Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Chap. IV. The HISTORY of the PURITANS. $S " them, all manner of jurifdiaion, privileges, and preeminences, touch- wen ELzabéth, " -ing any fpiritual or ecclefiaftical jurifdiEtion, within the realms of Eng- r58 " land and Ireland, &c. to vifit, reform, redrefs, order, corred and a- ) " mend all errors, herefies, fchifms, abufes,.contempts, offnces' and e- Rapin, " normities whatfoever. Provided, that they have no power to determine P 236. " any thing to be herefy, but what has been adjudged to be fo, by the " authority of the canonical fcripture, or by the fii i four general councils, " or any of them ; or by any other general council, wherein the fame was " declared herefy by the exprefs and plain words of canonical / cripture ; or " fuch as (hall hereafter be declared to be herefy by the high court of " parliament, with the affent of the clergy in convocation. Upon the authorityof this claufe, the queen appointed 'a certain num-- Remark/. ber of cmnmifoners for ecclefraftical caufes, who exercifed the fame power that had beemlodged in the hands of one vicegerent in the reign of king Henry VIII. and how fadly they abufed their power in this and the tcvo next reigns, will appear in the fequel of this hiftory. They did not trouble themfelves much with the exprefs words of fcripture, or the four firft general councils, but entangled their prifoners with oaths ex officio, and the inextricable mazes of the popifh canon law; and though all ecclefiaf- tical courts ought to be fubjeft to a prohibition from the courts of Welt- min/ler, this privilege was (eldom allowed by the commiflioners. The a& makes no mention of an arbitrary jurifdietion of fining, imprifoning; or'infliEting corporal punifbments on the fuhjeds, and therefore can be conftrued-to extend no further than to fufpcnfion or deprivation; but not- wirhftanding this, the commiflioners fported themfelves in all the wanton alts of tyranny and opprefion, till their very name became odious to the whole nation ; infomuch that their proceedings were condemned bÿ the united voice of the people, and the court difTolved by at of parliament; with a chufe, that nofilch jzzrifdi lion fhozdd be revivedfor the future in any court what/óever. Brthop Burnet lays, that the /zpremacy granted by this ad is fhort of H/i. Rfor. the authority that king Henry had ; nor is it the whole that the queen Vol. II claimed, who fometimes tiretched her prerogative beyond it. But lince it P. 386. was the bafis of the reformation, and the fpring óf,all its future move- ments, it will be proper to enquire what powers were thought to be yielded the crown by this abl offpremacy, and fome others made in flip port of it. King Henry VIII. in his letter to the convocation of York Powers vela. affures them, that he claimed nothing more by the SUPREMACY, than what td in the chrilliaz princes in the primitive times afumed to them/elves in their own do= ` of futhe. minions. '13,iit it is capable of demoufiration, that the 'firft chriftian em= 'nark. perors did not claim, all that jurifdieion over the church in fpiritual's; that kir g Ilènry did, who by the at of the 3 r tt 'óf his reign, was made ab- folute