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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Andrewes and Princes

I have recently been reading the debate with King James I and Rome concerning the place of the king in relationship to the pope and whether or not the pope has the right to depose kings. This was a very important controversy in the early 17th century and led to the discussion of kings being the only ones authorised to call Church Councils. James I was hoping for one, even where the pope would sit as "chief bishop." There was an exchange of books and papers on this between Cardinal Robert Bellarmine and Bishop Lancelot Andrewes as well as James's own work called the Premonition. James I did believe that the Pope had the right to excommunicate kings but not remove them from authority over their kingdoms. The debate became very polemical as one could imagine. All of this is to ask the question concerning James I and Andrewes's very high view of the prince.

I was looking through the Church Fathers and I found the following quote that followed the entry below on the Bishop and the Eucharist. I ask about this because Andrewes was a scholar who was steeped in the theology of the Fathers and it makes me wonder if his view of the prince comes from quotes like the following:

Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. For “in Hades there is no one who can confess his sins.”62 For “behold the man, and his work is before him.”63 And [the Scripture saith], “My son, honour thou God and the king.”64 And say I, Honour thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest, who bears the image of God—of God. inasmuch as he is a ruler, and of Christ, in his capacity of a priest. After Him, we must also honour the king. For there is no one superior to God, or even like to Him, among all the beings that exist. Nor is there any one in the Church greater than the bishop, who ministers as a priest to God for the salvation of the whole world. Nor, again, is there any one among rulers to be compared with the king, who secures peace and good order to those over whom he rules. He who honours the bishop shall be honoured by God, even as he that dishonours him shall be punished by God. For if he that rises up against kings is justly held worthy of punishment, inasmuch as he dissolves public order, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy,65 who presumes to do anything without the bishop, thus both destroying the [Church’s] unity, and throwing its order into confusion? For the priesthood is the very highest point of all good things among men, against which whosoever is mad enough to strive, dishonours not man, but God, and Christ Jesus, the First-born, and the only High Priest, by nature, of the Father. Let all things therefore be done by you with good order in Christ. Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father. As ye, brethren, have refreshed me, so will Jesus Christ refresh you. Ye have loved me when absent, as well as when present. God will recompense you, for whose sake ye have shown such kindness towards His prisoner. For even if I am not worthy of it, yet your zeal [to help me] is an admirable66 thing. For “he who honours a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward.”67 It is manifest also, that he who honours a prisoner of Jesus Christ shall receive the reward of the martyrs.

The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans Chapter IX

3 Comments:

Anonymous adam said...

Are you writing a book over there in Durham? If not, you should at least compile all these WONDERFUL quotations from the Fathers, Anglican Divines, etc. I'll buy 5 copies to give as gifts. Thanks!

4:39 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Actually writing a thesis. Hopefully to become a book one day! I'll be sure to remember your promise to buy five. That means at least six will move! ;-)

thanks for the kind remarks.


js

8:51 pm  
Anonymous adam said...

Yep, you have my promise to buy five. At the very least, someone might be willing to publish a volume of excerpts from the various authors edited by you.

4:46 am  

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