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“ AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW WITH REFERENCE TO THE ADMINIS-
TRATION OF JUSTICE IN HER MAJESTY'S PRIVY COUNCIL,
ON APPEAL FROM THE ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS."
JAMES BROGDEN, M.A.
I. IT INVADES The SÙPREMACY. OF HER MA
This invasion of the royal supremacy touches not only her Majesty's prerogative royal, but the rights of the people as they are secured by the Bill of Rights, (1 Will. and Mary; Sess. 2, c. 2, (36,) to be exempt from that Ecclesiastical “Imperium in Imperio," which was usurped by the Pope, and which usurpation, regarding appeals, this Bill proposes to transfer to the bishops of the Church of England.
This transfer is sought to be made, contrary to all precedents, through the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, by the agency of the Arch
bishop of Canterbury, and under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
The thirty-two commissioners appointed by Henry VIII., to examine the canons, were “sixteen persons of the clergy, and sixteen lay persons of the temporality.” 25th Hen. VIII. c. 19; 27th Hen. VIII., c. 15; 35th Hen. VIII., c. 16; (3 and 4 Edw. vi., c. 11.
(2.) The committee appointed to compose the first Liturgy of Edward VI., consisted of Archbishop Cranmer, six bishops, and six clergymen.
(3.) The second Liturgy of Edward VI. was drawn up with the assistance of Martin Bucer, and Peter Martyr.
(4.) The divines appointed upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth to review these Liturgies, were the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others, not bishops, including Sir Thomas Smith.
(5.) The Hampton Court Conference was not confined to bishops, but certain deans, and other learned clergymen were parties to it.
(6.) Isaac Casaubon, prebendary of Canterbury, managed the correspondence of King James, on religious doctrines, with Cardinal Perron.
(7.) Dr. Bramhall was similarly employed by Charles II., to write to M. de la Militiere.
(8.) The Savoy Conference was managed by
the Archbishop of York, eleven bishops, and nine clergymen as coadjutors.
It is now proposed to merge the royal right of calling synods, and that lay subjects should be invested with the Queen's supremacy, to appoint Episcopal Commissioners (which the crown has never done) to view and determine exclusively, so that their opinion may “be binding and conclusive,” in all cases of appeal in ecclesiastical causes relating to religious doctrine.
The following question regarding this Bill is therefore most respectfully submitted, by the undersigned, for consideration, prior to the second reading in the House of Lords.
Whether this Bill does not invade the Queen's supremacy, by transferring to subjects an authority which is already vested in the regality, and which is unalienable from the crown of England.
See Wilkins's Concilia, vol. i. p. 58, 70, 186 - 194, 202, 299; (Canute’s Ecclesiastical Laws, i. ii.,) p. 310, 312, xv. Quid sit regis officium, &c., Eccl. Laws of King Edward the Confessor. Rex autem, qui vicarius summi regis est, ad hoc est constitutus, ut regnum terrenum, et populum