Jeremy Taylor.

The whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 13) online

. (page 53 of 61)
Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 13) → online text (page 53 of 61)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


heaven and earth, who makes twins in the continent of their
mother's womb to lie at ease and peace, and the eccentric
motions of the orbs, and the regular and irregular progres-
sions of the stars, not to cross or hinder one another, and in
all the variety of human actions, cases, and contingencies,
hath so wisely disposed his laws, that no contradiction of
chance can infer a contradiction of duty, and it can never be
necessary to sin, but on one hand or other it may forever be
avoided ; cannot be supposed to have appointed two powers
in the hands of his servants to fight against, or to resist,
each other : but as good is never contrary to good, nor truth
to truth, so neither can those powers which are ordained for
good. And therefore, where the powers are distinct, they
are employed upon several matters; and where they con-
verse about the same matter, as in external actions and
persons they do, there one is subject to the other, and there-
fore can never be against it.



RULE VII.

The supreme civil Power hath Jurisdiction in Causes not
only ecclesiastical, but internal and spiritual.

1. BA2IAET % 2 ruv Tgfc. rovg Qeovg xtyog, said Aristotle," "Of
things belonging to God, the king is the governor." There-
fore besides that the supreme civil power is to govern all
persons., and all actions and ministries which are directly
external, it is to be considered that actions internal, as they
can be made public, have also influence upon the persons
and lives, the fortunes and communities, of men ; and there-
fore either are so far forth to be governed by them who are
governors of men in their lives and fortunes, in their societies
and persons, that they may do good to them, or at least do
no hurt.

2. Therefore, as the supreme princes and magistrates

Polit. lib. iii.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 531

hare, in several ages of the Church, indulged to ecclesiastics
a power of civil government, privileges and defensatives ' in
ordine ad spiritualia,' that is, to enable them, with the help
of the civil power, to advance the interests of religion and
the spiritual men, which by evil men is apt to be despised,
as all the threatenings of the Gospel, and the terrors of death,
and the horrible affrightments of the day of judgment, are :
so God hath given to the supreme civil power authority over
all public religion 'in ordine ad bonum temporale.' Princes
and states did the other, but God did this. That was well,
very well: but this is necessary, and that was not. The
reason of both is this, because no external accident can
hinder the intentions of God in the effects of religion and
the event of souls. Religion thrives as well in a storm and
in persecution as in sunshine. God had more summer-
friends under Constantine, but possibly as many true ones
under Diocletian ; or if he had not, it was men's fault, their
weakness, not their necessity. But the civil interest can be
really hindered by the intervening of new doctrines and false
manners of worship : and the commonwealth, if it be de-
stroyed, hath no recompense in eternity : and therefore God
hath not called them happy when they are troubled, and
hath not bidden them to suffer rebellion, or to rejoice when
men " speak evil of dignities," and he hath not told them that
" great is their reward in heaven ;" but the whole purpose
and proper end of the government being for temporal feli-
city, though that temporal felicity is, by the wisdom of God,
made to minister to the eternal, the government expires in
this world, and shall never return to look for recompense for
its sufferings. But every single man shall : and though tem-
poral power can be taken from princes, yet a man's religion
cannot be taken from him: and therefore God hath given to
princes a supreme power for the ordering of religion in order
to the commonwealth, without which it had not had sufficient
power to preserve itself; but he hath not given to ecclesias-
tics a power over princes in matter of government in order
to spiritual things. 1. Because though spiritual things may
receive advantage by such powers, if they had them, yet they
may do as much harm as good, and have done so very often,
and may do so again. 2. Because God hath appointed to
spiritual persons, spiritual instruments sufficient to the end



532 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

of that appointment. 3. Because he hath also established
another economy for religion, the way of the cross, and the
beaten way of humility, and the defensatives of mortification,
and the guards of self-denial, and the provisions of content-
edness, and the whole spiritual armour, and prayers and tears,
and promises, and his Holy Spirit ; and these are infinitely
sufficient to do God's work, and they are infinitely the better
way. 4. Because religion, being a spiritual thing, can stand
alone, as the soul can by itself subsist: and secular violence
can no more destroy faith, or the spiritual and true worship
of God, than a sword can kill the understanding. 5. Be-
cause if God had given a temporal power to ecclesiastics in
order to a spiritual end, then he had set up two supremes in
the same affairs, which could never agree but by the cession
of one; that is, the two supremes could never agree but by
making one of them not to be supreme.

