THE DIVINE RIGHT OF EPISCOPACY, Demonstrated from Calvin and Beza. Together with a LETTER TO A Presbyterian Minister For UNION.

Licens'd, March the 10th, 1689/90.

LONDON, Printed for Randal Taylor, near Sta­tioners-Hall. 1690.

DEFINITIONS.
  • I.

    THE Power of ORDINATION is that RightCalvin. Instit. Lib. 4. Cap. 4▪ Sect. 2. This is to be consi­dered, that on­ly the Pastors, and not the whole multitude laid on hands on their Ministers at Ordinations. which the Governours of the CHVRCH have to separate Persons whom they find duely Qua­lified, unto the Holy Ministry of the Gospel.

  • II.

    The power of Iurisdiction is that Right which theCalvin. Titus chap. 1. verse 5. We learn in­deed from this place, that there was no such Equality among the Ministers of the Church, but that some. One was pre-eminent in Authority and Council. Governours of the Church have to make Canons which are wanting, or to Execute those already made, for the Regulation of Church-Members.

  • III.

    The President Bishop, is he, who from his Pre-eminence to other Ministers, is invested with a six­ed Power of Calvin 2 Tim. chap. 1. verse 6. Paul himself de­clares, That he alone, and no other Ministers with him, laid on hands on Timothy. Ordination, Regulated by Canons, and of Calvin. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 4. sect. 2. Whatever parts the Consul had in the Senate, the same Office did the Bishop always sustain in the meeting of Presbyters. Jurisdiction, ballanced by assisting Ministers.

  • IV.

    The Angel of any Church Representative,Beza, Rev. 2. chap. 1. & v. 24. To the Angel, that is, To the President, as whom it behoveth, especially to be admonished, touching those mat­ters; and by him both the rest of his fellow Collegues, and the whole Church likewise, vers. 24. But unto you, that is, unto you the Angel the President, and the Assembly of your Collegues, and to the Rest, that is, to the whole Flock. is the Bishop presiding over the other Ministers, within the Respective Diocess, Province, or Patriarchate.

POSTULATUMS.
  • Calvin, Luke 10. chap. 1. vers. 16. After the A­postles had returned to Christ, he sent out more secondary Preachers: And this is the great commendation of the outward Ministry; That CHRIST Declares, that whatsoever honour is given to his Faithful Preachers, is given to Himself.
    THat the 70 Disciples (from among whom Matthias was called, to be ordained one of the 12 Apo­stles) were Persons in holy Orders in the Ministry.
  • II.

    Calvin. 1 Tim. 1. chap, 18. v.That (b) Timothy in the Church of Ephesus, and Timothy was not one of the common Ministry, but one next to the Apostles, who in the frequent absence of Paul, was in his place, Tit. 1.5. Beside the ordinary Office of Pastors, Titus had this charge, that he should constitute a certain Form of Church politie and Discipline; & likewise ordain Ministers over the Churches. Titus in the Church of Crete, were pre-eminent to other Ministers, invested with a fixed Power of Ordination, and Jurisdiction, regulated by Canons, and ballanced by assisting Ministers.

  • III.

    Calvin. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 4. sect. 2. Presby­ters out of their number in all the Cities, chose one, to whom especially they gave the Title of Bishop; lest from a Parity, as useth to be, Divisions might arise. Ierom says, at Alexandria from Mark the Evangelist to Heraclas and Dionysius, Presbyters always placed one in a pre-eminent degree, whom they called a Bishop.That for the avoiding of Schism, the Primitive Church retained the Government of one single person, pre-eminent unto other Ministers.

  • IV.

    Beza, Rev. 2 chap. 26. v. My works, that is, he who shall faithfully per­form the work laid upon him; for he bespeaks the Assembly of Pastors in the person of the Presi­dent, to whom he promiseth Victory against all the wicked, if he rely and trust in the Authority and Power of that true and only head of the Church.That the 7 Angels of the 7 Churches, written unto, in the Book of Revelation, are incouraged against all the devices of the ungodly, upon condition of their continuing faithful in their Administrations.

AXIOMS.
  • I.

    THE Regular Call of any Minister already ordain­ed, is from an Office of an inferiour,Calvin, 1 Tim. 3.13. Because in one or two Centu­ries after the death of the Apostles, it was the constant custom that from the Order of Deacons, the Presbyters were chosen, therefore commonly they have exponed this place, of the Advancement to a Superior degree. to that of a Superior Station.

  • II.

    The Pre-eminence in any Office,See Defini­tion II. & III. includes a propor­tioned Jurisdiction, over the Officers who are under them.

  • III.

