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best, and therefore a duty, to distinguish churches by the people's habitation: not taking a man for a member eo nomine,' because he liveth on that ground; but for order's sake taking none for members that live not on that ground, and not intruding causelessly into each other's bounds.
7. He that by the call or consent of a neighbour pastor and people doth officiate (by preaching, sacraments, excommunication, or absolution) in another's special charge for a day, or week, or month, or more, without a fixed relation to that flock, doth neither officiate as a layman, nor yet unlawfully or irregularly ; but, 1. As a minister of Christ in the church universal. 2. And as the pastor of that church for the present time only, though not statedly ; even as a physician called to help another in his hospital, or to supply his place for the time, doth perform his work, 1. As a licensed physician. 2. And as the physician of that patient or hospital for that time, though not statedly.
8. No man is to intrude into another's charge without a call; much less to claim a particular stated oversight and authority. For though he be not an usurper as to the office in general, he is an usurper as to that particular flock. It is no error in ordination to say, 'Take thou authority to preach the Word of God, and administer the holy sacraments when thou shalt be thereto lawfully called ;' that is, when thou hast a particular call to the exercise, and to a fixed charge, as thou hast now a call to the office in general.
9. Yet every bishop or pastor by his relation to the church universal, and to mankind, and the interest of Christ, is bound not only as a Christian, but as a pastor, to do his best for the common good; and not to cast wholly out of his care, a particular church, because another hath the oversight of it. Therefore if an heretic get in, or the church fall to heresy, or any pernicious error or sin, the neighbour pastors are bound both by the law of nature and their office, to interpose their counsel as ministers of Christ, and to prefer the substance before pretended order, and to seek to recover the people's souls, though it be against their proper pastor's will. And in such a case of necessity, they may ordain, degrade, excommunicate, and absolve in another's charge, as if it were a vacuity.
10. Moreover it is one thing to excommunicate a man VOL. V.
out of a particular church, and another thing for many associated churches or neighbours to renounce communion with him. The special pastors of particular churches, having the government of those churches, are the special governing judges, who shall or shall not have communion as a member in their churches; but the neighbour pastors of other churches have the power of judging with whom they and their own flocks will or will not hold communion. As e. g. Athanasius may as governor of his flock declare any Arian member excommunicate, and require his flock to have no communion with him. And all the neighbour pastors (though they excommunicate not the same man as his special governors, yet) may declare to all their flocks, that if that man come among them, they will have no communion with him, and that at distance they renounce that distant communion which is proper to Christians one with another, and take him for none of the church of Christ m.
And pastors have a
Quest. xxv. Whether canons be laws ?
legislative power ?
All men are not agreed what a law is, that is, what is to be taken for the proper sense of that word. Some will have the name confined to such common laws as are stated, durable rules for the subject's actions : and some will extend it also to personal, temporary, verbal precepts and mandates, such as parents and masters use daily to the children and servants of their families. And of the first sort, some will confine the name 'laws' to those acts of sovereignty which are about the common matters of the kingdom, or which no inferior officer may make : and others will extend it to those orders which by the sovereign's charter, a corporation, or college, or school may make for the subregulation of their particular societies and affairs.
I have declared my own opinion 'de nomine' fully elsewhere, 1. That the definition of a law in the proper general sense, is to be a sign or signification of the reason and will of the rector as such, to his subjects as such, instituting or antecedently determining what shall be due from them, and to them ; ' Jus efficiendo,'' regularly making right.' . m 1 Cor. v. Tit. iii. 10. 2 Thess. iii. 6. 14. 2 John 10. Rev. ii. 14, 15. 20. 2. That these laws are many more ways diversified and distinguished (from the efficient, sign, subjects, matter, end, &c.) than is meet for us here to enumerate. It is sufficient now to say, 1. That stated regulating laws, as distinct from temporary mandates and proclamations. 2. And laws for kingdoms and other commonwealths, in regard of laws for persons, schools, families, &c. 3. And laws made by the supreme power, as distinct from those made by the derived authority of colleges, corporations, &c. called byelaws or orders, (for I will here say nothing of parents and pastors, whose authority is directly or immediately from the efficiency of nature in one, and Divine institution in the other, and not derived efficiently from the magistrate or any man). 4. That laws about great, substantial matters, distinct from those about little and mutable circumstances, &c. I say the first sort as distinct from the second, are laws so called by excellency above other laws. But that the rest are unequivocally to be called laws, according to the best definition of the law in genere.' But if any man will speak otherwise, let him remember that it is yet but “lis de nomine,' and that he may use his liberty, and I will use mine. Now to the question.
