quad for the lemma: cause_n
snippets containing the quad
Corrected Date of Publication (TCP Date of Publication)
A letter from a clergy-man in the country to the clergy-man in the city, author of a late letter to his friend in the country shewing the insufficiency of his reasons therein contained for not reading the declaration / by a Minister of the Church of England.
Minister of the Church of England.
Wing L1369A; ESTC R26839
the same in Matters of Religion as well while that of our Princes and their Subjects was Pagan as afterwards when it became Christian Let us see then the Transition from the one Religion to the other in the Reigns of Lucius the First British and Ethelbert the First Christian King of the Saxons We find that in both our Kings acted without any controul of Laws as well in the relinquishing the long-established Pagan as in the reception of the Christian Religion And as our Kings were free so they kept their Subjects free from the Coaction of Laws in that Matter Particularly Venerable Beda relates of Ethelbert That having embraced the Christian Religion he could not but cast some more benign Aspect on such as were Converts with himself Yet so Bed. Histor Eccles ex Versione Abrahami Wheelock Vt nullum cogeret ad Christianisimum That there should be no Force upon the Consciences of his Subjects Didicerat enim Ã doctoribus auctoribusque suae salutis servitium Christi voluntarium non coactitium debere esse For that he had been taught of those who were the Authors of his Salvation That the Service of Christ ought to be voluntary and not of compulsion The Antient Jurisdiction of this Crown you may see by this was at that time free and whatever Laws were before established in favour of the Pagan Superstition and Persecution of Christians these Princes dispensed with them of their own Supreme Power next and immediately under God and so became Instruments of introducing the Blessed Means of Salvation and transmitting them to us their Posterity Which otherwise perhaps had not been so easily effected by a National or Parliamentary Concurrence at present But this Subject has been laboured by many great and learned in the Laws of this Realm to whom it especially belongs and to whom I refer those who desire further satisfaction This Antient Jurisdiction of the Crown the Second Canon measures by that which was claimed and exercised of the godly Kings of Judah and Christian Emperors of the Primitive Church How uncontrouled of any they exercised that Power who were Kings of Judah let their History in the Holy Scriptures teach you As for the Ancient Christian Emperors that they issued out Laws Ecclesisiastical by their Imperial Edicts and made Revocation of those Edicts as they pleased I think no Body will deny I know there was all the way of the Primitive Christianity another Spiritual Jurisdiction over Souls and even over the Emperors themselves as they were Sons of the Church for their Edification but no way intrenching on the Temporal Power even in Causes Ecclesiastical proper to such a Power When ever it made any attempt that way it was always checked by Christian Princes And is it to be believed that this Canon which was made with all the singular Laws and Statutes there mentioned for the abolishing all Foreign Power repugnant to the same would not have been as sharp upon any upstart Power at Home and of His Majesties own Subjects repugnant to the same if they had been aware of any the least tendency then to such an Insolence Take an Instance in one of the most famous and first Emperor of the Christian Church Constantine the Great and let us see what kind of Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical the Canons of our Church give to our Kings in parallel to what was exercised by the Christian Emperors of the Primitive Church Thrice I think according to some Historians twice I am sure according to Valesius in the Appendix to his Latin Version of Eusebius his Ecclesiastical History Constantine did dispense with the Imperial Laws by Indulgence and Toleration of the Donatists in Africa And for that purpose caused his Declaration of Indulgence to be published directed Vniversis Episcopis per Africam to all the Bishops throughout Africa as it is found extant among the Writings of Optatus and almost in the like words and for the like Reasons on which His Majesty issued out this His present Declaration of Liberty Some part of it I will therefore repeat Quod fides debuit quantum prudentia valuit prout puritas potuit tentasse me per omnia optimÃ¨ scitis ut juxta Magisteria Legis nostrae Pax stabilita per omnem concordiam teneretâ Sed quia vim illam scelâris infusi intentionis nostrae ratio non potuit edoânare expectandum nobis est dum totum hoc Omnipotentis Dei misericordia witigetur Verum dum Coelestis Medicina procedat hactenus sunt cencilia nostra Moderanda ut patientiam percolamus quidquid insolentia ilierum pro consuetudine intemperantiae tentat aut facit id omne tranquillitatis virtute toleremus nihil ex reciproco reponatur injuriae This Declaration of Indulgence had likewise the ill fortune of His