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in the regions of Arsinoe, Alexandria, and other cities of Egypt and Libya, in several fragments of his Epistles, recorded in Eusebius, which have already been alleged and need not here be repeated. From these and many other such instances it is evident, that as soon as the Christian religion began to spread itself from the cities into the country-regions in any considerable manner, village-churches were erected, and country-presbyters fixed on them; the necessities and convenience of the Church requiring it so to be for the greater benefit and edification of the whole community. Thus parishchurches had their original both in city and country, not all at one time, nor by any general decree, but as the exigencies of every diocese required, the bishop of which was always the properest judge, how many assistants he needed to help him to discharge the several offices belonging to him as chief superintendent of the city and territory under his jurisdiction. In France, the Council of Vaison speaks of country-parishes in the beginning of the fifth century, as I have noted before 85 in the first section of this chapter. But in England we have not so early an account of them, because the records we have remaining of the ancient British Church make no mention of parishes; and after the Saxon conversions were begun, it was some time before our dioceses were divided into parishes, and longer before they had appropriated revenues settled upon them. Some think Honorius, the fifth archbishop of Canterbury, divided so much of the nation as was converted into parishes about the year 640. So Bp. Godwin 86 and Dugdale. But others think, this division is rather to be understood of dioceses than parishes : for parochia in Bede commonly denotes a bishop's diocese, according to the ancient style and language of the Church; as is evident from that canon of the Council of Herudford mentioned in Bede 87, which was held
85 See note n. 65, preceding. find from the indistinctness of the
86 [De Præsulibus, &c. Cantabr. reference. But see Spelman's Con1743. De Archiepisc. Cantuar. &c. cilia, anno 673. (Lond. 1639. p. 152.) n. 5. anno, 634. (p. 40.) Hoc vero where we read; Perhibent etiam de illo maxime memorabile, quod Antiquitates Ecclesiæ Christi Canomnes provinciæ suæ regiones in tuariæ, Theodorum Cantuarensem paræcias distinxit primus, ut sin- provinciam per parochias primum gulis ministris singulos greges, quos distribuisse, &c. Ev.] curarent, posset attribuere.— The 87 Hist. 1. 4. c. 5. (p. 148. 16.) passage in Dugdale I do not readily Secundum, ut nullus episcoporum
above thirty years after this supposed division of Honorius, in the time of archbishop Theodore, anno 673, where it is decreed, that no bishop shall invade another's parochia, or diocese, but be content with the government of the people committed to him. Bp. Andrews 5s indeed brings this very canon for a proof of parishes being now settled all over the nation : but I conceive the other sense of the word parochia to be more proper to that place. Though I will not deny but that toward the latter end of this archbishop's time, who lived to the year 690, the division of parishes might be made: for Bede 89 observes, that religion and the affairs of the Church made a greater progress in his time than ever they had done before;' and Mr. Wheelock 90, in his observations upon the place, cites an ancient MS., which speaks of the division of parishes as made under him. Now Christianity had spread itself into the country, and churches were built and presbyters fixed upon them, and first-fruits, and other revenues were settled by King Ina 91 among the West Saxons, and by Withred,
parochiam alterius invadat, sed con- beneficio commorari providissime tentus sit gubernatione creditæ sibi curavit. Nam, (ut MS. Codex Canplebis.
tuariensis Aulæ Trin. p. 46,) excita88 De Decimis, inter Opuscula, bat Theodorus archiepiscopus fide(p. 152.)... Quæ duo evincunt satis lium devotionem et voluntatem in utrasque tum decimarum pensiones quarumlibet provinciarum civitatitum paræciarum divisiones apud nos bus, nec non villis, ecclesias fabriantiquitus exstitisse, nec tam esse candi, paræcias distinguendi, assenrecentes, quam nonnulli hallucinati sus regios procurando : ut si qui sunt.
sufficientes essent, et ad Dei hono89 Ibid. 1.5. c. 8. (p. 189. 13.)... rem pro voto haberent super proTantum profectus spiritalis tempore prium fundum ecclesias construere, præsulatus illius Anglorum ecclesiæ, earumdem perpetuo patronatu gauquantum nunquam antea potuere, derent. cæperunt.
91 Leg. Eccles. c. 4. (ap. Spelman. 90 In loc. (Cantab. 1643. p. 399, t. 1. p. 183. ad calc.) Primitiæ semiad calc.) Nam hujus [Theodori) et num ad celebre divi Martini festum Adriani abbatis excultissima erudi- redduntor: quitum non solverit, quatione et industria, congregata dis- draginta solidis mulctator, et ipsas cipulorum caterva, scientiæ salutaris præterea primitias duodecies persolquotidie flumina in rigandis Anglo- vito.-C. Becanceld. c. 1. (ib. p. 191.) rum cordibus emanabant. Neque Ego Withredus rex terrenus, a Rege illa apud gentem nostram ætate, regum compunctus, zelo rectituditheologiam Deique notitiam in ab- nis accensus, ex antiqua traditione ditis monasteriorum paucorum pe- sanctorum patrum didici, non licinetralibus reconditam latere passus tum esse alicui homini, in laico haest Theodorus; sed et in villas quas- bitu constituto, usurpare sibi quasi que, per omnes gentis hujus angulos propriam possessionem, quæ ante disseminatas, circumferri, et ibidem fuerat Domino concessa, et Christi ex illo usque tempore singulari Dei cruce firmata, &c.
