ISA. 66.21.
I will also take of them for Priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.
EPHES. 4.8, 11, 12, 13.
When he ascended up on high he gave gifts unto men. And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
HEB. 5.4, 5.
And no man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high-Priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
1 TIM. 4.14.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by Pro­phecy with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.
LUTH. Tom. 4. Lat. Ien. fol. 19.
Non fortunat Deus labores eorum qui non sunt vocati, & quanquam salutaria quaedam afferant tamen non aedi­ficant.

Ius Divinum Ministerii Evangelici. OR THE DIVINE RIGHT OF THE Gospel-Ministry: Divided into two Parts.

The first Part containing A Justifi­cation of

  • The Gospel-Ministry in general.
  • The Necessity of Ordination thereunto by Imposition of hands.
  • The Vnlawfulnesse of private mens [...]ssuming to themselves either the Office or Work of the Ministry without a lawfull Call and Ordination.

The second Part containing A Justification of the present Ministers of England, both such as were Ordained during the pre­valency of Episcopacy fr [...]m the [...]oul aspe [...]sion of Anti­christianism: And those who have been Ordained since its abolition, from the unjust imputation of Novelty: Proving that a Bishop and Presbyter are all one in Scripture; and that Ordinati­on by Presbyters is most agreeable to the Scripture-Patern.

Together with an Appendix, wherein the Iudgement and Practice of An­tiquity about the whole matter of Episcopacy, and especially about the Ordination of Ministers▪ is briefly discussed.

Published by the Provincial Assembly of London.

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legat and Abraham Miller, 1654.


IT is reported of Bucer, that he was so eager of Peace with Luth [...]r, that he was like to a man Qui prae nimia avi­ditate etiam foeces haurire [...], who by an overmuch greediness after Unity, was ready to swallow down many of Luthers errours. For our parts, Though we should be loath to buy Peace with the loss of Truth, yet such have been the unexpressible mis­chiefs that the divisions of Brethren have brought up­on this Nation, and such is our earnest desire after an happy Accommodation, that we hope we can truly close, [...]hough not with the former, yet with another saying of Bucers, In a Letter of his unto a god­ly Minister na­med Ambro [...]i [...]a Bla [...]r [...]rus. That we would willingly purchase with the losse of our lives, the removing of the infinite scandals that have been given to the Churches of Christ by the divi­sions of Christians.

[Page] Eusebius reports of Constantine (though a great Em­perour) That he was more troubled with the dissentions of the Church, Euseb. lib. 3, de vita Constant. then with all the warres in his Dominions: That he took them so to heart that he could not sleep quietly for them; yea, although he had a spiritfull of heroick va­l [...]ur, yet the dissentions of the Church were such evils to him as to cause him to shed many a tear, &c. Our prayer to God is, that the same affection towards the Church­es of Christ in these three Nations may be kindled in all our brests. And We doubt not but through the grace of God We are able in Sincerity to profess with Luther, Vobis or [...] persua­deatis, tam cupi­de me amplecti concordiam, quam cupide ve­lim mihi Domi­num Iesum pro­pitium semper fore. Luth. Eccl. Ar­gentinensis Pa­storibus. That we are as desirous to imbrace Peace and Con­cord, as We are desirous to have the Lord Iesus to be pro­pitious to us.

And therefore fore-seeing that this ensuing Treatise will meet with many Adversaries of different Perswa­sions, and with much opposition, We thought fit to give the Reader notice of our intentions here, lest We should be thought to be enemies to Peace, and hinder­ers of that long desired and often praied for Union be­tween dissenting Brethren.

There are six sorts and ranks of men whom We have occasion to deal with in this Book.

1. Such as are against the very Office of the Mini­stery, and that affirm, That there is no such Office in­stituted by Christ to be perpetual in his Church. We look upon this Assertion as destructive unto Christian Religion, and to the souls of Christians.

2. Such as say, That it is lawfull for any men that suppose themselves gifted (though neither Ordained, nor approved by able men) to assume unto themselves a power to preach the Word, and Administer the Sa­craments. This Opinion We judge to be the high-way [Page] to all Disorder and Confusion, an inlet to Errours and Heresies, and a Door opened for Priests and Jesuites to broach their Popish and Antichristian Doctrine.

3. Such as hold, That the Ministry of England is Antichristian, That our Churches are no true Church­es, but Synagogues of Satan, and that there is no Communion to be held with us. This Opinion We conceive to be not only false and uncharitable, but con­tradictory to Peace and Unity.

4. Such as say, That Episcopacy is an higher Or­der of Ministry above Presbytery by Divine Right, That Christ hath given the sole Power of Ordination and Jurisdiction unto Bishops; And that Ordination of Ministers is so appropriated to them by the Gospel, that all Ordinations by single Presbyters are null and void, and that Sacraments by them administred are no Sacraments. These Assertions We look upon not on­ly [...]s groundlesse and unscriptural, but as cruel, and ut­terly overthrowing all the Protestant Reformed Chur­ches and Ministers.

Now though We hope We can truly say, that We have with all Meekness and Christian Moderation ma­naged the Debate with these four sorts of Adversaries, and shall be ready to exercise all Offices of Christian Love and Affection towards them, and by requiting good for evil, labour to heap coals of fire upon their heads; yet notwithstanding such is the great Di­stance between Them and Us in Judgement and Pra­ctice, and such is the bitternesse of their Spirits in their Opposition against Us, that We have little hope for the present (till the Lord be pleased to work a hap­py change of Judgment in them) of any real and hear­ty Accord and Agreement with them.

[Page]5. A fifth sort are our Reverend Brethren of New and Old-England of the Congregational way, who hold Our Churches to be true Churches, and Our Ministers true Ministers, though they differ from Us in some lesser things. We have been necessitated to fall upon some things, wherein they and We disagree, and have represented the Reasons of Our Dissent. But yet We here profess,

That this Disagreement shall not hinder Us from any Christian Accord with them in Affection. That We can willingly write upon Our Study-doors that Motto which Mr Ieremiah Burroughes (who a little be­fore his Death did ambitiously indeavour after Union amongst Brethren as some of Us can testifie) perswades all Scholars unto, ‘Opinionum varietas, & opi [...]antium unitas non sunt [...].Heart-divisi­ons.

And that We shall be willing to entertain any sin­cere Motion (as We have also formerly Declared in Our Printed Vindication) that shall further a happy Accommodation between Us.

6. The last sort are the Moderate, Godly Episcopal men, that hold Ordination by Presbyters to be law­full and valid; That a Bishop and a Presbyter are one and the same Order of Ministry, that are Orthodox in Doctrinal Truths, and yet hold, That the Go­vernment of the Church by a perpetual Moderatour is most agreeable to Scripture-patern.

Though herein We differ from them, yet We are farre from thinking that this difference should hinder a happy Union between them and Us. Nay, We crave leave to profess to the world, That it will ne­ver (as We humbly conceive) be well with Eng­land [Page] till there be an Union endeavoured and effected between all those that are Orthodox in Doctrine, though differing among themselves in some Circum­stances about Church-government.

And the Lord hath strangely made way for this long-desired Union, by the bitter, wofull and un­utterable fruits of Our Divisions, which have almost destroyed not only the Ministry, but even the very heart and life of Religion and Godlinesse.

Memorable is the Story of Bishop Ridley and Bi­shop Hooper, two famous Martyrs, who when they were out of Prison, disagreed about certain Cere­monial Garments, but when they were put into Prison they quickly and easily agreed together. Ad­versity united them whom Prosperity divided. The time is now come wherein the ruine of all the God­ly, Orthodox and Ordained Ministry, is by some men designed and endeavoured: And therefore though hi­therto We have continued sinfully divided, yet now the Consideration of our Common Danger, and the Preservation of the Ministry, and therein the Preser­vation of the Glorious Ordinances, Churches and precious Truths of Jesus Christ, should marvellously constrain Us to study to finde out, and being found out cordially to imbrace all lawfull waies to Unity and Agreement.

Thus much We thought fit to signifie, that so Our Endeavours in the ensuing Discourse may not be mis [...]interpreted and mis-represented.

There are two other things also which We are ne­cessitated to communicate unto the Christian Rea­der.

First, That this Book should have come out two [Page] Years ago, but was hindred by multitude of necessa­ry and indispensable Businesses intervening. And that since our first undertaking of it, there have been many Treatises written of most of these Subjects (of which We speak) to very good purpose, which had prevailed with Us to have spared Our Pains, had We not been encouraged by a saying of Austines, ‘That it is good and profitable to the Church of Christ, that the same things be written of by divers Men in divers Books, because those Books which come to the view of some, will not come to the sight of o­thers, and by this means the Truths of Christ will be the sooner and easier spread and propagated.’

We confesse that We have been necessitated in the Point of Episcopacy, to borrow some things out of Smectymnuus, and Our Reverend Presbyterian Divines, in their Conference at the Isle of Wight, and in Our Discourse about Election out of Mr Hudson, and some others: Which We have done, because being to handle the same Subjects, We thought it needless to adde any thing to what they have said; and also, That by this means We might revive the Memory of those Books which We believe are quite forgotten by most, and are assured were never sufficiently answered by any.

Secondly, The other thing which We would make known is, That in this Our large Treatise We have purposedly declined all affectation of Language, We have not laboured [...] to feast the ear with curious phrases. Our endeavour is to speak non diserta sed fortia. We have alwaies disliked those Books which have in them [...], a Sea of words, and but a drop of sound Reason. Our Care hath been more after Matter then Words. And [Page] We hope the unbiassed and judicious Reader will finde that though the Garment with which We clothe Our Matter, be rough and hairy like Esau, yet the Voice is alwaies the Voice of Iacob. For We have studiously avoided all Bitternesse of Speech, even against those that make it a great part oftheirReligion to rail and reproach Us, and who account Us the filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things. We have learned of Our blessed Saviour, To blesse those that curse Us, Matth. 5. to do good to them that hate Us, and to pray for them which de­spitefully use Us and persecute Us. And of the blessed Apostle, To instruct them in meeknesse that oppose Us, 2 Tim. 2.25, 26. if God peradventure will give th [...]m Repentance to the acknow­ledgement of the Truth.

It is a great Comfort to Us, that the Government of the Church is upon Christs shoulders, and he that could bear the wrath of God, no doubt will uphold his own Government, maugre all opposition. And it is no lesse Joy unto Us, that the Ministers of Christ are Stars in his right hand, and therefore safe and se­cure from the hurt of unreasonable men. We reade in the Revelation of a Woman cloathed with the Sunne and the Moon under her feet, and a Crown of twelve Stars upon her head. This Woman represents the true Church; Every true Christian is cloathed with Christs Righteousnesse as with the Sunne, and hath the world as the Moon under his feet, and wears the Ministers and their Gospel-Doctrine as a Crown upon his head. He that treads this Crown under his feet hath little of true Christianity in him. But howsoever, though We be trodden under feet, and reproachfully used for what We have written, yet it is no little Satisfaction to Us that We have discharged Our Consciences both to [Page] God and men. And if some people will not wear Us as Crowns upon their heads, We shall wear their Re­proaches as Our Crown; and shall pray unto the Lord (who only teacheth to profit) that he would give a good Successe to this Undertaking of Ours for the Glory of his Name, the Benefit of his Church; and more especially for the Establishing of our respective Congregations, That he would direct, protect, pro­videfor, support, sanctifie and comfort the Godly Mi­nistry against all the sad Discouragements they meet with, That he would keep out Popery, root out Error, Her [...]sie, Atheism and all Prophanenesse, and make Peace and Truth, Holinesse and Righteousnesse to kisse one another in these three Nations.


THe Necessity and Excellency of the Gospel Ministery is so transcendently great, as that it cannot but be accoun­ted a very glorious Service, in all those that shall undertake to represent it in its Beauty to the Sonnes of men, and to vindicate it from all that seek to asperse, undermine and destroy it. Our Saviour Christ when he Ascended up into Heaven, left the Ministry as his choisest Legacy next to the Gift of his holy Spirit; he gave unto his Ministers (which he gave to no earthly Mo­narch) the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 16.19. 2 Cor. 5.19. 1 Cor. 4.1. Heb. 13.17. he com­mitted to them the Word of Reconciliation, he made them Stewards of the Mysteries of God, and Watch­men [...]ver the precious Souls of his people. There is hardly any thing necessary for man in his Natural or Civil Relati­on, but the Ministry is compared to it. Are Light and Stars necessary? Is Sa [...] necessary? Are Rulers, Shepherds,Mat. 5.13, 14. Rev. 1.20. Chap. 2.1. Heb. 13.17. 1 Cor. 4.1. 1 Cor. 3.9. Chap. 4.15. Ephes. 4.11. 1 Cor. 3.10, 12 Isa. 52.8. Ezek. 3.17. 2 King. 13.14. Stewards, Ambassadours, Husbandmen, Builders, An­gels, Chariots and Horsmen necessary? Ministers are cal­led, The Light of the world, The Salt of the earth, Stars in Christs right hand, They are Angels, Rulers, Ambassadors, Stewards, Husbandmen, Fathers, Shep­herds, Builders, Watchmen, The Chariots and Hors­men of Israel. The people of Constantinople professed [Page] they could sooner want the Sun then Chrysostom's Mi­nistry. And Chrysostom tels us, That Herod might ve­ry well have saved John Baptist notwithstanding his Oath, for his Oath was to give the daughter of Herodias what she should ask, though it were to half his Kingdom, but John Baptist's head was more worth then all his King­dome.

Hence it is, That the Devil in all Ages hath laboured by his wicked Instruments to discountenance, disparage and overthrow the Ministry, as knowing that it is a spiritual Engine in the hand of the Lord of Hoasts to batter down his Strong holds, and designed for this very purpose to bring people from the power of Satan unto the Kingdom of Iesus Christ.

In the Old Testament, though the Ministry that then was, was acknowledged to be of Divine Institution, yet even then it was by a carnal part of the World opposed, as a superfluous humane Invention, and the Persons to whom that Ministry was committed were in their several Generations vilified and traduced as a Society of men which rather sought some world­ly, carnal, personal interest, then the sacred things of Gods Kingdom. Thus Enoch who had this Testimony that he plea­sed God, [...]ndured hard speeches which ungodly sinners spoke against him. Noah a Preacher of Righteousnesse was not believed in his Generation, they did not, they would not know any thing till the Floud came and swept them all away. Moses a Prophet mighty in word and deed had Jannes and Jambres to resist him in Aegypt, and Corah and his com­pany to withstand him in the Wilderness. Elijah that man of God, whom one calleth an Earthly Angel, and an hea­venly Mortal, who whilst he lived on Earth below, com­manded the Heavens and Clouds that are above, yet was he persecuted by Jezebel, and accounted by Ahab both an [Page] Enemy to him and to the State, and accused to his face as the Troubler of Israel. Thus Jeremiah, sanctified from the Womb, was smitten and imprisoned, Michaiah imprison­ed, Urijah slain with the Sword, Zechariah stoned to death.

In the New Testament John Baptist who was filled with the holy Ghost from his Mothers womb, was beheaded. And Christ Iesus himself, who was not ashamed to be sti­led the Minister of the Circumcision, The Bishop of our souls, The Apostle and High-Priest of our profes­sion, was crucified between two thieves. The holy Apostles of whom the world was not worthy, were not worthy to live in the world, but were despised and rejected of men, and accounted the scum and off-scouring of the world.

In the ten first Persec [...]tions, The Devil especially endea­voured the ruine of the Godly and Learned Ministry: It is said expresly of the sixth Persecution, That the Emperour Maximinus raised it against the Teachers and Leaders of the Church, thinking that if these Captains were removed out of the way, he should the easilier prevail against the rest. The greatest Design th [...] Julian the Apostate had for the overthrowing the Christian Religion, was by destroying of Learning, and taking away the means of subsis [...]ence from the Ministry.

The Scripture tels us, that for the space of 1260 daies (that is, all the time of Antichrists reign) the two Wit­nesses should prophestein sackcloth, and this sackcloth is not yet put off, nor as yet likely to be.

For there are a Generation of men risen up amongst us, that say, That it is the greatest cheat that ever was put up­on Christians, to make them believe that there is a distinct Office of the Ministry p [...]culiar to some men and not to others. This they call a Monopolizing of the Ministery, and the [Page] worst of all Monopolies. And they say, just as Corah and his Company, You take too much upon you, yee sons of Levi▪ Are not all the people of God holy? And may not any man that is gifted preach, though he be not Ordained? But in the mean time they forget, that this Speech of Corahs was accounted Rebellion, and that the earth was not able to bear it, but opened her mouth and swallowed him up, and the rest of his companions. It was heretofore ac­counted a great fault for a Minister to be a Iustice of Peace, and t [...]ought incompatible with his Calling, and impossible for one man to wait upon both. But there are many in our daies, that continuing in their Civil Callings, think them­selves able to discharge the Ministerial. And although the Apostle out of the sense of the weightiness of it, cried out, Who is sufficient for these things? Yet there are very many that think every man almost sufficient. And as Je­roboam made Priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi, and it was reckoned as his great sinne. So it is with us, The lowest of the people and such as are not called to the Ministry, nor trained up in the Schools of the Prophets, are become Preachers, and cried up as the None-such of our times.

There are divers waies by which some men endeavour to destroy the Ministry.

1. By railing upon and reviling their persons, and raising all manner of reproaches against them, as if they were the onely Incendiaries of Church and State, pestilent fellows, the causers of all the disturbance in the Commonwealth.

2. By crying down the present Ministry as Antichri­stian, because made (as they say) by Antichristian Bishops.

3. By taking away their Maintenance.

4. By setting up the basest and meanest of the people, [Page] and such as have no Arts nor Knowledge in the Tongues, to be Preachers, that thereby they might make the world be­lieve, That the Ministerial Office is of all other the lowest and the easiest.

5. By d [...]crying the very Office it self.

These with others of the like Nature, are th [...] waies and means by which men seek to ruine the Ministry, and there­by Religion, and to open a wide gap to all Errours, Heresies, Blasphemies, Prophaneness and Atheism. Herein dea­ling with us as Alexander did with the Athenians, who desired to make Peace with them upon condition that they would deliver eight of their chief men into his hands. De­mosthenes to disswade the Athenians from delivering them up, tels them a Fable of the Wolves and the Sheep: The Wolves desired to make Peace with the Sheep, upon condition they would deliver up their Dogs to be destroyed, which they had no sooner done, but the Wolves presently devoured the Sheep: Even so when once not only the Persons of Ministers are disgraced, and their Maintenance taken away, but when the very Calling and Office of the Ministry is denied, and libertie given to every man that will to preach, then will the Wolves devour the Sheep of Christ, then will Errors, He­resies, Blasphemie, Atheism and Poperie, come in like a mighty floud, then will ruine and desolation come like an ar­med man upon that Nation where this is practized, without remedie.

And th [...]refore to testifie our Love unto the Truth, that the Sun of Righteousness may not go down in our daies, that the Truth of the Gospel may live when we are dead, and the Word of Christ may run and be glorified; And to prevent the growth of Atheism which every where abounds, and threatneth the overthrow and ruine of the way that God hath called holy, and to reduce poor misled souls, which ig­norantly [Page] conceive they sinne not in traducing the Ministers of the Gospel, as if they were men onely seeking their own things, and not t he things of the Lord Iesus, and contem­ning the Ministry as if it were not Gods Institution, but an humane in vention introduced to uphold some carnal interest.

We the Members of the Provincial Assembly convened by Authority of Parliament, conceive it our Duty to clear unto our respective Congregations, the Ministry and Mini­sters, such as serve the Lord in uprightness, from these un­kinde and ungrounded aspersions. Beseeching the Lord, the Father of Spirits, to convince and settle the Iudgments of them that through misguidance may doubt, and to give Repentance unto such as carnally oppose themselves, that they may come to the acknowledgement of the Truth, and so recover themselves out of the snare of Satan, wherein they suffer themselves to be taken captive at his pleasure.

The Summe of all we shall say about the Gospel-Ministry, we shall comprehend in this following Scheme.

The Divine Right of …

The Divine Right of the Gospel-Ministry, containing

  • 1. The Justifi­cation of the Ministry; wherein are handled these particulars,
    • 1. That the Office of the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments is necessary in the Church of God by Divine Institution.
    • 2. That this Office is perpetually necessary in the Church of God.
    • 3. That no man ought to take upon him the Office, or do the work of the Ministry, except he be lawfully called and ordain­ed thereunto.
    • 4. The several waies of calling men to the Mi­nistry, where is spoken of,
      • 1. An immedi­ate call, and therein laid down,
        • 1. The characters of an imme­diate call.
        • 2. A resolution whether we are now to expect an immediate call.
        • 3. Whether the call of the first Reformers of Religion from Popery, was an immediate call.
      • 2. A mediate call, consisting in,
        • Election, concerning which are handled two things,
          • 1. That the Electi­on of a Minister doth not by Di­vine Right, be­long wholly and solely to the ma­jor part of every Congregation.
          • 2. That the whole Essence of the Ministerial call, doth not consist in Election with­out Ordination.
        • Ordinati­on, concer­ing which are made good these four Asser­tions.
          • 1. That Ordinati­on of Ministers is an Ordinance of Christ.
          • 2. That the Essence of the Ministerial call, consisteth in Ordination.
          • 3. That Ordinati­on ought to be with praier, fasting and Imposition of hands.
          • 4. That Ordinati­on ought to be by the Presbytery.
  • 2. The Justi­fication, &c. B
  • [Page] B. 2. The Ju­stification of our Ministry which is com­prised under two Propositi­ons.
    • 1. That the Call to the Office of the Ministry which some of our present Mi­nisters did re­ceive, during the prevalency of E­piscopacy, was lawful & valid; which is proved,
      • 1. By Arguments drawn from the principles of our Ad­versaries, wherein by the way is proved
        • 1. That the Chu [...] ­ches of England are true Chur­ches.
        • 2. And the two great Objections against them, ta­ken from their Parochiall and Nationall con­stitution, are suf­ficiently answer­ed.
      • 2. By Arguments taken from our own Principles, and the nature of the thing; And here our Mi­nistry is largely vindicated from the foul asper­sion of Antichristianism, which is cast upon it, because conveyed unto us (as is said) by Po­pish and Antichristian Bishops.
    • 2. That the Call to the Office of the Ministry which our present Ministers do re­ceive, since the a­bolition of Epis­copacy is lawfull and valid, in which is shewed,
      • 1. That a Bishop and Presbyter are all one in Scripture.
      • 2. That the instances of Timothy, and Titus, and the Asian Angels do not prove the contrary.
      • And because Ordination by Presbyters without Bishops is highly accused of Novelty, as ha­ving not the least shadow of Antiquity, and thereby many Candidates of the Ministry are discouraged from this way of entring into the Ministry, and Ordination so received is ac­counted null: We have therefore added an Ap­pendix wherein is briefly held forth the Judge­ment and Practise of Antiquity both in refe­rence to Ordination, and the whole matter of Episcopacy.

Ius Divinum Ministerij Evangelici. OR THE DIVINE RIGHT OF THE Gospel-Ministry: The First Part.

CONTAINING A Justifi­cation of

  • The Gospel-Ministry in generall.
  • The necessity of Ordination thereunto by Imposi­tion of Hands.
  • The Unlawfulnesse of private mens assuming to themselves either the Office or Work of the Mi­nistry without a lawful Call and Ordination.

LONDON, Printed by Abraham Miller. 1654.

Ius Divinum Ministerij Evangelici. OR THE DIVINE RIGHT OF THE Gospel-Ministry.

CHAPTER I. Containing the first Proposition.
PROP. I. That the Office of the Ministry of the Word and Sacra­ments is necessary in the Church by Divine Institution.

FOr the understanding of this Proposition we shall briefly shew,

  • 1. What is meant by Ministry.
  • 2. What by Office.

1. What is meant by Ministry;Rom. 13.4. Ioh. 12.26. Act. 6. The word Ministry is a term of large comprehension: Sometimes it is taken for a Civil Service in the Common­wealth; Sometimes for a spirituall worship of Jesus Christ; [Page 2] Sometimes for the Office of a Deacon: But in this Proposi­tion it is taken for an Ecclesiasticall Function appointed by Christ in his Church for the Preaching of the Word and Ad­ministration of the Sacraments. This is called a Ministry in opposition to Lordly Domination and Principality; For Mi­nisters are not appointed to be Lords over Gods Heritage, but to be examples to the flock:1 Pet. 5.3. The Princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them: But it shall not be so among you, but whosoever will be great among you let him be your Minister, and whosoever will be chief among you let him be your Ser­vant:Mat. 20.25, 26. The Office of the Ministry is not a Dominion but a Service, and a labourious Service, and therefore called [...], a word taken from those that labour at the oar, and [...], a word taken from those that do in pulvere desudare: But yet it is a most glorious and honourable Service, because a Service to God his Church, and the Souls of People, and therefore called The Ministry of Christ, The Stewardship of the Mysteries of God, 1 Cor. 4.1. Heb. 13.17. and a spirituall Rule over the Houshold of God.

Q. 2. What is meant by the word Office?

Ans. For this you must know, That there is a great deal of difference between the Office and the work of the Ministry; Indeed in Scripture they are sometimes held forth by one Name because they are near akin, Act. 6.4. We will give our selves to the Ministry of the Word; And Rom. 11.13. I magni­fie my Office; Both in the Originall called [...], yet are they really distinct in nature as Relation and Action, and separa­ble either by Divine Providence in case of sicknesse, or by humane pravity in case of Imprisonment, Banishment, or Re­jection of the People, or Supine negligence, sloath, ambi­tion, or covetousnesse in the Officer.

Impossible it is to dispute about the Office without mention of the work, they being Relatives, and therefore cannot be understood the one without the other: But yet because there are a double sort of dissenters, some that deny the very Of­fice of the Ministry; Others that grant the Office, but yet [Page 3] think it no sin for a man gifted (though uncalled) to assume the publike work of the Ministry: Our purpose is to speak distinctly to both. But in this Proposition only to the first.

The Office of the Ministry is a spirituall Relation to the whole employment of the Ministry in a person qualified, founded upon a speciall and regular call.

For its generall nature, It is a Relation as is evident by removing all other kindes, In particular it cannot be Action, For this is transient, but an Office is permanent.

For its property, It is a spirituall Relation to distinguish it from naturall and civil Relations.

Its Subject is a person qualified, Namely, 1. Able. 2. Wil­ling. 3. Pious in the judgement of Charity.

Its Object or [...]erm is the Ministeriall employment, ampli­fied by its extent in order to the work: A gifted Brother may upon just occasion materially exercise some parts of the Ministry, as Prayer, opening and applying of the Scripture, but not all parts, as Administration of the Sacraments, nor the former in publique, unlesse lawfully called thereunto.

Its Foundation is Vocation, or a Call limited; 1. By its Specialty: A generall Call enables to Prayer and Teaching as a Christian, but only a speciall and particular Call enables to these duties ex officio & authoritativè; A private per­son may bring news of a Treaty to be had, but only an Em­bassadour or Herauld comes enabled by Authority to treat.

2. It is limited by its Regularity to distinguish it from the bare Call of the People: The Peoples Call may determine a Persons Ministry in an especiall manner to themselves, but cannot invest a person into the Office of the Ministry, who was not a Minister before; Nor can their deserting of him put him out of Office, though haply it may out of imploy­ment: Action is transient, but Relation is permanent; Therefore the Office is better defined by relation to the work then by relation to a particular people, who may easily out him of his work but not of his Office: This Regular Call then consists not in bare instinct, whereby men run before [Page 4] they be sent, nor barely in the suffrages of the people, which make a Person their Minister not a Minister: But in mission either immediate by God and Christ, witnesse the Prophets and Apostles; or mediate by some delegated and authorised by God for that purpose, Nihil dat quod non habet: Nor can he who is not either a Minister or the Lord of Ministers regu­larly make a Minister:1 Tim. 4.14. 2 Tim. 1.6. Act. 14.22▪ Tit. 1.5. 1 Tim. 5.22. Paul was called by Christ, Timothy by Paul and the Presbytery; Nor do we reade of any called or­dinarily to the Ministry without Ministers: And here by the way take notice, That the very nature of the Office of the Ministry argues strongly, that none can take upon them that sacred Office without a lawfull Call and Ordination, since the very Foundation of this Relation is a lawfull Call, and without a Foundation no Relation can either exist or persist; But more of this hereafter.

For the present, That which we have now to prove is, That the Office of the Ministry, that is, That a spiritual Relation to the whole employment of the Ministry in a per­son qualified, founded in a speciall and regular Call, is of Divine Institution: Or more plainly, That the Eccles [...]a­sticall Ministry is an Order, Function, or Office, that hath its Originall from Heaven; Not from an Ordinance of Parlia­ment, but of the Lord Jesus Christ, which we shall prove by these Arguments.

From the peculiar designation of some Persons to the work of the Ministry;Argum. 1. Whence thus we argue,

If God hath peculiarly designed some Persons to this work of the Ministry, then the Office of the Ministry is by Divine Institution: But God hath peculiarly designed some Persons to the Work of the Ministry: The Consequence is clear. If God appointed some Persons to the Work of judging Israel, then the Office of Judges was by Divine Institution; If God appointed some Persons to carry the Utensils of the Taber­nacle or Temple, and to keep the doors, then the Office of the Porters and Door-Keepers was of Divine Institution: So here if God designed some Persons to the Work of the Mi­nistry, [Page 5] then there is such an Office. And it will be further strengthened by this consideration; That where there was no distinct Office God did not design peculiar Persons for the Work, but left it in common to all, and where he left it in common to all there was no distinct Office. Thus the daty of Almes-giving in generall, because it is a duty common to all, and no peculiar Persons are designed to it, but it is equally required of all according to their ability, therefore there is no such Office of Almes-giving▪ But now to distribute the Alms of the Church in a work peculiarly determined to some particular Persons which are called Deacons (and is not common to all) and therefore the Office of the Deacon is by divine Institution. Adde further that to design particular per­sons to any work, to which all have a like Call, Power, and Authority, is needlesse and ridiculous. So much for the proof of the consequence: The Antecedent will easily be made out.

1. That this was so under the Law, is evident beyond all dispute, to all who reade and beleeve the Old Testament: Though all Israel was Holinesse to the Lord, a Kingdom of Priests, and a Holy Nation, Exo. 19.6. 1 Pet. 2.9 Rev. 1.6. 1 Pet. 2.5. Exo. 28.1. Mumb. 1.50. Deut. 10.8. & 33.8. as all Christians are now in their private duties and domestick Relations to offer up spiritual Sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ; Yet there was then a distinct peculiar Ministry in the Levit [...]s the Sonnes of Aaron by divine appointment; And no man might take that honour upon him, but only he that was called thereunto, as was Aaron, Heb. 5.4. Nor might any enter within the Taber­nacle but the Priest accomplishing the Service of God.Heb. 9.6.

2. As it was thus in the Jewish Church before Christs In­carnation, so it was foretold that it should be also in the Christian Church consisting of Jew and Gentile; It was Gods great Promise to be fullfilled in Gospel-times, that he would take of the Children of them that should be brought into the Church for Priests and Levites, Isa. 66.21. alluding to the Officers that then were in being; which cannot be understood of spiritu­all Priests, such as all Saints are in some sense stiled;Isa. 61.6. 1 Pet. 2.9. for these are said to be singled out from the rest for such a speciall Of­fice. [Page 6] And that in the times of the Gospel, according to the Promise, such an Office was appointed by our Lord Jesus, is beyond all question to all who reade and beleeve the New Te­stament;Mat. 10.1, 7. Mar. 3.14. Luke 9.1, 2. & 10.1, 2. Christ before his death appointed the Apostles to go and preach; He ordained twelve that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach: And af­ter this the Lord appointed other seventy also; and because the Harvest was great and the Labourers were but few, there­fore they are bid to pray the Lord of the Harvest that h [...] would send firth Labourers into hi [...] Harv [...]st: To his Apo­stles he revealed himself especially after his resurrection,Mat. 28.19. Act. 10.41, 42 and gave them commission and command to preach the Gospel to all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghos [...]: And when Iudas being numbred with them had obtained part of this Ministry, from which by transgression he fell;Act. 1.17, 24, 25. the rest of the Disciples did not magnifie themselves to be Apostles, but sought to the Lord, that God himself would shew whom he had chosen to take part of that Ministry and Apostleship, and the Lo [...] fal­ling upon Mathias he was numbred with the eleven.

3. The Ministry in the daies of the Apostles was not only dispensed by the Apostles, the seventy Disciples, and other Prophets and Evangelists, whose Call, Gifts, and Works were extraordinary, but by other ordinary Pastors, whose spirits were not insallible, and whose commission was not extraor­dinary.2 Tim. 2.2. The extraordinary Officers were commanded to commit the word to faithfull men who shall be able to reach others also. And this Ministry dispensed by ordinary Pastors; was by the Apostles themselves and the severall Churches of the New Testament esteemed as a Ministry by Divine Institu­tion:Col. 1.7. Paul stiles Ep [...]phras a dear Fellow-Servant, who is for you a faithfull Minister of Christ: Tychicus he calls a beloved Brother and a faithfull Minister in the Lord. And these ordi­nary Pastors (distinguished from those extraordinary Offi­cers) the Scriptures do affirm to be as truly by divine ap­pointment as the former, though not so immediatly and emi­nently.

[Page 7]1. The same God that set in the Church first Apostles,1 Cor. 12.2 [...]. then Prophets, the same God set in the Church some to be Teachers. Some (by way of distinction from others,) and not all; For the holy Ghost argueth as if it were equally ab­surd to have all to be Teacher [...], as all to be Apostles, and ap­peals to their naturall conscience about it; Are all Apostles? Ver. 29. Are all Prophets? Are all Teachers? And if God himself the Father of all mercies hath placed these Teachers in his Church, what is man who is but [...] worm that he should at­tempt to displace them?

2. The same Redeemer the Lord Jesus who gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, and some Evangelists,Eph. 4.11. the same Christ gave also some to b [...] Pastor [...] and to be Tea­chers.

3. The s [...]me holy Spirit which said, Separat [...] me Barnabas and Saul for the work of the Ministery, Act. 13.2. Gal. 2.7. and who committed to Paul th [...] Gosp [...]l of Vncircumcision as he did the Gospel of Circumcision to Peter ▪ The same blessed Spirit gave charge to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus to take heed to th [...] Flock of Christ; And though they were no where re­corded to have received a Commission extraordinary, and a spirit infallible, (Nay, so far were they from being infallible▪ that the Apostle foretel [...] that some of them would speak per­verse things to draw away Disciples after them, v. 30.) Yet is it said expresly, that the holy Ghost h [...]d made them Overse­er [...] over the Flock: As the Saints converted to the Faith of the Gospel by the Ministry of Tychichus, Epaphras, Act. 20.2 [...]. and One­simus, and the Saints that in those daies were really added to the Church, wer [...] no less [...] truly Saints then those which were converted immediatly by Paul, and Peter, and the rest of the Apostles; So these ordinary Pastors and Teachers afore­mentioned did no l [...]sse truly receive their Ministry from the Lord for their ordinary employment, then the Apostles did (though they more eminently for their employment extra­ordinary▪)▪ As he committed to them the Word and Mini­stry of Reconc [...]liation,2 Cor. 5.18, 19 and gave to them both Commission and Command to dispense his Ordinances, so that to them it [Page 8] was not only lawfull or arbitrary, but necessity was laid up­on them, and a Woe denounced if they preached not the Gospel:1 Cor. 9▪ 16, So was it also to the ordinary Teachers, and there­fore Archippus (no where mentioned to be an Officer extra­ordinary) is commanded to fullfill his Ministry, which he al­so received from the Lord. Col. 4.17.

Now if the Father, the God of Truth; the Son, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the holy Ghost the Spirit of Truth hath designed peculiar persons to this Office, then the Ministry by way of Office, is necessary by Divine Insti­tution.

The Second Argument is drawn from the peculiar Names or Titles,Argum. 2. whereby the Persons thus designed and distinguished from other Saints: If God hath given peculiar Names and Titles, whereby the Persons designed to this Office are distin­guished from other Saints, then this Office is by Divine Insti­tution. For as the judgement of God is, so are the denomi­nations which God giveth to things,Rom. 2.2. according to truth: If Adam gave distinguishing Names to all creatures, sutable to their beings; Surely our only wise God will not distinguish where he himself hath made no difference. But God hath gi­ven to the persons designed to this Office peculiar Names and Titles.

Eph. 4.11. 1 Pet. 5.2. Act. 20.28.1. These are called Pastors, and the other Saints re­spectively are called the Flock. Now is there not a reall di­stinction (as well as nominall) betwixt the Flock and Pastor, the Sheep and the Shepherd?

1 Cor. 12.28. Gal. 6.6.2. They are called Teachers, and doth not the holy Ghost evidently distinguish betwixt them that do instruct and those that are instructed?

1 Tim. 5.17.3. They are called such as Rule well, not in any civil way as State-Officers, but such as labour in the Word and Do­ctrine.

Heb. 13.17. Heb. 13.24.4. They are such as are Over the Saints in the Lord, and the holy Ghost doth expresly distinguish betwixt the Officers in the Church, which have rule and inspection over the [Page 9] Saints, and all the rest of the Saints under that Inspe­ction.

5. They are called Stewards of the Mysteries of God;1 Cor. 4.1. Tit. 1.7. Gal. 6.10. Luke 12.42. all the rest of the Saints are of the Houshold of Faith; and who may appoint Stewards in the House but the Master of the Houshold? And if the Master call them Stewards, let all Saints do so who are of his Houshold.1 Pet. 4.10. Luke 16.2. Though all other Saints may be called Stewards of the manifold grace of God, according to the proportion of the gifts and talents which they have received for their Lords use, and so every man must give an account of his Stewardship even for civil gifts and common graces, yet neither are all men nor all Saints, as such,1 Cor. 4.1. any where stiled by the holy Ghost to be Stewards of the Mysteries of God, as the Ministers of Christ are; And it is one peculiar Argument which the holy Ghost useth, why the Bishop must be eminently blamelesse above other Saints, because he is so to carry himself in Gods House as one who in a speciall way is the Steward of God.

6. They are called Preachers by way of Office,Tit. 1.17. Rom. 10.14. or Gods Heralds, (though others may know and speak the same things, viz·) These authoritatively are sent forth to proclaim the minde of the Lord.

7. They are called Embassadors for Christ: God hath gi­ven to them the Ministry of Reconciliation,2 Co. 5.19, 20. and hath commit­ted to them the Word of Reconciliation.

8. They are Super-intendents and Overseers of the Flock;Act. 20.18. 1 Pet. 4.15. 1 Pet. [...]2. and if they had no such Office, then in the discharge of this work they might be charged to be Busie-bodies; And so we shall call this a sin which God Almighty hath charged upon them as their duty.

9. They are called Stars in Christs right hand.

10. The Angels of the Churches, Rev. 1.20. R [...]v. 2.1. v. [...].12.18. Rev. 3.1, 7, 14. and our Lord himself doth clearly distinguish betwixt the seven Stars in the Church, and the seven golden Candlesticks which are seven Churches; he evidently puts a difference betwixt the Churches and the Angels set in them and over them in the Lord.

[Page 10] A [...]gum. 3.The third Argument is drawn from the Lords speciall care in requiring peculiar gifts and qualifications in Persons so distinguished and designed for this work as formerly.

If the Lord out of his speciall care to the good of the souls of People, hath appointed peculiar gifts and qualifications (above what is required in all Saints as such) in all who en­ter into the work of the Ministry, then the Office of the Mi­nistry is by Divine Insti [...]ution. For why should God require such qualifications for an Office, if he first had not appoint­ed such an Office; Suppose a Parliament should lay down se­verall qualifications for every man that is to be made a Ju­stice of Peace, Doth not this clearly infer, that there is such an Office as of a Justice of the Peace;1 Tim. [...]. [...]. But our Lord doth re­quire peculiar gifts and qualifications, &c. Not only those Moral Theological Christian gifts and graces which are re­quired in all Saints at such, as to be blamelesse, vigilant, sober, &c. But such qualifications as are peculiar, Though gifts as gifts do not alone invest into an Office, yet where these are so strictly and peculiarly required, they argue that there is an Office. God requires

1. That they be apt to teach: Saints may be Saints though they be not fitted to teach others:1 Tim. 3.2. I [...]m. 1.19. It is [...] good degree of Saintship when they are swift to hear, slow to speak, and apt to learn, (and we could wish the Saints in our times could learn and practise that Lesson) but those faithful men to whom the Ministry is to be committed, must be apt to teach.

2 Tim. 2.2.2. That they be not only apt but able to teach others also.

Tit. 1.9.3. That they be such as holding fast the Word may be able by sound Doctrine to exhort and convince Gain­sayers.

2 Tim. 2.15. Not only [...] but [...]. Luk. 12.4 [...].4. That they be such as st [...]dy to shew themselves appro­ved unto God, Workmen that need not be ashamed▪ Rightly divi­ding the Word of Truth; And who then is a faithfull and wise Steward whom the Lord may make Ruler [...]ver hi [...] Houshold t [...] give them their portion of meat in due season.

[Page 11]5. That these gifts be tried and approved by others (for no man can be a competent Judge of his own gifts) The Deacons must first be proved,2 Tim. 3.10. and if the Deacons the low­est Officer of the Church must by Divine appointment be first proved before he be admitted to use the Office of a Dea­con, how much more is this required in the Office of the Ministry, which is far higher?

6. That those that are to prove and approve observe these things without carnall preferring one before another; 1 Tim. 9.21▪ 22. that they doe nothing by partiality, that they lay hands suddenly upon no man,, and this the Apostle chargeth them with be­fore God and the Lord Iesus Christ and his Elect Angels? Now why are all these qualifications required? Would not all these injunctions about such an Office be superfluous, if such an Office were not by Divine Institution?

7. The qualifications are so many, the work so eminent, the successe so various, the Ministry of the Word being to some the savour of life unto life, and to others the savour of death unto death, that the Apostle in admiration of the dif­ficulty and dignity of this employment, crieth out, Who is suffici [...]nt for these things? 2 Cor. 2.16. Mal. 1.13. But they who are alienated in their mindes as they snuffe at the service of God, and bring the torn, and the lame, and the sick (as if any thing though ne­ver so bad were good enough) for an Offering to the Lord, so they account the work of the Ministry so mean, and the Office so contemptible, that they say in opposition to the holy Apostle, For these things who is not sufficient? boldly intr [...]ding themselves into this work, without any gifts or qua­lifications sutable and approved thereunto, presuming to be Teachers of the Law and of the Gospel,1 Tim. 1.7. yet not unde [...]stand­ing what they say or whereof they do affirm.

The fourth Argument From peculiar duties; If God re­quire peculiar duties of Ministers which he doth not require of Bele [...]vers as Beleevers,Argum. 4. then there is such a distinct Office by Divine Institution. But God doth require peculiar distinct duties of Ministers.

[Page 12]1. They are commanded to take special care of the Church of God to take the oversight of the Flock of God, [...] Tim. 3.5. 1 Pet. 5.2, 3. yet not as Lords over Gods Heritage; but being examples to the Flock.

2. When they have undertaken this work they are charged not to neglect the gift that is in them, 1 Tim. 4.14. which was given by the laying on the hands of the Presbytery.

3. Wholly to minde this Work and the Office; Meditate on these things, [...] Tim. 4.15. Act. 6.2, 4. give themselves wholly to them, that their profiting may appear to all: It is not reason that they should leave the Word and serve Tables, but they must continually give themselves to Prayer and to the Ministry of the Word. It is true, that the work of the Apostles was exceeding great, yet it is as true, that their gifts were extraordinary, and the assistance they had was above measure, God testifying to the word of his grace by many signs and wonders: Now if the Apostles endued with those transcendent abilities, would not suffer themselves to be diverted, how much more doth the work of the Ministry challenge the whole man, of them whose parts and assistances are so farre inferiour that they may attend the special service of God without distraction? Have not the Ministers now as much need as Timothy then to give attendance to reading, 1 Tim. 4.13.15. as well as unto exhortation and doctrine, to meditate upon these things, and give themselves wholly to them, that their profiting may appear to all, that so they may save themselves and them that hear them?

4. Not only wholly to minde this work in private, but in publike to Preach the Word; [...] Tim. 4.2. to be instant in season and out of season; Rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and do­ctrine: 2 Tim. 2.25. With meeknesse they must instruct those that oppose themselves; They must labour even to weariness in the Word and Doctrine: They must be willing to spend and to be spent upon the Service of the faith of the people: A necessity is laid upon them to preach the Gospel, 2 Cor. 12.15. 1 Cor. 9.16, 17 the neglect whereof involves them in a Woe; If they doe it willingly they have a reward, and if not yet a Dispensation is committed to them.

[Page 13]5. Not only to preach the Word,Mat. 28.19. 1 Cor. 4.1. 1 Cor. 10. [...]6. 1 Cor. 11.24. 1 Tim. 4.14. 1 Tim. 5.22. Heb. 13.17. but also to administer the Sacraments.

6. And also to ordain others into the work of the Mini­stry: Of which more hereafter.

In all these works not to feed themselves but to feed the Flock, to look not only to their lives but to their doctrine, to watch not only for their own souls but for the souls of others.

7. They are commanded so to watch over the Flock as those that must give an account.Heb. 13.17.

8. They are commanded to take heed to themselves and to their doctrine, not only how they live but how they teach,1 Tim. 4.16. that they may edifie both by living and teaching, and though they meet with many discouragements, unfruitfulnesse in some, and unkinde oppositions from others, yet they must continue in these things, and persist in their work, when they have laid their hands to this Plough they must not look back,Tit. 2.1. 2 Tim. 4.2. but must persevere to speak the things which become sound Doctrine, to preach the Word, to be instant in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

The fifth Argument is drawn From the peculiar distinct duties enjoyned the people in reference to their Teachers.Argum. 5.

If the Lord requires peculiar distinct duties from the peo­ple in reference to their Teachers, then this Office is by Di­vine Institution.

But the Lord requires peculiar distinct duties in the People in reference to their Minister, &c.

1. To know and acknowledge them such as are over them in the Lord.1 Thes. 5.12.

2. To remember their guides who have spoken unto them the Word of God;Heb. 13.7. We are prone to forget our duty to­wards them▪ God is sensible of this sin, and gives out these commands to cure this forgetfulnesse.

3. Highly to esteem them, and that in love, and this also for their works sake.1 The. 5.13. Though the Saints are not to esteem or [Page 14] think of them above what is meet, yet this esteem must not be vulgar as that which is only common to ordinary men and be­lievers: [...] Tim. 5.17. When the [...]nthankful world despise the Ministers, the Saints are obliged to account them worthy of double honour, and to esteem them highly, [...] 1 The. 5.13. very highly and abundantly; This high degree of esteem must be in love, for if we love the Embassage, and the Lord who sends the glad tidings of Sal­vation,Rom. 10.15. How beautifull then are the feet of his Embassa­dours! This esteem of them in love must be for t [...]eir works sake: Now if this work was not of God, he would never give so many injunctions to honour these work-men: But this work of the Ministry in reconciling sinners to God,1 Pet. 1.12. is so stupendious, that the Angels with admiration desire to look into these things: And in the dispensation of this my­stery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, is made known by the Church not only to men bu [...] to Cherubins and Seraphims Principalities and powers in Heavenly places the manifold wisedom of God.Eph. 3.9, 10.

Heb. 13.17.4. To obey them that have the rule over you and submit your selves unto them.

Heb. 13.17.5. To encourage them, that they may do their work with joy and not with grief, for that is unprofitable to the Flock, as uncomfortable to the Pastour.

6, To maintain them; He that is taught in the Word must communicate to him that teacheth in all good things: Gal. 6.6. 1 Cor. 9.7. to 19. Why doth the holy Ghost spend almost a whole Chapter upon this Sub­ject? and after many arguments, why doth the Apostle make that appeal? Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the Temple; V. 13. and they that wait a [...] the Altar are partakers with the Al [...]ar? And whereas some might say, This practise is Mosaicall, and fit for the Jewish Priesthood,V. 14. but not for Gospel-times, He prevents this Ob­jection, and asserts as a Divine Institution, that God hath thus ordained, that they which preach the Gospel sho [...]ld live of the Gospel: But this doctrine of the maintenance of Ministers hath been of late so largely and sol [...]dly asserted by several able pens, that we shall not need to s [...]y any more about it. But [Page 15] no wonder that those which would take away and detain the maintenance should also be willing to deny the Office: They that take away the Oyl would break the Lamp in sunder as a thing uselesse and unnecessary.

Object. But some may say, the Apostles did work with la­bour and travell, night and day,2 Thes. 3.8, 9. Act. 20.34. that they might not be chargeable: Doth not Paul himself appeal to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, Yea, you your selves know, that these have ministred to my necessities, and if the Apostles labour­ed and had no maintenance, though they were extraordina­ry, why should not other ordinary Ministers labour, and why is their maintenance a duty necessary?

We answer, 1. This travell with their own hands for a subsistence was a peculiar case of P [...]ul and Barnabas, and was not the practise of the other Apostle [...]; for Paul saith,1 Cor. 9.6. comp. ver. 5. I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working as the other Apostles and Brethren of the Lord and Cephas?

2. When they refused to receive maintenance, this refusal was upon especiall occasion: As 1. Either the Churches ex­tream necessities, the daies of danger and exigencies of the Saints: In such case, though marriage was lawfull; I sup­pose it is good for the present distresse, I say it is good for a man to forbear marriage;1 Cor. 7.26. com. with 37. and so Paul did both for­bear marr [...]age and also refused maintenance, but none can conclude from hence the marriage of Ministers is unlawfull, or their maintenance unneedfull. Or 2. This refusall of maintenance was in case of scandall, when false Teachers had crept into the Church of Corinth, who boasted of themselves and their own doctrine, and that they would Preach the Go­spel freely, and so cried down Paul and his Ministry, there­fore in this case Paul preached the Gospel freely, I was chargeable (saith he) to no man, 2 Cor. 11. [...]. to 9. and in all things I have kept my self from being burdensome to you, and so will I keep my self, and what I do in this kinde that I will do; and the ground of this practise he declareth to avoid scandall, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion;v. 12, 13. and that he might stop the boastings of those false Apostles, dececeifull workers [Page 16] transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ, that wherein they gloried they may be found even as we.

3. When Paul was neeessitated to labour with his hands, he numbers it in the Catalogue of his sorrows as part of his sufferings,1 Cor. 4.11, 12 To this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and buffeted, and have no certain [...]welling-place, and labour working with our own hands.

4. Though Paul refused maintenance, yet he still taught Beleevers that it was a Gospel-Ordinance to maintain their Ministers;1 Cor. 9.7, 14. v. 8. to 15. for Who goeth to warfare at his own charges? Shall Souldiers have no pay because when they are lawfully called forth they offer themselves freely to serve the publike? Who planteth a Vineyard and doth not eat thereof?

5. When Paul in the cases and for the persons above-men­tioned refused maintenance,2 Cor. 11.8. yet he telleth the Corinthians, that he received much from others, I robbed other Churchss, taking wages of them to serve you; for that which was lacking to me, they which came from Macedonia supplied: and he a­bundantly commendeth the Philippians, who were careful for his outward subsistence; And their supply sent unto him he calleth an Odour of sweet smell, a Sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God, Phi. 4.10, 14, 15, 16, 17. and that hereby fruit did abound to their ac­count.

The sixth Argument is drawn from the Promises; If God hath made particular Promises to them that work in this Mi­nistry,Argum. 6. then this Office is by Divine Institution; For God did never promise to keep up that Office in the Church which he hath not set up; but hath said the contrary, that every Plant which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be plucked up. Mat. 15.13.

But God hath made peculiar Promises to them that work in the Ministry.

1. That his speciall presence shall be with them; Lo, I am with you in this work of Teaching and baptizing,Mat. 28.20. though many or most may be against you.

2. His speciall assistance; God alone is alsufficient to make [Page 17] them who are insufficient of themselves to think one good thought, able Ministers of the New Testament,2 Cor. 3.5, 6. not only of the Letter but of the Spirit; God alone continues these abilities from the perpetuall supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.Phil. 1.19. 2 Cor. 4.1. From this speciall assistance it is that they which have this Ministry faint not under all affronts and discourage­ments, totally and universally, because they receive new supplies of Mercy from the Lord.

3. His speciall protection of them in all assaults: He is present with all his Saints to protect and preserve them; He is in the midst of the seven Golden Candlesticks, and he walks in the midst of them; These seven Golden Candlasticks are declared to be the seven Churches of Asia;Rev. 1.1. But God doth more then so to the Ministers of those Churches, He is not only in them, and walks in the midst of them, but he holds the Stars in his right hand.

4. Unto them he promiseth the power of the Keys, and engageth himself,Mat. 16.19. that whatsoever they ministerially binde on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever they loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; And this promise first made to P [...]ter was not limited to Peters person alone, for Christ after his Resurrection makes good the same promise to all the other Apostles; Whose sins soever ye remit are remitted, and whose sins soever ye retain are retained;Ioh. 20.23. And that this promise was not liimted to the Apostles as Apostles, but was given to the Apostles as Ministers of the Gospel, is evident from Mat. 18.17, 18. where the same power is given to the ordinary Church-Officers that was given to the Apostles, and the same encouragement given to them to exercise that censure.

5. Christ Jesus promiseth speciall sympathy with them, whatsoever entertainment they meet withall in the discharge of this Office▪ He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me:Mat. 10.40. And when the Ministers are despised, hated, and contemned, Christ tels us he takes it is to himself, as if these contempts were done to himself in his own person: He that hateth them (in reference to the r work) hateth me; He that despiseth them despiseth me, Luk. 10.16. [Page 18] and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent m [...]; which great promises though eminently given to the Apostles, yet are not limited to the Apostles as Apostles, but extended to all the Ministers sent to preach the Gospel, for so Christ himself ex­pounds these Promises;Ioh. 13.20. Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I shall send, receiveth me: Now if the promise be to all whomsoever Christ sends, then not only to the Apostles; for besides them Christ sent other Pastors who were not immediatly called and sent, as the 12. and the 70. yet they were proved before to have been sent and set in the Church by Christ.

6. Christ is so tender of the good or bad usage of his Ministers, that he hath undertaken to recompence all that good done to them; He that receiveth a Prophet in the Name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophets reward; And though this be true also of every righteous man and Disciple in his pro­portion,V. 41.42. yet our Lord doth evidently there distinguish betwixt the Prophet by Office and the righteous man or disciple, as he doth also betwixt a Prophets reward and a righteous mans reward: And so in all ages God hath taken it kindely when his faithfull Ministers have been protected and countenanced: It stands upon record as a token of the sincerity of Obadiah, that in that general persecution by Iezabel, he had a hundred of the Lords Prophets,1 Kin. 18.13. and hid them fifty in a Cave, and fed them with bread and water: And of Hezekiah that good King who walked before the Lord with a perfect heart, there is this testimony recorded, that he spake comfortably unto all the Levites which taught the good knowledge of the Lord: But those Kings and Rulers that abused the Ministers are noted as ene­mies to God himself,2 Chr. 30.12. Ahab and Amazia, &c. And contempt of Ordinances and Ministers sent from God, is made the sad­dest fore-runner of ruine and desolation; When they mocked the Messengers of God, 2 Chro. 36.16. despised his Word, and misused his Pro­phets; Then the wrath of the Lord rose up against his people, till there was no remedy: The Lord was tender of the Ministry of the Law because glorious. Now doth not the holy Ghost tell us,2 Cor. 3.9. that the Ministry of the Gospel doth exceed in Glory; [Page 19] That among them that are born of women there hath not ri­sen a greater then Iohn Baptist; Notwithstanding, he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater then he, not that their Persons are better, but that their Ministry is higher.

Therefore let us all take heed of despising the Ministry,Mal. 4.6. 1 Thes. 4.8. lest the Lord smite the Earth with a Curse; For he that despi­seth, despiseth not man but God. So much shall suffice for the First Proposition.

CHAP. II. Containing the Second Proposition.
PROVING, That the Office of the Ministry is perpetually neces­sary.

THat it is so will appear by these ensuing Argu­ments.

If all the former Arguments which evince the necessity of this Office by divine Institution be of a moral nature, then are they of perpetuall Obligation by Divine appointment; For the Commands of the Morall Law given to the Jews oblige all, and Precepts of the Gospel given both to Jews and Gen­tiles in the Apostles times, do equally oblige all beleevers in these daies as they did beleevers in the daies of the Apo­stles, to whom they were at first immediatly prescribed; because those precepts are of a moral nature; Whatsoever duties God r [...]quired in the Churches of Galatia, Rom. 15.4. Rom▪ [...].16. Phi­lippi, C [...]losse, &c. all these Scriptures do as really binde now a [...] they did then binde them, for Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our Learning; The same evils which were sins then are sinnes now, the duties [Page 20] enjoyned then are duties now, and shall binde all ages until the appearance of Christ; This Rule is so exact and perpetuall, that they and they alone which walk accord­ing to this Rule, Peace shall be on them and upon the Israel of God.

But all the former Arguments which prove the Office of the Ministry to be necessary, are of a morall nature; Not given to Apostles as Apostles, but to them as Stewards and Ministers of God, and so appertain to all Ministers of Christ. And in every Argument there are those proofs produced out of Scripture, which were not given only to Apostles but to ordinary Pastors, as may appear by a particular review of all the fore-going Arguments.

Aryum. 2.If the Ordinances be perpetually necessary in the Church by Divine Institution till the day of Jesus Christ, then the Office of the Ministry to dispense those Ordinances is perpe­tually necessary in the Church by Divine Institution; The reason of this consequence appears thus.

If the Lord had only appointed Ordinances to continue, and had appointed none to administer them, then the Ordi­nanres would fail, because that which is every mans work is usually and effectually no mans work, and though God hath immediatly appointed these Ordinances, yet now he doth not immediatly administer them, but the administrati­on of these Ordinances he hath committed unto others;Iud. 13.22. Dan. 10.15, 17 not to Angels, for their glory is so great, and our infirmities so many, that we could not endure their visible ministration; but this Ministry he hath committed unto men, to some and not to all, as hath been proved in the former Proposition; and these are called the Ministers of Christ,1 Cor. 4.1. 2 Cor. [...].1. 2 Cor. 7.1. Stewards or dis­pensers of the Mysteries of God, and are workers together with God, and such have this Treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might be of God; The Ministry of the Word and the dispensing of the Sacraments we finde con­joyned in the Institution of Christ, to whom Christ gave Commission to preach, to them he also gave Commission [Page 21] and Command to Baptize, and he promiseth to concur with them in their administration: But that any others have any such Command to enjoyn them, or Commission to enable them, or any such promise of Gods concurrence with them, if they undertake these Administrations; or that any su [...] practise was in the daies of the Apostles, we reade not in the New Testament, and because the whole nature and vertue of the Sacraments of the New Testament, depends solely and wholly upon the Authority of God being the Institutour of them, therefore we may neither adde to nor detract from his Institution, lest the Lord adde to the Plagues written in this Book, and take away our part out of the Book of Life: Rev. 22.16, 19 So much for the consequence of the Major; Now to the Minor, which is this.

The Ordinances be perpetually necessary in the Church by Divine Institution; which will be evident if we consider the publike Ordinances of the Word, of Baptism, and of the Supper of the Lord.

1. For the Word; It is evident that the Word preached shall continue in all ages from Mat. 28.20. where Jesus Christ commands his Apostles and Ministers to teach all Nations, and promiseth to be with them in that work to the end of the world; as also from Eph. 4.11, 12, 13. Christ gave Pastors and Teach­ers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the Faith.

2. For Baptism, we desire these particulars to be consi­dered.

1. That Baptism is an Ordinance of the New Testament appointed by God himself, Iohn was sent to baptize,Ioh. 1.33. he did not go about this work till he was sent, and because Baptism was first adminis [...]red by him, therefore he is so frequently called Iohn the Baptist, not that Baptism was his invention, but that the Administration thereof was first committed unto him▪ Mat. 3.1, 11, 12 the Institution it self was of God; God was the Authour, Iohn only the Minister, therefore the Baptism of Iohn is de­nied to be of men, and affirmed to be of Heaven:Mat. 21.24. Luk. 7.30. And when [Page 22] the Pharisees rejected his Baptism, it is asserted they rejected the counsell of God against themselves, Matth. 3.13. with 15. being not baptized of him: And the Lord Jesus Christ to declare the Baptism of Iohn to be of God, even he that came to fullfill all righteousnesse, came from Galilee to Iordan to be baptized of Iohn.

2. It is evident, that Baptism was appointed not only to the Jew but to the Gentile, it was indeed first administred to the Jew by Iohn and by the Disciples of our Lord, and after Christs Resurrection by the Apostles to those primitive Con­verts:Mat. 3.6. Ioh. 4.1. but when the partition Wall was broken down, Bap­tism of Repentance was preached unto the Gentiles,Act. 2.38, 41. not on­ly in Iudea but in Samaria also they that beleeved were bapti­zed both men and women,Act. 8.10. Act. 10.48. Act. 16.33. 1 Co. 1.14, 16 and so Cornelius the Roman Cen­turion, and so the Jaylor and all his at Philippi and Corinth, Paul baptized Crispus and Gaius, and the Houshold of Ste­phanus.

3. This Ordinance of Baptism instituted both for Jew and Gentile, was not to continue only in the Infancy of the Church, as the Photinians and Socinians affirm, but is perpe­tuall, as may appear by these Arguments.

1. The promise and precept of Christ wherein the Lord commands the Word to be preached unto all,Mat. 20.20. and all Nati­ons to be baptized; and Christ promiseth that he will be with his Officers in the Administration of his Ordinances to the end of the world; If to the end of the world there shall be Disciples, and if all Disciples must be baptized, then Baptism must continue to the end of the world.

2. The ends for which Baptism was ordained, are not tem­porary, but morall, and so perpetuall; All the Disciples of Christ now need the same means as the Christians, during the Age of the Apostles, that we also might be baptized into Christ, Gal. 3.27. Rom. 6.3, 4▪ to be baptized into his death, buried with Christ by Baptism, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glo­ry of the Father, 1 Co [...]. 12.13. even so we also should walk in newnesse of life; Neither doth the Baptism of the Spirit disanull the Baptism of water, but rather confirm it; For by one Spirit are we all bap­tized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free.

[Page 23]3. If we consider the nature, use, or efficacy of Baptism, it is called by the holy Ghost a saving Ordinance, and is unto believers and their seed in the New Testament, as the Ark was to Noah and his [...]amily in the Old world▪ who being in the Ark was saved from perishing in the waters, when the rest were drowned; so Baptism that doth now save us not only or mainly the outward part of it, the putting away the filth of the flesh (which yet is an Ordinance to further our salvation) but when the Spirit of Regeneration effectually concurs, so that we finde that there is a renewing of the holy Ghost, and thereby the answer of a good Conscience towards God. 1 Pet. 3.21.

Thirdly, For the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, it is e­vident,

1. That it is an Ordinance of God appointed by Jesus Christ, for he alone who gives grace hath power to appoint the means whereby he will convey grace: as no man can cre­ate new Articles of Faith to be b [...]eeved, so no man can ap­point new Sacraments to be received; Only Jesus Christ the Prince and Mediatour of the New Covenant, the High Priest of our profession, who hath all power in Heaven and Earth, and who alone is able to fill all his own Ordinances (which in externall appearance seem but mean) with inward efficacy and sprituall fullnesse;Matth. 26.26, 27, 28. 1 Co. 11.23. He hath first instituted this Sacrament and also administred it even the same night in which he was be­trayed.

2. This Ordinance was not only appointed to and for the Apostles, to whom it was first administred, but unto all be­lievers both Jews and Gentiles, by whom it is to be received, not only once as Baptism (for we reade no Institution to baptize the same person more then once) But our Lord hath prescribed the frequ ent reiterated use of this Sacrament,1 Co. 11.26. that we should often [...]at this Bread and drink this Cup, Act. 2.42, 46.10.7. and accor­dingly the Apostles and the primitive Christians did frequent­ly celebrate thiS Ordinance.

3. It is evident that this Sacrament was appointed not on­ly for that age, but for all succeeding generations, therefore [Page 24] Believers are commanded to frequent this Ordinance, and in eating this Bread and drinking this Cup, 1 Cor. 11.26. to shew forth the Lords Death till he come; for our Lord that will have his Church to continue in all successions, till the day of his appearance, hath both enjoyned all Beleevers as their duty to perpetuate the use of this Sacrament in their severall generations, and hath also foretold for their comfort, that this Ordinance shall con­tinue till the day of his last coming:2 Th. 1.7, 8. So then these Ordinan­ces being appointed by God to continue to the end, hereby it appears that the Lord hath designed the Office of the Mini­stry to hold up and hold forth his Ordinances to the end of the world.

Argum. 3.If the Promises which Christ hath made to uphold the Mi­nistry be perpetuall, then the Office is perpetually necessary. But these Promises are perpetual. That Christ hath made pro­mises to uphold the Ministry, hath been proved in the former Proposition out of Mat. 28.20. &c. The only doubt which can remain, is, Whether these Promises were limited to that age wherein the Apostles lived, or whether they do reach all suc­ceeding ages to the end of the world; Wherein who can bet­ter resolve us then Christ himself in the words of the promise, Go teach and baptize, and lo I am with you alwaies to the end of the world.

1. This Promise (we grant) was made first and immediatly to the Apostles; but the Query is, Whether solely and only unto them as they were Apostles; It cannot be denied but many precepts and promises given to them were of a different nature, 1. Some to the Apostles as Apostles, and 2. Some to Apostles as Ministers, and 3. Some to Apostles as Beleevers. If any demand, how shall we know when Christ spake to them as Apostles? when to them as Ministers? and when to them as Christians? We answer, That the best way to discern this, is to consider the nature of these precepts and promises: if they be of an extraordinary nature [...]ove what God hath commanded or promised to all beleever [...], o [...] to all ordinary Ministry; Then these commands or promises are peculiar to [Page 25] Apostles as Apostles, as extraordinary Officers; For instance, When Christ had called the twelve, He gave them power a­gainst unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sicknesses, and all manner of diseases: And these being extra­ordinary promises, it appears they were made to the Apostles as Apostles, and not to them either as Beleevers or as Mini­sters.

If they be of a common nature wherein all Saints and Dis­ciples of Jesus Christ are equally concerned, then though they were given to the Apostles, yet not only to them as A­postles, but to them as Beleevers,2 Pet. 1.1. Matth. 24.42. compared with v. 2, 3. who also partake of like precious faith with them, through the righteousnesse of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; When Christ commanded them to watch, for ye know not what hour the Lord will come; this duty was laid upon them immediatly and apart from o­thers as appears; His Disciples came to him privately, saying, When shall these things be? Yet this duty is of such a nature as is common to all beleevers;Mar. 13.37. Mat. 6.9. to 14 and so elsewhere Christ expounds it, What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch: When Christ taught his Disciples to pray, in them he taught the same duty to all beleevers: And all these commands, to deny our selves, take up the Crosse, and follow him, are so given to the Apo­stles as they also oblige all beleevers:Ioh. 17.20. So when Christ praied for the Apostles, that God would sanctifie them with all truth; he prayed not for them alone, but for all that were gi­ven to him of the Father, which should also beleeve in him through their Word: So all those great and precious promises which pertain to life and godlinesse, whereby all beleevers partake of the divine nature, having escaped the pollutions which are in the world through lust, 2 Pet. 2.3, 4. were given not only to the Apostles but to all Beleevers. The ignorance or non-observance of this distinction hath led the Papists into many absurdities, as when Christ gave the Cup to the Apostles, because they all were Ministers, therefore they do not conceive themselves obliged by that example to give the Cup to the Laity; where­as Christ gave the Cup to the Apostles not as Apostles but only as Beleevers, and so ordained it for all Beleevers, who [Page 26] did not onely Eat the Bread, but Drink the Cup of the Lord. 1 Cor. 7.26.

The Precepts and Promises which are of a middle nature betwixt the two former, not so general as to concern all be­lievers, nor yet so strait and peculiar as to be limited to the Apostles, as Go, Teach and Baptize, &c. These Pre­cepts and Promises thereunto annexed, were given to Apo­stles, not as Apostles, nor to them as believers, but given to them as Ministers and Stewards of the mysteries of God; For the Apostles did not administer the Sacraments as Apostles,1 Cor. 1.17. for to baptize was no peculiar work of the Apostles, as such. Now Christs promise in Matth. 28.20. is to Apostles teach­ing and baptizing. But these are acts ministerial, which there­fore appertain to all Ministers called of God in his Name to perform these duties.

If any shall object and say, This promise was not to their persons, but to their doctrine, which shall continue to the end of the world.

Answ. It is true, the doctrine of the Apostles shall con­tinue to the end of the world; it is such a light as all the breath of men, or rage of hell can never blow out, and one jot or tittle of this word shall not fail;Matth. 5.18. But this promise is not onely to their doctrine, but to their persons, invested in such an Office, not onely to their [...], but to them [...], not onely to their doctrine taught, but to their teaching and baptizing.

This promise cannot be confined to the persons of Apo­stles; for where are the Prophets and Evangelists? And do the Apostles live for ever? But this promise reacheth all ages; I am with you alwayes to the end of the world, which strongly argueth, That the Office of the Ministry shall continue till the second coming of Christ; and though many have endea­voured to suppresse both Ministry and Magistracy, yet they shall continue till Christ deliver up the Kingdom to God even the Father. Rev. 21.22, 23 Then, and not till then, will he put down all Rule, and all Authority and Power. Then there shall be no Temple, there shall be no need of the Sunne, neither [Page 27] of the Moon to shine therein, for the glory of the Lord shall light­en it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

When Christ sendeth forth his Apostles about a ministeri­al imploiment, he promiseth to be with them unto the worlds end, which doth not, cannot intimate, either that the Apostles themselves should live so long, or that this his promise should be made good no longer then they lived. But that as the im­ploiment it self then given them in charge (for the main sub­stance and subject matter of it) so that promise of his graci­ous presence and efficacious assistance, should be conti­nued, as to them in particular for their times, so to others that should in those administrations succeed them from time to time in the severall ages ensuing to the worlds end.

Obj. But may not these words, I will be alwaies with you unto the worlds end, be limited to the particular age or dispen­sation during the lives of the Apostles?

Sol. To prevent this Objection, the holy Ghost useth three expressions to declare the perpetuity of this promise: 1. [...], that this promise shall continue so long as the world continues. 2. [...], this pro­mise shall have no end till the worlds end. 3. [...] all dayes and successions of times, not only [...], not only with you during your dayes, but all the dayes of the Gospel, till time shall be no more; All which words clearly hold out a continuance of the power and function of the Mi­nistry, and Christs special spiritual presence with the persons assigned to this Office in the exercise thereof, not for some particular age, as the lives of the Apostles, but in all succes­sive times to the end of the world, which is evident from the terms in this promise used, being duely considered with collation of other places of Scripture, in the New Testament especially wherein elswhere they are found.

And first, the word [...], answering to the Hebrew word [...] is taken sometime in the notion of an adjunct, and sometime of a subject. Sometime in the notion of an ad­junct of time or continuance; and here most properly, and [Page 28] in its native sense, according to its original, [...] (as Grammarians generally agree) it is used for Eternity, ei­ther for the continuance of eternity before time, which is commonly called aeternitas à parte ante, and so it may well be taken,Joh. 4.14. & 6.51, 58. Joh. 8.51, 52. Matth. 25.46. Luk. 18.18. Acts 15.18. where it is said, That Gods works were known to him, [...], from eternity; or for the continu­ance of eternity, when time shall be no more, commonly cal­led aeternitas à parte post; as it is manifestly taken where the Messias is said to abide, [...] unto eternity, or for ever; whence [...] for ever, and [...] for never, as also [...] for life eternal that shall never have an end. this is correspondent to that Psal. 60.2. [...] from eternity unto eternity, thou art God, that is, without ei­ther beginning or ending. But from hence with some restri­ction it is used for some long continuance of time, as the word [...] also in Hebrew is. And more peculiarly appli­ed to the world, it importeth the perpetual continuance of the thing spoken of, untill the world have a period of its present being. Thus it seems to be taken where [...] & [...] are both joyned together; for as one of the Jewish Doctors well observeth [...] The rock of flint, Deut. 8.15. and [...] The flint of Rock, Deut. 32.13. are in effect the same: So [...], the perpetual continuance of this world, Ephes. 2.2. and [...], the world of this present perpetual continuance, are in effect and sub­stance one and the same. Yea where the word [...] is not expressed, as ( [...]) Luke 1.70. Acts 3.21. and [...], Iohn 9.32. is from the worlds beginning: So [...] or [...], Luke 1.33. compared with 1 Cor. 15.24, 25. and Luke 1.55. is, unto the worlds end. Hence also that di­stinction of [...] this world, Mark 4.19. Luke 16.8. & 20.34. or [...], The world that now is, 2 Tim. 4.10. Tit. 2.12. and as some copies also have it, Matth. 12.32. or [...], The present world, Gal. 1.4. and [...], The world that shall be, Matth. 12.32. Heb. 6.5. or [...], that is coming, or that is to come, Mark 10.30. Luke 18.30. precisely answering that so common with the Jewish masters [Page 29] of [...] and [...] this world and that to come? Nor is it found where the penmen of the Books of the New Testament use the word [...] of a particular present age, or such a short stint of time as some would here restrain it to: They have another word, to wit, [...] answering the Hebrew word [...] which in such cases they use, as where it is said of David, Act. 13.36. that he served [...], his peculiar age, that is, the age wherein he lived, and those forms are common, [...] this age or race Mat. 11.16, & 12.41, 42. where what is said [...] with this age, is by Luke 11.31. rendred [...] with the men of this age. Now where the holy Ghost useth diversity of terms so distinguished, we ought not to confound them.

Again, Sometime the word [...] is used in the notion of a Subject, for the Frame or Fabrick of the Creation of the world, as we commonly use that word, yet for the most part in [...] figurative sense, as hereafter shall be shewn. Thus when the devil is by the Apostle stiled [...] the God of this world, 2 Cor. 4.4. he is by our Saviour to the same purpose termed, [...] the prince or ruler of this World, Joh. 12.21. & 14.30. where yet in a Metaleptical manner of speak­ing, this world, that is, the world here below is put by a Me­tonymy first for men the Inhabitants thereof, as also Rom. 3.16.19. then by a Synecdoche, or a [...] rather for the most and worst sort of them, 1 Ioh. 5.19. When also that distin­ction [...] those in the world, Joh. 13.1. and [...] those of the world, Joh. 8.23. & 15.19, [...] Psa. 17.14. so termed because they have their share and their lot, their part and their-portion, their hopes and happinesse in the things of this world, and the present life alone, as the Psalmist there expounds himself. But thus most expresly is the word used in the plurall form, where it is said of Christ, that God by him [...] made the worlds, Heb. 1.2, and by faith we understand [...] that the worlds were framed that is as the Jewish Masters use to speak [...] the up­per world, [...] the nether world, the whole frame of Heaven and Earth; Of which our Saviour, Vntil Heaven and [Page 30] Earth passe away, Mat. 5.18. Whether way then we take the word [...] here, in the notion of an adjunct or of a subject, according to the holy Ghosts manner of speech, is, so long as the world standeth, or for as long time as it lasteth, for to one and the same stint it amounts either way. That which in the other term of [...] is so evidently and perspicuously expressed as that nothing can be more pregnant, nor need the words any further glosse or Comment, being of them­selves so clear: Howbeit if any shall be either so dim-sight­ed or self-wil'd, as to require some further Comment upon them, or explication of them, to whom should repair be made for further information in such a case rather then the Penman hereof himself? take we then the Evangelist what by this form of speech [...] he intendeth, and he will evidently inform us, Ch. 13.39, 40, 49. & 24.3. (where four severall times he useth the very self same form) that there is no other thing intended then the end of the world; what time that generall Harvest shall be of all sorts of men, good and bad, wherein the Angels shall be as Gods Harvest­men to dispose according to his appointment of either, that which is joyned also with Christs second coming, when co­ming in the Clouds in most Majesticall manner with fullnesse of power and glory, he shall send forth his Angels to gather together his Elect, out of all parts of the world, Mat. 24.3.30, 31. which compar'd with 1 Thes. 4.16, 17. cannot be any other coming of Christ then that which shall be at the last day, and the worlds end, until which coming of his it is also by the Apostle averred that these administrations of Christs own appointment in the Word and Sacraments are to be con­tinued, 1 Cor. 11.26. unto the worlds end, here, and until he come, there; both intimating one and the self same period or stint of time, wherein the Evangelist having so clearly ex­pressed and expounded himself, it is not frivolous only but presumptuous for any man to attempt to fasten any other forced notionor strange sense upon his words.

[Page 31]The fourth Argument From the necessity of the Elect.

If there be 1. a perpetuall need of the Ministry in these daies, as in former times; and 2. God hath provided for the necessities of his people in the latter times, as well as in for­mer ages; and if there be no other ordinary means and re­medy provided to supply their necessities but the Ministry of the Word, then this Office of the Ministry is perpetually ne­cessary in the Church by Divine Institution; But

First, There is a perpetuall need in these daies as well as in former times; because

1. Our natures (though we be born of Christian Parents) are as bad as Jews and Pagans, for there is no difference.Rom., Eph. 2.3. The Elest by nature till regenerated are Children of wrath even as others, dead in trespasses and sins.

  • 1. Our Judgements so dark, that whilst we continue in our naturall condition, we do not,
    1 Cor. 2.12. Rom. 8.7. Col. 1.21.
    cannot discern the things of the Spirit; The wisedom of our flesh is enmity against God.
  • 2. Our wils so alienated that we rebel against the light.
  • 3. Our natures so universally depraved, that whilest we are in the flesh unconverted, we cannot please God;
    Rom. 8.0. Heb. 11.6.
    Without faith it is impossible that we should please God, or that God should please us.

2. The mysteries of the Gospel are so high, so transcen­dant above nature, that till the faculties of the soul be eleva­ted there is a vail upon these Mysteries without,2 Cor. 3.14. 1▪ Tim. 3. last. and upon our hearts within; So that if the same Question was deman­ded of us that was of the Eunuch,Act. 8.30. Vnderstandest thou what thou readest? Had we that same ingenuity we should return the same answer in the sense of our spirituall disability; How can we except some man guide us?

3. The delusions of Satan are so strong, that he prevails over all men naturally, and over most both totally and fi­nally, to keep them under the power of darknesse, and so fit them for chains of darknesse; He blindes the eyes of them that beleeve not.

