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prove that such an heretical bishop, against whom the church has made no decree of deposition and excommunication, is devoid of mission for the purpose of ordination: and therefore, even supposing the case, that there have been heretics in the line of our ordinations, yet, as those heretics were not publicly known to be such, excommunicated and deposed when they acted, they had the power veying mission to their orthodox successors.
SECTION II. THE ROMAN PATRIARCHS' CONSENT UNNECESSARY TO
Notwithstanding the satisfactory proofs which establish the divine mission of the orthodox clergy, it is unfortunately true, that Romish authors have deemed themselves bound by necessity to deny it, and to make every possible exertion of ingenuity, learning, and dexterity, to extinguish, or at least obscure it m. Many have denied the validity of our ordinations; but others, who have perceived that this was untenable ground, and even admitted and proved it to be so”, have contented themselves to
mission for all beneficial acts quoted in the Appendix of of the ministry.
Courayer's Defence, &c. Pem Pere le Quien was indig- ter Walsh, a learned Francisnant that Courayer should can friar, though a schismatic, have defended the validity of acknowledged the validity of the English ordinations, and the English ordinations. “Were thereby shaken one of the I to deliver my opinion of that most convenient arguments used matter,” he says,
or were it by Romish missionaries against
to my purpose to speak therethe church. See the preface of, I would certainly hold myof his Reply to Courayer. self obliged in conscience (for
n Bossuet admitted the va- any thing I know yet) to conlidity of the English ordina- cur with them who do not tions in his letter to Mabillon, ordination of bishops, priests, VOL. II.
brand us with the charge of heresy, and maintain that our ordinations are uncanonical and schismatical, which, they think, would either destroy or render dubious the mission of our clergy.
I shall not detain the reader in proving the validity of our ordinations, or the orthodoxy of our doctrines. These are points which every one amongst ourselves has considered, and about which Romanists themselves are divided. I have already assumed them in stating the mission of our clergy. But the objections deduced from the charge of uncanonical and schismatical proceedings are perhaps not so familiar to us, and therefore may merit some consideration in this place. They relate chiefly to the period when the usurped jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff was abolished in these realms, and more especially to the transactions which occurred in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign'. It is alleged, and deacons in the protestant less peradventure he would church of England to be (at turn so frantic at the same least) valid. And yet I have time as to question even the read all whatever hath been validity of our own ordination to the contrary objected by also in the said Roman church.” the Roman catholic writers, History of the Irish Remonwhether against the matter, or strance, p. xlii. printed A. D. form, or want of power in the 1674. Courayer, canon regufirst consecrators, by reason of lar of St. Genevieve, defended their schism or heresy, or of the validity of the English ortheir being deposed formerly dinations in the most powerful from their sees, &c. But I manner in two books. Barnes, have withal observed nothing the Benedictine, went so far of truth alleged by the ob- as to write a book (Catholico. jectors, which might in the Romanus Pacificus) to induce least persuade any man who is the Roman patriarch to receive acquainted with the known di- the English church into his vinity or doctrine of our pre- communion, and to justify us sent schools, (besides what Ri- from the charge of schism and chardus Armachanus long since heresy. wri and with the annals of o These arguments have been our own Roman church, un- used by a multitude of Romish
first, that archbishop Parker should, according to the canons of the council of Nice, have been confirmed and ordained by his ecclesiastical superior, the patriarch of the west, or the bishops of the province delegated by him; and since he was not, that his ordination was schismatical, and he had no mission P.
