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end that, if the said city and the neighbouring country receive the Word of God, he may also ordain twelve bishops, and possess the honour of a metropolitan: for to him also we intend to give a pallium, if we live. It is, however, our will, that he be subject to your authority now, but that after your decease, he preside over the bishops whom he shall have ordained, and shall owe no subjection to the bishop of London." To us this seems very like an act of legislative authority. Mr. Palmer admits that “Gregory was perfectly justified in directing Augustine as to the arrangement of the Church just rising among the Anglo-Saxons : it was, however, a peculiar and extraordinary state of things, which did not afford
rule for other times." But he should remember that this was not a temporary arrangement, but a plan of Church government, to be established both for the lifetime of Augustine, and for the times which might follow it: that it was not merely a notification of what the pontiff wished Augustine to adopt, as Mr. Palmer by his translation seems to insinuate, but a law which he enjoined him to observe ;t and that the powers communicated to him were, as will be subsequently shown, the same which were communicated by the apostolic see to all other metropolitans on this side of the Alps.
The pontiff continues :-“ Not only the bishops whom you may have ordained yourself, and those whom the bishop of London may ordain, but, in addition, all the bishops of Britain (that is, of the ancient Britons, driven by the invaders to the west coast of the island), you will have under your jurisdiction, by authority of God, our Lord Jesus Christ; that from your teaching they may learn to believe truly, and to live rightly from your example.” The lamentable state, both as regarded discipline and morals, to which the British Churches had been reduced, probably in consequence of the ruthless wars between the natives and the invaders, is described by Gildas, a Britain and a contemporary: and here we find Gregory subjecting the bishops of those Churches to the superintending authority of Augustine, in the same manner as the bishops of the English converts. Mr. Palmer tells us that in such cases every neighbouring bishop has a right to
* Bed. i. 29.
† Palmer, “ Apost. Jurisdiction,” p. 118. Mr. Palmer seems ignorant that in the papal rescripts of the age, the Latin word volumus expresses a commund. His translation converts it into a wish.
interfere : but who ever heard of a neighbouring bishop assuming on that ground the right to place a national Church under the jurisdiction of a foreign prelate, and that, too, in virtue of authority possessed by himself of divine right, for such must be the meaning of the words employed by Gregory—“ By authority of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. ***
But this is not all. Augustine had consulted the pope, how he was to act with the Gallic, as well as with the British prelates. The answer is,—“ Over the bishops of Gaul we give you no authority, because from the olden time of our predecessors, the bishop of Arles has received the pallium, and him we ought not to deprive of the authority which he possesses.
You cannot judge the Gallic prelates. Whatever is to be done by authority, must be done with the aid of the bishop of Arles, that we may not overturn the institution of our fathers. But all the bishops of Britain we commit to your care, that the unlearned may be taught, the weak strengthened by persuasion, and the obstinate corrected by authority.”+
Hence we are justified in concluding that the authority committed to Augustine was judicial and corrective; and that if similar authority were not given to him over the Gallic bishops, it was not because Gregory did not claim the power of granting it, but because circumstances did not require the exercise of such power. Mr. Palmer will maintain that this was an undue assumption on the part of the pontiff: that he possessed no right by himself, or by his representatives, to fix or disturb the internal arrangements of a foreign Church. But the right is not the subject which at present we propose to discuss. We prove the exercise of that right, on this occasion, in opposition to his assertion that the pontiffs exercised no legislative or judicial authority in the Cisalpine Churches till a later period.
Augustine ordained three bishops,-Lawrence to succeed him, Mellitus to the see of London, and Justus to that of Rochester. At the death of Augustine, the bishop of London ought to have become the new metropolitan; but Mellitus was driven into exile, and afterwards succeeded Lawrence at Canterbury. Thus the office of metropolitan fell into abeyance: for neither Lawrence nor Mellitus received the pallium, nor did either of them ordain any bishop. Justus, on the death of Mellitus, the only remaining prelate conse
* Bed. i. 29.
Palmer, Apost. Jurisd.
| Bed, i. 27, § 65.
crated by Augustine, was translated to Canterbury; and to him the pallium was granted by Pope Boniface, with the power of ordaining bishops."*" He consecrated Paulinus, bishop of York; who, having received the pallium, consecrated at Lincoln, Honorius, the successor of Justus.t This detail was necessary, that the reader may understand the sequel. It was now manifest that the plan laid down by Pope Gregory, could not be carried into effect. The church of York had no bishops subject to it: that of London had not even a bishop of its own. The metropolitans could not be ordained by synods which had no existence. On this account Edwin king of Northumbria, and Eadbald of Kent, joined Paulinus
and Honorius in a petition to the Pope, whose name was also Honorius, the object of which petition may be learned from the tenor of the papal answer :-“ Therefore in conformity with the joint petition of you and of the two kings, our sons, by this our present precept, we, acting in the place of the blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, give this power to you, that, whenever it shall please God to call one of you to himself, the survivor shall consecrate the successor of the deceased: for which we have sent a pallium to each of you, that by authority of this our precept, you may be able to perform the ordination in a manner acceptable to God. That which has compelled us to make these grants to you, is the great distance by sea and land between you and us, that your Churches may not suffer injury from what may happen, but that the devotion of the people intrusted to your care, may be augmented." The reader will notice the tone of authority in which this answer is written, and the reason assigned for the transmission of the pallium, in lieu of its delivery in Rome into the hands of the archbishops : and then let him attend to the comment of Mr. Palmer: “ This amounted in fact to a dispensation from the canons, which the case would have furnished without any application to Rome: but the English Church sought the Pope's interposition, not that he possessed any patriarchal jurisdiction over them, but in order that they might not seem to act entirely on their own judgment."* Thus, if any man will believe him, what by the Pope is called a precept, by Beda a decree, “granting to one archbishop the power of consecrating the other, that it might not at every vacancy
* " Data sibi ordinandi episcopos auctoritate a pontifice Bonifacio.”-Beda, ii. 5.