4. The multitude of false Teachers is so numerous,2 Co. 4.3. as [Page 32] there did arise in former times many false Prophets, saying, Let us go after other gods;Deut. 13.1, 2. So in the Apostles times, there rose up many false Teachers, who desired to be Teachers of the Law, 1 Tim. 1.7. 2 Tim. 3.6. understanding not what they say, nor whereof they do affirm; Who crept into Houses, and did leade captive silly Wo­men, laden with sin, and led away with divers lusts; which false Teachers could countenance, or at least connive at any er­rour, though never so absurd and destructive to the te­nents which themselves professed, yet they did ever joyn in resisting the Truth, men of corrupt mindes, reprobate concerning the Faith:v. 8. It was the danger of the Christian Churches plan­ted by the Apostles to be assaulted and deluded by false Tea­chers,Rom. 16.17, i8 among the beleeving Romans there were some to be marked and to be avoided, which did cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which they had learned; and those Se­ducers did not serve our Lord Iesus Christ, but their own bellies, and by their good words and fair speeches deceived the hearts of the simple.

2 Cor. 11.13. v. 14.Among the Corinthians there were False Apostles, deceitfull workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ; and no marvell, for Satan though he never change his nature and malice, yet he oft alters his habit and pretences, and when he cannot prevail as an opposer, he turns professour, and preacheth,v. 15. and so transformeth himself into an Angel of Light, and therefore it is no great thing if his Ministers be transformed as the Ministers of righteousnesse. These cried down the Ministry and Apostleship of Paul, to set up themselves and their own errours, which forced that holy Apostle to insist so largely in defending his Ministry, in the 12. Chapter of that Epistle.

Among the Galatians there were some that troubled them, whom Paul wisheth were cut off, and these perverted the Go­spel of Christ, and by whom the Galatians were soon removed from him that called them into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel. Gal. 1.7. with 5.12. For even Satan and his messengers when they can­not prevail by their cunningly devised fables, Then (as Lu­ther observes) the Devil hath his Gospel, and his agents will [Page 33] broach new truths, such as Paul and the rest of the Apostles knew not.

Among the Ephesians Paul fore-told that after his depar­ture grievous wolves should enter in among them not sparing the flock: also of your selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, Act. 20.29, 30 to draw disciples after them. And the Apostles have foretold us That in the last times errours shall abound, and men shall not only privily (as then) but even boldly and arrogantly (as it is now) bring in damnable heresies, 2 Pet. 2.1. denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

And the most groundlesse errours because more sutable to our depraved natures, draw more in a day then the most so­lid truths can obtain in many years.

Luther thus complains, It is a grief and lamentation that Satan more hinders and wounds the Gospel by his ministers and phanatical spirits, then all the Kings,Nos hodiè conquerimur & deploram [...]s quod Satan plus nocuerit Evangelio no­stro, per suos n inistros, spiritus illos pha­naticos, quam per omnes reges principes & episcopos qui illud vi persecuti sunt, & adhuc persequuntur. Luther. in Galat. c. 1. v. 1. Princes and Prelates which with their open force have persecuted it, or yet con­tinue in the persecution of it.

How hard a thing is it to prepare a people for the Lord!And after pag. 14. Quanta difficultate paratur domino plebs perfecta! decem annos laboratur an­tequam Ecclesia rect & piè instituta pa­ratur, & u [...]i parata est irrepit aliquis fa­naticus, & quidem idiota, qui nihil no­vit, quam contumeliose loqui contra syn­ceros verbi doctores, is in uno momento evertit omnia: quem non vehementer mo­vet ista indignita [...]? Ten years are spent before the foundation of a Church is well laid, and when it is laid, there creeps in some simple and ignorant fana­tick, that can say and do nothing, but rail at Gods faithfull Ministers, and this silly idiot in one moment overthrows a work of so many years? Whose heart doth not bleed at the thoughts of such a sad disaster!

And therefore the hearers and followers of Seducers shall multiply, many shall follow their pernicious wayes, V. 2. by whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

In the Church of Pergamus, Revel. 3.14, 15 There were some who held the doctrine of Balaam, and also some that held the doctrine of the Nicholaitans, which thing (saith God) I hate.

In Thiatyra there was the woman Iezabel (though neverRevel. 3.20. [Page 34] called of God to any office) yet she called her self a Prophe­tess, 1 Tim. 4.1. and who taught and reduced many of Gods servants to com­mit fornication.

And in the last dayes the holy Ghost fore-tels expresly, That men shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits. And therefore the Ministry is and shall be perpetually necessary in the present and future ages. And hence it is that Satan and his messengers do so extreamly traduce and vilifie the Ministers of God who withstand their errours; and mul­titudes of men who drive on various interests, and scarcely agree in any one thing, yet they can all unanimously agree in this to Oppose, and so much as in them lies to Extinguish the Ministers, and will entertain no thoughts of peace, but upon this condition that the Ministers be abolished, and then they seem to promise to themselves and others rest, as if they would proceed no further,Perperam foe­dus inire cum grege hac condi­tione si gregis custodes fuerint sublati. Sad. de vocatio [...]e pasto­rum. p. 541. which is much like that where­with Demosthenes refuted Alexander, that that league must needs be destructive to the flock, wherein the Keepers and Shepherds of the flock must be abandoned. And if this be once obtained the people shall soon finde, That when the Shep­herd is smitten the flock will be scattered, Mat. 26.31.

Secondly, As the need is perpetual and as great in these times as in former, so God is careful to provide for the neces­sities of his Saints, as well in the later times as in the former dayes. This needs no proof, because many rather now think that God neglected all former Saints in comparison to us, and so magnifie the Saints of this present age, that they either condemn or lightly esteem the generation of righteous men that lived before us. But however, sure it is that God is tender of his youngest children, and that the Primogeniture shall not carry all away: If our elder Brethren had a double portion,Heb. 11.40. Heb. 8.6. Heb. 13.8. Matth. 16.18. yet God hath provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. However, we are sure that the Covenant is the same to us that it was to them. Christ the Mediator of the Covenant is the same yesterday and to day, and the same for ever. The relation of the Church to [Page 35] hi m is tender, Acts 9.5. and Christ undertaking is as full a ever, so to preserve the Church,Acts 26.18. That the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Thirdly, As our need and Gods care are perpetual, so the great and sole ordinary means which our Lord in his ten­der regard to the souls of his hath appointed to heal our na­ture so corrupt, to clear his mysteries which are so high, to detect the frauds of Satan which are so prevalent, and to counter-work seducers which are so many and so active, is the Ministry of the Word. For God hath not revealed any other way in Scripture whereby he hath promised to call home his elect effectually, to separate them from an evil world, to be a peculiar people to himself, then by the preach­ing of the Word.Rom. 10.14. Therefore the Ministry is perpetually ne­cessary to bring in and build up those that belong to the ele­ction of grace, to perfect the Saints, and to edifie the body of Christ. Which Ordinance of Preaching though it be vi­lified,2 Cor. 2.16. 1 Pet. 2.8. Rom. 1.16. and prove the savour of death unto death to them that perish, who stumble at the Word, being disobedient, whereunto al­so they were appointed: Yet to them which believe it is the power of God unto salvation. As Christ and his Ordinances are a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to the unbelievers:1 Pet. 2.7. So to them which believe, Christ in his Ordinances is very preci­ous, and the dispensers of his Ordinances very acceptable:Rom. 10.15. For unto them, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace! Thus Christ in his Ordinances and messen­gers, when he is disallowed of men, is made the head-stone of the corner, and when the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the Ordinance of preaching, which a carnal world cals foolishness, to save them which do believe.

Some object against this Argument,1 Cor. 1.21. That though the Mi­nistry was needfull in former times, yet there is no need in times of the Gospel, The Saints shall be taught of God. And God promises in the new Covenant, saying,Esay 54.13. I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his bro­ther, saying, Know the Lood, Ier. 31.34. Heb. 8.10, 11. for they shall all know me from the [Page 36] lest of them unto the greatest. Now if all the Saints shall be so taught of God that they shall not need to teach one another, Then teaching by way of Office is not perpetually needfull in times of the Gospel. And another parallel place there is 1 Iohn 2.27. The anointing which ye have received abideth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. To which we an­swer,

1. Though the light in times of the Gospel be farre clearer then under the Law, yet it remains a perpetual truth even in Gospel-times, That without all controversie great is the mystery of Godliness. And this mystery is so great, that flesh and bloud do not reveal it to us. 1 Tim. 3. ult. Mat. 16.17. 2 Cor. 3.14. That there is a vail upon our eyes in reading the Scriptures, which vail is only done away by C [...]rist.

[...] Though Christ alone doth away this Vail, and all the Sa [...]nts be taught of God, yet is neither the Vail removed, nor the Saints instructed ordinarily without the Ministry of the Word: when God undertakes to teach his Elect effectually, and to take them one of a City, and two of a Family, and to bring them to Sion, then God promises, saying, I'le give you Pastors after mine own heart, Ier. 3.14, 15. which shall feed you with under­standing and knowledge: So the Saints are truly taught of God in the Ministry of the Word, because it is God alone that giveth Ministers, and alone also teacheth his People to profit under this Ministry, 1 Cor. 15.38. for it is God that giveth to every seed his own Body: Paul may plant, and Apollo water, but it is God a­lone that giveth the encrease: Paul's planting and Apollo's wa­tering did not cease to be the Ordinances of God, though in reference to the success of their Ministry, neither was he that planted any thing, 1 Cor. 3.6, 7. nor he that watered, but God alone that gives the encrease.

3. When God saith, They shall not teach every man his Neighbour, and every man his brother; This word [not] a note of negation, is not absolute but comparative; as where Christ saith,Heb. 8.7. Joh. 7.16. My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me. The world [Page 37] cannot hate you, but me it hateth, Joh. 16.7. Hos. 6.6. Mat. 12.7. 1 C6r. 7.17. 1 Thes. 4.7. v. 10. because I testifie that the works thereof are evil. When God saith, I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice. When Paul saith, God sent me not to Baptize; And when to the Churches he saith, As touching Brotherly Love ye need not that I write unto you, for ye your selves are taught of God to love one another. Yet in the very next verse he ex­horts them unto brotherly Love, beseeching them that they would encrease more and more: And as touching the mini­string of the Saints he saith, It is superfluous for me to write to you; yet in that very Chapter he useth many arguments, and professeth that he thought it necessary to prepare their bounty, and to stir up their pure mindes to a liberall contribution to the Saints, and unto all men: All which speeches are compara­tive expressions, whereby not the thing it self, but such a mea­sure and degree is denied; and so it must be here.

1. Because when these promises That they should not teach every man his brother were fullfilled, and all the Saints were taught of God; yet even then were they taught by an outward Ministry: Christ himself taught daily in the Temple, He even taught in the Synagogues;Luke 19.47. Joh. 18.20. Joh. 10.7. He sent also out his Dis [...]ples to teach: And the Apostles themselves gave themselves continu­ally to the Ministry of the Word: So that in those primitive times the inward spirituall teaching of God did not take a­way that teaching which he himself hath ordained to be ex­ternall and ministeriall.

2. This negation in this promise must be only comparative and not universall and absolute, because then it would not only destroy the Ministry as unnecessary in publike, but also evacuate and disannull all brotherly admonitions in private, and then all godly conference and fraternall reproofs should be prohibited as sins, which none can deny to be commanded as duties, and such duties as are perpetuall in Gospel-times; for all Saints at all times are commanded to consider one ano­ther to provoke unto holinesse and good works; And they should be teaching and admonishing one another to warn them that are unruly, to comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, Heb. 10.24.25 Col. 3.16. 1 The. 5.14. Gal. 6.1, 2. To re­store a brother that is fallen with the spirit of meeknesse, and to [Page 38] bear one anothers burthen, and so fullfill the Law of Christ.

3. The Internall teaching of the Spirit doth not take away the need of an externall teaching by the Ministry, because by the same Argument there should be no need of Scripture, because the Scripture it self also is externall: And this is not a malicious supposition, but de facto there are many men in our times that do so far rely upon this inward teaching as to lay aside the Scriptures: And if so, there is no rule left to try the spirits, which is ever needfull, because many false Pro­phets are gone out into the world. Then there is no way left to recover them that are fallen,1 Jhoh. 4.1. or preserve them that stand, for every one then will wander after his own heart without conviction, and the delusions of Satan may prevail undisco­vered, as if they were the Oracles of God; Then a blinde world and a blinde heart will leade one another till they both fall into the ditch:Mat. 15.14. To prevent these dangers at all times, God hath appointed the Ministry as perpetually necessary, and hath enjoyned his Saints to repair unto the Law and to the testimonies, and if any walking in a spirit of errour un­der specious pretences of new light speak not according to this word,Isa. 8.20. it is because there is no light in them.

If the ends for which Christ first appointed the Ministry, be perpetually necessary,Argum. 5. then the Office of the Ministry ap­pointed by Christ for those ends is perpetually necessary in the Church of God by divine Institution; but those ends for which Christ appointed the Ministry are perpetually necessa­ry, as will appear by a serious consideration of these parti­culars.

1. One end for which the Ministry was ordained of God was, that the Elect might be called and gathered, and there shall be some still in every age to be added to the Church of them that shall be saved, and when the number of the Elect is fully compleat, then shall Christ come in his glory and all his Angels with him to be glorified in his Saints, in the mean time there are many Sheep which are not yet of the Fold, many who belong to the election who are not yet effectually called, [Page 39] them also will Christ bring in both Iew and Gen [...]ile, Joh. 10.16. that there may be one fold as there is on [...] Shepherd: Now God hath re­vealed no other ordinary way to convert and bring these in­to his fold, but the Ministry of his Word, for How can they beleeve without a Preach [...]r? Rom. 10.14. therefore if there be some Elect continually to be brought into fellowship with Christ, and this end be not fully attained till the end of the world, then the Ministry assigned to thi [...] end must be perpetually neces­sary.

And therefore the Apostle Paul acquaints us that Christ gave the Ministers for this among other ends, Ephes. 4.11, 12, 13, 14. In which place, because i [...] is the great Charter of the Gospel-Ministry, we shall crave leave a little to exspatiate: we have,

1. The fruits or effects of Christs Ascension, He gave some Apostles and some Prophets, &c. vers. 11.

2. The ends for which these gifts were given, vers. 12. For the perfecting of the Saints, &c. and vers. 14. That we be not children tossed to and fro, &c.

3, The duration or continuance of these gifts, which is ex­presly asserted to be vers. 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, &c. Now from this place we argue;

1. Either Apostles, or Prophets, or Evangelists, or Pa­stors and Teachers, are to continue till we all come into the unity of the faith. But Apostles, Evangelists and Prophets were not to continue, which we prove thus, That which is here given to continue, and promised that it shall continue, that certainly did and doth continue, otherwise Christ should break his promise. But de facto Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists did not continue, as is confessed. Therefore Pastors and Teachers are to continue.

2. Ordinary Officers in the Church are as truly the institu­tions of Christ, and the fruits of his Ascension, as extraor­dinary, and therefore where God gives ordinary Officers, they are to be received as sent by God, as well as extraordi­nary, both are said to weave one web, to carry on one [...], one work of the Ministry.

[Page 40]3. Whatever God gives to the Church, man neither can nor must take it away, except God reverse it. But Christ gave this gift to the Church, and gave it as ap­pears with intention never to recall it. And therefore woe be to that man that offers to take away this gift, let him take heed lest God take away his part out of the book of life.

4. Though Paul was an extraordinary Minister, yet he doth both here and elswher [...] maintain the honour, and as­sert the necessity of ordinary Pastors, quite contrary to the men of our times who pretend to extraordinary inspirations, and thence take occasion to pour contempt upon the ordinary Ministry.

5. It was the intention of Jesus Christ when he gave this Ministry, that it should continue till we all come into the uni­ty of the faith. And if the Ministry should not continue, it must be either because he is not carefull to make good his in­tention, or not able, or not willing to do it. But all these are absurd. Indeed if this were a conditional promise, depend­ing upon some thing in us, the non-performance of the condi­tion on our parts might excuse the not accomplishment of the promise on Gods part, but it is most evident that the promise here is absolute and independent upon us, and therefore cer­tainly it hath not been, shall not be broken.

If it be said, If this Argument hold, it will prove, that the Apostles shall continue till we all come to the Unity of the Faith, &c. for they also are mentioned in this Chapter.

We Answer. The words are to be understood not con­junctim but divisim, not conjoynedly that all those should continue, but severally, that some one of these (at least) should continue till that time, otherwise this great absurdity would follow, that Christ should fail in the fullfilling of his Word.

6, When Christ promiseth a Ministry until we come to the Unity, he is thereby obliged not only to keep his Mini­stry from a finall abolition, but also from a totall interrupti­on. As when God saith to Christ, Sit thou at my right hand▪ [Page 41] untill I make thine enemies thy footstool, Mat. 22.44. it is therein implied, that Christ shall not cease sitting at the right hand of the Father till all his enemies be subdued. So here when Christ saith, the Ministers shall continue till we all come, &c. it follows undeniably that they must not cease till that date be expired. And least of all should the Word of Christ stand, if God had only set Ministers in his Church for a hundred or two or three hundred years, and suffered his Church to lose the Ministry in the Apostacy of Antichrist, and to be without it for so many hundred years together, as the Seekers are not ashamed to affirm.

2. When the Saints are converted, Gods end in the Word and Sacraments is to confirm them in a state of grace,Act. 14.22. Phil. 3.12. to edifie them and to nourish them up in the words of faith, for the best of Saints are not here perfect, but must go from strength to strength, pressing forward towards perfection; therefore during this life they shall ever need the Ministry, ordained of Christ for the perfecting of the Saints; and they are bound as new born babes to desire the sincere milk of the Word, that they may grow thereby. 1 Pet. 2. And it is the character of true Con­verts, that they love the gates of Sion, Psal. 133.3. for there the Lord com­mands his blessing, even life for ever more.

3. The Saints are to be united (and what tears are suffici­ent to lament our present Divisions?) God hath promised there shall be an happy Union, as of the Members to the Head, so of the Members mutually one to another, that there shall be no Schism in his Body;1 Cor. 12.25. and he hath Ordained the Mini­stry for this end, Till we all come in the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, Eph. 5.13. unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ.

4. The Saints are to be established in the truth of the Gos­pel, and for this end was the Ministry Ordained, That from henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, Eph, 5.15. and carried about with every winde of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cun­ning craftinesse whereby they lye in wait to deceive.

5. Besides all these, there will alwaies be gainsayers, Who subvert whole houses, Tit. 1.11. teaching things which they ought not for [Page 42] filthy lucres sake; and their mouths must be stopped, therefore the Ministry will be perpetually necessary for the attaining of these ends.

Obj. If the Ministry of Pastors and Teachers be perpetual­ly necessary for these ends, Why then is not the Ministry of the Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists perpetuated, for all these are one breeding and feeding Ministry, which Christ ascending on high, set in his Church?

Ans. Those extraordinary Offices were necessary to plant the Churches, to lay the foundation as wise master-builders, that all the Saints might be built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Christ himself being the corner-stone; but after the foundation was laid, it pleased the Father to leave the Mi­nistry in the hands of ordinary Pastors and Teachers, that they might build upon the Foundation, even as God raised up Moses an extraordinary Prophet to give the Law, and then left it to ordinary Teachers, both to reade the Law and give the sense thereof; for even Moses of old time had in every City them that preached him, being read in the Synagogue every Sabbath day; so hath the Lord appointed ordinary Teachers and Pastors, and hath committed to them the Ministry, and hath commanded them to wait on their Ministry, and when they Prophesie to Prophesie according to the proportion of faith: Rom. 12.6, 7. And as he hath commanded them to fulfill their Ministry which they have received of the Lord, so hath he also enjoyn­ed the people to be swift to hear, and to esteem them that are over them highly for their works sake.

If the removall of the Ministry from place to place be threatned by God as one of the saddest curses which can be­fall a people,Arg. 6. and the removing or sleighting of it by men be charged upon them as a grievous sin; Then the Ministry is perpetually necessary by Divine Institution, and to be e­steemed a very great blessing, but the removall of the Mini­stry is threatned as one of the saddest curses, &c. For where there is no vision the people perish;Pro. 29.18. 2 Chro. 15.3. they are destroyed for lack of knowledge. It was the darknesse of those wofull times before [Page 43] King Asa, that Israel had been a long season without a teach­ing Priest, and so without the true God and without the Law. The famine of hearing the Word of God is threatned as the worst of famines, worse then that of bread and water.Amos 8.11, 12 When God delivered up the Ark into captivity, then every one had cause as well as Eli's daughter in Law to cry out Ichabod, the glory is departed from Israel. As it was thus in the Old Testa­ment, so in the New▪ When Christ was greatly provoked by the Jews for their rejecting of him, one of the greatest judge­ments that Christ threatens against them is, that the Kingdom of Heaven should be taken from them and given to a Nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Mat. 21.43. When people set themselves to discountenance, disobey and destroy the Ministry,Rev. 2.5. God may justly remove the Candlestick out of his place. How are those famous Asian Churches laid desolate!Isa. 13.21. The wilde beasts of the desart lie down there, their, not only houses, but Tem­ples are full of dolefull creatures, the Owles dwel there, and the Satyres dance th [...]re, and Mahumetanism hath covered the face of the Eastern parts of the world, as Antichrist hath done in the West. The Ministry is the hedge of Gods Vine­yard, which if it be broken down, Psal. 80.13. all that passe by the way pluck it, the Boar out of the Wood doth wast it, and the wilde beasts of the field devour it.

The Ministers God in mercy hath set as watchmen upon the wals of Ierusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or might. If they be discountenanced, and through carnal fears so dispirited, that they are like unto dumb dogs that cannot bark, it is a forerunner that the Flock will be devoured by the Wolves, and that such a people is near to ruine.1 King. 12.32. It was the sin of Ieroboam, and though he intended it for establish­ment, yet it became a ruine both to him and to his house, that he contemned the Ministry, and made Priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.

Ahab and Iezabel persecuted the Prophets of the Lord with the sword, and how dolefull was their end,1 King. 19.10. when the dogs licked up his blood, and eat her flesh.1 King. 22.38. 2 King. 10.33▪ 2 Chr. 16.10. It is noted that the contempt of the Ministry and the oppression of the peo­ple [Page 44] do frequently go together. Asa a good King, yet being in rage against the Seer, put him in prison; and the holy Ghost observes, that at the same time he oppressed some of th [...] people. It is noted of Amaziah that God had determined to destroy him,2 Chr. 25.16. because he did evil, and would not hearken to the Coun­sel of the Prophet: And that great sin for which God abhor­red the excellency of Iacob, and sent his own people into captivity, is expressed to be this, that when the Lord had sent to them his Messengers rising up betimes and sending, because he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place, that then they mocked the Messengers of God, 2 Chron. 36.15, 16. and despised his words, and misused his Prophets, untill the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

And in these daies the way of truth is evil spoken of, and there are risen up even among Professors, those who are Retainers of a form of godlinesse, and yet are despisers of them that are god­ly, Jude ver. 19. 1 Thess. 15.19, 20. who separate themselves, being sensual, having not the Spirit, who despise prophesying, and quench the Spirit. And one reason why preaching is not so effectual to the bringing in of souls to Christ, is, because of the many multitudes that frequent Sermons, there are but few that come to the Word as to an Ordinance of God, or that seek God in his own Ordinance; there are very few, which when they receive the Word of God which they hear of Ministers, Receive it not as the word of men, 1 Thess. 1.13. but as indeed it is the Word of God which effectually work­eth in them that do believe. Now this evil is not only a sinne against Gods free mercy, but is also a sin against the sweet­est of remedies: How will our sore prove uncurable, and our disease continue without healing, if we despise the balm of Gilead and reject all healing medicines? It is in the number of those sins which go before us unto judgement, when people put away the Ministry of the Word from them, they are said by the holy Ghost before the day of Judgement come, to judge themselves unworthy of eternall Life. And thus we have done with the Arguments proving the perpetuity of the Ministry, there remains one great Objection to be Answered.

CHAP. III. Wherein the grand Objection Asserting the Loss of the Ministry under Antichrist, is Answered.

WE confesse that there was a Ministry Ordained of Christ, and continued all the daies of the Apostles,Objection. and some Centuries after, yet the Mystery and Ministry of the Man of Sinne was then working, which at length so farre prevailed, that all the world wondered af [...]er the Beast, and power was given him over all Kindreds and Tongues and Nations; Rev. 13. v. 3. so that be caus [...]d all, both great and small, rich and poor, Ver. 16. bond and free to receive his M [...]rk in their Right hand, or in their Fore­heads. In this Apostacy the Church which had been a chaste Virgin, became the Mother of Harlots and Abominations, and not only the Kings and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the Wine of her Fornications, but especi­ally the Priests in all Nations were the abominable Pandors to promote the filthinesse of her Whoredoms, they were the Merchants made rich by her Fornications.Rev. 17.2. Rev. 18.15. Now under this Reign of Antichrist, Bethel was turned into Bethav [...]n, the Ministry was wholly lost, being only in pretence for Christ, but in reality for Antichrist: And therefore we look upon all Ministers now as Members of that notorious Strumpet, as Locusts from the bottomlesse Pit, as Priests of Baal, and Limbs of Antichrist, and so account it not a sinne, but a duty to contemn their persons, and abhorre their Mi­nistry.

We acknowledge first that the Apostacy under Antichrist was exceeding dreadfull. Secondly,Soluti [...]n. That not only the peo­ple and the Princes, but the Priests also had a great hand, and were chief agents in this defection. Thirdly, That its the duty of Gods people to come out of Babylon, that they partake not of their sins, nor receive of their plagues. Rev. 18.4. But yet we [Page 46] need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in Christ, that we may know the things that differ, that we may not call good evil, and evil good, but according to the Word of truth, judge righteous judgement: And therefore we intreat the Reader or this Objector, conscientiously to ponder these Considerations.

1. Consider, as there have been many false Christs, so there are and have been many mistaken Antichrists; and the holy Ghost bids us, not to beleeve every Spirit, but to try the spirits; Mat. 24. v. 23, 24, 25. when many shall say, Loe here is Christ, and loe there is Christ: And its as true of Antichrist, some say, Lo here is Antichrist: Some, Lo there; yet the Lord commands us saying, beleeve them not. The Truths, Ordinances, Ser­vants and Ministers of Christ, do not therefore cease to be of Christ, because some, either by mistake, or by design shall say they are of Antichrist. The Doctrine of the Deity of Christ▪ who is God blessed for ever, will not cease to be a most precious Truth, because Michael Servetus, Georgius Blandatra, Franciscus David, Laelius Socinus and his adhe­rents condemn it as an Antichristian Errour.

Was Valentinus Gentilis therefore a friend and Martyr to God the Father, because he died as an enemy to God the Son?Stapleton Orat. Academ. 28. Jacob Usher de Statu & Success. Ecclessiae cap. 3. p. 64. Were the Valdenses who appeared against the Romish errours, the limbs of Satan, because some of the Romanist affirm that Satan was let loose in Berengarius and his Disci­ples? How luxuriant and confident are the fancies of many concerning the things contained in the Revelations, where­in modest Christians would chuse rather to be humbly inqui­sitive, then Dogmatically positive? Was Innocent the third the lesse nocent, Nicola Lyran. in Apocalyps. cap. 20. Jacob. Usher ibid. pag. 297. or was Pope Calixtus the more holy, be­cause some of their followers make them to be the Angel coming down from heaven, having the Key of the bottoml [...]sse pit to binde Satan, as if the binding of Satan were nothing else, but to Excommunicate Emperours, and to depresse the Im­perial power under the Papal?

Bonaventure in Vit▪ Francis. cap▪ 3.Shall Dominicus or Franciscus, those two great Founders of the Orders of the Friars Dominican and Franciscan, the [Page 47] great upholders of Papacy, shall they be lesse suspected,Jaco. Usher. ib. pag. 265. be­cause some of their disciples admired them, and confidently averred them to be that Angel ascending from the East, having the Seal of the living God? Rev. 7.2. Men have no power to make Christian, Unchristian or Antichristian, either per­sons or things, according to their pleasure: The Word of God is established in the heavens, and his Truths do not vary after the variety of mens mistaking fancies: There­fore we have great need to be sober and humble, and to beg of the Lord the spirit of love and of a sound minde, that we may neither justifie the wicked nor condemn the Righ­teous.

2. Consider, concerning Antichrist, Though we grant it that Antichrist is not an individual person, as Bellarmine and the Papists generally affirm: But the state and succession of men which with one and the self same spirit oppose Christ. 2. That the seat of this great Whore, is not,Heylin in his late Geograph. p. 251, 252. H. Grotius in 2. thes. 2.4. & Tractat. de An­tichristo. Bellarmin. de Antichristo, cap. 13. as some inti­mate, Constantinople; nor Ierusalem, as others affirm; but Rome that great City, that then reigned over the Kings of the earth, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. And 3. that the Antichrist is not the Turk and Mahumetanism in the East, But the Pope and Papism in the West; yet there is no ground to condemn every thing in that Antichristian Syna­gogue for Antichristian; for without all question the Books of the Old and New Testament were wonderfully preserved even in mystical Babylon. As formerly when the Oracles of God were committed to Israel, the Lord continued the holy Scripture in the Jewish Church, notwithstanding their spi­ritual Apostacy and Babylonish Captivity. The good Word of the Lord is no lesse the Word of Truth, because the false Antichristian Synagogue, do acknowledge it; no more then the Scripture ceaseth to be the Scripture, because Satan the father of lies did alledge it. Gold is gold wherever you finde it; Truth is truth, however men either accept it or contra­dict it. It's a vast comprehensive Errour to reject all Te­nents, though never so true for errours, because an errone­ous Society doth confesse them: For all is not false which [Page 48] the false Church asserteth; Every errour is founded upon the mistake of some truth;Màlum in aliquo bono fundatur, Aquin. contra Gentil. lib▪ 3. cap. 11. as every evil doth usually arise from the abuse of some good: In this mixture of good and evil, light and darknesse, where there are many precious truths, yet many abominable falshoods; it's our duty to se­ver between the righteous and the vile, that we neither swallow down all for truth because there is a mixture of truth, nor reject all for false because there is superadded a redundancy of falshood; Antichrist sitteth in the Temple of God, and his coming is with all deceivablenesse of unrighteousnesse, therefore we must Watch and Pray for the spirit of discerning, that we may distinguish between things that differ.

3. Consider as the Lord had his truths so he had his Church in Babylon during the rise, and growth, and reign, and conti­nuance of Antichrist. The Apostacy though generall over all tongues, and kindreds, and Nations, yet it was not so uni­versall in all individuall persons, but that there were a rem­nant according to the Election of grace:Rom. 11.4. As in the Baalitish A­postacy the Lord reserved seven thousand who had not bowed their knees to Baal; So in this Antichristian defection, the Lamb upon Mount Sion had 1 [...]. times 12. thousand that ad­hered to the doctrine of the 12. Apostles, and these 144000 had their Fathers name written in their Forehead, Rev. 14.1, 4, 5. redeemed from among men, b [...]ing the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb, and in their mouth was found no guile, and they were not defiled with those Antichristian whoredomes; For they are Virgins, they were the true seed of the woman which keep the Command­ments of God, Rev. 12.17. Si Dominus temporalis ter­ram suam neg­lexeri [...] purgare ab h [...]retica prae­vitate excommu­nicationis vincu­lo innodetur, & summus ponti­fex vasallos ab ejus fedelita [...]e demintiet abso­lut [...]s & terram exponat alijs oc­cupandam. Con Lateran. sub Innoc. 3. Vid. Alphons. D [...]cr [...]tum in Jacob. Usher pag. 253. and have the testimony of Iesus Christ, against whom the Dragon raged: And therefore when the Roma­nists ask, where was the Church before Luthers time? We answer it was in and among them, though it was not of them. The Waldenses, Albingenses, Berengarians, Pauperes de Lugduno or Lionists, Lollards, in severall places having many other se­verall names and these in the severall ages of the Reign of Antichrist held the truth of Jesus, and opposed the errours of the man of sin: which severall Popes endeavoured to destroy but could never effect: All the Kings and Potentates [Page 49] of the earth were stirred up against them, and a Decree made that if any temporall Lord did neglect to expell them out of his Dominions, that he should be excommunicated, his sub­jects absolved from allegiance, and all their Lands confiscate and given to others; Hence some of the Princes of the earth made it Treason for any of their Subjects either to hear or harbour them, or any waies to releeve them.

And the armies raised against the Saracens and Mahome­tans were converted against these poor Christians and plena­ry indulgence,M. Mede in A­pocalyps. c. 13.7. Huc & illuc di­persi ubique cum exegitarentur, tamen extitere semper per inter­valla qui corum doctrinam inter­mortuam reno­varunt. Thuan. l 5. ad an. 1550. pardon of all sin promised to all that would fight against them: And if in France alone as its reported in the History of that War, there were slain ten hundred thou­sand, what shall we think the number of them to be who were slain in all other Nations; Yet under all these pressures and persecutions, though they were often dispersed, yet they could not be extinguished but these afflicted people of the Lord, being scattered fled into Provence and the Alpes, some into Calabria, Bohemia, Polonia, and into Britain, as Thuanus in his Preface.

And though many Opinions were imputed to them to make them odious,Ja. Usher. ibid. p. 159. ad 173. Thuan. ibid. yet their accusers do wofully and wonderfully contradict themselves, as some of our Learned men do prove: and some of them ingenuously confesse: yet their main te­nents were that they renounced the Church of Rome as the mysticall Babylon, contemned the Pope as the man of sin, and rejected their severall Popish opinions as Antichristian; They held the same truths for substance that the Protestants now professe, Insomuch as some of the adversaries confesse, that they who are now Calvinists were anciently called Berengari­ans, and the New Protestants are the Old Waldenses;Qui hodie sunt Calvinist ae olim dicti fuerunt Berengariani. Serar. This Sect some of the Papists complain to be of all most pernici­ous to the Church of Rome.

1. Because it is most ancient and durable, having continu­ed from the time of Pope Sylvester: Who was cre­ated Pope An. 315. ut Onuph. Others say from the time of the Apostles.

2. Because most generall, no part of the earth scarce free from it.

[Page 50] Inter omnes fectas quae sunt vel fuerunt non est periculosior Ecclesiae D [...]i quam Pauperum de Lugduno, tribus de causis. 1. Quia Diuturnior quidam dicunt quod duraverit a tempore Sylvestri, alij dicunt quod a tempore Apostolorum. 2. Quia Generalior fere enim nulla terra est, qua haec secta non serpit. 3. Quia magnam habet Speciem Pietatis, eo quod coram homini­bus justè vivunt & bene de Deo omnia credunt, solum Romanam Ecclesiam blasphemant & ode­runt, cui multitudo facilis est ad credendum. Rainerius contra hereticos. cap. 4. pag: 54.3. Because it hath the greatest appearance of godlinesse, for they live justly towards men, and believe all things well concerning God, only they blaspheme and hate the Church of Rome.

Consider. 4.As the Lord had his Saints during all the Reign of Anti­christ, so he raised up his Ministers who in their severall suc­cessive ages in severall places, testified against the spirituall whoredomes, idolatrous worships, and deceiving frauds of Antichrist; it's true, as the generality of the people, so the generality of the Priests in those times did worship the Beast, even all that dwelt upon earth, whose names were not writ­ten in the Lambs Book of Life;Rev. 13.8. Romana Eccle­sia ad hunc sta­tum venit, ut non esset digna regi nisi per re­probos. Petr. Aliac. de infor­matione. D. Usher ibid. pag. 179. [...] Thes. 2.10, 11, 13. and some observe, that it was the righteous judgement of the Lord upon the Church at that time, that such an Apostate people should have such apo­staticall Priests, and the holy Ghost maketh this one expresse ground, because men did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved, therefore God shall send them strong delusions, that they should beleeve a lie, that they all might be damned who beleeved not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighte­ousnesse: But in this generall defection both of people and of their Teachers; The Lamb had a remnant with him who were called, and chosen, and faithfull, even an afflicted poor rem­nant of Pastors as well as of people,Rev. 17.4. reserved in the midst of Babyltn, who did trust in the Name of the Lord, and those godly pious Priests were both obedient unto and bold in the faith of Jesus.

Now if there were such Ministers during the reign of An­tichrist, that followed the Lamb, did not defile their gar­ments, but preached and prayed, and lived, and died in their constant and consciencious oppositions of the man of sinne, then surely the Ministry was not totally lost under the reign [Page 51] of Antichrist. But that there were such, appears both by Holy Scripture-prophesie which foretels it, and unquestion­able History of the Church that confirms it: In the one, men may learn what God spoke with his mouth; In the other, what the Lord fullfilled with his own hand: The holy Ghost expresseth, that there should be some to prophesie in Sackcloth one thousand two hundred and sixty daies: Now not to dispute, but taking that for granted which the best Interpreters assert, and by Arguments out of the Revelations prove,

1. That those One thousand two hundred and sixty daies are not naturall daies but propheticall,Brightman, Mede, Iunius, Paraeus in Apo­calyps. Bellarm. de Antichristo. c. 2. every day taken for a Year, as Ezek. 4.6. Num. 14.14.

2. That those two Witnesses prophesying were not two individuall persons, as Enoch and Elias, as Bellarmine and o­ther Papists affirm; but a succession of Holy men stirred up all that time to testifie the truth of Christ against Antichrist, as our learned men prove.

3. That the Reign of the Beast continuing for 42 moneths,Paraeus in Apo­calyps. c. 11.3. which moneths taken prophetically as before, every day for a year, and reckoning for every mon [...]th 30 daies, now multi­ply the 42 by the 30. and the reign of the Beast is 1260 years, and though there be great difficulty when to begin the rise and reign, and most Expositors herein much vary, yet in the continuance there is a generall accord, and none can ra­tionally make any question about it.

4. That these Sackcloth-prophecies though but very few comparatively to the Locusts out of the Bottomlesse pit, which were innumerable, called two like their types Moses and Aaron, who brought Israel out of Egypt, or as Elias and Elisha which reduced Israel out of Baalism, yet these Wit­nesses, though in number few, continue in their successions all the reign of the Beast, for the daies of their prophecying in Sackcloth are One thousand two hundred and sixty years, and so expire not till the 42 moneths of the Beasts Reign be expired.

Now fifthly we adde, that these Sackcloth Prophesiers were not only Saints who mournfully bewailed the abomina­tions [Page 52] of those times, that the holy City should be trampled under foot; but also that they were holy pious Ministers distinct from the Saints in Office, and in the act of their Pro­phetical function, which is intimated to us,

1. From the power bestowed upon them▪ the Lord gives to them not only to pray and to mourn, but to Prophesie, Rev. 11.3. Not so much by prediction of things future, as by Preaching the everlasting Gospel. It was a mighty power from on high that a few contemned, persecuted Ministers should have gifts to be able, and power to be couragious to preach against the son of perdition, when all the world won­dered after the Beast.

2. From their effectual exercise of that power and that in their publick detecting those Antichristian abominations, and denouncing the wrath of God against them. It is said in the daies of their Prophesie, though they were poor men and had no carnal weapons to defend themselves or offend their ene­mies, yet in a spiritual sense fire proceedeth out of their mouths and devoureth their enemies, Revel. 11.5. For the Lord did make his words in their mouth to be fire, and the people wood, and it devoured them, Ier. 5.14. and the holy Ghost adds further that these Prophets tormented them that dwel upon the earth, v. 10.

3. The Spirit of truth doth not only call these two by the name of Prophets, but elsewhere distinguisheth the Prophets and Righteous men, He that receiveth a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophets reward; and he that re­ceiveth a Righteous man in the name of a Righteous man, shall receive a Righteous mans reward. Where Christ incouraging poor Preachers of the Gospel against all the hard and harsh usage of the world, intimates to us,

  • 1. That there are some who by way of Office and distin­ction from others, are Prophets and Preachers.
  • 2. That there is some eminent reward due to Prophets.
  • 3. That they who do any good to Prophets, even because of that Office, shall receive a Prophets reward.

And in this very Prophesie concerning Antichrist, the Spi­rit [Page 53] maketh these two distinct, the Prophets and the Saints: Babylon is therefore ruined, because in her is found the blood of the Prophets and of the Saints, Rev. 17.24. Now if we descend from the words of this Prophecy, and come to observe the answerable event in History, we shall finde that in every age there were Ministers opposing the tenents of Antichrist. Their particular names, times, places, and their manner of resisting the man of sin, it will be too large to insist upon, yet a brief Catalogue of Ministers is here inserted.

From the time of Christ and his Apostles, for 600 years, our famous Iewell against the Romanists, hath abundantly proved that the truths professed in the reformed Churches were maintained by the Ancients. And in the succeeding Centuries, when the Man of Sinne began to prevail, there were in their several Ages, Godly and Learned Ministers who opposed the Popish Errours, defending the sufficiency of Scripture, Communion in both kindes, Justification by free Grace; disclaiming the defilements of worship in adoring Images, Invocation of Saints, praying for the Dead, wor­shipping Reliques; and openly testifying against the ri­sing and swelling power of the Pope, declaiming against his Supremacy and title of Universal Bishop as Anti­christian.

From the 600 year of Christ, to the 700, besides Isidore, 7. Century. Hesychius and others; there were in this Island these two famous Preachers, Aidan, who converted from Paganism the Kingdom of Northumberland, which then contained not only the Country now so called, but also Cumberland, Bed [...] histor. l. 3. West­moreland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Bishoprick of Durham, and some part of Scotland. Also Finan, by whose Ministry the Lord turned to the Christian faith, the Kingdom of the East Saxons, and of Mercia, as our own Countryman doth testifie.

B [...]sides our famous Countrymen, Bede, 8. Century. Al [...]vinus and many others; there were Adlebertus and Clemens and Sampson, Albertus, & Clemens, & Sā ­pson, & complures ali [...] à Bonifacio dissen [...]r [...]t, [...]ist [...]r. Magdeburg. Cent. 8. Albertus Gallus & ejusdem secta s [...]erdot [...]s P. Bonifacio adversari vehem [...]ntissime caep [...]ru [...]t. Aven [...]. Anal. l. 3. with [Page 54] many other Priests, who did mightily withstand Pope Boni­face.

Besides Taurinensis, Agobardu [...], Rabanus Maurus, there was Scotus accused by the Pope for an Heretique,9. Century. Baronius tom. 9 Balae. Possevi [...]. Acts Monum. pag. 130. and mur­dered (as is conceived) by his own Scholars for his oppo­sing the carnal presence. And Bertram a Priest in France, was so clear a Protestant in the point of the Sacrament, in a Book that he set forth, that some Romanists say it was writ by Oecolampadius under the name of Bertram. Vid. Sim. Birck­beck, pag. 220. And the most learned of the Papists confess that Walafridus Strabo, Ionas Bishop of Orleans, and Hin [...]marus Archbishop of Rhemes departed from the received opinion of the Church Ca­tholique.Baron. t [...]m. 9.

In this Age (the most unlearned and unhappy) are recoun­ted Radulphus Flavia [...]ensis, 10. Century. Stephanus Eduensis, Smarag­dus, and our English Alfricke whose Saxon Homily was ap­pointed to be read publikely to the people against the carnal presence▪

In this Age more light began to appear, even in the heat and height of Antichristianism,11. Century. not only by the Ministry of Fulbert Bishop of Chartres, Anselme of Laon Author of the Interlineal Gloss, Oecumenius, Theophylact and others, but especially by Berengarius and his disciples.

Besides Arnulphus the Martyr, Hugo de Sancto Victore, Robertus Tuitiensis, 12. Century. Gulielmus de sancto amore, Io [...]chim Abbas, Niceas, Mr. Fox 1. part pag. 180. were Peter Bruis and his Scholar Henry of Tholous [...], two famous Preachers against Popish errours, insomuch as Peter was apprehended and burnt. In this Age the Wal­denses appeared, who were the famous opposers of Anti­christ.

In this Age are recorded Al [...]ssiodore, Peter de Vin [...]is, Ar­noldus de nova villa, 13. Century. and those two famous Preachers Gerar­dus and Dulcinus, Robertus Gro­stedus Romano­rum malleus. Mr. Fox 1. part pag. 292. who preached that the Pope was Anti­christ, and Rome Babylon. Besides our famous Robert Grost­head Bishop of Lincolne, the great hammer of the Romanists, who wrote to the Pope that he was Antichrist.

[Page 55]In this Age appeared for Christ Thomas Bradwardin, 14. Century. Ri­chard Armachanus, Taulerus a famous Preacher in Ger­many; and that glorious instrument of the Lord, Iohn Wickliff.

In this Century, besides Peter de Alliaco, Nichol. Cleman­gis and many others, we need name no other,15. Century. but those great Worthies and Martyrs Savanorola a famous Preacher in Florence, with Iohn Huss and Hierom of Prague, whose memories are pretious throughout all the Reformed Chur­ches.

In this Age the Father of mercies raised up Martin Lu­ther, and so many others,16. Century. and from that time the defection from Rome was so eminent, that it hath visibly continued to this day; and concerning the following times there is no question.

And for the more clear understanding of all the persons aforementioned the Ministers of the Lord, we referre the Learned Readers to the Histories Magdeburgens. to Illyricus his Catalog. testium veritatis, to Iacob. Vsher, de Eccles. succes. & statu. and amongst our English Writers, to Mr Fox his Acts and Monuments, and to Mr Sim. Birckbeck his Treatise called The Protestants Evidence.

And if any further demand saying, Though many par­ticular men did appear against Antichrist, yet how doth it appear, concerning those multitudes of Professors called the Berengarians and the Waldenses, that their Churches had Mi­nisters?

We Answer, That Berengarius is reported to have been so great a friend to Learning and Learned Preachers,Berengarius egenos scholares praesertim theo­logiae studios [...]s, quotidiana stipe (cum opulentu [...] esset) ita solli­citavit, ut eo­rum opera omnis p [...]n [...] Gallia & vicinae gentes eo malo quam citissime laborarent. Alan. de Euchar. Per eg [...]s scholares quos quotidia [...] stipendiis sustentabat, &c. Mat. Paris. Jacob. Usher. pag. 199. that at his own proper cost and charge, he brought up many Scho­lars, specially such as were Students of Divinity, by whose help his Doctrine was spread almost through all France, and the Countries adjoyning, which is a great complaint that the Popish Authors had against him.

[Page 56]And when it was objected against the Waldenses, that they said,Minis [...]ris qui­d [...]m nostris op­taremus cam fae­licitatem, ut se su [...]sque absque illis adminiculis operar [...]m honestarum alere possent, ita enim plus temporis saltem ad studia sua ipsis suppeteret, & occasio major esset instituendi nostros doctrina & eruditione necessa­ria. N [...]n enim superstitiose, vel dem [...]nter potius, manibus opus facere mandamus nostros, quod nisi hoc saciunt peccare eos judicamus. Sicut de quodam memorari audimus, qui ex sacerdote agricola factus fuerit, quòd scriptum esse diceret, In sudore vultus comedes panem tuum. Ad eum modum (Christo gratia) non est passus nostros labi Dominus: Sed plerique ex nostris necessitate eo adiguntur ut opus faciant, &c. In scripto edito Anno 1572. Jac. Usher▪ p. 168. Ministers should live upon Alms or work for their living,

They answer, that they wished that happinesse to their Ministers that they might be free from servile labours, for so they should have more time for their studies, and more fitnesse to instruct us. For we are not grown to that super­stition or rather madnesse, as to think our Ministers do sinne unlesse they labour with their hands. As it is reported of one who of a Priest turned Husbandman, because it is written In the sweat of thy brows shalt thou eat thy bread. Our Lord hath not suffered us to fall in this manner. Yet many of our Ministers are brought to that necessity, that they must either work or starve.

But this these holy Saints did not account in those times to be the Ministers duty, but lamented it as the Churches misery. By all which it appears that the Berengarians and the Waldenses had their Ministers, even under the reign of Antichrist.

5. Consider.As there were Saints and Ordinances, and Ministers un­der the reign of Antichrist: so many of these godly Mini­sters suffered Martyrdom during the tyranny of the Beast, for their appearing against Antichrist. And if these Mini­sters and Priests died for the Name of Christ against Anti­christ: then surely the Ministry was not lost, nor is it Anti­christian. But that there were such Ministers and Martyrs for the Name of Christ in every Country, is apparent by the C [...]talogue of Martyrs which you may see more at large in Mr Fox. M [...]. Fox Acts and Monum. part. 2d.

[Page 57]In Germany, Nicholas of Antwerp, Iohannes Pistorius of Holland, George Sekerter at Rustat, Mr Bersival at Lovain, Pag. 116. P [...] ­ter Bruly at Dornick in Flanders, with many others.

In France, Laurentius Cruceus at Paris, Pag. 128. Cae [...]eri qui er­rorem [...]ueban­tur, ignibus [...]xu­sti sunt, in quibus pleriqu [...] sacer­dotes. Thuan. l. 5. Act. and M [...]n. par. 2. p. 14 [...]. Iohn du-Beck in Champaign, Aimond at Burdeaux, Geffery Varagle at Thu­ren. What need we relate Peter Bruis, and other godly Ministers, when Thuanus records, that all those who would not recant, were burnt alive; among whom (he saith) were many Priests.

In Spain, Dr Cacalla called the Standard-bearer to the Go­spellers. Francis de Bivero Priest of Valladolid, Alfonso Perez Priest of Valence.

It would be too long to speak of Savanarola in Florence, of Iohn Hu [...], Hierom of Prague in Bohemia, and many other godly Ministers burnt alive for the testimony of Jesus.

But we need go no farther then to England for examples: and here not to insist on the troubles of Iohn Wickliff, Ni­cholas Herford, Philip Repington, with other pious Ministers in the time of Richard the 2d, nor the cruel burnings of Wil­liam Taylor and William White under Henry the 4th, and ma­ny others in the succeeding times. Only peruse the History of Henry the 8th and Q. Mary.

Under Henry the 8th Mr Fox records these famous Mini­sters suffering Martyrdom.Act and Mon. pa [...]t. 2.

Mr Thomas Bilney.

MrBurfield, both burnt anno 1531.Pag. 277.293.309.361.

Iohn Fryth, burnt anno 1532.

William Tyndal, called the Apostle of England, burnt an­no. 1536.

Iohn Lambert, burnt anno 1538.

Robert Barns, Tho▪ Garret, 397.528. William Hierom Divines, burnt together in Smithfield anno 1541.

We instance in these among others, and have named the time of their sufferings, and the pages of the Book where their sufferings are recorded: that when you have considered their holy lives and godly death, how they imbraced the flames of fire as beds of Roses for the name of Christ, you [Page 58] may for ever abhor the thought of accounting such worthy Ministers of Christ as Antichristian.

And if you descend to the bloudy dayes of Qu. Mary, you may finde all the Land over, Ministers of Christ burning for the name of Christ.

Take but the first year of that fiery trial Anno Dom. 1555. and see how these Antichristian flames kindled upon the godly Preachers.

Mr Iohn Rogers Vicar of Sepulchres Protomartyr, burnt in Smithfield, Feb. 8.

Mr Lawrence, burnt at Coventry about the same time.

Mr Iohn Hooper burnt at Glocester, Feb. 9.

Dr Rowland Taylor, burnt at Hadly, Feb. 9.

Mr Iohn Lawrence, burnt at Colchester, Feb. 29.

Mr Robert Farran, burnt at Carmarthen in Wales, March 30.

Mr George Marsh, burnt at Westchester, April 24.

Mr William Flower, burnt at Westminster, April 24.

Mr Iohn Cardmaker, burnt at London, May 30.

Mr Iohn Bradford, burnt in Smithfield, Iuly.

Mr Iohn Bland, burnt at Canterbury, July 12.

Mr Robert Samuel, burnt at Ipswich, Aug. 31.

Dr Nicholas Ridley, and Mr Hugh Latimer at Oxford, Octob. 26.

Mr Iohn Philpot, burnt in Smithfield, Decemb. 18.

Not to name the year following. In this one year you may read of these holy Ministers with others, counting not their lives dear unto themselves, so they might finish their course with joy, and fulfill the Ministry which they received of the Lord: and dare you call these blessed Martyrs the limbs of Anti­christ, who had all their limbs torn in pieces and consumed by Antichrist? If you profess your selves Protestants, be not like the Papists in their brutish rage who digged up the bones of Bucer and Paulus Fagius. It was the praise of Boaz, that he left not off his kindenesse,Ruth 2.20. but it will be your reproach, that you have not left off your unkindenesse neither to the li­ving nor to the dead.

The Turks so farre honoured S [...]nderberg, that when he [Page 59] was buried at Lyssa, they with great devotion digged up his bones, counting it some happinesse if they might but see or touch them, and they that could get any part of them, caused them to be set in silver or in gold, and so to hang about their necks as ornaments of greatest worth. If the Turks did this to him that was an enemy, and they Mahumetans to him a Christian, how may they rise up in judgement to condemn many in this generation, who professe themselves Christians, yet condemn the most eminent souldiers and Martyrs of Je­sus? Cursed be this anger for it is cruel, and this rage for it is fierce. If you be real Protestants, for shame bridle your fu­ry, which in some regards is worse then Popish. Do you cry out Antichrist, Antichrist, and yet crucifie Christ again in his members? Is not this to partake of Antichrists sin? How­soever, when you have done your worst, these holy Ministers and Martyrs are happy in heaven, and their memorial shall be in all ages blessed upon earth, when their enemies shall perish and leave their names for a curse unto Gods chosen. Isa. 65.15.

If the Lord had his holy Ministers not onely in suffering times to be Martyrs, but also in times of Reformation;6. Consider. if the Lord stirr'd up his Ministers as his chiefest instruments to bring his people from the power of Antichrist, as of old he led his people out of Egypt by the hands of Moses and Aaron, then surely the Ministers are not Antichristian. But the Lord did stirre up his Ministers in several places to detect the frauds of Antichrist, and by their Ministry he did reduce his people from that Antichristian tyranny. Before you heard of many Worthies, as Wickliff, Hus, Hierom Prague, &c. But in the 16. Century, how wonderfully did the Lord raise up for the rescue of his people the Ministry of Luther, and with him what a troop of expert valiant Champions, Philip Melan­cthon, Conradus Pellican, Fabricius, Capito, Osiander, Bucer, and many others in Germany, Zui [...]glius in Helvetia, Indefessus Chri­sti miles. Calv. opusc. Iohn Calvin and Farellus that unwearied souldier of Christ, as he is called.

These with multitudes of others in England, France, and [Page 60] oth [...]r Countreys, held their life in their hands, hazarded all for the Gospel of Christ, these smit spiritual Egypt in her first-born. These, even these bare the heat of the day, and we are entred upon their labours; And is this all the thank that ye render to God or them, that when they delivered you from Antichristianisme, you condemn them as Anti­christian?

If ever since the beginnings of Reformation, the pious, painfull Ministers in the Reformed Churches have stood in the breach,7. Consider. have prevented our spiritual relapsing into Ae­gypt, if they have spent their time, parts and studies night and day to fight the battels of Christ against Antichrist; then it is not only a groundlesse mistake, but an ungodly, sinful scandall to censure them as Antichristian. How is it that ye are not afraid to speak evil of the servants of the Lord, set up by his Spirit for the defence of the Gospel? Will any rational man versed in the writings of those Worthies, believe that Zanchi­us, Bullinger, Beza, Brentius, Iunius, Pareus, Piscator, Musculus, Scultetus, Chamier, or of our Countreymen Iewel, Reignold, Whitaker, Perkins, with multitudes of o­thers, who were willing to spend and be spent in defending the truths professed in the Reformed Churches against the Ro­manists? Will any sober Christian believe that these were members of the Roman Harlot? The Popish party cannot so bely them, but have found them to be their greatest adver­saries.

Will any man be so senslesse and stupid as to account Da­vid who slew Goliah, 1 Sam▪ 17. 2 Sam. 23. or Eleazar the son of Odo, who slew the Philistims till his hand was weary, or Shammah, who (when all Israel fled from the Philistims) he stood in the midst of a ground full of Lentiles and defended it, and slew the Philistims, and the Lord wrought a great victory? Will any man be so mad as to say that David and his worthies were the only friends of the Philistims, and so bury them, and cause them to go down to the grave among the uncircumcised?

Forget not the great appearances of Christ which have been gloriously seen and felt in the faithfull Ministers of this Land.8. Consider. [Page 61] Have not they preached and pressed to the conscience the pra­ctical points of Christianity? and hath not the Lord set a vi­sible seal to their Ministry in the souls of thousands? Dare you say that these practical Ministers Greenham, Dod, Dent, Dyke, Bains, Rogers, Hildersham, with a world more, of whom the world is not worthy, that they were Antichristian? Who art thou that givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue fra­meth deceit? Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother, Psal. 51.19, 20 and slanderest thine own mothers son. Hast thou considered their work of faith, labour of love, patience of hope? If thou hast not, why wilt thou speak evil of things and persons thou knowst not? And if thou hast read and considered, confesse and give glory to God, and say, God was in these Ministers of a truth. Be not like those seduced Professours, Who measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing them­selves with themselves were not wise. 2 Cor. 10.12. These silly or rather proud Christians, and their false teachers traduced the great Apostle, as if he had not Christ, to whom Paul answers, and we with him, If any man trust to himself, that he is Christs, let him of himself think this again, that as he is Christs, 2 Cor. 10.7. even so are we Christs.

These holy Ministers were the precious members of Christ, and will you make them as much as is in you the members of an harlot? God forbid.1 Cor. 6.15.

The 9thConsideration is drawn from the sad consequences of this censorious, groundles opinion. For as touching our selves,9. Consider. and the Ministers of this present Age, We say nothing, but We resolve in the strength of Christ to be faithfull to the death, and not to fear the revilings of men, and in the midst of all your undeserved reproaches, to persist in the work of the Lord, and to commit our selves to him that judgeth righteously.

Concerning these sad consequences we appeal to your seri­ous and sober thoughts in these few Queries,

Q. 1. Doth not this Opinion (in rejecting all the godly Ministers of the Reformed Churches as Antichristian) much promote the Cause of Antichrist which you seem vehemently [Page 62] to oppose. Now if any build that which he hath destroyed, he makes himself a transgressor: For

1. Is it not the great work of Antichrist to destroy our Mi­nisters, to smite the Shepherd that the Flock may be scatter­ed? Peruse what a subtle Jesuite and Politician (Adam Co [...]t­zen by name) hath written in his Politicks, lib. 2. c. 18. § 6. where among divers other means prescri­bed for the reducing of people to Pope [...]y, this is one, Haer [...]siarchae & doctores [...]rrorum Re­publica pellendi sunt. Vna quidem vice, si commode fieri queat, sin mìnus, se [...]sim & paulatim: Non opus est hac quid [...]m in re probatione, nam turbulentis & vertiginosis Aeolis abactis, mare, quod imò fundo exciverunt, sponte conquiescet: Et error, cui patro [...]imum deerit, sine pugna concidet, &c. that is, Hereticall Teachers and Masters of Errours (So he cals the Ministers of the Gospel) are to be banished out of the Common-wealth, and that at once, if it can con­veniently be, if not, insensibly and by degrees▪ That this is a sure way to reduce a nation to the true Religion (So he miscals Popery) needs not much proof; For when the tur­bulent windes are diverted or driven away, the waves of the Sea will be quiet and the tempest will cease▪ And Errour (so he nicknames the Truth) when it wants Patrons, will fall without striking a stroak. Thus far Coutzen. So that in the judgement of this crafty Jesuite there is no way more likely to introduce Popery, then to throw down Prote­stant Ministers, whether by blasting their reputation, or taking away their subsistence, or persecuting their persons, (all comes to one thing;) And therefore you poor souls that are seduced into this Anti-ministeriall design by Iesuiticall craft, consider what you are doing, whose projects you are carrying on; Look to your selves, Smite your hand upon your thighs, and say, What have we done? Certainly if the Lord in his wrath should suffer you so far to prevail as to suppresse Learning, trample upon the U­niversities, and ruine the Ministers; That there should be no Learned men to detect Popish Impostures, and refell their errors; That neither shield nor spear should be left among thousands in Israel; you would in this more advance Anti­christ, then if you were his sworn Vassals, even an Army of Friars and Jesuites deceiving and being deceived.

2. Do not most of your Arguments symbolize with the Romanists as if they were arrows shot out of their quiver? They renounce us upon this ground, That we are no true Church, have no true Ministry, and do not you agree with them in this unchristian principle: and are not we forced to prove the being of our Church and Ministry in all ages a­gainst you, with the same Arguments we use against them? and herein do not you gratifie the common Adversary, and strengthen their hands?

[Page 63]3, Have you not cause to enquire whether you be not act­ed by the same Spirit? For you know the Spirit of Christ is a Spirit of meeknesse, and that wisedom which comes from a­bove is first pure, and then peaceable, gentle, easie to be en­treated: But the Spirit of Antichrist is high, and hot, and furious, usurping an infallibility of judgement, and unchur­ching all that differ from him; and do not you unsaint all persons, and unchurch all Societies dissenting from you? and may not this rise from the spirit of delusion which worketh strongly in the Children of disobedience?

4. It is the Opinion of many, that the slaying of the Wit­nesses is not past, but that the time thereof is very near, when Popery shall once again prevail; And the Reformed Churches shall be punished by taking away these Witnesses for a time, M [...]de in Rev. 11.12. be­cause they received them not according to the dignity of their Embassage. And are not you preparing your selves and others to help on this slaughter? why do so many pray in bloud, and offer strange fire upon Gods Altar, as if nothing could give content till the Ministry be ruined, and doth not this Tenent, That the Ministers are the Limbs of Antichrist, binde you to shed their bloud, and to account it good service to God, not only to unsynagogue them (which you have done already) but to kill them; That so among you also may be found the bloud of the Prophets and of the Saints.

Q. 2. Do you not hereby wound all the Reformed Chur­ches, darkning the beauty, and obstructing the progresse of Reformation? When the Lord stirred up Luther in Germany, Zuinglius at Zurich, Calvin at Geneva, to set upon this great work, multitudes in all Nations begun to embrace the truth, and to fly from the rents of Babel: Duo Prophetae injusti, Pontisex & Lutherus, & hic quidem illo deterior. Sleidan. l. 10. ad Ann. 1535. Calv. adversus Libertin. ad Ann. 1547. Antichrist was made so naked and bare in all the filthinesse of his whoredomes, that the whole world was ready to forsake her: Had not Satan stirred up this cursed Tenent wherewith many were levened, Rotmannus, Cnipperdoling, Iohn Leyden, and others opposed Luther as a false Prophet, as bad as the Pope, and of the two they said Luther was the worst. Antonius Pockquius under pretence of spirituall liberty, seduced many into the reality [Page 64] of carnall security, and how furious the Antinomians and Anabaptists were in Germany, we had rather lament then ex­presse; And did not Satan by these Agents prevail to weak­en the hands of those Heroick Worthies, and so caused the work to cease, and many to relapse? How little hath been the Progresse of the Protestant Religion ever since? And now of late when the Lord stirred up many in this Island, to seek to serve the Lord with a pure worship, the work went forward with great felicity till this conceited opinion obtained, since which time the spirits of professors have been so alienated and embittered, that the way of truth is every where evill spoken of.

Q. 3. Hath not the Lord greatly testified from Heaven a­gainst this Tenent in his spirituall Judgements upon many the great promoters of it? Since they despised the Ministry, de­serted the Ordlnance; how are they fallen from heaven, some turning Scepticks and Seekers, others Ranters and Quakers, and what not? falling and falling, till at last they grow open­ly prophane and profligate Atheists.

Q. 4. Doth not this opinion greatly endanger the souls of others? Are not all sinfull enough, naturally hating Teach­ers, and scorning to be reproved, being enemies to light and truth? Why should you strengthen the hands of sinners? that whereas formerly they could not sin against light, but they had many checks of conscience, now they despise in­struction and hate to be reformed, and when they sin most fully and fouly, yet they sin without reluctancy, and glory in their own shame; so that if these men perish in their gain-sayings, yet may not their bloud be required at your hands, who have not only misled them into errour, but have killed them with prejudice against the remedy which should reclaim them?

Q. 5. Is not this opinion the sad abuse of the great liberty now enjoyed? In times of former trouble, How did Professors live sincerely, love fervently, pray, and fast, and mourn to­gether? But by these Tenents the Staff of Bands and Beauty is broken, and dashed in pieces one upon another, which [Page 65] may justly provoke the Lord to cut short the day of liberty, that men may learn by the want of liberty how to prise and sadly bewail their wofull abuse of it.

Q. 6. If your principles about an universall liberty be true, why are you so untrue to your own principles? you can well endure men that deny the Immortality of the soul, the verity of Scriptures, the Deity of Christ, the God-head of the holy Ghost, and those that defend any thing, whatsoever is con­trary to sound doctrine; These you can tolerate, defend, hug in your bosome; and if any one speak against any the broa­chers of those errours: You cry out, Persecution, Persecution, yet at the self same time you persecute (to your uttermost) all Ministers, who take themselves bound in conscience to de­fend the Ministry, You do and can tolerate the most pro­phane and hereticall, but these Ministers Consciences you cannot tolerate: Are you not partiall in your selves, and be­come Judges of evil thoughts, whilst you justifie that in your selves as a duty which you condemn in others as an abomina­ble iniquity? Why are your professed principles so uneven, and you so contradictory to your own principles? Be not like the Jews who please not God and are contrary to all men.

Q. 7. Have you not cause to fear, that the Lord may leave you as he did your Predecessors in Germany, who held the same Tenents with you, gloried (as much as you) in their own confidences, and condemned (as you do) all others; Railed first against the Ministry, then raged aginst the Magi­stracy, brought both Church and State into confusion, put the Countrey into burning Flames, wherein at length them­selves were consumed to ashes; Do not therefore persist in kindling these false fires; Walk no longer in the light of the sparks that you have kindled, lest you have this at the hand of the Lord, to lie down in sorrow.

CHAP. IV. Containing part of the Third Proposition.
SHEWING, That none ought to take upon him the Office of the Mini­stry without a Call.

IT is manifest by the Word of God, That no man ought to take upon him the Office or work of a Minister,Propos. 3. till he be lawfully called and ordained thereunto.

As the Church and State are distinct Polities, so have they Subjects Laws and Officers, distinct alwaies in the formal conce­ption, though materially in divers things they may agree, Mat. 12.21. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods; The things of God and Caesar are distinct. Thus Luke 2.11. Man, who made me a Iudge or divi­der over you? a Preacher and a Judge are two distinct cal­lings.

These Officers for their Institution, Vocation, Incourage­ment, depend not solely, nor principally upon man, but are gi­ven and confirmed to theChurch by Christ the King of Saints, and great Shepherd of Souls, for ends and purposes most ho­nourable and necessary in all ages of the world, Mat. 28.29, 28. Eph. 4.11, 12.

Supposing therefore at present what hath been already proved, that there is such an Office in the Church to last by Divine Institution to the end of the world: The present Dis­course enquires about the Subjectum recipiens of this high and weighty Office, and the work of it, whether it lie in com­mon, or be appropriated by Divine Ordinance to some pecu­liar and speciall persons, who are not only favoured to be Christs Sheep, but honoured also to be Shepherds under him? This Question is not de lanâ caprinâ, nor needlesse; For

[Page 67]1. It is manifest, that there be some who constantly supply the room of Preachers, and arrogate to themselves the reve­rence and maintenance due to none but Ministers, and yet they themselves were never ordained to this Office. By this means many Congregations are deprived of Government, and of the Sacraments, and such as would willingly take care of their souls in a regular and ordinary way are excluded by such intruders, as will neither be solemnly set apart for the, Ministry by imposition of hands, with fasting and prayer, nor give way to them that would.

2. Others there be that plead for a liberty of preaching, or (as they phrase it) for the exercise of gifts in publick, even in these Congregations where there are ordained Ministers, and this to be by those who pretend not to be Preachers and Ministers, strictly and properly so called, when, and as often as such persons please, and that this liberty ought to be gi­ven to every Christian who desires it, and may probably be presumed to be fitted for it.

We therefore that we may as much as in us lies take away the stumbling block which by these practices is laid before blinde Papists, and remove the scandal given to Reformed Churches, and hinder the progresse of this sinne in our own, shall

  • 1. Bear witnesse to these truths:
    • 1. That none may assume the Office of the Ministry, un­lesse he be solemnly set apart thereunto, i n this Cha­pter.
    • 2. That none may undertake the work of the Mi­nistry, except he be a Minister, in the next Cha­pter.
  • 2. Answer all the considerable Arguments we could meet with used in defence of the fore-named errours, in the Chapter fol­lowing: and this we shall do with clearnesse and brevity, as the matter shall permit, and in sincerity, and with a spirit of meeknesse, as becomes the Ministers of the Go­spel.

Thes. 1. That none may assume the Office of the Ministry, un­lesse [Page 68] lesse he be solemnly set apart thereunto, appears by these Argu­ments.

First, We argue from that known Text Rom. 10.15. And how shall they preach except they be sent? Argum. 1. This is set down by way of Interrogation, Vt oratio sit penetrantior, saith Pareu [...]. The Prohibition is made more emphatical by the interrogati­on, and the form of expression makes it morally impossible to preach without mission. The Apostle useth a four-fold gra­dation, How shall they call upon him in whom they have not be­lieved? How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they preach except they be sent? The last link of the chain is of e­qual truth with the former. As no man can call rightly on him in whom he believes not, and no man can believe in him of whom he never heard, and no man can hear without a Preacher; so also no man can preach except he be sent; and therefore he that breaks this last link breaks this golden chain of the Apostle, and sins against God. Besides this last link is an eternal truth. As no man to the end of the world can call upon him in whom he believes not, or believe in him of whom he hears not, or hear without a Preacher; so it is, and will be true to the end of the world, that no man can preach ex­cept he be sent. The Apostle scrueth up the necessity of mis­sion as high as the necessity of preaching, and if one be perpetual, the other must be so also. Now from all this we gather,

1. That mission is essential to the constitution of a Minister. The Apostle doth not say, How shall they preach except they be gifted (though this be true) but how shall they preach except they be sent? Implying, that gifting without sending doth not constitute a Minister.

2. That this mission is not only of extraordinary, but of ordi­nary teachers, because faith is as much annexed to their teach­ing, as teaching to their mission, and faith is not the fruit of humane invention (such is preaching without mission) but of Divine Ordinance And therefore since we have no extraor­dinary [Page 69] Preachers, we must either conclude there is no faith in the world, or that there is an ordinary way of sending Mini­sters, by whom as Gods instruments faith is wrought, and if so, their persons must enter that way, and not runne before they be sent.

3. That there is a necessity of a constant and perpetual, as well as of an ordinary mission. If faith depends upon hearing, hearing upon preaching, preaching upon mission, then if faith be necessary in all ages of the world, mission is also ne­cessary, yea ordinary mission, because extraordinary is cea­sed. A person may be praedo, but he cannot be praco without mission, and whatsoever may be done in some few extraordi­nary cases where regular mission cannot be had, yet to run without sending, and to leap over the wall where God hath opened a door, is as high presumption in Divinity, as it is in the civil state, to break open an house without humane autho­rity. To all this it is replied,

1. Some say, That this sending is meant of sending by the election of the people, but not by the Ordination of Mi­nisters.

Answ. This cannot be, for the people are the parties to whom the Preachers are sent: Ministers are sent to the people, not by the people. The same party cannot be the person send­ing, and the persons sent unto. An Embassadour is not sent by the State to whom he brings his Embassie, but by the States which gave him his Commission.

2. Others say, That this sending is to be understood of a providential, not of an ecclesiastical and ministerial sending.

Answ. This is confuted by the next words in the Text, How shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beau­tifull are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. These words are taken out of Isa. 52. and must needs be understood of a ministerial sending. The Ministers he speaks of are called Watchmen, Isa. 52.8. and the Prophet himself is mentioned as one of them, Rom. 10.10. They are a Prophecy of the acceptation that the [Page 70] Ministers sent by God, should have amongst the people of God in the times of the Gospel; And that this Text is to be understood of more then a bare providential sending, appears further. Because

2. If providential sending were sufficient, then women-Preachers are as much sent of God, and may promise them­selves as good successe as the best Minister. Yea a tyrant, rob­ber or murtherer, may justifie himself in his wickednesse, as being sent by God providentially; Then Zimri had as just a warrant to destroy the house of Baasha, as Iehu had to de­stroy the house of Ahab, and Iosephs brethren did well in selling him, since they did it by special providence, Gen. 45. & 50.7.

3. The Apostle speaks of such a sending as must be ac­knowledged by all to be of God, an authoritative mission, such as Embassadours have, who are sent with publick Let­ters of Credence, to negotiate the Affairs of those that im­ploy them. For

1. They are called Preachers or Heralds, the participle in the original, Rom. 10.14. noting the Office, as Rom. 12.7, 8. & 1 Thess. 5.12. Heb. 13.17. so in the parallel place, Isa. 52.8. they are called Watchmen, both which terms con­note Authority.

2. People are blamed for not hearing them, Rom. 10.16, 21. but the not hearing of such as are not sent,Otherwise then providen­tially. is no fault but a vertue, Iohn 10.5, 8. Indeed divine truth is ever obligatory who ever brings it, but a double tie lies upon people when truth is conveighed by a divine messenger: Otherwise any private person had as much power of bind­ing and losing as a Minister. There is a wide difference between an arrest or pardon reported by a private person, and the same applied under the Broad-Seal by a person de­legated from the Supream Magistrate.

3. The Socinians reply to the Text, and say, That a spe­ciall Call was necessary in the Apostles daies, because the do­ctrine by them delivered was new and unheard of, but this mission is not necessary in our daies, because we preach no new [Page 71] Doctrine, but onely that which the Apostles have formerly taught and written.

Answ. But the Answer is easie. For▪ 1. We have already proved, That there is a necessity in the Church of Christ of a constant, perpetual and ordinary mission.

2. It is false that the Apostles and Prophets taught any new Doctrine, Act. 24.14. & 26.22. & 28.23. they believed and taught nothing but old truths, formerly delivered by Moses and the Prophets, 1 Iohn 1.7. New indeed they might be in respect of the manner of proposing, Joh. 13.34. or the singular ratification thereof by miracles, Mark 1.27. or the apprehension of the Auditors, Acts 17.19. but not as to the substance of the Doctrine. Compare Iohn 13.34. with 2 Epist. of Iohn vers. 5. 1 Ioh. 2.7.

3. As to the first and third Consideration, the Gospel is alwayes new to children, ignorant persons or Heathen, &c. And therefore if Socinians will be true to their own principles, they cannot plead against a called Ministry.

4. In the dayes of the Apostles the truths of the Gospel were owned by all the Churches, and so not new as to their appre­hensions, yet then came none to the Ministry without a Call. Witnesse the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. Thus at last we have vindicated this Text from all those mists that are cast up­on it to darken it, and made it to appear, That none ought to take upon them the Office of a Minister, unlesse they be law­fully Called and Ordained thereunto.

Our second Argument is taken from Heb. 5.4, 5. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, Argum. 2. as Aaron; so also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high-Priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Sonne, this day have I begotten thee. No man taketh, (i. e.) ought to take. Verbs active, as our English Annotators upon the place ob­serve in the phrase of Scripture sometime import not the act it self, but onely an Office, as Gen. 20.9. Levit. 4.12, 13. Psa. 32.8. This honour] the Priestly Office is not only a b [...]rthen but an honour, what ever the carnal world esteem of it. The Apo­stle [Page 72] here makes a general Proposition, No man ought to take the ministerial honour upon him unlesse called by God. This Proposition is not limited but illustrated,

First, By Aaron, who undertook not this Office till called thereunto, Exod. 28.1. no more did any other of the Priests in the Old Testament, 2 Chron. 29.11. & 16.16. It cost C [...] ­rah and his Company dear for doing otherwise. The Pro­phets also make mention of their Commissions in the begin­ning of their Prophecies. The word of the Lord came to Isaiah, Ieremiah, Hosea, &c. And when Amaziah objected a­gainst Amos, Amos did not plead any general liberty the Is­raelites had of prophesying, but tels Amaziah, I was no Pro­phet, I was an Herdsman, and a gatherer of Sycamore fruit, and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, &c. If then the Priests and Prophets of the Old Testament could not take this honour upon them, till call'd and appointed, who can shew any just reason, why any under the New Testament should do otherwise, especially if we consider, That the Go­spel-Ministry is more weighty and glorious then the Le­gal was.

Secondly, By Christ, who though he be God blessed for ever, the true God, coequal and coeternal with the Father, yet he glorified not himself; to be made an high-Priest, but was sealed and inaugurated by his Father into this great Office. And therefore he saith expresly Iohn 8.54. If I honour my self, my honour is nothing, it is my Father that honoureth me, of whom you say that he is your God. Now we desire all Christians in the fear of God to consider, That if the Lord Jesus would not honour himself to become our Mediator till he was anointed by his Father, and designed to this Office, it cannot but be great presumption for any man to glorifie himself, and make himself a Minister before he be lawfully ordained thereunto, we may truly say to such, as Christ doth, You that thus ho­nour your selves, your honour is nothing.

Argum. 3.Thirdly, We argue from the Titles that are g [...]ven to the Ministers of the Gospel: They are called Embassadours, [Page 73] 2 Cor. 5.20. Stewards, Tit. 1.7. Me [...] of God, Tim. 6▪ 11. compared with 2. King. 5.8. Watchmen, Ezek. 3.7. Angels, Revel, 2.1. which are all names of Office, and require a spe­cial designation from God. Stewards do not use to officiate without warrant, Luke 12.42. Embassadours do not go forth to treat with forain States without publick Commissi­on. As they must have Instructions for the matter of their Message, so they must be enabled with publick Autho­rity for the managing of their Work. Adde further, that Ministers are called Gods Mouth, and how shall a man take upon him to be Gods mouth who is not sent from God? They are called the Good souldiers of Iesus Christ, souldiers in an eminent degree, to fight against iniquity and heresie, and therefore must be listed by Christ into that number, and must have his warrant for the discharge of their duty. They are Gods Servants and Ministers, and therefore must be sent by him, or else they are their own masters, not Gods servants. And that all these things concern our Ministry as well as theirs in the Primitive times, is evident, because these Titles are applied not onely to extraordinary, but to ordina­ry Ministers. The Ministers of the seven Churches of Asia are called Angels; the Ministers ordained by Titus; Stewards, the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, Overseers or Bishops; now a Ruler is a name of Office, and implieth a Commission to constitute him in that capacity.

