« AnteriorContinuar »
Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., &c., &c. Το the most reverend father in God, William, by divine Providence, lord archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and metropolitan, greeting. Whereas, by an act passed in the fifth year of our reign, intituled, An act to amend an act made in the twentysixth year of the reign of his majesty king George the third, intituled, An act to empower the archbishop of Canterbury or the archbishop of York for the time being to consecrate to the office of a bishop persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of his majesty's dominions,'' it was, amongst other things, enacted, that it should and might be lawful for the archbishop of Canterbury or the archbishop of York for the time being, together with such other bishops as they should call to their assistance, to consecrate British subjects, or the subjects or citizens of any foreign kingdom or state, to be bishops in any foreign country, whether such foreign subjects or citizens be or be not subjects or citizens of the country in which they are to act, and without the queen's licence for their election, or the royal mandate under the great seal for their confirmation and consecration, and without requiring such of them as may be subjects or citizens of any foreign kingdom or state to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and the oath of due obedience to the archbishop for the time being:
as may be desirous of placing themselves under his authority, subject to such alterations in respect to the limits of the jurisdiction so to be exercised as may hereafter be made by our authority.
"Now it is our royal will and pleasure, and we do by this our licence, under our royal signet and sign manual, authorise and empower you, the said archbishop, to consecrate the said Michael Solomon Alexander to be bishop of the united church of England and Ireland in Jerusalem. And we are graciously pleased to assign Syria, Chaldea, Egypt, and Abyssinia, as the limit within which the said Michael Solomon Alexander may exercise spiritual jurisdiction pursuant to the said act, subject nevertheless to such alterations in the said limit as we from time to time may be pleased to assign. "Given at our court at Buckingham palace, the sixth day of November, 1841, in the fifth year of our reign.
"And whereas it is by the said act further enacted, that such bishop or bishops so consecrated may exercise, within such limits as may from time to time be assigned for that purpose in such foreign countries by us, spiritual jurisdiction over the ministers of British congregations of the united church of England and Ireland, and over such other protestant congregations as may be desirous of placing themselves under his or their authority:
"By her majesty's command, "ABERDEEN." LETTER COMMENDATORY FROM THE MOST REV.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, &c. To the right reverend our brothers in Christ, the prelates and bishops of the ancient and apostolic churches in Syria and the countries adjacent, greeting in the Lord.
"And whereas it is by the said act provided, that no person should be consecrated a bishop in the manner therein provided until the archbishop of Canterbury or the archbishop of York for the time being should have first applied for and should have obtained our licence by warrant under the royal signet and sign manual, authorising and empowering him to perform such consecrations, and expressing the name of the person so to be consecrated, nor until the said archbishop has been fully ascertained of the sufficiency of such person in good learning, of the soundness of his faith, and of the purity of his manners:
We, William, by divine Providence, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and metropolitan, most earnestly commend to your brotherly love the right rev. Michael Solomon Alexander, doctor in divinity, whom we, being well assured of his learning and piety, have consecrated to the office of a bishop of the united church of England and Ireland, according to the ordinances of our holy and apostolic church, and, having obtained the consent of our sovereign lady the queen, have sent out to Jerusalem, with authority to exercise spiritual jurisdiction over the clergy and congregations of our church, which are now, or which hereafter may be, established in the countries above mentioned. And, in order to prevent any misunderstanding in regard to this our purpose, we think it right to make known to you, that we have charged the said bishop our brother not to intermeddle in any way with the jurisdiction of the prelates or other ecclesiastical dignitaries bearing rule in the churches of the east, but to show them due reverence and honour; and to be ready on all occasions, and by all the means in his power, to promote a mutual interchange of respect, courtesy, and kindness. We have good reason to believe that our brother is willing, and will feel himself in conscience bound, to follow these our instructions; and we beseech you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to receive him as a brother, and to assist him, as opportunity may offer, with your good offices.