| Beda, ii. 17-19. Mr. Palmer is of opinion that the ordination of a bishop by a single bishop is null.. What then does he think of this ordination of Honorius by Paulinus, at Lincoln ? Whence could they have obtained other bishops to assist ? It is probable that Paulinus had received from Boniface the same power which Augustine received from Gregory. See Beda, i. 27.
| Beda, ii. 18.
be necessary to go as far as Rome for ordination,"† is in fact nothing more than a needless form of dispensation from some unnamed canons, the petition for which does not imply any consciousness of inferiority in those who solicit it. With respect to the very ingenious reason, why the English bishops did not dispense with themselves, or seek a dispensation from some Church nearer than that of Rome, we shall only remark, that most certainly it was not known to Beda; nor has Mr. Palmer deigned to inform us by what supernatural channel it became known to him.
In 664, Deusdedit, the fifth successor of St. Augustine, died, and Wighard, being elected by the Church of Canterbury, proceeded for ordination to Rome, taking with him presents and letters from Oswy king of Northumbria, and Egbert king of Kent. There he died soon after his arrival ; and Pope Vitalian, in conformity with the royal request, selected as a proper person for metropolitan, Theodore, a native of Tarsus, in Cilicia; and after ordination invested him with authority over all the churches of the English.P Thirteen years later it was decreed by Pope Agatho, in his synod in Rome, that the number of English prelates should be limited to twelve, including the archbishop; that these should be divided among the several kingdoms in proportion to the extent of each kingdom; and that no man should take upon himself to ordain them but the archbishop, who had received the pallium from the apostolic see. By this arrangement the bishop of York forfeited the dignity of metropolitan; but sixty years afterwards it was restored to him by Gregory III ;|| and not long after that a third archiepiscopal see was established at Lichfield by Adrian I, at the request of Offa the powerful king of Mercia. Whilst Offa lived, the English
* Palmer, Apost. Jurisd. p. 120.
7."Ne sit necesse ad Romanam nisque civitatem per tam prolixa terrarum et maris spatia pro ordinando archiepiscopo semper fatigari." (Beda, ii. 18.) Did not Beda then believe what Mr. Palmer so often denies, that the ordination of the English metropolitans belonged of right to the bishop of Rome?
Beda, iii. 29; iv. 1, 2. Š Spelman, Con. i. 159. Wilkins, Con. i. 46. il Chron. Sax, anno 735. Malm, de Pont. f. 153.
bishops reluctantly submitted; after his death a powerful attempt was made to abolish the authority of the new metropolitan. Æthelheard of Canterbury proceeded to Rome; Kenulph, the successor of Offa, and the bishops, sent messengers; and the pope, Leo III, was solicited both to rescind the former decree of his predecessor in favour of Lichfield, and to decide whether the see of the southern metropolitan ought to be fixed at Canterbury or at London, aocording to the original plan of St. Gregory. Leo, in return, justified the conduct of Adrian, on the ground that he had been misinformed—for it had been represented to him that the enormous extent of the province of Canterbury required the joint care of two metropolitans; rescinded, as having been obtained under false pretences, the grant made to the bishop of Lichfield; and ordered that this, his decree, should be published in a synod, and be subscribed by the English prelates of that province. But with respect to the other question, whether the archiepiscopal see ought to be fixed at Canterbury or London, he declared himself unwilling to deprive the successors of St. Augustine of that primacy which they had now so long enjoyed.* Truly it seems to us inexplicable how any man, with all these facts staring him in the face, can persuade himself that the ancient Church of England was, and acted as if she were, independent of the Church of Rome.
But Mr. Palmer's statement of the last transaction must not be allowed to pass unnoticed. It is this : “ The act of Pope Adrian was unlawful and contrary to the canons, and as such was afterwards forbidden to have any force by our predecessors, the bishops of England in the council of Cloveshoe, where also it was decreed that the primacy supported by the canons and the apostolic decrees should remain in Canterbury.”t Now this is a distinguished specimen of the sophistry by which truth may be so disguised as to be made the harbinger of falsehood. There is not perhaps any single phrase in this extract which is not separately true. But by the suppression of some facts, and the convenient arrangement of others, the impression made on the mind of the reader is directly contrary to the truth. He will, undoubtedly, conclude from this statement that the English bishops, in vindication of the rights and independence of their Church, deprived, by their own authority, the see of Lichfield
* Wilkins, Con. i. 164-7. Malm. Gest. Reg. i. 119-27. | Palmer, Apost. Jurisd. 121.