present Majesties to be regrated by some of the Churchmen and the severity of the established Laws against the Donatists som what unwillingly restrained and Constantine by some of them particularly by Caecilianus Bishop of Carthage solicited to revoke his Letters of Indulgence whereupon says the Historian in the year 321. The Bishops on the part of Donatus put up their Petition also to the Emperor Poscentes ut libere ipsos agere sineret nec invitos adCommunionem Caeciliani cogere vellet Adding further that they never should either by Promises or Threats be induced to it and that they would rather dye a thousand deaths than to hold Communion with that Knave as they rudely styled the Bishop against their Consciences And here as the Historian goes on did most of all appear the Clemency of the Emperor that when he ought to have punished this impudence and insolence of the Donatists in calling their Archbishop Knave whose Innocency was well known and approved by Constantine himself Nihilominus ipsis quaecunque poscebant solita benignitate indulsit Nevertheless of his wonted Benignity he Granted what Indulgence they desired issuing out to Verinus his Vicarius Vicar-General in Africa a Rescript signifying his pleasure that the Donatists should be recalled from Banishment Monensque ut proprio eos dâmittat arbitrio ac furorem eorum Deo vindici reservet c. All this Constantine did by the Virtue of that Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical which the Godly Kings had among the Jews and the Christian Emperors of the Primitive Church and which says the Canon further is the Regal Supremacy of this Crown and by the Laws of this Realm therein established Now if the Church of England be the same it was then you see by what measures we are to Govern ourselves in the present Affair Dr. Taylor late Bishop of Downe and Connor I think was a Man who understood how far a Church of England Loyalty ought to extend as any Man this day of it He says plainly in his Ductor Dubitantium Vol. 2. lib. 3. p. 148. That the Supreme Power is above the Laws that he can dispense with Laws he can interpret them and he can
Consent nor Read. Nevertheless the Basis or Ground-work on which you Rear the whole Superstructure of your Letter is a supposition That no Minister of the Church of England can give his Consent to the Declaration What! Not to a thing in which if there be any Fault it is of his own making Is our thinking some one way some the other enough to turn the Scale so as what were otherwise no fault at all becomes presently contrary to the Laws of God and Laws of the Land as you say afterward Point to that matter of the Declaration which cannot be approved by a Minister of the Church of England on account of its being contrary to or prohibited by the Laws of God. This indeed would make it matter of Conscience which to render it the more odious you here and there slily suggest without offering at the least mannââ of Proof for you know well enough there is none His Majesty by this ãâã Declaration requires us to signifie to His People a method which in this juncture he Judges most expedient to be taken for the securing the Crown and the Persons of our Kings from those apparent Dangers to which they have been frequently exposed by our Dissentions in matters of Religion and for the common Peace and Good of all His Subjects Some approve it and some do not according as their Humour their Interest or their Parts serve and as ordinarily Mens Censures pass on other Affairs of State. But so to Reprobate it as a Mulum in se as a Pest to the Publick as an Abomination and Prophanation of our Churches and not fit to be heard by Christian Ears is such a hard straining of the case as brings along with iâ the very dregs of Passion and Party We cannot approve of the matter of it you say it may be so Men doâcâ always disapprove or deny their Consent to what is proposed because it is evil but because they have no mind to it and so the consequence will be applying it to the matter in Hand That the Authority of His Majesty over a Minister of the Church of England does not to extend so far as to injoyn him to Read the Declaration when he has no mind to it For I doubt there is with a great many more of Stomach in the refusal than Conscience but this not to appear above board One thing though I perceive you have a great mind to which is that we would grant you your supposition before you prove it namely That no Minister of the Church of England can give Consent to the Declaration and then let you alone to make good your Inference that he cannot Read it Now Sir I do not think you have us so much upon the Hanck as you imagine should I grant your Supposition But I see you care not whither we do or no for you presently fall hot upon the Work to prove the Conclusion Ergo He cannot Read for that is interpretative Consent Now for my part I confess to you I turn over the Leaf knowing how many soever your Arguments be to prove it they would not satisfie me nor I think any reasonable Man till he see first how well bottom'd your Hypothesis be from which you borrow your