Fourthly, We argue From the constant distinction that is made in Scripture between gifts and calling;Argum. 4. We reade Ioh. 20.21, 22. First Christ gives his Apostles their Commission; As my Father hath sent me even so send I you: Then he gives them their gifts, Receive the Holy Ghost: Thus also Isa. 6.6, 7, 9. God touched his lips with a coal from the Altar, and gifted him; Afterwards he gives him his Commission: Thus also it was with the Prophet Ieremy 1.5, 9. God sends him, and then puts forth his hand, toucheth his mouth, and fi [...]s him: Even as it is in all civill Governments: Gifts make not any man a Judge, or a Lord-Maior, Sheriff, or Common-Coun­sell [Page 74] man, though he be never so richly qualified for these Offices, unlesse he be lawfully appointed thereunto; So is it in Church-affairs, it is not gifts but calling that constitutes a Minister; therefore that distinction of a Minister by gifts and a Minister by calling hath no footing in the Word of Truth: If gifts were sufficient to make a Minister, then women might preach as well as men, for they may have as eminent gifts. Indeed gifts are a necessary qualification of the person to be called, but make him not a lawfull Minister till called and ordained: And if he take the Office upon him unsent, he is an Usurper, and may fear to perish in the gain-saying of Co­rah, notwithstanding his gifts.

Argum. 5.Fifthly, We argue from the Rules laid down in Scripture for the calling of men to the Office of the Ministry: The Word of God doth exactly tell us the qualifications of the person, that is to be called 1 Tim. 3.2, 3. &c. The Scripture also directs for the manner of his calling to the work, who are to Ordain, How he is to be Ordained, 1 Tim. 4.14. &c. Now either these directions are superfluous and unnecessary, or else it is a truth that no man ought to take this Office upon him without such a call; Nor were these directions given for that age only, but for all the ages of the Church to the end of the world, as appears evidently from 1 Tim. 6.18. compared with 1 Tim. 5.7.21. In the first place he is charged to keep those commands without spot to the appearance of Iesus Christ; And in the se­cond place there is as solemn a charge particularly applied to quicken his diligence and faithfulnesse about matters of the Church, and especially the ordination, honour and maintenance of the Ministry, in ordinary, as appeareth by the context be­fore, and after from ver. 17. to ver. 23. The same charge is laid down also by way of direction, Chap. 3. and particularly committed to Timethy's care, ver. 14. And one main ground why Paul chargeth Timothy to be so carefull about these par­ticulars especially at Ephesus, was, That thereby false doctrine might be prevented, 1 Tim. 1.3, 4. for which there is scarce a more effectuall means in the world, then a publike and regu­lar [Page 75] care of calling persons duely qualified to the Ministry: And we cannot but look with sad hearts upon the spreading of errours in these daies of generall Apostasie, as the righte­ous judgement of God upon the supine negligence of men in this particular among others; The same charge upon the same ground is laid upon Titus, Cha. 1.5, 9, 10. where also the A­postle gives singular directions for the qualification of the person to be ordained, both in point of gifts and grace, which are all vain and unusefull, if any may enter upon the Ministry without Ordination.

Sixthly, We argue from that confusion which would come into the Church,Argum. 6. if every man that presumes himself gifted should intrude himself into the Office of the Ministry, with­out a regular call: Saint Ierome held it an infallible sign of a Church falling into ruine, Vbi nulla Ministrorum est electio manifestum cognosce collab [...]nt is Christianismi judicium; where there is no choice of Ministers, acknowledge this a manifest evidence of Christianity decaying: The reason is apparent; The prostituting of this sacred and weighty Office to the wils of men, opens a door to all disorders, and the introducing of all heresies and errors; How much did the Church of Anti­och suffer from such as came from the Apostles, and had no Commission, Act. 15. Gal. 2.5. besides that contempt and scorn which it exposeth the Ministry unto; Admit the same in the Common-wealth or in an Army: Might he that would make himself a Maior, Judge, Constable, a Colonell, Cap­tain, &c. what an Iliad of miseries would thence [...]nsue is ea­sier to be imagined then expressed.

CHAP. V. Containing part of the Third Proposition.
PROVING, That none may do the Work of the Ministry without Or­dination.

NO man may perform the work of the Ministry but he that is solemnly set apart and ordained to be a Mi­nister.

Having in the precedent Chapter asserted the necessity of Ordination to the work of the Ministry against the presum­ptuous usurpation of such as run and are not sent; We shall by the grace of God in this Chapter vindicate the work of the Ministry unto those whom God hath set as Officers in his Church.

That there is a work belonging to the Ministry is out of question, and what that work is, is confessed by all; It be­longs to them to dispense the mysteries of God, the keys of the Kingdom of God are in their hands; It is their work to watch for souls as they that must give an account of them at that great day; To preach the Word, and by sound doctrine to convince gain-sayers, to administer the Sacraments of Bap­tism and the Lords Supper, to pray for and blesse the people in the Name of God, to rule and govern the Church, ha­ving a care of discipline, and all these as in the place and per­son of Christ.

Of how great necessity these works are unto the Church, is evident unto understanding Christians, and hath been de­monstrated already: It now remains to be enquired, whether all or any of these works may be performed by men uncalled, though gifted, or whether they be peculiar unto Ministers.

Those with whom we have to do, yeelding all the rest to [Page 77] the Ministry, challenge in their writings a liberty to preach the Word, and in their practises (some of them) a power of praying for and blessing the people, how justly we shall shew when we have first stated the Question, which we shall do briefly and plainly, that we may not seem to disallow what we ought to countenance, commend, nay to command in the Name of the Lord, and that we may prevent and anticipate the cavils of some gain-sayers.

For the right stating of the Question, we shall declare what we mean by preaching of the Word, and from thence premise some few distinctions, which well considered of, might put an end to this whole controversie.

By the Preaching of the Word we understand an authori­tative explication and application of Scripture, for exhor­tation, edification, and comfort, to a Congregation met to­gether for the solemn worship of God, in the stead and place of Christ; and we desire that every branch of this description may be well weighed in the balance of the Sanctuary.

The Subject of Preaching is the Word of God, Mat. 28.19. Let him that hath my word speak my word faithfully, Jer. 23.28. This is that sound doctrine, and form of sound words which the Apostle enjoyns Timothy and Titus to hold fast. And them­selves and Christ himself taught no other things then were written in Moses and the Prophets, &c.

This work is the explication and application of this word: As Ezra read in the Book of the Law, and gave the sense, and caused all Israel to understand, Neh. 8.8. And it is to this which Paul presseth Timothy when he exhorts him to shew himself a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, 2 Tim. 2.15.

The end of this work is the exhortation, edification, and comfort of the Church, 1 Cor. 14.2. which is the profitable use of all Scripture, 2 Tim. 3.16.

The object of this work is a Congregation met together for the Solemn worship of God, 1 Cor. 14.23. when you are come together into one place; It is true, that the word ought to be preach'd to Infidels, Mat. 28. Mar. 16. Go into all the [Page 78] world; but the principall object of this work is the Church; Prophecy is not (i. not so much) for them that beleeve not, but for them that beleeve, 1 Cor. 14.22. Hence it is, that God hath s [...]t his Officers in the Church, 1 Cor. 12.28. For the Church, Eph. 4.12.

The manner of the doing of this work, is, 1 Authorita­tively, not [...] magisterially as Lords of Faith, but [...] ministerially, as being over the Church in the Lord, 1 Thes. 5.12. Thus is Titus enjoyned Tit. 2.15. These things speak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority, [...], with all command. Secondly, In the stead and place of Christ; Thus the Apostle 2 Cor. 5. We beseech you, as if God did be­seech you, we pray you in Christs stead, be reconciled to God; and hence it is that Christ saith to his Disciples, Luk. 10.16. He that heareth you heareth me, &c.

From hence,

First, We distinguish between a private brotherly teach­ing, admonition, exhortation of one another▪ and an autho­ritative publique teaching; The first grounded on charity is the common duty of all Christians, by the royall Law of love, and prescribed to all, even to women, by the Law of God under pain of sin, and this especially in evil times. This pra­ctise we are far from disallowing or discouraging; we call God to witnesse it would be the joy of our hearts to see our people full of knowledge, and full of goodnesse, able and wil­ling to admonish one another with prudence, love, zeal, and a spirit of meeknesse; and this we exhort and charge in the name of Christ that they neglect not: It is authoritative teach­ing only which we deny.

Secondly, We distinguish between the teaching of pa­rents and Masters in their Families (to which also the teach­ing of School-masters may be reduced) and Ministeriall preaching: We call upon Parents, Masters, School-masters, not only to bring their Families, and Scholars to publike Or­dinances, but to make their Houses the Churches of Christ; To reade the Scriptures in them▪ to catechize them, to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to teach [Page 79] them in their youth, in the trade of their way, as they will answer it at that great day: And unto this duty we exhort even mothers; but we deny unto them Ministeriall Prea­ching,

Thirdly, We distinguish between the exhortation of a Gene­ral in the head of an Army, and of a Judge in his charge upon the Bench, and preaching the Word of God: Though we deny not the lawfulness of the one or the other of the two former, because we have the approved examples of Ioab, 2 Sam. 10. Of Abijah, 2 Chro. 13. Of Iehosaphat, 2 Chro. 19.20. Ioshua Cha. 23.24. yet we say, First, That properly thus to do was the Mi­nisters work; for thus the Lord prescribes Deut. 20.2. And it shall be when ye are come nigh unto the battell, that the Pri [...]st shall approach and speak to the people, and shall say unto them, Hear O Israel, as it follows, ver. 3. And thus Iehosapha [...] practiseth, 2 Chron. 19. where he joyns Priests and Levites to the Judges whom he sends abroad in all the Cities of Iudah. Secondly, We say that there is a vast difference between this action and the work of the Ministry for neither is the object of it a Con­gregation sacred, but meerly civill▪ neither is the authority Ecclesiasticall and from Christ, but meerly politicall. These Officers perform this work as Custodes utriusque [...]ab [...]lae, and their work is rather reducible to a charitative admonition then a ministeriall dispensation; Should it not be done by them, their sin was rather against charity then justice; and ceased not to discharge the duty of a Generall, or a Judge, though they ceased to do the duty of a Christian Generall, or a Christian Judge.

Fourthly, We distinguish between Divinity-exercises in the Schools, and University, and the Preaching of the Word. For though these Lectures are performed either only by such as have received Ordination, and ar [...] Ministers of the Go­spel, or such a [...] are Candidates of the Ministry; either Pro­phets, or the Sons of the Prophets, and so not wholly with­out Commission, ye [...] are they not performed to a Congrega­tion met together for the solemn worship of God; They are rather reducible to the work of School-ma [...]ers instructing [Page 80] their Scholars, and Scholars rendring account to their Ma­sters, then ministerial preaching.

Fifthly, We distinguish between the act of members in any sacred or civil Assembly, debating, counselling, and admo­nishing one another out of the Word of God, and the prea­ching of the Word; Because this action of theirs towards one another is not authoritative, but meerly brotherly, is rather [...], a Christian conference, then preaching, and no other then private Christians met together by mutual con­sent may perform; neither is their meeting such a one as is the Object of preaching of which we speak.

Sixthly, Before we proceed to argument, we desire it may be observed that we dispute not what may be done in extra­ordinary cases, either in regard of times or places where Or­dination may not possibly be had; whether in such a case pri­vate gifted men may not preach, we do not dispute: Davids necessity made it lawfull for him and his men to eat the shew­bread, which it was not lawfull for any but only the Priests to eat; but our Question is, What may be done in an ordina­ry way, in Churches where Ordained Ministers either are or may be had; Though we will not prescribe against necessity, yet we would not have necessity pretended where none is: For we reade that the Indians were converted to the Christi­an Faith by the means of Aedesius and Frumentius two pri­vate men, but we reade not that either of them took upon them the Office or work of the Ministry; Frumentius was or­dained Bishop of the Indians by Athanasius. Theod. Eccl. hist. l. 1. c. 22. And it is observable how great a journey he under­took rather then to run or officiate without a Call. The Ibe­rians were converted (as the same Authour relates) by the means of a Captive Maid, but they sent to Constantine for ordained Ministers by whom they might be further instructed and guided in the waies of God, which probably our gifted men would never have done.

These things thus premised, we come now to prove our Proposition, That None may undertake the work of the Mi­nistry but he that is solemnly set apart thereunto, not respect­ing [Page 81] so much the number as weight of Arguments.

First, We argue thus,Argum. 1. That work for the doing of which God hath designed speciall Officers of his own, neither ought, nor may be performed by any that are not designed unto that Office.

But God hath designed speciall Officers of his own for the preaching of the Word; Therefore,

None ought or may preach the Word, but such as are de­signed unto this Office.

The major of this Argument is confirmed by these Rea­sons.

First, Because God hath severely punished such as have done the work appointed by him to speciall Officers, though they had no intent to invade the Office unto which that work was by God designed: This appears manifestly; first in the case of Saul, 1 Sam. 13.8, 9. &c. He lost his kingdom for offering sacrifice, though but once, and that in a great straight. The Philistims were ready to assault him, he had not made his peace with God, Samuel delaied his coming, the people began to scatter from him, whereupon he constrained him­self, and offered a Sacrifice, yet for this one presumptuous (though as it might seem) necessitated act, he hears from Samuel that he had done foolishly, i. wickedly, and from God, that his Kingdom was irrevocably rent from him. Se­condly, In the case of Vzzah, 1 Chro. 13.9, 10. who put his hand to the Ark, and that out of a good intention to keep it from falling, when the Oxen shook it, and yet the anger of the Lord was kindled against him, and he smote him that he died: Better it had been for Vzzah to have kept his hands farther off, then to have touched the Ark without warrant, and better for the people of God that he had so done, for for his rashnesse God made a breach upon them, and smote him, and this act of his did not help but hinder the bringing of the Ark up into the place prepared for it. Thirdly, In the case of Vzziah, 2 Chro. 16.16, 17, 18. &c. who when he was strong, had his heart lifted up to his destruction, for he trans­gressed [Page 82] against the Lord his God, and went into the Temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the Altar of Incense, but the Priests of God withstood him, and said, It appertaineth not to thee Uzziah to burn Incense to the Lord, but to the Priests the Sons of Aaron that are consecrated to burn Incense; Go out of the Sanctuary, for thou hast transgressed, neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God, and though he was a King, yet the Lord smote him immediatly with the plague of Leprosie, of which he was not healed till his death. This famous Histo­ry holds forth these great Truths. 1. That it is a transgressi­on against God in any to enter upon the work designed by God to another calling. 2. That the Original of this transgres­sion is pride of heart. 3. That it is the Ministers duty to testi­fie and bear witnesse against such transgressions. 4. That it is dishonourable in the sight of God (whatever foolish people may imagine) thus to transgresse. 5. That God will not be alwaies silent to suffer such transgression unpunished in the greatest, when his Ministers warnings are rejected; Vzziah would enter into the Sanctuary, and is separated from the Congregation: Now though God be not so immediate in the severe punishing of such presumption in our daies, yet these things are written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the world are come, that we should not be pre­sumptuous, as some of them were, lest we also perish as these did.

Secondly, Because this practice doth make void, or at least unnecessary or insufficient those Officers which God hath ap­pointed. This is in it self a truth of clearest evidence: What needs a peculiar Officer to be set apart to a common work? As in the naturall body there is no peculiar member set apart as the Organ of feeling, because this sense is common to eve­ry member; so in the body of Christ there need not any spe­ciall Officer be designed for such a work as is common to, and may be performed by every Christian.

Thirdly, Because this practice doth confound and disturb that order which God hath set in his Church; therefore it must needs be sinfull. God is the God of order, and not of confu­sion, [Page 83] 1 Cor. 14. and hath commanded that every one should do his own work, 1 Thess. 4. Rom. 12. And abide in his own cal­ling, 1 Cor. 7. He hath condemned those that walk disorderly, 2 Thess. 3. and are busie bodies; he hath placed in his Church different orders, some Shepherds, some Sheep, some Teachers of the Word, some to be taught, as their places, so their works are distinct, as the different members of the body have diffe­rent offices; but now as in the body there would be confusi­on if any member should do the work of another member; so is it in the Church, if any member shall invade the duty of another. This takes away distinction between Shepherds and Flock, Pastor and People, Rulers and Ruled, and with the new Astronomers casts down Stars towards the Centre, and advances and wheels the dull earth to, and in an heavenly orb. No marvel such Phaetons burn up the spiritual world by pre­suming to govern the chariot of the Sun.

Thus the major being cleared we come to the minor or As­sumption; That God hath set peculiar Officers apart for the Preaching of the Word. For the proof of this, these two things are to be done, First, We must prove, that Ministers are Of­ficers, the Ministry an Office set up by God in his Church; For this we referre to the foregoing Propositions, in which this Point hath been largely discussed. And indeed who can in reason deny that those that are set by God in his Church, as Stewards, Heraulds, Watchmen, &c. are set by God as Offi­cers in his Church; The Apostle himself reckon [...] them up as special members in the body of the Church, having [...] a proper Office, Rom. 12. Secondly, That the preaching of the Word (amongst divers others) is one work assigned to these Officers; which is manifest both in the Old and New Testa­ment. The Priests work was not only to bring Sacrifices and burn Incense, but also to teach Iacob, Deut 33. Ever were the Priests Lips to preserve knowledge, and the people to enquire the Law at his mouth, Mal. 2. And the greatest complain [...] of God against those Officers, was the neglect of tha [...] [...]uty, that they were dumb dogs, Isa. 56, I [...]le Idol Shepher [...]s, Ezek. [...]4. Our blessed Saviour when he had ordained 12. sent them out [Page 84] to preach, and afterwards sent out the 70 to preach▪ The Apostle saith of himself, that he was [...], that was his work, Rom. 1.1. that he was intrusted with the Go­spel, Tit. 1.3. according to the Commandment of God, that he and other Ministers were allowed of God to be intrusted with the Gospel, 1 Thes. 2.4. Thus the same Apostle gives directi­on to Timothy, 2 Tim. 2.2. To commit the things which he had heard of him to faithfull men, who shall be able to teach others: which must of necessity be understood of some speciall trust, because of the speciall qualifications required in the persons that might be trusted; they must be faithful and able to teach: if the Apostle had understood by this word commit, only the making known of these things, this was to be done to all, in which respect Paul professeth himself a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, Rom. 1.14. but inasmuch as he requires that the parties should be [...] and [...], the two special qualifications of such a one as might be ordained a Bishop, it is plain, that by this word commit he understands the giving of the work in especi­all charge. Indeed the Preaching of the Word is not only a work assigned to the Ministry, which they may not omit with­out incurring the wo, 1 Cor. 9▪ because a dispensation is com­mitted to them; but the greatest, weightiest work they are entrusted with, 1 Cor. 1.17. I was not sent (i. so much sent) to baptize but to preach the Gospel; A work it is, which the people can least want, because it is the power of God to sal­vation, and requireth the greatest learning, prudence, meek­nesse, faithfulnesse in the dispensers of it, that they may shew themselves workmen that need not be ashamed, 1 Tim. 2. and fullfill their Ministry. It is not for nothing that the Apostle tels us, that ordinary Teachers were set in the Church, that we might not be children in knowledge, Ephes. 4.14. Seeing therefore that God hath provided Officers of his own, to whose trust he hath committed the Preaching of the Word, and no man can without blasphemy averre, that this provision of God is either unnecessary or insufficient, it evidently fol­lows, that the practice of men howsoever gifted, that preach [Page 85] without a solemn setting apart to the Office of the Ministry, is both unnecessary and unlawfull. And thus much of our first Argument against the preaching of un-ordained men.

Our second Argument shall be this; No religious service may be performed unto God by any other sort of persons then such as are appointed or otherwise warranted thereunto.Argum. 2.

The preaching of the Word is a religious service unto which persons gifted, not ordained, are neither appointed nor warranted: Therefore,

The Preaching of the Word may not be performed by gifted persons un-ordained.

The major Proposition is clear from this principle: Every positive act of Religion must have an affirmative warrant, and the service which we tender must be obedience, or righteous­ness, obedience it [...]annot be unless it be commended, nor righ­teousness unless it be at the least indulged. If it be either com­manded or indulged, we have warrant sufficient, but if the thing we do be neither required nor allowed, we sin presum­ptuously, though what we do be to a good intent, and very plausible to humane wisedom.

As to the minor or Assumption,

First, It will not be denied that the Preaching of the Word is a Religious Service.

Secondly, That all gifted persons are not appointed to preach, nor otherwise warranted thereunto, It appears in the parts.

First, They are not appointed, For then,

1. Every gifted man that preaches not is guilty of the sin of Omission.

2. Preaching must be looked upon as a common duty en­joyned unto all Beleevers as such, and every one should study Divinity in order to Preaching, and wo to him that preaches not, though he could preach but one Sermon only, and do not; The judgement of the unprofitable Servant shall be upon him.

Secondly, They are not otherwise warranted, for the Mi­nistry [Page 86] of the Word is only cultus institutus, founded in Insti­tution, and therefore must be regulated according to it; For the Preaching of publique Officers we finde the Institution to be clear, but of another Institution for the publique exer­cise of gifts by those who are no Ministers, we finde nothing; That which is pretended concerning prophesying, or the like, we shall answer when we come professedly to deal with Ob­jections.

Argum. 3.Thirdly, We argue thus, If no man may do the work of a Magistrate in the civil, or of a Deacon in the Ecclesiasticall State, but he that is called to the Office of a Magistrate, or of a Deacon, then much lesse may any man preach the Word (which is the work of a Minister) but he that is called to the Office of the Ministry.

But no man may do the work of a Magistrate in the civil, or of a Deacon in the Ecclesiasticall estate, but he that is cal­led to the Office of a Magistrate or of a Deacon: Therefore,

The minor is evident,

1. That no man may do the work of a Magistrate unlesse he be a Magistrate, from Luk. 12.14. where our Saviour Christ refuseth to meddle with dividing Inheritances, because he was no Judge; Man, who made me a Iudge?

2. That no man may do the work of a Deacon in the Ec­clesiastical state, unlesse called to the Office, is evident from Act. 6. where men full of the holy Ghost, and faith, chosen by the people to that work, yet might not minister till they were appointed by the Apostles; and that generall rule laid down, 1 Tim. 3.10. Let him be first proved, so let him mi­nister.

Now the reason of the connexion is evident, for by how much the work of the Ministry is of greater consequence, difficulty and danger, then either of these; by so much grea­ter care and circumspection is to be taken, that it be not per­formed promiscuously to Quicunque vult, but performed by such men as are triedly sound in the faith, and able to teach others also: Galen stomacks Empericks and Mountebanks in [Page 87] Physick, for (saith he) if a Stone-cutter miscarry he loseth but a stone, If a Shoe-maker he spoils but a piece of Lether, but if a Physician miscarry, he destroys a man;’ what may we say of those that intrude upon the work of the Ministry, if they miscarry they destroy souls, and this is indeed to destroy the man; Si navem poscat sibi peronatus arator, non meritò excla­met frontem melicerta perisse de rebus? In brief, shall an exact scrutiny passe upon such as are to feed the bodies of poor men, and not upon such as feed the souls? Act. 20.28. The work of the Ministry, the preaching of the Word is a work of the highest consequence and importance that ever God committed to the sons of men; The reconciling of men to God, 2 Cor. 5.19. Even an heavenly Embassy of infinite and eternall consequence: Now if God allow not these works which are of an inferiour nature to be done by men untried and unappointed to the Office, how shall he approve of such as adventure upon this work of preaching the Word, which is negotium negotiorum the work of works, without any trial or commission.

If none may administer the Sacrament but he that is law­fully called and ordained thereunto,Argum. 4. then neither may any preach but he that is lawfully called and ordained. But none may administer the Sacraments but he that is lawfully called and ordained thereunto. Therefore,

The minor is easily granted and proved from the nature of the Sacraments: They are Seals of the righteousnesse by faith. If it be an intolerable usurpation amongst men for a private man to take the broad seal of the Kingdom, and put it to what instruments he pleaseth, much more intolerable is it for a private man to usurp the dispensation of the broad Seal of the Kingdom of heaven: As in all States there are Keepers of the Seals appointed, whose office it is to dispose them ac­cording to Law: Even so it is in the Church of God, Jesus Christ hath appointed Keepers of his Seals, those whom he cals Stewards of the mysteries of God, to whom he hath com­mitted the word of Reconciliation, and to whom he hath [Page 88] given power to baptize, and to administer the Lords Supper.

The connexion is clear, because that these two works are joyntly in the same Commission, Mat. 28.19, 20. and of the two the preaching of the Word is the greater work. This the Apostle intimates, 1 Cor. 1.17. Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the Gospel: The negative particle is here (as in many other places) taken for the comparative, he was sent rather to preach then to baptize, and by this manner of ex­pression it appears, that to preach was his more proper and especiall work: This account all the rest of the Apostles had of it, therefore they did put off ministring to Tables, that they might give themselves to the Word and Praier. In the consideration of the greatnesse of this work, the Prophet I­saiah being sent about it cries out, Wo is me, I am undone; the Prophet Ieremiah, Ah Lord God, behold, I cannot speak, for I am a childe, and Paul also, Who is sufficient for these things? Of this account it hath been alwaies had in the Church of God ancient and modern till these unhappy times of licenti­ousnesse. And therefore we humbly entreat all those that do conscienciously (and as we beleeve justly) scruple to have their Children baptized by, or receive the Lords Supper from the hands of any un-ordained person, that they would seri­ously consider upon what warrant they hear un-ordained men preach: Seeing there is the same Commission for preach­ing, and for baptizing; and that preaching is the great, if not the greatest work of a Minister.

Argum. 5.To usurp authority over the Church is a sin. But to preac [...] without calling and Ordination to the work, is to usurp au­thority over the Church. Therefore,

The first Proposition is clear by its own light, the other is easily proved, by asserting Preaching to be an act of authori­ty, which is evident both in that the Apostle, 1 Thes. 5.12. gives this charge, Know them that are over you in the Lord, and ad­monish you, where to admonish is to be over, Heb. 7. with­out controversie the lesser is blessed of the greater, and this [Page 89] is further evi [...]enced in that the Apostle suffers not women to preach, because they may not usurp authority over the man, 1 Tim. 2. but is commanded to be in subjection, upon which place Oecumenius [...]. The ve­ry act of teaching is to usurp authority over the man. Besides them the publike work of the Ministry of the Word is an au­thoritative administration, like unto that of Criers, Heralds, and Embassadors, to be performed in the name of the Lord Je­sus, and therefore may not be performed by any but such as are authorized, and immediatly or mediatly deputed by him, 2 Cor. 5.19, 20. appears, because in preaching, the key of the Kingdom of Heaven is used, to take men in or shut men out, and this key is in the hand of ordinary Teachers as well as ex­traordinary, yea, the power of binding and loosing is exerci­sed, For though to preach be no act of jurisdiction strictly so called, yet it is an act not only of order but of power, not such as is common to every member of the Church, but pe­culiar to such as are in publike Office. Now to perform any authoritative act without authority, what is it other then to usurp authority? Gifts conferre the faculty of administrati­on but not the power: The Question which the Pharisees put to our Saviour being propounded to these men, By what au­thority dost thou these things, and who gave thee this authority? Could they answer as Christ? Ioh. 7.28. I am not come of my self.

That which the Scripture reproves may no man practice, but the Scripture reproves uncalled men for preaching:Argum. 6. Ther­fore. The major will not be denied: The minor appears, in that the false Prophets are reproved, Ier. 23.21, 32. not only for their false doctrine, telling their own dreams, and steal­ing the Word of God from his people, but also for running when they were not sent. I am against them saith the Lord: a fearfull commination; If God be against them who shall be with them? if they finde not acceptance with God, all that approbati [...]n and applause which they finde from men, what will it profit? He is not approved whom man approves, but he [Page 90] whom God approves. The false Prophets themselves accuse Ieremiah, Jer. 29.27. for making himself a Prophet, which though it was a most unjust and false imputation, yet it holds forth this truth, That no man ought to make himself a Prophet, the false Prophets themselves being witnesses. It is very ob­servable, that Shemaiah the Nehelamite, a false Prophet and a dreamer, writes to Zephaniah the sonne of Maasiah the Priest, and to all the Priests, and accuseth Ieremiah for a mad man in making himself a Prophet, and tells them, that upon this ac­count they ought to put him in prison, and in the stocks. It seems by this that it was no little sin, and deserves no little punishment (even in the judgement of false Prophets) to preach without a lawfull call. The Apostles in the Synod of Ierusalem, speak of certain men that went out from them, and troubled the Gentiles with words subverting their souls. They went out, They were not sent out, but they went out of thei [...] own accord; this is spoken of them by way of reproof. And then it followes, they troubled you with words, subverting your souls. He that preacheth unsent, is not a comforter, but a troubler of the people of God, not a builder but a sub­verter of souls. There be many in our daies like Ahimaaz, they will be running without either call or message, and ha­ply they may out-run Gods Cushi's, we wish they meet with no worse successe then he (in a spirituall sense) to prove uselesse Messengers.

Argum. 7.We argue from the practice of the Ministers of Christ, If they have been as carefull to make proof of their mission as of their doctrine, then is mission required in him th [...]t will Preach the Word; But they have been thus carefull, There­fore: If any gifted man may preach without a Call, why doth the Apostle so often make mention of his Call, Rom. 1.1. Gal. 1.15, 16. 1 Cor. 1.1. when the Disciples of Iohn murmu­red against Christ for baptizing, Ioh. 3.27, 28. Iohn answers, A man can receive nothing unlesse it be given him from heaven, ye your selves bear witnesse of me that I said I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. Here Christs undertaking to [Page 91] baptize, is justified by his Mission. When the chief Priests and the Scribes with the Elders asked Christ, Luk. 20.2. Tell us by what authority doest thou these things, or who gave thee this authority? Christ makes answer by demanding another que­stion, The Baptisme of Iohn, was it from heaven or of men? Which teacheth us these two truths: First, That none ought to preach without being authorized and sent. Secondly, That this Call and Sending is not only from men, but from heaven. True it is, such as is the Ministry, such ought the Call to be; if the Ministry extraordinary, the Call extraordinary; if the Ministry ordinary, the Call must be ordinary; but we reade of no Ministry allowed in Scripture without a Divine Call: There is a threefold Call to the Ministry mentioned, Gal. 1.1. The first is of or from man only, when any is designed to this work errante clave, that hath no inward qualification or Call from God. This though it authorizeth to outward admini­strations in the Church, yet will not satisfie the conscience of him that so administers. The second is by man, as the instrument, when any is designed to the Ministry by those whom God hath intrusted with the work of Ordination ac­cording to the rule of the Word; these God cals by man, Act. 20. This is the Call of ordinary Pastors. The third by Jesus Christ immediatly, and by this it is that Paul proves himself an Apostle, an extraordinary Minister.

Lastly, we argue thus:Argum. 8. That work may not be performed by any, which cannot by him be performed in faith; But preaching by a Brother Gifted, but not Called nor Ordained, cannot be done in faith: Therefore A Gifted unordained brother may not Preach.

Concerning the major we shall say little; the Apostles ge­neral Canon, Rom. 14. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin, doth evidently demonstrate it. The truth of the minor appears in that there is no warrant in Scripture (which is the ground of faith) for such a practice.

For first there is no

1. Precept that such should preach; if there were a pre­cept, [Page 92] it was then a necessary duty that every gifted person ought to perform, it was a sin if any gifted person should not preach, though he could preach but one Sermon only in all his life. Where is the necessity laid upon them (as the Apostle speaks of himself) that they preach the Go­spel?

2. There is no Precept that any should hear them, or obey them in the Lord, or maintain them; these duties of the people areappropriated to those that are Preachers by Office, Mal. 2. The Priests lips should preserve knowledge, and the people should enquire the Law at their lips. Luk. 10.16. The hearing of them is the hearing of Christ, and the refusing of them is the refu­sing of Christ: It is not so said of any that preach without mission; but contrarily there is a strict charge not to hear­ken to such, Ier. 17.14. and a complaint of them that heap to themselves teachers, 2 Tim. 4. Thus the Apostle, Heb. 13▪ 7, 17. Remember them, obey them, submit your selves to them that have the rule over you, and have spoken to you the Word of God. So 1 Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders that rule well be accoun­ted worthy of double honour, &c. Nothing of this is spoken of gifted Brethren, yet if they may lawfully preach, all this may they challenge, and all that hear and plead for them are bound in conscience to yield, because all this is due for the works sake, 1 Thess. 5.12.

Secondly, There is no promise in Scripture made unto any that Preach and are not thereunto lawfully Ordained: We say no promise, either of

1. Assistance: A Minister must depend upon God for his inabling unto the great work which he undertakes, for all our sufficiency is of God, and we have no sufficiency of our selves so much as to think any thing, 2 Cor. 3.5. and God hath pro­mised this assistance only to those whom himself sends. Thus Exo. 4.10. Go, saith the Lord to Moses, and I will be with thy mouth. Isa. 6.7, 8▪ God touches the mouth of Isaiah and sends him. Ioh. 20.21, 22. Christ sends and gives the holy Ghost to the Apostles, and to them is the promise. Ioh. 13. The Spirit of truth shall lead you into all truth. Doth God do thus [Page 93] to those that run and are not sent? O let the great errours broached of old by Origen, and others that presumed the the undertaking of this work without a Call; and in our daies by Anabaptists, Socinians, and others that despise a regular lawfull Call, bear witness. Surely we may say that if any amongst us Preach without a Call▪ and yet Preach the truth, they have not their assistance by vertue of any promise from the hand of God.

2. Protection: Thus God hath promised to those whom he sends on his message. Thus the Lord encourageth Iere­miah, ch. 1.18, 19. I have made thee this day a defenced City, and an iron pillar, and a brazen wall against this whole Land; and they shall fight against thee, but shall not prevail against thee, for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. Thus also Act. 18.9. the Lord incourageth Paul, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee▪ and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee. So also Act. 23.11. Be of good chear Paul, &c. And as we finde that God hath promised protection to those he sends, so also the Ministers of God have incouraged themselves to a faithfull discharge of their duty against all opposition, especially upon this ground that they had their commission from God, and his immutable promise for pro­tection: Isa. 49.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Isa. 51.16. Ier. 26.14, 15. But no where hath God made any such promise to those that in­trude themselves into this work, but threatens to be against them as hath been declared; The Angels of God have a charge to keep us in our waies, Psal. 91. but they that go out of them may fear the portion [...]f the sonnes of Sceva the Jew, Act. 19.15. that they be beaten by the evil spirit they undertake to cast out.

3. Success, in respect of the weighty ends of the Ministry, the principall the glory of God, the secondary the conver­sion and salvation of souls; How is it possible that he who intrudes himself into the work of the Ministry should glorifie God in the work, since God is honoured only in his own waies and means, and therefore cannot be glorified when his waies are not observed. To obey is better then sacrifice, saith [Page 94] the Prophet, and to hearken then the fat of Rams. Christ glo­rified not himself to be made an High-priest; such therefore as assume the Ministry, glorifie themselves and not God. Neither is there any promise made, neither is it to be expe­cted, that he who assumes this work of the Ministry without a Call, should ever become the instrument of the conversion and edification of souls, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the preaching of such as are sent, Rom. 10.14, 17. but un­sent Preachers have the curse of God upon their labours, that they shall not profit the people at all, Ier. 23.32. Luther hath a good saying to this purpose, Deus non fortunat labores corum qui non sunt vocati, & quamvis salutaria quaedam affe­rant tamen non aedificant: that is, God doth not prosper their la­bours, who are not called, and though they preach some profitable truths, yet do they not profit the people. Hence it comes to pass that they that hear uncalled Preachers, fall i nto so many er­rours, as a just punishment of God upon them; according to that the Apostle saith, 2 Tim. 4.3, 4. For the time will come that they will not indure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves Teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turn­ed unto fables▪ Gods blessing of conversion is promised only to his own Ordinance, which they cannot expect▪ who ei­ther by preaching without a Call, or hearing such as so preach, do overthrow.

Thirdly, There is no one approved example recorded in Scripture of any one not being Sent and Called, either immediatly or mediatly by God, especially in a constituted Church, that undertook this work of preaching, or any other work appropriated by God to the Ministry.

And thus we have also finished this second Chapter, and sufficiently and clearly proved, as we suppose, That it is un­lawfull for any man not lawfully called and set apart to the Office of a Minister to undertake and intrude upon the work of Preaching appropriated by God to that Office.

CHAP. VI. Answering the Arguments brought for the Preaching of men out of Office.

IN this Chapter we shall give Answers to the chief and main Arguments produced by such as maintain this unwarran­table practice of Preaching by men out of Office; for though a Christian ought not to depart from the plain rule of the Word of God, though he be not able to satisfie all the Sophi­stical cavils of gain-saying adversaries, yet that we may re­move all stumbling blocks, and occasions to fall out of the way, that if it be possible some may be reclaimed from their [...]rrour, others may be more firmly established in the truth, when they see discovered the vanity and invalidity of preten­ders Arguments for the preaching of gifted men out of Of­fice, we shall likewise undertake this task.

The first and principal Argument is drawn from 1 Cor. 14.31. Ye may all prophesie one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted: Whence is thus inferred; That the Apostle giving liberty to the gifted Brethren of the Church of Corinth out of Office to Prophesie (you may All Prophe­sie) warrants this practice of Preaching in all men that have gifts, though they be not set apart to this Office.

In Answer to this Argument we first lay down this Rule, which is also of excellent use for the understanding of many other places of Scripture, viz. That this universal All is to be restrained and limited according to the subject or matter treat­ed of. As when the Apostle saith, All things are lawfull for me, he means not simply All things, but restrainedly All in­different things of which he was there treating, 1. Cor▪ 6.12. [Page 96] and 10.23. In like manner when the same Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.17. saith, All things are made new. This Proposition is to be restrained from the subject and matter of which he was speak­ing, unto Beleevers. The like may be observed in many o­ther places, Luk. 13.15. 1 Cor. 12.7. Isa. 9.17, &c. These things thus premised, We say

First, In this place of the Apostle, Ye may all prophesie, the word All is to be restrained according to the subject of which the Apostle speaks: He saith not of the Body or People of the Church of Corinth, that they might All Prophesie, but of the Prophets in that Church, that they might All Prophe­sie. This is evident both from the antecedent and subsequent words. In the 29th verse the Apostle saith, Let the Prophets speak two or three, &c. then he subjoyns, For ye may All pro­phesie: and then it follows immediatly, And the spirit of the Prophets shall be subject to the Prophets. By this discourse of the Apostle it evidently appears that the liberty of pro­phecying was not given to every member of the Church of Corinth, but only to the Prophets that were in that Church: Now it is clear they were not all Prophets (c. 12.29. Are all Prophets? i. All are not Prophets:) and therefore all had not granted them this liberty of prophecying: And thus far we have the consent not only of Beza and others upon the place, but even of the most sober of our adversaries, who will not assert a promiscuous liberty of prophecying to every member of the Church, but only to such as are gifted and qualified for the work, and desired by the Church to exercise that Gift.

Secondly, The Prophets both in this place, and where ever else in the Scriptures mentioned, were an order of Mi­nistry, not only gifted Brethren, but constituted Officers in the Church. Thus 1 Cor. 12.28. God hath set in his Church, first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Teachers, &c. As the Apostles and Teachers were Officers set by God in his Church, so also were the Prophets. Reade also Eph. 4.11, 12. When Christ gave [...] gifts, Officers for the good of the Church, he gave amongst these Officers Prophets. And [Page 97] we do not beleeve, that there can an instance be given of any Text either in the Old or New Testament, in which the word Prophet doth not signifie one in Office peculiarly called and sent. Now if this be an irrefragable truth (as indeed it is) then the Apostles permitting all Prophets (i. men in Office) to prophesie, is no warrant for gifted brethren (if out of Of­fice) to do that work.

Thirdly, Though what hath been already said be sufficient to infringe the Argument drawn from this place to warrant the preaching of men out of Office, yet we adde for the more full Vindication of this Scripture, that the Prophets here mentioned, yea, and throughout the New Testament, seem not to be only Officers in the Church, but extraordinary Of­ficers immediatly inspired and sent by the holy Ghost, which appears in that

First, They are not only mentioned and preferred before Pastors and Teachers, the ordinary Officers of the Church, Act. 13.1. 1 Cor. 12.28. but also before the Evangelists them­selves, Eph. 4.11, 12. who are acknowledged by all to have been Officers extraordinarily sent.

Secondly, The gift of prophecy is reckoned amongst the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, and put in the midst of them, 1 Cor. 12.9, 10, 11. and contra-distinguished from ordinary gifts, vers. 7, 8. the word of wisedom, the word of know­ledge; The word of wisedom denotes the Pastors work, the word of knowledge the Teachers work; but prophesying is different from both these, c [...]sisting partly in the fore-telling of future events, as Act. 11.27, 28. In those daies came Pro­phets fr [...]m Ierusalem unto Anti [...]h, and there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout the w [...]rld. 2. Partly in an infallible ex­plication and application of (the m [...]st difficult places of) Scripture, not by industry, and labour, but by the immediate illumination, and teaching of the holy Ghost by whom the Scriptures were inspired.

Thirdly, It is evident by the series of this Chapter, that the Prophets herein spoken of, and their prophesying was extra­ordinary, [Page 98] ver. 26. When you are come together every one of you hath a Psalm, hath a Tongue, hath a Revelation, hath an Interpretation; Tongues, Interpretation, Revelation, are joyn­ed together, ver. 30. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace, by which it appears that the Prophets here spoken of were inspired by the holy Ghost; and that this gift of prophecy was an extraordinary dispensation of God given to the Primitive Church, but now ceased; and therefore this Text cannot justifie our Lay-Preach­ers, who cannot without impudency pretend to such extraor­dinary Revelations as these had.

We might fill many Pages with Quotations of Authours that consent with us in this last, Calv. Inst. l. 4. c. 3. sec. 10. &c. Pet. Mart. loc. com. clas. 4. c. 1. p. 558. Aret. prob. lo. 61. de Pro­phetia. Gerh. com. loc. tom. 6. de Minist. Ecc.. Diodat. in 1 Cor. 14. 1, 6, 23. Gomarus on Rom. 12.6. Synops. purioris Theolog. disp. 42. thes. 22. Our English Annotat. in 1 Cor. 14.

Against this third Position asserting the Prophesying in this Chapter, mentioned to be extraordinary, there be many things objected which we shall answer for the further manife­station of the truth.

Object. 1. The Apostle exhorteth the faithfull to desire this gift, vers. 1. and to seek to excell therein, and therefore it is not likely that it was a miraculous and extraordinary gift.

Answ. It doth not follow that because it was to be desired therefore it was not extraordinary; Other spiritual gifts were extraordinary, yet saith the Apostle Desire spirituall gifts, as much as he saith of prophesying; Elysaeus desires a double measure of Elias spirit, 2 King. 2.9. was not that extraordina­ry? The faithfull might in those daies in which such extraor­dinary gifts were usually given in the Church, lawfully seek after them, especially by praying to God for them, which is the way prescribed, vers. 13. Let him that speaketh in an un­known tongue pray that he may interpret. And it is apparent that in the Schools of the Prophets many did study and pre­pare that they might be fitted for this extraordinary gift of Prophecy, 1 Sam. 19.20. 2 Kin. 2.3, 4. and 2 Kin. 3.15. and [Page 99] out of them God usually made choice of such as he emploied as his speciall Embassadors to his Church.

Object. 2. The Apostle speaketh of such prophesying as is to the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the Church; therefore of ordinary prophesying.

Answ. It follows not, because extraordinary prophesying (as well as ordinary) was given for the edification of the Church, 1 Cor. 12.7. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every one to profit withall, Eph. 4.11, 12, 13. All the extra­ordinary as well as ordinary Officers were given by Christ for the gathering and edification of the Church: And all gifts are to be emploied to this end, 1 Cor. 14.26. Whether you have a Psalm, or Doctrine, or Tongue, or Revelation, or Interpretation, Let all things be done to edifying.

Object. 3. The Apostle in this Chapter speaks not of any thing extraordinary, but laies down a generall liberty, for all the members of the Church of Corinth to prophesie. And this appears because he pres [...]ribes Rules: 1. For men, how they should order their liberty for edification, and then 2. for Women forbidding them altogether the liberty of prophesy­ing; Let your women keep silence in the Churches: Women (say they) are here named in opposition to men, and they only being prohibited, all men may and ought to be allowed to prophesie in publique.

Answ. 1. It is absolutely false to say, that the Apostle speaks of nothing extraordinary in this Chapter, for he speaks of the gift of tongues, vers. 6, 14, 2 [...], 26. and of extraordinary Psalms and Revelations.

Answ. 2. It is also as false to say, that the Apostle gives a generall liberty of prophesying to all, to all the members of the Church of Corinth; It hath been already proved that the liberty was given to such only as were Prophets, v. 29, 30, 31. and these Prophets were persons in Office, as hath been de­monstrated, and that they were ex [...]raordinary Officers, Su­periour to Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers; Now all the members of the Church of Corinth were not P [...]ophets, 1 Cor. 12.29. nor had the gift of Prophe [...]y, as appears by the Apo­stles [Page 100] prayer for them, 1 Cor. 14.6. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied, &c.

Answ. 3. Women are not mentioned in opposition to the men in Corinth simply, But in opposition to such as had ex­traordinary gifts, whether of Tongues, or of Prophecy, or any such like: And the scope of the Apostle is not to give li­berty to all, but to lay down rules to those that were Prophets and men in Office, how they should regulate their prophesy­ing, for the edification, exhortation, and consolation of the people, and then he wholly excludes the women from this work.

Answ. 4. We may further answer, that by women here are not meant women simply, but Women-Prophetesses, in oppo­sition to men-Prophets formerly spoken of. This seems to be intimated in the words of the Text, Let your Women keep si­lence in the Church, i. your prophesying women: That there were women that did prophesie appears from Act. 21.9. Now the Apostle doth inhibit all women-Prophetesses from pro­phesying in the Church. It is not permitted to them (of what rank soever) to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the Law. Thus also 1 Tim. 2.12. But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man: These Prophetesses might teach in private, but nature it self forbids them to usurp authority over the man, by teaching him in publique.

Object. But doth not the Apostle say, 1 Cor. 11.5. Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered disho­noureth her head? It seems by this Text that the women did pray and prophesie in publique.

Answ. Women are said to pray and prophesie, not by doing so actually in their own persons, but by joyning with men in praying and prophesying: And the meaning of the Text is, Every woman that joyneth in praying or prophesy­ing; Thus Solomon is said to offer 120000. sheep, not in his own person, but by joyning with the Priests that did it. Thus Pilate is said to scourge Jesus, which he did not do in his own person, but by his Officers.

[Page 101] Object. 4. These Prophets were to be tried, examined, and judged, ver. 32. And therefore they were not Officers extra­ordinarily inspired.

Answ. 1. It follows not, Their doctrine might be tried, therefore they were not extrordinary Officers or immediatly inspired; for the Apostles were extraordinary Officers (as is confessed) and yet their doctrines were to be tried; The Bereaus are commended for it, Act. 17.11.

Ans. 2. Those who were extraordinarily inspired, thoug [...] they could not erre, so far forth as they were inspired by the holy Ghost, yet might sometimes in some particular cases give an answer out of their own hearts in which they might erre and be deceived; Such was the case of Samuel when he saw Eliab, 1 Sam. 16. Doubtlesse the Lords anointed is before me, but it was not so. Thus Nathan permitteth and encoura­geth David to build the Temple, 2 Sam. 7. but herein he was mistaken, Act. 21.4. The foretelling of Pauls danger at Ieru­salem was from God; But the consequence drawn from hence by the prophesying Disciples, that therefore he should not go up to Ierusalem, was from their own spirit. Vide Bezam.

Object. 2. A second Objection is taken from 1 Pet. 4.10, 11. As every man hath receivid the gift, even so minister the same one to another as good Stewards of the manifold grace of God; If any man speak let him speak as the Oracles of God; if any man minister let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, &c. From hence is inferred, that every man that is gifted may law­fully Preach the Word, though he be not called and solemn­ly set apart to this work.

Answ. To this we reply, 1. That we heartily assent to this Truth, That every man that hath received a gift of God, [...]. In loc. ought to improve it to the good of others: And we limit not the word Gift in the Text (as some do) only to the gift of liberality (though the word [...] be sometimes put for that gift, as 1 Cor. 16.3.2 Cor. 8.4, 6, 7.) but extend it, as Oecumenius not only to the possession of riches, but to all endowments of nature, which whosoever is possessed of is bound to commu­nicate to those that want them, as having received them of [Page 102] God to be thus distributed, yea, and with Piscator, Calvin, Bullinger, and others, to all spirituall gifts; as knowing that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every one for the profit of the whole, and mindefull of the heavy sentence pronoun­ced upon the slothfull servant who hid his Talent in a Napkin. Mat. 25.

2. But we assert, That these spirituall gifts are to be exerci­sed by every one in his own sphere, by private persons pri­vately, by those that are in Office publikely, and in the Con­gregation: It is very observable, that Aquila and Priscilla, private persons, yet of eminent gifts (insomuch as they knew the way of Christ more perfectly then Apollos himself, who was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures) kept their own place, and whereas Apollos being a Minister in Office (as appears 1 Cor. 3.5.) preached publiquely in the Synagogues, they as gifted Christians did not undertake to preach publike­ly but took him to them, and privately expounded to him the way of God more perfectly, Act. 18. This is a notable patern for private Christians even of the highest form to walk by; In this way they may finde emploiment for all their gifts, in this way they may honour God, and be promoters of the Gospel, as were those women whom the Apostle honours with the Title of Labourers with him in the Gospel, Phil. 4.3. They laboured not by publike preaching, for this the Apostle permits not to women, 1 Tim. 2. but by private advertise­ments and admonitions, as opportunities were administred.

3. Therefore it follows not, that because all gifts are to be improved, therefore a gifted brother may preach; for first, there are other waies of making use of our most excellent gifts then by preaching only: and secondly, It is required in him that will preach warrantably, not only that he be fitted for the work, but that he be appointed to the Office of the Ministry, as hath been before fully demonsttated; and there­fore that we do not the same work twice, we here su­persede.

Object. But doth not the Apostle in the 11. verse, where he saith, If any man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God, [Page 103] warrant every man that hath the gift of speaking publikely to the edification of the Congregation, to preach publikely, pro­vided he speak as the Oracles of God.

Answ. We answer negatively, those words permit not e­very gifted man to be a Preacher, but direct every Preacher in the right dispensation of that weighty Office; Calvin ex­cellently upon these words, He that speaketh observes, Qui publicâ authoritate rite ordinatus est, He that by publike autho­rity is rightly ordained to speak; Let him speak as the Oracles of God: And Estius, Qui ad hujusmodi munus in Ecclesiâ vocatur, He that is called in the Church to this work, let him speak as the Oracles of God, And thus some restrain the word Gift in the 10th verse, As every man hath received a gift, i. an Office, even so minister, &c. and that not with out probabi­lity, for it is evident that the words [...] and [...] are ta­ken sometimes in Scripture not for gifts simply but for an Of­fice; as Rom. 12.6. [...], having gifts which the Apostle in the verses following expounds of Offices: So also 1 Tim. 4.14. [...], Neglect not the gift which was given thee by Prophecy, that is, the Office, if the Apostle may be his own Interpreter, Cha. 1.18. This charge I cummit to thee my Son Timothy, according to the Prophecies that went before of thee, &c. where by the way observe, against those that scorn­fully ask, What gift the Imposition of hands by the Presbyte­ry can now conferre? that it confers as much as the Imposi­tion of hands by the Presbytery did to Timothy, viz. the Of­fice of a Presbyter; If Timothy had any extraordinary gift, that was given by the Imposition of the Apostles hands, 2 Tim. 1.6. Stir up the gift that is in thee by the laying on of my hands; as it was in those times usuall for extraordinary gifts to be conveighed. So also the word [...] is used in the same sense, Eph. 3.8. To me that am lesse then the least of all Saints is this grace [...] given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, his being made the Apostle of the Gentiles is called [...], so also Rom. 1.5. By whom we have received grace and Apostleship, [...], by the Grammaticall Figure Hendyadis, for [...] the grace of Apostleship, as Pis­cator [Page 104] in his Scholia, and others. Secondly, It is worth our Observation, to take notice of that order which the Apostle seems to make between gifts, administrations, and operations, 1 Cor. 12, 4, 5, 6. Gifts qualifie for Ministries, Ministry autho­riseth for operation; as no man may lawfully undertake a Ministry or Office, if not qualified; so may no man do the work of the Ministry which he hath not taken upon him; A­bilities do not authorize to act out of our own Sphere and calling; A Physician might not judge of Leprosies though he had skill, nor a Butcher kill the Sacrifice though he knew how; these things belonged to the Priest; Every able Law­yer may not usurp the office or work of a Judge, nor every gifted brother undertake either the Office or the work of a Minister.

Object. It is argued for the lawfulnesse of Preaching by gift­ed men, not ordained to the Ministry: That Eldad and Me­dad prophesied in the Camp without a calling, and were ap­proved of by Moses in the Praier, Would God that all the Lords people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them, Numb. 11.26, 29.

Answ. 1. To this we reply, that nothing in this Story doth in the least patronize the practices of our preaching un-or­dained gifted brethren, because,

1. The prophesying of Eldad and Medad was extraordi­nary from an immediate and divine inspiration; for the Spi­rit of God is said to have rested upon them, as upon those others that were round about the Tabernacle, as appears ver. 25, 26. but our gifted men are not thus immediatly inspired and taught of God.

Ans. 2. This gift of Prophecy was given them as a Seal of their Commission for the government of the State, not di­rectly for the edification of the Church: It was visibile sig­num, a visible sign (saith Calvin) that God had chosen them to assist Moses in the Government:In loc. Non enim erant Prophe­tae, sed voluit Deus hâc externâ not â testari novos esse homines, quò majori reverentiâ eos ex [...]iperet populus: By this Spirit of Prophecy they were inaugurated to their civil government. [Page 105] Thus the Spirit of Prophecy was given to Saul in confirma­tion of his Election to the Kingdom of Israel, 1 Sam. 10.6, 11. And therefore many learned men are of opinion,Loring Tostatus. that Eldad and Medad did not prophesie praedicendo or praedicando, That their prophesying was not a Prophetical or Ecclesiasti­cal Preaching, but a politicall or prudentiall speaking of things appertaining to the government of the State: Some others think that Enthusiasmo acti they did laudes Deo can [...]re, Corn. a Lapido. that by divine instinct they did celebrate the praises of God: All a­gree that it was extraordinary, and therefore makes nothing for the justification of such as preach without office. Mr Ains­worth observes excellently, that this prophesying of Eldad and Medad was only for the day, and therefore whereas it is said vers. 25. They prophosied and did not cease, Ainsworth reades the words, They prophesied and did not adde; [...] so it is in the He­brew Non addiderunt, that is, they prophesied no more but that day. The same word is used Deut. 5.22. These words the Lord spake in all your assembly, and he added no more, that is, spake no more, or in such a manner to the people. [...] Thus the Septuagint readeth the words, and Sol. Iarchi saith, They did not adde, i. they prophesied not save that day only. The Chaldee indeed translateth it, They ceased not; And so also it translateth Deut. 5.22. The Lord spake the ten words, and cea­sed not, which translation if it be allowed, it will admit (saith Ainsworth) of this favourable Interpretation, The Lord cea­sed not speaking, that is, till all his ten words were finished; And the seventy Elders prophesied, and ceased not, that is, they conti­nued all day prophesying, not alwaies; (As Saul in Naioth is said to prophesie all that day and all that night, 1 Sam. 19 24.) For this prophesying of theirs seems (saith Ainsworth) to be a temporary gift and miracle, for the ratification and con­firmation of their office. But howsoever whether this pro­phesying was for a day or for a longer time, whether it was Ecclesiastical or only political, certain we are it was extraordi­nary, and a visible inauguration of them into their Office.

Answ. 3. Certain we are that these men ha [...] a lawfull Call to do what they did, for they were two of the seventy Elders [Page 106] whom the Lord commanded Moses to choose, and unto whom he promiseth to give his Spirit, Numb. 11.16, 17. And there­fore this example doth not at all prove the lawfullnesse of pri­vate mens preaching: That these two were of the number of the seventy Elders, appears by three Arguments from the 26. verse.

1. It is said ver. 25. That God took of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and gave it to the Seventy Elders, and when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, and ceased not, Then followeth, But there remained two of the men in the Camp, that is, two of the Seventy. As if we should say, There were seventy men chosen to be Common-Councell men to sit at Guild-Hall, but two of the men did remain in their Houses, and did not go, must we not necessarily understand that the two remain­ing were two of the seventy Common-Councel men.

2. The Spirit of God is said to rest upon these two, vers. 26. just as it is said of the other Elders, ver. 25.

3. It is said expresly, That they were of them that were writ­ten, but went not out into the Tabernacle, That were written, that is, saith Deodate, inrolled and delegated among the se­venty Elders, or as Ainsworth saith, they were written by Moses in a Book, and so were appointed among the rest to come to the Tabernacle, ver. 16.24.

Quest. 1. But why did not they go unto the Tabernacle as the rest did?

Ans. Tostatus saith, It was out of a modest bashfullnesse and sense of their own unworthinesse, Ainsworth saith, that it is probable, that as Saul when he was to be made King, withdrew and hid himself among the stuffe, 1 Sam. 10.22. so these two, unwilling to take the charge upon them, withdrew their shoulders, and came not to the Tabernacle, yet the Lord by his Spirit found them out: For whether shall men go from his Spirit, or whither shall they go from his presence, Psa. 139.7. See more for this out of Ainsworth upon the place.

Quest. 2. But if these were two of the seventy Elders, why doth Ioshua desire Moses to forbid them?

Ans. 1. Because he might not know that they were set a­part [Page 107] to be members of the Senate as well as the rest.

2. Because they obeyed not Moses, to come out to the Ta­bernacle as he commanded, for the Disciples forbad one that cast out devils in Christs Name, because he followed not them, Luke 9.49, 50.

3. Especially thus he spake out of an envious zeal for his Master Moses sake (as the verse following sheweth) that he would not have the use of the gift of prophecy common, [...]nd therefore Moses answereth, ver. 29. Enviest thou, for my sake?

But though Ioshua would have had them inhibited prophe­sying, yet Moses did not forbid them, which is argument suf­ficient to prove, that they were persons lawfully chosen to this Office; for if Moses so sharply rebuke Corah and his company for intruding into the Office of the Priesthood with­out a call▪ surely he would not have approved of Eldads and Medads taking upon them the office of Prophets without a Call.

Quest. 1. But what then is the meaning of Moses prayer, Would God that all the Lords People were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them?

Answ. This was an excellent and imitable desire in Moses, for though he knew that God had decreed not to diffuse this gift of prophecy unto all, yet he here discovers his humility in wishing that all the Lords people had the gift of prophesie. And the man is [...]ot worthy the name of a Minister, that doth not heartily desire that all Gods people might excell in gifts and graces. Hunc Spiritum charitatis imitentur omnes concio­natores (saith Cornelius de Lapide) qui non suam, sed Dei unius gloriam quaerunt, petuntque quod Martha petiit a Christo Dic sorori ut adjuvet me. But this doth not at all prove, that a private man without a lawfull call may do the work of a publique Preacher, for Eldad and Medad were lawfully cal­led, and though Ioshua knew it not, yet it appears plainly by this very Praier of Moses, that he knew that they both were Prophets, and that the Spirit of God did rest upon them even the same that rested upon the other 68 Elders, and therefore [Page 108] he praieth, Would all the Lords People were as th [...]se two, and the rest of the Elders. And this is our daily prayer, That the Lord would multiply his gifts and graces upon his people, and because the harvest is great and the labourers are few; That the Lord of the Harvest, would send forth more and more able Labourers into his Harvest.

Object. 4. Another Objection is from the example of Ieho­saphat, 2 Chro. 17.7, 8, 9. who in the third year of his Reign sent to his Princes even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, &c. to teach in the Cities of Iudah, And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, &c. And they taught in Iudah, and had the Book of the Law with them, &c. Here the Princes are said to teach as well as the Levites.

Answ. 1. The Princes are thought by some to have been sent to teach not Ecclesiastically but Politically, viz. by coun­tenancing the Levites, and by their civil authority, compel­ling the people to hear them, they taught the people regaliter not ministerialiter; Thus R. Sol. Iarchi upon the place. It was proper (saith he) to the Priests and Levites to teach, inasmuch as it is written, Deut. 24.8. According to all that the Priests and Levites shall teach you, do ye, but the Princes went with them lest they should have rebelled against their words, that they might compell them to obey: Great men are said in Scripture to have done those things which they did not in their own persons, but were done by their authority and command. Solomon is said to offer a Sacrifice of 22000 Oxen, and 120000 Sheep, that is, not in his own person (for he should have sinned Vzziahs sinne in so doing) but by the Priests. Pilate is said to scourge Jesus, that is, by his Officers; And the chief Eunuch Dan 1. to teach Daniel and the rest of the Israelitish women, that is, by appointing them Masters to teach them, so also in this place, the Princes may be said to teach, that is, by the Levites whom they did accompany, countenance, and encourage in the work.

Answ. 2. Iehosaphat intending a full Reformation, and esta­blishing his Kingdom in Righteousnesse and Religion, in mat­ters of God and matters of the King, he sends out mixt Com­missioners, [Page 109] for the civil affairs his Princes, for the businesses of God the Levites: The Princes taught Ius regium, the Le­vites Ius Dei; and so there was no interfering in their em­ployment; Vide Pelican. in loc. This answer seems the more probable, because in his second visitation of his Kingdom mentioned ch. 19. Iehosaphat himself making (as here) joynt Commissioners, divides the work into Civil and Ecclesiastical, the matters of God and the matters of the King, over the for­mer he sets the Priest, over the latter the prince; as was obser­ved in the stating of the Question.

Object. 5. Some argue from Luke 8.39. The man disposses­sed went about preaching what Christ had done for him; And from Ioh. 4. The woman of Samaria preached Christ to the Samaritans, and many beleeved; And the man that had but one talent, and hid it, was therefore cast into hell; And from the example of the Saints in evil times, speaking often one to another; Lastly, From the command of the Apostle to stir up the gift of God that is in us.

Answ. To which we answer shortly; To the first, we an­swer, that the dispossessed did no more then he had a Commis­sion from Christ to do, and therefore is no president for such as preach without a calling; if he did more he sinned.

To the second, The woman of Samaria did not preach but only charitatively, and as private persons may, declare what she had seen and heard; and if any thing can be concluded from hence for Preaching without Ordination, the lawfulness of womens preaching must be concluded.

To the third, The man was cast into hell for hiding and not imploying his talent, that is in his own calling, as hath been often suggested; It is the duty of every Christian to stir up the gift ofGod that is in him, and for Christians to speak often one to another in evil times, to teach, admonish, exhort one ano­ther, to pray together and one for another; but all this comes short o [...] the Ministers duty, there being a vast difference be­tween this private charitative way of exhorting which belongs to all Christians, and the office, and work of the Ministry, as hath been above distinguished.

[Page 110] Object. 6. Private Christians, Act. 8.4. & 11.19. when they were scattered abroad, went every where preaching the word, Therefore gifted men though not ordained may also preach the Word.

Answ. This instance which is much insisted upon by ma­ny, is not of strength to conclude the lawfulnesse of preaching by gifted, un-ordained persons; For,

First, Some allowing these scattered Christians to have been private persons, yet do rationally distinguish between a Church constituted, and a Church scattered and dissolved, between what may be done in a Church gathered, and in an ordinary way, and in the gathering of a Church, and in the [...]ase of necessity: It is not recorded that these did preach while they were at Ierusalem in a setled Church, but when they were scattered, then they went every where preaching; what warrant soever this instance may give to persons uncal­led to preach amongst Indians, and in places where no Chur­ches nor Ministers are, yet can it not warrant them in their preaching in our Churches, in which Ministers are or may ea­sily be had.

Secondly, It may justly be denied, that the Christians here spoken of were private Christians, it may be asserted that they were men in Office, and had commission to do what they did. This appears,

1. From the first verse, where it is said, At that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Ierusa­lem, and they were all scattered abroad throughout the Regions of Iudea and Samaria, except the Apostles; These All that were scattered must be either All the Teachers and Church-Offi­cers, or all the Beleevers; not all the beleevers, for it is said in the 3. verse, That Saul made havock of the Church, entring into every house, and haling men and women, committed them to prison. And Act. 11.22. there is expresse mention made of the Church at Ierusalem, notwithstanding the per­secution. Had all the Beleevers been scattered what should the Apostles have done at Ierusalem, their tarrying would have been dangerous to themselves and useless to the Church. [Page 111] And therefore we judge that by all is meant all the Church-Officers (of whom there were many at Ierusalem) were scattered except the Apostles, and when they were scattered they went every where preaching the Word.

To make the Interpretation clearer observe,

First, That the word All is used here with an exceptive par­ticle, which necessitates it to be meant not of beleevers but of men in office; for if all relate to beleevers, then it will follow that there was not one Beleever left in Ierusalem ex­cept the Apostles. The particle [...] with the Genitive case in the New Testament, being alwaies exceptive to the utmost, as appears Ioh. 8.10. Act. 15.28. & 22.22. Mar. 12.32. but this we are sure is false, as hath been already proved.

Secondly, That it is said, That they that were scattered went every where preaching the Word; It is not said teaching which may be actus charitatis, but Preaching which is actus officij; How can they preach except they be sent, Rom. 10. The Reve­rend Assembly of Divines in their Answer to the Reasons of the Dissenting Brethren, observe, that those that were scatter­ed went about [...], that [...] refers to the act of men in office, and they desire the Brethren to produce one Scripture where [...] is used con­cerning any that are not Preachers by Office, they bring ma­ny where it is used concerning those that were in Office, even by the pen-man of this history, and conclude, that these [...] had their Commission to preach before this persecution, though the persecution occasioned their preaching in Iudea and other places.

Thirdly, Act. 8.5. there is but one of this scattered number named, and he was a person in office, to wit Philip, not the Apostle, but who is numbered among the Deacons, Act. 6. and called an Evangelist, Act. 21 8. By the singling out of this one who was in Office, we may judge that the rest were per­sons in office as well as he.

Fourthly, 'Tis probable, that these that were scattered did baptize as well as preach, which we gather from Act. 11.26. It is said there, There was a Church setled at Antioch, which [Page 112] could not be unlesse they were first baptized, but there were none in Antioch to baptize them, if they of the dispersion did not; for Barnabas, Agabus, and other Prophets came not to Antioch till the Church was founded, Act. 11.25, 26, 27. and this Church of Antioch is expresly said to be founded by the scattered brethren, Act. 21.19. now baptism is to be per­formed only by men in office, Mat. 28.19.

Fifthly, These scattered brethren are said to be Prophets and Teacher [...], Act. 13.1. where mention is made of Lucius of Cy­rene, who in all probability was one of the scattered Preach­ers, as appears Act. 11.19, 20. where it is said, That some of these scattered were men of Cyrene.

If it be said, that there is no where mention made of the Ordination of, or any commission given to these scattered brethren: It is answered, that it doth not follow that there­fore they had none, because none is mentioned. It is suffici­ent for us that there are Scripture-Reasons to perswade us that they had a Commission; They did a work peculiar to Officers of the Church, as hath been proved, which godly men out of Office durst not have done; they had successe, and the blessing of God upon their labours, which he promiseth not to those that go in an evil way, as hath been demonstra­ted: But let thus much suffice for this instance.

Obj. 7. All the People of God are called Priests, Rev. 1.6. why then may they not preach?

Answ. They are indeed all made Priests unto God, and Kings unto God not unto men; They are Priests not mini­sterially but spiritually, not as to the ministeriall function, but as to the offering up of spirituall Sacrifices unto God. Thus it is expounded 1 Pet. 2.5. Praier, Thanks-giving, and Almes-deeds are called Sacrifices in Scripture, and these a Beleever offereth up to God, and so he is made a Priest to God.

Secondly, All are made Priests unto God, but are all made Prophets? Are not all made Kings? And may therefore all exercise regall jurisdiction amongst men? May all be Magi­strates? Away with such fanatick Monasterian conceits; If [Page 113] we be Priests let us sacrifice our lusts, if Kings let us rule over our passions and our pride, this would quickly prevent such unwarrantable practices, and put a happy issue to these Disputes.

Object. 8. But if a Master of a Family may instruct his own Family, why may he not preach in the publique Congre­gation?

Answ. Because he hath a calling to do the one, and no calling to do the other; You may as well ask, Why may not the Lord-Maior of London exercise his jurisdiction at York as well as at London? Or why may not a Justice of Peace send Warrants out of his own County? Or why might not Vzzi­ah as well offer Incense in the Temple as pray in his own Fa­mily? The answer to all these Questions is easie, for the one they have a lawfull calling but not for the other.

Obj. 9. But why then do you your selves suffer men whom you call Probationers and Expectants for the Ministry, to preach without Ordination? May not private men preach as well as they?

Answ. There is a great difference between a private mans preaching that never intends the Ministry, and a Probationers preaching that intends the Ministry, and preacheth by way of triall, that so the people that are to choose him may have ex­perience of his gifts. A probationer, and a Minister differ but in degree, but a private man and a Minister differ toto genere. In the Old Testament there were Prophets, and sons of the Pro­phets that were trained up in the Schools of the Prophets: These Sons of the Prophets did prophesie by way of trial and exercise, 1 Sam. 19.20. 2 King. 2.3. 1 King. 20.35, 36.

2. That these Sons of the Prophets, or as they are commonly called, these Expectants, are not allowed in the Presbyteriall government to preach without approbation and license. The Directory stablished by both Nations, is, That such as intend the Ministry may occasionally both reade the Scriptures, and exercise gifts in preaching in the Congregation, being allow­ed thereunto by the Presbytery. And therefore even Proba­tioners under the Presbyterian Government are not to preach [Page 114] though but occasionally, and for a little while, without a Li­cense and Authority so to do, from them to whom Christ hath given this power to authorize men for such an employ­ment.

So much in answer to Objections, and so much for the Third Proposition.

The Fourth Proposition.

Concerning the severall waies and means of calling men to the Ministry, which is the Subject of all the following Chapters in the First Part.

CHAP. VII. Wherein are handled three Questions about an imm [...]diate Call to the Ministry.

HAving shewed, That no man ought to take upon him the Office or the work of the Ministry, but he that is lawfully called and ordained thereunto; We shall now pro­ceed (according to our method formerly propounded) to speak something concerning the divers waies and means of calling men unto the Ministry. That which we have to say, we shall comprehend in the ensuing Propositions.

Propos. 1. Ius summum & [...] vocandi Mini­stros ad Deum solum pertinet. Gerhard. de Minist. Eccles. That the Power and Authority of calling men to the Mi­nistry belongs properly to God only; It is he that is the Lord of the Harvest, and therefore he only it is that can send forth Labourers into his harvest; Ministers are his Embassadours, and therefore to be sent by him: He only can give the Hea­venly Unction and make us able Ministers of the New Testa­ment, [Page 115] 2 Cor. 3.6. And it is for the great honour and encou­ragement of the Gospel-Ministry, that all the three persons are said to call men to this sacred office. Of God the Father it is said, 1 Cor. 12.28. And God hath set, &c. and Mat. 9.38. Pray unto the Lord, &c. Of God the Son, Eph. 4.11. Of God the holy Ghost, Act. 20.28.

That there are two waies by which God doth call men to the Office of the Ministry, the one immediate, Propos. 2. the other mediate.

The immediate call is when a man is chosen by God with­out the intervention of man; Thus were the Prophets and Apostles called: Paul saith of himself, That he was an Apo­stle not of men nor by men, but by Christ, Gal. 1.1. &c. where the Apo­stle tels us of three sorts of Ministers:

1. Such as are called neither of men nor by men, but by Christ and God immediatly, such were the Apostles

2, Such as are called by God, and also by men appointed by God for this work, such were the Apostles successors.

3. Such as are neither called by God immediatly or medi­atly, but only of man, that is, by the meer authority of men; such were the false Apostles. Zanchy tels us out of Hierom of a fourth sort, and they are such as are neither of man,Zanch. in 4. Praecep. p. 769. nor by man, nor by Christ, but by themselves; Qui per seipsos Mini­sterium sibi sumunt non vocati, Who take upon themselves the work of the Ministry uncalled; And these he saith are omnium pessimi, the worst of all. Of these the Prophet Ieremy speaks, I have not sent these Prophets yet they ran, I have not spoken unto them yet they prophesied. Ier. 23.2.1.

We purpose not to speak much of this immediate Call; Only because there are some who are ordinarily called Ana­baptists or Enthusiasts, or as Chemnitius cals them fanaticos ho­mines fanatick men, that boast much of Heavenly Revelati­ons and of divine impulses, and pretend to an immediate Call, we will for our peoples sake briefly answer these three Questions.

Quest. 1. How may we distinguish between an immediate Call from God; and the imposture of fanatick men that say they are so called, and are not?

[Page 116] Quest. 2. Whether are we to expect any immediate Call in these daies?

Quest. 3. Whether the Call of the first Reformers of Reli­gion from the Errours of Popery, was an immediate Call or no?

Quest. 1. How may we distinguish between an immediate Call from God, and the imposture of men that say they are so called when they are not?

Answ. 1. They that are immediatly called to the Ministry are endued by God either with the gift of miracles, or with some other testimony of the Spirit, by which they are ena­bled to give proof of their immediate Call. When Christ called his twelve Apostles, he gave them power against un­clean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sicknesse, and all manner of disease. Mat. 10.1. And the Apostle Paul cals this pow­er of working miracles a sign of his Apostleship, 2 Cor. 12.12. Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. When Christ called his 70 Disciples he adorned them also with pow­er of Miracles, Luke 10.9. Thus when God called Moses im­mediatly, he inabled him to work miracles, that so the Israelites might beleeve that he was not an Impostor, but that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob had appeared unto him, Exod. 4.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. After this manner was the calling of Eli­as and Elisha confirmed. And yet from hence we dare not (as some do) gather a generall Rule, That an immediate Call is alwaies joyned with the gift of miracles, for it is said expresly of Iohn Baptist, That he did no miracle, and yet he was immediatly called:Ioh. 10.41. Neither do we reade of many of the Prophets of the Old Testament, that they wrought any mi­racles; But we say, That an immediate Call is alwaies joyned either with the gift of Miracles, or the gift of Tongues, or some other extraordinary thing, by which men are enabled undoubtedly to demonstrate to others their immediate Call. Thus the Prophets were all of them endued with the gift of fore-telling things to come, and Iohn Baptist was enabled to make proof of his immediate Call by shewing the Prophe­cies [Page 117] both of Isaiah and Malachy that were concerning him; which prophecies were applied to him by the Angel, Luke 1.15, 16, 17. before he was born; appropriated by himself, Ioh. 1.23. and confirmed by Christs testimony of him, Mat. 11.9, 10, 11. And therefore let all those that boast of their Re­velations, and say they are called by God to preach as the Apostles were, shew the signs and tokens of their Apostleship, as the Apostles did; let them shew the gift of miracles, or of Tongues, or of foretelling things to come, or some super­naturall prediction, that such as they should be sent into the world, or at least some rare and extraordinary work of God, that so the world may beleeve, that they are in truth sent by God, and are not Impostors and Seducers, as the false Pro­phets were, Ier. 14.14.

Secondly, They that are immediatly called by God will preach no other doctrine but what is agreeable to the Word of God. This is the distinguishing character brought by the Prophet Ieremy, Jer. 23.16. Hearken not unto the words of the Prophets, &c. For they prophesie a lye unto you, for I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesi [...] a lie in my Name. Thus Ier. 29.8, 9. Let not your Prophets and your Diviners de­ceive you, neither hearken to your Dreams, &c. for they prophesie falsly unto you in my Name; He that boasteth of dreams, visi­on [...], [...]nd Revelations, and holds forth any doctrine contrary to the written Word, he is an Impostor and a Seducer. And this is the chief Note of difference, without which the former i [...] insufficient; Prima ac praecipua probationis regula (saith Gerhard) est harmonia & congruentia doctrinae, Gerhard. do Minist. Eccl [...]s. p. 87. cum doctrinâ a Deo revelarâ, The first and chief rule of triall is the harmony and agreement of the doctri [...]e they preach with the doctrine of th [...] Script [...]res. For our Saviour Christ tel [...] us, That false Christ [...] should arise and false Prophets, Mat. 24. [...]4. and should shew great signs and wonders, insomuch (if it were possible) they should de [...]eive the very Elect. And the Apostle tels us, that the coming of An­tichrist shall be after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. 2 Thes. 2.9. These wonders are called lying won­ders, either because they should be false and counterfeit, or if [Page 118] [...]rue, yet they may be called lying wonders (miranda not mi­racula) because wrought by Satan to confirm erroneous doctrines and lies: Such are Popish miracles (falsly so cal­led) which are (as our Annotations upon the place say) either lyi [...]g prodigies, or prodigious lies. This caution was given to the Children of Israel by Moses, Deut. 13.1. If there arise among you a Prophet, or a dreamer if dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to passe, whereof he spake unto thee saying, Let us go after other Gods, &c. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that Prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, &c. From all which we gather, That whosoever groundeth his authority of preaching upon an immediate call, and braggeth of heavenly visions and divine revelations, if he preach strange doctrine contrary to the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, although he should confirm it by signs and wonders, and although he should undertake to foretell things to come, and these predictions should come to passe, yet notwithstanding we are not to hearken unto him but to reject him as a Seducer, and his wonders as lying wonders,Gal. 1.8, 9. and to say with the Apostle Paul, Though we or an Angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed: Excel­lently to this purpose doth Austin answer to the Donatists, boasting of their Revelations, but departing from the since­rity of Evangelical doctrine. Non dican [...] ideo verum esse, qui [...] illa & illa mirabilia fecit Donatus vel Pontius, vel qui­libet alius, &c. aut quia ille fra­ter noster & illa soror nostra tal [...] visum vigilans vidit, [...]el [...]ale visum dormiens somniavit. Re­moveantur ista v [...]l figmenta menda [...]ium bominum, vol portenta fallacium Spirituum, &c. Remotis [...]mnibus istis, Ecclesi [...]m su [...]m demon [...]tron [...] non in signis & prodigi [...]s fallacibus, (quia etiam contra ista verbo Domini praep [...]rati & ca [...]ti re [...] liti sum [...]s) sed in praescripto Legis▪ in Prophetarum prae­dictis, in Psalmorum cantibus, in ipsi [...]s P [...]storis vocibus, in Evangelist [...]r [...]m praedicationibus & laboribus, hoc est, in omnibus Canonicis sanctorum librorum autoritatibus. August. de Unita [...]e Eccles. c. 18, 19, in Edi [...]ione Lov [...]niensi. Ann. 1616. Let them not therefore say it is a truth, because Donatus or Pontius or any other did such and such miracles, or because this Brother or that Sister saw such a vision, or dreamed such a dream; Let these fictions of deceitful, men or wonders of lying spirits be laid aside, &c. [Page 119] And having laid them aside, Let them demonstrate their Church, not by such lying prodigies, (because against giving heed to such we are warned in the Word of God) but by the prescript of the Law, the predictions of the Prophets by the Book of Psalms, by the voice of the great Shepherd, by the Preachings and Writings of the Evangelists, that is, by [...]the Authority of Canonicall Books of Scripture.’

