The state of


Of the state and division of the Roman empire, and of the

Church's conforming to that in modelling her own external polity and government.

1. HAVING thus far spoken of churches, as they signify the Roman the material buildings, or places of convention set apart for empire in the days of Christian worship, I come now to consider them in another the Apo

notion, as they are put to signify any number of Christian people within a certain district, as in a parish, diocese, province, patriarchate; which are names that we frequently meet with in ancient writers, though they are not all equally of the same antiquity; and therefore I shall here enquire both into the nature and original of them. Something has already been said upon this head, in speaking of the several officers of the Church that were placed in those districts, as patriarchs, metropolitans, bishops, and presbyters, so far as was necessary to explain the powers and duties of those ministers in the Church. Yet there are many things to be noted further, which could not then come under consideration ; for which reason I now make them the subject of a peculiar inquiry. And here, to understand the state and division of the Church aright, it will be proper to take a short view of the state and division of the Roman empire: for it is generally thought by learned men, that the Church held some conformity to that in her external polity and government, both at her first settlement, and in the changes and variations that were made in after-ages.

In the time of the Apostles every city among the Greeks and Romans was under the immediate government of certain magistrates within its own body, commonly known by the name of Bouin, or senatus, its common-council, or senate, otherwise called ordo and curia, the states and court of the city: among which there was usually one chief or principal above the rest, whom some call the dictator, and others the defensor civitatis ; whose power extended not only over the city, but all the adjacent territory, commonly called the Ti podotela, the suburbs, or lesser towns, belonging to its jurisdiction. This was a city in the civil account, a place where the civil magistrate and a sort of lesser senate was fixed, to order the affairs of that community, and govern within such a precinct. 2. Now much after the same manner, the Apostles, in first The state of

the Church planting and establishing the Church, wherever they found a conformcivil magistracy settled in any place, there they endeavoured able to it. to settle an ecclesiastical one, consisting of a senate or presbytery, a common-council of presbyters, and one chief president above the rest, commonly called the poeotÒS, or the apostle, or bishop, or angel of the Church; whose jurisdiction was not confined to a single congregation, but extended to the whole region or district belonging to the city, which was the toáotela, or trapolkia, or, as we now call it, the diocese of the Church. According to this model, most probably, St. Paul directed Titus to ordain elders in Crete, karà Trówv, in every city, that is, to settle an ecclesiastical senate and government in every place, where there was before a civil one : which, from the subsequent history of the Church, we learn was a bishop and his presbytery, who were conjointly called the elders and senate of the Church. The cities of the Empire had also their magistrates in the territory or country round them; but these were subordinate to the magistrates of the city, and generally chosen by them, as learned men' have observed out of Frontinus, De Limitibus Agrariis, and other Roman antiquaries. In like manner every city-church had spiritual officers in all towns and villages belonging to the city-region; and these depending on the mother-church both for the exercise of their

1 See Dr. Maurice's Defence of greater villages, &c.--Also, (p.390.) Diocesan Episcopacy, (p. 389.) The So that generally speaking, &c.



of the Ro

vinces and

power and their institution; they being both subordinate and accountable to the city-church as the subordinate magistrates

were in the civil disposition. Thedivision 3. Another division of the Roman empire was into provinces man empire

and dioceses. A province was the cities of a whole region, into pro- subjected to the authority of one chief magistrate, who resided dioceses.

in the metropolis, or chief city, of the province. This was commonly a prætor, or a proconsul, or some magistrate of the like eminence and dignity. A diocese was still a larger district, containing several provinces within the compass of it, in the capital city of which district a more general magistrate had his residence, whose power extended over the whole diocese, to receive appeals, and determine all causes that were referred to him for a new hearing from any city within the district. And this magistrate was sometimes called an eparchus, or vicarius, of the Roman empire, and particularly a præfectus augustalis, at Alexandria. When first this division was made it is not so certainly agreed among learned men; but it is generally owned that the division of provinces is more ancient than that of dioceses : for the division into dioceses began only about the time of Constantine. But the cantonizing of the Empire into provinces was long before; by some referred to Vespasian; by others reckoned still more ancient, and coeval to the first esta

blishment of the Christian Church. The same

4. However this was, it is very plain, that the Church took model fol- her model, in setting up metropolitical and patriarchal power lowed by the Church. from this plan of the State. For as in every metropolis, or

chief city of each province, there was a superior magistrate above the magistrates of every single city; so likewise in the same metropolis there was a bishop, whose power extended over the whole province, whence he was called the metropolitan or primate, as being the principal bishop of the province. And in all places therefore the see of this bishop was fixed to the civil metropolis, except in Afric, where the primate was commonly the senior bishop of the province, as has been shewed in another place. In like manner, as the State had a vicarius in every capital city of each civil diocese; so the Church in process of time came to have her exarchs, or patriarchs, in many, if not in all the capital cities, of the Empire.


