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Council, speaks of the ends of the world, “Ta rayrayoey arpa," going in like manner to Constantinople, which he speaks of as a common emporium of the faith : and in the 4th General Council (Chalcedon) the reasons why privileges had been granted to the church of Rome are stated, Canon 28, because it had been the seat of Government; and it is further stated, that since that had been now transferred to Constantinople, the same reason was in force for granting the same privilege to that see. The same principle is recognised by the council of Antioch, Canon 9, as a reason why the bishop of a metropolis should have cognizance of the other bishops in a province, because the metropolis was the place of general resort. The Council of Sardis, Canon 3, is the first, and, I believe, the only one for many ages, which alludes to St. Peter on the subject, and that not as of authority, as if the bishops of Rome could claim it on that score, but out of respect to the memory of St. Peter; and this again is limited by an el COKEL,“ if it seem good.
In the next place, this deference was one of courtesy and respect ; the idea of submission and obedience to that see never seems to have entered the heads of these writers. This appears from the conduct of Polycarp; for though, out of courtesy to the see of Rome, he went thither to settle the dispute about the observance of Easter; yet, when he and the Bishop of Rome could not agree, he never thought himself bound to yield up his own judgment, and the customs of his church, but firmly maintained them, and departed on a footing of perfect equality. So did Polycrates, and the other Asiatic bishops, when the same dispute was revived and more uncharitably managed under Victor, Bishop of Rome; and so likewise did St. Cyprian. For though it is evident that he constantly shewed courtesy and deference to the see of Rome, yet, when Pope Stephen presumed to dictate, and threatened excommunication, he plainly told him that he did not regard it, and that there was no authority for it: and it was well observed by his friend Firmilian, that all that Stephen effected by this “open and manifest folly' was to “ cut himself off from the unity of love, to estrange himself from the brethren, and to rebel against his faith and the sacrament, through a presumptuous spirit of discord.” Still more plainly may the little regard paid to the authority of the bishops of Rome, when they countenanced error, be seen by the proceedings of the sixth General Council, in which Pope Honorius was condemned of heresy, and his books ordered to be burned.
Thus all the respect which in the early ages was thought due to the see of Rome was courteous deference; and that only so long as her opinions were sound, and she observed the rule of charity; and even this not of necessity, nor according to apostolic direction, but sometimes “ in honour of the memory of St. Peter” if it seemed good to the assembly generally, because it was the see of the seat of government. Now not only does this last reason no longer apply to the see of Rome, but she has attended to none of the conditions upon which this deference was wont to be paid. Her opinions in many matters are unsound, and she has not observed the rule of charity. Therefore no claim on these grounds can any longer be urged. But whether, in VOL. IV.-Sept. 1833.
the event of her renouncing her error, and making proposals for reconciliation, it might be safe and expedient, out of regard to ancient custom, to pay her some token of respect; and whether, overlooking the breach of charity in times past committed by her, it might be advisable, “ in honour of the memory of St. Peter,” or still more with the hope of binding up the breach in the Lord's people, to pay such courtesy to her as Polycarp and Cyprian paid, will, happily, when the time comes, be left to the decision of abler and sounder judgments.
1 am, my dear Sir, very faithfully yours, E. H., July 3, 1833.
A. P. P.
APPOINTMENT OF BISHOPS BY THE STATE.
Sir,—In a former letter I have endeavoured to point out to members of the church of England the duty of resisting State interference in the appointment of bishops, on the ground that the conditions which once legalized that interference have been recently cancelled.
It will be my object now to dwell more minutely on the facts to which I only alluded then, and to give a more definite shape to the conclusions I drew from them. And first I wish it to be understood that the following observations are addressed to LAYMEN.
To the Laity of the Church of England. It is well known that in the earliest ages of the church it was considered the right, and therefore the duty, of lay churchmen to interpose their voice in the election of their spiritual rulers. And since primitive usage carries with it, on such points, an authority which we can hardly venture to dispute, it should seem that the same right and duty have devolved on all succeeding lay churchmen as an inalienable inheritance,
How far our ancestors have fulfilled this duty in transferring to the king a right naturally their own, is a point on which men may differ in opinion ; but we should never lose sight of the fact that they did so transfer it ; that whether rightly or wrongly, whether voluntarily or on compulsion, they suffered the Crown to interfere in the appointment of bishops, in the way in which they themselves had a right to interfere; that the interference of kings is to this day nothing more than a substitute for the interference of the whole laity of the church; and that the responsibility of sanctioning this substitution rests not only on those who first submitted to it, but on every subsequent generation that has allowed it; finally, that this responsibility has become greater and greater in proportion as our institutions have become more popular. In these days more especially, when the recent changes introduced into our Constitution have given an opportunity almost to every individual churchman for legally expressing his opinion on this subject each individual is proportionably responsible for not expressing it. In our case, silence must in an especial sense be construed into
positive approbation. If we in these days do not avail ourselves of our many opportunities for protesting and resisting, more credit or more blame is due to us than was ever due to our predecessors, who were without such opportunities; more credit if, in submitting, we act rightly—if, on the contrary, by so doing we are neglecting a duty, more blame.
