Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thirty-four Queen's ships turned out to meet the Armada, and 150 merchantmen, which, though unable to meet, in direct shock, the heavily-armed galleons, so harassed and tormented them that they fell an easy prey at last.

And, now, suppose that the intelligence was flashed by the electric wire through England, that a hostile armament was gathering to threaten our coast. How many of your splendid ocean steam-ships would remain idle in your docks ? From the Mersey, the Avon, Southampton, London, and the Humber, a fleet of magnificent steam-ships would be gathered in a week in the channel, each armed with a long-range gun or two, as our forts might be able to supply them, far superior in size, in power, in speed, and in evolution to the whole Armada of the World. And though they might be unable, singly or in mass, to oppose directly powerful naval armaments, yet I believe they would so throng the channel, so torment and outmanæuvre the invader, and so line the coasts, as to render simply impossible any hostile descent upon our shores. A country whose commerce spreads so widely and strikes so deeply as England's, not only has the resources of the whole earth to fall back upon, to renew her strength continually in her conflicts, but has, in her commercial navy, and in her power to handle it, a cheap and ready defence of inestimable importance, which makes her proof against the invasion of the world. One other and yet higher reason let us briefly note, why it becomes the English people to face with great calmness the possibilities of the future. If History bears clear witness to anything, she bears witness that it is the will of God that all gigantic enterprises against the sacred rights and liberties of man should fail. When human weakness dreads the encounter, He ever takes up the gauntlet, and by one of those thousand accidents—as men call them—which remain always at His command, He brings the ablest calculations of man to a shameful and utter confusion, and makes the trembling nations recognize “ that verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.”

At least Elizabeth and her band of conquerors thought so, as on that 24th November, 1588, “she herself going in triumph-went with a very gallant company of noblemen, being accompanied by a princely train of those that had been the instrument of that notable victory—through the streets of London (which were hung with blue cloth), the several Companies of the city standing on both sides of the way with their banners in decent and gallant order, being carried in a chariot drawn by four white horses, came to Paul's Church, where the banners taken from the enemy were hung up to be seen, gave most hearty thanks to God, and heard a sermon wherein the glory was given to God alone. On the Admiral she conferred a certain revenue for his happy service, and many tzes commended him and the captains of her ships as men born forh. preservation of their country. The rest she graciously saluted: name, as often as she saw them, as men who had so well merr of her and of the commonwealth, wherewith they esteemeil ther. selves well rewarded. And those that were wounded and indi she relieved with noble pensions. The learned men at home : abroad congratulated the victory with hearts transported with: and wrote triumphal poems in all languages on the subject."

Never, I suppose, has such a procession passed up Ludgate a Queen Elizabeth, surrounded by the heroes of that victory of te tories ; never did our country touch such a height of esent. nobleness and power as when she, entering the west door ni Paul's, surrounded by such a company, fell down upon her knet and gave God the glory; and never did words of supplication na more grandly from the arches of the earthly to the great dome the Heavenly Temple than when the people cried, with a depth intensity, and simplicity of national prayer, which is bat a trace tion in these days, “ Come down, therefore, come down, and delite: Thy people by her; to vanquish is all one with Thee, by few or by many, by want or by wealth, by weakness or by strength, O possess the hearts of our enemies with a fear of thy servants. The cause is Thine, the enemies Thine, the afflicted Thine; the HONOUR, VICTORY, AND TRIUMPH SHALL BE THXE. AMEX AND AMEN.

B. B.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Cathedra Petri: a Political History of the Great Latin Patriarckats

Vols. I., II, III., to the Close of the Tenth Century. By Twowa GREENWOOD, J.A., Camb and Durham, F.RS, e, Barriska-si

Law. London : Thick broom, Brothers, 1839. De l' Origine de la Papauté. Par CHARLES PAYA. Patus. Rin

1860.

