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of income proper for a Christian Bishop. The dispute for pre-eminence between the jealous “ Presbyter” and the tenacious “ Bishop” cannot be settled by texts of Scripture, unless other texts have been already written on the hearts of the brethren litigant. While of all churches that have been, and all churches that are, each one thinks or would fain imagine that its own Bishop, Elder, Pastor, or Superintendent is the only or the best impersonation of the scriptural idea ; and while many churches do sincerely strive to attain to the standard of a true episcopate ; any one who looks at the diverse personages bearing the name of Bishop, cannot but wonder at their vast variety of outward form and intrinsic quality, and perceive a brand of deformity that refutes the claims of many of them to resemble the Bishop traced in outline by apostolic hands,-the model after which these princes of God's people ought to fashion themselves.
If it were not for fear of being entangled in the snares of controversy where Pearson, Beveridge, King, Campbell, and many others have been caught, and where they are held fast, we might essay to describe a Polycarp, an Ignatius, or a Cyprian; or, at least, to search for a model Bishop in times when universal consent acknowledges that there were many whom posterity might venture to follow, even as they followed Christ. Perhaps it would be more profitable to read their writings, (making charitable allowance for the defects, original or adventitious, of those writings,) than curiously to inquire what was the precise measure of their functions, or what their honours in that humble but illustrious hierarchy whose robes were not dyed in Tyrian purple, but in the streams of martyrdom.
Those who delight in contrasts, and are willing to be edified thereby,– those who can make use of contrasts in good faith,-may place an old Waldensian Bishop of the ninth or tenth century, or even of the fifteenth or sixteenth, side by side with one of the very artificial dignitaries whom it is our purpose to describe in the present paper. He was to be found in the plains of Lombardy, keeping the charge that had descended to him from the hands of Claudius of Turin, together with fragments of an elder heritage derived from the Apostles themselves; a goodly see, on which Antichrist had never been able to imprint the hated stigma of idolatry. The devout brother travelling across the country turns from the more public way, comes to receive a few sentences of encouragement from his lips, and then passes onward to pursue his traffic in the mart on the shore of the Adriatic or the banks of the Arno. Or the man of God, of whom the world is not worthy, is driven away together with his flock, from the neighbourhood of those fierce Ecclesiastics whose evangelis crusade ; and has a cottage, or perhaps but a temporary lodging-place, in the depth of some Alpine valley, where he receives candidates for that perilous ministry, and lays his hand on the head of youthful Barbes, whose parishes extend wherever they can find hearths to welcome them, whose antiphonal is the Nobla Leyçon, whose catechism and creed are written on the lips of the ancients, and recited in the gladsome voices of the little children ; while their sermons are stern warnings against the idolatry of Antichrist, the frauds of confessors, the ribaldry of the persecutor, and “the corruption that is in the world.” Our weather-beaten Bishop is enthroned nobly amidst those humble stalls, where “ kings and priests” encircle him with the grandeur of a Liturgy so ancient and recondite that Durand, or Renaudot, or Assemani, could never find it, though James of Jerusalem and Ignatius might have used it, and the cotter knows it. This Bishop, whose benediction closes the rustic solemnity,
is laboriously contributing a long and honourable life to carry down a true episcopal succession, which is at this day owned by the Church of the “United Brethren.”
Or, if you still desiderate episcopal simplicity, you may find it well exemplified beyond the Atlantic, where the Methodist Bishop exhausts his life in a perpetual visitation, traversing the wilds or holding Conferences in the cities, uniting the simplicity of the last age with the speed of the present, and never diverging from the track which may conduct him to the single object of desire,—to the position where he may most effectually extend and guard and fortify the church committed to his oversight. We might point to labourers at home, who do, in some sort, emulate the diligence and zeal of those untitled Ecclesiastics; but we confine our notice, just now, to those who are distinguished by the name of “ Bishop.” The Greek, Armenian, Nestorian, Coptic, and Abyssinian bearers of the crosier are too far away; and some of them have dwindled into insignificance too deep for us to fix attention on them, for purposes of illustration or of contrast. As for the English Protestant Bishops, they live among us, and are objects of daily observation. It is enough to wish them, in passing, all the grace that they need to extricate themselves and others from the snares of heresy, and to make them all workmen that need not to be ashamed. We proceed, therefore, to describe the pageantry of an order of men who have been too well known in the country for many ages, but who now resume their titles, take rank, demand honour, do increasing mischief, and therefore should be known again :-The Popish Bishops. The description will be official, not personal.
It would be illusory to suppose that a Bishop, in the Church of Rome, is a purely spiritual person. He derives his dignity from one who is altogether temporal, except in name and in pretension; and as is the head, so must be the member.* Furnished with apostolic letters, if he be not in Rome, or, if there, commissioned by the living voice of the oracle himself,-he goes to a Bishop and solicits consecration, exhibiting his letters, and preparing a handsome offertory according to custom. Heavy have been the fees expended on the apostolic licence; and the expectation of temporal benefit may be reasonably supposed to correspond with the first outlay,—except, however, when the bishopric is titular, that is to say, nominal; the person to be consecrated not receiving his designation from any place now occupied by a living Bishop; as, for example, Palmyra or Heliopolis. He is then said to be a Bishop in partibus infidelium, or among infidels : and such were the Roman Vicars-Apostolic in England, until the recent creation of a bierarchy, distributed over newly-formed dioceses.
