« السابقةمتابعة »
an emperor, yet a secular person, and therefore not able in matters of so great obscurity to sit as competent judge: but if they which were bishops and learned men, did think good to consult thereof together, they might. Whereupon, when they could not obtain that which they most desired, yet that which he granted unto them they took, and forthwith had a council. Valentinian went on towards Rome, they remaining in consultation till Valens which accompanied him returned back ; so that now there was no remedy, but either to incur a manifest contempt, or else at the hands of Valens himselfto seek approbation of that they had done. To him, therefore, they became suitors : his answer was short, “Either Arianism, or exile, which they would;" whereupon their banishment ensued. Let reasonable men now therefore be judges, how much this example of Valentinian doth make against the authority, which we say that sovereign rulers may lawfully have as concerning synods and meetings ecclesiastical.
Of the authority of making Laws.
There are which wonder that we should account any statute a law, which the high court of parliament in England hath established about the matters of church-regiment; the prince and court of parliament having as they suppose) no more lawful means to give order to the church and clergy in those things, than they have to make laws for the hierarchies of angels in heaven ; that the parliament being a mere temporal court, can neither by the law of nature, nor of God, have competent power to define of such matters : that supremacy in this kind cannot belong unto kings, as kings, because pagan emperors, whose princely power was true sovereignty, never challenged so much over the church; that power, in this kind, cannot be the right of an earthly crown, prince, or state, in that they be Christians, forasmuch as if they be Christians, they all owe subjection to the pastors of their souls; that the prince therefore, not having it himself, cannot communicate it to the parliament, and consequently cannot make laws here, or determine of the church's regiment by himself, parliament, or any other court subjected unto him.
The parliament of England, together with the convocation annexed thereunto, is that whereupon the very essence of all government within this kingdom doth depend : it is even the body of the whole realm: it consisteth of the king, and of all that within the land are subject unto him. The parliament is a court, not so merely temporal as if it might meddle with nothing but only leather and wool. Those days of Queen Mary are not yet forgotten, wherein the realm did submit itself unto the legate of Pope Julius, at which time, had they been persuaded, as this man seemeth now to be, they had thought that there is no more force in laws by parliament concerning church-affairs, than if men should take upon them to make orders for their hierarchies of angels in heaven, they might have taken all former statutes of that kind as cancelled, and, by reason of nullity, abrogated. What need was there that they should bargain with the cardinal, and purchase their pardon by promise made beforehand, that what laws they had made, assented unto, or executed, against the bishop of Rome's supremacy, the same they would, in that present parliament, effectually abrogate and repeal? Had they power to repeal laws made, and none to make laws concerning the regiment of the church? Again, when they Had by suit obtained his confirmation for such foundations of bishopricks, cathedral churches, hospitals, colleges, and schools; for such marriages before made, for such institutions into liyings ecclesiastical, and for all such judicial processes, as having been ordered according to the laws before in force, but contrary unto the canons and orders of the church of Rome, were in that respect thought defective, although the cardinal in his letters of dispensation did give validity unto those acts, even “apostolicæ firmitatis robur, the very strength of apostolical solidity;"what had all these been without those grave authentical words; " Be it enacted by the authority of An. 1. et 2. this present parliament, that all and singular articles and Phil. et clauses contained in the said dispensation, shall remain and be reputed and taken to all intents and constructions in the laws of this realm, lawful, good, and effectual, to be alleged and pleaded in all courts ecclesiastical and temporal, for good
Mar. c. 8.
and sufficient matter either for the plantiff or defendant, without any allegation or objection to be made against the validity of them, by pretence of any general council, canon, or decree, to the contrary.” Somewhat belike they thought there was in mere temporal court, without with the pope's own mere ecclesiastical legate's dispensation had taken small effect in the church of England ; neither did they or the cardinal imagine any thing committed against the law of nature, or of God, because they took order for the church's affairs, and that even in the court of parliament. The most natural and religious course in making laws is, that the matter of them be taken from the judgment of the wisest in those things which they are to concern. In matters of God, to set down a form of prayer, a solemn confession of the articles of the Christian faith, and ceremonies meet for the exercise of religion; it were unnatural not to think the pastors and bishops of our souls a great deal more fit than men of secular trades and callings: howbeit, when all which the wisdom of all sorts can do is done for the devising of laws in the church, it is the general consent of all that giveth them the form and vigour of the laws, without which they could be no more unto to us than the counsel of physicians to the sick. Well might they seem as wholesome admonitions and instructions; but laws could they never be, without the consent of the whole church, to be guided by them; whereunto both nature and the practice of the church of God set down in Scripture, is found every way so fully consonant, that God himself would not impose his own laws upon his people by the hand of Moses, without their free and open consent. Wherefore, to define and determine, even of the church's affairs by way of assent and approbation, as laws are defined in that right of power, which doth give them the force of laws; thus to define of our own church's regiment, the parliament of England hath competent authority.
