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salvation. And this is the case of many temporal things,
especially arts, offices, intercourses, and government. There-
fore supposing all that is said in the objection, that temporal
felicity is not the last end of man, but spiritual and eternal,
yet though it be not the end of a man, it may be the end
of human government ; and by not being in a natural order
to spiritual ends, though spiritual be a better thing, yet
it follows not that it ought to take place of that, upon the
account of its being better in another kind. The body
indeed is subordinate to the soul, because it hath all its
motion, and operation, and life from the soul, and in a natural



510 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

conjunction and essential union is its appointed instrument ;
but temporal things and spiritual are not so conjoined, and
do not naturally, but by accident, minister to each other;
and therefore are made subject to each other alternately,
when they are called to such accidental or supernatural
ministrations.

Question III.

Whether are to be preferred, spiritual or temporal persons?

18. How spiritual things are to be preferred before tem-
poral, I have already accounted ; but it is a consideration
distinct from that, whether spiritual persons be to be pre-
ferred before temporal. For from things to persons it will
not follow ; and he that hath a better art, is not always the
better man ; and he that is employed in the best concern-
ments, hath not always the advantage of profession. There
was a time in Rome when the physicians were but servants,
and had not the liberty of Romans ; but certainly it is a bet-
ter trade than fighting : and yet then the soldiers were
accounted the greater men. Herod the sophister had a son
that was a fool, and could never learn the alphabet : but he
had two-and-twenty slaves that were wise fellows ; but the
master was the better man. But when the question is con-
cerning the honour and dignity of persons, we are to remem-
ber that " honor est in honorante : " many men deserve
honour that have the least of it, and it is as it is put upon us
by others. To be honoured is to have something put to
them, it is nothing of their own. Therefore in this question
there are two things to be asked : the one is, What spiritual
persons deserve? the other is, What is given them? They
may deserve more than they have, or they may have more
than they deserve ; but whether either or neither happens,
" he that honours himself, his honour is nothing : " but he
is honourable whom God or the king honours : and therefore
spiritual persons ought to receive much, but to challenge
none ; and above all things ought not to enter into compari-
son with them from whom all temporal honour is derived.
But when the question is concerning the prelation of secular
or ecclesiastic persons, the best answer is given to it, when
they strive to prefer one another " in giving honour to each
other." But I remember, that the legates at Trent were



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 511

horribly put to it to place the orators of the kings of France
and Spain, who would both go first: they at last found an
expedient, and they did both go first, and both were preferred
in several positions. So is the spiritual person and the
civil; they are both best, but the honour of one is temporal,
and the honour of the other is spiritual ; or rather, one is
properly called honour, and the other reverence. " Honour
the king, reverence his priests." But this question is not
properly a question of right, but of duty : and the spiritual
man must not call for it, but the other must pay it. And
it is something a sad consideration to think, that all the
questions of the preference and comparison of spiritual and
temporal persons do end in covetousness and ambition, to
which spiritual eminence, let it be ever so great, was never
intended to minister. For the honour due to spiritual per-
sons for their spiritual relation, is a spiritual honour; and
that, though it be ever so great, cannot well be compared with
temporal ; for it is a great honour in another kind : but what-
soever temporal honours are given to them, are then well
given, when they are done in love to religion ; and are
then well taken, when the advantage passes on to the good
of souls, and does not sully the spiritual man with spiritual
pride or temporal vanity. Socrates complains that the
bishops of Alexandria and of Rome were fallen into empire
or dominion. That is none of the preference proper to a spi-
ritual man. He is then honoured, when his person is had in
reverend and venerable esteem, when his counsel is asked,
,when his example is observed and followed, when he is
defended by laws and princes, when he is rescued from
beggary and contempt, when he is enabled to do his duty
with advantages, when he can verify his ecclesiastical
power, when he can vindicate religion from oppression,
and lastly, when his person, which is the relative of religion,
receives those advantages which, as a man, he needs, and
which can adorn him as such a man. But if he disputes for
any other honour, so much is his due as is given him by
Christian princes or commonwealths, and no more ; and he
will gain the more by making no further question. Christ
gave his apostles power abundantly ; but the greatest ho-
nour he gave them, was to suffer for his name ; and of this
he promised they should want nothing: but when kings