Inference I would fain see your Reasons first Why a Minister of the Church of England cannot Consent before I grant what you are so hasty to suppose Why that I shall by and by but you will prove first That Reading is Consenting Reading is Teaching which is as odd an Hysteron Proteron as Hanging and Trying afterwards Let Reading be Consenting or not Consenting without troubling your self till I hear whether I may Consent or Not. Wherefore I must beg your Favour to let me depart from your method and turn over two or three Pages further to examine your Reasons wherefore we cannot Consent 1. Your first is That it is against the Constitution of the Church of England which is established by Law and to which I have subscribed and therefore am bound to teach nothing contrary to it so long as this Obligation lasts The Constitution of the Church of England as it is now a Protestant Church distinct from what it was before consists in various Acts of Parliament made especially in the beginning of the Reformation But I know of no Subscriptions required of the Clergy to such Acts of Parliament There is a Book intituled Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical Treated upon by the Bishop of London c. Anno Domini 1603. Which Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical are in Number CXLI These I think you must mean by your saying to which you have subscribed But you have not pleased to tell us against which of them it is we offend by Reading the Kings Declaration So that this Argument does nothing but lead us into a Wood and there leave us to be lost Is there any Constitution or Canon Ecclesiastical which bars the King from extending Clemency even to His Dissenting Subjects where He sees a reasonable and honourable Occasion for it Much less where the Necessity of His Affairs drive Him to it His Honour His Conscience the Preservation of Himself and His Friends and the common Peace of all I dare trust King JAMES the First for that without troubling my self to look over all the Hundred and Forty One Canons He had more King-craft than to part with such a Jewel out of the Crown to adorn the Crosier of the Church of England The Constitution you mention here is to what you have subscribed you say By the 36 Canon Subscription is required not to the whole Book but only to three Articles in that Canon mentioned By the first We acknowledge the Kings Supremacy By the second The lawful use of the Common-Prayer By the third An Allowance is made of the 39 Articles Upon any of which I cannot imagine how you ground your Reason wherefore we cannot consent to the Declaration unless you had told us If you were to prove the contrary from these Constitutions there seems to be something accommodate for your purpose in the first and second Canons All Archbishops Bishops c. are obliged by the first to keep and observe all and singular the Laws made for restoring to the Crown of this Kingdom the Antient Jurisdiction over the State Ecclesiastical Which Antient Jurisdiction in the Second Canon is resembled to the same Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical which the godly Kings had among the Jews and Christian Emperors of the Primitive Church Now if the Parallel run so high as to the Antient Jurisdiction of this Crown how Antient does it mean Certainly before any pretence of the Invasion of it by the Bishop of Rome Wherefore that being a Work too big for a Letter I will give but one or two Instances and those so far back as to be out of suspicion of any such Foreign Invasion The Government or Jurisdiction of this Crown if inherent in it was and of right ought to be
abrogate them he can in time of necessity Govern by the Laws of Reason without any written Law and he is Judge of the necessity and in all this he warrants him as the Canon does by the Power which the Kings of Judah had and in the later end of that Chapter says that this Prerogative of Kings is not against Law but by Law and that the Laws themselves imply so much and have given this leave The same Loyal Bishop in the said Treatise further notes the great submission which the Bishops of Rome themselves made to the Imperial Laws and that even when they liked them and when they lik'd them not and of all most material says he is the Obedience of St. Gregory the Great to Mauritius the Emperor who made a Law that no Soldier should turn Monk without his leave This St. Gregory esteem'd to be an impious Law he modestly admonished the Emperor of the irreligion of it But Maurice nevertheless commanded him to publish that Law. The good Bishop knew his Duty obeyed his Prince sent it up and down the Empire and gave this account of it Vtrobique quae debui exolvi qui Imperat ri obedientiam praebui pro Deo quod sensi minimÃ¨ tacui I have done both my Duties I have declared my Mind for God and have paid my Duty and Obedience to the Emperor Ductor Dubit Vol. 3. Lib. 2. p. 176. This that Learned and Loyal Bishop remarks as a president to Guide and Govern Church-men in the like Cases And by the way we may note upon the Story that in those days when St. Gregory publish'd an Edict of