Chapter VII – Relations of Eastern and Western Churches.
The Reformation being in its essence a product of the moral and intellectual reawakening that dates from a revival of letters, a more earnest application to the study of the Bible, and the general deposition of the schoolmen, was restricted to those countries which had felt the impulses of the preparatory movement. Few if any changes were accordingly effected by it in the eastern provinces of Christendom. The Turks were absolute masters of the patriarchate of Constantinople;* from the capture of Otranto, in 1480, they never ceased to trample on the rights of their Christian subjects, and struck terror into all the nations of the West,** until their overthrow and permanent humiliation at the battle of Lepanto, in 1571: while Russia, destined to become the leading province of the “orthodox” communion, was at present too far removed from western influences,*** and had been too recently emancipated from the iron bondage of the Tatars, to assist in settling the momentous questions that were stirred among the Wittenberg Reformers.
*[Some light is thrown upon the current doctrines of the Greek church, as explained to the Muhammedans at this period, by the two Confessions of Gennadius, patriarch of Constantinople: in Libr. Symbol. Eccl. Orientalis, pp. 1–23, ed. Kimmel, Jenae, 1843.]
**[For example, as late as 1566, archbishop Parker drew up a “Form to be used in Common Prayer, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, through the whole realm: to excite and stir all godly people to pray unto God for the preservation of those Christians and their countries, that are now invaded by the Turk in Hungary and elsewhere”: Liturgical Services, ed. P. S. pp. 527–535: cf. Parker’s Correspond. p. 289.]
***[The discovery by English mariners of a way to the White Sea (1553) led to the first intercourse between Russia and this country (Turner’s Modern Hist. of England, III. 298 sq. 2nd ed.). On the mischances that befell the ambassador sent to the court of Philip and Mary in 1556, “with certaine presents and gifts, as a manifest argument of a mutuall amitie to be made and continued betweene their Maiesties subiects, for the commodities of both realmes and people,” see Stow’s Annales p. 629. So little cultivated were the Russian clergy of this period that, according to Levesque (quoted in Miller, Phil. Hist. III. 100), “three persons only among them were acquainted with the Latin language, and none of them had any knowledge of the Greek, though they belonged to the Greek Church.” A great change, however, was produced in all quarters during the reign of Michael, the founder of the Romanoff dynasty.]
Still the Easterns of the borderlands could not be ignorant of these mighty agitations,* nor the Westerns indifferent as to the condition of their Christian brother at a distance, and the verdict he might be inclined to pass on them and their proceedings. As early as 1525, the archduke Ferdinand directed his confessor** to collect authentic information respecting the religion of the Muscovites: and, on the other hand, Melanchthon, who had Greeks among his auditors [Above.] and corresponded with members of the Greek church, [See Martin Crusius, Turco-graecia (a collection of important documents in illustration of this chapter), p. 543, Basil. 1584.] determined to make the patriarch of Constantinople acquainted with the genuine principles of Luther*** as contained in the Augsburg Confession, – a measure which, to the annoyance of the Romish party, [Cf. Krasinski, Reform. in Poland, II. 134, note. Lond. 1840.] led to the formation of more amicable relations than had hitherto subsisted (1569). In 1573, the emperor Maximilian II appointed a Protestant ambassador at Constantinople, who took with him for his chaplain a Greek scholar of considerable reputation, Stephen Gerlach, afterwards professor at Tübingen. By him the patriarch Jeremiah was invited to examine the Augsburg Confession, and overtures were actually made in order to cement a lasting union between the Greeks and Protestants. Jeremiah, it is true, was driven from his patriarchal throne while the correspondence was proceeding, yet he continued the interchange of letters with the Tübingen divines till 1582, at which date their communication ceased, without, as it would seem, producing any positive or permanent results.*4
*[For example, a letter quoted in Gieseler, III. i, p. 46; (ed. Bonn), note, mentions that as early as 1543, Wallachia, then subject to the Turks, had manifested a disposition to receive the doctrines of the Reformers which passed over to them from Transylvania: “Et quod mireris, Valachia quoque Transsylvaniae vicina et Turcis subjecta evangelium recepit. Tam Vetus quam Novum Testamentum sua lingua in Corona, Transsylvaniae civitate, impressa sunt.”]
**[This was John Faber (the Swiss polemic, above), whose account is preserved in the De Russorum, Moscovitarum et Tartarorum Religione, Spirae, 1582, and reprinted (in English) by Mr. Palmer, in his Dissertations on subjects relating to the “Orthodox” or “Eastern-Catholic” Communion, pp. 32 sq. Lond. 1858.]
***[The translation of the Confession into Greek was made in 1551 by Paul Dolscius: cf. Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretsohn. IX. 921. It was afterwards translated into modern Greek by Michael Cantacuzenos, and also into the language of Georgia by order of a prince of that country.]
*4[See the whole correspondence in Acta et scripta theologorum Wittebergensium et patriarchae Constantinopolitani de Augustana Confessione, Wittenberg. 1584. The renewal of this kind of intercourse through the agency of Cyril Luca; who became patriarch of Alexandria in 1602, belongs to the next period of Church history: cf. Smith’s Collectanea de Cyrillo Lucari, Lond. 1707, and Neale’s Eastern Church, “Alexandria,” II. 356–455.]
The same disposition to establish an alliance with the Greeks was shewn by king John of Sweden, whom we saw negotiating* for a kindred purpose with the Jesuits and the Roman see. This project also was entirely fruitless. At the close of the century, however, a new scheme for bringing about the fusion of the members of the Greek church and the Protestant confessions in Poland was commenced with somewhat fairer prospects of success. The three Reformed communions, Saxon, Helvetic, and Bohemian, had already established a temporary pacification [See above.] by the union of Sandomir (1570), and in 1599 it was arranged that representatives of these bodies should meet some Greek priests at Vilna** to discuss the terms of a confederacy, religious and political, against the servants of the “Roman Antichrist”. On assembling (May 24), the harmony of the proceedings was at first interrupted by the protests and unbending attitude of Isaac, the hegumenos of the convent of Dubno and Gedeon, who asserted that the only hope of union was for Protestants to abandon their “heresy” and pass over to the Greek church: but four days later, certain articles, eighteen in number, which they all expressed their willingness to adopt, were drawn up as the preliminaries of the union, provided the consent of the patriarch of Constantinople were not finally withheld. The points here shewn to have been held in common by the Greeks and Protestants are these:*** That the Scriptures are the source of truth and of the doctrine of salvation: that God is one in essence and threefold in person: that the three Divine Personalities are consubstantial and coequal, according to the Nicene Creed: that the summary of the Apostolic faith, called symbolum, contains the marrow of true religion: that Christ, who is begotten of the Father before all worlds, truly became man and was born into the world for our salvation: that by offering Himself to God the Father for us, He in His death made a perfect atonement for our sins: that God is neither the cause nor maker of evil: that all men are conceived and born in sin: that pardon is extended to those who repent and are truly converted: that faithful Christians are obliged to the performance of good works: that Christ alone is the Head of the Church, visible as well as invisible: that a regular ministry is needed in the Church of God for dispensing the Word and sacraments: that the marriage of the clergy is not prohibited: that infants ought to be baptized: that the Eucharist is to be administered to all the faithful in both kinds: that the Scriptures are silent touching any purgatory for the purification of souls after death: that Christ having gone up to heaven in His body sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead: that as the happiness of the faithful is everlasting, so is the punishment of the damned interminable.
*[Above. “The King,” says Geijer (p. 169), “now turned his thoughts to a junction with the Greek Church, but he finally adhered to his own scheme of religion, of which he considered his new Liturgy the proper expression.”]
**[Krasinski, Reform. in Poland, II. 139 sq. Lond. 1840. They were impelled to this measure chiefly by the persecutions to which all of them were exposed, owing to the predominance of Romish influences under Sigismund III. The chief agent on the part of the Reformers was Turnowski, superintendent of the Bohemian Brethren. One of the preliminary questions he proposed for discussion ran as follows: “Whether, according to the precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ, they would unite in love, and for mutual advice and assistance in common injuries and affairs against Antichrist and his servants, with those who, being satisfied with the true Word of God, submitted entirely to its rule and doctrine, considered Christ as their Pastor and the sole Head of the Church, received the sacraments according to His institution, admitted the authority of the first uniform oecumenic councils, and considered the holy doctors, whose writings agree with the Scriptures, as teachers sent by God, and very useful for the edification of the Church?” Ibid. p. 142.]
***[Ibid. pp. 148–150. Ten clergy of the Greek Rite were present on this occasion. It was during the oppressions that suggested the combined action of Greeks and Protestants that Cyril Lucar, who afterwards, as Mr. Neale has worded it, “was led to assimilate fearfully with Calvinian doctrine” (Alexandria, II. 360), came to Poland as legate of Meletius Piga, patriarch of Alexandria, to assist in counteracting the advances of the Romanists (Ibid. p. 362). He gained his livelihood at Vilna by teaching Greek.]
On other subjects, such for instance as the procession of the Holy Spirit, or the invocation of saints, the worship or veneration of icons and relics, and the main principles of divine service, the differences appeared almost irreconcilable: yet, in order to facilitate the work of union, it was proposed to hold annual synods, alternately Protestant and Greek, for the discussion of these remaining articles. [Ibid. p. 150.] But no reasoning could induce the Greek divines to enter fully into such discussions until they had consulted the Eastern patriarchs, especially the mother see of Constantinople; and though nothing definite has been recorded of the answers forwarded by these authorities, we argue from the permanence of the division, that they were unfavourable to the project. The two communities, however, entered on the same occasion into a political compact for the mutual defense of their rights and liberties against the violent maneuvers of the Romish party.
That party had indeed been gaining fresh predominance* in the reign of Sigismund III, who, aided by Possevin, the accomplished Jesuit whom we saw at work in Sweden, [Above.] and by other members of the Company, expended his chief energies not only in retarding the advance of Protestantism, but in promoting the absorption of his “orthodox” subjects into the church of Rome. One leading principle of action was to distribute all his public appointments exclusively among the Romanists;** and the threat of banishment from the senate, added to the constant importunities of Sigismund, ultimately*** drove a number of the Polish prelates in Lithuania to abandon the Greek Rite, and seek communion with the Latins, on the basis formerly established at the council of Florence. [See Middle Age, pp. 366 sq.] Such was the origin of the Polish Uniates.*4 They admitted the orthodoxy of the clause Filioque, they assented to the Romish view of purgatory, and acknowledged the supremacy of the pope: retaining, however, the Slavonic language in the celebration of public worship, together with the ancient ritual and discipline of the “Greek” churches.*5 The union was consummated in a synod held at Brest in Lithuania, Oct. 6, 1596, when the metropolitan of Kieff, and the other prelates who assented to the measure, excommunicated all persons who ventured to impugn it, or impede its operation.
*[See above. The fury of his zeal is shewn by the circumstance that Nicephorus, a legate of the patriarch of Constantinople, who vehemently resisted the royal attempts to Romanize the Poles, was seized and strangled: Neale, as before, II. 362.]
**[“This principle had been already (1568) suggested from Rome to one of his predecessors in order to eradicate the Protestants more speedily. The Polish monarch was exhorted to declare “nullis se deinceps vel honores vel praefecturas vel quaecunque tandem aila munera publice mandaturum, nisi qui Christum aperte confessus fuerit et omni perfidiae sive Lutheristicae sive Calvinisticae sive Anabaptistarum nuntium remiserit”: quoted in Ranke, Popes, II. 379, note.]
***[The first step in the work of “reconciliation” was to assemble the clergy at a synod in 1590 (Krasinski, II. 135). But as this measure was abortive, Possevin and Scarga, another Jesuit in the confidence of Sigismund, won over four Greek bishops and the metropolitan of Kieff, who carried their plan of a reunion in a second council held also at Brest or Brzesz in Lithuania, Dec. 2, 1594. Deputies were then sent to Clement VIII, who received them with open arms: and so far as their party extended the reconciliation was completed in the following autumn. But the greater part of the Greek nobility, with prince Constantine Ostrogski, palatine of Kieff, at their head, protested; and “the prince assembled a numerous meeting of the nobility and clergy adverse to Rome, at which the bishops, who had brought about the union, were excommunicated.” Ibid. pp. 137, 138: cf. the Russian account in Mouravieff, Hist. of the Church of Russia, pp. 139 sq. Oxf. 1842.]
