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CLESIASTICAL OR TEMPORAL, AND RESTRAIN WITH THE CIVIL SWORD THE STUBBORN AND EVIL DOERS.
THE BISHOP OF ROME HATH NO JURISDICTION IN THIS REALM OF ENGLAND.
LAWS OF THE REALM MAY PUNISH CHRISTIAN MEN WITH DEATH, FOR HEINOUS AND GRIEVOUS OFFENCES.
IT IS LAWFUL FOR CHRISTIAN MEN, AT THE COMMANDMENT OF THE MAGISTRATE, TO WEAR WEAPONS, AND SERVE IN THE WARS.
THE QUEEN'S MAJESTY HATH THE CHIEF
POWER IN THIS REALM OF ENGLAND, AND OTHER HER DOMINIONS, UNTO WHOM THE CHIEF GOVERNMENT OF ALL ESTATES OF THIS REALM, WHETHER THEY BE ECCLESIASTICAL OR CIVIL, IN ALL CAUSES, DOTH APPERTAIN, AND IS NOT, NOR OUGHT TO BE, SUBJECT TO ANY FOREIGN JURISDICTION.
The authority here declared to belong to the sovereign of these realms, is given to him by the laws of our country; and a little inquiry will convince us, that this authority is properly vested in him with respect to ecclesiastical subjects, which is the point to be principally attended to in the exposition of this Article.
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We learn from the Old Testament, that under the Mosaic dispensation the kings exercised the chief power in all matters which appertained to religion, and that their authority was acknowledged by the priests and Levites: Abimelech appeared before Saul, and answered the accusations which the king urged against him as high priest (a). David made many regulations concerning the public worship of God; and particularly he instituted the courses of the priests (b). Solomon removed Abiathar from the high priesthood (c), and the succeeding kings frequently gave directions and orders, which were readily obeyed, in cases relating solely to ecclesiastical persons and things.
Our Saviour commanded his followers to "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's (d);" from which precept it is inferred that the religion of Christ was not intended to interfere with the established government of a country; and that it is the duty of all Christians to yield obedience to the civil magistrates, whenever their commands are not contradictory to the Word of God. These inferences are supported by several passages in the Epistles; "Let every soul
(a) 1 Sam. c. 22. v. 11.
(b) 1 Chr. c. 23. v. 6. (d) Luke, c. 20. v. 25.
soul be subject to the higher powers (e).""Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates (f).""Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evils doers, and for the praise of them that do well (g)."—It is to be observed, that these, and other precepts of the like nature, are general, and include the clergy as well as the laity; and consequently they give equal power to the civil magistrate over both descriptions of persons, in ecclesiastical as well as civil matters. Indeed, ecclesiastical and civil matters are so closely connected together, that it would often be difficult, if not impossible, to separate and discriminate them.
It is well known, that for the first three centuries the Christian religion was not embraced or protected by any Roman emperor. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and many of his successors, enacted laws which are now extant in the codes of Theodosius and Justinian, relative to ecclesiastical matters. Councils were called, and their decrees confirmed by the emperors; and
(e) Rom. c. 13. v. 1.
(f) Tit. c. 3. v. 1.
and when the empire of Rome was divided into independent kingdoms, the sovereigns exercised the same authority over all their subjects without any distinction, and made such regulations, free from all foreign control, as appeared to them expedient for the good government of their respective churches. This continued to be the case till the aspiring ambition of the bishops of Rome prompted them to claim universal dominion, not only over ecclesiastics, but over sovereign princes, throughout the Christian world.
It is, besides, absolutely necessary for the maintenance of public tranquillity, and for the due administration of public justice, that the authority of the civil magistrates should extend over all orders of men, and over every description of causes. Exceptions, of whatever kind they are, must unavoidably introduce disorder and confusion; and the interference of any foreign power in the internal government of a country, is utterly inconsistent with the character of an independent kingdom.
The authority, therefore, which the constitution of Great Britain gives to our sovereign in ecclesiastical affairs, is founded in Scripture; is conformable to the practice of the times previous to the corruptions and usurpations of popery; and
and is perfectly agreeable to the reason and nature of things.
But though the king's supremacy rests upon these strong grounds, yet when it was first asserted in the sixteenth century, it gave great offence, and was grossly misrepresented; the article, therefore, proceeds to limit and explain it.
WHERE WE ATTRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN'S MAJESTY THE CHIEF GOVERNMENT (BY WHICH TITLES WE UNDERSTAND THE MINDS OF SOME SLANDEROUS FOLKS TO BE OFFENDED) WE
GIVE NOT TO OUR PRINCES THE MINISTERING
jection of the pope's authority in these kingdoms, and the making of our sovereign the head of our church, were among the steps which led to a reformation of our established religion. But this supremacy does not convey to our kings a right to administer God's word or sacraments. These holy functions can be exercised by none but those who are lawfully appointed to them; nor has such a right been ever claimed by any Christian prince. The Jewish priests submitted to king Uzziah in all things which were not forbidden by the law of Moses; but when he attempted to