3. And the world hath seen this last particular verified
by many sad experiments. For when the Roman emperors,
residing in the East, gave great powers and trusts to the
patriarchs of the West, by their spiritual sword they began to
hew at the head of gold, and lop off many royalties from the
imperial stock. And Leo Iconomachus, for breaking down
the images of saints, felt their power, for they suffered not
the people to pay him tribute in Italy, threatening to inter-
dict them the use of sacraments and public devotions if
they did. But as soon as ever they began by spiritual
power to intermeddle in secular affairs, they quickly pulled
the Western empire from the East, and in a convenient time
lessened and weakened that of the West. For Pope John III.
combined with Berengarius and Adalbar his son against
the Emperor Otho the Great, and they must pretend them-
selves to be kings of Italy. Pope John XVIIL made a
league with Crescentius, and stirred up the people against
Otho III. Pope Benedict IX. excited Peter of Hungary
to pretend to the empire, only to hinder Henry, surnamed
Niger, from entering into Italy to repeat his rights. And all
the world knows what Gregory VII. did to Henry IV., how
he first caused Rodolph of Suevia, and afterward Egbert
of Saxony, to fight against him : and here their great quar-
rel was about the power of choosing the pope. Then they
1'ell out about the collation of bishopricks ; for which cause



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 533

Pope Gelasius XII. caused the archbishop of Mentz to rebel
against Henry V., and there the pope got the better of him,
and by the aid of his Norman forces, which he had in Sicily,
beat him into compliance. Then they fell out about some
fees of the empire ; and Innocent II. raised up Roger the
Norman, against Lotharius XII. about the duchy of Pouille :
and St. Bernard being made umpire in the quarrel, the pope
got a share in Bavaria ; for whoever lost, Signore Papa, like
the butler's box, was sure to get, by the advantage of his
supreme conduct of religion, which, by this time, he got into
his hands.

4. And now he improved it providently. For the same
Innocent stirred up Guelphus, duke of Bavaria, against
Conrad III., and thence sprang that dismal and bloody
faction between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. But what
should I reckon more? I must transcribe the Annals of Ger-
many 1 * to enumerate the hostilities of the Roman bishops
against the emperors their lords, when they got the con-
duct and civil government of religious affairs into their
power. Frederick Barbarossa, Henry VI., his brother Philip,
Frederick II., Henry VII., Frederick of Austria, Lewis of
Bavaria, Sigismurid, Frederick III., felt the power of a
temporal sword in a religious scabbard : and this was so
certain, so constant, a mischief, that when the pope had
excommunicated eight emperors, and made the temporal
sword cut off them whom the spiritual sword had struck
at, the emperors grew afraid. And Rodolph of Haspurg,
when he was chosen emperor, durst not go into Italy, which
he called the lion's den, because the entrance was fair,
but few returning footsteps were espied. And it grew to be
a proverb, sakh Guicciardini ; c " Proprium est Ecclesise
odisse Caesares, The Church hates Caesar ;" and the event
was that which Carion complained of, " Sceleribus pontifi-
cum, hoc imperium languefactum est ; By the wickedness
of the bishops of Rome, the Roman empire is fallen into
decay."

5. These instances are more than enough to prove, that,
if religion be governed by any hand with which the civil
power hath nothing to do, it may come to pass, that the civil

b Vide Luitpran. lib. vi. c. 6. Cuspin. et Theod. a Niem in Vita Otho. III.
Lib. iv. Cbron.



531 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

power shall have no hands at all, or they shall be in bands.
The consequence of these is this, that if the supreme civil
power be sufficent to preserve itself, it can provide against
the evil use of the spiritual sword, and consequently can con-
duct all religion, that can by evil men be abused, so as to
keep it harmless. If by excommunications the bishop can
disturb the civil interest, the civil power can hold his hands,
that he shall not strike with it ; or if he does, can take out
the temporal sting, that it shall not venom and fester. If, by
strange doctrines, the ecclesiastics can alien the hearts of
subjects from their duty, the civil power can forbid those
doctrines to be preached. If the canons of the Church be
seditious, or peevish, or apt for trouble, the civil power can
command them to be rescinded, or may refuse to verify them
and make them into laws. But that we may not trust our
own reason only, I shall instance in the particulars of juris-
diction, and give evident probation of them from the authority
of the best ages of the Church .