512 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

became nursing fathers of the Church, and she sucked the
breasts of queens and princely women, then the spiritual per-
sons and guides of souls had temporal honours heaped on
them, as the offerings were made for the tabernacle, more than
was sufficient. For it quickly rose into excess, and then the per-
sons of the prelates fell into secular affections, and grew hated,
and envied, and opposed. Ammianus Marcellinus, giving an
account of that horrible sedition raised in Rome in the con-
test between Damasus and Ursin about the papacy, says, he
wonders not that the prelates did so earnestly contend for
the bishoprick of Rome ; " Cum id adepti, futuri sint ita
securi, ut ditentur oblationibus matronarum, procedantque
vehiculis insidentes, circumspecte vestiti, epulas curantes
profusas, adeo ut eoruru con vi via regales superent mensas ;
Because, when they have obtained it, they are safe and
warm, full with the oblations of the good women, and are
carried in their caroches, and are neatly habited, and splen-
didly feasted, and themselves keep tables beyond the pro-
fuseness of kings." Now although bishops are men, and
religion itself is served by men who have bodies and secular
apprehensions, and therefore does need secular advantages,
yet this belongs to them as men, not as spiritual. It is just
as if you should call the general of an army ' holy father,'
and beg his blessing, and set him in the chiefest place of the
choir, and pray him to preach upon the greatest festivals of
the year, and rnn in multitudes to hear him speak. These
are the proper honours of spiritual persons ; and the splen-
dour of the world is the appendage of secular achievements:
whatsoever is necessary for their persons in order to the ad-
vantages of religion, is very fit to be given by princes to the
bishops, who will certainly modestly entertain it, and by pious
conduct transfer it to tke glory of Christ and the good of souls.
But this is none of the honour that Christ invested their
holy order with : they have a honour and a blessedness,
which none but themselves can take from them. The rosary
of Christian graces is the tiara of their head, and their office is
their dignity, and humility is their splendour, and zeal is their
conquest, and patience is their eminence, and they are made
illustrious by bringing peace, and promoting holiness, and
comforting the afflicted, and relieving the poor, and making
men and women useful to the public, and charitable in their



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 513

ministries, and wise unto salvation. This is that which was
spoken by God in the prophet Isaiah, v " Since thou wast pre-
cious in my sight, thou hast been honourable." And this
was observed by the pagan, who, being surprised with the
secular splendour of the Roman bishops, liked it not, but said
that there was another way for them to be truly happy :
" Esse poterant beati revera, si, magnitudine urbis despecta,
quam vitiis opponunt, ad imitationem antistitum quorundam
provincialium viverent, quos tenuitas edendi potandique par-
cissime, vilitas etiam indumentorum, et supercilia humum
spectantia, perpetuo numini verisque ejus cultoribus ut puros
commendant et verecundos." They are the words of Ammi-
anus Marcellinus whom I lately mentioned : " The Roman
bishops might indeed be truly happy, if they, despising the
splendours of the city, would live as some bishops in the pro-
vinces, whom their temperate and spare diet, their plain habit
and their humble carriage, represent to God and all God's
servants, as persons pre and modest." But then if this dis-
course have any thing of reason, piety, or truth, in it, it must
needs be infinitely certain, that spiritual persons are to be
preferred before the temporal in spiritual honours, but not
in temporal regards ; they have nothing to do with them by
virtue of their order or their office : what they have to their
persons by the favour of princes and nobles, is of another
consideration, and so this question is changed into an advice,
and best ends in a sermon or declamation.

Question IV.

Whether the eminence of the spiritual calling, and the con-
sequent prelation of spiritual persons, can exempt them from
secular coercion, and make them superior to princes?

