Geo: Stradling, Rev. in Christo, Pat. Gil­berto Episc. Lond. à Sac. Domest.


Set forth in a SERMON AT THE Visitation at BLANDFORD, Anno 1640.

By William Sherley, B. D.

Printed for Tho: Robinson of Oxford. 1662.

TO THE Right Reverend FATHER in GOD, GEORGE, By Divine Providence, Lord Bishop of WINCHESTER.

My Lord,

THis being the onely VVriting of the Author, that is found to survive both him, and the iniqui­ty of those times that opprest him, I am bold to make it my humble suit to Your Lordship, that for our security, least after all the rest, this Relick, which I may properly say, was saved, [...] should perish also, You would give us leave to inscribe Your great Name to so small a Piece; So, as by Providence it hath escaped the fiery Ordael; being upheld by Your Name, no otherwise then the anti-diluvian Memoir's by the Pil­lars of Seth, shall it be secure from any future Deluge, and transmitted to Posterity as a remainder, by which they may esteem the greatness of their loss in those many [Page]Papers both of him, and other worthy Persons, rifled in the common Calamity. My Lord, it is the confidence we have, that had God preserved till now the Life of our Relation, You would have accepted his Person, that makes me thus forward to beg Your Lordships Patron­age to this little Orphan, that some are pleased to think is too good to perish: nor (however unable my judgement is in matters of this moment) will my affection and near­ness to the Author, give me leave to have a less then the common estimation of it, That am

Your Lordships most humbly devoted Servant, Ri: Harris.
Text, 1 Cor. c. 11. v. 34.

And the rest will I set in order when I come.

THe Church here on Earth, however She be the Spouse of Christ, hath never yet been so fair, but that according to St Ambrose, instar Lunae, Amb: 3. Hexaem. like the Moon in the full, she hath always had her Spots: These being one of those Notes whereby She is to be known from that Elder Sister of Hers, triumphant in the Heavens, the Church above. Some evi­dence whereof may be here observed in the Church of Co­rinth, which being planted by no meaner an hand then that of St Paul, how could it but be imagined, that the Harvest would prove very good where there was such a Seeds-man? and that few or no Weeds would have there grown up, where the Soil in its self being first well prepared; the Grain like­wise was so clean. But as in the Parable, so likewise here, the Husbandman had no sooner sown good Seed in his Field, but the Enemy came and cast on Tares: for the rooting up whereof, St Paul composed this Epistle; an Epistle here­upon so full of bitter reproofs,Tertull: Li. de pu [...]icit. c. 14. as that Tertullian deems it to be totam conscriptam, written all over from the beginning to the end, non Atramento sed Felle, not with Ink, but Gall. I list not now to indite anew these Corinthians of those Schisms and Heresies, for which my Apostle already hath, even in this Epistle, long ago, both arraigned and condemn­ed [Page 2]them also. That onely, what you for the present ought rather to take notice of, is this, That St Paul having through­out this whole Chapter taxed them for divers irreverent be­haviors of theirs in the Church; and understanding too withal, that for want of decent Ceremonies in matters of Re­ligion, many other things were amiss amongst them, he conceives it not so convenient to commit all to Ink and Paper, but reprieving the rectifying of these unto a farther day, he promiseth, upon this employment, to come him­self amongst them: for so far hath he been pleased to ex­press his minde in the Text, saying here to them, in these words which now have been read to you, The rest will I set in order when I come.

The words then, you see, are the words of St Paul, who being now at Philippi, writes unto the Corinthians, That for the redress of some certain matters in their Church, which were out of order, he would, by taking a Journey thither, vouchsafe them a visitation: So that they cannot but be conceived, to be very apposite for that occasion, which hath called us likewise at this time together: The Face in the Glass, answering not the Face that looks upon it, af­ter a more exact proportion, then these two seem to comply each with other. But that I may not be thought without method and Order, to handle a Text, the main end whereof is nothing else but Order, give me leave to quarter it out un­to you with what evenness I may, into just four parts; which too, as having a respect not onely to the words themselves, but to this our meeting also, shall be no other then these that follow. Namely,

  • First, The Person visiting, who promiseth here to visit, and that is St Paul, intimated here in the Pronoun, I.
  • [Page 3]Secondly, His Visitation, expressed in the word, Come.
  • Thirdly, The end of his Visitation, To set in Order.
  • Fourthly, The Object, or those things that he meant to have ordered, which here lye veiled under this indefinite term, [...], the rest.

Of all these, and that too, according to the me­thod that hath been proposed; beginning with the Person visiting, St Paul, whose worth was such, as that he may very well be thought to have deserved so far, as to have even at your hands, in the first place, an hearing.

