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Acts xv.

this Church was governed by elders of the same body, who met together for functions of authority: and that the apostles themselves, in the Church assemblies, acted not in the quality of apostles, but only as elders : that they stated the question, argued on the level, and waved their apostolical privilege. That the same Presbyterian government was settled in the Churches of Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, &c. living the apostles. That this form of government continued many years after : and that at last, when one of the presbytery presided over the rest with the style of bishop, even then, as St. Jerome affirms, • Churches were governed with the joint consent of the presbytery; and that it was custom, rather than Divine appointment, which raised a bishop above a presbyter.'

“ To his majesty's argument, that where the meaning of the Scripture is doubtful, the practice of the primitive Church and the general consent of the Fathers ought to determine the sense ; that, unless this rule is admitted, the interpretation of Scripture must be left to private spirits ;-to disentangle this difficulty, Henderson replies, that, notwithstanding the decrees of general councils and the resolutions of the Fathers upon any point, a liberty must be left for a judgment of discretion; that this assertion is sufficiently proved by bishop Davenant, not to name any others, in his book “De Judice Controversiarum ;' that, notwithstanding all the pretensions from the Fathers, a bishop's having the sole power of ordination and jurisdiction can never be found in the earliest antiquity. To this he subjoins, that many of the Fathers, not knowing what they did, brought that anti-Christ to the birth which was conceived in the apostles' time; that, for this reason, they are by no means qualified to pronounce upon the hierarchy; and that, on the other side, there have been great discoveries of truth since the Reformation ; and that many mysterious things concerning anti-Christ and his train have been brought to light.

“ To prove presbyters may ordain other presbyters, without a bishop, he cites St. Paul's advice to Timothy: “ Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on the hands of the presbytery.' And here he observes, that in the New Testament, the word presbytery always signifies the persons, and not the office. And granting the functions of bishop and presbyter were distinct, it does

845.

6

1 Tim. iv. 14.

I.

not follow that the authority and force of the presbyter's cha- CHARLES racter was derived from the bishop. For were not the Evangelists inferior to the Apostles? However, notwithstanding this disparity, they received their commission from Christ, and not from the Apostles. The same may be affirmed of the seventy disciples, who were immediately authorized by our Saviour. It is true, St. Jerom puts the question with some advantage to the bishop where he says, ' quid facit, excepta ordinatione, episcopus, quod non facit presbyter ?? But then Epist. ad

Evag. this Father proves in the same place, from Scripture, that episcopus and presbyter are equipollent terms; and therefore, when he makes ordination the bishops' peculiar, he refers to after-custom, and the innovations of succeeding ages.

“ Upon the head concerning the king's coronation oath, this divine declines dilating any farther : he is likewise unwilling to enter upon the question concerning the seat of ecclesiastical supremacy. But, after this reservedness, he makes no scruple to declare, that such a headship as the kings of England have claimed ; such a supremacy as the two houses of parliament insist on; i.e. an authority to receive appeals from the ecclesiastical judicature, upon the score of their being paramount to the Church in things purely spiritual ; such a supremacy as He calls it this he utterly disclaims. After this, upon recollection, he in the same returns to the oath. And here he cannot conceive how the ordination. clergy of the Church of England are, or ought to be, principally intended in the coronation oath: for granting they were then reckoned the representative Church, yet, even under this notion, they ought to be governed by the interest of the Church collective: for the maxim of salus populi being suprema lex, will bring the point to this resolution. And, upon this principle, the alterations were made in the Church of Scotland. And if nothing of this kind can be warrantably done without the assent of the clergy, what reformation can be expected in France, in Spain, or in Rome itself? It is not to be imagined the pope, or the prelates," will consent to their own ruin."

His majesty had taken occasion to say, “That if his father, king James, had been consulted upon the question of force and resistance, he would have answered, that 'prayers and tears are the Church's weapons.' Granting this thing, replies this divine, it is neither acceptable to God, nor serviceable for princes, to force the Church to make use of those arms. And

The King's
Third
Paper,
June 22,
1646.

here he takes the freedom to declare, he could never hear a reason to prove a necessary defensive war, a war against unjust violence, unlawful.""

