[Page] A SERMON PREACHED In St. Peter's Westminster on Sunday Jan. 6. 1660. at the Consecration of the Right Reverend Fathers in God,

GILBERT Lord Bishop of Bristoll,

EDWARD Lord Bishop of Norwich,

NICHOLAS Lord Bishop of Hereford,

WILLIAM Lord Bishop of Glocester.

BY RICHARD ALLESTRY D. D. Canon of Christ Church in Oxford, and one of his Majesties Chaplains.

LONDON, Printed for Jo. Mar [...] Allestry, and Tho. Dicas, at the Bell in Saint [...] Church-yard 1660.

TO THE Right Reverend Father in GOD, GILBERT LORD Bishop of LONDON, and Deane of His Majesties Chappell Royall.

My Lord,

WHEN I consider with what reluctancies I ap­pear thus in publick; I have all reason to suspect and fear, least this offering, [Page] which like an unwilling Sacrifice was dragg'd to the Altar, and which hath great defects too, will be farre from propitiating either for its self or for the votary. But I must crave leave to adde, that how averse so­ever I was to the publishing this rude Discourse, I make the De­dication with all possible zeal, and ready cheerfulness. For I ex­spect your Lordship to be a Pa­tron not onely to my Sermon, but to my Subject. Such a separate eminence of virtue and of sweetness mixt together may hope to ingratiate Your Function to a Generation of men that will not yet know their [Page] own good, but resist mercy, and are not content to be happy. And for my self, Your Lordships great goodness and obligingness hath encourag'd me, not onely to hope that You will pardon all the mis­carriages of what I now pre­sent, but also to presume to shelter it and my self under your Lordships Name and Command, and to honour my self before the world by this address, and by assuming the relation of.

My Lord,
Your Lordships most humbly devoted and most faithfull Servant, RICH. ALLESTRY.

[Page] Imprimatur.

Geo. Stradling, Reverendi in Christo Patris Gilberti Episcopi Londinensis Sacellanus dome­sticus.

Acts 13. 2.‘—The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barna­bas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’

AND as they ministred to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said,—

Although that ministring to God by prayer and fasting, be the in­dicted and appropriate acts to preface such Solemnities as this; and that not Sermons, but Litanies, and intercessions, are the peculiar adherents of Embers, and of Consecrations; and those vigorous strivings with Almighty God by Prayer are the birth-pangs in which Fa­thers are born unto the Church: Yet since that now this Sacred Office is it self oppos'd, and even the Mission of Preachers preach'd against, and the Authority that sends despis'd as Antichristi­an, whilst separation and pretence unto the Holy Ghost set up themselves against the strict in­junction of the Holy Ghost to separate; the Pulpit, that otherwhiles hath fought against it, must now atone its errours, by attending on the [Page 2] Altar, and the bold ungrounded claimes of In­spiration that false teachers have usurp'd, be su­perseded by the voice of the Holy Ghost himself, who in this case becomes the Preacher, and says, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

My Text is a Commission parole from Heaven; in it you have

First, the Person that sends it out; [...], The Holy Ghost said.

Secondly, the Persons to whom it is directed; imply'd in the verb [...] separate, more particularly exprest in the foregoing words. Verse 1, 2.

Thirdly, the thing to which they were im­power'd by the Commission, or which was re­quir'd of them; set down in the remaining words of the Text, wherein you have

  • 1. The Act injoyn'd; [...], separate.
  • 2. The Object; [...], Separate me Barnabas and Saul.
  • 3. The End for what; [...], for a work.
  • 4. The Determination of that work; [...], for the work whereunto I have called them.

Of these in their Order: and first,

The Holy Ghost said.

Of those [...] 1. [...] 2. [...] 3. [...] 4. [...] 5. [...] five things, for want of which the second Jewish Temple sunk below the first, and its glory seem'd faint in the comparison, the Chiefest was the Holy Ghost; who became silent, his Ora­cles ceast then, and he spake no more by the The Arke of the Covenant, with the Propi­tiatory & Che­rubias; the Urim & Thum­mim; the fire that c [...]m [...] down from Heaven to consume the burnt-offerings; the glory of God that appear'd between the Cherubins; and the Holy Ghost that spake by the Prophets. See Gemar. c. 1. in Joma. See also Galat l. 4. citing the same out of R. Elias, R. So­lomor, R. Da­vid. Prophets. A thing not onely confest by the [Page 3] Thalmudists, (who say our Rabbins have deli­ver'd to us, that from the time of Haggai, Ze­chary and Malachy, [...] The Holy Ghost was taken away from Israel) but so notorious in experience, that when S. Paul meets Disciples at Ephesus, Acts 19. 1. and asks them if they have received the Holy Ghost, whe­ther at their Baptisme the Spirit came down up­on them as He did then on others; they answer ver. 2. We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, any extraordinary effu­sions of the Spirit, whether he do come down in Gifts and Afflations, such as we know were usual in the first Jewish Temple, but have not been for a long time, and we have not yet heard they are restored, (for of this pouring out of the Holy Ghost they must needs mean it, not of him­self, of whom they could not doubt, nothing was more known in the Jewish Church.)

But as our Saviour did supply the other four with all advantage, and so fulfilled the Prophecy, and made the Hag. 2. 10. glory of that Temple greater: so for the fifth, the Spirit, he was restor'd in kinde with infinite improvement; that of Joel 2. 28 Joel fulfill'd, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, for they were all baptized with the Holy Ghost; baptized in rivers of living waters, which did flow out of the belly of themselves, for this he spake of the Spirit, which all that believed on him should re­ceive, Joh. 7. 39. so that Joel did scarce feel or foresee enough to prophesy of this abundance, but John 3. 34. the inundations were almost like Christ's re­ceivings, without measure. Nor were his In­spirations [Page 4] as of old, dark and mysterious oracles, direction in rapture, where [...]e Message it self was to have another revelation, and it must [...] prophecy to understand as well as utter: But in the Gospel his effusions run clear, and transparent as the water that expresseth them, revealing even all the unknown languages that were the conduits and conveighances; all plain express di­rection, such as that of the Text.