So much for the first Question.

Quest. 2, Whether are we to expect any immediate and ex­traordinary Call to the Ministry in these daies?

Answ. Though we cannot, nor ought not to set bounds to the infinite power of free-will of God, nor will we dispute what God may do out of his free-grace in times of generall Apostacy, yet we shall make bold to give in this answer to this great Question.

That we do not reade that we are commanded in Scripture to wait for and expect such a Call,Nec habemus mandatum ut expect [...]mus im­mediatam vo­cationem, nec promissionem Deum velle hoc tempore mitt [...]re operarios in messem suam per immediatam vocationem. S [...]d per Apostolos tradidit, & Ec­clesiae praescripsit certam formam qu [...]modò nunc velit mitt [...]re & vocare Ministros nimirum p [...]r me­diatam vocationem. Neque enim opus nunc est immediatâ vocatione. Deus enim omnino vult ut mi­nisterium usque ad consummationem seculi alligatum sit ad vocem doctrinae quae a Filio D [...]i acce­pta, & ab Apostolis immedia [...]è vocatis Ecclesiae tradita est. Chemnit. loc. commun. de Ecclesiâ. neither do we know of any promise that God hath made to encourage us to wait, nor do we conceive that there is any absolute necessity of such an expectation. ‘For God (as Chemnitius observes) hath by his Apostles delivered and prescribed to his Church a certain form by which he would have men enter into the Ministry, and that is a mediate Call, neither is there now any need of an immediate; For it is Gods will, that the Mi­nistry even to the end of the world should be tied to that doctrine which is delivered to the Church by the Apostles.’

Adde to this, That the Apostles, though they themselves were called immediatly by God, yet notwithstanding they did not wait till others that should succeed them in the work of the Ministry, were chosen also immediatly by God; But they themselve [...] ordained Ministers, and gave order to Ti­mothy [Page 120] and Titus about the way and method of electing and ordaining Elders, which we are assured they would never have done if the immediate Call had not ceased, together with their persons.

When Christ went up to heaven he gave two sorts of Offi­cers to his Church, some extraordinary as Apostles, Evange­lists, Prophets, and these were temporary: some ordinary, as Pastors and Teachers, and these are perpetual. Now as we are not to expect in our daies such extraordinary Officers, as A­postles, Evangelists, and Prophets, no more are we to expect such an extraordinary way of calling, as they had; but as our Officers are ordinary, so the calling we are to expect is or­dinary. Adde,

That God hath promised to preserve an ordinary Ministry in the world till the coming of Christ, 1 Cor. 11.26. Eph. 4.12, 13. Mat. 28.20. Isa. 59.21. And therefore there is no need of waiting for and expecting an extraordinary and immedi­ate Call.Zanch. in 4. Praecep. p. 719. As it is necessary (saith Learned Zanchy) that there shall be alwaies a Church upon earth, because Christ hath promi­sed, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; So also it is every way as necessary that a lawfull Ministry be preserved: Vnum enim ab altero separari non potest, nec Ecclesia a Ministe­rio, nec Ministerium ab Ecclesiâ; For the one cannot be sepa­rated from the other, neither the Church from the Ministry, nor the Ministry from the Church: And from hence it appears (saith the same Authour) That even in the Church of Rome,Idem liquet in Ecclesiâ Roma­nâ, corruptissi­mus fuit magna ex [...]parte cul [...]us Dei; interim servavit ibi Deus integros fid [...]i articulos, & baptismum ad substantiam quod attinet, & quantum erat satis ad salutem electorum, ita ut sicut non peni [...]ùs extincta ibi fuit Ecclesia, sic neque penitùs interierit Ministerium. Zanch. ut supra. though the worship of God be most corrupt in it, yet God hath pre­served in it so much of the substance of Religion as was necessary to salvation; so that as the Church is not wholly extinct therein, so neither was the Ministry.

We deny not but that there are some Learned Divines that pleade much for an immediate and extraordinary call in times of publique and generall defection from the Truth; For our [Page 121] parts we will not espouse this quarrell: We cannot, we ought not to set bounds to the infinite power and free-will of God; We dispute not what God may do at such times, only we say with Gerhard, Destituimur promissione quòd debeamus hoc tempore post confirmatum Novi Testamenti canonem immedi­atam vocationem expectare; Gerhard. de Minist. Eccles. p. 88. We have no promise that we ought after the confirmation of the Canon of the New Testament to ex­pect an immediate call. And afterwards he saith, Nulla apparet immediatae vocationis necessitas, There appears no necessity of this immediate Call.

And besides, even those that are for an immediate Call do lay down divers limitations which are very worthy to be considered by the people of our age, lest they should suck poison from such a doctrine. One that pleads much for it gives these Rules.

1. That this extraordinary and immediate Call then only takes place, when a mediate and ordinary cannot be had, Bucan. loc. communes de Ministerio. quest. 43. and that such a Call ought not to be pretended unto in contempt of the ordina­ry way.

2. That whosoever shall pretend to this immediate Call ought first to be tried before he be admitted, That his doctrine ought to be examined by the Word, That his life and conversation ought to be diligently lookt into, lest he prove one of those concerning whom the Apostle speaketh, Rom. 16.18. That serve not our Lord Iesus Christ but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

After this he puts this Question, Anne cessante ordinaria vo­catione? &c. Whether when the ordinary Call ceaseth, it be then lawful for every private Christian, verst in the Scriptures, to go up into the Pulpit, and preach against false Doctrines, and assert the Truth? and answers, God forbid! for this would open a door euivis ubivis, qui se sapientem existimaret, &c. to every one every where who thinks himself wise, under a pretence (whether true or false) of confuting false doctrine, to have clandestine mee­tings, as the Anabaptists and Libertines of our daies are wont to do, following the evil example of those that first at An­tioch, afterwards in Galatia, and elsewhere, creeping in private­ly, [Page 122] brought great tumults and confusions into the Church; Of whom the Apostle speaks: Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, Act. 15.24. subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised and keep the Law, to whom we gave no such commandment. Thus farre Bucanus; and much more to this purpose in the same Cha­pter. By this it appears, That even they that justifie an im­mediate Call, in some cases, do notwithstanding flatly con­demn the disorderly practices of our times:

So much in answer to the second Question.

The third Question is, Whether the Call of Luther and the rest of the best Reformers of Religion from the errors of Popery, was an immediate and extraordinary Call, or no?

Answ. He that would be satisfied about the Call of Luther to the Ministry, let him reade Gerhard de Ministerio, where he shall finde proved,Pag. 147.148. That Luther though he did alwaies pleade his doctrine to be of God, yet he did never so much as pretend to an immediate and extraordinary Call, but that he was called after a mediate and ordinary way; That he was ordained Presbyter in the Year of our Lord 1507. at 24 years of Age; That when he was ordained Presbyter he did receive power to preach the Word of God; That the next Year af­ter he was called by Iohn Staupitius, with the consent of Ele­ctor Frederick, to be Divinity Professor of the Church and University of Wittenberg, By the Statutes of which Univer­sity he was bound to this, sc. Vestrum est legem divinam inter­pretari & librum vitae docere; It is your Office to interpret the Divine Law and to teach the Book of Life.

Object. If it be objected, That Luther received his Ordi­nation from the Church of Rome, and therefore it is null and void.

Answ. To this Gerhard answereth, That although the rite of Ordination in the Church of Rome was corrupted with ma­ny Superstitious and Vnprofitable Ceremonies, Quamvis vero ritus ordinatio­nis in Ecclesiâ Pontificiâ mul­tis superstitiosis ac inutilibus Ceremonijs sit vitiatus, ex [...]o tamen ipsius or­dinationis essentiae nihil decedit. Distinguenda igitur Episcopi ordinantis impu­ritas ab ordina­tione, quae sit totius Ecclesiae nomine, & in ipsa ordinatione distinguendum est divinum ab humano, essentialè ab accidentali, pium & Christianum ab Antichristiano. Sicut olim in Ecclesiá Israelitica super cathedram Moses sedebant Scribae & Pharisaei, Mat. 23.2. quo­rum Ministerio, Sacrificiis, Ordinationibus utendum, interim tamen a sermento ipsorum cavendum erat, Mat. 16.12. Ita quoque in Ecclesiâ Romanâ, illorum qui erant in ordinariâ successione, mini­sterio, Sacramentis, ordinationibus utendum erat, interim tamen fermentum admixtum à puritate massae distinguendum. yet Ordination it self was not nullified; We must distinguish between the im­purity of the Bishop Ordaining, and the Ordination which is done in the Name of the whole Church: And in the Ordination [Page 123] we must distinguish that which is divine from that which is hu­mane, that which is essential from that which is accidentall, that which is godly and Christian from that which was Antichristian. As in the Israelitish Church they were to use the Ministry, Sa­crifices, and Ordination of the Scribes and Pharisees, who sate in Moses chair, yet the people were warned to take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees, Mat. 16.12. So also is the Church of Rome; We use the Ministry, Sacraments, and Ordination of those that were in ordinary succession, but we reject the leaven of their Superstition. But to this Objection we shall speak more fully in our fifth Proposition.

The like to that, is said of Luther, may be said of Zuinglius, Oecolampadius, Bucer, Peter Martyr, &c, Zanchy saith,Zanch. in 4. Praecep. p. 774. That Luther was a lawful Teacher, and a Minister created in the Church of Rome with Imposition of hands, and with authority to create others. The like he saith of Zuinglius, Bucer, &c. and of himself, Qui in Papatu fuimus creati Doctores cum authori­tate alios creandi; We were made Teachers under the Papacy with authority to make others. We confesse that Zanchy, Bu­canus, and divers others speak much (if not too much) of an extraordinary Call that these blessed Reformers had; But yet we desire it may be considered,

That the same Authours make mention also of the ordinary Call which they had.

That none of our first Reformers ever renounced their ordinary Call, but rather asserted it and pleaded it upon all occasions, as Gerhard sheweth of Luther in particular. Bucan tels us, That the Call of our first Reformers was ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary, because they were Doctores Pasto­res & Presbyteri ex institutione Ecclesiae Romanae, sed abstersis [Page 124] istius sordibus à Deo; Doctors, Pastors, and Presbyters by th [...] Institution of the Church of Rome, God having washed away the defilements that cleaved to that Ordination: It was extraordi­nary, because they were indued with extraordinary gifts, and (blessed be God) with incredible successe, even to a miracle. And if this be all that is meant by an immediate and extraor­dinary Call, in this sense we willingly and freely own it; and acknowledge,Of the same judgement is Amesius who in his Medulla Theologiae. l. 1. cap. 33. saith thus; Wicle­phus, Lutherus Zuinglius, & similes Evangelij restaurato­re [...] primi non fuerunt propriè lo­quendo ex­traordinarij Ministri: Extraordinarij tamen non malè à quibusdam appellantur. 1. Quia aliquid praestiterum simile eorum, quae ab extraordinarijs ministris praestita fuerunt olim. 2. Quia quoad gradum, singu­laria quaedam dona acceperunt à Deo, prout res ipsa postulabat, quod etiam affirmari potest de multis inter Martyres illustriores. 3. Quia ordine tunc temporis perturbato & collapso, necesse habueru [...] nonnulla tentare praeter ordinem communem. That our blessed Reformers were men raised up by God after a wonderfull manner, to do great things for his Church; That they had [...], They were indued with a singular knowledge of divine mysteries, with a rare and peculiar gift of utterance, with an heroique spirit and an undaunted courage, and owned by God with mira­culous successe, maugre all the opposition of the enemies of Christ against them: The Papists upbraid the Protestants, and demand What miracles did your first Reformers work? We answer, That this was a great miracle, That so few men under such great opposition without working of miracles, should be able to convert so many thousands to the Prote­stant Religion:

So much in answer to the 3. Questions, and also about an immediate Call.

CHAP. VIII. Wherein is handled the mediate Call of men to the Mini­stry, and therein one assertion about the peoples Election of their Minister, viz. That the Election of a Mini­ster doth not by Divine Right belong wholly and solely to the major part of every parti­cular Congregation.

THE mediate Call, is when a man is called to the Ministry by men lawfully deputed thereunto. Concerning this me­diate Call we shall offer these Propositions.

That the mediate Call though it be by men, yet it is from God and by divine right as well as the immediate;Propos. 1. A necessary Pro­position for the people of our unhappy age, that vilifie the Gospel-Ministry, because they are not called as the Apostles were, nor have the Apostolical Gifts of Tongus and Miracles. Know therefore that when Christ went up to heaven, he gave not only Apostles and Prophets to his Church,Eph. 4.11. but also Pastors and Teachers: That the Apostle Paul tels the Elders of Ephesus, that were ordinary Officers,Act. 20.28. That the holy Ghost had made them Overseers over the Flock: He cals not only ex­traordinary but ordinary Officers Embassadors of Christ and Stewards of the Mysteries of God. 2 Cor. 5.20. 1 Cor. 4.1. Our Saviour Christ cals the Ministers of the seven Churches of Asia, Angels: The Apostle commands the Thessalonians, To know them that la­bour amongst them, and to have them in high esteem, 1 Th. 5.12, 13 &c. who yet notwithstanding were but ordinary Ministers. And to the Hebrews he commands, To obey them that had the rule over them, and to submit themselves, &c.Heb. 13.17. All which Texts prove, That Ministers made by men after a lawfull manner, are made by God, are Ministers of Christ, are to be obeyed, submitted unto, and had in high esteem for their works sake; [Page 126] and we may adde, That such Ministers may expect protecti­on from God, direction and successe of their labours as well as if they were immediatly called: Those rare promises Isa. 49.2. Isa. 51.16. Ier. 1.8, 10. are their rich portion: The Apo­stle joyns Apollo with himself, not only in the fellowship of the Ministry, but also in the promise of a blessing upon it: Who then is Paul,1 Cor. 3.5, 6. and who is Apollo? but Ministers by whom ye beleeved, even as the Lord gave to every man; I have planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the encrease.

Propos. 2. That this mediate Call is either extraordinary or ordinary; The extraordinary mediate Call is (as Paraeus saith) proxima immediatae, neer to the immediate, but yet not the same with it. For though every immediate Call be extraordinary, yet eve­ry extraordinary Call is not immediate. Thus God chose Aa­ron to be Priest after an extraordinary manner, yet it was a mediateCall, by Moses his Internuncius or Messenger. Thus also he chose Elisha by the intervention of Elias: Thus Matthias his Call to the Apostleship was extraordinary by the use of a Lot,Paraei Comm [...]n. in Romanos. and yet also by the choise of the people. Pareus writes a Story of the Fratres Bohemici, The Bohemian Brethren, who in the Year of our Lord 1465. when all their Ministers were driven from them by Persecution, Tres ex novem sorte sibi de­signarunt non sine miraculo, Chose three out of nine by lot to be their Ministers not without miracle; But of this immediate ex­traordinary Call we spake sufficiently in the former Que­stions.

Propos. 3. The mediate ordinary way by which God would have all men to enter into the Ministry is by Election and Ordination. They are both of them distinctly set down in the choise of Deacons, Act. 6.3, 5, 6. Look ye out seven men whom we may appoint, &c. Now though we do not purpose to speak much concerning popular Election, yet because there are many that lift it up too high, and make the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call to consist in it, and that look upon Ordination, if not as An­tichristian, yet at best but as a circumstance of the Ministeriall Call which may be as well omitted as used; Therefore we are necessitated to propound unto our people these ensuing Pro­positions [Page 127] concerning popular Election.

That the Election of a Minister doth not by divine right be­long wholly and solely to the major part of every particular Con­gregation. Propos. 1.

This we shall prove,

  • 1. By examining those three Texts that are brought for the divine right of Popular Election.
  • 2. By shewing the mischiefs that will inevitably follow from this assertion,

1. We will examine the Texts. The first is taken from the choice of Matthias into the office of an Apostle,Act. 1.23. which was done (say they) by the 120. Disciples there present; And if the people have power to choose an Apostle, much more to choose an Ordinary Minister. But we answer,

1. That those words, And they appoined two, Ioseph called Barsabas, and Matthias, do in all probability relate to the Apostles, and not to the Disciples: They appointed two, that is, the Apostles appointed two; Thus our Annotators; They appointed two, that is, the fore-mentioned Apostles put two in Election. And if the history be well observed, it will appear that the 120. Disciples are named only in a Pa­renthesis, and that Peter in his whole Discourse relates espe­cially if not only to his Fellow-Apostles. It is said ver. 17. He was numbred with us, that is, with the Apostles not with the Disciples. And so ver. 21. which have companied with us, that is, with the Apostles. ver. 22. must one be ordained to be a witnesse with us, &c. that is, with us Apostles. And then fol­lows, And they appointed, that is, the Apostles, and not the 120. Disciples.

But suppose that they had been appointed by the 120. Disciples, yet we answer.

1. That the whole and sole power of choosing was not in the people, for they were guided and directed in their choice by the eleven Apostles: It was Electio populi praeeuntibus & dirigentibus Apostolis, By the guidance and direction of the Apo­stles; and so it comes not up to the proof of the Propositi­on: The Apostle tels them in expresse terms, ver. 21, 22. of [Page 128] those men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Iesus went in and out among us, beginning from the Bap­tism of John, &c.

2. That the people cannot (in any good construction) be said to have chosen Matthias any more then Barsabas: For they appointed two: And when the people had made their choice, Barsabas was as capable of being an Apostle, as Mat­thias. The truth is, Matthias was chosen by God himself, and by God only, and therefore it is said, vers. 24. Thou Lord which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen. It was the divine lot, not the 120. that chose the Apostle.

Object. But it is said ver. 26. He was numbred with the eleven Apostles, [...], that is, say they, he was together chosen by suffrage of the 120. Disciples.

Communibus calculis eligere. Answ, The word [...] primarily [...]nd properly sig­nifieth to choose by stones or counters, with which they were wont to give voices in commission or judgement. But here it must necessarily be taken in a more general sense, for the ge­nerall consent and approbation of the whole company: For it is certain, That Matthias was chosen by lot and not by stones, by God and not by the people; And therefore when it is said He was numbred, the meaning is, he was acknow­ledged to be one of the 12. Apostles, They all rested con­tented with the lot, as being confident that God disposed and approved the event thereof, and as our Annotations say, By a common declaration of their generall consent he was numbred among the eleven Apostles.

The Second Text is, Concerning the choise of Deacons, where the whole and sole power of choosing is put into the hands of the people:Act. 6.3. And therefore (say they) the choise of a Minister belongs by divine right wholly and solely unto the people.

Answ. 1. The people had not the whole and the sole choise of the Deacons, but were herein guided, directed, and limited by the holy Apostles; They were limited to the number of seven, and to the company out of which those seven were to [Page 129] be chosen, and to certain qualifications which must be in these seven: Look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the holy Ghost, and wisedom, whom we may appoint over this businesse: And we are confident that if the brethren had failed in any of these particulars, the Apostles would have refused to have laid their hands upon them. And therefore this Text comes not up to the proof of the Objection.

But suppose, That the people had had the whole and sole choice of the Deacons, yet it will not follow that therefore they should have the whole and sole choise of their Ministers: For it is a certain Rule, Argumentum a minori ad majus non valet affirmativè. It is no good way of arguing to say, That because a man is able to do the lesser, therefore he is able to do the greater. Now the Office of a Deacon is inferior to the office of a Presbyter. And besides, it will no way follow, That because people are able without advice and direction from others to choose men to gather and distribute money to the poor, that therefore they are able wholly and solely to choose men that shall divide the Word of God amongst them, as skil­full workmen that need not be ashamed.

The third Text is Act. 14.23. And when they had ordained them Elders in every Church, and had praied with fasting, &c. The Greek word is [...], &c. which signifieth a choosing by lifting up or stretching out the hand; And Beza translates the words, Cumque ipsis per suffragia creassent per singulas Ecclesias Presbyteros, And when they had created for them by suffrages Elders in every City. This Text seems to make much for the whole and sole power of the people in the Election of a Minister.

But we answer.

That though the word [...] signifieth primarily and properly to choose by lifting up of the hands, as [...] sig­nifieth to choose by stones or counters, yet also it oftentimes signifieth simply to choose or to appoint, or to ordain with­out the use of the ceremony of lifting up of hands; Thus it must necessarily be taken, Act. 10.41. And thus [...], Act. 1.26. is also to be understood for a bare numbring and [Page 130] accounting; We could here cite multitude of Authors where the Greek word [...] is used for decerning,Selden de Sy­nedrijs. appointing, constituting, and that without lifting up of hands, but they are reckoned up to our hands by many Authors, to which we refer those that desire to be satisfied herein: For our parts, we incline rather to this latter signification of the word. And to the Text we say,

1. That whatsoever is meant by [...], yet certain we are that the persons that did [...] were Paul and Bar­nabas, and not the people; For it is said expresly, And when they had ordained them Elders, This they must needs be Paul and Barnabas: It is six times used of them in five verses, ver. 21, 22. When they had preached, &c. they returned to Lystra confirming the souls of the Disciples, and ver. 23. when they had ordained, &c. and had prayed, they commended them to the Lord, and ver. 14. after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came, &c. and they preached: By all which it appears, that the persons that did ordain were Paul and Barnabas, and therefore whether this [...] were a creating by suffra­ges (which we think not,) for being but two there could be no place for suffrages, or a bare ordaining and appointing; sure we are that in Grammaticall construction this ordaining must be the act of the Apostles, and not of the people, and therefore this Text comes not up to the proof of the Obje­ction.

Object. It is Objected by a Learned man, That the Syriack version doth insinuate, that the word [...] is to be understood not of the Apostles Ordination of Elders, but of the Churches Election of Elders, thus, And when they, that is, the disciples fore-mentioned had by votes made to themselves Elders in every Church, and had prayed, they commended them (that is, Paul and Barnabas) to the Lord.

Answ. 1. This interpretation cannot consist with the Ante­cedents and Consequents, as we have already shewed.

2. If this Interpretation were true, it should be [...] not [...], it is illis not sibiipsis.

3. Tremellius that translates the Syriack of the New Testa­ment, [Page 131] renders it, Et constituerunt eis in omni coetu Seniores. And they appointed (that is, Paul and Barnabas) to them that is, to the people. The Hebrew is [...] illis.

Object. There is another that confesseth, that the word [...], can agree with no other but Paul and Barnabas, and therefore he labours to finde the Election of the people in the word [...], which (saith he) doth not signifie in every Church, as it is translated, but according to the Church, instancing in the Orators phrase, faciam secundum te, I will do it according to thy minde: So they (that is, Paul and Bar­nabas) ordained them Elders according to the Church, that is, according to the will and minde of the Church.

Answ. If this were granted, it would not prove the matter in hand, That the major part of a Congregation by divine right have the whole and the sole power of Election: it would only conclude an acquiescency in the people, and that they had satisfaction in the Ordination carried on by Paul and Barnabas. A phrase to the same purpose is used, Tit. 1.5. where Titus is left in Crete to appoint Elders, [...], and we may as well say, that the whole City had their vote in E­lection in Crete, and that every thing was done according to the minde of the City, as to say here, that every thing was done according to the minde of the Church. See more of this in M. Blake his Treatise of the Covenant. So much for the first Argument.

The Second Argument by which we prove, That the pow­er of Election of Ministers doth not by divine right belong wholly and solely to the major part of every particular Con­gregation, is drawn from the mischiefs that will inevitably flow from this assertion. For,

1. It is certain that every one that is to be made a Minister is first of all to be tried and proved whether he be fit for so great an Office, 1 Tim, 3.10. Let these also be proved, &c. These also, that is, the Deacons as well as the Bishops; The Bishop therefore is to be tried and examined whether he be apt to teach, whether he be able to convince gainsayers, whether he be a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the [Page 130] [...] [Page 131] [...] [Page 132] word of Truth. Now there are many Congregations wherein the major part are very unfit to judge of ministeriall abilities, and if the whole and sole power were in them they would set up Idol-Shepherds instead of able Shepherds.

2. There are some Congregations wherein the major part are wicked, and if left to themselves wholly, would choose none but such as are like themselves.

3. There are some wherein possibly the major part may be hereticall, and will never consent to the Election of an Or­thodox and sound Minister.

4. Sometimes there have been great dissentions and tumults in popular Elections, even to the effusion of bloud, as we reade in Ecclesiasticall Story: Sometimes Congregations are destitute of Ministers for many years by reason of the divisi­ons and disagreements thereof, as we see by wofull experi­ence in our daies. Now in all these or such like cases if the whole and sole power of Election were in the major part of every Congregation, how sad and lamentable would the con­dition be of many hundred Congregations in this Nation: And therefore it is, that in all well-governed Churches great care is had for the avoiding of these Church-undoing incon­veniences. In the Church of Scotland the power of voting in Elections is given to the Presbytery of the Congregation, with the consent of the major or better part thereof. And therefore M. Gillespie though a great friend to the due right of particular Congregations,M. Gillespies Treatise of Miscellany Questions. [...]. 2. p. 8, 9. yet when he comes to state the que­stion about Election of Ministers, he puts it thus, Whether the Election of Pastors ought not to be by the votes of the Eldership, and with the consent (tacit or expressed) of the major or bet­ter part of the Congregation, &c. he durst not state it precisely upon the major part, and afterwards he tels us, That the E­lection of a Minister is not wholly and solely to be permitted to the multitude or body of the Church, Idem pag. 30. Pag. 28. Pag. 30, 31. and that an hereticall and schis­maticall Church hath not just right to the liberty and priviledge of a sound Church; And that when a Congregation is rent a­sunder, and cannot agree among themselves, the highest Consisto­ries, Presbyteries and Assemblies of the Church are to end the [Page 133] controversie, and determine the case after hearing of both parties. Bucanus tels us, That the Election of a Minister for the avoid­ing of confusion ought not to be by every member of a Congre­gation, but by the Presbytery, or by the Pastors and Teachers of neighbouring Congregations directing and guiding the people, Bucani loc. commun. de Minist. Gerhard. de Minist. p. 95 as being most fit to judge of Ministerial abilities. The Lutheran Churches put the power of calling of Ministers into the Presby­tery, Magistracy, and People. To the Christian Magistrate they give nomination, presentation, and confirmation: To the Presbytery, examination, ordination, and inauguration; To the People, consent and approbation. He that would be fur­ther satisfied in this point, may reade the Discourse of our Reverend Brother Dr Seaman about Ordination,Diatribe. where he shall finde the custome and practice of most of the Reformed Churches in calling of Ministers, for the avoiding of the fore­mentioned mischief.

So much for the first Proposition.

CHAP. IX. Wherein a second assertion about Election is largely proved, namely, That the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call doth not consist in Election without Ordination.

THat the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call doth not con­sist in Election without Ordination. Propos. 2. There are many Lear­ned and Godly men whom we much reverence, though we dissent from them in this particular, that say,Ames. Med▪ p, 217. M. Hookers Survey of Church-Dis­cipline. That Ordinati­on is▪ only Adjunctum consequens & consummans, an adjunct following and consummating the Ministeriall Call, but not at all entring into the constitution of it: That Ordination is nothing else but the approbation of the Officer, and a setling and confirm­ing him in his Office, and that Election is that which gives him [Page 134] the essentials of his Office. Vocatio propriè & essentialiter consistit in Ele­ctione. Ames. Survey of Church-Dis­cipline. par. 2. pag. 67. Dr Ames saith, That the vocation of a Minister doth properly and essentially consist in Election. Mr Hooker saith, That the Election of the People rightly ordered by the rule of Christ, gives the essentials to an Officer, or leaves the impression of a true outward Call, and so an Office-power upon a Pastor. Our Brethren in New-England in their Platform of Church-Discipline say, That the essence and substance of the out­ward Calling of an ordinary Officer in the Church, doth not con­sist in his Ordination, but in his voluntary and free Election by the Church, and in his accepting of that Election, &c. For our parts we crave leave to dissent from these worthy men, and that upon these grounds.

Arg. 1. Because our brethren do not bring any one Text of Scripture to prove this their assertion (as we can finde) nor do we think that any can be brought.

Arg. 2. Because that those very Texts fore-mentioned, which are the chief (if not the only) Texts that are brought for popular Election, do seem to us to hold forth the quite contrary to this assertion. When Matthias was made an A­postle, it was not the Election of the people that did constitute him an Apostle. The people chose two, (if they chose at all) but that which did constitute him an Apostle was the determination by lot; As in a Corporation, when the community chooseth two, and the Aldermen one of these two; in propriety of speech, it is the Aldermen that choose the Mayor, not the community: All that the 120. did (if they did that) was to set two before the Lord, but it was God that did constitute and appoint Matthias to be the Apo­stle: In the choise of Deacons the people nominated seven Persons to be Deacons, but it was the Apostles Ordination not the peoples Election, that did constitute and make them Dea­cons;Act. 6.3. [...]. So saith the Text expresly, Look ye out among you seven men whom we may appoint or constitute over this businesse. The essence and substance of the Deacons Call, is placed not in the peoples nomination but in the Apostles Ordination.

As for Act. 14.23. we have already shewed that they that did [...] were the Apostles and not the Churches; And [Page 135] that if they did [...] by suffrages, it was per suffragia propria non aliena by their own suffrage not the Peoples, though we think (as we have formerly said) that the word is to be taken for a bare decerning and appointing, without the ceremony of lifting up of hands, as it is taken Act. 10.41. There is nothing at all in this Text that proves, That the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call is in the peoples Ele­ction; but it rather proves the quite contrary, That the A­postolicall Ordination was that which did constitute Elders in every Church.

Arg. 3. All those Texts that we shall hereafter bring for the asserting of the divine right of Ordination, do prove that the essence of the Ministeriall Call doth consist in Ordination and not in Election: There are more and more clear Texts for Ordination then for Election, and Texts that make it not to be an adjunct but an essentiall constituent of the Ministe­riall Call, as we shall hereafter (God willing) prove at large.

Arg. 4. We argue from the nature of popular Election; Election by the people properly is nothing else but their de­signation of a person that is to be made their Minister, or that is already a Minister, to his particular charge: It is not simply a making of a Minister, but the making of him a Mi­nister of such a place; As it is one thing (saith Mr Ruther­ford) to make a gold Ring, another thing to appropriate it to such or such a finger; Election is nothing else but the ap­propriation of a Minister for the exercise of his Ministry in such a place: It doth not give him the Office, but the oppor­tunity of exercising his officiall authority over those that choose him. This appears in the Election of Deacons; all that the people did by Election was only to design the persons and to set them before the Apostles, but it was the Apostles praying and laying on of their hands that made them Dea­cons.Act. 6.6. This likewise appears from Deut. 1.13. which place though it speaks of the choice of civil Officers, yet it doth very clearly describe unto us the nature of Election; Take ye wise men and understanding, and known among your tribes, [Page 136] and I will make them Rulers over you: The peoples taking of men did not give them the essentials of their office; They nominated the persons, but it was Moses that made them Ru­lers. Our brethren of New-England in their Platform of Church-discipline, tell us, That all Office-power is proper to the Eldership, and that the brotherhood have only a power of privi­ledge. Now then we demand, If the people have no Office-power belonging to them, how can they by Election make an Officer? Indeed they may and do design persons unto office by choosing of them, but that they that have not the power of Office neither formally nor virtually committed un­to them, and that cannot act or exercise an Office-power, that they by a bare Election should communicate Office-pow­er, and give the essentials of a Ministeriall Call, is to us a riddle we understand not; Nihil dat quod non habet nec for­maliter nec eminenter; The lesser is blessed of the greater, not the greater of the lesser. Adde further, If Election be (as our Brethren say) the constituting of a Minister, and the giving him the essentials of his Office, why then did the Apostles take so much pains to return to Lystra, Act. 14.21, 23. Iconium, and Antioch, to ordain them Elders in every Church? and why did Paul leave Titus in Crete to ordain Elders in every City?Tit. 1.5. Why did they not spare their journey, and send to the people to make their own Ministers by Election? Can we imagine that they took such pains only to adde an adjunct to the Mi­nisteriall Call, an adjunct, which doth not give essence, but follows the essence, supposing the Subject compleat in its essence before? For our parts we are far from so thinking, but rather conceive it much more sutable to Scripture to say, That Tit [...] was left to make Ministers in Crete, and that the Apostles went about from Church to Church to give the Es­sence of the Ministeriall Call, and that all that the people did was to nominate the person to be ordained, or rather to ap­prove and accept of the Ministers made them by the A­postles.

Arg. 5. If Election gives the essentials to a Minister, then may a Minister elected administer the Sacraments without [Page 137] Ordination. For as Mr Hooker well saith in another case,M. Hooker par. 2. cap. 2. pag. 66. He that hath compleat power of an Office and stands an Officer with­out exception, he cannot justly be hindred from doing all acts of that Office; For to be an Officer compleat without an Office, or being compleat in his Office, yet according to rule to be hindred from doing any thing belonging to his Office, implies a contradicti­on; for it's all one to say a man is bound to a rule, and yet by a rule he should not do it.

But a person Elected cannot administer the Sacraments without Ordination; he cannot do it lawfully, it being cross to Scripture-Presidents, nor can he do it in the opinion of those Reverend men with whom we now dispute: Mr Hooker cals it an Anabaptisticall phrensie, to say, That an un-ordained person may baptize: And besides, This is contrary to their own practice in New-England, where it is frequent to have a man Elected, and preach half a year, a whole year, nay (as Mr Gi. Firmin once a Preacher there saith) he knew one elected, M. Firmin Separation examined. pag. 56. and preached two years to his people, and they maintained him all that while, and yet all that time he never administred a Sa­crament, but he and they when they would partake the Lords Supper, went ten miles to the Church out of which they issued to receive the Sacrament; which practice without doubt was very unnecessary, if Election gives the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call, and Ordination be only an adjunct: We say in Logick, Forma dat operari, Effects depend upon the Form, not upon extrinsecall circumstances: This is Argu­mentum ad hominem.

Arg. 6. If the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call con­sisteth in Election, then it will follow, That a Minister is only a Minister to that particular charge to which he is called, and that he cannot act as a Minister in any other place. This con­sequence is confessed by Reverend Mr Hooker who saith,Survey of Church-Dis­cipline. par. 2. cap. 2. pag. 61, 62. That a Minister preaching to another Congregation, though he ceaseth not to be a Pastor, yet he doth not preach as a Pastor, nor can he do any Pastorall acts but in that place, and to that people to whom he is a Pastor. Thus also it is said in the answer of the Elders of severall Churches in New-England unto nine Positions. [Page 138] Pos. 8. If you mean by Ministerial act, such an act of authority and power in dispensing of Gods Ordinances as a Minister doth perform to the Church whereunto he is called to be a Minister, then we deny that he can perform any Ministeriall act to any other Church but his own, because his Office extends no further then his Call: This is also confessed in the New-England Platform of Church-Discipline. And therefore we need not say more for the proof of the consequence.

But as for the minor, That a Minister can perform no Pa­storall act out of his own Congregation, is an assertion

1. Unheard of in the Church of Christ before these late years.

2. Contrary to the practice of the Brethren themselves with whom we dispute; It is acknowledged by all of them that the administration of the Sacrament is a Ministeriall act, and cannot be done but by a Pastor or Teacher, and yet it is ordinary both in Old England and in New England for members of one Congregation to receive in another Con­gregation. M. Firmin tels us, That M. Phillips Pastor of the Church in Water-town, Separation examined, pag. 62. while M. Wilson Pastor of the Church of Boston was here in England, went to Boston and administred the Lords Supper to that Church; This surely was a Pasto­rall act, and M. Phillips acted herein as a Pastor to those that were out of his own Congregation. And if we may argue from our Brethrens practice we may safely conclude, That a Minister may act as a Minister out of his own Congre­gation.

Thirdly, Contrary to Scripture; For the Scripture tels us,

1. That there is a Church generall visible as well as a par­ticular Church visible, Act. 8.1. Gal. 1.13. 1 Cor. 10.32. Gal. 4.26. Eph. 3.10. 1 Cor. 12.28. 1 Tim. 3▪15.

2. That Ministers are primarily seated in the Church gene­rall visible, and but secondarily in this or that particular Church, 1 Cor. 12.28. Teachers are set by God in the same Church with the Apostles, Eph. 4.11, 12. Pastors and Teach­ers are given by Christ for the perfecting of the Saints, and for [Page 139] the building of the body of Christ in general.

3. That every Minister hath a double relation, one to his particular Church, another to the Church general visible. And though he be actually to exercise his Ministry, especially over that charge where he is fixed, yet he hath a virtual and habitual power to preach as a Minister in any place where he shall be lawfully called. Therefore Ministers are spoken of in Scripture under a general notion, to shew the indefinite­nesse of their Office. They are called Ministers of God, 2 Cor. 6.4. Ministers of Christ, 1 Cor. 4.1. Ministers of the New Testament, 2 Cor. 3.6. Ministers of the Gospel, 1 Thess. 3.2. and Ministers in the Lord, Ephes. 6.21. Embassadours for Christ, 2 Cor. 5.20. But never Ministers of the peo­ple. Indeed they are for the people, but not of the people.

That a Minister is a Minister of the Church Catholick visi­ble, appears thus: He that can ministerially admit or eject a Member into, or out of the Church-Catholick visible, is a Minister and Officer of the Church-Catholick visible: But every Minister, by Baptism or Excommunication admitteth or ejecteth Members into, or out of the Church-Catholick vi­sible. Therefore, &c. This Argument is urged by Apollo­ [...]i [...]s, and also by that godly, learned Minister Mr Hudson ▪ who hath largely handled this point, and to whom we must necessarily referre the Reader that would be further satisfied about it. We shall onely relate a passage out of Mr Ball, in his Trial of the new Church-way, p. 33. collected by Mr Hudson. M. Hudson of the essence and unity of the Church-Ca­tholick, and his Vindica­tion. pag. 140. A Minister chosen and set over one Society, is to look unto that people committed to his charge, &c. But he is a Minister in the Church u­niversal. For as the Church is one, so is the Ministry one, of which every Minister (sound & orthodox) doth hold his part. And though he is a Minister over that flock which he is to attend, yet he is a Mi­nister in the Church universal. The function or power of exercising that function in the abstract, must be distinguished from the power of exercising it concretely, according to the divers circumstances of places. The first belongeth to a Minister every where in the Church, the later is proper to the place and people where he doth minister. [Page 140] The lawful use of the power is limited to that Congregation ordi­narily; the power it self is not so bounded. In Ordination Pres­byters are not restrained to one or other certain place, as if they were to be deemed Ministers there onely, though they be set over a certain people. And as the faithfull in respect of their communi­ty between them, must and ought to perform the offices of love one to another, though of different Societies; so the Ministers in respect of their communion, must and ought upon occasion to perform mi­nisterial Offices toward the faithfull of distinct societies.

And one more passage out of Mr Rutherford in his peace­able plea, pag. 263. Ordination (saith he) maketh a man a Pastor under Christ formally and essentially, the peoples consent and choice do not make him a Minister, but their Minister, the Minister of such a Church; he is indefinitely made a Pastor for the Church.

Fourthly, This Assertion, That a Minister can perform no Pastoral act out of his own Congregation, as it is contrary to the universal Church, to the practice of our Brethren themselves, to the holy Scriptures; so also it is contrary to sound reason. For hence it will follow,

1. That when a Minister preacheth in his own Congrega­tion to Members of another Congregation, he doth not preach to them, nor they hear him preach as a Minister, but as a gifted Brother. And that at the same time he preacheth as a Minister by vertue of his Office to those of his own Con­gregation, and to others of another Congregation then pre­sent, onely as a gifted Brother ex officio charitatis generali, out of the general office of charity, which to us is very irra­tional.

2. Hence it will follow, That when a Minister preacheth out of his own Congregation, he preacheth only as a private Christian, and not as an Ambassadour of Christ, and when he acts in a Synod, his actings are the actings of a private Christian, and when he preacheth a Lecture out of his own Congregation (though it be in a constant way) yet he prea­cheth only as a gifted Brother. Now what a wide door this will open to private men to preach publickly and con­stantly [Page 141] in our Congregations, we leave it to any indifferent man to judge.

3. Hence it will follow, That when a Minister baptizeth a childe, he baptizeth him only into his own Congregation. For if he be not an Officer of the Catholick-Church, he cannot baptize into the Catholick-Church, which is directly contrary to 1 Cor. 12.13.

4. Hence it will follow, That a Christian who by reason of the unfixednesse of his civil habitation, is not admitted in­to a particular Congregation, hath no way left him to have his children baptized, but they must all be left without the Church in Satans visible Kingdom, because they are no par­ticular Members, and (according to our Brethrens opinion) there is no extension of the Ministerial office beyond the par­ticular Congregation.

5. We adde, That according to this Assertion, there is no way left us by Christ for the baptizing of Heathens, when it shall please God to convert them to the Christian faith. We will suppose an hundred Heathens converted. We demand, by whom shall these be baptized? Not by a private Christian. This our Brethren abhorre as well as we. To baptize is an act o [...] Office, and can be done only by Officers. Not by a Mini­ster: For a Minister (say they) cannot perform any Pasto­ral act (such as this is) out of his own Congregation. Nei­ther can these hundred converts choose a Minister, and there­by give him power to baptize them; for they must first be a Church before they have power to choose Officers, and a Church they cannot be till baptized. Neither can they joyn as Members to any other Church, and thereby be made capa­ble of Baptism by that Minister into whose Church they are admitted. For in the way of Christ a man must first be ba­ptized before he be capable of being outwardly and solemnly admitted as a Member of a particular Church. The three thousand were not first added to the Church, and then bapti­zed, but first baptized, and thereby added to the Church.Act. 2.41. We cannot conceive how such Heathen converts should regu­larly be baptized, unlesse it be granted, that every Minister [Page 142] is a Minister of the Church-Catholick, and that every Mini­ster hath an habitual, indefinite power to act as a Minister in any place of the world where he shall be lawfully called: That the desire of these hundred converts to be baptized is a suffi­cient call to draw forth this habitual power into act, and that he may (being thus desired) according to the rules of the Gospel regularly and warrantably baptize them.

6. Hence it will follow, That a Minister preaching out of his own Congregation, cannot lawfully and warrantably pronounce the blessing after his Sermon (which yet is practi­sed by our Brethren.) For to blesse the people from God is an act of Office, and to be done only by an Officer, Numb. 6.23, 24, 25, 26. compared with Revel. 14.5. where the same blessings and persons from whom they come are expresly mentioned) And so also Isa. 66.21. where under the name of Priests and Levites to be continued under the Gospel, are meant Evangelical Pastors, who therefore are by Of­fice to blesse the people, and they onely, Deut. 10.8. 2 Cor. 13.14. Ephes. 1.2.

7. Hence it will also follow, That when a Minister of a particular Congregation is sick, or necessitated to be a long while absent upon just occasion, that all this while (though it should be for many years) the Congregation must be with­out the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, without having their children baptized, and without any Preacher that shall preach amongst them, as a Minister of Christ, but only in the capa­city of a private Christian.

Neither can it be answered by our Brethren (as some of them do) that a Neighbour Minister (in such cases) may come in at the desire of the Congregation, and administer the Sacraments amongst them by vertue of Communion of Churches, unlesse they will also hold Communion of Offi­ces, which they do not. For these acts being acts of Office, cannot be done, unlesse there be an habitual, indefinite pow­er of the Ministerial Office, which by the desire of the Con­gregation is drawn out into act.

There are divers other absurdities that flow from this As­sertion, [Page 143] That a Minister cannot act as a Minister out of his own Congregation, brought by Mr Hudson, to whom we re­fer the Reader.M. Hudsons Vindication, p. 148, 149, 150. Pag. 144. M. Balls Trial of the Church­way, p. 80. Onely we shall cra [...]e leave to cite a passage out of Mr Ball, alledged by the fore-named Author. That to suppose a Minister to be a Minister to his own Congregation only, and to none other Society whatsoever, or to what respect soever, is contrary to the judgment and practice of the Vniversal Church, and tendeth to destroy the Vnity of the Church, and that Com­munion which the Church of God may and ought to have one with another. For if he be not a Minister in other Churches, then are not the Churches of God one, nor the flock which they feed one, nor the Ministry one, nor the Communion one which they had each with others. Again, pag. 90. he saith, If a Mi­nister may pray, preach, and blesse another Congregation in the name of the Lord, and receive the Sacrament with them, we doubt not but being thereunto requested by consent of the Pa­stor and Congregation, he may lawfully dispense the Seals among them, as need and occasion require. That disti [...]ction of preach­ing by Office, and exercising his gifts onely, when it is done by a Minister, and desired of none but Ministers, and that in solemn, set, constant Church-Assemblies, we cannot finde warranted in the Word of Truth, and therefore we dare not re­ceive it.

Before we part with this Argument we must necessarily an­swer two Objections.

Obj. If a Minister be a Minister of the Church Universal Visible, and can act as a Minister out of his particular Con­gregation, wherein doth he differ from an Apostle? Was it not the peculiar priviledge of the Apostles, Evangelists, &c. to have their Commission extended to all Churches? This Ob­jection is made by Mr Hooker. Survey of Dis­cipline, part 2, c. 2. p. 61.

Answ. Though we believe that every Minister is a Minister of the Universal Church, yet we are far from thinking, that he is actually an Universal Minister. The Apostles had the actual care of the Church Universal committed unto them, and wheresoever they came had actual power to perform all Ministerial Offices without the consent or call of particular [Page 144] Churches. And besides they were not fixed to any particular charge, but were Ministers alike of all the Churches of Christ. But it is far otherwise with ordinary Ministers: They are fix­ed to their particular Congregations, where they are bound by divine right to reside, and to be diligent in preaching to them in season and out of season. All that we say concerning their being Ministers of the Church universall, is, That they have power by their Ordination in actu primo (as M. Hudson saith) to administer the Ordinances of Christ in all the Churches of the Saints, yet not in actu secundo, without a speciall Call, which is farre differing from the Apostolicall power.

Object. If a Minister may act as a Minister out of his own Congregation, why do you your selves ordain none but such as have a title to some particular charge?

Answ. It is true, We say in our Government, That it is agreeable to the Word of God, and very convenient, That they that are to be ordained be designed to some particular Church or Ministerial employment, not hereby limiting their Office, but the ordinary exercise of their Office. We distinguish between a Minister of Christ and a Minister of Christ in such a place, between the Office it self and the ordinary [...]xercise of it to such or such a people; And yet notwithstanding we ordain none without a Title, thereby to prevent,

1. A vagrant and ambulatory Ministry; For we conceive it far more edifying for the people of God to live under a fixt Ministry.

2. A lazy and idle Ministry; For when men shall have an office, and no place actually to exercise it, this might in a little space fill the Church with unpreaching Ministers.

3. A begging and so a contemptible Ministry; For when Ministers want places they are oftentimes wholly destitute of means, and thereby come to great poverty, even to the very contempt of the office it self.

So much for the sixth Argument.

Arg. 7. If the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call con­sisteth in Election without Ordination, then it will necessa­rily [Page 145] follow, that when a Minister leaves, or is put from that particular charge to which he is called, that then he ceaseth to be a Minister, and becomes a private person, and that when he is elected to another place, he needs a new Ordi­nation, and so toties quoties, as often as he is elected so often he is to be ordained, which to us seems a very great ab­surdity.

That this consequence doth necessarily follow, is confessed by the Reverend Ministers of New-England in their Platform of Church-Discipline, where they say, He that is clearly loo­sed from his Office-relation unto that Church whereof he was a Minister, cannot be looked upon as an Officer, nor perform any act of Office in any other Church, unlesse he be again orderly cal­led unto Office, which when it shall be, we know nothing to hinder, but Imposicion of hands also in his Ordination ought to be used towards him again; For so Paul the Apostle received Imposition of hands twice at least, from Ananias Act. 9.17. and Act. 13.3, 4.

But this seems to us to be a very great absurdity, and con­trary to sound doctrine, which we prove,

1. Because every Minister hath a double relation, one to the Church-Catholique indefinitely, another to that parti­cular Congregation over which he is set. And when he re­moves from his particular Congregation, he ceaseth indeed to be a Minister of that place, but not from being a Minister of the Gospel; And when called to another he needs no new Ordination, no more (as M. Hudson well saith) then a Physician or Lawyer need a new License or Call to the Barre, Hudson Vindi­cation. p. 139. though they remove to other places, and have other Patients and Clients. For Ordination is to the essence of the Ministeriall Office, and not only in reference to a particular place or charge. The Reverend Assembly of Divines in their Advice to the Parliament concerning Church-government, say, That there is one generall Church visible held forth in the New Testament, and that the Ministry was given by Iesus Christ to the génerall Church-visible, for the gathering and perfecting of it in this life, until his second coming; which they prove from 1 Cor. [Page 146] 12.28. Eph. 4.4, 5. compared with ver. 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16. of the same Chapter. Now if Ministers be seated by Christ in the Church-Catholique as well as in their particular Church­es, then it followeth, That they have a relation as Ministers to the Church-Catholique, and though their relation to their particular Church ceaseth, yet their Ministeriall relation cea­seth not, because they were Officers of the Church-Ca­tholique, and there doth still remain in them a power in actu primo to dispense all the Ordinances of Christ, though their Call ad actum secundum, sive exercitum pro hic & nunc (as M. Hudson phraseth it) ceaseth. Even as every private Christian hath also a double relation, one to the Church generall, another to the particular place where­of he is a member: And when he removes from his Con­gregation, he doth not cease to be a member of the visible Church (for then his Baptism should cease, for every bap­tized person is a member of the Church) but only of that particular Church. And when he joyns with any other Con­gregation he needs not to be baptized again, but is received by vertue of his former Baptism; So it is with a Minister of the Gospel: When he leaves his particular Congregation, he continueth still to be a Minister, though not their Minister, and needs no more to be ordained anew, then a private Chri­stian to be baptized anew; because neither Ordination nor Baptism do stand in relation to the particular Congregation, but to the Church-Catholique.

Secondly, If a Minister when he removes or is removed from his particular Congregation ceaseth to be a Minister, then it will follow,

1. That if the Church that called him prove hereticall, and wickedly separate from him, that then the sin of the people should nullifie the Office of the Minister; Or.

2. If the Church refuse to give him competent mainte­nance, and starve him out from them, or if the major part unjustly combine together to vote him out (for such pow­er our brethren give to particular Churches) that then the covetousnesse and injustice of the people should make void [Page 147] the Function of their Minister. Nay,

3. By this doctrine there will be a door opened for the people of a City or Nation to un-minister all their Ministers, which things are very great absurdities, and contrary to sound doctrine.

Thirdly, Because there is no Scripture to warrant the ite­ration of Ordination in case of removall. The Apostles went about Ordaining Elders in every Church; And Titus was left in Crete to Ordain Elders, &c. But there is no mention made of any command for reiterated Ordination, neither indeed can it be; For Ordination being a setting a man apart to the Office of the Ministry (as we shall hereafter prove) and not only to the exercise of it in such a place, though the local exercise should cease yet his Office still remains, and there­fore needs not be reiterated;Austin contra Parmenianum lib. 2. c. 13. De bono conju­gali. Contra Iovinian. c. 24. To this truth we have the con­sent of the Universall Church, who do not only not allow but condemn a second Ordination; Neither do we know any of the Reformed Churches that teach or practise after this manner, but many that teach and practise the contrary.

Object. What then will you answer to the example of Paul who had hands twice laid upon him, once by Ananias, Act. 9. and afterward at Antioch, Act, 13?

Answ. 1. It will not easily be proved, Tha [...] the Imposition of hands by Ananias upon Paul was for the consecration of him to the Office of an Apostle, and not rather for the reco­vering of his sight, and for that only: The Text seems to hold out the last; Sure we are that Paul was baptized after this Imposition of hands; and it is not probable that he was outwardly and visibly ordained to his Apostolical Office be­fore his Baptism.

As for Act. 13. M. Hooker in his Survey par. 2. pag. 83. saith expresly, That here is no Ordination to Office at all, for the Apostles had their Office before, and if so, then it makes no­thing for our New-England Brethren to prove an iterated Ordination unto the same Office. Of the like minde with M. Hooker is Learned Chamier, who saith, That before this Ordination Paul and Barnabas had preached and exercised the [Page 148] Offi [...]e of their Apostleship; And therefore we doe not think (saith he) that this Imposition of hands was an Ordination pro­perly unto any New Ecclesiasticall Function, but onely a confir­mation of their sending to the Gentiles, to whom they were not yet professedly sent: For in that excursion of theirs unto Anti­och there is no mention made of the Gentiles, and that was a kinde of Prologue to that great work which now they were to put in full execution. The Text it self seems to give countenance to this Interpretation, because it saith, Separate me Paul and Barnabas for the work, &c. not for the office but for the work whereunto I have called them; Called they were before, and designed by God to be Preachers to the Gentiles, and now they were publiquely inaugurated to that great and eminent service. Chrysostome, Theophylact, and Oecumenius (as they are cited by Chamier) say, That this Imposition of hands was unto the Office of an Apostle: Thus Deodate, They laid their hands on them, that is, for a sign of Consecration unto the Office of an Apostle. But how can this be, when the A­postle Paul himself tels us, that he was an Apostle, not of men, neither by men, but by Iesus Christ immediatly? and also when he was an Apostle (as Calvin saith) long before this time? And therefore we rather think, that this separa­tion was not unto the Apostolicall Office, but unto that great and (as Calvin cals it) now unusual work of preaching unto the Gentiles.

But howsoever, whether this Imposition of hands were un­to the Apostolicall Office, or only unto a peculiar work, it makes nothing for the proof of that for which it is brought, to wit, That an Officer loosed from his Office-relation, may be ordained again unto the same Office: For Paul was never loosed from his Office after he was once called unto it; If the Imposition of hands by Ananias were unto the Office of an Apostle, as we beleeve it was not, yet if it were, we then demand, Either this Ordination was afterward null and void, or remained firm and valid? If it alwaies remained firm, what need a new Ordination? If null and void, we desire a proof of it, which we are sure they cannot produce, and till that [Page 133] be done, this instance makes nothing for the proof of their assertion.

Besides all this, we adde, That this separation and impo­sition of hands was by the immediate appointment of the holy Ghost; The holy Ghost said, Separate me, &c. and ver. 4. They were sent forth by the holy Ghost; This was an ex­traordinary thing, and therefore not sufficient to ground an ordinary practice upon.

Thirdly and lastly, If the whole essence of the Ministerial Call consisteth in popular Election, then will two other great absurdities follow.

  • 1. That Ordination can in no case precede such Ele­ction.
  • 2. That there must be Churches before there be Mini­sters.

First, that Ordination can in no wise precede Election. Now though ordinarily no man is ordained in the Presbyterian way without a title to some ch [...]rge, yet we conceive many cases may be put, in which Ordination may lawfully go be­fore Election: We shall only give two Instances.

1. When an ordained Minister removes upon warrantable grounds from one charge to another, the people to whom he removes [...]hoose him not as o [...]e that is to be made a Minister, but as one already made, and now to be made their Minister, for his removing from his former place doth not nullifie his Ministerial office, as we have sufficiently proved.

2. When there is a necessity of sending men (as there is now in New-England for the conversion of Heathen people) we th [...]k it very agreeable unto Scriptur [...]-rules, that these men sho [...]ld be first ordained before they be elected by the Heathen to whom they are sent. And the reason is because that the conversion of souls is the proper work of the Mini­stry: When Christ went up into heaven he left not only Apo­stles, Prophets, and Evang [...]lists, but also Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, Eph. 4.11, 12. And the office of o [...]dinary Ministers is to be Embassadors for Christ, and in [Page 150] Christs Name or in Christs stead to beseech people to be recon­ciled unto God, not only to build them up in grace when re­conciled, but to be instrumental to reconcile them, to open their eyes and to turn them from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, &c. We finde no place in Scripture to warrant a Church to send out gifted brethren without Or­dination for the work of conversion; What may be done in extraordinary cases where Ordination cannot be had we dispute not; but where it may be had, there we conceive it most agreeable to the Word, that men should be first Or­dained before sent: Hereby they shall have a divine stamp upon them, they shall go with more authority, and shall have power to baptize those whom they do convert, which otherwise they cannot lawfully do: It is an unscriptural opi­nion, and of pernicious consequence that some amongst us have taken up, That a Minister should preach only for the building up of Saints, and not for the conversion of sinners, That when a Minister converts any out of his own Congre­gation, he doth it not as a Minister but as a gifted brother; That the great work of conversion which is the chief work of a Minister, doth properly belong to gifted Brethren. All this ariseth from that groundlesse conceit, That a Minister is no Minister out of his own Congregation, which we have a­bundantly disproved.

Secondly, It will also follow, That there must be Church­es before there be Ministers, which is against Scripture and sound reason: We do not deny but that there must be a Church before their Minister, but not before a Minister: The Church-Entitative is before the Church Ministerial, but yet a Minister must needs be before a Church: For every Church must consist of persons baptized (Unbaptized per­sons cannot make a Church:) And therefore there must be a Minister to baptize them before they can be made capable to enter into Church-fellowship. Our Saviour Christ chose his Apostles for the gathering of Churches; There were first Apostles before Churches, and afterward [...] the Apostles or­dained Elders in these gathered Churches. And one great [Page 151] work of these Elders was to convert the neighbouring Hea­then, and when converted to baptize them, and gather them into Churches; And therefore Elders as well as Apostles were before Churches: And whosoever with us holds (as our Brethren do) that none but a Minister in Office can ba­ptize, must needs hold that there must be ordinary Ministers before Churches, and that therefore the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call, doth not consist in the Election of the Church. So much for the proof of the second Proposition.

It will be expected that we should answer to the Argu­ments that are brought by these Reverend men that hold the contrary to this Proposition:M. Hook [...] Survey of Church-Dis­cipline. par. 2. cap. 2. pag. 67, 68. As for Texts of Scripture there are none brought nor (as we said before) can be brought. The great argument used by D. Ames and improved by M. Hooker is this.

Arg. 1. One Relate gives being and the essentiall constituting causes to the other,

But Pastor and People, Shepherd and Flock are relates. Ergo.

He addes further, That they are simul natura, and that the one cannot be without th [...] other; There cannot be a Pastor be­fore there be a people which choose him, &c.

Answ. We shall answer to this Argument according to the grounds formerly laid; That every Minister hath a double re­lation, one to the particular Church of which he is a Minister, the other to the Church universall: As to his relation to his parti­cular Church, it is very true, That Pastor and People are re­lates and simul naturâ; He cannot be their Pastor but by their submission to his Ministry, and when he leaves them he ceaseth to be their Minister. But now besides this parti­cular relation he hath a relation also to the Church univer­sall, and by his Ordination is invested (as we have said) with habituall power to act as a Minister beyond his particular Church when he is lawfully called thereunto; and as long as this correlative (the Church universall) lasteth, so long his ministeriall office lasteth, though his particular relation should cease. In a word, The people give being to a Minister as to be their Minister but not as to be a Minister.

[Page 136] Pag. 68.Another Argument brought by M. Hooker is,

Arg. 2. It is lawfull for a people to reject a Pastor upon just cause (if he prove pertinaciously scandalous in his life, or he­reticall in his doctrine) and put him out of his Office, Ergo, It is in their power also to call him outwardly, and put him into his Office.

The consequence is proved from the staple rule, Ejusdem est instituere, & destituere, He that hath power to invest hath power to devest.

The Antecedent is as certain by warrant from the Word, Mat. 7.15. Mat. 7.15. Beware of Wolves, Phil. 3.2. Beware of false Prophets.

Answ. If by putting him out of his office be meant only a putting him from being their Officer, then the argument must be thus framed; They that have power to put out a Minister from being their Minister, have power to choose him to be their Minister; and this we deny not.

But if by putting him out of office be meant a putting him absolutely from being an Officer, we deny, that the people in this sense have power destituere, to put him out of office, or instituere, to put him into office: And we retort the Ar­gument.

They that have not power instituere have not power desti­tuere; They that have not power to put a Minister into of­fice, have not power to put him out of office: But people (not being Officers) have not power to make an Officer, as hath been shewed; Ergo.

But it seems that Mr Hooker by the peoples rejecting their Pastor, and putting him out of office, doth mean their ex­communicating of him, for he saith afterwards, That this re­jection cuts him off from being a member in that Congregation where he was, &c.

M. Firmin Separation examined. pag. 63.For answer to this we refer the Reader to what is said by a Minister, that is come out of New-England, who saith, That if Reverend Mr Hooker had been alive, and had seen what work Church-members make here in England in very many Churches, it would have caused him to bethink himself again of [Page 137] the Peoples power. Something we hear of (saith he) is done in a Church not farre from the place where he lived, it cannot be kept close, the light of that fire shines into England. Afterwards he brings Mr Cotton to confute Mr Hooker. Mr Cotton saith, That Excommunication is one of the highest acts of rule in the Church, Key [...], pag. 16. and therefore cannot be performed but by some Rulers. Then he cites Mr Burroughs. If the Church be without Officers, they cannot do that which belongs to Officers to do, they have no Sa­craments amongst them, neither can they have any spiritual Iu­risdiction exercised amongst them, only brotherly admonition, and withdrawing from such as walk disorderly, for their own preser­vation.

Much more to this purpose is brought by this Author, to whom we refer the Reader.

As for those two Texts of Scripture, Matth. 7.15. Phil. 3.2. by which Mr Hooker proves his Antecedent, they do not at all come up to the point in hand. Though people are to beware of wolves and of false prophets, it doth not there­fore follow that a people may excommunicate their Minister. Indeed this will follow, That people are to be careful to pre­serve themselves from heretical Ministers, and to withdraw from them, and this withdrawing if it be upon just grounds, makes him cease to be their Minister, but not from being a Minister, as we have often said.

We will not trouble the Reader with answering any more Arguments, because they seem to us to have no weight in them, these two already answered being the chief that are brought.

Only we shal speak a little to a similitude that is often brought by our Brethren of the contrary judgment. For it is ordinarily said▪ That there is the same relation between a Minister and his particularCongregation, as is between a man and his wife. And as it is the mutual choise one of another that makes them man and wife: So it is the peoples choise, and the Ministers accepting that choise that makes them to be Pastor and flock. Dr Ames saith, That Ordinatio Episcopalis sine titulo est aquè ridicula, Ames. Medull. Theol. l. 1. c. 39. ac si quis maritus fing [...]ritur esse absque uxore. And indeed saith [Page 154] Mr Hooker, Survey of Dis­ciplin. p. 68. par. 2. Bellarm. ener­vatus, Tom. 2. l. 3. cap. 2. Pag. 88, 89. It is ridiculous to conceit the contrary.

In another place the same Doctor saith, Oves rationales possunt eligere sibi pastorem, sicut sponsa eligit sibi sponsum, non per jurisdictionem aut gubernationem, sed potius per subje­ctionem.

But we answer,

That Symbolical Theology is not argumentative, Similia ad pompam non ad pugnam, Similitudes do beautifie not forti­fie. There is nothing almost more dangerous in Divinity, then to overstretch similitudes, of which fault we believe our Brethren are much guilty. As for the Similitude it self, we conceive it will not hold. For

1. If Minister and people be as man and wife, then it will follow that they may not separate till death, un­lesse it be in case of adultery. The Wife is as much bound to the Husband as the Husband to his Wife. But there are few people (if any) that think themselves ob­liged to abide with their Ministers till death. (It is ordi­nary even with men professing godlinesse to forsake their Minister, and that oftentimes upon worldly interest.) And there are few Ministers (if any) that think that they may in no case leave their people. There are three cases in which we conceive all agree, that a Minister may remove from his people; if he cannot have his health where he is, if he be denied competent mainte­nance, and if the glory of God may be in an eminent manner advanced. But we hope that it will not be said that a Husband may separate from his Wife in these cases.

2. This Similitude sounds ill. For it makes every Minister to be as a Husband to his Church, and so by consequence the Head of his Church, which complies too much with the Antichrist of Rome, who cals himself the Husband and Head of the Church. The Church hath no Husband but Christ, 2 Cor. 11.2.

3. This Similitude makes Christ to have as many Wives as there are particular Churches. Our Brethren hold, That [Page 155] every particular Congregation is the Body of Christ, and the Spouse of Christ, which if it were true Christ should have as many Bodies and Spouses as there are particular Churches, which (we conceive) cannot be right. For it is as absurd to say, That one Head hath many Bodies, and one Husband many Wives, as to say, That one Body hath many Heads, and one Wife many Husbands.

But now we say, That the whole Church of Christ through­out the world is but one. That Christ properly hath but one Body, and one Wife. And that particular Churches are but members of this one Body, and limbs and members of this one Spouse, even as every particular Saint also is. And that every Minister hath a relation to this Church-Catholick as a member thereof, and seated therein, and as one that by his Ordination hath power to act as a Minister wheresoever he is (if called) for the good of the whole. And that he is placed in a particular Church for the actual and constant exercise of his Ministry, as in a part of Christs Body, or a limb or mem­ber of his Spouse. And that they by their choice make him their Minister, their Pastor, their Shepherd; but not a Mini­ster, a Pastor, a Shepherd.

So much in answer to the Arguments against the second Proposition, and also concerning Election of Ministers.

CHAP. X. Concerning Ordination of Ministers, wherein the first Assertion about Ordination is proved: Namely, That Ordination of Ministers, is an Ordinance of Christ.

THat the method which we propounded in the beginning may not be forgotten, we crave leave to put the Reader in minde of what we have already said, That the Call of men to the Ministry, is either immediate or mediate. That the mediate Call is by Election and Ordination. And having fi­nished what we thought fit to say about Election, we are now to proceed to speak about Ordination, concerning which we shall offer this general Proposition.

That the work of Ordination, that is to say, An outward solemn constituting and setting apart of persons to the Office of the Ministry, by prayer, fasting and imposition of hands of the Presbytery, is an Ordinance of Christ.

For the more methodical proving of this general Propo­sition, we shall undertake to make good these four Asser­tions.

  • 1. That Ordination of Ministers is an Ordinance of Christ.
  • 2. That the Essence of the Ministerial Call consisteth in Ordination.
  • 3. That Ordination ought to be with prayer, fasting and im­position of hands.
  • 4. That Ordination ought to be by the Presbytery.

That Ordination of Ministers is an Ordinance of Christ.

Assert. 1.For the understanding of this Assertion we must distin­guish [Page 157] between the Substance, Essence, and Formal Act of Ordination, and the Rite used in Ordination. The Essential Act of Ordination, is the constituting or appointing of a man to be a Minister, or the sending of him with Power and Authority to preach the Gospel. The Rite is Imposition of hands. In this Assertion we are not at all to speak of Imposition of hands, but onely of Ordination, as it re­lates to the setting of a man apart to the Office of the Mi­nistry.

Now that this is an Ordinance of Christ, we shall not need to spend much time in proving it.

1. Because we have already made this out in our third Pro­position, where we asserted,Chap. 3. That no man ought to take upon him the Office of a Minister, but he that is lawfully cal­led and ordained thereunto.

2. Because the proving of the other three will prove this also.

3. Because we have not so many enemies to contest withall in this, as in the other three Propositions. For though there be many that hold Ordination to be onely an adjunct of the Ministerial Call, and not an Essential ingredient, which is against the second Proposition. And many that deny Impo­sition of hands against the third. And many that say, that a Church without Officers may ordain against the fourth Pro­position. And though there be very many that hold, That an unordained man may preach as a gifted Brother, yet there are but few (in comparison) who say, That a man may en­ter into the Office of the Ministry, and preach authoritatively as a Pastor, without Ordination.

Our Brethren in New-England, in their Plat-form of Church-Government say,Chap. 9. That Church-officers are not only to be chosen by the Church, but also to be ordained by Imposition of hands and prayer, &c. And in their Answer to the thirty two Questions, they say expresly, That Ordination is necessary by Divine Institution.

The very Socinians themselves,Socin. Tract. de Eccles. though great enemies to the Ministerial Calling (and no wonder, when such great ene­mies [Page 158] to Christ himself) though they deny the necessity of Ordination,Nicolaides de Ecclesia & mis­sione Ministerii. yet they acknowledge that for order and decen­cy it is fit to retain it in the Church. For our parts we think the Scripture to be so clear for the proof of this Assertion, that we wonder there should be any found to stand up in op­position against it. For

Levit. 8. Num. 8.First, In the Old Testament not onely the high-Priest, but all the other Priests and Levites were by divine appointment inaugurated to their Ministerial Offices, and when any men unconsecrated intruded themselves into the Priestly or Leviti­cal Office they were remarkably punished by God himself▪ Witnesse Corah and his company, of whom we have former­ly made mention.

Now surely this was written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come, to teach us, that it is the will of Christ that no man should enter into the Ministerial Office un­ordained or unconsecrate. To hint this, the Prophet Isaiah tels us, That in the times of the New Testament the Lord would take from among Christians some to be Priests, Esa. 66.21. and some to be Levites, where the New Testament Ministers are cloath­ed with Old Testament titles, and are called Priests and Le­vites, not in reference to any real unbloudy and propitiatory Sacrifice by them to be offered, as the Papists falsly imagine, but as we conceive to signifie unto us, 1. That there should be an Office of the Ministry distinct from all other Offices unde [...] the New Testament as well as under the Old (and therefore it is said, that God would take of them for Priests not take all them for Priests.) And, 2. That these Ministers were to be consecrated to their respective offices, as the Priests and Levites were.

Secondly, In the New Testament we read,

1. That in the very choice of Deacons, which was but an inferiour Office and serving only for the distribution of the temporal estates of people, the Apostle requires, that they should not onely be elected by the people, but also ordain­ed to this office. Much more ought this to be done in the [Page 159] choise of persons who are called to the work of preaching, and dispensing Sacramental mysteries, a service of all others of greatest weight and worth.

2. That even the very Apostle Paul, though chosen im­mediately by Christ unto the great Office of preaching unto the Gentiles, and that in a miraculous way,Act. 13.1.2, 3, 4. yet notwith­standing it was the pleasure of the holy Ghost, that he must be separated and set apart by men for this great work. And if this was thought necessary for an extraordinary Officer: If Paul that was separated from his mothers womb to preach Christ to the Heathen,Gal. 1, 15, 16. Act. 9.15▪ Gal. 1.1. and was separated by an immediate voice from Heaven to bear Christ's Name before the Gentiles, must also have an outward solemn separation by the Prophets at Antioch unto this work, how much more is this necessary in ordinary Officers?

3. That Paul and Barnabas who were themselves separa­ted to the work of the Ministry, Act. 13.1. went about, Act. 14.23. ordaining Elders in every Church. The Greek word [...] signifieth (as we have shewed) not a choosing by the suffrages of the people, but a special designing and appointing of Ministers by the Apostles Paul and Bar­nabas.

4. That Titus was left at Crete to ordain Elders in every Church, which surely had been very vain and superfluous if Ordination be not an Institution of Christ, and necessary in his Church.

5. That Timothy was ordained not only by the laying on of Pauls hands, 1 Tim. 1.6. 1 Tim. 4.14. but also by the laying on of the hands of the Pres­bytery. By laying on of hands, as by a Synecdoche is meant the whole work of Ordination, and hence we see that it is the will of the holy Ghost that not only Paul an Apostle, as for­merly, but Timothy an Evangelist must be set apart unto his Office by Ordination.

6. That Timothy is commanded to lay hands suddenly on no man, neither to be partakers of other mens sin, 1 Tim. 5.22▪ but to keep him­self pure. This negative command implies an affirmative, that it was his Office to lay on hands, that is, to ordain El­ders, [Page 160] but his care must be not to do it rashly and unadvisedly upon men insufficient, lest he should thereby be made parta­kers of other mens sins. This Text doth necessarily imply a precept for Ordination.

2 Tim. 2.2.7. That Timothy is commanded to commit those things which he had heard from Paul among many witnesses, to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also. Where we have, 1. A Sepa­ration of some men to be teachers in Christs Church. 2. The Qualification of these teachers, they must be faithfull men, and such as are able to teach others. 3. We have an injun­ction laid upon Timothy that he should commit what he had heard of Paul unto these faithfull men. Now this committing was not only to be by way of instruction, but also by way of Ordination. Pauls charge committed to Timothy was not so much to make men fit to teach others, as by Ordination to set men apart for the teaching of others, that there might be a perpetual Succession of teachers. For the further making out of this truth, let the Reader consider what is said by Mr Gillespy in his Miscellany Questions, and what we have before said, pag. 84.

Heb. 6.1, 2.8. That laying on of hands is reckoned not only as an in­stitution of Christ, but as one of the principles of the Do­ctrines of Christ: but of this Text we shall speak more in the third Assertion.

By all these places it is evident, That it is the will of Christ that those that enter into the Ministerial Calling should be consecrated, set apart and ordained thereunto.

Most of the Objections brought against this Assertion, have been answered at large in the handling of the third Pro­position.

If any shall further object and say,

Obj. 1. That these are but examples, and examples do not amount up to a Rule.

Answ. 1. That Apostolical examples in things necessary for the good of the Church, and which have a perpetual reason and equity in them, have the force of a Rule. Of this nature is Ordination.

[Page 161]2. If we should not follow the examples of the Apostles in those things in which they acted as ordinary Elders, we should be left at uncertainties, and every man might do what seem­eth good in his own eyes, which would tend to confusion, and the dissolution of the Church.

3. The Apostles taught the Churches to do nothing but what they had a commandment from Christ to teach them, Matth. 28.20. 1 Cor. 11.28. and in all their Disciplinary Institutions, which were not meerly occasional, and had on­ly a temporary reason of their Institution (of which kinde Ordination we are sure is not) are to be imitated as though they were the immediate Institution [...] of Christ.

4. For Ordination of Ministers we have not only Aposto­lical example, but Apostolical pre [...]pt, as we have already pro­ved out of 1 Tim. 5.22.

Object. 2. If it be further objected. That the Ordina­tion mentioned in the Text fore-named, was onely for those times, and not to continue to the end of the world.

Answ. 1. This is not true.Rom. 10. For if the Ministry he to conti­nue to the end of the world, then the way of entring into the Ministry enjoyned by the Apostles, is also to continue. And there can no reason be brought why the one should be abolished, and not the other.

2. Timothy is enjoyned to keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, untill the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ. 1 Tim. 6.14. Beza translates [...] haec mandat [...], Keep these com­mandments, that is, (saith he) all the commandments com­manded him in the whole Epistle. Thus Deodate, That thou keep this commandment, that is, Not only that which is contain­ed, vers. 11. & 12. but generally all other commandments which are contained in this Epistle. Now this commandment of lay­ing hands suddenly on no man, is one of those command­ments which he was to keep without spot untill the appea­ring of our Lord Jesus Christ; which evidently proves That Ordination is an Ordinance of Christ, and is to last to the end of the world.

[Page 162] M. Lyford in his Apology for the Mi­nistry.It is worth observing which is also hinted by a Reverend Minister, that there are 4. descents of men sent and ordained.

1. Christ himself was sent and had his Commission from his Father, Ioh. 20.22, 23. Iesus Christ did not glorifie himself to be made an High-Priest, but was anointed thereunto by God his Father, Act. 10.38.

2. Christ Jesus as he was sent of his Father, so he sent forth his Apostles, Ioh. 20.23. It is said Mat. 10.1. That Christ called unto him his twelve Apostles, and sent them forth, and gave them their commission: Nay, it is said Mar. 3.14. And he ordained twelve; The Greek is, [...], And he made twelve that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach; This making was an authoritative appointing them to their Office. The Apostles would not have dared to have preached the Gospel, had they not been commissiona­ted by Christ thereunto.

3. The Apostles went about ordaining Elders in every Church; Paul ordained Timothy, 2 Tim. 1.6.

4. Timothy and Titus did ordain others as they themselves had been ordained, and that by the Apostles own appoint­ment, Tit. 1.5. 1 Tim. 5.22. Nay, we reade of a Presbytery ordaining, 1 Tim. 4.14. And as Timothy was intrusted with the Word of Christ, so he is commanded to commit the same trust to faithfull men able to teach others also, that so there may be a succession of Teachers: Thus we have four descents recorded in Scripture.

  • 1. God anoints Jesus Christ and ordains him to his Mi­nisterial office.
  • 2. Christ ordains his Apostles.
  • 3. The Apostles ordain extraordinary and ordinary Of­ficers.
  • 4. And these ordain others. And this commandment is given to be observed till the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And thus (as the Authour fore-mentioned saith) The Apostles admitted men in their own practice into the Ministry, and thus they appointed for succeeding times, and can any think that Ordination ended with that age? Is there not the same cause, [Page 163] necessity, use and reason for it in after ages as in the first times of the Church, when there were as yet extraordinary gifts stir­ring in the Church which are now ceased, and therefore the more need of a standing Ministry? Sure we are of two things.

1. That there are more, and more clear Texts for Ordination then for popular Election; Our Brethren in New-England and many in Old England are very much for Election by the people; And so are we if it be rightly ordered and mana­ged; But we desire them to shew us as clear Scriptures for Election, as we have done for Ordination.

2. That there is as much (if not more) in Scripture for the Justification of Ordination as for any other part of Church-Government, as for the divine right of Synods, of Excommunication, of Ruling Elders, or any other part of Discipline, in which we agree together. How then it should come to passe that many in our daies should cry up the di­vine right of Election by the people, of Excommunication, and other parts of Church-government, and cry down the divine right of Ordination, we know not: Indeed we con­fesse, That the Papists do too much extoll it, calling it a Sa­crament, and not only a Sacrament in a generall sense, as Calvin seemeth to do, but a Sacrament in a proper sense, as Baptism and the Lords Supper are called Sacraments; And also in appropriating it to Bishops, as distinct from Presby­ters: Hence it may be it is, That some in our age running into the other extream (as the nature of man alwaies is apt to do) do too much vilifie and undervalue it, and because they like it not, brand it with the black mark (as they do other of the Ordinances of Christ) of Antichristian Ordi­nation. But we hope better things of our people, and be­seech them to take heed of those that call good evil and evil good, and that call the Institutions of Christ the doctrines of Antichrist.

