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nearly two centuries ago, they were shut up for refusing to pay the homage of conscience to the Crown. Yet, to this day, England, while enjoying the fullest measure of toleration, has not attained to the justice and dignity of religious freedom; and the Establishment itself is dominated by the state as absolutely as was the Eastern church under Constantine.

It was a singular coincidence, that in the very year of the first general commemoration of the Non-conformists of 1662, the highest ecclesiastical court of England should declare that "the Articles of Religion, the formularies, and the canons, interpreted according to LEGAL construction, are binding upon the clergy".. that "the statute of Elizabeth went on the assumption that the truth of the Articles was so proved that it could not be shaken;" . . . . "that the act of Uniformity proceeded on this basis, that for the purposes intended, the church was in possession of all the truth, and that nothing in that respect remained to be discovered;" that "accordingly the Articles were framed, and all clergymen forbidden under severe penalties to impugn them;" and that therefore, in the trial of heresy or defection, the Court of Arches "cannot take for its guide the authority of even the most learned and orthodox divines of the Church," but, acting purely as a court of ecclesiastical law, "must ascertain the true construction of the Articles of Religion and the formularies, and that according to strict legal principles." This decision of Dr. Lushington is in exact accordance with the relations subsisting between the Church of England and the State. Neither the Scriptures nor the prevailing theology of the divines of the Church could be entertained as a ground of judgment in such a cause. By the authority of the Privy Council under which he acts, the Judge must confine himself to the legal interpretation of the Articles of faith and worship which a secular Parliament, three centuago, fixed for all time as the faith of the Church. But the boldness of this principle, as enunciated by Dr. Lushing ton in the hearing of bishops and clergy, is a humiliating sign



Judgment of Dr. Lushington in the suit instituted by the Bishop of Salisbury against Dr. Rowland Williams-London Daily News, June 26, 1862.

of the subjection of the spiritual to the legal and the temporal by the union of Church and State. Its avowal from the bench of the Court of Arches,* in June, was a significant prelude to the commemoration of Non-conformity on St. Bartholomew's Day. And so, on the other hand, that commemoration was most opportune in view of the agitation in the Church of Eng land with regard to the sincerity of her ministers and the purity of her faith. "We bear witness," writes Dr. Waddington, "to the necessity of sincerity in religion. We reiterate the protest of the two thousand against all prevarication, subterfuge, and evasion on the part of the ministers in the establishment. We judge them not. To their own Master they stand or fall. But we tell them, as with one voice, that it is impossible for us to understand how, in the presence of God, and before their congregations, they can denounce from the pulpit the errors in the Book of Common Prayer, and then came down to the baptismal font, and to the margin of the grave, and teach those errors." The reminiscences of St. Bartholomew's Day, 1662, brought out by simultaneous commemorative discourses in hundreds of Dissenting pulpits, on the 24th of August last, and in lectures and addresses on various public occasions, and especially at the spring and autumnal meetings of the Congregational Union in London, if carefully revised and edited, would form a volume of inestimable value in the history of religious liberty; which, like the memorial chapels in various places, and the Bicentenary Hall to be erected in London, would become a permanent witness of the cost and the value of freedom of conscience. The thorough indoctrination of the present generation of Dissenters in the principles of religious liberty is now accomplished; and the contribution of upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds to the "Bicentenary Non-conformist Memorial Fund," shows the strength and energy of the body thus intelligently and persistently arrayed against the Establishment.

* So called from the Church of Sancta Maria de Arcubus, in which the court was formerly held.

Black Bartholomew.


In studying the bearing of the Reformation upon religious freedom in continental Europe, we must keep in mind the antagonistic influences of Feudalism and the Church in the middle ages. Feudalism, as the law of privilege and of force, maintained social inequality. The church, knowing neither noble nor vassal, maintained the equality of character in the constituents of its own hierarchy. But feudalism tended toward individuality, and so far had in it the germ of liberty; while the church, seeking the solidarity of the faithful, tended toward despotism. The unity which excluded the distinction of classes, absorbed in itself all individual forces.* The sovereignty of the Pope admits of no subdiyisions, for it is divine. "In charging the bishops with a portion of his cares and functions, the Pope in no wise diminishes his power; that remains entire; he is always free to exercise personally the functions he has delegated." As the citizen of the ancient republics by fact of his citizenship merged his individuality in the State, so in entering the church, the clergyman abdicated his quality as a man, and became the mere instrument of the collective body. When the Reformation detached multitudes of priests and people from their allegiance to Rome, the movement arrayed the spirituality of the gospel against the dogmatism of the Church, and the old feudal spirit of individuality against the despotism of the Papacy. But the feudal system had passed away, leaving only certain latent notions of liberty and of private rights; and the organic power of the State presented the only rallying point to the Reformed, for a political resistance to Rome. Some fell back absolutely upon the old Byzantine system of State supremacy over the Church; and thus Rome was pitted against Rome-the Roman state-power against the Romish church-power; and in general, the alliance of the state was sought upon the principle of precaution and of guardianship.t


