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is, when St Paul purposely writes about this very Buisiness to Timothy, to caution him whom to send, that he might lay hands suddainly on no Man, and to instruct him fally and particularly how They were to be qualify'd that were to be Sent, To be Sent is not reckon'd up among any of those Qualifications. Is not this now reasoning closely? are not these Socinians notable arguers? are not the subrilest of the Fefuits, in comparison of them Scolds and Bunglers? Yet, methinks, it makes somewhat for the Orders of the Church which we contend for, that Men so famous for Acuteness of Wit, and strength of Reason, can find no better Arguments against them.
But it is no wonder, that these Men should oppose a Ministry; For he that receiveth you, says our Saviour, receiveth me; and since they are resolv'd to deny him that sends, how should they admit those that are sent? In the mean while we must not repine to meet with the same Usage as our great Master, for the Servant is not above his Lord! We must rather count it as an Honour to our Function, that they who would spoil us of our Orders, are the same, who would rob Christ of his Divinity.
And thus having endeavour'd to shew the Necessity from Scripture, and the Expediency from Reason, of a Divine Million
in general, I proceed to do right to that Sacred Mission in particular, by which we ourselves have receiv'd Authority to feed the Flock of Christ. Where I shall not presume so much upon your patience, as to detain you in confucing the little Objections and Cavils of the Romanists againft our regular Succession, much less in detecting their impudent lyes or forgerys, or the senfeless Tale of a Nags-head Consecration, which they themselves, Men not of the tendereft Foreheads, begin to be asham'd of; but taking that for granted which has been abundantly prov'd, and which cannot with any shew of Reason be deny'd, that That Confecration which they so much malign, was Good, and even according to their own Principles, if not Canonically, yet Effentially valid, and so no breach made in the lineal Succession, I shall only speak some. what briefly of the Necessity of Episcopal Ordination, such as Our Charch moft agree ably to the Word of God and the pureft Autiquity useth. And here Two things are to be provod,
Namely, that there ever has been in the Church of Christ such an Order as that of Bishops, diftinct from the Presbyters, endu'd with a Superiority of Jurisdiction, and larger Extent of Power.
..zdly, That this particular Power of Ordination has always been an incommunicable Right of that Order. ; . "And it, The Government, which in the Language of the Earliest Antiquity we call Epifcopal, and which we now fee exercis'd in our own Church, as it appears by a multitude of Places in Scripture to have been practis'd by the Apostles themselves; fo also that it was by Imposition of Hands deriv'd and committed by them to other particular fingle Persons, as namely to Timothy and Titus, is as plain. If Ordaining Presbyters and Deacons, if giving Orders to the Churches, if establishing Rules for Christian Discipline, if receiving and hearing Accusations against Presbyters and others, if exercising Ecclefiaftical Censures, if giving Offenders over to Satan, and restoring the Penitent, may be allow'd to be sufficient Instances of such a Power, as sure they muft be, since Bishops, as such, claim no more. That the Apostles exercis'd this Power is on all hands own'd, and the charge to Titus and Timothy is too plain to be deny’d. To evade this therefore we are told, that they were Extraordinarily Call’d, and were but Temporary Officers, which as it is said precariously and without any manner of proof, so it overthrows all the other Church Powers, which these Objectors allow and hold perpetual..
Besides which it is manifeftly false in matters of Fact: for it both appears in History, that each of these had a Succeffor endud with the same Episcopal Power, and in these Epistles also, that St Paul design d such a Succession. For, 1 Tim. 6. 14. Where he charges him to keep this commandment without Spot, Unrebukable, untill the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was impossible to be done without a continu'd line of Succeffion, he must be presum'd to have intended, that he should have such Successors, and in order to it to have given him power to Ordain them. We may add to this the Testimony of the Holy Ghoft, owning afterwards, and approving this in the Angels of the Seven Churches of Asia, who by the Unanimous consent of the Fathers were the Bishops of those Churches, as may plainly be gather'd from the Text itself. One of these we find the Spirit commending for pot bearing with those that were Evil, and for purging his Church of Hereticks and false Teachers, that come withouç being Sent: Thou haft tryd them which say they are Apostles and are not and has found them Lyars. Thou hateft the Deeds of the Nicolaitans, whom I also hate. Of others the Spirit complains, that they suffer'd the Doctrines of the same Nicolaitans, and the Doctrine of Balaam and Jezabel, Prophesying and Seducing, in their Churches,
and fays 'to their Charge the faults of the Clergy as well as the People, which had been an ungrounded and an unjuft Reprehenfion, if Authority had not been in them over both, the Rod of Ecclefiaftical Discipline, and the Power of casting Seducers out of the Church. He, then, that hath an Ear let him hear what the Spirit fays to the Angels of the Churches, and learn to revere that Authority which the Son of God by his Teftimonial Letters, and which the Holy Ghost falutes with this Title of Honour, faying to St John his Secretary, To the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, To the Angel of the Church of Smyrna, To the Angel of the Church of Pergamos, &c.
The Places in Scripture that prove this Power are fo pregnant, that all that can be urg'd against the being of fuch an Office as that of Bishop, distinct from a Presbyter in the New Testament, is that those two Names are there often promiscuously us’d; which (if it were granted, for the late Learned Bishop of Chester, will by no means yield, that it has been prov'd) yet from Community of Names to argue Identity of Office, is a very weak and fallacious way of Arguing, and which, if admitted, would prove as well, that the Offices of a Presbyter, and a Deacon, and an Apostle were all One; for the Apostles themselves in their own