"And whereas you, the said William, archbishop of Canterbury, have humbly applied to us for our licence, by warrant under our royal signet and sign manual, authorising and empowering you to consecrate the rev. Michael Solomon Alexander (clerk), a British subject, to be bishop of the united church of England and Ireland in Jerusalem, you having certified to us that you had fully ascertained the sufficiency of the said Michael Solomon Alexander in good learning, the soundness of his faith, and the purity of his manners, and praying that we would be graciously pleased to assign Syria, Chaldea, Egypt, and Abyssinia, as the limit within which the said Michael Solomon Alexander might exercise spiritual jurisdiction over the ministers of British congregations of the united church of England and Ireland, and over such other protestant congregations
We trust that your holinesses will accept this communication as a testimony of our respect and affection, and of our hearty desire to renew that amicable intercourse with the ancient churches of the east which has been suspended for ages, and which, if restored, may have the effect, with the blessing of God, of putting an end to divisions which have brought the most grievous calamities on the church of Christ.
In this hope, and with sentiments of the highest | Man. Delighted with the acquisition of spiritual inrespect for your holinesses, we have affixed our archiepiscopal seal to this letter, written with our own hand at our palace of Lambeth, on the twenty-third
dependence, the people readily consented to pay the accustomed tribute of Peter's pence to Rome; but the celibacy of the clergy was a point that met with de
day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.
REMARKABLE ECCLESIASTICS OF THE BARLIER AND MIDDLE AGES OF THE BRITISH CHURCH.
NICHOLAS Brekespere was born at Abbot's Langley, in Hertfordshire, towards the close of the eleventh century. His father, Robert de Camere, was a domestic servitor in the monastery of St. Albans, and ultimately became a brother. Nicholas, while a youth, was obliged to perform the most menial offices for food. After some years he expressed a wish to take the habit of the monastery; but, his poverty not having permitted him to obtain the requisite knowledge at the schools, he was rejected by the abbot. His father, who had first abandoned him to want, now reproached him with idleness, and he accordingly resolved to seek his fortune in a foreign land. He visited Paris, where, though extremely destitute, he prosecuted his studies with unremitting assiduity; affording a noble example of the acquisition of knowledge in the midst of difficulties. He then removed to Provence, and became servitor in the monastery of St. Rufus, near Avignon. Here his affable manners and obliging disposition, his diligence in study, and, above all, the profound respect which he paid to his superiors, soon commended him to the good will of the monks; and he was not only admitted into the brotherhood, but, upon the death of the abbot William, A.D. 1137, was unanimously chosen to succeed him.
Nicholas now seemed disposed to exact obedience quite as rigidly as he had paid it, and to enforce the monastic discipline with as much strictness as he had observed it himself. He soon, as a consequence, forfeited his former reputation, and excited amongst the monks a hostility at least as strong as their former regard. They began to discover that the same severe propriety of deportment and the same love of order which made him an invaluable servant, rendered him an intolerable master; and they accordingly, as their only remedy, brought various accusations against him before pope Eugenius III. To meet these he repaired to Rome. The pope, upon examination, and duly weighing the various charges, pronounced him innocent, and, discovering his great talents, took him under his immediate patronage. "This man," said he to the fraternity of St. Rufus, "shall be no burden to you." So far the monks gained their object, namely, his removal.
After this Nicholas rose with astonishing rapidity. In the year 1146 he was created cardinal bishop of Alba. In 1148 he went as legate from the Romish see to Denmark and Norway, where he was eminently successful in the conversion of these nations--then distracted with internal broils. He endeavoured to allay the wild disorders of that barbarous country by interposing the mediation of the church between the contending parties. Having succeeded in accomplishing that object, he next applied himself to the principal design of his mission, the establishment of an archiepiscopal see; an institution which was ardently desired by the Norwegian monarchs, in order to render their kingdom independent of the authority of the Danish archbishop of Lund. The new primacy was erected at Trondheim, and endowed with jurisdiction over the native colonies, in Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Isles, the Orkneys, Hebrides, and the Isle of
The cardinal, however, had influence enough to persuade the laity to discountenance the practice of coming armed to the Lands-Ting, and made a regulation that the king should be accompanied with only twelve military followers, by which means many a deadly feud was prevented. "In various other things," says Snorre," he reformed the manners and customs of the natives during his stay, so that there never came to this land a stranger who was more honoured and beloved both by princes and people." From Norway the legate proceeded to Sweden, where he was also instructed to establish a new archiepiscopal see at Upsala; but in this he was thwarted by the violent dissensions between the two great national families of the Goths and the Sviar, who still kept up the distinction of a separate pedigree*.
