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They, who denied that there were seven orders only, encreased the number sometimes to eight, by adding the Episcopate ; sometimes to nine, by adding the Tonsure; and others would even make a tenth, by distinguishing the archbishops of the church.” The chief difficulty rested with the episcopate : whether bishops were to be considered as distinct from priests, not merely in the degree of their office, but in its nature.
There are so many duties common to both bishops and priests, that we may regard the two degrees as but one Order: “both are ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God; both are invested with the cure of souls: both are sent to teach and preach the Gospel of Christ : to baptize: to celebrate the eucharist: to bless the congregation :"33 but there still remains the very high power, attached to the one only, of sealing with the Holy Spirit in confirmation, and of conferring orders. The balance of authority, even from the earliest ages, certainly inclines to consider
with so much hesitation : “Do- sure,) as illustrating the term cendum erit, hosce omnes ordines clericus. “Omnes qui in eccleseptenario numero contineri, sem- siastici ministerii gradibus ordinati perque ita a catholica ecclesia tra- sunt, generaliter clerici nominanditum esse, quorum nomina hæc tur.” De eccles. off. lib. 2. cap. 1. sunt. etc.” And it accurately dis- Palmer, Treatise of the tinguishes between the greater Church. vol. 1. p. 374. I can and the minor orders. p. 199. not agree with Mr. Palmer howEdit. Aldus. 1566.
ever in including confirmation 32 Morinus, de sacr. Ordin.
within the offices common to Pars. 3. Exercit. 3.
1. both: because, although as HaWhere are collected the various bertus says, Pontif. Græc. p. authorities on the different points 709, the Greek church permits of the question. I cite a place her priests to confirm, yet it is from S. Isidore, (who appears by only by special commission, and it, also, to have included the ton- with chrism previously hallowed. VOL. III.
the episcopate, as an Order, to be identical with the priesthood, but the completion of it; and I think that this may mainly be attributed, not so much to the fact that many offices are common to both, as that one chief office and power is so; namely, that of consecrating the Holy Eucharist. Much, however, as I would desire to pursue this question further, I must nevertheless proceed to matters more immediately within my subject.
The opinion in the Anglo-saxon age generally, seems to have been that the number of orders was limited to seven.
Late in the seventh century we find a constitution, beginning : “Septem sunt dona spiritus sancti, et septem gradus sunt ecclesiasticorum ordinum et sacrarum functionum.”34 Again, in the canons of Ælfric : “Seven degrees are established in the church-the sixth diaconus, the seventh presbyter.” 35 Once more, in the pastoral epistle of the same Ælfric: “Beloved, seven orders are appointed in books [on bocum] for God's ministries in Christ's church.” 36 Against these, we have the following in the Ecclesiastical Institutes, about the same period, in the chapter “De munere et dignitate sacerdotum.”
“Ye ought also to know, that your orders are the second orders after our orders, and the next to us; like as the bishops are in the stead of the apostles in the church of the holy, so are the mass-priests in the stead of Christ's disciples."
For later opinions, I shall content myself with quoting, first, the Pupilla Oculi. “ Septem sunt ordines sive gradus : et sic loquendo de ordine, ut est sacramentum, et characterem imprimit;-prima tonsura non est ordo sed dispositio quædam ad ordinem.-Episcopatus autem non est ordo proprie, sed dignitas, sive excellentia in ordine, tum quia non imprimit characterem, tum etiam quia omnis ordo ordinatur ad sacramentum eucharistia." 38
And secondly, Lyndwood : “ Ut volunt theologi quasi omnes, solum sunt septem ordines. Unde secundum eos, tonsura, quæ vocatur psalmistatus, non est ordo sed solum dispositio ad ordines : sic etiam episcopatus, secundum eos, non est ordo in quantum sacramentum, sed dignitas. Ordo namque sumitur
38 Pars. vij. cap. 1. C. The au- to consider the episcopate as a thor of the “
Manipulus curato- distinct order : see Perrone, Prerum,” is decided against reckon- lect. Theol. vol. viij.p. 126. Dens ing the tonsure as an order, but Theologia. tom. 7. p. 39. But he continues ; “ De episcopatu Thomas Aquinas plainly said, vero utrum sit spiritualis ordo du. “ episcopatus non est ordo.” In bito." Lib. 5. Cap. ij. And Guil- 4. sect. dist. 24. q. 2. art. 2. lermus Parisiensis, de vij. sacra- And Bonaventure, "Episcopatus, mentis, draws a distinction similar prout distinguitur contra sacerto that laid down in the Pupilla, dotium, non est proprie nomen saying also, that the episcopate ordinis, nec novus character impresupposes the priesthood, and primitur, nec nova potestas dadepends upon it. fol. xij. b. But tur, sed potestas data ampliatur.” he does not clearly decide the Opera. tom. 5. p. 369. Bellarpoint, that is, in his opinion. I min takes a middle line between quote this book, as it was also in the two extremes. He reckons much estimation among the Eng- seven orders, and dividing the lish clergy of the 15th century. priesthood, declares that ordinaCompare also, the "Parochiale tion to the episcopate is a sacracuratorum,” Tit. 9. cap. vj. edit. ment, confers grace, and im1514.