19. In what senses bishops have any superiority over
princes, I shall afterward explain : now the question con-
cerning secular superiority, and immunity from the temporal
sword of princes. Now to this, I suppose, what I have al-
ready said, may be able to give an answer. For the spiritual
order gives no temporal power at all : and therefore, if all
temporal power be in the supreme civil magistrate, all men
that can deserve to feel the edge of the sword, are subject
to it. For what ? Had Archimedes reason to take it ill of

T Cap. iliii. 4.
VOL. XIII. L L



514; OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

the Romans for not sending for him and making him general
in the Syracusan war, because he was a better geometrician
than any of all their senate? Lewis. XL, of France, had a
servant, who was an excellent surgeon, and an excellent bar-
ber, and dressed his gout tenderly, and had the ordering of
his feet and his face, and did him many good offices. But
the wise prince was too fond, when, for these qualities, he
made him governor of his counsels. Every good quality,
and every eminence of art, and every worthy employment,
hath an end and design of its own ; and that end and the
proportions to it are to be the measure of the usage of
those persons which are appointed to minister to it. Now
it is certain that spiritual persons are appointed ministers of
the best and most perfective end of mankind, but to say that
this gives them a title to other ministries, which are ap-
pointed to other ends, hath as little in it of reason as it hath
of revelation. But I shall not dispute this over again, but
shall suppose it sufficient to add those authorities which
must needs be competent in this affair, as being of ecclesi-
astic persons, who had no reason, nor were they willing to
despise their own just advantages, any more than to usurp
what was unjust.

20. When Origen complained of the fastuousness and
vanity of some ecclesiastics in his time, they were bad
enough, but. had not come to a pretence of ruling over kings
upon the stock of spiritual prelation : but he was troubled,
that some had quit their proper excellence, consisting in the
multitude of spiritual gifts, their unwearied diligence in the
care of souls, their dangers, their patience, their humility,
and their dying for Christ. " Et haec nos docet sermo Divi-
nus," saith he, " * The word of God teaches us these things : '
But we either not understanding the Divine will set down in
Scriptures, or despising what Christ to such purposes recom-
mended to us, are such that we seem to exceed the pride
even of the evil princes of the world : and we do not only
seek for guards to go before us like kings, but are terrible
to the poor, and of difficult access, and behave ourselves
towards those who address themselves to intercede for some
thing or some person, that we are more cruel than tyrants,
and the secular lords of their subjects. And, in some churches,
you may see (especially in the churches of the greatest cities)



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 515

the chief of the Christian, people neither affable to others,
nor suffering others to be free in their intercourses with
them." These things are not of the way of the ecclesias-
tics ; for these things cannot consist with piety and humi-
lity, and the proper employments of such persons who
gained the world by cession, and not victory over whole
kingdoms, by trampling upon devils, and being trampled
upon by men. Bishops should be like the symbols of the
blessed sacrament, which although for the ornament of reli-
gion, and for our sakes, and because we would fain have
opportunity to signify our love to Christ, we minister in silver
and gold, yet the symbols themselves remain the same plain
and pure bread and wine, and altered only by prayers, and
by spiritual consecration, and a relative holiness. But he
were a strange superstitious fool, who, because the sacra-
mental bread and wine are much better than all the tables
and viands of princes and all the spoils of nature, will think
it fit to mingle sugar and the choicest spices of Arabia with
the bread, and ambergris, and powder of pearl, and the spirit
of gold, with the chalice. These are no fit honours to the
holy sacrament, the symbols of which are spoiled when
they are forced off from the simplicity and purity of their
institution and design. So it is with spiritual persons : their
office is spiritual, and their relation is holy, and their honours
are symbolical. For their own sakes, princes and good peo-
ple must cause decent and honourable ministries and accom-
modations to be provided for them ; but still they must
remain in their own humility, and meekness, and piety, and
not pretend to dignities heterogeneal and eminences secular,
because their spiritual employment is very excellent. It was
St. Gregory Nazianzen's w wish, that there were in the Church
prfis KgofBg/a, fj,r,8i TI$ fl-gor/'/xjjfl'/s xai rvgavvtxf) xgovofA/a, iv i
astTris povr,; tyivuffxop&a, "neither precedence of episcopal
sees, nor any eminence of one place above another, nor
any tyrannical or pompous provisions and solemnities, that
we might be distinguished only by our virtue." Now
if prelation by order and ecclesiastical economy amongst
the bishops was of so ill effect, so little necessary, and so
greatly inconvenient, that the good bishop wished there was
no such thing ; there is little reason to doubt but he would

* Oral, post Reditum.