On his return to Rome the cardinal was received by the pope and cardinals with the highest honours, and congratulated on the success of his mission. Soon after Anastasius, the short-lived successor of Eugenius, died, and Nicholas, in 1154, at once attained the papal crown-the first and last Englishman who ever did so-taking the name of Adrian IV., a rank the honours of which he certainly did not bear meekly.
No sooner did Henry II., of England, hear of this exaltation, than he sent Robert, abbot of St. Albans, with three bishops to Rome, to offer his congratulations, and to administer a little advice to Adrian. The letter he wrote forms a strange contrast with the humble application made to the pontiff only a twelvemonth after, when he wanted the pope's blessing on an enterprise of most barefaced injustice and oppression. The abbot of St. Albans had brought with him several valuable presents. Adrian, however, could be induced to accept only a few, jocosely alleging as his reason for refusing the others "I will not accept your gifts," said he, "because when I wished to take the habit of your monastery, you would not accept me." The abbot, no novice in flattery, replied-" It was not for us to oppose the will of Providence, which had destined you for greater things." In return for this and other compliments, Adrian conferred on the monastery of St. Albans the singular privilege of exemption from all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, except that of Rome.
The next year, as already hinted, Henry sent a still more flattering embassy to Adrian. It was to ask his permission to attempt the conquest of Ireland. "Thus to gratify momentary ambition, this monarchand most of the monarchs of Christendom were guilty of the same conduct at one time or another, when they wished to serve a selfish purpose-distinctly acknowledged the papal prerogative of disposing of kingdoms, and of sanctioning or interdicting the enterprises of secular princes. This, in time, led to its own punishment: civil governments deserved to feel the weight of that yoke which they had first fastened on their own necks, and to chafe beneath the pressure of that iron-curb by which they had so often sought to straiten the liberty of others."
"The papal power was at this epoch gradually advancing to a formidable height, and extending its influence even in the extremity of the British islands. Imagination can scarcely invent a pretext why the bishop of Rome should exceed the line of his spiritual power by the formal assumption of temporal authority over independent states. Such, however, has been the magnitude of the power exercised by the popes, that we are not more astonished at the arrogance and impiety of their decrees, than at the abject and humiFrom "Edinburgh Cabinet Library-Scandinavia."
hating submission of emperors, kings, and people, to their assumed supremacy in the temporal concerns of the world." In resorting to the power on this occasion, Henry chose for his agent John Salusbury, his chaplain, who represented to Adrian that the Irish were sunk into the most wretched and abject state of morals, that Henry, zealous for the glory of God, had resolved to plant true religion in that country; he implored, therefore, the benediction of the pontiff, requesting his authority to enter Ireland to reduce the disobedient and corrupt, to eradicate all sin and wickedness, to instruct the ignorant, and spread the blessed influence of the gospel in its purity and perfection; promising at the same time to pay a yearly tribute to St. Peter from the land thus to be reduced to his obedience, and that of the holy see. It is not possible in the present enlightened times to reflect seriously upon such a tissue of profane hypocrisy without the utmost horror. Henry did not foresee all the effects of such an application to the pope; while the more sagacious and politic Adrian secretly exulted in a measure which so unequivocally recognised his authority, and favoured his impious and enormous claims. A correspondence had been opened between the Irish ecclesiastics and the church of Rome about four years before the accession of Henry to the English throne, and the pre-eminence of Rome was formally acknowledged. Adrian therefore eagerly embraced this opportunity of extending the papal dominion in Ireland, as well as conciliating the friendship of Henry; and a bull was framed immediately, fully conformable to the wishes and purposes of that king. This bull, which remains a striking memorial of the profligacy and impiety of papal usurpation, contains, among other blasphemous instructions, the following:"We, therefore, with that grace and acceptance suited to your pious and laudable design, and favourably assenting to your petition, do hold it good and acceptable that, for extending the borders of the church, restraining the progress of vice, for the correction of manners, the planting of virtue, and the increase of religion, you enter this island, and execute therein whatever shall pertain to the honour of God and welfare of the land; and that the people of this land receive you honourably, and reverence you as their lord: the rights of their churches still remaining sacred and inviolable, and saving to St. Peter the annual pension of one penny from every house." This bull was presented to Henry with a ring, the token of his investiture as rightful sovereign of Ireland.