The degree in which each of us is responsible for the continuance of the present system, will perhaps become more apparent when we regard it as depending on the will of Parliament,
-on the will of a body of which some of us are constituent members, in the selection of which most of us have a voice, direct or indirect, and before which we all of us have an acknowledged right to lay our remonstrances, under the recognised form of petitions. It would seem, then, that without having recourse to any of those extra-legal means which a strong conviction of our duty might in such a case seem to authorize, we have ways of resisting ready made to our hands, ways recognised by the law of the land, and pointed out to us by the every-day practice of every body who, in any matter, however trifling, considers himself aggrieved. For it is by the will of Parliament that the present system of appointment is upheld: the system itself is based on nothing more than an Act of Parliament, and is in its nature in no way more permanent or. inviolable (even on Parliamentary principles) than any of the thousand other usages which are daily moulded and re-moulded according to the will of the existing legislature.
If the statute under which the bishops of the church of England are nominated by the crown be an evil, it is an evil that may be resisted by all the means which in the case of other evils, real or supposed, are brought daily into operation by parties considering themselves aggrieved—by the very means which, within this last few years, we have seen employed, and employed successfully, by other classes of his Majesty's subjects in procuring what they called their just rightsnay, by means far more powerful. His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects had no access themselves to that Parliament which they compelled to concede their claims : their influence as electors and petitioners was alone sufficient. Unlike the Roman Catholics, the laity of the church of England may press their demands in person, as speakers and voters : they constitute at least a portion of each of our great deliberative assemblies; and, if they learn to act together, perhaps no despicable portion.
With these advantages then, with these great and legal means of resistance, the laity of the church of England are indeed responsible for their submission. Truly great is the praise due to them if their silence is the result of thought and conscientious forbearance, and not less their guilt if it result from negligence or apathy.
But to go at once to particulars. The basis on which the present system of appointment rests, and on the removal of which it must fall to the ground, is the following Act of Parliament. The laity of the church of England are earnestly requested to peruse it, and with attention--making up their minds, each person for himself, whether he, as an individual, can acquiesce in it conscientiously-whether he can with a safe conscience intrust to the king his own voice in the nomination of his spiritual rulers, in the way in which, by tolerating that act, he does intrust it.
25 Hen. VIII. cap 20.* An Act entituled “ An Act.........of the Electing and Consecrating of Archbishops and
Bishops within this Realm. Clause IV. And furthermore be it ordained and established by the authority aforesaid, that at every avoidance of any archbishoprick or bishoprick within this realm or in any other of the King's dominions, the King, our Sovereign Lord, his heirs and successors, may grant to the Prior and Convent, or to the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral churches or monasteries where the see of such archbishoprick or bishoprick shall happen to be void, a Licence under the Great Seah, as of old time hath been accustomed, to proceed to the election of an Archbishop or Bishop of the see so being void, with a letter missive containing the name of the person which they shall elect and choose : by virtue of which licence the said Dean and
Chapter or Prior and Convent to whom any such licence and letter missive shall be directed, shall with all speed and celerity in due form elect and choose the said person named in the said letter missive to the dignity and office of the archbishoprick or bishoprick so being void, and none other.
And if they do defer or delay their election above 12 days next after such licence and letter missive to them delivered, that then for every such default the King's Highness, his heirs, and successors, at their liberty and pleasure, shall nominate and present, under the Great Sea, such a person to the said office and dignity so being void, as they shall think able and convenient for the same.
And that every such nomination and presentment to be made by the King's Highness, his beirs, or successors, if it be to the office and dignity of a Bishop, shall be made to the Archbishop and Metropolitan of the province where the see of the same bishoprick is void, if the see of the said archbishoprick be then full and not void; and if it be void, then to be made to such Archbishop or Metropolitan within this realm or in any of the King's dominions as shall please the King's Highness, his heirs, or successors. And if such nomination and presentment shall happen to be made for the default of such election to the dignity and office of any Archbishop, then the King's Highness, his heirs, and successors, by his Letters Patent, under his Great Seal, shall nominate and present such person as they will dispose to have, the office and dignity of Archbishop being voíd, to one such Archbishop and two such Bishops, or else to four such Bishops in this realm, or in any of the King's dominions, as shall be assigned by our said Sovereign Lord, his heirs and successors.
V. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that whensoever any such nomination and presentment shall be made by the King's Highness, his heirs or successors, by virtue and authority of this act, and according to the tenor of the same, that then every Archbishop and Bishop to whose hand any such nomination and presentment shall be directed, shall with all speed and celerity invest and consecrate the person nominated and presented by the King's Highness, his heirs or successors, to the office and dignity that such person shall be presented unto, and give and use to him Pall, and all other benedictions, ceremonies, and things requisite for the same, without suing, procuring, or obtaining hereafter any Bulls or other things at the see of Rome, for any such office or dignity in that behalf.