Order, as it is conceived by Nazianzene, Naz. Ora. 26. [...], the very Mother of Beings, and Womb of all Things: that [...], mentioned by Aristotle in his Book De Mundo; that Universal Soul, whereunto the World owes the benefit of its Preservation: This being so eminent throughout the whole Universe, as that Pythagoras, from the meer Contemplation here­of, [...],Stob. l. 1. c. 25. christned first the World by the name of [...]: Nay, so great an observer of Or­der, is God Himself to be acknowledged, as that Clemens Alexandrinus is pleased to derive the Etymo­logy of the Greek Word [...],Clem. Alex. 1. lib. Stro. from his methodical placing and disposing of all such Bodies as have been created by Him: whereas, much to the same purpose also, it is a Note of Nazianzen's,Naz. Orat. sup. citat. in that Oration of his which but now was cited, That the Almighty, being able in Himself to have made all [Page 4]things in an instant, chose nevertheless, to produce them one after another; some on the first day, others on the second, and so on forward, until the seventh, [...], to the end that Order might be of one and the same standing with the World it self. So that however St Austin hath raised a Question,Aug. de Civit. Dei. l. 9. c. 15. whe­ther or no, in case Adam had not faln, there should have been a Sub and a Supra, any Subordinations at all in the Societies of Men; and seems likewise to incline to the Negative, for that the very first time we meet in Scripture with the word Servant (which too, according to the forecited Fathers observation, is in the 9th of Gen. and the 25th) it being there spoken by way of a Curse; he from thence collects, that Nomen istud Culpa Meruit, non Natura, Sin alone, and not Nature, gave a Being unto that Condition: Yet for certain, e­ver since the Fall, as matters have stood, without an orderly Series of Men, wherein, as in a Predicament, some may be Summa Genera above, others Species In­fimae beneath, and a third between both, Genera sub­alterna, there can be no subsisting for any one Society whatsoever: This being so necessary for all Common­wealths, as that without this, so many Men being but as so much confused Rubbish, or like a multitude of Stones lying in an heap together, come to be without any benefit at all each of other; whereas, being once disposed of to such divers uses and several places, as they by their education have been fitted for, they then may make, not an handsome onely, but a good ser­viceable piece of Building. And if it be thus in the [Page 5]State, then doubtless must it be more then so in the Church; She having ever been esteemed an Hierarchy, whose Members ought, in that manner, to be ranked and sorted into higher and lower Classes, as that here­upon upon at the 6th of the Canticles, and the 4th, she is likened to an Army with Banners; nay, however an Army ha­ving once displayed her Banners, and going on upon a March, be a great Desciple and Servant unto Order; yet is it conceived by St. Chrysostome, Chrysost. 10 Hom. in 1 Ep. ad Thess. [...], that the Church in Her Discipline, is and ought to be more precise and regular, then the Field Military is in its. For hence, Beloved, came it here to pass, that my Apostle Saint Paul, having planted now a Church in Corinth, suffers not those Elders whom he had there ordained, to be their own Bishops, or reciprocally, and by turn, as it were, to be Governors each to other; but knowing, that in the Church especially, nothing could be more unequal then such an equality, He therefore holds in his own hands the reigns of Government, he himself reserves unto himself Episcopal Jurisdiction; which too, he did not onely exercise for that year and half a­lone (mentioned in the 18h of the Acts, and the 11th) that he lived amongst them, all which time [...] (as the word used there by the Holy Ghost in the Orignal, is most observable) he sate there and governed, as a Bishop in his Cathedral; but being once removed and absent, he grew even in this respect the bolder towards them: whilst in this very Epistle, at the 4th Chapter, and the 21 Verse, he threatens them a whipping with his Apostolical Rod; at the 5th Chapter, and the 5th [Page 6]Verse, he sends out a thundring Excommunication a­gainst the Incestuous Person: at the 11th Chapter, and the 2d Verse, he constitutes Canons and Ordinances; whereas at the sixteenth Chapter, and the first Verse, he enacts a special Edict for the observation of them. Nay, finally that it might appear, that he was not want­ing in any one particular that might declare him to be their Bishop, he acquaints them here in the Text, that for the Ordering of all such matters, as in that Church of theirs were yet out of Order, he himself would come and visit them; and who is there but will acknow­ledge, that without all contradiction, the less ever hath thus been visited by the greater? So that if we lay all together, and adde to this his visiting here, those o­ther Episcopal Acts of his, but now spoken off, which he did otherwhere; and then, however that illiterate, ignorant Scotchman (for before so Learned an Assem­bly as this,Scoti [...] Paraclesis contra Pan. Tileni Pa­raenesin. to whom now I speak, the Author, other­wise then so; is not worth a naming) hath in a jeer, as silly altogether as himself, been pleased to snear it out, that Profecto Paulus fuit Pessimus Dominus Episcopus, Verily Paul was but an ill Lord Bishop, yet will it here­by appear, that Saint Paul (for however the Man, for fear of Idolatry, dur'st not bestow the Saint on the A­postle, yet Religion hath taught us better manners then not to do it) that I say, even Saint Paul himself, did in his Authority Lord it as much, as any of those our Re­verend Prelates; whom he, out of the depth of his ignorance, can by no means fancy.

Neither ought it to be conceived as a Marvel, that [Page 7]my Apostle, so early now at the first, erects this kinde of Church-Government amongst the Clergy here at Co­rinth; since as if this were in a manner natural and es­sential to her, the Church seldom or never hath anciently been observed to have stood without it. Thus in the old Testament we finde, that amongst the Jews, there were not onely Priests and Levites, but an High-Priest also, who was even then so lively an Emblem of Episcopacy, as that hereupon, [...], and Summus Sacerdos, have since familiarly been used, in the Writings of the Anci­ents, no otherwise then as Synonoma's with the word Bi­shop. Whereas in the New it is to be read, that our blessed Savior, whom Ignatius is not afraid to call [...];Ignat. Ep. ad Magnes. Tertull. l. 4. cōtra Mar. c. 35. and after him too Tertullian, Au­thenticum Dei Patris Pontificem, all other Bishops being, as it should seem, but Copies onely taken from him; like one of that Order licenceth the Twelve, together with the Seventy, to Preach the Gospel; until at last, immediately before his ascension, lifting up his hands and blessing the Apostles, Luke 24.51.Aug. 97. quaest. de Novo Test. Per istam ma­nuum impositionem (as St. Austin seems to believe) Apostolos ordinavit Episcopos: By that laying of his hands upon the Apostles, he ordained them to be Bishops. Sure I am, that Antiquity thought it no prejudice at all to the Apostles to have this Opinion of them, and therefore,Theodoret. l. 4. c. 18. Basil. Cyprian: Ep. 65. Hierom: ad Marcellum. as the Greek Fathers were wont to call Epi­scopal Government, [...], and [...]: So likewise, who knows not but that it is as usual with the Latine to stile the Apostles themselves, in plain terms, Bishops; as having no meaner authority [Page 8]for this, then that of St. Peters own example, who in Acts 1.20. speaking of Judas his Apostleship, calls it there by no other name, then by [...], his Bishoprick.

But though Episcopacy lived in these Renowned Worthies, yet may we not imagine, that it died like­wise with their Persons; whil'st they, like those that ran in the Olympian Games, delivered that Light into the Hands of Posterity, which such as went before had put in their's. Hence St. Paul ordained Timothy Bishop of Ephesus, and (as there is good record to be shewn for it) Titus of Crete; both which, even by St. Pauls Commission, exercised that measure of Jurisdiction in each of those their Diocesses, as that it may be made to appear, that the Reverend Prelates of the Church, do, at this day, own no farther a degree of Authority, then that which Saint Paul in those his Epistles afforded them.

Neither went this Fire out in later Ages, which at the first was so well kindled: insomuch that as Irenaeus speaks it of himself,Irenaeus, l. 3. contra Val. c. 3. Habemus annumer are cos qui ab A­postolis instituti sunt Episcopi, & successores corum us (que) ad nos: That he was able, for his own particular, to give a Catalogue of those Bishops, that from the Apostles times had sate before him in the See of Lyons: Epishan. 66 Haeres. En­seh. l. 5. c. 6 & 11. l. 6. c 9. l. 7. c. 31. l. 8. c. 1. So likewise Epi­phanius, and Eusebius, taking in hand this Perform­ance, have deduced from the Apostles, until the Coun­cel of Nice, a Succession of Prelacy in all the most fa­mous Churches in the World, that then were extant. Whil'st Modern Chronologists, having brought down [Page 9]the Line near unto this present Century, have hereby given unto the Pens of succeeding times, the occasion of going on with that Story, which God, out of his mercy unto his Church, will, I doubt not, but conti­nue unto the Worlds end.