    The Divine Right is manifest,Calvin. Inst. lib 4 cap. 6. sect. 1. We have not be­fore touched upon the pri­macy of the Roman See; whence the Papists strive to prove that the Catholick Church is only with them: because it hath not taken its Original from CHRISTS institution, nor the custom of the Ancient Church, as the other Offices have done, (viz. Bish. Presb. & Dea­cons, cap. 4. sect. 1.) mentioned already. in that Ecclesiastical Government which was instituted by Christ, continued by his Apostles, retained in the Primitive Church, and approved from Heaven by Revelation; in subservi­ency to any end, wherein the well-being of Christia­nity is concerned.

  • IV.

    The want of that Government in the Church,Calvin. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 8. sect. 2 For nei­ther the light, and heat of the Sun, Meat or Drink are so nourishing and sustaining this present Life, as the Apostolick and Ministerial Office, for preserving of a Church upon Earth. which is of Divine Right, is pernicious to the Gospel, and to the Christian Religion.

PROPOSITION I. The twelve Apostles were President Bishops over the 70 Disciples.
Demonstration.

THE President Bishop is he, who being Pre-eminent to other Mi­nisters, is invested with a fixed Power of Ordination, Regulated by [Page 6] Canons, and of Iurisdiction, ballanced by assisting Ministers; (by Definition III.) But in respect to the 70 Disciples, who were all in the holy Ministry, (by Postulatum I.) and from among whom Matthias was called to be of the 12. (by Postulatum I.) The sacred College of the Apostles had a fixed Pre-eminence (by Axiom I,) invested with the power of Ordination regulated by Canons; (by Postulatum I. and Definition I.) And of Iurisdiction ballan­ced by Assisting Ministers;) by Axiom II.) Therefore the 12 Apostles were President Bishops over the 70 Disciples, which was the thing to be Demon­strated.

PROPOSITION II. Timothy was a President Bishop over the Church of the Ephesians; and Titus over the Church of the Cretians.
Demonstration.

These are President Bishops who are Pre-eminent to other Mini­sters, invested with a fixed power of Ordination, Regulated by Canons; and of Iurisdiction, ballanced by assisting Ministers (by Definition III.) But Timothy in the Church of Ephesus, and Titus in the Church of Crete, from their Offices had a pre-eminence over other Ministers, invested with a fixed power of Ordination and Iurisdiction, Regulated by Canons, and Ballanced by assisting Ministers; (by Postulatum II.) Therefore Timothy was a presi­dent Bishop over the Church of the Ephesians, and Titus over the Church of the Cretians. Which was to be Demonstrated.

PROPOSITION III. The Fathers of the Primitive Church were President Bishops.
Demonstration.

The Primitive Church retained the Government of one single, person, pre-eminent unto other Ministers; (by Postulatum III.) But the pre-emi­nence in any Office includes a proportioned Iurisdiction over the Officers who are under them; (by Axiom II.) And the power of Iurisdiction is fixed in the president Bishop, (by Definition III.) Therefore the Fathers of the Primi­tive Church were president Bishops. Which was to be Demonstrated.

PROPOSITION IV. The President Episcopacy is approved by Christ in the Book of the Revelation.
Demonstration.

The 7 Angels of the 7 Churches written unto by St. John, in the Book [Page 7] of the Revelation, are incouraged against all the devices of the ungodly, upon condition of their continuing faithful in their Administrations; (by Po­stulatum IV.) But these Angels were president Bishops over other Ministers within their respective Churches; (by Definition IV.) Therefore the president Episcopacy is approved by Christ, in the Book of the Revelation. Which was to be Demonstrated.

COROLLARY I. The President Episcopacy is of Divine Right.
Demonstration.

The Divine Right is manifest, in that Ecclesiastical Government which is instituted by CHRIST, and continued by his Apostles, retained in the Pri­mitive Church, and approved by CHRIST, by a Revelation from Heaven, for subserviency to any end, wherein the well-being of Christianity is concerned; (by Axiom III.) But the President Episcopacy was instituted by CHRIST; (by Proposition I.) Continued by His Apostles; (by Proposi­tion II.) Retained in the Primitive Church; (by Proposition III.) And approved by CHRIST, by a Revelation from Heaven; (by Proposition IV.) For avoiding of Schism wherein the well-being of Christianity is con­cerned (by Postulatum III.) Therefore the President Episcopacy is of Di­vine Right. Which was to be demonstrated.

COROLLARY II. The want of the President Episcopacy is prejudicial to the Christian Church.
Demonstration.

The want of that Government in the Church, which is of Divine Right, is pernicious to the Christian Religion; (by Axiom IV.) But the President Episcopacy, is that Government in the Church which is of Divine Right; (by the preceeding Corollarie.) Therefore the want of the President Episcopacy is prejudicial to the Christian Church. Which was to be demonstrated.

FINIS.

A LETTER TO A Reverend Minister OF THE GOSPEL, OF THE Presbyterian Perswasion.