6. And first, in general, that kings or the supreme civil
power is by God made an overseer, a ruler, a careful father,
a governor, a protector, and provider for his Church, is evi-
dent in the Scriptures, and the doctrine of the primitive ages
of the Church. " Nutritii et patres Ecclesiae," is their appel-
lative, which we are taught from Scripture, "nursing fathers
of the Church." " Pastores;" that is the word of God used of
Cyrus the Persian, " Cyrus my shepherd ;" and when the
Spirit of God, by David, calls to kings and princes of the
earth to " kiss the Son lest he be angry ;" it intends that as
kings they should use their power and empire in those things
in which the Son will be worshipped by the children of men.
For besides the natural and first end of government, which
is temporal felicity, of which I have already spoken, there is
also a supernatural, the eternal felicity of souls : and to this
civil government does minister by the economy and design of
God : and therefore it was well said of Ammianus, d " Nihil
aliud est imperium (ut sapientes definiunt) nisi cura salutis
alienae." It is true in both senses ; " Empire is nothing else
(as wise men define it) but a power of doing good by taking
care for the salvation of others." To do them good here, and
to cause them to do themselves good hereafter, is the end of

d Lib. xxxix.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 535

all government. And the reason of it is well expressed bv
the Emperor Theodosius Junior to St. Cyril." " Quando-
quidem ut vera religio justa actione perficitur, ita et res-
publica utriusque ope nixa florescit ; As true religion is
perfected by justice, so by religion and justice the republic
does flourish ;" and therefore he adds, " Deus optimus max-
imus pietatis et justae actionis quoddam quasi vinculum nos
esse voluerit ; The emperor is, by the Divine appointment,
the common band of justice and religion."

7. In the pursuance of this truth, Eusebius f tells, that
Constantino the Great was wont to say to the bishops con-
cerning himself, " Vos intra ecclesiam, ego extra ecclesiam
a Deo episcopus constitutus sum ; You within the church-
walls, and I without, but both of us are appointed by God to
be bishops or overseers of his saints and servants." And in
the edict of Valentinian and Martian, which approves the acts
of the Council of Chalcedon, they are both called " inclyti
pontifices, illustrious bishops :" and the Emperor Leo III.,
in his epistle to Gregory, the bishop of Rome, says of himself,
"On fiaffiXtijg xa.1 hgsvg iipi, " I am both a king and a priest;"
meaning in office, not in order in government, not in minis-
tries. These and suchlike words are often used in the letters
interchanged between the princes and the bishops in the
ancient Church, of which that of Leo the Roman bishop
concerning the French Capitulars is remarkable, writing to
Lotharius : " De capitulis vel praeceptis imperialibus vestris
vestrorum pontificum praedecessorum irrefragabiliter custo-
diendis et conservandis, quantum valuimus et valemus in
Christo propitio, et nunc et in aevum nos conservaturos mo-
dis omnibus profitemur." It was a direct oath of supremacy.
" Concerning the capitulars or imperial precepts given by
you and your predecessors who were bishops (viz. in their
power and care over churches), we, through the assistance of
Christ, promise as much as we are able to keep and to con-
serve them for ever." The limit of which power is well expli-
cated by St. Austin 5 in these words; " Quando imperatores
veritatem tenent, pro ipsa veritate contra errorem jubent;
quod quisquis contempserit, ipse sibi judicium acquirit ;
When the emperors are Christians and right believers, they

Apud Cyril, ep. xvii. f De Vita Constant, lib. iv. c. 24.

I Epist. clxvi.



536 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

make laws for the truth and against false doctrines ; which
laws whosoever shall despise, gets damnation to himself."