And shall this Sacred Order thus now be questioned, which having in all Ages hitherto, so fair Evidences to shew for its Title, hath ever yet been thought to be out of question? Shall the Rochet it self be yet at last dis­claimed for a Rag of Popery? and for this very Reason, be thrown off by those very Arms themselves that once did wear it? How unhappy may we deem our selves, that so unworthy an Act as this, hath been reserved for the disgrace of these days of Ours. Whil'st it may be said of those, that have committed this infamous kinde of Church Murther upon themselves,Isidor. l. 1. Ep. 118. what Isidor once spake of a certain dissolute Church-Man, one Zozimus, [...], that These two alone have herein done enough, to draw a scandal upon all the whole Clergy of the Christian World. But it is impossible to speak so loud, as to reach their ears whom this concerns: and therefore I turn from them, and address my self unto you, my Brethren, to whom I cannot but signifie, and that too in some such manner, as St. Paul once bespake his Phi­lippians, telling them, as he at least says himself of a matter weeping; that when I look into Ancienter Times, and read in Pelusiot, that the People,Isidor. l. 1. Ep. 490. as often as they met in the Streets with the Sacred Robe, were wont ever, in all humble manner, for to cry out, [...], [Page 10](it sounds well I am sure in Greek, but knowing not how it would take with some of our Mother wits in English, I therefore spare the Translation) when I ob­serve, that they reverenced the Ephod, Isidor. l. 1. Ep. 136. [...], according to the same Author, as one that did bear the Image and Place of Christ; and afterwards cast mine eyes upon this our Age, wherein many think they have Religion enough, if they can but hate a Bishop, and abhor a Ceremony; how can I then but even from thence collect, that these our days are the very dregs of time, and that the World, running now as it doth stark naught, is come to its Lees? But however such shal­low heads as these esteem of our Reverend Prelates, no otherwise then as of a gay useless Pageant, serving meerly for Pomp and Glory; yet deeper Judgements know how to demonstrate plainly, that the Church her self is not able to stand without these Pillars: I, for mine own particular, should be very jealous of the va­lidity of mine Orders, had I not known my self to have received them from the hands of some one Reverend Paul or other. Whatsoever those Transmarine Sons of the Presbyterial Board, may think of themselves, yet were they to be tryed at the Bar of Antiquity, they would scarce be found to be of the Tribe of Levy. St. Hierom, who, being but a private Priest at Bethlehem, and discontented therefore with the meanness of his own Condition, grew hereupon, amongst all the Fa­thers, the onely Man that spake hardly, at least if not evil, of Dignities, doth nevertheless in that Epistle of his unto Evagrius, where he pleads most for the honor [Page 11]of Priests, appropriate the Power of Ordination, whol­ly and altogether to a Bishop onely: Quid facit, Hierom: Ep: ad Evag. saith he, exceptâ ordinatione Episcopus, quod non facit Pres­biter? as conceiving this to be an act utterly beyond the Sphere of a Priests performance.

Whereas in after-ages; a Bishop being on a time for to Ordain, and being enforced, by reason of a pain which he himself had in his Eyes, to suffer his Chap­lain to read the Words of Consecration,Binius, tom. 4. p. 559. the second Hispaline Councel, that was held then at Sivil, thought it requisite to sit on those Persons who had been thus Ordained; who finding a Nullity in their Orders, by reason the Words of Consecration were not uttered by the Bishop himself, in the fifth Canon of that Coun­cel, adjudg'd them for no Clergy men.

But whither am I now gone, or whither have I been carried, being called abroad by my Text, and these Times together? Whil'st the Person Visiting, having had by this his allotted Minutes, if not more then comes to his share, to speak for himself, It will con­cern us now to hasten him to his Visitation, which too, being at hand in my next Particular, comes now in the second place, and that too in the Word, Come, imme­diately to be treated of.

Si Judicas cognosce, Knowledge ought ever to be the Usher, the Needle as it were,Seneca Trag. that is to make way for the Threed of Justice: Whil'st he that shall adventure up­on the executing of the later of these, without suffi­cient Instructions first in the former, may well be liken­ed to those Preposterous Governors, which Munster [Page 12]makes relation of,Munster, Cosmogra: cap. de Hungar. who in an Hysteron-Proteron Custom that they had, as Barbarous altogether as themselves, were wont, upon a suspition, to condemn the Party whom they conceived to be a Malefactor, and then af­terwards to try the Carcass. And therefore that my Apostle, being now as an Ecclesiastical Judge to sit upon the state of the Church of Corinth, might the better have sufficient informations of those things, that he was there to Order, he intends to make his own Eyes their over-seers; whil'st for that purpose he here doth promise, by way of Visitation, to come himself first amongst them.

Neither may we imagine that my Apostle came to write so well as he did without a Copy, as having ma­ny good precedents, which directed him to this parti­cular course of proceeding, which here he took. Thus in that very first Visitation which ever was held, for the setting in Order again our first Parents, after that irre­gularity of their's which they had committed, Venit Omnipotent, the Almighty Himself comes in Person to view the Delinquents; For they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the Garden, Gen. 3.8. Nay, how­ever this All knowing Visitor, by reason of his Om­niscience, might justly have sentenced them without a Tryal; yet before he proceeds so far as the Act of Excommunication, for the expelling them out of a Paradice, he vouchsafes, as Chrysostome very well ob­serves, [...],Chrysost. 17 Hom. in Gen. To ask questions, receive their answers, and then again to question them farther: And why all this? but onely to [Page 13]teach such as sit at the Stern of the Church this Lesson, That they draw not suddenly the Spiritual Sword upon every trifle: But as often as there is just occasion given to unsheath it, that they forget not the Words of the fore-cited Father, [...],Chrysost. loc. suprae citat., to use much deliberation, and have themselves an inward seeling of heart before they strike; as being at such times for to consider, that even in this very act, they cut off a Limb from the Body of that Church whereof they themselves are Members.

I list not to mention the Lords ordering of Cain for the Blood of his Brother Abel; the doom that he passed on Sodom; the punishment wherewith he con­founded Babel: Though in all these God had his Ve­nit, and his Visitavit also, for he went down to see whe­ther their defaults were answerable to that Cry that came up unto Him. Having onely begun with the first Visitation which the Lord ever held, I shall end my Observation with that last Visitation which He intends to make; that general one I mean, when [...], for so 'tis stiled by St. Peter, 1 Pet. c. 2. v. 12. as in the day of an Episcopal Visitation, both quick and dead shall be summoned to appear before his Consistory. And though I dare not, with the boldness of the School-men, re­solve on the Ubi, or the place where the Lord shall then sit and Visit, and therefore cannot direct you to what particular part of the World, that great Visitor of Heaven and Earth shall then bend His Progress; yet that the Lord, even then, shall have his Venit, a co­ming likewise, you have the Authority of an Apostle [Page 14]for it;1 Thess. c. 4. v. 16. the Lord himself, saith St. Paul, shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Arch­angel, and with the Trump of God; the Saints ari­sing out of their Grave to meet Him in the Air, shall welcome Him, as those Ancients did their Prelates coming into their Cities, with Acclamations and Shoots of Joy; an Arch-angel shall be His Voice, His Cryer, and Heaven it self shall sound that sum­moning Trump, more powerfully then that Bell, which ere while for this purpose you all heard rung, to call you together.

