« ForrigeFortsett »
of interment, without which it is illegal | ficers to whom belonged some species of to inter the body, and the minister offici- superintendency. (See Harpocrat. or ating is liable to a penalty. The Registrar- Suidas in voc. élokOTOS.) Cicero (Ad General's Bill is now the only true bill; Art. lib. vii. ep. 11) speaks of himself as and why the old one should still be pub- appointed an ériokotos in Campania. lished, is only to be accounted for on It has long been a great question in the supposition that it is obligatory on the Christian Church what kind of suthe parish clerks by the terms of their perintendency it was that originally becharter. [REGISTRATION OF BIRTHs, longed to the bishop. This question, as
to whether it was originally a superinBISHOP, the name of that superior tendency of pastors or of people, may be order of pastors or ministers in the briefly stated thus:- Those who maintain Christian Church who exercise super- that it was a superintendency of pastors intendency over the ordinary pastors challenge for bishops that they are an within a certain district, called their see order of ministers in the Christian Church or diocese, and to whom also belongs the distinct from the order of presbyters, and performance of those higher duties of standing in the same high relation to Christian pastors, ordination, consecra- them that the apostles did to the ordinary tion (or dedication to religious purposes) ministers in the church; that, in short, of persons or places, and finally excom- they are the successors and representamunication.
tives of the apostles, and receive at their The word itself is corrupted Greek. consecration certain spiritual graces by 'Exlokonos (episcopos) became episcopus devolution and transmission from them, when the Latins adopted it. T'hey in which belong not to the common prestroduced it among the Saxous, with byters. This is the view taken of the whom, by losing something both at the original institution and character of the beginning and the end, it became piscop, bishop in the Roman Catholic Church, in or, as written in Anglo-Saxon characters, the English Protestant Church, and, we Bisceop. This is the modern bishop, in believe, in all churches which are framed which it is probable that the change in on an episcopal constitution. Episcopacy the orthography (though small) is greater is thus regarded as of divine institution, than in the pronunciation. Other modern inasmuch as it is the appointment of Jesus languages retain in like manner the Greek Christ and the apostles, acting in affairs term slightly modified according to the of the church under a divine direction. peculiar genius of each, as the Italian, There are, on the other hand, many pervescovo ; Spanish, obispo ; and French, sons who contend that the superintendency évêque; as well as the German, bischof; of the bishop was originally in no respect Dutch, bisschop; and Swedish, biskop. different from the superintendency exer
The word episcopus literally signifies cised by presbyters as pastors of parti"an inspector or superintendent ," and cular churches. They maintain that, if the etymological sense expresses even the question is referred to Scripture, we now much of the actual sense of the there find that bishop and presbyter are word. The peculiar character of the used indifferently to indicate the same bishop's office might be expressed in one persons or class of persons ; and that word-superintendency. The bishop is there is no trace in the Scriptures of two the overseer, overlooker, superintendent distinct orders of pastors; and that if the in the Christian Church, and an exalted reference is made to Christian antiquity, station is allotted to him correspondiug we fiud no trace of such a distinction till to the important duties which belong to about two hundred years after the time of his office. It was not, however, a term the apostles. The account which they which was invented purposely to describe give of the rise of the distinction which the new officer which Christianity intro- afterwards existed between bishops and duced into the social system. The term mere presbyters is briefly this :existed before, both among the Greeks When in the ecclesiastical writers of and Latins, to desiguate certaiu civil of the first three centuries we read of the bishops, as of Antioch, Ephesus, Car- for which this high antiquity cannot be thage, Rome, and the like, we are to claimed. In these cases they are supunderstand the presbyters who were the posed to be either in countries which did pastors of the Christian churches in those not fully receive Christianity in the very cities. While the Christians were few in earliest times, or that the bishops or ebief each city, one pastor would be sufficient pastors delegated a portion of that suto discharge every pastoral duty among perior authority which they possessed them; but when the number increased, over the other presbyters to the presbyter or when the pastor became enfeebled, as settled in one of the churches which was sistance would be required by him, and originally subordinate. This is supposed thus other presbyters would be intro- to have been the origin of the distinction duced into the city and church of the among the chief pastors of bishops and pastor, forming a kind of council around archbishops, there being still a slight rehim. Again, to account for the origin servation of superintendency and auof dioceses or rural districts which were thority in the original over the newly under the superintendency of the pastors, created chief pastors. it was argued that it was the cities which If this view of the origin of the episcofirst received Christianity, and that the pal character and office be correct, it will people in the country places remained follow that originally there was no essenfor the most part heathens or pagans (so tial difference between the bishop and called from pagus, a country village) af- the presbyter, and also that the duties ter the cities were Christianized ; but which belong to the pastor of a Christian that nevertheless efforts were constantly congregation were