Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tified." He disclaimed the supremacy now assumed in the state, and recently by the Prince, of receiving appeals from the highest ecclesiastical judicatory.

Charles, in his third paper, affirmed, that the rebellion and punishment of Korah (Numb. xvi.), proved the reforming power not to rest with the people. He denied that the early reformers held church-government, as it respected episcopacy, to be mutable. Bishops and presbyters do not always mean the same office in Scripture ; and if they did, that was only during the time of the Apostles, whose successors were styled bishops *. As to the many congregations in Jerusalem under one church, this might be an argument against the Independents, but it was nothing to him. Were not many parishes contained in one diocese? In like manner, it was nothing that the Apostles conferred with other ministers. - Do not dean's and chapters assist a bishop? As to Jerome, he was angry with those who maintained a parity between

[ocr errors]

* The word Apostle is of the same import nearly as Missionary. Now suppose the first bishop of Calcutta were to be termed by the commonalty (which is not unlikely), the missionary; and suppose he were to lay his hands upon a presbyter, who should afterwards succeed him, and, as the episcopal government became better understood, should receive always the title of bishop; would it not have some faint colour of probability, if, a hundred years hence, some disputant were to pretend that episcopacy in India was only of the second geDeration?

deacons and priests; and his argument led him to elevate the priestly character *. It is evident that St. Paul had a share in the ordination of Timothy. The King persisted in affirming, that the clergy must release him from his coronation-oath; and as to the clergy not being likely to consent to their own reformation, incommodum non solvit argumentum.? He presumed not to censure foreign churches : necessity may, perhaps, excuse what in general would be unlawful : but he esteemed that church most which came nearest to the primitive model. According to Austin: “ Quod universa tenet ecclesia, nec a concilio institutum, sed semper retentum est, non nisi apostolica auctoritate traditum rectissime creditur.” s' On the other hand, the Scottish divine contended, that the primitive fathers contradict each other on the subject of episcopacy. To take Scripture and antiquity together, as the Catholics do, is; a less dangerous error than to take antiquity as the expounder of Scripture; for thus is our faith not in the word of God, but in the wisdom of men; and thus, as Tertullian says, “ Nisi homini Deus placuerit, Deus non erit.” Again, Scripture ought only to be interpreted by Scripture, as was done under Nehemiah (Neh. viii. 8), and others f. Antiquity has been the parent of

Still, however, keeping it under the episcopal...Vide supra.

+ Nehemiah, viii, 8, is nothing to the purpose; and rather

some errors; as, for example, of liturgies, of the cross in baptism, of free-will, which began with Justin Martyr, and, with the exception of St. Austin, descended to the Reformation. The earliest ages were not the purest." :- The King in his last answer expressed a' reverence for Scripture ; and admitted, that parallel passages were the best interpreters of doubtful texts; but urged, that when these were not explicit, and the text remains doubtful, there must needs be an umpire, a standard of appeal; and he knew no standard more respectable than primitive practice, and the judgment of the early fathers. To impute sudden and universal defection to the primitive church, is a boldness which ought to have positive proofs on its side. It is not enough to affirm, that some rites were not practised'; it must be proved that they were pronounced positively unlawful by the Apostles * v *}}} ' - After narrating this controversy with a prodixity of accurate detail, Collier breaks out into a passage of bold, 'nervous simplicity, which, as it affords a very favourable specimen of his manner of writing, I shall here transcribe exactly as it

makes against Henderson's argument. “ The priests read the Scriptures, and caused the people to understand the meaning." *** Bishop Kennet and Mr. Eachard have produced a formal recantation, said to have been made by Henderson on his death-bed. The General Assembly of Scotland asserted its falsehood.

stands (vol. ii. p. 848): “ Thus'I have reported the substance of the debate, and on which side the vic. tory lies shall be left to the reader. By his Majesty's MANNER, one would almost have thought he had lain under no mortification, that the rebellion had been crushed ; anid that his affairs had been in the easiest posture imaginable. He discovers no mark of dejection or disturbance. He lays down solid principles ; looks through Henderson's discourse with great penetration, attacks him in his main strength, and argues with force and perspicuity, and all this without being furnished with common convenience, without books or divines to assist him : besides, his Majesty engaged no ordinary champion, for, to give Henderson his due, he was a person of learning, elocution, and judgment, made the best of his way, and seems to have been the top of his party. It is credibly reported *, that Henderson's being worsted in the controversy, threw hirn into a deep melancholy, which ended in a mortal distemjjer. Some say he died a convert to his Majesty, and that he did him the justice of an extraordinary character, in managing a debate of this nature. The Eng: lish commissioners being informed how well his Majesty had acquitted himself against Henderson, declined engaging in any dispute, and only desired his answer to their propositions; but these were → ** Heylin, Hist. Presb. p. 477. Reliquiæ Sacræ Carolina, p. 309.

VOL. II.

-80 unreasonable, the King could give them no satisfaction.” ., XVI. In the mean time new proposals of agree- . ment were presented to Charles by the Parliament. But when we state, that the terms were his taking the covenant and sanctioning the Directory, edu.cating all children of Papists as Protestants, ex• empting from pardon, all Papists who had served

in the army, with all members of Parliament who had joined the royal standard, and rendering ecclesiastics, who had joined him incapable of preferment, (what becomes of Mr. Neale's account of the restoration of their livings on a pacification ?) we need not wonder that Charles turned a deaf ear to the friends who advised him to treat, and replied, that his conscience was dearer to him than his crown.

XVII. 1647. The Scottish army, after having promised to the French ambassador, to receive and protect the King on his surrender of himself into their hands, now basely sold hiin' for 200,0001, of arrears *. Neale states, that Charles, being removed, agreeably to his own wish, was left at Holmby, in Northamptonshire, for the convenience of readier conference with the Parliament; and that the simultaneous receipt of the arrears was matter of accident. But would the English have paid the arrears without receiving the King ;

*. It was to procure this sum that the episcopal lands were alienated.

vo

« AnteriorContinuar »