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do with the court of Rome, nothing will be done to any purpose. And all ends in trifling at the last. We honestly deny the Pope all authority over us; they pretend, in words, to allow him so much as is consistent with what they call their Gallican privileges; but let him never so little use it contrary to their good liking, they protest against it, appeal to a general council, and then mind him as little as we can do. In earnest, I think we treat his holiness not only with more sincerity, but more respect than they; for to own a power, and yet keep a reserve to obey that power only so far, and in such cases as we make ourselves judges of, is a greater affront than honestly to confess that we deny the power, and for that reason refuse to obey it.' But my design was partly to bring them to this, and partly to see how they would bear, at least the proposal, of totally breaking off from the court and bishop of Rome. .
What you can observe, or discover, more, of their inclinations in this particular, will be of good use; especially if it could be found out what the court would do, and how far that may be likely to countenance the clergy in such å separation. In the mean time, it cannot be amiss to cultivate a friendship with the leading men of that side, who may in time be made use of to the good work of reforming in earnest the Gallican church. I am a little unhappy that I have none here I yet dare trust with what I do; though I am satisfied most of our high church bishops and clergy would readily come into such a design. But these are not men either to be confided in, or made use of, by Your assured friend,
P.S. Did cardinal De Noailles know what authority the archbishop of Canterbury has got by the reformation, and how much a greater man he is now than when he was the pope's Legatus Natus, it might encourage him to follow so good a pattern, and be assured, in that case, he would lose nothing by sending back his cardinal's cap to Rome. I doubt your doctors know little of these matters.
se nothing by sand be assured, inage him to fol
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP WAKE TO MR. BEAUVOIR.
Jan. 23, 0. S. 1718. When you see my letter, for I conclude the doctor will show it you, you may do well to bring on the discourse of our episcopal rights and privileges in England; and particularly of th prerogatives of the archbishop of Canterbury, which I believe are greater than those of the archbishop of Rheims, or of all the archbishops in France. This may raise in them a curiosity to know more of this matter, which, if they desire, I will take the first little leisure I have to give them a more particular account of it. We must deal with men in their own way, if we mean to do any good with them. They have been used to a pompous ministry, and, like the Jews heretofore, would despise the Messiah himself, if he should coine in a poor and low estate to them. And therefore, though for myself, I account all temporal grandeur as nothing; nay, I am afraid it has rather hurt the church of Christ, and the true spirit of piety and religion, ihan dotie any real service to either; yet it may be a means of disposing these gentlemen to a more favourable thought of, and i'clination toward, a reformation; to convince them that they return to the truth of Christianity, and leave the corruptions of Rome, without losing any honour, any power, that a servant of Christ would desire to be troubled withal. Had the first reformers in France yielded to this scheme, as we in England showed them an example, the whole Gallican church had come in to them, and been at this day as we are now; we must therefore hit off the blot which they made; and satisfy their ambition so far as to show them, that they may reform, without giving up either their authority or revenues; and be still as great, but much better bishops, under our circumstances, than under their own.
As to the Pope's authority, I take the difference to be only this; that we may all agree, without troubling ourselves with the reason, to allow himn a primacy of order in the episcopal college; they would have it thought necessary to hold communion with him, and allow him a little canonical authority over them, as long as he will leave them to prescribe the bounds of it. We fairly say we know of VOL. IV.
no authority he has in our realm ; but for actual submission to him, they as little mind it as we do.
At present he has put them out of his communion; we have withdrawn ourselves from his; both are out of communion with him, and I think it is not material on which side the breach lies.
A LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP WAKE TO MR. BEAUVOIR.
