Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

86 fhe HISTORY of the Puiu?AÑs. Chap. IV. h, Etzabet folute lord over the contciences of his fubjeEts, it being therein ena&ed, b that whatfever his majey fhould enjoin in matters of religion fhould be o- t beyed by all his fubjeb'ts. 'Tis very certain, that the kings and queens of England never pretend.. ed to the chara&er of fpiritual perfns, or to exercife any part of the ecciefiaftical funftion in their own perlons ; they neither preached nor adminillered the facraments, or pronounced or infliaed the cenfures of the church ; nor did they ever confecrate to the epifcopal office, though the right of nomination is in them : thefe things were tranfaE1ed byfpi- ritual perfons, or by proper officers in the fpiritual courts, deriving their powers from the crown. When the adverfaries of the fupremacy ob- jeéted the abfurdity of a lay perjin being head of a fpiritual body, the queen endeavoured to remove the difficulty, by declaring in her injunfti_ ons to her vifitors, " That the. did not, nor would the ever challenge " authority and power to minifter divine fervice in the church ; nor " would the ever challenge any other authority, than her predeceffors " king Henry VIII. and EdwardVI. ufed." But abating this point, it appears very probable, that all the jurifdic tion and authority claimed by the pope, as head of the church, in the times preceding the reformation, was tranferr'd to the king by the at of fu- premacy, and annexed to the imperial crown of thefe realms, as far as was confident with the laws of the land then in being, though it has fince undergone Tome abatements. The words ofthe learned Mr. Hooker RReddf. Pol. are very exprefs : " If the whole ecclefiaftical date fhould Rand in need E. VIII. " of being vifited and reformed : Or when any part of the church is Ie 8. " infefled with errors, fchifms, herefies, &c. whatfoever fpiritual powers " the legates had from the fee of Rome, and exercifed in right of the " pope for remedying of evils, without violating the laws of God or na.. " cure; as much in every degree have our laws fully granted to the king " for ever, whether he thinks fit to do it by ecclefiaftic fynods, or other- " wife according to law." The truth of this remark will appear, by confidering the powers claim- ed by the crown in this and the following reigns. a. The kings and queens ofEngland claimedauthority in matters offaith, With regard and to be the ultimate judges of what is agreeable or repugnant to the word 3o dattrine. of God. The aft of fupremacy fays exprefsly, " That the king has power " to redrefs and amend all errors and heredes; he might enjoin what doc- " trines he would to be preached, not repugnant to the laws of the land: " And if any fhould preach contrary, he was for the third offence to be " judged an heretick and Coffer death; his majefty claimed a right to forbid all preaching for a time, as king Henry VIII. king Edward VI. queen " Mary