The mandate being read, the elect falls on his knees before the consecrator, and in the presence of two assistants, also Bishops, and of the congregation, reads, word by word, the following oath of allegiance to the Pope. “I, N--, elected for the Church, N- , from this hour henceforth will be faithful and obedient to the blessed Peter the Apostle, and the holy Roman Church, and to our Lord the Lord N- Pope N--, and his successors canonically entering. I will not be in any counsel, or consent, or act, by which they might lose life or limb, or be deprived of liberty, or violent hands be laid on them in any way, under any pretence whatever. But the counsel which they shall intrust to me by themselves, or by their messengers, or hy letter, I will not knowingly reveal to any one to their prejudice. The Roman Papacy, and the royal rights of St. Peter, I will be helper to retain and to defend, saving my order,* against every man. The Legate of the Apostolic See I will treat honourably in his going and returning, and will help in his necessities.” (An obvious provision for the case of Legates who become obnoxious to state-prosecution in consequence of illegal or treasonable proceedings, they being aliens.) “ The rights, honours, privileges, and authority of the holy Roman Church, of our Lord the Pope, and of his successors aforesaid, it shall be my care to preserve, defend, increase, and promote. Neither will I be in any counsel, or act, or treaty, in which anything shall be devised against the same our Lord, or the said Roman Church, or anything prejudicial to their persons, right, honour, state, and power.” (So that the Romish Bishops are necessarily alienated from all patriotic and independent counsels, in whatever country they reside.) “And if I know such things to be treated of, or attempted by any persons whatsoever, I will prevent it to the utmost of my power,” (disturbing, for example, the counsels of the Sovereign, and interfering with the course of legislation,)" and, as soon as ever I possibly can, I will make it known to the same our Lord, or to some other by whom it may come to his knowledge.” (What is this but swearing to be, by virtue of the Bishop's office, spy to the Pope in this country ?) “The rules of the Holy Fathers,” (the Popes,) “their decrees, orders or dispositions, reservations, provisions, and apostolic mandates, I will observe with all my might, and cause others to observe.” (To do this was treason in England; yet constantly the Vicars-Apostolic, being titular Bishops, swore to do it, and cause it to be done, as far as in them lay, by every British Papist.) “Heretics, schismatics, and rebels against the same our Lord or his successors aforesaid, as far as I am able I will pursue and attack.” (An engagement which, Cardinal Wiseman says, Pius VI. dispensed with in Ireland by a verbal indulgence pronounced in 1791. But the statement that this dispensation extends to England awaits proof; and, even if it were so for a time, the Papal
* It must always be borne in mind, that the episcopate is not regarded as an order, but only as a dignity. There are seven orders given by the Church of Rome, that of Priest being the highest. Here ordination ceases, and consecration takes place, or investiture, or coronation ; the supreme Pontiff hiniself being no more than Summus Sacerdos.
then existing ; and reduces all things in England to a new beginning, leaving every Prelate under the undoubted obligation to keep this vow.) “When called to a synod I will come, unless prevented by any canonical impediment.” (But a writ of Ne exeat regno would certainly not be admitted as a canonical impediment.) “The thresholds of the Apostles I will visit personally once every four years, and will render an account to my Lord, and to his successors aforesaid, of all my pastoral office, and of all things in any way pertaining to the state of my church, the discipline of my Clergy and people, and the salvation of the souls confided to my care ; and, in turn, will humbly receive the apostolic mandates, and execute them as diligently as possible. But if detained by a legitimate impediment, I will fulfil all things aforesaid by a trusty messenger appointed to this very end from the bosom of my chapter, or by some other person invested with ecclesiastical dignity; or, if these fail me, by a Priest of the diocese ; and, if my own Clergy altogether fail me, by some other secular or regular
* Saving the episcopal order from any Papal encroachment attempted under colour of divine right inherent in the Pope,
Presbyter, of known probity and religion, fully instructed concerning all things aforesaid.” (So carefully is provision made to baffle every restriction attempted by the civil authority.) “But concerning any such impediment I will give information, with legitimate proofs, to the Cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Proponent in the Congregation of the Sacred Council, to be transınitted by the messenger aforesaid. But the possessions pertaining to my board I will not sell, nor give, nor pledge, nor lease out again, nor in any way alienate, even with consent of the Chapter of my Church, without consent of the Roman Pontiff.” (The property in possession of the Romish Church being thus removed, except at cost of remonstrance, litigation, and grievance, from the ordinary course of British law.) “ The constitution concerning the prohibition of investitures of jurisdictional goods, published in the year 1625, I will observe. And, if I should consent to any alienation, I will by the very act incur the penalties contained in a certain constitution made concerning this matter." -Then the consecrator presents a volume containing the Gospels, and the elect, still kneeling, lays his hand on the sacred text, and says: “So help me God, and these holy Gospels. Thank God.” The consecrator responds, “ Thank God," and they all resume their seats.
