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the civil power. So we find in a synodal epistle de nou avellendis episcopis a sua metropoli;’ ευρέθη τι και τοιούτον γενόμενον κρίσει συνοδική, και επικρίσει βασιλική κυρωθεν, “Some such thing as this hath been found done by the decree or judgment of a synod, but established by after-judgment of the king.”—To the same sense are those words of florapara applied to the bishops' canons, and pooráyuara to the king's edict upon them: and therefore the emperors and princes were said επισφραγίζειν τα κεκριμένα , “to put the seal of their authority to the decrees of the fathers b."
4. For it was never known in the primitive church, that ever any ecclesiastical law did oblige the catholic church, unless the secular prince did establish it. The Nicene canons became laws by the rescript of the emperor Constantine, says Sozomen. He wrote an epistle, and commanded that all churches should keep Easter by the canon of the Nicene fathers, and made it capital to keep any of the books of Arius. When the council of Constantinople was finished, the fathers wrote to the emperor Theodosius, and petitioned “ut edicto pietatis tuæ confirmetur synodi sententia,” “that he would be pleased to confirm the sentence of the council by his edict:”—“Ut quemadmodum literis, quibus nos vocabas, ecclesiam honorasti, ita etiam decreta, communibus suffragiis tandem facta, sigillo tuo confirmes.” The emperor had done them favour and honour in calling them together, and they petitioned he would also confirm what they had agreed upon, and by his zeal make it authentic. The confirmation of the canon and decrees of the great Ephesine council by the emperor is to be seen at the end of the acts of the synod : and Marcian, the emperor, wrote to Pelladius his prefect, a letter, in which he testifies, that he made the decrees of the council of Chalcedon to become laws. For having forbidden any person to make assemblies and orations of religion in public, he adds this reason, “Nam et injuriam facit reverendissimæ synodi judicio, si quis semel judicata ac recte disposita revolvere et publice disputare contenderit ; cum ea quæ nune de Christiana fide à sacerdotibus, qui Chalcedone convenerunt, per nostra præcepta statuta sunt,” &c. “For he does injury to the judgment of the most reverend synod, if he shall unravel and dispute the things, which were there judged and
a In Act. Concil. Constantinop. 6 Vide chap. 3. rule 8. hajus libri.
rightly disposed; since those things appointed by the bishops, met at Chalcedon,concerning Christian faith were commanded by us; or were appointed by our commandment”-“ Nam in contemptores hujus legis pæna non deerit,” “ They that despise this law, shall be punished.”—Thus also the fathers of the fifth general synod petitioned Justinian to confirm and establish their canons into a law, in the same form which was sent to Theodosius by the bishops of the general council at Constantinople before mentioned. The same prince also published a novel in which he commands "vim legum obtinere ecclesiasticos canones à quatuor synodis, Nicena, Constantinopolitana prima, Ephesina prima et Chalcedonensi expositos et confirmatos;" “ that all the laws which were made or confirmed by the four last general councils, should have the force of laws: that is, all their own canons, and those of Ancyra, Gangra, Antioch, and Laodicea,” which were then adopted into the code of the universal church, though they were but provincial in their original.
5. So that now, upon this account, the ecclesiastical laws are as obligatory to the conscience, as those which are made in a civil matter; and there is no difference but in the matter only: but for that there will be some advantage; for as the civil power hath authority in ecclesiastical matters, so the spiritual power hath a share in the legislative: the matter is handled by the ecclesiastics, and the law is established by the secular. And, therefore, if it be thought, that the cognizance of these things is not proper for seculars, those that think so, may be satisfied that the bishops have judged the thing already; and they that think the bishops have no power of making the law, may learn to obey, because the prince hath by his legislative established it. So one hand helps another, and both are lift up to God, but will fall heavy upon the disobedient.
Sect. 2. Of Censures ecclesiastical. I have given the general measures of the legislative power of the ecclesiastical state : next to this I am to account concerning their coercive, sect. 2; and then return to the inquiries after the more particular subjects of this power,
c Vide Concil. Tolct.
sect. 3; and their particular laws and their obligations upon the conscience in external order, sect. 4; and in matters of faith, sect. 5.
