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yet these rights are of the same kind with the institution itself, of a pure spiritual nature, and such as no way affect the rights of princes or the subjection of their people. And whilst churches continued in this posture, there was nothing to awake the jealousy of ates and kingdoms. Princes who had not embraced the gospel did not concern themselves in the choice of pastors, or the voluntary rules which these societies prescribed to themselves, or in the exercise of a power which did no way affect the liberties, the estates, or the peace of their people.

But when whole nations submitted to the doctrine of Christ, and princes and their people entered into Christian societies, and the gospel became the religion of states and kingdoms, and these societies were established by laws, and provision made by the state to support the ministers of Christ, bishops called to a part in the legislature and great councils, and qualified for those trusts by titles of honour, their censures enforced by civil sanctions, their authority enlarged by making them judges in many cases, wherein the reputation, the liberty, and property of the subject were concerned; by this change, bodies of Christians, which were before pure spiritual societies, were incorporated into bodies politic, and by becoming a part of the legal establishment acquired the title of National churches. And thus though their inherent rights remain, and may be enjoyed separate if princes should resume their grants, yet these societies acquired a new capacity, and became a part of the national establishment, and as such can have no other head but the head of the body politic; for a national establishment not subject to the head of the national body, seems a fit subject for a jest, rather than a ground of controversy and dispute.

But however wild and extravagant it may appear to after-ages, this was the present subject of dispute ; for the men who followed Hildebrand in the doctrine which he had lately broached of the independence of the church upon the state, took the doctrine in the lump, and without distinguishing what was true from what was false in that proposition, did, as he intended they should do, run away with the whole together. They applied that to national churches, which was only true of the whole Christian church; and that to the particular and acquired rights of a national church, which was applicable only to the original rights of the church in general. They confounded the legal powers and privileges of the clergy with those that flow from their Order; and from the account which they were to give to Christ for their pastoral office,

argued against their allegiance as subjects; and because they were accountable to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls for the holy offices of their function, concluded they were not answerable to the magistrate for felony or murder; and from their authority to preach the gospel, argued themselves into a power to preach sedition and rebellion uncontrolled. Had the laity fallen

. into the same way of arguing, and, because they are answerable to God for theft, and perjury, and murder, and breach of the public peace, concluded they were not liable to the punishments of the civil power, and, from their natural freedom as men, argued against their legal obedience as subjects, there had been an end of all government at once. And yet these claims are so equally balanced, that it is not an easy matter to determine which has the least reason on its side, or which of them is attended with the greater mischief and absurdity.

But one who will carefully distinguish betwixt the relations of churchmen to the whole Christian church and to a particular people ; betwixt authoritative preaching of the gospel, administering sacraments, conferring orders,—and choosing persons to receive those holy trusts, giving of livings, and bestowing baronies and palaces, and calling men to the great councils ; betwixt the plain and express doctrines of Christ, and the inferences and opinions supposed by some Christians to be grounded thereon, but contradicted and denied by others; betwixt the rites and discipline of Christ's appointment and the prudential forms, rites, and rules of churches, to serve the ends of decency and order; betwixt the proper power of bishops, flowing from their character, and their external jurisdiction in cases of tithes, patronage, defamation, validity of wills and contracts, and legitimacy of children; in short, betwixt the inherent and essential rights and powers of a church, considered as a pure spiritual society; and the acquired powers, rights, and privileges of national churches, derived from the concessions of the civil powers, and not from the authority of Christ; and will consider how reasonable it is, that the supreme power of nations should be judges of their own grants; will not find it so difficult, as some men imagine, to reconcile the rights of the church to the ecclesiastical supremacy of princes.

Upon the whole matter : one who sees all parties of Christians addressing to Christian princes to decide the greatest controversies in religion, by receiving one church and persuasion of Christians into the national establishment, and shutting out all others; soliciting for their favours, and calling for their laws to distinguish their opinions and constitutions; to punish offences against the natural and moral and positive doctrines and duties of religion; imploring their aid to guard the inherent powers of the church, and making use of civil sanctions to chastise every contempt thereof; and whenever they prevail, all this bound upon princes by the authority of their own laws and the religion of oaths ; and yet at the same time hears great numbers of the same persons telling the world, that princes have nothing to do in the affairs of the church and religion; is tempted to such melancholy reflections on human nature, as are very apt to make a man fall out with himself, and even to entertain a very mean opinion of mankind.

But whilst we are thus called to pity the weakness, and dread the mistakes and prejudices of men, one cannot overlook a subject for our thanks to God, who has placed us under the instructions of a church, whose wisdom and integrity teach us how to reconcile our faith and our allegiance, our zeal for our holy religion to a Christian pity for all that differ from us, and which at once calls us to assert the original and inherent rights of Christ's church, and at the same time to be just to the state which protects it, in acknowledging the supremacy of the crown.—But I have led the reader too far, and must return to the subject which occasioned this digression; the fatal agreement of king Henry and the legate of the bishop of Rome, for discharging the clergy and religious from the authority of the state.