He must be then examined, as it is called ; that is to say, he must answer to nine demands concerning his future conduct as a Bishop, affirming his willingness to consent and obey with all his heart in all things, the consecrator, however, suggesting a convenient way of escape from an obligation that might sometimes be found too strict, in these indulgent words : quantum te humana fragilitas consenserit posse" as far as human frailty may suffer thee to do.” He then makes a confession of his faith. The ceremony of consecration follows with very great solemnity. When it is finished, the choir strikes up a Te Deum ; and, attended by the two assistant Bishops, all three fully robed, he walks through the congregation, and begins to exercise the functions of his new office by blessing the people on the right hand and on the left. An Archbishop or Patriarch is consecrated by investiture with the pallium, a tippet made of white wool taken from the backs of lambs which the Pope has blessed, and woven by Nuns of the convent of St. Agnes in Rome. This ceremonious investiture is essential to the dignity; and without it none may presume to take the title, or to perform the duties, of archbishopric or patriarchate. The Pope is therefore asked to send it in the utmost haste, instanter, instantiùs, instantissimè, lest blessings incalculable should be lost to the world each moment that the lambs' wool is delayed. When such supplications reach the “Holy Father,” he commands the tomb of the Apostles to be visited, and a length of the charmed woollen to be taken from the piece kept there, in order that Bishops may be consecrated, churches dedicated, divine worship made acceptable, and the high Ecclesiastic, under this munition of wool, may venture to sing mass pontifical. Wherein this is superior to the most insensate form of African Paganism, it would be hard to say ; and equally difficult to imagine how those who enslave themselves to these vanities can elude the displeasure of Almighty God, who overlooked the times of ignorance, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.--But we must return to the Bishop, whose duties are not all described in the words of the consecrator,-/" to judge, interpret, consecrate, ordain, offer (the unbloody sacrifice of the mass), baptize, and confirm,”-but chiefly consist in doing the things promised in his oath. The latter is the toil of a politician, whereas the former is but routine. For the offices of worship and mere episcopal government there are formularies, canons, and constitutions. To serve the prince of this world there is no formulary, no routine ; but the whole man is wanted. And the Pontiff, as if he were God, demands of his servants to be loved with all their heart and soul and mind and strength. · The anxious candidate for honour and wealth-who has toiled through many & year of solicitude, and perhaps danger too, while pushing the interests of Rome in some land of “infidels," or seeking popularity and hunting after proselytes; and after waiting long at the threshold of preferment-is made more certain that his merits have reached the knowledge of the Pontilf, and that His Holiness, providing in public consistory for the supply of vacant sees, has deigned to place him over some cathedral church. The document containing his appointment assures him that he is now as good as a Bishop. The Church does not prescribe the number of interjections that he may utter in his gladness, or the time that he may expend in rejoicing with his neighbours ; neither does the Church remind him of the magnitude and sacredness of the charge to feed souls for whom the Saviour died. He may have read in the books of Chrysostom De Sacerdotio, and gleaned there a few ideas of priestly responsibility ; but he is not yet in the frame of soul to say, “I will not be a Bishop.” He may have been roused by the stirring sentences of Bernard ; but at this moment he may not pause to reflect on the wisdom of Monk or Mystic. He is to be a man of the world ; and, unlike the cavalier who used to watch all night by his armour that he might not go to the battle without a blessing on it, he is not even reminded by the Church of the Fountain of strength. It is ordained that his first action, after the receipt of sure intelligence, shall be the provision of an ample crown, (amplan coronam,) to be fashioned decently, and set upon his head ; and an episcopal cope (mantelletum) for his shoulders, to appear with out of doors; with a new suit, to be cut after one appointed fashion, if he have the honour to be in Rome, or after another, if his domicile be distant from the throne of thrones. If it be his happiness to sojourn within the circuit of the seven hills, or within any reasonable distance, he must immediately make his appearance in the sacred palace, and thank the supreme Pontiff for his promotion ; extenuate his merits, which he is to say were very scanty; and extol the dignity conferred on a subject so unworthy. There is no form to be recited, but the occasion will offer scope for ingenuity and address. Having commended himself with profound submission to the holy Father, having had the rochette put on by his blessed hands, and having kissed his feet, he must go round the city to the Cardinals. It is not likely that there will be seventy at court; but there may be half the number there, or more; and it now becomes his duty to visit each of these most eminent and most reverend lords in his own house, and “ officiously” (officiosè) return them thanks for their recommendation, concurrence, or (it may have been their forbearance, on the day of his appointment in consistory. One unlucky word from the lips of a Cardinal might have dashed the descending mitre from his head. And he is to place himself and his churches at their service ; which, the new-found see not being the Lord's heritage, he is, of course, at perfect liberty to do. If the glad tidings of promotion reached him in his diocese or province, he must write a letter to the Pope and one to each Cardinal, don his robes, walk out in public, and be careful to trim his cap with green. But we must not forget to note that, if he be a Monk, the more sober colour of his order is to be retained. (So perfect are the