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CHAP. their worldly interest or conveniency. Whatever obliga
tions they were under, by either their ordination vows, or their collation or institution, viz. to teach the people to whom they were ordained by word and example; to be always devoted to divine employments, and utter strangers to earthly businesses and filthy lucre; to be content with one church, namely, that to which they were ordained; to be courteous and pitiful for God's name sake, to the poor and indigent; they were all cassated and rendered null by the dispensations which they h procured.
17. On the contrary, it was Dr. Wiclif's opinion, which Of Prelates, he maintained with a good deal of zeal, “ that to this end
“ and work, viz. preaching and maintaining of the Gospel, “ Christ ordained all his Apostles and Disciples, both be“ fore his death and after his resurrection: that sith Pre“ lates and Priests ordeyned of God, comen in the stede “ of Apostles and Disciples, they ben all bounden by
“ Jesu Christ, God and man, to preache thus the Gospel. Thirty-se- “ That neither Prelatis, neither Preestis, neither Dekenis
6 shoulden have seculer officis, that is Chauncerie, Tresocles, MS.
“ rie, Privy Seal, and othiré siche seculer officis in the “ Chekir; neither be stiwardis of londis, ne stiwardis of “halle, ne clerkis of kichene, ne clerkis of accountis, nei“thir be occupied in ony seculer office in lordis courtis; 66 that most while seculer "men be sufficient to do such se“ culer offices. This sentence, it is said, is provid by “ holi Writ in the 21st chap. of Luk, where Crist seith “ thus; Take ye hede to your silf that your hertis be not
grevid with glotonie and drunkenes, and with bisinessis
of this life. And in the second Pistil to Tymothe, the “ second chapter, no man that holdith knygthood to God,
h Vis ea quæ ex divinis Scripturis intelligis, plebem cui ordinandus es, et verbis docere et exemplis ? R. Volo. Vis semper divinis negotiis esse mancipatus, et a terrenis negotiis et lucris turpibus esse alienus, quantum humana fragilitas te consenserit posse ? R. Volo. Vis pauperibus, et peregrinis, omnibusque indigentibus esse, propter nomen Domini affabilis et misericors? R. Volo.- Et tunc demum in conspectu Episcopi, vel cleri, sive populi, polliceri debet Ut ecclésia una, id est sua cui ordinatus est, contentus sit. Morinus de Sacris
Ordinat. pars ii.
“ that is as Preest or Dekene, wrappith himself in seculer CHAP.
officis, that he pleese God to whom he had provid, or
oblighid hymsilf. And in the first Pistil to Corinthis, “ the sixth chapter, if ye han seculer domis among you,
ordeyne ye the contemptible men, othir of litil reputacionn, “ that ben among you for to deme. That is ordeyne ye “ seculer men, that han litil of gostli knowinge to deme “ seculer domis: and, that clerkis be occupied aboute
gostly officis, in helpe of mennis soulis.” He observed further, “ that the sentence of this article is opinly taught “ bi the rule of Apostlis, set in decrees in the lxxxviii dis“ tinctionn cap. episcopus ', and cap. neque, and in xxi Apostolical
Canons. “ cause iii question cap. Ciprianusk, and manie mo, and “ opinli bi the Pistil of Seynt Peter *, sen to Clement in * Clement “ the xi cause, i question, cap. te quidem; and bi Seynt the lord's
Gregori in his Morals, and in his Pastoralis, and Re- brother. “gistre, and bi m Seynt Jerom in his Pistils, tas decrees † Dist. 88. “ witnessen, and bi Chrisestome on the 5th cap. of Mat- bus negotiis
episcopo in18. By this we see what care was taken in the primitive Church, to prevent Bishops and Priests forsaking their sees and cures, in order to undertake secular cares or employ- Novella ments. The same provision was made by the civil consti- cont. cxxiii.
Episcopus aut presbyter aut diaconus nequaquam sæculares curas assumat, sin aliter dejiciatur.
-Ne quis de clericis et Dei ministris tutorem vel curatorem testamento suo constituat: quando singuli divino sacerdotio honorati et in clerico ministerio constituti, non nisi altari et sacrificiis deservire, et precibus atque orationibus vacare debeant. Scriptum est enim, Nemo militans Deo obligat negotiis sæcularibus, ut possit placere ei qui se probavit, 8c.
| Te quidem oportet irreprehensibiliter vivere, et summo studio niti, ut omnes vitæ hujus occupationes abjicias : ne fidejussor existas: ne advocatus litium fias: neve in ulla aliqua occupatione prorsus inveniaris mundialis negotii occasione perplexus. Neque enim judicem, aut cognitorem sæcularium negotiorum hodie te ordinare vult Christus : ne præfocatus præsentibus hominum curis, non possis verbo Dei vacare, et secundum veritatis regulam secernere bonos a malis. Ista namque opera, quæ tibi minus congruere superius exposuimus, exhibeant sibi invicem vacantes laici: et te nemo occupet ab his studiis, per quæ salus omnibus datur.
m Negotiatorem clericum, et ex inope divitem, ex ignobili gloriosum, quasi quandam pestem fuge.