Tuose persons are greatly mistaken who fix upon certain dates is early centuries of the Christian (hurch history as the origin of Piper In point of fact, the origin of Popery is contemporaneons with the origin of the Christian Church itself. It began before the time Paul; and the evidences of its existence abound in the wnting of that gifted Apostle. In this we regard it not as a dogms, to much

an ecclesiastical system : its dogma might have been entirely different, or varied by degrees of more or less, and yet its ecclesiastical system be the same, or very similar. Not that we are ignorant of the fact, that doctrines and Church politics act in the most lively method upon each other ; so that it would be hard, in some cases, to distinguish whether the mode of Church government has most modified the doctrine, or the doctrine has given rise to the mode of government. We hold this fact of mutual influence strongly, and yet venture to regard the Papacy, in its development, as the normal exposition of an ecclesiastical idea, rather than of a system of doctrinal truths, reported to have been revealed from Heaven for the regeneration of mankind. Those who hold the same view with ourselves of this matter will see, in the proclivity of the early converts to fall back into a modified Judaism, evidence in favour of that view : in the scope an imitation of its ceremonial would give for a more splendid ritual, as the Church grew in wealth, taste, and worldliness ; in the gratification which a priestly status would minister to official pride ; and in the fiscal advantages which reversion to the old system would furnish in the shape of tithes and oblations. Tithes are certainly Jewish, and can claim none other than a Jewish sanction and paternity; hence a pontificate on the Jewish model would claim support on a Jewish basis. Hippolytus, of Portus, at the close of the second century, talks of " the grace, both of high-priesthood and of teaching, as belonging to the order of bishops."—(Bunsen's “ Hippolytus,” vol. i., 333.) This conformity had worked itself into the most definite shape, and most exorbitant claims, by the fourth and fifth centuries. We quote the “ Apostolical Constitutions”-a compilation of probably the fourth age of the Church :

"O Bishop, be careful worthily to maintain your place and dignity, as ..presiding over all mortals, be they priests, kings, princes, fathers, children, doctors ; for all are alike subject to you.

“ In the same manner as the Levites, who ministered at the Tabernacle of testimony, which is the exact type of the Church, received liberally their portion of all those things that were offered unto God ... so likewise, ye Bishops, who labour in the field of God, shall live by the Church ; since, in your quality, ye also are both priests and Levites to your people in the holy Tabernacle, which is the holy Catholic Church.”

In the same document, and on this ground of the conformity of the Christian to the Jewish system, the laity are extorted to pay to their Bishop, “as the priest of God,” their first-fruits and their tithes, their heave-offerings and their gifts, the first produce of their corn-fields, their wine and their oil, their fruits, their wool—“in short, of all that God had given" unto them.

The blasphemous Dominus Deus Papa almost finds its precedent in those same sorry compilations of this early date ; for it is said in them, “Since the Lord called Moses God, so let the Bishop be venerated as God, and the Deacon as the prophet of God."

We look upon Popery, then, as a Christian reproduction of S traditional temple system of the Jews; and Protestantism, or Paris Christianity, as the child of the synagogue, or conventicle system the Jews. For hundreds of years these two systems bad subsid together in Palestine-the one a sacerdotal, the other a laic instituti sometimes in friendly relation to each other, but sometimes, we decy not, antagonistic : the one system nourishing the intellect, feeding the mind with Scripture, developing religious talent, didactic in the be sense-a school of Scripture morals; the other a system of shows and pomps, of exactions and imposts—addressing itself to sense-grai fying the eye and ear-claiming to rule, and demanding unquestionin obedience.

And this synagogue-origin and propagation of Christianity accounts in part, for its ready acceptance and rapid transit over regions occupied by the foreign Jews. No foxes with firebrands found more tinder like fuel amongst the shocks and standing corn of the Philistines, the the torch-bearers of Christianity amongst the followers of Moses na Gentile countries. For them the Synagogue was their religious bob

-their temple - the scene and sum of their worship. A doctrin, therefore, which appealed to the Scriptures, read in their sirnple cu tuary every Sabbath, and which claimed for its basis the spiritual and more Divine interpretation of those Scriptures, and which, moron. in its officership adopted the pattern of the Synagogue, could not be to be acceptable. A Temple-religion was local, confined, sectarian, but it been free from every other objection ; but here was one adapted by its simple, social, comprehensive character, for diffusion throughout the world, whilst its doctrines realized every good, were sublime, por. charitable, and consoling to the highest degree. Apart from live influence-of which, however, we never lose sight-we behold, in the Synagogue-cast of genuine, simple, primitive Christianity, an adaptatan for progress amongst the Synagogue communities of the Jews, whereve they were scattered.

