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of the whole college, and therefore we can only conjecture from the remains of those British bishops which continued in Wales after the Saxon conquests, and were there at the coming of Austin into England. Bede 41 takes notice of seven of those, who came to the synod of Worcester, or Austin's Oak, to confer with Austin about the settlement of the Church. And over these was also a metropolitan, to whom they professed subjection in the Council, which was the archbishop of Menevia, or St. David's, or, as they term him, the archbishop of Caer-Leon upon Uske, because that was the ancient metropolitical see, before it was translated to St. David's. The names of the other suffragans, as some of the British historians 42 record them in Latin, were then Herefordensis, Tavensis, Paternensis, Banchorensis, Elviensis, Vicciensis, Morgarensis, that is, Hereford, Landaff, Lan-Patern, Bangor, St. Asaph, Worcester, and Morgan. Now if the number of bishops in other provinces were answerable to this, we may conclude, there were more bishops before the invasion of the Saxons than there are at this day. But when Austin came into England, he found none except the forementioned. However Gregory the Great gave him orders 43 to settle twenty-six bishops, twelve bishops suffragans to the bishop of London, and as many subject to the metropolitan of York, and reserve
41 Hist. 1. 2. c. 2. (p. 79. 12.)... Augustinus, adjutorio usus dilbercti regis, convocavit ad suum colloquium episcopos sive doctores proximæ Britonum provinciæ, in loco qui usque hodie lingua Anglorum Augustines Ac, id est, Robur Augustini, in confinio Huicciorum et Occidentalium Saxonum, appellatur... Venerunt, ut perhibent, septem Britonum episcopi et plures viri doctissimi, &c.
42 Galfrid, Monument. Hist. 1. 8. c. 4. ap. Powel. Annot. in Girald. Cambrens. Itinerar. Cambriæ. 1. 2. c. I. (p. 179.) Quorum tunc erant nomina, Henfordensis [leg. Herefordensis?] Tavensis, &c.
43 Ibid. 1. 1. c. 29. (p. 70. 18.) Et quia nova Anglorum ecclesia ad Omnipotentis Dei gratiam, eodem Domino largiente, et te laborante perducta est, usum tibi pallii in ea ad
sola missarum solemnia agenda concedimus: ita ut per loca singula duodecim episcopos ordines, qui tuæ subjaceant ditioni, quatenus Lundoniensis civitatis episcopus semper in posterum a synodo propria debeat consecrari, atque honoris pallium ab hac sancta et apostolica, cui Deo auctore deservio, sede percipiat. Ad Eburacam vero civitatem te volumus episcopum mittere, quem ipse judicaveris ordinare; ita duntaxat, ut si eadem civitas cum finitimis locis verbum Dei receperit, ipse quoque duodecim episcopos ordinet, et metropolitani honore perfruatur... Tua vero fraternitas non solum eos episcopos quos ordinaverit, neque hos tantummodo, qui per Eburacæ episcopum fuerint ordinati, sed etiam omnes Britanniæ sacerdotes habeat, Deo domino nostro, Jesu Christo auctore, subjectos.
to himself the primacy over the whole nation. Yet this was rather a scheme laid for future ages, when the whole nation should be converted, than any present settlement or constitution of the Church: for above fifty years after this, there were not above seven bishops in all the Heptarchy, or seven Saxon kingdoms, as appears from the account which Bede 44 gives of the Council of Herudford, anno 673, where were present, Theodore, archbishop of Dorovernia, or Canterbury; Bisi, bishop of the East Angles; Wilfrid, bishop of the Northumbrians; Putta, bishop of Rochester; Leutherius, bishop of the West Saxons; and Winfrid, bishop of the whole province of the Mercians. In which Council 45 a canon was made, 'that the number of bishops should be augmented, as the number of converts should increase.' But nothing was done for the present, save that Bisi, or Bifus, bishop of the East Angles, being grown old, two others, Ecca and Badwin were consecrated in his room; and from that time to the age in which Bede lived, that province had two bishops, as our author notes in the same place. These were the bishops of Elmham and Dunwich, which were afterwards united, and the see removed to Thetford, and from thence to Norwich, whose bishops succeeded to the whole kingdom of the East Angles. So that in that age a kingdom and a diocese were almost commensurate.