CHAP. tutions of the empire, for which this very good reason was
given, that, “ by the Bishops being absent from their bi“shoprics, and engaged in civil offices, the holy houses “ would be dilapidated and run to ruin, and the sacred “ ministries of the Church be hindered.” But through the power claimed by the Popes, by dispensing with the Canons, (though by the way the makers of them ground them on the word of God, these wise and good provisions entirely lost their effect; insomuch, that in our Bishop's time, the Bishops were complained of as very largely n bribing and making friends at court, to get themselves places of profit there, that so living at other men's cost they might lay up the profits of their bishoprics. Whose example was so well imitated by the inferior Clergy, that some of them would rather than attend
their own Bishop La- “ offices, and be among their flocks, be clerks of the kit
chen, or take other offices upon them, besides that which
they had already.” Insomuch that the Commons, in the Hall'sChro- Parliament held 22 Henry VIII. complained that “ Priests nicle, fol.
“were surveyors, stewards, and officers, to Bishops, Ab“ bots, &c. and had, and occupied fermes, granges, and “ grasing in every countrey. That spiritual persons pro
moted to great benefices were living in the court, in “ lords houses, and toke al of the parishioners, and no“thing spent on them at all, so that for lacke of residence, “ both the poore of the parishe lacked refreshment, and “ universally al the parishioners lacked' preaching, and “ true instruction of God's worde, to the great perill of o their souls.”
19. It does not seem to have been any part of our Bishop's design, in vindicating the Bishops absence from
fol. 286. b. 66 Edit. 1596.
Illud nequaquam eis dederim, quod ipsi ultro a principibus tanquam consiliarii evocentur, quinimo magnis sumptibus, amicorumque intercessionibus hoc impetrant, non quidem zelo aliquo vel cura reipublicæ, cujus nulla apud eos charitas est, sed propter stipendia et larga munera quæ exinde eis proveniunt, ut alieno sumptu viventes, suarum proventus ecclesiarum, in æraria recondant. Nicol. de Clemangis de corrupto Ecclesiæ Statu, cap. 17.
• This Dr. Heylin represented, as if the Bishop had said, that the poor. Clergy were forced to do this for bread. Hist. of the Reform. p. 61.
their dioceses, to defend these abuses and corruptions. CHAP. His Lordship indeed affirms, that there are several reasonable causes of a Bishop's absence from his flock, and, that he may not only be excused for his non-residence, but, that such non-residence may be meritorious and deserving of thanks; but then he qualifies this by observing, that a Bishop should be non-resident no longer than these reasonable causes of his absence continue. Our Bishop could not be ignorant that our kings in time past, as well as in Statute of his own time, were wont to have the greatest part of their Benefices.
Provisors of council, for the safeguard of the realm, when they had need, of such Prelates and Clerks as were advanced by the Kings of this realm, and other great men of it: that the Prelates of this kingdom are declared, by our Acts of Parliament, to be very profitable and necessary to our said Lord the King, and to his said realm, as being the sage peo- 16 Rich. II. ple of his council. His Lordship therefore concluded, that C. S. Bishops giving their attendance on the great council of the nation, being summoned thereto by their prince, was a reasonable cause of their being absent from their dioceses, and not residing on them; that their assisting on such and such like occasions, was a duty they owed to their King and their country, and that for their faithful performance of it, they were so far from being to be blamed, that they deserved thanks. But this is very different from defending their non-residence, when it was occasioned purely by their own ambition and covetousness, their thrusting themselves, without being called, into the courts of princes, and ambitiously pretending to the administration of matters of state, not to serve the public, but to gratify their own haughty and secular desires.
20. The next thing, for which our Bishop vindicates the Bishops of his time, is their receiving their bishoprics from the Pope by provision, and paying annates or first-fruits for them. Upon this account they were accused by Dr. Wiclif and others as simoniacs; from which charge our Bishop, it seems, endeavoured to justify them. Now as to the first of these, the Bishops receiving their bishoprics from the
CHAP. Pope by provision; we are to observe that anciently Bi
shops were chosen by the Clergy and people. Insomuch, Morinus de that in the form of ordination, as low down as the year
900 or 1000, it is acknowledged, that in old times the Bishop was to enquire of every one who came to him to be Pordained, whether he was chosen by the people. This was agreeable to the Clementine constitution, which ordered, that a Bishop was to be 9 chosen by all the people, out of those of the best and most blameless character, who was accordingly to be presented to the Bishop, who was to ordain him. At that time no one was ordained but to
an actual cure; so that to be ordained and collated to a Duareni de benefice was one and the same thing. Now this being lib. iii. c. 2. done at the election, and with the consent of the people,
they may properly be said to be patrons, as we now speak, of the several vacant bishoprics. But these elections, in process of time, as the bishoprics grew more wealthy, and consequently more deserving the wishes of men of worldly and corrupt minds, became very tumultuary and seditious, insomuch that the civil magistrate, to preserve the public
peace, was forced to interpose. In the British and Saxon tions upon times, and even after the Conquest, till the reign of King Jurisdict. of John, bishoprics and other ecclesiastical dignities were England. ° conferred by the King in Parliament, or his great councils.
As one of the people and head of all the people, he must necessarily have a vote and great interest in these elections. And therefore, when it was found necessary to lay these popular ones aside, it must be thought very reasonable that this power should be transferred to the chief or princes of the people, and the magistracy: since it is certain, that all the right the people have is transferred to the Prince and Parliament as their head; and that by the ançient canons this right is not taken from them. - Accord
p Primitus cum venerint ordinandi clerici ante episcopum, debet episcopus inquirere unumquemque si electus populo sit.
q 'Trò Távtos rã raz éxāsaéy favoy. Constat secundum veteres canones in eli. gendis Ecclesiæ ministris, non solum cleri sed etiam populi consensum maxime requiri. Duareni de Sacris Eccles. Minis. lib. iii. cap. 2.