Imprimatur Mich. Dublin. Canc.

A SERMON Preached at the Consecration OF The Right Reverend Father in God AMBROSE Lord Bishop of KILDARE IN Christ-Church, Dublin, June 29. 1667.

BY The Right Reverend Father in God HENRY Lord Bishop of MEATH.

DUBLIN, Printed by John Crook, Printer to the King's most Excellent Majestie, and are to be sold by Samuel Dancer in Castle-street. 1667.

To the Most Honourable JAMES, Duke, Mar­quess, and Earl of Ormond, Earl of Ossory and Brecknock, Viscount Thurles, Lord Ba­ron of Arklow and Lanthony, Lord of the Regalities and Liberties of the County of Tip­perary, Chancellor of the Universitie of Dub­lin, Lord Lieutenant General, and General Go­vernour of His MAJESTIES Kingdom of Ireland, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Somerset, the City and County of Bristol, and the Cities of Bath and Wells, one of the Lords of His MAJESTIES Most Honou­rable Privy Councils of His MAJESTIES Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Lord Steward of His MAJESTIES House­hold, Gentleman of His MAJESTIES Bed­chamber, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, His GRACE,


WHat of Ecclesiastical Government in the Christian Church, hath passed our fore-fathers unquestio­ned [Page] more than One thousand five hundred years, from the Apostles downward, that, is become the un­happy Dispute of this last Age, both as to Pen and Sword.

This had its Rise at Geneva, Anno 1541. Ric. Hookers Eccles. Pol. Pref. the people having thence tumultuously expelled their Bishop, and being thereby without Government, and to seek for the way toward it, thereupon did Cal­vin put himself on them, finding, in that, a fit introduction to greatness, and by his prudence, and learning, (in both which he excelled) became he there an Oracle, and his will a law. Of that made he use in medi­tating, forming, and proposing a Model of Church-government, (it being desired of him by the people;) [Page] which he well ordered to his ends, and interests; intermixing Church, and Lay-Elders; (those fixed, these yearly elected) appointing a double number of the Laity, to what was of the other; Ep. p. 2 [...] Beza de grad. Min. c. 11. That is, six Mini­sters, and twelve others, chosen out of their three Councils of State, viz. Six out of their Council of two hundred, and four out of that of sixty, and two out of the twenty five; wherein (for pleasing the peo­ple) the advantage of major Votes was given them in decisions; and in that, most of power in them (seem­ingly) placed; whereas, indeed, all was thereby in himself, and in his Church-Elders principally, well judging, that the fewer (being learn­ed, leading, and lasting) might easily [Page] influence, and overbear a greater number not so reaching, and chan­ging, whose election also might be by the other so ordered, as to serve a Church-interest. And least (on consideration,) this might be (over­soon apprehended and avoided. Therefore had Calvin (underta­king that form of Government, desi­red of him) first, politickly, obliged that people by Oath to receive and submit to what should be so proposed; Provided, it were agreeable to Gods Word, and to the approbation of such of the Reformed Churches as should be thought fit to be therein consulted. And accordingly, did he carefully hold, in that, to Scripture-names and words, knowing, that this could not but sound well howsoever, and [Page] that it might take with the less dis­cerning, and would certainly pass with those, whose interest it was to be so satisfied. In which, he fixed principally on the name of Elders; a Scripture-name, of which much is spoken in both Testaments, but in the New Testament sounding toward the frame of Government in the Christian Church: yet, in the New Testament was found the word Bi­shop also: and this, as considerable, for Church government as could be pretended to, in that other of El­ders; and yet, must not (notwith­standing) the name of Bishop be in this new Model mentioned: for, the Name would mind the injurious casting off of their Bishop, and the Thing stood in the way to other [Page] grandeures; therefore with the per­son must the name of Bishop be shut out also. But how may that be with­out force and wrong to Scripture? where, of the Name and Office of Bi­shops, is mention frequent and ho­nourable; As to that, the expedient is readie and easie. It is but ordering the Text to the gloss, and framing such an Interpretation for that Scri­pture-name Bishop, that thenceforth (although never till then) by Bishops, Elders be understood: so as, whatsoe­ver is in the New Testament said of Bi­shops, should be of Elders onely, & that Bishops and Elders be as the same, not distinguished in office or work. But such avoiding of express Scriptures by private constructions, could not sa­tisfie all: therefore, what is short [Page] in that, is to be supplied otherwise; that is, by the sense and approbation of other Reformed Churches: and to that is this new Law-giver put (unex­pectedly) by a reluctancy found in the people, they beginning to resent the design, and desiring (if possible) to get off, and loose from that, in which they now saw, (but too late) themselves intangled. And whereas their late obligation of an Oath, could not but stick close, it behoved to seek their libertie some other way, and no other way appeared so rea­dy, as that part of the mentioned proviso, the sense of other Churches in the case, by which was hope for eva­ding, it being observed, that no other Church was then so modelled in Go­vernment; and therefore, was it [Page] hoped they might be inclined not to fa­vour this, being new and strange. This, the people now press, and to four of the Helvetian Cities and Churches is by them addressed, with which Calvin closeth readily; that being what he expected, and for what he was prepared, and of which he had already assurance. For, (all that having been foreseen) he had before (underhand) by Letters, dealt with the principals of those Churches, that they would not fail to declare for that form of Government, in which he had so laboured for Ge­neva, (saying) That Religion, and piety, and the welfare of that Church and people depended on it. Whereby when that business was by all par­ties laid before those Churches, the [Page] Answer was readie; which was, That they had heard of those Consisto­rial Laws, which they acknowledged for godly Ordinances, and drawing to­wards the prescript of Gods Word: therefore did they think it good for the Church of Geneva, not to change the same, but rather to keep as they were. Thus, is Calvins Work done, and setled, and the people brought to a succumbency; onely, it remained, That whereas it had been by those compromising Churches, more warily delivered concerning those Laws of Government, that they were godly Ordinances (which might seem a lean expression) and that they did draw toward the prescript of Gods Word, (which was short and diminishing) therefore was something to be decla­red [Page] more absolute and positive in the case. And seeing it was not to be expected from other Churches, it was thus therefore otherwise order­ed (and as effectually) First, that this Discipline be cried up (as it was industriously) for ancient, Apostoli­cal, and wholly Scriptural; and so, above all other forms whatsoever, and therefore, to be that to which other Churches should conform; and Gene­va (as to Church and Government,) to be esteemed of all, and above all best reformed: unto which, in that cursed National Covenant in Eng­land, was respect had particularly.

Wherein is to be observed the prodigious growth of this last nights mushrom; that this, but just now, standing on its good behaviour, and [Page] beholding to others votes and ap­probation (and that begged) for introducing it, and needing an Oath (slily imposed, and inconsiderately taken) for holding the people to it, it self also looking on it self jealously, whether to be or not; yet should it now from a politick Government start up in a moment, and be transformed to what is Divine. And therefore no longer begging, but commanding; nor to be now confined to Geneva, (where first imposed,) but Geneva in that, giving Laws to the world, and expe­cting from other Churches conformity to that as the principal. By all which (notwithstanding) although other Reformed Churches had been in all this time, little influenced; yet (sure­ly by some fatality) hath it been [Page] with us in these Kingdoms other­wise. For this Geneva form well pleasing our English, fled to Geneva in Q. Mary's Persecution was by them brought thence in their return; by whom it having been for a time hatched in private Conventicles, at length was it brought forth, and after by strong hand imposed on our Churches for imitation: as was that Idol-altar at Damascus pat­terned for Jerusalem. 2 Kin. 16. 10, 11. This be­gan in Scotland, where Episcopacie was cast off by the Reformers (Ge­neva Principled) and that (as in Ge­neva,) in a way popular and tu­multuary so imbibing Reformation with Schism. And although in th [...] other Kingdoms Episcopacy still held, and many years flourished after the [Page] Reformation, (to the glory of our Church above all others reformed) yet was that sacred Hierarchy, in that time, by that Party oft pushed at; and at length, (they getting head and power in our late dismal times) our very foundations of Govern­ment, Civil, and Ecclesiastical, Re­gal, and Episcopal, (as by a general earthquake) were at once, and to­gether, overturned, and in their ru­ins buried: under which universal desolations lay these Kingdoms, mi­serably, when (as by miracle) all were again raised and restored to their former beauty and lustre, by His Sa­cred Majesties glorious and happy Re­stauration. (And next and unto His Majesty) doth Ireland own Your GRACE in its Settlement, both as [Page] to Church and State, our general set­tlement of the Kingdom by your great Hand, speaking Your glory to ge­nerations. And whereas all these mentioned evils and miseries, had been occasioned by schism, and by that particularly concerning Church-government, and that this present generation hath been (in a great measure) bred and educated in an Age, where that truth hath been si­lenced, and nothing heard but what hath been loudly against it, and the contrary magnified, as what only is according to Scripture: and consi­dering, that this, (we must now say) controversie, being cleared, mens minds (or some of them) might be satisfied in the truth, and thereby setled in obedience; therefore (occa­sion [Page] being for it) did I take up this subject, in which Episcopacy is assert­ed as Apostolical, and the contrary ex­amined, so far, as the short time then allowed me would admit; which being by Your GRACE comman­ded from me, it is thus in due obe­dience presented; yet in some parti­culars here and there enlarged, above what was in publick delivery, what is so added, being what was intend­ed to have been then spoken, had I not been enforced by the time, and work of the Day, to contract. All which is now laid at Your Excel­lencies feet, and under Your great and piercing Judgment, there, leaving it humbly, and ever praying for Your Lordships happiness every way; and that the Lord would remember You [Page] according to the good by You done for the House of our God, and for the Of­fices thereof. Neh. 13. 14.

Your GRACES In Duty and Service. Henry Midensis.

I Have more than once read your Lordships very excellent Ser­mon, and do think it not only so convincing in what it aims at, but so prudent and seasonable, that with your good leave, I wish it may be printed, and to that end have left the Copy you sent me in my Lord Chancellors Hands. What you are pleased to say of me, in your Epistle to me, is the only questionable part [Page] of the Work; and if I have not been what you say, you teach me what I should be, and I receive the Instru­ction as I ought, and remain.

Your Lordships most Affectionate humble Servant, ORMONDE.
For the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord Bishop of Meath. These.


WHat is here withall now published, was at first in­tended to have been no farther publique, then as spoken. But it being since then, otherwise ordered, and concieving that so necessary a Truth (now dark and controversal,) might require more for its Explication and [Page] Proof, then was, or could (circumstances considered) be, at that time, in speaking allowed. Therefore is this intended in way of Supplement at present, which may be hereafter farther enlarged, as opportu­nity shall be for it; if not, perhaps, there­unto provoked by Gain-sayers, whom I expect and provide for.

The asserting the Episcopal Office and Calling, and in that, the Government Eccle­siastical of the Christian Church, is that now before us, concerning which that may be found true, which God speaks of some other his Truths, in corrupt times. I have (saith he) written to them the great things of my Law, but they were counted as a strange thing. Hos. 3. 12. And what is now so strange, as to hear of Episcopacy, that it is the true, an­cient, and Apostolical Government of the Church? And on the contrary, That the Government without Elders (Lay or others) is but feigned, and novel?