Adrian manifested the same ambitious disposition throughout the whole of his pontificate. No sooner had he seated himself in the papal chair, than he launched his anathemas against the Roman people, who, at the instigation of Arnold of Brescia, were endeavouring to regain their ancient liberties, and to restore the authority of the senate. Adrian was not a man likely to abandon the contest: he dismissed the deputies who came to assert the rights of the people in haughty silence, and commanded the senators to banish Arnold. At length, provoked by an assault which the populace made on one of his cardinals, Gerard of St. Pudentiana, he put the whole city under an interdict; and, to the consternation of the people, all religious functions were suspended. This step was decisive: the reformers were banished from the city, and the people acknowledged the sovereignty of the pope.
The same year Frederic I., surnamed Barbarossa, king of the Romans, tasted of the like discipline. The pope had an interview with him at Sutrium, for the purpose of negotiating a peace. Not content with the punctilious observance of every other customary
honour, his holiness insisted that Frederic should
act as equerry, and hold the stirrup when he alighted. The king at first refused; but Adrian was inflexible:
he refused to dispense with this degrading act of homage, and, after a long conference, Frederic complied with it. This submission appeased his holiness, and he consented to confer upon his vassal the imperial crown, which he did in St. Peter's church, to the great mortification of the Roman people, who assembled in a tumultuous manner, and killed many of the imperialists.
About the same time Adrian exercised his prerogative on William, king of the two Sicilies, whom the pope had represented as a vassal of the Roman see, and, refusing him the title of king, had insultingly styled "Lord of Sicily." This provoked a war, in which the papal troops were defeated. The pope then resorted, with his usual success, to his spiritual weapons. Excommunication brought the refractory monarch to his senses; and the king consented not only to receive his crown at the hands of the pope, but to pay him an annual tribute. Circumstances connected with this quarrel renewed the pope's differences with the emperor Frederic. After giving each other mutual provocations, Adrian had the imprudence and insolence to boast that he had conferred on Frederic his crown. The emperor, as well as all the princes and bishops of the empire, deeply resented this language. Frederic, in order to put a stop to the enormous opulence of the pontiffs, bishops, and monks, which increased from day to day, enacted a law to prevent the transferring of fiefs without the knowledge or consent of the superior, or lord in whose name they were held. The papal legates were sent back in dishonour to Rome, and the bishops protested in terms so strong as convinced the pope that he had asserted claims which he was quite unable to sustain: he therefore retracted the offensive expressions in a letter full of miserable subterfuges and evasions. The quarrel, however, soon broke out again, and remained undecided at Adrian's death, which took place in the year 1159, at Anagni. Adrian left behind him some letters and homilies.
Adrian was evidently possessed of that decision of character, that inflexibility of purpose, that confidence in his own powers, that superiority to trifling and frivolous pursuits, and that severity of manners, which generally distinguish men of lofty ambition. As usual, he felt that power and dignity are not necessarily connected with happiness; and he had the honesty to avow it. To John of Salisbury, his old friend, who boldly reproved his pride and tyranny, he acknowledged that his "crown seemed to have been put burning on his head." He forgot, however, to add, that all this was the necessary consequence, as it was the just punishment, of his insolent pride and his restless ambition.