*4[“From this time,” says Mouravieff (p. 142), “began the hard and long-continued struggle of orthodoxy against the Unia in all the Polish and Lithuanian provinces, and the persecutions of the Western Church, and more particularly of the civil government, against those who refused to betray the faith of their ancestors.”]
*5[Krasinski, ff. 137. Mouravieff’s account is rather different: “The conventicle of the Uniates and the Romans, after having solemnly confirmed their first agreement for a union, which was sealed by the joint celebration of the liturgy in the same church, pronounced a similar sentence of excommunication [see note above] against the orthodox; and thus the Church of Little Russia was divided into the Orthodox and the Uniate, both preserving, however, the same form, not only of external rite in the celebration of Divine service, but even of doctrine: for Rome at first allowed the Creed without alteration, and required nothing but the one capital point of submission to the pope: p. 142.]
Not content with large advantages thus gained in Poland, the indefatigable emissaries of the Roman pontiff turned their thoughts to Russia, in the hope of compensating for the heavy loss he had sustained in other parts of northern Europe. John (Ivan) the Terrible had, as early as the middle of the sixteenth century, endeavoured to brace up the discipline of the Russian church, and regulate the lives of her ecclesiastics by convoking the important council of the “Hundred Chapters” [Mouravieff, pp. 103–105.] (1551): and the Russian prelates, about the same time, published their first anathema against a band of interlopers who appear to have been introducing Lutheran tenets* from adjacent parts of Lithuania. They were also most emphatic in their censures of the Latins, [Ibid. p. 112.] whom they found endeavouring to seduce both flocks and pastors from their old allegiance. But when John soon afterwards became entangled [Ibid. p. 121.] in sanguinary contests with Stephen Bathori, king of Poland, he resolved to extricate himself by calling in the aid of foreign powers, and was brought by this means into communication with pope Gregory XIII. By him the Jesuit Possevin was dispatched to the arena of dissension in the capacity of a mediator, and having negotiated a peace between the combatants, on terms disadvantageous to the Russians, he proceeded to urge upon the czar the desirableness of recognizing the supremacy of the pope and bowing to the judgments of the council of Florence. John, however, and his subjects were equally deaf to such proposals [Ibid.. p. 122. A similar mission of Comuleo to Moscow in 1594 shared the same fate: Ranke, Popes, II. 400.] both on this and on subsequent occasions.
*[“About this same time Macarius [metropolitan of Moscow] presided at another synod of less note, which condemned the beginning of a heresy which was creeping in amongst us from Lithuania. Their rejection of the canons and ordinances of the Church, her ceremonies and icons, and their questioning the Divinity of the Saviour, discovered the guilt of Backsheen and his little knot of followers.” Mouravieff, p. 108: cf. the translator’s note.]
It was towards the close of the sixteenth century that an event occurred in Russia which materially affected the Muscovite church in its relation to those other communities in which the Greek Rite still continued to prevail. Since the fall of Constantinople, the metropolitans of all Russia, though appointed by a synod of their own bishops and confirmed by no foreign see, had notwithstanding been regarded by themselves and others as dependent on the patriarchate of Constantinople. [See Middle Age, p. 120.] But in 1588 a project was devised for bringing this old dependence to a close. It was determined by the czar, in concert with the Eastern churches and with the special cooperation of Jeremiah II, patriarch of Constantinople, that as “old Rome” had fallen a prey to heresy, and as the calamities of the age required such modification, a new patriarchate* should be instituted in Russia, so as to preserve inviolate the hierarchical arrangements of ancient Christendom. Yet with regard to the domestic organization of the Russian church, the change was little more than nominal. Job, the first patriarch (1587–1606), exercised no other spiritual functions than had always appertained to Russian metropolitans, while he stood on precisely the same footing with reference to the civil power. [Ibid. pp. 131, 132.]
*[Mouravieff, ch. vi. In Appendix I. (pp. 289–324) this writer gives a full account of “the coming of the patriarch Jeremiah into Russia” (1587), when the change of government was planned and executed. The final consent of Jeremiah is thus expressed (pp. 302, 303): “Of a truth the Holy Spirit abideth in your religious tsar, his thought has been inspired from God; and so also has this proper way of bringing it about. Since Old Rome has fallen through the Apollinarian heresy [this charge resting on a fanciful connection between the views of Apollinaris respecting the Person of Christ and the Western custom of using unleavened bread in the Eucharist] and Constantinople, which is New Rome, is in the possession of the unbelieving Turks, the children of Hagar, the great kingdom of Russia has surpassed all others put together in piety, and your Orthodox sovereign is named throughout all the world as the sole pattern of a Christian king. Therefore, by the providence of God, and by the prayers of the most immaculate Virgin, and the intercession of the great wonder workers, Peter, Alexis and Jonah, and by the advice of the tsar, let this great work be accomplished.”]
Chapter VIII – Constitution of the Church and
Its Relations To the Civil Power.
The fresh humiliations that continually befell the Eastern patriarchs at the commencement of this period wrought no very sensible effect on the internal economy of churches subject to their jurisdiction. Nor was Rome herself impelled by any of the sweeping changes, that now wrested from her grasp one half of her dominions, to remodel the constitution of the papacy, or lessen the exorbitance of her demands. She still affected a position immeasurably higher than the rest of the “Apostolical sees”; she claimed to be the mother and the mistress of all churches. While oriental Christians, in like manner, occupied their ancient ground with reference to the civil power, treating it as divinely instituted, and ascribing to the Christian monarch almost sacerdotal attributes, the opposite tendency was still betrayed by the adherents of the Roman pontiff, who argued that after the Mediaeval hierarchy obtained its full development, the secular power had been subordinated to the spiritual, and the popes entrusted with a moral jurisdiction over all the nations of the globe.
If we confine our thoughts, in the first place, to the internal organization of the church, we find that Luther’s violent assaults upon the papacy were all converted into opportunities for reiterating its most arrogant assumptions. An inmate of the papal palace,* for example, whom we saw in 1517, among the pamphleteers who laboured to suppress the nascent Reformation, was ready to contend that the Roman pontiff is the sole infallible arbiter of controversies, and resolver of all spiritual doubts; that his monarchy, as foretold by Daniel, is the only true monarchy; that he is the foremost of all hierarchs and the father of all temporal princes; that he is head of the whole world, nay, is himself virtually the whole world. In reference to the question of indulgences,** the same writer did not scruple to argue that, although the Bible was silent respecting them, the practice rested on authority still “greater,” – the authority of the Roman Church and Roman pontiffs. Hence all other species of jurisdiction in matters spiritual was said to flow from the pope as from the single representative of Christ on earth. Bishops, in particular, whose office was originally viewed as resting on Divine appointment, were esteemed by partisans of the papacy among its delegates and vicars: and Lainez*** openly avowed at the council of Trent in 1562, that to acknowledge the immediate derivation of their authority from Christ himself would be subversive of the argument that pontiffs have the right to censure and displace them in virtue of some Divine prerogative, and are at liberty to intermeddle in the administration of their dioceses.
*[This was Sylvester Mazolini, on whom see above. Ranke (Ref. I. 470, 471) draws attention to another of his tracts entitled, De Juridica et irrefragabili veritate Romanae Ecclesiae Romanique Pontificis, in which these sentiments occur; e.g. in cap. iv. we have the following: “Etsi ex jam dictis constat Romanum praesulem esse caplut orbis universi, quippe qui primus hierarcha et princeps sit omnium spiritualium ac pater omnium temporalium principum, tamen quia adversarius negat eum esse ecclesiam catholicam virtualiter aut etiam esse ecclesiae caput, ea propter ostendendum est quod sit caput orbis et consequenter orbis totus in virtute.” See also an account of Eck’s treatise, De Primatu Petri, Ibid. p. 472.]
**[“Veniae sive indulgentiae auctoritate Scripturae nobis non innotuere, sed auctoritate Ecclesiae Romanae, Romanorumque Pontificum, quae major est”: see his Dialogus in Löscher, Reformations-acta, II. 31, and compare Winapina’s language above.]
***[“Il vint ensuite ą condamner ceux qui soutenoient que les Evźques avoient reću quelque pouvoir de Jésus-Christ, parceque ce seroit dépouiller l’Eglise Romaine du privilŹge qu’elle avoit, que le Pape fět le chef de l’Eglise et le vicaire de JŹsus-Christ. Il dit, qu’on savoit fort bien ce qui avoit été déclaré par l’ancien canon, Omnes sive patriarchae, que ceux qui usurpoient les droits des autres Eglises commettoient une injustice, mais que ceux qui violent les privilŹges de l’Eglise Romaine étoient hérétiques; et il finít cette premiŹre partie en disant, qu’il y avoit une contradiction évidente ą reconnoitre le Pape pour chef de l’Eglise, et son gouvernement pour monarchique, et ą soutenir en mźme tems, qu’il y avoit dans l’Eglise une puissance ou une jurisdiction qui venoíit d’un autre que de lui”: Sarpi, II. 500, ed. Courayer. On the reply of the archbishop of Paris, see Ibid., pp. 504 sq.]
The vigorous resistance [Above.] of French and Spanish prelates on the same occasion was, we saw, defeated, or at least evaded for the present: the papal monarchy came out of the great struggle as dominant as before: yet nothing then determined could extinguish the old feeling of independence which had broken out in earlier periods of the history of the Church. It is, therefore, obvious that in the Roman communion itself, two opposite theories of church government continued to be tolerated, (1) the autocratic, or Ultra-montane, (2) the constitutional, or Gallican. According to the former, the Roman pontiff is verily the life as well as center of all Christendom, the universal pastor, the bishop of bishops, the immediate and supreme judge of all the faithful; though condescending for their welfare to distribute portions of his power and privileges among the various orders of the hierarchy. He is not indeed secured by this hypothesis against the possibility of sinning, and may therefore be convicted of profaneness, and even of atrocious conduct, in dealing either with a local church, or with the individual members. Still, whenever he pronounces on controversies of faith, it is maintained that he cannot err:* and that in virtue of his intellectual exaltation above the common failings of humanity, he constitutes the pillar of catholic truth; the mandates which he issues must be dutifully received by all the faithful, since communion with him is essential to membership in the Church, and therefore to communion with our blessed Lord Himself.
*[It is most remarkable, however, that one at least of these unerring judges has declared that popes are not infallible. Adrian VI published the following disclaimer in 1522: “Dico primo, quod si per Ecclesiam Romanam intelligat caput ejus, puta pontificem, certum est quod possit errare etiam in iis quae tangunt fidem, haeresim per suam determinationem aut decretalem asserendo. Plures enim fuerunt pontifices Romani haeretici.” Comment. in Lib. IV, Sententiarum, Quest. “de sacra Confirmatione,” Rom. 1522, fol. xxvi. b.]
According to the constitutional, or Gallican view,* the ultimate and infallible authority on religious matters is not the Roman pontiff, but a council adequately representing the whole Church. Such councils, it is argued, may degrade the pope, if he should violate the ancient creeds, or should be guilty of serious maladministration. Yet, with small regard to the coherence or consistency of their principles, this school of Romanists believe in the necessity, under all circumstances, of adhering to the see of Rome and to the rightful pontiff, as the visible center of unity appointed by God for the consolidation and guidance of the whole Church.
*[Among the most able exponents of the Galilean doctrines are (1) Bossuet, in his Cleri Gallicani de Ecclesiastica potestate declaratio (OEuvres, vol. XXX. 1 sq. Paris, 1825), and in his great work Defensio Declarationis Cleri Gallicani de ecclesiastica potestate (Ibid. Voll. XLVII–XLIX.), and (2) Pereira, in his Tentativa Theologica, translated from the Portuguese by Landon, Lond. 1847.]
The possible effect, however, of this fundamental difference as to the real seat and organ of infallibility was for the present obviated by the peaceful termination of the council of Trent. Both parties then obtained the satisfactory fulfillment of their own conditions, and accordingly bowed to verdicts of a synod which they held to be of oecumenical authority, and ratified by the explicit confirmation of the pontiff.*
*[Thus Melchior Canus, bishop of the Canaries, and one of the most able theologians of the Reformation period, declares expressly: “Concilium generale, confirmatum auctoritate Romani pontificis, certam fidem facit Catholicorum dogmatum. Quam quidem conclusionem ita exploratam habere opus est, ut ejus contrariam haereticam esse credamus”: De Locis Theologicis, lib. V. c. 4: cf. Bellarmin. Disput. “de Conciliis at Ecclesia,” lib. II. c. 2.]