And since that God Himself hath had His Comings, His Visitations, no marvel that the Church of God, in imitation hereof, hath had Hers; whereby She en­deavors to heal those Breaches, which that great Compasser of Sea and Land,Latimer. the Devil (quo non habet Anglia Episcopum diligentiorem, as old Father Latimer was pleased once to express it) in those his Visitations likewise inflicts upon her. A practice of that Antiqui­ty, as that even in the Old Testament may you finde some plain foot-steps of it: thus Eliah, you read at the 2d Book of Kings, and the 2d Chapter, went from Bethel to Gilgal, from Gilgal to Jericho, and from that to Jordan, visiting the Children of the Prophets in all those places; which doing too, immediately before his being taken up to Heaven, He seems to intimate by the very time it self wherein He did it, that the Act was Divine and Heavenly, which He left till then to be performed. Neither stood Eliah in this Point a­lone, whil'st in this one particular undertaking of his, [Page 15]the later Prophets succeeded him, no less then they did in his office; and therefore at the 3d of Zachary, and the 7th, are they, as it is at least in the Hebrew, stiled [...] Walkers. Whereas in the New Testament it said of our Savior, that Great Bishop of our Souls (for so is he called in 1 Pet. 2.25.) that he visited us from on High, Luke 1.78. nay, that he went about all the Villages and Cities of the Jews, teaching in their Synagogues the Gospel of the Kingdom, Mat. 9.35. upon which place the Note of St. Hierom is,Hierom. Comment. in 9. c. Mat. Quod aequaliter vicis & urbibus & magnis, & parvis praedica­vit, That our Saviour preach'd equally the Gospel to the villages and cities, both to the great and the small a­like: Non considerans Nobilium Potentiam, sed salutem Credentium, Not considering or having respect to the Power of the Noble, but to the Salvation of Believers. And where the Master of the House was such, it may be well imagined that his Servants, the Apostles, would endeavor to shew themselves like unto him; who were in this Point so active, as that their Life seem'd little else but a kinde of a continued Visitation, and the whole World but one great Diocess, which they travelled over.Isidor. Pel. l. 2. Ep. 251. The time would fail, should I tell you with what expedition those [...] (for so are the Apostles stiled by Isidor) those winged Husband-men did flie from this place to that, from one Nation to an­other Country, scattering the Seeds of Discipline in divers Regions; planting some Churches, confirming others, reforming a third, and visiting all. That Book which is written of their Acts, is full of no one thing [Page 16]more then of this Act of theirs. Amongst whom nevertheless, we may not, but in an especial manner, make a particular Remembrance of this my Apostle here in the Text St. Paul, who having by his own ac­knowledgement, in 2 Cor. 11.28. the care of all the Churches, with so an indefatigable an endeavor went from each to other, as that he appeared hereupon unto St. Chrysostome, Chrysost. 34 Hom. in Gen. [...], a kinde of some­body, no-body, a body without a body, an Incorpo­real Man. The Sun it self seems hardly to go a larger Circuit, then that which he, visiting, as his manner was, the Brethren, went over: Read but this Itinerary, as it is drawn out partly by St. Luke, in the 20. and 21. Chapters of the Acts; and partly by himself, in the 15th Chapter to the Romans, and verse 9. and you will then acknowledge, that there may a large Map be made of his Journals onely.

But the Church being all this while without enclo­sure, lay hitherto nothing else but as so much Com­mon: and therefore that it might appear how this so Ancient an Order went not out, when once distinction of Diocesses was brought in; look but upon those se­ven Churches of Asia, whom the Holy Ghost himself, in the second Chapter of the Revelation, hath been pleased so far as to take notice of: The Bishops of which several Churches, as it is Interpreted by a Learned Commentator,Mendoz. in 1 Sam. 2. Tom. p 523 are therefore there called Angels, that so being put in minde of their Office by their Name, they might be ready, no otherwise then as those Ministring Spirits the Angels, to go hither and [Page 17]thither for the better ordering of that particular Diocess which they were to govern.

And where the Wheel had so many good Hands to stir it at the first, how can it be expected otherwise then that it would keep long a going; which too it did in after Ages with that force and vigor, as that for the better keeping of it up, even beyond an usual height, The Church thought it meet to create a new kinde of Order of Ecclesiastical Persons, who being by their Office to go about, and ever and anon for to visit those little Vilages that it stood not with the Dig­nity of the Episcopal Robe, to come to himself, were therefore called [...], Circuiters: whose name, as I first finde mentioned by Justinian, so likewise is the reason why they were first ordained, set down by the Fathers of the Laodicean Councel, De Episc. & Cleric. lib. 4. Zonaras Concil. in the 57 Canon thereof: whereas Zonarus, in his Expositions of that very Canon, explaining both their place and their name together, signifies that they were therefore stiled [...], in re­gard, for the keeping the Church in Order, they went continually round the Country, having in no particular place any setled Mansion.

But since the Heavens themselves which now rejoyce as a Gyant to run their course, shall yet, at the last, wax old, as doth a Garment, how could it but be imagined that this motion likewise should in time begin for to languish? The decay whereof, divers Councels taking notice of, endeavored by their Canons and Constitu­tions to put new life into it; as knowing, that the [Page 18]Church in Her Discipline and Doctrine both, would soon feel a Winter, should not those Lights of Hers, like that great Light above, the Sun, come yearly, by the Beams of their Authority, at a nearer distance then at other times to shine upon Her: which Councels, if you desire to know what they were,Vid. Bin [...]ū Concil. Hic citat. are Concilium To­letanum quartum. Canone 35o. Concilium Bracarense se­cundum. Canone 1o. Concilium Aralatense. Canone 17o. with divers others, whom I am not ambitious here to quote. The Edicts of all which Councels, being ta­ken into the Body of the Canon Law by Gratian, have grown hereby to be of that Authority,Gratian. C. 10. q. 3. C. placuit. even in this our Church, as that the Year it self is not more constant in the return of her Yearly Seasons, then this our Church in Her as Yearly Visitations.

