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too frequently actuates mankind, they evidently attempted to gratify the dreadful ambition of king Henry, without making an express renunciation of any article of their own religious belief. For if the quære proposed by the king related only to any right, power, authority, or jurisdiction, the exercise of which could produce a civil effect in this country, it is evident, that as such civil effect could not have been produced without the affent or permission of this community, so the right to any power, that could produce it, could neither exist in the bishop of Rome, nor in any other bishop of christendom, independently of the community, which was to submit to the civil effects of that power or jurisdiction.
If therefore these divines, under a reserva. tion or salyo to their coniciences, expressed their opinion only of the supremacy or head, Thip of the civil establishment of religion in this country, it cannot be said, that their answer deviated from any principle of the faith and doctrine, which they then professed; but they were called upon in candor fo clearly to express the difference betwixt the real fpiritual jurisdiction of the church, and the jurisdiction and authority of the civil establishment of religion in this country, ..
most acts relat
that the exposition of the real state of the question to the nation would completely do. away the insidious and captious purport of the question put by the king. For it cannot Thereason why be denied, that as for nearly a thousand ing to the fu
premacy miso years the headthip or supremacy of the civil represented. establishment of religion in this country had been vested by the act of the nation principally in the bishop of Rome, in whom they also admitted the real spiritual supremacy of their church to subsist, it was not easy for the community at large to distinguish between these two capacities in the same perfon; and thus I account for the purport and tendency of all the acts of parliament upon this subject being, particularly in those times of heat and animosity, misconceived and misrepresented.
That the civil establishment of religion is A civil eftabmerely accessary to the religion itself, will elfential to relinot, I presume, be denied; for were it essen- gion. tial to a religion, that religion could no where exist, where a civil establihment was wanting. This is emphatically exemplified in Exenplified by our own country at this hour; for the Roman Roman Cathocatholic religion, which the divines, of whose opinion I am now speaking professed, is still feat. also professed and kept up by some indivi. duals in this country, without the counte- · U4 .
the state of the
this country at pre
nance or support of any civil 'fanction or establishment whatever. And if the present Roman catholics of England should pretend, that the religion, which they now profess, differs in any one essential point from that religion, which their ancestors professed whilst the Roman Catholic religion was countenanced and established by the law of this country, they will immediately give up their distinctive characteristic, and boasted glory of unity, universality, and irreformability. At this day they submit, as they formerly did, to the spiritual supremacy of the bishop of Rome; but they cannot admit him to be the supreme head of the civil establishment of religion in this country, because their religion has neither civil sanction nor establishment in it. They submit to the spiritual power and jurisdiction of their own bishops, who are not now recognized by the state, as fully as they did, when they were in possession of the temporalities, and other civil advantages of English bilhopricks. They receive their facrament of matrimony from their own priests as fully at present, as they, formerly did, though no civil effect be produced by the administration of it. In a word, their bishops and priests are now endowed with the same spiritual powers of preaching, teach
ing, and administering the word of God to their flocks, as they formerly were, when the constitution acknowledged them as a distinct part of the community, and invested them with political and other civil capacities and advantages. . In virtue of this spiritual headship or fu- The rights of
the king, as suc premacy of the king over the civil estab- preme head of
the civil estab, lishment of religion, which the constitution lishment of the
church of Engnow gives him, he has authority * “to con- land. vene, prorogue, restrain, regulate, and dissolve all ecclefiaftical fynods or conventions ; he has the right of nomination to vacant bishopricks, and certain other ecclesiastical preferments, and is the dernier resort in all ecclesiastical causes, an appeal lying ultimately to him in chancery from the sentence of every ecclesiastical judge.” It may be urged, that if the king be whether the
power of apenabled to appoint to vacant bishopricks, pointing argue he must necessarily be legally authorized and impowered to confer a spiritual power or divine mission; for the spiritual power of a Christian bishop can only be limited in its extent of jurisdiction by a power, that can controul him in his fpiritual capacity ; but if the king can controul or limit the spiritual
a divine mission,
jurisdiction of a bishop, the bishop is fubject to the king in his real spiritual character ; and therefore by the constitution of our laws, the king is more than merely the supreme head of the civil establishment of religion. In answer to this it may be said, that the king's appointment to a bishoprick operates in a similar manner, as does the presentation of a lay patron to a living ; the clerk appointed cannot acquire any cure of fouls or spiritual charge, if he be not properly ordained; and his jurisdiction no more exceeds the limits of his parish, than that of a bishop does those of his diocese ; yet from the alliance between church and state, where there is a civil establishınent of religion, the civil and the spiritual power fo far accom
modate themselves to each other, as to Original diftris avoid any confusion from their respective
jurisdictions; and this has been always attended to in all Christian countries, where the Christian religion had acquired a civil establishment, as it is clearly and constitutionally explained in a book published in the year 1701, commonly attributed to bishop Fleetwood.
*“ The apostle's commission reaching to
bution of dioceres.
• Account of Church Government and Governors, p. 39. & feq.