Now amongst all the several uses of the Holy Ghost for which he was pour'd out in this abundance, amongst all the designes he did en­gage himself in, and advance, He does not seem to have a greater agency, nor to interess himself more in any, then in qualifying for, and separa­ting to Church-offices. This seemes to be his great work: and indeed how can he chuse but be particularly concern'd in those offices which are his own [...], his gifts? Timothy's is expressly call'd so, in each of his Epistles, 1 Tim. 4. 14. 2 Tim. 1. 6. and when our Saviour, Ephes. 4. 8. is said to give the gifts of the Holy Ghost to men, it is added how, ver. 11. He gave some Apostles, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, namely because those gifts enabled for those offices; and all the rea­son in the world that he should have a speciall hand in giving, where himself is to be receiv'd. Receive the Holy Ghost, that was from the be­ginning, and is yet the installation to them: And if we take them from their divine original, from that great Pastor and Bishop of our sonls, 1 Pet. 2. 25. [Page 5] who was the maker of them too, Thus he was consecrated; The spirit of the Lord is upon me, therefore he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel, Luk. 4. 18. And when he comes to ordain suc­cession, he sayes, as my Father sent me, so send I you: and he breathed upon them, and said, Receive the Holy Ghost, Joh. 20. 21. and after bids them tarry at Jerusalem till they should be endued with power from above, Luk. 24. 47. that is, endued with the Holy Spirit, Act. 1. The present Bar­nabas and Saul were sent by his Commission in the Text; and v. 4. Saint Paul tels the Elders of the Churches of Asia, the Holy Ghost made them overseers, [...], Act. 20. 28. Timothy had his office [...], by immediate designation of the Holy Ghost, 1 Tim. 4. 14. Ep. ad Corint. p. 3. Clemens Romanus saith, the Apostles out of those they had converted, did ordain Bishops and Dea­cons, [...], having first try'd them by the Holy Ghost, and so taught by his reve­tation who should be the men. apud Euseb. l. 3. c. 23. And Cle­mens Alexandrinus says, John after his return to Asia, ordain'd throughout all the regions about, [...], such as were signified and design'd by the Holy Ghost. So that Oecumenius pronounces in the general, [...], The Bishops that were made, they made not inconside­rately on their own heads, but such whom the Spirit did command. Chrysostome said as much before, and on [...] Tim. 4. 14. Theophylact. Nor can we doubt that he maintains his interest in this af­fair even at this day: But that our Veni Crea­tor [Page 6] Spiritus, Come Holy Ghost eternal God, does call him to preside in these so concerning so­lemnities; For Christ, when he commission'd his Apostles, assuring them, Behold I am with you even to the end of the world; which pro­mise Matth. 28. 20. he performs onely vicariâ Spiritûs praesen­tiâ, by the presence of the Holy Ghost, who is his Vicar, as Tertullian expresses; nor can the Spirit be with them till then, but by making them be till then; which being done by Ordina­tion, that Ecclesiastical procreation, (for so they derive themselves to the worlds end;) upon the strength of that promise, we may assure our selves he does assist as truely, though not so visi­bly, as when he said here, Separate.

The Holy Ghost's concernment being thus se­cured, I have this one thing onely to suggest; that they who set themselves against all separa­tion to these offices and Orders, in and for which the Holy Ghost hath so appear'd, (what they be I dispute not now) they fight against the Holy Ghost, and thrust him out of that in which he hath most signally interess'd himself. And they that do intitle the Spirit to this oppo­sition, do not onely make Gods Kingdome divided against it self, or raise a faction in the Trinity, and stir up division betwixt those Three One Persons; but they set the same Person against himself, and make the Holy Spirit resist the Holy Ghost. You know the inference prest upon them that did this but interpretatively in the Devils Kingdome, and did make Satan cast out Satan: and is't not here of force? And Matth. 12. 26. [Page 7] they who make the Spirit cast out the Holy Ghost, contrive as much as in them lyes Gods Kingdome shall not stand. I will not parallel the guilts. Those Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit in his Miracles, ascribing that to Beelze­bub which was the immediate work of the Holy Ghost: (and such indeed do sin unpardonably, be­cause they sin irrecoverably; for Miracles be­ing the utmost and most manifest express where­in the Holy Ghost exerts himself, they who can harden their understandings against them have left themselves no means of conviction, and cannot be forgiven, because they cannot be recti­fied or reclaimed:) These others do blaspheme the Spirit in his immediate inspirations and [...], ascribing to the spirit of Antichrist all those Offices and Orders, which these gifts of the Holy Ghost were powr'd from Heaven immedi­ately to qualifie for, and separate to; things in which he hath as signally appeared as in his Mi­racles: and as he made these meanes to con­vince the world, so he made those the Officers of doing it, and set them to out-last the other. Now in the same nearness that these two guilts come up one towards the other, just to the same degree these sin the sin against the Holy Ghost. For the Holy Ghost said, Separate.

So I pass to the second, to those whom this injunction is directed to. And thence I do ob­serve 2. in general, that

Notwithstanding all the interest and office that the Holy Ghost assumes in these same separations, yet there is something left be­sides [Page 8] for man to doe. Although he super­intend, they have a work in it: He is the Uncti [...], 1 Joh. 2. 20. but it must be apply'd by laying on of hands. I have call'd them, saith he in the Text; and yet to them that ministred, the Holy Ghost said, Do ye separate. I do not now examine what degree and order of men they were whom the Holy Ghost here commissions for this Office. The Judgment of the Antient Church in this affair is enough known, by the condemnation of Epip. haer. 75. Aerius, and by the Fate of Vide Athanas. Apol. 2. How this judg­ment did derive it self down in­to the Reforma­tion, may be seen from the account of the Fratres Bohe­mi, who sought over the world for Episcopal Ordination, & were never quiet [...] [...] consci­ences till they had obtained it. Vide Johan. Am. Comenii Ratio Disci­plinae Ordinis; Ecclesiastici in Unit. Era­trum [...]mo­rum. Ischyras and Colluthus: and for the present instance, in which they are call'd Doctors that are bid to doe it, there hath enough been said to prove [...] a Title of a Bishop: to which I shall onely adde, that it was a variation of Name that stuck by them untill Bede's age, in which, what Bishop signified does come under no question; for he does say, Bed. Eccl. hist. l. 2. cap. 2. that Austin call'd together to the Conference, Episcopos sive Doctores, the Bishops or the Do­ctor, of the Province. Besides that there was then in Antioch a Bishop, [...], Suid, in voce [...]. In the time of Claudius Emperour of Rome, and of Euodius, whom the Apostle Peter had ordained at Antioch, those that before were call'd Nazarenes and Galil [...]ans, were call'd Chri­stians: a thing which happen'd a little before this separation in the Text, as you finde ch. 11. 26. But who they were that us'd to sepa­rate for every Execution of these holy Offices, [Page 9] will appear from the instances that I shall make to prove the present observation, that, besides that of the Holy Ghost, there was an outward Call: And whomsoever the Spirit sent, he comman­ded that they should have Commission from Men. And all my former Testimonies for the Holy Ghost, bear witness for this too. The Text is positive; here was a Congè d'eslire for Barnabas & Saul. Timothy had his office [...], by designation of the Spirit, 1 Tim. 4. 14. yet [...], with laying on of hands, ibid. yea [...], by the laying on of my hands, 2 Tim. 1. 6. And Timothy was plac'd at Ephesus, as Titus also left at Creet, to or­dain Tit. 1. 5. others in the same manner; St. Paul provi­ding for the succession of the Rite and Ceremony as well as of the Office. And in St. Clement's Testi­mony, [...]; the Spirit try'd, but the Apostles constituted. And down as low as Trajan's time, when St. John's date was almost out, his life and his Commission expiring, and the Churches of Asia to be provided with succession, the Men were [...], signified by the Holy Ghost: But the Chron. Alex. saith, [...], that he went clean throughout Asia and the adjacent Regions, constituting not only Bishops, but others of inferiour Clergie: and even in the lowest thus it was; when the first Deacons were to be made, Men full of the Holy Ghost and Wisedome were to be look'd out, Act. 6. 3. But yet that did not autorize them, [Page 10] the Holy Ghost and wisdome did not make a Dea­con: for besides that, the Apostles will appoint them over their business, ibid. and they are brought to them, and they do lay their hands upon them, verse 6. Thus it was in those times of full effusion of the Holy Ghost: Men alwaies had to do in giving that Commission: so that whoever pleads an Order of the Spirit for his Office, (al­though such a Commission of the Spirit, if he had it, would evidence it self, and if it were, it would appear, for 'twas the manifestation of the Spirit that was given to every man to 1 Cor. 12. 7. profit withall; yet) if we yield him his pretensi­ons, and let his own incitations pass for inspire­ments, and his strong fancie for the Holy Ghost, if the Holy Ghost did call him, who did separate him? whom the Holy Ghost calls, he sends to his officers to empower; they both work; He says, do ye separate.