RULE VI. Kings and Princes are, by the Ties of Religion, not of Power,
obliged to keep the Laws of the Church. 1. The laws of the church I have already divided into such which she makes by a divine authority, such which concern our essential duty, in which she hath power to command and rule in her appointed manner: and into those which are external, political, and contingent, such which princes if they please, make up into laws, but the spiritual power cannot. In the first sort, kings and princes are as much tied to obedience as the meanest Christian subject. For the king, though he be supreme in government political, yet his soul is of Christ's fold, and to be conducted by a proper shepherd. It is no contradiction that the same person should be supreme, and yet obey in another regard in which he is not supreme. The captain that fights in a ship, commands the soldiers in chief, but himself obeys the master; and the safety of the soldiers depends upon them both: for they are distinct powers in order to distinct purposes. For kings must give an account for bishops, that they live well in the political capacity, and bishops for kings in their spiritual; and therefore they must obey each other; and we find that persons of greatest honour in the days of peace, serve under captains and generals in the time of war; and when Themistius, an excellent philosopher, who from his chair did rule and dictate wise things, and give laws to the understandings of his auditors, and was admired by his prince, was by the emperor Constantius advanced to a prefecture, in an excellent epigram: he says to himself, Δεύρ' ανάβηθι κάτω νύν γαρ ävw karéßns, “Now ascend downwards, for thou hast already descended upwards.” The same dignity is above and below in several regards. But in this there is no difficulty, because the souls of princes are of equal regard, and under
a Brunck, Anthol. T. ii. p. 404.
the same laws of God, and to be cleansed and nourished by the same sacraments, and tied to the same duty by the commandments of God as any of the people; in this there is no difference.
2. But in matters not of necessary duty, not expressly required by God's law and the necessary, unavoidable, immediate consequents of it, there being no laws but what themselves have made, they are no otherwise obliged than by their own civil laws: of which I have already given account. This thing is particularly noted by Balsamo upon the sixteenth canon of the council of Carthage, who affirms, that by reason of the power given to princes from God, they are subject neither to their laws nor canons. And of this latter he gives this instance, that although by the twelfth canon of the council of Chalcedon it was decreed, that no city should for the future acquire the title of a metropolis ; yet after this . Justinianea prima' was made an archiepiscopal seat, and had metropolitical rights, to the diminution of the former rights of Thessalonica: but Balsamo instances in divers others. There was an ancient canon of great celebrity in the church, that every city should have a proper bishop: but the bishops of Isauropolis and Tolma, besides their own, had others; so had the bishops of Litchfield and of Bath in England: they had other cities under their jurisdiction which had no bishops in propriety. For if kings did give limit to their diocesses, they might divide again, and give a new limit; since it is not in kings as it is in people. The power that goes from the people, is like water slipped from their hands; it returns no more, and does not abide in the first place of its efflux; but when an act of power passes from the king, any deputation or trust, any act of
grace or delegation of jurisdiction, it is like heat passing from the fire, it warms abroad, but the heat still dwells at home. It is no more the less, than the sun is for emission of its beams of light.
3. And this is apparent in all the privileges and concessions made to the church, which are as revocable as their duty is alterable. For princes are so far from being obliged to perpetuate such rights which themselves have indulged, that it is a ruled case, and the Greek fathers d sometimes
d Leunclay, Basilix,
make use of it to this very purpose: “ο δωρησάμενος βασιλεύς, ει αχαριστίας παρεμπέσοι λόγος, αναλαμβάνει την δωρεάν, « If a king hath given a gift, he may recall it, in case the beneficiary proves ungrateful.”--The same with that in the feudal laws of the Lombards, “ Feudum amittit, qui feudum sciens inficiatur:” “ If he wittingly denies the fee, or refuses homage, he loses it.”—But this depends upon the reasons of the second rule in the third chapter of this book.
4. But although in strict right the king's laws oblige him not; yet because 'de bono laudabili' he is, in the senses above explicated, obliged to his civil laws,—therefore much more is he tied to the observations and canons of the church, as being specifications of religion, instances of love to God, significations of some internal duty, or outer guards to piety, great examples to the people, and honours to the church of Christ, and that which above all external things will enable the rulers and guides of souls to render their account with joy; and the king shall never so well promote the interests of religion by any thing, as by being himself subject to the religion: for who will murmur at those laws which the king himself wears in a phylactery upon his forehead and his wrists?“ Facere recte cives suos princeps optimus faciendo docet; cumque sit in imperio maximus, exemplo major est," said Velleius Paterculus. This is most of all true in religion, whose laws look too like policy, when they are established only by penalties; but they are accounted religion, when they are made sacred by example. To which purpose is that of Tacitus?; “ Obsequium inde in principem et æmulandi amor validior, quam pæna ex legibus et metus :" “It is duty to our prince, and it is our honour to imitate the example of the prince; and these prevail more than penalties.”_" Hæc enim conditio principium, ut quicquid faciant, præcipere videantur,” says Quintilians. Their example is the best law.
Sic ngitur censura, et sic exempla parantar,
Si judex, alios quod jubet, ipse facit. So laws and judgments and good manners are best established, when, by the examples of kings and supreme judges, they are made sacred.
e Lib. ii. 126. 5. Krause, pag. 539.
8 Declam. 4.