5. This will appear plainly from the civil Notitia of the This eviEmpire, when compared with the ecclesiastical ; which, be- from the cause it not only gives light in this matter, but is of singular civil Notiuse in many other respects to all that study ecclesiastical his-tem of the

Empire. tory, I will here insert it out of the book called Notitia Imperii 2, said to be written about the time of Arcadius and Honorius, where the whole empire is divided into thirteen dioceses under four præfecti-prætorio; and about an hundred and twenty provinces contained in them, in the manner and form following : The Præfectus-Prætorio Orientis, and under him five dio

ceses, viz. the Oriental, Egyptian, Asiatic, Pontic, and

Thracian dioceses.
I. In the Oriental diocese are contained fifteen provinces.

1. Palæstina. 2. Phænice. 3. Syria. 4. Cilicia. 5.
Cyprus. 6. Arabia. 7. Isauria. 8. Palæstina Salutaris.
9. Palæstina Secunda. 10. Phænice Libani. 11. Eu-
phratensis. 12. Syria Salutaris. 13. Osrhoëne. 14.

Mesopotamia. 15. Cilicia Secunda.
II. In the diocese of Egypt, six provinces. 1. Libya Superior.

2. Libya Inferior. 3. Thebais. 4. Ægyptus. 5. Arcadia.

6. Augustamnica.
III. In the Asiatic diocese, ten provinces. 1. Pamphylia.

2. Hellespontus. 3. Lydia. 4. Pisidia. 5. Lycaonia.
6. Phrygia Pacatiana. 7. Phrygia Salutaris. 8. Lycia.

9. Caria. 10. Insulæ Cyclades.
IV. In the Pontic diocese, eleven provinces. 1. Galatia.

2. Bithynia. 3. Honorias. 4. Cappadocia Prima. 5.
Paphlagonia. 6. Pontus Polemoniacus. 7. Helenopon-
tus. 8. Armenia Prima. 9. Armenia Secunda. 10.

Galatia Salutaris. 11. Cappadocia Secunda.
V. In the diocese of Thrace, six provinces. 1. Europa. 2.

Thracia. 3. Hæmimontis. 4. Rhodope. 5. Mæsia Se-
cunda. 6. Scythia.

The Præfectus-Prætorio of Ilyricum, and under him two

dioceses, Macedonia and Dacia. VI. In the diocese of Macedonia, six provinces. 1. Achaia.

2 See the full title in the Index Auctorum.

2. Macedonia. 3. Creta. 4. Thessalia. 5. Epirus Ve

tus. 6. Epirus Nova, and Pars Macedoniæ Salutaris. VII. In the diocese of Dacia, five provinces. 1. Dacia Medi

terranea. 2. Dacia Ripensis. 3. Mæsia Prima. 4. Dardania. 5. Pars Macedonia Salutaris and Prævalitana.

The Præfectus-Prætorio of Italy, and under him three dio

ceses, viz. Italy or the Italic diocese, Illyricum, and

Africa. VIII. In the Italic diocese are contained seventeen provinces.

1. Venetiæ. 2. Æmylia. 3. Liguria. 4. Flaminia and Picenum Annonarium. 5. Tuscia and Umbria. 6. Picenum Suburbicarium. 7. Campania. 8. Sicilia. 9. Apulia and Calabria. 10. Lucania and Brutii. 11. Alpes Cottiæ. 12. Rhætia Prima. 13. Rhætia Secunda. 14. Samnium.

15. Valeria. 16. Sardinia. 17. Corsica. IX. In the diocese of Ilyricum, six provinces. 1. Pannonia

Secunda. 2. Savia. 3. Dalmatia. 4. Pannonia Prima.

5. Noricum Mediterraneum. 6. Noricum Ripense. X. In the diocese of Africa, six provinces. 1. Byzacium. 2.

Numidia. 3. Mauritania Sitifensis. 4. Mauritania Cæsariensis. 5. Tripolis. 6. Africa Proconsularis.

The Præfectus-Prætorio Galliarum, and under him three

dioceses, viz. Hispania, Gallia, Britannia. XI. In the Spanish diocese, seven provinces. 1. Bætica.

2. Lusitania. 3. Gallæcia. 4. Tarraconensis. 5. Car

thaginensis. 6. Tingitania. 7. Baleares. XII. In the Gallican diocese, seventeen provinces. 1. Vien

nensis. 2. Lugdunensis Prima. 3. Germania Prima. 4. Germania Secunda. 5. Belgica Prima. 6. Belgica Secunda. 7. Alpes Maritimæ. 8. Alpes Penninæ and Graiæ. 9. Maxima Sequanorum. 10. Aquitania Prima. 11. Aquitania Secunda. 12. Novem Populi. 13. Narbonensis Prima. 14. Narbonensis Secunda. 15. Lugdunensis Secunda. 16. Lugdunensis Tertia. 17. Lugdunensis Seno

nia. XIII. In the Britannic diocese, five provinces. 1. Maxima

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