And here a Consideration offers it self unto those holy Fathers, whom the Spirit makes his Associates in separating men to sacred offices; that when they set apart even to the lowest stalls of the Church, they labour to perform it so that the Holy Ghost may be engag'd, and act along with them in the performance: Separate such as they may presume the Spirit hath call'd, and will own. He does not call the ignorant, or appoint blind eyes for the body of Christ, or make men Seers to lead into the pit. The Holy Spirit cals not the Unclean, or the Intemperate; we know it was another sort of spirit that went into the swine: Mar. 5. 13. nor does he ever say, Separate me those who se­parate [Page 11] themselves, the Schismaticks: the Spirit cals not such as break the unity of the Spirit; nor sets into the rank of higher members in Christs body those who tear that body, and them­selves from it: the factious, those that will not be bound neither in bonds of peace nor of obedi­ence, but break all holy tyes, that make commo­tions, and rave and fome, sure 'tis the Legion Luk. 8. that sends them, and not the Holy Ghost. He whom the Spirit will call, must not be under the reputation of a Vice, but should be of a good re­port, lest he fall into reproach, and so into the snare of the Devil, 1 Tim. 3. 7. i. e. lest he fall into reproach, and then his teaching doe so too, and men learn to slight or not heed the doctrines of such a one as is under scandal for his life, and so the Devil get advantage over them, and do ensnare them. Theophyl, in locum. [...]. For to be to any an occasion of falling, is to be the Devils snare. Now Christ's Matth. 4. 19. Fishers of men, those whom the Holy Ghost appoints to spred nets for the catch­ing Souls to God, their lives must not lay snares for the Devil, and entangle Souls in the toyls of perdition. Those also that come to you out of Ambition or of greediness of gain, the Spirit calls not neither: He calls we see [...], to a work; so that they who seek more then they can well attend the labour of, or are qualified for the work of, they are not of his sending. But of all men the Holy Ghost will least deal with the Simoniacal, that come not to a work, but to a market, that contract with Patrons for the [Page 12] Spirits call, or, worse then their master Simon, would hire the Holy Spirit himself to say, Sepa­rate me them: The Successors of the Apostles have a Canonical return to these, Your mo­ney Act. 8. 20. perish with you. They whom the Holy Ghost does call must have his gifts and temper; Saint Paul hath set all down to Timothy and Titus; and those who minister in this employment, if they will be what he hath made them, joynt Com­missioners with him, and his Co-workers, they must order it so that he may work and act, which he does not but where he calls, nor does he call but those whom he hath qualified: And 'tis of those onely whom he hath call'd, that he sayes, [...], Separate,

The third particular, the thing enjoyn'd; And the Holy Ghost said, Separate.

The separateness of the Functions of the Clergy, the incommunicableness of their Offices to persons not separated for them, is so express a doctrine both of the letter of the Text, and of the Holy Ghost, that sure I need not to say more, though several heads of Probation offer themselves: As first the condition of the callings, which does divide from the Community, and sets them up above it; And here I might tell you of 1 Tim. 5. 17. Heb. 13. 7. bearing rule, of Matt. 19. 28. thrones, of Rev. 1. 20. stars and Rev. 1. 20. Angels, and other words of as high sense, and yet not go out of the Scripture bounds, al­though the dignitie did not die with the Scripture age, or expire with the Apostles: The age as low as Photius words it thus, Phot. ep. 54. [...] [Page 13] [...]. That Apostolical and Divine Dignity, which the chief Priests are acknowledged to be possest of by right of Succession. Styles which I could derive yet lower, and they are of a prouder sound then those the modest humble ears of this our age are so offended with. But these heights it may be would give Ombrages; although 'tis strange that men should envy them to those, who are onely exalted to them, that they may with the more advantage take them by the hands to lift them up to Heaven. Those neernesses to things above do but more qualifie them to be [...], in Theoph. and to draw neer to God on your behalf, that those your Matth. 18. 10. Angels also may see the face of your father which is in heaven, and those stars are therefore set in Apoc. 1. 20. Christs right hand, that they may shed a blessing influence on you from thence.

2. The [...] and the [...], The Work and labour of the work, (the one is the Text's, and the other Saint 1 Tim. 5. 17. Paul's word) require a whole man, and therefore a man separate: and if Saint Paul, one of our separated persons here, who had the fulness of the Spirit, and the fulness of Lear­ning too, that was brought up in the Schools, and brought up in Paradise, taught by the Doctors, and taught by the mouth of the Lord in the third heaven, snatcht from the feet of Gamaliel to the 2 Cor. 12. 1, 2, 3, 4. presence of God, to have a beatifical Vision of the Gospel, if after all this he cry out, who is suf­ficient 2 Cor. 2. 16. for these things? sure they are not suffi­cient, who in those little intervals which their [Page 14] trades and necessities afford them, fall into fits and frensies of Religion, have a sharp Paroxysme of irregular convuls'd Divinity, as if they were its [...], possest with their Theology till their weariness, and not knowing what to say doe exor­cise them.

