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out of a particular church, and another thing for many associated churches or neighbours to renounce communion with him. The special pastors of particular churches, having the government of those churches, are the special governing judges, who shall or shall not have communion as a member in their churches; but the neighbour pastors of other churches have the power of judging with whom they and their own flocks will or will not hold communion. As e. g. Athanasius may as governor of his flock declare any Arian member excommunicate, and require his flock to have no communion with him. And all the neighbour pastors (though they excommunicate not the same man as his special governors, yet) may declare to all their flocks, that if that man come among them, they will have no communion with him, and that at distance they renounce that distant communion which is proper to Christians one with another, and take him for none of the church of Christla.
Quest, xxv. Whether canons be laws? And pastors have a legislative power?All men are not agreed what a law is, that is, what is to be taken for the proper sense of that word. Some will have the name confined to such common laws as are stated, durable rules for the subject's actions: and some will extend it also to personal, temporary, verbal precepts and mandates, such as parents and masters use daily to the children and servants of their families. And of the first sort, some will confine the name 'laws ' to those acts of sovereignty which are about the common matters of the kingdom, or which no inferior officer may make: and others will extend it to those orders which by the sovereign's charter, a corporation, or college, or school may make for the subregulation of their particular societies and affairs. I have declared my own opinion 'de nomine' fully elsewhere, 1. That the definition of a law in the proper general sense, is to be a sign or signification of the reason and will of the rector as such, to his subjects as such, instituting or antecedently determining what shall be due from them, and to them; '3t£? efficiendo,' 'regularly making right.'
■ 1 Cor. r. Tit £?•10- 2 Thess. iii. 6.14. 2 John 10. Rev. ii. 14, 14. 2O.
2. That these laws are many more ways diversified and distinguished (from the efficient, sign, subjects, matter, end, &c.) than is meet for us here to enumerate. It is sufficient now to say, 1. That stated regulating laws, as distinct from temporary mandates and proclamations. 2. And laws for kingdoms and other commonwealths, in regard of laws for persons, schools, families, &c. 3. And laws made by the supreme power, as distinct from those made by the derived authority of colleges, corporations, 8cc. called byelaws or orders, (for I will here say nothing of parents and pastors, whose authority is directly or immediately from the efficiency of nature in one, and Divine institution in the other, and not derived efficiently from the magistrate or any man). 4. That laws about great, substantial matters, distinct from those about little and mutable circumstances, &,c. I say the first sort as distinct from the second, are laws so called by excellency above other laws. But that the rest are unequivocally to be called laws, according to the best definition of the law 'in genere.' But if any man will speak otherwise, let him remember that it is yet but 'lis de nomine,' and that he may use his liberty, and I will use mine. Now to the question. 1. Canons made by virtue of the pastoral office and God's general laws (in nature or Scripture for regulating it, are a sort of laws to the subjects or flocks of those pastors. 2. Canons made by the votes of the laity of the church, or private part of that society as private, are no laws at all, but agreements; because they are not acts of any governing power. 3. Canons made by civil rulers about the circumstantials of the church, belonging to their office, as orderers of such things, are laws, and may be urged by moderate and meet civil or corporal penalties, and no otherwise. 4. Canons made by princes or inferior magistrates, are no laws purely and formally ecclesiastical, which are essentially acts of pastoral power; but only materially ecclesiastical, and formally magistratical. 5. No church officers as such, (much less the people) can make laws with a co-active or coercive sanction; that is, to be enforced by their authority with the sword or any
corporal penalty, mulct, or force; this being the sole privilege of secular powers, civil, or economical, or scholastic.
6. There is no obligation ariseth to the subject for particular obedience of any law, which is evidently against the laws of God (in nature or holy Scripture;.
7. They are no laws which pastors make to people out of their power: as the popes, &c.
8. There is no power on earth under Christ, that hath authority to make universal laws; to bind the whole church on all the earth; or all mankind. Because there is no universal sovereign, civil or spiritual, personal or collective.
9. Therefore it is no schism, but loyalty to Christ, to renounce or separate from such a society of usurpation; nor any disobedience or rebellion, to deny them obedience.
10. Pastors may and must be obeyed in things lawful as magistrates, if the king make them magistrates: though I think it unmeet for them to accept a magistracy with the sword, except in case of some rare necessity.