King of Kent, in the Council of Beconceld, anno 694; and patrons, when they founded churches, endowed them with lands for proper maintenance. All which seems to imply that the original of country-parishes was about the latter end of the seventh century in this nation, and in the next age they were
fully settled. The city- 5. But to return to the former times. It is further to be parishes not
noted concerning the ancient manner of serving the cityalways assigned to parish-churches, that they were not usually committed to any particular presbyters ; particular presbyters, as those in the country-regions were, but served but were served in common by the clergy of the bishop's in common by the
church. Learned men conclude this from a passage in Epiclergy of
phanius 9, who seems to note it as a particular custom at the bishop's charch. Alexandria, that all the churches there had their own parThis other ticular presbyters assigned them, who dwelt near their own country- churches, every one in their own streets or divisions, which parishes. the Alexandrians in their own language called laura. Peta
. vius 92 indeed thinks Epiphanius was mistaken, and that it was not the peculiar custom of Alexandria, but common to all great cities, to have presbyters fixed upon all their churches. But Valesius 93 and other learned men defend Epiphanius against
91 Hær. 69. Arian. n. 1. (t. 1. p. Fresne's reading of the same place. 727 c.). "Ogai yapékaingiai tñs kado- See as above, (col. 793.) where he λικής εκκλησίας εν 'Αλεξανδρεία υπό says, Λάβρα, idem φuod λαύρα, οια, éva épgienio koTTOV oủoai, kai kar' platea ; citing a passage from the ιδίαν ταύταις επιτεταγμένοι εισί πρεσ- Synopsis Sanctorum Anni of Niceβύτεροι, διά τάς εκκλησιαστικάς χρείας phorus Xanthopulus or Callistus, των οικητόρων, πλησίων εκάστης εκ- where λάβρα is so used. ED.] κλησίας αυτών, και αμφόδων, ήτοι 92 In loc. (t. 2. animadvers. p. daßwv [forte, lavpôv. Petav. in 276. n. .) Non dubito majoribus marg.] επιχωρίως καλουμένων, υπό duntaxat in urbibus plures intra των την Αλεξανδρέων κατοικούντων pomeria titulos fuisse; cum intra Tólv. [Vid. Du Fresn. Glossar. eadem septa contineri, unaque conGræcitat. voce, Aaūpa. (Lugdun. venire non possent: adeoque pres1688. t. I. col. 792.) Vox Ionica. byteros singulis ecclesiis impositos. Phavorinus : Saúpa 'Ióves déyovoi In minoribus autem, ac minus freτας στενάς ρύμας, τας αμφόδους.... quentibus oppidis unam duntaxat Eustathio dicitur otevý tus trepioxò, ecclesiam exstitisse, in quam uniοίον ήν 'Ιλαρίωνος του θεσπεσίου δω- versi confluerent. Cujusmodi Cypri párioy. Ap. Sozom. 1. 3. c. 14. Et urbes erant. Unde quod Alexandriæ certe hæc vox passim usurpatur pro receptum erat, velut popularibus suis locis ad vitam solitariam accommo- peregrinum et inusitatum, annotavit datis, &c.—The reading daßôr in Epiphanius. the foregoing citation of Epipha
*93 In Sozom. I. s. c. 15. (v. 2. p. nius, for which Petavius suggests 33. n. 1.) Alexandrinæ ecclesiæ pedavpôv, is probably a typographical culiarem hunc morem fuisse, ut error for haßpwv, which is Du singulis ecclesiis seu titulis in ea
his censure, and show this to have been so singular a custom at Alexandria, that perhaps no other city in the world in that age, no not Rome itself, which had above forty churches, had any one church appropriated to any particular presbyter, but they were all served in common by the clergy of the bishop's church. Valesius observes, that it was so at Rome to the time of Innocent I., who speaks 94 of his sending the bread of the consecrated eucharist to the presbyters ministering in the parish-churches on the Lord's-day, that they might not on that day think themselves separated from his communion.' So that they seem to have been the clergy of the great church, sent forth by turns only, to minister in the several tituli on the Lord's-day; and then their having a title, or the care of a church, must mean no more but their being deputed in common to the service of the tituli, or parishchurches, in contradistinction to the cathedral church. Something of this custom continued at Constantinople to the time of Justinian: for in one of his Novels 95 he takes notice of three churches, St. Mary's, St. Theodore's, and St. Irene's, which had
