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never heard that there was any difficulty about it, and, moreover, that matter ceased long before any word sprang up about this great general division." }
One question, theoretical indeed, but sufficiently practical to indicate the current of thought and feeling prevalent at the time, was as to the multiplication of holidays on which no work was allowed to be done by ecclesiastical law. Saint-German, in common with other laymen of the period, maintained that the king, or Parliament, as representing the supreme will of the State, could refuse to allow the spiritual authority to make new holidays. About the Sunday he is doubtful, though he inclines to the opinion that so long as there was one day in the week set apart for rest and prayer, the actual day could be determined by the State. The Sunday, he says, is partly by the law of God, partly by the law of man. “But as for the other holidays, these are but ceremonies, introduced by the devotion of the people through the good example of their bishops and priests." And “ if the multitude of the holidays is thought hurtful to the commonwealth, and tending rather to increase vice than virtue, or to give occasion of pride rather than meekness, as peradventure the synod ales and particular holidays have done in some places, then Parliament has good authority to reform it. But as for the holidays that are kept in honour of Our Lady, the Apostles, and other ancient Saints, these seem right necessary and expedient." 2
In his work, Salem and Bizance, which appeared in 1533 as a reply to Sir Thomas More's Apology, Saint-German takes up the same ground as in his more strictly legal tracts. He holds that a distinction between the purely spiritual functions of the clergy and their position as individuals in the State ought to be allowed and recognised. The attitude of ecclesiastics generally to such a view was, perhaps not unnaturally, one of opposition, and where the State had already stepped in and legislated, as for instance in the case of “ mortuaries,” their action in trying to evade the prescription of the law, Saint-German declared was doing much harm, in emphasising a needless conflict between the ecclesiastical and secular jurisdiction. “ As long," he writes," as spiritual rulers will pretend that their authority is so high and so immediately derived from God that people are bound to obey them and to accept all that they do and teach, without argument, resistance, or murmuring against them,” there will be discord and difficulty.
| English Works (ed. 1557), p. 1017. ? A treatyse, &c., ut sup., cap. vi., sig. E. i.
Christopher Saint-German's position was not by any means that of one who would attack the clergy all along the line, and deprive them of all power and influence, like so many of the foreign sectaries of the time. He admitted, and indeed insisted on, the fact that they had received great and undoubted powers by their high vocation, having their spiritual jurisdiction immediately from God. Their temporalities, however, he maintained, they received from the secular power, and were protected by the State in their possession. He fully agreed “that such things as the whole clergy of Christendom teach and order in spiritual things, and which of long time have been by long custom and usage in the whole body of Christendom ratified, agreed, and confirmed, by the spirituality and temporality, ought to be received with reverence."2
To this part of Saint-German's book Sir Thomas More takes exception in his Apology. The former had said, that as long as the spiritual rulers will pretend that their authority is so high and so immediately derived from God that the people are bound to obey them and accept all that they do and teach “ there would certainly be divisions and dissensions.” “ If he mean," replies More, “that they speak thus of all their whole authority that they may now lawfully do and say at this time: I answer that they neither pretend, nor never did, that all their authority is given them immediately by God. They have authority now to do divers things by the grant of kings and princes, just as many temporal men also have, and by such grants they have such rights in such things as temporal men have in theirs.''
Salem and Bizance, a dialogue betwixte two Englishmen, whereof onze was called Salem and the other Bizance (Berthelet, 1533!, f. 76.
2 Ibid., f. 84.
Some authority and power they certainly have from God, he says, “For the greatest and highest and most excellent authority that they have, either God has himself given it to them, or else they are very presumptuous and usurp many things far above all reason. For I have never read, or at least I do not remember to have read, that any king granted them the authority that now not only prelates but other poor plain priests daily take on them in ministering the sacraments and consecrating the Blessed Body of Christ."
