Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

But notwithstanding the acknowledged supremacy of the Pope in spirituals, the French church differs in some respects in its constitution, privileges, liberties, &c. for this church has all along preserved certain antient lights, that she has possessed almost time immemorial, neither are these privileges any grants of Popes, but certain franchises and immunities derived to her from her first original, and which she has taken care never to relinquish.

The following articles point out wherein they consist.

1. The King of France has a right to convene synods, or provincial and national councils.

il. The Pope's legates (à latere) are never admitted into France, unless with the approbation and allowance of the King

III. The legate of Avignon cannot exercise h's commission in any of his Majesty's dominions, till after he has obtained the King's leave for that purpose.

IV. The prelates of the Gallican church, being summoned by the Pope, cannot depart the realm upon any pretence whatsoever, without the King's permission.

V. The Pope has no authority to levy any tax or imposition upon the ecclefiaftical preferments, upon any pretence eicher of loan, vacancy, annates, tythes, procurations, or otherwise, without the King's order, and the consent of the clergy.

VI. The Pope has no authority to depose the King, or grant away his dominions to any person whomso

His holiness can neither excommunicate the King, nor absolve any of his subjects from their allegiance.

VII. The Pope likewise has no authority to excommunicate the King's officers, for the executing and discharging their respective offices and functions.

VIII. The Pope has no right to take cognizance, either by himself or his delegates, of any pre-eminences, or privileges, belonging to the crown of France, the

ever,

Ķing being not obliged to argue his prerogatives in any court but his own,

IX. Counts Palatine made by the Pope, are not acknowledged as such in France.

X. The Pope cannot grant licences to churchmen, the King's subjects, to bequeathe the issue of their respective preferments, contrary to the laws of the King, and customs of the realm.

XI. The Pope cannot grant a dispensation to enjoy any eftate, or revenues in France, without the King's consent.

XII. The Pope cannot grant a licence to ecclefiaftics, to alienate church-lands, situate and lying in France, without the King's consent.

XIII. The King may punish his ecclesiastical officers for misbehaviour in their respective charges, notwithItanding the privilege of their orders.

XIV. No person has any right to hold any benefice in France, unless he be a native, or is naturalized by the King, or has a dispensation for that purpose.

XV. The Pope is not superior to an oecumenical, or general council.

XVI. The Gallican church docs not receive, without any distinction, all the canons, and all the decretal epiftles, but keeps to that antient collection, called Corpus Canonicum, which Pope Adrian fent to Charlemagne, towards the end of the eighth century, under the pontificate of Nicholas I. the French bishops likewise declaring it to be the only canon 'law, wherein their liberty consists.

XVII. The Pope has no power to dispense with the law of God, the law of Nature, or these antient

canons.

XVIII. The regulations of the Apostolic chamber, or court, are not obligatory on the Gallican church, unless confirmed by the King's edicts.

XIX. If a Frenchman makes application for a benefice, lying in France, his holiness is obliged to give Vol. 1. No. 6.

him

S

him an instrument, under the seal of his office; and, in case of refusal, the parliament of Paris can give orders to the bishop of that diocese to give him inftitution ; which inftitution will be of equal validity with the Pope's.

XX. It is only by sufferance that the Pope has what they call a right of collating to benefices in France.

These liberties are esteemed inviolable, and the French Kings, at their coronation, folemnly swear to preserve and maintain them.

As the Gallican church, with respect to the authority of the civil power, is exempt from that absolute subjection to the Pope of Rome, which other nations in Europe are under to him, it is no wonder if their government, in church as well as state, somewhat differ; so that we find the cruelties of the inquisition has not yet had any footing in France; though it must be owned the French have given too many proofs of a similar deportment to the mother-church, by many instances of cruel perfecutions for conscience sake, as well by suppressing the liberty of free enquiry in matters of religion, as by the many supersticious rites and ceremonies of her worihip. It shows it is no other than Rome papal. The mass is solemnized with all the magnificence and ceremony as at Rome, and attendance of persons of all ranks enjoined under various penalties, the confession to priests acknowledged of necessity to salvation ; the procession of the host through the streets of Paris is attended with great formality, and at its approach foreigners as well as natives are required to pay a superstitious refpect to it, &c.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

CH A P. III.

Of the State of KNOWLEDGE and RILIGION in BRITAIN,

more particularly from the first Propagation, and conseque t ESTABLISHMENT of CHRISTIANITY, to the Comcement of the Reign of William the CONQUEROR, 1066.

W

E shall now take a retrospective view of those

dark and babarous ages of the world, when paganism and the groffeft idolatry had overspread these ines, and fuccinctly point out fome remarkable occurrences and circumstances that intervened, and at length made way for the introduction and prevalence of Chrif. tianity, though for a long time after incumbered with a variety of Romish fuperftitions.

The antient inhabitants of Britain, not only ac first settling here, but for a considerable time, were in a state of ignorance and barbarity; nor indeed could it from the nature of things be otherwise, unless countries should happen to be peopled by large colonies from focieties that have already arrived to a considerable proficiency of knowledge and government, which could not possibly be the case in early periods. The persons who originally settled in these remote parts of Europe, being rude and unpolished themselves, were able to carry nothing along with them but their own favage manners, and their own gross conceptions.

The first inhabitants of an uncultivated region generally apply themselves to such employments and exercises as the want of provision may urge them to; probably to hunting as the most speedy means of subsistence; the next stage is pasturage, and a third agriculture; the last step is regulated governments: all these

mult,

S 2

muft, as it were, make way for the introduction of knowledge, the truest source of religion.

Though England might be peopled several centuries before the first accounts we have of it, yet the barbarous condition in which we perceive it to have been, is no more than might reasonably be expected. At the time when Cæfar invaded the island, even husbandry itself-does not feem to have been universally followed: our ancestors however do not appear to have teen without some ikill in war; for tho’ in this respect they were greatly inferior to the Romans, yet they conducted the's opposition to Cæfar in a manner that redounds highly, co their credit, considering the amazing abilities of that general, and the excellent discipline of his army. Ambition and resentment seemed at this time to have gained the ascendancy of their reason and humanity; that they had brought the wretched arts of mutual destruction much sooner to perfection than those which refine the soul, and are cultivated to adorn, improve, and bless fociety. To rectify this great disorder and unhappiness, fome persons were pretty early distinguished, by a fuperior penetration into the difference of principles and actions, whole dispositions likewise led them to compassionate the unhappy state of man. kind at that time, so far funk in ignorance and bar. barism. Some of the firft thus distinguished and employed, famous in history, were the Druids *.

The Druids, according to the general History of the

history of them, we are apt to look upon Druia's.

as persons of very extraordinary accomplishments. This deception has been allifted by our poets, who have spread a glory round them, and have painted them in a manner that disposes us to regard them as almost divine. No one has niore charmingly contributed to carry on the delusion than the ingenious and eleganc Mafon, in his Caractacus. But if we re

Rapin's Hilt. transated by Lidiard, Introd. p. 10.

duce

« PredošláPokračovať »