But not to speak onely to the wild fancies of this Age, the Scripture says of the men of these callings, they are taken from among Men, and Heb. 5. 1. ordain'd for Men in things pertaining to God. And such discriminations are evinc'd by all the expressions of a Church in Scripture. 'Tis call'd the body of Christ: Now the parts of a body, as where they are so separate that they divide from Col. 1. 24. one another, they do not make a body, but are an Execution; so where they are not separate in a diversitie of organs, for several faculties and operations, it may be a dead Element, as similar bodies are, but cannot be that body which Saint Paul describes 1 Cor. 12. which is not one member, but many, vers. 14. And if they were all one member, where were the body? vers. 19. and indeed all that Chapter is in­spired for this Argument. In Christ's Church 'tis as impossible that every one can be [...] an Overseer, as that every part in the body can be an Eye: and the whole frame of man may be nothing else but a Tongue, as well as every Christian may be a Preacher: And if it might, where indeed were the Hearing? as Saint Paul does ask. The Church is also call'd a Ephes. 2. 21. building, and 1 Tim. 3. 15. Gods house: Now it is true that every Christian is by Saint Peter call'd a [Page 15] lively stone, and all of them built up a Spiritual house, an holy Priesthood, 1 Pet. 2. 5. and they all are a Royal Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculi­ar, separate people, ver. 9. Yet all this is no more of priviledge then is affirmed in the very same words of the Jewish Nation, Exod. 19. 6. where yet God had his separated Levites, Priests and High-Priests too. But sure 'tis manifest enough that in this building, as in others, stones have their separate places and distinct; every one cannot bear up the Corner, or be a pillar and foundation-stone; much less can every one place it self in the Ephod, assume to be of the Urim and the Thummim stones, and there break out in Oracles, and give responses; and every rubbish stone set it self in the Mitre, and shine in the head ornaments, as if it were of the precious stones of Sion. In fine, (to speak now out of Metaphor,) not onely the transactions of the Text, which is a precedent for men to commission such and such, but also all Scripture rules direct a Choice; and where there is Election, there is al­so dereliction, and both evince a separation. And if all the Nations in the World have had their distinct officers for Religion, and, as it were, to signalize the separateness of their function, in many nations they did live apart from Men: The Priests had their adyta as well as the Dei­ties; dark solitary Groves were made choice of, not so much for the God, as for his Officer's retirement; so that every appearance of him also was a Vision, and the Priest was reveal'd as well as the Oracle; and all this at the first [Page 16] to make a kind of sacred Pomp for the solemni­ty of awfulnes, (though afterwards it often prov'd but opportunity for foul performances.) And if to this uniform practice of the World Gods attestation be set, who order'd it in his own government; nor that as a Levitical or Jewish administration, but it was practis'd amongst his own from the beginning, and when dominions were but greater families, there were still distinct persons for the imployments of Re­ligion; that was the office and the priviledge of the Vid. Tharg. Hi­crosolym. Gen. 49. 3. & Jonath. ibid. & Solom. Jarch. Glossam ad Exod. 19. 22. & ad cap. 24. 5. first-born: Esau was call'd profane for selling that VideIsido. Pe­lusio. l. 2. Epist. 47. birthright of his: (And the word in the Text here, [...] separate, is the same which God does word the sanctifying the first-born for him with, Exod. 13. 2.) 'Twere easie to deduce all this out of all ancient Jewish Records. And when the practice ever sinee hath been the same in Christs Religion: after all this, sure nothing else but absolute defection of the Notions of Mankinde, and blotting out all the impressions of Universal Nature and Universal Religion, or else an absolute Command from Hea­ven, could alter this Establishment; from which command we are so far, that 'tis the Holy Ghost himself that said expressly, [...] separate.

Now this [...], this Separateness in Function, does infer upon us a separateness in Life and Conversation, and they who are thus set apart from the world, must keep themselves unspotted from the World. To separate and Con­secrate are but two words for the same thing: Jac. 1. 27. Separate three Cities is the Command in [Page 17] Deut. 19. 2. & they sanctified three, josh. 20. 7. Our Offices assume them both, and all are holy Orders. Now separate and pure are both so primitive, and so essential notions of holy, that truly I can­not determine which of them is original, and which secondary: Our Consecration does chal­lenge both; and as we will be separate in our cal­ling, so we must be separate in our lives, not Rom. 12. 2. conforming our selves to the World, for I Joh. 15. 19. have chosen you out of the World, saith Christ. A torrent licence of an Age must not carry us along; an Universal Custome of the World must be no precedent, and can be no excuse for us to doe what is irregular. We are [...] separate; and that the world does such things is no more a plea for us to doe so, then that because the World is Common ground, therefore the Church is so too, fit to be put to all the uses of the field, or of worse places. Were it a reasonable Argument; because I see that the whole Countrey's till'd, why should not I break up the holy places, and plow the Temple? Why, so we are enclos'd for God, and separated for the uses of Religion, and to preserve our selves pure for them. Our Saviour says that the Com­munity of Christians is a City upon an Hill; and then sure the consecrated Persons are the Temples Matt. 5. 14. of that City, the separate places of it; and then as they are most in sight (the Church is ordinarily the most visible building) so truly he that sees one of them, it should be as if he saw an open Church, where there is nothing else but holy duty, as if his life were Liturgy, publick Service [Page 18] and Worship of God. Hath your zeal never rose, at least your indignation, at the profane fury of this age, which never made a stop in violation of things sacred; when to its heap of other Sacriledges, it added most contemptuous defilements of God's Houses; making the place that 1 Cor. 11. 10. Angels met us in to worship, and God Exod. 15. 17. dwelt in to Exod. 20. 24. bless us there, the place ap­pointed for the Divinest Mysteries of our Re­demption, for the Celebration of Christs Ago­nies, for the Commemoration of the blessed Sacrifice, the place for nothing but Christ's blood, then to become the place of a most odious and insolent uncleanness? If I had worded this more aggravatingly, it had been onely to inferre that then to see a consecrated person to pollute him­self with those black foulnesses that made Hell and made Fiends, is sure a sadder and a more un­happy spectacle. If an Apostle become wicked, he is in our Saviours Character a Devil; Have I not chosen Twelve, and one of you is a Devil? Yea if the good Saint Peter do become a John 6. 7. scandal, tempt to that which is not good; Get thee behind me, Satan. Christ calls his neerest Mat. 16. 23. Officers Stars; Emblems of a great sepa­rateness Apoc. 1. 20. those, that teach them how far their Conversation should be remov'd from Earth: for they are of another Orbe, Heaven is the Region of Stars. But they are Emblems of a greater purity; there's nothing in the World so clean as light, 'tis not possible so much as to sully shine; it may irradiate dung-hils, but they do not defile it; you may eclipse a star but cannot spot [Page 19] it; you may put out the light, you cannot stain it. 'Tis a word for God's purity: onely his light is glory; and as his holiness is so separate that it is incommunicable, so his Light is inaccessible; Yet sure they that are starres in Christs right 1 Tim. 6. 16. hand, they do come neer, and mix their light Apoc. 1. 20. with his; and they of all men must be pure and holy, whom the Spirit calls to that place, as he does all whom he calls to that separation that he did Barnabas and Saul, the Persons and the next Part; Separate me Barnabas and Saul.