February 5, 1718-19. O. S. I do not doubt but that mine of the 18th of January, with the two enclosed for my Lord Stair and Dr. Du Pin, are before this come safe to you. I should not be sorry if, upon this late transaction between the doctor and ministry, you have kept it in your hands, and not delivered it to him, I had just begun a letter to Dr. Piers, but have thrown aside what I wrote of it, since I received your last; and must beg the favour of you to make my excuse to him, with the tenders of my hearty service, till I see a little more what the meaning of this present inquisition is. I am not so unacquainted with the finesses of courts, as not to apprehend, that what is now done, may be as well in favour of the doctor's attempt as against it. If the Procureur General be indeed well affected to it, he might take this method, not only to his own security, but to bring the affair under a deliberation, and give a handle to those whom it chiefly concerns, to discover their sentiments of it. But the matter may be also put to another use, and pobody can answer that it shall not be so; and till I see what is the meaning of this sudden turn, I shall write no more letters for the French ministry to examine, but content myself to have done enough already to men who cannot keep their own counsel, and live in a country where even the private correspondence of learned men with one another must be brought to a public inquiry, and be made the subject of a state inquisition. I am not aware that in any of my letters there is one line that can give a just offence to the court. I have always took it for granted, that no step should be taken toward an union, but with the knowledge and approbation, and even by the authority, of civil powers; and indeed, if I am in the right, that nothing can be done to any purpose in this case but by throwing off the
Pope's authority, as the first step to be made in order to it, it is impossible for any such attempt to be made by any power less than the king's. All, therefore, that has passed hitherto, stands clear of any just exception as to the civil magistrate; it is only a consultation, in order to find out a way how an union might be made, if a fit occasion should hereafter be offered for the doing of it. Yet still I do not like to have my letters exposed in such a manner, though satisfied there is nothing to be excepted against in them, and I think I shall be kind to the doctors themselves, to suspend, at least for a while, my farther troubling of them. I hope you will endeavour, by some or other of your friends, to find out the meaning of this motion ; from whom it came; how far it has gone; what was the occasion of it; and what is like to be the consequence of it; what the abbe Du Bois says of my letters, and how they are received by hiin and the other ministers. I shall soon discover whether any notice has been taken of it to our ministry; and I should think if the abbe spoke to your lord about it, he would acquaint you with it.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP WAKE TO MR. BEAUVOIR.
February 24, 1716. I do not at all wonder that the cardinals Roban and Bissi should do all they can to blacken the good cardinal de Noailles, and in him the party of the anti-constitutionalists, but especially the Sorbonne, their most weighty and learned adversaries; and I am sensible that such a complaint is not only the most proper to do this, but to put the court itself under some difficulties, which way soever it acts upon it. But I am still the more curious to learn, if it were possible, not only the proceedings of the ministry above board hereupon, but their private thoughts and opinions about it. I am under no concern upon my own account, farther than that I would be unwilling to have my letters scanned by so many great men, which will scarcely bear the judgment of my very friends. You must do me the favour to get out of your doctors what will be most obliging to thein, whether to continue to write to them, or to be silent for a while, till we see what will be the effect of this inquiry. In the mean time, it grows every day plainer what I said from the beginning, that no reformation can be made but by the authority, and with the concurrence of the court; and that all we divines have to do, is to use our interest to gain them to it, and to have a plan ready to offer to them, if they should be prevailed upon to come to it. .
I am at present engaged in two or three other transac. tions of moment to the foreign Protestants, which take up abundance of my time; God knows what will be the effect of it. Nevertheless, if I can any way help to promote this, though I am at present without any help, alone, in this project, I shall do my utmost, both to keep up my poor little interest with the two doctors and their friends, and to concert proper methods with them about it. The surest way will be, to begin as well, and to go as far as we can, in settling a friendly correspondence one with another; to agree to own each other as true brethren, and members of the catholic Christian church; to agree to communicate in every thing we can with one another, which, on their side, is very easy, there being nothing in our offices, in any degree, contrary to their own principles; and would they purge out of theirs what is contrary to ours, we might join in the public service with them, and yet leave one another in the free liberty of believing transubstantiation or not, so long as we did not require any thing to be done by either in pursuance of that opinion. The Lutherans do this very thing; many of thein communicate not only in prayers, but the communion with us; and we never inquire whether they believe consubstantiation, or even pay any worship to Christ as present with the elements, so long as their outward actions are the same with our own, and they give no offence to any with their opinions.
P.S. Since this last accident, and the public noise of an union at Paris, I have spoken something more of it to my friends here, who, I begin to hope, will fall in with it. I own a correspondence, but say not a tittle how far, or in what way, I have proceeded, more than that letters have passed, which can no longer be a secret. I have never shown one of my own or the doctor's to any body.