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fleet 53, to show the ancient liberty and independency of the Britannic Churches, which I shall not here repeat, but only
from the known story of King Lu- authority given him only over those cius ... the first Christian king ... bishops, who were consecrated by Religion being settled, that Church- him and the archbishop of York; government grew up here, as in what, then, becomes of those biother countries, by bishops and then shops in Britain who were consemetropolitans, or superior bishops, crated by neither, and such they there can be no just cause to doubt. knew there were ? Concerning these
63 Orig. Britann. ch. 5. p. 356. (v. Gregory gives a plain answer: "That 3. p. 221.) It remains only that we they were all to be subject to the consider the liberty or independence authority of Augustin, and to govern of the British Churches ; of which themselves, in life, and doctrine, and we can have no greater proof than church-offices, according to his difrom the carriage of the British bi- rection. Augustin, being furnished shops towards Augustin the monk, with such full power, as he thought, when he came with full power from desires a meeting with the British the Pope to require subjection from bishops, at a place called Augusthem. And this material point re- tinsac, as Bede saith, in the confines lating to the British Churches, I of the Wiccii and the West Saxons. shall endeavour to clear from all the Where this place was is very uncerobjections which have been made tain, and not at all material : Camagainst it. In order thereto, we are den could find nothing like it; and to understand, that Augustin the the conjectures of others since have monk, by virtue of the Pope's au- no great probability, either as to thority, did challenge a superiority Austric, or Haustake, or Ossuntree; over the bishops of the British but, at this place, the British biChurches; which appears not only shops gave Augustin a meeting ; by Gregory's answer to his interro- where the first thing proposed by gations, but by the scheme of the ec- him was, that they would embrace clesiastical government here, which the unity of the Catholic Church, Gregory sent to him, after he had a and then join with him in preaching fair prospect of the conversion of to the Gentiles ; for, saith he, 'they the Saxons, which was at the same did many things repugnant to the time that he sent Melitius, Justus, unity of the Church ; which was, Paulinus, and Rufinianus, with the in plain terms, to charge them with archiepiscopal pall, to him. There schism; and the terms of commuhe declares, that there were to be nion offered did imply submission two archbishop's sees, one at Lon- to the Church of Rome, and by don, (which, out of honour to E- consequence, to his authority over thelbert or Augustin, was fixed at them. But the utmost that could Canterbury, or rather by Ethelbert's be obtained from them, was only own authority, and the other at that they would take further advice, York, which had been a metropoli. and give another meeting with a tan see in the British times, and greater number. And then were both these archbishops were to have present seven bishops of the Britwelve suffragan bishops under them. tons, and many learned men, chiefly The bishop of London was to be of the monastery of Bangor, where consecrated by his own synod, and Dinoth was then abbot; and the reto receive the pall from the Pope; sult of this meeting was, that they but Augustin was to appoint the utterly refused submission to the first bishop of York, who was to Church of Rome, or to Augustin as yield subjection to him for his time, archbishop over them.' And for but afterwards the sees were to be the account of this we are beholden independent of each other. But by to Bede, whose authority is liable to all this it should seem, that he had no exception in this matter.
consider an exception or two, which are made by Schelstrate in his Dissertation concerning the Patriarchal Power of the Bishop of Rome, in answer to Bishop Stillingfleet's Antiquities of the British Church. [London, 1688. 4to.]
