True Catholic and apostolic faith maintain'd in the Church of England by Andrew Sall ... ; being a reply to several books published under the names of J.E., N.N. and J.S. against his declaration for the Church of England, and against the motives for his separation from the Roman Church, declared in a printed sermon which he preached in Dublin.
Sall, Andrew, 1612-1682.
Page  49

CHAP. VII. How far the form of Ordination used in the Church of England, agrees with that of the ancient C••rch, declared in te fourth Council of Carthage, and how much the form prescribed by te Roman Pontifical of this time, differs from the ancient frm.

AS in many other points, so in this of Crdina∣tion especially, I cannot but admire how bold the Romish Writers are in imposing upon the ignorant, that themselves are the observers of an∣tiquity, and the Reformed Churches the contem∣ners of it: whereas indeed the main purpose of the Reformation was, to cut off the superstitious innovations of the Romish Church, and stik to the Christian simplicity and gravity of the Pri∣mitive Apostolic Church. This will appear evi∣dently by comparing the present form of Ordina∣tion used in the Church of England, with the most qualified of ancient formularies established in the fourth Council of Carthage, celebrated by 214. Fathers (whereof St. Augustine was one) in the year 398. Honorius and Arcadius being Empe∣rours, of which Council Baronius gives this ho∣norable Character, Extitit hujusmodi Carthagi∣nense Concilium, veluti Ecclesiasticae promtuarium disciplinae, non quidem recens inventae, sedantiquiori∣bus *Page  50usu receptae, atque ad pristinam consuetudinem re∣vocatae.

This Council of Carthage was as it were a treasure of Ecclesiastic Discipline, not newly in∣vented, but used by the ancient, and restored to the former custom.
He adds that this Council was taken as a pattern by the other Churches, both Eastern and Western.

I have perused carefully this Council, and con∣ferred it with our form of ordination set down in the Book of Common Praiers, as also with the form of Ordination used in the Roman Church, as contained in their latter Potifical, published by Autority of Pope Clement the 8. & printed at Rome in the year 1595. Clement com∣plains of many errors crept into the former Pon∣tificals, and purposes to mend them in this latter according to the rule of ancient integrity: for which purpose, it seems, no better rule could be taken then the foresaid Council of Carthage, for the reasons aforesaid of Baronius.

Now if we shew, that our form of Ordination is more agreeable to that of the Council of Car∣thage, then the form prescribed in the Roman Pontifical, we shall prove that we stand for the most warrantable antiquity, and consequently for right in this point. I will not dispute now about those called inferiour Orders in the Roman Church, both because none will pretend them to be essential to Church Discipline, and the duties appropriated to them are performed in both Churches, sometimes by persons constituted in no order, and sometimes by those in sacred Orders. I will therefore only treat of the three sacred or∣ders proposed by Suarez, out of Optatus Milevi∣tanus,Page  51as necessary to the constitution of Ecclesia∣stical Hierarchy, to wit Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.

And beginning with Deacons, the said Coun∣cil in the fourth chapter hath only these words, Diaconus cum ordinatur, solus Episcopus, qui eum benedicit, manum super caput illius ponat, quia non ad sacerdotium sed ad ministerium consecratur.

When a Deacon is ordained, only the Bishop, who bles∣seth or ordaineth him, is to lay his hand on his Head, because he is not ordained to Priesthood but to ministery.
Here we have three things de∣clared, the Minister, the matter, the order: the Minister is only the Bishop: the matter or the exteriour sign, is the imposition of hands: the form is not described in particular, but is inclu∣ded in the word benedicit: for to bless here is nothing else but to pronounce the words by which the power of this order is conferred to the Person ordained; all which is exactly performed in the Ordinationof Deacons by the Church of England, as we have seen in the Chapter prece∣dent.

Now touching the Ordination of Priests, the Council decrees thus, Presbyter cum ordinatur, Episcopo eum benedicente, & manum super caput illi∣us tenente, etiam omnes Presbyteri qui praesentes sunt manus suas juxta manus Episcopi super Caput illius teneant. When a Priest is ordained, the Bishop blessing him and laying his hand on his Head, the Priests present are likewise to lay their hands on his Head together with the Bishops hands. Of this decree likewise the Church of England is as observant, as the Roman is negligent: Page  52for in their present Pontifical above mentioned of Clement the Eighth, I see no mention made of what the Council decrees, that the Priests present should lay their hands together with the Bi∣shops hands upon the Head of him that is to be Priested, and their practice goes accordingly. But in lieu of this ceremony decreed by the Council of Carthage, I find many others substi∣tuted in the foresaid Pontifical of which the Council makes no mention, such as those about the amict, albe, girdle, maniple, stole, cope, candles, crosses, oil, and the like. And which is more remarkable, the Council makes no men∣tion of that great and chief ceremony used in the Roman Church and appointed in the aforesaid Ponifical, and wherein some of their Authors will have the very essence of Priestly ordination to consist, as we have seen above out of Bellar∣min, that the Bishop is to deliver to the person to be Priested, after having anointed his hands with holy Oil, the Chalice with wine and water, and the Patin over it with the hoast or wafer, say∣ing, Accipe potestatem offerre Sacrificium Deo, mis∣sasque celebrare tam pro vivis, quam per defunctis, Receive power to offer sacrifice unto God, and to celebrate Mass for the living and the dead. If this ceremony were so essential, or the power of sacrificing were so inherent to Priestly ordination, as the present Church of Rome will have it to be, certainly that grave and venerable Council of Carthage would not have passed it over with so deep a silence, when it descended to particularize the duties and performances of inferiour Mini∣sters not so necessary as those of Priests, as may Page  53be seen in the ensuing Chapters of that Council from the fifth chapter forward.