516 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

have infinitely condemned all pretensions of a power over
civil governments. But the bishops of Rome were not at that
time gone so far. The Archimandrites of Constantinople,
complaining against the Eutychians, write to Pope Agapetus,
that if they be still permitted, " licenter omnia accedent, non
contra ecclesiasticos solos, sed etiam contra ipsum piissimum
imperatorem, nostrum et vestrum honorabile caput ; they
will do insolences, not only to the ecclesiastics, but also to
our most pious emperor, who is the honourable head both of
you and us."* This power of headship or supremacy over
the whole order ecclesiastical was acknowledged in the
Church for about a thousand years : for besides the apparent
practice and approbation of it, which I brought in the former
pages, we find that the Emperor Henry II. did deprive
Widgerus of the archbishoprick of Ravenna, and deposed
Gregory VI. from the papacy . y

21. And, therefore, we find that those ancient prelates
that called upon princes to pay reverence to them, and an
acknowledgment of that authority which Christ intrusted in
their hands, accounted them wholly to be distinct things, and
not at all invading each other's limits. For Christ, by making
them Christians, did not make them less to be princes : and
Christian emperors could not go less than the heathens ;
they were certainly no losers by their baptism. For it had
been a strange argument for Sylvester to have used to Con-
stantine, * Sir, give up yourself a disciple to the most holy
Jesus, and you shall have a crown hereafter ; and here also
you shall still reign over all but me and my clergy ; to us
indeed you must be subject, and by us you must be governed,
but the crown imperial shall be greater than every thing, our
mitres only excepted.' If this had been the state of the
question, I wonder by what argument the prince could have
been persuaded to become Christian : when it was so obvious
for him to say, that Sylvester had reason to move him to
preach Christ, since he got so much temporal advantage by
it, but that he could see little reason why himself shall lose
and Sylvester get, and become a disciple of Christ to be
made a minor and a pupil to the bishop. And indeed it
would have been a strange sermon that preaches humility
to emperors and dominion to bishops. But their sermons,
* In 5, synod, act. 1, torn. ii. concil. 1 Herman, in Chron.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 517

when they were at the highest, were of another nature. " De
humanis rebus judicare permissum est, non praeesse Divinis :"
so Pope Gelasius z declares the limit of the imperial and
priestly power : " Of all things belonging to this world the
emperor is to judge ; but not to be the president or chief
minister of holy rites." Gelasius spake it upon occasion,
because Anastasius, the emperor, did unnecessarily interpose
in the absolution of Peter, bishop of Alexandria. This Pope
Gelasius supposed was of another nature, and not relative to
the things of this world, and therefore not of imperial cog-
nizance. But all the things of this world belong to him.
And if all things of this world, then all persons of this world.
For " Circa actiones proprie versatur imperium," say the
lawyers; " Rule and empire, and all power of judicature, are
principally concerning actions ;" but actions are done by
persons, who therefore are subject to government. And
upon this account the African bishops petitioned the empe-
ror, that he would compel Paul, the bishop of Constantinople,
to be of the catholic communion.' And the fathers of the
ninth Council of Toledo, making provisions against those
ecclesiastics who prevented the just dividend of the public
oblations, they first order them to be privately reproved, or
else to be delated to the bishop, or to the judge. But if the
bishop cozen the corban, let him be delated to the metropo-
litan : but if the metropolitan do any such vile thing, " regis
haec auribus intimare non differant ; let him without delay
be accused unto the king." And Lambert, the emperor, about
the year of our Lord 900, having some contest with the
pope, propounded this first article in a synod at Ravenna ; b
"If any Roman of the clergy or the senate, of what order
soever, shall, either voluntarily or by compulsion, appeal to
the imperial majesty, let no man presume to contradict him :
until the emperor, by himself or his missives, shall delibe-
rate concerning their persons and their causes." Thus we
find Pope Leo I V. e submitting himself to Lotharius, the em-
peror, and promising obedience : and to Ludovicus he pro-
fesses, that, if he have done amiss, he will amend it accord-
ing to his sentence, or the judgment of his deputies. Upon

1 Tom. de Vine. Anatbem. Concil. Later, consult, ii. sub Martino I.

b Apud Baron, torn. x. A.D. 904, n. 17.

c Dist. 10, c. de Capitulis. ii. q. 7, c. Nos si.