performed by the being made to introduce Christian truth bishop. But when the increase of the into the villages around the chief cities, number of Christians rendered assistants and that, whenever favourable opportuni- necessary, and this became a permanent ties were presented, the chief pastor of institution, then the chief pastor would the city encouraged the erection of a divest himself of those simpler and easier church, and appointed some presbyter duties, which occasioned nevertheless a either to reside constantly in or near to great consumption of time, as a matter at it, or to visit it when his services were once of choice and of necessity. Having required, though still residing in the to think and to consult for other congre city, and there assisting the chief pastor gations beside that which was peculiarly in his ministrations. The extent of coun- his own, and to attend generally to try which thus formed a diocese of the schemes for the protection or extension chief pastor would depend, it is supposed of Christianity, he would have little time on the civil distributions of the period; remaining for catechizing, preaching, that is, the dioceses of the bishops of baptizing, or other ordinary duties; and Smyrna, or any other ancient city, would especially when it was added that he had be the country of which the inhabitants to attend councils, and even was called were accustomed to look to the city for , to assist and advise the temporal governthe administration of justice, or in gene- ors in the civil and ordinary affairs of ral to regard it as the seat of that temporal state. When Christianity, instead of authority to which they were immediately being persecuted, was countenanced and subject.
encouraged by the temporal authorities, All this is represented as having gone it was soon perceived that the bishop on without any infringement on the rights would be a very important auxiliary to of the chief pastor, of whoin there was a the temporal authorities; while in ages regular series. Lists of them are pre- when few besides ecclesiastical persons served in many of the more ancient had any share of learning, or what we churches, ascending, on what may be call mental cultivation, it is manifest regarded sufficient historical testimony, that the high offices of state, for the perand with few breaks in the continuity, formance of the duties of which mach ven into the second and first centuries. discernment and much information were shops are, however, found in churches required, must necessarily be filled by
ecclesiastics, who might be expected, as | king and the people in respect of all we know to have been the case, to unite affairs connected with religion; and that spiritual pre-eminence with their high they are a constituent part of that great political offices. The Lord High Chan- council of the realm which is called Parcellor of England was always an eccle- liament. siastic, and generally a bishop, to the Whatever kind of moot, assembly, or time of Sir Thomas More, in the reign of council for the advice of the king there Henry VIII.
was in the earliest times of the English The functions which belong to the kingdom, the bishops were chief persons bishop are in all countries nearly the in it. The charters of the early Norman same. We shall speak of them as they kings usually run in the form that they exist in the English Church. 1. Con- are granted by the assent and advice of firmation, when children on the thres- the bishops as well as others; and when hold of maturity ratify or confirm the en- the ancient great council became moulded gagement entered into by their sponsors into the form of the modern parliament, at baptism, which is done in the presence the bishops were seated, as we now see of a bishop, who may be understood in them, in the Upper House. It is argued this ceremony to recognise or receive into that they sit as barons [ BARON ], but the Christian church the persons born the writ of summons runs to them as within his diocese. 2. Ordination, or bishops of such a place, without any rethe appointment of persons deemed by ference to the temporal baronies held by him properly qualified, to the office of them. Down to the period of the Redeacon in the church, and afterwards of formation they were far from being the presbyter or priest. 3. Consecration of only ecclesiastical persons who had seats presbyters when they are appointed to among the hereditary nobility of the land, the office of bishop. 4. Dedication, or many abbots and priors having been sumconsecration of edifices erected for the moned also, till the houses over which performance of Christian services or of they presided were dissolved, and their ground set apart for religious purposes, office thus extinguished. Henry VIII. as especially for the burial of the dead. created at that time six new bishoprics, 5. Administration of the effects of per- and gave the bishops placed in them sons deceased, of which the bishop is the seats in the same assembly. But before proper guardian, until some person has the nation had adjusted itself in its new proved before him a right to the distribu- position, there was a powerful party tion of those effects either as the next of raised in the country, who maintained kin or by virtue of the testament of the that a government of the church by deceased. 6. Adjudication in questions bishops was not accordant to the primirespecting matrimony and divorce. 7. tive practice, and who sought to bring Institution or collation to vacant churches back the administration of ecclesiastical in his diocese. 8. Superintendence of affairs to the state in which there was an the conduct of the several pastors in his equality among all ministers, and where diocese, in respect of morals, of residence, the authority was vested in synods and and of the frequency and proper perform- assemblies. Churches upon this model ance of the public services of the church. had been formed at Geneva and in ScotAnd, 9, Excommunication; and, in the land; and when this party became precase of ministers, deprivation and degra- dominant in the parliament of 1642, a dation.