From the date of its reception in various countries, the organization of the Romish church, where every species of abuse had hitherto prevailed,* was brought into general harmony with the spirit and decrees of the Tridentine doctors. [See also the decrees “De Reformatione” in Libr. Symb. Eccl. Cath. Tom. II.] The monstrous evils that originated in non-residence and in pluralities, episcopal as well as sacerdotal, were considerably diminished: the ordinary jurisdiction of metropolitans and of bishops was vindicated, with regard to the mendicant and monastic confraternities, and other bodies who had armed themselves with numerous privileges and exemptions; while a far higher standard of clerical education was generally established, and greater caution manifested in conferring holy orders. Convents were subjected to stricter regulations; the concubinage of clerics more vigilantly suppressed. Provincial synods,** held triennially, and diocesan synods every year, contributed to brace up the decaying discipline of the Church, to shame the indolent and luxurious ecclesiastics, to diminish scandals, to adjust disputes, and most of all to generate afresh the feeling of mutual confidence which had been grievously shaken by the agitations of the times.
*[See, for example, the confessions of the Consilium delectorum Cardinalium, etc. (1538), in Le Plat, Monument. II. 598. In reflecting on the utter unfitness of ecclesiastics in general, the authors of this document remark: “Hinc innumera scandala, hinc contemptus ordinis ecclesiastici, hinc Divini cultus veneratio non tantum diminuta, sed etiam prope jam extincta.” When such admissions were found inconvenient, the report of the Cardinals was thrust into the catalogue of prohibited books: see Mendham’s Literary Policy of the Church of Rome, pp. 48, 49.]
**[The following chapter is important and suggestive (Ibid. pp. 155, 156): “Provincialia concilia, sicubi omissa sunt, pro moderandis moribus, corrigendis excessibus, controversiis componendis, aliisque ex sacris canonibus permissis, renoventur. Quare metropolitani per se ipsos, seu, illis legitime impeditis, coepiscopus antiquior intra annum ad minus a fine praesentis concilii, et deinde quolibet saltem triennio post octavam Paschae Resurrectionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi, seu alio commodiori tempore pro more provinciae non praetermittat synodum in provincia sua cogere: quo episcopi omnes, et alii, qui de jure vel consuetudine interesse debent, exceptis iis, quibus cum imminenti periculo transfretandum esset, convenire omnino teneantur. Nec episcopi comprovinciales praetextu cujuslibet consuetudinis ad metropolitanam ecclesiam in posterum accedere inviti compellantur. ... Synodi quoque dioecesanae quotannis celebrentur: ad quas exempti etiam omnes, qui alias, cessante exemptione, interesse deberent, nec capitulis generalibus subduntur, accedere teneantur; ratione tamen parochialium aut aliarum saecularium ecclesiarum, etiam annexarum, debeant ii, qui illarum curam gerunt, quicumque illi sint, synodo interesse. Quod si in his tam metropolitani quam episcopi, et alii supradicti negligentes fuerint, poenas sacris canonibus sancitas incurrant”: cf. Middle Age, p. 342.]
But while the Mediaeval hierarchy was thus reformed and reconstructed under pontiffs who themselves more commonly reflected the earnest and decorous spirit of the age, the problem which attempted to harmonize their vast pretensions with the independent action of the civil power and the advance of individual freedom, was no nearer its solution. [See Middle Age, pp. 243–256, pp. 321 sq.] Long before the outbreak of Lutheranism, the common feeling in Germany was, that some analogy existed between the papal and imperial jurisdiction, the one embracing all the “holy Roman church,” the other all the “holy Roman empire.”* But when the French and English monarchs began to realize the growing vigour of their nations, and came forward to assert with greater boldness that each was in itself an empire owing no kind of deference, or allegiance, to the foreigner;** and when the pontiff, on the other hand, consulted his convenience by passing over, at the slightest provocation, from one party to another,*** and absolved the subjects of his enemy from their oaths of allegiance, men were driven to inquire more closely into the nature of the union between Church and State; and their inquiry often issued in the absolute rejection of the ultra-papal claims. We saw numerous instances of this in tracing out the general progress of the Reformation.
*[Ranke, Reform. I. 60, who shews that the papal power was commonly esteemed the higher, and that one main difference between them arose from a belief that the papal enjoyed already the universal recognition of the Romano-Germanic world, which the imperial had not been able to obtain (p. 58). After the commencement of the Reformation the inherent disparity of the two jurisdictions was strongly urged by the advocates of ultra-Romanism. Thus Mazolini (as already quoted) affirmed that temporal jurisdiction was a sub-delegation of the papal (“quae respectu papae est subdelegata subordinate”: cf. Ranke, Ibid. p. 471), and that the emperor with all laws and all Christian people, can effect nothing contrary to the will of the pope. Aleander, in like manner, who had been entrusted with the execution of the papal edict against Luther, hinted that the pope could depose the emperor, and could say to him “Du bist ein Gerber”. Ranke, Ibid. p. 478.]
**[Cf. the language of the English parliament, above. And that such ideas were not produced by the Lutheran movement is manifest from a letter of Tunstall to Henry VIII (Feb. 12, 1517), at the time when Maximilian proposed to resign the empire to the English monarch; “Oon of the cheffe points in the election off th’ emperor is that he which shal be electyd must be off Germanie subgiet to [the] empire: wheras your Grace is not, nor never sithen the Cristen faith the kings of England wer subgiet to th’ empire. But the crown of England is an empire off hitselff mych bettyr then now the empire of Rome: for which cause your Grace werith a close crown.” Original Letters, ed. Ellis, I. 136, Lond. 1826.]
***[Above. Zwingli had noticed this fact, and charged the pope with being at the bottom of all the wars between France and the emperor (Opp. I. 776, ed. Gualther): “Quum videt sibi imminere Caesarem, adhaeret Gallo: quum sentit Gallum sibi fore superiorem, deficit ad Caesarem: atque haec omnia agit sub titulo Christi et pacis.”]
In many cases, however, the ecclesiastics of separate countries suffered grievously from the operation of special concordats then established at their expense between the monarch and the pope: – a measure which directly tended to depress the clergy, just as, in former times, their exaltation sprang occasionally from the wish of sovereigns to use them in correcting the aggressive power of feudalism, and so to balance them against the lay-lords. In France, where the Pragmatic Sanction was superseded by the Concordat in 1516, [See Middle Age, p. 338.] the pope recovered the supreme ecclesiastical legislation and some portion of his old revenues: while the equivalent of the crown enabled Francis I to make gigantic strides in bumbling the French ecclesiastics, and threatened to reduce them into absolute subjection. His kingdom reckoned at that time ten archbishoprics, eighty-three bishoprics, five hundred and twenty-seven abbacies, to all of which the sovereign, by this new Concordat, won the almost unrestricted power of nomination.* And the same unscrupulous disregard of the domestic liberties of the Church, and the distribution of its revenues, will be found to characterize the papal policy in other countries during the first half of the sixteenth century. Adrian VI, for instance, went so far as to grant the dukes of Bavaria [Ranke, Ref. II. 174, 175.] one-fifth of all the revenues of the Church in their territories, and even sanctioned their exercise of some important branches of spiritual jurisdiction. In 1534, when Europe was beginning to cry out most loudly for some reformation of abuses, Clement VII is reported to have given in commendam to his cousin cardinal de’ Medici all the benefices of the whole world that might fall vacant during the next six months, with a permission to appropriate the fruits of them to his own use.** Charles V, in like manner, [Herbert’s Life of Henry VIII. p. 588, Lond. 1672.] when his coffers were exhausted, armed himself with papal licenses, in order that he might seize on some of the revenues of the Church; but left the work of spoliation to his son, Philip II.
*[Ranke, Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, I. 125, 126. To shew the utter thraldom of the French Church at this period, it is recorded that in the following reign the king’s mistress, the duchess of Valentinois, held in her own hands the distribution of all ecclesiastical benefices (Ibid. I. 230).]
**[Sarpi, I. 451: cf. Courayer’s note. Even if there be considerable exaggeration in this account, we have abundant evidence of the facility with which the popes either alienated church property themselves, or winked at the alienation of it by others. The suppression of monasteries in England was first made under papal sanction (above), and the lay-impropriators were confirmed in their possession of the church lands by a bull of Julius III. (above). In France as late as the pontificate of Pius V, he authorized spoliations, which brought a million and a half of livres to the treasury. Ranke, Popes, II. 66.]
At length, indeed, the pontiffs receded from the more extravagant positions, in virtue of which they justified their ancient intermeddling with the temporalities of foreign churches; but only to inflict still heavier blows upon the monarchs of all future ages. The Jesuits, who were straining every nerve to reinvest their patron with absolute supremacy in Christendom, determined to oppose the new reactions in favour of the royal power, by arguing that it stands on ground completely different from the papal. The latter, it was urged, is due to an original Divine appointment; while the secular authority is only derived from God by an indirect process, – through the medium of society.* The people were thus held to be the ultimate source of temporal jurisdiction, and the true depository of the right of government. In other words, the progress of democracy was stimulated under the very shadow of the papal monarchy, and by its boldest champions; in order that the civil power might be more readily subordinated to the spiritual, and the sovereign pontiff be enthroned at an immeasurable height above all other functionaries.
*[See the discussion of this subject in Balmez, Protestantism and Catholicity, c. li. (Engl. transl. pp. 254 sq.). The aim of Suarez and Bellarmine, according to this writer, was to shew that there was neither in Scripture nor tradition “the least foundation for establishing that civil power, like that of the sovereign pontiffs, has been instituted in a special and extraordinary manner” (p. 257). “At first sight,” he continues (p. 258), “their language appears exceedingly democratical, from their frequent use of the words community, state, society, people; but on examining closely their system of doctrine, and paying attention to the expressions they use, we perceive that they had no subversive design, and that anarchical theories never once entered their minds.” What they aimed at was “to protect society against the disorder of despotism, without rendering it at the same time refractory or turbulent.” His conclusion is not to be overlooked: “The independence of the Church is thus established upon a solid basis.”]
In all countries that threw off the Roman yoke, there was at first some vacillation and uncertainty respecting the minister of ordination, the court of ultimate appeal in spiritual matters, and the general constitution of the Church.* Whereas the former tendency had been to raise the hierarchy above the jurisdiction of the crown, the present by the natural vehemence of reaction was to render the secular principle itself predominant, and make the clergyman ascribe his status either to the pleasure of the sovereign, or the vote of parliaments and diets. Misgivings were accordingly expressed in some quarters lest a regal or imperial papacy should be substituted for the ancient thraldom, lest the banishment of Romanism should clear a way for the ascendancy of Byzantinism,** and lest the Church itself should be resolved into a function or department of the State.
*[“The notions of many of the Reformers in Britain, as well as on the Continent, at an early period of their progress, were extremely confused, owing to their having been so long accustomed to identify the validity of all spiritual function, in the clerical order, with the pretensions of the Roman see”: Russell, Church in Scotland, I. 165: cf. Geijer, Hist. of the Swedes, p. 125, and above.]
**[Cf. Middle Age, pp. 49, 50. The term “Byzantinism” is preferable to the modern “Erastianism,” – an appellation derived from the Graecized form of Lieber, the name of a Heidelberg physician, who was born in 1524. His main principle, which has been shared by very few even of those who do not differ widely from him on some other points, was that the source of all pastoral authority is the civil magistrate, who, whether Christian or not, possesses an inherent right to nominate and commission teachers of religion, and is under no necessity of admitting the least difference between priests and laymen. In “Byzantinism” on the contrary, the king was invested with almost spiritual functions, because he was a Christian, standing to the Church in the same relation as David, Hezekiah, or Josiah stood to the Theocracy of old (cf. Carte’s Life of Ormond, I. 39). It is remarkable that some modern zealots who have been most vigorous in their denunciation of “Erastianism” lose sight of this distinction, proceeding on a supposition that the civil power is essentially unspiritual, if not altogether anti-Christian, and thus unconsciously falling into the errors of the Mennonite and other Anabaptists: see above.]