Yet, is this a great Truth, Episcopacy having been received, both in profession and practice in all Ages of the Church, [Page] from the first of Christianity unto [...] last Age, whereas now we find this Truth, not so much antiquated or forgotten, as utterly denied.

But comparing Scripture, and authentick Records of ancient times [...] evident, That Episcopacy is so far Apostolically Divine,

  • 1. That Bishops were in the [...] times of the Apostles.
  • 2. And they by the Apostles themselves ordained and appointed.
  • 3. And that in those very times of the Apostles, in the Apostolical Churches (such as were by the Apostles themselves plant­ed, and setled,) there had been an approved succession of Bishops.
  • 4. And that in all the following P [...] ­tive Ages of the Church, the [...] by Bishops, so Apostolically ordered, had been accordingly received, and continued, no one Church contradicting in word, or practice.
  • 5. Lastly, nothing heard, in all that time, of a Government by Elders, Lay, o [...] o­ther.

For manifesting which, briefly, in parti­culars, [Page] it appears, [...] (Taking that unto the death of [...] John, an. [...])

1. That St. James, (not the Son of [...] who was killed by Herod Acts 12. 2. but [...] killed the [...] and the [...] the [...] brother Gal. 1. 19. or kinsman) was (it may be on such respect [...]) appointed by the Apostles, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was there, therefore resident, while other the Apostles were other where on their work. And on that account might he be (proba­bly,) pointed [...] as principal among the [...] Acts 12. 17. [...] (faith he) show these things unto James, and to the brethren, speaking of his miraculous deliverance from Herod, and from his prison. And af­ter, in the great Council [...] Hierusalem (the greatest that ever was in the Christian world, all the Apostles being present;) St. James appears there as Principal and President, by whom (as [...] by such usual) the Resolve of the Council is last, and defi­nitively declared. Acts 15. 13, &c. Also to St. James, is by St. Paul at Hierusalem expresly ad­dressed. [Page] [...] And again, and again is he honourably mentioned among, and above others, [...] in which he was considered as Bishop of Hierusalem, which I need not prove, it being by the other [...] [...] [...] ­ledged, & proved also, although with some tenderness, as to be willingly passed over. It seemeth (say the Authors of the Annot. on the Bible Printed an. 1651.) that he was assigned to stay at Jerusalem. Annot. on Acts 21. 18. But on what account was that? They test us, Annot. on Acts 12. [...]7. Antiquity (say they) took him, (James) to be superintendent, or Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem, Chrys. hom. 33. in Act. Jerom. to 1 Catal. ser. Eccles. These are their words and proof for it, of that therefore I need not (I hope) say more.

After St. James (who governed that Church thirty years) his brother Simon or Simeon succeeded in that Bishop­rick; Hiero. Catal. Scrip. in Sim. He, living until he was 120 years old, suffered under [...].

2. By appointment of St. Peter, St. Mark was appointed Bishop of Alexandria, and the first there. He died five or six [Page] years before S. Peter or S. Paul, and al­most 40 years before S.John: Him suc­ceeded Anianus, then Abilius, and after Cerdo, all in the Apostles time. Niceph. l. 14. [...] Euseb. l. 2. c. 24. Doroth. in Synop. Hie. proëm. in Math. & in catalog [...] Marco, & ad Evagr.

3. By S. Paul was Timothy made Bishop of Ephesus, and Titus Bishop of Crete. The Postscripts to those Epistles stile them Bishops; which beside the Antiquity of that testimony, is otherwise averred, for the Authors of the Centuries Cent. 1. l. 2. c. 10. in Joh. Evang. say, That it is evident that Paul appointed Timothy Pastor, and that he was [...], or Presi­dent, which is with Beza a Bishop. Beza in 1 Tim. 5. 19 Timothy had first the Bishoprick of the Church of Ephesus, and Titus of the Churches in Crete: so Eusebius, Euseb. l. 3. c. 4. also Jerome, Hier. catal. sc. Timothy was ordained of S. Paul the Bishop of the Ephesians, and Titus Bishop of Crete: And Oecumenius on these words, 1 Tim. 1. 3. I be sought thee to abide still at Ephesus, [...]. Here (faith he) he appoint­ed him Bishop. Oecum. in 1 Tim. 1. And of Titus, Oecum. in Tit. 1. That [Page] Paul left him to ordain Bishops, [...] having first made him Bishop.

As for Timothies Successors In the Apostles times; you have the Angel of that Church mentioned by S. John, Re [...]. 2. 1. Also Polycrates Bishop of Ephesus Contemporary to Polycarpus Bishop of Smyrna, ordained by S. John.

And of others his successors after, we read in the Council of Chalcedon; where Stephanus Bishop of Ephesus being de­posed, and it being debated by whom the new Bishop should be appointed, whether by the Council, or by the Provincial Synod of Asia; thereupon Leontius Bishop of Magnesia (of the Province of Asia) said, Thatfrom S. Timothy to that time, there had been 27 Bishops of Ephesus, all ordained in the Province. Conc. Chalce. act. 11.

As to Crete, and of Bishops, succeed­ing Titus; we read, that Basil Bishop of Gortyna (the Metropolis of Crete) was present at the Council of Trullo. Theod. Balfamo.

[Page] 4. The Apostles S. Peter, and S. Paul, about the year 45. appointed Evodius Bishop of Antioch, who continued there Bishop 20 years. Him Ignatius succeed­ed, and sate there 30 years; both of them in the times of the Apostles. Euseb. l. 3. c. 22. Ignat. ad Anti ch.

5. In the year 56. the same Apostles ordered Linus Bishop of Rome, who is mentioned 2 Tim. 4. 21. after whom fol­lowed Anacletus, and Clemens, Euseb. l. 5. c. 6. & l. 3. c. 4. &c. 13. &c. 22. Iren. l. 3. c. 3. Hie. cata. in Clement. in the Apostles times also. Clemens did see the Apostles, and conversed with them, saith Irenaeus (l. 3. c. 3.)

6. S. John ordained Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna. Iren. l. 3. c. 3. Euseb. l. 3. c. 35. Hier. in catal. sc. And after his return from exile, he appointed several Bishops in divers places. Euseb. l. 3. c. 23.

And as we finde it thus in those Apo­stolical Churches (by themselves, ordered) so in others also hath it been in like manner, as to Apostolical Ordination and succession: Of which Tertullian: As the Church of Smyrna had Polycarpus placed there by S. John, and the Church of Rome Clement ordained by S. Peter, so the rest [Page] of the Churches also did shew what Bishops they had received by the appoint­ment of the Apostles, to traduce the Apo­stolical seed to them. Tertul. de praescrip. c. 32. & l. 4. contra Marcione. 5.

In all which are seen, Bishops ordain­ed by the Apostles; with their succession, and that, even in the times of the Apostles, together with their times and places, as­certaining the truth of it.

Adde, the universal practice after, of all Churches, both Orthodox, and Here­tical; (for even the Novatians, Arians, and Donatists, &c. retained the true Go­vernment of the Church by Bishops.)

But on the contrary, No instances out of Councils, Fathers or Histories, can be given (in all that time) of Churches ordered without Bishops by Elders, of which kind soever; allowing the time when Churches were first constituted; they being then under the immediate tuition and care of the Apostles themselves respectively, until by their removal or otherwise, they found it necessary to appoint others in their places, in which case, the Apostles being [Page] themsel [...]es Bishops, they then stood in that capacity, which Bishops after supplied.

That general consent therefore of all Churches from the beginning, evidenceth the Truth in this undeniably; if it be not supposed, that all those holy Fathers and Councils should joyn in one, throughout all those ages, (no one contradicting,) in setting up a Government in the Church (Episcopal,) contrary to what was by the Apostles appointed; and utterly silencing (without the least memory) what the Apostles had ordered (if so it were) of a Government by Elders without Bishops. But that, were to suppose a conspiracy and combination, as to those holy men un­charitable, and in it self irrational and impossible.

This I rather chuse to give in the very words of his late Majestie Charles I. (the Royal Martyr for this Church truth, as for the essential priviledges of His Crown and Kingdoms) that, being by him deli­vered in answer to certain Papers of the Divines attending the Commissioners of [Page] Parliament at the Treatie of Newpors in the Isle of Wight anno. 1648. His Ma­jesties final answer con­cerning E­pisco pac i. Nov. 1. 1648 p. 9. He that shall find by all the best records extant, that the distinction of Bishops from, and the su­periority over Presbyters was so universal­ly and speedily spread over the face of the whole world; and their government sub­mitted to so [...] by the Presbyters that there never was any considerable oppo­sition made there against before Aerius (and that cried down as an Hereste) nor since till this last age, And shall duely con­sider withall that if Episcopal government had not had an indubitable Institution from the authority of Christ and his Apostles; or if any other forme of Church government could have pretended to such Instruction, it had been the most impossible thing in the world, when their neither was any outward certain power to enforce it, nor could be any general Council to stablish it, to have intro­duced such a forme of government so sud­denly and quietly into all Christian Churches, and not the spirit of one Presbyter for [...] that appeareth for above 300. years to [...] [Page] been provoke either through zeal; ambiti­on or other motive to stand up in the just de­fence of their own and the Churches liber­tie against such usurpation.

These are his Majesties words. Thus doth Episcopacy derive from the first times, and shews it self generally received, and continued by a Succession of after ages, in the Christian Church. Which that by Elders without Bishops, cannot shew. By this Tertullian concludes for the Catho­lick Church against Heretiques. Let them (saith he) shew the beginning of their Churches, let them run over the Successi­on of their Bishops, so as the first of them, may have one of the Apostles, or Apostolique men, to be a founder, or predecessor. So Apostolique Churches derive themselves; So doth the Church of Smyrna shew Poli­carpus placed there by John: and Rome, Clements, ordained by Peter; so have other Churches those, who were by the Apostles appointed Bishops by whom the Apostolique seed (or race) is derived, or [Page] continued (so Tertullian, de Praescript. advers. Haeretic. c. 33.) thus was it of old, and from th beginning, un­to these later times; when the change of that ancient forme of Church Govern­ment began; that being occasionally brought in (it troubles to say it) with the Reformation. (Then I say) was that occasioned, rather than designed, or approved by the first Reformers.

For, the truth and puritie of the Gospel, being then opposed and persecuted by Po­pish Bishops, thereby were those Reformers enforced to act in that work of Refor­mation without those Bishops, whom they could not gain, and who were to them so contrary.

Yet did not those Reformers in that, cast off Episcopacy, with aversness to the Order; but onely in respect of those indi­vidual persons of the Popish Bishops op­pressing, they the Reformers in the mean time professing for Episcopacy, and greatly desiring it, if it might be.