Finally touching the Ordination of Bishops, the aforesaid Council of Carthage has these words, Episcopus cum ordinatur, duo Episcopi ponant & te∣neant Evangeliorum Codicem super Caput & cervi∣cem ejus, & uno super eum fundente benedictionem, re∣liqui omnes Episcopi qui adsunt manibus suis Caput ejus tangant.

When a Bishop is ordained, let two Bishops put and hold the Book of the Gospels over his head and neck, and one blessing him, let all the other Bishops that are there present touch his Head with their hands.
Here three things are required, the giving or placeing of the Book, the imposition of hands, and the bles∣sing to be given, whereof the placeing of the Book is no essential part, as *Vasquez declares, and so both Churches deviate somthing from the form mentioned: for if we are to believe Vas∣quez, and the Pontifical he quotes, the Book of the Gospel is put upon the shoulders of the Bishop consecrated, not by the Bishops conse∣crating, but by one of the Chaplains; and he re∣lates out of Pope Clement, that anciently it was performed by the Deacons, who are no Mini∣sters of this Order. Neither do I find by Mr. Mason, that the Pontifical he saw, do's contra∣dict what Vasquez saies; yet I find it otherwise, in the Roman Pontifical forementioned of Cle∣ment the Eighth, to be seen in the Library of Dublin University; where it is ordered, that the Bishop consecrating, together with the Bishops Page  54assisting to help him, do place the Book over the neck and the shoulders of the Bishop consecra∣ted, without saying any word, one of the Chap∣lains of the Bishop elect kneeling behind him, and holding the Book, until it be given to his hands; and then the Bishop consecrating, and the other Bishops assisting him, do touch with both their hands the head of the Bishop elect, saying, Accipe Spiritum Sanctum, Receive the Holy Ghost. And in supposition that the mode of placeing the Book is not essential to this Or∣dination, certainly the form prescribed by the Church of England in this particular is very de∣cent and apposite to the purpose of this acti∣on: the Arch-Bishop, or other Bishop consecrat∣ing, delivering the Bible to the Bishop conse∣crated, saying, give heed unto reading, exhortation and Doctrine, with other wholesome admonitions touching his pastoral duty.

Now touching the essential parts of this ordi∣nation, which do consist in the imposition of hands as matter, and the benediction, or words pronounced by the Bishop consecrating, as form, the Church of England is exact in observing the form prescrib'd by the foresaid Council of Car∣thage; since it orders, that all the Bishops present should lay their hands upon the Bishop elect, and only the Arch-Bishop or Bishop con∣secrating, should bless or pronounce the words of the form, saying, Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God now committed unto thee, by the imposition of our hands, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Chst. Here the Roman Page  55Pontifical deviates from the foresaid form pre∣scribed by the Council of Carthage, ordering, that both the Bishop consecrating and the Bi∣shops assisting should pronounce the words of the form, saying, Accipe Spiritum Sanctum.

By this we see, how exact the Church of En∣gland is, in observing all the essential and neces∣sary parts and ceremonies prescrib'd, by that renowned Council of Carthage, for the ordina∣tion of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. As for other ceremonies not essential, the Council of Trent it self declares, that even in the admini∣stration of Sacraments (whereof they will have Orders to be a part) they may be altered by the Church, as the condition of matters, times and places may require. Neither is this to be un∣derstood of the Church Universal, congregated in a general Council only, but also of each par∣ticular Church; whence proceeded the great va∣riety of Rites, in things indifferent, amongst the ancient, and even modern Christians of several places and orders, approved by that grave sen∣tence of aGregory the Great, in una fide nihil ossi∣cit Sanctae Ecclesiae consuetudo diversa. And as the Roman Church upon this account introdu∣ces new rites, why may not that of England a∣bolish others, especially such as are found to be superstitious? for which the b Canon law giveth this warrant, Docemur exemplo Ezechiae frangentis ser∣pontem aeneum, quae in superstitionem vertuntur, illa si∣ne tarditate aliqua, & cum magna autoritate à po∣steris destrui posse.

We are taught by example Page  56of Hezechias, that such things as turn to supersti∣tion, may be without delay, and with autority extirpated in after ages.
As a good husband cuts off, not only rotten, but superfluous branches, that may suck away the sap from the main tree; so any Church that is free and independent (such as this of England is) may cut off superstitious and superfluous rites and ceremonies, which by their multiplicity may distract both the Ministers and Congregation, and take their attention from the main object of their devotion. And certainly who ever considers the vast number of ceremonies used now by the Roman Church and prescrib∣ed in their Pontifical, will find it a task not ea∣sie for even a good capacity to comprehend and practice them all, and very hard to think of ele∣vating the mind withall to praier or meditation.