The special circumstances under which the English Reformation started were likely to evolve and strengthen these Byzantine tendencies; and some examples have, in fact, been noticed of the way in which they left an impress on the proclamations of the sovereign and the statutes of the realm. In this country, however, as the old episcopal organization was preserved inviolate, the succession of ministers was also uninterrupted, and the spiritualty continued to form a separate estate. [See above.] Parker was felt to occupy substantially the same position as Warham, and hierarchical ideas were thus transmitted, with few modifications, from the Mediaeval to the Modern Church of England. The primates, in conjunction with their comprovincials, were still centers of ecclesiastical order. The old canon law, except in those particulars where it had been traversed by recent enactments, was and is the standard according to which proceedings in the church courts are regulated; and indeed the sole material change affecting the internal polity of the Church related to appeals from the metropolitan tribunals, which could no longer be carried out of the island to the Roman pontiff,* but must pass directly upwards to the king, who, by his delegates, had now the privilege of final adjudication. This peculiarity, although by no means unprecedented in the earlier history of the Church,** must have materially influenced the position of the English ecclesiastics, and their relation to the civil power. It was subversive of a state of things in which the clerks and priesthood generally had, more or less, been severed and exempted from the common laws of the realm, in which a foreign jurisdiction was allowed to overrule the sentence of the home tribunals, and various usages and maxims were tolerated “in derogation of the regality of our lord the king”.*** Yet where civil and ecclesiastical courts existed side by side, where secular and spiritual judges were both recognized, there is always a large class of mixed questions in which the two authorities touch, and interpenetrate in such a manner, that it is not easy to prevent them from usurping one upon the other. This was felt especially at the period of the Reformation, when the fresh resistance of English monarchs to the ultra-papal usurpations*4 involved, among its natural consequences, the depreciation of all branches of ecclesiastical power. The sovereign who repudiated the verdicts of the Roman see gave utterance to his vehement antagonism by assuming to himself the designation, “head of the Church”: [See above.] – a title, in the propriety of which, when somewhat modified, his subjects, both the spiritualty and temporalty, were finally induced to acquiesce. But the limits of this headship were not rigorously defined. The clergy, in particular, viewed it chiefly as a claim to the external government, or direction, of all orders both in Church and State. This qualification they secured by introducing the clause, “as far as the law of Christ allows,” into the form by which they recognized the king’s supremacy; and when Elizabeth ascended the throne, she was immediately induced to publish an Injunction explanatory of the sense in which men swore allegiance to the sovereign as the “supreme governor” of the Church of England.*5 She there claims no more than the authority, “which is, and was of ancient time, due to the imperial crown of this realm; that is, under God, to have the sovereignty and rule over all manner of persons born within these her realms, dominions, and countries, of what estate, either ecclesiastical or temporal, soever they be, so as no other foreign power shall, or ought to have, any superiority over them.” And one of the Articles of Religion*6 intended, in like manner, to satisfy “the minds of some slanderous folks,” declares that “we give not our princes the ministering either of God’s Word, or of the sacraments, ... but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly princes, in holy Scripture, by God Himself: that is, that they should rule all states and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.”
*[See above. In the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum (respecting which, see above) the following regulation was drawn up on the order of appeals: “Ab archidiaconis, decanis, et his, qui sunt infra pontificiam dignitatem et jurisdictionem ecclesiasticam habent, ad episcopum liceat appellare, ab episoopo ad archiepiscopum, ab archiepiscopo vero ad nostram majestatem. Quo cum fuerit causa devoluta, eam vel concilio provinciali definiri volumus, si gravis sit causa, vel a tribus quatuorve episcopis, a nobis ad id constituendis”: De Appellationibus, cap. XI.]
**[E.g. The Donatists, after having been heard by Melchiades, bishop of Rome, A.D. 313, and again by the council of Arles, A.D. 314, obtained a personal hearing, A.D. 316, from Constantine. Mr. Wilberforce, Principles of Church Authority, p. 174, 2nd ed., who draws attention to these facts, endeavours to avoid their force by urging that the emperor “only confirmed that which had been decided by the Church.” On the real principles involved in such appeals, see Bishop Gardiner, as above, p. 168, n. 2; p. 169, n. 2; and Van Espen’s treatise “De recursu ad Principem,” in his Jus Ecclesiasticum Universum, Tom. I. 1 sq. Venet. 1781.]
***[See Ross, Reciprocal Obligations of the Church and the Civil Power, pp. 135, 136, Oxf. 1848, and Middle Age, pp. 249, 250.]
*4[“Whatsoever power our laws did divest the pope of, they invested the king with it: but they never invested the king with any spiritual power or jurisdiction, witness the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, witness the public Articles of our Church, witness the professions of Ring James, witness all our statutes themselves, wherein all the parts of papal power are enumerated, which are taken away—his “encroachments,” his “usurpations,” his “oaths,” his “collations, provisions, pensions, tenths, first-fruits, reservations, palls, unions, commendams, exemptions, dispensations” of all kinds, “ confirmations, licences, faculties, suspensions, appeals,” and God knoweth how many pecuniary artifices more; but of them all there is not one that concerneth jurisdiction purely spiritual, or which is an essential right of the power of the keys; they are all branches of the external regiment of the Church, the greater part of them usurped from the crown,’ Atc. Bramhall, Schism Guarded, Part x. Disc. Iv. Works, n. 458, 459, Oxf. 1842. It should moreover be carefully borne in mind that the legislature in the first year of Elizabeth restored the Church of England not to the condition in which it stood at the death of Henry VIII., when the ecclesiastical power had been still further limited, but as he left it in the 25th year of his reign. A contemporary defence of the Church-system, as thus restored, is furnished in An Answeare made by Rob. [Horne] bishoppe of Wynchester to a Books entituied The Declaration of suche scruples and stales of conscience, touchinge the Othe of the Supremagy, as M. John Fekenham by wrytinge did deliuer unto the L. Bishop of Winchester, with his Resolutions made thereunto: Lond. 1566.]
*5[In the first of the Injunctions of 1559, she requires that “all deans, archdeacons, parsons, vicars, and all other ecclesiastical persons shall faithfully keep and observe, and as far as in them may lie, shall cause to be observed and kept of other, all and singular laws and statutes made for the restoring of the crown the ancient jurisdiction over the state ecclesiastical, and abolishing of all foreign power, repugnant to the same”: calling upon them at the same time to maintain “that the Queen’s power within her realms and dominions, is the highest power under God”: and in the accompanying Admonitions to simple men deceived by malicious (quoted in the text) she adds: “If any person that hath conceived any other sense of the form of the said Oath, shall accept the same Oath with this interpretation, sense, or meaning, her Majesty is well pleased to accept every such in that behalf, as her good and obedient subjects, and shall acquit them of all manner of penalties contained in the said Act, against such as shall peremptorily or obstinately take the same Oath.”]
*6[In Hooper’s series the article stood as follows: “The King’s majesty of England is to be taken and known as the only and supreme magistrate and power of the Church of England and Ireland”; and in the authorized article of the same period (1552) its form was: “The king of Englande is supreme head on earth, nexte vnder Christe, of the Churche of Englande and Irelande”: but as early as 1559 the Heads of Doctrine substituted “supremus Gubernator hujus regni,” etc. See Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, pp. 322, 398.]
In some particular branches, it is true, the powers now exercised by English monarchs threatened to exceed* those privileges which had been claimed by Christian princes and parliaments during the Middle Ages; but, in substance, nearly all the changes now enacted were restorations of the ancient laws and usage of the Church, and the legitimate consequence of protests which had scarcely ever died away in any part of Christendom. The placing of ecclesiastics had, for instance, been the immemorial right and privilege of the crown.** The nomination of the leading bishops [See Middle Age, p. 51 and n. 4.] by the court had also been virtually an act of royal patronage ever since the reign of Constantine; and after the pope began to lavish the bishoprics and other benefices of this country on “aliens,” the freedom of episcopal elections*** was still further violated by the English monarchs: while, in reference to the ultimate determination of church doctrine, there was no lack of precedents*4 in which it was devolved by sovereigns on committees of divines who had been called together by a royal writ.
*[See above. It is highly probable, however, that in acknowledging the crown as the ultimate source of episcopal authority (cf. Reformatio Legum, “De officio et jurisdictione,” p. 200, Oxf. 1850), the English prelates, reforming and non-reforming, had reference to matters not purely spiritual, but “those which the laws of the kingdom annexed to the episcopal office, viz. the civil institution of ecclesiastical courts, the privileges attached to the episcopal character as lords of parliament, the civil penalties which then followed excommunications, legal protection to their ordinations, and other episcopal acts.” Ross, as before, pp. 94, 95: cf. the statements respecting the nature and limits of the royal supremacy in the Necessary Doctrine, pp. 286–289, Oxf. 1825.]
**[Hence archbishop Chichely could speak to Henry V (March 6, 1427), of “the chirch of your lond, of the with God and ye, gracious lord, have maked me governor”: Duck’s Life of Chichele, p. 35, Lond. 1681. Archbishop Laud inculcates the same principle (Remains, II. ii. 68, Lond. 1700): “Our being bishops jure Divino takes nothing from the king’s right or power over us. For though our office be from God and Christ immediately, yet may we not exercise that power, either of order or jurisdiction, but as God has appointed us; that is, not in his Majesty’s or any Christian king’s kingdoms, but by and under the power of the king given us so to do.”]
***[At first, indeed, the papal interference was rejected by affirming the ancient right of election. The parliament of 25 Edw. III (1350) ordained “al honur de Dieu et profit de la dite eglise d’Engleterre, qe les franches elections des erceveschees, eveschees, et tutes autres dignites et benefices electifs en Engleterre se tiegnent desore en manere come eles feurent grantes par les progenitours nostre dit seignur le roi et par les auncestres dautres seignurs foundes” (Stephens, Eccl. Statutes, I. 62): but in the age immediately preceding the Reformation, the episcopal appointments were for the most part in the hands of the Crown (Middle Age, p. 341, and n. 5).]
*4[See above. So infrequent were appeals to Rome before the time of king Stephen, that Henry of Huntingdon makes the following statement (Hist. lib., VIII. p. 395, Francof. 1601): “Anno decimo sexto, Tedbaldus Cantuariensis archiepiscopus et apostolicae sedis legatus tenuit concilium generale apud Londoniam in media Quadragesima , nbi rex Stephanus et filius suus Eustachius et Angliae, proceres interfuerunt, totumque illud concilium novis appellationibus infrenduit. In Anglia namque appellationes in usu non erant, donec eas Henricus Wintoniensis, dum legatus esset, malo suo crudeliter intrusit. In eodem namque concilio ad Romani pontificis audientiam ter appellatus est.”]
In the election and confirmation of bishops, certain changes then effected in the statute law of England are worthy of especial notice. While canonical forms were seemingly retained with all their old precision, the appointment of the English prelates was in reality transferred entirely to the crown. On the occasion of a vacancy, it was enacted in 1533, that the king might grant [Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 20. § 4.] to deans and chapters of cathedral churches a license under the great seal, “as of old time hath been accustomed,” empowering them to proceed to an election in due form; yet, on the other hand, this congé d’eslire was uniformly accompanied by a letter missive* containing the name of the person whom alone they should elect; their only option being either to obey the king, or incur “the dangers, pains and penalties of the estatute of Provision and Praemunire.” [Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 20, § 7.] The fact of such election was then to be signified to the archbishop of the province by means of “letters patents,” requiring and commanding him to confirm** the choice that had been made, and to invest*** and consecrate the person so elected to his future office, and “to give and use to him all such benedictions, ceremonies, and other things requisite for the same, without any suing, procuring, and obtaining, any bulls, letters, or other things, from the see of Rome, for the same in any behalf.”
*[The language is of this kind: “We have been pleased, by these our letters patents, to name, and recommend him unto you, to be elected and chosen”: cf. Stephens, Ibid. p. 155, n. 4.]
**[Among the various instruments exhibited in the process of confirmation (Stephens, p. 157, n. 2), one is a “Citatio contra oppositores” by which the archbishop notifies the day of confirmation, and cites “omnes et singulos oppositores (si qui sint) in specie, alioquin in genere qui contra dictam electionem, formam ejusdem, personamve in hac parte electam, dicere, objicere, excipere, vel opponere voluerint”: proceeding as before on the hypothesis that the election was bona fide.]