12. He says 54, . The manuscript set out by Sir H. Spelman, The concontaining the answer of Dinothus to Austin, is spurious and trary ex
ceptions of forged; for the style manifestly discovers it to be modern :' Schelstrate, which is a weighty argument indeed from a person, who was the Bri
relating to so competent a judge of the British style, in which that manu- tannic
Churches, script was written, that he professes he did not understand even the English tongue without the help of an interpreter : and how then should he be able to judge of a British writing by its style, without knowing a syllable of the language? But he adds, . The matter of it also discovers it to be a forgery: for it is manifest there was no archbishop of Caerleon upon Uske at that time, as the writing pretends : but that the metropolitan jurisdiction had for above a hundred years before been transferred to Menevia :' as if it was not as manifest to all the world, that the archbishop of Menevia or St. David's might retain the title of Caerleon, though the see was removed, because Caerleon was the original seat; as well as the bishop of the Isle of Man now retains the title of Episcopus Sodorensis, because Sodera and all the Hebrides, or islands on the west of Scotland, were once part of his diocese, though now for many ages they have been separated from it: or, to give an instance nearer Rome, we are told by geographers 55 that Ostia and Porto still give title to two bishops, one whereof is always a senior cardinal, and the other dean of the college of cardinals, though both places are now in such ruins, that there is scarce an inhabitant in either. We shall see hereafter, in the fifth chapter of this Book, that many times three or four ancient
54 Dissert. ch. 6. (p. 102.) And natur, tribuitur, &c.
Ibid. voce first as to the manuscript set forth Portus Augusti. (p. 82.) Portus Auby Spelman, &c.
gusti, qui et Romanus, Porto, urbs 55 Ferrarius, Lexic. Geogr. voce Hetruriæ prorsus excisa, apud OsOstia. (t. 2. p. 22.) Ostia... colonia tia Tiberis, contra Ostiam urbem et urbis Latii, episcopalis, ad ostia etiam exstinctam 2 mill. pass. disTiberis, e regione Portus urbis, tantem; ab urbe Roma 16 mill. pass. prorsus a Saracenis eversa, ab urbe in meridiem. Manet episcopatus, Roma 16 mill. pass. distans. Ma- unus e sex, qui cardinalibus antinet episcopatus, qui cardinali seni- quioribus conferuntur. ori, a quo pontifex maximus coro
Italian bishoprics were united into one, as Holstenius 56 has observed of Tarquina, Cornetum, and Gravisca ; in which case no absurdity is committed, whichever of the titles the bishop of the united diocese was called by. Why then must it be an objection against the validity of this testimony, that it calls the bishop of Menevia by the title of Caerleon, when that was the original title ?
But secondly, he says, ' It appears from Bede that the question was not concerning the primacy of the Roman bishop, but about Austin's metropolitical jurisdiction over them.' But how then came the British bishops to be reckoned schismatics, if the Pope's authority was no ways concerned in the dispute ? Would they be schismatics for rejecting Austin's metropolitical jurisdiction, had he unwarrantably usurped that power of his own head, and without a legal commission from some superior obtruded himself upon them? It is plain, therefore, the one was included in the other, and the rejecting Austin was rejecting the power that sent him. But they also contested the Pope's supremacy in another respect, refusing to comply with the Romish rites and usages in the observation of Easter, the administration of baptism, St. Peter's tonsure, and some other customs : which was an argument, that as they had no dependence upon the Church of Rome heretofore, nor much communication with her, but rather with the eastern Churches; so now they intended not to submit to her dictates, but to follow their own ancient customs as a free Church, and independent of her. Can any one suppose that, had the British bishops looked upon the Pope as invested with a legal supremacy over them, they would have scrupled complying with directions in such matters, as the observation of Easter and the like, when such things were but the smallest part of patriarchal jurisdiction ? Even our author himself 57, when he comes to consider the matter a little further, is not so hardy as to stand by his own assertion, but comes to call them names at last, with Baronius and others of his own party, telling us that after the Saxons had broken in upon them, they deserted the doctrines
56 Annot. in Geogr. Car. a s. Episcopatus hic Cornetum translaPaulo, p. 8. ad vocem Tarquinii. (ap. tus, ut et Graviscanus.
. Oper. C. a S. P. p. 48.) Tarquinii, 57 Dissert. ch. 6. (p. 106.) vulgo Tarquera. Tarquina, &c.
and rights of the Catholic Church, and receded as schismaties from the centre of ecclesiastical communion : and that it ought to be concluded, that God was willing to shew the falsehood of the schismatical Church of Britain, by the miracle which he wrought upon Austin's intercession.' This is home to our point, and gives up the cause in question, which is,—Whether the British Church owned the Pope's supremacy at the coming of Austin hither? Which our author, after some small bickerings with his learned adversary, is forced to deny, and join issue with him, and then betakes himself to their last and common refuge, ill names and miracles, which being no arguments in this case, I shall not stand to give them any answer ; but only inquire into one thing more,—How it appears that the Britons had deserted any ancient doctrine relating to the Pope's patriarchal power, upon the coming of the Saxons ?