I intend not to make particular reflections upon these persons, although the Character of Barnabas be registred the 11. Chap. ver. 24. He was a good man, full of Faith and of the Holy Ghost; and the good influence that that had upon the people follows; and much people was added to the Church. And as for Saul; though he began the Christian persecution, and was baptiz'd in the first Martyr-blood, and breath'd out threatnings, so that nothing but thunder could out-voice Act. 9. 1. him, and at last was born as an [...], as an untimely birth, aborting through those wounds which his own hands had made in the Church, 1 Cor. 15. 8. and making himself a birth with ripping up her bowels; yet this Abortive prov'd the stron­gest birth, and 'twas a Miscarriage into the chiefest Apostle. As he began the after-suf­ferings of Christ in Stephen; so he fulfill'd the [...], and made up all that was behind, in 1 Col. 24. himself, being in deaths more then those he inflicted. The sound of his preaching was lou­der then that at his Conversion, out-voic'd the [Page 20] thunder; for this went out into all lands, as if himself alone meant to execute the whole Commission, preach the Gospel to every crea­ture: Mar. 16. 15. which he did almost, not onely prea­ching to those places where Christ was not na­med, Rom. 15. 20. without the other Apostles line; but even where the rest imploy'd themselves, he wrought 2 Cor. 10. 16. as much as they, in Asia as Saint John, at An­tioch as Peter; yea and at Rome too, having as much to doe in their foundation: If I had said more, I could have brought the Popes own Seal for evidence; where not onely both are, but Saint Paul hath the right hand: And tru­ly Matth. Paris. if they had had the luck to think at first of founding all their pretensions on Saint Paul, his care of all the Churches would have born 2 Cor. 11. 28. them out, as well as feed my Lambs does now. John 21. 15. But these considerations I pass; though they would give a Man that hath done mischief in the Church a pattern for the measures of his future Service to the Church. The thing I shall concern my self in, is the solemne se­paration here of those who were before sepa­rated to the work of the Gospel; Barnabas sent by the Church of Jerusalem to Antioch, Act. 11. 22. and Paul not onely separated from his Mothers womb, Gal. 1. 15. but chosen by express Revelation, and by the laying on of Ananias hands, to go preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and to Kings, and qualified for it by receiving of the Holy Ghost, Act. 9. from 15. In which work both of them had for some years exercised them­selves. Yet here is a new consecration, and they [Page 21] are taken up to a condition more separate, and distinct from what they were before. And all those vast advantages in which these persons did excell; the one of faith and fulness of the Holy Ghost, the other, besides those, of express and im­mediate mission from Heaven; and the most strange success their labours had been blest with, all these, I say, did not qualifie them to assume these powers which the Holy Ghost com­mands another Separation to enstall them in: and 'twas this Call that call'd Paul to be an [...]. Separate for the work, that is, for the Apostleship. Oc­cumenius upon this text. Apo­stle, Rom. 1. 1. (as from this time he is alwayes call'd Paul, not sooner). Nor do we find any least footsteps of their being Apostles before; though Barnabas were sent to Antioch, yet he does not undertake what Peter and John did at Samaria in the very same case; for they confirm and give the Holy Ghost, Act. 8. 15, 17. but Barnabas does nothing but Exhort, Act. 11. 23. and he and Paul together preacht the Word abroad, but we find nothing else they enterpriz'd: but from this time they exercise Jurisdiction, settle Churches, and ordain them Elders in the Churches, Ch. 14. 22, 23. and (as it does appear) singly deriv'd these powers to others, to be exercised by them singly. To Titus most expressly, Tit. 1. 5. the like also to Timothy, with all the other acts of Jurisdiction, (of which their Epistles are the Records) particularly that of Censures, which Paul himself had inflicted on offenders in the Churches he had planted. Powers these, which by such steps and by degrees of separation an Apostle himself receives, and does not execute till he [Page 22] ascend the highest, that which they have a new solemnity ordain'd from Heaven to enstate them in, by a new laying on of hands, and the Holy Ghost himself commanding, Separate.

The separateness of this highest order in the Church is a doctrine handed down to us both by the writings of all ages and the practices; (two things, which as they scarcely do con­curre in such a visible degree in any other things in our Religion, so also when they do concurre, they make and secure tradition beyond all con­tradiction, give it sufficient infallibility: and truely he that does refuse the evidence which such tradition gives to all the motives of be­lieving Christianity, if he be not a Socinian, he must be an Enthusiast, and can receive his Reli­gion onely from Revelation.) Now the matter of fact of this tradition is a subject for Volumes, not for a discourse, and it hath filled so many, that there is nothing left unsaid, or to be said against, as to the main: And they that pick some little sayings seeming against this order out of those Ancients which were themselves of it, and wrote much expressly for it, and think by those means to confute it, do the same thing, with that Romanist, who tore some little Brerely. shreds, that look as if they favoured some opi­nions of the Romanists, out of the books of Pro­testants, most of which were directly writ against the Church of Rome, and putting those together went about by them to convince the world there never were any such things as Protestants, but they that did profess to be so were all Papists.

[Page 23] But I will say no more then my Text hath done, which evidences it not a separation onely of degree, but Order, by a new Ceremony, and commissionating to new powers. If I would stay on words, 'tis expressed here by one that speaks very great distances, [...], separate, which does in Scripture word the distances that the Censures of the Church do make; Luk. 6. 22. and still in the Greek Liturgies, when absolution is given, 'tis said to be [...], to free them from all curse and separation; as if to pass into the bounds of this uncall'd, were a [...] such a thing as to leap over the Censures of the Church, over the Line of Excommunication; and to break through this wall of separation, were to break through Anathema's and Curses: Yea, 'tis used to express the distance betwixt the Lord's two hands, his right hand and his left, at the day of Doom, Mat. 25. 32. betwixt which hands there is a [...], a most insuperable gulfe.

But these I shall not urge. Indeed the Fathers of the Church have been in these last dayes counted [...] separate in the severest sense, cast out as the dung of the Earth; and the calling it self was under reprobation, as if it separated onely to the left hand of God: but so it was with their Predecessours in the Text. Saint Paul sayes of himself and the rest of his Order, that they were counted [...] and [...], as the filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things, 1 Cor. 4. 13. and as if they were called onely to ruine, and consecrated [Page 24] for a sacrifice, he says, the Lord hath set us forth as men appointed to death, vers. 9. Indeed God hath pleased to own you as his Churches Angels, we are not troubled if some have counted you as the off-scouring of the Earth, while we know Angels do relate to Heaven: and let them consider how they will reprobate those to the left hand of God, whom Christ calls stars in his right hand, and he is at the right hand of his Father; and while you were accounted so you did but follow them that went before in suffe­rings as well as office; and to doe so was part of the [...], the work that they were separated to; which is the next part For the work.