[Page] It is [...] by us endea [...]oured (say they) that Bishops be deprived of Government, or Power, but it is desired, that they suffer the Gospel to be purely preached: Hist. confess: Au­gust per [...]hytraeum and we have oft protested, That we do greatly approve the Ecclesiastial Politie and de­grees in the Church, and as much as in us lieth, we desire to preserve them. We do not dislike the authority of Bishops, so that they would not compel us to do against Gods commandments: ibid pa. 109, and yet again, We do here protest, and we would have it to be recorded, that we would willingly have the Ecclesiastical and Canonical Politie, if the the Bishops cease to tyrannize over our Churches. This our desire shall excuse us with all posterity, both before God and all Nations. Apolog, Confes, Au­gust per Pap P, 137, All which we have in that famous Augustan confession of the Refor­mers, who from the word protest, so fre­quent there, had then and thence the name of Protestants, they being there first called Protestants, as first Christians at Antioch Acts, 11. 26.

[Page] This Augustan Confession, or Profession, or Protestation, was signed by the more eminently Learned in that age, and work of Reformation: Among whom, even Calvin was a Subscriber.

Yet did others of the chief Reformers, adhere to their professions made concern­ing the right of Episcopacy, both as to Order and Jurisdiction, concluding, that in Justice it ought not to be violated. Hist. Au­gust. confess. per chytr. p. 389. By what right or Law (saith Melan [...]thon to Camerarius) may we dissolve the Ecclesiasti­cal Politie, if the Bishops will grant us what in reason they ought to grant: and though it were lawful, yet surely it were not expedient. And he writing to Luther, You will not believe how they of No­ricum and others hate me, Propter resti­tutam Episcopis Jurisdictionem, for re­storing the Jurisdiction of Bishops. Hist. Au­gust. confess; p. 406. And Camerarius in the life of Melancthon ▪ saith thus of him, (h) Melancthon non modo adstipulatore sed etiam authore ipso [Page] Luthero &c.) Melancthon not onely by the consent, but even by advice also of Luther perswaded, that if Bishops would grant free use of the true doctrine, the ordinary power, and administration of their several Diocesses should be restored to them; and even Beza who succeeded Calvin in Ge­neva for the space of ten years in like au­thority, duering which time, he was strict in his Judgment as to his discipline; Yet after Danaeu's his comeing thither, whereby that course of continueing long in that place, was altered, and Beza laid by; Then could he find those inconve­niences in that course, which he could not now remedie, onely, wishing it were otherwise. So speaking of the 34th Ca­non, of those called, the Apostles Canons, concerning the power of Metropolitans over Bishops, Quid aliud (saith Beza) hic statuitur, quam ordo ille, quem in omnibus Eccles [...]is restitutum cupimus: what is in this appointed, but that order, which we wish maybe restored, in all the Ghurches? Beza de gra [...]minist. c. 20. I shall but add that of Zanchius, [Page] (one of the most learned of that side.) He in a confession, or profession of Faith by him composed, speaking of Church Orders, and saying that Arch bishops and Patri­archs may be defended, Hier. Zanch. de relig. cap. 25. And sending that his confession to others for their ap­probation, and consent in it; he found exceptions taken at that said by him con­cerning those Church Orders: his words are. observat in c. 25. Apho. 10. 11. A certain eminent person, did write to me thus: what you write of your con­fession, hath been by me, and by N. and others received with great delight; it being learnedly written, and in an accurate method, with which I was greatly pleased, if you except what in the end you add of Arch­bishops and that Hierarchy. On which Zanchius maketh for himself this Apolo­gie; when (saith he) I wrote this confessi­on of Faith: I did write all things out of a good conscience, and as I believed so did I freely speak. Now my faith is grounded chiefly and simply on the word of God; something also, in the next place, on the common consent of the whole Ancient [Page] Catholique Church, if that be not repugnant to the Scriptures. I do also beleive, that what things were defined in Councils and received by the godly Fathers, gathered to­gether in the name of the Lord, by common consent of all, without any gainsaying of the holy Scriptures, that those things also, (though they be not of the same authority with the holy Scriptures) proceeded from the holy Ghost. Hence it is, that those things that [...]e of this kind, I neither will, nor dare with a good conscience dislike. But what is more certain out of Histo­ry, Councils, and writings of all the Fathers, then that those Orders of Ministers, whereof I speake, were established, and received by the common consent of all Christendom (Quis autem ego? &c) And who am I, that I should disallow, what the whole Church approveth: nor date all the learn­ed men of our times oppose it; knowing that it was both lawfull for the Church so to order it: and that those things proceeded, and were ordained for the best ends, and for [Page] the edifying of the Elect. (So Zanchius ▪) he, in that, agreeing with the sence of the moderate sort of Reformers.

Notwithstanding which, as a little stepping out of the right way, and so proceeding, makes (in long running) the return more difficult, so those Re­formers stepping so, out of the right path of truth, in acting (as they did) without Bishops (although thereunto enforced) thereby was occasion given to those fol­lowing, to proceed in that error, and so farre, as not onely to be without Bishops, but to be also to them ill spirited; which their leaders, were not, and that, at length, ending in Schisme, and Seperation.

But let such consider, that for that very thing was Aerius by the Fathers branded with haeresie (as was before mentioned? He, as an Arian first opposed Christ; and after, his Church, in its government; and that obstinately, and Schismatically; the occasion whereof would be considered. It was his standing for a Bishoprick, in competition with Eustathius, both of [Page] them Arians, and in an Arian Church; (For very Arians also held the true Go­vernment of the Church by Bishops) But Aërius being put by what he so am­bitiously desired, and Eustathius prefer­red to the Bishoprick, thereupon discon­tented, (discontent proyeing oft, a rise to haeresies, and schismes) Aërius did first, set himself against Eustathius: and after against the whole Episcopal Order; teach­ing; that between a Preshiter, and a Bi­shop there is no difference: That the order is the same, and the honour alike in both &c) (The very doctrine of our late Aëriaus) But in that was he opposed by St. Augustin Aug. haeres. 53. And by Epiphanus. Epiph. haeres. 75. both cen­suring that his opinion for heresie; Nor was he by them alone oppugned, but (as Epiphanus, who lived in the same times with him, addeth) All Churches both in City, and Country, so detested him, and his followers, (which were many) that being abandoned of all they were forced to live in open fields, and woods Id. ibid which opinion of Aërius against Bishops being [Page] so by the Fathers adjudged heresie it was, in that, judged to be contrary to Gods word (for there is no heresie) that is not contrary to Gods word.) And let those in his case among us, se to this: and how farre they are gone in this seperation, cast­ing of the Sacred order of Bishops utterly, contrary to the sence of the first Reformers, who would have bad Bishops if they might, but these will not, though they may; and those such Bishops as are affectionate to them in the truth. And readie to receive them, (returning) with embracements of love in Christian Communion.

Which spoken of the Reformed Churches, acting in the first Reformation without Bi­shops, is not to be understood, as if they after continued without Bishops; for as soon as could be, they did, (many of them) set up that holy Order of Bishops and Archbishops in their Churches, Yet (I know not why) with change of those good ancient names for worse; In Ecclesijs pro­testantium non desunt reips [...] Episcopi, & Archiepiscopi, quo [...] mutatis [...]onis graecis no­minibus in male latina, vo [...]ant Superin­tendentes, [Page] & generales Superinten­dentes, (saith Zarichius) The Protestant Churches, (understand many of them.) want not Bishops and Archbishops, haveing them in effect; whom changing good Greek names, into bad latine names, they call Su­perintendents and general Superin­tendents. Zanch. observ. in c. 25. Aphor. 10. 11. And when it is said, that of the reformed Churches, retaineing Epis­copal government, there are many; under­stand those many, for the more considera­ble. Some of them holding to that Or­der, in substance, but under varied names, (as was said) others, under the proper ap­pollations of Archbishops and Bishops and that in their primitive lustre and dignity. Among these, and above all, are the Churches of great Brittaine and Ireland, in this, emmently glorious; where, that Apo­stolical government is here held up, in name, and forme, in title, and substance; to the lasting honour of those our Princes: who in that, as otherwise, well merited the Title of Defenders of the Faith; (A glorious gemme in the Royal Diadem) an honour (I may say it) peculiar to His Sacre [...]d Majesty [Page] Charles the [...] above all his [...] Progenitors they having but maintained what of this they found, and had been delivered into their hands in a long settle­ment, but He restoring what had [...] by a stoole of iniquitie, as by (a law,) Psal. 94. 20. [...] out (as they intended) Root and branch.

The praise of the reforming Princes of Juda (such were Asa, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah) was next those, by whom Gods worship was first Setled (David and So­lomon) and in that above all others, al­though other ways good, in maintaining Gods worship as they found it delive­red to their hands.

Among these, Hezekiah was eminent; for he found all in confusion ( [...] 29.) the Temple defiled, Prophaned, and Shut up, and its Service neglected, and inter­rupted. He opened the doors of the house of the Lord. (v. 3.) and ordered the carry­ing out the filthyness out of the Sanctuary (v. 5. 15. 16.) after, setling those, ap­pointed for the holy Service, together with then worke (v. 18. &c,) and all that by him early begun, and soon perfected. For [Page] the first [...] and first month of his Reign (v. [...]) and the first day of the month (v. 17.) he immediately on his comeing in, was this begun ▪ and so was it industriously follow­ed, as that in sixteen days the work was fi­nished ▪ (v. 17.) that expedition, shewing it to be from the (Lord, so is it observed (v. 36.) that God prepared the people, for the thing was done suddainly: and (Ch­ [...] [...] it is said, That in Judah, the hand of God was to give the [...] one heart, to do the Commandement of the King, and of the Princes, by the word of the Lord: On all which followed, great joy in salem; for since the time of Solomon, the Son of David King of Israell, there was not the like in Hierusalem (2. Chr. 30. 36.)

So was it in Hezekiahs reformation. In which we see his Sacred Majestie our dread Soveraign, in his glorious work of Re­formation, lively portrayed.

1. As to the greatness of the work all was among us in greatest confusion, and deformation, by a pretended Refor­mation ▪ Gods houses prophaned, his holy Service neglected, interrupted, and des­pised; [Page] and the Sacred Office, and Officers of the Church cast off, and [...] on: and (in order to their [...]) were the ample [...] of the Church (the Lords portion) [...]acrilegi­ously invaded, and designedly alienated into [...], great, and many thereby in­gaged to oppose the very Office for ever.

2. And as wene the proceedings in He­zekiahs reformation, so were they [...] of His Majesties, answereably [...] that work did he set himself early, even the first year, the first month, and the first day of the month, that is, immediately after His Majesties happy entrando among his people, and before his own Solemn Settle­ment on his Royal Throne, then, were the doors of the Lords house by him opened, and the Sanctuary purged from filth, and prophanation! Then the holy offices of the Church in Gods Service Setled. And our Apostolical Church Officers, (Arch-bishops and Bishops) set in their respective places. And soon after, were also restored the just possessions of the Church, for support of those attending that Sacred work.