So much for the first Assertion.

CHAP. XI. Proving the Second Assertion about Ordination, to wit, That the essence of the Ministeriall Call doth properly consist in Ordination.

THe Second Assertion is,

That the essence of the Ministeriall Call doth properly consist in Ordination.

The contrary to this Assertion is maintained by many Re­verend Divines, who set up Election in the room of Ordina­tion, and make Ordination [...]o be but an adjunct unto, and a consequent of this Ministeriall Call, and a confirmation of a man into that office which he hath bestowed upon him by his election. The essence and substance of the outward calling of an ordinary Officer in the Church (say the Ministers of New-Eng­land in their Platform of Church-Government) doth not consist in his Ordination, but in his voluntary and free Election by the Church, and in his accepting of that Election. In opposition to this we have already endeavoured at large to prove, That the essence of the Ministeriall Call doth not consist in popular Electi­on. And therefore we intend to be very brief in proving the contrary; That it doth consist in Ordination: This we make out by these ensuing arguments.

1. If Election doth not give the essentials of the Ministe­riall Office, then Ordination doth: For the outward Call of a Minister (as it is agreed on all sides) doth consist only in his Election or Ordination.

But Election doth not, &c. as we have formerly shewed by divers arguments. Ergo. Ordination doth.

2. If Ordination makes a man a Minister that was not one before, then it gives the essence of the Ministeriall Office.

But Ordination makes a man a Minister that was not one before, Ergo, &c.

[Page 165]That this is so appears,

1. From the Ordination of Deacons, Act. 6.3. Look ye out seven men, &c. whom we may appoint over this businesse, [...] is to put a man into an Office which he had not before. Thus it is said of Ioseph, Act. 7.10. and he made him governour over Egypt, &c. [...]. &c. This act of Pharaohs did not confirm him in that Office which he had before, but conferred upon him an Of­fice he never had. The like we reade Deut. 1.13. Take ye wise men and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them Rulers over you. It was not the peoples taking, but Moses his appointing that did make them Rulers. Thus Exo. 18.21. Thou shalt provide able men, and place such over them to be Rulers of thousands, &c. It was Moses his placing that did give them the formality of Rulers. The Hebrew word in Exod. and Deut. is [...] which answers the Greek word [...] 1 Tim. 1.12. where it is said [...], and it was the Apostles appointing of Deacons that did make them Deacons: All that the people did was to set seven men be­fore the Apostles whom they by Ordination made Deacons.

2. This appears also from Tit. 1.5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest—ordain Elders in every City, [...], Et constituas; And ordain o [...] appoint: It is evi­dent that there was a great want of Elders in Crete, and Ti­tus was left to appoint and set Elders over them: Titus was not left only to adde an adjunct (as we have formerly said) to the Ministeriall Call, or to establish and confirm those in their places that had right to them before, but he was left [...], which is all one as in a civill sense, [...] or [...] as one saith, or [...] con­stituere & praeficere rectores & judices, to constitute and make Rulers and Judges: Thus it is said, Luk 12.42. Who then is that faithfull aend wise Steward whom his Lord shall make Ru­ler, &c. [...]. This act of the Lord of the house is that which gives the formall being of a Ruler unto this Steward. And it is Ordination that doth [...], and is essentiale constituens of the Ministeriall office.

[Page 166] Argum. 3. If Ordination be the sending of a manforth with power and authority to preach the Gospel, and administer the Sa­craments, then it is that which gives the essence of the Ministe­rial Office. But Ordination is so, Ergo.

The minor is proved from Rom. 10.15. And how shall they preach except they be sent, [...]. This sending it an authoritative mission to preach the Word as Criers and Heralds (for so the word [...] signifieth) and also as Embassadors are sent forth by their Prince with their Letters missive and credentials, which appears by the words immediatly following, As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad ti­dings of good things! Hence it is, That some Divines do very well define Ordination to be missio potestativa, A sending of a man forth with power and authority to preach and admi­nister the Sacraments. It is not an installing of a man into an office to which he hath right before, but it is a giving of him his Commission and authority; And of this kinde of sending is this Text to be understood. That it cannot be understood of providential sending we have formerly proved, nor of a sending by the Election of the people: For the people can­not be said to be sent to themselves, but Ministers are said to be sent to them. And we now further adde, That it cannot be understood only of an extraordinary mis­sion by God, such as the Apostles had, which was to cease with the Apostles, but it must be understood of such an au­thoritative sending which was to continue to the end of the world: For the Apostle in that Climax of his makes it as necessary and perpetuall as calling upon the Name of the Lord, as Beleeving and Hearing the Word: For this the A­postle affirmeth, That as calling upon the Name of the Lord is perpetually necessary to salvation, so is faith to the calling upon the Name of the Lord, and so is Hearing of the Word necessary to Beleeving, so is Preaching of the Word to Hearing, and so is Ordination and Mission necessary to the orderly Preaching of the Word. And therefore we con­clude, That by sending is meant a sending by Ordination, and [Page 167] that this sending is a deputation of a man to an Ecclesiasti­call Function with power and authority to perform the same, and that it is to last as long as Preaching, Beleeving, and Prai­er, which is to the end of the world.

Arg. 4. If Ordination be that which gives the Ministeriall office, then the essence of the Ministeriall Call consisteth in Ordination.

But Ordination is that which gives the Ministerial office.

That this it so appears from 2 Tim. 1.6. Wherefore I put th [...]e in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands: And by 1 Tim. 4.14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. By laying on of hands is meant (as is aforesaid) the whole work of Ordina­tion; And by gift is meant docendi officium, Anselme, Lom­bard, Thomas, Cajetane, Ger­son, Bucerus. (as most In­terpreters say) the office of the Ministry, and the power and authority conferred thereby upon him. The Greek word [...] is often taken not only for the grace by which we are fitted for an office, but for an office unto which men are through grace fitted. Thus it is taken Ephes. 4.8. Rom. 12.6. And thus it is here to be taken, Paul by Or­dination did not onely declare Timothy to be an Officer, and confirm him in that Office which he had before [...]ol­lated upon him by the choice of the people▪ But he toge­ther with the Presbytery gave him the gift or office of the Ministry.

Object. The Text saith, That this gift was given by prophecy, and therefore not by the laying on of the hands either of Paul or of the Presbytery.

Answ. These words By Prophecy do signifie onely the moving cause, and that encouraged Paul with the Pres­bytery to lay hands on Timothy, viz. It was prophesied, That Timothy should be an excellent Minister, 1 Timothy 1.18. This charge I give unto thee, Sonne Timothy, accord­ing to the Prophecies that went before of thee: So that the meaning is, Paul by Prophecy, that is, according to the Prophecies that went before of him, or Paul directed by [Page 168] the Spirit of Prophecy conferd the gift or office of the Mini­stry upon Timothy.

But here we must of necessity adde one caution left we be mis-understood.

When we say that Ordination gives the Ministerial office, we mean onely as to the essence of the outward Call, For we know, That it is the Prerogative Royall of the Lord Je­sus to appoint Officers and Offices in his Church. It is Christ onely that institutes the office, and that furnisheth and fitteth men with graces and abilities for the discharge of so great an employment, with willing and ready mindes to give up them­selves to so holy services: It is Christ onely that sets the Laws and Rules according to which they must act. All that man doth in Ordination is in a subordinate way as an In­strument under Christ to give the being of an outward Call, and to constitute him an Officer according to the method prescribed by Christ in his Word. All that we say (that we may be rightly understood) may be reduced to these three heads.

1. That it is the will of Christ who is King of his Church, that men should be outwardly called to the Ministry as well as inwardly fitted. And that without this Call none can war­rantably do any act that belongs to an Officer, as not ha­ving the specificall form of an Officer, and (as Mr Hooker saith) Whatsoever is done without this, Part. 2. Pag. 45. is void and of none effect.

2. That this outward Call consisteth in Election and Ordi­nation.

3. That Ordination is that which gives the Being of this outward Call, that makes a man a Minister, That (in this sense) gives him his Ministeriall Office. Election doth only design the person, but it is Ordination that bestoweth the Of­fice upon him.

Arg. 5. We might argue in the fifth place from the persons appointed by Christ to ordain, and from the great solemnity used in Ordination, and from the blame that is laid upon those that ordain unworthy persons unto the Ministerial Office.

[Page 169]1. The persons that are said in Scripture to ordain, are (as we shall prove hereafter) either Apostles, Prophets, Evan­gelists or Presbyters. And this is a sufficient Argument to us to prove that it is Ordination that constitutes the Minister, and not Election. For it is not likely, that Christ would appoint his Apostles, and his Apostles appoint extraordinary and or­dinary Elders to convey onely an adjunct of the Ministerial Call, and leave the great work of conveying the Office-power unto the common people.

2. The solemnity used in Ordination, is Prayer, Fasting, and Imposition of hands. We do not reade the like solemni­ty expressed in Scripture in Election, and therefore it is a­gainst reason to think, That Election should constitute the Minister, and give him all his Essentials, and Ordination only give him a ceremonial complement.

3. The blame laid upon Timothy if he should lay hands sud­denly upon any Minister, is very great. For hereby he makes himself impure, and becomes accessory to the sins of those whom he makes Ministers. Now we may thus reason, Where the greatest blame lies for unworthy men coming into the Mini­stry, surely there must lie the greatest power of admitting men into the Ministry, else the blame is not just. But the greatest blame is laid upon the Ministers. Ergo. If the constituting cause of the Ministerial Call did lie in Election. The Mini­s [...]ers may well excuse themselves, and say, We do but or­dain, we do but give an adjunct, the people did the main act, they gave the Essence, and therefore the blame belongs to them, and not to us. See more of this in Separation exami­ned by Mr Firmin. pag. 58.

Much more might be added for the proof of this Assertion, but we shall purposely wave what else might be said, least we should be overtedious.

CHAP. XII. Wherein the third Assertion is proved, viz. That Or­dination of Ministers ought to be by Prayer, Fasting and Imposition of hands.

THE third Assertion is, That Ordination of Mini­sters ought to be by prayer, fasting, and Imposition of hands.

Here are two things to be made out,

1. That Ordination ought to be with prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting, though they be not necessary to the very being and essence of Ordination, yet they are very necessary to the better being of it, as divine conduits to convey the bles­sing of God upon it.

First, For Prayer. It is observable in the old Testament, that Aaron and his sons did not enter upon their Ministry, till they had been sanctified by the holy oyl, and sprinkling of bloud, and had been seven whole dayes before the Lord, abiding at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, Levit. 8.33.

In the New Testament our blessed Saviour, when he chose his Apostles is said to have spent all the night before in prayer, Luk. 6.12, 13. [...]. And to our remem­brance we do not reade that our Saviour spent a whole night in prayer, but upon this occasion, which sheweth, of how great consequence it is, that those who preach the Gospel should be sent out with solemn and earnest prayer. And this is the more observable if we compare the 9th of Matth. 36, 37, 38. with Luke 6.12, 13, 14. When Christ saw the misery of the people in the want of faithful Ministers, that they were as Sheep not having a Shepherd, he directs them to pray to the Lord [Page 171] of the harvest to send forth labourers into his harvest, and then as seemeth by Luke's relation, he put that in practice which he commended to do for themselves, he spent the whole night in prayer, and then Mat. 10.1, 2. he chose and sent out his twelve Apostles to preach the Gospel.

Secondly, For joyning of Fasting with prayer, we may consider, That it was not ordinary and common prayer, or some few and occasional Petitions that were put up, but as in c [...]ses of greatest concernment, when some great evil was to be averted, or some singular mercy to be obtained, fasting was joyned with prayer.

In the Acts, where you have the records of the Primitive Churches practice, as the best president for succeeding ages, it is recorded, that persons designed to the work of the Mini­stry, were set apart and commended to God for his assistance, support and successe by fasting and prayer.

Acts 13.1, 2, 3. It is said of the Prophets and Teachers of Antioch, As they ministred to the Lord, and fasted, the holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where­unto I have called them. And then when by a new fast, as it may seem purposely called upon that occasion, they had sought God on that behalf, they fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, and sent them away to preach.

And as it was thus done to Paul and Barnabas, so when they had travelled farre in preaching the Gospel, and had found that happy successe on their Ministry, that many among the Gentiles were converted, because themselves could not make their constant abode in anyone place (the greater service of the Church calling them forth to other places) that there might be a foundation of a fixed Ministry, for the building up of those that were already converted, and for the bringing in of others yet uncalled. They ordained them Elders in every Church, which should stay with them, and watch over them in the Lord, Act. 14.23. And these they sent out with the like solemnity in seeking God by fasting and prayer, and then commended them to the Lord in whom they be­lieved.

[Page 172]The Reasons why Ministers should be set a part with prayer and fasting, are weighty, and still the same.

1. The inidoneousnesse and insufficiency of any meer man (though of the greatest abilities and indowments, whether for nature, art, or grace) for such a work wherein we have to do withthe highest mysteries of God and heaven, and with the most precious things on earth, the truths of God, and souls of men.

2. The discouragements which every where attend this work (when most faithfully performed) from Satan and wicked men.

3. The successe of every ones Ministry depends wholly on Gods blessing.1. Cor. 3.7. For neither is he that planteth any thing, nei­ther he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase. Nor doth the faith of believers depend at all on the wisdome or or power of the Minister, but on the power of God, 1 Cor. 2.5. And therefore it is necessary in the most solemn man­ner, that is, by prayer and fasting to implore aid from God whensoever we ordain Ministers. But this will be granted by all sides, and therefore we will adde no more about it.

The second thing we are to make out, is

That Ordination of Ministers ought to be with imposition of hands.

That we may more orderly handle this Assertion, which is so much controverted in our unhappy dayes, and be rightly understood, we shall crave leave to premise three things:

1. That Imposition of hands is not a proper Gospel-duty, never used but in the New Testament, but it is a Rite and Ceremony borrowed from the Old Testament, and by Christ made a Gospel-institution.Annotat. upon Acts 11.3. Totum regimen Ecclesiarum Christi consor­matum fuit ad Synagogarum exemplar. That which Grotius saith in his Annotations, That the whole Government of the Churches of Christ, was conformed to the patern of the Synagogues, is true in many things, and especially in this of Imposition of hands. We finde it was used in four cases under the Old Testament, 1. In benediction and blessing, Gen. 48.14, 20. 2. In offer­ing [Page 173] of Sacrifices unto God, Lev. 1.4.3. In bearing witness, Lev. 24.14.4. In ordaining or appointing unto an Office. Thus Moses when he ordained Ioshua to succeed him, he was commanded by God to lay his hands upon him, and to give him a charge in the sight of the people, Num. 27.18, 23. Under the New Testa­ment it is used, 1. In benediction, Mark 10.16.2. In curing of bodily diseases, Luke 13.13. Mark 16.18. Acts 9.17. 3. In conveying the miraculous gifts of the holy Ghost, Act. 8.17, 18. Act. 19.6. 4. In Ordination of Church-officers, and of this last way of Imposition of hands are we now to speak.

Secondly, That it is not our purpose accurately to enquire whether Imposition of hands be an Essential part of Ordina­tion, without which it is null and void, or an integral part, without which it is deficient and imperfect, or onely an in­separable adjunct. It is enough for us to assert, That it is lawfull and warrantable, and not onely so, but that it is the duty of all that are to ordain Ministers to lay hands upon them, and that it is a sin in any that is to be ordained, to re­fuse it.

Thirdly, That though we assert the Divine Right of Im­position of hands, yet we plead for it onely in a Scripture­sense, but not in a Popish-sense. The Papists make it to be an outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace. They make Ordination a Sacrament, and Imposition of hands an opera­tive instrument of conveying not only grace in general, but even justifying grace. Hence it is that some few of our Di­vines speak a little too slightly of it (at which those that are enemies to it take much advantage) but yet there are no Re­formed Churches (that we know of) but do retain it and plead for it, some as a Rite and Circumstance, and moral sign; others as an integral part, and others as an essential part of Ordination.

These things premised, we come now to prove, That it is the will of Christ, that all that are ordained Ministers should [...]lave Imposition of hands. This appears

1. From the examples of this Ceremony used by the [Page 174] Apostles in Ordination, 1. We finde that the Deacons though inferiour Officers must have hands laid on them. 2. We finde that the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, though extraor­dinary Officers had hands layed on them. 3. We reade that Paul layed hands upon Timothy, Licet nullum ex­tet certum prae­ceptum de ma­nuum impositio­ne, quia tamen suisse in perpetuousu Apostoli [...] videmus, illatam accurata c [...]rum observatio prae­cepti vice nobis esse debet. Calv. instit. l. 4. c. 3. Sect. 16. and also the Presbytery. Hence it is that Calvin saith, Though there be no certain pre­cept extant concerning Imposition of hands, yet because we see it was in perpetual use by the Apostles, that, their so accurate ob­servation ought to be in stead of a precept to us. And it is a won­der to us that they that are so exact in urging every other circumstance in Church-Government, and have suffered much prejudice in their outward estate rather then they would forbear sitting at the Sacrament (which yet is but an outward gesture) should take such strange liberty to them­selves in dispensing with a duty that hath so many examples for the enforcing of it.

2. From that command of Paul to Timothy, Lay hands suddenly on no man. This is a divine precept for imposition of hands. For when Timothy is forbidden to lay hands suddenly, it is implied, that it was his duty to lay on hands. Hence it is that the New-England Ministers do assert,Platform, [...]. 9. That Church-of­ficers ought to be ordained by imposition of hands. And from this Text Walaeus hath a memorable passage, which though it be long, yet we will not think much to transcribe. I see this (saith he,Walaeus de Pastoribus. p. 472. Video in omni­bus confessioni­bus nostrarum Ecclesiarum, praeter unam & alteram, illam requiri: Et san [...] cum Apo­stoli semper eam usurparent, imò Apostolus praecep [...]um dat Timotheo, 1 Tim. 5, 22. Ne cito eniquam manus imponito, nos omittendam non judicamus: quia in negativo illo mandato etiam af­firmativum continetur, ut dignis manus imponat: ubi cum pro tota electi [...]ne Pastor [...]s sumatur per Synecdochen, certe pro ritu aut parte essentiali habenda est, alioquin pro to [...]o sum [...] [...]on posset, aut sal­tem pro adjuncto proprio & omnibus vocationibus communi. speaking of Imposition of hands) to be required in almost all confessions. And truly since that the Apo­stles have alwayes used it, yea the Apostle gives a precept to Timothy, to lay hands suddenly on no man; we judge it ought not to be omitted, because in that negative commandment, an affir­mative is included, that he should lay on hands upon men that are worthy, where because it is taken by a Synecdoche for the whole calling of a Pastor, certainly it is to be esteemed either [Page 175] for a rite, or an essential part, otherwise it could not be taken for the whole, or at least for a proper adjunct, and common to this with all other callings. So far Walaeus.

Thirdly, Because the whole work of Ordination is com­prehended under this Ceremony of Imposition of hands, 1 Tim▪ 4.14. 1 Tim. 5.12. Ordination is called [...] Imposition of hands, and the gift or office of the Ministry is said to be given by this as by the sign, 1 Tim. 4.15. Now then, if Imposition of hands, as a part, be put for the whole work of Ordination, it seems very strange to us that there should be any amongst us that expresse a willingnesse to be ordained, and yet an unwillingness to have Imposition of hands. We rather judge, That they that refuse Imposition of hands, which is put for the whole, will in a little time make no conscience of refusing the whole it self. We reade in Scripture, That prayer and keeping the Sabbath are some­times put for the whole worship of God, Ier. 10.25. Isa. 56.4. And as it is a good Argument, keeping of the Sabbath and prayer are put for the whole worship of God, and there­fore they are parts of it, if not chief parts. So it is a good Ar­gument. Imposition of hands is put for the whole work of Ordination, and therefore it is a part of it, if not a chief part. And we desire our people further to consider, that there is but one Text for [...] or lifting up of hands in the election of a Minister (and this also but a shadow without a substance, as we have proved) and yet how zealous are ma­ny amongst us for popular Election? And why should not they be much more zealous for [...], or Imposition of hands, which hath so many substantial Texts for the justifica­tion of it, and which is so often put for the whole work of Or­dination?

Fourthly, Because it is placed by the Apostle Heb. 6.1, 2. amongst the principles of the doctrine of Christ, Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of Ba­ptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the [Page 176] dead, and of eternall judgement. The great Question is, What is here meant by laying on of hands. The Papists understand it of the Sacrament of Confirmation: But it never hath nor ever will be sufficiently proved, that either there is such a Sacrament appointed by Christ, or that it was a custome in the Apostles daies to lay on hands, or (as was formerly phrased) to Bishop baptized Christians who were grown up to years of discretion; others by laying on of hands understand the extraordinary gifts of the holy Ghost, which in these daies were given by laying on of hands. But this cannot be the meaning.

1. Because it cannot be proved, that the gift of the holy Ghost was given with every laying on of hands in those times. For the laying on of hands, 1 Tim. 4.14. 1 Tim. 5.22. was not for giving the holy Ghost, but for Ordination.

2. Because the giving of the holy Ghost by laying on of hands was proper to the Primitive age, and doth not con­cern after ages; But the Catechetical heads enumerated by the Apostle concern all ages.

3. Because it would be hard to think, that the knowledge or profession of the doctrine concerning the giving of the holy Ghost by such laying on of hands, was such a principle as that none ignorant thereof, though instructed in all the other Articles of Christian faith, could be received as a Church-member, and as one grounded in Catechisticall do­ctrine.

And therefore by laying on of hands, as by a Synecdoche, we suppose is meant the whole Ministry. Thus D. Ames in his Confutation of Bellarmine;Bellarminus enervatus, tom. 2. pag. 76. By laying on of hands (saith he) is here meant Totum Ministerium, the whole Ministry. Bullinger on the place, By laying on of hands, understandeth also the Ministry and their Vocation, Mission, and Authority given them. Mr. Hooker in his Survey of Church-Discipline, par. 1. pag. 1. By laying on of hands as by a Metonymy of the adjunct, understandeth Ordination, and Ordination as one par­ticular is put (saith he) for the whole of Church-Discipline. And from this very Text he undertakes to prove Church-Disci­pline [Page 177] to be a fundamentall point of Religion: But we may more safely and more rationally assert the same of the Church-Ministry: For whosoever denieth a Ministry over­throweth all Gospel-Ordinances and Gospel-Churches. And here we will make bold to put our people in minde of a pas­sage in M. Cartwrights Confutation of the Rhemists, who was a man sufficiently opposite to the Bishops and their Ceremo­nies, yet he is pleased to use these words upon this Text. By Imposition of hands the Apostle meaneth no Sacrament, much lesse Confirmation after Baptism, but by a Trope and borrowed Speech the Ministry of the Church upon the which hands were laid, which appeareth in that whosoever beleeveth, that there ought not to be a Ministry by order to teach and govern the Church, overthroweth Christianity; whereas if Confirmation of Children were a Sacrament as it is not, yet a man holding the rest, and denying the use of it, might notwithstanding be saved. So Cartwright. Now then▪ If Imposition of hands be taken in Scripture not only for the whole work of Ordination, but also for the whole Ministry; We may (we hope) safely and convincingly conclude, That it is the will of Jesus Christ, that they that enter into the Ministry should have hands laid upon them: And that they that oppose Imposition of hands may as well oppose the whole Gospel-Ministry, and therein over­throw Christianity it self.

We will not trouble the Reader with answering all the Ob­jections that are brought against this Thesis, but only such as seem to carry most weight in them.

Object. 1. We do not reade that the Apostles were made Mi­nisters with Imposition of hands.

Answ. 1. No more do we reade that they were made Mi­nisters by the Election of the people; This objection fights as much against Election as against Imposition of hands.

2. A negative argument from Scripture doth not hold in matters of this nature; It doth not follow, because it is not recorded, therefore it was not done. Many things were done by Christ which are not written; It is said, That Christ or­dained twelve, but after what manner is not set down.

[Page 178]3. The Apostles were extraordinary Officers, and had an extraordinary Call. Our Thesis is of ordinary Officers; They that oppose this Assertion must prove, that ordinary Officers were made without Imposition of hands, or else they prove nothing to the purpose.

Object. 2. When the Apostle left Titus to ordain Elders in Crete, he saies not a word of Imposition of hands.

Answ. 1. Nor a word of Election by the people.

2. The Apostle left him to ordain Elders as he had ap­pointed him. Now it is irrationall to think that he would appoint Titus to do otherwise then according to what he himself practised. He ordained Deacons, Elders, and Timo­thy by laying on of hands: And therefore it is without dis­pute to us, That he appointed Titus to do so also.

3. If we compare Tit. 1.5. with Act. 6.3, 5. it will appear, That by appointing or ordaining Elders in Crete, is meant, ordaining by Imposition of hands: For there is the same word in both, [...]: Now [...] in Act. 6. was by laying on of hands, and so was [...] in Tit. 1.5.

Object. 3. Imposition of hands was used by the Apostles only for the present occasion, as other things were observed, as bloud was forbidden, as Paul used circumcision and sha­ving, viz. for the Jews sake who had their publique Officers thus set apart.

Answ. 1. No circumstance of any one Text where Impo­sition of hands is mentioned to be used, gives ground for sta­ting this to be the reason of its practise.

2. This was not only practised at Ierusalem but at Antioch, and not only among and by the Jews, but elsewhere, and by others. It is said of Paul and Barnabas that they ordained Elders in every Church.

Object. 4. Imposition of hands was used by the Apostles in a miraculous way, and it did conferre the holy Ghost and gift of Tongues, &c. and therefore as the miracle is ceased, so ought the ceremony to cease. As in extream Uncti­on, &c.

Answ. 1. The giving of the holy Ghost and conferring of [Page 179] extraordinary gifts was one, but not the only use which the Apostles made of Imposition of hands. And as praier is still to be continued in the Church, though it did sometimes con­veigh extraordinary blessings, Act. 8.15, 16, 17. Act. 9.40. Iam. 5.14, 15. because it had other ordinary ends and uses; So is Imposition of hands to be continued upon the same ac­count.

Answ. 2. We never read of the holy Ghost given by Im­position of hands in Ordination: That gift which Timothy received by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, is no other then the gift of Office. Neglect not the gift, i. e. Neg­lect not the office. If Timothy had had power by laying on of hands to have conferred due qualifications for the Ministry; why doth Paul require him to lay hands suddenly on no man? and why must he be so carefull to see them first fit, in case his laying on of hands would fit them? There needed not such triall of their gifts, in case a touch of his hands could have gifted them. This proves clearly, That there was no extraor­dinary gift conferred in Ordination.

3. There is a double Imposition of hands, The one mira­culous and extraordinary, which consisted in healing the sick, and conveighing the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. And this was temporary and is now ceased as extream Unction is; The other is ordinary, Such is the Imposition of hands in Or­dination, and therefore to be perpetually continued in the Church. We reade not only that Paul who was an extraordi­nary Officer, but that Presbyters who were ordinary Offi­cers imposed hands upon Timothy. And the example of the Primitive Churches were intentionally left upon record for this end, that they might be binding patterns in like cases in after ages. And this seems to be one singular ground and reason of the Writing of the Acts of the Apostles, That the Apostles acts in the Primitive Churches might be our Rules in succeeding ages.

Obj. 5. To what purpose then is Imposition of hands used, if the extraordinary gifts of the holy Ghost be not conveigh­ed thereby?

[Page 180] Answ. 1. We use it, because the Apostles did use it in an ordinary way without giving the holy Ghost, as well as in an extraordinary way, because there is the same standing reason, and because the Apostle bids us, 1 Tim. 5.22. Sufficit pro uni­versis rationibus, Deus vult.

2. We use it not as an operative Ceremony, but as a Moral sign, so declare publickly who the party is that is solemnly set apart to the work of the Ministry.

3. We use it as it is a Rite and Ceremony by which the Office is conveyed, 1 Tim. 4.14.

4. We use it as it is a consecrating, dedicating and offer­ing up of the party unto the Lord and his service, as in the Old Testament hands were laid on for this end.

5. We use it as it is an Authoritative and Ministerial Bene­diction of the party ordained, as it was used by Iacob in his fatherly blessing of Ephraim and Manasses, and by Christ in his blessing and praying over the little children, Mat. 19.15. Mark 10.16.

And thus we have made out the Divine Right of Imposi­tion of hands, and our Exhortation to our people is, That they would not stumble at that way of Ordination which hath so much of God in it, nor be easily led aside into by-pathes by the seducers of this Age. And that they would not rest contented with Ministerial Examination (though that ought to be, and that in all exactnesse) nor with Mini­sterial approbation, nor yet with Authoritative Missi­on without this Apostolicall Ordinance of Imposition of hands.

CHAP. XIII. Wherein the fourth Assertion about Ordination is pro­ved, viz. That ordination of Ministers ought to be by the laying on of the hands of the Presbyterie.

OUr last Assertion is concerning the persons who are by Divine Authority appointed to ordain,Assert. 4. and it is this.

That Ordin [...]tion [...]f Ministers ought to be by laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.

For this we have an expresse Text, 1 Tim. 4.14. which that we may the better understand, we will give a brief Answer to some few Questions.

Qu [...]st. 1. What is meant by the word Presbytery?

Answ. By Presbytery is not meant the Office of a Presby­ter, but Collegium f [...]o [...] confess [...] Presbyter [...]rum, a Colledge or company of Presbyters. For as Mr Rutherford well observes, The Office hath no hands. And the word is used but in two other places, Luke 22.66. Acts 22.5. In both which it must necessarily be taken for the Officers, and not for the Office. For the Office of Elders could not meet together, as in that plac [...] of Luke, nor could the O [...]ce of Elders bea [...] witnesse to Paul, as in that place of the Acts. Hooker. part. 2. cap. 2. Besides as Mr Hooker well saith, Not onely reason doth reject, but the very ear would not relish such an unsutable sense, Neglect not the gift which is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the lay­ing on of the hands of the Office. How harsh and unpleasant is such an expression?

Here Calvin is brought in by some who are in other things his utter enemies, to countenance this interpretation. And [Page 182] Mr Gillespy reckoneth it as one of Calvins few (for they were but very few) mistakes. But looking upon his Commentary upon the place, we finde these words, Presbyterium qui hîc collectivum nomen esse putant pro collegio Presbyterorum positum, rectè sentiunt meo judicio. They who think Presbytery in this place to be a Noun collective put for a Colledge of Presby­ters, do think rightly in my judgement. And therefore though he thinks the other interpretation non male quadrare (which was his errour) yet he is not to be reckoned amongst those that deny that by Presbytery is meant an Assembly of Pres­byters.

Quest. 2. Whether this Presbytery was a Presbytery of Bi­shops, or of single Presbyters?

Answ. To this we shall give this short reply, That in Scripture a Bishop and a Presbyter is all one, as we shall have occasion hereafter to prove. And therfore we answer, That it was an Assembly of Bishops, that is, of Presbyters.

Quest. 3. Whether this Presbytery were Congregational or Classical?

Answ. Mr Hooker of New-England confesseth, That he never yet heard any Argument that did evince either,Part. 2. Chap. 2. by dint of undeniable evidence. And for our parts, we do not con­ceive it necessary, as to our purpose, to disquiet the Reader with a debate about it. For we deny not but that a Congrega­tion sufficiently Presbyterated, that is, wherein there are ma­ny Ministers, may ordain, though we believe that there are but very few such, if any; and therefore are of the opinion of the Reverend Assembly, in their Advice to the Parliament concerning Ordination, That it is very requisite that no single. Congregation that can conveniently associate, do assume to it self all and sole power in Ordination.

Quest. 4. What part hath the Ruling Elder in Ordi­nation?

Answ. Supposing that there is such an Officer in the Church (for the proof of which we referre the Reader to our Vindication) We answer, That the power of ordering of the whole work of Ordination belongs to the whole Pres­bytery, [Page 183] that is, to the Teaching and Ruling Elders. But Im­position of hands is to be alwayes by Preaching Presbyters, and the rather, because it is accompanied with Prayer and Exhortation, both before, in, and after, which is the proper work of the Teaching Elder.

Quest. 5. Whether may one Preaching Presbyter lay on hands without the assistance of other Ministers?

Answ. Imposition of hands ought to be performed not by one single Presbyter, but by a combination of preaching Presbyters. In the Ordination of Deacons, not one Apo­stle alone, but a company of them laid on hands, Act. 6.6. When Paul and Barnabas were separated unto the work whereunto they were called by God, the Prophets and Teachers joyned together in laying on of hands. It is obser­vable that in all the Texts where mention is made of Imposi­tion of hands, [...] is joyned with [...] in the Plural, not with [...] or [...] in the Singular or Dual Number, and so there must of necessity be more then one Imposer of hands. Timothy was ordained by the Imposition not onely of Pauls hands, but also of the Presbytery. And therefore when we reade that Timothy is enjoyned to lay hands suddenly on no man, and Titus left in Crete to ordain Elders, we must not imagine that they were indued thereby with the sole power of Ordination. For surely the Apostle would not require Timo­thy or Titus to do that which he himself would not do. If Paul with the Presbytery laid hands upon Timothy, then no doubt Timothy was also, together with other Presbyters, to lay hands upon those whom he should ordain. The naming of one doth not exclude others, especially if we consi­der that Titus was left to ordain Elders, as Paul had appointed him. Now it is without all peradventure, that Paul did appoint him to do according as he himself pra­ctised.

Quest. 6. Whether a company of Believers associated to­gether may ordain without Ministers?

Answ. The Answer to this Question, is that which we espe­cially aim at in this our fourth Assertion, and wherein we de­sire [Page 184] most of all to satisfie the expectation of the Reader. For this end we shall offer this Proposition in Answer to the Que­stion.

That Ordination of Ministers doth belong to Church-Officers, and not to a Church without Officers. Prop. And that Ordination by people without Ministers is a perverting of the Ordinance, and of no more force then Baptism by a Midwife, or consecration of the Lords Supper by a person out of Office.

For the proof of this we might argue from what is record­ed by Jewish Writers, concerning the custom of creating men members of their great Council or Sanhedrin. When Moses by Gods appointment assumed the seventy Elders to assist him in Government, and part of his spirit was by God put upon them, this was done saith Maimonides Sanhedr. cap. 4. by Moses laying hands upon them. And at length before his de­parture out of this life, when a successour was to be provided for him, God commands him to take Ioshua, and lay his hand upon him, &c. and accordingly it was done, Numb. 27.18. And so for those seventy Elders, it is certain from the Jewish Writers, that the succession of these was continued through all Ages, by their creating others in the place of those that di­ed by this Ceremony of Imposition of hands. To this pur­pose are the clear words of Maimonides, Moses our Master created the seventy Elders by Imposition of hands, and the divine Majesty rested on them, and those Elders imposed hands on others, and others on others. And they were found created untill the house of judgement of Ioshua, and unto the house of judge­ment of Moses: that is, from time to time ascending to the Sanhedrin in Ioshua's and Moses's time. Petrus Cunaeus de Rep. Hebrae [...]rum cap. 12. saith, This Senatorian dignity, be­cause it was most honourable, was granted to none without a legi­timate act, namely, Imposition of hands. So Moses laid his hand upon Ioshua, and the seventy Elders, which solemnity be­ing performed, presently a divine Spirit from above fell down upon them, and filled their brests. And these being thus initiated themselves, admitted others after the same way. The same Au­thour tels us also out of Maimonides of a constitution made, [Page 185] That no man should after such a time use Imposition of hands, but by grant from Rabbi Hillel that divine old man, who was Prince of the great Council; and how afterwards it came to cease: And what care was taken by Juda the son of Baba to sup­port and uphold it.

But because these things are not recorded in Scripture, we shall wave all such way of arguing, and rather dispute,

First, From the constant practice of the Church of Christ, as it is set down in the Apostolical Writings. We challenge any man to shew any one Text in all the New Testament for the justification of popular Ordination. We reade of Ordi­nation by Apostles, Act. 6. Act. 14. And by Prophets and Teachers, Act. 13. And by Evangelists, Tit. 1. 1 Tim. 5.22. And by a Presbytery, 1 Tim. 4.14. But for Ordination by the people we meet not at all with it. And without all peradven­ture, If Ordination be an Ordinance of Christ, it is to be managed according to the will of Christ, and that is by Mini­sters, and not by the community of believers. May we not say to such Churches that usurp upon this work, as it is said, Matth. 21.23. By what Authority do you these things? And who gave you this Authority? Shew us your warrant out of the Word? We reade indeed of Ordination in Churches, Act. 18.23. and in Cities, Tit. 1.5. but no where of Ordination by Churches, or by Cities, taking them for believers without Of­ficers. We adde

Secondly, That Ordination by the people is not onely not written in Scripture, but it is against the Scripture. For to what end and purpose should Jesus Christ appoint Officers ex­traordinary and ordinary for the doing of that work which the people themselves may do? To what purpose did Paul and Barnabas go from place to place to ordain Elders? Why was Titus left in Crete to appoint Elders in every City? Might not the people say, What need Paul leave Titus to do that which we can do our selves? Frastra [...]it per plura, &c. If this Doctrine were true, the Apostles needed only to have preach­ed and to have converted the people to the faith, and when they had done to have said, We have now done our work, you [Page 186] may now elect and ordain your Officers your selves, the power to do these things belongs to you. But the Apostles did quite con­trary, and therefore certainly Ordination is not the peoples, but the Ministers Office.

Adde thirdly, that which to us seems to be of weight, That all that is written in the Epistles concerning the Ordainers and the qualification of the ordained, &c. is all written in the Epistles unto Timothy and Titus who were Church-Officers. In the other Epistles which were written unto the Churches, there is no mention made of these things, which doth abun­dantly prove unto us, That the work of Ordination is a work belonging to Ministers, and not to the people.

Lastly, We might argue from the nature of Ordination. It is a potestative and authoritative mission. It is an eminent act of Jurisdiction, not onely confirming a Minister in that Office which he had before by Election, but conveying the very Of­fice-power of preaching and administring the Sacraments. It is that (as we have said) which gives the essentials of the Mi­nisterial Call. And therefore by the rule of the Gospel it be­longs to Officers, and not to private persons. The Scripture doth accurately distinguish between Church-Rulers and pri­vate believers, Heb. 13.17, 24. 1 Thess. 5.12. Private persons can with no more lawfulnesse convey power to another, to administer the Sacraments, then they can themselves lawfully administer the Sacraments. Church-power is first seated in Christ the head, and from him committed to the Apostles, and from them to Church-Officers. And they alone who have received it from the Apostles can derive and transmit it to other Ministers. And though we freely confesse, That all Church-power is in the people, finaliter & objective, that is, for their use and benefit, according to that of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 3.22. All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, all are yours, i.e. for your service and salvation; yet we are farre from thinking that all things are theirs formally and originally, that is, of their making and authorizing. Or that they that are not Ministers themselves can derive the Mi­nisterial Office to others. This we beleeve to be both against Scripture and reason.

[Page 187]The serious consideration of these things is of marvellous concernment for the people of our age upon this one account especially, because there are a generation of men risen up amongst us, that renounce and disclaim all Ordination from Ministers, as unwarrantable and Antichristian, and take it up from the people as the only way of the Gospel, herein com­mitting amongst many other these three evils.

1. In renouncing the Ordinance of Christ, and calling that which is truly Christian, Antichristian.

2. In setting up a new way of Ordination, which hath not the least footing in the New Testament, or in all Antiquity.

3. In plunging themselves into this inextricable difficulty; for he that renounceth Ordination by Ministers as Antichri­stian, must of necessity renounce not only our present Mini­stry, but all the Ministers and Churches in the Christian world, he must turn Seeker, and forsake all Church-commu­nion, as some in our unhappy dayes do. For all Ordination by the people is null and void, as being not only not ground­ed upon Scripture, but against Scripture. And to intrude into the Ministerial Office without Ordination, is as the sinne of Corah and his company, as we have formerly shewed. Our desire is that these particulars may be duly weighed by all so­ber Christians.

It will not be amiss here to consider what is said against this Thesis by the Elders of New-England. In four things they agree with us,

  • 1. They say, Church-officers are to be ordained.
  • 2. And to be ordained by Imposition of hands.
    Platform of Church-Disc. chap. 9.
  • 3.That where there are Elders Imposition of hands is to be performed by those Elders.
  • 4.That where there are no Elders, if the Church so desire, Imposition of hands may be performed by the Elders of other Churches.

But they differ from what we have asserted, when they say,

‘In such Churches where there are no Elders, Imposition of hands may be performed by some of the Brethren chosen by the Church thereunto. For the proof of this they bring a Reason and a Scripture.’

[Page 188] The Reason is, If the people may elect Officers, which is the greater, and wherein the substance of the Office consists, they may much more (occasion, and need so requiring) impose hands in Ordination, which is the lesse, and but the accomplishment of the other.’

Answ. 1. If this Argument were valid, it would follow that people might ordain their own Ministers, not only when they want Elders, but when they have Elders. For if Election give the essence to a Minister, and Ordination only an adjunct, we see no reason why they that give the essence, should not also give the adjunct; And why an adjunct should belong to the Offi­cers in that Church, to whom the essence doth not belong. But

2. We say, That Scripture-light being Judge, Election is not the greater, and Ordination the lesse. It is possible that it is upon this ground that some men have made so slight of Ordination, that so they might entitle the people thereunto. But we have abundantly shewed, 1. That Election doth not give the essence of the Ministerial Call. That Election is only the designation of the person that is to be made a Minister, not the making of him a Minister. 2. That Ordination is that which gives the essence. That it is an Authoritative appointing of a per­son to the Ministry, and an actual investing him into the office. That it is held forth in the Scripture as the greater, and there­fore not given to one and the same persons, but this later re­ferred to the more honourable persons, as appears from Acts 6.3, 5. Tit. 1.5. 1 Tim. 4.14. 1 Tim. 5.22.

The Text they quote in the Margine for the proof of this, is not out of the New Testament but the Old, out of Numb. 8.10, 11. And thou shalt bring the Levites before the Lord, and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites: And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord, for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the Lord.

Ans. 1. This Text doth not prove that for which it is brought, but makes rather against our Brethren. For they say, That where there are Elders, Imposition of hands is to be by the El­ders, and not by the people, but in case of want of Elders. But here Aaron and his sons were present. And if it proves [Page 189] any thing, it proves that the people may ordain where there are Elders, which our Brethren will in no case consent unto.

2. That the children of Israel were commanded by God immediately to lay on hands upon the Levites. But in the New Testament, we meet with no such command laid upon the peo­ple. We reade that Timothy and Titus, and the Presbytery are to lay on hands, but not a word of command for the people, but rather against it, as we have shewed.

3. When it is said, That the children of Israel laid on hands, it is not imaginable that all the Israelites did put on hands, but it was done by some chief of them in the name of the rest. And as Ainsworth observes, It was done by the first-born: For the first-born was sanctified and consecrated unto the Lord, Exo. 13.1. Because the Lord when he destroyed the first-born in Egypt, spared the first-born of the Israelites, therefore he challengeth a right in all their first-born, and they were to be given to him. And now the Levites were taken by God in stead of the first-born, as appears Numb. 8.16, 17. And hence it was that the children of Israel, that is, the first-born of Israel, were to lay on hands upon them, for the Levites gave an atonement for them, and were of­fered up unto the Lord in their stead, and as the Rabbins say, E­very first-born laid on hands on the Levite that was for him. Which if it be so, will afford us two other answers to this text.

4. That the children of Israel had not onely a special com­mand, but a special reason also for what they did. And there­fore this example cannot be made a patern for New Testament practice.

5. That this laying on of hands upon the Levites, was not for them to set them apart for the service of the Lord, but ra­ther a setting them apart for a Sacrifice unto the Lord. It was the command of God that the children of Israel must put their hands upon the Sacrifices they did offer unto the Lord. The Levites were now to be waved or offered before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel, and to be offered in stead of the first-born. And therefore the first-born did put their hands upon them as their propitiation and atonement.

It is very observable, That notwithstanding this Impositi­on [Page 190] of hands, the Levites were not thereupon invested into their office, and made able immediatly to execute it. But Aaron the Priest was to wave them before the Lord for a wave-offer­ing, that they might execute the service of the Lord. It was Aarons waving of the Levites, and separating them from among the children of Israel, that did constitute and make them Church-officers.

And thus at last we have put an end to our first part con­cerning the Divine Right of the Gospel-Ministry, and have, as we hope, sufficiently cleared to the consciences of our people, That there is such an Office as the Office of the Ministry perpetu­ally to be continued in the Church of Christ. That no man ought to take upon him either the Office or the Work of the Ministry, un­lesse he be lawfully ordained thereunto. That Ordination of Mini­sters is an Ordinance of Christ, and ought to be by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, &c.

We cannot but expect to meet with many Adversaries that will oppose what we have here written. Some will deny the very Office of the Ministry. Others will grant that there was such an Office in the Apostles dayes, but will say that it is now quite lost. Some will grant that the Office of the Ministry is perpetually necessary, but will adde, That it is lawfull for all men gifted, to enter upon the publick work of the Ministry, though they be not called and ordained thereunto. Some are for an immediate and extraordinary Call to the Ministry. Some will deny all Ordination of Ministers. Others will grant Ordi­nation but deny Imposition of hands. Others will grant Imposi­tion of hands, but say, That it ought to be done by private Church-members, and not by the Presbytery.

By this it appears that our Adversaries differ as much one from another, as they do from us. And therefore we need not be much afraid of their opposition, for in writing against us they will be necessitated also to write one against another.

It is, we confesse, a great lamentation, and shall be for a la­mentation, that there should be such differences and divisions amongst Christians, and especially amongst those that pro­fesse the Protestant Reformed Religion, and have made a neces­sary [Page 191] and just separation from the Idolatry and superstition of the Church of Rome. Hereby God is greatly dishonoured. True Religion hindered and disgraced. The wicked are hard [...]ed in their wickednesse. The Popish party is encouraged. The godly party weakned, and great stumbling blocks are laid before weak Christians to deter them from true conversion. But we hope that this which we have written will contribute something to­wards the healing of these differences, and uniting of all god­ly and unprejudiced people in peace and truth. This is our de­sign, this is the success we pray for.

We have been necessitated to make frequent mention of A Platform of Church-Discipline, agreed upon by the Elders and Messengers of the Churches in New-England, and have ex­pressed our dissent from some things therein contained. But we desire the Reader to take notice,

1. That in the Preface to this Platform they assure us of their hearty consent to the whole Confession of Faith (for substance of Doctrine) which the Reverend Assembly pre­sented to the Parliament; and tell us of an unanimous vote of a Synod at Cambridge, 1648. which passed in these words, This Synod having perused and considered (with much gladnesse of heart, and thankefulness to God) the Confession of Faith pub­lished of late by the Reverend Assembly in England, do judge i [...] to be very holy, orthodox and judicious in all matters of Faith, and do therefore freely and fully consent thereunto, for the sub­stance thereof, &c. And do therefore think it meet, that this Con­fession of Faith, should be commended to the Churches of Christ amongst us, and to the honoured Court▪ as worthy of their due consideration and acceptance.

2. That as we agree wholly in the same Confession of Faith, so also we agree in many things of greatest concernment in the matter of Church-Discipline.

3. That those things wherein we differ are not of such con­sequence, as to cause a schism between us, either in worship, or in love and affection. Our debates with them are (as it was said of the disputes of the ancient Fathers one with ano­ther about lesser differences) not contentiones, but collationes. [Page 192] We can truly say (as our Brethren do in the fore-named Pre­face) That it is far from us so to attest the Discipline of Christ, as to detest the Disciples of Christ; so to contend for the seamless coat of Christ, as to crucifie the living members of Christ; So to divide our selves about Church-communion, as through breaches to open a wide gap for a deluge of Antichristian and prophane ma­lignity to swallow up both Church and Civil State.

The main intendment and chief drift of this our underta­king, hath been, to oppose those that say, That there is no such Office as the Office of the Ministry; or, That this Office is quite lost; or, That every man that thinks himself gifted, may intrude into the Ministerial Office. These opinions we judge destructive to Christian Religion, and an in-let to Popery and all errour, to all disorder and confusion, and at last to all profaneness and Atheism.

There are four things that justly deserve to be abhorred by all good Christians.

  • 1. An Vniversal Toleration of all Religions.
  • 2. An Vniversal Admittance of all men to the Lords Supper.
  • 3. Vniversal Grace, that is, that Christ died equally for all, and that all men have free-will to be saved.
  • 4. Vniversal Allowance of all that suppose themselves gift­ed to preach without Ordination. This last is that which we have abundantly confuted, and which we conceive to be un­sufferable in a well-ordered Christian Commonwealth. And our prayer to God is, That our respective Congregations may be established in the truth against this and all other errours; And that they may take heed least being led away with the errour of the wicked, they should fall from their own stedfastness. And (for the preventing of this mischief) That they may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, to him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
The End of the first Part.
The Second Part, CON …

The Second Part, CONTAINING A Iustification of the present Ministers of England, Both such who were ordained during the prevalency of Episcopacy, from the foul aspersion of Antichri­stianisme, and those who have been ordained since its abolition, from the unjust imputation of Novelty; That a Bishop, and Presbyter are all one in Scripture; and that Ordination by Presbyters is most agree­able to the Scripture pattern.

TOGETHER With an Appendix, wherein the Judgment, and Practice of Antiquity, about the whole matter of Episcopacy, and especially about the Ordi­nation of Ministers is briefly discussed.

1 Cor. 4.1.

Let a man so account of us as of the Ministers of Christ, and Stewards of the Mysteries of God.

1 Thess. 5.12, 13.

And we beseech you, Brethren, to know them that labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. [13.] And to esteem them very highly in love for their work sake.

1 Cor 9.2.

If I be not an Apostle unto others, yet doubtlesse I am to you, for the seal of mine Apostle­ship are ye in the Lord.

Revel. 11.3.

And I will give power unto my two Witnesses, and they shall prophesie a thousand two hun­dred and threescore dayes clothed in sackcloth.

Acts 20.28.

Take heed therefore unto your selves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, or Bishops.

LONDON, Printed by I. L. 1654.

The Justi­fication of our Mini­stry is com­prised un­dertwo Pro­positions.

  • 1. That, The Call to the Office of the Ministry which some of our pre­sent Ministers did receive during the prevalency of Epis­copacy, was law­full, and valid; which is proved,
    • 1. By Arguments drawn from the principles of our Adversaries, where­in, by the way,
      • Is proved, 1. That the Churches of England are true Churches.
      • 2. The two great Objecti­ons against them, taken from their Parochial and National constitution, are sufficiently answered.
    • 2. By Arguments taken from our own Principles, and the nature of the thing. And here our Ministry is largely vindica­ted from that foul aspersion of Antichri­stianisme which is cast upon it, because conveyed unto us (as is said) by Popish, and Antichristian Bishops.
  • 2. That, The Call to the Office of the Ministry which our present Ministers do receive, since the aboli­tion of Episcopacy, is law­ful, and valid. In which is shewed,
    • 1. That a Bishop, and Presbyter are all one in Scripture.
    • 2. That the instances of Timothy and Titus, and the Asian Angels do not prove the contrary.
    • And because Ordination by Presby­ters without Bishops is highly accused of Novelty, as having not the least sha­dow of Antiquity, and thereby many Candidates of the Ministry are discoura­ged from this way of entring into the Ministry, and Ordination so received is accounted null, We have therefore added an Appendix, wherein is briefly held forth the Judgment, and Practice of Antiquity, both in reference to Or­dination, and the whole matter of Episcopacy.

The Preface.

HAving sufficiently proved, That there is such an Office as the Of­fice of a Minister, and that this Office is perpetual; And that no man ought to assume this Office unless he be lawfully called there­unto▪ And that this Call is by Ordination with the imposition of the hands of the Presbytery. It remains now that we should speak something concerning the Justifica­tion of our own Ministry. For what are we the better that there is a Ministery by Divine institution, if our Ministry be of man, and not of God? What are we the better that there is a Ministry from Christ, if our Ministry be from Antichrist? It will be said to us as it was to Christ, Physitian cure thy self. Trouble not the world with a general assertion of the necessity of a Ministry unlesse you will bring it down to particulars, and make out unto us the divine right of your Mini­stry. [Page] This then is the work that is now before us, which we shall the rather undertake▪

First, for our peoples sake, that they may with all chearfulnesse and conscienciousnesse submit unto our Ministry, when it shall appear plainly unto them, that we are Ministers sent by God; Tha [...] we are over them in the Lord ▪ That we are the Lords Stewards, and the Lords Ambassadors. And that they may with confi­dence expect a blessing from God upon our Ministry, as not doubting but that God will make use of his own Instruments, and that a Minister sent by God, will be blessed by God: wh [...]reas they that hear men not law­fully called, have no promise of a blessing, but rather a threatning that they shall not profit by such Prea­chers,Jer. 23.32. as we have formerly proved. Hence it is that such hearers run from one errour to [...] as a just punishment of God upon them, [...] to the saying of the Apostle, 2 Tim. 4.3, [...] will come, when they will not endure sound [...] after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves [...] ha­ving itching ears. They shall make [...] upon Teacher, they shall heap up teachers. And these teachers shall be sent by themselves, and not by God: and after their own lusts, not after the Divine rule. For so saith the Text, They shall after their own lusts heap to themselves, &c. And the reason why they do this, is not because they have more judicious eares, then other people, or because they are more holy; but because they have [...]ching eares. But mark the curse that attends all such, vers. 4. They shall turn away their eares from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Secondly, for our Brethren's sake in the Ministery. [Page] For there is nothing that will more inable a Minister to discharg [...] his Office with courage, faithfulnesse; and chearfulnesse, maugre all opposition of unreasonable men, nothing will more encourage him to persevere in it, and to expect a blessing from it, than the evi­dence that he is deputed by God to this Office, That he is feeding the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made him overs [...]er. This was Gods encouragement to Ieremy and Isaiah. Jer. 1.5, 8, 10, 18, 19. Isai. 49.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Isa. 51.16. There is required in Ministers a singular confidence in Gods assistance, and a singular expectation of direction, protection, provision, sup­portation, and benediction, which they cannot have, unlesse they be fully assured, that their function and Ministry is from heaven heavenly: Hence it is that Paul 1 Cor. 9.1, 2, 3. laboureth to make out the authority of his calling to the Corinthians, and Joh. 1.23, 33. Iohn unto the Pharisees, and Joh. 5. Joh. 6. Christ unto the Iewes.

Thirdly, For our enemies sake, that cry down the pr [...]ent Ministers as [...]als Priests, as Popish and An­tichristian; That Goliah-like defie the Armies of the living God▪ That tread under their feet not onely the Ministers, but their Ministry; And say to us, Bow down that we may go over; That make our bodies as the ground, and [...]s the street for them to go in. Isa. 51.23.3 That say of us just as the Jewes did of Christ, Crucifie them, cruci­fi [...] th [...]. Now that such as these may know, That when they fight against our Ministry, they fight against God, whose Ministry it [...] ▪ And that when they persecu [...]e us, they persecute Christ, whose servants we are. And that it is in vain to kick against pricks; That we are [...] in Christ's right hand, and that they shall feel the power of his right hand, that would [Page] pluck us out of his right hand; That even Ieroboam's hand (though a King) shall wither, if he stretch it out against a true Prophet of the Lord; That we are a plant of Gods planting, and therefore shall not be rooted up: Therefore it is that we have undertaken this work.

The Thesis we shall lay down is this, ‘That the Ministers of the Church of England that now are, and have been since the reformation of Re­ligion, are lawfully called to their Office, so as they need not renounce their Ordination; nor have their people any just ground of separation from them in that respect.’

The present Ministers of the Church of England are of two sorts, either such as have been made Ministers since the abolishing of Prelacy by the imposition of the hands of preaching Presbyters; or such as were ordained heretofore by the laying on of the hands of the Bishop, together with other Ministers. And there are two sorts of Dissenters amongst us. There are some that dislike our present way of Ordination, and say it is invalid, because performed by Ministers with­out a Bishop. There are others dislike our former way of Ordination, and say it is null, and of no validi­ty, because we were made by Antichristian Bishops. One side deny our Ministry to be of God, because we want Bshops to Ordain us: The other side deny our Ministry to be of God, because we had once Bishops to Ordain us. And thus is the present Ministry like Jesus Christ himself crucified between two opposite parties. But as Christ, though crucified, yet rose again and is ascended up into heaven: So we doubt [Page 1] not but the Ministers of Christ, though they prophe­sie in sackcloth for the present, and may perhaps [...]e slain, and lye in the streets for three dayes and an half, yet they shall rise in spight of all their enemies, and be called up into heaven in the sight of them.

In opposition to these two sorts of Dissenters, we shall lay down these two Propositions:

That the Cal [...] to the Office of the Ministers, Propos. 1. which some of our present Ministers did receive during the prevalency of Episcopacy was lawful and valid.

That the Call to the Office of Ministry, Propos. 2. which our pre­sent Ministers do now receive since the abolishing of Episco­pacy is lawful, and valid.

CHAP. I. Containing the first Pr [...]position, and proving it by Arguments drawn from the Principles of our Adver­saries,

‘THat the Call to the Office of the Minist [...]ry, which some of our present Ministers did receive during the prevalency of Episcopacy was lawful and valid.Propos. 1.

THere are some amongst us that refuse to hear our Ministers, because they were Ordained (as they say) by Antichri­stian Bishops, and think they are bound in conscience to renounce our Ministery, till we have renounced our Ordination. And as the Antipaed [...]-baptist would rebaptize all that are baptized amongst us: So the Brownist would re-ordain [Page 2] all that are ordained amongst us. For our parts, we are confident that there is neither warrant out of the Word of God for rebaptization, nor re-ordination. That the lat­ter (which is our present work) may the better appear, we must premise a distinction which we have formerly made use of in our Vindication, where we have also spoken some­thing about this subject.

We must distinguish between a defective Ministery, and a false Ministery; as we do between a man that is lame or blind, and a man that is but the picture of a man. We do not deny, but that the way of Ministers entring into the Ministery by Prelates [...]ad many de [...]ects in it, for which they ought to be truly and greatly humbled; but yet we adde, Th [...]t notwithstanding all accid [...]nt [...]l corr [...]ptions, it is not substantially and essentially corrupted, so as there should be need of re-ordination. The Scribes and Phari­sees were not onely wicked in their conversation, but min­gled the leaven of false doctrine with their teachings, and had many defects in their entrance; yet our Saviour saith, Matth. 23.2, 3. The Scribes and P [...]risees si [...] in Mos [...]s his seat. All therefore, &c. If they that sate in Moses his Chair were to be heard in all things that they taught ac­cording to the Word, though they did not live as they taught, and had many failings in their entrance, much more they that s [...]t in C [...]th [...]drá Christi, in the ch [...]i [...] of Christ, and teach [...] quae sunt Christi, those things which Christ would have them teach, and live according to what they [...]each, although there were many defects in their entrance into the Ministry: A [...] every defect in a Christian, doth not make him no Christian, and every defect in the admini­stration of the Gospel-Ordinances, doth not make them no Gospel-Ordinances: So [...]very defect in the way of entrance into the Ministry, doth not make that Ministry a false Ministry, or no Ministry.

Now that our Ministry during the prevalency of Episco­pacy, was lawfull and valid for the substance of it, though mingled with many circumstantiall d [...]fect [...], appears two manner of wayes.

[Page 3]1. We will ar [...]ue [...]ccordi [...] to the judgement of those, who hold, that the whole essence of the Ministeriall call con­sisteth in the election of the people, and that Ordination is nothing else but a solemne installing of a Minister into that Office, which he had before conveyed unto him by his election: Our Brethr [...]n of New [...]ngland, though they hold Ordination by imposition of hand [...] to be of divine institu­tion, yet not so necessary, as if a Ministers call were a nul­lity without it; for, they say in the same place,Answer to the 32. quest. pag. 67. that the outward Call of a Minister consisteth properly and essenti­ally in election by the people, and that this election is so necessary, as that the Minister [...] C [...]ll withou [...] it is [...] nullity; but not so without ordination. The Brownist [...] and Ana­baptists doe speake f [...]rre more slightingly, and undervalu­i [...]gly of Ordination; and therefore we [...]rave leave to use [...]rgumentum ad h [...]minem An Argu­ment taken from their own principles. Thus

They that are lawfully elected by the people, are lawfull Ministers.

But suc [...] are the Minister [...] of Engl [...], &c. Ergo.

Or thus,

If a Minister rightly chosen by the people be a true Mi­nister, though not at all ordained, then a Minister rightly chosen by the people is a true Minister, though [...]orruptly ordained.

But (according to these men,) a Mi [...]ister rightly chosen by the people is a true Minister, though not at all or­dained.

Erg [...].

But many Ministers during the prevalency of Episcopa­cy w [...]re not at all el [...]cted by the p [...]ople.Object. 1.

But m [...]ny were,Answ. 1. [...]nd thi [...] argument serves to justifie their Ministry.

2. Though there are some, that were at first obtruded unjustly and unduely upon the people,2. yet the p [...]ople [...] af­t [...]r [...]cceptance [...]nd [...]pprob [...]tio [...] [...] supply th [...] want of el [...]ction [...]t first, [...] af [...]er [...]onsent [...]nd [...]ceptance of Leah, made her to be his wife, though he chose her not at [Page 4] first: And by thi [...] (s [...]y o [...]r Brethren in New-England) we hold the calling of many Ministers in England may be excused, who at first came into their places without the consent of the people.

Object. 2.But the people that [...]hose them were wicked and un­godly, and therefore they were not rightly chosen.

Answ. 1.This is not true of many place [...] where Ministers, were chosen by Congregations, wherein there were many godly people.

2. Visible Saints and unblameable livers are sufficient to to make up the matter of a true Church; and who can de­ny, but that there are such in many, if not in most, of the Congregations in England.

Object. 3.But what though we judge that the whole essence of the Ministeriall Call consisteth in popular election, yet the Ministers whom we plead against, look upon their Ordina­tion, as that which give [...] them the essence of their Call, and think they stand Ministers by that.

Answ.What is that to you what they [...]hink their [...] [...]hin [...]ing in your opinion is their personal errour, but it c [...]nnot nulli­fie their Ministry; for, he that hath the essentials of a true Minister, is a true Minister; but he that is rightly elected hath the essenti [...]ls of [...] true Minister [...]ccord [...]ng [...]o you▪ and therefore whatsoever his judgement is about ordination, he must stand a true Minister to you, unlesse you will crosse your own position.

Suppose (as one saith) a Deacon thinks his Ordination gives him the essentials of his office, the people think their electi­on doth; what then [...] will you separate fro [...] him, and not go to him for reliefe in case of want? he hath election and ordination, so that to be sure a Deacon he is: The case is the same with the present Ministry. This instance is urged by Mr. Bur­roughs, of which we shall have occasion afterwards to make further use.

We shall add another Argument of the same nature, to prove that the Ministry of England, is a true Mi­nistrie.

[Page 5]If there were true Churches in England, Argu. 2. during the preva­lency of Episcopacy, then there was a true Ministry: For, (according to those men) it is the true being of a Church, that giveth being to the truth of Ministry, and Ordinances, and not the Ministry and Ordinances that give being to a Church.

But there were true Churches in England, during the pre­valency of Episcopacy.

Ergo, &c.

That there were true Churches appears,

From what the New-England Ministers say in their Answer to the 32. Questions, pag. And in their Apologie for the Church-Covenant, pag. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. where they shew.

1. That the Gospel was brought into England in the Apo­stles dayes or a little after, and that Churches were by them constituted in England according to the Evangeli­call pattern.

2. That though Popish Apostacy did afterwards for many ages overspread all the Churches of England ▪ (as in o­ther Countries) yet still God reserved a remnant, according to the election of Grace amongst them, for whose sake he preserved the holy Scriptures amongst them, and bap­tisme in the name of the Trinity onely.

3. That when God of his rich Grace was pleased to stir up the Spirit of King Edward the [...]ixt, and Queen Elizabeth to cast off the Pope and all fundamentall errors in doctrine &worship and a great part of the tyranny of PopishChurch-government, &c. the people of the Nation generally re­ [...]ived the Articles of religion, &c. wherein is contained the marrow, and summe of the Oracles of God, &c.

4. That wheresoever the people do with common and mutuall consent, gather into settled Congregations, ordi­narily every Lords day (as in England they do) to teach and hear this Doctrine, and do professe their subjecti­on thereunto, and do binde themselves and their Children (as in baptisme they do) to continue therein, that such [Page 6] Congregations are true Churches, notwithstanding sundry defects and corruptions found in them, wherein (say they) we follow the judgement of Calvin, Whitakers, and many other Divines of chief note: nor can we judge or speak harshly of the wombes that bare us, nor of the paps that gave us suck.

This also appears,

2. From that Mr. Phillips of Watertown in New-England saith in a Book of his written for the Justification of Infant-Baptisme, and also concerning the form of a Church therein he proveth, that there is a true Ministry in England, because there are true Churches; and that there are true Churches in England and in other Reformed Churches of the like consideration, he Proveth.

‘1. Because the true visible state of Christs Church is by Gods promise to continue unto the end of the World. Luk. 1.33. Matth. 16.16. and 18.18.20. Mat. 28.19, 20. 1 Cor. 11, 26. Then he argueth.’

‘If the visible Church-state be to continue, then either it continued in England, and other places of like con­sideration, or in some other places of the World.’

‘But not in other places of the world, &c. Ergo. Again, If there be no other Churches in the World, nor have bin for many hundred years, but Popish, or Reformed. Then (if the visible state of Christs Church must abide for ever) either the Popish, or the Reformed Churches must be the true Churches of Christ.’

‘But not the Popish: Ergo the Reformed.’

‘2. He argueth: If Antichrist must sit in the Temple of God, and the Courts of the Temple be given unto the Antichristian Gentiles for a certain time to tread under foot, then there was a true Church-state where he sate, and whilest he sate there, and it was the true measured Temple, whose Courts he treads under foot; nor can there be Antichrist, unlesse there be the Temple and Courts thereof where he is. And if Antichrist [...]ver sate in Eng­land, then there was the Temple of God there before he [Page 7] sate in it, and whilest he sate in it: as also in other Re­formed Churches. The Temple or Church is the subject wherein; he must sit, The Antichristian seat is not the subject, nor Constitutes it, but is an accident vitiating the subject; the removing therefore of Antichristianity doth not destroy the subject, or make it to [...]ease to be, but changeth it into a better estate.’

He adds,

‘3. If ever there were true Churches Constituted in England, they remain so still, or else God hath by some manifest act unchurched them. But there were true Chur­ches in England in the Apostles dayes or a little after, and God hath by no manifest act UnChurched them.’


Thus farr this Reverend Author,

That there are true Churches in England, and so by con­sequence true Ministers, appears further.

3. Where there are a company of visible Saints meeting constantly together in publike, to worship God according to his own way prescribed in his Word for the substance of it, there are (according to these mens opinion) a true Church, and a true Church-state, and a true Ministry.

But during the prevalency of Episcopacy there were in our Congregations companies of visible Saints meeting together, to worship God according to his own way, pre­scribed in the Word for the substance of it;


The Congregations in England are not combined to­gether by a Church-Covenant,Object. 1. which is the essential form of a particular Church, and therefore are not true Chur­ches, and so by consequence have no true Ministry,

We acknowledge no such Church Covenant as com­manded in Scripture distinct from the Covenant of grace.Answ. 1.

Supposing, but not granting, that a Church-Covenant is necessary to the being of a Church, yet we desire that our Brethren in New-England may be heard pleading for us.

[Page 8] Hooker's Sur­vey Part 1. cap. 4.Mr. Hooker saith, that this Church Covenant is dispen­sed after a double manner, either explicitely, or implicite­ly. An implicite Covevant is when in their practise they do that whereby they make themselves ingaged to walk in such a Society, according to such Rules of Government, which are exercised amongst them, and so submit them­selves thereunto, but do not make any verbal profession thereof.’

‘Thus the people in the Parishes in England, when there is a Minister put upon them by the Patron or Bishop, they constantly hold them to the fellowship of the people in such a place, attend all the Ordinances there used, and the Dispensations of the Minister so imposed upon them, sub­mit thereunto &c. By such actions and a fixed attendance upon all such services, and duties they declare that by their practise which others do hold forth by their pro­fession. And therefore it is a great Scandal for any to say that for want of a Church-Covenant we Nullify all Churches but our own, and that upon our grounds recei­ved there must be no Church in the World but in New-England &c.’

So likewise in their Apology, for a Church-Covenant they say.Page 56.

‘Though we deny not but the Covenant in many Con­gregations of England is more implicite, and not so plain as were to be desired, yet we hope we may say of them with Mr Parker Polit. Eccl. l. 3. c. 16. pag. 167. Non abest realis & substantialis (quanquam magis quam par erat im­plicita) Coitio in faedus, eaque voluntaria professio fid [...]i sub­stantialis, qua (Deo gratia) essentiam Ecclesiae idque visibi­lis hucusque sartam tectam in Anglia conservavit. That is, there wants not that real and substantial coming together, or agreeing in Covenant (though more implicite then were meet) and that substantial profession of Faith, which (thanks be to God) hath preserved the Essence of visible Churches in England unto this day.’

Object. 2.But the Congregations of England are Parochiall Chur­ches, [Page 9] and therefore no true Churches of Christ, and so by consequence have no true Ministry.

There is much opposition in our dayes against distin­guishing of Congregations by local bounds,Answ. and much endeavour to break this bond asunder, and to leave people at liberty to joyn (notwithstanding their dwellings) with what Church they please, & with no Churches if they please; and most People speak of Parochial Churches in a most contemptible way, as of so many cages of unclean Birds, and of Parochiall Ministers, as of so many Parish Priests: But we hope this ariseth not so much out of Malice, and from a spirit of opposition, as from a misunderstanding of our judgement concerning Parochial Congregations. We will therefore briefly declare what we do not hold, and what we do hold.

1. We do not say That the bare dwelling in a Parish is sufficient to make a man a member of the Church of Christ within that Parish. A Turk, or Pagan, or Idolater may be within the bounds of a Parish, and yet we do not hold him a member of the Church in that Parish.

2. We do not say, That all that dwell in a Parish, and that joyn constantly in hearing of the word of God therein Preached, should upon that account be admitted to the Lords Table. We heartily desire, and sincerely endea­vour to keep all Ignorant and Scandalous People from the Sacrament although they dwell within the same bounds with those that are admitted.

3. We do not allow, but much dislike the unequal divi­sion of Parishes, and we heartily desire a redresse herein.

But we say.

1. That it is most expedient for edification, and most agreeable to the Evangelical pattern, that Congregations should be distinguished by the respective bounds of their dwellings. Thus all the Christians in Corinth did belong to the Church of Corinth, and all the Believers in Eph [...]sus, to the Church of Ephesus. The Churches in the New Testament are distinguished one from another by the places [Page 10] where the believers dwel [...]. As the Church at Corinth from the Church at Ephesus. And we do not read of any of one Town member of a Church in another Town distinct from it.

The Reverend Assembly gave 3. reasons for the proof of this Assertion.

1. Because they who dwell together, being bound to all kind of Moral duties one to another,Deut. 15.7.11. Matth.2 [...] 39. Matth. 5.17. have the better opor­tunity thereby to discharge them, which Moral tie is perpe­tual, for Christ came not to destroy the Law, but to sulful it.

2. The Communion of Saints must be so ordered, as may stand with the most convenient use of the Ordinances▪ Exod. 2.4. and discharge of Morall duties without respect of persons, 1 Cor. 14.26. Let all things be done unto edifying. Heb. 10.24, 25. Iam 2.1.2.

3. The Pastor and people must so nearly cohabit toge­ther, as that they may mutually perform their duties each to other with most conveniency.

2. We say, That all that live within the same Parish being Baptized persons, and making profession of Christi­anity may claime admission into the society of Christians within those bounds, & enjoy the priviledges and Ordinan­ces there dispensed, if by their Scandalous lives they make not themselves unworthy. For we believe that all Baptized Persons are members of the Church general visible, and have right unto all the Ordinances of Christ as the cir­cumcised Iew had,1 Cor. 12.13. Rom. 3.1.2. and wheresoever they come to fix their dwellings may require an orderly admission unto the Or­dinances there dispensed, unlesse by their sins they have disinherited themselves.

3. We say, That it is agreeable to the will of Christ and much tending to the edification of his Church, That all those that live within the same bounds, should be under the care of the same Minister or Ministers, to be taught by them and Governed by them, and to have the other Or­dinance [...] dispensed unto them sutable to their condition, as [Page 11] they shall manifest their worthinesse to part [...]ke of them. And [...]hat to remove altogeher those Parochial bounds would open a gap to Thousands of people to live like sheep without a shepheard, and insteed of joyning with purer Chur [...]he [...], to joyn with no Churche [...] ▪ and in a little time (as we conceive As our expe­rience abun­dantly shewes.) it would bring in all manner of pro­phanenesse and Athiesme.

Suppose a godly man living under a wicked Minister or [...]n Hereticall Minister,Object. or a Minister that admits all men promiscuously to the Sacrament without any examination; would you have this man bound to hear him and to receive the Sacrament from him?

If the Government of the Church were once setled, and countenanced by the Civil Magistrate,Answ▪ care would be taken that there should be no place for such kind of objections.

2. Such a person in such a case ought rather to remove his Habitation (if it may be done without any great pre­judice to his outward estate) then that for his sake that good and old way of bounding of Parishes rightly under­stood should be laid aside.

Suppose he cannot remove without very great prejudice to his outward estate.Object.

In suc [...] a case,Answ. It is much better as we conceive (till the Church Government be further setled, and hath further countenance from Civil Authority) to relieve such a one by admitting him into another Congregation for a while, than wholly to break and dissolve that Laudable and Church edifying way of distinguishing Congregations by local bounds.

But would you then have every man bound to keep con­stantly to the Minister under whom he lives?Quest.

We are not so rigid as to tie people from hearing other Ministers occasionlly even upon the Lords day,Answ. But y [...]t we beli [...]ve that it is most a greeable to Gospel order upon the grounds for [...]mentioned▪ that he that fixet [...] his h [...]bit [...]tion wher [...] there is [...] godly able Orthodox Minister, should ordi­narily waite upon his Ministry, & joyn to that Congregation [Page 12] where he dwells rather then to another. In Scripture To appoint Elders in every Church and in every City is all one. They that were converted in a City (who were at first but few in number) joyned in Church-fellowship with the Elders and Congregation of that City, and not with any other.

Object.But the Church of England is a National Church, and therefore cannot be a true Church, because, the Church of the Iewes was the only National Church, and there are no National Churches now under the New Testament.

Answ.This objection lies as a great stumbling block to hinder many Christians from joyning with our Churches, and therefore we shall take some pains to remove it. For the better answering of this objection, we shall premise this distinction of a national Church.

A Church may be called National in a two fold respect, Either because it hath one national Officer, worship, and place of worship. Thus it was among the Iewes, they had one high Priest over all the Nation; they had one place to which all the Males were bound thrice in a year to assem­ble, and one special part of worship, to wit, Sacrifice which was confined to that publick place, unlesse in case of extraordinary Dispensation. Such a National Church we are far from asserting or endeavouring to establish.

Or a Church may be called National, when all the parti­cular Congregations of one Nation, living under one civil Government, agreeing in doctrine and worship, are gover­ned by their lesser and greater Assemblies▪ and in this sense we assert a national Church.

Object.But there is no example of any national Church in the New Testament.

Answ. 1.The reason is, because we have no example there of any Nation converted to the faith.

2. There are Prophesies, and promises of National Churches, Psal. 72, 10, 11, 17. Isai. 2.2. Isai. 19.18, In that day shall five Citi [...]s sp [...]ak th [...] Languag [...] of Ca [...]aan, [...]nd swear to the Lord of Host [...] & [...]. and v. 19.—then shall be an Altar [Page 13] [...] the midst of the Land of Egypt and a pilla [...] at th [...] border t [...]re­of to the Lord. And so on to vers. 24 25. In that day shall Isr [...]l be the third with Egypt, and with Assy [...]ia, [...]ven a blessing i [...] the midst of the Land; Whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless [...] say­ing, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of mine hands, and Isra [...]l mine inheritance. From this full place we gather, 1. That in the times of the New Testament there shall be National Churches. 2. That these Churches shall combine in one way of worship by Oath and Covenant. 3. That the Lord own's those Churches thus combined, as hi [...] own▪ and promiseth to blesse them.

3. Even the Iewes themselves, when their Nation shall be turned to the Lord, and return to their own Land, shall become a National Church; (not as having one High Priest, one place of worship, and one special publick wor­ship in that one place (for these things were Typical, and Ceremonial, and so were to vanish but as) agreeing toge­ther in the same way of doctrine, worship, and covenant as other Christian Nations do [...]. This is evident from Ezek. 37.21. to the end of the Chapter.

But we do not find in the New Testament, that the parti­cular Churches of any Nation are called a Church in the singular number▪ But Church [...]Object And therefore we look upon it as an unscriptural Expression to call the Congrega­tions of this Nation The Church of England.

We find that several Congregations in the same City are called a Church,Answ. 1. as in Ierusalem, Act. 8.1. That there were many Congregations in Ierusalem is evidently proved, both in the Reasons of the Assemblie of Divines against the dissenting Brethren (where they prove it both from the variety of Languages, and from the multitude of pro­fessours, and Ministers) as also in our Vindication of the Presbyterial Government: And so Act. 12, 1, 5. And Act. 15.4, 22.

Thus it was with the Ephesians; called [...] Church Act. 20.17. and Revel. 2.1. and yet had many Congregations, as appears from the Booke [...] fore-quoted. (And if five Con­gregations [Page 14] may be called one Church, why not five hun­dred?)

2. We might instance, that the Churches in divers Ci­ties are called A Church: compare Gal. 1.13.22, 23. with Act. 26.11. where the Churches of divers Cities are cal­led expresly [...].

3. Yet further it appears that all the visible Churches in the World are called A Church, 1 Cor. 12.28. Ephes. 3.21. 1 Cor. 10.32. And if all the Churches in the World are called one Church, let no man be offended if all the Con­gregations in England be called the Church of Eng­land.