I shall but run this over, and reflect upon it as I pass, according as it is of present Con­cernment; and

First, Saint Paul's work was to preach the Gospel, and we finde him doing it from this time forward to his End. The high Priest of the Jews was called the Angel of the Lord of Hoasts; of which name an Heathen does give this account, that he was call'd so, because he was, [...], the Angel or the Messenger of Gods commands: so Dio­dorus Siculus. And Malachy gives the same rea­son, Mal. 2. 7. he was the Substitute to him upon Mount Sinai, and gave the Law also, on­ly without the thunder. Our Governours suc­ceed into the Name, they are the Churches An­gels; and when we hear the word from them, Apo [...]. 1. 20. we have it as it were from heaven again, and we receive our Law too [...], [Page 25] by the disposition of Angels. Indeed the Acts 7. 1. Case now is not like Saint Paul's, the Gospel then was to be first revealed to all the World, and by continual inculcating secur'd against the depravations which all the malice of the Devil and the world sought to infuse, and the unskil­fulness of infant Christians did make them apt to entertain; But now we are all confirm'd Christians: Yet truely the time is now such as did give occasion for Saint Paul's charge to Timothy, 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2, 3. a time wherein they will not indure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers. He therefore that is in Timothie's place, must heap up Reproofs and Exhortations; or he must heap good sound dispensers of them: Such as will feed the Lambs with sincere milk, not chaf'd and heated with commotion and busie rest­less faction; not embitter'd with the overflow­ings of a too-ful gall; not sour'd with eager sharpnesses of a malicious or a dissatisfied mind; not impoisoned with the soul tinctures of a scan­dalous life, nor the Corrosive infusions of Schi­smatical and turbulent opinions. He that caters thus for his flock, and provides such as by doctrine and by practice do instruct them to live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; He, like the Angel on Mount Sinai, gives the Law to a Nation together, preaches to his whole Diocess at once, Continually.

The second work was praying for, and blessing them: This does begin, and close every Epistle; 2. that he asserts of himself constantly, and 'tis [Page 26] well known the [...] gifts of those times inspir'd for this Work. Now thus our Angels also are Angels of Incense, The High Priests Of­fice in especial: Those that did daily minister perform'd a service of Incense too, that did accompany the prayers of the people, and sent them up in perfume; but the High Priests In­cense was part of the Lev. 16. 12, 13. Expiation, and was the Cloud that cover'd the transgressions of the people when he came with them all about him before the Mercy-seat. And they who shall consi­der that the prayer of Moses (Now Moses & Aaron were among the [...], Greg. Naz. Orat. 6. ad Greg. Nyssen. Priests, Psal. 99. 6. and He was the chief [...] Aben Ezr. ad Psal. 99. [...], Greg. Naz. ubi supra. [...], Philo de vita Mosis l. 1, & 3. Priest) did withhold the arm of God when it was stretcht forth in fury to destroy, and did commit a violence upon the Lord, such as he could not grapple with, but seems to deprecate, and would fain avoid, and sayes, Let me alone, that I may destroy them, Exod. 32. 10. If thou wilt permit me, my fury shall prevail upon them, faith the Arabick, but if thou pray it cannot; therefore let goe thy prayer, saith the Chald. and let me alone. And they who shall confider also that His prayer did maintain a breach against the Lord, when He had made one, and was coming to enter in a storm of indignation, then this made head against him, and repuls't him, Psal. 106. 23. Had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath lest he should destroy them. They that consider these effects, will certainly desire the Prayers and Benedictions of those Gods chiefest Officers of blessing, those that are consecrated to bless in the Name of the Lord; and will have them in love for this works sake.

[Page 27] Their Third work is Government, which may 3. be some do look upon as priviledge and not as work; the expectation and delight of their am­bitions, and not the fear and burthen of their shoulders. But ambition may as rationally fly at Miracles as Government, and as hopefully gape after diversity of Tongues, as at presiding in the Church; the powers of each did come alike from Heaven, and were the mere gifts of the Holy Ghost, [...], Miracles. gifts of healing, Go­vernments, di­versities of tongues. 1 Cor. 12. 28. It was so in the Law; when God went to divide part of Moses burthen of Government amongst the Lxx, he came down and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and gave it to the Lxx, Num. 11. 25. A work this that may have reason to supersede much of that which I first mentioned: For notwithstanding all Saint Paul's assistances of Spirit, he does reckon that care that came upon him daily from the Churches amongst his persecutions, and it summes up his Catalogue of sufferings: 2 Cor. 11. Such various Necessities there are by which Government is distracted, and knows not how to temper it self to them. For sometimes it must condescend: Paul notwithstanding Apo­stolical decrees made in full Council that abroga­ted Circumcision, (as the Holy Ghost had declared it void before,) yet is fain to comport so far with the violent humors of a party as to Circumcise Timothy, at the very same time when he delive­red those decrees to the Churches to keep, Act. 16. 3, 4: yet asterwards when Circumcision was lookt on as Engagement to the whole [that sense he puts upon it in the epistle to the Galatians, ch. 5. ver. 3.] Law, and to grant them that one thing, was but to [Page 28] teach them to ask more, and to be able to deny them nothing; then he suffers not Titus to be cir­cumcised, nor gave place to them by submission, no not for an hour, Gal. 2. 3, 5. Thus the Spirit of Government is sometimes a Spirit of meekness, does its work by soft yieldings, and breaks the Adamant with Cushions which Anvils would not do: The Ocean with daily billows and tides, helpt on with storms of violence, and hurried by tempests of roaring fury, assaults a rock for many ages; and yet makes not the least impressi­on on it, but is beat back, and made retire in empty fome, in insignificant passion: when a few single drops that distill gently down upon a rock though of Marble, or a small trickle of water that onely wets and glides over the stone, insinuate themselves into it, and soften it so as to steal themselves a passage through it. And yet Government hath a rod too, which like Moses's can break the rock, and fetch a stream out of the heart of quarre; and which must be used also: the Holy Spirit himself breathed tempest when he came, blew in a mighty boiste­rous wind: nor does he alwayes whisper soft things, he came down first in a sound from hea­ven, and spoke thunder; nor did it want light­ning, the tongue was double flame. Of some we know we must have a Compassion, but others must be saved with terror, Jude 22, 23. which drives me on to the last piece of their work,