REVEREND SIR,

WHEN in the doctrinal Truths of the Refor­med Religion, and in the substantial parts of Divine Worship, all sober Pretestants of Episcopal and Presbyterian Perswasion, are firmly united together; our sad Divisions about Ecclesia­stical Government (which have these many years mischief'd [Page 10] us) are certainly incosistent with the Gospel of peace and love, subservient to Popery which would swallow us up quick, and scandalous to all thinking Men. Let me there­fore conjure you by the bleeding Wounds of our Holy Mother who received us by one Baptism, unto the professi­on of one Lord, and one Faith, that when the Episcopal Clergy are of so reconciling inclinations, you neglect not this opportunity of shewing your abhorrence of wilful se­paration. And that my fervent persuance after Peace, may have the honour to contribute in any way for so happy an accommodation among Christian Brethren; suffer me in all that tender Compassion that becometh a Minister of Salvation by a dying Saviour, to put you in remem­brance of these three Matters of Fact. 1st. That the Re­presentative Church of Scotland, never confest any Divine Right in Presbytery. 2ly. That the Solemn League never ajbur'd the president Bishop regulated by Canons, and bal­lanced by assisting Miisters. 3dly. That the Reverend Mi­nisters in England, for providing against violation of that Covenant, petitioned for such an Episcopacy as is liker to our present Establishment, than any other seen by the Christian World these thousand years.

1st. The representative Church of Scotland, never con­fest any Divine Right in Presbytery. Since the Blessed Refor­mation; we have but two of her Confessions, the first where­of in K. I. I. his Reign, avoweth in its 19 Act about the Notes of Holy Church, that that Ecclesiastical Discipline is rightly administred as God's Word prescribes, whereby Vice is repressed and Virtue nourished. And lest it should be imagined that Presbytery can only afford such a Discipline; in the 21 Act it avoweth, that no Polity can be appointed for all Ages, times, and places. And after all, Church Go­vernment is thus left to be of Human Institution; the Ci­vil [Page 11] Magistrate is confest in the 25 Article, to have the Su­pream Power to settle it. Then for the other Confession made at Westminster, by being voiced unto by the Com­missioners which were sent from this place, and afterwards approved by the general Assembly here, it's adopted un­to the National Church of Scotland: And it's well enough known, that the 25th. Ch. thereof asserts the Supream Civil Magistrate his power of Establishing the external Po­lity of the Church: Yea, and the General Assembly here in the Act of Approbation of that Confession, for all its pro­testation that the 31 ch. concerning Synods and Coun­sels, should not encroach upon the intrinsick Power of the Church, takes no notice if the Presbyterian Govern­ment hath a Divine Institution.

2ly. The Soelmn League did not abjure the President Bi­shop, regulated by Canons, and ballanced by Assistant Pres­byters. For since the General Assembly here in Scotland, by her Acts acknowledgeth, that the Solemn League strikes against the same Episcopacy, against which the National Covenant was levelled; then doubtless the single judgment of the Royal Martyr, (the best Protestant and Casuist of his time) about the Sense of the National Covenant, must weigh down the Opinion of all the diffusive Church of Brittain, in this Question; and the World knows that his Princely desire of a Regulation, always hated the Destru­ction of Episcopacy. Then for the Church Representative of both Kingdoms, neither the Synod of Westminster in her Directory for Church Government, nor the General Assembly here convened, in her Act of Approbation of that Directory, do any thing in condemnation of a president Bishop.

But, 3dly, The Reverend Ministers of the Presbyterian Perswasion in England, petitioned An. 1661, the late King Charles the II. for such an Episcopacy, as is liker our pre­sent [Page 12] Establishment in Scotland, than any other that hath been seen by the Christian Church these thousand years. Their Petitions are printed in two Papers of Proposals, in which they insist upon the Form of a Synodical Govern­ment, conjunct with a fixed Presidency, according to Arch-Bishop Vshers Reduction; and the last Motive inducing them to desire such a Government, is plainly this, in words. That it will save the Nation from the violation of the Solemn Vow and Covenant, without wronging the Church at all, or breaking any other Oath. Now Reverend Brother, you know as well as my self, that the foresaid Redu­ction by that most Reverend Primate of all Ireland, is li­ker our present Episcopal Government, consider'd in its Nature, than hath ever been seen in any National Church since the Blessed Reformation: Yea, so very like in the weekly Session, Monthly Presbytery, and Diocesan Synod, that with a due Modification, whereunto the Regular Cler­gy will be found complying, you should not be able to know the difference. Therefore beseeching the Author of Peace, and lover of Concord, that all of us of Episcopal and Presbyterian Perswasion, having one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, may be brought to be all of one mind and judgment, perfectly join'd together without all Divi­sions in our Lord Iesus Christ. I rest, though unknown as yet,

Reverend Brother,
Your Affectionate Servant.
FINIS.

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