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Rome. In earlier days, while there is ample evidence of the importance of the Church, and of the growing influence of the bishop, it is only moral influence, and not legal right of jurisdiction, that can be found. Into the history of the extension of the legal jurisdiction, and the growth of the temporal power (resting largely on forgeries "), there is no necessity to enter here. In what has been already said it has been sufficiently indicated how there is a complete lack of evidence in the early centuries for the claims subsequently made, and how the power was a matter of gradual growth. The barest outline of the argument has been all that space permitted. Details must be sought in the able works referred to in the text and the footnotes.

III. The Lawfulness of Capital Punishment. The laws of the realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

This subject admits of the briefest treatment. No question can be raised as to the lawfulness of capital punishment under the Old Covenant. Not only was it expressly commanded in various cases under the Mosaic law: but even before the law was given, it was laid down by Divine command that “whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen. ix. 6). The New Testament nowhere contains an express reversal of this rule. Consequently it can scarcely be maintained that capital punishment is forbidden by the law of God: and no more than this is required. All that the Article asserts is that “the laws of the realm may punish Christian men with

1 On the “ false decretals” and the “donation of Constantine," see The Pope and the Council, pp. 94 and 131.

death” in certain cases. Into the question whether capital punishment is advisable or not there is no need to enter. That is a matter on which opinions may differ, and with which we are not here concerned, for subscription to this statement of the Article will remain unaffected, however it be decided.

IV. The Lawfulness of War. It is lawful for Christian men, at the command of the Magistrate, to wear weapons and serve in the wars (justa bella administrare). Once more brevity must be studied, although the question now before us is involved in much greater perplexity than that which has just been considered. All that can here be said is this. Christianity accepted society and social institutions as it found them; but laid down principles which were intended gradually to alter and abolish what was wrong

in them. So slavery was accepted by the gospel. There is not one word in the New Testament which directly condemns it. But the principle of brotherhood was proclaimed, and this has so wrought in the hearts of men that it has at length brought about the abolition of slavery in Christian communities. In the same way Christianity accepted

Our Lord and His Apostles never urged soldiers to give up their calling. But it is hard to resist the conclusion that the principles which are laid down in the gospel ought, if they had honestly been applied on a wide scale, to have led long ago to the disuse of war, at least between Christian nations. What is required is that the principles of Christianity should so leaven society that war should become an impossibility. But until this happy result is brought about, in the face of the absence of any directions in the New Testament to soldiers requiring them to forsake their calling, it can scarcely be maintained that it is not “lawful for Christian men to wear weapons and serve in the wars.” It may be added that the numerous allusions to the military life as affording instructive lessons and analogies to the life of the Christian, appear not only to be based on the supposition that the life thus referred to is in itself a lawful one, but also to indicate that it is especially favourable to the development of certain very essential moral qualities.

1 See also the directions of the Baptist to the “men on the march" who asked him what they should do, in S. Luke iii. 14.


1 Reference should be made to the masterly sermon on “War" in Mozley's University Sermons, No. V., as well as to the late Aubrey Moore's paper on the same subject in the Report of the Portsmouth Church Congreso


De illicita bonorum Communica


Facultates et bona Christianorum non sunt communia quoad jus et possessionem, ut quidam Anabaptistæ falso jactant. Debet tamen quisque de his quæ possidet, pro facultatum ratione, pauperibus eleemosynas benigne distribuere.

Of Christian men's goods which

are not common. The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding every man ought of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

THERE has been no alteration whatever in this Article (except in the form of the title 1) since it was first drawn up in 1553. . The error of the Anabaptists condemned in it is described more fully in the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, from which we learn that the opinion of the community of goods was in some cases pushed to such an extent that it was made to include and justify a community of wives.2

1 Christianorum bona non sunt communia. Christian men's goods are not common. 1553 and 1563.

? De Hæres. C. 14: De communitate bonorum et uxorum. Excludatur etiam ab eisdem Anabaptistis inducta bonorum et possessionum communitas, quam tantopere urgent, ut nemini quicquam relinquant proprium et suum. In quo mirabiliter loquuntur, cum furta prohiberi divina Scriptura cernant, et eleemosynas in utroque Testamento laudari videant, quas ex propriis facultatibus nostris elargimur; quorum sane neutrum consistere posset, nisi Christianis proprietas bonorum et possessionum suarum relinqueretur. Emergunt etiam ex Anabaptistarum lacunis quidam Nicolaitæ, inquinatissimi sane homines, qui fæminarum, imo et uxorum disputant usum per omnes promiscue pervagari debere.

The two subjects of which the Article speaks are these

1. The community of goods. 2. The duty of almsgiving.


I. The Community of Goods. The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast.

The notion of the Anabaptists here condemned probably originated in a misunderstanding of S. Luke's words in the Acts of the Apostles. Two passages have often been cited in proof of the assertion that Communism proper was the system that originally prevailed in the Apostolic Church, and from them it has been concluded that the same system ought to be practised now, and that consequently the possession of private property by individuals is contrary to the spirit of Christianity.

The passages in question are the following:

Acts ü. 44, 45;"All that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.”

C. iv. 32: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (nu aútois amavta κοινά).


Quæ foeda illorum et conscelerata libido primum pietati contraria est et sacris literis, deinde cum universa civili honestate, et naturali illa incorruptaque in mentibus nostris accensa luce vehementur pugnat." Cf. also the quotations given above on p. 761 ; and see Hermann's Consultation (Eng. tr.), fol. cxl.

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