The Censures of the Church, the burthen of 4. the Keyes; which (passing by the private use of them in voluntary penitences, and discipline [Page 29] upon the sick) as they signifie publick exclusi­on out of the Church for scandalous Enormities, and re-admission into it upon repentance, have been sufficiently evinc'd to belong to the Go­vernours of the Church. The Exercise of these is so much their work that Saint Paul calls them the Weapons of their spiritual Warfare, by which they do cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth it self against the Knowledg of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5: a blessed vi­ctory even for the Conquered; and these the onely Weapons to atchieve it with. If those who sin scan­dalously, and will not hear the admonitions of the Church, were cast out of the Church; if not Re­ligion, Reputation would restrain them somewhat: not to be thought fit company for Christians would surely make them proud against their Vices. Shame, the design'd Effect of these Censures, hath great pungencies, the fear of it does goad men into actions of the greatest ha­zard, and the most unacceptable; such as have nothing lovely in them, but are wholy distast­ful. There is a Sin whose face is bloody dismal; and yet because tis countenanc'd by the Roy­sting Ruffian part of the world, men will defie Reason and Conscience, Man's and God's Law, venture the ruine of all that is belov'd and dear to them in this world, and assault death, and charge and take Hell by violence; rather then be asham'd before those valiant sinners, Sa­tans Hectors: and, they must never come into such Company if they do not go boldly on [Page 30] upon the sin, is of more force with them then all the indearments of this world, then all their fear of God, and death, and that which follows. Now if Religion could but get such Countenance by the Censures of the Church; and every open sinner had this certain fear, I shall be turn'd out of all Christian company, shall be avoided as unfit for Conversation; would it not have in some degree the like effect? and if the motive be as much exactly, would not men be chast or sober or obedient for that very reason for which they will now be kil'd and be damn'd? Without all question Saint Peter's Censure on the intemperate, 1 Cor. 5. must needs be reformation to him: Tis such a sen­tence to the drunkard, Not to company with him, whose vice is nothing but the sauce of Com­pany; and who does sin against his body and against his faculties and against his Conscience, is sick, and is a Sott, and goes to Hell meerly for Societies sake. Now the infliction of these Censures is so much the work to which Church-governours are call'd by the Holy Ghost, that they are equally call'd by him to it and to Him­self; both are alike bestow'd upon them: Re­ceive the Holy Ghost, whose sins ye retain they are retained, John 20. 22. And in the first derivations of this office, it was performed with severities, such as this age I doubt will not believe; and when they had no tempo­rall sword to be auxiliary to these Spiritual weapons.

And now to make reflections on this is not [Page 31] for me to undertake, in such a state of the Church as ours is; wherein the very faults of some do give them an Indemnity, who having drawn themselves out of the Church, from un­der its authority, are also got out of the power of its Censures: So children that doe run away from their Fathers house, they doe escape the Rod; but they do not consider that withall they run away from the inheritance: and many times in those that do not doe so, but stay with­in the family; long intermission of the Rod, and indulg'd licence makes them too big and heady to be brought under discipline. And is't not so with us? Among many of those that stay within the Church, (I know not whether I do well to say so, when of these I mean there is little other Evidence of their doing so but this, that they will swear and drink of the Chur­ches side; Blessed Sons of a demolished Church, who think to raise their Mother a temple by throwing stones at her:) by reason of the late overthrow of government and discipline, and the consequent licences, Vice hath been so nurst up; not onely by an universal, barefac'd, uncor­rected practise; but by principles of liberty, that can dispute down all Ecclesiastical re­straints, and have set up the Religion of Licence: that now sin is grown so outragious, as to be too strong for discipline; nay rather then it should be set up, tis to be feared they would endeavour to renverse all in the Church, and enterprise as much in their vices quarrel, as others have done for mistaken Religion. And [Page 32] indeed to what purpose were the Censures, whose first and medicinal effect is shame, amongst men, where tis in very many instances the onely shameful thing not to be vitious; where men stand candidates for the reputation of glorious sinners, take to themselves sins they have not commit­ted, that are not theirs, and usurp Vice; sins and damnations hypocrites? What work is here for discipline? But this state wants not prece­dents; the censures of the Church were not on­ly lay'd aside in the Vastations of the Arrian heresy and persecution; when the weapons of the Churches warfare were too weak to make defence against all their cruelties and impieties: and before that in Diocletian's daies against the Lapsi: But we find also that Saint Paul is forc'd to break out onely in a passionate wish, [...], I would they were even cut off that trouble you (by excommunication he means) Gal. 5. 12. When he saw the ill humors were too spreading, and too tough also; Sedition and Schisme wide and obstinate; so that neither his authority could reach, nor his methods cure, but were more likely to exasperate them: then he does excommu­nicate them onely in desire. And again, 2 Cor. 10. 6. and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfil'd. It becomes therefore every one that hath good Will for Sion, to labour to fulfill his own obedience, that so the Church may be empower'd to use Christ's Methods for reforming of the rest. And they that will not do so must know they shall not onely answer for their sins, but for refusing to [Page 33] be sav'd from them, that they resist all medi­cine, as men resolv'd that nothing shall be done towards their Cure, as men that rather choose to perish, and prefer destruction. And for the seasons and degrees of putting this work into Ex­ecution, Wisedome must be implor'd from that Spirit of Wisedome that calls unto this work: The last Part; Whereunto I have called them.

The Nature of the calling of the Holy Ghost is a Subject that would bear a full discourse. But waving those pretensions which Necessitie, and inward incitation doe make to be the Calls of the Holy Ghost; I shall positively set down that the call of God and of the Holy Ghost to any work or office, (for I enquire not of his calling to a priviledge or state of favour,) is his giving abilities and gifts qualifying for that work or office: The call immediate when the gifts were so; but mediate and ordinary, when the abilities are given in his blessing on our ordinary labours. 'Tis so in every sort of things, Exod. 31. 2. See I have call'd Bezaleel, and I have fill'd him with the Spirit of God in Wisdome, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of Workmanship, to devise cunning works, and to work in all manner of Workman­ship; and behold I have given him Aholiab, and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisedome, that they may make all that I have commanded thee: and he repeates the same again, Chap. 35. 30. adding that he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both He and Aholiab; so that giving this skill to [Page 34] work and teach is nam'd Gods calling. So in an­other case, the Lord does say of Cyrus, I have call'd him, Esay 48. 15. which he explaines in the 49. I have holden him by my right hand to subdue nations before him, to loose the loins of Kings, I have girded him. So when Isaiah saith, the Lord hath call'd me from the Womb, or rather saies that of our Saviour, Isa. 49. 1. he tells you how, ver. 5. he form'd me and prepared me from the Womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob to him. And throughout the New Testament, as his Call to a priviledge is [...], his grace, in allowing such a state of fa­vour; so his calls to a Work are his [...], his gifts enabling for it.