8. For if we consider that famous saying of Optatus, that
" Ecclesia est in republica, non respublica in Ecclesia, the
Church is in the commonwealth, not the commonwealth in
the Church," and the Church is not a distinct state and
order of men, but the commonwealth turned Christian, that
is, better instructed, more holy, greater lovers of God, and
taught in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus ; it is not to be
imagined that the emperors, or supreme governors, should
have the less care and rule over it, by how much the more
it belongs to God. This fancy first invaded the servants,
when they turned Christians; they thought their masters had
then less to do with them. The apostle tells them, as in the
case of Onesimus, that it is true, they ought to love them
better, but the other were not the less to be obedient ; only
there was this gotten by it, that the servants were to do the
same service for the Lord's sake, which before they did for
the laws. But it is a strange folly to imagine that, because
a man hath changed his opinion, he hath therefore changed
his relation; and if it were so, he that is weary of his master,
may soon change his service by going to another tutor. Reli-
gion establishes all natural and political relations, and changes
none but the spiritual ; and the same prince that governs
his people in the time of the plague, is to govern them when
they are cured ; and the physician that cured them hath got
no dominion over them, only * in regimine salutis,' he is
principal, he is to govern their health. The cases as to this
are parallel between the soul and the body. And therefore
the Emperor Constans h declared his power and duty too, " de
omnibus curam agere et intendere quae respiciunt ad utili-
tatem Christianissimae nostrae reipublicae ; to take care and
to intend all things which regard the advantage of our most
Christian commonwealth." And Aimonius 1 tells of King
Clovis, that, in one of the Councils of Africa held at Clupea,
he described his office and duty by these two summaries,
" Publicis rebus consultores advocare, et ea quae Dei et sanc-
torum ejus sunt disponere ; To consult about public affairs
of the commonwealth, and to dispose of those things which
belong to God and to his saints."

h In Concil. Roman, sub Martino I. ' Lib. iv. c. 41.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 537

9. But the consideration of the particulars will be more
useful in this inquiry, and first,

The supreme civil Power hath Authority to convene and to
dissolve all Synods ecclesiastical.

10. This appears, 1 . in that all the first councils of the
church, after the emperors were Christian, were convocated
by their authority. The Council of Nice was called by
Constantine, as is affirmed by Eusebius, Ruffinus, k Sozomen, 1
and Theodoret : m and when the Eusebians had persuaded
Constantine to call a council at Tyre against Athanasius, the
prince understanding their craft and violence, called them
from Tyre to Constantinople:" and by the same emperor
there was another council called at Aries. The Council at
Sardica, in Illyria, was convened by the authority of the
Emperors Constans and Constantius, as the fathers of that
synod themselves wrote in their letters to the Egyptians and
Africans ; and Liberius, p the bishop of Rome, with many other
bishops of Italy, joined in petition to Constantius to convo-
cate a council at Aquilea, not to suffer them to do it, but
that he would, for to him they knew it only did belong.
Theodosius the emperor called the second general Council at
Constantinople; as Socrates, Sozomen, and Nicephorus re-
late : and the fathers of the council q write in their synodical
constitutions, with this expression added, "Ea quae acta sunt
in sancto concilio, ad Tuam referimus pietatem, What-
soever was done in that synod, was wholly referred and sub-
mitted to the prince's piety." The great Ephesine Council,
which was the third oecumenical, was convened by Theodo-
sius Junior/ " ex proprio munere et officio, et ex animi sui
deliberatione," so himself affirms ; " out of his own free
choice, according to his office and his duty." But his re-
script, by which he convened the council, is a most admirable
letter, and contains in it a full testimony of the truth of this
whole rule, and does excellently enumerate and imply all the
parts of the imperial jurisdiction in causes of religion. The
sum of which is in the preface 5 of that rescript in these

J De Vita Constant, lib. vii. c. 6. k Lib. i. Hist. c. J.

1 Lib. i. c. 16. Lib. ii. Hist. c. 5.

Apud Athanas. Apol. ii. Apud Athanas. ibid.

P Theodor. lib. ii. c. 16, in Dial, et Liberius in Epist. ad Hosium Cordub. apud
Baron, torn. iii. A.D. 353, n. 19. i Synod. Constit. Libell.