[Page] And all this done, as it were, on a sud­dain silently, and cheerfully, even to astonishment that, shewing it not to be from men, but from God ▪ who, as he [...]owed the hearts of the people as one man to His Majesties own Royal Person; as to David 2. Sam. 19. 14. so the hand of God was on the people, that he gave them one heart, to do the com­mandement of the King, and of the Princes towards this Royal reformation as in Hezekiah (s) and that as there, [...] with a general rejoyeeing: For the like thing had not been in England since the beginning of Christianity.

In all which, as we have to bless God greatly for such his goodness to his people: so to begg daily his preserveing to us his Sacred Majesty (as our nursing Father of his Church,) together with such of the Princes, who (under his Majesty) have been in this great work, eminently in­strumental.

Tit. 1. ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Ver. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain Elders in every City, as I had appointed thee.

6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly.

7. For a Bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God: not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.

8. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate.

9. Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

THat, is here verified, which the great Apostle of the Gentiles S. Paul speaketh of himself, his being daily pressed with the care of All the Churches; 2 Cor. 11. 20. that his care began in plant­ing; and was followed in watering, and continued in settling the Churches planted and watered.

First, Planting where yet none were: In [Page 2] which his pains were great, labours indefatiga­ble, and endeavours succesful; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illiricum, I have (saith he) fully preached the Gospel of Christ. Rom. 15. 15. unto 22. In which round about, are Arabia, Damafeus, Antiochia, Seleucin, Cyprus, [...]amphilia, Pisedia, Licaonica, Siria, Cilicia, [...]hrygia, Galatia, Misia, Troas, Achaia, Epirus, and many more; over all which he passed in few years, in all, powerfully and effectually preaching the Gospel of Christ; so were those Churches planted.

Secondly, After that, was his care also in watering and confirming the Churches so planted. And that did he: 1. By personal visits (where it might be) and staying with them also (while it was permitted him;) so find we him winter­ing at Nicopolis of Macedonia, whence this Epistle is sent, Acts 3. 12. & in the proscript. and continuing about Ephe­sus the space of three years. Acts 20. 31. 2. Also, send­ing others for that work, where he himself could not be: So in Corinth, where himself had plant­ed, there Apollo after watered 1 Cor. 3. 6. and thither sent he also Timotheus, That (saith he) he should bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every Church. 1 Cor. 4. 17. 3. Further also confirming, in appointing some to be more constant and resident, for instructing and ordering the Churches; so Timothy at Ephesus, 1 Tim. 1. 2. and Titus in Crete. Tit. 1. 5. 4. That also by writing, where there was occa­sion: such are his Epistles, whether to those ap­pointed [Page 3] in chief over the Churches respectively, as to Timothy and Titus, or to the Churches them­selves; so to the Romans, &c. hereby confirm­ing the souls of the Disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much Tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God. Act [...] 14. 22.

Thirdly and lastly, His care was in setling the Church planted and confirmed. In that, was his care (as was said) continued. This Settle­ment of the Church, was 1. By Order and Go­vernment there appointed; (without that, were no settlement) for that, is Titus left in Crete, to set in order the things there wanting, &c. 2. In appointing persons fitly qualified for that work; for which is here also provided (v. 6, 7, 8, 9.) where you see those qualifications in such required. 3. In both, providing for the future, as for the present; and that, by Ordina­tion, ordaining Elders in every City. Ordination is a standing Church Ordinance; answering mortality, supplying vacancies, and extending to all in holy Orders; not to those of lower rank onely, to whom (in common speaking) Ordina­tion seemeth to be now almost rest ained; but rising to the higher also, even to Bishops, in re­spect of whom, it is now termed, commonly, Consecration. Consecration is the highest act of Ordination. Ordination includeth Consecration; so are Bishops ordained, as Timothy ordained Bishop of Ephesus; 2 Tim. postscript. and, Titus ordained [Page 4] Bishop of Crete. Tit. Postscript. This is the work of this day; for which, and for what concerns it, are these words now chosen.

In which words you have the persons in this sacred Ministration considered,

  • 1. In their place, order and work, (v. 5.)
  • 2. In their qualifications, apting and fitting for that work (v. 6, 7, 8, 9.)

1. As to the persons in this great work of Church Settlement; see them here considered as chief and subordinate: first, the Apostle, next, and under him, Titus; and by Titus, others or­dained and ordered: So was it there, so in other Churches; so was it then, and to be so in the Church successively for ever; which gives us this Doctrinally,

Doctr. That in Order and Church-Government, is Church-Settlement.

In which, speaking of Order, are excluded Parity and Community.

  • 1. Parity; That, and Government, are incon­sistent; for, if all equal, Who then ruling? who ruled? Who ordering? who ordered? Inter pares non est potestas; Government there ceaseth.
  • 2. Community: That also is here excluded: Community as to Government, is but confusion. Let Quakers, and such, see to this; among whom (in Divine things) is no distinction of [Page 5] Offices, or persons, no, nor of Sexes, even very women) to whom it is not permitted, but ex­presly forbidden, to speak in the Church, the Apostle crying shame on such so speaking,
    1 Cor. 14. 34, 35.
    yet even women so speaking, are among these allowed.

Lastly, All with them depending (in Divine duties) on uncertain Impulses, whensoever, and from whomsoever: Wherein, let them see, if such Impulses be (what they pretend) from God; God disowning confusion, and that in the Church especially: God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the Churches of the Saints. 1 Cor. 14. 33. And what greater confusion, than for a body to be all in a heap and lump, without head or foot, or distinction of members? So is it there.

Levelling Parity therefore, and confused com­munity, are in this, excluded, as contrary to Or­der, Government and Settlement.

Therefore Order here intended, is that where­in is distinction of Offices and persons, and de­grees, in way of Superiority and Subordination: This Nature, and Reason, and Scripture shew to be necessary.

1. So is it in the body natural; where the the members are distinguished in order and use; which is by the Apostle excellently expressed, 1 Cor. 12 shewing, that the body is not one member, but many; Ver. 14 and, if the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing, and if the whole [Page 6] were hearing, where were the s [...]elling, Ver. 17. and if they were all one member, where were the body? but now are they many members, yet but one body; Ver. 20. shewing after, the use of that di­stinction, in the usefulness thereby of each mem­ber to other, and of all, to the body; Ver. 21. and that thereby, there should be no schism in the body Ver. 25. applying all that to us; that as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the mem­bers of that one [...]od [...] being many, are one body; so also (saith the Apostle) is Christ (ver. 12.) that is, Christ Mystical, considered as compleat in head and body, he the head, we (taking in the Church Catholick, or Universal) being his body, and each of us distinct members in that body under him the head. Lastly, all that, is applied to the present business; God (saith he) hath set some in the Church, first, Apostles, secondarily, Prophets, thirdly, Teachers, after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, go­vernments, diversities of tongues? (adding) are all Apostles, are all Prophets, are all Teachers, are all workers of miracles, have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues, do all inter­pret? (ver. 28, 29.) so there. In all, you see a distinction of members in the body natural, distinct in order and use; and that, every way, neces­sary.

2. See it so also in the body Politique, in all civil Societies of men in every condition, whether in families or corporations (a word borrowed [Page 7] from the body;) or in States. In any of which, if no distinction of persons, or of callings, if not difference in place or degrees, how, in reason, can that family, city or Kingdom subsist?

3. And if so elsewhere generally, (in the Body Natural and Politick) then so in the Church, (Christs Mystical Body) and there especially, the Church being in this, leading to others. God (saith the Apostle) is not the author of confusion, but of peace, As in all the Churches of the Saints 1 Cor. 14. 33. And in that, hath Gods care appear­ed particularly, as is evidenced.

  • 1. In the former Ministration and Govern­ment of the Church under the Law; where God appointed, 1. One in chief, an High Priest, Su­perior to all in Divine things; he overseeing, ruling and judging Gods House.
    Zac. 37.
    Gods house is his Church.
    1 Tim. 3. 15.
  • 2. Vnder him the High Priest, were Levites, the lowest in that Ministration, and more re­strained in duty and at distance in the service of the Tabernacle.
    1 Chro. 23. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
  • 3. From among the Levites were Priests chosen: who were, as to Order, higher than Levites, and in service more full, and nearer the Altar, Taber­nacle or Temple.
  • 4. And whereas there were of these Priests several courses (24 in number) we find each of these 24 courses of Priests to have had an Over­seer
    1 Chro, 24. 7. to 19.
    or chief Priest; of which chief Priests, much is spoken in the New Testament. These [Page 8] chiif Priests were in degree and dignity, next the high Priest, and above all others.
    Num. 13, 14

Thus, and so, was the Church then ordered, in way (you see) of preheminsnee and subordinati­on: God himself so appointed it.

But is it not now, under the New Testament, otherwise? Is not that distinction now removed, all Gods people being holy, Numb. 16. 3. and all now a Royal Priesthood? which is spoken of Saints in a generality. 1 Pet. 21. 9.

It is indeed what some would have; therein, giving a general liberty to all, for acting in holy things in common, one as another; or where that is by others restrained, they notwithstanding allow not in the Church, government in chief, but taking that from others, that they them­selves might rule.

In which, as to that general liberty for acting in way of Parity or Community; that is already cast off, it being inconsistent with Order or Government (as hath been shewed.)

And as to that said of all the Lords people be­ing holy, therefore none to assume a Propriety in Divine Offices more then others (which is the con­sequence by such contended for) there needs no more to be said of that, but to know whose reasoning that was; Was it not Corah and his factious Crew, by whom that was urged, against Aaron and his Numb. 16. 3: Priesthood, which had been by God himself appointed? that, therefore I (hope) will not be now again insisted on.

[Page 9] Lastly, To what is said of all Gods people, that all are a Royal Priesthood 1 Pet. 2 5, 9. therefore all to act accordingly; (which is by some inferred) 1. What priviledge is in that now, which had not been before, under the Old Testament? for of them also is that spoken, Exod. 19. 6. and yet none then so acted notwithstanding, who had not been thereunto peculiarly called. 2. All Gods people are said to be Kings also, as Priests; (a Royal Priesthood, or a Kingdom of Priests.) Exod. 19 6. Rev. 1. 6. 15. 10. And are all Kings? in a sense they are so; and in that sense and not otherwise, are all Priests also. All, that are truly Gods, are Kings, but that spiritually, and in a private capacity, as to our selves onely; so are we Kings [...]ver our selves, ruling over our own hearts and passions, the greatest rule; Prov. 16. 32. He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city; so, are we all Kings. And so, are all of us, Priests also; that is, spiritually; so as are our Sacri­fices, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sa­crifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 2. 5. All of us are also Priests in our private capacities, all praying for our selves and others, and exhorting each other to good: this is incumbent on all Chri­stians, as Christians, in way of private duty, not of Office: For as to publick Office, that appertaineth to such only as are thereunto expresly called, and peculiarly appointed; No man taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was [Page 10] Aaron: So also even Christ glarified not himself to be made an high Priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my son, to day have I begotten thee (as saith the Apostle, Hebr. 5. 4, 5. and if not Christ, until called to it, then surely none other; therefore, was King Vzziah sacrificing, justly of the High Priest reproved, and by God himself punished: 2 Chro. 26, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. To all it is given to be Priests in way of private priviledge, not as to Office publiquely.

