« AnteriorContinuar »
examples of the very best governed commonwealths. For, besides that a Christian prince hath the charge of
JEWELL'S observations on the subject. It will appear that even the Church of England is by no means liable to the charges based by some upon the ground that she calls the King her head.—That those charges should be extended to the independent branch of CHRIST's Church in this country, which agrees with her in doctrine and discipline, can only arise from the grossest ignorance or the basest calumny.
“Concerning the title of Supreme Head of the Church, we need not to search for Scripture to excuse it. For, first, we devized it not : Secondly, we use it not: Thirdly, our princes at this present claim it not.”—“Howbeit, that the prince is the highest judge and governor over all his subjects whatsoever, as well priest as layman, without exception, it is most evident, by that hath been already said; by that shall be said hereafter ; by the whole course of the Scriptures; and by the undoubted practice of the primitive Church.”
JEWELL’s disclaimer accurately agrees with the 37th Article of the Church of England." The King's Majesty hath the chief power, in this realm of England, and other his dominions ; unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain; and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
“Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government; by which titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments ;-but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in 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 and evil doers."
Surely, the intellect must be strangely warped by prejudice, that can extract from this harmless declaration-a declaration which, with the substitution of the term 'civil magistracy' for the words 'king' and * prince,' the truest republican might subscribe, and would the more warmly defend, the truer his republicanism—the elements of despotism and lay-popery!
The error struck at in that article of the Church of England, is the claim of the Romish Church to an entire exemption of its clergy, in all cases, from responsibility to the civil powers. Of this error, JEWELL writes :
“But now, if a man would ask you by what Word of God your priests and bishops have exempted themselves from the judgment and government of their princes; or by what Word of God the prince's hand is restrained more from his clergy, than from his other subjects; or by what Word of God ye would stablish two supreme governors in one realm; I marvel in what Scriptures ye would seek to find it. Your own doctors and glossers say: 'Quæritur, quis exemit,' &c.
Question is moved, who hath exempted the priest froin the jurisdiction of the emperor, whereas before he was his subject ? Laurentius saith (not the Word of God, but) the Pope exempted him, by the consent of the prince.' (Extra. de Major, et Obed. in Marg. Cap. 2.)" Defence, p. 569.
both Tables committed to him by God, to the end he may understand that not temporal matters only, but also religious and ecclesiastical causes pertain to his office; besides, also, that God by his prophets often and earnestly commandeth the king to cut down the groves, to break down the images and altars of idols, and to write out the Book of the Law for himself; and besides that the prophet Isaiah saith the king ought to be the father and nurse of the Church :- I say, besides all these things, we see by histories, and by examples of the best times, that good princes ever took the administration of ecclesiastical matters to pertain to their duty.
Sect. 5. Moses, being a civil magistrate, and chief guide of the people, both received from God, and
It cannot be too explicitly asserted or understood, that we American Episcopalians have no other concern with this question, than to prevent its being fastened on us. Our Church, by the fundamental principles of her constitution, recognises the strictest interpretation of the SAVIOUR'S words, "My kingdom is not of this world.” So doing, she is not even under the necessity of declaring her recognition of the jurisdiction of the civil powers, as done by the Church of England. She lays down the duties of her members with reference to Christ their spiritual head, and to his ordinances and officers, and nothing more. Their duties as members of civil society can be no otherwise affected by these, than as the Gospel always will affect them, by fostering a spirit of true freedom and genuine philanthropy.)
6 (JEWELL explains this expression in the Defence : “We say, the prince is put in trust, as well with the first as with the second Table of the Law of God; that is to say, as well with religion, as with temporal government, not only to keep and perform the contents of both Tables in his own person, (for so much every private man is bound to do,) but also to see that all others, his subjects, as well priests as laymen, each man in his calling, do duly keep them.” p. 571.),
c Isa. xlix. 23. [The words of the passage “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers," convey an import somewhat different from that put upon them by JEWELL. If his construction of this sentence were allowable, it must extend to the next, which would not so well agree with his principles : “they shall (ought to, JEWELL must say) bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet.” This would go far toward establishing the Pope's supremacy over the civil powers, and furnishing authority for the ceremony of kissing his toe |--But the passage is a highly figurative prediction, merely implying a future state of high prosperity for the Church ; without in the least conveying a Divine injunction, or even approbation, of the circumstances by which that prosperity should be accompanied or brought about.)
delivered to the people, all the order for religion and sacrifices, and gave Aaron, the bishop, a vehement and sore rebuke for making the golden calf, and for suffering the corruption of religion.d · Joshua, also, though he were none other than a civil magistrate, yet as 30on as he was chosen by God, and set as a ruler over the people, he received commandments specially touching religion and the service of God.
King David, when the whole religion of God was altogether brought out of frame by wicked king Saul, brought home again the ark of God; that is to say, he restored religion again; and was not only amongst them himself, as a counsellor and furtherer of the work, but he appointed also hymns and psalms, put in order the companies, and was the only doer in setting forth that whole solemn triumph, and in effect ruled the priests.
King Solomon built unto the Lord the Temple, which his father David had but purposed in his mind to do: and after the finishing thereof, he made a godly oration to the people, concerning religion and the service of God. He afterward displaced Abiathar, the priest, and set Zadok in his room.