presses a character. Opera. tom. T later opinions of the Ro- 3. p. 609. Compare Bonacina. man theologians seem to incline tom. 1. Disp. viij. p. 219.
multipliciter. Nam aliquando est nomen dignitatis, et sic episcopatus dicitur ordo : aliquando est nomen officii, et sic psalmistatus dicitur ordo : aliquando est nomen spiritualis potestatis, et sic diaconatus dicitur
As an office, there is no evidence that the “ Modus faciendi tonsuras” can be traced higher than the seventh century. Hence we do not find any prayers or forms in the oldest MSS. and sacramentaries, “de clerico faciendo.” Not that it can be disputed, that the practice of distinguishing the clergy by their hair, is of very high antiquity: first probably introduced to a moderate and seemly extent, for the sake of outward decency and gravity, according to the admonition of the Apostles; afterwards restricted within the limits of a certain fashion, and shape. And it is not difficult to trace the progress of these restrictions, in the canons of successive councils, as time went on.40 The reason why, about the time that I have mentioned above, the conferring of the tonsure came to be a separate and distinct office, probably was, because parents were then accustomed to dedicate their children to the
39 Lib. 3. Tit. 1. Ut clericalis. fol. 29. And archbishop Becket, verb. Ordinis. But compare Lib. before his murder: “Clamavit 1. Tit. 4. Eos qui. verb. Sacros aliquis, ubi est ille proditor ? ordines: where he enumerates aliquis alius ; ubi est archiepiscoeight. I may add here, that it pus? Ille; ecce ego, non prowas not simply through humility, ditor, sed presbyter Dei.” Vita but probably as claiming their S. Thomæ Cantuar. edit. highest privilege, that we find Sparkes. p. 86. Compare Ralph bishops anciently styling them- de Diceto. apud Angl. Sacr, selves priests, and ministers. Thus Pars. 2. p. 691. a letter of a bishop of Durham 40 Cf. Carth. IV. Can. 44. to king Henry V. is subscribed Barcinon. c. 3. Toletan. 4. c. 40. “ Your humble Preest of Dures- And others, cited by Morinus, p. me.” Cotton MS. Vesp. F. xiij. 203.
sacred ministry, and to leave them in monasteries, at an age too young to permit of their performing even the lowest functions of ostiarius or lector : when, nevertheless, it was desirable that a mark should be set upon them, that they were no longer merely secular. *1
As to the shape, and fashion of the tonsure, many writers have not hesitated to trace it up to the authority of S. Peter himself. For instance, Rabanus Mau
“Sunt quidam doctorum, qui asserunt, diversas ob causas Petrum apostolum hunc ritum primum sumpsisse primitus.”
." 42 But long before his time, Bede records an epistle of the abbot Ceolfrid, about the year 710, to whom an application had been made, for an opinion, concerning the variety of tonsures : who says ; “inter omnes tamen, quas reperimus tonsuras, nullam magis sequendam nobis amplectendamque jure dixerim ea, quam in capite suo gestabat ille, cui se confitenti Dominus ait, «Tu es Petrus.'--Neque vero ob id tantum in coronam attondemur, quia Petrus ita attonsus est; etc.” And such would seem to be still
11 Whence the definitions of the The excerpts however of his coucanonists may be reduced to this: temporary Egbert, although they “ Tonsura; cæremonia ab eccle- recognize the tonsure of S. Pesia instituta, qua laicus baptiza- ter, follow another common view tus, et sacramento confirmationis taken by the early canonists : consignatus, sacro ritu in clerum “ Exordium tonsuræ a Nazaræis instituitur."
incepit, qui crine servato post vitæ 42 De instit. Cleric. lib. 1. cap. magnæ continentiam caput rade3. Bibl. Patrum. Auct. tom. 1. bant, ut devotionem Domino conp.
546. See also Alcuin, cap. de secrarent.” Wilkins. Conc. tom. tonsura; Amalarius, de div. Off. 1. p. 111. I am not speaking of Lib. 2. Cap. 5. Compare also the varieties of the tonsure in the prayer or
exhortation in the that age, but of its supposed office below, beginning, “Ore
“ Ore- original. The disputes which mus, dilectissimi.”
took place in the eighth century *3 Hist. Ecc. Lib. 5. Cap. 21. as to the proper shape of the ton