Such were Gods Appointments in this, under the Old Testament; nor is it now under the New Testament otherwise: And so far is it from such a change now, that the New Testament Ministra­tion may be observed, to be modelled to that of the Old Testament; yet, with allowance of neces­sary variations, according to the change of times and things: This appears in both Testaments, both as to Service and Government.

I. As to Service: See ours under the New Testament, answering that of old (although not the same.)

1. For as there was then a Priesthood, so now al­so: So was it prophesied of the Gentile Christian Church, Isa. 66. 21. I will take of them for Priests, and for Levites, saith the Lord: the admitting Gentiles into the Priesthood was new, to what was for­merly; that is here promised. And see that ex­pressed in an Old Testament stile, by Priests and Levites, shewing a conformisy in both Testaments, in that, to each other.

[Page 11] 2. As then were Priests, so an Altar, at which those Priests officiated; so now also have we our Altar. Let not this offend any; it should not, they being the Apostles words: We have (saith he) an Altar, whereof they have no right to eat, which serve the Tabernacle: Heb. 13. 10. The words We, and They, distinguish persons, and times, and service; yet both agreeing in an Altar for each: But not now as then; for otherwise, the right of those Priests would be to this Altar, as to that, but in that, the former Priesthood is here excluded.

3. And as to the Sacrifices on that Altar; Bullocks, &c. were then offered; Psal. 51. 19. so have we ours also: but, the Calves of our lips Hos. 14. 2. prayer and praise, the fruit of our lips (that is our Sacrifice to God) giving thanks to his name. Heb. 13. 15.

4. Maintenance also for those serving at the Altar, is new, from what was formerly: Do ye not know (saith the Apostle) that they which minister about holy things, live of the things of the Temple; (so then:) even so hath the Lord or­dained, that they which preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel. 1 Cor. 9, 13, 14.

5. And even our very Sacraments also are (in matter) from the Old Testament, although not now as then; 1. Our Baptism is borrowed from their Legal Washings. 2. And our bread and Wine in the Lords Supper, from the Passeover rites; but, as to nature, use and efficacy. vastly differ­ing: So, have you seen the New T [...]stament Ser­vice [Page 12] (as to so much, and so far) ordered and conformed to that before under the Old Testa­ment. (The time will not allow me to instance further in it.)

II. See it so as to Church-Government also, ours and theirs: Ours being now, in substance, modelled to the form of the Old Testament.

1. For as then there was an High Priest over the House of God, Supreme and ruling all there; so is it now; and such to us, is Jesus Christ our great High Priest; Heb. 10 21. of him, and of his Priesthood and work, were those High Priests, in their Person, Office and Work, types and sha­dows; therefore, they, and all that, to cease and give way, Christ, the true High Priest being ma­nifested, and his work finished.

2. Under that High Priest were Levites (as you heard) and they, lowest in that service, and more at distance, and short in ministring. To these answer our Deacons, an Office Apostolically appointed, Acts 1. 6. 1. to 7. [...] Tim. 3. 10. and a name from Ministring; these, are with us lowest in Office, and restrained in work, not admitted to all sacred duties (for a time) as it was with the Levites of old.

3. As out of those Levites, Priests were called; these being in degree higher and neerer the Altar in their ministrings: So among us, are also Priests; (called so as formerly) or if called Elders (a name by some rather delighted in) yet is even that, an Old Testament name also, 2 Ki. 19. 2 Ita. 37. 2. thence borrow­ed, and derived, and continued to us. These [Page 13] our Priests, or Elders, are (as those before) chosen out of our Levite-Deacons; (so from their conformity may I call them:) And these our Priests, as the other, are in order above Deacons, and more enlarged in work and duty.

4. And as there, among those Priests, there were some above others, who although of the same Order (both being Priests) yet were they in degrees differing, one being to the other Su­periour; therefore termed Overseers, and Chief Priests: These were as to place, next to the High Priest, and above all others: And such with us were the Apostles of our Lord, they being (in the Rule and Government of the Church) next unto Christ the High Priest, and above all others: Hence, first Apostles, is the place given them, 1 Cor. 12. 28. they are first, and among all other Officers in the Church the principal.

In which Apostolick order and work, were some things Extraordinary, and some things Ordinary.

1. Extraordinary: (for among the Extraor­dinary Offices in the Church are Apostles reckoned 1 Cor. 12. 28.

That (I say) in this their Office Extraordinary, was their measure of gifts, infallibility of their doctrine, and the extent of their charge, their universal care of all the Churches throughout the whole world; for although some of them were for the Circumcision, or for the Jews principally; and others for the Vncircumcision, or Gentiles more especially, Gal. 2. 7 yet was not the extent of [Page 14] the Apostolick power of either, in that limit­ed, neither their universal care of all the Churches; the care of all the Churches was on S. Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles: 2 Cor. 11. 26. These things in the Apostolick office extraordinary, were fix'd to their persons, and with themselves expired and de­termined. In that had they no Successors; therefore Romes pretence to an universal Bi­shoprick, and Supremacy of care, and rule over all the Churches in the world, and that, as S. Peters Successor, is but Vsurpation, as the pretence to Infallibility is also evidenced to be other­wise.

2. But in the Apostolick Office and Work, was something also Ordinary: Such was their Over­seeing, Ordering, Ordaining, Preaching and Bap­tizing. This part of the work is lasting; this is now, and ever holding in the Church to all generations; which is intended in their Com­mission given them by our Lord, Mat. 28. 19, 20. Go ye and teach all Nations, baptizing them, &c. and teach­ing them to observe all things whatsoever, I have commanded you, and lo I am with you alway (saith Christ) to the end of the world. But how that to the end of the world? of the Prophets it is said, that they are dead, Zech. 1. 5 and that is true of the Apostles also. S. Paul the aged, Phile. 9. had his time at hand in which he was to be offered up; 2 Tim. 4. 6. so was S. Peters tabernacle to be put off shortly; 2 Pet. 1. 14. how then to the end of the world? Both are true; for that which failed with their Persons, lasts in [Page 15] their Office, and in their Work, and Succes­sors: So had the Apostles Successors. And accordingly do we finde them providing for Succession, both as to persons and work. For that, were Timothy and Titus drawn in, and ordained by the Apostle S. Paul, to be then, his Assistants, and to be after, his Successors, for supplying his place, care, and work in their Churches respectively; he appointing them al­so to ordain others with, and under them, and others after to succeed these; so, to generations unto the end of the World: Of which, and of the correspondence of both Testaments S. Hierom speaks thus, Hi [...]r. ad Evagr. That we may see Apostolical Traditions to be taken out of the Old Testament, look what Aaron and his Sons, and the Levites were in the Temple, the same let the Bishops, Priests and Deacons challenge in the Church: And Idem ad Nepotianum. We know Bishops and Priests to be what were Aaron and his Sons; And S. Cyprian calleth Bishops the Apostles Successors: Cypr. l. 4. epist. 9. All Bishops are the Apo­stles Successors, saith S. Hierom. Hier. ad Evagr.

And as so, do we finde the Apostles name, place and work, to have been by the Apostles given to these their Successors.

II. As to the Name: The very name of Apostle is so given to Epaphroditus Bishop of the Phi­lippians, as Bullinger calls him; Bulling. in Philip. 2. him doth S. Paul call their Apostle, Philip. 2. 25. so is it in the Original, whereas in our English (it would be enquired how well) it is rendred Messen­ger.

[Page 16] For S. Ambrose on those words, Ambros. in Phil. 2. He (Epa­phroditus) is by the Apostles made their Apostle. And S. Hierome writing on those words, My Fellow Souldier, and your Apostle: Fellow Soul­dier (saith he) by reason of his honor, because he also had received the Office of being an Apo­stle among them Hier. in Phil. 2. Again, By those chosen by our Lord, were others ordained Apostles, as appears, in that to the Philippians (Phil. 2. 25.) Epaphroditus your Apostle, so S. Hierom. (Co­ment. in Gal. 1. 19.) But that name Apostle was not intended for a lasting name, as Theodoret observeth, Theod. in 1. Tim. In time past they called the same men Presbyters and Bishops, and they who are now called Bishops, they named Apostles; but in process of time they left the name Apostle to them pro­perly called Apostles, and the name of Bishop they gave to them who had been Apostles. Apostle was their name, and even that name of Bishop (now more fixed) is what they had from the Apostles; from whom they derive their Office, that of Bishop, was the Apostles own name of Office. So Judas numbred with the Apostles, and obtain­ing part of the same Ministry with them the Apo­stleship Acts 1. 17. that his Apostleship is called his Office (so we read it) but by the LXX, it is rendred, his Bishoprick) let another take his Office or Bishoprick; Psalm 10 [...]. 8. which word Bishoprick is is used by the Apostle S. Peter, citing that in Psalm 109. 8. according to the LXX, Acts 1. 2 [...]. and what is there called by the name of Bishoprick, [Page 17] is after called Apostleship: Acts 1. 25. The Apostles were Bishops, which are the words of S. Ambrose (in Ephes. 4. 11. & 2 Cor. 12. 28.) And that name of Bishop was derived to the Apostles from those from whom (under the Old Testament) they derive (if I may so say) I mean these Chief Priests, called in our English, Overseers, but by the LXX Bishops: Nehem. 11. 14. Overseers and Bishops are the same; Acts 20. 28. the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, (so in our English) but in the Greek, Bishops: which the Apostles name Bishop is thus given (you see) to their Successors Bishops to this day. Thus as Christ the High Priest hath the Name of Apostle (Heb. 3. 1.) and Bishop (1 Pet. 2. 25.) and as they sent by him (his Apostles) were so al­so called; so are in like manner they who are by the Apostles substituted, as you have seen.

II. And as the Apostolick name, so, the same work also, (as, Teaching, Ordering, Ordaining, &c. is by the Apostles committed to their Suc­cessors; for this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain Elders in every city, as I had appointed thee, saith the Apostle here to Titus his Successor. Tit 1 5. The same work being in all others in like place and trust in the Church for ever.