"This homage," says Gibbon, "was paid by kings to archbishops, and by vassals to their lords; and it was the nicest policy of Rome to confound the marks of filial and feudal subjection."
THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE GOSPEL: A Sermon
BY THE REV. J. E. JOHNSON, M.A.,
"The chief priests and scribes came upon him with the elders, saying, Tell us by what authority doest thou these things, or who is he that gave thee this authority?"
IF this question had been proposed to our Lord in an amicable spirit, or for the purpose of receiving from him some satisfactory as
surance of his having assumed the office of a public teacher by lawful authority, he would have returned to it, in all probability, a plain and explicit answer; but, suspecting that a clear avowal of his divine mission would be turned against himself, would excite the enmity of the chief priests and scribes, and be made the ground of a formal accusation against him, our Lord evaded an explicit answer, and met the question by a counter-interrogation: "I will also ask you one thing," he said, "and answer me -The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?" This question threw a difficulty in the way of his interrogators: for they could not answer it without either allowing that John's preaching was true, and that they ought to have gladly received it; or asserting that it was false, and so raising a clamour amongst the common people, who reverenced his character: they therefore replied, that they could not tell whence it was. Our Saviour's rejoinder upon this defeated the object of his opponents-" He said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things." But, although our Lord did not think it good to return an open answer, he yet represented, under the parable of the husbandman and vineyard, the treatment which he should receive at the hands of the chief priests and elders of the Jews. He represented how he should be rejected by the leading men of that nation, and put to death at their instigation; and how this should be the signal for the overthrow and dispersion of the Jewish people.
sion, our Lord appears to have maintained a cautious reserve: they desired to have from him, in their own hearing, an express avowal of what they had heard said of him by others. They said, therefore, "by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?" The answer they received contained no avowal, neither was it a denial of the divine authority which our Lord possessed. Yet on other occasions he did not refuse to acknowledge the divine character which really belonged to him: at one time he said-" My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me; if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God;" and at another, still more plainly"I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me; he gave me commandment what I should say, and what I should speak." These were plain avowals, on our Lord's part, of his teaching and authority being derived from God; and, had it been expedient for him always to have acted in the same manner, he would no doubt have answered every question that was put to him clearly and without evasion. But, having to contend against the subtlety and malice of a powerful faction among the Jews, he found it necessary to shield himself at times against their endeavours to ensnare him by opposing his penetration to their cunning, and confronting them with questions still more perplexing than their own. It was therefore only when he chose-when he saw that it was proper, and would be readily receivedthat he made any open declaration respecting the holiness of his character, and the divine authority of his mission on earth. At other times he guarded himself against danger by the promptness of his replies, and the depth of his penetration; and hence it was that, when assailed by the question, "Who gave thee this authority?" he refused to afford the explanation which was demanded of him. Yet this question, which was put to Jesus by the chief priests and elders of the Jews, is a question full of interest, and of importance.
It is a question which perhaps has suggested itself to the mind of every reflecting person, and which, when it is revolved in our minds, calls up all the accumulated evidence that has been given in attestation of the Christian faith; and although, urged by prudential reasons at the time, our Lord refused to give an explicit answer to it, he answered it afterwards in a way which has carried conviction to the minds of thousands in every successive generation, and which has placed the gospel upon a foundation too secure to be shaken. He answered it by the miracles which he wrought on the impotent and the diseased; by the supernatural darkness, and the earthquake
The circumstance which seems to have incensed the Jewish authorities on this occasion was, that our Lord preached in the temple, affirming that the reign of the Messiah was introduced by him; for the words of the evangelist are, that " on one of those days, as he taught in the temple and preached the gospel, the chief priests and scribes came upon him with the elders." They held it to be an intrusion on his part to instruct in the temple; and they would not give credit to the claim which he made of being their Messiah, and of all their long line of prophecies being fulfilled in him. Upon these two points, Jesus and the Jewish priests were entirely opposed. He claimed a right to preach in the temple, as being the Lord of the temple foreteld by Malachi" Behold, the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts:" and on many occasions he publicly asserted himself to be the Messiah, while the Jewish priests and elders vehemently opposed his pretensions. To these persons, who thus set themselves against his doctrines and the divine nature of his rs