To evidence this, our author must give us very plain proofs, that before that time the British Church always owned the bishop of Rome's patriarchal jurisdiction over them. And this indeed is the pretended design of his whole Dissertation ; but
! his proofs amount to no more than a few slight conjectures, by which he would be thought to have demonstrated these four things. First, that St. Peter was the founder of the British Church 58; which any one that reads Bishop Usher De Primordiis 59 will as readily attribute to St. Paul, or twenty others : so little reason is there for grounding the Pope's patriarchal power upon the first conversion of the British Church. Secondly, he argues from ancient tradition, that patriarchal power is an apostolical institution, and that thereby to the British Church was made subject to the Roman, whoever was the first converter of it: but this tradition is involved in greater obscurity, and proceeds upon more precarious proofs than the former. Thirdly, he says, the British bishops, in the Council of Arles, owned the Pope’s 61 patriarchal power over them, and all the Western world. And lastly, that this power, in this full extent and latitude, is both acknowledged and confirmed by the sixth canon of the Council of Nice 62. How far
58 Ibid. ch. 1, 2. (pp. 1, 16, seqq.) 60 Schelstrate, as before, ch. 3. (pp.
59 Sive, de Antiquit. Eccles. Bri- 36, seqq.) tann. c. 1. (Works, v. 5. pp. 19,
61 Ibid. ch. 4. (pp. 57, seqq.) seqq.) S. Paulum, doctorem Gen
62 Ibid. ch. 5. (pp. 76, seqq.) tium, &c.
the Council of Nice allowed or confirmed this power, has been already shewed in discoursing of the suburbicary churches : so that the only thing remaining is to examine what weight there is in his argument from the Council of Arles. This Council was summoned by Constantine, and not by the Pope, against the Donatists, anno 314. Here were present three British bishops, Eborius from York, Restitutus from London, and Adelphius from Lincoln, - Colonia Lindi, as I shall show
, hereafter 62 it probably ought to be read. Now, in their Synodical Epistle to Pope Sylvester, there is a passage, but by all acknowledged to be a very corrupt one, which speaks something of his holding the greater dioceses 63 ; which our author interprets to mean, “his having a patriarchal power over all the great dioceses of the Western empire, Macedonia, Dacia, Illyricum, Italy, Africa, Spain, France, and Britain.' But one question may be here asked, which will spoil all this flourish of a comment;–Did the African fathers, many of whom were present at this Council, so understand the words greater dioceses ? If they did, how came it to pass, that within an age after they so stiffly opposed three Popes successively, and vindicated their own liberties in this very point, (as we have seen before 64 they did,) denying them absolutely all power of receiving appeals from any of the African Churches ? Had St. Austin and all the rest of them forgot what their forefathers had so lately subscribed at Arles, that Africa was one of the Pope's larger dioceses ? Or, had they been harassed out of their senses, like the poor Britons, by some Saxon invasion, and were now run into schism, as the other are reproachfully and falsely said to have done ? Nothing of all this can be pretended in the present case; and therefore that is demonstration to me, that neither the African fathers, nor the Britons, nor any others then present in council, took the words greater dioceses in the sense which this author puts upon them; so that whatever meaning they must have, it is plain this cannot be their meaning: and then all the argument, which our author
62 See ch. 6. 8.9. of this Book. it thus : Placuit etiam hæc juxta an
63 C. Arelat. 1. Ep. Synod. (t. 1. tiquam consuetudinem a te, qui maP. 1426 a.) Placuit etiam antequam jores diæceses tenes, et per te potisa te, qui majores diæceses tenes, simum omnibus insinuari. per te potissimum omnibus insinu- 64 See 8. 11. p. 241. For the Briari.-Schelstrate and Perron correct tannic Churches, &c.