But how doth it appear that it is the will of Christ that the Churches of one Nation should be governed by lesser and greater Assemblies,Object. 3. and so become a Nationall Church.

Answ.For this we desire the Reader seriously and impartially to peruse the Vindication of the Presbyterial Government, wherein this very thing is largely proved both by the light of Nature, and by the Scripture: See Vindicat. p. 20. & 26.

And thus we have endevoured by two Arguments to con­vince those that oppose our Ministry from their own prin­ciples, and to give them to understand that according to their own Tenents they are bound in conscience to acknow­ledge many of our Ministers, at least, to be true Ministers, although it should be granted them, that our Ordination is unwarrantable and Antichristian. For most of these men are amongst the number of them that vilify▪ and dis­regard Ordination. The best of them make it but a meer circumstance or adjunct to the call of the Ministry. And who knowes not but circumstances may be wanting or cor­rupted, and yet the substance remain intire? If we be true Churches, then (according to their own positions) we are true Ministers. If rightly Elected, then we have that which (they say) is essential to the Ministerial call. Suppose Ordination by Bishops should be an humane ad­dition [Page 15] not agreeable to the Rule, yet notwithstanding hum [...]n [...] additio [...] do not nullify divine institution▪.

‘Mr. Burroughs in his Heart-divisions hath this saying,Pag. 123. I confesse for my part I never yet doubted of the lawful­nesse of the call of many of the Ministers of the Pari­shional Congregations in England; though they had something superadded which was sinfull yet it did not nullify that call they had by the Church, that communi­on of Saints, amongst whom they exercised their Mini­stery.’

If a man be Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, though there should be many Ceremoni­al additions of S [...]le, Spi [...]l [...], [...], the sign of the Crosse, &c. Yet these additions would not nullify the Ordi­nance of Baptism [...]. Now more can the superaddition of Ordination unto our election (though it be supposed by them to be sinful) nullify our Ministry, which in their judgements is, for the [...] of it, confer [...]ed by Election.

CHAP. II. Wherein the same Proposition is proved by Arguments taken from our own Principles.

BUt omitting this way of Argumen­tation, we shall now (God assi­sting) undertake to prove accor­ding to our own Principles (who hold That Ordination is that which gives the Ess [...]rice to the Ministerial call.) That the call to the Office of the Ministry which some of our Ministers did receive during the prevalency of Episcopacy, was lawful and valid, for the sub­stance of it, though mingled with many circumstantial de­fects.

This appears by these ensuing Arguments.Arguments.

[Page 16]They that (for the substance of their call) were called to the Ministry according to the mind of Christ, are lawful Ministers of Christ.

But the Ministers that were Ordained during the preva­lency of Episcopacy were (for the substance of their call) called according to the mind of Christ, Ergo.

(Here we desire the Reader to take notice, that in this Ar­gument, we shall not at all speak of the peoples election of their Minister. Not because we are enemies to popular Election rightly managed and ordered, or because we think that the Ministerial call doth not consist in Election as well as Ordination (for we have formerly declared the con­trary.) But because the great stumbling stone and Rock of offence against the present Ministry is in reference to to their Ordination, therefore it is that we insist upon that onely.)

The Minor is proved by surveying the Book of Ordina­tion established by Act of Parliament according to which Ministers were to be Ordained, during the prevalency of Episcopacy.

Out of which we thus Argue.

They who were sufficiently gifted and qualified for the Ministry, and were inwardly called by God, and outwardly called by prayer▪ and fasting, with the imposition of the hands of Preaching Presbyters, were called to the Office of the Ministry (for the substance of it) according to the mind of Christ.

But such were they who were Ordained during the prevalency of Episcopacy, Ergo.

That they were such that is▪ ought to have been such according the Rule established, and that many were such de facto, and if any were not such, it was vi [...]ium personae ordi­nantis, not vitium regulae, the fault of the person ordaining, not of the Rule for Ordination, appears by viewing the Book it self in which we shall find.

1. That the party to be Ordained is to be one that is apt [Page 17] to teach, willing to take pains in the Ministry, found in the faith, of honest life and conversation. And sure we are, many were such, and if any were not, it was a personal, not a Church error.

2. The party to be Ordained is to be examined touch­ing his perswasion of an inward calling by the Spirit, whe­ther he be inwardly moved by God to the work of the Mi­nistry, and touching his faith of the sufficiency of the Scrip­tures, his purpose to execute his Ministry according to the word of God, to oppose all erroneous and strange doctrines, to fashion his conversation according to what may become a Minister of the Gospel, &c.

3. The party thus qualified, after a Sermon Preached and prayer made to God for a blessing is to be Ordained, and set apart to the work of the Ministry by the laying on of the hands of the Bishop, together with other Prea­ching Presbyters.

This is the substance of the Book as touching the Ordi­nation of Ministers, from which it appears That Ministers made during the prevalency of Episcopacy, were (for the substance of their call) called according to the mind of Christ, and therefore lawful Ministers.

But it will be objected,

That the Ministers we plead for were made by Bi­shops distinct from Presbyters▪ Object. who had no power nor au­thority to Ordain them; and not onely so, but by Bishops who held themselves to be a superiour Order of Ministry by divine right above Presbyters, who were not onely Bishops but Lord Bishops, who were wicked and Antichristian, and whom we have renounced and sworn to endeavour to extirpate in our late solemn League and Covenant.

What our opinio n is concerning the divine right of Epis­copacy,Answ. and what difference there is between a Presbyter Bishop, and a Bishop over Presbyters, between a Scripture Bishop and the Bishop that obtained in the Primitiv [...] times and the Bishop of our times, we shall have occasion to de­clare hereafter. For the present, before we return an an­swer [Page 18] to this great objection consisting of many particulars, we must crave leave to premise these few conclusions, many of which we shall in the next proposition prove at large.

That according to the mind of God a Bishop and a Pres­byter are all one:Conclusion 1. The Scripture owns no Bishop over Pres­byters, but onely a Presbyter-Bishop.

Conclu. 2.That the Lawes of the Realme acknowledge nothing by divine right in a Bishop but his being a Presbyter.Sir Ed. Cook de jure Regis Eccles. fol. 8. Sir Edward Cook makes it one part of the Kings jurisdiction to grant to Bishops that Ecclesiastical power they now exer­cise over us (speaking of his times) and also to take it from them at pleasure,Printed 1543. and called The institu­tion of a Christian man. &c. In Henry the 8th•. dayes there was a Book Printed for all his subjects to receive, seen and allowed by both Houses of Parliament, wherein is said Of these two Orders onely, that is to say, Priests and Deacons, the Scripture maketh expresse mention, and how they were conferred by the Apostles by prayer, and imposition of hands. By which it is evident, That the Lawes of the Realme do not acknowledge the divine right of Pre­lacy.

That most of our Bishops in King Edwards and Queen Elizabeths dayes did freely confess,Co [...]c [...]. 3. That Episcopacy as it differed from Presbytery was onely of humane right and not from divine institution. This Bishop Iewel confesseth in his answer to Harding, and brings divers of the Ancient Fathers of the same judgement, whose sayings we shall here­after mention. The same is affirmed by Archbishop Whitgift against Carewright, and by Bishop Downam in the Preface to his defence of his Sermon Preached at the con­secration of the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

That the best learned▪ even amongst the Papists them­selves▪ Conclu. 4. do confesse, That a Bishop is not a superiour order of Ministry above a Presbyter, but onely a superiour digni­ty▪ That Sacerdotium, that is, as they call it, The Priest­hood, is the highest order in the Church. That a Bishop is onely [...] Presbyter; The first Presbyter, or, as Bel­larmine [Page 19] calls him▪ major [...], Episcopacy is not another Order distinct from the Priesthood saith Cae­pr [...]lus.

No Prelate hath more concerning Sacramental power, or of Order, then simple Priests. So Armachanus, Armach. lib. 11. c 2. Bell. de Cle­ric. lib. 1. cap. 11. As con­cerning Sacerdotal order, and things that pertain to Order, they are equal. Thus Bellarmine himself. Although a Bishop and Presbyter are distinguished, yet as concerning Sacri­fice they exercise the same Ministry, and therefore they make one Order, and not two. Cusanus goeth further;Cusa, concor. lib. 2. cap. 13. All Bishops, and haply also Presbyters, are of equal power in respect of jurisdiction, although not of execution; which executive power is shut up and restrained by certain positive Lawes, The Master of the Sentences saith, That the Canons acknowledge onely two sorts of holy orders; Diaconatum, sc. & Presbyteratum, quia hos solos primitiva Ecclesia legitur habuisse, & de his solis praeceptum Apostoli [...]a­bamus. That is, The Deacon and the Presbyter.Lombard lib. 4. dist. 24. Because the Primitive Church had no other,Estius in libr. quart & dist. 24. and the Apostolique pre­cept speaks of no other. Estins tells us, That Aquinas, Waldensis, Bonaventure, and most of the other Schoolmen are of this opinion: And Doctor Field in his 5th. Book of the Church hath this remarkeable passage Touching the preeminence of Bishops above Presbyters, there is some dif­ference among the School Divines: For the best Learned amongst them are of opinion that Bishops are not greater then Presbyters in the power of consecration or order, but only in the exercise of it and in the power of jurisdiction▪ seeing Presbyters may Preach and Minister the greatest of all Sacraments by vertue of their Consecration and order▪ as well as Bishops. Touching the power of consecration or order, saith Durandus, Duran. in 4▪ Sentent. dist. 24. qu. 5. it is much doubted of amongst Di­vines, whether any be greater then an ordinary Presbyter: For Hierome seemeth to have been of opinion, that the highest power of consecration or order i [...] the power of a Priest or Elder, so that every Priest in respect of his Priest­ly power, may Minister all Sacraments, confirm the Bapti­zed, [Page 20] give all orders, all blessings, and consecrations, but that for the avoiding of the peril of Schisme, it was Or­dained that one should be chosen, who should be named a Bishop, whom the rest should obey, and to whom it was reserved to give orders, and to do some other things which none but Bishops do. And afterwards he saith, That Hierome is clearly of this opinion, and much more to this purpose. Now hence it followeth necessarily.

Conclu.That the power of Ordination of Ministers exercised for these many hundred years by Bishops, did belong to them as Presbyters and not as Bishops, and that the act and ex­ercise of it was restrained to them potius ad honorem Sacerdo­tii & in remedium schismatis quam ad Legis [...]cessitatem: ra­ther for the honour of the Priesthood, and (as was then their opinion) for the remedy of Schisme, then for any necessity of Law. For the Scripture warrants no such pra­ctise, as we shall shew hereafter.

Now this floweth from the former conclusion. For if Episcopacy be the same Order of Ministers with Presbytery, and the Ecclesiastical power equal in both, and a Bishop be nothing else in the opinion of Antiquity, but a chief Presbyter, or the President of the Presbytery, and of the same rank with them, then all the acts he doth, he must do by vertue of his Presbyterial consecration. This is de­monstrable (even our adversaries being Judges) from this Argument.

Because a Bishop made per saltum, that never had the Ordination of a Presbyter, can neither consecrate and ad­minister the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, nor Ordain a Presbyter, himself being none, nor do any act peculiarly appertaining to Presbyters. Ordination therefore (saith Mr. Ball) is reserved to the Bishop, not in respect of superiority in degree of Ministry above his brethren,Answer to Mr. Can. pag. 96. for if he be no Presbyter he cannot make Presbyters, but for or­der sake, and to prevent Schisme and division, being for substance of the same Order and consecration with them. [Page 21] Dr. Field manageth the same argument these or words.Of the Church lib. 3. cap. 39.

‘A Presbyter (saith he) ordained per saltum that ne­ver was consecrated or ordained a Deacon, may not­withstanding do all those Act [...] that pertaine to the Deacons Order (because the higher Order doth al­wayes imply in it the lower and inferiour in an eminent and excellent sort.) But [...] Bishop Ordained per saltum, that never had the Ordination of a Presbyter, can neither Consecrate and Administer the Sacrament of the Lords body, nor Ordaine a Presbyter, himself being non [...], nor do any act pe­culiarly, pertaining to Presbyters. Whereby it is most Evident (saith Dr. Field) That that wherein a Bishop excelleth a Presbyter, is not a distinct Power of Order,, but an Eminency and Dignitie onely, specially yeelded to one above all the rest of the same Rank, for Order sake, and to preserve the unity and peace of the Church.’

What peace and Order was preserved hereby in the Church, we shall shew afterwards: For the present it is most clear, even from the testimony of Episcopal men themselves, That a Bishop is of the same Order and Rank with a Presbyter, and that his acts of Ordination were exercised by him as a Presbyter, not as a Bi­shop.

These things premised, we now come to Answer to the Objection, and to every branch of it.Object. 1.

The Ministers we plead for were made by Bishops distinct from Presbyters who had no power nor authority to Ordain them.Answ. 1.

The Bishop though distinct from his Presbyters, yet he did not Ordain them alone, but together with the laying on of the hands of other Presbyters he being as the first and chief Presbyter, or is Pr [...]ses Presby [...]rii, The President of the Presbytery.

[Page 22]The Bishop that ordained them was also himself a Pres­byter,Answ. 2. and had power as a Presbyter to Ordain, and there­fore by vertue of his Presbyterial capacity his Ordination must needs be valid and lawful. Even as when a Bishop conse [...]rateth the Bread and Wine at the Lords Supper, he doth it not as a Bishop (though he be one) but as a Pres­byter; so also when the Ordaineth a Minister (which is an act of a far [...] inferiour nature) he doth it by vertue of a power belonging to him as a Presbyter, not as a Bishop distinct from a Presbyter, much lesse as a Lord-Bishop.

This is that which is said in the Ordinance of Parliament for Ordination. Whereas the word Presbyter, that is to say Elder, and the word Bishop, do in the holy Scripture in­tend and signifie one and the same function, although the Title of Bishop hath been by corrupt custome appropria­ted to one, and that unto him a [...]cribed, and by him assum­ed as in other things▪ so in that matter of Ordination that was not meet; which Ordination notwithstanding being performed by him, a Presbyter joyned with other Pres­byters, we hold for substance to be valid, and not to be dis­claimed by any that have received it. And that Presbyters so Ordained, being lawfully thereunto appointed and au­thorized, may ordain other Presbyters. In the office and calling of Bishops two things ar [...] to be considered saith Mr. Ball.

1. The substance of their office and Ministry whereunto they are separated,Answer to Can. pag. 93. to wit, to Preach the Gospel, dispense the Sacraments, and Administer the Discipline of Jesus Christ. And this is of God.

2. The superiority they take or challenge over their Brethren whether in Ordination or Jurisdiction, and this is of man. But they make not a difference or nullity in the substance of their Ministry. All Ministers of the Gospel are stewards of Jesus Chris [...], se [...] apart to do his work wherein if any one shall challenge more th [...] of right ap­pertaineth to him, or do ought out of pride, partiality, sini­ster affection, tyranny, or sedition: or receive such au­thority [Page 23] to himself alone, as belongeth not to his place and office, or is common to many; in that he is blame worthy: but thereupon his Ministry or Ministerial acts done by him are not made void, or of none effect.

But the Bishop that Ordained these Ministers you plead for,Object. Ordained them as a Bishop by vertue of his Episcopal consecration, and not as a Presbyter, by vertue of his Pres­byterial Order.

This is not true of all Bishops▪ Answ. 1. For as Mr. Firmin tells us, he heard a Reverend Minister of a Congregational Church in Essex, say That when the Bishop Ordained him, he told him: I do Ordain you as I am a Presbyter.

2. Suppose he did, this wa [...] his personal errour, but did not [...]word; his power of Ordination as a Presbyter. Suppose a man made a Constable by lawful authority, should after­wards unwarrantably assume the power of a Justice of the Peace, and should do things which belong to his place as a Constable under the Title of a Justice of Peace, should not this act of his be valid though he pretends to do it upon a wrong title.

‘Mr. Burroughs in his Heart-divisions hath this observable passage.Pag. 184. If a man doth a thing that he may do by vertue of 2 relations, or either of them, it may be he thinks he stands in one of these relations which indeed he doth not, yet he doth the action by vertue of it in his own thoughts, in this he sins; but there is another relation wherein he stands, that is enough to warrant the action that he doth to be lawful. Now though he doth not intend the act­ing by this relation, the action may be sin to him, but not at all sin to those that joyn with him in it. If he will go upon a false ground, when he may go upon a true, let him look to it. I will joyn with him in that action as war­ranted for him to do by vertue of his second relation, which it may be he will not own himself. He gives this instance. Giving alms is a work that a man may do ei­ther by vertue of Church-office, as a Deacon, or as a Christian, whom God hath blessed in his estate, or betrusted [Page 24] with the distribution of what others betrust him with, Now suppose a man is in the place of a Deacon, he thinks, himself to be in that office by a right call into it, and he gives out the alms of his Church by vertue of his call; but I am perswaded his call to that office is not right, he is not a true Deacon; yet if I be in want, I knowing that bothhe and those who have given him monies to dispose, may and ought to distribute to those that are in need, by vertue of another relation, as men, as Christians, ena­bled by God, surely then I may receive alms from him law­fully, though his principle by which he gives them me is sin to him. I may communicate with him in this thing, though he acts by vertue of that offece that he had no true call unto &c.’ Much more may the like be said of receiving Ordination from a Bishop, who hath power to confer it as a Presbyter, though he gave it by vertue of his Episcopal consecration.

Object. 3.But the Ministers whose Ordinations you defend were made by Bishops, who held themselves to be a superior order of Ministry above Presbyters by divine Institution. Whether they did so or no, we know not, but sure we are, that the Bishops of King Edwa [...]d and Queen Elizabeths dayes were not of this opinion,Answ. as we have shewed. That the lawes of the Realm do not countenance it, that the learned­est of the Papists are against it, and if any of the Bishops of late years were of this opinion, it was their personall error, and not at all essentiall to the Episcopall Of­fice.

Object. 4.The Ministers we speak against were made not onely by Bishops, but Lord Bishops.

Ans.But not as Lord-Bishops. The Lordly dignities of Bishops were meere civil additaments annexed to their Bishopricks by Kingly favour, not essential ingredients into their Office. And therefore when they were taken from them they con­tinued not onely Presbyters,Objct. 5. but Bishops.

The Bishops from whom these Ministers received their Ordination were wicked and ungodly, and therefore their Ordination must needs be wicked and ungoldly.

[Page 25]This is not true of all of them. Some of them were godly, and some of them have shed their bloods for the Gospel sake. And he that shall call such Bishops wicked and ungod­ly, is notoriously guilty of the breach of the 9. commande­ment. 2. Supposing, though not granting,Ans. 2. that all of them were wicked and ungodly, yet notwithstanding though we are far from justifying their ungodlinesse, We answer.

That some evil men may and alwaies have de facto been officers and Ministers in the Church. In the Church of the Jewes Hophni and Phinehas, in the dayes of Christ▪ Scribes and Pharises.

2. That the wickednesse of such men did not null or eva­cuate their ministerial acts. The Scribes & Pharisees that sat in Moses his chair were to be heard, though they said and did not. Christs commission did as well authorize Iudas as any other to Preach and baptize, &c.

And surely if the Principall acts belongingto the Ministe­rial function, as Preaching, Baptizing, adminstring the Sa­crament of the Lords Supper, be not nulled or made void by the personal wickedness of Ministers, then, consequently not their ordination. So that if Iudas had been an Apostle when Christ sent his Apostles to ordain Elders▪ his Ordination should have been as valid as his Preaching, and Bapti­zing formerly had been. The Leprosie of the hand doth not hinder the growing of the corn which that hand soweth.

But these Bishops were Antichristian,Object. 6. and their office An­tichristian, and therefore the Ministers ordained by them must needs be Antichristian Ministers and not the Ministers of Christ.

For satisfaction to this objection, we shall first propose what the ancient learned & godly Non-confor­mists have left in print about it,Ans. and then we will lay down our own answer. The old Non-conformists by joynt consent have written, That they did not see how our Bishops could be called Antichrists, or Antichristian. ‘1. Because the word m [...]rks out Antichrist by his false Doctrine: nor do we find in holy Scripture any such accounted Antichrist or Antichristian, which holding the truth of Doctrine, [Page 26] swerveth, either in judgement or practise, from Christs rule for Discipline. Now it is evident that our Bishops do hold and teach all fundamental doctrines and truths, and some of them have soundly maintained them against Hereticks, converted many to the truth and have suffered persecution for the Gospel.’

‘2. Their Hierarchy and other corruptions, charged upon the calling of our Bishops, were rather to be esteemed the staires and way to Antichristianity, then Antichristianity [...]t self; for they were in the Church, before the Pop [...], who is the Antichrist, and the chiefe Head link of all Antichristianity, was revealed.’

‘3. The Antichristian Bishops hold their preeminence as from Gods law, which is unchangeable; whereas our Bishops since his Majesties reign to this day (for the most part) hold superiority by no other right then the positive law, which is variable; yea it appeares by the institution of the Court of Delegates, and the continuance thereof to this day, that they do and ought by law to hold their Jurisdiction, not as from God, but is from the Prince.’ Thus they.

And as to the Ministers Ordeyned by Bishops, they say.

‘Bishops are able to judge of such gifts as are required for the sufficiencie of Ministers, that many of them have been such Ministers themselves, as to whose labours th [...] Lord hath set to his Seal. We are perswaded, that though it were not necessary, yet it cannot be unlawful for him that entreth into the ministery to be approved, and authorized even by them. Andif our Ordination be in this behalf faultie, how will our Brethren justifie the calling of their own Ministers that have received Ordination ever from the people, who neither by commandement nor example can be found to have any such authority, nor are in any degree so capable of it as the Bi­shops.’

Thus much is said by the old Non-conformist.

For our own particulars we shall return an answer to this objection by distinguishing of the word Bishop and the word Antichristian.

[Page 27]There are three sorts of Bishop, the Scripture-Bishop, th [...] Bishop of the first Primitive times, and the Bishop of latter times Now we are far from thinking that the scripture Bi­shop (that is to say the Presbyter) or the Bishop of the first Primitive times (who was nothing else but a chief Bresbyter or the Moderator of the Presbytery and had a Priority, not of power but of order onely, like a Speaker in the Parliament) were Antichristian. The question onely is about the Bishop of latter times.

The word Antichristian may be taken prope [...]ly or improper­ly. An Antichristian Minister prope [...]ly is one that own's the Pope as a visible Monarchical head over the Church, and that stands a Minister with subjection and subordination to the Church of Rome, and that professedly maintains the Popish re­ligion. An Antichristian Minister improperly is one that in his calling and office hath divers things that are Antichristi­an.

In the first sense we believe none will say our Bishops were Antichristians.

But yet we cannot deny, but that those Bishops who did take upon them by divine right the care of whole Diocesses, and did assume the whole power of jurisdiction over the people and Ministers therein▪ and did challenge a Majority and tantum non a sole power in Ordination▪ did symbolize herein too much with Antichrist, and had in this sence much of Antichristia­nisme in them; yet notwithstanding this is not sufficient to denominate them Antichristian, no more then the having of some hypocrisy and covetousnesse, doth denominate a godly man, an hypocrite, or a covetous person. The denomination is alwaies á meliore, From the better part. Our Bishops for the most part were very Orthodox in doctrine and pure in the substantialls of worship, and have written many learned treatises against Popery and Antichristianisme. Indeed in matters of Discipline and ceremonies they were exceeding faulty, and some of [...]hem of late yeares began to Apo [...]atize both in doctrine and wor­ship, for which God hath grieviously punished them; yet all this is not sufficient to make them Antichristian properly so called, [Page 28] much lesse to null all their acts of Ordination no more then their acts of preaching, baptizing, and administring theLords supper specially if we consider that they had power enabling them to perform all these acts as they were Presbyters, though they never had been Bishops.

B [...]t let us suppose (though not grant) the Bishops were Antichristian, and their office Antichristian yet we an­swer.

That it will not follow that the Ministers made by them are Antichristian unlesse it can also be made out (which never can be done) that they were Antichristian in the very act of Ordination.Ans.

For as a maimed man may beget a perfect child, because he begets him not as maimed but as a man. So an Antichristian Bishop may ordain a true Minister, because he ordaines him; not a [...] Antichristian, but as a Presbyter, that by divine warrant hath authority so to do. As Austin against the Donatists proves the validity of Baptisme by Hereticks, if they Baptized with wa­ter in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, though in other points they were Heretical. So certainly a Minister or­dained to Preach the Word and administer the Sacraments ac­cording to the mind of Christ is a lawful Minister, though or­dained by a Bishop in other points Antichristian, considering that in that one act he is not Antichristian, but doth that which he hath warrant from the Scripture to do though he were not a Bishop. The word Sacraments, and Ministery are the insti­tutions of Jesus Christ. And these are not made null and void though the power to dispence them in foro externo be conveighed to us by corrupt Instruments, no more then the Scriptures were polluted because offered by Hophni and Phinehas, or the Chair of Moses defiled, because the Scribes and Pharisees sat in it. We must carefully distinguish (as a learned Minister well saith) the acts of office (which have their form and being from a root or fountain without us) from the qualities of the man that performes the office. The man may be naught, yet his office good; and acts done by vertue of his Office, Just and allow­able, although the man and his religion be naught. As for [Page 29] instance. A Popish Landlord makes you a l [...]ase of a Farme, your lease is not antichristian, but good in Law, though he that demised it, be for his Religion, a Papist. A Popish Judge doth passe a sentence in Court, which stands good in Judica­ture, his sentence is not Popish▪ though he that pronounced it be a Papist; the reason is, because the legall sentence is not of him, nor from him, as a Papist, but as a Judge, who doth but deliver that which he hath received from an higher root, the Law. So in this case, Ordination is an act of Office received from Christ and is not Antichristian, though executed by one that is in other things Antichristian. We do not rebaptize them that were baptized by a popish Priest, because the power ofGods Or­dinance depends not on theperson that does execute the same, but upon an higher foundation, the institution of Christ. Ministe­rial acts are not vitiated or made null, though they p [...]sse through the hands of bad men; But stand good to all intents and purposes to such as receive them aright, by vertue of their Office authoritatively derived from the first institution. A Bi­shop in his Presbyterial capacity hath divine right to ordain, and therefore his Ordination is valid, though it be granted that he is Antichristian in his Episcopal capacity.

If a Minister made by a Bishop be a lawfull Minister,Object. 7. why then did you in your late covenant abjure Episcopacy with all its dependencies?Ans.

We did not swear in our covenant to endeavour the extirpa­tion of Scripture Episcopacy which is Presbytery; but of Prela­cy, that is, of those Lordly titles which Bishops were invested withal, and of their unjust usurpation of a sole power of juris­diction and of a Majority of power in Ordination together with their Chancellours and Commissaries and the rest of the Hierarchy▪ But we never did and never shall (by God [...] Grace) renounce them as Presbyters, which by consent of all sides are by divine right, nor Ordination by them upon that account, which we doubt not but is lawful and valid, and will appear so to be at the great Tribunal.

And thus we have answered this objection with all the branches of it.

[Page 30]There is one objection of great concerment yet behind. But before we mention it we shall propose three other Ar­guments for the Justification of the Ministry, made during the prevalency of Episcopa [...]y.

Argument 2.From the glorious successe God gave unto it during the raign of Prelacy. For since our Ordination, God hath sealed to the truth of our Ministry, and hath blessed it with the Conversion of many Thousand souls unto God. Now that Ministry that God doth ordinarily blesse with bring­ing forth sons and daughters unto God, that Ministry must needs be a Ministry sent of God; For God hath threatned (as we have often said) That a false Ministry shall not profit.Jer. 23.32. And the Apostle proves the lawfulnesse of his Ministry, by the successe it had upon the hearts of the Co­rinthians 1. Cor. 9.1, 2. There are many of those that cry down our Ministry as Antichristian, and separate from us as no Ministers, that cannot deny but that they had their conversion (if they are at all converted) from us. And if our Ministry be Antichristian, how is their conversion Christian?

From the ends and purposes for which we were Ordai­ned.Argu. 3. They that were Ordained by Bishops, together with other Ministers for no other end and purpose, but to Preach the Word, and Administer the Sacraments according to the will of Christ, are lawful Ministers of Christ.

But so were the Ministers Ordained during the preva­lency of Episcopacy.


He that shall say, That a Minister that Preacheth Christ and his truths, and administreth [...]he Sacraments according to the mind of Christ, is an Antichristian Minister, because of some defects in his entrance, doth more advance and ho­nour Antichrist, then he doth disparage or disgrace us. Mr. Ball (no friend to Episcopal Government) in his answer to Mr. Can, hath these words. In every true Church where the Word of God is intirely preached and received, and the Sacraments for substance rightly administred, there is a [Page 31] true Ministry' and a true calling to the Ministry, though in some things maimed and faulty.

From the destructive mischiefes,Argu. 4. and Church-ruining consequences that do naturally flow from this assertion. For he that shall undertake to make good this desperate proposition (as that learned and godly man so often cited, justly calls it) That a Minister made by a Bishop,Mr. Ball. is no Minister of Christ, but of Antichrist, must also be forced to confesse and acknowledge;

1. That Mr. Bradford, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Philpot, Dr. Tay­l [...]r, Mr. Saunders, and the rest of those blessed Saints and Ministers, who laid down their lives in defence of the Gospel against Antichrist. were Antichristian Ministers.

2. He nulli [...]ieth and and maketh void all the Ministerial acts performed by the Ministers of England ever since the Reformation. For if our Ministry be no true Ministry, then is our Baptisme no true Baptisme, the Sacrament of the Lords Supper no true Sacrament, our Church no true Church.

3. He must acknowledge that there was neither Church, Sacraments, nor Ministry in the whole Christian World for many hundred years past. For it is without dispute, that there was no other way of entring into the Ministry for many hundred years in the Church of Christ, but by the Ordination of Bishops.

4. He must be forced (if a Minister) to renounce his Ministry, and take it up again from the people, who (as the old Non conformists well say) have neither comman­dement nor example in all the New Testament, to authorize them to Ordain him. And by this means he overthroweth the whole Ministry a nd Church of Jesus Christ, and will be necessitated at last to renounce all Churches, and all Ministry and turn Seekers, as some do in our dayes, even up­on these very gro unds and Principles.

Now then if the denying of our Ministry during the raign of Episcopacy to be a lawful [...] Ministry be the parental cause of such horrid and desperate consequences, we doubt [Page 32] not but it will be abhorred and abominated by all sober and godly Christians. And that our people that read these lines will be rooted and established in this great Truth.

That the call to the Office of the Ministry which some of our Ministers did receive during the prevalency of Epis­copacy was lawful and valid for the substance of it, though mingled with many circumstantial defects.

CHAP. III. Wherein the great Objection against our Ministry as being derived from Rome, is answered.

‘But the great objection (of which we even now spake) against this proposition, is,’

Object. IF we justifie the lawfulnesse of Episco­pal Ordination, then it will also follow that we must justifie the Ordination that is in the Church of Rome. For if Ordination by our Bishops be lawful, then these Bishops themselves must be be lawful Ministers, and then their Or­dination must also be lawful, and so by consequence it will follow, That those in the Church of Rome, from whom the Protestant Ministers in the begin­ning of the Reformation had their Ordination, were true Ministers of Christ. For if they were not, then were not our Ministers made by them the Ministers of Christ. And if they were, then may a Minister of Antichrist be a Minister of Christ, and Ordination received from the Pope of Rome be a Scripture Ordination.

Answ.Before we answer to this great Objection we shall pre­mise this one distinction

It is one thing to receive a Ministry from the Apo­state Church of Rome as the author of it, another thing to [Page 33] receive a Ministry from Jesus Christ through, the Apo­state Church of Rome.

Our Antiministerial adversaries, if they would argue aright, their objection must be thus framed.

The Ministry which hath the Pope of Rome, Object. or (which is all one) That hath Antichrist for the author of it, is Popish and Antichristian. But such is the Ministry of the Church of England.


We deny the Minor: For we say,Answ. That our ministry is derived to us from Jesus Christ. We are his Ministers and his Ambassadors. It is he that gave Pastors and Teachers to his Church as well as Apostles and Evangelists.. We say, That Ordination of Ministers by Ministers, is no Ro­mish institution but instituted by the Lord Jesus himself long before Antichrist was. That our Ministry is descend­ed to us from Christ through the Apostate Church of Rome, but not from the Apostate Church of Rome. And that this great objection (which some say is unanswerable) must of necessity be summed up into this argument.

Those Ministers which stand by an institution of Christ descending to them from the Apostles through the anti­christian Church of Rome, Object. are ministers of Antichrist and not of Christ.

But such are our Ministers, Ergo.

But here we deny the Major as utterly false; we say,Ans. That the Ministry which is an institution ofChrist, passing to us through Rome, is not made null and void, no more then the Scriptures, Sacraments, or any other Gospel-Ordinance which we now enjoy, and which do also descend to us from the Apostles, through the Romish Church.

Now that this great Truth so necessary to be known in these dayes, may be fully made out to our respective Con­gregations, we shall crave leave a litle to enlarge our selves in the proof of it, and shall for this end offer these ensuing considerations to be seriously weighed by all that fear God amongst us.

[Page 34]That the Lord Jesus hath given the Ministery to the Church to continue till we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, Eph.· unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ; which will never be till the day of judgement. And he hath promised to be with the Apostles teaching and baptizing alway even unto the end of the World; which must needs be understood of them and their successors.Matth. 28.20 Math. 16.18. He hath promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church (which Mr. Hooker Mr. Cotton and others, expound of the universall visible Church existing in its particulars) The Apostle Paul also saith,Hooker Part. 1. c. 11. That the Sacrament of the Lords supper is to be observed, and to continue till the comming of Christ. And that glory is to be given to God by Christ Jesus in the Church [ [...]] throughout all generations and ages. 1. Cor. 11.26. It is also prophesied concerning the Kingdom and Government of Jesus Christ, both invisible and visible, that it shall abide to the end of the world.Eph. 3.21. Luc. 1.33. Isaiah 9.6.7. By all these te [...]ts, it is evident, That there was, i [...], and shall be a true Church, and a true Ministery preser­ved by Jesus Christ, even unto the end of the World. How can glory be given to God in the Church throughout all ages, if there should be an age in which the Church should be utterly lost? How can the Sacrament be continued in the Church till Christ come, if there were so many hun­dred years in which there was no true Ministery? How can it be said That Christ is with his Ministers alway even un­to the end of the World, and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, and that there is no end of Christs Government, if during all the raign of Antichrist, there was no true Church-state in the world, no true Ordi­nance, as some say, no true Ministery? And therefore though we should not be able to tell how the Church and Ministry was preserved in the midst of that great and gene­ral Apostasie that hath been in the Christian World; yet notwithstanding we ought to believe that it is so, because Christ hath said it shall be so, and heaven and earth shall [Page 35] [...]asse away, but not one title of Gods word shall passe away. Mr. Bartlet, in his Model of the Congregational way, spends the most part of a Chapter to prove That the essentials of a Church-state together with the Officers, Ordinances and ad­ministrations thereunto appertaining, hath, and shall abide for ever in the World. This he proveth both by Prophe­sies, promises, and precepts of Scripture,Mr. Bartlet. ch. 4. Mr. Philips against Tho. Lambert. P. 144▪ 145. and also by divers reasons. The same task is also undertaken by Mr. Philips of Watertown in New-England; but for brevity we forebear transcribing them.

We read Revel. 12. of a great wonder in heaven, a wo­man cloathed with the Sun &c. This woman represents the Christian Church, she is persecuted by the heathen Em­perours and overthrows them by the blood of the Lambe, and by the word of her testimonie and by not loving her life unto the death. Afterward she is persecuted by Antichrist, and then she flies into the wildernesse where she hath a place prepared her of God, that they should feed her a thousand two hundred and threescore dayes Vers. 6. and she i [...] said to be nourished in the wildernesse for a time, times and half a time, from the face of the Serpent, verse 14. Note here. 1. That by the 1260 daies, and a time, times, and half a time, is meant the whole time of Antichrists raign. 2. That the Church during the whole raign of An­tichrist should be in a sad lamentable and Wildernesse con­dition. 3. That maugre all the fury of the ten-headed, or two-headed beast, yet notwithstanding the Church of Christ should be preserved and kept safe. For there were two wings of a great Eagle given unto her to enable her to fly into the Wildernesse where she is fed and nourished 42. Moneths. And all this is to be understood not onely of a Church entitative, or a Church without Officers, but of a Church instituted or Ministerial, a Church administring Ordinan­ces. For this woman is not onely kept alive in the Wilder­nesse all the time of Antichrists raign, but she is fed and nou­rished by Gospel-Administra [...]ions. [...]he is fed by the Two witnesses (for the prophesying of the witnesses is contem­porary [Page 36] with the womans flight into the Wildernesse) Even a [...] Elias was nourished in the Wildernesse and kept safe from the fury and rage of Iezebel. And as God reserved 7000. that had not bowed their knees to Baal &c. and by good Obadiah preserved an hundred Prophets of the Lord alive all the time of Ahabs bitter opposition against them▪ Even so was the Woman, that is, The Church of Christ, reserved and nourished by the Ordinances, Scriptures, and Ministry of Christ, (though in a Wildernesse-condition) all the time of Antichrist's prevalency.

The like to this we read of in the 11. of the Revelation, where we have two things very observable for our purpose. The one concerning the Temple measured, and the outward Court unmeasured. The other concerning the two Wit­nesses.

1. Concerning the Temple measured and the outward Court unmeasured.Rom. 11.1, 2. The outward Court was to be left out or cast out, to wit, as prophane, and that which God will make no account of; It was not to be measured, but to be given unto the Gentiles (that is the Antichristian party) to be trod under foot, forty and two Moneths; that is, all the time of Antichrists raign. The meaning is, (as Mr. M [...]de well observeth)▪ That the Antichristian Apostasie which he calls redivivus Ethnicismus) shall prevail over the Christian Chur [...]h,Heathenism revived. and shall bring in a new kind of Idolatry into the places where the true Religion was pro­fessed.

But now the Temple and the Altar, and they that wor­ship therein are to be measured with a divine reed. This measuring is an allusion to Ezek. 40.1. &c. where the Tem­ple, with all in it, was to be measured by Gods appoint­ment, to shew, that that building was of God. So must the true Church of Christ under Antichrist be measured, that is, kept pure from Antichrist's Idolatry, walking exactly according to the Rule of the Word, and also kept safe from Antichrist's rage and fury.

1. Note here, That though the outward Court was gi­ven [Page 37] to the Gentiles to be troden down, yet the Temple with the worshippers therein was not given.

2. That during the prevalency ofAntichrist, the Temple and Altar and worshippers therein, that is, a true Church, and a true Ministry, and true Gospel-Ordinances, are preserved and kept safe. While the outward Court is worshipping the Beast, the true Church is serving God according to his Word, as in the inner Court of the Temple.

Our English Annotations say; That by the measuring of the Temple and altar, and the worshippers therein, is signified. 1. The fewnesse [...]f the true Christians under Antichrist, in compa­rison of the Id [...]latrous, ones as the Priests and Levites, that worshipped in the inner Court, were few in comparison of the peo­ple that worshipped in the outward. 2. That Gods people, while Antichrist raged, should have a place in the Wildernesse where they might serve God according to his will, as the Jewes offered sa­crifices on the alt [...]r in the Temple, and which should be for safety, as a Sanctuary unto them, Isai. 8.14. Ezek▪ 11.16. Therefore Temple, and altar, and worshippers, and all are measured. So Jerusalem is measured after the captivity, that it may be inha­bited again. Zech. 2.1, 2, 3, 4. &c.

2. The Second thing observable is concerning the two Witnesses, who are said to Prophesie in sackcloth 1260. dayes, that is, all the time of the raign of Antichrist. By the Two Witnesses in general are meant Omnes Veritatis di­vinae interpretes & assertores (saith Mr. Mede). All the In­terpreters and assertors of divine truth, qui soedam illam & lachrymabilem Ecclesi ae Christi contaminationem assiduis quere­lis deflere [...]t &c. who should by their daily complaints be­waile the foul and lamentable pollution of Christ's Church. These Witnesses are said to be two for the few­nesse of them, and because two witnesses were sufficient to confirm any truth, and also in al [...]usion to Mos [...]s and A [...]ron in the Wildernesse, To Elijah and Elisha when the Israe­lites worshipped the Calves, and Baal; To Zerubbabel and I [...]hoshua in Babylon, and after the return of the Israelites from captivity.

[Page 38]For our parts, we conceive that by the Two witnesses in a more especial manner are meant the True Ministers of Jesus Christ who are called Witnesses of Christ, Act. 1.8. and whose proper Office it is to bear witnesse to truth and holinesse, against all the Heresies, Blasphemies, Idola­tries, and ungodlinesse of Antichrist. Now these two wit­nesses are said to Prophesie (though cloathed in Sackcloth) all antichrists reign, which is a clear and demonstrative ar­gument to us, That there hath been a true Ministry, pre­served by God from the beginning of the Christian Church even to this very day,Dr. Whites way to the Church dig [...]. 52. Bishop Vsher de successione Eccl. Simon Berkbeck Protestants Evidence. Catalogus Te­stium veritatis. notwithstanding the great and uni­versal Apostacy that hath been in it. And our learned Protestants in divers Books have given us a Catalogue of the faithful Ministers of God, and other godly men whom the Lord raised up in all ages of the Church to bear wit­nesse against the growing and spreading abominations of Antichristianisme in the Christian World.

3. The third thing we offer to consideration is. To beseech our people, accurately to distinguish between the Church of Rome and the Antichristianisme of the Church of Rome, as between a man and the Plague-sore that is up­on him; and between a Field that is full of tares, and yet hath some Wheat in it. It is certain that the Church of Rome was a true Church in the Apostles dayes when the faith of it was spread throughout the World, and it is as certain that afterwards by little and litle it apostatized, till at last Antichrist set up his throne in that Church. And yet still we must distinguish between the Church, and the Apostasie of it; between the Corn and the Tares that are in it. Thus the Apostle seems to do, 2 Thess. 2.4. where he puts a difference between the Temple of God, in which the man of sin shall sit as God, and between the man of sin sitting in this Temple. The man of sin is no part of this Temple of God, but as a Plague of Leprosie in­fecting, defiling, and polluting it. But yet the Temple of God (which is his visible Church, as appears from 1 Cor. 3.16, 17. Revel. 3.12, Revel. 11.1, 2. 2 Cor. 6.19.) [Page 39] doth remain where the man of sin sits, even as the Church of Pergamus did, where the seat of Satan was.Revel. 2.13. And though we renounce the Antichristianisme which pollutes the Temple of God, yet we do not renounce the Temple in self.

This is that which some of our Divines say: That we dif­fer no more from Rome then Rome differs from it self, and from what it was in the Apostles dayes, neither do we re­fuse any Doctrine that they hold, simply because they hold it, unlesse it can appear to us, that that doctrine is part of the Antichristianisme of that Church. The Religion of the Church of Rome, is like a peece of bread mingled with a great deal of poison. They hold many truthes, but then they poison them by their Heretial additions. They hold most that we hold, and their Apostasie consisteth rather in adding to the truth, then in detracting from it. They hold the Scriptures we hold, but they add Apocryphal to the Canonical Scriptures. They hold Christ the Head of the Church, but the Pope also. They hold Justification by Faith as we do, but they add Justification by works also; They hold praying to God, but add praying to Saints; They hold two Sacraments, but add five more &c. Thus their Religion is bread and poison mingled together, and whosoever living amongst them can separate the bread from the poison, shall find bread enough to nourish him unto eternal life.

And the reason why we separated from them, was be­cause they would not suffer us to eat the bread unlesse we would eate the poison also. Even as a man that is drink­ing a cup of Wine, and another comes and puts a Toade in it, and will not suffer him to drink the Wine unlesse he will drink the Toade also. This was our condition Un­lesse we would swallow down all their Antichristian addi­tions to Gods Word, they would not suffer us to live amongst them, and hereupon we separated, and may justly be said to be non fugitivi, sed fugati. Not withdraw­ing, but driven away. And which is very observable; [Page 40] When the Protestant Churches did separate, they did not erect a New Church but reformed a corrupt Church. And therefore ours is called The Protestant Reformed Religion. Not, A New Religion. We take away their hereticall su­perstructions, but still keep the Truths which they hold; We put away the poyson, but keep the bread; We take out the toad, but yet do not fling away the Wine; We re­move the rubbish of Antichristianisme, but yet we do not re­nounce any thing of God, or of the Scriptures that is yet re­maining sincere in that Church. All this we the rather observe, that thereby we might heed our people of that great cheat that is now put upon the Saints of God in this Nation, in crying down all the truths of Jesus Christ, as An­tichristian, and scaring people from the doctrine of Christ by perswading them to avoid Antichrist. There is hardly any Truth of Christ but it is charged by some or other in our unhappie dayes to be Antichristian. Thus.

1. The Doctrine of the souls Immortality was, excogitata ab Antichristo ad stabiliendam suam culinam per fictum Purga­torium, Theses Craco­via impressae. et invocationem Sanctorum, Invented by Antichrist to uphold his Kitchin &c. as is said by the Cracovian-So­cinians. And in the Book called Mans Mortality it is said, ‘That the most grand and blasphemous heresies that are in the World, the mystery of iniquity, and Kingdom of Anti­christ doth depend upon this doctrine of the Souls immor­tality.’

2. The Doctrine of the Trinity is said to be a doctrine that hath Antichrist for the author of it. Zanchius in respon­sione ad Arianos.

3. That Christ is God coaequal and coaeternal with the Father, this also is called antichristian doctrine. Sic cla­mat Antichristus. So cryeth▪ Antichrist, say the Arrians; Zanch. in responsione ad Arianos.

4. The doctrine of the Magistrates power in punishing Anti istian heresies and blasphemies (which the Scripture saith will be the way by which God will at last destroy [Page 41] Antichrist) is said to be Antichristian. Thus Blackwood in his storming of Antichrist.

5. The Doctrine of Infant-Baptisme is also called Anti­christian.

6. The Doctrine of humiliation, Repentance, Sanctifica­tion, and of good works, done out of obedience to Gods command, is antichristian, as say the Antinomians.

And who knoweth not, That the very places where we meet to worship God, and the worship which we perform in those places, and that our Government of the Church by lesser and greater Synod [...], is called Antichristian? And therefore it is no wonder if our Ministry be also so called. For we are now come to that height, That there are some that renounce all Churches as Antichristian, even those Church­es themselves that renounce us as Antichristian. And thus by the great subtlety of Satan under the notion of avoiding Antichristianisme there are many people tumbling down apace to direct Athiesme; and are brought to renounce Christ himself, lest therein they should comply with Anti­christ. And therefore we earnestly beseech and intreat our respective Congregations not to be affrighted at the bug­bear word Antichristian or Popish. But to examin, Whether the Charge be true, and to renounce whatsoever is truly Antichristian: But to take heed that they be not frighted from Christ and from his Ordinances, and Govern­ment, & Worship, & Ministery under the notion of renounc­ing Antichristianisme. So much for the third consideration; these three first considerations are more general. We shall now apply our selves more punctually to the answer of the great Objection, and desire it may be conside­red.

Consid. 4. In the fourth place. That it hath pleased God out of his infinite Wisdom and providence to continue the two great Ordinances of Baptisme and Ordination found for the substantials of them in the Church of Rome even in their greatest apostacy. We deny not but they have been ex­ceedingly bemudded and corrupted, Baptism [...] with very [Page 42] many superstitious ceremonies as of Oyl, Spettle, Crossings &c. Ordination with giving power to the party Ordained to make the body of Christ &c. But yet the Substantials have been preserved. Children were Baptized with wa­ter in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost. And the parties ordained had power given them to Preach the Word of God. Now the Protestant Religion doth not teach us to renounce Baptisme received in the Church of Rome, neither is a Papist, when converted Protestant, re­baptized. Nor doth it teach us simply and absolutely to re­nounce Ordination; but it deals with it, as the Jewes were to do with a captive maid when they had a mind to marrie her. They must shave her head and pare her nailes, and put the raiment of [...]er captivity from off her, [...]nd then take her to wife. So doth the Protestant Reformed Re­ligion.

Dout. 21 12.12. [...]3.It distinguisheth between the Ordinances of God and the corruptions cleaving unto the Ordinances. It washeth away all the defilements and pollution [...] contracted in the Church of Rome both from Baptisme and Ordinati­on, but it doth not renounce either the one or the other.

1. Because they are none, of Antichrist's posts or Anti­christ's inventions, but are the institutions of Jesus Christ, and were in the Church of Rome long before Antichrist sat there.

2. Because they have been preserved sound for the sub­stantials and essentials of them, And the truth is he that renounceth the one must needs renounce the other; which were well if some of our dissenting Brethren would seriously consider.

Now that this Position may not seem strange, we will a a little compare the Apostacy of the 10. Tribes with the Apostacy of the church of Rome. The 10. Tribes did not onely worship God after a false manner by setting up their golden Calves in Dan and Bethel, but afterwards in the raign of Ahab they directly worshipped false Gods, and set up Baal and Ashtaroth, and fell away wholy from the true [Page 43] God; and yet notwithstanding all this, when the Prophet came to [...]noint Jehu, he saith unto him.

Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee King over the people of the Lord, [...]ve [...]over Israel Here note,2. K. 9.6. That they are called the people of God notwithstanding their Apostacy. And the Ordinance of Circumcision, which was retained amongst them in this their Apostacy, was Gods Or­dinance and they that were circumcised under that Aposta­cy not onely did not renounce their circumcision,Exod. 2. Chron. 30 18.19.20▪ but had sinned against God if they had done it, and were according­ly admitted to the passeover by H [...]kiah as truly circumci­sed. For Gods Ordinance [...] are not to be renounced for mans Corruptions cleaving to them, but the corruptions are to be removed and the Ordinances embraced.

And afterwards in Christ [...] time it is evident, that the Of­fice of the Priest and the High-Priest was exc [...]edingly cor­rupted. They came ordinarily into th [...]ir office by bribery, & faction. And as many learned men think there were Two high Priest [...] together (An [...]as and Caiaphas) when Christ was crucified. The Priests and High-Priests had their chief stroak in the Crucifying of Christ. And yet we read Iohn 11.15 Caiaphas is owned by the Holy Ghost as high Priest &c. Act. 23. when Paul said to the High-Priest, God will s [...]it [...] thee thou whited wall &c. and they that stood by said, R [...] ­vilest thou the High-Priest? Paul answered, I wist not▪ Brethren, that he was the High-Priest. For it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the Rul [...]r of thy People. Here also Paul as many think, acknowledged him as an High-Priest, though the Priesthood at that time was tyran­nical, heretical, and they came by most unjust wayes into their places and offices. From all this it appears; That corruption [...] cleaving to Gods Ordinances do not null Gods Ordinances. That we are not to renounce divine Ordi­nances because of circumstantial defilements annexed to them. That Baptisme and Ordination were found for the substance in the Church of Rome, and therefore to be re­formed, but not renounced.

[Page 44]5. The fift thing we desire may be considered is.

That it is no disparagement to the present Ministry of the Church of England to say, That we receive our Ministry from Christ and his Apostles, and from the Pr [...]mitive Churches, through the impure and corrupt Channel of the Church of Rome. For,

1. It was no disparagement to Jesus Christ that he received his humane nature from Adam through many unclean chan­nels, as Thamar, Rahab, Bethshebah, &c.

2. It is no disparagement to the holy Scriptures of the old Testament, that the Christians received them from the Church of the Iewes even after they had crucified that Christ who was the center of the whole Old Testament. Nor is it any disparagement to the Old and New Testa­ment, that we receive them as delivered to us by sucession from the Apostles through the Church of Rome, although that Church by their corrupt Glosses and Interpretations had much depraved and corrupted them.

3. It was no disparagement to circumcision that it came from God through the hands of Idolaters unto Christ and his Apostles: Nor to Baptisme, that it comes to us from Christ through the Antichristian Church of Rome; inso­much as many of those that renounce Ordination do yet retain their Baptisme, though it may be easily made to ap­pear that it was as much corrupted as Ordination.

4. It is no disparagement to the Ordinance of Marriage, that many have been married in the Church of Rome, and married with all the Popish Ceremonies; yet we never heard of any that have renounced their marriage as un­lawful, because solemnized in the Church of Rome, which yet notwithstanding doth hold Marriage to be a Sacrament in a proper sense and have many corruptions in their way of marriage, and yet it is by the Law of God and man, va­lid for the sustance of it.

5. It was no disparagement to the Vessels of the Tem­ple that they had been 70. years in Babylon,Jer. 27.21▪ 22. [...]za. 5.14▪ 15. and abused and prophaned by Belshazzar, who in contempt [Page 45] of the God of Heaven drank Wine in those holy,Ezi [...] 5.14· and con­secrated Vessels; for afterwards the Israelites made no scruple of receiving them, and restoring them to the Tem­ple. This is the fift consideration.

6. The sixt consideration is; That the receiving of our Ordination from Christ and his Apostles and the Primi­tive Churches, and so all along through the Apostate Church of Rome is so far from nullifying our Ministry, or disparaging of it, that it is a great strengthening of it when it shall appear to all the World, That our Mini­stry is derived to us from Christ and his Apostles by suc­cession of a Ministry continued in the Church for 1600. years. And that we have 1. a lineal succession from Christ and his Apostles. 2. Not onely a lineal succession but that which is more, and without which the lineal is of no benefit, we have a Doctrinal succession also.

We succeed them in Preaching the same Doctrine that they did deliver to the Churches. The Papists boast much of a lineal succession, but they want the Doctrinal. They succeed the Apostles as darknesse succeeds light, and as Manasseh succeded Hezekiah. But this is the happinesse of the present Ministry, That we have both a lineal and doctrinal succession from Christ and his Apostles.

But doth not this discourse of ours, (when we say,Object. That the essentials of a [...] true Ministry, and that Baptisme and Ordination for the Substantials of them were preserved in the Church of Rome during the pre­valency of Antichrist) make Rome to be a true Church of Christ.

There are indeed some learned Orthodox Divines That say, That the Church of Rome is V [...]rè Ecclesia, Answ. though not Vera Ecclesia, is Truly a Church, though far from being a true Orthodox Church. There are others that say, That till the last Councel of Trent the Church of Rome remained a true Church for the essentials and substantials of it, and then it ceased to be a true Church.

The Scripture saith, That Antichrist sits in the Temple of [Page 46] God, though he be no part of it (as we have formerly said) no more then Satan who had his seat in Pergamus was part of the Church of Pergamus. But for our parts we conceive we are not at all forced by any thing that we have said to entermeddle with this Con­troversie. For it doth not follow, That because Ordina­tion, which is an Ordinance of Christ for the substance of it, was preserved in the Church of Rome, that therefore the Church of Rome is a true Church, no more then it followeth That a Theefe having the goods of an honest man in his house, which he hath stolen, should thereupon be account­ed a True man. Surely The Theefe is still a theefe. And so is Rome still the Mother of Harlots, notwithstanding her possessing the Essentials of Ordination and Baptisme. Even as Babylon of old, (A type of Rome was Babylon still and far from being the Church of God▪ although it had the Vessels of the Temple with her: So is the Church of Rome still an Antichristian Church, The Mother of Harlots and abomina­tions of the earth, although it hath had the Essentials of a true Ministry by Gods overruling providence continued in her.

7. The Seventh and last consideration doth more imme­diately concern the Ministry of England, and it consisteth of three branches.

1. That the first conversion of the English Nation from Heathenisme unto Christia [...]ity did not proceed from Rom [...], but from Hierusalem. Acts and Mon. lib. 2. pag. 1. &c. Whites way to the Church Sect. 49. Mr. Fox, and Dr. Iohn White have learnedly demonstrated out of Gildas and sundry other Au­thors, who affirm that Britaine received the Gospel in the time of Tiberius the Emperour, under whom Christ was crucified, from some of the Apostles, or some Apostoli­cal men. It is mostly received, that Ioseph of Arimathea was sent by Philip from France to Britaine about the year 63. and laid the first foundation of the Christian faith amongst us.Tert. adv. Iu­daeis cap 7. Britannarum inaccessa Roma­nis loca Christo verò subdita. To this Tertullian attesteth in his Book against the Iewes. And therefore it is a falsity for Rome to challenge the conversion of the English Nation, and no lesse absurdity for us to derive our succession from them.

[Page 47]2. That the Churches of England in their first Plantation were rightly gathered and constituted, as being planted by the Apostles or men Apostolical. And that true Christiani­ty after it's first settlement in Britaine was never wholy ex­ [...]nguished, but hath continued from the very first Planta­tion of it, to this very day. This Dr. VVhite proveth [...]gainst the Papists in his way to the Church, §. 49. Where he sheweth; That the Faith continued here from King Lucius to the coming of Austin the Monk, whom Gregory sent hither 600. years after Christ; who when he came found divers Britaine Bishops and learned men, with a Monastery at Bangor who did oppose Arrianisme and P [...]la­gianisme, and the pride of Austin the Popes Ambassa­dor.

3. That during the raign of Antichrist here in Eng­land, God reserved unto himself many Thousands that ne­ver bowed their knees to Baal, as appears in the Book of Martyrs. And amongst other [...] he raised up Mr. VVickliffe, and made him a great and famous instrument of Church-reformation. Our London Divines in their Appendix to the jus divinum of Church government prove out of good Authors, that in this Church of England the corruptions which the Church of Rome would have introduced about Ordinations of Ministers and other Ecclesiastical affairs, were withstood, and opposed by the Kings of England, &c.

So that if the whole be well considered, it will puzzle our Antiministerial adversaries to prove that the Church of England was beholding to the Church of Rome for either the first plantation, after reformation, or continuation of the Gospel, Church and Ministry therein, from the begin­ing to this day. We will conclude this consideration, with the remarkable speeches of two New-England Mini­sters.

The first is Mr. Philips of Watertown, who having proved. That England was not beholden to Rome for its first con­version, nor after reformation, at last hath these words [Page 48]When it pleased God more fully to clear up the light of his Gospell in this Nation, so as many thousands were redeemed from amongst men Antichristian, and were made the first fruits unto God and the Lambe, The Church-state was not essentially altered all this time nor were these first fruits unto God, New constituted Churches, but members of some Churches, clearing themselves from corruption, and by reformation recovering themselves out of a desperate diseased condition, into a more health­ful and sound estate. In which course the Lord went on mightily in many places, especially after Luthers time, yea even in England, something by Henry the 8th. more by Edward the 6th. and Queen Elizabeth, who did not consti­tute new Churches, but reformed the Churches deeply degenerated from the first constitution and the pure state thereof; as they did the like in the state of Iudah of­ten, sometimes better and more fully, and sometimes not so fully in the dayes of the Judges, David, Asa, Iehosha­phat, Hezekiah, Iosiah, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

The other is Mr. Cotton in his way of the Churches of Christ in New-England Chap. 7. Pag. III. where he saith: ‘Four things, we observe in the State of the Churches in England which make way for Reformation amongst them.’

‘First, the Efficient instruments of their first planta­tion, which were either Apostles, or Apostolicall men, whether Philip, or Ioseph of Arimathea, or Simon Ze­lotes, as any of our Countrymen may read in Mr. Foxe's Book of Acts and Monuments, in the beginning of it next after the story of the ten persecutions, out of Gildas, Tertullian, Origen, Beda, Nicephorus; which being so, we cannot but conceive,, the Churches in England were rightly gathered, and planted according to the Rule of the Gospel; and all the corruptions found in them since have sprung from Popish Apostacy in succeeding ages▪ and from want of through and perfect purging out of that leaven in the late times of reformation in the dayes of [Page 49] our F [...]ther [...]. So that all the work now i [...], not to make them Churche [...], which were non [...] before, but to reduce and restore them to th [...]ir primitive institution, &c.’

And thus we have [...]t l [...]st finished our several consider [...] ­tions, in answer to thi [...] great Objection, and sh [...]ll here put an [...]nd to our first Proposition, to wit▪ That the Call to the O ffice of the Ministry, which some of our Minister [...] did re­ceive, during the prevalency of Episcopacy, was l [...]wfull and valid, for the substance of it, though mingled with many cir­cumstantiall d [...]fects. We have proved it by arguments drawn from the principles of our adversaries, and also from our owne principl [...]. We have indeavou­red to give full satisfaction to all the Objection [...] that are brought against it: We had thought to have given our people a summary recapitulation of the chiefe heads of this large discourse, but because we have been overlong (we feare) already, we shall forbeare it, and conclude with that saying of the Apostle, Consider what w [...] have said, 2 Tim. 2.7. and th [...] Lord give you understanding in all things.

CHAP. IV. Containing the 2. Proposition, and proving it by clearing from Scriptures, and other T [...]stimonies, that a Bishop, and a Presbyter are all one.

‘THat the call to the Office of the Ministry, which our pre­sent Ministers doe now rec [...]ive sinc [...] the abolishing of Epi­scopacy is lawfull and valid.Propos. 2.

FOr this you must know, that this way of making of Minister [...] doth not essentially differ from the former, but is the same for substance, one­ly this i [...] more [...]urified, and refined and agree­able to Scri [...]ture-pattern▪ The forme [...] w [...]s by Bishops that did claim a greater power in many thing [...] th [...] [Page 50] wa [...] due u [...]o th [...]m by [...] by B [...]shops also, bu [...] they are Scrip [...]e-Bishop [...], that [...] Pre [...]byters. There are some among us (and these not a few) t [...]t do so Ido­lize a Bishop over Presbyters, as that they [...]ffirm [...]ll Ordi­ [...]tions to be null and void, that are made by the Presbyte [...] Bishop, withou [...] a Bishop over Pre [...]by [...]ers. For their s [...] ­tisfaction (if possibl [...]) and for our own people [...] edification [...]nd instruction, we will bri [...]fly undertake two things.

1. To prove that a Bishop over Presbyters is an Apocry­phall, not a Canonical Bishop, that a Bishop and a Presby­ter are Synonym [...]'s in Scripture.

2. We will speake something about the A [...]tiquity of E­piscopall Government, and concerning the judgme [...]t of the an [...]ient Church [...]bout it.

1. We shall undertake to prove, That according to the Scripture pattern (which is a perfect rule both for doctrine [...]nd government) a Bishop and a Presbyter are all one, not onely in name, but in office. And that there is no such Officer in the Church ordained by Christ as a Bishop over Presbyters, This appears evidently.

1. From Titus 1.5.7. where the Apostle leaves Titus in Creet to ordain Elders in every City, and then shews how these Elders are to be qualified, and adds the reason of his advise; For a Bishop must be blam [...]l [...]ss. This For is [...] or causall, and sheweth clearely not onely the Indentity of names, but of office between an Elder and a Bishop, otherwise his argument had not onely been a false reasoning, and failed in forme, having foure termes, but in [...]ruth had been no reason at all. If a Chancellour (saith Smectymnuus) in one of the Universities should give order to his Vice-Chancellour to admit none to the degree of Bachelour in Arts, but such a [...] were able to p [...]ch or k [...]ep a Divinity Act▪ (For Bachelours in Di [...]in [...]y [...] so;) What reason or equity were in this? So if [...] [Page 51] so. Had [...] Bishop been an Order or Calling [...]istinct from, o [...] superiour to a Pre [...]by [...]er, and not the same, this had been no more rationall or [...]quall then th [...] former: The [...]efore under the name of Bishop in the seventh verse, the Apostle must needs intend the Elder mentioned in the fifth ve [...]se; To this purpo [...] spe [...]keth▪ G [...]rrard de Minis [...]rio Eccl [...]stasti­co, Ex hoc loco manifestum eosdem dici, & fuiss [...] Episcopos qui dicebant [...] ▪ & e [...]ant Pr [...]sbyt [...]ri, ali [...] [...] in textu Apostolic [...] connexio, quam tam [...]n particul [...] [...] [ [...]] diser [...]è ponit, Qu [...] [...]ui [...] [...] hac forest Illi consti [...]u [...]ndi sum Pr [...]sbyt [...]ri, qui sunt s [...]ne crimin [...], quia Episcopum, cujus Offici­u [...], potestas, j [...]risdictio & gr [...]d [...]s diff [...]rt à Pr [...]sbyt [...]ro, [...] esse fine crimine: From this plac [...] it is manif [...]s [...] that the same were called, and were Bishops, who were call [...]d, and w [...]re Pr [...]s­byt [...]rs, otherwise there would b [...] no connexion in the Text of the Apostl [...], which yet the ca [...]sall particle [for] evidently makes out. For what juncture of r [...]son would be in this? They are to be made Presbyters who are blamelesse, because a Bishop▪ whose office, pow [...]r, jurisdiction, and deg [...] diff [...] from a Pr [...]sbyter, ought to blamelesse.

2. The same is manifested, Act. 20.17.28. Paul sends from Miletum to Eph [...]sus, and cals the Presbyters of the Church, and this he doth when he wa [...] to leave them, and never see their faces more, vers▪ 38. To these Elders he saith, Take he [...]d th [...]fore unto your selves, and to all the flock, [...]ver which the Holy-Ghost hath made [...]ou over-sears (or as it is in the Greek-Bishops) to feed the Church of God, which he hath purch [...]s [...]d with his own blood. From hence we gather.

1. That Elder [...] are called Bishops.

And not onely so, But,

2. That the Apostle gives the whole Episcopall power unto them, and chargeth them [...] which signifieth to feed; by government [...]s w [...]ll as by life and doctrine:Revel. 2.27. Rev. 19.15.

If it belongs to Bishops to ord [...]in Elders, [...]nd to exercise jurisdiction in [...], then this also belong [...] to Elders; for th [...]y are Bishops, and their duty is, [...] & [...].

[Page 52]From 1 Pet. 5.1, 2. The Elders which are among you I exhort who am also an Elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, &c. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, [...]. (or (as in the Greek,) performing the Office of a Bishop over the flock of God) not by constraint but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

Here again observe,

1. That the Apostle cals himselfe a Presbyter, and so doth Iohn 2 Epistle, and 3. Epistle, vers. 1. and therefore the Presbyters are the Successors of theApostles.

2. That Presbyters are called Bishops, and that they have not onely the name but the Office of Bishops given to them; for their work and office is, [...] The Elders are not onely [...], as it is said, Act. 20.28. But here they are comm anded [...], which is to per­form all those Offices to the Church▪ which belong to a Bishop, which are to preach, ordain and govern, &c.

4. We argue from 1 Tim. 3. where the Apostle makes but two standing ordinary Officers, for the service of the Church, Bishops and Deacons: And therefore after he hath set down the qualification of a Bishop, he presently pro­poundeth the qualification of a Deacon, not at all inter­posing the qualification of a Presbyter, thereby giving us to understand, That a Bishop and a Presbyter are all one in Scripture language. And from hence we may safely argue, after this manner.

Post Episco­pum Diaconi Ordinationem subjicit: Qua­ve? nisi quia Episcopi & Presbyteri unae Ordinatio est? uter (que) enim sa­cerdos est, &c. Ambros. in 1 Tim. 3.They which have the same name, and same qualification to their Office, and the same Ordination, and the same Work, and duty required of them, are one and the same Officer.

But a Bishop and a Presbyter have one and the same name, (as we have already proved from Act. 20. and 1. Pet. 5.) and the same qualification to their Office (as ap­pears here and Titus 1.5▪ 7.) and the same ordination (for ought we can read in Scripture) and the same work and duty, as appears from Act. 20.28, and 1▪ P [...]t. 5.2. [Page 53] and shall presently be more fully proved. Therefore a Bi­shop and a Presbyter are one and the same Officer.

5. This is further manifested from Phil. 1.1.—To all th [...] Saints in Christ I [...]sus who are at Philippi, with the Bishops and D [...]acons. Here again note.

1. That a Bishop and a Presbyter are all one. For by Bi­shops cannot be meant Bishops over Presbyters; for of such there never was (as our Episcopal men say) but one in a City.

2. That there are but two Orders of Ministry in the Church of Christ of divine institution, Bishops and Deacons ▪ And that therefore a Bishop over Presbyters is not a plant of Gods planting, nor an Officer appointed by Christ in his Church.

6. We argue, From these very texts in which the holy Ghost doth on purpose set down all the several sorts of Ministry which Christ hath Ordained in his Church, As 1 Cor. 12.28. Ephes. 4.11, 12. Rom. 12.6.7, 8. When Christ went up to Heaven he left extraordinary, and ordinary Officers, for the perfecting of the Saints, and for the work of the Ministry, &c. But here is no mention made of a Bishop di­stinct from a Presbyter, much lesse of a Bishop superiour to a Presbyter, in the power of Ordination and Jurisdicti­on. Here are Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists, who were extraordinary Officers, and temporary, and had no successors (properly) in [...]undem gradum; And here is mention of Pastors and Teachers, who are the onely ordi­nary standing and perpetual Ministers: But no mention of the Pope (by which argument our learned Protestant Divines prove him to be none of Christ's Ministers) nor of Patriarches, nor of Archbishops, or Bishops distinct from Pastors and Teachers.

7. All distinct Officers must have distinct works and ope­rations (nam operari sequitur esse) and they must have di­stinct Commissions. But Presbyters have the same com­mission with Bishops, and the same work and operation, Erg [...] they are the same with Bishops.

That they have the same Commission appears from Ioh. [Page 54] 20.21. As my Father sent me, so send I you. This was said to all the Apostles equally, and to all their successors indif­ferently. And whose sins you forgive are forgiven, &c. This is common with Bishops to all Presbyters. So Matth. 28.20. Go Teach all Nations, Baptising them, &c. and lo I am with you alway unto the end of the world. This is common to all Presbyters; And as for their work and operation, The Presbyters are called Rulers, Governours and Overseers in Scripture 1 Tim. 3.5. 1 Tim, 5.17. 1 Thess. 5.12. Heb. 13.7.17, 24. And the keyes of the Kingdom of heaven are committed to them Matth. 16.19. The Scripture puts no distinction be­tween the Bishop and the Presbyter, nor gives us any the least hint to make us believe, That the key of doctrine should belong to the Presbyter, and the key of Discipline to the Bishop. Ordination is performed by the Presbytery 1 Tim. 4.14. Jurisdiction likewise is given to the Presby­ters. For they are [...] and [...] And when the Apostle saith to the Church of Corinth, Heb. 13.17. 1 Thess. 5.12▪ 1 Tim. 5.17. 1 Cor. 5.12, 13. Matth. 18.17. Do not ye Iudge them that are within? and put ye away from among your selves that wicked person; And when Christ saith, Tell the Church, These texts cannot be understood of a Bi­ship distinct from a Presbyter; For one man cannot be cal­led a Church which signifieth a company. And the Apostle speaks to the Corinthians, not in the singular, but in the plu­ral number; Nor can they be understood of the whole Congregation promiscuously; For the Apostle saith ex­presly, That the punishment executed upon the incestuous person, was inflicted by many, not by all. And by the Church of which Christ speaks,2 Cor. 2·6. and to which scandals are to be brought, must of necessity be meant, a Ruling, and Go­verning Church. And it is most clear in Scripture, That private members are not Church-rulers. For the Apostle puts a distinction between Saints and Rulers Heb. 13.24. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the Saints. If all were the eye, where were the hands and feet? And therefore these texts must be understood of the Presbytery. From hence then it followes. If jurdifiction and Ordina­tion [Page 55] O [...]dination belong to the Presbyter as well as the Bishop, then a Bishop and a Presbyter, are one and the same of­fice.

8. We might add, That the Scripture acknowledgeth no superiority or inferiority, between officers of the same kind. For th [...]gh we read that one order of Ministery is said to be above another; yet we never read that in the same Or­der of Officers there was any one superior to others of the same order., We believe, That the Apostles were above the Evangelist [...] And the Evangelists above Pastors and Teachers, and Pastors and Teachers above Deacons; But we likewise believe, That there was no Apostle above [...]n Apostle; but that they were all equal in power and juris­diction, no Evangelist above an Evangelist, no Deacon above another, and so by consequence, no Presbyter, by di­vine right over other Presbyters.

6. Las [...]ly, If there be any distinction▪ between a Bishop and a Presbyter in Scripture, the greater honour and pre­ [...]inence must of necessity be given to the Presbyter above the Bishop, which we believe will never be granted. For according to our Prelatical Divines, the office of a Bishop as distinct from Presbyters, is to rule and govern; and the office of a Presbyter is to preach and administer the Sacra­ments. Now sure we are, That preaching and administring the Sacraments are far more excellent works then ruling and governing. And the Apostle saith expressely, That they that labour in word and doctrine deserve more ho­nour then they that Rule well, 1. Tim. 5.17. Hence we ar­gue.

If there be a Bishop distinct from a Presbyter, either he is equal, or inferior, or superior.

Our Adversaries will answer, That he is superior. But this cannot be. For superiour Orders must have superior acts and honour belonging unto them above their equalls or inferiours. But Bishops have not. For preaching is an act above Ruling, and most worthy of double honour, and so is administring of the Holy Sacraments. And [Page 56] therefore the act and honour of a Presbyter is above the act and honour of a Bishop, and [...]rgo, a Bishop is not supe­rior, and ergo, there is no Bishop at all in Scripture distinct from a Presbyter.

This is all we have to say out of Scripture for the Identi­ty of a Bishop and a Pre [...]byter and that this may not seem to be our own private judgment, or that we do herein hold any thing that is contrary to the doctrine of the Catholique Church or our own Church of England, we shall crave leave to set down what hath been the opinion of the Church of Christ, and also of our own Church concerning the divine right of Episcopal government.

First we will begin with St. Ierome, who upon the first of Titus hath these words.

A Presbyter and a Bishop is the same:Idem ergo est Presbyter qui Episcopus & an­tequam Diaboli instinctu, studia in religione fierent & diceretur in populis, ego sum Paul [...] ego Apollo, ego [...]ephae, communi Presbyterorum▪ Con­silio Ecclesiae gubernabantur. Postquam verò unusquisque eos quos baptiza Verat, suos putabat esse, non Christi▪ in to [...]o orbe decretum est, ut unus de Presbyteris electus super poneretur cae [...]e­ris, ad quem omnis Eccl [...]siae cura pertineret, & schismatum semina tollerentur▪ Putat aliquis non Scripturarum sed nostram esse sententiam, Episcopum & Presbyterum unum esse, & aliud aetatis, aliud esse nomén officii, relegat Apostoli ad Philippenses verba, dicenti [...], Paulus, & Ti­motheus servi Iesu Christi qui sunt Philippis, cum Episcopis & Diaconis. Philippi una est urbs Macedoniae: & certè in una civitate plu­res, ut nuncupantur, Episcopi esse non poterant. Sed quia eosdem Episcopos illo tempore quos & Presbyteros appelabant, propterea indifferen­ter de Episcopis qu [...]si de Presbyteris est locu [...]us. Adhuc alicui hoc videatur ambiguum▪ nisi altero testimonio comprobetur. In Actibus Apostolo­rum scriptum est, quòd cum venisset Apostolus Miletum, miserit▪ Ephesum: & vocave [...]i [...] Presbyteros Eccle [...]ae ejusdem: quibus postea in­ter caterae sit locutus: Attendi [...]e vobis & omni gregi: in quo vos Spiritus Sanctus po­su [...]t Episcopos pascere Ecclesiam Domi­ni, quam acquisivit per sanguinem suum. Et hic diligentiùs observate, quom [...]do uni­us civitatis Ephesi Presby [...]eros vocans postea eosdem Episcopos dixe [...]it. Si quis [...]ult recipere eam Epistolam, quae sub no­mine Pauli [...]d Hebraeos scripta est: & ibi aequalit [...]r inter plures Ecclesiae cura di­viditur. Siquidem ad plebem scribit; Parete principibus vestris, & subjecti estote, ipsi enim sunt qui vigilant pro ani­mabus vestris, quasi rationem reddentes, ne suspirarites hoc faciant siquidem hoc utile vobis est. Et Petrus qui ex fide [...] firmitate nomen accepit in Epistola suae loquitur dicens: Presbyteros ergo vos ob­secro compresbyter, & teslis Christi pas­sionem: qui & ejus gloriae quae in futuro rev [...]lando est socius sum. Pascite eum qui in vobis est gregem Domini: non quas [...] cum necessitate, sed voluntariò Hac propterea, ut ostenderemus apud ve­teres eosdem fuisse Presbyteros quos & Episcopos, pulbatim vero ut dissensio­num plantaria [...]oellerentur ad unum om­nem solicitudinem esse delatam. Sicut ergo Presbyteri sci [...]nt se ex Ecclesiae con­suil [...]dine ei qui sibi prapositus fuerit esse subjectos; ita Episcopi noverint se ma­gis consu [...]dine quam dispositionis Do­minicae veritate, Presbyteris esse majo [...]s: & in communi debere Ecclesiam regere, imitantes Moysen: quis cum haheret in pote­state solus piae esse populo Israel, septua­inta elegit cum quibus populum judicaret. and before there were, through the Dive [...] instinct, divisions in Religion, and the people began to say, I am of Paul, and I of Apollo, and I of C [...]phas; The Churches were governed by the common Councel of the Pres­ters. But after that each man begun to account those whom he had baptized, his own, and not Christs, it was decreed through the whole world, that one of the Pres­byters should be set over the rest; to whom the care of al the Church should belong, that the seeds of schisme might be taken away. Thinkes any that this is my opini­on, and not the opinion of the Scripture▪ that a Bishop, and an El­der is the same, let him read▪ the words of the Apostle to the Philip­pians, saying, Paul and Timothy the [Page 57] servants of Iesus Christ to them that are at Philippi with the Bishops and D [...]ac [...]ns. Philippi is one City of Ma­cidonia, and certainly in one City there could not be many Bishops (as they are now called) But because at that time they called the same men Bishops, whom they called Presby­ters. Therefore he speaks indiffe­rently of Bishops, as of Presbyters. If thi [...] yet seems doubtful to any un­lesse it be proved by another testi­mony, let him consider; That in the Acts of the Apostles it is written, That when Paul came to Miletu [...] he sent to Eph [...]sus and called the El­ders of that Church, and amongst other things saith unto them: Take heed to your selves, and to all the flock over which the holy Ghost hath made you Bishops to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. And here let yet be diligent­ly observed: That calling the Pres­byters of one City of Ephesus he afterwards called the same persons Bishops. If any will receive that Epistle which under the name of Paul is written to the Hebrewes. There are care of the Church is di­vided amongst many. For thus he writeth to the people: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account▪ that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unpro­fitable for you. And Peter if called from the firmnesse of his faith saith in his Epistle. The Elders which are among [Page 58] you I exhort also who am an Elder and a witnesse of the suffer­ings of Christ, and also a partaker of the Glory that shall be re­vealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you &c. not by constraint but willingly. These things I have written to shew that amongst the ancients, Bishops and Presbyters were one & the same, and that by little & little, that all the seeds of dis­sention might be pluckt up, all the care of the Church was de­legated to one. And therefore as the Elders may know, that they are to be subject to him that is set over them by the cu­stom of theChurch, so let the Bishops know, That it is more from custom, then from any true dispensation from the Lord, that they are above the Presbyters, and that they ought to rule the Church in common, imitating Moses, who though he had it in his own power to govern the people of Israel yet notwithstand­ing chose 70. with whom he would judge the Peo­ple.’

