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not, heretics: and, by an act of parliament in England, they only are judged heretics, who for such were condemned by the four general councils. Upon this account many princes have forbidden public disputations in matters of religion : to this purpose there was a law of Leo " and Anthemius', and Andronicus the emperor hearing some bishops disputing with some subtilty upon those words, “ My Father is greater than 1,” threatened to throw them into the river, if they would not leave such dangerous disputations. Heraclius the emperor forbade any of those nice words concerning Christ to be used : some did use to say, that in Christ there was a single energy, some said there was a double ; but the emperor determined the question well, and bade them hold their peace and speak of neither : for, as Sisinnius said to Theodosius, “Disputando de sacris accendi tantùm contentionem," “There is nothing got by disputations but strife and contention:" and therefore princes are the best moderators of churchmen's quarrels, because princes are bound to keep the peace. And consonantly to this Isidore P spake well; “Sanè per regnum terrenum cæleste regnum proficit, ut qui intra ecclesiam positi contra fidem et disciplinam ecclesiæ agunt, rigore principum conterantur, ipsamque disciplinam, quam ecclesiæ humilitas exercere non prævalet, cervicibus superborum potestas principalis imponat.” The civil power advances the interests of the heavenly kingdom by punishing them, who sin against the faith and discipline of the church; if they be
intra ecclesiam,' within the church,'their faith and manners both are subject to the secular judgment.
15. But not only so, but they are to take care to secure and promote the interest of truth: for though, as St. Paul says, “doubtful disputations do engender strife,” yet we must "contend earnestly for the faith ;” with zeal, but yet with meekness too: and therefore, that matters of faith and doctrines of good life be established, it is part of the prince's duty to take care 9. According to which we find that when a a Nicet. Choniat.
• L. qui in Mon. C. de Episc. et Clericis. P, 23. q. 5. cap. Principes.
9 Imperator, ut communis émisTn Loveexins existens et nominatus, synodalibus præest sententiis et robur tribuit, ecclesiasticos ordines componit, et legem dat vitæ politiæque eorum qui altari servignt. Et rursus ut uno verbo dicam, solo sacrificandi excepto ministerio, reliqua pontificialia privilegia imperator repræsentat. Demetr. Chomalen. in Resp. Orien.-Euagrius Leonis Imp. Concilii Chalced. approbationem vocat decisionem de fide, lib. 3. cap. 4. et cap. 5. videat lector totum hujus rei processum ex lib. 1. Heraclii, incip. Cam sanctus, inter constit. Imperia}, --Cum Sanctus
rumour was spread that brought Pope Pelagius into suspicion of heresy, King Childebert sent Rufinus to require him either to recite and profess the tome of St. Leo, in which there was a good confession of faith, or else that he should do the same thing in his own words. Pope Pelagius' sent this answer: “Satagendum est ut pro auferendo suspicionis scandalo obsequium confessionis nostræ regibus ministremus, quibus etiam nos subditos esse Sacræ Scripturæ præcipiunt;” “We must take care, that, for the avoiding suspicion, we exhibit to kings the duty of our confession: for to them the Holy Scriptures did command even us to be obedient.” And not only for the faith of bishops and even of popes, but for their manners also, kings were to take care, and did it accordingly. Justiniano made laws, that bishops should not play at dice, nor be present at public spectacles; and he said of himself, "maximam habere se solicitudinem circa vera Dei dogmata, etcirca sacerdotum honestatem ;” “that his greatest care was about the true doctrine of God, and the good lives of bishops.”
16. I do not intend by this, that whatsoever article is by princes allowed, is therefore to be accounted a part of true religion ; for that is more than we can justify of a definition made by a synod of bishops : but that they are to take care, that true doctrine be established ; that they that are bound to do so, must be supposed competent judges what is true doctrine, else they guide their subjects, and somebody else rules them : and then who is the prince? By what means and in what manner the civil power is to do this, I am to set down in the next rule; but here the question is of the power, not of the manner of exercising it: and the answer is, that this power of judging for themselves and for their people is part of their right; that no article of religion can become a law, unless it be decreed by God, or by the prince; that the bishop's declaration is a good indication of the law of God, but that the prince's sanction makes it also become a law of the commonwealth : that the prince may be deceived in an article of religion, is as true as that he may be deceived in a question of right, and a point of law; yet his determination (inquit) Sophronius, tunc summo sacerdotio fangens Hierosolymis, subjectis sibi sa
bus convocatis synodicè demoustrasset, eos qui unam in duabus Christi nataris voluntatem atque energiam affirmarent, palam unam quoque naluram statuere, eiyas Johannes Papa Romanus assensus esset, imperator edictum proponit, neque singularem, neque duplicem in Christo energiam esse asserendam. ! 25 q.1. cap. Satagendam.
s Norel. 123. cap. 10.
hath authority, even when a better proposition wants it: that error must serve the ends of peace, till, by the doctrines of the wiser ecclesiastics, the prince being better informed, can, by truth, serve it better.