In the kingdom of Northumberland there were at first but two bishops, whose sees were York and Lindisfarne. But not long after, anno 678, Egfrid, king of Northumberland, having expelled Wilfrid, bishop of York, from his see, four or five bishops were ordained in his room, one in the province of Deira; another in the province of Bernicia; a third at Hagulstade or Hexham in Northumberland; a fourth in the province of the Picts, which
44 Ibid. 1. 4. c. 5. (p. 147. 38.) Convenimus autem die vigesima quarta mensis Septembris, indictione prima, in loco, qui dicitur Herutford. Ego quidem Theodorus, quamvis indignus, ab apostolica sede destinatus Doruvernensis ecclesiæ episcopus, et consacerdos ac frater noster reverentissimus Bisi, Orientalium Anglorum episcopus; quibus etiam frater et consacerdos noster Uilfrid, Nordanhymbrorum gentis
episcopus, per proprios legatarios affuit. Affuerunt et fratres ac consacerdotes nostri Putta, episcopus Castelli Cantuariorum, quod dicitur Hrofescæstir; Leutherius episcopus Occidentalium Saxonum, Uynfrid episcopus provinciæ Merciorum.
45 Ap. Bed. Hist. ibid. (p. 149. 3.) Nonum capitulum in commune tractatum est, ut plures episcopi, crescente numero fidelium, augerentur, sed de hac re ad præsens silemus.
was then subject to the English; and a fifth in the province of Lindissi, as Bede 46 calls it, which was lately taken out of the diocese and kingdom of Mercia, and not long after laid to it again. The great kingdom of Mercia, comprehending the counties of Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester, Warwick, Leicester, Cambridge, Rutland, Northampton, Lincoln, Nottingham, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Derby, Stafford, Shropshire, Cheshire, and part of Hertfordshire, was at first but the diocese of one bishop, whom Bede commonly calls the bishop of the Angli Mediterranei, or Mercians, whose see was Litchfield, the royal seat and metropolis of the kingdom of Mercia; till, about the year 678, a new see was erected at Sidnacester in Lincolnshire, and sometime after another at Dorchester in Oxfordshire, which were afterwards united and removed to Lincoln. Out of this large diocese also the sees of Worcester and Hereford were taken, as Ely was out of that part which fell to Lincoln: not to mention the dioceses of Chester, Peterborough, Oxford, and Gloucester, which had their rise out of the same at the Reformation. The diocese of Winchester was also very large at first, containing all the kingdoms of the West Saxons, till it was divided by King Ina between Winchester and Sherborn, anno 705. The latter of which was afterward subdivided into the dioceses of Cornwall, Devonshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire, some of which being
46 Ibid. c. 12. (p. 155. 7.) Quo etiam anno , orta inter ipsum regem Ecgfridum et reverentissimum antistitem Uilfridum dissensione, pulsus est idem antistes a sede sui episcopatus, et duo in locum ejus substituti episcopi, qui Nordanhymbrorum genti præessent: Bosa videlicet, qui Deirorum, et Eata, qui Berniciorum provinciam gubernaret. Hic in civitate Eboraci, ille in Hagustaldensi sive in Lindisfarnensi ecclesia cathedram habens episcopalem, ambo de monachorum collegio in episcopatus gradum adsciti. Cum quibus et Eadhæd in provincia Lindisfarorum, quam nuperrime rex Ecgfrid, superato in bello et fugato Ulf here, obtinuerat, ordinatur episcopus: et hunc primum eadem provincia accepit præsulem; secundum
BINGHAM, VOL. III.
Ædiluini; tertium Eadgarum; quartum Cyniberctum, quem in præsenti habet." Habebat enim ante Eadhædum, antistitem Sexuulfum, qui etiam Merciorum et Mediterraneorum Anglorum simul episcopus fuit. Unde, et expulsus de Lindissi, in illarum provinciarum regimine permansit. Ordinati sunt autem Eadhæd, Bosa, et Eata Eboraci ab archiepiscopo Theodoro, qui etiam post tres abscessionis Uilfridi annos horum numero duos addidit antistites; Tunberctum ad ecclesiam Hagustaldensem, remanente Eata ad Lindisfarnensem, et Trumvini ad provinciam Pictorum, quæ tunc temporis Anglorum erat imperio subjecta. Eadhædum de Lindissi reversum, eo quod Ædilred provinciam recepisset, Hrypensi ecclesiæ præfecit.
The whole account
united again made up the dioceses of Exeter, Wells, Salisbury, and Bristol, as they now stand in the present frame and constitution of the Church.
I think it needless to carry this inquiry any further, since what has been already suggested sufficiently shews, that the dioceses in England were anciently much larger than they are now, and that it has ever been the wisdom of the Church to multiply and contract them. Though many of them still remain so large, that if they be compared with some of the ancient Italian dibceses, one of them will be found to be equal to ten or twenty of those which lay round about Rome.