We have thought fit to transcribe this quotation at large, be­cause it gives the same interpretation of Scriptures which we do, and makes it the result of all his discourse. That Bishops over Presbyters are from the Custom of the Church onely, and not from any divine original.

We might here likewise set down the Epistle that St. Hierome writes to Evagrius, Hi [...]ronymus Evagrio Tom. 3. wherein he brings not only the Scripture forementioned, but most of the other places which we have brought, and gives the same explication of them; but because it is very long, we think fit to omit it, and desire the diligent Reader for his own further satisfaction to peruse it.

The next that we shall cite is St. Austin who in his 19th. Epistle writing unto St. Hierome saith,Quamvis se­cundum hono­rum vocabula quae Ecclesiae u­sus obtinuit E­piscopatus Pre sbyterio ma­jor est, in mul­tis tamen Au­gustinus Hiero­ [...]mo minor est. That though ac­cording to words of honour which the custome of the Church hath brought in, Episcopacy be greater then Presbytery, yet in many things Austin is Inferior to Hie­rome.

And in Quaest. veteris et Novi Testamenti Quaest. 101. what is a Bishop but the first Priest? that is to say, the highest Priest.

[Page 59]In the third place we shall add Dr. Reynolds in his Epi­stle to Sir Francis Knowls, who shewes out of Chrysostome, Hierome, Ambrose, Augustin [...], Theodoret, Pri masius, Sedulius, Theophylact, That Bishops and Presbyters are all one in Scripture, and that Aerius co uld no more be justly con­demned for heresie, for holding Bishops and Presbyters to be all one, then all those fathers; with whom agree (saith he) Oecumenius, and Ansolme Arch-Bishop of Can­terbury, and another Anselme and Gregory, and Gratian: and affirmes, that it was once enro lled in the Canon law for sound and Catholique Doctrine, and thereupon taught by learned men; he adds further, That it is unlikely that Anselm [...] should have been Canonized for a Saint by the Pope of Rome, and the other Anselme and Gregory so esteem­ed in the Popes Library, that Gratians works should be al­lowed so long time by so many Popes for the golden foun­tain of the Canon law, if they had taught that for sound doctrine, which by the whole Church in her most flourish­ing condition was condemned for heresy, and concludes th at they who have laboured about the reformation of the Church, these five hundred yeares (of whom he names abun­dance) have taught that all Pastors be they intitulated Bi­shops or Priests have equal authority and power by the word of God.

In the fourth place we might urge the saying of Michael Medina lib. 1. de sacris origin. who affirmes, that not onely St. Hierome, but also that Ambrose, Austin, Sedulius, Prima­sius, Chrisostome, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, were of the same judgement with Aerius, and held that there was no difference between a Bishop and a Presbyter by Scripture.

The Next we shall instance in is Cassander in his Book of cons [...]ltation, article 14, who saith,An Ep [...]scopatus inter Ordines Ecclesiasticos pon [...]ndus sit▪ in­ter Theologos et Canon [...]stas non convenit; convenit autem inter omnes in Apostolorum aetate int [...]r Episcopos et Pr [...]sbyteros nullum discrimen [...]uisse, sed post-modum Schismatis [...]vitandi causa Episc [...]pum Presbyterii su­isse praepositum, cui [...], id est, Ordinandi pot [...]stas concessa est sine quà ordinandi disti [...]cti­one pax vel politica vel Ecclesiastica retineri vix possit. whether Episcopacy be to be accounted an order Ecclesiastical distinct from Pres­bytery, is a question much debated between the Theologues [Page 60] and the Canonists. But in this one particular all sides agree, That in the Apostles dayes there was no difference between a Bishop and a Presbyter, but afterwards for the avoiding of Schisme the Bishop was placed before the Presbyter, to whom the power of ordination was granted, that so peace might be continued in the Church.

Add further, That in the Oecumenical Councels of Con­stance and Basil after long debate it was concluded, That Presbyters should have dicisive suffrages in Councells as well as Bishops; because that by the law of God Bishops were no more then they, and it is expressely given them Act 17.23.

7. Erasmus upon 1. Tim. 4.4. saith, that in ancient time there was no difference between a Bishop and a Presbyter, (but afterwards for the avoiding of Schisme, a Bishop was chosen by many,) and so many Pres byters, so many Bi­shops.

8. Bishop Iewel in the defence of his Apoology part 2. cap 9. divi [...]. 1. proveth against Harding, that Aerius could not be counted an heretick for holding that Bishops and Presbyters are all one Iure divino, and citing for it Hierom, Austin, Cyhrsostome, closeth up for answer with these words. All these and many more holy Fathers together with the Apostle St. Paul for thus saying must by Hardings advice be held for heretiques.

9. Bishop Morton in his Cathol. Apology part 1. cap. 33. affirmeth that divers other Divines besides Hierom were of the same opinion with Aerius, That there was no difference by divine right between a Bishop & a Presbyter. For which he also citeth Medina, Anselme, Sedulius, Erasmus and Al­phonsus a Castro who saith that Hierome was of this opinion, that a Bishop and a Presbyter are ejusdem ordinis et au­thoritatis of the same Order and the same Authori­ty.

10. Bishop Bilson (whatsoever he saith to the contrary in his book called the perpetual government of Christs Church) in his book against Seminaries lib. 1. pag. 318. [Page 61] affirmeth out of Hierome, that the Church at first was go­verned by the common Councel of Pr [...]byters; and therefore Bishops must understand that they be greater then Mini­sters, rather by custome then the Lords appointment, and the Bishops came in after the Apostles times.

11. Dr. Whitakers respon ad Campiani rationes, ratio, affirmeth That Iure divino a Presbyter and a Bishop are all one. And whereas Durans affirmeth with many words that Bishops and Presbyters were Iure Divino divers, he telleth him that if he will retain the estimation of a modest Divine, he must not so confidently affirm that which all men see to be so evidently false. For, what is so well known, saith he, as this which you acknowledge not. Hierom plainly writeth, that Elders and Bishops are the same, and confirmeth it by many places of Scripture.

12. Dr. Holland the Kings Professor in Oxford, at an Act Iuly 9. 1608. Concluded against Mr, Lanes question; An Episcopatus sit ordo distinctus a Presbyteratu, [...]o (que) superior jure divino ▪ and said: That the Affirmative was most false a­gainst the Scriptures, Fathers, the Doctrine of the Church of England, yea, the very School-men themselves, Lom­bard, Thomas, Bonaventure, &c.

We might cite divers others, as Arch-Bishop Whitguife against Car [...]hright, and Dr. Fulk upon Titus the 1. ver. 5. and Deane Nowell, &c. But we forbeare, and the rather because we shall have occasion hereafter to touch upon the same Argument.

Now by all this it appears, That by Scripture, & the judg­ment of the antient Church, and our own Church of Eng­land, a Bishop and a Presbyter are all one, and that there­fore they that are made Ministers by Presbyters, are made Ministers by Bishops, and are lawfully ordained be­cause ordained in a way most agreeable to Scripture pattern.

CHAP. V. Answering Objections taken from the pretended Episcopacy of Timothy and Titus.

BEfore we leave our Scripture-proofs, it will be expected, that we should answer to what is brought out of Scripture for for the Ius Divinum of Prelacy, and also to what is brought in answer unto our Arguments out of Scripture against it.

For the first, there are two chiefe and principall arguments, the one from Timothy and Titus, the other from the 7. Asian Angels.

As for Timothy and Titus, It is said, that they were con­stituted Bishops of Ephesus, and Cree [...] by the A­postle Paul, and did exercise Episcopall power in these pla­ces both in Ordination and Jurisdiction, and this power was derived by them unto their successors, as being neces­sary to continue in the Church, as well as the power of preaching and administring the Sacraments.

To this we Answer.

That Timothy and Titus were not Bishops in a Prelatical sense. We deny not but that they did exercise Episcopal power both in Ordination and Jurisdiction, and that this power is necessary to be continued in the Church. But we say, that they did this, not as Bishops in a formall sense, but as extraordinary Officers or Evangelists, which were Officers in the Church distinct from Pastors and Tea­chers.

To make this out, we will briefly do two things.

  • 1. We will prove that Timothy and Titus were not Prela­ticall Bishops.
  • 2. That they were Evangelists.

1. That they were not Prelaticall Bishops. This we make out.

[Page 63]1. Because the Scripture no where cals them Bishop [...].

But in the Postscripts they are called Bishops.

These Postscripts are no part of Canonicall Scripture.Object. Answ. The Papists themselves (Baronius, Serarius, and the Rhe­mists) confesse that there is much falsity in them. Smectim­nu [...]s hath everlastingly blasted the Authority of them. The first Epistle is said to be writ from Laodicea, whereas B [...]za in his Annotations proves apparently that it was writ­ten from Macedonia, to which opinion Baronius, and Sera­rius and Athanasius and Theodoret, in his Epistle before his Commentary upon Timothy, subscribe. It is also called the first Epistle. But how was Paul sure that he should live to write a second? And it is also said to be written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest City of Phrygia Pa [...]atiana. But as B [...]za well observes, there is no mention of Phrygia Pa­catiana in the writers of those ages, sed apud recentiores illos, qui Romani [...]mperii jam inclinantis provincias descripserunt.

The second Epistle i [...] thus subscribed.

The second Epistle unto Timothy, ordained the first Bi­shop of the Church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome when Paul was brought, &c. Now these words, Or­dained the first Bishop, are wanting saith B [...]za, in quibusdam v [...]t [...]stis codicibus, in veteri vulgatâ editione, & apud Syrum interpretem. The Syriack Interpreter reads it, Here ends the Second Epistle to Timothy, written from Rome. If St. Paul had written this Postscript, he would not have said to Ti­mothy the first Bishop, &c. whereas it was not yet certain whether ever there should be a second. Neither would it be said, when Paul was brought, &c. But when I was the se­cond time brought before Nero.

The Epistle to Titus is said to be written from Nicopolis; whereas it is cleare that Paul was not at Nicopolis when he wrote it Titus 3.12. Be diligent to come to me to Nicopolis, for I have determined there to winter; he doth not say, here to winter, but there; where note for the present he was not there, and besides it is said, that Titus was ordained the first Bishop, &c. And who was the second? or was there [Page 62] ever a second? But we forbear transcribing any more &c. This is abundantly sufficient to invalidate the authority of the Postscript written ab hominibus v [...]l indoctis vel certe non s [...]tis attentis, as Beza saith.

But some of the Fathers call them Bishops.

Object. 1. Answ.They that call them Bishops borrow their testimonies from Eusebius, of whom Scaliger saith, and Dr. R [...]yn [...]lds approves of it: That he read ancient Histories paru [...] at­tente, which they prove by many instances. And all that Eusebius saith, [...] is only Sic scribitur, It is so reported. But from whence had he thi [...] History? Even from Clemens Fa­buleus and Hegesippus not extant.

2. It is no wonder that Timothy and Titus are called Bi­shops by E [...]sebius and Theodoret, because that the Apostles themselves are called Bishops by the writers of those times, who spake of former times according to their own. Thus Peter is said to be Bishop of Rome, and Iames of Hi [...]rusa­lem. Now it is evident (as we shall hereafter prove) That the Apostles were not Bishops properly and formally, but onely eminently and vertually.

3. As they are called Bishops, so also they are called Apostles, Theodoret calles Titus [...] and Timothy [...]. And yet we believe that there are few of our Episcopal Divines will undertake to prove them to be Veri Nominis Apostolos.

Some call them Archbishops, Metropolitans, Patriarches, and yet will not be easie to perswade a person disengaged from Prelacy that there were Archbishops and Metropolitans in the Apostles dayes. The truth is, That which Thucy­dides saith of the ancient Greek Historians, may as truly be said of Eusebius, Quae a majori­bus acceperunt posteri, ea, [...] securi examinis, suis iter posteris tradiderunt. Irenaeus and others, &c. That those things which they received from their Fore-fathers they delivered to their posterity without strict examination, and thereby in many things more deceived themselves, and were the cause of deceiving others, as we shall have occasion to shew afterwards.

For our parts we answer clearly; That the Fathers and [Page 65] Councels speak of the Officers of former times according to the stile of their own times. That Timothy had an Office above a Bishop, (as Wale Messalinus saith) though after­wards from the custome of the Church and some acts that Bishops did like his (but not solely) he was allusive­ly, if not abusively, and [...] called a Bishop. And as another faith; Timothy and Titus are called Bishops by the ancients, because they did those acts that by humane custome were afterwards appropriated to Bishops in regard of Presidency, but they did them not as Bishops (which they are not called in Scrip­ture) hut as Evangelists which they were, and so one of them is called, 2 Tim. 4.5.

2. The second argument to prove that Timothy and Titus were no Bishops, relates especially to Timothy, and it is this.

If Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus, it must be when the first Epistle was written. For it is in that Epistle in which he is said to receive his pretended charge of exercising his Episcopal power in Ordination and Jurisdiction. But now this first Epistle was written when Paul was at Mace­donia ▪ as the learned, both new and old, Papists and Pro­testants, agree. And it was after this when Paul came to Miletum accompanied with Timothy, and sends for the El­ders of the Church of Ephesus unto him, and commends the government of the Church unto these Elders whom he calls Bishops. Now surely if Timothy had been constituted their Bishop (in the sence of our Adversaries) the Apostle would not have called the Elders Bishops before their Bi­shops face, and in stead of giving a charge to the Elders to feed the flock of Christ, he would have given that charge to Timothy, and not to them, And no doubt he would have given some directions to the Elders how to carry themselves toward their Bishop. And because none of these things were done; it is a clear demonstration to us, that Timothy was not at that time Bishop of Ephesus.

To avoid the force of this argument, there are some that say, That Timothy was not made Bishop of Ephesus till after Pauls first being a prisoner at Rome, which was [Page 66] after his being at Miletum. But these men while they seek to avoid the Scylla of one inconvenience, fall into the Carybdis of another as great; For if Timothy was not made Bishop till Pauls first being at Rome, then he was not Bishop when the first Epistle was written to him (which all agree to be written before that time) And then it will also follow, That all that charge that was laid upon him, both of Ordination and jurisdiction, and that intreating of him to abide at Ephesus, was given to him not as to the Bishop of Ephesus (which he was not,) but as to an extraor­dinary Officer sent thither upon special occasion, with a purpose of returning when his work imposed was finished. From both these considerations we may safely conclude.

That if Timothy were neither constituted Bishop of Eph [...] ­sus before Pauls first being prisoner at Rome, nor after; Then he was not constituted Bishop at all: But he was neither constituted Bishop before nor after &c. Ergo not at all.

3. To prove that Timothy and Titus were not Bishops in a Prelatical sence, we argue from the matter contained in these Epistles. In the first Epistle (wherein all that is al­ledged for Episcopacy is contained, for in the 2 Epistle there is nothing at all said about it) Chap. 1. Vers. 3. He be­seecheth Timothy to abide at Ephesus when he went into Macedonia, which had been a needless importunity (as Smect­tymnuus well observes) if Timothy had had the Episcopal charge of Ephesus committed to him by the Apostles, for then he might have laid as dreadful a charge upon him to abide at Ephesus, as he doth afterwards to Preach the Gospel 2 Tim. 4.1, 2. And in his Epistle to Titus Chap. 1.5. he saith. For this cause left I thee in Creete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting &c. In which words the Apostle specifieth the occasional imployment for which he was desired to stay in that place. Now (as the Reverend Presbyters in their conference at the Isle of Wight have well noted.) These expressions — I besought th [...]e to abide still at Ephesus, I left thee in Creete, do not sound [Page 67] like words of instalment of a man into a Bishoprick, but of an intendment to call him away again. And if we con­sider his actual revocation of them both (of which we shall afterwards speake) and the intimation in these texts of his intention, that they should not stay there for continuance; and the reason of his beseeching the one to stay, and of his leaving the other behind him, which was some present defects and distempers in those Churches, they will put fair to prove, That the Apostle intended not to establish them Bishops of those places, and therfore did not. Add to this, That when Paul undertook in 1 Tim. 3. to set out the Office of a Bishop, he mentioneth nothing in that Office which is not competent to a Presbyter, and therefore omits the Office of a Presbyter (as we have formerly said) including it in the Office of a Bishop, which certainly he would never have done, if he had at the same time made Ti­mothy an HierachicalBishop, with a power to do that formal­ly which was unlawful for a Presbyter to do.

And in his Epistle to Titus, he directly confounds the names and offices of Presbyters, and Bishops, and makes them one and the same Titus 1.5.6. which he certainly would not have done, if he had made them at that time di­stinct order [...] with distinct Offices, or if he had made Titus at that time Bishop (or as some would have it) Arch-Bishop or Primate and Metropolitan of the hundred Cities that were in Creet. So much for the proof that Timothie and Titus were not Bishops in a Prelatical sence.

2. The second thing we are to prove is, That Timothy and Titus were Evangelists, and not onely so in a general signifi­cation (as all Preachers of the Gospel may be called E­vangelists) but in a special and proper sence. This will the better appear, if we consider what an Evangelist is, and the difference between Evangelists and other Officers of the Church.

Evangelists, properly so called, were men extraordinarily imployed in preaching the Gospell without a settled resi­dence upon any one charge; They were Comites, et Vicarii [Page 68] Apostolo [...]um, Vice-Apostles who had Curam vicariam omni­um Ecclesiarum, as the Apostles had, Curam principalem; And they did (as Ambrose speakes) Evang [...]lizare sine Ca­thedra.

Bishops or Presbyters were tyed to the particular care and tuition of that flock over which God had made them Overseers, Act. 20.28. But Evangelists were not tyed to reside in one particular place, but did attend upon the A­postles, by whose appointment they were sent from place to place, as the necessity of the Churches did require. To this agreeth Mr. Hooker in his Ecclesiastical policy; [...]ib. 5. Evangelists, saith he, were Presbyters of principal sufficiency whom the Apostles sent abroad, and used as agents in Ecclesiastical af­faires wheresoever they found need. They were extraor­dinary and temporary Officers (as the Apostles and Pro­phets were) and Officers of a Rank higher then Pa­stors and Teachers, and so they are reckoned Ephesians 4.11.

Now that Timothy and Titus were such Officers is made evident.

Not onely because one of them is in direct terms called an Evangelist 2 Tim. 4.5. But also, from the perpetual motion of both of them from place to place, not onely be­fore they were sent to Ephesus and Creet, but as much after, as before. And that they did so move, appears from di­vers Authors who have exactly set down their several pere­grinations both before and after. [...]. Capel. S [...]ectymnuus. We shall not trouble the Reader with their travailes before they were sent to Ephesus and Creet, but shall onely relate what is said by the Reverend Minsters in their humble answer, at the Isle of Wight of their journeyings after their going thither. And first of Timothy.

‘If Timothy say they, was Bishop of Ephesus, he must be so when the first Epistle was sent to him, in which he is pretended to receive the charge of exercising his Episco­pall power in Ordination, and government; but it is ma­nifest that after this Epistle sent to him, he was in con­tinual [Page 69] journeyes, or absent from Ephesus. For Paul left him at Ephesus when he went into Macedonia, 1. Tim. 1.3. and he left him there to exercise his Office, in regulating & ordering that Church and in ordaining; but it was after this time that Timothy is found with Paul at Miletum: For after Paul had been at Miletum, he went to Ierusalem whence he was sent prisoner to Rome, and never came more into Macedonia, and at Rome we find Timothy a prisoner with himand those Epistles which Paul wrote while he was prisoner at Rome namely the Epistle to the Philippians, H [...]b. 13.23. Phil. 1▪ 1. Philem. 1. Col. 1.1. Heb. 13.23. to Phil [...]mon, to the Colossians, to the Hebrewes, do make mention of Timothy as his companion at these times▪ nor do we ever find him again at Ephesus, for we find that af­ter all this, towards the end of Saint Paul [...] life, after his first answering before Nero, and when he said his depart­ing was at hand, he sent for Timothy to Rome, 2. T [...]m. not from Ephesus; for it seems that Timothy was not there, because Paul giving Timothy an account of the absence of most of his companions sent into divers parts, he saith Tychieus have I sent to Ephesus. Now if your Majesty shall be pleas­ed to cast up into one Totall what is said, The severall journeys and stations of Timothy, the Order of them; the time spent in them, the nature of his imployment, to negotiate the affaires of Christ in several Churches and places, the silence of the Scriptures as touching his being Bishop of any one Church, you will acknowledge that such a man was not a Bishop fixed to one Church or precinct, and then by assuming that Timothy was such a man, you will conclude that he was not Bishop of Ephesus.

The like may be said also concerning Titus after he was left at Creet, he was sent for by Paul to Nicopolis, and after that he is sent to Corinth, Titus 13.12. 2. Cor. 1.12. 2 Cor. 5.6. 2. Cor. 8.6. 2 Tim. 4.10. from whence he is ex­pected at Troas, and not with Paul in Macedonia, whence he is sent againe to Corinth, and after all this is neere the time of Pauls death at Rome, from whence he went not in­to Creet, but unto Dalmatia, and after this is not heard on in the Scripture.

[Page 70]From all this we gather 3. Conclusions.

That Timothy and Titus were not Bishops in our Bre­threns sense,Conclus. 1. that is, were not fixed Stars in Ephesus or Creet.

And whereas it is answered, that the necessities of those times made even the most fixed Stars planetary, calling them frequently, from the places of their abode, to those services that were of most use for the successe of that great work, yet so that after their errands fully done, they retur­ned to their own charge, and that therefore they might be Bishops notwithstanding their severall journeys.

We challenge any of them to shew in all the New Testa­ment, any one that was appointed Overseer of a particu­cular Church, whose motion was as Planetary, as we have shewed that of Timothy and Titus to have been, or if that fail, to shew that after Timothy and Titus went abroad up­on the service of the Churches, they did constantly or or­dinarily return either to Ephesus or Creet, and not to the pla­ces either of the Apostles present abode, or appointment. But we are fully assured that they can shew neither the one nor the other, and therefore we may safely conclude, that they were not Bishops in our Brethrens sense.

Conclus. 2.That Timothy and Titus were Evangelists, and Evange­lists in a proper sense, and Officers distinct from Pastors, and Teachers and Officers of an higher Rank and Order.

Conclus. 3.That they were not onely Evangelists before they were sent to Ephesus and Creet, but afterwards also, as hath been abundantly proved. And the truth is, If they were Evan­gelists at any time, we cannot conceive how they can come to be Bishops in our Brethrens sense. For we thus argue,

They that were made Evangelists in a proper sense by the Apostles, were never afterwards made Bishops in our Brethrens sense by the Apostles.

For this had been to degrade them from a superiour Office to an inferiour. And if (according to the Councell of Chalcedon) it be not onely incongruous, but sacrilegi­ous [Page 71] to bring back a Bishop to the degree of a Presbyter; If it be an eternall reproach and shame to a Bishop to be▪ degraded from a Bishop to a Presbyter, much more re­proach and shame it must needs be, for an Evangelist to be brought down unto the Office of a Bishop.

But Timothy and Titus were once made Evangelists by the Apostles, when they were chosen to travell up and downe with them as their companions, and before they were set­led (as our Brethren suppose) the one at Ephesus, the o­ther at Creet. This is confessed by Bishop Hall, Bishop Downham, and all Episcopall men, that we have read of this subject. And the great debate between them and us is, not whether they were once Evangelists, and Vice-Apostles or no, but how long they continued so, and whether ever they were made Bishops in our Brethrens sense.

And therefore we may undoubtedly conclude, That be­cause they were once Evangelists, therefore they were ne­ver Bishops, neither before they were sent to Ephesus and Cre [...], nor afterwards.

Before we leave our discourse concerning Timothy and Ti­tus, we must of necessity answer one Objection.

It is said,Object. that the work imposed upon Timothy and Titus in Ephesus and Creet, both of Ordination and Jurisdiction is as necessary to be continued in the Church as the work of preaching and adminstring the Sacrament, and that af­ter their deaths, those that did succeed them did the same work, and were called Bishops by the ancient Fathers. And that therefore Timothy himselfe was a Bishop, because his Successors in the same place were called so.

Timothy and Titus were Evangelists,Answ. 1. and therefore tem­porary and extraordinary Officers, and therefore could not have any Successors in Office. Indeed the power they did exercise in Ephesus and Creet, was necessary for the Church of Christ, and there were some that succeeded them in that work, but none in the Office, the Apo­stles and Evangelists had some that came after them and did the same work that they did in governing ordain­ing [Page 72] and preaching: but they had no Successors in Office, for then they had not been extraordinary. And as one wel saith; when the Apostles and Evangelists dyed, their Of­fices ceased, what parts of their Office were of perpetuall use, as praying, preaching, administring Sacraments, and the use of the Keyes, were left to those Ordinary Officers called Pastors and Teachers Eph. 4.11. The distinction made afterward between a Pastor-Bishop, and a Pastor-Presbyter, was but an humane invention for order, and to avoid accidental inconveniencies, of which we shall speake more hereafter. In a word the successors of Timothy and Titus were Presbyters, who by common consent govern the Church, and ordain Elders, and did the same work as or­dinary standing Officers which Timothy and Titus did as ex­traordinary and temporary Officers, &c. So it was at first, till afterwards, for avoiding ofSchisme, (as Hierom saith) one was chosen from amongst the Presbyters and called a Bishop; But whether this invention were of God, and whe­ther it were hurtfull or profitable for the Church, we shall, God willing, shew at large when we come to speak of the practise of Antiquity in point of Episcopacy. So much for Timothy and Titus.

CHAP. VI. Answering Objections from the pretended Episcopacy of the seven Asian Angels.

THe second Scripture ground brought to prove the Divine right of Prelacy is from the Angels of the seven Churches of Asia. These Angels (say they) were seven single persons: And (as one hath lately written) not onely Bishops, but Metropolitans and Arch-Bishops. This is said with so much confidence, that all men are condemned as blinde, or wil­full that indeavour to oppose it.

And it is reckoned as one of the great prodigies of this unhappy age, that men should still continue blinde, and not see light enough in this Scripture,In tacta Iuce adhuc caecutire aliquos inter pessima, & in [...]auspicatissimi, seculi prodigia numerandum est. to build the great Fabrick of Episcopacy by Divine right upon. It is further added, That some of the ancient Fathers, mention the very men that were the Angels of those Churches. Some say Timo­thy was Bishop of Ephesus, when Iohn writ his Epistle to it: Others say Onesimus: Others say that Polycarp was Bi­shop of Smyrna. And from hence they conclude with a great deale of plausibilitie, that the Angels of the Churches were seven individuall Bishops.

For answer to those things, we must of necessity referre the Reader to what is said in the bookes quoted in the mar­gent, wherein they are fully, clearly,Smectimnuus. The vindicati of Sme [...]tym. The humble answer of the Divines at the Isle of Wight. and (as we conceive) satisfactorily handled, we shall crave leave to bor­row a few things out of them, adding something of our own. In answer therefore to this Scripture, we do desire those things may be considered.

1. That St. Iohn the Pen-man of the Revelation, doth [Page 74] neither in it, nor in any of his other writings, so much as upon the name Bishop, he names the name Presbyter fre­quently, especially in the Revelation; yea, when he would set out the Office of those that are nearest to the throne of Christ in his Church, Revel. 4. He cals himselfe a Presby­ter, Epist. 2. And whereas in St. Iohn's dayes some new expressions were used in the Christian Church, which were not in Scripture; As the Christian Sabbath began to be called [...] L ords day, and Christ himself [...] The Word▪ Now both these are found in the writings of St. Iohn. And it is strange to us, that the Apostle should mention a new phrase, and not mention a new Office erected by this time (as our Brethren say) in the Church▪ especially if we con­sider that Polycarp (as i [...] related) was made Bishop by him; and no doubt if he had been made Bishop in a Prelati­call sense, we should have found the name Bishop in some of his writings▪ who lived so long as to see Episcopacy set­led in the Church, as our Adversaries would make us be­lieve.

Add to thi [...],

1. That there is not the least intimation in all St. Iohns writngs of the superiority of one Presbyter over another, save onely where he names and chides Diotrephes, as one ambitiously affecting such a Primacy.

Consider, thirdly, That the same Authors, that say that St. Iohn made Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna, and that St. Pe­ter made Ignatius Bishop of Antioch, do also say that St. Iohn himself sate many yeares Bishop of Ephesus, and was the Metropolitan of all Asia, which is an evident demon­stration to us, that these Authors did not use the word Bi­shop in a Prelaticall sense. For it is certain that the A­postles cannot properly be called Bishops: For, though they did eminently contain the Episcopall office, yet they were not formally Bishops. For, this were to degrade the Apostles, and to make their Office ordinary and perpetuall, this were to exalt the Bishop above his degree, and make [Page 75] him an Apostle, and to make the Apostle a Bishop.Hoc enim non multum distat ab iusania, di­cere Petrum fu­isse propciè Epi­scopum, ut reli­quos Apostolos. It doth not much differ from madness, to say that Peter or any one of the Apostles were properly Bishops, as learned Whitaker saith, whom we shal have occasion to cite this pur­pose hereafter.

4. Consider fourthly, That the word Angel (which is the title given to those supposed Bishops) doth not import any peculiar jurisdiction or preheminence, but is a common name to all Ministers, and is so used in Scrip­ture: For all Ministers are Gods Messengers, and Am­bassadours sent for the good of the Elect, and therfore the name being common to all Ministers, why should we think that there should be any thing spoken to one Minister, that doth not belong to all? The same may be said of the word Starre (which is also a title given to those supposed Metropolitans.) It is evident that all faithfull Ministers are called Stars in Scripture, whose duty is to shine as lights unto the Churches in all purity of doctrine, and holiness of conversation. There is nothing in these Titles, that ar­gue these Ministers to be Bishops in our Brethrens sense, insomuch as had they not been called Bishops, by some Au­thors that succeeded them (who spake of former times according to the language of their own times) this way of arguing would have been counted ridiculous.

5. Add lastly, That these Titles of Stars and Angels are mysterious and metaphoricall. It is said Rev. 1.20 The my­sterie of the seven Stars, &c. And certainly it cannot be safe or solid, to build the structure of Episcopacy by Divine right upon mysterious and metaphorical denominations; Theologia Symbolica non est argumentativa. Especially if we consider, that there are abundance of cleare Texts, that make Presbyters and Bishops to be one and the same: and it cannot be praise-worthy for any men (though never so learned in the esteem of the world,) to oppose certain al­legoricall, and mysterious titles, to so many express testi­monies of Scripture.

Against all this it will be said, That our Saviour Christ in [Page 76] his Epistles to these seven Churche [...], singles out one Angel in every Church from all the other ministers that were there, and dedicates his Epistle unto these Angels, thereby giving us to understand, that these Angels were superiour to all the other Ministers, Angels of an higher Orbe, Super­intendents & not only Bishops overPresbyters, Arch-Bishops over other Bishops, as a high Prelatist is pleased to tell us.

Answ.To this objection there are solid and every way sufficient answers given in the books forementioned; we shall reduce all to these two head [...].

1. That the word Angel is not to be taken [...], but [...], not Individually, but collectively, for all the Pastors and Ministers of the respective Ministers; this answer we confesse is called a poore shift & vain conceit, and a ma­nifest wresting of the plain words of our Saviour by our Epis­copal men; But we conceive there are such reasons brought for the Justification of it that cannot be answered. As for example.

It is certain that our Saviour Christ speakes to this Angel often in the plural number, Rev. 2.24. But unto you I say and the rest of Thyatira Rev. 2.10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. B [...]hold, the Divel shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tryed, and ye shall have tribulation ten dayes: be thou faithful unto death &c. This see Rev. 2.13. By which is evident, that by the word Angel is not meant one singular person, but the collective body of Rulers.

But some copies leave out the Conjunction [...],Object. and read it, [...].

Answ.He that shall view the Antecedent, and consequent and consider that verse. 23. it is said I will give to every one of you &c. And then followes But I say unto you, and in the con­clusion of the verse, I will put upon you no other bur­den, will confesse that the old copies are better then that which is said to be Tecla's Manuscript.

2. It is certain that the Church of Ephesus was a collective body, and that there were many Presbyters to whom St. Paul at his final departure from them committed the charge [Page 77] of that Church. And these Presbyters are called Bishops, and were all of them stars of the same magnitude, and Ange [...]s of the same Order without a difference & distinction.

3. It is usuall with the Holy Ghost, not onely in other books of the Scripture, but in this very book of the Reve­lation, in Mysterious and prophetick writings and visional representations (such as this of the stars and golden Can­dlestick is) to expresse a number of things or persons in singulars. And this in visions is the usual way of representa­tion of things, a thousand persons making up one Church, is represented by one Candlestick; many Ministers making up one Presbytery by one Angel. Thus Revel. 8.2. It is said, That Iohn say seven Angels which stood before God. By these seven Candlesticks Dr. Reynolds doth not understand seven Individual Angels, but all the Angels. For there are no seven Individual Angels that stand before God, but all do, Dan▪ 7. There are many more instances brought in the book [...] forementioned.

4. Add lastly, That though but one Angel be menti­oned in the fore [...]front; yet it is evident, that the Epistles themselves (though we are far from thinking in that for­mall Denomination the Angels and Candlesticks are the the same) are dedicated to all the Angels and Ministers in every Church, and to the Churches themselves, as appears Rev. 1.11. Rev. And therefore when it is said in the singular number, I know thy workes, This thou hast, Re­pent and do thy first workes &c. All these and the like places are not to be understood as meant of one Individuall person, but of the whole company of Ministers, and also of the whole Church, because the punishment threatned is to the whole Church Rev. Now we have no warrant in the word to think that Christ would remove his Gospel from a Church for the sin of one Bishop, when all the other Mini­sters and Churches are far from those sins. These are some of those reasons that are brought to prove that this our interpretation is no wresting or offering of violence to the text, but such a one that floweth naturally from it.

[Page 78]We might for the confirmation of it cite Mr. Brightman, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Fox, (who citeth Primasius, Haymo, Beda, Richardus, Thomas &c. of the same judgment) Dr. Fulk, Mr. Mede, Gregory, and St. Austin, all of them interpreting this text as we do. But we forbear, because they are quoted by Smectimnuus.

But it will be said that as some Autohors say, That Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus when our Saviour wrote this Epi­stle to it;Object.) Ribera, tyra, Pererius. Others Tertul. Ignatius, Eusebius. that Onesimus was Bishop, (c) Others that Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna at that very time; And therefore these Angels must needs be taken Individually for for so many single persons.

They that say that Timothy was then Bishop, offer no little injury to him;Answ. for they thereby charge him to be guilty of Apostacy, and of losing his first love, and so out of a blind zeal to Episcopacy, they make that Glorious Saint to stand charged as an Apostate. The like injurie is offered by Objections to Onesimus.

2. We have already proved, That Timothy was an Evan­gelist in a proper sense, and therefore cannot be called a Bi­shop of Ephesus in their sense.

It will not follow because Onesimus was bishop of Ephesus in

3. St. Johns dayes, that therefore he was the onely person to whom Christ wrote his Epistle; for St Paul tells us that there were many Bishops at Ephesus (besides the supposed Onesi­mus) and Christ may very well write to him and to all the rest as well as him. The like may be said concerning Poly­carpe: For our Saviour speakes to the Angel of the Church of Smyrna in the plural number Rev. 2.10. And therefore he may truly be said to write to all the other Angels that were at Smyrna as well as to one. So much for the first head of answers.

2. But now in the second place, Let us suppose it (though we will not grant it) That these Angels were Personae sin­gulares, and that the word Angel is to be taken Individually; yet, we conceive, That this will not at all advantage the Episcopal cause. For,

[Page 79]1. First Mr. Beza (no great friend to Episcopacy) ac­knowledgeth, That by these words To the Angel is meant [...] To the President as whom it behoved specially to be admonished touching those matters, and by him both the rest of his Colleagues, and the whole Church likewise. But then he addeth.

But that Episcopal Degree which was afterward by hu­mane invention brought into the Church of God,Sed hinc stutui Episcopalis ille gradus postea humanitus in Eccl [...]siam Dei invectus certe nec potest nec debet, imo ne perpetuum qui­dem istud [...] munus esse necessaria [...]portucsse, sicut [...]xorta inde Tyrannis oli­garchia (cu­us apex [...]st Antichr [...]stian [...] bestia cetissima cum totius, non Ecclesiae modo sed etiam orbis pernicie, nunc andem decla­r [...]t. certainly neither can nor ought to be hence concluded; Nay not so much as the Office of a perpetual President should be of necessity as the thence arising Olig [...]rchical Tyranny (whose head is the Antich [...]istian Beast) now at length, with [...]he most certain ruine not of the Church onely, but of the word also maketh manifest; by which quotation it is evident, that though Beza h [...]ld the Angel to be a singular person, yet he held him to be Angelus pres [...]s not Ang [...]lus Princeps. And that he was Praeses pr [...] tempore, just as a Moderator in an Assembly, or as a Speaker in Parliament.

To this effect do the Reverend Divines speak in their humble answer at the Isle of VVight, where they say, ‘That these writings to the Angels are directed as Epistolary letters to Collective bodies usually are; That is, To one, but intended to the body, which your Majestie illustra­teth by your sending a Message to your two Houses, and directing it to the Speaker of the Hou [...]e of Peers; which as it doth not hinder, we confesse, but that the Speaker is one single Person; so it doth not prove at all, that the Speaker is alwayes the same Person; or if he were, that therefore because your Message is directed to him, he is the Governour or Ruler of the Two Houses in the least, and so your Majestie hath given clear instance, that though these letters be directed to the Angels, yet that notwithstanding, they might neither be Bishops, nor yet perpetual Moderators.’

Secondly, Dr, Reynolds (who hath written a letter in Print against the j [...]s divinum of Episcopacy) acknowledg­eth also, (in his conference with Hart dial 3.) That this [Page 80] Angel was persona singularis. For he saith, That Presbyters when they met together for the carrying on of the affairs of the Church by common Councel and consent, chose one amongst them to be the President of their company, and Moderator of their actions. As in the Church of Ephesus, though it had sundry Elders and Pastors to guide it; yet amongst those sundry, was there one chief, whom our Savi­our calleth The Angel of the Church, and writeth that to him, which by him the rest should know. From which saying we may safely conclude, That though we should grant (which yet we do not) that this Angel is a single per­son, yet it will not at all help the Episcopal Hierarchy. For this Angel is but a Moderator of the Presbytery, having no superiority of power either in Ordination, or Jurisdiction, above Presbyters; is himself also a Presbytery, and (for ought appears to the contrary, from the judgment of Dr. Reynolds) a Moderator onely pro tempore: Which kind of government is purely Presbyterial, and not at all Episcopal, much lesse (as some would have it, even from this text) Archiepiscopal and Metropolitical.

Object.But it is objected by some learned men, That the Seven Cities in which these seven Asian Churches had their seat, were all of them Metropolitical, and so had relation unto the rest of the Towns, and Cities of Asia, as unto daughters ri­sing under them; And that therefore these Churches were Metropolitical Churches, and their Angels Metropolitical Bishops.

To this we answer,

  • Answ.
    1. That it will hardly be proved that these Seven Cities were all of them Metropolitical Cities in St. Iohn [...] dayes; And the situation of the most of them lying near together by the Sea side, makes it very improbable.
  • 2. But suppose it would, yet we answer.

1. That it is no good argument from the greatnesse of the Cities, to inferr the greatnesse of the Churches: For, though the Cities were great, yet the Churches were but small, and the number of believers very few in comparison of the rest of the people.

[Page 81]2. We do not believe that ever it can be proved, That the Apostles did model the government of the Church according to the government of the Roman State. This was the after-policy of Christian Emperours and Bishops, but no part of Apostolical policy; And therefore it doth not follow, That because there were divers Cities under the jurisdiction of these seven Cities, That therefore there should be divers Churches subordinate to these seven Asian Churche [...].

3. We are fully assured, That it can never be made out, That any of these Asian Angels were Archbishops, or Bishops over other Bishops; or Bishops over divers settled Churches. The seven starrs are said in Scripture to be fixed in their seven Candlesticks or Churches, not one Star over divers Candlesticks, or Churches.

If this opinion were true, Then Tertullian did no [...] do well in saying, That St. Iohn made Polycarpe Bishop of Smyrna, but he should rather have said, That he made him Arch-Bishop. And our Saviour Christ had not given un­to these seven Angels their due Titles. For he must have written. To the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, together with all those Churches in the Cities subordinate to Ephesus.

And so likewise of the other Six: Surely this device was found out for the honour of Archiepiscopacy by some that did aspire unto that dignity; But we hope that our more moderate Brethren are far from stamping a divinum jus up­on Archbishops and Prim [...]tes and Patriarchs, for fear lest by the same proportion of reason they be forced to put a di­vine stamp at last upon the Pope himself. And therefore we forbear to say any more about it.

For the conclusion of this discourse about the Asian An­gels, we shall add;

4. That it can never be proved, That these Asian An­gels were Bishops in a Prelatical sence, much lesse Arch-Bishops and Metropolitans. For it is agreed upon on al parts, That believers in great Cities were not divided into set and fixed Congregations or Parishes, till long after the Apo­stles [Page 82] dayes. And that Parishes were not united into Diocesses till 260. years after Christ. And therefore sure we are, That there could not be Diocesan Churches, and Diocesan Bishops formally so called in the Apostles dayes. These Angels were Congregational, not Diocesan. In the beginning of Christianity the number of believers, even in the greatest Cities, were so few, as that they might well meet, [...] in one and the same place. And these were called The Church of the Citie, and therefore, to or­dain Elders [...], and [...], are all one in Scrip­ture.

Afterwards we conceive, That believers became so nume­rous in these great Cities as that they could not convenient­ly meet in one place.Act. 2▪ 40. & 4 4. & 5.14. Thus it was in the Church of Hie­rusalem: and thus possible, it might be in most of these Asian Churches in St. Iohns time. But yet notwithstand­ing all this, there are three things diligently to be obser­ved.

1. That these meeting places were frequented promis­ [...]uously, and indistinctly, and that believers were not divi­ded into set and fixed Churches or congregations in the Apostles dayes.

2. That notwithstanding these different meeting places, yet the believers of one City made but one Church in the Apostles dayes, as is evident in the Church of Hierusalem, which is called a Church, not Churches, Act. 8.1. & 15.6. & 22.16. And so likewise it is called the Church of Ephesus, and the Church of Thyatira, &c. not Churches &c.

3. That this Church in the City was governed in the Apostles dayes by the common Councel of Presbyters, or Bishops.A [...]t. 14.23. For the Apostles went about Ordaining Presby­ters in every Church; and Act. 20.71. Paul calls for the Elders of the Church of Ephesus (one of these seven Chur­ches) and calls them Bishops, and commits the whole go­vernment of the Church unto th [...]m. The like may be said of the other six Churches. From all this we gather, That the Asian Angels w [...]re not Dioces [...]n Bishop [...], but Congre­Congregational [Page 83] Presbyter [...] seated each of them in one Church, not any of them in more then one.

And though Poly [...]arpe, by Tertullian and Irenaeus, be called Bishop of Smyrna, and On [...]simus by others, Bishop of Ephesus, yet it is confessed by all, That Bishops and Presby­ters had all one name in the Apostles dayes, and long after, even in Irenaus his time. And therefore the question still remains, Whether they were Bishops phrasi Apostolica, that is, Presbyters; or phrasi Pontificia; whether Bishops An­tonomastic [...], and [...], so called, or whether, as we be­lieve (and have proved as we conceive sufficiently) in a general sense, as all Presbyters are called. This is all we shall say about the Second answer; Though for our parts, we professe that we adhere unto the first answer, That the word Angel is to be taken Collectively, not Individually. And so much in answer to the Scripture-argument drawn from the Asian Angels.

CHAP. VII. Containing our Reply to the Answers given to our Scripture-arguments.

THe next thing we are to take in hand is to make brief replyes unto those an­swers that are given to some of our arguments (for to some of them no answer at all is given) brought against the jus divinum of Prelacy, and for the Identity of a Bishop and Presby­ter in Scripture.

The general answer that is returned unto all our texts of Scripture is; That these texts do onely prove an Identity of names, but not of Offices, and that it is the great Pres­byterian fall [...]cy. To argue from the Samenesse of names to a samenesse of function.

[Page 84]But we answer.

1. That it is of no small consequence, that there is a con­stant Identity of denomination between a Bishop and [...] Presbyter. For the proper end of names being (as Smect [...]ymnuus saith) to distinguish things according to the difference of their nature, and the supream wisdom of God being the imposer of these names, who could neither be ignorant of the nature of these offices, nor mistake the pro­per end of imposition of names, nor want variety to ex­presse himself, the argument taken from the constant Iden­tity of Denomination is not so contemptible as some would make it.

2. But we answer further, That our argument is not drawn from the Identity of denomination onely, but also from the Identity of Office, & it is this. They that have the same name, and the same office, and the same qualifications for their of­fice, and the same Ordination to their office, they are one and the same: but so hath the Presbyter, and Bishop, Er­go. This we proved from Titus 1. Tim. 3. and other places never yet answered.

More particularly,

To that place Act. 20.17, 28. where the Apostle com­mits the government of the Church of Ephesus unto the Presbyters of that Church whom he there calls Bishops &c. It is answered, That these Elders were not meer Presby­ters, but Bishops properly so called. And though they were sent for from Ephesus, yet they are not said to be all of Ephesus. But they were all the Bishops of Asia called from divers parts, and gathered together at Ephesus, and from thence sent for by Paul to Mil [...]tum. To make the new-minted answer seem probable, They bring the 25. verse, where it is said, And now behold I know that ye all among whom I have gone Preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. This must needs relate, say they, to all the Bi­shops of Asia amongst whom he had gone preaching the Kingdom of God. And so also they bring the 31. verse. Ther [...] ­fore watch and remember that [...]y the space of three years I ceased [Page 85] not to warne every one night and day with tears. Now with whom did Paul spend his three years? Not with the Elders of one City of Ephesus, but with all the Bishops of Asia. And therefore they conclude, that this was Pauls Metropoli­call visitation, not of a few Elders of one City, but of all the Asian Prelates.

To all this we reply.

1. That this interpretation is a manifest wresting of the text, contrary to most of the ancient Fathers, to Hierom, Reply▪ Theod [...]ret, Chrys. &c. and contrary to many Councells, and purposely found out to avoid the deadly blow that this text give [...] to Episcopacy by divine right.

2. There is no sufficient ground to build that conjecture upon, That the Bishops of all Asia were gathered together at Ephesus when Paul sent from Miletum to Ephesvs. The text saith that Paul from Miletum sent to Ephesus and called the Elders of the Church. Of what Church? Surely of that Church to which he sent, and that was Ephesus. He sent not, for ought we read, for any other Elders, neither is there any mention of any other Elders then present at Ephesus.

3. The Syriack translation reads it. He sent to Ephesus and called the Elders of the Church of Ephesus. So Hie­rom, Presbyteros Ecclesiae Ep [...]esinae. So concilium Aquis-gra­nense.

4. If the Apostles by the Elders of the Church had meant the Bishops of all Asia, he would have said, not the Elders of the Church, but of the Churches. It is an observation brought by one of those that makes use of this answer we are now confuting, That when the Scripture speakes of Churches in Cities, it alwaies useth the singular number, as the Church of Hirusalem, the Church of Corinth &c. But when it speakes of provinces in which were many Cities, then it useth the Plural number. As the Churches of Iu­daea and the Churches of Asia Rev. 1.11. According to this observation, If the Apostle had meant of the Bishops of All Asia, he would have said, The Elders of the Churches. [Page 86] But because he saith the Elders of the Church, it is evident he meanes onely, The Elders of the Church of Ephesus, and so by consequence it is as evident, That by Elders▪ the Apo­stle understands meer Presbyters, & not Bishops in a distinct sense, unlesse our brethren will confesse▪ That there were more Bishops then one in Ephesus which is wholly to for­sake theircause, and to confesse that which we affirm, that the Bishops of Ephesus were true Presbyters, and the Presby­ters true Bishops.

5. Whereas it is said, That Paul sent not onely for the Bi­shops or superintendents of Ephesus, but of all Asia. We demand, who was the Bishop of Ephesus that Paul sent for? Surely it was not Timothy. For Timothy was then present with him, and needed not to have been sent for, and yet Timothy was (according to our Brethrens judgement) the first Bishop of Ephesus. And if Timothy was the first Bi­shop, then surely there was none in Ephesus for Paul to send for, and if Ephesus at that time had no Bishop which was the Metroplis of all Asia; How came the Daughter Churches to have Bishops before their Mothe [...] Church, as they call it?

6. But, sixtly, We desire it may be proved, That there were any Bishops over Presbyters in Asia when Paul was at Miletum. This is taken for granted by Episcopall men, But this is the [...] The very thing which is in que­stion. We say That the Bishops of Asia were of the same nature with the Bishop of Ephesus, that is, they were Elders and Presbyters of the Churches to whom the Holy Ghost had committed the care of teaching and governing &c.

7. As for that which is gathered from the 25. verse, it beares no weight at all with it; For these words, All ye, re­late onely to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus that were then present. Should a man say unto ten Members of the House of Lords, and ten of the House of commons, and say unto them, All ye are now dissolved; would it imply a presence of all the Lords and all the Commons, because the [Page 87] speech concerned them all, and was true of them all? who [...]nows not it would not? So it is here, &c.

As for that which is hinted from the 31 vers. it doth not [...]t all prove that which it is brought for. For if we look in­to Act. 19. we shall find, that Paul spent most of his three years at Ephesus o [...]ly, and not in other parts of Asia. Ephesus was the chief City of Asia, and greatly given to Idolatry, and there P [...]l fixed his habitation.

It is the observation of Hiro [...], That Paul tarried 3. years at Ephesus in praedicat [...]ous Evangelis assiduns & [...] Minister, [...]t Id [...]lolatriae arc [...] destructa facile mi [...]orum, Hierom, in prae­fatione Epist. ad Ephesios. urbi [...] fa [...]a & superstitio [...]s convell [...]et. A daily and stro [...]uous Mi­nister in the Preaching of the Gospel: That by destroying the chief fort and castl [...] of Idol [...]try, h [...] might the [...]asilier demolish the temples and, the s [...]stitions of the less [...]r Cities. The te [...]t it self [...]entioneth two years and three Moneths. And there­fore this verse doth not at all prove that all the Bishops of Asia were present with Paul at Mi [...]etum. So much for the Justific [...]tion of our [...]gument drawn from Act. 20.17.28.

2. Whereas we have proved from Phil. 1.1. That there [...]re but two ordinary [...]nd st [...]nding Officers constituted by Christ in his Church &c. To this divers answers are given, and some of them quite contrary one to the other.

1. First it is said by some, That though in the place cited there be but two Orders of the Ministry mentioned, yet it doth not follow, but that there may be mention in other Scriptures of [...]nother standing Officer.

We desire that these Scriptures may be produced: We say▪ That there is no mention in any place of any others, and we add, That there is no mention of any Rules for Ordaining any others, or of any way of Mission for any others, no Qualifications for any others. And therefore that there is no other standing Officer in Christ's Church of his appointing.

2. It is confessed by others, That the Bishops in Philippi were meer Presbyters, and that the Apostles in the Chur­ches [Page 88] which they planted, did not at first appoint any Bi­shops, but Presbyters onely, to whom they gave the power of Preaching, but reserved in their own hands the power of Governing, till towards the latter end of their lives.

Reply.This conceit, though it be frequently urged, and much in­sisted on by the learnedest of our Brethren, yet that it is but a meer conceit, appears.

1. Because that when the Apostles placed Preaching Presbyters over the Churches, they did not only give unto them the power of Teaching, but also of governing. They are called Rulers and Governours, and their charge was [...], and [...], as we have proved at large. Our Saviour Christ committed both the Keyes (as they are called) The Key of Doctrine and Discipline, into the hands of Preaching Presbyters. And whom the Apostles did constitute Teachers, the same they made also Rulers and Governours.

2. Because that when Paul took his solemn leave of the Elders of Ephesus, and was never to see their faces more, he did not set a Bishop over them to Rule and govern them, But he left the power of government in the hands of the Elders▪ Charging them to feed the flock (over which the holy Ghost had made them Bishops) both by Doctrine, and Discipline.

3. This answer doth yeeld thus much; That the Apo­stles at first did place Presbyters in the Churches by them planted, and that to these Presbyters, he gave the power of Teaching, and (as we have proved) the power of govern­ing also.

Now it lyeth upon our Brethren to prove a Super-insti­tution of a Bishop over Presbyters by the Apostles, in some after times, which we are sure they cannot do. It is evident they did the quite contrary at Ephesus: And therefore we may safely conclude, That there was no such Officer in the Apostles dayes.

4. As for the Apostles reserving in their own hands the power of governing.

[Page 89] ‘To this it is well answered by the reverend Divines in their humble answer &c. That the Apostles could no more devest themselves of power of Governing, then (as Dr. Bilson saith) they could lose their Apostleship. Had they set up Bishops in all Churches, they had no more parted with their power of Governing, then they did in setting up Presbyters; for we have proved that Presbyters being called Rulers, Governours, Bishops had the power of Governing in Ordinary, committed to them as well as the office of teaching &c. Nor do we see, how the Apo­stle could reasonably commit [...] the Government of the Church to the Presbyters of Ephesus, and yet reserve the power of Governing (viz. in ordinary) in his own hands, who took his last farewell of them as never to see them more. As the reserving of that part of the power of Go­vernme nt called Legislative, in the Apostles hands hindred not, but that in your Majesties judgment Timothy and Ti­tus were Bishops at Ephesus and Creet, to whom the Apo­stle gives rules for ordering and governing the Church: So likewise there is no reason, why the Apostle reserving of that part of the power of Government called Execu­tive, in such cases and upon such occasions as they thought m eet should hinder the setting up of Bishops, if they had intended it; and therefore the reserving of power in their hands can be no greater reason why they did not set up Bishops at first, then that they never did.’

There is a third answer given which is quite contrary to the second, and that is, that these Bishops of Philippi were Bi­shops in a proper sence, and that at that time when the A­postle wrote his Epistle there▪ were no single Presbyters at Philippi.

1. This answer is quite contrary to the sence that Hierom, Theodoret, and Theophylacts, Reply. and others give of this text.

2. This answer supposeth, that there were more Bishops then one planted in one City by the Apostles, which is [Page 90] quite contrary to the judgment of Episcopall divines, and quite destructive of the Episcopal Hierarchy. Theodoret sayth that the Apostles by Bishops understands single Presbyters [...] Otherwise it had been impossible for many Bishops to go vern one, City. And so also Theophylact, The Apostle calls Presbyters, Bishops, [...], For there were not many Bishops in one City. And the truth is, To affirm▪ That there were many Bishops in one City in the Apostles dayes is in plain English to grant the cause and to say, That the Apostolicall Bishops were mere Presby­ters.

3. Another text brought by us to prove the Identity of a Bishop, and Presbyter was 1. Tim. 3. where the Apostle reckoning up the qualifications of a Bishop passeth from Bi­shops unto Deacon [...], leaving out the qualifications of Presby­ters, there by giving us to understand that Presbyters and Bishops are all one. To this it is answered, That because Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus who were Bishops, there­fore there was no need to write any thing concerning the choice or qualification of any other sort of officers, then such as belonged to their Ordination and inspection, which were Presbyters and Deacons onely, and no Bishops.

Reply.1. This answer would have some weight in it, if it could be proved, That Timothy and Titus were Bishops in a for­ [...]all sence, or if there could be found any rule for the Ordi­nation of an Hierarchicall Bishop, or for the qualifi­cation of him in some other place of Scripture; but we are sure that neither the one, nor the other can be made out.

‘2. It is reasonable to think (as our Divines at the Isle of Wight say) the Apostle when he passeth immediately from the Bishop to the Deacon (in the place forementi­oned) would have distinctly exprest, or at least hinted, what sort of Bishop he meant whether the Bishop over Presbyters, or the Presbyter Bishop, to have avoided the confusion of the name, and to have set, as it were, some [Page 91] mark of difference in the Eschocheon of the Presbyter-Bi­shop, if there had been some other Bishop of a higher house.’

3. According to the judgement of Episcopal men (as our divines do well observe) Bishops might then have ordained Bishops like themselves; for there was then no Canon [...] forbidding one single Bishop to Ordain another of his own rank: and there being many Cities in Creete Titus might have found it expedient, to have set up Bishops in some of those Cities. So that this answer fights against the princi­ple of those that hold Timothy and Titus to have been Bi­shops.

4. This answer is opposite to all those that hold Timothy and Titus to have been made by the Apostle Arch-Bishops of Eph [...]sus and Cr [...]t [...]. If they were Arch-Bishops, then their Office was to constitute Bishops in a proper sence. There is one of no little note among our Prelatical Bre­thren that stoutly maintains this; and till our Brethren be reconciled among themselves, we need make no other reply to this answer.

5. Whereas out of 1 Pet. 5. we proved▪ That the Elder [...] are not onely called Bishops, but have the whole Episco­pal power committed unto them, being commanded [...], and [...] To feed and take the Episcopal charge of the flock of God. To this it is said, That by Elders are meant Bishops in our Brthrens sense; Because These Elders are required to feed the flock [...] not as being Lords over Gods heritage; So it is translated. But say some, it must be translated, Not as being Lords [...]ver the Clergy committed to your care, which hints unto us (say they) That these Elders were Bishops over Presbyters, and not meer Presbyters.

This Interpretation is Novel, and not to be found for ought we can discern in all Antiquity, and we believe,Reply. our more Moderate Brethren are ashamed of it; and therefore we will be very brief in answer to it. All that we shall say is;

[Page 92]1. That though after the Apostles dayes there came in this Nominal distinction between the people and their Mi­nisters, insomuch as the people were called Laici, and their Ministrs Clerici: yet it is evident, that in the Apostles dayes there was no such distinction. The people of God are in this very Epistle called an holy Priesthood 1 Pet. 2.5. and a royal Priesthood 1 Pet. 2.9. And Deut. 32.9. The Lords portion, and the lot of his inheri [...]ance. And if the Rea­der wil be pleased to view al the translations that have been of this text, he will never find it translated — As being Lords of the Clergy but as being Lords of Gods heritage.

2. We answer, That the Apostle, as if on purpose he had intended to have fore-armed us against this misunderstand­ing of the words, in the latter clause of the verse he shew­eth what he maeneth by [...]. — Not as Lords over Gods heritage, but as being ensamples to the flock. The latter is the [...] of the former; By [...] he means [...] And the sense of the whole verse can be no other but this; That the Elders be careful not to Lord it over Gods heritage, that is, Gods flock, but to be examples un­to them.

We shall not trouble the Reader with any other answers to our arguments. These that we have mentioned being the most material.

Onely for the conclusion of this discourse, we shall crave leave to take notice, That there is a Doctor, a high Prela­tist of great esteem for learning amongst some men, that in a late Book of his hath undertaken to make out these two great Paradoxes.

1. That wheresover the word Bishop is used in the New Testament, it is to be taken in a Prelatical sense. For a Bi­shop is superiour to Presbyters in Ordination and Juris­diction.

2. That wheresoever the word Presbyter is used in the New Testament, it is to be understood, not of a meer Pr [...]s­byter, but of a Bishop properly so called. And whereas we say, That the Scripture-Bishop is nothing else but a [Page 93] Presbyter, and that there were no Bishops distinct from Presbyters in the Apostles dayes: This Author on the con­trary saith, That the Scripture-Presbyter, is a true Bishop: And that there were no single and meer Presbyters in the Apostles dayes. For our parts, we do not think it necessary to take a particular survey of all that is said in Justification of these Paradoxes. Onely we desire it may be consider­ed.

1. That these assertions are contrary unto Antiquity▪ which yet notwithstanding our Brethren do so highly mag­nify, and boast of in this controversie, and for receding from which (as they s [...]y we do) they do most deeply charge us.

2. That they are contrary to all that have ever written in defence of Episcopacy. And therefore till our Brethren can agree amongst themselves, we need not spend time to answer the private opinion of one Doctor.

3. That whosoever will defend these Paradoxes, must of necessity be forced to grant;

1. That there were more Bishops then one in a City in the Apostles dayes, which is to betray the cause of Episco­pacy, and to bring down a Bishop to the ranke of a Pres­byter.

2. That there were no Bishops over Presbyters in the Apostles dayes. For if there were no Presbyters, there could be no Bishops over Presbyters.

3. That Ordo Presbyteratus is not jure divino: For if nei­ther Christ, nor his Apostles Ordained the Office of a Pres­byter. Then is the Order of Presbytery a meer humane invention: Which is an assertion, that even the worst of Papists will abominate. Bellarmine himself saith, That a Bishop that is not first a Presbyter is a meer figment, and an empty Title.

4. The Author himself in Justification of this his opi­nion is forc'd to confesse.

1. That the Ephesius Presbyters whom Paul sent for to Mile [...], were all the Prelates of Asia.

[Page 94]2. That the Bishops of Philippi whom Paul salutes Chap. 1. were not the Bishops of that City onely, but of the whole Province, whereas Theophylact saith, That Philippi was [...] A little City subject to the Metropolis of Thessalonica.

3. That Timothy was Arch-Bishop of Ephesus, and that when Paul sets down the qualifications of Bishops, though he mentioneth no qualification, but such which are common to a Presbyter with a Bishop; yet he is to be understood to speak of Bishops in a prelatical sence, and not at all of Presbyters. And when he saith, The Elders that rule well are worthy of double honour &c. That is saith this Author, the Bishops that rule well &c. Thereby holding out this great error, that a Bishop that rules well is worthy of double ho­nour though he never preacheth. And when St. Paul bid [...] Ti­mothy not neglect the gift that was given him by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, that i [...] (saith he) of Episco­pacy. And when the Apostle chargeth him not to rebuke an Elder &c. and not receive an accusation against an El­der &c. This is to be understood of Bishops (saith he) and not of meer Presbyters.

4. That Titus also was Arch-Bishop of Creet, and that he received no commission from St. Paul to ordain single Elders, but onely for ordaining of Bishops in every City. It seems this Author slights the postscript where Titus is called the first Bishop of Creet, and slights all those ancient Fathers that are cited by his own party to prove that he was Bishop of Creet. But he must be an Arch-bishop, and so must Tymothy be also, or else these assertions of his will fall to the ground. Now that they were neither Bishops nor Archbishops hath been sufficiently proved (as we con­ceive) in the former discourse.

5. Fiftly and lastly, those Paradoxes are contrary to the very letter of the Scripture, as we have made it evident in our arguments against the jus divinum of Episcopacy, and would further manifest it, if we thought it necessary. For when the Apostle saith Iames 5.14. Is any sick among you? [Page 95] let him call for the Elders of the Church &c. who is there that can be perswaded to believe That all these Elders were Bishops in the sense that Bishops are taken in our dayes) is this the proper work of Bishops to visit the sick? and, besides, If the Apostles by Elders had meant Bishops in that sense, he would have said, let him call the Elder s of the Churches, not of the Church, unlesse our Brethren will say that there were divers Bishops in every Church in the Apostles dayes, in which there were many sick per­sons.

Besides, when it is said Act. 21.18. Paul went in with us unto Iames, and all the Elders were present. It is suppo­sed by our Episcopal men that this Iames was at this time Bishop of Hierusalem. Now we demand, who were these Elders? were these also Bishops of Hierusalem? will this answer consist with our Brethrens judgment? So likewise when it is said Act. 15.4. And when they were come to Hierusalem they were received of the Church and of th [...] A [...]pstles and Elders. We demand what is meant by the Church? Is it not meant the Church of Hierusalem, to which place they are said to come? And if so, Then we ask further what is meant by the Elders? Must it not be answered, That by Elders are meant the Elders of Hierusalem. And then let any man tell us how these Elders can be said to be Bishops in a Prelaticall sense, especially according to the sense of our Brethren who make Iames to be at this time the onely Bishop of Hierusalem. Add further, It is said Act. 14.23. when Paul and Barnabas had ordained them Elders in every Church Act. 11.30. They sent relief to the Elders &c. Can any Imagin that this Relief was sent onely to Bishops, and that Paul and Barnabas ordained no Presbyters in any Church but onely Bishops. Is not this to offer manifest violence to the Scriptures? and instead of upholding of Episcopacy is not this sufficient to render it odious and contemptible to all sober and Godly and Moderate Christians? But we forbear.

[Page 96]So much for our Scripture-proof, and for our Justification out of the Word of God of Ordination by Presbyters with­out Prelats.

HAving now finished our Vindication of the present Ministers of the Church of England, both such as were made by Bishops, and such as are now made without Bi­shops, before we come to our Appendix; we shall crave leave to shew in few words unto our respective Congrega­tions, not onely the lawfulnesse of the present Ministry: But the absolute necessity of adhering to it, and the de­structive dangers, and ineffable mischiefs that will follow upon receiving of it. And this will appear upon a four­fold account.

1. Because a true Ministery is essential to an Organical Church, that is, a Church administring Ordinances. A true Church saith Cyprian is Plebs Episcopo adunata.

Ecclesia non est (saith Jerom) quae non habet sacerdotem. Sure we are; That there cannot be a true Church Ministe­rial, without true Ministers.

2. Because the Scripture way and the onely Ordinary way by which men are set apart to the work of the Mini­stry is by Ordination, as we have abundantly shewed. He that comes any other way is a Thief and a Robber, not a true Shepherd.

3. Because That this Ordination must be performed ei­ther by Ministers, or by the people.

And if all Ordination by Ministers be to be accounted Antichristian (because these Ministers were made by other Ministers, and those by others, and those by such, as before the reformation, were belonging to the Church of Rome) Then it will follow, That there is no way of Ordination left, but by the people.

4. Because there is neither precept nor president in all the Book of God for Ordination of Ministers by the peo­ple without Ministers. We read of Ordination by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, but never by the laying on of the hands of the people. We find the Apostles Or­daining, [Page 97] and Timothy and Titus Ordaining (as we have formerly said) and the Presbytery ordaining; But no where of the peoples Ordaining. We find the people con­tra-distinguished from Rulers and Governours, but no where called Rulers or Governours. And if there be a power by Scripture in the people to Ordain Ministers, why was Titus sent to Creete to Ordain Elders? why did the Apostles visit the Churches they had planted, to Ordain Elders in every Church? And why is Timothy commanded, To lay hands suddenly on no man, &c. Some thing possibly may be said out of Scripture: For [...], But for [...] there is ne [...] quidem in totâ Scripturâ. Surely, this way of Ordination by the people is a devise that hath neither ground for it in the Scripture, nor in all Antiquity. And for private Christians to assume, not one­ly a power to elect their own Ministers, that is, to nominate Persons to be made their Ministers (which we no wayes dis­like or deny, so it be done in an orderly way by the gui­dance of the Presbytery) but also to undertake, without Ordination, to become Publick Preachers themselves: and not onely so, but to send forth Ministers authoritatively to Preach the Gospel, and administer the Sacraments. This is a sin like unto the sin of Vzziah, and of Corah and his company. This is to make themselves Political Popes, and Antichristian Christians.

And therefore for the conclusion of all, we shall make bold to speak two things to all those that renounce their former Ordination by Ministers, and take up a new way of Ordination by the people.

1. We would intreat them that before they find fault with our way of Ordination by Ministers, they would first of all justifie by the Canon of the Scripture, their new way of Ordination by the people.

2. We would desire them, in the fear of God to consider; That whosoever renounceth Ordination by Ministers, must of nece ssity not onely renounce our Ministry, but [Page 98] all the Ministers and Churches Reformed in the Christian world, and as Constantine said to Acesius the Nova [...]ian; He must erect a Ladder by himself to go to heaven in a new way: He must turn Seeker, and forsake all Church-Commu­nion, as some do in these our unhappy dayes upon this very ground, that we are speaking of. For sure we are, If Or­dination by Ministers be Antichristian; Ordination by the people is much more Antichristian. But we hope▪ better things of you, though we thus speak. And our prayer to God is, and shall be; That the Lord would send down the spi­rit of Truth into the hearts of his people to guide them in the truth in these erring dayes; The Spirit of holinesse, to sanctifie them by his truth in these prophane dayes; And the Spirit of charity, and meeknesse, and sobriety, to cause them to speak the truth in love, [...]. Ephes. 4.15. and to love one another in the truth, [...]. 2 Joh. 1. in these sinful and miserable dayes of uncharitablenesse and division.

The Appendix.

HAving sufficiently proved out of the word of God, that a Bishop and Presbyter are all one; and that Ordination by Presbyters is most agreeable thereunto: We shall now subjoyn a brief Discourse about the grand Objection, from the Antiquity of Prelacy, and about the Judgement and Practise of the Ancient Church, concerning the Ordination of Ministers. And this we shall do the rather, because our Prelatical Divines do herein most triumph and boast.

For Bishops distinct from Presbyters have been (say they) in the Church of Christ for 1600. years and up [...]ward. And there never was any Ordination without them. And when Coluthus was Ordained by a Presbyter without a Bishop, his Ordination was pronounced null and void: And Aerius by Austin and Epiphanius was account­ed an Heretique, for holding (an [...] and a [...]) an equality and Identity between a Bishop and a Presbyter. Nay Ierom himself saith, That a Bishop over Presbyters is an Apostolical Tradition, and that it began when some said, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, which was (say they) in the Apostles dayes. And from hence it is peremptorily asserted that Episcopal government is of Apostolical institution.

For answer to this great and plausible objection, and for the further declaration of our judgements concerning the Antiquity of Prela [...]y, we crave leave to lay down these fol­lowing Proposit [...]ons.

Proposition 1.

THat whatsoever may be said for Prelacy out of antiqui­ty, yet sure we are (as we hope hath been sufficiently proved) That it hath no foundation in the Scriptures. And as Christ, in matter of divorce, brought the Iewes to the first institution of marriage: so ought we in the point of Prelacy to reduce men back to the first Institution of Epis [...]opacy, and to say as Christ, From the beginning it was not so. It is a good saying of Tertullian, Id adulterum quod posterius, id verum quod primum. And it was well ob­served by Cyprian, That Christ said, Ego sum via, veritas, vi­ta: not Ego sum consuetudo: and that consuetudo sine veritate est vet [...]stas erroris. Christ is truth, and not custome, and custome without Truth is a mouldy error. And as Sir Francis Bacon saith, Antiquity without truth is a Cypher without a figure. And if we should seem in what we have asserted about the Identity of a Bishop and Presbyter, to differ from some of the ancient Fathers, yet we have the same plea for our selves, which Austin had, who being prest with the authority of Cyprian, Lib. Con [...]ra. Crescon. 2. cap. 32. answers;

His writings I hold not Canonical, but examin [...] them by the Canonical writings: And in them, what agreeth with the au­thority of Divine Scriptures, I accept with his praise, what agreeth not, I refuse with his leave, Sure we are, That hu­mane authority can but produce an humane faith; and when all is done, it is the Scripture (a perfect reconditory of all credenda, petenda, faci [...]nda) to which we must flee as the onely rock, upon which we can rightly build our faith; ac­cording to that excellent saying of Austin. Sunt certe libri Dominici, quorum auctoritati utrique consentimus, utrique credi­mus, utrique servimus, ibi quaramus Ecclesiam, ibi dis [...]tia­mus causam nostram.

Proposition 2.

THat there were many corruptions which crept into the Church, in the very Infancy of it, and were generally received as Apostolical traditions, which yet notwithstand­ing [Page 101] are not pleaded for by our Episcopal men, but many of them confessedly acknowledged to be errors and mis­takes. Witnesse first, The Millenary opinion which Iustine Martyr saith, That he, and all, in all parts, Orthodox Christians held it▪ and calls them Christians onely in name, with many other circumstances of aggravation, that denied it. Lactantius after a long discourse about it, con­cludes, Haec est doctrina sanctorum Prophetarum, quam Christia­ni s [...]quimur, hac est Christiana sapientia. The like is affirmed by Tertullian, Irenaeus, and divers others as is well known. Secondly, we will instance in the necessity of childrens par­taking of the Eucharist, which was taught by Austin and others as an Apostolical tradition. Rightly (saith Austin) do the Punick Christians call Baptisme by no other names but health and safety; nor the Sacraments of Christs body by no other then life: Vnde nisi ex antiquâ, (ut existimo) & Apostolica tradi [...]ion [...] qua Ecclesiae Christi insitum tenent praeter Baptismum, & participâtionem Dominica mensae, Austin lib. 1. de peccat. merit. & remiss. non sol [...]m non ad regnum Dei, sed nec ad salutem, & vitam ae [...]er­nam posse quenquam hominum pervenire. In which words the absolute necessity of Baptism and of the Eucharist for all sorts of people is made an Apostolical tradition. Lastly, to name no more,Basil de Spiritu Sancto cap. 27 [...] St. Basil in one Chapter names 4. cu­stomes as Apostolical Traditions, to wit, signing men with the sign of the Crosse; praying towards the East; anointing with oyl; standing up at prayer from Easter to Whitsuntide; which though some of our Episcopal Divines may perhaps ap­prove of as lawful customes, yet we conceive none of them will believe all of them, especially the two last, to be Apo­stolical traditions. From hence we gather, That there were many doctrines and practises pretended to be ground­ed upon Apostolical institution, which yet notwithstanding are rather to be accounted Apocryphal, then Apostolical.

Proposition 3.

THat after Christs ascension into heaven, The Church of God for a certain space of time, was governed by the common Councel of Presbyters without Bishops: This appears,

[Page 102]1. From the words of Ierom forementioned; Idem Ergo est Presbyter qui Episcopus, Et antequam Diaboli instinctu stu­di [...] in religione fierent & diceretur in populis Ego sum Pauli, Ego Apollo, ego Cephae, communi consilio Pr [...]sbyterorum Eccle­siae, gubernabantur. Postquam v [...]ro unusquisque eos &c. And afterwards Paulatim vero ut dissensionum plantaria evelleren­tur, ad unum omnem solicitudinem esse delatam &c. Here note, That for a certain time the Church was governed by the Assembly of Presbyter [...] alone, and that Bishops came in postea and paulatim. It is not said Simula [...] Corinthi dictum fuit, Ego sum Pauli &c. Sed postquam id dictum.

Object. 1.But Ierom seems to say, That this was done in the Apo­stles dayes, because then people began to say, I am of Paul, I am of Apollo, I am of Cephas.

Answ.These words cannot be so understood; For then Ierom should contradict himself; For the whole design of the place is, to prove Bishops to be of humane constitution. Besides Ierom doth not say, That it was said so among the Corinthians; But among the people, — & diceretur i [...] po­pulis. He alludes indeed to the Apostles words, and speaks in the Apostolical phrase; but not at all of the Apostles times.

The meaning is as David Blondel well observes; Post­quam alii passim Corinthiorum more dementati i [...] partes di [...]cerp­ti sunt: After that others were intoxicated after the man­ner of the Corinthians, and divided into several factions, then was one set over the rest as their Bishop. And that this must needs be so, appears demonstratively by this argument; Because that to prove that a Bishop and Presbyter are all one, Ierom cites places out of the Philippians, out of Titus, and out of the second and third Epistle of Iohn, which were all of them written after the Epistles to the Corinthians.

Object. 2.But St. Ierom in his 85. Epistle ad Evagrium calls the superiority of a Bishop over Presbyters, an Apostolical tradition.

Answ.A learned writer for the Prelatical government triumphs over Dr. Blondel, and Wal [...] Messalinus, because they [Page 103] passe over this objection unanswered; and he seems to say that it never can be answered: But if he had been pleased to have cast an eye upon the Vindication of the answer to the humble Remonstrance, written by Smectymnuus, he should have found this answer.

Ierom in that Epistle sharpens his reproof against some Deacons, that would equalize thewselves to Presbyters,Answ. &c. To make this repoof the stronger, he saith Pres­byteris, id est, Episcopis, and a little after, he doth out of the Scripture most manifestly prove eundem esse Presbyte­rum atque Episcopum: and carries this proof by Paul, by Peter, and by Iohn the longest surviver of the Apostles: Then adds Quod autem postea un [...]s electus qui caeteris prae­pon [...]retur, in s [...]hismatis remedium factum. The reason why afterwards one was elected, and set over the rest, was the cure of Schisme. It is hard to conceive how this impa­rity can be properly called an Apostolical tradition, when Ierom having mentioned Iohn the last of the Apostles, saith, i [...] wa [...] poste [...] that one was set over the rest. Yet should we grant it an Apostolical tradition in Ieroms sence, it would be no prejudice to our cause, seeing with him Apostolical tradition, and Ecclesiastical custom [...] are the same; witnesse that instance of the observation of Lent, which he wri­ting ad Marc [...]llum saith is Apostolica traditio, yet writing adversus Luciferianos faith, it is Ecclesiae consuetudo: Where­by it fully appears, That Ierom by Apostolical tradition meant not an Apostolical institution, but an Ecclesiastical custome: Thus far Smectym [...]uns.

And thus Ierom is made to agree with himself, whom our Episcopal Doctors would make to speak contradicti­ons.

But Ierom saith, It was toto orbe decretum, and how could this be but by Apostolical appointment?Object. 3.

The same Author also saith in the same place, That it came in paulatim. Answ. It was not decreed in the whole world all at once, but it came in by degrees, in some places soon­er, and in some later. The saying of Ambrose, or whoso­ever [Page 104] was the Author of it, upon the 4th. to the Ephesians is very remarkable — Ideo non per omnia conveni [...]nt scripta Apostoli Ord [...]nationi quae nunc in Ecclesiâ est &c. Nam & Timotheum Presbyterum a se creatum Episcopum vocat, quia primum Presbyteri Episcopi appellabantur: ut recedente uno, se­quens ei succederet &c. Sed quia caeperunt sequentes Presby­teri indigni inveniri ad primatus tenendos, immutata est ratio, prospiciente Concilio ut non Ordo, sed meritum crearet Episcopum. This quotation we shall have occasion to mention after­wards: We bring it now onely to shew;

  • 1. That the Ordination that was in Ambrose his dayes (if he be the Author) was not in all things agreeable to the Apostolical pattern.
  • 2. That the change that was made was prospicie [...]te conci­lio, Was by the advise of a Councel, and therefore it is not to be wondered, if in time the Church of Christ came to be governed by the lifting up of one Presbyter above the rest.