***[Ibid. 5. The act of investiture had formerly been a fruitful source of revenue to the popes, who had received out of England “in the forty years last past, an hundred and sixty thousand pound sterling ... an incredible sum.” Twysden, Vindication, p. 112, Camb. 1847.]
On the accession of king Edward VI, a further change was made in reference to the same weighty matters. The appointment of bishops was, by act of parliament, confided absolutely to the crown,* upon a plea that the capitular elections “be in very deed no elections, but only by a writ of congé d’eslire, have colours, shadows, or pretenses of elections, serving, nevertheless, to no purpose, and seeming also derogatory and prejudicial to the king’s prerogative royal.” By this measure, the English usage was entirely assimilated to the German of the tenth century, and the French of the sixteenth; the higher patronage of the Church relapsing altogether by an overt act of the legislature to the hands of the civil power. This right of collation was, however, nominally relinquished in the reign of Mary,** and with reference to England, queen Elizabeth made no effort to revive and reestablish the enactment of her brother, so that the statute of 1533 continues to determine the practice of the English Church in the election of her bishops. [Cf. Carte, Hist. of England, III. 215, 216.]
*[Stat. 1 Edw. VI. c. 2. “It hath been supposed by some, that the principal intent of this act was, to make deans and chapters less necessary, and thereby to prepare the way for a dissolution of them.” Burn, in Stephens, as before, p. 294, n. 1.]
**[Stat. 1 Mar. Sess. II. c. 2. The whole of the act 26 Hen. VIII. c. 20, was also repealed by 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary, c. 8; but being expressly revived by 1 Eliz. c. 1, s. 7, it reestablished the method of election and confirmation, and indirectly repealed 1 Edw. VI. c. 2. In the case of Ireland, it is very remarkable that the Stat. 2 Elia. c. 4 [Ireland] reenacts for that country the English Stat. 1 Edw. VI. c. 2, thus abolishing the congé d’eslire, with the avowal, that to the crown “appertaineth the collation and gift of all archbishopricks and bishopricks and suffragan bishops within this her highness’ realm”: Stephens, I. 401.]
Another point on which the civil and ecclesiastical authorities had always been divided was the right of convening synods, and the operation of the laws and canons there enacted and promulged. In England it had long been customary for individual bishops to meet in synod with the clergy of their dioceses, and for archbishops to convoke provincial councils at their pleasure; while the king himself, could by writ direct the clergy of the two provinces to meet in their separate convocations, or summon the representatives of the spiritualty to parliament through the writs addressed to the several diocesans; the latter custom had however been long disused. [See above.] In 1533 important modifications were introduced into the system of the Church with reference to these questions. Diocesan synods, it is true, remained exactly on their ancient footing;* but it was declared that the “Convocations” of the Clergy “is, always hath been, and ought to be assembled only by the king’s writ”; that is, they were no longer permitted [Stat. 26 Hen. VIII. c. 19.] to meet and legislate until the metropolitan who summoned them was armed with a specific authority from the crown; while legal force was given to none of their constitutions, in foro exteriori, until a second, or confirmatory, license was obtained from the same quarter. Notwithstanding, it is manifest, from the whole course of procedure in the Reformation movement, that enactments of this kind were never intended** to supersede the councils of the Church, nor to transfer the right of judging, in religious controversies, to the secular tribunals. The object of that policy was to draw men’s thoughts completely from the see of Rome, to satisfy the monarch that the English clergy were more than “half his subjects,” and to establish the competency of domestic judicatures, in spiritual as in temporal matters.*** Accordingly, when the papal yoke was utterly broken off, with their own formal cooperation, there was no jealousy expressed with reference to the action of the church legislature, and no disposition to invoke the help of other than ecclesiastics in deciding questions of Christian doctrine. The first series of Articles [Above.] drawn up to establish unity, and to avoid contentious opinions, was submitted to the southern convocation, and also carried with it the formal sanction of the northern prelates. And when, in 1540, it was thought desirable to compile a book*4 containing the “principal articles and points of our faith, with the declaration of other expedient points, and also for the lawful rites and ceremonies and observations of God’s service within this realm,” the work was to be executed by “the archbishops and sundry bishops of both provinces, and also a great number of the best learned, honestest, and most virtuous sort of the doctors of divinity.” Directions for the purging and remodeling of the ancient service books [Above.] proceeded from the southern convocation, with the acquiescence of the crown. To this body the work was finally submitted for their approbation. [Above.] The Articles of Religion were, in like manner, authorized, and afterwards revised by them,*5 and therefore the document was entitled, “Articles, whereupon it was agreed by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy, in the convocation:” while at the very opening of the seventeenth century, the principle of synodal, action was reaffirmed in the most emphatic manner. The 139th of the canons of 1603, which form the standard of ecclesiastical law in dealing with all persons over whom the church courts exercise their ancient jurisdiction, determines, under a penalty of excommunication, that the sacred synod of this country, “in the name of Christ and by the king’s authority assembled, is the true Church of England by representation”; and the last canon strongly censures all “depravers of the synod” as then congregated. [See Homilies, &c. p. 684, Camb. 1850.]
*[The following is the recommendation of the Reformatio Legum (“De Ecclesia et Ministris ejus,” c. xix.) with reference to them: “Quilibet episcopus in sua dioecesi habeat synodum, in qua cum suis presbyteris, parochis, vicariis et clericis, de his agat rebus quae pro tempore vel constituenda sunt vel emendanda. Etenim aptissima profecto medicina synodus est ad castigandam negligentiam, et tollendos errores, qui subinde in ecclesiis per diabolum et malos homines disseminantur; fietque ut per hujusmodi synodos conjunctio et charitas inter episcopum et clerum augeatur et servetur.”]
**[One of the best proofs is in the Reformatio Legum, as before, c. xviii: “Si contigerit in Ecclesia gravem aliquando exoriri causam, quae sine multorum consilio episcoporum haud facile possit finiri, tum archiepiscopus, ad cujus provinciam ea causa, pertinet, suos episcopos ad provinciale concilium evocabit. ... Verum concilia haec provincialia sine nostra voluntate ao jussu nunquam convocentur.”]
***[The clearest proofs of this are furnished by the well-known preamble to Stat. 24 Hen. VIII. c. 12 (“For the restraint of Appeals”): cf. above. In the Necessary Doctrine (or King’s Book), the sovereign professes to act “with the advice of our clergy” (Formularies of Faith, Oxf. 1825, p. 215), “which doctrine also,” he adds (p. 216), “the lords both spiritual and temporal, with the nether house of our parliament, have both seen and like very well.” And in the Institution of a Christian Man (Ibid. pp. 107 sq.), where the subject of episcopal authority is discussed, one branch of the jurisdiction committed to ecclesiastics (priests and bishops), “by the authority of God’s law, is to make and ordain certain rules or canons concerning holy days, fasting days, the manner and ceremonies to be used in the ministration of the sacraments, the manner of singing the psalms and spiritual hymns (as St Paul calleth them), the diversity of degrees among the ministers, and the form and manner of their ornaments, and finally concerning such other rites, ceremonies and observances as do tend and conduce to the preservation of quietness and decent order, to be had and used among the people when they shall be assembled together in the temple”: p. 110. So long as the Church “was subject to infidel princes,” it is said that “constitutions and canons” were enacted by bishops and councils “with the consent of the people.” “Insomuch that kings and princes, after they had once received the faith of Christ, and were baptized, considering the same to tend to the furtherance of Christ’s religion, did not only approve the said canons, then made by the Church, but did also enact and make new laws of their own, concerning the good order of the Church, and furthermore did also constrain their subjects, by corporal pain and punishment, to observe the same” (Ibid. p. 113). And then follows a clear distinction between the powers and privileges granted to ecclesiastics by the civil ruler, and what is transmitted to them by “the authority of God and His Gospel.”]
*4[See Stat. 32 Hen. VIII. c. 26. Twysden, who draws attention to this act (Vindication, p. 138), and also to the language of Stat. 2 and 3 Edw. VI. c. 1, with reference to the Liturgy, concludes that “the King, in composing this book, did not assume to himself, or the parliament attribute unto him, any other than assembling of the bishops and other learned men together, to take their consultations.”]
*5[Above. To archbishop Parker the Church is indebted for the Forma sive descriptio Convocationis celebrandae, which still regulates the proceedings of the southern convocation. He has also left us some account of the clergy assembled in the “convocation societies” (Correspond. p. 173, ed. P. S.): “I see some of them to be poeni rimarum, hac atque illac effluunt, although indeed the Queen’s majesty may have good cause to be well contented with her choice of the most of them,” &c. He then adds, “though we have done amongst ourselves little in our own cause, yet I assure you our mutual conferences have taught us such experiences, that I trust we shall all be the better in governance for hereafter.” The letter is addressed to Cecil, and dated April 14, 1563.]
The practical working of the Church of England, though affected in no very sensible degree by other modifications, was severely crippled and retarded at the Reformation by the loss of her chief revenues. That the hierarchical element in the state had for some years been threatening to wax predominant,* and that a reduction of its influence might be found expedient and desirable, is suggested by the fact, that, during the reign of Henry VII, the spiritual members of the house of peers outnumbered the lay lords: while a very considerable proportion of the landed property had passed into the hands of ecclesiastics, or at least of them and of monastic establishments. When, therefore, the cupidity of an English monarch prompted him to spoil the latter by confiscating the possessions of religious houses,** the policy of the court not only satisfied the anti-papal spirit of the times, but tended to restore a somewhat juster balance in the general distribution of property. Henry, it is true, professed his willingness to give the Church a fair equivalent, by appropriating some at least of the monastic endowments to the founding of new bishoprics, [Above.] and so augmenting the proportion of the lords spiritual. This and other kindred projects were urged upon his notice by some of his “reforming” council: but the splendid scheme which had been devised was most inadequately carried out. A public benefit was sacrificed to his extravagance, or the aggrandizement of needy favourites who assisted in the work of spoliation.
*[“When the clergy in a kingdom are really (and not upon the feigned pretenses of sacrilegious persons) grown to that excessive grandeur, that they quite overbalance the laity, and leave the commonwealth neither sufficient men nor sufficient means to maintain itself; it is lawful by prudent laws to restrain their further growth, as our ancestors and all the nations of Europe have done, by prohibiting new foundations of religious houses, and the, alienation of lands to the Church, without special license. ... But eradication, to pluck up good institutions root and branch, is not reformation, which we profess, but destruction.” Bramhall, Just Vindication, Disc. II.: Works, I. 119, Oxf. 1842: cf. Twysden, Vindic. pp. 2–5, Camb. ed.]
**[Above. The present valuation of the property then alienated from the Church is little short of a million sterling (cf. Ross, as before, pp. 289, 290), while, as fifty thousand persons were connected with the monastic establishments, the vagrancy and beggary produced must have been enormous.]
It should not, however, be forgotten, that the enormities thus perpetrated by Henry VIII were, in a large degree, retributive. The monastic institutions of this country fattened on the property of clerics: they had frequently obtained permission either from the lords of the manor, from the crown, the bishops, or the court of Rome, to appropriate,* and attach to their own society, the tithes of the parochial benefices, on the understanding that they made themselves responsible for the due performance of all pastoral functions. For this purpose, one of their own body, or, more commonly, a secular priest (“vicarius”), was entrusted with the supervision of such parishes, receiving for his stipend only a fraction of the revenues, and too often manifesting a proportionate inattention to the poor as well as to the offices of worship. At the Reformation, all rectorial tithes which had been thus “appropriated” to religious houses (male and female also) were, under the name of “impropriations,” [See Kennett’s Case of Impropriations, and the augmentation of vicarages, &c. Lond., 1704.] entirely diverted from the parish, and bestowed upon the courtiers of Henry VIII, who treated them like other pieces of secular property. Yet, as alienations of the former class were by no means limited to England, so neither can the second be regarded as legitimate consequences of the English Reformation.
*[The theory, however, that the Norman Conquest was the occasion on which tithes were taken from the parochial Saxon clergy and given to the Norman monks (notes in Stephens on Stat. 15 Ric. II. c. 6; and 4 Hen. IV. c. 12) is quite untenable: for at that date tithes were not universally secured to the parochial clergy, nor was the custom of appropriation largely introduced before the reign of Stephen. See Johnson’s Canons, II. 41, 89, &c.]