The supreme civil Power is to govern in Causes ecclesiastical by
the Means and Measures of Christ's Institution, that is, by the
Assistance and Ministries of ecclesiastical Persons. 1. Kings are supreme judges of the law; for “cujus est loqui, ejus est interpretari ;” " he that speaks, best knows his meaning:" and the lawgiver is certainly his own best interpreter. But in cases, where there is doubt, the supreme civil power speaks by them, whose profession it is to understand the laws. And so it is in religion. The king is to study the law of God; “nec hoc illi dictum ut totus ab alieno ore pendeat, ipseque à se nihil dijudicet," said that learned prelate of Winchester S; “not that he should wholly depend in religion upon the sentences of others, but be able of himself to judge." But where there is difficulty, and that it be fit that the difficulty be resolved, there the supreme
civil power is to receive the aid of the ecclesiastic, from whose mouth “the people are to require the law,' and whose lips, by their office and designation, are 'to preserve knowledge.' The doctors of the Jews tell, that when Jephthah had made a rash vow, he might have been released if he had pleased : for if a horse had first met him, he had not been bound to have offered it to God; but it must have been sold, and a sacrifice bought with the price; and much more must a man or a woman have been redeemed. But because Jephthah was a prince in Israel, he would not go to Phinehas the high-priest to have had his vow interpreted, commuted, or released. Neither would Phinehas go to him, because he was not to offer help, till it was implored. Phinehas did not go to Jephthah, for he had no need, he had no business: and Jephthah would not go to Phinehas, because he was the better man. In the meantime the virgin died, or, as some
s Tortur. Tort.
say, was killed by her father: but both prince and priest were punished, Jephthah with a palsy, and Phinehas was deprived of the Spirit of God. For when the prince needs the priest, he must consult him; and whether he consults him or no, the priest must take care that no evil be done by the prince, or suffered by him for want of counsel.
2. But the prince's office of providing for religion, and his manner of doing it in cases of difficulty, are rarely well discoursed of by Theodosius the younger, in a letter of his to St. Cyril, of which I have formerly mentioned some portions : -"Pietatis doctrinam in sacra synodo in utramque partem ventilatam eatenus obtinere volumus, quatenus veritati et rationi consentaneum esse judicabitur ;” “The doctrine of godliness shall be discussed in the sacred council, and it shall prevail or pass into a law so far, as shall be judged agreeable to truth and reason:"—where the emperor gives the examination of it to the bishop, to whose office and calling it does belong : but the judgment of it and the sanction are the right of the emperor, who would see the decrees should be established, if they were true and reasonable. The judgment, I say, was the emperor's, but in his judgment he would be advised, taught, and established, by his bishops. “Sed nec eam doctrinam indiscussam patiemur; cui dijudicandæ eos præfici oportet qui sacerdotiis ubivis gentium præsident, per quos et nos quoque in veritatis sententia stabilimur, et magis magisque identidem stabiliemur;" “ That doctrine that is in question, we will not suffer to escape examination; but those shall be presidents of the judgment, who, in every nation, are the appointed bishops, by whom we also ourselves are confirmed in the true religion, and hope every day to be more and more established.
3. When the supreme power hath called in the aid and office of the ecclesiastic, good princes use to verify their acts accordingly, to establish their sentences, to punish the convict, to exterminate heretics and suppress their doctrines. Thus Honorius and Arcadius the emperors, by an edict, repressed Pelagius and Celestine, whom the bishops had condemned; Constantine, after the sentence of the Nicene fathers against Arius, banished him! Theodosius the elder, having diligently conferred with the orthodox bishops, and
Sozom. lib. 7. cap. 12.
heard patiently what the others could say,—by a law forbade them to have public assemblies, who denied the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. “Per consilium sacerdotum et optimatum ordinavimus, constituimus, et diximus;" it was the style of King Pepin in the council of Sois
And of this nature the instances are very numerous. For“ semper studium fuit orthodoxis et piis imperatoribus pro tempore exortas hæreses per congregationem religiosissimorum archiepiscoporum amputare, et rectâ fide sincere prædicata in pace sanctam Dei ecclesiam custodire,” said Theodorus Silentiarius ": "All the pious and orthodox emperors did use this instrument and manner of proceeding, for the cutting off heresies, and the sincere publication of the faith, and the conservation of the church in peace.”
4. But that this manner of empire may not prejudice the right of the empire, it is to be observed, that, in these things, the emperors used their own liberty, which proved plainly they used nothing but their own right. For sometimes they gave toleration to differing sects, sometimes they gave none; sometimes they were governed by zeal, and sometimes by gentle counsels; only they would be careful, that the disputes should not break the public peace: but for their punishing recusants and schismatics they used their liberty ; so we find in the acts of the great Ephesine council, that Theodosius II. resolved of one, but not upon the other.
“ At verd sive illi veniam impetraturi sint, qui à patribus victi discedent, sive non, nos sanè civitates simul et ecclesias conturbari nequaquam sinemus ;" " Whether those who are convict of heresy by the fathers shall be pardoned yea or no, yet we will be sure not to suffer the republic or the churches to be disturbed."
5. This I observe now in opposition to those bold pretences of the court of Rome, and of the Presbytery, that esteem princes bound to execute their decrees, and account them but great ministers and servants of their sentences. Now if this be true, then princes must confirm all that the clergy decrees : if all, then the supreme prince hath less than the meanest of the people, not so much as a judgment of discretion; or if he have, it is worse ; for he must not use his discretion for the doing of his duty, but must, by an implicit
v In 5. Synod. Constant.