But how long was it that the Church of Christ was go­verned by the common Councel of Presbyters without a Bishop set over them?Quest.

Dr. Blondel, a man of great Reading and Learning, under­takes in a large discourse,Answ. to make out that before the year 140. there was not a Bishop over Presbyters. To whose elaborate writings we refer the Reader for further satis­faction in this particular.

Sure we are, that Clemens who lived in the first Century, in his famous Epistle to the Corinthians (an undoubted piece of Antiquity) makes but two Orders of Ministry, Bishops and Deacons. The occasion of that Epistle seems to be a new sedition raised by the Corinthians against their Presby­ters, p. 57.58. (not as B. Hall saies, the continuation of the schismes amongst them in the Apostles dayes) Clemens to remove their present sedition, tells them how God hath alwayes appointed several Orders in his Church, which must not be confounded. In the Iewish Church he ap­pointed a high Priest, Priests and Levites. And then tells [Page 105] them for the time of the Gospel that Christ Jesus sent his Apostles through Countries, and Cities, [...]. Clemens ad. Corinth. p. 54. in which they preached and constituted the first fruits (approving them by the spirit) for Bishops and Deacons, to those who should afterwards believe. Here we observe

1. That in the first and purest times, the custome was to choose Bishops in Villages, as well as in great Cities. Afterwards indeed in the year 347. in the Councel of Sar­dica, it was decreed, That no man should be chosen Bishop in a Village, or in a little City ne vilescat no [...]e [...] Episcopi: That the name of a Bishop might not be rendred contemptible. But in the first age of the Church, they appointed Bishops [...] as well as [...].

2. That Bishops and Deacons were the onely Orders of Ministry in the first Primitive Church: And that the Apo­stles appointed but two Officers (that is Bishops and Dea­cons) to bring men to believe: Because, when he had reckoned up three Orders appointed by God among the Jewes, Highpriest, Priests and Levites, coming to recite Orders appointed by the Apostles under the Gospel, he doth mention onely Bishops and Deacons.

The same Clemens adds pag. 57. That the Apostles know­ing by Jesus Christ, [...]. that there would a contention arise [...], About the name Bishop, and be­ing indued with perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the foresaid (that is the foresaid Orders of Bishops and Deacons) &c.

Here note 1. That by name is not meant the bare name of Bishop, but the honour and dignity as it is taken Phil. 2.9. Ephes. 1.21. Heb. 1.4. Revel. 11. So that [...] is here to be rendred by [...] and [...] is [...]. The controversie amongst the Corinthians, was not about the Name, but dignity of Episcopacy, for it was about the deposition of their godly Presbyters, pag. 57.58.

2. That the onely remedy appointed by the Apostles for the care of all contentions arising about Episcopacy, is by committing the care of the Church unto Bishops and Dea­cons. [Page 106] Afterwards the Church found out another way, by setting up one Bishop over another: But Clemens tells us, That the Apostles indued with perfect foreknowledge of things, Ordained onely Bishops and Deacons for a remedy of all Schismes.

It would be too long to recite all that is said in this Epi­stle, for the Justification of our proposition. Let the Rea­der peruse pag. and take notice; That those that are called Bishops in one place, are called Presbyters in another, and that they are [...], throughout the whole Epistle.

[...]. Perpetual government of Christs Church. Distinct. 93. cap. Legimus.The like record we have of Polycarpe, that famous Dis­ciple of Iohn the Apostle, who lived also within the first Cen­tury, and wrote an Epistle to the Philippians, in which he makes also but two Orders of Ministry, Bishops and Deacons & perswades the Philippians to be subject to their Presby­ters and Deacons as to God, and to Christ. Nay, Bishop Bil­son himself saith, pag. 158.159. That Elders at first did govern by common advise, is no doubt at all to us▪ That which is doubted and denied by us, is, That these Elders were Lay-men.

Gratian in his decrees brings in Ierom word for word af­firming, That a Bishop and a Presbyter are the same; upon which words▪ the author of the glosse saith. Some say that in the first Primitive Church, the Office of Bishops and Presbyters was common, but in the second Primitive Church, both names and Offices began to be distinguished. And again, A third sort say, this advancing was made in respect of name, and in respect of administration, and in respect of certain Ministeries which belong onely to the E­piscopal office.

And the same Author himself is of this opinion, saying; Before this advancing, these names, Bishops and Presbyters, were altogether of the same signification, and the admini­stration was common: because Churches were governed by the common advise of Presbyters. And again, This advancing was made for a remedy against schisme as is here said by St. Ierom. That one should have the prehemi­nence [Page 107] in regard of the name, the administration, and cer­tain Sacraments, which now are appropriated to Bishops. Here we have a distinction of the first and second Primitive Church, and that in the first Primitive Church, Bishops and Presbyters were all one.

To all these Quotations we shall subjoyn a remarkable passage of the L. Digby recorded in a letter of his, full of excellent learning, writen to Sr. Kenelme Digby. This Gentleman was a great adorer of Monarchical Episcopacy, and yet observe what he saith. He that would reduce the Church now to the form of government in the most Primi­tive time [...], should not take in my opinion, the best nor wisest course; I am sure not the safest: for he would be found pecking toward the Presbytery of Scotland, which for my part I believe, in point of government, hath a greater resemblance, then either yours or ours, to the first age of Christs Church, and yet it is never a whit the better for it; since it was a form not chosen for [...] best, but imposed by adversity under oppression, which in the beginning forc'd the Church from what it wish't, to what it might, not suf­fering that dignity and state Ecclesiastical, which rightly belonged unto it, to manifest it self to the world: and which soon afterwards upon the least lucida intervalla, shone forth so gloriously in the happier as well as more Monarchical condition of Episcopacy: of which way of go­vernment, I am so well perswaded, that I think it pitty, it was not made betimes, an Article of the Scottish Cate­chisme; That Bishops are jure Divino. By this passage it is easie to perceive the indiscreet zeal of this Gentle­man towards Lordly and Monarchical Prelacy, and yet we have here his free clear and full confession; That in the first, and best, and purest times of the Church, the Presby­terian government was practised, and not the Episcopal, which is the thing which we undertook to make out in this third Proposition.

Against all th [...]t hath been said in this Proposition,Obje [...]t. it is objected; That the Blessed St. Ignatius who lived in the [Page 108] first Century hath in his Epistles clearly and fully asserted Episcopal government, as it is distinct from Presbyterial. And that therefore there was no space of time wherein the Church ofChrist was governed by the common Councel of Pre [...]byters without Bishops properly so called.

In answer to this, we must intreat the Reader to take notice,Answ. that in the Primitive times there were abundance of spurious and supposititious works put forth under the names of the Apostles, and blessed Martyrs, which were none of theirs, but father [...]d upon them ut ementitis titulis fidem authoritatem (que) erroribus suis [...]onciliarent: That by their counterfect titles they might gain belief and authority to their errors. Such were the Epistle of Paul to Seneca, and Seneca's to Paul; The lawes and constitutions Aposto­lical, The works of Dionysius Ar [...]opagita, and divers others; The like fraud hath been used in Ignatius his works. It is certain, That the Epistle of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Ignatius, and of Ignatius to the Blessed Vi [...]gin, and two other Epistles of Ignatius unto St. Iohn the Apostle, are spurious and counterfeit. And as for his other twelve E­pistles, five of them are by invincible arguments as we con­ceive, proved by Vedelius, to be written by à Pseudo-Ignatius. Eusebius and Ierom make mention but of Seven: And for those seven, though with Scultetus, Vedelius, and Rivetus, we do not renounce them as none of hi [...], yet sure we are, they are so much adulterated and corrupted; that no man can ground any solid assertion about Episcopacy from Ignatius his works. The Reverend Archbishop of Armagh saith, That there are but six of these Epistles that are genuine, and that even these six are miserably depraved and corrupted. Rivet saith very judiciously, Ex quibus constat quaedam esse resecta. quaedam assuta, quaedam muta­ta, ac proinde epistolas illas fidem facere non posse, nisi in iis in quibus cum Apostolo­rum Scriptis conveniunt. Riveti critica sacra. That in these Epistles some things are defective, some things added, some things changed; And therefore they cannot merit oisr belief, but onely in those things in which th [...]y agree with the Apostolical writings.

Baronius indeed saith, that all his Epistles are come to us integrae & in [...]orruptae intire and uncorrupted: But yet notwithstanding, it seems forgetting what he had said, he [Page 109] tells That when there is mention made in the Epistle to the Philadelphians of the marriages of P [...]ter and Paul; That the word Paul i [...] foysted in. And he also tells us (as Vede­lius observes) That the words Gratia and Am [...] ▪ with which Ignatius was wont to conclude his Epistles were left out incuria librariorum in all his Epistles except two. And whereas it is said in the Epistle to the Philadelphians, That not onely the bread was given, but the cup also was distri­buted to all, Bellarmin [...] saith; That the Greek Cop [...]es are corrupt.

For our parts▪ we will not trouble the Reader with a large discourse about this subject. If he please he may read that what th [...] Archbishop of Armagh, what [...]ivet, Vedelius and Cook in his Censura Patrum. And what Salmasius and D. Blondel say about it, who all of them bring divers argu­ments to evince the invalidity of these Epistles. There is a learned Doctor that hath undertaken to answer the ob­jection [...] of the two last.

But this Doctor should do well to answer also to what the learned Archbishop of Armagh h [...]th written about these Epistles, who proves at large, That six of them are Nothae, the other six Mixtae, and none of them to be ac­counted omni ex parte sinc [...]rae & g [...]nuinae. Who also tell [...] us out of Casaub [...]n [...] That amongst all the Ecclesi [...]stical monuments, there are none in which the Papists put more confidence then in Ignatius his Epistles, That Baro­nius in his first Tome, almost in every page, cites Igna [...]ius to confirm his Popish traditions.

In the Second Tome Anno. 109. he confesseth, and disputeth it at large. That these Epistles are the very Tower of the Pontifician doctrine, and that it stands upheld by them as by a pillar, and he often saith, That there was never any found, who called the truth of these Epistles into question &c. And therefore this Reverend Doctor ought not to be offended if we advise him to take heed how he complies with Baronius in justifying of Ignatius from all depravations and interpolations, [Page 110] left out of overmuch love of Prelacy he be found an ad­vancer of Popery.

We shall briefly offer three Reasons why we cannot build our judgment concerning the doctrine of the Pri­mitive Church about Episcopacy upon Ignatius his Epi­stles.

Because there are divers things quoted out of his Epi­stles by Athanasius Gelasius and Theo [...]oret, Reason 1. which are either not to be found in their Epistles, or to be found altered and changed, and not according as they are quoted. This is Rivets argument, and pursued at l [...]rge by the Archbishop, to whom we refer the Reader.

From his overmuch extolling himself in his Epistle to the Trallians, Reason 2. where he saith: That he had attained such a measure of knowledge, That he understood heavenly things. [...] & [...]. The Orders of Angels: The differences of Archangels, and of the heavenly Host: The differences between Powers and Dominations: The di­stances of Thrones and Powers: The magnificencies, or magnitude [...] of Ae [...]nes or Principalities: The sub­limity of the Spirit: The excellen­cies of Cherubims and Seraphims: The Kingdom of the Lord, and the incomparable divinity of the Lord God Almighty. All these things I know, and yet am not perfect &c. Now who is there that can believe that such Arrogant boasting can pro­ceed from such a holy man, and humble Saint as Ignatius was.

The third Reason (which is most for our purpose) is from his over eager▪ Reason 3. and over anxious defence of the Episcopal Hierarchy which he doth with such strange, & hyperbolical expressions (as if all Christianity were lost if Prelacy were not upheld) and with such multiplied repetitions ad nauseam us (que)Coci censura. That we may confidently say as one doth: Certo certius est has Epistolas vel supposititias esse, vel [Page 111] foedè corruptas. And that they do neither agree with those times wherein he wrote, nor with such a holy and hum­ble Martyr as he was. We will instance in some few of them.

In his Epistle to the Trallians he saith; [...]. What is a Bi­shop, but he that is possest of all Principalitie and authority be­ [...]ond all as much as is possible, for men to be possest of, being made an imitator according to th [...] power of Christ who is God. He that can find in these words an Apostolical Spirit brea­thing, hath little acquaintance with the Apostolical wri­tings. How unlike is this to that of the Apostle 1 Cor. 3.5. Who then is Paul, and who Apollo, but Ministers by whom ye believe?

In the same Epistle he saith, [...], &c. Reverence the Bishop as ye [...] do Christ, at the holy Apostles have commanded; But where is this commanded?

In his Epistle to the Magn [...]sians, [...], &c. He saith: It be­comes you to obey the Bishop and in nothing to oppose him▪ For it is a terrible thing to contradict him.

And again, [...], &c. As the Lord Christ doth nothing without his Father: So must you do nothing without your Bishop, neither Presbyter, Deacon, nor L [...]y man. Let nothing seem right and equal to you, that is contrary to his judgment. For that that is such is wicked and [...]nmity to God.

In his Epistle to Polycarpe: [...], &c. It becomes those that marry, and are married, not to marry without the consent of the Bishop. And again, my soul for theirs that obey the Bishop, Presbyters and Deacons.

In his Epistle to the Philadelphians: [...], &c. Let the Princes obey the Emperour, the Souldiers the Princes; The Deacons and the rest of the Clergy with all the people and the Souldiers, and the Princes, and the Emperour, let them obey the Bishop.

Observe here how the Princes and Emperours are enjoy­ned to obey the Bishop, when there were not at this time, nor many years after, any Emperour or Princes Chri­stian.

[Page 112]In his Epistle to the Smyr [...]enses he saith: [...] &c. The Scripture saith, Honour God and the King: But I say, Honour God as the Author and Lord of all things, And the Bishop as the Prince of Priests resembling the image of God. Of God for his Principality; of Christ, for his Priesthood &c. There is none greater then the Bishop in the Church, who is consecrated for the salvation of the whole world &c. and afterwards. He that honours the Bishop shall be honoured by God, and he that injur's him shall be punished by God. And if he be justly thought worthy of punishment that riseth up against Kings, and is therein a violator of good Lawes; Of how much greater punish­ment shall he be thought worthy that will undertake to do any thing without his Bishop, thereby breaking concord, and overturn­ing good Order &c. We need not paraphrase upon these passages. Onely we desire the Reader in the fear of God to passe sentence whether these high and supertranscen­dent expressions, This prelation of Bishops above Kings, do savour of the first Primitive times, or can be imagined to proceed from Blessed Ignatius, even then when he was in bonds, and ready to be Martyred.

In the same Epistle he saith [...] &c. ‘Let all men follow the Bishop as Christ the Father &. Let no man do any thing that belongs to the Church without the Bishop. Let that Eucharist be allowed on which is done by the Bishop or by his concession &c. It is not lawful without the Bishop to Baptize, or offer &c. That which he ap­proves on is accepted of God, and whatsoever is so done is safe and firm. It is right that God and the Bishop be known: He that honours the Bishop is honoured of God. He that doth any thing without first consulting with the Bishop, [...] is a Worshipper of the Divel.’

If this Doctrine be true, what shall become of all the Re­formed Churches, especially the Church of Scotland, which (as Ioannes Major saith lib. 2. hystoria de g [...]stis Scotorum cap. 2.) was after its first conversion to the Christian faith [Page 113] above 230. years without Episcopal government.

We will not cite any more passages of this na­ture; These are sufficient to justifie that censure which the Reverend Presbyterian Divines in their humble answer to the second Paper delivered them by his Majestie at the Isle of Wight do passe upon Ignatius, where they say. ‘That there are great arguments drawn out of these Epistles themselves, betraying their insincerity, adulterate mixtures, and interpolations: So that Ignatius cannot be distinctly known in Ignatius. And if we take him in grosse, we make him the Patron (as Baronius, and the rest of the Popish writers do) of such rights and obser­vations, as the Church in his time cannot be thought to have owned. He doth indeed give testimony to the Pre­lacy of a Bishop above a Presbyter; That which may justly render him suspected, is, that he gives too much Honour, saith he, the Bishop as Gods high Priest, and after him you must honour the King. He was indeed a holy Martyr, and his writings have suffered Martyrdom as well as he. Corruptions could not go currant, but under the credit of worthy names.’

The considerations of these things makes Salmasius to believe that these Epistles were written by a Pse [...]do-Igna­tius at that very time when Episcopacy properly so called came into the Church, that so the people who had been accustomed to the Presbyterian government, might the more willingly and easily receive this new government,Walo Messali­nus. cap. 4. and not be offended at the novelty of it.

And this he the rather thinkes, Because in all his Epi­stles he speaks highly in honour of the Presbytery as well as of Episcopacy.

For in the Epistle to the Trallenses; He bids them be sub­ject to the Presbytery as to the Apostles of Iesus Christ. And a little after, he calle [...] the Pre [...]bytery [...] ▪ And in the s [...]me Epistle he saith▪ That the Colledge of the Presbyters is nothing else but [...]. Which passage must needs be [Page 114] understood of the second Primitive times. For after­wards, the Presbytery was much neglected and laid aside, as Ambrose complaines upon 1 Tim. 5. We will conclude our discourse concerning the The Epistles of Igna [...]ius with a remarkable saying of Rive [...] in his Critica sacra.

Nos sane genu­inis scriptis parati sumus deferre quan­tum jure bono poscere ab He­rone potuit. Custod [...], inquit depositum me­um quod ego & Christus concre­dimus, ubi Christus in verbo suo depositum sacrum concredidit, cui qu [...] apud Ignatium▪ concinnat am­plecti [...]ur; Cae [...]ra vero quae nec cum [...]hristo, nec cum vero Ignatio conveniut ut adulterin [...] & non [...]erenda [...]. We are ready to asc [...]ibe to the genuine writings of the F [...] ­thers, as much as Ignatius requires of Hero, to whom he saith. Keep that depositum which I and Christ have committed unto you. Christ in his Word hath concredited this holy depo­situm; And whatsoever is agreeable in Ignatius to this holy word we imbrace: Other things which neither agree with Christ▪ nor with the true Ignatius, we reject as adulterin [...] and not to be born. So much in answer to this ob­jection.

Proposition 4.

THat when it is said by Ir [...]naeus, lib. 3. cap. 3. That the ho­ly Apostles made Bishops in Churches, and particularly, That Polyca [...]pe was made Bishop of Smyrna by the Apostles, and that the Apostles made Linus Bishop of Rome, after whom succeeded Anacletus, and that Clemens was made the third Bishop by the Apostles. And when it is said by Ter­tullian, lib. de praescription. That Polycarpe was made Bishop of Smyrna by S. Iohn, and Clement Bishop of Rome by S. Pe­ter. This will nothing at all advance the Episcopal cause, unlesse it can be proved, that by the word Bishop, is meant a Bishop as distinct from Presbyters; a Bishop (as Gerrhard saith) p [...]rasi Pon [...]ificiâ not a Bishop phrasi Apostolica; a Bishop in a Popish, not in an Apostolical sense▪ which is all one with a Presbyter. For it is not denyed by any that ever wrote of Episcopacy▪ That the names of Bishop and Pres­byter were used [...], and were [...] in the Apostles dayes and many years after. And therefore Ire­n [...]us [Page 115] in his Epistle to Victor cited by Eusebius▪ lib. 5. cap. 23▪ calls A [...]i [...]etus, Pius, Higinus, Telesphor [...]s, Xist [...]s, Presbyters of the Church of Rome— and afterwards, Presbyter [...] [...] qui te pracesserunt, The Presbyters that went before thee: And so also, Nec Polycarpus Aniceto suasit, ut servaret, qui sibi Pres­byterorum, quibus successerat, consu [...]tudinem servandam [...] di­ceba [...]. T [...]rtullian also in his Apolog. cap. 39. call [...] the Pre­sidents of the Churches, Senior [...] or Presbyte [...], when he saith, Praesident probati qui (que) Seniore [...], &c. It is not there­fore sufficient for our Episcopal Brethren to say, That Bi­shops over Presbyters are of Apostolical institution, because the Apostles made Bishops in Churches; unlesse they do also prove, that those holy men who are called [...]ishop [...] ▪ were more then Presbyters. Otherwise we must justly charge them (of which they unjustly charge us) to be guilty of en­deavouring from the name Bishop, which was common to Presbyters with Bishops, to prove a superiority of Bishops over Presbyters.

Adde to this, That when our Brethren do frequently urge those places of Irenaeus, where he [...]aith,Irenai lib. 3. cap. 3. Lib. 4. cap. 63. Lib. 5. cap. 20. That he was able to number those that were madeBishops by the Apostles, & their successors unto his time, and often urgeth the successions of Bishops, unto whom the Apostles committed the charge of the Church in every place, This will nothing at all (as we conceive) advantage the Episcopal Hier [...]rchy▪ unlesse they do also prove, That those Bishops were Hierarchical Bi­shops, and not the very same with Presbyters. For the same Autho [...] doth speak the very same things of Presbyters, calling them also Bishops. For he saith, lib. 4. cap. 43. Quapropter [...]is [...] in Ecclesia sunt Presbyter [...]s obaudir [...] opor [...]et, his qui suc­cession [...] h [...]be [...] ab Apostol [...]s sicu [...] [...], qui cum Episco­pa [...]us successi [...] charis [...]a veritatis cert [...]m, secundum placitum Patris, acc [...]perunt. Re [...]iquos vero qui absistu [...] à princip [...]l [...] suc­cessione, & qu [...]cun (que) loco colliguntur, suspectos habere, vel quasi h [...]retic [...]s & mala [...], vel quasi sci [...]d [...]ntes & [...]latos & sibi place [...]s [...], [...]t hypocritas [...] grati [...] & [...] gloriae hoc [...]. So also [...]. 4▪ cap. 44— Ab omnibus [...]a [...]ibus [Page 116] absist [...]re oportet adhaerere vero his qui & Apostolorum, sicut prae­diximus doctrinam custodiunt, & cum Presby [...]rii ordine s [...]rmo­nem sanum, & conversationem sine offensa praestant ad informa­tionem & corr [...]ctionem aliorum. Observe here, 1. That Pres­byters are called the Successors of the Apostles. 2. That they are also called Bishops. 3. That the Apostolical do­ctrine is derived from the Apostles by their succession. 4. That there is nothing said in the former places of Bishops which is not here said of Presbyters. And that therefore those place [...] do not prove, That the Apostles constituted Bishops in the Church distinct from, and superiour over Presbyters. As for that which is said about the succession of Bishops from the Apostles unto Irenaeus his time, we shall h [...]ve [...]ccasion to speak to afterwards.

Adde also, That when in Antiquity Iames the Brother of our Lord is said to have been made Bishop of Hierusalem by the Apostles, and Peter to be ordained Bishop of Antioch, or Rome, &c. This doth not contribute to the proof of what it is brought for, to wit▪ That there were Bishops pro­perly so called in the Apostles dayes. For as Dr. Reynolds agains [...] Hart, cap. 2. saith▪ ‘When the Fathers termed any Apostle a Bishop of this or that City, (as namely Saint Peter of Antioch or Rome) they meant in a general sort and signification, because they did attend that Church for a time▪ and supply that room in preaching the Gospel, which Bishops did after; but as the name of Bishop is commonly taken for the Overseer of a particular Church, and Pastor of a several flock, so Peter was not Bishop of any one place: therefore not of Rome.

And Dr. Whitakers, lib. de Pontif. qu. 2. cap. 15. saith, Patres cum Iacobum Episcopum vo [...]ant au [...] etiam P [...]trum, non propriè sum [...]nt Episcopi n [...]men, sed vocant eos Episcopos illarum Ecclesiarum in quibus aliquandiu commorati sunt. Et si propri [...] de Episcopo loquatur, absurdum est Apostolos fuisse Episcopos. Nam qui propriè Episcopus [...]st, is Apostolus non potest esse, quia Episcopus est unius tantum Ecclesiae. A [...] Apostoli pl [...]ium Ec­clesiarum fundatores & inspectores erant. Et postea. H [...] eni [...] [Page 117] non multum distat ab insania, dicere Petrum fuisse propriè Epis­copum, aut reliquos Apostolos. ‘That the Fathers when they call Iames or Peter Bishops, do not take the name of Bi­shop properly, but they call them Bishops of those places where they abode for any long time. And in the same place, If we speak properly of Bishops, it is absurd, to say, That the Apostles were Bishops: For he that is pro­perly a Bishop, cannot be an Apostle. For a Bishop is onely of one Church. But the Apostles were the Foun­ders and Overseers of many Churches.’ And again, he saith, ‘It doth not much differ from a phrenzy, and mad­nesse to say, That Peter or any of the Apostles were pro­perly Bishops. For the truth is, This were to degrade the Apostles, and to bring them into the Rank and Order of common and ordin [...]ry Officers of the Church, which is no little Sacriledge.’ And therefore such kind of quotations out of Antiquity do little avail our Brethren. So much for the fourth Proposition.

Proposi [...]ion 5.

THat when the distinction between a Bishop and Pres­byter first began in the Church of Christ, it was not grounded upon a Ius Divinum, but upon prudential reasons and arguments. And the chief of them was (as Hierom and divers after him say) in remed [...]m Schismatis, & ut dissen­sionum plantaria evellerentur, For the remedy of Schisme, and that the seeds of errour might be rooted out of the Church.

Now that this prudential way (invented no doubt at first upon a good intention) was not the way of God, appeares (as Smectymnuus hath well shewn) thus,

‘Because we read in the Apostles daies there were divi­sions, Rom. 16.17▪ and Schismes, 1 Cor. 3.3. & 11.18. yet the Apostle was not directed by the Holy Ghost to Ordain Bishops for the taking away of those Schismes. Neither in the Rules he prescribes for healing of those [Page 118] breaches doth he mention Bishops for that end. Neither doth he mention this in his directions to Timothy and Ti­tus for the Ordination of Bishops or Elders, as one end of their Ordination, or one peculiar duty of their office. And though the Apostle saith, Oportet haereses esse ut qui probati sunt manifesti fi [...]t inter vos; yet the Apostle no where saith, Oportet Episcopos esse, ut tollantur haereses quae manifest [...] fi­unt; There must be Bishops that those Heresies which are manifest amongst you may be removed.’

2. ‘Because the Holy Ghost, who could foresee what would ensue thereupon, would never ordain that for a remedy, which would not onely be ineffectual to the cut­ting off of evil, but become a stirrup for Antichrist to get into the saddle. For if there be a necessity of setting up one Bishop over many Presbyters for preventing Schisms, there is as great a necessity of setting up one Archbishop over many Bishops; and one Patriarch over many Arch­bishops, and one Pope over all, unlesse men will imagine that there is a danger of Schisme only among Presbyters, and not among Bishops and Archbishops, which is contra­ry to reason, truth, history and our own experience.’

Hence it is that Musculus having proved by Act. 20. Phil. 1.1. Titus 1.5. 1 Pet. 5.1. that in the Apostles times a Bi­shop and a Presbyter were all one, he addes, ‘But after the Apostles times when amongst the Elder [...] of the Church (as Hierome saith) Schismes arose, and a [...] I verily think, they began to strive for Majority by little and little, they began to choose one among the rest out of the number of Elders that should be above the rest in a higher degree, and called Bishop. But whether that device of man pro­fited the Church or no, the times following could better judge, then when it first began. And further addeth, That if Hierome and others had seen as much as they that came after, they would have concluded, that it was never brought in by Gods Spirit to take away Schismes, as was pretended; but brought in by Satan to wast and destroy the former Ministry that fed the flock▪’ Thus far Muscu­lus.

[Page 119] Sadeel also hath this memorable passage; ‘The diffe­rence between Bishops and other Ministers came in for remedy of Schisme. But they that devised it little thought what a gate they opened to the ambition of Bishop [...].’

Hence also Dr. Whi [...]akers asking, ‘How came in the in­equality between Bishops and Presbyters, answereth out of Hierome, That the Schisme and faction of some occa­sioned the ancient Government to be changed — which, saith he, how ever devised at first for a remedy against Schisme, yet many holy and wise men have judged it more pernicious then the disease it self; and although it did not by and by appear, yet miserable experience afterward shewed it. First ambition crept in, which at length be­gat Antichrist, set him in his chair, and brought the yoak of bondage upon the neck of the Church.’

The sense of these mischiefs made Nazianz [...]n wish, not onely that there were no [...]. No dignity or tyrannical prerogative of place, but also that there were no [...], no principal dignity, to wit, in the Church of which he is speaking. ‘But now (saith he) Contentions about the right hand and the left, about the higher and the lower place, &c. have bred many inconve­niencies even among Ministers that should be Teachers in Israel.

Proposition 6.

THat there is a wid [...] and vast difference between the Bi­shops of the Primitive times, and the Bishops of later times, as much as between ancient Rome, and Rome at this day.

A Bishop at his first erection was nothing else but Primus Presbyter, or Episcopus Praeses (as a Moderator in a Church-Assembly, or a Speaker in a Parliament) that governed communi Concilio Presbyterorum, and had neither power of Ordination, nor of Jurisdiction, but in common with his Presbyters.

[Page 120] Episcopi & Presbyteri una est Ordinatio; uter (que) enim Sa­cerdos est, sed Episcopus pri­mus. Ambrose upon the 1 Tim. 3. saith, ‘That there is one and the same Ordination of a Bishop and a Presbyter; for both of them are Priests, but the Bishop is the first.’

In Confe­rence with Hart, in the end of the third, and be­ginning of the fifth Division.Dr. Reynolds saith, ‘That when Elders were ordained by the Apostles in every Church through every City to feed the flock of Christ, whereof the Holy Gost had made them Overseers: they to the intent they might the better do it by common counsel and consent, did use to assem­ble themselves and meet together. In the which meet­ings, for the more orderly handling and concluding of things pertaining to their charge; they chose one amongst them to be the President of their company, and Modera­tor of their actions—And this is he whom afterward in the Primitive Church the Fathers called Bishop. For as the name of Ministers, common to all them who serve Christ in the stewardship of the mysteries of God, that is, in preaching of the Gospel, is now by the custome of our English speech restrained to Elders who are under a Bi­shop; So the name of Bishop common to all Elders and Pastors of the Church, was then by the usual language of of the Fathers appropriated to him who had the Presi­dentship over Elders.’ From which quotation it appeares, that in the judgment of learned Dr. Reynold, A Bishop at his first appearing was nothing else but [...]. The President or Moderator of the Presbytery.

D. Blondel, a man of vast Reading, indeavours strenu­ously to make it out, That when Episcopacy first came up in the Church, the custome was to choose the Eldest of the company of the Presbyters (whom he calls [...] that is the first of those that were ordained) to be their Bi­shop or Moderator. And after his decease, the next in age succeeded him, not advanced in degree of Ministry or power above his Brethren, but onely in order and dignity as being the first Presbyter.

This opinion is agreeable to that passage out of St. Am­brose) if that Book be his where he saith—Nam & Ti­motheum [Page 121] Presbyterum à se creatum Episcopum vocat, quia pri­mum Presbyteri Episcopi appellabantur, ut rec [...]dente uno, se­quen [...] ei succederet — Sed quia ceperunt sequentes Presbyteri in­digni inveniri ad Primatus tenendos immutata est ratio, prospici­ente concilio, ut non Ordo, sed meritum crearet Epis [...]opum mul­torum Sacerdotum judicio constitutum, ne indignus tem [...]re usur­paret & esset multis scandalum. I [...] lege nascebantur Sac [...]rdo­tes ex genere Aaron Levi [...]ae, &c. Whether this conjecture of [...] be true or no, or whether (as others think) it was true in some Churches and not in others, we, will not now debate. But sure we are, that in Alexandria, as St. Ierom tells us, The Bishop was chosen not onely out of the Presbytery, but by the Presbytery, and by them consti­tuted Bishop, and placed in excelsi [...]ri gradu in an higher de­gree of honour, not Office. He was not made by 3. Bishops, Sed Presbyteri unum ex se electum in excelsiore gr [...]an colloca­tu [...], Episcopum nominabant.

Indeed afterwards in processe of time, This Ep [...]scopus P [...]ae­ses came to be Episcopus Princeps and usurped sinfully upon the priviledges of Ministers and people, and made way for the coming in of Antichrist. Famous is that (so often men­tined in several writings in this age) saying of Ambrose upon 1 Tim. 5 1 Vnde & Synagoga & post [...]a Ecclesia Seniores ha­buit quorum sine consilio nihil agebatur in Ecclesia. Quod quâ negligentiâ obsolev [...]rat nescio, nisi forte Doctorum desidi [...] aut magis superbiâ dum volunt aliguid videri

From hence came that distinction of Beza's between Episcopus divinus, humanus, and Diabolicus; By the divine Bishop he means the Presbyter; by the humane Bishop, he means the Bishop chosen by the Presbyters to be President over them, and to rule with them by fixed Lawes and Ca­nons; By the Diabolical he means a Bishop with sole power of Ordination and Jurisdiction, Lording it over Gods he­ritage and governing by his own will and authority.

And therefore when men argue from the practise of the Primitive times, and from the Bishops of those dayes to the Bishops of our dayes, they do but [...], they com­mit [Page 122] a fallacy, just as if a man should argue, That the Church of Rome is now a true Church, because it was so in the Apo­stles dayes. For the further handling of this proposition▪ we refer the Reader to Sm [...]ctym [...]us, where he shall have many pages spent to prove the imparity between the Bi­shops of the Primitive times and our dayes.

Onely we shall crave leave to relate a passage from a Reverend Divine now with God,Mr. Iohn Gerce his Sisters Sieve broken, cap. 4. who holdeth forth this as­sertion: ‘That the ancient Fathers in the point of Episco­pacy differ more from the high Prelatist then from the Presbyterian▪ This he proveth. Because The Presbyteri­ans alwayes have [...] President to guide their actions, which they acknowledge may be perpetual d [...]rante vitâ [...]do s [...] ben [...] g [...]sseri [...]: or temporary to avoid inconvenience. Which Bilson in his preface (& again and again in his Book of the Perp. government) takes hold of, as advantagious, be­cause so little discrepant (as he saith) from what he maintain [...]: But now the high Prelatists exclu [...]e a Presby­tery, [...]s having nothing to do with jurisdiction, which they put as far above the sphaere of a Presbyter, as sacrificing above a Levites, to wit, an act restrained to an higher Order; whereas the Fathers acknowledge a Presbytery, and in divers cases, Councels tie the Bishop to do nothing without them. And so it is clear, The high Prelatist [...] are at a further distance from the Fa­thers, then the Prebyterians: Afterwards he also adds, If we differ from the Fathers in point of Prelacy (where­in our opponents are in no better terms with them, then we) yet I would have them consider in how many thing [...] we jumpe with the Fathers, wherein many of them have been dissenting both in opinion, and practise; as 1. touch­ing promiscuous dancing, especially upon the Lords day. 2. Touching residency of Pastors in their Churches, which excludes all Pluralities. 3. Frequency and dili­gence in Preaching. 4. Touching the abuse of health-drinking, or drinking ad aequales calices. 5. Touching Bishops not intanling themselves with secular affairs, or [Page 123] businesses of state in Princes Courts. 6. Touching ga­ming at Cards or Dice, and such like, so that they can with no great confidence triumph in the Fathers, against us, in this one point (wherein themselves also are at a distance from them) while we keep closer to the Fathers▪ then they do in many others.’

Proposition 7.

THat the great argument that is brought for Episcopa­cy from the lineal succession of Bishops from the Apo­stles daies to our d [...]e [...], hath not that validity in it that is imagined. Bishop Bilson and others [...]ake a great deal of pains to give us a Catalogue of the Bishops in Rome, Al [...]xan­dria, Hierusalem, and Antioch, from the Apostles daies unto Constantine's time. But we desire the Reader to consi­der▪

First, That these Catalogues labour much of an Homo­nymy in the word Bishop. For the Bishops of later times were Bishops of a f [...]r different nature from the Bishops of the first times. Though the same name be common to all in the Catalogue, yet in the nature of their Office they dif­fered very much. The later, peece by peece, taking that authority to the [...] which the former neither might nor did [...]njoy. The later were Diocesan, the former were Bishop [...] onely of one Congregation. At first the Churches were governed by the Common Councel of Presbyters, and the line of succession was drawn (saith D. Blo [...]del) from the [...], that i [...], the first Ordained Minister. Even [...]s amongst the Athenian [...] there were▪ 9. Archontes or chief Ruler [...] equal in power and authority, and yet the succession of Governours in Athens was desi [...]ed from one of them on [...]ly who w [...] the first Ar [...]bon or Ruler, which was not done to diminish the [...]thority of the [...]est, sed ut compen­di [...]sio [...] minus [...]. But that the enumer [...]i [...]n of the [...] of their successive Gover­nour [...] might [...] compendious and expedite. Even [Page 124] so at first▪ there were divers Presbyters in every City which did govern with equal power and authority, and yet the line and succession was deduced from one who was the first of those that were ordained, not thereby in­croaching upon the joynt authority of the rest: but for the more expedite way of reckoning. And when afterwards one was chosen out of the Presbytery, he was, for a long time▪ but as the Moderator of a Synod amongst the Scotch and Dutch, and at most but as a Superintendent amongst the Germa [...]s; of whom Zepp. lib. 2. cap. 10. saith, ‘That they are of the same degree with other Ministers, they are only presi­dent [...] while the Synod lasteth, when it is dissolved, their Prerogative ceaseth. They have no prerogative over their fellow-Ministers▪ they are subject to their Presbyteries. The Synod ended, they return to the care of their particular Churches.’

Secondly, That these Catalogues the nearer they come to the Apostles daies are the more [...]ncer [...]in▪ and indeed con­tradictory one unto another: Some say, that Clemens was first Bishop of Rome after Peter: some say, the third▪ and the intricacies about the Order of Succession in Linus, Ana­cletus▪ Clemens ▪ and another called Cletus ▪ as some affirm, are inextricable. Some say, That Titus was Bishop of Cr [...]te, some say Archbishop; and some, Bishop of Dalma­tia. Some say, That Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus; and some say, That Iohn was Bishop of Ephesus at the same time. Some say, Polyca [...]ps was first Bishop of Smyrna; another saith, that he succeeded one Bu [...]olus: and another, That Arist [...] was first. Some say, That Alexandria had but one Bishop, and other Cities two▪ and others, that there was but one Bishop of one City at the same time. And how can these Catalogues be unquestionable, that must be made up out of Testimonies that fight one against another.

Iun. con [...]rv. lib. 2. cap. 5. not. 18.Learned Iunius speaking of that great controversie about the succession of the first Bishops or Presbyters of Rome, whether Linus was the first, or Clemens, or Anacletus, hath this remarkable passage; ‘That these or some of these were [Page 125] Presbyters or Bishops of Rome at the same time, ruling the Church in common. But the following Writers, fancy­ing to themselves such Bishops as then had obtained in the Church, fell into these snares of tradition, because they supposed, according to the custome of their own time [...] ▪ that the [...]e could be but one Bishop in one Church at the same time, which i [...] quite crosse to the Apostolic all times.’

Thirdly, This is also to be considered, That they that made the Catalogues spake according to the language of the times in which they lived, in which there was a distin­ction between Bishops and Presby [...]ers; and therefore call them who went before them Bishops▪ whereas indeed they were not so in a proper sence. Nor can the Bishops of af­ter-times be said to succeed them any otherwise (if so much) then Caesar is said to succeed the Roman Consuls.

Fourthly, These Catalogues do resolve themselves into an Apostle or an Evangelist▪ as at Rome into [...]; at Alexandria into Mark; at Ephesus into Timothy; a [...] [...]ret [...] into Titus. Now it is certain, That the Apostles and Evan­gelists cannot be said to be Bishops in a formal sence. For they had an universal Commission, and their Offices were extraordinary, and they had no successors properly in idem Officium. Indeed Bishops or Presbyte [...]s did succeed them in some part of their work, but not in their Office. Ordinary Offices succeed Extraordinary, not in the same line and de­gree as one Brother succeeds another in his inheritance, but as men of another Order, and in a different line. They are, we confesse, called Bishops by Ecclesiastical Writers, but that was onely by way of allusion, and [...], as we have formerly shewed.

We will conclude this Proposition with part of a passage out of the conference of the Reverend Presbyters at the Isle of Wight, where they say;

‘And left your Majesty might reply, That however the Catalogues and Testimonies may varie, or be mistaken, in the order, or times, or names of those Persons that suc­ceeded [Page 126] the Apostles, yet all agree, that there was a Suc­cession of some Persons; and so though the credit of the Catalogues be infirmed, yet the thing intended is confir­med thereby: We grant, that a Succession of men to feed and govern these Churches, while they continued Churches, cannot be denyed; and that the Apostles and Evangelists, that planted and watered those Churches (though extraordinary and temporary Officers) were by Ecclesiastical Writers in compliance with the language and usage of thir own times, called Bishops; and so were eminent men, of chief note, presiding in Presbyteries of the Cities or Churches, called by such Writers as wrote after the division and distinction of the names of Presbyters and Bishops: But that those first and ancientest Presby­ters were Bishops in proper sence, according to your Ma­jesties description, invested with power over Presbyters and people, to whom (as distinct from Presbyters) did be­long the power of Ordination, giving Rules and Cen­sures; we humbly conceive can never be proved by au­thentick or competent Testimonies. And granting, that your Majesty should prove the Succession of Bishops from the Primitive times seriatim, yet if these from whom you draw, and through whom you derive it▪ be found either more then Bishops, as Apostles, and extraordinary per­sons, or lesse then Bishops, a [...] meerly first Presbyters, ha­ving not one of the three essentials to Episcopal Govern­ment (mentioned by your Majestie) in their own hand; it will follow, that all your Majestie hath proved by this Succession, is the Homonymy and equivocal accepta­tion of the word Episcopus.

Proposition 8.

THat whatsoever may be said of Episcopacy out of An­tiquity, yet notwithstanding it is an opinion generally received by the Learned in all ages, That there are but Two Orders of Ministers in the Church of Christ, Bishops and Deacons, according to the saying of Paul to the Philippians, where he salutes the Bishops and Deacon [...], that is, the Pres­byters and Deacons. Of this opinion i [...] Clement in his Epistle to the Corinthians, and Polycarp [...] in his Epistle to the Phil [...] ­delphians, as we have shewed. Thi [...] also i [...] the opinion of most of the School-men. Lombard saith;4. Sent. distinct. 24. ‘Whereas all the seven Orders are spiritual and sacred; yet the Canons think that two onely are called Sacred Orders by an excel­lency, to wit, the order of Deaconship and Priesthood: be­cause the Primitive Church, so far as we can read, had onely these two; and of these only we have the Apostles precept.’ Bonavent [...]r [...] saith, That Episcopacy i [...] no order,Non est ordo praecise loquen­do, Sed ordinis eminentia vel dignitas. Ponav. in 4. Sent. dist [...]ct. 24. but an eminency and dignity. The like saith A [...]re [...]lus upon the 4. Sent. distinct. 24. Nav [...]rrus saith, That it is the com­mon opinion of the Divines, That Episcopacy is not an Or­der, but an Office. See more of this in Forbesii I [...]nicu [...], lib. 2. cap. 11. And in the Addition of M. Mason to his de­fence of the Ministry of the Church of England, where there are very many authors cited to prove, That Presbytery is the highest Order of Ministry, is not a different order, but a different degree of the same Order. See also D. Blo [...]de [...], Sect. 3.135. where he sheweth out of divers Councells, that under the name of Priests and Levites, the whole Gospel-Ministry were comprehended.

In our own Nation that blessed man Mr. Wickloffe did judge,Catalogus [...] ­stium tom. 2. Tantum Duos ordines Mini­strorum esse de­b [...]re judicavit, Presb [...]t [...]ros, viz. & Di [...]conos. that there ought onely to be two Orders of Ministers in the Church, to wit, Presbyters and Deacons. And Iohn Lamber [...] a Martyr in his answer to Articles objected against him▪ saith, ‘As touching Priesthood in the Primitive Church, when vertue bore (as Ancient Doctors do deem, [Page 128] and Scripture in mine opinion recordeth the same) most room, there were no more Officers in the Church of God then Bishops and Deacons that is Ministers; as witnesseth, besides Scripture, Hierome in his Commentariesupon the Epistles of Paul.

But we shall give one instance instead of many that might be added. In the year 1537. there came out a Book called, The Institution of a Christian man, made by the whole Clergy in their Provincial Synod, set forth by the au­thority of the Kings Majestie, and approved by the whole Parliament, and commanded to be preached to the whole Kingdom, wherein speaking of the Sacrament of Orders, it is said expresly, That although the Fathers of the succeed­ing Church after the Apostles instituted certain inferiour degrees of Ministery; yet the truth is, that in the New Te­stament there is no mention made of any other degree or distinction in Orders, but onely of Deacons or Ministers; and Presbyters, or Bishops, and thoroughout the whole discourse makes Presbyters and Bishops one and the same. But of this Proposition we have had occasion to speak formerly, to which we refer the diligent Reader.

Now from hence it followeth inevitably, That▪ if ac­cording unto the judgments of our Episcopal Divines, Epis­copacy be the same Order of Ministry with Presbytery, th [...] it hath no more intrinsecal power of Ordination and Juris­diction, then Presbytery hath. And that all that distinction that was put between them by Antiquity, was meerly in re­straining the use and exercise of that power which was truly and really inherent in them. The actus primu [...] was common to both, although for order sake the actus secundus was in­hibited the Presbytery. And this leads us to speak some­thing about the practise of Antiquity in the point of Ordi­nation of Ministers: which is that in which we believe the Reader doth desire especially to be satisfied, and which is that for which we have undertaken this discourse about An­tiquity, and in which our Adversaries do most triumph. For it is said by all Anti-Presbyterians, That the way of Ordina­tion [Page 129] now in use is quite contrary to Antiquity, and that whatsoever is done in this kind without a Bishop over Pres­byters, is null and void. In answer to this we shall crave leave to hold forth these ensuing Propositions about Ordi­nation, out of Antiquity (for as to what the Scripture saith, of that we have already spoken.)

Several Propositions declaring the Iudgment and Practise of the Ancient Church about Ordination of Ministers.

Proposition 1.

THat in the first and purest times, when the Church of Christ was governed by the Common Councel of Pres­byters, There was Ordination of Presbyters without Bishops over Presbyters. For these Bishops came in postea & pau­latim, as Hierome saith. And Panormitanus lib. 1. Decretal. de consuetudine cap. quarto, saith, Olim Presbyteri in communi regebant Ecclesiam, & ordinabant Sacerdotes, & pa [...]iter confe­rebant omnia Sacramenta.

Proposition 2.

THat after that Bishops were admitted into the Church, yet notwithstanding Ordination by Bishops without the assistance of his Presbyters was alwaies forbidden and opposed.

Cyprian in his exile writing to his charge, certifies them, that Aurelius was ordained by him and his Colleagues,Cypr. Ep. 33. who were present with him. By his Colleagues, he meanes his Presbyters, as appears epist. 58. And Firmilianus saith of them that rule in the Church, Quod baptizandi, manum im­ponendi & ordinandi possident potestatem. Apud Cyprian epist. 75. And who those be, he expresseth a little before, Seniores & Praepositi; by whom [Page 130] the Presbyters as well as the Bishops are understood.

In Synodo ad Quercum anno 403. it was brought as an ac­cusation against Chrysostome, [...], That he had made Ordinations without the company and sentence of his Clergy.

In the Councel of Carth [...]ge it was decreed, Can. 20. Vt Episcopus sine Consilio Clericorum suorum Clericos non ordinet. And Can. 2. Cum [...] dinatur Presbyter Episcopo eum benedicente, & manum super caput ejus tenente; etiam omnes Presbyteri qui praesentes sunt, manus suas juxta manum Episcopi super caput illius teneant. When a Presbyter is ordained, The Bishop blessing him, and holding his hand upon his head, all the Presbyters that are present, shall likewise lay their hands upon his head, with the hands of the Bishop. By this laying on of the hands of Presbyters, is not onely signified the Presbyters consent to what the Bishop doth, but Ordo ipse confertur & gratia ordini necessa [...]ia impe [...]ratur, quemadmodum per impositionem manuum Episcopi; The Order it self is con­ferred, and grace necessary is impetrated as it is by the hands of the Bishop:Lib. 2. cap. 11. as saith Forbefius in his Irenicum. The Presbyters impose hands (saith the same Author) non tan­quam duntaxat consentientes (ad consensum enim sufficiunt suf­fragia, & plebs etiam consentit, nec tamen ejus est manus impo­nere) sed tanquam Ordinantes, se [...] Ordinem conferentes, & ex potestate Ordinandi Diuinitùs acceptâ, gratiam Ordinato, hoc adhibito ritu, apprecantes; Not onely as Consenting (for to manifest their consent their suffrages had been sufficient, and the people also gave their consent, and yet they impose not their hands) but as Ordaining, and conferring Orders, and by the power of Ordination conferred to them by God, praying for grace upon him that is Ordained, using the ceremony of laying on of hands.

The same Author brings a famous example of Pelagius Bishop of Rome, Cap. 11▪ the first of that name, who was made Bishop of Rome by Two Bishops and one Presbyter named Andreas. In the Councel of Nice it was decreed, That No Bishop [Page 131] should be made but by Three Bishops at least. And yet this Pelagius being by Iustinian, Anno 555. appointed to be Bishop of Rome, and not being able to obtain Three Bishops to ordain him, (he being suspected then of a crime from which he afterwards cleared himself) he received Ordina­tion from Two Bishops and one Presbyter. And this Or­dination Canonica habita est in hunc us (que) diem, is accounted Canonical even to this day. By which it is evident that Presbyters lay on hands in Ordination together with the Bishop as partners in the power. And that Pelagius and his successours would never have owned this way of Ordi­nation, had they not believed, That a Presbyter had a power derived to him from Christ to confer Ecclesiastical Orders. And this leads us to a Third Proposition.

Proposition 3.

THat even according to the Judgment of Antiquity, Presbyters have an intrinsecal power and authority to ordain Ministers, and when this power was restrained, and inhibited, it was not propter legis necessitatem, but onely prop­ter honorem Sacerdotii; It was not from the necessity of any Divine law for bidding it, but onely for the Honour of Episcopacy. It was not from the Canon of the Scriptures, but from some Canons of the Church.

Leo Primus ep. 88. upon complaints of unlawful Ordina­tions, writing to the Germane and French Bishops, reckons up what things are reserved to the Bishops. Among which he sets down Presbyterorum & Diaconorum consecratio; and then adds, Quae omnia solis deberi summis Pontificibus authori­tate Canonum praecipitur. And Isidore Hispalensis, lib. 2. de Offi [...]iis Ecclesiasticis, cap. 7. speaking of Presbyters saith, His enim sicut Episcopis dispensatio mysteriorum Dei commissa est. Praesunt enim Ecclesiis Christi; & in confectione divina corporis & sanguinis consort [...]s cum Episcop [...] sunt; similiter & in doctrina populorum, & in Officio praedicandi. Sed sola propter authorita­tem summo Sacerdoti Clericorum ordinatio & consecratio reser­vata [Page 132] est; ne à multis Ecclesiae disciplina vendicata, concordiam solveret, scandala generaret: and afterwards he proves by Scripture texts, that Bishops and Presbyters are one and the same. So also Concilium Aquisgran. 1. Canon 8. Solum propter authoritatem Clericorum Ordinatio & Cons [...]cratio reservata est summo Sacerdoti. Dr. Forbes professor at Aberdeen (though a great friend and pleader for Episcopacy,Cap. 11. yet, he saith, Ha­bent Presbyteri de jure Divino, Ordinandi, sicut praedicandi, & baptizandi, potestatem: quamvis haec omnia exequi debeant sub regimine & inspectione Episcopi in locis ubi est Episcopus. And Mr. Mason a known Writer in defence of Episcopacy saith also,The Addition of Francis Ma­son unto his defence of the Ministry of the Church of En­gland, wherein the Ord nati­on of the Mini­sters of the Reformed Churches is maintained. ‘That a Presbyter, as he is a Presbyter, is indued with intrinsecal power and ability to Ordain, and was restrai­ned from the exercise of it onely by the Church for Dis­ciplines sake, and that when the Power of Ordination was reserved to the Bishop, the power of the Presbyter was not at that time utterly extinguished, but onely re­strained as the faculty of the flying of a bird, when hi [...] wings are tyed.’ What authority the Church had to tye these wings, or whether the Church did well in tying them when the Scripture had left them untyed, is not now under debate. All that we produce this Authour for, is to prove, That the wing [...] of Presbytery were not cut off, though they were tyed up; and that according to the judgment of Episcopal Writers themselves, Presbyters have an intrinse­cal power of giving Orders. The same Authour proves this his Assertion thus; Because that a Bishop is intrinse­cally inabled to give Orders, not by his power of Jurisdicti­on, but by his power of Order. And because a Presbyter hath as much of the Sacrament and character of Order (ac­cording to the Papists themselves) as a Bishop, and there­fore every Presbyter hath an intrinsecal power of giving Orders. Now that Episcopacy and Presbytery are one and the same Order of Ministry, and that that which is added in Episcopal consecration, whereby a Bishop is di­stinguished from a Presbyter, is only a degree of dignity and eminency, and is neither the Sacrament of Order, nor im­printeth [Page 133] a Character, he proveth by a world of witnesses, even from Popish Writers: From Lombard, Aquinas, Du­randus, Dominicus Soto, Richardus, Aureolus, and divers other [...]. Tostatus saith, It is in the consecration of Bishops, as of the Pope: in which there is not imprinted a Character, seeing they are not Orders but dignities or degrees of Ecclesiastical preeminence. Gerson saith, ‘Above Priesthood there is no superiour Order; no not the function of a Bishop or Archbishop.’ Armachanus saith, ‘A Bishop in such things hath no more in respect of his Order, then every single Priest; Although the Church hath appointed that such things should be executed by those men whom we call Bishops.’ Aureolus hath a notable passage; ‘Every fo [...]m in as much as it is in act,Lib. 4▪ d. 24. artic. 2. hath power to communicate it self in the same kind: therefore every Priest hath power to celebrate Orders. Why then do they not celebrate them? Because their power is hindred by the decree of the Church. Whereupon when a Bishop is made, there is not given unto him any new power, but the former power being hindred is set at liberty: as a man when the act of reason is hindered, and the impediment is removed, there is not given unto him a new Soul.’ From all these things it appears, that Presbyters have an intrinsecal power to Ordain Presbyters.

Proposition 4.

THat even during the prevalency of Episcopacy it was not held unlawful for a Presbyter to Ordain without a Bishop. A Presbyter had not onely an inherent power of Ordination, but in some cases he did actually Ordain. S. Ambrose upon Eph. 4. saith, Apud Aegyptum Presbyteri consignant, si praesens non sit Episcopus. Austine (or whoso­ever was the author) in quaestionibus ex utro (que) Testamento mixtim quast. 101. In Alexandriâ & per totam Aegyptum, fi desit Episcopus consecrat Presbyter. Which words cannot be understood (as a learned defender of Prelacy would have [Page 134] them) of the consecration of the Eucharist. For this might be done by the Presbyter praesente Episcopo; But it must be understood either of confirmation, or (which is more likely) of Ordination, because Ambrose in that place is speaking of Ordination. But howsoever it is not much material. For Confirmation was restrained to the Bishop as well as Ordination; and if the Presbyter might confirm si desit Episcopus, then he might also Ordain.

Hierome saith of the Alexandrian Bishops, Presbyteri unum ex se electum, in excelsiori gradu collocatum, Episcopum nomina­bant, &c. That the Presbyters for many years did Ordain their Bishops. And certainly if it were not held unlawfull in Antiquity for Presbyters to ordain Bishops, much lesse could it be held unlawful for Presbyters to Ordain Presby­ters.

Dr. Forbes saith, That in all those Churches which are governed by the Common Councel of Presbyters without Bishops, Valida & efficax est Ordinatio quae fit per impositionem manuum solius Presbyterii. Quin & ubi est Episcopus, possunt Presbyteri Ordinare; consentiente, licet non simul manus impo­nente, Episcopo.

Dr. Field of the Church, lib. 3. cap. 39. tells us; ‘That Presbyters in some places, and at some times did impose hands, which when Gregory Bishop of Rome would whol­ly have forbidden, there was so great exception taken at him for it, that he left it free again. And afterwards, Not onely Armachanus, a very learned and worthy Bishop, but, as it appeareth by Alexander of Hales, many learned men in his time and before, were of opinion, that in some cases, and at some times Presbyters may give Orders, and that their Ordinations are of force, &c.’

And that Ordination by Presbyters was held lawfull and warrantable by the ancient Church, appears further by these ensuing Arguments.

1. Because the Chorepiscopi, who were but single Presbyters, had liberty by the Church to Ordain, if they had a licence, from the Bishop. That they had liberty appears from the [Page 135] 13. Canon of the Councel at A [...]yra. [...]. Chorepiscopis non licere Presbyteros, vel Diaconos ordi­nare, sed ne (que) urbis Presbyteris nisi cum literis ab Episcopo per­missum fuerit, in alienâ parochiâ. This Councel was held be­fore the Councel of Nice in the year 314. And in the Councel of Antiochia, which was Anno 341. Can. 10. It is decreed, That the Chorepiscopi should not dare to Ordain Presbyters or Deacons, [...]. From these two Canons we may collect these two observations.

1. That before these Councels the Chorepiscopi did Or­dain Presbyters without any licence at all from the Bishop of the City. Otherwise to what purpose are they inhibi­ted?

2. That after these Councels they might Ordain by ver­tue of a licence, which sheweth evidently that in the judg­ment of these Reverend Fathers, the Chorepiscopi had an in­trinsecal power to Ordain derived to them from Christ. For a licence doth not confer a power to him that hath it not, but onely a faculty to exercise that power he hath. And this is the Conclusion that D. Forbes drawes from this practise of these Councels. ‘Surely, saith he, The Church would not have granted this power to the Chorepiscopi. Nisi judicasset validam esse eam Ordinationem, qua per solos p [...]ragitur Presbyteros.

It cannot be denied, but that Pope Damasus made a Constitution for the abolishing of this Office of the Cho­repiscopi: But it seems this constitution was not put in exe­cution in all Churches for above 200. years after. Isidore Hispalensis who lived Anno. 630. in libro de Officiis Eccle­siasticis cap. 6. speaks of these Chorepiscopi as yet continuing in the Church, and saith, Chorepiscopi, id est, Vicarii Episco­porum, juxta quod Canones ipsi testantur, instituti sunt ad ex­empla 70. Seniorum, tanquam Sacerdotes propter solicitudinem pauperum. Hi in vicis & vitis constituti, gubernant sibi com­missas [Page 136] Ecclesias, habentes licentiam constituere Lectores, Sub­diaconos, exorcistas: Presbyteros autem & Diaconos Ordinare non audeant praeter conscientiam Episcopi, in cujus regione prae­esse noscuntur. Hi autem à solo Episcopo civitatis, cui adjacent, ordinantur.

Observe here, That Isidore translates those words of the Canon, [...], not as Gentianus Her­vetus, Abs (que) urbis Episcopo, but Praeter conscientiam Episcopi. Quae versio optime explicat mentem Concilii, saith Forbesius, est (que) ipso rei usu & exequutione firmata, ut nimirum, possent Chorepiscopi etiam Presbyteros & Diaconos ordinare, permittente, licet non simul ordinante Episcopo loci. But how will it be pro­ved▪ may some say, That these Chorepiscopi were onely Presbyters and not Bishops? For if this can be clearly made out, it will undeniably follow, That according to the judgment of Antiquity, Presbyters had not onely the inward power, but also the outward exercise of Ordination for a long space. Now that these Chorepiscopi were meer Presby­ters, appeares;

1. Because they were to be ordained but by one Bishop —à solo Episcopo civitatis cui adjacent, saith the Councel of Antiochia. But by the Canons of the Church, A Bishop properly so called, was to be ordained by three Bi­shops.

2. Because they were to be subject to the Bishop of the City. So saith the Canon, Ab Episcopo Civitatis cui subjicitur fiat Chorepiscopus. Now we read no where of the subjection of one Bishop and his charge to another▪ Cyprian pleads the freedome of Bishops, telling us, that each of them hath a portion of Christs flock assigned to him, for which he is to give account to God.

3. Because they could not, nay, they must not dare to ex­ercise the power of Ordination without the leave of the Bishop. Con [...]il. Ancyr. saith, Non licere, nisi cum literis ab Episcopo p [...]rmissum fuerit. Concil. Antio [...]h. saith, Non audeat praeter conscientiam Episcopi. None of this would have been said, if they had been Bishops in a Prelatical sence.

[Page 137]4: Because they were Bishops in villis & regionibus; and therefore (as some think) called [...]. But accord­ing to the Canons of the Church, Bishops in [...] proper sence, were not to be made, unlesse in great Cities, n [...] vil [...]sca [...] no­men Episcopi, as Damasus argues, when he pleads for the abo­lition of the Chorepiscopi.

5. Because thi [...] power was afterwards taken away from the Chorepiscopi by the same authority of the Canons and Ecclesiastical constitutions, by which it was first appropria­ted to Bishops themselves, as Leo epist. 88. witnesseth; which to us is a firm argument to prove, not only that they once had it, but that they had it as Presbyters. For if they had it as Bishops, the taking of it away would have been a degradation of them.

6. We might bring an argument ad homin [...]m, because they are said Concil. N [...]ocaesar. Can. 14. to have been appointed in the Church after the manner, or in imitation of the Seven­ty ▪ Now▪ according to the opinion of the Hierarchical men, Bishops succeed the Apostles, not the Seventy.

7. We might also here urge the authority of Leo, epist. 88. who saith, That the Chorepiscopi, juxta Canones Neocaesarienses, sive secundum aliorum Patrum decreta, iid [...]m sunt qui Presbyteri; and of Isidore Hispalensis before mentioned, and of Damasus, epist. 5. To whose sentence Concil. Hispal. Can. 7. doth sub­scribe; and also of Dr. Field of the Church, lib. 3. cap. 39. who saith, ‘Neither should it seem strange to our adversa­ries, that the power of Ordination should at some times be yeelded unto Presbyters, seeing their Chorepiscopi, Suf­fragans, or Titular Bishops that live in the Diocesse and Churches of other Bishops; and are no Bishops according to the old course of Discipline, do daily in the Romish Church confirm children and give Orders. And again —Seeing that Chorepiscopi, or Suffragans, as they call them, being not Bishops, but onely Presbyters, do daily with good allowance Ordain Presbyters, and all other Episco­pall acts.’

But we forbear multiplying of argument [...], These are [Page 138] sufficient to prove, That they were but single Presbyters: And that therefore single Presbyters did Ordain even du­ring the prevalency of Episcopacy.

To avoid the strength of this argument, Bellarmine invents novum quoddam & antea inauditum Chorepiscoporum genus. He saith, That there were some of them that were meer Presbyters, and others that were veri nominis Episcopi. And that the Councel of Antiochia speaks of the last in the beginning, and of the first sort in the latter end. But certain it is, that the Canon speaks of Chorepiscopi in gene­rall, without any distinction throughout the whole. And the scope of Damasus his letter is to prove, that all the Chorepiscopi whatsoever their Ordination was, were nothing else but Presbyters. We shall not undertake to answer Bellarmine at large, because it is done to our hands by that learned man so often mentioned, who though a lover of Episcopacy,Forbes [...]i Ire­nicum, cap. 11. yet surely he was a very Moderate and meek spirited man, and hath fully answered all that is brought by Bellarmine against what we have asserted. The Reader may view him if he please for his further satisfaction.

There is another, whom we forbear to name, that saith, ‘That the Chorepiscopi of whom the Canon speaks were Bi­shops. But he adde [...], Though they were Bishops, yet they were Bishops made but by one Bishop, and Bishops meer­ly Titu [...]an, and sine Cathedrâ ▪ which is all one, as if he should say, They were not properly Bishops.’ For according to the Canons then in force, A Bishop properly so called was to be made by 3. Bishops, [...]nd if he were Ordained sine titulo, his Ordination was null and void.

We will conclude this discourse of the Chorepiscopi with a pass [...]ge out of Gabri [...]l Vasquez, [...] tertiam par­tem Thomae disp. 238. cap. 7. Postquam proposuisset istud B [...]llarmini somnium, [...]aec subjungit v [...]rba. Alii [...]amen non mino­r [...]s authoritatis existimant Chor [...]piscopos fuisse tantùm Presbyte­ros. Ita expresse sentit Ayala de traditionibus Ecclesiasticis 3. part. Consideratione 4. ubi ha [...]c r [...]m ex pr [...]f [...]ss [...] disputat; & noster Franciscus Turrianus in annotationibus ad Consilium Nicaenum Can. 54. [...]it Ordin [...]m Chorepiscoporum non fuisse nisi Presby­terorum [Page 139] tantùm: eandem sententiam sequuntur docti aliqui re­c [...]ntiores, &c. Porro Damasum duo illa genera Chorepiscoporum minimè distinxisse, sed de omnibus etiam illis, quoru [...] m [...] minit, Concilium Antiochenum, pronunciasse, veros non esse Episcopos; ita ut si Presbyteri ess [...] nollent; nihil om [...]ino essent, probat ex in­stituto Ayala loce citato; Potest (que) ex ipso Damaso s [...]aderi— Nunquam dicit Damasus hos Chorepiscopos diversos esse à prio­ribus, aut verè Episcopos esse; imo verò ex professo probat, licet à pluribus consecrati, verè tamen Episcopos non esse. Haec Vas­quez. So much of this argument.

A second Argument to prove, That it was not held un­lawful in Antiquity for Presbyters to Ordain, may be drawn from the opinion of the Schoolmen and Canonists during the prevalency not onely of Episcopacy, but even of Papal Tyranny. For it is a received opinion in the Church of Rome, That the Pope may by his Commission authorize a single Presbyter to Ordain Presbyters; he cannot, say they, commissionate a Lay-man, but he may a Presbyter. Mr. Francis Mason cite [...] many Authors to attest this.

The Author of the Glosse saith, Di [...]o quod Papa potest hoc delegare simpli [...]i Sacerdot [...], & non Laico (sicut credo) & sic ex tali delegatione, & adminiculo habiti Sacramenti, potest conferre quicquid habet. Imo quilibet Cl [...]ricus hoc facere potest; qui ver [...] non habet, non potest conferre.

Ros [...]llus also saith, V [...]lunt Doctores, De potestate Im­peratoris & Papae, part. 4. cap. 16. quod Papa potest com­mittere cuilibet Clerico, ut conferat quae babet ipse, ut si est Pres­byter, possit Ordinare Presbyterum, & Diaconus Diaconum, ex man [...]ato Papae. And again, Ego teneo, quod Papa possit de­mandare Presbyter [...], quod conferat omn [...]s sacros Ordines, & in hoc [...] cum senten [...]ia Canonistarum.

Dr. Forbes brings also many quotations to this purpose, some of which we shall recite as being very observable.

Panormita [...] saith, —Ego potiu [...] p [...]tarem ut Sacerdoti hoc possit delegare indistinctè, quia [...] de Sacr [...]nto Eucharisti [...] sit disposit [...]m institutione Domi [...]ic [...], qu [...] ha [...]ant illud admini­strare: hoc tamen non est dispositum in collation [...] Ordinum. Nam olim Presbyteri in comm [...]ni r [...]geba [...] Ecclesiam, & ordinabant [Page 140] Sacerdotes. Vnd [...] quemadmodum olim poterant, ita videtur quòd Papa possit hoc concedere Sacerdoti, maximè delegando, quum nihil exerceat delegatus nomine proprio.

In decretalibus Gregorii 9. de consuetudine cap. 4. &c. It is said, Dico quod Papa potest hoc delegare simplici Sacerdoti, et non Laico, sicut credo, et sic ex tali delegatione, et in admini­culo habiti sacramenti, potest conferre quicquid habet.

Very remarkable is that passage in Petrus Aureolus, in quartum Sent. Distinct. 24. In habente animam rationalem quando (que) impeditur [...]ctus rationis, et postea removetur impedi­mentum; non datur nova anima, vel forma, sed tantum re­movetur illud quod impediebat prius animam, n [...] exiret in actum rationis. Sed Ordinare in Sacerdotem est actus conve­niens Sacerdoti, in quantum Sacerdos est, & tantùm est actus impeditus in [...]o. Probo. Quia nemo dat quod non habet, sicut in naturalibus, ubi forma transfundit seipsam: Ergo non Sa­cerdotis non est ordinare in Sacerdotem: sed hoc pertinet ad Sacer­dotem, qui habet formam illam in actu potentem transfundere seipsam. Vnde Papa non posse [...] Ordines committere, nisi Sa­cerdoti, ut Diacono, vel Laico; Potest autem committere cui­cun (que) Sacerdoti: Ergo videtur, quod conferre Ordines sit per­tinens ad Sacerdotem. Probo. Quia Pone, quod sit Sacerdos, omni alio circumscripto, potest Papa committere [...]i Ordines: Pone autem alia omnia & circumscribe Sacerdotium, non poterit Papa committere potestatem Ordinandi; Hoc videtur satis rationale, quia omnis forma, ex quo est in actu, videtur quod possit se com­municare infra eandem speciem (apud Capreolum est, in eandem speciem) ergo Sacerdos hoc modo, quantum est ex potestate sibi conveniente absolutè, poterit Ordines celebrare: Ergo si potestas [...]lla modo sit impedita, sicut est de facto, & impedimentum remo­veatur per hoc, quod fit Episcopus; Non datur [...]i Nova potestas, sed tantummodo pristina potestas prius impedita reducitur ad usum impedimento remoto, & haec reductio illius potestatis ad usum dicitur ampliatio potestatis. Hac Aureolus.

From these two arguments, and the quotations alledged, we may safely gather these conclusions:

1. That there was a time when Presbyters did govern by [Page 141] Common Councel, and did Ordain without Bishops. So saith Panormitan, Olim Presbyteri in communi regebant Ec­clesiam, & Ordinabant Sacerdotes.

2. That whole Nations have been converted to the faith and governed for hundreds of years without Bishops. This Conclusion is abundantly proved by D. Blondel, Sect. 3. de Ordinationibus, where he tells us, That Ioannes Major de ge­stis Scotorum lib. 2. cap. 2. saith, Per Sacerdotes & Monachos sine Episcopis Scoti in fide eruditi, That Ioannes Fordonius saith, Ante Palladi [...] adventum, hab [...]bant Scoti fidei Doctoros, ac Sacramentorum Ministratores Presbyteros solummodò vel Monachos, ritum sequentes Ecclesia Primitivae. The Scots were Christians 220. years and more without Episcopal Government. The like he proves of the Gothes and French. For brevity sake we refer the Reader to the Author him­self.

3. That in Aegypt, when the Bishop was absent, Presby­ters did consecrate.

4. That in Alexandria for almost 200. years the Presby­ters constituted and Ordained their Bishop.

5. That though by the Canons of the Church the power of Presbyters in Ordaining was restrained, yet it was the judgment of Antiquity, That every Presbyter hath actum primum, and an inward power to Ordain, and that though his power was impedited by the Canons, yet it was not utterly extinguished.

6. That when a Presbyter is made a Bishop, he hath no new power conferred upon him, but onely his former re­straints and impediments are removed, as saith Aureolus.

7. That the Chor [...]piscopi for a certain space did Ordain of their own authority, without receiving authority from the Bishop. Afterwards (though they were meer Presbyters) yet notwithstanding by the leave of Councels had liberty, with the Bishops licence, to Ordain.

8. That to this day it is the opinion of Schoolmen and Canonists, that the Pope may give liberty to a Presbyter to Ordain. From whence, saith Dr. Forbes, it evidently fol­loweth, [Page 142] Ordinationem quae per solos Presbytero [...] peragitur non esse de jur [...] divino invalidam, ne (que) Ordination [...]m esse de jure Di­vino ita propriam Episcoporum, ut non possit validè peragi per so­los Presbyteros: That is, That Ordination which is by Pres­byters alone, is not by Divine right invalid, neither is Ordination so proper by Divine right to a Bishop, that it may not be done (even in the opinion of Papists themselves) by Presbyters alone. For otherwise the Pope could not commit Ordination unto Presbyters. For Bell [...]rmine saith expresly, In jure Divino non potest Papa dispensare, Lib. 2. de Con­cil. cap. 18. Lib. de Matrim. cap. 11. The Pope cannot dispense in things that are by divine right. And Aureolus saith, Ea quae sunt Ordinum omnes recipiunt immediatè à Christo, ita quod in potest [...]te nullius imò nec Papae est ill [...] auferre: qua sunt autem jurisdictionis, potest ea P [...]pa suspendere. Now then from hence we may argue.

That which by divine authority is to be done onely by Bishops, that neither Bishops nor Councels, nor Pope can commit to Presbyters that are not Bishops. Nam in jure Divino Papa non potest dispensare.

But (according to the Judgment and practise of Anti­quity) The Pope may give the liberty and power of Ordain­ing to Presb [...]ters that are not Bishops. And Bishops also may do the like. Therefore the liberty and power of Or­daining is not by divine right belonging to Bishops onely, but may be lawfully done by others, the Papists themselves being Judges. And so much for our fourth Proposition.

Proposition 5.

THat when Hierome saith, Quid facit Episcopus quod non facit Presbyter except [...] Ordinatione? This passage can­not be understood as if Hierome had thought, That Ordi­nation was by Divine right appropriated to Bishops, and not to Presbyters (as Bishop Bilson saith). For in the very same Epistle he tells us, That by divine right a Bishop and a Presbyter are all one. And that in Alexandria, for a long time the Presbyters Ordained their Bishop. But he [Page 143] must b [...] understood of the practise of the Church in his dayes; and his meaning i [...], Quid facit Episcopus secundum Cano [...]s Ecclesia quad non facit Presbyte [...] excepta Ordinatione?

Proposition 6.

THat when Ischyras was deposed from being a Presbyter, because mad [...] by Collu [...]hus, that was but a Presbyter himself, and not a Bishop; This was done, not because the act of Collu [...]us was against the Canon of th [...] Scriptures, but onely because it was against the Canons of some Coun­cel [...]. Thu [...] Dr. Fi [...]ld answereth, ‘Whereas, saith he, The Fathers make all such Ordinations void [...] are made by Presbyters,Lib. 3. cap. 39. it is to be understood according to the strict­nesse of the Canon in use in their time, and not absolute­ly in the n [...]ture of the thing; which appears, in that they likewise make all Ordinations sine titulo to be void: All Ordination [...] of Bishops ordained by fewer then three Bishops with the Metropolitane; All Ordinations of Presbyter [...] by Bishops out of their own Churches with­out leave. Whereas I am well assured, The Romanists will not pronounce any of these to be void, though the parties so doing are not excusable from all fault.’ Thus far Dr. Field.

But now whether the Church in th [...]se dayes did well or no in restraining that by their Canons, which the Canons of the Scripture hath left free, we leave it to all sober Chri­stians to judge and determine.

Proposition 7.

THat A [...]rius was never condemned, by any Councel, o [...] heresie, for holding the Identity of a Bishop and a Presbyter. But on the contrary, Concil. Aquisgranens▪ sub Ludovico Pio Imp. 1 [...]. an. 816. hath approved it for true Divinity out of the Scripture, that Bishops and Presbyters are equal, bringing the same texts that Aerius doth, and [Page 144] which Epiphanius indeed undertakes to answer; but how slightly, let any indifferent Reader judge. We confesse, That he is called an heretick by Epiphanius and Austin [...]; but this was especially, if not onely, because he was an Arrian, Epiphanius, saith he, did Arrium ipsum dogmatum novitate su­perare. Austine saith, That he did in Arrianorum haeresin labi. But as for his opinion, That there ought to be no difference between a Bishop and a Presbyter, Austine indeed calls it, proprium dogma. And Epiphanius calls it dogma furiosum & stolidum. But neither of them both call it an Heresie.

But suppose they did, (for so it is commonly thought) yet that this was the private opinion of these two Doctors, and not much to be regarded, appears;

1. Because (as Smectym [...]uus hath well observed) the same Authors condemn Aerius as much for reprehending and censuring praying and offering for the dead, and the per­forming of good works for the benefit of the dead. Epi­phanius accused him, because he said, that superstitum preces did not opitulari [...]is qui ex h [...]c vita discesserunt. And Austine accused Aerius because he said, Non licet orare, vel offerr [...] pro mortuis oblationem. He is further condemned for repre­hending stata jejunia, and the keeping of the week before Easter as a solemn Fast. Which things if worthy of con­demnation, would bring in most of the reformed Churches into the censure of Heresie, and would make most of our Episcopal men themselves Hereticks.

2. Because not onely Saint Hierome, but Austine himself, Sedulius, Primasius, Chrysostome, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theo­phylact, were of the same opinion with Aërius (as Michael Medina observes in the Councel of Trent, and hath written lib. 1. de Sacr. hom. origin.) and yet none of these do de­serve the name of fooles and mad men, much lesse to be branded for hereticks.

Adde to this, That Alphonsus de Castro advers. haeres▪ Titul. Episcopus, saith, That Hierome was of the same opinion with Aërius.

And our learned Professor Dr. Whitakers resp. ad Cam­pian. [Page 145] rat. 10. hath these words, A [...]rium Epiphanius & Au­gustinus in haereticis nume ant, & praeter eos antiqui pauci. Et si Presbyterum Episcopo aequare sit haereticum, nihil Catholicum esse potest. Cum Aerio Hieronymus de Presbyteris omnino sensit. Illos enim jure divino Episcopis aequales esse statuit. This is suf­ficient to answer the objection about Aerius.

Proposition 8.

THat even many, if not most▪ of those that hold Episco­pacy, and Episcopal Ordination to be divini juris, yet (as we in charity believe) they do not hold it to be so of divine institution, as to be perpetually and immutably ne­cessary [...]n the Church of Christ; But they say, That those Church [...] are true Churches that want Bishops, and those Ministers true Ministers who are Ordained by Presbyters without Bishops. Thus Bishop Downame in his consecr. Ser­mon, professeth, pag. 92. not so to maintain the calling of Bishops to be Divini juris, as intending thereby a general and perpetual necessity thereof. And afterwards in his de­fence, ‘Though ordinary right of Ordination belongeth to Bishop [...] in the Judgment of the ancient Church; yet it was not to be understood, as so appropriating it to them, as that extraordinarily▪ and in case of necessity, it might not b