Thus have I, you see, Beloved, from the example here of St. Paul, and from this his coming, which my Text makes mention of, presented you with the Story of Ecclesiastical Visitations: which since, for many Ages together, they have been much observed, it can­not, without infinite prejudice to the Wisdom of the Church, be conceived, but that there may divers weigh­ty reasons be given for them.

And indeed who knows not, how the Ear of Autho­rity may easily be abused in her Informations, con­cerning such Particulars as lye remote, distant from her?Tertull. Apol. cap. 7. since that all Allegations passing per Aurium & Lin­guarum Traduces (as Tertullian phraseth it) through the hear-say of divers Tongues and Ears; like Waters running through Mines of a several nature, loose usual­ly [Page 19]their own genuine relish, changing their taste now for the better, and now again for the worse, by having a strong tang ever of that Man's disposition who at the last hand relates them. Hence, when the cry of So­doms Transgression travelled so far as from Earth to Heaven, the Lord seems not, at that distance, to give credit to it, but resolves to go down and see, and then to judge her, Genesis the 18th and the 21. in imitation of which Example,Chrysost. Hom. 13. in Gen. Saint Chrysostom presumes to coun­sel those that have the Authority either of Church or Commonwealth put into their hands, [...], not to account every crying information that rides Post unto them, sufficient Evidence whereon for to pass a Sentence; but at some certain appointed Season for to go themselves, that so those Fallacies, which distance otherwise might impose upon them, be­ing thus prevented, Falshoods may not then dare to ap­pear before them.

And as Authority, were it not for these Visitati­ons, might in some Particulars hear too much; so likewise in other-some might it hear too little: whil'st divers defects of the Church, here and there abroad, come hereby alone oftentimes to be known: Even as Saint Paul at the 17th of the Acts, going through the Streets of Athens, observed thereby some such Superstitious Custom, which had he not been there himself, might for ever, happily, lain undiscovered. For albeit some, like Hermogenes in Tertullian, think it officium bonae Conscientiae, the part of a good Con­science to be blabbing ever all that ill which they [Page 20]know of any; yet to be an Informer, is somewhat in it self an odious Office: from which too, some dis­positions are so averse, as that many a Church-warden (the more the pitty) giving up an Omnia benè, when as indeed an Omnia Pessime had been of the two the truer, hath been known at such Meetings as these, to have chosen to be guilty, rather of Perjury it self, then in this Particular to discharge his Oath and Duty. Whence the Ear of Government, by reason of these blank Presentments, can never hope to have so exact Intelligence as is needful for her; and there­fore how requisite is it that the Eye of Government, like His at the first of the Revelation and the 13th, walking in the midst of the seven golden Candlesticks, should endeavor, in part, to be its own Informer: Whil'st she might by these means observe here, the House, even of God Himself, in this or that part so ruinous; as that were it but an House for a Man to dwell in, it would scarce be thought Tenantable; and there a Church-man, as little going, as living suit­able to the gravity of that Holy Profession which he hath undertaken. In one place, the Ceremonies of this our Mother all dis-used,; and in another, the Canons themselves made no otherwise then a dead Letter, to be of no force or power. In this Congregation, that most Heavenly piece of Devotion, the Litany, for many Years since banished as Apocryphal; and the rest of Divine Service so curtailed, upon every oc­casion, and like the Garments of Davids Servants, so cut off at the wast, as if the Prayers of the Church [Page 21]were of little other use then to serve onely, as Musick before a Play, to entertain the Company till the Seats be full: Whereas it may so fall out, that in the very next Parish, a Sermon on the contrary hath been such Dain­ties, as that the People, unless it be upon some great Solemn Feast or other, have not had that Dish ser­ved up unto them. Thus, thus may he that travels over a County, observe here and there the noysom Smells, the Boggs, and the Myre of it, whereas by viewing of it at a distance, or in a Map, he shall see onely the Towns and the Woods, the Rivers and the Hills, nothing but what is fair in it self, and a Plea­sure likewise to the Eye for to behold. How singu­lar therefore a design of this was Saint Paul's, wor­thy altogether of such an Apostle as He for to under­take: who, the better to finish that Reformation which he had begun, concludes upon a Coming a­mongst his Corinthians; that so, as for those matters which in that Church of theirs were not as yet redressed, he might by this his Visitation put likewise in Or­der, as being the end of my Apostles Coming or Vi­sitation, and therefore in the next place now to be treat­ed of.

Will I put in Order: The Word in the Original is [...], which signifies Ordinabo, Constituam, Prae­scribam; so that my Apostle here in this place, accord­ing to the Judgement of the best Commentators, aims wholly at such things onely as belong unto outward Order and Discipline; or as St.Aug. 1. Ep ad Januar. Austin is pleased to ex­press it, ad Ordinem Agendi, to the Ordering of all [Page 22]such Services, as in the Church were to be performed. A matter, it should seem, of no small consequence, in regard my Apostle beats so often and so much upon it: who having here spent no less then a whole Chapter upon this one Business, falls nevertheless upon it again in as ample a manner, as here he doth in the 4th Cha­pter of this very self-same Epistle: where, having in­sisted likewise upon the Ordering of divers other Par­ticulars in the Church, his conclusion there at the last is this, [...], Let all things be done decently, and in Order, ver. 40. Nay, that he might the better mould his Son Titus to this his tem­per in Church-affairs, he lays his Commands upon him, in the first Chapter of that Epistle, and the 5th, to Order the things that were wanting in the Church of Creet, such it seems as St Paul himself had not disposed of at his being there.

And no marvel neither that my Apostle both here and other where, in himself and others, seemed so zealous for Order: The Church being, as anciently she hath been stiled,Constit. A. post. l. 8. c. 31. [...], The very School of good Order, wherein Lessons of Order are daily to be taught, and learned, and practiced also: Nay, Order hath heretofore been conceived so proper unto the Church, as that by this, no otherwise then as by some peculiar badge or cognisance, She anciently hath been known. No sooner had Jacob, in that Vi­sion of his, beheld the Orderly ascending and descend­ing of the Angels from Heaven, together with the Lord Himself, standing at the top of that Ladder [Page 23]whereon they went; but being once awaked from this his seeing of so much Order, he presently makes to him­self this peremptory Conclusion: This is no other then the House of God, Gen. 28.17. Whereas our Saviour, out of the great desire he had to see no irregularity at all in the Temple, vouchsafed oftentimes to heal the Blinde, the Dumb, the Deaf and the Lame, even in the Temple; as if it had been so great an eye-soar to Him, that any in that place especially, should want ei­ther an Eye to read, or an Ear to hear, or a Tongue to speak, or a Knee to bow, when the Discipline of the Church required these Duties of them, as that he chose rather to be at the expense of a Miracle Himself for their redress. And were our Saviour yet still on Earth, as indeed He is now in Heaven, how many such Cures as these might He meet with in most Con­gregations? Some being blinde, by reason of a Cataract of wilful Ignorance that is grown over their eyes; others lame, in regard of a strong Convulsion, which Rebellion and Inconformity have caused in their Knees; whereas a certain prejudice against the Liturgy of the Church hath so far possessed a third, as that this alone to them is a dumb and a deaf Spirit also, making them oftentimes to have the use neither of Tongue nor Ear in these our Assemblies: The Fancies of whose Humors, were they but once fed and cherished, the Church would soon leave of to be what at the 4th of the Canticles, and the 12th, She is stiled, A Garden enclosed: A Gar­den being ordinarily a place of so exact contrivance, as that here may be observed a Knot, there a Square; next [Page 24]to that a Bank; and above that again a Walk, hem'd in with Trees that stand in a row, at an equal distance each from other; all things being done there by line and mea­sure, & disposed of to the best advantage by method & Order: whil'st the Church would be then a Wilderness, or a Forest rather, where without any distinction at all, a Lilly, a Thorn, a Bryar, Straw-berries and Thistles, good and bad might be seen to grow all upon one piece of Turf together: insomuch that Babel it self, no nor the Primitive Chaos neither, were never guilty of a greater Confusion then that which would be then ac­knowledged for to be in Her.

