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divine or ecclesiastical right; but it can evidently not deprive them of that authority which they derive from no temporal power. They are abstract truths, propounded by a competent authority; and they must evidently be true, whether they have the sanction of temporal laws or not. The temporal law cannot take away what it did not give. As the temporal law can alter nothing in physical science, how can it change things that belong to religion? The civil power can compel people to an outward conformity in matters of religion with what they believe to be wrong or false, but to do so is tyrannical and unjust.
This is evident on mere principles of liberty of conscience. The civil power cannot, without being guilty of intolerance or persecution, compel any church or sect to adopt any thing touching the articles of belief, or the observances of religion, which they profess to believe is false or wrong, nor to renounce any thing which they hold to be true or right, provided they abstain from disturbing the peace or order of society, and injuring the rights of others, in conforming to the dictates of their own consciences.
Thus, the civil power can no more abolish bishops in the Church of England without tyranny, than it can compel the Presbyterians in Scotland to obey episcopal authority, or the Quakers to use the book of Common Prayer. This principle, limiting the authority of the civil magistrate in ecclesiastical matters, is recognised in the act of union with Scotland, according to Blackstone's construction of that statute. "Any alteration," says that illustrious commentator1 (speaking of the conditions stipulated at the union), " in the constitution of either of those Churches" (of England and Scotland), "or in the liturgy of the Church of England, unless with the consent of the respective Churches collectively or representatively given, 1 Blackst. Com. introd. § iv. p. 98.
would be an infringement of these fundamental and essential conditions, and greatly endanger the union."
These principles are evidently not affected, with reference to the Church, by the fact that the Church is established by law in England. The state may indeed take away whatever privileges she has conferred on the Church: but the fact of her having so conferred those privileges does not afford any argument to shew that the state may take away or interfere with any thing else.
The Church has always inculcated the duty of obedience to the civil magistrate; and she has sometimes, on divers grounds, conceded points which were not essential, rather than endanger that harmony which ought to exist between the spiritual and the temporal authority.
But what those things are in which the Church may lawfully give way to the state, it must be for the Church to determine; because the state cannot, without persecution or tyranny, decide matters of conscience in opposition to that authority to whom the decision of such matters properly belongs. The extreme danger and difficulty of discriminating between those things which are, and those that are not essential, must not only render the Church extremely cautious in making concessions, but should render the state very unwilling to press a measure on the Church, the adoption of which may, by the remotest possibility, wound men's consciences, or compromise any portion of the truth.
But we must return to the canon law.
The body of canon law is composed of three books, containing six collections or compilations of canons and / decrees.1
1 Johan. Doujat. Histor. Jur. Pont. Synops. p. 15 et seq. Van Espen. tom. viii. I. col. 1 et seq. Reeves, Hist, of Eng. L. c. xxiv. m. Fleury, Inst . An Dr. Eccl. par. i. c. 1. The first part of the The Decree of Gratian was composed by an Italian Benedictine monk of that name, in the year 1151. It is divided into three parts, as all law is divisible under the three heads of persons, things, and actions. The first part treats of the law itself, and then of ecclesiastical persons; that is to say, of the institution, orders, and duties of the sacred ministers, of the whole hierarchy, and the degrees of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The second part is respecting ecclesiastical judgments, criminal and civil. It ends with the celebrated treatise, De Paenitentia. The third part is entitled De Consecratione, and treats of sacred things, of the sacraments, of the consecration of churches, and the celebration of masses, of the festivals and fasts of the Church, and of rites.
The materials of this celebrated compilation are the canons of councils, the decrees of popes, extracts from the writings of the fathers, texts of Scripture, and sometimes laws out of the body of civil law, and the capitularies of the early French kings, which are known by the name of canonised laws. The Decree of Gratian derives all its authority from custom, and from the sources whence its different materials are derived, for it never was promulgated as law by any ecclesiastical power.