To the king's question, What warrant there was in the word of God for subjects endeavouring to force their king's conscience? He answers, by flourishing with several distinctions, unnecessary to mention, and at last concludes, " That as long as a man's conscience is mistaken, he lies under a necessity of doing amiss. The way therefore to disentangle himself, is to get his understanding better informed; not to move till he has struck a light, and made a farther discovery. For that such an erroneous conscience is part of the old man, which we are commanded to put off.” The king, in his answer to this second

paper,

6 dissents from Henderson touching the seat of the reforming power. His majesty grants, where a general council cannot be had, independent kingdoms may reform themselves : and that this truth is fully proved by archbishop Laud, in his book against Fisher. But that the inferior magistracy and people have any such authority, is more than Henderson has proved. If this point can be proved by Scripture, his majesty is ready to submit. But Henderson's instances out of the Old Testament rather confirm the king in his own opinion: all those reformations being made by princes: that if God had approved a reformation in subjects, there were occasions enough in Palestine, from the immorality of several kings, to have brought on such precedents. But the history in Numbers is a clear evidence of God's disapproving such methods. That this pretended power of the people must either be warranted by direct commission, or subsequent approbation : that when God Almighty's pleasure in favour of the people's reforming can be proved, his majesty will acquiesce: but that all other arguments are wide of the purpose. That private men's opinions, disjoined from the general consent of the Church, signify little. That 'rebels never want writers to maintain their revolt.' That though his majesty has a regard for Jewel's memory, he never thought him infallible: as for Bilson, he very well remembers what opinion the king his father had of the bishop; and that he showed him some favour, in hopes he might retract his singularities.

“ As to episcopal government, his majesty is ready to prove

Cap. xi.

I.

it an apostolical institution; and that it has been handed CHARLES down through all ages and countries till Calvin's time. And he offers either to make good this point, or yield the argument, as soon as he is furnished with books, or such divines as he shall make choice of. That Henderson has fallen short in proving the Church of England 'not built upon the foundation of Christ and his Apostles. For supposing the English bishops had confessed Church government mutable and ambulatory, Henderson's inferences would not follow. And, secondly, the king is confident it cannot be proved that most of these prelates maintained this walking position : for their being contented with the constitution of the Church, and the authority and munificence of princes, falls much short of evi- So Henderdence. That the charge of our retaining the Roman leaven, is pressed himnothing but bare affirmation. That the accommodating the self in his Church discipline to the civil constitution, should imply a de- Paper. praving it, his majesty denies: and avers, on the other hand, that without some degree of such conformity, the flourishing of the Church would be impracticable. His majesty proceeds, and tells Henderson, he would do well to show where our 846. Saviour has prohibited the addition of more Church officers than those named by him. And more than that, he is not apprized that the Church of England has offered at any supplement of this kind: for an archbishop is only a distinction in the order of government, and not a new officer: and the same may be affirmed of the rest. And of this kind there are several now in Scotland, which Henderson will not condemn ; as the Moderators of Assemblies,' and others.

“ The king denies that bishop and presbyter always import the same thing in Scripture: and that when they do, it must be remembered it was in the apostles' time. Now his majesty believes himself able to prove the order of bishops succeeded that of the apostles : and that the title was altered, and the name of apostle dropped, chiefly in regard to those who were immediately chosen by our Saviour. As for the antiquity of Presbyterian government, his majesty is surprised the assembly divines should understand the history of this matter better than Eusebius. And here he puts Henderson in mind, that in his first paper it was affirmed, the records of the primitive times were dark, and that it was very difficult to come at matter of fact. But it is objected there were several congre

gations in Jerusalem. What follows from thence ?" continues the king: "are there not a great many parishes in one diocese? But the apostles met those of inferior orders for acts of government. What then? do not the deans and chapters, nay, do not the inferior clergy, many times, assist the bishops ? The king presses farther, and takes it for granted, that Henderson will not be so hardy as to affirm an equality between the apostles and other presbyters : and yet unless this point can be made good, the arguments for Presbyterian parity are inconclusive. And if this divine can say no more for the Churches of Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, &c. than he has done for that of Jerusalem, it will make no impression upon his majesty. As for St. Jerome, it is well known he was no great friend to bishops : however, take him altogether, he makes a plain distinction between the power of a bishop and a presbyter, by the confession of Henderson himself. The truth is, this father was of a warm temper, and angry with those who seemed to maintain a parity between deacons and priests.

“The king, for settling the sense of controverted places in Scripture, had appealed to the practice of the primitive Church, and the general consent of the fathers. That Henderson ought either to submit to the authority of these judges, or find out better. That he has done neither, nor yet shown how by declining these authorities, the mischief of interpreting Scripture by a private spirit can be prevented.

The king confesses, that in case he cannot prove from antiquity, that ordination and jurisdiction are peculiar branches of authority belonging to bishops, distinct from presbyters, he shall then begin to suspect the truth of his principles. As for bishop Davenant's testimony, he refuses to be determined by that prelate. And to Henderson's exception to the fathers, he takes it for begging of the question. And those great discoveries of secrets, unknown to former ages, he looks upon as no better than fancy, and modern invention, till they are farther proved. As for Church ambition, the grasping at the papacy is not the only instance of it. An endeavour to be independent of kings, is, in his majesty's opinion, no argument of humility. And it is possible that papal privilege and pretensions in a multitude, may be as dangerous as when lodged in a single person.

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