In all those branches of the Church we have been just considering, it was commonly believed that the spiritual authority confided to ecclesiastics had originated in the Apostolic age, and been transmitted to them by Christ Himself through an unbroken series of ordainers. The pastors were thus held to be invested with a sacred character, which entitled them to special deference, and which made them independent of their flocks. But, on the continent, the modes of thought were often widely different. The ultimate power of calling and ordaining was there vested in the church collective, so that ministers became the organs and representatives of the whole body, acting in its name, as well as for its benefit. In other words, as all the faithful are true priests, the nomination of particular teachers is merely to avoid disorder, and implies in the minister no more than a conventional authority depending on the will of the congregation.
But this principle, avowed in most emphatic terms by Luther,* and by Zwingli also, at the outset of their labours,** was considerably modified in course of time, and as experience inculcated on its authors the necessity of curbing the extravagances of the individual spirit,*** and suggested that the faithful were not so taught of God as to be ripe for their ideal constitution. Hence, in Saxony itself, as early as the Visitation of 1527, measures were adopted for securing to the Lutheran body a compact and systematic organization of its own. In that country, and indeed all others, where the civil power was found propitious to the Reformation, a close alliance was cemented between it and the “new learning”:*4 Pastors were accordingly placed in all the parishes of Saxony; over each small group of these, a “superintendent”*5 was appointed, either on the election of his brother ministers, or by the nomination of the civil power: while judicial functions, and the privilege of general direction in church matters, were confided to a consistory,*6 which, in Wittenberg itself, was composed if eight members, two being professed theologians, and two doctors of law. The enactment of like measures, in other parts of northern Europe, gave the Lutheran polity those special characteristics in which it differs from the system afterwards organized by Calvin at Geneva.
*[Above: see also Luther’s Lehre von der Kirche, by Julius Köstlin, Stuttgart, 1853, where a chapter (§ 4) is devoted to the relation of the “universal priesthood” to the office of preaching. One of Luther’s special writings on the subject appeared in 1523, with the title De instituendis Ministris Ecclesiae (addressed to the senate of Prague, as a dissuasive against “papistical orders”): Opp. II. fol. 545 sq. Jenae, 1600. Luther there distinguishes clearly between the universal right to teach, and the universal exercise of the right: affirming that authority for that purpose is conveyed only to one class of Christians, “qui vice et nomine omnium, qui idem juris habent, exequatur officia ista publice, ne turpis sit confusio in populo Dei, et Babylon quaedam fiat in ecclesia, sed omnia secundum ordinem fiant” (fol. 553, a). In the same manner he frequently declared that some outward “call” is necessary to the assumption of public ministrations. That call of God, however, might be formally made either through the senior members of the church, through the secular, or the ecclesiastical authorities (see Köstlin, p. 74), but in every case it amounted only to the delegation of an individual possessing the very same inherent rights which are diffused in the whole community: cf. Möhler, Symbolik, II. 91 sq.]
**[E.g. in the Architeles (as above, p. 104, n. 3), he writes, “Non unius esse videtis aut alterius de Scripturae locis pronunciare, sed omnium qui Christo credunt.”]
***[There can be little doubt that many of the Anabaptists, as well as some preachers who excited the Peasants’ War, had been themselves stimulated by the theories of the continental Reformers respecting the nature of the ministerial office: above. The turning point in Luther’s own mind seems to have been his reappearance at Wittenberg in 1522. In the following year, when writing to the Bohemians (as above), he had matured his plans for the providing of ministers where episcopal ordination was impossible or undesirable: “Convocatis et convenientibus libere quorum corda Deus tetigerit, ut vobiscum idem sentiant et sapiant, procedatis in nomine Domini et eligite quem et quos volueritis, qui digni et idonei visi fuerint. Tum impositis super eos manibus illorum qui potiores inter vos fuerint, confirmetis et commendetis eos populo et ecclesiae seu universitati, sintque hoc ipso vestri episcopi, ministri seu pastores. Amen”: Opp. II. fol. 554 b. At Wittenberg, in May, 1525, the Lutherans determined to give ordination themselves, Melanchthon justifying this on the ground that the bishops neglected their duties: Ranke, Ref. II. 266.]
*4[“If,” says Ranke (Ibid. II. 488, 489), “these ideas, which we may describe as ecclesiastically democratic, afterwards triumphed in other countries, it was because the new church rose in opposition to the civil power; its real root and strength were in the lower classes of the people. But it was far otherwise in Germany. The new churches were founded under the protection, the immediate influence, of the reigning authorities, and its [? their] form was naturally determined by that circumstance.”]
*5[The regulations respecting superintendents were made as early as the Saxon visitation of 1527, and were chiefly meant to furnish an organization analogous to that which obtained under the episcopal system.]
*6[See Richter’s collection of Kirchenordnungen; his Gesch. der evangel. Kirchenverfassung in Deutschland, Leipzig, 1851, and Stahl’s Kirchenverfassung der Protestanten, Erlangen, 1840. These consistories were in fact reproductions of the old episcopal courts and synods. The earliest rose at Wittenberg itself in 1539, with limited powers, so as not to interfere with the Visitors who had been appointed to superintend the settlement of the Reformation in Saxony. According to one of Luther’s epistles (De Wette, V. 329) that oonsistory was to have reference “ad causas matrimoniales (quas hic ferre amplius nec volumus nec possumus) et ad rusticos cogendos in ordinem aliquem disciplinae et ad persolvendos reditus pastoribus,” &c. But the ultimate constitution of the body was definitively arranged in 1542 (see the regulations in Richter’s Kirchenord. I. 367 sq.), when it was entrusted with the guardianship of true doctrine, the arrangements of public worship, and the supervision of morals both of pastors and of congregations.]
Indeed, as soon as the first vehemence of the Saxon movement was expended, and the Wittenbergers had established their positions with regard to what they deemed the ultimate source of spiritual authority, they manifested less and less desire to raise the edifice of the Reformation on a purely democratic basis.* It was then at least conceded everywhere that some order of ministers was necessary to the being, growth and conservation of the Church, not only for the sake of concord and decorum, but to drive the “doctrine of the Scriptures into the hearts of men, that so present and future generations may be replenished with it.” [Ranke, Ref. II. 495.]
*[Thus while Melanchthon argues (in 1537) for the right of the laity to assist the presbyters in determining Christian doctrine, he limits the exercise of the right to those who are competent to form a judgment (“idoneos ad judicandum”); and then proceeds to state his views more fully: “Nec debet esse [i.e. ecclesia] __________, qua promiscue concedatur omnibus licentia vociferandi, et movendi dogmata, sed ___________ sit, in qua ordine hi, qui praesunt, episcopi et reges communicent consilia, et eligant homines ad judicandum idoneos. Ex his satis intelligi potest, cognitionem de doctrina pertinere ad Ecclesiam, i.e. ad presbyteros et principes: sad principes, re cognita et judicata, jam custodes esse externae disciplinae, et executores sententiae synodi.” Opp. ed. Bretschn. III. 468, 470. A few years later the right of congregations to elect their own pastors was practically denied, but they were still permitted to exercise a veto where the appointment of the patron was distasteful to them: Ibid. IV. 544.]
Nor can any of the Saxon leaders be convicted of uttering violent theories in reference to the temporalities of the Church. Luther uniformly and emphatically opposed the secularization of monastic property, [Ibid. II. 500; III. 519, 520: of. also Bucer’s Scripta Duo Adversaria, p. 253, Argentor. 1544.] on the ground that it had been originally dedicated to God for the support of public worship, and that piety forbade the alienation of it from that object. He pleaded also for the augmentation of poor benefices, by transferring to them a portion of the funds derived from richer parishes.
All modifications of this kind he was desirous of entrusting to the secular magistrate, one of whose duties, he declared, is the protection of the Church from every species of rapacity, as well as from erroneous teaching and superstitious practices. Yet, in return for such general patronage and protection, the Wittenbergers never dreamt of placing themselves under the absolute guidance and dictation of the civil power in spiritual matters. They drew the sharpest possible distinction* between the secular and ecclesiastical administrations, averred that the same person ought not to be at once a bishop and a prince, and even went so far as to maintain that one of the fundamental errors of the papacy was the amalgamation of temporal and spiritual offices. Still, the lack of ancient precedents in vindication of the orders and position of the Lutheran, pastors, and, most of all, those trying circumstances under which the great religious peace [Above. Hence arose the saying, “Cujus est regio, illius est religio.”] was ultimately confirmed at Augsburg in 1555, seriously facilitated the encroachments of princes** in the petty states of Germany; so that while, in some particulars, the civil magistrate did no more than regain his rightful jurisdiction,*** he in others not unfrequently usurped ecclesiastical powers and privileges that were originally confided to the church authorities, especially to the bishops.
*[Thus Luther writes to Melanchthon (July 21, 1530; De Wette., IV. 105): “Primum cum certum sit, duas istas administrationes esse distinctas et diversas, nempe ecclesiasticam et politicam, quas mire confudit et miscuit Satan per papatum; nobis hic acriter vigilandum est, nec committendum, ut denuo confundantur”: see the formal statement to which this letter has reference in the Confessio Augustana, Part II. Art. vii.
**[It is interesting to observe the way in which Melanchthon, as early as 1540, justified the nomination of pastors by the secular magistrate. He says that bishops were always called and elected in the primitive Church “per populum, i.e. honestissimos homines in singulis ordinibus”: and then adds: “Sic nunc vocantur ministri in nostris ecclesiis vel per principes, vel per senatum in rebuspublicis. Et est pia et junta vocatio. Princeps et Senatores dupliciter habent jus vocandi: primum quia praesunt, et vult Deus gubernatores curare ministerium Evangelii: deinde quia, sunt praecipua membra ecclesiae.”]
***[Gerhard (Loci Theologici, “De Ministerio Ecclesiastico,” § 112) maintained, however, in reference to this subject, that the assumption of episcopal rights had been in practice considerably moderated: “Tamen exercitium eorum ita temperant, ut quaedam capita ipsimet non adtingant, sed Ecclesiae ministris relinquant, utpote praedicationem Verbi et sacramentoram administrationem, potestatem clavium, examen eligendorum ministrorum, eorum ordinationem etc; quaedam per Consistoriales et Superintendentes peragunt, utpote ecclesiarum visitationem, causarum ecclesiasticarum, ad quas etiam matrimoniales spectant, dijudicationem etc.; quaedam sibi solis immediate reservent, utpote constitutionum ecclesiasticarum promulgationem, synodorum convocationem etc.; quaedam denique cum consensu Ecclesiae administrent, utpote electionem et vocationem ministrorum.”]
Both Melanchthon and Luther had foreseen this evil, as among the possible developments of the constitution they had given to the reformed community. They were conscious that a gap existed, yet had no power to fill it up. The former expressed himself with peculiar warmth on this subject* as early as 1530, and repeatedly signified his readiness to adopt [See above, and Seckendorf, Lib. III. p. 258.] an episcopal organization, nay, even to accept the papacy as a human institution, provided the members of the hierarchy would consent to a reform of the erroneous doctrines then prevailing in the Church. He felt** that institutions which came down with the sanction of the Fathers were established with a pious object, and having proved, in early times, most serviceable to the cause of Christianity, ought not to be abandoned, except for very urgent reasons. But beyond this point Melanchthon was unwilling to proceed: while others, in the second generation of Lutheranism, were inclined to reject episcopacy altogether, as synonymous with spiritual domination, and betrayed considerable impatience even of the consistorial authority.***
*[In writing to Camerarius, Aug. 31, 1530, at a time when the hostile Confessions approximated closely to each other (cf. above), he says: “Quanquam, ut ego quod sentio dicam, utinam, utinam possim non quidem dominationem confirmare, sed administrationem restituere episcoporum. Video enim, qualem simus habituri ecclesiam, dissoluta Ļ_______ ecclesiastica. Video postea multo intolerabiliorem futuram tyrannidem, quam antea unquam fuit”: Opp. II. 334. Luther often expressed himself to the same effect in the closing years of his life: e.g. “Satan pergit esse Satan. Sub papa miscuit Ecclesiam politiae; sub nostro tempore vult miscere politiam Ecclesiae” (De Wette, V. 596).]