Touching that supremacy of power which our kings have in the case of making laws, it resteth principally in the strength of a negative voice; which not to give them, were to deny them that, without which they were kings but by a mere title, and not in exercise of dominion. Be it in regiment popular, aristocratical, or regal, principality resteth in that person, or those persons, unto whom is given right of excluding any kind of law whatsoever it be before establishment. This doth belong unto kings as kings; pagan emperors, even Nero himself had no less; but much more than this in the laws of his own empire. That he challenged not any interest of giving voice in the laws of the church, I hope no man will so construe, as if the cause were conscience and fear to encroach upon the apostles' right. If then it be demanded, by what right from Constantine downward, the Christian emperors did so far intermeddle with the church's affairs, either we must herein condemn them, as being over presumptuously bold, or else judge that, by a law, which is termed regia, that is to say, regal, the people having derived unto their emperors their whole power for making of laws, and by that means his edicts being made laws," what matter soever they did concern, as imperial dignity endowed them with competent authority and power to make laws for religion, so they were thought by Christianity to use their power, being Christians, unto the benefit of the church of Christ.
Was there any Christian bishop in the world which did then judge this repugnant unto the dutiful subjection which Christians do owe to the pastors of their souls? to whom, in respect of their sacred order, it is not by us, neither may be denied, that kings and princes are as much as the very meanest that liveth under them, bound in conscience to shew themselves gladly and willingly obedient; receiving the seals of salvation, the blessed sacraments at their hands, as at the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all reverence, not disdaining to be taught and admonished by them, nor withholding from them as much as the least part of their due and decent honour. All which, for any thing that hath been alleged, may stand very well without resignation of supremacy of power in making laws, even laws concerning the most spiritual affairs of the church; which laws being made amongst us, are not by any of us so taken or interpreted, as if they did receive their force from power which the prince doth communicate unto the parliament, or unto any other court underhim, but from power which the whole body of the realm being naturally possessed with, hath by free and deliberate assent derived unto him that ruleth over them, so far forth as hath been declared. So that our laws made concerning religion,
a Item quod principi placuit, legis habet vigorem. Inst. de J. N. G. et C,
T. C. lib. i. p. 92.
do take originally their essence from the power of the whole
« Ecclesiastic cal governors (they say) may not meddle with making of civil laws, and of laws for the commonwealth ; nor the civil magistrate, high or low, with making of orders for the church.” It seemeth unto me very strange, that these men, which are in no cause more vehement and fierce than where they plead, that ecclesiastical persons may not kupletelv, be lords, should hold that the power of making ecclesiastical laws, which thing of all other is most proper unto dominion, belongeth to none but ecclesiastical persons only. Their oversight groweth herein for want of exact observation, what it is to make a law. Tully, speaking of the law of nature, saith,“ That thereof God himself was inventor, disceptator, lator, the deviser, the discusser, and deliverer :" wherein he plainly alludeth unto the chiefest parts which then did appertain to his public action. For when laws were made, the first thing was to have them devised; the second to sift them with as much exactness of judgment as any way might be used; the next by solemn voice of sovereign authority to pass them, and give them the force of laws. It cannot in any reason seem otherwise than most fit, that unto ecclesiastical persons the care of devising ecclesiastical laws be committed, even as the care of civil unto them which are in those affairs most skilful. This taketh not away from ecclesiastical persons all right of giving voice with others, when civil laws are proposed for regiment of the commonwealth, whereof themselves, though now the world would have them annihilated, are notwithstanding as yet a part; much less doth it cut off that part of the power of princes, whereby, as they claim, so we know no reasonable cause wherefore we may not grant them, without offence to Almighty God, so much authority in making all manner of laws within their own dominions, that neither civil nor ecclesiastical do pass without their royal assent. .
In devising and discussing of laws, wisdom especially is required; but that which establisheth them and maketh them, is power, even power of dominion; the chiefty whereof (amongst us) resteth in the person of the king. Is there