the Emperor's which to him seemed impious Reading was not thought to be Teaching If you reply that the model and measures of our Government are different and will not admit of so high a Prerogative in our Princes as was exercised in those unbounded and absolute Monarchies What! not in Causes Ecclesiastical Was it well done then of the Arch-Bishops and Bishops of our Church in Convocation to run the parallel of that Obedience we owe to His Majesty in Causes Ecclesiastical up to the height of what was used by the Godly Kings among the Jews and Christian Emperors of the Primitive Church and to hold him Excommunicate ipso facto Whosoever should affirm the contrary and not restored but only by the Archbishop after his Repentance and publick Revocation of those his wicked Errors And had not you better have held your peace than on this occasion to have medled with the Constitution of the Church of England to which you have subscribed I think this a time to have been more reserved 2. Your Second Reason wherefore we cannot Consent and consequently not Read follows Because it is to Teach an unlimited and universal Toleration which the Parliament in 72 Declared illegal and which has been condemned in the Christian Church in all ages How well you have reasoned from the Constitution of the Church of England in such points of it as relate to this matter let others Judge Your next proof is drawn from the Civil Constitution with Respect to the Parliament of England that says it is illegal How the Parliament of England Where are the Three Estates Where the King Did all these Declare it illegal I wonder you will so much reproach the Clergy of England with whom you deal in this Discourse as to think them such as may be shammed again with the old Wheadle of 41. No no Sir we know enough and have felt enough and too lately yet to forget it of such Parliaments as would have their Votes and Ordinances Obligatory to the Subject without the Assent and Authority of the King And yet this is the Authority and the best you have to alledge or say for yourself in justification of your Disobedience and Opposition to His Majesty in this Affair The Parliament say you in 72. Declared it illegal What then What is the Parliaments Declaration to us in this or in any other matter so as to make it illegal ever the more without the King Is this after the Constitution of a Monarchical Government Does not a pretence to such a Power in a Parliament without the concurrent Authority of the King subvert the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom But I assure myself that they in that matter assumed not to themselves such a Power as your Letter would give them Why may not a Vote of the House of Lords and Commons in 41. the King dissenting be as good an Authority as one in 72. the King dissenting On the same grounds you may as well determine against the Kings Soveraign and his Negative Voice as his dispensing Power For it was then resolved and while they were yet a legal Parliament as that in I mean that of 41. That the Sovereign Power resides in both Houses and that the King ought to have no Negative Voice Resolved also That whatsoever they Declared to be Law ought not to be questioned by the King. But to these Votes the King never gave his Assent wherefore they signifie nothing to us but the Opinion of those men at that time The Sovereign Power and the Negative Voice and the Authority of Declaring what is Law and what is not Law standing where it did before for all their Declaring otherwise then or the Parliament in 72. Declaring afterward But I humbly conceive as I said before that the Parliament in 72. never meant to extend their Vote to the Uses you have made of it in your Letter The worst which can be made of it is no more than that the Question being at that time moved about the Dispensing Power in the King they shewed their Judgment but left the matter remaining undertermin'd For you must know it was no more than the Opinion and not the Sentence of Illegality which was passed on the King's Dispensing Power at that time They knew well enough that to be an Unparliamentary proceeding and that they had no Authority to drive that business so far without the joynt Concurrence of the King only it is some Mens presumption or ignorance to give them more Where there is a matter of Question or Doubt between the King and the Parliament the House of Lords or the House of Commons or both having by the King's leave the liberty of free speaking there may give their Judgment by passing a Vote so as to incline to their Opinion and obtain the Kings if they can to a Consent and Concurrence with them but not so as to bind the Subject or to defend them in their Disobedience to the King In the mean time till the matter be more Legally and Authentically according to the Fundamental Laws and Constitutions of this Kingdom determined which can be no otherwise than with the joynt consent of the King and His two Houses of Parliament together Till then however problematically illegal the thing is not Authoritatively illegal and so however shaken by the Opinions of some Great