that signalized his dying moments; by the extraordinary fact of his rising from the tomb triumphant over death; and by his ascension, in the presence of the eleven disciples, to the right hand of the Majesty on high. Viewing these proofs of his divine power and character, no one can doubt who gave to Jesus authority to found a religion for the comfort and instruction of mankind-who commissioned him to make known to the world the end and purposes of the present economy of things, and to promise to the faithful a participation in the bliss and glory of heaven. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews has well expressed what all the facts and circumstances that we know in our Saviour's history most clearly testify: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." It is "God speaking by his Son," whom we hear in all the high and solemn announcements of the gospel. The prophets of old delivered their messages and predictions as the heralds of God to his chosen people, and prefaced their warnings and expostulations by that solemn style of introduction, "Thus saith the Lord;" but they bore testimony continually to the coming of one who, with larger powers than were committed to them, should reveal the will of God, and teach the grand truths of judgment and of mercy. It could not be doubted on what authority Jesus acted, or from whence his commission was derived, when the whole series of proof attending his person, character, and works was summed up, and when both prophecy and miracle bore testimony that, as the law was given by Moses, so grace and truth were revealed to the world in the preaching of Jesus Christ.
When his doctrines were yet new to the ears of men, when his appearance had created surprise and hesitation in the public mind, and many who had not witnessed his miraculous works refused to believe the report that was given of them, there might be some ground for doubt and distrust, and for waiting to see what progress and impression the gospel would make. But when, in the days and in the persons of the apostles of Christ, it was clothed with continued and successive miracles, with the gifts of healing and of tongues, and with all the endowments which flowed from the plenteous and varied inspirations of the Holy Ghost; when its preachers had to tell of their Master having risen a conqueror over death, of his having burst the fetters of the tomb, and shewn himself to be the Lord of power and of life; when they could point to ancient prophecies, and show how they were fulfilled in Jesus; when to all these
powerful proofs they added the purity and disinterestedness of their own lives, the unwearied assiduity of their own labours, the animosity, the toil, and the peril which they cheerfully encountered and sustained in behalf of Christianity; when there was all this accompanying them to persuade and to convince, there could be little remaining room for unbelief, and but little occasion to ask who gave to them their authority
And the gospel is now presented to us under the same aspect, and is sustained, for the most part, by the same testimony as when the apostles of Christ bequeathed it to the world. The only difference is, that a long time has passed away-many ages have elapsed since they lived and laboured; but that long period of time is filled up by a chain of circumstances and events which strongly confirm the particulars of the gospel history. Books have been written in its defence, and persecutions set on foot for its extirpation; kings have at one time assailed, and at another protected it; disputes have arisen as to its doctrines and ceremonies, and councils held to decide them; creeds have been drawn up, and prayers have been compiled; churches have been erected, and pastors appointed to them; days have been dedicated to the memory of each one of the apostles, in commemoration also of the nativity and death of our Lord; epistles to the early churches have been preserved; and, although disfigured for a long period by the corruptions of popery, at no time has the leading doctrine of the gospel been hidden, that Jesus is the Son of God and Saviour of the world. It is not therefore a question of a doubtful nature, upon what authority the gospel rests; for it is attested by prophecy and by miracles, and by the witness of uninterrupted history, that the character of its author was divine.
The doctrines of salvation first proceeded from the lips of the Lord of life and immortality, who, when he visited us, in great humility took upon him man's nature, and appeared as a servant among those over whom he had the right and the power to rule; and who, when he was about to take his departure from the earth, bestowed upon his followers those divine gifts of grace and inspiration which qualified them to continue the work which he himself had begun. From the consideration of such being the origin of the doctrines of Christianity, arises the obligation under which we lie reverently to receive them. Even to the expostulations and warnings of his prophets, God expected a diligent attention to be paid; and when, after "rising up early and sending them," they were still unheeded, he made the Jewish nation suffer for a sin so flagrant. How much more must it