11. If pope, patriarchs, or pastors shall usurp any of the king's authority, loyalty to Christ and him, and the love of the church and state, oblige us to take part with Christ and the king against such usurpation, but only by lawful means, in the compass of our proper place and calling.
12. The canons made by the councils of many churches, have a double nature; as they are made for the people and the subjects of the pastors, they are a sort of laws: that is, they oblige by the derived authority of the pastors; because the pastors of several churches do not lose any of their power by their assembling, but exercise it with the greater advantage of concord. But as they are made only to oblige the present or absent pastors who separatedly are of equal office-power, so they are no laws, except in an equivocal sense, but only agreements or contracts". So Bishop Usher professed his judgment to be: and before him the council of Carthage in Cyprian's time; but it needs no proof, any more than that a convention of kings may make no laws to bind the kings of England, but contracts only.
"Grotios de Imperio sum. pot. circ. sacr. most solidly rewWeth this question.
13. But yet we are 'aliunde' obliged even by God, to keep these agreements in things lawful, for the church's peace and concord, when greater contrary reasons, ' a fine,' do not disoblige us. For when God saith, 'You shall keep peace and concord, and keep lawful covenants,' the canons afford us the minor, ' But these are lawful contracts or agreements, and means of the church's peace and concord;' 'Therefore, (saith God's law) you shall observe them.' So though the contracts (as of husband and wife, buyer and seller, &c.) be not laws, yet that is a law of God which bindeth us to keep them °.
14. Seeing that even the obliging commands of pastors may not by them be enforced by the sword, but work by the power of Divine authority or commission manifested, and by holy reason and love, therefore it is most modest and fit for pastors (who must not lord it over God's heritage, but be examples to all) to take the lower name of authoritative directions and persuasions, rather than of laws: especially in a time when Papal usurpation maketh such ruinating use of that name, and civil magistrates use to take it in the nobler and narrower sense.
The Questions, 1. ' If one pastor make orders for his church, and the multitudes or synods be against them; which must be obeyed,' you may gather from what is said before of ordination. And 2. 'What are the particulars proper, materially, to the magistrate's decision, and what to the pastor's V I here pass by.
Quest, xxvi. Whether church canons, or pastor's directive determinations of matters pertinent to their office, do bind the conscience ¥ And what accidents will disoblige the people; you may gather before in the same case about magistrate's laws, in the political directions: as also by an impartial transferring the case to the precepts of parents and schoolmasters to children; without respect to their power of the rod, (or supposing that they had none such).
Quest, Xxvii. What are Christ's appointed means of the unity and concord of the universal church, and consequently
° 1 Pet. r. 2, 3. 2 Cor. i, 24.
of its preservation, if there be no human universal head and governor of it upon earth? And if Christ have instituted none such, whether prudence and the law of nature oblige not the church to set up and maintain an universal ecclesiastical monarchy or aristocracy? Seeing that which is every man's work, is as no man's, and omitted by all?I. To the first question I must refer you in part to two small, popular, yet satisfactory Tractates •", written long ago, that I do not one thing too oft. Briefly now. 1. The unity of the universal church, is founded in, and maintained by their common relation to Christ the head, (as the kingdom in relation to the king). 2. A concord in degrees of goodness, and in integrals and accidentals of Christianity, will never be obtained on earth, where the church is still imperfect: and perfect holiness and wisdom, are necessary to perfect harmony and concord. 3. Experience hath long taught the church, if it will learn, that the claim of a Papal headship and government over the church universal, hath been the famous incendiary and hinderer of concord in the Christian world. 4. The means to attain such a measure of concord and harmony which is to be hoped for, or endeavoured upon earth, I have so distinctly, fully, and yet briefly described (with the oontrary impediments) in my Treatise of the "Reasons of Christian Religion," Part vii. Chap. 14. pp. 470, 471. in about two leaves, that I will not recite them. If you say, you are not bound to read the books which I refer you to; I answer,' Nor this.' II. To the latter Question I answer, 1. To set up such an universal head on the supposition of natural reasons and human policy is, (1.) To cross Christ's institution, and the laws of the Holy Ghost, as hath been long proved by Protestants from the Scripture. (2.) It is treason against Christ's sovereign office to usurp such a vicegerency without his commission. (3.) It is against the notorious light of nature, which
» "Catholic Unity," and "The True Catholic and Church described."