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which he intended to make, and a bill was passed in Parliament, anno 1539, to empower the king to do this by his letters patent. The whole transaction and the names of the intended sees may be read at large in Bishop Burnet's History of the Reformation 10. The thing indeed miscarried afterward, and by some accident was never effected; but notwithstanding it shows us the sense of the leading men in the Reformation. What therefore has been and still is allowable in this Church, is allowable in others; that is to multiply dioceses as necessity requires, and divide the great care and burden of the episcopal function into more hands for the greater benefit and advantage of the Church. Whenever therefore any of the foreign Churches of the Protestant Communion shall think fit to reassume again the ancient episcopal form of government among them, they may both with honour and ease frame to themselves such a model of small dioceses, as will not much exceed the extent of one of their classes, nor much alter its form, and yet be agreeable to the model of the lesser sort of dioceses in the primitive Church.

A temporary moderator, or a superintendent of a small district, such as are our rural deaneries, will easily be made a bishop, by giving him a solemn ordination to the perpetual office of governing the churches of such a district, as chief pastor, under whom all other inferior pastors of the same district must act in subordination to him, deriving their authority from his


10 Lond. 1681. (v. 1. p. 262.) The sees which the king then designed, with the abbeys out of which they were to be erected, follow, as in the paper under the king's own hand. Essex

Waltham. Hartford

St. Alban's.

Dunstable, Bedfordshire and

Newenhain, Buckinghamshire | Clowstown. Oxford and Berk- S Osney and shire

Taine. Northampton and } Peterborough.

Huntingdon Middlesex


Fountains and

the archdeaLancashire

conry of Rich


Stafford and Salop Shrewsbury.

Welbeck, Wer-
Nottingham and

sop, [Work-

sop,] Thur-



Over these is written The bi-
shopricks to be made. In another
corner of the page he writes as fol-
lows, Places to be altered according
to our desire, which have sees in them.
Christ's Church in Canterbury, &c.


Leicester and Rut- } Leicester.

land Gloucestershire

St. Peter's.

imposition of hands, and doing nothing without his conșent and approbation. As this will secure the just authority and veneration of episcopal superintendency, whilst, according to the rule of Ignatius", nothing is done without the bishop in the Church; so will it be agreeable to the model of the ancient Church, which had many small dioceses as well as large ones, particularly in Italy, where many episcopal sees were not above five or six miles from one another, and their dioceses not above ten or twelve miles in extent, such as Narnia, and Interamnia, Fidenæ, Fulginum, Hispellum, Forum Flaminii, and many others that have been particularly spoken of in the foregoing Book. There are now a great many such dioceses in Italy in the realm of Naples, where the whole number is an hundred and forty seven, twenty of which are archbishoprics : and some of them so small as not to have any diocese beyond the walls of the city, as is particularly noted by Dr. Maurice 12 and others of Campana and Vesta, out of Ughellus's Italia Sacra, whence it is observed also, that Cava in the same kingdom had but five hundred communicants belonging to it. And there are some dioceses at present in the southern parts of France, which I am told do not very much exceed that proportion. The bishopric of the Isle of Man has now but seventeen parishes, and in Bede's time 13 the whole island had but the measure of three or four hundred families, according to what was then the English way of computation, though the Isle of Anglesey had thrice that number. So that, though dioceses in the Protestant Churches should be thus contracted, yet no other Church, where episcopacy is already settled, can have any just reason to complain of such an episcopacy as this, so long as it appears to be agreeable to the original state, and exactly conformable to ancient practice. Nor can any Churches, then, have ground for dispute with one another about external polity and government, though the dioceses of one Church happen to be larger or smaller than those of another;

n. 34:

11 See b. 2. ch. 1. 8. 2. v. 1. p.48. subjugavit Anglorum. Quarum pri

or, quæ ad austrum est, et situ am. 12 Defence of Diocesan Episco- plior et frugum proventu atque upacy. (p. 132.) Campana, a small bertate felicior, nongentarum sextown, &c.

aginta familiarum mensuram juxta 13 Hist. 1. 2. c.9. (p. 87. 30.) Quin æstimationem Anglorum ; secunda, et Mevanias Insulas, ... imperio trecentarum et ultra, spatium tenet.

so long as they have each their precedents in the ancient Church, they may treat one another with the same Catholic charity as the ancient Churches did, among whom we never find the least footstep of a dispute upon this foundation.