III. And for carrying on that great work and name, had these, the Apostles Succssors, the Apostles place and degree also in the Church; in being above others, and to be accordingly [Page 18] respected and esteemed. Apud Nos Aposto­lorum locum tenent Epis­copi, apud Eos, tertius est Episcopus; quod apud nos primum, apud illos est novissimum. Hieronim. Ep. 54. ad Marceliam adversus Montanum. Among us (saith S. Hie­rome) Bishops have the place of the Apostles: which his Expression, Among us, sheweth how Bishops were esteemed among Oxthodox Chri­stians; other, than was among He­reticks, such as Montanus, and his followers, against whom he there writes; blaming them, for so de­pressing and vilifying that sacred and high Order, as they did; And what is among us, chief and first (speaking of Bishops) that is (saith he) last with them: (with Montanus and his Faction;) with them Bishops are in the third and last place. So, S. Hierome; on whom I fix rather then on many other, to that purpose, he being understood by the contrary side, not to have been of the best friends to Bishops, yet in this, is the priviledge and preheminence of Bishops by him acknowledged, asserted, and even (you see) contended for. Thus was it in S. Hieromes time, 400 years after Christ; it having been so continued to his days from the times of the Apostles: so also after S. Hieromes time, through all ages of the Church, until that Schism raised about 126 years since, in Geneva, An. 1541 (a year to us, in the next Century, 1641. on the same account fata [...]:) whereby, we find this Sacred Hierarchy trampled on by inferio [...] El­ders, by whom (although the name of Bishop would be forgotten) yet is the place & power, and [Page 19] work of Bishops by them notwithstanding ambiti­ously sought after, & sacrilegiously usurped, & to themselves alone appropriated; affirming, all spo­ken of Bishops to be intended onely of Elders, and making Elders and Bishops the same, without diffe­rence of degree, or preheminence in any kind. Some Community there is indeed between Bishops and Elders, yet so, as that even in that, there ap­pears sufficient to preserve to Bishops their Be­ing, Work and Dignity, distinct and above those, who would themselves have all without sharing.

Let this be considered distinctly in that com­munity, which is by these Elders challenged with Bishops both in Name and Work; by which they conclude Bishop and Elders the same, and themselves all.

1 As to the names of Bishops and Elders promis­cuously 1. used: for that, are these places of Scripture, among others, by them, insultingly, in­sisted on particularly, Acts 20. 28. where the Elders of the Church of Ephesus (v. 17.) are v. 28) called Overseers, or Bishops (so in the Greek.) Also Phil. 1. 1. the Apostle saluteth the Saints at Philippi, with the Bishops and Dea­cons: See (say they) Bishops (plurally) many of them in the same City; therefore intended of Elders, not Bishops, and that there also Bishops and Deacons onely are named, not Elders; Elders notwithstanding being intended; there­fore concluding, that in that of Bishops, Elders are understood, and not Bishops.

[Page 20] And even this Text also (Tit. 1. 5, 7.) is by them urged to that purpose: where are Elders in every City (v. 5.) and those Elders (v. 5.) cal­led Bishops (v. 7.) 1. Therefore (say they) to be meant of Elders properly, and not of Bishops; on all, concluding that Elders and Bishops (so promiscuonsly vsed) are therefore the same, and not distinguished; and therefore no preheminence in Bishops over Elders: These are the Allegations and inferences, in this; which are to be examined.

But, the promiscuous using of those two names of Bishops and Elders (the principal ground of these reasonings) is far from such conclusions; that because Elders are called Bishops, or Bishops Elders, both therefore to be the same, without priority or subordination; whereas on the con­trary, we find usually in Scripture, the names of one degree given to another, without confound­ing them as the same; or, in that, abating any way the dignity of the higher. See this in the name of Deacons (a name from ministring;) and that an order lowest in our Ministration: yet, is that given to higher Orders: So of Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus, saith S. Paul. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good (Deacon;) we render it Mini­ster: 1 Tim. 4. 6. [...]. so speaks the Apostle of himself, I Paulam [...] a Minister (Col. 1. 23 & the whole Apostleship is also called [...] a Deaconship, or Ministry Acts 1, 17.; and even Jesus Christ himself the great High Priest, is called a Deacon: Jesus [Page 21] Christ was ( [...]) a Minister of the Circum­cision; Rom. 15. 8. or, ministring to those of the Cir­cumcision. Math. 15. 24.

But because our English readings in this, and in the Original are diverse; therefore not so clear to every apprehension; let this therefore be considered in that other of Elder, where it is more plain. In that, we finde the Apostle S. John terming himself an Elder, more than once, the Elder to the elect Lady, 2 John. v. 1. and the Elder to the well beloved Gaius 3 John v. 1.: So S. Peter of himself, The Elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an Elder 1 Pet. 5. 1. You see in that, the Apostles called Elders; yet doth not that conclude, Apostles and Elders to be the same. For how oft do we read of Apostles and Elders as distinct. Acts 15. 2, 4, 6, 22, 23 & 16. 4. Nor doth it conclude, Apostles and Elders to be equal, because Apostles are Elders; but, this it shews, That all Apostles are Elders; not, all Elders Apostles, and that not­withstanding that community of names, they still are distinguished in Degree and Dignity. So is it as to Bishops and Elders in like manner, the name of Elders is given to Bishops, and of Bishops to Elders, both are true; For in the Bishop (saith S. Ambrose) are all Orders, because he is the first Priest, that is, the Prince of the Priests Ambr. in Ephes. 4.. Again, Id. in 1 Tim. 3. of a Bishop and Presbyter, there is one Order for either of them as a Priest, but the Bishop is the first; so that every Bishop is a Presbyter, but not every Presbyter a Bishop. So [Page 22] S. Ambrose. Thus all Bishops are granted to be Elders, and some Elders are Bishops, but all Elders are not Bishops. They who say they are, must prove it, before they can conclude any thing to purpose: Nor will that do it, which they alledge out of Acts 20. where the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, (v. 17.) are termed Overseers, or Bishops: (v. 28.) for those Elders were indeed Bishops; if not all, yet some of them, and to those some for all, is there spoken as Bishops. This appears in that, Ephesus was a See Metropolitical, comprehending Asia the less (a large Jurisdiction.) So in the sixth general Council of Constantinople, Theodorus Bishop of Ephesus thus subscribes, S [...]n [...]d. Constantin [...]. Actione 17. Theodo­rus by the mercy of God, bishop and Primate of Ephesus, the Metropolis of the Asian Province, or Diocess: Act. 18. Also of Polycrates Bishop of Ephe­sus, Eusebius saith, that he was Ruler or chief of the Bishops of Asia; Euseb. l. 5. c. 24. and that by his Autho­rity he did assemble a Provincial Synod to discuss the question about Easter; Ib. c. 25. and that he did write a Synodical Letter to Victor Bishop of Rome (Euseb. l. 5. [...]) we find also in the [...], or distribution of Churches by Leo the Emperor, that Ephesus was a Metropolis, having 36 Suffragane Bishops; Iur. [...] 90. and so is Ephesus to be under­stood in Acts 20. as Metropolical; and that meeting of Elders, or Bishops there as Provin­cial: For it is there called not the Churches, but the Church of Ephesus, Metropolitically; [Page 23] yet, Elders (plurally) implying. more than of one Church: And as in a Provincial meeting of the Bishops of Asia, together with other Elders, (both usually conveening on such occasions,) might the Apostle call those Elders, litterally, Bishops. Irenaeus saith as much, that Bishops and Presbyters were there convocated from Ephesus, and other adjoyning Cities, &c. Iraen. l. 3. c. 14. And (Acts 20. 28.) The Holy Ghost hath (saith the Apostle) made you Bishops (so in the Original) or Over­seers (so in our rendring:) If therefore the Holy Ghost had made them Bishops; and the Apostle call them so accordingly, we may then acquiesce in it, rather than to mince the matter according to pe [...]verse glossings, it being to so great a prejudice as the disturbance of the peace of the Church; (so precious)

In this, have we to answer, what is alfo ob­jected out of Phil. 1. 1. the Apostle sa [...]nting the Saints at Philippi, with the Bishops and Deacons, wherein the Authors of the larger Annotations on the Bib [...]e, busie themselves exceedingly Annat. on Phil. 1. 1. in proving out of the second Council of Nice, and by Cornelius Bishop of Rome (there cited) that there should be but one Bishop in one City; thence concluding, in favour of those times, that there being many Bishops in Philippi, therefore were not they Bishops, but Elders.

But all this is grounded on a supposition, that Philippi is restrained to that City of Macedonia so called, whereas Philippi was a Metropolis in [Page 24] Macedonia; Acts 16. 12. and we read of the Churches of Macedonia; 2 Cor. 9 1. and of the brethren in all Macedonia; 1 Thess. 4. 10. And why may not Philippi a Metropolis, include its Province? and this Epistle to the Philippians be to that Church at large, where many Bishops were to be saluted, with­out those narrow inferences in confining Philippi to a City within its walls, and the Bishops and Deacons at Philippi, to those onely in that City inhabiting; As to that farther objected from that Text, Phil. 1. 1. of Bishops and Deacons onely named; and that Elders being intended▪ therefore, by Bishops, (say they) Elders are to be understood, and not Bishops. But how fol­lows that? For, 1. May not Elders be as well included in, and with that of Deacons? You have seen the name of Deacon to have been sufficiently comprehensive of more, and greater than they. 2. Or if Elders be supposed to be included in that of Bishops: Let that suffice and satisfie, without excluding Bishops: For shall Elders included, and not named, exclude Bishops, which are expresly named? 3. Or if Pres­byters be there signified in those many Bishops yet was there one chief Bishop over all, which was Epaphroditus their Apostle (Phil. 2. 25.) Of which Theodoret Theod. in Phil. 2. he calleth him Apostle, to whom the charge of them was committed; Wherefore (saith he) it is manifest) that they who in the beginning of the Epistle were called Bishops, were under him, they having the place of Presbyters.

[Page 25] But this Text also, (Pit. 1. 5. 7.) is pressed in favour of Elders against Bishops; for Elders (so named, v. 5.) are (v. 7. termed Bishops, adding, that there being Elders in every City, therefore is that intended of Elders properly, and not of Bishops, who are not for every City. (thus they)

1. It is true, that in every City are to be Elders, wheresoever is a meeting of people to be provided for; so, are Elders properly to be understood; and the word City to be, in that case, strictly taken.

2. But as referring to Bishops Seats, the word City is to be understood more enlargedly; not for every city, but such onely as are fit for it; as places of note, and such as are extended in jurisdiction: We use to say (traditionally) that a Bishops Seat should be a city; i. e. a place of note: so doth Leo expound this very Text, writing to the Bishops of Africa, Leo ad Episc. Afric. Epist. 87. c. 2. To ap­point Bishops in every City, or Town, is (saith he) in the greater citres to place Bishops, in the less to place Priests: He in that, speaking ac­cording to the Council of Sardis; It is not al­lowed saith that Council) that a Bishop be ap­pointed in every village, or smaller city, where one Presbyter may suffice, for there, a Bishop needs not be, that the name and authority of a Bishop be not vilified: (Con. Eard. c. 6.) In every city, therefore, are to be Elders; and in every city fitting for it, a [...]e be to Bishops. So, hath this been under­stood in the practice of the Church accordingly.

[Page 26] And well might Crete be capable of many Bishops, being an Island of great extent, and populous. And Titus his enlarged Jurisdiction there, over many Bishops, (ordaining and ap­pointing them where necessary,) sheweth his power to have been Archiepiscopal, a though he be stiled onely Bishop of Crete, as Timothy Bishop of Ephesus; (so, in the poscript to those Epistles;) and usual it is in the Councils and elsewhere, to finde Archbishops and Patriarchs, under the name of Bishops. And that Cre [...]e had its Archbishop and Suffragans we also find. The Archbishop of Crete was nominated from Gortyna its Metropolis. Dionysius of Corinih (who lived in the next age to the Apostles) writing to the Church of Gortyna, together with the rest of the Churches of Crete, com­mendeth Philip [...], their Bishop, for his singular piety and virtues Euseb. l. 4. c. 21. & 23 & 29.. The City of Gnossus in Crete, had Pintus its Bishop: And (saith Theodorus Balsamo) I have perused the ancient code of Councils, and defind by the sub­scriptions, that Basiil Bishop of Gortyna was present at the Council of Tru [...]lo.