But the Text speaking as here it doth, not of Order simply, but of putting in Order, may not but be con­ceived to look equally two ways at once; whil'st here­by it doth not onely point at the Necessity of Orders in a Church, but it reflects likewise upon their Per­sons, in whose hands it lies to enact these Orders: so that as from the one side it is to be gathered, that there is no subsisting for a Church without the ha­ving of Order, in regard that Ceremonial Circum­stances, being absolutely necessary for the perform­ance of all outward Acts whatever, without rules gi­ven and observed concerning times, places, manner, and the like, there can be no outward Worship done unto God: So likewise from the other is it to be un­derstood, that every one is not Master of the Mint so far, as to presume to stamp this Coyn; this being a Prerogative wherein they are to be sharers onely, to whom the Government of the Church belongs: which [Page 25]is the reason that here in the Text, it is not one (I) that comes, and another (I) that puts in Order; but it be­ing the same (I) in both, it's the same numerical St. Paul that divides himself between both these acts.

And indeed, many are the Orders which we finde St. Paul to have made for the Meridian of the Church of Corinth, divers whereof are to be read in the pre­ceding Verses of this present Chapter: all which he enacted to make use of a distinction which he himself so much harps on in the 7th Chapter of this Epistle) not by commandment, and as from the Lord, but by per­mission, and as from himself, giving herein his Judge­ment, as one that had obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. Wherein, that I may not be thought to have delivered any private Opinion of mine own, know that you have all this warranted unto you under the hands of the deservedly Honored Angel of the Church of Sarum: Bishop Davenant, de Jud: Controv: cap. 16. Apostoli (saith he) quatenus erant ordinarii Ecclesiae Rectores de hisce ritibus externis pro suâ sapien­tiâ statuebant, quod ad adificationem Ecclesiae facere vide­batur: The Apostles, as they were ordinary Governors of the Church, prescribed, as concerning outward Rites, such things which they in their Wisdom thought to make most for Edification; which Words are in that incomparable Work of his, De Judice Controver sia­rum, Cap. 16. Rat. 2a.

So that my Text being thus opened, affords us in this place such a parcel of Divine Truth as this, name­ly, That the Authority of making Orders, whereby to govern each particular Church, is a Prerogative, [Page 26]which those that sit at the Stern thereof may rightly challenge: St. Paul, you see, after an ordinary way did it here in the Church of Corinth; and therefore those that are his Successors in the like condition, may law­fully assume to themselves the like employment. A Doctrine of that Evidence and Consequence both to­gether, as that this Church of ours, in those few Ar­ticles of Hers which She hath published, hath thought it in Her Wisdom meet,See the Book of the 39 Ar­ticles. to avouch it no less then twice in two several Articles, Article the 20th, and the 34th. Nay, before ever that Book of Hers saw light, those great Reformers, under King Edward the sixth, conclu­ded as much, which too, was done with that measure of zeal,Fox in his Book of Acts and Mon. as that Bishop Bonner was enjoyned, by the Kings Councel, to Preach at Pauls-Cross this Doctrine; my Authority for both these, is Fox in his Acts and Monu­ments, 2o Edvardisexti. Neither hath it been given to Men of this Climat onely to be of this Opinion, since those Reformed Churches that have been beyond the Seas, have herein yielded unto us the right Hand of Fellowship. Witness the Confession of the Reformed Church of France, Ext [...]t haec confessio a­pud Calvi­num, lib. opuscul. published in the Year, 1562. Fa­temur (saith She) tum omnes, tum singulas Ecclesias hoc jus habere, ut leges & statuta sibi condant ad Politi­am communem inter suos statuendam: Witness likewise the consent of the Lutheran Divines, set down in that Auspurge Confession, whereof Melancton was the Con­triver; whose words, much to the same purpose, are Licet Episcopis & Pastoribus Canones constituere, Ausourg. Coufess. art. ult. ut sin­gula in Ecclesia siant secundum Ordinem. Nay, Reve­rend [Page 27] Calvin however conceived by some, to be none so the greatest Friends which the Church ever had, stickles nevertheless so earnestly for this, in the 4th of his Institutions and the 10th Chapter, as that those who shall cast an eye one what he there hath written, cannot but judge him to be very zealous for it.