**[“Hac de re in hoc conventu [i.e. at Augsburg] saepe testati sumus, nos summa voluntate cupere conservare politiam ecclesiasticam, et gradus in ecclesia factos etiam humana auctoritate. Scimus enim bono et utili consilio a Patribus ecclesiasticam disciplinam hoc modo, ut veteres canones describunt, constitutam esse. ... Porro hic iterum volumus testatum, nos libenter conservaturos esse ecclesiasticam et canonicam politiam, si modo episcopi desinant in nostras ecclesias saevire (“so die Bischöfe unser Lehre dulden und unsere Priester annehmen wollten”): Apologia Confess. Cap. VII. Art. XIV. § 23–§ 27. Writing to Camerarius (Sept. 4, 1530: Opp. II. 341), Melanchthon speaks again both for himself and Luther, and urges that they had no desire to abolish episcopacy: “Semper ita sensit ipse Lutherus, quem nulla de causa quidam, ut video, amant, nisi quia beneficio ejus sentiunt se episcopos excussisse, et adeptos libertatem minime utilem ad posteritatem. Qualis enim cedo futures est status ad posteros in ecclesiis, si omnes veteres mores sint aboliti, si nulli certi sint praesides?”]
***[Thus the Flacianists, or anti-Melanchthon party, complain in 1561 of various encroachments on the liberty of individual ministers and members. Flacius apprehends on the one side the establishment of an imperial papacy (“ein kaiserlich Papstthum”), and on the other denounces the assumptions of the consistories, who had begun to cripple the action even of the superintendents: “Praecipitatur religio et ecclesia in extremum periculum tyrannidis paucorum Consistorialium” (quoted in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 374, n. 30, ed. Bonn).]
The form, however, which the church constitution of Saxony presented on the appointment of superintendents had rendered it more capable of accommodation to the wants of countries where the bishops were not adverse to the Lutheran movement. Of this we saw examples in Brandenburg, and Prussia, in some parts of which episcopacy lingered until 1587. On the other hand, it was violently suppressed in Denmark as early as 1536, the king and his reforming council then, as it would seem, arriving at a strong conviction* that the words “bishops” and “presbyters” are interchangeable in Holy Scripture, and imply no more than preachers and ministers of the Word. Tausen accordingly began to ordain [Ibid. III. 263–265.] such ministers; and the government established at Wittenberg was eventually introduced with little or no opposition; the Danish superintendents, though nominally elected, being, in fact, appointed by the sovereign. [Ibid. III. 503.]
*[“Veri episcopi sive presbyteri, quae voces sunt prorsus synonymae, nihil aliud sunt quam concionatores et Verbi divini puri ministry”: see the Articles of 1530 in Münter, Kirchengesch. von Dänemark, III. 315, Leipzig, 1833.]
In Sweden, on the contrary, the old episcopal arrangements have been all perpetuated. The royal authority appears to have been exerted there as absolutely as in the neighbouring state of Denmark; [Geijer, Hist, of the Swedes, pp. 125 sq.] and Gustavus Vasa, while plundering churches on the one side, and repressing the more zealous of the Lutheran prelates on the other, threatened, in 1539, to constitute the Swedish Church entirely on the presbyterian model. He refused, at the same conjuncture, to designate the bishops according to their ancient titles. But the brief reaction that arose in favour of Mediaevalism, and shewed itself especially in the liturgic zeal of a succeeding monarch, reestablished for a while the ancient services, and aided in maintaining an episcopal succession that has still its center in the archbishop of Upsala. [See above, and the authorities there cited.]
But while Lutheranism in the north of Europe was proved to be compatible with ancient hierarchical ideas, it had been presented in a very different shape to one important district of Middle Germany. Philip, landgrave of Hessen, acting on the advice of Francis Lambert, a native of Avignon, convoked a synod at Homburg as early as 1526, in order that, as no more general settlement of the controversy could be obtained, he might determine the future constitution of the Church in his own principality. [Cf. above.] Starting from the ground that all genuine Christians are sharers in a common priesthood, and as such are authorized by the Word of God to sit in judgment on articles of faith, as well as on the public ritual, this meeting had proceeded to frame a system of belief and practice for itself on purely democratic principles. They retained the name of “bishops,” it is true, but only in the general sense of minister and overseer.* They voted that each congregation should in future elect, and also, if necessary, should depose [Ibid. p. 36, “quod ad eam spectet judicare de voce pastorum.”] its own “bishop,” because the privilege and duty of judging the “voice of pastors” appertained to the community. They invited all persons who were disquieted in conscience, to come and unburden their grief either to the “bishop,” or to any pious and discreet member of the congregation,** that from such they might obtain the comfort of God’s holy Word. The right of excommunicating and absolving*** they affirmed to be inherent in every saint, who has enrolled his name in the congregation, and submitted to its rules. They prohibited the study of canon law [Reform. Eccl. Hassiae, p. 43.] at the Hessian university of Marburg. They made provision for the founding of town and village schools, in which the Bible should be read twice every day. [Ibid. pp. 43, 44.] In each year it was determined that all congregations, represented by the “bishop” and lay deputies, should assemble in general synod, to hear complaints and to unravel difficulties: while three visitors were to be chosen at the same time who might perambulate the country, for the sake of ascertaining the condition of the Church, and transmitting a report to the next synod.*4 With regard to the qualifications of the ministers, it was ruled that any citizen of irreproachable life and competent learning might be selected without regard to his profession or employment. [“Cives pii et docti ac irreprehensibiles, cujuscunque artis sint, in episcopos eligi possunt.” Ref. Eccl. Hass. p. 38.] Thus, an extraordinary measure of self-government in the several congregations, a vigilant supervision of the whole body, and a rigorous code of discipline, were some of the more remarkable features in this novel constitution.
*[“Praemonemus autem, ne quis putet nos per episcopos alios intelligere quam ministros Verbi Dei: sic enim ab apostolis quorum doctrinam sequimur vocati sunt.” Reform. Eccl. Hassiae, p. 3, ed. Credner, Giessen, 1852.]
**[This confession was meant to precede communion: “si desolutae sunt eorum conscientiae, laudamus et consulimus, ut adeant episcopum, vel illius adjutorem, aut aliquem ex piis doctisque fratribus, confitentes peccatum suum, et audituri ab eis Verbum sanctum”: Ibid. p. 5.]
***[The administration of church discipline had presented great difficulties to the early Reformers, so that Luther in 1543 was favourable to the plan here adopted, viz. for the sentence to proceed from a vote of the congregation. Thus he writes to a friend in ducal Saxony (De Wette, V. 551): “Placet exemplum Hassiacae excommunicationis: si idem potueritis statuere, optime facietis. Sed Centauri et Harpyiae aulicae segre ferent.” Ultimately, however, the sentence of excommunication proceeded from the consistories.]
*4[See Ranke’s remarks, Ref. II. 487, 488, where he adds: “The ideas are the same on which the French, Scotch, and American (?) churches were afterwards founded, and indeed on which the existence and the development of North America may truly be said to rest.”]
The same ideas were more fully carried out in those communities who followed in the steps of Calvin, or were organized under his own immediate superintendence: the chief difference in their practical effects arising from the circumstance that, in Hessen, the civil power was always favourable to the Reformation, while in those countries, where the polity of the Church had followed purely Calvinistic or Genevan models, either the civil rulers and nobility had been utterly opposed to the religious agitation, or else the previous state of feeling had been adverse to monarchical forms of government. In the case of Zürich and the other German-speaking cantons of Switzerland, Zwingli’s aim was to engraft the institutions of his new Church on the preexisting republicanism.* He started from the ground, that sovereignty in spiritual as in temporal matters is vested in the civic authorities of each community (“gemeinde”), and that all which Holy Scripture teaches of the Church is predicable of small societies like it. From this community, as represented in the Grand Council, is derived the power to minister in sacred things; for Zwingli was soon driven by the rise of Anabaptism to insist upon the absolute necessity of some external call.** Like others of the Reforming party, he argued in favour of each congregation electing its own minister: yet, in order to restrain plebeian and fanatic spirits, he would have the chief management, or initiative of such elections, committed to persons of learning and experience; and the issue was that a veto only remained in the hands of the populace. Hence the church organization of Zürich, as regulated under the eye of Zwingli, was popular, without becoming absolutely democratic: it contained a blending of the old episcopal constitution,*** or, more strictly speaking, elements akin to those of the Lutheran consistory, while professing to derive all power from the concurrence of the people. The character and position of its framer would alone suggest the inference, that he acted uniformly in correspondence with the secular authorities: indeed, the Church and State of Zürich were, to his mind, nothing but two different aspects of the same institution.*4
*[See Lavater, De ritibus et institutis Eccl. Tigurinae, 1559, and Ranke, Ref. III. 79, 80. The second of these writers draws attention (p. 77) to the early intercourse which took place between Zwingli and Lambert, the founder of the Hessian polity.]
**[Opp. II. fol. 52 sq. ed. Gualther. On fol. 53 b he proceeds to the question respecting the appointment of ministers. The freedom of election, he says, was lost during the Middle Ages: “Quis enim ignorat omnium fere ecclesiarum et pastorum electionem penes episcopos illos mitratos et fastu turgidos?” Plebeian elections, however, seemed unadvisable, and he accordingly added (fol. 54 a): “Divinae ergo ordinationi et institutioni pristinae nihil perinde consentaneum videtur, quam si universa fidelis alicujus populi ecclesia simul cum doctis aliquot piisque episcopis vel aliis viris fidelibus et rerum peritis pastorem aliquem deligat?”]
***[See Ebrard’s eulogy of it in Das Dogma vom heil. Abendmahl, II. 63, note. Still it is indisputable that Zwingli had no wish to elevate the ministers above their flocks; for he always denied to the former the right of excommunication, assigning that prerogative to the civil magistrate, as the organ by which the wishes of the community were carried into effect. Accordingly the church at large was considered as ultimately the excommunicator. OEcolampadius endeavoured to establish a different principle at Basel when he proposed to vest the power of excommunication in the ministers, but was forced to abandon his scheme soon afterwards (see Herzog, Das Leben Joh. OEcolampads, II. 192 sq., Basel, 1843). At the close of his life, however, Zwingli had somewhat modified his ideas. He supposed, in 1530, that the civil magistracy might fail in its duties, and then the Church was at liberty to resume the right of excommunication: “Ob aber die Oberkeiten ihr Amt nit thun weltind, alsdann mögind die gmeinen Kilchen sich ihres Gwalts ouch gebruchen mit dem Bann, damit die Kilchen rein und ungeärgeret bliebe”: quoted in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 382, n. 42.]
*4[Thus, for example, he writes in his treatise De Eucharistia in 1525 (Ibid. p. 380, n. 39): “Ita enim factum est, ut quicquid Diacosii [the Grand Council of the canton] cum Verbi ministris ordinarent, jam dudum in animis fidelium ordinatum esset. Denique Senatum Discosiorum adivimus, ut Ecclesiae totius nomine, quod usus postularet, fieri juberent, quo tempestive omnia et cum decoro agerentur. ... Sic utimur Tiguri Diacosiorum Senatu, quae summa est potestas, Ecclesiae vice.”]
An opposite tendency, however, shewed itself ere long in that part of Switzerland where Calvin’s influence grew predominant. If fully and consistently carried out, his principles would have resulted in the establishment of a Theocracy, or would, at least, have elevated* the spiritual above the secular magistrate; for, while accepting the protection of the latter, Calvinism denied his right to intermeddle otherwise in the administration of church affairs. The novel institutions of Geneva were cradled in the midst of revolution: anarchy prevailed in every quarter of the new republic; and the relaxation of morals, especially in the chief town and its vicinity, had reached a fearful and flagitious height. It was under these circumstances** that Calvin entered on the work of Reformation. He laboured to produce in men a deeper reverence for religious acts and persons, to make them conscious of the mystic union that subsists among all true believers, and especially to invest the doctrine of the visible Church with new significance, on the ground that it is instituted, not as any mere conventional establishment, but for the training and maturing of human souls in faith and holiness.*** The government of this Church, the guardianship and definition of its doctrines, and the administration of corrective discipline, the Genevese reformer placed entirely in the hands of ministers, associated with certain lay elders,*4 who were chosen to represent the various congregations. For them he claimed both legislative and judicial functions, on the ground that such functions had been exercised by the Church in primitive and apostolic times. The ministers in Calvin’s system were nominally elected by the people,*5 and ordained by the presbytery.*6 They were all of equal rank and jurisdiction, such equality being, as he contended, in strict accordance with the verdict of Holy Scripture, in which the officers of the Church, whom Christ designed to be perpetual,*7 are all represented as occupying the same level, and invested with the same authority. The judgment of an assemblage of these pastors, or church synod, was esteemed so highly,*8 that regular synodic action was of the very essence of the Calvinistic system. It was determined,*9 that the first judicatory should consist of twelve lay elders and six ministers, Calvin himself contriving always to occupy the presidential chair. To this body, known as the Consistory, was entrusted the direction of religious and moral life in the whole community, together with the right of excommunication. Its proceedings, based on theocratic notions, most of which had been derived from the Old Testament, were uniformly characterized by great severity;*10 for Calvin, who was virtually the head and spirit of the whole system, determined, above all things, to restore the ancient discipline of the Church, and in particular to exclude notorious sinners from that service which he held to be the crowning act of evangelic worship, – the reception of the Eucharist.