urbe constitutis suus esset assigna- episcopus pro arbitrio quem vellet. tus presbyter, docet etiam Epipha- -See Maurice's Vindication of the nius in Hæresi Arianorum : ubi A- Primitive Church, &c. (p. 65.) The rium Baucalensis tituli presbyterum division of Alexandria, &c. hoc modo fuisse observat : 'Ogai yàp Ep. 1. ad Decent. c. 5. See beεκκλησίαι, κ. τ.λ. Ad quem locuum fore, ch. 5. 8. I. p. 335 n. 15. Dionysius Petavius observat, idem 95 Novel. 3. c. 1. (t. 5. p. 32, ad etiam Romæ usitatum fuisse : qua calc.). ... Postea vero et venerabilis in urbe presbyteri, per varios titulos domus sanctæ, gloriosæque Virginis distributi, suam quisque plebem se- et Dei genetricis Mariæ, juxta sancparatim regebat. Ad cujus rei pro- tissimæ majoris ecclesiæ vicinitatem bationem adducit locum ex Epistola posita, ædificata est a piæ memoriæ Innocentii papæ ad Decentium, c.5. Verina, et veneranda domus sancti qui sic habet: De fermento vero, &c. martyris Theodori a Porcatio (juxt. [See the next note.] Verum hic lo- Edit. Græc. Edopaxiou] gloriosæ cus contrarium potius mihi videtur memoræ dedicata est : erat autem probare. Ait enim Innocentius, etiam venerabilis domus sanctæ presbyteros reliquis diebus hebdo- Helenæ (leg. Irenes], quæ sanctismadis ipsi adhæsisse, et cum ipso simæ majori ecclesiæ copulata est : convenisse, et communicasse: die- propterea redigere numerum ad anbus autem dominicis, plebem col- tiquam figuram impossibile est. Non legisse, et fermentum ab episcopo enim sufficient tantis ecclesiis pauci accepisse, ne a communione sui epi- consistentes : quoniam quando non scopi separati esse eo die viderentur. proprios clericos, neque matres haNon igitur affixi erant titulis suis bent basilicas; sed communes sunt Romani presbyteri ætate Innocentii, et sanctissimæ majoris ecclesiæ, et sed ad eos regendos die dominico earum, omnes circumeuntes secunmittebantur. Nec necesse erat, ut dum quendam ordinem, et circum unus idemque ad eandem semper ministeria in eis celebrant : &c. ecclesiam mitteretur, sed eligebat BINGHAM, VOL. III.
no appropriated clergy belonging to them, but were served by the ministers of the great church, who officiated in them according to their courses. It is observed also by some, that a peculiar custom prevailed at Rome, to have two presbyters officiate in every church, whereas in other places there was but one.
Dr. Maurice 96 infers this from a passage in the Comments of Hilary the Roman deacon, who commonly goes under the name of St. Ambrose 97, who says, “that though there were but seven deacons in all Rome, yet there was such a number of presbyters as to have two to officiate in every church, because the inhabitants communicated twice a week, and there were sick persons to be baptized almost every day.' But whether this custom was so peculiar to Rome, as to belong to no other Church, is what I had rather the reader should believe upon that learned man's judgment, than my own assertion.
As to country-churches, the case is very plain, that presbyters were more early fixed and appropriated peculiarly to them, there being not the same conveniency of serving them in common by the presbyters of the city-church. Therefore we may observe, that the Council of Neocæsarea 98 makes a distinction between the dmcx6pLoL meo Bútepol, the countrypresbyters, and those of the city, forbidding the former to offciate in the city-church, except in the absence of the bishop and city-presbyters: which plainly implies, that country-parishes were then served by fixed presbyters of their own, who had nothing to do with the service of the city-church. And the same appears from the account which Athanasius gives of the presbyters of the villages of Mareotis under Alexandria, and
many other passages of the ancient writers. Settled re
6. But we are to observe, that the being settled in a parishvenues not cure, whether in city or country, did not immediately entitle immediate ly fixed
a man to the revenue arising from that cure, whether in tithes vpon pa- or oblations, or any other kind. For anciently all church-rerishes at their first venues were delivered into the common-stock of the bishop's
96 Defence of Diocesan Episco- ... Omni enim hebdomada offerenpacy. (p. 47.) There is one thing dum est, etiam si non quotidie pere
grinis, incolis tamen vel bis in heb97 sn 1. Tim. 3. (12, 13.] (t. 2. ap- domada, etsi non desint qui prope pend. p. 295 e.) Nunc autem septem quotidie baptizentur ægri. diaconos esse opportet, et aliquantos 98 C. 13. See before, ch. 6. s.21. presbyteros, ut bini sint per eccle- p. 386. n. 46. sias, et unus in civitate episcopus.