After this, when the temple was in shameful wise polluted through the naughtiness and negligence of the priests, king Hezekiah commanded the same to be cleansed from the rubble and filth, the priests to light up candles, to burn incense, and to do their divine service according to the old and allowed order.' The same king
d Exod. xxxii.
e Josh. i. ["He caused the people to be circumcised: he caused altars for their bloody sacrifices to be rejected : he caused the priests to make their sacrifices: he caused the Deuteronomy to be written in stones : he caused both the blessings and curses of God to be pronounced: he spake openly to the people, and frayed them from idolatry. All these were cases, not of civil policy, but of religion :” says JEWELL, Defence, p. 578. Most willingly granted. But, by his own admission, both Moses and Aaron were acting under an express divine commission. How, then, can their conduct afford a precedent for men utterly destitute of any such commission ?]
The courses of the priests, in which they were to minister, by rotation, in the temple; I Chron. xxiv.]
[The procession in which the ark was brought from Kirjath-jearim. 1 Chron. xiii. 2 Chron. vi.
i 1 Kings viji. * 1 Kings i. 26, 27, 35.
1 2 Chron. xxix.
also commanded the brazen serpent, which then the people wickedly worshipped, to be taken down, and beaten to powder."
King Jehoshaphat overthrew and utterly made away the hill altars and groves," whereby he saw God's honour hindered, and the people holden back with private superstition from the ordinary temple, which was at Jerusalem ; whereto they should by order have resorted yearly from every part of the realm.
King Josiah with great diligence put priests and bishops in mind of their duties.o
King Joash bridled the riot and arrogancy of the priests.P
Jehu put to death the wicked prophets.
m 2 Kings xviii. 4. [" Isaiah and Elisha, notwithstanding they were the prophets of God, yet were they neither priests, nor bishops, nor had any manner of ordinary ministration in the Church. The bishops and priests (the priests and Levites) had disordered and wasted God's whole religion. The holy place of God was full of filthiness. The gates of the temple were shut up, that no man might enter in. The people had turned away their faces from the tabernacle of the Lord. There was no incense : there was no sacrifice. All these things had happened through the negligence and wickedness of the priests. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves. (2 Chron. xxx. 15.) So ready were they to call upon, and to further, the king in his godly purpose ! They held back what they could, and yielded to nothing but with much ado, and for very shame. They did nothing but by the king's commandment: and made him a reckoning of their doings.—Howbeit, perhaps ye will discharge this whole matter with one ordinary excuse, and tell us, that all these were but temporal cases !" Defence, p. 580.
That were a false answer. But to this, and every other of JEWELL'S examples from the history of the kings of Judah and Israel, there is a true and full rejoinder. They were the authorized viceroys of the Divine Head of the state, administering equally both departments of his government--the ecclesiastical as well as the civil polity. The precedent of a theocracy can have no application to a monarchy or republic established by human authority.)
o 2 Chron. xvii. 6.
p 2 Kings xii. ["He sequestered the oblations of the people, which the priests had bestowed lewdly and wantonly upon themselves; and by his own authority turned the same to the reparations of the temple." Defence, p. 580.-Evidently, there was nothing more in this case than the administration of civil justice, interposed to prevent a flagrant breach of trust.
2 Kings x.
Sect. 6. And, to rehearse no more examples out of the Old Law, let us rather consider since the birth of Christ, how the Church hath been governed in the time of the Gospel.
The Christian emperors in the old time appointed the Councils of the bishops. Constantine called the Council at Nice. . Theodosius the First called the Council at Constantinople. Theodosius the Second called the Council at Ephesus. Martian called the Council at Chalcedon. And when Ruffin the heretic had alleged for his authority a Council which, as he thought, should make for him, S. JEROME, his adversary, to confute him— Tell us," quoth he, “ what emperor commanded that Council to be called ?" The same JEROME again, in his Epitaph upon Paula, maketh mention of the emperor's letters, which gave commandment to call the bishops of Italy and Greece to Rome, to a Council. Continually, for the space of five hundred years, the emperor alone appointed the ecclesiastical assemblies, and called the Councils of the bishops together.
r [HARDING, in a long reply to this paragraph, and JEWELL, in a still longer answer, debate the question, Whether authority to summon Councils lies with the emperor or with the Pope? The advantage is clearly on the side of the reformer : but now that the use and authority of Councils are allowed by none but Romanists, and not even all of them; and when there is no prospect of any attempt to resort again to that futile expedient for the settlement of religious differences; the question does not possess sufficient interest or utility to warrant the transcription of JEWELL's numerous proofs and arguments.
In the conclusion of his treatise, (for eight close folio pages deserve that name,) JEWELL sums up his evidence from EUSEBIUS, THEODORET, SOZOMEN, SOCRATES, ecclesiastical historians; from ATHANASIUS, CHRYSOSTOM, AMBROSE, JEROME, and several other fathers of the same, and later ages; and from the Acts of Councils and Popes; that power to summon Councils, and in other respects regulate ecclesiastical matters, was claimed by the Christian emperors, and allowed by their clerical subjects. The weight of these historical facts as precedents and authorities to settle the extent of the jurisdiction of civil magistrates at the present day, is determined by one remark—the emperors in question were in the fullest sense of the word despots. Their ecclesiastical subjects could not oppose their inclinations, if they had been disposed, and the bitterness of the religious controversies of those ages made each party indisposed to the hazardous attempt, and anxious to secure for itself the sanction of the supreme authority.]