Niether ought it to be conceived, that these Sons of the Church in honour of their Mother, have en­deavoured herein to flatter her into a greater Priviledge, then that which by right belongs to her. [...],Basil. lib. de Spiritu. quinto cap. 27. is an ancient distinction made heretofore by St Basil, Predications and matters of Faith are one thing, and Placits or matters of Order another. (For so is the Greek word [...] there, as I conceive to be un­derstood, the word Ceremony being not of so ancient a standing in the Church, as to be found in the writings either of the Greek or of the Latine Fathers. St Au­stin in his Retractations,Austin. l. 2. Ret. c. 37. makes in his owne behalf an Apologie, for that it once dropp'd unawares from his Pen.) And however the Church of Rome dare ex­tend her Commission so far, as in respect of the former of these, to make new Creeds, (for so Pope Pius the fourth did;) and to blot out one of the Commande­ments of the Decalogue, for that it gain-sayes those Images which they are resolved to set up and worship, Nos vero talem non habemus Consuetudinem, we have no such custome, nor the Church of God; we cannot find in our hearts for to be so cruell, as for the satisfying of our owne causelesse Fancies, to mangle thus the body of Religion, which our Fore-fathers to the least [Page 20]Tittle therof, have even with the losse of their owne blood preserved entire. All the Power which we as­sume to our selves, is only about the outward dress and attire of the Churh, in causing that to be suitable always to her Condition: This being a liberty which in all ages hath so far been Challenged, as that a great part of that apparell it self, wherewith the Apostles thought fit to cloath Her, within a Century or two, grew to be cast off and antiquated; insomuch that the Holy Kisse, the Feasts of Charity, Abstinence from things strangled, the imploying of Widdows in Eccle­siasticall Services, with the like (however Orders all of the Apostles owne Composing,) in some short time came for to be difused. Wheras we read likewise of St. Ambrose, Vid. Ludo. Viv. in Aug. de Civit. dei l. 6. c: 26. that in his owne Church at Millaine, abrogated an old Order which they had of Feasting at the Tombes of the Martyrs; in regard the People in his time made it an occasion to draw on drunkennesse. Nay, however Trina Mersio, the threefold dipping in the Sacrament of Baptisme, was at the first established upon no meaner a Ground, then for signification of the Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity, yet by reason the Arians took the advantage thereof to countenance their Heresie,Binius. Con. cil. Tolet. Can. 5to. the Fourth Toletan Councell blotted that Order out of the Rubrick. And why may not the Church still be Mistress of so much Power as to do the like, as long as those Sonnes of Heirs, who are set for to rule, are engaged in the Action: whereas, if every Private Member should be suffered to have therin a Finger, how might we then in time look to have as [Page 21]many Editions of Service-books, as there is of Alma­nacks, every year a new one? as also, there would be then, here in the Temple, as much Variety of Gesture as there is of Faces, whil'st one disliking this Ceremo­ny, another that, a third questioning all, nothing of Order would be then agreed on.Bernard lib. de interi: domo. St. Bernard notes it of the People in his days, that whereas the Lord (in the twelf Chapter of Exodus) commanded the Israelites in token of their deliverance out of Aegypt, to kill a Lambe, and to sprinckle the blood thereof on the door posts with a Branch of Hyssop, and after that (in the fifteenth Chapter of Numbers) enjoyned them fur­ther, to make Fringes in the borders of their Garments, to mind them hereby of his Commandements, and to put upon the Fringes, a Ribband of Blew silke; They grew so bold as to aske, why the Remembrance of the Israelites deliverance was to be done by the blood rather of a Lambe, then of a Goate, or a Calfe, or a Bullock, or of Turtle doves, and why with a Branch of Hyssop, rather then with Rose mary; as also, why the minding of Gods Commandements was to be ex­ercised rather by Fringes then by Laces, in the bor­ders of the Garment rather then in the mid'st, with blew Ribbands rather then yellow or green; Thus were the People there so great over-weeners of their owne Particular private Fancies, as that hereupon they proceeded so far, as to question the Lords owne Or­dinances. How much more would they pick a quarrel at each others Orders, were they but once admitted unto such composures? it being usual with Persons of [Page 30]that Quality, who have not been beholding to Educa­tion for so much judgment, as might serve them to correct their Fancies; to think no Musick so good, as that which they make themselves, and to conceive their own Children, though never so ill-favoured, to be nevertheless very fair.

And here, Beloved, we have all great reason to bless the Lord God of Heaven, for that he hath been pleased to be so Favourable to this Chuch of Ours, as ever since the Reformation, to continue to her such Nursing Fathers, who have in that manner Ordered all Things, as that for Doctrine and Discipline both, she may now be very well conceived to be the wonder of the Chri­stian World. For to say nothing of the Former of these, and the unparalel'd Purity thereof, in regard my Text gives me not here any hint to reflect on that, how hath her Discipline been in that manner con­trived, as that whereas there are required,Calvin l. 4. inst. c. 10. [...]. 14. even by Cal. vin himself, in Church Rites but three Conditions; namely, In Numero Paucitas, in Observatione Facili­tas, in significatione Dignitas; these Three are all so Eminent in our Rites and Ceremonies, as if none but Calvin had been at the first, the Composer of them? For however, there are many great Clouds of Cere­monies in use with the Church of Rome,1o. in nu­mero Pau­citas. a Number of those are by us at this day dispell'd; So that now there seemes to be left no greater Quantities of leaves, then may be thought requisite to preserve the Fruit. Whil'st our Church her Orders likewise are of that easie Performance,2o. in ob­servatione Facilitas. as being such as concerne our knee­ling [Page 31]at this part of the Leiturgy, our standing at that, our Hearing now, then our Singing of an Hymne, with the like; as that I know not how Ease her self could possibly wish for a more favourable imployment. And as for signification,3o. in fig­nificationc dignitas. she is in that most remarkable, whil'st there is not scarce any one Rite or Order of Hers, but is a kind of visible Sermon, putting us in mind of some one good lesson or other, as often as we are to use it; insomuch that they who will not be brought to hearken to what we teach, by looking on what we doe in such places as these, may in a manner read what we be­lieve.

Neither is this Church of ours so farre indebted, as some think she is, to the Sea of Rome, for many of those Ceremonies that fill her Rubrick; since that however they have been, it may be, in use with the Romish Faction, yet being the Rites of ancienter Primitive times, why may not we by a Right of our Owne, lay as good claime to them, as those Sonnes of the Papacy have done before us? they I confesse, by fastning their foule hands first upon them, have sullied and soyled them greatly; which Pollution neverthelesse of theirs, we by freeing them from that abuse which they have put upon them, have washed off: whereas, should our Primitive Reformers for this reason only quite have cashiered them, this in­deed might have seem'd Curatio, a Cure to the pur­pose, sed Curatio Carnificis non Medici, as saith that great Oracle of Wisdome Cassander excellently,Cassand. Consult. [Page 24] But the cure of an Hang-man not of a Physitian, not of one that destroys only the diseas, and keeps the man alive that had it, but of one that makes a rid­dance of both these at a clap together.

No Marvail then, all things being so ordered with us as they are, that ev'n strangers and Forrainers have been so farre taken with the heauty of this our Mo­ther, as that they, like so many Voluntaries have pressed their own Pennes to doe Her Service by way of defence;Bucer lib. de Refor: Eccles. Pet. Mart. cp. ad Hoo­perum. Caluin cp. 200. Such as have been Bucer, and Peter Mar­tyr, and Calvir, who as they were Men of Renown and famous all in their Generations, so likewise have they in their several writings fought against such as have oppos'd Her Discipline: nay, a certain French Embassadour, one Marquess Rogncy, in the begin­ning of our late Kings reigne, of blessed Memory; veiwing of our Church Orders, first at the Cathedral in Canterbury, and then at his Majesties Chappel royall at Court, said hereupon, that if the reformed Churches in France had kept the same Order as we have done, he was assured there would have been in that Country many thousands more Protestants then now there are:Dr. Barlow Conf. Hampt. Court. p. 38. which Passage I should not peradven­ture (in this place that now I here stand before you in) have taken notice off, had not his Reverend Pen who compiled the story of the Conference at Hampton-Court, thought it meet for to have published it un­to the World.