And if the said Dean and Chapter, or Prior and Convent, after such licence and letters missive to them directed, within the said 12 days do elect and choose the said person mentioned iu the said letters missive according to the request of the King's Highness, his heirs, or successors thereof to be made by the said letters missive in that behalf, then their election shall stand good and effectual to all intents; and that the person so elected, after certification being made of the same election under the common and convent seal of the electors to the King's Highness, his heirs, or successors, shall be reputed and taken by the name of the Lord elected of the said dignity and office that he shall be elected unto ; and then making such oath and fealty duly to the King's Majesty, his heirs, or successors, as shall be appointed for the same, the King's Highness, by his Letters Patent under the Great Seal,
• Cf. Gibson's Codex, vol. i. p. 107. † Anciently the elections of Bishops, in the case of the following sees, resided in the Prior and Monks of convents attached to the cathedrals; and the elected Bishop was Abbot :
Canterbury, Rochester, Winchester, Ely, Norwich, Worcester, Durham.
The Bishop of Bath and Wells was elected alternately by the Monks of Bath and the Canons of Wells,
So, too, the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry alternately by the Canons of Lichfield and the Monks of Coventry.
shall signify the said election, if it be to the dignity of a Bishop, to the Archbishop and Metropolitan of the province where the see of the said bishoprick was void, if the see of the said archbishoprick be full and not void: and if it be void, then to any other Archbishop or Metropolitan within this realm or any other of the King's dominions as shall please the King's Highness, his heirs, or successors; requiring and commanding such Archbishop to whom any such signification shall be made, to confirm the said election and to invest and consecrate the said person so elected to the office and dignity that he is elected unto, and to give and use to him Pall and all other benedictions, ceremonies, and things requisite for the same, without suing, procuring, or obtaining hereafter any Bulls or other things at the see of Rome for any such office or dignity in that behalf. And if the person be elected to the dignity and office of an Archbishop according to the tenor of this Act, then after such election certified to the King's Highness in the form aforesaid, the said person so elected to the office and dignity of an Archbishop shall be reputed and taken Lord elect to the said office and dignity of an Archbishop whereunto he shall be so elect. And then after he hath made such oath and fealty to the King's Majesty, his heirs, or successors, as shall be limited for the same, the King's Highness, by his Letters Patent under his Great Seal, shall signify the said election to one Archbishop and two other Bishops, or else to four Bishops within this realm or in any of the King's dominions, as shall be assigned by our Sovereign Lord, his heirs, and successors, requiring and commanding the said Archbishop and Bishops with all speed and celerity to confirm the said election, and to invest and consecrate the said person so elected to the office and dignity of an Archbishop that he is elected unto, and to give and use to him Pall and all other benedictions, ceremonies, and things requisite for the same, without suing, procuring, or obtaining any Bulls or other things at the see of Rome, for any such office or dignity of an archbishoprick in that behalf.
VI. And be it fariher enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if the Prior and Convent of any monastery, or the Dean and Chapter of any cathedral church where the see of an Archbishop or Bishop is, within any of the King's dominions, after any such licence as is aforesaid rehearsed shall be delivered to them, proceed not to election, and signify the same according to the tenor of this Act, within the space of 20 days next after such licence shall come to their hands : or else if any Archbishop or Bishop within any of the King's dominions, after such election, nomination, or presentation shall be signified unto them by the King's Letters Patent, shall refuse and do not confirm, invest, and consecrate with all due circumstance as is aforesaid every such person as shall be so elected, nominated, or presented, and to them signified as is above mentioned, within twenty days next after the King's Letters Patent of such signification or presentation shall come into their hands, or else if any of them or any other person or persons admit, maintain, allow, obey, do, or execute any censures, excommunications, interdicts, inhibitions, or any other process or act, of whatever nature, name, or quality soever it be, to the contrary or lett of the due execution of this Act, that then every Prior and particular person of his Convent, and every Dean and particular person of the Chapter, and every Archbishop and Bishop, and all other persons offending and doing contrary to this Act or any part thereof, and their aiders, counsellers, abettors, shall run in the dangers, and pains, and penalties of the Statute of Provision and Præmunire, made in the 25th year of the reign of King Edward III., and in the 16th year of King Richard II.
Such is the Act under which the bishops of the church of England are at this day appointed. The following is an analysis of it:
1. It apportions severally to the laity, the clergy, and the archbishop of the province, their respective shares in an appointment which was anciently their joint right. To lay bands it consigns the right of nomination, to clergymen that of election, and to the archbishop confirmation.
2. It constitutes the king the representative of the laity, by vesting the entire right of nomination in his hands.
3. As it makes over to the king the entire rights of the laity, so it enables him to control the clergy in the exercise of theirs, by enforcing their acquiescence in his wishes, under certain pains and penalties.
4. In case these pains and penalties should prove insufficient, it enables him to supersede election and confirmation by a third process, presentation, to which he may have recourse at pleasure.
5. And as, over and above nomination, election, and confirmation, which are human institutions, and may be superseded by the authority that enacted them, there remains a fourth process, consecration, of