The Gifts of these Apostles by which they were enabled for their Office, and which made up their call, are set down: those of Barnabas in the fore-cited 11 Act. He was a good man, full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost; and Paul's call was a little Extraordinary. If we look into times, we shall finde reason to believe those revelations in 2 Cor. 12. were given to Paul a little before this Consecration of him in the Text. That Epistle was writ, saith Baronius, in the se­cond year of Nero, and this separation was in the second of Claudius, as may be gathered al­so in some measure from the famine mention'd in the 28. verse of the 11. chap: betwixt these two were fourteen yeares: now saith Saint Paul when he wrote that, he had his revelation some­what above ab annis qua­tuordecim, saith the Arab. 14. years before; a little therefore before this solemnity. Here was a call indeed, [Page 35] call'd up to the third heaven to receive instru­ctions for his office, and for ought he did know, call'd out of his own body too, that he might be the fitter for it; whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell, God knows, verse 2. and that again, verse 3. They whom Gods Spirit qualifies for Consecration to separate to these diviner offices may be stil'd Angels well, when they are call'd from all regards or noti­ces of any body that belongs to them; their gifts and graces set them above the considera­tion of flesh: In the entertainment of these qualifications the Soul is swallowed up so, that it cannot take cognizance whether it have a bo­dy of its own, and is not sensible of that deer partner of it self, it is so onely sensible of this Employment. 'Tis not for an Apostle (or for his Successor) to think of things below with much complacency: When these have all their Uses, all their glories on, they but make pomp to dress the body; which an Apostle does not designe for, nor knowes whether he be con­cern'd at all in. He becomes something without a body, and above the Earth, who for a preparative must be taken up to Paradise, and call'd from all commerce and all intelligence with his own body. Saint Paul was call'd from heaven to preach the Gospel; but he was call'd to heaven to qualifie him for this higher separa­tion, to an Apostle and Church-Governour.

And now you see your calling, Holy Fathers: and to pass by such obvious unconcerning obser­vations as at first sight follow, that those who [Page 36] are not qualified are not call'd; I shall onely take notice hence of the counter-part of this call, the charge God takes upon him, when he cals to this charge; and that is, he owns and will protect whom himself cals. 'Twas that he promised to the Founder and God of your Order; I the Lord have call'd thee, and I will hold thine hand, and I will keep thee, Isai. 42. 6. And when he said of Cyrus, I have call'd him, he said also, he shall make his way prosperous, Isai. 48. 15. And so he shall be the way what it will; for thus he said to Ja­cob, I have call'd thee; when thou goest through the water I am with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee, Isai. 43. 1, 2. There was Experience of all this in one of the chief Princes of your Order; when the Apostles were scarce safe within their ship, they were so toss'd with waves and fears, yet if our Lord will call him, Peter is confident he shall be safe even in the sea; Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the Water, saith he; and the Lord did Matth. 14. 28. but call him, and he went down and walked on the 29. water safely: as if the swelling billows did onely lift themselves to meet his steps, and raise him up from sinking. And when his own doubts, which alone could, were neer drowning him, and he but call'd the Lord; immediately he stretch'd 31. out his hand and caught him: He answers his call, if we answer ours; if we obey when he sayes come, then will he come and save when we call to him. And so Peter receiv'd no hurt, but a re­buke; O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt? couldst thou imagine I would not su­stein ibid. [Page 37] stein thee in the doing what I bid thee do? in answering my call. But why seek we experi­ence of so old a date? There is a more encou­raging miracle in these late calls themselves. Had God sustein'd the Order in its offices and dignities amidst those waves that wrack'd the Church of late, it had been prodigy of unde­served Compassion to our Nation: but when­as all was sunk, to bid the sea give up what it had swallowed and consumed; this is more then to catch a sinking Peter, or to save a falling Church. The work of Resurrection is emphatically call'd the working of God's mighty power, and does Eph. 1. 19, 20. out-sound that of his ordinary conservation. And truely 'twas almost as easie to imagination how the scattered Atomes of mens dust should order themselves, and reunite, and close into one flesh; as that the parcels of our Discipline and Service that were lost in such a wild confusion, and the Offices buried in the rubbish of the demolisht Churches, should rise again in so much order and beauty. Stantia non poterant tecta probare Deum. This calling of the Spirit is like that when the Spirit moved upon the face of the abyss, and call'd all things out of their no seeds there; or like the call of the last Trump. Thus by the mi­raculous mercies of these calls God hath provi­ded for our hopes, and warranted our faith of his protections: yet he hath also sent us more security, hath given us a Constantine, if his own be not a greater Name, and more deserving of the Church; for which (it is well known to some) he did contrive and order, when he could [Page 38] neither plot nor hope for his own Kingdome; & did with passion labour a succession in your Order, when he did not know how to lay designes for the succession of himself or any of his Fathers house to his own Crown and dignity. Nor is the Secular arme all your security: God himself hath set yet more guards about his consecrated ones, he hath severe things for the violaters of them: Moses, the meekest man upon the Earth, that in Num. 12. 3. his life was never angry, but once at the rebelli­ous; 20. 10. seemes very passionate in calling Ven­geance on those that stir against these holy Offi­ces. Smite through the loines of all that rise against them, and of them that hate them, that Deut. 33. 11. they rise not again: the loines [...] we know) are the nest of posterity; so that, [...] through the loines, is, stab the succession, [...] at once all the posterity of them that we [...] [...]ut off this Tribe, and hinder its successior. Nor was this Legal Spirit; Gospel is as severe. Those in [...] Jude that despise these Governours, tha [...] [...] [...] Corah and his Complices did, (who g [...]ered themselves against Moses and Aaron, and said, You take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi, 16. 3. since all the Congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them, wherefore then lift you up your selves above the Congrega­tion of the Lord? words these that we are well acquainted with, and which it seems St. Jude looks on as sins under the Gospel:) these perish in the gainsaying of Core; whom God would not Jud. 11. prepare for punishment by death, but he and his accomplices went quick into it; He would not let [Page 39] them stay to dy, but the Lord made a new thing, to shew his detestation of this sin, and Num. 16. 30. the Earth swallow'd it in the Commission, and all that were alli'd and appertain'd to them that ver. 32, 33. had an hand in it. And truely they may well expect strange recompences, who do attempt so strange a Sacriledge, as to pull stars out of Christ's own right hand: from whence, we have his word, that no man shall be able to pluck any; John 10. 29. but if they shine thence, on their Orbs below, and convert many to Righteousness, their light shall blaze out into glory, and they shall ever dwell at his right hand, To which right hand He that Heb. 13. 20. brought again from the dead the Lord Jesus, that great Shepheard and Bishop of the sheep, and set him there: He also bring you our Pastors, and us your flock with you; and set us with his sheep on Matth. 25. 33. his right hand. To whom, with the same Jesus and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all blessing, honour, glory, and power, from henceforth for ever,

Amen.

FINIS.

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