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THE ANGLO-SAXON CHURCH.
On the pleasing theme of the venerable AngloSaxon church, the writer will say little more, than invite his reader to an attentive perusal of Mr. Lingard's "Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church," those parts of his "History of Great Britain," which relate to that period of the history of the English church, accompanying it, as the subject leads, with the valuable historical publications of doctor Henry and Mr. Sharon Turner. The readers of these works probably will agree with the writer in thinking, that, except in the accounts, which have been given of the lives and manners of the first christians, the religion of the gospel has
never appeared more amiable, than in the account of the early Saxon era of christianity. "St. "Augustine and his companions," says Mr. Fletcher in his sermon on the holiness of the catholic church, "preached and acted, as once did the "first envoys of Jesus Christ.-They gained proselytes by the eloquence of truth, assisted by the eloquence of meekness, humility and piety, and "verified, in the whole series of their conduct, that "pleasing sentence of the prophet, how beautiful "on the hills are the footsteps of those, who bring glad tidings! Neither were the exertions of their charity unattended with the approbation of "heaven. Not only contemporary historians at"test, but several protestants allow, that God. "rewarded them with the gifts of miracles." "Their
king," says the martyrologist Fox, "considered "the honest conversation of their lives, and was "moved by the miracles wrought, through God's hand, by them*.” ." After noticing the difficulties, which St. Augustine and his companions encountered, Fox, as cited by the same author, observes, that “Notwithstanding their seeming "impossibilities, they were followed with surprising success. The sanctity of their lives, and "the force of their miracles, broke through the "difficulties of their enterprize."-The fruits and "effects of their mission were striking. A people, "hitherto savage, barbarous and immoral, was "" changed into a nation, mild, benevolent, humane
* Acts and Monuments, Coll. 2. Collier's preface to his Ecclesiastical History.
"and holy."-" Every thing," says Collier, ८८ brightened, as if nature had been melted down "and re-coined."
Such was the happy state of religion and manners in England, when it was invaded by the Danes. Those ferocious conquerors spread devastation over the whole kingdom, and laid waste almost every part of its territory. A necessary consequence of this calamity was, that the pastor and the flock were often separated; and that, if they did meet again, it generally was not until a considerable lapse of time. Meanwhile, every form of instruction, civil or religious, was interrupted; and the interruption naturally gave rise to error and superstition.
It may be added, that the same scenes must have been renewed during the convulsions, which followed the Norman conquest; particularly in the period between the death of the conqueror and the accession of the first Henry; and in the long years of havoc, which urged their destined way* during the contests between the houses of York and Lancaster. That, in these times, some superstition should prevail, is not surprising: but it bore no proportion to the true spirit of religion, with which the nation still continued to abound. What gospel truth did not the ministers of the church then inculcate? What disorder did they not then condemn? What crime did they not then reprobate? -What excess did they not then censure?-What passion did they not then endeavour to restrain?• Grey's Ode, intituled, "The Bard."
They taught every virtue, they encouraged every perfection in no age, has the love of God, or charity for man, been more warmly recommended. But, did no superstition then exist? Unhappily it did yet surely, where there was so much instruction, superstition could not predominate.
THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH AT THE NORMAN CONQUEST.
ACCORDING to the doctrine of the romancatholics, St. Peter and his successors in the supremacy, and the bishops and their successors in the episcopacy, alone enjoy, by divine institution, a superiority of rank in the priesthood: all other gradations in it are of ecclesiastical creation and arrangement.
1. Over all, THE POPE, as the vicar of Christ on earth, and the successor of St. Peter, holds a lofty pre-eminence.
As much is unavoidably said, in many pages of each volume of this work, respecting papal power, the following exposition of the doctrine of romancatholics upon this subject, is here inserted, from the author's Historical Memoirs of the Church of France, during the Reigns of Louis XIV. XV. XVI, and during the Revolution. An exposition
of the principal circumstances which are considered to prove the right of the pope to the spiritual supremacy here assigned to him, is inserted in the Appendix, Note I.
(I.)-Universal Doctrine of the Roman-catholics, respecting the Supremacy of the Pope.
Ir is an article of the roman-catholic faith, that the pope has, by divine right, 1st, a supremacy of rank; 2dly, a supremacy of jurisdiction, in the spiritual concerns of the roman-catholic church 1; and, 3dly, the principal authority in defining articles of faith.-In consequence of these prerogatives, the pope holds a rank, splendidly pre-eminent, over the highest dignitaries of the church; has a right to convene councils, and preside over them, by himself or his legates, and to confirm the elections of bishops. Every ecclesiastical cause may be brought to him, as the last resort, by appeal; he may promulgate definitions and formularies of faith to the universal church; and, when the general body, or a great majority of her prelates, have assented to them, either by formal consent, or tacit assent, all are bound to acquiesce in them:" Rome," they say, in such a case, “has spoken, " and the cause is determined." To the pope, in the opinion of all roman-catholics, belongs also a general superintendence of the concerns of the church; a right, when the canons provide no line of action, to direct the proceedings; and, in extraordinary cases, to act in opposition to the canons.In those spiritual concerns, in which, by strict