But alas, how hath this our Mother, who hath been admired thus by strangers, been despised nevertheless [Page 25]by Her owne Children? so that it will be an hard matter to say, whether Her happiness in the One, or Unhappiness in the other, be of the two the greater: whil'st some unnaturall Sonnes of Her owne, suckled by Her in Her Bosome have traduced Her so farre, as to call Her Church-Musick Meretricious,See T. C. apud Arch­whitgift. The view of the Popish abuses re­main. 1. Oxford Answer to the humble Petition. Her Re­sponsals and Readings of the Psalms alternatim, the to­ssing of Tennis-balls; her Collects because but briefe, Cuts and Shreds of Prayer; her Choice of Epistles and Gospels, the mangling of the word of God; inso­much that neither the Hymne of Glory, the Creed, the Nicene I mean, and that of Athanasius; no, nor the Lords Prayer it self, have escaped them without a most bitter censure; all which seem to me, at least for to be so strange, as that common Charity would not have suffered me to have believed the least Tittle thereof, were not all this and more to be read in their own Books and Writings. Nay, because our Temples be­gin now to appear somewhat like, what they are, the Houses of God, wherein the Lord ought to be wor­shipped in the beauty of Holiness; because our Sanctu­aries have of late been entred with that lowlie Reve­rence as becomes the Courts of the most High; how hath this our Virgin Mother been lately scan­dalized, as if she were turning Harlot, in going a whoring after Popish Vanities? But what Credit do these silly Libellers do in the mean time to the Sea of Rome, in calling that Popery, which the an­cienter Purer times will not be ashamed to own as [Page 34]theirs; amongst whom, as there is mention made of Churches that have been [...],Cyril. 14. Catech. so adorned and even embossed with Silver and Gold, as that they seemed [...],Euseb. 10. lib. a kind of wonder to as many as beheld them: So likewise is there to be read (in the Jus Orientale) of some such thing as [...]. Nay in St Austin of a Terram Fronte concu­tientes, men not entring then the Church, as ordina­rily now many do, with that gesture and countenance, as if they went thither, rather with authority to di­spossess God of his House, then to humble themselves before him; whilst in the words of the Psalmist rather, they then came and worshipped, and fell down and knee­led before the Lord their Maker: And therefore what shall I say to these, or how may I hope to move them? Shall I endeavour to unbend their stiff spi­rits by gentle Persuasions and loving exhortations? but presuming that such Physick will be too weak to move their tuffe Tempers, I may not but think of some such strong Doses as that, which I meet with in the Writings of an Italian Prelate, who hath a say­ing, that where God comes, and sees his House for to ly neglected, Frederic Borrom. Synodal. 13. even in that dust that he finds there, he writes the sinns of those, by whose default it was kept no better: And what the Finger of the Lord once writes, be it but in dust, is to be conceived to be as durable, as if it were engraven with the pen of a Diamond in a Pillar of Marble. And thus hahing now declared unto you at large, the end of my Apostles coming or Visitation, which was, for to put in Order, and withall, taken the [Page 35]occasion of discharging that duty in mine own Par­ticular,Can. 8. which the Canons of our late Holy Synod hath laid on us, in shewing the laudibleness of the Orders and Ceremonies of the Church of England. It remaines that we now proceed to those Things, which my Apostle meant for to put in Order; and they as I told you are here veild up in this Indefinite Terme [...], the Rest, The Rest will I set in Order, when I come.

What those, Rest, Things were, which my Apostle intended at his coming amongst the Corinthians for to have Ordered, I find neither here nor otherwhere expressed; so that Commentators by reason of this my Apostles silence, having but a cold sent to hunt by, are generally all of them at a Loss: some running this way, and some that, as their own private Fancies, and such conjectures as they make to themselves, shall seem to lead them. Seeing therefore it is somewhat dangerous, there to set up Sails for a further Journy, where neither Sun nor Star appears for our Guidance, and whereto we have no certain Card of our own to steer by; I hold it the safest course here to cast mine Ankor, shutting up all in one Word only of Exhor­tation, which also shall be no other then that which this very point it self may be made to yeeld us; whilst this word [...] the Rest, however it be indefinite in it self may serve, nevertheless to Teach you all your duties.

First, then as for you the Wardens, who being,Lindwood Constit. l. 3. de Cler. non Resid. as you are told by Lindwood, Ecclesiae Occonomi, the [Page 36]Churches Oeconomists, that are by your Place, to pro­vide for Her Wants; nay, who have been conceived to be so far the Hand of the Bishop for the putting his Mandats in Execution,Concil. Gangr. C. 7. & C. 8. as that in some of the An­cient Councels you are stiled [...] the men em­ployed by him, and [...] Men ordered by him, let this [...] heer in the Text be your Remembran­cer so far as to cause you to Present all those things, which you in your several Churches know yet still to be out of Order. Which that you may not think to be meerly a Freewil business, or a matter at pleasure only, know, that in case you do it not, by Vertue of the Oath which for this purpose hath been taken by you, you are guiltie of Perjury, and so (for that I con­ceive will work most with you) liable to the heavy Cen­sures of higher Courts.

And as for you, Much Honoured (for as Commenta­tors upon good grounds conceive St Paul went not himself, as he here resolved, to Corinth) who are in the place of our Reverend Diocesan, and now come to order such grievances as shall be made known to you, if there have been with you a [...],Nos qui vobis vi­demur lo­qui de su­periori loco, sub p dibus vestris su­mus Au­gust. any such things I mean, which in those bills as have been preferr'd, you have not taken sufficient notice of, he that here stands on high, casts himself so low as your feet, for to beseech you that admitting such things into your further thoughts, you would be pleased to send out your edicts for their Reformation.

But as for you, My brethren, since you at your very first entrie into the ministerie, all took Orders, and are [Page 37]therefore now all men of Orders: There is nothing I hope with such as you, that is out of Order; but if there be, let this [...] here in the Text have so much influence likewise on you, as to cause you to be your own Ordinaries so far, as by amending in your own Persons what is amisse, to put all that in Order. Thus shall these our yeerly Meetings be freed from those Jeers and Scoffs, which some envious Tongues have been ready to cast upon them; whilest these our Visitations then shall be to the Reforming of every one of us in Particular, to the Honour of the Church in general; and finally to the Glory of God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the Holy Ghost; to which Blessed Trinitie in Unitie, and Unitie in Trinitie be ascribed all Majesty and Worship, both now and eyermore. AMEN.


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