518 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

the consideration of these and many other particulars, Gra-
tian, though unwillingly, confesses, d that, in civil causes, a
clergyman is to be convened before the civil judge: and
although a little after he does a little prevaricate in the matter
of criminal causes, yet it was too late; for he said it before, 6
" Regum est corporalem irrogare poenam, Kings have the
power of inflicting corporal punishments : " and therefore if
a clerk were guilty in a criminal cause, the secular judge had
power over him, said the fathers of the first Council ofMatis-
con. f But it matters not much, for a greater than Gratian
said it in his own case before the civil power, " If I have
done any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die : " they
are the words of St. Paul.

Question V.

Whether is to be obeyed, the prince or the bishop, if
they happen to command contrary things ?

22. To this I answer, that it is already determined, that
the emperor is to be obeyed against the will of the bishop.
For so it was in the case of Mauritius and St. Gregory ; for
the bishop was fain to publish the prince's edict, which yet
he believed to be impious. It was also most evident in
St. Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nazianzum,
St. Chrysostom of Constantinople, Eusebius of Samosata,
who, by injustice, were commanded to leave their diocesses.

23. But this is to be understood in actions which can,
by empire and command, be changed into good or bad re-
spectively ; because such actions are most properly the sub-
ject of human laws. For in what God hath expressly com-
manded or forbidden, the civil or ecclesiastical power is only
concerned to the interest of the Divine commandment, to pro-
mote or to hinder good and evil respectively. But whatsoever
is left undetermined by God, that the supreme power can
determine; and, in such things, if there could be two
supreme powers, the government were monstrous, and there
could be no obedience ; for " No man can serve two mas-
ters." Now the supreme power hath in this no limit, but that
which limits both powers, the laws of nature and the laws
of Jesus Christ : and if there be any thing commanded by

* xi. 9, 1, c. Sicut enim : sect. Ex bis. ii. q. 2, sect. Item. 'Cap. vii.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 519

the prince against these, the bishop is to declare the con-
trary, that is, to publish the will of God, provided it be in an
evident matter and without doubtful disputation. And then,
this being provided for, the case cannot be supposed, that the
king and the bishop, both doing their duty, can command
things contrary. I do not say but a temporal law may be
against the canons of the Church ; but then we are to follow
the civil law, because the power is, by the law of nature,
supreme and imperial. The matter of the civil power and
ecclesiastical is so wholly differing, that there where either
hath to do it cannot contradict the other ; but if they invade
the rights of one another, then the question grows hard. But
the solution is this :

24. If the bishop invades the rights of the civil power, he
is not at all to be obeyed ; for he hath nothing to do there.
But if the civil power invades the rights of the bishop, then
they are either such rights which are his by positive laws
and human concession, or such which, by Divine appoint-
ment, are his due.

25. All those which are the bishop's rights by positive laws
may by the same power be rescinded by which they were
granted ; and therefore if a king makes a law against the
rights of the Church, and the bishop protests against that
law, the king and not the bishop must prevail. For " Nerai-
nem sibi imperare posse, et neminem sibi legem dicere, a qua
mutata voluntate nequeat recedere/' say the lawyers. ' A
man may change his will as long as he lives ; and the supreme
will can never be hindered:' for"Summum ejus esse impe-
rium, qui ordinario juri derogare valeat," is a rule in law;
* He that is the supreme, can derogate by his power from an
ordinary right,' viz. by making a contrary law.

26. But if they be the rights of bishops and the minis-
ters of religion by Divine appointment, then the bishop's com-
mand is to prevail, * cum conditione crucis :' that is, so as
the subject must submit to the prince's anger, and suffer for
what he cannot do, according to that of St. Austin ; " Impe-
ratores cum in errore sunt, pro errore contra veritatem leges
dant, per quas justi et probantur et coronantur, non faciendo
quod illi jubent, quia Deus prohibet; Mistaken princes
make ill laws ; but by them good men are tried and crowned,



Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 13) → online text (page 51 of 61)