1 Apud Cyril. Ep. iv. Epist xvii. apud Cyrillum.



538 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

words: "Our commonwealth depends upon piety [or religion]
towards God, and between them both there is a great cog-
nation and society; for they agree together, and grow by the
increase of one another : so that true religion does shine by
the study of justice, and the commonwealth is assisted by
them both. We therefore, being placed in the kingdom by
God, having received from him the care both of the religion
and the prosperity of the subject, have hitherto endea-
voured, by our care and by our forces, to keep in perpetual
union : and for the safety of the republic we are intent to the
profit of our subjects, and diligently watch for the conser-
vation of true religion ; but especially we strive that we may
live holily as becomes holy persons, taking care, as it befits
us, even of both ; for it is impossible we should take good
care of one, if we neglect the other. But above the rest, we
are careful that the ecclesiastical state may remain firm, so
as is fit to relate to God, and to be in our time, and may
have tranquillity by the consent of all men, and may be quiet
by the peace of the ecclesiastic affairs : and that true re-
ligion may be kept irreprovable, and the lives of the inferior
clergy and the bishops may be free from blame. This is the
sum of his duty, and the limit of his power, and the inten-
tion of his government." And to these purposes he called
a council, threatening punishment to any prelate, who was
called, if he neglected to come. If the emperor took more
upon him than belonged to him, he was near a good tutor
that could well have reproved him, the fathers of the Ephesine
Council ; but if he took upon him but what was just, this
testimony alone is sufficient in this whole question. But he
ended not so, but shortly after called another council in the
same place, against the will of Pope Leo, who yet was forced
to send his deputies to be assistant at it. But that council had
an ill end : and to repair the wounds made to truth by it,
Pope Leo petitioned' the emperor for another to be held in
Italy. But the emperor was then not much in love with
councils, having been so lately deceived by one ; and there-
fore put it off, and died ; and his successor Martianus called
one at Nice, but, changing his mind, had it kept in Chalce-
don. I shall proceed no further in particular, but account it



' In Concil. Chalced. act. i. Scribens ad Dioscorum Alex. Leo. Epist. xxi.
torn. 1. Epist. Rever. Patr.



AND THEIR LAWS IN SPECIAL. 539

sufficient what Cardinal Cusanus" acknowledges : " Scien-
dum est, quod, in universalibus octo conciliis, semper invenio
imperatores et judices suos cum senatu primatum habuisse."
For this is more than the mere power of calling them ; for
that he might do upon many accounts: but " the emperors
and his judges and council always had the primacy in the
eight general councils."

11. As the emperors did convene, so they did dismiss,
the ecclesiastical conventions ; as appears in the acts of the
Ephesine Council, where the fathers petition the emperor
that he would free them from that place, and give them leave
to wait upon him to see his face, or, at least, he would dis-
miss them, and send them home to their own churches. The
same petition was made by the bishops at Ariminum v to the
Emperor Constantius, and by the fathers at the Council of
Chalcedon w to Martianus. But these things did never please
the Italians, after their patriarch began to set up for eccle-
siastical monarchy : and they, as soon as they could, and
even before their just opportunities, would be endeavouring
to lessen the imperial power, and to take it into their own
hands. But this is one of the things that grew to an into-
lerable mischief; and was not only against the practice of
the best ages, and against the just rights of emperors, but
against the doctrine of the Church.

12. For St. Jerome" reproving Ruffinus, who had quoted
the authority of some synod, I know not where, St. Jerome
confutes him by this argument, " Quis imperator jusserit
hanc synodum congregari ?" " There was no such synod, for
you cannot tell by what emperor's command it was convened."
To this purpose there was an excellent epistle written by
certain bishops of Istria to Mauritius, the emperor, y enume-
rating from the records of the Church the convention of ec-
clesiastical councils to have been wholly by the emperor's
disposition ; in which also they dogmatically affirm, " sem-
per Deus presentia Christianorum principum contentiones
ecclesiasticas sedare dignatur ; God does always vouchsafe
to appease Church quarrels by the presence of Christian em-
perors :" meaning that, by their authority, the conciliary

u De Concord, lib. iii. c. 16.

T Vide etiam Baron, tern. v. A.D. 441. n. 103. Theod. lib. ii. c. 19, 20.

" Fine 6. act. * Apol. ad Ruffin. lib. ii.

* Apud Baron. A.D. 590. torn. viii. n. 40.



540 OF SUPREME CIVIL POWERS,

definitions passed into laws. But who please to see more
particulars relating to this inquiry, may be filled with the
sight of them in the whole third book of William Ranchiii's
' Review of the Council of Trent.'

The supreme civil Power hath a Power of external Judgment
in Causes of Faith.

13. This relies upon the former reasons, that since pro-
positions of religion and doctrines of theology have so great
influence upon the lives of men, upon peace and justice,
upon duty and obedience, it is necessary that the supreme
civil power should determine what doctrines are to be taught
the people, and what to be forbidden. The princes are to tell
what religions are to be permitted, and whatnot: and we
find a law of Justinian 2 forbidding anathematisms to be pro-
nounced against the Jewish Hellenists; for the emperors did
not only permit false religions by impunity, but made laws



Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 13) → online text (page 53 of 61)