We hold with Paya in his monograph, and with the authorita which his statements are based, that both bishops and deacons, to early functionaries in the Christian officerhood, found their profotype in the Jewish synagogue. This is, at least, interesting as a sperubatan --if not important as a fact-and allowably not essential to our artment. It by no means follows thence, as some in their alarm mig surmise, that our modern episcopate must claim our exclusive bona on the ground of the undoubted antiquity of its name. The faire inference would be that our episcopate must revert to the simplicit its prototype in the Synagogue before it can take full advantage of 1 early origin. If the episcopate of the present day and the episcopi. of an earlier day are two different things, the mere continuance of the name will not entitle the latter to a veneration carned by a legut veloped constitution in the forner.

That a separate jurisdiction should grow up in the heart of cho tianity apart from the civil power, an imperium in imperio, arome

the sheer necessity of the case. Christianity was not of this world -was an exotic in an unfriendly spot-and its nature, codes, exigencies demanded an avoidance of litigation before heathen courts of law. (1 Cor. vi. 1—7.) Questions of marriage, morals, property, must soon have arisen, with increasing numbers of proselytes, requiring a judicious and vigorous administration-a necessity which at once tended to cloak official persons with growing influence and power. After the persecutions of early Christianity, which had abated nearly all their virulence before the close of the second century, and which, in the very earliest ages, had befallen the Christians from their supposed identity with the turbulent and factious Jews, rather than from any special distrust directed against themselves, the Christian population of most places, and pre-eminently of Rome, had attained sufficient importance to make friendly relations with them a matter of moment to the civil ruler. These relations would naturally establish themselves with the functionaries of the body, the bishops of the churches, or the chief bishop of the metropolis. The influence of the ecclesiastical officers would, during the troubled period of its growth, become all the greater from its being, in a large degree, a moral influence, and from the Christian institution being a permanent one, while Imperial Rome was torn with dynastic and civil convulsions. The emperor's, or prætor's, or ædile's most loyal subjects, and most easily-managed fellow-citizens, would, in every case, be the quiet, unwarlike, unobtrusive members of the Kingdom of Christ. By this time, too, what with bequests, donations, and exactions where required, what with trusteeships, superintendencies, and wardenships of deceased and existing wards and properties, the leading officers of the Churches were become rich and powerful. The Church had risen to a corporation, and places of prominence in it had become offices charged with influence and loaded with emoluments-objects for ambition to aim at and avarice to covet. These functionaries grew into supreme authorities in their own circle-one of daily increasing extent-and, as they grew internally in power, were hailed as coadjutors, in the government of the State, by the civil ruler. Not less in Pagan than in Christian times, the officers of the Church claimed the decision of all questions relating to matrimony and its kindred questions nullitates matrimoniorum, successiones, and hereditates-a conjunction of topics still existing in the title and business of our Court of Probate and Divorce. They also exercised that right of censure, which, where it is simply confined to the exclusion of unworthy members, must be conceded to every Christian organization whatsoever, but which, where it deals in temporal pains and penalties, or effloresces into the enormous wickedness of Papal excommunication, not only encroaches upon the office of the magistrate, but violates every instinct of humanity and every definition of spiritual office.

Long before the transfer of the Imperial seat from Old Rome to New, A.D. 329, the Bishops of the quondam capital of the Empire, claimed by their metropolitan position, and on the ground of their supposed connection with the Apostle Peter, jurisdiction over all the

« PreviousContinue »