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  103

CHAP. XVII. The complaint of Papists against our King, for the Oath of Supremacy he demandeth from his Sub∣jects, declared to be unjust.

Mr. I. S. sleighting that of the Remon∣strance, would have me condole the suf∣ferances of the Irish, for not taking the Oath of Supremacy to the King of England as Head of the Church, which he saies to be a cruelty against Souls, to demand from them. I do condole hear∣tily the sufferings of the Irish for that, I mean their folly and blindness, in suffering themselves to be deluded by the Arts of Rome, believing re∣bellion to be Religion; and Catholic Piety, to pass the Obedience due to their natural Prince by Gods command to a forreigner, that has no other right over them, then what by craft and cruelty he hath usurped, as is declared in the Chapter preceding.

All this will be made clear to such as will con∣sider, that our Princes pretend not to any other Supremacy or power over their Subjects, then such as the godly Kings of Israel had in their time over the Jews, and the Christian Empe∣rors in the Primitive Church over their respe∣ctive Subjects; as is declared in the thirty se∣venth Article, and seventh Canon of the Church of England, and as indeed our Princes do exe∣cute, Page  104practising even less power in Church Af∣fairs, then the Kings of Israel, and Christian Em∣perors did. Do but read the second of Kings, commonly called the fourth, in the 23. Chapter, and see how forward the godly King Josiah was in reforming the Church, both Clergy and Laity, reading himself to them the Book of the Cove∣nant, deposing unworthy Priests, and substituting lawful ones. The same you may see practiced by Hezekias in the second Book of Chronicles, chap. XXIX. and the Text approving his pro∣ceeding in all this particular; saying, He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, accor∣ding to all his Father had don. If you do but con∣fer the proceeding of these two good Kings re∣lated in the fore-mentioned places, with the be∣havior of our Princes in the several Convoca∣tions of their Clergy and people for the Refor∣mation of the Church in these Kingdoms; you shall find them not to have taken so much of the work upon them in their own persons, as those Kings of Israel did; but commended to Prelates and Divines the Examination of Points belonging to Religion, and Government of the Church, holding themselves the sword and stern of Government to keep peace at home, and de∣fend them from forreign Enemies.

Neither did our Savior diminish, but rather confirm this supreme power of Princes over their Subjects. We have his will herein intimated to us by St. Paul, Rom. XIII. 1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher Powers: where by higher Powers, St. Augustin and the other Ancient Fa∣thers do understand the secular power of Princes, Page  105and the context it self is clear enough for that interpretation, as Salmeron confesses: aPatres Veteres, & praecipuè Augustinus Ep. 54. Apostolum interpretantur de potestate seculari tantum loqui, quod & ipse textus subindicat. And that to this power, not only Seculars, but all sorts of Ecclesiastical persons are subject, S. Chrysostomb declares: Omnibus ista imperantur, & Sacerdotibus & Mo∣nachis, &c. This is a command said upon all Men, whether they be Priests or Monks, whether A∣postles, Evangelists, or Prophets, or whoever they be: and S. Bernardc considers well that the very words of the text do declare so much: If every Soul be subject unto the higher power, says he, (writing to an Arch-Bishop) yours also must be likewise subject. Who hath exemted you from the general Rule? &c.

Neither is it less certain by the practice of the Church, both old and Christian, and by the au∣tority of Fathers, that it belongeth to Princes to protect and have an eye over their people in matters of Religion; to procure the integrity and reformation of it, when decayed. As for the old Law, the cases proposed above of Hezekiah and Josiah do assure us, that this hath bin the practice of the best Kings of those times. And if you consult the acts of Constantine the great, of Arcadius and Honorius, of Theodosius the elder, Justinian, Charles the great, and others the best of Christian Emperors, and greatest supporters Page  106of the Churches honor; you shall find them in∣tervening frequently, and moderating the greatest consultation touching Religion, and the good conduct of Church affairs.