Few controversies are capable of a more satisfactory decision than the present. I observe, in the
. first place, that the objection does not assume any imaginary divine right in the see of Rome to confirm and ordain all metropolitans, but takes the lower ground of an ecclesiastical or canonical right. Of the former indeed there is no trace in apostolical tradition. The several ordinary powers and privileges which our Saviour promised to St. Peter, for the sake of commending unity, he conferred on all the apostles and their successors, as Bossuet9, Du Pin", Richers, and other eminent Romish divines have proved, both from the words of scripture and the tradition of the church in all ages. The customs and canons of the church gave the bishop of Rome, who, like other bishops, was a successor of Peter and the apostles, a primacy of honour, and a patriarchal jurisdiction over the suburbicarian provinces
authors, from Champney down ciplina, Dissertat. iv. c. 1. to Milner, and Trevern, bishop
s Libellus de Eccl. et Polit. of Aire, who have recently ad- Potest. p. 15, &c. Colon. 1683. vanced them with much con- It must be almost needless for fidence.
me to refer to Barrow's unp Trevern, Champney.
answerable Treatise upon the q Defensio Declarat. Cleri Pope's Supremacy, as the best Gallicani, lib. viii. c. 12. Co. refutation of all the claims of rollar. Defens. C. II.
the Roman pontiff and his adr De Antiqua Ecclesiæ Dis- herents.
in Italy and Sicily His jurisdiction did not extend to any part of the eastern church, nor to Africa, Gaul, Spain, Britain, or Ireland, in
the west, as Du Pin and others have admitted and proved. Britain and Ireland were independent of Roman jurisdiction when the council of Nice was held, A. D. 325, as we are informed by Barnes, the learned BenedictineV; and therefore, supposing that the canon to which M. Trevern refers, gave patriarchs the power of ordaining all metropolitans within their patriarchates, yet it did not apply to Britain and Ireland, because they were not within any patriarchate.
The ancient British church had existed at least from the second century, if not from the apostolic age. Its bishops sat in the councils of Arles, Nice, Sardica, and Ariminium, in the fourth century; and none of them were ordained or confirmed by the Roman patriarch. They did not send any appeals to him in ecclesiastical causes, nor did they attend councils summoned by him". About the middle of the fifth century, the pagan Saxons invaded Britain, and gradually subdued a large portion of the coun
t Du Pin, de Antiq. Eccl. may be retained by us without Discipl. Diss. i. $. 14. Stil- .
any mark of schism and lingfleet's Origines Britt. c. 3. dispendio catholicismi.”
This Bingham's Antiquities, book ix. learned and candid man was, ch. I. 8. 9, &c.
in consequence of his liberal u Du Pin, ut supra.
notions, seized at Paris, carv Barnes,
Catholico-Ro- ried prisoner to Rome, immanus Pacificus, sectio iii. De mured in the dungeon of the insula magna Britannia privi- inquisition, and ere long thrust legiis,” defends the ancient li. into a madhouse, where he berties of the British church died. See also Bingham's Anin a most able manner; and tiquities, book ix, chap. I. remarks, that these rights or w Stillingfleet's Origines Briprivileges (as he terms them) tannicæ, chap. 2, 3, 4.
try; but this calamity cannot be imagined to have destroyed the ancient rights of the church of Britain. A continual succession of bishops was still preserved; and even in the latter part of the sixth century there were British bishops at London and York, as well as in the western and unconquered parts of the country. At the end of this century, Augustine was sent by Gregory of Rome to convert the AngloSaxons; a task which the British bishops had, from various circumstances, found it impossible to accomplish. Gregory subsequently directed Augustine to ordain several bishops to aid him in this work, and he was perfectly justified in doing so. The succeeding Roman pontiffs continued to ordain pastors for the English church; and while there was a necessity for so doing, while the church was weak, and required external assistance, they could not be accused of ambition, but deserved commendation and praise.
These laudable acts, however, cannot be imagined to have invested the Roman bishops with patriarchal jurisdiction over Britain. When the necessity which justified them was extinct, the ancient original rights of the British church revived. When the common faith was assailed, or when infidelity was to be converted, it was the duty of all Christian churches to lend assistance to their brethren who needed it. And
x Theonus of London and bishops met Augustine in the Thadiocus of York were obliged conference at Augustine's oak. to fly into Wales, in A.D. 586: Beda, lib. ii. c. 2. At this see Usher's Brit. Eccl. Antiq.
time the Irish church was perc. 5. Kentigern, about this fectly independent of the Rotime, ruled the British church man patriarch, and was united in Glasgow and Cumberland. in the closest amity with the Ibid. c. 14, 15. Seven British church of Britain.