Another popular book of the period, published by Berthelet, just on the eve of the Reformation, is the anonymous Dialogue between a Knight and a Clerk concerning the power spiritual and temporal. We are not here concerned with the author's views as to the power of the Popes, but only with what he states about the attitude of men's minds to the difficulties consequent upon the confusion of the two jurisdictions. Miles (the Knight), who, of course, took the part of the upholder of the secular power, clearly distinguished, like Saint-German, between directly spiritual prerogatives and the authority and position assured to the clergy by the State. “God forbid," he says, “ that I should deny the right of Holy Church to know and correct men for their sins. Not to hold this would be to deny the sacrament of Penance and Confession altogether.” Moreover, like Saint-German, this author, in the person of Miles, insists that the temporality “are bound to find
1 English Works, p. 892. Ibid.
SA Dialogue, &c., ut sup., f. 8.
to do to mind the ur forefathers
the spirituality that worship and serve God all that is necessary for them. For so do all nations."' But the direction of such temporalities must, he contends, be in the hands of the State. “What," asks the conservative cleric, in the person of Clericus, “What have princes and kings to do with the governance of our temporalities? Let them take their own and order their own, and suffer us to be in peace with ours."
“Sir," replies Miles, “ the princes must in any wise have to do therewith. I pray you, ought not men above all things to mind the health of our souls ? Ought not we to see the wills of our forefathers fulfilled ? Falleth it not to you to pray for our forefathers that are passed out of this life? And did not our fathers give you our temporalities right plentifully, to the intent that you should pray for them and spend it all to the honour of God? And ye do nothing so; but ye spend your temporalities in sinful deeds and vanities, which temporalities ye should spend in works of charity, and in alms-deeds to the poor and needy. For to this purpose our forefathers gave 'great and huge dominions. You have received them to the intent to have clothes and food ... and all overplus besides these you ought to spend on deeds of mercy and pity, as on poor people that are in need, and on such as are sick and diseased and oppressed with misery.'')
Further, Miles hints that there are many at that time who were casting hungry eyes upon the riches of the Church, and that were it not for the protecting power of the State, the clergy would soon find that they were in worse plight than they think themselves to be. And, in answer to the complaints of Clericus that ecclesiastics are taxed too hardly for money to be spent on soldiers, ships, and engines of war, he tells him that there is no reason in the nature of things why ecclesiastical property should not bear the burden of national works as well as every other
kind of wealth. “I pray you hold your noise,” he exclaims somewhat rudely; “stop your grudging and grumbling, and listen patiently. Look at your many neighbours round about you in the land, who, wanting the wherewith to support life, gape still after your goods. If the king's power failed, what rest should you have ? Would not the gentlemen such as be needy, and such as have spent their substance prodigally, when they have consumed their own, turn to yours, and waste and destroy all you have? Therefore, the king's strength is to you instead of a strong wall, and you wot well that the king's peace is your peace, and the king's safeguard is your safeguard.”!
The foregoing pages represent some of the practical difficulties which were being experienced on the eve of the Reformation between the ecclesiastical and lay portion of the State in the question of jurisdiction. Everything points to the fact that the chief difficulty was certainly not religious. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction in matters spiritual was cordially admitted by all but a few fanatics. What even many churchmen objected to, were the claims for exemption put forward by ecclesiastics in the name of religion, which they felt to be a stretching of spiritual prerogatives into the domain of the temporal sovereign. History has shown that most of these claims have in practice been disallowed, not only without detriment to the spiritual work of the Church, but in some instances at least it was the frank recognition of the State rights, which, under Providence, saved nations from the general defection which seemed to threaten the old ecclesiastical system. Most of the difficulties which were, as we have seen, experienced and debated in England were unfelt in Spain, where the sovereign from the first made his position as to the temporalities of the Church clearly understood by all. In Naples, in like manner, the right of State patronage, however objectionable to the ecclesi
' A Dialogue, &c., ut sup., p. 17.