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jurisdiction of a bishop, the bishop is subject to the king in his real spiritual character; and therefore by the constitution of our laws, the king is more than merely the fupreme 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 establishment of religion, the civil and the spiritual power so far accom

modate themselves to each other, as to Original difri- 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 bifhop Fleetwood.

* « The apostle's commision reaching to

bution of dioceles.

• Account of Church Government and Goverpors, p. 39, & feq.


all parts of the world, and they being commanded to make all nations disciples, to go into all the world, and to preach the gospel to every creature, (Matt. xviii. 19.) could not be long fixed to any one place; yet it was necessary that pastors and teachers should be settled among

all believers, who might continue to instruct and teach them, to offer up prayers for them in the public assemblies, and to administer the facrament to them. Hereupon they ordained them elders in every church ; (Acts i. 14. 23.) that is, a bishop with a competent number of presbyters and deacons to assist him, as will be evident from what shall be said hereafter. (Heb. xii. 7. 17.) These were rulers of the church wherein they were placed, and the people were commanded to obey them. Bur though they were rulers, yet their authority extended nos cyer the whole church, but only that Rock over which the Holy Ghost (Acts xx. 28.) had made them overseers or bishops. They were fixed to a particular place, and the fpiritual government of all persons within those limits was committed to them; and in this division into particular districts (which was prudential at the apostles discretion) the general division of the empire was observed. It was necesary that particular churches


divifion gene

should be circumscribed within certain bounds; but it was indifferent where those boundaries should be fixed. The apostles therefore took the limits already laid out for them, and accordingly settled churches, and either (Tit. i. 1. 5.) ordained themselves, or appointed others to ordain elders in every city,

or city by city, as Dr. Hammond renders it. The spiritual

And herein they thought it expedient strictly rally accommo- to observe the imperial division; so that the civil divifion of council of Calcedon decreed, (6 Can. 17.) dioceses.

that if the emperor should change the condition of a city by his authority, the order of the parish churches should follow the civil constitution. Thus the power of these elders was confined within the compass of that particular city and its territories, where they were ordained to minister; and all within those limits were under their care and jurisdiction. They were, indeed, bishops and presbyters of the universal church, (for the true church is but one and the same in all parts of the world) but for the sake of decency and order, and that each pastor might know his own peculiar Aock, it was necessary, that the catholic church should be divided into particular churches,” For * " whilst our Sa

• Account of Church Government and Governors, p. 36, 37

viour lived on earth, he ruled and governed his church personally; and though the apostles could preach, and baptize, and pronounce remission of sins, which is the priests office now, yet could they not perform the functions of the episcopal office, to give others a commission to preach the gospel. But when Christ was risen, and ready to ascend into heaven, then he enlarged the apostolic power, and gave them authority to collect and sattle churches, and to give commissions to others, as he himself had done. As my Father bath fent me, says he, even fo I send you. And when he had said this, be breatbed on them, saying, receive ye the Holy Ghoft. (Joh. XX. 21.)”


C H A P. XI.



More disputes about the title to the prerogatives, than about the prerogatives themselves.

T may be generally remarked, that the

difference or difpute between most writers, is not so much about the prerogatives of the crown, as about the right and title to them. I have already endeavoured to render my opinion upon this matter unequivocal and explicit ; and the consequence of that opinion is, that as a member of the community, I entertain the most dutiful attachment to the person, in whom the community vests the executive

power of the legislature, and the most awful and respectful deference for the diftinguished and exalted properties, prerogatives, and powers, with which the community has found it adviseable to dignify him. Mr. Acherley, in a sort of allegorical exposition or direction of what this supreme head of the body ought to be, says, * « That the first and most excellent estate, or supreme head of this great body, should be a political supreme office, to guide and conduct the rest, and, for that reason, should be raised

. Britannic Conftitution, p. 39.

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