1. Canons made by virtue of the pastoral office and God's general laws (in nature or Scripture for regulating it, are a sort of laws to the subjects or flocks of those pastors.
2. Canons made by the votes of the laity of the church, or private part of that society as private, are no laws at all, but agreements ; because they are not acts of any governing power.
3. Canons made by civil rulers about the circumstantials of the church, belonging to their office, as orderers of such things, are laws, and may be urged by moderate and meet civil or corporal penalties, and no otherwise.
4. Canons made by princes or inferior magistrates, are no laws purely and formally ecclesiastical, which are essentially aets of pastoral power; but only materially ecclesiastical, and formally magistratical.
5. No church officers as such, much less the people) can make laws with a co-active or coercive sanction; that is, to be enforced by their authority with the sword or any
corporal penalty, mulct, or force; this being the sole privilege of secular powers, civil, or economical, or scholastic.
6. There is no obligation ariseth to the subject for particular obedience of any law, which is evidently against the laws of God (in nature or holy Scripture).
7. They are no laws which pastors make to people out of their power: as the popes, &c.
8. There is no power on earth under Christ, that hath authority to make universal laws ; to bind the whole church on all the earth; or all mankind. Because there is no universal sovereign, civil or spiritual, personal or collective.
9. Therefore it is no schism, but loyalty to Christ, to renounce or separate from such a society of usurpation; nor any disobedience or rebellion, to deny them obedience.
10. Pastors may and must be obeyed in things lawful as magistrates, if the king make them magistrates: though I think it unmeet for them to accept a magistracy with the sword, except in case of some rare necessity. .
11. If pope, patriarchs; or pastors shall usurp any of the king's authority, loyalty to Christ and him, and the love of the church and state, oblige us to take part with Christ and the king against such usurpation, but only by lawful means, in the compass of our proper place and calling.
12. The canons made by the councils of many churches, have a double nature; as they are made for the people and the subjects of the pastors, they are a sort of laws: that is, they oblige by the derived authority of the pastors; because the pastors of several churches do not lose any of their power by their assembling, but exercise it with the greater advantage of concord. But as they are made only to oblige the present or absent pastors who separatedly are of equal office-power, so they are no laws, except in an equivocal sense, but only agreements or contracts. So Bishop Usher professed his judgment to be: and before him the council of Carthage in Cyprian's time; but it needs no proof, any more than that a convention of kings may make no laws to bind the kings of England, but contracts only.
Grotius de Imperio sum, pot. circ, sacr. most solidly resolveth this question.
13. But yet we are aliunde obliged even by God, to keep these agreements in things lawful, for the church's peace and concord, when greater contrary reasons, ' à fine,' do not disoblige us. For when God saith, “You shall keep peace and concord, and keep lawful covenants,' the canons afford us the minor, But these are lawful contracts or agreements, and means of the church's peace and concord ; · Therefore, (saith God's law) you shall observe them. So though the contracts (as of husband and wife, buyer and seller, &c.) be not laws, yet that is a law of God which bindeth us to keep them °.
14. Seeing that even the obliging commands of pastors may not by them be enforced by the sword, but work by the power of Divine authority or commission manifested, and by holy reason and love, therefore it is most modest and fit for pastors (who must not lord it over God's heritage, but be examples to all) to take the lower name of authoritative directions and persuasions, rather than of laws: especially in a time when Papal usurpation maketh such ruinating use of that name, and civil magistrates use to take it in the nobler and narrower sense.
The Questions, 1. . If one pastor make orders for his church, and the multitudes or synods be against them ; which must be obeyed, you may gather from what is said before of ordination. And 2. · What are the particulars proper, materially, to the magistrate's decision, and what to the pastor's ?' I here pass by.
Quest. xxvi. Whether church canons, or pastor's directive de
terminations of matters pertinent to their office, do bind the conscience? And what accidents will disoblige the people ; you may gather before in the same case about magistrate's laws, in the political directions : as also by an impartial transferring the case to the precepts of parents and schoolmasters to children ; without respect to their power of the rod, (or supposing that they had none such).
Quest. xxvII. What are Christ's appointed means of the unity and concord of the universal church, and consequently
• 1 Pet. v. 2, 3. 2 Cor. i. 24. '