The tyrannical usage and horrible oppressions which the clergy afterwards met with under the papal usurpation, leave it out of doubt, that the court of Rome never designed more by their pretended zeal in asserting the liberty of the clergy, than to cover their own designs the better, and to make use of the clergy, first, to assist in humbling their princes, and then to put the yoke about their own necks. However, for the present the secret was so artfully covered, that the clergy seem to have been very fond of the pretence : and this makes it easy to account for their conduct, but at the same time it leaves us still farther to seek out how it came to pass, that the kings of England, who could not but see the dangerous consequence of this design, should be brought into it. But if the views of the king hurried him on too fast to see the tendency of this affair, it is certain his council did not oversee the danger, and were just to him; for in his letter to pope Alex

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ander upon the occasion of this grant, the king tells that prelatea, that “the wisest and greatest men of his kingdom very much opposed it:” and it was no wonder.

For the ground on which this whole scheme was set on foot, was a new and very dangerous principle, viz., that the authority of kings did not extend itself to ecclesiastical causes or persons : so that by discharging the clergy from the obligation of the laws of England, the king did in effect acknowledge the supremacy over ecclesiastical persons and causes to be lodged in another hand. And we are not to wonder, if we find the clergy henceforward acting accordingly; for that prince who gives up a body of his people to a foreign power, and by a formal releasing them from the obligation to his laws, at least virtually consents to their changing masters, does in a great measure remit the natural ties of allegiance, and must take a great share of the blame to himself, if such subjects forget the duties from which he first discharged them.

The bigotry of Anselm, Becket, and some others, is past all excuse; yet it ought to be remembered to the honour of the English bishops and clergy, that under the steady reign of William the first, the whole body of the clergy did unanimously oppose every attempt against the rights of the church and the crown; and, Anselm and some few others excepted, they stood by William the second and Henry the first in the long controversy about investitures; and though king Henry the first had, by yielding up that right of his crown, in some measure given up the clergy to the mercy of the bishops of Rome, yet they were just to his grandson Henry the second, and did their parts towards the defence of the crown and the laws. So that do all one can, one, who considers well the series of our story, will find too much reason to believe, that the usurpations on the rights of the church and the crown were, if not entirely yet chiefly, owing to the illconduct of the present and the two preceding princes, who, to serve some present turns, or to stave off some impending dangers, made such concessions as in time broke their authority, and put it out of their power to preserve the rights of that church which God had raised them

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to defend. Thus for instance; William the first called in the authority of the bishops of Rome to depose the Saxon bishops and abbots whom he

Rad. de Diceto [ap. Twisden], Decem Scriptores, col. 591. N. 60.

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did not dare to trust, that he might make way for the Normans: and his son Henry the first, to secure himself against the pretensions of his brother Robert, recalled Anselm, and thereby virtually and afterwards in form yielded up the royal right of investitures: and king Stephen sent to Rome to have his title to the crown confirmed, and, to secure his possession, asked the legatine power for his brother, and unworthily bowed down before it, and acted the subject in his own kingdom. And appeals to Rome, though not established till the succeeding reign, had their beginning at the same time and upon the same grounds. To give the better colour to his ambition, Henry the second took a title to the kingdom of Ireland from pope Adrian; and a dispensation from a successor to violate his father's will, which he had sworn to observe, and upon that ground dispossessed his brother Geoffrey of the dukedom of Anjou ; and by his aforesaid agreement, after the death of archbishop Becket, gave up the ancient right of the crown to the last resort in causes ecclesiastical, and discharged the clergy from the secular power.

By these false politics those princes did virtually own all that the bishops of Rome contended for, and it was in vain to pretend to deny the authority which they had allowed when it served their own ends. But if the hasty growth of the papal power in England be not thus to be accounted for, this part of our story must for ever be left in the dark; for they who put it upon the superstition and ignorance of the age, or the bigotry of some particular men, have difficulties in their way which are never to be overcome. But to return to the exemption of the clergy from the secular power.

Wheresoever the blame ought to lie, it is but too evident this was the unhappy state of England; the interests of the church and state were about this time divided, and set in opposition to one another; the one headed by the bishops of Rome, the other by the kings of England: and we are in the ensuing story to see these two powers dashing one against another. And which is sadder still, the clergy, who of all men ought to be most tender of the peace and honour of their country, were by these unhappy changes put under a necessity of becoming parties in a very unnatural and dishonourable usurpation on the rights of their natural princes and their kingdoms.—But whoever is to be blamed for letting in that usurpation, the clergy are never to be excused for what they afterwards did to render it lasting and insufferable.

Whilst these things were doing (1177) in England, that we

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