The second book of the body of canon law contains the Decretals." That compilation,-digested under the Decree of Gratian is cited thus: 1 dist. c. 3. Lear; that is to say, first distinction, and third canon, beginning at the word lear. The 2d part is cited by causes and questions, instead of distinctions and canons. The 3d part is cited as the first, with the addition of the words de consecr., designating the tractatus de consecratione. The tractatus de paenitentia in the second part is also sometimes cited by name.
Van Espen. viii. 298. § ii. The matter comprehended in the Decretals has been expressed by the following verse:
Judex, judicium, clerus, connubia, crimen. The Decretals are cited by the name of the title and the number of
authority of Pope Gregory IX., by Roymond de Pennafort, his chaplain and penitencier, a monk of the order of preachers, is a collection of pontifical letters, especially those which were issued from the year 1150 to the year 1230, together with a few decrees of the third and fourth councils of Lateran, and some others, and certain passages from the writings of the fathers. The Decretals are divided into five books. The first book of the Decretals is respecting ecclesiastical persons; the second treats of judgments or ecclesiastical causes; the third of ecclesiastical property; the fourth of marriage; and the fifth of ecclesiastical criminal law, and its administration.
The third book of the body of canon law contains, first, the Sertus Decretalium; secondly, the Clementinae; thirdly, the Ertravagantes Johannis ; and fourthly, the Extravagantes communes.
The Sertus Decretalium, or more properly the Seatus Decretalium Liber, is a sixth book of decretals added to the five books of Gregory the Ninth's Decretals. It was compiled under the authority of Pope Boniface VIII., and contains the decretals promulgated since the publication of Pope Gregory's collection, arranged in a similar method.
the chapter, with the addition of the word extra or X., which means that the matter cited is eartra, or out of the Decree of Gratian, which is the oldest compilation in the Corpus Juris Canonici. Thus c. 36. X. de offic. et pot. jud del, means the thirty-sixth chapter of the Decretals, title de officio et potestate judicis delegati. The first words of the chapter are also sometimes mentioned. The Sertus Decretalium, or sixth decretal, and the Clementinae, are cited in the same way; only sert.—inserto or 6—and in Clem., or in Clement.—is substituted for ertra or X. The Extravagantes Johannis are cited thus, Ertrarag. ad conditorem Joh. 22.; de verb. sign. ad conditorem are the first words of the chap., and de verb, sign. the rubric of the title. The Extravagantes communes are distinguished by the word commun.
The Extravagantes are decretals, so called because they are out of the two bodies or collections already mentioned. Those of Pope John XXII., twenty in number, bear his name. The same pontiff published a collection of the decretals of his immediate predecessor, Pope Clement V., under the name of Clementina.
The Extravagantes communes are the decretals promulgated from the reign of John XXII. to that of Sixtus IV., the last of which is dated in the year 1483.
Such is the body of jurisprudence which, under the name of canon or pontifical law, prevailed, and is still in force, to a greater or less extent, in all the churches that were formerly or still remain in communion with the Church of Rome.
Besides the canon law, which is sometimes called by canonists the common ecclesiastical law, every church, nation, and province, and even many dioceses and towns, have their own peculiar constitutions, liberties, canons, and usages.
Thus there is in England a kind of national canon law,1 composed of legatine and provincial constitutions. The legatine constitutions are ecclesiastical laws enacted in national synods, held under the Cardinals Otho and Othobon, legates from Pope Gregory IX. and Pope Clement IV., in the reign of King Henry III., about the years 1220 and 1268.2 The provincial constitutions are chiefly the decrees of provincial synods, held under several archbishops of Canterbury, from Stephen Langton, in the reign of Henry III., to Henry Chichele, in the reign of Henry V.; and adopted also by the province of York in the reign of Henry VI.3 It was enacted, by the parlia
1 Gibson, Cod. introd. disc. p. xxix.
J Vid. Lyndwode, Provinciate; and Spelman, Concilia.