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“ undergone, and laboured several years under “several indispositions; but was perfectly re-esta“blished in the year 1593, which is the last time “ I find any mention made of him ; only what is “ recorded in the diary of the English college at “ Douay; viz. that in July 1606, one Mr. Tregian, “ an ancient gentleman, after above thirty years imprisonment, arrived there in his way from
Spain. Mr. Francis Tregian was descended of “ an ancient British family, of great account in “ Cornwall, even before the conquest. His great“ grandmother was the daughter of Thomas Gray, “ marquis of Dorchester, half brother to queen “ Elizabeth, daughter of king Edward the fourth, " and wife of king Henry the seventh. His mother
was the eldest sister of sir John Arundel, knight, “ of Lanhem, the thirteenth knight of that family “ of the name of John. His lady was the eldest “sister of lord Stourton, by Catherine, sister to “ Ferdinand earl of Derby; which Catherine was “ married to sir John Arundel for her second husá band : her first, the lord Stourton, having been “ executed at Salisbury, in queen Mary's reign. “ Mr. Tregian's eldest daughter Mary, was mar“ ried to Thomas Yate, esq. of Berkshire, whom " he took without any portion, by his father's ex
What a dreadful scene of persecution is exhibited in the preceding narrative ! In what an agony of woe must the general body of catholics have existed during that period
THE INSTITUTION OF AN ARCHPRIEST: DEATH
OF FATHER PERSONS :-ENGLISH BENEDIC
TINE MONKS,— FRIARS,-COLLEGE AT LISBON. We now, return to the internal history of the English catholics. The hierarchy of the romancatholic church is of Divine institution : it must, therefore, be excellently calculated for the end for which it was designed by its Divine Founder. The plenitude of power, which Christ conferred on Peter and his successors, enables them, when extraordinary circumstances arise, to provide for them by extraordinary means; but such cases are not of frequent occurrence: an extreme case, therefore, must always be supposed, when a departure from the established economy of the christian church is to be justified.
Bishops were established to preside over, to direct, and to govern the spiritual concerns of the fold. As Christ was sent by his father to teach the gospel on earth, so did Christ send his disciples on the same sacred mission *: St. Paul declared to the bishops in Asia, that the Holy Ghost had established them to govern the church of Christ t: and he informed Titus , that he left him in Crete, to ordain bishops over the churches in that island. Every reader is familiar with the names of the seven Asiatic bishops, to whom the angel of the Apocalypse, announced the messages of Heaven.
* Mark iii. 13, 14; John xx. 21. + Acts xx, 28.
Titus ii. 5, 7.
Thus, bishops are of Divine original.—They are the principal dignitaries in the economy of the church: all their functions are of the highest utility, and several are absolutely necessary to its preservation and welfare.--Among these, some can be exercised by them only. The advantages which each flock derives from having its appropriate pastor, and which the general body of the church derives from the general body of the episcopacy, are incalculable.
The greatest care, therefore, has been ever taken, that every
church should have its bishop. During all the persecutions, which the church sustained under the pagan emperors and the Arian and Vandalic tyrants, this principle of the christian economy was invariably regarded : never was a flock permitted to subsist, for any length of time, without a regular shepherd.
The Institution of an Archpriest. Doctor Watson, the bishop of Lincoln, was the survivor of those English prelates, who did not conform to the religious innovations of Elizabeth : he died in 1584.—The gradual failure of the hierarchy had long been felt by the catholic laity and clergy, and a temporary remedy for it had been taken into consideration. It was proposed, that England should be separated into a northern and a southern division,--and certain arrangements of order and subordination established, to the observance of which the missionaries should engage themselves; but it was always understood that, when the scheme was completely digested, it should be submitted to the holy see, and its adoption deferred till it should receive the papal sanction. The regulars objected to the measure, as tending to interfere with their special exemptions and privileges, and to place them too much in the hands and under the control of the secular elergy. On this account, no steps were taken to carry it into execution.
In the mean time, the want of a bishop was severely felt. Father Persons, in a letter which he wrote in 1586 *, to father Alphonsus Agazarius,
* See “ A modest Defence of the Clergy and Religious, in a
Discourse directed to R. C. chaplain to an English regiment, " about his History of Douay College, with an account of “matters of fact misrepresented in the said History, 8vo. " 1714."
This work was written by father Huntley, of the society of Jesus, in answer to “ The History of the English College at “ Douay, from its first foundation in 1568, to the present “time,-by R. C. chaplain to an English regiment, 8vo. “ 1713."-Dodd, the author of the Church History, so often cited in this work, was also the author of the History of the English College. He replied to father Huntley's answer, by his “ Secret Policy of the English Society of Jesus discovered, 4 in a series of attempts against the clergy, in 8 parts and 24 " letters, directed to their provincial, 8vo. 1714." This work is generally called, “ Dodd's Provincial Letters." They were written at a time of great irritation, in consequence of an attempt, which we shalt afterwards notice, to render the English college at Douay suspected of jansenism. They must
rector of the Roman seminary, says," there is
great want of a bishop in England, to consécrate " the chrism for the administration of the sacra,
ments. We are reduced to great streights for “ want of one; and unless his holiness do provide “ us with one in time, I know not what can be “ done. We hope his holiness will soon appoint
one; without question it's for the public good.
Three plans were now suggested :- the appointment of bishops with ordinary jurisdiction over distinct portions of England; the appointment of bishops to foreign sees, with powers from the holy see, to exercise their episcopal functions in England; and the appointment of an archpriest, to whom a general superintendence over the clergy and the spiritual concerns of the English catholics should be committed ; and who, speaking generally, might be invested with all the powers usually exercised by bishops, excepting those, to the exercise of which, as the blessing of chrism, and conferring the sacraments of confirmation and order, the episcopal character is absolutely necessary.
Many reasons seemed to give a preference to the first plan: it was conformable to the universal economy, both ancient and modern, of the catholic church. This circumstance alone seems to decide the question in its favour.
A good reason for rejecting it has not yet fallen under the eye of the writer; two only were assigned: therefore be read with great caution. A manuscript reply to them was prepared; but never published: it exists at Stoneyhurst.