21. I shall conclude this chapter with a few ancient canons, which confirm the account that has been given of episcopal from some dioceses throughout the world, as supposing them generally canons of to have country-regions and country-parishes belonging to the Church. them. The Council of Neocæsarea 46, which was held some years before the Council of Nice, makes express mention of πρεσβύτεροι ἐπιχώριοι, country-presbyters, who are forbidden to officiate in the city-church, save only in the absence of the bishop or city-presbyters. The Council of Antioch has two canons of the same import: the one47 describes a bishop's diocese to be a city and all the region that was subject to it, wherein he might ordain presbyters and deacons, and order all things according to his own judgment without consulting his metropolitan' the other 48 is a provision concerning the chorepiscopi, who were seated in the villages and regions about the city, that they should govern the churches committed to them, and content themselves with that care, ordaining readers,
46 C. 13. (t. 1. p. 1484 b.) 'ETTIχώριοι πρεσβύτεροι ἐν τῷ κυριακῷ τῆς πόλεως προσφέρειν οὐ δύνανται, παρόντος ἐπισκόπου ἢ πρεσβυτέρων πόλεως, οὔτε μὴν ἄρτον διδόναι ἐν εὐχῇ, οὐδὲ ποτήριον. Ἐὰν δὲ ἀπῶσι, καὶ εἰς εὐχὴν κληθῇ μόνος, δίδωσιν.
47 C. 9. (t. 2. p. 565 b.) Εκαστον γὰρ ἐπίσκοπον ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ παροικίας, διοικεῖν τε κατὰ τὴν ἑκάστῳ ἐπιβάλλουσαν εὐλάβειαν, καὶ πρόνοιαν ποιεῖσθαι πάσης τῆς χώρας τῆς ὑπὸ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν, ὡς καὶ χειροτονεῖν πρεσβυτέρους καὶ διακόνους, καὶ μετὰ κρίσεως ἕκαστα διαλαμβάνειν.
48 C. 10. (ibid. p. 565 c.) Tous ἐν ταῖς κώμαις, ἢ ταῖς χώραις, ἢ τοὺς καλουμένους χωρεπισκόπους, εἰ καὶ χειροθεσίαν εἶεν ἐπισκόπων εἰληφότες, ἔδοξε τῇ ἁγίᾳ συνόδῳ εἰδέναι τὰ ἑαυ τῶν μέτρα, καὶ διοικεῖν τὰς ὑποκειμένας αὐτοῖς ἐκκλησίας, καὶ τῇ τούς των ἀρκεῖσθαι φροντίδι καὶ κηδεμονία, καθιστᾷν δὲ ἀναγνώστας, καὶ ὑποδιακόνους, καὶ ἐφορκιστὰς, καὶ τῇ τούς των ἀρκεῖσθαι προαγωγῇ· μήτε πρεσ βύτερον, μήτε διάκονον χειροτονεῖν τολμῶν, δίχα τοῦ ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐπισκό που, ᾗ ὑπόκεινται αὐτός τε καὶ ἡ χώρα.
subdeacons and exorcists; but not presbyters or deacons, unless commissioned to it by the city-bishop, to whom both they and their region were subject.' A like provision is made by the Council of Nice 49, in case a Novatian bishop should return to the unity of the Catholic Church, that then the Catholic bishop might provide him the place of a chorepiscopus in some part of his diocese, that there might not be two bishops in one city. And indeed all the canons that mention the chorepiscopi are full proof that a diocese was not only a city, but a countryregion, over which those chorepiscopi presided, under the inspection of the city-bishop, to whom they were accountable. The canons of Sardica 50 and Laodicea 51 do plainly suppose the same thing, when they prohibit bishops to be ordained in small cities or villages, because a presbyter or itinerant visitor might be sufficient to take care of them.' So in the African Canons, one 52 orders the same as the Council of Toledo, 'that every presbyter throughout the diocese, who has the care of a church, shall have recourse to his own bishop for chrism to be used at Easter' and another 53 says, 'No bishop shall leave his principal church, to go to reside upon any other church in the diocese.' Which canons speak plain nonsense, unless it be supposed that there were then other churches in the diocese beside the mother-church.
22. The bishop's obligation to visit his diocese is a further And from the bishop's proof of the same thing; for this was a necessary consequent obligation of having several churches at a distance under his jurisdiction: to visit his such as he could not personally attend himself, he was obliged to visit, and see that they were provided of a proper in- and con
diocese once a year,