It would be tedious to trace the complications which have

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arisen out of this connection of Church and State in continental Europe. At the period of the Reformation, the right and obligation of the State to enforce uniformity in religious be lief and worship, was questioned by few;-the debatable question was, to what faith and worship men should be obliged to conform. Hence Protestant princes vied with their papal rivals in what De Gasparin styles the attempt "to impress upon all consciences one national physiognomy." In the striking figure of M. Laboulaye, " the persecuted of the past became the persecutors of the future; and we see realized afresh that Roman ideal of organized society, according to which the em pire was an enormous polypus, and all individuals were at the best like its cellules."*

Under such a theory of the relation of the State to religion, the measure of religious liberty accorded to the subject would depend much upon the disposition of the sovereign. Hence the occasional spectacle of a larger practical toleration allowed to the Protestant subjects of an absolute Catholic monarch, than some Protestant princes have allowed to their own subjects in dissenting from the established religion; and the further phenomenon of a more practical freedom and equality for Catholics under the jure divino absolutism of the Protestant king of Prussia, than at times under the limited constitutional monarchy of Great Britain and Ireland.

“Of all the forms under which Christianity stands in relation to human socie ties, the lowest place must be assigned without doubt to that system which makes the Church a function of the State. The effects of that system differ very much according to the nature of the governments to which the Church is subject. Tolerably advantageous in countries where governments have only a very limited action, it is fatal in despotic countries.

"The Gallican Church of Pierre Pithou would have had all the faults of the Anglican Church, and would not perhaps have had its good qualities. I doubt not that in our days a Gallican Church dependent on the State would have oppressed liberty even much more than the Church dependent on Rome. Better the Pope than the Christian emperor of Byzantium and of Moscow. the State puts its hand upon the soul it always weighs more heavily than that of the priest. The priest hinders the origination of nothing. The State, with its prudent and astute gentleness and its preventive system, hinders and arrests every

* Historical Prelection, College of France, Feb. 1861.


grand initiation. I do not see one single life of a saint or of any great man in the past, which would not in our days be a perpetual offense against the regulations of the police."

Wherever a religious establishment exists, there is a chronic fear and jealousy of dissent; more fear even of non-conformity in minor details, where there is agreement in essentials, than of an organic antagonism in systems, as between Protestantism and Popery. The persecution of Protestants by Catholic princes, and of Catholics by Lutherans, the horrors of Bartholemew's Day in France in the 16th century, the cruelties inflicted upon the Waldenses, the religious wars of Switzerland, bear witness not so much against systems of religious faith and polity, as against the doctrine of civil control and penalty in matters of religion, which has been so largely common to the Catholic and the Protestant countries of Europe. The power to persecute for opinion was lodged in that Right of Control which the Reformation had not only left to the State, but even besought the State to exercise, under the strange fatuity that this was for the interest and protection of the truth. All the religious struggles of Europe, from the wars of the Huguenots and the revolt of the Netherlands, down to the bloodless but tempestuous origin of the Free Church in Scotland and in the Canton de Vaud, may be traced to the protest of conscience, in the name of truth, against this hereditary claim of paganized Christianity derived from Constantine. As Wordsworth. sings:

For what contend the wise? For nothing less
Than that the soul, freed from the bonds of sense,
And to her God restored by evidence

Of things not seen-drawn from their recess,
Root there, and not in forms, her holiness.

It was toward this sublime spiritual freedom that the tendency of Protestantism struggled. Yet at the first, Protestant


appears to be only a return to the most degraded idea of the relations between Church and State.

"Lutheranism gave up its theology to the hands of German princes; Calvinism, in its ideal city of Geneva, founded a republic upon religion. In England

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