1603, all clergymen are obliged to assent to, and maintain, all laws for the restoring to the crown of this kingdom the ancient jurisdiction over the state ecclesiastical.-Ibid. Archbishops, bishops, &c. have no mapuer of jurisdiction ecclesiastical, but by union, and from your royal majesty.-Ibid. Your majesty, to whom, by Holy Scripture, all authority and power is wholly given to hear and determine all manner of causes ecclesiastical, and to correct all vice and sin whatsoever, and to all such persons as your majesty shall appoint thereunto. See how far this act, wbich was repealed by Philip and Mary, was revived by 1 Elizabeth, chap. 1. $ 12.
ing the same: and that such judgment and sentence, as the said commissioners shall make and decree in and upon any such appeal, shall be good and effectual, and also definitive."
From 31 Henry VIII. chap. xii. 23. which enacts, “ that such of the late monasteries, &c. and all churches and chapels to them belonging, which, before the dissolution, &c. were exempted from the visitation, and all other jurisdiction of the ordinary, within whose diocese they were situate, shall from henceforth be within the jurisdiction and visitation of such person or persons as by the king's highness shall be limited or appointed.” In consequence of which statute, laymen, in many places, became entitled to episcopal jurisdiction by grants from the
From 5 Edward VI. chap. iv. which enacts, $ 2. “ That if any person or persons shall smite or lay violent hands upon any other, either in any church or church-yard, that then, ipso facto, every person so offending shall be deemed excommunicate, and be excluded from the fellowship and company of Christ's congregation." See Dyer, 275. Croke, Eliz. 224, 219.
And from 3 James I. chap. v. § 11. which enacts, " That every Popish recusant convict shall stand and be reputed, to all intents and purposes, disabled,
, as a person lawfully and duly excommunicated according to the laws of this realm, until — and that every person, sued by such person so disabled,