Nor is there now any dispute between the two sister Churches of England and Ireland upon this head, though the one has enlarged, and the other contracted her dioceses since the Reformation. For in Ireland there are not now above half the number of dioceses that there were before, and consequently they must needs be larger by uniting them together. In England there are more in number than formerly, some new ones being erected out of the old ones, and at present the whole number augmented to three times as many as they were for some ages after the first conversion. Beside that we have another way of contracting dioceses in effect here in England appointed by law, which law was never yet repealed, which is by devolving part of the bishop's care upon the chorepiscopi, or suffragan bishops, as the law calls them ;-a method commonly practised in the ancient Church in such large dioceses as those of St. Basil and Theodoret, one of which had no less than fifty chorepiscopi under him, if Nazianzen 14 rightly informs us; and it is a practice that was continued here all the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and even to the end of King James ; and is what may be revived again whenever any bishop thinks his diocese too large 15, or his burden too great to be sustained by himself alone. From hence I conclude, that the multiplying bishops, and contracting of dioceses in the Protestant Churches, can give no just offence to any other episcopal Churches, since it was ever practised in the ancient Church, and is now practised in some of the Churches of the Reformation, where still the dioceses remain so great, as to be capable of being divided each into ten, without altering the species of episcopacy, or infringing any rule of the Catholic Church.


14 See ch. 3. 8. 2. P: 304. n. 47. ter to the English episcopate, and

15 [The principle thus advocated the creation of twenty-six colonial has been fully recognised of late It would surely promote the years, not only by the union of sun. well-being of the Anglican Church, dry dioceses in the sister island, and were the number of her chief pasthe reduction of the number of the tors to be very considerably aug. Irish bishops to twelve; but also by mented, perhaps trebled, or nearly the addition of Ripon and Manches- quadrupled. ED.)

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If this consideration may contribute any thing toward the settlement of a primitive episcopacy in such Churches of the Reformation as are still without it, (which may be done by ordaining a supreme pastor'in every great town, where there is a civil magistracy with lesser towns and villages in its dependance, which was the ancient notion of a city, when episcopacy was first settled by the Apostles,) I shall then think my pains and labour which have not been small, in discovering the extent and measure of so many ancient dioceses, to be still so much the more useful, not only as opening a way to a clear understanding of the state of the ancient Church, but as promoting the unity and firmer settlement of the present Church, whose general interest, and not that of any particular Church or party interfering with it, I have proposed to myself in this whole Work to prosecute and serve. The God of peace and truth prosper the endeavours of all those who have no other design!


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Having given no particular catalogue of the ancient dioceses in the six African provinces, in the foregoing Book, as of all other provinces in the world; lest it should be thought an omission, I have here subjoined an account of them, as collected by Carolus à Sancto Paulo 16 and Holstenius 17 out of the ancient Councils, and the Collation of Carthage, and the Notitia of Afric published by Sirmondus among his Miscellanies 18, and the Works of St. Austin, and Victor Vitensis 19, who speaks of one hundred and sixty-four bishops in the first of these provinces, called Zeugitana, or the Proconsular Afric: though Carolus à Sancto Paulo could find the names only of one hundred and two dioceses, and some of these named twice or thrice over; for Bolita and Vallis and Vol are but three names for the same city. So Abdera, and Abbirita, and Abbir Germaniciorum are the same. As also Sicca and Zigga. Duassedemsai and Duæ Senepsalitinæ, two corrupt names for the city Selemsal, as Holstenius observes in his remarks upon them. .

In Provincia Zeugitana, otherwise called Africa

Proconsularis. 1. Carthago. 2. Sicilibra. 3. Maxula. 4. Vallis. 5. U

. thina. 6. Tuburbo. 7. Abdera. 8. Assurus. 9. Tucabor, or Tucca Terebinthina 20. 10. Altibura. 11. Vazua. 12. Amme

16 (Vid. Ed. Amstel. 1704. fol. 1695. vel Venet. 1728. 5 vol. fol.

5 17 Vid. ad calc. Ed. ut supra, 19 Sive Uticensis, de Persecutione Parergon Notitias aliquot Ecclesi- Vandalica. Ap. Bibl. Patr. Latin. asticas et Civiles diversis temporibus Paris. 1654. 6. 7. sive Bibl. Max. editas complectens.

Lugdun. 1677. t. 8. Ed.] 18 Ap. v. I. edit. separat. Paris. 20 Or Terebentina. 1675. 8vo. Ap. t. 1. operum, Paris.

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