On the whole, therefore, from the community of the names between Bishops and Elders, is no ground for what is thence inferred, That there­fore Bishops and Elders are the same, without dictinction of Persons, Offices, or Degrees; for, Bishops are Elders, and some Elders are Bishops, and both distinct, in Degree, and Dignity.

[Page 27] But the the strength of the Objection is it what concerns the work, common to Bishops and Elders: For if the same work be common to both, so as, what a Bishop doth, that an Elder doth also; then what needs a distinction of Persons and and Offices? These are not to be multiplied without necessity. And that the work is com­mon, and the same, both to Bishops and Elders, is (by that side) instanced, in 1. Ordination. 2. In Overseeing, (under this of Overseeing, all the other pa [...]ts of the work are compre­hended, as Preaching, Baptizing, &c.) Let these two, be therefore distinctly considered and examined; Whether in the work common to both Bishops and E [...]ders, there be not sufficient to differente each from other.

1. As to Ordination: To this, Elders or Pres­byters pretend; grounding on that, 1 Tim. 4. 14. where the Apostle exhorts Timothy, Not to neg­lect the gift which was given him by prophesie, with the laying on of the hands of the Pres­byterie. Here (say they) Presbyters Ordain.

1. But [...]et them take all together; for doth not the same Apostle say also to Timothy, I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands? (2 Tim. 1. 6.) here, we finde another hand (the Apostles) beside those hands of Pres­byters imposed on Timothy; therefore, not the hands of Presbyters alone: where therefore their hand onely is in the work, there is another [Page 28] yet wanting; and the work short without it; (the case of necessity excepted.)

2. Ordination, must be granted to have been in the Apostles primarily, and principally; and not in Elders or Presbyters principally; (they but acting with the Apostles, and that but subordi­nately:) By my hand, saith the Apostle ((2 Tim. 1. 6.) with the hands of the Presbytery (1 Tim. 4. 14.) It is by the Apostles hand principally, and but with the other, in way of approbation. Therefore, is the charge of Oedination given principally to Timothy, that he lay not hands sud­denly on any; so not to be partaker of other mens sins 1 Tim, 5. 22.: there, Presbyters are not named, not as not assisting, but as onely assisting, and not as principals. It is, be not thou partaker of other mens sins; not, be not ye, (speaking of Presbyters.) So, you finde it here also as to Titus; to him is that work committed principally and in chief: I left thee (Titus) in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and that thou shouldest orvain Elders in every City, as I have appointed thee Tit. [...]. 5.. So is it to be understood, as to others, in like place with Timothy and Titus. Bishops ordain others joyning with them. Bishops will not do it with­out others; and others must not do it without Bishops; concur Elders may, but act in it alone, they must not: the contrary (where necessity is not) is an unwarranted usurpation. Yet in giving but an hand in the work, they will have [Page 29] All. Such notwithstanding are to know, that there is another hand in that work, as beside theirs, so before theirs, and above them: theirs is onely with, not without Bishops; and Bishops in that principally. So, for Ordination: in which work (common both to Bishops and Elders) is (you see) sufficient, notwith­standing,) to difference both, in Degree and Office.

II. See it also in the other part of the work, in which Bishops and Elders act also in common; as Preaching, Baptizing, and ordering the flock committed to them; so, are both Overseers. This is granted in common to both Bishops and Elders; yet so, as that this is in both, differently: and, so in Bishops, as not in others. 1. It is true, that Preaching, Baptizing, Ordering, and Overseeing the flock, are incumbent on all; but in inferior Elders more restrainly; with respect to place and persons; they acting within Precincts, and Pa­rishes, among their own people, and within their own districts onely. To these, and there, are they Overseers; and not otherwise: so as, for any such to take on him to Oversee, and see what others without, do, or do not, is to be [...]. Pet. 4. 15. a Bishop in anothers D [...]ccess, or a busie body in other mens matters (so is that in our English rendred;) whereas, the same work is in the hands of Bishops far otherwise; who as they do it themselves, so is it in them, in way of Superin­tendency, to see it done by others also. So the chief Priests under the Law (whom the Apostles, [Page 30] and afther them, Bishops, represent;) they were Overseers to others, that the work be done in manner and order, as did become. Thus are Bishops overseers to those other Overseers; the care of many Churches being on them, as was the cure of all Churches on the Apostles; where­as the care of particular Churches (this or that) is onely on others.

2 2. Although Presbyters have power to preach, 2. and do what belongs to their Function, yet are they in acting that power, limited and ordered by the Bishop. Wherein, we are to distinguish (as in the Schools) between Power of Order, and of Jurisdiction; Power of Order, Presby­ters receive in their Ordination, to do what be­longs to their function, to which they are thereby qualified: but the Power of Jurisdiction to act that their power of Order as [...]astors, that, a Presbyter hath in his Institution from the Bishop, being, thereby, appointed to a charge and place, and licensed to discharge the duty of his calling, to which he was before qualified, and now enabled. Tertullian saith, Tertul. de Bapt. That the chief Priest (which is the Bishop) hath the right of giving Baptism, and then the Presbyters and Deacons, but yet not without the Authority of the Bishops. So also S. Hierome; Hier. adver. Lucif. Without power from the Bishop, neither Presbyter nor Deacon hath right to baptize. Every Pres­byter therefore hath power in common with a Bishop, to preach and administer the Sacraments [Page 31] in fulness, (which an inferior Order, a Deacon cannot do;) yet, the exercise of that power, is subjected to, and regulated by the Bishops authority, to be permitted, directed, restrained or suspended, as should be necessary. In which the Bishops priviledge of Jurisdiction over El­ders, is he from them eminently differenced. It was said of Elders, that they have a power of Jurisdiction; (understand it, of a power of spiritual and inward Jurisdiction, in foro consci­enciae, in the Court of Conscience) so, as Pastors of the flock, is committed to them, the seed­ing, ruling, teaching, reproving, binding sinners notoriously scandalous; by denouncing Gods judgements in the Word, and (while unreform­ed) excluding from the Sacrament; and again loosing, and releasing penitents, by applying the gracious promises of the Gospel, and readmit­ing them to the use of the Ordinances.

But, that Jurisdiction which is in Bishops, is more extended, and that, even over Elders them­selves. For as Presbyters are in their Ordination, qualified, and by their Institution authorized, to their work; so, are they, after, to behave them­selves in that as becometh. It is in Bishops (who are overseers of those Overseers) to expect and exact that from them authoritatively; and on failing in duty, or manners, (as to life, and conversation,) to reprove and punish also. In this, is Episcopal Jurisdiction given them Apostolically, and over inferior Elders parti­calarlarly, [Page 32] to which they are subjected. Such was Timothies power in Ephesus; 1 Tim. 5. 1, 19, 20. Rebuke not an Elder; and, against an Elder receive not an accusation, but before two, or three wit­nesses, them that sin rebuke before all, that others may fear: Which words, Rebuke not an Elder; is not a restraining, but an ordering that rebuke, that it be not lightly, or on slight grounds (as in 1 Tim. 5. 19, 20.) by which appears a Juris­diction in Bishops, above Elders, directive, coercive, and corective: which is Epiphanius his interence on these words, against a Presbyter, &c. There­fore (saith he) Presbyters are subject to the Bishop as to their Judge Epiphan. Haeres. 75.. He is their Judge, as to Doctrine; that thou mayest charge some that they teach no other Doctrine, saith the Apo­stle to Timothy, 1 Tim. 1. 3.) and to Titus (Tit. 3. 10.) A man that is an Heretick ofter the first and second admonition, reject; judge also, as of their Doctrine, what they teach; so of their Conversation, how they live, as you have heard in that of 1 Tim. 1. 5, 17, 20, 21. Therefore is the Angel of the Church of Ephesus (Timothies Successor) commended, that he could not bear with them that are evil, and had tryed them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and had found them lyars (Rev. 2. 2.) On the contrary, the Angel of the Church of Thyratira is reproved for suffering such (Rev. 2. 20.)

So as, although there be a Community of names, (in some cases) between Bishops and [Page 33] Elders (Bishops are called, Elders and Elders Bish­ops;) and notwithstanding that the worke also, be (in a kind) common; yet is that community so diffe­renced in both, that all pretences of Elders, in that, for casting of Bishops, as to their Office, or divesting them of Jurisdiction and Dignity, is apparently inconsequent, and evil. For al­though the names of Bishops and Presbyters were confounded, and the work (in a sort) common to both, yet were not the Offices of Bishops and Presbyters ever confounded until now.

1. And now to sum up al [...]; you see the Church under the New Testamen ordered as before, in way of Superiority and Subordination; and that Apostolically appointed. So Timothy in Ephesus; and Titus in Crete; and others elsewhere in like manner; they ordering persons and things apper­taining to that sacred work, within their re­spective Jurisdictions.

2. See those Apostolically ordered to that care and charge in the Church above others, to be by the Apostles, dignified with their own name, (that standing name of Bishops.) they standing also in their place and stead, and acting in their work, (Ordaining, Overseeing, Ordering, and Correcting as is necessary.)

3. What hath been by the Apostles so ordered in the Church, (whose words Christ would have to be observed as his own; If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also, John 15. 20.) that, in this particularly, hath been [Page 34] by Christ himself, the High Priest approved. For, as the High Priest, did Christ appeare habited, being cloathed with a garment down to the feet, and girt vbout the paps with a golden girdle, Rev. 1. 13. and also visiting his Church Eccle­siatim: each of the seven Churches particularly, being by him inspected: Rev. 2. 3 In that reproving what was amiss in any, and allowing, what was right. particularly, See that Government which was ordered in each of those eminent Churches, (in Ephesus and the other six) under their re­spective Angels, or Chiefs, or Bishops; see that order (I say) in the Church, approved of Christ: for, the Seven Stars, (the seven Angels Angels of those Churches, their Bishops) were in Christs right hand (Rev. 1. 16. 20.) that is, under his care, and protection. And to those Angels of the Churches doth our Lord direct himself principally in behalf of all under their charge; expecting from them an accompt of the Churches within their respective Jurisdicti­ons, each of them being responsible for all that was there, well, or otherwise.

4. Lastly, What had been so ordered by the Apostles, see it by the Church received, and after continued throughout all ages from the begin­ning: whereby, what might (seem) doubtful in the first Institution, may be cleared by ob­serving what was of that understood, and after practised by the Church accordingly: The Church is the pillar and ground of truth; 1 Tim. 3. 15. [Page 35] and what (grounding on the Scripture) the Church in all ages hath held from the begin­ning, that we may rely upon for truth. And how did the Church understand the Apostles appointing Bishops and Elders in the Church for its Government? Did they not understand it of Bishops distinct from Elders, and Superior to them? Did they ever understand it of Elders without Bishops? or of Elders ruling in chief? much less of Lay-Elders? (of which, is no­thing to be found any where, in Scripture or Antiquity.)

