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religious instruction to his people. He proclaimed that all jurisdiction, spiritual as well as temporal, was derived from him alone, and that it was in his power to confer episcopal authority, and to take it away. He actually ordered his seal to be put to commissions by which bishops were appointed, who were to exercise their functions as his deputies, and during his pleasure. According to this system, as expounded by Cranmer, the King was the spiritual as well as the temporal chief of the nation. In both capacities His Highness must have lieutenants. As he appointed civil officers to keep his seal, to collect his revenues, and to dispense justice in his name, so he appointed divines of various ranks to preach the gospel, and to adminisvter the sacraments. It was unnecessary that there should be any imposition of hands. The King,— such was the opinion of Cranmer given in the plainest words, — might, in virtue of authority derived from God, make a priest; and the priest so made needed no ordination whatever. These opinions the Archbishop, in spite of the oppositionof less courtly divines, followed out to every legitimate consequence. He held that his own spiritual functions, like the secular functions of the Chancellor and Treasurer, were at once determined bya demise of the crown. When Henry died, therefore, the Primate and his sufi'ragans took out fresh commissions, empowering them to ordain and to govern the Church till the new sovereign should think fit to order otherwise. When it was objected that a power to bind and to loose, altogether distinct from temporal power, had been given by our Lord to his apostles, some theologians of this school replied that the power to bind and to loose had descended, not to the clergy, but to the whole body of Christian men, and ought to be exercised by the chief magistrate as the representative of the society. When it was objected that Saint Paul had spoken of certain persons whom the Holy Ghost had
made overseers and shepherds of the faithful, it was answered that King Henry was the very overseer, the very shepherd, whom the Holy Ghost had appointed, and to .whom the expressions of Saint Paul applied.*
These high pretensions gave scandal to Protestants as well as to Catholics; and the scandal was greatly increased when the supremacy, which Mary had re-_ signed back to the Pope, was again annexed to the crown, on the accession of Elizabeth. It seemed monstrous that a woman should be the chief bishop of a Church in which an apostle had forbidden her even to let her voice be heard. The Queen, therefore, found it necessary expressly to disclaim that sacerdotal character which her father had assumed, and which, according to Cranmer, had been inseparably oined, by divine ordinance, to the regal function. When the Anglican confession of faith was revised in her reign, the supremacy was explained in a manner somewhat different from that which had been fashionable at the court of Henry. Cranmer had declared, in emphatic terms, that God had immediately committed to Christian princes the whole cure of all their subjects, as well concerning the administration of God’s word for the cure of souls, as concerning the administration of things political.1' The thirty-seventh article of religion, framed under Elizabeth, declares, in terms as emphatic, that the ministering of God’s word does not belong to princes. The Queen, however, still had over the Church a visitatorial power of vast and undefined extent. She was entrusted by Parliament with the oflice of restraining and punishing heresy and every sort of ec
' See a very curious paper 'I'These are Cranmer’s own which Strype believed to be in words. See the Appendix to Gardiner’s handwriting. Eccle- Burnet’s History of the Reforsiastical Memorials, Book I. mation, Part I. Book III. No. 21. Chap. xvii. Question 9.
clesiastical abuse, and was permitted to delegate her authority to commissioners. The Bishops were little more than her ministers. Rather than grant to the civil magistrate the absolute power of nominating spiritual pastors, the Church of Rome, in the eleventh century, set all Europe on fire. Rather than grant to the civil magistrate the absolute power of nomi. nating spiritual pastors, the ministers of the Church of Scotland, in our own time, resigned their livings by hundreds. The Church of England had no such scruples. By the royal authority alone her prelates were appointed. By the royal authority alone her Convocations were summoned, regulated, prorogued, and dissolved. Without the royal sanction her canons had no force, One of the articles of her faith was that without the royal consent no ecclesiastical~ council could lawfully assemble. From all her judicatures an appeal lay, in the last resort, to the sovereign, even when the question was whether an opinion ought to be accounted heretical, or whether the administration of a sacrament had been valid. Nor did the Church grudge this extensive power to our princes. By them she had been called into existence, nursed through a feeble infancy, guarded from Papists on one side and from Puritans on the other, protected against Parliaments which bore her no good will, and avenged on literary assailants whom she found it hard to answer. Thus gratitude, hope, fear, common attachments, common enmities, bound her to the throne. All her traditions, all her tastes, were monarchical. Loyalty became a point of professional honour among her clergy, the peculiar badge which distinguished them at once from Calvinists and from Papists. Both the Calvinists and the Papists, widely as they differed in other respects, regarded with extreme jealousy all encroachments of the temporal power on the domain of the spiritual power. Both Calvinists and Papists maintained that subjects
might justifiably draw the sword against ungodly rulers. In France Calvinists resisted Charles the Ninth: Papists resisted Henry the Fourth: both Papists and Calvinists resisted Henry the Third. In Scotland Calvinists led Mary captive. On the north of the Trent Papists took arms against the English throne. The Church of England meantime condemned both Calvinists and Papists, and loudly boasted that no duty was more constantly or earnestly inculcated by her than that of submission to princes.
The advantages which the crown derived from this close alliance with the Established Church were great; but they were not without serious drawbacks. The compromise arranged by Cranmer had from the first been considered by a large body of Protestants as a scheme for serving two masters, as an attempt to unite the worship of the Lord with the worship of Baal. In the days of Edward the Sixth the scruples of this party had repeatedly thrown great difficulties in the way of the government. When Elizabeth came to the throne, those difficulties were much increased. Violence naturally engenders violence. The spirit of Protestantism was therefore far fiercer and more intolerant after the cruelties of Mary than before them. Many persons who were warmly attached to the new opinions had, during the evil days, taken refuge in Switzerland and Germany. They had been hospitably received by their brethren in the faith, had sate at the feet of the great doctors of Strasburg, Zurich, and Geneva, and had been, during some years, accustomed to a more simple worship, and to a more democratical form of church government, than England had yet seen. These men returned to their country, convinced that the reform which had been effected under King Edward had been far less searching and extensive than the interests of pure religion required. But it was in vain that they attempted to obtain any conces
sion from Elizabeth. Indeed her system, wherever it differed from her brother’s, seemed to them to differ for the worse. They were little disposed to submit, in matters of faith, to any human authority. They had recently, in reliance on their own interpretation of Scripture, risen up against a Church strong in immemorial antiquity and catholic consent. It was by no common exertion of intellectual energy that they had thrown off the yoke of that gorgeous and imperial superstition ; and it was vain to expect that, immediately after such an emancipation, they would patiently submit to a new spiritual tyranny. Long accustomed, when the priest lifted up the host, to bow down with their faces to the earth, as before a present God, they had learned to treat the mass as an idolatrous mummery. Long accustomed to regard the Pope as the successor of the chief of the apostles, as the bearer of the keys of earth and heaven, they had learned to regard him as the Beast, the Antichrist, the Man of Sin. It was not to be expected that they would immediately transfer to an upstart authority the homage which they had withdrawn from the Vatican; that they would submit their private judgment to the authority of a Church founded on private judgment alone; that they would be afraid to dissent from teachers who themselves dissented from what had lately been the universal faith of western Christendom. It is easy to conceive the indignation which must have been felt by bold and inquisitive spirits, glorying in newly acquired freedom, when an institution younger by many years than themselves, an institution which had, under their own eyes, gradually received its form from the passions and interests of a court, began to mimic the lofty style of Rome.
Since these men could not be convinced, it was determined that they should be persecuted. Persecution produced its natural effect on them. It found