*[The spirit of Calvinism in this single particular resembles that of Romanism, while the Lutheran, Zwinglian, and, to some extent, the Anglican polities, all savour of Byzantinism. In his Institutio, lib. IV. c. 11, § 4, Calvin writes as follows: “Non magistratus, si pius est, eximere se volet communi filiorum Dei subjectione, cujus non postrema pars est, Ecclesiae ex Verbo Dei judicanti se subjicere: tantum abest ut judicium illud tollere debeat. ... Imperator bonus intra Ecclesiam, non supra Ecclesiam est.” In the previous section he draws the sharpest distinction between ecclesiastical and civil power, but insists on the importance of their harmonious cooperation: “Sic conjunctae debent esse operae, ut altera sit adjumento alteri, non impedimento.” The Genevan reformers were thus the deadly enemies of Erastianism (see above): and indeed one of the first assailants of Erastus himself, was Calvin’s colleague and successor, Theodore Beza, whose tract De vera excommunicatione et Christiano Presbyterio appeared in 1590.]
**[See Hooker’s narrative, prefixed to the Ecclesiastical Polity: “The reason,” he says, “which moved Calvin herein to be so earnest, was, as Beza himself testifieth, ‘For that he saw how needful these bridles were, to put in the jaws of that city’” (I. 138, ed. Keble).]
***[Although Möhler thinks the Genevese reformers “inexhaustible in their own self-contradiction,” he does Calvin justice in this particular (I. 126, 127).]
*4[“Duo autem sunt [i.e. of church offices] quae perpetno manent, gubernatio et cura pauperum. Gubernatores fuisse existimo seniores ex plebe delectos, qui censurae morum et exercendae disciplinae una cum episcopis praessent.” Instit. lib. IV. c. 3, § 8. The care of the poor was entrusted to deacons (Ibid. § 9), who thus became permanent church officers.”]
*5[After insisting on the requisite conditions in those who are to be either “episcopi,” deacons, or lay elders, he adds (Ibid. § 15): “Habemus ergo, esse hanc ex Verbo Dei legitimam ministri vocationem, ubi ex populi consensu et approbatione creantur qui visi fuerint idonei. Praeesse autem electioni debere alios pastores, ne quid vel per levitatem, vel per mala studia, vel per tumultum a multitudine peccetur.” The practical result, however, was, that pastors were elected by their colleagues, the people retaining a veto: while the secular authority was allowed to interpose in their confirmation, and also deputed two of four commissioners, who inspected them and their proceedings every year.]
*6[Ordination was so important in Calvin’s view as to become quasi-sacramental: “Sacramenta duo instituta, quibus nunc Christiana Ecclesia utitur. Loquor autem de iis, quae in usum totius ecelesiae sunt instituta. Nam impositionem manuum, qua ecclesiae ministri in snum munus initiantur, ut non invitus patior vocari sacramentum, ita inter ordinaria sacramenta non numero.” Ibid. lib. IV. c. 14, § 20.]
*7[See his distinctions, Instit. lib. IV. c. 3, § 1. In § 8 he adds significantly: “Caeterum quod episcopos et presbyteros et pastores et ministros promiscue vocavi, qui Ecclesias regunt, id feci ex Scripturae usu, quae vocabula ista confundit: quicunque enim Verbi ministerio funguntur, iis titulum episcoporum tribuit.”]
*8[“Nos certe libenter concedimus, si quo de dogmate incidat disceptatio, nullum esse nec melius nec certius remedium, quam si verorum episcoporum synodus conveniat, ubi controversum dogma excutiatur.” Ibid. lib. IV. c. 9, § 13.]
*9[See the Ordonnances ecclésiastiques de l’église de GenŹre (published in 1541) in Richter’s Kirchen-ordnungen, as before, I. 342 sq.]
*10[See for example, Dyer’s Life of Calvin, pp. 144 sq. Ranke (Civil Wars, &c. in France, I. 217, 218) gives the following summary: “The strongest fetters of discipline were laid upon outward conduct; the expenses of clothing and of the table were confined within certain limits; dancing was prohibited, and the reading of certain books, such as Amadis, forbidden; gamblers were seen in the pillory with the cards in their hands. Once a year an examination took place in every house, to ascertain whether the religious precepts were known and observed; mutual imputations of failings, which the members of the council observed in one another, were permitted at their sittings. No indulgence was known for transgression: a woman was burnt for having sung immodest songs; one of the most distinguished of the citizens was compelled to kneel in the great square, with an inverted torch in his hand, and publicly to entreat forgiveness, because he had mocked the doctrine of salvation, and personally insulted the great preacher. In accordance with a requisition of an assembly of the people, adultery was made punishable with death: and the man who suffered for it, praised God, in dying, for the strict laws of his native city.”]
The unrelenting sternness of his administration led, as we have seen, to his temporary banishment; and, on his return, he had to struggle with a multitude of “Libertines,” who were continually goaded and embarrassed by the heavy yoke which he imposed. One section of them attempted to carry an appeal from the decisions of the Consistory to the council of Two Hundred, in which the temporal supremacy was lodged. But Calvin had sufficient influence to repress these outbreaks of rebellion. He contended that, in spiritual things, the Council was itself amenable to the Word of Christ, and that His Word was most authoritatively interpreted by members of the consistorial synod. [Ranke, as above, pp. 220, 221.] The ascendancy obtained by this dictation, which is illustrated in the civil code he was commissioned to draw up, had armed the government of the Genevese reformer with corporal penalties: and many were the victims crushed or silenced by his terrible tribunals.
The limited area of the territory, where Calvin’s power was thus supreme, had checked the full development of his principles in reference to the constitution of the Church. In addition to the consistory, it is true, there was established at Geneva another body, called the “Venerable Company,” with jurisdiction embracing contiguous congregations, and so extending farther than that of single consistories: but it was left for other states, in which the discipline of Calvin was received, to carry out the organization by framing the higher class of judicatories, known as the provincial and the national synods. These existed in the Netherlands, in France, and finally in Scotland. The ecclesiastical government* of the last had been uncertain and precarious till the Second Book of Discipline obtained the parliamentary ratification in 1592. At the outbreak of the Reformation prelacy was furiously subverted; but the tendency of thought seemed in the direction of a Lutheran rather than a Calvinistic polity. Superintendents** began to be nominated as early as 1561, their field of action being coextensive with the ancient Scottish diocese; and in connection with “ministers” and “readers” who were now subordinated to them, the chief local direction of ecclesiastical affairs was confided to their hands. The English Bishops also were esteemed their brethren,*** notwithstanding the obnoxious titles which they bore. At length, however, the preeminence awarded to the superintendents grew intolerable in the eyes of the more zealous members of the Kirk. An agitation was set on foot by Andrew Melville, after his return from the continent (1574), in order to assimilate the Scottish polity in all its parts to that which Beza, after Calvin, administered at Geneva. Its fundamental characteristic was, that no distinctions, in the rank of pastors, are authorized by Holy Scripture, and therefore that prelacy, or the superiority of any office in the Church above presbyters, ought to be denounced as unholy, and resisted as tyrannical. The manifesto, which gives utterance to these principles, is the Second Book of Discipline. Yet the way to such conclusions was already opened by the earliest ordinances of the Scottish reformation. The ultimate church authority then established was the General Assembly, [See Book of the Universal Kirk of Scotland, ed. Bannatyne Club, 1839–1845.] or, in Calvinistic phraseology, the National Synod, in which all the ministerial representatives were of equal authority: the superintendent, or, as he was styled in 1572, the “bishop,”*4 having no official preeminence above the simple presbyter. Hence the shadow of episcopacy that survived till 1592 derived its mission, orders, and jurisdiction altogether from a presbyterian source: and hence the new arrangements made at that epoch were no more than the legitimate consequence of principles inherent in the creed of Knox and his Genevan associates.
*[See, in addition to the authorities quoted above, Bp. Sage’s Fundamental Charter of Presbytery, Lond. 1695 (reprinted by the Spottiswoode Society).]
**[That quasi-episcopal powers were granted to these officers is obvious from the First Book of Discipline, as above. They were not only to preach themselves thrice a week at least, but to provide ministers, or, in any case, readers for all the congregations. They were to try the life of ministers as well as of the people, and redress the various grievances that came under their notice. This preeminence of jurisdiction Knox and others meant to be perpetuated, as Dr. Cook, the author of the Hist. of the Reformation in Scotland (Edin. 1811), himself allows: II. 417.]
***[See the letter addressed, in 1566, by “the superintendents, ministers and commissioners of the Church within the realm of Scotland,” (in Knox’s Works, II. 545, ed. Laing), where, as Russell (Hist. of the Church in Scotland, I. 250, Lond. 1834) pointed out, the true reading is that now given, and not the superintendents with other ministers,” &c.]
*4[At this epoch there was some prospect of restoring a modified episcopacy (see Sage, as above, pp. 185 sq.). Two of the resolutions passed in the convention at Leith are as follow: “That ministers should receive ordination from the bishop of the diocese, and where no bishop was as yet placed, from the superintendent of the bounds: That the bishops and superintendents, at the ordination of ministers, should exact of them an oath for acknowledging his Majesty’s authority, and for obedience to their ordinary in all things.” Still it must be granted, that one moving cause of this new arrangement was a desire to adopt titles known to the constitution of the country, in order that the transfer and inheritance of the church estates might be simplified. A solemn declaration was made at the same time, reassuring the people that a return to the ancient style of archbishops, bishops, deans, chapters, and the like, did not imply the least countenance of popery or superstition; and that the articles agreed upon were merely of the nature of an Interim, “until farther and more perfect order be obtained at the hands of the king’s Majesty’s regent and nobility”: Ibid. p. 204. To the Presbyterian party this Interim ended in 1592: to the Episcopalian in 1612.]
The Scottish Kirk, in common with all those who drew their teaching from Geneva, shewed a like impatience of state patronage and secular intermeddling;* while ecclesiastical censures were as loudly fulminated, and the sword of excommunication in constant use.
*[The following specimen (quoted in Russell, II. 55, 56) is taken from a remonstrance of Andrew Melville, addressed to king James in 1596: “We must discharge our duty, or else be enemies to Christ and you. Therefore, Sir, as diverse times before, so now I must tell you, that there are two kings and two kingdoms. There is Christ and His Kingdom, the Kirk, whose subject king James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a head, nor a lord, but a member: and they whom Christ hath called and commanded to watch over His Kirk, and govern His spiritual kingdom, have sufficient authority and power from Him so to do; which no Christian king should control nor discharge, but fortify and assist; otherwise they are not faithful subjects to Christ. Sir, when you were in your swaddling clouts, Christ reigned freely in this land, in spite of all His enemies. His officers and ministers convened and assembled for ruling of His Kirk, which was ever for your welfare also, when the same enemies were seeking your destruction; and have been by their assemblies and meetings since terrible to these enemies, and most steedable [helpful] for you. Will you now, when there is more than necessity, challenge Christ’s servants, your best and most faithful subjects, for their convening, and for the care they have of their duty to Christ and you, when you should rather commend and countenance them, as the godly kings and emperors did? The wisdom of your Council, which is devilish and pernicious, is this, that you may be served by all sorts of men, to come to your purpose and grandeur, Jew and Gentile, Papist and Protestant.”
It is curious to observe that the English Puritans held the same doctrine. Cartwright declares, in his Reply to Dr. Whitgift’s Answer (pp. 180, 181), that the civil magistrates “must remember to submit themselves unto the churche ... to throw donue their crownes before the churche, yea, as the prophet speaketh, to licke the dust of the feete of the churche.”]