Let the constant practise of the Church throushhout all ages be Judge in that, how the Apostles were therein understood. In which I shall use the words of Judicious Mr. Hooker, Rich-H [...]oker, of Eccles. Pol. Preface n. 4. ‘Very strange it is (saith he) that such a Discipline as ye (Elders) speak of, should be taught by Christ and his Apostles in the word of God, and no Church have found it out, nor received it till this present time; contrari­wise, the Government against which ye bend your selves, be observed every where throughout all generations and ages of the Christian world, no Church ever perceiving the word of God to be against it; (adding) We require you to finde out but one Church upon the face of the whole earth, that hath been ordered by your discipline, or hath not been ordered by ours, (that is to say) by Episcopal Regiment Sithence the time that the blessed Apostles were [...] con­versant.’ [Page 36] This was Mr. Hookers challenge to that side in this case, and that, many years since: which hath never been to this day answered, one­ly by the sword; and so, was it, indeed, put home to us perilously: Antiquity is not to be despised, but that to be advised with, and submit­ted to in such cases. Enquire of the former Age and prepare thy self to the search of their fa­thers (for we are but of yesterday and know no­thing) shall not they teach thee and tell thee, and utter words out of their hearts: said Bildad, to Job. 8. 8. 9. 10. So the Lord directs by the Prophet, thus saith the Lord stand ye in the way and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein and ye shall find rest for your Soules: but they said we will not walke therein Jer. 6. 16. which is even what these say in this; refusing any such tryall in this dispute, well knowing themselves cast in it. But in matters of antiquitie to denye the credit of Antiqui­tie in what is not contradicted by Scripture, discovers One addicted to Noveltie and singulari­ty rather then to truth.

Let therefore our Church Levellers se to this; who in such their Schisme teare and rend the seamless garments of the Church, and as a gene­ration of Vipers eat out, and through the bowels of their Mother; disturbing Church unity and peace, drawing into factions, and filling all with confusions. Herein let them see them­selves [Page 37] in their forefathers; for, such there were of old, under both Testaments.

Se some under the old Testament setting them­selves even against what God himself had expres­ly ordered concerning the high Priest-hood in Aron Numb. 16. 1, 2, 3, 9, 8, 9, 10. There, Corah of the tribe of Levy, raised a partie and faction of 250 Princes of the Assembly against Moses and Aron, having the confidence thus to tell them, yee take too much upon you, seing all the congregation are holy every one of them, and the Lord is among them, wherefore then lift you your selves above the con­gregation of the Lord; but Moses returns it to them again: yee take too much upon you yee Sons of Levy, seemeth it but a small thing unto you that the Lord God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel to bring you near unto himself to do the service of the Taber­nacle of the Lord, to stand before the congregati­on to Minister unto them: And he hath brought thee neer unto him: and all thy brethren, the Sons of Levi with thee and seek ye the Priest-hood also, so was it then.

2. And such Corahs we find under the new Testament also, of whom the Apostle S. Jude speaks with a woe Jude 10. woe to them for they have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam and perished in the gainsay­ing of Core. Where se them ranked with three notoriously wicked; Cain, and Balaam, and Corab: with Cain for blood; with Balaam for Covetous­ness, [Page 38] and with Corah for faction, Cain the ac­cursed murderer of his brother, righteous Abel: so was he the first persecuter of the Church Math. 23. 35. Balaam called on to curss the people of God. Nam. 22. 56. and Corah, a factious schismatique, to Corahs schisme, are they moved, by Balaams Covetousnesss and ambition; and to that, go­ing on in the way of Cain, in blood and cruelty. And for that see woe, and destruction; begining with woe (Judgment denounced) and ending with destruction (Judgment executed) perishing in the gainsaying of Core; Core (or Corah) of all that faction, is alone mentioned; others be­ing but his followers in that wicked cause: his destruction being also more remarkable, whether as to those with him in that rebellion; or as to those other two, notoriously wicked, (Bala­am and Cain,) whose ends were not as of others, Corah and his followers perishing not by an ordinary Judgment like other men, the earth ope­ning its mouth and swallowing up them, and theirs alive, in sight of all the people. Num. 16. 20, 31, 31, 32, 33, 34. By the dreadfulness of the Judgment, let the hainous­ness of the sin be estimated.

3. And, such have been our Corah [...] also, (authors of our late confusions and evills in Church and State.) By whom hath been in the Church, and Inlet and overflowing of blasphe­mies and of monstrous and pernicious doctrines (horrible to be mentioned and not, in very confutations, to be remembred) as if hell it [Page 39] self had broken loose (The title of a book in which many of those abhominations are Col­lected.) And no wonder it should be so, Church order and Government having been, (as it was) cast off and trampled on. While that stood, all was well withus; the face of our Church was comely: and truth and peace secured, and the enemies to both, error, and schisme, not daring to shew themselves among us, The Church is here Militant; So is it described Cant. 6. 4, 10. terrible as an army with banners; with banner i. e. in order: So it is by the LXX. rendred [...] An army under its banners is in order: and in that order is both beauty and terror, and in that, security; (Church security and Church beauty is in order:) thou art beautifull O my love as Tirza, comely as Ierusalem terrible as an army with banners (Cant. 6. 4.) how plea­sant is an army ranged under its banners! so the Church under its colours, leaders and officers, each in their place order, and degree. And as in that is beautie, so also, securitie; securitie is implied where it is said to be terrible, that is, to enemies, (to errors and heresies, enemies to truth; and to schisme and faction, which are contrary to order and vnitie:) These dare not appear while the Church is under its government and in order; each under his banners, in their order and place, being thereby ready to oppose what shall be contrary. It is otherwise, where order is not in the Church but our banners cast down, and [Page 40] our chief leaders taken off; what can be then [...] deformitie for beautie and for order [...] ­on? what then but terror? terror to our selves: (so is, an army, in confusion, to it self terrible;) and thereby have enemies their advantages, about, and within; therefore saith S. Ierome. Here ad­vers. Lucifer. the safety of the Church dependeth on the dignity of the chief Priest (meaning the Bishop) to whom if power be not given, there must be as many schismes in the Church [...]s there are Priests. So S. Cyprian. Cypr. [...]. 1. epist. 3. Heresies or Schismes have no other beginning but this, that Gods Priest (meaning Bishop) is not obeyed. Again; Id. l. 3. epist. 5. These be the beginnings of heretiques, these the risings and endeavours of ill minded Schisma­ticks, that they please themselves and contemn their Bishops with swelling pride, So do men de­part from the Church &c. And Id. Scr. 2. de zel [...] & li­ [...]. hence do men rush into heresies and schismes when they speak evil of Priests, and envy their Bishops. All which we have found sadly in our late misera­ble Church distractions.

2. And by those evils in the Church did fol­low on our state also confusion and destruction. If the Church be borne down, let not the State think to stand; And we have seen evils design­ed to the State, carried on by attempting, first, on the Church Corahs opposition pretended principally against Aron, rests not there, for others with Corah, had their designes in that, against Moses also: and in that against Aron, [Page 30] came in Moses immediately, they gathered them­selves against Moses and Aron. And (say they) to Moses (even in a breach) wilt thou make thy self altogether a Prince over us: Numb. 16. 3. 11. 13. Therefore are both joyned by the Apostle S. Jude Jude v. 8. 11. with the gainsaying of Core is a speak­ing evill also of dignities. In both, have we seen and felt the dismall effects of this Church Schis­me.

But blessed be God by whom: these breaches are now all made up and repaired both in Church and State, by the happy Restauration of his Sacred Majesty to his Royall throne and government.

1. hereby, is Settlement to the Kingdoms. Our Judges being restored as at the first and our Coun­cellors as at the beginning. Is. 1. 26.

2. And thereby is our Church also setled: so as at this day (even this very day) we have, and our eyes do behold among us here, such in the Church, who sit and rule in chief, setting in order the things that are wanting and ordaining Elders, (Bishops) Successively, as hath been Apostoli­cally appointed. In that, see we our Church Set­tlement. In Church order and Government, is Church Settlement; which was that, in the words, first propounded with which I have now done.

As to what remains of the Text (the quali­fications of those persons to be called forth to this high and Sacred calling and work; (of which you have much here v. 6. 7, 8, 9.) of that I [Page 31] may not now speak; time will not admit it nor needs it at present; where, in the person now before us, and to be admitted into this Sacred function, these qualification; are alrea­dy; nor were it for me (for me I say) to shew it so. Flater­nam ut pro­priam tace­re gloriam est modestie Senec.

I shall therefore conclude with the Apostles Clerum (Acts 20.) wherein we have (to our purpose,) both exhortation and vale­diction. First exhortation: you have heard your place and honour asserted, see now your office and work: and in that your care and charge. Acts. 20. 28. Take heed unto your selves and to all the flock, over the which, the holy Ghost hath made you overseers (or Bishops) to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. In that you have your charge; (see you now to the discharge.) Next, and last, follows an Apo­stolical valediction, benediction, and prayer; which shall be mine also, and with that I now conclude; v. 32. And now Brethren I commend you to God and to the word of his Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheri­tance among all which are Sanctified.




P. 3. margin ep. p. 2. dele. p. 10. line 6. first dele p. 13. line 19. and dele p. 14. line 3. for the read this


P. 9. marg. (z) for contra marcione. 5. r. contra marcion. c. 5. p. 10. l. 2. for Bishops r. being Bishops p. 11. l. 20. for theire r. there p. 12. l. 20. for Policarpus r. Polycarpus l. 22. for Clemets r. Clemens p. 15. marg. (g) for 406. r. 306. ibid. marg. r. (h) Camorar. in vita phil. molaneth


P. 2. l. 7. for Licaonica r. Lycaonia ibid. marg. for Act. 3. 12. r. Tit. 3. 12. p. 7. marg. (x) for Zech. 37. r. Zech. 3. 7. p. 9. marg. (d) for Nunb. 16. 3. r. Numb; 16. 3. ibid. marg. (g) for Rev: 1. 6. 15. 10. r. Rev: 1. 6: p: 11. l. 28. legal dele p. 12. marg. (r) for Acts. 1. 6. r. Acts. 6. 1. p. 14. marg. (a) for phile 9. r. philem v. 9. p. 15. l. 26. for II. r. I. p. 16. l. 1. sor For r. So l. 2. for Apostles r. Apostle l. 29. for is is r. is p. 17. l. 2. for in r. on p. 21. l. 29, for as r. [...] p. 22. marg. (f) for Synod r. 6: Synod p. 23. l. 4. for conveening r. convening p. 25. l. 28. for conc. Eard. [...]. conc. Sard. l. 30. for be to r. to be p. 26. l. 13. for nomina­ted r. denominated p. 32. l. 18. for ofter r. after.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.