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bunal, on whose decisions depend all momentous circumstances of public concern, and
preme authority in all religious services, and must they by embracing christianity, deprive themselves of this right? Is there any law in the christian code, which forbids kings and rulers of the earth to have a sovereign and supreme power in making laws, civil or ecclesiastical? That which as kings they might do in matters of religion, and did do, in matters of false religion, being idolatrous and superstitious kings, they are undoubtedly authorized to do, in all affairs relative to the state of true religion, when kings are become its nursiog fathers, and queens its nursing mothers.
Among sundry prerogatives of Simon's dominion over the Jews, it was not reckoned the least," that no man could collect any great assembly in the land, without him, whether the cause for which men assembled themselves in a peaceable and orderly manner, were ecclesiastical or civil, supreme authority assembled them.” David gathered all Israel unto Jerusalem; when the ark was to be removed, he assembled the sons of Aaron and the Levites. Solomon did the same at the dedication of the temple, Asa, when the church was to be reforined.
The ancient imperial law forbids all assemblies not convened by the emperor's authority. Before emperors became christians, the church never had a general synod. The meetings of the faithful consisted of bishops and religious men, in each province. Constantine was the first who called a general council ; his successors followed his example, which was a precedent for future ages,
under whose protection Britons have placed all their rights, with an unlimited confidence.
so that when St. Hierom wished to disprove the authority of a synod, pretended to be general, he uses this forcible argument-Dic quis imperator hanc synodum, jusserit convocari. Tell me what emperor ordered this synod to be called.
In the reformed church of the uuited kingdoms, which holds the doctrines of christianity, in all their primitive purity, the king as supreme magistrate, sees that the laws of God concerning his worship, and all matters and ordinances of the church, are executed and duly observed. The axioms of regal government are defined, by the very solemnities and rights of inauguration. The crown is a sign of military dominion-the throne of judicial, the oil of religious and sacred power, and upon no principle, civil or divine, can any pope interfere with the king's authority, under colour or pretence of introducing a system of faith, contrary to that established by law.
M. Blakewell, in the letter to the Roman catholics of England, annexed to his large examination at Lambeth, page 157, says, that the keys ecclesiastical, do no way extend themselves by God's law unto kingdoms terrene, to open or shut, to toss or turmoil any of them, they have no wards in them, to turn or overturn kingdoms, or to open any lawsul entrance, into such disobedient and doubtful courses.
To shew the sentiments of the ancient fathers, upon this important subject, I have selected the following quotations :
The holy oil was the cause of Saul's immunity,
It is the promoter of their interests in the time of prosperity, and the defender of their
from all human coercion, as Augustine affirms, "Quero si non habebat Saul sacramenti sanctitatem, quid in eo David venerabatur." If Saul had not the holiness of the sacrament, I ask what it was that David reverenced in him? he honoured Saul for the sacred and holy unction while he lived, and revenged his death; yea he was troubled, and trembled at the heart, because he had cut off a part of Saul's garment. Our countryman Bede, for his great learning called venerable, is of the same mind, David, saith he, spared Saul, who had persecuted him most maliciously, first, because he was his lord, anointed with holy oil, and secondly, to instruct us by moral precepts, that we ought not to strike our governors, (though they unjustly oppress us) with the sword of our lips, nor presume slanderously to tear the hem of their superfluous actions.
At your inquisition we profess ourselves to be christians, though we know death to be the guerdon of our profession, did we expect an earthly kingdom, we should deny our religion, that in escaping death, we might in time attain our expectation.
But we fear not persecution, who have not our hopes fixed on things of this life, because we are certainly persuaded that we must die. As for the preservation of public peace, we christians yield to you, (O emperor) more help and assistance
other men, for we teach that no evil doer, no covetous man, nor seditious, that lieth in wait for blood, can have access to God, and that every man doth pass
liberties in the hour of peril: and if peace and liberty of conscience will not satisfy the
io life or death, according to the merit of his deeds. Justyn Martyr to Antonius.
“We are defamed for sedition against the imperial majesty, yet were the christians never found to be Albipians, Nigrians, or Cassians, (Albinus Niger, and Cassius, were traitors against the emperors Marcus, Antonius, Commodus, Pertinax, and Severus,) but they that swore by the emperor's deity, the very day before ; they that vowed and offered sacrifice for the emperor's health, were found to be the emperor's enemies. A christian is an enemy to no man, much less to the emperor, knowing that the imperial majesty is ordained of God, and therefore necessarily to be loved, reverenced, and honoured, whose prosperity, together with the wel. fare of all the Roman empire, they desire so long as the world standeth. We therefore honour the emperor in such sort as is lawful for us, and expedient for him, we reverence him as a mortal man, next unto God, of whom he holdeth all his authority, only subject to God, and so we make him sovereign over all, in that we make him subject to God alone.” Tertullian to Scapula, viceroy of Carthage.
When Ambrose was commanded to deliver up his church in Myllaine, to Maxentius, an Arian bishop, he declared his resolution in a sermon to the people, who were very sorry for his departure, in these words :-"quid turbamini, volens nunquam vos deseram ?” Why are you troubled, I will never willingly leave you, if I be compelled, I have no way to resist, I can sorrow, I can weep, I
catholics without power and authority in the state, it ought to be no offence to them to
can sigh, my tears are my weapons against soldiers' armour. Goths, such is the munition of a priest, by any other means than tears, I neither ought nor can resist. Not disability but duty, not want of strength, and martial forces, but a reverend regard of the emperor's majesty, commanded by the law of God, kept Saint Ambrose from resisting, for he might easily have wrought the churches liberty, his own safety, and the Arians calamity, by the overthrow of the emperor through the force of the garison in the city, who refused to attend the prince to any other church than that wherein Ambrose
The bishops of Spain assembled in a national council at Toledo, made this decree against perjury and treason-Whosoever amongst us shall, from this time forward, violate the oath which he hath taken, for the safeguard of this country, the state of the Gothick nation, and the preservation of the king's majesty; whosoever shall attempt the king's death, or deposition, whosoever shall by tyrannical presumption, aspire to the regal throne, let him be accursed before the Holy Spirit, before the blessed saints, let him be cast out of the catholic church, which he hath polluted by perjury, let him have no communion with christian men, nor portion with the just, but let him be condemned with the devil and his angels, eternally together, with his accomplices, that they may be tied in the bond of damnation, who were joined in the society of sedition.
When Boniface took upon him the decision of a con