bill was passed for removing the bishops These are the most material of the from their seats, to which the king gave functions which have been retained by a reluctant and forced assent.
It was the Christian bishops, or, if we adopt the soon followed by an entire dissolution theory of apostolic succession, which of the Episcopal Church. At the Rehave from the beginning been exercised storation this act was repealed, or deby them. To these it remains to be clared invalid, and the English bishops added, that in England they are the have ever since had seats in the House of medium of communication between the Lords. They form the Lords Spiritual,
and constitute one of the three estates of new office under a royal commissira, the realm, the Lords Temporal and the when he takes the oaths of allegiance, suCommons (the tiers etat) being the other premacy, canonical obedience, and against two. Out of this has arisen the question, simony. He is next installed, and finally now laid at rest, whether a bill has consecrated, which is performed by the passed the House in a constitutional archbishop or some other bishop named manner, if it has happened that no Lord in a commission for the purpose, asSpiritual was present at any of its stages. sisted by two other bishops. No person When the House becomes a court for the can be elected a bishop who is under trial of a peer charged with a capital thirty years of age. offence, the bishops withdraw, it being The inequalities which prevailed in held unsuitable to the character of mi- the endowments for bishops in England, nisters of mercy and peace to intermeddle have lately been in a great measure in affairs of blood.
removed. Their churches, which are For the execution of many of the duties called cathedrals (from cathedra, a seat belonging to their high function they of dignity), are noble and splendid edihave officers, as chancellors, judges, and fices, the unimpeachable witnesses reofficials, who hold courts in the bishop's maining among us of the wealth, the
splendour, and the architectural skill of The election of bishops is supposed by the ecclesiastics of England in the middle those who regard the order as not dis- ages. The cathedral of the Bishop of tinguished originally from the common London is the only modern edifice. The presbyter, to have been in the people who bishop's residence is styled a palace. constituted the Christian church in the By 2 & 3 Vict. c. 18, bishops are emcity to which they were called ; after- powered to raise money on their sees for wards, when the number of Christians the purpose of building houses of resiwas greatly increased, and there were dence. The act 6 & 7 Wm. IV. c. 77, numerous assistant presbyters, in the pres- made provision prospectively for the erecbyters and some of the laity conjointly. tion of a residence for the new bishops But after a time the presbyters only seem of Ripon and Manchester. to have possessed the right, and the In this country, and generally throughSishop was elected by them assembled in out Europe, an Archbishop has his own chapter. The nomination of such an diocese, in which he exercises ordinary important officer was, however, an ob- episcopal functions like any other bishop ject of great importance to the temporal in his diocese, yet he has a distinct chaprinces, and they so far interfered that at racter, having a superiority and a cerlength they virtually obtained the nomi- tain jurisdiction over the bishops in his nation. İn England there is still the province, who are sometimes called his shadow of an election by the chapters in suffragans, together with some peculiar the cathedrals. When a bishop dies, the privileges. This superiority is indicated event is certified to the king by the in the name. The word or syllable arch chapter. The king writes to the chapter is the Greek element apx (which occurs that they proceed to elect a successor. in åpxń, ápxós, õpxwv, &c.), and denotes This letter is called the congé d'élire. precedence or authority. It is used exThe king, however, transmits to thein at tensively throughout ecclesiastical nomenthe same time the name of some person clature, as may be seen in Du Cange's whom he expects them to elect. If Glossary, where there are the names of within a short time they do not proceed many ecclesiastical officers into whose to the election, the king may nominate by designations this word enters, who were his own authority; if they elect any other either never introduced into the English than the person named in the king's writ, church, or have long ceased to exist. they incur the severe penalties of a pre- The word arch also occurs in some civil munire, which includes forfeiture_of titles of rank, as arch-duke. Why this goods, outlawry, and other evils. The word was used peculiarly in ecclesiastical bishop thus elected is confirmed in his l affairs rather than any other term de