It was a wonder to S. Augustin, that any should doubt it should be the duty of an Emperor or Prince to do so. aAn forte de Religione fas non est dicat Imperator, vel quos miserit Imperator? What, doth it not belong to the Emperor, or to him he employs, to deliver his opinion touching Religion? and elsewhere he says, that to be the chief care and charge of the Emperor, of which he is to give account to God; bad Imperatoris cu∣ram de quâ rationem Deo redditurus est, res illa maximè pertinebat.

All this being so, that it is the duty of our Princes to govern all the states and affairs of this Kingdom, and the dut of Subjects to obey them in all, and that for conscience, as S. Paul declareth, Rom. 13.5. That you must needs be subject not only for wrath but also for Conscience sake: how can I omit to condole the misery of my Country-men, and others so deluded by the arts of Rome, as to take it for a breach of Con∣science, what S. Paul declares to be a duty of Conscience; I mean an acknowledgment of their Princes Supreme Authority over all his Subjects, and their obligation of obeying him accordingly? Especially when I see what S. Bernard saw and lamented, that it is not the welfare of Souls, nor the zeal of their Salvation, makes the Court of Rome to put this horror into the hearts of Men against their dutyful obedience and subjection to Page  107their Princes: Non quod valdè Romani curant quo fine res terminetur, sed quia valdè diligunt munera, sequuntur retributiones, not that the Ministers of Rome do regard much the end or purpose of Con∣troversies raised, so they obtain their own end of encreasing their own interest and power. I wish with all my heart, with S. Bernard, that these corruptions of Rome were not so public and known to all the World. *Ʋtinam nobis relinque∣rent Moderni Noae, unde à nobis possint aliquatenus operiri: nunc vero cernente Orbe, mundi fabulam soli tacebimus? I wish these modern Noahs did leave unto us some possibility of covering their shame, but all the World beholding it, shall we alone conceal it?

This being so, consider Mr. I. S. how blind is your zeal, or great your malice, in saying it should be a cruelty in our Princes to demand from their subjects an acknowledgment of his supreme power over them; and in them a blasphemy to ac∣knowledg it. And to make us believe it is so, you produce the autority of Calvin. When I alledg Vasquez or Suarez his doctrine to you, if it be not to your liking, you tell me, they have bin mistaken as well as I: so much I say to you at present of Calvin, that, if he be of your mind in this particular, he is mistaken, and in a foul error as well as you. Calvin and Lu∣ther have no more autority in the Church of England, then Suarez and Vasquez among you, and I observe you are as singularly impertinent, as unreasonable, wheresoever you speak to me of Luther and Calvin: it is not their writings, Page  108which I never saw, brought me to the Church of England, nor conserves me in it: The Scri∣pture, Fathers, and the History of the Church did work both upon me. Of them you are to speak to me, as I do to you.

Many a thousand poor simple Souls in these Kingdoms, misled by the Pope, and his busy Emissaries, do cry against the Oath of Supremacy, without knowing, or examining what it means, or what is their Princes meaning in demanding it: crying up the Popes Supremacy, much like those 200. seduced by Absalon to follow him out of Jerusalem, to rebel against the King his Father, when they thought they did service to the King. And with Absalon went two hundred men out of Jerusalem that were called: and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. 2. Sam. 15.11. So it is with many seduced by the art and activity of Rome, to den due submission to their lawful Prince, and give it to a Forreign usurper; under pretext of following a pretended Vicar of God, to rebel against God; S. Paul declaring that whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the Or∣dinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. A conclusion he doth very legally infer from a verity he had immediatly before premised, That the powers that be are or∣dained of God. Rom. 13.1.2. We are to believe in Charity that many have the excuse of those 200. seduced by Absalon: That they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. But the corruptions and impostures of Rome being so universally known, even in S. Bernards time (as declared above) and much more now, we may Page  109fear justly that too many do err with knowledg, or for want of due inquiry: and so resisting law∣ful power, they may receive to themselves damna∣tion. Of which latter sort Mr. I. S. may seriously fear himself to be one, if he be so conversant in the doctrine of both Churches, Protestant and Popish, and in that of primitive Christianity, as he pretends to be. This I commend to his mature consideration, while I pursue him in his engagement about Transubstantiation.