St. Matthew, I know the words in the Gospel are not go teach, but go, make disciples; and that there is a great difference between a subject and a disciple, and between teaching and commanding. And if such texts as these must be so interpreted, why do not Christian kings lay down their titles of majesty and sovereignty, and call themselves the Pope’s lieutenants? But the doctors of the Romish Church seem to decline that title of absolute power in their distinction of power spiritual and temporal; but this distinction I do not very well understand.
A. By spiritual power they mean the power to determine points of faith, and to be judges, in the inner court of conscience, of moral duties, and a power to punish those men, that obey not their precepts, by ecclesiastical censure, that is, by excommunication. And this power, they say, the Pope hath immediately from Christ, without dependence on any king or sovereign assembly, whose subjects they be that stand excommunicate. But for the power temporal, which consists in judging and punishing those actions that are done against the civil laws, they say, they do not pretend to it directly, but only indirectly, that is to say, so far forth as such actions tend to the hindrance or advancement of religion and good manners, which they mean when they say in ordine ad spiritualia.
B. What power then is left to Kings and other civil sovereigns, which the Pope may not pretend to be his in ordine ad spiritualia?
A. None, or very little. [And this power not only the Pope pretends to in all Christendom; but most bishops also, in their several dioceses, jure divino, that is, immediately from Christ, without deriving it from the Pope.]
B. But what if a man refuse obedience to this pretended power of the Pope and his bishops? What harm can ex-
- The sentence: ‘And this power … from the Pope,’ though erased in the MS. by Hobbes’s own hand, is not wanting in the text of Edd., where it has: ‘some of his bishops,’ instead of ‘most bishops.’