noting superiority, is probably to be ex- , rope was this:-An establishment was plained by the fact that the term ápxiepeus, gained by some zealous preacher in some for chief-priest, occurs in the Greek text one city; there he built a church, perof the Scriptures. Patriarch is a com- formed in it the rites of Christianity, and pound of the same class, denoting the lived surrounded by a company of clerks chief-father; and is used in ecclesiastical engaged in the same design and moving nomenclature to denote a bishop who has according to his directions. From this authority not only over other bishops, central point, these persons were sent but over the whole collected bishops of from time to time into the country around divers kingdoms or states ; it is analogous for the purpose of promoting the recepin signification to the word pope (papa), tion of Christianity, and thus other a bishop who has this extended super. churches became founded, offspring or intendence. There is an official letter of children, to use a very natural figure, of the Emperor Justinian which is addressed the church from whence the missionaries to “John, Archbishop of Rome, and were sent forth. When one of these subPatriarch;' and several of Justinian's ordinate missionaries had gained an ecclesiastical constitutions are addressed establishment in one of the more conto “ Epiphanius, Archbishop of Constan- siderable cities, remote from the city in tinople, and Patriarch.”
which the original church was seated, Whatever might be the precise functions there was a convenience in conferring of the episcopus (éxlokotos, bishop), the upon him the functions of a bishop; and term itself occurs in the writings of St. the leading design, the extension of ChrisPaul, Phil. i. I, 1 Tim. iii. 2, and else- tianity, was more effectually answered where; but the word åpxieniOKOTOs, or than by reserving all the episcopal archbishop, does not occur till about or powers in the hands of the person who after the fourth century. Cyrillus Ar presided in the mother-church. Thus chiepiscopus Hierosolymitanorum, and other centres became fixed; other bishopCelestinus Archiepiscopus Romanorum, rics established; and as the prelate who occur under these designations in the pro- presided in the first of these churches ceedings of the council held at Ephesus, was still one to whom precedence at A.D. 431. Other terms by which an arch- least was due, and who still retained in bishop is sometimes designated are pri- his hands some superintendence over the mate and metropolitan. The first of these newer bishops, archbishop became a suitis formed from the Latin word primus, able designation. Thus in England, " the first,” and denotes simple precedency, when there was that new beginning of the first among the bishops. The latter Christianity in the time of Pope Gregory, is a Latin word (metropolitanus) formed Augustine, the chief person of the misfrom the Greek, which rendered literally sion, gained an early establishment at into English would be the man of the me- Canterbury, the capital of the kingdom tropolis or mother-city, that is, the bishop of Kent, through the favour of King who resides in that city which contains Ethelbert. There, in this second conthe mother-church of all the other version, as it may be called, the first churches within the province or district in Christian church was established, and which he is the metropolitan. The Greek from thence the persons were sent out, word is metropolites (μητροπολίτης.) who at length Christianized the whole of
The meaning of the term metropolitan the southern part of England. Paulinus, is supposed to point out the origin of the in like manner, a few years later, gained distinction between bishop, and arch- a similar establishment in the kingdom bishop, or, in other words, the origin of of Northumbria, through the zeal of King the superiority of the archbishop over Edwin, who received Christianity, and the bishops in his province, when it is built him a church at York, one of his not to be attributed to mere personal as- royal cities, which may be regarded as sumption, or to be regarded only as an the chief city of Edwin's kingdom. From unmeaning title. The way in which York Christianity was diffused over the Christianity became extended over Eu- northern parts of England, as from